DWF > Leeds, England > Firm Profile

DWF
BRIDGEWATER PLACE
WATER LANE
LEEDS
LS11 5DY
England

Corporate and commercial > EU and competition Tier 1

DWF has noteworthy experience in advising private sector clients on matters spanning merger control work, cartels, dominant market positions, market investigations and enforcement cases. It also covers competition law issues relevant to the public sector such as state aid matters, subsidy control issues, grant funding work, WTO rules and public procurement mandates. Jonathan Branton, who divides his time between Leeds and Manchester, is a specialist in this area; he leads the practice together with Manchester-based Colin Murray. Alexander Rose is well versed in subsidy control work including handling major capital projects relating to the automotive sector and innovative projects.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Branton; Colin Murray

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team are very knowledgeable about the subject matter, are commercially astute and have experience of working with the field for many years. They are also able to come up with alternative solutions to achieve a client’s aims, when the client’s original suggestion may be impractical or subject to risk. Where they are particularly strong is distilling down highly complex legal text to provide clear and concise guidance for clients.’

‘Jonathan Branton and his colleagues are highly knowledgeable in this field and can advise you of alternative routes to your preferred solution, how to mitigate the risks associated with the award of any grant and in a clear and concise manner. In short, they are always willing to go the extra mile. They always respond in a timely manner and are highly professional.’

Key clients

Homes England

North of Tyne Combined Authority

Advanced Propulsion Centre

Hull City Council

Serco

Maven Capital Partners LLP

The Arts Council

National Lottery Heritage Fund / National Lottery Community Fund

South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority

Leeds City Council

Wakefield Council

West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Bradford Council

Glennon Brothers (Timber)

CEG

Morrisons

University of Leeds

Medicines Discovery Catapult

Medina Dairies

Durham Council

Wykeland Group

St. Francis Group

Scarborough Council

Work highlights

  • Acted for PepsiCo in securing CMA clearance for its acquisition of Pipers Crisps.
  • Advised the Irish Government on a state aid audit carried out by the European Commission, including putting in place measures to demonstrate the compliance of subsidies during the delivery of the funding programme.
  • Advising Homes England on the compliance of multiple funding programmes.

Dispute resolution > Debt recovery Tier 1

The team at DWF is appreciated for its ‘excellent understanding of complex dispute resolution and the importance of mediation’. Its client roster includes numerous retailers and banks, insurers, blue-chip and utilities companies, local authorities and public bodies. The group handles civil recovery and loss prevention matters, and works closely with its other national and international offices. Kevin Feehan is often sought out by retail sector clients, and leads the team with Jeffersen Gledhill and Ryan Jurgelis-Hinnells.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Feehan; Jeffersen Gledhill; Ryan Jurgelis-Hinnells

Testimonials

‘The DWF Leeds team are extremely professional, knowledgeable and work hard to understand the complexities of our industry and the challenges of our business. DWF keep abreast of changes to the market, making considered, commercial recommendations to help reduce our costs. Key to our successful partnership is their collaborative approach and desire to match our brand values.’

‘Jeff Gledhill and the team are responsive, knowledgeable, and have an excellent understanding of complex dispute resolution and the importance of mediation. Jeff in particular goes that extra mile to ensure the best commercial outcome, continually striving for excellence throughout the team.’

Key clients

Fleetcor UK

Sainsburys Supermarkets Ltd

Controlaccount PLC

Hirestation Ltd

DX Network Services Limited

Marks And Spencer Plc

Asda Stores Ltd

WM Morrison Supermarkets Ltd

Scottish Water Business Stream Ltd

British Telecommunications Plc

Tesco Stores Limited

Genle Limited (GoTo Auctions)

Co-operative Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised various clients in the financial services sector (including banking and pensions) on fraud-related matters and civil recovery options.
  • Appointed as strategic legal partner to BT, the global communications services company, providing managed services via DWF’s Recoveries Department.

Employment > Health and safety Tier 1

DWF houses ‘one of the most impressive teams in the country’ according to clients. The group represents both individuals and organisations in prosecutions and investigations by regulatory authorities such as the Police and Health and Safety Executive. Other areas of expertise include gross negligence manslaughter and corporate manslaughter as well as extensive experience in general criminal practice, including on road traffic issues. Corporate defence specialist Paul Matthews leads the team that includes criminal litigator Mark Thompson; David Chant, who was promoted to director in January 2022; and associate Sophie Parkin.

Practice head(s):

Paul Matthews

Other key lawyers:

David Chant; Mark Thompson; Sophie Parkin; Lauren Slater; Alexandra Traynor

Testimonials

‘A top-notch team. Partners and senior solicitors are always approachable and collaborate well with Counsel and clients to deliver high quality work.’

‘A range of impressive abilities in the safety field. One of the most impressive teams in the country with a vast volume of work and great court experience.’

‘The team provide no nonsense, practical and pragmatic advice in a calm manner at times of stress.’

‘Paul Matthews and Alex Traynor have an excellent understanding of our business which combined with their excellent legal subject knowledge translates into excellent practical advice tailored specifically to our business operations.’

‘They clearly spend much time devising the best strategy for a client and communicate the pitfalls and upside of a trial very well in a manner the client can readily understand. They are team players and develop a good professional working relationship with all parties.’

‘I found from day one the team were very personable and took time to explain the legalities of what was going on. Nothing was too much trouble and as the case developed so did their resources.’

‘Sophie Parkin has excellent knowledge of her field and truly excellent written advice. Just great to work with.’

‘Mark Thompson brings invaluable experience to this field from his former practice in defending serious crime. He is very assured and brings calm, good judgement to the big decisions in a case.’

Key clients

Electricity North West

Kwik-Fit

RSA

NFUM

Direct Line

NIG

QBE

HDI Global

Chubb

Allianz

Serco

Housing Plus Group

Eon Insurance Brokers

Work highlights

  • Represented two employees of Serco charged with a number of offences including causing death by dangerous driving, arising out of an incident whilst at work.
  • Represented Rodney Slater (a Director) who was charged with Gross Negligence Manslaughter and a breach of s.37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, following a fatal incident in April 2017 involving an employee of the company.
  • Represented a Bosley Mill employee charged with a health and safety offence following an explosion which caused four fatalities and multiple serious injuries.

Insurance > Personal injury and clinical negligence; defendant Tier 1

DWF‘s major injury, casualty, and fraud teams advise across a broad range of sectors, including manufacturing, care, retail and transport. David Rogers is head of the major injury team in Leeds, handling spinal cord and brain injury cases as well as advising on policy issues in motor, employer's liability and public liability claims. For asbestos-related diseases and accidents, Richard Parker is recommended, while Paul Holmes handles fraud cases. Clients consider Owen Rees and Lisa Collins to be ‘two of the best catastrophic lawyers in the area’.

Practice head(s):

David Rogers

Other key lawyers:

Richard Parker; Paul Holmes; Owen Rees; Lisa Collins

Testimonials

‘Excellent lawyers with brilliant judgment.’

‘DWF seem to be ahead of others in ensuring that their technological resources serve the client’s best interests.’

‘DWF are at the cutting edge of detecting and combatting insurance fraud.’

‘Paul Holmes takes a robust, intelligent and commercial approach to claims. He knows his clients’ objectives and helps them get great results.’

‘Efficient, personable and well prepared, the team offer an excellent legal service to defendant clients in complex multi-million pound claims.’

‘David Rogers is a highly experienced solicitor who demonstrates excellent client care skills in combination with in-depth legal and industry knowledge, all of which qualities mean that he is a firm favourite with defendant clients.’

‘Richard Parker is assiduous and approaches his cases with care.’

‘DWF Yorkshire have two of the best catastrophic lawyers in the area in Owen Rees and Lisa Collins.’

Work highlights

    Insurance > Professional negligence Tier 1

    DWF‘s professional indemnity team ‘punches above its weight’ and is regularly instructed on multimillion-pound, multi-party disputes. The team has a strong TMT sector focus, advising a wide range of media professionals on negligence claims. Practice head Matthew Reynolds has extensive mediation experience. Grant Walker is a ‘superb litigator’, defending claims against solicitors while Malcolm Rogers provides ‘first class’ defence in claims against construction professionals.

    Practice head(s):

    Matthew Reynolds

    Other key lawyers:

    Testimonials

    ‘DWF’s professional indemnity team is a real asset. Excellent sector-driven knowledge is at the heart of what they do and the partners are approachable, knowledgeable and strategically very sound.’

    ‘This team punches above its weight in both the local and national market. It is user friendly, extremely knowledgeable and excellent value.’

    ‘Well established professional indemnity department. Experienced in commercial negotiations and have a keen eye on what insurers want.’

    ‘Matt Reynolds is a very client friendly litigator who is not afraid to put a marker down with claimants.’

    ‘Malcolm Rogers’ sector knowledge was absolutely first class and he was always on hand with advice and built an excellent strategy for our defence.’

    ‘Grant Walker is a superb litigator. Measured, resourceful, highly intelligent and a master of detail, he gets brilliant results for his clients by the impeccably high standards he expects of himself and by the creative attention he devotes to his cases.’

    Key clients

    AIG Europe Ltd

    Arch Insurance Company

    Argo Global

    Armour Risk Management

    AXA XL

    BT

    Canopius

    Chancery PI

    Chubb

    CNA

    Hiscox Underwriting Limited

    Liberty Speciality Markets

    Markel (UK) Limited

    Medical Protection Society

    MS Amlin

    Navigators Insurance

    QBE

    RiverStone Management Limited

    Starr Underwriting Agents Limited

    Travelers

    Zurich Insurance Plc

    Work highlights

    • Defended Hiscox in a construction adjudication against a sports floor manufacturer.
    • Advised AXA XL in defending a professional negligence claim against a firm of solicitors, relating to the purchase of leasehold interests in two developments by 17 separate investors, which (once constructed) was intended to be a student accommodation complex comprising 302 apartments across the two sites.
    • Defending a firm of accountants who are being sued by a celebrity former client. The allegations concern a settlement agreement reached with HMRC arising from the celebrity’s failure to pay tax.

    Corporate and commercial > M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m Tier 1

    Recent months have seen significant growth in the volume of high-profile deals on which DWF’s London corporate team has worked, particularly in the retail, real estate, and insurance sectors. Team head Patrick Eaton has a strong focus in the retail sector and covers a range of corporate transactional and advisory work, including private company M&A, equity finance, joint ventures and corporate structuring and reorganisations. Laurence Applegate has a particular specialism in real estate private equity, having worked on numerous real estate related matters in the UK and Europe.

    Practice head(s):

    Frank Shephard; Patrick Eaton

    Other key lawyers:

    Laurence Applegate; Justin Edgar; Raeesa Chowdhury

    Testimonials

    ‘We felt well covered and represented and they were not afraid or holding back on challenging their own opinions – regardless of the seniority from which the opinion was coming.’

    ‘The individuals had a really good understanding of interpersonal and deal centric situations and gave proper guidance. They were providing the support, were trustworthy and were guiding us in each step of the way.’

     

    Key clients

    Ocado Retail Limited

    BT PLC

    Jess Deluca (co-founder of Cult Beauty Limited)

    Singular Group

    Netex SA

    Corvus Insurance Holding Limited

    US RE Private Equity Fund

    HC-One Limited

    Arajet Holdings Limited

    Kin and Carta Plc

    Workdry International Limited (Selwood Limited)

    Netex Group

    Maximus Companies Limited

    SGS

    Apposite Capital

    Sovereign Capital

    Croud Holdings Limited

    Invicta Global Holdings Plc

    Duke Street Bio Limited

    Octagon I/O Limited

    I Squared Capital Partners

    Bamford Bus Company

    Workdry International

    Randall & Quilter Investment Holdings Ltd

    Keywords Studios plc

    The DMW Group (now Credera)

    CentralNic Group plc

    PSC UK Holdings Limited

    DNA Payments Group

    Costero Holdings Limited

    PSC Insurance Group Limited

    Ares Management Limited

    ESO Capital Partners

    CSM Sport and Entertainment

    VCCP Media

    Flybondi Holdings

    Hineni Capital Ltd

    Laytrip Holdings

    Moda Living Limited

    The Freehold Corporation

    Abysse UK Limited

    First Industrial Developments Limited

    Work highlights

    • Advised Cult Beauty founder, Jess DeLuca, on the sale of Cult Beauty Limited to LSE-listed The Hut Group Plc.
    • Advising one of the AIM Market’s largest companies Keywords Studios plc on its international M&A programme throughout 2021, acting on the acquisitions of: a) Climax Studios Ltd (UK); b) Tantalus Media Pty Ltd (Australia); c) Waste Holdings (UK); and d) AMC (Romania).
    • Acting as leading counsel for ASX-listed PSC Insurance Group Limited; advising on two transactions in 2021 – the acquisitions (in whole or in part) of: Abaco Insurance Brokers Limited ; and Trust Insurance Services Limited.

    Dispute resolution > Debt recovery Tier 1

    DWF's team is overseen by national practice heads based in Leeds, and has a track record of acting for blue-chip companies, banks, central government departments and local authorities. The group is active in civil litigation, loss prevention, asset recovery matters and insolvency related work, and has strength across the energy, financial services and insurance sectors. Senior director Kevin Feehan holds various utilities companies as key clients, and is the key name alongside Jefferson Gledhill who has a specialism in fraud. Ryan Jurgelis-Hinnells is recommended for credit control and debt litigation. The firm also has a large contentious offering, advising on contested insolvency matters.

    Practice head(s):

    Kevin Feehan; Jeffersen Gledhill; Ryan Jurgelis-Hinnells

    Testimonials

    ‘They feel like the colleagues I deal with I can approach and talk through situations. They are friendly and approachable.’

    ‘Always willing to help.’

    Key clients

    Fleetcor UK

    Sainsburys Supermarkets Ltd

    Controlaccount PLC

    Hirestation Ltd

    DX Network Services Limited

    Marks And Spencer Plc

    Asda Stores Ltd

    WM Morrison Supermarkets Ltd

    Scottish Water Business Stream Ltd

    British Telecommunications Plc

    Tesco Stores Limited

    Genle Limited (GoTo Auctions)

    Co-operative Group Limited

    Work highlights

    • Advised various clients in the financial services sector (including banking and pensions) on fraud-related matters and civil recovery options.’
    • Advised various clients in the energy & natural resources sector, in particular water clients, including Severn Trent plc, in respect of consumer disputes and litigation, and Scottish Water Business Stream Limited, with litigation and enforcement services for commercial live and closed accounts in England.
    • Appointed as strategic legal partner to BT, the global communications services company, providing managed services via DWF’s Recoveries Department. Offering reporting on Adverse Financial Information encompassing virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group and providing claims support.

    Employment > Health and safety Tier 1

    DWF's health and safety team are involved in some of the most difficult and high profile cases in the sector, including supporting the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on the Grenfell Tower fire. It offers compliance advice and litigation expertise to clients across the UK in the construction, retail, insurance and manufacturing sectors. Steffan Groch is a crisis management expert, as well as the former chair of the Health and Safety Lawyers' Association. Dominic Watkins specialises in providing regulatory advice to global and national clients in the retail and food sectors, while Hilary Ross helps large corporates create health and safety strategies for their employees.

    Practice head(s):

    Steffan Groch; Dominic Watkins; Hilary Ross

    Other key lawyers:

    Anne Marie taylor; James Jevon; Claire Notley

    Testimonials

    ‘A fantastic Regulatory Safety Team with extensive expertise deployed with total dedication, always on hand providing high level support, guidance and direction at every stage post serious incident.’

    ‘Huge experience, credibility and relevant expertise coupled with complete dedication, available 24/7. All of which inspires confidence and assurance especially in testing times.’

    Key clients

    Wm Morrisons Group PLC

    3M

    Arcadia

    Lidl

    BT

    MBNL

    C&C Group ( Tennents, Mathew Clarke)

    Severn Trent Water

    Homebase ltd

    Royal Borough of Chelsea & Westminster

    Work highlights

    • Instructed by RBKC on the morning of 14 June 2017 following the fire at Grenfell Tower which tragically caused 71 fatalities.
    • Standing counsel for regulatory crisis for several national supermarkets. Despite several prosecutions and many investigations our client has never been convicted during the 8 years we have represented them.
    • Defended prosecution at a nearly 10 week trial regarding a fatal accident involving a child at a Topshop store in 2017 that related a close examination of the history of the barrier in question nationwide for the 10 years it was in the business

    Insurance > Personal injury: defendant Tier 1

    Steven King and Mark Whittaker co-lead the personal injury defendant offering at DWF. The team is comprised of experts in complex injury litigation and is well adept at defending high-value, complex claims arising from: motor and road traffic incidents, workplace accidents, property damage, health and safety issues, as well as public and product liability cases. It is also experienced in dealing with group actions. Presently, it is acting for the defendant council in the multi-claimant, high-profile action regarding the Grenfell Tower disaster, and has set up extensive rehabilitation for victims and their families as part of its work. In addition, the team is well equipped to handle cross-jurisdictional matters; recently promoted partner Michelle Knapp is developing a strong reputation for handling international catastrophic injury cases. Other noted senior practitioners include Claire Bowler, Graham Dickinson and Rhys Sanchez. ‘Future partner in-the-making’, Adela Carrasco, is one to watch at senior associate level.

    Practice head(s):

    Steven King; Mark Whittaker

    Other key lawyers:

    Seema Bains; Charles Ashmore; Rhys Sanchez; Alison Standfast; Dan Mitchell; Stuart Giddings; Paul Greaves; Adela Carrasco; Graham Dickinson; Olly Bowes-Smith; John Lezemore; Dan Jordan; Emma Clarke

    Testimonials

    ‘Seema Bains is the best in the business. A bright, thorough tactician with excellent judgement – charming to work with. Other stand-outs are Mark Whittaker, Alison Standfast and Dan Mitchell. All have good judgment and are a pleasure to work with.’

    ‘Charles Ashmore is a robust, no-nonsense insurance lawyer.’

    ‘Rhys Sanchez is approachable, client-focused and knowledgeable across a number of different fields including personal injury, property damage and overseas jurisdiction matters.’

    ‘DWF have been amongst the top defendant insurance firms for many years and their position in that ranking has been well earned and secure. They bring a wide pool of talent, experience and abilities to their clients and are receptive to different tactical approaches.’

    ‘Adela Carrasco is a future partner in-the-making. Erudite in personal injury, she uses her extensive knowledge base in an effective and pragmatic way to ensure the best results for clients.’

    ‘John Lezemore is a standout partner – very experienced, and can handle a large caseload.’

    ‘Charles Ashmore is an exceptional litigator. Combining outstanding analytical adroitness, high voltage intellect and the unerring ability to get to the epicentre of a claim, he outpaces, outclasses and outmanoeuvres his opponents. It is no surprise that, for insurers, he is the one to call.’

    ‘By his ability to get through to the opposing side and the cunning deployment of a lethal charm, Steven King achieves amazing results for his clients.’

    Key clients

    RSA

    Aviva

    The Markerstudy Group

    QBE

    Direct Line Group

    Travelers

    MS Amlin

    Ageas

    Tokio Marine Kiln

    QIC

    Antares Managing Agency Limited

    LV

    Generali

    Van Ameyde (UK) And Ireland

    Hastings Direct

    HDI Global

    Mannheimer Versicherung AG

    Wuerttembergische Versicherung AG

    Gefion AS (In Administration)

    Ergo Hestia

    Canopius

    Allianz

    First Central

    Accredited Insurance Europe

    Corporate and commercial > Corporate tax Tier 1

    Employee incentives and share schemes form the cornerstone of the practice at DWF – this expertise is driven by North West practice head James Cashman‘s extensive experience in these areas. Tax issues with a nexus to private equity, M&A and real estate are also areas of strength; the arrival of senior associate James Collinson, formerly of DLA Piper, in August 2021 has further strengthened the team’s offering in these fields. The Birmingham-based Jon Stevens, who heads up the firm’s UK-wide tax group, regularly collaborates with the department.

    Practice head(s):

    James Cashman; Jon Stevens

    Other key lawyers:

    Key clients

    Bollington Wilson Limited

    The shareholders of Ross Care Limited

    SGS United Kingdom Limited

    The Village Bakery (Wrexham) Limited

    Belluscura PLC

    Future Planet Capital (UK) Limited

    The Data Capital Group Limited

    Cirrus Connect Limited

    Advanced Supply Chain Group Limited

    Miroma SET Limited

    Work highlights

    • Advised Belluscura on, and implemented the establishment of, the enterprise management incentive share scheme, employee benefit trust and restricted share scheme prior to its listing on AIM.
    • Advised Advanced Supply Chain Group and its shareholders on the disposal of the entire issued share capital of the client to Reconomy Group.
    • Advised the independent directors of Miroma Set on the share options and exercise of the share options held by employees in the US and UK as part of the recommended acquisition by Miroma Holdings.

