Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the West Midlands in West Midlands

FBC Manby Bowdler LLP

FBC Manby Bowdler LLP's large team has particular expertise in insolvency, company law and real estate litigation. Praised as a 'efficient and hands-on litigator', Charlotte Clode manages a diverse portfolio of commercial disputes, including private wealth litigation. Recently, she defended an individual in a high-value estate claim, resulting in a favourable settlement. Guy Birkett is also a key member of the team, with notable strength in shareholder litigation. In the Redditch office, 'bright and diligent' lawyer Gareth Ruddock is a key contact.

Practice head(s):

Charlotte Clode

Other key lawyers:

Guy Birkett; Gareth Ruddock

Testimonials

‘The firm provides honest and clear advice and I feel that they really understand us, our position and where our risks are, which enables us to make informed choices.’ 

‘A very professional set up, with bright solicitors working there and strong support teams.’

‘Energetic, confident and with an excellent reputation in the region.’

‘The quality and expertise of large Birmingham city centre firm at lower rates. Particularly strong in shareholder disputes and share warranty claims.’

‘Charlotte Clode is our main point of contact. She is a very experienced, honest and straight talking lawyer who I trust to provide us with a balanced view of the situation in a way that gives us all of the information that we need to make a decision. She is also very personable, relatable and always willing to make time for us to answer questions and concerns that we have.’

‘Guy Birkett is a renowned lawyer in the region, with good reason: he has impeccable judgement, and is a trusted adviser for a legion of loyal high-end clients.’

‘Charlotte Clode is a young partner making a real name for herself – she is sharp, pragmatic with clients, demands high standards of herself, and is tireless in her promotion of the firm. She is a real future leader in the region.’

‘Guy Birkett is very experienced, technically strong and very commercially aware and has a good feel for shareholder disputes.’

Key clients

Cerus Engineering Ltd

Whitlock & Lowe Ltd

The Entertainment Department (UK) Limited

LXA Construction Limited & LXA Projects Limited

Prime Oak Buildings Limited

Dudley Building Society

Tipton and Coseley Building Society

Leonard Curtis Business Solutions

Newell Palmer Group Holdings Limited

Marstons PLC

Work highlights

  • Represented a shareholder in a dispute over the distribution of funds held by the SPV company as profit arising out of a high-value property development.
  • Represented a commercial guarantor in its defence of a claim pursuant to a personal guarantee.
  • Acting for a shareholder in a dispute regarding a site being developed for housing.

George Green LLP

George Green LLP's commercial litigation group, which is praised for its 'great technical knowledge and strategic ability', handles a wide variety of high-stakes cases, including shareholder, professional negligence, banking, insurance and IP litigation. 'Determined' group head Neil Williams recently handled a major procurement dispute and a complex conspiracy to defraud claim, while Liam Owen is currently involved in a dispute relating to a trust worth over £8m. 'Calm and assured' practitioner Morgan Rees is noted for his role in business critical litigation, including defamation, debt recovery and complex derivate claims.

Practice head(s):

Neil Williams

Other key lawyers:

Liam Owen; Morgan Rees

Testimonials

‘This is a very impressive small team of litigators. It is well led, but the partners are good at allowing the more junior colleagues to take responsibility for cases. The result is that the junior lawyers are more engaged.’

‘Good quality commercial litigation practice operating at the high standard normally associated with city centre firms.’

‘Liam Owen is a standout new partner with experience in construction-related commercial disputes, who punches above his weight.’

‘Mr Morgan Rees is a talented lawyer with an encyclopaedic brain and a strategic nous.’ 

‘I have used Morgan Rees for 3 years, I would always want him on my side in a dispute. His reassuring, measured tone against a very vexatious, aggressive and oppressive litigant has seen me through some very tough times. His strategic vision cannot be underestimated.’

‘Morgan Rees is a technically gifted and tough, commercially driven operator.’ 

‘Neil Williams is a very experienced, level-headed commercial litigator who has seen and done it all before, and has the knack of always being able to see the wood from the trees.’

