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United Kingdom > Yorkshire and the Humber > Dispute resolution > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Banking litigation

Index of tables

  1. Banking litigation
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

The ‘excellent’ three-partner team at Addleshaw Goddard LLPprovides an exemplary level of service’, and is led by the ‘approachable and commercialSally Butt, who is ‘a good strategic thinker’. Clients include Barclays, HSBC, Shawbrook Bank and Yorkshire Building Society. Also recommended are Ian Hastings, who is ‘a leading light in the field’; Ben Lowans, who is ‘an absolutely tenacious negotiator’; and legal director Lindsey Clegg, who ‘has real knowledge of her subject’.

DLA Piper UK LLP’s ‘first-rate team’ handles a significant amount of defendant work for clients including Aviva, Bank of Ireland, HSBC and Lloyds Banking Group. ‘Clever tacticianHugh Evans recently represented RBS and National Westminster Bank against Crestsign in claims that Crestsign was negligently sold hedging products. Practice head Adam Ibrahim is ‘a robust lawyer and a good lateral thinker’, and advised Cattles on PPI mis-selling claims.

Walker Morris LLP’s bank clients consider it ‘a market leader’ and ‘the first port of call’ for mortgage finance and real estate-related issues. Recommended individuals include Richard Sandford, Andrew Bennett, who is experienced in fraud investigations and professional negligence mandates, Louise Power, who has ‘a unique combination of legal expertise and commercial sense’, and Practice head Andrew Beck, who is ‘calmness personified’.

Andrew Breckenridge* leads DWF’s ‘exceptional’ team and ‘provides an impressive service, which is always ahead of the game’. The department regularly acts for banks on commercial and residential mortgage lending, mortgage fraud, product mis-selling and professional negligence matters. Clients include Lloyds Bank, Goldcrest Finance and Redstone Mortgages. *Since publication of The Legal 500 UK 2016, Andrew Breckenridge has joined Gordons LLP.


Commercial litigation: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Addleshaw Goddard LLP’s ‘outstanding’ team ‘is terrific to work with and stands out for its pragmatic approach and considerable industry knowledge’. Sally Butt leads the practice, and has significant experience acting for clients in the financial services sector. Simon Kamstra is recommended for international disputes and arbitrations; he recently acted for Volkswagen in successfully obtaining an injunction to prevent the publication of confidential information relating to the immobiliser security systems in the client’s vehicles. Clients single out Bill Gilliam as ‘one of the best lawyers in the region’ with ‘a dynamic approach and an ability to see the big picture’.

DLA Piper UK LLP is ‘one of the dominant firms in the region’ and provides ‘a strong service and uniform excellence’. David Young leads the four-partner team, which includes IT specialist Simon Kenyon, Paul Stone, who specialises in international dispute resolution, and Josh Wong, who advises clients on issues relating to emerging markets. Recent highlights include representing Birmingham City Council in a contract dispute, and acting for Nisa Retail in a matter relating to misappropriation of confidential information.

Product liability specialist Richard Matthews leads the ‘excellent’ team at Eversheds LLP, which is noted for its ‘strategic approach’. Gary Pellow heads the national group, which includes Mark Howarth, who has expertise in energy disputes, and James Hyde, who focuses on the TMT sector and represented Peninsula Community Health in litigation against BT Cornwall relating to the threatened termination of an ICT shared services agreement.

Pinsent Masons LLP is a ‘leading outfit’ that is noted for its strength in the university sector. Department head Andrew Masterson specialises in product liability, pensions and IT disputes, and acted for Dixons Carphone in relation to a cyber-attack. The ‘outstanding and extremely diligent’ James McBurney focuses on corporate protection litigation, and Julian Sladdin, who made partner in 2015, is ‘a tremendous lawyer with exceptional versatility’.

One of the best firms in Leeds’, Squire Patton Boggs fields an ‘excellent’ team that stands out for its ‘practical approach and first-rate service’. Simon Miller (who is ‘robust and focused on the key issues’) leads the practice, which has significant cross-border experience as well as being strong regionally. Patrick Walker is recommended for property matters. Clients include Tesco, the European Commission and Kemira.

Boutique litigation firm Stewarts Law LLPpunches above its weight in the region’, advising on national and international matters for blue-chip clients. Mo Bhaskaran leads the practice, which includes Jonathan Sinclair, who specialises in competition litigation. The firm has considerable strength in fraud and financial services litigation.

