Hall Of Fame

Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the North West in North West


DTM Legal LLP, headed by Chester-based Jim Morris, provides expertise in disputes involving contracts, finance, intellectual property, construction and restrictive covenants. The team is also noted for its experience in alternative dispute resolution methods such as negotiation, mediation, adjudication and arbitration. Richard Thomas covers a range of areas from stakeholder disputes to restrictive covenant matters. Guy Thomas  has expertise in the construction sector while Jonathan Partridge has worked for insurer clients on property risk and coverage disputes.

Practice head(s):

Jim Morris

Other key lawyers:

Richard Thomas; Guy Thomas; Jonathan Partridge


‘Good availability and realistic advice on settlement prospects.’

‘Richard Thomas leads the team well and is realistic.’

‘Jim Morris is very pragmatic and client friendly.’

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

Thomas Storey Fabrications Group Limited

Greenthumb Limited

Begbies Traynor

Monolith Brick and Stone Limited

Edge Recovery

Clancy Consulting Limited

Halls Auctioneers Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised in a successful adjudication against a claim related to piling works of circa £1million.

FS Legal

FS Legal is known for its ability to deal with high-value, complex litigation for international corporates, local businesses and high net-worth individuals. Kit Sorrell covers the full spectrum of commercial litigation issues such as shareholder disputes, warranty claims, contractual disputes and expert determinations. He co-heads the team with Julia Norris who is well-versed in professional negligence disputes. Christine Newton  is experienced in the manufacturing and construction sectors while Nicola Stanley  has a specialism in property litigation matters.

Practice head(s):

Kit Sorrell; Julia Norris

Other key lawyers:

Christine Newton; Nicola Stanley


‘The wide range of skills and varied experience across the team ensure that the full spectrum of options are explored.’

‘Kit Sorrell’s experience and knowledge of the law is second to none and his ability to being original and creative thinking to the case opens new avenues for resolution.’

‘Christine Newton’s case management skills, tenacity and attention to detail keeps the case on track and minds focused.’

‘Very commercially focused. Good strong team able to communicate and is straightforward.’

‘They have provided me with all legal guidance from the first letter of response, right through to the upcoming ADR process.’

‘A team of strong lawyers carrying out serious cases against London firms, and as good as any firm in the regions. It is a disputes only practice so every decision and recruitment is aimed at furthering that goal; essentially a boutique but from before the time firms started using that expression.’

‘Kit Sorrell – one of the most experienced litigators in the NW, brilliant tactical nous and can still get stuck into excellent drafting when needed. Christine Newton is an excellent lawyer who always goes the extra mile to advance the client’s case.’

‘Communications were swift and very accurate. I was kept informed at every stage and could not have been happier with the outcome.’

Work highlights

  • Instructed by clients to defend proceedings brought by the FCA.

Gorvins Solicitors

Gorvins Solicitors is recognised for its expertise in insolvency litigation in addition to disputes arising out of commercial matters, warranty claims, breach of contract and partnership issues. Mark Deverell co-heads the team out of Stockport and acts on behalf of businesses, principal shareholders and directors. Other co-head Guy Lightowler works on cross-border disputes for SMEs, PLCs and multinationals. Danielle Clements is well-versed in property litigation in addition to contentious probate matters.

Practice head(s):

Mark Deverell; Guy Lightowler

Other key lawyers:

Danielle Clements


‘Cross section of staff who have excellent knowledge of everything you ask from them.’

‘I worked with Guy Lightowler and Mark Deverell, who are all excellent in what then know and what they advise. You walk away knowing that they really care and are genuinely on your side.’

‘Very good team of commercially minded lawyers who work in high value complex matters keeping client’s interests paramount.’

Key clients

Williams Motor Company (Holdings) Limited

Avonside Group Services Limited

Myerson Solicitors LLP

Myerson Solicitors LLP specialises in commercial litigation and shareholder disputes with particular focus on agency and professional negligence matters. The practice is headed by Adam Maher out of Altrincham who regularly handles injunctive relief applications, unfair prejudice petitions and derivative actions. Tim Norman is well-versed in shareholder disputes and professional negligence matters while Sven Clarke acts for commercial lenders, financial institutions and creditors. Suzanne Carr  specialises in contract enforcement and termination, claims for damages and breach of contract issues with support from Vicky Biggs.

