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  1. Commercial property: Cambridge
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Development and regeneration project partner Dominic Morris leads the team at Eversheds LLP. Clare Whitaker specialises in corporate occupier and investment matters, and advised Legal & General UK Property Fund on the £87m purchase of a multi-let office building in Birmingham. Richard Birks stands out for infrastructure deals in the health, education, energy and transport sectors.

Mills & Reeve LLP’s ‘committed and positive team’ includes Charles Staveley, who advised Howard Group on a £31.8m retail park sale; Vincenzo Maggio, who advised Greene King on the multimillion-pound sale of 16 pubs; the ‘helpful, responsive and innovativeMichelle Cookson, who acted for Granta Park Estates on a £60m office building deal; and Nick Finlayson-Brown, who advised Brookgate Ltd on a development site in Cambridge. Other recommended individuals include David Roberts, for residential development, and Christine de Ferrars Green, who advises Urban&Civic.

At Ashtons Legal, Magnus McManus and associate Charlotte Vallins advised Savills (UK) on its national branch lease portfolio. Charles Webb is lead partner for all real estate work for the National Institute of Agricultural Botany, and handles acquisitions for Abel Homes Ltd.

Birketts LLP is rated for its ‘competitive and responsive approach and commercial attitude’. Kath Herbert, who has a national reputation for strategic land work, acted in the multimillion-pound sale of development land for Gresham’s School. Senior associate Nick Pickersgill and associate Natalie Biggs are ‘knowledgeable and hands-on’.

Hewitsonsexcellent’ team includes Martin Smith and James Simpson, who are advising a consortium of landowners on a collaboration agreement for 2000 acres of residential development land. Graeme Sampson is acting for Hill Residential on the development of a site for University of Cambridge.

Howes Percival LLP is known for its ‘high-quality, focused service’. Clients single out Jonathan Greenhalgh for his ‘excellent attention to detail’, ‘approachable and straightforward’ director William Stokes, and Michaela Henson and Steven Beach, who joined from Taylor Vinters. Clients include Cambridge University Endowment Fund and Rothley Temple Estates.

At Taylor Vinters, James Slinger’s ‘responsive, efficient and engaged’ team ‘converts legal jargon into plain English’. Also recommended are associates Elliot Wilson, who ‘responds in a timely and professional manner’, and Helen Mutucumarana, who is ‘consistent, contactable and proactive’. Clients include Elgin Energy and Jockey Club Racecourses.

Experienced, knowledgeable and personable property expert’ Paul Dixon at Dixon Phillips is well known for development work, property sales and landlord/tenant matters. He advised Premier Travel Agency on its acquisition of branches in Cambridge and Bury St Edmunds.

Penningtons Manches LLP has a ‘proactive, knowledgeable and responsive team providing good value for money’. The ‘approachable, professionalSarah Coatesunderstands the demands of development finance’. She advised Svenska Handelsbanken on refinancing a £1.2m property portfolio.

Progressive local firmTees Law provides ‘sound and timely advice’. Clients praise James Dowson’s ‘sound commercial knowledge’. He advised a residential developer on the construction of 14 homes. ‘Professional and polite’ associate David Marsh is also recommended.

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