The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

DWF

ONE SNOWHILL, SNOW HILL QUEENSWAY, BIRMINGHAM, B4 6GA, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work +44 (0)333 320 2220
Fax:
Fax +44 (0)333 320 4440
DX:
13051 BIRMINGHAM-1
Email:
Web:
uk.dwf.law/

West Midlands

Transport
Transport - ranked: tier 1

DWF

DWF has expertise in both contentious and non-contentious matters, with a strong record on cross-border work. Darren Kenny leads the team and has notable strengths in handling road haulage disputes across Europe and Central Asia.

Practice head(s):Darren Kenny

Other key lawyers:Melanie Williams; David Egan; Ben McLeod; Ben Griffin

Key Clients

The West Midlands Combined Authority

Crown Commercial Services

Jaguar Land Rover

RSA

Zurich

Morrisons

Wincanton

Smeets Ferry

Lutz Assekuranz MaklergesmbH

Serco

Booker

TVM verzekeringen

Work highlights

  • Representing a Taiwanese automotive manufacturing company in a breach of contract claim worth $650,000 relating to the sale of car parts, involving advice on US sanctions on Iran.
  • Assisting TVM verzekeringen, a transport insurer in Benelux, to assess risk on international cargo shipments.
  • Acting as sole English legal representatives for TVM verzekeringen on all of its insured's claims under the Convention on the International Carriage of Goods by Road.
  • Acting as sole English legal representatives for Lutz Assekuranz, a leading transport insurance broker in Central and Eastern Europe, on all of its insured's claims under the Convention on the International Carriage of Goods by Road.
Leading individuals

Darren Kenny - DWF

[back to top]

West Midlands: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Birmingham
Corporate and commercial: Birmingham - ranked: tier 4

DWF

DWF 's small Birmingham corporate team is led by Mark Gibson . The team works closely with other DWF offices, in particular those in Manchester and Liverpool, as well as London. Its client-base includes FTSE 250-listed UK corporates and financial institutions as well as handling work from the US, Russia and the CEE. Gibson has extensive experience in handling M&A, disposals and management buy outs. The sectors he is most active in include hospitality, healthcare, technology and financial services.

Practice head(s):Mark Gibson

Key Clients

Park Holidays UK

Acenta Steel Limited

OGL Computer Services Group

Portal Limited

Aspen Healthcare

Profab Access Limited

Starboard Hotels Limited

CST Pharma Limited

Novelis Inc

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Shareholders of Profab in sale to ERA Home Security.
  • Acted for Vertrio on the sale of its shareholding in Seneca Software to Compass Star (a BVI company).
  • Advised sellers on the sale of the share capital of Fern Capital and Satrak to Trackunit (a large Danish corporate).
  • Represented shareholders of Acenta Steel Holdings in sale of the entire issued share capital to Aar Industries Pte .

[back to top]

Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 2

DWF

Birmingham executive partner Jon Stevens is the key point of contact for DWF's regional tax practice, which operates in tandem with the firm's practitioners in its other key markets across Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds. Stevens is highly experienced in tax matters pertaining to M&A and real estate transactions and also handles complex cross-border matters, and tax litigation.

Practice head(s):Jon Stevens

Key Clients

Whitbread Group PLC

Starboard Hotels Limited

Downing LLP

Maven Capital Partners UK LLP

Ares Management Limited

London Luton Hotel

BPRA Property Fund LLP

Keywords Studios plc

LXI REIT PLC

PepsiCo Inc

Kolbus GmBH

Work highlights

  • Represented Ares Management Limited in relation to its acquisition of a £140m property portfolio.
  • Provided tax advice to PepsiCo on its acquisition of Lancashire-based Pipers Crisps.
  • Represented Fairview Hotels in relation to the acquisition of hotel business and premises in Cardiff from Canada Life.
  • Advised Keywords Studios on tax aspects of its acquisitions of Cord Worldwide, Fire Without Smoke, Studio Gobo and Electric Square.
  • Advised LXI REIT in relation to complex tax structuring issues connected with setting up a new property authorised investment fund.
Leading individuals

Jon Stevens - DWF

[back to top]

West Midlands: Crime, fraud and licensing

Crime: fraud
Crime: fraud - ranked: tier 3

DWF

DWF fields a large national fraud team that is skilled in all aspects of insurance fraud claims and financial crime. Lorraine Carolan, who leads the multi-disciplinary offering and counter-fraud team nationally, has considerable expertise in sectors such as insurance, financial risk, transport and logistics as well as retail and hospitality. Andrew Leach has a particular focus on large and complex international cases involving fraud while Miles Hepworth has extensive experience in counter fraud and claims validation.