Practice head(s):

Adam Maher

Other key lawyers:

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


‘The commercial litigation team at Myersons is a regional team doing national level work – with aplomb.’

‘Sven Clarke stands head and shoulders above his peers. Utterly unflappable, and never loses sight of the bigger picture; a master negotiator.’

‘They have the personal and connected touch only a small firm can have. However, they have the expertise you would normally only expect from a big firm. The best of both worlds.’

‘Adam Maher – very sensible, calm and practical, but capable of being tough and robust when he needs to.’

‘Robert Brothers and Sven Clarke are both first class commercial litigators and excellent with clients. Both thoughtful and careful in advising their clients and always well prepared. Very hard-working.’

‘The team at Myerson are very effective, dynamic, ambitious and very personable. A very cohesive and positive team that consistently achieve excellent results for their clients. The team consistently rise to the challenges presented by challenging cases.’

‘Adam Maher is a visionary, positive and creative leader who consistently leads his team to outstanding results in the most complex and hard fought of cases. Suzanne Carr is a very cerebral and personable litigator who holds her nerve. Sven Clarke is a tenacious and collaborative litigator. Robert Brothers is a highly effective, determined and personable litigator who consistently achieves great results.’

‘Robert Brothers is exceptionally well organised and tactically astute. On a case that I worked with him on recently he spotted the flaw in the opponent’s argument, which ultimately resulted in the claim being struck out with costs, avoiding a costly trial for the client.’

Key clients

Dino Buonaguidi

Christina Cawood

AWH Legal Limited & Source Legal Limited

Pentacle Disputes Limited

Mrs Anne Coyne

Mr Stephen Smith

Napthens LLP

David Bailey is at the helm at Napthens LLP which specialises in areas such as commercial contract, construction, professional negligence and contested probate litigation. He provides expert advice on commercial landlord and tenant disputes including rent arrears, forfeiture and eviction and is primarily based in Preston. John Whittingslow specialises in partnership and professional negligence claims while Andrew Holden represents creditors and debtors in contentious insolvency matters, with a focus on rural matters. Charlotte Barron works on several areas such as corporate transactions and commercial property litigation. The firm also has North West bases in Liverpool and Blackburn, amongst others.

Practice head(s):

David Bailey

Other key lawyers:

John Whittingslow; Andrew Holden; Charlotte Barron


‘Extremely thorough, responsive and knowledgeable. Timely in response and a good welcoming and open team to deal with.’

‘Andrew Holden is a great guy, very thorough and knowledgeable but commercial, articulate and understanding.’

‘John Whittingslow is robust and always on top of the details, and sees the big picture. Very good with clients and at looking after their interests. Seems very busy and to have a steady stream of substantial cases.’

Key clients

Daniel Thwaites Plc

Zymurgorium Limited

The Diocese of Blackburn

E H Booth and Co

Alcedo Care Ltd

National Farmers Union (NFU)

Aaron & Partners LLP

Aaron & Partners LLP handles complex and high value shareholder disputes, partnership disputes and matters arising out of corporate transactions. The team, which operates from bases in Altrincham, Chester and Birkenhead, is also well-versed in claims involving directors and their duties, restrictive covenants, property litigation and professional negligence. The firm has an excellent reputation in the transport and warehousing sectors. Nick Clarke  heads the practice with expertise in handling professional negligence claims with support from David Harries. David Potts  works on contentious issues relating to insolvency and regulatory matters. John Devoy  acts on property litigation matters while Layla Barke-Jones  and Claire Hughes  are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Nick Clarke

Other key lawyers:

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


‘Competent and experienced team able to hold its own as we have known from matters handled for us this year.’

‘Layla Barke Jones is outstanding, very attentive to her clients and very experienced.’

‘Understanding of our industry, local knowledge, availability of partners, consistency in approach and local reputation.’

‘Nick Clarke is calm, approachable, speedy on response and comprehensive.’

