Wake Smith earns heavyweight rankings

Six solicitors at Sheffield’s Wake Smith are recommended in The Legal 500 United Kingdom 2015 – the national benchmark for the best of the legal profession.

The established Sheffield-based company features in 11 practice areas for the Yorkshire and Humber region including corporate and commercial; dispute resolution – commercial litigation, finance; human resources – employment; clinical negligence: claimant and personal injury: claimant; personal tax, trusts and probate; commercial property, property litigation and intellectual property and IT and telecoms.

Receiving special plaudits in the list, which highlights the leading law firms and individuals nationally and by region for personal and corporate work, are Duncan Shepherd and John Baddeley from Wake Smith’s corporate team which saw a rise in instructions in 2014.

Practice head Nick Lambert is described as a ‘seasoned litigator who gets his clients where they want to be’. As well as involvement in a nine-party Chancery action involving the disputed ownership of shares in a private limited company, the commercial litigation team acted for a charitable trust in a dispute with a major brewery conglomerate over historical loans. Mark Serby’s expertise on IP disputes was reinforced.

Wake Smith’s employment team ranked second in the region confirming a well deserved place against international law firms. The ‘strong’ team led by Mark Serby, acts for a large number of SME clients, and focuses on sectors including healthcare, manufacturing and IT.

Dispute resolution and employment director Holly Dobson, who has considerable experience of acting for not for profit organisations including corporate and non corporate; charities and trusts, is recommended.

Private client work was highlighted through Wake Smith’s personal tax, trusts and probate expertise. The team has a particular specialism in inheritance tax mitigation, and is led by Andrew Vidler, who is also registrar for the Anglican Diocese of Sheffield.

John Baddeley, director at Wake Smith, said: “These results confirm our hard work and the evidence of our ability to attract, and retain, specialist solicitors across a broad range of practice areas as we continue to win high profile instructions and the trust of businesses and individuals looking for practical, commercial advice.

“The only way a law firm can get into these ranking tables and commentary is on merit alone. It is purely based on whether The Legal 500 researchers believe the firm is good enough for inclusion. It is not possible for a firm to buy its way into the editorial.

“While individuals have been highlighted for their specialisms, I must reinforce that Wake Smith is very much a team with the interests of its clients at the forefront.”

The Legal 500 is based on feedback from 250,000 in-house peers and access to law firms’ deals and confidential matters, which are independently assessed by researchers. The resulting tables rank the firms, and also provide commentary to help individuals judge which firm might be right for them.

Wake Smith has been established in Sheffield for more than 200 years and became a limited company earlier this year, employing more than 100 staff including 46 fee earners and 18 directors. It recently announced a forthcoming move from its bases on Clarkehouse Road and Campo Lane to a brand new state of the art office at Velocity 1 scheduled for early 2016.

Holly Dobson
Holly Dobson

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