Hugh James > Cardiff, Wales > Firm Profile

Hugh James
Two Central Square
CARDIFF
CF10 1FS
Wales

Wales > Corporate and commercial Tier 1

Headed by 'consummate professional' Gerallt Jones, Hugh James' five-partner team has the strength-in-depth to be able to resource a range of corporate and commercial mandates for high-profile regional private and public sector clients, as well as international entities with a pervasive Welsh presence. Although the firm is active across a myriad industry sectors, its niche expertise within the hospitality and leisure space has ensured that it has been particularly busy of late from a crisis management perspective (given the disproportionate effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the sector), as demonstrated by its recent high-profile advice to the board of S.A. Brain on Marston Plc's high-profile takeover of the company's portfolio of 156 pubs throughout Wales (thereby safeguarding 1,300 jobs which were jeopardized by the impact of Covid-19). Other recommended partners include the 'commercial and pragmatic' Aled Walters, whose former in-house role at S4C ensures that he is particularly well-suited to handling media-related corporate and commercial matters, and Greg Williams, who has developed a particular niche advising on healthcare-related M&A transactions.

Headed by 'consummate professionalGerallt JonesHugh James' five-partner team has the strength-in-depth to be able to resource a range of corporate and commercial mandates for high-profile regional private and public sector clients, as well as international entities with a pervasive Welsh presence. Although the firm is active across a myriad industry sectors, its niche expertise within the hospitality and leisure space has ensured that it has been particularly busy of late from a crisis management perspective (given the disproportionate effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the sector), as demonstrated by its recent high-profile advice to the board of S.A. Brain on Marston Plc's high-profile takeover of the company's portfolio of 156 pubs throughout Wales (thereby safeguarding 1,300 jobs which were jeopardized by the impact of Covid-19). Other recommended partners include the 'commercial and pragmaticAled Walters , whose former in-house role at S4C ensures that he is particularly well-suited to handling media-related corporate and commercial matters, and Greg Williams, who has developed a particular niche advising on healthcare-related M&A transactions.

Practice head(s):

Gerallt Jones

Other key lawyers:

Aled Walters; Jon Fernandez Lewis; Greg Williams; Emily Powell; Lowri Walters; Gemma Davies

Testimonials

‘A good balance of talented people with strong associates and partners who are highly experienced across a range of transactions.’

‘The stand out characteristics of the individuals I have had the pleasure to work with are tenacity, trustworthiness, and organisation.’

‘Diversity in how they approach all lines of work for their clients adds value to the business.’

‘Gerallt Jones – a consummate professional who is highly experienced at making the right commercial decisions. We would always be glad to have him on our side.’

‘Aled Walters is very commercial and pragmatic.’

‘The hardworking Gemma Davies is rightly recognised as a capable and thorough lawyer who is a rising star. ’

‘Lowri Walters is efficient, professional, knowledgeable and responsive.’

Key clients

Rockwool International

BtoBet

Fairmountain Capital

SA Brain & Company

Welsh Rugby Union

Welsh Government

Wildflame Productions

Celtic Manor Resort

ICC Wales

Cardiff Blues

Development Bank of Wales

Hydro Industries

Shaw Healthcare

Juno Health

Work highlights

  • Advised longstanding client Brains on the takeover by Marston’s Plc of the operation of the Brains portfolio of 156 pubs in Wales.
  • Advised longstanding client Rockwool on its cross-border acquisition of the Parafon business.
  • Advised the shareholders of BtoBet on the sale of the company to Aspire.

Practice head(s):

Gerallt Jones

Other key lawyers:

Aled Walters; Jon Fernandez Lewis; Greg Williams; Emily Powell; Lowri Walters; Gemma Davies

Testimonials

‘A good balance of talented people with strong associates and partners who are highly experienced across a range of transactions.’

‘The stand out characteristics of the individuals I have had the pleasure to work with are tenacity, trustworthiness, and organisation.’

‘Diversity in how they approach all lines of work for their clients adds value to the business.’

‘Gerallt Jones – a consummate professional who is highly experienced at making the right commercial decisions. We would always be glad to have him on our side.’

‘Aled Walters is very commercial and pragmatic.’

‘The hardworking Gemma Davies is rightly recognised as a capable and thorough lawyer who is a rising star. ’

‘Lowri Walters is efficient, professional, knowledgeable and responsive.’

Key clients

Rockwool International

BtoBet

Fairmountain Capital

SA Brain & Company

Welsh Rugby Union

Welsh Government

Wildflame Productions

Celtic Manor Resort

ICC Wales

Cardiff Blues

Development Bank of Wales

Hydro Industries

Shaw Healthcare

Juno Health

Work highlights

  • Advised longstanding client Brains on the takeover by Marston’s Plc of the operation of the Brains portfolio of 156 pubs in Wales.
  • Advised longstanding client Rockwool on its cross-border acquisition of the Parafon business.
  • Advised the shareholders of BtoBet on the sale of the company to Aspire.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation Tier 1

Benefiting from in-depth substantive law knowledge and also adept at providing very strategic guidance to clients throughout the litigation process, Hugh James has developed a strong track record of success for regional and national public and private sector clients across the gamut of high-stakes commercial disputes. Team head Richard Locke is ‘extremely popular with clients‘, which he represents with great skill across a range of commercial disputes, often involving international elements. Although she is also adept at handling conventional commercial disputes, the ‘top-quality‘ Tracey Singlehurst-Ward adds particular value to the firm’s sports and media clients in relation to IP and defamation-related matters. Senior associate Abigail Flanagan is also a key member of the team and as well as her niche specialism in professional negligence claimant work, also takes the lead on some of the department’s most complex litigation involving injunctive relief.

Practice head(s):

Richard Locke

Other key lawyers:

Tracey Singlehurst-Ward; Jo Brown; Kevin O’Brien; Abigail Flanagan

Testimonials

‘Excellent team. Great with clients. Very commercial but also very reasonable and down to earth.’

 ‘I could not wish to have a more dedicated team supporting me.’

‘The professionalism, knowledge and expertise is what stands out for me. This is a major strength that sets Hugh James apart form the rest.’

Richard Locke has a calm demeanour and displays vast knowledge.

‘Richard Locke and Tracey Singlehurst-Ward are both really excellent and extremely popular with clients. Top quality lawyers.’

Key clients

D S Smith

Celtic Manor Resort Limited

S.A Brain & Co Limited

Natural Resources Wales

ROCKWOOL Limited

Welsh Government

National Westminster Bank Plc

British Boxing Board of Control

Dwr Cymru Cyfyngedig (Welsh Water)

Welsh Rugby Union

Work highlights

  • Representing South Wales-based company, SJJ Service Systems, in the defence of High Court injunctive proceedings alleging breach of copyright, database rights and breach of confidence.
  • Representing a large South Wales-based partnership, in the pursuit of a claim for breach of contract and negligence against a national renewable energy company.
  • Representing a director, shareholder and individual in a claim against her former directors and shareholders arising from actions which have effectively removed her from her company and privateer of assets and income.

Finance > Banking and finance Tier 1

Hugh James' three-partner team provides 'commercially pragmatic advice and proactive guidance' to lenders and borrowers across a range of financing transactions, including as it relates to facilities for corporate, acquisition and real estate purposes. 'Highly experienced' team head Dominic Marshall takes the lead on much of the work for clearing and challenger banks, including in relation to the government-backed CBILS scheme for companies adversely affected by Covid-19.  Robert Morgan has also advised on many of these Covid-related loans, although his overall focus remains more aligned to borrower work, including his continued advice to the Welsh Rugby Union and niche expertise advising Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) on their debt finance requirements. Rowena Downie is also a key member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Dominic Marshall

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team offers clear, commercially pragmatic advice and proactive guidance.’

