We provide the complete commercial debt recovery service; from outsourced early arrears collections through to expert litigation, all handled in-house by a multi-award winning law firm.

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As the leading guide to law firms and solicitors in the UK, The Legal 500 highlights the law firms and leading individuals that demonstrate strong technical ability, as well as a reputation for handling complex, innovative deals and a clear investment for the future.

A record number of 14 practice areas in which we operate are ranked in this year’s edition; an excellent recognition of the breadth and depth of our services and market expertise.

These include:

  • Commercial litigation
  • Corporate and commercial
  • Debt recovery
  • Employment
  • Insurance (personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant)
  • Licensing
  • Professional negligence
  • Property litigation
  • Public sector (education)
  • Real estate (commercial property)
  • Agriculture and estates
  • Family
  • Personal tax, trusts and probate
  • Contentious trusts and probate

‘Top Tier’ recommendations

Our Dispute Resolution team has retained its ‘Top Tier’ status for commercial litigation for the ninth consecutive year. This achievement follows another successful 12 months for the department, who are noted for working with ‘a range of national clients, including leading pub chains, insurers and convenience stores, acting in complex commercial disputes in specialist lists of the High Court’ and are praised for being an ‘excellent niche team punching well above its weight’.

Chief Executive, Qamer Ghafoor, has retained his ‘Hall of Fame’ status for commercial litigation, the only lawyer in the East Midlands (Nottingham and Derby) region to be awarded this honour. One client testimonial described Qamer as “a force of nature. Passionate; determined; hugely energetic; charismatic. He can win a case or force a great settlement through pure force of will”.

Also recommended is practice head and ‘Leading Individual’, Nick Wells, who has been described as a ‘pragmatic and articulate litigator’ and highlighted for being a ‘key name in Derby for contentious issues’.

Our Debt Recovery department retains its ‘Top Tier’ status for the fourth consecutive year, recognised for its high-volume business-to-business debt recovery work, particularly within the utilities and building supplies sectors. The department received high praise for being a ‘stand-out firm in the region and one of the leading practices nationally’.

Debt recovery manager, Natalie Lloyd-Nash, is once again recognised as a ‘Rising Star’ with Client Relationship Manager, Pete Littlefair, also being named. One client testimonial reads: “Peter and Natalie are a joy to work with. Their knowledge is second to none but what makes them special is their passion for the job at hand. They are always available to offer advice and support and even go out of the way to provide us with information changes that may impact us well in advance of them coming into effect. It is this that has made them stand out from the other firms.”

Other key commercial recommendations

A firm record number of five partners are recommended within our Commercial Property team including Ian Beardmore, Christine Owen, Ben Pickup, Stephen McCarthy and Paul Sabin. The department is highly regarded for ‘its experience in development schemes relating to the out-of-town retail, residential and waste management sectors’.

Qamer Ghafoor, Nick Wells and Jo Milward-Hyde are all named as recommended lawyers for property litigation, noted for providing a ‘very personal service to its landowner, developer and commercial landlord clients, which it assists with property-related insolvency claims, development disputes and unlawful interference with land issues’. One client testimonial described Nick Wells as ‘calm, collected and has gained considerable in-depth knowledge of new legislation which significantly impacts our industry’s way of working. He has developed an expertise which is invaluable to us. His judgement is always sound’.

Jonathan Gilbert and Nigel Partridge are both been highlighted as recommended lawyers within the firm’s defendant personal injury practice. Notable work highlights include a saving of over £1.7m for an insurer client who was facing a pleaded schedule of loss of over £2m in a complex large loss claim.

Our Corporate & Finance department is again ranked this year, highlighted for providing ‘very competitive fee rates’ with a ‘good use of technology to simplify matter management.’ Head of department Martyn Brierley is described as ‘brilliant, straight-talking and humble’ and ‘very hard working’. Partner, Rachel Bennett is also recommended as a key lawyer.

Louise Easthope, Simon Brian and Stacey Cox are all recommended within our Employment team noted for regularly representing clients in claims relating to, among others, unfair dismissals, race discrimination, whistleblowing and breaches of contract and advises clients in collective consultation processes, redundancies and senior exits. Once client provided the following testimonial: “We have worked with Flint Bishop for over four years now and are highly satisfied with the service they provide. Their updates throughout the pandemic have been first class. The support with all aspects of employment law throughout the pandemic has been priceless to our company.”

Private client recommendations

Several of the firm’s private client practitioners are amongst the recommendations again this year, all receiving excellent feedback including:

Claire Rudkin, Head of Wills, Probate, Tax and Trust

“Claire Rudkin heads the wills, probate, tax and trusts department, which offers a full service of advice relating to wills, probate, trusts, tax planning and Court of Protection work. The team frequently acts for UK-domiciled clients with foreign assets and foreign domiciled individuals with assets in the UK.”

