Firm Profile > DWF > Manchester, England

DWF
1 SCOTT PLACE
2 HARDMAN STREET
MANCHESTER
M3 3AA
England

Living Wage

Commercial litigation: Liverpool Tier 1

DWF is home to a ‘superb’ team of ‘commercial, practical and savvy’ lawyers. Though active across a plethora of industries, the group is particularly knowledgeable of the food and drink, retail and education sectors. The ‘highly impressiveAndrew Whalley heads the commercial litigation department which acts on contractual and commercial disputes in addition to shareholder and partnership-related litigation. Other key names include ‘excellent’ director Chris King  and ‘efficient, calm and effective’ senior associate Lyndsay Crowder-Barton, both of whom are well-versed in cross-border disputes. Strengths of the wider dispute resolution team include professional negligence, judicial reviews, competition matters, contentious probate and judicial reviews.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Whalley

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘This team is really good. Solid on the law, full of common sense, and really great to deal with. They seem to work together very well. I would not hesitate to recommend them.’

‘Lyndsay Crowder-Barton is excellent. Very user-friendly, efficient, calm but effective. Great to work with.’

‘The team are simply superb. Commercial, practical and savvy; they stand out from the crowd.’

‘Andrew Whalley is highly impressive – he is solutions-focused and obtains results where others would not. Chris King is also excellent – bright and even-tempered. ‘

‘Well resourced firm who react to my needs, and give commercially focused legal advice.  Down-to-earth lawyers who I would be happy to have a drink with.’

‘Andy Whalley is particularly responsive and reliable, and gives clear, practical advice, never failing to see the bigger picture.’

Key clients

Telefonica UK Limited (O2)

Burton’s Foods Limited

Stage Capital (formerly NBGI)

Crown Paints Limited

giffgaff Limited

DAS Legal Expenses Insurance Company Limited

Liverpool John Moores University

Chess ICT Limited

Lloyds Banking Group

Halewood International

Commercial litigation: Manchester Tier 1

At DWF, the commercial litigation team's 'legal knowledge is merged perfectly with tactical acumen'. The group has particular experience in representing telecoms, utilities, energy, education, food and drink, retail and public sector clients. National commercial litigation head Joel Heap specialises in corporate and company law disputes and leads the team alongside the 'simply excellent' Lee Norman, who focuses on professional negligence claims. Consultant Andrew Harris handles a range of commercial litigation and mediation and, alongside recently promoted director Nicole Burton, defended Morrisons in a high-profile group data breach claim. Former practice head Steve Morris departed to JMW Solicitors LLP while Claire Graham joined TLT.

Practice head(s):

Joel Heap; Lee Norman

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

It is a team with real strength in depth. Legal knowledge is merged perfectly with tactical acumen and they plan each case from the outset so as to put the client in the best place to achieve what they want. Very user friendly. One of the best litigation teams I have dealt with.

Joel Heap has great tactical nous coupled with great litigation instincts. Very user-friendly.

Lee Norman is simply excellent. Great command of a case and has the ability to stand back and see the available routes.

Key clients

WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc

Serco Group Limited

British Airways Plc

Telefonica UK Limited (t/a O2)

JCB Power Systems Limited (t/a JCB)

Manchester United

Zeus Capital Ltd

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Lambert Smith Hampton Group limited

Safeway Limited

Zedra Trust Company (Jersey) Limited

The Munnelly Group

Electricity Northwest

Essar Oil Plc

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 1

In addition to litigation and mediation relating to wills, probate, powers of attorney and Inheritance Act cases, DWF also acts for trustees and trust companies in trust administration issues and bankruptcy disputes. Working across the firm's Manchester and Liverpool offices, the team has a proven track record in complex cross-border trust and probate disputes. Manchester-based Christopher Noel leads the private capital team, while the 'very astute' Daniel Williams, who was recently promoted to director, continues to expand his practice. Liverpool-based Paul Maddock is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Williams; Christopher Noel

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘This is an excellent team in the North for contentious trusts and probate.’ 

‘I have worked with Dan Williams, who is very astute.’

‘This team is developing a well-deserved reputation in the area of contentious probate.’ 

‘Dan Williams is an outstanding young lawyer. He displayed significant maturity in dealing with a very high tension difficult 1975 Act claim.’ 

‘Really big players in this market dealing with high-value disputes.’ 

‘Dan Williams is brilliant. Clever, pragmatic and always completely calm. I have never seen him ruffled.’

‘Understand the need to avoid reliance on in-house legal team and instead work directly with the business client and provide pragmatic, commercial advice without internal team needed to intervene.’ 

Employment Tier 1

The employment team at DWF has an enviable client base of international and national corporations spanning many sectors. Restructurings, redundancy advice and large-scale TUPE exercises are among its key strengths, with additional expertise in advising on the employment aspects of outsourcing transactions and on high-level director exits. Contentious-wise, it has considerable experience in Employment Tribunals and regularly acts for clients in the Court of Appeal. Joanne Frew leads the Manchester team, while Tim Scott heads the practice in Liverpool. The 'thoughtful and empathetic' Kirsty Rogers and senior associate Sinead Donnelly are other names to note.

Practice head(s):

Joanne Frew; Tim Scott

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team at DWF provide a seamless and professional service. Their approach is consistent so you know that when you are dealing any lawyer there, you will be receiving the same advice and professionalism that you’d get from the other.’ 

‘Kirsty Rogers, in particular, is outstanding. She handled some tricky situations well and was able to educate and ensure colleagues and leaders understood the importance of the message, whilst delivering it in a thoughtful and empathetic way.’

‘The team make every effort to understand our workplace challenges, keep us updated on trends in our sectors and support with a pragmatic approach when issues arise.’ 

‘Kirsty Rogers is an outstanding partner. She manages to maintain good levels of availability and balance this with a well-briefed team who provide additional support. She is pragmatic, and a great sounding board for all people challenges.’

‘The team at DWF strive to understand real issues and give practical solutions.’ 

‘Tim Scott is very approachable and is always on hand to give practical, business-specific advice in a way that is easy to understand and implement.’ 

Key clients

BT

Munnelly Group plc

Homebase

adidas

Lloyds of London

Guy Carpenter

LJMU

Chemring

Allvotec Limited

Watkin Jones Group

Lifeways

Redx Pharma plc

SGS United Kingdom

Alternative Futures Group

Impella

EU and competition Tier 1

At DWF, practice head Jonathan Branton splits his time between Leeds and Manchester, handling high-profile work such as advising PepsiCo and subsidiary Walkers Crisps on the acquisition of Pipers Crisps. In addition to acting on merger control, the department is distinguished for its handling of EU state aid matters, EU procurement matters and EU funding regulatory issues. Cartels are a further area strength for the team, which also includes Colin Murray, an expert on public law, procurement and governance. Senior associate Jay Mehta’s strengths lie in representing education sector clients, local authorities and combined authorities.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Branton

Other key lawyers:

Colin Murray; Jay Mehta; James Lupton

Key clients

Homes England

Irish Government

OSRAM Licht Group

Birmingham City Council & Finance Birmingham

Serco

Maven Capital Partners LLP

University of Liverpool

PepsiCo

National Lottery Heritage Fund / National Lottery Community Fund

Liverpool City Council & Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Manchester City Council

Stockport Council

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Cheshire & Warrington LEP

Barnfield Group

Welsh Government

Marshall Construction

Northern Trust Limited

Lancashire County Council (& LEP)

Health and safety Tier 1

Acting for a broad range of both companies and employees, DWF's health and safety team is frequently involved in disaster cases resulting from major incidents, including corporate manslaughter, fatalities and very serious injuries. North West team head Vikki Woodfine works closely with transport and logistics clients on health and safety matters, while Steffan Groch is considered a true heavyweight in this space. Solicitor Amanda Lea is noted for her work with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea regarding the Grenfell Public Inquiry and the ongoing criminal investigation by the Metropolitan Police, while Joanne Witheford is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Steffan Groch; Vikki Woodfine; Gary Smith

Other key lawyers:

Simon Belfield; Amanda Lea; Joanne Witheford

Testimonials

‘They are real people who talk like humans, not lawyers!’ 

‘Communication skills and the ability to reassure the client that everything possible that can be done is being done. Early recognition of the key issues to adopt the best strategy possible at the earliest opportunity.’ 

‘Immediate response and thorough investigation of the incidents plus continued liaison with all parties involved at all times outlining the key issues and strategies providing confidence to all that they will achieve the best possible outcome.’

Key clients

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Royal & Sun Alliance (RSA)

Booker PLC

Wincanton PLC

Pen Underwriting

Tokio Marine Kiln Group Limited

Ecclesiastical

NFU Mutual

DAS Legal Expenses Insurance

Chubb Insurance Company

Hiscox Underwriting Limited

Amlin UK Limited

Immigration Tier 1

Though wide-ranging in scope, the business immigration team at DWF is particularly adept at securing Home Office sponsorship licences, and subsequently assisting with migrant sponsorship applications and advice on Home Office reporting obligations. Headed by John Dorney, the department has an impressive client base, including multinationals, FTSE 100 and AIM-listed businesses, and financial sector leaders. Areas of growth for the team include Brexit-related advice, right to work and unlawful working issues, and Tier 1 investor, Entrepreneur and Exceptional Talent Visa applications.

Practice head(s):

John Dorney

Other key lawyers:

Roxanne Buckley; Emily Snape

Testimonials

‘We have always found the team to be knowledgeable in the area of immigration. They are able to translate the requirements into workable solutions for their clients and ensure we understand our responsibilities.’ 

‘We have received advice and assistance from John Dorney, who has been extremely helpful in providing advice, making it easy to understand the issues. He is very up to date with his knowledge.’ 

Key clients

adidas UK Limited

Airplus International (Part of Lufthansa)

Aquagen Limited

Aviagen Limited

Gruppo Campari

Impellam Group PLC

Liberty Living PLC

Stephenson Group

NES Holding Group

Majestic Wine PLC

Munnelly Group PLC

Simul8 Limited

Ultraserve Europe Limited

Vesuvius PLC

Western Thermal Limited

IT and telecoms Tier 1

Craig Chaplin, practice head of DWF, is widely considered a market leader for IT, telecoms and technology-focused outsourcing and infrastructure projects. He notably acts for Manchester United, advising the club on a variety of matters including a master services agreements with a major supplier in relation to the provision of payment processing services. James Lonsdale is another key member of the team; he works on a wide range of IT and telecoms contracts. The team is also well-versed in disputes and actively represents clients from the financial services, insurance and retail industries, among others.

Practice head(s):

Craig Chaplin

Other key lawyers:

James Lonsdale; Andrew Whalley

Key clients

Telefonica UK Limited (O2)

Utiligroup

Fourth Limited

Manchester United

Marks & Spencer

BT

Serco Limited

Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC

Barrett Steel Limited

City Football Group Limited

Local government Tier 1

DWF is known for its strength in public procurement, with specialisms in regeneration and infrastructure schemes and insurance work for local authorities, with state aid expertise provided by a dedicated team led by public sector and EU competition head Jonathan Branton, who divides his time between the UK and Brussels. Colin Murray heads the practice and has significant expertise in public law, procurement, governance and commercialisation issues. Associate Bradley Martin is noted for his record of advising local authorities on regeneration projects and outsourcing deals.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Branton; Colin Murray

Other key lawyers:

James Lupton; Paul Brown; Bradley Martin

Key clients

Wirral Metropolitan Council

Liverpool City Council

Lancashire County Council

Wigan Council

Conwy County Borough Council

Cheshire and Warrington LEP

South Tyneside Council

Cornwall County Council

West Lindsey District Council

Bradford Council

Wakefield Council

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Wrexham County Borough Council

West Midlands Combined Authority

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Hull City Council

Leeds City Council

Birmingham City Council & Finance Birmingham

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 1

DWF’s team predominantly focuses on supporting regional businesses and the related family interests, specifically acting for entrepreneurs, high-net-worth families and trusts on a variety of matters. Key areas of strength are capital tax and pre-sale planning work, the preparation of wills, trust and lasting powers of attorney mandates, estate and trust administrations, and issues relating to complex tax planning vehicles including family investment companies, limited partnerships and family offices. The Manchester team is led by Christopher Noel, who was promoted to partner in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Noel

Professional negligence Tier 1

The professional negligence department at DWF covers claims involving all the ‘traditional' professions, and has recently advised on high-value claims on architects’ and contractors’ professional indemnity insurance policies. Experience within the team extends to Directors & Officers coverage advice, and matters in the IT and media sectors relating to breach of contract and intellectual property issues. Andrew MacLeod heads the team and has significant experience in the defence of complex claims against construction professionals and insurance brokers. Senior associates Nathan Penny-Larter and Hilary Harrison are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Andrew MacLeod

Testimonials

‘Great with clients and complex advice.’

