The 2018 edition of The Legal 500 has awarded Stephensons top tier status for a fourth consecutive year and recognises the firm’s breadth and depth of legal services.
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 nine areas of work and recommended 32 solicitors from across the firm’s seven offices. Commendations were given to Stephensons’ crime, fraud, clinical negligence, personal injury, family, social housing and Court of Protection teams, with further accolades for local government law and professional discipline.
Among numerous departments which were ranked this year, The Legal 500 reserved particular praise for Stephensons’ crime and fraud work, both of which received the coveted ‘Tier 1’ ranking for the fourth consecutive year.
The serious fraud and business crime practice was described as a ‘very professional and committed team’ while praising the high profile nature of the team’s work in the fields of land-banking, investment, Ponzi and VAT fraud. Correna Platt is praised for her ‘tenacity, work ethic, incisive thinking and dedication to ensuring she gets the best possible outcome for her clients.’
The firm’s criminal law practice is also praised for its miscarriage of justice work. Sean Joyce, head of the department was described as ‘one of the top criminal solicitors in the North West’ and Mike Pemberton and Colin Rawson were recognised for their ‘skill and dedication’ and ‘excellent communication skills’ respectively.
Head of Clinical Negligence, Judith Thomas Whittingham is praised for her ‘drive, commitment and refreshingly down to earth approach’ while Tom Mooney, Claire Stockley, Laura Sheehan, Jamie Cruickshanks and Carla Duprey are all recommended as part of a ‘well-organised and very efficient team of enthusiastic and hardworking practitioners…’
In personal injury, department head Kate Sweeney is described as ‘honest, caring, knowledgeable, professional and passionate’ and ‘always shows a genuine interest in what is best for the accident victim’. Team members, Danielle Callaway and Rebecca Dawber are also praised for their ‘supportive’ and ‘proactive’ work.
Described as having an ‘outstanding reputation in respect of family law’, the Stephensons family team also came in for considerable praise. Department head, Victoria Gethin was recognised for her ‘efficient and caring’ approach, while Mike Devlin is a ‘composed and thoughtful advocate who is always extremely well prepared’. Team members, Amanda Rimmer, Gwyneth John, Tim Galbraith Jackie Price and Andrew Mountain were also recommended in the rankings.
Carl Johnson is commended for his work and ‘impressive attention to detail’ in professional discipline cases alongside colleagues Alison Marriot and Laura Hannah, while Melanie Vary is noted as a ‘fantastic lawyer who has immense client empathy’ in relation to her Court of Protection work.
David Baybut, Kate Bullen, Louise Hebborn, Alistair Gregory, Philip Richardson and Chris Graves are also praised for their work in social housing, commercial property, residential, disputes, debt collection issues, employment and supported living development matters.
Andrew Welch, Managing Partner at Stephensons said: “The Legal 500 is a helpful barometer of success in legal services and the 2018 guide has shown that our offering across the firm continues to be among the very best in the United Kingdom.
“To be recognised across nine departments and have 32 solicitors recommended this year is a huge achievement and demonstrates the quality of work being performed across every department.”