Key clients

Dŵr Cymru Ltd

Brabners LLP

Brabners LLP specialises in the mid-market and acts for entrepreneurs, private companies, SMEs, OMBs and family businesses. The practice has expertise in directors and shareholder disputes, breach of warranty claims, injunctive relief, defamation and debt recovery. The key name is Tom Smith who works on commercial and insolvency-based litigation from the firm's Central Lancashire office, which operates in tandem with the firm's Liverpool and Manchester bases. Contentious probate disputes are handled by legal director Stephanie Kerr who regularly acts for executors of estates.

Practice head(s):

Tom Smith

Other key lawyers:

Stephanie Kerr


‘A strong and experienced teams with a number of specialisms.’

‘Tom Smith is an experienced and knowledgeable litigator. He is always available to discuss any issues and can eloquently explain all issues on a piece of litigation.’

‘Fast, professional and considered response compared with other legal firms that I’ve dealt with.’

Key clients

Begbies Traynor

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

Debt Focus/Focus Insolvency

ESE Group Limited

F2 Chemicals Limited

Hilton Smyth Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for four individuals in a freezing order and claim against them by Barclays Bank for unjust enrichment and unlawful means conspiracy.
  • Acted for a former partner in a large accountancy firm in claim against former employer and director of that company for conspiracy.
  • Acted for Part 20 Defendants in a claim valued at £3m brought by eight claimants against three Defendants and the Part 20 Defendants.

Forbes Solicitors

The commercial litigation team at Forbes Solicitors works with a broad range of corporate and public sector clients. This client base includes partnerships, directors, government bodies, football clubs and national housing associations. Stephen McArdle is well-versed in director and partnership disputes in addition to professional negligence and injunctive proceedings. He heads the team, working alongside Sheroze Nadeem, who is experienced in acting for SMEs, and Georgina Kenny , who handles property litigation issues.

Practice head(s):

Stephen McArdle

Other key lawyers:

Sheroze Nadeem; Georgina Kenny


‘Vast amount of knowledge in their specialist area. Very supportive, approachable and always available for advice. Dedicated staff. Billing is very clear and accurate.’

‘Stephen McArdle is readily available, easy to contact and knowledgeable in his field.’

‘The team is client-focused, energetic and enthusiastic in my experience.’

Key clients

Begbies Traynor (Central) LLP

FRP Advisory

Brookhouse Aerospace

Claves Estates

Opus Restructuring LLP

Trust Inns

Sundown Solutions

Senator International Group

Octagon Theatre Trust Limited

Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service

NR Barton Chartered Accountants

Bright Blue Foods

Burnley Football Club

BeMo Tunnelling UK

Your Zooki

Kepak Group

Work highlights

  • Instructed in a complex multi-million pound contract claim against a local authority in respect of a public sector pension fund surplus.
  • Instructed by a local authority in the defence of a multi-million pound alleged claim in relation to damage to property.
  • Instructed in ongoing complex High Court proceedings valued at in excess of £1,000,000 to act for the Defendant in a business disruption case.

Harrison Drury & Co

Harrison Drury & Co , which operates from five NW offices including Preston and Lancaster, offers the full spectrum of services in commercial disputes matters from contractual disputes to shareholder disputes and director misfeasance. The practice is regularly called upon to advise in sports disputes and disciplinary matters. Practice head Sean Gibbs acts in relation to enforcement of intellectual property and reputational rights. Nick Booth works on breach of duty claims and contractual disputes. Helen Griffin is experienced in working with SMEs while Matthew Astley works on employment-related contentious cases.

Practice head(s):

Sean Gibbs

Other key lawyers:

Nick Booth; Helen Griffin; Matthew Astley


‘Harrison Drury were very efficient to work with and clearly had a good rapport with their client.’

‘Nick Booth was first rate.’

‘First class attention to detail and to the practical realities of litigation. Thorough and committed to getting the best for the client. Remarkable people skills, an attribute lacking in so many firms, but not in this team.’

‘Sean Gibbs and Helen Griffin excel in both knowledge of the law and going the extra mile for the client. Both are fantastic communicators.’

