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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 > Yorkshire and the Humber > Dispute resolution > Debt recovery > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



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

Find out which law firms are representing which Debt recovery 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


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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