Commercial litigation: Kent, Surrey and Sussex in South East

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's Guildford commercial dispute resolution team is led by Stephen Burns and Jamie Cartwright. The team has particular expertise in corporate disputes and commercial produce and supply disputes, with an increasing focus on professional negligence claims. It is also increasingly advising healthcare clients on warranty and indemnity claims. Katie Bewick often handles work in the food and beverage, retail, financial services and healthcare sectors. Charlotte Healy has extensive knowledge regarding prosecutions and investigations brought by regulators and Tom Plowman focuses on the sports and automotive sectors.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Burns; Jamie Cartwright

Other key lawyers:

Katie Bewick; Charlotte Healy; Tom Plowman


‘A very strong regional team with excellent knowledge of the requirements of its clients.’

‘This is an excellent team which punches above its weight. ’

‘Excellent understanding of our business and requirements for legal advice, well researched and practical advice and reasonable and transparent fees.’

‘Stephen Burns is responsive, sensible and pragmatic. He has a good sense of what a court is likely to respond to.’

‘Jamie Cartwright is a go-to litigator for our business; an excellent lawyer who is also practical and client-friendly. He gets to grips with the issues and offers timely advice and solutions.’

‘Charlotte Healy is diligent and on top of the detail.’

Key clients

Fiat Chrysler Automotive Limited


M & A Pharmachem

eToro Group Limited

Air Products

Bowers & Wilkins

Acushnet Europe Limited

Teletrac Navman

Swiss Post

Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing

Work highlights

  • Advised a number of entities and individuals on issues arising out of disputes between directors, shareholders and partners, including issues of unfair prejudice, breach of duty and disputes that have arisen out of prior corporate transactions.
  • Advising manufacturers and retailers on compliance and regulatory issues, risk management and dispute avoidance.
  • Acted for a financial services company and a number of individuals in an acrimonious and high value professional negligence claim against their former solicitors, resulting in a multi-party action involving insurers, forensic accountants and lawyers.

Cripps Pemberton Greenish

The commercial litigation team at Cripps Pemberton Greenish frequently handles complex work involving shareholder and partnership disputes, insolvency, professional negligence and contract frustrations, with clients based nationally and increasingly internationally. The team is co-led by Ed Weeks and Russell Simpson; the 'very commercial' Weeks has particular expertise of work involving senior individuals in business, especially shareholder disputes, while Simpson heads the firm’s specialist disputes team, with expertise in trust and estate disputes and professional negligence. Joanna Ford works with clients in the IT and technology sectors, whilst Tom Bourne leads on the team’s food and drink related disputes.

Practice head(s):

Ed Weeks; Russell Simpson

Other key lawyers:

Joanna Ford; Tom Bourne; Hannah Proctor


‘A very good out of London team. Responsive, commercial and good to deal with.’

‘From a client’s point of view, the organisation works as a team – where particular expertise is required, then the appropriate person is put in touch, whilst it is clear that the overall picture of one’s individual case is maintained.’

‘My experience has been that Cripps is very good at identifying the issues in a case, only spending time on what needs to be done and not being tempted to do what is not necessary. There is an overall sense of them being commercial and competent in a way that other firms do not achieve.’

‘The Cripps team is diligent, attentive and client-friendly. We are very satisfied with Cripps.’

‘The individuals in the Cripps team that we work with, particularly Hannah Proctor, are always very responsive, and they provide clear advice and assistance in guiding us through the various procedural aspects of the English court system. They are calm, reasonable and rational.’

‘The organisation as a whole has been an invaluable source of support – Tom Bourne in particular making himself available at all times through a crisis situation. His knowledgeable, calm and empathetic manner, and his grasp of complex situations gives a feeling of total confidence.’

‘Ed Weeks is excellent – very commercial, great to work with and with very good instincts. Hannah Proctor is an efficient and capable associate.’

‘Ed Weeks has excellent judgement, knowing when to litigate and when not.’

Key clients

Eurotunnel / The Channel Tunnel Group

University of Kent

Holiday Extras

The Wates Group

Bank of St Helena

Cadogan Estates Ltd

Fridays Ltd

Spink & Son Ltd

Paydens (Nursing Homes) Ltd

Panini Spa

Work highlights

  • Advising an international manufacturer and distributor of toys and games in relation to breach of warranty issues following acquisition of UK entity.
  • Acting for majority shareholders with regard to protecting their interests in a family owned construction business, following presentation of a petition by the minority shareholder.
  • Acting for a non-executive director of a company in administration being pursued for millions of pounds in relation to alleged breaches of fiduciary duty.

