Commercial litigation: Manchester in North West

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard's 'key strength is the team's ability to handle almost any conceivable issue in big-ticket litigation'. It counts competition litigation, IT disputes and international arbitration, particularly with elements in African jurisdictions, among its areas of specialism. Practice head Mark Molyneux handles contentious commercial and competition matters, while Susan Garrett has particular experience in shareholder, pensions, tax and trusts disputes. Recently promoted partner Nicholas Ashcroft and legal director Samantha Haigh specialise in business protection disputes and competition litigation respectively, while legal director Clare Dwyer and managing associate Paul Rowley are key names to note for public procurement litigation.

Practice head(s):

Mark Molyneux

Testimonials

Key strength is the team’s ability to handle almost any conceivable issue in big ticket litigation. Supplemented by its human touch and the ability across the board to work seamlessly and immerse themselves into the client’s ethos and drivers and achieve effective outcomes.

Mark Molyneux heads up the team and is an effective leader. Its clear he engages with his team and they are a cohesive unit. He is also an excellent strategist.

Legal director Samantha Haigh really grasps the nettle and moves cases forward. Thinks around the wider issues and is always looking at solutions to problems.

Associate James Currie is unflappable and consistently very effective.

Key clients

Manchester Airport Group

The Road Haulage Association

PZ Cussons

The Co-operative Group

NKT Group

Bestway

Wolseley

Diageo

Office Depot Europe

Solvay Group

Work highlights

  • Successfully acted for two of the former directors of Burnden Holdings (UK) Limited (BHUKL) in defence of claims brought by BHUKL and its liquidator.
  • Acting for Co-operative Insurance in a claim against IBM in the Technology and Construction Court (QBD) which relates to IBM’s wrongful purported termination of its IT implementation and 10-year managed services contract for a new end-to-end IT operating platform for Co-operative Insurance.
  • Acting for Wolseley UK Limited, one of the largest distributors of plumbing and heating products in the UK, in a claim against six individuals and two corporate entities. Four of the individual defendants used to be employed in senior positions by Wolseley but resigned in late 2017 to join Oliver Ashworth Limited (the Fifth Defendant), a competitor business of Wolseley.

DLA Piper

The commercial litigation team at DLA Piper is a popular choice for a range of disputes and is particularly singled out for its corporate and securities litigation and contentious data protection expertise. The group also stands out for its impressive cross-border capabilities and the ability to work with its offices across the US, Europe and Asia. Financial services sector expert Stewart Plant leads the team, which includes Andrew Smith, who focuses on M&A claims and shareholder disputes; and Jonathan Eatough, who has a broad practice ranging from IT, infrastructure and manufacturing disputes to civil fraud matters. Senior associate Leontia McArdle is well-regarded for corporate and commercial disputes.

Practice head(s):

Stewart Plant

Testimonials

‘Jonathan Eatough  is very skilled, very sound judgment

‘Andrew Smith leads the team and is excellent. An excellent lawyer with great clients skills.’

 

Key clients

Information Commissioner’s Office

Lonrho

Clariant International AG

Flywheel IT Services Limited

Solutus Advisors Limited

SMG Europe Holdings Limited

Molson Coors

Maven Capital Partners UK LLP

Scottish Power Energy Retail Limited

NCC Group plc

Work highlights

  • Acting for Solutus in highly complex and specialist claims brought in the Chancery Division Financial List by various financial institutions. Allegations were made of breach of duty, seeking to set aside a series of property transactions in connection with the insolvency of Toys R Us.
  • Acting for the ICO in Operation Cederberg – the investigation into data analytics in political campaigns, including the activities of Cambridge Analytica and Facebook.
  • Defending the founder and former CEO of one of the largest private jet operators in the UK in a claim regarding the operation and maintenance of a private jet aircraft and its engines.

DWF

At DWF, the commercial litigation team's 'legal knowledge is merged perfectly with tactical acumen'. The group has particular experience in representing telecoms, utilities, energy, education, food and drink, retail and public sector clients. National commercial litigation head Joel Heap specialises in corporate and company law disputes and leads the team alongside the 'simply excellent' Lee Norman, who focuses on professional negligence claims. Consultant Andrew Harris handles a range of commercial litigation and mediation and, alongside recently promoted director Nicole Burton, defended Morrisons in a high-profile group data breach claim. Former practice head Steve Morris departed to JMW Solicitors LLP while Claire Graham joined TLT.

Practice head(s):

Joel Heap; Lee Norman

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Harris; Nicole Burton

Testimonials

It is a team with real strength in depth. Legal knowledge is merged perfectly with tactical acumen and they plan each case from the outset so as to put the client in the best place to achieve what they want. Very user friendly. One of the best litigation teams I have dealt with.

Joel Heap has great tactical nous coupled with great litigation instincts. Very user-friendly.

Lee Norman is simply excellent. Great command of a case and has the ability to stand back and see the available routes.

Key clients

WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc

Serco Group Limited

British Airways Plc

Telefonica UK Limited (t/a O2)

JCB Power Systems Limited (t/a JCB)

Manchester United

Zeus Capital Ltd

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Lambert Smith Hampton Group limited

Safeway Limited

Zedra Trust Company (Jersey) Limited

The Munnelly Group

Electricity Northwest

Essar Oil Plc

Work highlights

  • Defending British Airways in a civil litigation group action arising from data theft following a cyber attack.
  • Represented Serco in a public procurement challenge against the Ministry of Defence in relation to a £1.15bn outsourcing contract.
  • Acted for Zedra in an unfair prejudice petition brought against the Hut Group and a number of its individual shareholder and directors.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

The commercial dispute resolution team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP acts for a combination of local, national and international corporates in a range of disputes, and counts the transport, sport, diversified industrial and e-commerce industries among its sector specialisms. Michael Clavell-Bate and Matthew Taylor jointly lead the team; both specialise in reputation management disputes. Other names of note include principal associates Phil Duignan, who focuses on procurement disputes; and Thomas Whitfield, who has been active in defending clients in SFO proceedings.

