Rising Stars

Commercial litigation: elsewhere in East Anglia in East Anglia

Birketts LLP

Ipswich is a key hub of the cross-office litigation practice at Birketts LLP, which handles, inter alia, tortious and contractual claims, commercial fraud, shareholder’s disputes, breach of restrictive covenant agreements, product liability, partnership disputes, and claims arising from sales or purchases of companies or shares. The vastly experienced Matthew Atkins and the ‘tenacious and experienced' Josh Ripman are the lead partners in Ipswich. The practice is known for providing ‘timely and highly effective advice’ on matters in a broad-range of industry sectors, amongst them: energy, media, finance, manufacturing, agriculture and animal pharmaceuticals.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Atkins; Josh Ripman


‘A strong team trusted by big clients, including housebuilders. Josh Ripman is the tenacious and experienced lead.’

‘At all times the advice given and the actions taken by the team have been both timely and highly effective in my experience. The firm in general is extremely client-focused and great attention is given to ensuring a full understanding of, often complex matters, is fully obtained by clients.’

‘Josh Ripman is my main contact and I would not consider going elsewhere – the service-level provided is outstanding.’

‘The litigation team are proactive and resolute in their recommendations, and expedient in execution. The whole experience I had with them gave me the confidence and belief that the resolution would be a positive one. In my particular case, there was full resolution within a short timescale.’

‘I found Birketts to be very straightforward, responsive, and assured in their advice. I wouldn’t hesitate to use them again.’

‘Joshua Ripman gave me confidence that I was in good hands, kept me informed along the way and achieved a great outcome.’

Greene & Greene

Greene & Greene in Bury St Edmunds is regarded as 'providing a London service' to its clients, who reportedly appreciate the ‘excellent strategic thinking and foresight' of Michael Batty and Rob Adam, as well as their ability to ‘work together with counsel to achieve the best result'. The ‘efficient, knowledgeable and user-friendly' Sarah Western focuses predominantly on construction litigation, but is also highly regarded for her general commercial disputes work. Adam and Western recently brought a breach of fiduciary duty claim against two outgoing directors of Henry Williams Limited on behalf of a client, arising from their actions allegedly wrongfully assisting a competing company.

Practice head(s):

Rob Adam; Michael Batty

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Western


‘A high-level of service is provided to high-net-worth clients. The team ably deals with complex and interesting litigation.’

‘A team of city lawyers working outside of London but providing a London service.’

‘Very good with clients and efficient, the team has commercial nous and an ability to know when to be firm with the other side and when negotiations are in order. They also understand when to deal with matters themselves and when to consult counsel.’

‘Rob Adam is very good at working together with counsel to achieve the best result, whether by taking the case to trial or negotiating a satisfactory settlement. Sarah Western is very efficient, knowledgeable and user-friendly.’

‘A very user-friendly and capable team, without the London price tag.’

‘Michael Batty is a first-rate litigator and capable of top London heavyweight work.’

‘It is a pleasure to work with Greene & Greene as they are highly efficient and practical in their approach to disputes.’

‘Michael Batty is very responsive and efficient with excellent strategic thinking and foresight.’

Key clients

Henry Williams Limited

Paul Evans

Greenwoods Legal

The litigation group at Greenwoods Legal spans its Cambridge and London offices, as well its Peterborough office, which is the focal hub of the practice. The team is known for its ‘extremely attentive and detailed approach’ to matters, and is noted as being formed of ‘experienced litigators, adept at handling complex, multi-party proceedings in the High Court’. Lead partner Huw Wallis, who works across the firm’s offices, is regarded as ‘a no-nonsense litigator who keeps a calm head even in turbulent waters’. Emerging talents Adele Whaley and Jamie McConnell particularly excel in commercial disputes.

Practice head(s):

Huw Wallis

Other key lawyers:

Adele Whaley; Jamie McConnell; Sam Baxter; Samantha East


‘Greenwoods has experienced litigators, adept at handling complex, multi-party proceedings in the High Court. They deal with litigation across a range of specialisms, and as such have the ability to handle disputes involving claims running in parallel in different courts and tribunals.’

‘Huw Wallis is a no-nonsense litigator who keeps a calm head even in turbulent waters. He is both pleasant to deal with and a very good lawyer.’

‘Sam Baxter is a hardworking and dependable associate. He has extensive experience in High Court litigation.’

‘The team has an extremely attentive and detailed approach. I felt totally confident after our first call.’

‘A personal approach: you could tell they really cared.’

‘Huw Wallis is our go-to litigator for tough litigation and Adele Wallis is technically superb and communicates really well with clients and counsel.’

‘Excellent client care and proactive at managing clients expectations including regarding innovative steps on costs management. Their diversity is also excellent.’

‘Huw Wallis and Samantha East have provided excellent service to our organisation over a number of years with an understanding our our requirements.’

