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

Editorial

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Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Manchester
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Addleshaw Goddard is 'a go-to firm for pre-action advice and disputes', handling complex litigation for local, national and international clients. Areas of specialism include large IT disputes, competition law claims and 'business protection' work, which involves helping employers to manage risks stemming from employees and third parties who pose a threat to their interests. Mark Molyneux - described as 'one of the best litigators in the country' - heads the team with strong support from Susan Garrett. Managing associates Nicholas Ashcroft and Paul Rowley are also recommended alongside legal director Clare Dwyer.

Practice head(s):Mark Molyneux

Other key lawyers:Susan Garrett; Nicholas Ashcroft; Paul Rowley; Clare Dwyer; Victoria Pool; Samantha Haigh; Alexandra Seabridge; Helen Collinge; Harold Brako; Erin Shoesmith; Jonathan Tattersall; Lisa Slevin

Testimonials

The team is excellent and a go-to firm for pre-action advice and disputes, big or small’.

The team has an ability to break down any problem, understand the issues quickly, ask the right questions and provide simple and commercially focused solutions at good value’.

Lisa Slevin stands as a great lawyer - she is unflappable, calm, bright, relentlessly hard-working, exercises excellent judgement and most importantly is commercially minded’.

'Mark Molyneux is one of the best litigators in the country. He is exceptionally bright and always focuses on the critical issues. He is always accessible and has exceptional communication skills. Clients have justified confidence in him. He is a joy to work with.'

Key Clients

Manchester Airport Group

The Road Haulage Association

PZ Cussons

The Co-operative Group

NKT Group

XRail Group Limited

Wolseley

Diageo

Office Depot Europe

Solvay Group

Work highlights

  • Advising the Road Haulage Association in collective proceedings to be brought before the Competition Appeal Tribunal, a claim which is expected to exceed £1bn.
  • Acting for two of the former directors of Burnden Holdings (UK) Limited (in liquidation) (BHUKL) in respect of a claim brought by BHUKL and its liquidator.
  • Acting for Co-operative Insurance on its claim against IBM issued in the commercial court in December 2017 which relates to IBM's wrongful purported termination of the contract under which it was to implement a new IT operating platform for Co-operative Insurance.
  • Instructed by five NKT companies, two of whom are addressees of a decision of the European Commission which made an infringement finding in relation to the supply of high voltage power cables.
  • Instructed by Wolseley in relation to a business protection case arising from the resignation of four senior sales employees from its pipe business who have since joined a competitor business.

DLA Piper UK LLP 's Manchester team sits as part of the firm's international practice, advising large corporates and private equity houses on matters often spanning multiple jurisdictions. The firm also represents clients on contentious data protection matters such as regulatory enforcement and tribunal appeals and enforcement advice under GDPR. Other key client sectors include technology, energy, engineering, retail, transport and infrastructure and the public sector. The 'very commercial' Stewart Plant heads the team, working alongside key partners Jonathan Eatough and Andrew Smith and well-regarded senior associate Leontia McArdle.

Practice head(s):Stewart Plant

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Eatough; Andrew Smith; Leontia McArdle; Nicola Higgins; Philip Williams; Krystle Robinson; Benjamin Fellows; Alison Fagan 

Testimonials

'Very enthusiastic and responsive to client requirements.'

'Jonathan Eatough is commercial and strategic - a very effective team leader and easy to get on with.'

'Stuart Plant is very knowledgeable and experienced; has seen it all before, very commercial.'

'Ben Fellows and Krystle Robinson are very enthusiastic, positive, hardworking and responsive to client requirements.'

Key Clients

Information Commissioner’s Office

Klockner Pentaplast

Lonhro

SMG Europe Holdings

Molson Coors

Maven Capital Partners UK LLP

Scottish Power Energy Retail Limited

NCC Group plc

Bodycote plc

Solutus Advisors Limited

GHD Group Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for a UK-based commercial property services company in relation to alleged breaches of duty arising from the sale of a large property portfolio.
  • Advising the Information Commissioner’s Office in relation to its investigation into Cambridge Analytica and Facebook.
  • Representing shareholders of a multinational media service group in business critical litigation in the High Court and arbitration proceedings in California.
  • Representing the sellers of a UK manufacturing company in an £4m M&A dispute in relation to warranty claims and alleged breaches of duty.
  • Acting for a private equity firm for claims for fraud, conspiracy, breach of warranty, breach of covenant and misrepresentation, brought against two individuals and an international law firm following investment in a group of companies.

DWF's advises nationally recognised brands, major north west businesses and high net worth individuals, with a particular specialism in sectors including utilities and energy, food and drink, retail and education. The firm aims to differentiate itself from its peers by taking a more proactive approach to sharing the cost of litigation, offering conditional fee agreements and damages based agreements via its Fundlit service. Lee Norman heads the team, while Andrew Harris, Steve Morris, Nicole Burton and Joel Heap - who 'has outstanding commercial acumen and is fantastic with clients' are also recommended.

Practice head(s):Lee Norman

Other key lawyers:Andrew Harris; Joel Heap; Steve Morris; Nicole Burton; Claire Graham; Zoryana Jurczyszyn; Daniel Williams; Benjamin Johnson; Asima Rana; Michelle Maher

Testimonials

'This is a strong team with a great presence in the region, doing some excellent work. Their presence and reach has expanded in recent years, making them one of the top firms doing commercial litigation outside of London. '

‘Joel Heap is a very experienced and savvy litigator who has the right balance of caution and aggression’.

