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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Commercial litigation: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial litigation: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

B P Collins LLP fields a team of 'exceptionally good litigators' who combine 'good technical knowledge with a personal service'; for many, the team is 'second to none'. Practice head Matthew Brandis is 'exceptional - incredibly thorough and very good at keeping clients informed and up to date'. He has more than 20 years' experience handling complex contractual disputes, defamation actions and professional negligence claims, and is ably supported by Craig Williams, who 'really considers the clients interests when delivering advice on complex legal issues'; and Nick Hallchurch, whose extensive track record covers shareholder disputes, professional negligence claims against solicitors, health and safety disputes, and regulatory claims. The environmental, technology and pharmaceutical sectors are all key areas of strength for the practice; in an illustration of its capability in the waste management sector, Williams and associate Rajiv Malhotra successfully defended PB Donoghue in a £3m claim for damages arising from oral agreements made with a former HGV driver. In another key matter, Williams and senior associate Simon Carroll represented a local charity in a case arising from a gym operator's failure to make payments and refusal to provide account to avoid fee increases.

Dentons has 'an extremely impressive presence in this field', providing 'sound and pragmatic advice to help resolve commercial disputes as swiftly and efficiently as possible'. The 'very professional and hardworking team' comprises eight dedicated partners and more than 40 additional lawyers based in offices in Milton Keynes and Watford with wide-ranging expertise covering post-M&A disputes, joint venture disputes, shareholder disputes and corporate control issues. Tim Constable ('has an excellent knowledge of the law, with an acute ability to identify the difficult points in cases and analyse those points in detail') led a team including senior associate Robert Bedford and associate Steven Baker that defended a global car rental company and longstanding client in a group action in Israel involving potentially tens of thousands of claimants.  In another key matter James Fairbairn ('consistently helpful') represented Haringey Council in a £7m professional negligence claim against Property Consultants concerning negligent design and contract administration services related to the extension of a primary school. Other key figures include Steven Mills, who acted for RBS in a case arising from the allegedly negligent sale of interest rate hedging products; Clare Stothard, who is noted for her extensive experience in investment and retail banking litigation, and who acted for RBS, Barclays and NatWest in a Court of Appeal case concerning interest rate swaps and their linkage to claims founded on regulatory reviews carried out by the FCA;  and Roger McCourt, who has more than 20 years' experience acting in retail and business banking disputes. Helen Simpson left private practice in September 2017.

Freeths LLP has a particularly strong reputation for handling commercial disputes in the drinks and hospitality sector, where its disputes practice acts for a number of well-known UK brand owners, including Casual Dining Group, owners of the Cafe Rouge, Bella Italia and Las Iguanas restaurant chains. The practice's other clients include UK-based plcs such as Dawsongroup, international companies such as Amscan International, and SMEs. In an illustration of its longstanding relationships with clients, the firm continues to act for the claimants in a long-running case involving the value and rights in a family business, which has involved eight interlocutory hearings, three trials, and which has progressed to a costs assessment. It is also acting for numerous transport and logistics companies in proposed claims for damages against the major truck manufacturers arising from the European Commission's investigation into price fixing cartel behavious. Simon Hobbs  heads the practice, which includes property litigator Mark Brown.

IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett) further strengthened its commercial litigation offering through the firm's merger with Turbervilles, with John Clement heading the newly combined litigation practice, which acts for a range of UK plcs and multinationals including Renault UK and Manpower UK. The practice is particularly active in the automotive, manufacturing and leisure sectors, with the merger adding expertise in the park homes sector.  Recent work includes acting for Optimise Water in High Court proceedings against Apogee Corporation concerning alleged overcharging for a managed print services contract, and defending a client in an ongoing Commercial Court claim, which is valued at $165m and involves Russia, Italy, Switzerland and Israel. Other key figures include Paul Kite, who has more than 20 years' experience handling a range of disputes related to commercial contracts, product liability, franchising, shareholder issues, and commercial fraud, and senior associate Sarah Jackson, who regularly handles company and partnership disputes and chancery litigation.

Headed by Robert Ryall and Tracy Lacey-Smith, SA Law LLP's highly respected dispute resolution team has an extensive track record in high-value, business-critical cases, often with a multi-jurisdictional element. Collectively, Ryall and Lacy-Smith have more than 40 years' experience as litigators, covering a range of sectors including pharmaceuticals, sport, construction and energy. The practice recently acted for Sutton Housing Partnership in Court of Appeal proceedings concerning the termination of a maintenance services contract, and represented a company in a professional negligence claim against the client's former lawyers arising from the acquisition of an investment property. Other key figures include, Tom Lawrence, who represented Gillingham Football Club in a claim concerning a catering contract, in which the client was awarded £1.4m in damages; senior associate Simon Walsh, who regularly handles domestic and cross-border disputes across a variety of sectors; and senior associate Nathanael Young, who is particularly noted for his expertise in insolvency, intellectual property and media and defamation cases.

EMW Law LLP handles the full range of commercial disputes for clients spanning a wide spectrum of industry sectors, including sports, food, retail, construction, education, renewable energy and banking. Damon Watt heads the team and has extensive experience in insolvency, contract, negligence and shareholder disputes, and also handles warranty claims, partnership and sports law issues, and a variety of ADR matters. Watt recently represented Northamptonshire County Cricket Club in a claim relating to a defective audio visual scoreboard and media board. Other key figures include Charles Clay, who heads the property litigation team as well as handling general commercial litigation and ADR; Karen Young, whose expertise covers defamation and warranty claims, among others; Mark Rondel, who acted for the claimant in a dispute against their insurers concerning back-dated payments under a health insurance policy; and Sean Fitzgerald, who is defending Santander UK in lease renewal proceedings concerning one of its flagship branches.

Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors LLP acts for a range of clients, from SMEs to national and international corporates, in professional negligence claims, shareholder and partnership disputes, construction and property litigation, commercial contract issues, IT and IP disputes, and insolvency matters, among other specialisms. Practice head and real estate litigation specialist Kenneth Stangoe acts for public sector bodies, charities, multinationals and high-profile individuals in right-of-way disputes, dilapidation claims and boundary disputes. In a key mandate, Trevor Coward acted for Hexglade, an SPV established to pursue claims on behalf of travel company Chambers Travel against its finance director, who had defrauded the company to the sum of £3.3m; to date, the firm has secured the recovery of approximately £850,000 and obtained an injunction over a further £400,000, and has issued proceedings against the travel company's auditors at the time of the thefts. Also recommended are debt recovery specialist Guy Brooks, Mairead McErlean, who has specialist expertise in local authority matters, and Richard Millard, who handles construction disputes.

Clients of Sherrards Solicitors LLP are 'thoroughly impressed with the high level and quality of service' provided by the team, which provides 'thoughtful and valued advice at each step of the dispute'. The practice's expertise spans multi-jurisdictional litigation, with a particular emphasis on CIS jurisdictions and Russia, thanks to Marta Grieve's extensive experience in these areas. Practice head Paul Marmor is particularly active in cross-border and fraud-related litigation, and acts for clients including Habibsons Bank. Other key figures include Barney Laurence, who acted for Villa Plus in obtaining an injunction against web hosting company GoDaddy to remove hoax rival holiday sites advertising the client's villas for rental, without the client's knowledge or consent; and Karen Dobson, who specialises in insolvency-related litigation.

Clients of Shoosmiths LLP consider the practice 'a valued extension of the internal legal function; its understanding of clients' business, commercial awareness and the efficiency with which it works marks the team out as a real value-for-money proposition'. Headed by Paul Kirkpatrick, The team in Milton Keynes handles a range of high-value litigation, with particular emphasis on the automotive and retail sectors.  In an illustration of its track record in the latter sector, Kirkpatrick acted for IKEA in proceedings issued by one of its customers for disability discrimination pursuant to the Equality Act. The team's clients also include Volkswagen Group and Calor Gas. Senior associate Harriet Campbell is particularly noted for her reputation management expertise.