‘Dominic Marshall is highly experienced and is very clear in his advice.’

Key clients

Metro Bank Plc

Santander UK Plc

The Welsh Government

Development Bank for Wales

HSBC Bank Plc

Lloyds Banking Group

NatWest Plc

Welsh Rugby Union

Hodge Bank

Celtic Manor Resort Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising a commercial lender on an original £85m revolving credit facility.
  • Advised longstanding client, The Welsh Rugby Union Limited, on finance matters throughout 2020.
  • Advised numerous banks on CLBILS and CBILS loans and other covid-related funding streams.

Insurance > Personal injury and clinical negligence; claimant

Claimant clinical negligence and personal injury are core areas of focus for Hugh James and with over 30 partners specialising across both areas, the firm has the strength-in-depth to be able to handle a tremendous volume and range of work. The size of the team also affords it the luxury of allowing practitioners to develop niche specialisms and thereby to very effectively resource matters utilising with true market experts. Richard Green and Lucy Strong  are both 'calm and caring' and are key members of the firm's industry leading asbestos team that continues to provide 'reliable and holistic support to their clients with life limiting asbestos-related cancer'.  Kathryn Singh  has 'considerable experience in group litigation' and continues to work tirelessly for clients seeking compensation for personal injury caused by industrial disease. Mark Harvey heads up the specialist personal injury group, within which his work encompasses product liability matters, as well as a niche expertise in travel-related claims. Simon Ellis has a national profile as a market-leader in the military claims sector, earned as a result of numerous high-profile victories, including a notable success in a case against the MOD (Inglis v MOD), which has opened the floodgates to other noise induced hearing loss claims. Cari Sowden-Taylor is 'unflappable and emotionally intelligent', traits which are both particularly useful when representing clients who have suffered brain and spinal cord injuries. The 'very able and intelligentCiaran McCabe  is also vastly experienced at handling catastrophic personal injury matters, and is lauded for his eagernes to 'tenaciously fight his client's corner from start to finish'. The 'immensely experiencedMari Rosser leads the firm's 'consistently excellent' clinical negligence team which excels in handling cases of the utmost severity and is complemented by the ability to provide important ancillary services to clients, including a Court of Protection service which is led by neuro law expert Andrew Harding. The 'pragmatic and determinedRhian Parsons has vast experience at handling high-value clinical negligence claims and is appreciated for her 'excellent  judgement when it comes to deciding how far to take a claim (up to and including trial).' Sarah Davies is an 'extremely efficient and effective negotiator' for clients seeking recourse across a range of serious clinical negligence cases, including a specialism in orthopaedic claims. Stephen Webber is an 'absolute leader in the field' across a myriad high-value medical negligence cases including cerebral palsy and spinal injuries. Katie McCraith is also recommended at a partner level, while 'very clever and energetic' senior associate Hannah Webber has developed an excellent practice as a result of her involvement in a wide array of complex and high-value cases, including bowel, spinal and brain injuries arising from both obstetric mismanagement and delay in diagnosing meningitis.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Webber

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team is highly knowledgeable and experienced.’

The claimant personal injury practice at Hugh James is in division one and that is on an England and Wales basis.’

First-class claimant firm in Wales, providing a service at the same level as the very top players in the field. Masses of experience and will never short sell a claim until they have achieved the right result for their clients.’

Richard Green and Lucy Strong are both calm and caring, have a wealth of experience and are capable of handling the most complicated claims.’

Kathryn Singh has considerable experience in group litigation.’

Cari-Sowden Taylor is unflappable and emotionally intelligent to the demanding needs of vulnerable clients.’

Ciaran McCabe is very able and intelligent and tenaciously fight his client’s corner from start to finish.’

The immensely experienced Mari Rosser is an absolute leader in the field.’

Private client > Contentious trusts and probate Tier 1

Under the leadership of 'first-rate litigatorRoman KubiakHugh James' six-strong team is not only the 'market-leader in Wales' but is also 'challenging the dominance of London in this area' and is 'unafraid to go toe-to-toe with the magic circle'. Kubiak 'has a kind and generous manner with clients but is ruthless with opponents' and has successfully built up an impressive offering advising individuals, as well as an increasing number of charities (on legacy disputes). Private wealth head Matthew Evans is also recommended and has a particular specialism handling proprietary estoppel cases. Recent changes at associate level include the departures of both Vlad Macdonald-Munteanu and Richard Adams to Aaron & Partners LLP and Red Kite Law LLP, respectively, and the arrival of senior associate Sarah Bolt from Harneys in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Roman Kubiak

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Evans; Oliver Black; Sarah Bolt

Testimonials

‘The best contentious estates and trusts team in Wales. One of the top five in the West of England and capable of matching other national firms in heavier weight work.’

‘The market leader in Wales, Hugh James has built a reputation for aggressive litigation and challenging the dominance of London in this area. Unafraid to go toe-to-toe with the magic circle, they have fantastic resource allocation and are willing to take risks with their own fees for clients’ benefit.’ 

‘A good team – industry leading for Wales and with a good reach into the London market too.’

‘Roman Kubiak is efficient, user-friendly and professionally knowledgeable.’

‘Roman Kubiak is a first-rate litigator. He is tough, smart and charming and fights client’s corners very hard.’

‘Roman Kubiak is a stand out for so many reasons, his legal knowledge is brilliant along with his ability to support clients emotionally and also help them understand commercial decisions.’

‘Roman Kubiak is a real mover and shaker. He impresses clients with his energy and appreciation of the commercial realities in litigation. He has a kind and generous manner with clients but is ruthless with opponents, particularly over the negotiating table. He runs a slick team and turns work around at an incredible rate. ’

‘Roman Kubiak is a fierce litigator. ’

Key clients

Hugh James Trust Corporation (formerly Joan Thompson)

Representative Body of the Church in Wales

Noah’s Ark Charity

Work highlights

  • Advising the husband of deceased regarding claims relating to tax arising on spouse’s worldwide estate, the validity of various wills and marriage. The estate is spread across the UK, Greece and Cyprus and valued at c.£10m.
  • Acting for the daughter in a dispute regarding a £1m+ estate relating to a series of purported lifetime transactions in favour of brother, dealings with properties used by the deceased and brother in a farming partnership and defending claims by brother for proprietary estoppel.
  • Acting for a minor in relation to a claim to rectify a will, the offending clause of which purported to gift a shareholding in various companies valued at in excess of £120m

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 1

Led by the 'personable and highly intelligentMatthew EvansHugh James' private wealth group is appreciated for its ability 'to relate with great sensitivity on a human level to very personal matters, while also giving very clear and measured advice'. The team's longstanding expertise in the space and the resources with which it is able to devote to matters in the area, enable it to provide discrete sub-specialisms, including a volume wills service which is led by the 'solutions-drivenGareth Wisdom. Praised for her 'excellent technical knowledge', Eleanor Evans provides 'strong leadership' on behalf of institutional clients in relation to trusts and estates administration. The private client offering is rounded out by the 'tough, smart and charmingRoman Kubiak, who leads on the contentious probate and trusts front, and the 'highly effectiveElizabeth Webbe, who provides 'creative solutions' to high-net-worth-individuals (including those holding assets worldwide) on their trusts, estate and tax planning.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Evans

Other key lawyers:

Roman Kubiak; Eleanor Evans; Gareth Wisdom; Alun Jones; Elizabeth Webbe; Andrew Jones; Sarah Bolt

Testimonials

‘Hugh James’ team is commercial and understands the needs of clients.’

To my mind what is unique to the practice is the ability to relate with great sensitivity on a human level to very personal matters, while also giving very clear and measured advice that solves problems at times of heightened emotion.’

