Firms To Watch: Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the West Midlands

Aaron & Partners LLP, which has a strong reputation for commercial litigation in the North West, has been building up its presence in the Midlands from its base in Shrewsbury, handling a range of contentious matters.
Talbots Law, which made the notable step of becoming an employee-owned trust in late 2021, has a growing dispute resolution team led from Stourbridge by Jagdip Bains.

Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the West Midlands in West Midlands

FBC Manby Bowdler LLP

The large team at FBC Manby Bowdler LLP is known for its particular expertise in disputes concerning insolvency, company law and real estate, and is well regarded for providing 'the quality of a city centre firm'. The practice is led by Charlotte Clode, while former senior partner Guy Birkett is a key member of the team with notable experience in shareholder litigation. Other important team members are Gareth Ruddock, who heads the debt recovery team, and property litigation head Brian Aikman.

Practice head(s):

Charlotte Clode

Other key lawyers:

Guy Birkett; Gareth Ruddock; Brian Aikman; Mohammad Ahsan; Elisabeth Glover; Claire Bentick


‘This is a strong team with good depth of experience.’

‘They provide a savvy and sensible approach to litigation and are easy to deal with.’

‘They are highly responsive and easy to deal with and attentive to the particular needs of the client.’

Key clients

Cerus Engineering Limited

Whitlock & Lowe Limited

The Entertainment Department (UK) Limited

LXA Construction Limited & LXA Projects Limited

Prime Oak Buildings Limited / Whitlock & Lowe Limited

Dudley Building Society

Tipton & Coseley Building Society

Leonard Curtis Business Solutions

DDC Engineering Solutions Limited

Newell Palmer Group Holdings Limited and its group of Companies

Marstons Plc

Work highlights

  • Acted on dispute arising out of a Partnership Agreement and joint land ownership following the death of a parent.
  • Advised an accountant and partner in a national accountancy practice on a shareholders dispute arising from the sale of the accountancy practice to private equity and arguments about accounting between and sums otherwise falling due as between the shareholders.
  • After a fire caused significant damage to a client’s property, plant and machinery, the firm advised the client on a claim under its insurance policy which was declined.

George Green LLP

George Green LLP‘s commercial litigation team is praised for its 'depth of expertise' and its experience handling high stakes cases involving insurance, banking and professional negligence. Neil Williams is a team leader with 'bags of experience' who primarily deals with commercial and corporate disputes. Morgan Rees specialises in corporate litigation, and is praised for being 'astute in terms of litigation tactics'. Liam Owen is praised for 'always looking out for what will benefit a client in the short and long run.'

Practice head(s):

Neil Williams

Other key lawyers:

Morgan Rees; Liam Owen; Emma Barton


‘Very approachable and pragmatic.’

‘This is a strong team with good depth of experience. I find them easy to work with. The solicitors there are up to speed with the current law. They provide a savvy and sensible approach to litigation and are easy to deal with.’

‘A litigation team with expertise than would be the envy of many city firms.’

Key clients

thyssenkrupp Materials (UK) Limited

Sims Group UK Limited

Medequip Assistive Technology Limited

Saltus Partners LLP

TIA (GB) Limited

Olive Communications Solutions Limited

Inenco Group Limited

Jeeves Estates Limited

Argus Fire Protection Company Limited

Handicare Accessibility 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, Jeeves Estates Limited, Jeeves Investments Limited, Simicare Limited, Jashpal Thind and Baljit Thind 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.
  • Successfully represented a journalist in the Court of Appeal in a case considering the ambit of the public interest defence in defamation cases.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys

With multiple offices across the West Midlands, Harrison Clark Rickerbys has a number of niche specialisms including disputes relating to defence, security and international fraud. More generally, the broad practice also handles shareholder disputes, indemnity claims, directors' duties and commercial agreements. Worcester-based Elizabeth Beatty sits as a Deputy District Judge and handles high value, cross border shareholder disputes and warranty claims. In Hereford, Richard Morgan is firmwide head of dispute resolution with a specialty in the defence, security and forces sectors. Head of the Wye Valley office is Hefin Archer-Williams; a litigator who specialises in partnership disputes, breaches of shareholder agreements, tenancy disputes and insurance disputes.

Practice head(s):

Richard Morgan; Elizabeth Beatty; Hefin Archer-Williams

Other key lawyers:

Clare Murphy; Esther Stirling; Tom Williams

Key clients

Gemco Service

Safran UK

Pertemps Group of Companies

Precision Castparts

Network Sales and Marketing

Amada United Kingdom

The Paragon Group of Companies

J Hoots Healthcare

British Dressage

Work highlights

    Wright Hassall LLP

    Wright Hassall LLP’s commercial litigation team specialises in sectors including technology, financial and professional services. While it boasts an impressive depth, core strengths include expertise in the areas of injunctive relief, regulatory and corporate disputes and reputation management. New head Nathan Talbott is an expert in high value corporate disputes and advises major institutions on misconduct, commercial disputes and regulatory and enforcement action. Tariva Thomas advises on tax schemes that result in significant penalties from HMRC. Susan Hopcraft specialises in commercial disputes, restrictive covenants, insurance coverage and professional negligence claims.

