Peter Lees is a director in the Litigation team in Manchester. Peter advises on a wide range of commercial disputes, with a particular focus on defamation and professional negligence claims.

    Defamation: Peter has considerable experience of advising clients on defamation matters, as part of the firm’s wider reputation management expertise. Peter’s commercial and strategic approach is informed by his background; prior to joining the firm, Peter worked in advertising and media for companies including the Telegraph Group, Viacom and Carat.

    Professional negligence: Peter advises numerous financial services and commercial clients on negligence claims against professionals including accountants, solicitors, surveyors and patent attorneys. Peter advised Manchester Building Society in its successful Supreme Court appeal against Grant Thornton (Manchester Building Society v Grant Thornton UK LLP [2021] UKSC 20).

    Commercial litigation: Peter also advises on a wide range of commercial disputes. In particular, Peter has advised numerous clients on the enforcement of restrictive covenants, building on experience gained acting for the successful franchisor in Pirtek (UK) Limited v Joinplace Ltd & others [2010] EWHC 1641 (Ch).

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    Defamation

    • Advising a healthcare company in respect of claims for malicious falsehood, trademark infringement and copyright infringement.
    • Advising a leading football club in respect of a defamatory article about the club and its chairperson.
    • Advising a client implicated in the 1MDB scandal on potential defamation claims against a London-based publication.
    • Advising a publisher in respect of an article concerning the QAnon conspiracies.
    • Advising a healthcare company in respect of defamatory claims made by a sales representative.
    • Advising the firm’s US LLP to help ensure the removal of a defamatory article about a client’s business activities in Africa.
    • Advising a charitable trust in respect of risk of defamation claims arising from the implementation of enquiry recommendations.

    Professional Negligence

    • Advising Manchester Building Society in its successful Supreme Court appeal against Grant Thornton (Manchester Building Society v Grant Thornton UK LLP [2021] UKSC 20).
    • Advising numerous banks and building societies on claims against negligent accountants, solicitors and surveyors.
    • Advising a leading online retailer on a claim against a negligent accountant (securing a 100% net recovery).

    Education

    • University of Birmingham, B.A., Honors, 1996
    • Manchester Metropolitan University, Graduate Diploma, Law, 2005
    • Manchester Metropolitan University, L.P.C., 2006

    Admissions

    • England and Wales, 2008
    • Reputation management: recognised in The Legal 500 2019 as a “key lawyer” and a “name to note” for trade defamation claims, and in The Legal 500 2020 as “experienced in handling defamation claims” and “highlighted for reputation management matters”.
    • Professional negligence/financial services: recognised in The Legal 500 2019 as a “rising star” and “recommended”, and in The Legal 500 2020 as a “rising star” and “key lawyer”.
    • Commercial litigation: recognised in The Legal 500 2019 and 2020 as a “key lawyer” and a “safe pair of hands”.

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