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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 Midlands > Dispute resolution > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Commercial litigation: Elsewhere in the East Midlands

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Elsewhere in the East Midlands
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Freeths LLP's first-rate reputation in dispute resolution has seen its Leicester team undertake an increasing amount of work for clients in the food sector. In addition, the firm is well-known nationally for its strengths in energy (particularly LPG) sector matters. Mukesh Patel leads the team, advising on professional negligence claims, contractual disputes, insurance litigation and public procurement challenges. Simon Baigent (who has more than 20 years of dispute resolution experience), Emma Anderson and associate Richard Fitzmaurice are recommended.

Practice head(s):Mukesh Patel

Other key lawyers:Simon Baigent; Emma Anderson; Richard Fitzmaurice

Key Clients

Flogas Britain Limited

MPK Garages Limited

RC Tuxford Exports Limited


Travis Perkins Plc

Greenyard Fresh UK Limited

Cofresh Foods (Lakshmi & Son’s Limited)

Rigid Containers Limited

Karsten UK Limited

J&A Young (Leicester) Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for the client (as the new employer of two former employees of the claimant) in Aquinas Education Ltd v. Miller and others. The dispute centred on whether or not a 'springboard injunction', which prevented two former employees from setting up a competing business, should be lifted.
  • Assisted the client as the claimant with its successful committal application in Flogas Britain Ltd v Attock Metal & LPG Ltd and another, where the defendants had contravened court undertakings on the handling of cylinders.
  • Acted for the client, a forecourt operator, in litigation arising from a neighbour's use of an access way owned by the client.
  • Acted for the client, a forecourt operator, in court proceeedings arising from a neighbour's use of an access way owned by the client.
  • Acted for the client (a forecourt operator) in court proceeedings arising from injuries suffered by an individual, who was assaulted with a brick from a wall situated on the client’s premises and which was in disrepair.

Gateley Plc's team advises on high-value and reputationally significant commercial disputes, and is highly active in cross-border matters, with recent work spanning jurisdictions such as the US, Singapore, Germany, Italy and Cambodia. In addition to handling general commercial litigation, team head Chris Greenwell has a strong specialism in professional negligence cases (particularly those connected with insolvencies, the provision of legal advice by solicitors and the financial services sector). Matters with a nexus to transport and logistics, sport and media, and recruitment are among the areas of strength of the group. Legal director Claire Herbert splits her practice between the Leicester and Nottingham offices. Associate Natalie Howes is another name to note.

Practice head(s):Chris Greenwell

Other key lawyers:Claire Herbert; Natalie Howes

Hewitsons' practice stands out in disputes connected with renewable energy, financial services, technology and plant and equipment hire. In addition to handling domestic matters, the firm is also frequently sought-out for cases with an international dimension, where it acts for both UK and overseas-based clients. 'Very thorough and very detail-oriented' practice head Dominic Hopkins has a wealth of experience in commercial contracts disputes, partnership and shareholder disputes, professional negligence cases, investment product litigation and IT-related matters, among other areas. Senior associate Stephen Cole is active in state aid cases, and he also acts for charities and education sector clients in other contentious matters.

Practice head(s):Dominic Hopkins

Other key lawyers:Stephen Cole

In 2018, Howes Percival LLP was appointed to the UK Government Crown Commercial Service full service panel for England and Wales, with its dispute resolution practice well-placed to benefit as a result. Elsewhere, the firm acts for other commercial clients, which range in size from small owner-managed businesses to listed companies. The team includes Satnam Chayra, whose expertise includes shareholder, director and partnership claims, as well as property litigation. Practice head Geraint Davies regularly handles complex, multijurisdictional disputes. The firm's recent work involved matters connected with industries such as food and drink, manufacturing, real estate and construction.

Practice head(s):Geraint Davies

Other key lawyers:Satnam Chayra

Key Clients

HM Revenue and Customs

Welcome Break Group Ltd

Getronics Services UK Limited

MPAC Plc (formerly Molins Plc)

Renewi UK Services Limited

Nampak Plastics Europe Limited

Darby Properties Limited/Darby Group Limited

Intertek Group Plc

Grace Foods UK Limited

Blue Skies (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for an overseas-based client in a professional negligence claim against a firm of accountants.
  • Acting for a manufacturing company in a breach of contract and misrepresentation claim against an energy broker.
  • Acting for a UK-based construction in a multijurisdictional tort, construction and contractual claim.
  • Advising a national retailer on termination of various supply and distribution contracts.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited's practice in Leicester is led by Jon Roberts, who has 30 years of commercial dispute resolution experience. Roberts acts as a solicitor-advocate and trial advocate, and distinguishes himself in complex, multimillion-pound High Court litigation.  Simon Trees is another partner in the team, whose varied workload includes professional negligence cases, commercial contracts disputes and corporate and personal insolvency litigation. Trees has a notable specialism in property litigation.

