Our Team

The Croft culture is one of collaboration. It takes the skills, talents and unique perspectives of each member of our team to deliver the exceptional work we do and deliver the first class service for which we are renowned.

Lawyers

Rupert Croft, Croft Solicitors
Managing Director

Rupert Croft

Rupert is a commercial litigator. Qualifying in 1992, he was made a partner in a top-25 UK firm in 1998. He is founder and managing director of Croft Solicitors.

Rupert has represented clients in all levels of the courts, including the Supreme Court and the European Court of Justice. In 2001, he represented clients in the ECJ establishing the right to recover damages in the EU for infringement of competition law (for which he was shortlisted as Competition Lawyer of the Year by Legal Business).

More recently, he successfully represented the claimants in two important Supreme Court cases. He acted for British expats in the Brexit litigation regarding the procedure for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and, in 2020, for the first claimant in the enforcement of a substantial arbitration award against the state of Romania.

Rupert is particularly recognised for handling complex High Court litigation. In 2022, he represented shareholders in a successful claim against the directors of companies placed into administration after paying a substantial dividend to other shareholders (Von Westenholz & Others -v- Gregson & Another) and, in 2023, he represented the successful defendants in a fraud claim brought by the Libyan sovereign wealth fund (Libyan Investment Authority & Others -v- King & Others).

The Legal 500 and Chambers legal directories both place Rupert in their top tiers of recommended litigators. He has been described in those directories over recent years as “an exceptional and heavyweight litigator”, “everything a client could want in a solicitor” and “one of the top litigation solicitors in the UK”.

Rupert is a member of the Law Society’s Dispute Resolution Section and is an accredited mediator.

Laura Nelson, Croft Solicitors
Director

Laura Nelson

Driven by creativity and attention to detail, Laura’s practice covers the full spectrum of commercial litigation. Supporting clients on a range of complex, contentious matters, Laura blends technical proficiency and commercial acumen to achieve results.

The market recognises Laura as a next generation Partner and she is recommended by the Legal 500 UK with clients noting, “Meticulous, calm and legally creative Laura is a real pleasure to instruct.”.

Collaborating closely and openly with clients from diverse sectors, she nurtures synergy between solicitor and client to achieve the best outcome in a dispute; described by clients as “tenacious, persuasive and a true negotiator.”

“A love of law (and very high heels) drives me – I champion clarity in advice and am dedicated to achieving success for my clients.”

Edward Hazzan, Croft Solicitors
Associate Director

Edward Hazzan

Edward obtained his honours degree in philosophy, politics and economics at The University of Warwick before deciding on a career in the law. He went on to complete his graduate diploma in law and LPC at the College of Law in Guildford. Edward joined Rupert Croft’s team in early 2012.

Edward’s practice takes him across a broad range of law and industries. Since qualifying in 2014, Edward has represented clients and worked on cases at every level of the English courts, from local County Courts to the Supreme Court. In 2016, Edward represented a group of British Expatriates in the now famous Miller proceedings, which established the correct constitutional procedure for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. More recently, Edward has helped clients to secure compensation in a multi-million pound fraud and breach of fiduciary duties claim, and helped defend clients from unlawful conspiracy and misrepresentation claims.

Edward has a particular interest in legal technology and how modern IT methods may be used to drive efficiency behind the scenes.

“Ed made a massive difference to my legal position. It would have been easy to have given up but with his help I was very gratefully assisted in maintaining calm.”
Client testimonial

The law lets me play devil’s advocate almost every day, which anyone who has had dinner with me knows is one of my favourite pastimes. If you need to tease apart someone’s arguments, I’m your guy.

Abbie Scott, Croft Solicitors
Associate Solicitor

Abbie Scott

Abbie has worked in the legal sector since graduating from Cardiff University in 2014 with a degree in Law and Politics and completing the Legal Practice Course in 2015. Following experience in a number of different practice areas, she qualified as a solicitor in 2018.