‘Hilary Harrison, in particular, stands out from the crowd, and is more than capable of running complex litigation without partner input.’

Banking litigation Tier 2

The finance litigation team at DWF attracts praise for its 'excellent sector knowledge' and 'commercial mindset'. The group is particularly strong in asset finance litigation and has been increasingly active in the payments, consumer and retail banking sectors. Asset finance and fraud litigation expert Ritchie Irvine leads the team alongside national practice head John Perez, who has particular expertise in motor finance matters. Ben Johnson is highlighted for his combination of fraud-related retail banking litigation knowledge, asset finance industry experience and regulatory payment services expertise; while Julia Perez manages volume recoveries for major banking and commercial clients.

Practice head(s):

Ritchie Irvine; John Perez

Other key lawyers:

Ben Johnson; Julia Perez; Mahesh Vara

Testimonials

Very approachable at partner and associate level, excellent sector knowledge and proactive in their recommendations on strategy. They have a commercial mindset and are outcome-focused.

Ritchie and team are a great support function to my business. They understand our pressures and provide us with great guidance to safeguard the bank.

Diverse in-depth comprehensive understanding of relevant legislation and dispute resolution by commercial negotiation.

Ben Johnson and associate Mahesh Vara are both excellent and have provided clear and commercial advice throughout. They are always responsive and have exceeded our expectations on several matters where there have been late developments.

The human element when dealing with a legal situation is invaluable. My team and I are not lawyers or have a great understanding of the law so Ritchie and the DWF team help bridge that gap for us.

Comprehensive understanding of subject matter relayed at a level that the non-expert can interpret a understand.

Key clients

Lloyds Banking Group, including Lloyds Bank plc, Bank of Scotland plc and Lloyds Commercial Finance.

Shawbrook Bank Limited

RBS Group, including National Westminster Bank Plc

Aldermore Bank Plc

Santander Consumer (UK) plc trading as Santander Consumer Finance.

KBL European Private Bankers SA

UK Asset Resolution Limited (UKAR), including Bradford & Bingley plc, Mortgage Express and NRAM plc (formerly called Northern Rock plc).

NextGear Capital UK Limited (part of the Cox Automotive Group)

PSA Finance UK Ltd

Metro Bank Plc

Brown Shipley & Co. Limited.

Together Money (formerly Lancashire Mortgages/Blemain)

Hyundai Capital UK Ltd

Barclays Partner Finance

Elavon Financial Services DAC

Payvision BV

Corporate and commercial: Liverpool Tier 2

At DWF, Paul Rimmer tailors his practice towards M&A and private equity transaction with a track record of representing national PE funds and high-profile corporates; he heads the practice together with Ben Cooke who regularly advises on commercial contracts such as procurement, outsourcing, concession and marketing agreements. Paul Attwood recently stepped down from his role as co-practice head though remains active in the team, leveraging his knowledge of the food, technology, hospitality and education sectors. Other key strengths include management buy-outs and group reorganisations.

Practice head(s):

Ben Cooke; Paul Rimmer

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Inflexion Private Equity

Marks and Spencer Plc

Livingbridge Private Equity

Optionis Group

ACC Liverpool Group

Liverpool John Moores University

Burton’s Biscuits

National Museums Liverpool

Hobs Group

Corporate and commercial: Manchester Tier 2

At DWF, the team's commercial work spans manufacturing, supply and logistics agreements, among others. On the corporate side, the firm handles private equity, M&A and local and central government governance matters. Key figures include national commercial and competition head Craig Chaplin, national corporate head Frank Shephard and private equity head Jonathan Robinson.

Corporate tax Tier 2

At DWF, Liverpool partner James Cashman is the key contact for the North West market. His practice spans employee incentives and share schemes, private equity investments, restructures, disposals and management incentives in addition to the tax aspects of M&A. Real estate development work, landlord and tenant issues, acquisitions and disposals are also a core field of work. Particular focus is directed towards the technology, financial services and retail sectors.

Practice head(s):

John Toon; Jon Stevens

Other key lawyers:

James Cashman; Andrew Carr

Key clients

Sovereign Capital Partners

Inflexion Private Equity

NVM Private Equity

North Edge Capital

Velocity Composites PLC

Equiniti Group PLC

Adidas (UK) Limited

Vivona Brands Limited

Assura PLC

Digitalbox PLC

Redx Pharma PLC

Crime: fraud Tier 2

The financial crime and fraud team at DWF handles matters including investigations by regulatory authorities, payments regulation and fintech, and insurance fraud relating to motor, casualty and property damage claims. A key area of work is in fraud allegations arising out of data protection and privacy disputes. The practice has extensive sector experience in insurance, retail, hospitality, finance, transport and logistics. Lorraine Carolan leads DWF’s national financial crime and fraud team.

Practice head(s):

Lorraine Carolan

Other key lawyers:

Ritchie Irvine; Joel Heaps; Jamie Taylor

Key clients

LVFS

LV General Insurance

Amazon

Aviva

NFU Mutual

QBE

Markerstudy

RSA

Insure the Box

Covea Ageas

Energy Tier 2

DWF advises a wide range of energy clients on corporate, finance, commercial, real estate, planning, environmental and projects matters. Practice head Catherine Haslam is an expert in renewable energy projects, namely wind, solar, biomass and energy storage, while the wider team is also adept in the gas, electricity, battery storage and water sectors. A further distinguishing feature of the department is its extensive knowledge of regulatory issues. The practice was recently significantly bolstered by the arrival of former DLA Piper practice head Darren Walsh; as former head of legal services for the British Nuclear Group, he strengthens the team's already reputed offering in the nuclear sector.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Haslam

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Branton; Darren Walsh

Key clients

ScottishPower Group (including ScottishPower Energy Retail, ScottishPower Energy Networks, SP Transmission, ScottishPower Generation, ScottishPower Energy Management and ScottishPower Renewables)

Yorkshire Gas and Power

Yingli Namene Solar Limited & Yingli Green Energy Europe GmbH

Doosan Power Systems SA

Whitbread Group plc

Vensys Energy AG

Canary Wharf Group

Aberdeenshire Council, Aberdeen City Council and Moray Council

Dundee City Council and Angus Council

South Staffordshire plc

Steag energy solutions GmbH

Discovery Park Limited

Farm Energy Partnership LLP

United Utilities Renewable Energy Limited

Quartzelec

WM Morrisons Supermarkets plc

Marks & Spencer plc

Places for People

Essar Oil

MRC Global

Intellectual property Tier 2

DWF represents brands, manufacturers and retailers , offering specialist knowledge of sectors including manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, technology, leisure, hospitality and food and drink. Department head Craig Chaplin is an expert in non-contentious matters, handling everything from IP acquisitions and disposals through to research, development and licensing. The wider team is also active on the disputes front, led by Asima Rana, with specialist knowledge of defending IP infringement and breach of confidence claims, along with trade mark-related disputes.

Practice head(s):

Craig Chaplin; Asima Rana

Other key lawyers:

Paul Attwood; Catherine Harrison

Key clients

Marks & Spencer

James Cropper plc

Wolters Kluwer

Tangerine Confectionary

Didsbury Gin

WM Morrison Supermarkets plc

Burton Foods Limited

Pepkor Europe Limited (Poundland)

Manchester City

Fix 8 Group

Licensing Tier 2

The licensing team at DWF focuses on the retail, food and hospitality sectors. Key areas of work include obtaining and maintaining premises licences, handling temporary events and providing advice on the full range of licensing legislation. Senior associate David Crank leads the practice.

Practice head(s):

David Crank

Key clients

Booker Group

Mucho Mas Limited

NewRiver now Hawthorn Community Pubs

Battersea Power Station Project

Village Hotels

Manchester Metropolitan University

Powerleague Group Limited

Starboard Hotels

Earlsdon Holdings

Colcaster SARL Group

Pensions Tier 2

'Hardworking and engaged' senior associate Sinead Sheehan heads the Manchester pensions team at DWF, which acts for high-profile corporations along with its trustee advisory practice. Focusing on the retail, transport, utilities and insurance sectors, the department is adept at handling complex multi-employer, industry-wide pension schemes, as well as pensions litigation, namely distressed market and pensions restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Sinead Sheehan

Testimonials

‘A developing team and one to watch for the future. Being part of a large corporate law firm will allow the team to develop further and increase turnover from the opportunities the wider firm generates, with some very high-profile companies and PLCs.’ 

‘Sinead Sheehan is doing the work of a partner in stabilising the team, retaining and developing key clients and ensuring that financial hygiene is maintained. In a practice area where many practitioners seek only to find problems, Sinead stands out with a problem-solving attitude to her work.’ 

‘Sinead Sheehan is an excellent senior associate; hardworking and engaged.’ 

Key clients

WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc

Trustee of Standard Life DC Master Trust

Trustee of the Princes Pension Scheme and the Princes (1977) Pension Scheme

Trustee of the Edmundson Electrical Group Pension Schemes

Board of the Pension Protection Fund

Transport Tier 2

DWF's dedicated transport group has extensive expertise in crisis management, health and safety, compliance, motor criminal defence, rail, coach and bus regulatory including inquests, prosecutions and investigations by the RAIB, and insurance and claims management. Defendant work for motor insurers includes advising on fraud and low velocity impact, large and catastrophic injury, subrogated recovery schemes, small and fast track litigation, legal expense schemes and credit hire schemes. Vikki Woodfine heads the team and specialises in transport regulatory and health and safety.

Practice head(s):

Vikki Woodfine

Other key lawyers:

Nigel Teasdale

Testimonials

‘The team always go the extra mile, particularly with RTA offence cases, where the policyholder is usually an individual , facing in some instances potential prison sentences. The support they provide, advice and technical knowledge reassures our policyholders at their time of greatest need. ‘

Key clients

Booker plc

Wincanton plc

Morgan McLernon

NFU Mutual

Aviva

RSA

QBE

WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc

Virado Transport Limited

Serco plc

Banking and finance Tier 3

The banking and finance practice at DWF provides a 'highly professional service' and possesses a strong bench of practitioners across Manchester and Liverpool, forming one of the largest teams in the region. The 'practical and quick thinking' James Szerdy leads the team and handles structured and acquisition finance matters; his extensive experience is also shown through his work in the automotive sector, advising on wholesale vehicle funding structures. Another key member of the team is Paul Brown, who is active in the private and public sectors, and has a notable specialism in public sector finance mandates, acting for local authorities and government bodies.

Practice head(s):

James Szerdy

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘DWF offers not only a highly professional service but is friendly, easy to use and quick.’

‘James Szerdy – known him for over 20 years, highly professional, practical, quick thinking and helpful, nothing is too much trouble.’

Key clients

Homes and Communities Agency

Lendinvest

NextGear Capital UK Limited

Motonovo Finance Limited

Blue Motor Finance

Commercial property: Liverpool Tier 3

DWF has a 'strong regional team with national coverage' which acts for a range of public and private sector clients in sectors including retail, leisure and residential, handling development and asset management work. Julie Simms leads the real estate team; she has expertise in acting on regeneration projects in the public sector. More broadly, her clients include landlords, developers and property companies. Helen Thomas provides 'great commercial advice', and has experience with portfolio management.

Practice head(s):

Julie Simms

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Great breadth of legal services and commercial advice across several offices.’

‘A strong regional team with national coverage, which aligns with the strength of the team in the rest of the business. Strong retail property team.’

‘Helen Thomas provides great commercial advice, has a pragmatic approach to getting deals done and works at pace with our fast-moving business.’