Practice head(s):Jon Roberts

Other key lawyers:Lewis Addison; Simon Trees

Shakespeare Martineau LLP is a strong performer across the full spectrum of general commercial disputes, including partnership and shareholder cases and warranty claims. It is also highly regarded in more specialised areas; Martin Noble heads up the offering in relation to intellectual property disputes, while Andrew Wilkinson leads the contentious probate practice. Elsewhere, the firm's other strengths include professional negligence claims and matters arising from employees'/directors' theft of confidential/commercially sensitive data.

Practice head(s):Martin Noble

Other key lawyers:Andrew Wilkinson

Key Clients

Cambridge Weight Plan

Emma Bridgewater



Vision Express



Jane Sergeant

Work highlights

  • Acted for Hycontrol as the patentee in a patent dispute with Portasilo Limited over a patent concerning a product for ground safety testing of silo pressure relief valves.
  • Represented Kagool Limited in IPEC proceedings issued by Fusion Workshop Limited – passing off and trade mark infringement.

Wilkin Chapman LLP leverages the expertise of its core dispute resolution team (which is led by senior partner Andrew Holt), as well as practitioners in other areas to advise on a wide range of contentious matters. The practice is noted for its particular focus on a number of key sectors, including housing and developments, agriculture and food, tourism and leisure, renewables and energy, and military. In Lincoln, Holt (who has 30 years of commercial dispute resolution experience) works with the 'very capable, practical' Jonathan Stork and solicitor Tom Hickingbottom. Another solicitor, Katherine Marshall, divides time between the Lincoln and Horncastle offices. Joshua Briggs in Grimsby handles a broad cross-section of commercial disputes, with a particular strength in property litigation. The group's recent work included matters involving breaches of contract,  professional negligence and insolvency-related claims.

Practice head(s):Andrew Holt

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Stork; Joshua Briggs; Tom Hickingbottom; Katherine Marshall


'Deep dives into detail without losing sight of the overarching aim of the litigation (including cost to the client) - a rare combination!'

'Jonathan Stork is very on the ball. He works closely with counsel on cases to ensure that there is a robust strategy to get the client what they need'

'The team is simply uniquely down-to-earth, friendly, efficient and offers good advice and therefore good value'

'Andrew Holt is easy to talk to and effective in setting out the options, as well as providing the right guidance'


Key Clients

Nisa Retail Ltd

Lincolnshire Co-operative

Cat Tech International Limited

Unipart Rail Limited

T W Logistics Limited

Barbon Insurance Group

EDF Energy Customers Limited

Active Business Partnerships Limited

Beal Developments Limited

National Farmers Union

Vale Garden Houses Limited

Branston Limited

Credit Enforcement Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented the client - as one of three defendants - in a £22m claim brought by liquidators  following declarations of solvency made by the defendants in 2009.
  • Acted for an energy company as the claimant in High Court proceedings against a contractor for non-provision of services under the contract between them.
  • Advised a company in the agriculture sector on a claim for breach of contract and fraud in relation to a wind turbine project in Northern Ireland.
  • Defended client - who is a company director of a professional services firm - against a misfeasance and wrongful trading claim (brought under the Insolvency Act 1986) by the liquidator of the company.
  • Advised client on professional negligence and breach of contract claim against a firm of surveyors.

Chattertons offers extensive coverage of a wide range of disputes, such as professional negligence claims, construction claims, and shareholder disputes. Patrick Cordingley is particularly active in contentious matters connected with the leisure sector, and also partnership disputes involving professional services firms. Clients also benefit from the experience of Ben Ellis and Robert Clark. Newark-based David Rogerson is the head of the department.

Practice head(s):David Rogerson

Other key lawyers:Patrick Cordingley; Ben Ellis; Robert Clark

Knights PLC inherited Spearing Waite LLP's dispute resolution practice with the takeover of the Leicester firm in October 2018.  A key figure in the team is Phillippa O’Neill, whose wide-ranging expertise includes professional negligence, partnership and shareholder disputes, breaches of contract, breaches of restrictive covenants and distributor claims.  Contentious insolvency-related matters and professional negligence claims are also among her areas of strength. Associate Gail Whyte is also recommended. Jonathan Wheeler, who previous led the practice at Spearing Waite, recently retired from private practice, while Piet van Gelder joined Gateley Plc.