Debenhams Ottaway is 'a very accomplished and professional firm, whose core values of commercialism, transparency, effectiveness and good communication inspire confidence'. intellectual property, professional negligence and insolvency disputes are all mainstays for the practice, which also experienced an increase in technology and construction cases. Recent highlights for Luke Harrison's team include defending Fairgate Developments  in a £1.7m damages claim arising from the alleged wrongful termination of a project manager's contract, and acting for the trustee in bankruptcy in proceedings to secure assets of the bankruptcy and claw back antecedent transactions. Also recommended are associate Louise Worton, partner Juliet Schalker, who joined from Rosling King LLP, and IP disputes specialist Rosie Patterson, who joined from Herbert Smith Freehills.

Machins Solicitors LLP handles a range of contentious matters, including partnership and property disputes, insolvency litigation, and disputes arising from breach of fiduciary duty. Neil O'Callaghan heads the team, which recently acted for the defendant in a multi-party High Court bankruptcy claim. Other recent work includes acting in a High Court claim for damages in excess of £1.6m relating to faulty products connected to the oil industry, and successfully defending a client against claims for damages arising from allegations of harassment. Commercial property litigator Janice Young is also recommended.

Neves is 'an excellent regional player, capable of handling substantial commercial litigation, even against far bigger City heavyweights'. Peter Kelly heads the practice and 'fights hard for his clients; he has considerable experience and combines this with a practical and pragmatic approach'. He leads a team with extensive experience in high-value commercial disputes, as well as landlord and tenant claims and debt recovery matters. Recent work includes successfully defending an individual in a claim brought by a logistics company concerning allegations of fraudulent conduct, and acting for the defendants before the Court of Appeal in a £10m damages claim for alleged breaches of restrictive covenants. James Harvey is praised for his 'precision and ability to outline both the pros and cons of any issue'.

Tees Law is 'a solid firm with some very impressive individuals'; clients find 'the service to be excellent, the responses prompt, the knowledge base wide, and the fees fair when compared to other law firms'. The dispute resolution practice's clients include a number of household names, including Greene King Brewing and Retailing, for which Justin Robinson continues to act in multiple cases concerning claims against individuals, partnerships, pub companies, non-league football teams and social clubs throughout England and Wales. In another key mandate, Caroline Metcalf (who is noted for her 'down-to-earth, practical approach, coupled with a careful eye to cost') acted for a commercial property owner in a claim arising from land that was subject to a restriction preventing it from being sold without the agreement of a company that had been struck off the companies register; Metcalf secured an undertaking that the former directors of the company would release the client's land from the restriction.

The practice at Blaser Mills is rated for its 'excellent response times, industry-specific knowledge and commercial attitude'. Headed by the 'excellent' Alka Kharbanda, the practice includes Jackie Ray, who is praised for her 'strong client liaison skills and excellent presentational skills'. Ray has a strong track record in handling commercial contract enforcement matters as well as international recoveries and registering foreign judgments; in an illustration of the practice's strength in consumables, she recently acted for AB Agri in a case concerning the supply of consumable to a limited company for which payment was subject to a personal guarantee. Other recent work includes acting for SIG Trading in a claim for construction materials and a second claim against a director concerning a personal guarantee. Also recommended are managing partner Jonathan Lilley ('a seasoned litigator with a strong sense of strategy and the commercial interests of the client'), and Sangita Manek, who acts for businesses as well as high-net-worth individuals and professionals.

Clients of Longmores Solicitors LLP report that they are 'very satisfied' with the level of service provided by the firm, and rate the team's 'very good knowledge and expertise'. Particular praise is singled out for contentious property specialist John Wagstaffe, 'a superb lawyer who is genuinely interested in his work and is intellectually very capable'. Other key figures include practice head John Wiblin and Lauren Mackenzie, who recently acted for a commercial landlord in a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service concerning a mis-sold interest rate hedging product. Wilbin also acted for Stubbins Marketing in a claim against former directors alleging that they acted in breach of their fiduciary duties and transferred the assets of the company to third party entities under their control at an undervalue.

Taylor Walton LLP's disputes practice has wide-ranging expertise covering litigation as well as all forms of ADR. James Carpenter  heads the department.

Woodfines LLP's 'efficient and detailed' team is particularly rated for its 'in-depth knowledge of clients' business'. It has an extensive track record in contractual disputes, property litigation, insolvency and debt recovery, among other matters. Clients include Abigrain, Guardian Financial Services and Daisy Wholesale. Andrew Carter is the key contact.


Commercial litigation: Essex

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Essex
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial litigation: Essex clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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The five-partner commercial litigation department of Birkett Long LLP covers court cases, as well as arbitration, adjudication and mediation proceedings. Key areas include real estate, engineering, financial services, agriculture, intellectual property and general company, shareholder and director disputes. In a major highlight, the team defended four family members against a £45m breach-of-warranty claim from a company that they sold shares from their own business to. Another matter related to the representation of an events company in a planning dispute with a London borough council, which refused to give planning permission for redevelopment after the client had entered into a long-term lease and invested £10m. Valeo Group of Companies, Flakt Woods and BEW Electrical Distributors form part of the active client roster. Chelmsford-based partners Peter Allen and Keith Songhurst, as well as Kevin Sullivan in Colchester, are the main practitioners. Marc Thurlow rejoined the team in June 2017 from London firm Bolt Burdon, where he had worked since 2012.

The 'well-run' litigation department of Birketts LLP provides 'extremely good value for money' and is able to 'focus on a good commercial outcome'. Its key strength lies in commercial disputes between international companies. In 2017, practice lead Daden Hunt represented three individuals as company shareholders in a six-figure repayment claim in relation to an asset purchase agreement for a book of insurance which the claimant bought from the defendants. The team also continues to advise the German entity Maack & Company on pre-merger approval court applications for a combination between several German and English companies. The client base also includes Elektron Technology. Associate Marie Batchelor is 'very quick to identify the issues at hand and give clear, tailored advice'.

The 'positive and capable' Rainer Hughes is recommended for providing a 'consistently reliable and professional service' and being able to 'discuss the issues from all sides'. Mainly engaging in international litigation and ADR matters, the team is most experienced in advising wholesale businesses and enforcing cases across multiple jurisdictions. Recent highlights include the representation of US company Premier Products as claimant in an English court proceeding against Dubai-based Access Global Trading regarding a £2.69m contract dispute. Another focus area of 2017 was the defence of alcohol wholesalers against HMRC, for example in relation to non-payment of duty claims and the latter's wholesaler registration scheme. 'Excellent' practice lead Sanjay Panesar 'combines ability with a fun personality'. The 'personable' Craig Smith, who has a 'straight-talking, down-to-earth approach', and 'pure-quality strategist' Anita Punpher are also recommended.

The commercial litigation practice at Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP  consists of four key solicitors who resolve contractual, professional negligence, regulatory and shareholder disputes. The team serves a number of industries, such as the banking and construction sectors. Consultant solicitor and mediator Christopher Yemm handles personal injury, as well as inheritance and will disputes, while Kevin Boorof 's main focus areas are civil and family law litigation. Lawrence Adams is responsible for tenancy and other types of property litigation. Another niche area of expertise is sports litigation, which is primarily covered by solicitor Jason Torrance. James Burkett retired in 2017.

