Commercial litigation: Liverpool in North West

Brabners LLP

Brabners LLP represents a diverse range of commercial clients in the financial services, sports, and media sectors, alongside prominent individuals and insolvency practitioners. Matters include partnership, directors and shareholder disputes, contentious trusts and probate disputes, and finance litigation, alongside high-profile media and defamation proceedings. The team is led by Paul Lunt, who specialises in shareholder and partnership issues, as well as libel cases. Philip Steele has a broad commercial litigation practice with notable capabilities in international arbitration and restrictive covenants, while Helen Otty handles shareholder disputes, warranty claims, and media litigation.

Practice head(s):

Paul Lunt

Other key lawyers:

Phillip Steele; Helen Otty


‘The Team at Brabners have provided a knowledgeable service, and act professionally throughout. Providing guidance, highlighting the risks involved, ultimately assisting us to come to an informed decision.’

‘They are thorough in their understanding of the intricate details of the commercial activity of their client. They have also showed patience and understanding.’

‘Very proactive and supportive when issues arise, which need external counsel to deal expeditiously and with minimum fuss. ’

‘Paul Lunt and Phil Steele are the stand out commercial litigators. They are astute and give no nonsense advice which has enabled us to make swift and decisive decisions on some complex and sensitive matters.’

Key clients

Coleen Rooney

Ben Stokes

Apeejay Tea (Panama) Inc. (whose brands include Typhoo Tea),

United Utilities

Bibby Financial Services

Peel Ports Group

TJ Morris Limited (t/a Home Bargain)

Arnold Clark

Nichols Plc (Vimto)

Work highlights

  • Represented Coleen Rooney, television personality and wife of former England international footballer Wayne Rooney, in connection with libel proceedings that have been issued against her by Rebekah Vardy, wife of former England international footballer Jamie Vardy.
  • Represented Ben Stokes, England international cricketer, and his mother, Deborah Stokes in their invasion of privacy claim against News Group Newspapers Limited.
  • Representing football agencies who have experienced difficulty in obtaining payment from clubs for monies due to them under representation contracts.


DWF represents major regional businesses and high-net-worth individuals in high-value and complex litigation, including damages and financial claims, shareholder and partnership disputes, and breach of warranty claims. Of particular note is the firm's telecoms sector expertise where it has been involved in major national decisions relating to the industry. The team is led by Andrew Whalley, who handles heavyweight contractual and commercial disputes alongside cross-border and regulatory issues, Graham Dagnall, who has expertise in disputes in the food and professional services sectors as well as litigation funding, and Matthew Stoll, who takes the lead on insured litigation. Chris King handles pensions, trust and probate disputes.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Whalley; Graham Dagnall; Matthew Stoll

Other key lawyers:

Chris King; Lyndsay Crowder-Barton


‘The size and breadth of the DWF litigation team is impressive, meaning that there is very little that they cannot handle. There is an excellent band of Directors and Senior Associates, who provide plenty of support for the more junior fee earners. That means that, from a client perspective, a dispute is handled effectively and with the appropriate level of resources. The firm’s technology and systems has seen them work equally effectively through the Covid pandemic. ’

‘Very able team with the ability to take on a wide range of disputes for major commercial clients such as banks and insurers. ’

‘Chris King’s team is very strong and well led. His associates can run litigation effectively and cost efficiently with Chris’ strategic input from time to time.’

‘A top tier service for the most demanding commercial and public law litigation but at excellent value for many.’

‘Andrew Whalley is not only a wise lawyer but has an acute understanding of the practical and strategic demands of litigation and great skill at assembling and managing the right solicitor-counsel team for the job.’

‘I had not previously worked with this team at DWF and I was really impressed. They were very efficient and practical in their approach and worked closely with counsel and the client.’

‘I have worked with the team on a very substantial matter and have been impressed by their organisation, commitment to the client (a major multinational) and the consistency in quality of work produced by the associates. ’

‘Andrew Whalley – impressive attention to detail, and positive strategic leadership of a large team on a very complex matter.’

Lyndsay Crowder-Barton – excellent combination of legal analysis, organisational ability and good client-handling. Very reliable and a great asset to any team on a complex dispute.

‘Fantastic team work, commercially savvy and client focused work product whilst keeping a careful eye on the legal issues in play.’


