Legal 500 shows deals make the wheels go round

The boom in commercial activity in the North West, particularly in Manchester, is reflected in the newly-published Legal 500 which have now landed on law firm desks.

Its broad industrial base, growing tech sector and Government investment in schemes such as the Northern Powerhouse means that Manchester is at the forefront of growth in the region.

The June, 2016 referendum might have caused a slight blip in deal-making, but law firms report that the trend for business in the region has not weakened as a result.

Companies remain cautiously optimistic as to the future and are looking forward to more certainty once the implications of Brexit are fully understood.

New entrants into the Manchester legal market means there is intense competition for clients and for retaining staff.

Shakespear Marineau is the latest law firm to announce its move into Manchester, hiring real estate partner Stephen Chalcraft from Slater and Gordon.

The presence of accountancy firms in the city also drives up competition for recruitment, as the accountancy firms continue to bolster legal practices.

Although it is a much smaller legal market, Liverpool is a key legal hub in the region. Projects, property and public sector deals are a key driver of many practices, and with the promise of further investment under the Northern Powerhouse initiative, the trend is set to continue.

Elsewhere, Chester is a centre for high-net-worth clients, while firms in Bolton and Preston handle a range of deals for SMEs, public sector entities and owner-managed businesses.

In the corporate and commercial section, Addleshaw Goddard; DLA Piper, Eversheds Sutherland (International); Pinsent Masons; Brabners; DWF; Gateley; Hill Dickinson; Squire Patton Boggs; CMS; JMW Solicitors; Kuits; Mills & Reeve; Pannone Corporate; TLT; Turner Parkinson Weightmans; DAC Beachcroft; Shoosmiths; Slater Heelis and Ward Hadaway feature.

Other accolades in that section go to Clarke Willmott; gunnercooke; Leytons; Nexus Solicitors; Taylors; Berg; Bermans and HRC Law and O’Connors.

Outside of the big cities, Aaron & Partners; Gorvins Solicitors; Myerson Solicitors; Napthens; SAS Daniels; DTM Legal; Forbes Solicitors; Jolliffe & Co; Chafes Hague Lambert; Fielden Marshall Glover Strutt; Hillyer McKeown; KBL Solicitors; MLP Law; Baines Wilson; Butcher & Barlow; Farleys Solicitors and MSA Law are all mentioned.

Meanwhile, there was some new blood among the named leading individuals.

In the banking and finance sector the five newcomers were: Rob Fawke (gunnercooke); Richard Sealy (Gateley); Liz Sweeney (Shoosmiths); and JasaonWurzal (Eversheds Sutherland).

Other sector new entries were as follows: Banking litigation: Stewart Plant (DLA Piper).

Clinical negligence: claimant: Jennifer Cawthorne (Irwin Mithell); Brendan Hope (Leigh Day); Sally Leonards (JMW Solicitors); Nina Roland (The Roland Partnership); Judith Thomas-Whittingham (Stephensons Solicitors); Jenny Unswin (Slater and Gordon).

Clinical negligence: defendant: Amanda Callaghan (Browne Jacobson); Andrew Craggs and Andrew Peel (Hill Dickinson).

Commercial litigation: Manchester: Jonathan Eatough, Andrew Smith and David Gray (DLA Piper); Sydney Fulda and Jan Levinson (DAC Beachcroft).

Commercial litigation: Liverpool: Andrew Roberts (Weightmans).

Commercial litigation: Elsewhere in the North West: Andrew Bartley (Jolliffe & Co); Adam Maher (Myerson Solicitors).

Construction: Anthony Bradley, Michael Hopkins and Mark Job (Pinsent Masons); Paul O’Kane (DWF).

Corporate and commercial: Manchester: Giles Chesher and Darren Warbuton (Squire Patton Boggs); James Kerrigan (DLA Piper).

Corporate and commercial: Liverpool: Mike Jones (Hill Dickinson); John Schorah (Weightmans).

Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in the North West: Edward Barnes (DTM Legal); Katherine Mellor (Slater Heelis).

Corporate Tax: Justine Delroy (Addleshaw Goddard); Haydn Rogan (Weightmans).

Crime: Fraud: Mike Mackey (Burton Copeland); Paul Schofield (Farleys Solicitors); Sean Sexton (MSB Solicitors); Helen Simm (Slater and Gordon).

Crime: General: Richard Black and Tom Nutter (Slater and Gordon); Mike Garstang and Richard Cornthwaite (Garstang Cartwright King); Mike Pemberton and Corena Platt (Stephensons).

Debt recovery: Mark Burch (Weightmans).

Employment: Nick Campbell (Brabners); Kerran Daly (Browne Jacobson); Kevin McKenna (Kuit Steirnart Levy); John Martin (Martin & Co); Andrea Paxton (Analysis Legal); Malcolm Pike (Addleshaw Goddard).

Employment: Employee/union firms: Alan Lewis (Linder Myers).

Family: James Brown (Hall Brown Family Law); Alison Bull (Mills & Reeve); Emma Carey MSB Solicitors; Amanda McAlister (Slater and Gordon); Cara Nuttall (JMW Solicitors).

Health and safety: David Walton and Suzanne Drinkwater (Keoghs).

IT and telecoms: Craig Chaplin (DWF); Rob Sheldon (Fieldfisher); Nik White (Brabners); Stephen Wright (DLA Piper).

Intellectual property: Samantha Livesey (Pinsent Masons); Jonathan Moakes (Gateley); Ian Morris (Kuit Steinart Levy).

Personal injury: Claimant: Andrew Bradley and Clare Campbell (Leigh Day); Jonathan Bridge (Farleys Solicitors); Adrian Denson (Fletchers Solicitors); Ben Priestley (Serious Law).

Personal injury: Defendant: Ruth Graham (BLM); Richard McKeown (Kennedys); Peter Walmsley and David Wynn (Clyde & Co).

Personal tax, trusts and probate: Graham Wood (Kuit Steinart Levy).

Professional negligence: Claire Bushen (Kennedys); Kit Sorrell (FS Legal); Jason Nash (BLM); Sarah Naylor (Hill Dickinson).

Planning and environment: Colette McCormack (Winckworth Sherwood).

Social housing: Suzanne Benson (Trowers & Hamlins).

Sport: Matthew Bennett and David Bentham (Centrefield); Julian Diaz-Rainey (Pinsent Masons).

Transport: Jared Dunbar (Dyne Solicitors).