Key clients

Wirral Council

Wigan Council

Homes England

Liverpool City Council

Costa

Handelsbanken

Royal Bank of Scotland plc

Unity Trust Bank plc

Commercial property: Manchester Tier 3

DWF has a broad client base comprising occupiers, developers, local authorities and funders. From 'paralegals up to partners' the team is 'committed to providing the right advice' on matters such as development projects and portfolio management. Anita Gupta leads the team and has experience on complex development transactions. Paul Inman's expertise helped to gain the firm a three-year panel appointment with Costa and Premier Inn for all their real estate work. David Frankland is also noted for representing developers, occupiers and investors. Naveen Gupta and Catherine Haslam are likewise recommended.

Practice head(s):

Anita Gupta

Testimonials

‘DWF at their core from paralegals up to their partners are committed to providing the right real estate advice to allow us to make to correct decisions in any transaction. They have a diverse group of people that can be contacted at any point and provide continued advice that can be trusted and is in the best interests of our business.’

‘Everyone I have personally worked with at DWF I cannot fault; however, Rachel Lawler is an exceptional solicitor who always provides timely detailed advice and will continuously go over and above to provide assistance in commercial real estate matters. She is very hard working, committed and driven to ensure where possible the correct decision is made to protect the business in the short and long term.’

Key clients

Premier Inn/Whitbread Plc

Costa

EE Limited

The adidas Group

BT Plc

Greene King

Speedy Hire Plc

Peel Holdings

Wirral Borough Council.

Blackpool Council

Construction Tier 4

DWF's construction practice undertakes both contentious and non-contentious work in the retail, education and oil and gas sectors. David Vayro heads up the team.

Practice head(s):

David Vayro

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 5

DWF has contentious and non-contentious capabilities; the group regularly brings claims against directors and also defends clients against insolvency proceedings. The firm also advises clients buying and selling insolvent businesses. Katharine Lawrenson is highly experienced at advising clients including corporate creditors and insolvency practitioners. Claire Graham departed for TLT in mid-2019.

Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant

DWF’s personal injury practice handles catastrophic injury claims, employers’ and public liability matters and motor traffic accidents. Paul Berry leads the practice; Jamie Taylor heads a dedicated counter-fraud team. Ian Slater is also noted.

Commercial litigation: Birmingham Tier 1

With 'great international connections', DWF's international arbitration and litigation practice has a strong focus on the CIS region, with particular experience in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. The team specialises in representing oligarchs and another ultra-high-net-worth individuals in disputes involving fraud allegations and corporate raids. It also handles complex contentious matters in the banking and finance, energy and technology sectors and counts shareholder disputes as a key growth area. Group head Andrew Leach also leads the firm's Russian and CIS desk and has a breadth of experience in cross-border litigation and arbitration. Darren Kenny has particular expertise in commercial fraud matters, while director Ben Griffin is carving out a niche in commercial agency disputes.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Leach

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Great international connections with lawyers and businesses in the CIS region.

They have exceptional experience in fraud work, particularly with a CIS element. This allows them to understand and respond to the motivations and concerns of clients, and to convert that into a winning strategy for litigation.

The litigation group at DWF Birmingham is made up of a team of excellent lawyers who are as capable as any top London law firm which I have previously worked with. The team has impressive knowledge and experience of civil procedure and litigation, and uses that knowledge and experience to its clients’ tactical advantage.

Andrew Leach and Ben Griffin are very available; they are smart and sharp litigators.

Darren Kenny has a excellent sense of strategy – he can see where and when to apply pressure in order to maximise the prospects of success in a case and he has a talent for spotting the best points to gain traction with a judge. It inspires confidence to work with him.

Darren Kenny is a real technical genius. By far the best commercial litigator that I have ever worked with.

Andy Leach is a great blue sky thinker, coming up with novel and effective ideas to drive litigation forward. He has a deep understanding of the position of his clients and is also an efficient and effective manager of his team – ensuring that the right individuals deal with the right parts of a case.

Andrew Leach is an experienced partner who, whilst handling overall strategy and tactics and client management, gets stuck into the detail of a case when needed.

Ben Griffin is focused, easy to work with and has excellent judgment as to where to focus on in a case.

Key clients

Sergey Fedotov

W Nagel (a firm)

Alex Shnaider (Canada’s youngest billionaire)

The West Midlands Combined Authority

Novelis

Jamtoff Trading

E-PPL

London Luton Hotel BPRA Property Fund LLP

Shaviv Strategy and Campaigns Ltd

Debt recovery Tier 1

Spread between London and Leeds, the debt recovery team at DWF assists major corporates, insurers and local authorities with front-end collections, strategic enforcement and litigation. The group is well-placed to handle both volume and high-value matters, drawing on in-house debt recovery software expertise. National head of recoveries David Scottow specialises in debt litigation and insolvency. Kevin Feehan leads the civil recovery group, focusing on cases involving theft, fraud, non-payment, shoplifting an the over-payment of salaries. James Perry spearheads the technical team, which handles non-standard cases and Jefferson Gledhill is the leader of the legal recoveries team, which focuses on deceased debt, possession proceedings and the return of goods for retailers and wholesalers.

Practice head(s):

David Scottow; Kevin Feehan; Jeff Gledhill; James Perry

Testimonials

‘The service provided is excellent and the team at DWF have an excellent knowledge of the subject area. They are efficient in processing and delivering the service required.’

‘I would not use any other team than that at DWF for the service we require.’

‘David Scottow, James Perry and Jefferson Gledhill have an excellent knowledge across all areas of debt recovery, debt litigation and enforcement.’

Key clients

Anglian Water Services Ltd

Fleetcor UK

Sainsburys Supermarkets Ltd

High Court Enforcement Officers Association

Controlaccount PLC

Hirestation Ltd

DX Network Services Limited

Marks And Spencer Plc

Asda Stores Ltd

WM Morrisons Supermarkets PLC

Scottish Water Business Stream Ltd

London Universities Purchasing Consortium

British Telecommunications Plc

Debt recovery Tier 1

The client base of DWF’s debt recovery practice includes significant publicly listed companies and government bodies. Senior director David Scottow heads up the team, which also includes directors James Perry and Kevin Feehan (the latter leads on civil recovery mandates). Creditors across the mobile technology, construction, defence and recruitment fields engage the team in high-value recovery proceedings and related dispute resolution activity. The team also provides advice on credit-management procedures for corporate clients.

Practice head(s):

David Scottow

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Sensible commercial approach to debt recovery and efficient, rapid response and follow up.’

Both breadth and depth of knowledge of debt recovery options in UK and ability to draw on global contacts.’

 

Key clients

Anglian Water Services Ltd

Fleetcor UK

Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd

High Court Enforcement Officers Association

Controlaccount PLC

Hirestation Ltd

DX Network Services Limited

Marks And Spencer Plc

Asda Stores Ltd

WM Morrisons Supermarkets PLC

Scottish Water Business Stream Ltd

London Universities Purchasing Consortium

British Telecommunications Plc

EU and competition Tier 1

DWF’s EU and competition practice is a regional leader in state aid matters, with practice head Jonathan Branton  and director Alexander Rose supporting local authorities and national and international governments on large-scale funding applications and the subsequent investigations in the UK and throughout the EU. The Leeds office works closely with partners across the firm's UK and European offices to handle cartel and merger control issues; recent work includes obtaining significant CMA clearances for corporate clients relating to high-value acquisitions.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Branton

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘DWF’s EU and competition practice has real expertise across this area, but in particular in EU State aid law. The partner in charge Jonathan Branton has developed this as an area of expertise over many years and is now on the leading State aid lawyers anywhere in the UK.’

‘The standout partner is Jonathan Branton who has specialised in EU State aid law for many years and has a depth of understanding that is not matched by anyone else in this region.

‘The standout associate is Alexander Rose who has experience working in EU State law on secondment from the government to the European Commission.’

 

Key clients

Homes England

Irish Government

OSRAM Licht Group

Birmingham City Council & Finance Birmingham

Serco

Maven Capital Partners LLP

University of Leeds

PepsiCo

National Lottery Heritage Fund / National Lottery Community Fund

Liverpool City Council & Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Leeds City Council

Hull City Council

West Yorkshire Combined Authority

East Riding of Yorkshire Council

CEG Group

Highgrove Plc/ GMI Construction

Marshall Construction

Wykeland Limited

Wakefield Council

Health and safety Tier 1

DWF's health and safety team handles both contentious and non-contentious advice for a broad client base comprising insurers and large corporates, helping them to avoid litigation and manage risk. Practice head Steffan Groch recently acted as the lead lawyer for the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea in relation to the Grenfell Tower inquiry. The team has a great deal of expertise in the energy, retail, transport, education, healthcare, construction, hotels and leisure, local authority and manufacturing sectors.

Practice head(s):

Steffan Groch

Other key lawyers:

Hilary Ross; Dominic Watkins

Testimonials

‘An excellent level of service. They are approachable and deliver pragmatic and commercially aware solutions even when dealing with the most complex and often sensitive Health and Safety matters

‘Dominic Watkins is superb! He has the ability to translate complex legal issues into a form which is readily understandable by all parties’

‘They adopt a collaborative, client focused and supportive approach’

‘With Hilary Ross and her team I know I’m in the hands of the best lawyer in the business. Hilary sees things from all sides, understands all the issues and always comes up with the practical and pragmatic answer’

‘DWF’s regulatory team in London are regularly instructed for household name clients in cases with the highest public profile. They have exceptional expertise in the law, together with a deep understanding of their clients’ industries and the reputational and business pressures they face’

‘Unrivalled in its knowledge and expertise. I have worked with very few other lawyers/legal teams that fill me with such confidence. They know the real risks for my business. They don’t just give a legal answer; they give pragmatic advice with a clear risk analysis based on actual experience in the sector that I can give straight to the board without hours of translation.’

‘There is no fluff and they are willing to give an opinion and stand by it’

Key clients

Arcadia Group Limited

Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Marks and Spencer plc

Whitbread Plc

RSA

NFU Mutual

Chubb Insurance Company

Shop Direct

Booker Plc

Intellectual property Tier 1

An enviable roster of clients - including national household names - instructs the IP team at DWF. The practice has particular expertise in assisting with the commercialisation and protection of brands, including advising on sponsorship and naming rights, comparative advertising and ambush marketing, as well as trade mark clearance searching and brand protection. On the contentious side, the team also handles design, trade mark, and patent infringement work. Practice head Ed Meikle is known for his sector expertise in retail, food, hospitality, sports, and consumer.

Practice head(s):

Ed Meikle

Key clients

Village Hotels

Panasonic

Newcastle United

Lidl

Arriva

Morrisons

MySale Group plc

Swizzels Matlow

Kavli

Tangle Teezer

M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m Tier 1

Corporate real estate makes up a large part of DWF's work; however, the corporate practice has recently been developing its capabilities in the retail, food and hospitality sectors, as well as financial services, where it specialises in the insurance/broker/intermediary market. The team is highly experienced in cross-border transactions and this remains a core growth area. Innovative technology is an important element of the firm's M&A offering, with a dedicated in-house team of software developers creating products to maximise efficiency and solve problems, including automated due diligence and disclosure platforms. Patrick Eaton heads the London corporate team and regularly advises on on domestic and cross-border M&A and joint ventures, reorganisations, equity structuring and corporate governance. Laurence Applegate and Mel Sims are names to note for their work in corporate real estate and insurance respectively; the hugely experienced Jay Birch is head of international corporate development.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Eaton (head of London corporate); Frank Shephard (head of national corporate); Jay Birch (head of international corporate development)

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Jay Birch and his team are client-orientated and extremely reactive. With Jay you feel that your interests are his. He is very business-minded, which is backed-up by his authoritative grasp of the legal issues. However, he never gets bogged down in legal issues for the sake of it. He can also read the counterparty well, and leverages his experience and knowledge of the market-players to maximise the results of the negotiation process for his client.

Jay Birch is a hard-working partner and makes himself available, wherever he may be in the world, at extremely short notice.

Key clients

Aprirose Holdings Limited

Aurelius Amethyst Limited

Cartesian Capital Group

Catalis SE

CentralNic Group Plc

Chime Sports Management

Colony NorthStar Inc.

