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As the world’s leading legal directory, The Legal 500 highlights law firms and solicitors that demonstrate strong technical ability, as well as those with a reputation for handling complex, innovative deals and a clear investment plan for the future.

A total of 14 of the firm’s practice areas have been recommended in this year’s edition, an excellent recognition of the breadth and depth of our services and market expertise.

These include:

‘Top Tier’ recommendations

Our Dispute Resolution team has once again retained its ‘Top Tier’ status for commercial litigation, a record it has held for an incredible 10 consecutive years. The department is noted for being a ‘highly responsive’ team representing clients in all types of commercial matters. With experience before the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court, and the European Court of Justice, it provides ‘a service comparable to a number of City firms’.

Chief Executive Qamer Ghafoor has retained his ‘Hall of Fame’ status for commercial litigation; one of only three lawyers in the entire East Midlands region to hold this title. Qamer continues to act for clients in complex high-value litigation and is lauded for his “extremely hard-working, client focused and robust approach to litigation”. Qamer is described as an indefatigable, charismatic leader. A force of nature and hugely likeable. Rarely in litigation do you get such absolute devotion from such a senior partner. And enormous fun to work with”.

Specialising in offering complete end-to-end collections solutions to many of the UK’s leading household name brands, our Debt Recovery practice retains its ‘Top Tier’ status for the fifth consecutive year. The department is noted for its enviable track record in the B2B utility industry where it acts for some of the largest energy suppliers in the UK for both live and ceased debts.

Debt Recovery Manager Natalie Lloyd-Nash has again been recognised as a ‘Rising Star’, with fellow Debt Recovery Manager & Associate Solicitor Catherine Marksman also named as a recommended lawyer by The Legal 500 for the first time.

With an improved ranking from the previous year, the firm’s Property Litigation department is recognised as a top tier practice, the first time since its inception. Qamer Ghafoor and Ian Beardmore are also named as key lawyers.

Commercial services recommendations

Chairman & Senior Partner Andrew Cochrane continues to be named in the ‘Hall of Fame’ for his extensive experience in all aspects of alcohol and entertainment licensing, including the tenanted pub market. Senior Associate George Domleo and Solicitor Karen Cochrane are other key figures within the Licensing team, with Karen receiving recommended lawyer status for the first time.

Our Corporate and Commercial teams were again ranked this year after maintaining a strong level of corporate activity with an uplift in M&A in the last 12 months, acting nationally for privately-owned SMEs and listed PLCs. Corporate lead Martyn Brierley received positive feedback from several clients, one of which described him as a “skilled professional with a very approachable personality”. Commercial partner Haroon Younis, corporate senior associate Mark Wilcock and corporate solicitor Mandy Chan have all received first-time recommendations, having joined from Weightmans, Smith Partnership and Freeths respectively.

The firm’s Education practice continues to thrive, advising educational establishments, such as nurseries, primary and secondary schools as well as further education providers and universities, on a variety of matters including academy conversions.

The firm’s Insurance Litigation practice has again been recognised having continued to expand and strengthen its reputation in defendant personal injury work with the arrival of litigator Anthony Carrington from DAC Beachcroft LLP. Anthony now leads the department, leveraging expertise in road traffic accident claims on behalf of several market-leading insurance companies, insurance fraud investigations, and matters involving positive pleadings of fraud, committal and private prosecution. Nigel Partridge is ‘knowledgeable and immensely capable’ in catastrophic injury claims while Jonathan Gilbert is another key litigator in the ‘well-resourced and personable’ group.

The firm’s Professional Negligence team has achieved an improved ranking this year moving up to Tier 2. The department is noted for being an attractive choice for clients wishing to bring a claim against all types of professionals, in particular solicitors, brokers and surveyors. Department head Qamer Ghafoor has developed a specialism in complex disputes arising out of corporate and commercial property transactions.

With clients including landowners, developers, landlords, tenants, property management companies, investors and charities, the firm’s Commercial Property team successfully retained its high ranking in a fiercely competitive region and stood out for its specialist work which includes out-of-town retail and mixed-use developments, and forward sales and pre-lets to investors. Ian Beardmore heads the practice, which includes transactions specialist Ben Pickup.

Private client services recommendations

Our full-service Wills, Probate, Tax & Trusts department was again recognised this year and was particularly noted for being well-versed in Court of Protection work and in the nuances of elderly client matters. Practice head Claire Rudkin and Partner William Harper continue to be named as the lead lawyers within the team, undertaking a significant amount of work in the administration of high-value estates, often with overseas assets, and tax planning for high-net-worth individuals.