The 'knowledgeable, in-depth and quick-to-respond' litigation team at Jefferies Essex LLP  'has developed in strength and experience, attracting challenging work beyond its size' and giving 'clear, concise and relevant advice' to 'enviable large corporate clients', especially from the motor manufacturing and dealership sector. The lawyers handle disputes relating to M&A transactions, commercial contracts, professional negligence and franchise agreements. 'Seasoned litigator' and trained mediator Mark Rothman, who 'resolves litigation issues in the briefest time and achieves excellent results', continued to represent New Dawn Tax Partnership and more than 400 high-profile individual clients in a £10m tax-loss claim against HMRC in the High Court. Head of department Sarah Mitchell, who 'shows a very high level of understanding and knowledge of her client’s business', acted for a motor dealer as claimant in a six-figure breach-of-contract dispute with a software and digital solutions provider. Clients further recommend 'impressive legal brain' Duncan Bennington, who represented the majority shareholder as defendant in a petition dispute with the minority shareholder, following a claim for the latter's removal as company director.

The 'superb, very professional and helpful' litigation practice of Wortley Byers LLP delivers 'a strong performance, a good balance of pragmatism, first-rate response times and a reasonable pricing dynamic'. It covers a range of services, including contract and negligence disputes and banking, employment, property and insolvency litigation, as well as general contentious corporate management and partnership matters. Review Hotels, Brentwood School, Bank of Cyprus and Donald Moody Investments feature in the current client base. The 'approachable' Nick Hatchett 'explains the matter at hand very concisely' and 'manages contentious situations very well'. The second key partner is the 'very competent, measured and thoughtful' Wendy Beach, who 'brings years of experience to her role' and has an 'impressive ability to assimilate information and draw conclusions'. 'Responsive' employment specialist Sarah Stanyer is also recommended.

The 'thoroughly impressive' litigation team at BTMK Solicitors 'goes from strength to strength' by 'providing clear advice' and being 'very accessible and client-friendly'. Focus areas include contractual, shareholder and professional negligence litigation and mediation. Recent highlights include a partnership and shareholder dispute between an individual and a property management company concerning several completed projects and the retrieval of repatriation monies, which resulted in a five-day trial. It was handled by the 'commercially focused' Nitin Khandhia, who also enforced a Californian arbitration award in the High Court for client Voltage Pictures regarding a $435,000 film and distribution rights dispute with an English company. The 'straight-talking' Adam Fleming acted for the owner of a jewellery business in a claim against her former partner via a freezing injunction, after he had removed sums in excess of £300,000. Employment litigation partner Fiona McAnaw is another key member of the team. Solicitor Nadia Fabri joined from Pinney Talfourd LLPin January 2018.

The 'excellent' Ellisons Solicitors provides 'knowledgeable, speedy and cost-effective' litigation services, particularly in commercial, probate, insolvency, debt recovery and banking disputes. Recent highlights include the representation of Southbourne Trading Company regarding the successful dismissal of a winding-up petition from HMRC. The Ministry of Defence (Defence Infrastructure Organisation) and The Book Service/Penguin Books are regular clients. 'Friendly and professional litigator' Graeme Wallington has a 'sensible commercial approach to achieving the client's objectives'. He is supported by six solicitors, including Ceri Rogers and Scott Porter.

Mullis & Peake LLP's 'experienced, reliable and approachable' commercial litigation practice is a 'safe pair of hands for landlord and tenant matters'. Other areas of expertise include construction, leisure, hospitality and healthcare. 'Robust and effective litigator' Manzurul Islam became a senior associate and overall head of litigation, while Holly Minney, who mainly handles construction disputes, was also promoted to senior associate in 2017. Hollie Wright left for Hamlins LLP.

The commercial litigation department at Palmers provides a 'first-rate service level', with 'unmatched response times' and 'great cost-effectiveness'. It acts on a wide range of disputes within business divorce, including shareholder, partnership, transactional, intellectual property, debt recovery, contract, trust, public procurement and financial service litigation and mediation. In a highlight of 2017, the team represented a news publication company in a shareholder dispute with a global company that involved an unlawful attempt by the counterparty to remove a director, as well as counter-claims regarding unfairly prejudiced conduct, breach of duties and several non-payments of invoices and salaries. 'Rising star' Luke Morgan, who is 'tactical in his advice and gets to know his client', is recommended, as is solicitor Carla Jones. Consultant Clive Tant retired in August 2017.

During 2017, Pinney Talfourd LLP's commercial litigation team increased its presence in the industrial manufacturing, renewable energy and e-commerce sectors, while remaining in a stable position in the construction and financial service industries, as well as for insolvency-related disputes. The Kiani Group of Companies, Target Interior Projects, Bowmite and Smile Clinics form part of the active client portfolio. Practice lead Stephen Eccles, senior associate Bushra Elzubeir and associate Damian Pitts are the main contacts. Solicitors Amit Bansal  and Aishah Fazil joined from Giles Wilson LLP and Wortley Byers LLP, respectively.

The commercial litigation practice of Tees Law in Chelmsford stands out for its 'competent, timely and effective service, responsiveness and attention to client needs'. Its long-established expertise includes disputes regarding contracts, professional negligence, property and construction, and insolvency, as well as trusts and probate, while unjust enrichment and misrepresentation claims form new working areas for the team. In 2017, the lawyers represented the National Farmers' Union in connection with the administration of Wellgrain, mainly regarding compensation claims from farmers and in order to enforce a change in conduct of the administration. In another highlight, solicitor Holly McColgan led the representation of air travel equipment manufacturer AEM in a dispute with a Saudi Arabian company, which concerned the recovery of loaned goods held by a German company. Clients recommend 'thorough, professional and commercially minded' team lead David Perry, who is also a 'skilled mediator and superb tactician'.

Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors' commercial litigation team is best known for its work on property, tenancy, building, boundary and neighbour disputes, as well as breach of contract, debt recovery and wills and probate matters. A recent highlight was the representation of a private individual in a six-figure property transfer reversal claim before the Chancery Division due to professional negligence on the part of the responsible tax solicitors, which HMRC approved.  Leanne Philp  'has good instincts and can be relied upon to meet deadlines and get work done'.

The 'strong' litigation practice at Paul Robinson Solicitors LLP's Westcliff-on-Sea office covers court, tribunal and mediation proceedings, as well as round-table meetings. The team gained experience in commercial supply, public procurement, debt recovery, insolvency, shareholder and asset disputes. Recent highlights include a seven-figure debt recovery claim, which also concerns a fraud action, brought by the firm's client against GE. The team further represented a cleaning company in a dispute with a sleeping shareholder regarding its business restructuring plans. 'Good strategic thinker' Fiona Colwell 'has an excellent manner with clients and focuses on their interests'. Lorraine Lancaster is the second key partner in the practice.

The commercial litigation department at Thompson Smith and Puxon 'consistently impresses with its significant breadth of skills, timely service and sound advice', 'making clients feel valued'.  Its key focus areas include tenancy, property lease, and wills and probate disputes, with additional contract, partnership, insolvency, debt recovery, professional negligence and defamation expertise. The 'pragmatic and supportive' Judith Winward 'takes a proactive approach to conflict resolution' and became an associate in 2017. The 'exceptional' Sharon Auton heads the practice.


Commercial litigation: Hampshire

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Hampshire
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial litigation: Hampshire clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is 'an outstanding commercial litigation firm that punches well above its weight' and 'can go toe-to-toe with any of the major law firms in London'. It is entrusted with high-value and complex disputes, especially in the energy, retail and media spheres and also has international arbitration expertise. In highlight work it defended British Gas in a dispute concerning a £38m claim for repudiation of contract. Team head Tom Beezer is noted for his 'great strategic input'; Ian Newcombe 'has a forensic eye for detail and a passion for service delivery' and has 'excellent judgement about when to go the distance and when to settle'; Andrew Parsons stands out for 'his ability to manage complex, high-value cases'; and Gavin Matthews and senior associate Dave Panaech are also highly regarded. 

The 'excellent' Blake Morgan LLP fields a substantial team of litigators, with the team recently handling judicial reviews and Supreme Court cases. It serves local, national and international clients in an array of sectors on matters ranging from contractual breaches and construction-related disputes to negligence claims and IP cases. In a recent highlight, it is defending NHS England after it refused to approve a medical service for treatment of cranial tumours. Jill Bainbridge leads the team, which includes Richard Portlock and   Susie Dryden, who have 'high-level expertise and vast experience', and senior associate Dan Geddes, who joined from Lester Aldridge LLP in March 2017.

