Commercial litigation: Birmingham in West Midlands

DLA Piper

With ‘a Rolls Royce ‘City’ service at West Midlands’ prices‘, DLA Piper‘s commercial litigation practice is a key name to note. The group is adept at handling the full range of national and international disputes, including international arbitration proceedings. The ‘excellentNeil Bowker leads the team and acts for leading plcs and multinational businesses in a range of disputes. Other names to note include the ‘brilliant and unflappableNick Bamford, who is particularly well known for handling contractual claims and allegations of financial misconduct in the hospitality and financial services sectors, and the ‘ferociously hardworkingPhillip Kelly, who is noted for his ‘very strong technical knowledge‘.

Practice head(s):

Neil Bowker;

Other key lawyers:

Nick Bamford; Phillip Kelly; Laura Moorcroft


‘DLA manages large, complex commercial litigation very well; they allocate appropriate resources to all aspects of the litigation and they seek to anticipate potential developments in the cases.

‘Phillip Kelly is absolutely excellent; he is diligent and extremely bright. He often notices issues that others have missed.

‘Nick Bamford is a hugely experienced and capable litigator.’

‘The DLA dispute resolution team provide a Rolls Royce ‘City’ service at West Midlands’ prices. As a result, they have a multi-national following of A List clients.’

‘The team is lead by the brilliant and unflappable Nick Bamford. A real strategist and blue sky thinker. Partner Phillip Kelly is an outstanding intellect and is ferociously hardworking. They are very ably supported by an excellent team of assistants, including Laura Moorcroft.’

‘The team combines technical strength with pragmatism and a focus on achieving commercial outcomes. The team are down to earth and enjoyable to work with.’

‘Phillip Kelly has very strong technical knowledge and is rigorous in his analysis.’

Key clients

IHG Hotels Limited

Renova Industries

Marriott Hotels

Holiday Inns Middle East Limited

Genting Casinos UK Limited


Telereal Trillium

Reckitt Benckiser

Dyson Technology Limited

Avison Young – UK, LLP

Westland Horticulture Limited

Cycas Hospitality BV


Generali Insurance Asset Management S.p.A. SGR

Eddie Stobart Limited (ESL)

Tower Supplies

Underbelly Limited

Exidor Limited

Vinler International Limited

Harworths Estates

Work highlights

  • Representing Renova Industries and associated companies in proceedings brought in the British Virgin Islands  brought against Emmerson International Corporation valued at $900m.
  • Acted for the owner and manager of the London Marriot Hotel Regents Park in a successful action against a hunger striker, who was unlawfully occupying a hotel room and threatening to take his own life as a means of protest against the Marriott International Hotel Group.
  • Acting as external advisers to the Magnox Inquiry – the public inquiry announced into the failure of a $7bn contract for the decommissioning of 12 nuclear powers sites and the procurement process for that contract.


DWF's 'excellent international practice' handles a range of cross-border disputes, with a particular focus on Russia and the CIS region. The group is particularly well-known for handling cases with fraud and embezzlement elements. The 'inventive and pragmatic' Andrew Leach leads the group and is frequently instructed by ultra-high-net-worth individuals in Russia; he also counts BT, Severn Trent and Ukrainian Deposit Guarantee among his new client wins. Darren Kenny and director Ben Griffin (who has niche expertise in commercial agency issues) are other names to note for Russia and CIS region-related disputes. The group also benefits from an in-house forensic accounting team, which is particularly useful in high-value litigation, investigations and fraud disputes. Senior associate Matthew Goodwin joined from Wright Hassall LLP.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Leach

Other key lawyers:

Darren Kenny; Ben Griffin; Fergus Kiely; Matthew Goodwin


‘The DWF Birmingham team is innovative, strategic, effective and good value. They are comparable in quality to much more expensive London firms.’

‘The Birmingham team have an excellent international practice which is unusual for a regional firm. They are clearly a tier 1 team and operate at a very high level.’

The firm is unique in various respects. It is a truly international firm with dozens of offices across the globe but still with the “value for money” offering, which is especially important for dispute resolution where the clients are concerned not to throw good money after bad. Moreover, the firm is listed on a stock exchange, which, yet again, allows it to offer alternative fee arrangements for the contentious work compared to the law firms incorporated as regular LLPs. Finally, the dispute resolution practice of DWF in Birmingham benefits considerably from their own in-house forensic team. That is very important for quantifying damages in complex litigation and arbitrations, for the internal corporate investigations, as well as for investigating fraud.’

‘Andy Leach is inventive and pragmatic. He sees the bigger picture of a case, and effectively manages his team to deliver the best results. Darren Kenny has a great strategic eye for where and when to apply pressure to win a case, combined with a relaxed and reassuring approach that makes him easy to work with. Ben Griffin has impressive legal knowledge is incredibly hard-working and has a good feel for where a case will go.’

‘Andrew Leach is not just technically strong with great legal knowledge, he possesses commercial sense, and is equipped with practical solutions for his clients.’

‘Darren Kenny is pragmatic and very good at finding clear and workable solutions to the complex procedural and technical issues that arise in large-scale litigation.’

Fergus Kiely – efficient and responsive.

Ben Griffin: one of the most thoughtful lawyers I have ever met. Extremely to the point. He is the engine and the clock of the team.

‘Darren Kenny has a sophisticated understanding of the law relating to litigating foreign disputes in England. This enables him to plan strategically from the very outset and to get the best out of barristers instructed in his cases.’

‘Matthew Goodwin has an enviable combination of thoughtfulness, cleverness and tenacity which shows through in his work.’