Since joining Croft Solicitors in 2019, Abbie has worked on a broad range of commercial disputes in both the County and High Courts, representing company and individual clients. She has a particular interest in shareholder disputes, civil fraud and professional negligence. Many of her cases have been resolved by negotiation or mediation.

Abbie has recently successfully represented clients in an important High Court claim in which the directors of a company were both held liable for dividends that should have been paid to shareholders and penalised in costs for refusing to accept a previous offer in settlement (Von Westenholz & Others -v- Gregson & Another).

Abbie’s calm, reasoned approach and exceptional attention to detail make her an invaluable member of the team.

Caroline Little, Croft Solicitors
Assistant Solicitor

Caroline Little

Caroline is a solicitor with a Master’s degree in International Business Law, with a specialisation in Company Law. With over a decade of experience in the legal sector, she has successfully navigated a diverse range of legal matters, including the adept handling of cases involving fraudulent Claimants. Her career has spanned both in-house and private practice roles, affording her a comprehensive understanding of the significance of defining a “win” based on commercial merit.

Caroline is passionate about the intricacies of aligning legal strategies with business objectives and excels at the challenge of achieving favourable outcomes for clients within the structured framework of litigation.

“I thrive on working with clients to gain their trust and guide them through the litigation process. A case can so often make a difference in someone’s life, and I love being able to be part of that process and support the client through their journey.”

Ben Croft, Croft Solicitors
Assistant Solicitor

Ben Croft

Ben read Law at Bristol University. Having undertaken his training contract with Croft Solicitors, he qualified as a solicitor in August 2023.

Ben has experience of working in a broad range of commercial disputes. Cases that he has worked on include:

  • Representing the successful defendants in a High Court civil fraud claim brought by the Libyan sovereign wealth fund (Libyan Investment Authority and others -v- King and others)
  • Representing the successful claimants in a High Court breach of trust claim concerning shares purchased but not allocated (Von Westenholz and others -v- Gregson and another)
  • Representing minority shareholders in a shareholders’ dispute concerning a joint venture with an Indian conglomerate, Tech Mahindra, for the supply of IT services to the health sector in the UK
  • Acting in a claim in the Central London County Court by the freehold owners of a block of flats for an injunction and damages against the owner of a neighbouring property
  • Acting for the defendant in a civil fraud claim in the Birmingham County Court

Out of work, Ben is a keen sportsman, having competed for county and region at junior level in various sports.

Jonathan Kenwright, Croft Solicitors
Consultant

Jonathan Kenwright

Jonathan Kenwright has been involved in dispute resolution since he qualified as a solicitor in 1991.

He is experienced in a wide range of areas, which include professional negligence, building and boundary disputes, landlord and tenant, work relating to challenging restrictive covenants on land, and commercial debt recovery.

With regard to his professional negligence work, Jonathan has assisted with numerous claims over his career ranging from modest-sized disputes to complex multi-party claims.

Jonathan has an excellent track record when it comes to resolving disputes or recovering debts. With regard to his professional negligence work, he is happy to act on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis or consider different methods of funding litigation in appropriate cases.

It gives me a great sense of satisfaction to give a client certainty and a way forward when they are lost in the midst of a dispute.

“Jonathan was the perfect solicitor in this case.”
Client testimonial

“A very agreeable experience, many thanks to Jonathan.”
Client testimonial

Lisa Croft, Croft Solicitors
Financial Director

Lisa Croft

A qualified solicitor, Lisa is in charge of the financial management of the firm. She is also responsible for forming and nurturing client relationships.

Before joining Croft Solicitors, Lisa was a partner specialising in entertainment law for which she was nationally recognised. Her experience advising large PLCs, hospitality chains and racecourses means Lisa is well placed to build key client links and champion the brand of Croft Solicitors.

I am passionate about providing excellent service to our clients, having a happy and motivated team – and gardening.

David Perkins, Croft Solicitors
Consultant

David Perkins

David Perkins has over 40 years’ experience in intellectual property, with his practice focusing on multi-jurisdictional patent litigation, as well as trademark and antitrust issues. He has handled oppositions and appeals before the European Patent office in Munich and references to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg. He has also acted as counsel and arbitrator in numerous arbitrations involving intellectual property rights.

