Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the North West in North West

Aaron & Partners LLP

Nick Clarke is at the helm of Aaron & Partners LLP‘s highly regarded offering. Shareholder, partnership, transactional and contractual disputes, as well as claims involving directors and their duties all make up part of the firm’s varied regular workload. David Harries is the name to note for energy-related mandates, while John Devoy has particular expertise in professional negligence litigation. These recognised practitioners are ably supported by a deep bench of recommended team members at the more junior end, including senior associate Layla Barke-Jones and associate Claire Hughes.

Practice head(s):

Nick Clarke

Other key lawyers:

John Devoy; David Harries; David Potts; Claire Hughes; Layla Barke-Jones

Testimonials

‘The best solicitors to deal with commercial and disputes. Layla Barke-Jones discussed my case and after all the hard work and efforts from Layla we won the case.’

‘Aaron & Partners Solicitors provides excellent service, very knowledgeable in commercial finance, mortgages, private contract, landlord disputes, commercial contracts, commercial leases.’

‘Layla Barke-Jones is the top solicitor I have ever dealt with: her knowledge, professionalism and expertise are at another level compared to other firms and solicitors.’

Key clients

Dŵr Cymru Ltd (t/a Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water)

Work highlights

    DTM Legal LLP

    DTM Legal LLP continues to stand out as a firm of choice for procurement cases – with a recent highlight in this sphere involving a challenge to a decision made in relation to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. The practice runs the gamut of shareholder, breach of duty, and contracts disputes. The Chester office recently strengthened its offering with the addition of experienced solicitor Jonathan Partridge from Jolliffe & Co LLP in August 2021. Practice head Jim Morris, who cements the group’s close connections with Liverpool by splitting his time between the two locations, is lauded by one client as a ‘star individual who exudes class‘.

    Practice head(s):

    Jim Morris

    Other key lawyers:

    Richard Thomas; Jonathan Partridge

    Testimonials

    ‘The team at DTM provide simple, clear and knowledgeable advice presented in a friendly manner that makes it easy to understand and adopt. Communication is a particular strength of the practice with many requests for advice being responded to the same day.’

    ‘Many of the matters referred to DTM have been personally dealt with by Jim Morris, who is a lawyer of great experience. He has a near unique ability to quickly get to the crux of construction-related questions and provide advice, unadorned with unnecessary legal terminology.’

    ‘DTM Legal are a client-focused firm who care about the service and results they obtain for their clients.’

    ‘Jim Morris has achieved excellent results for us, both legal and commercial.’

    ‘Extremely thorough and professional at all times. Always excellent communication and they ensure that a personal relationship is maintained when it is necessary to involve other colleagues within their team. Their grasp of the issue that we require support with is exceptional. They are very honest and provide the correct professional advice whilst remaining conscious of the commerciality and impact on our business.’

    ‘Jim Morris is a star individual who exudes class.’

    ‘I would highly recommend Jim Morris, he was available to me any time by phone or email. Jim is very professional, but also has an excellent personal touch.’

    ‘Richard Thomas has provided exceptional quality of advice on a variety of very sensitive issues. We are delighted with the quality of legal advice and support received from Richard. Communication is excellent and support is provided in a very timely manner. We always feel that we have received excellent value for the services received.’

    Key clients

    Scottish Power

    Foundation Piling Limited

    The Atmore Group

    Lloyds Pharmacy

    AAH Pharmaceuticals Limited

    Dee Tech Services Limited

    Vale UK Limited

    Henrob Limited

    Anwyl Construction Company Limited

    Rotex Europe Limited (part of Hillenbrand Group listed on NYSE)

    Thomas Storey Fabrications Group Limited

    Greenthumb Limited

    Begbies Traynor

    Monolith Brick and Stone Limited

    Edge Recovery

    Clancy Consulting Limited

    Halls Auctioneers Limited

    Work highlights

    • Representing Marine Specialised Technology in ongoing procurement claims against the Ministry of Defence and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.
    • Represented Foundation Piling in an adjudication against a claim related to piling works of approximately £1m.

