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DLA Piper UK LLP is rated for its ‘first-rate service’ and for its ‘utmost diligence and expertise’. The team handles the full range of contentious banking mandates, with a focus on retail banking and payment services, and asset finance and leasing. It is also increasingly active on contentious financial regulatory matters. The team continues to act for RBS in relation to its alleged liabilities under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act concerning the Breast Implant Group Litigation Order. The Co-operative Bank, Elavon Financial Services, First Data Corporation, WorldPay (UK) and Metro Bank are also clients. The practice is headed by the ‘pragmatic, resourceful and pro-active’ Stewart Plant, who also leads the firm’s global payments practice. Ben Johnson has a ‘practical, focused and effective approach to cases, which is balanced with a relaxed and approachable style’ and primarily acts for banks, payment service providers and the asset-based lending industry. Legal director Nicola Higgins has a particular focus on consumer credit and retail banking, payment services and professional negligence claims. Senior associates Krystle Robinson and Leontia McArdle are also key figures.

Clients praise Addleshaw Goddard’s ‘commercial approach’, its ability to ‘not over-complicate matters’ and its ‘pragmatic advice’. The team acts for major UK Banks and lender clients and has particular experience in asset finance and asset-based lending, as well as professional negligence cases. HSBC Bank, Nationwide Building Society, Shawbrook Bank, Yorkshire Building Society, West Bromwich Building Society and Aldermore Bank & Aldermore Invoice Finance are clients. Team head Harold Brako has particular expertise in asset-based lending and receivables financing and has ‘excellent industry knowledge and an ability to formulate and then deliver effective recovery strategies’. Ben Lowans, who splits his time between Manchester and Leeds, is a ‘first-class litigator’ and has a particular specialism in the asset finance and invoice discounting sectors. Legal director Helen Collinge is ‘first-rate’ and managing associate Matthew O'Neill is also noted.

DWF's ‘brilliant’ team is split across its Liverpool and Manchester offices and is rated for its ‘expert knowledge’ and ability to deliver ‘strategic guidance’ with a ‘commercial approach’. It acts for major UK retail banks, finance houses and non-captive motor finance companies on a range of contentious matters. The team also has specialist knowledge of fraud, professional negligence, asset finance litigation and regulatory matters. Clients include Lloyds Banking Group, Santander Consumer UK, Aldermore Bank, UK Asset Resolution and RBS Group. National head of finance litigation John Perez is a motor finance specialist and head of specialist litigation Ritchie Irvine is ‘extremely approachable, pragmatic and not afraid to provide an opinion’. Julia Williams, who heads the lender services team, and the ‘excellentGraham Sidlow are also recommended, as are senior associates Daniel Fitzgerald, who focuses on high-value matters, Dominic Jones, who is ‘incredibly efficient’, and Jonathan Hall, who specialises in consumer finance litigation. Consultant David Wood is also noted.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s ‘bright, industrious and efficient’ department is ‘easy to deal with’. Clients include UK-based and international banks, including HSBC Bank, BNP Paribas, Clydesdale Bank and Svenska Handelsbanken, as well as several challenger banks. Northern practice head James Southworth  ‘gives good strategic direction and has considerable charm’ and handles large and complex banking disputes, contentious regulatory matters and investigations. Zia Ullah specialises in fraud and financial crime compliance, and Sarah Naylor is ‘a real fighter’ who is experienced in retail and wholesale bank mis-selling claims as well as contentious financial regulatory issues. Principal associate Leonie Tear, who specialises in fraud and corruption investigations, and senior associate David Cook, who handles cybercrime, security and data protection issues, are also recommended.

The ‘brilliant’ team at Squire Patton Boggs regularly acts for financial sector clients in complex, high-value, high-profile litigation and international arbitration. Mass litigation and large-scale investigations, including in relation to sanctions, professional negligence, payment protection insurance and product mis-selling, are key areas of focus, as is asset-based lending and fraud. Headline matters include conducting investigations for six non-US banks into compliance with US sanctions regulations; representing a global investment bank in a dispute with a Middle Eastern bank; and defending a bank in £200m of claims concerning allegations of mis-selling of high-value investment products. Team head Anthony Taylor has ‘a really strong grasp of the commercial aspects of any particular case’ and is an ‘astute negotiator’. Senior associates Mike Caird and Peter Lees are also key members of the team.

Gateley Plc’s financial disputes and regulatory team is regularly instructed by UK clearing banks, building societies, invoice discounters, factors and bridging companies, and is commended for its ‘ability to cut-through the background noise and concentrate on the real crux of the matter’. Clients include Macquarie Equipment Finance UK, Henry Howard Finance, Aldermore Bank and Scania Finance Great Britain are clients. Andrew Field is ‘highly experienced, effective and brings a commercial approach’ and handles complex recoveries, security enforcement, fraud and professional negligence claims.

Hill Dickinson LLP’s ‘quick and efficient’ department is noted for its asset-based lending sector expertise, particularly in invoice discounting and receivables finance. It is also adept at fraud-related mandates. In Liverpool, Phil Sheard is ‘very responsive’, ‘knowledgeable’, gives ‘comprehensive advice’ and heads the commercial debt recovery team. In Manchester, legal director Sharon Williamson heads the finance litigation department and is advising KBC Bank Ireland in a £3.5m case against two guarantors and borrowers. Bibby Factors, Bank of Ireland (UK), Metro Bank, Lloyds Bank and Hitachi Capital (UK) are clients.

Having merged with Berg, Kennedys provides ‘high level of service’ to SMEs, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals in claims against banks and other financial institutions. The team recently acted for the claimants in a £30m financial and regulatory claim against RBS. Key figures include Andrew Davidson, who heads the team, Christopher McDuff, who is noted for insolvency matters, and the ‘highly regarded’ John Colvin. Also recommended are Alison Loveday, who has specialist expertise in financial regulation and mis-selling, and director Ian Mendelsohn. Daniel Brumpton joined Nelsons Solicitors Limited in 2017.

TLT’s banking and financial services litigation team is commended for its ‘strong depth of expertise’. The practice handles disputes related to professional negligence, LPA receivership, real estate, title rectification, recoveries and complex retail banking litigation. Lloyds Banking Group, The Co-operative Bank, Santander, RBS and Handelsbanken are clients. Key figures include James Chadwick , who delivers ‘commercial and pragmatic advice’, and associates Andrew Thorncroft, David Robinson, who ‘tailors his advice to the needs of the client’, and the ‘excellent’ Roisin McGlinn.

Myerson Solicitors LLP acts for individuals, owner-managed businesses and SMEs on a variety of banking litigation matters. The team advised for CGL Group in a £6m Court of Appeal and Supreme Court care regarding the mis-selling of two interest rate hedging products (against the RBS and NatWest. Department head Jonathan Hassall ‘understands clients’ needs very well’ and is an ‘experienced and determined litigator’. Senior solicitor Vicky Biggs is ‘diligent, reliable and committed to an impressive degree’.

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