Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the East Midlands in East Midlands

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP's Leicester team provides 'very good commercial advice', which spans a number of contentious mandates, including breach of directors duties claims, partnership disputes, commercial contract litigation and insurance coverage issues. Mukesh Patel, as well as leading the team, has extensive experience in the energy sector and has acted for suppliers in disputes following on-site accidents and claims relating to corporate transactions. The group also has expertise in contentious insolvency and property issues through Simon Baigent, while director Emma Anderson has experience in judicial review proceedings and procurement challenges. Managing associate Richard Fitzmaurice is also recommended; he has handled several High Court injunction applications.

Practice head(s):

Mukesh Patel

Other key lawyers:

Simon Baigent; Emma Anderson; Richard Fitzmaurice

Testimonials

‘Freeths gives very good commercial advice. It is realistic about risks faced in litigation but fights for its client.’

‘Mukesh Patel -managing partner Leicester. Nothing is too much effort for Mukesh. Even if I raise a query not in his area he ensures he retains interest and that the query is resolved to my satisfaction. Emma Anderson -partner, Leicester. Emma is a wonderful person. She works tirelessly in promoting equality for everyone and always goes above and beyond. She is extremely knowledgeable but also a wonderfully friendly caring person. She makes me feel like I am dealing with a friend not just a lawyer. Everyone at Freeths is similar…the Freeths mould makes wonderful people.’

‘A huge strength of Freeths is having the resources and status of a large law firm, whilst offering that personal approach of a smaller company.’

‘Our main contact at Freeths is Simon Baigent. I cannot sing his praises high enough based on the way he has handled our cases in the last 18 months. The first case assigned to Simon was the largest dispute we have been involved in so not the easiest of first cases. A lot of previous solicitors have always held meetings over the phone, even initial meetings. Simon made the time to come to our office and gain a full understanding of how our business operates prior to even discussing the dispute. I have found Simon extremely calm and diligent in nature and he always gives a rounded assessment of the situation before then explaining the options moving forward and his personal recommendation. His handling of our matters are always firm and very comprehensive, such that all issues under his guidance have resulted in a positive outcome for the company.

‘The team provide an unparalleled level of personalised service combining a deep understanding of our business and expertise which is difficult to obtain elsewhere.’

‘Responsiveness and client awareness in particular from Mukesh Patel, Emma Anderson and Richard Fitzmaurice is second to none.’

‘A diverse and highly skilled team to professionally manage all aspects of business.’

Key clients

Flogas UK Britain Limited

Aldi Stores Limited

Fosse Healthcare Limited

Noble Foods Limited

Travis Perkins plc

Greenyard Fresh UK Limited

RC Tuxford Exports Limited

MPK Garages Limited

Fridays Limited

Gateley Plc

Gateley Plc has a notable reputation for acting for businesses from the manufacturing, transport and logistics, recruitment, and education sectors in complex commercial disputes and professional negligence claims. Based in Leicester, the group forms part of the firm's extensive national network, and works on a cross-office basis. Practice head Chris Greenwell handles disputes that arise from M&A transactions, as well as frequently acting in cross-border disputes. Reputation management work is a key area of expertise for Claire Herbert, who also acts in contentious probate and inheritance claims. At associate level, Natalie Howes is recommended for data protection disputes and proceedings relating to the higher education sector.

Practice head(s):

Chris Greenwell

Other key lawyers:

Claire Herbert; Natalie Howes

Testimonials

‘Practicality and pragmatism in approach and good sense of commerciality.’

‘The team is able and responsive, with a grasp of the detail of the case at partner and associate level, strong client relations and an ability to put everyone working on the case at ease.’

‘The team has a broad range of specialists, so you can be confident that they will have the “right” person for the particular query that you have. Always available, the team are not only friendly and approachable but also very knowledgeable. From Associate to Partner, you are always able to speak to someone who is ready, willing and able to listen and assist in a timely and efficient manner.’