Key clients


Severn Trent

Cornwall Council

The West Midlands Combined Authority


Munnelly Group

London Luton Hotel BPRA Property Fund

Ukrainian Deposit Guarantee Fund

Delta Bank


Work highlights

  • Representing Ukrainian Deposit Guarantee Fund in a $1.2bn embezzlement/fraud claim against the former owners and management of two Ukrainian banks, Delta Bank and IMEX Bank.
  • Acting for a billionaire who was falsely accused by the Financial Times of being the ‘Russian money’ behind President Donald Trump.
  • Acting for BT in a £65.2m claim against HMRC to reclaim VAT paid by BT on supplies in the 1970s and 1980s to BT’s customers who failed to pay BT.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's 'pragmatic and commercial' litigation and dispute management practice 'instils confidence in both its experience and judgement' across a range of local and international commercial disputes. The group is jointly led by the 'exceptional' Rich Lloyd, who frequently represents industrial engineering and energy and utilities sector clients in litigation and arbitration; Adam Fisher, who is particularly strong for fraud-related matters, automotive claims and technology and outsourcing disputes; head of public inquiries and investigations Sarah Jones, and Nottingham-based Louise Howarth. Principal associates Ridah Iqbal and Helen Amison are names to note for technology, and aerospace and defence sector disputes respectively, while 'excellent senior associateVictoria Callicott focuses the utilities sector.

Practice head(s):

Adam Fisher; Rich Lloyd; Sarah Jones; Louise Howarth

Other key lawyers:

Ridah Iqbal; Helen Amison; Victoria Callicott


‘This is a good team of varying bench strength. The team is engaging, committed and accessible. The advice is pragmatic and commercial and costs are always agreed up front and predictable. The firms instils confidence in both their experience and judgement.’

‘Rich Lloyd and his team were exceptional – in terms of client service, quality of advice – both legal and commercial, ease to deal with, understanding of our issues, availability and indeed anything else we needed.’

‘The partner Adam Fisher is commercial, pragmatic and always available. He is able to cut through the detail of complex issues and summarise in a way that is helpful to senior management. He has a partnering approach to his client relationships. He is a trusted and much-respected adviser.

Victoria Callicott is an excellent senior associate. She can retain a vast amount of detail and her advice is always considered and balanced. She works well with our business and has very much become part of the team.

‘Rich Lloyd, who headed the team, was exceptional and I would happily use him again and unreservedly recommend him. He was available, dealt with matters in an understandable way and without jargon, showed a great understanding of our issues and concerns, and was very “user-friendly”.’

‘Stand out partner is Adam Fisher and stand out associate is Victoria Callicott.’

‘The team led by Rich Lloyd are very responsive and commercial. They are outcome-driven and willing to propose innovative fee arrangements to win the business. Strong all-rounders.’

‘Rich Lloyd is a talented lawyer. He takes time to understand the detail and the commercial complexities and applies his knowledge and expertise to achieve the best outcome for us. He is a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Compass Group


John Lewis Partnership

National Grid

Severn Trent

Thames Water


Mitchells & Butlers

Vestey Foods

Sherwin Williams

Ecclesiastical Insurance Office Plc

The Haemophilia Society

Telford and Wrekin Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Leavesley Group, a leading international property and agricultural group, on a fraud perpetrated by a former director and trusted employee spanning a number of years and involving the multimillion pound re-development of a 4,000 acre estate.
  • Representing The Haemophilia Society and 156 of the society’s members in the ‘Infected Blood Inquiry’ which is a statutory inquiry established to examine why men, women and children in the UK were given infected blood / blood products since the 1970s; whether they consented to the treatment; the impact on those infected and their families; the support offered to them, and how the authorities responded.
  • Acting as the Commissioning Body to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation for Telford and Wrekin Council.

Fieldfisher LLP

Fieldfisher LLP's 'excellent' dispute resolution team is 'fast-developing a major reputation for working on substantial high-value cases' with particular expertise in manufacturing, engineering, IT, energy, financial services and agency disputes. The group is adept at handling cross-border litigation and frequently acts for clients based across the CIS region, Germany (recently promoted partner Ellie Pinnell, who has particular expertise in competition follow-on damages claims, is a key contact), France and the Nordic countries. 'Terrific' recently promoted director Zaakira Allana is also developing particular experience in acting for clients based in the Middle East. Ann Benzimra is popular among IT, manufacturing and energy and infrastructure clients, while Richard Waugh focuses on energy disputes. Other names to note include Adam Sturt for his experience in cases involving fraud and requiring injunctive relief, and Stephen May for commercial disputes with regulatory or public law issues, including competition, foreign law and public procurement disputes. Jonathan Hofstetter retired.

Practice head(s):

Adam Sturt

Other key lawyers:

Stephen May; Ann Benzimra; Richard Waugh; Ellie Pinnell; Zaakira Allana


‘Excellent magic circle quality but outside of London. Accessible, nothing is too much effort. On top of the law in their areas.’

‘Very strong litigation practice that is equal or better than London-based competitors.’

‘Fieldfisher have a first-rate commercial litigation practice, and is fast-developing a major reputation for working on substantial high-value cases. The teams they put together on large cases are excellent, and are more than capable of holding their own against the Magic Circle commercial litigation teams. They are excellent.’

‘Adam Sturt. Very good and thorough lawyer. Great strategist.’

‘Zaakira Allana is terrific: she’s one of the hardest-working solicitors I’ve worked with; her work-product is invariably excellent; and she’s destined for great things.’

