Firms To Watch: Commercial litigation: Manchester

Following its launch in 2020, Bexley Beaumont has expanded rapidly, and now fields a team comprising three experienced dispute resolution partners, including noted litigator Phil Sheard, fomerly of Brabners LLP.
In August 2021, the team at gunnercooke LLP was significantly strengthened by the arrival of Sydney Fulda from DAC Beachcroft LLP; he brings to the group particular expertise in fraud and urgent injunction work, as well as the usual roster of contractual, company and shareholder disputes.
2021 marked a year of significant growth for Markel Law LLP; in June, Sarah Hogan-Dempsey joined from DWF, followed by Jody Thomasson from Harrison Drury & Co in November, and rounded off by the arrival of Shazia Aslam from Schofield Sweeney in December.

Commercial litigation: Manchester in North West

Addleshaw Goddard

The ‘first rate‘ offering at Addleshaw Goddardtakes no prisoners and achieves outstanding results‘. The Manchester office is a hub for leading specialists, including Susan Garrett, who leads on technology and pensions disputes; ‘force of nature‘ Nicholas Ashcroft, who oversees business protection litigation; and competition claims expert Samantha Haigh, who made partner in May 2021. Haigh’s recent promotion was just the first in a series of team developments, which also included the recruitment of Catherine Radcliffe from Provenio Litigation in November 2021, and the internal move of Jean Boldero from the firm’s restructuring department. The group continues to demonstrate ‘the strength in depth to deal with the full spectrum of issues‘, with recommended practitioners ranging from seasoned ‘stand-outMark Molyneux to legal director Clare Dwyer, to managing associate Paul Rowley.

Practice head(s):

Susan Garrett; Nicholas Ashcroft

Other key lawyers:

Mark Molyneux; Samantha Haigh; Clare Dwyer; Paul Rowley; Jean Boldero; Catherine Radcliffe; Victoria Pool


‘It is an exceptional team. Regardless of whichever level of seniority, the service levels, technical knowledge and aptitude are top notch. They have the strength in depth to deal with the full spectrum of issues that may come across a litigator’s desk.’

‘Mark Molyneux – one of the stand-out litigators in the UK, in my opinion. It is easy to see how Mark has gone from strength to strength within Addleshaw Goddard’s practice. He is robust with his advice and is an excellent sounding board to navigate through potential potholes down the road. Samantha Haigh, like Mark, has really pushed on which has been recognised as she was made partner last year. She always brings a fresh and innovative thought process to issues and her ability to take ownership and deliver for her clients.’

‘A strong team of experienced litigators. They bring to their clients’ litigation thorough legal analysis and commercial common sense.’

‘Nicholas Ashcroft is excellent. Works hard and is always abreast of the detail, he treads the right line between robust advice and commercial pragmatism.’

‘The team is, as you would expect from a firm like AG, first rate and show excellent strengths in the key areas of practice: strategy, analysis, drafting, communication, negotiation and drive. They have a strength in depth which most other firms do not offer and, so, are able to switch in and switch out members of the team on jobs on a more or less seamless basis.’

‘The team I work with is headed by Mark Molyneux. His second in command is Victoria Pool. They have a great team ethos, they are all technically excellent and commercially aware. As a team they have few rivals in the market place.’

‘AG are an outstanding firm. The team is committed, takes no prisoners and achieves outstanding results. They will be commercial and think outside the box, too. Really experts in injunctive relief.’

‘Nicholas Ashcroft is a force of nature when it comes to disputes. Samantha Haigh is direct and totally committed to clients.’

Key clients

Accrol Group Holdings Plc

Associated British Foods

Britvic Plc

CIS General Insurance Limited

Co-op Group Limited

Credico Marketing Limited

Diageo plc

Eastern and Southern African Trade & Development Bank (TDB)

Kroll Advisory Limited

Road Haulage Association Limited

Skanska Construction UK Limited

Stroma Building Control Limited

Tata Chemicals Europe Limited

Toyota Material Handling UK Limited

Trustees of the BT Rolatruc Limited Staff Life Assurance and Pension Scheme

Tsemex Global Enterprise Plc and Tsemex Hotels and Business Plc

Work highlights

  • Represented CIS General Insurance in its successful claim against IBM for delay and wrongful termination of a major IT contract for a new platform.
  • Acting for The Road Haulage Association, along with transport specialists Backhouse Jones, in a unique opt-in class action seeking to represent more than 15,000 class members and over £1bn in damages.
  • Acting for Credico Marketing in a business protection dispute concerning the enforcement of restrictive covenants in commercial trading agreements.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper is widely lauded for its international arbitration and litigation expertise; the entire roster of practitioners, from team lead Andrew Smith to ‘highly accomplished‘ senior associate Charlotte Leith, continue to be instrumental in developing this side of the practice. The group also has a stellar track record representing private equity and corporate clients in major transactional and shareholder disputes. Legal director Leontia McArdle is the name to note for class action claims while the ‘unflappableJonathan Eatough is a key contact for risk management advice.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Smith

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Eatough; Philip Williams; David Cook; Leontia McArdle; Charlotte Leith


‘Hugely experienced commercial lawyers, strength in depth, very approachable and easy to work with, tough.’

‘Jonathan Eatough: unflappable, excellent strategic feel, rolls his sleeves up. Andrew Smith: huge range of commercial experience, strategic insight, quick to identify the pressure points. Charlotte Leith: very acute, thinks like an advocate, great drafting skills and huge range of commercial experience (particularly in Dubai and the Gulf).’

‘Great team, covering international and domestic disputes. The quality of the work is very high, and the level of service is impeccable.’

‘Charlotte Leith is a stand-out senior associate with real expertise in international arbitration.’

‘I dealt mainly with Andrew Smith, and at all times he was calm (which I needed), highly knowledgeable, and able to analyse the situation very well at both the tactical and strategic levels.’

‘Charlotte Leith is a highly accomplished solicitor: she has a very quick mind and a highly impressive attention to detail. She has a good commercial sense of the client’s objectives and how to achieve those in the changing circumstances of complex litigation.’

‘At all times the firm was professional, clear, and gave excellent advice. Many firms would not have had the capability to manage the complex legal aspects across both US and UK.’

‘They are very easy to talk to; proactive and very commercial in their advice.’

Key clients

Jemella Limited (ghd)

Fullbrook Thorpe Investments

Maven Capital Partners

Flywheel IT Services Limited

ScottishPower Energy Retail Limited

GE Capital

Close Brothers

Wise Payments (Transferwise)

New Day

ESG Impact Limited / Aberdeen Worldwide Group

JD Williams & Company (N Brown Group)

Work highlights

  • Representing Flywheel in relation to separate, but related High Court proceedings arising from the acquisition of an IT company, bringing a claim for misrepresentation/breach of warranty for £12m and defending a contractual claim for £3.5m.
  • Acting for Maven Capital Partners in £6.5m claims against the sellers and related parties following the investment of a group of companies.
  • Acted on behalf the ICO in proceedings brought by Facebook in the Information Appeals Tribuna, in which Facebook sought to challenge the monetary penalty notice imposed by the ICO.


DWF is well known for representing household names from the transport, retail, and telecoms sectors in complex commercial disputes. Also of note is the firm’s ever-growing reputation for defending group litigation, particularly in relation to business critical data breaches; the team’s recent work for British Airways – on which Andrew Harris acts as the key partner – is indicative of its preeminence in this space. The Manchester office also fields both national practice head Joel Heap and local team lead Lee Norman. At the senior associate level, Michelle Maher is particularly recommended.

Practice head(s):

Lee Norman

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Harris; Joel Heap; Daniel Williams; Michelle Maher; Benjamin Johnson


‘One of the leading litigation teams in the country – you want them on your side. They have seen it all. They engage with all ranges of clients and devise at the outset a number of strategies to deliver the outcomes that the client wants.’

‘Joel Heap – fantastic tactician and negotiator. Lee Norman – unflappable because he has seen it all, has a great command of the case and an ability to see all routes to the clients’ objectives. Daniel Williams – great command of the detail that impresses all who deal with him.’

‘The team is responsive and pragmatic.’

‘An agile and very commercial team, one of the leading commercial litigation teams in Manchester and the North West. It can easily match many commercial teams in rival firms in London, while offering better value for money.’

‘Daniel Williams is an excellent litigator – commercial, strategic and astute and always focused on achieving the client’s aims. He is an extremely active leader and does the heavy lifting with the work. He is unusually responsive to clients.’

‘Lee Norman and Joel Heap are both very commercial and responsive.’