    Corporate and commercial > EU and competition Tier 1

    DWF‘s stellar reputation in the competition law space spans the public and private sectors, as evidenced by the firm’s notable roster of blue-chip international businesses and leading public sector organisations, including both the Scottish and Welsh governments. Practice head Jonathan Branton‘s ‘really good instinct‘ has been instrumental in developing the team’s stand-out capabilities in the areas of state aid and, more recently, subsidy control; senior associate Jay Mehta and director Alexander Rose are also recommended for such work. Colin Murray, who leads the national local government offering, is another key group member.

    Practice head(s):

    Jonathan Branton; Colin Murray

    Other key lawyers:

    Testimonials

    ‘Outside of London, the best state aid and subsidy control practice in the country. Better than 95% of London practices as well.’

    ‘Jonathan Branton – very experienced, very knowledgeable and really good instinct.’

    ‘Alexander Rose – fantastically on top of his subject.’

    Key clients

    Homes England

    Advanced Propulsion Centre

    Autocab

    Serco

    Maven Capital Partners LLP

    The Arts Council

    National Lottery Heritage Fund/National Lottery Community Fund

    Liverpool City Council & Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

    Wigan Council

    Wirral Borough Council

    Greater Manchester Combined Authority

    Manchester City Council

    Glennon Brothers (Timber)

    Cheshire & Warrington LEP

    Morrisons

    Manchester Metropolitan University

    Medicines Discovery Catapult

    Medina Dairies

    Durham Council

    Work highlights

    • Advised PepsiCo on securing CMA clearance for its acquisition of Pipers Crisps.
    • Advised the Irish Government on a State aid audit carried out by the European Commission, including putting in place measures to demonstrate the compliance of subsidies during the delivery of the funding programme.
    • Advising Homes England on the compliance aspects of multiple funding programmes.

    Dispute resolution > Banking litigation Tier 1

    DWF stands out as a firm of choice for FCA-regulated motor vehicle recoveries work and is noted for its track record of successful representation of major players in the wake of the commission mis-selling wave. The department also has a nationally renowned asset finance litigation offering, which acts for institutional and challenger banks, as well as private lenders. Practitioners in the team are lauded by one client for being ‘extremely capable and creative in their approach to dispute resolution‘. John Perez, Ritchie Irvine and Ben Johnson are the key senior contacts in the group.

    Practice head(s):

    John Perez; Ritchie Irvine; Ben Johnson

    Other key lawyers:

    Mahesh Vara

    Testimonials

    ‘Easy to deal with. Excellent sector knowledge. Commercial approach to litigation. Great availability of partners and associates. Extremely capable and creative in their approach to dispute resolution. Good access to expertise within other teams.’

    ‘They are all highly knowledgeable, supportive, tenacious and generally great people to work with.’

    ‘We deal with Ben Johnson and Mahesh Vara. They both have excellent knowledge of the asset finance sector and I have always found them easy to deal with and very collaborative in their approach. The cases we have referred to them have been progressed promptly and at proportionate cost.’

    ‘Strong desire to provide exceptional service and the right outcome.’

    ‘Good experience, knowledge and expertise.’

    ‘I have been working with DWF for many years on a wide variation of simple and complex cases. They are all highly knowledgeable, supportive and tenacious. I look forward to working them closely in the years to come.’

    Key clients

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

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

    Shawbrook Bank Limited

    The Mortgage Lender

    Metro Bank Plc

    RBS Group, including National Westminster Bank Plc

    Brown Shipley & Co Limited

    PSA Finance UK Ltd

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

    Money Barn

    Barclays Partner Finance

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

    Elavon Financial Services DAC

    Work highlights

    • Representing a number of motor finance companies and dealers in relation to a wave of alleged mis-selling claims involving DiC Commission structures and the application to the APR/Interest Rate on regulated agreements.

    Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Liverpool Tier 1

    The ‘top quality litigators‘ at DWF provide a ‘faultless service‘ to an enviable client roster in which nationally recognised brands sit beside major North West businesses and high-net-worth individuals based in the region. ‘Excellent leader’ Andrew Whalley heads up the commercial disputes offering, while Matthew Stoll oversees the insured litigation practice group. Chris King regularly ‘brings both common-sense and savviness to crack tough cases‘, particularly those with a nexus to contractual issues. Legal director Lyndsay Crowder-Barton completes the roster of key practitioners, and is singled out as ‘a very useful asset to any team‘.

    Practice head(s):

    Andrew Whalley; Matthew Stoll

    Other key lawyers:

    Chris King; Lyndsay Crowder-Barton; Paul Maddock

    Testimonials

    ‘The team has a broad depth of resources and experience, as you would expect from a leading, national litigation firm. The team has a good balance of junior and senior solicitors, with some exceptional individuals in particular areas.’

    ‘Top quality litigators for far better value for money than the usual London-based suspects. They gave the client a faultless service: spot-on advice on strategic settlement offers, the right choice of specialist counsel, and getting the job done efficiently without wasting fee-earners’ time on unnecessary tasks. First class.’

    ‘Andrew Whalley stands out for his strategic guidance and commercial nous. So, too, does Lindsay Crowder-Barton for her attention to detail and ability to drive the engine of a legal team.’

    ‘Great strength in depth and superb client care.’

    ‘Good strength in depth – senior associates and associates punch above their weight, taking greater responsibility than one sees in equivalent teams. The team functions very well together on large matters, with everybody from junior associates to partner performing smoothly together.’

    ‘Andrew Whalley is an excellent leader who combines first-rate client management skills with attention to detail. Absolutely on top of the detail of the case, and manages a large team very effectively. Lyndsay Crowder-Barton is a very useful asset to any team. Impressive legal analysis coupled with good organisation, and an unfailingly positive attitude.’

    ‘This is a lean, commercial, solutions-driven team.’

    ‘Andrew Whalley is an excellent head of the team. He is a superb litigator with a wealth of experience yet an easy manner. Chris King brings both common-sense and savviness to crack tough cases.’

    Key clients

    Virgin Media O2 (formerly Telefonica UK Limited t/a 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

    ACC Liverpool Group Limited

    Work highlights

    • Successfully represented O2 in two Court of Appeal cases flowing from the claim for restitution of annual licence fees.
    • Acting on behalf of a manufacturing client regarding a significant data breach caused by the systematic downloading of personal data, confidential information and business critical IP by an ex-employee.
    • Representing a national bank regarding the use of an insolvent company’s bank account to launder several million pounds.

    Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Manchester Tier 1

    DWF is well known for representing household names from the transport, retail, and telecoms sectors in complex commercial disputes. Also of note is the firm’s ever-growing reputation for defending group litigation, particularly in relation to business critical data breaches; the team’s recent work for British Airways – on which Andrew Harris acts as the key partner – is indicative of its preeminence in this space. The Manchester office also fields both national practice head Joel Heap and local team lead Lee Norman. At the senior associate level, Michelle Maher is particularly recommended.

    Practice head(s):

    Lee Norman

    Other key lawyers:

    Andrew Harris; Joel Heap; Daniel Williams; Michelle Maher; Benjamin Johnson

    Testimonials

    ‘One of the leading litigation teams in the country – you want them on your side. They have seen it all. They engage with all ranges of clients and devise at the outset a number of strategies to deliver the outcomes that the client wants.’

    ‘Joel Heap – fantastic tactician and negotiator. Lee Norman – unflappable because he has seen it all, has a great command of the case and an ability to see all routes to the clients’ objectives. Daniel Williams – great command of the detail that impresses all who deal with him.’

    ‘The team is responsive and pragmatic.’

    ‘An agile and very commercial team, one of the leading commercial litigation teams in Manchester and the North West. It can easily match many commercial teams in rival firms in London, while offering better value for money.’

    ‘Daniel Williams is an excellent litigator – commercial, strategic and astute and always focused on achieving the client’s aims. He is an extremely active leader and does the heavy lifting with the work. He is unusually responsive to clients.’

    ‘Lee Norman and Joel Heap are both very commercial and responsive.’

    Key clients

    British Airways Plc

    Wm Morrison Supermarkets Limited

    Wincanton Holdings Limited

    Durham County Council

    Lambert Smith Hampton Group Limited

    Kingswood Group

    JCB Power Systems Limited

    Serco Limited (part of Serco Group PLC)

    BT Plc

    Countrywide Plc

    Biostraw Limited

    Zedra Trust Company (Jersey) Limited (trust company of Oliver Cookson)

    James Cropper Plc

    Electricity North West

    Titlesolve

    First Title

    Work highlights

    • Defended British Airways against the first group litigation claim brought under GDPR in respect of a cyber-attack and data theft concerning its website and mobile application.
    • Represented CMAC Group in a number of procurement challenges relating to the award of emergency and planned rail replacement services.
    • Acting on behalf of Zedra Trust Company (Jersey) in an unfair prejudice petition brought against The Hut Group and a number of its individual shareholder and directors, with a value of over £100m.

    Employment Tier 1

    DWF frequently deals with contentious employment matters before the Court of Appeal as well as with complex employment tribunal cases. Its broad experience includes advice on IR35 rules and employment law compliance training. Deputy global head Joanne Frew focuses on contentious employment matters. Manchester managing partner Kirsty Rogers deals with discrimination issues, especially cases involving gender discrimination, while Liverpool team leader Tim Scott is a key contact regarding TUPE and industrial relations. Recent changes in the team include employment law specialist Sinead Donnelly‘s promotion to director in January 2021 and director Leanne Francis joining from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP in December 2021.

    Practice head(s):

    Joanne Frew

    Testimonials

    ‘The team we’ve worked with at DWF provide an excellent service. In every instance they have shown a deep understanding of the issues faced and offered excellent tailored advice to the unique set of circumstances of each case. Their responsiveness to queries is superb and the team regularly responds out of hours whenever we’ve needed them to. We would not hesitate to recommend DWF to anybody who is looking for advice on employment practice.’

    ‘Tim Scott is fantastic, he’s supportive, highly responsive, and always there when we need him including evenings and weekends.’

    ‘The employment law team at DWF is highly agile and adept at pointing to the right experience in the team at an early stage in a query saving time (and billing). The team shows great collaboration and make connections outside of the employment team readily and appropriately.’

    ‘Kirsty Rogers spends time understanding each situation. She has worked hard to understand our complicated business and is adept at briefing new team members working on our account. She is generous with her time and knowledge across multiple areas and is a true expert with a really pragmatic, commercial application of her knowledge.’

    ‘The team is always responsive and demonstrates a very pragmatic approach – no ‘legal speak’. They operate with high degree of transparency around time and fees and are always on hand to give advice when needed.’

    ‘Tim Scott is what I would describe as an exemplary legal adviser. He is extremely responsive, pragmatic and able to tailor his advice to the specific environment that our business operates in. There are no ‘off the shelf’ solutions with him. He is happy to challenge thinking and approach in a professional manner and is always extremely approachable and personable.’

    ‘The employment team lead by Tim Scott is exceptional. They work like they are part of our team. They fully understand our industry and our company. They are good at providing practical advice that we can action. I find that they are proactive in managing our cases’

    ‘The team at DWF is wide, experts in their field, flexible and responsive. They are always on hand and quickly find the right contact to work with – the most professional legal firm I have worked with.’

    Key clients

    Dixons Carphone Warehouse plc

    10X Technologies Services Ltd

    Kingswood Group

    Nursing and Midwifery Council

    BT

    Travelers Insurance

    Munnelly Group plc

    adidas

    Watkin Jones Group plc

    Finsbury Food Group plc

    Newsquest Media Group

    Lloyds of London

    LJMU

    Serco

    Lifeways

    Allvotec Limited

    Impellam

    Chemring Group plc

    SGS United Kingdom

    Work highlights

    • Advised Munnelly Group of Companies in relation to compatibility of worker status under the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the status of contractors for employment law and tax law purposes under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS).
    • Advised the Nursing and Midwifery Council in a worker status case which is currently awaiting a decision in the Court of Appeal regarding the extent of the obligation of mutuality of obligation for workers.
    • Retained by 10x for all its employment work and advised on a number of issues in both UK and Australia.

    Employment > Health and safety Tier 1

    DWF is active in the defence of highly complex fatal cases involving explosions, collapses, and fires. The team also shouldes a busy caseload in advising on potential or pursued gross negligence manslaughter and corporate manslaughter cases. National head Steffan Groch is noted for his work acting on behalf of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea regarding the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Head of the North West health and safety team Vikki Woodfine advises on safeguarding in education settings. Director Gary Smith leads the Liverpool team and is a key contact regarding fatalities and serious accidents, as well as for compliance and risk management. Senior associate Joanne Witheford and associate Amanda Lea are also both highly recommended.

    Practice head(s):

    Steffan Groch; Vikki Woodfine; Gary Smith

    Other key lawyers:

    Testimonials

    ‘The team is excellent from top to bottom. The team is replete with real experts in their field. The more senior members take on a really active role in mentoring the younger lawyers. They have a wealth of experience in dealing with the full spectrum of health and safety cases from the very biggest down to the smaller and more mundane. All clients receive an excellent service.’

    ‘Vikki Woodfine is simply the best of the best. She has an enormous capacity to deal with her significant caseload and retains a handle on the detail and strategy in all her cases. She is an excellent strategist knowing when to make early admissions and when to fight hard.’

    ‘This is one of the strongest teams in the North West, if not the country.’

    ‘Vikki Woodfine leads from the front. Is extremely passionate about her clients and drives others on to achieve great results.’

    ‘Exceptionally talented and dedicated team who is able to utilise its key strengths and knowledge to support both corporate and insurer clients with complex regulatory matters and not least the process of HSE investigation and prosecution.’

    ‘Vikki Woodfine is a very dedicated and thorough partner at DWF who is able to display her wealth of knowledge in a common sense manner which allows clients to feel fully appraised of the issues at hand. She is incredibly hardworking and a great source of support for her clients when they are facing a troubling and unfamiliar process.’

    ‘Steffan Groch provides perfect client service.’

    ‘Steffan Groch leads the team, but is also one of the key legal advisers. Clients have absolute confidence in his advice and approach.’

    Key clients

    Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

    Royal & Sun Alliance (RSA)

    Booker PLC

    Wincanton plc

    Allianz Insurance

    Severn Trent Water

    BT

    Pen Underwriting

    Tokio Marine Kiln Group Limited

    Ecclesiastical

    NFU Mutual

    DAS Legal Expenses Insurance

    Chubb Insurance Company

    Hiscox Underwriting Limited

    Amlin UK Limited

    Work highlights

    • Advised the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in relation to the Public Inquiry and Metropolitan Police criminal investigation arising from the Grenfell Tower fire.
    • Initiated Crisis Response to advise and support an industrial company in its response to a fatality and advising in relation to the HSE/Police investigation and inquest.
    • Acted as crisis ‘first responder’ to a large transport and logistics company following workplace incidents.

    Employment > Immigration Tier 1

    The Manchester-based team at DWF advises multinationals, high-skilled migrants, and high-profile corporates on all immigration-related matters, including securing Home Office sponsorship licenses. It also has niche expertise advising senior executives on personal settlement and British citizenship applications. Immigration team leader John Dorney is highly experienced advising on the ‘right to work’ scheme and strategic immigration matters involving high-net-worth migrants. He has seen an increase in mandates on migrant recruitment in the transport, retail, and hospitality sectors.

    Practice head(s):

    John Dorney

    Testimonials

    ‘John Dorney is an expert.’

    ‘Highly competent team that is extremely responsive to client’s needs. Immigration is such a minefield and the team at DWF Law LLP is with us every step of the way, but also willing to engage directly with the individual. They provide more than advice, the team walks along side you through the challenge.’

    ‘Excellent support, communication and commitment demonstrated by John Dorney.’

    ‘The team is proactive and acts as true business partners. They have key capabilities in all the integral legal fields required.’

    ‘Excellent response time and practical and authoritative legal advice on a very complex area.’

    ‘Very quick, responsive and straightforward advice.’

    ‘They simply get what it’s like to operate within the UK manufacturing context – the pace, the demands and the need for pragmatism. John Dorney was excellent in advising on immigration and sponsorship status.’

    Key clients

    adidas

    Brunel International UK Limited

    Cheadle Hulme School

    DWF Group plc

    Fusion Furniture Solutions Limited

    Gruppo Campari

    illycaffè

    Munnelly Group plc

    NES Fircroft

    Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

    Scott Logic

    Seda UK

    Vesuvius plc

    Work highlights

    • Advised one of the ‘big four’ supermarkets over the government’s extension to the Seasonal Worker Scheme providing it with access to a labour pool of 200 pork butchers shortly before Christmas 2021.
    • Advised one of the UK’s largest food supply chain logistics companies in respect of the impact of Brexit, the EU Settlement Scheme, the new UK Points Based System and changes to the Home Office’s ‘right to work checks’ with regard to its present and future employees.
    • Advised a major global client in respect of securing a Home Office sponsorship license and thereafter arranging the work visa for a senior executive to come to the UK to head up a strategic developmental project.

    Insurance > Professional negligence Tier 1

    DWF’s professional indemnity team defends claims brought against all professionals, including solicitors, surveyors, insurance brokers, technology and media consultants, and accountants. The department specialises in high-value, multi-party claims involving architects and engineers. The practice also advises on insurance policy coverage matters, including coverage advice to insurers in relation to claims on architects and contractors’ professional indemnity insurance policies. Andrew MacLeod heads the team, while director Hilary Harrison provides coverage advice to insurers, in connection with directors and officers insurance matters.

    Practice head(s):

    Andrew MacLeod

    Other key lawyers:

    Testimonials

    ‘High quality, but down to earth professional negligence team which balances the sophistication of commercial litigators with the streetfighting skills of insurance solicitors.’

    ‘Andrew McLeod is truly outstanding. ’

    ‘Hilary Harrison is excellent – very thorough and strategically minded.’

    ‘The team is dedicated to finding a commercial solution for their clients and will go the extra mile to ensure that.’

    ‘Hilary Harrison is an excellent associate who is approachable, clear and diligent.’

    Work highlights

      Private client > Contentious trusts and probate Tier 1

      DWF is especially strong advising trustee companies, charitable trusts, and private banks regarding complex trust and probate disputes with a cross-border element. The team also is involved in trust disputes involving allegations of fraudulent activities by trustees. Daniel Williams was promoted to partner in February 2022 and is a key contact regarding contentious trust and probate matters. Christopher Noel focuses on advising high-net-worth individuals and family trusts on complex estate and trust disputes, while the Liverpool-based Chris King specialises in trust and probate disputes, as well as disputes concerning professional negligence and overseas trusts. Senior associate Paul Maddock is also noted for his work on probate disputes.

      Practice head(s):

      Daniel Williams; Christopher Noel; Chris King

      Other key lawyers:

      Testimonials

      ‘There’s getting to be quite a lot of competition in the North West for contentious probate and trusts teams, but DWF have been in the market for years and so have the experience and the expertise. They get excellent work and have the ability to deal with it.’

      ‘Dan Williams who has recently been made a partner is excellent. He is down to earth, has an excellent instinct for the merits of a claim and is realistic in advising clients to settle if that is in their interests. He is a very good litigator.’

      ‘This is a very capable contentious probate team based in the North, I would highly recommend them.’

      ‘Dan Williams is a very hard-nosed litigator who is worth his salt.’

      ‘There is a wealth of experience within the DWF contentious trusts and probate practice which provides for expert advice and guidance to be given in every point within this area. Every member of the team is extremely knowledgeable both in respect of the substantive law, but also the practicalities of contentious work and litigation and is able to provide clear, accurate and highly effective advice to clients.’

      ‘Paul Maddock continues to be a stand.out litigator who always manages a remarkable balance of calm, sympathy and determination in all those challenging moments. His skills and reputation are commensurate with lawyers who have been in practice significantly longer than him. He has an excellent combination of legal knowledge, commercial astuteness and client care skills to provide each client with the entire service to an impeccable standard.’

      ‘I approached the practice for help due to their excellent reputation. I was certainly not disappointed. DWF has experts in all legal areas that I can think of. The firm is organised, up to date with modern communication and technology methods and is easy and professional to deal with.’

      ‘I am so happy to have the opportunity to express my praise of Paul Maddock of DWF. I am overwhelmed at the professionalism, knowledge and expertise he has shown throughout my case. Nothing has been too much trouble and he explains situations repeatedly and with patience until I fully understand. Paul Maddock has always been available by either telephone or email whenever I have needed and works incredible hard for me in the background. I cannot recommend him highly enough and he is a credit to DWF.’