‘Stephen May is genuinely excellent. He has an excellent legal brain, broad knowledge and makes sound judgment calls. He plans and resources litigation appropriately – delivering high quality work within a tight budget when required. He also has a good sense of humour under pressure of trial.’

‘Richard Waugh is a very diligent, focused and commercially savvy lawyer. He combines excellent attention to detail with an ability to understand the clients’ needs well.’

Key clients

Achilles Information Limited

Live Nation Music (UK) Limited

DS Smith Plc

Leo Services Holdings Limited

Celera Telecom Limited

Boparan Holdings Limited t/a 2 Sisters Food Group

DHL Parcel UK Limited

Pearson Plc

American Sugar Refineries Inc

Infrastrata Plc

Ishida Europe

Henderson and Jones Limited

Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH

Fives SA

FLSmidth A/S

Shield Group Engineering

Trend Micro (UK) Limited

BMT Global

Swedish Match AB

Millbrook Healthcare

MGF Groundworks

PlanET Biogastechnik GmbH

Work highlights

  • Represented Live Nation in judicial review proceedings and in a public procurement challenge against the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and The Royal Parks.
  • Advising an individual on a $1.9bn claim and a worldwide freezing order in the sum of $2.6bn imposed against him by PrivatBank.
  • Acting for DS Smith Plc in a multi-million pound claim for follow on damages against DAF, MAN, Daimler, Iveco and Volvo/Renault due to their participation in a long-running truck cartel.

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG's 'superb team of dedicated lawyers' are experienced in a range of commercial and corporate disputes and post-M&A disputes. The group is 'highly proficient in the IT disputes world' — Patrick Arben and Helen Davenport are key names to note — and counts health and safety, insurance, procurement, data privacy, bribery, corruption and fraud disputes among its other areas of expertise. Contentious regulatory expert Andrew Litchfield leads the team, which includes Tom Price, who handles a range of cross-border disputes and 'has substantial CIS region expertise'; Andrew Smith, who has particular experience in contractual disputes; and Davinia Gransbury, who focuses on corporate governance, civil fraud, directors' responsibilities and duties, and contentious insolvency matters.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Litchfield

Other key lawyers:

Davinia Gransbury; Helen Davenport; Andrew Smith; Samantha Holland; Emma Carr; Patrick Arben; Tom Price; Sean Adams; Amber Strickland


‘Superb team of dedicated lawyers, highly proficient in the IT disputes world.’

We used the team at Gowling WLG for a public procurement case and were impressed by their knowledge and experience in this niche area.

‘Helen Davenport inspires great confidence and is closely engaged in her cases.’

‘Patrick Arben is a standout partner within the technology litigation market, his commercial know-how and acumen coupled with strong litigation skills make him a go to adviser.’

‘Tom Price has substantial CIS region expertise and was happy to get stuck in and drive the case forwards. He showed a great ability to manage a team, even during testing times at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Amber Strickland was all over the detail of the case, anticipating issues before they arose and working out practical ways to resolve them.’

‘Samantha Holland is valued for her knowledge in the particular (D&O insurance) field, empathetic involvement, availability, follow-up.’

‘Patrick Arben is a wise source of advice, measured but determined. Sean Adams is a stand-out associate and one to watch for the future.’

Key clients

The Midcounties Cooperative Limited

Amec Foster Wheeler plc and other Amec group companies

Tarmac Building Products Limited

Bastug Metalurji Sanayi, A.S.

Stadco Limited (subsidiary of Magna International Inc)

The Royal Parks Limited

GIC Private Limited

M Group Holdings Limited

AS Watson

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy


CPC Group Limited

GKN Limited

The Hut Group Limited

Hub Residential Limited

Independent Office for Police Conduct

Kingspan Insulation Limited

Magna International Inc

National Car Parks Limited

NHS Rushcliffe Clinical Commissioning Group

Sanctuary Housing Association

Spirit Aerosystems (Europe) Limited

Taylor Wimpey UK Limited

Transport for London

M Group

Nomad Foods

Sanctuary Housing

National Car Parks Ltd

NHS Rushcliffe Combined Commissioning Group



Specialist Computer Centres

Rigby Group





British Red Cross

Work highlights

  • Acting for Midcounties Co-Op in a series of disputes arising out of M&A activity – completion accounts disputes and contractual issues – termination, by way of expert determinations; Part 8 trials and injunction proceedings.
  • Defended Amec Foster Wheeler group in third party proceedings subject to a Group Litigation Order. The litigation concerned high-profile data protection and other issues relating to an organisation known as ‘The Consulting Association’ which amassed data relating to thousands of construction workers between 1970 and 2009, widely used by major construction companies.
  • Acted for The Royal Parks (TRP) in a high-profile procurement dispute arising out of TRP’s procurement for a concessionaire to plan and deliver the Summer music festivals in Hyde Park between 2020 and 2025.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP‘s regulatory, public and commercial disputes group attracts praise for being ‘equally comfortable managing domestic disputes as well as litigation or arbitration with an international angle‘. This is reflected in its impressive client roster, which includes leading local, national and global corporates. ‘Very strong all-round commercial disputes lawyerSteve Allen, who is particularly strong for automotive, advanced manufacturing and technology disputes as well as shareholder and product liability litigation,  leads the group. Other names to note include ‘superb principal associateAnthony Minnis and sports dispute specialist Phil Hutchinson.

Practice head(s):

Steve Allen

Other key lawyers:

Anthony Minnis; Phil Hutchinson; Preena Lal


The firm’s Birmingham practice offers a top-rate disputes service in a flexible and cost-efficient way. They are equally comfortable managing domestic disputes as well as litigation or arbitration with an international angle. They clearly build deep relationships with key clients.

