Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

United Kingdom > South West > Dispute resolution > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Other

Commercial litigation: Bristol

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Bristol
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial litigation: Bristol clients in South West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

With a growing team and increasingly international focus, Burges Salmon LLP is ‘among the best, if not the best, in the South West when it comes to high-value commercial litigation’. Department head David Hall successfully defended The National Crime Agency in the face of £220m worth of compensation applications made on behalf of an Israeli businessman, who had been convicted in Israel of economic crimes. Specialising in fraud, professional negligence and banking claims, Andrew Burnette advised a state-owned Irish company operating in the energy sector on a multimillion-pound claim for misrepresentation and breach of warranty following the client’s acquisition of a UK waste treatment business. The team is also involved in high-profile domestic instructions. Indeed, Ann Metherall is instructed by a subsidiary of a listed transport company in relation to a highly publicised fatal incident. Kari McCormick, who is ‘adept at handling heavy multi-party litigation’, is advising Financial Services Compensation Scheme on its ongoing PPI recovery project. Additional contacts include Chris Jackson and Laura Claydon, the latter of whom has experience in antitrust litigation. Ian Tucker and Michael Ward were promoted to partner and senior associate Lucy Redman joined from Linklaters LLP.

Clarke Willmott LLP has ‘one of the strongest teams in the South West for financial services disputes and general commercial litigation’.  Practice head Alex Jakubowski is highly rated for contract and insurance litigation and also has niche expertise in commercial agents regulations; clients see him as ‘the sort of lawyer you really want on your side’. Jakubowski is instructed by a Hong Kong law firm to assist Grand Mark Printing with a £1m dispute with a UK customer concerning years of unpaid invoices. Richard Moore has unique expertise in patent litigation and is one of ‘the group’s most respected litigators’. Moore is representing Resman, a Norwegian technology company operating in the oil and gas space, in a claim concerning the infringement of its European patent by Tracerco. Additionally, Moore successfully represented Icescape in a highly publicised patent dispute, which is now being appealed. Philippa Hann and Stephen Searle have experience with group actions and pensions and trustee disputes. The team also handles procurement challenges, professional negligence, agriculture-related claims and insolvency litigation.

DAC Beachcroft LLP handles a range of commercial disputes, but has particular expertise in financial services litigation, especially insurance and pension funds-related cases.  The team is jointly headed by Ben Daniels and Dan Preddy. Daniels has experience handling claims in the telecoms sector and is defending WDFC UK (Wonga) in claims brought by its customers regarding a data breach in connection with a cyber attack on Wonga’s business. Conversely, Preddy specialises in financial services disputes and assisted a large wealth management group with multiple claims by high-profile individuals regarding failed SIPP investments. Rebecca Smith has expertise in trustee and pensions claims and is rated by clients for her ability to provide ‘lucid explanations of complex issues’. Smith represented the former directors of Telos and the company’s former resident agent in a £10m claim for misfeasance and wrongful and fraudulent trading brought by the company’s liquidators. Simon Thomas is another key contact and senior associate Christopher Dyke was hired from Corker Binning to develop a white-collar crime practice.

Known for its ‘first-class client service’, the team at Osborne Clarke specialises in multi-jurisdictional commercial disputes and is highly regarded for procurement litigation. Headed by Leona Briggs, the department has handled a range of complex fraud claims, procurement challenges, cross-border contract litigation, director and shareholder disputes, and arbitration proceedings. The ‘highly recommended’ Charlie Wedin advised Dynasafe Minetech on a number of claims and counter-claims in relation to a terminated contract with a South African company. Additionally, following Mademoiselle Desserts’ acquisition of Ministry of Cake, Clare Robinson is representing two former directors and shareholders of Ministry of Cake in various fraud and conspiracy claims brought by the company’s purchasers. Peter Clough often handles disputes in the technology and financial services sectors and has extensive experience in matters involving CIS or Russian participants. Catherine Wolfenden is a ‘go-to procurement litigator’, who has handled procurement challenges for a number of well-known corporates and listed companies. Tom Ellis, Claudia Glover, and senior associate Tom Frapwell are also recommended.

With specialisms in ADR and banking and financial services litigation, TLT has ‘earned its spot at the top of the tree in the South West’. The department is jointly led by Chris Owen and Jonathan Hoey, who specialises in financial services disputes and investigations. Owen continues to act for The Union and President of India in a long-running dispute with The High Commissioner for Pakistan regarding ownership of the Hyderabad funds. Ed Fiddick is representing Czech-based Optaglio in a multimillion-pound claim against former directors alleging breach of directors’ duties. In the financial services space, Richard Hayllar is defending a high-street bank in a dispute revolving around a high-value loan portfolio granted to a prominent property developer; the team is currently defending claims including malicious prosecution, breach of contract and professional negligence. Victoria Mabbett is instructed by household name corporates such as WHSmith. Sian Ashton has expertise in leisure-sector disputes and consultant Philip May is an experienced mediator. Additional clients include Conviviality and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime.

