Powerhouse in Dispute Resolution; COMMERCIAL LITIGATION: BIRMINGHAM

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Greg Lowson heads the dispute resolution group at Pinsent Masons.

An accredited mediator and higher rights advocate, he is also responsible for devising the acclaimed in-house forensic accounting team and is currently handling a high-value PFI dispute.

Jim Richards leads the public sector commercial litigation practice and is highly recommended for his experience in housing warranty claims and judicial review, as well as his ongoing work for Defra on foot and mouth disputes.

Clients particularly applaud the firm's handling of complex work, praising the "excellent analysis and explanation of issues".

Wragge & Co continues to expand its dispute resolution group with the appointment of Dominic Roberts to partnership.

Andrew Manning Cox now heads a 13-partner department, the largest in the region, which is commended for its "professionalism, client focus and responsive service".

In 2006 the firm acted on numerous high-value claims totalling in excess of pounds 1.5 billion, and clients include the Department of Trade and Industry, Cadbury Schweppes and the Hilton Group.

In one of its most high-profile transactions, the team advised the Liberal Democrat Party on Michael Brown's controversial pounds 2.4 million donation.

The "superb" Nicola Mumford is highly recommended, with clients highlighting her "ever-deepening understanding of business and legal needs".

DLA Piper UK's Birmingham practice draws on the firm's excellent global reputation to advise on highvalue complex disputes for household name clients such as Kodak.

Location head Neil Bowker is recommended for his broad litigation experience, undertaking transactions such as breach of warranty claims through to international arbitrations, and TMT head Fran Davie is wellrespected for technology outsourcing and procurement disputes.

Significant matters in 2006 include advising Climate Change Capital on its high-value dispute over carbon credit projects in China and acting for Compass on a series of outsourcing disputes.

In 2006 Eversheds lost respected commercial litigation head Stephen Barker to Reed Smith Richards Butler, with the reins passing to pensions disputes specialist Chris Busby.

However, the team continues to receive instructions on complex disputes, particularly in the IT sector, and recently advised a Rolls-Royce subsidiary, Data Systems, on a software dispute.

Other representative clients are the Arcadia Group, Iron Mountain and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Justin Byrne is highly recommended for technology litigation and recently concluded an international arbitration case for a leading FTSE 250 global software company. Clients compliment his "outstanding command of the facts and law surrounding a complex industry".

Hammonds welcomed Stephen Taylor to the disputes practice in 2006, who was formerly a partner with leading regional firm KJD.

The seven-strong team continues to be led by the excellent Ann Benzimra, who receives plaudits from peers and clients alike for her "formidable skills and industry knowledge".

Particularly experienced in IT disputes and general contractual claims, the group regularly acquires instructions from Aldi Stores, Brita Water Filter UK and Sirius Financial Systems.

Cobbetts handles a broad range of litigation for corporate clients based in the UK and abroad.

Highlights for 2006 include advising Mercer Human Resources on pensions disputes, acting for Bentley Motors over alleged defective components and acting for a multinational company regarding an OFT investigation into cartel-type activities. Well-respected mediator Richard Whittingham leads the three-partner team.

Andrew Adams leads the "very commercially aware" disputes management group at Martineau Johnson.

In 2006 the team was kept busy with instructions from major players in the utilities, healthcare and further education sectors but arguably its key case was the defence of a financial director against a high-value fraud and breach of fiduciary duty claim. …