Commercial litigation: Norwich in East Anglia

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP is the market leader in Norwich and is regularly instructed on heavyweight national and international disputes, including international arbitration. It handles conciliatory and contentious work for regional, national and international clients in the technology, life sciences, food and agri-business, energy, health and private client sectors with a strong focus on mid-market corporates. Its recent work includes complex and high-value contract disputes, board disputes, minority shareholder actions and post-M&A breach of warranty claims. Rachel Higgs and senior associate Jenny Williams are the key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Higgs

Other key lawyers:

Jenny Williams


‘An excellent firm who have available high-quality advice over a range of areas in-house, are easy to discuss matters with and look to reach a conclusion in the best manner possible. They compare very highly to area competitors.’

‘Rachel Higgs is extremely knowledgeable and pragmatic. She is incisive and very quick to get to the heart of the matter.’

‘Rachel Higgs was a pleasure to deal with and she is very objective.’

Key clients

RPC Group Limited/ Berry Global Inc

Achernar Partners Limited

Able UK Limited

Aquaterra Energy Limited

Randall & Quilter Investment Holdings Limited

Vissim AS

Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority

QV Foods Limited (now AH Worth Limited)

First Property Group Plc

Railways Pension Trustee Company Limited

The Recruit Venture Group Limited

Indo European Foods Limited

Norfolk Capital Limited

Permastore Limited

East Suffolk Council

Archant Limited

Refresco Holdings BV

Musgrave Generators Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising a global packaging supplier in relation to a £30m multi-jurisdiction dispute with a leading paint manufacturer.
  • Acting for an oil and gas investment company in an $18.5m claim against its former joint venture partner in Georgia.
  • Advising an offshore pension fund in relation to a £6.5m unfair prejudice claim.

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP has a respected litigation practice that acts for large companies in East Anglia and further afield. Practice head Max Roessler and veteran commercial litigator Paul Matthews, who is now a consultant, are both highly regarded. They both have a strong track record in traditional Chancery work, including breach of trust and administration of estates, as well as general corporate and commercial disputes. Legal director Robert Tiffen has niche expertise in franchising disputes. Associate Adam Blenkinsop joined from Hatch Brenner LLP.

Practice head(s):

Max Roessler

Key clients

Norwich Airport Ltd

Ransomes Jacobsen Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for US citizen in defence of claim by London solicitor for payment of fees; trial completed March 2019 with judgment for the claimant. Permission to appeal to the CoA given by Longmore LJ. Appeal heard in December 2019. Decision awaited.

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP has a well-established litigation practice in Norwich that frequently handles high-value, urgent, complex and high-profile matters both in the UK and overseas. Michael Green, who splits his time between Norwich and Cambridge, now leads the practice following the departure of Alison Kirby to a non-legal role. Director Gordon Simpson handles a broad palette of litigation work but has particular expertise in cases in the energy sector.

Practice head(s):

Michael Green

Other key lawyers:

Gordon Simpson


‘Good litigation team led by Gordon Simpson.’

‘Gordon Simpson is ostensibly very measured and calm but with a steely core and tenacity.’

Key clients

Select Franchise Limited

C E Davidson Limited and Irwin Leasing Limited

Smith of Honingham

The Leech Partnership

Welsomer Limited

Patricia von Sachsenburg

Wicksteed Leisure Limited

Robin Holden – Farming Partnership Dispute

Saxton 4×4 Ltd

Work highlights

  • Representing shareholders of Welsomer Ltd in a Companies Act dispute arising from a joint venture on a building project involving a £7m investment.
  • Representing a 50% shareholder in a company/shareholder dispute with a combined matter value of £14m to £20m.
  • Acting for a large rural partnership in a partnership dispute and assets with a combined book value of more than £10m.

Ashtons Legal

Ashtons Legal has a litigation practice that operates across all of its offices in East Anglia, with Norwich playing a central role. 'Nothing is too much trouble and a real team approach is always adopted,' says a client of the practice now led by barrister Tom Bailey who has 'a fabulous "down to earth" approach but is direct and stoic when necessary'. The firm counts Cambridge colleges and regional developers among its clients.

