Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

United Kingdom > East Midlands > Real estate > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Commercial property: Nottingham and Derby

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: Nottingham and Derby
  2. Leading individuals

Browne Jacobson LLP is noted for its expertise in the sports, retail, health, education and renewable energy industries. The practice is advising Leicestershire County Council on a joint venture in relation to a proposed urban extension in Lutterworth. Barry Sully and Sarah Parkinson are recommended.

Freeths’ ‘efficient and diligent’ team advised key client LNT Group on its multimillion-pound sale of Ideal Care Homes to Anchor, which included more than 24 new build care homes. The team is led by Darren Williamson, who is especially strong in investment and food retail developments. Mike Taplin is another key name and focuses on residential and commercial developments.

Gateley Plc’s ‘strong team’ is led by Adam Youatt, who is especially experienced in handling matters with healthcare elements; a recent highlight saw him advise Syganture Discovery on the development of new bioscience facilities by Nottingham City Council and BioCity. Andy Matthews is also recommended.

David Watson and Graham Banks lead Geldards LLP’s team, which is noted for its ‘fantastic level of service’. The practice recently advised Leicester City Council on a regeneration project concerning the city’s former industrial riverside area. Also recommended are Jamie Gordon and education property specialist Paul Hilsdon.

Shoosmiths LLP’s ‘overall level of service is excellent’. The practice continues to act for IKEA on a range of property mandates, including the disposal of two undeveloped sites and the purchase of a new potential store site. Deborah Gordon Brown, Sean Burke and Matthew Kenwood are recommended.

Ian Beardmore heads the ‘very focused’ team at Flint Bishop LLP, which is particularly noted for its work for local developers such as Ivygrove Developments Limited. The practice also acts for Methodist Homes on development and disposal of retirement homes throughout the UK. Beverley Simms is also recommended.

Fraser Brown handles a broad range of commercial property work for a mixed client base of private investors and national PLCs. Its expertise covers real estate sales and acquisitions, leases and development work. Retail expert Graham Green and Chris Barnes are recommended.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s practice is headed by retail and leisure specialist Brendan Walsh, who recently advised Everards Brewery on the letting and forward sale of a retail development, which involved handling the decommissioning of the brewery site. The group also acts for developers in the renewable energy industry.

Highlights for Actons’ ‘excellent’ team included assisting Framework Housing Association with the acquisition of housing stock and operation premises, and on development projects. Amanda Gordon leads the team.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited’s ‘breathtakingly efficient’ practice acts for national and regional developers on a wide spectrum of strategic land acquisition, planning and development mandates in the office and retail sectors. Riaz Dudhia and newly promoted partner Martin Jinks are the key contacts. Rick Staniland retired and Jo Backhouse joined Nottingham City Council.

Rothera Dowson and Sharp Young & Pearce LLP merged in 2016 to form Rothera Sharp Solicitors. The merger brings together expertise in ecclesiastical property matters and work for clients including Rockingham Castle Estate. Tom Redgate and Kerry Elliott are the key figures.

Highlights for Smith Partnership’s practice included acting for a UK subsidiary of a multinational communications company on the intergroup transfer of its national commercial property portfolio. Retail and healthcare specialist Jason Wood leads the team, which includes Rashid Ali, who is noted for his specialist expertise acting for pharmacies, and Tom Hoyle.

Commercial property: Elsewhere in the East Midlands

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: Elsewhere in the East Midlands
  2. Leading individuals

Gateley Plc is noted for its expertise in real estate finance, development and investment. The practice recently acted for Clowes Developments on the letting of premises to TNT as well as the subsequent sale of the property. Other clients include HSBC, English Care Villages and Certas Energy. Colin Gittus and Simon Taylor are highly recommended. Craig Mitchell left the firm to join Spearing Waite LLP.

Hewitsons’ ‘professional’ team acts for clients ranging from property funds and institutional property investors to charities and educational establishments. The practice also handles commercial developments including warehouses, retail outlets, hotels, pubs and offices. Patricia Kempson, Marc Carter and Claire Howard are recommended.

Howes Percival LLP is especially noted for its expertise in commercial land acquisitions and disposals, and regularly acts for retail trade and logistics companies. Norwich-based Tessa Haskey heads the ‘very strong’ team, which includes newly promoted partner Stuart Burns.

Tom Bower heads the team at Spearing Waite LLP, which is ‘one of the best in terms of experience, knowledge and proactivity’. Karen Herbert, Richard Wyvill, and Nisha Gohel are also recommended.

Wilkin Chapman LLP is noted for its ‘prompt and helpful service’ to clients including HSBC, University of Hull, and Longhurst & Havelock Homes. The team is noted for its strength in the industrial, renewables, retail and public sectors. Ruth Brewin, Peter Hanson and Paul Tollerton are the key contacts.

