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Banking litigation

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  1. Banking litigation
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Banking litigation clients in Yorkshire and the Humber 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 david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Addleshaw Goddard’s three-partner practice is led by Sally Butt, and includes Ben Lowans and the ‘invaluableIan Hastings. The team specialises in racial discrimination claims arising from sanction breaches, investment fraud and the mis-selling of interest rate hedging products. It also has niche expertise in aviation and marine leasing, aircraft engine ownership disputes, asset recovery and admiralty proceedings. Hastings successfully defended a £2.5m breach of contract claim brought by a customer of Clydesdale Bank for alleged failure to arrange a valid life insurance policy. Lowans handled an aircraft leasing dispute for Lombard North Central, involving the return of a Cessna Citation aircraft and its sale by the client, and the subsequent claim by the borrower for the shortfall due under the lease agreement. Butt successfully represented a bank in a dispute pertaining to a personal guarantee, where the debtor counterclaimed for negligence based on alleged breaches of the lending code. The team also advised a financial institution on its proposal to increase the interest rate applicable to its buy-to-let mortgage portfolio for borrowers holding multiples of the product. Barclays, HSBC, Shawbrook Bank, West Bromwich Building Society, Yorkshire Building Society and Santander are also clients.

DLA Piper UK LLP’s team ‘is at the top of its game’. It provides ‘excellent overall service, commercially driven legal advice, and is willing to go the extra mile to ensure clients are well-placed to counter new developments’. Adam Ibrahim leads the practice and, along with Hugh Evans, is considered to have ‘a huge wealth of experience and a deep understanding of the realities of the retail banking sector’. The team is experienced in acting for UK clearing banks, mortgage banks, building societies and asset-based lenders on disputes concerning derivatives and other financial products, fraud, insolvency and corporate lending. The team was recently defended a major bank against claims of a breach of regulatory duties and alleged mis-selling of derivatives. Other work included defending another banking client against a substantial claim brought by an EU-based property investor, relating to a UK property, concerning allegations of an unfair relationship, which was successfully dismissed; a follow-on claim by the borrower, pertaining to allegations of bribery, fraudulent misrepresentation, undue influence and conspiracy to defraud, is ongoing. The team is handling a contractual interpretation dispute for an overseas bank relating to the payment of break costs by the claimant under a loan agreement entered into with the client.

Walker Morris LLP’s team provides ‘very good service and value for money; the highly experienced partners understand the business and industry and provide sound, pragmatic and commercially focused advice’. Andrew Beck leads the practice, which also includes Andrew Bennett, Louise Power and Richard Sandford. The team handles complex litigation issues including multi-jurisdictional mortgage fraud cases, asset recovery and high-value professional negligence claims against solicitors and surveyors, and acts for clearing banks, mortgage banks, building societies and specialist lenders. Highlights include representing a high-street lender in a claim against solicitors for breach of fiduciary duty and deceit, and acting for a liquidator in enforcing security over a warehouse complex in possession proceedings relating to an attempt to release the lenders’ assets to the creditors. Power is defending a £10m claim concerning allegations of damage arising from a banking client taking a property into possession. Clients include UK Asset Resolution, Accord Mortgages, Bank of Ireland, Leeds Building Society and Yorkshire Building Society.

Gateley Plc’s practice head Rob Payne acts for financial institutions and insolvency practitioners appointed by financial institutions, on pre-insolvency assessment and managed-exit advice, asset-tracing and recovery, interest rate hedging disputes, and the enforcement of secured and unsecured lending, with particular expertise in disputes involving subrogation, misrepresentation, duress and undue influence. Payne is representing a national bank in a multimillion-pound claim regarding a recovery strategy arising from an alleged largescale systematic fraud concerning buy-to-let advances made by multiple lenders that were purportedly pooled to fund the acquisition of freehold interests in several London properties. The team is also defending a breach of fiduciary duty claim for an Irish bank.

Gordons LLP’s ‘extremely good’ team is led by Andrew Breckenridge, who joined in January 2017 and was previously the head of banking litigation at DWF. Breckenridge is experienced in representing banks, building societies and other financial institutions in disputes pertaining to complex recoveries, LPA receivership, mortgage fraud, professional negligence, subrogation, asset-based lending, claims of product mis-selling, and the enforceability of commercial loans involving SWAP interest rate agreements. The team is acting for Paragon Mortgages and Mortgage Trust in ten separate actions against a firm of solicitors relating to alleged breaches of duty regarding buy-to-let mortgages, with issues including insurance coverage and aggregation, and the right to pursue an indemnity for uncrystallised losses. Other clients include Santander and Goldcrest Finance.

