Sydney Mitchell is recognised in the Top Tier of the Legal 500 and is ‘very strong’ and ‘probably the best in central Birmingham outside the large National and International Firms’ for dispute resolution and commercial litigation matters.

Sydney Mitchell has again been recognised as a Tier 1 firm for its Contentious Wills and Probate work; with a ‘driven professional team’ led by Kamal Majevadia 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.

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

Div Singh, Senior Partner, Sydney Mitchell commented:

“What an excellent result again this year for Sydney Mitchell, with the firm maintaining its ranking in Tier 1 for our Contentious Probate work and in particular Kamal Majevadia being singled out as a ‘leading individual’”.

Many of our talented solicitors have been named throughout for their hard work with our ‘client care second to none’.

It is great to see new team members being recognised, David Lydon, Adam Hodson, Samantha Glynn, Hayley-Jo and Gemma especially have shone through this year. Our clients and referrers have made fantastic comments on the work we have undertaken including…

‘solid, well respected team’, ‘can-do attitude’ ‘an approach to client care that is second to none’, ‘caring straight-to-the-point’ and ‘manages expectations’.

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

Dean Parnell is recognised as “very experienced and sensible; ...calm and reassuring, firm but not aggressive and tactically astute negotiator who secures good deals for his client’ and  ‘…strong on shareholder disputes and claims relating to directors’.

Karen Moores, Head of the Family Team, is recognised for her ‘compassionate’ and ‘understanding’ manner.

Leading Midlands Law firm Sydney Mitchell is ranked in 13 Legal 500 categories and won Birmingham Law Firm of the Year 2018.


Legal 500 information links are included below:

West Midlands: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Birmingham - ranked: tier 4

Sydney Mitchell LLP is ‘very strong’, and for some ‘probably the best in central Birmingham outside the large national and international firms’. The practice handles a range of matters, many of which with fraud elements, with clients ranging from international businesses, trade bodies, regional businesses and individual executives. Dean Parnell, whose expertise includes acting as a supervising solicitor for court-ordered searches, on top of being ‘very experienced and sensible: he is calm and reassuring, firm but not aggressive, and a tactically astute negotiator who secures good deals for his clients’, is ‘particularly strong on shareholder disputes and claims relating to directors’ – he represented a foreign company on recovery of losses from director-level frauds. Kamal Majevadia acted for an engineering company concerning unpaid invoices for engine components – he also handles cases concerning alleged fraud.

Debt recovery - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP ’s workload includes a number of matters acting for finance providers concerning lending secured on residential property, plus matters concerning social care fees, vehicle finance and unpaid invoices. Kam Majevadia  heads the practice, with solicitor Hayley-Jo Lockley  a name of note below partner level. Gemma Parker is a key legal executive. Clients include West Bromwich Commercial.

West Midlands: Finance

Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP's Leanne Schneider-Rose  advised an insolvency practitioner on gaining access to and possession of a sports and leisure club, and handled several cases concerning the sales of care homes from administration. Section 216 cases and personal bankruptcy are also areas of expertise.

West Midlands: Human resources

Employment - ranked: tier 5

Sydney Mitchell LLP  is 'a solid, well respected team' that is 'a very popular locally' with 'a reputation that is growing nationally'. Dean Parnell  leads the team and is 'very popular with clients', and has 'a "can-do" attitude'.  He has a broad expertise in employment, and acts on behalf of employers and very senior employees. Also recommended is solicitor Samantha Glynn, who specialises in contentious issues.

West Midlands: Insurance

Clinical negligence: claimant - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP  handle a range of clinical negligence claims, with 'an approach to client care that is second to none'. Mike Sutton  heads up the team and 'very well respected locally'. He is assisted by senior personal injury executive David Lydon, Adam Hodson  and  Stephen Jesson.

Personal injury: claimant
Personal injury: claimant - ranked: tier 4

Sydney Mitchell LLP is 'a small team that has built up considerable experience', whose 'approach to client care is second to none'. Mike Sutton  leads the team and is 'very well respected locally within the profession'. He specialises in handling road and work accidents, and recently represented a client who suffered from complex regional pain syndrome due to falling from a ladder. David Lydon recently joined the firm from Pearson Rowe Incorporating Springthorpes and has a similar focus on work and road accidents. He recently acted for an individual who required amputation to due to injuries suffered by his fingers while at work. Also recommended is solicitor Adam Hodson.