‘Approachable team of individuals are easy to deal with and have a straightforward non-jargon way of dealing with matters. The more junior members of the team seem to benefit from strong leadership and guidance.’

‘Eleanor Evans stands out due to her excellent technical knowledge, her pragmatism and strong leadership skills.’

‘The solution-driven Gareth Wisdom has first-class knowledge of the B2B wills market.’

‘Matthew Evans is very personable and highly intelligent. He promotes practical steps that, when coupled with his experience, result in real strategic advantage being gained.’

Roman Kubiak is tough, smart and charming.’

‘ The highly effective Elizabeth Webbe provides creative solutions to unusual problems.’

Key clients

Macmillan Cancer Support

Work highlights

  • Acting for the executor of the deceased’s will in the completion of IHT papers to HMRC for a non-domicile individual; liaising with lawyers in Malawi regarding a purported marriage and the implications for our application for a grant of probate.
  • Acting for the Representative Body of the Church in Wales as beneficiary of an estate.
  • Acting on behalf of a high street bank’s trust corporation in relation to the administration of two linked high-value trusts.

Real estate > Construction Tier 1

Led by Ioan Prydderch, the 'experienced and knowledgeable' four-partner team at Hugh James covers the 'necessary breadth of disciplines' to be able to provide a very comprehensive service to private and public sector clients across the gamut of non-contentious and contentious matters. Iwan Jenkins is an 'excellent and commercially focused non-contentious construction lawyer' and is appreciated by clients for his mastery of highly complex contractual documentation and his willingness and aptitude to master new techniques, including the Mutual Investment Model. The 'very approachable, responsive and knowledgeableMatthew Stevens is also recommended and provides 'invaluable insight and guidance' to clients involved in construction and infrastructure disputes.

Practice head(s):

Ioan Prydderch

Other key lawyers:

Iwan Jenkins; Matthew Stevens; Alun Tobias; Jade Zelko

Testimonials

‘An experienced and knowledgeable team covering the necessary breadth of disciplines relevant to construction.’

‘Iwan Jenkins very quickly mastered what were highly complex contractual documents and repeatedly demonstrated his ability to provide the joint client with clear and high-quality legal advice.

‘Iwan Jenkins is an excellent and commercially focused non-contentious construction lawyer. He delivers advice in a calm and reassuring manner and has superb organisational skills.’

‘Iwan Jenkins is friendly and highly approachable. He is very responsive, normally answering calls immediately and emails very promptly and can fairly be characterised as an “always on” individual.’

‘Matthew Stevens is very approachable, responsive, knowledgeable and professional and provides insight and guidance.’

Key clients

Pobl

Coastal Housing

Ely Mill Development Company Limited

Welsh Government

Multiple clients

Celsa UK

Newydd (1974) Housing Association Limited

WRU

Linc Cymru

Melin

Work highlights

  • Advised Pobl on the largest carbon neutral development in the United Kingdom with 225 new homes being built outside Tonyrefail.
  • Representing WRU on the flagship development of long heritage buildings on Westgate Street into a 175-bed luxury hotel.
  • Acting on a major subcontract for the supply of steel for the Hinkley nuclear power station project.

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 1

The ‘very hardworking and knowledgeable‘ team at Hugh James represents private and public sector entities across a myriad pure disputes work (including as it relates to rights of way, landlord and tenant and planning law), in addition to strategic land management matters. A significant volume of litigation is generated from the firm’s developer side relationships, both for private sector housebuilders, as well as for social housing clients.. Jo Brown has particular experience advising telecoms and hospitality clients on property disputes.

Practice head(s):

James Hastings

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team is very hardworking and knowledgeable.’

Key clients

Natural Resources Wales

Welsh Government

Bellway

AP Wireless II (UK) Limited

WRU

Pobl/Coastal Housing Association

Stonewater Limited

Isle of Anglesey Council

Talbot Green Developments Ltd

Brackley Investments Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising the Welsh Government on litigation involving the scope and extent of yielding up obligations in commercial leases which has developed the law in this important area.
  • Defending Natural Resources Wales against a claim to the ownership of mineral rights over large areas of forestry land in mid-Wales.
  • Representing Witham Town Council in judicial review proceedings challenging a decision made by Braintree District Council to grant planning permission on a site known as Gimsons which is protected as ‘Visually Important’.  

Real estate > Social housing Tier 1

Headed by Richard MacphailHugh James' 'knowledgeable and approachable' multi-disciplinary team provides a 'solution-oriented' service to an impressive roster of Wales and England-based housing associations across the spectrum of their legal requirements. Commercial property work is of course a major driver for many of the team's instructions, and as well as Macphail's own competence in the area, particularly on development matters, clients benefit from the considerable expertise of 'standout' partner Caroline O'Flaherty, whose recent work has included several innovative projects, including for Pobl Group and Coastal Housing Group on their trailblazing partnership bringing sustainable zero carbon homes, manufactured off-site, to Gwynfaen. The 'thorough and client focusedBethan Gladwyn has a 'wealth of knowledge and understanding of social housing' and heads up the firm's 'very strong' housing management team that is appreciated for its 'high-quality' work and focus on 'achieving results'.

Practice head(s):

Richard Macphail

Other key lawyers:

Caroline O’Flaherty; Bethan Gladwyn; Yvonne Davies; Iwan Jenkins; Robert Morgan

Testimonials

‘The team is very knowledgeable and approachable. Always keen to find a solution to an issue when necessary.’

‘Individuals are genuinely nice people who want to make a difference. They are always willing to go the extra mile to ensure that the advice given is what is expected.’

‘Bethan Gladwyn really understands housing management, knows her clients and is focused on achieving results.’

‘Bethan Gladwyn is thorough and client focused, with a wealth of knowledge, and understanding of social housing.’

‘ Caroline O’Flaherty is a standout partner.’

Key clients

Pobl Group

Charter Housing

Stonewater Limited

Hafod/Hendre Group

Coastal Housing Group

Newport City Homes

Trivallis

Cadwyn

Monmouthshire Housing Association

Linc Cymru Housing Association

Work highlights

  • Advising Pobl Group and Coastal Housing Group on the trailblazing partnership bringing sustainable zero carbon homes, manufactured off-site, to Gwynfaen.
  • Advised Optivo on the stock transfer of two tenanted housing for older people schemes in Birmingham from Optivo to Housing 21.
  • Advised Tai Tarian on an unfair dismissal claim which involved allegations of homophobia.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Media and entertainment Tier 1

Hugh James has a strong grounding across a range of media and entertainment work, including advice on contracts and rights issues, as well as in the context of corporate and financing transactions in the sector.  'Commercial and pragmatic' team head Aled Walters  has particularly strong credentials within the film and TV industry and is able to provide an excellent perspective to production companies in the space, by virtue not only of his many years' private practice experience but also by dint of the knowledge gleaned in his former senior in-house role at Welsh national broadcaster S4C.

Practice head(s):

Aled Walters

Other key lawyers:

Lowri Walters; Emily Powell

Testimonials

Aled Walters is commercial and pragmatic.’

Key clients

Wildflame Productions Limited

Avanti Media Limited

Welsh Government

4 Wood Group Limited

Location Solutions Limited

F X Hire Limited

Cwmni Da Cyf

Dragon Studios Limited

Keolis Amey Operations Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Wildflame Productions on the contracts, documents and rights position for its new multimillion-pound production for Viacom/Smithsonian called “True Vikings”.
  • Advised Cwmni Da on its co-production “Rain Stories” with various co- production partners, Northern Ireland Screen, LDC China and Creative Scotland.  
  • Advised a UK-based set building company in relation to a new contract with Disney for the production of sets for its major new production, Trapper Keeper.  