Practice head(s):Lorraine Carolan

Other key lawyers:Andrew Leach; Miles Hepworth

Testimonials

'The team is skilled at defending commercial clients against fraudulently pursued civil claims'.

Key Clients

LVFS

LV General Insurance

Aviva

NFU Mutual

QBE

Markerstudy

RSA

Insure the Box

Covea

Ageas

Work highlights

  • Represented A in a claim arising out of an allegedly fraudulent operation of a dividend arbitrage tax reclaim scheme in London/Dubai for in excess of £1.6bn.
  • Acting as supervising solicitors in a doorstop search order to be executed in four locations in England/Wales.
  • Advising LV= on obtaining committal proceedings/suspended prison sentences against nine people who were involved in a crash for cash.
  • Acted for Insure the Box in a groundbreaking case that involved the use of telematics data to uncover a fraudulent claim.
  • Defended claims that were made by two claimants who were found to be fundamentally dishonest.

[back to top]

West Midlands: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Birmingham
Commercial litigation: Birmingham - ranked: tier 1

DWF

DWF focuses primarily on complex cross-border disputes, with a strong emphasis on Russia and the greater CIS region. 'Excellent strategist' Andrew Leach leads the team and is known for his work in handling Central Asian disputes, which often involve obtaining freezing orders. His sectors strengths include energy, manufacturing, technology and finance Also recommended is Darren Kenny, who primarily focuses on international trade-related cases.

Practice head(s):Andrew Leach

Other key lawyers:Darren Kenny

Testimonials

'DWF's Birmingham team offers a high level of service with some very good quality partners who would thrive in the London market.'

'Andrew Leach is client focused an excellent strategist, managing difficult and complex issues to achieve clients objective.'

'Darren Kenny is great to work with. He is switched on, intelligent, builds excellent relationships and has a good range of experience.'

Key Clients

Alex Shnaider (Canada's youngest billionaire)

Novelis GmbH (Germany)

The West Midlands Combined Authority

Toronto Stock Exchange

Uber

Economy Energy Trading Limited

W Nagel

Sergey Fedotov

DX Network

Jamtoff Trading Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for 165 property investors in a class action against HMRC disputing payments that incurred due to alleged tax avoidance.
  • Instructed by Jamtoff Trading Limited, a leading Russian/Cypriot manufacturer of polyethylene terephthalate, in a dispute arising from fruadulent payments by one of its creditors.
  • Advised French real estate investment company Ott & Partners in a payment dispute with Cypriot companies which sold commercial real estate assets in Russia.
  • Advised Economy Energy on a contract breach claim against its meter operator provider.
  • Acted for diamond broker W Nagel in a dispute against Pluczenik Diamond Company NV, who the client acted for as a purchasing agent, on a compensation claim arising from a contract termination between the two parties.
Leading individuals

Andrew Leach - DWF

Next Generation Partners

Darren Kenny - DWF

[back to top]

West Midlands: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 4

DWF

The 'pragmatic' team at DWF has a strong focus on real estate finance and advises lenders and borrowers on the refinancing of portfolios, the acquisition of properties and the funding of developments. Practice head Richard Holmes was promoted to partner in January 2019.

Practice head(s):Richard Holmes

Other key lawyers:Alice Broadfield

Testimonials

' Offers patient support and advice through difficult transactions.'

Key Clients

LendInvest

ICICI Bank UK

Unity Trust Bank

Rothschild & Co

Ashall Projects

[back to top]

Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 3

DWF

The majority of DWF's work revolves around real estate finance restructuring and insolvency. Richard Holmes is the key member of the practice, regularly advising insolvency practitioners, receivers, owner-managed businesses and creditors insolvency and security matters.