Other key lawyers:Phillippa O'Neill; Gail Whyte

At Langleys Solicitors LLP, the practice is led by James Henson, who is primarily based in York but also spends a significant portion of time supporting the Lincoln office. The lead partner in Lincoln is Richard Tomlinson, who joined in January 2019 from Lawson-West in Leicester. Tomlinson works with associate Adrian Lyon to advise businesses and individuals on contract disputes, professional negligence claims, breaches of directors' duties, shareholder disputes and the enforcement of restrictive covenants, among other matters. Graeme Stenson moved to Adie Pepperdine Limited

Practice head(s):James Henson (York)

Other key lawyers:Richard Tomlinson; Adrian Lyon

Work highlights

  • Acted for a company director/co-owner on his acrimonious exit from the business.
  • Acted for the client in its defence against a breach of contract claim

In a major development, Wilson Browne recently acquired Corby firm Friday Legal Solicitors, a move which saw Stuart Love join the commercial litigation team as practice head, succeeding John Gordon, who has now left the firm. Hayley Mauro is another new arrival, following the acquisition. The team has a record of achieving early resolution of disputes at the mediation stage, but its experience also comes to the fore in court proceedings. The client base mainly comprises of sole traders, SMEs, partnerships and other commercial entities in Leicestershire and Northamptonshire. Kevin Rogers' recent work included multimillion-pound cases with a cross-border dimension. Rogers has a strong profile in the professional negligence sphere, and is a member of the Professional Negligence Association. Elsewhere, contractual disputes, shareholder disputes and insolvency litigation are other areas of activity. Property litigation is another strong suit, with the firm generating work on a national basis.

Practice head(s):Stuart Love (head of commercial litigation)

Other key lawyers:Kevin Rogers (head of commercial); David Farmer; Hayley Mauro

Key Clients

United Pallet Networks Limited

Beaucrest Limited


Sterling Press Limited

SAS Logistics Limited

AKAL Computer Systems Limited

Global Processing Services Limited

Great Scot (Scotland) Limited

Create & Explore Limited

Infrastructure Gateway Limited

Total Computer Networks Limited

Speedpac Limited

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Create & Explore Limited against its landlord in an action for recovery of rent arrears and enforcement of personal guarantee against client's director, and also obtained rescission of a lease based on allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation by the landlord.
  • Advised client on a dispute connected with the renewal of a lease at a manufacturing plant in the West Midlands.
  • Advised a London-based technology company on a historic shareholder dispute involving allegations of constructive trust, and limitation issues.
  • Acted for a high end fashion brand in a contract dispute with a supplier.

Commercial litigation: Nottingham and Derby

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Nottingham and Derby
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Browne Jacobson LLP combines a strong local market presence with an ability to cater to the needs of national and international clients in high-stakes, multimillion-pound disputes. It demonstrates market-leading capabilities across a wide of sectors, including manufacturing, retail, IT, finance and utilities, and was recently reappointed to the panel of a multinational energy company for its disputes work. 'Exceptional' practice head Jonathan Tardif is the lead adviser to many other household names on their most complex and high-value contentious matters. Associate Chloe Poskitt handles a mix of contentious insolvency and commercial litigation (including breaches of contract, misrepresentation claims, office-holder claims, and supplier and consumer disputes). Dominic Offord moved to Howard Kennedy LLP.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Tardif

Other key lawyers:Chloe Poskitt


'Browne Jacobson is the regional leader; it is the pre-eminent firm for dispute resolution'

'The team led by Jonathan Tardif is both very commercial - identifying how best to achieve the client's aims - and extremely good at the law'

'Jonathan Tardif is very shrewd strategically. He never loses sight of what will benefit his client the most - and is adept at exiting his clients from disputes at the most opportune time and on favourable terms'