    Practice head(s):

    Gemma Carson

    Other key lawyers:

    Nathan Talbott; Susan Hopcraft; Luke Moulton; Tariva Thomas; Jennifer Rhind; Parminder Takhar


    ‘Wright Hassall are well established yet flexible and dynamic in their legal service offering. They have a strong team who are great on communication and very responsive.’

    ‘Susan Hopcraft is technically excellent and very robust.’

    ‘Susan Hopcraft is exceptionally commercial, pragmatic and focused on behalf of her clients.’

    Work highlights

      Band Hatton Button LLP

      Band Hatton Button LLP‘s ‘truly specialist‘ litigation practice excels in the field of property litigation along with insolvency disputes, inheritance disputes, professional negligence and business-related litigation, The firm also advises heavily on Covid-related issues such as force majeure. New head John French specialises in contract disputes, neighbour and boundary disputes and defending regulatory prosecutions. Jon Wilby has specialisms in commercial property and construction, while Malcolm Thomas has particular experience in disputes arising from wills and trusts. Associate Raman Dhillon is another important team member.

      Practice head(s):

      John French

      Other key lawyers:

      Jon Wilby; Malcolm Thomas; Kristy Ainge; Raman Dhillon


      ‘Band Hatton Button is unique in the Midlands commercial sector for providing a truly specialist and high level service above and beyond that of other specialist firms.’

      ‘They are experts in the field, fearless litigators, who really do go the extra mile for their clients.’

      ‘John French is extremely knowledgeable with tenancy issues.’

      Key clients

      Matrix Machine Tool (Coventry) Limited

      Martin Hattrell

      Saleem Khan

      Work highlights

      • Advised dispute over defective machinery supplied – alleged losses involved >£1,000,000.
      • Advised on claim for possession of valuable farmland, £100k rent arrears judgment obtained, enforcement action to be taken.
      • Advised on claim for recovery of misappropriated monies (£200k) by his Deputy

      Hawkins Hatton Corporate Lawyers Limited

      Hawkins Hatton Corporate Lawyers Limited’s ‘professional yet pragmatic’ practice is known for advising on disputes involving suppliers, customers, shareholders and partners within the manufacturing, IT, pharmaceutical and child care areas. The firm is also very strong in disputes related to tax and employment law. Harminder Sandhu, the firm’s managing director, has a wealth of experience dealing with shareholder, partnership and contractual disputes across different sectors.

      Practice head(s):

      Harminder Sandhu

      Other key lawyers:

      Colin Rodrigues


      ‘The main benefit of using Hawkins Hatton is the efficiency in which they deal with things, using a professional yet pragmatic approach.’

      ‘Harminder Sandhu’s knowledge was excellent and she gave us outstanding advice which enabled us to best negotiate through our case.’

      ‘Harminder Sandhu is very experienced in litigation matters and has a very good understand of the legal process. Also the attention to detail is exceptional.’

      ‘I’ve always found the people at Hawkins Hatton to be very friendly, responsive and personable.’

      ‘I have always admired and respected Harminder Sandhu – she always displays the right balance of legal, pragmatic and adversarial skills. She can be formidable and clients are always very happy to have her batting for them.’

      Key clients

      Simco External Framing Solutions Limited

      SBS Cladding Limited

      Genius Facades Limited

      Celloglas Limited

      Food Store International Limited

      Dreams Living Limited

      Acuity Professional LLP

      Inshore Support Limited

      Masterfreight Limited

      Incontrol Marketing Limited

      Work highlights

      • Acted for a specialist packaging company in respect of its claim of circa £2 million for business interruption as a consequence of the forced shut down due to Covid-19.
      • Attended a multi-party mediation in respect of a claim of £2.5 million being brought against the client for alleged fraud.
      • Acted on behalf of a client in a damages claim against a seller under a share purchase agreement for the acquisition of a substantial hotel valued at £1.5 million.

      Lanyon Bowdler

      Lanyon Bowdler has particular sector expertise in manufacturing, construction and engineering and agriculture. The team also has a dedicated debt recovery unit that works within both local communities and for household names in the agricultural sector. Department head Andrew Pegg ‘s caseload involves many high profile shareholder and unfair prejudice litigation matters in addition to a strong track record in insurance and construction disputes. Another noteworthy name is newly promoted partner Claire Yardley who acts for a number of farms and estates in the agricultural sector.

      Practice head(s):

      Andrew Pegg

      Other key lawyers:

      Claire Yardley


      ‘They have a very diverse group of solicitors who are very knowledgeable and reliable.’

      Work highlights

        MFG Solicitors LLP

        With six offices across the region, MFG Solicitors LLP boasts an impressive track record of dealing with a wide range of disputes concerning contentious trusts, tenancy agreements, mergers and employment issues across sectors like energy and agriculture. The team is led by 'highly experienced' Thomas Esler who has particular expertise dealing with litigation involving warranty disputes and shareholder agreements. Samuel Pedley  is trusted by large corporate and commercial clients in dealing with negligence claims, debt recovery and breach of contract.