Key Clients

WM Morrison plc

The Insolvency Service (an executive agency of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

United Utilities

Serco Group

Safeway Limited

Essar Oil UK Limited

Perspective Financial Group Limited

Manchester United Football Club

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Munnelly Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for the defendant in the Wm Morrison payroll group litigation, a civil claim brought by employees and former employees of Morrisons whose confidential data was put into the public domain in 2014 by an ex-employee.
  • Advised Perspective Financial Group Limited on its application for an urgent interim injunction to protect the client's legitimate business interests following a threat by an exiting director to divert customers, contrary to post-termination restrictions not to solicit or deal in this way.
  • Successfully defending a £2m-plus claim against Insurance & Legal Services Limited for alleged breach of a commercial contract in a six-day trial in the High Court.
  • Acting for Safeway in respect of a highly technical dispute concerning the operation of its pension scheme.
  • Acting for the owner of and companies within the Munnelly Group, in respect of a highly contentious claim against a former managing director/employee who had departed the business in acrimonious circumstances.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's commercial dispute resolution team is co-led by hugely experienced Manchester senior partner Michael Clavell-Bate and Matt Taylor, who focuses on the industrial, chemicals and aviation sectors. The firm works with many of the largest corporates in the North West, as well as others with national and global coverage, with key sectors including diversified industrials and transport. Principal associate Phil Duignan is experienced in procurement disputes, while fellow principal associate Thomas Whitfield is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Michael Clavell-Bate; Matt Taylor

Other key lawyers:Phil Duignan; Tom Whitfield; Luisa Zukowski; Sarah Lewandowski

Key Clients

Manchester Airport Group

Store First Limited

Bentley Motors

Daisy IT Services Limited

Shawbrook Bank

Air Liquide UK Limited

Swissport

Verastar

INEOS

University of Keele

Work highlights

  • Advising Daisy IT Services Limited in respect of a multimillion-pound High Court claim brought by Centrex Computing Services.
  • Continuing to act for the Store First companies in defence of public interest winding-up petitions issued by the Secretary of State.
  • Representing Park First Limited in a group action commenced in the English High Court by 20 investor customers in respect of claims in misrepresentation and deceit.

  • Instructed to act for the University of Keele in on an £18m claim brought by UPP Group in respect of Keele terminating a contract with UPP Group for the redevelopment of the university campus.

Hill Dickinson LLP handles the full range of commercial disputes, from routine work to high-value, complex litigation and arbitration. The team, which has secured a number of very high-profile court win in recent months, has recently seen an increase in work on high value commercial fraud-related matters. Geraldine Ryan heads the team while also advising on complex high value disputes and reputation management issues. Christopher Tyrrell has a particular focus on procurement disputes and disputes for NHS bodies. Sharon Williamson was promoted to partner; Andrew Little is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Geraldine Ryan

Other key lawyers:Christopher Tyrrell; Sharon Williamson; Andrew Little, Iain Campbell; Moya Clifford; Alex Smith; Emma Lewis; Kelly Heath

Testimonials

Fantastic at giving legal advice but with a commercial slant’.

Able to handle high value and complex litigation with a strong team who are efficient, disciplined and hard working while also understanding the client`s commercial interests’.

Offer sensible, pragmatic advice and are sensibly priced’.

Geraldine Ryan is particularly astute in understanding the legal and commercial issues of a case and can confidently lead her team in a disciplined approach to complex cases’.

Christopher Tyrrell is very pragmatic and offers original thought to the litigation process’.

Alex Smith and Andrew Little are very good team players and offer good advice and have significant input into developing arguments as well as working diligently and efficiently throughout transactions’.

Key Clients

NHS England

Port of Sheerness Limited

Manchester Ship Canal Company Limited

Investly Limited

Swinton Insurance Limited

Oldham Borough Council

Triple S Sports & Entertainment Limited

Chemox Pound Limited

Connells Limited

Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance

Hitachi Capital (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Manchester Ship Canal Company is a case involving important issues of contract interpretation.
  • Acting for Port of Sheerness Limited in a trespass action seeking a declaration, injunction or damages in lieu, damages or mesne profits.
  • Acting for the NHS in two separate but related instructions (i) breach of procurement law claim and (ii) recovery of monies.
  • Represented NHS England in relation to critical termination of GP GMS contract and subsequent injunction against termination and CQC cancellation of registration.
  • Advised NHS Surrey Downs CCG on high-profile procurement challenge to a contract worth £100m.

Brabners LLP has a particular focus on clients in the healthcare, property, sports, recruitment and media sectors, which it advises on professional negligence, inquests and judicial review proceedings, property litigation, breaches of restrictive covenants and partnership disputes. The team is one of the largest in the North West to have a solely commercial, rather than insurance, client base. Jeff Lewis, who is experienced in partnership disputes and restrictive covenant cases in the recruitment sector, heads the team. Helena Davies joined as partner from DWF and Andrea James joined as partner from Knights plc.

Practice head(s):Jeff Lewis

Other key lawyers:Helena Davies; Andrea James; Barry Goodall; Liam Gallagher; Oliver Andrews

Key Clients

Matalan Retail Ltd

Interserve Engineering Services Ltd

National Pharmacy Association

Alasdair Dickinson

Cooper Property Services

CCR Motor Co Ltd

TBA Protective Technologies Ltd

Roman Catholic Archdiocese

Paul John Construction

Warrington Borough Council

Sword Construction Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for TBA in successfully defending a £2m claim brought by Ferotec for the return of specialist equipment.
  • Acting for promising young footballer in a claim brought against an opponent who caused him a career-ending injury in a negligent challenge, winning a multimillion-pound settlement for the player.
  • Helped a retired international rugby player to obtain a substantial payment arising out of a dispute over an income protection policy.
  • Advising Interserve Engineering Services Limited in respect of a dispute and adjudication in relation to a project in a large NHS project in Northampton for St Andrew’s Healthcare.
  • Acting for a former director of an art and antiques plc being pursed for alleged breaches of duty.