Craven Street Capital Limited

Expedeon AG

Keywords Studios Plc

Kolbus GmbH & Co. KG

Liverpool Victoria General Insurance Group

LXI REIT PLC

MSX International

National Pension Service of the Republic of Korea

OSRAM Licht AG

Pepco Group Limited

PSC Insurance Group Limited

PepsiCo, Inc.

Punter Southall Group Limited

William Martin Compliance Solutions Limited

Personal injury: defendant Tier 1

DWF is described by one client as operating at 'the very pinnacle of defendant personal injury work', with a particular focus on complex liability claims including fatal accidents, severe brain and spinal injuries, amputations, and international matters. The team provides 'a quality and breadth of service that is unrivalled' to a range of insurers, adjusters, brokers and self-insureds, including work for more than half of the London Boroughs. The occupational health department is led by Mark Whittaker, who handles a wide range of contentious cases for county and district councils, as well as advising on the establishment of insurance-based funds. The catastrophic personal injury team is headed up by Steven King and also includes the 'outstandingRhys Sanchez. Also notable is Claire Bowler, who acts for a number of UK and European insurers across the entire spectrum of large loss and catastrophic claims.

Practice head(s):

Steven King; Mark Whittaker

Other key lawyers:

Claire Bowler; Graham Dickinson; John Lezemore; Paul Greaves; Rhys Sanchez; Catherine Kober; Seema Bains; Daniel Mitchell; Sara-Jane Eaton

Testimonials

They have been at the very pinnacle of defendant personal injury work for many years, giving their clients a quality and breadth of service that is unrivalled in this sector.

DWF are extremely experienced, efficient and robust personal injury lawyers.

Rhys Sanchez is an outstanding individual who brings a calm and measured approach while remaining extremely personable and easy to do business with.

They bring experience, tactical nous and top quality preparation to each and every case that they handle.

Key clients

RSA

Aviva

The Markerstudy Group

QBE

Direct Line Group

Travelers

MS Amlin

Ageas

Tokio Marine Kiln

QIC

LV=

Generali

Van Ameyde (UK)

MS Amlin

Hastings Direct

QBE

HDI Global

Mannheimer Versicherung AG

Wuerttemburgische Versicherung AG

Zurich Rechtschutzversicherung AG

Gefion AS

ERGO Hestia

Canopius

Social housing Tier 1

Led by housing regeneration specialist Lee Pickett, the Newcastle-based team at DWF sits within the firm’s national housing product group. The practice stands out for its second successive appointment to the panel of Homes England, and also benefits from its panel appointments by sophisticated regional providers. The department undertakes work on a broad scope of housing-related issues, but has carved out a particularly strong reputation for advising on housing regeneration schemes, including social housing delivery.

Practice head(s):

Lee Pickett

Other key lawyers:

Kelly Pearson

Key clients

Homes England

Riverside Group

Places for People Group

Home Group

Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust

Thirteen Housing Group

Ascent Homes (Advance Northumberland)

Sunderland City Council

South Tyneside Council

South Tyneside Housing Ventures Trust

Kirklees Council

Imperator Group

Progress Housing Group

North East Procurement Organisation

Calico Homes

Manningham Housing Association

Calderdale Borough Council

West Lindsey District Council

Cornwall Council

Transport Tier 1

DWF's team has extensive expertise in all modes of transport, notably road, rail, air and sea. Its varied workload covers some of the largest transport-related development projects seen in the Midlands, as well as advice to clients on the impact of disruptive technologies on the transport sector, insurance work (including personal injury and automotive insurance claims) and dispute resolution. Darren Kenny is an expert in the CMR Convention (also known as Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road).

Practice head(s):

Darren Kenny

Corporate tax Tier 2

As part of a larger UK team, DWF's group in Birmingham assists national and international clients with a wide range of tax matters. Its work covers domestic and cross-border M&A, the incorporation of tax-efficient funds, private equity deals, share schemes and real estate transactions, among other areas. Tax litigation is another area of strength; a highlight involved Jon Stevens and others representing London Luton Hotel BPRA Property Fund LLP at the First-tier Tribunal over business premises renovation allowances claimed on a large-scale property renovation.

Practice head(s):

Jon Stevens

Testimonials

Jon Stevens is a hugely impressive lawyer – commercial, technical and responsive.’

Thorough, considered and (most of all) commercial advice.’

A pleasure to work with and trusted advice on a wide variety of complex issues.’

Key clients

Whitbread Group plc

Downing LLP

West Midlands Combined Authority

London Luton Hotel BPRA Property Fund LLP

LXi REIT Plc

Birmingham City Council

Welsh Government

Lidl Great Britain Limited

PepsiCo Holdings

Alumno Group Limited

Environment Tier 2

David Egan leads the firm's nationwide environmental practice from DWF's Birmingham office, where he defends corporate clients in investigations and cases brought by regulators and local authorities. Directors and health and safety specialists Gary Smith and Simon Belfield are also recommended for their 'deep knowledge of environmental law together with the ability to engage with the commercial realities facing their clients'.

Practice head(s):

David Egan

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘DWF has a strong regulatory practice which provides clear, thorough advice in a timely fashion. It is a pleasure to work with the team.’

‘David Egan, Gary Smith and Simon Belfield are all excellent lawyers with a deep knowledge of environmental law together with the ability to engage with the commercial realities facing their clients. They provide advice which is clear, thorough and to the point. The whole team is commendable.’

Key clients

BT plc

Severn Trent plc

Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

Bloor Homes Ltd

Essar UK Ltd

West Midlands Combined Authority

Health and safety Tier 2

DWF’s regulatory, compliance and investigations practice is highly regarded for its involvement in high-profile inquests, police investigations and corporate manslaughter prosecutions. Paul Matthews leads the Leeds-based team and regularly defends public authorities, food and drink companies, manufacturing companies and transport clients. Senior associate David Chant acts in Health and Safety Executive investigations through referrals from his insurer clients. The group also has a crisis response service, provides risk mitigation advice and handles internal policy audits.

Practice head(s):

Paul Matthews

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

DWF were a very knowledgeable and professional firm to deal with. From initial contact with the team, I was given the confidence that they knew exactly how to deal with the case in the industry I was in. They had resources in place and the team in place to gain industry knowledge which reassured me I was dealing with the right firm. I felt the service I was given was bespoke to my business needs.’

‘My initial contact was with Paul Matthews. I was immediately reassured I was dealing with the correct firm as his manner and professionalism put me at ease with what was a very stressful time in the business. I felt the team went above and beyond getting to know the business and I felt they got to know me not only on a professional level but also supported me on a personal level.

Key clients

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Electricity North West

Kwik-Fit

Kerry Group

HDI Gerling

Aviva

RSA

Health and safety Tier 2

David Egan and associate Caroline Depledge at DWF work alongside the national team in acting for high-profile clients in a variety of sectors. The team is adept at helping clients to avoid prosecution for corporate manslaughter and other safety offences following the most serious incidents. It has  expertise in various sectors including energy, retail and transport as well as healthcare, construction and local government. The group receives a steady flow of instructions from both insurers and large corporates and has also acted for a number of schools and trusts, advising them on a myriad of safety and reputational issues.

Practice head(s):

David Egan (West Midlands); Steffan Groch (National) (Manchester)

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Depledge; Simon Naylor

Testimonials

The team provided fantastic proactive and reactive support, strong project management and a clear focus  to our organisation on a highly complex and extremely sensitive matter which had significant media attention‘.

‘A great provincial team that is able to match anybody in London. The Manchester and Birmingham offices are very strong hubs handling the most serious health and safety and environmental work in the UK‘.

In-depth knowledge of the law and the working practices of the HSE, giving clear and concise advice‘.

‘David Egan is a highly competent partner in his field, leading the successful Birmingham practice’.

‘David Egan and Caroline Depledge have been a great source of knowledge and very supportive during what was a stressful time for the organisation‘.

Caroline Depledge is excellent and highly competent. Clearly a high-flying member of the team who is going places. Very responsive, clear advice, professional and understands the law as well as the softer aspects of the claim and claims process‘.

Caroline Depledge is very good on her feet, befriends her clients and gets the best out of her witnesses‘.

Simon Naylor has been outstanding in his commitment, dedication, grasp of subjects and data, technical mastery to deliver a quality and timely product (often to extremely tight deadlines) and genuine empathy with both the organisation’s situation and those deeply affected by the matters they are representing us on‘.

Key clients

Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

QBE

Chubb

Zurich

Covea

NFU Mutual

RSA

Liberty Insurance Ltd

Aviva

Local government Tier 2

DWF is praised for its 'attention to detail and the knowledge of the law - both practical and academic'. Core areas of work include town centre regeneration projects, real estate issues and employment mandates;the group also has a reputable insurance practice, covering claims for historical abuse and failures of social care. Paul Donnelly, group co-head Derek Adamson and Denise Brosnan focus on insurance law and act for local authorities and their insurers. Fellow co-head Melanie Williams focuses on funding development projects.

Practice head(s):

Derek Adamson, Melanie Williams

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

The strength of this team is its in depth knowledge of the client and insurer, the dedication, the endless hard work, the attention to detail and the knowledge of the law – both practical and academic. Everything is meticulously prepared. No stone is left unturned.’

‘Denise Brosnan is in a class of her own. Her extensive experience, great instinct and detailed knowledge of the cases she is involved is impressive. Her preparation for trial is second to none. She runs a highly impressive team. Peter Wright is also an impressive associate.’

Key clients

Coventry City Council

Walsall Council

Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

Leeds City Council

West Midlands Combined Authority

Newcastle City Council

Local government Tier 2

DWF acts for unitary authorities, county, district, and borough councils on a wide scope of contentious matters, including inquests, defamation claims, claims brought for breach of right to privacy, and breach of data protection legislation. Additionally, the team has extensive experience defending local authorities against abuse claims as well as advising on social care debt recovery matters. Mark Whittaker focuses on personal injury, Human Rights Act claims, and policy coverage matters. Perry Hill leads a team in advising the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea on numerous claims related to the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Katrina Boyd is notable for her experience in local authority law, having recently published the 7th edition of Local Authority Liability. Caroline Sanders has expertise in the recovery of social care debt.

Practice head(s):

Mark Whittaker; Perry Hill

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘DWF are my number one choice to handle complex and sensitive local authority cases. The team combines comprehensive expert knowledge of the law with an understanding of the pressures beyond the law facing local authorities and critically therefore the need for responses internally and externally to be communicated through that lens.’

‘There are so many individuals that are worthy of naming in what is a large and highly skilled team.’

‘Perry Hill has expert understanding; not just for the principles of the law but also the spirit, and is so skilled in managing local authority pressures.’

‘Katrina Boyd’s recent and long overdue promotion to director underlines the skill and file-handling tenacity that you can rely on in investigation phase, ensuring the correct subsequent case strategy is developed and then skilfully deployed.’

‘Mark Whittaker – a partner whose reputation for excellence I was aware of but recently having worked on a complex and sensitive case can vouch the reputation is well deserved and earned – a skilful strategist with flair. ‘      

Key clients

Royal Borough Of Kensington & Chelsea

Westminster City Council

LB Hammersmith & Fulham

LB Tower Hamlets

LB Sutton

Surrey County Council

Brighton and Hove Council

Somerset County Council

LB Southwark

Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

Local government Tier 2

DWF’s national, multi-disciplinary practice offers the full spectrum of legal advice, drawing on expertise from its corporate and commercial teams to advise local authority clients across a broad variety of matters, including governance, real estate, planning, construction, employment, disputes, judicial review, public inquiries, health and safety as well as state aid and public procurement. Local government head Colin Murray has extensive expertise in public law, procurement and governance, while public sector head Jonathan Branton has particular expertise in state aid, public procurement and generally in public funding.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Branton; Colin Murray

Testimonials

I can only comment on the North East. They now have a key regional strength in State aid advice.’

Alex Rose is a highly credible expert in State Aid.’

