Commercial litigation: Birmingham in West Midlands

DLA Piper

DLA Piper‘s commercial litigation practice is well equipped to handle the full range of national and international disputes. Neil Bowker, UK group head of litigation and regulatory, is highly experienced at handling complex domestic and cross border disputes. Nick Bamford has a long history dealing with contractual claims and allegations of financial misconduct, focusing on the hospitality and financial sectors. Phillip Kelly has a strong focus on dealing with high value strategic disputes relating to civil fraud, technology and outsourcing.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Bamford

Other key lawyers:

Neil Bowker; Philip Kelly; Siona Spillett; Laura Moorcroft


‘The commercial savvy, rigour and ruthless instincts of a London City firm; but with a regional price tag.’

‘Nick Bamford is unflappable. The only person you want in your corner in a commercial negotiation.’

‘DLA’s Birmingham litigation team is truly outstanding. It is lean, efficient and effective, punches above its weight, and capably goes toe to toe with big London firms. Features that stand out are the quality and dedication of the team’s lawyers. They engage in and understand the legal complexities of cases in a way and to a level that is hard to find elsewhere, whilst also having a firm grasp of the commercial side of any dispute. They always fight tooth and nail to secure the best outcomes.’

‘Neil Bowker is a great team leader, a safe pair of hands, and has impeccable commercial insight. Great is a tight spot and always in command of the strategic picture.’

‘Nick Bamford is an outstanding litigator on every level. He picks up and retains the detail of a matter with remarkable ease. And his strategic insight into the dynamics of a case are second-to-none.’

‘Laura Moorcroft is a star individual. She is truly outstanding, and an absolute delight to work with on a personal level. She is super-responsive, has amazing dedication and work-rate and speed, and manages to stay on top of all the detail of several massive cases at once.’

‘A formidable commercial practice with a global reach – they excel at dealing with difficult cases for difficult clients.’

‘Nick Bamford leads the Birmingham commercial practice with real aplomb. An excellent tactician and a fine lawyer.’

Key clients

IHG Hotels Limited

Department of Health and Social Care

Renova Industries Limited et. al.

IHG Hotels Limited


Marriott Hotels International Limited / Marriott Hotels Limited

Westland Horticulture Limited

Dignity Funerals Limited

Portaltech Reply Limited

Vinler International Limited

Assa Abloy Limited

Permastore Limited

Finning (UK) Limited

Villapana SPA

Avison Young – UK, LLP

Lotus Bakeries Corporate NV

Cycas Hospitality BV

Tower Supplies

Reckitt Benckiser Health Limited

Harworth Estates (Waverley Prince) Limited, part of Harworth Group Plc

Work highlights

  • Instructions in connection with a series of complex proceedings brought in the BVI quantified at $900 million involving multiple jurisdictions (UK, BVI, Russia, Cyprus and Switzerland).
  • Pursuing a claim for the recovery of fees due from the supermarket chain, Iceland, to Portaltech. Defending a cross-claim for damages and in particular, deploying the terms of an exclusion clause in Portaltech’s favour. Applying for the termination of a preliminary issue on the exclusion clause and ultimately forcing Iceland to concede by accepting an earlier Part 36 offer, leading to Portaltech recovering a substantial proportion of its outstanding fees and costs.
  • Advising DHSC in connection with very high profile judicial review proceedings commenced by the Good Law Project relating to antibody testing contracts.
  • Obtaining an injunction for Marriott in December 2020 following an urgent and life-threatening situation. More recently in December 2021, obtaining an order for the extension of the injunction through to June 2022.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has a strong track record of representing prestigious clients in both High Court litigation and international arbitration. The team has strong specialisms in corporate disputes and civil fraud, and are experts in the automotive, aerospace, technology, outsourcing and energy sectors. Richard Lloyd specialises in managing disputes for clients in the industrial engineering or utilities sectors. Adam Fisher leads the firm's automotive sector and has extensive experience in complex multi-party litigation. Principal associate Ridah Iqbal specialises in technology and outsourcing disputes and has significant experience dealing with cyber security issues. Senior associate Victoria Callicott  is an expert in the utilities sector and has experience in fraud litigation.

