Commercial litigation: elsewhere in East Anglia in East Anglia

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP has a substantial commercial litigation practice across its office network and Ipswich is a key hub. It is home to two of the heads of the firm-wide practice, Matthew Atkins and Josh Ripman. Both handle a broad range of commercial disputes, among them tortious and contractual claims, commercial fraud, shareholder’s disputes, breach of restrictive covenant agreements, product liability matters, partnership disputes, claims arising from sale or purchase of companies or shares, and claims in connection with private and corporate insolvency. Experienced in all forms of ADR as well as litigation, the practice acts for local, national and international private companies, PLCs, individuals and professional partnerships in industry sectors as diverse as energy, media, finance, manufacturing, agriculture and pharmaceuticals.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Atkins; Josh Ripman

Greene & Greene

Greene & Greene in Bury St Edmunds is ‘unsurpassed in East Anglia, offering a service akin to a City practice in Suffolk’. Rob Adam and Michael Batty are the lead partners. Batty, who is ‘very experienced and extremely acute‘, acted for the former marketing director of insulation manufacturer Celotex in matters arising from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. Adam ‘should be working at a Magic Circle firm and his clients are lucky to have him in East Anglia at those rates‘. He frequently handles High Court claims and multimillion-pound partnership disputes. Sarah Western focuses predominantly on construction litigation, but also handles a broad palette of commercial disputes.

Practice head(s):

Rob Adam; Michael Batty

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Western


‘This is a provincial firm with a proper corporate approach, offering a service akin to a City practice in Suffolk.’

‘Michael Batty is very experienced and extremely acute. Cool head under pressure.’

‘The fee earners are all, or almost all, partners and therefore clients can have confidence that their cases will be dealt with at a high level and not delegated on a day-to-day basis to less senior people with less experience. Where a case requires input from more than one partner, in particular where different specialisations are involved, the relevant partners work well together.’

‘Rob Adam is the partner with whom I have had most dealings over many years at Greene & Greene and his previous firm. He has a good balance between pursuing cases assertively on behalf of his clients and knowing when to try and achieve a satisfactory settlement. Clients seem to like his approach very much; he has a very easy way with clients.

‘Sarah Western is a very enthusiastic litigator.’

‘Rob Adam should be working at a Magic Circle firm and his clients are lucky to have him in East Anglia at those rates.’

‘Michael Batty – an extremely able and a safe pair of hands’

‘Michael Batty is a serious and capable commercial litigator.’

Greenwoods Legal

Greenwoods Legal has a large litigation group based in its Peterborough, Cambridge and London office, though Peterborough is the main hub. The firm handles a varied caseload that includes complex financial services litigation, high-profile breach of contract disputes, Judicial Review proceedings and, increasingly, cross-border matters. It has particular skill in disputes in the energy, enfranchisement, marine and international trade sectors. The lead partner is Huw Wallis, who works in both London and Cambridge, and has vast experience in High Court proceedings, all major arbitral forums and numerous of specialist tribunals. Partners Adele Whaley and Jamie McConnell also play key roles in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Huw Wallis

Other key lawyers:

Adele Whaley; Jamie McConnell

Buckles Solicitors LLP

'They respond to all matters with efficiency and purpose', says a client of the dispute resolution practice at Buckles Solicitors LLP in Peterborough. The team works as part of a firm-wide team across four offices, including London and Cambridge, and frequently handles high-value private client litigation, shareholder and partnership disputes, and professional negligence matters. Solicitor advocate and CEDR accredited mediator James Maxey leads the practice. 'Proactive and commercial' senior associate Nick Porter has a broad practice that encompasses contractual disputes, shareholder and partnership disputes, professional negligence matters and the enforcement of restrictive covenants.

Practice head(s):

James Maxey

Other key lawyers:

Nick Porter


‘The team are exceptional. They are proactive and commercial. They respond to all matters with efficiency and purpose. Good communication skills and professional throughout.’

‘Nick Porter is exceptional. Proactive and commercial. He responds to all matters with efficiency and purpose. Good communication skills and professional throughout. A pleasure to work with.’

‘The team are friendly, their approach is robust but pragmatic and they know their stuff. They explain the position and are realistic when managing expectations.’

Key clients

Virgin Active

TGI Friday (Thursdays (UK) Limited)

Work highlights

  • Acting for an engineering firm in a claim brought by a personnel supplier for alleged breach of restrictive covenants. Potential Liquidated damages claim of in excess of £1m.
  • Acted in a partnership dispute – representing two partners of a partnership with assets of around £4.4million.
  • Acting for a luxury jewellery group in litigation relating to one of its properties in London being run by a third party as a concession. The management agreement between the parties is governed by Swiss law.

Ashtons Legal

Ashtons Legal has a strong litigation practice across the region, based largely in Cambridge and Norwich, but newly promoted partner Annabel Mayer in Bury St Edmunds has a broad range of experience in disputes for both businesses and private individuals. Solicitor Sam Lees also plays a key role in the practice. The firm is best known for its skill in property, construction, construction and private client disputes, but its commercial litigation practice has a very broad palette of commercial litigation work. Lees assisted with a £4.5m breach of contract matter.