 

Key clients

Bradford Council

Wakefield Council

South Tyneside Council

East Riding of Yorkshire and Hull City Council

Cornwall County Council

Wirral Metropolitan Council

Liverpool City Council

Lancashire County Council

Wigan Council

Conwy County Borough Council

Cheshire and Warrington LEP

West Lindsey District

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Wrexham County

Borough Council

West Midlands Combined Authority

Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant Tier 2

DWF has an excellent full-service defendant personal injury practice that spans motor, casualty, disease and catastrophic injury in addition to public sector and abuse claims. It is part of a superb national offering. The firm also has one of the largest fraud teams in the UK. Derek Adamson and Lorraine Carolan are first-class practitioners. The catastrophic injury team is led by Charles Ashmore. The practice has various specialist teams that cover the full spectrum of catastrophic injury and large loss (including fatalities, serious brain and spinal injury, amputation and complex orthopaedic injury) in addition to fraud and financial crime. Other core areas of expertise include motor traffic accidents (both volume and high-value). The team is also skilled at advising on complex policy coverage issues particularly in relation to asbestos/mesothelioma cases as well as breast implant litigation. It also has considerable expertise in other niche areas such as occupational deafness and work-related upper limb disorders. Miles Hepworth is another known name and has extensive experience in counter fraud and claims validation. Hepworth regularly defends suspected fraudulent insurance claims as well as first-party fraud cases. Paul Donnelly deals with high-value and sensitive cases involving children (including child deaths), sexual abuse and chronic neglect cases. Michael Henman joined the team in February 2020.

Practice head(s):

Derek Adamson; Charles Ashmore; Lorraine Carolan; Lionel Marcus

Testimonials

This is a very competent and intelligence-led team that puts its clients before profits. It has a good understanding of the sector which enables it to concentrate its client’s resources in the right areas for fighting the right cases‘.

‘Miles Hepworth has a depth of experience and knowledge which has led to a very fine instinct in both identifying fraud and also identifying the best strategy to defeat it. He has a determined commitment to getting the best for his client backed by excellent strategic and tactical instincts‘.

Michael Henman has a depth of experience and a detailed technical knowledge‘.

Very professional, extremely knowledgeable, able to provide a full service to  clients. Charles Ashmore – very experienced, highly skilled, fantastic negotiator, good judgement‘.

Derek Adamson is a credit to the legal and professional services – excellent and very proactive‘.

Key clients

RSA

Aviva

Zurich

Markerstudy

QBE

Covea

Argo

DLG

Travelers

Ms Amlin

Ecclesiastical Insurance Group

Ageas

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 2

DWF does the full gamut of private client work with a particular focus on supporting business owners and entrepreneurs as well as high-net-worth families that have assets in the UK or overseas. The team deals with capital tax planning, the preparation of wills, trust deeds and lasting powers of attorney. It is also skilled at advising on estate and trust administration as well as complex tax planning vehicles such as family investment companies, limited partnerships and family offices for its wide and varied client base. The group regularly deals with complex probate matters involving business and agricultural assets or where assets are based in other countries. Jon Gould heads the department. Roger Williams has considerable experience in preparing wills and lifetime trusts as well as in estate administration. In addition Williams is skilled at advising on Court of Protection matters and powers of attorney.

Practice head(s):

Jon Gould

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

The team has an exceptionally wide range of knowledge and abilities, always able to bring in a specialist in each particular field we are involved in. The lawyers respond immediately to issues. The lawyers are always helpful and able to give you their complete attention. Roger Williams has provided support and assistance for many years and always to an excellent standard‘.

Professional negligence Tier 2

DWF's professional indemnity team is regularly instructed by high-profile insurers of professional firms and corporate defendants to advise and represent them in relation to claims against them. The group is particularly experienced in cases involving accountants, solicitors, surveyors, architects and engineers. Practice head Simon Mason 's knowledge and expertise in the financial services sector is noted by one client as 'second to none.' Alexandra Cartwright is noted for handling claims brought against construction professionals.

Practice head(s):

Simon Mason

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Excellent work, knowledgeable, pro-active in problem solving to achieve best outcomes, and persistent and timeous.’

The team provide excellent advice in a very cost effective manner. The team is able to deal with professional negligence claims against a wide scope of different professions.’

Simon Mason is a very personable individual. His knowledge and expertise in defending professional negligence claims against accountants, actuaries, IFAs and other financial professionals is second to none.’

Professional negligence: defendant Tier 2

The 'close-knit team' at DWF defends complex, high-value claims brought against a variety of professionals. The practice has a notable specialism in the TMT sector, representing IT professionals, web designers and a wide range of media professionals. Practice head Matthew Reynolds regularly handles High Court claims and is an experienced mediator. Grant Walker defends claims brought against solicitors, structural engineers, architects and accountants. Senior associate Malcolm Rogers is recommended for construction sector clients.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Reynolds

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Matthew Reynolds and Malcolm Rogers will always go above and beyond to understand what we and our policyholders need and to meet our expectations.’

Matt Reynolds – Partner. Provides commercial advice and has significant experience to guide businesses through the complex litigation process. Very good with clients.’

Malcolm Rogers seems to know the civil procedure rules and law generally off by heart. Can’t give a bigger compliment to his technical knowledge. Great with clients too.’

Key clients

Hiscox Underwriting Limited

QBE

Canopius

Travelers

AXA XL

Chubb

Zurich Insurance Plc

The Law Society

MS Amlin

Markel (UK) Limited

Starr Underwriting Agents Limited

Liberty speciality Markets

CNA

Armour Risk Management

Argo

Neon Underwriting Limited

AIG Europe Ltd

Commercial litigation: mid-market Tier 3

DWF 'declutters the issues and develops the best arguments'. The litigation team handles business disputes across its key sectors of retail and international trade, commerce, banking and finance, technology and energy. Jonathan Isaacs is noted for High Court commercial contract, corporate and boardroom disputes; Richard Twomey acts in international disputes involving distressed projects, transactional fallouts, shareholder and ownership disputes, and UK pensions; while Jonathan Moss represents international clients in movement of goods-related disputes. Natasha Gunney and Joshua Fineman are notable senior associates.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Isaacs; Richard Twomey

Testimonials

Of all the legal firm professionals I have worked with over the years, DWF has earned my greatest respect, appreciation, and trust. Specifically, for their attention to detail, outstanding communication, consistent availability, and unarguably the most human group of lawyers I have ever had the opportunity to work with.

The team is intellectually impressive yet affable and approachable, providing a welcome interface for clients and counsel alike.

Multi-jurisdictional conflicts require a deep understanding of not only the commercial agreement over which the dispute is originated but also the applicable regulations in each country involved in such dispute and the idiosyncrasy of the involved individuals, in order to find the right strategy for a specific dispute. DWF Law LLP has this understanding.

I cannot praise Richard Twomey and Joshua Fineman, and thus the firm, highly enough for their diligence, commercial and litigation nous, and client-management skills. Outstanding in all respects.

Empathetic and decluttering the issues and honing into and developing the best arguments. Very hard working and always available to take your call even outside of working hours.

Very intelligent in getting to grips with the core issues and devising a sound strategy.

Not money orientated to bill you for every minute, they always keep an eye on the bigger picture.

Extremely supportive of the client in stressful times.

The team has a very practical approach and they respond very quickly. Their responses are always in line with our company vision and reassure our position.

Over the last year and a half, I have gotten to know Joe Martin and Jonathan Issacs very well and witnessed them take my legal case beyond anything I could have imagined. Simply put, Joe and Jonathan care about their clients and they have went through great lengths to fully understand why my case matters how we will win. Most importantly, DWF Law firm partners and associates have all demonstrated unarguably the best performance anyone could hope for with the best expertise I have ever witnessed.

Richard Twomey stands out as a partner who is tactically astute, knowing which battles to fight and how to develop the most effective strategy for dealing with complex cases.

Jonathan Isaacs has a very practical approach. He doesn’t only give advice, he also helps us to make decisions when they are needed quickly. He responds very quickly and will go above and beyond to help on a specific topic.

Key clients

Vijay Mallya

Kompaktwerk GmbH

Active Energy Group PLC

Mercantile Port & Logistics

Western International Market Traders Association

Highland Estates

Arcadia Group

Rathore Group

Paramit Corporation

Amazon

Ghouse Akbar

Rinse

Flybondi

FB Lineas SA

Georgina Energy PLC

Korea Electric Power Corporation

Commercial property: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire Tier 3

Led by James Speed in Leeds, DWF advises on commercial and residential  projects and transactions, including notable developments in the sport sector, PRS schemes, portfolio management issues and project financing matters in Yorkshire and nationally. The team acts for a range of property developers, housebuilders and investment funds. Andrew Flounders specialises in large-scale development work, while Speed focuses on investment transactions and complex funding arrangements.

Practice head(s):

James Speed

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Q-Park

Caddick Group

Moorfield Group

Hansteen

Custodian REIT

Countrywide

Wykeland Group

Rivington Land

Peveril Securities

LXi REIT

Mileway

Sterling Capitol

Oakgate Group

Moda Living

Palmer Capital Partners

M7

ReInvest Asset Management

Commercial property: Newcastle Tier 3

The team at DWF has extensive experience acting for public and private sector clients on development and regeneration projects, for which both practice head Adam Heather and housing specialist Lee Pickett are go-to contacts. Other areas of expertise include portfolio management, real estate finance, and landlord and tenant matters.

Practice head(s):

Adam Heather

Other key lawyers:

Commodities disputes Tier 3

The shipping and commodities practice at DWF is 'solutions-driven and extremely efficient'. Drawing on its strengths in shipping and insurance, the firm has a large following among insurers, charterers and international trading companies, for which it recently handled large disputes concerning piracy, theft or detention of cargo. Among its clients are Trafigura, Shandong Steel and Sahara Energy. 'His views are always respected by fellow professionals and clients,' says a client of practice head Jonathan Moss who leads a four-partner group. Moss and Antony Woodhouse are often chosen to advise commodities companies involved in disputes involving insurance considerations, notably in the onshore and offshore energy sectors.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Moss

Other key lawyers:

Antony Woodhouse; Peter Olymbios

Testimonials

‘Jonathan Moss is a very meticulous lawyer who ensures that no stone is left unturned. His views are always respected by fellow professionals and clients.’

‘I can highly recommend Jonathan Moss. He is very knowledgeable and pleasant to work with.’

‘The team is solutions-driven and extremely efficient.’

‘Jonathan Moss is knowledgeable, efficient and solutions-driven.’

‘Senior associate Peter Olymbios is conscientious and amiable and is a fountain of information.’

Key clients

Trafigura Beheer BV

HDI Gerling Verzekeringen NV

Tonkolili Iron Ore (SL) Ltd

Shandong Steel

MS Amlin Marine

Travelers Marine

Willis Marine International Trade & Logistics

Cronimet Eesti Metall

Van Dalen Metals Recycling & Trading

Nimex Petroleum

Impala Terminals

Vallis Commodities

Vallis Group Limited

Targray

Sahara Energy

Trailstone

Chaucer Syndicates

Berkshire Hathaway

PS Maritime

Towergate

GP Global

Thomas Miller

MOK Petroenergy

Construction Tier 3

DWF advises on national and international construction projects across a number of sectors, with a particular focus on energy. The firm acts for developers, public sector bodies and corporates. Andrew Symms leads the national practice.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Symms

Corporate and commercial: Birmingham Tier 3

DWF's corporate practice was strengthened recently by the arrival of John Campion from  DLA Piper. Campion's expertise includes M&A, equity capital markets transactions and public takeovers. Campion works with Birmingham corporate head Mark Gibson, who acted for Fairview Hotels Limited on the acquisition of the Holiday Inn in Cardiff. Ben McLeod, who heads up the commercial team in Birmingham, handles mandates with a national and international dimension; he has been instrumental in growing the firm's work in the TMT sector.