Stevens & Bolton LLP

The 'fantastically strategic' Sarah Murray heads the dispute resolution team at Guildford's Stevens & Bolton LLP. The team handles a wide range of work from clients based across the UK and internationally, with expertise in international arbitration, working with clients in the energy, food and beverage, IT, retail, franchising, insurance and pharmaceutical sectors. Michael Frisby's practice has a notable international focus; he has worked with law firms from jurisdictions as far afield as the US, Germany, Malta, Botswana, South Africa and Dubai. Catherine Penny was promoted to the partnership in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Murray

Other key lawyers:

Michael Frisby; Catherine Penny; Richard King; Andrew Quick; Michael Stocks


‘The team brings a strong ability to handle litigation alongside complex regulatory issues.’

‘Very responsive, user-friendly and cost-effective team. They prove that you can send City quality work to firms outside the City.’

‘They are incredibly commercial in nature, and have taken the time to really understand the commercial drivers for us which has allowed them to shape their advice to our real needs. ’

‘The quality and reliability of the services is high. This is coupled with open and transparent fee arrangements.’

‘Their willingness to go the extra mile has been phenomenal. ’

‘They are capable of forming well-balanced team and addressing complex scenarios swiftly and efficiently where multi-jurisdiction claims arise.’

‘Sarah Murray is a rare litigator who is a pleasure to work with and is still fantastic strategically and gives absolutely nothing away.’

‘Sarah Murray’s client care is impeccable. She is the reason we use the firm. She really understands what we need and prefer in the advice and services provided.’

Key clients

Allianz Insurance plc

Philips Electronics UK Limited

Papa John’s (GB) Limited

Global Display Solutions SpA

Helios Oryx Limited

Drivex Business Solutions SL

Pycom Limited

Justice for SubPostmasters Alliance

Work highlights

  • Acting for Allianz in a Commercial Court dispute with a former corporate partner, JD Williams, in respect of redress for the sale of PPI and Product Protection insurance.
  • Acting for GDS in a claim for damages for fraudulent misrepresentation, deceit, breach of contract and intimidation in the Commercial Court against NCR Corporation arising out of forecasts for product requirements under a long-term supply agreement in connection with digital display screens manufactured by the client and supplied to NCR.
  • Acting for Helios Oryx in proceedings issued in the Commercial Court for sums due under a facility agreement with Trustco Holdings Limited.

DMH Stallard LLP

DMH Stallard LLP's dispute resolution team conducts litigation for a range of clients from sectors including education, finance, professional services and charity. The firm has a strong regional presence with offices in Gatwick, Brighton and Guildford, working in tandem with an active debt recovery practice. The team is headed by Simon Elcock, who is recognised for his expertise in dealing with complex financial claims and director, shareholder and partnership disputes. James Colvin also frequently acts for clients in the finance sector. Oliver Jackson joined the team from Anthony Gold Solicitors LLP in 2021.

Practice head(s):

Simon Elcock

Other key lawyers:

James Colvin; Oliver Jackson; Tim Ashdown


‘DMH provide a truly excellent service and punch above their weight in litigation against the major london firms. They provide an excellent service at all levels. The solicitors and associates have real hands on experience of running litigation, and the partners are seriously impressive in terms of legal skills and commercial savvy. Real team players.’

‘Their combination of great technical knowledge, user-friendly lawyers and really strong commercial awareness is excellent. We’ve also found their data-driven approach to billing and demonstrating value to be incredibly useful. Many bigger firms produce glossy brochures and talk a good game about how innovative they are, but DMH Stallard tend to focus on the things that genuinely help you on a day-to-day basis. ’

‘A combination of pragmatism, collaboration and a deep understanding of what in-house lawyers and businesses actually need from their lawyers.

‘The DMH Stallard disputes team excels at providing pragmatic, commercial advice in a user-friendly manner. They effective operate as extended members of our in-house litigation team. ’

‘This is a really client-focused team. They work hard to understand our business and meet our needs. They price their services very reasonably and they are flexible in considering billing models. We always know we can rely on them to do what they say they will do. It’s a really positive client-lawyer dynamic.’

‘Simon Elcock is very calm under pressure, confident and authoritative in his advice. Clients respect him and his initial judgment on a case is rarely wrong.’

