Firm Profile > DWF > Manchester , North West

M3 3AA
North West

Living Wage

Commercial litigation: Liverpool Tier 1

DWF is adept at handling contractual and company disputes including reach of warranty disputes, indemnity claims and shareholder and partnership disputes. Other areas of expertise include professional negligence, Judicial Review, competition, directors' disqualification, contentious probate, arbitration, procurement litigation and injunctions. Key client sectors include telecoms, utilities and energy, public sector, food and drink, retail and education. Andrew Whalley, Graham Dagnall and Matthew Stoll head the team, and Whalley has been leading the firm's work for O2/Telefonica on a £300m claim against Ofcom. Director Chris King and senior associates Helen Otty and Lyndsay Crowder-Barton are also recommended.

Commercial litigation: Manchester Tier 1

DWF's advises nationally recognised brands, major north west businesses and high net worth individuals, with a particular specialism in sectors including utilities and energy, food and drink, retail and education. The firm aims to differentiate itself from its peers by taking a more proactive approach to sharing the cost of litigation, offering conditional fee agreements and damages based agreements via its Fundlit service. Lee Norman heads the team, while Andrew Harris, Steve MorrisNicole Burton and Joel Heap - who 'has outstanding commercial acumen and is fantastic with clients' are also recommended.

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 1

DWF's team, which is split across the firm's Manchester and Liverpool bases, handles complex trust and probate disputes, often with a cross-border element or issues of jurisdiction or domicile. The firm's clients include trustee companies, private banks, charitable trusts and private individuals. The practice was strengthened in late 2018 by the arrival of director Christopher Noel, who joined from Addleshaw Goddard to lead the private capital team in Manchester. 'Clever, practical' senior associate Daniel Williams is well-regarded by clients.

Employment Tier 1

DWF provides strategic advice to national and international bluechip clients across a range of sectors including retail, education, outsourcing and insurance. The firm's significant national and international reach enables it to effectively handle complex employment work such as significant restructurings, redundancies and large-scale TUPE exercises. The team is also involved in employment disputes in Court of Appeal as well as a number of Employment Appeal Tribunal cases. Joanne Frew took over leadership of the Manchester team on her promotion to partner in February 2019, while Tim Scott leads the practice in Liverpool.

EU and competition Tier 1

DWF specialises in advising on EU state aid, EU procurement, EU funding and regulatory matters. The firm has been undertaking an increasing number of instructions in UK merger control work and in 2018 notified three mergers through the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA). Other areas of expertise include cartels, EU funding disputes, judicial reviews, and providing advice around the European regional development fund (ERDF) and Brexit.  Jonathan Branton , who splits his time between Leeds, Manchester and Brussels, heads the team. Senior associate Jay Mehta is also recommended.

Health and safety Tier 1

DWF's health and safety team acts in some of the largest cases for major clients nationwide, and is frequently involved in cases resulting from major incidents including corporate manslaughter, fatalities and very serious injuries. The firm's clients are drawn from a wide range of sectors, including energy, retail, transport, education, healthcare, construction, hotels and manufacturing. Steffan Groch and Vikki Woodfine are the key contacts.

Immigration Tier 1

'True expert' John Dorney leads DWF's business immigration department, which acts for household name businesses including multinationals and other FTSE 100 and AIM-listed companies. While the team advises on all aspects of immigration law, a mainstay of the practice is the securing of Home Office sponsorship licences and subsequent assistance in respect of migrant sponsorship applications, coupled with advice on Home Office reporting obligations. The team also regularly acts for high-net-worth and skilled migrants in respect of Tier 1 investor, Entrepreneur and Exceptional Talent Visa applications.

Intellectual property Tier 1

DWF represents a raft of leading brands across sectors including manufacturing, retail, pharma, healthcare, technology, hospitality and food and drink. Areas of expertise include patents, design, copyright, trademark disputes, breach of confidence claims and cross-jurisdictional issues. 'Highly recommended' team co-head Craig Chaplin advises on IP acquisitions and disposals, research, development and licensing of IP rights and brand protection. Fellow co-head Asima Rana also leads the North West IP litigation practice.

IT and telecoms Tier 1

DWF advises a roster of household name clients on IT and outsourcing projects, with a particular focus on the financial services, insurance and retail sectors. The practice has recently seen an increase in instructions from IT and telecoms suppliers. The 'extremely personable' Craig Chaplin heads the team and is experienced in advising on major IT infrastructure projects. James Lonsdale is adept at handling outsourcing agreements, acquisitions, licenses, and contracts. Andrew Whalley leads on disputes.

