Hall Of Fame

Firms To Watch: Commercial litigation: Nottingham and Derby

Led by Richard Bates, Rotheras has a strong track record in property litigation, strengthened by its interdisciplinary capabilities in debt collection and employment law. The arrival of Caroline Bowler from Actons in September 2022 bolsters the firm’s equine law offering.

Commercial litigation: Nottingham and Derby in East Midlands

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP has a strong track record in handling large, complex disputes on both a domestic and cross-border scale - particularly for clients in the energy, retail and manufacturing sectors. Team head Jonathan Tardif is particularly active in these sectors, as well as in construction, employment and professional indemnity matters. Sophie Ashcroft is noted for her expertise in IT and technology disputes.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Tardif

Other key lawyers:

Derek Bambury; Sophie Ashcroft; Chloe Poskitt


‘Their responsiveness and quality and timeliness of advice has been superb. They are always upfront with their fee quotes and keep us advised on billings to avoid any surprises. Their knowledge of the local market in addition to their expertise and personable lawyers is outstanding. They also provide us with useful and insightful updates to relevant case law.’

‘Jonathan Tardif is astute, pragmatic and is able to very quickly understand and appraise the situation and advise on next steps, not to mention his ability to very quickly put us at ease with his initial assessments. Jonathan highlighted aspects that we ourselves had not considered and set out our options alongside the legal and commercial implications of each. He simplified our issues and his outputs are clear, concise and easily interpreted and understood by non-lawyers.’

‘Chloe Poskitt has been excellent in relation to a complex energy contract and has helped steer an outcome with which we have been satisfied. Always helpful, and goes the extra mile. A highly capable and pleasant individual.’

Key clients

Centrica plc/British Gas

Vision Express

Twin Hill Acquisition Co, Inc/Mi Hub Limited

Nottingham Forest Football Club

idverde UK

inCruises international LLC

London EV Company (formerly London Taxi)

Staffline Group Plc

Curt G Joa Inc

NHS England

Flint Bishop LLP

With a client list which comprises household names across a variety of sectors, Flint Bishop LLP‘s commercial dispute resolution handles complex and business-critical disputes before all the various domestic courts. The team is led by Nick Wells, a ‘superb litigator’ with particular expertise in dealing with complex disputes before the High Court. In addition to acting as the firm’s chief executive, Qamer Ghafoor continues to handle complex disputes with a particular niche in waste management and recycling. The team is supported by the ‘bright’ and ‘diligent’ Kelly Savage.

Practice head(s):

Nick Wells

Other key lawyers:

Qamer Ghafoor; Kelly Savage; Sundeep Sandhu; JoMilward


‘Flint Bishop provides a strong commercial litigation service that is competitive with leading London firms. Its key strengths lie in its competitive and client-focused approach.’

‘Qamer Ghafoor is a robust litigator, an excellent negotiator and an astute tactician.’

‘Kelly Savage is bright, diligent, and a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients


Marston’s PLC Plc

Office Depot

YHA (England & Wales)

Food Standards Agency

Haven Insurance Company

Costcutter Supermarkets Group

Henry Boot Developments

National Trust

GL Events

YU Energy

Acorn Insurance

Donald Ward Limited

Bowmer + Kirkland Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Food Standards Agency in connection with High Court claims by numerous food business operators and a major trade body for a reduction in sums paid annually to the FSA of c£24m, successfully defending in full the claims for financial remedies sought.
  • Acting for a national PLC developer in Technology & Construction Court proceedings in connection with a c£9m claim against a firm of quantity surveyors.
  • Acting for Peveril Securities, the development arm of the Bowmer + Kirkland Group, in High Court proceedings regarding an overage claim worth more than £2m.

Geldards LLP

With a strong reputation in the automotive and sports sectors, the ‘heavyweight’ dispute resolution team at Geldards LLP handles complex litigation on behalf of a number of significant clients, appearing before all the various domestic courts. Jonathan Butler is a ‘stand out partner’ who heads the firm’s automotive sector, with particular expertise in freezing orders and injunction work. Andrea Clayton advises across a wide variety of industries, including IT, energy and property. Lloyd Smith joined the team in September 2022, having previously co-led the commercial litigation department at Knights plc.

Practice head(s):

Nino Simone

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Butler; Andrea Clayton; Lloyd Smith; Lewis Adamson


‘Flexible and dynamic team headed by Jon Butler, very capable of dealing with heavyweight and high-profile litigation but focusing on client needs and value.’

‘Excellent experience and support throughout the running of complex commercial disputes.’

‘Jonathan Butler, in particular, is a stand-out partner at the firm, with great judgement and client care.’

‘A quality team of capable litigators who provide focused and efficient advice which is complemented by good collaborative relationships with counsel of choice for the right case.’

‘Lloyd Smith provides a uniquely commercial approach to our disputes and litigation. Unlike other litigation lawyers we have used, Lloyd demonstrates exceptional understanding and empathy with our commercial goals and relates this consistently in his advice and in finding ‘solutions’ in a practice area not know for such focused advice. We would have no hesitation in recommending him for any commercial business.’