Insurance > Product liability: claimant Tier 1

Hugh James has a strong track record of representing claimants in medical devices and pharmaceutical product liability cases. The Cardiff-based team also handles claims arising from defective household goods. Practice head Mark Harvey is 'respected nationally and internationally and is a great strategist'. At associate level, he is supported by the 'excellentCarlos Land and 'master of the detailPauline Roberts.

Practice head(s):

Mark Harvey

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Mark Harvey is one of the most experienced product liability solicitors in the country. He is respected nationally and internationally and is a great strategist. Mark leads group actions and steering committees with aplomb, is a team player and values a range of opinions on tricky issues. He is a delight to work with.’

‘Pauline Roberts is diligent, experienced, a master of the detail and will go the extra mile to track down the obscure expert or piece of literature that can turn a case. Clients love her.’

‘The product liability team at Hugh James are at the forefront of litigation in this niche field, particularly in the medical product arena. The team has decades of experience. They have excellent relationships with funders so they can push forward litigation that other, less experienced firms would not be able to progress. They use technology well and operate paperlessly and very efficiently.’

‘Hugh James is a fantastically well-resourced firm, able to deal with hugely complex multi-party litigation and make excellent use of technology. They were head and shoulders above the competition in their use of technology long before the Covid pandemic. A very well-run product liability team who really know their stuff.’

‘Mark Harvey is an outstanding solicitor – definitely the leading product liability solicitor in the country.’

‘An established product liability team capable of dealing with individual cases as well as large group litigation involving products of the utmost complexity. The team has dealt with a number of large-scale product cases. They are highly responsive, with a good eye for detail. This firm is an extremely safe pair of hands to handle a claimant.’

‘Mark Harvey and Carlos Land were excellent.’

Key clients

Oculentis Lenses

John Evans

Work highlights

  • Representing several hundred Welsh victims of a well-known metal-on-metal hip prosthesis in a confidential settlement scheme.
  • Continuing the French part of the PIP breast implant litigation with 500 claimants (along with 500 from Slater and Gordon) in the Paris High Court.
  • Resolving a claim on behalf of the widow of a British victim of an oil industry-based helicopter crash.

Crime, fraud and licensing > General crime and fraud Tier 2

Although Hugh James does handle some defence work for private individuals and corporate clients of the firm, including in relation to potential fraud, health and safety and money laundering infractions, the core focus of its three-strong regulatory team, which is headed by Martin Jones, lies in its prosecution work for central and local government and various non-police prosecution agencies. Senior associate Justin Davies is pivotal to much of this work, and as well as continuing to represent Wales-based Fire and Rescue Authorities in fire safety law matters, has also developed niche expertise in prosecutions brought by the Welsh government relating to breaches of UK, Welsh and European fisheries legislation.

Practice head(s):

Martin Jones

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Very extensive knowledge of procedure and practice. Exceptional professionalism.’

‘Justin Davies is of the highest calibre. He has a wide knowledge of the legal issues in a case and ability to see the aspects that need attention. He is a skilled advocate and negotiator. Without question a great asset.’

Key clients

The Welsh Government

Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency

South Wales Fire & Rescue Service

Mid & West Wales Fire & Rescue Service

Work highlights

  • Representing the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency in a significant number of fraud cases prosecuted by the Agency, having previously trained its new-entrant Counter-Fraud Investigators.
  • Instructed by the Counsel General for Wales (the Welsh Government’s chief legal adviser) to prosecute all cases of alleged breaches of UK, Welsh and European fisheries legislation.
  • Continuing to represent South Wales Fire & Rescue Service in all prosecutions brought by the Service under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, and has represented the Service in appeals brought against Enforcement Notice and Prohibition Notices issued by the Service.

Employment > Employment: Recommended Firms Tier 2

Acting on a standalone basis, as well as deriving a significant volume of instructions from institutional corporate clients of the firm, Hugh James' one-partner team handles a broad array of corporate support mandates, discrete advisory work/HR advice, and respondent-side contentious matters for both private and public sector clients. Team head Louise Price's own workload reflects the eclectic nature of mandates handled by the group, and she is as comfortable handling large-scale TUPE transfers of employees, as she is advising the firm's impressive roster of social housing clients on their bespoke employment-related requirements. Senior associate Rhiannon Dale has a strong and growing reputation in the market, including in relation to business immigration advice, and frequently works alongside Price across a range of contentious and non-contentious matters, including on large scale restructuring and redundancy exercises.

Practice head(s):

Louise Price 

Other key lawyers:

Rhiannon Dale; Eleanor Bamber; Kate Walsh; Sali Owens; Christine Bradbury; Emily Thomas

Testimonials

‘The team is very skilled, quick and easy to access, which I value very much.’

‘I appreciate Rhiannon Dale’s knowledge – she has the ability to understand our employment issues quickly, and give solid, fast and clear advice. She has a kind personality and is great to work with.’

‘Very high level of professionalism and customer care.’

Key clients

Cardiff International Airport

Natural Resources Wales

Bridgend County Borough Council

Brace’s Bakery

REHAU Limited

PF Concept International B. V

City and County of Swansea

Coastal Housing Group

CSA Catapult Limited

Innovative Repair Group

Linc Cymru

The London Mint

Tai Tarian

Social Care Wales

The Celtic Manor Resort Limited

Keolis Amey (trading as Transport for Wales Rail Services)

Work highlights

  • Provided corporate support, including advice on TUPE implications, for Mid-Wales Housing Association on its voluntary merger with Tai Ceredigion.
  • Successfully represented social housing landlord, Tai Tarian Limited, in a high-profile tribunal appeal relating to an unfair dismissal claim brought by a former employee, who was fired for allegedly making homophobic remarks to a tenant.
  • Successfully defended City and County of Swansea in a  complex Employment Tribunal (resulting in a five-day hearing), regarding allegations of unfair dismissal, disability discrimination and whistleblowing.

Employment > Health and safety Tier 2

Hugh James has become best-known for its health and safety prosecution work in recent years, to a large extent because of senior associate Justin Davies' 'detailed knowledge of fire safety law and enforcement'. This degree of specialism continues to be recognised by several fire and rescue authorities, including the South Wales Fire & Rescue Service, which continues to instruct Davies on all prosecutions brought by it under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Martin Jones heads up the firm's overarching regulatory offering, which houses this capability, and he regularly provides health and safety compliance training to corporates and RSLs.

Practice head(s):

Martin Jones

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Hugh James is recognised in Wales for its prosecution practice. It is well-known nationally for the enforcement work it carries out for central and local governments, and for the wider public sector.’

‘The work carried out by Justin Davies has been to the highest standard, from early-stage advice during investigations, through to providing representation in hearings in the Magistrates’ Court and Crown Courts. A real attraction is that Justin has Higher Rights of Audience in criminal proceedings, meaning that he is able to provide continuity of representation throughout the case.’

‘Justin Davies has an enviable track record in fire safety cases. He has a detailed knowledge of fire safety law and enforcement, is calm under pressure, and provides advice that is timely and pragmatic. He is a robust advocate, who is thorough and meticulous in his preparation, and who very quickly gets to the heart of the issues in the case.’

Key clients

South Wales Fire & Rescue Service

Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency

Mid & West Wales Fire & Rescue Service

Pearson Engineering Limited

PF Concept

Keolis Amey

Welsh Government

Work highlights

  • Continuing to represent the South Wales Fire & Rescue service in all the prosecutions it has brought under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, as well as in appeals brought against Enforcement Notice and Prohibition Notices issued by the Service.
  • Continuing to represent the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency prosecuting transport-related offences on the Agency’s behalf and also being the sole provider of training to the Agency’s new-recruit Traffic Examiners, Vehicle Examiners and Counter-Fraud Investigators.
  • Represented the Mid & West Wales Fire & Rescue Service in an appeal brought against a Prohibition Notice issued by it in connection with commercial premises.

