820 professionals at Knights service 10,000 clients across the full spectrum of legal & professional services.
John LordOffice Partner
John is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution team.
John focuses on corporate and commercial disputes including breach of contract and tortious claims, civil injunctions, recovery of corporate assets, fraud investigations, shareholder and partnership disputes. He also represents directors and former members of limited liability partnerships when claims are brought against them. John is experienced in litigation in all courts and a number of tribunals and he has a track record for successfully resolving matters at mediation.
John has a diverse client base, acting for two international energy providers, FTSE 100 and Euro 200 companies including leading names in the brewing and leisure sectors, shareholders of SMEs, partners and directors of professional firms.
John is also office leader in Wilmslow, where he is responsible for recruiting and managing new professionals to expand the range of services available locally and nationally. He ensures his team have regular contact with clients to really understand their needs and focus on speedy delivery of advice.
Recent examples of how John has helped clients include:
- safeguarding £10 million of company assets in a cross-border dispute acting for a funder;
- defending 60 partners against charges of alleged wrongful trading and over-drawing claims by a liquidator in a LLP dispute;
- defending a claim based on the "new tort" of malicious prosecution;
- acting for investors in the recovery of sums due to them following a multi-million-pound commodity trading fraud; and
- acting for a company which had incurred substantial losses as a result of the unlawful termination of its franchise agreement.
Peter is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution and Regulatory teams.
In Dispute Resolution matters Peter advises on breach of contract claims, professional negligence, secured and unsecured finance disputes, high value trusts and contentious probate matters, trade mark infringement and other intellectual property rights disputes
A recognised authority on UK licensing and gambling laws and on related regulatory matters, Peter gave evidence before the House of Lords Committee reviewing the Licensing Act. Peter’s areas of expertise include advising on the licensing of pubs, restaurants, hotels, entertainment centres, cinemas, wedding venues, outdoor events and festivals, late night food outlets and sexual entertainment establishments under the Licensing Act and others..
Peter has an in-depth expertise in the securing and retaining of remote operating licences for online gambling sites for clients based all over the world. His client base within the gambling industry is wide, looking after casinos, betting shops, bingo halls, gaming centres and virtual online gambling sites of all types. He also advises on Prize Competitions. His workload includes dealing with challenges from the UK regulator the Gambling Commission who are based in Birmingham.
Peter’s clients range from small owner-managed businesses to public companies operating both here in the UK and internationally. Working with colleagues at Knights, Peter can help with all the legal aspects encountered by those running licensed premises and gambling businesses
Recent examples of how Peter has helped clients include:
- obtaining an alcohol and late-night refreshments licence for an award-winning international restaurant group that wished to establish a new eatery in the West Midlands;
- obtaining an operating and management licence for an international company which wished to operate a newly created online gambling site within the UK;
- negotiating a plea deal with the UK Gambling Commission which enabled a company to carry on trading after being accused of acting in breach of their licence terms; and
- successfully handling the application for one of only 8 new ‘small’ casino licenses issued under the Gambling Act 2005.
Richard is a Partner in the Construction team.
With a degree in civil engineering and past experience as a consulting engineer in the industry, Richard provides risk management advice and dispute resolution for UK and international construction projects.
This includes dealing with claims arising out of the installation of defective or dangerous cladding or glazing; defects in works of construction, heavy engineering and power generation; and allegations of architect’s/engineer’s negligence. He also routinely handles disputes relating to payment, delayed performance and project disruption.
Richard is experienced in the use of adjudication, mediation, arbitration and litigation before the Technology and Construction Court (TCC) and with a wide variety of standard construction and engineering contract forms, including JCT, ICE, NEC, FIDIC, and LOGIC.
Richard’s clients include national and international contractors and sub-contractors, land and building owners, power companies and local authorities. Most of his work is for businesses based in the UK, Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Africa and the USA.
