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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > East Midlands > Dispute resolution > Debt recovery > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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Index of tables

  1. Debt recovery
  2. Leading individuals

Flint Bishop LLP has established a reputation as a market-leader for volume commercial (business to business) recoveries, acting for national household name clients. Led by chief executive Qamer Ghafoor, its team provides a single-solution recovery option to clients by handling large-scale outsourced credit collections, and also all aspects of pre-legal early arrears collections, issuing court proceedings and enforcement action. The practice has recently increased its emphasis on pre-legal work, developing a new multi-stage recovery process that uses different communication methods. Three group leaders oversee more than 25 caseworkers across several client recovery teams. Nick Wells and Lorna Trueman are also recommended.

Practice head(s):Qamer Ghafoor

Other key lawyers:Nick Wells; Lorna Trueman

Testimonials

'Nick Wells is an exceptional lawyer; he is one to watch for the future'

Key Clients

Contract Natural Gas

Marston’s Plc

LexisNexis

UK Mail

Food Standards Agency

Costcutter

SIG Trading Limited

Belron UK Limited T/A Autoglass

Sixt Rent a Car Ltd

Work highlights

  • The firm carries out debt recovery services for LexisNexis' UK publishing and online services division. The department handles both uncontested debt recovery and contested/disputed debts.
  • The firm acts as the sole debt recovery partner to the UK Mail Group.
  • A dedicated team acts for a global office supplies firm on an exclusive basis recovering debts in the UK and Ireland.
  • The firm succeeded in a national tender process to carry out debt recovery for the UK arm of a multinational publishing company.
  • The firm has been retained to act for an international IT company to recover debts in relation to its card services offering.

Shoosmiths LLP stands out for the scale of its debt recovery offering, with its East Midlands team forming part of a large national UK group. It is one of a small number of law firms in the UK to be authorised by the FCA to undertake regulated activities, including debt administration and debt collection. In Northampton, Jim Taylor leads the consumer finance litigation and recoveries department, which covers the full spectrum of secured and unsecured lending matters for banks, building societies, debt purchasers and other creditors across the UK. Lisa Keating is also active in this area. Mel Chell heads up the national motor and asset finance recoveries group, and has specialist expertise in matters involving fraud and injunctive relief, and high-value assets. Stuart Montgomery is the head of the secured and commercial recoveries team.

Practice head(s):Jim Taylor (head of consumer finance litigation and recoveries); Mel Chell (head of asset-based lending litigation and recoveries)

Other key lawyers:Lisa Keating; Stuart Montgomery

Testimonials

'In depth experience, practical advice and a no nonsense approach.'

'Mel Chell is highly experienced and competent.'

'Shoosmiths offers a very competitive and engaging service which sets it apart from competitors. The firm has mastered the balance between a competitive pricing structure and providing robust legal advice to their clients.'

'Jim Taylor is open and pragmatic - his overall client care is excellent and it is evident that he genuinely cares about the services the firm delivers and how they are received by clients.'

'Louise Kitchen is an experienced and informed associate who excels at providing clear and concise advice and great results on individual matters - she communicates complex areas of law confidently and concisely.'

Key Clients

Aldermore Invoice Finance

ALEV

Arkle Finance Ltd

Arrow Global

Azzurro

Blue Motor Finance

BNP Paribas

Personal Finance

Cabot Credit Management

Close Brothers Limited

Conister Bank

Hireco (TL) Ltd

JBR Capital Ltd

John Deere Finance

Landmark

LeasePlan (UK) Ltd

Nationwide Building Society

Northridge Finance

Oodle

Paragon

Shawbrook Bank

Tesco Bank

The Car Finance Company

VFS Finance Ltd (Volvo)

Work highlights

  • Acted for a high street bank in the receivership of converted barns and a holiday complex in Cornwall.
  • Acted for a high street bank bank in relation to receivership of a derelict pub with planning permission to convert into 40+ affordable housing units.
  • Appointed as sole supplier to Oodle Car Finance Limited for outsourced portfolio management services.

Working in tandem with the firm's Beverley office, Wilkin Chapman LLP's Grimsby team acts as a one-stop debt recovery shop to clients in the credit union, utility and commercial debt sectors. The firm also has a compelling offering for local authority clients, which it assists with recovering council tax/business rates, property-related debts and sundry debts, such as parking charges, benefits overpayments and social care costs. Insolvency-related work is another bedrock of the practice, with the team assisting clients with enforcing charging orders by way of orders for sale, and also with managing bankruptcy and winding up petitions; Matthew Dix is a qualified insolvency practitioner. Chris Grocock heads up the practice, while Elizabeth Gilliatt, Mark Taylor and Paul Bowden are also key partners.