Employment > Pensions Tier 2

At Hugh James, employment head Louise Price is the main contact for non-contentious pensions-related work, both from a standalone advisory context, as well as in a support function pursuant to corporate transactional work handled by the firm. On the contentious front, senior associate Abigail Flanagan has developed a strong reputation for claimant professional negligence-related pensions work.

Practice head(s):

Louise Price

Other key lawyers:

Richard Locke; Abigail Flanagan

Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 2

Led by Alex Pay and able to draw upon the expertise of lawyers from across complementary practice areas, including litigation, banking and corporate/commercial, should the need arise, Hugh James provides a comprehensive service to debtors and creditors across a range of restructuring and formal insolvency matters. Leveraging strong ties with many local IPs, the firm is, however, perhaps best-known for its contentious insolvency expertise, an area that Pay is particularly strong.

Practice head(s):

Alex Pay

Key clients

Menzies LLP

Mazars LLP

Begbies Traynor LLP

Kennway Francis Ltd

TRI Advisory Ltd

BDO LLP

Quantuma Advisory Ltd

Work highlights

  • Representing the administrators in relation to a potential business interruption claim in the light of recent case of FCA V. Arch Insurance (UK) Limited & Ors [2021]
  • Seeking directions from the court in relation to liquidator’s entitlement to company assets.

Insurance > Personal injury and clinical negligence; defendant Tier 2

Co-headed by Stephanie Eedy and Alun Tobias Hugh James' 'close knit' five-strong insurance and recoveries team is 'very knowledgeable in defendant personal injury claims', for a varied mix of insurers, self insureds and public sector clients. Senior associate Leon Lloyd is a 'first-class lawyer and tactician' and is 'vastly experienced and knowledgeable in defendant personal injury claims', particularly in the context of high-value employers and public liability claims.

Practice head(s):

Stephanie Eedy; Alun Tobias

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

They are a very close-knit team that always strives to get the best results for its clients.’

Professional and very knowledgeable in defendant personal injury claims. Always available to discuss a claim or even for some ad-hoc advice.’

Leon Lloyd is a first-class lawyer and tactician.’

Leon Lloyd is vastly experienced and knowledgeable in defendant personal injury claims.’

Insurance > Professional negligence Tier 2

Led by the 'outstanding' Richard Locke from within the firm's market-leading commercial litigation group, Hugh James has a strong and well-established track record advising clients seeking recourse through professional negligence claims. The arrival in May 2020 of Kevin O’Brien  from JCP Solicitors reinforces the firm's expertise in the area, particularly in light of his core focus on professional negligence claimant work for banking and lender clients. Senior associate Abigail Flanagan is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Richard Locke

Other key lawyers:

Kevin O’Brien; Abigail Flanagan

Private client > Agriculture and estates Tier 2

Although lacking a standalone agriculture practice group, Hugh James handles a considerable volume of work in the space under the umbrella of the firm’s private wealth offering, which is led by the ‘personable and intelligent‘ Matthew Evans. Much of this work is litigious and both Evans and ‘fierce litigator‘ Roman Kubiak regularly handle contentious probate and proprietary estoppel cases for farming clients. The firm’s broader property litigation and commercial property teams’ clients also elicit some work within the agricultural sector from time to time.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Evans

Other key lawyers:

Roman Kubiak; Eleanor Evans; Elizabeth Webbe; Andrew Jones; Caroline O’Flaherty

Testimonials

I was very impressed with the team on acquisitions of land. Many complex issues arose and were delt with efficiently.’

Elizabeth Webbe is expert at problem-solving in unusual and complex situations.’

Matthew Evans is personable and intelligent.’

Roman Kubiak is a fierce litigator.’

Caroline O’Flaherty is excellent.’

Key clients

Natural Resources

Welsh Government

Isle of Anglesey Council

Coleg Gwent

Work highlights

  • Advising Natural Resources Wales in relation to a very large area of agricultural uplands forestry land.
  • Acting for the family of a deceased North Walian farmer in relation to claims seeking to set aside the deceased’s last will by reason of lack of testamentary capacity, lack of knowledge and approval and undue influence, as well as a claim in relation to the deceased’s farmland and business by reason of a proprietary estoppel.
  • Advising a developer client on the acquisition of a ten-acre agricultural site for future development.

Private client > Charities and not-for-profit Tier 2

Led by private client/wealth management partners Roman Kubiak and Matthew Evans Hugh James has, in recent years, developed a particularly strong reputation advising charities on legacy administration, as well as legacy disputes. This side of the practice was also recently enhanced by the arrival in January 2021 of senior associate Sarah Bolt, who had built up a strong track record representing numerous high-profile charities in legacy disputes during her time at Harneys and before that  Stone King LLP. Leveraging the firm's vast roster of housing association clients, the team also remains very active in the social housing space, with work touching on pure charity-related advice, in addition to advice on their development and employment needs.

Practice head(s):

Roman Kubiak; Matthew Evans

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Hugh James has experts right across the organisation. They can bring in other specialists when required on even the most arcane areas of law.’

‘Hugh James acted in a timely and professional manner. The lawyers were approachable and understood the issues we were facing. ’

‘I dealt with Roman Kubiak who was approachable and professional. Roman dealt with matters swiftly and was always available to deal with any queries.’

Key clients

Noah’s Ark Charity

Representative Body of the Church in Wales

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

Cwmni Urdd Gobaith Cymru

Macmillan Cancer Support

Pobl Group

Cardiff University

Coleg Gwent

Linc Cymru Housing Association

Ty Hafan

Perrans Consulting Limited/ Housing Justice

Work highlights

  • Advised Pobl Group on the UK’s largest zero carbon development worth £32m and bringing sustainability and innovation through the provision of affordable homes.
  • Advised Cardiff University on its £50m Centre for Student Life.
  • Advised a leading conservatoire with charitable status on complex legacies.

Private client > Family Tier 2

The 'friendly and approachable' six-strong team at Hugh James provides a 'commercial and professional' service to clients throughout the divorce process, whether it be resolved through a collaborative mediation-based approach, or if necessary in a more contentious setting, where it frequently handles its own advocacy. 'Highly skilled and thorough' team head Adrienne Donneky provides 'straightforward and no-nonsense advice' to a range of medium to high-net-worth clients, including business persons, going through divorce proceedings and brings added value to cases involving complex  pension, trust or business issues. The team is also well regarded for its public children work, an area that consultant Mark Powell (who is the only practising QC solicitor in Wales) and associate Sara Tomaszewski have particular expertise.

Practice head(s):

Adrienne Donneky

Other key lawyers:

Mark Powell; Belinda Moseley; Sara Tomaszewski

Testimonials

‘The team is highly regarded as a standout performer in the sphere of family law. There is a spread of experience to ensure that a suitable lawyer is allocated to the case. Nevertheless, it is abundantly clear that the team also works as a whole to ensure that cases are as fully prepared as possible. The work undertaken is thorough and addresses the issue that require addressing.’

‘Friendly, professional and approachable staff who offered sound legal advice.’

‘Very commercial and professional in their outlook, complements the rest of the firm’s practice areas very well in terms of services offered to private clients.’

‘Adrienne Donneky is highly skilled, thorough, and realistic. I always recommend her to other professionals, and to lay clients. ’

‘The very efficient and shrewd Adrienne Donneky is really experienced and down to earth. She gives clients straightforward and no-nonsense advice, has a keen eye for detail and anticipates likely issues coming down the line. She is particularly well-respected by business persons going through divorce proceedings due to her knowledge of commercial matters.’

‘Belinda Moseley is a very pleasant and engaging practitioner, clients respond well to her and she has an empathetic approach, whilst at the same time being pragmatic and efficient.’