DAC Beachcroft LLP¬†advises on shareholder, contract and professional negligence disputes and fraud and insolvency matters, with key client sectors including TMT, healthcare, insurance and the public sector. Jan Levinson¬†heads the team and focuses on IT and outsourcing disputes and property claims, while the firm's German Desk is run by ‚Äėtop solicitor‚Äô Harald Loeffler¬†in the Manchester office. Also recommended is Sydney Fulda, who is experienced in mediations, arbitration and adjudications.

Practice head(s):Jan Levinson

Other key lawyers:Sydney Fulda; Harald Loeffler; Vicki Bates; Andrew Martin; Joanne Dumphy

Testimonials

The team are creative, modern and always service-orientated’.

Sydney Fulda has the tenacity, commercial awareness and firm grasp of the issues you would expect from a partner at a top-tier law firm’.

Vicki Bates is a stand-out associate who will go far

They always try to understand our issues from our point of view and can provide a solution very quickly’.

Key Clients

Former Home Secretary, the Right Honourable Charles Clarke

DHL

Irlam Wharf Properties Limited

Rosenbauer

RSA

Internorm

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

BUPA

AllScripts Healthcare Solutions Inc.

Wrights Health Group Limited

Manchester United Football Club

Work highlights

  • Acted for DHL Management Services Limited in a series of disputes, including anti-suit injunctions.
  • Acted for BUPA in £500,000 dispute arising from the sale of a number of dental practices in London and the South East.
  • Represented Internorm, one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of windows and doors, in a variety of disputes.
  • Acted on behalf of Actavo (UK) Limited, a leading engineering company, in relation to a dispute with a former managing director.
  • Successfully represented W Maher & Sons in recovery of sums owed in connection with work on M6.

JMW Solicitors LLP's practice focuses on data protection cases and group litigation, and is one of the few firms outside of London that handles commercial judicial review matters. The team has recently seen an increasing amount of work in construction litigation, contentious probate and e-commerce disputes. Marc Yaffe, who 'oozes energy and enthusiasm' heads the team and represents high-profile individuals including Premier League footballers. Richard Allan recently joined the team from DLA Piper UK LLP.

Practice head(s):Marc Yaffe

Other key lawyers:Richard Allan; Claire Brown; Graham Small; Mark Jones; Michael Kennedy; Nick McAleenan; Alison Parry; Richard Glover; Holly Holland; Louise Wakely; Layla Kelly; Laura Wilkinson

Testimonials

'Mark Yaffe, who leads the team, is a tour de force. He oozes energy and enthusiasm and is a terrific leader. He is also incredibly bright, has great acumen and is incredibly motivated.'

'Mark Jones is great operator who is always thoughtful and insightful providing string and definitive advice as and when required.'

'Graham Small is one of those lawyers who you want on your side - he is always one step ahead an has a robust yet fair style that endears him to clients and opponents alike.'

'The JMW team is extremely strong and a force to be reckoned with.'

They have unrivalled quality across the board’.

Commercial and tactical acumen backed up with great litigation experience and excellent client service’.

Michael Kennedy is a complete litigator - you want him in your corner’.

As a team they work exceptionally well together and complement each other’.

Although JMW is now a large firm, the personal touch and service received was as if they were a much smaller practice with the client at the core of their values’.

The work done by Holly Holland and Graham Small is exceptional’.

Key Clients

Group Action against WM Morrisons Limited

Menzies LLP as Joint liquidators of Premier FX

Arena Plaza Jersey GP Limited

Philip Barton

Mr Daniel Opare

Abbeydale Food Group

Mr David Michael Rose, Mr David Philip Waxman and Palador Property Investments Limited

Risk Technology Limited

Buckley Memorials Limited

Tom O’Connor, Abigail O’Connor and Octax Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for almost 100,000 clients against Morrisons Supermarkets in the leading case in the UK involving a widespread data breach.
  • Assisted in the removal of the joint administrators of Premier FX and the subsequent appointment of Menzies as separate joint liquidators.
  • Advising Arena Plaza Jersey GP Limited on a claim relating to an investment made in the construction of a $360m development in Hungary.
  • Acting for an international businessman regarding several interconnected cases that emanate from a feud between two successful entrepreneurs.
  • Advising on a claim issued against the firm's client for outstanding payments plus considerable compound interest which his agents and general advisers allege are due under both a Sports Management Services Contract and a Loan Agreement.

Pinsent Masons LLP's practice advises an impressive roster of clients on high-value disputes, with the Manchester team leading on major international matters backed up by the firm's 24 offices around the world. The northwest practice is notable in that it offers a¬†'search and seizure' practice, which has attracted a number of referrals from leading law firms.¬†‚ÄėFantastic team leader and a stand-out litigator‚Äô Julian Diaz-Rainey¬†heads the team; he advises on commercial disputes, company disputes and trust litigation, while senior associates¬†Andrew Mitchell¬†and¬†Jo Seed¬†are also well-regarded.

Practice head(s):Julian Diaz-Rainey

Other key lawyers:Andrew Mitchell; Jo Seed; Steven Porter;

Testimonials

The Pinsent Masons litigation team is superb’.

Julian Diaz-Rainey is wonderful to work with, a great strategist and handles clients superbly well’.

