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United Kingdom > East Anglia > Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Cambridge > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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  1. Commercial litigation: Cambridge
  2. Leading individuals (region-wide)
  3. Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Leading individuals (region-wide)

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Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

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Birketts LLP provides ‘excellent service and has detailed knowledge of corporate, commercial and insolvency law, which is useful in covering all aspects of a dispute’. The department not only has a strong stream of local work, but is also increasing its exposure to matters with a cross-border element thanks to team head Laurence Weeks, who has ‘excellent depth of knowledge in dispute resolution and a pragmatic, sensible and realistic approach that enables him to explain options clearly and calmly’. Weeks and associate Naomi Westcott represented Powerscourt Services in a multimillion-pound case involving allegations of fraud, breach of contract and defamation relating to the operation of farmland in Argentina. Another highlight saw Weeks successfully bring a £2m claim on behalf of wedding venue operator Alterra Farms Limited for misrepresentation by a company that had a contractual agreement to promote the business. The firm also acted for Roundshield Partners in a £600,000 claim concerning deal fees for financial transactions, in which defendants are domiciled in the US and Ireland. On the defendant side, the firm is representing The Honourable Charles George Yule Balfour in a £30m case brought by Courtwood Holdings for breach of fiduciary duty.

Mills & Reeve LLP provides ‘efficient and clear advice’ at a ‘consistently high standard’, marking it out as ‘among the top firms in this practice area’. Partner Jamie Wheatley leads a team in Cambridge that is known for advisory, regulatory and contentious work for national and regional clients in the technology, food, agribusiness, private client, health and education sectors. Wheatley’s highlights included acting for Westward Consultants in a claim to recover £11m owed to it and other parties by Orb, which has been declared bankrupt in Jersey and which has assets in numerous overseas jurisdictions. Gary Attle focuses on public law and represented Queen Mary University of London at tribunal in a case concerning a sensitive request for information made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, which raised the question of how to adequately protect individual-level data in a clinical trial. Also recommended are principal associates Helen Prandy, who handles contract and procurement disputes; Douglas McDonald, who handles contentious matters in the technology sector; and Lino Di Lorenzo, who handles asset recovery cases. Senior associate and barrister Monika Sobiecki ‘quickly cuts through the noise to get to the nub of the issue’. Experienced litigator (and head of the North America desk) Graeme Menzies is now a consultant.

According to clients, Taylor Vinters’ ‘major strength is the ability to identify key pinch points in litigation and use the best resources to deal with them’. ‘The go-to firm in the region’, the disputes practice advises high-growth and entrepreneurial clients on disputes, with particular emphasis in the technology sector, and ‘does its job admirably, making practical, commercial and legally correct decisions along the way’. It also acts for local, regional and international businesses in sectors such as automotive, agriculture and pharmaceuticals. Luke Hibbert attracts praise for his ‘forward-thinking approach; he effectively involves clients in decision-making at each stage and has an excellent mastery of the detail with a focus on strategy’. ‘Unshakable’ associate Jonathan Davies is noted for his ‘excellent strategic mind’, his ‘impressive candour,and his ability to be frank with clients about legal issues and commercial realities’. In an illustration of its life sciences capability, Hibbert and ‘efficient, committed and knowledgeable’ associate Beth Price advised a pharmaceutical company on a $2m licensing agreement claim against a biopharma company. The firm’s other highlights included advising the UK arm of a European company on £1m dispute with a designer of brick cladding units for a residential development in London. Edward Perrott is now a consultant.

Ashtons Legal has a strong reputation across the region for contract and partnership disputes, and litigation involving clients in the real estate sector. It recently expanded its sector focus with a specialist team led by associate Annabel Mayer focusing on acting for owners and operators of care homes. Accredited mediator Michael Frape leads the practice and is well regarded for his ‘good eye for detail; he will roll up his sleeves and provides sound, realistic advice’. Frape recently represented a client in the sports nutrition industry in a breach of contract claim against an agent; the claim, which exceeded £250,000 in value, centred on the procurement of defective equipment. He also acted for a US client in a £1m breach of contract dispute relating to the distribution of manufacturing equipment, and advised a company director on a £450,000 case concerning antecedent transactions that were in breach of the Insolvency Act 1986. The firm counts Cambridge Building Society, Norwich City Football Club and Cnet Training among its clients.

Hewitsons has a longstanding reputation as a respectable litigation practice in Cambridge and has extended its client base across the region and beyond to include companies in Europe and the US. Simon Biggin has more than 30 years’ experience in contract, product liability, software development, warranty and shareholder disputes. He leads a team that has experienced lawyers in contentious real estate, public procurement and partnership matters. Biggin and senior solicitor Stewart Morrison are currently advising a French manufacturing company on a regulatory matter involving complex issues stemming from the Medical Devices Directive 2000 and the Medical Devices Regulations 2002. They are also representing a technology supplier in an ongoing public procurement dispute involving complex legal issues arising from the Public Contracts Regulations 2006. The firm counts VKR Holdings, British Institute of Interior Design and Kawasaki Motors Europe among its clients.

Tees Law’s ‘truly excellent’ team is ‘prompt, reliable, efficient and helpful’. Team head and senior associate Sara Stabler ‘deals with complex matters responsibly and with a commercial outlook’. A higher court advocate with 20 years’ experience in commercial disputes, Stabler ‘has a real grasp of the law, is tenacious, friendly and personable, and cuts out any nonsense to get to the core of the issue’. She can call on the expertise of five other partners across the firm’s office network. Recent highlights include representing Whites Carpentry in a dispute over a fixed price contract that was settled without prejudice before litigation; acting for a defendant in a contract services dispute that was resolved by negotiated settlement; and advising the directors of a company in a complex matter involving company law, bankruptcy and tenancy issues.


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