Six partners in a West Midlands law firm have achieved the top listings in the latest edition of an independent guide to the country’s best solicitors.
Chambers & Partners has again named Tracy Worthington, Head of Employment for FBC Manby Bowdler, and Guy Birkett, the firm’s Head of Litigation, Steven Corfield, Head of Agricultural and Rural Services, and Partner Sarah Baugh, who works in the same team, as “notable practitioners”.
This year they have been joined by Family Partners, Head of Department Anne Thomson, and Elizabeth Cleverley.
The guide covers more than 70 specialist areas of law. Only the top lawyers in their sector are chosen for the “notable practitioners” list.
FBC Manby Bowdler retained its top Band 1 rankings for its Agricultural and Rural Services and Family Departments and attained a Band 1 ranking for its Private Client team in the ‘Shrewsbury and Surrounds’ area for the first time.
FBC Manby Bowdler Kim Carr said: “To have six Partners listed as notable practitioners in Chambers is a great achievement for them and FBC Manby Bowdler.
“This is validation of their expertise and commitment to the delivery of a stellar customer service as it is based on independent research and customer feedback.”
About Tracy Worthington
Tracy qualified as a solicitor in 1988 and became a partner at FBC Manby Bowdler in 1995. She deals with all aspects of employment law and also provides practical training on employment matters for clients, working for both employees and employers who range from small companies to large PLCs.
The Chambers listing says: Tracy Worthington leads the team and advises both individual employees and organisations. One source describes her as "very experienced and skilled."
About Guy Birkett
Guy Birkett joined the firm as a trainee solicitor in 1993 and qualified in 1995. Since then, he has specialised in litigation dealing with a general commercial and chancery litigation caseload.
From 1998 to 2000 Guy worked on secondment at a major bank supervising and overseeing its in-house legal recoveries department. Guy became a partner at FBC Manby Bowdler in 2000 and in 2005 became Head of the firm's Commercial Litigation department.
Guy is also part of established teams within the department dealing with construction and insolvency disputes. He has developed a particular interest and specialism in shareholder disputes and partnership disputes having run a number of reported cases through the higher courts. An influential figure in the city's legal profession, Guy is a past President of Wolverhampton Law Society and sits as a director of a local independent school.
Guy's work is consistently recognised in the Legal 500 Directory.
The Chambers listing says: Guy Birkett is "excellent, calm and unflappable as a character." He heads the commercial litigation department and is considered "strong in terms of organising litigation."
About Anne Thomson
Anne qualified as a solicitor in 1986. Since 1988, Anne has specialised in family work and has headed a rapidly expanding Family department since 1992.
Anne deals with all aspects of the breakdown of relationships including cases involving jointly owned assets and complex commercial issues involving family companies, farming cases and disposal of pensions. Anne is recognised as the leading matrimonial Solicitor in the region. Anne also sits as a Deputy District Judge.
The Chambers listing says: Anne Thomson offers experience in matrimonial finance issues relating to areas such as prenuptial agreements, farming cases and businesses. Clients describe her as "unbelievably dedicated and very knowledgeable," noting: "She was supportive of my situation and emotional state. She was fantastic and I would recommend her to anyone."
About Elizabeth Cleverley
Elizabeth joined the firm as a Partner in June 2007, specialising in divorce and other family matters. She came from an agricultural practice in Suffolk where she gained vast experience dealing with farming cases.
Elizabeth has over 30 years' experience in family law and obtained a Masters Degree in Law (LLM) in 2000. She deals with all types of family matters with particular expertise in high value divorce cases including family trusts and nuptial agreements. She has considerable experience in cases involving businesses and has specialist knowledge in farming cases.
The Chambers listing says: Elizabeth Cleverley's expertise includes civil partnerships and prenuptial agreements, as well as farming cases. According to one client, she is "very knowledgeable" and "answered any questions I had with a well-rounded and sensible answer."
About Steven Corfield
A solicitor since 1981 and a partner at FBC Manby Bowdler since 1992, Steven offers a wide range of advice on all property related matters with an agricultural bias.
Head of the Firm’s Agricultural & Rural Services Team Steven is a Fellow of the Agricultural Law Association, the highest specialist qualification that the organisation grants.
Steven has built up an equine side to his legal practice acting for a number of trainers and sits on the Shropshire and National and Parliamentary Committees of the Country Landowner’s Association.
The Chambers listing says: Clients say Steven Corfield is "very personable" and "able to instantly grasp any issues raised." He is noted for his specialist advice on matters combining aspects of commercial and agricultural property law.
About Sarah Baugh
A Law and French graduate of Birmingham University, Sarah joined FBC Manby Bowdler in May 2012. She specialises in all aspects of property based agricultural and landed estate work.
Sarah provides clients with a detailed knowledge and understanding of matters arising in the acquisition and disposal of freehold land as well as agricultural, residential or business leasehold matters with particular emphasis on Agricultural Holding Act tenancies, estate management, refinancing, subsidy advice and agri-environmental schemes.
She has built her reputation acting as legal adviser to some of the largest landed estates across the Midlands and into Wales as well as multi generational family farmers in reorganising their farming business structures and partnerships. Sarah is a member of the Law Society and Chair of the Staffordshire Committee of the Country Landowner and Business Association (CLA). She also serves on the CLA’s National Legal, Parliamentary and Property Rights Sub Committee.
A longstanding member of the Agricultural Law Association, Sarah successfully completed the organisation’s Fellowship examinations in 2012.
The Chambers listing says: Clients consider Sarah Baugh "very experienced particularly in agriculture-related tax matters."