Simon Miller is the key contact at Squire Patton Boggs, and is closely supported by Manchester-based head of banking litigation Anthony Taylor. The team has notable strengths in largescale litigation and investigations, including those pertaining to sanctions issues, professional negligence, payment protection insurance, foreign exchange issues, interest rate hedging products, product mis-selling and valuers’ negligence. Recent highlights include representing a bank in consolidated professional negligence claims against its former conveyancing solicitors and surveyors; advising on an investigation for another bank regarding fraudulent residential transactions; and handling a remediation for a major consumer finance company.


Commercial litigation: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial litigation: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire clients in Yorkshire and the Humber 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 david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Addleshaw Goddard has one of ‘the most highly regarded’ teams in Leeds, shown ‘impressive growth’ over the past couple of years. Litigation and financial services head Sally Emerton ‘calmly runs a very professional but friendly department’; commercial litigation head Bill Gilliam is ‘immensely liked and respected across Yorkshire businesses, his common sense and straight-talking analysis of any situation is first class’; and international arbitration head Simon Kamstra is praised for his ‘astute approach to heavy litigation’. Kamstra represented an Indian iron ore mining company in a claim arising from the termination of a long-term contract for the supply of iron ore to a UAE-based company, and in a separate matter representing a petroleum company in an application to the Commercial Court to set aside an arbitration award on jurisdictional grounds. Gilliam is defending Diageo against a claim by SAP for an alleged breach of contract and potential copyright infringement concerning software licensing fees amounting to circa £55m. Managing associate Louise Dobson, who is ‘very hard working’, has specialist knowledge of the health and pharmaceutical sectors.

According to one client, ‘there are less than a handful of commercial litigators nationwide who even approach a comparable standard of excellence’ to those in DLA Piper UK LLP’s team. Department head David Young, who is ‘a fantastically bright lawyer’, and ‘hard-working’ senior associate Kathryn Ford, who ‘produces excellent work and really organises a case’, represented members of IBM’s final salary pension plan in a dispute against IBM, which alleged a breach of good faith pertaining to pension cuts, where the court ruled in favour of the client; the case is currently on appeal. The team has considerable competition expertise and testament to this is its work representing Westpoint Group Trading in a £2m claim against XL Farmcare that alleges collusion between the entities which manage the government’s compulsory TB testing scheme in cattle. Other work includes defending Nisa Retail against a £12m claim brought by Bibby Distribution for alleged misappropriation of confidential information regarding a warehouse operated by the claimant, and defending a judicial review claim regarding planning permission for a quarry in Cornwall, where the firm acted for Shire Oak Quarry as an interested party.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s ‘truly excellent litigation team’ is led by the ‘impressiveRichard Matthews and Gary Pellow, who ‘is a pleasure to work with’. The group also includes energy litigation specialist Mark Howarth, head of TMT disputes James Hyde and Ed Williams, who specialises in complex contractual disputes and procurement challenges and provides ‘considered and practical advice against challenging timescales’. Pellow led a team defending DHL in a claim brought by Bibby Distribution against the client and its customer, Nisa Retail, regarding a seven-year, £500m contract awarded to DHL by Nisa in place of the incumbent supplier, Bibby, which was ultimately granted a stay. Hyde represented Canal & River Trust against Thames Water Utilities in litigation regarding the price of water; both parties are appealing the judgment. ‘Extremely hardworking and bright’ senior associate Deborah Polden was part of a team that represented Europcar in proceedings against Mastercard and Visa that alleged damages for breach of EU and UK competition law relating to multilateral interchange fees.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s practice is led by the highly regarded Andrew Masterson, the ‘reliable, calm and very competentJulian Sladdin and James McBurney, who provides ‘pragmatic, sensible advice and gets to grips with highly technical issues quickly’. McBurney led a team defending a multinational telecoms company against a $1.3m claim brought by a communications provider that alleged that equipment had been wrongfully retained on its site, as well as for owed payments. The team is representing Hamad Aldrees & Partners, a mineral extraction company, in pursuing a claim against Rotex Europe regarding the supply of allegedly deficient mineral separating units, a counterclaim for unpaid fees has been brought. Masterson is leading a team acting for an IT and outsourcing solutions company regarding the failure of its customer to meet a £3m year-one revenue target under a multi-year £10m service agreement. The team is also noted for its strength in the education sector and acts for various UK universities. Legal director Louise Nahon is another key contact.

Squire Patton Boggs’ ‘first-rate’ practice is ‘top of the field outside of London’ and has ‘real strength in depth’. ‘Practical and commercial’ practice head Simon Milleralways has an eye on the cost benefit ratio for the client’; he led a team representing a Mauritian subsidiary of Essar Oilfields Services in challenging a decision requiring the client to pay the opponent’s costs of funding an arbitration. Lucci Dammone is leading a team representing Contact Holdings in a claim against its insurer, Travelers, seeking an indemnity payment following the alleged failure of a printing press at its site. Dammone also focuses on shareholder and warranty disputes and claims against directors, professional negligence claims, and pension disputes. Victoria Leigh, Anthony Taylor and Rob Elvin are the other key partners and senior associate Simon Lucas is also recommended. The Mansion Group, Tesco, Kemira Chemicals, Acorn Mobility Services and Trinity Mirror are also clients. Patrick Walker left to become a fulltime mediator.

