Banking litigation in Yorkshire And The Humber

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard's 'slick, efficient and extremely knowledgeable' Leeds-based banking litigation team provides 'Magic Circle London service at regional prices', according to one client. Its experience includes asset finance and asset-based lending disputes, mis-selling litigation and cross-border recovery claims . The group also handles a range of fraud-related disputes, including frauds arising from bounce-back loan schemes (BBLs) and coronavirus BBLs. Sally Emerton has a breadth of expertise and heads up the firm's finance litigation group across the North. Ben Lowans is particularly experienced in fraud-related litigation, while recently promoted legal director Jonathan Mills specialises in asset-based finance recoveries. Samantha Hollingworth (who is 'a star with an incredible eye for detail') and Jennifer Hedley are managing associates to note. Matthew Dibb moved to Jersey-based WALKERS while Steve Walpole joined TLT's Manchester team.

Practice head(s):

Sally Emerton

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Mills; Samantha Hollingworth; Jennifer Hedley; Charlotte Dack; Ben Lowans


‘Excellent responsiveness and magic circle London service at regional prices.’

‘Ben Lowans – knowledge of merchantable quality issues and practical applications and options was very insightful and by consequence made the client’s understanding of where to take next steps much easier to understand in terms of potential issues and how to navigate to minimise wherever possible. Knows his stuff.’

‘Samantha Hollingworth is a star with an incredible eye for detail.’

‘We have been working with AG’s dispute resolution team for four years and we have found them to be very user friendly and responsive. They work extremely collaboratively with our in house legal team providing the appropriate level of engagement at all times to ensure that our work progresses swiftly and at an acceptable cost level. They have also provided us with secondment support as required and have worked with us to improve significantly the efficiency of the transfer of cases through technological solutions. They are very much our go to firm.’

‘Ben Lowans provides excellent advice which is legally strong but also has a practical focus that understands the needs of our business. He and his team consistently seek to engage with us to ensure that learning from earlier cases is built on for future use.’

‘AG have a slick, efficient and extremely knowledgeable practice. Instructions are dealt with swiftly and any advice is well-measured and practical. I have every confidence in AG when I instruct the firm in a matter.’

‘Apart from the expected in-depth knowledge the team responds without any undue delay and delivers 100%. Concerns are always being taken seriously and pros and cons openly discussed.’

‘Very switched on team with excellent knowledge of the banking industry.’

Key clients

BNP Paribas Group

Aldermore Bank PLC

Nationwide Building Society

Close Brothers Group PLC including Close Asset Finance, Close Leasing and Close Invoice Finance

Santander UK Plc including Santander Asset Finance

Hewlett Packard International Bank

Shawbrook Bank

Yorkshire Building Society

West Bromwich Building Society

Skipton Building Society

Liebherr GB Limited

Virgin Money Group

Asset Alliance Leasing

Societe Generale Equipment Finance Ltd

Deutsche Leasing (UK) Limited

Aurora Leasing Limited

PEAC Finance

Interbay Asset Finance Ltd

Novitas Loans Ltd

Arnold Clarke Automobiles Ltd

JCB Finance Ltd

NatWest Group

Co-Operative Bank Plc

Work highlights

  • Representing a number of Building Societies in relation to potential claims regarding the fairness of clauses contained in mortgage agreements which permit lenders to unilaterally vary the standard variable rate of interest applicable to mortgage loans.
  • Acted for Aldermore Bank in a dispute arising from a fraud concerning goods which did not exist in which the bank is bringing claims against the broker, supplier, customer and guarantor.
  • Successfully defended NatWest in a claim brought by a former customer who, having lost at Trial, issued a new claim alleging that NatWest had obtained Judgment based on fraudulent manipulation of documents.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper's Leeds-based financial services disputes team is praised for having 'robust litigators' who 'can go toe-to-toe with the best of the dispute resolution firms in London'. Led by Adam Ibrahim, the group has 'an encyclopaedic knowledge and experience of retail banking litigation' and counts complex derivatives, fraud, insolvency and corporate lending disputes among its other areas of expertise. Chris Harvey has been developing the group's Covid lending disputes practice, while recently promoted Sohail Ali has particular experience in Islamic finance and private equity litigation. Other growth areas for the practice include class actions and contentious data privacy issues, for which legal director Claire Clayton-Stead is highlighted. The group also includes 'highly experienced' senior consultant Hugh Evans.

Practice head(s):

Adam Ibrahim

Other key lawyers:

Hugh Evans; Chris Harvey; Sohail Ali; Claire Clayton-Stead; Jessica Legler; Paul McNamee


‘A very experienced team used to handling not only smaller and medium sized disputes for financial institutions but also very heavy litigation, and can go toe-to-toe with the best of the dispute resolution firms in London. A rigorous and robust approach to litigation. A real understanding of the needs, priorities and preferred strategies of financial institutions in banking litigation.’

‘Hugh Evans – senior consultant, highly experienced, great strategic mind, fully tuned into the needs of the bank. Chris Harvey – partner, calm, robust and effective litigator. Sohail Ali – legal director, definitely a rising star, exceptional client handling skills and frighteningly efficient. Claire Clayton-Stead – legal director, very effective forensic approach to litigation.’

‘The DLA banking team have an encyclopaedic knowledge and experience of retail banking litigation. Their understanding of how their clients work is almost unparalleled and they are amongst the best in the field. This is combined with individuals who are all very easy and reassuring to work.’

‘Adam Ibrahim has a deep knowledge of retail banking litigation, which gives him a great feel for how a case will develop, the issues that a Judge will focus upon, and how best to drive litigation forward in the way that is best for the client. Chris Harvey is very quick and intelligent. He will have got to the bottom of a problem in a case before some solicitors would have noticed the problem.

