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Commercial litigation: Hampshire in South East

Blake Morgan LLP

Blake Morgan LLP's commercial litigation team has significant experience in the health sector, regularly acting for NHS England in a variety of procurement disputes, as well as representing a range of other healthcare providers. Practice head Jill Bainbridge, who clients praise for her 'top-notch knowledge and experience', specialises in trademark prosecution and brand management, while Susie Dryden  is a technology disputes expert. Ben Evans acts in several brand management cases and has 'great experience as both a solicitor and trademark attorney'.

Practice head(s):

Jill Bainbridge

Other key lawyers:

Susie Dryden; Ben Evans; Dan Geddes


A law firm that I regularly recommend in a wide variety of work areas. Knowledgeable and experienced team. Very client-friendly and efficient.’

Jill Bainbridge is an excellent lawyer with top-notch knowledge and experience. Brilliant at dealing with clients, and with barristers. Always helpful and available.

Ben Evans has  great experience as both a solicitor and trade mark attorney. Very easy to work with.

The team has long-standing involvement in NHS work and have developed deep understanding of the issues involved.

All highly committed to clients and thoughtful about broader and strategic issues.

I want to highlight Susie Dryden. She brings drive and common sense, as well as an innate understanding of what her clients really want to get out of litigation.

Key clients

Solicitors Regulation Authority

NHS England

Circle Health

CSC Computer Sciences



Sutton and East Surrey Water

Kerry Foods



Work highlights

  • Advising Circle Health in a procurement dispute with Nottingham Rushcliffe CCG relating to procurement of elective outpatient and day care services.
  • Advising Wiggle Limited on a wide range of both national and international brand protection and enforcement issues.
  • Advising Utilita on its challenge to various decisions of Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.


Shoosmiths' Southampton litigation team continues to develop its specialisms in the automotive, IT and technology sectors on both the supplier and customer side. Jonathan Smart, who leads the practice, is an expert in high value IT project disputes arising from outsourcing and framework agreements, while Paula Swain is a specialist consumer finance litigator. The Solent-based team also have a growing niche practice in high value international civil fraud and conspiracy cases.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Smart

Other key lawyers:

Paula Swain; Shelley White


It is a large enough team to cope with big cases, but small enough to be able to give the personal touch.

Shelley White consistently provides excellent service, high quality advice and good value for money.

Luke Coleborn is a very capable solicitor who looks to explore the case from every angle.

Jonathan Smart and the team are very responsive and generally communicate in a way that facilitates a good working relationship.

Key clients

Volkswagen Group



British American Tobacco


Dixons Carphone Warehouse


Peugeot Citroen




Thomas Cook


Estee Lauder

Guide Dogs





The White Company



Jordans Ryvita

Work highlights

  • Defending a £40 million bribery, fraud and corruption claim in the High Court arising from bribery of a foreign government official.
  • Securing an injunction and judgment following a cyber-attack on US betting websites in a multi-jurisdictional dispute in the Commercial Court
  • Successfully defending German computer games developer Koch Media from a multimillion-pound claim in a week-long trial in the High Court.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Acting primarily in retail and energy disputes,  Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's commercial litigation team has been defending the Post Office against a group action challenging the integrity of an IT accounting system. Data protection expert Andrew Parsons leads on this, while Gavin Matthews fronts the firm's retail focus group. Ian Newcombe specialises in the energy sector alongside practice head Tom Beezer. The launch of WBD Advance, which pulls together the firm's technology and business services, offers emerging clients a cost effective solution to support high volume projects with project management, advance insight, flexible resourcing and legal process.

Practice head(s):

Tom Beezer


The team has a good understanding of its clients’ commercial motivations and takes a very sensible and practical approach.

Andy Parsons is very clued up on issues with IT.’

Ian Newcombe is an excellent strategist, and inspires confidence.

Key clients


British Gas

Post Office

New Look



DS Smith






Work highlights

  • Defending Post Office against a Group Action by over 500 claimants centering on an allegedly defective IT accounting system claim.
  • Acting for Old Mutual International Isle of Man to recover payment of a £1 million loan.