The team at Bevan Brittan LLP is widely recognised for its expertise in public sector litigation and also has strength in advising private and third sector clients in public services disputes. Adam Kendall heads the department and has advised local authorities and public sector organisations in various multimillion-pound contract disputes. Kendall is also leading a team including senior associate Wesley O’Brien that is representing a clothing accessory manufacturer in a trademark and contract dispute with its German distributor. Emily Heard, who leads the team’s contentious public procurement practice, is representing Sysmex (UK) in a multimillion-pound procurement challenge brought against Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Another key contact in the procurement litigation group is Laura Brealey, who was promoted to partner in 2017. The team’s key clients include London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, Defra, Central & Northwest London NHS Foundation Trust, and Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Thrings LLP’s dispute resolution department has specialist sub-groups focusing on financial services and pension litigation, IP disputes, shareholder and partnership disputes, agriculture-related claims, real estate and planning disputes, and insolvency litigation. Department head Alastair Govier represented the administrators of a gastro-pub business in a £1.75m claim against a UK bank regarding the mis-selling of an interest rate hedging product, which pushed the business into insolvency. Russell Reeves is involved in an £11m dispute concerning the dissolution of a farm partnership - a case that has the potential to reach the Supreme Court. Similarly, Mark Cullingford, who has particular experience in partnership and shareholder issues, is acting for a professional services firm in relation to various disputes with former partners. Megan Jefferies leads the contentious IP practice, while Warren Reid and Alex Madden focus on real estate and planning disputes, respectively.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP ’s ‘superbly professional’ disputes group is rated by clients for its work in the energy, financial services and insurance, manufacturing, retail and transport sectors. Having moved to Bristol from the firm’s West Country offices, Stephen Dilley heads the practice group and is noted for his ‘commercialism and even-headedness’. Dilley was instructed by ES Pipelines to handle a test case, which would determine liability for the costs of stranded assets following the energy market’s transition from traditional in-home dumb-meters to the use of smart-meters. Additionally, Victoria Brooks is on a team that is acting for the liquidator of a real estate sub contractor in relation to multiple tax evasion schemes entered into by a former director at the insolvent company. The department has also handled cases involving fraud and questions of information rights, procurement challenges and major regulatory litigation.

Foot Anstey’s Bristol-based litigation group is headed by Mark Rhys-Jones, who has particular experience in IT and contract disputes and public sector litigation. The group head is acting alongside highly recommended senior associate Catherine Haugh to assist a Middle Eastern law firm with arbitration strategy and procedure in relation to an ICC arbitration case alleging breach of contract. Additionally, Rhys-Jones has advised major UK and Scottish banks on multiple multimillion-pound disputed debt claims. Further, the Bristol team regularly works alongside colleagues in the firm’s London, Exeter and Plymouth offices. Indeed, Rhys-Jones has handled a number of professional negligence cases in conjunction with the firm’s Plymouth-based disputes team.

Humphreys & Co. is ‘a highly regarded niche litigation firm’, which handles a wide range of commercial disputes, but it perhaps best known for its contentious IP practice. The team is headed by Robert Humphreys, who is noted for his ‘incisive litigation instinct, excellent advocacy skill, and personal charm’. Humphreys is defending a UK politician in relation to a defamation claim following an incident on social media. The practice head often acts alongside Paul Wong , who has particular experience in construction disputes and has been identified by clients as ‘one to watch in the future’. Stephen Burbidge has expertise in employment claims and professional negligence and Tristan Morse is another contact in the contentious IP group. The team has been particularly active in shareholder disputes in 2017.

VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards) is a ‘strong, approachable mid-sized firm, with a range of specialisms’ that are attractive to corporates, charities and education sector clients. Ed Husband heads the team and acted for Tudor Rose International in a £2.3m contract dispute regarding the variation of an exclusive distribution agreement. Additionally, Husband and the ‘top-notch’ senior associate Nick Martindale are advising the purchasers of mining company Miller Argent on multiple high-value litigation and arbitration claims following the clients’ acquisition of Miller Argent. The team also has handled a number of commercial disputes in the energy and utilities space and has experience in procurement litigation. Indeed, Ben Holt was involved in a number of procurement challenges in the healthcare sector and, separately, advised a private school in relation to roughly 30 years of unregistered utility services.