    FS Legal

    Litigation boutique FS Legal is highly regarded for handling landmark commercial cases on behalf of notable corporates and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. The firm is also singled out as fielding a ‘a high concentration of “big hitters” in one place‘. The offering is jointly led by Kit Sorrell and Julia Norris; the former is regarded as a ‘living legend in dispute resolution‘ and handles mandates ranging from contractual and warranty claims, to arbitration and expert determinations, injunctions, and judicial review proceedings, while the latter is much lauded as a ‘dedicated professional negligence expert‘.

    Practice head(s):

    Julia Norris; Kit Sorrell

    Other key lawyers:

    Christine Newton

    Testimonials

    ‘Kit Sorrell is really a living legend in dispute resolution – pleasure and an honour to work with him. His experience and knowledge really show when he gives strategic advice. He is unfailingly pleasant to work with.’

    ‘Christine Newton is highly impressive, as one would expect from her resume. She navigates complexity and detail with ease, and seems unflappable in fast-moving litigation scenarios. She is also realistic, commercial and pragmatic.’

    ‘FS Legal offers a high concentration of “big hitters” in one firm – so that pretty much all of the solicitors are highly experienced and well-regarded in the comm lit field. The firm appears to be lean and efficient too – there is no “beast” to feed, so clients get a focused dispute resolution service with high-value insight.’

    ‘Kit Sorrell: highly experienced commercial litigator.’

    ‘Julia Norris is a very bright and dedicated professional negligence expert.’

    ‘Expert niche practice undertaking high-value complex commercial litigation, in particular professional negligence involving mis-selling of financial and tax avoidance products.’

    Key clients

    Paul Steel and Jaqueline Foster

    George Urquhart

    Clients of Blackstar (Europe) Limited (in Liquidation)

    Work highlights

    • Defending George Steel and Jaqueline Foster against proceedings brought by the FCA, seeking a ground-breaking extension of the provisions of Section 382(2) FSMA to authorised IFA individuals.
    • Representing George Urquhart, a football agent, in the case initially known as Anthony Barness & Ors v Formation Group PLC & Ors.
    • Representing a number of former clients of Blackstar in fraud and negligence claims, with total estimated losses amounting to approximately £1bn.

    Gorvins Solicitors

    Gorvins Solicitors is known particularly for its company commercial and partnership litigation expertise, with the firm receiving regular instruction from both corporations and shareholders. The team is also noted for its strong insolvency disputes offering; practice head Mark Deverell is highly regarded in this area, as is the rest of the group, particularly David Guest. Guy Lightowler – whose expertise extends to international mandates, and whose client base consequently includes both major local and multinational names – completes the roster of core practitioners.

    Practice head(s):

    Mark Deverell; Guy Lightowler

    Other key lawyers:

    David Guest

    Testimonials

    ‘Mark Deverell has very strong client management skills, as well as good legal skills and a commercial approach at all times.’

    Key clients

    Williams Motor Company (Holdings) Limited

    The Property Alliance Group (PAG) and subsidiaries

    Avonside Group Services Limited (Avonside)

    William Stobart Transportation/William Stobart

    Work highlights

    • Handling various disputes on behalf of Williams Motor Company, including those relating to trespass, breach of contract, warranty claims, covenant and easement enforcement.

    Myerson Solicitors LLP

    Outstanding leader and litigatorAdam Maher heads up the offering at Myerson Solicitors LLP, and garners much praise from clients, one of whom singles out the fact that ‘his leadership of the team is always very positive, leading to excellent results‘. The group is further lauded for being ‘outstanding in its strength in depth‘, with recommended practitioners ranging from senior partner Tim Norman  to senior associates Suzanne Carr and Vicky Biggs. Shareholder, partnership and professional negligence disputes are all areas of proficiency.

    Practice head(s):

    Adam Maher

    Other key lawyers:

    Suzanne Carr; Tim Norman; Vicky Biggs; Sven Clarke; Robert Brothers

    Testimonials

    ‘Sven Clarke is a real stand-out – he’s a dream to work with, extremely bright, and unflappable.’

    ‘Led by Adam Maher, the department is easily a match for the larger city firms in expertise and tactical quality.’

    ‘Adam Maher is excellent. A tough litigator and extremely knowledgeable.’

    ‘This team is outstanding in its strength in depth, positivity, teamwork and client care skills. A “can do” attitude runs throughout the team from partner to trainee and the team is very cohesive. Particular depth of experience in shareholder disputes.’

