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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 > Debt recovery > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Debt recovery
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Blake Morgan LLP is outstanding for debt recovery and related litigation. Although it acts for clients in a wide range of industries, it is particularly well known for handling high-value work in the automotive sector and undertakes a considerable volume of litigation for insurance companies. The highly regarded Sadak Miah has considerable expertise in the area and 'a high degree of integrity while dealing with potentially very difficult situations'. Elizabeth Bowden is another key team member and has 'good technical capabilities' and 'will go the extra mile' for clients. Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, British Credit Trust and Toyota Financial Services are some of its key clients.

Brachers, according to clients, is 'a trusted partner' for debt recovery and debt administration and fields a team that is'well established and that also provides value for money'.Its clients include SMEs and large corporations across a range of industries, especially finance, transport and logistics, and utilities. Michael Oathamheads the litigation and integrated debt recovery practice, Robert Thompson leads the collections and recoveries group and director of operations Graham Wallishandles insolvency portfolios.

Shoosmiths LLP's team is particularly valued for 'operating a very partner-driven approach'. It handles the spectrum of recovery work with specialists in areas such as asset-based lending, secured and unsecured consumer lending, mortgage-related recoveries and administration matters. It can also draw on its expertise in related areas such as financial regulation. The team's client list ranges from major banks and other lenders to debt purchasers and corporates and it also has a niche assisting fintech and start-up lenders. Clients include ABN Amro Lease, Cabot Credit Management, Hanson UK and Moneybarn. 'Exceptional' group head Karen Savage  stands out for 'her commercial acumen combined with a thorough knowledge of the legal matters'. Other core team members include Suzanne Taylor , Paula Swain  and Jade Souch.

The team at Spratt Endicott stands out for its 'excellent' advice. The group is led by Richard Gwynne, who has 'an excellent manner with clients', with other senior members including Martin Hughes and operations manager Steve McDonnell. Associate Peter Gardner is valued by clients for 'providing honest advice'  and for being 'quick to gasp the issues and provide quality advice' and, along with Robert Deane, is noted for 'going the extra mile to ensure a successful recovery'. The team handles the gamut of debt recovery and credit management work, including international recoveries. It also provides a range of in-house training to clients, which are drawn from sectors including banking, telecoms, automotive and electronics.

Brethertons LLP's team is 'excellent in all areas'. The group has expertise in all forms of property-related debt and associated litigation including property management service charge and ground rent arrears. More broadly, it also acts for large manufacturing and healthcare clients. Alison McCormack and Debbie Phillips are the senior members of the team together with Roger Hardwick, who has 'outstanding legal awareness and knowledge' and is 'approachable and brilliant in court'. Shaun Jardine  and senior associate Siobhan Calcott are also key members of the team.

DMH Stallard LLP's team stands out for its 'excellent communication skills, impartial and pragmatic advice and great response times'. The group handles a mix of commercial debt recovery work, credit control matters, and land and property-related recovery work. It also handles the enforcement of judgments both national and overseas. The team is assisting BDO with a range of debt recovery matters, and also acts for banks, property companies and various other commercial organisations. Simon Elcock heads the regional dispute resolution practice, which incorporates the debt and leasehold recovery practices; other team members include Nigel Marchant and Kelly Mills.

Judge & Priestley LLP's team is, according to clients, particularly good at 'identifying legal issues and ensuring clients are fully informed' and has 'developed excellent online case management systems'. It advises on debt recovery, litigation and credit control services for a range of local authorities, has a niche offering in the residential and homecare sectors and handles subrogated recovery for insurance companies. Rachel Addai and Mark Oakley , who jointly head the practice, lead 'a very skilled and helpful' team; Oakley stands out for 'his excellent skills and knowledge when it comes to complex leasehold cases' and for the training sessions he provides.  Mark Younger and  Uday Patel  are noted, as is Robert Davis, 'who delivers what the client wants'.

Led by Ally Tow, Boyes Turner's team handles a range of contested recovery cases across sectors such as IT, recruitment, accounting and property management, as well as acting for public sector clients. Tow also handles contractual disputes and heads the firm's contentious probate team. In highlight work, the team acted for several divisions of H Young (Operations) in a variety of debt matters and acted successfully for a raft of other clients in pursuing unpaid invoices and disputed debts.

Blaser Mills Law acts for an impressive range of consumer supplier clients, particularly those from the construction sector, as well as trade finance and credit companies, combining debt recovery with expertise in litigation and insolvency matters. Jackie Ray  heads a department that also includes Gary Braathen . The group is acting for SIG Trading in pursuit of a claim in respect of construction materials under a winding up petition and a second claim against a director under a personal guarantee. Other clients include First Collect International, Bunzl UK and THX.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's debt recovery offering is part of the firm's wider litigation group and is led by litigation partner Jamie Cartwright. It undertakes contested or complex debt matters rather than bulk work for clients in the automotive industry, as well as for financial and property organisations, often with an international dimension. It handles a variety of debt and litigation matters for British Car Auctions, and is acting for ITV on debt issues arising out of licensing transactions.