Key Clients

Centrica /British Gas

Vision Express

Nottingham Forest Football Club

John Pye & Sons


NHS England

Ashley House Plc


Goodyear Dunlop

Work highlights

  • Assisting client (a supplier of hot water cylinder systems to UK housing associations and other customers worldwide) with claims in relation to defective cylinder systems, as well as reputation management. The scope of the advice has involved a worldwide recall, switching manufacturers, dealing with threats of litigation and passing liability back up the supply chain.
  • Advising a global manufacturer and distributor of water heating systems in its defence of a claim by IBM for under-licensing.
  • Advising a leading Mercedes-Benz dealer in the Midlands on a contract dispute with Lomas Distribution.
  • Advising the client on a contract claim against a large local authority following the aborted development of a dementia care home.
  • Advising on a claim against NCR, a global leader in mobile payment technology, over various cash discrepancies found in certain ATM machines in supermarkets.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP acts for a sizeable number of blue-chip UK and international clients in high-profile, business-critical cases. Led by Steve Dunseath, the team undertakes a significant amount of work for entities in the diversified industrials sector (which includes automotive, industrial engineering, chemicals and aerospace). Another cornerstone of the practice is in the sports and media space, where the work includes assistance with crisis and reputation management. The energy and utilities arena is another pillar of the practice; legal director Louise Howarth heads up the firm's UK energy regulatory disputes offering. Dunseath is the lead adviser on a number of civil fraud claims.

Practice head(s):Steve Dunseath

Other key lawyers:Louise Howarth

Key Clients

Pendragon Plc


Work highlights

  • Advised npower on a contested Ofgem investigation into npower’s roll-out of Advanced Meters (a form of business smart meters).
  • Acting for client in High Court litigation against Economy Energy over National Grid being contracted to deliver and install smart meters. The current value of the dispute is £12m and relates to services provided by National Grid to Economy where payment is disputed.

Flint Bishop LLP distinguishes itself in industry-shaping and high-profile matters, as evidenced by its recent appearances at the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and the Court of Justice of the European Union. 'Skilled negotiator' Nick Wells specialises in handling commercial disputes in specialist lists of the High Court. The firm's client roster is reflective of the high esteem in which its dispute resolution team is held, with UK and multinational companies, government agencies and public sector bodies turning to it for advice. Qamer Ghafoor has a standout reputation in all areas of commercial dispute resolution, including professional negligence claims, banking litigation and insurance-related claims. Ghafoor has also developed a niche in litigation connected with the waste management sector. Lorna Trueman is another key figure.

Practice head(s):Qamer Ghafoor

Other key lawyers:Nick Wells; Lorna Trueman


'Flint Bishop is very client-focused, and its team approach leads to joined-up working at each step of a case'

'Nick Wells takes a strategic approach. He is always ready and capable of drilling down into the detail of the legislation and the facts'

'Nick Wells listens to concerns/objectives and provides commercial advice accordingly. He is very much on top of the detail of a matter'

'Flint Bishop has a big team, which has a depth of experience across all levels of seniority'

Key Clients

Office Depot

Marston’s Plc


The Land Registry

Food Standards Agency

Haven Insurance Company

Costcutter Supermarkets Group

Henry Boot Developments

Ward Recycling

UK Mail

Work highlights

  • Defended client against a claim brought by a firm of solicitors for payment of its costs directly by Haven in circumstances where personal injury claims were settled by Haven directly with claimants without provision for legal costs.
  • Representing Haven Insurance in a Court of Appeal case regarding the jurisdiction of an arbitrator to extend appeal deadlines under the Motor Insurance Bureau technical rules.
  • Acting for an office supplies company in a High Court claim against a supplier of defective carrier bags.
  • Acting for a property developer on a claim from an overage under a development contract.

Geldards LLP is well-known as a powerhouse in the automotive sector, where it has a 20-year track record advising car manufacturers and resellers on complex disputes; Jonathan Butler and senior associate Andrea Clayton are names to note in this space. Its recent work included the VW Emissions group litigation and the landmark decision by the Advertising Standards Agency in the case of Glyn Hopkin and Fiat Chrysler. The firm also has an equally standout reputation in the sports industry; one of its key clients is Derby County Football Club, and it is highly active in matters connected with tennis. In addition, the firm expanded its offering into equestrianism by hiring equine law expert Rebecca Stojak from Shakespeare Martineau LLP. The team, which is led by Nino Simone, also handles challenging mandates involving other industries; recent matters involved areas such as construction, IT and education.

Practice head(s):Nino Simone

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Butler; Andrea Clayton; Rebecca Stojak


'Very practical approach with a variety of options presented for a particular matter. The fees are also very competitive'

'I have the confidence that once an instruction is given it will be dealt with with updates provided as necessary. Andrea Clayton has been outstanding in this respect'

Key Clients

Office Depot

Vision Express

Pendragon Plc

PSA Peugeot Citroen

Pentagon Vauxhall

Parkway Volkswagen

Litho Supplies (UK) Limited

finnCap Limited


Paragon Interiors Group Plc

Work highlights

  • Advised client on £7m claim in the High Court against former Chief Executive Sam Rush for breach of contract and fiduciary duty in relation to agent and player remuneration.
  • Defended client at the High Court against allegations by optometrists at stores in Southport, Llandudno and Macclesfield that inaccurate performance data had misled them into entering into joint ventures with Vision Express and to personally guaranteeing their performance.
  • Represented client in an appeal arising from a prosecution by by Middlesbrough Council for non-disclosure of material information in connection with the prior business status of a used car
  • Acted for client in a claim against Netgovern Inc over non-payment of invoices in respect of data feed sales, pursuant to a reseller agreement.
  • Represented client in a claim in the High Court for damages for non-payment of energy consumption at commercial premises.