Key Clients

Travel CounsellorsLimited

London School of Economics and Political Science

NoMauser UK Limited

CVS (Commercial Valuers& Surveyors) Limited

NoHCMT Limited / AnthonyHanson

United Drug (UK) Holdings Limited

Manchester City Football Club

Jockey Club Racecourses Limited

Work highlights

  • Helping our clients defend a guarantee claim in an amount of around £6m brought by the Irish National Asset Management agency.
  • The team are acting for United Drug (UK) Holdings Ltd ("UDH"), the Defendant in a claim for misrepresentation (and negligent advice) arising out of the purchase of a pharmaceutical events company.
  • Instructed to act on City Football Group's application for an injunction against a group of prominent and infamous parkour enthusiasts who had, without permission, climbed on the roof of the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.
  • The firm obtained an anti-trespass injunction barring ticket touts from selling tickets on Cheltenham Racecourse premises.
  • We are leading a series of ground breaking Judicial Review challenges brought by taxpayers against HMRC's decision to issue them with payment notices as a result of their prior involvement in tax avoidance schemes (the Treasury claim that these new powers will bring in £5.5bn of tax).

Litigation is one of the key practices in Fieldfisher's fast-growing Manchester office, which is led by experienced commercial disputes lawyer Ian Austin. Clients are offered a range of funding and insurance options to help them control costs, including conditional fees, damage-based agreements, third-party funding and after-the-event insurance, while in-house costs recovery and debt recovery teams also form part of the firm's offering. The team, which has expertise in corporate litigation, civil fraud, professional negligence and contractual disputes, acts for an impressive and growing roster of clients.

Practice head(s):Ian Austin

Other key lawyers:James Lappin; Donall Caherty; Daniel Sheehan; Barry Sharples; Mark Fairclough; Emma-Kate Hargreaves

Testimonials

The team are very approachable and a pleasure to deal with’.

James Lappin combines approachability with commercial acumen; he will always go the extra mile for a client’.

Daniel Sheehan has a formidable style and fights his clients' corner with a ferocity that can bring the other side quickly to the table’.

The team work well together, by using each member's key strengths and areas of expertise’.

The members of this department display a vivacious and focused appetite for achieving the best results possible’.

Key Clients

Allied London

Kellogg

Co-Operative Group

Perkier Foods Limited

British Cycling

Walker Smith Global

Karen Millen / Oasis / Warehouse / Coast

JLA Limited

Venn Group

GCI

JD Williams

Fleximise

Creative Capital

N Brown Group

Firstport Limited

Burford Capital

Inenco

Time Group

Stewart Davies

Estates & Management Limited

Done Brothers (Cash Betting) Limited ('Betfred')

Naeem and Anne Maniar

Group Litigation (318 clients)

Access Install Limited

Paul Stewart

ABM Technical Solutions Limited

Lynsey and Katie Coombes

Creative Trade Finance Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing client in a multimillion-pound claim relating to a commercial loan provided to a Manchester solicitor to purchase a prestigious estate in the North West.
  • Providing an outsourced recoveries solution to the largest UK managing agent/property owner.
  • Represented Betfred in a complex £60,000 claim based on Authorised Guarantee Agreements.
  • Representing two individuals in defending a claim brought against them by an Indian bank in respect of personal guarantees. The claim involves complex cross-border corporate and personal insolvency issues in Ireland and England, as well as EU regulations and conflict of laws between member states.
  • Acting for a leading UK installer of smart meters in a multimillion-pound claim against an energy company in relation to a failure to pay and breach of contractual terms.

Kennedys' Manchester commercial litigation practice took a major step forward in 2017 with the firm's tie-up with Berg, and the merged team has continued to build on the combination, working together on substantial cases. Key work handled by the practice includes commercial and insurance litigation, GDPR and cyber-crime disputes, financial litigation and regulatory investigations. Andrew Davidson heads the team, which was boosted in 2018 by the hires of Nick Bond and consultant Robert Steele from BLM.

Practice head(s):Andrew Davidson

Other key lawyers:Anne Kershaw; Reuben Berg; Alison Loveday; Ian Mendelsohn; John Colvin

Testimonials

'What has always impressed me is their commercial nous and how they look for practical solutions. I always feel that they look to build long-term relationship with clients.'

‘Ian Mendelsohn is a first-rate, top-drawer lawyer; he is a generalist, has a good understanding of the law and a great deal of personal integrity’.

Key Clients

Wasps Rugby Club

Michael Isaac

Work highlights

  • Represented Wasps Rugby Club in judicial review proceedings brought by the owners of Coventry City Football Club alleging unlawful state aid in respect of the consideration paid by Wasps to Coventry City Council and the Edward Higgs Charity for the Ricoh Arena, a case which is valued at around £30m.
  • Acted for Michael Isaac, defendant to an £8m claim brought by Cardiff City Football Club.

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP represents SMEs and entrepreneurial clients on shareholder disputes and finance litigation, particularly pre-enforcement and enforcement on behalf of lenders and associated professionals. Other areas of expertise include professional negligence, product liability and white-collar crime. Head of team Andrew Weinberg focuses on commercial landlord and tenant actions for key clients, as well as professional negligence and product liability disputes. Associate Kathryn Parrish, who leads on contractual and property-based disputes, as well as insolvency-based matters, is also recommended. Peter Kaye joined the firm from Linder Myers.

Practice head(s):Andrew Weinberg

Other key lawyers:Damian Bailey; Wendi Bussin; Phillip Warburton; Kathryn Parrish; Peter Kaye

Testimonials

A very strong and able department with lawyers of quality at each level of seniority’.

Damian Bailey is measured, rational and incisive’.

Andrew Weinberg is thorough, capable and calm; always well-prepared and on top of the detail’.

Phillip Warburton is dedicated, unflappable and confident; a very impressive and useful asset in any team’.