‘Claire Herbert is quickly able to get to the nub of the matter. She is focused with great tactical and strategic awareness.’

‘A very diverse team always on hand to support our varied needs. Easy to contact and good communications.’

‘Top level presence in the East Midlands, which attracts a premium client base in the area. Great collaboration with other offices, which allows them to service London etc work at regional rates. Long history of excellence in the region, and a deservedly strong reputation.’

‘Chris Greenwell (partner) – local doyen and rainmaker, he is 100% commerciality. He can do rough and tumble litigation with the best of them, but is well able to rise above it and get the client exactly what they want without going to court. Years of experience and a terrific bedside manner. Claire Herbert (partner) – future leader of this team, and very well-known and trusted by a range of large clients. She is technically strong, but keen to see the bigger picture as soon as possible, and isn’t afraid to tell clients the tough advice they need. Natalie Howes (senior associate) – excellent on detail, clients love her way of building relationships, and fun to work with.’

‘Attention to detail and considerable experience of the relevant areas of work.’

HCR Hewitsons

HCR Hewitsons has a strong reputation in the region for representing companies from a number of sectors and is most highly regarded for its IT litigation work including handling defective product issues and software development disputes. In 2020, the group handled a number of issues relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, including disputes relating to PPE procurement, business interruption insurance claims and disputes arising from the termination of events bookings. Northampton-based Dominic Hopkins is head of the firm-wide disputes team, which also includes the Cambridge office, and acts in cross-border commercial contract proceedings and professional negligence claims.

Practice head(s):

Dominic Hopkins

Testimonials

‘HCR Hewitsons’ IT litigation team within the commercial litigation group is highly experienced in UK and overseas IT litigation. Its relatively small size allows it to provide close contact with clients from specialised and knowledgeable lawyers that UK and overseas clients clearly value. The regional locations of the firm allow those services to be provided at much lower costs than equivalent experienced larger teams in London firms.’

‘Dominic Hopkins is the partner in charge of the team, his industry experience and client-care are second to none. Clients look to Dominic for speedy responses and clear down to earth advice on complex technical issues.’

‘The team was focused and responsive when working on our case, they asked for all the documentation at the very beginning and reviewed it promptly; with HCR Hewitsons I felt looked after and was treated like a high priority customer.’

‘Dominic Hopkins, a partner, was my main contact throughout the process and I’ve had the opportunity to appreciate his dedication and his thoroughness: he noticed some procedural mistakes that we had previously overlooked, helping us formulate clever strategies to prevent these errors from causing problems; he also made himself available when needed, even if that meant calling me back in the evening after his meetings were over.’

‘I have used this practice for many years mostly for property transactions and although the large size of the practice may look a little daunting to some, they have not lost the personal touch that many other large practice’s do. So when I became involved in a dispute there was only one practice that I wanted on my side. The vast knowledge available in all aspects of the law under one roof really do make this a one stop shop. The rates and costs were made clear right from the beginning and I am invoiced as we progress with my case so as not to have a large bill at the end.’

‘The fast response, that I received from Dominic Hopkins was instantly reassuring, combined with Dominic’s knowledge and ability to explain the Law in such a way that I could understand my options available whilst also showing me both sides of the coin.

‘The team is efficient, knowledgeable, quick to respond and exceptionally customer friendly. Their procedures are all easy to understand and transparent.’

‘Strategy clearly explained and robustly implemented.’

‘I have worked with Dominic Hopkins for many years and always found him first class.’

Work highlights

  • Managing a Technology & Construction Court litigation involving 6 disciplines of expert evidence.
  • Representing a range of clients in a number of cases arising from the Government’s pandemic mitigation measures.
  • Advising on Brexit implications for cross-border litigation.