Other key lawyers:

Phil Duignan; Thomas Whitfield

Testimonials

‘The commercial litigation team is very responsive, efficient and excellent at keeping me up to date on matter progress. They take a pragmatic approach to litigation and this is reflected in their billing.’

‘Michael Clavell- Bate is vastly experienced and always available where key strategic advice is needed.’

‘Tom Whitfield i is a first-rate litigator.’

‘Luisa Zukowski is a highly effective associate .

 

Key clients

Booking.com

Johnson Controls Inc

NATS

Daisy IT Services Limited

PrettyLittleThing.com

Air Liquide UK Limited

Swissport

Fanatics (UK) Limited

INEOS

The Hut Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for Fanatics (International) in a £2m High Court claim brought by McLaren Racing, which alleges a breach of a supply and distribution agreement from non-payment.
  • Acting for the Department for Transport on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport in defending a procurement challenge and judicial review proceedings brought by Stagecoach and Arriva in respect of the East Midlands Franchise, arising from the Secretary of State’s decision to disqualify each from the East Midlands competitive tender process, primarily on the grounds of non-compliance on pensions.
  • Acted for PrettyLittleThing.com in a high-value contractual dispute with its warehousing and logistics provider Clipper Logistics plc.

Brabners LLP

With 'exceptionally good communicators offering wise counsel', Brabners LLP's commercial litigation team is a popular choice for corporates in the North. The group has a strong reputation for handling sports disputes with practice head Jeff Lewis, Andrew McGregor and Catherine Forshaw being particularly active in the sector. The group counts healthcare and recruitment among its other sector specialisms; Andrea James and senior associate James  Stewart are names to note for the former, while the group's expertise in the latter was strengthened by its merger with recruitment specialist firm HRC Law in mid-2019. Helena Davies is highlighted for property litigation.

Practice head(s):

Jeff Lewis

Testimonials

Nothing has ever been too much to ask of Brabners. Andrew has always been on hand for anything I’ve needed. For someone who must be incredibly busy, he always seems to find the time to take care of any issues I/we may have in a speedy and effective manner.

A calm and reassuring sense of professionalism even when the tactics of the plaintiff was to deliberately leave the smallest window to allow us to react. All challenges were thoroughly thought through with an intelligent and practical plan that was easy for those with no knowledge of the law to quickly grasp giving the necessary confidence and forcefulness to our argument. Exceptionally good communicators offering wise counsel with a no nonsense position that was clearly respected by the opposite parties.

Key clients

Sheffield Wednesday Football Club

Nichols Plc

J W Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd

Manx International Football Alliance

SEBL Group Limited

Leicester City Football Club

Barnsley Football Club

Sharpe Search & Selection Ltd

Warrington Borough Council

National Pharmacy Association

Work highlights

  • Acted for VST Enterprises Limited in successfully defending a claim from VDocs International Ltd for breach of a licence agreement.
  • Acted for Sheffield Wednesday FC in obtaining compensation from Newcastle United FC following manager Steve Bruce’s move to Newcastle. The claim was based on Newcastle’s unlawful approach to Bruce whilst he was manager of Sheffield Wednesday.
  • Acted for the vendors of Quat-Chem Limited in obtaining summary judgment against Neogen Europe Limited and obtaining payment of retention monies of £1m arising out of a Share Purchase Agreement.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP's dispute resolution team has particular expertise in the technology, media, healthcare and insurance sectors. Practice head Jan Levinson has a notable focus on IT and outsourcing disputes, while experienced mediator Sydney Fulda handles a breadth of commercial disputes, and Harald Loeffler focuses on contractual and tortious claims. The group also benefits from the ability to work cross-office with its national and international network.

Practice head(s):

Jan Levinson

Other key lawyers:

Sydney Fulda; Harald Loeffler

Testimonials

‘Sydney Fulda is simply outstanding. His relentless focus on achieving the best results for his clients really sets him apart from his peers. Unlike a number of partners I have worked with, he is unafraid to really involve himself in day-to-day conduct of a matter with an excellent command of the details of a particular case while at the same time focussing on the overall strategy and the outcome sought by the client.’

‘DAC Beachcroft’s commercial dispute resolution team is one of the strongest in Manchester and combines the approachability of a regional firm with the efficiency that has been the hallmark of London firms. In particular their partners are very hands-on and willing to involve themselves in the day-to-day work.’

‘Jan Levinson is both well-informed and flexible.’

Key clients

MoneyGram International Limited

BUPA

Internorm

Former Home Secretary, the Right Honourable Charles Clarke and family

RSA

DHL

Work highlights

  • Acting for BUPA Dental Services in a dispute with Optical Express Limited and Matland Limited arising from the sale of a number of dental practices in London and the South East and unpaid sums under a dental scheme for 2000 patients.
  • Successfully defended MoneyGram International in two disputes relating to disputed money transfers.
  • Acting for the Right Honourable Charles Clarke and his wife and children in claims against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) arising from the unlawful obtaining and misuse of private and confidential information (in particular through voicemail interception as well as surveillance by private investigators).

Hill Dickinson LLP

The commercial litigation team at Hill Dickinson LLP handles a range of disputes, with particular experience in the health and life sciences, education and IT sectors. Procurement disputes expert Christopher Tyrrell heads up the practice following Geraldine Ryan's departure to CMS. Other names to note include banking litigator Sharon Williamson and Iain Campbell, who acts in breach of contract and professional negligence disputes with a particular focus on the higher education sector. Legal director Moya Clifford is highlighted for her arbitration and shareholder disputes experience, while senior associate Andrew Little specialises in contentious IP, GDPR and reputation management matters.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Tyrrell

Testimonials

‘In the field of EU law and, in particular, EU public procurement law, the team is particularly experienced in the conduct of High Court litigation. Chris Tyrrell, who manages a significant amount of public sector NHS procurement litigation, is the shining example of this.’