      Key clients

      Lloyds Bank plc

      Work highlights

      • Instructed by the claimant settlor of a Trust, containing assets in excess of £35m, which is administered and settled by two trustees in Switzerland for a claim brought pursuant to the Variation of Trusts Act 1958.
      • Acted on behalf of the co-executor of a will against a further co-executor (both sisters and daughters of the deceased) in circumstances where the other joint executor has unilaterally taken control of the Estate and appears to have divested it of significant funds.
      • Instructed to act on behalf of several adult children of the deceased father in respect of (i) a will made weeks before his death leaving his estate to one adult child (also named as executor) and his caretaker, and (ii) a lifetime transfer of property in Sri Lanka.

      Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 1

      DWF is especially strong on advising business owners and high-net-worth families and trusts on private wealth and estate planning, particularly matters involving an international element or complex tax planning issues relating to overseas assets and trusts. Other areas of expertise include will preparation and tax planning vehicles such as FICs. Based in Manchester, Christopher Noel leads the North West team and specialises in wealth protection, trust formation and administration, as well as tax planning. Nicole Chadwick was promoted to associate in January 2022 and covers complex estate planning for high-net-worth families.

      Practice head(s):

      Christopher Noel

      Other key lawyers:

      Testimonials

      ‘DWF provides a full-service law firm. Therefore they are able to utilise a wide variety of expertise in every case.’

      ‘Christopher Noel has a wealth of experience and is great to work with.’

      ‘The team is guided by Christopher Noel whose knowledge and experience in the private client market is excellent. DWF has a strong ability to provide advice across multiple service lines so any client entrepreneurial business owner wanting a one stop shop will be well placed to consider them.’

      ‘Christopher Noel builds strong and trusted relationships with his clients. He has in-depth knowledge which clients clearly benefit from. He is steadily building a capable but junior team.’

      Work highlights

        Public sector > Local government Tier 1

        The team at DWF acts for a wide range of local authority clients and is noted for its expertise on public sector funding and subsidy control. It supports clients on a variety of major high-value regeneration schemes and developments, as well as providing a spectrum of legal advice drawing on the broad know-how of the national multidisciplinary team. Jonathan Branton co-leads the team, drawing on in-depth experience in subsidy control and procurement, while co-head Colin Murray  is experienced in local government law and major regeneration projects.

        Practice head(s):

        Jonathan Branton; Colin Murray

        Testimonials

        ‘The difference with this firm is that they are attentive and proactive and they listen. If challenged at any point they are respectful and reasonable in their conclusions. They are excellent team workers and value for money .Lastly and most importantly they are masters in their own fields. They can be relied on to provide excellent advice within very tight time constraints and are very approachable and helpful if there is a last minute drama.’

        ‘Colin Murray is the Head of Local Government and is the only Partner I have known in 30 years who truly knows and understands local government governance in great depth.’

        ‘ We have always found the firm to be highly competent, prompt to respond and to have a clear commercial approach in solving issues as they arise. The firm offers very good value for money and has adapted well to the newer ways of working such as remote meetings on Teams. We have been able to source appropriate advice from their national network of offices without difficulty.’

        ‘As a public sector client we find DWF Law’s Partners and senior legal staff very knowledgeable of our delivery requirements, providing excellent advice that helps us work with private sector developers, as well as securing external funding. Examples include assistance in understanding changes in State Aid rules, public procurement, delivery under the Homes England frameworks and in the application of the NEC suite of contracts.’

        Key clients

        Royal Borough of Greenwich

        Blackpool Borough Council

        South Tyneside Council

        Swansea City & County Council

        Manchester City Council

        Cornwall Council

        North of Tyne Combined Authority

        Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

        Transport for Greater Manchester

        Conwy County Borough Council

        Work highlights

        • Advising the Royal Borough of Greenwich on all of their major regeneration matters over the next two years including the delivery of a masterplan for Charlton Riverside (8,000 new homes and 4,400 new jobs) and several multi-million pound grant-funded schemes.
        • Advising Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council on several of its major regeneration projects including the Wirral Waters One project leading to the delivery of 500 new homes, Hind Street Regeneration project involving the delivery of a comprehensive mixed used scheme and a a £22m Maritime Knowledge Hub.
        • Advising Transport for Greater Manchester on the competitive procedure with negotiation procurement process for the selection of a bike hire supplier for the entire Greater Manchester region, forming a key aspect of TfGM’s Clean Air initiative.

        TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > IT and telecoms Tier 1

        DWF advises on large complex IT, telecoms and outsourcing projects for clients within the financial services, insurance and retails sectors. The team also acts for a stable roster of IT and telecoms suppliers. James Lonsdale oversees the Manchester office, with expertise spanning IT, telecoms and outsourcing agreements as well as other IT contracts. Andrew Whalley, also leader of the Liverpool dispute resolution team, is recognised for managing telecoms disputes and regulatory matters. Catherine Harrison  and Richard Meehan departed the firm in 2021.

        Practice head(s):

        James Lonsdale

        Other key lawyers:

        Testimonials

        ‘Andrew Whalley stands out for his strategic guidance and commercial nous.’

        ‘James Lonsdale is technically very able, has a great technology and BPO subject matter understanding, is commercially savvy and very personable.’

        ‘James Lonsdale is our main contact and relationship partner. He is great to work with – experienced, knowledgeable and straightforward to deal with.’

        Key clients

        Virgin Media O2

        HHGL Limited (trading as Homebase)

        Johnson Matthey Plc

        JD Sports plc

        Workspace plc

        Johnson Matthey plc

        First Central Insurance

        The Salvation Army General Insurance Company

        ESG Global (Energy) Ltd

        Secure Trust Bank plc

        The Veterinary Defence Society Limited

        Work highlights

        • Acted for O2 in two groundbreaking Court of Appeal cases flowing from the claim for restitution of annual licence fees.
        • Advised Homebase on a range of high-value and/or business-critical IT matters.
        • Advised Secure Trust Bank on two business-critical SaaS contracts relating to its digital banking platform, one with Temenos and HID.

        North West > Transport Tier 1

        DWF offers a range of specialist teams for transport sector clients, covering road transport regulatory, motor criminal defence, insurance, M&A and commercial work. It also provides transport compliance advice for several multinational logistics companies, as well as crisis response services for business’ transport divisions. The firm also has a strong insurance offering in the North West, being heavily involved with transport and motor related claims. Vikki Woodfine is head of road transport and logistics, specialising in transport regulatory and health and safety issues. Nigel Teasdale is an expert in motor fraud with over 20 years experience working with major motor insurers. Senior associate Joanne Witheford is deputy head of road haulage and logistics.

        Practice head(s):

        Vikki Woodfine; Joanne Witheford; Nigel Teasdale

        Other key lawyers:

        Nina Lewis

        Testimonials

        ‘The DWF team are hands on, and go the extra mile for clients. They have strong links with experts who they can and do quickly call upon to prepare reports. Their professionalism and expertise are second to none and they have an impressive knowledge of road traffic law.’

        ‘What sets DWF apart from their competitors is the attention to detail given to each case. Each case, regardless of the client, gets the VIP treatment. Clients know full well that there is a team who is working tirelessly to look after their issues and that somebody has their back.’

        ‘Despite being a rather impenetrable area at times, DWF is at the cutting-edge of transport regulatory practice. They immediately have a firm grip of each issue despite complexities.’

        Most firms cannot match the quality of output with such time pressures whilst maintaining impeccable customer service. The sheer quality of work and regularity of contact with clients and counsel has an unintended consequence. DWF knows precisely how to get the most out of its team and brings everybody up with them – they set the pace.’

        ‘There is an obvious reason for Vikki Woodfine’s serious reputation in transport regulation. When clients are in difficulty, if they have used Vikki before, they will without hesitation be back.’

        ‘A common thread with all of these lawyers is their availability. I have never had any difficulty getting a hold of these lawyers despite their positions in DWF.’

        ‘They are a very excellent unit who clearly have the ability to work as a very effective team. One of their greatest strengths is their tenacity when dealing with a case, their manner is very pleasing and they don’t give up when exploring all possibilities that can lead down various avenues to get the right answers and therefore deliver the best service possible result for their clients.’

        Key clients

        Booker plc

        Wincanton plc

        Morgan McLernon

        WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc

        Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGm)

        BT plc

        Severn Trent plc

        NFU Mutual

        Aviva

        RSA

        QBE

        West Midlands Combined Authority

        Work highlights

        • Provided crisis management support to household name transport operations.
        • Advised Transport for Greater Manchester on the competitive procedure with the negotiation procurement process for selection of bike hire supplier for entire Greater Manchester region.
        • Advises and audits one of the country’s largest parcel delivery companies on all aspects of transport compliance.

        Real estate > Social housing Tier 1

        DWF’s affordable housing practice is a go-to name for high-profile national and regional mandates, acting for a client roster of registered providers, local authorities and public sector bodies. The group is highly regarded for its public sector expertise and is active in handling development agreements, grant funding issues, section 106 agreements, asset management work and contentious mandates. Lee Pickett is joint head of the firm’s national public sector real estate team, and newly promoted director Kelly Pearson heads up the national affordable housing group. Associates Marie Louise O’Hanrahan and Julie Polkey also contribute to the practice.

        Practice head(s):

        Kelly Pearson; Lee Pickett

        Key clients

        The Riverside Group

        Thirteen Housing Group Ltd

        Joseph Rowntree Housing

        Southway Housing Trust

        Progress Housing Association

        Work highlights

        • Advising Riverside in connection with its extensive property development programme, exchanging on 35+ developments, securing the delivery of circa 750 units, advising on development agreements (golden brick and turn-key), option agreements, package deals, s106 agreements, infrastructure agreements and grant funding, including advice on the latest Strategic Partnership grant application.
        • Advising Thirteen Housing Group on a complex package deal, with bare land being transferred to the client by a developer following the satisfaction of various contract pre-conditions (planning, site assembly, grant funding), and, following completion, the developer building out the approved scheme pursuant to a JCT.
        • Acting for Joseph Rowntree Housing as sole provider of legal services for housing and development matters.

        Insurance > Professional negligence Tier 1

        DWF specialises in acting for insurers, brokers and insured professionals, defending against claims as well as advising insurers on coverage issues. The practice offers broad expertise in this space, with particular experience in handling claims against construction and financial services professionals. Litigation related to data breaches is an increasing source of work for the team. Simon Mason leads the team, which has significantly expanded in recent years. Other key figures in the practice include John Eastlake and Ian Welland, both of whom have considerable experience in this space. Director Alexandra Cartwright also specialises in this area and handles claims against solicitors and insolvency practitioners.

        Practice head(s):

        Simon Mason

        Testimonials

        ‘DWF’s South West Professional negligence team are excellent lawyers. They have particularly supported us with negligence claims against accountants, property and construction professionals. What makes DWF stand out is their desire to innovate and provide wider business support with complimentary offerings such as their young professionals network whereby they are offering training to our young employees.’

        ‘Simon Mason stands out as an excellent leader in the business. He regularly oversees some of our most complicated matters, which he diligently handles.’

        ‘A highly approachable team who are keen to offer assistance, advice and training and are leading experts in the field of Data Protection, GDPR and all related queries.’

        ‘Simon Mason is a key contact at DWF – open, friendly and with a sharp legal knowledge.’

        Work highlights

        • Defending insurers and their insured solicitors in allegations of professional negligence in respect of three separate instructions.  
        • Representing insurers and insured solicitors in a multi-party action in the Business and Property Courts brought by executrix of an estate of a deceased victim of fraud perpetrated by solicitors instructed in the conveyance of his property. Proceedings on-going.
        • Defending a claim by a developer against our insured QS/Contract Administrator – one of 6 defendants. Settlement reached after proceedings were issued but before significant steps were taken.

        Corporate and commercial > Corporate tax Tier 1

        DWF handles the tax aspects of various M&A deals, share schemes, and private equity-backed transactions for a diverse mix of corporates, REITs and other institutional investors. Practice chair Jon Stevens is a highly experienced tax and private capital specialist with a deep knowledge of cross-border real estate fund matters. Legal director Tajinder Barring, who joined the firm from DBT & Partners in January 2022, is well-versed in HMRC litigious proceedings, both civil and criminal, and has most recently been engaged by clients in relation to Covid relief fund misappropriation claims and investigations. Newly promoted associate Alex Tolcher specialises in real estate investment and development tax. All named lawyers are based in Birmingham. Associate Deborah Payne, formerly head of the firm’s Midlands share scheme practice, left the practice in May 2022.

        Practice head(s):

        Jon Stevens

        Other key lawyers:

        Key clients

        London Luton Hotel BPRA Property Fund LLP

        LXi REIT PLC (part of Alvarium Investments)

        Home REIT PLC (part of Alvarium Investments)

        Whitbread Group PLC

        Keywords UK Holdings Limited

        BT PLC

        Ares Management

        Future Planet Capital

        Evans Randall Investors Limited

        Kin and Carta PLC

        Work highlights

        • Advised Ares Management on the complex disposal of Castle Vale Retail Park in Birmingham for circa £63m.
        • Advised LXI REIT PLC on a significant number of high value corporate and real estate transactions.
        • Advised Evans Randall Investors Limited in relation to their entry into a development joint venture for the development of MIRA Technology Park, Nuneaton.

        Insurance > Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant Tier 1

        DWF ‘s team has ‘an exceptional degree of technical mastery, tactical shrewdness and vigorous determination to secure the result their clients want'. Derek Adamson  specialises in issues surrounding mesothelioma claims and legionnaires’ disease and local authority work. Lorraine Carolan  leads the national fraud and financial crime team while Charles Ashmore often handles injury claims of the utmost severity. Paul Donnelly  handles a variety of claims such as historic abuse claims for social services and EL/PL claims. Michael Henman is another key figure along with Denise Brosnan , Robert Edwards and Miles Hepworth , all of whom are praised as ‘exceptional’.

        Testimonials

        ‘The team’s depth of technical expertise and commitment to client engagement is second to none’.

        ‘The team has an excellent group of lawyers who are truly specialists in catastrophic personal injury work. Charles Ashmore is head and shoulders above the competition. Greatly respected by opponents‘.

        ‘A hard hitting outpost serving the needs of some demanding insurer clients. They have great experience and some combative individuals with a very loyal following. Charles Ashmore is a force of nature’.

        Case preparation is outstanding. The lawyers are proper tacticians, who fight hard for their clients. I have been impressed by every lawyer I’ve worked with – they’ve been head and shoulders above other firms. They offer a thoughtful and insightful analysis of legal and factual problems. An absolute pleasure to work with’.

        Paul Donnelly is a stand-out. He’s fantastic with clients. Very responsive. He’s tenacious and a real fighter. He offers a really thoughtful analysis of cases, with a keen eye for tactics. He engages with the issues in a much deeper way than most of the solicitors I work with in this area. He’s also very personable. Samantha Chambers – really impressive eye for detail and engagement with the case. I’m sure she’ll go far’.

        A strong team of extremely capable lawyers; excellent communication both regarding case management and outside of claims. Easy to communicate with. Strong strategic skills. Rob Edwards – extremely knowledgeable and thorough, especially in his research of the company’s historical activities, allowing us to settle or defend claims appropriately. Provides a great deal of good quality information throughout the life cycle of a claim. Claire Joseph – strong skills in respect of HAVS claims, in addition to claims that may be considered to have a potential fraud risk. Keeps us closely informed as a claim progresses’.

        ‘Denise Brosnan – very detailed and intelligent approach. Paul Donnelly – most tactically astute and intelligent solicitor I have met’.

        ‘Charles Ashmore is an exceptional litigator. He has the intellectual ability to get to the heart of a case, the tactical mastery to outmanoeuvre the nimblest of opponents and the application and focus to achieve outstanding results for his clients’.

        Key clients

        RSA

        AVIVA

        ZURICH

        MARKERSTUDY

        QBE

        COVEA

        ARGO

        DLG

        TRAVELERS

        Work highlights

        • In DFX v Coventry City Council [2021] EWHC 1382 (QB) the team was successful in defending Coventry City Council in the first trial to consider the circumstances in which a common law duty of care may (or may not) be owed by a local authority in the conduct of its social care function in  a failure to remove claim related to the alleged professional negligence over a 15 year period by its client’s social services department in failing to take a family of nine children into care sooner.
        • Acting for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in connection with the personal injury claims (and indeed the public enquiry) arising from the Grenfell Tower disaster in June 2017.
        • Continuing to receive a high volume of failure to remove claims that are being brought under the Human Rights Act.

        Public sector > Local government Tier 2

        DWF is regularly instructed by local and central governments and distinguishes itself with a strong public funding and insurance practice. Jonathan Branton divides his time between Leeds, London and Manchester, and focuses on competition, subsidy control and procurement matters. He leads the practice with Manchester-based Colin Murray. Planning specialist Andrew Batterton joined the group in May 2021; he was previously at DLA Piper.

        Practice head(s):

        Jonathan Branton; Colin Murray

        Other key lawyers:

        Andrew Batterton; Andrew Flounders; Alexander Rose

        Key clients

        Crown Commercial Services (Central Government)

        Leeds City Council

        The Arts Council

        Advance Northumberland

        Royal Borough of Greenwich

        The National Lottery (Community and Heritage) Funds

        Wakefield Metropolitan Borough Council

        City of Bradford Council

        Manchester City Council

        Cornwall Council

        West Yorkshire Combined Authority

        Newcastle City Council

        South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority

        Greater Manchester Combined Authority

        Scarborough Borough Council

        North of Tyne Combined Authority

        Durham Council

        Hull City Council

        Gateshead Council

        Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

        University of Leeds

        Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

        East Riding of Yorkshire Council

        North Yorkshire County Council

        Homes England

        Serco Plc

        CEG

        Caddick Group

        Wykeland

        Work highlights

        • Advising the Royal Borough of Greenwich on all of its major regeneration matters including the delivery of a masterplan for Charlton Riverside (8,000 new homes and 4,400 new jobs) and several multi-million pound grant-funded schemes.
        • Advising Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council on several of its major regeneration projects including the Wirral Waters One project leading to the delivery of 500 new homes, Hind Street Regeneration project involving the delivery of a comprehensive mixed-used scheme and a £22m Maritime Knowledge Hub.
        • Advising Transport for Greater Manchester on the competitive procedure with negotiation procurement process for the selection of a bike hire supplier for the entire Greater Manchester region, forming a key aspect of TfGM’s Clean Air initiative.

        Real estate > Planning Tier 2

        The planning practice at DWF is led by Andrew Batterton, who ‘provides well-thought-out strategies to navigate complex issues’ in regeneration, development, energy and infrastructure projects, as well as advising on mandates involving land assembly under compulsory purchase. The team has demonstrable experience across the transport, retail, hospitality and leisure, minerals, health and education sectors, and counts local authorities, public bodies and private companies among its key roster of clients. Legal director Michelle Spark departed the firm in November 2021.

        Practice head(s):

        Andrew Batterton

        Other key lawyers:

        Stephanie Smith

        Testimonials

        ‘Andrew Batterton is the lead on our projects and he is clear and precise in his advice. He quickly understands the potential issues and provides well-thought-out strategies to navigate complex issues.’

        ‘The DWF team delivers a highly professional, customer-focused service, working in a truly collaborative fashion with the client’s representatives and with other consultants employed on major development schemes.’

        ‘Andrew Batterton ‘choreographs’ the many steps towards planning and CPO goals, with a reassuring far-sightedness borne of experience.’

        ‘The team are responsive and provides practical advice distilling a complex area of compulsory purchase issues.’

        ‘Andrew Batterton is fully client-focused and provides astute commercial advice on legal issues.’

        ‘The team is very knowledgeable and has a broad spectrum of experience to access swiftly.’

        Key clients

        Royal Borough of Greenwich

        Cornwall Council

        Welsh Government

        National Grid Grain LNG

        BT

        Whitbread

        Wavin Limited

        Greater Anglia Trains

        Selby Council

        North Tyneside Council

        Work highlights

        • Advising London Borough of Greenwich in relation to promotion of compulsory purchase orders and securing planning permission to deliver transformational housing (c.10,000 units) and mixed-use regeneration projects in Woolwich, Plumstead Power Station and at Charlton Riverside.
        • Advising Cornwall Council regarding the promotion of compulsory purchase orders, side road orders and planning permission to deliver strategic highway improvements to the A30 Loogans Moor and A39 Camelford Bypass.
        • Advising Welsh Government regarding the promotion of its Global Centre of Rail Excellence, land compensation matters in respect of A465 Head of Valleys Road Scheme and legislative framework for delivery of carbon capture across Wales.

        Transport > Travel Tier 2

        DWF’s international claims and travel group is widely respected for its insurance expertise, with a highly reputable domestic client base, boasting the likes of Allianz, Ergo Hestia, and Ageas, amongst others. The firm’s international work is equally impressive, with cases stretching to the US and Canada. The practice includes numerous multilingual team members, allow for a comprehensive client service on cross-border matters. The team is jointly led by 'commercially astute' Sara-Jane Eaton  who focuses mostly on catastrophic injury claims, and Claire Bowler who has acted on many international high profile, often complex cases.

