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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > West Midlands > Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Elsewhere in the West Midlands > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Other

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Elsewhere in the West Midlands
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1
    • Tom Williams - Harrison Clark Rickerbys

Stoke-on-Trent firm Beswicks Legal handles a range of work including shareholder and partnership disputes, as well as tax and sports-related litigation. Karen Elder co-heads the team and is notably strong in contractual disputes, as well as having a particular focus on the property sector. Elder works in tandem with fellow co-head Gareth Wilkinson , who has carved a niche in sports litigation.

Practice head(s):Karen Elder; Gareth Wilkinson

Testimonials

'The team at Beswicks are client-focused and approachable.'

'Beswicks has the breadth of specialists to offer the best advice on many subjects, whilst retaining a close relationship with is clients.'

'Karen Elder is hugely proactive - communicating with her is a pleasure.'

FBC Manby Bowdler LLP has a strong commercial litigation offering, primarily in contractual disputes. Guy Birkett leads the team and is an expert in shareholder and partnership disputes, as well as construction litigation. Other key members include Gareth Ruddock, who has a focus on property disputes, and contractual disputes specialist Charlotte Clode .

Practice head(s):Guy Birkett

Other key lawyers:Gareth Ruddock; Charlotte Clode

Technology and engineering are two standout sector specialities for George Green LLP. Neil Williams is a key figure in the team, handling contractual disputes, corporate warranty claims as well as shareholder and partnership disputes. Morgan Rees is another name of note and handles shareholder disputes and professional negligence cases.

Practice head(s):Neil Williams; Morgan Rees

Key Clients

thyssenkrupp Materials (UK) Limited

Sims Group UK Limited

Medequip Assistive Technology Limited

Imperial Worldwide Limited

TIA (GB) Limited

Olive Communications Solutions Limited

Inenco Group Limited

Pallet-Track Limited

HOPPE (UK) Limited

AGCO Limited

Work highlights

  • Defended Synergy Biologics’ former CEO against claims of fiduciary duty breaches valued at £50m.
  • Acted for Medequip in a public procurement dispute concerning  the intended award of a 5 year contract to a competitor.
  • Advised TIA on its recovery of loans and uplifts from a manufacturing company, which was pursued through litigation.

Richard Morgan, Elizabeth Beatty and Hefin Archer-Williams jointly lead the team at Harrison Clark Rickerbys. Firmwide disputes chief Morgan heads up the firm's defence, security and forces offering, while Williams, who joined from Slater and Gordon in early 2018, is in charge of the Wye Valley operation. Beatty, who leads the Worcester team and also sits as a deputy district judge at the Birmingham Civil Justice Centre, also heads up the firm's 24/7 in-house lawyers services practice. Well-regarded senior associate Tom Williams handles disputes arising out of corporate transactions.

Practice head(s):Richard Morgan; Elizabeth Beatty; Hefin Archer-Williams

Testimonials

'Each lawyer I deal with provides unswerving support and pragmatic and commercial advice.'

'Elizabeth Beatty invests time to understand the client's personal and business issues, and provides frank and pragmatic advice.'

'Richard Morgan is a real pleasure as he is dynamic and responsive.'

Key Clients

Gemco Limited Elonex Sports Plc

Paragon Personal

Finance Limited

The Paragon Group of Companies

Amada United Kingdom Limited

Pertemps Group of Companies

Network Sales and Marketing Limited

Paragon Banking Group PLC

Wiggin Limited

Rockline Industries Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Precision Castparts Corporation, a US-based industrial manufacturing corporation, in a $76m warranty claim relating to the sale of an aerospace component manufacturing business based in the UK and Thailand.
  • Successfully acted for Amada United Kingdom Limited in a dispute in which a customer alleged defects with a machine and refused to make payment.
  • Advised Paragon Banking Group Plc, a financial services provider, in relation to a multimillion-pound claim brought by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme alongside 14,000 consumers to recover monies paid by FSCS to consumers as compensation for PPI mis-selling.

Julia Lowe is head of dispute resolution in Higgs & Sons' Brierley Hill practice. Her areas of expertise within this space include shareholder and partnership disputes, product liability matters and injunctive relief orders. She works alongside a team including Matt Dudley, whose wide-ranging disputes practice covers shareholder disputes, claims relating to business or share sales, as well as matters relating to the enforcement of restrictive covenants.

Practice head(s):Julia Lowe

Other key lawyers:Matt Dudley

Wright Hassall LLP has particular strength in disputes in the technology, tax and financial services sectors. Managing partner Sarah Perry, who jointly leads the practice, is 'a force to be reckoned with' and an expert in shareholder disputes, commercial contract issues and fraud claims. Also heading the practice is Gemma Carson, who has a similar focus on commercial contract disputes and handles professional negligence claims. Associate Matthew Goodwin is notably skilled in financial services litigation.

