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BHP recommended by Legal 500

02nd November 2015

BHP Law has maintained a strong showing in this year's Legal 500 guide to outstanding lawyers nationwide as the firm goes from strength to strength.

A truly regional law firm with offices in Darlington, Durham, Teesside and Newcastle, BHP continues to serve equally clients in the commercial and business sector, agriculture and property, and private clients who value the expertise within the practice.

The firm enjoyed a buoyant 2014, particularly in the second half of the year, reflecting increased confidence in the wider economy, developments in the property market and continued investment and growth in the business, particularly via its digital platforms which are allowing it to extend its client base still further.

BHP Law has been recommended in nine practice areas: corporate and commercial for both Newcastle and the North East; debt recovery; employment law; personal injury (claimant); agriculture and estates; family; personal tax trusts and probate; and commercial property.

The Legal 500 acknowledged that the firm is "deeply rooted in County Durham and North Yorkshire" in the area of agriculture and estates, with team leader Peter Blackett appearing as a key expert in the elite "Leading Lawyers" list. His team is "regularly instructed by long-standing farming businesses and landowners" and together with Helen Biglin, Peter also acts for clients on sizeable estate matters. 

Partner Karen Pratt is one of the region's few highly experienced Court of Protection Deputies, who manage the assets of vulnerable clients who typically have received significant compensation.

Solicitor Ruth Markham was made a partner this year in recognition of her success in complex cases of clinical negligence and other high value claims.

BHP Law is a leading firm in family law with consultant Terry Hamer recommended in child law issues. Legal 500 has also recognised Andrea Hewitson for being "regularly instructed by the firm's commercial clients on family matters including high value ancillary relief issues".

New arrival Gemma Holmes is building the firm's family services from its Durham practice.

Commercial property has also seen growth and the team continues to act for retailers Barker and Stonehouse and also acted for sofa retailers Darlings of Chelsea on the acquisition of a unit in the region and advised UK Solar Assets on land arrangements, among many other cases this year.

John Pratt as Managing Partner is the focal point for the corporate and commercial team which secured a top three ranking for the region outside Newcastle and leading corporate lawyer Gary Copeland handled a number of transactions including the acquisition of Online Electronics Ltd for Norwegian oil and gas solutions company IK-Group AS.

Aimee Hubbard, who joined the firm in 2014, is already a key contact for commercial litigation and contractual disputes and the Darlington office gained a second tier ranking for this area of law.

John Pratt said: "By focusing on our core geographical areas of Darlington, Durham, Teesside and Newcastle and with specialist teams renowned locally for their expertise, the firm has had a strong year, not just in the core areas for which we have an established reputation but also in taking market share in residential conveyancing”.

"The firm continues to attract both corporate and private clients seeking reliable advice and expertise combined with transparency over costs and good value.

"The recent appointment of some key experts give us added strength and depth across a number of departments going forward and we are actively looking to recruit to achieve sustainable growth, particularly within our property departments."