Firm Profile > Weightmans LLP > Liverpool , North West

Weightmans LLP
L3 9QJ
North West

Clinical negligence: defendant Tier 1

Weightmans LLP is best known for handling complex and high value cases for NHS Resolution and its trust clients. The team has particular expertise in organ transplant and blood donor cases, group claims, claims against ambulance services and the former NHS Direct as well as other telephone triage systems. Richard Jolly and Vicky Morris are the main contacts. Ian Critchley was promoted to partner in May 2018.

Debt recovery Tier 1

Weightmans LLP’s has recently seen an increase in work from corporate and owner-managed business clients  in relation to litigation and winding-up Petitions. Team co-head Andrew Cox has experience of ADR and advises clients in the banking, utilities and transport sectors, while fellow co-head Mark Burch focuses on secured and unsecured public and private sector debt recovery.

Education Tier 1

Weightmans LLP has a focus on the higher education sector and it regularly advises on a range of property, contractual, procurement, employment, IP, projects, disputes and commercial issues.  The team also handles property mandates and disputes in the sector, as well as outsourcing. It also advises universities on capital projects, funding and collaborative ventures. Team head Martin Vincent handles complex contractual, procurement and academic joint ventures.

Employment Tier 1

Mark Leach leads the Manchester employment team at Weightmans LLP, while associate solicitor Lee Rogers leads the team in Liverpool, advising clients across the education, healthcare, police and logistics and distribution sectors. The team also provides support to the firm's corporate department, handling TUPE matters and other employment aspects of transactions. Bernadette Worthington left for Hill Dickinson LLP in September 2018, but the team has been bolstered by a number of hires from firms including Clyde & Co LLP, Jackson Lees Group and EAD Solicitors LLP.

Family Tier 1

The family team at Weightmans LLP specialises in high value complex matters for high-net-worth individuals and clients, with the firm's work often spanning multiple jurisdictions. Practice head Carole Atkinson has particular expertise dealing with offshore trusts and complex cases, while Fiona Davidson is a specialist in dealing with financial matters. Another name to note is associate Rachel Lim, who has acted on several cases involving overseas assets for clients.

Health Tier 1

Weightmans LLP is instructed by healthcare clients in the public sector. Its expertise spans commercial,  regulatory, employment and social care work. The team represents NHS Trusts and doctors in healthcare inquests, handles a number of group actions arising out of major patient safety incidents, advises on procurement and is also active on GDPR-related mandates. The team is also able to handle employment matters and medical defence cases. Richard Jolly is the firm's national sector lead for health and Dewi Ap-Thomas  heads the regulatory team.

Health and safety Tier 1

Weightmans LLP's health and safety department is now led by regulatory head Dewi Ap-Thomas, who succeeded David Lewis, now the firm's senior partner. The team is known for its work in relation to fatal accidents, assisting clients with investigations, representing them at inquests and providing a 'cradle-to-grave' service for clients, working closely with the national firm's other offices around the country. Gillian Hulme, who is dual qualified as an Environmental Health Officer, is also recommended.

Personal injury: defendant Tier 1

Weightmans LLP has a very large defendant personal injury team, which, in addition to representing a vast number of local authorities and police authorities, acts for the majority of top insurers and numerous FTSE 100 companies. David Holt is client partner for the Motor Insurers' Bureau and focuses on non-indemnity insurance work and catastrophic injury claims, including spinal injuries, paralysis and serious head injuries, while Peter Forshaw is the firm's lead lawyer for casualty litigation, specialising in employers, public liability and product liability claims. Peter Wake has considerable experience defending injury claims that arise out of professional negligence allegations against social services as well as historical abuse claims. Roddy MacLeod leads the firm's stress team. Liam McGuire is also a key contact.

Professional negligence Tier 1

Mickaela Fox and Mike Grant jointly lead Weightmans LLP's professional negligence practice, which acts across the range of professional liability claims, and is well-regarded for its expertise in the legal and construction sectors. In recent months the team has seen an uptick in work deriving from claims against architects, as well as an increase in instructions from insurers on D&O/management liability matters ranging from defamation and claims in the charity sector to regulatory investigations.