Stewarts Law LLP’s ‘efficient and focused’ team ‘is up there with the best’. Practice head Mo Bhaskaranis excellent for hard-hitting commercial and fraud litigation’, competition litigation head Jonathan Sinclair leads on ‘highly complex’ cases and injunction relief specialist Kate Pollock is ‘a highly efficient leader on high-value commercial and competition litigation’. Sinclair is involved in twelve cartel actions for FTSE 100 and 250 companies, including Arcadia, Asda, Debenhams, House of Fraser, Homebase, Comet, Next, B&Q, HMV and New Look, in proceedings against Mastercard, as well as a separate action against Visa relating to the fixing of interchange fees, with each claim having estimated collective damages totalling over £500m. Senior associate Nick Haworth is ‘truly first class, and is going places fast’.

Walker Morris LLP’s team provides ‘an excellent level of service, take a robust stance and understand the wider issues at play’. Department head Gwendoline Davies acts for multinational and domestic companies in high-value litigation across a wide range of sectors. Malcolm Simpson has notable expertise acting for US-headquartered corporations and and David Williams is a key name for representing clients in disputes arising outside the UK. The team represented IPM Energy Trading (part of ENGIE) in a claim against Carillion Energy Services concerning an alleged breach of contract by the defendant. It is also acting for Persimmon in a Chancery claim against the selling shareholders of Hillreed Developments and Hillreed Homes for alleged breach of warranty, misrepresentation and mistake. Other recent work includes assisting Jet2 with its approach to disruptive passengers on flights. Nick Lees has expertise in property development and insolvency-related disputes. Capita, Caterpillar Group, Kier Group, and Moorgarth are also clients.

Clarion’s ‘excellent’ team is ‘always available, knows its stuff and inspires confidence’. ‘Go-to litigatorSimon Young, who heads the practice, ‘sees the wider commercial picture and is tactically spot on’. He led a team representing Silverstone in a £4m claim brought by Silverstone Hospitality for alleged breach of contract relating to the provision of catering services at the racing circuit; the claim was ultimately abandoned and a counterclaim for costs issued. IT and outsourcing disputes specialist Dominic Higham is ‘a good all-round thinker, he approaches problems from a pragmatic and commercial perspective’. Other key partners include Roger Hutton, who specialises in high-value, complex pre-insolvency situations, IP disputes expert Esther Kirwan, and insolvency specialists Ryan Millmore and Alice Pratt. Other clients include Kingspan Insulation, Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, Maersk and InterSystems.

Gordons LLP’s team, which is based across the firm’s Leeds and Bradford offices, is, according to one client, ‘among the strongest in the area’. James Laycock and Stephen McVey, who head the team, ‘have excellent technical skills combined with an ability to see the commercial solution over and above the legal technicalities of a case’. Recent highlights include defending the former treasury and risk director of Cattles in a shareholder action claim brought against by institutional investors in a £200m rights issue, which settled before trial. Mark Jones acted for a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in a successful judicial review claim against Natural England regarding its refusal to grant licences to control predatory birds; he is subsequently acting for the NGO and the gamekeeper in proceedings seeking damages for human rights, statutory duty and misfeasance in public office breaches. Finance litigation specialist Andrew Breckenridge joined from DWF. Ian McCombie moved to Ward Hadaway.

3volution Limited’s practice is led by Tim Stone, who is closely supported by IP litigation specialist Sara Ludlam and property litigation specialist Matthew Pugh. Areas of expertise include acting for trustees, employees and members on pensions-related issues; handling high-value professional negligence claims against solicitors, accountants, surveyors, insurance brokers and professional pensions advisers; and handling financial mis-selling claims. The team is representing Omega Atlantic in its claim for breach of contract, misrepresentation and negligent misstatement against The Co-Operative Bank. In another highlight, the team is representing Univer Manufacturing in pursuing a professional negligence claim against the client’s former solicitors regarding an exclusive distribution agreement and indefinite IP licence drafted by the defendants.

Bond Dickinson LLP’s practice is led by Nick Mason, who has notable expertise handling complex disputes in the financial services sector. Other work includes representing the UK branch of a Germany-headquartered manufacturing business in a claim for defective goods, and acting for a local council in pursuing a claim against a developer that failed to provide affordable housing as part of a s106 agreement. Solicitor Tom Graham has experience in multimillion-pound High Court disputes.