The litigation team in Ashfords LLP’s Bristol office has experience in the areas of financial services, tech, retail and professional services. The department is headed by Rory Mac Neice, who is acting for the Environment Agency in relation to claims brought by 25 separate parties regarding a significant flood event. Mac Neice has also handled various regulatory and professional services disputes, which included advising a former partner at a leading law firm on an investigation and subsequent charges made against the client by the SRA. The team is also representing Comoros-based Inter Iles Air in a dispute concerning the lease of a regional airliner airframe. Additional contacts include senior associate Chris Freeman and associate Fiona Ladič.


Commercial litigation: Dorset and South Wiltshire

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Dorset and South Wiltshire
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial litigation: Dorset and South Wiltshire clients in South West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Lester Aldridge LLP has particular experience of disputes in the marine, defence and financial services sectors and has gained a reputation among court advocates for providing ‘practical and carefully prepared advice’. ‘A shrewd and experienced litigator’, department head Michael Giddins is an accredited mediator and has experience of disputes with international dimensions. Giddins is representing a party in a multimillion-pound arbitration concerning the crash of a Russian-owned marine vessel off of a European coast. Edward Foster advised a lender in relation to a commercial loan, the security for which was fraudulently obtained. Chris Evans has experience of a range of commercial disputes, which have recently included acting for a company in relation to a claim and subsequent counterclaim concerning alleged breaches of a share purchase agreement. ‘Neither too robust nor too ready to fold’, Michael Veal is another key figure in the team and has expertise in disputes involving fraud and emergency relief applications.

Steele Raymond LLP is highly regarded in the region for representing companies and individual directors and shareholders in complex commercial disputes. Though clients have noted that ‘the firm’s service is excellent irrespective of the individual who provides it’, department head Peter Rolph is singled out as having ‘vast experience across a range of disputes, which he can bring to bear in every case he handles’. Rolph acted for an individual in relation to the recovery of a multimillion-pound loan granted to a BVI company, and, in another matter, asisisted a technology company with various claims arising from the termination of a cross-border distribution agreement. Rolph also has expertise in construction disputes and professional negligence. John Andrews and Amy Cousineau Massey are additional contacts. Further, the department has seen multiple years of personnel growth, which was continued by the arrivals of senior associate Hannah Dare from Fladgate LLP and Lauren Hayes from Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP. Property litigator Simone Ritchie left the firm.

‘A rare and extremely valuable asset’, Ellis Jones Solicitors LLP is perhaps ‘the most experienced firm in the area for complex banking litigation’ and also has particular expertise in judicial reviews in the context of planning appeals, insolvency and property litigation. Department head Lauren Day acted for a claimant in a seven-figure breach of contract claim, and, in a separate matter, represented a defendant in a dispute with HMRC regarding a multimillion-pound tax demand. William Fox Bregman specialises in banking litigation, and is ‘a highly respected practitioner in claims against banks’. Fox Bregman advised a client on a multimillion-pound dispute with a high-street bank concerning mis-sold interest rate hedging products. Indeed, the team has handled multiple claims against high-street banks involving interest rate manipulation. Paul Kanolik was promoted to senior associate and is rated for his ‘uncanny ability to achieve the best settlement available’ in banking disputes. Solicitor Carl Arreghini is ‘making a name for himself in insolvency and tax litigation’ and Victoria Riddleston is noted for her ‘excellent client manner’.

Battens Solicitors Limited is known throughout Somerset and Dorset for handling a wide range of contentious issues including commercial contract disputes, insolvencies and shareholder and partnership disputes. Peter Livingstone heads the litigation department and also has experience in ADR. Livingstone advised a nursing home business on negotiations with its bank in relation to the imposition of an unwanted fixed-interest borrowing product. The practice head also assisted a business with the removal of a contractor following a particularly acrimonious relationship between the parties. Jon Dobson helped represent the installer of an air conditioning system in a dispute regarding the suitability of that system; the case was successfully resolved and the significant parts of the claim were instead brought against the unit manufacturer. Key clients include Corset Wildlife Trust and WH Longman and Sons.

At Blanchards Bailey LLP, clients can rest assured that they will be ‘dealing with individual professionals and not just a large faceless firm’. The litigation team specialises in acting for individuals and owner-managed business, and is especially active in the agricultural sector. Paul Dunlop heads the department and is representing a company in a compensation claim for breach of contract in relation to the installation of a piece of business-critical equipment. Having recently joined the team from Porter Dodson LLP, associate Ben Jones acted for a client in a dispute regarding damage sustained to the client’s goods, while in the possession of a haulage and storage company; the matter was complicated by the lack of a formal written contract between the two parties. Solicitor Edward O’Brien is another contact in the department.

