Commercial litigation: Manchester in North West

Addleshaw Goddard

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

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

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 HarrisNicole 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; 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

    Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

    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

    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

    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

    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 ‘top solicitorHarald 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

    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

    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. ‘Fantastic team leader and a stand-out litigatorJulian 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).

    Fieldfisher

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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.

    Prosperity Law LLP

    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

    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

    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

    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’.

    Alex Megaw is a strategic leader with an unmatched wealth of experience and knowledge. He is honest, pragmatic and clear when giving advice and setting expectations’.

    He is a very hands-on, hard working partner who is clearly passionate about delivering a great service’.

    Louise Goodwin is clear, thorough and always goes the extra mile. She always makes time to be contactable and available to assist at any time’.

    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

    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

    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. ‘Excellent lawyerChristian Eagle heads up the ‘fantastic litigation team’.

    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’.

    Christian Eagle is an extremely knowledgeable and commercially astute lawyer; he sees a situation from the perspective of the business owner and advises accordingly’.

    Allan Kornbluth is very personable and professional’.

    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

    Stripes Solicitors

    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

    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.