Hill Dickinson LLP

The Scoop

Liverpool-headquartered Hill Dickinson has successfully built up its national presence over the years, now reaching beyond its North Western roots to house strong offices in Manchester, London, Chester and Sheffield. In addition, the firm has outposts in Greece and Singapore.

Welcome to Liverpool

Hill Dickinson was established in 1810 and quickly became a significant force in shipping, acting on both the Titanic and Lusitania maritime catastrophes in the early 20th century. The firm's senior partner at the time, Sir Norman Hill, himself narrowly avoided a run-in with the deep when he declined an invitation by firm client, the White Star Line, to be a passenger on the Titanic.

The firm as it exists today came about through a series of mergers, the first of which took place between Hill Dickinson and Davis Campbell in 1990. In 1997, the firm acquired Chester firm Wayman-Hales. In 2002, the firm merged with Manchester firm Gorna and Co, followed by a merger with property specialists Bullivant Jones in 2004. The 2006 reunification of Hill Dickinson with its London-based counterpart, Hill Taylor Dickinson, which had split off into a separate firm in 1989, gave Hill Dickinson access to London markets in addition to its domain in Liverpool and Manchester. In 2009, the firm merged with London commodities boutique Middleton Potts, and in 2010 it acquired the Liverpool and Sheffield offices of failed firm Halliwells.

More than maritime

On top of its traditional strengths in insurance and shipping, Hill Dickinson has made headway into the commercial sector, with a highly respected commercial litigation practice, particularly with regard to employment and intellectual property matters. The firm also has strong practices in commercial property, private client work, and NHS clinical and health-related work.

Recent News

Transaction action

With months still to go, in October 2011, Hill Dickinson cleared the £1 billion mark for the total value of its deals for the year, providing advice on more than 100 individual transactions, with a combined value of over £1.2 billion. Among the largest deals were a £25 million disposal of Carr's Fertilisers, a £26 million disposal of Amco Group Holdings to Renew Holdings and a £120 million of funds raised for Stobart Group. Hill Dickinson saw the greatest amounts of growth to its practice in the areas of manufacturing, digital technology, and transport.

Hill Dickinson to the rescue

When Halliwells filed for administration in the summer of 2010, its operations were split among three law firms: Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, HBJ Gateley Wareing and Hill Dickinson. Hill Dickinson agreed to take on the failed firm's Liverpool and Sheffield offices. The acquisition increased Hill Dickinson's headcount by more 129, including 30 partners. Among the refugees was Halliwells' then managing partner, Jonathan Brown, who brought with him clients such as Eddie Stobart and Everton Football Club. Unlike BLG and HBJ, Hill Dickinson also offered a home to all Sheffield and Liverpool trainees who were to have joined Halliwells in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Billable miles

In September 2011, as part of its motoring offence service, Hill Dickinson released the "Speeding Calculator", a smart-phone app for drivers. By entering the speed limit, your actual speed and the points on your licence, the program will calculate the potential penalties you face, including the maximum fine, your likely fine and the number of points that could be added against your licence. The app is free for the iPhone and Android.

Multimillion Poundland

In the summer of 2011, Hill Dickinson's property team helped client NewRiver Retail complete three separate multimillion-pound transactions. In Great Yarmouth, NewRiver acquired a £2.5 million property, now occupied by Poundland. In Canterbury, NewRiver sold a £5 million retail space occupied by Wilkinson's. And in Boscombe, the firm acted for NewRiver in the purchase of the 86,000 square foot Sovereign Shopping Centre for £12 million.

Tabloid caught offside

Manchester United star Wayne Rooney and his agent Paul Stretford have engaged Hill Dickinson to represent them in a potential lawsuit against News International, the company that owns the disgraced publication News of the World. The two had been informed by Scotland Yard in April 2011 that they may have been targeted by an investigator working for NoW and that their phones may have been hacked. Hill Dickinson had previously represented Rooney in 2010 in a £4.3 million commission dispute with sports management firm Proactive. Rooney prevailed at trial, with the court awarding Proactive only £90,000. The firm has seen a three-fold increase in its sports-related work in recent years, dealing largely with football, although it has also represented the Lancashire Country Cricket Club.

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Hill Dickinson LLP

No.1 St Paul's Square
Liverpool L3 9SJ
Phone: +44 (0)151 600 8000


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing partner: Peter Jackson
  • Total No. Attorneys 2011: 478

Major Office Locations

  • Singapore, Singapore
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • Sheffield , United Kingdom
  • Chester, United Kingdom
  • Piraeus, Greece
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