Sydney Mitchell is recognised again in the Top Tier of the Legal 500 for our Contentious Probate team and our new Immigration department has joined the ranks in tier 2; with Andre Minnaar, Melissa Southall and Emma-Louise Hewitt recognised as rising stars.  The firm …’easily rivalling the biggest of national law firms… the quality and service they extended …was nothing short of fantastic’ according to clients.

Top Tier Legal 500 for Sydney Mitchell LLPIn total the firm has obtained recommendations in 12 areas of legal practice; Contentious Probate, Commercial Litigation, Debt Recovery, Insolvency and Corporate Recovery, Employment, Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence, Professional Negligence, Family, Personal Tax, Trusts and Probate, Commercial Property, and Property Litigation.

Karen Moores, Senior Partner, Sydney Mitchell commented:

“It is great to see our new Immigration department hitting the mark at tier 2 and the firm maintaining it’s ranking in Tier 1 for our Contentious Probate work with Kamal Majevadia and myself again identified as ‘leading individuals’ in the Midlands”.

“The effort that all of our specialist lawyers provide to our clients shines through in the many testimonials received. We cannot thank them enough for their diligence and commitmentand this has certainly been even more evident also over the last few months during the tumultuous times of the pandemic.”

Leading Individuals Legal 500 Solicitors UK“A number of lawyers are highly recommended; many receiving outstanding comments from clients including

… tenacious and committed to her clients’ goals...’, ‘a shrewd practitioner, whose decisions are rooted in common sense’ ‘… provided sensible and practical advice. The team listened to my concerns and fought my corner strongly’ and the one that explains it all ‘I have dealt with a number of solicitors in the area over a considerable number of years and consistently found Sydney Mitchell to be the best. As a result, I have used them for matters relating to probate, conveyancing, employment advice, dispute resolution and the sale of businesses. They provide a broad range of specialist expertise under one roof.

Dean Parnell and his team is recognised as …’equally as effective as much larger legal teams but feel the service they provide is more personal and they do seem to genuinely care about getting the best possible result for you.’ ‘…A high-quality service comparable with much larger firms but very competitive costs, with high levels of partner involvement.

Dean Parnell is someone who you want on your side in a contested matter, rather than against you. He is a master craftsman at negotiation and always gets the best deal he can for his client’.

Karen Moores and the Family team, are recognised as being ‘…consistently professional, readily available and provided an excellent client service experience’.  Karen ‘…is a truly respected and feared opponent who simply never gives up‘.

Leading Midlands Law firm Sydney Mitchell has also been shortlisted in the Birmingham Law Society Awards in 3 categories and shortlisted in the Solihull Chamber Awards for the Large Business of the Year.

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

Sydney Mitchell LLP > Legal 500 Rankings

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 1

Sydney Mitchell LLP has a thriving contentious probate department with Kamal Majevadia at the helm. It continues to receive referrals from the firm’s busy private client departments as well as returning clients. It also receives a steady flow of referrals from other law firms. The team has noticed an increase in the number of estates where there are disputes relating to the ownership of private companies. It has also witnessed a surge in the number of potential negligence claims arising from advice given by other firms. The team continues to act on a significant number of TOLATA cases and is acting in several cases dealing with the distribution of trust assets when relationships have broken down. Majevadia routinely advises on estates that have cross-border elements and where there is a dispute over commercial matters and company shares. Tracy Creed  heads up the private client team and has extensive knowledge of complex probate matters.

Leading individuals

Kamal Majevadia - Sydney Mitchell LLP

Practice head(s):

Kamal Majevadia

Other key lawyers:

Tracy Creed


The team represents excellent value for money litigators. The team is partner led, with very hands-on input and support. The team gets a good quality of work and case load and is well respected in the Midlands’.

Kam Majevadia is an experienced lawyer and drives the direction of litigation well. He has a sensible and pragmatic approach, whilst ensuring that his clients get a good deal. He and his team will pull out all the stops to offer help and support to clients’.

There is a general and obvious warmth with this practice along with its professionalism and work ethic to communicate with the customer’.

The team has proper specialist knowledge combined with a commercial approach. Kam Majevadia is a proper expert in this area with lots of experience and takes a realistic and commercial approach’.

The team is experienced and represents good value for money. Kam applies a sound and commercial approach as well as a good legal approach to his cases’.

The team offers sensible and pragmatic advice. Kamal Majevadia is commercially focused, a smooth operator’.

