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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: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Other

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

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Leading individuals

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Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

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    • Kristian Assirati - Osborne Clarke
    • Emma Butcher - Clarkslegal LLP
    • Scott Butler - Osborne Clarke
    • Nicola Diggle - Blake Morgan LLP

Blake Morgan LLP boasts 'one of the largest and most experienced litigation team in the South East' with a strong track record acting in corporate and commercial disputes, professional negligence, fraud and asset tracing and asset finance disputes, among others. The department also provides specialist expertise in construction, insolvency, technology and property litigation. Practice head Chris Potts is experienced in shareholder, fraud and company law disputes, and is often supported by associate Nicola Diggle , who is also active on IT and contractual disputes.

Practice head(s):Chris Potts

Other key lawyers:Nicola Diggle

Testimonials

'Blake Morgan have a very strong team and a good reputation in the Thames Valley as a result of being one of the larger firms. The size of the firm means that they have good internal capability to bring in extra resources for non-contentious matters (tax planning, for example) arising form commercial matters'

'Blake Morgan have an extremely dedicated and professional litigation team who get alongside their client through thick and thin, providing a reassuring presence but equally not shying away from giving robust advice when needed.'

'Chris Potts is an excellent and tenacious lawyer.'

'Nicola Diggle is very responsive and committed to the client's cause.'

Key Clients

Investec Asset Finance

NHS England

Miele Company Limited

Hitachi Capital UK Plc

Grant Thornton

Work highlights

  • Acted for the respondents in an unfair prejudice claim and breach of directors' duties claim brought by another shareholder of the Company.
  • Acted for Grant Thornton as the liquidator of a company in proceedings against the ex-director in a substantial fraud claim and in the steps taken to recover substantial assets totaling over £1.7m.  
  • Representing a shareholder in a complex corporate dispute with another shareholder.

Clarkslegal LLP combines 'first-rate industry knowledge' with experience acting in disputes within the technology, energy, construction, automotive and financial services sectors, representing well-known international corporate clients, shareholders and private clients alike. Key figures include practice head Antony Morris, Christopher Tayton for cross-border commercial disputes and contentious matters involving procurement, and Stephen James for construction, employment and insolvency disputes. Associate Emma Butcher is also recommended for public procurement and product liability matters.

Practice head(s):Antony Morris

Other key lawyers:Christopher Tayton; Stephen James; Emma Butcher

Testimonials

'The team at Clarkslegal combine their deep knowledge of the law with a large degree of approachability and a large amount of commercial pragmatism.'

'Antony Morris displays the characteristics of an excellent lawyer - a very shrewd litigator who can view an issue from many angles and is aware of the possibilities.'

Key Clients

BMW

CenturyLink (formerly Level 3 Communications)

Autoglass

Coffey International Development

Axis Fleet Management

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of a windfarm developer, in a claim against a firm of solicitors, for professional negligence arising out of a substantial transaction relating to development of a windfarm and related issues concerning mineral rights.
  • Acting for the client in this claim before the Admiralty Court following the considerable damage caused to two of its underwater telecommunications cables linking the UK mainland with Ireland and the USA.
  • Acting for BMW (UK) following the death of an individual in an accident involving a BMW vehicle.
  • Representing the claimant in a substantial High Court case against Calsonic Kansei Europe PLC arising out of the termination of an automotive parts supply contract.

Osborne Clarke is the 'go-to' practice for leading multinational corporations such as Redwood Software, Hyundai and HTC in complex multi-jurisdictional shareholder, corporate and commercial disputes. Peter Sheppard has an 'excellent reputation' as 'one of the best litigator in the South East' and is regularly instructed to handle disputes in a raft of sectors including  technology, automotive, manufacturing, defence and retail. Dawn Troman is particularly active in technology disputes. Also of note are associates Kristian Assirati and Scott Butler who frequently act alongside Sheppard.

Practice head(s):Peter Sheppard

Other key lawyers:Dawn Trowman; Kristian Assirati; Scott Butler

Key Clients

HTC

Lloyds Development Corporation

Wireless Logic Group

Content Guru/Redwood Technologies Group

Hyundai Motor UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Wireless Logic Limited, as a respondent in relation to claims brought by Red Squirrel arising out of agency agreement and commercial disputes and related matters in excess of £10m.
  • Acting for HTC Europe in various matters including a potential multi-million pound fraud.
  • Advising Essensys Limited in a high-value dispute with a shareholder and former CEO concerning breach of contract, shareholder agreements, deeds of variation, articles of association, a transfer notice and related matters.

