Noted as a 'go-to firm in Gloucester and Cheltenham', BPE Solicitors LLP's commercial litigation team 'manages complex litigation with a minimum of fuss'. The group combines a breadth of experience across corporate and commercial disputes; practice head Philip Radford handles the full range of contentious commercial issues and is developing a niche in classic car litigation, while Riyaz Jariwalla is popular among IT and digital sector clients with particular expertise in IP issues. Senior associates to note include John Carter and the 'up and coming' Peter Knibbs, who both have particular experience in property litigation and professional negligence claims, and Thomas Hall whose broad practice includes handling a range of commercial, cross-border and fraud-related disputes.
Commercial litigation: Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire in South West
BPE Solicitors LLP
Other key lawyers:
Riyaz Jariwalla; John Carter; Peter Knibbs; Thomas Hall
‘The team is led by a very experienced and able partner and works well together. Its very efficient and manages complex litigation with a minimum of fuss.’
‘The team are approachable, commercial and very talented. I would describe them as punching well above their weight in terms of the quality of work that they attract. The go-to firm in Gloucester and Cheltenham.’
‘The culture and ethos of the firm is its strength. It is commercial first underpinned by law rather than vice versa.‘
‘Philip Radford is the standout partner. There is no type of litigation he has not seen. Peter Knibbs – assistant solicitor – is up and coming.’
‘I have worked mostly with Philip Radford and John Carter. Philip is a statesman with a strong commercial sense, and brings a reassuring gravitas to the team which makes clients feel justifiably safe in his hands. John is great – completely unflappable, with an extraordinarily clear-eyed overview of the most complex matters and an unfailing ability to keep a handle on all the aspects of a matter, and all the detail. He’s a huge asset in a litigation team.’
‘I worked briefly with Riyaz Jariwalla and was blown away by his ability to step into something difficult and complex and pick it up with apparent ease.’
‘I have worked with Thomas Hall. He is clearly great with clients but also very knowledgeable about information law and meticulous in his approach to detail.’
‘Riyaz Jariwalla, was exceptional in his thoroughness, helpfulness and ultimately expertise in dealing with my case. He answered every question, replied to every phone call and email and strategised from the start a plan to make it work. I was thoroughly impressed with his knowledge of many complex matters and his ability to construct my case. I would highly recommend him moving forward.’
Weird Fish Limited
Gloucester Rugby Limited
Just Go Holidays
Malvern Tyres Group
Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's 'excellent ' litigation practice offers 'a first-class service' to its roster of national and international clients. In addition to a range of corporate and commercial disputes, it is particularly well-known for handling contentious insurance matters, product liability and recall disputes and financial services litigation. 'Top litigator' Manoj Vaghela leads the team and counts insurance sector litigation and shareholder disputes, with a focus on unfair prejudice petitions and derivative actions, among his areas of specialism. Legal director Claudine Morgan 'works absolutely tirelessly for her clients' with experience across a range of disputes including contractual, breach of warranty, professional negligence, shareholder and civil fraud issues.
Other key lawyers:
Claudine Morgan; Ben Moore
‘The team provide a first-class service and have a practical and efficient approach to problems.’
‘Manoj Vaghela, Claudine Morgan and Ben Moore are a perfect team. Friendly, helpful and very much on top of their job.’
‘Manoj Vaghela is a top litigator, very calm and logical.’
‘Different due to breadth of expertise. Extremely courteous. rapid reaction to all queries.’
‘The CRS team are an absolute pleasure to work with on any matter. They are smart, focused and very easy to get on with.’
‘I would particularly recommend Claudine Morgan, who is such a delight. She works absolutely tirelessly for her clients and builds a very easy rapport with everyone. I would also highly recommend Ben Moore, who is great to work with and very switched on.’
‘This is an excellent commercial litigation team which offers London-quality services from outside London.’
‘Claudine Morgan – very user-friendly and has an excellent manner with client. She is very good at handling difficult clients.’
