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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: Kent, Surrey, Sussex > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



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  1. Commercial litigation: Kent, Surrey, Sussex
  2. Leading individuals
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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  Wixted & Co Limited.

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.

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