    ‘Adam Maher is an outstanding leader and litigator. His strategic vision is excellent, his legal analysis is first-rate and his leadership of the team is always very positive, leading to excellent results.’

    ‘Adam Maher is a specialist on commercial agents claims. Knows his stuff, but is also commercial and pragmatic.’

    ‘I would recommend Robert Brothers for commercial litigation/professional negligence, and Vicky Biggs for commercial/finance litigation.’

    Key clients

    Gorilla Glue

    Fortis Developments Ltd

    Akzo Nobel

    WJ Developments

    Kverneland UK Ltd

    SMG UK Ltd

    PWS Brands Ltd

    Melbourne Developments

    Work highlights

      Napthens LLP

      David Bailey oversees the ‘exceptionally well led and very efficient‘ offering at Napthens LLP; he also brings a specialist expertise in commercial landlord and tenant disputes to the group. ‘Committed and fair‘ litigator John Whittingslow, whose practice spans shareholder, contract, and partnership disputes of the utmost complexity, ‘impresses with the apparent ease he navigates clients through difficult cases‘. Also among the key leading practitioners is Andrew Holden, who frequently handles insolvency, education and energy sector, and professional negligence cases. The arrival of Charlotte Barron from Taylors LLP further strengthened the bench at senior associate level.

      Practice head(s):

      David Bailey

      Other key lawyers:

      John Whittingslow; Andrew Holden; Charlotte Barron

      Testimonials

      ‘Exceptionally well led and very efficient in every regard. Everything a client would want from a legal department.’

      ‘David Bailey has shown himself to be tenacious and effective. He invariably demonstrates an instinctive grasp of a situation, quickly identifying the priorities and where any pitfalls may lie. An exceptional ability to retain facts and figures. I have always been content that any situation was under total control and that an outcome would meet or exceed hope and expectation.’

      ‘Professional through and through. Supportive and understanding. They are also straight-talking, approachable and tell it how it is.’

      ‘We have found them to be highly effective. They have been very supportive and reassuring, whilst managing realistic outcomes. They have negotiated very satisfactory settlements in our favour and we would recommend the Napthens litigation team without hesitation.’

      ‘John Whittingslow is one of the leading commercial litigation lawyers in the region. Committed and fair, his commerciality and pragmatism are possibly what set John apart from many of his competitors and his experience is second to none. Always responsive and impresses with the apparent ease he navigates clients through difficult cases.’

      ‘Andrew Holden is a very capable solicitor who has impressed with his vision and strategy in often very challenging situations.’

      ‘John Whittingslow is first class in every respect. He goes the extra mile for a client from day one. He listens to their needs and aims and works on a strategy. He leaves no stone unturned, but does not lose sight of the objectives or chase non issues. He is extremely commercially aware. He is painstaking in his efforts to ensure client fully understands the process and issues from the outset.’ 

      ‘Decisive, energetic and proactive. Prompt actions and communications. A willingness to listen carefully when taking instructions, and to explain legal procedures when discussing the progress of a case. An ability to quickly grasp the key issues in a case, explain available options, and put forward a clear strategy. Reassuringly robust, but pragmatic and professional, approach to negotiating with adversaries.’

      Key clients

      Daniel Thwaites Plc

      Zymurgorium Limited

      The Diocese of Blackburn

      E H Booth and Co

      Alcedo Care Ltd

      NFU

      Work highlights

        Brabners LLP

        Brabners LLP focuses particularly on the mid-market, acting for entrepreneurs, private companies, SMEs, owner-managed and family businesses. Insolvency litigation, shareholder disputes and employment-related cases all form part of the firm’s regular workload. The ‘long-established and highly respected‘ group also fields a strong contentious probate offering, spearheaded by senior associate Stephanie Kerr. Tom Smith, who regularly handles contractual mandates, injunctive relief applications, restrictive covenant issues and contested debt recovery, heads up the practice.

        Practice head(s):

        Tom Smith

        Other key lawyers:

        Stephanie Kerr

        Testimonials

        ‘Brabners are an excellent, long-established and highly respected team in Lancashire. They are able to provide high-level advice and assistance at county prices.’