Practice head(s):

Adam Fisher; Rich Lloyd

Other key lawyers:

Ridah Iqbal; Helen Amison; Victoria Callicott; Louise Howarth; Sarah Jones; Isabelle Mitchell


‘A truly excellent team of lawyers, with a diverse range of talents and a client-focused practice.’

‘They are proactive in budget setting for their clients.’

‘Very professional service, with a personal feel. Everybody working on my items were very helpful and honest in thier assessment of the case we had.’

‘I particular rate Victoria Callicott who I consider to be excellent and a future star.’

‘Rich Lloyd is one of the best solicitors I have worked with in over 30 years.’

‘The team is made up of different strengths which add up to a great overall offering. We were supported in a very professional and flexible nature which was a credit to the team.’

Key clients



LSH Automotive

Jardine Motor Group

Thames Water


Compass Group

Work highlights

    Fieldfisher LLP

    The litigation team at Fieldfisher LLP has sector specialisations in manufacturing, engineering, IT, energy and agency disputes. As well as this, the firm has expertise in large scale litigation, international arbitration and public procurement work. Ann Benzimra works predominantly in the IT, manufacturing, and energy and infrastructure sectors and has significant experience in mediation and cross-border matters. Richard Waugh has particular expertise in energy sector disputes and has considerable experience on insurance related disputes and commercial fraud. Ellie Pinnells has handled international litigation involving German companies and Stephen May handles litigation and arbitration that involves public law issues. Director Zaakira Allana has worked on High Court litigation and international arbitration.

    Practice head(s):

    Richard Waugh

    Other key lawyers:

    Ann Benzimra; Adam Sturt; Stephen May; Ellie Pinnells; Zaakira Allana; Jim Sharkey


    ‘Fieldfisher has professionals working in very specific areas. This ensured that we always spoke to a true specialist of a specific area.’

    ‘Fieldfisher’s Birmingham practice includes that relatively rare team who can hold their own in disputes against any London-based firm.’

    ‘Richard Waugh is an excellent lawyer – resourceful and diligent and with a clear understanding of clients’ interests.’

    ‘A hard-working litigation machine.’

    ‘Stephen May is highly effective in developing and executing a cost-efficient and effective case strategy, including under considerable time pressure and when facing an uncooperative opponent. At all stages of the case, Stephen developed a robust and accurate view of the merits of the case which helped us make the right decision as to whether to continue to litigate. Very pragmatic and user-friendly; does not suffer fools nor over-complicate matters. Cannot recommend highly enough.’

    ‘Fieldfisher is punching well above its weight in com lit, and deservedly so. They have some superb quality solicitors, and provide brilliant value for first-rate work.’

    ‘Jim Sharkey is one of the most sophisticated commercial litigation partners around, and is a superb choice for any heavy case. He’s whip-smart, an excellent lawyer, a superb team-leader, brilliant at getting along with client and managing expectations, and is a first-rate tactician.’

    ‘Zaakira Allana is outstanding; a first-rate senior associate, and someone you’d be thrilled to have on any and every case. She’s an excellent lawyer.’

    Key clients

    Achilles Information Limited

    Mr Igor Kolomoisky

    DS Smith Plc

    Witanhurst Construction Management Limited

    Financial Models Corporation Limited – as UK representative for SS&C Technologies, Inc.

    Leo Services Holdings Limited

    Britannia Holdings 2006 Limited

    Henderson and Jones Limited

    Live Nation Music (UK) Limited

    Celera Telecom Limited

    Robert Bosch

    Boparan Holdings Limited t/a 2 Sisters Food Group

    DHL Parcel UK Limited

    Pearson Plc

    American Sugar Refineries Inc

    Infrastrata Plc

    Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH

    Fives SA

    FLSmidth A/S

    Shield Group Engineering and Shield Group

    Trend Micro (UK) Limited

    BMT Global

    Swedish Match AB

    Millbrook Healthcare

    MGF Groundworks

    PlanET Biogastechnik GmbH

    Advance Group

    WPR Agency Limited

    MGA Entertainment Inc.

