Sydney Mitchell is recognised in the Top Tier of the Legal 500 and ‘punches above its weight’ for contentious and non-contentious matters. The firm is recognised for thoroughness and good commercial approach to cases.

Sydney Mitchell has again been recognised as a Tier 1 firm for its Contentious Wills and Probate work; handling a variety of high-value complex cases.

In total the firm has obtained recommendations in 13 areas of legal practice; Contentious Probate, Commercial Litigation, Debt Recovery, Insolvency and Corporate Recovery, Employment, Clinical Negligence, Personal Injury, Professional Negligence, Family, Personal Tax, Trusts and Probate, Health, Commercial Property and Property Litigation.

The firm’s clients have made some excellent comments on the work undertaken by the legal teams.

Div Singh, Senior Partner, Sydney Mitchell commented:

We have an excellent result again this year with the firm maintaining its ranking in Tier 1 for our Contentious Probate work.

We were especially pleased for some of our young solicitors Hayley–Jo Lockley and Preena Lal who have been recognised for their hard work and dedication. Our clients and referrers have made fantastic comments on the work we have undertaken including…

‘One of the strongest of the smaller city centre firms in commercial litigation’;  ‘experienced and sensible with sound judgement and a particular skill at negotiating very good deals…; ‘superstar and a joy to work with’; ‘very tenacious …’ ‘attention to detail and thorough approach’.

What more can you ask for than recommendations from your clients for the excellent service received for work undertaken by our legal teams.

The joint heads of the Dispute Resolution team, Dean Parnell and Kamal Majevadia were recognised for their high-value and complex claims undertaken with Dean recognised for his “technical knowledge that is second to none and is a solicitor you would want on your side’ and Kamal ‘… is very thorough and applies a good commercial approach to his cases’.

Leading Midlands Law firm Sydney Mitchell is ranked in 13 Legal 500 categories and has won Birmingham Law Firm of the Year 4 times in the last 9 years.

A full breakdown of the Sydney Mitchell recommendations and comments on Legal 500 are shown below.

West Midlands: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Birmingham

Commercial litigation: Birmingham - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP

Sydney Mitchell LLP is ‘one of the strongest of the smaller city centre firms in commercial litigation’, and thrives under the leadership of Dean Parnell, who is ‘very experienced and sensible, with sound judgement and a particular skill at negotiating very good deals for his clients’. Parnell is an experienced mediator and is also qualified to act as a supervising solicitor for search orders. The practice represented clients in a number of multimillion-pound claims and noted an increase in injunctive relief, SWAP claims, shareholder disputes and civil fraud. Kamal Majevadia, who co-heads the team with Parnell, has ‘good technical knowledge and is particularly good at insolvency, restructuring and financial professional negligence cases’.

Debt recovery

Debt recovery - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)

Sydney Mitchell LLP’s ‘very efficient’ team has a ‘light touch’ and is led by Kamal Majevadia, who is ‘adept at spotting the wood for the trees and combines this with a user-friendly sense of humour for very experienced officeholders such as liquidators, who are his staple clients’. Majevadia’s recent caseload includes acting on behalf of the administrators of Blakemores in relation to the collection of several large debts from former clients. Another name to note is insolvency specialist Leanne Schneider-Rose, who leads on debt recovery matters for business lenders such as AIB Group (UK) and West Bromwich Commercial. The practice also acts for secondary lenders on mortgage repossessions.

West Midlands: Finance

Insolvency and corporate recovery

Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)

Sydney Mitchell LLP’s practice offers ‘exceptional value for money’ and is also noted for its ability to ‘quickly grasp the instruction and work with the officeholder to implement (and refine as necessary) the strategy’. Practice head Leanne Schneider-Rose has a loyal following of lenders and insolvency practitioners, such as AIB Group and Smith & Williamson, and wins praise for her ‘attention to detail and thorough approach’. In one example, Schneider-Rose acted for a bankrupt in the Court of Appeal in a claim against receivers for breach of duty regarding a property owned by the bankrupt.

West Midlands: Human resources

Employment

Employment - ranked: tier 5

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)

Sydney Mitchell LLP’s diverse practice ‘punches above its weight’. The practice acts for employers and individuals in contentious and non-contentious matters, and Birmingham-based team head Dean Parnell attracts praise for his ability to ‘focus on solutions rather than conflict for the sake of it’. He represented an individual in a complex disability discrimination and victimisation claim against their employer, as well as a shareholder who was dismissed on the grounds of gross misconduct following a health and safety audit. Jade Linton is ‘a superstar and a joy to work with’; she acted for an individual in sexual harassment and sex discrimination claims under the Equality Act 2010, which was complicated by the fact the claimant and respondent had previously been in a relationship. She also handled a whistleblowing claim brought by a high-ranked executive whose employment was terminated due to suspicions of fraudulent activity. Associate Tina Chander left the firm to join Wright Hassall LLP.