‘Having engaged the services of Harrison Drury on a professional negligence case, I have found them to be highly efficient, extremely knowledgeable and very professional approach at all times. I would not hesitate to recommend them.’

‘The team are great to work with and come up with solutions based on each individual case.’

‘Each one of the professionals we have dealt with are exceptional in their line of work and the advice they give is exceptional.’

‘The team boasts an extraordinary capability rarely seen outside of the large city practices to take on board and strategize on large complex problems and has an ability to understand a business’s practices with ease.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for two Defendants on a substantial case with numerous parties relating to, amongst other things, allegations of misappropriated funds and secret profits in the total amount of £4.6 million.
  • Acted on an emergency basis to consider contractual terms of a booking agreement.
  • Acted on a high net worth family shareholder dispute for five companies.

Jolliffe & Co LLP

From its base in Chester, Jolliffe & Co LLP acts for a wide variety of clients including corporate SMEs and high-net worth individuals on issues such as contractual claims, partnership disputes, breach of warranty claims and property litigation. Richard Moose leads the team and has a wealth of experience in commercial matters such as financial mis-selling, contentious probate and property litigation. Lindsey Jenkins works on issues relating to the Inheritance Act while Rachel Shone has expertise in property matters.

Practice head(s):

Richard Moose

Other key lawyers:

Lindsey Jenkins; Rachel Shone


‘The team at Jolliffe are professional, expertly knowledgeable and friendly. Even the most complex areas of law are presented and explained in a way that puts clients at ease.’

‘Richard Moose always goes above and beyond that which I would expect, proactively identifying and solving issues before I’d even realised they were on the horizon.’

SAS Daniels LLP

SAS Daniels LLP is a Chester-based practice which acts for a wide variety of clients, including corporate SMEs, high-net worth individuals and international clients. The practice covers a range of disputes including contractual claims, partnership issues, professional negligence, intellectual property and contentious probate. Practice head Stewart Burrows is experienced in matters involving shareholder disputes, contentious probate and property litigation. Ray Woodward covers professional negligence claims and banking disputes.

Practice head(s):

Stewart Burrows

Other key lawyers:

Ray Woodward


‘Stewart Burrows is a very capable litigator, with overseas clients and cases which attract media attention. Excellent with his clients, a first-class supporter of his advocates – opponents under-estimate him at their peril.’

Butcher & Barlow LLP

Butcher & Barlow LLP undertakes a spread of commercial litigation work ranging from shareholder disputes to professional negligence and construction matters. Alex Sandland heads up the team from Gadbrook Park with specialism in property and land disputes. Mark Turner has a particular focus in company disputes including director and shareholder matters in addition to partnership disputes.

Practice head(s):

Alex Sandland

Other key lawyers:

Mark Turner


‘They work as a team rather than collection of individuals representing different expertise / departments.’

‘The utter professionalism of every aspect of the firm and its employee is outstanding – from the legal team down to the reception team. The commercial litigation department are superb and pulled out all the stops for me.’

‘Since dealing with Butcher & Barlow LLP I have found the firm very helpful with all my concerns. Giving me the right advice, time to think about my decisions, alternatives to my situation. On the whole I’m very pleased with everything they’ve done for me. Always punctual with emails & correspondence, returning phone calls.’

Key clients

Seddon Group

Aeroco Group Limited

ABC Digital Solutions Limited

Redstart Northwest Limited

Nubold Group Limited

Fords of Winsford Limited

Dutton Contractors

Duff & Phelps

Work highlights

  • Advised national managed technology services supplier in connection with an acrimonious dispute with a competitor, involving allegations of breach of copyright, conspiracy and malicious falsehood.
  • Advised Seddon Construction Limited on a dispute with an NHS trust over works done in refurbishing hospital mental health facilities.
  • Advised one of the partners in a deeply contentious family agricultural partnership dispute, with quantum anticipated to be in excess of £2 million.

Excello Law

The lawyers at Excello Law deal with a range of commercial disputes covering a breadth of areas with a focus on company, shareholder, partnership, insolvency and contractual matters. Emyr Kerfoot acts for local companies, solicitors, accountants and private individuals on partnership and insolvency issues. He co-heads the team with Alexandra Collett who represents manufacturers, e-commerce retailers and hospitality venues. Both are primarily based in the Chester area.