Key clients

NHS England

NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group; NHS England (North) Yorkshire & the Humber; and North of England Commissioning Support

H.J. Enthoven Limited and the Trustees of the H.J. Enthoven Pension Scheme (HJE)

University of Salford

Trudie Walker/Holly Grange Montessori Nursery Limited

Transport for Greater Manchester

Work highlights

  • Acting for the HJ Enthoven Limited and the trustees of the H.J. Enthoven Pension Scheme in a high-value pensions negligence dispute with a former adviser.
  • Representing the University of Salford, which is a core participant in the inquest and public inquiry following the Manchester suicide bombing.
  • Acting for a Peel Group entity (Manchester Ship Canal Company) in the Supreme Court in a dispute with Vauxhall Motors Limited regarding drainage rights.

JMW Solicitors LLP

The commercial litigation team at JMW Solicitors LLP handles a range of disputes, with particular multi-party and group litigation experience. Practice head Marc Yaffe has experience in e-commerce, online and sports-related disputes, while Michael Kennedy focuses on contentious shareholder, director and partnership matters. The team benefits from the addition of DWF's former head of commercial litigation Steve Morris, who adds a breadth of experience. Other names to note include Mark JonesNick McAleenan and Claire Brown for construction, data protection and contractual disputes respectively. The firm also recently made a notable hire in London with the addition of Matthew Wescott from Carter-Ruck.

Practice head(s):

Marc Yaffe

Testimonials

Michael Kennedy: you want him in your corner if you have a commercial dispute. He has seen it all and knows how to resolve it all both in and out of the court. Always feel that he has the advantage over whoever he is dealing with.

Rebecca Young is one of the best associates I have dealt with. Her command of the detail and preparation of a case is incredible. She will go ‘toe to toe’ in any dispute and clients feel that she is the one to have in her corner.

Mark Jones is very good tactically and has a willingness and ability to take on ‘difficult’ cases and give them a life that others wouldn’t.’

‘Matthew Wescott is one of the best international arbitration lawyers I know. His understated, calm and excellent judgement has steered to victory and to settlement many matters which others would have baulked at. He deserves a top rating. 

Key clients

Staveley Head Limited

Octax Limited

North West Ground Rents Limited

My Fish Company

Kenneth Hall (Builder) Ltd

Abbeydale Food Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for Staveley Head Limited in a breach of a claims management agreement claim against Qudos Insurance and a related indemnity claim against Proximo.
  • Representing Abbeydale Food Group in a breach of warranty claim.
  • Defending My Fish Company in a claim brought by Bidfresh seeking a springboard injunction against the setting up of the client on the basis that it had been set up in a non-compete period and had been based on confidential information obtained from Bidfresh.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP attracts praise for its 'great technical ability' in commercial litigation and regulatory investigations. The group's expertise spans from contractual, corporate, insurance and pensions disputes to health and safety litigation and contentious fraud and bribery matters. The 'superb' Julian Diaz-Rainey has a broad practice and leads the team, which includes tax disputes expert Steven Porter and senior associate Andrew Mitchell, who has experience in a range of disputes including warranty claims, shareholder disputes, and directors’ duties cases. With the ability to work cross-office, particularly across Europe and Asia, the team is well-placed to handle cross-border work.

Practice head(s):

Julian Diaz-Rainey

Testimonials

Great technical ability and a superb leader in Julian Diaz Rainey.

Julian Diaz Rainey is technically excellent, calm under pressure.

Associate Katie Hancock is experienced well beyond her years.

Key clients

Manchester City Football Group Limited and City Football Group Limited

Travel Counsellors Limited

Jockey Club Racecourses

United Healthcare (UK) Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for private equity owned travel and technology company in defending a claim for breach of confidence brought by the high street travel agent, Trailfinders.
  • Acted for Jockey Club Racecourse in obtaining a permanent injunction to restrain the activities of ticket touts on and around Cheltenham Racecourse.
  • Advising Manchester City Football Group Limited and City Football Group Limited on issues arising out of an inquiry into all and any connections Manchester City Football Club Ltd may have had with the convicted child sex offender, Barry Bennell, and any other anomalous issues.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs' disputes practice counts the chemical, manufacturing, technology and financial services industries among its sector specialisms. Victoria Leigh leads the Manchester practice and has particular expertise in pensions, financial services and shareholder disputes and also acts in contentious IT and data protection issues. Anthony Taylor specialises in bringing professional negligence claims for banks and building societies against their professional advisers, while director Mike Caird and senior associate Peter Lees are highlighted for international arbitration proceedings and reputation management matters respectively.

Practice head(s):

Victoria Leigh

Testimonials

Very commercial lawyers, always looking to get the matter resolved rather than progress to trial. Open to new and innovative ways of resolving disputes. My go-to for more complex matters.’

Anthony Taylor is very approachable, excellent communicator.

Associate Rebecca Green is one to watch.’

Senior associate Peter Lees is a safe pair of hands.

Key clients

INEOS Group

Yorkshire Building Society

Assetz SME Capital Limited

Co-operative Group Limited

Instem Plc

Fresh Property Group

Hough Green Garage

Distribution Now

Avery Dennison

MAN Energy Solutions

Work highlights

  • Defending German company Concordia Management GmbH in a claim for breach of warranty arising out of the sale of the Heimtier Plus pet food and pet supplies business to Viovet UK Ltd, worth over £3m.
  • Acted for Servoca Nursing and Care Ltd, a healthcare sector recruitment agency, in a restrictive covenant dispute.
  • Acted for a representative member of the pension scheme in an application for rectification of three deeds of the Lloyds Bank plc No.1 Pension Scheme.

