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  1. Commercial property: Peterborough
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Who Represents Who

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Buckles Solicitors LLP¬†is 'first-class, the service and advice ranks with the very best,' according to one client. Another describes 'excellent service ‚Äď very business-minded advice and strong decision-making skills'.¬†'Very competent' head of commercial property Michael Rabbett¬†leads a four-partner practice that 'punches well above its weight'. Michael Blank¬†is¬†'a strong and experienced commercial property lawyer'.¬†Chris Mundell¬†is 'highly intelligent, technically extremely strong and manages to combine this with excellent commercial judgement'.¬†Colleen Gostick, who stepped down as managing partner last year, specialises in commercial property and is¬†'excellent, very efficient and pragmatic'. She is¬†chair of Greater Peterborough Partnership, which brings together community representatives to deliver the local plan for Peterborough, and is a director of Opportunity Peterborough, the UK‚Äôs first urban regeneration company. The firm's highlights in 2017 included Rabbett's work for Axiom Housing Limited on a ¬£3.6m acquisition of social housing units. He also advised Medesham Homes LLP on a joint venture between a housing association and a local authority, which included the acquisition of a site for residential development. Mundell acted for Devonshire Metro Limited on all property¬†aspects of a bespoke pre-let industrial and office development to a large industrial occupier in Peterborough.

For some clients, Greenwoods GRM is 'the go-to firm for commercial property work in the wider Peterborough region; it has a wide and capable talent pool operating effectively and proactively'. 'A particular strength is the ability to work as part of a professional team across disciplines, genuinely working with other professionals, to the benefit of the client', remarks one client. Directors Stephen Illingworth (who is 'approachable, knowledgeable and very insightful with considerable experience, having advised on many high-profile schemes') and Karin Horsley (who has 'a strong track record of involvement in high-value work') are highly recommended. Associate Katrina Bretten and solicitor Emily Pumfrey recently advised St John Ambulance on property sales, lease surrenders and leasehold matters for a £5m portfolio. Clients also recommend associate Samantha East  and senior solicitor Kirstie Goulder, who has niche expertise in the emerging area of property guardianship, as part of a 'high-quality and well-rounded practice'.

Hegarty LLP has a strong practice for rural land issues including investment transactions, construction, development projects, acquisitions and disposals, though it handles the full range of commercial property work. Practice head and senior partner Richard Hegarty has more than 40 years' experience, having founded the firm in 1974. Now a partner, Joy Plummer specialises in commercial property matters including property sales and acquisitions, the negotiation of agreements, landlord and tenant matters, and land law. She is a member of the Agricultural Law Association and frequently advises rural clients on property matters. Consultant Hugh Nicholls handles both property law and construction work, in which he has more than 30 years' experience.

The commercial property practice at Hunt & Coombs LLP handles transactional work for a diverse client base that includes businesses, charities and private individuals. The practice is geared towards landed estates, private clients, institutional lenders, not-for-profit organisations, developers and statutory bodies. 'Commercially aware and responsive' department head Anna Spriggs is the key contact for the sale and acquisition of church, charity and development land, as well as leasehold and freehold commercial sales and purchases. Her recent highlights include advising the Peterborough Diocesan Board of Finance on numerous matters including complex covenant releases and reverter provision, statutory vesting procedures, the disposal of parsonages and land for development, and the management of glebe land. She also acted for AHF Ltd on the acquisition of furniture stores on major retail parks across the UK involving with annual rental value of £225,000, and assisted Deene Park with an option agreement for garden village development. Consultant Paul Tate retired in late 2017.

Taylor Rose TTKW's property team is best known for residential conveyancing but during the last seven years the firm has substantially grown its commercial property offering. The practice is known for its extensive local knowledge, its proactive approach to transactions and its high standards of client care. One source remarks that it 'knows how to advise large clients on development projects'. Nick Scutt, who handles real estate and M&A transactions, leads the practice and works closely with associate Navead Yousaf. They advised Priestgate Estates on the £1.65m purchase of landmark building New Priestgate House, and on a major development that resulted in the sale of 36 residential units.

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