‘Tim Ashdown is seriously impressive. A fantastic litigator with a real breadth of legal knowledge, he has great client skills and a real feel for the commercial realities. Unflappable. Always willing to go the extra mile. I frequently recommend him to clients and they are never disappointed.

‘James Colvin is extremely efficient, thorough and diligent. He is a steady influence on fast moving cases. Excellent judgment and provides concise commercial advice to his clients.’

Key clients


CAE (UK) Plc

Change, Grow, Live

Heidelberg Graphic Equipment Limited

Lancing College

National Westminster Bank plc

RSM Restructuring & Advisory LLP

Suzuki Motor Corporation

T C Facilities Management Limited

WPM Education Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for National Westminster Bank plc in contentious work as a member of its legal panel.
  • Advising RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP in a high value and complex matter regarding a number of misfeasance claims against a company’s former directors the value of which runs to several million pounds.
  • Acting for WPM Education Limited in a successful claim against a leading University under the Public Procurement Regulations which included an urgent application for an injunction to suspend the procurement process pending determination of the claim.

Thomson Snell & Passmore

Thomson Snell & Passmore frequently handles disputes involving domestic and international contracts, trade and commodities, insurance, IP, gaming and corporate matters. The team works in tandem with the wider firm's corporate and commercial, property and employment teams. The department based in Thames Gateway is led by Kamal Aggarwal, who has extensive experience in disputes involving contracts, trade, shareholders, partnerships and gaming. Douglas Skilton is recognised for his litigation in the High Court and his ADR and litigation avoidance strategies. James Cradick handles commercial litigation and arbitration nationally and internationally.

Practice head(s):

Kamal Aggarwal

Other key lawyers:

Douglas Skilton; James Cradick; Rico Dexiades


‘TSP is a respected national firm, with remarkable strength in depth. Its reputation and performance seems only to grow year-on-year. ’

‘Very well established and smooth running service – high quality and attention to details more usually associated with bigger firms ’

‘The firm has provided me with the highest level of legal support, with their staff having some of the best legal minds in the country.’

‘A most important factor in my experience has been the personal touch that I have received alongside the specialist expertise and technical legal knowledge. Douglas Skilton provided me with sound structured advice that gives me confidence in my seeking of justice.’

‘Douglas Skilton, with his knowledge and expertise, combined with his warm and generous personality, provides a service and support that I have never experienced with any other legal firm.’

‘Douglas Skilton is an extremely capable senior partner but his human touch and personal service to clients really makes him stand out . Very caring and really goes the extra mile to make matters proceed smoothly and optimistically for clients.’

‘James Cradick is someone I’d recommend to clients, and provides the complete package of client service, commercial/business sense and strong legal/procedural and tactical awareness.’

‘Rico Dexiades is a definite rising star. As a litigator he has developed unerring instincts for the critical details of complex situations, and has a very strong sense of the commercial realities of litigation for his clients. He is measured and unflappable and clients undoubtedly appreciate his diligent approach. ’

Key clients

North Kent College

Armour Security Systems Limited

Ward Security Limited

Chatham Maritime Trust

Motorline Holdings Limited

MidKent College

The Incorporated Rochester Diocesan Board of Education


Inca Invest S.A.C

Essdocs Ventures Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted for the successful claimant brokers, a commodities trader, who sought the balance of the purchase price due for 11 containers of pomegranates sold to the defendant.
  • Acting for a company in the construction sector in connection with a claim it is pursuing for deceit and negligent misstatement.
  • Acting for Ward Security Limited in relation to its contractual arrangements, and the enforcement and protection of its intellectual property rights.

TWM Solicitors LLP

The Guildford-based dispute resolution department at TWM Solicitors LLP  is led by David Hitchcock. Whilst the team has strong expertise in shareholder and business disputes in particular, acting for regional, national and international businesses, it also handles work such as contract disputes, fraud and asset tracing, finance disputes, insolvency litigation, and professional negligence. The firm also has a debt recovery team which acts in tandem with the dispute resolution practice. Eileen Barry is skilled in ADR, including mediation and arbitration, while also handling litigation relating to shareholder and partnership disputes. Simon Brew joined the team in 2019 from Fladgate LLP .

Practice head(s):

David Hitchcock

Other key lawyers:

Eileen Barry; Simon Brew; Candy Stockton


‘TWM Solicitors is a head and shoulders above my former solicitors, making more progress in the first four months of their appointment than my previous solicitors managed to achieve in fourteen months. ’

‘They are experts in commercial and business dispute resolution with great experience and knowledge. They are extremely good in coordinating and evaluating cases and proactive in planning and advising on alternative solutions for counter actions.’