Fieldfisher

The 'fantastic' dispute resolution team at Fieldfisher is a popular choice for corporate litigation, civil fraud issues, professional negligence claims and contractual disputes. 'Endlessly reassuring' practice head Ian Austin acts for construction and property development companies, insurers and funders in disputes and attracts praise for his 'strategic cost-oriented view'. James Lappin specialises in business disputes, professional negligence claims and sports law matters, while Donall Caherty handles a range of contractual disputes. Corporate litigator and senior associate Daniel Sheehan is 'excellent in his knowledge of all legal aspects'.

Practice head(s):

Ian Austin

Testimonials

The dispute resolution team is a fantastic team that leads on inventive claims for companies and individuals and defending individual claims.

Great team of litigators, really get behind their client’s cases and work with the counsel teams instructed as one.

First-class customer service.

Ian Austin is a partner who has done it all and seen it all. He is calm, authoritative and inventive. Endlessly reassuring to clients he takes a strategic cost-oriented view of that which the clients want and ensures that it is delivered.

Daniel Sheehan was excellent in his knowledge of all legal aspects of this case and methodical in his work. What really stood out the most for us is that he has a commercially sound head on his shoulders and could advise from a ‘standing in our shoes’ perspective. He did not simply lay out all options and let us decide for ourselves, he was able to listen to our needs from this case, understand all personalities involved, gauge the risk factors, then plan and execute on a legal strategy over a 6 month period.

James Lappin and Dan Sheehan are a great double act, who compliment each other very well.

Mark Fairclough is superb. Goes the extra mile for every client.  Really user friendly and switched on.

Key clients

Allied London

Olympus Keymed

Kellogg

Co-Operative Group

Perkier Foods Limited

Karen Millen / Oasis / Warehouse / Coast

Jaywing plc

Restore plc

Quantuma

Marpol Security

Done Brothers (Cash Betting) Limited (‘Betfred’)

Creative Trade Finance Limited

Walker Smith Global

JLA Limited

Venn Group

GCI

JD Williams

Fleximise

Creative Capital

N Brown Group

Firstport Limited

Burford Capital

Inenco

Time Group

Estates & Management Limited

Group Litigation (318 clients)

Access Install Limited

ABM Technical Solutions Limited

Work Group

Venn Group

Key Integrated Services

Time Group

MTX Contracts

Work highlights

  • Acted for Perkier Foods in respect of an interim mandatory injunction and subsequent committal proceedings, in connection with a complex dispute concerning a food manufacturing agreement.
  • Acted for a businessman in a professional negligence action in the UK (and other related proceedings across numerous jurisdictions) relating to the loss of a significant investment in a Guernsey-based pension scheme.
  • Acted for 320 Claimants across the UK and Europe in a substantial claim concerning a ponzi scheme orchestrated by a company in London, CWM Limited.

Kennedys

Kennedys' litigation team frequently acts for SMEs, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals in a range of commercial disputes; it counts financial, real estate, partnership and insurance disputes among its areas of specialism. With experience across corporate, commercial and property disputes, senior associate Andrew Davidson leads the team and attracts praise for being 'an extremely capable and cool commercial litigator'. Other names to note include Alison Loveday for financial and employment disputes, corporate and banking litigator Reuben Berg and senior associate Ian Mendelsohn, who represents clients across a range of disputes.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Davidson

Testimonials

A very good medium-sized commercial practice with very good experience of commercial property law. They compare very well to most firms and truly prioritise client needs.

‘Senior associate Andrew Davidson is an extremely capable and cool commercial litigator. Never flaps and is extremely capable at handling difficult situations.

Key clients

Wasps Rugby Club

Work highlights

  • Acted for 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.
  • Successfully represented individuals in the High Court and on appeal to the Court of Appeal in a claim for damages arising from a real estate transaction that did not complete following exchange of contracts.

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP

The commercial litigation team at Kuit Steinart Levy LLP has particular experience in contractual, shareholder and partnership disputes, professional negligence and product liability claims, and contentious probate matters. Practice head Andrew Weinberg's areas of specialism include commercial landlord and tenant actions, insolvency proceedings, professional negligence claims, product liability litigation and contractual disputes. Other names to note include Damian Bailey and Peter Kaye, who both have broad practices, and associate Kathryn Parrish, who focuses on acting for lenders in recoveries and enforcement issues.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Weinberg

Key clients

BeautyBay.com

Beech Holdings

Broadoak Private Finance Limited

Chase de Vere Financial Services

CPL Limited

Harnbury Holdings Limited (trading as San Carlo Group)

London & Scottish Investments Limited

Property Alliance Group Limited

Persimmon Homes Limited

Robert McBride Ltd

Svenska Handelsbanken AB

Work highlights

  • Representing a client that is the 20% shareholder of a group of companies in an unfair prejudice/salary and dividend entitlements dispute relating to the interpretation of a shareholder agreement.

Pannone Corporate LLP

The litigation and dispute resolution practice at Pannone Corporate LLP handles a range of commercial disputes with particular experience in the retail, industrial, manufacturing, engineering and recruitment sectors. David Brown, who has a breadth of expertise in commercial, corporate, real estate and commercial fraud matters, leads the team. Senior partner Paul Jonson attracts praise for his 'air of calm authority', while managing partner Nicola Marchant is a name to note for professional negligence claims, judicial review applications and partnership disputes.

Practice head(s):

David Brown

Testimonials

The firm is big enough to have all the resources it needs but small enough to give a personal touch. It is obvious within the firm that each person is valued, and the litigation teams make it clear that those outside the firm are valued, both clients and counsel working on their behalf. Litigation is always stressful, but this very much helps to minimise the pain. Better than virtually all other teams, and not overshadowed by any.

Collaborative, approachable and solution-driven.

Small but strong team who compare as favourably as their Silver Circle City of London peers for a fraction of the price. Excellent customer service.

Paul Jonson is the managing partner. He has an air of calm authority and organises the teams well. He is very good with clients and they (rightly) trust him to deliver a good service with a minimum of stress. When things are difficult in the case, he keeps his nerve.

