Rankings movements for key commercial and finance practices

The 2018 rankings in the Legal 500 has seen a number of changes in key commercial and finance specialisms:

Corporate and commercial

  • The corporate and commercial practices in Birmingham showed no changes in the top two tiers, with DLA Piper, Eversheds Sutherland and Gowling WLG staying in tier one. Emms Gilmore Liberson moved up into tier three.

  • Outside of Birmingham, Beswicks Legal and Thursfields Solicitors’ corporate and commercial teams were promoted into tier two, with Ansons and Hawkins Hatton moving in the other direction.
  • Parisi Tax’s corporate tax team is now on its own in tier one, and has two leading individuals and two next generation lawyers, including new recruit Jon Robinson. Gowling WLG has dropped into tier two, where they are joined by the Mills & Reeve team which moved up.

Dispute resolution

  • Eversheds Sutherland has remained as the leader in banking litigation in the region, where Chris Busby heads the firm’s national practice. Squire Patton Boggs has risen into tier two, replacing Shoosmiths, while Gateley also slipped down, into tier four. FS Legal, the firm that lays claim to being the “only pure” financial services litigation firm outside London, has entered into the third tier.
  • The Legal 500 rankings for Birmingham’s commercial litigation firms has demoted four firms – DWF and Pinsent Masons falling into tier two and Gateley and Shoosmiths dropping into tier three.
  • The only movements in the commercial litigation practices outside of Birmingham were also negative, with Harrison Clark Rickerbys moving down from tier one and Freeths and Knights both relegated from tier two.
  • Gateley completed an unwanted hat-trick in the dispute resolution section, with its debt recovery team also losing a place. It dropped into tier three, as did Shoosmiths. Gowling WLG and Wright Hassall also moved down, into tier two, where they are joined by a new entrant, Veale Wasbrough Vizards.


  • Tier one of banking and finance now has four practices, after Gowling WLG joined DLA Piper, Eversheds Sutherland and Pinsent Masons. Also promoted were Shakespeare Martineau, into tier two, and Mills & Reeve, into tier three. Tier three also now includes Wright Hassall, which jumped two levels, and Freeths.
  • Pinsent Masons’ insolvency practice has now been ranked in tier one, alongside DLA Piper, Eversheds Sutherland and Gateley. Clarke Willmott and Harrison Clark Rickerbys rose up to tier two, with Shakespeare Martineau falling to tier three.