West Midlands: Insurance

Clinical negligence: claimant

Clinical negligence: claimant - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)

Sydney Mitchell LLP is ‘a small firm that really punches above its weight’, and clients rate it for ‘having the skills and knowledge to handle a vast array of negligence and personal injury matters’. Mike Sutton leads the clinical negligence practice; he ‘has an excellent manner with clients’ and his experience ‘allows him to focus on the key issues in the early stages of a case’. Sutton is representing the wife of a man who died of a pulmonary embolism following the hospital’s alleged failure to appropriately treat him during the post-operative recovery period. Stephen Jesson acted for a claimant seeking compensation in light of the alleged delay in diagnosis of cancer, and is acting in a group claim filed against a consultant urological surgeon for alleged improper treatment of prostate cancer.

Next generation lawyers

Stephen Jesson - Sydney Mitchell LLP

Personal injury: claimant

Personal injury: claimant - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)

Sydney Mitchell LLP acts for local clients on a wide range of personal injury work – much of which consists of multi-track claims – and ‘has a strong reputation in the West Midlands’. Team leader and ‘very tenacious lawyer’ Mike Sutton ‘does not shy away from difficult, complicated or messy cases’; he recently represented a man who suffered career-ending injuries following an accident at work, and acted on behalf of the family and financial dependents of a man killed by careless driving. Other key names include Stephen Jesson, who assisted an elderly client in her claim against a restaurant which allegedly failed to provide the duty owed by the manager to a disabled customer.

Professional negligence

Professional negligence - ranked: tier 4

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)

Sydney Mitchell LLP handles high-value and complex claims regarding property and banking issues for clients such as Hertford Solutions and West Bromwich Building Society. The ‘commercially astuteDean Parnell has ‘technical knowledge that is second to none and is a solicitor you would want on your side’. He leads the practice with Kamal Majevadia, who is singled out for insolvency, restructuring and financial cases. Assistant solicitor Sundeep Bilkhu supports the partners with regards to negligence claims against solicitors and construction professionals, and recently represented a professional client in a case against his governing body for allegedly failing to adequately represent him in court resulting in significant liability costs. The ‘hardworking and responsive’ Preena Lal is also recommended.

West Midlands: Private client

Contentious trusts and probate

Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 1

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)

Sydney Mitchell LLP’s contentious trusts and probate team is based in Shirley and demonstrates ‘sound knowledge of the law, which it applies for the practical benefit of the client’. The team, led by Kamal Majevadia (who ‘is very thorough and applies a good commercial approach to his cases’) handled an Inheritance Act dispute in which a significant portion of the assets was held overseas. Solicitor Hayley-Jo Lockley supported the team in obtaining a grant of probate, forcing the removal of caveat and removing an individual from the deceased’s property, and led on the advice on the recovery of monies due to a client as per the deceased’s will. Tracy Creed is also a key contact.

Family: Birmingham
Family: Birmingham - ranked: tier 3

 

Sydney Mitchell LLP

At Sydney Mitchell LLP, Karen Moores leads the firm’s family team alongside Mauro Vinti, who works out of the Shirley office. The partners are supported by legal executive Jayne Gregg, who is ‘very positive and firm with her advice’. Recently, the team represented clients in the Birmingham family court in connection with financial remedy and child arrangement proceedings. Solicitor Teresa Mannion joined the firm in Shirley from Alsters Kelley LLP...

Personal tax, trusts and probate

Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 2

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)

Sydney Mitchell LLP’s clients find the wills, trusts and probate team, led by Tracy Creed, to be ‘extremely professional and efficient in all engagements and dealings’. The practice has substantial experience acting on behalf of vulnerable elderly clients in connection with care work and funding. Solicitor Ravinder Sandhu (whose ‘knowledge in this field is wide and deep’) recently assisted a client with the removal of an executor from an estate, and handled the administration of an estate according to a will, which was complicated by unclear paternity links and genealogical evidence. Clients also recommend ‘very good and helpful’ solicitor Nicholas Bennett, who is based in Shirley and acted for clients with regards to locating missing wills and applications for grants of probate.