Transport Tier 1

Weightmans LLP handles both contentious and non-contentious transport and logistics matters, drawing on the firm's established insurance and shipping expertise, while also advising on matters relating to risk management, brand protection, contracts, competition, cyber protection, employment and personal injury. Clients include major insurers, fleet operators, freight forwarders, shipping lines, ports and warehouse operators. Phil James heads the team and specialises in claims and litigation. Mike Burns focuses on shipping, marine insurance and commercial litigation.

Commercial litigation: Liverpool Tier 2

Weightmans LLP is particularly focused on commercial contract disputes. The IP sector is also a key focus where the team advises on copyright infringement, trade mark infringement and passing off as well as other general brand and reputation protection work. Another key sector is education where the team advises on contentious matters for universities. the firm also advises clients in the manufacturing industry. Andrew Roberts and Sarah Conroy head the team. Michelle Connor joined as associate from DLA Piper UK LLP and James Walsh joined as solicitor from Aaron & Partners LLP.

Commercial property: Liverpool Tier 2

Weightmans LLP is regularly instructed by public sector clients on a range of  regeneration projects. The education and retail sectors are a key focus and the team is also engaged on residential development projects. Clive Bleasdale leads the local government sector real estate team and stands out for his experience in regeneration projects. Janice Weatherly is instructed by education sector clients and also acts for owner-managed businesses. National head of property operations David Tabinor handles volume real estate mandates, while Matthew Williamson is experienced in retail sector work and Christopher Grady specialises in residential development mandates.

Corporate and commercial: Liverpool Tier 2

Weightmans LLP handles M&A, corporate governance, funding, general company law advice and commercial affairs for public and private companies. Other areas of practice include succession planning, joint ventures, shareholder reorganisations and venture capital, private equity transactions and GDPR compliance. Clients sectors include built environment, financial services, retail, utilities, transport, logistics, leisure, manufacturing, professional services and insurance. Manchester-based Sarah Walton heads the team. Laurence Pritchard and John Schorah are also recommended.

Corporate tax Tier 2

Weightmans LLP handles the tax aspects of corporate acquisitions and disposals, restructurings, demergers and capital reductions. The firm focuses on the SME and owner-managed business markets where it designs and implements employee incentive schemes, in particular enterprise management incentive (EMI) schemes. Other clients include professionals, which it provides legal tax support to, developers, investors and public sector bodies, which it advises on UK real estate transactions. Haydn Rogan heads the team.

EU and competition Tier 2

Weightmans LLP advises on cartel damages, competition law, state aid and procurement law. It has a particular focus on the food and drink, and insurance sectors and also advises local authorities, listed companies, universities, developers and venture funds on state aid issues with grants, loans and deal structures. Laurence Pritchard heads the team and advises on EU and UK competition law, including merger control and the control of anti-competitive agreements and practices.

IT and telecoms Tier 2

Weightmans LLP advises public and private sector clients on IT procurement, and commercial, IP, data, media and entertainment matters. Other areas of expertise include IT-related data issues including strategic dataflow, GDPR compliance and contractual frameworks, outsourcing, contract management and data protection. Sean Crotty heads the team, working in tandem with managing partner John Schorah.

Local government Tier 2

Weightmans LLP's local government expertise spans major regeneration, projects, property, construction, planning, employment, civil litigation, commercial debt recovery, prosecutions, governance issues, commercial matters, public procurement, State aid, housing, child and adult social care mandates. Team head Simon Goacher advises on governance matters for many local authorities and often conducts sensitive investigations.

Media and entertainment Tier 2

Weightmans LLP mainly advises clients in the interactive video games sector. Areas of expertise include negotiating deals with major publishers and platform holders. The firm also advises on tax relief within the sector. Sean Crotty heads the team and represents media and entertainment clients on development agreements, licensing, talent, image rights, exploitation and recording agreements.

Pensions Tier 2

Mark Poulston, who heads up the pensions team at Weightmans LLP, has particular expertise in scheme termination and risk management work for trustees and employers, as well as track record in life insurance issues. Jane Marshall has a particular focus on the intersection of employment and pensions, such as pension scheme changes, TUPE transfers and outsourcing arrangements.