‘Nino Simone is a smooth operator with extensive experience in commercial dispute resolution. Andrea Clayton gives tactically astute and pragmatic advice on a range of commercial matters.’

‘Lewis Adamson has an excellent command of civil litigation practice and procedural rule. He is very approachable and client friendly.’

‘Andrea Clayton was extremely efficient in a recent case concerning breach of contract, drafting a rebuttal letter which tore the claimants claim apart. Andrea was instructed on short notice which was no problem and her approach was both technical and pragmatic which secured a great result for us. A pleasure to work with and very approachable.’

Key clients

PAL 2020 Limited

PAL Group Limited

Vantage Tax Free Protection Limited

MDPI UK Limited

Pendragon PLC

Stellantis N.V.

University of Leicester

Scott Group

Vauxhall Motors Limited

Omya UK

Work highlights

  • Successfully obtained indemnity costs orders on behalf of a global supplier of white minerals and chemicals in a widely reported case following judgment in a c.£1m High Court claim in damages for nuisance and trespass involving the illegal dumping of 20,000 tonnes of waste at Cliffe in Kent.
  • Advising an Irish passenger coach operator in its multi-million pound Commercial Court claim against DawsonGroup & EvoBus UK for alleged defective passenger coaches.
  • Successfully defended three director respondents against an unfair prejudice petition which sought to challenge, as improper, a pre-pack sale of a company and related transactions, said to be worth £27m, but in fact sold for £6.5m.

Freeths LLP

The ‘dynamic, experienced, forward-thinking, and collaborative’ team at Freeths LLP handles a vast range of issues for a number of significant clients, including disputes surrounding breach of directors’ duties, commercial contracts, and insurance. Graham Greenfield - who leads the Nottingham office - is noted for his expertise in complex commercial claims, including professional negligence claims. Jade Flint frequently handles disputes for national and international clients alike, while Jessica Lees' commercial-oriented workload includes shareholder disputes and breach of contract cases.

Practice head(s):

Graham Greenfield; Jonathan Jefferies

Other key lawyers:

Jade Flint; Jessica Lees; Gregg Parkin


‘Good knowledgeable team’

‘Strength throughout the whole team in legal knowledge and application.’

‘Jessica Lees is a brilliant lawyer and very impressive with her management of difficult opponents.’

‘The team is dynamic, experienced, forward-thinking and collaborative.’

‘Jade Flint has always been the standout member of this team. Jade is able to take on a huge amount of work as she is very focused and organised.’

Key clients

Poundstretcher Limited

Agrovista UK Limited

Bio Dynamic (UK) Limited

FRP Advisory Limited

Opus Restructuring LLP

The Way Ahead Group Limited t.a See Tickets

The Skills Coaches Group of Companies

Motorpoint Limited

Motopark Academy GmbH

R Stratton & Co Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Smart Medical Clinics Limited in connection with a claim against Chubb Insurance concerning business interruption losses sustained during the Covid 19 pandemic.
  • Acting for an international printing consumables business in connection with a claim in excess of £3million brought against its former director and others arising out of sums taken by fraudulent conduct and alleged breaches of fiduciary duties.
  • Acting for an international ticketing business with a turnover in excess of £20million in connection with a claim against its former advisers for an amount in excess of £8million.

Gateley Legal

The team at Gateley Legal handles a variety of disputes, though has a particular focus on professional negligence claims and contentious trusts work. Following a merger with the firm’s Leicester office, the Nottingham dispute resolution team at was bolstered by the arrival of a number of experts in the field, including new team head Claire Herbert, who specialises in reputation management and contentious probate and inheritance claims. Natalie Reed is another key name to note, particularly for professional negligence and data protection claims.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Johnson; Claire Herbert

Other key lawyers:

Natalie Reed


‘Natalie Reed really cares about getting the best result and is a pleasure to work with.’

‘Always provide an exceptional level of service, and their attention to detail when considering both the business needs of the client and the legal aspects of a case assures you that you are in good hands.’

‘Natalie Reed deserves a special mention for going the extra mile to make sure tight deadlines are met, but without compromising on the quality of the advice or work.’

‘The Gateley team are diverse in the areas they cover, easy to work with in many ways, but in particular how they communicate complex legal matters in simple English, so we can make good management decisions.’

‘A very responsive and impressive team with some excellent individuals and a real team ethic. They are incredibly pleasant to deal with, at every turn.’

‘Claire Herbert has strong commercial acumen, and can be relied upon to make the right call in tricky situations. Natalie Howes easily gains the trust of clients with her unflappable nature and superbly balanced advice.’

Work highlights

Nelsons Solicitors Limited

The commercial litigation team at Nelsons Solicitors Limited services a varied client base, acting both for local businesses and a number of major clients across the UK. The team is headed up by Daniel Brumpton, who specialises in partnership disputes, injunctions, and breach of warranty claims. Elsewhere within the practice, Jon Roberts is noted for his expertise in fraud cases, while Cathryn Selby's capabilities extend to disputes concerning commercial contracts and financial services companies.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Brumpton

Other key lawyers:

Jon Roberts; Cathryn Selby; Craig Bennett


‘A company that is able to offer a diverse range of support that a typical manufacturing business requires.’