West Midlands: Public sector

Health

Health - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmigham)

Sydney Mitchell LLP’s public-sector healthcare practice is headed by Fahmida Ismail in Birmingham, closely supported by consultant Tony Harris, who splits his time between Birmingham and Shirley and acted for a retiring senior partner with regards to the cancellation of his GMS contract and the negotiation of his retirement agreement. Areas of expertise include advising on sales, acquisition and mergers of GP practices, partnership disputes, and LIFT and non-LIFT projects. Harris and Ismail recently advised on the changes to partnership agreements in the context of retiring and incoming partners and the re-mortgaging of freehold surgery premises through a complex borrowing scheme requiring safeguarding and indemnity clauses to protect each individual partner. In another mandate, Ismail oversaw the retirement of a GP partner who wished to remain an owner of the leasehold premises. Associates Stewart Coles and Roy Colaba recently represented a GP partnership in connection with the lease of its surgery premises, while Dean Parnell handled a commercial dispute between dentists working in the same practice where the relationship had completely broken down but a fee-sharing agreement remained.

West Midlands: Real estate

Commercial property: Birmingham

Commercial property: Birmingham - ranked: tier 5

Sydney Mitchell LLP

Sydney Mitchell LLP’s team includes the ‘knowledgeable, prompt and efficientStewart Coles, who has particular expertise in dealing with property transactions involving pension schemes, and regularly acts on behalf of SIPPs and SSASs on the purchase, sale and leasing of commercial premises. Coles also represents clients in the retail and hospitality sectors and in 2016 he advised investors on a number of hotel acquisitions. Head of practice Div Singh and finance specialist Fahmida Ismail are the other main contacts.

Property litigation

Property litigation - ranked: tier 6

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)

At Sydney Mitchell LLP, senior solicitor Sundeep Bilkhu is a ‘good driving force’ for cases and continued to be particularly active in landlord and tenant issues for lenders and receivers: Bilkhu represented Hertford Solutions in enforcing a possession order against a tenant in occupation, and also acted for a receiver in obtaining vacant possession of a property following the borrower’s default of a legal charge. In other highlights, the team is defending Property Link Midlands in a claim alleging breach of a landlord repair covenant in a lease. Kamal Majevadia heads the practice.


 

21 lawyers are recommended in The Legal 500 United Kingdom 2017 editorial (listed below)

WEST MIDLANDS

Dispute resolution - Commercial litigation - Birmingham
- Dean Parnell
- Kamal Majevadia

Dispute resolution - Debt recovery
- Kamal Majevadia
- Leanne Schneider-Rose

Finance - Insolvency and corporate recovery
- Leanne Schneider-Rose

Human resources - Employment
- Dean Parnell
- Jade Linton

Insurance - Clinical negligence - claimant
- Mike Sutton
- Stephen Jesson

Insurance - Personal injury - claimant
- Mike Sutton
- Stephen Jesson

Insurance - Professional negligence
- Dean Parnell
- Kamal Majevadia
- Preena Lal
- Sundeep Bilkhu

Private client - Contentious trusts and probate
- Hayley-Jo Lockley
- Kamal Majevadia
- Tracy Creed

Private client - Family - Elsewhere in the West Midlands
- Jayne Gregg
- Karen Moores
- Mauro Vinti
- Teresa Mannion

Private client - Personal tax, trusts and probate
- Nicholas Bennett
- Ravinder Sandhu
- Tracy Creed

Public sector - Health
- Dean Parnell
- Fahmida Ismail
- Roy Colaba
- Stewart Coles
- Tony Harris

Real estate - Commercial property - Birmingham
- Div Singh
- Fahmida Ismail
- Stewart Coles

Real estate - Property litigation
- Kamal Majevadia
- Sundeep Bilkhu

If important agreements are not enshrined in professionally drafted contracts, it can be an uphill task to prove that an accord was ever actually reached. That was certainly so in one case concerning the £200 million refinancing of a hotel group.

Over drinks in the bar of a luxury hotel owned by the group, its managing director had met with two representatives of a company that specialised in finding sources of finance. The chairman was alleged to have orally agreed during that meeting that the group would pay a 1 per cent success fee in the event of the company successfully introducing an appropriate lender.

The company claimed to have effected such an introduction that resulted in a £200 million loan facility being advanced to the group, and claimed a success fee of £2 million. It launched proceedings after the group refused to pay.

In dismissing the company’s claim, the High Court noted the inherent unlikelihood of such an important and high value contract having been made orally. The account of the conversation in the bar given by the company’s representatives was unreliable and there were no emails or other documentary evidence to support the existence of a finalised agreement. In the absence of such a contract, the company had established no right to the success fee claimed.

For advice please contact Sundeep Bilkhu on 0121 698 2200, email sundeep.bilkhu@sydneymitchell.co.uk or fill in our online enquiry form.

Failing to respect your neighbours’ rights is a sure way of getting into legal hot water. In one case that resoundingly proved the point, a couple who strategically placed pot plants and other items in a childish attempt to obstruct a right of way over their land ended up facing legal bills estimated at £200,000.

The couple’s neighbour had a right of way over their yard in order to gain vehicular access to his home. However, in an attempt to boost the value of their property by whittling away at his rights, they placed pot plants, a barbecue, children's toys and other items in such a way as to cause him maximum inconvenience.