Practice head(s):Richard Holmes

[back to top]

West Midlands: Human resources

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 4

DWF

Kate Meadowcroft is the new head of the team at DWF, following the departure of former head Hannah Robbins for an in-house position at HSBC. In addition to having a strong retail client base, the firm has continued to develop its expertise in healthcare work, and acts for an extensive range of healthcare providers and social care providers. Meadowcroft predominantly advises on non-contentious matters, and has particular expertise in large-scale change management projects and collective consultation programmes.

Practice head(s):Kate Meadowcroft

Key Clients

Synseal Extrusions

West Midlands Combined Authority

Cook Medical Group

Healthcare at Home

PJ Chaffin

[back to top]

Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 3

DWF

DWF generates a steady flow of work from insurers and large corporates in relation to prosecutions involving corporate manslaughter and safety offences. The team has a notable specialism in contentious health and safety work, but it also provides non-contentious advice to clients, which includes assisting with the restructuring of internal compliance systems following an incident. David Egan heads up the team in Birmingham.

Practice head(s):David Egan

Other key lawyers:Caroline Depledge; Simon Naylor

Testimonials

' The size, experience and flexibility of the team means that it can service projects of any size and complexity'.

'David Egan is a very good strategist. He gets a good overview of the case quickly and drives it forward in the right direction'.

'David Egan is super'.

Key Clients

MAC Skip Hire

QBE

Chubb

Zurich

Covea

Allianz

RSA

NFU Mutual

Maxi Haulage

Work highlights

  • The team acted for ChristalClearProperties Limited and its sole director following a serious incident at a building site on which they worked.
  • Acted for MAC Skip Hire following a fatality of one of their workers at a newly purchased site.
  • Advising a food company during a HSE investigation following a serious safety incident at one of its sites.

[back to top]

West Midlands: Insurance

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

DWF

DWF has a full-service defendant personal injury practice, whose portfolio of work includes abuse claims, occupational health and industrial disease cases, as well as advice on complex policy coverage issues. The firm also has a renowned fraud practice, which is led by Lorraine Carolan, and excels in motor (credit hire, organised fraud and other areas such as fleet fraud) and casualty claims. Derek Adamson is the head of occupational health and casualty. Paul Donnelly is also highly regarded.

Practice head(s):Derek Adamson; Lorraine Carolan

Other key lawyers:Denise Brosnan; Paul Donnelly

Testimonials

'Overall service levels are excellent'.

'I value the individualised responses I get from DWF “one size does not fit all' and each client is dealt with in the best way that suits their needs and requirements'.

'Derek Adamson is very good on contractual liability and insurance policy wording issues'.

'Denise Brosnan  is very good on personal injury and  high-value class action disease and contamination claims. She understands the court process extremely well guiding clients through the process in a professional and user friendly way'.

Key Clients

Aviva

Markerstudy

Insure the Box

Mulsanne

Ageas

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in personal injury claims (and the public inquiry) arising from the Grenfell Tower disaster in June 2017.
  • Instructed by the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church in relation to a scandal involving sexual abuse and in one instance murder by hand grenade of numerous children by members of the clergy (including three Bishops) in Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
  • Acting for an insurance company in obtaining committal proceedings/suspended prison sentences against 9 persons involved in crash for cash.
  • Defended claims made by two claimants who were found to be fundamentally dishonest.
  • Acted in a ground breaking case involving the use of telematics data to uncover a fraudulent claim with savings of over £170,000.
Leading individuals
Next Generation Partners

[back to top]

Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 2

DWF

DWF has successfully built strong relationships with some of the UK’s leading insurers and now has a top-class insurer client base. It offers expertise across the full range of traditional professional negligence defence work, where it acts for professionals and their insureds. It has niche expertise covering areas where professional negligence overlaps into other practice areas such as criminal law, health and safety as well as public law. Paul Chaplin leads the team.

