Matthew Howarth takes over at Shoosmiths Leeds

Commercial litigation lawyer Matthew Howarth has been named as the new head of office for Shoosmiths Leeds, taking up the reins from Paul Stokey who has been appointed to lead the firm’s national employment team.

Howarth, who currently leads the Shoosmiths commercial litigation department in Leeds, will continue to pursue the firm’s growth strategy in the Yorkshire region.

Shoosmiths Leeds, which launched in December 2016, moved into a new state-of-the-art workspace at Platform in Leeds city centre earlier this year and recently announced that it had agreed to take an additional floor at the building, to accommodate continued expansion.

Having steered the Leeds office through this period of success, Stokey, who also leads the Leeds employment team, is stepping up to become the firm’s national department head for employment, taking over from previous incumbent Kevin McCavish.

As the new head of office for Shoosmiths Leeds, Howarth brings a wealth of legal expertise and experience. He advises clients on a range of commercial disputes, including shareholder and warranty claims, professional negligence, contractual disputes, defamation, financial services claims and pensions disputes.

Howarth, who was head of litigation at Gordons in Leeds prior to joining Shoosmiths, also has experience in Judicial Review claims, most notably acting for the Plantagenet Alliance, descendants of King Richard III, in their challenge over the burial of his remains located in Leicester.

Commenting on his new role, Howarth said, “Both myself and Paul are being given fantastic opportunities to further develop our careers at Shoosmiths; in what is an excellent example of how the firm supports professional progression. I am very much looking forward to building on the solid foundations that Paul has established for our team and helping to drive further growth here in Leeds.”

He added: “We have a fantastic proposition in place that has already enabled us to attract some of the leading lights on the regional legal scene. People come to us because we do things differently and offer a vibrant, energetic and supportive culture. By having an exceptional team in place we are able to deliver exceptional client service, putting us ahead of the competition.”

Claire Rowe, chief executive of Shoosmiths, commented: “The success of the Leeds office is testament to Paul Stokey’s work, support and commitment and we know he will be equally effective in his new role. I am delighted that Matthew has agreed to take over leadership of the Leeds team and I look forward to working with him to grow the Leeds office even further in terms of both the strength and depth of our teams in this location and our brand and reputation in the local market.”

Pictured, from left to right: Paul Stokey and Matthew Howarth