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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.

Chapters Name Firm Section Work Area Firm ID Lawyer ID Office URL Lawyer URL

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 (region-wide)

Leading individuals (region-wide)

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial property: Nottingham and Derby clients in East Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Browne Jacobson LLP’s ‘very responsive’ group is ‘willing to go the extra mile for its clients’, advising private as well as public sector entities on matters ranging from real estate finance to project development. Clients include luxury brands, retailers, local authorities, education institutions, agricultural landowners and registered providers of affordable housing. Work highlights saw the firm assist Local Space with the £250m refinancing of over 1,300 residential properties in East London through a security trustee structure. Recommended lawyers include Sarah Parkinson, who has an ‘in-depth knowledge of the retail sector’ and was part of a team that advised Macintosh Retail Group on the property aspects of the sale of its UK footwear chains such as Jones Bootmaker to Alteri Partners, and Barry Sully, who advised Miller Birch with the Guildhall site redevelopment and continues to handle matters arising from New Linx Housing Trust’s planned residential development. Walgreens Boots Alliance, HMRC, Westerman Homes and NHS Property Services are also clients.

Clients needs are of paramount importance’ to the ‘exceptional’ team at Freeths LLP, which combines ‘strong commercial sense and significant knowledgebase and resources’ with ‘a "can-do" attitude’. Darren Williamson is a ‘strong leader’ who ‘makes deals happen’ and specialises in portfolio management matters as well as assisting occupiers, developers and funds with commercial development projects, particularly in the retail sector. Mike Taplin and the ‘capable and thoroughGary Reynolds are also recommended alongside Jon Smart, who advised Eddie Stobart on the development and acquisition of a warehouse and office property at a new airport development site. Highlights also included advising the LNT Group on a residential care project with Oakdale Care Group and Target Healthcare REIT.

The team at Gateley Plc is led by Adam Youatt, who specialises in investment and development work, particularly in student accommodation and healthcare sectors. Youatt’s department includes Andy Matthews, who specialises in property finance. The group also assists investment funds with residential and commercial development schemes and manages issues arising from distressed property. Work highlights included advising Custodian REIT on the £11.5m acquisition of the Helical portfolio comprising three tenanted properties from Helical Bar; assisting Starwood Capital Group with the £50m purchase of purpose-built student accommodation; and acting for Bildurn in various matters including the residential conversion of a historic hotel.

Graham Banks, Jamie Gordon and Paul Hilsdon lead the practice at Geldards LLP, which handles residential and commercial development projects, lease renewals, property finance and wider transactional work. Clients include public sector entities, as well as companies in the retail, utilities, agricultural and charities sectors. Tiffany Cloynes and Heather Dixon are also names to note, as is David Watson, who assisted BioCity Nottingham with the acquisition and development of a new bioscience incubator facility; advice included managing the disposal of a part of the facility to Sygnature Discovery. Other work highlights saw the team acting for Leicester City Council during the first phase of its Waterside Regeneration Scheme, managing Western Power Distribution’s operational property requirements in the region, and advising Clowes Development on transactions arising from mid- to large-scale development projects in the logistics industry. South Derbyshire District Council is also a client.

Shoosmiths LLP assists national occupiers, developers and investors with a range of matters such as large-scale portfolio acquisitions and disposals, joint venture transactions and property finance matters. Ellis Gardner-Browne is managing Walgreens Boots Alliance’s national real estate portfolio and advising Estée Lauder Cosmetics on high-profile property acquisitions. The group is also handling the management of industrial sites nationwide for Stainton International’s joint venture with an international alternative investment fund. Deborah Gordon Brown - Sean Burke and Matthew Kenwood are other names to note. Clients also include AEW Europe, IKEA, Thomas Cook, Ann Summers and Mountain Warehouse.

Flint Bishop LLP has a strong focus on development work in sectors such as retail, leisure, industrial and residential. It is advising Broadlands Wolverhampton on letting two office buildings to the same tenant and an additional agreement for the future construction of a third property. Other highlights included assisting the Land Registry with nationwide portfolio management, handling a forward sale of mixed-use premises, and acting for the purchasers in several large-scale land acquisitions. Ian Beardmore heads the group, which includes Beverley Simms. Simms is advising Wrexham Football Club with its long leasehold interest in the Mold Road football stadium.