BHW Solicitors’ ‘impressive’ team acts for clients including Lavendon Group, T-Systems Limited, UK Mail and Next Group. Recent highlights include assisting Next Group with a series of lease and construction matters. Key figures include Kate Chorley, Beverley Merrell and team head Julie White, who is experienced in freehold and leasehold commercial property transactions.

Freeths acts for investment vehicles on site acquisitions, and advises on planning, procurement, construction, development and property management matters. Key clients include Tarmac, Deichmann-Shoes, Santander, and Flo Gas Britain. Simon Abbott and Sam Pancholi are recommended.

Peter Horner leads the team at Langleys Solicitors LLP, which recently advised Centurion Finance on the purchase of a retail property. Sarah Miles, who led on that matter, is also recommended.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited advises industrial-sector clients on property disposals, property acquisitions, refinancing projects, and development joint ventures. James Coningsby is the key contact.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s ‘excellent’ practice routinely acts for clients such as Everards Brewery, RBS and Vision Express. It is particularly noted for its work on commercial developments in the retail sector. Kate Hall is recommended.

Weightmans LLP has developed a strong presence and niche in the retail and leisure sectors. Key clients include Strada Trading, Santander, and Leicester YMCA. Richard Osborn and Sophie Philippon-Thomas are the key figures.

Roland Freeman heads the team at Chattertons, which is noted for its specialism in the agriculture and renewable energy sectors.

Wilson Browne Solicitors’ Thomas Warrender advised Anglo-Turkish International on the £1.1m sale of its warehouse and logistics centre in Kettering, and also assisted the client with its lease of a new premises in Corby.


Index of tables

  1. Construction
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Browne Jacobson LLP’s ‘very knowledgeable, experienced, responsive and thorough’ team advises public and private sector clients including Morgan Sindall, Sir Robert McAlpine, Willmott Dixon and Crown Commercial Services. Highlights included advising Serco Leisure Operating Limited on the design and build contracts related to its procurement of a series of leisure facilities across the UK. Tim Claremont leads the team, which includes contentious specialist Peter Westlake.

New clients wins for Freeths’ construction practice include GF Tomlinson Group and County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust. They join an impressive client roster that includes Tarmac, Novartis, Midland Highways Alliance and Aldi. The practice recently advised Aldi on the construction of several regional distribution centres in the UK and Ireland. Chris Holwell led on that matter and also assisted London Luton Airport on a major expansion to the airport’s terminal building. Litigation experts Guy Berwick and Amy Morley are also recommended.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s construction practice handles contentious and non-contentious matters for a wide-ranging client base including Paragon Property Development Company Limited and Lloyds Bank. Recent highlights for Mattioli Woods include advising on the forward funding purchase of the client’s new headquarters. Construction head Alex Smith led on that matter.

James Coppinger heads Buckles Solicitors LLP’s construction and engineering team, which specialises in social housing, engineering and renewable energy matters, and which has experienced an increase in student accommodation developments for clients including Empiric Student Property.

Howes Percival LLP is experienced in contentious and non-contentious matters in the construction area. Leicester-based practice head Pam Allardice specialises in contentious insolvency matters and recently represented Fargain Developments on a building contract dispute in connection with a luxury residential property.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited’s team is now led by litigator Simon Trees following the departure of former department head Deborah Ritchie to Knights Professional Services Limited. Trees recently represented Twintec in a multi-party construction dispute.

At Wilkin Chapman LLP, Piet van Gelder splits his time between the firm’s Grimsby and Lincoln office and focuses on contentious matters with a renewable energy element.


Browne Jacobson LLP’s practice attracts praise for its ‘excellent overall level of service’. Highlights included acting for the Marine Management Organisation in a High Court judicial review concerning the challenge to the grant of consent for a development at Brighton Marina. Other clients include Natural Resources Body for Wales and Natural England. Richard Barlow heads the practice.

Andrew Brammer heads Cartwright King’s ‘highly responsive and extremely professional’ team, which continues to receive appointments in matters concerning fly-tipping, illegal disposal of controlled waste, hazardous and toxic wastes, and food safety and food hygiene.

At Freeths, Emma Tattersdill continues to advise longstanding client Richfare on various environmental issues arising from tenants of commercial units, and recently successfully defeated a threatened nuisance claim relating to a commercial site in London.


Index of tables

  1. Planning
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Browne Jacobson LLP is noted for its ‘excellent service’ and for its ‘good knowledge of the planning market’. The planning practice advises on the full range of issues for longstanding clients including Havenwood Construction, for which it is providing ongoing advice on its development of land east of the Nottingham area of Gamston. Laura Hughes and Richard Barlow head the department, which was recently strengthened by the arrival of Katherine Hall from Bassetlaw District Council.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s ‘highly responsive, extremely professional’ team acted for Persimmon Homes and William Davis Limited on a Section 106 agreement for a sustainable urban extension in Loughborough, and advised on a mixed-use garden village proposal at Six Hills in Leicestershire. John Edmond is recommended. Morag Thomson joined Eversheds LLP in July 2015.