Professional negligence - ranked: tier 4

Sydney Mitchell LLP 's litigation team is highly active in professional negligence cases, most notable against in the areas of legal services and construction. Sundeep Bilkhu is a key figure with extensive experience in negligence relating to property transactions.

West Midlands: Private client

Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 1

Sydney Mitchell LLP

The 'driven' and 'professional' Sydney Mitchell LLP is led by Kamal Majevadia who is a 'caring, straight-to-the-point person' who 'tells it like it is' and 'manages your expectations'. He is particularly known for disputes on estates with a cross-border or commercial aspect. Shirley-based Tracy Creed  is also a key figure, with notable strengths in probate, trusts and estate planning.

Family: Birmingham - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP

The 'excellent' Sydney Mitchell LLP  focuses on complex matrimonial disputes and childcare arrangements. Karen Moores is a key contact and is known for her 'compassionate' and 'understanding'  manner. Mauro Vinti is also recommended and advises on all aspects on relationship breakdowns.  

Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 2

The 'excellent' Sydney Mitchell LLP  is particularly strong in dealing with elderly client issues, with additional expertise in wills and estate planning, powers of attorney and administration work. Tracy Creed leads the team and has extensive experience in probate and trust matters.  Also recommended is Shirley based solicitor Nicholas Bennett , who focuses on will and probate issues, and solicitor Ravinder Sandhu, who is experienced in wills, trusts and probate issues.

West Midlands: Public sector

Health - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP focuses on GP mergers, disputes, leasing and tax issues. Fahmida Ismail leads the team and is heavily involved in property and finance matters pertaining to GPs and medical practices. Consultant solicitor Tony Harris is active on Primary Care Commissioning and extending existing GP premises. Consultant solicitor Dean Parnell works on commercial disputes and employment issues.

West Midlands: Real estate

Commercial property: Birmingham - ranked: tier 5

Sydney Mitchell LLP’s team handles a range of multimillion-pound deals. Consultant Georgina Walsh in Shirley handles work concerning purchases and sales of development sites... At partner level Div Singh , who is based in Birmingham, also handles buy-side deals, often involving title issues. Fahmida Ismail is also a key contact.

Property litigation - ranked: tier 5

Sydney Mitchell LLP

At Sydney Mitchell LLP, associate Sundeep Bilkhu handles a range of commercial property disputes, frequently acting for landlords. Highlights include representation of a landlord in a dispute over the unauthorised removal of a stud wall, which was initially thought to have caused £30,000 of damage but triggered a subsequent order from the local authority to demolish and replace the buildings. Other work concerns boundary restrictive covenant disputes and Party Wall Act matters. In Shirley, Kam Majevadia handles trespass to land matters concerning residential developments, including Court of Appeal cases.

Our lawyers are recommended in The Legal 500 United Kingdom 2018 editorial (listed below)

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

Dispute resolution - Debt recovery
- Kamal Majevadia
- Hayley-Jo Lockley
- Gemma Parker

Finance - Insolvency and corporate recovery
- Leanne Schneider-Rose

Human resources - Employment
- Dean Parnell
- Samantha Glynn

Insurance - Clinical negligence - claimant
- Mike Sutton
- David Lydon
- Adam Hodson
-Stephen Jesson

Insurance - Personal injury - claimant
- Mike Sutton
- David Lydon
- Adam Hodson

Insurance - Professional negligence
- Sundeep Bilkhu

Private client - Contentious trusts and probate
- Kamal Majevadia (leading individual)
- Tracy Creed

Private client - Family - Birmingham
- Karen Moores
- Mauro Vinti

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

Public sector - Health
- Dean Parnell
- Fahmida Ismail
- Tony Harris (Deceased)

Real estate - Commercial property - Birmingham
- Georgina Walsh
- Div Singh
- Fahmida Ismail

Real estate - Property litigation
- Sundeep Bilkhu
- Kamal Majevadia

Fantastic news Sydney Mitchell has won Law Firm of the Year in the 5-15 partners' category in the Birmingham Law Society Awards 2018. A great achievement!  Thank you to all the partners and staff who made this achievement possible.

