Firm Profile > FS Legal > Altrincham, England

FS Legal
Capital HOUSE
12 Oxford Road
WA14 2EB

Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the North West Tier 1

Litigation boutique FS Legal acts for a range of clients in relation to contractual disputes, financial services claims, arbitration, shareholders disputes, warranty claims and injunctions. Other areas of expertise include judicial review, group litigation, tax litigation, property litigation and breach of fiduciary duty. Kit Sorrell - 'a leading commercial litigator who has seen and done it all' - and 'brilliant lawyer and strategist' Julia Norris head the team, which was recently boosted by the arrival of Christine Newton as legal director from an in-house position at Arrow XL.


Kit Sorrell is a leading commercial litigator who has seen and done it all’.

Julia Norris is very client friendly’.

Quick, efficient, responsive, and cost effective’.

Kit Sorrell is highly regarded as a hard-nosed litigator. Julia Norris is a brilliant lawyer and strategist – together they make a fantastic team’.

Key clients

Michael Halsall,  Bernard Higgins Paul Stanton David McDermot (Michael W Halsall Solicitors)

George Urquhart

Leasehold Clients

Blackstar/E-Shares Clients

Professional negligence Tier 1

Litigation boutique FS Legal has particular expertise in financial negligence claims and complex tax negligence claims against banks, financial institutions and major insurers, with values in the multimillion to billion-pound range. The practice, which is jointly run by Kit Sorrell and Julia Norris, conducts the vast majority of their cases on a fully contingent, no win no fee basis. Senior associate Nicola Stanley is another key member of the team, while Christine Newton joined as a legal director from logistics firm Arrow XL in December 2018.


The firm has developed an impressive niche expertise in claims against accountants, tax advisers and other financial professionals. They are particularly experienced in professional negligence claims arising from failed tax avoidance schemes.

Kit Sorrell is very experienced in professional negligence claims; something of an elder statesman on the Manchester legal scene. Julia Norris is keen, commercially astute and has formidable capacity for absorbing complex case files in short time.

Julia Norris’ advice is clear, concise and confident.

Julia Norris is very responsive and demystifies complex issues.’

FS Legal are utterly fearless and fight for their clients, offering an unbelievable service. They believe in their ability to pick winning cases but there is an underlying desire to assist people who have been subject of professional negligence and have lost all their savings.

Julia Norris is an absolute superstar and one of the best professional negligence lawyers around – the combination of Kit Sorrell with all his contacts and experience with a brilliant young lawyer make a fabulous team, and they are proving hugely effective.

Key clients

Michael W Halsall Solicitors

George Urquhart

Leasehold Clients

Blackstar/E-Shares Clients

Banking litigation Tier 3

Gareth Fatchett and Paul Crutchley  are the two key names at FS Legal . Fatchett acts for investors who have received negligent financial advice, whereas managing partner Crutchley is a corporate and commercial lawyer with a strong emphasis on the financial services sector.

Recognised by both The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners as a leading firm, FS Legal Solicitors LLP (FS Legal) is a specialist firm of lawyers which focuses on complex and high-value litigation while also providing corporate support services.

FS Legal has recently been awarded the Legal 500 ‘Hall of Fame’ in the fields of both professional negligence (insurance)  and commercial litigation.

FS Legal, is also a member of the Government’s Northern Powerhouse Partnership Programme. It is one of a growing number of businesses from across the North that is part of the network. Through the scheme, partners work towards building a Northern Powerhouse in four main areas; connectivity and transport, skills, science and innovation, quality of life and culture, and devolution.

The firm typically acts on multi-million-pound claims for high-profile and well-known individuals and companies who seek out the firm based on reputation and word-of-mouth recommendation alone. FS Legal does not act for banks, insurers or other large institutions and prides itself on remaining conflict-free.

The firm: With offices in Manchester and Birmingham, FS Legal has a national presence and boasts a team of highly skilled litigators and corporate lawyers who are renowned as specialists in their field. The firm also has a national network of retained clients who are regulated by the financial regulators (the FCA and PRA) and the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

The firm specialises in litigation and is particularly renowned for high-profile tax negligence claims in which it frequently recovers seven-figure settlement sums for its clients. FS Legal is also known for dealing with complex commercial litigation including shareholder disputes, contract litigation and construction disputes for national corporations and high net worth individuals as well as professional negligence claims against a wide range of professionals and their insurers.

FS Legal’s lawyers have been recognised individually by The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners along with the Manchester Law Society and Birmingham Law Society in their respective annual legal awards. They are frequently quoted in the press including the Financial Times, The Mail on Sunday, FT Adviser, Citywire, Moneymarketing and IFA Online.

Manchester Partner, Kit Sorrell, has become the first lawyer in the North West to be inducted into the Legal 500 Hall of Fame for professional negligence work. Kit has been recognised for being at the pinnacle of the legal profession for  the last ten years and has also been awarded Hall of Fame status for commercial litigation.

Kit’s Hall of Fame entry for commercial litigation makes him one of only seven lawyers in the North West of England to receive this honour.