        ‘Tom Smith has extensive knowledge and the ability to advise on complex matters.’

        Key clients

        Begbies Traynor

        RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

        Debt Focus/Focus Insolvency

        Leonard Curtis Business Group

        ESE Group Limited

        F2 Chemicals Limited

        Hilton Smyth Group Limited

        The Gas Safety Trust Limited/CORGI

        Cowgill Holloway

        Work highlights

        • Acting for four individuals in a freezing order and claim against them by Barclays Bank for unjust enrichment and unlawful means conspiracy.
        • Defending an individual against a claim made by a former employer for over £4.5m in relation to monies paid by way of unauthorised salary and bonus payments.
        • Acting for Part 20 defendants in a claim valued at £3m, brought by eight claimants against three defendants and the clients, arising out of the ‘abandonment’ of over 200 classic and vintage cars of various different states of repair at a farm, which were the subject of a Torts (Interference with Goods) Act Notice and subsequent auction sale.

        Forbes Solicitors

        The client base at Forbes Solicitors ranges from notable commercial entities to major names from the public sector, including SMEs, partnerships, government bodies, and local authorities. Dispute resolution practice head Michael Chambershas been instrumental in developing the team’s profile across the region‘, while commercial litigation lead Stephen McArdle is singled out as ‘an utter professional who deals with opposing lawyers with a strong hand‘. The firm’s ability to ‘develop itself in recent years to become a leading force‘ continued with the arrival of Sheroze Nadeem, formerly of Stephensons Solicitors LLP, in August 2021, and senior associate Georgina Kenny from Blackstone Solicitors Limited in February 2022.

        Practice head(s):

        Michael Chambers; Stephen McArdle

        Other key lawyers:

        Georgina Kenny; Sheroze Nadeem

        Testimonials

        ‘Stephen McArdle is determined and goal-orientated.’

        ‘Approachable, with a friendly yet professional attitude. Also able to demonstrate empathy when dealing with sensitive matters, whilst continuing to achieve the aim of the engagement.’

        ‘Careful recruitment has seen the team develop itself in recent years to become a leading force in the region. The team is expanding to accommodate, and is fast developing a reputation in a fiercely competitive market. The team values client care.’

        ‘Michael Chambers has been instrumental in developing the team’s profile across the region (from Preston into Manchester).’

        ‘Stephen McArdle is a committed practitioner who will give his all for a client. Stephen is incredibly thorough and gives the necessary confidence to allow for the provision of the best service possible.’

        ‘Forbes have excellent experience in commercial litigation and regularly achieve great results. Their ability to understand and explain complex matters and advise accordingly is a considerable asset.’

        ‘Stephen McArdle is an utter professional who deals with opposing lawyers with a strong hand. He is resilient and able to get his point across without being unnecessarily aggressive or belligerent.’

        ‘Sheroze Nadeem was the ultimate professional and his advice and communications were clear and demonstrated a knowledge and professionalism which provided us with confidence throughout our time dealing with him.’

        Key clients

        Begbies Traynor (Central) LLP

        WEC Group Limited

        Eleven Sports Media

        Senator Group

        Octagon Theatre Trust Limited

        Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service

        Brian Clegg (Educational Products) Ltd & Color Lord Limited

        Burnley Football Club

        BeMo Tunnelling UK

        Kepak Group

        Lyndhurst Precision Engineering

        Trust Inns Limited

        Sundown Solutions Limited

        Work highlights

          Harrison Drury & Co

          At Harrison Drury & Co, agricultural disputes and sports disciplinary matters form part of the firm’s core workload, alongside the usual range of contractual, partnership and professional negligence mandates. ‘Tough seasoned litigatorSean Gibbs heads up the contenious offering, with support from corporate and commercial team lead Nick Booth. Senior associate Helen Griffin is noted particularly for her intellectual property expertise, while associate Matthew Astley is a key contact for the group’s numerous sporting clients, on whose behalf he regularly handles litigation and arbitration.

          Practice head(s):

          Sean Gibbs

          Other key lawyers:

          Nick Booth; Helen Griffin; Matthew Astley

          Testimonials

          ‘Very practical and business-like.’

          ‘Nick Booth is very good indeed.’