Buckles Solicitors LLP

Buckles Solicitors LLP‘s Peterborough-based practice is regarded as being ‘personable, knowledgeable, very flexible and excellent value’. The team, led by CEDR-accredited mediator James Maxey, works as part of the firm-wide litigation practice which is based across Cambridge, London and Nottingham. It handles disputes in the international retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, including German, French, Spanish and Italian litigation. Senior associate Nick Porter who takes a ‘very straightforward and pragmatic approach’ to cases, plays a key role in the practice.

Practice head(s):

James Maxey

Other key lawyers:

Nick Porter


‘Buckles have several solicitors able to deal with disputes, and I was happy with the advice I received and the speed at which it was delivered.’

‘Nick Porter has a very straightforward and pragmatic approach. I am in no doubt where I stand and what is expected of me.’

‘The team is personable, knowledgeable, very flexible and excellent value. The efficiency and representation of the business has been excellent on all cases that Buckles have dealt with. We have upmost confidence in work done by Buckles. I will continue to use and grow the already excellent relationship we have built with them.’

Key clients

Virgin Active

Thursdays (UK) Limited t/a TGI Fridays

Project Solar (UK) Limited

Lodgequest Operations Limited

Woodstone Carpentry Limited

Project Better Energy Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising a US engineering company in proceedings brough by Iraqi contractor.
  • Acting in arbitration proceedings relating to over-dredging activities in the Bahamas.

Prettys Solicitors LLP

Prettys Solicitors LLP in Ipswich ‘takes the time to understand clients' situations and is responsive, transparent and committed to building long-lasting relationships'. The team is considered to be ‘practical, diligent and very timely' in its provision of advice. Lead partner and accredited mediator Peter Blake oversees the firm’s construction, insolvency, property, civil and commercial litigation teams. Key practitioner and advocate Graham Mead, whose ‘wealth of experience and deep knowledge are a true asset to his team'; Bushra Elzubeir, who joined the team in September 2022 from Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP; and associate Michael Booth, all play central roles in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Peter Blake

Other key lawyers:

Graham Mead; Bushra Elzubeir; Michael Booth


‘The practice has a good variety of fee earners at different levels and a good amount of specialisation within the litigation team such that clients get work done at the right level and niche expertise is delivered from the most experienced and knowledgeable people about technical aspects of a case. The practice also works in an agile way.’

‘With Graham Mead, you quite simply know where you are, both in terms of likelihood of success and finances.’

‘Prettys has a team of expert lawyers who have a wealth of experience across a variety of practice areas. They take the time to understand your situation and are responsive, transparent and committed to building long-lasting relationships. We have used Prettys for half a decade, for all our legal needs.’

‘Graham Mead is dedicated to providing the highest level of legal representation. With his wealth of experience and deep knowledge of the law, Graham is a true asset to his team. He has an unwavering commitment to client service and takes the time to understand our needs and goals, then works tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcomes.’

‘A very competent team with a very friendly and warm approach – also very responsive.’

‘Peter Blake’s approach has been very practical, diligent and timely.’

‘Bushra Elzubeir is greatly knowledgeable in his field and applies great thought processes and strategies to his thinking, bringing additional depth and specialist skills to commercial disputes. Bushra is incredibly articulate and has a reassuring nature. He gave me great confidence, not only in myself but in my case. He has always had my complete trust and confidence. He is an excellent communicator, often translating complex legal jargon into digestible bitesize chunks.’

‘What I look for in a team or firm of solicitors, is a top-notch ability and an air of confidence to pursue my case with as much impact as possible to achieve the desired result. The team at Prettys integrates to deliver the service I require whilst making me feel like an individual and a client that matters. Their customer service is extremely good, I certainly do not feel like just another number.’

Ashtons Legal

Ashtons Legal has a strong litigation practice across the region; the team is based largely in Cambridge and Norwich, which is where national dispute resolution head Tom Bailey is based, though the firm's Bury St Edmunds office is home to practitioner Annabel Mayer. Mayer's practice encompasses commercial litigation and breach of contract claims, as well as residential and commercial landlord and tenant disputes, and complex debt recovery and enforcement. Mayer is also well-versed in handling regulatory and healthcare matters.

Practice head(s):

Tom Bailey

Other key lawyers:

Annabel Mayer

Key clients


Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries Limited

Signs Express Limited


Hunt & Coombs LLP

Hunt & Coombs LLP in Peterborough has a diverse litigation practice that encompasses a broad-range of work, namely the contentious trusts and probate matters handled by practice head Helen Townsend. In regards to commercial litigation, senior associate Rebecca Beynon-Phillips who joined the team from Rosling King's London office in February 2023, brings valuable experience. Senior associate Norman Hunter-Goulder has extensive advocacy experience in both commercial and civil litigation contexts. Former head of commercial who worked closely with the litigation team, Anna Spriggs, departed to Howes Percival LLP in April 2023.