‘Highly cost effective and efficient team with real commercial acumen.’

‘TWM is a growing South East law firm, with an excellent litigation team. Impressive, hard working, practical and commercial in their approach. They have a very strong team across a variety of practice areas, and are a pleasure to work with. ’

‘David Hitchcock combines a detailed forensic approach with a real sense of his clients’ business and needs.’

‘Simon Brew quickly got to grips with my case, absorbing the large amount of information I sent to him during the early stages, before offering clear and constructive advice on the best way forward. In a nutshell, Simon got on with the job with no noticeable or unreasonable delays arising from the pandemic. ’

‘Candy Stockton is extremely able, practical and no-nonsense litigator. Fights for her clients.’

Key clients

Asertis Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Asertis Limited, which acquired the claims from the Administrator of FundingSecure Limited, in pursuing proceedings against a former director and various other borrowers in relation to the unauthorised use of investor and company funds.

Boddy Matthews Limited

The dispute resolution team at Boddy Matthews Limited is led by firm founder Kate Matthews, who has extensive experience of all forms of commercial litigation, including mediation, arbitration, expert determination and adjudication. Her clients are often start-up domestic and international clients, with a particular focus on franchising.  She also handles disputes regarding contracts, shareholder and partnership disagreements, trading dispute claims and aviation logistics claims.

Practice head(s):

Kate Matthews


‘Boddy Matthews are very personable in their approach. They have always been very professional, providing all costs up front and sticking to these. I feel I have always had very sound and sensible advice from them and whilst providing options on legal issues they allow me to weigh up the best way forward. Where necessary they have bought in specialist advisors around contract law. Overall I feel they have been an asset to my company. ’

‘A small but highly personalized service. Clear distinction between specialties and areas of expertise. Approachable and highly conscientious of keeping the project on track from a timing and billing perspective.’

‘Excellent support. Very happy to collaborate with. Investigated a very new area of the law above and beyond the call of duty. ’

‘Dedication to claim. Very professional and approachable.’

‘Kate Matthews tells you the facts straight and as they come, which I like as it allows me to have a clear understanding of my options.’

‘Kate Matthews is always professional and clearly displayed a deep understanding of dealing with HMRC working methods and procedures, making the process of my case efficient and to the point.’

Key clients

Pepe’s Piri Piri Limited

Leeway Services Limited

Electromechanical Ordtech IKE

Young Futures CIC

Aston Dove Limited

Construction Marketing Events Limited

Reginald Potter and Josephine Youngs as Executors

Raymond Andrew Foster

SHL Services Limited

Internet Advertising Bureau UK

Work highlights

  • Advised Leeway Services Limited on breaches of contract by Amazon on its online selling platform during the 2020 pandemic.
  • Advised Young Futures CIC, a charity providing assistance, support and accommodation to young women coming out of care or prison on a negligence action in the drafting and completion by its property lawyers of the lease for its new build accommodation.

Furley Page Solicitors

Furley Page Solicitors’ dispute resolution team is led by the construction, pharmaceutical and IT & telecoms disputes expert George Crofton-Martin. The Canterbury team typically handles disputes involving commercial contracts, construction, and partnership and shareholder disagreements for clients ranging from owner-managed businesses to multi-national companies. Peter Hawkes has extensive experience in litigation within the High Court and County Court, and Deborah Geering is skilled in partnership and shareholder disputes.

Practice head(s):

George Crofton-Martin

Other key lawyers:

Peter Hawkes; Deborah Geering; Natasha Biggs


‘The quality of Furley Page’s work, their level of expertise and attention to detail is on a par with what you would expect from a high-end City firm; but they manage to marry that with approachability, dynamism and close involvement in the local business community. All this means they have a deep understanding of their clients’ needs and how best to serve them. I cannot rate them highly enough. Outstanding.’

‘The team stands out from the rest of the firms in East Kent. The team is sharper and more responsive than anyone would expect and provides a service comparable to more well-known firms with central London addresses.’

‘The team as a whole is responsive, talented and eager to interface with counsel and the client to ensure efficient and nimble communication. There is an ease with which the lines of communication are kept open and an emphasis on teamwork whilst mindful to avoid duplication of costs.’