        Practice head(s):

        Sara-Jane Eaton; Claire Bowler

        Other key lawyers:

        Graham Dickinson; Gurbir Thetty

        Testimonials

        ‘DWF are well-established and have been involved in some of the key decisions relating to private international law in respect of personal injury. They are one of the old guard.’

        ‘Sara-Jane Eaton is commercially astute and extremely knowledgeable.’

        ‘The team is first class set with excellent lawyers at all levels of seniority. There is a very strong travel/PI practice.’

        ‘Jonathan Moss and Gurbir Thetty have very strong client skills combined with sound commercial judgement.’

        Key clients

        Generali

        Van Ameyde (UK and Ireland)

        MS Amlin

        Tokio Marine Kiln

        Hastings Direct

        QBE

        RSA

        The Markerstudy Group

        Travelers

        LV=

        HDI Global

        Mannheimer Versicherung AG

        Wuerttembergische Versicherung AG

        Ergo Hestia

        Allianz

        Work highlights

        • Advised German insurer Wuerttembergische Versicherung AG in relation to complex applicable law issues arising from a serious road traffic accident in Germany, where German law applies.
        • Acted for bereaved Spanish families following a serious road traffic accident in the UK. Whilst English law applied, the impact of Spanish law was significant and Spanish language skills were essential.
        • Advised insurer Van Ameyde Ireland of Italian hotel in relation to serious injury claim arising in Italy.

        Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Liverpool Tier 2

        Under the guidance of Ben Cooke, the commercial offering at DWF continues to act for a notable portfolio of blue chip clients, with a focus on those in the retail sector. On the corporate side, Liz Clark takes the lead and is noted particularly for her M&A expertise. In October 2021, senior associate Christine Williams joined the team from Clyde & Co, bringing with her considerable in-house experience from her time as head of legal at Liverpool Airport. Seasoned practitioner Paul Rimmer is also recommended.

        Practice head(s):

        Ben Cooke; Liz Clark

        Other key lawyers:

        Testimonials

        ‘In all of my dealings with DWF, they are extremely responsive. They have always met or exceeded all of our expectations, providing clarity where required and concluding matters with total professionalism.’

        ‘They take total ownership of the relationship and deliver what they say they will to both time and budget.’

        Key clients

        Homebase

        AS Watson

        Ocado Retail

        Burton Biscuits

        Optionis Group

        Inflexion Private Equity Partners

        Aurelius Private Equity

        Prefequity

        Pact Coffee

        ACC Liverpool

        Liverpool John Moores University

        Elvie

        Inflexion Private Equity Partners

        IMC

        Prefequity

        Work highlights

        • Advised Integrated Medhealth Communication Group on its acquisitions of R2R Holdings, JLW Communications, Wedgewood Communications and Fusion Animation.
        • Advised the founder shareholders and management team of the Village Bakery Group on an investment by Limerston Capital.
        • Assisting Homebase with a range of commercial contracts, including concessions, logistics and IT.

        Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Manchester Tier 2

        At DWF, the corporate offering is overseen by global practice head Frank Shephard and M&A specialist Jonathan Robinson. The pair is well versed in private equity transactions, with Robinson also regularly handling cross-border matters. Legal director Vicky Thomas is also noted for her work in these areas. Commercial expert James Lonsdale‘s expertise spans agency, distribution, supply and outsourcing contracts issues, particularly those relating to high-profile and complex projects. In January 2022, the firm welcomed senior associate Kathryn Myers from an in-house position.

        Practice head(s):

        Frank Shephard; James Lonsdale; Jonathan Robinson

        Other key lawyers:

        Vicky Thomas; Kathryn Myers; Darren Ormsby

        Testimonials

        ‘Darren Ormsby has been an exceptional partner for us, offering sound advice, availability as needed and the expertise we require. Because of Darren, DWF have become our legal partner of choice.’

        ‘Excellent relationship with partners and ability to tailor the service to the size and scale of the task/deal.’

        ‘Extremely professional and amiable individuals. Adaptable and flexible in working practices and timeframes.’

        Key clients

        BT PLC

        Sovereign Capital

        Moneyplus Group Limited

        Simginuity Limited

        Inflexion Private Equity Partners

        Lloyds Development Capital

        NorthEdge Capital

        Livingbridge LLP

        YFM Equity Partners

        Prefequity

        RMS International Limited

        Cardinal Maritime Group Limited

        Zuto Holdings Limited

        Data Capital Group Limited

        Scapa Group plc

        Together Money

        Endless LLP

        Palatine Private Equity LLP

        Reebok International Limited

        Zeus Capital Limited

        Tatton Asset Management plc

        Perspective Financial Group

        Assura PLC

        Missguided

        Trak Global Group

        Wincanton Plc

        Advanced Supply Chain Group

        Munnelly Group plc

        Bollington Wilson Limited

        K3 Business Technology Group Plc

        MusicMagpie Plc

        Arthouse Limited

        Daisy Group Holdings Limited

        Wasteland Private Equity

        O’Neill Patient Solicitors

        IMC Group

        Comparison Technologies Group

        Evergreen Life

        DR&P Group

        Work highlights

        • Advised Inflexion Private Equity Partners on the sale of Bollington Wilson Group to Gallagher Holdings.
        • Advised Zeus Capital on the admission of Ladbible to AIM.
        • Advised Missguided on an investment by Alteri.

        Employment > Pensions Tier 2

        DWF advises on industry-wide pension arrangements and schemes for both public and private sector employers, as well as pension-related matters involving corporate transactions. It also has contentious pensions experience, including advising on benefit changes, equalisation disputes, and consultation in union negotiations. Senior associate Sinead Sheehan leads the team and is ‘an excellent pensions lawyer‘ with ‘a real eye for detail‘. Associate Lucinda Burgoine is noted for her work on scheme closures, equalisations, and wind-ups.

        Practice head(s):

        Sinead Sheehan

        Other key lawyers:

        Testimonials

        ‘A genuinely pragmatic, commercially-minded approach.’

        ‘Sinead Sheehan is an exceptional black-letter lawyer with a real eye for detail. She has helped us arrive at commercially-focused solutions for our pension schemes.’

        ‘Sinead Sheehan is an excellent pensions lawyer with first class professional and commercial judgement.’

        Key clients

        WM Morrison Supermarkets plc

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

        Trustee of the Edmundson Electrical Group Pension Schemes

        Bentley Motors Limited

        Multi-employer industry wide pension scheme

        Work highlights

        • Provided the full range of both projects and ad hoc legal advice to Morrisons plc and advised Safeway Limited on the equalisation proceedings Safeway v Newton.
        • Advised the Trustee of the Princes Pension Scheme and the Princes (1977) Pension Scheme on all business as usual matters including: obligations and ongoing responsibilities under GDPR; application and implementation of Lloyds Banking judgment and GMP equalisation; MNT and general trustee arrangements.
        • Provided the full range of pensions advice to the Trustee of the Edmundson Electrical Group Pension Schemes, including multiple different pensions arrangements with various benefit structures, ad hoc advisory matters from GMP reconciliation and adherence of new employers, in addition to project work including benefit specification advice and consolidation of pension scheme documentation.

        Insurance > Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant Tier 2

        DWF handles complex personal injury claims on behalf of major insurers. The practice also has a niche in fraudulent personal injury claims. Ian Slater is the global head of the major injury and casualty practice area. Tom Higson leads the Manchester catastrophic injury team with expertise in brain and spine injuries, amputation, fatal accidents and chronic pain. In the Liverpool office, Jewels Chamberlain handles spurious soft tissue and whiplash claims, while Stuart Poole covers RTA, casualty and large loss exaggeration cases. Colin Bushell deals with motor and property damage matters.

        Practice head(s):

        Ian Slater; Tom Higson; Jewels Chamberlain; Stuart Poole

        Other key lawyers:

        Colin Bushell

        Work highlights

        • Advised on no contact road traffic accidents featuring claimants driving mopeds/motorcycles with suspect solicitors, engineers and feeder companies in various locations.
        • Advised on case involving use of telematics data to uncover a fraudulent claim with savings of over 170k.
        • Acting for insurance company, defending claims made by two international rugby players who were found to be fundamentally dishonest.

        Projects, energy and natural resources > Energy, project finance and PFI Tier 2

        Drawing on in-depth knowledge across the energy and natural resources sectors, DWF’s team acts for sponsors, public authorities and lenders. Key areas of expertise include the conversion of coal and gas-fired power stations to renewable technologies, green hydrogen and nuclear developments. Darren Walsh in Liverpool and Manchester regularly handles international nuclear energy and cutting-edge renewable energy projects. Manchester-based Catherine Haslam leads solar projects and has excellent reputation in wind and biomass matters while Jonathan Branton in Manchester and Leeds is a leading competition and state aid lawyer. Melissa Hutchinson left the firm in July 2021 for an in-house position at Boohoo Group PLC.

        Practice head(s):

        Darren Walsh; Jonathan Branton

        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

        Yemene Solar (formerly 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 Limited

        Marks & Spencer plc

        Places for People

        Essar Oil UK Limited

        MRC Global

        Ansaldo Nuclear Limited

        Q-Park Limited

        Welsh Government

        Cavendish Nuclear Limited

        HyGen Energy (formerly Ryse Hydrogen Limited)

        Mostyn Sea Power

        The Carbon Trust

        KP Snacks Limited

        Trina Solar Limited

        Trina Storage Limited

        COSTA Coffee Limited

        Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Go Neutral

        Firma Energy Limited

        Cornwall Council

        Northumberland Estates

        Fortune Power

        Mura Technology Limited

        Work highlights

        • Advised Greater Manchester Combined Authority on the development of a multi-year, multi-project framework agreement to permit the GMCA and its 10 Authorities to seek private sector development of its land and buildings; with the specific intention of securing low or zero carbon emissions energy generation and storage projects.
        • Instructed by HyGen Energy Limited (formerly Ryse Hydrogen Limited) to assist them with the development of a 13,000 kg/day green hydrogen production facility that will be co-located with an on-shore wind farm in the UK. This included aspects associated with project structuring ad the partnering arrangements with their project partner.
        • Advising Northumberland Estates in connection with their development of over 1GW of new ground-mounted solar PV and battery energy storage systems on 2000 acres of its estate. This is a full cradle to grave (full-service) mandate, working with the client from inception of each scheme to design delivery and funding.

        Real estate > Commercial property: Liverpool Tier 2

        DWF's commercial property team takes on work for several multinational business and local governments, with a particular focus on the retail, consumer, and communications sectors. Julie Simms leads the practice and regularly advises on major public sector regeneration projects, working with both council in-house legal teams and local authorities directly. Helen Thomas continues to provide her expertise within the property investment and management sectors, including lease negotiation and acquisitions.

        Practice head(s):

        Helen Thomas; Julie Simms

        Testimonials

        ‘The team are approachable and very knowledgeable about our estate’

        Key clients

        Liverpool John Moores University

        Wirral Borough Council

        Wigan Council

        Swansea City and County Council

        Manchester City Council

        Royal Borough of Greenwich

        Alvarium

        Conwy County Council

        Cornwall Council

        Costa

        Work highlights

        • Advising the Royal Borough of Greenwich on all of their major regeneration matters over the next two years including the delivery of a masterplan for Charlton Riverside (8,000 new homes and 4,400 new jobs) and several multi-million pound grant-funded schemes.
        • Advising Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council on several of its major regeneration projects including the Wirral Waters One project leading to the delivery of 500 new homes, Hind Street Regeneration project involving the delivery of a comprehensive mixed used scheme and a a £22m Maritime Knowledge Hub.
        • Advising Manchester City Council on one of its flagship regeneration projects in the area of Bootle Street in the city centre, working with the developer to bring forward a mixed use development comprising offices, retail and leisure, hotel, apartments and public realm.

        Real estate > Commercial property: Manchester Tier 2

        The team at DWF regularly advise multinational household names as well as central government clients on a broad range of real estate matters. Paul Inman  has particular expertise in the hospitality sector, handling site acquisitions and developments for clients within the industry. Naveen Gupta co-heads the team with Inman, acting largely for leisure operators and institutional clients with large property portfolios. Rachel Lawler heads up the occupier sector group, and Catherine Haslam leads on telecoms sector deals.

        Practice head(s):

        Paul Inman; Rachel Lawler; Naveen Gupta

        Other key lawyers:

        Catherine Haslam

        Testimonials

        ‘Extremely knowledgeable and up-to-date on key changes that would effect the business but at the same time a good personal relationship is built.’

        ‘Rachel Lawler continually goes the extra mile to ensure transactions are concluded in a timely manner and always seeks the most favorable terms where possible. Advice provided is always accurate, to the point and provided quickly to ensure the correct decisions are made to protect the business.’

        ‘The lawyers are keen to assist us in advising what it is we need to deliver the matter in what are sometimes short delivery deadlines. The advice given is concise and they work hard to understand what we need.’

        ‘They take time to get to know you and understand our business. The advice is always tailored to what we need and not just quoting the legal position.’

        ‘Naveen Gupta – personable, Naveen really knows his stuff.’

        Key clients

        Costa Coffee

        BT

        adidas

        Homebase

        Whitbread

        Shell

        Speedy Hire

        EE (BT)

        Missguided

        Tapi Carpets & Floors

        BAI Communications Ltd

        Mobile Broadband Network Limited (MBNL)

        Wincanton

        Royal Borough of Greenwich

        Work highlights

        • Advised Adidas on the UK property aspects of the £1.8 billion sale of the Reebok business to US company Authentic Brands Group, significant transactions with McArthur Glen, and the acquisition of new retail space at Kildaire Outlet Village.
        • Advised Costa Coffee in the delivery of all targets over the last 12 months particularly in relation to the restructuring of key assets and acquiring drive-thru stores.
        • Negotiated template property agreements with a number of district network operators, and thereafter rolling them out in volume through Shell’s network in order to achieve Shell’s target growth for EV charging in its retail portfolio.

        TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property Tier 2

        DWF is instructed by clients on contentious and non-contentious IP matters. On the contentious side, the specialist IP litigation practice advises leading brands, manufacturers and retailers across the full spectrum of intellectual property rights; this includes patent, design, copyright, trade mark disputes and breach of confidence claims. The non-contentious team offer expertise in brand exploitation. Asima Rana heads the IP litigation team. Co-head James Lonsdale leads the non-contentious department, focusing on the acquisition and disposal of IP rights, patent and trade mark licensing and R&D agreements.

        Practice head(s):

        James Lonsdale; Asima Rana

        Key clients

        BT plc

        Paul Hartmann AG

        Homebase

        Scapa (part of SWM International)

        Work highlights

        • Advised Paul Hartmann on a significant wound care development and global commercialisation project (substantially completing in May 2020) and has continued to advise on further significant wound care development and global commercialisation projects in 2021 to date.
        • Advised Scapa (part of SWM International) on IP issues arising in relation to an agreement with a global household name brand for the development of an innovative wound dressing.
        • Acted for a private individual in relation to patent entitlement proceedings before the Intellectual property Enterprise Court under section 37 of the Patents Act 1977.

        Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 2

        With a core client base of business owners, entrepreneurs, high net worth families and trusts, the team at DWF regularly handles high value and multi-jurisdictional matters, frequently alongside corporate colleagues. The Newcastle-based practice’s expertise extends from capital tax and pre-sale planning, over the preparation of wills, trusts and Lasting Powers of Attorney to estate and trust administration. Leading the practice together with Christopher Noel is Jon Gould , a practitioner who is technically exceptional’. He is ably supported by associate Laura Murphy.

        Practice head(s):

        Christopher Noel; Jon Gould

        Other key lawyers:

        Testimonials

        ‘Outside London, they are the best firm you’ve probably not heard of. They are discreet and don’t shout about it from their rooftops – they let their reputation and client relationships speak for themselves.’

        ‘Jon Gould is efficient, responsive, technically exceptional and a thoroughly nice person to deal with. He can be put in front of an aggressive entrepreneur or an elderly widow and has the skill set to mould himself to any situation.’

        Real estate > Commercial property: Newcastle Tier 2

        DWF’s ‘incredibly strong and experienced’ practice is led by Richard Lomax, while Newcastle office managing partner Adam Heather leads the UK and Ireland real estate operations practice. Lomax is a key name for investment and portfolio transactions, while Heather is active in developments and regeneration projects. The group’s regional and national clients also benefit from the team’s expertise in forward funding developments and knowledge of the retail, energy, mining and port sectors. Other key names include Mark Tait, who acts for investors and developers, and Lee Pickett, who handles housing matters.

        Practice head(s):

        Adam Heather; Richard Lomax

        Other key lawyers:

        Mark Tait; Lee Pickett; Kelly Pearson

        Testimonials

        ‘The Real Estate team at DWF’s Newcastle practice continue to provide us with a high level of service for all our commercial and residential matters. The team is incredibly strong and experienced – from the top to the bottom. They are particularly good at internal communication, so that whoever from the team you are speaking to, they are familiar with the file and current status.’

        ‘Adam Heather brilliantly combines knowledge and experience with excellent interpersonal skills. In my experience, this results in him being respected and liked by the other side and his own clients alike, and great project outcomes.’

        ‘The real estate team is very responsive and is able to advise on legal risks while keeping the business mindset. Great mix of business approach and academic approach, and anticipates every request the client may have.’

        ‘Mark Tait is a reliable property lawyer with plenty of experience.’

        Key clients

        Advance Northumberland

        Cable Properties & Investments

        Corum XL

        Hanro Group

        Homes England

        The Riverside Group Limited

        LXi Reit

        Northumberland Estates

        Places for People

        Siglion

        Squarestone Growth LLP

        Hargreaves Group

        Work highlights

        • Acting for Northumberland Estates and its group companies across its commercial property portfolio.
        • Advised The Riverside Group on the acquisition of 100 units within a large multi-phased development from a national housebuilder.
        • Acting for Hargreaves Group on the financing of 20 industrial/retail warehouse assets across the South East.

        Real estate > Property litigation Tier 2

        Led by Jonathan Smith, DWF’s real estate litigation team in Newcastle handles high-profile regional mandates and is particularly singled out for its rent review work and expertise in break notices alongside key housing litigation knowledge. The group is a key name for clients in the industrial, retail, public, telecoms and transport sectors and also assists social housing providers. The Newcastle team works closely with colleagues in the Leeds office to add to the firm’s national coverage.

        Practice head(s):

        Jonathan Smith

        Testimonials

        ‘DWF have a good, solid property litigation team. They are staffed by sensible, knowledgeable and commercial lawyers. Their advice is commercial and they are willing to be flexible and creative in relation to fee arrangements.’

        ‘Jonathan Smith’s expert knowledge of property law is combined with expertise in litigation procedure to give us a distinct advantage in our property disputes. Jonathan knows how we operate and is able to tailor his advice to ensure that we achieve our aims, which is often not about maximising our financial return. His turnaround times are reliably quick and he adheres to his costs estimates. He is a pleasure to work with.’

        Key clients

        Hanro Limited

        Capital Park Leeds Plc

        BT Plc

        Grainger Plc

        PD Teesport Limited

        Northumberland Estates

        Wigan Council

        Mileway

        Custodian REIT

        Advance Northumberland

        Northern Ireland > Dispute resolution Tier 2

        DWF is a well regarded firm known for its work in professional negligence and property litigation. The team is led by commercial disputes specialist Mark Taggart, who is described as ‘an exceptional solicitor who continually goes the extra mile to deliver for clients'. James Griffiths joined the department as director from Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP and brings experience acting for insurers and large corporates.

        Practice head(s):

        Mark Taggart

        Other key lawyers:

        Testimonials

        ‘Excellent attention to detail and no stone is left unturned.’

        ‘Mark Taggart is forensic and highly regarded. He is very hardworking and diligent and ensures that cases are meticulously prepared.’

        ‘This is a very responsive firm that continually devises innovative solutions to complex problems, always cognisant of the client’s needs and continually delivering desirable outcomes.’

        ‘Mark Taggart is an exceptional solicitor who continually goes the extra mile to deliver for clients.’

        ‘Our dealings with them were superb, both in their attention to detail, their ready grasp of circumstances that were extremely unusual and their constant availability when needed at short notice.’

        ‘Unlike some others in the NI market, this is a global firm with a full host of departments to complement dispute resolution. Excellent electronic communications and facilities.’

        ‘Mark Taggart is very clued in and always on top of a case, knowledgeable, innovative, and widely experienced and respected as a leading practitioner in commercial disputes.’

        ‘Sound practical advice with a fair degree of commercial understanding, but without compromising in terms of feeling that DWF were very much fighting my corner.’

