Shoosmiths growth continues apace with heavyweight partner hire

Paul Stokey, left, head of Shoosmiths in Leeds, with commercial litigation partner Matthew Howarth

The Leeds office off national law firm Shoosmiths is continuing its expansion drive with the appointment of leading commercial litigator Matthew Howarth as partner to head up the commercial litigation practice in Leeds, and help to spearhead the firm’s commercial litigation offering in the North, in conjunction with its Manchester office. 

Matthew, joins from Gordons LLP, where he spent more than 14 years, and led the firm’s 27-strong commercial litigation department for eight years and was also a member of Gordons’ management board. 

Recognised in the legal directories as “very sharp” and “outstanding” Matthew has vast experience in acting for banks on large scale professional negligence recovery claims involving multiple claims against solicitors and valuers. 

He also acted in one of the first shareholder action claims against a PLC regarding a £200m Rights Issue, representing one of the defendant directors. 

He has advised companies on confidential information claims, breaches of warranty disputes and shareholder actions including securing and defending injunctive relief and acting as a court appointed supervising solicitor on search orders. 

He has acted for pension fund trustees, and pension scheme administrators in relation to alleged breaches of duty and is a member of the Association of Pensions Lawyers. 

He also has substantial experience in judicial review claims acting for PLCs and also private individuals, most notably acting for clients challenging Natural England on decisions relating to land management and EU regulations, and acted for the descendants of King Richard III in the challenge over where his remains should be buried. 

Matthew, who has made numerous broadcast and national media appearances as an expert legal commentator, said: “Joining Shoosmiths at this exciting stage in its growth in Yorkshire represents a truly compelling challenge and I am looking forward to further developing my career with this innovative and ambitious national firm.”  

His latest hire further underlines Shoosmiths’ ambitions to establish a hub of legal excellence for clients in the North. 

Paul Stokey, head of Shoosmiths in Leeds, said, ‘I am delighted to welcome Matthew, who has an excellent reputation as a first class litigator both in the Yorkshire market and nationally. I look forward to working with him as we continue to expand by attracting the most talented and ambitious lawyers to the firm and building a Northern centre of excellence for legal advice here.” 

This latest expansion of the Shoosmiths Leeds team follows the recent appointment of three corporate lawyers from Irwin Mitchell and a number of specialist commercial lawyers focused on Technology Media and Telecoms, Privacy & Data and Infrastructure & Capital Projects. 

Shoosmiths is a national law firm with a network of 12 offices in the UK.  It announced its expansion into Leeds in 2016 and will move into Bruntwood’s landmark Platform redevelopment later this year, where it will occupy a full floor.  

Shoosmiths has been shortlisted for Law Firm of the Year and Real Estate Team of the Year in The Lawyer Awards 2017. Earlier this year it was named Law Firm of the Year at the Manchester Legal Awards and was awarded Legal Provider of the Year at the Motor Finance Awards for the third year running.

Shoosmiths also topped the Experian MarketIQ (Corpfin) 2016 UK & Ireland M&A league tables to become the UK’s leading legal adviser by deal volume.

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