Practice head(s):

Alexandra Collett; Emyr Kerfoot


‘Pragmatic and client focused team based in Chester. Modern and well equipped offices.’

‘Emyr Kerfoot is a robust but pragmatic litigator. Alexandra Collett is careful and very client focused.’

‘Emyr Kerfoot is a very able and shrewd commercial litigator, with particular expertise in shareholder and partnership matters. He is pragmatic, commercial and client-oriented and sees litigation as just one means of achieving his client’s business objectives. He is a good friend to clients and a match for any opponent.’

‘The team at Excello provide an exemplary service which at all times has a really personal approach. They are very responsive to communication and also really clear with advice, expert knowledge and direction. An excellent firm which I would strongly recommend.’

‘Emyr and Alex are both very approachable whilst at the same time maintaining a high level of professionalism. Both have the ability to make a client feel at ease and confident in the advice and service that they provide. They make for an excellent team.’

‘My experience with Excello law was refreshingly good. Unlike other practices, they understood my case very quickly and concisely and were very cooperative in adapting my extensive notes efficiently into comprehensive arguments which contained no “boiler plate” whatsoever.’

‘The individuals I work with are easy to contact on the telephone, respond very promptly to emails and some how manage to sum up the evidence in logically powerful and concise way without omission of even the small, yet pertinent, corroborating facts.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for clients facing unfair prejudice proceedings.

Knights plc

Knights plc offers services to commercial clients in a range of matters from contractual disputes between businesses to partnership and shareholder matters. Other areas include professional negligence, insurance, construction and engineering. Lancaster-based Caroline Rayner leads the team and regularly represents employers in tribunal and court proceedings. Christopher Clayton works on commercial fraud, insurance-related and misrepresentation issues.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Rayner

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Clayton

Work highlights

Manleys Solicitors

Manleys Solicitors is known for its work on shareholder disputes, high-value contractual and professional negligence matters. The practice also focuses on sports-related actions in addition to defamation cases. Mark Manley leads the practice from Chester; he handles disputes relating to reputation management, brand protection, defamation and privacy. Jessica Turner acts for a variety of clients including celebrities, political parties, social media influencers and medical professionals.

Practice head(s):

Mark Manley

Other key lawyers:

Jessica Turner


‘Mark Manley is very skillful, an excellent negotiator and understands the nuances of litigation.’

‘Manleys have an outstanding team of commercial lawyers.’

‘Manleys understanding of each case and the time they take to put all the facts together before any replies are made, puts them a cut above the rest in my view. Very friendly and approachable and trustworthy.’

Key clients

Port Sunlight Village Trust

Linney Cooper Limited

Hassan Mughal


Work highlights

  • Represented Linney Cooper Limited in 3 highly complex shareholder disputes.
  • Negotiated terms of the Knowledge Transfer Partnership agreement under Government backed scheme, with the University of Manchester on behalf of Port Sunlight Village Trust.
  • Represented large construction company in relation to the correct use of cladding following the Grenfell Tower Disaster.


Primas handles a broad range of complex and high-value cases ranging from disputes between shareholders, removal of directors and disqualification proceedings to commercial fraud and professional negligence claims. The firm operates from three North West offices in Cheshire, Liverpool and Manchester, as well as base in London. The disputes practice has particular expertise in relation to applications for injunctive relief. Daniel Thomas heads the team and undertakes litigation work across several sectors including manufacturing and construction.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Thomas

Other key lawyers:

Hannah Wilson; Carl Sebastian


‘Very small but very focused, dynamic and capable team.’

‘You always deal with the same small number of people, but they are very committed to your case.’

‘Daniel Thomas – very proactive, always has time for clients, he will battle for the best result, fast response times, dynamic, commercially sensible.’

Work highlights

  • Instructed to advise off-shore investors in relation to an application pursuant Section 423 of the Insolvency Act.
  • Instructed to advise in relation to a breach of contract issue between a prestige car manufacturer and substantial tyre manufacturer.
  • Instructed by a leading HR business in relation to substantial injunctive proceedings in connection with the removal of confidential information and various breaches of covenants.