Recent examples of how Richard has helped clients include:
- advising and representing an engineering company contracted to build an electrified mass transit system in Saudi Arabia, in its claims for a significant fee increase and extension of time to complete its works;
- settling a dispute through mediation for a European bridge equipment supplier, achieving a satisfactory outcome whilst avoiding the significant cost and uncertainty of protracted TCC proceedings;
- acting for the owner of several high rise buildings following the installation of defective cladding and spontaneous glazing failures, by pursuing claims against product manufacturers, installers and insurance companies and via the government’s removal and replacement of unsafe cladding scheme;
- acting for a local authority in serial adjudications relating to issues of payment and a multitude of defects in a high profile new school building; and
- successfully acting for a main contractor in multiple adjudications concerning defects, valuations and payment obligations under a contract for the construction of a landmark building in Manchester.
Kate is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution team.
Kate advises commercial and private clients in respect of all litigation matters, including construction and real estate litigation, commercial and contractual disputes, intellectual property including copyright, passing off and trade marks, defamation, professional negligence claims, insolvency and misfeasance claims, partnership and company law including shareholder disputes and injunctions. She also manages adjudications, arbitrations, mediations and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.
Kate acts for businesses all over the country in industries as diverse as sports promotion and property development, construction and technology. Kate works regularly in the High Court in London, Birmingham and Manchester and within the county courts and Technology and Construction Courts.
Recent examples of how Kate has helped clients include:
- safeguarding a director's interest in a £40 million claim against the bank for interest rate swaps when the company went into liquidation;
- successfully defending a property developer in a claim for damages when they demolished a building;
- getting defamatory content about the boxer Sugar Ray Leonard removed from the internet following a dispute regarding a promotional tour to Poland; and
- successfully bringing a £300,000 breach of contract claim in respect of a joint venture to provide Tesco with hand car washing services.
David is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution team.
David specialises in resolving contractual disputes, particularly complex multi-party actions. His cases include trading disputes such as breach of contract about payment, delivery, quality, agent compensation, misrepresentation, termination, real estate problems including service charge, rent review, break notices, restrictive covenants, trespass and rights of way issues, construction disputes, infringement of intellectual property rights and defamation.
David also has experience of fraud, professional negligence, insolvency, and disputes between partners, directors and shareholders. David's clients range from small professional practices and service companies, through to real estate developers, leading retail and leisure brands employing up to 3,500 people.
Recent examples of how David has helped clients include:
- putting a stop to a company which had been passing itself off as a subsidiary of a leading telecoms brand, obtaining compensation for loss of revenue and damage to the reputation of the brand owner;
- winning on behalf of 13 national businesses who were facing claims in excess of £1.7 million in the High Court;
- saving over £4.2 million for a group of commercial tenants, whose landlord pursued a rent review claim to the High Court; and
- defending the reputation of an international company against a product liability claim over three years, with the final judgment in our favour including full recovery of legal costs.
Richard is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution team.
Richard represents clients in shareholder or partnership disputes, in regard to unfair prejudice of a minority shareholders, and disagreements over drawings or the basis for performance calculations. He acts on breach of contract claims in regard to unsatisfactory products and services, and on disputes over agency agreements or commission payments.
Richard has handled professional negligence claims, including group actions, against leading firms of accountants and solicitors; and secured injunctions against employees to prevent them removing assets or using confidential data. He has represented people and companies who have been libelled in an article and has advised a publisher on whether the contents of a book might be libellous.
Richard acts for landowners and tenants in regard to property litigation and is the leading authority on ‘the hedge and ditch principle’.
Recent examples of how Richard has helped clients include:
- winning a dispute over ownership of a 500 metre stretch of hedge and ditch on behalf of a landowner at the Court of Appeal – Parmar v Upton  EWCA Civ 795;
- successfully challenging all of £1 million interest charges on a £465,000 litigation funding loan under Consumer Credit regulations and the principles of champerty and maintenance;
- obtaining injunctive relief and a six-figure settlement for an online casino against former employees who took a copy of the customer database for their own exploitation; and
- successfully settling a claim for over £500,000 plus costs on behalf of a majority director, after his shareholding had been unfairly diluted following an accounting blunder.
Graeme is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution team.
Graeme advises on disputes arising out of commercial property sale and purchase agreements, conditional contracts and options, deeds of variation and development agreements. He also advises on commercial property boundary disputes, rights to light claims, party wall issues, easements and restrictive covenants, and rights of way issues.
