Independent legal practice Brabners has bolstered its corporate and litigation teams with the lateral hires of partners Jon Close and Phil Sheard, along with three members of his team.

Commercial litigation partner Phil Sheard joins the firm with his finance litigation, debt recovery and enforcement team from Hill Dickinson in Liverpool. He specialises in all aspects of commercial dispute resolution, with a specific focus on invoice financing, factoring, asset-based lending and guarantor claims, and is joined by associate James Stephenson and paralegals, Kelly Wood and Justine Chean, who together have more than 30 years of experience in commercial litigation and debt recovery matters.

The team advises both claimants and defendants on contentious matters, including breach of contract and professional negligence claims, director and shareholder disputes and claims involving fraud. It is acknowledged by Legal 500 as one of the best teams for debt recovery work in Liverpool.

Commenting on his appointment, Phil said: 'Brabners is a firm with great people and great clients, and its commercial litigation team is one of the strongest in the region. It offers a complementary fit for our practice and by working together we will not only have a strong platform to continue to do what we do best – provide high-quality, cost-effective legal advice and litigation services to all of our clients, whatever their size and industry focus – we will also have an opportunity to broaden our scope and support more businesses across the region.'

Brabners has also announced the appointment of corporate partner Jon Close. Jon is a corporate lawyer specialising in M&A and private equity transactions with more than 18 years’ experience. He advises a wide range of clients from start-ups and SMEs to multinational businesses on the full range of corporate transactions. This includes both business and share sales and purchases, corporate restructurings and reorganisations, joint ventures and management buyouts.

Jon has significant expertise in the food manufacturing, retail, automotive and aerospace sectors and joins the firm’s Manchester office from Knights. He previously worked as a partner at the Manchester office of TLT and prior to that Irwin Mitchell.

He said: 'Brabners is one of the leading firms in the North West and consistently recognised as one of the most active legal advisers in the region, yet its client base is truly national. The calibre of deals the team works on reflects its commitment to commercial advice, a human approach to client service and an entrepreneurial culture, and I’m looking forward to working with the team as we continue to develop the firm’s corporate offering together.'

These appointments are the latest in a string of senior hires for the firm, and follow the appointment of Lisa Robinson-Behnejad as director of marketing and business development and Ruj Dev as head of commercial finance and project management.

Nik White, managing partner at Brabners, added: 'We have an ambitious growth strategy and a vital part of that is investing in talent to ensure we have the right people on board. These appointments mark the further growth and diversity of our corporate and litigation teams and I’m looking forward to working with Jon, Phil and team as we continue to fuel our future development.'