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP's 'first-class' practice handles all areas of commercial disputes, including commercial contract claims, tort issues, professional negligence disputes, as well as contentious probate matters. On the public law side, the group is well versed in judicial review proceedings, while also representing various local authorities. Geraint Davies leads the team; while regularly instructed on proceedings in the High Court, Davies also has a strong track record in handling multi-jurisdictional proceedings. Satnam Chayra specialises in property litigation as well as complex partnership and shareholder disputes.

Practice head(s):

Geraint Davies

Other key lawyers:

Satnam Chayra

Testimonials

‘First-class regional Commercial Disputes Resolution team led by Geraint Davis and Satnam Chayra, attracting major corporate clients and recognised by peers as a top tier firm in the region. The CDR team’s strong offering is manifest, supported by a robust technological infrastructure that has seen Howes Percival strive during the pandemic.’

‘Geraint Davis and Satnam Chayra – both of whom are stand out lawyers with oodles of technical ability and fabulous demeanours to boot! I can address their qualities compendiously as they are ‘from the same mould’ in that it is a pleasure to be instructed by them both given the quality of instructions, their understanding and distillation of the key issues in the case and the commerciality.

‘Fantastic out of the box view from the team. Amazing work ethics and dedication.

‘Satnam Chayra is hugely knowledge as is her team, a real pleasure to work with and one of the reasons why we will only use Howes Percival for our needs. Her honesty, integrity and the personal approach is what we value most.

Key clients

Getronics Services UK Limited

MPAC plc (formerly Molins plc)

Renewi UK Services Ltd

Intertek Group plc

Grace Foods UK Limited

Just Hype Limited

Trent Pottery Company (Leicester) Limited

Pete Norris Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting in high-value and complex trust-related litigation.
  • Acting in a complex professional negligence claim against a firm of accountants and legal advisers.
  • Acting for Pete Norris Limited in respect of an ongoing £250,000 claim against the supplier of ingredients later used to make animal feed.

Chattertons

Chattertons has a strong presence across Lincolnshire, and is frequently consulted to act in partnership and shareholder disputes and issues relating to the agriculture sector; it is also able to assist with IP disputes, landlord and tenant issues and breach of fiduciary duty claims. David Rogerson leads the team from the Newark office, while the vastly experienced Robert Clark operates from Grantham. In Lincoln, legal executive Nigel Bescoby 'goes the extra mile' in contentious probate claims and boundary disputes.

Practice head(s):

David Rogerson

Other key lawyers:

Robert Clark; Nigel Bescoby; Annette Wood

Testimonials

‘Excellent team.’

‘Nigel Bescoby is extremely dedicated to his clients and he gets brilliant results.’

‘Nigel Bescoby is conscientious, personable and has a wealth of experience in commercial and housing litigation. He is extremely hardworking and goes the extra mile for his clients.’

‘The team consists of exceptional specialist solicitors in their field of excellence and regardless of the issue, one is always put in touch with the most relevant team member and contact is immediate.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for directors in a claim against fellow directors in breach of fiduciary duties claim.
  • Acting for a manufacturing company in claims against suppliers worth in excess of £300,000.
  • Acting for a construction company in a claim against a local authority relating to non-payment for works carried out worth up to £70,000.

Langleys Solicitors LLP

Langleys Solicitors LLP has a strong presence in Lincolnshire, and acts in contentious issues as part of the full service it offers its clients in the area. Many of the group's instructions come from high-net worth-individuals; the team acts in disputes relating to boundaries, agriculture claims, breach of restrictive covenant issues and partnership claims. Key practitioner Richard Tomlinson, who is praised for his 'excellent command of detail', acts for the firm's large commercial clients in disputes with suppliers. James Henson, though primarily based in York, has a close relationship with the Lincoln office.

Practice head(s):

Richard Tomlinson; James Henson

Testimonials

‘Good communication and common sense advice.’

‘Fresh and modern approach.’

‘Langleys are a great commercial firm, speedy in response and always available to clients.’