‘Liam Owen comfortably handles complex litigation.’

Key clients

thyssenkrupp Materials (UK) Limited

Sims Group UK Limited

Medequip Assistive Technology Limited

Saltus Partners LLP

TIA (GB) Limited

Olive Communications Solutions Limited

Jeeves Estates Limited

Argus Fire Protection Company Limited

Inenco Group Limited

Leadscale Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for the former CEO of Claims Direct plc in connection with claims brought against him by his trustee in bankruptcy arising out of the demise of the listed PLC company.
  • Acting for the defendants in complex multi-entity corporate proceedings concerning a number of care homes in which the claimant has issued derivative corporate claims and breach of trust claims.
  • Representing a client in defamation proceedings.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys

With offices across the West Midlands, the team at Harrison Clark Rickerbys is best known for its strong track record in litigation involving defence, financial services and agriculture clients, including complex cross-border fraud claims and PPI disputes. Elizabeth Beatty (Worcester), who sits as a Deputy District Judge at the Birmingham Civil Justice Centre, continues to handle an impressive array of commercial disputes. Richard Morgan (Hereford), who also sits as Deputy District Jude at the Birmingham Civil Justice Centre, is well known for his success in complex litigation involving defence and security companies. ‘Hardworking and practical’ partner Hefin Archer Williams (Wye Valley) excels in partnership disputes and professional negligence cases.

Practice head(s):

Richard Morgan; Elizabeth Beatty; Hefin Archer Williams

Testimonials

‘The firm has some incredibly strong individuals who pull together to form a fantastically effective litigation team. They have expertise across a number of different areas and deliver a high-quality product on a consistent basis.’

‘Responsive, offer a range of retainers for litigation clients. Work well with litigation funders and ATE insurers. Get good settlements quickly for clients.’

‘Elizabeth Beatty is a standout individual who offers a superb client service on every case from cradle to grave. She is ably backed up by immensely talented individuals.’ 

‘This team has been very successful on my half. Seven cases all resolved in my favour. Some difficult some almost impossible.’

‘Strong presence in the market with strength in depth. Good use of technology.’ 

‘Elizabeth Beatty is calm and commercially astute.’ 

Key clients

Pertemps Group of Companies plc

J Hoots Healthcare Limited

The Paragon Group of Companies Plc

Amada United Kingdom Limited

Precision Castparts Corp

Network Sales and Marketing Limited

Safran UK Limited

Poundland Limited

British Dressage

Gemco Service Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented Pertemps Medical Group, securing an interim injunction preventing a former director from making adverse, derogatory comments against the client.
  • Representing Precision Cast Parts Corp in defence of a $92m warranty claim relating to the sale of a business in Farnborough and Thailand.

Wright Hassall LLP

Wright Hassall LLP's 'thoughtful and dedicated' team specialises in commercial litigation in the technology and financial services sectors. While the team has a broad offering, its expertise in shareholder disputes, tax litigation and reputation management work is particularly strong. Gemma Carson stands out for her strong track record in professional negligence claims, whereas Sarah Perry has a wealth of experience in fraud, shareholder and partnership disputes. Associate Matthew Goodwin specialises in financial services litigation, including professional negligence and breach of contract disputes.

Practice head(s):

Gemma Carson

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Perry; Matthew Goodwin

Testimonials

‘The litigation team punches above its weight, and provides good value, sensible, practical and well-reasoned advice and assistance in disputes. They act for and against well-known businesses, and have impressed in achieving strong settlements in short timeframes.’

‘The team are very thoughtful and dedicated, not afraid to take on difficult cases. The level of research and original thought that they put into dealing with issues is impressive and enables the client to push for the result they want and deserve.’

‘Extremely professional whilst being very caring. I felt I was in safe hands at all times and was understood and heard each time I had a question or concern.’

‘Sarah Perry is totally outstanding and incredibly knowledgeable.’

‘Sarah Perry is very perceptive on legal issues, but combines that extremely well with a commercial outlook on the case in hand.’