          ‘Matthew Astley gave me an excellent service from beginning to end.’

          ‘Punches above its weight in commercial litigation. Very cost-effective, but with great delivery of results.’

          ‘Nick Booth is a highly experienced litigator with particular experience of company disputes.’

          ‘Sean Gibbs is a tough seasoned litigator.’

          ‘Most helpful and professional in all they do.’

          ‘Each of the people I have met have been essential people to my needs.’

          Key clients

          AFC Fylde Limited

          Jonathan Broomhead, private investor

          Kwix UK Limited

          Sam Brooks / Swinton Lions

          Jordan Hulme / AFC Fylde

          Work highlights

          • Represented AFC Fylde in the Fleetwood Wanderers Limited (t/a Fleetwood Town Football Club) v AFC Fylde Limited High Court proceedings, which set judicial precedent on the interaction between the common law and FA Rules.
          • Representing Jonathan Broomhead in an application to strike out and amend the particulars of a claim concerning the position of oral collateral contracts between banks and customers.
          • Represented Kwix UK in UKIPO entitlement proceedings for an ownership declaration and an order transferring all right, title and interest in various patent applications from the defendant into the company’s name.

          Jolliffe & Co LLP

          Following the departure of former practice head Stewart Burrows in August 2021, the team at Jolliffe & Co LLP is now under the leadership of Richard Moose, who joined from Escalate Law in July of the same year to take the helm. Personnel changes continued to define the subsequent period, with experienced solicitors Lindsey Jenkins and Rachel Shone arriving from Pure Legal and Keoghs LLP, respectively. The firm, meanwhile, has continued to demonstrate its capability in handling a varied range of mandates, including contractual and breach of warranty claims, shareholder and partnership disputes, and corporate insolvency.

          Practice head(s):

          Richard Moose

          Other key lawyers:

          Lindsey Jenkins; Rachel Shone

          Testimonials

          ‘The quality of staff is excellent. Communication is excellent. They communicate complex issues in simple language that you can easily digest.’

          ‘I approached Richard Moose with a complex dispute and he quickly understood the issues and provided great advice. I am so grateful for this advice and my claim is progressing nicely.’

          Work highlights

            SAS Daniels LLP

            With offices located in Chester, Stockport, Congleton & Macclesfield, SAS Daniels LLP maintains a concerted presence across the entire Cheshire region. The firm’s ‘wealth of experience allows for exceptional service to all clients, tailored specifically to their individual requirements and concerns‘; this ensures that a wide range of corporate SMEs and high-net-worth individuals with roots in the area instruct the team on their most complex and notable commercial disputes. Department lead Anna Barnes and senior associate Ray Woodward recently welcomed Stewart Burrows, formerly practice head at Jolliffe & Co LLP, to the team.

            Practice head(s):

            Anna Barnes

            Other key lawyers:

            Stewart Burrows; Ray Woodward; Kathryn Clare

            Testimonials

            ‘Stewart Burrows is an exceptionally able and tenacious litigator, regularly taking on cases which might otherwise go to bigger firms.’

            ‘Ray Woodward continues to be a stand-out litigator who always manages a remarkable balance of client care skills, knowledge and a pragmatic approach that serves each client extremely well. He is able to offer clear and insightful advice, in a sympathetic manner when necessary.’

            ‘The wealth of experience allows for exceptional service to all clients, tailored specifically to their individual requirements and concerns, providing expert advice and guidance to point within this area. The team is extremely knowledgeable both in respect of the substantive law and also litigation strategy and is able to deploy this knowledge to best advance the client’s position. The team has exceptional client care skills which are clearly noticed and appreciated by their clients. There are highly regarded and established practitioners supported by an impressive quality of junior associates.’

            ‘At an associate level Kathryn Clare is a stand-out litigator. She is meticulous in her preparation of cases, both in the provision of instructions to counsel, and in the case generally. She has exceptional client care skills and is able to offer accurate and insightful advice to clients on any aspect of their case.’

            Work highlights

              Baines Wilson LLP

              Under the guidance of ‘strategic thinkerElizabeth Black, the ‘talented practitioners‘ at Baines Wilson LLP represent clients in cases ranging from contractual disputes between corporations to substantial disputes within businesses. Professional negligence and warranty claims; insurance, construction and engineering disputes; and contentious intellectual property mandates are core areas of expertise. The recent arrival of Christopher Clayton – ‘a litigator who is bright, careful and easy to work with‘ – from Freeths LLP further increased the capabilities of the group.