‘Richard Tomlinson is an excellent commercial litigator and thinks of everything necessary to give his clients the best possible chance in litigation.

‘Richard Tomlinson: excellent command of detail (reflected in instructions to counsel as well as correspondence and dealings with clients), switched on legally but also very ‘commercial’, with an innate sense of when the bigger picture demands settlement rather than fighting to the death over technical legal issues. Personally engaged in the work rather than leaving the majority of it to a junior. Easy to deal with by email/telephone. Dots all the ‘i’s and crosses all the ‘t’s.’

Work highlights

  • Acted in High Court proceedings for a partner in a family farming business in relation to his unlawful expulsion from the partnership and the division of high-value land and farming assets.
  • Acted for a high-net-worth individual in relation to a boundary dispute.
  • Acted for a company in the rail sector seeking an urgent stay of execution of a default judgment.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP's Leicester team notably expanded in August 2020 with the arrival of Daniel Jennings from Wright Hassall LLP. As a specialist in shareholder and partnership disputes, Jennings also handles international arbitration proceedings. The firm's other areas of activity include complex contractual disputes, warranty claims, procurement disputes and database misuse claims.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Jennings

Other key lawyers:

Alex Ryan

Testimonials

‘Daniel Jennings is a very effective and experienced litigator, who is a reassuring presence in court.’

‘Daniel Jennings: What I can say about Daniel is that he provides no-nonsense pragmatic advice to his many clients swiftly and without fuss whenever they need it. His responsiveness, and straightforward advice, is undoubtedly appreciated which is why he has a loyal following of clients. Added to which, he carries it all off with such a reassuring manner, putting his clients at ease that everything is in hand so that they can get on with their own businesses.’

Key clients

Mackenzie Miller Developments Limited

Brookvex IMS Limited

Totus Independent Financial Advisers LLP

Equity and General Insurance Services Limited

PurpleBricks PLC

Church of Seventh Day Adventists

Day Group

Decotel Limited

Touchguard Limited

Addmaster (UK) Limited

Community R4C Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for the claimant in a £200m shares dispute following the claimant’s removal as a director of the defendant companies.
  • Acted for the UK branch of a company in complex multi-party claims concerning claims of defamation, privacy, malice and data breaches.
  • Acted for the claimant in a £3.2m unfair prejudice, breach of contract and misrepresentation claim.

Sills & Betteridge LLP

Sills & Betteridge LLP has a number of offices across the East Midlands and is recognised for its property litigation work; it is also experienced in a range of commercial matters including partnership and shareholder disputes, professional negligence claims and tax proceedings. In Lincoln, Karen Bower-Brown acts in disputes relating to breaches of contracts or warranties, in addition to handling contentious probate matters. The Boston office is led by David John, who acts in a variety of property-related issues in the County Court.

Practice head(s):

Karen Bower-Brown; David John

Other key lawyers:

Gary Phillips; Robert Pearson

Testimonials

‘The team has a good understanding of their clients’ business needs and gives sound commercial advice accordingly.’

‘Gary Phillips has a great eye for detail and is meticulous in advancing his client’s case. Robert Pearson has a sound commercial approach to litigation.’

‘Robert Pearson is exceptionally bright, down to earth and engages extremely well with clients. He has sound judgment and legal knowledge, but is pragmatic and tuned in to the practical consequences of litigation. David John is an experienced and robust litigation lawyer with a wealth of experience. He fights hard for his clients.’

‘The Team at Sills & Betteridge handle all legal matters for my company and I continue to be impressed by the professional service that they provide. When dealing with commercial matters with both agents and other solicitors, I am regularly told how fantastic working with Sills has been and also how the service they provide is significantly better than that of other firms.’

‘Robert works with excellent attention to detail and always provides considered and thorough advice when dealing with contentious property matters.’