For some, Walker Morris LLP has ‘one of the premier litigation practices in Leeds’, placing it ‘at the top of the tree’. Gwendoline Davies leads the department, which includes ‘standout partner’ Malcolm Simpson, who successfully defended Perkins Engines Company in a claim against a former distributor alleging the client had wrongfully terminated a distribution agreement. Also recommended are David Williams and director Nick Lees.

The ‘good, clear and commercialSimon Young leads the department at Clarion, which ‘focuses on key issues and provides practical and sensible advice’. Dominic Higham is recommended for IT and outsourcing disputes, and has acted for clients including Maersk, Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and SRCL.

Gordons LLP’s ‘first-rate’ practice is notably strong in the financial services sector, and has recently developed a pensions litigation team. Highlights for department head Matthew Howarth (who is ‘a total pleasure’) included successfully acting for the National Gamekeepers Organisation in a judicial review against Natural England relating to buzzard control licences. Clients recommend the ‘unflappable’ Ian McCombie, and James Laycock, who is ‘a very able litigator and incisive tactician’.

DWF’s practice, which provides ‘excellent advice at a professional standard’, is led by the ‘very approachableJason Blakey and includes Nick Carr, who is recommended for contractual disputes. James Haddleton has moved in-house, and Philip Clarke joined Eaton Smith LLP. Clients include Morrisons, Leeds Beckett University and BUPA.

Gateley Plc has significant strength in real estate disputes (with a particular focus on the residential development arena) for clients including Bellway, the Miller Group and Taylor Wimpey. Gerard Khoshnaw leads the practice and is an experienced mediator. The ‘rigorous and creative’ Andrew Johnson joined from Watson Burton LLP.

Irwin Mitchell’s ‘excellent’ team is headed by Alex Newman, who took over the role from Steven Bate, who is now a consultant with the firm. Newman is experienced in IP and IT-related disputes, and recently represented the Intrepid Brewing Company in a trade mark dispute with Greene King.

Lupton Fawcett Denison Till has a strong regional presence across both its Leeds and York offices, advising predominantly SMEs and owner-managed businesses as well as several blue-chip companies. Clients include Hand Picked Hotels, Seabrook Crisps and JCT600. Nigel Broadbent leads the department, which includes the ‘knowledgeable and supportive’ Jonathan Cripwell in York.

The ‘absolutely fantastic’ team at McCormicks is led by Peter McCormick, who is noted for his ‘immense experience and skill’, and the ‘upfront and superbPhilip Edmondson. The firm’s strength in the sport sector is reflected in a client roster including the Premier League, Walsall FC and Leeds United FC.

The four-partner team at Schofield Sweeney advises clients across a range of sectors including banking, construction, retail and real estate. Highlights included representing 4d Pharma in a shareholder dispute, and acting for Menston Action Group on commercial and administrative law remedies concerning a proposed property development. Key names include James Staton and Chris Charlesworth.


Commercial litigation: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

DLA Piper UK LLP’s ‘technically brilliant’ team is led by Richard Norman, who ‘has a real depth of experience’ and specialises in IT and telecoms litigation for clients including Arqiva, Tata Communications and Atos. Ashley Mott is also strong in the IT sector and has significant international arbitration experience, while Michael Wright is recognised for his expertise in the mining and minerals sector.

One of the market leaders in the region’, Irwin Mitchell’s ‘excellent’ team has sector expertise across retail, professional services, insurance, IT and manufacturing. Practice head Steven Beahan acted for Syncronicity in a dispute involving breach of contract, misrepresentation and negligence claims. Also recommended are Dorrien Peters, who is ‘extremely experienced and hardworking’, and Daniel Brumpton, who specialises in professional negligence issues.

Standout firmNabarro LLP focuses on the healthcare and technology sectors, and acts for clients including Appello, Electricity North West and new client Consort Medical. The team is co-led by George Lubega, who has ‘an excellent grasp of complex issues’, Carl Dray and the ‘pragmatic and firm’ Chris Horsefield.

Michael Peacock leads the practice at HLW Keeble Hawson, which includes the ‘extremely proactive and exceptionally knowledgeable’ Sarah Burton, who is based in Doncaster. Giles Searby recently acted for Electrosteel Casting in EU anti-dumping and anti-subsidy complaints against the client, demonstrating the firm’s strength in the local manufacturing sector.

Alex Ross leads the team at Bell & Buxton, which recently gained Emma Rigby following the firm’s acquisition of CLL Solicitors. The department handles a variety of mandates including shareholder disputes, contract disputes and negligence claims. Jim Conlon is recommended.