Manchester Partner, Julia Norris, was invited by Sir Eric Pickles to write a submission on the industry and best practice in the inaugural Law and Justice edition of the 2018 Parliamentary Review with forewords from Prime Minister Theresa May and President of the Law Society, Joe Egan.

Types of work undertaken:

Litigation and dispute resolution: the firm advises on general commercial litigation (business and individuals), high-value and complex professional negligence claims, construction disputes, commercial contracts, sports litigation, shareholder and partnership disputes, breach of warranty and guarantee claims and international asset tracing. It has a unique and exceptionally high level of experience in the financial services sector, acting for both the professional advisor industry and individual investors and has successfully recovered millions of pounds for investors caught up in failed tax schemes and high-profile fund collapses.

Construction disputes: FS Legal has a specialist team with extensive experience of the technical, legal and practical issues that can arise during construction projects, including claims for payments, damages and defects in design and construction. This team includes nationally renowned litigators. The firm also advises on other forms of resolution that may be available including arbitration, adjudication, ADR, dispute review boards, expert determination or mediation. Where litigation does prove necessary, clients benefit from the team’s recognised contentious capability. It has extensive experience in the Technology and Construction Court and has successfully represented well-known corporate clients and local authorities in disputes with architects, surveyors, engineers, project managers and developers.

Corporate: FS Legal advises many firms on a wide range of issues. The firm’s focus is mainly on SME and owner-managed businesses of all kinds (whether limited companies, limited liability partnerships or unincorporated businesses). It has a down-to-earth and straightforward approach to the matters clients raise, and covers incorporation advice; business sales and purchases; advice to directors and shareholders; shareholder agreements; partnership and LLP agreements; and restructurings.

Commercial contracts: from contracts with suppliers and customers to the engagement of self-employed individuals, FS Legal can provide a variety of agreements to protect businesses, including terms of business; appointed representative agreements; introducer agreements; self-employed contracts; and exclusivity agreements.

Employment: FS Legal has specialist employment lawyers who understand the regulated sectors as well as the dynamic employment law background. The firm covers both contentious and non-contentious employment matters. These include: drafting employment contracts; preparing policies and handbooks; advice on and representation at employment tribunals; compromise (settlement) agreements; and advice on restrictive covenants and business protection.

Pensions including pension schemes and trustee responsibilities: Trevor Clarke, who advises in this field for the firm, has over 25 years of experience in this specialist and highly complex area of law, advising employers, trustees, members and other beneficiaries, investors, investment advisers, fund managers and IFAs, insolvency practitioners, actuaries and accountants, and law firms that require a specialist outsourced pension law service. The firm also provides advice in respect of SSAS and SIPPS.

Notable cases

Halsall v Champion Consulting Ltd [2017] EWHC 1079 (QB)

Represented the claimants in a £6M claim arising out of tax avoidance schemes. This widely reported case is believed to be one of the first claims of this type to reach the courts.

Anthony Barness and Otrs v Formation Group Pls & Otrs

Representing one of the 150 defendants in this multi million pound claim brought by over 260 separate claimants. The claims concern tax avoidance schemes, football agent disputes and allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation.

Representing the claimants in a £9M action arising out of EBT and EFURBs tax mitigations schemes in a claim against their tax advisers and accountants.

Represented a high profile claimant in a £22M claim against his former solicitors, a well known national firm, concerning the acquisition of a substantial shareholding of a UK PLC.

Acting for a group of high net worth individuals in a £5M claim against an international law practice arising out of negligent conduct of litigation initially brought against their accountants and tax advisers.

Acting for a client in a seven-figure professional negligence claim against Gibraltar based IFA company arising out of the clients’ investment into a £50M failed investment scheme.

Acting for minority shareholder in a shareholder dispute in relation to his holding in a highly successful engineering company. Action resolved with an order for the purchase of his shares on very satisfactory terms.

Acting for a national property/property development company in Judicial Review proceedings challenging enforcement orders made by the Authority which threatened a regeneration scheme the value of which ran to many hundreds of millions of pounds.

Acting for a sports management company in a dispute over the ‘ownership’ of a very high profile premier league professional footballer.

Acting for Morris Homes Group, the country’s largest privately owned house builder, in a number of complex seven-figure claims against various property professionals.

Representing the claimants in a £4M+ claim against a firm of solicitors in a loss of opportunity claim.

Represented 300+ claimants in a £3M+ claim against a firm of solicitors arising out of the promotion and sale of a land banking scheme involving four substantial land sites across the UK.

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partner, Manchester Julia Norris 0161 714 4520
Senior partner, Manchester Kit Sorrell 0161 714 4520
Managing partner, Birmingham Paul Crutchley 01384 88 99 00
Senior partner, Birmingham Gareth Fatchett 01384 88 99 00
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Mubarik Haider  photo Mr Mubarik Haider
 Christine Newton  photo Christine Newton
Mrs Julia Norris  photo Mrs Julia Norris
 Sunny Patel  photo Sunny Patel
Mr Kit Sorrell  photo Mr Kit Sorrell
 Nicola Stanley  photo Nicola Stanley
Number of UK partners : 4
Number of other UK fee-earners : 15