Winners Birmingham Law Society 2018 law firm of the year 5-15 partners categoryPartners Fahmida Ismail, Sarah Archer, Kam Majevadia, Tracy Creed, Dean Parnell and Mauro Vinti accepted the award on the night presented by Emma Jesson and the category sponsored by Tony Rollason (Landmark Information Group).

Fahmida Ismail commented:

What an excellent result, recognising the hard work contributed by every single person in the firm in making us exceptional and being recognised by the Birmingham Law Society as Law Firm of the Year.

We are all extremely proud to continue to serve our clients to the highest standard.  Birmingham has such a lot to offer businesses and individuals and Awards like this just continue to show that we have great quality firms and people here in Birmingham.

Sydney Mitchell specialist teams include employment, commercial property, company and commercial services, litigation and insolvency. Private client teams include family law, residential property, dispute resolution and wills and probate, contentious probate, tax and trusts and personal injury.

Sydney Mitchell previously won this award in 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and it is a fantastic result that the firm has won the award in 2018.

Well done to all the winners in the Birmingham Law Society Awards 2018  - full list link attached

If you would like help on any legal matters, please call 0121 698 2200 or email or fill in our online enquiry form

Winners Birmingham Law Society 2018 law firm of the year 5-15 partners category

Hospital medication errors are sadly more common than they should be and can have devastating consequences. In one case, a man who was not given the right doses of therapeutic drugs, at the right time, after developing a rare brain infection won more than £600,000 in compensation from the NHS.

The middle-aged man sustained a severe brain injury when the herpes simplex virus from which he was suffering developed into full-blown encephalitis, a life-threatening inflammation of the brain. Although medics swiftly spotted the cause of his condition, dosing errors meant that he did not respond to treatment as expected. His disabilities are so severe that he has to be looked after in a residential home.

After his wife contacted solicitors, the NHS trust that ran the hospital admitted breach of duty. It disputed the extent to which medication errors had contributed to his injury but, following negotiations, agreed to a £613,000 settlement of his claim. Approving the compromise, the High Court noted the complex issues raised by the case and that litigation risks had been taken into account in arriving at the damages figure.

For help and advice on matters such as this please contact David Lydon on or phone 0808 166 8860.

Sydney Mitchell LLP is pleased to announce their chosen charities for 2019 are Age UK - Solihull and the Buddy Bag Foundation; two great Midlands charities that have been selected by staff for its fundraising activities.

Sydney Mitchell Charities - fundraising - Lorraine Hart, Age UK-Solihull; Karen Moores, Partner, Sydney Mitchell; Sarah Archer, Partner, Sydney Mitchell; Karen Williams, Founder Buddy Bag FoundationSydney Mitchell invited the charities to meet partners and staff at their offices to hear more about the charities and what they are hoping to achieve over the next 12 months.

Lorraine Hart, Fundraising Manager at Age UK Solihull said:

We're so grateful to have been chosen as one of Sydney Mitchell's two chosen charities for the coming year. 

It was great to meet the Birmingham, Shirley and Sheldon teams and to see their enthusiasm for supporting us both through fundraising and volunteering and to hear about their own experiences of seeing the challenges faced by older people. 

We look forward to working with the teams to our mutual benefit.

Karen Williams, Founder of the Buddy Bag Foundation added

Buddy Bag Foundation would like to thank Sydney Mitchell for choosing us as their Charity of the Year.

Together, we can raise awareness and essential funds to continue to provide Buddy bags to children in emergency care.

Together, we can make a real difference.

Karen Moores and Sarah Archer, Partners at Sydney Mitchell commented:

We are pleased to support such worthy charities. Both were put forward by staff in our recent staff survey.

It is great to be helping both young and old and we are looking forward to engaging with the local community to provide support to both.

*Age UK – Solihull provides help and support to older people in the borough of Solihull. The Vision of Age UK Solihull is of a world where older people flourish and our Mission is to improve the lives of all older people in the borough. Most of our services are provided free.

All the money we raise stays in Solihull to help pay for services which include information and advice, companionship and practical help.  Find out more at .

**The Buddy Bag Foundation was created in response to the rising number of children who enter emergency care after fleeing violent situations at home.  The Foundation helps restore a sense of safety and security into a child’s life during a traumatic time.  By providing these children with a few essential items, the charity can help make the transition into emergency care a little easier.  Over 48000 children require emergency accommodation each year in the UK.  Founder Karen Williams launched the Buddy Bag foundation in 2014 after being inspired by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation in Australia.