Practice head(s):

Tom Bailey

Other key lawyers:

Annabel Mayer; Sam Lees

Key clients


Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries Limited

Signs Express Limited


Work highlights

  • Advising on an enforcement of judgement and costs award in excess of £400K for the client following trial.
  • Advising on a claim for breach of contract following non-payment of sums due under contract in excess of £200K.
  • Acting for a client in a breach of contract matter worth £4.5m.

Hunt & Coombs LLP

Hunt & Coombs LLP in Peterborough has a commercial litigation team that is ‘technically gifted, has the brightest legal minds and delivers outstanding customer service‘. Newly promoted partner Helen Townsend leads the practice, working closely with head of commercial Anna Spriggs. Townsend is ‘very professional – response times are quick and communication clear‘. Her work encompasses shareholder and partnership disputes, restrictive covenants, contractual disputes, professional negligence and insolvency matters. Senior associate Norman Hunter-Goulder joined from Pellys to add advocacy experience in commercial and civil litigation.

Practice head(s):

Helen Townsend; Anna Spriggs

Other key lawyers:

Norman Hunter-Goulder


‘The practice was recommended to us by a solicitor acting for us who was retiring, on the basis of their professional competence and ability to deal with our litigation . We have not been disappointed.’

‘The partner, Helen Townsend, and her team have been very professional in the way they have dealt with us. Response times have been quick and communication clear. Helen has made herself available despite the pandemic.’

‘Hunt & Coombs get the balance right between professional specialist legal advice and friendly case support. A pleasure to work with.’

‘Hunt and Coombs, like all great firms, strive to recruit the best staff for their specialist teams, staff who, without exception, uphold the highest legal standards and expertise. Their teams are technically gifted; have the brightest legal minds, who challenge processes that no longer work and remove the roadblocks that prevent them from loving their jobs and delivering outstanding customer service. As a client I found that Hunt and Coombs value the important things like integrity, collaboration, respect, inclusivity and performance.’

Clapham & Collinge Solicitors

The North Walsham office of Clapham & Collinge Solicitors is home to a highly experienced litigation partner, Philip Lumb, who also covers the Sheringham and Norwich offices. His work encompasses support for businesses, directors, partners, shareholders, consumers and other individuals in a broad range of disputes. Among them ares a dispute between a company and a former director, which was settled pre-action, and a locally high-profile claim for defamation against a local authority following a dispute between two community groups.

Practice head(s):

Philip Lumb

Work highlights

  • Acted in a dispute between the company and a former director, settling the claim pre-action.
  • 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

As a client, you benefit from both a personal dedication to your case as well as a breadth of knowledge and experience‘, says a client of Shears Law in Wymondham. The specialist litigation boutique predominantly handles contractual disputes, fraud, employee competition and business protection cases. Among its clients are multi-national organisations and small businesses, notably SThree plc, Hydrogen Group plc and West Point Recruitment Limited. Name partner Richard Shears is ‘one of the best leading advocates – his technical knowledge and ability to think on his feet is remarkable‘.

Practice head(s):

Richard Shears


‘Shears Law is a one-stop commercial litigation practice, always delivering expert, commercial and clear advice.’

‘Richard Shears is one of the best leading advocates. His technical knowledge and ability to think on his feet is remarkable. He always listens to what the client wants and is able to tailor his strategic advice to meet client objectives. Most importantly, he is able to deliver advice on complex issues and translate to the client seamlessly.’

‘Shears Law is unique in that, as a client, you benefit from both a personal dedication to your case as well as a breadth of knowledge and experience.

‘To benefit from the same level of legal expertise in a larger practice you would ordinarily find yourself engaging with a number of professionals within the firm, consequently losing a degree of personal focus and incurring additional fees for no client benefit.’

‘Richard Shears is an incredibly approachable solicitor who is adept at understanding and interpreting the legal situation before him both swiftly and comprehensively.’

‘In the world of litigation, cases are often of a sensitive nature, and Richard Shears manages to acknowledge and respect this fact whilst ensuring his assessment of the case does not become clouded by such subjectivity. As a client, you are therefore fully informed as to the possible and probable outcomes in any given case.’

‘Shears Law has extensive experience in supporting in many areas, we have specifically engaged in litigation numerous times. The ability of Shears law to get a positive outcome whatever the situation is very impressive.’

‘Richard Shears has extensive experience, his ability to find a way through the many complicated situations that arise always impresses me. His ability to clarify a clear strategy and then manage the situation along the planned lines delivering a positive outcome shows great insight. Richard is always honest with potential outcomes so I am fully aware of all possibilities prior to taking any action.’

Key clients

SThree plc

Hydrogen Group plc

Non Stop Consulting Limited

Roc Search Limited

TrafficRich Limited

Trinnivo Group Limited

West Point Recruitment Limited

Torque Consulting Limited