In what a judge described as a long and wearying battle, the neighbours routinely filmed each other on their mobile phones and relations between them descended to a point where the police were frequently required to intervene. The neighbour eventually launched legal action to assert his rights.

In granting an injunction against the couple, the judge noted their strong sense of entitlement and absolute conviction that they were morally in the right. They had unlawfully interfered with their neighbour’s right of way but seemed incapable of understanding that they had done anything wrong.

The couple, who were ordered to pay 90 per cent of their neighbour’s legal costs, could not be trusted to respect his rights unless ordered to do so. The injunction required them to keep the right of way free from obstructions of any kind.

Please contact Adam Oleskow on 0121 746 3300, email a.oleskow@sydneymitchell.co.uk or fill in our online enquiry form.

Bereaved families may now be granted funding for legal representation at inquests where public authorities are legally represented themselves, years after the families of the Hillsborough disaster lobbied parliament for a change in the law.

For years, Hillsborough families were denied legal aid funding for legal representation during the inquest process, while South Yorkshire police force, individual police officers, Sheffield city council, South Yorkshire Metropolitan Ambulance Service and other organisations all had solicitors and senior barristers paid for with public money.

As such, the families, supported by a group of Labour MPs and the mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, argued that a lack of funded representation, combined with South Yorkshire police’s conduct, were the critical factors why the legal system failed them in their decade’s-long campaign for justice. In December 2012, the High Court quashed the original inquest and following a fresh inquest that lasted a total of three-years, a jury found that the 96 people who died at Hillsborough in 1989 were unlawfully killed and a catalogue of failings by police and the ambulance services contributed to their deaths.

An official review of the families’ plight was commissioned by the Government and was carried out by the Right Rev James Jones, a former bishop of Liverpool. Jones has now urged, amongst a list of 25 other recommendations, that bereaved families must be given the same legal opportunity where public authorities receive state funding for legal representation.

The government is presently considering the Jones review and will respond in due course.

Adam Hodson, a Solicitor at Sydney Mitchell LLP, said:

“The proposal for a “Hillsborough Law” is to be whole-heartedly welcomed. For too long, there has been a significant and prejudicial imbalance between families who cannot afford legal representation at inquests, with public authorities such as police and local authorities who use public funds to protect their own interests.

“For decades, agents of the State have had an unfair advantage over bereaved families at inquests. Finally, bereaved families may be put on an equal footing.”

If you require advice in relation to an inquest, please contact Adam Hodson on 0121 698 2200 email a.hodson@sydneymitchell.co.uk

Hope springs eternal, but business aspirations sadly are not always crowned by success. That was certainly so in one case in which minority shareholders in an ill-fated advertising company sought more than £450,000 in compensation on the basis that their interests had been unfairly prejudiced.

The three minority shareholders together owned a 13 per cent stake in the company that, it was hoped, would generate handsome profits by installing cigarette bins for public use on which advertising could be displayed. One of the directors of the company was also chairman of a large transport business that initially placed its adverts on the bins. He owned 16 per cent of the company’s shares.

The company’s fortunes declined considerably after it was prosecuted by a local authority and fined in respect of unauthorised advertising. The transport business steadily reduced the sums that it paid for advertising to zero and, after it required the removal of its adverts from the bins, the company was effectively dead.

In those circumstances, the minority shareholders launched proceedings under the Companies Act 2006 alleging that their interests had been unfairly prejudiced. Their claim was successful against the director after a judge found that he had preferred the interests of the transport business to those of the company.

Following a further hearing, however, the Court found that the minority shareholdings were worthless, or practically so. The company’s notional profits would have been wiped out by its loan repayment liabilities and other costs. Subject to any further argument to the contrary, the minority shareholders were entitled only to an order requiring the director to acquire their shares for a nil consideration.

For further information on this article and related matters, please contact Fahmida Ismail on 0121 698 2200 email f.ismail@sydneymitchell.co.uk or fill in our online enquiry form.

Planning laws are there to be obeyed and local authorities, with judicial backing, are not afraid of enforcing them. In one case, the High Court opened the way for a family home that had been built without planning consent to be levelled to the ground.

The couple who built the house had been served with an enforcement notice by the local planning authority, requiring its demolition. Their appeal against the notice, and an attempt to win retrospective planning permission, were both later rejected by government planning inspectors on the basis that the house was harmful to the character and appearance of the rural area.

The council ultimately resolved to take direct action under Section 178(1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and to send in its own workmen to carry out the demolition work. In dismissing the couple’s judicial review challenge to that decision, the Court could find no fault in the council’s approach.