Chris Barnes heads Fraser Brown’s department, which assists private investors with a wide range of commercial property transactions such as acquisitions, disposals, leases and project development. Highlights included managing large property portfolios, advising a developer on the purchase of an office block for a conversion project and acting for a client in a substantial industrial redevelopment project. The group also assisted a lender with the refinancing of several residential tenanted properties. Graham Green is also recommended.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited acts for developers, investors and occupiers in a range of matters arising from acquisitions, disposals and development projects. Riaz Dudhia specialises in advising pension scheme trustees on property acquisitions as well as handling other matters such as landlord and tenant issues. Martin Jinks is part of a team advising Radleigh Group on the acquisition of a residential development site; advice included securing an option agreement with the seller, managing financial security arrangements and incorporating a variation to a Section 106 agreement. Other highlights included advising PKF Cooper Parry on letting its former office building in Nottingham, acting for Talbot & Muir SIPP in property transactions involving pension schemes, and handling site acquisitions and letting agreements for Giant UK.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s client base includes national and local developers, housebuilders, landowners, banks, funds and investors, such as Wilson Bowden Developments, Linden Homes, Lloyds, Camborne Group, Frontier Estates and D P Realty. Brendan Walsh heads the team, which handles commercial and residential developments and is particularly active in the retail, energy and financial services sectors. Walsh continues to advise Everards Brewery in its joint venture with Next on the procurement of its major retail development project and recently managed the acquisition of a mixed-use development site for Fountainbridge Holdings. The team also advised Statera Energy on options for lease agreements related to multiple reserve power stations and battery storage sites, and acted for Zone Student Developments during the sale and development of three accommodation sites in Leicester.

Actons’ clients include developers, lenders and private individuals. Amanda Gordon handled the acquisitions of residential and operational premises for a local charity, acted for a major bank during the refinancing of a portfolio comprising mixed residential and commercial properties, and advised on the acquisition of an industrial site by the existing tenant and a pension fund. The group also advised a distressed organisation on a partial property disposal, and assisted several developers with option agreements and secured lending agreements.

Austin Moore & Partners LLP acts for owners, developers, investors and occupiers. The ‘commercially astute’ Vik Moothia ‘combines attention to detail with a good eye for the big picture’; he acted for Wineworld London during the disposal of a long leasehold and freehold interests as part of a larger corporate deal. The firm also provides ongoing advice to 200 Degrees Coffee Shops regarding its expansion strategy, including securing new leases and handling relationships with landlords.

Smith Partnership’s ‘very responsive’ team has ‘commercial acumen that enables it to understand client objectives’. Practice head Jason Wood focuses on development projects, property finance and residential care home matters. Rashid Ali ‘does not sit on the fence and provides fantastic advice’, particularly on complex freehold and leasehold acquisitions and disposals as well as development projects, refinancings, wider corporate transactions and matters between tenants and landlords. Solicitor Tom Hoyle is another name to note.

Commercial property: Elsewhere in the East Midlands

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: Elsewhere in the East Midlands
  2. Leading individuals (region-wide)

Leading individuals (region-wide)

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial property: Elsewhere in the East Midlands clients in East Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Gateley Plc counts local authorities, developers and investors among its clients. Real estate finance expert Colin Gittus acts for both lenders and borrowers in property transactions, while practice head Simon Taylor handles investment matters as well as residential and commercial development schemes. Work highlights included advising Simons Developments with the £16m acquisition, pre-letting and funding of a proposed retail park development, and acting for Southampton City Council in matters arising from the city’s £100m Watermark Leisure Scheme. It also assisted Barberry Developments with the sale of the former Royal Mail Building to Coventry University, and advised on the letting, forward funding and development of a new facility for Clowes Development.

Hewitsons advises retailers, warehouse and office owners, and automotive clients on commercial development schemes and assists owner-managed businesses, small and medium-sized enterprises, private trusts and private individuals with asset and portfolio management. It also handles residential development work, property matters in the public sector and project financing. Patricia Kempson managed recent transactional work and leasehold agreements for Mansfield College, Oxford, and advised Lillingston Family Trusts on the refurbishment and subsequent letting of a dilapidated listed Georgian building. The ‘very professional and knowledgeableMarc Carter is experienced in ‘negotiating complex contracts featuring onerous clauses’, and Claire Howard-Amos is another name to note. Clients also included Glanmoor Investments, Delapre Abbey Preservation Trust and Medigold Health Consultancy.