    Work highlights

    • Representing Achilles in respect of its claim against Network Rail for breaches of the Competition Act.
    • Advising Mr Igor Kolomoisky in respect of a US$1.9billion claim and a Worldwide Freezing Order in the sum of US$2.6 billion imposed against him by PrivatBank.
    • Pursuing a multi-million pound claim for follow on damages on behalf of our client against DAF, MAN, Daimler, Iveco and Volvo/Renault due to their participation in a long-running truck cartel.

    Gowling WLG

    The team at Gowling WLG includes partners with specialisms in a wide array of different areas, including warranty disputes, IT disputes, fraud and international arbitration. Seasoned litigator Andrew Smith has particular expertise in contractual disputes; Helen Davenport specialises in data privacy, cyber security and technology disputes. Patrick Arben focuses on the tech sector and issues relating to outsourcing disputes, public procurement challenges, anti-bribery and corporate investigations.

    Practice head(s):

    Andrew Litchfield

    Other key lawyers:

    Andrew Smith; Helen Davenport; Patrick Arben; Samantha Holland; Davinia Gransbury; Ian Weatherall; Emma Carr; Tom Price


    ‘Good communications; pragmatic advice.’

    ‘Tom Price is excellent. Very engaged, a good manager of the team and an excellent lawyer.’

    ‘Susan Wilson was hard working, on top of the detail and a pleasure to work with.’

    Key clients

    Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (the FCDO) and British Council

    London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC)

    VRFB Holdings Limited

    The Midcounties Cooperative Limited and Co-operative Energy Limited

    Millbrook Healthcare Bidco Limited (formerly Cairngorm Acquisitions 9 Bidco Limited)

    Direct Rail Services Limited

    Various shareholders, including a daughter in law of Rupert Murdoch

    Sanctuary Housing Association

    Work highlights

    • Acted for the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (the FCDO) and British Council in defending a procurement challenge brought by Vodafone Limited worth in excess of £184m.
    • Acting for the London Legacy Development Corporation in proceedings brought against their former legal advisors Allen & Overy, concerning allegations of negligence by A&O in their advice and drafting of LLDC’s Concession Agreement with premier league football club, West Ham United for the right to stage matches at the London Stadium.
    • Advising the Executive Council to the FRC in a claim against KPMG, along with several of its former and current employees.


    The practice at DWF handles a wide range of cross-border disputes, with a track record of work relating to Russia and the CIS. The team has acted for a number of defrauded foreign banks in Ukraine and the Middle East. Key names include Russia and CIS desk head Andrew Leach, and Darren Kenny, who is an expert in international fraud and asset recovery, representing banks that have been defrauded by owners and managers. Ben Griffin specialises in domestic and international dispute resolution with an emphasis on cross-jurisdictional matters. Senior associate Matthew Goodwin, who joined from Wright Hassall LLP in mid-2021 has a particular focus on financial services, shareholder and director disputes and professional negligence disputes.

    Practice head(s):

    Andrew Leach

    Other key lawyers:

    Darren Kenny; Ben Griffin; Natalie Osadciw-Louth; Matthew Goodwin; Stephanie Sandford-Smith


    ‘Just a really great team: hard working, fun, and totally client centred.’

    ‘They understand both the commercial reality and the importance of procedure for effective commercial litigation.’

    ‘The team is pragmatic and efficient. Very good at identifying sensible and realistic objectives, managing expectations and then planning and working to deliver.’

    ‘Andrew Leach is clever and insightful – he is a great person to have on your side.’

    ‘Ben Griffin makes sure that all the bases are covered and is level headed and a calming influence when pressure situations arise. His advice is always gratefully received.’

    ‘Darren Kenny is bright and efficient and great at ensuring matters progress efficiently and sensibly.’