The couple had been afforded every opportunity to persuade the council to stay its hand and had been warned in the clearest possible terms of its intention to take direct action. Despite having been given very clear deadlines, extended several times, the couple had chosen not to demolish the house themselves.

For advice please contact Sundeep Bilkhu on 0121 698 2200, email sundeep.bilkhu@sydneymitchell.co.uk or fill in our online enquiry form.

Litigation is often an exercise in brinksmanship and the need to make knife-edge decisions under pressure is one very good reason why advice from experienced professionals frequently makes the difference between victory and defeat.

One case exactly on point concerned a seven-figure professional negligence claim by a bank against a firm of chartered surveyors. The bank’s claim that it had lent money to a developer in reliance on the firm’s negligent advice was rejected by the High Court. Even had the firm been negligent, the Court found that the cause of the loss was the bank’s own decision to lend the money and the failure of its employees to adhere to its lending rules. The Court was highly critical of the evidence given by a quantity surveyor who had testified on behalf the bank.

Only after delivering its decision was the Court informed that, prior to the trial, the bank had turned down three pre-trial offers to settle the case. The highest offer made by the firm was just under £545,000, including costs. By persisting in the litigation, the bank had in the end come away with nothing and, in the circumstances, it was ordered to pay the firm’s legal costs, some of them on the punitive indemnity basis. Pending final assessment of those costs, the Court ordered the bank to pay £326,760 on account.

For any further advice, please contact Kamal Majevadia 0121 746 3300 email, k.majevadia@sydneymitchell.co.uk or fill in our online enquiry form.

Midlands Top Tier Legal 500 law firm Sydney Mitchell LLP is delighted to announce that David Lydon and Adam Hodson have joined its Personal Injury Team in Birmingham.

Personal Injury Claims Team expansion at  Sydney Mitchell LLP legal advisersDavid specialises in Personal Injury and Medical Negligence and in particular work and public related accidents. David has dealt with a number of notable successes in the Court of Appeal. David has worked previously at some of the larger law firms in Birmingham including Irwin Mitchell and Cartwright & Lewis and joined Sydney Mitchell LLP from Pearson Rowe.

Adam is a solicitor with extensive experience in acting for clients who have been the innocent victims of medical negligence, serious traffic collision and accidents at work. Adam joins the team from Medical Accident Group.

David commented on his appointment:

I am delighted to have joined the Personal Injury team at Sydney Mitchell who enjoy a formidable reputation whilst offering a very personable and empathic approach to their clients’ needs and strive to achieve the best possible outcome

Adam added:

I am thrilled to join a wonderful team at Sydney Mitchell and I look forward to helping those clients who need our assistance.

The Personal Injury team at Sydney Mitchell is led by Mike Sutton.

Mike Sutton Head of Personal Injury commented:

What fantastic additions to our team.  Both David and Adam will be a safe pair of hands for those affected by the distress of personal injury matters.  Our job is to improve the quality of life of those affected by accidents or negligence.

We pride ourselves in helping clients at one of the most difficult times in their lives.

David is based in the Birmingham office and Adam in the Shirley office.  Both have a wealth of experience in dealing with individuals and a wide range of personal injury matters.

Sydney Mitchell LLP has offices in Birmingham City Centre, Sheldon, Shirley and facilities in Sutton Coldfield.

Signing a home-made will, without legal advice, is a false economy and creates a real risk that your wishes will not be honoured after your death. One striking example concerned an eastern European man who was penniless when he settled in Britain – but was worth over £2.75 million when he died.

The man came to Britain soon after the Second World War and worked in a quarry. By the time he died, aged 91, he owned three properties – two in the UK and one in his native Montenegro – and a portfolio of stocks and bonds. He died a childless bachelor and only one of his six siblings survived him.

Despite being a British citizen, and having lived in the UK for almost 70 years, he had a limited grasp of English. The hand-written will he made two years before he died was littered with spelling and grammatical mistakes. Parts of the document were smudged or obliterated. It was not precisely dated and, although his signature was witnessed, it did not include an attestation clause.

Lawyers were appointed to protect the assets of the estate and applied to the High Court for rulings in respect of the true meaning of the will. Difficulties posed by the document included a bequest to a non-existent cancer charity and a legacy to a friend, the amount of which had been obliterated.

In ruling on the case, the Court found that it was possible to discern the man’s intentions from the wording of the will. It ruled that the majority of the estate, including the three houses, should go to the Serbian Orthodox Church, in London, to be held on trust for the benefit of people in need, especially children, in Kosovo.

Various legacies to his nieces and nephews were clear and, with the assistance of a forensic document examiner, the Court was able to find that the bequest to the friend was £8,000. The word ‘money’ in the will was interpreted as including his stocks and bonds, which would also go the Church to be held on trust. The Court directed that the £10,000 bequest to the non-existent charity should be distributed amongst a number of cancer research organisations.