Key clients

British Airways Plc

Wm Morrison Supermarkets Limited

Wincanton Holdings Limited

Durham County Council

Lambert Smith Hampton Group Limited

Kingswood Group

JCB Power Systems Limited

Serco Limited (part of Serco Group PLC)

BT Plc

Countrywide Plc

Biostraw Limited

Zedra Trust Company (Jersey) Limited (trust company of Oliver Cookson)

James Cropper Plc

Electricity North West


First Title

Work highlights

  • Defended British Airways against the first group litigation claim brought under GDPR in respect of a cyber-attack and data theft concerning its website and mobile application.
  • Represented CMAC Group in a number of procurement challenges relating to the award of emergency and planned rail replacement services.
  • Acting on behalf of Zedra Trust Company (Jersey) in an unfair prejudice petition brought against The Hut Group and a number of its individual shareholder and directors, with a value of over £100m.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

The ‘consistently excellent‘ litigators at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP are closely aligned with the core industry specialisms of the firm, and are therefore especially proficient at handling disputes in the diversified industrial and transport sectors. Matthew Taylor and Michael Clavell-Bate jointly lead the team; both are recognised experts in reputation management work, and are instrumental in maintaining the group’s preeminent reputation in this sphere. Phil Duignan‘s broad practice includes shareholder disputes, warranty claims and cases relating to employee departures, while legal director Thomas Whitfield continues to lead on the defence of high-profile Commercial Court proceedings brought against the Serious Fraud Office.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Taylor; Michael Clavell-Bate

Other key lawyers:

Phil Duignan; Thomas Whitfield; Luisa Zukowski


‘The litigation team at Eversheds in Manchester is consistently excellent. They provide sound, practical advice across a wide range of litigation matters, from simple county court claims all the way through to complex international arbitration. They are particularly strong at strategic thinking.’

‘Thomas Whitfield leads on our litigation matters and has done so for a number of years. He is technically excellent, highly pragmatic and a genuine pleasure to work with. He consistently secures great results for us.’

‘Michael Clavell-Bate is the relationship partner. He is hugely experienced and is particularly good at drawing on that experience to find creative solutions to complex problems.’

‘Luisa Zukowski is an arbitration expert whom we use alongside Thomas Whitfield where we are involved in arbitration matters. Luisa’s knowledge of arbitration procedure and tactics is superb, and like the rest of the team she’s a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Director of the Serious Fraud Office

Daisy Group

DXC Technology


Boohoo Group PLC


Johnson Controls



Work highlights

    Brabners LLP

    With Jeff Lewis at its helm, the Brabners team continues to be recognised for its expertise in several distinct industries; litigation with a nexus to the sporting or recruitment sectors is the firm’s particular forte. The group also handles the full gamut of partnership and shareholder disputes, professional negligence claims and competition law issues. Senior associate Oliver Andrews is noted for his extensive experience acting in unfair prejudice petitions, while associate Lucy Craven stands out for her expertise in media and defamation matters.

    Practice head(s):

    Jeff Lewis

    Other key lawyers:

    Andrea James; Helena Davis; Oliver Andrews; Lucy Craven


    ‘Extremely competent, professional, approachable, and contactable at all times including out of business hours. Brabners provide a first class comprehensive legal service with a commercial appreciation of the realities and necessities of our various requirements.’

    ‘Jeff Lewis is a very highly experienced litigator whose drive and tenacity produce results. When the going gets tough, Jeff gets going. Shrewd and intelligent in deploying strategies guaranteeing the required outcomes; with his vast experience reflected in his calm and considered demeanour, he generates confidence in his client. If you want to win, back a winner in Jeff.’

    ‘Jeff Lewis and Lucy Craven are both pragmatic, effective, transparent.’

    ‘A really strong commercial litigation practice – client-focused, dynamic and hardworking.’

    ‘They have excellent team work. They also had access to different specialists in their company who could give us guidance as and when it was needed.’

    ‘Jeff Lewis and Oliver Andrews are both very thorough, very approachable and very easy to talk to. The attention to detail, particularly in our dealings with Oliver, is excellent. They never took for granted how difficult the situation we were in was for us to deal with and treated us with respect at all times.’

    ‘Very professional. Clear succinct advice provided, always correct both in the details and pragmatically.’

    ‘Jeff Lewis – top commercial litigator – with high-profile practice – client-focused, commercial and tenacious.’

    Key clients

    Panasonic Manufacturing (UK) Ltd

    Veka Recycling Ltd

    Well Pharmacy/Bestway National Chemists

    Leicester City FC

    Warrington Borough Council

    Balfour Beatty

    Nichols plc

    Faltec Europe Ltd

    Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council

    British Swimming Limited

    ConstruGomes Engenharia S.A.

    Start People Limited

    Work highlights

    • Acted for two sellers of a business in getting proceedings for breach of warranty struck out on a technical point as to service.
    • Acting on behalf of a professional footballer in a contractual dispute worth £300,000 with a Premiership football club.
    • Acted successfully in a claim for £14m arising out of an option agreement concerning development land.

    DAC Beachcroft LLP

    DAC Beachcroft LLP receives instructions from a notable roster of blue chip clients, particularly those in the TMT, healthcare and insurance sectors. The department has a well-established international reach, frequently dealing with disputes across Europe, Asia, North America, Australia, the Middle East and Africa. Harald Loeffler heads up the firm’s German desk, as well as acting in the full range of commercial litigation claims. The firm’s ability to advise on matters with a nexus to German law was further strengthened by the arrival of dual-qualified legal director Sandra Morrison from Mills & Reeve LLP in November 2021. Practice head Jan Levinson gets great results through combining strong interpersonal skills with legal acumen‘.

    Practice head(s):

    Jan Levinson

    Other key lawyers:

    Harald Loeffler; Shanaka Wijetunge; Andrew Martin; Jo Dumphy; Sandra Morrison


    ‘I have experienced DAC Beachcroft as a highly reliable partner with a strong and forward-thinking team. Their strength lies in their diversity and high degree of specialisation as well as a strong teamwork approach.’

    ‘I have received only service of the highest standard. A special mention for partner Harald Loeffler who has supported me on numerous occasions to my utmost satisfaction. I particularly appreciate his personal dedication, his accessibility and reliability, his solution orientation, his willingness to go the extra mile to find feasible solutions and his open and clear communication style.’

    ‘Excellent depth of team, international network, value for money, cost transparency.’

    ‘The firm is reactive to changing situations and sensitive towards the complexities a case may involve. They have proved to be thorough with great attention to detail to cover all angles of a situation.’

    ‘I have never worked with a law firm where a team responds so quickly and accurately. It is obvious that the team members are linked with each other as everybody is able to answer questions straight away.’

    ‘Harald Loeffler stands out with his direct approach to things. He is coming to the point straight away. Sandra Morrison has the ability to see circumstances from different perspectives which led us to success in our case.’

    ‘Excellent advice delivered in a user-friendly way.’

    ‘Jan Levinson – bright, non-stuffy, approachable, tenacious, emotionally intelligent. Gets great results through combing strong interpersonal skills with legal acumen.’

    Key clients

    Avis UK

    Government Legal Department on behalf of The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

    Envair Limited

    Charles Clarke (former Home Secretary) and family

    DHL Management Services Limited


    North Bristol NHS Trust; University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust; the Secretary of State for Health (acting by the UK Health Security Agency – South West Laboratory); Royal United Hospitals Bath Foundation Trust

    Bentley Motors Limited

    Tokio Marine HCC

    W Maher & Sons Limited

    Work highlights

    • Representing W Maher & Sons in a number of cases against a former director of the company, including an ongoing claim in the Business & Property Courts for breach of fiduciary duties in setting up a competing company vehicle.
    • Representing the Government Legal Department – on behalf of The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – in a dispute concerning an IT services contract.
    • Representing Charles Clarke and his family in claims against Mirror Group Newspapers arising from the unlawful obtaining and misuse of private and confidential information through phone hacking.


    Fieldfisher‘s ‘dynamic and energetic‘ offering delivers technical expertise across the core areas of corporate litigation, professional negligence, insolvency litigation and contractual disputes. Although ‘peerless negotiatorIan Austin stepped back as practice head in May 2021, he continues to have an active role both within the team and as managing partner of the Manchester office. The position of group lead has now been taken on by James Lappin, who is noted for both his ‘great client skills and business acumen‘. Restrictive covenants and business protection issues are a particular area of expertise for ‘nimble‘ practitioner Chris Gee, while legal director Daniel Sheehan often handles unfair prejudice petitions and derivative actions.

    Practice head(s):

    James Lappin

    Other key lawyers:

    Ian Austin; Chris Gee; Emma-Kate Hargreave; Craig Arrowsmith; Mark Fairclough; Daniel Sheehan


    ‘Excellent and commercial firm.’

    ‘Ian Austen is a very experienced and peerless negotiator in commercial litigation, delivering excellent results in difficult cases.’