Sydney Mitchell LLP is a Legal 500 Top Tier firm based in the Midlands with over 100 employees. The firm’s specialist teams include employment, commercial property, company and commercial services, litigation and insolvency. Private client teams include family law, residential property, dispute resolution and wills and probate, tax and trusts and personal injury.



Lorraine Hart, Age UK-Solihull; Karen Moores, Partner, Sydney Mitchell; Sarah Archer, Partner, Sydney Mitchell; Karen Williams, Founder Buddy Bag Foundation

It is commonplace for one spouse to control the family finances and, while relations are amicable, this usually causes few issues. However, if the relationship falls apart and separation or divorce is in train, this is often no longer the case.

When a spouse attempts to put pressure on their estranged partner by denying them access to funding to cover their legal fees, this can certainly be a problem, but as a recent case shows, the courts take a dim view of those who seek to deny legal representation to others. The solution was novel and likely to prove effective.

The case in question reached the Family Court after the husband had dragged his feet over filing the required statement of financial means (Form E). Two months after the expiry of the extension date for producing the statement, it had still not been submitted, leading the judge to comment that 'the considerable delay in producing the Form E after two earlier consent orders setting a timetable for its production is not excusable'. This is the sort of comment that seldom presages good news for the client about whom it is made.

The ire of the Court was further stirred up by the fact that the husband (a wealthy Omani) was some £100,000 behind with the maintenance payments he had been ordered to make. Nor had he made the payments ordered for his wife's own legal representation – some £120,000 – whilst having paid his own solicitors in the region of £95,000.

The judge's solution was strict. He issued an injunction against the husband, banning him from paying anything further to his solicitors until he had cleared the arrears due to his wife and paid pound for pound to her any legal costs he had paid to his (or any other) solicitors.

If you are struggling to get others to comply with their obligations to you or orders of the court, contact us for advice.

For help and advice please contact Karen Moores, on 0808 166 5638.

When a man's first wife died, he inherited her share of the property they had owned jointly. At the time, he was living with his third wife, and the couple remained together for a further 28 years until his death in 1990.

He died without making a will and without taking any steps to transfer the legal interest in the property into his and his wife's joint names.

Circumstances like this are ripe for a dispute to arise, and in this case the family ended up fighting it out in court.

The man's widow claimed that the house should belong to her. If not, she believed various other claims against his estate were appropriate. If none of those claims were valid, however, she argued that she would have a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, which exists to provide for those who are financially dependent on someone who dies without making sufficient provision for them in their will. Under the laws of intestacy, a widow was at that time entitled to a statutory legacy of £75,000 plus a half interest in the balance of the estate.

The outcome was a judgment that ran to 84 paragraphs, in which the High Court ruled that there was a claim to consider regarding financial dependence, but rejected the other claims.

The essential point to make is that the whole of the expensive court proceedings could have been avoided had a valid will been in place when the man died. Even if your affairs are simple and your assets limited, making a will is a very sound decision. It makes the administration of your estate easier and provides clarity over how you would like your assets distributed: the outcome if the intestacy laws apply may be very different from what you wish.

For help and advice please contact Samantha Hughes on 0808 166 8860.

What do Ryan Air, Virgin Money, and Google all have in common? They didn't fare too well in the UK Gender Pay Gap reporting in April when 78 percent of companies and public bodies were found to be paying women less than men. And not just a little bit less. There is a median pay gap of 18.4 percent which shows the UK performing worse on average than other OECD countries.

These ten thousand-odd businesses and public bodies have a lot of catching up to do: banking and finance, education, professional and scientific. They are either not paying women at the same rate as men for the same jobs or they are not employing women in the higher paid jobs. Either way this is unfair to one half of the workforce and not good for UK PLC. Women have as much to offer to the growth and prosperity of the economy as men.

But the April reporting only applies to organisations with 250 or more employees - only around half the members of the UK workforce - and it excludes equity partners, often the highest earners.