The team at Clarke Willmott LLP 'has high legal and industry knowledge enabling effective and efficient solving of all issues' and 'really understands the principle of managing the cost of a dispute relative to likely outcome'. It handles a range of commercial and private client disputes including breaches of contract, shareholder, director and partnership disputes, negligence cases and contested probate and trust matters. Owen Williams, who heads the team, has 'a rigorous attention to detail, an iron will and an extraordinary depth of character'. He is a solicitor advocate and handles commercial disputes in the IT field, as well as private client cases. Recently promoted partner Greg Hughes is 'particularly commercially minded and understands what the optimum outcome is for any dispute'. Associate Claire Dennison is another key member of the team.

Coffin Mew LLP is 'a well-established firm and one of the best operators in its area' and fields a team that has 'a practical and commonsense approach' and operates across the firm's offices in Southampton and Portsmouth. It handles a range of corporate and commercial disputes, including  partnership cases and those in the technology, IP and construction areas. It attracts mandates from both national and international clients and is acting for E-Crunch in a variety of IP and property-related disputes. Ian Dawes heads of department; Mark James, who is based in Brighton, is recommended for property and construction-related disputes and 'excellent' associate Emma Stevens is 'very hardworking and committed to her case'. Adrian McClinton joined the Brighton office in February 2017 from Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP.

The team at Irwin Mitchell, led by Andrew Jackson, is rated for 'its good understanding of risk combined with commercial awareness and sound legal advice'.It undertakes commercial disputes in an array of sectors such as insurance, telecoms and financial services and is supported by specialists in other teams. The group's recent work includes representing a well-known bank in negligence claims; acting for a high-profile individual in an action against an accountant; and acting for a UK company in a multi-jurisdictional, high-value contractual dispute involving potential claims of product liability. Hannah Clipston and associate Stephanie Reeves are also recommended.

Paris Smith LLP's team is 'very responsive and provides excellent and nuanced advice'. Well-respected practice head David Eminton is well-known for his focus on real estate and insolvency litigation. Recently promoted partner Christopher Holliss and solicitor Shelley White win praise for their 'fantastic service' and Jason Oliver, who joined the team in May 2017 from Parker Bullen LLP, is 'responsive to ideas and  doesn’t jump to (expensive) conclusions'. The team is further enhanced by insolvency expert Mike Pavitt. It acts for an impressive range of clients in contract disputes in the recruitment sector, as well as in a range of other diverse sectors. The team represented an international fashion company in a dispute with a Canadian distributor concerning breaches of an agency agreement, which was valued at £1.4m, and also acted for a private client in a £2.1m negligence claim against a GP.

Pitmans LLP stands out for being 'a regional firm that competes with more established players in a more cost-effective way'. It is known for its expertise in complex, high-value fraudulent insurance claims, subrogated property damage and product liability cases, as well as for handling broader commercial disputes. Practice head Rick Munro is 'a very good strategist who cuts to the chase and has a really good grasp of what is important for the client' and is a mediator as well as a litigator. Alan Davies 'is very good on procedure and organising a team'; the 'highly proactive' Claire Collings 'is on top of the facts and keeps a level head'; and senior associate Sylvia Yendall is 'brilliant at assimilating and analysing large amounts of information quickly'.

Jonathan Smart¬†heads a team at¬†Shoosmiths LLP¬†that undertakes high-value disputes in the automotive, technology, financial services and insurance sectors. It is defending an insurance company and its director in a¬†¬£40m multi-jurisdictional fraud and corruption case, and also acted for¬†an international car manufacturer in a cross-border dispute, which arose from a¬† ‚ā¨16m IT project and that ultimately settled. Katie Simmonds¬†and¬†Farhana Khanom¬†are other key members of the team.

The team at Trethowans LLP 'has an excellent reputation locally and compares well to others in this practice area'. Department head Richard Cook has expertise in a range of commercial litigation with an emphasis on contract claims, shareholder disputes, professional negligence and IP. The team counts the Ministry of Defence, Baker Perkins, Saint-Gobain/Jewson and the Taylor Cocks Partnership among its clients. In highlight work, it acted for GreatStar Europe in a £750,000 contract dispute pertaining to an alleged breach of a contract to source and supply certain equipment, which involved a five-day trial. Jon Kelly and Ian Singleton are other core members of the team together with Karl Cameron, who joined from Blake Morgan LLP in January 2018.


Commercial litigation: Kent, Surrey, Sussex

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Kent, Surrey, Sussex
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial litigation: Kent, Surrey, Sussex clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's team is considered 'strong at partner, senior associate and associate level'. It handles a broad range of corporate and commercial litigation including product, supply, trusts and IP disputes and serves an impressive client base including Fiat Chrysler, ITV, and  Wagamama. It is handling a range of disputes for Swiss Post and for long-standing client Walkers Chocolates. Duncan Elson, who heads the team, 'is frighteningly on top of the law and his analysis of the weak points of ADR awards is fearsome'.  Jamie Cartwright 'is very clear and precise and quickly identifies the key points and addresses them' and Stephen Burns 'provides practical, commercial advice and is very effective in mediation'.

Stevens & Bolton LLP  Guildford provides 'very good quality advice and service at non-City rates' on corporate and commercial litigation and arbitration matters. Its expertise extends across an array of sectors including retail, insurance, finance, pharmaceutical and aviation. Managing partner Richard King has extensive experience in litigation and international arbitration in areas including energy and head of the department Richard Mumford advises on a range of disputes especially in the aviation sector. Michael Frisby and Andrew Quick are other key partners, as is Sarah Murray, who is particularly 'good at advising on cost effective strategies'. Murray and senior associate Catherine Penny 'provide pragmatic advice'. Highlights included acting for CI Plus in a High Court claim against German company Impex-Sat in a dispute pertaining to infringement of licence terms, breach of confidence, and IP infringements.

asb law LLP's team handles an impressive range of large-scale disputes and while it undertakes High Court and other litigation, its expertise also extends to a range of alternative dispute resolution methods. Its work frequently involves cross-border aspects; it is acting for members of the Freight Transport Association, together with other EU counsel, forensic accountants and others, in pursuing follow-on damages claims, which arose from the EU's judgment on truck cartels. The group is appreciated for its 'detailed grasp of the facts, awareness of points of legal and commercial sensitivity as well as procedural reality'. The team is led by 'formidable litigator' Jonathan Stevens; other key lawyers include partner Nicola Billen  whose expertise includes insurance-related litigation and head of corporate relations Lyndsey Ratcliffe, who together with associate Andrew Frake 'provides very good practical and commercial advice'.

Clyde & Co LLP's Guildford team works in tandem with its London office to provide the full range of litigation and arbitration services. Key partners include David Bennet, who has noted expertise in the areas of oil and gas, international trading, shipping and construction, and Chris Burdett, who acts for a number of clients in the technology field. Tim Foley has a focus on real estate-related disputes and Mark Walsh handles litigation and arbitration matters, especially in the oil and gas and energy sectors. As part of a global group, the team is often involved in cross-border cases.

Ed Weeks leads an 'excellent team' at 'stand-out firm'  Cripps LLP. It handles disputes ranging from breaches of contract and IP rights to resolving shareholder and partnership matters. Recent work includes acting for a shareholder with a 49% stake in a dispute with the majority shareholder, which was ultimately settled by negotiation. In other work, it acted for a food distributor in a dispute with a large customer in The Netherlands, a matter in which the team negotiated a resolution that preserved the parties' relationship. Philip Youdan and managing associate Joanna Ford are other key members of the team. Pradeep Oliver joined in May 2017 from  Wixsted & Co Solicitors.