    ‘Fieldfisher is a young, dynamic and energetic commercial litigation team based in Manchester. They are second to none with their client service and between them offer first rate legal analysis and advice and commercial acumen. They know when a case is worth fighting but equally when a case needs to be settled and how to go about achieving the best terms available.’

    ‘James Lappin and Daniel Sheehan are both excellent litigators. James has great client skills and business acumen, whilst Daniel has a fantastic eye for detail.’

    ‘Chris Gee is the perfect fit for our business in terms of external litigation support. He is nimble, understands our need for concise, strategic advice and is smart, efficient and very much into the detail of our matters. He goes the extra mile and I’m usually pleasantly surprised by the invoices we receive.’

    ‘The team is down to earth, committed and hardworking. But also it punches way above its weight – doing great work and matching City of London firms in quality, but not price.’

    ‘James Lappin is a top lawyer. Chris Gee is a terrific new recruit for the firm. He is always on top of the papers and has great commercial nous.’

    Key clients

    Getir UK Limited

    Solicitors Regulation Authority

    N Brown Group Plc


    Co-Op Service Group

    Flat Cap Hotels Limited

    Financial Reporting Council

    Pearson Education Limited

    Knight Group Holdings Plc

    MTX Contracts Limited

    Regulator of Social Housing

    The British Cycling Federation

    UD Software Solutions Group Limited

    Transaction Network Services UK Ltd

    F&T Terrix Ltd

    London North Eastern Railway Limited

    L Rowland & Co (Retail) Limited (t/a Rowlands Pharmacy)

    Lloyds Pharmacy Limited

    Swizzels Matlow Limited

    Palador Properties

    Investment Property Marketing Limited

    ESL Fuels Limited

    Profile Security Services Limited


    Primis Talent

    6 Group Recruitment

    Work highlights

    • Acted for Businessman Neil Oliver in a professional negligence action in the UK and other related proceedings across numerous jurisdictions, in relation to the total loss of a significant investment in a Guernsey based pension scheme.
    • Acted for the claimant, ESL Fuels, in its claim against Prema Energy, Prema Trading and Stephen Fletcher in a case concerning the defendants’ breach of a Know-how and Trade Secret Licence Agreement entered into between the parties.
    • Acted for the claimant, Profile Security Services, in seeking urgent interim injunctive relief against a former employee and competitor following the discovery that the former employee was engaged in sharing the client’s confidential information with its competitor.

    Hill Dickinson LLP

    Hill Dickinson LLP offers experience and proficiency across the spectrum of commercial litigation work, with recent mandates ranging from shareholder and expert determination disputes to breach of confidence claims. Manchester-based team lead Christopher Tyrrell is regularly able to draw on the strength of his counterpart in Liverpool, Fiona Parry; the duo work together in close collaboration, and frequently pool the strengths of their repsective teams. As well as ‘stand-out‘ practice head Tyrrell, who is able to ‘marshall litigation issues excellently‘, the Manchester office also fields a large roster of well-regarded legal directors, including Moya Clifford, Andrew Little and Alex Smith.

    Practice head(s):

    Fiona Parry; Christopher Tyrrell

    Other key lawyers:

    Iain Campbell; Moya Clifford; Andrew Little; Laura Scott; Alex Smith


    ‘Hill Dickonson’s commercial litigation team is well adapated to and experienced in conducting litigation in the High Court.’

    ‘Christopher Tyrrell is the stand-out partner who can handle both clients and opposing solicitors well and marshall litigation issues excellently. He is ably assisted by Alex Smith. I particularly value the way in which they both seek timely advice from counsel on legal and strategic issues and then implement efficiently decisions taken with the client in conference, based on this advice.’

    ‘The team covers a broad range of disputes. The various members of the team work closely together.’

    ‘Christopher Tyrell is an excellent partner. At all times he was unflappable and calmly dealt with each development as it arose.’

    ‘Alexander Smith is excellent. Alex thought creatively as to how we might able to settle the matter. He demonstrated a good natural instinct as to how to navigate the claim through to a favourable settlement.’

    ‘This is a team of professionals that really listens to the clients, takes time to fully understand the issues involved, and provides top quality plans and advice in order to deliver successful, positive and cost-effective outcomes.’

    ‘It is getting a real sense that this Hill Dickinson team want to deliver the outcomes required, and get straight to the essential points of the issue, without delivering anything that is unnecessary to the matter.’

    ‘They have good resources and knowledgeable and skillful people at all levels.’

    Key clients

    Arc Minerals – Terra

    Iggesund Paperboard (Workington) Limited & Trustees of the Iggesund (UK) Pension Scheme

    DD Products and Services Limited

    The Delivery Group Limited and Postal Choices Limited

    Clarity Pharma Limited

    Paul Bell – UTT Tax

    Applocum Limited

    Transport for Greater Manchester

    Aquam Corporation

    Gary Wilson

    Work highlights

    • Representing Arc Minerals in a claim for breach of contract against Zambian mining company Terra Metals Zambia.
    • Acting for both Iggesund Paperboard and Trustees of the Iggesund Pension Scheme in a claim relating to an omission from a pension scheme’s trust deed and rules.
    • Acting for DD Products and Services in a breach of contract claim relating to PPE supplies, issued in the London Circuit Commercial Court.

    JMW Solicitors LLP

    Following Marc Yaffe‘s internal relocation to a management position, the team at JMW Solicitors LLP is now under the capable leadership of Steve Morris, whose expertise spans contractual and shareholder disputes, warranty and fraud claims, fraud, professional negligence, and obtaining and defending injunctions. Other key practitioners include Graham Small, who oversees business interruption insurance claims within the practice, and Claire Brown, whose area of expertise covers all mandates with a nexus to sports law. Also of note was Rebecca Young‘s promotion to partner in May 2021.

    Practice head(s):

    Steve Morris

    Other key lawyers:

    Mark Jones; Oliver Wright; Graham Small; Claire Brown; Rebecca Young


    ‘Great personal service. Steve Morris and his team always prioritise our work and make us feel as if we are all part of the same team. Also for a company of our nature with a broad breath of functions they are able match our needs with their own broad breadth of expertise. Night, day or even weekends always available.’

    ‘Steve Morris is just absolutely class. Very personable, provides us with immediate efficient and spot-on advice/conduct of cases. Knows our business and people because he cares. Superb lawyer, very commercial and a great strategist. His knowledge and work ethic is first class. Great sense of humour as well particularly when things get tough and we all need to take a big breath.’

    Key clients

    Paul Garside

    United Utilities Water Ltd

    Hugh Osmond

    McAuliffe Group Limited

    Robert Jackson & Rosehelm Limited

    Macom GmbH

    Vebro Polymers UK Limited, Vebro Polymers Holdings Limited, John Watson and Robert Gray

    BIP Chemical Holdings Limited (BIP)

    Menzies LLP

    Donald McPherson

    Richard Freeman

    Work highlights

      Pannone Corporate LLP

      Pannone Corporate LLP is recognised as a ‘major player‘ in the North West market; the team expertly handles mediation, arbitration and complex litigation across the full gamut of commercial issues, including shareholder disputes, professional negligence, and contractual cases. Practice head David Brown is ‘an exceptional asset‘ to the firm. Other key recommended senior practitioners include Paul Johnson, who focuses on resolving disputes arising from the running, sale and purchase of businesses, and Martin Pennington, who has been instrumental in developing some of the department’s most important client relationships.

      Practice head(s):

      David Brown

      Other key lawyers:

      Paul Johnson; Alexandria Winstanley; Martin Pennington; Jonny Scholes; Sarah Bazaraa


      ‘The Pannone team provides a high-class and professional service for all levels of work. Their responsiveness and understanding of commercially sensitive topics means the support provided is of significant value to our business.’

      ‘David Brown is an exceptional asset, providing clear, business-oriented advice on all matters. His experience and pragmatism is highly valuable.’

      ‘Pannone Corporate is a major player in commercial litigation in the North West. They prepare their cases extremely thoroughly and achieve excellent results for their clients in settlement negotiations.’

      ‘Paul Jonson – a very experienced commercial litigator with a sound strategic overview.’

      ‘David Brown is an extremely able litigator, he is pragmatic and robust and seeks to get the client what they need and want, and he uses litigation as a means to an end in reaching that commercial goal.’

      ‘Martin Pennington is a first-class commercial litigator who is willing to go the extra mile for clients, and they know it. He represents nationally known clients and they know that they can rely on him.’

      ‘Pannone Corporate strikes nicely the fine balance between the big law firm capacity to handle a complex case without losing the small law firm responsiveness and personal touch. They took the time to gain in-depth understanding of our business, needs and objectives and tailored their service to this, sometimes with very nifty solutions and tactics. They work and communicate well as a team.’