Practice head(s):Paul Chaplin; Kieran Walsh (Manchester)

Key Clients

Markel (UK)

Liberty International

Inter-Hannover

Travelers

CNA Hardy

MS Amlin

Work highlights

  • Representing an accountant and its insurers following a claim that it was negligent when acting for a solicitor client on the acquisition of another solicitor’s practice.
  • Representing a firm of tax consultant and its insurer following a claim by a number of clients that the advice given to enter into a tax mitigation scheme was negligent.  
  • Acting for SIPP trustee and its insurers following a number of claims by clients that their due diligence in accepting referrals from an IFA were flawed.
  • Acting for an engineer and its insurer regarding an alleged survey/quote for installing underground pumping/heat meter/plumbing parts to assist with a renewable heat incentive application.
  • Acting for a firm of solicitors and its insurer following a number of client account defalcations.

[back to top]

West Midlands: Private client

Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 2

DWF

DWF undertakes the full gamut of private capital work. Its team acts for business owners and entrepreneurs, as well as high net worth families with substantial UK assets. Tax planning and asset protection remain a major focus of the practice; much of the work involves multimillion pound estates. In addition, the team has extensive experience of handling complex probates which have significant tax issues. Team head Roger Williams is well regarded for his expertise in trust structuring and powers of attorneys, among other areas.

Practice head(s):Roger Williams

Work highlights

  • Acting as the trustee for a number of discretionary trusts for a wealthy married couple.
  • Acting in the estate of a wealthy former professional.    
  • Acting in the estate of a non-resident with substantial offshore assets.
  • Assisting in providing advice on the administration of the estate of a deceased widow.
  • Acting in the estate of a deceased partner in a firm.

[back to top]

West Midlands: Public sector

Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 2

DWF

DWF's work in this space primarily relates to real estate and insurance matters. Real estate specialist Melanie Williams focuses on the funding and delivery of development projects, while Derek Adamson specialises in insurance law. Paul Donnelly and Denise Brosnan handle liability claims for local authorities and other local government institutions, including historical abuse and catastrophic injury cases.

Practice head(s):Melanie Williams; Derek Adamson

Other key lawyers:Paul Donnelly; Denise Brosnan

Key Clients

Coventry City Council

Walsall Council

Somerset County Council

Solihull Municipal Borough Council

Norfolk County Council

Leeds City Council

West Midlands Combined Authority

Newcastle City Council

City of Wolverhampton Council

Cornwall Council

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Homes England

Manchester City Council

London Borough of Greenwich

Birmingham City Council & Finance Birmingham

Work highlights

  • Advising Walsall Council on a range of issues relating to its flagship regeneration project, including bringing back into circulation a large contaminated area in a strategic place for a major new employment site.
  • Acted for Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council in a tragic case relating to alleged devastating injury to a young toddler.
  • Acted for Coventry City Council in 25 historic abuse claims relating to the alleged crimes at a care home in Coventry in the 1970s and 1980s.
  • Advising Wolverhampton City Council on the administration of its land and property infrastructure fund.
  • Acting for Urban Growth Company in the redevelopment of Birmingham International railway station into a major strategic travel interchange.
Leading individuals

[back to top]

West Midlands: Real estate

Commercial property: Birmingham
Commercial property: Birmingham - ranked: tier 5

DWF

Melanie Williams, who is also the head of DWF 's hospitality group, leads the real estate team alongside retail sector specialist Toby Askin. The practice advises developers, landlords and private equity investors on property development, investment, portfolio management as well as funding and property tax-driven transactions.

Practice head(s):Melanie Williams; Toby Askin

[back to top]

Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 2

DWF

With particular expertise in the energy and retail sectors, DWF provides contentious and non-contentious advice to local authorities on investigations and brownfield regeneration projects, while also assisting real estate and construction clients with environment-related aspects of transactions and developments and advising corporate clients on regulatory matters. Practice head David Egan takes the lead on contentious work.

Practice head(s):David Egan

Other key lawyers:Simon Stuttaford

Key Clients

Horizon Nuclear Power

New River Retail

Persimmon Plc

Bloor Homes Ltd

Essar UK Ltd

West Midlands Combined Authority

Work highlights

  • Advising on the review of Horizon Nuclear Power's environmental permits, including conventional environmental permits and a radioactive substances regulations permit.
  • Advising New River Retail on risk allocation, agreements on liabilities, remediation issues, warranties and indemnities.
  • Advising Persimmon on a number of health and safety and environmental matters.

