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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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United Kingdom > South East > Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Hampshire > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Hampshire
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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The team at Bond Dickinson LLP is praised by clients as ‘second-to-none’. The practice is well-versed in high court litigation as well as alternative dispute resolution methods including mediation and international arbitration. The firm is representing Post Office in a dispute with hundreds of postmasters who claim the client’s IT system, Horizon, has wrongfully recovered debts from them based on incorrect information. It is also acting for Endeavour Energy in a £9.5m dispute with another oil and gas field operator involving the authorisation for a semi-submersible rig to execute decommissioning work without the permission of the client. The team also specialises in representing clients in data protection mandates, IT disputes and cybersecurity matters. Other clients include British Gas, New Look, Sunseeker and AIG. Head of department Tom Beezer has a particular focus on the energy sector; he is ably assisted by Gavin Matthews who ‘has a great ability to grasp business and commercial concepts’, Ian Newcombe, who ‘is very experienced and sensible’; and newly promoted partner Andrew Parsons, who is ‘a very good lawyer who really knows his stuff and takes no prisoners’.

Blake Morgan LLP attracts praise for its ‘good commercial sense and ability to advise clients well’. The firm acts for clients in the retail, manufacturing and food sectors in high-value contractual disputes, damages claims and professional negligence matters. In 2016 the team successfully defended NHS England in an alleged breach of statutory duties claim brought by QSRC for not providing an interim contract to the claimant for gamma knife treatment to NHS patients. Other clients include Kerry Foods, the Sixth Form Colleges Association and the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Jill Bainbridge (‘an excellent lawyer; she has a good commercial sense as well as being excellent at client care’) took over as head of department from Susie Dryden, who is ‘effective, very personable and good with clients’. They are well-versed in handling Supreme Court and Court of Appeal litigation and commercial IP disputes, respectively. The team also includes insurance coverage expert Richard Portlock, as well as senior associate and professional negligence specialist Karl Cameron.

Irwin Mitchell is a ‘go-to firm for pragmatic and skilled commercial advice and representation in high-value commercial disputes’, according to clients. With vast experience of litigation as well as acting for clients in arbitration, the firm’s sector expertise focuses on the sport, technology, telecoms and insurance industries, among others. It continued to represent an international bank in a $10m claim against an energy company in liquidation, involving multi-jurisdictional litigation proceedings in Oman and the Cayman Islands. Other highlights included high-value breach of contract claims, group-action negligence claims and trade finance agreement disputes. The practice also leverages the firm’s strong corporate and commercial, pensions and tax teams where necessary. Also on the client roster are Nuffield Health, Greenwich Leisure and Topcon, as well as high-net-worth individuals. Hannah Clipston ‘is an experienced and skilled litigator with good tactical sense’; she is well-versed in regulatory matters. Andrew Jacksonis brilliant at providing direction and making sure that everything is going efficiently’; he frequently handles shareholder and director disputes.

Paris Smith LLP is praised for providing ‘a quality service at a reasonable cost’. Spread across its offices in Southampton and Winchester, the team regularly represents clients in damages claims and data protection matters, among other disputes. The team successfully represented Randstad CPE in a breach of contract claim that disputes the pertinence of contractual principles in a standard commercial agreement. Other highlights included acting for a majority shareholder of a company in a dispute concerning the enforcement of a European Order for Payment, including advising on ongoing litigation proceedings in Genoa. The practice is able to leverage expertise in the firm’s insolvency, property, employment and tax teams to handle a wide range of matters such as high court injunctions, tax breaches and commercial contract disputes. Other clients include Smith and Williamson, Interbay Funding and Purple Parking. Insolvency and real estate litigation expert David Eminton heads the team, which includes business ownership disputes specialist Clive Thomson, restructuring and insolvency expert Mike Pavitt, and social media specialist Cliff Morris, who was promoted to partner in January 2017.Clients also single out solicitor Shelley White, who ‘provides pragmatic, sound advice and gets good results’. Sarah Wheadon left the firm in February 2016 to join Trethowans LLP.

Clarke Willmott LLP’s team regularly acts for clients in fraud cases, damages claims and breach of contract matters. It represented Salhan Accountants in a claims concerning a £480,000 contingent fee resulting from a HMRC VAT tax investigation, where the client is accused of undue influence on the defendant. The team also acted for the former trustees of a charity in a counterclaim against the registered charity concerning issues arising from their time as trustees. Sony Europe, Hawkeye Innovations and Bandai are also on the client roster. Practice head Owen Williams specialises in IT disputes and contentious shareholder matters. Senior associate Greg Hughesis experienced, knowledgeable and very commercial’; he is an expert on social media matters and recruitment sector disputes.

Coffin Mew LLP represents clients in the food, logistics and financial sectors in breach of contract disputes, damages claims and debt matters. The team regularly acts for HungryHouse; in 2016 the firm represented the client in multiple insurance contract disputes and service provision cases. It also acted for E-Crunch in several disputes, including landlord and tenant matters and copyright infringement cases. The practice works closely with the employment, corporate and commercial teams to handle multi-disciplinary issues such as restrictive covenant breaches and IP litigation. KP Snacks, The British Society of Echocardiography and Imperial Car Supermarkets are also clients. Ian Dawes leads the practice and is adept at handling cross-border disputes as well as IP matters. Solicitors Linden Talbot, Emma Stevens and Danielle Cranstone are also recommended.

Pitmans LLPadopts an innovative approach to resolving disputes’; ‘it has the skills and experience of a City firm’, according to clients. Damages claims, insurance matters and professional negligence cases are all mainstays of the practice, which acted for SAGA in a damages claim after a sinkhole was opened up in the claimant’s driveway following water escaping. It also represented the same client in a policy term and fraud dispute against a policyholder where the latter made an insurance claim for a fire that never occurred. Other clients include Cranbourne Holdings, Mears Group, Freightliner and Red Funnel Group. Practice leader Rick Munro attracts praise for his ‘pragmatic approach to resolving disputes’; he is assisted by product liability and insurance disputes expert Alan Davies and senior associate Claire Collings who ‘is meticulous in her approach to trial preparation’.

Shoosmiths LLP is well-versed in commercial litigation matters, with notable expertise in data protection, damages claims and shareholder disputes. The team continues to act for Bang & Olufsen in multiple contractual disputes including a £1.8m claim concerning its flagship store, and is representing a creditor in the Lehman Brothers administration in a cross-border insolvency claim. Other recent highlights include acting for the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) in a pension dispute regarding the overseeing of the ITB Pensions Funds, an occupational pension scheme. Volkswagen Group UK, Opus Energy, the National House Building Council and Honda are also on the client roster. Jonathan Grigg left to head the dispute resolution practice at Boyes Turner; automotive and technology sector expert Jonathan Smart took on the role of department head in July 2016. Solicitor Farhana Khanom is also recommended.

Trethowans LLP acts for clients on the full spectrum of commercial disputes including professional negligence claims, insolvency litigation and breach of contract matters. It is currently representing GreatStar Europe in a £1m dispute with Edge Tools & Equipment concerning an alleged breach of contract to supply JCB parts and is also acting for Applied Finance in a £500,000 property ownership dispute with Cobvale, successfully arguing the client’s case at a June 2016 trial. The client list also features 4Com, UM Storage, Westbury Hotel and the Ministry of Defence. Richard Cook heads the practice and is noted for his expertise in professional negligence and IP disputes. He is assisted by banking and insolvency expert Jon Kelly and property specialist Ian Singleton. Sarah Wheadon joined the team in February 2016 from Paris Smith LLP, bringing expertise in data protection litigation and regulatory matters.

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