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Commercial litigation: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx in South East

B P Collins LLP

B P Collins LLP advises a range of clients across sectors such as environment, waste management, technology, and pharma on matters related to commercial contracts, professional negligence, IP and defamation. Practice head Matthew Brandis specialises in contractual disputes and professional negligence claims. Craig Williams helps manage the team and focuses on corporate divorce, involving shareholder and director disputes. Solicitor-advocate Simon Carroll frequently advises on cases involving an international element, such as jurisdictional challenges.

Key clients

Summerleaze Group – incorporating Andigestion

BIC UK Limited

Biffa Waste Services Limited

P B Donoghue Group

Kawasaki Motors UK

AMF Bowling Holdings Limited / The Original Bowling Company

TMD Technologies Limited

Toshiba Medical Systems Limited

UK Parking Control Limited

Szczecin and Swinoujscie Seaports Authority

Work highlights

  • Advised the state-owned Polish Seaports Authority in an international defamation action and jurisdiction challenge.
  • Acted for an accountant in a High Court shareholder dispute; a complex case because there are five defendants and by the time it reached trial, all but one was unrepresented

Dentons

The Dentons team advises regional and international clients, including bluechip companies and financial institutions, on disputes covering banking, commercial fraud and corruption to product liability and franchising. Practice co-head James Fairbairn handles a wide range of matters, including professional negligence and construction disputes. Practice co-head Tim Constable is known for his work on freezing injunctions and search and seizure orders, as well as international product liability. While the team was previously divided across Milton Keynes and Watford, the Watford base was closed during 2020 after a successful shift to remote working during the coronavirus lockdown. Lawyers and staff previously based there will now work remotely, with the option to use the Milton Keynes office when necessary.

Practice head(s):

James Fairbairn; Tim Constable

Key clients

Kenneth Davies

John Bridle and J & S Bridle Associates Limited

National House-Building Council

Cox Powertrain Limited

Mayor and Burgesses of the London Borough of Haringay

MedImpact International LLC

Pathfinder Mozambique

Microvast Power Systems

Publishing Plc

Work highlights

  • Advised MedImpact on its successful multi-jurisdiction arbitration, involving four Dentons offices around the world.
  • Regularly advised new-build insurer NHBC on a wide range of its disputes in both England and Scotland.
  • Acted for Cox Powertrain in its successful resolution of a big-figure distribution dispute taking place in both UK and USA.

IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett)

IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett) represents high-profile clients, including the UK subsidiaries of multinational corporations on disputes relating to commercial contracts, product liability and supply chains. During 2019 the firm opened a new office in Reading. Practice head Paul Kite has expertise in automotive, manufacturing and distribution, where he is particularly strong in the areas of commercial contracts, restrictive covenants, and fraud. John Clement acts on claims involving contracts and civil fraud. Commercial litigator Sarah Jackson is skilled in business litigation, company and partnership disputes, commercial contracts, civil fraud, and insurance disputes.

Practice head(s):

Paul Kite

Other key lawyers:

John Clement; Sarah Jackson

Key clients

Renault UK

National House Building Council (NHBC)

Manpower UK

Woods Food Service Ltd

Future Electronics

Jato Dynamics

Clancy Docwra Plc

Quantuma LLP

Danfoss

Haulfryn Group

Pathfinder Homes

Renault Retail UK Group

SA Law LLP

SA Law LLP advises on the full range of commercial disputes, with specialist expertise in retail, education, and football clubs. The practice has experience advising on issues such as professional negligence, health and safety, clinical negligence, IP, and competition disputes that frequently involve coordination with overseas firms. Practice co-leader Robert Ryall acts for a number of high-profile sporting individuals and clubs. Practice co-leader Tracy Lacey-Smith has particular expertise in retail, including professional negligence claims and regulatory organisations.

Other key lawyers:

Simon Walsh; Clare Mackay

Key clients

Eltek AS, Eltek ASA, and Eltek Power UK Ltd

The Watford Association Football Club

Oaklands College

Middlesex University

Sutton Housing Partnership

M & Co Ltd (Mackays Stores)

Ocado Retail

Aurora Lighting

The Buxton Group

Sutton Housing Partnership

Work highlights

  • Obtained a without notice freezing order to preserve Aurora’s assets within 24 hours of being instructed after Aurora discovered that it had been the victim of a fraud perpetrated by one of its employees. The team secured a full recovery of all misappropriated monies, together with a full costs recovery.