        Key clients

        MBNL

        Bank of Ireland

        Allied Irish Banks

        Killultagh Estates Limited

        BT plc

        Virgin Media

        RSA

        NFUM

        Law Society Master Policy Insurers

        BDO NI

        DAS

        Barclays Partner Finance

        AVIVA

        CNA Hardy

        Work highlights

        • Acting as sole legal advisor for MBNL on all its Northern Irish telecoms lease renewal applications before the Lands Tribunal.
        • Acting for Bank of Ireland in a number of high-value first instance and appellate cases.
        • Acting for a company in the defence of a multi-million pound breach of warranty claim.

        Real estate > Commercial property Tier 2

        DWF‘s Northern Ireland team is best known for its retail work, managing the property portfolios of major clients such as Lidl, M&S and Poundland. The firm is also active in a broad range of other sectors, including telecoms, leisure, and residential work. Department head Julie Galbraith focuses on landlord & tenant advice and in 2021 was appointed co-head of the firm’s National Occupier Team. Kirsty Mairs has a particular focus on the acquisition of land for residential/mixed use developments, while Mark Tinman advises well-known retailers on acquisitions and disposals.

        Practice head(s):

        Julie Galbraith

        Other key lawyers:

        Kirsty Mairs; Mark Tinman

        Testimonials

        ‘Julie Galbraith – top of her field; outstanding property lawyer; respected in the jurisdiction.’

        ‘Department is well resourced with a number of team members who are capable of providing property advice.’

        ‘Mark Tinman always makes himself available (no matter how busy) and has never failed to give sound professional advice which often involves a number of different ways to sort an issue.’

        ‘We would comment that the commercial property department in Belfast headed up by Mark Tinman has a vast depth of experience and capability to negotiate and resolve even the most complicated of transactions.’

        ‘Mark Tinman’s experience and depth of knowledge in the complete field of commercial property and associated transactions gives us great confidence to go forward on any transaction.’

        ‘Experience and expertise across all relevant geographical regions sets DWF apart in a local context. A collaborative team approach has also been noted throughout my dealings with the firm and is worthy of comment.’

        ‘Julie Galbraith is the ‘go-to’ commercial property lawyer in the NI market in my opinion. Her experience and practical know how are second to none.’

        ‘Kirsty Mairs & James Morrisson – They are both very diligent property lawyers for whom nothing is ever too much trouble.’

        Key clients

        Herbert Group

        Titanic Properties Limited and Titanic Quarter Limited

        Lidl Northern Ireland Limited

        Marks & Spencer plc

        Homebase

        BT Plc

        Mobile Broadband Network Limited (MBNL)

        Poundland

        David Samuels Properties

        PWD Developments

        Maple & May

        Work highlights

        • Advised Titanic Quarter Limited in relation to their JV partnership to develop a waterfront build-to-rent scheme in Belfast comprising 800 apartments.
        • Advised Longford-founded Glennon Brothers on the acquisition of Fermanagh-based Balcas Timber, Northern Ireland’s leading sawmill.
        • Advised Herbert Group on the acquisition of Barry’s Amusement Complex in Portrush.

        Dispute resolution > Debt recovery Tier 2

        Noted for being ‘dynamic, agile, and knowledgeable’, DWF’s debt recovery practice has a proven track record in acting for reputable financial sector players and is active across the real estate and utility sectors. Overseen by Ricky Cannon, the team has demonstrable strength advising on commercial, consumer, and statutory debt as well as exhibiting expertise in finance litigation. Naomi Pryde, who splits her time between Edinburgh and London, holds multinational corporates and private sector companies as key clients.

        Practice head(s):

        Ricky Cannon; Naomi Pryde ; John Perez; Jefferson Gledhill

        Testimonials

        ‘DWF offer an excellent debt recovery service with a cost-effective approach making it much more economic to chase even small debts successfully.’

        ‘They are proactive and tenacious. They communicate very well with the client and are always conscious of client costs.’

        ‘DWF are a brilliant law firm to work with, they are exceptional at keeping you up to date with progress on matters and have managed some fantastic results for our client.’

        ‘DWF’s online portal is really user-friendly and allows ourselves and our clients to have real live time data on what is happening on a case.’

        ‘The team’s knowledge on the debt type we are working in, is second to none and they have provided lots of useful advice and guidance.’

        ‘Ricky Cannon is a fantastic character and very engaging, he has great industry knowledge and even though he is extremely busy as a partner of the firm, he is never too busy to take a call or have a meeting. He is open and honest.’

        ‘The DWF Scotland team are a dynamic, agile, knowledgeable and hardworking team who understand the complexities of the water industry and the challenges of our business.’

        ‘They keep abreast of changes to the market, highlighting anything which may have an impact to our business and providing recommendations thereon.’

        Key clients

        Scottish Water Business Stream

        Santander Consumer Finance

        Barclays Partner Finance

        Moneybarn

        Intrum

        Startline Motor Finance

        Hyundai Capital UK Ltd

        Specialist Motor Finance Limited

        Shawbrook Bank Limited

        NextGear Capital UK Limited

        Aldermore Bank Plc

        Arkle Finance Limited

        PSA Finance UK Ltd

        Sun Belt Rentals

        The Royal Bank of Scotland

        Park’s Motor Group

        Work highlights

        • Advising Santander Consumer (UK) Plc on comprehensive national recovery solution, and manage a multi-million pound debt portfolio in Scotland alone under a comprehensive delegated authority scheme.
        • Advising Startline Motor Finance Finance on a comprehensive national recovery solution, and manage a multi-million pound debt portfolio in Scotland alone under a comprehensive delegated authority scheme.
        • Successfully dealt with a number of high value and complex matters for Ashtead, and we receive regular debt recovery instructions to support their day-to-day business requirements.

        Employment > Pensions Tier 2

        DWF's strength lies in transactional work but the team is also well placed to assist trustee clients with benefit transfers, scheme wind-ups and liability management, among other matters. Clients also benefit from compliance and contract management services provided by the firm's sister businesses DWF Mindcrest and DWF Connected Services. June Crombie heads up the practice from Glasgow; her wide-ranging pensions law expertise extends to pension counter fraud matters.

        Practice head(s):

        Other key lawyers:

        Testimonials

        ‘The pensions team is able to put clients at ease by their ability to explain complex pension matters in clear and straightforward terms.’

        ‘I have confidence that any issue they deal with is done with full care and diligence to ensure the right outcomes for us.’

        ‘The DWF team in Scotland have significant experience in this sector, and are well regarded for providing detailed advice and providing a thorough service in this area.’

        ‘The longevity of the partners in the team and the length of time in which clients remain with DWF is testimony to the quality of service they provide.’

        ‘Colin Greig has a first-class pensions mind but is so humble in his application of his pensions knowledge with clients. He is a pleasure to work with and a true advisor to his clients.’

        ‘June Crombie and Colin Greig have a long-standing and well deserved reputation for providing well thought through and detailed advice on pensions issues.’

        ‘I work with June Crombie, and she has a great deal of experience which shows clearly in her work. She is very client-focused, and is also always very pleasant to deal with.’

        Key clients

        Sponge Group Limited

        Impellam Group

        Gist

        Serco

        Cove Communities UK Investments, LP

        Finsbury Food Group

        AURELIUS Investments Limited

        Glennon Brothers Timber Limited

        VisitScotland

        CIGNA 2000 UK Pension Plan

        Cornwall County Council

        Mattioli Woods plc

        Aliter Capital LLP

        Work highlights

        • Advised Cove Communities UK Investments, LP on pensions issues pertainig to the corporate acquisition of a substantial leisure business.
        • Advising the purchaser AURELIUS Investments Limited on all pensions issues in connection with the acquisition of AutoRestore Ltd from Belron International Limited, including a bespoke flexible apportionment arrangement entered into in connection with the cessation of the participation of AutoRestore Ltd in the defined benefit pension scheme.
        • Advising the digital learning provider Sponge Group on its acquisition of Idox Compliance from Idox plc to expand its online library of ready-to-go compliance-related content in the UK, Germany and Belgium.

        Insurance > Professional negligence Tier 2

        DWF is noted for its ‘excellent knowledge of the market’ and continues to be instructed on solicitor’s negligence claims across Scotland. The group works closely with its London office and handles large cross-border claims for accountants, surveyors, architects and charitable organisations. Overseen by Alison Grant in Glasgow, the core team features Lindsay Ogunyemi, who represents professionals in litigated claims and mediations, and the highly rated Andrew McConnell, who handles construction related claims and high-value coverage declinature claims. The group also has a growing property-related practice.

        Practice head(s):

        Alison Grant

        Testimonials

        ‘Alison Grant is highly experienced and a shrewd negotiator.’

        ‘Lindsay Ogunyemi is highly pragmatic.’

        A very prominent part of the professional indemnity litigation sector. Regularly instructed in the biggest cases (see for instance the appeal to the Inner House in WPH), the team’s reputation could hardly be stronger.’

        ‘Andrew McConnell is a very impressive solicitor. Now splitting his time between Scotland and London, he boasts an impressive list of clients and regularly finds himself involved in very complex cases and adjudications. He combines strong technical ability with true sense of pragmatism. A formidable opponent.’

        ‘DWF Scotland are extremely proactive and very hands on which is vital when a Professional is facing a negligence claim regardless of the size of the Practice and DWF understand this and give support to all of our insureds in a very personal and hands on approach. They regularly provide CPD sessions and face-to-face meetings to gain a real understanding of issues our insureds face.’

        ‘Alison Grant continues to be the figurehead of the PI team in DWF Scotland and her years of experience bring a wealth of knowledge and support to us and our insureds with her understanding of the need to forge relationships.’

        ‘The DWF team in Scotland has good strength in depth, high-quality people and excellent knowledge of the market.’

        ‘They are very user friendly and easy to deal with.’

        Key clients

        RSA

        Zurich

        Travellers

        Wimsure

        Arch

        Allied World

        QBE

        Starr Underwriting

        Markel

        Hiscox

        Work highlights

        • Handled a case which resulted in significant clarification on Law of Prescription.
        • Representing a firm of accountants in relation to share valuation and loss of chance claim.
        • Acting for architects in high-profile hospital ventilation claim.

        Real estate > Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 2

        At DWF, the real estate practice draws from the firm’s wider banking, finance, planning, construction, corporate and tax proficiency to serve as a one-stop shop. David Ratter demonstrates a track record in strategic land development, investment and property outsourcing matters, serving as practice co-head Kevin McGlone, a go-to for a number of hotel operators. The team is also home to Geoff Stansfield, reputed for his asset management and cross-border portfolio expertise, and caters to a mixture of public and private sectors clients, including UK-wide and international entities.

        Practice head(s):

        David Ratter; Kevin McGlone

        Other key lawyers:

        Geoff Stansfield; Ferga McKay; Ashleigh Farrell

        Key clients

        Aberdeen City Council

        Marks & Spencers

        RBS/Natwest

        Swan Real Estate plc

        Lanark Student Living

        Alvarium

        Swan Real Estate

        Hallam Land Management

        M7

        Unity Trust Bank

        Cove Communities

        Work highlights

        • Acted for Aberdeen City Council in its acquisition of the former BHS department store on Union Street and indoor market development to the rear, for the purposes of a major city centre regeneration project to provide a strategic link between the railway station/Union Square development and the George Street/Bon Accord area.
        • Helped LXi REIT to deploy £350m of equity on various acquisitions.
        • Acted for Cove Communities in the coprorate acquisition from KA & R Campbell Holdings Limited consisting of 11 major holiday park assets.

        Insurance > Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant Tier 2

        DWF specialises in catastrophic and serious injury work - the team is praised for achieving 'excellent, timely and cost-effective resolutions in litigation'. The practice is led by Stuart Giddings ('very good at seeing the bigger picture in a case'), the 'conscientious and pragmatic' Rachel Coombs, Michael Renshaw and Sarah Parker, who have particular expertise dealing with complex claims concerning severe brain injuries, fatal accidents and chronic pain. The practice includes a number of strong senior associates including Helen Champion and Elspeth Fenton.

        Practice head(s):

        Stuart Giddings; Rachel Coombs; Sarah Parker; Michael Renshaw

        Other key lawyers:

        Testimonials

        ‘DWF are servicing the needs of some of the country’s biggest insurers. Strength in depth is now something they can boast in spades.’

        ‘Sarah Parker and Rachel Coombs have added another layer of experience in Southampton.’

        ‘Great catastrophic injury experience’

        ‘DWF have pulled off the trick of getting bigger without compromising. They resource their cases properly and employ lawyers who know their stuff.’

        ‘Steve King is extremely experienced and calm.’

        ‘The team are intent on achieving the best result for their insurer clients. They pay attention to detail but do not get bogged down in it and are able to keep sight on the bigger picture. They are pragmatic and achieve excellent timely and cost-effective resolutions in litigation.’

        ‘Rachel Coombs is technically very competent, conscientious and pragmatic. She is ably assisted by Elspeth Fenton who always has all the details of the case at her fingertips. Stuart Giddings is very good at seeing the bigger picture in a case.’

        ‘A brilliant team comprising some excellent legal minds and a broad range of skills and experience. One of my favorite teams to work with.’

        Key clients

        LV

        Direct Line Group

        Aviva

        Allianz

        Ecclesiastical

        Markerstudy

        esure

        Churchill

        Work highlights

        • Advised LV on many of their highest value motor claims involving brain or spinal injury.
        • Represented Aviva Major Bodily Injury team on their highest value cases.

        Insurance > Personal injury and clinical negligence; defendant Tier 2

        DWF has a varied personal injury practice which handles claims involving catastrophic injuries such as amputations and brain damage. The practice acts for insurers in defending against motor and employer liability claims. Practice head Claire Gribben is a solicitor-advocate with deep experience of representing clients in personal injury claims in trials and arbitrations. Senior associate Adrian Southwood has practiced in this area for more than 20 years and primarily focuses on employers’ and public liability; he is praised as ‘tenacious’ and ‘extremely reliable’.

        Practice head(s):

        Claire Gribben

        Other key lawyers:

        Testimonials

        ‘We have a dedicated individual rather than a team who works with us – Adrian Southwood. He is tenacious and is driven by a desire to get to the bottom of each case on which he works. That combined with his commercial nous and understanding of defendant insurance is highly prized. For a Defendant, spending £100k to save £10k, regardless of how novel or clever the approach, will rarely find favour; Adrian gets that and will provide a clear range of options and likely outcomes, together with costings.’

        ‘I am very particular about the people I use and when it comes to Casualty and in particular Occupiers Liability I will always turn to Adrian Southwood. He is extremely reliable and very knowledgeable.’

        Key clients

        NFU Mutual Insurance

        Tokio Marine Kiln

        Halfords

        Babcock

        Axis Capital

        The Hartford

        Direct Line Group

        Covea

        Allianz Insurance

        Halfords

        Beaufort Underwriting

        Pritchards

        Work highlights

          Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Birmingham Tier 2

          The practice at DWF handles a wide range of cross-border disputes, with a track record of work relating to Russia and the CIS. The team has acted for a number of defrauded foreign banks in Ukraine and the Middle East. Key names include Russia and CIS desk head Andrew Leach, and Darren Kenny, who is an expert in international fraud and asset recovery, representing banks that have been defrauded by owners and managers. Ben Griffin specialises in domestic and international dispute resolution with an emphasis on cross-jurisdictional matters. Senior associate Matthew Goodwin, who joined from Wright Hassall LLP in mid-2021 has a particular focus on financial services, shareholder and director disputes and professional negligence disputes.

          Practice head(s):

          Andrew Leach

          Other key lawyers:

          Darren Kenny; Ben Griffin; Natalie Osadciw-Louth; Matthew Goodwin; Stephanie Sandford-Smith

          Testimonials

          ‘Just a really great team: hard working, fun, and totally client centred.’

          ‘They understand both the commercial reality and the importance of procedure for effective commercial litigation.’

          ‘The team is pragmatic and efficient. Very good at identifying sensible and realistic objectives, managing expectations and then planning and working to deliver.’

          ‘Andrew Leach is clever and insightful – he is a great person to have on your side.’

          ‘Ben Griffin makes sure that all the bases are covered and is level headed and a calming influence when pressure situations arise. His advice is always gratefully received.’

          ‘Darren Kenny is bright and efficient and great at ensuring matters progress efficiently and sensibly.’

          Key clients

          BT

          Severn Trent Water

          Emirates NBD Bank

          The Deposit Guarantee Fund of Ukraine

          Russian Author’s Society

          Dixons Carphone

          Morrisons

          Currys Plc

          Cornwall Council

          Union Pacific Capital Ltd

          Work highlights

          • Advising a Ukrainian bank (Delta Bank) in respect of the recovery of $1.2 billion misappropriated by the bank’s former owners and managers who used complex corporate structures to conceal their fraud.
          • Acting for BT in a claim to recover overpaid VAT in the sum of £65.2m.
          • Acting for Severn Trent Water in a high-profile Judicial Review in relation to the legality of deductions made to social security benefits in relation to water arrears.

          Employment > Health and safety Tier 2

          DWF fields a ‘first-rate team that is excellent from top to bottom‘. It regularly receives instructions to act for high-profile clients on diverse issues such as regulatory compliance in addition to investigations and prosecutions that are being brought by the HSE, local authorities and police forces. It receives a steady flow of instructions from both insurers and large corporates. The ‘marvelous‘ head of department, David Egan , specialises in complex criminal investigations that involve breaches of health and safety law. At senior associate level Simon Naylor and Caroline Depledge also receive plaudits for their work in this area.

          Practice head(s):

          Testimonials

          ‘The team is excellent at dealing with the sensitivities of high profile cases which are often in the media. It is able to provide clear advice and guidance to clients and does so by ensuring that it develops a team mentality to dealing with cases between client, solicitors and counsel. A pleasure to work with’.

          ‘Simon Naylor is a stand out senior associate. He excels in all areas of case management, from detailed and difficult disclosure exercises, to briefing the most senior employees at the clients, to helping formulate case strategy and beyond. An absolute pleasure to work with’.

          ‘A very strong Birmingham team with excellent depth. David Egan is hugely knowledgeable and outstanding in environmental law. Caroline Depledge is destined for promotion. A great associate who will surely be a partner’.

          ‘Caroline Depledge is absolutely brilliant. A pleasure to work with, excellent and a good strategist’.

          ‘DWF’s strength in depth and range of top quality performers is legend. It goes without saying that DWF’s standards are the very highest’.

          ‘David Egan is committed to the deepest understanding of his clients’ needs and to putting all of his energies into solving the problem, whatever it might be. The standout senior associate is Caroline Depledge – she is in such massive demand precisely because she produces top quality outcomes’.

          ‘The team is both very responsive to requests that we make of it and proactive in terms of developing and delivering the strategic approach to the high profile, complex matters it is supporting us with’.

          ‘We have worked closely with Simon Naylor throughout the project and found him to be very professional, supportive and focussed on the work we are engaged in. He has a solution-focussed approach which is critical on this project’.

          Key clients

          Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

          QBE

          Chubb

          Zurich

          Direct Line

          Allianz

          RSA

          NFU Mutual

          Starr Underwriting

          Work highlights

            Public sector > Local government Tier 2

            DWF‘s public sector team offers a complete spectrum of legal advice to local authorities, including niche areas handling complex claims relating to the Human Rights Act, historic abuse claims and professional negligence claims. The team is also known for advising on procurement and state aid arrangements. Group co-head Melanie Williams  leads the global real estate practice group with a particular focus on property investment and development within the hospitality, consumer, real estate and public sectors. Fellow co-head Derek Adamson  specialises in insurance policy interpretation, development of insurance law, fire, construction and local authority work.

            Practice head(s):

            Derek Adamson; Melanie Williams

            Other key lawyers:

            Denise Brosnan

            Testimonials

            ‘Denise Brosnan is superb with clients. She prepares comprehensive and helpful briefs, and her reviews of documentation are always accurate and thorough. Peter Wright also has an excellent eye for detail.’

            ‘This is an insurance team providing litigation services to local authorities. They are excellent. Their understanding of the law is second to none and their ability to work with the clients to get positive results is exemplary. I was recently involved in the case of DFX v Coventry City Council, a 15 day trial which DWF ran on behalf of the local authority. The teams dedication to detail, hard work and ability meant that the defendant won what was always going to be a difficult test case.’

            ‘Great strength in depth. The partners are excellent and all at the top of their field. Below them is an excellent layer of associates and the paralegals are all skilled and well-supervised.’

            ‘Denise Brosnan – great client management and intelligent approach to cases. Paul Donnelly – intelligent and robust with great tactical insight.’