‘George Crofton-Martin is a tenacious litigator who is always striving to ensure that his client’s interests are protected. At the same time, he has brilliant judgement on when to accept compromises. The quality of his correspondence is high, and he very effectively marshals a team of witnesses in complex litigation to ensure that deadlines are met. He is effective at thinking outside the box and achieving strategic solutions.’

‘George Crofton-Martin is ridiculously intelligent and can translate legal jargon into plain English real word examples like no one else I’ve met. I would seek him out first time, every time.’

‘Deborah Geering has gone above and beyond for us on our matter. Her advice has been spot-on, and attention to detail second to none. She responds to emails punctually and nothing is too much hassle. Legally speaking Deborah has a razor-sharp mind. She also has an acute and impressive commercial awareness, making a point of understanding the true nature of her client’s business, what really makes it tick and what it’

‘Peter Hawkes is a formidable litigator with a wealth of experience. He is proactive and a great tactician. 

‘Natasha Biggs is hardworking and great with clients.’

Key clients

Trustees of Detling of School

RNB Electrical & Security Limited

Datum Groundworks Limited

The Shakespeare Globe Theatre

Mr Shahar Somer

The Whitstable Oyster Fishery Co

Liberty Homes (Kent) Limited

The Duke of York’s Royal Military School

The Brett Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for The Whitstable Oyster Fishery Co in two public law inquiries, one of which is the longest running public inquiry of its subject matter in England and Wales.
  • Represented the Royal Shakespeare Globe Trust in a misrepresentation claim on a commercial contract for goods and services supplied at the Shakespeare Globe Theatre.
  • Acting for Liberty Homes Limited in a claim in excess of £2.5m.

Irwin Mitchell

Hannah Clipston leads Irwin Mitchell’s commercial litigation team based in Gatwick, which has a focus on the manufacturing, financial services, technology, media and sports sectors, particularly regarding complex trust or company structures. The team is also increasingly handling international work. Sarah Birkbeck handles IP, media and technology disputes and senior associate Katie Byrne is skilled at advising clients in the context of FCA investigations.

Practice head(s):

Hannah Clipston

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Birkbeck; Katie Byrne; Tom Barnard


‘Irwin Mitchell have a calm, collected and measured approach to litigation. Their people can quickly comprehend complex matters.’

‘Irwin Mitchell’s commercial litigation team deal with a wide range of personal and business commercial claims, both domestic and international in focus, and many run into the millions of pounds. They are a pleasure to work with. ’

‘They really care about getting a good result for their clients. ’

‘Katie Byrne is outstanding. She provides very clear and straightforward advice and can absorb vast amounts of information and quickly understand complex international matters. You always get clear, straightforward and considered advice. ’

‘I trust Tom Barnard completely and am very impressed by his coverage of detail and his ability to step back and consider the case in the round. I am easily confident enough in him to make referrals, and have done so..

Key clients

The Executors of the Beryl Coulter Will Trust

Herbold Meckesheim GmbH

Brightbay Ltd

Maecenas Fine Art Limited

Micheldever Tyre Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Herbold Meckesheim in defending a claim brought against it and its UK distributor by a purchaser of one of its products for damages of around £3.7m.
  • Defended Maecenas Fine Art Limited from an unfair prejudice petition from a former director and minority shareholder.
  • Acting for Micheldever Tyre Services Limited in connection with a tax claim in the First Tier Tax Tribunal.

Moore Barlow

Following the merger of Moore Blatch and Barlow Robbins in 2020, Moore Barlow’s dispute resolution team based in Guildford and Southampton has increased in size and breadth of offering, and is increasingly handling international litigation matters on the back of its membership of the ECOVIS netwoek. In particular, the team frequently deals with disputes involving real estate, restructuring and insolvencies, banking, professional negligence, IP and debt recovery. David Foster, the head of the team, often conducts litigation with an international element as well as judicial review. Thomas Middlehurst has particular expertise in handling work in the property and IT sectors.

Practice head(s):

David Foster

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Middlehurst; Chris Darvill


‘A really strong team, with a depth of experience, good at building strong client relationships and excellent commercial judgement.’

‘Simple, plain advice about what best to do.’

‘David Foster is a highly experienced litigator, with a laser focus on securing the client’s objectives. Brings his great experience of mediation to devise creative solutions to complex problems. A real pleasure to work with.’

‘Chris Darvill  is a smart and tactical litigator. A friendly and reassuring presence for clients.’