Key clients

Telefonica UK Limited (O2)

Burton’s Foods Limited

Stage Capital (formerly NBGI)

Crown Paints Limited

giffgaff Limited

DAS Legal Expenses Insurance Company Limited

Liverpool John Moores University

Chess ICT Limited

Lloyds Banking Group

ACC Arena Liverpool Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented O2 in two ground breaking Court of Appeal cases flowing from the claim for restitution of annual licence fees.
  • Represented Burton’s Foods in relation to business interruption / loss of profit claim against Barratt Homes for flooding caused by the development of adjacent land.
  • Representing a manufacturing client in a case regarding a significant data breach caused by the systematic downloading of personal data, confidential information and business critical IP by an ex-employee.

Hill Dickinson LLP

Hill Dickinson LLP represents clients in a diverse range of commercial and corporate disputes, acting on a national basis in several high-profile and complex cases, including proceedings before tax tribunals and commercial courts. Areas of expertise include shareholder and partnership disputes, and international arbitration. The latter is a strength of new arrival from Faegre Baker DanielsAdrian Jones. Breach of contract claims, and misuse of confidential information issues are other areas of expertise. Experienced litigator Fiona Parry leads the team, and is regularly involved in high-value claims in a variety of sectors, while Paul Walsh has particular expertise in contractual and IT disputes. Nina Ferris was promoted to partner, and continues to grow her profile in heavyweight litigation, while senior associate Kate Steele has notable data protection capabilities.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Parry

Other key lawyers:

Paul Walsh; Nina Ferris; Kate Steele; Adrian Jones; Jon Scally


‘A client-focussed, responsive team that works hand-in-glove with in-house counsel/GC in a commercial and effective way. Good knowledge of the law and tactical awareness leading to good outcomes.’

‘Paul Walsh assembles and leads an appropriately skilled and resourceful team well bringing his own clam and assured manner to difficult and complex disputes. He is ably assisted by the up and coming Jon Scally.’

‘Pragmatic and commercially focused. The team represent excellent value for money.’

‘Fiona Parry is calm, reassuring and commercially focused. She has good attention to detail without losing sight of the bigger picture.’

‘Excellent responsiveness and diligence in preparation.’

‘Paul Walsh – hands-on leadership and a real expertise in his field.’


Key clients

Agilent Technologies LDA UK Limited

F S Commercial Limited

Paul Bell

Tamsin Landelle and Colin MacDougall

King Parrott Frozen Foods Limited

Bellrock Property & Facilities Management Limited

365 Health and Wellbeing Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing Agilent in Commercial Court proceedings arising out of the supply of an allegedly defective industrial magnet.
  • Representing FS Commercial in a tax tribunal in relation to appeals against determinations in respect of allegedly underpaid PAYE and NICs.
  • Representing Paul Bell, the second defendant in a claim issued by Ivy Technologies.

Provenio Litigation

Boutique firm Provenio Litigation focuses on high-value, complex commercial litigation, representing listed companies, investors, and high-net-worth individuals. The team works on national and international cases, including IT and outsourcing disputes, commercial contract disputes, and litigation arising from M&A. Mark Goodwin leads the team, and has a strong reputation in litigation and cross-border disputes. Catherine Radcliffe has represented clients in a number of high-value disputes, and has also contributed to the firm's work in litigation funding. Senior associate Emma Charnock is noted for her in-house regulatory experience and work on SPA disputes. David Gray joined from DLA Piper as a consultant.

Practice head(s):

Mark Goodwin

Other key lawyers:

Catherine Radcliffe; Emma Charnock; Hannah Catterall


‘One of the best conflict-free litigation boutiques and the heaviest hitter outside London. Unrivalled contacts in the market and able to attract big ticket domestic and international work. A dynamic and responsive team able to meet the demands of the most challenging disputes.’

‘Mark Goodwin is a heavy hitter and rightly acknowledged as being a star player in the market, particularly for large disputes emanating from the North West of England. An imaginative and intelligent lawyer he is a master tactician. Mark is ably supported by Catherine Radcliffe. Dedicated, thorough and thoughtful she bring a meticulous approach to every case. The partners are ably supported by the up and coming and very impressive Emma Charnock and Hannah Catterall.’

