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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: Nottingham and Derby

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Nottingham and Derby
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals (region-wide)

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial litigation: Nottingham and Derby clients in East Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


The ‘first-class’ team at Browne Jacobson LLP handles international commercial disputes, contractual breaches involving national businesses and contentious trust work. The team, which ‘punches way above its weight’, has experience across multiple sectors such as retail, finance, technology and utilities. The ‘utterly unflappableJonathan Tardif has ’consummate client skills, an excellent legal brain and a keen ability to assess tactics and strategy’, and Dominic Offord also ‘deals brilliantly with clients and remains composed in the face of extreme pressure’. Offord advised the US trustee of the consolidated Securities Investor Protection Act liquidation of Bernard Madoff and Bernard Madoff Investment Securities on an action before the Privy Council determining enforcement of a foreign judgment in Gibraltar. In another highlight, the team, which ‘exudes quiet confidence’, is providing ongoing assistance to joint administrators of a contentious £50m solvent estate pursuant to a bespoke court order. It also acted for Time Products UK in a High Court claim against Franck Muller for payment of £5.3m invoices following the conclusion of the exclusive UK distribution agreement; the matter included securing enforcement of the judgment in Switzerland. Clients also include Vision Express, British Gas, NHS England, John Pye & Sons and Prominent Europe.

The ‘top-notch’ team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP handles commercial disputes for industrial clients in sectors such as engineering, automotive and aerospace, as well as managing investigations and regulatory challenges for utility companies. Steve Dunseath is a ‘very experienced commercial litigator with strong tactical awareness’, and is renowned for his expertise in defamation actions in the sport and media industries. Environmental civil claims and chemicals-related matters are specialist areas of associate Louise Howarth. The group is acting for a company in High Court fraud proceedings filed against a former employee, and is defending a corporate client against a multimillion-pound breach of contract claim. The firm also acts for Tyco International and ADT Fire & Security, as well as Pendragon and Europcar, which are new client wins.

Flint Bishop LLP’s ‘responsive’ group is ‘great at managing client expectations’, handling claimant and defendant work for public sector bodies and private companies. Qamer Ghafoormakes a client’s dispute his own, battling for the very best outcome with passion and steely charm’; he and personal injury partner Jon Gilbert are defending Haven Insurance Company against a claim brought by a firm of solicitors for payment of costs where an early settlement was arranged directly with the third party. Nick Wells, who ‘gives clear advice and sticks to it’, led the team that triggered completion of a lease on behalf of a property developer in a case against a major supermarket chain. Other recent work saw the firm represent a financial services group in a claim for recovery of commission. Lorna Trueman is another name to note.

Geldards LLP assists clients with matters ranging from partnership and shareholder disputes to media claims, where Paul Hackney is renowned for his sports and reputation management work. The firm is also highly regarded for automotive sector matters. Nino Simone leads the department, in which Neil Barnes recently made partner and Paul Southby and Jonathan Butler are also recommended; the latter acted for Tesla Exploration International in a claim against Adamantine Energy (Kenya) arising from alleged wrongful termination of a contract for the supply of seismic services. The firm is also defending Vision Express in a misrepresentation claim, while counterclaiming enforcement of personal guarantees, against the client’s former joint venture partners.

Lawyers at Nelsons Solicitors Limited have ‘acute perception of the nuances of litigation’ and ‘fight hard without losing sight of the client’s best interests’. Cathryn Selby specialises in financial products and professional negligence claims but also handles commercial matters, including partnership and shareholder disputes, and contentious private client work. She is acting for the trustees of an estate claiming – among other things – breach of trust and dishonest assistance against a director of companies in which the deceased invested as part of a property development scheme. In other matters, Chris Adams is handling Companies Act claim for minority shareholders and defending a UK-based company in a multi-party product liability and negligence action filed by a Belgian property developer. The firm also handled a case for a group of minority shareholders claiming unfair prejudice and pursuing judicial review proceedings against a local authority’s planning permission. Simon Waterfield heads the group, which also includes Stewart Vandermark.