Steve Allen is a very strong all-round commercial disputes lawyer and managing partner. He always identifies the key issues quickly and works out the best way to approach a problem, having regard to the specific client in question.

Anthony Minnis is a superb principal associate, comfortably operating at the level of a partner. He rapidly absorbs the details of his cases and always has a mind on the most effective and cost-efficient solutions for his clients. He is also a pleasure to work with, both for clients and members of his team.

Preena Lal is a very strong up-and-coming associate, with strong secondment experience. She is extremely thorough and hard-working, always very responsive and never misses a detail.

Key clients

Imecon Engineering S.R.L

Simba Sleep Limited

Odeon Cinemas Group

Triumph Motorcycles

Immunocore Limited

Horiba Mira Limited

The Parts Alliance Limited



Coast Spas

SilverRail Technologies UK

Daniel Sturridge (Professional Football Player)

Work highlights

  • Representing Coast Spas, a Canada-based spa and hot tub company, in a dispute with a British company (and approved stockist of Coast spas) which have defaulted on the terms of a sale and distribution agreement.
  • Acting for Italian multi-national, Imecon Engineering, in a dispute with Urban Innovation Company (UIC) regarding the alleged breach of contract by Imecon regarding the design, manufacture and installation of a number of Smart Hubs (digital screens and kiosks) installed in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP‘s ‘very tenacious‘ litigation practice has ‘high-quality lawyers at all levels‘. The group is adept at advising national and international corporates and public sector clients on a range of disputes. Jim Richards leads the ‘technically strong and commercially aware‘ team, which includes head of the Birmingham office Greg Lowson and Andrew Herring, who is ‘hugely respected‘, particularly for disputes involving international civil fraud allegations and asset recovery issues.  Associate Nicola Seymour is noted for procurement disputes.

Practice head(s):

Jim Richards

Other key lawyers:

Greg Lowson; Andrew Herring; Nicola Seymour; Jessica Goosman; Jonathan Amior


‘Very diligent and hard working team.’

‘A collection of intensely intelligent lawyers who also happen to be very nice people – a rare combination! They are pretty much my favourite firm to work with. They have top-tier clients, and they deliver a Rolls-Royce service for each of them. Their decision-making is accurate and rather scientific, and allows the client absolute clarity of advice.’

‘Where to start! Andrew Herring (partner) is seriously clever, and is well able to see any problem coming a mile off. He loves an innovative solution, and isn’t afraid to go off the beaten track whenever required.’

‘Jim Richards (partner) has such a warm manner that he is able to tame even the most jittery client or aggressive opponent – but he still has a steel fist under that velvet glove, and isn’t afraid to use it. Senior associates Nicola Seymour and Jessica Goosman are real rising stars – both of them are on top of every detail, and are a force to be reckoned with on technical matters.’

‘A strong team with high-quality lawyers at all levels. Good on shareholder disputes. Technically strong and commercially aware. The best team in Birmingham City Centre.’

‘By using the Birmingham team we were able to secure competitive rates with no loss of service or quality. Very tenacious team – you could see the engagement mattered to them and they took a pride in their work outputs. Tight deadlines and delivered. Very impressive team.’

Key clients

Skatteforvaltningen (the Danish Customs and Tax Administration)

British Gas Social Housing Limited (subsidiary of Centrica)

ISS UK Limited

MML Capital Partners Limited

Provimi Limited (subsidiary of Cargill)

Honda Group

Allianz Holdings Plc

Bailor Investment & Finance Corporation and 12 others (the 13 subsidiaries of Wellcourt Investments Group SA)

Watches of Switzerland

The Financial Times Limited

On Tower UK Limited (formerly Arqiva)

Delphi Powertrain Poland Z.O.O.

Jaguar Land Rover

Work highlights

  • Acting for a European Governmental Agency in a highly complex multi-party claim in the London Commercial Court for the recovery of £1.5bn losses arising from one of the largest alleged frauds discovered in Europe.
  • Acting for a London borough council in a multi-million-pound joint venture dispute with a private property developer over the termination of the JV and the enforcement of an option to buy land.
  • Acting for Honda of the UK Manufacturing after a competitive tender to advise on all disputes arising from the well-publicised closure of Honda’s manufacturing plant in the UK in July 2021.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP's 'tenacious' litigation services and dispute resolution team handles the full range of contractual, commercial and corporate disputes, as well as procurement litigation and database misuse claims, defamation claims and issues concerning urgent injunctive relief. Among its sector specialisms, it counts manufacturing, finance, IT and telecoms and energy disputes; Andrew Adams is a name to note for the latter. Adams and associates Ben Humphreys and Catherine Savage are also praised for their 'deep knowledge of the higher education sector'. Managing director Mark Beesley and 'vastly experienced litigator' Barry Jarvis jointly lead the team, which includes James Woolstenhulme, who is particularly active in partnership issues, and shareholder and procurement disputes.

Practice head(s):

Mark Beesley; Barry Jervis

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Adams; Victoria Kirkpatrick; Ben Humphreys; Catherine Savage; James Woolstenhulme


‘A good team of highly competent lawyers who always put up a good fight for their clients. The team is capable of running complex commercial litigation, using technical collaborative tools to ensure that data and information is shared in a sensible and cost-efficient manner. They seem to understand their clients, the challenges of litigation and dispute resolution and so are able to produce effective dispute resolution strategies and my perception is that they have a strong brand in the Birmingham area.’

