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


CMS' Sheffield-based litigation and arbitration practice is trusted by its impressive roster of local, national and international clients to handle commercial, contract, company and professional negligence disputes. Led by George Lubega, the group counts healthcare, sport and retail sector disputes and public procurement litigation among its specialisms and, as part of the firm's 'One North' offering, has the ability to work seamlessly with colleagues in Manchester and Liverpool.

Practice head(s):

George Lubega

Other key lawyers:

Stephanie Cheung

Key clients

Gym King Limited

HealthTrust Europe

Oracle Systems Limited/ Oracle Corporation UK Ltd

Ingenico (UK) Limited and the wider Ingenico Group

Qatar Airways

Arnold Clark Automobiles Limited

Verity Trustees Limited (trading as TPT Retirement Solutions)

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented a leading health and wellbeing business in a series of complex cross-border claims.
  • Representing Qatar Airways in a number of passenger disputes, including complex compensation claims and general contractual disputes.
  • Acting for a leading healthcare provider in several high-value contractual and public procurement disputes.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper's litigation team applies a 'down-to-earth pragmatic approach' to a range of local, national and cross-border disputes. Practice head Richard Norman is known for his technology and telecoms sector expertise, while recently promoted Mick Lawlor counts technology and industrial companies as clients. Other names to note include legal director Paul McNamee, who is praised for his 'excellent tactical and legal awareness’, and senior associate Barney Connell, who has particular experience in acting for clients in the financial services, rail and technology sectors.

Practice head(s):

Richard Norman

Other key lawyers:

Paul McNamee; Daniel Jones; Barney Connell; Mick Lawlor


‘Above all, it is the team’s understanding of our business and the commercial nuances of a relatively small but quite complex business. Their down-to-earth pragmatic approach, as well as their ability to address matters very quickly, makes our lives as in-house legal counsel much easier.’

‘I have the utmost respect for the no-nonsense approach of both Richard Norman (partner) and Daniel Jones (Senior Associate). Their ability to promptly and balance the company’s legal issues with a rounded commercial understanding is of enormous benefit. They are a pleasure to deal with.

‘Solution-oriented, responsive and pragmatic. Focused on what is best for the client and the longer term.’

‘Richard Norman responds promptly with concise, clear and well-considered solutions.’

‘Paul McNamee has excellent tactical and legal awareness.’

‘Understanding of the business and speed of response and robustness to deal with complex challenges.’

‘The ability to understand the nature and nuances of our business.’

Key clients


DB Cargo

Coal Authority

Boots plc



Robert Bosch UK Holdings Limited

Gamma Telecom

Tata Communications




Crowdstrike Inc

Sthree Management Services Limited

Fine Lady Bakeries

Work highlights

  • Defending Arconic Architectural Products in various claims brought in respect of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
  • Representing Barnsley Football Club in intervening against Wigan Athletic’s appeal against its relegation from the Championship.
  • Defending the University of Law up to the Court of Appeal against allegations of discrimination.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP's commercial dispute resolution team attracts praise for its 'creative thinking' and 'capability for dealing with large-scale litigation' with particular experience in shareholder disputes, breach of warranty claims, unfair prejudice proceedings and injunctive relief issues. The team is jointly led by James Hartley (who splits his time between the Leeds and Sheffield offices and is known for his group action and funding arrangement expertise) and 'excellent lawyer' James Berry, who is particularly popular among manufacturing, construction and technology sector clients. Other names to note include 'very hardworking' managing associate Ciaran Dearden and senior associate Gary Duffy.

Practice head(s):

James Hartley; James Berry

Other key lawyers:

Ciaran Dearden; Gary Duffy


‘Smaller law firm that has the capability for dealing with large scale litigation, often with an international angle.’

‘Gary Duffy has worked on a few matters for us. He is great at helping us with our litigation strategy and his written responses are exactly on point for tone and content. He is clearly experienced and enjoys his work which gives us confidence in his advice.’

‘Creative thinking when dealing with complicated matters.’

‘The team has good commercial awareness. They provide clear and concise advice and have a cost-efficient approach. Billing is transparent and commensurate to services provided.’

‘Gary Duffy has provided excellent support throughout the pandemic. Without his sound legal advice and assistance on strategy we would not have been able to come out of this unscathed.’