‘Punching well above its weight’, the litigation team at Frettens LLP is regularly involved in shareholder and partnership disputes and is especially active in property-related litigation. Practice head Michelle Hayter is ‘a tenacious lawyer’, who is particularly noted for her ‘unwavering drive to achieve the best outcome for her clients’. Hayter represented an individual defendant in a £1.8m claim for breach of an LLP agreement, and also provides ongoing advice on contentious issues to clients such as Primetower Properties and Affinity Care. Further, Hayter is advising a group of shareholders in an insolvent company on a claim brought against them by a liquidator. Carl Geary specialises in property litigation and has been involved in a number of boundary and dilapidations claims.

‘A stand-out player among firms outside the capital’, Laceys Solicitors incorporating HLF provides ‘honest, clear and straightforward advice at a reasonable cost’. Headed by Mark Timberlake, who focuses on property litigation, the disputes resolution team handles a range of commercial disputes including contract and partnership litigation. The highly recommended associate Brendan Herbert is assisting a West End production company with claims regarding fees and profit sharing in connection with a successful musical production. ‘Blunt, but simultaneously receptive to client comments’, Herbert was also been involved in a number of shareholder and partnership disputes in 2017. Further, the team is regularly instructed in licensing and management disputes in the media and entertainment industry and has experience of contentious IP issues. Rob Kelly specialises in contentious probate and estate-related claims, while associate Robin Watson focuses on employment law.

The disputes team at Wilsons has an impressive client-roster of national charities and high-net-worth individuals and is ‘fast approaching the renown of the firm’s well-known private client practice’. Ben Thornton, who is ‘a fantastic team leader’, was instructed by Wallgate to strike out a NZ$1.6m claim brought in New Zealand for losses arising out of the termination of a contract. Thornton was also instructed in an acrimonious multimillion-dollar shareholder/director dispute involving related US and UK companies. Senior Associate Jenifer Martindale is representing Pudsey Diamond in a £1.3m contractual dispute with a supplier relating to allegedly defective supplies. Martindale was also on a team that advised AP Association on a cross-border supply contract dispute. Senior associates Debbie Ashenhurst and Michael Ellis are also recommended.


Commercial litigation: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial litigation: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire clients in South West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

‘A strong player in the local market’, BPE Solicitors LLP is regularly involved in commercial contract litigation and ADR, but is perhaps best known for its high-profile professional negligence work. Practice head Philip Radford, who ‘never seems to switch off’, is involved in multiple high-stakes arbitrations involving issues such as breach of covenant against a utilities provider. Acting on the claimant’s side, Riyaz Jariwalla is representing a client in a multimillion-pound contract dispute with a US-based company. Recently promoted to associate, Thomas Hall has been picked out by clients as ‘one to watch for the future’. Hall represented an individual in a dispute regarding a £1m investment that was allegedly mis-used by the entrusted companies. The team also has experience of property disputes, IP claims, fraud and, uniquely, classic car litigation. John Carter specialises in property litigation and professional negligence and was promoted to senior associate in 2017.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys has experience across a range of commercial disputes, but is perhaps best known for its specialisms in civil fraud, banking and financial services litigation. Department head Adam Finch is acting for BVI-incorporated Intex Management Services and WinUnited, as claimants, in relation to the enforcement of a settlement award concerning a £2.5m sum owed to the clients by EU Pay Group. Fiona Hayles leads a team that is representing Paragon Banking Group in a £10m claim brought by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which aims to recover monies paid by FSCS to consumers as compensation for PPI mis-selling. Demonstrating the intersection between the firm’s financial services and professional negligence expertise, Jenny Raymond represented two individuals in a case regarding negligent investment advice they had received. Andrew Cave is another key figure in the department, and property litigation specialist Andrew Walker joined the team from Squire Patton Boggs.

Noted for its ‘oustanding service’, the litigation team at Thrings LLP has particular expertise in professional negligence, product liability, and commercial disputes in the financial services, manufacturing, IT and aerospace sectors. Caroline Watson represented a telecoms company in multimillion-pound High Court claims against Devon and Somerset County Councils for breach of procurement regulations. Watson also acted for a client in a high-value High Court claim against a mezzanine lender for alleged breach of facility loan agreement. Department head David Patterson is representing a fibre optic manufacturer in Technology and Construction Court proceedings regarding damages arising out of a breach of sale and supply contract. Further, Patterson is advising a multinational consumer goods company on an appeal of a ruling from a European regional court.  Ramona Derbyshire advised the company on significant claims under the Consumer Protection Act regarding allegedly defective products that caused serious injuries to adolescents.