Clarke Willmott LLP

With particular strengths in the retail sector, the team at Clarke Willmott LLP specialises in complex contractual matters, shareholder and partnership disputes, restrictive covenants and professional negligence cases. Practice head Greg Hughes works primarily in the IT sector and was praised by clients for possessing a 'good grasp of the overall commercial environment'. Owen Williams was instructed in a major fraud case and has acted in a number of complicated shareholder disputes.

Practice head(s):

Greg Hughes

Other key lawyers:

Owen Williams


Owen Williams is utterly brilliant, super bright, exceptionally attentive and at the same time very kind, humorous and a true gentleman.

Good integration between teams (e.g. DR and insolvency, property etc). Have achieved for us the same outcomes as expensive City firms but at a fraction of the cost.

Greg Hughes is an excellent lawyer, with a good grasp of the overall commercial environment in which we operate.

Key clients

Sony Europe BV

Onecom Group

Bandai UK

The Student Room Group

Wyke Farms

ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants)

Hawk-Eye Innovations


Salhan Accountants

UK Land

Work highlights

  • Defending a claim of misrepresentation and breach of contract brought against a Californian entity specialising in logistics to China, following a joint venture with five individuals to develop the UK to China logistics market.
  • Defending a claim of bribery and fraud made against a former senior executive of a tobacco company, seeking damages of £7 million.
  • Acting for the potential claimant in a complex cross-border family trust dispute, valued in the region of £10 million to £20 million.

Paris Smith LLP

Paris Smith LLP's commercial litigation practice has seen an upward trajectory of instructions related to shareholder and partnership disputes. The team has continued to grow, with the addition of Peter Ralls QC bolstering the earlier hire of warranty claims and complex contractual disputes specialist Helen Brown  from Slater Heelis in 2019. Christopher Holliss  continues to act heavily in the recruitment sector, a niche specialism for the firm.

Other key lawyers:

Helen Brown; Peter Ralls QC


‘Helen Brown is exceptional in all categories.

‘Friendly and approachable staff with a wealth of experience and excellent technical knowledge.

Helen Brown is cerebral, tactical and has an excellent client manner.

Key clients

Greenhalgh’s Craft Bakery

Euro Car Parts


Randstad CPE

Metro Bank


U International

Quba Solutions

Hampshire Trust Bank

Corrotherm International

Work highlights

  • Defended a claim for breach of restrictive covenants/ confidentiality provisions.
  • Acted for an international steel manufacturer in a contract dispute concerning supply of premium grade steel to a purchaser with a European parent company who sought to assert a counterclaim.
  • Acting for a former senior director against a global media and ‘content & services company’ in a dispute concerning the right to exercise accelerated share options prior to the sale of the media company.

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans’ commercial litigation team primarily focuses on insurance disputes, as well as professional negligence and commercial property cases on both the landlord and tenant side. Practice head Rick Munro  is a qualified mediator and is an expert in insolvency and shareholder disputes. Elsewhere in the practice, Alan Davies  specialises in the defence of claims concerning product liability.The practice also has a dedicated costs assessment team providing outsourced legal costs services to other solicitor practices and to insurers.

Practice head(s):

Rick Munro

Other key lawyers:

Alan Davies; Sylvia Yendall


Lots of experience and very committed to their clients.

Very practical, pragmatic and commercial.

This practice has specific insight into commercial solution-finding. It avoids unnecessary legalese, in order to produce workable, practical and commercially responsive answers.

Sylvia Yendall is highly effective on a wide breadth of private client-specific matters with a particular flair for her versatility in formulating and communicating clear strategies to multiple client groups.

Key clients


Covéa Insurance

Red Funnel Group

HCR Limited

Mildren Construction

Mears Group

Daniells Harrison

Premier Marinas Limited

Generali S.P.A.