Martin Pennington is an associate. He puts so much work into the case that you might be forgiven for thinking that he was preparing just in case he ended up having to be the lead advocate. Allied to the hard work is a good perception of what is relevant and what is important. He is always a pleasure to work with.

David Brown’s wealth of knowledge and insight is highly impressive. The time taken to understand the requirements of our business and its operation sets him apart.

Paul Jonson and Emma Judge are outstanding – quick grasp of issues and not afraid to tell it as it is to manage internal client expectations and deal with matters appropriately.

Key clients

Seatriever International Holdings Limited

Transport for Greater Manchester

The Performing Rights Society

SMG Europe

L’Oreal

Boohoo.com

NG Bailey

DHL Express

Brother International Europe Ltd

Work highlights

  • Representing Seatriever International Holdings Limited, Illoom Balloon Limited and Illoom Balloon USA LLC in a misuse of confidentiality and breach of contractual restraints dispute.

Weightmans LLP

Weightmans LLP handles a range of corporate disputes with particular education, public procurement, energy and leisure sector expertise. Its broad experience spans from shareholder disputes, unfair prejudice petitions, and breach of contract and warranty claims to IP and recovery cases. Carole Spiller leads the Manchester team and counts property damage and professional negligence claims among her areas of expertise. Experienced litigator and mediator Robert Jones and Damian Carter, who leads the owner-managed business practice, are other names of note.

Practice head(s):

Carole Spiller

Other key lawyers:

Robert Jones; Damian Carter

Testimonials

‘Robert Jones provided very thorough and well-researched advice.’

‘Carole Spiller is a very good litigator: she has a good grasp of the detail and technical elements of the law but as the same time brings a focused commercial approach to the issues at hand.’

‘Rob Jones’ team has real strength – very commercial and formidable to have on the other side.’

‘The team were really quick to understand the issue I had and, upon consideration of all the evidence, came up with a plan of action to rectify it. They took time to listen to my concerns and really went above and beyond in order to help me from a financial perspective, which was a massive help to me.I have always found the support and guidance received to be extremely support, clear and concise. The enthusiasm shown for the matter in question was impressive as was the willingness to research around the particular matter.’

‘Rob Jones is a very experienced litigator who knows the market and is very commercial. He is canny on billing so his client base is extensive. Very good on professional negligence and director/shareholder claims.’

Key clients

Topmark Claims Management Limited t/a TMS

Solent University Southampton

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Sovini Group

116 Cardamon Limited

Acasta European Insurance Company Limited

Co-operative Group

Certas Energy UK Ltd

Slush Puppie Ltd

Corning Limited

Pioneer Underwriting Consortium 9988

NEUPC Limited

South Ribble Borough Council

Lancaster University

Lucideon Group Limited

Chiesi Limited

Clarity Travel Management

Manchester Metropolitan University

The Open University

Royal Mail

Business Energy Solutions ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted for the successful claimant in the much publicised case of 116 Cardamon Limited v McAllister [2019] EWHC 1200 (Com) which concerned a  damages claims for breach of warranty relating to the sale of shares in an insurance company.
  • Acting for the claimants in a declaration and damages claim arising from an alleged breach of the claimants’ rights under the European Convention on Human Rights and Human Rights Act 1998.
  • Acted for the successful defendant directors in a breach of duty claim.

BLM

Recognised traditionally for its strong insurance sector expertise, BLM's dispute resolution practice is also highlighted for its broad commercial litigation experience and counts corporate, public sector organisations, SMEs and high-net-worth individuals among its clients. Craig McAdam, who has particular experience in shareholder and partnership disputes, leads the general commercial litigation practice, while Catherine Mangham leads the insurance-related litigation practice.

Practice head(s):

Craig McAdam; Catherine Mangham

Other key lawyers:

Nick Gee;  Clare Durkin

Testimonials

I found their team to be thoroughly professional in its approach. Furthermore, they met their deadlines whilst extending the courtesy of extra time to us when required.

The experienced Nick Gee and Claire Durkin give a quality service to their clients that is very results orientated. Their advice focuses on the client’s specific objectives and achieving them in an efficient, speedy and cost-effective way.

BLM are professional and experienced in dealing with various matters.

Nick Gee has many years of experience as a litigator under his belt: and it shows the assured and targeted advice he gives. Very tactically accurate.’

Claire Durkin handles complex matters, including difficult partnership disputes, in a confident and intelligent way.

The individuals keep us well informed and provide appropriate advice when needed.

Key clients

Sainsbury’s

Travelodge

Mission Mars

Urban Splash

Schuh Ltd

Ecclesiastical Insurance

Winlink

Work highlights

  • Represented an individual in a claim against a bank for breach of codes of business rules in the trade of an inappropriate derivative which resulted in a lost opportunity to expand a property portfolio.
  • Acted for an individual in first instance and on appeal in a claim for a worldwide injunction arising out of the alleged breach of a shareholder agreement.
  • Represented a property developer in a claim for breach of fiduciary duties and conspiracy to breach fiduciary duties against nine co-defendants relating to an opportunity to develop land in Scotland.

Gateley Plc

Gateley Plc's commercial dispute resolution team is a popular choice for healthcare and sports clients and counts contentious corporate disputes and probate matters among its other specialisms. Practice head Sarah Sabin has a broad practice, while legal director Nick Murrills is highlighted for contentious defamation and reputation management matters in the sports sector.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Sabin

Other key lawyers:

Nich Murrills

Key clients

The Everton Football Club Company Limited

Alpha Panareti Public Limited

Penmarric Limited

North West Counties Squash League

United Kingdom Cheerleading Association

RVA Surveyors Limited

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended The Everton Football Club Company in a multi-million-pound claim brought by an individual relating to the procurement of investment into the club.
  • Successfully obtained injunctive relief for Penmarric to obtain control of a major building site (relating to the development of significant healthcare facilities) following the administration of Bardsley Construction Limited (the client’s building contractor) in the face of resistance from its administrators.
  • Acting for Alpha Panareti Public Limited (a Cypriot property developer) and one of its directors, in defending a class action issued in England by hundreds of purchasers of its properties.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP's disputes expertise ranges from handling boardroom and shareholder disputes and warranty claims to reputation management matters and commercial fraud issues. Richard Dawson-Gerrard has particular experience acting for food, agribusiness and pharmaceutical clients and jointly heads up the team alongside Simon Pedley, who counts the private wealth, sports and charity industries among his sector specialisms.