Claire Clayton-Stead has a great understanding of her clients (and their opponents), what information is needed to win a case, where to find it and how to deploy it in a strategic way to give best results in a case. Paul McNamee is similarly reassuring to work with, evincing experience in the field. He also has a good feel for the way that a case will develop, where to find the necessary information and how best to use it.’

‘Chris Harvey (Partner) – exceptional in terms of responsiveness and broke up the legal jargon of the proceedings and gave it to us straight. Much appreciated by the business.’

‘They are an organised and efficient team of robust litigators, while also being easy and friendly to deal with. They are fully up-to-speed on the latest legal developments and are commercially astute.’

‘Sohail Ali – great client engagement and management; strong case management skills, with a good awareness and anticipation of future difficulties. Very easy to work with. Adam Ibrahim – calm under pressure with the experience needed to guide the client through handling difficult and unexpected situations.’

Key clients

Bank of Ireland

Lloyds Banking Group (including Bank of Scotland)

NatWest Group


Leeds Building Society

GE Capital

ANZ Bank

Syndicate Bank and Canara Bank

Deutsche Bank

New Day

Work highlights

  • Defended Lloyds Bank Plc in a claim brought by a property development company which alleged that the bank mis-sold an interest rate swap and then implemented a liquidation policy with a view to artificially distressing and disposing the claimant’s assets.
  • Acting for NewDay Ltd in the defence of mass claimant Payment Protection Insurance claims brought by customers and former customers of the Bank.
  • Advised two Indian public sector retail banks – Syndicate Bank and Canara Bank – on the UK aspects of a merger ordered by the Government of India.

Gateley Plc

Gateley Plc's financial disputes and regulation practice assists its banking and financial sector clients with the full range of contentious issues and is praised for its 'deep knowledge of retail banking disputes'. Birmingham-based James Baird leads the national practice, while in Leeds, Rob Payne and Roger McCourt are the contacts to note.

Practice head(s):

James Baird

Other key lawyers:

Rob Payne; Roger McCourt; Ashley Neville;


Efficient and strong banking practice, including on the most recent complex regulatory money laundering legislation affecting banks.’

‘The wealth of experience of its key members. Forensic and detailed approach.’

The team at Gateleys, led by Rob Payne, provide an outstanding service to me and my team. The depth and range of knowledge on what can sometimes be bespoke and unusual banking and finance disputes is second to none.

‘Commercial and practical advice and thinking outside the box when complex legal issues are at stake. It is a pleasure to work with them.’

‘Gateley’s banking team are easy and reassuring to work with, in a way that belies their deep knowledge of retail banking disputes.’

‘Rob Payne – fantastic strategically and delivers on clients’ goals.’

Ashley Neville – tremendously hardworking and bright.

Rob Payne’s experience and knowledge gives him a great strategic feel for a case, including predicting and protecting against the approach that is likely to be taken by an opponent. This is combined with a personable and reassuring approach, even in very stressful litigation.’

‘Ashley Neville is an impressive and outstanding individual who is certainly a star of the future and an excellent lawyer right now.’

Key clients

Handelsbanken plc

Cambridge & Counties Bank Limited

Macquarie Corporate and Asset Finance 1 Limited

Arkle Finance Limited

Propel Finance Plc

Scania Finance Great Britain Limited

Tower Leasing Limited

Grenke Leasing Limited

Kennet Equipment Leasing Limited

CIAC Corporation Inc

Walker Morris LLP

Walker Morris LLP's banking litigation team acts for a range of financial institutions in litigation and is particularly strong for secured mortgage disputes. Practice head Louise Power specialises in this area and also handles fraud investigations for lenders and professional negligence claims, for which senior associate Sandip Singh is another name to note. For corporate and commercial lending disputes, Richard Sandford is highlighted. Andrew Beck retired from the practice.

Practice head(s):

Louise Power

Other key lawyers:

Richard Sandford; Sandip Singh; Christina Gill; Kate Hicks


Strength and breadth of knowledge in the team. Very commercially focused.’

Kate Hicks is a gem. She has a breadth and depth of knowledge that is unusual to find below partner level, particularly in banking, real property, conveyancing, mortgage, and land registration issues, and her negotiation skills are second to none.

Always striving for a great legal result. Thinking commercially and ensuring we receive value for the fees. Extremely hard working throughout the pandemic and it is really appreciated.

The team were a pleasure to work with. No friction, ego, or unnecessary fuss, and you definitely feel as though you are all pulling in the same direction.

Sandip Singh is one of the best solicitors I have had the pleasure of working with. He is calm, considered, and careful, as is his advice. What I valued most when I was instructed by Sandip was his ability to identify and separate good points from bad points, meaning that the evidence that went before the court was potent, efficient and proportionate. Sandip was ably assisted by Christina Gill, who is one to watch out for in future.

They are uniquely brilliant at handling professional negligence claims on behalf of hundreds of claimants against many defendants, with great accuracy and strategic thinking.

Experienced team always available to have a chat or provide some general advice as well as support with technical and challenging cases.

Key clients

Leek United Building Society

Lloyds Banking Group

Leeds Building Society

Yorkshire Building Society

Co-operative Bank

Admiral Financial Services


Bank of Ireland

Skipton Building Society

Furness Building Society

Foundation Home Loans

Work highlights

  • Acting for a commercial lender in an £8m possession claim with counterclaims raised against the lender.
  • Acting for a high street lender in a £7m claim surrounding allegations that its charges are void due to an alleged fraud by a third party company director.
  • Successfully defended a high street lender against an injunction arising from the first lockdown involving five flats with mortgages totalling £2.2m secured against them and issues surrounding safe access.