Local government Tier 1

DWF 's multi-disciplinary local government team stands out for its specialist state aid and public procurement expertise, as well as its experience in regeneration and infrastructure projects and insurance mandates. The team also advises public sector clients on loan funding projects. EU and competition head Jonathan Branton and Colin Murray, who are based across the firm's Leeds and Manchester offices, jointly head the team. Bradley Martin is recommended as a rising star.

Pensions Tier 1

Manchester partner Tim Green - 'the complete pensions lawyer' - is national head of pensions at DWF, which is known for its proficiency in pensions litigation, particularly in relation to the distressed market and pensions restructurings, as well as advising on complex multi-employer pension schemes. The department has expertise across a number of sectors such as retail, transport, utilities and insurance. 'Technically superb' senior associate Sinead Sheehan is well-regarded for her 'excellent eye for detail'.

Personal injury: defendant Tier 1

Paul Berry is at the helm of DWF's national insurance team, which comprises a broad personal injury practice, handling catastrophic injury claims and large loss matters such as fatalities, serious brain and spinal injuries, to occupational health and industrial disease cases and motor traffic accident claims. The department also has a dedicated counter-fraud team led by Jamie TaylorIan Slater, who heads up the Manchester insurance practice, is also recommended.

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 1

The team at DWF undertakes the full gambit of private client work but has particular strength in advising business owners and high-net-worth individuals on domestic and international asset management, as well as on wills, IHT and succession planning. Director Christopher Noel joined from Addleshaw Goddard in late 2018 as head of private capital, bringing 'a level of additional service quality and technical knowledge' to the team.

Professional negligence Tier 1

The practice at DWF, which is led by Andrew MacLeod, holds panel places for many of the UK's largest general professional indemnity insurers and syndicates. The team has particular strength in handling high-value, multi-party construction-related  cases, but also has a track record on claims involving other professionals such as solicitors, insurance brokers, accountants, surveyors stockbrokers and IFAs. Other areas of expertise include D&O/management liability claims as well as breach of contract, IP and cyber claims in the IT and media sectors. Senior associate Nathan Penny-Larter is recommended.

Banking litigation Tier 2

DWF advises major banks and finance houses on PPI mis-selling, cyber and external frauds, regulatory compliance and multijurisdictional litigation. Other areas of expertise include possession claims, mortgage fraud, professional negligence, operational loss claims, recovery claims, and fraud prevention and detection. John Perez heads the team, while senior associate Daniel Fitzgerald is also recommended. The team was boosted in September 2018 by the arrival of finance litigator Ben Johnson from DLA Piper UK LLP.

Corporate and commercial: Liverpool Tier 2

DWF represents a range of clients including SMEs and large corporates on corporate and commercial matters. Areas of expertise include M&A, private equity deals, negotiation of agreements, outsourcing arrangements as well as  asset and real estate management and licensing matters.  Paul Rimmer, Paul Attwood and Ben Cooke, who was recently promoted to partner, head the team. Senior associate James Cashman is also recommended.

Corporate and commercial: Manchester Tier 2

DWF acts for local, national and international clients on capital markets, M&A, private equity transactions and commercial matters. The 'robust' and 'commercial' team represents private equity houses, management teams, listed companies and nomads and brokers. Key client sectors include financial services, retail and technology. Craig Chaplin, Jonathan Robinson, Frank Shephard and James Lonsdale head the team. Lisa Stavropoulos is also recommended. Stuart Crook joined as associate from Stephensons Solicitors LLP.

Corporate tax Tier 2

DWF 's 'proactive team'  is adept at handling all aspects of employee incentives and share schemes, as well as providing transactional tax advice to corporates and private equity houses on investments, restructurings, disposals and management incentives. Other areas of expertise including drafting and negotiating tax schedules. The firm also advises on real estate-related tax such as stamp duty land tax (SDLT) and advises on the construction industry scheme (CIS). Newly promoted partner James Cashman heads the team.

Crime: fraud Tier 2

DWF 's sizeable fraud and financial crime department also draws on experts based across the firm's UK network of offices. It advises on regulatory compliance matters such as civil, criminal, cyber breach, data breach and fraud, including pension, life, occupational and insurer fraud. It also handles personal injury fraud covering motor and employers liability. Lorraine Carolan, who is based nationally, is the firm's national financial crime and fraud team head.

Energy Tier 2

DWF stands out for its experience across electricity, gas, water and renewables, nuclear, district energy and heating and battery storage projects. It acts for public and private sector clients including developers, funders and investors, on domestic and international mandates. The team also handles energy sector disputes as well as EU and competition matters in the sector. Catherine Haslam is head of solar and Andrew Symms, who is based across the Leeds and Manchester offices, handles energy sector projects.