    Key clients


    Severn Trent Water

    Emirates NBD Bank

    The Deposit Guarantee Fund of Ukraine

    Russian Author’s Society

    Dixons Carphone


    Currys Plc

    Cornwall Council

    Union Pacific Capital Ltd

    Work highlights

    • Advising a Ukrainian bank (Delta Bank) in respect of the recovery of $1.2 billion misappropriated by the bank’s former owners and managers who used complex corporate structures to conceal their fraud.
    • Acting for BT in a claim to recover overpaid VAT in the sum of £65.2m.
    • Acting for Severn Trent Water in a high-profile Judicial Review in relation to the legality of deductions made to social security benefits in relation to water arrears.

    Freeths LLP

    Freeths LLP act for businesses and high net worth individuals across a wide range of sectors, handling group litigation, professional negligence and partnership disputes. Recent months have seen the firm take on high profile group litigation cases against the likes of Visa and Mastercard. Richard Coates leads the team. which includes seasoned litigator Louise Wilson and managing associate Michael Hoskins.

    Practice head(s):

    Richard Coates

    Other key lawyers:

    Louise Wilson; Alex Johnson; Michael Hoskins; Josh Middleton

    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

    AP Racing Limited

    Work highlights

    • Acting for 48 household named clients (including listed and large motor groups) within the motor retail sector to pursue a claim valued at c.£50m against Visa, seeking to challenge the lawfulness of multi-lateral interchange fees.
    • Acting for AP Racing Limited in successfully obtaining an injunction against a former employee, a manufacturer of brake components for high performance vehicles, to prevent the former employee from acting in breach of his restrictive covenants and also obtaining an order for forensic imaging of the former employee’s IT devices and hardware.
    • Advising Mackie Motors (Brechin) Limited, formerly a top performing Renault, Dacia and Nissan automotive dealer, and Kevin Mackie, a Director and the largest shareholder of Mackie Motors, in High Court proceedings against RCI Financial Services Limited relating to the breach of a series of relational contracts entered into by Mackie Motors and RCI.

    Mills & Reeve LLP

    Mills & Reeve LLP is known for undertaking high value international work as part of its international arbitration practice. Its roster of high profile clients includes Jaguar Land Rover, Bosch, Triumph Motorcycles and SilverRail Technologies UK. Team head Steve Allen is especially strong for automotive, advance manufacturing and technology disputes along with shareholder and product liability litigation. Anthony Minnis deals with complex litigation and alternative dispute resolution. He works in a wide variety of sectors including energy, IT, manufacturing and sport.

    Practice head(s):

    Steve Allen

    Other key lawyers:

    Anthony Minnis; Phil Hutchinson; Natalie Welch; Preena Lal


    ‘ Their ability to listen and grasp the issues quickly has been exceptional and a real comfort to us that we are embarking on the right course of action.’

    ‘Steve Allen is the sort of partner that any client would want to have: extremely knowledgeable, calm and good with clients, takes a sensible approach to litigation and runs a team efficiently.’

    ‘The team at Mills & Reeve have been exceptional to work with and made us feel as comfortable as you could possibly be. There ability to listen and grasp the issues quickly has been exceptional and a real comfort to us that we embarking on the right course of action.’

    ‘Steve Allen and Preena Lal have been exceptional. Worked as a team harmoniously and made us feel that our case is extremely important to them.’

    Key clients


    Jaguar Land Rover

    Odeon Cinemas

    Triumph Motorcycles

    Tecnoambiante S.L.U

    Imecon Engineering S.R.L

    Horiba Mira Limited

    The Parts Alliance Limited


    SilverRail Technologies UK

    Work highlights

      Pinsent Masons LLP

      The team at Pinsent Masons LLP has a deep knowledge of sectors including energy, financial institutions, IT, pharma and retail. The group is skilled at advising national international clients in both the private and public sectors on a range of disputes. Jim Richards leads the team with 34 years of experience acting on high value and international disputes. Greg Lowson  is one of the most experienced dispute lawyers in the West Midlands with 38 years of experience. Jessica Meisel has been a central part of the firm's work with the Danish Tax Administration Authority and advises household names like Rolls-Royce.