Freeths works on a range of matters including professional negligence, financial litigation, competition litigation and international arbitration, and has a client list which includes Ernst & Young, Peerless Europe and Time To Lease. James Hartley is the practice head.

Taylor & Emmet LLP’s ‘excellent’ team is headed by Rob Moore and includes ‘first-class litigator’ Paul Smith, who ‘combines a thorough knowledge of the law with a firm grasp of commercial realities’. The practice is recognised for its strength in the motor sector, and also has experience in contract disputes and insolvency litigation.

Wake Smith Solicitors Limitedgives practical and commercial advice, with an eye on the realities of each case’, primarily advising SME clients in the local region. The ‘straightforward, clear and thorough’ Nick Lambert leads the practice, and recently advised a global mountaineering expedition company in claims against its insurers.


Commercial litigation: Hull and East Yorkshire

Strong local firmAndrew Jacksonhas a good reputation’ and acts for a range of regional and national clients including Associated British Ports and Carpetright. Mediator Hugh Smith leads the practice, which includes Peter Duffus, who is noted for his ‘professional, sound judgement and focus on the client’, and Nick Dean, who has property litigation experience.

One of the clear market leaders in commercial litigation’, Gosschalks advises both regional and national clients including William Hill, Beal Homes and Costcutter. Department head Matthew Fletcher is ‘confident, sensible and pragmatic’, and Steve Dillon is ‘a pleasure to work with, and can tackle high-stakes litigation without batting an eyelid’.

Rollits LLP continues to assist clients in the food, motor and owner-managed business sectors, with recent clients including Icelandic Group UK, Cranswick and J.R.Rix & Son. George Coyle (who is ‘worldly wise, pragmatic and very commercial’) leads the ‘excellent’ practice, which includes Caroline Hardcastle, who has significant expertise in construction disputes, and Ralph Gilbert.


Debt recovery

Specialist firm drydensfairfax solicitors focuses solely on debt recovery matters, assisting clients with volume debt recovery and debt litigation. The firm’s client roster includes lenders, debt purchasers, financial institutions and several government departments. Key team members include Philip Holden, who has notable expertise in litigation and insolvency matters; and Phil Harling, who handles possession sales and LPA receiver appointments. Jo Pearson is head of compliance. Peter Wordsworth left to establish his own company.

Optima Legal advises clients on secured and unsecured recoveries, repossession litigation, complex litigation and property-related matters. Team members include legal services director Craig Underwood, who has acted for clients in the insurance and financial services sectors; Scott Nodder, who is head of the complex litigation department; and principal solicitor Jonathan Preston, who sits within the firm’s recoveries and litigation division.

The ‘very reliable and trustworthy’ team at Clarion focuses primarily on B2B debt with an increasing presence in the consumer debt space. Daniel Carlton (who is ‘always willing to go the extra mile’) leads the practice, which advises a range of clients including SMEs, owner-managed businesses, asset backed lenders and insolvency practitioners. Key clients include Asics UK, Communicorp UK and Team Rock.

David Scottow leads the practice at DWF, which advises a variety of commercial, financial services and public sector clients, with a substantial focus on the retail, utilities and insurance sectors. Clients include Morrisons, Anglian Water Services and Sainsbury’s. The team also has a significant international collections operation. Kevin Feehan was promoted to director in 2015.

Gordons LLPgoes above and beyond for clients’ and focuses on B2B debt for blue-chip companies and owner-managed businesses. Clients include Molson Coors Brewing Company (UK), Myers Group and Safestyle UK. Graeme Davy leads the practice, which includes solicitor Sallyanne Phillips, who ‘provides superb support’, and debt recovery manager Lynne Ord, who is noted for her ‘great attention to detail’.

HLW Keeble Hawson’s ‘fantastic’ department is led by Rachel Crookes, and is noted for its combination of ‘excellent service across the board with a friendly approach and commerciality to match’. The team has substantial experience in the manufacturing sector. Debt recovery manager Charise Marsden is ‘positive and very efficient’.

Nigel Whitfield leads Lupton Fawcett Denison Till’s department, which is primarily based in the firm’s York office. The team acts for commercial clients, trustees and liquidators, and has notable experience recovering rent debt from students.

Wilkin Chapman LLP has a strong presence in the local government, utilities and financial services sectors. Key practitioners include Christopher Garwood, who specialises in the administration of bankruptcy estates, and Adam Marham.


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