‘The team are approachable and responsive, they understand our entrepreneurial approach and needs.’

‘Both Mark and Hannah really get where we are coming from and are able to discuss detailed points and brainstorm strategy.’

‘The firm is an interesting example of the new litigation boutiques, often, as in the case of Provenio, also making creative use of funding. Provenio is unusual amongst those boutiques in offering litigation services to corporate clients combined at the same time with willingness to take risk and flexibility over fee structures. These together are a pretty unique proposition. ’

‘We have worked with Mark for approaching 10 years on a number of matters and he is rock solid and gets results.’


Work highlights

  • Representing a leading corporate financier in a claim for substantial losses suffered as a consequence of wrongful prosecution by HMRC and CPS, valued in excess of £200m.
  • Representing an investor in the defence of a claim relating to the sale of a portfolio of hotels. valued at circa £200m.
  • Representing in a £20m insurance coverage dispute relating to remedial works to a high voltage power supply project.


Bermans represents businesses and high-net-worth individuals in a wide range of commercial disputes, with expertise in banking and asset finance, property and construction, IP, employment, and professional services litigation. The firm also has a leading debt recovery and invoice practice. The team is led by Nick Harvey, who represents clients in high-value disputes on a national basis. Jonathan Berkson has a successful record in handling financial claims, as well as arbitration, and Andrew Koffman is noted for his work on shareholder and partnership disputes and employment litigation. Michael Smeaton was promoted to partner in 2020 in recognition of his work on complex disputes.

Practice head(s):

Nick Harvey

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Berkson; Andrew Koffman; Michael Smeaton


‘Bermans, although a sizable firm, appeared to me boutique, in that my dealings were predominantly with a partner and his associates. I never once felt as though I was being passed down the line. They are very much a hands on firm which gives the impression they are constantly with you and you are not facing what is a trying time alone.’

‘Nick Harvey is an excellent communicator. From our initial meeting he put me at ease and throughout the case constantly explained the intricacies of law in a way I could understand. Nick made himself available to me all hours of the day and constantly took the emotion out of my arguments bringing the focus back to the bigger picture of winning. Nick knew the basis on which we would win and did not allow me to deviate.’

Work highlights

  • Representing 200+ HNW claimant investors in a claim for breach of contract and duty against HSBC Bank for compensation of circa £55m.
  • Representing 4 HNW Individuals in claims for damages for malicious prosecution and / or misfeasance in a public office each claim worth between £3-12m.
  • Representing a liquidator in a claim for misfeasance against a former director for the sale of one of its principal assets [a company based in the USA] at an undervalue. Claim valued at circa £1.5m.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper represents local and national clients in complex, high-value litigation relating to commercial contracts, financial disputes, and cross-border issues, with notable capabilities in international arbitration and litigation. Clients include major sports, aerospace, and education companies. The team is overseen by North West litigation head Andrew Smith and senior Liverpool team member Christina Sharma, a director with broad expertise across domestic and international proceedings relating to shareholder and partnership disputes, contracts and procurement, and civil fraud. David Cook joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP in early 2020, and specialises in data protection disputes arising from GDPR.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Smith; Christina Sharma

Other key lawyers:

David Cook

Key clients

The Liverpool Football & Athletic Grounds Limited

OBN Private Jet Limited

Portaltech Reply Limited

Underbelly Limited

University Superannuation Scheme (USS)

Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL)

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Liverpool FC in defending a breach of contract claim in which Winlink sought to claim commission on LFC’s training kit sponsorship deal with BetVictor in 2016.
  • Representing OBN Private Jet Limited and a private individual in the High Court in proceedings valued at $30m in relation to the purchase and financing of a private jet.
  • Representing Portaltech Reply Limited in its breach of contract, non-payment of fees claim, against Iceland Foods Limited.

