Commercial litigation: elsewhere in East Anglia in East Anglia

Birketts LLP

The Ipswich office of Birketts LLP is a key pillar of its regional dispute resolution practice, which acts for large local and national enterprises including Greene King and Archant Community Media. Its work encompasses commercial fraud cases, tortious and contractual claims, shareholder and partnership disputes, and matters arising from the sale and purchase of businesses. Matthew Atkins is the lead partner in Ipswich, where newly promoted partner Josh Ripman is also a key adviser to corporates and individuals, bringing to bear his experience in County Court and High Court litigation.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Atkins

Other key lawyers:

Josh Ripman


‘A good firm with all levels of experience in every legal field. Birketts is very actively involved in many charitable activities within Suffolk and the surrounding region.’

Key clients

Greene King PLC

Archant Community Media Limited

Forfarmers UK Limited

Greene & Greene

Greene & Greene in Bury St Edmunds has a 'very strong set up for major litigation'. The firm has a compact team that nevertheless handles regional, national and, increasingly, international matters. Lead partners Rob Adam and Michael Batty 'know their fields and have the necessary gravitas'. Newly promoted partner Sarah Western is 'punching well above the weight of a provincial solicitor, taking on City practices'. The firm recently represented a senior employee of insulation manufacturer Celotex in a case arising from the Grenfell Tower fire.

Practice head(s):

Rob Adam; Michael Batty

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Western


‘Good solicitors who know their stuff.’

‘Rob Adam and Michael Batty know their fields and have the necessary gravitas.’

‘Rob Adam is extremely good with clients and they very much appreciate his style. He has a very commercial approach in trying to settle disputes but can be tough when needed, a combination not always easily found.’

‘Very strong set-up for major litigation,’

‘Michael Batty is an extremely good partner capable of running the most complex litigation. He has good judgement and is very easy to deal with.’

‘Sarah Western s punching well above the weight of a provincial solicitor, not just taking on City practices as opponents but also as defendants. She is rightly geared by opponents as a formidable opponent whose star is rising fast.’

Work highlights

  • Advised the former marketing director of Celotex, one of the manufacturers of insulation that was used in the Grenfell Tower refurbishment project.

Greenwoods Legal

Greenwoods GRM is '‘really practical and tuned in to the actual needs of clients and what the litigation process involves at a granular level'. The firm handles high-profile cases for a diverse range of clients, among them major developers and manufacturing companies, whether regional or national in nature. Practice head Huw Wallis is mainly based in London, but he works frequently in Peterborough to oversee a busy and highly skilled team that includes partner Adele Whaley and 'practical, approachable' senior associate Jamie McConnell.

Practice head(s):

Huw Wallis

Other key lawyers:

Adele Whaley; Jamie McConnell


‘Really practical and tuned in to the actual needs of clients and what the litigation process involves at a granular level. This enables realistic and practical advice to be given and it also helps in spotting potential pressure points on opponents.’

‘Jamie McConnell is really easy to get along with. Practical, approachable, and good judgement regarding litigation strategies.’

‘The team was readily available and understood the difference between the commercial and legal demand of a dispute resolution. The straight-talking approach was much appreciated.’

‘Jamie McConnell was able to see things from our side and give calm advice. We could always speak openly and candidly between us and his patience and determination were outstanding.’

Key clients

Bullen Developments Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising a leading development company based in Norfolk, Bullen Developments Limited, on a complex and on-going dispute relating to the drawdown of a high-profile parcel of development land, critical to a key infrastructure project for the region and the associated expert determination process.

Buckles Solicitors LLP

Buckles Solicitors LLP in Peterborough is known for 'a willingness for a collaborative approach to understanding the end objectives followed by pragmatic advice'. From mainstream commercial litigation to international arbitration, the firm handles a broad range of work and calls upon its links with firms in France and Italy to handle cross-border matters. Solicitor-advocate and CEDR-accredited mediator James Maxey, who leads the practice, was recently involved in a complex partnership dispute concerning land assets with a value in excess of £7m. Senior associate Nick Porter is described as 'the most logical, challenging and pragmatic solicitor'.