Key clients

Churchill Retirement PLC

Tokio Marine HCC

Aspen Insurance UK Limited


Royal Yachting Association

National Rifle Association

Camm & Hooper Limited

CNK Alliance Limited

Pharmatrade UK Limited


Work highlights

  • Instructed by Tokio Marine HCC over liability disputes, recovery disputes and insurance law generally.
  • Advising Pharmatrade UK Limited on a number of disputes arising out of its terms, acting on a multi-disciplinary basis with corporate and restructuring colleagues.
  • Acting for CNK Alliance Limited in an intervention in the case of Tom Mortier v. Belgium in the European Court of Human Rights regarding the question of whether Belgian legislation is compatibility with Article 2 of the European Convection on Human Rights.

PDT Solicitors

PDT Solicitors has expertise of a wide range of commercial disputes involving breaches of contract, shareholder and partnership disputes, breaches of confidence, defamation and IP infringement. The team draws on internal co-operation with the wider firm’s company and commercial and employment teams, and has sector expertise in the media, recruitment, aviation and food and beverage industries. The department is headed by William Angas, who has extensive experience in the asset-based lending and invoice finance sectors. Gail Morris has handled work in the County Court, the High Court and the First Tier Tribunal.

Practice head(s):

William Angas

Other key lawyers:

Gail Morris; Justin McConville; Ben Ashworth


‘The practice has a practical approach to dispute resolution. The partners are able to advise on the likely commercial outcome and therefore what the best course of action for clients.’

‘Very professional and make it easy to understand difficult situations that we all find ourselves in.’

‘The team has specialists in various areas which has been useful as our requirements have been diverse. ’

‘My experience of PDT Solicitors has been excellent from both the Partner dealing with my case and the other members of the practice, who dealt with specific administrative matters on his behalf. Although PDT Solicitors is a relatively small legal practice, it is well resourced.’

‘Justin McConville is professional, personable, empathetic and diligent.’

‘William Angas is excellent.’

‘William Angas was helpful and professional- his attention to my case was reassuring and conscientious. He found time to always be available for my telephone calls. His attention to correspondence was prompt and reliable. ’

‘Ben Ashworth maintained a good level of communication, had a superb understanding of the issues to be resolved and a clear route to achieving our goals. He was realistic with our prospects of success when it came to taking action and ended up over-delivering.’

Key clients


The Specialist Works


Close Brothers

Benchmark Capital

Begbies Traynor

EU Supply

Work highlights

  • Acting for the sellers of a business within the construction industry in proceedings issued in the High Court by the purchaser, for breaches of contract and warranties, fraudulent misrepresentation and deceit, and negligent misstatement, with a claim value of £14m.
  • Acting for a supplier of hygiene services within the food and drink sector in proceedings issued in the High Court against the sellers of the business, for breaches of contract and warranties, with a claim value of £5.2m.
  • Acting for an aircraft manufacturer and supplier in cross-border litigation with a claim value of €2m, in which the client is pursuing claims for damages arising from a breach of contract and in negligence arising from damage caused to its aircraft.


Michael Oatham heads the commercial litigation team in the Maidstone office of Brachers. The team holds particular expertise in the debt recovery and insolvency sectors, and is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority regarding debt recovery activities. The department’s established client relationships are drawn from the healthcare, transport, utilities, and motor retail sectors. Senior associate Lacie Kerner is skilled in complex commercial contract disputes and shareholder and director disputes.

Practice head(s):

Michael Oatham

Other key lawyers:

Lacie Kerner


‘Great team, very helpful and lots of great advice going through a difficult time, always putting there client in the best situation going forward. I would recommend Brachers to anyone who would be in a similar situation.’

‘Lacie Kerner was a great person to talk to with great advice and always thinking of me and my family – she is a credit to Brachers and very professional.’

‘Michael Oatham and Lacie Kerner are both very knowledgwable and have good experience. I found them both to be efficient, responsive and easy to work with.’

‘Michael Oatham and Lacie Kerner stand out as particularly knowledgeable and efficient when compared with other provincial firms of a comparable size.’

Key clients

Schindler Ltd

Alan Firmin Ltd

Szerelmey Group

Beadles Group

Netbox Digital Limited

Homeleigh Timber

Haynes Bros Ltd

Hornby Hobbies Limited

Sussex Partnership NHS Trust

AEI Compounds Limited

Work highlights

  • Defended allegations against Szerelmey Ltd, Szerelmey (GB) Ltd and Szerelmey Restoration Ltd that they caused or allowed monies and assets to be improperly transferred out of the companies for the benefit of one shareholder and to the detriment of another represented by the claimants.
  • Acted for Stephen George Hewitt,  a previous director of Medway Fuels Limited from 2012–2014.
  • Acting for AEI Compounds Limited in debt recovery proceedings.