National Bank of Kuwait (International) Plc
Tsokkos Hotels Public Limited
Argo Real Estate Opportunities Fund Limited
Sports Supplements Ltd t/a Bulk Powders
Oxford Plastic Systems Ltd
Trustees of the Harrowby’s Discretionary Will Trust
The Trustees of the Earl Bathurst 1963 Settlement
Zenium Technology Partners
Croft Solicitors' dispute resolution practice handles a breadth of commercial litigation, often with international aspects, as well as group claims, enforcement issues and judicial review proceedings The group is led by Rupert Croft who, in addition to general commercial litigation, handles civil fraud, financial services and competition disputes. Other key contacts include director Laura Nelson and costs litigation expert Tom Blackburn. Edward Miller recently left to take up a new role as director of dispute resolution at London firm Gherson.
Other key lawyers:
Laura Nelson; Tom Blackburn; Edward Hazzan
Freebrights trading as Huffkins Limited
International Group Limited
Marmalade of London
New Light Hotels
- Successfully represented the first claimant in the Supreme Court seeking the power to stay the enforcement of an arbitration award of $250m against Romania.
- Acting for a number of UK parties in the defence of a commercial conspiracy claim brought by the Libyan Investment Authority arising from a failed joint venture.
- Acting for minority shareholders in a claim against multinational IT company Tech Mahindra for breach of investment agreement and subscription agreements and unfair prejudice under s.994 Companies Act 2006.
The 'very strong' commercial litigation team at Clarke Willmott LLP is noted as 'a big hitter in the sphere' particularly when it comes to agriculture sector disputes. The 'experienced and technically excellent' Esther Woolford leads the team, which includes Daniel Gill who, in addition to commercial disputes, handles regulatory environmental and pollution litigation. Among the senior associates to note are Ellen Yeates, who is particularly strong for partnership and shareholder disputes and cross-border shipping disputes, and the recently promoted Laura Mackain-Bremner.
Other key lawyers:
Daniel Gill; Ellen Yeates; Laura Mackain-Bremner; Polly Ridgway; Robert Mullen
‘Very strong west country practice. A big hitter in the sphere.’
‘A cohesive team of motivated lawyers who are able to deal with a wide range of complex property and succession disputes.’
‘The practice is unique for several reasons including their passion to succeed and help. The team’s strength is the knowledge and commitment and perseverance – leaves other firms way behind. The people are very forward and committed to do the job with billing cost kept at a level with discussions had at all time regarding this. Huge diversity within the firm with great collaboration at all times.’
‘Esther Woolford is dedicated, industrious and works fantastically in a team.’
‘Esther Woolford – experienced and technically excellent. Laura Mackain-Bremner – a cool head when litigation gets hairy.’
‘Robert Mullen is absolutely superb. He is a complete superstar and will go far. He is a very good technical lawyer with great client skills. He prepares everything very thoroughly and delivers impressive results for his clients. He will be a partner in no time. And deserves his success as he is a very nice, genuine person.’
‘I have been dealing with Ellen Yeates and her assistants primarily. Ellen has taken the time to understand my situation and taken expert counselling where necessary. The relief I have felt since Ellen has taken me on as a client is immense. Ellen explains the process and possible outcomes in a clear, understandable and practical way.’
‘Polly Ridgway is a highly motivated and ambitious young lawyer who provides excellent support. Dan Gill is similarly an ambitious and capable lawyer with mature judgment. In Taunton, Esther Woolford is a busy litigator with real ability and expertise in the agricultural and partnership fields.’
FRP Advisory Group Plc
Osprey Shipping Ltd
Cisco Gomes Ltd
KWL Associates Ltd
- Successfully defended 16 dairy farmers in a short notice (same day) injunctive claim brought by milk processor, Watson’s Dairies Limited, following the farmers’ service of notices to terminate their milk supply contracts with the processor.
- Representing FRP Advisory Group Plc as fixed charge receiver in a dispute between the lenders and receivers, and the borrowers, following failures by the borrowers to repay the sums lent to them as trustees of a family trust.
- Advising a group of 17 farmers in a multi-party action against four large financial institutions. The claim relates to misrepresentation, breaches of duty as agent and breaches of the Consumer Credit Act statutory regime.
