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

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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.


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