Griffin Law

Based in West Malling, Griffin Law is a specialist litigation boutique - the firm works for a wide range of clients, including high-net-worth individuals, law firms and owner-managed businesses. Co-head Donal Blaney specialises in  trust and tax dispute and, asset tracing. Neil Kelley has co-headed the litigation team since 2017, while irector Mark Edmonds is notable for his expertise regarding third party litigation funding.

Practice head(s):

Donal Blaney; Neil Kelley

Other key lawyers:

Mark Edmonds


‘Griffin Law has become my go-to firm for any commercial litigation matters regardless of size or complexity. They consistently have outperformed any central London firms I have worked with and punch well above their weight without the price. I’ve always felt part of the team and remained informed throughout. They are both transparent and reasonable with their billing. They never back down from a challenge and I would never use anyone else.’

‘The team at Griffin Law is excellent in its communication skills, unlike a lot of other solicitors. More often than not you want regular updates on the work that is being done and the timescale in which they hope to achieve this, and Griffin Law excel in keeping us up to date at all times.’

‘The firm specialises in dispute resolution. This is a potentially difficult type of work as tensions are usually high between the parties including their client. Management of the problem is key and listening to their client is really important, which they do. They explain in simple terms the procedure and warn of weakness and strength of argument.’

‘The commercial litigation team is an oasis of commercial pragmatic advice in an otherwise roiling sea of uncertainty. Griffin Law possess a deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by businesses in the COVID-19 landscape and never shy away from advising the client of their options, no matter how unpalatable they may be. They are unique (as far as I am aware) in actively electing to share risk on cases they take on as they regard themselves as true partners in a clients’ case, standing shoulder to shoulder in the battle ahead. Their rates compare very favourably with their dressier London contemporaries, but make no mistake, Griffin Law can mix it with the best of them.’

‘Griffin is a superb and entrepreneurial boutique litigation firm. It provides blue chip-level litigation services but by virtue of its regional base does so at extremely good value. The secret of this success seems to be very careful recruitment, as the lawyers practising at the firm are invariably excellent. Its impressive client-base is testimony to this strength.’

‘Mark Edmonds is a straight-talking litigator who has consistently cuts through the noise of a claim to get right to the important issues before presenting an elegant and cost-effective solution. He is extremely robust in dealing with the opposition while keeping costs down. I cannot endorse him highly enough.’

‘Donal Blaney is a highly ingenious and strategically-minded solicitor. Perhaps because of his own business success as principal of the firm he is extremely commercially aware and entirely focused on the best possible outcome for the client. He is indefatigable in pursuit of his clients’ interests and easily digests the most complex scenarios. 

‘Neil Kelley has great experience and wisdom. He is never rattled, always measured and has an unerring instinct for positioning his clients most favourably from the perspective of the court.’

Key clients

Invicta Capital Limited

Isabel Oakeshott

Emerdata Limited

Lord David Trimble

Lord Bew of Donegore

Work highlights

  • Representing Kagan in its Court of Appeal case.

Healys LLP

The commercial litigation team in Healys LLP is based in Brighton, but has a wide reach, with clients based across the UK and internationally. The team acts for a wide range of clients, including estate agents, specialised mortgage lenders and private individuals, providing support in all types of disputes. David Bailey leads the team with experience in professional negligence claims, finance and fraud. Nicholas Taylor  has particular expertise in media law and disputes involving public figures.

Practice head(s):

David Bailey

Other key lawyers:

Nicholas Taylor


‘The team clearly have a wealth of experience in this field and were able to utilise it to good effect in my case. Their very strong success rate was very reassuring. They were able to develop good and effective working relationships with my other advisers.’

‘This commercial practice punches well above its weight as a smallish firm. It delivers excellent work and service at a level that competes well with the London firms. It has a London office which also means that it can deliver support on cases more easily in the High Court jurisdiction.’

‘An excellent firm with a vast range of specialist knowledge and experience. A very collaborative, dynamic and modern way of instructing counsel which i find very effective.’

‘David Bailey has kept me fully updated with the progress of my case. I feel that he has handled it with sensitivity and professionalism, and although we are not yet at a resolution, I am still confident that I am in good hands.’

‘David Bailey is an excellent lawyer and very effective with more demanding clients. He takes a grip on the case and plans and executes strategy from the outset, so the case develops with a focused, lean approach.’

