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DAC Beachcroft LLP

Work 0113 251 4700
Fax 0113 251 4900
14099 LEEDS

Yorkshire and the Humber: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire
Commercial litigation: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire - ranked: tier 4

DAC Beachcroft LLP (Leeds)

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.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Human resources

Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire
Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire - ranked: tier 2

DAC Beachcroft LLP (Leeds)

DAC Beachcroft LLP fields a ‘responsive, knowledgeable’ team that provides ‘clear, commercially focused advice in a manner that suits the client’s business’. In keeping with the wider firm’s healthcare strength, the employment practice in Leeds acts for a range of public and private healthcare sector clients on contentious and non-contentious matters. James Rhodes jointly leads the practice and is the key figure on healthcare-related work; he brings 18 years of experience handling TUPE matters, senior exits and complex litigation, among other employment matters, for healthcare clients. The Leeds employment team is working in conjunction with the firm’s Manchester office for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust in the defence of Employment Tribunal proceedings brought by a consultant surgeon concerning whistleblowing, race discrimination, unfair dismissal, unlawful deduction of wages and breach of contract claims; following a six-week hearing, all claims were dismissed or withdrawn, with the exception of a finding of procedural unfair dismissal. Beyond the healthcare sector, fellow joint head Louise Bloomfield leads the practice’s advice to corporate employers including McDonald’s, which the team advised on the implementation of minimum hours contracts for its restaurant employees, the outsourcing of its payroll function, the restructuring of pay and flexible working hours for all salaried staff, and a restructuring of its head office teams. Other corporate employer clients include a national logistics and mail distributor, which the firm advised on the restructuring of its national finance team, involving the exit of senior personnel and widespread redundancies at managerial level; and Transversal Corporation, a market leader in knowledge and search engine software, which the firm advised on the removal of its financial director. Recently promoted legal director Zoe Thomas is rated for her ‘willingness to tackle any issue, however bizarre it may be’. The team was joined in 2016 by Andrew Tomlinson from Weightmans.

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 1

DAC Beachcroft LLP (Leeds)

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s team in Leeds is led by Chris Baranowski and Tracey Longfield and was further strengthened by the arrival of Kirsty Gomersal from Clyde & Co LLP. She brings her rail and construction industry expertise to a team with an extensive insurer client base and key strengths in the manufacturing, retail and healthcare sectors. Baranowski is singled out for this track record in corporate manslaughter and health and safety investigations, and Longfield regularly handles healthcare regulatory issues. Key mandates included representing an agricultural services company in police investigations following the death of a driver, which resulted in a prosecution under section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Insurance

Clinical negligence: defendant
Clinical negligence: defendant - ranked: tier 1

DAC Beachcroft LLP (Leeds)

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s clinical negligence practice is singled out for its ‘approach to client support, wealth of expertise and fair and balanced approach to managing claims’. The firm, which has acted for the NHSLA since its inception, is regularly called on to handle high-value, catastrophic injury claims, including handling the largest group actions in the UK arising from breast surgery and orthopaedics. Other clients include the Medical Defence Union, private healthcare providers and three of the UK’s five largest providers of independent acute hospital services. Paul Taylor leads the team in Leeds, which includes Sean Doherty, who acts for the NHSLA on all metal hip claims pursued against the NHS nationally. Taylor recently acted in defending a claim alleging failure to prescribe adequate thrombo-embolic prophylaxis therapy prior to hip replacement surgery, which resulted in the patient’s death. In another key matter, Doherty defended Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in a claim alleging failure to correctly interpret an ultrasound scan leading to delayed diagnosis of ovarian and endometrial cancers.

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Personal injury: defendant
Personal injury: defendant - ranked: tier 1

DAC Beachcroft LLP (Leeds)

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s defendant personal injury practice acts for a wealth of insurers, including Zurich Insurance, Allianz Insurance and AXA Insurance, as well as corporate clients such as Wm Morrison Supermarkets. The practice in Leeds is jointly headed by catastrophic injury specialists Ruth Winterbottom and Owen Rees, who both have substantial track records in heavyweight cases involving brain injury, spinal injury and amputations. In a highlight matter for 2016, David Williams represented Zurich Insurance in its successful appeal to the Supreme Court, which found that the claimant had misrepresented the size of the claim and thus induced the original settlement, which could be reopened on the discovery of evidence of fraud. Other key figures include Vicki Hilton, whose clinical negligence background makes her a natural choice for matters involving serious brain injuries; William Potts, who regularly handles high-value occupational cancer claims and claims involving asbestos-related diseases; and Andrew Scott.

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Professional negligence: defendant
Professional negligence: defendant - ranked: tier 1

DAC Beachcroft LLP (Leeds)

DAC Beachcroft LLP is widely regarded as legal adviser of choice for professional indemnity insurers such as Travelers. The practice’s market-leading capabilities span defending professionals in a wide range of sectors, including real estate, where it acts for national and international property consultants, surveyors and lettings companies; financial services, where the group regularly handles claims against accountants, auditors, tax advisers and other financial intermediaries; and legal services. Duncan Greenwood heads the team in Leeds; he is noted for his specialist expertise in claims against solicitors, insurance brokers and property professionals, and regularly assists the firm’s insurer client base with policy coverage disputes. Other key figures include Andrew Marsh, who has an extensive track record acting for employers, contractors and their insurers in the construction and engineering sectors; and Suzanne Wharton, who splits her time between Leeds and Manchester and focuses on high-value claims against solicitors and financial services professionals. In a key mandate, Greenwood represented a firm of insurance brokers in a claim brought by the owner and operator of a waste recycling plant, which suffered a major fire that was not covered by the insurers of the plant; the claimants contended that the policy brokered by the client was not suitable. The claim was resolved at less than 10% of the claim value.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Public sector