The disputes resolution team at Willans LLP has ‘developed long-standing client relationships through an impressive combination of technical expertise and interpersonal skills’. Headed by the ‘pragmatic yet appropriately aggressive’ Paul Gordon, the team is most active in contract and Companies Act litigation, construction disputes, IP claims, professional negligence and property-related litigation. Acting alongside associate solicitor Nick Southwell, Gordon is representing Turbo K International and other defendants in a complex, multimillion-pound High Court dispute concerning the IP rights associated with Turbo K’s flagship product. The practice head is also advising The Juckes Partnership on a potential claim concerning losses incurred from a faulty piece of agricultural equipment. Additionally, Southwell is assisting Apollo Radiators with ongoing Insolvency Act proceedings brought against AK Ticaret. Nick Cox specialises in property-related disputes, but also has experience in professional negligence claims. Severnside Software and Crest Garden are also among the team’s recent clients. All lawyers mentioned are accredited mediators.

By some clients’ reckoning, the lawyers in Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s disputes resolution group are ‘at least on par with their London contemporaries in terms of technical ability’. The team is regularly involved in shareholder and director disputes, and cross-border banking and fraud claims. Clients and peers alike have noted legal director Claudine Morgan’s ‘commercial acumen’ and her ability to ‘effectively manage complex and technically demanding cases’. Morgan is acting for an investment company, on behalf of an indirect subsidiary, in relation to proceedings issued by the client against ten defendants in multiple European jurisdictions concerning a large, euro-denominated facility agreement. Senior associate Anna Smart is assistng a publicly-listed Middle Eastern bank with its High Court application to vary a freezing order, which was served upon it. Further, a team including associate Ben Moore is advising a foreign corporate in the hospitality sector on potential defamation claims against a number of well-known corporate entities. Peter Scandrett retired in 2017.

Croft Solicitors’ boutique litigation team specialises in international disputes, with a particular emphasis on civil fraud, competition and product liability. Of particular note in 2017, name-partner Rupert Croft represented Fair Deal for Expats in the highly publicised judicial review concerning the Government’s intention to give notice under Article 50 to leave the EU without the approval of Parliament; the case reached the Supreme Court, where Croft’s team achieved a favourable ruling. Croft was also instructed to enforce a high-value arbitral award against a European sovereign state. Further, a team including Gaynor Hall is representing Stirling Mortimer Global Property Fund PCC in a €58m claim against a major London-based accountancy practice, alleging conspiracy and negligence resulting from misappropriated monies. The department also includes associate director Laura Nelson and consultant David Perkins, who has over 40 years of experience in IP and competition disputes.

Royds Withy King’s sector-driven disputes team has particular strengths in the retail, leisure and healthcare industries and has been increasingly involved in criminal law and regulatory mandates. Philip Banks-Welsh is acting for a medical supplies company in relation to actions taken by a competitor to undermine the client’s activities throughout Europe; this matter involves assertions such as abuse of dominant market position. Additionally, Banks-Welsh and associate Nicola Cutler are representing a leisure village in potentially multimillion-pound claims against a high-street bank. Chris Kane is defending an individual in damages claims for alleged infringement of IP rights. Andrew Ash has considerable experience in construction litigation. Mei-Ling Huang joined from QualitySolicitors Burroughs Day and has bolstered the firm’s healthcare and social care regulatory practice. Key clients include Bath Rugby, Bath Building Society and DNA Legal.

Stone King LLP provides ‘excellent service, characterised by quick responses and good value for money’, but most importantly, ‘the firm knows how to win cases’. The team specialises in property litigation, private client work and commercial disputes, including insolvency and companies act claims. Associate Sarah Eden represented Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church St. Mary of Debre Tsion in a case of strategic and cultural significance regarding the identity of the charity’s trustees and the allegiance of the church toward competing Patriarchs. Solicitors Simon Stone and Hannah Brittain are also recommended contacts. Additional clients include British Heart Foundation, The Hain Celestial Group and Future Acadamies.

Mogers Drewett LLP has a ‘strong and growing geographic reach’ and ‘punches above its weight in the regional dispute resolution market’. Department head Maeve England is ‘extremely hardworking’ and has a ‘well-deserved following’. England has experience in international arbitration. Luke Watson has particular expertise in disputed wills, trusts and estates, and associate Jake Stacey is noted for his ‘clear communication’ and ‘good technical knowledge’ of construction disputes.

