COMMERCIAL law firm Baines Wilson has been praised for its excellence in the latest edition of the Legal 500, the annual guide to UK law firms.

Commercial property specialists Duncan Harty and Sean Logue are named as “leading individuals”, the elite list for lawyers. They are the only commercial property lawyers in Cumbria to receive this accolade.

Dispute resolution and litigation specialist Elizabeth Black is a “next generation partner” – someone who makes a material difference to the practice’s offering – while her colleague Imogen Duck is a “rising star”.

The Legal 500’s publication is eagerly awaited by lawyers and their clients.

The publishers carry out extensive research and thousands of client interviews to gauge the strengths of different firms. Only the best make it into the guide.

Baines Wilson, based in Carlisle, is given the highest ‘band 1’ ranking in the North for advice on corporate and commercial law, commercial property, and dispute resolution and litigation. It is also recommended for employment law.

The corporate team is “particularly suitable” for assistance with acquisitions and disposals. Head of practice Andrew Hill “is able to grasp the issue and give his advice simply and succinctly”. His colleague Jennifer Bell is praised for her work in logistics and transport while clients recommend Kate Parker for GDPR advice. The guide adds that the team has wider-ranging expertise including healthcare, retail, IT and leisure.

In commercial property, Baines Wilson is “at the forefront of commercial and residential property development projects” able to handle property acquisitions and secured lending mandates, among other matters.

In employment law, department head Joanne Holborn has “particular expertise” in managing sickness, absence and rehabilitation matters and regularly advises clients on how to deal with complex disability discrimination issues. Her colleagues Tom Scaife and Caroline Rayner are similarly singled out for praise.

And in dispute resolution and litigation, Baines Wilson has a “very good understanding of the law” to represent clients in commercial disputes including contractual, shareholder and partnership litigation.

Elizabeth Black “brings a calm air and reassurance to litigation” and the team is recommended by clients for work on insurance coverage issues, professional liability claims and directors’ and officers’ liability cases.

Sean Logue, Head of Partnership at Baines Wilson, was delighted that the firm was recommended in so many different areas of expertise.

He said: “To see our key practice areas recognised by this prestigious guide is a reflection of the excellent work carried out firm-wide and testament to the excellent results we achieve on behalf of clients.”