DWF’s practice is led by James Blakey and is known for handling a wide range of disputes relating to pension, contract and shareholder litigation, as well as assisting with warranty claims and breach of restrictive covenants. The team is handling numerous disputes for an educational institution, including matters regarding commercial contracts, student complaints, disciplinary hearings and fitness to practise issues. The team is also defending a claim for a client in the automotive industry regarding allegations of breach of contract, negligence and deceit and is pursuing a counter-claim in respect of unpaid invoices totalling in excess of £1m. Andrew Breckenridge joined Gordons LLP.

Gerard Khoshnaw leads Gateley Plc’s team, which includes Andrew Johnson and Simon Ingham, and is known for handling shareholder and partnership, general commercial contract, and civil fraud disputes. Khoshnaw is representing ALHCO Group in a £3m contract dispute with Taunton Deane Borough Council concerning the servicing and maintenance of central heating systems in the borough’s social housing properties. Johnson is representing Bellway in pursuing a £3m claim for breach of contract against Stanmore Contractors, and is acting for a theatre in various disputes arising from a high-profile touring production. Other clients include Utilitywise, Gleeson Developments, Midgard, Saltire Facilities Management, Dawnus and Repsol Sinopec Energy. Black Caviar and Standard Wool are new client wins.

Irwin Mitchell is ‘a strong player nationally’. Alex Newman, who heads the practice, is a key name for IP and IT disputes, and senior associate Richard Payne has strong expertise handling contractual and construction-related disputes and is experienced in acting for clients in alternative dispute resolution forums. Recent highlights include handling a claim against a former managing director and sales director of the UK subsidiary of a chemical plant, which alleged breaches of fiduciary duty and restrictive covenants among other claims; handling a claim against a private bank for breach of contract; and representing a company in a claim against one of its franchisees for breach of its obligations within its franchise agreement.

LCF Law is ‘an excellent mid-sized firm with loyal clients and a growing market share’. Practice head Charles Abraham is ‘an excellent strategist’, who is noted for his expertise in financial services and commercial agent regulations; he acts for local clients and international corporates. Recent highlights include representing a US-based global corporation in a claim brought against the subsidiary of a UK energy supplier regarding unpaid electricity charges arising from incorrect meter readings over a five-year period. Ragan Montgomery, Jo Barnes, and associate Roger Raper, who ‘thinks outside the box and fights his client’s corner’ are also noted. New clients include Adidas, the Department for Transport, Airea and Clinigen.

The team at York-based Langleys Solicitors LLP is ‘very experienced’ and has ‘excellent commercial understanding’. Practice head James Henson has a broad commercial disputes practice, with particular expertise in disputes involving foreign jurisdiction and freezing injunctions; he acts for European institutions, corporate clients and high-net-worth individuals. The group is representing the European Commission, on behalf of the EU, in a dispute with two liquidators and two creditors concerning the ownership of unspent EU grants held in escrow and the European bank accounts of two insolvent companies. Other work includes representing Hunters Property Group in disputes arising from franchising arrangements. Lisa Stephenson and Adrian Lyon are the also noted. Darren Morgan joined Blacks Solicitors LLP.

Lupton Fawcett LLP’s team ‘doesn’t put a foot wrong and provides excellent value for money’. Practice head Nigel Broadbent has considerable experience handling contractual disputes, corporate governance issues, professional negligence claims, and post-M&A disputes, including warranty claims. Jonathan Warner-Reed is handling a professional negligence claim regarding a land border dispute, and is also acting for a food manufacturer in a claim brought against a subcontractor for negligent performance and breach of confidentiality. York-based Johanne Spittle, who is ‘highly skilled and instinctively knows the best way forward’, is handling a claim against a bank regarding an extendable base rate swap. Paul Sykes and head of the York office Jonathan Cripwell are the other names to note.

McCormicks is ‘a terrific regional firm providing exceptional client service’. The team ‘knows how to conduct litigation before a disciplinary body’ and also stands out for its debt recovery and insolvency litigation expertise. ‘Bright and conscientiousPhilip Edmondson, who ‘knows how to get the best out of counsel’, and ‘savvy and engaging’ Peter McCormick jointly head the department with support from ‘terrific’ senior associate Kayleigh Fantoni. Clients include professional indemnity insurers, private investors and high-net worth individuals, international corporates, family companies and sporting organisations including the Premier League and various football clubs. Edmondson and Fantoni are handling a portfolio recovery matter for longstanding client, the Solicitors Indemnity Fund.

At Schofield Sweeney, Bradford-based James Staton and Leeds-based Richard Stockdale and Alistair Kennedy are the key partners. The group is best known for handling high-value commercial disputes. Staton is representing Halifax Machine Company in a dispute with Chinese manufacturers regarding the condition of supplied machinery, and Kennedy is leading a team advising Menston Action Group on commercial and administrative law regarding a proposed development by Barratt Homes. Closegate Hotel Group, DFDS Seaways and Webster Machinery are all clients. Solicitor Paul Cantwell joined from Gordons LLP. Chris Charlesworth moved to gunnercooke LLP.