Freeths LLP is well-placed to advise on large-scale and multi-party disputes, leveraging its strong presence in the Nottingham and Derby markets, as well as its wider national network. The Nottingham team is led by Graham Greenfield, who has been a partner since 1991, and who handles a wide range of commercial (including professional negligence) and financial cases. Greenfield, whose 'leadership skills and work ethic are second to none', also heads up the insolvency practice in Nottingham, and insolvency litigation is another pillar of his work. Greenfield is supported by recently promoted senior associate Jade Flint, 'a swift and efficient communicator'. Jonathan Jefferies is the main contact in Derby.

Practice head(s):Graham Greenfield (Nottingham); Jonathan Jefferies (Derby)

Other key lawyers:Jade Flint


'The team has a very human approach; you are far from just a number and you can tell it invests time in truly understanding the individual situation. Graham Greenfield and Jade Flint are two standout people. Empathetic and supportive'

'The team has an impressive breadth of experience and clearly communicates well'

'Graham Greenfield takes a traditional supervisory role of the cases and is extremely good at making high-level strategic decisions. He always has an eye on the bigger picture and can bring the room back to reality in a mediation when all others are lost in the detail. He makes a good team with Jade Flint, who is very detail-oriented and will be sure to have thought of every angle and to have tracked down every document, if there is any chance it will help'

'Graham Greenfield is an absolute gentleman and always puts the client first'

Key Clients

FRP Advisory LLP

Mazars LLP

Reditum Capital

Chancerygate/Contour Capital

Reditum Capital

Sytner Cars Limited/Sytner Group

Central Bridging Loans Limited

Reflex Labels Limited

Chris Fountain Limited

Bio Dynamic (UK) Limited

The Way Ahead Group Limited t/a See Tickets

Flexiscale Technologies Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented Mark Howard and Tamasin Howard at the Court of Appeal in an appeal of a summary judgment application decision in relation to a claim arising from the indemnity provisions of a sale and purchase agreement
  • Acted for a high net-worth individual in insolvency proceedings brought against another high net-worth individual.
  • Acted for a finance provider in proceedings arising from the provision of a loan to a borrower for the purpose of acquiring a limited edition Aston Martin.
  • Acted for a cosmetic surgery company in a defamation matter.
  • Acting for a high net worth individual as a defendant in relation to claim arising from his alleged involvement in a tax avoidance scheme.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited has a sizeable presence in the East Midlands, fielding 17 practitioners (including six partners) in its Nottingham and Derby offices. In addition to acting for local clients, it also advises entities based further afield nationally as well. Its practice head in Derby is Cathryn Selby, who has more than 23 years of commercial litigation experience, and includes group actions and other large-scale litigation. Also based in Derby is Kevin Modiri, who handles a varied workload of professional negligence claims, insolvency litigation, partnership disputes and breaches of contract, among other matters. In Nottingham, seasoned practitioner Chris Adams is recommended.

Practice head(s):Chris Adams (Nottingham); Cathryn Selby (Derby)

Other key lawyers:Kevin Modiri

Shakespeare Martineau LLP's large presence in the East Midlands market is reflected by the fact that its dispute resolution offering is spread between the Nottingham and Leicester offices, with practice head Martin Noble splitting his time between both bases. Noble's team has experience of all types of general commercial litigation. In 2018, there was a notable increase in shareholder disputes, such as derivative actions and unfair prejudice petitions; legal director Steven Skiba is a name to note in this space. Associate partner Tim Speed is a go-to for banking litigation (including matters involving interpretation of the Consumer Credit Act and claims involving undue influence), and also provides support to clients in the energy sector in contentious matters. Legal director Kendal Litherland has more than 15 years of experience acting for claimants in professional negligence actions against solicitors, accountants and various other professional advisers.

