The Legal 500

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1 BYROM PLACE, SPINNINGFIELDS, MANCHESTER, M3 3HG, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 0345 402 0001
Fax:
Fax 0161 828 1827
DX:
14732 MANCHESTER-1
Email:
Web:
www.jmw.co.uk

North West: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Manchester
Corporate and commercial: Manchester - ranked: tier 3

JMW Solicitors LLP

JMW Solicitors LLP's ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘down-to-earth’ team has a ‘great reputation’ for local, national and international transactions. Department head Mike Blood  led advice for Boels-Gosink on the its expansion into the UK market with its £14m acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Supply UK. Blood is also leading advice for PSL (PTY) Ltd, the South African Premier League, on its £1bn tender process for the media rights for all PSL competitions for five seasons. Elsewhere, Damien Brown, who joined the team in 2017 from Shoosmiths LLP, advised Eurofins Scientific on the £6m acquisition of the entire issued share capital of York EMC Services from the University of York, and on the same client's £31m acquisition of the forensics and security division of LGC Limited. The ‘fantastic’ Mark Heppell  advised Universal Tanker Services Group on its £7m acquisition of Waters Waste Services and Richard Parkinson  advised Hurlingham Polo Association on its sponsorship and partnering agreement with Flannels. Vicky Protano joined Mills & Reeve LLP in 2018.

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North West: Crime, fraud and licensing

Crime: fraud
Crime: fraud - ranked: tier 1

JMW Solicitors LLP

At JMW Solicitors LLP, practice head Peter Grogan ‘puts clients at ease from the outset; He stays fully on top of the detail and can spot any issues immediately’. He is ably assisted by the 'superb' Evan Wright, who ‘always goes that extra mile for his clients and is always well prepared’; and Mike Rainford, who is experienced at dealing with complex fraud and tax investigations (in particular those involving film tax fraud) as well as investigations/prosecutions led by the FCA, HSE, Trading Standards and the Environment Agency. Key work included acting for an Indian restaurateur who the HMRC alleges has dishonestly evaded in excess of £100,000 of VAT over a five year period. The team as a whole is praised for its ‘excellent attention to detail’.

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Crime: general
Crime: general - ranked: tier 2

JMW Solicitors LLP

At JMW Solicitors LLP department head Peter Grogan is ‘fully on top of every detail’. Clients have ‘every confidence’ in Evan Wright, who ‘works so well with barristers, experts, defendants and all other solicitors who are involved in the case’. Mike Rainford  ‘continues to justify his excellent reputation, which he has built up throughout the years’. Ian Lewis  is also recommended. The team routinely deals with serious crime ranging from sexual offences and murder to domestic violence. Key work included acting for a professional charged with causing death by careless driving, and acting for a businessman facing allegations that he had serially assaulted his wife during the course of their marriage.

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North West: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Manchester
Commercial litigation: Manchester - ranked: tier 2

JMW Solicitors LLP

The ‘impressive’ team at JMW Solicitors LLP is ‘an excellent choice for commercial litigation’. It handles a broad range of commercial disputes with specialist expertise in construction, financial services, contentious probate, sport and e-commerce sector disputes. The team successfully acted for the claimants in a widely publicised High Court group litigation case against WM Morrison Supermarkets, arising from the leak of payroll information in 2014. Other key highlights included representing businessman Philip Barton in several interconnected cases emanating from a feud between two successful entrepreneurs, and representing Arena Plaza Jersey in a claim relating to an investment made into a $360m development in Hungary against a management company and fund resident in Jersey. Acorn Polymers and Addison Projects are also clients. Among the team, Mark Jones is ‘brave and commercial in his advice’, Michael Kennedy is ‘relentless with the opposition but also has very smooth client skills’, Nick McAleenan is ‘first-rate’ and Graham Small specialises in contractual disputes, commercial fraud, professional negligence claims. Alison Parry is also recommended, as are senior associates +Richard Glover and +Claire Brown. The ‘fantastic’ Marc Yaffe leads the team and is noted for his sports sector experience. Andrew Farrell joined Prosperity Law LLP in 2018.

