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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon 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 the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Public sector > Local government > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Local government
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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The 'highly rated' Bevan Brittan LLP acts for local authorities throughout England as well as various Welsh councils advising on areas such as new housing schemes, regeneration projects, income generation models and social care in addition to procurement and contentious work involving tribunals.  It is advising the London Borough of Newham on the redevelopment of the 22 acre Carpenters Estate near the Olympic Park, work which includes a development agreement and the formation of a joint venture company. It also acted successfully for 52 Fire and Rescue Authorities defending claims brought by over 5,000 fire fighters in England and Wales in connection with claims that reforms made to their pensions following the Hutton Report were discriminatory. The well-regarded team includes David Hutton, Matthew Waters and Nadeem Arshad in Bristol, Virginia Cooper in London and Leeds-based Judith Barnes  who is advising Wirral Council on the complex procurement of a private sector partner to form an LLP for large-scale regeneration of the Council's area. Bethan Evans retired in January 2018.

Bridgette Wilcox, Paul Pugh and Huw Jones¬†are the Cardiff-based, key team members at the helm of Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's public law and local authority practice that advises local authorities on areas ranging from¬† procurement to employment matters. It has been¬†appointed ¬†by the UK Infrastructure and Projects Authority to undertake the review and updating of the draft guidance for contracts under PF2, the successor to PFI. Its wide-ranging work includes advising the¬†London Borough of Harrow on the procurement of a technology partner to develop and exploit its "Infinity‚ÄĚ adult social care software and it¬†also has well-established expertise in¬†public sector pensions law. Jackie Heeds¬†is noted for her infrastructure procurement expertise.

A source reported that Pinsent Masons LLP can provide 'a joined-up and in-depth team service' that gives 'pragmatic and well-balanced advice.' This highly-regarded national team offers expertise across the gamut of local authority legal requirements and counts more than 160 local authorities within its client base. The team continues to advise Haringey Council on the procurement of a strategic investment and development partner on a potential £2bn regeneration project. It also advised Manchester City Council on securing an investment partner in respect of the Northern Gateway scheme. In other work it is advising councils on a regional investment fund, strategic planning and governance issues. Anne Bowden is the national head of the team, other key members include Scot Morrison, Didar Dhillon,  Adrian Eakin and David Meecham.

Local government work is a core practice area for Trowers & Hamlins LLP  which is considered by a client to provide 'excellent value for money and customer service.'  Its expert advice extends across the development of new models for delivering services more cost effectively, investment projects, PPPs and property matters as well as local authority powers and devolution issues. James Hawkins heads the team and offers extensive experience in PPPs and Birmingham-based Amardeep Gill's work included acting for three Northern Ireland authorities bidding to become the European Capital of Culture 2023. Helen Randall is noted for her 'great in-depth knowledge of the sector and trends' and for being 'well connected.'  Jon Baldwin departed in September 2017 for Winckworth Sherwood LLP  and Anna Horsthuis joined in September 2017 from Walker Morris LLP.

Richard Barlow who heads the public law group at Browne Jacobson LLP has broad expertise advising on contentious planning and environmental matters and offers especial expertise on both advisory and disputed procurement matters as well as governance. This large team, which one client called 'a trusted partner', advises an array of  local and city councils including in Nottingham, Derbyshire, Enfield, Harlow and Guildford on work ranging from procurement and joint ventures to health and safety and criminal investigations. Typical work includes advising the London Borough of Enfield on the complex matter of selecting a joint venture partner to develop the Montagu Industrial Estate. Peter Ware, Laura Hughes  and Stephen Matthews  are some of the other noted practitioners.

Infrastructure, regeneration, housing and related funding and finance are key areas of the Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP  practice. Team head Andrew Yates  has extensive expertise in these areas and counts the Greater London Authority, Homes England and the London Legacy Development Corporation as clients. Other names of note are Alan Aisbett and Lesley-Anne Avis who also have a focus on regeneration projects. It continues to advise the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and the Greater London Authority on the £500m Blackwall Reach regeneration project, involving the redevelopment of the entire Robin Hood Gardens Estate in Poplar.

Sharpe Pritchard LLP is considered to be 'excellent, knowledgeable and good value for money' in the local government arena. The team houses a number of lawyers who work exclusively for local authorities including Westminster City Council, Kensington and Chelsea,  Dudley and Dorset County Council. It handles litigation and advisory work on infrastructure and procurement projects as well as advising the Local Government Association on legislation. In representative work, it is advising Cheshire East Borough Council on its competitive procurement of a contractor for a new recycling facility for green and food waste. Roseanne Serrelli who specializes in non-contentious procurement especially for large-scale IT services is the joint head of the group with Trevor Griffiths and Julia Rudin and John Sharland are other names to note.

