Experts at the top of their game

Eversheds' international capabilities and sector expertise continue to ensure that the firm maintains its position at the forefront of the North-East legal market.

Eversheds' international capabilities and sector expertise continue to ensure that the firm maintains its position at the forefront of the North-East legal market.

The level and value of corporate work remains extremely high, but the firm has also seen growth across its public and real estate activity.

The Newcastle office's regional strength is demonstrated in this year's Legal 500 report, which ranks Eversheds top in several categories including public sector, regeneration, and banking.

Over the past year, Eversheds has continued to expand its international network. With over 2,000 legal and business advisers across Europe and Asia, it is the UK's largest law firm by number of partners.

This month saw the opening of a new office in Shanghai. September also saw Eversheds become the first UK law firm to be awarded an operating licence by the Qatar Finance Service for its office in Doha.

Testament to Eversheds' specialist international capabilities is the Newcastle office's shipping team led by Chris Hilton.

Ranked number one by Legal 500, the team was also recently awarded the Lloyd's Shipping Lawyers of the Year 2005.

Alan Fletcher continues to head up the firm's corporate team, which acts for many of the region's major venture capital companies.

Eversheds' banking and finance team also comes in for praise in the Legal 500 report. Highest plaudits are reserved for partner Andy `on the ball' Nunn whose experience and expertise have made him one of the sharpest individuals and safest pair of hands in the region.

This year's Legal 500 report highlights the commercial services team's enviable reputation for PFI work, especially in local government, health and education sectors.

The team, led by partner Ruth Connorton, has recently secured a raft of high-profile projects in the region, including the Gateshead Grouped Schools PFI Scheme.

Another partner to receive high praise in the report is David Weatherburn, head of the Eversheds' healthcare sector group, which is currently setting the standard for legal service provision to the public and private healthcare market.

The firm currently represents more than 100 NHS bodies. On the litigious side, the "adaptable and diligent" Susan Howe leads the dispute team and has recently welcomed Bill Gilliam, partner, who moved from the Leeds office, to head the commercial litigation team.

Recent years have seen the city of Newcastle undergo massive rejuvenation.

Eversheds currently advises on many of the region's biggest regeneration projects, including redevelopment projects on Teesside, and has a client portfolio that boasts English Partnerships and One NorthEast

In response to this pace of regeneration, head of real estate, Adrian Stanley has added 13 of the best real estate lawyers in the business to his team.

With the North-East economy continuing to consolidate and strengthen, Eversheds remains committed to helping the region's businesses to reach their potential.

Leaders in their field

THIS year's Legal 500 highlighted Eversheds' breadth of expertise, with the following highlighted as leaders in their field:

Alan Fletcher - Corporate.

David Bowcock - Corporate.

Mike Spetch- Corporate.

Ruth Connorton - EU and competition, Sport.

Karen Lockwood - EU and competition.

Susan Howe - Commercial Litigation.

Claire Frater - Commercial Litigation.

Simon Loy - Employment.

Michael Ord - Employment.

Nick On - Banking and finance.

Andy Nunn - Banking and finance.

Paul Dutton - Insolvency.

Antony Heaver-Wren - Insolvency.

Lucilla Waugh - PFI.

Colin Crossman - PFI, Public Sector.

David Weatherburn - Clinical Negligence, Personal Injury - defendant.

Neil Rowe - Clinical Negligence.

Toby Scott - Personal Injury.

Adrian Stanley - Property, Social Housing.

Adrian Hill - Property.

Claire Morgan - Property.

Chris Henshaw - Construction.

Mary Anne Roff - Construction.

Marion Griffiths - Planning

Lee Ranson - Property Litigation.

Chris Hilton - Shipping.

Eamon Moloney - Shipping.

Jonathan Kemp - Shipping.

SIDEBAR 2:Headline Deals/ Projects: Eversheds has acted on the following high profile deals and projects, including:*Acquisition of Durham Pine*Argo Fund Case*City Academy*County Durham and Darlington Priority Services and Derwentside PCT PFI projects*Disposal of Marlow Foods Group*On all regional panels of English Partnerships*Gateshead group Schools PFI scheme*£48.5 million takeover of Jennings Brothers plc by Wolverhampton & Dudley.*Middlesbrough college relocation 38m*NG Transco*Royal Bank of Scotland providing £20m*United Utilities


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer