Commercial litigation: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 in South East

BDB Pitmans

Described as 'superb', the team at BDB Pitmans handles commercial litigation for both domestic and foreign clients from all industries but has particular expertise in IT related disputes. 'First-rate litigation strategist' Philip Smith leads the team and is a specialist in representing TMT clients. Executive board member Tim Clark  acts for retail and restaurant businesses, handling matters pertaining to company law, injunctions, and professional negligence. Associate Sophie Squire works closely with Clark on a number of Court of Appeal cases. Jonathan Sachs, a specialist in professional negligence previously at Irwin Mitchell, further broadens the firm's scope with his expertise in financial mis-selling. 

Practice head(s):

Phil Smith

Other key lawyers:

Tim Clark; David Gwillim; Alan Davies; Sophie Squire; Jonathan Sachs; Jacob Gatley

Testimonials

‘I know them to have an excellent reputation and high-quality work which has been done to an excellent standard.’

‘I have worked with Tim Clark. He commands huge respect from his clients who clearly trust and place great emphasis on his advice. Tim has a calm but extremely diligent style with an obvious commercial focus. He is a pleasure to work with.’

‘Excellent understanding of key issues and guidance to the correct resolution.’

‘Phil Smith is tenacious and skilled in obtaining the best possible resolution for any given situation.’

‘The team at BDB Pitmans are superb. They have a close eye for detail and excellent commercial judgement.’

‘Phil Smith is a first-rate litigation strategist with a wealth of experience. He is always available and engages well. Sophie Squire is brilliant and very client friendly. She operates well above her seniority on a regular basis and has been the primary fee earner on significant Chancery Division litigation.’

Key clients

Grayson+Co Ltd

Sky UK Ltd and subsidiaries

Karali Group

Kaotica Corporation

Intosol Holdings Plc

Crowe UK LLP

Joanne Properties Limited

HMT LLP

Grandir UK Limited

The Norton Motorcycle Co Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for Grayson + Co in high profile proceedings regarding confidential information including a successful Court of Appeal hearing.
  • Acting for Crowe UK LLP in High Court litigation arising out of the client being caught up in a fraudulent postal credits scheme by one of its suppliers.
  • Acting for Grandir UK Ltd in statutory nuisance proceedings.

Blake Morgan LLP

Blake Morgan LLP represents foreign and domestic clients in commercial litigation. Alongside specialized teams handling construction, insolvency, and property litigation matters, the department also has particular expertise in contract law issues arising in IT and telecoms. Department-head Chris Potts acts on fraud cases with international elements; exemplified recently by his representation of Transworld and its liquidator in a case arising from the client's connection to First Curacao International Bank and allegations against the bank of VAT fraud. Nicola Diggle leads the team in shareholder and contractual disputes, with a particular focus on the IT sector. 

Practice head(s):

Chris Potts

Other key lawyers:

Nicoal Diggle; Stephanie Walls; Cherrene Balasanthiran

Testimonials

‘Good down to earth commercial advice focused on delivering success and solutions for clients.’

‘Chris Potts who heads up Commercial Litigation for London and Thames Valley will roll his sleeves up and is tenacious in fighting his client’s corner.’

‘They take great care and attention over cases of any size – right from complex multi-million pound disputes down to claims for unpaid invoices.’

‘Nicola Diggle is totally on top of where the case is at and what needs to be done. Cherrene Balasanthiran gives clear and practical advice early on, nothing is too much trouble for her.’

Key clients

Bouygues

Investec Asset Finance

KPMG

CAP HPI and Audatex group of companies

NHS England

Miele Company Limited

Grant Thornton

Hitachi Capital UK plc

Metro Bank

Begbies Traynor

IWG Group Services UK (Regus)

Falanx Group Limited

Griffins

Harwood Wealth Management Group plc

Work highlights

  • Acting for IWG on substantial contractual claims resulting from the pandemic.
  • Secured a settlement for a NHS England Commissioning Gruop on a £7.6m claim.
  • Represented University of Reading in a £900k claim.

Clarkslegal LLP

Clarkslegal LLP has a wide-ranging litigation practice, acting for both foreign and domestic automotive companies such as BMW and Rolls-Royce. A heavy-hitting litigator, Antony Morris heads the department and represents Avnish Patel against a substantial fraud claim brought by Equity Real Estates.  Christopher Tayton has established a broad practice, while Stephen James focuses his on construction. Emma Butcher has recently made partner and is a specialist in public procurement and product liability matters.

Practice head(s):

Antony Morris

Other key lawyers:

Chris Tayton; Stephen James; Emma Butcher

Testimonials

‘Antony Morris – pragmatic, commercial advice.’

‘The team are very responsive. They know our business very well and are excellent to work with.’

‘Chris Tayton is excellent. We trust him with our most problematic cases. He is very responsive, very thorough, and understands what we are trying to achieve.’

Key clients

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited

Bop-Me Limited

Lumen Technologies Inc

BMW (UK) Limited

JDM Technology Group

Willmott Dixon

Element Materials Technology Group

University of Reading

Crown Packaging Manufacturing UK Ltd

CAB Automotive Ltd

MVL Group

InstaGroup Limited

OASIS

Work highlights

  • Acting for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars as the defendant in High Court proceedings brought by German software development company Topalsson.
  • Acting for Bop-Me Ltd in a procurement claim against the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care arising out of the award of a number of contracts for the supply of PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Acted for BMW (UK) Limited and BMW AG in civil claims brought by the estate and insurers of an individual who died in an accident, and by an injured passenger.

Osborne Clarke LLP

Osborne Clarke LLP advises an extensive client base of domestic companies, multinationals, and PE and VC backed entities, primarily from the US, on an array of corporate and commercial matters, with a particular focus on technology and life sciences. With a predominantly cross-border practice, Peter Sheppard leads the team, covering industries such as telecoms, digital business, and automotive. Dawn Troman complements the department with her experience in technology disputes. Further, associate Scott Butler comes recommended for his expertise in dispute prevention and associate Kristian Assirati advises on issues arising out of transactions, focusing his practice on digital business and automotive clients.

Practice head(s):

Peter Sheppard

Other key lawyers:

Jane Park-Weir; Dawn Troman; Kristian Assirati; Scott Butler; Carolina Toscano

Testimonials

‘Jane-Park Weir has immense experience in shareholder disputes: what she does not know about unfair prejudice is not worth knowing.’

Key clients

AEG

Tripadvisor

Vodafone UK Limited

Falk & Ross

Reckitt Benckiser

Ortho Clinical Diagnostics

Crossmark Developments

Leverton Lithium

ASOS

Tenzing Private Equity

Shaw Healthcare

FRP Advisory

Bective

Wireless Logic Limited

TiVo / Xperi

Davies Group

Ridgeway Marketing Limited

WT Energy

AppLearn

K4 Investments

BFSE

Focus Group

Erevena

Work highlights

  • Acting for Falk & Ross Group in its defence of an unfair prejudice petition under s994 Companies Act 2006 commenced by a minority shareholder.
  • Advising Wireless Logic on a multi-million pound contract dispute, including issues of agency, interpretation, strike-out, Commercial Agents Regulations and audit.
  • Acting for Davies Group in defending a claim under an SPA by the sellers of a business for Earn-out payments potentially impacted by the pandemic.

Boyes Turner

Boyes Turner provides 'City quality advice at non-City prices' to small local clients and big international companies, especially on issues arising from contractual agreements. Rowan Turrall leads the team and focuses on contested IT matters and construction disputes. Stephen Baker has a broad litigation practice including cases involving technology sector clients, product liability, IP and reputation management.

Practice head(s):

Rowan Turrall

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Baker; James Quinn; Ally Tow

Testimonials

‘Key for me is the strength of the strategic advice from the Boyes Turner team, thinking not only about the merits of the case, but also the impact of any particular decision on the business as a whole.’

‘We have worked closely with Russell May in property litigation – his proactive, considered advice has been greatly valued.’

‘They provide very pragmatic, commercially focused advice, at very reasonable prices: its City quality advice at non-City prices. They’ve become my go-to law firm for everything from commercial litigation to commercial conveyancing.’

‘Stephen Baker is the stand-out individual for me. I use him for every dispute and litigation matter I have, whether large or small. He acts like another in-house counsel for me; he’s quick to grasp the key issues, quick to provide sensible realistic advice, and 99 times out of a 100 he’s right about the likely outcome. He’s the sanity check you need before responding to or issuing a claim.’

‘A very smooth running service across all disciplines with easy referrals to specialisms and a great depth of knowledge across the board.’

‘Stephen Baker is very knowledgeable and tactically astute.’

Key clients

Viavi Solutions UK Ltd

Zimmer GmbH & Zimmer Biomet UK Ltd

Francis Construction Ltd

H Young (Operations) Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing Phoenix Ancient Art SA in multi-million pound-claims by a Qatari private investment company.
  • Acting for Viavi as claimant in Part 7 High Court professional negligence proceedings against Bond Pearce regarding the preparation of a pension trust deed.
  • Acting for a property company in a chancery claim for breach of trust and fiduciary duties.

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Field Seymour Parkes LLP stands out for its industry expertise in fishery as well as the food and automotive sectors where in the latter it represents clients such as Volvo and Honda. One such expert is practice head Tom Maple who additionally has notable experience in advising on legal issues arising out of supply chains. Bill Dixon 's practice spans litigation, arbitration, corporate, and regulatory investigations.

Practice head(s):

Tom Maple

Other key lawyers:

Bill Dixon; Robert Woodhouse

Testimonials

‘The team is strong in general and commercial litigation, having personable and approachable litigators that are able to clearly explain complex matters.’

‘Bill Dixon is the standout fee earner. He has a huge amount of experience and expertise in high value, complex international litigation. He has an excellent bedside manner and grasps difficult issues quickly and effectively.’

‘Combination of broad (different fields of commercial law) and specialized (litigation) legal knowledge and experience. Partners with prior magic circle experience, but not London prices. Practical approach with a focus on settling out of court.’

‘Bill Dixon has many years of experience as a litigator in a wide range of different fields of law. Combination of legal knowledge and business common sense. Bill provides clear and practical advice. Moreover he is a likeable person and easy to deal with.’

Key clients

Volvo

Whistl (formerly TNT)

Crown Agents

Work highlights

  • Acting for World Wise Foods Limited in an adjudication reviewing certification of a fishery under Marine Stewardship Council Rules.

Gardner Leader LLP

The legal service provided by Gardner Leader LLP is 'akin to that provided by a magic circle firm' and spans from corporate and commercial disputes over civil fraud to international arbitration. In the latter, practice head and 'master tactician' Chris Felton frequently frequently appears before specialised inter-state courts in relation to technology and construction disputes. Katie Dyson who has significant experience in multi-jurisdictional dispute resolution, particularly in banking and finance, has recently made partner.

Practice head(s):

Chris Felton

Other key lawyers:

Michelle Di Gioia; Andrew Shipp; Katie Dyson; Michael Axe

Testimonials

‘Chris Felton is simply brilliant. Clever, savvy, diligent, and an extremely nice man as well. I cannot fault him.’

‘This team provides an astonishingly high quality of service, akin to that of a magic circle firm, but at out-of-London prices.’

‘Chris Felton is the best litigator in the country. He is quietly understated but a master tactician – as is obvious from the great clients he has. Andrew Shipp is a very safe and steady pair of hands to calmly get a good result. Michelle di Gioia is responsive and tactical.’

‘They may be based out of London but the quality and consistency is on a level with any London practice.’

‘First and foremost, they are wonderful lawyers with exceptional technical acumen, but they are also extremely pragmatic, commercial and empathetic.’

‘Good attention to client requirements and appropriate assignment of resources i.e. not going over the top for more minor matters.’

‘We work personally with Chris Felton, Michelle Di Gioia and Andrew Shipp on a regular basis. They are always available, creative with solutions, and help our clients to achieve their aims and goals, rather than just telling them what the law says.’

‘Michael Axe’s franchising expertise and pragmatic attitude resulted in a swift and successful outcome without the need for extensive legislation.’

Key clients

Phillip Hudson

Managed Legal Solutions Limited

Barrowfen Properties Limited

The Marble Workshop Limited

SSGC Limited

Suite Hub Limited

Work highlights

  • Defended Swynson Limited and its owner in a Supreme Court appeal, concerning the repayment of loans by a borrower and regarding the liability a negligent adviser has to a lender.
  • Defended Optaglio Limited in a claim for alleged breach of directors’ duties regarding the withdrawal of a patent application.
  • Advised Managed Legal Solutions Limited, who funded part of the costs of a group action claim against GSK in the Seroxat Group Action.

Shoosmiths LLP

The Thames Valley-based team of Shoosmiths LLP handles litigation and arbitration with particular expertise in the retail, leisure, IT, tech, telecoms, and commercial insurance sectors. Fleur Turrington heads the practice as well as the firm's contentious public procurement department. She is frequently supported by Nick Spearing, especially in judicial review matters. Paul Eccles is a specialist in insurance with a particular focus on policy cover disputes.

Practice head(s):

Fleur Turrington

Other key lawyers:

Aimee Cook; Nick Spearing; Paul Eccles

Testimonials

‘Strong commercial team, very knowledgeable, professional, accessible and responsive.’

Key clients

CSC Computer Sciences Limited

Chubb Europe Insurance Group

COTY UK & Ireland Limited (trading as Wella)

HDI Gerling Insurance Limited

Henkel Limited

IPP Van Triel GmbH

Rijksmuseum Twenthe

ROAR B2B Limited

SCOR Insurance SE

Zurich Insurance Plc

TSM Limited

The National Trust

Volkswagen Group UK Limited

Associated British Foods Limited

Game Retail Group Plc

Calor Gas Limited

The White Company

Cellnex UK Ltd

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services

London EV Company

Taylor Wimpey

Kuehne & Nagel

World Duty Free Group UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised a telecoms company on a £1bn public procurement challenge.
  • Defending a government body in regards to live judicial review proceedings.
  • Advising a client in the transport sector on a breach of a corporate warranty claim.

White & Black Limited

The ‘technically excellent‘ team at White & Black Limited is a go-to for multi-jurisdictional, contentious IP matters particularly in the technology sector. Additionally, practice head Victoria Wright is a specialist for contractual claims in telecoms and digital media and also deals with restraints of trade and restrictive covenants.

Practice head(s):

Victoria Wright

Testimonials

‘Technically excellent, solution-based and very practical. Very easy to work with.’

‘Victoria Wright is my key contact and a delight to work with. Her knowledge of her area is second to none.’

‘I really like the fact that the work is partner-led so everyone I work alongside is really knowledgeable. They are friendly and know their stuff and communication skills are great so it is easy to collaborate and work on high profile and fast paced deals together even when we are from different firms.’

‘I have worked closely with Victoria Wright and I think she is a leader in her field – incredibly hardworking and pragmatic advice and goes the extra mile for her clients.’

Key clients

Matches Fashion

Vectair Systems Limited

Blandy & Blandy LLP

Blandy & Blandy LLP handles corporate and commercial disputes as well as advising on preventative measures such as risk identification, avoidance, and management. Additionally a specialist in contentious insolvency matters, David Murray leads the department and acts for companies, SMEs, family and owner managed businesses, charities, universities, and schools. On commercial disputes, Debbie Brett frequently assists Murray.

Practice head(s):

David Murray

Other key lawyers:

Debbie Brett

Testimonials

‘Individual attention, prompt, practical knowledge, and no-nonsense advice.’

‘David Murray’s abilities are above compared to other firms I have dealt with.’

‘Good clear advice.’

Key clients

DEKS Industries Europe Limited

Rux- Burton Associates Limited

Certikin International Limited

Englefield Estate Trust Corporation Limited

British Fenestration Rating Council Limited

University of Oxford

GM Brooders Limited

Huguenot London Limited

Reading Blue Coast School

Pangbourne College

Work highlights

    Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

    Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP represents clients in contentious matters, including shareholder disputes, professional negligence, and employment with a sector focus on retail, IT, and educational institutions. Practice head Emma Davies Day comes recommended for her expertise in financial disputes and regulatory matters.

    Practice head(s):

    Clare Arthurs; Emma Davies Day

    Other key lawyers:

    Charlie Shillito; Daff Richardson; Rebecca Andrews-Walker; Holly Stube

    Testimonials

    ‘Strong in commercial work generally, and they seem to have a really good understanding of their clients’ needs/instructions.’

    ‘Tremendously direct, concrete, actionable advice in the restructuring and litigation space.’

    ‘Associate Charlie Shillito and Partner Rebecca Andrews-Walker were both able to provide time-critical advice that was very direct and suited to the contentious nature of the proceedings in question. Right resources, team, skill-set, and proper case management: really outstanding!

    ‘Daff Richardson is a good communicator. She keeps you apprised of matters without prompting. She is very good at getting you access to the right people in the firm when other matters crop up but she herself manages the client relationship throughout.’

    ‘Emma Davis Day is puts my mind at ease and is very confident in the advice that is given. Charlie Shillito is very professional and prompt in replying to emails.’

    ‘Very good sector knowledge. Advice is very practical.’

    ‘PMC have a broad range of specialist offerings and have been very good at dealing with clients in the spin out and scale up world, sensitive with charging and dealing with matters at the right level.’

    Aston Bond

    Stephen Puri leads the team at Aston Bond, where the department handles the spectrum of commercial disputes, with particular sector expertise in real estate, insolvency, and IP. James Dyche joined the team from Greenwoods Legal in September 2021 and now heads up the litigation team together with Puri. In addition to the firm’s areas of expertise he handles contentious probates. 

    Practice head(s):

    Stephen Puri; James Dyche

    Testimonials

    ‘Aston Bond is a new entrant into boutique commercial litigation, boosted by the recent acquisition of James Dyche.’

    ‘James Dyche is a very capable and dedicated lawyer with strong client handling skills and a commercially realistic approach.’

    Work highlights

    • Acting for a former MP in a decision by the disputes panel.
    • Acting for the respondent in a case brought by the HMRC before the Supreme Court.
    • Acting for the claimants in a judicial review of a HMRC decision.

    Herrington Carmichael LLP

    Described as ´a very personable group of people`, the litigation practice at Herrington Carmichael LLP handles contentious proceedings and arbitration for both foreign and domestic clients. Adrian Taylor leads the team and is a specialist in construction disputes. Former head of the department Frankie Tierney comes particularly recommended for her expertise in complex multi-party cases. Additionally, Mark Robertson is an expert in professional negligence matters.

    Practice head(s):

    Adrian Taylor

    Other key lawyers:

    Frankie Tierney; Mark Robertson; Annabelle Randell; Harriet Greener

    Testimonials

    ‘They are very professional and easy to deal with.’

    ‘I can only describe this practice as “La Creme de La Creme”, head and shoulders above all other solicitors that I have ever consulted. The speed of response to new or ongoing situations is particularly striking. The depth of expertise throughout the practice is exceptional, knowledge of case law outstanding and there is an across the board ability to establish warm client relationships.’

    ‘Frankie Tierney is exceptional in that same day responses to all emails and other communications is the absolute norm, often involving lengthy explanations and detailed advice, sometimes out of hours as necessary. Her expertise, knowledge and ability to cut through the fog of irrelevant aspects of a case is without parallel.’

    ‘Highly efficient and responsive. A very personable group of people.’

    ‘Adrian Taylor has paid prompt and close attention to my concerns and suggestions, has been highly responsive throughout, and has provided a service which is perfectly in line with my understanding and experience.’

    ‘I dealt with Mark Robertson, he was very helpful throughout the process. Active listener and knowledgeable.’

    Maier Blackburn LLP

    Maier Blackburn LLP advises publishing houses and estates of writers in copyright, trademark, and general commercial disputes. The 'exceptionally insightful' Steven Maier leads the litigation practice and focuses his expertise on media law, including libel and privacy, as well as confidential information. Additionally, he is appointed domain name adjudicator at WIPO and Nominet.UK panels.

    Practice head(s):

    Steven Maier

    Testimonials

    ‘Deep expertise in publishing and copyright law, coupled with fair-mindedness and a practical approach.’

    ‘In working with Steven Maier, we found him to be exceptionally insightful in analysing and discussing complex matters, always applying just the right touch in communications. He was unfailingly prompt and easy to work with.’

    Key clients

    The Tolkien Estate Limited

    Agatha Christie Limited

    Oxford University Press

    Watership Down Enterprises Limited

    McFarland & Company Publishers

    The Romantic Novelists’ Association

    Work highlights

    • Advised The Tolkien Estate Limited in WIPO and other proceedings to shut down ‘JRRToken’ cryptocurrency.
    • Advised Agatha Christie Limited in a claim against University Games regarding puzzle games entitled ‘The Orient Express’ and ‘Murder on the Nile’.
    • Advised US company McFarland & Company Publishers in UK litigation proceedings.

    Spratt Endicott

    Spratt Endicott handles commercial disputes for a wide array of various clients but with a particular focus on professional services companies. The team is led by John Spratt , and in Anis Waiz has a specialist in finance and banking disputes. Senior associate Petra van Dijk handles IP and shareholder litigation.

    Practice head(s):

    John Spratt

    Other key lawyers:

    Anis Waiz; Petra van Dijk; Thomas Halstead; Pete Gardner

    Testimonials

    ‘Spratt Endicott is unique in a way that they are very good at getting the job done. Especially when under time pressure or if we were ever in need of some urgent legal advice or direction. Billing is always clear and concise. Communication between employees is always great as well.’

    ‘Anis Wize / Pete Gardener / Thomas Halstead – all three members have been an absolutely great support. Their professionalism and friendliness has been a pleasure to work with. They are always happy to assist and give advise wherever needed, no matter the query.’