Sherrards Solicitors LLP

Sherrards Solicitors LLP advises on an impressive range of disputes, covering major fraud, recruitment conflicts, and franchising, retail and bank litigation. The team also handles white-collar criminal matters, defending clients in relation to money laundering, regulatory enforcement, and criminal asset recovery. Additionally, it frequently represents international clients, handling CIS-related matters, the enforcement of foreign judgments and other cross-border issues, particularly in relation to China, the US, and French-speaking countries. Practice head Paul Marmor works on cross-border and multijurisdictional litigation, while Barney Laurence is another key team member. Marta Grieve, who heads up the firm’s Russia, Ukraine and CIS desk, was promoted to the partnership in October 2019. Associate Greg Pooler joined the team from Grosvenor Law in November 2019.

Practice head(s):

Paul Marmor

Testimonials

We received excellent foreign law advice from Marta Grieve in a complex and sensitive case.’

Key clients

HBL Bank UK Ltd (formerly Habibsons Bank)

Aurora Leasing Ltd

Cambria Automobiles Ltd

Gresham House plc

Winkworth Estates & Lettings

Villa Plus

McGinley Healthcare Ltd

Pico’s Limited t/as Benito’s Hat

Menkind UK Ltd

Countrywide Estate Agents

Work highlights

  • Acted to seek redress for a major European construction company which had been victim of a major bank fraud.
  • Acting for two ultra-high net worth Europeans working with a leading bank to recover significant assets in relation to a major fraud.
  • Acting for a leading IT recruitment company on a claim relating to fees and protection of restrictive covenants.

Debenhams Ottaway

Debenhams Ottaway advises clients on contentious insolvency matters, procedural applications, misfeasance claims, and breach of trust claims. The practice has extended its services to include professional negligence matters and has seen an increase in work in the technology and construction sectors. Juliet Schalker leads the professional negligence area of the practice and has particular expertise in banking litigation, private equity, and contentious insolvency. Commercial litigator Rosie Patterson specialises in IP disputes. Recently promoted senior associate Alex Neale is experienced in M&A and insurance disputes. Senior associate Mairead McErlean joined from Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors LLP in August 2019 and associate Elliot Nathan joined from Dentons in November 2019; former practice head Luke Harrison left to co-found a new firm in London.

Practice head(s):

Juliet Schalker

Key clients

Kane Haulage Ltd

Squad Security UK Limited

Fairgate Developments Ltd

Mercer & Hole

Grant Thornton LLP

Griffins Insolvency Practitioners

BDO LLP

Pizza Express

Menzies LLP

Pret A Manger

Scheidt & Bachmann

Work highlights

  • Acted for a partner and insolvency practitioner of Grant Thornton LLP in an office holder claim against a cosmetics distributor in a claim for £1.22m arising out of transactions at an undervalue.
  • Represented Kane Haulage Ltd in a construction adjudication against a major international infrastructure group. The Adjudicator awarded £945,092.52 plus VAT in Kane’s favour.
  • Acting for the French multinational originator company Laboratoires Théa in a patent licence dispute against Optosolve Research & Development Ltd, represented by two City based firms

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP is known for its experience litigating on behalf of clients in the drinks and leisure industries, as well as in transport logistics. Practice head Simon Hobbs , who is based in Milton Keynes, is national deputy head of dispute resolution at the firm and specialises in litigation in regard to professional negligence and IP matters. Andrew Dashwood-Begg is known to be 'very professional and efficient'.

Practice head(s):

Simon Hobbs

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Dashwood-Begg

Testimonials

Incredibly knowledgeable, commercially aware, intelligent, always clear when giving advice, and fully understanding of the client’s objectives and requirements.

Pragmatic and good value.

Simon Hobbs is highly commercial and pragmatic.

Key clients

London Luton Airport Ltd

TNT / Fedex

Hologic Group

Sealed Air Ltd

Triad Plc

Inchcape plc

Photo-Me International plc

Dawsongroup plc

ID Medical Ltd

Diversey Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Triad and its directors on breach of contract, harassment and defamation claims against its former CEO.
  • Provided secondee to act as legal counsel to review and negotiate a wide range of commercial contracts and lead GDPR compliance project.

Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors LLP

Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors LLP handles a broad spread of contentious matters, covering property litigation, construction disputes, and IT-related issues. Members of the team have experience of professional negligence cases involving banks, accountants and solicitors. Department head Kenneth Stangoe has a strong track record which includes a focus on property disputes, including forfeiture actions and applications for relief, boundary disputes, rent, and service charge recovery. Mairead McErlean departed the practice for Debenhams Ottaway in March 2019.

Practice head(s):

Kenneth Stangoe

Tees Law

From its Bishop's Stortford base, Tees Law provides commercial litigation advice to many local businesses and substantial farming clients with a particular emphasis on agricultural work, property law and defamation. The practice successfully merged with Wortley Byers in January 2019. Practice head Darren Perks specialises in property disputes, often involving professional negligence and construction matters. Justin Robinson is adept at handling sensitive commercial matters, while Caroline Metcalf has expertise in agricultural disputes relating to partnerships. In November 2019, solicitor Harry Panayiotou joined from Nicholas & Co to specialise in property disputes.