      ‘High-profile commercial litigators.’

      Key clients

      SGS Group

      DHL Express

      Iceland Foods Limited

      Ryder plc

      Tradebe Group

      Sibelco UK Limited

      SMG Europe

      Ardagh Group


      NG Bailey

      Work highlights

        Pinsent Masons LLP

        As well as heading up the Manchester-based offering at Pinsent Masons LLP, ‘market leading‘ litigator Julian Diaz Rainey also oversees the firmwide corporate litigation skillset, comprising lawyers across the UK and global jurisdictions. Under Diaz-Rainey’s guidance, the team handles the full gamut of commercial disputes, and is noted particularly for its expert handling of highly sensitive cases. The group’s deep understanding of the complexities of enforcement regimes also enables practitioners to protect the client’s reputation and linked shareholder value where disputes with regulators arise. May 2022 saw the promotions of Andrew Mitchell and Alexander Richardson to legal director and senior associate, respectively.

        Practice head(s):

        Julian Diaz-Rainey

        Other key lawyers:

        Steven Porter; Andrew Mitchell; Katie Hancock; Gabrielle Armstrong; Alexander Richardson


        ‘The commercial litigation team in Manchester is exceptional and is instructed in high-quality commercial matters and inquiries. They have commercial awareness and think outside the box to find solutions for clients. They care about people and have been involved in a number of matters involving vulnerable individuals who have been treated with dignity and respect.’

        ‘Julian Diaz-Rainey is an exceptional commercial litigation partner who oversees a huge range of disputes and inquiries, domestically and internationally. He puts in the time to maintain relationships with clients and his team. He is extremely easy to deal with and really knows his stuff. He gives real world advice. He treats vulnerable witnesses with dignity and respect. He leads a fantastic team who is extremely well supported by him.’

        ‘Alexander Richardson is quickly developing his skills as a commercial litigation lawyer to watch. He is confident and a great communicator. He can be trusted to produce a quality product and his drafting is to be commended.’

        ‘Client-focused and imaginative solutions for commercial disputes. Efficient and capable in delivering results.’

        ‘In-depth knowledge of the sports sector – particularly Premier League clubs and their relationship with the League.’

        ‘Julian Diaz-Rainey is market-leading and will engross himself in an issue to gain a broad understanding of the internal implications of his advice. He will always listen to his client to ensure his advice sits against all broader issues faced at any one time.’

        ‘Gabrielle Armstrong is one to watch – her knowledge of the football rules and regulations is very impressive and she instils confidence.’

        ‘Approachable and plain-speaking people. Flexible. Good knowledge and experience base for the work at hand.’

        Key clients

        Manchester City/City Football Group

        United Healthcare

        City of Edinburgh Council

        Air Liquide UK

        Lenovo Technology UK Limited

        Everton FC

        4NS/Hiscox Insurance

        Jockey Club Racecourses Limited

        Work highlights

        • Advising Manchester City Football Group and City Football Group on all issues arising out of an inquiry into all and any connections Manchester City Football Club may have had with the convicted child sex offender, Barry Bennell, and any other anomalous issues.
        • Defending United Healthcare against a claim for negligent and fraudulent misrepresentation, arising out of the purchase of a pharmaceutical events company.
        • Successfully acted for Air Liquide in a dispute arising from an agreement with a global producer of bio-ethanol.

        Squire Patton Boggs

        Under the direction of practice head Victoria Leigh, Squire Patton Boggs maintains its reputation for excellence in the manufacturing, technology, recruitment and financial services sectors. The team also continues to see growth in the fields of reputation management and data protection claims; Peter Lees has been instrumental in building up the firm’s cross-office offering in the former area, while Leigh takes the lead on the latter.  At senior associate level, Rebecca Green – whose regular workload includes professional negligence claims, contractual disputes and pensions litigation – is particularly recommended.

        Practice head(s):

        Victoria Leigh

        Other key lawyers:

        Anthony Taylor; Peter Lees; Mike Caird; Rebecca Green


        ‘The commercial litigation team in Manchester is just a pleasure to work with – sensible and realistic goals alongside great communication and planning.’

        ‘Victoria Leigh runs a great ship and has huge experience running complicated litigation.’

        ‘Their strength in depth – both in terms of personnel, expertise but also covering a range of practice areas – through the UK, and connections internationally is of real value to this organisation.’

        ‘They are highly experienced, but incredibly ‘user-friendly’ – they build good understanding of client needs and priorities,  focusing quickly on shared outcomes. Importantly, they are consistently down to earth, which helps build confidence. The lead partner is able (and willing) to coordinate key practice ‘leads’ to ensure legal advice is comprehensive.’

        Key clients

        Co-operative Group

        Studio Retail Group

        Manchester Building Society

        Pets at Home

        Close Asset Finance

        DNOW Inc

        MAN Energy Solutions

        Berwind Corporation

        GBG Plc

        Innospec Limited

        Work highlights

        • Represented Manchester Building Society in its claim against Grant Thornton for negligent advice.
        • Acting for a representative member of the Parker and Sanford section of the Newell Rubbermaid UK Pension Scheme in a claim brought by the trustee seeking clarification from the court as to whether members of the Parker Pen Pension Plan who were under 45, who also transferred from the final salary section to a money purchase section, had their benefits transferred correctly.
        • Acted for a number of corporates who have received claims from individuals seeking compensation for breaches of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations.


        Expert litigatorGeraldine Ryan continues to bring her ‘formidable record and enviable reputation‘ to bear at the helm of CMS‘ disputes offering. The team has specialist expertise in reputational risks, data protection, contentious IT, breach of confidence issues and sports law, and regularly takes cases with a nexus to these areas to the Appellate Courts. The firm is also much lauded for its strong senior associate bench, which includes and the ‘intelligent, diligent and meticulousKelly Heath and the ‘completely unflappableDaniel Keating.

        Practice head(s):

        Geraldine Ryan

        Other key lawyers:

        Emma Lewis; Daniel Keating; Rachel Boyle; Kelly Heath


        ‘Highly professional and experienced lawyers, who quickly grasped the key business issues, and who assisted both commercially and legally to resolve the dispute.’

        ‘The CMS representatives that we engage with are professional, concise, accurate and overall very supportive.’

        ‘I have been looked after incredibly well by Geraldine Ryan and Daniel Keating from CMS. They expertly calmed me and navigated me with ease through a horrible process and helped give clarity, strength and motivation. More to the point I felt they were incredibly robust and knowledgeable in their responses and able to accurately present evidence and facts with no need for emotion or opinion. They were the absolute calm in a crazy storm.’

        ‘Geraldine Ryan and Daniel Keating are completely unflappable and can see through bully boy tactics whilst also having a strong and respected reputation that clearly gives them an unwavering confidence. This is exactly the type of team you want on your side when nerves of steel are called for.’

        ‘All members of the team I have worked with have a high level of legal/technical expertise, are commercially aware and strategically astute. They are efficient, assiduous, attentive and always display the utmost degree of professionalism. They work seamlessly together (both within the Manchester team and with other CMS offices), combining their skills and strengths to secure the best possible outcome for the client.’

        ‘Geraldine Ryan is an extremely able and expert litigator with a wealth of high-level experience to draw on. Commercially aware, tactically astute and responsive to client needs and concerns both in terms of the litigation itself and wider business issues. Together with her strong team she provides a first rate service.’

        ‘Kelly Heath – extremely able, intelligent, diligent and meticulous. In short, first rate all round. Daniel Keating – highly able with a quiet strength and calmness and sound judgment. A pleasure to work with.’

        ‘We have used Geraldine Ryan for many years. She has a formidable record and enviable reputation among her peers particularly in the North West region and is able, commanding and impressive in negotiations.’

        Key clients

        50% shareholder in leading leather goods and manufacturing company

        A national Electrical Goods Supply Company with over 250 outlets

        Michael Bennetts, Design Build Limited and Stadt Und Hof Properties Limited

        Oron Costtrici and Beluga Group Holdings Limited

        Madison Maclean Technology Limited

        Gym King Limited and Mr James Parker

        Work highlights

        • Acting for a 50% shareholder in a leather goods and manufacturing company in connection with various commercial issues.
        • Representing a national electrical goods supply company with over 250 outlets in a dispute relating to sale of face masks which allegedly do not meet Coronavirus Regulations and Guidance.
        • Defending  MB, DBL and Stadt against proceedings brought by Care Surgical Limited in the Chancery Division of the High Court.


        Kennedys is seeing instructions from an ever increasing roster of notable insurance clients and international partners, and is making good use of the firm’s international network to handles such work. Insurance, partnership and boardroom disputes also continue to be areas of strength. Andrew Davidson heads up the team, supported by a deep bench of seasoned practitioners, including Reuben Berg and Ian Mendelsohn.