‘First-rate firm for commercial litigation/dispute resolution not only in Sheffield, South Yorkshire but also nationally. The team is very experienced, practical, down to earth, and good value.’

‘James Berry: an excellent lawyer with wide experience and a measured practical hands-on approach. Ciaran Dearden: a good lawyer, very hard-working and good with clients.’

Key clients

Global Technologies Racing Limited

Additive Manufacturing Technologies Limited

MGS Technical Plastics Limited

Paragon Group of Companies (Paragon Foodservice Limited, Paragon Quality Foods Limited, Paragon Property Investments Limited)

Advanced Alloy Services Limited

Maher Limited

Solihull MBC

Healthcare Business Solutions (UK) Limited

CBE Plus Limited

Cathelco Limited

OSL Group Limited

Sanguine Hospitality Limited

The Floow Limited

Macalloy Limited

Clear Line Maintenance Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for leading manufacturer of composite components, Global Technologies Racing, in a High Court claim against 5 West Limited, the corporate vehicle for the racing team of Alex Thomson for unpaid invoices.
  • Defending the majority shareholders of an agricultural and property management business in a multi-million pound unfair prejudice claim, the latest in a series of pieces of High Court litigation in a long-standing dispute.
  • Successfully represented  Sanguine Hospitality Limited in seeking the dismissal of a winding up petition that had been presented against it by Downing LLP, a large investment management firm.

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell's 'strong all-round team' acts for a range of local and national corporates in disputes and counts corporate governance disputes and insurance, retail, professional services, insurance, IT and manufacturing sector litigation among its specialisms. Insurance expert Steven Beahan and Dorrien Peters (who is particularly popular among manufacturing clients) jointly lead the practice, which includes 'fantastic' solicitors Keith Hague and Charlotte Peel.

Practice head(s):

Steven Beahan; Dorrien Peters

Other key lawyers:

Keith Hague; Charlotte Peel


‘Brilliant to work with – feels like we are all part of one team.’

‘Dorrien Peters loves to get to the detail, really wants to get inside the case and explore opportunities.

‘A strong all-round team with access to specialists when they need it. That is what makes them stand out in this segment of the market – the ability to source e.g. public law, pensions and IT advice when required.’

‘Dorrien Peters knows his stuff and does a good leadership job in Sheffield.’

‘Our solicitors were very informative and kept us up to date with regular progress reports.’

‘Keith Hague and Charlotte Peel were fantastic in our case they were always at hand for regular contact.’

‘I think the team is committed to detail, keeps the client informed and responds well to client input, guiding not dictating courses of action.’

Key clients

Westfield Health

Natural Instinct Limited

Laver Leisure

Janspeed Technologies Limited

Pegler Yorkshire Group

Herbold Meckesheim GmbH

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 relation to a product liability claim valued by the claimant at £33m.
  • Acted in a £1m partnership dispute which involved complex areas of partnership law, banking and finance, real estate and environmental liabilities.
  • Acting for a leading pet food manufacturer in a dispute arising from the construction of its £5m new production facility.

Lupton Fawcett

Lupton Fawcett's dispute management department frequently advises local SMEs and high-net-worth individuals in a range of corporate and commercial disputes. Practice head Simon Lockley counts shareholder and partnership disputes and civil fraud claims among his specialisms, while Rob Cooke focuses on commercial and property-related disputes and is developing a niche in claims arising under the Pubs Code.

Practice head(s):

Simon Lockley

Other key lawyers:

Rob Cooke

Wake Smith Solicitors Limited

Wake Smith Solicitors Limited's 'versatile' commercial litigation team attracts praise for its 'strategic and innovative thinking'. Elizabeth Shaw leads the practice and has particular experience handling the property aspects of commercial litigation, while 'star' director Michael Doherty joined the team from Foys Solicitors and focuses on high-value contractual and chancery matters.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Shaw

Other key lawyers:

Michael Doherty


‘Strong commercial outfit with national reach. Client and barrister friendly with strategic and innovative thinking.’

‘Michael Doherty is a standout star. He provides first-rate client service and is a pleasure to deal with. Michael offers commercially-minded and direct advice and valuable insights on case strategy. He is a real asset to any legal team.’

‘Good all-round versatile com lit team.’

‘Mike Doherty: Sensible, pragmatic. Easy to work with.’