Graeme has extensive experience in landlord and tenant disputes, including those arising out of lease renewals, rent reviews, repair obligations, dilapidation claims, rent arrears, forfeiture and possession proceedings, and applications to assign a lease or alter premises. Wherever possible he will try to keep disputes out of court and he regularly helps clients to engage in mediation, adjudication and expert determination.
Graeme acts for PLCs, SMEs, local authorities, charities and private individuals. He has broad sector experience, and particular knowledge of licensed premises.
Recent examples of how Graeme has helped clients include:
- securing compensation and the right to regain possession of commercial premises for a tenant unlawfully evicted by their landlord;
- recovering £500,000 for a company whose infrastructure was damaged when a utilities pipe collapsed causing hazardous material to escape requiring an extensive cleanup;
- successfully forfeiting the lease of a public house on behalf of a landlord whose tenant had agreed to an unlawful assignment; and
- negotiating concessions on land use for a charitable organisation in return for their agreement to a £1 billion mixed use development encompassing part of their land.
Neil is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution team.
Neil has represented FTSE listed companies, owner/managed businesses, individuals and is an experienced litigator in both taking and defending disputes.
Neil has a particular interest in insurance-related matters, finance litigation and contractual disputes. Neil also has experience of employment and discrimination and has handled litigation at first instance and appellate level in Tribunals and courts. He also has extensive experience of all types of mediation pre and post the issue of proceedings.
Stuart is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution team.
Stuart advises on a broad range of commercial and consumer disputes, including professional negligence, breach of contract claims, shareholder and director disputes, product liability, the civil recovery of monies obtained through fraud, boundary disputes, occupiers liability and constructive trusts. He also advises on civil disputes arising out of firearms activities and countryside pursuits and property ownership. He is a member of the Research Ethics Committee at Oxford University and acts as a trusted advisor to corporations who want to reduce the potential for disputes through the adoption of ethical business practices.
Stuart acts for limited companies, partnerships, sole traders, associations, manufacturers and private individuals. He has broad sector experience and specialist knowledge of the firearms industry.
Examples of how Stuart has helped clients include:
- recovering a six-figure sum for a private individual whose name was left off the title deeds of a property they had invested in and who faced receiving nothing after the property was sold;
- advising an international manufacturer on the complex legal and public issues arising from the Grenfell disaster;
- defending the supplier of irrigation equipment against a breach of contract claim arising out of failed agricultural crop production; and
- advising a national amateur sports association on the drafting of its code of ethics to avoid the potential for disputes.
A commercial dispute resolution partner, specialising in complex and high value claims.
Ian deals with commercial disputes arising out of invoice and asset financing facilities, commercial fraud, substantial minority shareholder actions, derivative actions and Partnership disputes, breaches of contract and of indemnities and warranties, emergency injunctions, the recovery of outstanding debts and other securities and the enforcement of personal guarantees. He is a skilled litigator with significant trial experience and an advocate of alternative dispute resolution.
Ian advises on disputes arising out of creative industries concerning the interpretation, valuation and enforcement of licensing agreements, infringement of trade marks and copyright, claims for passing off and the breach of director’s fiduciary duties.
Ian also advises on issues arising out of commercial contracts, transactional warranties, director service contracts, indemnities and personal guarantees, franchise and distributorship arrangements, the interpretation of insurance agreements, claims of professional negligence and allegations of defamation.
Ian’s clients include asset-based lenders, high net worth individuals and companies in recruitment, creative industries, manufacturing and distribution and pharmaceuticals. Clients include Bibby Financial Services Ltd, Davenham Asset Finance, Close Brothers Invoice Finance Ltd, Catalyst Business Finance Ltd, Cobra Biologics Ltd, Skipton Business Finance Ltd and UK Independent Medical Services Ltd.
Recent examples of how Ian has helped clients include:
- acting for renowned post punk rock band ‘New Order’ in the resolution of high profile substantial high litigation with one of its founding members Peter Hook involving multiple cross claims including a derivative action over ownership and use of company and partnership assets and the licensing of the same, infringement of intellectual property rights, trademark infringements, passing off, alleged breaches of Directors and fiduciary duties and payment of licensing royalties;
- securing High Court Judgment against multiple defendants for circa £9m , successfully resisting appeals against the Judgment in both England and Switzerland and to obtain a Freezing Order in Switzerland over the defendants’ assets on behalf of an overseas investment company arising out of a corporate investment transaction and the exercise of a put and call option;
- launching multiple professional negligence claims against a group of valuers on behalf of a lender who stood to make significant financial losses as a result of the overvaluation of properties acquired by a defaulting commercial borrowers;
- securing a multi-million pound overriding royalty payment settlement, from new American-French site owners, for two clients involved in the original sourcing and discovery of natural fuel sources;
- pursuing through the High Court and successfully negotiating a multi-million pound settlement for an asset based lender whose client had committed large scale commercial fraud arising out of the lender’s factoring and discounted invoicing facilities.
