Commercial litigation: Sheffield, South Yorkshire in Yorkshire And The Humber


Recent highlights for CMS’ commercial litigation practice leader George Lubega included handling high-value public procurement challenges for clients in the rail infrastructure, manufacturing, healthcare and technology sectors. The team also saw an uptick in international arbitration mandates arising from warranty breaches, solar power contracts and supply contracts. Lubega also acts in complex pensions disputes and recent clients wins have enhanced the team’s presence in the sports, leisure and retail sectors; the latter bringing in a high volume of insolvency proceedings. Numerous international airlines also instruct the team in passenger disputes involving compensation and liability claims.

Practice head(s):

George Lubega

Key clients

Holland and Barrett Retail Limited

Marlborough Highways

Qatar Airways

Verity Trustees Limited (trading as TPT Retirement Solutions)

Industrial Chemicals Group Limited

Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey International Inc

Federal-Mogul Friction Products Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented Marlborough Highways Limited in a judicial review brought by an unsuccessful bidder for a highways maintenance contract with the London Borough of Haringey.
  • Representing Qatar Airways in a number of passenger disputes concerning compensation claims and general contractual disputes.
  • Acted for Industrial Chemicals Group Limited in commodity supply proceedings against chemical conglomerate INEOS.

DLA Piper

Led by Richard Norman, DLA Piper’s commercial litigation team has expertise in all avenues of domestic and cross-border dispute resolution for international corporate clients. Of particular note is the team’s profile in high-value IT and telecoms disputes; Norman, Sam Milllington and James Watson represent numerous claimants in international arbitration proceedings. Pensions, procurement and competition litigation is also regularly handled and the group also has niche expertise in trusts litigation. Senior associate Barney Connell regularly acts in pre-litigation investigations and risk-management applications. The construction, manufacturing and mining sectors are also areas of expertise.

Practice head(s):

Richard Norman


The DLA Piper team is incredibly responsive and very analytical about their approach.

I have been working with Richard Norman for many years now and he has always delivered a commercial, timely, and good-value-for-money service.

The attorneys at DLA Piper, especially James Watson, are very well informed about the applicable law and are clear in their advice and recommendations.

Really personable people who understand how we work.

Key clients

Gamma Telecom


DB cargo

Coal Authority



Tata Communications




Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP’s commercial litigation practice fields joint practice heads James Hartley and James Berry, who are regularly instructed in high-value manufacturing disputes, shareholder litigation, professional negligence claims, contentious insolvency matters and contractual and warranty claims. Berry and senior associate Ciaran Dearden are engaged in long-running litigation concerning unfair prejudice, while senior associate Gary Duffy is defending a public authority against sensitive human rights claims. The team also provides risk management advice.

Practice head(s):

James Hartley; James Berry

Other key lawyers:

Ciaran Dearden; Gary Duffy

Key clients

Global Technologies Racing Limited

Additive Manufacturing Technologies Limited

MGS Technical Plastics Limited

Paragon Group of Companies

Advanced Alloy Services Limited

Maher Limited

Solihull MBC

Healthcare Business Solutions (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Defending the sole shareholder of a fast food company against claims to shares in a subsidy company and historical dividends.
  • Defending the shareholders of a farming and property business against allegations of unfair prejudice.
  • Representing a local authority in human rights and personal injury claims brought by two claimants. The dispute concerns the extent of the local authority’s duty of care.

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell’s commercial litigation department has developed a reputation in the student accommodation sector; practice co-head Dorrien Peters represents property owners In disputes arising from development and refurbishment projects. The team also has a national footprint in the manufacturing sector, handling disputes along the entire supply chain; the group also acts in shareholder disputes and breach of covenant matters. Co-head Steve Beahan is the go-to name for insurance litigation and barrister Yvonne Simpson is engaged by food and drink companies in claims involving food safety standards.

Practice head(s):

Steve Beahan; Dorrien Peters

Other key lawyers:

Yvonne Simpson


The team is very proactive and responsive.

The individuals we worked with at Irwin Michell were extremely competent. I found their tactical and strategic thinking to be outstanding, leading to very satisfactory resolutions for the problems we were dealing with.