Harrison Clark Rickerbys' dispute resolution practice is known for handling disputes across its particular areas of specialism. Adam Finch and banking litigator Fiona Hayles are noted for financial services litigation and jointly lead the team alongside IT and IP litigation expert Steven Murray, who also assists clients with data protection disputes, and real estate litigator Andrew Walker. The group also has experience in business protection disputes, for which Jenny Raymond is noted, and has a growing debt recovery practice headed up by Jason Morris who joined from Shoosmiths LLP.
Adam Finch; Steven Murray; Fiona Hayles; Andrew Walker
Other key lawyers:
Jenny Raymond; Jason Morris
‘Responsive, offer a range of retainers for litigation clients. Work well with litigation funders and ATE insurers. Get good settlements quickly for clients.’
‘Adam Finch is clear in his advice and understands the commercial pressures that clients experience when litigating. He uses everything at his disposal to achieve the best possible result for clients as early as possible.’
CGI Automotive Consulting Limited
EMC Cement Holdings Ltd
9 Group Ltd
Gemco Equiment Ltd
Cats Solutions Ltd
Paragon Banking Group plc
The Colt Car Company Ltd
Paragon Technology Finance Limited
CT Capital Limited
- Instructed by a group of 160 individual lenders in an online peer to peer crowdfunding scheme to defend a claim in excess of £14m and consider a counterclaim of £9m.
- Represented Wayfair Stores in several claims for breach of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations and other data protection statute.
- Acted for a retired Formula One driver, who became a shareholder with another F1 driver in a business that formerly owned a racing team, in an unfair prejudice claim brought against his business partner and co-director/shareholder.
Royds Withy King
Royds Withy King's 'strong' South West dispute resolution practice has a 'breadth of knowledge' in commercial disputes and contentious regulatory issues, particularly in the health sector. Dual UK and US-qualified Mei-Ling Huang leads the department from Bath following Philip Banks-Welsh's retirement in April 2020 and specialises in health and social care sector disputes. Other changes to the team include the addition of 'talented litigator' Tom Llewellyn, who joined the practice from DAC Beachcroft LLP adding a breadth of commercial dispute resolution experience with particular expertise in urgent injunctive actions, data protection issues and IT disputes. Senior associate Nicola Radcliffe is another name to note for contentious healthcare issues, while Swindon-based Marianne Johns leads the debt recovery, enforcement and consumer-related disputes work.
Other key lawyers:
Tom Llewellyn; Nicola Radcliffe; Sheridan Hendzel; Marianne Johns; Fran Tremeer
‘The practice for me has the right balance of expertise in various fields, especially Health & Social Care. Their breadth of knowledge is unrivalled with a pragmatic view.‘
‘Local leader. Capable, strong team who are friendly and approachable. Open to alternative suggestions for settlement. Always has the client’s interest at heart.’
‘Marianne Johns – very bright and commercially aware and articulate. A very safe pair of hands for clients on any size of litigation.‘
‘Sheridan Hendzel – a well-driven and commercially minded litigator. She has knowledge and experience beyond her years.‘
‘Nicola Radcliffe – a well-rounded solicitor. Technically a very good lawyer. ’
‘Mei-Ling Huang, specifically has been instrumental in addressing various regulatory and dispute resolution issues within health and social care. She has been my “go-to” person within the organisation. She’s on my speed dial and is always at hand to clearly and concisely explain the way forward in a calm manner. I have no hesitation in recommending Mei-Ling and her excellent team. If you have regulatory or dispute resolution issues, call her.’
‘Tom Llewellyn – really nice man. Good communication and very commercial. Would pick up matters with complex facts and understand the issue trying to be resolved very quickly. Really good quality work and a talented litigator.’
‘Tom Llewellyn, Nicola Radcliffe, Marianne Johns and Fran Tremeer – a very good, strong and capable team.’
London and Country Mortgages
- Defended London and Country Mortgages in claims from a former employee for ‘loss of chance’ following termination of his employment during his probation period.
- Representing an individual in a claim brought by Ralph Lauren against a former partner of the client and their companies.