A commercially aware, client-focused team which is thoughtful about strategy and tactics to achieve a resolution of complex matters’.

Kathryn Parrish is thoughtful, sensible and has an eye for detail’.

They care with a passion about your problem and they really show they are keen to provide the best possible advice and service they can to a client’.

Key Clients

Beech Holdings

BeautyBay.com

Harnbury Holdings Limited (trading as San Carlo Group)

Robert McBride Ltd

Chase de Vere Financial Services

Broadoak Private Finance Limited

Svenska Handelsbanken AB

London & Scottish Investments Limited

Inventive Leisure (trading as Revolution Bars and Revolucion de Cuba)

Persimmon Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising a joint venture in a dispute with a local authority concerning breach of contract in relation to a landmark residential development.

  • Advised McPartland and Gifford Limited on a damages claim on behalf of receivers for failure to complete on a sale contract with a value of £1.1m.

Pannone Corporate LLP advises clients on corporate litigation, including shareholder disputes, unfair prejudice petitions and derivative claims. Other areas of expertise include contractual disputes, commercial fraud, civil competition claims, franchise litigation and partnership disputes. Team head Paul Jonson focuses on resolving disputes arising from the running, sale and purchase of businesses, as well as IT disputes, defamation, IP disputes and professional negligence claims.

Practice head(s):Paul Jonson

Other key lawyers:David Brown; Nicola Marchant; Martin Pennington; Sarah Bazaraa; Jonny Scholes; Alexandria Winstanley; Callum Halley

Key Clients

The Performing Rights Society

SMG Europe

L’Oreal

Boohoo.com

NG Bailey

DHL Express

Iceland Frozen Foods

Sibelco UK

Brother International Europe Ltd

Transport for Greater Manchester

Work highlights

  • Represented UK ROed in defending a claim issued by Startraq in the High Court.
  • Acted for Travel Insurance Facilities on a £1m libel action against The Times.
  • Obtained an urgent interim injunction and preservation and delivery-up order against a former employee of Seatriever International Holdings.

Squire Patton Boggs has a strong track record on complex national and international disputes, working in tandem with the firm's Leeds base on domestic matters and leveraging its international platform on cross-border work. The team has a particular focus on the retail, chemical, manufacturing, IT and financial services sectors, acting for a raft of major banks and building societies. Victoria Leigh, who heads the team, is well known for her work on pension disputes.

Practice head(s):Victoria Leigh

Other key lawyers:Anthony Taylor; Sean McCay; Rob Elvin; Helen Hoath; Mike Caird; Peter Lees; Simon Lucas

Testimonials

The team is pragmatic, sensible and collaborative’.

Victoria Leigh and the team maintain their good humour and professionalism and their commitment to reaching a sensible conclusion in the face of the most challenging circumstances’.

Key Clients

SSP Limited

GB Group Plc

INEOS Group

Yorkshire Building Society

Assetz SME Capital Limited

Co-operative Group Limited

Instem Plc

Coyle Personnel Plc

Valtris Speciality Chemicals

Hough Green Garage

Manchester Building Society

MAN Energy Solutions UK Ltd

Albis (UK) Ltd

Boal (UK) Ltd

Concordia Management GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advised a trustee of the Southern Water Pension Scheme on a high-profile matter involving the Pensions Regulator’s first attempt to exercise its funding powers with a cross-practice and office team.
  • Advised energy company on defence of a corporate warranty claim.
  • Advised on dispute between chemical companies over a chemical supply agreement.

Weightmans LLP's Manchester commercial litigation practice has a particular focus on intellectual property-related disputes, while other areas in which the firm specialises include shareholder disputes and unfair prejudice claims, complex breach of warranty claims and property damage and recovery cases. Andrew Cox heads the team, which has recently seen an increase in work relating to judicial review matters. Other key partners include former national commercial litigation head Robert Jones, Manchester office head Richard Corran and Damian Carter, who formerly led the commercial litigation team at Manchester firm Berg before joining Weightmans in 2017.

Practice head(s):Andrew Cox

Other key lawyers:Robert Jones; Richard Corran; Carole Spiller; Damian Carter; Josh Conroy; Danielle Best; Jessica Kraja; Joanne Williams

Key Clients

Certas Energy UK Limited

Business Energy Solutions Limited

All About Food Limited

IKO plc

Slush Puppie Limited

116 Cardamon Limited

Acasta European Insurance Company Limited

Acasta Europe Ltd

Wallwork Cambridge Ltd

BES Commercial Electricity Ltd

Card Saver Ltd

Commercial Power Ltd

Chrysalis Finance Ltd

Nimogen Ltd t/a Prestons Diamonds

Ken Downing (ex Judas Priest)

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of 116 Cardamon Limited, in a claim for breach of warranty arising from a share purchase agreement
  • Acting for longstanding client MPTG Limited, the leading producer of mattress making machinery, in High Court Chancery Division proceedings against two former senior employees.
  • Acting for the claimants in relation to a professional negligence claim against three firms of solicitors who advised on a multimillion-pound property refinance in respect of the development of The Astbury – a stately home, hotel and golf and leisure complex in Shropshire.
  • Acting for Acasta European Insurance Company and Acasta Europe, providers and underwriters of insurance, in respect of a dispute with a broker in relation to a misrepresentation/breach of contract claim.

BLM handles the full gamut of commercial litigation matters, including disputes relating to insolvency, breach of contract, contracts, debt recovery, fraud and injunctive relief. Clients include insurers, multinational corporations, SMEs, public sector organisations and high-net-worth individuals. Craig McAdam, Nick Gee and Steve Kuncewicz head the team, which has continued to build on the the formation of its commercial advisory department, which was launched in late 2017 on the back of a 33-lawyer team hire from Slater and Gordon.