        Practice head(s):

        Tom Esler

        Other key lawyers:

        Samuel Pedley; James Ng; Rebecca Rogers; Jessica McSorley


        ‘There is a clear understanding of the client’s views and approach to litigation and a pragmatic and considered way in which the client’s budget and forward approach to costs need to be handled.’

        ‘Sam Pedley is a businessperson’s ideal lawyer – timely, clear and concise, quick to understand the brief and commercially very aware of all the circumstances that are presented, with only one explanation needed.’

        ‘Sam Pedley stands out as a “rising star” of the next generation. He is energetic and very hard working, no matter the time of day or the day of the week.’

        Key clients

        Green Blocks Midlands Limited

        Butcher Woods Limited

        All Trade (Printers) Limited

        Tim Heaselgrave – Timothy James Partnership

        Phoenix Training Services (Midlands) Limited

        Adam Carpets Limited

        Bruce Lawson of Tractor Hire UK (2010) Ltd

        Donna Hale

        Mr Scott Bevan – Mazars LLP – Liquidator of Eurotex (Sales) Limited

        First Solution Limited

        PQ Systems (Europe) Limited

        Work highlights

        • Acting for a defendant company against neighbouring landlord in a breach of contract claim that has 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.

        Thursfields Solicitors

        The ‘savvy and sensible’ commercial litigation team at Thursfields Solicitors have key expertise in handling high value shareholder disputes, partnership disputes, and contentious matters concerning injunctive relief and insolvency, frequently with a cross border element. The team is headed by ‘pragmatic’ and ‘very smartStephen Rome, who has spent the year handling multiple complex, high value matters. He works alongside solicitor Georgia Morris.

        Practice head(s):

        Stephen Rome

        Other key lawyers:

        Georgia Morris


        ‘Excellent team with an all-round attention to detail and a commercial, pragmatic approach.’

        ‘The solicitors there are up to speed with the current law. They provide a savvy and sensible approach to litigation and are easy to deal with. They use technology really well to manage files/correspondence/deadlines.’

        ‘A very tight-knit team who get along well and punch well above their weight in recent years. The ethos of the firm seems to be thoroughly decent and friendly, and they have ambition in spades.’

        Key clients

        Kingsford Caravan Park Limited

        Bewdley Caravan Sales Limited

        Wolfson Brands (Europe) Limited

        Ivy and Alldey Loveridge

        Solihull Play Town Limited

        Milden Steels Limited

        Ward Sheldrake Consultancy

        Work highlights

        • Advising the majority shareholders of 5 limited companies (net worth of approximately £35 million) in relation to defending an unfair prejudice petition and just and equitable winding up petition, culminating in the successful strike out of the petition in its entirety by the Court of Appeal.
        • Advising the majority partners (Ivy, Alldey and Lesa Loveridge) in relation to a highly contentious claim regarding 3 family partnerships with an estimated worth of £15 million.
        • Advising 2 high net worth individuals in relation to defending a claim for £32 million regarding breach of duty and conspiracy to cause loss, involving claims against the individuals, their former legal advisors and a multi-national bank.


        The team at Ansons has particular expertise in handling disputes relating to shareholders and partnerships, breach of duties, property, insolvency and construction. Martin de Ridder  has headed up the department for 12 years, specialising in shareholder and insolvency matters.

        Practice head(s):

        Martin de Ridder


        ‘Always available, great advice, own the issue to achieve the required outcome.’

        ‘Proactive, flexible approach to achieve the objective.’

        ‘Martin de Ridder has great tact in conveying not just the book of law but also always takes a practical business approach so that the problem is dealt with economically.’

        ‘Sense of humour and a sense of perspective.’

        ‘Martin de Ridder is fabulous at explaining complicated company law issues to clients.’

        Key clients

        Moore Insolvency

        Seconique Limited

        St Philips Care Limited

        Walter Tippers (building suppliers)

        Walton Homes Limited

        Wirquin Limited

        Wright’s Pies

        Work highlights

        • Advised Seconique Ltd, on copyright claims against various parties seeking to infringe their intellectual property rights.
        • Advised Gainlive Ltd on matters arising following a local sports facility entering receivership.

        Lodders Solicitors LLP

        The commercial dispute resolution team at Lodders Solicitors LLP advises on a wide range of commercial disputes, including warranty claims, IP disputes and partnership matters. The team is led by Michael Wakeling, who regularly works on behalf of family businesses and private individuals.

        Practice head(s):

        Michael Wakeling

        Other key lawyers:

        Andrew Wylde


        ‘A fantastic team – they have an excellent understanding of clients’ needs and the approach to be adopted to reach a resolution on a difficult issue. They go the extra mile.’

        ‘Andrew Wylde has been exceptional in his professional service and nothing has been too much trouble. He has always been available and has specialised knowledge and experience in the field of litigation. His level of service is excellent and client-oriented.’

        ‘Lodders are one of the leading firms in the Warwickshire/Worcestershire region and have a longstanding and loyal client base of private client and small/medium size enterprises. They have a very highly regarded dispute resolution team, who are highly knowledgeable.

        Work highlights