Stone King LLP's dispute resolution team is particularly well known for its education and charity sector expertise, and the group is experienced in handling a range of commercial disputes including contractual and corporate litigation. Practice head Tony Pidgeon has a particular focus on real estate-related disputes, while Gavin Llewellyn (who splits his time between London and Bath) focuses on IP and brand management disputes. 'Strong lawyer' Luke Watson joined from Mogers Drewett LLP and has a breadth of commercial dispute and contentious probate experience.
Other key lawyers:
Gavin Llewellyn; Luke Watson
‘Very client focused, understands our needs and status/position very well, ability to forecast and understand options/scenarios/plan ahead.’
‘Well regarded team, with strong private client reputation.’
‘Engaging, positive, articulate, responds well and rapidly.’
‘Luke Watson has recently joined the team. I have known Luke for about 20 years and have always found him to be very reasonable and pleasant and also to seek a settlement rather than ‘scoring points’; which is to be encouraged in this area of law.’
‘Luke Watson is highly experienced and has good judgment. He is a safe pair of hands to conduct the complex estates and charity legacy work at Stone King.’
‘Luke Watson- a good, strong lawyer.’
‘Luke Watson is a strong recent acquisition at partner level. Great personality with a real focus on the commercial reality of a dispute. Gets stuck into the detail and works hard to really understand the client.’
The Governing Body of Christ the King College
The National Heritage Memorial Fund
- Successfully defended The Governing Body of Christ the King College in a claim brought by School Facility Management for breach of contract arising out of a ‘hire agreement’ for a modular building.
Thrings LLP's 'very knowledgeable' commercial dispute resolution team is particularly strong for corporate and contractual disputes, financial services litigation, debt and asset recovery issues and product liability disputes. Bristol-based Kerrie Hunt leads the group, which, in Swindon, includes Ramona Derbyshire, who 'couples friendly approachability with forensic rigour' and handles a range of contentious corporate and commercial issues, and Caroline Watson, who counts corporate, pension and procurement disputes among her areas of expertise.
Other key lawyers:
Ramona Derbyshire; Amanda Richardson; Caroline Watson
‘Thrings are a leading firm in the Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire area and their expertise in commercial litigation and debt recovery is unparalleled. They are ably led by Ramona Derbyshire, who couples friendly approachability with forensic rigour. The firm deal with a wide range of commercial disputes and can be relied on for their knowledge of the law and awareness of commercial realities and the need for pragmatism.’
‘Very knowledgeable and well versed in bringing a claim to settlement before a court date whilst keeping fees to a minimum.’
‘I found Thrings to be a very professional and understanding firm. Any issues are dealt with extremely promptly and responses were very balanced and considered. It was a pleasure to work with them.’
‘Amanda Richardson is someone you can easily place your trust in as a safe pair of hands with an easy manner and a robust temperament when needed.’
‘Ramona Derbyshire dictates the tone of her team and her qualities infect others. She is pleasant to deal with, clear and accurate.’
‘Caroline Watson – a partner in the commercial dispute resolution team. Caroline is very responsive, friendly and pragmatic and we trust her implicitly.’
Honda Finance Europe plc
MAN Truck & Bus UK Ltd
Wella UK Limited
UTAX (UK) Limited
Quilter Financial Planning
Multivac UK Limited
DNO Consulting Limited
Four legs are better than two Limited
Stanley Security Solutions Limited
- Defending a well-known global financial services group in claims for specific performance of an annuity policy brought by the personal representatives of an estate relating to the defendant’s failure to make payment of a dependents’ pension.
- Acted for three directors and former shareholders of an agri-tech services business which was sold to a global group in 2017 in claims for alleged breaches of the deferred consideration provisions in the Share Purchase Agreement arising out of the purchaser’s operation of the business in the deferred consideration period.
- Defending an international supply chain services provider to the pharmaceuticals industry in claims for negligence and breach of contract following the failure of its cold storage facility and the resulting destruction of pharmaceuticals products owned by a third party.
The 'superb' litigation team at Willans LLP is particularly active in contract litigation and partnership disputes as well as construction, IP, property and professional negligence claims. Paul Gordon, who has a breadth of experience in commercial and civil litigation and ADR, leads the team which includes the 'very experienced' Nick Cox, who counts property disputes among his areas of specialism, and recently promoted senior associate Nick Southwell.