Key clients

South Staffordshire Water

Coventry Building Society

Jaguar Land Rover

TATA Technologies Europe Ltd

AL-KO Kober Ltd

Merchant Money Ltd

Epwin Group Plc

ZZPS Ltd

Board MIT Ltd / Board International SA

Work highlights

  • Acting for various insured companies in relation to business interruption claims arising as a result of the pandemic.
  • Representing Board MIT in a breach of contract claim against McLaren regarding the provision of IT services for a fixed period.
  • Acting for Specialist Building Products in a dispute arising from an alleged breach of contract and provision of unsatisfactory and/or defective goods.

Band Hatton Button LLP

Band Hatton Button LLP's 'pragmatic and diligent' practice excels in property litigation, which is supplemented by further expertise in insolvency, professional negligence, IP and shareholder disputes. The team has also been instructed on a notable volume of work arising from the pandemic, including force majeure disputes and matters related to the moratorium imposed on residential possessions. Group head Jon Wilby acts for clients in various sectors in construction disputes, while Malcolm Thomas stands out for his strong reputation in will and trust litigation, in addition to restrictive covenant disputes.

Practice head(s):

Jon Wilby

Other key lawyers:

Malcolm Thomas; Kristy Ainge; Raman Dhillon

Testimonials

‘The team provides a very client focused service. They consistently go the extra mile to achieve the best outcome for their clients irrespective of the size of the case. They treat every client as their top priority.’

‘Band Hatton is a strong local firm with a personable team and good client-focus.’

‘Jon Wilby is also an exceptional partner; he is very measured and easy to work with; a seasoned litigator who has the confidence of his clients.’

‘Kristy Ainge is a standout associate; she manages a broad range of general commercial litigation with diligence and a commercial focus.’

Key clients

Matrix Machine Tool (Coventry) Limited

Bernard Holt

Watbro Management

MMJ Global

Work highlights

  • Advising a client regarding termination rights and obligations under framework service agreements with revenue values exceeding £1m, following the closure of client premises due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Defending a defective goods claim brought against a UK manufacturer by an Indian company claiming in excess of £1m.
  • Defending a High Court preference claim alleging the client’s involvement in inter-company transfers.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP has handled numerous disputes involving employment law arising from the pandemic, including termination, shareholder and acquisition claims. Its wider offering encompasses mining and minerals disputes, probate and trust litigation and contentious real estate matters. The 'commercially astute' Stephen Hadley has notable expertise in shareholder disputes and warranty claims, while associate Zalena Vandrewala is known for handling various disputes in the County Court and High Court, with an emphasis on property litigation and contentious probate mandates.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Hadley

Other key lawyers:

Zalena Vandrewala

Testimonials

‘Freeths and a specific few members of their team are truly leading in service, commitment and ability.’

‘Stephen Hadley has a very high level of knowledge, experience and the ability to provide the best advice, ensuring a greater level of success than is generally found elsewhere.’

Key clients

Moran Logistics Limited

Brand Energy & Infrastructure Services UK Limited

Baker Tilly

Moore Stephens

EMC Lawshare Group of Local Authorities

Travis Perkins PLC

Tarmac PLC

Hawkins Hatton Corporate Lawyers Limited

Hawkins Hatton Corporate Lawyers Limited's 'very responsive and thorough' practice specialises in litigation involving manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, IT and insurance companies. It is also well known for its expertise in disputes relating to tax and employment law, given the firm's historically strong position in these areas. Harminder Sandhu has a wealth of experience in shareholder, partnership and contractual disputes across various sectors; she is currently representing Headline Overseas in a high-value claim against a property developer.

Practice head(s):

Harminder Sandhu

Testimonials

‘We have had a great relationship with the firm to date. They have always been very efficient when dealing with matters for us. They are proactive and really help when it comes to understanding what we need to understand along the way. We have used others before and always found it very frustrating that we have to keep chasing things up and feel as if we are having to push all the time. We will only use H&H moving forward due to the excellent service we have received.’ 