‘Commercial, approachable and responsive approach. Practical solutions and clear advice. Ability to cope with all of our requirements (so far) from general queries through to specialist, niche requirements that our business has.’

‘Stand out individuals are Barry Jervis, Partner and Head of Litigation (a vastly experienced litigator), Andrew Adams, Partner (excellent case management and provides clients with clear direction and strategy), James Woolstenhulme, Partner (highly competent and very approachable) and Ben Humphreys, Associate (clear thinking and always gets the job done).’

‘Andrew Adams, Ben Humphreys and Catherine Savage have displayed a deep knowledge of the higher education sector on a range of matters they have assisted us with. That, coupled with their clear commercial acumen, has enabled them to provide highly effective advice and outcomes. We value their input on our matters and are grateful to them for their speedy assistance.’

‘A really tenacious team, with a great partner in the shape of James Woolstenhulme. James is very creative with his arguments and is always looking for the best way to help his client.’

‘Andrew Adams and Victoria Kirkpatrick have been great to work with, supportive, informative and agile.’

‘The team really understands the higher education sector, and the full spectrum of student and other disputes that we face. They are proactive in finding solutions and seeking to end disputes before they get expensive. Andrew Adams has an enviable knowledge of disputes in this sector and effectively manages cases.’

Catherine Savage is a rising star with helpful specialisms in data protection, alongside her understanding of higher education.

Key clients

Henkel Nederland BV

University of Cambridge


General Dynamics UK Ltd

TNA Europe Limited

National Federation of Builders

Knorre-Bremse Rail Services (UK) Limited

National Grid Plc

Bamford Trust Plc

Rosslyn Data Technologies Plc

Alliance Surgical Plc

Don-Bur (Bodies & Trailers) Ltd

Anglia Ruskin University

Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales

Work highlights

  • Acting for a high-net-worth individual in a claim and counterclaim valued in the region of £20m relating to the terms of outstanding loans.
  • Advised Knorr-Bremse on a global supply chain issue and claim against a supplier for defective products valued at £3m.
  • Advised Anglia Ruskin University on defeating a High Court interim injunction application seeking to prevent the termination of a Teach Out Agreement with a college based in Malaysia.

Shoosmiths LLP

With ‘Magic Circle quality at regional prices‘, Shoosmiths LLP handles corporate and commercial disputes for its impressive roster of plcs, well-known corporates and high-profile individuals. ‘Excellent tactician‘ and practice head Alex Bishop is ‘simply a superstar‘ with expertise across a range of corporate and commercial disputes, fraud and internal investigations and cases involving injunctive relief; she also has a growing international arbitration practice. The group also has a particular focus on cyberattacks and crisis management work, technology and financial services disputes, and reputation management issues; the ‘excellentMark Elder and associate Rebekah Finch have a breadth of experience in phone hacking disputes. Among the group’s other ‘first rate‘ associates is Charlotte Healey, who excels in financial services and fraud-related disputes, and Will Carr, who handles a range of fraud issues, contractual disputes and arbitrations.

Practice head(s):

Alex Bishop

Other key lawyers:

Mark Elder; Melanie Chell; Charlotte Healey; Rebekah Finch; Will Carr


‘They provide magic circle quality at regional prices. The partners are excellent, and the associates first rate. Shoosmiths are able to compete with the best firms on very substantial cases. The quality of the work they are picking up now reflects their quality as a firm.’

‘The team provides an impressive City-style service at West Midland rates. Particularly strong in arbitration-related matters.’

Excellent communication skills and dealt with matters in a very pragmatic way regardless of the pandemic. Costs were very effective despite the complexity of the case. We felt included all the way through the process and felt we had the best advice for the situation.’

‘Led by Alex Bishop the team follow her lead in giving clear, well thought out, strategic and commercial advice on a range of commercial disputes. Willing to consider alternative approaches and give the advice we need to hear, not that we want to hear.’

Melanie Chell always goes above and beyond.

‘Alex Bishop (partner) is simply a superstar: she’s extremely clever, she’s immensely hard-working, she runs a team with enormous efficiency and great charm, clients love her, she provides first-rate advice, and she’s an excellent tactician. Top quality.’

‘Mark Elder was excellent, easy to contact and to talk matters through. Gave helpful and appropriate advice and really took on board what we were trying to achieve. He really understood what the issues were and led us the best way forward. I would not hesitate to recommend Mark to anyone with a dispute resolution issue.’

I have used Shoosmiths and have always been really pleased with the results, I have been impressed with their approach and adaptability. With every bit of new information, they will reassess and adjust the approach. They will collaborate to get the best outcomes.’

Key clients

Next Plc

DX Group Plc


WeWork International Limited

Mettis Aerospace Limited

Electrolux Plc

Capita Plc

Hydro Drunen B.V

Work highlights

  • Defending an English software developer in an ICC arbitration brought by a French entity with the seat of arbitration being Geneva.
  • Acting for We Work International in a potentially precedent-setting £2m wrongful termination claim.
  • Advising a financial services client in challenging decisions of the Financial Ombudsman Service in a series of test cases concerning allegations of mis-selling timeshares.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs‘ litigation practice attracts praise for its ‘excellent service‘ across a range of UK and cross-border disputes. Practice head Simon Garbett, who ‘always has an eye out for the commercial and pragmatic element of any dispute‘, focuses on automotive and manufacturing supply chain disputes, including product liability and delay issues. The group also counts IT sector litigation, for which director Ian Skinner is noted, financial services disputes, including film finance issues, and pension disputes among its areas of specialism. Other names to note include senior associate Mariyam Harunah, whose experience spans pension, defamation and reputation management disputes, and ‘technically sound‘ associate Rose Chaudry. Garon Anthony joined HCR Hewitsons.

