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  1. Commercial property: Elsewhere in East Anglia
  2. Leading individuals (region-wide)
  3. Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

  1. 1

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Ashtons Legal has experienced practitioners in Bury St Edmunds who work as part of a 20-lawyer cross-office team. It is best known for its development, investment management and corporate support work. Ron Clare has more than 25 years’ experience in commercial property and secured lending law and acts for a broad spectrum of corporate, private and institutional clients and lenders throughout East Anglia and beyond. Solicitor Scott Hilton, who is also part of the firm’s banking and finance team, handles freehold and leasehold acquisitions and disposals, landlord and tenant matters, and property transactions for pension schemes. The team’s clients include Cambridge Building Society, Abel Homes, WN Developments and Bennett Homes. Highlights included acting for a consortium of private landowners on the completion of a promotion agreement for a 49-acre site in Kent with a gross development value of £126m. The firm also acted for a global commodities trader and exporter on the purchase of a new £2.45m long lease on newly built commercial premises in West London.

The ‘very professional’ team at Butcher Andrews attracts praise for its ‘excellent industry knowledge’ and for its ability to ‘explain legal jargon in simple terms that clients can understand’. Managing partner Anne Kirby has a strong reputation in the local property market but also acts on matters outside East Anglia. She acts for numerous national companies with retail premises on selling freehold and leasehold properties, as well as granting and taking leases. These include charity Break, which has a national network of retail outlets. She also advises Anglian Windows Limited and leather goods company Holt Retail, which has outlets in Norfolk and Suffolk. Chris Hoxley is ‘very conscientious and always looks at every angle before providing good, sound advice’. Experienced solicitor Sophie Thornley joined the firm after a career break, having previously worked at legacy Wragge & Co. The firm’s recent highlights include assisting Strellas Lane Wind Energy with obtaining an option for the lease of land and an option for easement of adjoining land for the development of wind power generation capacity. Kirby also advised Levitt on the sale of leasehold premises in London. Hoxley provides day-to-day property advice to the Holkham Estate, including handling land sales and leases, and assisted Vello with its purchase of land in Swardeston for a new residential development.

Nicholsons Solicitors LLP is ‘responsive, good value and thoroughly understands clients’ issues’. The firm has a pre-eminent position for handling commercial property on the region’s east coast and it continues to be busy with land acquisitions for residential development. It is also active in property deals for many large local businesses. The team is led by the ‘extremely approachable and knowledgeable’ Mark Rymarz and Ben Blower; clients rate them as ‘technically strong and commercial’. In 2016, Rymarz concluded a large option agreement for land in Suffolk, which is primarily for residential development purposes and which has a gross development value of up to £40m. He also acted for some of the region’s largest residential and commercial developers on significant land acquisitions. Blower acted on complex acquisitions of land in Lowestoft formerly owned by a local authority and a town centre site for a major developer. Other highlights included acting for a housing association client on the acquisition of development sites.

The property practice at Fraser Dawbarns is led by commercial partner Daniel Ball and comprises partners across its network of offices in Wisbech, King’s Lynn, March and Downham Market. Colin Bailey, Jenny Rushmer, Andrew Carrier and Tony Cheetham have a client base that extends across East Anglia and nationwide.

Leeds Day’s property practice has a broad focus and acts for clients across East Anglia. Head of commercial business Bob Dewdney and partner Christopher Dodd are recommended. Dodd focuses on work for investors and occupiers and also handles land development projects. The team’s recent highlights include the £1.4m sale of a leisure centre and retail land site for development as a waste transfer site; a £7.2m collaborative agricultural land sale; and advising a landowner on a promotion agreement and an equalisation agreement for a phased residential development site sale with an estimated gross development value of up to £45m.


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