Commercial litigation: Cambridge in East Anglia

Birketts LLP

The litigation team is always very good, working to your end goal and informing you of the likely outcome‘, says a client of Birketts LLP‘s Cambridge office. As well as being a leading advisor on contentious matters in the areas of shipping, education, public law, Judicial Review, procurement, defence and transport, the firm has a strong reputation in high-profile commercial litigation at a regional and national level. Practice head Laurence Weeks is ‘exceptionally talented and skilled in getting litigation matters resolved to the client’s satisfaction‘. Sara Sayer, who lead on public and administrative law, and Maria-Christina Peyman, who handles claims involving contracts, shareholders and directors, and restrictive covenants, are emerging partner talents.

Practice head(s):

Laurence Weeks

Other key lawyers:

Sara Sayer; Maria-Christina Peyman

Testimonials

‘The litigation team is always very good, working to your end goal and informing you of the likely outcome/steps that are required.’

‘Lawrence Weeks – exceptionally talented and skilled individual in getting litigation matters resolved to the client’s satisfaction.’

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP handles a growing caseload of regional, national and international disputes, notably for clients in the technology, life sciences, food and beverage, health and education sectors. The firm is recognised for IT and technology disputes, particularly those involving issues of information and data governance and confidentiality, and cybersecurity. Jamie Wheatley, who advises on strategy and tactics for resolving disputes through negotiation, mediation, court and arbitration, and new lead partner for Cambridge Douglas McDonald are the key practitioners. Principal associate Helen Prandy specialises in procurement disputes for a diverse range of clients, among them government departments. Principal associate Lino Di Lorenzo is recommended for complex commercial and insolvency litigation, shareholder and partnership disputes, and professional indemnity claims.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Wheatley; Douglas McDonald

Other key lawyers:

Helen Prandy; Lino Di Lorenzo

Work highlights

  • Advising Supply Chain Coordination Limited in judicial review proceedings brought by All the Citizens alleging slavery in part of the supply chain for rubber gloves manufactured in Malaysia.

Taylor Vinters

At Taylor Vinters, the dispute resolution group is ‘friendly and respectful, even in stressful environments‘. The firm acts for numerous local and international technology businesses, as well as handling commercial litigation for rural clients and major landowners in East Anglia. It also has notable expertise in contentious matters affecting the life automotive, pharmaceuticals and chemicals industries. ‘All of them were cooperative and patient, taking leadership and initiative when needed‘, remarks a client of the practice led by Luke Hibbert , who excels in commercial and trust disputes. Gareth Dickson handles a broad range of matters for innovators and entrepreneurs, including contractual, joint venture, licensing and royalty claims. Senior counsel Jessica Boxford, senior associate Naomi Westcott and associate Jonathan Davies all play pivotal roles in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Luke Hibbert

Other key lawyers:

Gareth Dickson; Jessica Boxford; Naomi Westcott; Jonathan Davies

Testimonials

‘Taylor Vinters has been a phenomenal support to our business. With urgent requests they respond right away and make themselves available and lay out all legal options in a clear and practical manner. We have been using the firm for a long time and my entire company has been consistently impressed.’

‘Superb partners to my in-house litigation team. They are considerate and conscientious of my time and costs while being practical, receptive to my ideas and giving ‘real talk’ advice.’

‘Various individuals covered various legal aspects I needed. Each of them has always been friendly and respectful even in stressful environment, sometimes. Billing was efficient.’

‘I feel all of them were cooperative and patient, taking leadership and initiative when needed.’

Key clients

Medical technology business

Investors in a start-up ethical business App

Well-known storied retailer of beverages and homewares

Commercial arm of a leading UK University

A founder of a franchising business

An engineering and construction project management business

Multinational business (worth £billions)

Two shareholder directors of a family-owned manufacturing business

Medical technology business

Investors in a start-up ethical business App

Well-known storied retailer of beverages and homewares

Commercial arm of a leading UK University

A founder of a franchising business

An engineering and construction project management business

Multinational business (worth £billions)