William Harper, Wills, Probate, Tax & Trusts Senior Associate

“Although we had no face-to-face contact we built up a good relationship with William Harper who we dealt with exclusively. He answered the phone personally and promptly and replied to emails usually the same day.”

Angela Davis, Family & Matrimonial Senior Associate

“A senior well-established lawyer with a real strength and depth in her approach to cases which only comes after years of working within this field. A calm considered and determined solicitor.”

Sundeep Sandhu, Contentious Probate Associate

Headed up by Sundeep Sandhu, the contentious probate practice is “very professional and supportive in a very sensitive issue. They gave realistic advice on what could be achieved.”

New recommendations

Following several years as a leading individual in the licensing arena, Chairman & Senior Partner, Andrew Cochrane has been honoured with the ‘Hall of Fame’ status for the first time this year. Andrew and his team are noted for their extensive experience in managing bulk licensing work for large tenanted or managed estates.

Reflective of the firm’s strong credentials for dealing with agricultural matters, the firm has been recommended for ‘Agriculture and estates’ for this first time, with practice head, Paul Sabin, also receiving a first-time recommendation for this practice area. The team is commended for their advice in relation to landed estates, tenants, trustees, charities and agricultural businesses ‘with an excellent attitude and attention to detail’.

Several other lawyers across the firm also received new recommendations in this year’s rankings, including:

Ben Pickup, Commercial Property Partner

Stacey Cox, Employment Partner

Stephen McCarthy, Commercial Property Partner

Jo Milward-Hyde, Dispute Resolution Senior Associate

Chief Executive, Qamer Ghafoor comments on the firm’s achievement:

“It is very encouraging to see that a record number of the firm’s practice areas and lawyers have been recognised in The Legal 500 this year.

“The success of our firm would not be possible without the support from all of our staff. I would like to thank everyone for their continued commitment and hard work that they put in on a daily basis.

 “I am very proud of all of my colleagues who have been noted for their excellent work and especially pleased for those who have been recommended for the first time this year.”

More commentary from The Legal 500 on Flint Bishop

The Legal 500’s commentary is based on extensive research which includes speaking with key clients and associated professionals for each of our recommended practice areas, forming the basis of the quotes published in the final directory.

Corporate & Commercial

“We found the whole process collaborative and manageable with good clear guidance from Martyn. Nothing was too much trouble; we were informed of all changes and any requests for information. We would not have achieved the deadlines without their input and guidance. Great team effort.”

Licensing

“We have worked with the licensing team for a number of years and find them exceedingly practical, user-friendly, highly knowledgeable, and solutions-focused.”

“Andrew Cochrane is highly knowledgeable and incredibly practical. All stakeholders across our business interact with the firm, and Andrew in particular – they give consistently positive feedback and he is seen as a key contact for our business.”

Commercial Litigation

“It is a commercially savvy and attentive team, that handles a wide range of commercial disputes cost-effectively and pragmatically.”

Debt Recovery

“They have taken the time to build an excellent relationship. They are constantly available to offer advice.”

Employment

“The team is very responsive and you always feel like you are getting a tailored service. They understand my organisation and the advice fits accordingly. They assess risk and support you in your consideration of options. Good use of spontaneous news updates during the pandemic, such as regular updates on the evolving furlough position.”

“I have worked closely with Simon Brian across a range of HR situations – I have found him willing to listen carefully to our issues and to give sound and practical legal advice which I know that I can rely on. Simon’s guidance gives me the support and direction I need to handle situations with confidence.”

Commercial Property

“They go out of their way to understand client requirements.”

“Ian Beardmore, Christine Owen, Ben Pickup. They all offer a first-class service.”

Property Litigation

“A very proactive company who understand the commercial needs of our business. They act as a team and there is always someone available with knowledge of ongoing instructions. They have an ability to quickly and effectively respond to a diverse range of issues.”

“The practice offers a very personal service. They understand our requirements and respond to the commercial pace we work at. Their decision-making is always accurate and relevant, they apply legal principles well to balance our commercial objectives. Use of technology is good and email is used for most dealings. Different departments collaborate well and result in timely outcomes to projects and new requirements.”

Education

“High degree of knowledge in the specialist education sector. Depth of resources available.”

“Personal approach. Dedicated relationship management. Degree of understanding in how the organisation is structured/function.”

“The team is very knowledgeable and goes above and beyond when responding to queries. The team has expanded due to demand with no drop in service levels, in fact, they have improved. There is always someone to talk to.”

Agriculture and Estates

“Paul Sabin is always supportive, concise, and instructive in his dealings with us.”

“Large company which covers all legal aspects under one roof with an excellent attitude and attention to detail. Second to none.”

Family

“This team has outstanding children lawyers who work as a team to support all of the clients. They are all very committed and determined practitioners. They offer a real feeling of a bespoke caring and individual care for their clients.”

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