            ‘Dedicated, hard working, exceptional insight into the unique aspects of working on cases for local government clients’

            ‘Derek Adamson and Denise Brosnan are a formidable team, who are a joy to work with. They bring unrivalled insight into the tactics and sensitivities of working for local government clients. Their attention to detail is second to none.’

            Key clients

            Coventry City Council

            Urban Growth Company

            Walsall Council

            Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

            Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

            Leeds City Council

            West Midlands Combined Authority

            Newcastle City Council

            Wolverhampton Council

            Cornwall Council

            Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

            Manchester City Council

            London Borough of Greenwich

            Birmingham City Council & Finance Birmingham

            Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

            Work highlights

            • Successfully defended Coventry City Council in the first trial to consider the circumstances in which a common law duty of care may (or may not) be owed by a local authority in the conducting of its social care function in what is now the leading case with the judgment have been approved on appeal in subsequent strike out judgments.
            • Acting for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in connection with the personal injury claims (and indeed the public inquiry) arising from the Grenfell Tower disaster in June 2017.
            • Advised Wolverhampton City Council on various lettings at the new Grade A office development, i9.

            Crime, fraud and licensing > General crime and fraud Tier 2

            Work highlights

              Corporate and commercial > Corporate tax Tier 3

              Finance > Banking and finance Tier 3

              DWF specialises in transactional banking work and has experience handling cross-border financings, particularly for entities based in North America. It continues to develop its expertise in large scale development finance projects in addition to increasing its profile in the healthcare sector. National head of finance and restructuring, Chris Ramage is a debt finance law expert while Jenny Crew, who heads the Leeds team, focuses on acquisition and structured finance as well as real estate finance.

              Practice head(s):

              Chris Ramage; Jenny Crew

              Work highlights

                Projects, energy and natural resources (including PFI) > Infrastructure and energy Tier 3

                In Leeds, DWF’s energy and natural resources practice includes real estate development specialist Guy Rusling and national head of planning and compulsory purchase Andrew Batterton, who joined the firm in April 2021 from DLA Piper and advises on consents and statutory orders relating to infrastructure projects. Liverpool-based Darren Walsh, who is global head of the firm’s power and utilities group and leads the national energy practice, is another key contact in the team.

                Practice head(s):

                Darren Walsh

                Other key lawyers:

                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

                Yemene Solar (formerly 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 Limited

                Marks & Spencer plc

                Places for People

                Essar Oil UK Limited

                MRC Global

                Ansaldo Nuclear Limited

                Q-Park Limited

                Welsh Government

                Cavendish Nuclear Limited

                HyGen Energy (formerly Ryse Hydrogen Limited)

                Mostyn Sea Power

                The Carbon Trust

                KP Snacks Limited

                Trina Solar Limited

                Trina Storage Limited

                COSTA Coffee Limited

                Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Go Neutral

                Firma Energy Limited

                Cornwall Council

                Northumberland Estates

                Fortune Power

                Mura Technology Limited

                Work highlights

                • Advised Greater Manchester Combined Authority on the development of a multi-year, multi-project framework agreement to permit the GMCA and its 10 Authorities to seek private sector development of its land and buildings.
                • Assisting Ryse Hydrogen with the development of a 13,000 kg/day green hydrogen production facility that will be co-located with an on-shore wind farm in the UK.
                • Advising Northumberland Estates in connection with their development of over 1GW of new ground-mounted solar PV and battery energy storage systems on 2000 acres of its estate.

                Real estate > Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire Tier 3

                DWF acts for clients across the financial services and real estate sectors on investment transactions and property development mandates, and is well-placed to leverage the expertise of other teams across the firm. Jim Speed leads the practice and advises institutional investors on portfolio management, while Guy Rusling handles development projects. Helen Balliger, who heads the firm’s asset management group, is another key member of the team.

                Practice head(s):

                Jim Speed

                Other key lawyers:

                Key clients

                Alvarium

                Wykeland Chambers

                Hylios Wynard/Northumberland Estates

                CREIT

                Sterling Capital

                Mileway

                Squarestone

                Work highlights

                • Advised Moda Living Limited on two investment platforms backed by KKR and Apache Capital.
                • Acting for Custodian REIT on over £60m of investment transactions and 1.5m sq ft of lettings.
                • Advising LXi REIT to deploy £350m of equity on various acquisitions, including the £58.9m acquisition of Sainsbury’s supermarket in Middlesbrough.

                Yorkshire and the Humber > Transport Tier 3

                DWF focuses on road transport regulatory and insurance work. It provides a full-service offering to government and private sector clients and is particularly adept at handling crisis management work and public inquiries; Leeds practice head David Chant has extensive experience representing haulage companies called to public inquiry before traffic commissioners for issues relating to bridge strikes and tachographs, among others. Sophie Parkin advises on regulatory and criminal proceedings, while Mark Thompson handles road traffic matters.

                Practice head(s):

                David Chant

                Other key lawyers:

                Key clients

                NFUM

                Serco employees

                Work highlights

                • Represented the driver of a tractor in a police prosecution for causing death by careless driving.
                • Represented two employees of Serco charged with a number of offences including causing death by dangerous driving, arising out of an incident whilst at work.

                Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: mid-market Tier 3

                DWF's 'very good' London team handles a significant volume of international work, including construction, energy, IT and telecoms disputes, as well as cases in the Commercial Court over shareholder and transactional disputes. Stefan Paciorek is global dispute resolution head; Richard Twomey leads the London commercial litigation practice; Jonathan Isaacs 'has excellent strategic vision'; and Jonathan Moss specialises in multi-jurisdictional commodities, shipping and logistics litigation. Also in London, Joshua Fineman is 'an exceptional partner', while commercial disputes specialist Natasha Gunney is a key director, In Birmingham, Andrew Leach is CIS desk head, while Darren Kenny focuses on commercial fraud disputes.

                Practice head(s):

                Jonathan Isaacs; Richard Twomey; Stefan Paciorek

                Testimonials

                ‘DWF’s commercial litigation team combines excellent strategic command of the law with responsiveness and transparency. For us, the transparency was critical. DWF saw itself as a partner, not a service provider, and participated accordingly, helping us navigate the complex issues with a view towards the best outcome.’

                ‘A very good, commercial mid-market litigation and dispute resolution practice.’

                ‘Jonathan Isaacs has excellent strategic vision, is very focused on achieving the correct result for the client, and writes superb letters to opponents!’

                ‘Jonathan Isaacs’ calm exterior hides a highly intelligent mind and steely approach.

                ‘Joshua Fineman is an exceptional partner. In my fifteen years or so of international commercial disputes, I have encountered few other lawyers who merit being called exceptional. Joshua is strategic, yet tactical, and thoughtful, yet responsive, to exigencies that arise.’

                Key clients

                Cerno Professional Services

                Wincanton

                Just Cash Flow

                Active Energy Group

                Lidl

                Ocado

                Serco

                Union Pacific Capital

                Paramit Corporation

                Amazon

                Rinse

                Georgina Energy

                Firexo

                Ubeauty Global

                Rafax Invest

                Flexiscale

                Survitec Group

                Doosan Power Systems

                Strabag International

                Work highlights

                • Acting for three individuals in a large scandal, which relates to SKAT’s (Danish Tax Authority) suing of 90-plus defendants (resident in 12 different jurisdictions) for losses of over £1.6bn.
                • Acting for Cerno Professional Services in Commercial Court proceedings brought against Petrofac Services (Petrofac), in relation to the question of whether a success fee is payable by Petrofac to Cerno.
                • Defending Wincanton Holdings against proceedings commenced by Muller UK & Ireland Group, alleging fraudulent over-charging claims.

                Dispute resolution > Commodities disputes Tier 3

                DWF exhibits a ‘very pragmatic approach and very good understanding of client’s business by the partners‘. The firm frequently handles disputes for marine insurers, P&I Clubs, shipowners and cargo interests where theft or detention of cargo is a key aspect of the case. Head of the global risks team David Abbott and London managing partner Jonathan Moss, who leads the marine and trade practice, are the standout lawyers. They are ‘knowledgeable, experienced in various fields, and can communicate key messages to clients in the simplest form‘. Antony Woodhouse focuses on Bermuda Form Arbitration with underlying risks relating to marine trade and energy.

                Practice head(s):

                David Abbott; Jonathan Moss

                Other key lawyers:

                Testimonials

                ‘Effective communication as able to convey the required responses across to clients where the same is easily understood.’

                ‘Knowledgeable, experienced in various fields, and could communicate key/important messages across to clients in the simplest form.’

                ‘Very efficient with their communication and well connected to other law firms when the scope of work is too wide for their own knowledge or outside of their jurisdiction.’

                ‘Very pragmatic approach and very good understanding of client’s business by the partners.’

                Key clients

                Vallis Group Ltd, previously Vallis Commodities Ltd

                PS Maritime

                Targray International

                Nimex Petroleum

                GP Global Group

                Berkshire Hathaway Specialist Insurance

                Commodities Management Company

                Chaucer

                UK P&I CLUB

                Dispute resolution > Professional discipline Tier 3

                A very capable and proper international law firm‘, DWF is well known for defending professionals from the legal, medical, actuarial, accountancy and financial services sectors. As ‘a standout practitioner in the disciplinary/regulatory field‘, Richard Burger is experienced in defending accountants and insolvency practitioners in professional disciplinary investigations; Harriet Quiney is an experienced professional indemnity and regulatory partner; Simon Mason defends disciplinary complaints against accountants; and John Bennett and Sheona Wood both defend legal professionals. In May 2022, Rosie Shapiro joined from BLM, where she led the national professional discipline practice group.

                Practice head(s):

                Richard Burger; Simon Mason

                Other key lawyers:

                Harriet Quiney; John Bennett; Sheona Wood; Rosie Shapiro; Sharon Buckham; Claire Notley

                Testimonials

                ‘DWF is a very capable and proper international law firm with a very strong London and regional presence.’

                ‘Richard Burger has an encyclopaedic knowledge of financial services and regulatory law, and a wealth of experience.’

                ‘Richard Burger runs a tight and astute disciplinary team. Nothing is too much trouble for clients, and client care is second to none.’

                ‘Richard Burger is a standout practitioner in the disciplinary/regulatory field. He is very assiduous and careful, and tactically astute.’

                Rosie Shapiro is enormously experienced and committed to her clients. She always gives sensible, insightful advice.

                Claire Notley is a very capable senior associate and a safe pair of hands.

                Key clients

                MPS

                Insurance > Insurance and reinsurance litigation Tier 3

                DWF has been particularly busy in respect of COVID-related instructions at direct insurance and reinsurance levels, acting for both London market and international carriers, in addition to its expanding workload in product liability, property and Bermuda form. Described as a ‘pioneer in the classes he specialises in’, David Abbott is known for his political risk, trade credit and reinsurance work. For property and product liability, senior partner John Groome , Peter Barnes (particularly for Japanese and Far East markets) and Charlotte Kelly are also noted. Jonathan Moss and Antony Woodhouse also come recommended.

                Practice head(s):

                David Abbott

                Other key lawyers:

                John Groome; Jonathan Moss; Antony Woodhouse; Charlotte Kelly; Peter Barnes

                Testimonials

                ‘David Abbott is a pioneer in the classes he specialises in.’

                ‘Peter Barnes’ team offer an exceptional service and I have never seen any drop off in attention, quality or service. Outstanding.’

                ‘Peter Barnes is a partner who is second to none in the rest of the market. A nice chap with an extremely keen eye for the detail, outstanding legal skills and utterly professional. Keeps his client in mind all of the time.

                ‘Charlotte Kelly is a go to partner who cannot do enough to assist her clients, is always available and very skilled and professional. She is always smiling which is contagious too. Her output is always first class.’

                ‘Antony Woodhouse is market savvy with extensive knowledge and considerable expertise in insurance and reinsurance law. Always gives well-defined advice without unnecessary equivocation.’

                ‘Antony Woodhouse is a pleasure to work with. He brings an intelligent strategic focus to a case, and works together with the client as an integral part of a legal team.’

                ‘David Abbott is a recognised industry leader.’

                Key clients

                Hamilton Group

                Canopius

                AXA XL

                QIC

                Talbot Underwriting

                RSA

                Chubb

                Markel

                Liberty Specialty

                Zurich Insurance

                Work highlights

                • Acting for London Market and Global insurers on coverage issues following a fire at AKM semi conductor factory in Nobeoka City, Japan on 29 October 2020.
                • Representing Swiss Re Corporate Solutions Services Ltd, Chubb, QBE, The Underwriter in a coverage dispute with Purdue Pharma arising from the US opioid epidemic. On behalf of insurers, a successful motion to stay was filed, citing arbitration provisions in Bermuda Form policies.
                • Advised Whole London Contingency (event cancellation) Market (Axa XL, Beazley, Brit, Argo, Ark, Tokio Marine HCC) on various event cancellation claims throughout the world  arising from numerous Covid 19 restrictions.

                Insurance > Product liability: defendant Tier 3

                The product liability team at DWF is frequently instructed by major global insurers, with a strong international presence and expertise in the manufacturing, construction, life sciences, aviation and agriculture sectors. Peter Barnes specialises in handling high value and technical product liability claims within the fields of aviation, engineering and construction. He leads with product compliance expert Dominic Watkins and Hilary Ross , noted for her experience in the food industry.

                Practice head(s):

                Peter Barnes; Hilary Ross; Dominic Watkins

                Other key lawyers:

                John Groome; Charlotte Kelly

                Testimonials

                ‘Peter Barnes and his team are outstanding. Quality legal professionals, with a keen eye on detail and their clients. Not afraid to think outside of the box.’

                ‘Peter Barnes – is an outstanding Client Partner who is attentive and always delivers output of the highest quality providing us and our insureds with the very best care and service.

                Charlotte Kelly never fails to impress. A keen eye for the detail and understands our market.’

                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

                Tokio Marine HCC

                Halfords Group Plc

                H Young Holdings Plc

                G-Cube

                Scania

                Markerstudy

                Chairo Technology

                QVC

                Homebase

                C&C Group

                Lidl

                Tangle Teezer

                PepCo

                Misguided

                Arcadia

                Asahi Intecc

                Work highlights

                • Instructed on behalf of a global vehicle manufacturer and their insurers in relation to a £15million pound claim which may have global repercussions. Present court proceedings ongoing.
                • Acting for London Market and Global insurers following 82hr fire at a semi conductor factory in Japan. Ramification of the fire has been shortages of DAC and ADC chips used by manufacturers around the globe.
                • Instructed by various London market insurers to advise on coverage issues arising out of high profile Multi-District pharmaceutical litigation in the United States

                Insurance > Professional negligence Tier 3

                The ‘brilliant team’ at DWF has a strong reputation for its breadth of knowledge and technical expertise within the professional negligence sphere. The firm is regularly instructed on multi-party and high value disputes on behalf of solicitors, surveyors and construction professionals. John Bennett  is known for his work in solicitor’s negligence. Harriet Quiney has expertise concerning regulatory investigations involving financial professionals. Lucy Tolond recently joined the London team from BLM, bringing a strong reputation as a robust litigator.

                Practice head(s):

                John Bennett; Harriet Quiney; Mark Klimt

                Other key lawyers:

                Lucy Tolond; Ian Welland; Damien McKinnon; Sheona Wood; Robert Goodlad

                Testimonials

                ‘DWF has huge experience in professional negligence resulting from their longstanding connections and relationships with the insurance companies who fund most defendants in professional negligence actions. The sheer number of professional negligence partners they possess who are of the very highest quality is unrivalled.’

                ‘Lucy Tolond is a fantastic recent acquisition for DWF – I have worked with her for many years and she is technically excellent, robust, great with clients and a pleasure to work with. Harriet Quiney – very good on financial services-related professional indemnity work and policy coverage issues. A very robust but pleasant opponent. Ian Welland – a stalwart of the defendant professional indemnity scene, and well-respected by all.’

                ‘The DWF team were very understanding of our needs – they appreciated the pressures we were under maintaining the project progress despite the ongoing discussions, and very quickly understood the position and sought to justify and respond against comments received robustly and fairly. DWF helped a potentially difficult situation become manageable without becoming overly adverse and disruptive.’

                ‘Harriet Quiney demonstrates a wealth of knowledge in her field and gives us the confidence we are getting the appropriate advice. Damian McKinnon is very responsive and demonstrates high level knowledge in his field, again giving us complete faith and confidence in these individuals and the firm as a whole.’

                ‘Sheona Wood stands out as a personable yet incredibly smart, robust and knowledgeable practitioner in the field of professional negligence litigation. She is undeniably an asset for her clients.’

                ‘There is a wealth and diversity of experience amongst the partners and associates in the professional negligence team at DWF. It is a bit of a hidden gem in the London insurance market, providing first class service and advice with no fuss or bravado. They simply get the job done and done very well, first time.’

                ‘John Bennett is the complete expert in barrister’s and solicitor’s negligence. John is fantastic with clients, bringing calm and charm, as well as technical brilliance and commercial acumen. A real stand out in the market.

                ‘Excellent relationship building and global reach. We had a liaison partner in London, who put us in contact with partners in other offices and facilitated a smooth delivery of services. The advice was very clear and unambiguous.’

                Key clients

                Hiscox Underwriting Limited

                QBE

                Travelers

                AXA XL

                Zurich Insurance

                Starr Underwriting Agents Limited

                Liberty Speciality Markets

                CNA

                Argo

                Arch Insurance Company Limited

                AXIS

                Bar Mutual

                Work highlights

                • Defending a law firm and their professional indemnity insurers against a c.£84m claim by its former client, a property developer, for advice given in connection with a claim against a large national bank.
                • Instructed for a top 50 law firm in connection with a c.£50m claim by its former client, a property development company, for advice given in connection with the acquisition, development and attempted sale of a large block of prime real estate in London.
                • Acting on behalf of insurers in a highly complex coverage aggregation dispute in connection with claims arising from the discovery of a theft of monies from a firm of solicitors’ client account.

                Public sector > Local government Tier 3

                Risk advisory > Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity Tier 3

                DWF's 'outstanding' team houses 'extremely capable and experienced legal practitioners', who cover the whole spectrum of data protection and cybersecurity work, including international data transfers, the data protection aspects of corporate transactions, large-scale litigation and investigations, among others. From Manchester, compliance expert JP Buckley overseas the practice alongside London-based lawyers Stewart Room, who is rated as 'one of the industry leaders in the area of data protection, privacy and cybersecurity', and James Drury-Smith, who is especially sought after by clients in the tech, financial services and healthcare sectors seeking advice on governance and privacy matters.

                Practice head(s):

                Stewart Room; James Drury-Smith; JP Buckley

                Other key lawyers:

                Richard Hall (Director); Simon Davis (Associate); Mark Hendry (Director); Shervin Nahid (Senior Associate)

                Testimonials

                ‘The DWF data protection, privacy and cybersecurity team is among the best legal practices I have dealt with. They are very skilled and experienced in their respective subject matters and they work excellently together as a team. The team have a great blend of deep legal understanding, management consulting experience, as well as commercial pragmatism.’ 

                ‘Stewart Room is considered one of the industry leaders in the area of data protection, privacy and cybersecurity. Stewart has an unparalleled knowledge of data privacy regulations and can apply this in a commercial and pragmatic way. Stewart has also built a network of other providers who can support multiple different aspects of a broad engagement. Stewart was supported by his strong team members, namely; James Drury-Smith, Richard Hall, Simon Davis, and Mark Hendry.’ 

                ‘Stewart Room and Shervin Nahid form a market leading team in data. With deep understanding of the fast-evolving data space, having authored their own books and articles, Stuart and Shervin are at the helm of cutting-edge data matters.’ 

                ‘Stewart Room and his team always provide first class pragmatic and commercial advice. Availability of key personnel is very good, and they are always abreast of their subject matter, advising on the latest developments and its impact on our sector. They are the go-to firm for strategic advice.’ 

                ‘Stewart Room is pre-eminent in the field. His fundamental understanding of emerging considerations in this area allow him to draw clear red threads when advising clients in complicated and nuanced situations. Mark Hendry is a key contributor in ensuring the high-quality of the work produced. Rich Hall’s ability to consider legal questions from a variety of positions and in particular his impressive technical knowledge allow him to wade much further into complicated matters than most other lawyers in his field.’ 

                ‘JP Buckley has always been exceptionally helpful in his responses to my questions. I appreciate as a new DPO having his expert advice on hand to bounce ideas off. He also delivered the 1-2-1 surgery sessions which involved over 20-30 members of staff.’ 

                ‘The at DWF are excellent at taking complex areas of data protection law and distilling these, providing user friendly advice in the form of advice notes, contract clauses etc.’

                ‘James Drury-Smith excels in speaking with different stakeholders of your business in a way that explain complicated legal matters in practical and operationalizable manners for all the relevant stakeholders.’ 