The firm has retained its ranking for a fourth straight year for dealing with all aspects of contentious probate for beneficiaries, trustees and executors. Senior Associate Sundeep Sandhu is ‘one to watch’ and is the lead litigator for all-manner of complex and high-stake disputes including professional negligence relating to the drafting of wills and trusts matters. It is this vast expertise that sees Sundeep join the ‘Rising Star’ cohort for the first time this year.

Our Family & Matrimonial team continue to be recognised as one of the leading family law practices in the region having built up a strong network of international connections and regularly acting on high-net-worth client cases involving multijurisdictional elements. Senior Associate and lead family lawyer Angela Davis received praise for being ‘an extremely capable and knowledgeable solicitor’ specialising in divorce and the dissolution of civil partnerships, including in respect of children matters, property, business interests, pensions, and freezing orders.

Having been recognised for the first time last year, the firm’s Agriculture & Estates team has firmly established itself as a recommended practice in the region. Partner and property expert Paul Sabin enjoys a notable reputation for farm and estate transactions, in addition to the diversification of renewable energy work. The practice further leverages the expertise of Claire Rudkin and William Harper in inheritance tax and succession planning affairs, including agricultural property relief.

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 have been recognised in the ‘Top Tier’ this year. The rankings are truly representative of all the hard work and dedication of both our commercial and private client teams achieve on a daily basis.

“Our strong, national and international client base can be reassured that they are dealing with industry-leading professionals who are both experienced and passionate about the work they do.

“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. 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.”

More commentary from The Legal 500 UK 2023 edition

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.

Commercial Property

“Ben Pickup and Ian Beardmore go out of their way to understand client requirements.”

Corporate & Commercial

“We are comforted that Flint Bishop offers all specialities in-house and we are covered whatever our needs.”

Commercial Litigation

“Great team punching well above its weight.”

“I have always found that they have punched above their weight and deliver a service comparable to a number of City firms. Their whole team is highly responsive and a pleasure to work with.”

Debt Recovery

“The team are very passionate about their role, their system allows us to keep in touch in real-time which is extremely useful to us. This year they have just launched a new data team which provides detailed performance on our recoveries.”

“Natalie Lloyd-Nash breeds positivity and this has filtered down to her team.”


“Always friendly and professional, additionally they balance the risk against commercial concerns.”

“The most important factor to me when seeking HR advice is that the response is timely, the information provided is clear and there is a named adviser who deals with all requests. All of these are provided by Flint Bishop.”

Property Litigation

“Speed of response and attention to detail is excellent.”

“Ian Beardmore goes out of his way to understand clients’ requirements.”

Agriculture & Estates

“Paul Sabin is approachable and available at every turn. His manner and knowledge were immensely reassuring.”

Public Sector (Education)

“I enjoy working with Flint Bishop; the firm’s solicitors clearly know their clients and cases very well and are always prepared to discuss both the complexities of a particular matter and the broader strategy. The solicitors are down to earth and good communicators.”

“The team at Flint Bishop give very practical and pragmatic advice and guidance. They are very responsive and work closely with my team to provide continuity of the service and relationship and they have a good understanding of the sector we work within.”

Contentious Probate

“I have nothing but praise for this team. The people are friendly and helpful. They are extremely knowledgeable and have the capacity to use different team members to cover any base which saves trying to use different solicitors when other problems with our case arose. It was all kept in-house which kept costs down and reduced timescales.”

“Sundeep Sandhu has been invaluable to us in our recent dispute. She answered any queries very quickly and clearly. Sundeep timed her decisions over taking our case to court brilliantly. She is very thorough, and we felt very safe under her guidance. We cannot recommend her highly enough.”

“Sundeep Sandhu has been supportive, informative but made us feel important to her to resolve the concerns.”


“Angela Davis is very personable with a good sense of how to work in her clients’ best interests.”

“Angela Davis is an extremely capable and knowledgeable solicitor. She knows her area of law thoroughly and she is very pleasant to deal with. She will stand her corner when required, however, and is by no means a pushover. She is extremely thorough, and I would recommend anyone to her.”

“Excellent!!! Can’t recommend Angela Davis and her team enough! Angela’s expertise and experience and super calm manner turned what could have been a very stressful experience into a ‘walk in the park’.  The whole team are amazing. Angela went above and beyond, and I will be eternally grateful. I can’t recommend Flint Bishop, especially Angela Davis, enough.”

Personal Tax, Trusts & Probate

“I always received prompt, efficient attention from William Harper. I was never left waiting. Very approachable and kind, while retaining full professionalism. I had total confidence in Mr Harper, and would recommend wholeheartedly,”

“They have a reputation for being a large efficient firm.”

“Claire Rudkin was very efficient, and a hard worker. Excellent communication – Explanations and communication at one-to-one meetings over complex issues were first rate.’



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