Practice head(s):

Simon Garbett

Other key lawyers:

Ian Skinner; Mariyam Harunah; Rose Chaudry


‘Flexibility in response, good coordination of team and interface. Clear and constructive communication, good sense and competent recommendations.’

‘Very responsive, excellent service.’

‘Great team that are super friendly and approachable. My go-to team for litigation queries. They always help, even when it is not a matter that is big enough to be billed. It means that when the big-ticket work comes around, I will always consider using them first.’

‘Simon Garbett always takes time to keep in touch and to be available. He is clearly well versed in the tactics of contentious matters but always has an eye out for the commercial and pragmatic element of any dispute. A pleasure to work with and a genuinely good guy.

Rose Choudhry is great to work with. She understands the issues quickly and provides solid, sensible advice quickly and to budget. I have no qualms about contacting Rose directly.’

‘Good to have one experienced contact point that at various points in time can pull in experts in theme and coordinate them. Good collaboration.’

‘Rose Chaudry – good to deal with, technically sound and well-pitched advice.’

Key clients


Atlantic Projects Company

Taylor Wimpey

Vets 4 Pets (part of Pets at Home)

Jaguar Land Rover Pension Trustees Limited

Cambridge & Counties Bank

AKW Medi-Care Limited

Edenhouse Solutions

Citron Hygiene

Work highlights

  • Advised a technology company on a breach of contract £1.3m claim for unpaid debts for goods and services and defending a £10m counterclaim.
  • Advised an engineering business on a fraud claim for £2.4m relating to services by a third party at a Biomass power plant.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP's 'dynamic' commercial dispute resolution team attracts praise for its 'innovative thinkers, especially around litigation funding'. The group is known for its ability to handle group litigation, professional negligence claims and partnership disputes, as well as claims involving applications for urgent injunctive relief. 'Sharp thinker and experienced litigator' Richard Coates leads the team, which includes the 'exceptional' Louise Wilson. Alex Johnson, who joined from Squire Patton Boggs, adds experience in major infrastructure, energy and oil and gas project disputes, while 'truly excellent' recently promoted managing associate Michael Hoskins has experience in insurance disputes.

Practice head(s):

Richard Coates

Other key lawyers:

Louise Wilson; Alex Johnson; Michael Hoskins; Josh Middleton; Raymond Joyce


‘Solid grounding in engineering enables the team to get to the technical heart of the issues quickly and ensure that the right questions are being asked and answered.’

‘Innovative thinkers, especially around litigation funding. Dynamic leadership and very capable associates.’

‘Highly regarded firm seen to go the extra mile for clients. Well regarded in providing expert legal advice in an affordable and approachable way.’

‘The team at Freeths is dynamic. Quick to adapt to the bumps in the road that litigation inevitably brings – either by unique approaches to funding or with swift and precise legal analysis and practical, outstanding commercial advice.

‘Raymond Joyce is very experienced and has a keen sense of the strengths and weaknesses of a case at an early stage. Josh Middleton is detailed and focused on his investigation, and a good lawyer to boot.’

‘Good knowledge of insurance law and practice. Michael Hoskins a truly excellent  ‘up and coming’ associate.’

‘I have worked with Louise Wilson, who is an exceptional litigator. She can manage difficult clients and complex processes with ease, and is a good team player whilst also a strong leader, independent and efficient. I would not hesitate to recommend her.’

‘Richard Coates is a sharp thinker and experienced litigator. He sees opportunities and has had a strong working knowledge of the third party funding market. As part of that, he looks to deploy effective funding solutions providing clients with access to justice, where otherwise it might not be possible. He is one of the strongest lawyers in the market.

Key clients

Hi55 Ventures Limited

Aldi Stores Limited

Inchcape Retail Limited

Jaguar Land Rover Retail Board

The National Exhibition Centre Limited

Travis Perkins PLC


Short Term Finance Limited

Work highlights

  • Defended Hi55 Ventures Limited and its founder in an application for a mandatory injunction and claims of dishonesty, infringement of intellectual property rights and breach of contract claims brought by Violet Group and R20 Advisory.
  • Representing JRB Automotive Limited and Blue Square Penn Road Limited, and their directors, in a professional negligence claim against a local firm of solicitors which advised on the acquisition and establishment of the finance and build a Jaguar Land Rover dealership in Wolverhampton.

Gateley Plc

Gateley Plc's commercial dispute resolution team handles the full range of commercial and corporate disputes with particular experience in the manufacturing, retail and sports sectors. The 'tactically superb' Stephen Goodrham leads the practice and counts M&A disputes, restrictive covenant enforcement issues and professional negligence claims among his areas of specialism. The 'extremely talented' Neil Warner is particularly popular among sports sector clients, including premier league football clubs, and frequently handles restrictive covenant and breach of confidentiality claims. The 'fantastic' Kate Canning, the 'extremely smart' Safeea Shafiq and the 'exceptional' Thea Maertens are among the senior associates to note.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Goodrham

Other key lawyers:

Neil Warner; Safeea Shafiq; Thea Maertens; Kate Canning


‘The Gateley commercial team is second to none in terms of its willingness to go above and beyond for its clients. The team is always superbly prepared, with in-depth knowledge of its cases, and works terrifically well alongside counsel. It is always a joy to work with them.’

