In Birketts LLP‘s Cambridge office, ‘the litigation team has a great breadth of knowledge and always puts the clients’ objectives at the forefront of any engagement’. Practice head Laurence Weeks is ‘a great litigator and problem solver, who always agrees the plan of attack based on the clients’ needs’. The firm has specialist expertise in shipping, education, public law, Judicial Review, procurement law, defence and transport, and is particularly well-known for its work involving fraud, insolvency and professional negligence. Talented practitioners Sara Sayer, who leads on public and administrative law, and Maria-Christina Peyman, play pivotal roles in the practice.
Commercial litigation: Cambridge in East Anglia
Other key lawyers:
Sara Sayer; Maria-Christina Peyman; Naomi Westcott
‘The litigation team have a great breadth of knowledge and always put the clients’ objectives at the forefront of any engagement.’
‘Laurence Weeks is a great litigator and problem solver, who always agrees the plan of attack based on the clients’ needs and objectives.’
Mills & Reeve LLP has ‘a very well-connected team delivering useful and practicable solutions'. Practice head Douglas McDonald a is ‘a highly skilled and approachable lawyer who delivers solutions that are meaningful and valuable to the client'. Principal associates Helen Prandy, who ‘gives pragmatic advice tailored to clients’ businesses', and Lino Di Lorenzo, who handles complex commercial and insolvency litigation, play central roles in the practice. The firm is a key advisor on national and high-value regional disputes involving mid-market corporates in sectors such as technology, life sciences, food and agribusiness, energy, financial services, health and education.
Other key lawyers:
Helen Prandy; Lino di Lorenzo
‘A very well-connected team with partners that handle complex projects competently and efficiently, delivering useful and practicable solutions and positive outcomes.’
‘Douglas McDonald is a highly skilled and approachable lawyer who is very client focused. He is capable of understanding the legal and practical complexity of a task and delivering solutions that are meaningful and valuable to the client.’
‘They manage to be both meticulous and nimble. A one-stop-shop, with an emphasis on IT litigation.’
‘I have been impressed by Douglas’ strategic vision, tactical instinct, attention-to-detail, sound judgment and sensitivity to costs in every case. He would be the solicitor I would go to if I had a problem.’
‘A really intelligent, down-to-earth team. They are cohesive and always a pleasure to work with – without exception. They are always well-prepared, on top of the detail and provide pragmatic, sensible advice whilst being fully prepared to fight in court when necessary or required.’
‘Lino Di Lorenzo is an exceptional senior associate solicitor who works phenomenally hard on behalf of clients to secure the best result possible. He has accurate, up-to-date legal knowledge which he applies to good effect. He is commercially and strategically aware and his drafting is excellent.’
‘The team understand our company’s business which means that their advice is specific to us and therefore more helpful.’
‘Helen Prandy is my first port of call whenever we have any sort of issue, she gives pragmatic advice tailored to our business but is never afraid to pull our punches if our position is not as strong as we believe.’
Recently merging with Taylor Vinters, the dispute resolution practice at Mishcon de Reya LLP is increasingly involved in high-value and complex disputes in the Cambridge region, as well as nationally and internationally. Practice head Luke Hibbert and senior associate Beth Price are ‘very supportive and give valuable advice’. Senior counsel Jessica Boxford and associate Jonathan Davies are regarded as ‘sympathetic, factual about possible outcomes and very supportive throughout‘. Boxford and associate Alexandra Thornton-Reid acted for three of a large number of defendants in the Danish tax authority multi-jurisdictional and high-value fraud litigation in the Commercial Court. ‘Commercially realistic’ partner Gareth Dickson also plays a pivotal roles in the practice.
Other key lawyers:
Gareth Dickson; Jessica Boxford; Jonathan Davies; Alexandra Thornton-Reid; Oliver Cotton
‘Taylor Vinters is a very strong regional firm with a good spread of expertise within its dispute resolution team. It is a good option for those who want a city service without city overheads.’
‘Luke Hibbert heads up the dispute resolution team and is a very pragmatic, unstuffy and sound litigator with a can-do approach to problems. He is ably supported by the very dedicated and meticulous Oliver Cotton who will always make sure that every angle to an issue has been covered.’