Shoosmiths LLP 'an outstanding' disputes team, is best known for its 'wealth of knowledge' in the automotive, construction, corporate and IT sectors.  Fleur Turrington, who made partner in May 2019 is 'undoubtedly the go-to lawyer' for contentious public procurement. Paul Eccles is a name to note for insurance litigation; his particular niche specialisation includes policy cover disputes between insurer/insured including breach of warranty, misrepresentation, non-disclosure and fraudulent claims. Stuart Little chairs the national litigation practice.

Practice head(s):Fleur Turrington

Other key lawyers:Paul Eccles; Stuart Little

Key Clients

Associated British Foods Ltd

Volkswagen Group United Kingdom Limited

Game Retail Group Plc

The White Company

Aramark

Work highlights

  • Acting for the defendant, an insurer and its insured, in a construction claim valued at over £1m arising out of the construction of a residential property in London.
  • Represented a transport company in relation to a challenge to a publicised tender.
  • Represented a majority shareholder in a derivative claim to urgently protect English properties worth £6m.
  • Advised a car manufacturer in a complex and high-value contractual dispute.

Boyes Turner acts for individuals and corporate clients alike in commercial and contractual disputes, and boats a strong client roster in the technology sectors. The department has also expanded its offering in property litigation with the hire of Adrian Griffiths from Gordon Dadds LLP in July 2018. Key partner Jonathan Grigg and associates Stephen Baker and Rowan Turrall make up the 'knowledgeable and skillful' team.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Grigg 

Other key lawyers:Stephen Baker; Rowan Turrall

Testimonials

'Boyes Turner is an excellent local team with local knowledge but sufficient resources to make a real difference.'

'Boyes Turner provide a very personal service with tremendous skill and industry knowledge'

 

Key Clients

Viavi Solutions UK Ltd

Auto Trader Ltd

Zimmer GMBH & Zimmer Biomet UK Ltd

Mortgage Gym Ltd

Technology One (UK) Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for an individual in a claim against a building contractor for damages arising from termination of contract and defective workmanship.

BDB Pitmans acts for a mix of private clients, shareholders and national and international corporations in IT disputes, contentious corporate and shareholder matters, professional negligence claims and complex commercial disputes.  Tim Clark's  practice focuses on company law-related claims, shareholder and unfair prejudice disputes, while Phil Smith and David Gwillim handle commercial and construction sector disputes respectively.

Practice head(s):Tim Clark

Other key lawyers:Phil Smith; David Gwillim

Key Clients

Sky plc

Langham Homes

Veritas Technologies

Thames Water (and its insurers)

Toshiba Imaging Systems UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented the petitioner, a minority shareholder in a coffee chain, in bringing a claim concerning alleged unfair prejudice against three other company directors.
  • Advised the management company of a large private estate in North London in the pursuit, over almost four years, of a claim against a resident who was challenging the company’s rights to control parking on around 6 miles of estate roads which it owned.

Field Seymour Parkes LLP advises high-profile clients in the financial services, retail, consumer goods and charities sectors with notable experience in the automotive field where it counts Volvo and Honda as active clients. Tom Maple's practice spans automotive disputes, complex professional indemnity claims involving failed tax schemes, and contentious matters related to the food and drink industry. Bill Dixon is particularly active in cross-border disputes, often alongside Maple.

Practice head(s):Tom Maple

Other key lawyers:Bill Dixon

Key Clients

Volvo Car UK

Whistl (formerly TNT)

Reading Football Club

Prudential

Honda

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf on an environmental charity in challenging the standards set by the Marine Stewardship Council which licences its sustainability eco-label to fisheries that meet its standards of sustainability.
  • Advising a UK subsidiary on a number of issues in connection with building contracts affected by the collapse of Carillion, in particular, regarding the potential call on a £1m performance bond.
  • Advised 8 different individual clients on claims against professional advisers in relation to failed film finance or tax schemes.

Duncan Crine leads the dispute resolution practice at Freeths LLP which offers 'excellent partner-led litigation services at reasonable rates'. The firm is experienced in representing private and corporate clients as claimants and respondents  in complex shareholder, contractual and commercial disputes in the technology, retail, construction, logistics and education sectors. The practice strengthened its disputes offering with the addition of 'first-rate litigator' Will Richmond-Coggan from BDB Pitmans in January 2019.

Practice head(s):Duncan Crine

Other key lawyers:Will Richmond-Coggan

Key Clients

BMW

Adestra Limited

GEFCO (UK)

Masternaut Group

Virtual Alliance Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for a shareholder director of a company which operates a national coffee retail chain, in a shareholder dispute.
  • Defending a leading telematics company in a high-value technology dispute relating to the delivery of an advanced crash detection system for use in the automotive sector.
  • Defending a building contractor in the a claim alleging negligent design and workmanship.