The ‘consistently impressive’ team at Howes Percival LLP acts for clients such as Charles Street Buildings Group, Raynsway Group and Motorvogue (Northampton). Key contacts include Stuart Burns, who advises occupiers on property investment schemes and strategic residential and commercial transactions, and property development specialist Nicholas James, who manages all aspects of sales and acquisitions for regional developers and landowners. The group also advises on real estate finance and all aspects of landlord and tenants relations. Recent work includes assisting an investment group with the financing of a construction project in the retail sector.

Spearing Waite LLP’s ‘very strong’ team is praised for its ‘commercial acumen and industry knowledge’. Expertise includes assisting with plot sales, managing leases and handling property finance matters, as well as advising on specialist matters such as land promotion agreements and options. In line with the firm’s prominent experience in retail sector, the client base features Bonmarche, Dreams, Optical Express and other household names. Practice head Tom Bower assisted a major retailer with the sale of two leasehold stores in a prime location; Richard Wyvill acted for Brayford Holdings in relation to the complex refinancing of a large property in Lincoln, involving multiple freehold titles and a long leasehold; and Karen Herbert assisted a residential developer with a high-value land acquisition. Nisha Gohel and Satpaul Dard are also recommended.

The ‘thorough and knowledgeable’ group at Wilkin Chapman LLP is led by the ‘experienced, calm, commercial and switched-onRuth Brewin, and acts for clients such as Galliford, Linden Homes, Cyden Homes and Acis Development. Peter Hanson advised National Westminster Bank on the £3m financing of three residential apartment blocks. In other work, the firm is handling a development project as part of the wider regeneration initiative in Grimsby town centre. Paul Tollerton specialises in high-value residential development work, while social and affordable housing is Rachael Perry’s area of focus. Nikki Hawkins recently made partner and Piet van Gelder joined Spearing Waite LLP.

BHW Solicitors handles both property finance and development matters, acting for clients such as UK Mail Group, Gardner Group, Nationwide Access and Next Holdings. Practice head Julie White is leading a team assisting the latter with the incorporation of concessions as part of Next’s stores nationwide. Beverley Merrell handles property work for Natwest, following the firm’s appointment to the bank’s panel, and she also advised Marks Electrical on its relocation project. Other work included acting for Freedman & Partners in various matters pertaining to £19m in loans obtained from a peer-to-peer lending platform. Sarah Newcombe and Kate Chorley are also recommended.

The team at Weightmans LLP provides ‘excellent service and great attention to detail’, and is particularly well known for its activity in the retail and leisure sectors. It also handles property-related work for local authorities and education institutions as well as advising on public sector regeneration projects and a variety of commercial and residential developments. Landlord and tenant relations are another area of focus. Richard Osborn, who is ‘flexible, adaptive and responsive to clients’ needs’, is managing the £37m property portfolio for Strada Trading and acting for Persimmon regarding a major residential development project in Loughborough. Osborn is also assisting Santander with high-value refinancing and secured lending transactions, including providing a £7m facility for Panorama Property Investments. Other work saw the firm handle the sale of the former Speedo headquarters in Nottingham to Westleigh Developments and continues to advise Loughborough University with portfolio management, including site acquisitions and disposals. Sophie Philippon-Thomas joined Davitt Jones Bould.

Freeths LLP provides ‘first-rate advice backed up by great background research and reasoning’. Simon Abbott, who heads the practice, advised a tenant on the grant of a lease and refurbishment programme for a dilapidated office property. Other highlights included advising a client on the purchase of an office building in central London. The ‘utterly thoroughSam Pancholi is recommended for property acquisition matters.

