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8 October, 2021 - 21:28 By Tony Quested

Litigation with migration as lawyers show a sure touch

Birketts, Mills & Reeve and Taylor Vinters are joint top for Commercial Litigation work in Cambridge while Ashtons Legal, HCR Hewitsons and Howes Percival share Tier 2 slots in The Legal 500 Guide.

Michael Frape of Ashtons Legal is the lone star in the Hall of Fame here.

The Legal 500 reports that the Cambridge office of Birketts has ‘a very strong team which works well together’; clients praise the ‘prompt, courteous and professional service’. 

From complex fraud to shipping cases, from high-value commercial litigation to judicial reviews, the firm has a deep bench of experienced lawyers. 

‘Decisive yet very deliberative’ practice head Laurence Weeks focuses predominantly on insolvency, financial services and fraud litigation, though he also handles a broad range of commercial, contract, company and professional negligence cases. Partner Sara Sayer and legal director Maria-Christina Peyman are highly recommended by clients.

The litigation group in the Cambridge office of Mills & Reeve is known for providing ‘pragmatic solutions to problems’. It frequently handles disputes on national significance, as well as some of the largest cases in the East Anglia region.

Jamie Wheatley, who handles complex insolvency and contract litigation, and Douglas McDonald, who specialises in high-value commercial disputes for clients in the technology and life sciences sectors, are the lead partners. 

In Tier 2, Ashtons Legal is described as having a diverse litigation practice that works across its office network in East Anglia. Though led by Tom Bailey in Norwich, the practice has a standout partner in Cambridge – firm chairman Michael Frape, who is known for his expertise in complex and high-value commercial disputes for a broad spectrum of clients ranging from public companies to private individuals. His recent caseload includes multimillion-pound disputes for large regional companies.

At HCR Hewitsons, ‘the commercial litigation team is highly responsive, and always delivers high-quality advice rivalling any top City firm’. The core of the litigation practice is in Cambridge, where practice head Simon Biggin handles a range of work from contract and product liability disputes to warranty claims, and shareholder litigation. 

Legal director Stewart Morrison, whose recent work includes a High Court judicial review, is a ‘hardworking litigator who always delivers sound legal advice’. Public procurement disputes are a key area of expertise for the firm.

Howes Percival is praised for its ‘excellent legal knowledge coupled with great commercial approach’. In 2020, the firm handled claims with a total value exceeding £300 million. 

Practice head Michael Green, who works from both the Norwich and Cambridge offices, has more than 20 years’ experience in dealing with large complex commercial disputes, in particular shareholder disputes, warranty claims, partnership advice, restraint of trade, technology claims, contract disputes, contentious probate and insolvency. Director Victoria Sandell has a broad litigation practice and frequently runs her own cases.

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