An insightful and innovative firm’, Blacks Solicitors LLP’s team is led by ‘exceptional litigator’ Luke Patel and is a key name for owner-managed businesses and SMEs and has niche expertise acting for the owners of mobile home parks. Other key names in the group include Oliver Gross, who has expertise in derivative claims, James Teagle, who is praised for ‘his measured approach and technical know-how’ and Darren Morgan, who joined from Langleys Solicitors LLP, and handles breach of contract claims, partnership and shareholder disputes, and negligence claims. Highlights included acting for a food industry client in a dispute concerning a breach of contract; handling a partnership dispute regarding a joint venture agreement; and defending a claim for unpaid fees relating to the provision of commercial utilities.

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s Leeds offering is led by Duncan Greenwood, acts for London market insurers and large corporates on professional indemnity risk matters. He is supported by partners in Manchester and Newcastle, including head of the firm-wide practice Jan Levinson and Manchester-based Sydney Fulda and Harald Loeffler. The team is defending an NHS Foundation Trust against a damages claim brought by an individual; is handling a dispute with a solicitors’ firm regarding an alleged breach of an advertising agreement for another Trust; and is defending a costs claim brought against a software design and IT management company. Other clients include Lynne Young Associates and Fullers Foods International. Ascribe (now part of Emis Group) is a new client.

Harrowells Solicitors acts for mid-size corporations, private companies and high-net-worth individuals, as well as multinational corporates and UK businesses focused on international trade. Practice head Simon Black handles high-value contract disputes, and contentious company, shareholder and partnership matters. Head of agriculture Paul Burkinshaw is a specialist in land and property disputes, and Richard Hugill and solicitor Alex Walsh ‘provide an excellent service’ and have ‘a great deal of knowledge’. Hugill defended SNF (Oil and Gas) UK in claims brought by a well-known financial services company; he also handles liquidations for Begbies Traynor and acts for the same client in pursuing misfeasance claims against directors of insolvent companies. Black is representing a housing developer in a dispute with a subcontractor regarding the right to retain payments.

The team at Metis Law LLP has ‘in-depth knowledge and works passionately and commercially to deliver the best possible outcome’. Rajat Sharma is ‘a very professional, hard-working litigator, who discovers new angles and presents each action in a commercial manner’. Recent highlights include representing a client in arbitration arising from a dispute pertaining to a €100m joint venture agreement between a UK real estate company and a German property developer; acting for SPV Gaia Ventures in bringing a claim against a joint venture formed between Abbeygate Developments and Helical Bars for breach of covenants in a property transfer deed; and pursuing an injunction application backed by misrepresentation and anti-competition proceedings against a national delivery courier company, arising from a collaboration agreement relating to the provision of an internet retail service to customers.

Ramsdens’ practice head Stephen Singh handles a range of civil and commercial disputes. He is supported by construction dispute specialist Paul Booth, property dispute expert Nick Armitage, Hilary Garnett, who covers largescale real estate disputes and professional negligence claims, and Jeremy Cook, who has strengths in regulatory and compliance issues, in particular financial services regulation, and anti-money laundering, as well as expertise in pension, insurance and commercial contract disputes. Recent highlights include successfully representing an individual in a claim for wrongful termination; handling a dispute concerning a breach of contract regarding the supply of heavy machinery to overseas customers; and acting for a company in bringing an unfair prejudice claim after it was put into administration by its directors.

At Raworths, ‘work is always within budget’ and clients’ expectations are effectively ‘managed’. Team head Jonathan Mortimer is ‘calm but authoritative, inspiring complete confidence’ in clients. The gropu typically acts for high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals, owner-managed businesses, entrepreneurs and SMEs. Recent highlights include representing 20/20 in a dispute pertaining to a new hospitality suite at Liverpool FC, and acting for Environmental Technologies in a dispute over the termination of an oil product supply agreement and an alleged breach on non-compete provisions. Other work included handling an IP licensing dispute for Avrox Technologies.

Shulmans LLP’ practice is led by Richard Wadkin, who specialises in shareholder disputes. Robert Whitehead, who handles insurance-related disputes, Mark Wilkinson, who deals with insolvency and creditor service issues, and Paul Lewis, who focuses on contentious wills and probate matters are the other key names. The team handled several matters for Liberty Managing Agency, including acting for the client in a dispute pertaining to a restrictive covenant over land. Other work includes representing BDW Trading in a dispute concerning a mines and minerals claim regarding one of its development sites.


Commercial litigation: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

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  1. Commercial litigation: Sheffield, South Yorkshire
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial litigation: Sheffield, South Yorkshire clients in Yorkshire and the Humber 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 david.burgess@legal500.com.