Practice head(s):

James Maxey

Other key lawyers:

Nick Porter


‘James Maxey has invested a great deal of time in getting to know our business and team, thereby enabling him to approach each legal matter with a good deal of pragmatism. The Buckles team includes a number of specialists who are brought into any given issue as necessary, thereby ensuring availability of the correct skills and disciplines when required. Buckles has mastered this matrix approach to team utilisation, the success of which is in no small part due to the impressive team-working culture that Buckles engenders into its staff.’

‘I’ve worked with James Maxey for many years; his ability to quickly sift information and ask the relevant question ensure that we quickly understand the key matters central to any given issue. Nick Porter maintains an extremely pragmatic approach to both dispute management and legal issues of a more general nature, drawing on specialist disciplines within the Buckles team as necessary. The key feature which assures Buckles stands out ahead of any other firm is a willingness for a collaborative approach to understanding the end objectives followed by pragmatic advice to navigate a road-map which avoids the potential legal pitfalls en route.’

‘I have had great personal service. The people I deal with are always accessible. They are very polite and respectful but always give good advice. They are never afraid to challenge us when we discuss matters they don’t agree with. We are very lucky to be dealing with Nick Porter, who is by far the most logical, challenging and pragmatic solicitor we have ever dealt with. We are very lucky to have found him. He’s also a really nice guy.’

Key clients

Virgin Active

TGI Fridays (Thursdays UK Ltd)

Work highlights

  • Acting for a landowner in multiple claims arising out of illegal waste disposal at an industrial excavation site. Remediation costs could be multiple millions.
  • Acting for an employee in proceedings brought by the former employer seeking injunctive relief for breach of restrictive covenants and misuse of confidential information.
  • Acting in a complex partnership dispute, assets of partnership comprise of land in excess of £7m.

Ashtons Legal

The litigation practice at Ashtons Legal is based mainly in Norwich and Cambridge, where firm chairman and practice head Michael Frape is based, but senior associate Annabel Mayer is located in Bury St Edmunds. Clients describe her as 'very helpful and easy to communicate with' and her work involves advising both businesses and individuals on commercial litigation, particularly breach of contract claims. She is also highly experienced in both residential and commercial landlord and tenant disputes, complex debt recovery and enforcement matters.

Practice head(s):

Michael Frape

Other key lawyers:

Annabel Mayer


‘Annabel Mayer has been very helpful and easy to communicate with. She was with us in the beginning of the process which has gone on for a few years and came back to us after maternity leave to complete the case. She is quick to respond to emails and on the telephone.’

Hunt & Coombs LLP

Hunt & Coombs LLP is known for its 'promptness, knowledge and willingness to always going the extra mile'. The firm handles a broad palette of work that encompasses shareholder disputes, restrictive covenant cases, professional negligence claims and contractual disputes for regional businesses. Helen Townsend, who leads the commercial litigation team and is 'a fountain of knowledge, and extremely kind and courteous' and head of commercial Anna Spriggs oversee the practice.

Practice head(s):

Helen Townsend; Anna Spriggs


‘We were very impressed with promptness, and knowledge and always going the extra mile. All involved work well together and communicate efficiently ’

‘Helen Townsend is a fountain of knowledge and extremely kind and courteous. Always professional and always goes out of her way to help in any way she can!’

‘Helen Townsend is very easy to work with. She provided clear instructions and responded to queries promptly.’

Butcher Andrews

Butcher Andrews in Fakenham 'punches well above its weight as a litigation firm within East Anglia'. The firm handles commercial litigation alongside debt recovery, personal injury and construction cases. The practice joins the ranking having hired lead partner David Richards from Leathes Prior in 2020, who is described by clients as 'incredibly helpful, approachable and open'.

Practice head(s):

David Richards


‘Butcher Andrews punches well above its weight as a litigation firm within East Anglia. Its specialist team is perfectly happy taking on the bigger regional and national firms.’

‘I cannot put into words how professional David Richards and his team at Butcher Andrews in Fakenham were with my sensitive case and kept on board at all times to the end and resolved my case to the highest of standards. Well done David and his team.’

‘David Richards is one of the most professional solicitors; he has an honest, “cards on the table” approach that you would want for your case.’