Following its merger with Rawlinson Butler in September 2017, the expanded DMH Stallard LLP team handles disputes in areas ranging from tax to insurance, and is especially adept in IP and franchise-related disputes. Simon Elcock heads the regional dispute resolution and debt recovery practice and counts major banks and corporates among his clients. The hugely experienced Stuart Evans and Clive Lee undertake a range of commercial litigation, while Jonathan Compton has substantial experience in IP disputes, frequently with an international element. The team acted for a US-based defendant in proceedings brought by a UK competitor, which concerned allegations of a breach of a licence agreement and infringement of IP rights, and continues to act for a well-known accountancy firm in various litigation including breach of contract and professional negligence. James Colvin and Kelly Mills are other key members of the team.

Irwin Mitchell combines 'a good understanding of risk and commercial awareness with sound legal advice' according to one client and team head Robert Kenyon 'inspires confidence.' Sarah Birkbeck, who has 'excellent client management skills, and good judgement as to which arguments are going to get most traction', covers disputes in the IP and technology space; Martin Cross  is 'a good operator with a cool head'; and newly made-up senior associate Clementine Burch is 'highly efficient and dependable'. The team acted for the majority shareholder in a dispute with the minority shareholders of an accountancy firm in a complex matter in the High Court. It also acted for a high-profile individual in a dispute with HMRC and an action against an accountancy firm.

Clients rate Thomson Snell & Passmore's team 'very highly for commercial litigation', adding that 'it competes with London firms'. A multi-disciplinary team handles heavyweight disputes for local, national and international clients in areas ranging from international contracts, trade and commodities matters to insurance, shareholder and financial services disputes. Nicholas Horton leads the group and the 'excellent' Kamal Aggarwal heads the team based in the Thames Gateway office. Douglas Skilton is 'a calm, methodical lawyer who has an excellent manner with clients and looks for effective ways to resolve their issues'. 'Confident and tenacious' senior associate James Cradick, Mark Steggles and Julie Gabay  are also noted practitioners.

Furley Page Solicitors is noted for its 'wealth of expertise in commercial litigation'. It handles an array of contractual disputes, partnership and shareholding, and IP disputes and is well-known for its experience in the construction, education and probate fields. 'Hands on and great lateral thinker' Peter Hawkes, assisted by 'the very bright and hard-working' Deborah Geering, acted for Gillingham Football Club Community Trust in a dispute with the owner of Gillingham Football Club concerning a service level agreement; the matter, which attracted media attention, ultimately settled. George Crofton-Martin, who is 'a pleasure to deal with, very hardworking and elegant in his practice', undertakes IP and professional negligence cases and is assisted by Nicola Wall.

Led by Catherine Fisher, the team at Morrisons Solicitors LLP assists high-net-worth and small- to medium-sized companies with shareholder disputes, substantial breach of warranty claims, tax and probate cases. In recent work, it assisted Seabrook Warehousing in a judicial review concerning duty-suspended goods. In other work, it is representing Euro Wines in a case that is awaiting a decision by the Court of Appeal; the dispute pertains to the fairness of Tribunal proceedings concerning the way in which a penalty was imposed by HMRC. Abitrator Matthew Hearsum is noted for his ADR skills and Kellie Williams-Jauvel and senior associate Sally Hutchings are other key team members.

Mundays LLP's team is highly regarded and is led by the 'excellent' Joseph Kean, who has over two decades of experience in litigation and arbitration, together with Oliver Jackson. The team's recent work includes handling complex litigation, often involving an overseas party, concerning real estate, defective products, and shareholder issues, as well as international arbitration. It counts Flex Connectors, Icegrade, NCMT, Octagon Developments and Politics Direct among its clients.

According to clients, TWM Solicitors LLP 'is a go-to firm in the region' that 'provides an excellent service at a good price'. Operating from offices across Surrey and able to draw on the team in London, it represents clients in varied disputes ranging from construction and real estate to Companies Act, shareholder and fraud disputes. Clients include Shilton Plc, Lucas Design & Construction, Bishop’s Move and AE Thorogood. Eileen Barry, who heads the group, is 'very level headed and trusted by clients' and 'tactically astute', and is well supported by managing associate Candy Stockton. David Hitchcock handles all types of commercial claims; he is 'rated extremely highly and never ceases to impress'.

Adams & Remers is singled out for 'having big city skills in a country setting'. The team handles disputes in such diverse industries as aviation, waste management, healthcare, fashion and finance and has particular expertise in real estate, construction and engineering. Andrew Pawlik heads the team, supported by Allan Murray and Albie Passmore; the trio are 'knowledgeable, commercially minded and effective'. It is acting for an investment manager in litigation, and is also involved in a cross-border dispute concerning the supply of aviation fuel.

The 'very strong' team at Barlow Robbins LLP has 'an exceptional can-do attitude'. Its acts for client including education providers, national retailers, food manufacturers and insurers, and has an increasing flow of IP work. The group is acting for a well-known food company in trade mark infringement and passing off actions and in other work is representing an investment company in a claim against a software company in connection with breaches of contract. Mediator David Foster leads a team of lawyers 'who are all very engaging, knowledgeable and have a good understanding of the cases they tackle'. This includes senior associate Chris Darvill, who is appreciated for 'his considered and skilful input on technical legal matters as well as tactics', and associate James Dyche, who is praised for his 'very sound  judgement'.

Kate Matthews at Boddy Matthews Limited is highlighted for her 'very good, positive attitude and commercial awareness'. Her workload encompasses franchise and other contractual disputes, misrepresentations and brand protection. Recent work includes acting for Pepe’s Franchising and a second Pepe's company in a High Court action against nine defendants for breach of contract and other claims. Other work includes acting for UK Marine Services in a dispute pertaining to breach of contract and other claims in relation to the cargo of an impounded vessel. Helen Boddy and consultant solicitor Nick Fieldhouse are other notable practitioners.

Brachers acts for a range of clients including SMEs and larger corporates and handles disputes in the financial, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors among others. Michael Oatham has considerable experience in complex commercial and insolvency actions, including shareholder and contractual disputes. His recent work includes acting for a party with regard to a dispute over a joint venture, and he is also representing separate clients in a dispute with a wealth management company. Allis Beasley is also noted for her specialism in all manner of real estate disputes.

Clarkson Wright & Jakes 'excellent service at reasonable rates'. Its client list is made up of individuals and small- to medium-sized owner-managed businesses and it has built up noted expertise in the construction sphere. The team is currently handling a high-stakes breach of contract and directors' duties case and a minority shareholder dispute. Practice head Amanda Mehlin, together with associate Lee Quickenden, provide 'all available options' according to one client. Jill Lawton brings some 15 years of experience to her work on contractual disputes in the construction, real estate and corporate areas.

Herrington Carmichael LLP's team 'excellent, professional and responsive'. It handles a broad range of breach of contract matters; professional negligence; protection of confidential information and conflicts arising from corporate relationships. Practice head Frankie Tierney is 'personable and experienced' and provides 'sound legal advice' and 'outstanding lawyer' Frances Kyle is also a key member of the team.

Whitehead Monckton handles a range of disputes including those in the construction, engineering and real estate spheres. Although it primarily acts for UK-based clients, many of its cases have an international dimension.  Adrian Robbins has a wealth of experience in litigation, arbitration and mediation and head of department Christopher Longden handles property, personal injury and professional negligence cases.


Commercial litigation: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial litigation: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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The team at the 'very reputable' Blake Morgan LLP handles complex and high-value commercial disputes for international and national corporations, with a broad range of specialisms including fraud and asset tracing, asset finance disputes and warranty claims. Practice head Chris Potts continues to defend Transworld Payment Solutions UK and its liquidator in proceedings filed in Curaçao by its former parent company First Curaçao International Bank (FCIB), assisting with securing evidence relating to fraud, corresponding with authorities in the UK, France and Holland, and co-ordinating litigation in two jurisdictions. Construction partner James Bessey has been advising Haribo on a series of disputes arising from the construction of a £92m factory facility, with mediation on the matters anticipated. Senior associate Nicola Diggle has been acting for a shareholder in a nationwide coffee bar chain in relation to an unfair prejudice claim being brought by another shareholder of the company. Clients include Investec Asset Finance, Miele and Grant Thornton. Also recommended are Stephanie Walls and senior associate Stephen Schneider].

