Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the East Midlands in East Midlands

Freeths LLP

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

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

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

Howes Percival LLP

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

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

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

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


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

Spearing Waite LLP

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.

Langleys Solicitors LLP

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

Wilson Browne

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

Resort Solutions Limited

BiS Henderson

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.