Practice head(s):

Darren Perks

Testimonials

I have always found Tees to be highly efficient, very commercially minded, and capable of providing practical solutions to their clients’ problems.’

Darren Perks and Caroline Metcalf are stand-out partners.’

We enjoy the fact that Tees can handle all of our legal needs under one roof.’

An approachable firm, particularly well suited to private client work.’

The Tees Law team that we work with are always open, honest, and clear in terms of the advice provided. They are always happy to take the time to explain complicated matters, in a very informative manner, breaking it down into “normal everyday speak”. We are very happy with the service that they provide overall.

Key clients

Greene King

Fuller Smith & Turner

Turners of Soham

Bishop’s Stortford College

Strutt and Parker Farms

Price Bailey

Stansted Airport Limited

NHS Property Services Limited

Newhall Projects Limited

Spicer Haart

Blaser Mills Law

Blaser Mills Law is known for its litigation capabilities in areas such as IP, reputation management, and data protection, with specialist industry knowledge in areas such as home care, and construction, alongside recent expansion into robotics and building. Team head Alka Kharbanda handles mediation and alternative dispute resolution regarding contractual disputes, civil fraud, and contentious probate. Partner Jackie Ray focuses on contract and IT disputes while Sangita Manek has expertise in contractual disputes and contentious probate. Associate solicitor Nina Bhatti joined from PDC Law; senior associate Emma B Dean joined from Royds Withy King.

Practice head(s):

Alka Kharbanda

Key clients

Bunzl UK Ltd

First Collect International Ltd

Correco Ltd

C F Services

Stannah Lift Services Ltd

GRS Roadstone Ltd

Fraikin Ltd

THX Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Bresco electorial Services Ltd (in liquidation). The insolvency practitioners pursued an adjudication in the name of an insolvent company against a defendant for failure to pay monies due under the terms of a construction contract. The adjudication was successful and the defendant sought to bring an injunction preventing the enforcement of the adjudicators’ award.

EMW Law LLP

Operating out of Milton Keynes, EMW Law LLP advises clients in the banking, sport, retail, renewable energy, construction, and education energy sectors on disputes relating to IP, landlord and tenant issues, corporate negligence, insolvency, and contentious probate. Key contacts Karen Young and Charles Clay focus on areas such as contentious probate, commercial litigation, and dispute resolution, amongst others. Former practice head Damon Watt moved to Tollers LLP in December 2019.

Longmores Solicitors LLP

Longmores Solicitors LLP represents clients in industry sectors such as recruitment and property management; practice co-head John Wiblin has specialist experience in representing clients in the recruitment industry, while practice co-head John Wagstaffe has a focus on property litigation. The bulk of Lauren Mackenzie's instructions are in relation to contentious probate, while junior member Isabel Williams deals with commercial disputes and contentious probate. In 2019, Nat Young joined the practice from SA Law LLP.

Practice head(s):

John Wiblin; John Wagstaffe

Key clients

Andusia Recovered Fuels Limited

Independent Clinical Services Group of companies including Accident & Emergency Agency Limited, Pulse Staffing Limited, Maxxima Limited, Pulse Healthcare Limited, General Medicine Group, Frontline Staffing Limited, Thornbury Nursing Services Limited, Health Personnel Solutions Limited, and others

Integraspec ICF Limited

Kartsim Ltd

ES Manufacturing Ltd

Selwyn Court Residents Ltd

Giovanni Falletta in re Romans Ltd

Harrington (Properties) Limited and Harrington Builders plc

Work highlights

  • Acted for Ronald Terence Stocker in a landmark defamation case brought in relation to Facebook comments made by the Claimant’s ex-wife. The matter was successful in the first instance and in the Court of Appeal. The issue of meaning was appealed to the Supreme Court where the Defendant was successful.
  • Acted for Kartsim Ltd in an urgent, without notice application for a doorstep delivery-up order and various injunctions against a former employee who had set up a competing business and was using the claimant’s software unlawfully.
  • Act for Amber Estate Management facing a claim by a former client, Enfield Island Phase II (Blocks P,Q&R) Limited for management fees that were retained by Amber from funds held by it when the management contract was terminated, valued at £52,000.

Machins Solicitors LLP

The Machins Solicitors LLP team in Luton has recently expanded into new areas of practice, including GDPR and IP related advice. Practice head Neil O’Callaghan has experience in dealing with contentious insolvency work, including pursuing and defending directors for breach of duties, bankruptcy proceedings, and liquidations. Janice Young is a property litigation specialist while Holly Baker works on commercial and property disputes.