The 'excellent, very responsive' team at¬†Boyes Turner¬†is ‚Äėgood value for money and timely in its responses‚Äô. ‚ÄėReassuring litigator‚Äô Jonathan Grigg¬†heads the practice and is noted for his ‚Äėexpertise and calm attitude‚Äô. The focus of Grigg‚Äôs expertise is acting for large corporates, particularly in the technology sector and in international disputes, and he is also highly regarded for pensions‚Äô disputes. Grigg is acting for Viavi Solutions in a dispute with trustees questioning the validity and enforceability of pension scheme documentation and is assisting the Showmen‚Äôs Guild of Great Britain with an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority into alleged anti-competitive practices. Senior associate and debt recovery practice head Ally Tow¬†notably defended Auto Trader against a claim brought by a former customer for damages for alleged wrongful termination of an advertising contract. ‚ÄėTenacious, pragmatic‚Äô senior associate Stephen Baker¬†is defending Zimmer Group and Zimmer Biomet against a number of product liability claims relating to metal-on-metal hip devices. ‚ÄėInsightful, realistic and unflappable‚Äô senior associate Rowan Turrall¬†heads the construction team. Kelly Services, Colt Group and Advantedge Commercial Finance are also clients.

Clarkslegal LLP¬†has ‚Äėone of the best litigation departments outside London‚Äô, with practice heads Antony Morris¬†and Stephen James¬†hailed as ‚Äėtop-class litigators for any multi-layered or complex case‚Äô. The practice specialises in a number of niche areas including public procurement, education disputes and intellectual property, as well as more broad commercial litigation. Recent prominent instructions have been received from the University of Reading, Crown Packaging and Autoglass. Morris is currently representing Smart Reamer Drilling Systems in a claim against National Oilwell Varco and two group companies for alleged infringement of the client‚Äôs UK patents in the field of oil-drilling technology. Chris Tayton¬†is ‚Äėparticularly strong at commercial litigation‚Äô, with particular expertise in IT, product liability and public procurement disputes. Tayton has been advising BMW in relation to an inquest into the death of an individual who died in an accident involving a BMW vehicle, as well as on related civil claims made by the deceased‚Äôs family and an injured passenger. Tayton has been assisted on this matter by associate Emma Butcher,¬†who has a growing reputation for handling national and international commercial disputes.

Penningtons Manches LLP¬†conducts large-scale complex litigation in a range of areas, including regulatory compliance, investigation and enforcement work, and acts on matters in the education and retail sectors; it also has a strong track record for representing the victims of interest rate mis-selling. Julie Bond, who¬†heads the Oxford commercial disputes team, specialises in commercial and corporate disputes, with an emphasis on regulatory work, professional negligence cases and fraud. Bond acted for the Pirbright Institute in respect of a factually complex negligence claim arising from a ‚Äúvishing‚ÄĚ raid, which involved claims under the Proceeds of Crime Act, and has also been advising Sum-It on a potential claim against HMRC for breach of statutory duty alongside senior associate Emma Davies. Regulatory law expert Ed Weightman¬†returned to the practice after a five-year stint with energy regulator Ofgem, where he was head of enforcement casework. Senior associate Rebecca Andrews-Walker¬†is recognised for her expertise in insolvency and recoveries matters and contentious bankruptcy proceedings.

The team at Pitmans LLP¬†is ‚Äėrated very highly for its responsiveness, value for money and knowledge‚Äô, with particular strengths in IT disputes, professional negligence claims, corporate and shareholder disputes, and substantial commercial disputes including logistics, distribution and international trade matters. Practice head Tim Clark¬†is advising an individual client on a shareholder dispute in the context of matrimonial proceedings relating to a company valued at around ¬£3m. Phil Smith¬†is ‚Äėfirst rate; he has a sharp, analytical mind, identifies and advises clearly on key issues, and is very user-friendly‚Äô. Clark and Smith have together been advising Dutch YouTube services company Zoom.In on the UK aspects of a dispute with MNN which involves content-hosting arrangements, services and a shareholders‚Äô agreement. William Richmond-Coggan, who¬†has higher rights of audience, has been acting for One Step (Support) in bringing a non-competition and non-solicitation clauses claim against two individuals, which was heard in the Supreme Court in late 2017. Other clients of note include Veritas Technologies, Symantec and Banner Homes. Deputy managing partner and insolvency expert Suzanne Brooker¬†is also noted, as is contentious construction and engineering expert David Gwillim.

The 'knowledgeable and efficient' team at¬†Field Seymour Parkes LLP¬†provides a ‚ÄėCity-quality service and expertise for far less money‚Äô. The practice advises a wide range of high-profile clients including Volvo, Prudential, Infosys and Reading Football Club. The firm‚Äôs recent caseload includes construction disputes, claims regarding facilities management agreements and share purchase agreements, and litigation surrounding fraud allegations. Tom Maple]¬†heads the litigation practice and is highly regarded for his work in the automotive and fast-moving consumer goods sectors as well as his niche expertise in the Groceries Supply Code of Practice.¬†Bill Dixon¬†is a key figure for commercial litigation and is ‚Äėa reliable, very experienced litigator, who is aware of the need for commercial solutions‚Äô.

The 'consistent, reliable' team at¬†Freeths LLP¬†‚Äėprovides high-quality advice, day in, day out‚Äô. The team‚Äôs experience encompasses multi-party shareholder, IT supplier and professional negligence cases and passing off claims, with industry specialisms including logistics, technology, manufacturing, construction and retail. Clients of the practice include BMW, GEFCO and Annie Sloan. Head of dispute resolution Duncan Crine]¬†‚Äėis very good at dealing with complex disputes and delivering practical, commercially focused advice, and is very client friendly‚Äô, while¬†Clare Bellis¬†‚Äėis also very client friendly and good at dealing with urgent and complex disputes‚Äô. Senior associate¬†Andrew Dashwood-Begg¬†has a ‚Äėkeen legal mind and an eye for detail‚Äô. Oxford office managing partner Sarah Foster¬†maintains a significant role in the team.

Gardner Leader LLP's practice¬†‚Äėpunches well above its weight, providing a very attractive client proposition: City-quality advice at provincial charging rates‚Äô. Chris Felton¬†‚Äėis as able as any City litigator; he has invaluable litigation instincts coupled with great knowledge and experience, especially in international litigation and arbitration‚Äô. Felton successfully had claims of around ¬£160,000, which were brought against two clients in their roles as partners in HLM Properties, struck out as an abuse of process. Michelle Di Gioia¬†acted for litigation funder Managed Legal Solutions in respect of a security for costs application valued at ¬£6.8m as part of the Seroxat group litigation, with an outcome which is set to have wide-ranging implications for litigation funders. Clients also include Swynson Limited. Senior associates Hilary Messer¬†and Violetta Falla¬†and associate Andrew Shipp¬†are also noted members of the team. Solicitor Katie Dyson¬†joined the team in January 2018 from Simmons & Simmons, adding her expertise in complex commercial disputes and financial litigation.

The Osborne Clarke team's core industry focuses include the digital, financial services, automotive, defence and life sciences sectors, with Hyundai, HTC Europe and Toni & Guy among its clients. Experienced commercial litigator Peter Sheppard heads the practice, supported by associates Dawn Troman and Kristian Assirati. Sheppard and Assirati are currently acting for telecoms company Wireless Logic on a variety of contractual matters, including an alleged breach of agency agreement and an issue with a network provider. Alongside commercial senior associate Joanne Loveridge, the pair have also been acting for Daler-Rowney in various ongoing disputes, including matters relating to IT systems, product liability and alleged product quality issues, and Data Protection Act liabilities.