‘David Richards has emotional intelligence and clinical knowledge application. This enables him to be able to appreciate the personal impact of a dispute as well as understanding its possible resolution. He speaks with confident authority but, has a way of making sure this is not overbearing. He is approachable and open, allowing early engagement which is hugely useful.’

‘The team provides accurate fee quotations with a full understanding of the requirements, with no surprises.’

‘David Richards is incredibly helpful, and always willing to help.’

Clapham & Collinge Solicitors

Clapham & Collinge Solicitors has a network of offices across North Norfolk and in its North Walsham office Philip Lumb is a multi-talented litigator who leads a 'professional and courteous' team handling a range of dispute for business and individuals. He is known for his work in shareholder and partnership disputes, professional negligence claims, debt recovery and property litigation.

Practice head(s):

Philip Lumb


‘The ability of Clapham & Collinge to identify the legal strong points of our business position, and indeed the weakness of the other side’s legal stance , resulted in the other side dropping unwarranted civil action against our company. Clapham & Collinge acted in a professional and courteous manner throughout a complex and demanding case. Billing was open and transparent. . All staff acted in a polite, professional manner, and I cannot speak highly enough of those who dealt with our case.’

Work highlights

  • Acted in a claim by the personal representatives of an estate following a dispute with a company as to the estate’s entitlement to a proportion of the profits of a company.
  • Acted in a locally high-profile claim for defamation against a local authority following a dispute between two community groups.
  • Acted in a claim following the appropriation of a company’s business telephone number.

Shears Law

Shears Law in Wymondham is a litigation boutique based around the extensive expertise of partner Richard Shears, who specialises in commercial and employment disputes, debt recovery and risk management advisory work. He frequently advises on claims concerning restrictive covenants, confidentiality and business protection issues for clients in the recruitment sector.  Shears is described as 'a tough commercial litigator and fights hard for his clients'.

Practice head(s):

Richard Shears


‘In certain areas of law, specialisation is key, which is where Shears Law excels. Dedicated to commercial disputes and litigation, the firm draw on extensive experience to provide sound advice both on the issues at-hand, and the various potential outcomes each respective course of action could reach.’

‘With Shears Law you receive a top-tier law firm service without the excess and disjointedness of dealing with different solicitors within a practice field team at different stages in the dispute.’

‘I would highlight Richard Shears’ ability to differentiate between the legal and commercial considerations in a dispute, and to communicate clearly to the client how each will have a bearing on the case or dispute at-hand. To identify and set out a strong legal case is one thing, but to set this against the wider commercial considerations of the respective parties adds an additional layer that is essential in considering whether or not to proceed with a dispute or claim. Personable, as well as knowledgeable, Richard genuinely invests in your case and is always on hand to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.’

‘Shears Law offers a bespoke service and expertise in its field. Whenever I have instructed Shears Law I have been offered a solution that I had not necessarily expected, and always for the better.’

‘Richard Shears is an unrivalled expert in the area of litigation and dispute resolution linked to UK recruitment practice. He is precise, meticulous and has a great eye for detail. He is also very personable and easygoing – it is a joy working with Richard.’

‘My main contact is Richard Shears, who delivers an exceptional service every time.’

‘Richard Shears has profound up to date knowledge of how to tackle complex regulatory and legal issues relating to the contingent workforce. This is a changing area, with many moving parts. He is able to help us navigate through these issues providing clear, concise and commercial advice. In addition, Richard is a tough commercial litigator and fights hard for his clients. He is calm and excellent at evaluating strategic options.’

‘They have extensive experience in supporting our needs. Their approach is understanding and approachable, to make sure I understand the situation in full and make the best decision for my company. They understand the pressures and constraints within our company.’

Key clients

SThree plc

Hydrogen Group plc

NonStop Consulting Limited

Roc Search Limited

TrafficRich Limited

Trinnovo Group

Zoe Willis Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for a listed recruitment business in a team move case against a competitor.
  • Acted for the claimant in connection with various claims against a communications provider.
  • Acted for a private client in relation to a dispute concerning the ownership of a classic Porsche 911 motorcar.