He has served in major leadership positions in the intellectual property practice area at international law firms. He was a partner at Clifford Chance from 1975–2003, during which time he headed its European intellectual property litigation practice, and subsequently at Milbank Tweed’s London office from 2003–2009.

David is the author of many publications, articles, and conference papers on various aspects of intellectual property law disputes and is a frequent participant at international intellectual property conferences. He was a member of the UK Government’s Intellectual Property Advisory Committee. He is a Council Member of the Intellectual Property Institute; a founding member of the Intellectual Property Lawyers Organizations; a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) arbitrator; and a member of all major intellectual property associations. He is also an instructor for WIPO’s annual Arbitration Workshop.

Gaynor Hall, Croft Solicitors
Consultant

Gaynor Hall

A very experienced, international commercial litigator, Gaynor is committed to, and achieves, the very best results for her clients in what she recognises can often be difficult circumstances. Adept at steering a safe course through even the rockiest of disputes, Gaynor’s clients will come to appreciate that conflict need not result in stressful and unproductive combat. She has been described as ‘a safe pair of hands’ and ‘incredibly thorough’.

Having enjoyed her time at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London and Allens Linklaters in Australia, Gaynor firmly believes that the team at Croft Solicitors contains the most dynamic, focussed, client-driven solicitors she has ever had the pleasure of working with.

“I like getting to know people and gaining an understanding of their goals, concerns and pressures. I enjoy the intellectual challenge of law. I like solving problems. The combination of these factors means that I achieve the very best results for my clients, and there is no better feeling than that.”

James Davies, Croft Solicitors
Trainee Solicitor

James Davies

James is a Trainee Solicitor, having joined Croft Solicitors as a paralegal in 2021.

James has an honours degree in Politics, Philosophy and History from the University of London and a Masters degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics. James subsequently obtained a commendation in his postgraduate diploma in law and a distinction in the Legal Practice Course, both from BPP University.

James’ pragmatism and keen eye for detail make him an invaluable member of the team.

Will Marchant
Trainee Solicitor

Will Marchant

Will joined the team as a paralegal before starting his training contract with the firm in 2023.

Will has assisted the team on cases in the High Court involving civil fraud, real estate disputes and claims for breach of contract.

Costs

Tom Blackburn, Croft Solicitors
Costs Consultant

Tom Blackburn

Tom is a costs specialist. Tom began working in costs litigation in 2003 and after being made a Director of the largest costs-only firm in 2012, he was made a partner in a top-25 UK firm in 2015. He and his team merged with Croft Solicitors in 2019.

Tom has represented clients in all levels of the courts, including the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal. In 2009, he represented Total in the Buncefield Oil Explosion case in which the costs disputes exceeded £100m. Tom has successfully represented two Claimants in precedent-making decisions. Tom’s considerable experience along with his excellent commercial awareness make him an exceptionally respected costs expert. He is instructed by high-net-worth individuals, finance institutions, Top 100 law firms, Peers of the Realm and FTSE 100 companies.

Tom is particularly recognised for handling complex and high value costs cases, including large group actions such as the Visa/Mastercard case, the Trucking Cartel action and the VW emissions group action.

Tom has been described as “the only costs/funding expert to instruct” and by a High Court Judge as “forceful, methodical and meticulous”.

Emma Plant, Croft Solicitors
Costs Draftsman

Emma Plant

Emma joined Croft Solicitors in 2019 as a trainee Costs Draftsman. Prior to joining the legal sector, Emma worked for two leading insurance companies where she specialised in defendant personal injury and liability cases nationally.

Emma’s strong organisational skills, keen eye for detail and efficient handling of sensitive matters makes her an invaluable member of the Costs team at Croft.

Instructing solicitors recently praised Emma for her timely, accurate and precise work.

Amanda Cavanagh, Croft Solicitors
Costs Draftsman

Amanda Cavanagh

Amanda joined Croft Solicitors in 2021 as a Costs Draftsman. Amanda has worked in the legal sector for over 20 years, where she specialised in Claimant and Defendant personal injury cases.

