Wilkin Chapman consolidates position as regional heavyweight in Legal 500

02 October 2014

Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire solicitors’ practice, Wilkin Chapman LLP, has consolidated its position as the region’s largest law firm by strengthening its standing in the 2014 edition of Legal 500 - a leading legal directory which provides information on the legal services sector.

The law firm has received a general recommendation in the East Midlands regional listing, where it has been recognised as a regional heavyweight and described as being ‘a wide ranging practice. The firm has also maintained its profile for its family, debt recovery and commercial property teams, which are recognised as being ‘top tier’ practice areas.

This year the firm has been ranked in 13 specific legal areas. Its social housing team has moved up the rankings by one tier, and the firm has maintained rankings in the following practice areas: corporate and commercial, crime and regulatory, dispute resolution, employment, personal injury/clinical negligence, agriculture; wills and probate and public law. It has also achieved two new listings in the Yorkshire and Humber regional publication for its debt recovery, and insolvency & corporate recovery expertise.

A number of the firm’s departments have been singled out for praise too, with the employment team being recognised as providing ‘clear, workable and practical’ employment advice; and the commercial property department being identified as ‘absolutely premier class.’ The firm’s social housing team is recognised as ‘a highly experienced and focused team.’

The family department was noted as being well qualified to handle both arbitration and mediation matters; and the firm’s wills, trust and probate team was recognised for its detailed inheritance tax advice. The public law team was identified as having strength in public sector complaints and investigations; and the corporate and commercial department is highlighted for its expertise in dealing with a mix of trade sales, MBOs and wind turbine transactions – a sign of the growing importance of the renewable sector; whilst the agricultural department is noted as being ‘professional’ and fielding a strong team.

In addition to departmental praise, a large number of the firm’s partners and solicitors have also been singled out for praise for the individual contributions they make to their areas of expertise. Partner and specialist employment lawyer, Jane Eatock, has been highlighted as having ‘expert knowledge’ and ‘personal integrity. Adding to this, Ruth Brewin, partner and head of the firm’s commercial property department, is noted as ‘always willing to go the extra mile.’

Lisa-Jane Howes, partner and head of wills, trusts and probate department, achieved recognition as being ‘sharp and to the point’; and Jonathan West, partner and head of the social housing department, was recommended, along with Paul Tollerton, partner, being identified as ‘a very able lawyer.

The directory’s East Midlands region stretches from Lincolnshire to Northamptonshire, whilst the Yorkshire and the Humber region includes Hull, Sheffield, Leeds, York and Bradford. Both regions bring together law firms which serve widely different client bases.

Commenting on the 2014 results, Julia Whittaker, chief executive of Wilkin Chapman LLP, said: “This year’s rankings have really consolidated the standing of the firm and firmly acknowledged the breadth of expertise and specialist skills of our lawyers. We have been working hard to achieve a unique position against our competitors and this year's Legal 500 demonstrates that that is being achieved. Clients can come to us for any of our range of legal services and know that they are receiving the very best advice. Our growth in practice areas such as debt recovery and insolvency, coupled with our continued commitment to providing quality and value for money services for our clients has been rewarded by these independent endorsements.”

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