Other key lawyers:
Nick Cox; Nick Southwell; Katie Duthie; James Melvin-Bath
‘The team know their stuff and are abreast with current legal decisions and market trends enabling them to give up-to-date advice.‘
‘Commercially minded and good at spotting the real concerns and providing solutions.‘
‘Superb team led by Paul Gordon.‘
‘Robust and very commercially driven negotiators.‘
‘James Melvin-Bath is an outstanding litigator. He had a excellent knowledge of the law and is tactically astute. Certainly punching above his weight.‘
‘Paul Gordon: quick to grasp the issues and find solutions for the client.’
‘Nick Southwell – Confident. Unfazed. Delivered. Kept on point, knew the law, didn’t deviate or get drawn and won the case.‘
‘Nick Cox is a very experienced solicitor well-qualified to handle dispute resolution, explaining what is involved and keeping you up to date with progress.’
P14 Medical Limited
Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation
Midland Chemicals Limited
Poundstretcher Limited (and Crown Crest (Leicester) Plc)
Stichd Sports Merchandising UK Limited (part of the PUMA group)
Ferryfast Produce Limited (including Keyfresh IT Limited)
Balance Healthcare Limited
Soft Landing Investment Limited
Sanderson Recruitment PLC
Park Road 3 Limited
- Acting for Stichd Sports Merchandising BV, the applicant appealing the liquidator’s refusal of a proof (claim) in the liquidation of Force India Formula One Team Limited.
- Advised Sanderson Recruitment plc, part of the Sanderson group, on various matters including claims for injunctive relief to prevent the disclosure of confidential information, and breaches of restrictive covenants; as well as advice on breach of contract claims.
- Acted for P14 Medical Limited in an urgent application to obtain injunctive relief against a former director to restrain him from acting in breach of restrictive covenants contained in his employment contract and to prevent him from using confidential information.
Maitland Walker LLP
Maitland Walker LLP has experience across a range of commercial litigation with growing expertise in handling multi-party litigation before the Competition Appeal Tribunal. Practice head Julian Maitland-Walker and recently promoted partner Sheree-Ann Virgin specialise in corporate and competition disputes.
Other key lawyers:
Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club
Talarius / RAL Limited
British Association of European Parallel Distributors
Leisure and Outdoor Furniture Association
QED Engineering Limited
Mogers Drewett LLP
With 'real business sense', Mogers Drewett LLP's dispute resolution practice is well-placed to act for private individuals and SMEs in a range of corporate and commercial disputes. 'Exceptional' practice head Maeve England attracts praise for being 'a creative problem solver' and has particular expertise in real estate disputes, commercial property claims and company and partnership litigation.
‘Real attention to detail, legal insight and hard work for lay clients. Some of the best client care outside of London.’
‘Maeve England is a creative problem solver, well organised and communicates well with clients.’
‘This company is extremely well placed to serve Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Somerset.’
‘Maeve England is a stand-out partner. Really hard working for her lay clients and brings a lot of knowledge and experience to the table. She is also very committed to getting great outcomes for her clients, she’s always at the end of a phone.’
‘Good reputation as a mid-tier commercial firm, with real business sense. An excellent partner leading the team (Maeve England), with superb supporting experience in the non-contentious / transactional sides of the firm.’
‘Maeve England – exceptional partner, with a tireless work ethic and a fastidious approach to litigation. A very safe pair of hands, and a hit with clients.’
‘The provision of clear, straightforward and practical advice.’
‘I have worked regularly with Maeve England (Partner, Litigation and Dispute Resolution). She has an incisive mind and great clarity of thought and applies it to the provision of very clear and pragmatic advice.’
Simon Burn Solicitors
Litigation boutique Simon Burn Solicitors attracts praise for its 'special expertise in certain areas including directors disqualification and other insolvency-related matters'. Practice head Simon Burn has 'significant in-depth knowledge' in this area, ably supported by 'highly impressive' solicitor Mark Ingram. David Magill is noted for defamation disputes.
Other key lawyers:
Mark Ingram; David Magill
‘All the team were in sync on our case. They were effective, efficient and very adaptive as our case progressed.’