Guy Berwick, Graham Greenfield and Jonathan Jefferies co-head the practice at Freeths LLP, which has a strong presence construction and property litigation. It also manages cases arising from breach of directors’ duties and trust as well as disputes in the insurance and the financial services sectors. The client roster spans multiple sectors and includes Mazars, Campbell Soup, Daher Aerospace, Flogas and KLM Steels. The group recently assisted a retailer with defeating a claim for breach of restrictive covenants filed by the owner of a plot adjacent to the client’s construction site. It is also pursuing a defect, delay and variation claim for a local authority arising from a development project.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s Steven Skiba handles commercial disputes involving partnership and shareholder issues and matters arising from breaches of directors’ duties. The team also manages claims pertaining to contractual breaches, enforcement of restrictive covenants and data protection. Kendal Litherland specialises in professional negligence.

Smith Partnership represents businesses and individuals in commercial claims involving contractual breaches, professional negligence and contentious trusts. The ‘efficient, knowledgeable and very helpful’ Russell Davies assisted the shareholders and directors of a pharmaceutical business with defeating a warranty claim regarding a pharmaceutical license application following the company’s sale. Other work included successfully claiming recovery of a six-figure payment for goods rejected as unfit for purpose, and representing claimants in a professional negligence claim against their former solicitors regarding failed completion of a property purchase. The group is also assisting a local private school with a claim against the Royal Bank of Scotland pertaining to the bank’s refusal to release the client from a loan agreement without penalty. Bally Atwal and Claire Twells are also recommended.

Actons’ practice head Victoria Dunstall is assisting a recruitment agency with recovery of a five-figure sum held by a payroll distribution service and advising an online retailer on dispute resolution strategy for defective product claims. In other work, the team handled a veterinary negligence claim brought by the US-based purchaser of a horse against Blossom Creek Foundation, and acted for a director in an attempt to recover funds paid to a company as a director’s loan. FHP, Peter Bull, Bates Weston, Clearmark Solutions and Johns of Nottingham are also clients. Chris Murratt is another name to note.

Rothera Sharp Solicitors is recommended for dispute resolution in the transport and haulage sector. It also handles a range of commercial disputes, including contractual breaches, misrepresentation and Sale of Goods Act claims. Property litigation is another area of activity. Richard Hammond and Richard Bates are ‘intelligent solicitors, who have a good eye for detail and fight hard for their clients’.

Commercial litigation: Elsewhere in the East Midlands

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Elsewhere in the East Midlands
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals (region-wide)

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial litigation: Elsewhere in the East Midlands clients in East Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Gateley Plc’s ‘strong’ team provides ‘excellent service through a commercial and pragmatic approach’. In addition to commercial disputes, the team handles judicial reviews, defamation, professional negligence, property litigation and contentious private client matters. The ‘down-to-earth’ team leader Chris Greenwellnever loses sight of the client’s best interests when seeking to bring a dispute to conclusion’, and associate Claire Herbert is also recommended. Work highlights included representing a company in the automotive industry in judicial review proceedings; acting for minority shareholders in a fraud claim against majority shareholders; challenging a claim for unpaid invoices for a corporate client; and handling a family dispute over a multimillion-pound estate.

Financial services, technology, real estate, agriculture are some of the areas of focus at Hewitsons. The group assists international and domestic corporates with cases involving matters such as professional negligence, insolvency and shareholder and partnership issues. Practice head Dominic Hopkins and Stephen Cole are ‘diligent and responsive, with great tactical acumen’. Recent work for the firm included defending an investor against a claim arising from a commercial property investment scheme; acting for a company in an action against a bank pertaining to mis-sold interest rate hedging products; and defending a client against recovery claims filed by liquidators in insolvency proceedings. John Shephard has retired.

Howes Percival LLP attracts instructions from high-net-worth individuals as well as regional, national and multinational private and public-listed companies, such as Welcome Break, Molins, Shanks Group, Intertek Group, Derby Properties and Grace Foods. HM Revenue & Customs and The Insolvency Service are also clients. The group is acting for a global company in a multi-jurisdictional dispute pertaining to a major contract in the energy sector and representing a client in a dispute with a bank over alleged negligence related to the sale of interest rate hedging products. The team also handled a property management dispute arising regarding a luxury property based overseas. Geraint Davies leads the team, which includes Satnam Chayra, who splits her time between Leicester and Milton Keynes and handles commercial and property disputes.