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee in their August report, Gender Pay Gap Reporting, proposes the reporting requirement be rolled out to employers of more than fifty employees. Incumbent on these employers would be full and timely reporting, an explanation of the gap, and proposals for narrowing it. There is already evidence that smaller employees are the worst offenders so if the reporting requirement is widened we could be in for some more startling revelations.

For help or advice on this or other employment law matter, please speak to Emma-Louise Hewitt on 0808 166 8827.

Imposing illuminated advertisements adorning the sides of office blocks are an ever-increasing feature of modern cityscapes – but they can pose a particular challenge for planners. The Court of Appeal gave guidance on the issue in ruling that LED signs displayed within a prominent building must be removed.

By virtue of the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007, the signs were deemed to have the local authority’s consent because they were located inside the building. However, they were visible over a long distance and the council issued a discontinuance notice on the basis that they caused substantial injury to the amenity of the locality.

In later rejecting the building owner’s challenge to that decision, a planning inspector found that the extremely prominent moving displays were overly large, dominant and incongruous. They could be seen from three conservation areas and from the settings of a number of listed buildings. Local residents had also complained of being disturbed by their flashing effect. The inspector’s decision was subsequently upheld by a judge.

In dismissing the company’s challenge to the latter ruling, the Court rejected its plea that the discontinuance notice was draconian in its effect. Although it terminated the deemed consent, it did not prevent the company from seeking the council’s express consent for alternative advertising displays on the site. The inspector’s factual conclusions and exercise of her planning judgment were unassailable.

For help and advice on matters such as this please contact Sundeep Bilkhu, on 0808 166 8827.

In July ACAS published new guidance for overtime. It addresses the questions:

•        Is overtime compulsory or voluntary?

•        Is there a limit to how much overtime can be worked?

•        Pay when working overtime

•        Overtime for part time workers

•        Impact of overtime on holiday pay calculations

It’s a helpful document for anyone who has any doubts about the difference between voluntary overtime, compulsory guaranteed overtime, and compulsory non-guaranteed overtime. It also concisely summarises the Working Time Regulations.

But the guidance clouds the issue of holiday pay entitlement. Workers are entitled to four weeks paid holiday under the EU’s Working Time Directive. How is holiday pay calculated? Overtime payments are included. But what about non-standard overtime? The guidance states the only exception is overtime which is "genuinely occasional and infrequent." But what does this actually mean? ACAS says recent Court decisions are case specific and employers may want to seek legal advice. It can only be hoped that this area of the law is clarified soon.

All workers in the UK must receive an additional 1.6 weeks leave by law, and some receive more as part of their terms and conditions of employment. It's up to employers to decide whether to apply the rule about overtime and the calculation of holiday pay entitlement to these too. Some do, as it keeps things simple, and there's less opportunity for misunderstandings.

Find the guidance on the ACAS website, Advice and Guidance > Rights and Responsibilities > Working hours or

For help or advice on this or other employment law matter, please speak to Emma-Louise Hewitt on 0808 166 8827.

If you think medical negligence is to blame for your child’s disabilities, you should swiftly seek legal advice. The point was powerfully made by a case in which a devout couple’s belief that their son was a gift from God led to a decades-long delay in him being awarded millions of pounds in compensation.

Due to the couple’s conviction that they should accept their lot and that it was their duty alone to care for their disabled son, they had for many years put off contacting solicitors. That only changed after their daughter qualified as a lawyer and they began to realise that they would not always be there to look after him.

After they finally took professional advice, lawyers launched legal action on their son’s behalf against the NHS trust that ran the hospital where he was born. Faced by claims that his caesarean delivery had been negligently delayed, resulting in oxygen starvation and brain damage, the trust agreed to pay him compensation in the form of a £4.3 million lump sum. By the time settlement terms were agreed, on the basis of 50 per cent liability, he was aged in his 30s.

In approving the settlement, the High Court noted that for parents to soldier on for so many years without complaint was truly remarkable. The couple had fought a long battle for local authority assistance in funding their son’s care and, had it not been for their advancing years, their daughter’s prompting and the pressing need for a professional care regime, they might never have sought legal advice.

For help and advice please contact Adam Hodson, on 0808 166 8827.


UK Top Tier Firm 2017 Lexcel Practice Management Standard Birmingham Law Firm of the Year for 2011 Resolution Collaborative Family Lawyer The Law Society Accredited in Family Law Conveyancing Quality Scheme


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