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CMS’ well regarded-practice is jointly headed by ‘excellent tacticianChris Horsefield, George Lubega, and Carl Dray. Lubega has a depth of expertise in judicial reviews, disputes involving local and central government and the NHS, and is also involved in cross-border contentious matters across a range of industry sectors, including technology, healthcare, financial, real estate, transport, oil, food, manufacturing and engineering and insurance. Recent highlights include defending global industrial services provider Cape against claims brought by insurers Aviva, Zurich and the RSA Group, regarding insolvency, contract, insurance and product liability law. Other work includes defending Qatar Airways against a sexual assault claim made by a passenger, and defending an investment management services company against breach of warranty and indemnity claims brought as a result of asbestos found in a property sold by the client. Senior associate Mark Gudgeon was part of a team handling a contractual dispute for a biomass-fired CHP project designer and the project funder. James Henson joined Langleys Solicitors LLP.

DLA Piper UK LLP’s team ‘offers fantastic value for money’ and is known for its strengths in telecoms litigation. Practice head Richard Norman is ‘an absolute pleasure to work with’; he is supported by IT litigator Ashley Mott, mining and minerals specialist Michael Wright, and senior associates Mick Lawlor and Barney Connell, who are ‘highly trusted advisors’. The team also has strengths in handling cross-border litigation and international arbitration, competition-related investigations, construction and engineering disputes. Norman and Wright were part of a team that defended a claim for mining subsidence damage for Wentworth Woodhouse. Norman also acted for a local football club in bringing a claim against its former catering services supplier, and defended a media client against claims of breach of copyright, confidence and contract that involved cross-border issues. Mott was involved in a cross-border dispute for a high-net-worth family, concerning breach of contract allegations relating to various high-profile real estate development opportunities, and also defended a client against fraud allegations related to an AIM-listed real estate fund established to invest in high-profile developments abroad. Other clients include Boots, Primetals Technologies, Tata Communications and Verizon.

Irwin Mitchell has ‘one of the top commercial litigation teams in Yorkshire’ and its practice is led by property and commercial litigation specialist Steven Beahan. Dorrien Peters specialises in high-value disputes with a particular focus on the manufacturing sector, and senior associate James Berry ‘works stupendously hard and is clever and easy to work with’. The group handled an IT dispute for a healthcare client concerning the development and implementation of a £4m business critical insurance enterprise system, and acted for a financial services client in a high-value commercial dispute concerning a student property development portfolio. Other work includes representing a client in the manufacturing industry in obtaining a freezing injunction against a former employee who had stolen money, and defending NewGreen Services against a breach of contract claim made by a group of social housing associations, which concluded through mediation. Other clients include Westfield Contributory Health Scheme, MGS Technical Plastics, Macalloy, Evenort and Arc Legal Assistance. DAS and esure are new clients.

Freeths LLP’s team is ‘able to drive work forward’. The ‘superbJames Hartley heads the practice and is ‘proactive and a safe pair of hands’; he is experienced in handling financial litigation, international arbitration and complex cross-border disputes. Lindsey Clegg, who has expertise in aviation and banking disputes, and senior associate Dean Hill joined from Addleshaw Goddard and Genus Law respectively. The team is handling a group action damages claim against the Post Office regarding a computer system fault that allegedly resulted in individuals paying alleged shortfalls, and is defending Onur Air a dispute pertaining to the lease of an aircraft engine by an Irish lessor.

Michael Peacock leads the practice at HLW Keeble Hawson, which includes Andrew McKenzie-Smith, Sarah Burton and Giles Searby. The team acts for manufacturing clients, as well as handling contentious IP issues, professional negligence and property litigation matters, and landlord and tenant disputes. Recent highlights include acting for an online gift company in a dispute involving its warehousing contractor; representing a technology company in a dispute with a Russian university and a Russian-based engineer arising from a joint venture; and representing shareholders in an unfair prejudice claim brought by various non-director shareholders.

Wake Smith Solicitors Limited has a longstanding reputation in the market. Key names in practice head Nick Lambert’s team include Mark Serby, Holly Dobson and Elizabeth Shaw. Shaw, who gives ‘cases her full attention and provides a top-quality service’, is acting for a property company in a potential negligence claim against its former solicitors regarding land worth in excess of £1.5m. Lambert recently handled a £10m civil fraud claim arising from the acquisition of a company forging components for use in the sub-sea oil and gas industry, and is also representing a private client in a professional negligence claim against solicitors responsible for drafting a will for an estate with multimillion-pound assets. Dobson is acting for a client in relation to the Hillsborough Inquest.

Bell & Buxton’s team, led by Emma Digby, handles a variety of work including contract disputes, shareholder disputes, and negligence claims. The team recently advised Saras, a charity that operates a refuge for vulnerable women via a contract with Sheffield City Council, in a dispute with other Sheffield-based women’s charities regarding a procurement process. Other highlights include defending an IP rights claim regarding misuse of an accreditation logo, and pursuing a claim for a signage company for payment of an outstanding invoice, which also involves defending a subsequent counterclaim for a breach of contract and is ongoing.