‘Taylor Vinters’ litigation team move quickly and are always up to speed.’
‘Jonathan Davies is very quick to get things moving. He and Jessica Boxford show a great standard of service. They were both very sympathetic to our case and steered us through a very tricky mitigation. We felt they were factual about the possible outcome, highlighted the worst-case scenarios and very supportive throughout.’
‘I have been impressed by the Taylor Vinters team. They worked well as a team, kept me regularly updated and advised me on what course of action to take.’
‘Luke Hibbert and Beth Price have been our main sources of contact. Both have been very supportive and gave us valuable advice on the steps forward in our case.’
‘My experience of working with them was that they were analytical, responsive, thoughtful and commercially-minded.’
‘Jessica Boxford is engaged and wants to explore all angles and arguments which may favour clients. Gareth is responsive and commercially knowledgeable and realistic.’
- Acting for a technology business in respect of a Freezing Order, Disclosure Order and legal proceedings that involved matters of insolvency and breach of trust, contract and fiduciary duty claims.
- Acting for a multinational technology company on a patent infringement dispute in the High Court, the value of which is estimated to be in excess of £10m.
- Advising a global technology company on contractual breaches and early termination rights in respect of a highly complex and valuable IT project with an approximate value of £15 m.
The commercial litigation practice at Ashtons Legal operates across its office network, with Michael Frape being the key partner in Cambridge. He handles complex and high-value commercial disputes in industry sectors including financial services, property development, and retail and leisure; he is noted as being ‘a very tough litigator who is an ideal choice for clients seeking a robust lawyer in commercial litigation and arbitration‘. Notably, Frape recently advised a developer on a claim of breach of copyright in respect of an architect’s drawings for a multi-million pound residential development.
Other key lawyers:
‘Michael Frape’s team at Ashtons provide a full service company, shareholder and technology disputes service.’
‘Michael Frape is a very tough litigator who is an ideal choice for clients seeking a robust lawyer in commercial litigation and arbitration.‘
Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries Limited
Signs Express Limited
- Acting for a developer client in relation to a claim of breach of copyright in respect of architect’s drawings for a multi-million pound residential development.
- Representing a business facing allegations of copyright and design right infringement in respect of a key range of products, which had been marketed since 2017.
- Acting for a newly-formed business established with the assistance of a director-level employee from a competitor business.
The litigation practice at HCR Hewitsons is ‘responsive, to the point and thorough with its advice'. Property litigator Natalie Minott leads the practice, in which Simon Biggin is a key partner for contractual, shareholder and partnership disputes. He notably advised Broadland Agricultural Water Abstractors Group on matters arising from Environment Agency licensing programmes. Stewart Morrison, who regarded as being ‘driven, organised and knowledgeable‘, stands out for his work on freedom of information appeals and on challenges to procurement contract awards.
Other key lawyers:
Simon Biggin; Stewart Morrison
‘The team has always acted with our interests foremost and communicated well.’
‘Simon Biggin has always kept me informed and copied-in on all relevant correspondence. He adheres to timelines well too.’
‘I find the litigation team to be responsive, to the point and thorough with its advice.’
‘Stewart Morrison is highly professional and very good at what he does. He is also cost effective, precisely because his level of expertise his high and he works very efficiently.’
‘This is a top-tier practice, run very efficiently and smoothly.’
‘I work primarily with Stewart Morrison who is very driven, organised and knowledgeable about his areas of work. He is highly capable and talented.’
Broadland Agricultural Water Abstractors Group
- Advising BAWAG on matters relating to the Environment Agency’s Restoring Sustainable Abstraction programme, under which water licences will be revoked or varied leading to the loss of generational farming businesses and a major food processor, loss of jobs and damage to the local economy.
The litigation practice at Howes Percival LLP is growing its reputation in Cambridge, where the team is regarded as ‘responsive and emphatic'. The firm handles a growing volume of national and London-based litigation work, including as a Crown Services panel member. Practice head Michael Green, who handles company and shareholder matters, warranty claims, technology disputes, as well as cases concerning restraint of trade, and the ‘insightful, clear and intelligent' director Victoria Sandell are noted as being ‘the dream team for commercial litigation in Cambridge and beyond'.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team offers outstanding legal acumen coupled with a firm grasp on the commerciality of matters. Their work is on a par with any big city firm at a fraction of the cost.’