      Practice head(s):

      Jim Richards

      Other key lawyers:

      Greg Lowson; Andrew Herring; Janine Smith; Nicola Seymour; Gary Coleman; Jessica Meisel


      ‘A superb collection of talent, who manage to put together excellently balanced and resourced teams and who give their all to every case.’

      ‘Jim Richards gives a Rolls-Royce service – smooth, elegant, high quality – and does so with the right mix of tact and strategic acumen.’

      ‘Nicola Seymour and Jessica Meisel are well-established associates whose staple diet is high-end work, and they both demonstrate a lot of detailed technical excellence mixed with sensible and hard-headed advice.’

      ‘Andrew Herring is becoming the go-to lawyer for complex frauds in the region, and combines a huge intellect with a real 360-degree view of how the litigation will pan out.’

      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

      Delphi Powertrain Poland Z.O.O.

      Jaguar Land Rover

      Aldermore Bank

      E.ON UK plc

      Rolls-Royce PLC

      Work highlights

      • Acting for the Danish Tax Authority, which is the claimant in highly complex multi- party London Commercial Court proceedings to recover c. £1.5 billion losses arising from one of the largest alleged frauds discovered in Europe.
      • Advising Honda after a competitive tender to advise on all disputes arising from the well-publicised closure of Honda’s manufacturing plant in the UK in Summer 2021.
      • Acting for Allianz in bringing separate follow-on damages claims against each of certain companies within (i) the Mastercard Group, and (ii) the Visa Group

      Shakespeare Martineau LLP

      The team at Shakespeare Martineau LLP specialises in business-to-business disputes, shareholder disputes and warranty claims. The firm acts for clients across a range of sectors such as education, energy, manufacturing and IT and telecoms. Barry Jervis  has significant experience managing corporate disputes and asset recovery matters, especially those with high value or international elements. Andrew Adams has considerable expertise in energy while Mark Beesley  specialises in contractual litigation. James Woolstenhulme  has established himself as an expert in in corporate disputes with a special interest in shareholder disputes, injunctions and procurement issues.

      Practice head(s):

      Barry Jervis

      Other key lawyers:

      Mark Beesley; Andrew Adams; James Woolstenhulme; Claire Burrows; Ben Humphreys; Catherine Savage


      ‘The team are knowledgeable but also extremely capable of summating complex legal issues into exactly what is important.’

      ‘Shakespeares are one of the most creative and enterprising firms in the country.’

      ‘They combine wise strategic advice with a cutting-edge and innovative approach to litigation strategy.’

      ‘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.’

      ‘James Woolstenhulme is the energetic and commercially savvy leader of many of Shakespeares’ most important cases and client relationships.’

      Key clients

      Sanman Property Management Ltd

      Albert Ralph Coleman & others

      Accessible Orthodontics LLP & Accessible Orthodontics (O) Ltd

      Majority shareholders of H G Robinson & Sons Ltd

      Anglia Ruskin University

      Leicester College

      Alliance Surgical PLC & Alliance Medical Indemnity Limited

      Knorr-Bremse Rail Systems (UK) Ltd

      Associated Architects LLP

      Maloney Metal Craft Ltd

      Prosperous Global China Capital Limited

      Work highlights

      • Acting for a high net worth individual in a claim and counterclaim valued in the region of £20million relating to the terms of outstanding loans.
      • Acting for a property management company in High Court proceedings to enforce contractual terms relating to a £20million property development and obtaining urgent freezing orders against the defendants.
      • Defending four warrantors facing a claim for breach of warranties worth in excess of £8million arising from a corporate transaction.

      Shoosmiths LLP

      The ‘extremely impressive’ team at Shoosmiths LLP handles finance disputes for an impressive list of clients including UK and international banks. The firm has a fast growing arbitration practice and is particularly adept at handling fraud and financial services disputes. It is also currently one of the most prominent firms with regards to phone hacking claims, on which Mark Elder  and associate Rebekah Finch are especially relevant . The team is led by ‘force of natureAlex Bishop, who also heads up the Birmingham office - she is a high-profile litigator with particular experience with internal investigations, fraud and injunctive relief. Other top associates are financial services-focused Charlotte Healey and Will Carr who handles fraud issues and contractual disputes.