Family: Birmingham Tier 2

Sydney Mitchell LLP has a strong collaborative practice with three fully qualified collaborative lawyers across its three offices. Mauro Vinti is a family law panel member and Teresa Mannion is a children’s law panel member. Karen Moores is another prominent member of the team that advises on the full array of family law issues from divorce and civil partnerships to child arrangements, protective injunctions and pre- and post-nuptial agreements. It is also well-regarded for its work on financial remedy matters as well as TOLATA and cohabitee arrangements.

Leading individuals

Karen Moores - Sydney Mitchell LLP

Practice head(s):

Karen Moores; Mauro Vinti

Other key lawyers:

Teresa Mannion


‘Sydney Mitchell can easily rival the biggest of national law firms. During the year or so I interacted with Karen Moores and her family law team, the quality and service they extended to me was nothing short of fantastic’.

Karen Moores is excellent. She is efficient, industrious and robust. She has sound judgement and a good manner with clients. Mauro Vinti is also highly recommended for his ability to navigate difficult cases calmly and effectively’.

‘Karen Moores is an outstanding professional who brings high levels of emotional intelligence and outstanding technical expertise to her work. Karen was consistently professional, readily available and provided an excellent client service experience’.

I felt Karen Moores was absolutely working to “fight my corner”, sincerely had my best interests at heart, explained everything clearly, and provided me with the necessary peace of mind during a very difficult period’.

Karen Moores is a truly respected and feared opponent who simply never gives up’.

Extremely efficient, does not overcharge, always prepared to negotiate; all documents and bundles well prepared and counsel are briefed on time

I really appreciate Mauro Vinti’s quiet assurance and wise counsel and his friendly, calm manner’.

Immigration Tier 2

Sydney Mitchell LLP has established a new immigration department with the recruitment of Andre Minnaar and Melissa Southall. They joined the firm in May 2019 from Cartwright King. The first-rate team specialises in private fee-paying personal and human-rights related immigration advice. Minnaar has substantial experience of resolving complicated UK immigration, asylum and nationality problems and is also an experienced tribunal advocate. Southall provides extensive immigration advice to clients on visas for spouses, applications for children, asylum as well as European applications for citizenship.

Rising stars

Andre Minnaar - Sydney Mitchell LLP

Melissa Southall - Sydney Mitchell LLP

Practice head(s):

Andre Minnaar

Other key lawyers:

Melissa Southall


Melissa Southall and Andre Minnaar work exceptionally well together as a team. They provide an excellent service to their clients and are extremely dedicated to achieving the best outcome possible. They both have excellent knowledge of the law. They are committed to providing an excellent service to clients’.

The immigration team is outstanding, professional, knowledgeable and exceptional in its client care’.

Andre Minnaar is an exceptional practitioner. He answered every question I had clearly, swiftly and correctly’.

‘Andre Minnaar provides such a spectacular service, what makes him different from competitors is that he is very straightforward and he explains everything so smoothly and politely, I value his service so much that I can comfortably say he’s part of our family, and he would be a diamond to any company’.

Andre Minnaar is an incredible guy – his attitude and attention to detail in every aspect is amazing’.

‘The service was excellent from start to finish. The company’s prices are reasonable and yet this does not compromise the quality of advice. Melissa Southall was excellent, responding quickly to enquiries and very organised and supportive. At all times we found her to be efficient and professional’.

Melissa Southall put our minds at ease, dealt with everything superbly and professionally and I would recommend her to anyone. She handled everything and you can’t imagine the burden she lifted from our shoulders’.

Andre Minnaar and Melissa Southall both work extremely hard for their clients. They anticipate difficulties in cases and seek to resolve them’.

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 2

Sydney Mitchell LLP has a wealth of experience in a wide range of private client matters from wills/estate planning through to deputyship applications to the Court of Protection. It is also skilled at advising on powers of attorney and on elderly client matters. The department offers specialist advice on NHS continuing healthcare issues and on care placement and care funding. Head of department Tracy Creed is well-regarded. Creed deals with probate, trusts and estate planning matters and specialises in elderly care work.

Practice head(s):

Tracy Creed

Other key lawyers:

Ravinder Sandhu; Shelley Collingbourne


Professional, welcoming, friendly office. Tracy Creed was very professional, friendly, empathetic and her knowledge and experience were exceptional’.

Ravinder Sandhu is a very caring and sympathetic person. Ravi has offered exceptional service and sound advice’.