Next generation lawyers

Claire Brown - JMW Solicitors LLP

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North West: Finance

Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 4

JMW Solicitors LLP

JMW Solicitors LLP’s department regularly advises on administrations, the acquisition of businesses and assets out of formal insolvency processes, voluntary and compulsory liquidations, bankruptcy, IVAs, directors’ disqualifications, HMRC liability inquiries and fraud investigations. The transport, retail, leisure, legal, recruitment and manufacturing sectors are all areas of expertise. Recent work includes acting for the joint administrators of Vickers Electronics, Duff & Phelps, which involved the transfer of certain IP rights and the formal surrender of leased premises, and advising Harrisons Business Recovery & Insolvency as administrators of Prestige Homes on the disposal of its property portfolio. The team also advised Bennett Verby Corporate Recovery & Insolvency Services as liquidator of Charles Owen and Company (Bow) and advised the management of the Viva Brazil chain of restaurants on the purchase of several restaurant businesses out of administration. The team is led by Richard Wolff, who specialises in corporate and personal insolvency, and includes the ‘excellent’ Christopher Love and associate Antoniya Mercer.

Leading individuals

Richard Wolff - JMW Solicitors LLP

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North West: Human resources

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 2

JMW Solicitors LLP

JMW Solicitors LLP  fields a ‘very professional, proactive, responsive and knowledgeable team that is always willing to answer any questions’. Head of team is the ‘very approachable and professional' Liz Cotton  who is ‘adept at explaining the legal implications of each move’. The team added to its ranks at a senior level with the appointment of Simon Bloch  from Knights Professional Services Limited and Sarah Evans  from Slater and Gordon  . Evans ‘gets the job done and is tenacious and fearless in the pursuit of her clients’ claims’. Senior associate Jennifer Smith  is 'very thorough and totally committed to her clients’. The ‘very accessible’ team has a broad range of experience such as advising on large-scale redundancies and reorganisations, whistleblowing claims and multi-party actions. It has particular expertise in the recruitment sector and is currently advising a recruitment agency about terminating the employment of its operations director. In another significant matter it is acting for 50 former employees of Hewdens in two class action claims for protective awards following a failure of the now insolvent employer to consult with staff prior to redundancies.

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North West: Insurance

Clinical negligence: claimant
Clinical negligence: claimant - ranked: tier 1

JMW Solicitors LLP

JMW Solicitors LLP  fields an ‘excellent team of tenacious and down-to-earth solicitors who fight hard for their clients to ensure that they get the best possible compensation’. Department head Eddie Jones has an ‘excellent grasp of the key issues of law, practice and strategy; he is immsensely hardworking and can take a novel approach when needed to pursue the right litigation strategy’. Angharad Hughes  is ‘enormously sympathetic to her clients and has excellent attention to detail’ and Melissa Gardner  ‘strikes a great rapport with her clients which is vital for communication so she can elicit the best evidence for her clients’. The ‘highly specialised and dedicated team' has real expertise in the most serious cases of birth injury, brain injury and spinal injury cases, and is a leading firm for cases involving kernicterus brain injury and cauda equina syndrome. The ‘very experienced’ Sally Leonards  ‘adopts a tenacious but realistic approach to each case’. Senior associate Steven Brown  is a ‘highly committed and proactive claimant lawyer’. Olivia Scates is no longer at the firm.

Leading individuals

Eddie Jones - JMW Solicitors LLP

Sally Leonards - JMW Solicitors LLP

Next generation lawyers

Steven Brown - JMW Solicitors LLP

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Personal injury: claimant
Personal injury: claimant - ranked: tier 2

JMW Solicitors LLP

JMW Solicitors LLP   is ‘continuing to grow its reputation in this field’ under the leadership of joint heads of department Chris Sutton and Richard Powell . Paul Breen who heads the personal injury department’s catastrophic injury team is ‘very much on top of his game’. Gordon Cartwright  is ‘outstanding – he devotes considerable time to each file’ and Nadia Kerr  is a ‘true expert in cycling; she really takes the time to understand each case and has a meticulous eye for detail’. Jason Harwood has ‘very good client handling skills, manages expectations well and always adopts effective tactics during negotiations’. The team handles road traffic collisions, employers’ liability, occupiers’ liability and industrial disease claims of all values. It has several specialisms including industrial disease (especially mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases), cycling claims as well as accidents/illnesses abroad.

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North West: Private client

Contentious trusts and probate
Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 3

JMW Solicitors LLP

JMW Solicitors LLP’s ‘contentious estates team is technically sound and offers good value for money for individuals, trustees and executors alike’. Senior associate David Bondt  is ‘approachable and friendly’ and garners praise for his ‘extensive knowledge and keen eye for detail’. Recent highlights include securing a settlement in a complex disputed will trust arising from a disagreement between its client (as the beneficiary of the life interest in a property under the trust) and the trustees regarding the terms of the trust and the obligations of the trustees.

