Legal 500: “Service of the highest standard, efficient and quick service makes it extremely easy to work with”

Independent guide to the legal profession, The Legal 500, released their results for 2017 today, with increased rankings and continued praise for Leathes Prior. A rundown of the key highlights from the latest edition is provided below.

Our Corporate and Commercial Team is praised as “one of the region’s most respected teams”. The firm is noted to have grown our Intellectual Property practice with the addition of Richard Turner and Alex Saunders “further strengthening contentious and advisory capability for technology and franchising clients.”

The work our teams undertake for charities is highlighted with one charity client saying “At Leathes Prior, ‘the service is of the highest standard’ and the firm’s ‘efficient and quick service makes it extremely easy to work with’." Clients also praised Corporate Partner Paul Warman for his work in this area, saying “he is always available and provides answers very promptly, showing a good understanding of clients’ structure and methodology”.

The Commercial Property Team is praised for the breadth of work they cover, with the considerable experience of the team members highlighted.

The firm’s Wills, Estates & Powers of Attorney Team is applauded as the guide highlights that “STEP-accredited William Riley acts as executor for numerous high-value and complex estates and serves as a professional deputy for many individuals. Partner Tessa Bonser is now a qualified member of STEP and leads the firm’s trusts work. Associate Barrie Barker, who has more than 30 years’ experience in private client matters, focuses on wills and estate administration. Solicitor Claire Woolliscroft mainly handles Court of Protection matters.”

The firm’s growing expertise in agriculture was featured, as the guide goes on to outline the firm’s “longstanding reputation as a key adviser to land-owning and agricultural clients on tax, trusts and estates matters. Leathes Prior’s specialist team ‘compares very well with the main competition in Norfolk’. The team focuses on contentious probate, property litigation and agricultural disputes and is led by litigator Darren Bowen who is ‘incisive, clear-thinking and a strong advocate for his clients, but always open to practical ideas for settlement’. He is assisted by solicitors Sabina Haag and Calum Paterson, who are praised for their efficiency and technical expertise."

The guide continues “In Darren Bowen the firm has a highly skilled property litigator who is respected by surveyors, land agents, landed estates and counsel. Solicitor Sabina Haag specialises in landlord and tenant disputes involving dilapidations claims, forfeiture proceedings and commercial rent arrears. She also handles matters concerning timeshare properties.”

The guide continued, highlighting the wider Litigation & Dispute Resolution Team to state “team head Mike Barlow and solicitor Polly Langford form a credible team handling a wide range of high-value commercial matters. Partner David Richards, who has a particular specialism in contentious construction matters, frequently advises contractors and employers on high-value commercial disputes.”

The firm’s specialist debt collector service is praised as the guide details “Leathes Prior has long been considered one of the market leaders in debt recovery and is able to handle not only straightforward bulk claims, but also complex matters involving niche areas of law. Litigators David Richards, Darren Bowen and Mike Barlow are highly respected. Associates Polly Langford and Ina Beurich are also recommended, as is credit control manager Dawn Lossau.”

The firm’s increasing expertise in education is featured, as it “draws on the strengths of an experienced, multidisciplinary team to advise many of the largest schools and universities in the region. Widely respected Associate Polly Langford specialises in both commercial litigation and education law.”

The guide also highlights the firm’s insolvency offering outlining that “Leathes Prior has a niche practice that specialises in bankruptcy annulments, in which it acts not only for clients in East Anglia, but also across the UK. The firm pools its expertise in employment, regulatory and property law to advise local IPs and individuals on corporate and personal insolvency. Solicitor Ina Beurich leads the team and ‘provides excellent service’.”

Clients of the firm’s Employment Team have said that it “treats every client and every problem individually and takes the time to listen and learn about each client in order to give relevant, practical and correct advice”.

The feedback further provides that “Dan Chapman has a stellar reputation in the county and leads a team of four in which associate and ‘extremely able advocate’ Gareth Stevens is ‘particularly good at making clients feel at ease and coming up with solutions they can understand and move forward with’". Partner Sarah Appleton and Associate Harriet Howes are also recommended.

Our Sports Team is highlighted as the guide states the team “extends beyond the firm’s regional presence and offers a national service through Full Contact. The team, led by head of employment Dan Chapman, is extremely busy in both football and motorsport matters”.

The firm’s Family Team, led by Partner Alisdair Douglas, is said to deliver “exemplary service and clear and accurate advice”. Associate Simon Willis is described as “superb – he is always clear, on time and makes clients feel valued”. The guide also notes the team to include Chartered Legal Executive Laura Savage and Solicitor Carla Morphett.  

The firm’s Regulation & Defence Team is praised, in particular the team’s expertise in health and safety and fraud. The guide notes that the team is “active across the UK in business defence, crime and traffic-related matters. Solicitor Tej Thakkar is widely experienced in Magistrates and Crown Courts, including the designated serious fraud centre at Southwark Crown Court."

The guide continues “Leathes Prior handles a wide range of privately funded criminal defence work and is known for its ‘flexible and cost-efficient approach’. Tim Cary is ‘very switched on’.”

The firm is delighted with another year of excellent results from the research. 

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