In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the Court found that the man had the mental capacity required to make a valid will. Certain steps remained to be taken before the document’s validity could be formally confirmed and the bequests distributed, but the Court expressed the hope that any remaining issues could be resolved by agreement.

For advice for Wills Trusts and Probate matters contact Tracy Creed 0121 746 3320, email t.creed@sydneymitchell.co.uk

Sydney Mitchell is recognised in the Top Tier of the Legal 500 and ‘punches above its weight’ for contentious and non-contentious matters. The firm is recognised for thoroughness and good commercial approach to cases.

Sydney Mitchell has again been recognised as a Tier 1 firm for its Contentious Wills and Probate work; handling a variety of high-value complex cases.

In total the firm has obtained recommendations in 13 areas of legal practice; Contentious Probate, Commercial Litigation, Debt Recovery, Insolvency and Corporate Recovery, Employment, Clinical Negligence, Personal Injury, Professional Negligence, Family, Personal Tax, Trusts and Probate, Health, Commercial Property and Property Litigation.

The firm’s clients have made some excellent comments on the work undertaken by the legal teams.

Div Singh, Senior Partner, Sydney Mitchell commented:

    We have had excellent results again this year with the firm maintaining its ranking in Tier 1 for our Contentious Probate work.

    We were especially pleased for some of our young solicitors Hayley–Jo Lockley and Preena Lal who have been recognised for their hard work and dedication. Our clients and referrers have made fantastic comments on the work we have undertaken for them including…

    ‘One of the strongest of the smaller city centre firms in commercial litigation’;  ‘experienced and sensible with sound judgement and a particular skill at negotiating very good deals…; ‘superstar and a joy to work with’; ‘very tenacious …’ ‘attention to detail and thorough approach’. Karen Moores is highlighted in her position as Head of Family and the Private Client team is led by Tracy Creed who is said to be 'extremely professional and efficient in all engagements and dealings.'

    What more can you ask for than recommendations from your clients for the excellent service received for work undertaken by our legal teams.

The joint heads of the Dispute Resolution team, Dean Parnell and Kamal Majevadia were recognised for their high-value and complex claims undertaken with Dean recognised for his “technical knowledge that is second to none and is a solicitor you would want on your side’ and Kamal ‘… is very thorough and applies a good commercial approach to his cases’.’

Karen Moores, Head of the Family Law Team, commented:

It is good to see the firm recognised for the quality of work we do in the Legal 500.  We pride ourselves in providing a first-rate service and our staff are committed to getting the best resolution we can for our clients.

Tracy Creed, Head of Private client added:

Exceptional service and attention to detail is at the heart of our services for clients.  It is great that our clients feel strongly enough about the quality and level of service they receive to endorse us in this way.

Leading Midlands Law firm Sydney Mitchell is ranked in 13 Legal 500 categories, has 21 laywers recommended in the Legal 500 and has won Birmingham Law Firm of the Year 4 times in the last 9 years.

A full breakdown of the Sydney Mitchell recommendations and comments on Legal 500 are shown below.

Legal 500 2017 - Link - http://www.legal500.com/firms/3216/746

A full breakdown of the Sydney Mitchell recommendations and comments on Legal 500 are shown below.

West Midlands: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Birmingham

Commercial litigation: Birmingham - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP

Sydney Mitchell LLP is ‘one of the strongest of the smaller city centre firms in commercial litigation’, and thrives under the leadership of Dean Parnell, who is ‘very experienced and sensible, with sound judgement and a particular skill at negotiating very good deals for his clients’. Parnell is an experienced mediator and is also qualified to act as a supervising solicitor for search orders. The practice represented clients in a number of multimillion-pound claims and noted an increase in injunctive relief, SWAP claims, shareholder disputes and civil fraud. Kamal Majevadia, who co-heads the team with Parnell, has ‘good technical knowledge and is particularly good at insolvency, restructuring and financial professional negligence cases’.

Debt recovery

Debt recovery - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)

Sydney Mitchell LLP’s ‘very efficient’ team has a ‘light touch’ and is led by Kamal Majevadia, who is ‘adept at spotting the wood for the trees and combines this with a user-friendly sense of humour for very experienced officeholders such as liquidators, who are his staple clients’. Majevadia’s recent caseload includes acting on behalf of the administrators of Blakemores in relation to the collection of several large debts from former clients. Another name to note is insolvency specialist Leanne Schneider-Rose, who leads on debt recovery matters for business lenders such as AIB Group (UK) and West Bromwich Commercial. The practice also acts for secondary lenders on mortgage repossessions.

