Firm Profile > FS Legal > Altrincham, England

FS Legal
Capital HOUSE
12 Oxford Road
WA14 2EB

Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the North West Tier 1

Julia Norris and Kit Sorrell jointly head the team at disputes boutique FS Legal. Active on a broad range of litigation, Sorrell is an expert in contractual, shareholder and partnership disputes while Norris brings breadth to the practice with expertise outside of general commercial litigation including professional negligence and construction disputes. The broader team is also active in respect of manufacturing and engineering disputes as well as warranty claims.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

George Urquhart

Clients of Blackstar (Europe) Limited (in Liquidation)

Professional negligence Tier 1

Litigation boutique FS Legal specialises in claimant professional negligence work, often acting against banks, financial institutions and major insurers, with a strong offering in tax negligence disputes and financial services professional negligence claims. Experienced litigator Kit Sorrell jointly heads the team with Julia Norris. Senior associate Nicola Stanley is recommended for her expertise in sub-prime lending and shared ownership.

Practice head(s):


‘A small but perfectly formed team who have brought together their individual experiences in this area to form a very bespoke team that takes on the big firms acting for the professional indemnity insurers.’

‘They have developed some excellent and very sizeable work in this area and really know what they are doing whilst maintaining a personal relationship with clients.’

Banking litigation Tier 3

FS Legal is highlighted for experience in representing investors in disputes relating to negligent financial advice. Gareth Fatchett has particular experience in this area and leads the team alongside corporate parter Paul Crutchley, who counts financial advisers, brokers, insurers among his clients.

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 Legal Director
 Christine Newton  photo Christine Newton Legal Director Before joining FS Legal as a Legal Director in December…
Ms Julia Norris photo Ms Julia Norris PARTNERJulia is recognised as a Leader in the Field in Professional Negligence…
 Sunny Patel  photo Sunny Patel SOLICITORSunny has a wide range of litigation experience involving high value and…
Mr Kit Sorrell  photo Mr Kit Sorrell PARTNERKit is personally ranked as a Leader in the Field in both…
 Nicola Stanley  photo Nicola Stanley Senior Associate Nicola has 16 years’ experience in Dispute Resolution and has…
Number of UK partners : 4
Number of other UK fee-earners : 15