Langleys Solicitors LLP handles a range of property transactions, as well as managing portfolio changes and title issues pertaining to academy conversions. Property investment specialist Sarah Milescombines legal expertise with a finely tuned commercial instinct’ and ‘cuts to the chase to provide effective solutions’; she recently advised on the acquisition of an ex-council city centre site for a commercial and residential redevelopment project. Peter Horner is also recommended.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited assists developers, landowners, banks, charities, retailers and education institutions, among others, with a range of transactions and projects. Practice head James Coningsby managed over £20m of secured lending transactions for Cambridge and Counties Bank and advised GS Developments on its purchase of a development site in Leicester. Other highlights included acting for Abode Group in property acquisitions up to a value of £42m, assisting IMAP Student with the refinancing of a £6m mixed-use property, and handling land purchases for Westleigh Partnerships.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s team specialises in residential and commercial developments, acting for national and regional housebuilders, developers, promoters, landowners and corporate occupiers. The firm is well known for managing property portfolios for retailers, and has a solid track record handling projects involving affordable housing, student accommodation and developments in the industrial sector. Highlights included advising Parkers of Leicester on the disposal of agricultural property, assisting Emma Bridgewater with the acquisition of a new distribution factory and warehouse, and acting for CODE Student Accommodation during the purchase of a city centre site for a new student residential project. Kate Hall and Martin Jones are key contacts.

Thomas Warrender heads the practice at Wilson Browne Solicitors, where the client base includes private and corporate landowners, developers, building societies and banks. The team handles matters such as promotion agreements, ownership transfers, financing transactions and agricultural property matters.


Index of tables

  1. Construction
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Construction clients in East Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Browne Jacobson LLP handles a range of matters relating to high-profile national and international construction projects, including contentious and non-contentious work and procurement advice. Peter Westlake represented the main contractor in a high-value dispute pertaining to a major overseas project, while Michael Sadler continues to advise the Homes and Communities Agency on issues arising from national construction projects financed through the Builders Finance Fund Scheme. Mace, HMRC and WE Hewitt & Son are also clients.

The ‘exceptionally professional’ team at Freeths LLP specialises in procurement matters and construction dispute resolution. Front-end procurement specialist Chris Holwell, who splits his time between London and Nottingham, provides ‘well-considered and pragmatic advice’; he is assisting RPW (Southampton) with the £450m Royal Pier development project and advising Tarmac on tendering for construction and maintenance contracts. Amy Morley, who is recommended for disputes, represented Nottingham City Council in a Technology and Construction Court case concerning payment notices under the Construction Act. Other highlights included advising Travis Perkins on the development project for the construction of new Travis Perkins and Wickes stores. Guy Berwick leads the practice.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP advises clients such as developers, regional contractors, consultants, retailers, education institutions and nursing homes on various construction projects from inception to completion. It also handles disputes and provides assistance with risk management and procurement matters. Alex Smith is advising Zone Developments on the £15m construction of student accommodation blocks in Leicester, assisting Calthorpe Estates with contractual matters arising from two mixed-use development projects and a demolition package, and acting for Paragon Property Development Company in several new retail store construction projects across the Midlands. The group is also handling contractual arrangements for Everards Brewery’s £30m development project in Leicester, and advised Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council on funding and lease arrangements for the development of a hub facility shared with two other public bodies.

Buckles Solicitors LLP handles construction matters associated with social housing, student accommodation and renewable energy projects, among others. With experience in contentious and non-contentious matters as well as procurement, the team attracts instructions from private and public sector clients such as housing associations, contractors, subcontractors and commercial occupiers. Practice head James Coppinger is assisting a developer with drafting and negotiating a full contractual framework for the development of a national student accommodation project. The group is also advising a housing association on procurement and contractual matters pertaining to housing development schemes.

Flint Bishop LLP’s practice is led by the newly promoted Andrew Perry, who ‘assimilates voluminous documents quickly’ to provide ‘to-the-point, easy-to-digest, robust and commercially minded’ advice. The group handles contentious and contentious matters in complex engineering projects and remains active in the retail and infrastructure sectors. It assisted Clowes Development with drafting documentation for the construction of a distribution centre at the former Didcot Power Station and represented a contractor in a delay and interruption dispute.

The practice at Spearing Waite LLP is led by Piet van Gelder, who joined from Wilkin Chapman LLP. The group handles work in the construction, engineering and renewable energy sectors, assisting developers, contractors and other involved parties with contentious and non-contentious work. Procurement is another area of expertise. The team is advising Submarine CLS Civil Engineering on contracts, schedules and associated documentation related to the Brocklesby Estate 3.5MW anaerobic digester plant construction project. It is also assisting a developer with drafting and negotiating agreements pertaining to a multinational project in the hospitality industry.