‘Friendly service that understand complex HR and contract issues.’

Very personalised and friendly service.’

‘Daniel Brumpton and Craig Bennett are fabulous.’

Key clients

H Stoll

GEW2 Limited

Hang In Out (Design) Limited


Work highlights

  • Acted for H Stoll who wished to enforce a letter of credit against the lending bank, following non-payment of circa $500,000 USD.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Operating as part of a pan-Midlands team, the Nottingham dispute resolution team at Shakespeare Martineau LLP is able to handle high-value disputes, both in the East Midlands and nationally. In addition to core disputes work, members of the team are also experts in energy disputes, insolvency and professional negligence, as well as growing markets like cryptocurrency. Energy is a key focus area for team head Tim Speed, in addition to a range of contractual, commercial and insolvency-related disputes. Steven Skiba regularly handles contractual disputes, while Kendal Litherland is noted for his expertise in professional negligence claims.

Practice head(s):

Tim Speed

Other key lawyers:

Steven Skiba; Kendal Litherland; Alex Ryan; Anton Letten


‘This team had knowledge and experience in the area I needed and knew what to do – they were able to instruct the right counsel for my case.’

‘Steven Skiba is persistent, with great advice, guidance, and expert knowledge. Didn’t take the easy option and fought my corner.’

‘The practice works well in understanding its customer and their business, offering solutions whilst also highlighting any risks and potential challenges. The company is always professional and are a pleasure to deal with.’

‘Tim Speed is a great asset to this practice. He has been professional and is always willing to provide his experience and guidance. Whilst Tim had some previous experience dealing with gas suppliers entering insolvency, he visited our offices to know more about our business to increase his own understanding.’

Key clients




National Grid

Business Power and Gas

Certas Energy UK

Crofts Developments Limited

Smith Cooper

Vision Express

Purplebricks Group Plc

Work highlights

  • Advised the joint administrators of Iresa Limited in relation to an application to court for directions in a landmark case for the energy sector.
  • Advising clients in a variety of shareholder disputes, including breach of warranty and non-payment of deferred consideration.
  • Advising an individual who has been the subject of a cryptocurrency fraud.


Acting as part of the firm’s national dispute resolution and employment group, the Nottingham branch of Actons works with a broad range of clients, from individuals to international companies. The team’s diverse workload encompasses contractual disputes, shareholder disputes, and claims against directors, among other matters. Gordon Monaghan, who became practice head in 2022, handles restrictive covenant challenges and professional negligence claims. Nicola Parr – who joined the team from Chattertons in December 2022 – is noted for her specialism in contentious probate and Court of Protection work.

Practice head(s):

Gordon Monaghan

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Parr; Daniel Harley


‘Gordon Monaghan was very friendly and personable, and this meant we could converse with him without feeling on edge. When going through stressful times, this was a comfort and helped us manage the worries.’

‘The team was capable and efficient but also very personable. This helped me progress a very difficult situation in a manner that was rational and constructive in spite of the emotive issues. The team also efficiently brought in additional skills seamlessly when needed.’

‘As I touched on above, all the individuals I engaged with were very helpful, constructive and personable, which was very important to me in my circumstances. Gordon Monaghan provided me with excellent advice throughout the process.’

Key clients

Zeel Solutions Limited

John Pye & Son Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of a shareholder on the exit of a difficult co-shareholder and director from two companies.
  • Acting on behalf of software supplier in connection with an IT dispute and negotiating a very favourable settlement at mediation.
  • Acting on behalf of individual beneficiary in a high value and complex professional negligence claim against testator’s solicitors on an invalid Will, leading to a loss of nearly £1 million.

Buckles Solicitors LLP

Regularly working in collaboration with the firm's wider network of offices, the dispute resolution team at Buckles Solicitors LLP is able to handle disputes on a national scale for household names, particularly in the construction and renewables sectors. Team head James Maxey specialises in partnership disputes and breach of commercial trading agreements for clients with an international focus. James Coppinger handles a range of contentious work in the engineering sector, while Karen Sandhu covers company law, partnership disputes, and civil fraud.

Practice head(s):

James Maxey

Other key lawyers:

James Coppinger; Karen Sandhu; Henry Straw


‘I worked with Karen Sandhu on a long-running case and was very impressed with the support I received as counsel. There was very good client handling, and preparation of court documents, disclosure papers, and quick supportive replies to my requests whilst drafting.’

‘Karen Sandhu is easy to get along with, and has a positive attitude.’

‘Buckles is a regional firm within the commercial litigation sector, with partners with a range of technical contentious and non-contentious experience. It is therefore able to compete against far larger commercial firms in a more agile way. From the perspective of counsel instructed by the firm, Buckles is always engaged both in terms of the issues and procedure and clearly has strong ongoing relationships with its clients.’

Key clients

Project Solar (UK) Limited

Lodgequest Operations Limited

Woodstone Carpentry Limited

Project Better Energy Limited

Fountain Foods Limited

Work highlights