West Midlands: Finance

Insolvency and corporate recovery

Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)

Sydney Mitchell LLP’s practice offers ‘exceptional value for money’ and is also noted for its ability to ‘quickly grasp the instruction and work with the officeholder to implement (and refine as necessary) the strategy’. Practice head Leanne Schneider-Rose has a loyal following of lenders and insolvency practitioners, such as AIB Group and Smith & Williamson, and wins praise for her ‘attention to detail and thorough approach’. In one example, Schneider-Rose acted for a bankrupt in the Court of Appeal in a claim against receivers for breach of duty regarding a property owned by the bankrupt.

West Midlands: Human resources

Employment

Employment - ranked: tier 5

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)

Sydney Mitchell LLP’s diverse practice ‘punches above its weight’. The practice acts for employers and individuals in contentious and non-contentious matters, and Birmingham-based team head Dean Parnell attracts praise for his ability to ‘focus on solutions rather than conflict for the sake of it’. He represented an individual in a complex disability discrimination and victimisation claim against their employer, as well as a shareholder who was dismissed on the grounds of gross misconduct following a health and safety audit. Jade Linton is ‘a superstar and a joy to work with’; she acted for an individual in sexual harassment and sex discrimination claims under the Equality Act 2010, which was complicated by the fact the claimant and respondent had previously been in a relationship. She also handled a whistleblowing claim brought by a high-ranked executive whose employment was terminated due to suspicions of fraudulent activity. Associate Tina Chander left the firm to join Wright Hassall LLP.

West Midlands: Insurance

Clinical negligence: claimant

Clinical negligence: claimant - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)

Sydney Mitchell LLP is ‘a small firm that really punches above its weight’, and clients rate it for ‘having the skills and knowledge to handle a vast array of negligence and personal injury matters’. Mike Sutton leads the clinical negligence practice; he ‘has an excellent manner with clients’ and his experience ‘allows him to focus on the key issues in the early stages of a case’. Sutton is representing the wife of a man who died of a pulmonary embolism following the hospital’s alleged failure to appropriately treat him during the post-operative recovery period. Stephen Jesson acted for a claimant seeking compensation in light of the alleged delay in diagnosis of cancer, and is acting in a group claim filed against a consultant urological surgeon for alleged improper treatment of prostate cancer.

Next generation lawyers

Stephen Jesson - Sydney Mitchell LLP

Personal injury: claimant

Personal injury: claimant - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)

Sydney Mitchell LLP acts for local clients on a wide range of personal injury work – much of which consists of multi-track claims – and ‘has a strong reputation in the West Midlands’. Team leader and ‘very tenacious lawyer’ Mike Sutton ‘does not shy away from difficult, complicated or messy cases’; he recently represented a man who suffered career-ending injuries following an accident at work, and acted on behalf of the family and financial dependents of a man killed by careless driving. Other key names include Stephen Jesson, who assisted an elderly client in her claim against a restaurant which allegedly failed to provide the duty owed by the manager to a disabled customer.

Professional negligence

Professional negligence - ranked: tier 4

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)

Sydney Mitchell LLP handles high-value and complex claims regarding property and banking issues for clients such as Hertford Solutions and West Bromwich Building Society. The ‘commercially astuteDean Parnell has ‘technical knowledge that is second to none and is a solicitor you would want on your side’. He leads the practice with Kamal Majevadia, who is singled out for insolvency, restructuring and financial cases. Assistant solicitor Sundeep Bilkhu supports the partners with regards to negligence claims against solicitors and construction professionals, and recently represented a professional client in a case against his governing body for allegedly failing to adequately represent him in court resulting in significant liability costs. The ‘hardworking and responsive’ Preena Lal is also recommended.

West Midlands: Private client

Contentious trusts and probate

Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 1

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)

Sydney Mitchell LLP’s contentious trusts and probate team is based in Shirley and demonstrates ‘sound knowledge of the law, which it applies for the practical benefit of the client’. The team, led by Kamal Majevadia (who ‘is very thorough and applies a good commercial approach to his cases’) handled an Inheritance Act dispute in which a significant portion of the assets was held overseas. Solicitor Hayley-Jo Lockley supported the team in obtaining a grant of probate, forcing the removal of caveat and removing an individual from the deceased’s property, and led on the advice on the recovery of monies due to a client as per the deceased’s will. Tracy Creed is also a key contact.

Family: Birmingham
Family: Birmingham - ranked: tier 3

 

Sydney Mitchell LLP

At Sydney Mitchell LLP, Karen Moores leads the firm’s family team alongside Mauro Vinti, who works out of the Shirley office. The partners are supported by legal executive Jayne Gregg, who is ‘very positive and firm with her advice’. Recently, the team represented clients in the Birmingham family court in connection with financial remedy and child arrangement proceedings. Solicitor Teresa Mannion joined the firm in Shirley from Alsters Kelley LLP...

