The Legal 500 is the definitive guide to the legal profession and each year its researchers undertake stringent research into the industry. The independent guide recommends law firms for their expertise by ranking them in tiers and also highlights any outstanding legal professionals.
In total, the guide awarded rankings to eight areas of work and recommended 23 solicitors from across the firm’s seven offices. Commendations were given to Stephensons’ clinical negligence, family, social housing and court of protection teams, with further accolades for local government law and professional discipline.
The Legal 500 reserved particular praise for Stephensons’ crime and fraud work, both of which received the coveted ‘Tier 1’ ranking.
The Serious Fraud and Business Crime practice was described as ‘bright, adaptive and experienced’ and ‘the real deal’ while praising the high profile nature of the team’s work in the fields of land-banking, Ponzi and VAT fraud:
"…John Greenwood ‘has been in the trenches for a long time and is definitely someone you would want alongside you when the flak starts to fly"
"Solicitor Priscilla Addo-Quaye is brilliant at eliciting trust in her clients and managing complex cases'."
According to the guide, the firm’s criminal law practice ‘leads the way nationally’ and is ‘very well regarded’:
"…Sean Joyce leads the team, which includes Mike Pemberton, whose ‘good humour and the mastery of the detail of their cases immediately puts clients at ease’."
"Correna Platt (is an) ‘outstanding performer (and) extremely thorough, (…) committed to clients and (…) brings a very great level of preparation and commitment’"
Head of Clinical Negligence, Judith Thomas Whittingham is described as ‘highly respectable’, ‘bright, able and down to earth’, while Louise Griffiths, Claire Stockley, Carla Twist and Tom Mooney are all recommended as part of a ‘professional and ethical team’, ‘known for its specialist expertise in birth and brain injury.’
In family law, department head, Mike Devlin, is praised for his ‘good reputation for his knowledge and skill in the area of care and children work in particular’ and the case management skills of Donna Roberts are described as ‘second to none.’ Gwyneth John, ‘reliable and efficient’ Andrew Mountain and Anna White are also recommended.
Philip Richardson is commended for his skills in advising local authorities on employment matters, while the ‘excellent’ Kate Bullen, Louise Hebborn, Chris Graves and department head, David Baybut are all recommended for social housing law.
The guide also recognised Carl Johnson, Alison Marriott and Martin Haisley for their expertise in professional discipline law, with Melanie Vary noted for developing ‘a niche practice representing clients in relation to decisions over the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment.’
Andrew Welch, Managing Partner at Stephensons said: “The Legal 500 is a true indicator of achievement and success in legal services and the 2017 guide has shown that our offering across the firm continues to be among the very best in the United Kingdom.
“In particular, seeing the crime and fraud teams retain Tier 1 rankings is a testament to their hard work and dedication of which we are rightly proud. However, to have 23 solicitors recommended this year – quite possibly the most yet – and to have eight practice areas ranked is a huge achievement which demonstrates our expertise across the entire firm.