      Practice head(s):

      Alex Bishop

      Other key lawyers:

      Roger Potgieter; Mark Elder; Mel Chell; Rebekah Finch; Will Carr; Julie Peel


      ‘Driven by the phenomenal Alex Bishop, Shoosmiths has developed a commercial litigation department that any firm would be proud to have.’

      ‘A joy to work with and operating at the top of their game.’

      ‘They handle an enormous amount of work apparently effortlessly, always responding swiftly to queries in a clear and concise manner.’

      ‘Alex Bishop is simply a force of nature and the complete comm lit package. Stunningly bright; an excellent lawyer; a superb tactician; a brilliant team-leader; a joy to work with; and totally dedicated to the client.’

      ‘Mark Elder is an excellent and extremely organised leader, who has assembled a strong team which allows him to oversee things from a strategic perspective, something which he does very well.’

      ‘Rebekah Finch is outstanding and possibly the strongest associate in media law at the moment for me. She is a great client manager, a complete joy to work with and always delivers.’

      Key clients

      Next PLC

      WM Morrison Supermarkets PLC

      Travelodge PLC

      Electrolux PLC

      DX (Group) PLC

      BNP Paribas Personal Finance

      Pennard Commercial Services Limited

      Mettis Aerospace Limited

      Kuehne + Nagel Limited

      The National Trust

      Hydro Building Systems UK Limited

      Glenn Hoddle

      Ryan Giggs

      Stan Collymore

      Frank Sinclair

      Myleene Klass

      Kelly Brook

      Work highlights

      • Assisted a major retail Plc with preparation and service of an urgent Step in Notice on one of its key suppliers, following the discovery of serious breaches of health and safety practices by the supplier.
      • Instructed to advise a logistics Plc in relation to a threatened injunction, allegations of bribery and alleged theft from a competitor of confidential information.
      • Advising a number of banks and leasing companies on the fall-out from one of the largest frauds ever to hit the UK leasing industry, with 55 lenders facing combined losses of £282 million.

      Squire Patton Boggs

      The 'outcome focused' team at Squire Patton Boggs attracts praise for its handling of both local and cross border cases, especially those with a focus on IT and technology disputes where director Ian Skinner is prominent. Birmingham litigation head Simon Garbett handles a significant amount of risk advisory work and supply chain disputes within the automotive, retail and manufacturing sectors. Senior associate Mariyam Harunah is trusted by national and international clients on defamation and reputation management.

      Practice head(s):

      Simon Garbett

      Other key lawyers:

      Ian Skinner; Mariyam Harunah; Rose Chaudry


      ‘Technically strong and commercially aware.’

      ‘Ian Skinner and Simon Garbett provide pragmatic and outcome focused advice to help bring disputes to a satisfactory close.’

      ‘Simon Garbett is a really well-respected leader, and has the benefit of excellent, diligent and smart associates like Mariyam Harunah to help run the team.’

      ‘Mariyam Harunah is excellent in her attention, service and advice.’

      ‘Mariyam Harunah is very organised, efficient, a very hard worker, and a great pleasure to work with.’

      ‘Rose Chaudry is good to deal with and strong technically and sound commercially’

      Key clients

      Molson Coors Brewing Company

      Citron Hygiene

      Animoca Brands (Corporation) Limited

      Pets at Home


      Cambridge & Counties Bank

      Jaguar Land Rover Pension Trustees Limited

      Atlantic Projects Company

      Taylor Wimpey

      Vets 4 Pets (Part of Pets at Home)

      Work highlights

        Bevan Brittan LLP

        Bevan Brittan LLP is perhaps best known for its expertise in disputes relating to public infrastructure and the energy and waste sector. The team is led by Adam Kendall, who has a strong track record in litigation and arbitration for clients across the private and public sectors.

