Yorkshire law firm Lupton Fawcett has delivered a strong showing in the latest Legal 500 rankings.

The Leeds, Sheffield and York-based business is ranked for the expertise of its individuals and teams in 21 practice areas, putting it in the top five for Yorkshire and the Humber.

The Legal 500 analyses the capabilities of law firms through a comprehensive research programme which is revised and updated every year.

Lupton Fawcett’s York-based agriculture team, led by Caroline Hawcroft, continues to attract plaudits. The report describes the team as “well resourced, friendly, capable and efficient” while highlighting how it combines “good, pragmatic advice with an easy personal style.”

The charities and not-for-profit group, led by Mark Honeywell, is praised for providing “seamless, responsive and flexible service” across regulation, registration, collaborations and mergers, governance and trust law issues.

The report adds that the team is “extremely friendly and approachable” and “you know you are in very safe hands.”

Lupton Fawcett’s private client team has a “strong reputation” within the market, says the report, advising landed estates and the owners of SMEs and family businesses on tax planning and overseas jurisdiction, estate administration and agricultural succession.

Special praise is reserved for the firm’s contentious trusts and probate offering, where Howard Rutter is called a “tough negotiator” and “very practical” lawyer.

The report describes the dispute resolution – commercial litigation team as “extremely knowledgeable, approachable and technically excellent”

The property litigation team “leverages its pan-Yorkshire presence to advise on regional matters” while Rob Cooke “excels in housebuilding and pub-related matters”.

The “incredibly responsive and knowledgeable” corporate and commercial team in Leeds is led by Giles Clegg, who is “very experienced, provides great commercial advice and manages a project and a diverse team exceptionally well.”

Head of the Sheffield office Michele Phillips “stands out for her corporate finance expertise” and “is very practically minded, results oriented, and able to find reasonable compromises in a negotiation.”

Michele also heads the firm’s academies and schools offering, part of a cross-departmental education offering, with the report highlighting that “Lupton Fawcett provides a contemporary understanding of the current educational landscape with regards to church schools and multi-academy trusts and the unique context they face.”

Nigel Whitfield in the insolvency and corporate recovery team is dubbed “the King in the North of personal insolvency” with testimonials praising him as “a real leader in the field who is hugely respected by counsel, opponents and clients alike.”

The debt recovery team provides a “quick, friendly and polite service” and is “very polite, prompt and informative.”

The report says that Lupton Fawcett’s employment team, under the leadership of Andrew Gilchrist, has grown year-on-year to become one of the strongest practices in Yorkshire.

Gilchrist advises on all employment and HR related matters for clients across sectors including transport, construction, retail, property and manufacturing. Louise Connacher is recommended for her expertise in data protection, National Minimum Wage investigations and work for education clients.

Comments include: “The employment team at Lupton Fawcett offers an outstanding service, quality advice and real value. It has a genuinely friendly approach and makes time to chat through any questions.”

The guide says Lupton Fawcett’s family team is “exceptionally well led, adopting a professional yet highly family-centred approach. It actively promotes non-court-based solutions and collaborative approaches where possible, whilst still being realistic about when court is the only solution to move a situation forward.”

In the commercial property team, mention is given to David Coleman, who offers “concise and pragmatic” advice whilst retaining a commercial viewpoint.”

The Leeds-based TMT – intellectual property team is “helpful and professional” while practice head Clive Lawrence is described as having “impressive knowledge and experience”.

The personal injury – claimant team received warm praise, with one contributor commenting: “The firm treated me like a member of their family. Everyone who helped out with my claim obviously worked well as a team to get the best results possible.”

Lupton Fawcett’s strength for handling fraud cases, Proceeds of Crime Act and cash forfeiture matters is also listed as a speciality for Jeremy Scott with York’s Jonathan Cripwell noted for his regulatory prosecutions.

Jonathan Oxley, Lupton Fawcett’s managing partner, said: “The latest Legal 500 report demonstrates our strength in depth in multiple sectors and the combined strength of our three Yorkshire offices.

“I’m proud of the achievements of our team and the fact that we offer fantastic service across so many areas of corporate and commercial law and private client.”

The Legal 500 rankings highlight the practice area teams who are providing the most cutting edge and innovative advice. Research is based on feedback from 300,000 clients worldwide, submissions from law firms and interviews with leading private practice lawyers, along with a team of researchers with unrivalled experience in the legal market.

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