Wales > Public sector Tier 2

Public sector-related work has been central to Hugh James' strategy since the firm formed over 25 years ago and it has consequently gained an excellent insight into the requirements of a myriad central/local authorities, as well as third sector entities. The team, which is overseen by Ioan Prydderch and Martin Jones, deploys a multi-disciplinary approach to work in the space and effectively leverages the expertise of lawyers from across the firm's full service capabilities. In addition, the firm has a deep understanding of the increasing divergence in policy and legislation in the myriad devolved areas where Welsh government, and not Westminster, has legislative competence. Senior associate Justin Davies forms a key part of the firm's regulatory offering and has attained a market leading reputation for fire safety work as a result of his representation of South Wales Fire & Rescue Service on enforcement matters.

Practice head(s):

Ioan Prydderch; Martin Jones

Other key lawyers:

Caroline O’Flaherty; Emily Powell; Justin Davies

Testimonials

‘The firm has very extensive knowledge of procedure and practice.’

‘Hugh James is recognised in Wales for its prosecution practice. It is well-known nationally for the enforcement work it carries out for Central and Local Governments, and for the wider public sector.’

‘Justin Davies has an enviable track record in fire safety cases. He has a detailed knowledge of fire safety law and enforcement, is calm under pressure, and provides timely and pragmatic advice.’

Key clients

Social Care Wales

Welsh Government

Natural Resources Wales

Denbighshire County Council

Cardiff Council

Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council

Torfaen County Borough Council

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA)

Coleg Gwent

Cardiff University

Swansea Council

Gwynedd Council

Flintshire Council

Work highlights

  • Sole providers of advisory, enforcement and prosecution services to South Wales Fire & Rescue Service, under a five-year appointment.
  • Sole providers of legal advisors to Social Care Wales’s Regulatory Committees.
  • Represented the DVSA (and its predecessor organisations) for over 20 years, and are instructed in a range of matters.

Real estate > Commercial property Tier 2

The 'responsive and pragmatic' team at Hugh James provides 'efficient and effective' advice to a balanced mix of stakeholders engaged in real estate projects throughout Wales, the South West of England and beyond. Public and third sector work continues to inform a significant volume of deal flow handled by the team, which was further reinforced by the firm's successful reappointment to the NPS property lot. Caroline O'Flaherty is responsible for a significant amount of this work, particularly in light of her excellent social housing credentials (which have recently included innovative work relating to zero carbon homes), and her expertise within the education sector. The 'very experienced and accomplishedPeter Hurn heads the overarching team and has a particularly strong track record advising on residential development work, by dint of his strong and established ties with numerous national housebuilders/developers.

Practice head(s):

Peter Hurn

Other key lawyers:

Caroline O’Flaherty; David King; Daniel Morgan; Kelly Davies; Shelley Ikram; Rachel Arentsen; Gareth Fortey

Testimonials

‘The responsive and pragmatic team provides efficient and effective advice.’ 

Peter Hurn is very experienced and accomplished.’

‘The pragmatic Caroline O’Flaherty is excellent.’

‘Rachel Arentsen is a pleasure to work with, experienced, succinct, professional and thoughtful.’

Key clients

Tirion Group

WRU

Pobl/Coastal

Coleg Gwent

Bellway

Linc-Cymru Housing Association

BDW Trading Limited (Barratt Homes)

Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council

Brackley Investments Limited

ICCW

Work highlights

  • Advising the Welsh Rugby Union on a joint venture with Rightacres Properties and Legal & General which will transform two of Cardiff’s most iconic buildings into a luxury hotel.
  • Advising on an acquisition of a site in Gwynfaen (a JV between Welsh Government and Swansea Council) delivering zero carbon homes on a large scale, attracting innovative funding and is exemplar collaborative project between two of the largest RSLs in Wales working with Welsh Government and the Council to unlock public sector land.
  • Advising International Convention Centre Wales (joint venture between the Welsh Government and The Celtic Manor Resort) on building contracts and infrastructure agreements.

Real estate > Planning and environment Tier 2

Drawing upon the expertise of lawyers from within the firm’s specialist commercial property and property litigation groups, Hugh James is able to provide a ‘first-class service‘ to private and public sector clients across a range of contentious and non-contentious planning matters, including as it relates to renewable energy projects. Shelley Ikram regularly advises on town and village green planning matters and heads up the multi-disciplinary team.

Practice head(s):

Shelley Ikram

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team at Hugh James has always and continues to provide a first-class service to us as clients. They always have a very thorough understanding of what the issues are and are always there to assist in resolving these issues.’

Key clients

Stonewater Limited

Ely Bridge Development Company Limited

Parc Eirin Development Limited

Llanmoor Homes

Persimmon Homes Limited

Bellway Homes PLC

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

Curo Enterprise Limited

BDW Trading Limited (Barratt Homes)

Tirion Group

Natural Resources Wales

Cenin Renewables

Newydd Housing Association Limited

Pennant Walters (Holdings) Limited and Enersyst Limited

Pobl Living

Coastal Housing Group

Ely Mill Development Company Limited

Ffos Las Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Bellway Homes in relation to the planning for the Parc Mawr scheme at Swansea, a major strategic housing-led mixed-use development for 850 dwellings.
  • Advising on a key strategic collaboration between two major RSLs on their large-scale innovative project in Gwynfaen to bring a sustainable zero carbon development to fruition, providing the blueprint for partnership working in the social housing sector and energy efficient development.
  • Advising Monmouthshire County Council on its development of Chippenham Mead to make the green better for future inhabitants and to secure the local football team’s ability to continue competing.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Sport Tier 2

Private client > Court of protection Tier 2

Hugh James has a multifaceted team that has brain injury legal experts, a qualified social worker and an accountant. The professional deputyship team deals solely with high-value and complex cases that arise from damages claims. The work ranges from overseeing the direct employment of care teams to the investment of funds and managing home adaptions. Under the leadership of Andrew Harding it currently manages the affairs of 179 individuals, including 142 deputyships and 37 trusts with total assets (including property and large investment portfolios) exceeding £175m. It has a 'high degree of knowledge and experience. The team has a good understanding of clients' issues and offers an individual and personal service to each client'.  

Practice head(s):

Andrew Harding

Other key lawyers:

Robert Hurling; Kate Coles; Charlotte Fletcher; Joy Davies; Ruth James

Testimonials

Hugh James has provided a “one stop shop” solution to meet our family’s Deputy needs. The lawyers’ understanding of our needs from a legal and personal perspective, plus providing solutions, has made working with Hugh James very simple. Time was taken to ensure we clearly understood the process and the responsibilities of each party. Communication has been timely and personal. Responses are provided in terms we understand and which relate specifically the concerns or guidance required. Andrew Harding’s engagement has been excellent, providing us with very high levels of understanding and confidence. Charlotte Fletcher has provided excellent, timely, and high quality service to us‘.

‘Very friendly team and competent without being patronising. Always quick to respond to any queries. I deal a lot with Joy Davies who is exceptional. Always a swift and efficient response and very friendly and approachable. Nothing is too much trouble for her‘.

‘It has helped me look after the affairs of my late cousin . The team’s application to this task had great continuity and the responses to problems which arose over the years were always immediate. Robert Hurling was my point of contact with Hugh James . He has been instrumental in guiding me in a task which I found could have been very overwhelming . He has helped me with most things concerning my cousin‘.

‘ Robert Hurling has been absolutely brilliant in dealing with my needs when it comes to The Court of Protection and the Court Funds Office. He has worked for me for several years and has calmly and professionally guided me through all the hurdles of dealing with the C.O.P and the C.F.O. Applied for several Court orders on our behalf, dealt with both the land registry and my local Council all with a 100% positive outcome. I could not have asked for a better person to have dealings with. He is a credit to himself and his company. He is friendly, professional and efficient. Having tried for years to deal with the Court and the various departments with limited success Robert Hurling and the company he works for have been a Godsend‘.