Backhouse Jones

Backhouse Jones has particular strength in the transport sector, acting for road haulage operators, logistics businesses, bus operators and trade associations. James Lomax is experienced in advising on employment-related cases and co-heads the Clitheroe-based team with Steven Meyerhoff. Jonathon Backhouse is well-versed in cases arising out of road transport including VAT and duties tribunal appeals.

Practice head(s):

Steven Meyerhoff; James Lomax

Other key lawyers:

Jonathon Backhouse


‘A strong and resourceful team who undertake work of a complexity and value far above the relatively small size of the firm.’

‘Steven Meyerhoff is the leader of the commercial litigation practice at Backhouse Jones. He is an first-rate litigator with deep knowledge of the UK transport sector.’

‘Steven Meyerhoff is head of the team and extremely capable.’

‘Very focused on clients’ best interests and commerciality with a solid legal background.’

‘The people within the practice are its unique selling point – always helpful and available.’

‘The commercial litigation team at Backhouse Jones is relatively small but definitely punches above its weight. It is involved in a number of large-scale litigation matters.’

Key clients

Road Haulage Association Limited

Rotala PLC

Abellio UK

British Association of Removers Limited

Warrington Borough Transport Limited

H Parkinson Haulage Limited

Knowles Transport Limited


Blackpool Transport

Work highlights

  • Advised on the Road Haulage Association collective proceedings claim in the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
  • Advised the Road Haulage Association as part of the above collective proceedings on a discrete and preliminary issue regarding RHA’s Litigation Funding Agreement.

Slater Heelis

The dispute resolution department at Slater Heelis is well-versed in corporate litigation with shareholder, director and warranty matters. The practice also specialises in property litigation, contentious wills and probate. Practice head Elizabeth Wilkinson advises on claims arising out of the sale and purchase of businesses while Mike Carter focuses on professional negligence and contract claims. John Gorner specialises in contentious probate and trusts.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Wilkinson

Other key lawyers:

Mike Carter; John Gorner


‘Slater Heelis is a highly approachable yet professional firm, with seamless cohesion between departments. The firm has over the years transitioned from a High Street practice to a major commercial solicitors without losing its ability and desire to retain its traditional customer base and hands on approach.’

‘All staff at Slater Heelis are warm and friendly, yet exceptionally precise and professional in their dealings with all parties to litigation. I have had considerably positive interactions with Elizabeth Wilkinson.’

Woodcocks Haworth & Nuttall (WHN)

The dispute resolution team at Woodcocks Haworth & Nuttall (WHN) covers a range of areas including professional negligence, insolvency, debt, shareholder and partnership disputes. Michael Shroot heads the team from Bury and covers all aspects of commercial litigation from property to contract matters. He is supported by Sara Beaumont who is well-versed in debt recovery cases.

Practice head(s):

Michael Shroot

Other key lawyers:

Sara Beaumont


‘Always very professional and efficient when picking up work for their team members.’

‘I have worked alongside WHN on a complex case where they have handled the litigation aspects. The team, headed by Michael Shroot, are responsive, sensible and plainly have the best interests of their client at heart.’

‘Michael Shroot gives sensible, experienced advice. He keeps costs in mind, does not lose focus of the aims and thinks strategically. He is very responsive and collaborative.’

Key clients

Peel Holdings Land & Property (UK) Ltd

AJ Hayhurst Ltd

BookCo Ltd

Fierce PC Limited

Horrocks & Company (Accountants) Limited

Albeego Ltd

Remarkable Technology Limited

Bespoke Supportive Tenancies Limited

KTM Welding & Fabrications Ltd

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Peel Holdings to defend seven High Court claims brought by three Local Authorities, Salford City Council, Trafford Council & Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council.
  • Advised Fierce PC in relation to a professional negligence claim against their insurance broker following a break in at their premises which resulted in the theft of stock valued at circa £0.5m.
  • Advised Bespoke Supportive Tenancies in relation to a dispute with a support provider regarding the recovery of ‘void charges’ due under the terms of the service level contract.