Practice head(s):Craig McAdam; Nick Gee; Steve Kuncewicz

Other key lawyers:Catherine Mangham; Rebecca Young; Clare Durkin; Susan Rands; Philip Skwierczynski

Key Clients

Sainsbury’s

Travelodge

Mission Mars

John Welsby

Urban Splash

Schuh Ltd

Ecclesiastical Insurance

Browne Jacobson LLP's practice is particularly focused on the healthcare and public sectors, and the firm has fee incomes in both areas increase over recent months. Areas of expertise include restrictive covenants, both in relation to employment contracts and sale and purchase agreements. Nichola Evans, who heads up the team, has experience of international arbitration and cases in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, and is also a board member on the Civil Mediation Council.

Practice head(s):Nichola Evans

Other key lawyers:Emma Marshall

Key Clients

Derby Hospitals NHS foundation

Cornwall Council

Antony McGann

Ted Baker

Elmdene Group Limited

Michael Ballard

NHSE

London Borough of Croydon

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service

DPD Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on a claim brought by a junior doctor in a representative class action funded by the BMA.
  • Representing Lady Maddison against estate agents Hazeldrive Limited and a number of individuals for breach of duty/misrepresentations made in respect what development work could take place on the site.
  • Advised a former agent of a world famous MMA fighter on a contract payment dispute.
  • Advised on claim against Ted Baker’s former brokers for failing to put into place suitable business interruption cover.

Gateley Plc's commercial dispute resolution team is led by Sarah Sabin , who advises on shareholder and boardroom disputes, including those with an international element. The practice's clients include SMEs, large corporates and high-net-worth individuals, with specialist areas including healthcare, sports litigation and shareholder disputes arising from M&A deals. The AIM-listed firm also handles multi-jurisdictional work, including leading on a multimillion-pound class action relating to the alleged mis-selling of property in Cyprus.

Practice head(s):Sarah Sabin

Other key lawyers:Janine Allen; Nicola Richardson; Nick Murrills; James Seed

Testimonials

'A good practical approach to dispute resolution while also recognising the potentially different outcomes of each approach.'

'Excellent value as well as being easy to approach and work with.'

Work highlights

  • Acted on shareholder dispute arising out of a joint venture and leading to an eight-day trial of principally contractual issues in the High Court.
  • Acting for a football club in ongoing high value Commercial Court litigation.
  • Successful resolution via mediation of an Inheritance Act claim against a private client resulting in the retention of a £1m-plus commercial property.
  • Acting for lead defendants in a multimillion-pound class action relating to the alleged mis-selling of property in Cyprus.

Knights plc ramped up its presence in the north west with the acquisition of Manchester firm Turner Parkinson in Manchester in 2018. The deal added 45 fee earners to the growing firm in the wake of its AIM listing in 2018. In the commercial litigation sphere, the firm advises on claims for breaches of contract, shareholder and partnership disputes, claims of IP infringement, defamation actions and claims of misrepresentation.

Mills & Reeve LLP advises its clients on a wide range of litigation matters including boardroom disputes, shareholder disputes, warranty claims and fraud. Key client sectors include food and agribusiness, waste, private wealth, sport, manufacturing and education. Richard Dawson-Gerrard heads the team, while Simon Pedley focuses on corporate and commercial disputes and contentious trusts.

Practice head(s):Richard Dawson-Gerrard

Other key lawyers:Simon Pedley; Rachael Somerset; Sandra Morrison; Ben Reeves

Testimonials

'I have worked most closely with Richard Dawson-Gerrard and Niall Innes. Both are very strong commercial litigators, with huge experience and great common sense - a pleasure to work with.'

Highly professional and knowledgeable team members.'

'This is a strong commercial team with good knowledge of both the regional legal market and the ability to manage large litigation.'

'Rachael Somerset provides superb communications and client care.'

'Rachael Somerset is particularly impressive as an associate.'

'Richard Dawson-Gerrard is hands-on and gives straightforward, robust advice to his clients.'

Key Clients

The Rangers Football Club Limited

Phoenix Medical Supplies Limited

West Midlands Ambulance Service

Remondis U.K. Limited

Laila’s Fine Foods Limited

Bidfresh Limited (formerly Seafood Holdings Ltd)

Zedra Trusts

Children’s Investment Fund Foundation

Work highlights

  • Acting for Rangers Football Club Limited in ongoing litigation with Sports Direct, arising out of a dispute in relation to the agreement under which Sports Direct had a licence to sell Rangers replica kit and other merchandise.
  • Represented long standing client Phoenix Healthcare Distribution Ltd this year and succeeded on a high-profile appeal in the High Court of Justice.
  • Representing a well-known international football super-agent in a dispute with a Premiership Club.

Shoosmiths LLP handles complex and high value litigation for a variety of clients including household name corporates. Specialisms include product liability and consumer defence work in the consumer goods and automotive sectors, as well as shareholder and business disputes and pensions and employment litigation. Kath Livingston heads the team, while senior associate Richard Marshall focuses on commercial litigation, professional negligence and product liability.

Practice head(s):Kath Livingston

Other key lawyers:Richard Marshall

Testimonials

The team have an excellent response time, they always make time to advise at short notice’.

The team quickly understand the nuances of how an individual organisation works’.

The team is extremely approachable, respond very quickly to instructions and are adept at proposing pragmatic commercial solutions to problems alongside advising on the strict legal position’.