Ravinder Sandhu goes out of her way to make the client feel that they are getting the best solution and usually gives more than one solution to a problem’.

The practice has high standards of expertise maintained by a caring close-knit partnership who invest in the training of the team’.

Shelley Collingbourne is both diligent and highly efficient. Shelley is always ready and available to provide advice both on the telephone and in face-to-face meetings at the office. She is approachable, knowledgeable and always displays a pleasant disposition’.

Debt recovery Tier 3

Leanne Schneider-Rose leads Sydney Mitchell LLP's team, whose expertise includes defended debt cases, return of goods claims, repossession claims, winding up petitions and statutory demands. The firm's strong credentials in the debt recovery arena sees it act for clients such as insolvency practitioners, small businesses and professional services firms, among others. Kamal Majevadia is another notable individual.

Practice head(s):

Leanne Schneider-Rose

Other key lawyers:

Kamal Majevadia


Sydney Mitchell have excellent knowledge and experience on all aspects of secured loan recovery. If our regular contact, Gemma Parker, is not immediately sure of the action required then she correctly uses external relationships and the ability available in-house to ensure a quick and correct answer is found with minimal delay.

Gemma Parker keeps us updated very efficiently at all times’.

Key clients


West Bromwich Commercial Limited

Goldhill Finance Limited Bridging Finance

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 3

On the contentious side, Sydney Mitchell LLP's team head Leanne Schneider-Rose is experienced in handling a wide range of claims for insolvency practitioners, such as those involving transactions at undervalue, preferential claims, directors' misfeasance and debt collection. Non-contentious work is also a mainstay of the work undertaken by the group, which also generates mandates from lenders and distressed companies. Senior associate Emma Birch joined from Weightmans LLP.

Practice head(s):

Leanne Schneider-Rose

Other key lawyers:

Emma Birch


I have found Sydney Mitchell to be extremely professional, very knowledgeable and very prompt to react to queries

Leanne Schneider-Rose understands our business and provides us with an efficient service to enable us to carry out our duties as insolvency practitioners. She is pragmatic over billing and realises that not all cases can stand a 100% recovery. Her technical knowledge is very good and I would have no hesitation in recommending her

Key clients

Dains Business Recovery Ltd

Poppleton & Appleby

FRP Advisory LLP

Commercial litigation: Birmingham Tier 4

Sydney Mitchell LLP's commercial litigation team attracts praise for its 'competitive costs' and 'high levels of partner involvement'. Dean Parnell, who handles a range of commercial litigation and employment disputes, jointly leads the practice alongside Shirley-based Kamal Majevadia, who handles probate disputes involving commercial issues and company shares. 'Tenacious' senior associate Emma Birch joined from Weightmans LLP adding financial services litigation and manufacturing disputes experience.

Practice head(s):

Dean Parnell; Kamal Majevadia

Other key lawyers:

Emma Birch


My dealings with the team have always been excellent and they are able to provide concise legal advice which is pragmatic and always consider the commercial aspects of the case. They tend to specialise in different areas of commercial litigation which means that they are well placed to give advice on their particular areas of specialism. I find them equally as effective as much larger legal teams but feel the service they provide is more personal and they do seem to genuinely care about getting the best possible result for you.

A high-quality service comparable with much larger firms but very competitive costs, with high levels of partner involvement’

Every case is partner-led and total accessibility to a fee earner from day one, including mobile telephone numbers, is provided to each client. Nothing is too much trouble. Fees are fair and transparent and kept under review so that there are no nasty surprises. The team punch well above their weight locally and receive referrals from larger firms which is always a good sign of how well they are regarded, particularly Dean Parnell.

I have worked closely with Dean Parnell since 2009. He oozes confidence, knows everything about his client, the commercial realities of the case and how to win. He is creative in his thinking. Someone to have on your side rather than against you.

Emma Birch is tenacious and committed to her clients’ goals.’

My main point of contact is Dean Parnell who I consider to be a genuinely brilliant problem solver. Dean is able to combine great intellect with incredible creativity and this provides clients with the best possible litigation strategy which is not obvious to anyone until he mentions it. He is a great negotiator and tactically he always seems to be a few steps ahead of the opposition. If you want to have the best chance of getting the best result in a litigation matter then it is best to have Dean as part of your legal team.

Dean Parnell is a very well-known figure and combines a good knowledge of the law with a very commercial outlook and is highly regarded locally, frequently being asked to act as a court-appointed independent solicitor to supervise search orders.’

Professional negligence Tier 4                                                                                                           

Sydney Mitchell LLP continues to act on a number of high-quality professional negligence cases ranging from individuals who have personally suffered from professional negligence to commercial organisations that were wrongly advised by valuers on property transactions. Kamal Majevadia is a key member of the team. Associate Sundeep Bilkhu is another important contact. Bilkhu primarily acts for various leading lenders and individuals in bringing claims against surveyors, accountants and architects.

Practice head(s):

Kamal Majevadia; Sundeep Bilkhu

Commercial property: Birmingham Tier 5

At Sydney Mitchell LLP, department head Fahmida Ismail advises a diverse range of clients on property management issues, finance work and corporate structures. Core areas of strength include representing banks in matters relating to the security for loans and enforcement issues, as well as handling site developments, corporate acquisitions and disposals.

Practice head(s):

Fahmida Ismail

Employment Tier 5

Sydney Mitchell LLP works for employers and employees. It has represented some key international companies and has also represented individual clients on a range of matters from whistleblowing and disability discrimination cases through to issues of sexual harassment and discrimination. In addition to these contentious matters the group has also been busy advising on a number of employment issues that have arisen on some complex TUPE transfers. Emma-Louise Hewitt, a senior associate, heads the team and advises on all aspects of employment law, acting for individuals and businesses of all sizes including a global automotive company and fashion designer/retailer. Dean Parnell predominantly advises companies and very senior employees.

Practice head(s):

Emma-Louise Hewitt

Other key lawyers:

Dean Parnell


Provides a first-class service to its clients. Dean Parnell is someone who you want on your side in a contested matter, rather than against you. He is a master craftsman at negotiation and always gets the best deal he can for his client

The team provided sensible and practical advice. The team listened to my concerns and fought my corner strongly. Emma-Louise Hewitt handled my case and she was excellent

Emma-Louise Hewitt is responsive and communicates in a transparent way

Personal injury and clinical negligence: claimant Tier 5

The personal injury department at Sydney Mitchell LLP continues to receive a good amount of high-value and complex work. The group also handles the full range of clinical negligence claims. It is currently instructed in a number of cases involving very serious injuries where the likely damages will be in the region of £1m. The practice advises on the full spectrum of personal injury matters ranging from very minor injuries involving road traffic accidents to accidents resulting in very serious injury or death. Mike Sutton represents those who have suffered an injury as a result of accidents at work, on the road or any other public place. Senior personal injury executive David Lydon deals with all areas of personal injury such as accidents at work, road traffic accidents and accidents involving slipping or tripping.

Practice head(s):

Mike Sutton

Other key lawyers:

David Lydon; Adam Hodson


Sydney Mitchell has a small team of PI and clinical negligence professionals that is able to deal with every type of claim in this field, from the lowest financial value, to multimillion catastrophic claims. A long-established firm in Birmingham, much of the work comes from previous clients who have been impressed by the service that they have received’.

I have found Sydney Mitchell to be clear, professional and easy to deal with. David Lydon has kept me informed through each step in a professional and supportive manner’.

The team is really good and helpful and David Lydon is so nice in fact all the team is always there to help’.

‘David Lydon makes everything so simple and the whole legal process is simplified for you, and he never pushes on you any decision, but always helps you make an informed decision’.

David Lydon is personable, affable and effective. He puts clients at ease and is a shrewd practitioner, whose decisions are rooted in common sense’.

Mike Sutton is a very tenacious and capable lawyer who is always prepared to get stuck into a fight in difficult cases’.

Adam Hodson – thoughtful and thorough in his approach, exceptionally supportive of clients’.

Key clients

Mr B

Mr S-W

Mr A D

Property litigation Tier 5

Sydney Mitchell LLP focuses on landlord and tenant disputes, which is a key area for real estate litigation associate Sundeep Bilkhu, who acts alongside Dean Parnell, who leads the wider dispute resolution practice. The duo handles claims relating to the termination of leases, dilapidation claims, adverse possession claims and boundary disputes. Bilkhu also acts for lenders and private clients in bringing professional negligence claims against surveyors and architects, as well as restrictive covenant disputes.

Practice head(s):

Dean Parnell

Other key lawyers:

Sundeep Bilkhu


‘I have dealt with a number of solicitors in the area over a considerable number of years and consistently found Sydney Mitchell to be the best. As a result, I have used them for matters relating to probate, conveyancing, employment advice, dispute resolution and the sale of businesses. They provide a broad range of specialist expertise under one roof.’


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