Freeths enjoys a particularly good reputation in retail planning matters. Clients include Simons Developments, Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, Amber Real Estate and Morgan Davis Wherry Group. Christopher Waumsley and Paul Brailsford are highly recommended.

Gateley Plc’s ‘excellent’ practice was strengthened by the arrival of planning expert Robert Waite from Freeths, who brings extensive expertise in contentious and non-contentious planning matters.

Property litigation

Index of tables

  1. Property litigation
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Browne Jacobson LLP’s ‘excellent’ practice is led by the highly regarded Mark Aldrich, who specialises in substantial land disputes and complex leasehold issues. The department is a strong presence in the regional market and is developing a niche in the retail, public and health sectors. Clients include Walgreens Boots Alliance, the Homes & Community Agency, and Lincolnshire Coop.

Mark Hacking heads Geldards LLP’s team, which specialises in lease renewals, dilapidation claims and break notice disputes with particular strength in the retail, utilities and motor industry sectors. Clients include Western Power Distribution, Boots, Pendragon Group and Tesco.

Howes Percival LLP is noted for its ‘high level of service’, and for its strength in the retail sector, where it acts for clients including Wickes, Brantano and Shoezone. Other key clients include Travis Perkins, Shanks Waste Management and Henderson UK Property Fund. Geraint Davies heads the practice, which includes Satnam Chayra, who splits her time between Leicester and Milton Keynes, and Jane Bloomer, who splits her time between Northampton and Milton Keynes.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited’s ‘excellent’ team includes Simon Waterfield, who specialises in private and public rights of way disputes, and Simon Trees, who recently acted for a client in a multi-party construction dispute.

Flint Bishop LLP’s property litigation team attracts practice for its ‘focus, consistency and strategic approach’. Key clients include Marston’s, which the group continues to advise on a series of contentious real estate mandates including forfeitures, injunctions, issues involving guarantees, and landlord and tenant insolvency issues. The highly regarded Qamer Ghafoor heads the group, which includes Andrew Cochrane and Nick Wells.

Don Peel leads the team at Fraser Brown, which continues to represent London & Cambridge Properties on a number of dilapidation claims.

Freeths’ clients highlight the ‘consistently effective and well-informed’ advice provided by the property litigation practice, which acts on a range of issues for landowners, landlords and tenants including the Co-operative Group, Tarmac, and Middlesbrough Borough Council. Paul Tomkins is recommended.

Spearing Waite LLP’s ‘pragmatic’ team represented a client in a multimillion-pound claim against a building contractor. Practice head Michael Lawrence is noted for his knowledge of property related professional negligence cases. Jonathan Wheeler is also recommended.

Brady Solicitors is highly regarded for its track record of disputes in the property management sector. Clare Brady, Amy Hope-Smith and Harpreet Lehal are the key practitioners.

At Hewitsons, John Shephard covers a broad spectrum of real estate disputes, ranging from boundary disputes to landlord and tenant issues.

Rothera Dowson merged with Sharp Young & Pearce in 2016 to form Rothera Sharp Solicitors. 2015 highlights included included advising landlords and tenants on forfeitures, enfranchisement disputes, and dilapidation matters.

The ‘excellent’ team at Smith Partnership has a particularly strong reputation in landlord and tenant disputes, acting for both private landlords as well as tenants. Russell Davies and Bally Atwal are the names to note.

Social housing

Browne Jacobson LLP’s highlights included advising new client Metropolitan Housing Trust on the acquisition of 61 new homes in Nottinghamshire from private developers. Residential development specialist Barry Sully heads the practice, which routinely acts for clients such as Waterloo Housing Group, East Midlands Housing Group and Nottingham City Homes.

Freeths has handled a steady flow of property development, securitisation, planning, construction and procurement issues. A recent highlight saw department head Gary Reynolds advise the Nottingham Community Housing Association on the acquisition and development of 28 affordable housing units from Westleigh Partnerships. Other key practitioners include Stephen Pearson and Matthew Grocock.

Wilkin Chapman LLP’s social housing team provides ‘prompt and helpful service’ to a client base of regional and national housing developers including Acis Group, Longhurst Group, Shoreline Housing Partnership and Westleigh Partnerships. Rachael Perry and Paul Tollerton are recommended.

Highlights for Wilson Browne’s ‘responsive and knowledgeable’ team included acting for East Midlands Housing on its £4m purchase of a site at Booth Rise in Northampton. Other clients include Abbeyfield Dorcas Society and Wellingborough Homes. Thomas Warrender heads the practice.

GC Diversity and Inclusion Report

In partnership with...

International comparative guides

Giving the in-house community greater insight to the law and regulations in different jurisdictions.

Select Practice Area

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

Press Releases in the UK

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to