Practice head(s):

Mark Gibson, John Campion; Ben McLeod

Testimonials

Clear point of contact, attentive staff, value for money

Mark Gibson – practical and commercial approach. Understands our needs

Key clients

BT

Serco

Severn Trent Plc

Specialist Computer Centres Plc

Skytek Limited

Munnelly Group Plc

Corporate and commercial: Newcastle Tier 3

Led by Jeremy Swift, the corporate team at DWF is involved in significant mandates in the private equity and equity capital markets space, with a recent uptick in instructions in the TMT and infrastructure sectors. The team also has significant M&A expertise, as evidenced by its work on multiple reverse takeovers. Key highlights show the team's regular cooperation with its Edinburgh-based counterpart. Swift is ‘very ably supported’ by Jemil Visram, who is a senior associate with considerable corporate finance experience.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Swift

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

The team led out of Newcastle worked together very effectively under the challenging timetable for our reverse takeover. Without the firm’s ability to bring in specialists to complement the core team, and without their focus and attention to what was most important, we would not have completed the takeover when we did.

Jeremy Swift led the team very well. He was engaged and made a special effort to keep me up to speed. He did not stand for nonsense and used his experience to cut through obstacles laid in our path. Jeremy was very ably supported by Jemil Visram, who was always accessible and coordinated the key deliverables.

Key clients

Immotion Group

Cloudcall Group

Digitalbox

E Energy Group

Vibe Group Holdings

Northern Gas and Power

M Capital Ventures

MySale Group

Corporate tax Tier 3

DWF’s corporate tax practice is particularly active in the real estate sector. Practice head John Toon advises pension funds, local authorities and developers on funding issues, joint venture developments and high-value property acquisitions. The team is also instructed by commercial clients to advise on group restructurings, pension funding vehicles, customs duties, employee incentives and private equity transactions.

Practice head(s):

John Toon

Key clients

Countrywide

HW Kaufman

National Pension Service of Korea

Assura Group Plc

Redhill BC

Conwy CBC

Wakefield MDC

Leeds CC

Wirral BC

Inflexion Private Equity

General crime and fraud Tier 3

DWF fields a large fraud team nationally that advises on all aspects of financial crime and fraud. Clients include major insurance companies and it acts for nine out of ten of the largest composite insurers as well as the Lloyd's market, corporates and self-insured. Additionally the team is skilled in other sectors such as financial, technology, retail and logistics. Practice head Lorraine Carolan is adept at advising on all areas of financial risk and fraud, including fraud prevention and crisis response, as well as investigating fraud and the recovery of any assets. Andrew Leach has substantial experience in international litigation and arbitration with a focus on large and complex cases involving fraud and cross-border issues. Mike Henman recently joined the team.

Practice head(s):

Lorraine Carolan

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

It is a very competent firm in handling insurance fraud work‘.

Key clients

LVFS

LV General Insurance

Amazon

Aviva

NFU Mutual

QBE

Markerstudy

RSA

Insure the Box

Covea

Ageas

Infrastructure and energy Tier 3

DWF’s energy practice head Christian Hellmund handles complex contractual arrangements for a roster of construction, manufacturing and property clients. Recent negotiations included advising on the delivery of low-carbon energy developments, the supply of wind turbines and solar panels, and EPC contracts. A number of local authorities also engage the team to handle the procurement processes for energy-from-waste and district heating projects.

Practice head(s):

Christian Hellmund

Key clients

ScottishPower Group

Yorkshire Gas and Power

Yingli Namene Solar Limited & Yingli Green Energy Europe

Doosan Power Systems SA

Whitbread Group plc

Vensys Energy AG

Canary Wharf Group

Aberdeenshire Council, Aberdeen City Council and Moray Council

Dundee City Council and Angus Council

South Staffordshire plc

Steag energy solutions GmbH

Discovery Park Limited

Farm Energy Partnership LLP

United Utilities Renewable Energy Limited

Quartzelec

WM Morrisons Supermarkets plc

Marks & Spencer plc

Places for People

Essar Oil

MRC Global

Insurance and reinsurance litigation Tier 3

DWF handles reinsurance, coverage, liability, personal injury and property damage claims. The practice is led by David Abbott, John Groome and Jonathan Moss. Kiran Soar, the former global head of insurance at Ince, joined the team in summer 2020.

Pensions: dispute resolution Tier 3

Described as the 'leading expert on PPF matters' Amanda Banister is the key figure for pensions at DWF, working in tandem with Manchester-based commercial litigation head Joel Heap. The firm is noted for its expertise in distressed markets, scheme restructurings and its ability to resolve high profile and complex cases. The team is adept at handling the full range of disputes, covering everything from Ombudsman complaints to representation at the Court of Justice of the EU. The firm has recently been advising Wm Morrison in the high-profile ECJ case concerning pensions equalisation. Former national pensions head Tim Green left to join CMS in late 2019.

Practice head(s):

Amanda Banister; Joel Heap

Testimonials

Good specialist expertise and an eye for the big point has seen them run some of the big cases in recent years. Good crossover expertise in employment means that they can run employment related pensions issues for top clients‘.

The unique feature of DWF’s pensions disputes practice is Amanda Banister, who has unrivalled experience and expertise in relation to the Pension Protection Fund and associated litigation, whether the European law angles, the public law angles, or the insolvency and restructuring angles. Particularly as we head into a post-Covid-19 recession, with inevitable insolvencies and restructurings to follow, DWF should be extremely well-placed to assist with related pensions litigation, given Amanda Banister’s expertise‘.

Amanda Banister is a leading expert on PPF related matters‘.

Amanda Banister is poised, fearless and astute‘.

Key clients

Dalriada Trustees Limited

WM Morrisons PLC

Trustees of the Princes Pension Scheme

HR Trustees Limited

Trustee of the British Steel Pension Scheme

Board of the Pension Protection Fund

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 3

DWF has a focus on supporting regional businesses and the family interests behind them. The firm's core client base consists of business owners, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth trusts with both UK and international assets. The firm deals with a wide range of matters, including capital tax and pre-sale planning, the preparation of wills, trusts and lasting powers of attorney, and complex tax planning vehicles. 'Exceptional' practice head Jon Gould is supported by associate Laura Murphy.

Practice head(s):

Jon Gould

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

The team are commercially minded and provided trusted advice.

Jon Gould is a pleasure to deal with.

DWF provide pragmatic but dynamic advice.

Jon Gould is exceptional. He has an outstanding command of the local market, working with some big-hitting clients, but with the time and empathy to deal with private clients of all sizes.

They excel in complex international matters, but are equally at home dealing with UK domestic probate matters.

Jon Gould is a trusted adviser on inheritance tax planning and succession issues generally.’

Planning Tier 3

DWF has strengthened its presence in Leeds with the arrival of director Michelle Spark from Walker Morris LLP as head of national planning in mid-2019. Spark specialises in development work, particularly in the energy and minerals sectors. The practice acts for residential and industrial developers and lenders. It also has notable expertise in public sector work, which was further strengthened in 2019 with the arrival of senior associate Helen Robinson from Weightmans.

Practice head(s):

Michelle Spark

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Reigate and Banstead Borough Council

Advance Northumberland

Whitbread

BT

Shell

Product liability: defendant Tier 3

The product liability practice at DWF is regularly instructed in civil claims relating to defective products and recoveries along the supply chain as well as advising on policy coverage issues and regulatory compliance regarding labelling, advertising and product launches. Acting for insurers as well as corporations, the group is well positioned with a strong international network. David Kidman has considerable experience in contentious matters, and. Peter Barnes in Bristol focuses on the automotive sector; they lead the group together with Dominic WatkinsJohn Groome is a key contact for insurers and reinsurers.

Practice head(s):

David Kidman; Peter Barnes; Dominic Watkins

Other key lawyers:

Hilary Ross; John Groome; Charlotte Kelly; Tom Mungovan

Testimonials

‘There have been three main benefits in working with DWF. The first is the expertise of the team – they strike the right balance between being experts in their field but providing practical, commercial and economical advice meaning that we deal with claims effectively and efficiently. The second is their experience. They are able to provide considered advice on what their experience is of dealing with similar claims; being before a particular court; and dealing with particular experts. This allows us to make better decisions on how to proceed with a claim not just based on whether we think we could “technically” defend it but what the likely outcome would be if we did defend it both economically but also from a brand protection perspective. This instills a sense of confidence that we are getting the best advice. Finally the team is always available and on hand to help. They deal with claims quickly, respond to emails at all times of the day, are always available on the end of the phone and provide support and assistance on all matters whether big or small.’

‘Charlotte Kelly is a key individual for our company. Charlotte has an astute legal mind. She is able to provide technically accurate advice on law and procedure but apply it practically and commercially to ensure her recommendations are the right ones for the company.’

‘Peter Barnes is also another key individual. His experience, knowledge and technical ability is second to none and we feel lucky to have him working with us providing sensible advice on how to deal with claims. His commitment to staying up to date with us as a business and ensuring that DWF are always serving us in the best way possible is admirable.’

‘Very strong team in International liability arena, particularly in life science and pharmaceuticals. Specialist knowledge and strong on policy coverage. Great network for International cover.’

‘John Groome. Easy to deal with. Very strong knowledge base. Resolution based approach.’

‘The DWF Product Liability Team is my first choice for all Product claims.’

‘David Kidman is a Product Liability Specialist. Has great knowledge of product liability claims and works on claims often involving high value, complex and multi-jurisdictional issues. David is always approachable, helpful and extremely good with our customers.’

Key clients

RSA Insurance Group

QBE

Aviva

Chubb

HDI Global

Zurich

Travelers Insurance Company

MS Amlin

Direct Line Group

Pret A Manger (Europe) Limited

Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Company, Tokyo

Tokio Marine Kiln Insurance

Halfords Group Plc

Professional negligence Tier 3

DWF has a growing reputation in substantial accountancy negligence claims allied with its strong historic expertise in claims against construction professionals and professionals in public authorities. With Derek Adamson at the helm the team continues to build excellent relationships with some of the UK’s leading insurers and its impressive client base includes major insurers and insurance brokers. It has niche expertise in cases where professional negligence overlaps into other practice areas such as criminal law and health and safety. Paul Donnelly handles a wide range of personal injury claims including historic abuse claims for social services departments. Paul Chaplin and Steve Oates are now at Kennedys.

Practice head(s):

Derek Adamson

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Zurich

Birmingham City Council

Gallagher Bassett

Munich RE

Coventry City Council

Inter-Hannover

Travelers

AXA XL

Markel (UK) Ltd

Transport Tier 3

DWF focuses on road transport regulatory work including civil and criminal proceedings, with particular expertise in public inquiries relating to health and safety violations and dangerous and careless driving issues; it also provides regulatory compliance advice on a continuous basis, acting for clients in the logistics and retail industries. The practice in Leeds is led by dedicated regulatory transport lawyer David Chant, who works across Yorkshire and the North West on the contentious and criminal elements of transport industry instructions.

Practice head(s):

David Chant

Testimonials

Excellent service provided. Very comprehensive advice provided, regularly, to all persons involved regarding both criminal and civil matters.

Key clients

NFU Mutual

Banking and finance Tier 4

DWF's practice in Birmingham is led by Richard Holmes, who made partner in February 2019, and primarily focuses on real estate finance (in the context of investment transactions, refinancings of portfolios and development). Alice Broadfield handles a wide variety of matters for corporate borrowers and lenders, with a focus on corporate finance.

Practice head(s):

Iain Shurwood (national head, London); Richard Holmes (local head, Birmingham)

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group/National Westminster Bank plc/Coutts & Co

Lloyds Banking Group

Unity Trust Bank plc

ICICI Bank UK plc

Nationwide Building Society

West Bromwich Commercial Limited

Rothschild & Co

Ashall Group of Companies

LendInvest

HSBC Bank plc

Clinical negligence: defendant Tier 4

Along with defence of complex clinical negligence claims, DWF's team has extensive experience advising on insurance policy coverage issues and policy wording, regulatory and disciplinary expertise, and specialism in defending healthcare providers and practitioners in criminal proceedings. Practice head Tracy Sell-Peters regularly acts for defendants in neurological, cerebral palsy, ophthalmology and paediatric claims, and 'performs wonders for clients'. Vicki Swanton, who previously headed up BLM’s healthcare practice, joined the team in July 2020.

Practice head(s):

Tracy Sell-Peters

Other key lawyers:

Will Marshall; Joanne Staphnill; Vicki Swanton

Testimonials

‘Nothing short of superb and have saved medical careers.’

‘An extra level of work ethic which shows particularly in the regulatory cases they handle.’

‘Joanne Staphnill’s strength is certainly in her depth of knowledge.’