‘Michael Green and Victoria Sandell are the standout candidates amongst an already strong team. They are the dream team for commercial litigation in Cambridge and beyond.’
‘Very competent instructing solicitors who are able to identify the key issues in a dispute and marshal resources accordingly, ensuring that the client gets value from the whole team.’
‘Michael Green brings a sharp analytical tool kit and a unique judicial perspective to a problem. Victoria Sandell is insightful, clear and intelligent in her instructions – she is one of my favourite solicitors to deal with.’
‘The team and the individuals are responsive and emphatic.’
RG Abrey Farms
- Acting for a multinational high street retailer in a shareholder dispute with Saudi minority shareholders.
- Acting for exiting partners in £76m Agri dispute.
- Representing Danish corporate software developer in Commercial Court claim against Fetch AI for £1.4m of crypto-currency.
Stobbs IP‘s practice is best known for its work in IP and brand management but it also handles a growing volume of general commercial litigation work for national and global brands. Amongst its clients is Marks and Spencer plc; the firm notably successfully pursued a claim against Aldi on their behalf concerning the design of own-brand gin bottles. Head of the solicitor team Chris Sleep, who is ‘commercially savvy and particularly astute in his advice’, and litigation principal Geoff Steward, who ‘brings corporate London sophistication to legal proceedings’, are the standout lawyers.
Chris Sleep; Geoff Steward
Other key lawyers:
Julius Stobbs; Charlotte Peach
‘They specialise in IP and allied fields with a creative and imaginative team using particularly experienced senior staff.’
‘Julius Stobbs is immensely experienced in trademark matters and highly intelligent, with great commercial awareness.’
‘Geoff Steward is a vastly experienced commercial litigator with a passion for IP and sports, media and entertainment law, who brings corporate London sophistication to legal proceedings.’
Combe International (Vagisil)
District Financial Limited
Jack Daniel’s Properties, Inc.
Liverpool Football Club
Marks & Spencer plc
Philip Warren & Son Butchers
Pip & Nut
Tottenham Hotspur FC
Webstorm Information Technology Private Limited (an Indian entity)
- Represented Combe International LLC and Combe International Limited successfully at the Court of Appeal in a matter brought by Dr August Wolff Gmbh & Co and Acdoco Limited in relation to High Court trademark infringement claim regarding VAGISAN.
- Represented Marks and Spencer plc in its successful design infringement claim (IPEC) against Aldi Stores Limited involving the Aldi Gin Globes which produced the same overall impression as the prior registered designs.
- Defending Dream Pairs in a High Court trademark infringement claim brought by Iconix (who own the Umbro brand).
The litigation practice at Tees Law is described as being ‘exceptionally efficient and very personable'. Senior associate Sara Stabler leads the practice in Cambridge, where associate Emily Jones plays an increasingly prominent role. Stabler’s approach is ‘unwaveringly client-focused but tempered with a sense of reality and good humour', whilst Jones is ‘always on-the-ball and striving to achieve the best possible outcome'. The team recently advised on a shareholder dispute worth £1m in value.
Other key lawyers:
Sara Stabler; Emily Jones
‘The commercial litigation team at Tees Cambridge are always excellent to work with. They’re exceptionally efficient and a very personable bunch.’
‘Emily Jones is always highly professional and personable. She is always on-the-ball and striving to achieve the best possible outcome for her clients.’
‘A first class firm with many talented individuals. Their client focus, commerciality and friendliness has been outstanding.’
‘Sara Stabler is the kind of litigator you want on your side. She has a particular specialism in contested probate matters and, as all lawyers know, these cases are some of the most difficult to resolve. Sara’s approach is unwaveringly client-focused but tempered with a sense of reality and good humour. Her legal acumen is outstanding and I always immensely enjoy working with her.’
- Advising a client on a multi-discipline issue, multi-party claim, including a shareholder dispute worth £1 million.
- Advising a client on a Trust of land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TLATA) property dispute and related company dispute worth in excess of £1.2.
- Advising a client on a debt claim, requiring sensitivity around family relations, the solvency of the creditor’s business and issues under supervision of the Office of the Public Guardian.