Honours even for top players

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Four Sheffield firms share the top spot when it comes to commercial litigation in South Yorkshire – DLA Piper, Hill Dickinson, Irwin Mitchell and Nabarro.

DLA Piper’s team is now led by Richard Norman, after Ashley Mott’s shift to international issues, which results in him splitting his time between Sheffield and the firm’s overseas offices.

The DLA Piper team secured mobile phone group Vodafone as a new client during the last year and is seen as having particular strengths in the fields of information technology and technology, media and telecommunications.

Hill Dickinson’s team is led by Giles Searby and represented Southampton in an issue relating to Premier League’s rules governing the financing arrangements of player transfers.

Irwin Mitchell is praised by clients for being one of the best regional commercial litigation firms.

Its team, led by Steven Beahan, represented Arc Legal Assistance and ARAG in a leading case concerning the use of panel solicitors in the legal expense industry.

Nabarro’s practice, headed by George Lubega, handles cases ranging from healthcare and telecoms to logistics, transport and leisure matters and deals with debt management and consumer credit issues for brewing giant Molson Coors.

The Nabarro team is praised by clients for its ‘Rolls-Royce’ service, while Mr Lubega is described as having a wealth of experience, and a strong grasp of the commercial issues.

Another four Sheffield firms – Bell & Buxton, HLW Keeble Hawson, Taylor & Emmet and Wake Smith – share the second ranking.

Bell & Buxton’s commercial litigation practice is led by Alex Ross and includes Jim Conlon, who is praised by clients for being commercially savvy and having the legal knowledge to provide a comprehensive service that other firms cannot.

HLW Keeble Hawson’s team, led by Ron Whitlam, handles contractual disputes for a wide client base that includes independent financial advisers 2Plan and The Garage Door Company.

Recent cases include representing gambling business Napoleons in a dispute over the renewal of a lease in London’s Leicester Square.

Highlights for Taylor & Emmet’s team, led by Rob Moore, included team member Paul Clarke representing a French motor manufacturer in a $2 million claim against its former Caribbean distributor.

Meanwhile, Wake Smith’s team, headed by Mark Serby, acted in the case of a high-value claim for the alleged wrongful termination of an agency agreement in China.