Two shareholder directors of a family-owned manufacturing business

Medical technology business

Investors in a start-up ethical business App

Well-known storied retailer of beverages and homewares

Commercial arm of a leading UK University

A founder of a franchising business

An engineering and construction project management business

Multinational business (worth £billions)

Two shareholder directors of a family-owned manufacturing business

Ashtons Legal

The commercial litigation practice at Ashtons Legal is ‘diligent, efficient and fully available to clients‘. The firm has a six-partner team across its Norwich and Cambridge office, and it is known for its skill in commercial and property litigation, and matters relating to wills, trusts and real estate. The core of its work is in its specialist niche area of franchising litigation, as well as general commercial disputes, shareholder disputes, breach of director’s duties claims, and matters concerning corporate finance and the enforcement of security. The key partner in Cambridge is Michael Frape, who is ‘an experienced litigator and a delight to work with, full of enthusiasm and energy‘.

Practice head(s):

Tom Bailey

Other key lawyers:

Michael Frape

Testimonials

‘Fully available to clients. Diligent. Efficient.’

‘Michael Frape is an experienced litigator. A delight to work with. Full of enthusiasm and energy. Very pragmatic.’

Key clients

CeX

Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries Limited

Signs Express Limited

Bubbleology

Work highlights

  • Advising a property developer in respect of a claim brought against it for breach of copyright in architect’s drawings. The claimant is seeking an injunction and/or damages circa £500k.
  • Advised in respect of a dispute concerning a large contract for the destruction and recycling of products and waste. The award was challenged under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.
  • Advised regarding a shareholder dispute; a claim by other party for £500,000 in unpaid invoices and counterclaim by the client for damages of circa £1m for breach of contract.

HCR Hewitsons

HCR Hewitsons, the new name for longstanding local firm Hewitsons, has a four-partner commercial litigation practice. Practice head Simon Biggin has a broad practice that encompasses contractual, shareholder and partnership disputes, as well as professional negligence matter and, more recently, public law disputes, judicial reviews, freedom of information and environmental law appeals. Up-and-coming partner Stewart Morrison is ‘truly exceptional, extremely hardworking with an incredible eye for detail‘. He focuses predominantly on procurement law and acted for a large technology company in matters regarding tendering processes.

Practice head(s):

Simon Biggin

Other key lawyers:

Stewart Morrison

Testimonials

‘Stewart Morrison heads up the team. He is truly exceptional. He has an incredible eye for detail, he drafts superbly and he is extremely hardworking. A real pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

An ANPR solutions company

Work highlights

  • Advised an ANPR solutions company in a procurement dispute in relation to Sheffield’s Clean Air Zone: specifically, whether a tendering process for the provision of Sheffield Clean Air Zone Automatic Number Plate Recognition devices complied with the Public Contract Regulations 2015.
  • Acted on behalf of a public body in several appeals to the First Tier Tribunal made by the Appellant for test papers used for grammar school applications under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
  • Advised a public body on a freedom of information request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 regarding the raw marks, and how these marks are subsequently processed to admit children following the 11+ qualifying test.

Howes Percival LLP

The litigation group at Howes Percival LLP is 'responsive and empathetic'. It handles high-value, complex and high-profile matters both domestically and internationally, in part due to its Government Panel status. As a Crown Services panel member, the firm frequently acts for government departments in multimillion-pound litigation and matters of public interest. It also acts for major corporate clients, notably in the agriculture and rural sectors. Practice head Michael Green handles a broad range of commercial disputes but focuses predominantly on company/shareholder matters, warranty claims, technology disputes, and and cases concerning restraint of trade. Director Victoria Sandell is also highly recommended.

Practice head(s):

Michael Green

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Sandell

Testimonials

‘They are responsive and empathetic. This is my first commercial dispute and the first time I am on my way to the UK courtroom. One of the most important aspects for me is that I feel understood and address my concerns. Being a novice, it can be very hard to navigate the ups and downs as well as how to get to justice when you are a small company against a large one.’

Key clients

Cambridge Intelligence Ltd

Ben’s Cookies

Algean Group Sarl

Saxton 4×4 Ltd

Masters Logistical Services Limited

Bowker BMW

Work highlights

  • Acting for a shareholder in family business dispute with Worldwide assets worth in excess of £50 million.
  • Advising a software developer in breach of contract/contractual interpretation claim where claim is for £1,000,000+ in cryptocurrency.
  • Acting for a logistics client in a professional negligence claim against insurance brokers where significantly under-insured in respect of damage caused by a fire.