Other key lawyers:

Rachael Somerset

Testimonials

‘A large firm, but because of the way it has grown from smaller firms, they offer a more personalised service.’

‘Rachael Somerset is highly intelligent with a passion for her area of practice.’

Key clients

The Rangers Football Club Limited

Phoenix Medical Supplies Limited

West Midlands Ambulance Service

Phoenix Healthcare Distribution Limited

Laila’s Fine Foods Limited

Kaplan International Colleges

Zedra Trust Company UK

Children’s Investment Fund Foundation

James Milner and the James Milner Foundation

British Medical Association

Work highlights

  • Acted for Rangers Football Club in its high-profile contractual dispute against Sports Direct.
  • Successfully represented Phoenix Healthcare Distribution Limited in the Court of Appeal in a reported case which confirmed that a solicitor has no duty to warn their opponent about their errors in respect of service of proceedings.

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP's 'client-focused' litigation services practice counts shareholder, insurance, product liability and pensions disputes among its areas of specialism. Practice head Kath Livingston handles a range of corporate disputes and reputation management matters, recently promoted partner Richard Marshall focuses on the insurance sector, and associate Sylwena Sempa is highlighted for her pensions litigation expertise.

Practice head(s):

Kath Livingston

Testimonials

Very client-focused providing a bespoke service that few firms of this size are able to provide. Scale without any loss of attention to detail.

Richard Marshall is very very smart.  A great tactician with a close eye for the detail where it counts. Very resourceful and commercially astute.

Matthew Brown is very bright, commercial and a safe pair of hands. One to watch for the future.

Kath Livingstone is very easy to work with and good at driving the matter forwards.

Key clients

Rentsmart Limited / Thinksmart Limited

MD Insurance Services Limited

Hoover Limited

Allied London group of companies

Xyfil Limited

University of Bolton

Speedy Asset Services Limited

PSB UK Limited (Grenfell Inquiry)

Comparethemarket.com (BGL Group)

Work highlights

  • Acted for Xyfil in two parallel claims for injunctive relief to protect trade secret recipes.
  • Representing AmTrust Europe in proceedings in the Business and Property courts in relation to a £1m+ policy coverage dispute.
  • Acting for Rentsmart Limited in a significant breach of contract claim against The Carphone Warehouse.

TLT

TLT handles a range of corporate and commercial disputes and has been particularly active in restrictive covenant litigation. Emma Flower leads the team alongside Julien Luke, who has particular utilities, leisure, telecoms and recruitment sector expertise. Jon Hainey focuses on shareholder and partnership disputes and procurement challenges, while contentious insolvency expert Claire Graham, who joined from DWF, has further expertise in director disqualification disputes.

Practice head(s):

Emma Flower; Julien Luke

Other key lawyers:

Jon Hainey; Claire Graham

Testimonials

‘Very strong and competent teams across all aspects of commercial litigation, in particular complex debt recovery.’

Key clients

boohoo.com

Examworks UK Limited

Insolvency Service

JD Sports Fashion Plc

National Citizen Service Trust

The Official Receiver

Farmcare Trading Limited

PrettyLittleThing

Work highlights

  • Acting for National Citizen Service Trust in its defence of £22m breach of contract and procurement claims by the Challenge Network.
  • Acted for Tradewind Recruitment Limited and various individuals in a reported team move case and successfully defeated an injunction application made by a former employer.
  • Acting for the Official Receiver in a high-profile application to extend bankruptcy restrictions in relation to former Wimbledon Champion, Boris Becker.

Ward Hadaway

Ward Hadaway's commercial litigation team attracts praise for its 'commerciality, foresight and tactical planning'. Newcastle-based Peter Hornsey leads the practice, which was bolstered by the arrival of Nichola Evans, who is 'remarkable in high-stakes litigation', from Browne Jacobson LLP.

Practice head(s):

Peter Hornsey

Other key lawyers:

Nichola Evans

Testimonials

Great commerciality, foresight and tactical planning.

I consider Ward Hadaway to have a vast array of technical specialities. If one of the team is unable to assist, they will always pass you onto a colleague who can.

The firm has a very forward-looking approach. They are very progressive insofar as they have a firmly international outlook despite not having a London office. This is a testament to their confidence. They have particularly impressive contact with China and Chinese litigation.’

Nichola Evans is remarkable in high-stakes litigation: commercially focused, a strong litigator who is comfortable dealing with and directing complex litigation, highly personable with clients, adaptable and promotes the use of ADR to resolve disputes.

Nichola Evans builds an exceptional client relationship, based on empathy and her ability to communicate advice in a clear and comprehensible way.

Work highlights

  • Acted for Anthony McGann, the sports agent and manager of MMA fighter Michael Bisping, in a contract dispute relating to payments owed to McGann by Bisping.

Glaisyers LLP

Glaisyers LLP attracts praise for its 'wealth of breadth and knowledge across the disputes spectrum'. Practice head David Jones has been growing the team since his arrival from Kuit Steinart Levy LLP in late 2018. Jones specialises in shareholder and complex contractual disputes, while Daniel Fitzgerald, who joined from DWF, has particular experience in the financial services sector.

Practice head(s):

David Jones

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Fitzgerald

Testimonials

We have dealt with other legal practices in the past but believe that Glaisyers truly stand out within their field from both from the quality of their technical advice and the manner that they look after us as clients. The team that we deal with’s key strengths are their communication skills in explaining to us what appear to be complex legal intricacies into layman’s terms. They have great capability for grasping the nuances of our industry and applying a sound strategy and the appropriate legal advice.