        Practice head(s):

        Adam Kendall

        Other key lawyers:

        Cynyr Rhys; Emma Beynon


        ‘As Bevan Brittan continue to develop its higher education sector expertise, the firm remains focused on delivering excellent client care. It will look at flexibility in pricing which is beneficial to client.’

        Key clients

        City of London Corporation

        Work highlights

          Gateley Legal

          The commercial dispute resolution team at Gateley Legal handles a full range of commercial and corporate disputes with a particular focus on the retail, sports and manufacturing sectors. The practice is led by Stephen Goodrham who is involved in matters regarding restrictive covenants, shareholder disputes and professional negligence claims. Neil Warner is regularly instructed by clients in the sport sector and is experienced in restrictive covenants and breach of confidentiality claims. Other lawyers of note include senior associates Kate Canning and Safeea Shafiq, and legal directors Thea Maertens and Rebecca Thomas.

          Practice head(s):

          Steve Goodrham; Neil Warner

          Other key lawyers:

          Kate Canning; Thea Maertens; Rebecca Thomas; Safeea Shafiq


          ‘Gateley is an outstanding regional firm providing in-depth expertise in all aspects of commercial litigation, combined with outstanding client care comparable to the best City firms.’

          ‘The team have a broad range of experience in terms of industry sectors and this is undoubtedly helped by the number of corporate transactions that the firm advise upon.’

          ‘The partners are approachable but professional giving you the sense that they are totally committed to the clients case and getting the right result rather than being in it for the fees. The associates share the same work ethos and together there is a strong team spirit.’

          ‘Steve Goodrham is a Birmingham litigation legend, and for good reason. He is intensely clever and has a great nose for the likely outcome. He is no-nonsense with even the most demanding clients, and is immensely commercial in his approach.’

          ‘Safeea Shafiq is a very high-quality associate who is not just black-letter smart but also very practical. She works hard to earn the trust of every client, and is undoubtedly future partner material.’

          Work highlights

            Trowers & Hamlins LLP

            Trowers & Hamlins LLP's commercial litigation team offer a 'high quality' service to clients dealing with corporate and commercial disputes involving shareholder matters, breach of contract claims and contentious insolvency matters. Helen Briant leads the practice with a focus on fraud and private wealth and family business disputes. Senior associate Jamie De Souza has considerable experience in the manufacturing sector and has led on complicated fraud matters and shareholder disputes.

            Practice head(s):

            Helen Briant

            Other key lawyers:

            Jamie De Souza; Elizabeth Mulley


            ‘The firm has an excellent reputation for delivering a high quality service.’

            ‘Liz Mulley is on top of her cases and very efficient’

            ‘Jamie De Souza has the winning combination of being an excellent technical lawyer with great people skills in dealing with opponents and clients.’

            ‘Helen Briant is formidable in forming strategy and I was impressed by her ability to come up to proposed solutions in litigation; she is clearly someone who understands the importance of achieving the best possible outcome for her clients.’

            Key clients

            Project Abacus

            Andrew Bridgen

            Richard Goddard

            Kevin Dodson

            Neil Ison

            LiveWest Homes Limited

            David Popeck, Caramel Sales Limited and Advanced Multi-Technology For Medical Industry (Hitex)

            Work highlights

            • Instructed on behalf of circa 450 investors who suffered losses as a result of a potentially fraudulent property scheme operated by the Alpha and Green Parks group of companies.
            • Acting on behalf of Andrew Bridgen MP in respect of a complex shareholder dispute in respect of three unfair prejudice petitions.

            Clarke Willmott LLP

            Clarke Willmott LLP is especially strong for shareholder disputes for clients such as the West Bromwich Building Society. This is a particular focus for team leader Peter Brewer, whose team also includes Paul Griffiths and associate Richard Howell.

            Practice head(s):

            Peter Brewer

            Other key lawyers:

            Paul Griffiths; Richard Howell

            Key clients

            West Bromwich Building Society

            Lidl UK

            Work highlights

            • Represented Keith Moore in a matter that went to trial in Birmingham in September 2021 and was tried before HHJ Rawlings. The Claimant alleged that Mr Moore had engaged in fraudulent activity in prior proceedings. The allegations were dismissed as a part of a substantial judgment handed down by the Court in October 2021.