Practice head(s):Martin Noble

Other key lawyers:Steven Skiba; Tim Speed; Kendal Litherland

Key Clients

West Bromwich Commercial Limited



Certas Energy UK Limited

Rise and Recline Limited

Health Trust Europe LLP

Draycott Nurseries Limited

J & J Mechanical Services Limited

Sun Chemical Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted the client with successfully obtaining judgment against a guarantor in a longrunning matter arising from the non -payment of his liabilities, and his allegations of misrepresentations and collateral contracts.
  • Acting for the shareholder of a family-run pharmacy business in a shareholder dispute.
  • Acting for the client in a breach of contract claim, arising from the supply of an industrial cement mixer.
  • Acting for an individual claimant in in a claim for fraudulent misrepresentation against a finance house and its agent.
  • Acting for claimant company in a contractual dispute over a contract to breed and supply livestock.

Actons' commercial litigation team handles contractual disputes, financial services litigation, insolvency litigation, professional negligence, claims against directors and partnership and shareholder disputes. Director Caroline Bowler has developed a niche in equine law disputes, such as horse co-ownership cases, and matters arising from sales and purchases of horses. Property litigation is another key workstream for the firm. Clients range in size from individuals and regional SMEs to international companies. Victoria Dunstall departed the firm to become a senior lecturer at Nottingham Trent University.

Other key lawyers:Caroline Bowler

In addition to being highly regarded for general commercial litigation, Fraser Brown's national reputation in the franchising sector makes it a strong choice for advice on related disputes among franchisors and franchisees; senior associate Lloyd Smith has specialist knowledge about this area. Elsewhere, the firm demonstrates strong capabilities in IT disputes, financial services matters, professional negligence, insolvency-related litigation and property litigation. Don Peel is the head of dispute resolution.

Practice head(s):Don Peel (head of dispute resolution and head of property litigation); Lloyd Smith (head of commercial litigation)


'Lloyd Smith is genuine and honest with his advice. He is excellent at reading people and his advice has been a great support'

Key Clients

(1) Jatinder Kumar and (2) Unity IG Limited

DinkyDoodle Designs Limited

Work highlights

  • Advice to the clients on defending claims of fraud in relation to an abortive business venture between the parties and the claimant to acquire, develop and sell property.
  • Acting for the client in a dispute arising from a joint venture it entered into with certain other parties.
  • Advising a franchisor on claims for breach of contract and defending claims of misrepresentation and misstatement.
  • Advised a business on breach of warranty claims connected with the purchase of another business for circa £10m.
  • Advising a home improvement company on claims against RBS' Global Restructuring Group over the provision of banking facilities.

Smith Partnership's Derby team is led by Russell Davies, who has more than 25 years of experience in the commercial litigation arena, and can be counted on to advise on contentious insolvency-related matters, contractual issues and professional negligence. Davies also has expertise in matters specific to the licensing industry, and has acted for Ei Group (one of the UK's largest pub companies) for more than 15 years. In addition to handling general commercial litigation, Bally Atwal has specialist expertise in aviation litigation, where he acts for airlines and insurance companies. Jak Ward recently made partner.

Practice head(s):Russell Davies (Derby)

Other key lawyers:Bally Atwal; Jak Ward; Claire Twells

Key Clients

Ei Group Plc

Littler Investments Limited

Eurocell Plastics Limited

Metanodic (Engineers) Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented the client (which operates the Century 21 Franchise in the UK) at the Court of Appeal in litigation connected with the termination of a sub-franchisee's franchise, due to its failure to fully report its income.
  • Represented the client (a commercial bridging loan lender) at the High Court Appeal Centre in a matter where the 'unfair relationship test' in section 140A of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 was considered.
  • Advising a museum on issues connected with the cancellation of a proposed exhibition as a result of concerns over the quality of the exhibition itself.

Debt recovery

Index of tables

  1. Debt recovery
  2. Leading individuals

Flint Bishop LLP has established a reputation as a market-leader for volume commercial (business to business) recoveries, acting for national household name clients. Led by chief executive Qamer Ghafoor, its team provides a single-solution recovery option to clients by handling large-scale outsourced credit collections, and also all aspects of pre-legal early arrears collections, issuing court proceedings and enforcement action. The practice has recently increased its emphasis on pre-legal work, developing a new multi-stage recovery process that uses different communication methods. Three group leaders oversee more than 25 caseworkers across several client recovery teams. Nick Wells and Lorna Trueman are also recommended.