        Practice head(s):

        Andrew Davidson

        Other key lawyers:

        Reuben Berg; Ian Mendelsohn; Nick Bond; Leanne Millhouse


        ‘The practitioner was very clear in what action was required and outlined the various steps that had to be taken to get the funds. Costs were outlined but with the proviso that this sort of action usually encountered difficulties which would increase costs.’

        ‘Ian Mendelsohn knew what action was required and took us through the various stages. Advice was always practical and helpful to the client. Communications were prompt and clearly worded.’

        ‘Real dedication to the clients’ cause, which instils loyalty and confidence. There are plenty of good firms in Manchester, but few with this personal touch. Kennedys being a good firm, the resources are also excellent, and their international presence can also be very useful and effective.’

        ‘Leanne Millhouse displays the quality of dedication to the client, as well as being a careful litigator. She has the confidence to recognise when it is necessary to bring in assistance, and does so. The quality and complexity of her work is the envy of many a Manchester firm.’

        ‘The Kennedys Manchester team have shown great care and understanding in handling the instructions.’

        Work highlights

          Mills & Reeve LLP

          At Mills & Reeve LLP, a highly collaborative approach ensures that the firm’s stellar corporate, employment and private client groups are engaged, both at the earliest stages of a dispute and throughout. The team retains its focus on a number of core sectors, namely food, agribusiness, sport, charities, life sciences and private wealth; dual practice heads Richard Dawson-Gerrard and Simon Pedley offer a significant amount of expertise in these industries between them.

          Practice head(s):

          Richard Dawson-Gerrard; Simon Pedley

          Other key lawyers:

          Rachael Somerset; Jacob Walker


          ‘Real quality throughout the team, and an ability to draft in appropriate resource at all levels.’

          ‘Richard Dawson-Gerrard is what you want in a senior partner. He is able to provide direction or a light touch as required and provides clients with a consistently excellent experience.’

          ‘Jacob Walker is studied, calm and has real attention to detail. He is equally adept at insolvency and CDR.’

          ‘Strong commercial offering, good experience in work relating to team moves and business protection cases.’

          ‘Simon Pedley’s key strength is his breadth of experience and the judgement that he brings. He is able to understand the detail of complex legal issues while not losing sight of the bigger picture and overall strategic goals.’

          Key clients

          Marshall Bioresources

          Children’s Investment Fund Foundation

          Birdlife International

          Martin James Foundation

          Work highlights

            Shoosmiths LLP

            At Shoosmiths LLP, the complimentary expertise of the practitioners – all of whom are regarded as ‘experts in their specialist fields‘ – ensures that the firm is well placed to handle the most challenging mandates. Shareholder and business disputes are overseen by Kath Livingston, whose extensive experience means she ‘has seen it all‘; the ‘commercial, effective and smartRichard Marshall leads on complex insurance disputes; Jonathon Crook‘s practice centres on the financial sector; and senior associate Sylwena Sempa regularly acts in High Court pensions and employment cases.

            Practice head(s):

            Kath Livingston

            Other key lawyers:

            Richard Marshall; Jonathon Crook; Sylwena Sempa


            ‘Very experienced and enthusiastic team that punches well above its weight. Very effective litigators with a huge depth of experience. Quick to spot the key issues from the client’s perspective and to steer the litigation from that angle. A very good rapport with clients.’

            ‘Richard Marshall has huge experience in product liability and insurance. A very capable litigator and a very challenging opponent: commercial, effective and smart.’

            ‘Experts in their specialist fields, good rates, and a proactive and creative approach to legal issues and challenges in and out of litigation.’

            ‘Kath Livingston – excellent commercial sense and able to cut through to the real issues at hand.’

            ‘A user-friendly and hard working group of solicitors with an eye for detail.’

            ‘Very available and very savvy.’

            ‘Sylwena Sempa – a brilliant senior associate. Kath Livingston – has seen it all.’

            ‘Jonathon Crook: exceptional timing in responses; ability to explain things in a clear understandable manner; will always find a solution to a problem; excellent to engage with at all times. Jonathon is a great example of what good should look like in the legal profession.’

            Key clients

            Liberatis Limited t/as The Fourth Utility

            Azets Holdings Limited

            Tudor Group Limited

            Continuum Financial Services LLP

            Property Alliance Group Limited

            ABN AMRO

            Amway/Alticor Inc

            MD Insurance Services Limited / AmTrust Europe Limited

            Hoover Limited

   (BGL Group)

            Work highlights

            • Acting for a telecoms company in relation to claims against exited senior employees and others concerning an unlawful means conspiracy.
            • Acting for a legal global automotive manufacturer in relation to its $35m and £1.6m claim against an international importer for breach of contract and the importer’s holding company for failing to pay sums due under the Parent Company Guarantee.
            • Acting for a firm in connection with an FCA investigation into suspected breaches of s.19 Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and the Regulated Activities Order.


            A notable roster of blue chip clients instruct TLTEmma Flower leverages her position as head of the firm’s fashion and luxury goods offering to act as a key contact for household names in these fields. Julien Luke specialises in commercial disputes arising from team moves. Away from the private sector, highly regarded practitioner Jon Hainey‘s recent defence of a number of high-value claims on behalf of authorities including the Greater Manchester Police is representative of the firm’s public law strengths.

            Practice head(s):

            Emma Flower; Julien Luke

            Other key lawyers:

            Jon Hainey; Claire Graham


            ‘We’ve come to treat Emma Flower as part of our project team. She quickly got up to speed on the challenges we were facing and has provided valuable, independent advice (based upon practical experience of dealing with disputes) and effective project management.’

            ‘The team at TLT are, in our opinion, crucial to our business operations. Their online portal keeps us fully up to date and the relationship is very much a partnership approach.’

            ‘Always a professional and courteous service – fast turnaround on work and I always have Emma Flower as my main contact, who always gets things done!’

            ‘Julien Luke gives us confidence and is a great sounding board for key business decisions. We feel Julien has played a significant role in the development of our company and he offers a first class client-focused service. He fully understands our goals and acts professionally to achieve them. What’s more, we have a strong open relationship where we feel we can trust Julien’s advice.’

            ‘I find Jon Hainey most helpful, knowledgeable, understanding, professional and understanding of the concerns of his clients.’

            ‘Helpful, calm and pragmatic approach to client engagement. Recognise that defence clients are often covering new and unfamiliar ground and provide timely help and support.’

            ‘Jon Hainey has been a stand-out partner in supporting us in defence of a claim. His integrity, calm nature and ability to explain complex legal procedures has helped keep the team on track under difficult and challenging circumstances.’

            ‘Emma Flower makes things happen! She’s professional, courteous and responsive. She’s tough when she needs to be, but pragmatic and commercial.’

            Key clients

            Greater Manchester Police

            Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime

            boohoo group plc

            JD Sports Fashion Plc

            Studio Retail Group plc

            The Insolvency Service

            The Office of Sir Howard Bernstein Limited

            Downing LLP

            Just Consultancies Limited

            Work highlights

            • Defending the Greater Manchester Police against a claim brought in the High Court challenging a procurement carried out by GMP in respect of the purchase of weapons.
            • Defending the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime against a claim brought in the High Court challenging a procurement relating to a framework contract for the provision of estate management and back office services.

            Weightmans LLP

            Weightmans LLP‘s ‘exemplary‘ team is noted for its ‘unique ability to adapt and pivot in any situation‘. Manchester office head Carole Spiller brings a particular expertise in professional negligence claims to her role. Corporates, owner-managed businesses, companies, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals particularly value Damian Carter‘s provision of ‘a cool head in a crisis‘, while Richard Corran is singled out by one client for his capacity ‘to get the best possible outcome in any given situation‘. In May 2021, the group was further strengthened by the arrival of principal associate Victoria Brickell, formerly of DAC Beachcroft LLP.

            Practice head(s):

            Carole Spiller

            Other key lawyers:

            Robert Jones; Damian Carter; Richard Corran; Josh Conroy; Jessica Kraja; Matthew Fox; Joanne Williams; Victoria Brickell


            ‘The team has a great depth of legal knowledge as well as a fantastic blend of the right personalities and experience, which gives them a unique ability to adapt and pivot in any situation.’

            ‘Richard Corran is a fantastic, cool-headed dispute resolution lawyer who uses all of the knowledge and experience he has built up in his career to get the best possible outcome in any given situation.’

            ‘Josh Conroy genuinely takes each case to heart and handles it expertly, anticipating the moves of the opposition with precision, accuracy and planning for them.’