‘Tracy Sell-Peters performs wonders for clients.’

‘Vicki Swanton is fantastic – excellent at her work, very responsive, extremely clever.’

Key clients

Argo Global

RenaissanceRe

Paragon International Insurance Brokers Ltd

Axis Managing Agency Ltd

Independent Clinical Services Ltd

Commercial property: Birmingham Tier 4

With a strong client roster comprised of public sector bodies, developers, property investment companies, corporate occupiers and banks, DWF is praised for its 'diverse knowledge of issues' which is 'delivered in a commercial and sensible manner'. Head of hospitality and global real estate Melanie Williams is the go-to adviser for property work in the sector, while Stephen Hickling leads the Birmingham-based team.

Practice head(s):

Melanie Williams, Stephen Hickling

Testimonials

‘A wide diverse knowledge of issues and the law delivered in a commercial and sensible manner.’

‘Knowledgeable, hard working and commercially sharp but able to see the bigger picture and get deals done.’

Key clients

Welsh Government

First Panattoni

Clearbell Capital

Reigate & Banstead Borough Council

Whitbread plc

Solihull MBC and Urban Growth Company

Insurance: corporate and regulatory Tier 4

DWF advises clients in the insurance sector on corporate and regulatory matters, including Brexit planning issues. The team is jointly led by Richard Burger, who focuses on regulatory issues, and Mel Sims, who handles insurance M&A work. Berger is praised as a 'exceptional lawyer and an outstanding professional' with a 'wide and loyal client base'.

Practice head(s):

Richard Burger; Mel Sims

Testimonials

‘DWF has helped us in addressing every perceived gap in our regulatory and compliance structure in a measured, professional and non-judgemental manner. There are many auditors in the regulatory sector but not many “doers” and DWF can help with the actions needed to improve.’

‘Richard Burger – a class act. Always available, works 24/7, calm, measured and professional at all times. Client is first and foremost at all times.’

‘Richard Burger has a wide and loyal client base which is richly deserved, as he is an exceptional lawyer and an outstanding professional.’

Key clients

PSC Insurance Group Limited

Insurance Holdings Limited

Liverpool Victoria General Insurance Group

PSC UK Holdings Limited

Alsford Page and Gems (Holdings Limited)

Private equity: transactions - mid-market deals (up to £250m) Tier 4

DWF‘s team advises a variety of notable funds, including Ares Management, Inflexion, and CPBE, as well as management teams for target companies in several industries. With a spread of lawyers across London and the North West, the firm is able to act on UK-wide and cross-border buyouts, exits, minority investments, and carve-outs. The practice is led by North West-based pair Jonathan Robinson and Paul Rimmer, who both maintain national practices and relationships with major houses and investors.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Robinson; Paul Rimmer

Testimonials

‘Outstanding level of partner commitment. Wide range of expertise within the firm. Flexibility on fees.’

‘Paul Rimmer takes personal responsibility for the delivery of all services both within his own department and across the firm.’

Key clients

Aprirose Holdings

BGF Investments

Cartesian Capital Group

Inflexion Private Equity

LDC

Livingbridge

Northedge Private Equity

NVM Private Equity

Palatine Private Equity

Prefequity

Sovereign Capital

Waterland Private Equity

Professional discipline Tier 4

DWF has 'a niche market in representing professional discipline clients who are either privately funded or covered by insurance companies other than the MDU or MPS'. The firm defends professionals across the medical, legal, actuarial, accountancy and financial services professions. Richard Burger defends accountants and insolvency practitioners in investigations. Tracy Sell-Peters acts for doctors and other healthcare practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Tracy Sell-Peters; Richard Burger

Other key lawyers:

Harriet Quiney; Simon Mason; Jonathan Hyde; John Bennett; Jo Batchelor

Testimonials

Richard Burger is the solicitor I would go to if I were in trouble. He is intelligent, charming, hardworking and generous with his time. His leadership of the team in itself is recommendation enough for DWF’s professional discipline practice. Although with a lower profile than some other firm, I know their pricing is competitive compared to other City firms yet the service – thanks to RB – is second to none.’

Richard Burger has a wealth of experience in professional discipline. He is also extremely hard-working, with nothing too much trouble for him. He good judgment and good client-facing skills.’

DWF has a niche market in representing professional discipline clients who are either privately funded or covered by insurance companies other than the MDU or MPS. Tracey Sell-Peters has done wonders in building up and impressive team in London to represent clients across the professional discipline field. Another strength is their nationwide reach and expertise in other sectors which enables a comprehensive client service.

Tracey Sell Peters – Tracy is the team partner in London. She is outstandingly supportive to her team, her clients and to barristers. She always goes the extra mile for her clients.’

Richard Burger is known for having a good grasp of this area of work and is very capable.’

Professional negligence Tier 4

DWF advises a range of insurers and syndicates on claims made against individuals from the construction, engineering, legal, financial and insurance sectors. John Bennett is 'deeply experienced' in defending claims against solicitors, as well as accountants, IFAs and patent agents. Mark Klimt’s experience spans construction, insurance brokers and asbestos claims. Harriet Quiney focuses on disputes in the financial services and pensions sectors. Former practice head Peter Sewell departed to join Beale & Co in 2019, along with Eileen Pathiraja.

Practice head(s):

John Bennett; Harriet Quiney; Mark Klimt

Other key lawyers:

Sheona Wood; Jonathan Hyde

Testimonials

‘John Bennett’s experience in the fields of lawyers’ professional negligence and the defence of disciplinary proceedings is unrivalled in the market. He has an immediate feel for the right tactics in a case and is very responsive as a service provider.’

‘Sheona Wood has excellent judgment which, combined with the confidence to fight the cases where necessary, makes her a formidable litigant. Very good at assessing the costs/benefits of litigation and not afraid to back her judgement.’

‘Jonathan Hyde has excellent judgement and good client management skills.’

‘Harriet Quiney demonstrates a real depth of knowledge in her field. Engenders trust and confidence. Recognised as an expert.’

‘Huge professionalism, they really know their stuff, and always commercial.’

‘Sheona Wood – a brilliant legal mind, always looking for a practical solution.’

‘Highly intelligent and competent individuals who are very responsive and go the extra mile.’

Shipping Tier 4

DWF handles an array of shipping claims, including those involving collisions, insurance disputes and ship arrests. The team is particularly active in acting for insurers in litigation. In addition, it also handles a number of non-contentious matters such as contract drafting. Practice head Jonathan Moss also serves as DWF's global head of transport; a French speaker, he frequently handles matters in Francophone West and North Africa. Elliott Bromley and Radhika Ruparelia are also key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Moss

Testimonials

‘Good depth of experience.’

‘Jonathan Moss is very measured, very knowledgeable and client focused. We have some great results.’

‘In my experience the team at DWF are more far more commercially aware than other firms and actively look for workable commercial resolutions to their clients’ disputes as well as providing sound legal advice.’

‘The individuals I work with at DWF’s shipping-transport practice are always bang up-to-date both on the law and procedure as well as displaying a great deal of knowledge of their clients’ businesses and business practices.’

‘Jonathan Moss, who leads the team, does so by example. He takes the time to mentor more junior lawyers in his team and involve them in cases, which ensures he has in place the most effective team to fight his clients’ corner as well as developing the future talent pool within this field. Jonathan has in-depth knowledge of his clients, the personalities involved and their businesses allowing him to see the case from their perspective as well as the legal issues involved. He is calm under pressure and a pleasure to work with. I expect his team to go from strength to strength in the future.’

 

Key clients

HDI Gerling Verzekeringen NV

American Bureau of Shipping

Travelers Marine

Serco Marine Services

Willis Marine International Trade & Logistics

Cronimet Eesti Metall

Van Dalen Metals Recycling & Trading

MS Amlin Marine

Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (‘CMAL’)

Lighthouse (SPA)

Edra Energy Bhd

Tonkolili Iron Ore (SL) Limited

Kwik-Fit (GB) Limited

Stapleton’s (Tyre Services) Ltd

The American Club

Dual

Vallis Commodities

Fusion Insurance

Chaucer Marine

Hoek Brokerage Classic Yachts

Employment Tier 5

Kate Meadowcroft is a key member of the team at DWF. The group has a strong retail client base and has continued to develop its expertise in healthcare work. It acts for an extensive range of healthcare providers and social care providers. Meadowcroft predominately advises on non-contentious matters and has particular expertise in large-scale change management projects and collective consultation programmes.

Practice head(s):

Kate Meadowcroft

Fraud: civil Tier 5

DWF's team handles financial crime and civil fraud mandates, including data protection and cyber-crime cases involving allegations of fraud. Richard Twomey has almost two decades of experience bringing and defending international fraud claims. In a notable ongoing highlight, he is representing three of the defendants in the widely reported SKAT litigation being pursued by the Danish tax authorities in the English High Court and various other jurisdictions. Lorraine Carolan has notable expertise in regulatory compliance and investigations, encompassing various types of fraud.

Practice head(s):

Richard Twomey

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Richard Twomey is a very experienced, intelligent, thoughtful, resourceful, creative, and diligent litigation solicitor. I have worked with him for the past year on the huge SKAT litigation in the Commercial Court, and he has also brought an expert team of great skill to the case – including in particular Joshua Fineman.’

Key clients

LVFS

LV General Insurance

Amazon

Aviva

NFU Mutual

QBE

Markerstudy

RSA

Insure the Box

Covea

Ageas

Jamtoff Trading Limited

Sergey Fedotov

Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire Tier 6

Practice head Lester Wilson is the key contact at DWF’s corporate and commercial practice. The team’s client base comprises local SMEs and national businesses, with expertise in equity capital markets, M&A and private equity deals.

Practice head(s):

Lester Wilson

Property finance Tier 6

DWF advises traditional and alternative lenders on acquisition, development and investment finance, as well as refinancing and restructuring. Asset classes of particular interest include hospitals, hotels and data centres. Brendan Slack leads the team, which also includes Iain Shurwood and Simon Elphick.

Practice head(s):

Brendan Slack

Other key lawyers:

Employers Tier 7

DWF's London employment team, headed by Helga Breen, regularly advises on a wide range of matters, including major HR projects, team moves and High Court disputes, as well as executive recruitment and terminations. The practice has a particular focus on clients in the insurance, financial and professional services sectors.

Practice head(s):

Helga Breen

Testimonials

‘DWF is easy to work with, prompt with complete responses, and resourceful. We would highly recommend them for anyone looking for a law firm with employment expertise.’

‘Helga Breen is wonderful to work with. She is responsive, thoughtful, and flexible in her approach based on our business needs. She is knowledgeable and we are most confident with her abilities in consulting with our employment law needs in the UK.’

‘I love the responsiveness of the team and I know that I will receive sound, practical advice, and not just the legal basis of decisions. They are a safe pair of hands and I wholly and fully trust the advice and guidance I receive.’

‘I have known Helga Breen for many years and I value her knowledge and integrity. She has helped me out when she has been up to her eyes and has taken calls from me when she is pushed for time. Helga always has a solution that works.’

 

Key clients

British Medical Association

Brown Shipley & Co Limited

Chesterfield Insurance Brokers Limited

Collinson Group Limited

Endeavour Mining Corporation

GHX Europe

Guidepoint Global, LLC.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc.

Places for People Leisure Management Limited

Sandhills Global, Inc.

UK Anti-Doping Limited

World Gold Council

International arbitration Tier 7

DWF's international arbitration team focuses on the insurance, natural resources and technology sectors. The London group includes Richard Twomey, Stefan Paciorek and Jonathan Moss, along with senior associate Natasha Gunney, who joined from Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP. Birmingham-based Andrew Leach is Russia and CIS desk head.

Practice head(s):

Richard Twomey

Testimonials

‘Practicality; availability; very hard-working.’

‘Andrew Leach: practical and excellent with clients.’

‘Innovative problem solvers.’

‘Experienced team that works well together.’

‘They give absolute priority to the work assigned and have the pulse on the matter. They are solution oriented and understand and explain complex matters to clients in simple language and highlight issues which would normally escape the attention of some other lawyers. They are realistic in their approach and do not raise the expectations of clients that can not be met. They also understand the business side of the matter which gives them the edge over other lawyers.’