‘Superb client base, and a real heavyweight reputation stemming from years of exceptional service. Good collaboration with other offices, which allows a real brains trust to form on certain larger cases.’

‘Neil Warner is extremely talented, and skilled both at grappling with complex legal issues and giving clients punchy, to-the-point advice. Kate Canning is fantastic: always fast in responding to urgent matters, especially difficult injunctions. Safeea Shafiq is extremely smart; her work is always meticulous in its detail. Thea Maertens is exceptional with clients, and always on the ball – a joy to work with.’

‘Robust sensible and having real strength in depth.’

‘Steve Goodrham is a star. I have also enjoyed working with Neil Warner who is also a very able litigator.’

‘Steve Goodrham is a massive name in the local litigation market – he is tactically superb, and you’d always rather be on his side than against him. Clients appreciate his no-nonsense manner, and trust his judgement.’

Neil Warner – knowledgeable and gritty litigator who makes clients feel that he is batting for them.

Sydney Mitchell LLP

Sydney Mitchell LLP's dispute resolution team 'punches well above its weight' according to clients, which include local corporates and SMEs. 'Master tactician' Dean Parnell is 'outstanding' and has experience spanning shareholder and partnership disputes, warranty claims, injunctive relief issues, and contractual disputes; he leads the team alongside Shirley-based Kamal Majevadia. Senior associate Emma Birch is 'assiduous and hardworking in difficult litigation' with particular experience in financial and manufacturing disputes.

Practice head(s):

Dean Parnell; Kamal Majevadia

Other key lawyers:

Emma Birch; Roy Colaba


‘Commercial team, willing to adapt to different clients and focus on their needs. Good cross-over between general litigators and more specialised intellectual property litigators.’

‘A medium-sized practice in DR-Comm Lit but punches well above its weight. Dean Parnell is one of the outstanding litigators in the City and beyond including London.’

‘Emma Birch has renewed my faith in solicitors; she’s honest, organised, and full of ideas, she communicates well with the experts and keeps me fully up to date as to the present position of the claim and our next actions, I would not hesitate in using her services again.

‘Dean Parnell is the driving force in the DR -Comm Lit department and leads by example. He is a client’s best friend and fights tooth and nail to get the best result.’

‘Emma Birch assiduous and hard-working in difficult litigation against committed opponents. Delivers a very good service to the client.’

‘The very talented Dean Parnell heads up the commercial litigation team in Birmingham and he is a master tactician. He is known for being strategic on his cases and you can rely upon Dean to get the best possible result or deal for his client.’

‘Dean Parnell – excellent litigator with clear strategic view and fantastic ability to focus on the commercial realties of a case.’

‘Dean Parnell and Roy Colaba have been working very hard at a very high professional level, and being considerate with their fees, and I have always been comfortable to discuss any issues with them.’

Work highlights

  • Representing a high-net-worth individual in a £10m shareholder dispute involving a global corporate structure with litigation taking place in Gibraltar.
  • Representing a client in a £1m claim against its former director for breach of statutory/fiduciary duties which also included a successful injunctive relief application to prevent the former director from continuing to undertake conduct designed to damage the client’s reputation.
  • Representing two defendants in a £35m claim for breach of duty and conspiracy arising from an alleged unlawful transaction relating to the restructuring of the corporate structure.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP's 'excellent' commercial litigation team has particular experience in corporate and commercial disputes involving allegations of civil fraud, bribery and cybercrime. Helen Briant, who counts private companies, public bodies and charities among her clients, leads the practice, which also includes 'thoughtful litigator' and senior associate Jamie de Souza, who is 'a future star' for commercial litigation involving fraud allegations. The group also has particular expertise in group litigation and obtaining litigation funding, and counts breach of contract claims, contentious insolvencies and restrictive covenant disputes among its other areas of expertise.

Practice head(s):

Helen Briant

Other key lawyers:

Jamie De Souza; Elizabeth Mulley; Chris Recker


‘The team at Trowers gave us a service that felt bespoke and personal. They were involved in all forms of communication with the parties we were dealing with.’

‘Trowers and Hamlins’ dispute resolution team conduct serious and high-value disputes claims, both in the UK and abroad. The core of their work is fraud, breach of duty and shareholder claims where they are amongst the best in their class.’

‘The team has been great at guiding us through a difficult and contentious process, clearly setting out the choices we need to make as trustees, and the risks and opportunities involved in each one.’

‘Chris Recker (senior associate) really took his time in accurately drafting emails for us and making the necessary tweaks and adjustments to ensure we were always conducting ourselves to best possible standard and that we were always covered.’

Jamie De Souza – senior associate – is a future star and has a great eye for detail. Clients appreciate his focus and drive for excellence.

‘Excellent team and working relationship.’

‘A good team doing solid commercial work with a few stand-out individuals.’

‘Jamie De Souza: For me the standout senior associate. He’s a responsive, well organised but thoughtful litigator.’

Key clients



Caramel Sales Limited and Advanced Multi-Technology For Medical Industry

Work highlights

  • Representing a large number of claimants in a £50m group action fraud claim arising from a property development scheme.
  • Advising a large logistics company which was the subject of a ransomware attack and advising on the subsequent ICO investigation.
  • Defending an individual in a £60m commercial court claim arising from allegations of dishonest assistance and breach of duty brought by JD Classics.