Work highlights

  • Advising on a claim against the claimant’s neighbour relating to extensive damage caused to the property by a fire involving a carelessly discarded cigarette.
  • Advising on a claim against a gas board for an explosion which occurred at one property causing damage to a number of properties in the street.
  • Acted for the insurers of an Italian hotel where an English claimant sustained a fall in a guest bathroom.

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell's disputes team frequently acts on cases with a multi-jurisdictional element. Hannah Clipston handles commercial litigation cases involving breach of high value/complex contracts and associated tortious claims within the consumer, sport and media sectors. Stephanie Reeves is active within the financial services and consumer sectors and is recommended. The team is able to leverage resources across its national offices, primarily in Gatwick, to draw on the complementary expertise of IP, IT and banking lawyers, providing a multi-disciplinary approach to clients when necessary. Partners Martin Cross, Robert Kenyon and Andrew Jackson left the practice in 2019. 

Practice head(s):

Hannah Clipston

Other key lawyers:

Stephanie Reeves; Rob Coleridge


Hard working and committed.

Stephanie Reeves is intelligent and perceptive.

Moore Barlow

While it is too early to assess the full impact of the merger between Barlow Robbins LLP and Moore Blatch LLP on the combined Moore Barlow commercial litigation offering in Hampshire, the practice has a strong reputation across a range of work. The Southampton based team specialises in real estate litigation, restructuring/insolvency disputes, banking litigation, professional negligence and commercial dispute resolution.  Led by Sarah Watley, the team is instructed by a range of SMEs, owner-managed businesses and entrepreneurial clients. Mark Osgood is an expert in partnership and shareholder disputes, while Claire Haverfield has significant experience in contractual claims.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Watley

Other key lawyers:

Mark Osgood; Claire Haverfield


Particularly good at handling group litigation and also dealing with funding solutions.

Mark Osgood  is an excellent litigator, very commercial and creative with funding solutions.

Sarah Watley is very bright, very robust, leads her troops well and understands clients’ businesses.

They deliver an excellent service for clients. Cases are extremely well-managed, strategy is thought through from the start, and clients are provided with sound intelligent advice throughout. I have no hesitation in recommending the firm and have in fact recommended them to a client.

Claire Haverfield is an outstanding litigator. She is astute, stands her ground and fights hard for her clients’ interests. A very intelligent lawyer and great tactician. She achieves good results and takes great care to ensure the client remains well advised and appraised throughout. I have full confidence in her on every level and have highly recommended her to a client.

Key clients

Creation Flooring

Work highlights

  • Acting for a majority shareholder of a company based on the South Coast in responding to an Unfair Prejudice petition.
  • Acting for a claimant based on the South Coast in bringing proceedings relating to the ownership of source code.
  • Acting for a 50% shareholder of a company based in the West Midlands bringing an unfair prejudice petition against the other 50% shareholder.

Trethowans LLP

Trethowans LLP's commercial litigation is led from Southampton by Karl Cameron; the team handles a range of matters covering contracts, partnership and shareholder disputes, insolvency and banking. Cameron also specialises in property and construction disputes, while fellow partner Richard Cook has expertise in professional negligence and IP. The team was boosted in mid-2019 by the arrival of former Steele Raymond LLP disputes head Robert Bajaj from Ellis Jones Solicitors LLP, where he was head of insolvency.

Practice head(s):

Karl Cameron

Other key lawyers:

Richard Cook; Robert Bajaj

Key clients


Industrial Cleaning & Equipment Limited

Great Star (Europe) Limited

Eagle International Limited

Ministry of Defence

VES Andover Limited

4Com Plc

Bacardi Limited

Baker Perkins Limited

Elliot Brothers Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Eagle International in a £500,000 dispute with the Italian vehicle/truck manufacturer Iveco over a supply of a fleet of ambulances to a customer in Bangladesh.
  • Advising BWA Logistics Limited on setting aside a judgment obtained by Home Counties Storage Systems Limited and acting for BWA in continuing to defend the claim.
  • Advised Applied Finance Limited on a dispute over ownership of property and the validity of charges over it.