‘Collaboration with case managers excellent. In depth knowledge of clients apparent. Speedy responses. Charlotte Fletcher- approachable, quick responses, collaborative working, good understanding of complex cases‘.

Kate Coles –  I find her approachable, communicative and clear in her decision making when approving funds for my client. My client’s parents have an excellent working relationship with Kate also‘.

All team members from partners down to junior associates are helpful and committed. They have a flexible, friendly and helpful attitude. Questions are answered promptly and information well researched. They are also good at chasing third parties for information and action on behalf of the client. Ruth James- has a lovely personality and is very easy to talk to which is important. She genuinely cares for her clients and is very fair‘.

‘The lawyers provide a client centred bespoke service. They have been continually available and supportive during the pandemic. Kate Coles, Ruth James, Charlotte Fletcher. Always available to answer queries, responsive to requests‘.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property Tier 3

Hugh James' 'commercial and pragmatic' head of commercial Aled  Walters has a strong reputation in the market advising across a myriad contractual IP rights-related matters for gaming, tech and media clients.

Practice head(s):

Aled Walters

Testimonials

Aled Walters is commercial and pragmatic.’

Crime, fraud and licensing > Gaming and betting Tier 3

Cardiff-based firm Hugh James is highly experienced in licensing and regulatory compliance in both the online and land-based gambling sectors, with additional expertise in related corporate, commercial, IP and disputes matters. The team is noted for its strength in the sports betting and licensing space, and for its skill in advising international gambling clients on complex M&A and IP matters. Clients include land-based operators and online gaming companies. Aled Walters, who heads the commercial team, leads the practice, and is experienced in licensing, commercial, corporate and IP matters in the gaming sector. Martin Jones heads the regulatory department and focuses on licensing issues.

Practice head(s):

Aled Walters

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

TCS John Huxley

Double Diamond Gaming (Rainbow Casino)

Novomatic UK Limited

Amelco

Eurobet

Depot Warehouse Limited

Raffle House Limited

Flying Laptops Productions Limited

7 Days Performance Limited

Luxury Leisure (part of the Novomatic Group of Companies)

Greentube

Btobet

Work highlights

  • Advised Btobet on its acquisition by Aspire.
  • Advised Luxury Leisure (part of the Novomatic Group of Companies) on the acquisition of amusement arcades.
  • Advising Raffle House on a variety of issues, including a successful arbitration arising out of a challenge based on the alleged applicability of the Estate Agency Act 1979, and a significant change to its model.

Insurance > Personal injury: claimant Tier 3

The practice at Hugh James has an 'excellent reputation', particularly when it comes to particular niche areas. The department's expertise in abuse claims is particularly well known; Alan Collins, who oversees this type of work, is described by one client as a 'real doyen of the field'.  The firm also fields an 'amazing asbestos-related lung injury team' and a highly regarded military claims group. Mark Harvey, who leads the specialist PI offering, has recently welcomed several notable arrivals, including 'respected' partner Kevin Grealis from Stewarts Law LLP and 'exceptionally able' senior associate Danielle Vincent from Bolt Burdon Kemp.

Practice head(s):

Mark Harvey; Alan Collins

Other key lawyers:

Ciaran McCabe; Cari Sowden-Taylor; Kevin Grealis; Danielle Vincent

Testimonials

‘Wide range of talented individuals, all of whom are first rate at handling vulnerable clients and in managing their expectations.’

‘Alan Collins has vast experience of child abuse work. A real doyen of the field.’

‘Kevin Grealis has a vast amount of experience in the most serious, complex personal injury cases. He has great inter-personal skills; his client care is excellent. He manages his cases to the highest standard. He has a deep understanding of medical issues. He achieves maximum awards for his clients. He is always up to date with developments and is excellent in helping others with their training. I know that he has had diversity training. He is respected and rated by both sides of the profession. I would, and have recommended him to others.’

‘Alan Collins is a really exceptional solicitor completely dedicated to helping clients who have suffered abuse and fighting difficult cases with great results. He is really outstanding in this area of law.’

‘Amazing asbestos-related lung injury team. Efficient and very knowledgeable – not afraid of tackling difficult cases.’

‘They have an excellent reputation.’

‘Alan Collins is the partner in charge of the team. He has about 25 years experience at the very forefront of this area having been involved in many of the leading cases. Danielle Vincent is an exceptionally able senior associate who manages a heavy case load but is well recognised for still providing a personalised service to individual clients.’

Key clients

Anonymised victims in the Joseph McCann case

Anonymised victims in the case against the Jersey Government

Anonymised victims in the case against police and CPS

 

Work highlights

  • Representing victims in the Joseph McCann case, in which a convicted criminal, whilst in breach of his licence, abducted and raped innocent members of the public, including three women.
  • Representing survivors of child sexual abuse committed by a teacher in Jersey.
  • Successfully settled a case on behalf of a claimant who was exposed to asbestos as a 16-year-old girl when she was employed by Marks & Spencer in Staines, ensuring that provision was included within the settlement agreement for additional payment for any private immunotherapy treatment which the claimant may require in the future.

Transport > Travel Tier 3

Hugh James' 'efficient and dedicated' team has a longstanding history of advising on road, rail, sea and air transport-related accidents, and in this field has mainly advised UK citizens on incidents which have occurred in wider Europe. The 'exceptionalKatherine Allen sits at the helm of the practice, and advises on claims relating to package holidays and road traffic accidents, as well as employers' and occupiers' liability claims. Mark Harvey splits his time between London and Cardiff and focuses on product liability claims with a foreign element. Senior associate Rebecca Gilmore is a promising name at junior level.

Practice head(s):

Katherine Allen

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Hugh James has a very efficient and dedicated team that handles travel and transport claims. Very often cases in this area of law can be extremely complex and dealing with these claims needs lots of experience. Hugh James’ travel and transport team members certainly have this experience, which they have built up over many years.’

‘Katherine Allen is a tenacious lawyer who approaches cases with intellect and common sense. She knows the relevant national and international law like the back of her hand and achieves the best results possible for her clients every time.’

‘The team are united in their approach to supporting each other in taking forward complex litigation in a field where a clear understanding and full knowledge of the law in different jurisdictions is essential. They have good international legal connections and engage with others, particularly through the Pan European Organisation of Personal Injury Lawyers.’

‘Rebecca Gilmore and Katherine Allen are incredibly thorough and take exceptionally good care of their clients – their client care is ahead of other firms’ by a country mile. Nothing is too much for them.’

‘The firm is reliable and quick both in responding to initial enquiries and in acting on instructions. They have a wide range of specialities, knowledge and experience.’

‘Katherine Allen is an exceptional lawyer. Her knowledge and experience is not limited to UK law – she is an expert in European and international law, which is particularly important when travel and transport cases are involved, as these are very often cross-border cases. Katherine is also a model colleague, and it is truly a great experience to work with her.’

‘Rebecca Gilmore has been looking after my travel claim. I have found her efficient and easy to contact and to speak to.’

‘Katherine Allen is one of the best known solicitors in this field and is very well respected.’

Insurance > Clinical negligence: claimant Tier 4

Ruth Powell leads Hugh James' clinical department in London. Noted by one client as being 'excellent right across the board', the team was recently strengthened by the arrival of associate Charlotte Allen from Fieldfisher, and by the formation of a distinct inquests sub-group under the leadership of experienced senior associate Lynda Reynolds. National practice head Mari Rosser in Cardiff is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Mari Rosser; Ruth Powell

Other key lawyers:

Lynda Reynolds; Sophie Jones; Fran Moore; Charlotte Allen

Testimonials

‘Excellent right across the board.’