The team at Nelsons Solicitors Limited acts for medium-sized contractors, specialist subcontractors, design professionals, funders and small- to medium-sized developers. Simon Trees and associate Nichola Faith handle a range of non-contentious matters, while team head Cathryn Selby specialises in professional negligence claims against architects, engineers and surveyors. The group recently acted for a contractor in several disputes pertaining to the construction of an electrical substation for solar power.


Index of tables

  1. Environment
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Environment clients in East Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


With a client base dominated by prominent public sector clients such as local authorities, non-departmental public bodies, NGOs, national parks and government institutions, Browne Jacobson LLP’s nature conservation practice handles matters ranging from enforcement actions to regulatory and governance advice. Practice head Richard Barlow advised Watford Borough Council on its potential liability for historic contamination at Watford Health Campus, guiding the client through risk management and incorporating relevant provisions in the agreement with a joint venture developer. Barlow is also assisting Invictus Education Trust with risk management following the collapse of a former mineshaft at the Crestwood School Dudley’s playing fields. Laura Hughes advised HSBC on the environmental aspects of funding two petrol filling stations, including acquiring relevant permits, certificates and compliance with safety regulations. The group also acted for the Marine Management Organisation in a challenge brought by the States of Guernsey regarding the suspension of the Fisheries Management Agreement and temporary suspension of reciprocal fishing licences.

Cartwright King is recommended for all stages of criminal investigations and prosecutions initiated by regulatory bodies such as the Environment Agency, Environmental Health and Trading Standards departments of local authorities and fire authorities. It also advises clients on fly-tipping matters and represents individuals in proceedings arising from failure to carry out waste due diligence. Sector expertise includes waste management, food and drink production, and property development. Regulatory defence specialist Andrew Brammer heads the practice.

Freeths LLP assists companies and individuals with contentious environment work, including nuisance claims and judicial review proceedings, as well as regulatory matters. Emma Tattersdill advised the Mineral Products Association on its nationwide guidance on granting environmental permits for waste recovery activities. Other recent work includes acting for clients in potential and ongoing prosecutions for alleged unlawful deposit of waste brought by the Environmental Agency and other regulatory bodies. Tarmac Aggregates and Haddon Property Developments are also clients.


Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Planning clients in East Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Browne Jacobson LLP is well known for acting for public sector clients. Laura Hughes and Richard Barlow, who head the practice, advised the Blaby District Council planning authority with the planning process (including an environmental impact assessment) concerning the redevelopment of the Everards brewery. Hughes also assisted Canterbury City Council with drafting and negotiating a Section 106 agreement concerning a 4,000-home mixed-use development, while Barlow advised the London Borough of Enfield on the planning obligations of a major regeneration and mixed-use development project. Other work included representing Aldergate Properties in judicial review proceedings challenging a local authority’s planning decision and advising Morrisons on extraction from a contract on the basis of breach of planning clauses.

Freeths LLP assists private and public sector clients with matters arising from residential and commercial development planning. Land promotion, planning applications, Section 106 agreements, judicial review proceedings and enforcement issues form a significant part of the group’s workload. Practice head Christopher Waumsley is advising Haddon Property Developments with the planning aspects of the appealed 900-unit residential development in East Cheshire, and Paul Brailsford is assisting Bela Partnership with planning matters related to a mixed-use development project, such as implementing modifications to the master plan and advising on planning permission conditions. Other work included drafting legal agreements for infrastructure projects for Milton Keynes Council and assisting Hodgsons Gate Development with promoting a greenfield site for housing development.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP acts for landowners, developers and local planning authorities in contentious and non-contentious matters. Work highlights saw practice head John Edmond advising Gladman Developments on the promotion of its Garden Village project in Melton Mowbray and Abigail Walters, who joined from Buckles Solicitors LLP, assisting the National Grid Gas Distribution with protective measures over the gas distribution assets when affected by third-party land acquisition proposals. Paul Hunt is advising William Davis and Persimmon Homes North Midlands on the joint outline planning permission application for a residential project of up to 3,200 dwellings. Jelson, Westleigh Partnerships and Linhurst Consortium are also clients.

Gateley Plc’s practice is renowned for its expertise in the residential housing sector; Robert Waite assisted Miller Homes with a Sector 106 agreement for a mixed-use development project and advised the lead developer and part-owner of a development site on a public-private partnership agreement. The group is also drafting planning conditions for resolving a mine water issue on an approved housing site and acting for Bloor Homes in filing for a community infrastructure levy exemption. BGW Trading, Bellway Homes, Bovis Homes, Crest Nicholson and Taylor Wimpey are also clients.