Weightmans LLP

Weightmans LLP represents large corporates, OMBs, educational institutions, and local authorities, specialising in commercial contract disputes, alongside shareholder and partnership issues and intellectual property litigation. The team is led by Andrew Roberts, a senior litigator with a strong record in the manufacturing sector, alongside IT and contracts work, intellectual property, and defamation cases, alongside Sarah Conroy, who co-ordinates the Liverpool team and has broad expertise across complex contractual disputes, company disputes, and restrictive covenant disputes. Principal associate Michelle Connor works with public and private sector clients, with notable experience of court processes and judicial review.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Roberts; Sarah Conroy

Other key lawyers:

Michelle Connor


‘Very well prepared instructions. Good attention to detail. ’

‘Sarah Conroy has a realistic and practical approach to litigation. ’

‘This is an excellent commercial team with excellent strength in depth. ’

‘Sarah Conroy is a pleasure to deal with. She is highly focused on achieving good results at a sensible price.’

‘Fantastic team who can always rescue a situation at short notice, really valued partners in a crisis.’

‘Generally have been easy to deal with and the communication has been good over what has been a protracted time frame.’

Key clients

George Roberts (North West) Limited

Kirkby (Tyres) Limited

University of Liverpool

S Norton & Co Limited

International Medical Press Limited

Sovini Property Services Limited

BMP Europe Limited

Anglesey County Council

Northside Truck & Van Limited

Equality and Human Rights Commission

Landmarc Support Services Limited


Led by specialist construction litigator Jim Morris, who divides his time between Chester and Liverpool, DTM Legal LLP represents an array of clients in the technology, manufacturing, and services sectors, alongside insolvency practitioners, in high-value claims, including representations before national courts. Kate Roberts is also a key name, representing clients in commercial, financial, and insolvency-related disputes.

Practice head(s):

Jim Morris

Other key lawyers:

Kate Roberts; Richard Harris


‘I have recently worked with Kate Roberts and Richard Harris. This is always an enjoyable process, as both are leaders in their fields. They know their clients and their clients’ businesses inside and out, which makes the application of legal principles that much easier. This is especially impressive when the businesses they are dealing with are extremely complicated in structure.’

“Kate Roberts is always engaged and passionate about achieving our business objectives. She has superior knowledge of the law, but manages it with commercial nous. She fights for every inch of your corner, and ensures that you win.’

‘Richard Harris is very personable, and goes the extra mile to help. He is fast and effective; but also balanced and careful. A rising star.’

‘Kate Roberts and Richard Harris are both extremely sharp and on the ball. They know what they are doing and do it well.’

‘Jim Morris is an excellent lawyer, with a real commitment to his clients and a firm grasp of his cases. He is good on tactics and always goes the extra mile to solve his clients’ problems.’

Key clients

The Atmore Group

Funding Circle Limited

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

Foundation For Art and Creative Technology t/a FACT

Elements (Europe) Limited

Begbies Traynor

Edge Recovery

Clancy Consulting Limited


Zodeq Limited

Pen-Y-Bryn EMI Ltd

Global Baggage Solutions

Carpenter Build Ltd

Swishfund Limited

Sterling Services

MCK Aesthetics t/a The Consultant Clinic

Grant Thornton

CCI Credit Management Ltd

Ellison Europe Limited

Pilkingtons Solicitors

GW Lawyer Limited

Willan Group Ltd

MSoft eSolutions Ltd

Vectorex Construction Limited

Luxlite Ltd

Legat Owen

I Data Com Limited

Esterform Packaging Limited

Blackrock Medical Recruitment Limited

Thomas Storey Fabrications Limited

Simon Phipps

Work highlights

  • Represented Rotex Europe in a £48m claim before the Technology and Construction Court.
  • Represented Begbies Traynor in the Business & Property Court in London to overturn an alleged sham lease and to obtain vacant possession of the property to maximise realisation and return to creditors.
  • Represented Blackrock Medical, successfully defending a claim at a 5 day liability trial for alleged breach of restrictive covenant, misuse of confidential information and conspiracy.

Excello Law

Excello Law offers a client-focused service for commercial litigation, handling complex, high-value cases relating to financial claims, employment disputes, and shareholder issues. The team includes Dominic McGinn and Sarah Nolan, both experienced litigators with a strong portfolio of regional and national clients, in sectors including sports, insolvency, and financial advice.

Other key lawyers:

Dominic McGinn; Sarah Nolan


‘The team are professional, dedicated and committed. We could not have got through the dispute without the input, organisation and leadership from the team.’