‘Extremely knowledgeable and experienced in the area. Absolutely trustworthy and determined to get the best result for the client at all costs. Exceptional clinical negligence team, organised, skilled, sympathetic and understanding.’

‘Very client focused and collaborative, with an excellent relationship with key experts across the range of clinical areas. Ahead of the game in terms of electronic papers and bundles.’

‘Lynda Reynolds has a laser-like forensic approach to medical issues and knows exactly which expert to instruct. She is utterly realistic and wins the confidence and trust of her clients.’

‘They offer the quality and quantity of the big players in the market but also retain a sense of collegiality and teamwork. A wonderful group of people, who get on well with each other and provide a good service to their clients.’

‘Lynda Reynolds is straight-talking, extremely knowledgeable, hard-working and very good with clients. Every case is thoroughly prepared and no stone is left unturned. An exceptional solicitor. Fran Moore is excellent with clients, sympathetic and kind yet steely in her desire to get the best result. She is very knowledgeable and always thoroughly prepared. Fran has a very good understanding of the area. Top notch.’

‘Very good team with lots of expertise in different areas and at different levels.’

‘Hugh James are very client driven and focus on the best outcome for their clients. They are well respected amongst other firms of solicitors and they have recruited and attracted some very experienced lawyers in the last few years.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for a claimant in connection with a claim for damages for a failure to diagnose and treat pneumococcal meningitis when the claimant was aged about 15 months old.

Insurance > Personal injury and clinical negligence: claimant

Private client > Contentious trusts and probate

Hugh James is regarded as a major player in this area, delivering City-level service and experience. Practice head Roman Kubiak is known for his calm, commercial and charming approach.

The firm: Hugh James is a top 100 UK law firm, employing more than 600 staff from its headquarters in Cardiff (Two Central Square) and London office (99 Gresham Street).

Hugh James has been established for more than 60 years and has built its success on offering expert advice through a personal and friendly service to its clients. A highly innovative firm, it creates a competitive advantage through a blend of excellence in client service, bespoke technical systems and the expertise of its people.

The firm handles the full range of services across a variety of industries. Business sectors where the firm has particular expertise including banking and finance, property and construction, technology, media and telecommunications, energy and sustainability, creative industries, leisure and hospitality, agriculture, insurance and health care.

In the public and not for profit sectors, the firm acts for the Welsh Government and is on the legal panels of most of the local authorities in Wales as well as a number in England. It carries out the full range of public sector work for these authorities, including childcare and inquests. The firm is also well known for its work in social housing and acts for a large number of registered social landlords and registered providers.

In addition to its transactional work, the firm has a strong commercial litigation practice that handles disputes across all areas, including commercial disputes, professional negligence, intellectual property, copyright, trademarks and passing off, defamation, landlords and tenant and contentious probate.

Unusually for a firm with a comprehensive commercial offering, Hugh James also has a highly rated private client department which advises on the whole spectrum of personal matters, including matrimonial legal advice, will writing and probate, inheritance disputes, and estate, finance and tax planning. The firm also has its own team of independent financial advisors.

Another area in which the firm excels is claimant litigation. It has nationally renowned practices in clinical negligence, catastrophic and general injury claims, as well as expertise in running large group actions for industrial disease, product liability and environmental claims.

The firm also has its specialist legal process operation, Hugh James Involegal LLP which launched in 2010. Hugh James Involegal LLP handles outsourced volume work for banks, insurance companies, retailers and other businesses.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Managing Partner Alun Jones
Head of Individual Client Services Stephen Webber
Head of Business Services Ioan Prydderch
Hugh James Involegal LLP Matthew Tossell
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Andrew Davies  photo Andrew Davies Andrew has been a partner in Hugh James since 1994 and specialises…
Adrienne Donneky  photo Adrienne Donneky Adrienne Donneky is Senior Associate and heads up the family team. Adrienne…
Matthew Evans  photo Matthew Evans Matthew is a partner and heads up the firm’s private wealth offering.…
Bethan Gladwyn  photo Bethan Gladwyn Bethan is head of the housing management team as a result of…
Richard Green  photo Richard Green Richard is a Partner and heads a team of solicitors who specialise…
Andrew Harding  photo Andrew Harding Andrew is head of the firm’s Neurolaw Department covering brain and spinal…
Mark Harvey  photo Mark Harvey Mark Harvey is a Partner in the claimant division. He has obtained…
Peter Hurn  photo Peter Hurn Peter heads up the fastest expanding real estate team in Wales. He…
Martin Jones  photo Martin Jones As the Head of the Regulatory Department, Martin acts in a wide-range…
Gerallt Jones  photo Gerallt Jones Gerallt is a partner and head of the corporate and commercial team.…
Alun Jones  photo Alun Jones Alun Jones is Managing Partner of Hugh James, taking the helm in…
Roman Kubiak  photo Roman Kubiak Roman Kubiak is a partner and head of the contested wills, trusts…
Richard Locke  photo Richard Locke Richard is a Partner and an elected partner on the firm’s board…
Richard Macphail  photo Richard Macphail Richard is head of our social housing team, coordinating the work of…
Dominic Marshall  photo Dominic Marshall Dominic is a partner and head of the banking and finance team.…
Robert Morgan  photo Robert Morgan Robert is a highly experienced partner in the banking team. Rob advises…
Gwen Morgan-Evans  photo Gwen Morgan-Evans Gwen is head of environmental claims and one of the UK’s leading…
Caroline O'Flaherty photo Caroline O'FlahertyAs a Partner in the Commercial Property team, Caroline O’Flaherty, specialises in…
Robert Phillips  photo Robert Phillips Rob is Head of Property Litigation at Hugh James. He leads a…
Louise Price  photo Louise Price A highly specialised lawyer, Louise is a Partner and Head of Employment…
Ioan Prydderch  photo Ioan Prydderch Ioan is head of the firm’s business services division. This division comprises…
Mari Rosser  photo Mari Rosser Recognised as a leader in the field of clinical negligence and known…
Cari Sowden-Taylor  photo Cari Sowden-Taylor Cari is a partner in our neurolaw team. Representing claimants with traumatic…
Neil Stockdale  photo Neil Stockdale Neil is an elected partner on the firm’s board of management. He…
Matthew Tossell  photo Matthew Tossell Matthew is the chief executive of our bespoke volume services business, Hugh…
Aled Walters  photo Aled Walters Aled is a partner and is head of the commercial team. Aled…
Stephen Webber  photo Stephen Webber Steven is head of one of the two divisions at Hugh James.…
Number of UK partners : 64
Number of other UK fee-earners : 318
Total staff : 620
Welsh

The Lex 100 Verdict

Cardiff-based Hugh James impresses trainees with its ‘approachability’, ‘values’ and ‘very good’ training. It comes as no surprise then that Hugh James is a Lex 100 winner in six categories - job satisfaction, quality of work, client contact, work/life balance, social life and inclusivity. A trainee highlights that ‘throughout the interview process and vacation scheme it was clear the firm practiced their values consistently - everyone is approachable and employees at all levels are valued and treated with respect’. Some trainees had previous experience: ‘I had completed a placement year with the firm and I was impressed by the level of training and the general atmosphere - friendly and approachable yet professional with some impressive experience’. Trainees praise the ‘very impressive variety of work’ and the client contact: ‘we are given lots of client contact and are able to manage our own matters very early on - this is different to other firms and definitely a positive’. Negatives include the remuneration and the ‘lateness with which your seat rotation is confirmed’. But trainees value the high level of professional training and work/life balance, with one adding ‘I think that my training is better than that of peers plus I have a better work/life balance’. There is a sense of ‘atmosphere’ and a ‘real emphasis on being inclusive and approachable’, so if you are looking for a training contract in Cardiff, Hugh James is a must.