[back to top]


Further information on DWF

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about DWF in other jurisdictions.

United Arab Emirates

Offices in Dubai

Australia

Offices in Newcastle, Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne

France

Offices in Paris

Italy

Offices in Milan

London

Offices in London

North

Offices in Newcastle upon Tyne

Northern Ireland

Offices in Belfast

North West

Offices in Manchester and Liverpool

Poland

Offices in Warsaw

Scotland

Offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow

South West

Offices in Bristol

West Midlands

Offices in Birmingham

Yorkshire and the Humber

Offices in Leeds

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Court of Justice rules on source of income for Derivative Residence applications

    On 2 October 2019, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in Bajratari v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Directive 2004/38/EC) Case C-93/18 which concerns Chen applications and the source of funds for self-sufficiency. 
  • End of the ‚Äėcentre of life test‚Äô in Surinder Singh cases?

    In the recent case of¬† ZA (Reg 9. EEA Regs; abuse of rights) Afghanistan ¬† [2019] UKUT 281 (IAC ), the Upper Tribunal found that there is no basis in EU law for the centre of life test, as set out in Regulation 9(3)(a) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (the ‚ÄúRegulations‚ÄĚ). It further found that it is not to be applied when Judges assess ¬†Surinder Singh ¬†cases that appear before them.
  • Terms of employment as a sole representative

    In this article we examine the working arrangements of sole representatives, looking at the terms and conditions of employment that the Home Office will expect a sole representative to have in order to qualify as a representative of an overseas business.  
  • Can Sole Representatives Be Shareholders?

    The Immigration Rules require that an applicant for a¬† sole representative visa ¬†is not ‚Äúa¬† majority shareholder in the overseas business‚ÄĚ.
  • Immigration Skills Charge - A Guide for Employers

    As a Sponsor, you may be required to pay the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) each time you sponsor a migrant in the  Tier 2 General  or  Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Long-term Staff  subcategory.
  • 5 FAQS about paragraph 320(11)

    In applications for entry clearance where the applicant has a negative immigration history in the UK, the application may be refused under the general grounds for refusal, which are found in part 9 of the Immigration Rules. Where an applicant has ¬†‚Äėpreviously contrived in a significant way to frustrate the intentions of the Immigration Rules‚Äô,¬† the application could be refused under paragraph 320(11). In this post we look at five frequently asked questions about paragraph 320(11).¬†
  • Multiple nationality and multiple citizenship (including dual nationality and dual citizenship)

    British nationality law permits multiple nationality and multiple citizenship, including dual nationality and dual citizenship.
  • Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the Exceptional Talent or Promise Category

    The  Exceptional Talent  and Exceptional Promise categories are for individuals who are recognised leaders or emerging leaders in their field of expertise. There are a number of endorsing bodies for lots of different fields of work, including  artists and musicians ,  architects ,  digital experts ,  scientists  and  academics . While there isn’t an endorsing body for every expert, the growing list means that many individuals could enjoy the flexibility that this category has to offer. 
  • PARALLEL PROCEEDINGS ‚Äď CIVIL AND CRIMINAL

    Syedur Rahmanconsiders the factors that determine when civil proceedings can go ahead before,or at the same time as, criminal proceedings relating to the same circumstances.
  • Rights of appeal after the Immigration Act 2014

    The Immigration Act 2014 (‚Äúthe 2014 Act‚ÄĚ) reduced the circumstances in which the refusal of an immigration application will give rise to a right of appeal.¬†The¬† explanatory notes ¬†to the 2014 Act state that the Act was intended to restructure rights of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal. Previously, a right of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal existed against any of the 14 different immigration decisions listed in s.82 of the¬† Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 ¬†(‚Äúthe 2002 Act‚ÄĚ). As explained below, whether or not the refusal of an immigration application currently generates a right of appeal depends on the subject matter of the application rather than its categorisation.