Key Clients

Hoover Candy Limited

ComparetheMarket.com (BGL Group)

Xyfil Limited

Allied London

Derwent Estates Limited

University of Bolton

Amicus Capital Consulting LLP

The Law Society

MD Insurance Services

PSB UK Limited (Grenfell Inquiry)

Work highlights

  • Acting in the defence of a number of complex fire defence cases, including a £3m loss.
  • Handling recovery claims for MDIS under the Premier Guarantee and LABC new build warranty / insurance schemes, having stepped in to replace MDIS’s previous preferred firm
  • Instructed by HDI Gerling to defend its insured BASF plc, a global chemicals group, against a high value claim against multiple defendants for catastrophic personal injuries after a contractor fell several metres into a sump at their factory.

TLT 's practice,  handles litigation, arbitration and all forms of alternative dispute resolution. Key client sectors include retail, leisure, food and drink, clean energy, digital and the public sector. Emma Flower co-heads the team and deals with commercial disputes, including contractual and warranty claims, supply chain cases, commercial agency issues, professional negligence claims and shareholder disputes. Julien Luke also co-heads the team and is experienced in disputes in the energy sector. Jon Hainey joined the firm from DWF, he is adept at handling commercial disputes for a broad range of clients from SMEs to multi-national businesses, and public law disputes for and against local authorities and central government.

Practice head(s):Emma Flower; Julien Luke

Other key lawyers:Jon Hainey; Gary Freeman; Helen Daley

Testimonials

TLT are above par and fresh in their approach to clients’.

Jon Hainey stands out; he leads his team well and is always available’.

Jon Hainey is a sound litigator, a safe pair of hands and effective in an understated way’.

Key Clients

Boohoo.com

Co-operative Group Limited

CityFibre Limited

Entanet International Limited

Farmcare Trading Limited

Movianto UK Limited

New World Trading Company UK Limited

PrettyLittleThing

Provident Financial plc

Saint-Gobain UK & Ireland

Search Consultancy Limited

Wilker UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Lancashire County Council (LCC) judicially reviewed DEFRA's decision to withdraw Waste Infrastructure Credits following LCC's reorganisation of its waste management facilities across the County which primarily involved terminating an expensive PFI contract with the then provider of services.

Irwin Mitchell's team is particularly focused on clients in the financial services, consumer, tech and manufacturing sector, working with national and international companies and financial services institutions, as well as high net worth and high-profile individuals. Duncan Hope heads the team and is experienced in High Court litigation, mediation and arbitration.

Practice head(s):Duncan Hope

Other key lawyers:Ailsa Anderson

Testimonials

The team at Irwin Mitchell are diligent, conscientious and thorough’.

Irwin Mitchell adopt a calm and considered approach to litigation, which is reassuring and sets them apart from other legal teams’.

The team appear to genuinely care about client service and communication’.

Communication is frequent, timely and consistent and as a team they are always available when needed’.

The individuals are personable and engaging, which differentiates them from other litigation teams’.

Work highlights

  • Acting for a successful claimant bank in multi-party cross-border proceedings concerning a facility of circa £25m.
  • Acting for the respondent tech company in relation to a petition in respect of alleged unfair prejudice pursuant to section 994 of the Companies Act 2006.

Boutique commercial firm Prosperity Law LLP , which has three offices in Manchester, Liverpool and Lancashire, advises clients on commercial disputes relating to property, contracts, shareholder and partnerships, construction, professional negligence and insurance. Clients include SMEs and multinational organisations. Edward Smethurst heads the team alongside Andrew Farrell who recently joined as partner from JMW Solicitors LLP.

Practice head(s):Edward Smethurst; Andrew Farrell

Testimonials

The team is professional, streetwise and has a flexible approach’.

Ed Smethurst and is a very pragmatic and capable lawyer who gives solutions-based advised in a very well communicated way’.

Key Clients

Professional, Financial Claims Association

Gladstone Brookes

C & C Insurance Brokers Limited

Trafalgar Insurance Limited

Carey Design Limited

Metrolink RATP Dev Ltd

Palladium Insurance Limited

Acasta European Insurance Company Ltd

Jed Clark

Mary Kilham, Jayne Kilham and Emma Bodie

Work highlights

  • Advising the Professional Financial Claims Association on various legislative changes and potential judicial review challenges.
  • Advising Gladstone Brookes on new areas of financial claims business and various high value actions against UK banks and financial institutions with an aggregate value of over £500m.
  • Representing C & C Insurance Brokers Limited, one of the UK’s largest independent insurance brokers, on a variety of legal matters with an aggregate value of over £100m.
  • Represented Trafalgar Insurance Limited as retained advisors and acted for insureds in relation to defending a variety of complex and important matters.
  • Dealing with a £3m-plus litigation for Carey Design Limited concerning defective products provided by a key supplier.

Clarke Willmott LLP's Manchester practice is led by commercial and private client litigator John Flint, who has expertise in shareholder disputes, complex contractual disputes and defamation, among other areas. Clients include high-net-worth individuals, owners, directors and shareholders of plcs, medium and small businesses and major financial institutions. The north west team work in tandem with the national firm's other bases in Birmingham, Bristol and Southampton.

Practice head(s):John Flint

Key Clients

The National Union of Mineworkers

Leisuresec plc

USL Consultants Limited

Fieldside Business Support Limited

Richard Wales

Andy Scott/REL Capital Limited

Capital Growth Group Limited

Patricia and Derek Smith

Daisy Street Limited

Wessex Investment Management Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised The National Union of Mineworkers on a claim against Organisation International Energie Mines (aka IEMO) relating to alleged breach of an agreement to repay to NUM funds recovered by IEMO in a long-running legal battle against a former senior executive of NUM.
  • Representing Fieldside Business Support Limited in respect of unpaid invoices under asbestos consultancy service contracts with The Co-operative Group.
  • Acting for an IFA in a complex and high value dispute against Norland Managed Services Limited (now part of CBRE Group) and Friends Life Pensions.
  • Advising Leisuresec in relation to a proposed injunction application, High Court claim for damages and cross claim for breach of contract.
  • Advising Fieldside Business Support Limited on a claim against Asda following the termination of a national services contract for the provision of construction design and management services.