Cripps LLP's team handles the recovery of commercial debts, monies obtained by fraud, unpaid fines and disputed fees. It also handles bulk debt recovery in the property sector. Clients range from high-net-worth individuals to corporations and government agencies, and it acts for clients from the manufacturing, construction and leisure industries, and has a focus on assisting professional service firms. Fiona Chamberlain specialises in real estate-related debt and dispute resolution expert Ed Weeks, who frequently works with managing associate Jo Ford, assists clients with an array of commercial debt issues. The team's work includes advising Kings Hill Residential Estate Management Company on estate charges arrears and other matters, and it also acts for The Treasury Solicitor in respect of fees imposed by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

Moore Blatch LLP is valued for its 'excellent response times, technical expertise and commercial approach tailored to the size of the debt'. Mark Osgood heads a team where 'the knowledge throughout is very good with no weak links'. Peter Worrall, who provides 'clear and succinct advice', is supported by Lisa Saxby and Rebecca Chaplin, while litigators Sarah Watley and Robert Evans are other key names. In addition to handling matters such as trade and real estate-related debt, the team also advises creditors and debtors on insolvency matters. Its clients are drawn from the banking and finance, automotive, professional services and utility sectors.

Pinney Talfourd LLP acts for businesses and individuals alike and acts for clients from construction, property, finance and accountancy fields. The team is also instructed by insolvency practitioners. Stephen Eccles heads the dispute resolution department, which incorporates the debt recovery practice. Stephen Green, senior associate Bushra Elzubeir and associate Damian Pitts, who specialises in property litigation are other key members of the team. Amit Bansal joined the team in February 2017 from Giles Wilson LLP.

Pitmans LLP is 'excellent technically and commercially, has depth in the team and offers good value for money'. The group provides a comprehensive range of services across debt recovery, insolvency and corporate turnarounds. Its impressive client base spans global organisations, sole traders, public and government entities, professional service firms and banks. Debt recovery practice head Donna Goddard is 'an excellent leader' and Suzanne Brooker,  who heads the insolvency and restructuring group, is able to draw on some 20 years of experience in debt recovery, providing clients with 'great support and advice'. Other noted lawyers include 'excellent adviser'  William Richmond-Coggan, who is a key name for more general dispute resolution cases.

stevensdrake attracts praise for being a 'proactive partner' with its clients and for providing 'great service from all team members'. It manages debt portfolios for clients such as American Express Services Europe, Mercedez-Benz Financial Services UK, Glenside Finance and Credit Corp Services. Practice head Harry Tumber 'provides exceptional service even when he’s on holiday' according to one client and Stuart Gumm 'is exceptional, with an incredible depth of knowledge'. The team is augmented by insolvency partner Gavin Pickering.

The team at Thackray Williams LLP  has 'a good depth and breadth of knowledge' and handles commercial and personal debt collection, especially in the area of property. +Graeme Weir provides 'thorough, objective advice along with competitive and transparent charges'. He acts for the largest manufacturer of bread products in the UK, including in various court actions and injunctions. Weir is supported by property specialists Andrew Raby, Vikki Herbert and the 'commercially astute' Paula Irvine.

Dentons is able to draw on its complementary expertise in multiple practice areas and fields a team that includes lawyers 'who are always readily available and who have a good level of cross-industry experience'. It has expertise in unsecured recovery claims, as well as in volume-secured recovery and mortgage repossessions where rehabilitation of accounts is not possible. Jackie Hanlon, who leads the volume recoveries team, has 'an expert level of knowledge in residential property litigation and approaches everything with the upmost professionalism'. Katherine Hardman focuses on mortgage repossessions, as well as broader debt recovery. Clients include Central Trust, OneSavings Bank, Swift Group and various building societies.

Lovetts Ltd is a specialist firm that undertakes national and international debt collection and broader recovery litigation. Managing director Michael Higgins, chairman Charles Wilson and director Paul McCulloch are the key names in an experienced team.

Machins Solicitors LLP has long-established expertise in debt recovery, especially with regard to motor finance and property recoveries. Its work includes the recovery of property service charges and ground rent arrears for property management companies and it also manages debt portfolios for both smaller and large companies including plcs, international clients and universities. The group is also well-known for its work in debtor tracing, enforcing judgments and recovering monies under the Consumer Credit Act. The well-regarded Neil O'Callaghan heads the practice.

Trethowans LLP's team, which provides an 'excellent' service, is headed by Louise Boyle  and Chris Whiteley, and also Kelvin Farmaner. The group's expertise takes in a diverse range of contractual disputes including recoveries for the NHS, bulk car parking fines, rent arrears and compensation for delayed flights. Clients include various hospital trusts, Amey, the 4com Group and Embark Corporate Services.

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