Key clients

Trafigura Pte Ltd

Doosan Power Systems S.A.

Doosan Babcock Limited

Clinical negligence and personal injury: defendant

DWF's Leeds team has strong capacity to deal with an array of claims and is widely recognised as a leading law firm for this line of work among its peers in the Yorkshire market. Richard Parker head up the occupational health team, while David Rogers is head of catastrophic injury.

Clinical negligence and personal injury: defendant

The team at DWF is led by solicitor-advocate Claire Gribben, who regularly acts for insurance companies in large loss personal injury claims involving brain and spinal injuries, fatal accidents and amputations, as well as in industrial disease cases.

Practice head(s):

Claire Gribben

Travel

Jointly led by Sara-Jane Eaton and Claire Bowler, DWF is noted for its ability to handle international travel injury claims for insurer clients, and is regularly instructed by major insurers, foreign statutory accident insurers and legal expenses insurers. 'Comprised of partners and solicitors who have an incredibly broad but impressively detailed technical knowledge' of the travel sector, the team is singled out for its expertise in jurisdictional and applicable law issues which arise in relation to personal injury claims. The group is experienced in cross-border travel work, with a particular emphasis on European jurisdictional issues.

Practice head(s):

Sara-Jane Eaton; Claire Bowler

Other key lawyers:

Graham Dickinson; Steven King; Rhys Sanchez; Gurbir Thethy

Testimonials

‘DWF’s core strength in running large international personal injury cases is teamwork: the individuals I have worked with really know how to put together an excellent team comprising senior partners at the firm, more junior colleagues, and barristers from various chambers. This is hugely important in running a large case for a prolonged period of time, where the fact that a team works as a harmonious whole is so much more important than the quality of any individual member.’

‘First class client service, close attention to management of costs and obtaining a sound commercial outcome for client. Genuine and longstanding expertise in the sector.’

‘Gurbir Thethy is very able and highly experienced; very well regarded by clients for his commercial approach.’

‘The team at DWF is comprised of partners and solicitors who have an incredibly broad but impressively detailed technical knowledge combined with a practical and commercial approach to litigation.’

‘Sarah-Jane Eaton is a leader in this field. She has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the technicalities of travel and foreign claims and an unparalleled knack for cutting through those complex issues with an effective litigation strategy tailored to each case. She is an absolute delight to work with and she runs a dynamic and impressive team.’

Key clients

Generali

Van Ameyde (UK)

MS Amlin

Hastings Direct

QBE

RSA

The Markerstudy Group

Travelers

LV=

HDI Global

Mannheimer Versicherung AG

Wuerttemburgische Versicherung AG

Zurich Rechtschutzversicherung AG

Gefion AS

Ergo Hestia

DWF is the largest listed legal business in the world, with an award-winning reputation for client service excellence, effective operational management and innovation. The Company became the first Main Market Premium Listed legal business on the London Stock Exchange in March 2019. DWF has been named by the Financial Times as one of Europe’s most innovative legal businesses and has been independently recognised for its quality of legal advice, service delivery and responsiveness.

DWF’s stated purpose is to transform legal services through its people for its clients using its three principal strategic objectives: understanding our clients, engaging our people and doing things differently. DWF aims to deliver its strategy by building long-term relationships with its clients, recruiting talented individuals to maintain a high service level culture and continually innovating in its provision of complex legal services, managed and connected services to address client needs and increase its market share.

The business has core strengths in corporate banking, insurance and litigation and in-depth expertise in several chosen sectors, including insurance; public sector; energy and industrials; real estate; financial services; retail, food and hospitality; technology and transport.

In addition to its legal services, DWF provides a range of professional, business or consulting services, a number of which include or are enabled by technology products and solutions to its clients through its Connected Services division. This offering is complementary to the traditional legal services offered by DWF.

DWF employs over 4,000 people across 31 key locations and has steadily grown its international presence in response to client demand. In 2019 and 2020 DWF expanded its international footprint by opening a new office in Warsaw, Poland and acquired Mindcrest Inc. to establish offices in Chicago and New York, USA, and Pune, India. DWF also acquired RCD in Spain and now has offices in Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia, Spain as part of its strategic growth plans.

DWF was the first UK legal business to achieve the ‘Disability Confident’ accreditation, which highlights the firm as an inclusive recruiter of disabled talent and is a Top 30 Employer for Working Families. The business also has its own charitable enterprise, the DWF Foundation, a registered charity aimed at providing funds and support to local charities and programmes focused on education, employability, health and wellbeing and homelessness.

Photo Name Position Profile
 Julie Agnew  photo Julie Agnew Director
 Karen Ainscough  photo Karen Ainscough DWF Resource Manager
 Catherine Bamford  photo Catherine Bamford DWF Draft Consultant
 Jayne Bamford  photo Jayne Bamford Associate
 Tonya Baxter  photo Tonya Baxter Director
 Simon Belfield  photo Simon Belfield Senior Associate
 Stephen Benson  photo Stephen Benson Partner
 Alan Benzie  photo Alan Benzie Chairman
 Jay Birch  photo Jay Birch Partner
 Oliver Bowes-Smith  photo Oliver Bowes-Smith Associate
 Paul Brown  photo Paul Brown Partner
 Colin Bushell  photo Colin Bushell Associate
 Sean Caldwell  photo Sean Caldwell Director
 Michael Chambers  photo Michael Chambers Associate
 Craig Chaplin  photo Craig Chaplin Partner
 Daren Charlton  photo Daren Charlton Partner
 Helen Coates  photo Helen Coates Director
 Lisa Collins  photo Lisa Collins Partner
 Andy Connor  photo Andy Connor Director
 Eleanor Cook  photo Eleanor Cook Associate
 Kelly Cooke  photo Kelly Cooke Senior Intelligence Analyst
 Andrew Cousins  photo Andrew Cousins Senior Solicitor Advocate (Civil)
 Marsha Crosland  photo Marsha Crosland Associate
 Helena Davies  photo Helena Davies Senior Associate
 Paul Davies  photo Paul Davies Partner
 Andrew Davis  photo Andrew Davis Partner
 Greg Dawson  photo Greg Dawson Associate
 Simon Denyer  photo Simon Denyer Partner
 John Dorney  photo John Dorney Director
 Nicole Downey  photo Nicole Downey Director
 Nicola Dunk  photo Nicola Dunk Director
 Mary-Jane Ebenezer  photo Mary-Jane Ebenezer Associate
 Andrea Everett  photo Andrea Everett Director
 Ed Farrelly  photo Ed Farrelly Partner
 Leisa Fearon  photo Leisa Fearon Associate
 Daniel Fitzgerald  photo Daniel Fitzgerald Senior Associate
 Lee Foulser  photo Lee Foulser Director
 David Frankland  photo David Frankland Partner
 Joanne Frew  photo Joanne Frew Director
 Andy Fu  photo Andy Fu Fraud Systems Developer
 Peter Goodwill  photo Peter Goodwill Partner
 Claire Graham  photo Claire Graham Partner
 Carl Graham  photo Carl Graham Partner
 Tim Green  photo Tim Green Partner
 Steffan Groch  photo Steffan Groch Partner and Head of Regulatory
 Anita Gupta  photo Anita Gupta Partner
 Naveen Gupta  photo Naveen Gupta Partner
 Steve Hackett  photo Steve Hackett Partner
 Jonathan Hall  photo Jonathan Hall Associate
 Stephen Hardwick  photo Stephen Hardwick Professional Support Lawyer
 Kathy Harris  photo Kathy Harris Senior Solicitor
 Andrew Harris  photo Andrew Harris Partner
 Catherine Harrison  photo Catherine Harrison Director
 Catherine Haslam  photo Catherine Haslam Partner
 Joel Heap  photo Joel Heap Partner
 Tom Higson  photo Tom Higson Partner
 Lisa Hill  photo Lisa Hill Director
 Tim Ingram  photo Tim Ingram Partner
 Paul Inman  photo Paul Inman Partner
 Ritchie Irvine  photo Ritchie Irvine Partner
 Neil Irving  photo Neil Irving Operations Director
 Kevin Jaquiss  photo Kevin Jaquiss Consultant
 Tracey Johnson  photo Tracey Johnson
 Tyrone Jones  photo Tyrone Jones Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Engagement
 Rachel Jones  photo Rachel Jones Partner
 Glyn Jones  photo Glyn Jones Partner
 Dominic Jones  photo Dominic Jones Associate
 Zoryana Jurczyszyn  photo Zoryana Jurczyszyn Associate
 Jon Keeble  photo Jon Keeble Partner
 Jon Kiddle  photo Jon Kiddle Consultant
 Nelina Kime  photo Nelina Kime Associate
 Steven King  photo Steven King Partner
 Catherine Kober  photo Catherine Kober Director
 Chris Lagar  photo Chris Lagar Partner
 Pauline Lam  photo Pauline Lam Solicitor
 Rachel Lawler  photo Rachel Lawler Senior Associate
 James Lonsdale  photo James Lonsdale Partner
 James Lupton  photo James Lupton Partner
 Ian Macalister  photo Ian Macalister Partner
 Sue Malia  photo Sue Malia Partner
 Jon Marriott  photo Jon Marriott Director
 Bradley Martin  photo Bradley Martin Senior Associate
 Simon Mather  photo Simon Mather Partner
 Jyoti Mathews  photo Jyoti Mathews Chief Operating Officer (Commercial Services)
 Patrick McBrien  photo Patrick McBrien Director
 Rob McKee  photo Rob McKee Partner
 Jay Mehta  photo Jay Mehta Associate
 Peter Meloy  photo Peter Meloy Partner
 Sean Monks  photo Sean Monks Senior Solicitor
 Steve Morris  photo Steve Morris Partner
 Colin Murray  photo Colin Murray Partner
 Lee Norman  photo Lee Norman Partner
 Louise Oldfield  photo Louise Oldfield Associate
 Darren Ormsby  photo Darren Ormsby Associate
 Alasdair Outhwaite  photo Alasdair Outhwaite Partner
 Steven O’Sullivan  photo Steven O’Sullivan Senior Associate
 John Palmer  photo John Palmer Director
 Amy Parrish  photo Amy Parrish Associate
 Jonathan Patterson  photo Jonathan Patterson Development Director
 Alasdair Peacock  photo Alasdair Peacock Partner
 Michael Pease  photo Michael Pease Director
 John Perez  photo John Perez Partner
 Catharine Porter  photo Catharine Porter Director
 Alexandra Puddy  photo Alexandra Puddy Partner
 Bill Radcliffe  photo Bill Radcliffe Associate
 Alicia Renshaw  photo Alicia Renshaw Associate
 Jonathan Robinson  photo Jonathan Robinson Partner
 James Roden  photo James Roden Partner
 Kirsty Rogers  photo Kirsty Rogers Partner
 Sinead Sheehan  photo Sinead Sheehan Senior Associate
 Frank Shephard  photo Frank Shephard Partner
 Emma Shubrook  photo Emma Shubrook Senior Associate
 Ian Slater  photo Ian Slater Partner
 Kirsty Smith  photo Kirsty Smith Senior Associate
 Adrian Southwood  photo Adrian Southwood Associate
 Lisa Stavropoulos  photo Lisa Stavropoulos Director
 Jeremy Steele  photo Jeremy Steele Partner
 James Stevens  photo James Stevens Director
 Sarah Stutchfield  photo Sarah Stutchfield Associate
 Stephen Styles  photo Stephen Styles Associate
 James Szerdy  photo James Szerdy Partner
 Vicky Thomas  photo Vicky Thomas Associate
 Richard Tovell  photo Richard Tovell Consultant
 Mark Treacher  photo Mark Treacher Partner
 Alan Walker  photo Alan Walker Partner
 Kieran Walshe  photo Kieran Walshe Partner
 David Walton  photo David Walton Partner
 Karl Warmbold  photo Karl Warmbold Director of Facilities & Property
 Daniel Williams  photo Daniel Williams Senior Associate
 Joanne Witheford  photo Joanne Witheford Senior Solicitor
 David Wood  photo David Wood Consultant
 Vikki Woodfine  photo Vikki Woodfine Partner