Practice head(s):

Tom Bailey


Franchising partner Damien, litigation partner Tom Bailey and the team at Ashtons have been absolutely fantastic with all our disputes. Nothing is too much trouble and a real team approach is always adopted with everyone pitching in and using their expertise and experience to help gain the best outcome for their clients.

Tom Bailey has been a fantastic addition to the team in recent years and the difference in the outcomes that we have achieved in disputes since working directly with him has been astonishing. He has a fabulous down-to-earth approach but is direct and stoic when necessary. I feel so happy knowing that he is behind me in any dispute.’

Key clients


Water Babies

Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries

Signs Express

Flip Out

The Cambridge Building Society

The Cambridge Satchel Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for the defendant in a claim for breach of warranty regarding non-performance of food preparation equipment.
  • Pursuing a claim against a former franchisee for breach of contract and breach of restrictive covenants.
  • Acting for an insolvency practitioner in claims against company creditors.

Clapham & Collinge Solicitors

Clapham & Collinge Solicitors has become one of the key dispute resolution firms in Norfolk with a growing team of litigators acting in disputes between businesses and individuals involving issues of consumer rights and restrictive covenants. The practice is led by managing partner Mark Kermez, who works closely with vastly experienced partner Philip Lumb  and consultant Michael Olmer.

Practice head(s):

Mark Kermez

Other key lawyers:

Philip Lumb; Michael Olmer


Fosters handles a broad range of litigation work for companies and individuals in Norfolk. Its work includes unfair prejudice petition claims, derivative claims, shareholder and partnership disputes, complex contractual claims, and matters relating to commercial property, professional negligence and construction projects. Partner Chris Fielding has extensive experience in County Court and High Court matters.

Practice head(s):

Chris Fielding


‘Fosters are an approachable and friendly firm. Access to key individuals is easy and quick. If you want to see a partner they can be accessed directly.’

‘Staff are knowledgeable, considerate and fast acting.’

‘Chris Fielding is considered and concise explaining and discussing clearly in a manner that is reassuring, calming and easy to understand.’


Key clients

Anson Timberworks Limited

Tele-tronics V & S Sales & Services Ltd

PFB Construction Management Limited

Leading Business UK Limited

Tingdene Holiday Parks Limited

LEC Hire Limited

The City Escapes Spa Limited

A2B Taxis

Work highlights

  • Advising a shareholder as the petitioner within an Unfair Prejudice Petition claim proceeding in the High Court. Shares valued by the principal Respondent in excess of £1.2m.
  • Advising PFB Construction Management Limited, a company specialising in CDM planning services, on a dispute over security and realisation of a complex investment, including overseas property.
  • Advising an MD of an AV electronics company on a claim based on breach of contract allegations against a national housing association.

Steeles Law

The 'professional and friendly practice' at Steeles Law, working closely with the business law group, acts for clients in the food production, education and business advisory sectors, as well as for a UK political party. Solicitor Damian Pitts leads the practice. Solicitor Jonothan Broadbent, formerly of Mishcon de Reya LLP, joined in early 2020 to add experience in commercial disputes including trial experience in the High Court.

Practice head(s):

Damian Pitts

Other key lawyers:

Jonothan Broadbent


Steeles Law is a professional and friendly practice, always giving us the impression they want to help us, whilst maintaining a good level of service.

Damian Pitts is a highly experienced litigation lawyer. He is very thorough and detailed with his work, often delivering a service beyond his fee quote, he has recently advised on a very complex mediation case with a successful outcome.

The team has a strong understanding of our needs and sector. They are great communicators.

Key clients

Hovis Limited


Kingswood Financial Advisers

Highview Network Limited

The Liberal Democrats

Work highlights

  • Represented Kingswood Financial Advisers in a claim against its professional indemnity insurers valued at £1.75m.