Glaisyers’ team have a wealth of breadth and knowledge across the disputes spectrum. This includes various forums such as the Beth Din Court and the Islamic Court.

From the offset, Danny Fitzgerald was able to understand our vernacular and tailor his approach which quickly gained our trust. He is extremely diligent, intelligent and most of all clearly explains the reasons why we need to take a course of action and what outcome we should expect.’

David Jones leads the team and is a robust practitioner. Loved by clients and staff alike while no doubt intimidating the opposition with his no-nonsense style.

To laypeople, being involved in litigation is a rare and stressful event. For us Glaisyers have managed to reduce the stress and secure a successful outcome.

Daniel Fitzgerald and his team have great knowledge of the subject area and provide clear pragmatic advice on all matters.

Work highlights

  • Acting for ETL Global’s UK holding company in a warranty and fraudulent misrepresentation claim against the former director of an accountancy practice it purchased.
  • Representing Oliver Ashworth Ltd in a substantial breach of confidence and employment contract claim brought by Wolseley Plc in connection with senior members of Wolseley’s staff joining and/or purchasing Ashworths.
  • Representing Industrial North West LLP in a dispute with its lender, Fairfield, which put it in administration over a £70m facility agreement.

Irwin Mitchell

The commercial litigation team at Irwin Mitchell has particular financial services, retail, technology and manufacturing sectors experience. Practice head Duncan Hope 'is the person to go to in complicated company law matters', while associate Ailsa Anderson counts shareholder disputes, breach of contract claims, fiduciary duty issues and restrictive covenant cases among her areas of focus.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Hope

Other key lawyers:

Ailsa Anderson

Testimonials

Duncan Hope is an experienced and very capable commercial litigation solicitor – he is the person to go to in complicated company law matters.

Ailsa Anderson has an exceptionally good grasp of the detail of her cases and knows how to deploy this in evidence for the benefit of the clients.

Strong across the board, decent professionals who look after their clients well and deal respectfully with their opponents.

The team’s strengths were: to assimilate the brief quickly, understand the salient points, be readily available for discussion.

Duncan Hope and Ailsa Anderson are professional, caring, respectful, balanced and dispassionate, a pleasure to work with.

Work highlights

  • Acted for a respondent global tech company in respect of an unfair prejudice petition brought pursuant to section 994 of the Companies Act 2006.
  • Defending a claim seeking declarations regarding chattels, assets and real property owned by a New Zealand company and the beneficial and legal interests in shares in a global tech company.
  • Acted for a regional technology company in a dispute with a global supplier to achieve an early and favourable solution that protected the client’s business interests and IP – without the need for proceedings.

Knights plc

Knights plc has a growing national dispute resolution presence, which it expanded with its acquisition of legacy Manchester firm Turner Parkinson in 2018. Chris Gee is a name of note in the North West, particularly for professional negligence claims against accountants, surveyors and solicitors.

Practice head(s):

Chris Gee

Prosperity Law LLP

Boutique commercial law firm Prosperity Law LLP acts for a breadth of clients, from SMEs to multinationals, in a range of contentious matters. Edward Smethurst has broad litigation expertise, while Andrew Farrell specialises in partnership and professional negligence disputes. The practice benefited from the arrivals of healthcare sector expert Jonathan Jacobs and insolvency litigator Simon Gerard from AN Law and Maddocks respectively.

Practice head(s):

Edward Smethurst; Andrew Farrell

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Jacobs; Simon Gerard

Testimonials

The team are very communicative and you know they always have the client’s interests at heart and will ultimately get the job done.

Simon Gerard is tenacious yet pragmatic and agile. He always has the client’s objectives in mind. You want him on your side!

Superb personal service from Andrew Farrell.

Simon is always efficient, helpful, friendly and very knowledgeable about the subject matter. His letters are incredibly effective whilst still being written in plain English.

Key clients

Path Business Recovery

Q-railing Europe Holdings GMBH

 

Urban Zoo Studios Limited

C & C Insurance Brokers Limited

Trafalgar Insurance Limited

Carey Design Limited

Palladium Insurance Limited

 

G & O Foods Limited

Mulholland Spence Accountants

Matthew Montgomery & Co

Beechfield Brands

Work highlights

  • Acted for several individuals in a shareholder dispute between family members where the assets owned by the company are worth approximately £9m.
  • Defending a substantial professional negligence claim against a now dissolved accountancy practice on behalf of its professional indemnity insurer, Trafalgar Insurance Company. The alleged claim arises out of the calculation of a company’s tax liability and involves a claim for alleged losses of an insolvent company.
  • Instructed by Path Business Recovery in proceedings on behalf of a licensed insolvency practitioner at Path Business Recovery, in an action against 15 personal injury law firms based in the North West.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

The commercial litigation practice at Trowers & Hamlins LLP's key areas of expertise include procurement, insolvency, media, defamation and reputation management litigation. The 'commercially astute' Dan Butler specialises in contentious procurement and insolvency matters and heads up the team alongside Steve Dunseath, who recently joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's Nottingham office, adding substantial experience.

Practice head(s):

Dan Butler; Steve Dunseath

Other key lawyers:

Ellie O’Sullivan

Testimonials

Despite being a relatively small team, they have excellent expertise. They have a specialism in procurement both in their Manchester team and nationally, and they are undertaking work on the highest quality cases for both contracting authorities and aggrieved bidders. The level of the work they do appears to me to exceed that of their current ranking, particularly given the quality of work they do at present.’

Dan Butler is a commercially astute, pragmatic and client-focused partner. He is excellent at seeing the bigger picture in litigation. He is cool-tempered, and never seeks to run bad points. He has very sound judgement.

Ellie O’Sullivan is an excellent quality associate. She is entirely on top of all of the details of her cases and seeks to get the best possible outcome for her clients.