Personal tax, trusts and probate

Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 2

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)

Sydney Mitchell LLP’s clients find the wills, trusts and probate team, led by Tracy Creed, to be ‘extremely professional and efficient in all engagements and dealings’. The practice has substantial experience acting on behalf of vulnerable elderly clients in connection with care work and funding. Solicitor Ravinder Sandhu (whose ‘knowledge in this field is wide and deep’) recently assisted a client with the removal of an executor from an estate, and handled the administration of an estate according to a will, which was complicated by unclear paternity links and genealogical evidence. Clients also recommend ‘very good and helpful’ solicitor Nicholas Bennett, who is based in Shirley and acted for clients with regards to locating missing wills and applications for grants of probate.

West Midlands: Public sector

Health

Health - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmigham)

Sydney Mitchell LLP’s public-sector healthcare practice is headed by Fahmida Ismail in Birmingham, closely supported by consultant Tony Harris, who splits his time between Birmingham and Shirley and acted for a retiring senior partner with regards to the cancellation of his GMS contract and the negotiation of his retirement agreement. Areas of expertise include advising on sales, acquisition and mergers of GP practices, partnership disputes, and LIFT and non-LIFT projects. Harris and Ismail recently advised on the changes to partnership agreements in the context of retiring and incoming partners and the re-mortgaging of freehold surgery premises through a complex borrowing scheme requiring safeguarding and indemnity clauses to protect each individual partner. In another mandate, Ismail oversaw the retirement of a GP partner who wished to remain an owner of the leasehold premises. Associates Stewart Coles and Roy Colaba recently represented a GP partnership in connection with the lease of its surgery premises, while Dean Parnell handled a commercial dispute between dentists working in the same practice where the relationship had completely broken down but a fee-sharing agreement remained.

West Midlands: Real estate

Commercial property: Birmingham

Commercial property: Birmingham - ranked: tier 5

Sydney Mitchell LLP

Sydney Mitchell LLP’s team includes the ‘knowledgeable, prompt and efficientStewart Coles, who has particular expertise in dealing with property transactions involving pension schemes, and regularly acts on behalf of SIPPs and SSASs on the purchase, sale and leasing of commercial premises. Coles also represents clients in the retail and hospitality sectors and in 2016 he advised investors on a number of hotel acquisitions. Head of practice Div Singh and finance specialist Fahmida Ismail are the other main contacts.

Property litigation

Property litigation - ranked: tier 6

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)

At Sydney Mitchell LLP, senior solicitor Sundeep Bilkhu is a ‘good driving force’ for cases and continued to be particularly active in landlord and tenant issues for lenders and receivers: Bilkhu represented Hertford Solutions in enforcing a possession order against a tenant in occupation, and also acted for a receiver in obtaining vacant possession of a property following the borrower’s default of a legal charge. In other highlights, the team is defending Property Link Midlands in a claim alleging breach of a landlord repair covenant in a lease. Kamal Majevadia heads the practice.


 

21 lawyers are recommended in The Legal 500 United Kingdom 2017 editorial (listed below)

WEST MIDLANDS

Dispute resolution - Commercial litigation - Birmingham
- Dean Parnell
- Kamal Majevadia

Dispute resolution - Debt recovery
- Kamal Majevadia
- Leanne Schneider-Rose

Finance - Insolvency and corporate recovery
- Leanne Schneider-Rose

Human resources - Employment
- Dean Parnell
- Jade Linton

Insurance - Clinical negligence - claimant
- Mike Sutton
- Stephen Jesson

Insurance - Personal injury - claimant
- Mike Sutton
- Stephen Jesson

Insurance - Professional negligence
- Dean Parnell
- Kamal Majevadia
- Preena Lal
- Sundeep Bilkhu

Private client - Contentious trusts and probate
- Hayley-Jo Lockley
- Kamal Majevadia
- Tracy Creed

Private client - Family - Elsewhere in the West Midlands
- Jayne Gregg
- Karen Moores
- Mauro Vinti
- Teresa Mannion

Private client - Personal tax, trusts and probate
- Nicholas Bennett
- Ravinder Sandhu
- Tracy Creed

Public sector - Health
- Dean Parnell
- Fahmida Ismail
- Roy Colaba
- Stewart Coles
- Tony Harris

Real estate - Commercial property - Birmingham
- Div Singh
- Fahmida Ismail
- Stewart Coles

Real estate - Property litigation
- Kamal Majevadia
- Sundeep Bilkhu

 

 

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Lexcel Practice Management Standard Birmingham Law Firm of the Year for 2011 Resolution Collaborative Family Lawyer The Law Society Accredited in Family Law UK Legal 500 2016 Conveyancing Quality Scheme
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