Practice head(s):Qamer Ghafoor

Other key lawyers:Nick Wells; Lorna Trueman


'Nick Wells is an exceptional lawyer; he is one to watch for the future'

Key Clients

Contract Natural Gas

Marston’s Plc


UK Mail

Food Standards Agency


SIG Trading Limited

Belron UK Limited T/A Autoglass

Sixt Rent a Car Ltd

Work highlights

  • The firm carries out debt recovery services for LexisNexis' UK publishing and online services division. The department handles both uncontested debt recovery and contested/disputed debts.
  • The firm acts as the sole debt recovery partner to the UK Mail Group.
  • A dedicated team acts for a global office supplies firm on an exclusive basis recovering debts in the UK and Ireland.
  • The firm succeeded in a national tender process to carry out debt recovery for the UK arm of a multinational publishing company.
  • The firm has been retained to act for an international IT company to recover debts in relation to its card services offering.

Shoosmiths LLP stands out for the scale of its debt recovery offering, with its East Midlands team forming part of a large national UK group. It is one of a small number of law firms in the UK to be authorised by the FCA to undertake regulated activities, including debt administration and debt collection. In Northampton, Jim Taylor leads the consumer finance litigation and recoveries department, which covers the full spectrum of secured and unsecured lending matters for banks, building societies, debt purchasers and other creditors across the UK. Lisa Keating is also active in this area. Mel Chell heads up the national motor and asset finance recoveries group, and has specialist expertise in matters involving fraud and injunctive relief, and high-value assets. Stuart Montgomery is the head of the secured and commercial recoveries team.

Practice head(s):Jim Taylor (head of consumer finance litigation and recoveries); Mel Chell (head of asset-based lending litigation and recoveries)

Other key lawyers:Lisa Keating; Stuart Montgomery


'In depth experience, practical advice and a no nonsense approach.'

'Mel Chell is highly experienced and competent.'

'Shoosmiths offers a very competitive and engaging service which sets it apart from competitors. The firm has mastered the balance between a competitive pricing structure and providing robust legal advice to their clients.'

'Jim Taylor is open and pragmatic - his overall client care is excellent and it is evident that he genuinely cares about the services the firm delivers and how they are received by clients.'

'Louise Kitchen is an experienced and informed associate who excels at providing clear and concise advice and great results on individual matters - she communicates complex areas of law confidently and concisely.'

Key Clients

Aldermore Invoice Finance


Arkle Finance Ltd

Arrow Global


Blue Motor Finance

BNP Paribas

Personal Finance

Cabot Credit Management

Close Brothers Limited

Conister Bank

Hireco (TL) Ltd

JBR Capital Ltd

John Deere Finance


LeasePlan (UK) Ltd

Nationwide Building Society

Northridge Finance



Shawbrook Bank

Tesco Bank

The Car Finance Company

VFS Finance Ltd (Volvo)

Work highlights

  • Acted for a high street bank in the receivership of converted barns and a holiday complex in Cornwall.
  • Acted for a high street bank bank in relation to receivership of a derelict pub with planning permission to convert into 40+ affordable housing units.
  • Appointed as sole supplier to Oodle Car Finance Limited for outsourced portfolio management services.

Working in tandem with the firm's Beverley office, Wilkin Chapman LLP's Grimsby team acts as a one-stop debt recovery shop to clients in the credit union, utility and commercial debt sectors. The firm also has a compelling offering for local authority clients, which it assists with recovering council tax/business rates, property-related debts and sundry debts, such as parking charges, benefits overpayments and social care costs. Insolvency-related work is another bedrock of the practice, with the team assisting clients with enforcing charging orders by way of orders for sale, and also with managing bankruptcy and winding up petitions; Matthew Dix is a qualified insolvency practitioner. Chris Grocock heads up the practice, while Elizabeth Gilliatt, Mark Taylor and Paul Bowden are also key partners.

Practice head(s):Chris Grocock

Other key lawyers:Matthew Dix; Elizabeth Gilliatt; Paul Bowden; Mark Taylor


'Approachable team with excellent technical knowledge providing sound practical advice. Good performance management processes and information'

'Paul Bowden and Mark Taylor are great ambassadors for the firm - they make themselves available when needed and have provided solid sensible solutions to difficult cases'

Key Clients

Western Union Retail Services GB Limited

Canal & River Trust

Transave Credit Union Limited

University of East London

Gladstone Brookes Limited

London Borough of Bexley

London Borough of Haringey

London Borough of Newham

RAC Group Limited

Churchill Sloan Limited

Work highlights

  • Appointed to London University Purchasing Consortia's panel to provide debt recovery services to all universities and further education colleges throughout UK.
  • Carrying out UK debt recovery work for Western Union Retail Services GB Limited with instructions from their European shared service centre in Lithuania.
  • Reappointed by Canal & River Trust to provide debt recovery services for unpaid mooring and licence fees across the UK.
  • Instructed by Transave UK Credit Union Limited to recover unsecured loans from members across all of UK.
  • Providing debt recovery services to Gladstone Brookes in relation to recovery of PPI award fees.