Dorrien Peters has an excellent way with clients and advisers. He is very knowledgeable on complex financial issues and has the ability to explain them clearly to non experts. Very impressed with his work.

Key clients

Westfield Health

Natural Instinct Limited

Laver Leisure

Janspeed Technologies Limited

Pegler Yorkshire Group

Arc Legal Assistance Ltd


Aviva PLC


Ask4 Limited


Paragon Law

Pryers Solicitors

The Kelham Island Brewery

Holland & Barrett

Work highlights

  • Represented a manufacturer of construction products in a £1.4m multijurisdictional product liability claim.
  • Acting for a real estate consultant claiming a £12.5m entitlement from a contractual arrangement.
  • Acting for a manufacturer in the oil and gas sector in $2.5m ICC arbitration proceedings for breach of contract arising from the supply of allegedly defective deep-sea oil platform equipment.


Recent instructions for Keebles’ commercial litigation practice saw practice head Michael Peacock and Andrew McKenzie Smith handling additional-costs claims and breach of contract claims for property developers; tenancy disputes for commercial landlords; and PR disputes for high-net-worth individuals. The practice also has expertise in the digital media, healthcare and waste management sectors and strength in defending debt recovery claims.

Practice head(s):

Michael Peacock

Other key lawyers:

Andrew McKenzie Smith


A good team – led by Michael Peacock –to have on your side. Great leadership and concise advice. The strategic approach is a major strength when compared to other companies which in our experience offer only narrow legal approaches. To use a poker analogy, Keebles’ staff and leaders discuss matters and options and relentlessly know when to hold and when to play. They seem to inherently know when to play your trumps.

We have had different matters dealt with different persons within Keebles. As the chairman of a medium-sized company, my board and I are amazed at the consistent quality of the experts employed by Keebles. Without exception they impress.

Key clients

Sharpsmart Limited

Van Elle Limited

Franke UK Limited

Riverside Park Limited

Electrosteel Castings Limited

City Estates Limited

Independent Forgings & Alloys

Palram Group

Chesterfield FC

Motorway Direct plc

Purex International Limited

Delicious Alchemy Limited

Aggregate Industries Limited

Dacre Son & Hartley Limited

Eyre & Elliston Limited

Menzies Distribution Limited

Westcon Group European Operations Limited

Togel Construction Limited

Don Valley Engineering Limited

Empire Property Concepts

Robson Handling Technology Limited

Riverside Park Limited

City Estates Limited

Harworth Group Limited

CRT Property Investments Limited

Motorway Direct plc

Suon Limited/H P General Partner Limited

Lupton Fawcett

Lupton Fawcett fields a two-partner commercial litigation team in Sheffield, which includes practice head Simon Lockley and Rob Cooke. The team represents SMEs and individual directors in asset recovery claims, contentious insolvency issues, breach of contract litigation and consumer credit claims. Key sectors include the manufacturing, property and education industries.

Practice head(s):

Simon Lockley

Other key lawyers:

Rob Cooke


Rob Cooke and Simon Lockley are top dogs in this field. Both technically superb and realistic in advising on prospects.

Taylor & Emmet LLP

Taylor & Emmet LLP’s commercial litigation practice is instructed by clients in the automotive, manufacturing and waste treatment sectors in commercial contract disputes and risk-avoidance issues. Practice head Paul Smith is routinely engaged by private clients to defend fraud, breach of duty, unfair prejudice and professional negligence claims, while associate Adam Hollis frequently represents landlords in disputes against tenants.

Practice head(s):

Paul Smith

Other key lawyers:

Adam Hollis

Key clients

Televideo Limited

Dealer Management Services Ltd

Yorkshire Products Ltd

Red Dog Linings Ltd

Copy Print Scan Ltd

Span Corp Ltd t/a Sawgrass Europe

Wake Smith Solicitors Limited

Elizabeth Shaw heads up Wake Smith Solicitors Limited’s commercial litigation practice following the retirement of Nick Lambert. Recent highlights include defending manufacturing and waste management clients in breach of contract and professional liability claims.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Shaw