‘Fantastic team covering every aspect of the sale of our business. A wealth of knowledge partnered with approachability made the process easy to understand from our side, especially as we needed a lot of guiding as this was our first sale.’

‘The firm have a very strong commercial background and have assisted us in litigation, property purchases, company share sales and buy-back transactions. Their knowledge and experience is invaluable to us.’ 

‘A highly experienced team with a depth of knowledge in all areas of civil and commercial law – can cater for everything their business clients need.’

‘Harminder Sandhu is an exceptional lawyer; extremely professional, with a depth of knowledge and a wealth of experience. She is a true dispute resolution specialist, the best at what she does, able to handle high value and complex disputes.’

‘Harminder is highly personable and engages well with clients, providing them with the reassurance they need.’ 

Key clients

SRM Group Ltd

Veenak International Ltd

Medicom UK

nGeneration Ltd

Computers Ltd

NET LED Limited

La Tua Pasta

R & RW Bartlett Ltd

Simco External Framing Solutions Ltd

Inshore Support Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of Veenak International Limited in relation to its multi-party contractual dispute regarding the supply of PPE products.
  • Acting on behalf of Sovereign Risk Management in relation to its contractual dispute with an online mental wellbeing scheme provider for students.
  • Representing AKS Builders in relation to a multi-party claim arising out of the installation of fire barriers in a high rise apartment block.

Higgs LLP

Higgs LLP's practice focuses primarily on breach of contract disputes, warranty claims and shareholder litigation. Julia Lowe, who leads the team, is well known for representing clients in substantial disputes before the High Court, Court of Appeal and in arbitration and mediation proceedings. Matt Dudley is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Julia Lowe

Other key lawyers:

Matt Dudley

Lanyon Bowdler

Lanyon Bowdler has particular strength in manufacturing, construction and engineering disputes; it is also highly regarded for its strong track record in debt recovery proceedings, with an emphasis on the agriculture industry. Andrew Pegg, who is noted by clients for his ‘thorough and concise’ approach to cases, is highly regarded for shareholder and unfair prejudice litigation, in addition to his strong track record in insurance and construction disputes. Associate Claire Yardley is also a key member of the practice, and is recognised for her broad practice, which encompasses general commercial litigation and disputes in the agriculture sector.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Pegg

Other key lawyers:

Claire Yardley

Testimonials

‘The solicitors at the firm that I have dealt with have been very prompt and professional. They have provided detailed and helpful advice and have achieved good outcomes’

‘Lanyon Bowdler’s partners are professional and knowledgeable in their respective areas of expertise. Issues are typically resolved successfully.’

‘Andrew Pegg is very knowledgeable, thorough and concise in his assessment of an issue and able to provide viable solutions in quick order. Legal risk is clearly spelled out by Pegg and viable options benefiting the company quickly laid out.’ 

Key clients

Border Oak Design & Construction Limited

Poplar Trees Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for a private client in a dispute involving business and personal interests, which culminated in a settlement.

MFG Solicitors LLP

MFG Solicitors LLP's 'tenacious and determined' team handles a wide range of commercial disputes, including property, employment, energy, technology and IP matters. It is also a strong firm for clients engaged in family law disputes, including divorce proceedings, trust disputes and probate litigation. Tom Esler frequently acts for shareholders and directors of SMEs regarding company, insolvency and IP law matters. Samuel Pedley is recommended for his diverse work in the field, which includes high-value debt recovery, bankruptcy and insolvency litigation.

Practice head(s):

Tom Esler

Other key lawyers:

Samuel Pedley

Testimonials

‘Knowledge of the law and the specifics of this specialized area, tenacity, determination, presentation of the options at each stage, energy to continue, with a very common sense approach.’

‘MFG take a hands on approach to understanding a problem, getting to the nub of an issue and mapping out a strategic path to dispute resolution.’

‘Tom Esler is a highly experienced litigator. Clients value his strategy and out-of-the-box thinking.’

‘Sam Pedley is an accomplished all-round lawyer. Great at managing serious high value cases.’