‘I can only comment on my experience with Karen Bower-Brown. Karen communicated all of my legal options to me in a very thought out and easy to understand way. She resolved all of my concerns and communicated responses in a very timely manner. I felt confident that she was in control of the situation throughout this stressful process. She kept me abreast of developments and presented options throughout. I was very lucky to have Karen on my side as would definitely use her if a situation arose again.’

‘Large, professional organisation practicing a number of disciplines. Quick to respond to issues.’

‘They are very down to earth, but technically competent. Karen Bower-Brown heads up the team and has excellent leadership credentials.’

Key clients

Hemswell Biogas Limited

SHD Composite Materials Limited

Turnbull & Co Limited

Micronclean Limited

The Burdens Group Limited

Omex Agriculture Limited

SHD NTI Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing an academy in a contractual dispute with a former uniform supplier.
  • Advising a client in relation to a High Court dispute relating to disputed broker’s fees.
  • Acting for a client in relation to a dispute over termination of a commercial licence.

Wilkin Chapman LLP

Wilkin Chapman LLP is active in a number of sectors, including the housing and development, agriculture and food, and energy industries. Aside from general commercial litigation, the group also has expertise in intellectual property and defamation disputes. Joshua Briggs, who was promoted to head of dispute resolution in July 2020, has expertise that spans commercial and property issues, while Andrew Holt serves as the firm's senior partner and acts as the point of contact for key clients including the National Farmers' Union.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Holt; Joshua Briggs

Testimonials

An outstanding commercial lit / dispute resolution department, which provides sound commercial advice to its clients, and which knows when it is appropriate to seek specialist input from experts and counsel.’

The team gives real value for money. Quality, succinct advice from top-quality people without the fees associated with larger City firms. They are always transparent with their fees meaning that there are no uncomfortable surprises that you can get with other firms.’

Joshua Briggs. A straight down the line, no-nonsense litigator with a keen understanding of the issues in every case that he deals with.’

Partner Joshua Briggs has outstanding analytical skills rarely seen even in large competitor firms, and is a master tactician when it comes to negotiation and litigation.

Key clients

T W Logistics Ltd

Court Enforcement Services Ltd

Howtin Investments

Work highlights

  • Represented TW Logistics Limited in an appeal to the Supreme Court concerning an application under the Commons Registration Act.
  • Advised Court Enforcement Services Ltd on its application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court in the leading case on priority of enforcement instruments.

Wilson Browne Solicitors

From its office in Kettering, Wilson Browne Solicitors provides a range of contentious advice to SME’s, partnerships and commercial organisations throughout Northamptonshire and Leicestershire. While primarily focusing on working with clients in the local area, the group also acts for clients with a national profile in disputes outside of the region. Hayley Mauro  heads the team; she works alongside Kevin Rogers, who focuses on partnership disputes and professional negligence claims.

Practice head(s):

Hayley Mauro

Other key lawyers:

Kevin Rogers

Testimonials

‘All representatives are very client focused and deliver excellent service by keeping you updated on progress of your case, very clear communication.’

‘A particular call out for Kevin Rogers, his communication skills are exceptional when it comes to explaining the options and risks whilst being very assertive when representing his client. His knowledge of his subject is spot on and he also has a great support team and relationship with other professionals when collaboration is required. He also does a lot for the business community. A compassionate man who is passionate about his work and seeing that justice is done. High integrity have recommended him to others and would not hesitate to recommend in future.’

‘Straight talking and pragmatic.’

‘Kevin Rogers, nothing is too much trouble and done with a smile. Common sense and no showboating!’

Key clients

United Pallet Networks Ltd

Stanair

Sterling Press Ltd

AKAL Computer Systems Ltd

Global Processing Services Ltd

Great Scot (Scotland) Ltd

Infrastructure Gateway Ltd

Total Computer Networks Ltd

Speedpac Limited

Resort Solutions Limited

BiS Henderson

Competitive Edge Training and Consultancy Ltd

Work highlights

  • Representing United Pallet networks in various matters.