              Practice head(s):

              Elizabeth Black

              Other key lawyers:

              Caroline Rayner; Christopher Clayton

              Testimonials

              ‘Elizabeth Black – a strategic thinker with a good practical approach to problem solving.’

              ‘Baines Wilson stands out because of its talented practitioners. They are extremely knowledgeable and word hard for their clients.’

              ‘Elizabeth Black goes that extra mile for her clients. Her strength is the way she is so good at handling the clients and really gets on their level, but also in the way she strives to get results for her clients as well.’

              ‘Christopher Clayton is a litigator who is bright, careful and easy to work with. It is a winning combination. He is at home with business and property matters and sees cases as commercial problems which need a solution (as his clients do) and uses litigation to reach the client’s goal.’

              ‘You are getting a top city centre firm service without the price tag, but with the partner engagement throughout. Elizabeth Black leads a team with her unrivalled litigation experience and that feeds through into the team.’

              ‘I have found the people who I have worked with at Baines Wilson to be very committed to their clients and to find workable, commercially realistic solutions to their problems.’

              ‘A diverse team with real experience in their fields that work together to provide a unique level of service and support.’

              ‘Exceptionally high level of client service and very nice people.’

              Work highlights

                Butcher & Barlow LLP

                Commercial, contractual, insolvency and property disputes form the cornerstone of the practice at Butcher & Barlow LLP. ‘Exceptional litigatorAlexander Sandland heads up the offering, ably assisted by a growing bench of recommended solicitors, including Natalie Dean – whose specialism lies in the equine field – and recent arrival Mark Turner – who joined the team in February 2022 and brings with him over two decades of professional experience, most recently at MLP Law LLP.

                Practice head(s):

                Alexander Sandland

                Other key lawyers:

                Natalie Dean; Mark Turner

                Testimonials

                ‘I would rate Alexander Sandland as extremely capable and someone you would want on your team when in a tight spot. He is pragmatic, concise and gets to the heart of issues and provides clarity and inspires confidence. I would rate Alexander as an exceptional litigator.’

                Work highlights

                  Excello Law

                  Tenacious and hard-fighting commercial litigatorEmyr Kerfoot and ‘exemplary practitionerAlexandra Collett are the key senior team members at Excello Law; both are well versed in a range of general commercial disputes, with the former focusing particulary on contractual issues, while the latter handles predominantly shareholder, partnership and insolvency cases. Key clients for this ‘great boutique outfit‘ include local companies, manufacturers, e-commerce retailers, and private individuals.

                  Practice head(s):

                  Emyr Kerfoot; Alexandra Collett

                  Testimonials

                  ‘The team is very responsive going way beyond a normal 9 to 5 basis. They provide a high level of personal service and always strive to do their very best. The fact that there are two lead partners is an advantage as if necessary each can provide cover in the absence of the other.’

                  ‘Emyr Kerfoot is a stand-out partner in his ability to be extremely responsive and practical with the client’s best interests at heart.’

                  ‘Excello are a diverse team. A strength of the firm is the ability of individual solicitors to access the expert knowledge of fellow colleagues to acquire answers to questions in a timely manner.’

                  ‘Alexandra Collett is an exemplary practitioner. She is professional, approachable and has excellent communication skills. She makes us feel at ease and comfortable and is always patient in explaining legal situations/terms. Her advice demonstrates that she has carefully considered the best course of action moving forward.’

                  Emyr Kerfoot – a tenacious and hard-fighting commercial litigator.’

                  ‘A great boutique outfit.’

                  ‘A good and sensible commercial team.’

                  ‘Alexandra Collett and the team have always made themselves available and open to client’s suggestions, collaboration and input, which is such a refreshing change.’

                  Key clients

                  Landlords of Barkway Park Golf Club

                  Aperture Debt Solutions LLP

                  Vermont Limited

                  Jonathan and Angela Whiteley

                  Work highlights

                  • Represented the director and shareholder of a specialist care home and education establishment in an unfair prejudice claim.
                  • Successfully acted on behalf of the Landlords of Barkway Golf Club in proceedings brought against a tenant of the golf course.
                  • Representing the directors and shareholders of a successful logistics company, who are engaged in a dispute with a fellow shareholder concerning the affairs of the company.