                Key clients

                Meta (Facebook)

                Visa Europe

                Telefónica UK

                Virgin Media

                KP Snacks

                T-Mobile USA

                NHS Digital

                HSBC UK Bank

                Adidas

                Lucozade Ribena Suntory

                Hard Rock Cafe International (USA)

                Ocado Retail

                Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)

                Centrica

                Missguided

                Giffgaff

                Severn Trent Water

                Canopius Services

                IVC Evidensia

                Yum Restaurant Services Group

                Tysers Insurance Brokers

                Tokio Marine

                Westfield Europe

                Music Magpie

                McColls Retail Group

                Equiti Capital UK

                Work highlights

                • Advised a global technology business on transparency reporting related to privacy incidents and data breaches.
                • Assisted a global financial services business through an email compromise attack with incident response support in the EU and UK and project management of communications providers and legal services providers in USA and Asia-Pac.
                • Represented a global communications company in regulatory enforcement proceedings brought for alleged contraventions of the direct marketing rules, with the case concluding in success for the client and the preservation of its marketing strategy.

                Finance > Banking and finance Tier 3

                Acting for leading banks including HSBC, Lloyds and Barclays, DWF is known for its panel advice to leading lenders. It also acts for alternative lenders in a similar fashion, most notably Lombard. Beyond this, the team advises on energy financings and has a growing focus on public sector financing led by Paul Brown. Manchester-based team leader James Szerdy advises key automotive sector clients.

                Practice head(s):

                James Szerdy

                Other key lawyers:

                Paul Brown; Eleanor Cook

                Testimonials

                ‘James Szerdy is my main contact – excellent in every way, knowledgeable, helpful, experienced approachable, adaptable, fair on fees, can-do attitude. James is the reason I use DWF.’

                ‘Responsive, professional, and pragmatic. Made resources available at very short notice. Unphased by complicated arrangements, and ensured that completion deadlines were met. Distance execution of documentation is hugely beneficial.’

                ‘Responsive, professional, and pragmatic with a human ‘face’. Made resources available at very short notice. Unphased by complicated arrangements, and ensured that completion deadlines were met.’

                 

                Key clients

                National Westminster Bank/RBS/ RBSI

                Lloyds Banking Group

                HSBC Bank PLC

                Santander UK plc

                Clydesdale/Yorkshire Bank

                Secure Trust Bank plc

                Lendinvest

                Homes and Communities Agency

                NextGear Capital UK Limited

                Close Brothers

                NWF plc

                Music Magpie plc

                Manchester City Council

                Greater Manchester Combined Authority

                Salford City Council

                North West Evergreen Fund

                LXi REIT Plc

                Home REIT Plc

                Southerns Group

                Work highlights

                • Acted for Music Magpie plc on the refinance of its main banking facilities with Silicon Valley Bank, including revolving credit and accordion facilities of up to £20m, to coincide with its IPO.
                • Acted for National Westminster Bank plc in respect of an Sterling revolving facilities totalling £26m to FRP Mercia Holdco Limited.
                • Acted for the Cheshire & Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership on its £30m regeneration loan facilities from Warrington Borough Council, Cheshire West and Chester District Council and Cheshire East Council.

                Real estate > Construction Tier 3

                DWF‘s Belfast office works closely with the firm’s other teams across the UK and Ireland to provide a versatile service capable of working across borders. Practice head David McNeice is triple qualified in Northern Ireland, Ireland and England and Wales, and is recognised as a leading expert in NEC contracts. Senior associate Aine McGuinness is experienced in construction litigation, including in multi-jurisdictional matters.

                Practice head(s):

                David McNeice

                Other key lawyers:

                Aine McGuiness

                Testimonials

                ‘The team at DWF is very knowledgeable in all aspects, if they did in fact need to update their knowledge they carried it out without fuss and to a speedy conclusion.’

                ‘No job was too small and ensured that every step of the way was communicated and understood.’

                Key clients

                Liverpool City Council

                Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists

                Ares Management

                The National Museums & Galleries of Merseyside

                Dublin Airport Authority

                GB Bio Limited

                Castlehaven Property Finance 2 DAC

                Whitbread

                Work highlights

                • Advising the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists in relation to a judicial review of a below threshold procurement of a dynamic purchasing system in Northern Ireland.
                • Assisting the Dublin Airport Authority with putting together the appropriate contracts to underpin a cargo handler warehousing redevelopment project.

                Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow Tier 3

                National firm DWF hones its attention on the consumer, technology and financial services sectors and is home to Paul Pignatelli , an authority in the sports industry who operates across M&A, disposal, investment and private equity deals; he co-leads the practice alongside Alasdair Peacock, a specialist in state aid, commercial contract, procurement and joint ventures, as well as transactional, corporate governance and restructuring expert, Gary MacDonald.

                Practice head(s):

                Paul Pignatelli; Alasdair Peacock; Gary Macdonald

                Other key lawyers:

                Gemma Gallagher

                Testimonials

                ‘Wide range of legal expertise, legal team are approachable and can cut through legal jargon.’

                ‘Partners are up-front and straight forward to deal with.’

                ‘The team combine the benefit of experience with the energy of youth and work in a collaborative and proactive way with ourselves and third parties to ensure a transaction continues to progress. The team also take a holistic approach to the firm’s relationship with all the different facets of our business, resulting in a competitive approach to fees.’

                ‘Gary Macdonald brings a very pragmatic approach to transactions and will identify the key issues that are important to us and focus on those. Gary and his team are always prepared to go the extra mile to get things over the line.’

                ‘Common sense approach.’

                Key clients

                Tennis Scotland

                Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc

                Lunar JV Finance (Apollo Asset Management Group)

                Element Materials Technology Group Limited

                C&C Group plc (owners of Tennants, Magners and Bulmers brands)

                Mowi Scotland Limited (formerly Marine Harvest)

                Cirrus Response Group Limited

                Custodian REIT PLC

                Mattioli Woods plc

                Aliter Capital LLP

                Work highlights

                • Advised Glennon Brothers on the acquisition of Balcas, Northern Ireland’s leading sawmill.
                • Advised Aliter Capital and the other shareholders on the July 2021 sale of technology and internet of things specialist business North SP Limited to a management team backed by Livingbridge Private Equity.
                • Advised EComplete on the acquisition of a majority stake in Currentbody.com, which specialises in retailing beauty devices for home use, including LED facial masks and exfoliating brushes.

                Corporate and commercial > Corporate tax Tier 3

                Insurance > Personal injury: defender Tier 3

                DWF is singled out by clients and peers for its well-established counter-fraud offering, which is a key feature in its personal injury practice. Jointly managed by Jill Sinclair and Andrew Lothian, who has a focus on defending insurers, the group is well-placed to handle an assortment of high-value defence-side insurance litigation, often cross-border for a host of clients including Aviva and RSA. Director Lynne Macfarlane is recommended for employers and public liability cases. Justine Reilly deals primarily with fraudulent motor claims. Elsewhere, senior associate Julia McDonald has now left the firm.

                Practice head(s):

                Andrew Lothian; Jill Sinclair

                Other key lawyers:

                Testimonials

                ‘Andrew Lothian is a great safe and professional pair of hands.’

                Key clients

                RSA

                Aviva

                Zurich (Zurich Commercial, Zurich Municipal, Zurich Global Corporate Risks, Zurich Engineering and Zurich Risk Services)

                Liverpool Victoria

                QBE

                Tokio Marine Kiln

                Hastings

                Travelers

                Allianz

                Civil Nuclear Police Authority

                Work highlights

                • Advising insurer on sensitive causation issues in major claim where road traffic accident victim died 7 months post-accident with other medical complications.
                • Advising on family claims following death of employee in tragic roller shutter door case.
                • Counter fraud team seek to further educate judiciary on fraudulent claims in Scotland. Sheriff in his judgement criticises the behaviour of the claims management company.

                Real estate > Property litigation Tier 3

                DWF assists a significant number of retail occupiers with landlord and tenant issues, such as lease terminations, dilapidation claims and those pertaining to CVAs, and demonstrates additional expertise in telecoms sector and construction-related work. While most instructions stem from private sector clients, the team also acts for public authorities. Solicitor advocate Naomi Pryde heads the Scottish litigation team and is supported by senior associate Ursula Currie, whose expertise spans landlord and tenant as well as planning-related matters; she joined from Morton Fraser in November 2021.

                Practice head(s):

                Other key lawyers:

                Key clients

                Marks and Spencer plc

                McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles Limited

                Mobile Broadband Network Limited

                The Highland Council

                Aberdeenshire Council

                Shawbrook Bank Limited

                Orkney Islands Council

                Aberdeen City Council

                EE Limited

                BT Group Plc

                Work highlights

                • Strategic legal supplier to Marks & Spencer plc and currently engaged in defending M&S in a high-profile litigation.
                • Successfully defending McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles Limited in an action raised by Aldi Stores Limited claiming damages for the cost of Aldi removing waste materials that it had deposited on McCarthy & Stone’s land.
                • Successfully defending the Highland Council in a judicial review action challenging the council’s decision to approve plans for a £17.3m spaceport at the A’Mhoine Peninsula.

                Employment > Health and safety Tier 3

                Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Birmingham Tier 3

                DWF is regularly engaged on high-value, cross-border transactions by a broad roster of clients, ranging from telecoms companies and utilities providers to property developers. Mark Gibson is a seasoned M&A lawyer who regularly works on deals for various healthcare, technology, and financial services players, including businesses based in the CEE. John Campion is renowned for his capabilities in equity capital markets work, with recent highlights including technology IPOs and media takeovers. Commercial and IT practice chair Ben McLeod works with both vendors and customers on outsourcing and cloud deals. All named lawyers are based in Birmingham.

                Practice head(s):

                Mark Gibson; John Campion; Ben McLeod

                Key clients

                Microlise Group plc

                Miroma SET Limited

                Zinnwald Lithium plc

                Mercantile Ports Limited

                Keywords Studios plc

                Shareholders of H K Wentworth Limited

                Silentnight Holdings Limited

                Lewis Morgan

                Hamble Properties Limited

                Severn Trent Water Limited

                EE Limited

                BT Plc

                A.F Blakemore & Sons

                BAI Communications Limited

                Mobilitie LLC

                Work highlights

                • Advised Microlise Group plc on its IPO on AIM, raising a total of £61.2m and achieving a market capitalisation of £157m .
                • Advised Miroma SET Limited on its £30m recommended takeover by Miroma Holdings Limited.

                Crime, fraud and licensing > General crime and fraud Tier 3

                The excellent team at DWF acts for nine large composite insurers as well as the Lloyds Market, corporates and self-insured. The team has considerable sector strength in diverse areas such as financial, retail and logistics. Lorraine Carolan  leads the firm’s national fraud and financial crime offering. Michael Henman specialises in representing motor insurers in the defence of fraudulent claims. Miles Hepworth  also has considerable expertise in counter-fraud and claims validation.

                Key clients

                Allianz

                Hastings

                First Central

                Sabre

                Admiral

                Aviva

                NFU Mutual

                QBE

                Markerstudy

                RSA

                Insure the Box

                Covea

                Ageas

                LV=

                Work highlights

                • Successfully acted for the defendant insurer and the policyholder after a claimant brought a personal injury claim for damages arising out of a road traffic accident.
                • Successfully acted for the insurer in relation to two separate cases that were brought by the policyholders for breach of contract.

                Finance > Banking and finance Tier 3

                The team at DWF are renowned for their expertise in commercial real estate and hospitality finance. The team is headed by Richard Holmes , a highly experienced banking lawyer focused on hotel development financing and the hospitality sector.

                Practice head(s):

                Richard Holmes

                Key clients

                The Royal Bank of Scotland Group

                Lloyds Banking Group

                Unity Trust Bank plc

                ICICI Bank

                Nationwide Building Society

                West Bromwich Commercial Limited

                NM Rothschild & Sons Limited

                Ashall Group of Companies

                LendInvest Limited

                Cannock Group

                Work highlights

                • Advised the lender on an ESG £95m term loan facility in connection with its first energy storage lending transaction.
                • Undertook a large-scale LIBOR repapering exercise for clearing bank on its property backed loan portfolio utilising DWF’s Legal Advisory and Mindcrest divisions.
                • Advised a syndicate of lenders on a £52m term loan facility secured against a large property portfolio.

                Insurance > Professional negligence Tier 3

                DWF continues to build on its strong relationships with some of the UK’s leading insurers and is developing a growing reputation for its work on substantial accountancy negligence claims. Led by Derek Adamson , the team's client base includes leading insurers and insurance brokers and it is often engaged on claims against social services professionals. Denise Brosnan  routinely advises on claims of alleged historical abuse and sexual abuse and is recommended alongside Paul Donnelly .

                Practice head(s):

                Other key lawyers:

                Testimonials

                ‘Derek Adamson. He has particular skill in dealing with complex claims against auditors. His background in litigation means that he is wholly unafraid of taking the fight to the other side but also knows when the moment is right to reach a commercial settlement’.

                ‘Exceptional layer of partners (top quality), with very good associates beneath them. The lower level fee earners are all intelligent and uniformly well-supervised’.

                ‘Denise Brosnan – very intelligent and detailed approach. Paul Donnelly – most intelligent and tactically astute solicitor that I have met’.

                Key clients

                Zurich

                Birmingham City Council

                Gallagher Bassett

                Munich RE

                Coventry City Council

                Solihull MBC

                Travelers

                AXA XL

                Axis Capital

                QBE

                Ecclesiastical

                Work highlights

                • Advising the client on a gas explosion that caused catastrophic burns to the tenant of flat. Claim for injuries against building owner and chartered surveyors for whom the firm acts.
                • Instructed to act for the local authority and its social services department in relation to a claim arising out of their alleged negligence in the performance of its social services function.
                • Advising the council on a very substantial claim relating to alleged professional negligence over a 15 year period by the client’s social services department in failing to take a family of nine children into care sooner resulting in chronic neglect (and physical and sexual abuse).

                Real estate > Commercial property: Birmingham Tier 3

                Helmed by newly promoted partner Charlotte Ward, DWF works with an enviable roster of blue-chip corporate clients, REITs, and local authorities across England on the full gamut of transactional and development-based matters. Toby Askin manages a number of the firm’s most high-profile client relationships, assisting various entities with acquisitions and investments. Melanie Williams , who heads up the firm’s hospitality sector offering, is sought out by numerous hotel chains and restaurant companies for property investment and development advice. Legal director Michelle Knight works with local authorities on regeneration projects and development agreements.

                Practice head(s):

                Charlotte Ward; Toby Askin; Melanie Williams

                Other key lawyers:

                Key clients

                BT plc

                Panattoni

                City of Wolverhampton Council

                Ashall Projects Limited

                Assura PLC

                Whitbread Group PLC

                Hortons’ Estate Limited

                St Francis Limited

                Ingenious Group

                Harcourt Capital Limited

                Severn Trent PLC

                Starboard Hotels Limited

                Greene King Limited

                Middlesbrough Borough Council

                Millenium Copthorne Hotels

                Downing LLP

                Unity Trust Bank PLC

                Homes England

                Work highlights

                • Assisting Panattoni with the acquisition of 100 acre site next to the M20 in Aylesford, Kent (developed value of over £300m).
                • Assisting LXi REIT to deploy £350m of equity on various acquisitions, including the £58.9m acquisition of Sainsbury’s supermarket in Middlesbrough.
                • Supporting City of Wolverhampton Council on a key deal for the local region, with regard to various lettings at the new Grade A office development, i9.

                Real estate > Environment Tier 3

                Noted for its strong cross-office collaboration, DWF is sought out by an impressive roster of blue-chip corporate clients and public bodies for its wide-ranging expertise in environmental regulatory frameworks, and associated contentious matters. Seasoned practice chair David Egan specialises in the latter, defending various businesses in proceedings brought by regulators and local authorities. Senior associate Simon Naylor focuses on regulatory investigations and environmental liabilities issues, supporting major government departments with complex energy projects and potential pollution concerns. Associate Prem Thakor, who re-joined the practice in February 2021 after a period at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, is noted for his capabilities in private prosecutions. All named lawyers are based in Birmingham.

                Practice head(s):

                David Egan

                Other key lawyers:

                Key clients

                Severn Trent Water plc

                BT Telecommunications plc

                Homes England

                Work highlights

                • Providing routine operational and key strategic support to Severn Trent legal team on environmental matters as part of legal retainer.
                • Working in concert with BT Group’s environmental legal team across business divisions, providing ad hoc and structured compliance support.

                Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: general crime and fraud Tier 3

                DWF’s fraud and financial crime team, is recommended for acting on behalf of insurers in relation to alleged fraudulent motor and personal injury claims. Lorraine Carolan leads the team nationally, while Stuart Poole oversees the Liverpool office and is experienced in covering RTA, casualty and large loss exaggeration claims. Jewels Chamberlain co-heads the Liverpool branch, working with insurance companies in combatting spurious soft tissue and whiplash claims. The Manchester-based Colin Bushell is also noted for his work on insurance fraud.

                Practice head(s):

                Lorraine Carolan; Stuart Poole; Jewels Chamberlain

                Other key lawyers:

                Work highlights

                  Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire Tier 4

                  DWF in Leeds offers a 'good depth of knowledge and pragmatic advice' in corporate and commercial matters. Areas of expertise include management buyouts, private equity deals, as well as assisting clients in the lettings, wealth management, mortgage broking and financial services sectors on acquisitions. The growing team is led by Lester Wilson, as is Jon Marriott , who is a specialist in corporate finance. Wendy Harrison advises in particular hospitality and leisure sector clients. Another noted individual is Jonathan Procter who has 'detailed all-around knowledge and ability with a huge amount of experience.'

                  Practice head(s):

                  Lester Wilson

                  Testimonials

                  ‘Knowledgeable and experienced.’

                  ‘Lester Wilson is excellent.’

                  ‘Good depth of knowledge and pragmatic advice.’

                  ‘Excellent corporate lawyers with a commercial view.’

                  ‘Jonathan Procter has detailed all around knowledge and ability with a huge amount of experience. With that knowledge/experience also comes a commercial opinion as to how to proceed, which is very valuable as a client.’

                  Key clients

                  Countrywide plc/Connells

                  Ascot Lloyd/Bellpenny

                  The Property Franchise Group plc

                  Lambert Smith Hampton

                  Allay Claims

                  Nick Dunning Associates

                  Lomond Capital

                  Zinnwald Lithium plc

                  Woodbois Limited

                  Horizonte Minerals Plc

                  Belluscura Plc

                  Pivotal Growth

                  MKC Wealth/Cabot Square Capital

                  Boomin

                  Crisp Thinking Group Limited

                  SPARK Advisory Partners

                  Emerald Publishing Group

                  Braime Group Plc

                  Superbike Factory Limited

                  Plant Healthcare Plc

                  Oxford Pharmascience

                  Work highlights

                    Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 4

                    DWF is strong in the area of financial services insolvency which was bolstered by the arrival of James Moore from Weightmans LLP in October 2020. It has also developed particular expertise in retail and energy insolvencies. The team in Leeds works closely with its national network of offices, particularly in London where Natasha Atkinson is the key contact.

                    Practice head(s):

                    Natasha Atkinson; James Moore

                    Testimonials

                    ‘DWF has developed expertise in financial services administrations in a series of cases. It can really help clients in that sector to navigate the minefield of legislation.’

                    ‘James Moore is excellent. He is committed to his clients, he’s clever and very down to earth.’

                    Key clients

                    Smith & Williamson

                    RSM Advisory LLP

                    Alvarez & Marsal Europe Limited

                    Quantuma Advisory Limited

                    Interpath Advisory

                    Teneo

                    FRP Advisory

                    KBL Advisory

                    Path Business Recovery

                    DS Insolvency

                    Begbies Traynor

                    Lloyds Banking Group

                    BDO Advisory

                    GT

                    Griffins

                    Azets

                    Moore Kingston Smith

                    Mazars

                    Work highlights

                    • Advised the board and subsequent Special Administrators of Dolfin Financial (UK) Ltd with regards to putting it into special administration, £1m + pre-pack sale, and advising on transfer of £1.4bn of client assets.
                    • Advised the Administrators of RSM with regards to the sale of Bonmarché and assets and assignment of multiple national leases to the buyer.
                    • Advised Alvarez and Marsal, and DS Insolvency respectively as Administrator of these companies.

                    Industry focus > Retail and consumer Tier 4

                    DWF's consumer sector team works with a range of household name clients, advising on issues ranging from health and safety and regulatory compliance to employment and commercial matters. Dominic Watkins leads the team, working with clients and markets head Hilary Ross. Naveen Gupta specialises in retail property.

                    Practice head(s):

                    Dominic Watkins

                    Other key lawyers:

                    Testimonials

                    ‘A team with real depth of understanding of the retail and consumer sector – first class amongst law firms.’