Stobbs IP

Though focused predominantly on intellectual property and brand management issues, Stobbs IP also handles a steady stream of commercial litigation. The firm acts for many national and global brands, and its clients range from market-leading multinationals to smaller specialist businesses. The firm acted for a major sports club in a multimillion-pound contract dispute in the High Court. The firm has 'superb team and an excellent commercial litigation practice, particularly in sports law'. Clients praise the 'extremely innovative, friendly and young team that is fresher and more modern than its rivals'. Head of the solicitor team Chris Sleep and litigation principal Geoff Steward are the key practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Chris Sleep; Geoff Steward

Testimonials

‘Bright hardworking team who are focussed on clients’ priorities at the best value’

‘Superb team, led by Geoff Steward. Excellent commercial litigation practice particularly in sports law. Extremely innovative, friendly and young team. Fresher and more modern than its rivals and a real pleasure to work with.’

‘Geoff Steward is a superb and highly experienced commercial litigator. He is a phenomenal team builder, canny negotiator and rarely seems to lose a case.’

Key clients

7-Eleven

AB InBev (Becks, Budweiser, Corona, Hoegaarden, Leffe, Stella Artois, etc.)

All Saints

ASOS

Balfour Beatty

Beiersdorf AG

Cambridge University

Capri Sun

Channel 4

Combe International (Vagisil)

District Financial Limited

Giesswein

Harley-Davidson

Jagex Limited

Liverpool Football Club

Marks & Spencer

Mars Wrigley

Meyer Bergman

Philip Warren & Son Butchers

Pip & Nut

O2

Raffles Hotels

The Ritz

Tottenham Hotspur FC

UEFA

Webstorm Information Technology Private Limited (an Indian entity)

Work highlights

  • Acted for Beiersdorf AG in a High Court claim against Aldi Stores Limited in relation to trade mark infringement in respect of their Nivea lookalike suncare range.
  • Acting for well-known, high end, family butchers, Philip Warren & Son, in a High Court (Shorter Trial Scheme) claim for passing off against Lidl, relating to their use of WARREN & SONS on their own brand meat products.
  • Acting for the Combe International Limited – the manufacturer of VAGISIL feminine hygiene products in a successful High Court claim for trade mark infringement against Dr August Wolff GmbH & Co, the manufacturers of the competing product, VAGISAN.

Tees Law

The litigation group at Tees Law is 'relatively compact but by working as a team and their using their collective knowledge they provide their clients with an excellent quality of service'. 'Their advice is always straightforward and clear with even the most complicated cases', remarks one client. Senior associate Sara Stabler leads the practice in Cambridge, which is 'extremely personable and always happy to go the extra mile'. Highly skilled in contentious trust and probate work, Stabler also handles a steady flow of general commercial litigation for businesses and high-net-worth individuals.

Practice head(s):

Sara Stabler

Testimonials

‘The team is relatively compact but by working as a team and their using their collective knowledge they provide their clients with an excellent quality of service. Their advice is always straight forward and clear with even the most complicated cases.’

‘Extremely personable with a very good knowledge of their subject and the individual case which is greatly appreciated by their clients. Nothing is too much trouble and they are always happy to go the extra mile.’

‘Tees is an excellent practice – their litigation team is incredibly professional and exceedingly competent.’

‘Sara Stabler and her team are consistently really strong performers. They have excellent work and it is clear that their clients receive really good service.’

‘The firm has a wealth of experience and importantly the quality of the communication across the practice areas (and offices) ensures that this breadth of experience can be brought to bear across the board.’

‘Sara Stabler’s commercial awareness ensures that the client’s best interests are always primary. Very personable approach.’

Work highlights

  • Advising on a contract dispute relating to the sale of a local sporting business.
  • Advising a confidential agriculture client on an Option Agreement and complex trust separation dispute.
  • Advising a confidential client on a hoarding related tenancy dispute.