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 2

Weightmans LLP acts for high-net-worth individuals and business owners on a range of matters including but not limited to wills, succession planning and lifetime trusts. Richard Bate leads the wills, trusts, tax and probate team nationally and specialises in tax mitigation and assisting business owners and those with more complicated family arrangements and asset structures with succession planning and wealth protection. John-Paul Dennis, who leads the team out of Liverpool, regularly acts as a deputy and attorney for vulnerable and elderly clients.

Planning and environment Tier 2

At Weightmans LLP the planning team is engaged on major residential and urban extension projects for local authority clients and it is adept at compulsory purchase work. Energy projects are also a key focus. The environmental team is instructed by water and resources clients on regulatory, compliance and enforcement issues. Manchester-based environmental specialist Simon Colvin leads the firm’s environment and utility teams and is ably supported by associate Julie Goulbourne who is a specialist contentious lawyer. Associate David Mathias heads the planning team in Manchester, while Lee Gordon, who is based across the Leeds and Manchester offices, leads the planning and infrastructure team.

Social housing Tier 2

Weightmans LLP acts for housing associations on a range of property management matters; it is noted for its experience in handling issues arising out of anti-social behaviour and handles claims for disrepair and possession. The team also offers pensions, corporate, corporate governance, commercial, employment, contentious construction, development and regeneration work, home ownership, landlord and tenant, and securitisation matters. Sian Evans heads the team, which includes associates Matthew Wilson, who recently joined from Clarke Willmott LLP, and Thomas Starkey, who heads the real estate division of the social housing practice.

Commercial litigation: Manchester Tier 3

Weightmans LLP's Manchester commercial litigation practice has a particular focus on intellectual property-related disputes, while other areas in which the firm specialises include shareholder disputes and unfair prejudice claims, complex breach of warranty claims and property damage and recovery cases. Andrew Cox heads the team, which has recently seen an increase in work relating to judicial review matters. Other key partners include former national commercial litigation head Robert Jones, Manchester office head Richard Corran and Damian Carter, who formerly led the commercial litigation team at Manchester firm Berg before joining Weightmans in 2017.

Corporate and commercial: Manchester Tier 3

Weightmans LLP focuses on M&A work for owner managed businesses. Client sectors include IT, digital and creative, public sector, higher education and healthcare. Sarah Walton heads the team and specialises in M&A, private equity, investments, joint ventures and strategic projects. Other areas of expertise for the team include corporate finance, fundraisings, governance, demergers and disposals. The firm also deals with contractual and corporate structures, procurement and IP, including university spin-outs.

Property litigation Tier 3

Weightmans LLP regularly handles large and high-value property portfolio management mandates and is adept at landlord and tenant disputes. The team is engaged on a number of cases involving rent collection, arrears, tenant insolvency and dilapidation disputes. The retail, education and public sectors are key areas of focus. Sian Evans in Liverpool heads the social housing and real estate litigation department. Associate John Darnell, who is also based in Liverpool, manages the national property litigation team.

Banking and finance Tier 4

Weightmans LLP stands out for its experience in advising on the establishment of European Funds. The team is headed by the 'outstanding' Patricia Grinyer and acts for banks and borrowers on bilateral and syndicated facilities. It regularly handles public sector finance and is particularly strong in the education sector, while property finance is also a key area of expertise.

Commercial property: Manchester Tier 4

Weightmans LLP handles a range of development and investment transactions and is noted for its experience in regeneration mandates. The team acts for a raft of public sector clients but also advises a number of private sector clients. Karl Jackson is the head of built environment; he specialises in city centre regeneration work and is also experienced in development mandates. Andrea Steventon is also a key figure. Steven Silver has joined Squire Patton Boggs.