Practice head(s):Sarah Perry; Gemma Carson

Testimonials

'A strong commercial team frequently instructed in very high value disputes in High Court commercial centres.'

'A young, enthusiastic team which has great expertise across the board.'

'City firm service, but from a regional firm - local, personable and cost-effective.'

Key Clients

Coventry Building Society

Jaguar Land Rover

TATA Technologies Europe Ltd

AL-KO Kober Ltd

Merchant Money Ltd

Epwin Group Plc

ZZPS Ltd

Hawkins Hatton Corporate Lawyers Limited handles seven-figure commericial disputes, advising clients across a range of sectors including manufacturing, engineering, IT and insurance. Managing director and firm founder Harminder Sandhu leads the team, handling major meditation work alongside litigation for key clients. Recent cases handled by the firm include shareholder disputes, property-related matters and product liability issues, as well as wider claims relating to professional negligence.

Practice head(s):Harminder Sandhu

Testimonials

'The Hawkins Hatton team are always very professional while still being friendly and approachable.'

'Harminder Sandhu is extremely professional and on point with all issues.'

'An approachable and supportive team who always respond quickly, often in layman's language and remove the mystique of the legal process.'

'A unique law firm in that you are not only treated as client but a friend. The team is very approachable at any time and are more than happy to give you sensible advice that helps you make sensible decisions before you even engage their services. A fantastic team.'

'Harminder Sandhu is very good with clients, efficient and gets to grips with matters quickly.'

'Harminder Sandhu is meticulous and thorough and represents her client's interests with diligence and determination.'

'Harminder is a true professional in her role and has vast experience in corporate litigation and has always provided very good guidance while still listing to our own concerns and issues.'

Key Clients

Sovereign Risk Management Limited

Siren Furniture Limited

Meridian Metal Trading Limited

Celloglas Limited

GF Simmons Architectural Services

Paul Boland

Masterfreight Limited

Borger UK Limited

Bespoke Global Resourcing Limited

Oxford Blue Ltd

Work highlights

  • Undertook an independent review for Sovereign Risk Management Limited following breach of its data protection policy by an employee.
  • Acted for a client on a shareholder dispute with his brother, featuring serious allegations of unfair prejudice, fraud and misconduct being made on both sides.
  • Acting on behalf of a second defendant in a claim being brought by a wealthy individual in relation to substantial building works on a significant property located on a cliff face in Torquay.
  • Acting on a shareholder dispute between two equal shareholders in a company who are father and son.  A deal was struck whereby the company will buy back the son’s shares. The deal is being implemented by the firm’s corporate department.
  • Acting for Sovereign Risk Management Limited on a claim against a former director/shareholder for breach of restrictive covenants and warranties given in a settlement agreement.

Lanyon Bowdler  is particularly prominent in shareholder and partnership disputes, as well as professional negligence. Andrew Pegg leads the practice and has a strong emphasis on the manufacturing, construction and engineering sectors.

Practice head(s):Andrew Pegg

Key Clients

Fletcher Homes Ltd

The Dodd Group (particularly Dodd Group (Midlands) Ltd and Dodd Group (South) Ltd

Christian Haines (director/shareholder in Assured Healthcare Solutions Ltd and Liberty Healthcare Solutions Ltd)

Allenby Douglas Ltd

Plastic Omnium Automotive Ltd

R S Coaching Ltd

Lower Ailey BioGas Ltd

D B Roberts & Partners Ltd

James & Nicholas Prince (directors/shareholders in M H Elcock & Son Ltd)

Nicholas Morgan (director/shareholder in Technical & Development Services Group Ltd and associated companies)

Central Taxis Ltd

Go Carz Country Fresh Pullets Ltd

Work highlights

  • We assisted the client with his acquisition of a large care home in North Wales at the foot of Mt Snowdon operated through Plas Garnedd Llanberis Limited. This matter was complicated by the fact the client’s lender required the seller to retain a stake in the company post-completion. Various issues arose during the due diligence process and we had to work closely with our commercial property team to ensure that matters were handled appropriately. The matter also involved the negotiation of detailed completion accounts together with arrangements for deferred consideration (along with the retained equity stake).

MFG Solictors LLP's work within the disputes space covers litigation involving commercial contracts, shareholder agreements, civil fraud, construction and issues relating to financial services. Tom Esler, who leads the team, has a particular focus on litigation involving breach of director's duties and shareholder and partnership agreements. Another key figure is Samuel Pedley, who is an expert in contractual disputes, intellectual property and insolvency.