Chris is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution team.
Chris advises on business disputes in regard to professional negligence claims against accountants, surveyors and other solicitors in regard to incompetent advice or wrongful valuations; disputes between shareholders, company directors and funders; protecting business value in cases where key executives and teams have breached confidentiality or restrictive covenants, including bringing or defending claims for injunctive relief. His clients include companies and business owners in all sectors, and Chris has extensive sector experience in retail, recruitment and professional services.
Chris also has a great deal of expertise in settling inheritance disputes in regard to the validity of a will; claims for financial provision under the Inheritance Act; concerns about and claims against executors or trustees; disputed legacies; claims under the Forfeiture Act where there has been an unlawful death. Chris acts for beneficiaries, executors, trustees and charities and has settled complex estates with property and assets overseas.
Recent examples of how Chris has helped clients include:
- obtaining a multi-million-pound judgment in the High Court in favour of an offshore corporate trustee after negligence by a professional adviser;
- ensuring the protection of a major recruitment business when a large team moved to a competitor by obtaining undertakings from all former employees and the competitor;
- preserving the assets of an estate for the children of a business owner, who died before his divorce was finalised, in a complex probate dispute which involved protecting the interests of the beneficiaries, whilst at the same time providing for his estranged wife; and
- securing a favourable inheritance settlement for a widow after her husband committed suicide without leaving a will.
John is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution team.
John advises on the resolution of commercial disputes, including breach of contract and breach of warranty, such as consequential loss arising from defective installation of equipment; disputes between minority and majority shareholders or between quasi-shareholders as well as post-acquisition disputes arising from breach of a company sale or purchase agreement; disputes between franchisors and franchisees over terms in the franchise agreement, such as obligations on termination.
John has advised on numerous professional negligence claims against accountants, solicitors and surveyors, including where property has been valued incorrectly or there has been a failure to identify structural defects.
John acts in property disputes relating to rights of way, restrictive covenants, easements, adverse possession, party walls, business leases, sales or purchase, commercial property development and land transactions.
John acts for PLCs, national companies, SMEs and individual entrepreneurs and landowners in England and Wales.
Recent examples of how John has helped clients include:
- successfully seeing off claims by a neighbouring landowner for rights of way, easement, and adverse possession over land owned by our client and obtaining an indemnity costs order in our client’s favour;
- defeating claims against a company director, which alleged that he was liable for the debts of an insolvent company under a personal guarantee, by obtaining summary judgment at an early stage; and
- settling at mediation a long-standing quasi partnership shareholders’ dispute, allowing both shareholders to move forward to establish new businesses and share the goodwill and IP of the old enterprise – from a starting point where the parties were irreconcilable and heading to a court trial which would have exhausted the assets of the business.
Andrew is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution team.
Andrew advises company owners and professionals on the resolution of commercial disputes including breach of contract, professional negligence actions, partnership and shareholder disputes and restrictive covenants for senior employees. He is familiar with public procurement regulations and has successfully challenged a number of local authorities on their wrongful decisions.
Andrew also has extensive experience of product liability disputes and product recalls, where he assists companies in dealing with the immediate public safety and regulatory requirements, before going on to establish liability and then negotiate the recovery of costs and compensation.
Andrew acts for the owners and directors of SME companies in the UK and Europe, as well as PLCs, professional partnerships and entrepreneurs. Andrew acts for idverde Limited; Topcon (Great Britain) Limited and EVT Eiberger GmbH. Many of Andrew’s clients are also involved in the food and drink sector.