Education - ranked: tier 1

DAC Beachcroft LLP (Leeds)

Eve Gregory now leads the cross-departmental education team at DAC Beachcroft LLP in Leeds following the departure of Frank Suttie to Ward Hadaway. The team advises higher education institutions such as the University of Sheffield and the University of York, further education colleges, and various academies in Yorkshire. It also advises borough and county councils on education matters; representative examples include Cumbria County Council and Calderdale Borough Council. Recent highlights include advising Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council and Calderdale Borough Council in relation to their respective PFI schemes. The team has also been advising seven schools, including three multi-academy trusts, in a procurement matter under which new secondary schools will be designed and built on existing school sites. The team also advises the West Yorkshire Combined Authority on a range of matters, including preparing and negotiating grant awards and loan agreements in relation to its Skills Capital Funding to further education colleges.

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Health - ranked: tier 1

DAC Beachcroft LLP (Leeds)

The health sector team at DAC Beachcroft LLP in Leeds is led by Eve Gregory and advises NHS Trusts on a range of matters, such as new care models, governance and patient issues. Gregory acts for a substantial number of public sector clients in relation to real estate matters, including The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, for which she has recently been advising on issues relating to the conditional strategic disposal of part of a hospital site in Leeds to the Homes and Communities Agency and its developers. Charlotte Burnett leads the public law and regulatory team across the north and advises on commercial integration and primary care law issues. The firm is also instructed by the NHS Litigation Authority to advise the Family Health Services Appeal Unit on appeals, the majority of which relate to pharmacy relocations. The team also represent clients in inquests, most notably this year defending Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust in the first-ever prosecution of an NHS Trust for corporate manslaughter.

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Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 2

DAC Beachcroft LLP (Leeds)

Eve Gregory heads up the Leeds branch of the DAC Beachcroft LLP local government practice and specialises in real estate matters. The team has been advising Leeds City Council on a high-value property acquisition that forms part of its investment strategy and is assisting Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council with one of the largest schools PFI projects in the UK, including the renegotiation of provider arrangements and the creation of arrangements to allow one of the PFI schools to be remodelled as a further education college. In another education-related matter, the team has been advising Calderdale Borough Council on its schools PFI scheme and also, more recently, in relation to its programme of academy conversions. The cross-departmental team is also able to advise on pensions, mental health, safeguarding, information law, corporate manslaughter, competition law, state aid and governance.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Real estate

Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire
Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire - ranked: tier 3

DAC Beachcroft LLP (Leeds)

DAC Beachcroft LLP provides ‘a very high’ level of service and is singled out for its ‘fast response times, extensive experience in the industry and a commercial and pragmatic approach’. ‘Efficient’ practice head Eve Gregory advised Leeds City Council on the £44m acquisition of 3 Sovereign Square, and assisted Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust with the £6m disposal of part of a hospital site in Leeds to the Homes and Communities Agency and developers Keepmoat and Strata Homes. Real estate disputes specialist Lesley Hughes handles landlord and tenant disputes, particularly those with an insolvency aspect, and Morag Joyce specialises in telecoms infrastructure matters and ‘brings a commercial perspective to transactions’.

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Construction - ranked: tier 3

DAC Beachcroft LLP (Leeds)

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s practice is led by Andrew Marsh, who acts for general contractors, architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, project managers, and specialist sub-contractors, as well as having niche strengths in assisting major insurance clients with CAR and liability claims arising from domestic and international construction and engineering projects. Marsh is defending professional indemnity insurers, public liability insurers and the insured, an electrical engineer, against a claim for damages concerning a fire at a retail park. Christine Burrows, who heads the non-contentious team, acts for developers, funders, NHS bodies and local authorities; she advised West Yorkshire Combined Authority on the procurement and construction of a multimillion-pound framework for municipal engineering, transport and regeneration projects. Simon Arnold left to become a barrister.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 4

DAC Beachcroft LLP (Leeds)

At DAC Beachcroft LLP, practice head Lesley Hughes has expertise in landlord and tenant disputes, particularly those with an insolvency aspect, complex service charge and dilapidations claims, break rights, issues arising from development agreements and rent reimbursement claims under NHS contracts, Recent work includes handling declaratory proceedings regarding a £50m break clause; assisting with the termination of conditional development agreements; and advising on town centre regeneration matters for a local authority, which included assisting with procurement, landlord and tenant, listed building and right to light issues.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 2

DAC Beachcroft LLP (Leeds)

Leeds-based Michael Peeters heads the northern technology team at DAC Beachcroft LLP and works with a range of suppliers and users of IT. The team has been advising the Department of Health during a competitive public procurement procedure to acquire new management software that will include finance, peer-to-peer, HR and payroll functions, and has been supporting Cornerstone Telecommunication Infrastructure Limited with a bid to the City of London Corporation to upgrade and make available telecoms infrastructure in public spaces, including enhanced mobile cellular infrastructure and WiFi. Emilie Yates was promoted to legal director and has been leading the advice to Bupa on an IT outsourcing matter involving appointing KCOM to replace BT for its call centre telephony and call recording telecoms services. Richard Watkinson was promoted to the partnership in May 2016 and specialises in technology-related outsourcing and system integration projects.

Leading individuals

Michael Peeters - DAC Beachcroft LLP

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