East Mids firms and lawyers honoured in 2017 Legal 500

Law firms in the East Midlands have been honoured in the latest rankings of the legal 500.

According to the findings: Law work in Nottingham continues to receive a diverse flow of work, with law firms increasingly striving to provide a full-service support to the clients, contrasted with the gradual specialisation of departments in smaller hubs such as Leicester or Northampton.

The Legal 500 assesses the strengths of law firms in over 100 jurisdictions and here we show the findings of the rankings in East Midlands.

According to the report, local authority expert Browne Jacobson LLP and global firm Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP dominate the Nottingham scene alongside Freeths LLP and Gateley Plc, which also have offices in Leicester.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP, Geldards LLP and Shoosmiths LLP are other national players with a strong regional presence. Nelsons Solicitors Limited and criminal law market leader Cartwright King are also well positioned, says the report, with offices in Nottingham, Derby and Leicester.

Meanwhile, Wilkin Chapman LLP, which counts land owners and members of the armed forces among its clients, maintains a solid position in Lincolnshire, whereas Howes Percival LLP services Northampton and the surrounding area.

Flint Bishop LLP in Derby, Spearing Waite LLP in Leicester, and Actons in Nottingham continue to expand their client network regionally and nationwide.

As the post-Brexit referendum dust settled, the appetite for specialist corporate advice began to increase and since then law firms have been handling a steady flow of commercial work, frequently with a cross-border element. Small and medium-sized businesses continue to be a major target for regional firms active in the transactional space. As lenders have become more willing to provide funding, private equity transactions have too been on the rise, often involving investors based abroad.

The end of economic recession brought a revival of debt recovery work and insolvency litigation, and the market for general commercial and real estate litigation remains steady, the latter largely arising from delayed construction projects as well as nuisance abatement claims. Commercial property activity on the non-contentious side continues, particularly in the retail, office and residential sectors. Student accommodation and mixed-use developments are key examples of real estate activity in the region.

Private client work for high-net-worth individuals is another area of growth, both in family-related matters and tax and estate planning. Personal injury and clinical negligence practitioners, despite a plethora of reforms and legislative changes, remain active on the claimant side. Furthermore, there is a growing demand for expertise in Court of Protection matters.

Legal 500 2017: Top Corporate and commercial firms and individuals

Tier 1
Browne Jacobson (Nottingham)
Eversheds Sutherland (International) (Nottingham)
Freeths (Derby, Nottingham)
Geldards (Derby, Nottingham)
Shoosmiths (Nottingham)
Gateley Plc (Leicester)
Hewitsons (Northampton)
Spearing Waite (Leicester)

Tier 2
Flint Bishop (Derby)
Gateley Plc (Nottingham)
Nelsons Solicitors Limited (Derby, Nottingham)
Shakespeare Martineau (Nottingham)
BHW Solicitors (Leicester)
Howes Percival (Leicester, Northampton)

Tier 3
Actons (Nottingham)
Austin Moore & Partners  (Nottingham)
Fraser Brown (Bingham, Nottingham, Radcliffe-on-Trent)
Smith Partnership (Derby)
Else Solicitors (Burton upon Trent)
Nelsons Solicitors Limited (Leicester)
Roythornes Solicitors (Spalding)
Shakespeare Martineau  (Leicester)
Sills & Betteridge (Lincoln)
Wilkin Chapman (Grimsby, Lincoln)
Wilson Browne Solicitors (Northampton)

Leading individuals (region-wide)
Nigel Blackwell – Browne Jacobson
Roy Botterill – Shakespeare Martineau
Crispin Bridges Webb – Shoosmiths
Gerald Couldrake – Howes Percival
Gavin Cummings – Browne Jacobson
John Heaphy – Freeths
Karl Jansen – Freeths
Gareth John – Gateley
Andrew Pickin – Shoosmiths
Mark Rutherford – Gateley
Martin Smith – Spearing Waite
David Tilly – Geldards

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)
Gareth Cook – Shoosmiths