Property litigation

Index of tables

  1. Property litigation
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Property litigation clients in East Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Browne Jacobson LLP’s ‘strong’ team ‘houses savvy commercial lawyers’, whose workload spans land and leasehold disputes, dilapidation claims and property debt recovery work. Practice head Mark Aldrich has ‘great judgement’ and ‘gets under the skin of every dispute to achieve the best outcome for the client’. The group is acting for a retailer in several high-value disputes relating to development agreements, assisting an industrial client with litigation arising from a renewable energy project, and representing a household-name client in a dilapidation dispute.

The team at Freeths LLP stands out for its ‘excellent technical skills and deep understanding of clients’ businesses’. The group handles dilapidation disputes, easement claims, and issues arising from the termination and renewal of business leases, among other matters. ‘Experienced and intelligent’ practice head Paul Tomkins, who has an ‘open, down-to-earth commercial approach’, successfully defended Aldi Stores against an injunction sought by Iceland (as a subtenant) to prevent extension works carried out on site. Tomkins is also handling a dilapidation claim for a commercial landlord and pursuing contested tenancy renewal for a national retailer. In another work highlights, the group secured an order for possession to remove squatters from a site acquired by a commercial client.

Geldards LLP’s team is renowned for its expertise in disputes between commercial landlords and tenants in sectors such as motor trade, retail and utilities. For example, recent work includes advising a commercial landlord with lease forfeiture and acting for a commercial landlord in a substantial break notice case. Mark Hacking has experience in tenancy-related matters such as dilapidation, break notice and lease renewal claims, and assists developers and portfolio holders with disputes arising from covenants and easements.

Geraint Davies’s team at Howes Percival LLP provides ‘commercial, pragmatic advice’ to clients such as institutional landlords, developers and private individuals. It specialises in tenant and landlord relations, managing property portfolios and handling break clauses and dilapidation claims. Satnam Chayra is challenging a landlord’s refusal of consent to alter and repair, and is handling nuisance abatement proceedings arising from water egress for a client in the automotive sector. Jane Bloomer is pursuing an eviction order for a landowner client, following breaches of alienation and user covenants by the client’s commercial tenant. The group is also representing a developer in a protracted boundary dispute. Clients have also included C Brewer & Sons, Henderson UK Property Fund, Darby Properties and Shoe Zone.

Flint Bishop LLP acts for landowners, commercial landlords and developers in a range of cases involving options to purchase, adverse possession claims and easement disputes. Qamer Ghafoor is assisting an institutional landlord with a claim for unpaid rent, service charge and dilapidations following a dispute related to the variation of terms in the leasehold agreement and the tenant subsequently vacating the premises. Andrew Cochrane and Nick Wells provide ongoing support to Marston’s regarding disputes involving commercial leasehold issues. The group acted for the owner of a large retail park in a claim arising from the tenant’s refusal to complete a lease, handled a joint venture agreement between two developers, and assisted a property portfolio holder with a substantial dilapidations claim. Lorna Trueman is also recommended.

Don Peel leads the practice at Fraser Brown and specialises in dilapidations claims before the Technology and Construction Court. Other areas of expertise include tenancy disputes, contested commercial and residential lease renewals, restrictive covenant claims, rent and service charge recovery and commercial possession. The group acted for a commercial tenant in a challenge to restrictions imposed by a local authority and assisted holders of a property portfolio with a mismanagement claim. It is also handling several dilapidations claims for a property management company, managing break notices for a charity, and acting for a client in various property cases including a dispute over empty property rates and rate exemptions.

At Nelsons Solicitors Limited, Simon Waterfield represented Radleigh Group in a dispute concerning trespassing on a development site for over 500 housing units. Simon Trees, who specialises in dilapidation claims, break options and possession-related matters, acted for a developer in a dispute arising from the purchase of an unregistered property subject to the right of way burdening the adjacent registered land. The team also assisted clients with restrictive covenant and easement disputes as well as handling eviction of Travellers.