Practice head(s):Tom Esler

Other key lawyers:Samuel Pedley

Work highlights

  • Advised John Needham Associates on high-value multi-track claim and counterclaim concerning intricate allegations of breach of duty, negligence and breach of contract.
  • Acting for a trustee in bankruptcy and a liquidator against a former director in commencing a preference, transaction at an undervalue and transaction to defraud creditors.
  • Advised Adam Carpets Limited on a significant historic contractual claim/rebate for surface water drainage for trading estate.
  • Advised Native Web Limited on an unfair prejudice dispute between shareholders.
  • Acting for Ruskim Seafoods Limited on a high value contractual dispute.

Thursfields Solicitors has a general commercial litigation practice that serves the Worcestershire and surrounding areas of Birmingham. Director Tim Lawrence is a key figure in the team and focuses on commercial disputes, financial recoveries and franchising issues.

Practice head(s):Tim Lawrence; Michelle O'Hara

Testimonials

'Their client care, legal ability, team ethos and fair and reasonable fees ensure clients obtain a superb service and achieve great results.'

'Very loyal client base and a broad range of commercial clients.'

'Tim Lawrence has a strong following and works tirelessly to achieve his clients' objectives. An excellent commercial litigator.'

Key Clients

United Trust Bank Limited

Freemans Event Partners

Worcester Carsales Limited

Bennetts Farms and Foods Limited

Frank Salt & Co Limited

Ridgewood Homes Limited

Subtopia Limited

MPS Networks PLC

College of Osteopaths

Samuel Leeds Limited

Barry Ward

Avensys

Ansons focuses on contractual disputes, shareholder disagreements and professional negligence claims. Martin De Ridder  leads the team and handles disputes in the aforementioned areas, primarily for owner-managed businesses in the Staffordshire area. Other key names include senior associate Jason Alcock, who is experienced in construction and property disputes, and associate Adam Pike, who acts on professional negligence claims and shareholder disputes.

Practice head(s):Martin De Ridder

Other key lawyers:Jason Alcock; Adam Pike 

Coventry-based Band Hatton Button LLP  is a popular choice for commercial litigation within the region and is particularly known for its advice on disputes relating to property and facilities management. 'Excellent commercial litigator' Jon Wilby leads the team and primarily focuses on property and tenancy disputes.

Practice head(s):Jon Wilby

Other key lawyers:Malcolm Thomas; John French

Testimonials

'John French is pragmatic, commercial and meticulous and always fights in his client's corner with commitment and determination'.

'Excellent client care and commercially minded lawyers.'

'Jon Wilby is very down to earth and easy to work with. He has the confidence of his clients and their loyalty. An excellent commercial litigator.'

Key Clients

Oasis Dental Care

Work highlights

  • Advised manufacturer of and distributor of copper tube on a claim against a demolition contractor for delay in completing demolition and asbestos decontamination works.
  • Advised ex-director of a nursing company on a dispute over a personal guarantee on a commercial lease.
  • Advised an accountancy practice on a commercial loan dispute over whether the company or an ex-director of the same company owes £50,000.

Walsall-based Enoch Evans LLP's commercial disputes team is led by Stephen Nixon, who is experienced in disputes pertaining to commercial contracts, property and professional negligence. He also handles employment and intellectual property litigation, as well as shareholder and partnership disputes.

Practice head(s):Stephen Nixon

The Stoke office of Freeths LLP is primarily known for advising on disputes in the property and energy sectors. Stephen Hadley leads the team and has extensive experience in corporate and property litigation.

Practice head(s):1

Other key lawyers:4

Key Clients

Tarmac PLC

Bird & Sons / Yarrows Aggregate Ltd

Norcros PLC

Baker Tilly

Moore Stephens

Pickerings Solicitors' skillset in this space focuses on disputes relating to debt collection, commercial contracts, professional negligence,  as well as shareholder and partnership matters. Simon King leads the practice and focuses on the aforementioned areas, acting as both a litigator and mediator. Associate Katie Maxwell Stewart focuses on contractual and commercial disputes.

Practice head(s):Simon King

Other key lawyers:Katie Maxwell Stewart

Work highlights

  • Advised Glyn Williams Contracts, a provider of construction support services based in the Middle East, on proceedings in the Technology and Construction Court in Birmingham to recover unpaid fees in the region of £165,000 from a UK-based contractor specialising in the installation of utility services.
  • Acted for a private client who had not been aware of proceedings before judgment in default had been obtained by the claimant.
  • Instructed by a defendant who had received a default judgment in circumstances where he had no knowledge or notice of the claim.

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