Weightmans LLP

Weightmans LLP's 'small but effective' commercial dispute resolution team has experience across a range of corporate, commercial and insolvency litigation. It is also praised for being 'right at the forefront of competition law work', handling the high-profile trucks price-fixing cartel follow-on damages group claim on the behalf of owners and lessees of over 600,000 trucks. 'Strong litigator' Mark Surguy leads the practice and counts disputes involving a civil fraud angle among his areas of specialism. He is also praised as 'an authority on e-discovery and how to use technology in disclosure'. 'Very talented' senior associate Emily Sharples is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Mark Surguy

Other key lawyers:

Emily Sharples


‘Very strong commercial team, right at the forefront of competition law work.’

‘A small but effective team which uses its encyclopaedic knowledge of legal tech (particularly in relation to disclosure) to great effect. They are incredibly thorough and explore every angle tenaciously.’

‘Mark Surguy – excellent partner, engaged, collaborative, well informed.’

Emily Sharples (senior associate) is a real rising star, who allies a heroic work ethic with an ability to think very clearly about the issues and the likely strategic benefits of her options. She is very talented, and enjoyable to work with.’

Mark Surguy: strong litigator, combining acute attention to detail with a wide-ranging strategic imagination.’

‘Very strong on case handling. Strong awareness of cost-effectiveness and risk of different approaches. Clear and timely instructions to experts.’

‘Mark Surguy (partner) is a well-respected fraud specialist, who always has a creative solution up his sleeve. He is an authority on e-discovery and how to use technology in disclosure, which is a real rarity and therefore an enormous advantage for clients seeking to ramp up pressure on the opponent.

Key clients

UK Trucks Claim Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for UK Trucks Claim, a special purpose vehicle, to bring opt-out collective proceedings on behalf of owners and lessees of over 600,000 trucks who purchased or leased over-priced medium and heavyweight trucks as a result of a 14 year price-fixing cartel involving Daimler, MAN, IVECO, Volvo / Renault, DAF and Scania.

Bevan Brittan LLP

Bevan Brittan LLP's commercial litigation team attracts praise for its 'very practical and pragmatic approach to dispute resolution'. Adam Kendall leads the national practice and is particularly known for disputes arising out of the delivery of public infrastructure projects.

Practice head(s):

Adam Kendall

Other key lawyers:

Emma Beynon


‘Very practical and pragmatic approach to dispute resolution. Friendly, no-nonsense and good to work with.’

‘Strengths are they really work well as a team to provide the maximum support to the client, particularly in thinking collaboratively for innovative solutions to complex situations. The breadth of in-house specialisms has meant that there is little delay in getting advice.’

Key clients

Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Work highlights

  • Defended Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust in a £2m breach of contract claim brought by Pro-Vision Systems Limited, a supplier of advertising/information plasma screens for NHS hospitals.
  • Defending Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust in a software licencing agreement dispute brought by Chameleon Information Services.

Clyde & Co

Clyde & Co LLP's 'always commercial' dispute resolution team is particularly well-known for its 'breadth of experience in insurance claims'. Other areas of specialism include manufacturing sector litigation and disputes involving fraud elements, asset tracing and injunctive relief. Julian SmartCaroline Kane and Jagdeep Hayre jointly lead the team.

Practice head(s):

Julian Smart; Caroline Kane; Jagdeep Hayre


‘BLM is a stalwart of the insurance/property damage market, punching in the upper echelons with the range, volume and profile of claims handled by their teams. Their teams are user-friendly and experienced, and I enjoy working with them.’

‘Very broad experience in insurance claims.’

‘Caroline Kane and her team are excellent to work with. Knowledgeable and responsive but always commercial.’

Key clients

Compass Group UK & Ireland Ltd

Affinity Water

Fujitsu Plc

European Risk Insurance Company hf

Birmingham City Council

Towergate Financial Group Ltd

AS Watson plc

Glen Dimplex Group


Fairmead Insurance Ltd (formerly Legal & General)


Welsh Water

Work highlights

  • Representing a major corporate client in its recovery of interchange fees erroneously overcharged to a number of its group companies.
  • Acting for a major commercial crime insurer in pursuit of the recovery of sums misappropriated from its insured assisted by numerous claims for injunctive relief.
  • Acting for a private client who has been the victim of a cyber-fraud and misdirected a payment to a fraudster who had infiltrated the client’s email account.

Clarke Willmott LLP

Clarke Willmott LLP's commercial and private litigation team is praised for its 'good, solid, practical advice'. The group is particularly strong for shareholder disputes, which is a focus of 'seasoned litigator' Peter Brewer, who also handles other corporate and contractual litigation and professional negligence claims. Brewer leads the practice, which includes Paul Griffiths and 'efficient' associate Richard Howell.

Practice head(s):

Peter Brewer

Other key lawyers:

Paul Griffiths; Richard Howell


‘Availability and ease of contact. Good ‘on the hoof’ analysis followed by in-depth consideration.’

‘Peter Brewer: A seasoned litigator with a wealth of commercial dispute resolution experience known for his inciteful advice and pragmatic and commercial approach to litigation, which in my experience of Peter’s caseload is usually complex disputes.’

‘I have been working with Richard Howell and have found him to be very approachable and efficient.’

‘Really good knowledge and expertise in the banking sector in particular.’

‘Good, solid, practical advice.’

‘Peter Brewer has a breadth of experience which equates well with our business.’

‘The commercial disputes team is a leading law firm in the region offering a cross range of legal services with, I believe, first-class legal credentials. Overall, my impression of the team is that it is a strong player in the market and known as such by its competitors.’

Key clients

West Bromwich Building Society

Work highlights

  • Represented Whitacre Management in a £5m breach of contract claim brought against Sainsbury’s Supermarket relating to a contract to buy land for development of a supermarket, retail park and country park in East Anglia.