‘The stand-out partner is David Bailey. David is vastly experienced but remains extremely approachable and takes time to listen to appreciate each critical issue. David provides effective tactical, commercial and pragmatic advice, in a clear and calm manner.’

‘Nicholas Taylor is a very experienced and good litigator, who knows how to get good results for clients. Easy to work with, a good ear to his client’s concerns.’

Key clients

Monmouthshire Building Society

Healys LLP

Avison Young

Saltdean Lido

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Saltdean Lido regarding a claim against the pool contractor, building contractor and project manager for work of an unsatisfactory standard and who are having to resolve many defects as a result arising out of the restoration of the outdoor swimming pool and changing rooms.
  • Acting for Healys LLP in a claim against a former client for costs under a Conditional Fee Agreement where the client settled the claim after the agreement had been terminated and received the settlement money direct.
  • Acting for the Monmouthshire Building Society in a range of disputes including mortgage possession claims, advising on the appointment of LPA/Fixed charge receiverships.

Helix Law

Helix Law is a niche litigation practice based in Brighton which specialises in disputes involving shareholder disagreements, unfair prejudice claims, and property-related investments, working with a range of domestic and international clients. Alex Cook co-owns the firm and leads the team with considerable experience of litigating against international and City law firms.

Practice head(s):

Alex Cook


‘It is quite common to find lawyers with a solid understanding of the law, but it’s quite rare to find ones that have such a deep understanding of how businesses work. The team at Helix has helped us in a couple of disputes, and have often advised in a way that really focuses on commercial viability rather than just suggesting nuclear legal routes (that would most likely be more profitable for the law firm). What has also stood out, is the dedication of individual team members to their cases, and how invested they are in fully understanding your company’s needs – making sure they can meet and exceed them.’

‘They are very focused on securing a commercial outcome on the best possible terms for their clients. They are often instructed in cases against bigger and better known firms and they more than hold their own. They are very experienced in dealing with a wide variety of commercial disputes, often arising from property transactions, but also shareholder and general business disputes.’

‘Having been instructed by larger City firms whose costs can be very high, Helix’s fees are much more reasonable despite the firm providing the same level of service.’

‘An approachable, down to earth boutique law firm specialising in commercial disputes – always available, adapted well to the pandemic, would highly recommend.’

‘Alex Cook is an outstanding lawyer. He is absolutely determined to secure the best possible outcome for his clients, and will fight tenaciously to achieve that outcome. He is very experienced in dealing with a wide variety of commercial disputes, often arising from property transactions.’

‘Alex Cook is a hardworking and experienced litigator. He adopts a bullish style to litigation which is extremely effective and typically brings about a swift resolution.’

‘Having worked predominantly with Alex Cook, I have admired his transparency from the start of any engagement. He has absolutely no problem with telling you if something is a long shot, or if there is no case to be had. What is really special though about Alex, is his dedication to clients and how much he invests himself into their cases, making sure he fully understands the bigger picture and then advising accordingly.’

Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP

Alongside its core commercial dispute offering, Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP holds specialisms in insolvency, restructuring and construction disputes, with clients including large SME businesses, professional services firms and accountants. Department head Richard Ludlow, has extensive experience in insolvency and restructuring disputes, and has also introduced a successful litigation funding model. Alistair Rustemeyer often handles specialist contested trusts advice. Dan Sherlock supports clients in disputes to protect reputation and confidential information.

Practice head(s):

Richard Ludlow

Other key lawyers:

Alistair Rustemeyer; Dan Sherlock


‘Rix & Kay always, without fail, put in the effort to progress matters. They have 100% of my legal work. ’

‘Rix &  Kay is a very strong regional firm with considerable strength in depth in its core areas. Its practitioners have a high level of specialism by the standards of most regional firms. ’

‘Excellent knowledge of the issues and legal precedents. ’

‘Dan Sherlock pretty much handled my case from start to finish, and I thought he was exemplary in every way. I cannot imagine that anyone else anywhere could have done a better job.’

‘Dan Sherlock is a wise and experienced litigator who has contributed very substantially to the development of Rix & Kay’s litigation offering. Dan is able to grasp the intricate detail of even the most complex disputes easily. He is measured, charming with clients, and has a great instinct for putting his clients in the best position before the court. ’

‘Alistair Rustemeyer has excellent client management skills. Very hands-on and willing to work extremely long hours as required to ensure the best outcome for his client. ’