We have further expanded our team in Southampton with the appointment of highly experienced commercial litigator Paula Swain.

Paula, who was until recently the head of Shoosmiths’ Solent office, will be supporting the continued success and growth of our national debt and asset recovery team.

With more than 24 years’ post-qualification experience, including more than five years leading Shoosmiths’ UK-wide commercial recoveries department, Paula regularly advises creditor companies on their finance and business disputes, and is accustomed to handling disputes around guarantees and indemnities, complex asset recoveries, breach of warranty, and fraud claims.

She will be joined by team supervisor Ray Welsby, also from Shoosmiths, who will be a supervisor in the debt and asset recovery team.

From her time as an undergraduate at the University of Southampton, Paula has been a member of the local legal and professional community. She was elected a director of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership in 2018, has been a director of the Solent Freeport since 2021, and has a visiting fellowship at Solent University’s law school. She has also served on the South East board of Business in the Community.

Paula, who will be based in Southampton but servicing a national client base, said: “The calibre of Shakespeare Martineau’s debt and asset recovery team was already very well known to me.

“When I met the leadership team and learned of both the strategic progress they have made and their ambitious plans for the future – including setting up in Southampton – I couldn’t help but be impressed. The firm’s attitude to career development and responsible business made it an obvious choice for me.

“I love nurturing positive relationships with colleagues and clients, as well as the mix of advisory work, operational delivery issues, sales opportunities and leadership needs that come along with my area of law. No day is ever the same and there is always a problem to solve. I am looking forward to bringing my energy, passion and experience to the team, wider firm and Southampton market.”

In April, we secured office space at the University of Southampton Science Park and kick-started its expansion into the Central South market with the appointment of leading corporate partner James Hawkeswood, who will head up our local hub.

James said: “We are thrilled to welcome Paula to our growing team as we continue our investment in the Southampton and wider Central South market. Paula has strong knowledge of the region and great connections, so we are looking forward to her continuing her great work with us here at Shakespeare Martineau.”

We offer clients access to a 1,200-strong team of experts from hubs across the South West, London, East and West Midlands, Yorkshire and Scotland.

We have a strong track record for growing teams from ground zero, including our Edinburgh footprint, which has grown to a team of 10 since its office opened in 2022, and Lincoln, which now has more than 16 legal professionals working from the city since its launch in 2021.

In the last financial year, the firm grew by 16%, including 11% organic growth and 5% as a result of its merger with Bristol-based GL Law.

We are proactively recruiting lateral hires, teams and brands. Jayne Gardner, partner and head of debt and asset recovery added: “I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Paula to the firm. Throughout her career, she has built a strong reputation in the debt and asset recovery market and unparalleled knowledge of the Southampton landscape. Her excellent, market-leading expertise will be a real asset to our team and clients as we look to enhance, grow and cement our offering in the Central South region.”

Get In Touch

Jayne has over 25 years’ experience in both debt collection and credit management.

She specialises in all aspects of debt recovery and credit management, advising clients on collection of debts and internal credit procedures.

Jayne has worked in the legal sector for over 20 years, having started her career in the factoring industry, and joined the firm in 2013. She provides clients with support and advice relating to debt recovery, litigation and credit management.

Written By

Published: 7th May 2024
Area: Litigation & Dispute Resolution

How We Can Help

Rent Dispute Resolution

It’s no secret that commercial rent arrears have surged throughout the last 12 months, and with the Government’s Code of Practice for Commercial Property Relationships published in June 2020, it’s important for both commercial landlords and tenants to be able to negotiate agreements for the future.


When commercial disputes arise, they are often an unwelcome distraction from your day-to-day activities. We have earned a reputation as one of the leading law firms for commercial court cases. In addition to our exemplary track record, there are plenty of other reasons to engage Shakespeare Martineau.

Our Latest Debt & Asset Recovery Updates

Our experts are here to answer any questions you might have

If you’d like to speak to a member of our team, please fill out the enquiry form. We will aim to reply to your query within 2 hours

Need to talk to someone sooner? You can call use at the number below

Call Us: 0330 024 0333