Practice head(s):Chris Grocock

Other key lawyers:Matthew Dix; Elizabeth Gilliatt; Paul Bowden; Mark Taylor

Testimonials

'Approachable team with excellent technical knowledge providing sound practical advice. Good performance management processes and information'

'Paul Bowden and Mark Taylor are great ambassadors for the firm - they make themselves available when needed and have provided solid sensible solutions to difficult cases'

Key Clients

Western Union Retail Services GB Limited

Canal & River Trust

Transave Credit Union Limited

University of East London

Gladstone Brookes Limited

London Borough of Bexley

London Borough of Haringey

London Borough of Newham

RAC Group Limited

Churchill Sloan Limited

Work highlights

  • Appointed to London University Purchasing Consortia's panel to provide debt recovery services to all universities and further education colleges throughout UK.
  • Carrying out UK debt recovery work for Western Union Retail Services GB Limited with instructions from their European shared service centre in Lithuania.
  • Reappointed by Canal & River Trust to provide debt recovery services for unpaid mooring and licence fees across the UK.
  • Instructed by Transave UK Credit Union Limited to recover unsecured loans from members across all of UK.
  • Providing debt recovery services to Gladstone Brookes in relation to recovery of PPI award fees.

Associate Simon Key heads up Nelsons Solicitors Limited's five-lawyer practice, which focuses on handling bespoke (rather than volume, process-driven) business-to-business debt recovery mandates from commercial clients, and particularly excels in pre-action collections. The firm had a strong 2018 in this space, adding 74 commercial clients to its existing portfolio.

Practice head(s):Simon Key

Testimonials

'The team at Nelsons is very helpful, supportive and prompt in responding to any problems'

Smith Partnership fields a team which collectively has more than 70 years of debt recovery experience. Claire Twells heads up the group, which has strong credentials in volume business-to-business recoveries, and services a notable portfolio of brand-name clients. The team provides extensive support at all stages of the debt recovery process, from initial letters before action to issuing proceedings and enforcement action. In addition, the firm offers access to Activate, a web-based solution which enables clients to maintain full-time access to their files. The firm acts for clients across the UK on a wide range of debt types, including consumer and lending, bridging loan shortfalls, debts connected with the fast-moving consumer goods sector, education sector debts and trade debt. Twells is supported by legal clerks Andrew Hambleton and Sharon Davies.

Practice head(s):Claire Twells

Other key lawyers:Andrew Hambleton; Sharon Davies

Testimonials

'Andrew Hambleton is fabulous - always available when needed'

'Sharon Davies is efficient, professional and friendly'

Key Clients

The Chapar

D C Legal

Avanti Gas

Busy Bees Nursery

University of Leeds

Alfie Salad

Working Capital Partners

Xylem UK

Westcoast Limited

ERF Electrical Wholesalers Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted C2 Recruitment Limited with recovering an outstanding balance of £8,164.80 in full from a debtor company that was entering into administration. This negated the need for court proceedings to be issued.
  • Assisted West Coast Limited with recovering £330,000 by issuing a winding-up petition.
  • Assisted Working Capital Partners Limited with recovering £13,800 from a guarantor.
  • Advised Lancaster Park Management Limited on recovering outstanding management company fees in the sum of £12,772 in relation to an industrial park. The fees included those for works carried out by third parties.
  • Advised Avanti Gas Limited on recovering sums due in relation to the delivery of gas by tanker to the residential property of a debtor.

At Actons, Victoria Dunstall provides advice on all aspects of debt recovery to professional services firms and clients in sectors such as retail, real estate, architecture and education. Dunstall also supports the firm's commercial litigation and insolvency teams in enforcement actions, such as winding-up petitions.

Practice head(s):Victoria Dunstall

Testimonials

'Actons has a good reputation in insolvency-related debt recovery'

Key Clients

FHP(Nottingham)

IGHW Ltd trading as Quality Tempered Glass (Nottinghamshire)

Johns of Nottingham (Nottingham)

Killarney Homes (Nottinghamshire)

L & S Accountancy Services (Nottinghamshire)

Bates Weston LLP (Derby)

Clearmark Solutions LLP (Nottinghamshire)

Maber Associates (Nottingham)

Health Care Services Limited (Nottinghamshire)

Work highlights

  • Acting for a liquidator in the recovery of book debts due to the company in liquidation, with the aim of increasing the funds in the liquidation estate to be distributed to creditors.
  • Advised a trustee in bankruptcy on obtaining possession of a bankrupt’s jointly owned property to pay bankruptcy debts.
  • Advising an estate management company on the recovery of unpaid service charges.
  • Acting for a German company in the recovery of outstanding debts due to it from UK-based companies.
  • Advising a glass manufacturer on recovering debts arising from goods supplied to its customers.

Since its inception in 2008, Brady Solicitors has developed a standout reputation in property management debt recovery, with the scope of its work including the recovery of ground rent arrears, rent arrears, commercial arrears and residential service charges. Reflective of the nationwide reach of its practice, the firm acts for a number of large managing agents in Northern Ireland, and counts other household names on its client roster. Head of operations Jonathan Watts and managing director Clare Brady are among the key contacts.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Watts (head of operations); Clare Brady (managing director)

Key Clients

Westbury Residential

Savills

Block Management UK

BLR Property Management

Hunters RBM (formerly Dickinson Harrison)

Atlantis Estates Limited

Warwick Estates

McGuinness Fleck

Oak Property Management

York Laurent

Holdshare Limited

Stiles Harold Williams

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