Key clients

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)

Honeycomb Group Limited

Your Housing Group

Equity Housing Group

Integrated Dental Holdings Limited (t/a MyDentist)

Caprice Holdings Limited (the Ivy Group)

UK Container Maintenance Limited

Caring Homes Group Limited

RSM Restructuring & Recovery LLP

Quantuma LLP

West Midlands Combined Authority

Work highlights

  • Representing Quantuma as the administrators of a failed student lettings property development and investment scheme.
  • Acting for Lee Valley Leisure Trust in a procurement challenge relating to the provision of leisure services in Lee Valley.
  • Acting for the West Midlands Combined Authority (as majority creditor) in relation to the administration of Accessible Transport Group Limited.

Clarke Willmott LLP

The commercial and private client litigation practice at Clarke Willmott LLP is particularly strong for shareholder and contractual disputes as well as defamation and breach of confidential information claims. 'Exceptional leaderJohn Flint heads up the practice and has a notable breadth of experience.

Practice head(s):

John Flint

Testimonials

Clarke Willmott certainly provide a specialist litigation offering to the region and offer a more cost-effective service to clients who compete with leading national and international firms in the city centre. The firm clearly prides itself on developing relationships with all stakeholders to benefit the client.

John Flint is a modest but exceptional leader of the CDR team who specialises in complex litigation. John has tremendous foresight and drive which will see the team become a force in the city centre.’

Key clients

National Union of Mineworkers

Leisuresec plc

Andy Scott/REL Capital Limited

Capital Growth Group Limited

Bison Transport Limited

Washdoctors Limited / Bill Mapstone

School Letting Solutions Limited

Westbourne  Property Management Limited

Fieldside Business Support Limited

Richard Wales / Selective Investment Services

R&G Property Limited

Fast Dispatch Transport Limited

Pulse Fitness Limited

AJP2 Limited

Premiserv Limited

McCollum Consultants Limited

Penny Irrigation Limited

Tecnicas Reunidas UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in a claim for alleged breach of an agreement to repay to NUM funds recovered by Organisation International Energie Mines (IEMO) in a long-running legal battle in France and England and Wales against a former senior executive of NUM.
  • Acting for an independent financial adviser in a complex and high-value dispute against Norland Managed Services Limited (now part of CBRE Group) and Friends Life Pensions, following the alleged breach of a retainer relating to the provision of group personal pension and life scheme administration and advice, breach of fiduciary duty and estoppel by convention.
  • Represented an individual in a fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of warranties of a share purchase agreement dispute.

Farleys Solicitors LLP

Farleys Solicitors LLP's commercial litigation team attracts praise for its 'strategic and tactical approach' to disputes. Practice head Daniel Draper has particular sports sector expertise and, alongside Rebecca Fairclough, regularly handles professional negligence claims. Other areas of expertise include breach of contract disputes, commercial property claims, debt recovery issues and contentious insolvency matters.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Draper

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Fairclough

Testimonials

Expertise in the field are likely to be unparalleled both in terms of legal capabilities as well as the strategic and tactical approach. Accessibility has been exceptional.

Daniel Draper showed leadership and the rare quality of both being clever and wise. His engagement style was received well and he was a reliable compass through a storm.

Nexus Solicitors Limited

Nexus Solicitors Limited acts for lenders and corporates in commercial disputes and represents individuals in professional negligence claims. Chris Pugh focuses on professional negligence, contractual and financial disputes, while Debbie Whiteley handles contractual litigation and debt recovery matters.

Practice head(s):

Chris Pugh; Debbie Whiteley

Work highlights

  • Acting for the defendants in a claim for damages arising from allegations of conspiracy to cause loss by lawful means.
  • Representing the claimants in a professional negligence claim against a well-known firm of solicitors, arising out of a share sale transaction and involving allegations of breach of authority.
  • Instructed in a major fraud case with a potential value of up to £1m..

Primas Law

Legacy firms Primas Law and Freeman Fisher merged in 2019 forming Primas Law. Its strong commercial litigation offering is led by Daniel Thomas, who focuses on the automotive manufacturing sector. Alex Megaw (who led Freeman Fisher's former litigation practice) has extensive experience spanning insolvency and shareholder disputes, injunctions, professional negligence claims and judicial review proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Thomas

Other key lawyers:

Alex Megaw

Work highlights

  • Acting for the director and shareholder of a company in the home and leisure industry in a £5m corporate dispute with a co-director and shareholder.
  • Representing several high-net-worth individuals in multiparty claims relating to the sale and purchase of an energy company.
  • Defending D&G Industriemontage in a claim relating to the collapse of machinery at a factory.

Ralli Solicitors

Ralli Solicitors handles a range of contentious matters including defamation claims, partnership disputes, debt recovery cases and property litigation. 'Excellent technical lawyer' Christian Eagle has broad experience and leads the team, which includes banking litigator Allan Kornbluth.

Practice head(s):

Christian Eagle

Other key lawyers:

Allan Kornbluth

Testimonials

The partners and staff at Ralli Solicitors are efficient, accessible and professional in all communications.

A team that is quietly going about its business and fast becoming the chosen port of call for those with commercial litigation in Manchester. It has done this on the back of Christian Eagle’s leadership and experience of all levels of litigation, including one of the biggest pieces of litigation to be conducted in Manchester.

The commercial dispute resolution team at Ralli are close-knit, focused and knowledgeable. They are able to competently handle major litigation and punch way above their weight in the marketplace.

Christian Eagle is an excellent technical lawyer whose enthusiasm for a case is infectious. His experience of all levels of litigation, including one of the biggest pieces of litigation to be conducted in Manchester, means that he can take anything on.

Christian Eagle is very experienced and calmly pragmatic whilst being strong in putting clients’ best foot forward.

Key clients

Creativityetc Limited

C&T Pharmacy Ltd

IMS Euro Ltd

B2B1 Print & Packaging

Moore Global formerly Moore Stephens International Ltd

Gullco International UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented private individuals in a boundary dispute in the Court of Appeal.