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Debenhams Ottaway is ranked in nine service areas, two in tier 1 and now five in tier 2 in the latest Legal 500 UK rankings which is the best achievement to date. A record number of Debenhams Ottaway lawyers are recognised: one for Hall of Fame, four Leading Individuals, one Next Generation partner, 19 recommended lawyers and one Rising Star.

A highlight this year is Debenhams Ottaway’s corporate and commercial team and commercial litigation team moving up to tier 2 in recognition of their reputation for commercial expertise and industry knowledge that rivals London law firms. Their client centred approach makes them highly personable, refreshingly easy to deal with, and they frequently exceed client expectations.

The corporate and commercial team has been commended for a ‘strong team culture, with lawyers who are committed to their work and their clients. This leads to a more collaborative and supportive environment for clients. In-depth knowledge of law covering a wide range of specialist areas.’ The team’s success is reinforced by the increased recognition of partner, Andrew Yates who appears as a Leading Individual having “excellent knowledge of his field, particularly corporate structures”. Partner James Brawn plays an instrumental part in the success of the team ‘His willingness to go above and beyond is truly exceptional.

Juliet Schalker, also a Leading Individual, is head of the commercial litigation team ‘This team has the perfect recipe – perfect depth, excellent breadth, and a great team dynamic, headed by the dynamic Juliet Schalker.’ Juliet oversees insolvency and business restructuring which is successfully led by Alex Neale and was recognised for the first time in the rankings last year. ‘Juliet Schalker and Alex Neale are an excellent and well-balanced team. They understand the pressures of our industry and are willing to commit to a matter for the long haul.

Another highlight this year is managing partner Susan Glenholme, who has been elevated to the prestigious Hall of Fame in recognition of her excellence. A client comments ‘Susan Glenholme is magical. Her calm manner settles your nerves even in the most complex of situations.’

Debenhams Ottaway keeps its longstanding tier 1 ranking for Wills, personal tax, trusts and probate. The team has an extensive and loyal client base and is known for providing exceptional client care ‘I have never worked with more caring and considerate lawyers. They go the extra mile to ensure you understand everything that is being discussed.’

The firm also keeps its top tier ranking for divorce and family law once again receiving outstanding client acclamation ‘Helen Young heads a gifted team of highly motivated, client-focused and pragmatic lawyers at Debenhams Ottaway.’ Partner Helen Young continues to be ranked as a Leading Individual. Also ranked in the team as a Rising Star is Natalie Lester, recognised for being ‘exceptional at looking at the bigger picture. I cannot recommend her highly enough.’ Family partner Stacey St Clair joined in 2023 bringing a wealth of expertise to the leading team and is recognised as a Next Generation lawyer.

Ruth Boulton is a highly respected lawyer who keeps her status as a Leading Individual in the tier 2 commercial property team with a long and successful history. ‘Their individuals make up a terrific team covering a range of law practice. They all perform to the highest standard and our clients have always been well looked after.’

The firm’s well regarded and dynamic employment team also retains its tier 2 ranking with a client commenting ‘The team is extremely passionate and knowledgeable and their interpersonal skills are above any firms I have worked with, they genuinely care about their clients and the outcomes.’

Debenhams Ottaway focuses first and foremost on its people and clients. The firm’s reputation is built on trust and has long standing relationships with generations of families as well as individuals. This reputation is now matched for helping commercial clients who benefit from a client focused and personal approach. Clients include SMEs, entrepreneurs, professionals, celebrities and wealthy individuals and families from Hertfordshire and the south east.

The Legal 500 UK is one of the leading legal directories. It benchmarks UK law firms and individual lawyers based on independent research and recommendations by fellow professionals and clients. You can find a full list of their rankings on The Legal 500 UK website.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.