For construction law, the clear market leader in the North of England is Watson Burton.
It is the lead recommendation from Legal 500, and has won major new clients this year for both contentious and non-contentious work.
It has been a good year for the construction and engineering group, which has attracted new contracts from across the UK and Europe.
The five-partner, 25-strong team is praised by clients and Legal 500.
Practice head Robert Langley is particularly commended, with one client commenting: "If I could work with anyone, I'd always choose him."
For the first time Legal 500 has also put Watson Burton's professions group, led by Richard Palmer, which deals with professional indemnity matters, at the top of the legal league.
Major new national insurance clients include Royal & SunAlliance, ACE Global Risks, Hiscox and Zurich Professions.
Glenda West, director at Alexander Forbes, said: "We feel Watson Burton is unique in the quality of its client service.
Richard Palmer and his team provide superb individual attention and that personal touch which sets them apart from their competitors."
Modern construction law supports a wide range of problem-solving techniques from mediation to full-scale litigation.
Ninety-five per cent of the firm's mediations have resulted in satisfactory settlements.
All Watson Burton senior construction lawyers are trained in adjudication and the department has amassed considerable experience in this fast- growing field.
The depart- ment has solved several hundred such cases since May 1998.
The construction group's capabilities include deals and developments, project finance, international contracts, design professionals, development projects, disputes, adjudication, ADR and mediation.