Licensing Tier 2

DWF is experienced in handling licensing mandates across the food, sports, hospitality and retail sectors and the team regularly advises on matters across the UK. Senior associate David Crank who is 'very experienced' heads the team.

Transport Tier 2

DWF advises clients on regulatory transport matters and motor prosecutions. Areas of expertise include fatal rail incident and hearings before the traffic commissioner. The firm's team also advises on logistics, road haulage and cabotage. Clients sectors include government, automotive, rail, maritime and logistics.

Banking and finance Tier 3

Operating across the firm's Liverpool and Manchester offices, the team at DWF stands out for its corporate banking expertise; it regularly acts for borrowers and lenders, and boasts a growing alternative lender client base. Public sector finance and automotive sector finance mandates are particular areas of expertise for the department. The team is headed by James Szerdy and includes Paul Brown who acts for lenders and borrowers on both public and private sector funding.

Commercial property: Manchester Tier 3

DWF provides 'timely and commercial advice'; the team is noted for its expertise across retail, hotels and leisure, public, telecoms, energy, social housing and technology sector real estate mandates, and regularly acts for occupiers, developers, public sector clients, and investment clients and funders. David Frankland is experienced in hotel and leisure sector mandates, Naveen Gupta is noted for his retail sector expertise and Catherine Haslam is experienced in telecommunications property law. Anita Gupta heads the Manchester team and Paul Inman heads the firm's North West real estate practice.

Property litigation Tier 3

DWF is instructed by developers, investors, retailers and local authorities on property litigation cases. Alan Walker leads the North West property litigation team and is noted for his telecoms sector expertise and  Jeremy Steele is instructed by retail and investor clients. Helena Davies has joined Brabners LLP.

Construction Tier 4

DWF handles a range of construction matters across the hotel, leisure, retail, manufacturing, industrial, commercial and housing sectors. The team is instructed by local authority clients on major regeneration projects. It offers both contentious and non-contentious expertise. Department head David Vayro, who is 'first-rate', is based in Manchester and is ably supported by associate Gemma Wilson and recently promoted senior associate Ragene Raithatha.

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 4

DWF handles contentious and non-contentious instructions and regularly acts for banks as well as accountants and agents on complex insolvency and restructuring matters. The team regularly assists directors of distressed businesses and is noted for its experience in handling administrations involving substantial property assets. Personal insolvency work is also a key area of expertise and this work is led out of the firm's Liverpool office where Katharine Lawrenson is based. In Manchester, director Julie Agnew is recommended.