‘Local firm, very attentive and great eye for detail.’

‘Professional but also friendly. Good sounding board and advisers.’

Key clients

Green Blocks Midlands Limited

Excalibur Hygiene Limited

Butcher Woods Limited

All Trade (Printers) Limited

Lexi Debt Advisory Limited

On-Power Electrical Services Limited

Timothy James Partnership

Phoenix Training Services (Midlands) Limited

Adam Carpets Limited

Liquid Fleet Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Green Blocks Midlands Limited in a breach of contract claim involving property and nuisance related matters.
  • Acting for a trustee in bankruptcy and a liquidator against a former director / group company in commencing a preference transaction at an undervalue and transaction to defraud creditors.
  • Acting for Phoenix Trading Services in a breach of contract dispute concerning a joint venture agreement for the provision of training services in the education sector.

Thursfields Solicitors

Praised for its 'great tenacity and client care', Thursfields Solicitors frequently handles significant shareholder and partnership disputes. It also possesses notable expertise in professional negligence, fraud and breach of contract litigation. 'Very smart' litigator Stephen Rome, who was promoted to director in 2020, stands out for his track record in disputes involving breach of fiduciary duty and advanced push payment fraud elements. 'Fantastically capable' associate Georgia Morris is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Rome

Other key lawyers:

Georgia Morris

Testimonials

‘A very professional set up, with bright solicitors and strong support teams. Very good use of technology during the pandemic.’

‘Very good team of individuals, allowed by the practice to forge their own identity and style in order to become leaders in their respective areas.’

‘Stephen Rome – very commercial, easy to work with, strong worth ethic and always focused on delivering a strong service for his clients.’

‘Stephen Rome is first rate, and has a wonderful understanding of company and partnership law. He is also exceptionally commercial in his approach. Georgia Morris is just brilliant. It’s hard to believe that she is not far more experienced than she is: she fantastically capable, and a great pleasure to work with.’

‘Stephen Rome – director. Very smart, extremely good at handling particularly difficult clients. Georgia Morris – associate. Possibly one of the most switched on associates I have dealt with. Super bright, understands very difficult concepts of law instantly.’

Key clients

Bewdley Caravan Sales Ltd

Kingsford Caravan Park Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising majority shareholders in respect of unfair prejudice claims bought in relation to five family companies with an estimated value of £20m.

Ansons

Ansons has recently seen a major uptick in disputes relating to insolvency and boardroom issues, while its broader offering includes construction and breach of contract litigation and claims in various industries. Martin de Ridder  specialises in guiding large regional and national companies through insolvency and shareholder disputes. ‘Thorough and reliable’ practitioner Adam Pike is also a core member of the team, with a diverse commercial litigation practice.

Practice head(s):

Martin de Ridder

Other key lawyers:

Adam Pike

Testimonials

‘The individuals we work with are very hands-on and are always there to rely on when we need the technical details explained in a more straightforward way. We trust in the advice given by the firm.’ 

‘Martin de Ridder has his client’s interests firmly at heart and gives down-to-earth and sensible advice.’

‘Adam Pike is very efficient and resourceful – a master litigator.’

Key clients

Moore Insolvency

Seconique Limited

St Philips Care Limited

Walter Tippers

Walton Homes Limited

Wirquin Limited

Work highlights

  • Defending Seconique Furniture in proceedings following the termination of the lease on its long-term rented warehouse and retail premises.

Enoch Evans LLP

Enoch Evans LLP's 'commercial and efficient' team is led by Stephen Nixon, who specialises in breach of contract, partnership and shareholder disputes. He is also well-versed in professional negligence claims and IP litigation.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Nixon

Testimonials

‘I rate the services Enoch Evans provide very highly. The firm is very commercial in its outlook and very efficient in preparing instructions, addressing queries and managing clients.’ 

‘The practice brings together the broadest possible skill set, forming a team that takes care of the client’s needs in the most complex and diverse property-led disputes.’

‘Stephen Nixon provides strong insight. He is very good at providing a realistic view of matters using mediation.’