Shoosmiths LLP's national commercial practice group is headed by Stuart Little, who excels in the automotive, corporate and IT sectors, while senior associate Fleur Turrington heads the Reading office commercial litigation practice; she also leads the compliance retail and public procurement sector groups and is adept in leisure industry matters. Representative industry sector clients include Hamleys and Ikea for retail and leisure and Bang & Olufsen and EValue for technology. Paul Eccles] leads the growing commercial insurance practice, acting for the likes of HDI-Gerling, United Living and MD Insurance. Associate John Shea is highly regarded in the sports sector, specialising in contentious, regulatory and disciplinary issues for teams, agencies and athletes.

White & Black Limited's team¬†is ‚Äėvery responsive and easy to work with; they give good commercial and strategic advice on case handling‚Äô, with ‚Äėan excellent level of service and good value for money‚Äô. Practice head¬†Victoria Wright¬†and¬†Nicholas Mitchell¬†‚Äėare both very responsive and always happy to answer questions or give preliminary guidance‚Äô. The firm leads in technology disputes, with an emphasis on IP matters, including passing off, patent and copyright work. In arguably the firm‚Äôs most high-profile case of recent times, Wright and Mitchell acted for Bednest following the death of a seven-week-old baby in a Bednest crib, achieving a settlement between the parties, assisting the company in its extensive modification programme to ensure that the unmodified cribs were no longer in use, and helping to co-ordinate a global investigation. Wright and Mitchell also represented Dr Lars Allers, the former managing director of Mantis Deposition Ltd (Mantis), in a dispute with a majority shareholder in Mantis linked to the consideration payable for the mandatory buy-out of Dr Allers‚Äô shareholding.

David Murray¬†heads the commercial litigation and insolvency sub-practice at Blandy & Blandy LLP, with joint managing partner Philip D'Arcy¬†heading the dispute resolution practice as a whole.¬†Highlights included Murray advising a client in respect of its exposure to the administration of a major tobacco, food and alcohol wholesaler and defending another client against a range of claims, including that it had defamed its departing president. Clients of the ‚Äėresponsive and strong team‚Äô include ePayroll Services, Englefield Estate Trust Corporation and BDO.¬† Debbie Brett¬†and senior associate Jessica Irwin¬†are other names to note.

The team at BrookStreet des Roches advises clients on a broad range of complex litigation matters, with recent highlights including breach of contract claims, professional negligence claims, insolvency litigation and commercial litigation for real estate clients. Philip Shaw heads the team, with 30 years’ experience as a commercial litigator under his belt. Shaw and associate Gemma Tolmie are continuing to act for Smeg in a cross-jurisdictional contractual dispute with its former Irish distributor NAA and are representing The Beaming Smile Company in a professional negligence claim against the client’s former solicitors, together with senior associate Simeon Fenn. Senior consultant Peter Moody] specialises in the hospitality and leisure sector and advises clients in the technology, offshore, finance and transport sectors.

The 'strong, knowledgeable' team at Spratt Endicott¬†provides an ‚Äėexceptional level of service‚Äô with ‚Äėfast, proactive responses and clear and timely advice‚Äô. Clients of the team include professional service providers, security service operators and automotive companies. ‚ÄėVery personable and approachable‚Äô practice head David Whiting¬†‚Äėis a robust and practical commercial litigator‚Äô, who is recommended for his ‚Äėbusiness acumen and understanding, coupled with his legal experience‚Äô. The team was recently strengthened by the hire of banking and finance litigation head Anis Waiz,¬†who is noted for his experience of acting for lenders on large complex mortgage frauds. Director Shamser Pangu]¬†is another name to note, as are associates Kyle Wyness¬†and Petra van Dijk, who lead the property litigation and insolvency teams respectively.

Aston Bond's team¬†‚Äėapproaches cases with a keen eye for detail and respect for its clients‚Äô particular nuances‚Äô. Legal director Jagdeep Sandher¬†is the head of litigation and is ‚Äėan intelligent, client-oriented litigator‚Äô. Sandher undertakes work for a wide variety of clients, including property developers and owner-managed businesses, with a range of contentious experience including claims for breach of contract, misrepresentation claims and shareholder and director disputes. Firm CEO Stephen Puri¬†has considerable experience of commercial disputes, with special expertise in commercial and civil litigation, professional negligence claims, directors‚Äô duties, and shareholder and partnership disputes.

Brethertons LLP 's predominant areas for contentious expertise are residential property and commercial contract litigation, with other key areas including partnership disputes, IP disputes, defamation and professional negligence. Sioban Calcott, recently promoted to senior associate, continues to manage intricate cases involving exclusive developments. Calcott defended Ridgeland Properties against a claim by Vannin Capital PCC pursuant to the terms of a litigation funding agreement and acted on behalf of Deritend Investments in a claim for recovery of service charge arrears. Firm CEO and director of legal services Shaun Jardine is also recommended.

The ‚Äėvery responsive, efficient, proactive and knowledgeable‚Äô practice at¬†Emmerson Law¬†is run by ‚Äėexcellent‚Äô sole practitioner Simon Emmerson.¬†Emmerson acts for listed companies, SMEs and owner-managed businesses across a range of sectors including energy, electronics manufacturing, software development and motorsport. Representative clients of his include Williams Grand Prix Engineering. He has extensive trial experience in the High Court and the Technology and Construction Court.

Steven Maier¬†is the ‚Äėgo-to person for all contentious matters‚Äô at Maier Blackburn LLP.¬†Maier deals with disputes across the range of business sectors as well as maintaining his specific expertise in the media and entertainment and IP fields. Maier assisted the Tolkien Estate with the successful settlement of long-running litigation in California against Warner Bros and others concerning the extent of the grant of merchandising rights in¬†The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Maier also carried out significant projects for Agatha Christie Limited and Matthews & Wilson. Recent client gains include James Ostrer and Watership Down Enterprises.


Debt recovery

Index of tables

  1. Debt recovery
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Debt recovery clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Blake Morgan LL is outstanding for debt recovery and related litigation. Although it acts for clients in a wide range of industries, it is particularly well known for handling high-value work in the automotive sector and undertakes a considerable volume of litigation for insurance companies. The highly regarded Sadak Miah has considerable expertise in the area and 'a high degree of integrity while dealing with potentially very difficult situations'. Elizabeth Bowden is another key team member and has 'good technical capabilities' and 'will go the extra mile' for clients. Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, British Credit Trust and Toyota Financial Services are some of its key clients.

Brachers, according to clients, is 'a trusted partner' for debt recovery and debt administration and fields a team that is'well established and that also provides value for money'.Its clients include SMEs and large corporations across a range of industries, especially finance, transport and logistics, and utilities. Michael Oathamheads the litigation and integrated debt recovery practice, Robert Thompson leads the collections and recoveries group and director of operations Graham Wallishandles insolvency portfolios.

Shoosmiths LLP's team is particularly valued for 'operating a very partner-driven approach'. It handles the spectrum of recovery work with specialists in areas such as asset-based lending, secured and unsecured consumer lending, mortgage-related recoveries and administration matters. It can also draw on its expertise in related areas such as financial regulation. The team's client list ranges from major banks and other lenders to debt purchasers and corporates and it also has a niche assisting fintech and start-up lenders. Clients include ABN Amro Lease, Cabot Credit Management, Hanson UK and Moneybarn. 'Exceptional' group head Karen Savage  stands out for 'her commercial acumen combined with a thorough knowledge of the legal matters'. Other core team members include Suzanne Taylor , Paula Swain  and Jade Souch.