            ‘They take the time to get to know the business, and clearly prioritise commercial resolution, rather than purely legal.’

            ‘Damian Carter is an incredible partner, clearly in great control and able to advise with a cool head in a crisis.’

            ‘Damian Carter – a comprehensively good leader who is able to communicate effectively with both his team and clients whilst remaining grounded and with a well balanced approach. Jessica Kraja – her attention to detail and the ability to co-ordinate with the team coupled with her ability to quickly grasp complex and detailed issues makes her input invaluable.’

            ‘The Weightmans team has been exemplary in every aspect, I can confidently recommend the team to anyone that requires full attention to detail and 100% commitment to their clients.’

            ‘I have had an extensive relationship with Damian Carter, Jessica Kraja and Mathew Fox. A great synchronised team, that makes me feel very reassured, and nothing is too much trouble. Damian heads the team; his calmness and expertise helps a lot to make me feel more at ease and patient in very stressful situations.’

            Key clients

            Kenneth Downing (former guitarist of Judas Priest)

            Be Caring Limited

            Stephen Ullathorne

            Smart Choice Metering Limited and BES Utilities Holding Limited

            Acasta Europe Limited and Acasta European Insurance Company Limited

            Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts

            London Fire Commissioner

            Nottingham College

            Ansador Limited

            Seddon Developments Limited

            Simian Risk Management Limited

            Anixter Limited

            Chiesi Limited

            Costcutter Supermarkets Group Limited

            Lancaster University

            Royal Mail

            Topmark Claims Management Limited t/a TMS


            Work highlights

            • Acting for KK Downing – former guitarist in Judas Priest – in a multi-party professional negligence claim against solicitors who had advised on a multi-million pound property refinance deal to develop The Astbury – a stately home, hotel, golf and leisure complex in Shropshire.
            • Acted on behalf of Stephen Ullathorne in successfully concluding unfair prejudice proceedings after the respondents sought to dilute the client’s ownership of a company valued at in excess of £25m from 26.36% to 0.075% by issuing 4,857,142,857 swamping shares.
            • Successfully defended Be Caring against a substantial breach of contract claim brought by a telecoms service provider.

            Clyde & Co

            Clyde & Cooffers a wide range of specialisms and services‘ which encompass the full gamut of contentious commercial work. Professional negligence, financial and healthcare litigation, and partnership disputes are notable areas of expertise. For insurance side work, Catherine Mangham is the key contact. In terms of non-insurance mandates, Craig McAdam and Nick Gee are the names to note.

            Practice head(s):

            Craig McAdam; Catherine Mangham

            Other key lawyers:

            Nick Gee; Fred Feistauer


            ‘The team is responsive and skilled, with a good range of different levels of fee earner to match a client’s requirements.’

            ‘Nick Gee – very responsive, intelligent, pragmatic. Fred Feistauer – careful and diligent.’

            ‘The team offers a wide range of specialisms and services. We value and trust their advice and, due to a longstanding relationship, they have a clear understanding of our philosophy and way of working which differs from many other competitors. The team provides key insight into the market.’

            ‘Craig McAdam – commercial and great under pressure.’

            ‘Both the individuals and the wider team are extremely engaging, transparent and helpful. When issues arise, they work with us to get these resolved providing realistic and honest commentary/solutions. The availability and engagement of many individuals is one of their main strengths.’

            ‘Sensible, commercial and pragmatic.’

            ‘Nick Gee is experienced and a real fighter.’

            Key clients

            James Watson

            Winlink Marketing

            Rupert Jowitt/KSH Plant


            Work highlights

            • Successfully defended Rupert Jowitt and KSH Plant in a dispute with a former business and domestic partner over the terms of a commercial agreement separating business assets where allegations of duress, trespass and aggravated damage were brought by Claire Jowitt and KSH Farms.
            • Acted in a complex case involving nine defendants and two property developments in Scotland.
            • Represented Winlink Marketing in a case against Liverpool Football club concerning commission for a sponsorship agreement, including construction and implication of the requirement for effective cause.

            Gateley Plc

            Gateley Plc has a ‘deserved reputation for combining its knowledge of sports law with excellent commercial awareness‘ in order to represent leading clients in this area in high-profile disputes; Nick Murrills is noted for his focus on such work. Practice head Sarah Sabin‘s areas of expertise span shareholder and boardroom disputes, and multi-party cases, including those with an international element.

            Practice head(s):

            Sarah Sabin

            Other key lawyers:

            Nick Murrills; James Seed


            ‘The team has a really strong group of junior partners/legal directors/senior associates. Good technical knowledge, sound strategic and tactical advice, and friendly and personable as individuals.’

            ‘I have worked with James Seed and he was excellent, providing invaluable guidance through a difficult process. He wasn’t afraid to point out holes in our case and areas of danger, which I really appreciated.’

            ‘A very effective group of lawyers.’

            ‘Sarah Sabin is extremely professional, exceptionally knowledgeable and very clear with her advice.’

            ‘The team has a great, deserved reputation for combining its knowledge of sports law with excellent commercial awareness and advice.’

            ‘Nick Murrills has built a reputation as a strong litigator in commercial litigation, especially when it has a sports element. Nick is great to work with, has a firm grasp of the law and facts and also keeps his client’s commercial objectives firmly front and centre.’

            ‘James Seed – a fantastic litigator and an excellent tactician. Great with clients, he knows just what to say to get the best results. Nick Murrills – a highly experienced litigator. A very clear thinker and he hits the ground running, even in complex matters.’

            ‘I find the firm very flexible, they listen and provide advice to match my specific concerns and they operate in a friendly manner.’

            ‘Warm, friendly and trusted advisers.’

            Key clients

            North West Counties Squash League

            United Kingdom Cheerleading Association

            RVA Surveyors Limited

            Work highlights

              Glaisyers LLP

              Glaisyers LLP fields a ‘fantastic team of commercial-minded litigators with a natural flair for problem solving‘, under the leadership of shareholder and contractual disputes expert David Jones. The firm is also known for its strength in banking litigation; Daniel Fitzgerald and David Marlor are the stand-out practitioners in this area. At senior associate level, Kathryn Parrish is recommended.

              Practice head(s):

              David Jones

              Other key lawyers:

              Daniel Fitzgerald; Alison Rocca; Kathryn Parrish; David Marlor


              ‘Daniel Fitzgerald is excellent at dealing with clients. He gets to the crux of a case quickly and provides clients with a clear roadmap to a resolution of their case. Kathryn Parrish is a very knowledgeable lawyer, who fights her client’s corner.’

              ‘Advice is practical and understandable. They are a great firm to deal with – they look after our interests.’

              ‘Glaisyers always provide a very personal service. They are excellent at providing clear, concise advice and always keep us updated on a case with any developments. They are pragmatic in their approach and are able to think outside the box and give bespoke options.’

              ‘David Marlor goes above and beyond what is expected every single time. He’s professional and courteous, but moreover is extremely experienced and knowledgeable and has built up a firm of like-minded people. Daniel Fitzgerald is a tenacious and pragmatic litigator, who is always willing to help and really invests his time in a case.’

              ‘The firm offers strong insight, clear direction, integrity and honesty. They have the ability to make the unpalatable palatable, in that they will challenge your viewpoint rather than pander to it, when necessary.’

              ‘Fantastic team of commercial-minded litigators with a natural flair for problem solving. Not a firm that will lean towards sitting on the fence when it comes to proffering advice. Their instincts are to find innovative ways to cut through legal complexity in order to support their client’s objectives, rather than comfortably retreating behind “legalese” speak.’

              ‘Daniel Fitzgerald, in particular, has a pragmatic approach and considers the nuances of all actions.’

              ‘David Jones is a superb litigation lawyer. He is practical, streetwise, commercial and clients love him. Opponents underestimate him at their peril. David Marlor is also a star – calm, measured, and knowledgeable, he gives clients real assurance that he has all the bases covered on their case. Daniel Fitzgerald is a master of all things relating to secured lending and property litigation. He’s across the law, knows everything there is to know about the practical issues, and gives commercial advice that clients can use.’

              Key clients

              United Trust Bank

              Cynergy Bank

              Aldermore Bank

              Assetz Capital

              Manchester Building Society

              Moneything Capital

              Folk to Folk

              Together Money

              Broadoak Private Finance


              ETL Global


              Morley Estates

              Croma Pizzeria Restaurants

              Ownreagh Investments Limited

              McCrory Brickwork Limited

              Sale Property Consultants Ltd

              SKIIM Limited

              Woodheys Club


              Millennium Care

              Work highlights

              • Acting in the Paula Leeson case, which revolves around the Forfeiture Act 1982.
              • Representing the United Trust Bank in a case relating to asset-based lending.
              • Representing SBL Carston in a companies dispute.