Simon Burn Solicitors is a boutique litigation outfit based in Cheltenham with particular experience in defamation and privacy law, property litigation, insolvency, regulatory and criminal proceedings, director disputes, and general commercial litigation. Name partner Simon Burn is the key contact at the firm.


Commercial litigation: The West Country

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: The West Country
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial litigation: The West Country clients in South West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

The dispute resolution group at Ashfords LLP is made up of ‘skilled, hardworking practitioners, who will go the extra mile for their clients’. The team is often involved in complex, cross-disciplinary disputes and has particular experience in shareholder and director disputes, financial services claims, commercial contract and franchising disputes, and professional negligence. Andrew Perkins is representing a regional property developer and principal shareholder in a multi-party claim brought by a former shareholder concerning a capital reduction demerger transaction; the case also involves claims against the tax and legal advisers, who advised on the transaction. Jason Squire acted for a group providing pension products to high-net-worth individuals in relation to a dispute with a member of one of the pension schemes regarding the trustees’ duty to preserve assets. Other key figures include Antony Lee , legal director Stephen Walker  and Charles Hattersley, the last of whom successfully represented Ward Associates in a matter concerning the client’s liability in relation to a £1.6m judgment.

Michelmores LLP has ‘an established commercial litigation group that is branching out into more international work’, leading many clients to suggest that the team ‘may now be leaders of the pack, regionally’. In one cross-border matter, Jonathan Kitchin acted for a prominent Middle Eastern law firm to enforce a multimillion-pound Middle Eastern judgment in the UK High Court. In another key mandate, Sara Chisholm-Batten and Simon Barnett represented Intelsat Global Sales & Marketing in various claims against parties in African, Asian, European and American jurisdictions. Andrew Oldland is the team’s in-house barrister and is ‘very impressive indeed’; he is acting for a listed company in arbitral proceedings concerning a contractual dispute with a government agency. Also recommended are Tim Richards, who heads the Exeter-based team, and senior associate Jayne Clemens.

Stephens Scown LLP’s litigation department has expertise in areas such as financial services, professional negligence, construction disputes and professional negligence, and is increasingly involved in cases involving foreign jurisdictions. The department is spread across three West Country offices: the ‘calm and collected’ Catherine Mathews leads the Exeter-based group; Davina Haydon leads the disputes practice in the St Austell office; and Brian Dolan, who is ‘a seasoned and highly experienced litigator’, heads the Truro-based team. Dolan is acting for a hotel and spa developer, as claimant, in relation to the termination of a JCT construction agreement. Also on the claimant side, the team is advising a client on a complex, multimillion-pound professional negligence claim against multiple solicitors’ firms and a barrister. Conversely, Toby Claridge is defending a client company and its director in claims alleging fraud being perpetrated by an employee of the company. Richard Slater and Ian Thomas are senior associates in the department.

Clarke Willmott LLP has gained ‘a deservedly strong reputation and is proficient in often complex and high-value disputes’. The firm’s West Country litigation team has particular expertise in agriculture-related disputes, and, as such, is instructed by clients such as National Farmers Union. Indeed, Esther Woolford acted for the National Farmers Union in relation to compensation claims under the Human Rights Act 1998 regarding a significant flood event. ‘A sensible and commercially minded tactician’, Greg Saunders is advising a group of clients on allegedly mis-sold financial products. Further, Tim Hayden heads the agriculture sector group and splits his time between Taunton and Bristol. Daniel Gill is an active senior associate in the department, while associate Laura Mackain-Bremner and solicitor Polly Ridgway are also recommended. In 2017-2018, the department took on contentious probate specialist Bonita Walters from QualitySolicitors Burroughs Day, and also hired a number of junior-level practitioners.

Foot Anstey’s West Country-based litigation team ‘provides outstanding service in commercial disputes, and is particularly strong in financial services and banking litigation’. Indeed, Steven Richards defended a UK resident in a claim brought against him in Australia regarding a purported loan in a failed investment scheme. ‘A seasoned and temperate negotiator’, Robin Brown assisted various UK banks with secured debt recovery claims, and also advised a banking client on a portfolio of claims questioning the accuracy of certain property valuation and conveyancing advice. The team also has experience in media and technology-related litigation, property and construction disputes, and claims involving clients in the retail sector. Peter Singfield counselled a national retailer on an attempt by one of its suppliers to incorrectly terminate a supply agreement. Singfield is also acting for H. Westons & Sons in relation to a double trade mark opposition in the UK and EU intellectual property offices. Senior associate Dickon Court is also recommended.