The team at Spratt Endicott stands out for its 'excellent' advice. The group is led by Richard Gwynne, who has 'an excellent manner with clients', with other senior members including Martin Hughes and operations manager Steve McDonnell. Associate Peter Gardner is valued by clients for 'providing honest advice'  and for being 'quick to gasp the issues and provide quality advice' and, along with Robert Deane, is noted for 'going the extra mile to ensure a successful recovery'. The team handles the gamut of debt recovery and credit management work, including international recoveries. It also provides a range of in-house training to clients, which are drawn from sectors including banking, telecoms, automotive and electronics.

Brethertons LLP's team is 'excellent in all areas'. The group has expertise in all forms of property-related debt and associated litigation including property management service charge and ground rent arrears. More broadly, it also acts for large manufacturing and healthcare clients. Alison McCormack and Debbie Phillips are the senior members of the team together with Roger Hardwick, who has 'outstanding legal awareness and knowledge' and is 'approachable and brilliant in court'. Shaun Jardine  and senior associate Siobhan Calcott are also key members of the team.

DMH Stallard LLP's team stands out for its 'excellent communication skills, impartial and pragmatic advice and great response times'. The group handles a mix of commercial debt recovery work, credit control matters, and land and property-related recovery work. It also handles the enforcement of judgments both national and overseas. The team is assisting BDO with a range of debt recovery matters, and also acts for banks, property companies and various other commercial organisations. Simon Elcock heads the regional dispute resolution practice, which incorporates the debt and leasehold recovery practices; other team members include Nigel Marchant and Kelly Mills.

Judge & Priestley LLP's team is, according to clients, particularly good at 'identifying legal issues and ensuring clients are fully informed' and has 'developed excellent online case management systems'. It advises on debt recovery, litigation and credit control services for a range of local authorities, has a niche offering in the residential and homecare sectors and handles subrogated recovery for insurance companies. Rachel Addai and Mark Oakley , who jointly head the practice, lead 'a very skilled and helpful' team; Oakley stands out for 'his excellent skills and knowledge when it comes to complex leasehold cases' and for the training sessions he provides.  Mark Younger and  Uday Patel  are noted, as is Robert Davis, 'who delivers what the client wants'.

Blaser Mills acts for an impressive range of consumer supplier clients, particularly those from the construction sector, as well as trade finance and credit companies, combining debt recovery with expertise in litigation and insolvency matters. Jackie Ray  heads a department that also includes Gary Braathen. The group is acting for SIG Trading in pursuit of a claim in respect of construction materials under a winding up petition and a second claim against a director under a personal guarantee. Other clients include First Collect International, Bunzl UK and THX.

Led by Ally Tow, Boyes Turner's team handles a range of contested recovery cases across sectors such as IT, recruitment, accounting and property management, as well as acting for public sector clients. Tow also handles contractual disputes and heads the firm's contentious probate team. In highlight work, the team acted for several divisions of H Young (Operations) in a variety of debt matters and acted successfully for a raft of other clients in pursuing unpaid invoices and disputed debts.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's debt recovery offering is part of the firm's wider litigation group and is led by litigation partner Jamie Cartwright. It undertakes contested or complex debt matters rather than bulk work for clients in the automotive industry, as well as for financial and property organisations, often with an international dimension. It handles a variety of debt and litigation matters for British Car Auctions, and is acting for ITV on debt issues arising out of licensing transactions.

Cripps LLP's team handles the recovery of commercial debts, monies obtained by fraud, unpaid fines and disputed fees. It also handles bulk debt recovery in the property sector. Clients range from high-net-worth individuals to corporations and government agencies, and it acts for clients from the manufacturing, construction and leisure industries, and has a focus on assisting professional service firms. Fiona Chamberlain specialises in real estate-related debt and dispute resolution expert Ed Weeks, who frequently works with managing associate Jo Ford, assists clients with an array of commercial debt issues. The team's work includes advising Kings Hill Residential Estate Management Company on estate charges arrears and other matters, and it also acts for The Treasury Solicitor in respect of fees imposed by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

Moore Blatch LLP is valued for its 'excellent response times, technical expertise and commercial approach tailored to the size of the debt'. Mark Osgood heads a team where 'the knowledge throughout is very good with no weak links'. Peter Worrall, who provides 'clear and succinct advice', is supported by Lisa Saxby and Rebecca Chaplin, while litigators Sarah Watley and Robert Evans are other key names. In addition to handling matters such as trade and real estate-related debt, the team also advises creditors and debtors on insolvency matters. Its clients are drawn from the banking and finance, automotive, professional services and utility sectors.

Pinney Talfourd LLP acts for businesses and individuals alike and acts for clients from construction, property, finance and accountancy fields. The team is also instructed by insolvency practitioners. Stephen Eccles heads the dispute resolution department, which incorporates the debt recovery practice. Stephen Green, senior associate Bushra Elzubeir and associate Damian Pitts, who specialises in property litigation are other key members of the team. Amit Bansal joined the team in February 2017 from Giles Wilson LLP.

Pitmans LLP is 'excellent technically and commercially, has depth in the team and offers good value for money'. The group provides a comprehensive range of services across debt recovery, insolvency and corporate turnarounds. Its impressive client base spans global organisations, sole traders, public and government entities, professional service firms and banks. Debt recovery practice head Donna Goddard is 'an excellent leader' and Suzanne Brooker,  who heads the insolvency and restructuring group, is able to draw on some 20 years of experience in debt recovery, providing clients with 'great support and advice'. Other noted lawyers include 'excellent adviser'  William Richmond-Coggan, who is a key name for more general dispute resolution cases.

stevensdrake attracts praise for being a 'proactive partner' with its clients and for providing 'great service from all team members'. It manages debt portfolios for clients such as American Express Services Europe, Mercedez-Benz Financial Services UK, Glenside Finance and Credit Corp Services. Practice head Harry Tumber 'provides exceptional service even when he’s on holiday' according to one client and Stuart Gumm 'is exceptional, with an incredible depth of knowledge'. The team is augmented by insolvency partner Gavin Pickering.

The team at Thackray Williams LLP  has 'a good depth and breadth of knowledge' and handles commercial and personal debt collection, especially in the area of property. +Graeme Weir provides 'thorough, objective advice along with competitive and transparent charges'. He acts for the largest manufacturer of bread products in the UK, including in various court actions and injunctions. Weir is supported by property specialists Andrew Raby, Vikki Herbert and the 'commercially astute' Paula Irvine.

Dentons is able to draw on its complementary expertise in multiple practice areas and fields a team that includes lawyers 'who are always readily available and who have a good level of cross-industry experience'. It has expertise in unsecured recovery claims, as well as in volume-secured recovery and mortgage repossessions where rehabilitation of accounts is not possible. Jackie Hanlon, who leads the volume recoveries team, has 'an expert level of knowledge in residential property litigation and approaches everything with the upmost professionalism'. Katherine Hardman focuses on mortgage repossessions, as well as broader debt recovery. Clients include Central Trust, OneSavings Bank, Swift Group and various building societies.

Lovetts Ltd is a specialist firm that undertakes national and international debt collection and broader recovery litigation. Managing director Michael Higgins, chairman Charles Wilson and director Paul McCulloch are the key names in an experienced team.

Machins Solicitors LLP has long-established expertise in debt recovery, especially with regard to motor finance and property recoveries. Its work includes the recovery of property service charges and ground rent arrears for property management companies and it also manages debt portfolios for both smaller and large companies including plcs, international clients and universities. The group is also well-known for its work in debtor tracing, enforcing judgments and recovering monies under the Consumer Credit Act. The well-regarded Neil O'Callaghan heads the practice.

Trethowans LLP's team, which provides an 'excellent' service, is headed by Louise Boyle  and Chris Whiteley, and also Kelvin Farmaner. The group's expertise takes in a diverse range of contractual disputes including recoveries for the NHS, bulk car parking fines, rent arrears and compensation for delayed flights. Clients include various hospital trusts, Amey, the 4com Group and Embark Corporate Services.


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