              Kuit Steinart Levy LLP

              The ‘exceptional litigators‘ at Kuit Steinart Levy LLP primarily act on complex contractual and shareholder disputes, professional negligence cases, and product liability claims; over the course of the pandemic, the team has also witnessed a sharp increase in business interruption insurance work. Bruce Jones, Peter Kaye and Damian Bailey are the key names at leadership level, while Phillip Warburton is a recommended senior associate.

              Practice head(s):

              Bruce Jones

              Other key lawyers:

              Peter Kaye; Phillip Warburton; Damian Bailey; Richard Wilson


              ‘The team is very capable with an excellent depth of knowledge and experience.’

              ‘They are exceptional litigators with a keen commercial instinct as well as being very legally knowledgeable.’

              ‘Take the time and effort with client care and keeping us up to date.’

              ‘Peter Kaye ensures that you feel your work is the only one on his desk and has his complete focus.’

              Key clients



              Work highlights

                Trowers & Hamlins LLP

                Procurement disputes, contentious insolvencies and defamation cases form the cornerstone of the practice at Trowers & Hamlins LLP; between them, joint practice heads Dan Butler and Steve Dunseath offer extensive expertise in these areas. The team leads are supported by a deep bench of recommended junior practitioners, including ‘outstanding‘ associate Ellie O’Sullivan, who is successfully developing the firm’s reputation for public law work.

                Practice head(s):

                Dan Butler; Steve Dunseath

                Other key lawyers:

                Adam Berman; Ellie O’Sullivan; Sebastian Lang


                ‘Very solid and respected firm in the public sector arena with a strong commercial approach.’

                ‘Dan Butler has an excellent “big picture” approach supported by Ellie O’Sullivan who is the perfect foil with her first rate attention to detail.’

                ‘Steve Dunseath is an extremely effective litigator, with a good tactical sense and a great manner with the most challenging of clients.’

                ‘Trowers are a diverse and forward-thinking practice. Their main strengths are that they learn about you and your business. The whole team is approachable and passionate. In all the years I have been using them they have always protected our interests. They act professionally and honestly.’

                ‘A good allocation of work between partners and associates ensures that clients get an effective and cost-efficient service.’

                ‘Dan Butler and Ellie O’Sullivan are both outstanding lawyers.’

                ‘They are not just about billing you for services rendered! They have become a part of our businesses and our growth. They are an extension of our own team and I know we can turn to them if and when we need them. Our main contact is Daniel Butler. He stands out from the crowd. He works with you. He takes time to understand your business.’

                ‘The team from Trowers has been a key and integral part of handling this contractual dispute which has now reached a successful conclusion. They are extremely knowledgeable, are proactive, and understood the political sensitivities of this issue. They are also very commercially minded which is essential when advising on such cases.’

                Work highlights

                  Ward Hadaway LLP

                  Disputes in the healthcare and transport sectors are particular strengths of the Ward Hadaway LLP team. ‘Real heavy hitterNichola Evans is the name to note for the former field, while managing associate Melissa Munday focuses on the latter. Mediation is also a core focus for the group, with Evans also standing out for her ADR expertise. Peter Hornsey heads up the practice.

                  Practice head(s):

                  Peter Hornsey

                  Other key lawyers:

                  Nichola Evans; Melissa Munday


                  ‘The Ward Hadaway team comprises specialist partners in a broad range of sector disciplines. Partners are supported by efficient , professional support teams. Client communication at all levels and via all media forms is exceptional. Impressive IT support, especially client collaborative hubs.’

                  ‘Nichola Evans is hugely experienced in her relevant sector. Able to grasp and communicate complex issues. Her sure-footed and patient guidance through unfamiliar Court processes and proceedings inspires confidence. Complete professional.’

                  ‘The team fields a number of strong performers and has the capability of picking up difficult cases at very short notice.’

                  ‘Melissa Munday is able to do difficult work under considerable pressure. Nichola Evans can marshal a lot of material and gives good advice.’

                  ‘Nichola Evans – very experienced and now a real heavy hitter. She is tactically and strategically very astute. Nichola handles clients brilliantly and is excellent under pressure. Fearless but realistic. Always negotiates an excellent deal.’

                  Key clients

                  EC3 Marine Limited

                  Amphitrite Underwriting Limited

                  Hammonds of Knutsford Limited

                  Work highlights

                    Browne Jacobson LLP

                    Browne Jacobson LLP are noted as specialists across both the private and public arenas, with a sector focus on automotive, manufacturing, health and social care, and local government. In the Manchester office, Paul Kirkpatrick and Emma Marshall are the key contacts, while the Nottingham-based Jonathan Tardif acts as the overall practice head.

                    Practice head(s):

                    Jonathan Tardif

                    Other key lawyers:

                    Paul Kirkpatrick; Emma Marshall


                    ‘A very personable approach with a keen focus on the commercial realities behind the engagement. Excellent communicators and collaborators with the business, able to support the commercial teams understand the legal merits and challenges in a matter to enable effective strategies to be developed.’

                    ‘Working with Browne Jacobson is like working with your own colleagues. They will often help with a quick question over email or take a call from us, it’s true partnership working.’

                    ‘We have worked particularly closely with Emma Marshall over recent months. Emma is supportive, helpful and informative. She understands our business and what we need and the approach we want to take. It’s just like working with a member of our own team.’

                    Key clients

                    Sanglier Limited

                    Work highlights

                    • Representing Sanglier in a high-value, complex, multi-party and longrunning supply chain dispute.

                    Irwin Mitchell

                    Irwin Mitchell is known for acting in a range of heavyweight commercial disputes, with a particular focus on clients in the financial services, technology and manufacturing sectors. ‘First class litigatorDuncan Hope leads the team, supported by ‘super savvy‘ associate Ailsa Anderson. Shareholder disputes, breaches of contract, fiduciary duty and restrictive covenant cases all make up part of the firm’s regular workload.

                    Practice head(s):

                    Duncan Hope

                    Other key lawyers:

                    Ailsa Anderson


                    ‘A well-rounded team providing a quality service.’

                    ‘Duncan Hope is very responsive and gives quality advice.’

                    ‘Ailsa Anderson is super commercial and super savvy. Nothing gets past her, for sure.’

                    ‘The strength and depth of the Irwin Mitchell team provides a robust skillset to meet constantly evolving legal and business challenges. The approach is thorough and collaboration both within the team and with their clients is well balanced to reflect the individual diversity and belief of the client in how they are represented. Billing is transparent, well explained and cordially addressed effectively and efficiently on a monthly basis.’

                    ‘Duncan Hope has consistently provided objective advice and retained a professional approach to eloquently lead a consistent and robust strategy whilst maintaining dignified and respectful approach to the other party and their representatives.’

                    ‘Ailsa Anderson – an exceptional lawyer who stands out both in her firm and in that market.’

                    ‘Duncan Hope is a first class litigator who clients value for a commercial approach to their legal problems. He has an eye for detail and keeps calm in even the most fraught situations.’

                    ‘People in the team are very approachable and take the time to understand the business and its needs to give tailored and commercial advice.’

                    Work highlights

                    • Representing an expert accountant in a dispute arising out of the contingent element of a company sale and purchase worth over £70m.
                    • Advising a large number of consumers in cross-border disputes against banks, developers and law firms regarding the mis-selling of loans provided in relation to the purchase of overseas property.
                    • Representing a manufacturer in a contractual dispute relating to the supply of materials with a value of over £20m.

                    Prosperity Law LLP

                    Andrew Farrell and Edward Smethurst jointly head up the practice at Prosperity Law LLP; the duo represent a range of clients, from SMEs through to multinational organisations. As well as handling general commercial litigation, the firm has a strong employment and regulatory focus; senior associate Louise Rogers recently joined the team as head of employment, bringing her expertise in contentious matters. Simon Gerrard has also been instrumental in expanding the group’s insolvency expertise.

                    Practice head(s):

                    Andrew Farrell; Edward Smethurst

                    Other key lawyers:

                    Simon Gerrard


                    ‘Prosperity have offered us expert advice on a wide range of matters across many years, but based on my experience they are particularly well-versed in intellectual property disputes.’

                    ‘Andrew Farrell is always very quick to provide a helpful, concise and clear response. Whilst he is excellent at drafting a formidable legal letter, he’s also great at communicating in a friendly way in layman’s terms.’

                    ‘Their lawyers come from strong backgrounds and they are strong technicians. Entrepreneurial outlook and commercial and experienced on alternative funding models.’

                    ‘Andrew Farrell and Simon Gerard are strong performers.’

                    ‘Simon Gerrard is an excellent solicitor. He is thorough and commercial inn his approach to any query or instruction passed his way. I have no reservation in picking up the phone to him and know he will be available to speak or call me back with urgency. Simon drives this team forward and is responsible for its success.’