Michelle O’Brien recently relocated from the Birmingham office to lead Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s East Midlands team, which handles commercial disputes, contentious trust matters, insurance cases and fraud claims. Martin Noble focuses on contentious intellectual property and technology disputes, and Andrew Wilkinson is acting for a claimant in a contractual dispute related to a family business. Other recent work saw the team handling a complex multi-party family dispute pertaining to allegations of breach of trust and mismanagement of assets, and assisting a company with a confidential information misappropriation claim against its ex-employees. It is also representing two defendants in litigation regarding a disputed share purchase agreement and advising a director in a shareholder dispute. Emma Anderson recently joined Freeths LLP.

Spearing Waite LLP’s practice focuses on contractual, partnership and shareholder disputes as well as professional negligence claims, representing corporate clients in national and multi-jurisdictional matters. Practice head Jonathan Wheeler is defending an overseas-based manufacturer and its UK subsidiary in a dispute pertaining to breach of bailment. He also settled a substantial claim for breach of warranty arising out of a shareholders’ agreement. Phillippa O’Neill assists with complex contractual breaches and is defending several individuals against breach of restrictive covenant claims brought by a former employer. Clients include Clifton Packaging, Food Connections, Freudenberg Group, Revival Developers and Travis Perkins. John Buckby manages contentious intellectual property work.

The lawyers at Else Solicitors LLP are praised for their ‘good industry knowledge’. The firm is acting for a Dubai-based company in a claim against a UK-based manufacturer relating to a cross-border supply agreement and an associated agency agreement. It also assisted a law firm with recovering outstanding legal fees; acted for a tenant of commercial premises in a claim against the landlord alleging unlawful forfeiture; and represented a European boiler manufacturer in a cross-border dispute pertaining to the purported termination of a service agreement. The ‘very experienced’ Andy Rudkin at has ‘good business acumen’ and represents clients in contractual, partnership, shareholder and intellectual property disputes as well as property-related claims. Also recommended is Andrew Hickman, who secured a reversal on appeal of the summary judgment granted in favour of the defendant in a professional negligence case.

Mukesh Patel leads the team at Freeths LLP, which handles a range of commercial matters arising from contractual breaches, restrictive covenants, and partnership and shareholder claims. Urgent injunctions and contempt applications are another area of work. The group is pursuing a claim against GT Gas Distribution pertaining to breach of contract and unlawful filling of cylinders for Flogas Britain. It is also handling a trade credit matter involving unusual expenditure and managing a solicitors’ negligence claim. Other clients include Mazars, Campbell Soup, Daher Aerospace, Polestar and Noble Foods.

Led by Jon Roberts, the team at Nelsons Solicitors Limited assists individual and corporate clients with litigation ranging from contentious trust cases to insurance disputes. Associate Lewis Addison assisted a shareholder with filing a petition for unfair prejudice under section 994 of the Companies Act 2006 pertaining to the client’s fellow shareholder’s departure from the company to set up a competing business and accompanying unauthorised withdrawal of assets. The firm also defended a management company against a nuisance claim for damages brought by insurer-backed claimants.

Partnership and property disputes are key areas of focus at Chattertons, which handles a variety of matters for local corporate clients. David Rogerson, who leads the practice, settled a six-figure partnership dispute in mediation. Other members of the team include Ben Ellis, whose experience spans construction cases, shareholder disputes and professional negligence claims; Patrick Cordingley, who is renowned in the leisure and education sectors; and Robert Clark, who partners his commercial litigation practice with solid expertise in personal injury. The firm handled a claim for breach of contract relating to infrastructure work and acted for a global company in a longrunning overcharging dispute with an energy supplier.

Langleys Solicitors LLP’ group acts for clients in disputes arising from insolvencies and professional negligence as well as more general commercial claims. Franchise disputes and construction and hospitality sector matters are other areas of specialism. Graeme Stenson led a team handling a complex professional negligence claim against an insolvent law firm and also managed a contested Inheritance Act dispute that involved property abroad.

The ‘professional, personable and intelligent’ Andrew Holt leads the ‘thorough, efficient and effective’ practice at Wilkin Chapman LLP. The team also includes Jonathan Stork and Jonathan West, who is ‘unlikely to be intimidated by any opponent’. Chris Grocock led the representation of Cardiff County Council during a claim for unpaid business rates against the board of directors of a company that used a prohibited name in breach of the Insolvency Act. The recent workload also includes numerous property disputes.