‘Simon Burn was informative and helped me battle through a very stressful situation, holding my hand all the way through.’
‘Stand out partners were Simon Burn and Mark Ingram.’
‘Small firm, but able to take on big cases.’
‘Mark Ingram – who ran the case perfectly. Could be fully relied on to produce evidence, sensible letters and court documents with a minimum of fuss. Highly impressive.’
‘Great communication from all members of the practice. Providing clear advice at all times.’
‘Simon Burn is clearly a leader in his field, he has significant in-depth knowledge about his area of expertise (director disqualification) and provides clear, easy to understand advice. Simon has the ability to look 3 steps ahead and advise on significant possible next steps meaning that I could plan for all eventualities, should the worst happen.’
‘Small provincial firm with special expertise in certain areas including in particular directors disqualification and other insolvency-related matters. They are able to service clients at cheaper cost but able to compete against the larger firms in terms of expertise. They are also prepared to take on the larger firms and insolvency practitioners on behalf of individuals who have been badly served by the system.’
OSL Rail Limited
- Successfully defended an individual in a £6.5m wrongful trading claim and £325,000 transaction at an undervalue claim, brought by AIM listed insolvency litigation funders Manolete Partners PLC.
- Advised an individual on the successful dismissal of an appeal brought by Malkiewicz & Ors in the Supreme Court. The case related to a libel claim brought by the client in relation to an article about him published in October 2015 in Nowy Czas, a newspaper addressing issues to the Polish community in the UK. It also included allegations of judicial bullying.
- Successfully challenged the use of digital material received pursuant to a search order.
Wilsons' commercial litigation practice is 'well-versed in disputes involving smaller companies and partnerships' and is 'great at deploying and drawing in specialist expertise across a range of areas'. The 'excellent' Ben Thornton leads the team, which includes 'pragmatic problem solver' Debbie Ashenhurst, senior associate Jenifer Martindale, who is an 'excellent all-rounder'; and 'amazing' associate Jayna Patel.
Other key lawyers:
Jayna Patel; Debbie Ashenhurst; Jenifer Martindale
‘Wilsons’ solicitors are highly regarded for their litigation. They give good sound advice, very helpful and courteous.’
‘Ben Thornton took on my initial case and was excellent. The other step forward was with Jayna Patel who was equally amazing. Always took the time to discuss each step of the case.’
‘Great at deploying and drawing in specialist expertise across a range of areas of law that are otherwise difficult to find under one umbrella, e.g. education law issues with complex data protection elements.’
‘Debbie Ashenhurst is very experienced, smart, alert to risks that might not be obvious, and a pragmatic problem solver.’
‘Wilsons provides a high-quality service easily matching that of boutique litigation firms in the capital. The team is particularly well-versed in disputes involving smaller companies and partnerships as an extension of their well-regarded private client work.’
‘Jenifer Martindale is an excellent all-rounder, able to handle partnerships and shareholder disputes, insolvencies, contract disputes and even commercial fraud. She is diligent and thorough and gets the job done efficiently and to a high standard.’
‘Debbie Ashenhurst showed real legal skill in identifying the difficult company law issues involved and their consequences, all of which massively helped.’
‘Jayna Patel at Wilsons is full of common sense, practical awareness and has a clear eye towards achieving the client’s commercial objectives. She has a clear grasp of the law but ensures that this does not obscure what the client is trying to achieve and makes practical solutions the priority.’
Pudsey Diamond Engineering Limited
Capital Milk Limited
Pure Pastures Limited
- Acted for Pudsey Diamond in a £770,000 contractual and negligence claim being pursued in the Circuit Commercial Court of the High Court (in Bristol) concerning the quality of materials supplied by a supplier.
- Acted for milk wholesaler Capital Milk and recently settled its long running contractual dispute with one of the UK’s biggest dairy companies, Muller UK & Ireland Group LLP.
- Represented Pure Pastures in a claim for upwards of £250,000 against Nationwide Corporate Finance Limited and Alfandari Private Equities which alleged breach of contract, breach of agency, breach of fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment concerning the brokering of two finance leases by the defendant between Pure Pastures and Close Brothers.