                    ‘Louise Rogers is excellent – she provides first class service.’

                    ‘Simon Gerrard is really effective at what he does and the type of person you want acting for you when you’re in a dispute. Most importantly he gets results and has a commercial head so won’t pursue things which are not cost effective. Simon is also enjoyable to work with.’

                    ‘Louise Rogers is an extremely talented lawyer with a no-nonsense, straightforward approach with clients and always goes the extra mile to get things done. A very knowledgeable and approachable individual to work with.’

                    Key clients

                    Hope Capital Limited

                    Kay Johnson Gee Corporate Recovery

                    Path Business Recovery

                    DS Insolvency

                    Trafalgar Insurance

                    Beechfield Brands

                    We Do Rentals

                    Energy Finder UK

                    Palladium Insurance

                    Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

                    Work highlights

                    • Representing Hope Capital, a short-term bridging loan lender in a mixture of claims against defaulting borrowers, and professional negligence claims against chartered surveyors who are alleged to have excessively over-valued the property acting as security for the loan facilities.
                    • Regularly instructed by Kay Johnson Gee Corporate Recovery to pursue claims on behalf of insolvency practitioners appointed in respect of insolvent companies.
                    • Acting in a shareholder dispute between family members, where the assets owned by the company are worth approximately £9m.

                    Clarke Willmott LLP

                    The team at Clarke Willmott LLP has recently benefitted from the arrival of consultant Alex Megaw and senior associate Louise Goodwin from Primas; the duo joins a ‘simply exceptional‘ offering, which handles the gamut of disputes, from complex contractual cases to breach of confidentiality claims. The ‘razor sharpJohn Flint heads up the practice.

                    Practice head(s):

                    John Flint

                    Other key lawyers:

                    Alex Megaw; Louise Goodwin; Geraldine Stephens


                    ‘Its staff, from top to bottom, they are all a pleasure to deal with. John Flint gave us a fantastic service.’

                    ‘They truly care about the people they do work for.’

                    ‘The team at Clarke Willmott is highly responsive and very commercially minded. Their core strength is the ability to be responsive to clients whilst remaining highly professional.’

                    ‘Alex Megaw is a highly regarded and very experienced litigator who is always involved in high-value and often high-profile work. He is a go-to for any SME looking for urgent assistance. Louise Goodwin is a highly competent individual who is highly dedicated and very reactive to clients, yet remaining appropriately commercial.’

                    ‘Louise Goodwin – superb eye for detail and very hardworking. I have been so impressed with Louise’s timely action, her insights, and seemingly endless energy.’

                    ‘The team are simply exceptional and work diligently and tirelessly to get the best outcome for their clients. The practice is multi-disciplinary with high calibre subject matter experts who can input to consider all strands of relevant and applicable law when required.’

                    ‘John Flint’s knowledge is razor sharp and he is ruthlessly efficient. His advice is precise, clear and risks are fully explained. You are in good hands with him representing your case.’

                    ‘Geraldine Stephens is a rising star within the team. Has all the traits of a CW team member with her attention to detail. Fast developing experience and a reputation with her engagement with the local legal community.’

                    Key clients

                    National Union of Mineworkers

                    JGMT Limited

                    Andy Scott/REL Capital Limited

                    Capital Growth Group Limited

                    REL Storage and Logistics Limited

                    Super Fund LLC

                    Atabek Sukurov

                    Trailstream Limited

                    Westbourne Property Management Limited


                    Richard Wales / Selective Investment Services

                    Oathall (UK) Limited

                    Fast Dispatch Transport Limited

                    Pulse Fitness Limited

                    Derbyshire Flooring Contractors Limited

                    Premiserv Limited

                    Benoit Properties International Limited

                    Work highlights

                      Farleys Solicitors LLP

                      Farleys Solicitors LLP broad practice spans breaches of contract, intellectual property issues, commercial landlord and tenant matters, professional negligence claims, and shareholder disputes. Daniel Draper - who regularly represents clients from the sporting world - and insolvency expert Mark Hague are the key senior contacts.

                      Practice head(s):

                      Daniel Draper

                      Other key lawyers:

                      Mark Hague


                      ‘Farleys has a diverse practice which has enabled me to use different departments which include litigation, company law and conveyancing. It has provided me a one stop shop over an incredibly tough few years. Farleys work on the client and solicitor relationship which I consider important and which helps to avoid risks or misunderstandings that could arise.’

                      ‘Daniel Draper has a deep knowledge and has gone above and beyond and provided advice outside of the case he has been working on. With Daniel I do not feel that I am just a part of the profit and loss account and more of a respected client. He has been easy to communicate with and clear in his actions. I have recommended Daniel to my accountant who has also commented that Daniel was very capable solicitor in settling his business dispute.’

                      Work highlights

                        Horwich Farrelly

                        At Horwich Farrelly, practice head John Lord‘s diverse client base ranges from international energy providers to leading names in the brewing and leisure sectors, to shareholders of SMEs and directors of professional firms. The firm is well versed in the gamut of work, and regularly handles breach of contract and tortious claims, civil injunctions, fraud investigations, and shareholder and partnership disputes.

                        Practice head(s):

                        John Lord


                        ‘I am looking for and get a fast (day and night when needed) response. They listen to the strategy we propose (add some good ideas) and execute the plan quickly and strongly. When needed they bring in the right barrister and can adapt mid-case to ensure a good result. The fees are clear and fair for the quality of service delivered.’

                        ‘John Lord is the go-to solicitor for any serious company dispute work. He has the tactics as well as legal and regulatory knowledge to know which buttons to press, when and in what order to get results. He has good partners with other complimentary skillsets and a team who share his available and proactive approach.’

                        Key clients

                        Heineken UK Ltd

                        Ab Inbev UK Ltd



                        Muller Uk And Ireland Group LLP

                        Sog Ltd

                        The Authentic Food Company Ltd

                        Cashflows Europe Ltd

                        Cowgill Holloway LLP

                        O’connors Legal Services Ltd

                        Work highlights

                          Ralli Solicitors

                          The practitioners at Ralli Solicitors bring a ‘remarkable and rare combination of skills‘ to the gamut of corporate and commercial litigation. Recent mandates have ranged from pension disputes to complex fraud cases. Christian Eagle leads the team, which also fields ‘very astute‘ solicitor Ewen Sharpe and recommended associate Polly Hill.

                          Practice head(s):

                          Christian Eagle

                          Other key lawyers:

                          Sam Pepper; Polly Hill; Ewen Sharpe


                          ‘The firm brings a personal aspect, they are extremely clever and professional, they take time to fully understand the client’s needs and how best to help them. Billing from Ralli has been good, appropriate and understanding to our circumstances and when we have had  issues they have been understanding and patient which has been helpful.’

                          ‘Polly Hill has been our key contact. Polly is excellent. She is very clever, professional, knowledgeable, experienced and understanding, especially in a one to one situation which makes the client feel at ease whilst sometimes discussing very difficult matters. All of Polly’s team have been very professional and kind at all times, and really understand the human aspect.’

                          ‘Ewen Sharpe is exceptional in all areas.’

                          ‘Extraordinarily competent in law, procedure and strategy. Remarkable and rare combination of skills.’

                          ‘Ralli adopt a team approach from the outset.’

                          ‘Ewen Sharpe has very astute commercial judgement with expertise in the interplay between insolvency and CDR.’

                          ‘A team with strength across the board. Excellent culture and very easy to work with. Provide sensible and pragmatic commercial advice.’

                          ‘A great team of litigators led by Christian Eagle – very client-focused service across a broad range of commercial disputes.’

                          Key clients

                          Creativityetc Limited

                          Secure Mortgage Corporation Limited

                          Woodley Equipment Limited

                          DCB Legal Limited

                          Econometric Limited / John Holland (High Net Worth)

                          Work highlights

                          • Acted on behalf of Creativityetc in relation to a complex dispute concerning commercial finance, securities and property.
                          • Succesfully represented Secure Mortgage Corporation in a dispute concerning the validity of the appointment of an administrator.
                          • Succesfully represented DCB Legal in a number of disputed debt claims.

                          Slater Heelis

                          Elizabeth Wilkinson helms the team at Slater Heelis and leads on a range of complex contract and professional negligence cases, shareholder and breach of warranty claims, board disputes, and preemptive actions to protect businesses from departing employees or previous owners. Other key group members include managing partner Chris Bishop and experienced litigator John Gorner; the latter joined the firm in August 2021.

                          Practice head(s):

                          Elizabeth Wilkinson

                          Other key lawyers:

                          Chris Bishop; John Gorner

                          Work highlights