Next generation lawyers

David Bondt - JMW Solicitors LLP

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Family
Family - ranked: tier 1

JMW Solicitors LLP

JMW Solicitors LLP is now ‘a real force to be reckoned with’ following the arrival of the  ‘excellent’ David Pickering ,Elspeth Kinder  and Beverley Jones from DWF. Kinder is praised for her ‘technical expertise’ and Jones is ‘extremely bright and personable’. They join an ‘amazingly strong’ team that includes the ‘superb’ Michael Chapman, whose ‘client skills are second to none’; The ‘astute and tenacious’ Cara Nuttal , who 'combines being a compassionate lawyer with being a gladiator for her clients in court'; and senior associates Katie Lowe, who is ‘professional, personable and competent’, and Holly Tootill. The full service family offering is regularly instructed on high-value and complex financial matters by high-profile individuals. It is also renowned for its work on surrogacy, child abduction and adoption. Clients include business owners, entrepreneurs, property developers, footballers, legal professionals and sports stars.

Leading individuals

Cara Nuttall - JMW Solicitors LLP

David Pickering - JMW Solicitors LLP

Next generation lawyers

Holly Tootill - JMW Solicitors LLP

Katie Lowe - JMW Solicitors LLP

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Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 1

JMW Solicitors LLP

The team at JMW Solicitors LLP  is ‘superb and very strong’. The ‘exemplary’ Tasnim Khalid heads the department; ‘her technical expertise is second to none and her personable nature is endearing’. Elaine Roche is ‘always calm, empathetic and extremely good at explaining clearly and in plain English what might otherwise be very complicated and full of legalese’. Highlights included acting as executors of an estate which was worth £7.8m and was left entirely to charity. The funds in the estate had come from several very valuable paintings that had been restituted to the family after they had been taken by the Nazis. The administration of the estate has now been completed and the funds have been paid out to various faith-based charities in the North West and overseas. Paul Gotch  is ‘very experienced’ at protecting clients who have been awarded compensation for a personal injury or clinical negligence claim through the use of a personal injury trust.

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North West: Real estate

Commercial property: Manchester
Commercial property: Manchester - ranked: tier 3

JMW Solicitors LLP

The ‘highly recommended’ team at JMW Solicitors LLP regularly acts for property developers, investors, corporate clients with property assets, healthcare, retail clients and lenders on a range of real estate matters including investment asset management, secured lending, investment disposals, acquisitions and major residential developments. Ian Gordon  advised Dransfield Properties on the redevelopment of a site in Gainsborough to deliver a new 56-room hotel and a restaurant and Tom Cressey advised Tattu Manchester on the lease of a large unit in Leeds. Key contacts among the ‘sizeable’ team include; Peter Chape, who regularly acts for developer clients; +Thomas Pearson, who is active on healthcare, student and residential development mandates; consultant Stephen Goodman; Majid Mahmood, who is experienced in residential developments; Claire Hamilton, who advises on property finance and commercial investment matters; recently promoted partners Paul Burton and Andrew Stone; and property finance specialist Warren Martin. Gordon heads the team alongside Ruth McCarthy who joined the team in 2017 from Berg. Consultant Samantha Blackburn also joined the team in 2017 from Slater and Gordon. Former team head Jim Banfi is now a consultant.

Leading individuals

Stephen Goodman - JMW Solicitors LLP

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North West: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Media and entertainment
Media and entertainment - ranked: tier 1

JMW Solicitors LLP

JMW Solicitors LLP's practice is headed by Nick McAleenan,  who provides a ‘first-class service and gives very good advice in a timely and efficient way’. His practice is dedicated to advising on media and reputation management issues. He is regularly asked by clients to assist on other areas such as crisis management, data protection and privacy issues. Highlights included acting in the dispute between its client Dan Hooper and the Sun newspaper over particularly sensitive information that was published about the client’s private life. Mr. Hooper is a model and celebrity personal trainer and the former fiancé of Coronation Street actress Kym Marsh. The allegations concerned the client’s use of Skype and touched on important issues relating to data security. In other matters the team has advised Parking Eye/Capita on various matters over media coverage in the national media. Solicitor Laura Wilkinson is experienced in claimant and defendant harassment matters as well as data and privacy protection issues involving corporate and government bodies.

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Sport
Sport - ranked: tier 3

JMW Solicitors LLP

At JMW Solicitors LLP Mike Blood  and Marc Yaffe are singled out for praise. Ben Peppi now heads the sport services team having joined the team from an in-house position. Highlights included defending Wayne Rooney when he was charged with driving with excess alcohol. The team continues to act for the match commander David Duckenfield and other senior officers in the recent inquest and ongoing criminal proceedings and alleged regulatory offences stemming from the sporting disaster that occurred at Hillsborough in 1989.

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