Acting primarily for SMEs and individual partners and shareholders, GA Solicitors provides ‘sound and well-communicated advice’ across a range of commercial disputes, including IP, commercial contract, and director and shareholder disputes. Indeed, Stephen Allen (‘a tenacious and well-versed litigator’) successfully represented The SMAE Institute, as claimant, in various claims including breach of contract and breach of copyright. Allen was also instructed in a highly acrimonious dispute between two familial shareholders/directors of a portfolio of companies, involving mutual allegations of misfeasance. Moreover, Allen has ‘exceptional knowledge of construction disputes’ and Philip Oke is noted for his ‘methodical approach’ to property litigation mandates.

The team at Kitsons LLP is ‘friendly and approachable’ and has proved ‘particularly efficient and effective in negotiations’. The department is split between the firm’s Exeter office, which focuses on financial services litigation, and the Torbay and Plymouth offices, which are often sought after in property and licensing-related disputes. In Exeter, David Turner is ‘excellent in every respect’ and recently advised a claimant on a matter alleging negligent investment of £6m. Turner also represented the operators of a regional hotel business in mediation with a UK bank in a claim regarding global restructuring group issues. The ‘knowledgeable and communicative’ James Cross is defending Churston Golf Club in a matter brought by a farmer and councillor regarding a complex breach of covenant. Corsham Primary School and South West Contracting are among the department’s new clients.

With expertise in aviation, energy, construction, and agricultural business, Porter Dodson LLP has ‘an excellent reputation for commercial litigation in Dorset and Somerset’. Taunton-based department head Stephen Wray is defending a company director and shareholder in a £1m claim by a fellow director and shareholder alleging unfair prejudice. Senior associate Anusheh Burcher is ‘a superb litigator’, who has experience in the aviation and energy sectors and is involved in a substantial procurement challenge. Moreover, the team represented a company in arbitration proceedings concerning the mechanism through which a shareholding in the company should be valued. Scott Bowley is an ‘efficient and capable litigator’ in the Bridport office. Additionally, the firm took on two more junior-level attorneys in 2017-2018.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP runs ‘an established, West Country litigation practice’, which is particularly sought after for insurance claims in the aviation industry. Of particular note, Kathryn Insall was promoted to partner in 2017. Insall is acting for the claimant in a complex, multi-jurisdictional claim regarding the pay-out of an aviation reinsurance policy. Additionally, Insall is representing a European company client in a multimillion-euro dispute concerning an alleged breach of a partnership supply agreement. Department head Paul Keeling is ‘highly experienced’ in contentious trusts and estates, and professional negligence.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP’s West Country disputes resolution group is instructed by public and private sector clients in high-value disputes. Gareth Kagan is the primary contact in the Plymouth office. Kagan represented a client in mediation proceedings regarding a multi-claim case revolving around alleged breaches of a supply contract; the team continues to advise on ongoing related disputes between the two parties. Associate Luke Holmes is acting for an energy company in a matter concerning the interpretation of a power purchase agreement. Associate Rebecca Hunter's clients include local authorities and a supermarket bank.


Debt recovery

Index of tables

  1. Debt recovery
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Debt recovery clients in South West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

‘In terms of approach, efficiency and general expertise’, Clarke Willmott LLP outmatches many of its competitors; according to some clients, ‘it is the benchmark against which all other debt recovery groups are compared’. The team handles salary overpayments and high-volume debt recovery and is also instructed in complex domestic and cross-border bespoke recoveries, including litigation. Working alongside the firm’s property litigation team, newly promoted partner Philip Roberts is acting for Celestial Management Company on defaulted rent recoveries from particularly difficult occupiers. Kathryn Quinton manages the team’s relationship with The Insolvency Service, which accounted for nearly 5,000 instructions in 2017, spanning income payment agreements, book debts and specialist recoveries. Technical director Stuart Hoysted oversees high-volume claims for a notable UK insurer, while Associate Karen Hellier and paralegal Kayleigh Linford are highly recommended. Additionally, the firm’s ‘online client-profiles allows clients to feel like they have complete control of their claims’. Other household-name clients include The Football Association (on behalf of Wembley National Stadium) and Viridor Waste Management. Jane Dunlop is another key figure.

Highly regarded in the South West for its banking and financial services work, TLT has an active secured recoveries team, which is regularly instructed by many of the UK’s best-known banks, such as The Royal Bank of Scotland. Headed by Graham Walters the secured recovery group regularly works alongside the firm’s specialist banking and financial services litigation team led by Jonathan Hoey. The department also supports a mortgage enforcement and lender sales group, which assists clients such as Lloyds Banking Group with litigation and enforcement of mortgage defaults and also handles the subsequent sale of repossessed properties. The department is becoming increasingly active in motor vehicle recoveries. Deborah Sheldon and Richard Hayllar are additional contacts in the department, and Richard Waller leads the wider banking and lender services group.