Led by Kevin Rogers, the team at Wilson Browne assists clients with shareholder disputes, professional negligence claims and matters arising from contractual breaches and property litigation. Its client base includes small and medium-sized enterprises, partnerships and sole traders across the region. The group handles commercial disputes for United Pallet Networks and recently settled a multi-party cross-jurisdictional dispute within a family business. It also acted for a property developer regarding adverse possession claims and pursued a six-figure claim for the enforcement of a share purchase agreement. John Gordon is another name to note.

Debt recovery

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Debt recovery clients in East Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Shoosmiths LLP is a ‘market leader’ with an ‘extremely reliable’ team, combining ‘second-to-none’ service with ‘exceptional knowledge, engagement and work ethic’. It assists major banks, institutional lenders, debt purchasers and corporates with collecting unsecured and secured debt across the UK; the client roster includes Moneybarn, Arrow Global, ABN Amro Lease and Cabot Credit Management. Waine Mannix leads the practice, Stuart Montgomery handles both consumer and commercial debt, and Melanie Chell is recommended for asset-based lending recoveries. The ‘approachableJim Taylor has ‘great knowledge of unsecured debt recovery and litigation’; he and senior associate Lisa Keating are providing strategic debt collection and recovery advice to Tesco Bank.

Wilkin Chapman LLP’s ‘strong, innovative and experienced’ team handles commercial and consumer debt recoveries. Through several new client wins, it strengthened its local authority, credit union and utilities following. Chris Grocock has an ‘in-depth understanding of council debt collection and working within public sector constraints’, and Grocock and Matthew Dix are assisting London Borough of Haringey with local taxation recoveries, including volume charging orders and bankruptcy proceedings. Mark Taylor is leading the panel advice for the University of East London, managing tuition, accommodation and library fees recoveries. Other recent work included handling UK-based debt recovery work for Western Union; recovering license and mooring fees nationally for Canal & River Trust; advising Transave Credit Union on recovery of unsecured loans; and developing unsecured debt recovery strategies for new client NHS Credit Union. Extra Energy Supply, Better Energy Supply and Commsave Credit Union are other new client wins.

Flint Bishop LLP’s expertise ranges from pre-legal collection services to designing national debt collection strategies for major corporate clients. The team is handling debt recoveries across the UK and Ireland for Office Depot and Viking, and acting for LexisNexis in uncontested and contested debt recovery. It is also assisting Atos with recovering debt arising from its Worldline card services such as corporate hospitality schemes. Qamer Ghafoor heads the practice and Nick Wells is also recommended.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited’s ‘excellent’ team has a strong track record of recovering international debts for UK companies with business abroad as well as foreign corporations trading in the UK. The group is best known for commercial debt recovery, for clients such as Tokio Marine HCC. It also assists residential landlords through several letting agents across the region, and other clients include insurers, manufacturers and educational institutions. Associate Simon Key is recommended.

Acting for a mix of large corporates, small businesses and sole traders, clients of Smith Partnership include nurseries, educational institutions, banks and companies in the brewery sector. Acting for builders’ merchants and fast-moving consumer goods companies is another area of specialism. Team head Claire Twells pursued the recovery of debt from a company based in Indianapolis for the University of Leeds and handled a case pertaining to substantial outstanding nursery fees for Busy Bees Nurseries. The group also advised Smartroof on recovering outstanding debt from Jewson, handled a debt recovery matter against an individual for a haulage company, and assisted Alfie Salad with the recovery of invoices for the supply of vegetables. Associate Jak Ward is another name to note.

Actons’ diverse client base spans multiple sectors and includes real estate developers, professional services companies, private schools and nurseries. Clients include FHP, Bates Westor, Maber Associates, Killarney Homes and Clearmark Solutions. Practice head Victoria Dunstall acted for a trustee in bankruptcy to recover a court award arising from an undervalue transaction. Recent work also included recovering liabilities from UK-based companies for a German corporate client and handling debt recovery for an IT software business based in the UK.

Brady Solicitors’s group specialises in property management debt recovery such as residential service charges, rent matters and commercial arrears. Jonathan Watts leads the practice and recently represented a freeholder in proceedings against a leaseholder who had outstanding service charge debt following a mortgage fraud. Other work included filing an application for a determination of the reasonableness of service charge for a leaseholder. Clare Brady and Harpreet Lehal are also recommended.

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