Taylor & Emmet LLP’s team is best known for handling disputes in the retail automotive sector. ‘Very impressive’ practice head Rob Moore has expertise in corporate and contentious insolvency matters, and Paul Smith handles high-value commercial contract disputes. Recent work includes defending longstanding client Carrs of Sheffield against a claim brought by its former Italian agents under the Commercial Agents Regulations and pursuing a high-value professional negligence claim against a solicitors’ firm. Other highlights include advising Hydro X on the protection of confidential information following former employees’ move to a competitor businesses, which included assistance with enforcing restrictive covenants in employment contracts and representing the client in pursuing a claim for consequential losses.


Commercial litigation: Hull and East Yorkshire

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  1. Commercial litigation: Hull and East Yorkshire
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial litigation: Hull and East Yorkshire clients in Yorkshire and the Humber 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 david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP’s team is ‘focused on the best outcome’ for the client and is ‘excellent in all regards’. Practice head Hugh Smith and Nick Dean, are ‘very good at getting to the heart of an issue without losing sight of the case’. Smith handles shareholder and director disputes, professional negligence claims, injunctions, restrictive covenants and economic torts. He is representing the former shareholder of a solar power firm in dispute pertaining to a share purchase agreement, and is acting for a financial institution in respect of the recovery of losses from the directors of the borrower arising from a failed development project. Dean, who has considerable property litigation expertise, is acting for a farming client in a dispute with a neighbour over a lane separating the land, and is representing Essential Nutrition in pursuing a claim for breach of directors’ duties against a former director. Peter Duffus handles contentious trusts and probate; he recently successfully resisted a £700,000 claim for damages for a farming client. Jeff Swales is experienced in handling health and safety prosecutions and Christopher Harrison, who is based in Scarborough, specialises in insolvency and agricultural matters. Other clients include Associated British Ports and Carpetright.

Gosschalks’ ‘extremely competent and professional’ team is led by the ‘pragmatic’ Matthew Fletcher, who has ‘sound legal knowledge and expertise’. Steve Dillon and Phil Osborne, who have expertise in high-value breach of contract and professional negligence claims against solicitors and insurance brokers, as well as advising on shareholder disputes and breach of directors duties claims, are the other key names. Fletcher focuses on construction disputes; he recently represented SOG in proceedings against SP Manweb regarding a £2.5m pylon wayleave compensation claim heard in the Upper Tribunal, and defended an international engineering company against a claim brought by a Ukrainian company regarding an alleged manufacturing deficit. Osborne is defending the UK subsidiary of an international manufacturer of apparel solutions against a claim brought by a household retailer for damages of approximately £1m. Associate Sarah Coates-Madden and solicitor Tom Storer ‘are sensible and, pragmatic lawyers’; Coates-Madden is defending the owner of a residential property against a claim brought by a neighbour in a three-way boundary dispute between the neighbours and the high-profile property developer that sold the properties.

George Coyle leads Rollits LLP’s practice, which acts for clients including Cranswick, Allam Marine, Hull City and Leeds City College. The team is experienced in handling company shareholder and partnership disputes, breach of contract and sale of goods issues and regulatory defence work. Ralph Gilbert is representing a bathroom manufacturer in a dispute relating to ownership of goods supplied following administration, and is acting for a local trust in a dispute regarding the acquisition of a college. Caroline Hardcastle is handling a £3m dispute arising from various defects within a sports stadium for SuperStadium Management Company.

Bridge McFarland has ‘a strong team’ that inspires ‘confidence’ in clients. Recent highlights include representing two claimants in bringing a professional negligence claim against a solicitors’ firm; acting for a liquidator in a £3m insolvency dispute; and representing a hotel group in pursuing a negligence claim against a bank. The team also represented a client in bringing a claim and application for summary judgment in the Technology and Construction Court regarding a payment for technical design services for the construction of a waste-to-energy gasification plant. Clients include Independent Steel Fabrications, Hogarth Construction, 3Q Industrial Supplies, Lincoln City FC and Lincolnshire Sports Partnership. Practice head Robert Ripley is highly regarded.


Debt recovery

Index of tables

  1. Debt recovery
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Daniel Carlton - Clarion
    • Jo Pearson - drydensfairfax solicitors

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Charise Marsden - HLW Keeble Hawson

Who Represents Who

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Specialist debt recovery firm drydensfairfax solicitors has a particular focus on volume debt recovery and debt litigation. Head of compliance Jo Pearson has a strong reputation in the financial services industry, Phil Harling handles possession sales and LPA receiver appointments, and Philip Holden specialises in litigation and insolvency matters. Clients include lenders, debt purchasers, financial institutions and several government departments. Recent highlights include advising a Gibraltar-based insurance company and its UK and international subsidiaries on a major debt recovery matter, advising a high-profile lender client on customer portfolio management, and assisting a bank with migrations from former panel members and with new litigation instructions.

