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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > East Anglia > Dispute resolution > Debt recovery > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Debt recovery
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

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Birketts LLP provides ‘an excellent level of service’. The ‘friendly and helpful’ team ‘is always available to deal with queries’. Litigation partner Matthew Atkins and 40-year veteran debt recovery manager Robert Howardalways know the best route to take with debtors’. They lead a team that includes associate Emma Albins and three debt recovery assistants, and which acts for private companies, professional partnerships and Plcs such as Greene King, Archant Community Media, Ford & Slater Leyland DAF and Haven Power Limited. In a key matter the firm acted for a company pursuing a customer for unpaid commercial utility bills. The matter, which involved complex issues around the partition of the premises in question, was settled at mediation.

Howes Percival LLP’s debt recovery practice is led by vastly experienced insolvency litigators Alison Kirby and Morris Peacock. The team is a vital part of the firm’s broad commercial litigation practice, which includes Gordon Simpson, who specialises in recovering debts arising from commercial and construction contracts. Trainee Leon Head and paralegal Kate Melton handle day-to-day uncontested debt recovery matters. New clients included Richardsons Leisure, professional services firm GCB Recruitment and Suggitt Farm Services. The team also acts for a number of well-known insolvency practitioners in pursuing outstanding debts following the liquidation of companies. Simpson recently recovered more than £80,000 for a construction company following a dispute over outstanding invoices.

Leathes Prior has long been considered one of the market leaders in debt recovery and is able to handle not only straightforward bulk claims, but also complex matters involving niche areas of law. The firm’s debt collection team has direct input from three partners, three solicitors and two paralegals, and it works closely with the real estate, commercial and employment practices. Litigators David Richards, Darren Bowen and Mike Barlow are highly respected. Associates Polly Langford and Ina Beurich are also recommended, as is credit control manager Dawn Lossau. In 2016, Beurich and Lossau assisted numerous sole traders and larger corporate clients including Just Regional Publishing, OSR Recruitment Services, Agentis Solutions Limited and MAG Group. In one case they recovered £40,000 for a local recruitment business and a similar amount for a local marine technology company.

Clients of Steeles Lawcannot find fault’ with chartered legal executive Denise Traube, who is ‘a safe pair of hands, efficient in all her dealingsand rates 10 out of 10’. Traube manages the firm’s debt recovery service and has been a part of the dispute resolution team for 15 years. Director and barrister Tom Bailey oversees high-value matters for both corporates and private individuals and is ‘an excellent litigator who balances a commercial attitude with compassion’. The firm advised Watson & Hillhouse Limited on numerous matters arising from unpaid invoices for plant and machinery hire, and Traube recovered £15,000 from a mechanical engineering company on behalf of local family business Preform Insulations Limited. Another highlight saw her act for Lewisham Homes in successfully recovering £10,000 from an employee who breached an employment agreement.

Mark Kermez leads the litigation team at Clapham & Collinge Solicitors, which comprises a further three assistants and four dedicated paralegals and which acts for clients not only locally in Norwich, but also across East Anglia and, in some cases, nationally. Michael Olmer is noted for his knowledge of Spanish and EU law and frequently handles cross-border work. He successfully recovered £104,000 for an ex-pat living in Spain. Kermez and Philip Lumb are acting to recover £300,000 a client who paid the sum under duress to bailiffs for the debt of a third party and are acting for the defendant and alleged debtor in linked proceedings to overturn a default judgment for the sum in question.

Fosters is ‘prompt, efficient and good value for money’. ‘Knowledgeable, clear and precise’ litigation partner Adrian Newborough leads the debt recovery team and ‘performs over and above expectations’. Litigator Chris Fielding is also recommended. The practice is known for recovering large sums in the aftermath of insolvency proceedings. The firm is active in the English and Welsh courts on behalf of clients from across the UK, Europe and the US. It often acts in cross-border enforcement proceedings for overseas companies and individuals.

Litigator Harriet Wells at Mills & Reeve LLP has a vast amount of experience in complex debt recovery matters as part of her broader commercial disputes practice. Chartered legal executive Lynne Lawn handles the majority of claims and has vital experience in enforcing County Court judgments. The firm’s clients include Showcard Print Limited, for which Lawn recovered over £10,000 from a debtor who failed to pay invoices, and Spenborough Abbatoir Limited, for which she obtained a settlement over proceedings for an outstanding £1,000 debt.

Key figures at Rogers and Norton include veteran litigator Peter Hastings, who has more than 25 years’ experience, specialist legal executive Maria Taylor, and solicitor Elizabeth Gibson. Taylor (who is singled out as ‘thorough and easy to talk to’) continues to handle bulk debt recovery mandates for a national finance company, including contract matters and return of goods orders. She also acts for a national franchised loans company that provides credit under fixed term agreements and bills of sale, and for a national home improvement company.

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