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The ‘very capable’ team at Freeths LLP ‘has a very commercial outlook’ and handles a varied caseload that spans shareholder and partnership disputes; breaches of director’s duties; commercial contract disputes, including procurement challenges; property litigation; and professional negligence claims. It also handles claims related to restrictive covenants and has particular strength in the construction, financial services and insurance sectors, the last of which recently saw an increase in instructions. ‘Very practical’ practice head Mukesh Patel ‘is very good with clients’ and leads an expanded team following the recruitment of director Emma Anderson  from Shakespeare Martineau LLP. Simon Baigent  and 'very thorough' associate Richard Fitzmaurice are also recommended. The client list consists of a mix of local, regional and national clients including Mazars and Campbell Soup.

‘A market leader in Leicester’, Gateley Plc’s practice is adept at handling domestic and cross-border commercial disputes and professional negligence claims and acts for a varied list of clients that ranges from multinational corporations and major UK-based public and private companies to family-owned businesses and individuals. The transport and logistics, media and financial services sectors are key areas of focus for the practice, which is headed by Chris Greenwell, who is viewed as 'a doyen in the East Midlands market'. Also recommended are newly promoted legal director Claire Herbert, who ‘handles difficult situations with care’ and ‘has an excellent manner with clients’, and Gail Whyte.

Hewitsons' wide-ranging disputes expertise covers professional negligence claims, trusts and charity proceedings, company, shareholder and partnership disputes, and insolvency litigation. Real estate, agriculture, technology, financial services and plant and equipment hire are all key sectors for the practice, which is headed by Dominic Hopkins, whose track record includes numerous instructions involving cross-border elements. In a recent example of the group’s ability to assist with international matters, the team represented a defendant in a commercial court claim related to the commercial property sector, involving two non-British European jurisdictions.

Howes Percival LLP has a strong focus on the automotive and food and drink sectors, but also also acts for clients in the manufacturing, minerals and mining, transport, waste and retail sectors. Key figures include practice head Geraint Davies, who has notable strength in property litigation, and Satnam Chayra, who handles shareholder, director and partnership disputes, in addition to property litigation. Welcome Break Group, HM Revenue & Customs, Molins and Getronics Services (UK) are all clients.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP fields a ‘very good’ team that provides ‘a fantastic service’. Professional negligence litigation and contentious trusts and probate work are key areas of activity for the practice, as is the education sector, where it acts for clients in contractual disputes, judicial review proceedings, discrimination and defamation claims as well as in regard to data protection claims. IT and intellectual property expert Martin Noble leads the team, which includes  ‘clever, calm and very well-organised’ legacy and trust specialist Andrew Wilkinson, ‘whose considerable experience allows him to tackle even the most complex disputes with ease’ and who stands out for his ‘excellent client-handling skills and maturity beyond his years’. Recent work includes acting for Willow Automotive and Van Extras in trade mark and passing off proceedings in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court in relation to a spray-on polymer coating, which involved brand splitting issues in addition to the permissible use of a sign for descriptive purposes. The practice also acts for Crick-Smith (a new client), Darlington Building Society, Cambridge Weight Plan and Bostik.

Spearing Waite LLP excels not only in High Court and County Court litigation, but also in alternative dispute resolution methods, including arbitration and mediation. The team's wide-ranging expertise covers corporate disputes, including warranty claims arising from corporate transactions; unfair prejudice claims under section 994 of the Companies Act; partnership disputes;  contractual disputes in relation to supply chains and restrictive covenant breaches; and financial mis-selling and professional negligence claims against accountancy, legal and architectural firms. The ‘very approachable’ Jonathan Wheeler heads the practice, which includes newly promoted partner Phillippa O’Neill and Piet van Gelder. Van Gelder recently acted for Universal Piling and Construction in a final account claim regarding piling and civil engineering works at Ilkeston Station, successfully bringing enforcement proceedings against Galliford Try to obtain payment for part of the works. Other clients include Completely Independent Distribution and Casepak.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited fields a wide-ranging practice and has a strong track record in assisting with complex high-value High Court litigation. The Nottingham-based Cathryn Selby heads the team whose main practitioner in Leicester is Jon Roberts who distinguishes himself from his competitors through his extensive advocacy experience. Roberts’ specialisms include commercial contract litigation, professional negligence claims, partnership disputes and civil fraud. Expertise in trusts, probate and property litigation comes from associate Lewis Addison.

The ‘excellent’ team at Wilkin Chapman LLP provides ‘very good service’ and is ‘equally at home in the High Court as in the County Court’. The team collaborates closely with other departments in the firm, particularly the agriculture and estates, commercial property, corporate and commercial and tax, trusts and probate departments.  Andrew Holt heads the practice, which includes the ‘robust and straightforward, yet personable’ Jonathan Stork, who is ‘highly efficient and gets to the nub of the issue’. Holt specialises in judicial review, noise nuisance, breach of contract and financial services litigation as well as in professional negligence claims, while Stork has particular expertise in defamation claims, misuse of personal information, breaches of confidentiality and data protection laws and human rights. Recently promoted partner Joshua Briggs is also recommended. Clients include The National Farmers Union, Branston, T W Logistics and Lamex Foods.

Chattertons handles partnership disputes, construction claims and professional negligence litigation, with a focus on instructions from the agricultural, leisure and education sectors. The practice is headed by David Rogerson, a mediator and specialist in professional negligence claims, and includes Robert Clark, Patrick Cordingley and Ben Ellis. The firm is mainly present in Lincolnshire where it has multiple offices, but also has a wider East Midlands presence. Recent work includes representing an individual in a dispute with a former business partner, acting for the trustees of a discretionary will trust in a dispute with the only living beneficiaries, and acted for construction contractors in a claim for breach of collateral warranties.

Langleys Solicitors LLP acts for commercial and private clients and demonstrates particular strength in contentious trusts and probate work; shareholder, partner and director disputes; and professional negligence claims and construction disputes. Practice head Graeme Stenson has niche expertise in relation to noise nuisance and the granting of planning permissions for wind turbines. He also handles intellectual property disputes and judicial review matters.

Wilson Browne is experienced in shareholder and contractual disputes, professional negligence claims and property litigation. Insolvency-related matters are another area of strength. Traditionally serving a client base from the Northamptonshire and Leicestershire markets, the team has broadened its geographical scope and now assists a national clientele, especially with regard to property disputes. Professional negligence specialist John Gordon took on the role of practice head of the commercial litigation team following former practice head Kevin Rogers' appointment as head of the firm’s overall commercial offering. Recent highlights include acting for NottinghamCar.com in a case concerning vehicle sales and property disputes, and defending a technology sector client against a significant minority shareholder protection claim involving an international component. In an illustration of the practice's logistics sector credentials, the group acted for United Pallet Networks in relation to contractual liabilities disputes. Speedpac is also a client.

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