                  Farleys Solicitors LLP

                  Farleys Solicitors LLP fields a highly specialised team, which has a ‘great reputation in Lancashire‘. Kieran O’Connor has developed a strong reputation for dealing with high-value contract claims; Mark Hague offers vast expertise in complex insolvency litigation; Daniel Draper regularly deals with complex professional negligence cases; and Rachel Harrison specialises in intellectual property disputes. The department is also able to utilise its close ties with the firm’s highly regarded employment, commercial property, and corporate departments.

                  Practice head(s):

                  Kieran O’Connor; Mark Hague

                  Other key lawyers:

                  Daniel Draper; Rachel Harrison; Olivia Cooper

                  Testimonials

                  ‘The team were persistent in winning the case and knew when to push back on points.’

                  ‘Mark Hague and Olivia Cooper – excellent response time and communication.’

                  ‘They have a great reputation in Lancashire for providing helpful, personal and quality legal services.’

                  ‘I principally deal with Rachel Harrison, who is extremely knowledgeable, hardworking and very client-focused. She clearly punches above her weight and can deal with a full range of commercial disputes confidently and competently.’

                  Work highlights

                    Primas

                    Primas fields a growing bench of practitioners – including recent arrivals Hannah Wilson from Blackstone Solicitors Limited and senior associate Carl Sebastian from Kuit Steinart Levy LLP – who are well placed to handle mandates ranging from corporate and contractual disputes, to commercial fraud and professional negligence. Latterly, the team has also seen a concerted increase in injunctive relief work. Daniel Thomas heads up the practice.

                    Practice head(s):

                    Daniel Thomas

                    Other key lawyers:

                    Hannah Wilson; Carl Sebastian

                    Testimonials

                    ‘Fantastic listeners, very innovative with their approach to work and collaboration. Always feels like they’re on top of the work and fully up to speed with matters. Communication is always very good also.’

                    ‘They dealt with matters in an efficient manner to ensure the various situations were dealt with in a speedy and cost effective manner.’

                    ‘They are professional but personable and break things down in layman’s terms so everything is fully understood.’

                    ‘Daniel Thomas headed up the litigation department and was excellent in dealing with the issues that we had. He understood what we were trying to achieve and ensured that needless costs were not incurred in solving matters. Very approachable and always available when required.’

                    Work highlights

                    • Represented a group of off-shore investors in relation to a property fraud in the region of £3m.
                    • Represented a Premiership footballer in relation to a sham investment and obtained a worldwide freezing injunction for all of the client’s funds within a week.
                    • Represented an automotive company in relation to a breach of contract with a leading tyre manufacturer.

                    Slater Heelis

                    There is a particular focus on owner-managed businesses, individuals and entrepreneurs – particularly those with ties to the North West region – at Slater Heelis; the team has a notable track record representing such clients in complex contractual disputes and company litigation. The firm also fields a dedicated debt recovery offering. Key senior practitioners Elizabeth Wilkinson and Chris Bishop were joined in August 2021 by constultant John Gorner, formerly of Keoghs LLP.

                    Practice head(s):

                    Elizabeth Wilkinson

                    Other key lawyers:

                    Chris Bishop; John Gorner

                    Work highlights

                      Backhouse Jones

                      Boutique firm Backhouse Jones has carved out an excellent niche reputation handling transport-related litigation due to its ‘unrivalled knowledge‘ of the sector. The group’s ongoing involvement with the Road Haulage Association collective proceedings claim in the Competition Appeal Tribunal is illustrative of its expertise. ‘First class legal brainSteven Meyerhoff leads, with James Lomax supporting.

                      Practice head(s):

                      Steven Meyerhoff; James Lomax

                      Other key lawyers:

                      Jonathon Backhouse; Libby Pritchard

                      Testimonials

                      ‘A very strong team. Both Steven Meyerhoff and Jonathan Backhouse are first rate litigators, excellent tacticians and great team players.’

