Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the North in North

Archers Law LLP

Led from Stockton, Archers Law LLP’s commercial litigation department garners praise for its ‘simply outstanding personal service’ and ‘clear and concise’ legal advice. Team members have extensive experience acting on the side of both claimants and defendants in disputes arising in relation to contractual obligations, negligence claims, contentious probate and property matters. Department head Kenton Bazeley, who arrived at the firm in 2018, and recently promoted executive associate Helen Lyne are singled out by clients.

Practice head(s):

Kenton Bazeley

Other key lawyers:

Helen Lyne


The personal touch provided by the entire team at Archers Law is what makes the team special. The lawyers care not only about the legal side but also about the emotional impact of cases on clients, advising them on how best to personally handle things and when to pass matters over to them to take the pressure off. Simply outstanding personal service.

A robust and knowledgeable team, with well-deserved authority in Teesside.

Archers Law is a local firm with a strong and dynamic team. The firm is professional whilst also remaining approachable.

In my experience, the commercial litigation team at Archers is second to none. The advice that we received was clear and concise. The team provided the advice quickly, which is essential in these situations.

Archers has brought together strong local talent in the litigation field, and as someone who refers work to the team, I can be confident that clients receive the best advice in a timely fashion.

Kenton Bazeley provided advice relating to our matter. The advice that we received was clear and was provided quickly and efficiently, achieving the outcome that we were hoping for. If the opportunity arose, I would have no hesitation in recommending Kenton to friends or associates.

Kenton Bazeley has a sharp mind, and quickly picks up issues that require addressing.

Executive associate Helen Lyne inspires confidence in clients with her easy manner, combined with attention to detail.

Baines Wilson LLP

The Carlisle-based team at Baines Wilson LLP acts for national corporate clients and local businesses and has a solid track record handling contentious issues in the agriculture, construction and professional services sectors. While the group prides itself on its alternative dispute resolution expertise, it is also known for handling a wide range of contractual disputes, partnership and shareholder disputes, and professional negligence claims, to name a few examples. In addition, the team has recently strengthened its practice in property litigation and IP disputes. Department head Elizabeth Black is praised by clients for her ‘great command of a case’.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Black


The team adopts a ‘can-do’ approach to dispute resolution.

A small but perfectly formed team of excellent and very experienced lawyers. The team’s great attention to the detail of the case gives it a real edge over other teams.

Elizabeth Black has a great command of a case, and is also somebody who clients at all levels enjoy dealing with.


Burnetts has an excellent reputation in the agriculture sector, where it handles complex cases relating to proprietary estoppel claims, to name one prominent example. Lauded by clients for his ‘all-round excellence’, Carlisle-based department head James Johnston has accrued significant experience in the agribusiness industry. Other strengths of the practice lie in the areas of corporate disputes, property litigation, and contentious trusts and probate. Cementing its leading position across the Cumbria region, the group also benefits from its presence in Penrith, where senior associate Rob Winder leads on contentious property and debt recovery work.

Practice head(s):

James Johnston

Other key lawyers:

Sally Johnson; Rob Winder


Prompt, efficient and courteous team

Excellent lawyers with a practical outlook

Burnetts’ commercial litigation team is top-notch. The team is always on top of its cases, keeping a firm eye on the strategy going forward in any case. The firm is also excellently located to serve the business needs of Cumbria and Northumberland.

Knowledgeable, practical and effective. There is no showboating, just straightforward action for all clients.

James Johnston is the lawyer we have worked with. He is approachable and very easy to deal with.

James Johnston shows all-round excellence: he leads a strong team with skill and brings his considerable expertise to bear on all the cases he is instructed on.

Rob Winder is an immensely practical and effective lawyer. He gets the detail right but does not get lost in it.

Rob Winder quickly clarified our legal position, communicated the salient points and options, and developed a strategy which secured a positive outcome.

Endeavour Partnership LLP

At Stockton-based Endeavour Partnership LLP, the commercial litigation practice is noted for the breadth of its sector-specific expertise, which includes the retail, agriculture, transport and professional services sectors, among others. Department head Ged Flanagan specialises in disputes in the fields of contract and tort law, including product liability disputes, fraud cases and professional negligence claims. Freehold and leasehold property disputes also feature in the group’s workload; Alex Smith acts for corporate clients in this space. Managing partner Lee Bramley has expertise in contentious insolvency and corporate recovery issues. Founding partner Paul Bennett retired from the partnership in January 2020.

Practice head(s):

Ged Flanagan

Other key lawyers:

Alex Smith; Lee Bramley


Excellent service provided by experts in both the charity sector and education. The partners and associates offer personable and practical advice in the best interests of our business.