The team at DAC Beachcroft LLP specialises in the recovery of business-to-business debt on behalf of investment funds, insurers and corporates. Led by Giles Hindle, the debt recovery group is often instructed in cross-border mandates. Indeed, Christopher Stoate is involved in a multi-jurisdictional recovery claim for Puma Investments. Further, Hindle and Larissa Bayliss assisted a US law firm with the enforcement of a debt due to a client based in the UK. Hindle also advised Western Union on the recovery of debts due under international forward contracts. The team advises banks such as HSBC, as trustees, on the recovery of tenant portfolio debts and also provides ongoing debt recovery assistance to the Post Office, Imperial Tobacco and Zurich Insurance.

Michelmores LLP acts for government agencies and public bodies in relation to ongoing debt recoveries and also handles domestic and cross-border recovery and enforcement matters for corporate clients. As part of a large cross-border investigation, Simon Barnett and Sara Chisholm-Batten advised the Legal Aid Agency on a multimillion-pound action to recover monies paid to Blavo & Co for certain legal aid claims that could not be substantiated. Chisholm-Batten also assisted a multi-national satellite telecoms company with the enforcement and settlement of various cross-border claims relating to multimillion-dollar contractual debts. Tim Richards leads the commercial litigation team and oversees contested debt proceedings. Associates Bill Duncan and Ellen Yeates are active figures in the department.

VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards) has strength in insolvency litigation and debt recovery claims and has won a number of new clients and panel appointments in 2017. Led by Ed Husband, the team was appointed to provide certain debt recovery services to The Bar Council, which comprises all members of the English Bar, as well as barristers chambers in England and Wales. Tabitha Cave focuses on recovery matters in the education sector and assists various schools and nurseries with school fee collections. The team is also active in the energy sector, and Dee Kundi provides ongoing support to a corporate energy supplier in relation to its collection of historical debts. Additionally, the team has seen increased instructions from private-sector corporates and has also invested heavily in its 24-hour digital debt recovery system.

From pre-claim actions through to enforcement, Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP provides comprehensive debt recovery advice to its large national and FTSE corporate clients. Gareth Kagan leads the debt recovery group and advises a pensions investor on a wide range of overpayment debt collections. Kagan also acted alongside regulatory lawyer Jon Cooper in connection with a case concerning the recovery of costs under the control of major accident hazards regulations. Stephen Dilley assists clients in the financial services sector with various seven-figure asset recovery matters. B&Q, British Gas, LV= and The Agricultural Mortgage Company are among the department’s major corporate clients.

Ashfords LLP has ‘an impressive insolvency team, which puts it in a particularly good position to enforce debts through insolvency proceedings’. Acting for banks, professional services firms, insolvency practitioners, local authorities and a range of SMEs, the department is headed by the ‘professional and friendly’ legal director Katie Farmer, who specialises in insolvency and recoveries from foreign jurisdictions. Farmer was recently instructed by a creditor to obtain and serve a bankruptcy order to an imprisoned debtor concerning a six-figure sum owed to the client. Solicitor Gruffydd Davies advised a Belgian law firm on the enforcement options for Belgian judgments in favour of Belgian companies against Libyan bank-assets located in England and Wales. The team has also handled bankruptcy and recovery proceedings for a large London borough.

With particular expertise in consumer credit law, Lester Aldridge LLP is regularly instructed by captive finance companies to assist with cross-border motor vehicle asset recoveries, which often include regulatory investigations and additional parallel claims, such as fraud or breach of contract. For example, group head Ann Lloyd acted for a captive motor finance company in connection with a six-figure recovery involving assets based in Tenerife and the Spanish mainland. Additionally, Danielle Montezuma assisted a high-street bank with the realisation of assets subject to the Proceeds of Crime Act in order to enforce a security agreement. Motor finance clients include Volkswagen Financial Services and Toyota Financial Services.

The debt recovery group at Thrings LLP sits within the wider disputes group and handles domestic and cross-border contested recoveries, from pre-action stage through to enforcement. Amanda Richardson and Ramona Derbyshire are key contacts in the team. Richardson has nearly three decades of experience in the debt recovery industry and serves as the firm’s dedicated recoveries manager, while Derbyshire has extensive litigation experience. The team has maintained a number of relevant panel appointments, which includes Honda Finance Europe, The Bar Council of England & Wales, and Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board.


Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

GC Diversity and Inclusion Report

In partnership with...

International comparative guides

Giving the in-house community greater insight to the law and regulations in different jurisdictions.

Select Practice Area

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

Press Releases in the UK

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to