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 3,200 people across 27 key locations and has steadily grown its international presence in response to client demand. In May 2019 it expanded its international footprint by opening a new office in Warsaw, Poland 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
 Karen Ainscough  photo Karen Ainscough
 Catherine Bamford  photo Catherine Bamford
 Jayne Bamford  photo Jayne Bamford
 Tonya Baxter  photo Tonya Baxter
 Simon Belfield  photo Simon Belfield
 Stephen Benson  photo Stephen Benson
 Alan Benzie  photo Alan Benzie
 Jay Birch  photo Jay Birch
 Oliver Bowes-Smith  photo Oliver Bowes-Smith
 Paul Brown  photo Paul Brown
 Nicole Burton  photo Nicole Burton
 Colin Bushell  photo Colin Bushell
 Sean Caldwell  photo Sean Caldwell
 Michael Chambers  photo Michael Chambers
 Craig Chaplin  photo Craig Chaplin
 Daren Charlton  photo Daren Charlton
 Helen Coates  photo Helen Coates
 Lisa Collins  photo Lisa Collins
 Andy Connor  photo Andy Connor
 Eleanor Cook  photo Eleanor Cook
 Kelly Cooke  photo Kelly Cooke
 Andrew Cousins  photo Andrew Cousins
 Marsha Crosland  photo Marsha Crosland
 Paul Davies  photo Paul Davies
 Helena Davies  photo Helena Davies
 Andrew Davis  photo Andrew Davis
 Greg Dawson  photo Greg Dawson
 Simon Denyer  photo Simon Denyer
 John Dorney  photo John Dorney
 Nicole Downey  photo Nicole Downey
 Nicola Dunk  photo Nicola Dunk
 Mary-Jane Ebenezer  photo Mary-Jane Ebenezer
 Andrea Everett  photo Andrea Everett
 Ed Farrelly  photo Ed Farrelly
 Leisa Fearon  photo Leisa Fearon
 Daniel Fitzgerald  photo Daniel Fitzgerald
 Lee Foulser  photo Lee Foulser
 David Frankland  photo David Frankland
 Joanne Frew  photo Joanne Frew
 Andy Fu  photo Andy Fu
 Peter Goodwill  photo Peter Goodwill
 Carl Graham  photo Carl Graham
 Claire Graham  photo Claire Graham
 Tim Green  photo Tim Green
 Steffan Groch  photo Steffan Groch
 Naveen Gupta  photo Naveen Gupta
 Anita Gupta  photo Anita Gupta
 Steve Hackett  photo Steve Hackett
 Jonathan Hall  photo Jonathan Hall
 Stephen Hardwick  photo Stephen Hardwick
 Andrew Harris  photo Andrew Harris
 Kathy Harris  photo Kathy Harris
 Catherine Harrison  photo Catherine Harrison
 Catherine Haslam  photo Catherine Haslam
 Joel Heap  photo Joel Heap
 Tom Higson  photo Tom Higson
 Lisa Hill  photo Lisa Hill
 Tim Ingram  photo Tim Ingram
 Paul Inman  photo Paul Inman
 Ritchie Irvine  photo Ritchie Irvine
 Neil Irving  photo Neil Irving
 Hazel James  photo Hazel James
 Kevin Jaquiss  photo Kevin Jaquiss
 Tracey Johnson  photo Tracey Johnson
 Rachel Jones  photo Rachel Jones
 Dominic Jones  photo Dominic Jones
 Glyn Jones  photo Glyn Jones
 Tyrone Jones  photo Tyrone Jones
 Zoryana Jurczyszyn  photo Zoryana Jurczyszyn
 Jon Keeble  photo Jon Keeble
 Jon Kiddle  photo Jon Kiddle
 Nelina Kime  photo Nelina Kime
 Steven King  photo Steven King
 Catherine Kober  photo Catherine Kober
 Chris Lagar  photo Chris Lagar
 Pauline Lam  photo Pauline Lam
 Rachel Lawler  photo Rachel Lawler
 James Lonsdale  photo James Lonsdale
 James Lupton  photo James Lupton
 Ian Macalister  photo Ian Macalister
 Sue Malia  photo Sue Malia
 Jon Marriott  photo Jon Marriott
 Bradley Martin  photo Bradley Martin
 Simon Mather  photo Simon Mather
 Jyoti Mathews  photo Jyoti Mathews
 Patrick McBrien  photo Patrick McBrien
 Rob McKee  photo Rob McKee
 Jay Mehta  photo Jay Mehta
 Peter Meloy  photo Peter Meloy
 Sean Monks  photo Sean Monks
 Steve Morris  photo Steve Morris
 Colin Murray  photo Colin Murray
 Lee Norman  photo Lee Norman
 Louise Oldfield  photo Louise Oldfield
 Darren Ormsby  photo Darren Ormsby
 Alasdair Outhwaite  photo Alasdair Outhwaite
 Steven O’Sullivan  photo Steven O’Sullivan
 John Palmer  photo John Palmer
 Amy Parrish  photo Amy Parrish
 Jonathan Patterson  photo Jonathan Patterson
 Alasdair Peacock  photo Alasdair Peacock
 Michael Pease  photo Michael Pease
 John Perez  photo John Perez
 Catharine Porter  photo Catharine Porter
 Alexandra Puddy  photo Alexandra Puddy
 Bill Radcliffe  photo Bill Radcliffe
 Alicia Renshaw  photo Alicia Renshaw
 Jonathan Robinson  photo Jonathan Robinson
 James Roden  photo James Roden
 Kirsty Rogers  photo Kirsty Rogers
 Sinead Sheehan  photo Sinead Sheehan
 Frank Shephard  photo Frank Shephard
 Emma Shubrook  photo Emma Shubrook
 Ian Slater  photo Ian Slater
 Kirsty Smith  photo Kirsty Smith
 Adrian Southwood  photo Adrian Southwood
 Lisa Stavropoulos  photo Lisa Stavropoulos
 Jeremy Steele  photo Jeremy Steele
 James Stevens  photo James Stevens
 Sarah Stutchfield  photo Sarah Stutchfield
 Stephen Styles  photo Stephen Styles
 James Szerdy  photo James Szerdy
 Vicky Thomas  photo Vicky Thomas
 Richard Tovell  photo Richard Tovell
 Mark Treacher  photo Mark Treacher
 Alan Walker  photo Alan Walker
 Kieran Walshe  photo Kieran Walshe
 David Walton  photo David Walton
 Karl Warmbold  photo Karl Warmbold
 Daniel Williams  photo Daniel Williams
 Joanne Witheford  photo Joanne Witheford
 David Wood  photo David Wood
 Vikki Woodfine  photo Vikki Woodfine