Amanda has excellent organisational skills, and keen attention to detail.

Olivia Hayward, Croft Solicitors
Trainee Costs Draftsman

Olivia Hayward

Whilst completing her BSc in Criminology, Liv worked for a Personal Injury firm where she gained an insight into making and disputing claims.  Joining the Costs department at Croft Solicitors, as a trainee costs-draftsman, has been a natural progression for Liv.

Liv’s commitment and determination, alongside her excellent organisational skills, make her an invaluable member of the team.

Debbie Taylor
Trainee Costs Draftsman

Debbie Taylor

Debbie joined Croft Solicitors in May 2023 as a trainee Costs Draftsman. Prior to this Debbie has worked for a number of law firms, based in Newcastle, Cheltenham and Gloucester where she was involved in managing all aspects of legal finance. Debbie’s attention to detail, calmness under pressure, and great client focus makes her an important member of our Costs team.

Legal Support

Tina Edwards, Croft Solicitors
Legal Assistant

Tina Edwards

Tina oversees the firm’s thriving debt collection work and provides administrative support to other fee-earners. She prides herself on delivering excellent client care.

“I relish the challenges that come with working in a busy litigation practice and enjoy the diversity of the claims we deal with.”

Jane Hosey, Croft Solicitors
Receptionist

Jane Hosey

As part of the Cheltenham front of house team, Jane provides a positive and professional welcome for visitors, as well as providing administrative support with a smile.

I’m a real people person, and enjoy the responsibility of working front of house, and being an important role model for the firm. My aim is get the small details right, ensuring all visitors feel welcome, and well looked after.

Katie Norton, Croft Solicitors
Office Manager

Katie Norton

Katie’s exceptional organisational skills are second to none. Having spent many years in hospitality management she prides herself in supporting the business infrastructure of the firm at the highest level.
Jo Stammers, Croft Solicitors
Legal Assistant

Jo Stammers

Jo plays an important role within our fee-earning teams, together with project-managing the firm’s IT requirements. Working closely with fee-earners, Jo focuses on client-financial matters along with providing all areas of support required to ensure that clients receive the highest quality service possible.

I enjoy the challenge of keeping Rupert and the firm running smoothly.

Ingrid Whitehead, Croft Solicitors
Director of Business Services

Ingrid Whitehead

Ingrid has worked in a professional services environment for most of her working life. Her experience gained at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and The Open University has, she feels, provided excellent training and experience for her current role as Director of Business Services at Croft Solicitors. Ensuring that the advice and service given to each client really is first class and represents good value for money, alongside creating an optimal working environment for her colleagues, is what makes Ingrid tick – yes really!

To poach a well-known slogan, my aim is to ensure every client receives ‘rock star’ service.

Freya Petersen
Paralegal

Freya Petersen

Freya is undertaking a year’s work placement with Croft Solicitors as part of her Politics degree (BA Hons) at the University of Leeds. Freya’s keen eye for detail, research skills and interest in Constitutional Law make her an ideal candidate for the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) which she plans to take on completion of her degree. Freya has become an invaluable member of the fee-earning and administrative teams at Croft Solicitors.

Outside of work, Freya is a keen sportswoman, playing for the Leeds University Women’s Cricket Team. Freya can often be found on the tennis court, and she enjoys a social game of golf, squash, or hockey, whenever time allows.

Jasmine Croucher
Paralegal

Jasmine Croucher

Jasmine completed an undergraduate degree in Criminology, after which she undertook her master’s degree in Law at the University of Bristol. Since graduating in 2022, Jasmine joined Croft as a paralegal, assisting the Litigation Legal team with client-focused work. Additionally, Jasmine helps with Croft’s social media accounts and any fundraising events.

I had already made up my mind to pursue my passion in a Legal career after completing a module in Business Law at my undergraduate degree – the thought of being able to bring positive changes to the world, and to the life of a client really inspired me.