Recent examples of how Andrew has helped clients include:
- negotiating a substantial settlement for a food manufacturer who was forced to recall two product ranges after a mistake by a packaging supplier;
- successfully challenging and securing the award of a long term contract after a local authority failed to comply with European public procurement regulations;
- securing early termination of a multi-million pound public contract on favourable terms on behalf of a national provider of grounds maintenance services;
- obtaining an injunction against former directors who had left to set up in competition, preventing their misuse of confidential and commercially sensitive information; and
- defending numerous professional negligence claims in regard to over-valuations of property carried out by the in-house surveyors at one of the leading retail banks.
Monica is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution and Restructuring & Insolvency teams.
Monica is a personal and corporate insolvency specialist providing advice on a range of contentious and non-contentious matters. Her experience includes the issuing and defending of statutory demands, bankruptcy petitions and winding-up applications, the investigation, prosecution and defence of preference claims and breach of directors' duties charges, the bringing and defending of proceedings based on alleged transactions at an undervalue, the bringing and defending of claims for the possession and sale of property.
Monica investigates beneficial interest claims based in equity, obtains income payment orders and directions permitting the recovery of book debts, and issues or defends UK-based or Europe-wide freezing orders.
Monica represents private individuals, company directors, insolvency practitioners and financial institutions.
Recent examples of Monica's recent cases include:
- successfully applying to vary a Europe-wide freezing order over the assets of a UK-based individual which resulted in the release of more than £3 million to their trustee in bankruptcy;
- settling a breach of directors' duty claim for £1,000 on behalf of a former director, after the claim had been valued by liquidators at more than £140,000;
- recovering in excess of £500,000 from the wife and extended family of a bankrupt individual who, through a series of transactions, had attempted to divest himself of the ownership of any assets; and
- locating and realising significant assets on behalf of a trustee in bankruptcy in a case where money was deposited in numerous bank accounts across Switzerland and France.
Rachael is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution team.
Rachael advises and represents clients on all aspects of disputes involving land and property, ranging from landlord and tenant disputes, forfeiture, and service charge disputes, to negligence claims, agricultural disputes, trespass and co-ownership issues. Her practice involves analysing title and boundary issues and identifying the third parties, such as a lender or landlord, who need to be dealt with.
Rachael frequently works with her real estate and planning colleagues to achieve the best results for clients. Speed is of the essence for many clients, particularly those in retail whose commercial needs require instantaneous advice and results.
Mediation is at the forefront of Rachael’s practice, particularly in family disputes involving trusts where issues need to be settled in a non-litigious way where possible.
Rachael acts for both residential and commercial clients nationally, including those with significant agricultural interests, and international clients with UK property portfolios who have complex property disputes in the UK. Rachael’s clients include national retail chains, landlords, parish councils, families and individuals.
Recent examples of how Rachael has helped clients include:
- successfully recovering monies for a retail tenant following an overcharge of service charges by the landlord without due reference to the lease, and securing an agreement to vary the lease to ensure more tenant friendly covenants;
- preventing a trespass and ongoing obstruction over a corporate client’s right of way;
- successfully resolving a co-ownership dispute between family members by mediation over multiple properties where one of the parties sought orders for sale; and
- acting for a client and obtaining an injunction to remove an extension built by the adjoining owner in breach of a restrictive covenant not to build; and
- successfully acting for a Borough Council as Landlord in connection with a highly contested lease renewal claim to enable redevelopment of land worth in excess of £20 million which also included remedying various planning and title issues.
Hilary is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution team.
She has expertise in specialist areas such as company shareholder and partnership disputes, property and leasehold disputes both in the county court and the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).
Hilary handles commercial disputes over breach of contract, professional negligence, company, shareholder and partnership disputes, often within accountancy practices and intellectual property. She also handles a wide range of property litigation work such as service charge disputes, leasehold and management company issues and restrictive covenants. She is a leading expert in disputes arising out of the sale of park and mobile homes.
Recent examples of how Hilary has helped clients include:
- enabling a client to serve a court order on a difficult to reach debtor by using Facebook for the first time in English law;
- resolving a two year-long, multi-million-pound dispute in three months by strategically employing court rules to the client's commercial advantage;
- ensuring a number of purchasers of faulty motor homes recovered their money; and
- ensuring a resident could remain in their park home, and resist a park owner's attempts to terminate the park home agreement, by invoking trespass and boundary rights against them.