            Clyde & Co

            Clyde & Co‘s Birmingham office is a key contact in the market for insurance sector claims including cross-border matters, property damage issues and fraud recovery work. The group’s roster of insurer clients includes Allianz, RSA Insurance and Zurich. Caroline Kane heads up the practice, which also includes associate Elizabeth Harvey.

            Practice head(s):

            Caroline Kane

            Other key lawyers:

            Elizabeth Harvey


            ‘Clyde & Co has a wide portfolio of capability enabling our business to build relationships with people who have in depth and current knowledge of our needs, avoiding multiple engagement across a number of legal organisations.’

            ‘Clyde & Co are professional throughout all engagements and place a significant amount of focus on building and maintaining relationships. There is a great deal of trust between our business and them, supported by an ‘open book’ view of work carried out and costs associated with advice given. Decision making is supported by facts and sound advice. The lead partner Caroline Kane is outstanding and a credit to the firm.’

            Key clients

            Compass Group UK & Ireland Ltd

            Fujitsu Plc

            Glen Dimplex Group

            AS Watson plc

            Affinity Water

            Welsh Water

            Fairmead Insurance Ltd (part of LV=)




            Work highlights

            • Advised RSA and FM Conway on the recovery of funds misappropriated by FM Conway’s employees and contractors to submit for payment fraudulent invoices.

            Sydney Mitchell LLP

            Sydney Mitchell LLP offers ‘robust, practical advice’ to a wide range of clients. The team is led by the ‘outstanding’ Dean Parnell, who is well known within the Birmingham market for his coverage of high value commercial disputes including shareholder disputes, warranty claims, injunctive relief and partnership disputes.

            Practice head(s):

            Dean Parnell

            Other key lawyers:

            Roy Colaba


            ‘Everyone within the team is very approachable, extremely competent, always accessible and confident in their ability to deliver a great result.’

            ‘The team is able to hold their own against other lawyers/teams in much larger national and London law firms and they are totally committed to their client’s cause. In my view, they are one of the best litigation teams within the West Midlands.’

            ‘The outstanding Dean Parnell is a heavyweight litigator, is the man you want in the trench with you fighting your case. He is a great lateral thinker in all disputes and comes out on top all of the time. In every sense he is a real mastermind of a lawyer. Hugely respected in the City and beyond. Down to earth and very approachable.’

            ‘Dean Parnell is an excellent litigator. Organised, thorough, robust and very effective on behalf of his clients.’

            ‘Dean Parnell is a very talented litigation lawyer who is first and foremost a problem solver. He is an original thinker with a keen intellect and provides clients with the confidence that they are in safe hands.’

            Work highlights

            • Representing a high net worth individual in a shareholder dispute involving a global corporate structure with a potential value of in excess of £10 million with litigation taking place in Gibraltar.
            • Representing a company in a claim valued in excess of £1 million against a director of the client company 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 company’s reputation.
            • Advised a company on a claim against a high street bank valued at £3m-£4m.

            The Wilkes Partnership

            The Wilkes Partnership focuses primarily on business-to-business disputes ranging from manufacturing through to construction disputes. The team also acts for individuals on matters such as shareholder disputes, warranty claims and defamation actions. Practice head Simon Thomas specialises in commercial and business disputes, including those concerning the sale of goods and construction issues.

            Practice head(s):

            Simon Thomas

            Other key lawyers:

            Gavin Evans; Nigel Wood


            ‘A strong team with wide ranging experience of local, national and International commercial disputes.’

            ‘Gavin Evans is very hard working, pragmatic and sensible, negotiates a good deal.’

            ‘Nigel Wood is hugely experienced and authoritative’

            ‘Strong client base in the Midlands area, good legal knowledge and commercial nous. They think in practical, problem-solving ways at all times.’

            Key clients


            Saint Gobain BD

            Work highlights