Key clients

Vertu Motors

px Group

Venator Materials UK

Middlesbrough College

Gibson O’Neill

The Mandale Group

Benchmark Leisure

Teesside Insurance Consultants

Taylor Goodchild

Swift Timber Homes

Middlesbrough Football Club


Rockcliffe Hall

Bart’s Potato Company

Work highlights

  • Advised Lee Goodchild on a section 994 petition and subsequent proceedings brought against a former director of the company.
  • Acting for a regional construction company in relation to a complex contractual dispute concerning construction works for the largest mining project in the UK.
  • Acted for a farmer and lodge owner based in France in a jurisdictional challenge in the Companies Court in respect of a £2m claim brought by a multinational company headquartered in the United Arab Emirates.

Swinburne Maddison

Swinburne Maddison fields an ‘easily accessible and friendly’ commercial litigation team, with a wide-ranging client base including sole traders, partnerships, and companies of various sizes. The department’s recent caseload showcases its recognised strength in the social housing sector, where the team acts for large local authorities. Employment law specialist Jonathan Moreland shares leadership of the practice with David Low, whose expertise includes professional negligence and claims alleging breaches of contact. The litigation experience of associate Abigail Zuk includes consumer and probate disputes.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Moreland; David Low

Other key lawyers:

Abigail Zuk


Very easy to deal with, no matter what the issue is.

I find Swinburne Maddison both easily accessible and friendly. They have the ability to quickly assimilate my approach to matters under dispute and direct their efforts and legal expertise to achieving the most effective results. They are adept in offering and advising on legal strategies which frame my preferred solutions to appropriate proposals. I also find that they are assiduous in exposing inconsistencies and contradictions in opposing arguments.

My companies have used Swinburne Maddison for a number of years and I find that the lawyers continually provide a good level of service over a wide scope of legal matters, which is a result of the diversity of professional skills and knowledge they have. For me, it is a real advantage to have a one-stop shop to advise me.

We feel that the strength of the dispute resolution team lies in the attentiveness and personal service that comes with only a few people being involved – the practice can provide us with a consistent service from the same people over an extended period of time. The team has also stood out due to its proactivity in communicating with us regularly and ensuring that momentum is kept up when pursuing litigation on our behalf.

We have dealt with David Low and associate Abigail Zuk, who have provided a first-class proactive service and demonstrated their expertise in our area of work which is personal insolvency.

David Low has gone the extra mile to ensure that he provides the best and most comprehensive advice and direction without being pushy or prescriptive. He seems to always have the right information at the right time to help you to see a way forward, even when things seem so unclear and sometimes unfair. This instils confidence during the proceedings – I felt more comfortable and empowered in court giving evidence than I thought was possible. I would not hesitate to recommend David.

Key clients

Durham Cathedral

Durham School

Ramside Estates

Martin Gray Football Acadamy

Baker Tilley Creditor Services LLP

Smart Office Systems

Teescraft Engineering

The Enquire Learning Trust

Allure Developments

Sound Intention

JEM Road Construction

Northern Freight Services

Trutec Pools and Leisure

West Nautical

Eurovent Purifying Systems

Evenmore Properties

Work highlights

  • Successfully representing a client in cross-jurisdictional court proceedings resulting in a significant settlement figure in excess of £1m.  
  • Acting on behalf of a large local authority in connection with a potential breach of contract claim valued in excess of £750k.
  • Acting on behalf of an existing corporate client, providing technical and specialist advice in defence of a claim relating to an IT security breach.

Tilly Bailey & Irvine

Tilly Bailey & Irvine’s group is based in Wynyard and focuses on commercial litigation involving post-M&A disputes, shareholder and partnership disputes, contractual claims and professional negligence cases. Alongside these areas of traditional strength, practice head Alison Leith also has niche expertise in contentious competition law and state aid matters as well as tax litigation. In a notable development, the team is increasingly being sought for contentious probate work, which now constitutes another core area of focus for Leith. Nigel Broadbent is noted for his wide-ranging litigation career spanning three decades.

Practice head(s):

Alison Leith

Other key lawyers:

Nigel Broadbent

Jacksons Law

A well-known name in the Stockton legal market and across the region, Jacksons Law represents both claimants and defendants in relation to contentious contractual issues, property disputes, and professional negligence and product liability claims. Practice head Toby Joel is a standout litigator, whose extensive experience encompasses debt recovery work and niche equine law issues.

Practice head(s):

Toby Joel

Other key lawyers:

Angie Papprill