Associate Simon Key heads up Nelsons Solicitors Limited's five-lawyer practice, which focuses on handling bespoke (rather than volume, process-driven) business-to-business debt recovery mandates from commercial clients, and particularly excels in pre-action collections. The firm had a strong 2018 in this space, adding 74 commercial clients to its existing portfolio.

Practice head(s):Simon Key


'The team at Nelsons is very helpful, supportive and prompt in responding to any problems'

Smith Partnership fields a team which collectively has more than 70 years of debt recovery experience. Claire Twells heads up the group, which has strong credentials in volume business-to-business recoveries, and services a notable portfolio of brand-name clients. The team provides extensive support at all stages of the debt recovery process, from initial letters before action to issuing proceedings and enforcement action. In addition, the firm offers access to Activate, a web-based solution which enables clients to maintain full-time access to their files. The firm acts for clients across the UK on a wide range of debt types, including consumer and lending, bridging loan shortfalls, debts connected with the fast-moving consumer goods sector, education sector debts and trade debt. Twells is supported by legal clerks Andrew Hambleton and Sharon Davies.

Practice head(s):Claire Twells

Other key lawyers:Andrew Hambleton; Sharon Davies


'Andrew Hambleton is fabulous - always available when needed'

'Sharon Davies is efficient, professional and friendly'

Key Clients

The Chapar

D C Legal

Avanti Gas

Busy Bees Nursery

University of Leeds

Alfie Salad

Working Capital Partners

Xylem UK

Westcoast Limited

ERF Electrical Wholesalers Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted C2 Recruitment Limited with recovering an outstanding balance of £8,164.80 in full from a debtor company that was entering into administration. This negated the need for court proceedings to be issued.
  • Assisted West Coast Limited with recovering £330,000 by issuing a winding-up petition.
  • Assisted Working Capital Partners Limited with recovering £13,800 from a guarantor.
  • Advised Lancaster Park Management Limited on recovering outstanding management company fees in the sum of £12,772 in relation to an industrial park. The fees included those for works carried out by third parties.
  • Advised Avanti Gas Limited on recovering sums due in relation to the delivery of gas by tanker to the residential property of a debtor.

At Actons, Victoria Dunstall provides advice on all aspects of debt recovery to professional services firms and clients in sectors such as retail, real estate, architecture and education. Dunstall also supports the firm's commercial litigation and insolvency teams in enforcement actions, such as winding-up petitions.

Practice head(s):Victoria Dunstall


'Actons has a good reputation in insolvency-related debt recovery'

Key Clients


IGHW Ltd trading as Quality Tempered Glass (Nottinghamshire)

Johns of Nottingham (Nottingham)

Killarney Homes (Nottinghamshire)

L & S Accountancy Services (Nottinghamshire)

Bates Weston LLP (Derby)

Clearmark Solutions LLP (Nottinghamshire)

Maber Associates (Nottingham)

Health Care Services Limited (Nottinghamshire)

Work highlights

  • Acting for a liquidator in the recovery of book debts due to the company in liquidation, with the aim of increasing the funds in the liquidation estate to be distributed to creditors.
  • Advised a trustee in bankruptcy on obtaining possession of a bankrupt’s jointly owned property to pay bankruptcy debts.
  • Advising an estate management company on the recovery of unpaid service charges.
  • Acting for a German company in the recovery of outstanding debts due to it from UK-based companies.
  • Advising a glass manufacturer on recovering debts arising from goods supplied to its customers.

Since its inception in 2008, Brady Solicitors has developed a standout reputation in property management debt recovery, with the scope of its work including the recovery of ground rent arrears, rent arrears, commercial arrears and residential service charges. Reflective of the nationwide reach of its practice, the firm acts for a number of large managing agents in Northern Ireland, and counts other household names on its client roster. Head of operations Jonathan Watts and managing director Clare Brady are among the key contacts.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Watts (head of operations); Clare Brady (managing director)

Key Clients

Westbury Residential


Block Management UK

BLR Property Management

Hunters RBM (formerly Dickinson Harrison)

Atlantis Estates Limited

Warwick Estates

McGuinness Fleck

Oak Property Management

York Laurent

Holdshare Limited

Stiles Harold Williams

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