Construction Tier 4

Weightmans LLP is a 'first-rate' firm for contentious construction mandates, and the team is instructed on a raft of construction projects for public and private sector clients. Its expertise spans the education, social housing and health sectors. National head of construction Colette Morgan-Ford is noted for complex contentious work, as are Tom Collins and David Rogers. The team was recently bolstered by the arrival of Ian Hardman, who handles non-contentious construction, from Brabners LLP.

Weightmans is an award-winning UK law firm, employing more than 1,200 people. The firm has grown rapidly because of its focus on two key aspects of its business: its clients and its people.

The firm: Weightmans’ people are determined to achieve the best result for their clients. The firm monitors results to provide value that can be measured – ensuring clients come back time and time again and that it is their preferred choice of legal service provider. As such the firm recognises the importance of its people enjoying what they do. That’s why it is committed to creating a friendly and inspiring working environment.

Types of work undertaken: The firm’s practice is structured into six key segments: built environment, corporates, insurance, owner managed businesses (OMB), private client and public bodies.

In brief, the firm offers a formidable reputation and heritage in insurance in which it is a leading national player; a substantial and diverse range of commercial services for public sector bodies, large institutions, owner-managed businesses and plcs; an impressive reputation in the public sector market, acting for many local, police and fire authorities and a range of NHS trusts, and a full family and private client service, including wills, tax, probate and residential conveyancing.

Weightmans is a national firm with international reach, with an extensive informal network of law firms in most foreign jurisdictions courtesy of its membership of Insurance Law Global (ILG) and Legalink.

Clients: the firm’s clients include insurance companies, public sector organisations, UK plcs, multinational companies, education establishments, private individuals, SMEs and owner managed businesses.

Other offices: Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, London, Manchester

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partner John Schorah
Senior partner David Lewis
Built environment Karl Jackson
Corporates Tim Lang
Insurance Rob Williams
OMB Paul Raftery
Private client Carole Atkinson
Public bodies Martin Forshaw
Photo Name Position Profile
 Carole Atkinson  photo Carole Atkinson
 Chris Ball  photo Chris Ball
 Clive Bleasdale  photo Clive Bleasdale
 Rebecca Blythe  photo Rebecca Blythe
 Jim Bryant  photo Jim Bryant
 Mike Burns  photo Mike Burns
 Victoria Coleman  photo Victoria Coleman
 Andrew Cooper  photo Andrew Cooper
 Andrew Cox  photo Andrew Cox
 Sean Crotty  photo Sean Crotty
 Fiona Davidson  photo Fiona Davidson
 Graham Dean  photo Graham Dean
 Martin Edwards  photo Martin Edwards
 Sian Evans  photo Sian Evans
 Peter Forshaw  photo Peter Forshaw
 Martin Forshaw  photo Martin Forshaw
 Mickaela Fox  photo Mickaela Fox
 Simon Goacher  photo Simon Goacher
 Mike Grant  photo Mike Grant
 Patricia Grinyer  photo Patricia Grinyer
 Mandy Higgins  photo Mandy Higgins
 Jonathan Hodgkinson  photo Jonathan Hodgkinson
 James Holman  photo James Holman
 David Holt  photo David Holt
 Roland Hutchins  photo Roland Hutchins
 Phil James  photo Phil James
 Richard Jolly  photo Richard Jolly
 Charles Jones  photo Charles Jones
 Kieran Jones  photo Kieran Jones
 Stuart Jones  photo Stuart Jones
 Gary Jones  photo Gary Jones
 Victoria Morris  photo Victoria Morris
 Stephen Peacock  photo Stephen Peacock
 Mark Poulston  photo Mark Poulston
 Laurence Pritchard  photo Laurence Pritchard
 Will Quinn  photo Will Quinn
 Andrew Roberts  photo Andrew Roberts
 John Schorah  photo John Schorah
 David Tabinor  photo David Tabinor
 Peter Wake  photo Peter Wake
 Janice Weatherly  photo Janice Weatherly
 Stuart Whittle  photo Stuart Whittle
 Rob Williams  photo Rob Williams
 Emlyn Williams  photo Emlyn Williams
 Charles Williams  photo Charles Williams
 Matthew Williamson  photo Matthew Williamson
Number of UK partners : 197
Number of other UK fee-earners : 633