Spearing Waite LLP represents property developers, investors, corporate occupiers, waste operators and high-net-worth individuals in property litigation. It specialises in managing leasehold-related matters, including lease renewals, dilapidations claims and service charge disputes, for companies in the retail sector. The group is advising a retailer with a claim against the landlord concerning the release of asbestos at the premises. It is also handling a multimillion-pound claim against a building contractor pertaining to a failed luxury private residential development. Michael Lawrence has ‘extensive knowledge’ and gives ‘excellent pragmatic advice’, and Jonathan Wheeler is also recommended. Clients include Travis Perkins, Dunelm, Bonmarche, Dreams, Optical Express and Glenstone Property.

Brady Solicitors handles disputes in the property management sector with a particular focus on the recovery of service charge and ground rent arrears. The team handled a first-tier tribunal application for determination of reasonableness of a service charge for a leaseholder administering a grade II-listed property. It also assisted a freeholder with collection of longstanding service charge arrears. Clare Brady is recommended. Carmela Inguanta joined the team following Amy Hope-Smith’s departure to Gateley Plc.

Providing an ‘exceptionally good’ service, Smith Partnership’s team acts for clients in repossession proceedings, boundary claims, tenancy cases, collection of rent arrears and neighbour disputes. Russell Davies is particularly well known for representing breweries in property-related matters. In other work, the firm assisted a company with possession claims following an early termination of tenancy, handled a dilapidation claim against a former subtenant, and managed a family dispute arising from the planned recovery of a plot of agricultural land. Bally Atwal is also recommended.

Social housing

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Social housing clients in East Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Browne Jacobson LLP’s ‘second-to-none’ team of ‘experts’ combines its public and private sector expertise to advise on matters ranging from housing management and property transactions to tax and regulatory advice on regeneration projects, joint ventures, mixed-use schemes and other developments. Major housing associations such as East Midlands Housing Group feature among its clients. The group assisted Local Space with the refinancing of over 1,300 properties worth £250m in London through a security trustee structure, and advised Clarion Housing Group and Morgan Sindall Investments on a major regeneration project for the London Borough of Haringey. Practice head Barry Sully is acting for New Linx Housing Trust on the development of 170 homes in Skegness involving collaboration with a private sector developer. Other highlights included assisting Homes & Communities Agency with the Gedling Colliery scheme for a mixed-use development project, including 200 affordable housing units, and managing the £18m acquisition and development of new affordable homes for the Metropolitan Housing Trust.

Freeths LLP’s ‘very experienced and well-connected’ group combines ‘great sector knowledge’ with expertise in real estate, planning, financing, construction and procurement. It acts for registered providers and arms-length management organisations on housing management, governance and regulatory matters, commercial transactions and partnership agreements. ‘Solution-oriented’ team head Gary Reynolds provides ‘practical advice’ to registered providers on property development matters such as promotion and conditional agreements as well as funding structures and joint ventures. Stephen Pearson is an expert in public-private partnerships, and Matthew Grocock specialises in residential and commercial development matters. The group continues to advise Bellway Homes on the North Solihull Regeneration Partnership, the development project for social rented apartments and houses for West Mercia Homes. It also managed the creation of a public-private joint venture company for housing development projects for Bolsover District Council. Other highlights included acting for Cambridge City Council during the establishment of a public-private partnership and assisting Helena Partnerships with the multimillion-pound acquisition of 34 houses and apartments on a leasehold basis from the Stewart Milne Group combined with the disposal of shared ownership units. Bromford Housing Association and Nottingham Community Housing Association are also clients.

Wilkin Chapman LLP’s group has ‘good knowledge of the sector’ and assists national and regional registered providers and developers, such as Acis Group, Longhurst & Havelock Homes, Galliford Try and Cyden Homes, with property sales and purchases. ‘Driven to achieve clients’ objectives’, Rachel Perry is recommended alongside Peter Hanson and Paul Tollerton.

Thomas Warrender leads the team at Wilson Browne Commercial Law, which also includes Jennifer Laskey. The group advises private and public sector landlords on tenancy matters, particularly in relation to troublesome tenants. It also handles site acquisitions, and as such, the team assisted East Midlands Housing with its acquisition of a site in Northampton and continues to handle shared ownership sales for the client. Other highlights included handling a repossession claim and an anti-social behaviour injunction against a tenant for Spire Homes (LG). Wellingborough Homes is also a client.

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