                    ‘Hilary Ross and Dominic Watkins are true stars in their field – responsive, dynamic and they listen. Which means they provide useful and incisive work, providing real value to their clients.’

                    Key clients

                    Wm Morrisons Supermarkets

                    Lidl

                    Pepsico

                    The Adidas Group

                    Homebase Group Ltd

                    Marks and Spencer

                    Costa Ltd

                    Pepkor Europe Ltd

                    KP Snacks

                    Currys

                    Work highlights

                    • Advised Missguided in relation to the substantial funding provided by Alteri.
                    • Persuaded regulators to drop five prosecutions against Morrisons for selling food after its use by date.
                    • Advising Lidl, many drinks manufacturers and a global online retailer on their compliance with Deposit Return Scheme regulations.

                    Insurance > Clinical negligence: defendant Tier 4

                    The DWF healthcare litigation team, described as ‘going above and beyond’ for its clients, is under the leadership of Lisa Heathcote, following the departure of Tracy Sell-Peters to Keystone Law in July 2022. The team has a stellar reputation for its extensive experience advising insurers on policy coverage issues, policy wording and regulatory issues. Notably, in 2022, the team gained a place on the NHSR panel. Its workload is broad-ranging, and claims the team defends against involve alleged negligence and breach of duty in areas including reconstructive, cosmetic and general orthopaedic surgery and post-operative care, as well as cases wherein the claimant has developed sepsis, brain injury or spinal injury as a result of the alleged negligence. In May 2022, the firm bolstered its offering with the acqusition of Rosie Shapiro from BLM.

                    Practice head(s):

                    Lisa Heathcote

                    Other key lawyers:

                    Sharon Buckham; Will Marshall; Vicki Swanton; Rosie Shapiro

                    Testimonials

                    ‘The team’s work ethic is particularly notable. They’re known for always making themselves available, for their frank yet reassuring advice, and for going above and beyond for their client’s needs.’

                    ‘Sharon Buckham is someone who will always make herself available to discuss any issue, be it a complex matter or something less contentious. She’s dedicated to getting the best outcome for her clients – you’re never in doubt that she cares personally about those outcomes.’

                    Key clients

                    NHSR

                    MPS

                    Paragon International Insurance Brokers Ltd

                    Axis Managing Agency Ltd

                    Acacium Group

                    W/R/B Underwriting Ltd

                    HCA

                    Alliance Medical Indemnity

                    Hiscox

                    Newline Group

                    Insurance > Insurance: corporate and regulatory Tier 4

                    DWF is appreciated within the corporate insurance space for handling M&A and regulatory advice, as well as matters relating to financial crime. Practice head Jonathan Drake joined from Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP in 2021, with expertise in PRA, Lloyd’s regulatory issues, insurance policy wordings, run off and restructurings (including Part VII transfers). Co-head Mel Sims has developed the firm’s non-contentious M&A insurance offering. Justin Edgar is another key name to note.

                    Practice head(s):

                    Jonathan Drake; Mel Sims

                    Other key lawyers:

                    Richard Burger; Justin Edgar; Raeesa Chowdhury

                    Testimonials

                    ‘DWF is building out a great team, particularly on the regulatory side, with relatively recent recruit Jonathan Drake.’

                    Richard Burger is a highly respected figure in the London insurance market.’

                    ‘Richard Burger has a wide and loyal client base which is richly deserved, as he is an exceptional lawyer and an outstanding professional. Richard is highly regarded across the London and Lloyd’s insurance markets, where he is considered as preeminent in his field. Richard is incredibly smart, hard-working and dedicated. He is tenacious in securing the best outcome for his clients, and his regulatory expertise is second to none.’

                    Key clients

                    Randall & Quilter II Holdings Limited

                    PSC Insurance Group Limited

                    Ataraxia 8 Limited

                    PSC UK Holdings Limited

                    Costero Holdings Limited

                    Turner Financial Services Limited

                    Global Risk Partners

                    Ataraxia Broking Limited

                    Carroll Holman

                    Canopius Managing Agents

                    MultiStrat Re

                    Work highlights

                    • Acted lead counsel to Randall & Quilter on a number of M&A transactions during the period following its first instruction on the acquisition of Inceptum Insurance Company Limited in 2020.
                    • Acted as leading counsel for ASX-listed PSC Insurance Group Limited on a further two transactions in 2021, being the acquisitions of: 1) Abaco Insurance Brokers Limited; and 2) Trust Insurance Services Limited.
                    • Acted for US client, Corvus Insurance Holdings, Inc., on its acquisition of Tarian Underwriting Limited.

                    Real estate > Commercial property: investment Tier 4

                    The ‘genuinely passionate‘ commercial real estate team at DWF advises a host of public and private sector clients, which include multinational businesses and the Welsh Government. The investment team regulardly advises on large-scale transactions, such as portfolio acquisitions and disposals. James Froud handles complex investment transactions and asset mangement matters, an area in which senior associate Oliver Lovett has expertise. Mark Shepherd has extensive experience in direct and indirect real estate investment and joint venture arrangements.

                    Practice head(s):

                    James Froud

                    Other key lawyers:

                    Testimonials

                    ‘A strong team of professional solicitors’

                    ‘The team is really dedicated to the job and the advice given. DWF’s real estate team is always acting with great professional conscience. The team combines both approaches: legal and business, and their responsiveness is great.’

                    ‘James Froud and Oliver Lovett are genuinely passionate lawyers who take the lead during the process.’

                    Key clients

                    Freehold Acquisition Corporation Limited

                    Investec Bank plc

                    Evans Randall Investors Ltd

                    Oaktree

                    Best Star Real Estate Limited/Tikehau Capital

                    Squarestone Growth LLP

                    Clearbell Capital

                    Hargreaves Group

                    Alvarium

                    Corum XL

                    Panatonni

                    Moda

                    Work highlights

                    • Acting for Freehold Acquisition Corporation Limited in respect of the acquisition of numerous ground rent reversion interests including the acquisition of a second 12 property portfolio of retirement living homes from Churchill Group by way of corporate structured acquisition, several developments from developer counterparties such as Select Group, X1 and Salboy.
                    • Acting for Alvarium, a global investment house, for more than seven years.
                    • Acting for Panatonni (a global real estate logistics investor/developer) on deals across their portfolio.

                    Transport > Shipping Tier 4

                    DWF is regularly sought out for its strength in maritime disputes pertaining to a broad range of issues, such as cargo contaminations, casualties, and matters involving ports and terminals. Global head of transport sector Jonathan Moss leads the team and is praised for his ‘depth of knowledge and pragmatism’ as well as his expertise in shipping disputes arising in French-speaking West and North Africa. Coverage disputes, particularly Bermuda Form arbitration proceedings, are part of Tom Mungovan‘s specialisms. Director Peter Olymbios and senior associate Radhika Ruparelia advise clients on contentious and non-contentious maritime matters.

                    Practice head(s):

                    Jonathan Moss

                    Testimonials

                    ‘Very experienced in marine claims.’

                    ‘Jonathan Moss is stand out. Very knowledgeable and provides concise advice.’

                    ‘Their insurance and international trade background is a great asset, as is their tenacity and commitment to ensuring the clients secure a solution which suits their commercial needs.’

                    ‘Peter Olymbios has sound judgment and an ability to identify the strengths and weaknesses in a case. Unflappable even with difficult clients or opponents.’

                    ‘Jonathan Moss runs a tight and efficient ship. His depth of knowledge and pragmatism distinguishes him from the competition.’

                    Key clients

                    Travelers Marine

                    Chaucer Marine

                    MS Amlin

                    Thomas Miller

                    Morrisons

                    GP Global

                    Vallis Group Ltd

                    Sahara Energy

                    Berkshire Hathaway

                    British Telecom

                    Real estate > Construction Tier 4

                    With sector strengths in retail, infrastructure, and real estate, the team at DWF acts for multinational clients as well as notable UK businesses. Non-contentious construction law expert Adam Jason leads the practice in Manchester and regularly advises government bodies and residential developers nationwide. David McNeice heads up the national construction and infrastructure practice out of Belfast.

                    Practice head(s):

                    Adam Jason; David McNeice

                    Key clients

                    Greater Manchester Combined Authority

                    GCRE Co

                    Manchester City Council

                    adidas (UK) Limited

                    Muse Developments Limited

                    Ashall Projects

                    Panattoni

                    Wirral Borough Council

                    London Borough of Haringey

                    Work highlights

                    • Advising Manchester City Council on the high profile St Michael’s Development in the centre of Manchester continues.
                    • Advising adidas (UK) Limited in respect of construction works across its portfolio including fit out works at its flagship store at Foubert’s Place along with significant works at its Trafford Distribution Centre.
                    • Acting for Wirral Borough Council in relation to the development of 500 residential units and associated works at North Bank West, Wirral Waters, Dock Road, Birkenhead.

                    Real estate > Property litigation Tier 4

                    DWF's national practice is led from Newcastle by Jonathan Smith; the key name in Manchester is Stuart McCann, who made partner in 2022.

                    Practice head(s):

                    Jonathan Smith

                    Other key lawyers:

                    Key clients

                    Hanro Limited

                    Capital Park Leeds Plc

                    BT Plc

                    Grainger Plc

                    PD Teesport Limited

                    Northumberland Estates

                    Wigan Council

                    Mileway

                    Custodian REIT

                    Advance Northumberland

                    Work highlights

                      Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation Tier 4

                      At DWF, the litigation group receives a steady stream of high-value mandates across the real estate, commercial property and construction industries, acting for an array of clients from its base in Edinburgh. Led by highly rated Naomi Pryde who is singled out for her ‘strong leadership’, the team handles a range of commercial disputes and cross-border work via its global offices. Contentious planning matters are dealt with by senior associate Ursula Carrie, who joined from Morton Fraser, while Alison Grant is the key contact for insured litigation and professional negligence matters.

                      Practice head(s):

                      Naomi Pryde

                      Other key lawyers:

                      Ricky Cannon; Jill Sinclair; Andrew Lothian; Alison Grant; Ursula Carrie

                      Testimonials

                      Strong leadership. Naomi Pryde leads the team from the front, she is a strong partner and excellent litigator.’

                      Naomi Pryde is one of the finest lawyers of her generation. Highly capable and charming, she works devilishly hard in her client’s interests.’

                      Key clients

                      Santander Consumer (UK) Plc

                      Marks and Spencer Plc

                      McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles Limited

                      The Highland Council

                      Mobile Broadband Network Limited

                      Shawbrook Bank Limited

                      Orkney Islands Council

                      Work highlights

                      • Successfully defending The Highland Council in a judicial review action challenging the Council’s decision to approve plans for a £17.3m spaceport at the A’Mhoine Peninsula.
                      • Defending Orkney Islands Council and Orkney Ferries Limited in a Competition Appeal Tribunal application alleging that our clients are operating an illegal cartel.
                      • Acting for Marks & Spencer plc (“M&S”) in a high-profile litigation.

                      Real estate > Construction

                      DWF has boosted its contentious offering with the arrival of director Naithan McBride from DLA Piper in June 2021, who is noted for his experience in acting for contractors and construction companies in disputes.

                      Finance > Banking and finance

                      DWF is expanding its Belfast offering, recruiting Orla Hanna from Carson McDowell as director.

                      Finance > Banking and finance

                      Fronted by director Alan Glen, DWF is particularly active within the real estate finance field, catering to borrowers and lenders alike.

                      Corporate and commercial > Private equity: transactions - mid-market deals (up to £250m)

                      Led from Manchester by Alasdair Outhwaite and Jonathan Robinson , DWF expanded its presence in London in May 2021, when it brought on Alexis Karim from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

                      Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery

                      DWF’s growing team advises on both local and national matters via its northern office network. Liverpool-based senior associate Thomas Murphy joined from Weightmans LLP in mid-2021.

                      Corporate and commercial > Corporate and M&A

                      DWF, which launched in Northern Ireland via a merger with C&H Jefferson in 2016, is building up its corporate offering in Belfast.

                      Crime, fraud and licensing > Fraud: civil Tier 5

                      Led by Richard Twomey, the team at DWF acts for corporations, financial institutions, trustees and high-net-worth individuals. Its offering also includes support in forensic accounting, regulatory advice, and criminal mandates, for which it works closely across practice groups. Joshua Fineman also covers post-fraud recovery actions, and Jonathan Isaacs is another prominent practitioner.

                      Practice head(s):

                      Richard Twomey

                      Other key lawyers:

                      Testimonials

                      ‘Both Richard Twomey and Joshua Fineman were absolutely excellent – fantastic attention to detail along with strategic nous and excellent client skills; totally committed to the case.’

                      ‘As most of the cases of fraud are complex and require  people to respond and act without delay, DWF’s team is always available, fast and up to date with the developments of the relevant sectors.’

                      Key clients

                      Ukrainian Deposit Guarantee Fund

                      Flexiscale Limited

                      Flexiant Limited

                      The Assam Family Trusts

                      Firexo Inc

                      P1.07 Sports Media and Agency

                      Rafax Invest AB

                      Work highlights

                      • Representing three of the alleged fraud defendants in the SKAT proceedings.
                      • Acting on behalf of the Ukrainian Deposit Guarantee Fund in the recovery of substantial monetary sums which it has been defrauded of ($1bn+).
                      • Acting for Attel Finance as part of global enforcement efforts to enforce a personal guarantee.

                      Real estate > Property finance Tier 5

                      DWF‘s real estate team is well-known for advising clearing banks, and is increasingly acting for alternative banks and non-bank lenders on residential and commercial development funding and portfolio matters, especially in the student accommodation, hotel and leisure spaces. The team additionally benefits from the firm’s strong national presence. Simon Elphick heads up the real estate team whilst Brendan Slack leads the banking side for the national real estate team. Simon Sharp joined the firm from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP in November 2021 to jointly lead the banking team.

                      Testimonials

                      ‘Very good at communicating. They are all very professional and really know their stuff.’

                      ‘Able to advise on a range of asset classes.’

                      ‘Experienced individuals, responsive to needs, and always keep the client updated.’

                      ‘DWF are very professional and helpful.’

                      ‘A highly professional, well resourced property team.’

                      ‘Readily contactable with clear, practical advice, the team consistently sticks to budget.’

                      ‘Simon Elphick is an excellent property lawyer. His advice is always considered, whilst remaining practical and deal specific.’

                      ‘Simon Sharp is a sharp shooter with a keen eye for detail. Very good communicator and able to explain complex issues in plain English for us to easily understand. He doesn’t get rattled or defensive and is able to keep the end goal in sight and get the deal done.’

                      Employment Tier 5

                      DWF enjoys a solid reputation for its work on tribunal claims as well as providing support on transactions and on TUPE issues. The team is experienced in many sectors but has particular strength in the healthcare, social care and financial sectors. Practice head Kate Meadowcroft  frequently advises both private and public sector employers.  

                      Practice head(s):

                      Key clients

                      Secure Trust Bank Plc

                      Severn Trent Water Plc

                      Cook Group

                      Henry Riley LLP

                      Fleet Claims Administrators Limited

                      BUPA

                      Work highlights

                        Dispute resolution > International arbitration Tier 6

                        The experience of DWF‘s international arbitration team covers most arbitral forums, while fielding sector experts in energy, infrastructure and technology. It is also experienced in working with clients from Europe, the Middle East and former CIS countries. Richard Twomey acts in technology, energy and financial services disputes; Stefan Paciorek routinely leads large disputes teams across multiple jurisdictions; Antony Woodhouse acts in insurance disputes; and Darren Kenny and Birmingham-based Andrew Leach are CIS specialists. Natasha Gunney is a key director.

                        Practice head(s):

                        Richard Twomey

                        Other key lawyers:

                        Stefan Paciorek; Antony Woodhouse; Natasha Gunney; Darren Kenny; Andrew Leach; John Groome; Jonathan Moss; Tarik Sharif

                        Testimonials

                        The team is experienced and very able, while being affable and easy to get on with.

                        Richard Twomey is the standout partner at DWF. He is calm, collected, and always thinking of how best to strategise.

                        Key clients

                        Trafigura Pte

                        Doosan Power Systems

                        Doosan Babcock

                        Union Pacific Capital

                        Work highlights

                        • Acting for Trafigura Pte in a claim for insured and uninsured losses, following the loss of cargo after an explosion and fire in an oil terminal in Malaysia.
                        • Acting for Doosan Power Systems/Doosan Babcock in delay claims by a contractor, which concern a project to convert a coal-fired power station to biomass.
                        • Acting for Union Pacific Capital in resisting the enforcement of a $45m arbitral award.

                        TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property

                        West Midlands > Transport

                        Corporate and commercial > Financial services: non-contentious/regulatory

                        North West > Real estate > Property litigation

                        DWF's national practice is led from Newcastle by Jonathan Smith; the key name in Manchester is Stuart McCann, who made partner in 2022.

                        Practice head(s):

                        Jonathan Smith

                        Other key lawyers:

                        Key clients

                        Hanro Limited

                        Capital Park Leeds Plc

                        BT Plc

                        Grainger Plc

                        PD Teesport Limited

                        Northumberland Estates

                        Wigan Council

                        Mileway

                        Custodian REIT

                        Advance Northumberland

                        Work highlights

                          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.

                          Email: enquiries@dwf.law Website: www.dwfgroup.com Tel: 0333 320 2220

                          The firm: DWF is a listed legal business 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 strategy is to offer clients an integrated legal management approach through three streamlined and efficient global divisions of Legal Advisory, Mindcrest and Connected Services.

                          Legal Advisory is DWF’s traditional law firm arm. The division provides commercial intelligence and deep sectoral experience to deliver premium legal advice to clients.

                          Mindcrest is an established and well-known brand that provides outsourced and process-led legal services through which DWF standardises, systematises, scales, and optimises legal work.

                          Connected Services is DWF’s collection of products and business services that enhance the Group’s legal offerings. The division complements the Legal Advisory and Mindcrest teams through the provision of non-legal services such as claims management, costs and regulatory consulting.

                          Together, the three divisions support DWF’s single Integrated Legal Management approach through which DWF seamlessly combines any number of these services to deliver bespoke solutions to its clients with efficiency, price certainty and transparency. This approach enables DWF to offer solutions that combine traditional law firm services with new, modern legal and business services relevant to today’s companies, and the challenges and opportunities they face.

                          DWF employs over 4,000 people across 30 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.

                          Practice area contacts
                          Legal advisory: Paul Rimmer
                          Mindcrest: Mark Qualter
                          Connected services: Jason Ford
                          Public sector: Jonathan Branton
                          Energy: Slava Kiryushin
                          Financial services: Robbie Constance
                          Retail, food and hospitality: Dominic Watkins
                          Technology: Stewart Room
                          Transport: Jonathan Moss
                          Insurance: Claire Bowler
                          Real estate: Melanie Williams

                          International offices: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Qatar, Poland, Spain, UAE, USA

                          *Hong Kong, *USA, *Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, *Singapore, *Turkey, *South Africa, *Portugal,
                          * Associations

                          Chairman: Jonathan Bloomer
                          Managing partner and DWF Group CEO: Sir Nigel Knowles
                          Number of UK partners: c. 230
                          Number of qualified lawyers in the UK: c. 905

                          UK offices
                          Belfast: 42 Queen Street, BT1 6HL
                          Tel: 028 9023 0230 Fax: 028 9024 4644

                          Birmingham: One Snowhill, Snow Hill Queensway, B4 6GA
                          Tel: 0333 320 2220 Fax: 0333 320 4440

                          Bristol: DWF, Redcliff Quay, 120 Redcliff Street, Bristol, BS1 6HU
                          Tel: 0333 320 2220 Fax: 0333 320 4440

                          Edinburgh: No. 2 Lochrin Square, 96 Fountainbridge, EH3 9QA
                          Tel: 0333 320 2220 Fax: 0333 320 4440

                          Glasgow: 103 Waterloo Street, Glasgow, G2 7BW
                          Tel: 0141 228 8000 Fax: 0141 228 8310

                          Leeds: Bridgewater Place, Water Lane, LS11 5DY
                          Tel: 0333 320 2220 Fax: 0333 320 4440

                          Liverpool: 5 St Paul’s Square, Old Hall Street, L3 9AE
                          Tel: 0333 320 2220 Fax: 0333 320 4440

                          London: 20 Fenchurch Street, EC3M 3AG
                          Tel: 0333 320 2220 Fax: 0333 320 4440

                          Manchester: 1 Scott Place, 2 Hardman Street, M3 3AA
                          Tel: 0333 320 2220 Fax: 0333 320 4440

                          Newcastle: 2nd Floor Central Square South, Orchard Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3AZ
                          Tel: 0333 320 2220 Fax: 0333 320 4440