Practice head(s):

Helen Townsend

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Beynon-Phillips; Norman Hunter-Goulder


‘Helen Townsend showed insight and knowledge in this area and was good to work with to achieve a settlement. She is very empathetic with her clients and their needs.’

Roythornes Solicitors

Roythornes Solicitors' team is handling a growing number of disputes from its Alconbury office. The firm frequently acts for blue-chip companies in complex and high-value claims, including company disputes, shareholder disputes and general commercial litigation matters. Peter Cusick in Spalding and the ‘calm, likeable, and very commercialAlex Forster in Alconbury co-lead the practice, which has ‘proper experience of judicial review, the administrative court and European law'.

Practice head(s):

Peter Cusick; Alex Forster

Other key lawyers:

Robert Carter


‘Roythornes is rich with talent in East Anglia and is able to offer real life experience and skill in handling the more esoteric areas of law that other firms cannot. They are able to deal with causes of action that other firms are unable to and have proper experience of judicial review and the administrative court and European law.’

‘Robert Carter was very knowledgeable about the commercial litigation we required. As a result, our dispute was solved quickly and effectively.’

‘Alex Forster is excellent, calm, likeable, and very commercial in outlook. He is also strong tactically and not afraid to push hard to get results.’

‘Alex Forster is excellent across construction and commercial litigation. He works incredibly hard, and is robust, careful and commercial in his approach, as well as a tenacious fighter.’

‘The team moved very quickly and gave very clear explanations of issues and costs. They provided possible next steps and the pros and cons of each one throughout.’

‘Really clear explanations of some complex legal issues.’

Key clients

Frontier Agriculture Limited

Allison Homes

Tilia Homes Limited

Naylor Produce Limited

TGW Limited

Owl Homes Limited

Gilbert and Goode Limited

Mattioli Woods plc

Ashley King (Development) Limited

Lawrence David Limited

BA Bush & Son Limited

Reydon Sports plc

Mockbeggar Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised minority shareholders in a family investment company valued in the region of £5m during unfair prejudice proceedings for relief ,including in the enforcement of a de-merger agreement.
  • Advised a large construction company in a breach of contract dispute within a total value of £500k relating to the termination of telecommunications services.
  • Advising a farm in relation to their breach of contract and/or negligence claim against a specialist contractor and their insurer relating to the design, supply and construction of an Anaerobic Digestion plant, with an estimated value of £500k.

Fraser Dawbarns

Fraser Dawbarns‘s team has developed a capable dispute resolution practice in Wisbech, where practice head Neil John resides, and King’s Lynn, where associate Joshua Shuardson-Hipkin is the key contact. The practice is noted as being ‘pragmatic, responsive and very supportive of its clients’. Shuardson-Hipkin ‘brings a sophisticated, subtle and strategic approach to his cases’; he recently handled a complex commercial partnership dispute regarding substantial assets, involving the dissolution of said partnership following the death of one party.

Practice head(s):

Neil John

Other key lawyers:

Joshua Shuardson-Hipkin


‘The team are pragmatic, responsive and very supportive of their clients.’

‘Joshua Shuardson-Hipkin brings a sophisticated, subtle and strategic approach to his cases.’

‘The team quickly understand your aims and desired outcome and work efficiently and pragmatically to achieve it.’

‘Joshua Shuardson-Hipkin deals with everything in a pragmatic manner.’

Work highlights

  • Advised in a commercial partnership dispute involving the dissolution of the partnership following the death of one party which involved a substantial overseas property portfolio.
  • Advising a technology company whose rights to supply a piece of security equipment to an airport, and to benefit from the multi-million pound contract associated with it, are being challenged by another party who claim they were the original designers of the equipment.
  • Advising a client in the renewables sector on a dispute concerning the provisions of a loan agreement form a third party. The outcome of the dispute was critical for the implementation of a new wind turbine project.

Shears Law

The specialist litigation practice at Shears Law is well-regarded for its 'unsurpassed client service, pragmatic and clear legal advice and utmost professionalism'. Name partner Richard Shears is noted as being ‘an exceptional advocate with great strategic vision', whose ‘attention-to-detail is absolutely impeccable‘. The firm is particularly well-known for its work in the recruitment sector, as well as in its abilities handling business protection, confidentiality and restrictive covenant disputes.

Practice head(s):

Richard Shears


‘Shears Law is a reputable firm and known for its commercial litigation and regulatory practice.’

‘Richard Shears is an exceptional advocate with great strategic vision, he is simply superb!’

‘Shears’ ability to think flexibly and in-line with the needs of a scale-up has been truly invaluable.’

Key clients

SThree plc

Hydrogen Group plc

NonStop Consulting Limited

Roc Search Limited

Spencer Ogden Limited

Torque Consulting Limited

Trinnovo Group Limited

Zync Group Limited

A Good Recruitment Company Limited

Rackspace Limited

AVD Appoint Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for recruitment business in proceedings to enforce a non-solicitation provision.