Optima Legal has strengths in secured and unsecured recoveries, repossession litigation, complex litigation and property-related matters. The team is led by Craig Underwood and also includes head of complex litigation Scott Nodder and recoveries and litigation principal Jonathan Preston. The practice has a wide array of expertise, including handling contract disputes regarding unpaid fees, commercial debt claims, claims for damages against financial services companies regarding alleged negligence in the provision of mortgages, and defending PPI claims for financial institutions.

Clarion’s practice head Daniel Carlton has significant experience in advising on debt collection and credit control services for a wide range of clients from sole traders to plcs; and also specialises in advising leisure industry clients in developing debt recovery systems for commercial landlords. The team recently acted for Encon Insulation in recovering debt of over £1m; assisted Admiral Taverns with debt collections; and handled a £200,000 debt recovery matter for quarry service provider Singleton Birch. Dale Fawcett and Ryan Millmore have significant expertise in insolvency regimes. Other clients include road hauliers, building contractors and retailers.

David Scottow leads the debt recovery practice at DWF, which acts for clients including local authorities, blue chip companies, financial institutions, utilities and government bodies. Neil Jinks has expertise in credit management, recoveries and civil enforcement action, and James Perry is a regulatory expert. Recent work includes assisting a firm of architects with the recovery of over £100,000 concerning a high-profile design project; handling a property possession takeover; and obtaining an order for the sale for a water industry company. Clients include Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Space NK and FleetCor UK.

Gordons LLP’s team produces ‘excellent work’, works at ‘utmost speed, is extremely well-versed in the sector and provides excellent value for money’. Graeme Davy, who heads the practice, and Sallyanne Phillips are ‘tenacious in dealing with debtors and give strong advice on complex matters’. The team acts for clients in a wide range of sectors, including construction, retail, property, investment and financial services. Recent highlights include assisting an energy supplier with the recovery of monies due from individuals, companies and contractors as a result of damaged pipes and other infrastructure, as well as handling claims concerning energy theft. The group was appointed to Canal & River Trust’s panel following a competitive tender and handles consumer and commercial debt recovery work for the client, including the recovery of boat mooring and licence fees, rents, business licences, hire charges and recoveries from contractors and other operators. It also advises Molson Coors UK on recovering simple trade debts, and secured and unsecured loans provided by the client to public houses, sports clubs, working men’s clubs, wholesalers, nightclubs and individuals.

HLW Keeble Hawson’s practice is led by Rachel Crookes, who has considerable experience seeking emergency injunctive relief, and handling complex contractual disputes, director and shareholder disputes, disputes pertaining to breach of restrictive covenants, theft of confidential information, the sale of goods and civil fraud. Charise Marsden is ‘brilliant’ for complex issues, complaints and disagreements and advises on matters ‘quickly and promptly but always professionally’; she handles all debt recovery matters ranging from pre-action to enforcement proceedings, including insolvency. The team acts for a predominantly UK-based client base, ranging from owner-managed businesses to large plcs, and has particular experience acting for stockholders, and clients from the manufacturing, engineering and automotive sectors.

Lupton Fawcett LLP’s debt recovery practice sits within its business recovery and insolvency department, which is led by James Richardson. Nigel Whitfield is another key name; he handles debt recovery matters and has expertise in acting for trustees and liquidators on a wide range of insolvency issues. Recent highlights include acting for a student home provider in recovering unpaid rent and representing a local property company in recovering estate property rent from tenants in arrears. Other work includes handling credit control procedures, county court claims, winding-up and bankruptcy petitions, and the incorporation of terms and conditions of business into contracts with customers and suppliers for various commercial clients.

LCF Law’s team ‘exceeds clients’ expectations in terms of service and recovery levels’ and practice head Andrew Langton provides ‘excellent business advice’. The team acts for clients ranging from UK-based SMEs to major plcs, accountants, insolvency practitioners and government agencies. Recent highlights include acting for a creditor owed £750,000 in respect of an advanced fee payment for legal referrals. Clients include VP, MKM Building Supplies, Mabey Hire, Andrew Page, Smiths News Trading, Woodhead Investment and AlixPartners.

Wilkin Chapman LLP’s practice is led by Chris Grocock, who is supported by Christopher Garwood, Adam Marham, and Matthew Dix. Areas of expertise include advising local government bodies, and clients in the utilities and financial services sector on a wide range of issues from post-bankruptcy insolvency work for trustees to insolvency matters including annulment applications, asset realisations, antecedent transactions and winding-up proceedings. Highlights included advising three credit unions on the creation of a secured lending product and acting for a university in debt recovery proceedings pertaining to tuition and accommodation fees. The team also assists local councils with council tax and business rate recovery.


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