Farleys Solicitors LLP's areas of expertise include breach of contract claims, IP disputes, commercial landlord and tenant matters, professional negligence claims and shareholder disputes. Daniel Draper heads the team and is particularly adept at resolving sports disputes.

Practice head(s):Daniel Draper

Other key lawyers:Rebecca Fairclough

Testimonials

'Very responsive, sensitive and clear.'

'Rebecca Fairclough is extremely helpful, diligent and fully communicative.'

Freeman Fisher LLP advises clients on corporate disputes, insolvency, financial litigation, regulatory work, commercial fraud, professional negligence, defamation and IP. Other areas of expertise include search and seizure orders and freezing orders. Alex Megaw heads the team, while Christopher MacCafferty recently joined as a consultant from SAS Daniels LLP, where he was head of commercial litigation.

Practice head(s):Alex Megaw

Other key lawyers:Christopher MacCafferty; Louise Goodwin

Testimonials

The litigation team at Freeman Fisher have an extremely commercial, refreshingly pragmatic and personal approach’.

The strengths of the individuals in the team complement each other well, creating a well-rounded, strategic team’.

They are hard working, dynamic, approachable, available and always remain fully focussed on the best outcome for each client and their individual circumstances’.

Work highlights

  • Acting for a director and shareholder of a company in the home and leisure industry in respect of a corporate dispute with a co-director/shareholder.
  • Acting for a director and shareholder of a prominent Irish manufacturing business in defence of s994 proceedings, a dispute which also involves insolvency aspects.

Nexus Solicitors Limited advises on professional negligence claims involving solicitors and barristers, accountants and the medical profession. Other areas of expertise include tax liability, enforcement and damages, and the firm regularly acts in the High Court. Chris Pugh heads the team with support from Debbie Whiteley.

Practice head(s):Chris Pugh

Other key lawyers:Debbie Whiteley

Ralli Solicitors¬†is adept at handling various commercial litigation matters including partnership and corporate disputes, defamation and IP disputes. Other areas of expertise include business and property matters, breach of contract, banking litigation and boundary disputes. ‚ÄėExcellent lawyer‚Äô Christian Eagle¬†heads up the ‚Äėfantastic litigation team‚Äô.

Practice head(s):Christian Eagle

Other key lawyers:Sam Pepper; Polly Hill; Allan Kornbluth

Testimonials

Christian Eagle is an excellent lawyer with a good feel for a case’.

The firm provides sound legal advice whilst taking into account the wider commercial context of a situation’.

The whole team is very approachable and strongly recommended’.

Key Clients

Site Contract Personnel Ltd

Shade Ltd t/a Shade Station

Duggan & Pam Scoltock (High Net Worth)

C&T Pharmacy Ltd

IMS Euro Ltd

B2B1 Print & Packaging

Moore Stephens International Ltd

Gullco International UK Limited

Manchester firm Stripes Solicitors, which was founded in 1995 as a niche litigation practice, has a particular focus on construction disputes. Other areas of expertise include professional negligence, contractual disputes, company and partnership disputes, insolvency, and banking and property matters. Andrew Stripe heads the team.

Practice head(s):Andrew Stripe

Other key lawyers:David Gallagher

Trowers & Hamlins LLP represent clients on procurement disputes, contentious insolvency disputes, contentious bankruptcy, fraud, shareholder disputes, breach of warranty claims, and professional negligence claims. Clients include local authorities, real estate investment companies, pension funds, private companies, high-net-worth individuals and public sector bodies. Dan Butler co-heads the team and acts for local authorities, housing associations, NHS trusts, and other contracting authorities, working alongside London-based co-head Lucy James.

Practice head(s):Dan Butler; Lucy James

Testimonials

'Robust yet commercial legal advice given in a very timely manner. Whilst other firms can also give good technical advice, this isn't always backed up by a commercial and pragmatic approach. The team, which has strength and depth, is particularly strong in the not-for-profit and property sectors and draws on the deep sector expertise within the wider firm.'

'Dan Butler is consistently proactive and gives robust and commercial advice.  He is able to work very quickly and pick things up at very short notice.'

'Dan Butler has an excellent career ahead of him - he has an impressive set of skills and commercial nous.'

Key Clients

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)

Arch (North Staffs) Limited

MMBS (UK) Limited

Your Housing Group

Equity Housing Group

Integrated Dental Holdings Limited (t/a MyDentist)

Caprice Holdings Limited

UK Container Maintenance Limited

Caring Homes Group Limited

RSM Restructuring & Recovery LLP

Quantuma LLP

Ningbo Corleone Import and Export Company

Mazars LLP

Smith & Williamson LLP

Core Education Trust

Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of the Education and Funding Skills Agency in contested insolvency proceedings against its former landlords, R Square Properties and Moors Properties.
  • Represented an institutional landlord in an advisory capacity arising out of its tenant House of Fraser's proposal for a CVA and subsequent administration.
  • Represented an institutional landlord in respect of issuing flowing from the CVA of Homebase.
  • Represented MMBS (UK) Limited in its challenge against Birmingham City Council's procurement of major adaption building works for housing for citizens with disabilities.
  • Represented Arch (North Staffs) Limited in its challenge against the Police and Crime Commissioner's procurement of domestic abuse support service across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

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