                      ‘Steven Meyerhoff – a city quality litigator who has the command of the detail and is great with the team and clients. Jonathan Backhouse, a superb strategist and tactician.’

                      ‘Unrivalled knowledge of the transport sector.’

                      ‘Steven Meyerhoff has a first class legal brain, is commercially aware and has excellent client skills. He is very much a go-to lawyer for large commercial disputes involving bus and truck operators. James Lomax is a strong litigator and a safe pair of hands.’

                      ‘Libby Pritchard is excellent and very much punches above her year of qualification with the value of work she undertakes and the quality that she shows in undertaking that work. She very much is one to watch.’

                      ‘All of the team is, in my experience, always available and hugely “client-centric”. We are in safe hands whatever the circumstances, and that cannot be valued too highly.’

                      ‘The team is always available to us to offer advice and guidance across multiple disciplines. Their attention to detail and subject matter expertise across such a broad church makes them an invaluable support mechanism.’

                      Key clients

                      Road Haulage Association Limited

                      Rotala PLC

                      Abellio UK

                      British Association of Removers Limited

                      Warrington Borough Transport Limited

                      Stagecoach Group PLC

                      H Parkinson Haulage Limited

                      Knowles Transport Limited

                      Biffa

                      Blackpool Transport

                      Work highlights

                      • Representing the Road Haulage Association in a collective proceedings claim in the Competition Appeal Tribunal, which seeks to represent over 17,000 truck operators from seeking damages arising out of an EC decision finding the major European truck operators guilty of anti-competitive practices.
                      • Representing the Road Haulage Association as part of collective proceedings on a discrete and preliminary issue regarding RHA’s litigation funding agreement with Therium.
                      • Handling a judicial review concerning the attempt by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) to impose a bus franchising scheme under the Bus Services Act 2017 on behalf of Rotala.

                      Mason Hayes Solicitors

                      At Mason Hayes Solicitors, Wilmslow-based practitioner Marcus Hayes acts on behalf of some of the largest household names in the telecoms arena; TalkTalk is just one example of the notable clients in the firm’s roster. Debt recovery mandates are also an area of strength.

                      Practice head(s):

                      Marcus Hayes

                      Testimonials

                      ‘Extraordinary commercial acumen allied to great experience of heavy-duty commercial litigation. A willingness to work closely with, and generate calm and confidence for, the clients.’

                      ‘Marcus Hayes is a joy to work with. He is always willing to put the effort in to give those he instructs everything they need, and his close client care attention and skills leave him well placed to obtain relevant information and ensure that litigation proceeds as smoothly as possible with a tightknit team.’

                      Work highlights

                        Woodcocks Haworth & Nuttall (WHN)

                        The team at WHN Solicitors serves a broad client base, which ranges from sole traders to high-profile commercial players, many with a local focus. Practice head Michael Shroot is noted for his expertise in director and shareholder disputes, while Sara Beaumont is the key contact for complex contractual litigation and debt recovery.

                        Practice head(s):

                        Michael Shroot

                        Other key lawyers:

                        Sara Beaumont

                        Testimonials

                        ‘Sara Beaumont is excellent: practical, focussed, determined and well organised. She is a very impressive litigator.’

                        ‘I thought that Sara Beaumont took a very strategic and commercially minded approach to the piece of litigation I was involved in, making a sensible offer that led to a good outcome for the client.’

                        ‘Sara Beaumont and Michael Shroot are both excellent, very personable, hard-working and offering real advice throughout all stages of a matter.’

                        Key clients

                        Peel Holdings Land & Property (UK) Ltd

                        Event City Ltd

                        Cartime Motor Company UK Ltd

                        Hartland Electrical Services Ltd

                        Redfoot Shoes Ltd

                        HDJ Electrical Ltd

                        AJ Hayhurst Ltd

                        BookCo Ltd

                        Robert Nicholas Steels Limited

                        First Signs Ltd

                        Work highlights

                        • Defending Event City against a claim for breach of a commercial licence agreement and misrepresentation.
                        • Representing Cartime Motor Company UK in a claim against an insurer following rejection of a policy claim and a professional negligence claim against the insurance broker.
                        • Representing Robert Nicholas Steels in relation to payments due under a commercial contract where the creditor has become insolvent.