Practice head(s):

Neil O’Callaghan

Other key lawyers:

Janice Young; Holly Baker

Testimonials

‘Neil O’Callaghan is an excellent lawyer and negotiator. A very good strategist and able to get great deals for his clients. On top of the detail, always well prepared, easy to work with and clients seem to love him. Also good at working with opponents despite getting the best deal possible for his own client.’

‘Janice Young provides remarkably good value to clients with her pragmatic commercial know-how. A pleasure to work with.’

‘Holly Baker has a detailed knowledge of the law and her attention to detail is excellent. I would definitely recommend her and use her again if needed.’

‘I have been using the dispute resolution/commercial litigation team at Machins for the past two years, and they have always given me excellent care and service. They provide an exceptional level of client care, which includes responding to my queries in a timely manner and breaking down complex matters. ‘

‘Janice Young is always on top of every detail of a case – she exudes cleverness.’

‘Holly Baker is a strong performer. She is extremely thorough, and she anticipates what is needed, and has done it before it is asked. I really valued her calm efficiency. She gets the line between authoritative and accessible exactly right.’

‘Neil O’Callaghan – clients like and respect him; he is very personable. There are not many solicitors that I would actually look forward spending a day sitting in a mediation room with, but he is one of them.’

‘They are very professional, quick to respond to questions and concerns, they explain the process clearly. All the staff I have worked with at Machins have been of the highest quality.’

Shoosmiths LLP

From its Milton Keynes base, Shoosmiths LLP advises corporate and commercial clients on range of disputes, including defamation and reputation management issues. It also continues to advise TMT clients on various matters, as well as handling cross-jurisdictional recoveries. Practice head Stuart Montgomery specialises in receiverships, insolvency, and the recovery of secured and commercial debt, as well as partnership and shareholder disputes. Gabs Rodriguez-Cleary was promoted to solicitor in September 2019 and advises on contractual disputes, defamation, and harassment matters.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Montgomery

Key clients

Managed 247 Limited

H.B Fuller

Connexas Holdings Limited

Alix Partners LLP

Chinguitel S.A

Work highlights

  • Acted for an African telecommunications operator in its claim for $31m against a Chinese telecoms equipment manufacturer, in turn counterclaiming for $6m all arising from the Chinese supplier unilaterally terminating its contract in order to avoid falling foul of any US sanctions.
  • Represented a client in a long-running litigation that was ultimately resolved through mediation.
  • Provided advice for Managed 24/7 Ltd who were looking to assess their options regarding a desired termination with a commercial partner.

Taylor Walton LLP

With three offices in Luton, St Albans and Harpenden, Taylor Walton LLP provides litigation services for both companies and private individuals in the South East and London, with experience spanning contentious probate and property disputes. Practice head James Carpenter specialises in litigation and mediation in relation to professional negligence claims, IP, defamation, civil fraud and contract disputes. Recently promoted partner Saljuq Haider is experienced in contract disputes, construction disputes, and financial disputes.

Practice head(s):

James Carpenter

Neves

Neves has recently expanded its litigation offering into areas such as shareholder disputes, IP, and defamation. Practice leader Peter Kelly has experience in contentious issues relating to debt recovery, breach of contract claims, and estate and probate-related claims. Head of employment and commercial disputes Fiona Hewitt, who joined in October 2019 from Parrott & Coales LLP, specialises primarily in commercial dispute resolution, with experience involving topics such as shareholder and partnership disputes, reputation management and IP.

Practice head(s):

Peter Kelly; Fiona Hewitt

Key clients

Ashridge Investments Ltd

Energy Generator Hire Ltd

Nockolds Solicitors

Nockolds Solicitors advises clients on litigation matters including insolvency, breach of contract, restrictive covenants, professional negligence, and product liability cases. Practice head Daniel Winter focuses on complex commercial contract disputes and professional negligence. Principal associate Alexander Haddad deals with warranty and misrepresentation claims. Lucy Slatter has experience in shareholder and director disputes, professional negligence claims, and IP claims. In June 2019, solicitor Rebecca Antill joined from Collins Benson Goldhill.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Winter

Testimonials

I have always found Nockolds’ work to be of a very high standard. This is generally the firm that I recommend to clients when asked to recommend a firm, especially for commercial matters. When being instructed by this firm, I can always rely on things having been done to a high standard.’

I have most often dealt with Daniel Winter. He is clearly knowledgeable, conscientious, efficient, professional, and good of judgment.’

This dispute resolution team boasts a wealth of experience across the board. I am a chancery barrister and have worked with Daniel Winter. I found him to be very professional, highly competent, and a litigator to be reckoned with.’

At all stages during the process, the information has been given to me clearly rather than cloaked in lawyerly language. Any questions I have had were quickly answered and the necessary advice provided.’