‘I worked closely with Sarah Nolan who is professional, friendly, honest and supportive. She would always be at the end of the phone and would keep me updated with the case. I believe she went above and beyond at times and showed great empathy with the case. She had to pull together a cost breakdown for the case which results in significant work going back a number of years. Couldn’t have made it to the end of the case without Sarah.’

‘The practice excel in understanding client’s challenges and put forward clear / viable strategies that can be understood by non-legal persons. Alongside this they are speedily return all calls and emails ensuring that the client care is at the forefront of the services provided. ’

‘Dominic McGinn is an excellent listener and communicator, he has a unique skill of taking complex matter and simplifying to clients which can be especially significant if you are not of a legal background. Dominic excels in strategy and how best to reach the desired outcome, his skill in dispute resolution are second to none and vitally gets the job done.’

‘Excello Law is an innovative firm which, due to the way it is set up, has a great breadth of expertise across the country. ’

‘I have had the pleasure of working with Sarah Nolan in the Commercial and Insolvency Litigation Team for the past 3 years. Sarah is a star – fiercely intelligent, commercially astute and incredibly easy to work with. We have worked together on some technically complex, emotive and hard fought litigation and she was a huge asset to the team; completely unflappable, responsive at all times and hugely insightful. She is definitely one to watch and someone you want fighting your corner.’

Key clients

World Sports Advisers S.L

YPG Development Group

Begbies Traynor Group Plc


Cheshire Centre for Independent Living

El Gouna Football Club

Eleven Football Management

Parkin S Booth Ltd

Antenor Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing six minority shareholders in unfair prejudice proceedings brought against private equity investors/shareholders in a multi-million-pound technology company.
  • Representing a distributor against a claim for £2m by a manufacturer, and a cross claim of £3m.
  • Represented Cheshire Centre for Independent Living (CCIL) in a significant reported VAT case.

HM Legal

HM Legal represents high net-worth individuals, SMEs, and international companies in a range of proceedings, including high value commercial contract disputes, shareholder disputes, and breach of warranty claims, as well as issues relating to corporate insolvency. The team is now led by Fiona Blakeborough following the transition of Paul Marsh to a consultancy role, and has a strong record in handling complex litigation.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Blakeborough; Paul Marsh

Other key lawyers:

Veronica Howley


‘Accessible commercial advice provided in a timely manner, which enabled strategic planning and ultimately a positive outcome. ’

‘Veronica Howley makes HM Legal shine. She should be your first point of call for dispute resolution with her exemplary legal knowledge and translation of it to help and support her clients. ’

‘Friendly team with a professional approach. Reasonable pricing policy. ’

‘Over the last few years, I have worked with Fiona Blakeborough who has taken me through a tough dispute with a former business partner. She is professional, sympathetic, efficient and is incredibly easy to get on with. She has taken abuse from my former partner and remained calm and professional at all times. She understands the law completely and does not give false hope when there is none! She has remained diligent and determined at all times.’

‘I have had a very professional and competent solicitor work for us on a very testing case. Keeping us informed on a daily basis was key. ’

‘Fiona Blakebough has been very good in all aspects of our case. She has been there for us in a very upsetting and awkward case. This was very comforting to know we could contact her at any time we needed to.’

‘Veronica Howley is dedicated and extremely knowledgeable in the contentious probate field and in my case she has managed a very difficult situation with diligence.’

‘HM Legal have supported me in what is a very difficult time. I feel that my solicitor Veronica Howley understood what exactly was required in order to take the case forward with speed and resolve it in the quickest way possible. Veronica’s no nonsense approach and ability to extract the relevant facts from the vast amount of evidence I supplied quickly was very beneficial to me. I am aware that Veronica worked long hours and dedicated herself in order to not waste anytime submitting my case to the courts. She has supplied clear instructions and worked with me. I have confidence that the team she has put in place is the right team and that she will bring this case to resolution in the best way for me. In summary the service I have received has been exceptional.’

‘HM Legal have a small but talented commercial dispute resolution team, led by Fiona Blakeborough. They conduct substantial cases with the skill and expertise that easily matches the larger regional firms.’

Key clients

Halo Foods Limited

Tranmere Rovers Football Club

Taskers Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing Halo Foods Limited in committal proceedings brought by Perkier Foods Limited arising from alleged breach of mandatory commercial injunction.