The dispute resolution practice at Gardner Leader LLP 'punches well above its weight' and regularly acts in multi-jurisdictional commercial litigation for a mix of private and corporate clients. Key figures include Michelle Di Gioia and senior associates Hilary Messer and Violetta M. Falla. Practice head Chris Felton is 'a safe pair of hands'.

Practice head(s):Chris Felton

Other key lawyers:Michelle Di Gioia; Hilary Messer; Violetta Falla

Key Clients

Managed Legal Solutions

Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership

Swynson Limited

Work highlights

  • Successful represented the defendant in lifting an automatic suspension on the award of the contract for the rollout and delivery of a national project across the NHS in England, Wales and Scotland.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP handles complex and large-scale commercial litigation and also conducts investigation and enforcement work. The Oxford-based team headed by Julie Bond continue to be active in major disputes in the energy, education and retail sectors, and also leverage additional expertise from the London office in representing individuals and corporations in complex commercial proceedings. Senior associate Emma Davies a name to note for financial litigation and regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):Julie Bond

Other key lawyers:Emma Davies

White & Black Limited predominately advises on technology disputes, with a strong emphasis on intellectual property, trade mark and copyright enforcement, licensing and data protection. Practice head Victoria Wright also advises on major shareholder disputes and contractual claims. Nicholas Mitchell focuses on software development and technology outsourcing agreement disputes in the public and private sectors.

Practice head(s):Victoria Wright

Other key lawyers:Nicolas Mitchell

Key Clients

Gigaclear

Matches Fashion

Vectair Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Gigaclear in a major warranty dispute arising from the purchase of a publicly-owned rural broadband network.

Areas of expertise for Blandy & Blandy LLP  include contractual, company and partnership disputes as well as also handling contentious employment issues and disputes arising from trusts and inheritances. David Murray and Philip D’Arcy are the key partners based in the Reading office.

Practice head(s):David Murray, Philip D’Arcy 

Key Clients

Certikin International Limited

Perfetti van Melle UK

Englefield Estate Trust Corporation Limited

Reading Blue Coat School

The Abbey School

The disputes team at Knights plc advise on conflicts within partnerships, disagreements between shareholders, commercial disputes, franchising and licensing, IP infringements and professional negligence. Philip Shaw acts for private companies, large multinational corporations and insolvency practitioners.

Practice head(s):Philip Shaw

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented SMEG in securing a court order confirming its entitlement to terminate a distribution agreement with a distributor in Ireland.
  • Advised an insolvent company on recovery of a substantial amount  from the Department of Health which lost an NHS contract due to an alleged rigged tendering process.

Spratt Endicott offers 'very good expertise at competitive rates' in commercial and IP disputes. The practices' recent caseload included defending a passing off claim and advising on breach of trust claims, enforcement and the right to terminate agreements. The group also is able to draw expertise from other departments to advise on banking and finance, property and insolvency-related disputes. David Whiting is the main litigation partner, also of note are associates Kyle Wyness and Petra van Dijk for contentious property and insolvency matters.

Practice head(s):David Whiting

Other key lawyers:Kyle Wyness; Petra van Dijk

Work highlights

  • Advised a government body on the recovery of money under a Statutory Trust.
  • Acted for a UK subsidiary of a leading worldwide supplier of cleaning technology in a dispute with an English marketing company relating to the provision of media services.

Brethertons LLP provides representation in disputes relating to residential property, commercial contracts, defamation and malicious falsehood claims and injunction proceedings. The practice is also experienced in advising on disagreements between partnerships and shareholders, professional negligence and contentious IP matters. Senior associate Sioban Calcott is the main adviser.

Practice head(s):Sioban Calcott

Maier Blackburn LLP provides 'first-rate' partner-led representation in high-value, complex litigation. Name partner Steven Maier is a 'highly recommended lawyer' for contentious work in the specialist areas of media, entertainment and intellectual property, with an emphasis on the enforcement of trade marks and domain names. Maier also advises on contentious commercial matters.

Practice head(s):Steven Maier

Key Clients

The Tolkien Estate

Agatha Christie Limited

Oxford University Press

Watership Down Enterprises Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing the Tolkien Estate in a claim against an Australian author who had published fan-fiction books in breach of the Estate’s copyrights
  • Representing a US skin-care company in a claim for recovery of an internet domain name from a UK beauty salon.

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