Simon Goacher, who is based in Liverpool, heads a team at Weightmans LLP that 'always provides that extra touch without charging for every minute that they spend assisting a client.' Some of the other key members of the team include Clive Bleasdale in Liverpool and Mark Leach in Manchester. Senior associate Morris Hill, who heads up the social care team in the North West, is noted for being 'very pragmatic, sensible and effective.' The team handles matters ranging from regeneration projects, large-scale employment work and the restructuring of service provision to devolution matters. It is acting for Liverpool City Council on a £1bn redevelopment project and on the contentious side is represented Rochdale Borough Council as a core participant in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

Addleshaw Goddard 'has an excellent reputation, particularly for local government and energy-related work' according to a source. The specialists in the team are located in Manchester, Leeds and London and they are supported by the larger group on areas such as projects, healthcare, real estate and litigation. It advises on financial matters such as borrowing and investments, major outsourcing, PPPs and PFIs and contentious procurement cases. It assisted Stoke City Council on a proposed variation and refinancing of its pathfinder street lighting PFI Scheme and also advised Transport for Greater Manchester in establishing a highways shared services arrangement with three Greater Manchester local authorities. Michael O’Connor  and Andrew Pettinger  lead the team and Richard Goodfellow is another key member.

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP serves local authority clients on a national basis from its headquarters in Birmingham. The highly experienced Olwen Dutton leads a team that advises on governance and constitutional issues, investigations, as well as models for delivery of services, health and social care matters. Some of the other names to note are Mark Cook, Matthew Gregson  and Jon Coane. It is assisting Torbay Council with advice on setting up company structures to meet financial and other objectives within the residential property market, in part to offset lost grants. It also assisted Reigate and Banstead Borough Council on a raft of diverse matters including property, pensions, funding, commercial matters and governance after it came out of a shared services agreement.

Ashfords LLP offers the full range of services to local government authorities from its West Country and London offices. It is advising the London Borough of Brent on complex development and planning matters in relation to the Wembley Park development. In other work it advises Wandsworth Borough Council, and the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames with which it has a service sharing agreement, on diverse areas including housing, employment and litigation. Elizabeth Gibson  leads the team and some of her senior colleagues include Chris Coughlan ,  Richard Voke and  Sian Gibbon .

Offering an 'excellent level of service' Bates Wells combines public law specialists with those with regulatory, procurement, state aid, employment and property expertise. Led by the highly respected Melanie Carter the local government audit team is retained by the National Audit Office advising on areas such as local authority financing issue. The team was appointed by Canterbury City Council on the spin out of the Marlowe Theatre to a charity, the Marlowe Trust. It is also advising Wirral Borough Council on the potential spin out of its leisure and cultural services.  Abbie Rumbold heads the public services and Mutuals function and Erica Crump and senior associate Augustus Della-Porta  are noted names.

Bircham Dyson Bell's public law team is lead by David Mundy and Matthew Smith and is noted as 'strong in its specialist areas.' It counts local authorities such as Slough Borough Council, Three Rivers District Council and Bristol Council and the National Audit Office among its clients and covers areas ranging from regulations and health care to the environment.  The team continues to advise East Riding of Yorkshire Council and the Bridlington Harbour Commissioners in connection with the development of a marina as part of a regeneration of Bridlington harbour.

Burges Salmon LLP's team of public law and local government practitioners is made up of a number of ex-local government lawyers. Its expertise covers advice on planning, regeneration schemes and work includes matters such as advising on waste and recycling projects. Gary Solomon and Michael Hayles head the public law group; Matthew Ramus  takes on outsourcing and PFI work; Nick Churchward  specialises in energy matters and Michael Hayles  specialises in pensions. It has been advising the Department for Education on statutory interventions in respect of local authority-run children's services in Sunderland, Sandwell and Birmingham as a result of continued failings in the provision of these services.

Specialists at Dentons provide expertise on housing, transportation, planning, procurement and environmental issues and the team stands out for the scale of the urban regeneration work that it attracts. Virginia Glastonbury, Stephen Ashworth, Mark Bassett, and Roland Gray are some of the key partners handling such work. It is advising Essex, Braintree, Colchester and Tendring Councils on their  proposals to create a number of garden communities which will provide thousands of homes; it is advising on planning policies, development vehicles as well as the delivery of commercial spaces and infrastructure. It is also advising the Greater London Authority on the complex redevelopment of Beam Park, a former Ford industrial site which would deliver thousands of homes, leisure areas and a new rail station.

Derek Adamson, Toby Askin, Denise Brosnan and Caroline Coates are some of the senior practitioners at DWF who undertake substantial work for local authorities. Multi-disciplinary teams take on matters from the Birmingham and other offices for clients such as Newcastle City Council, Somerset County Council, Bristol City Council and the London Borough of Greenwich. The team is acting for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in connection with personal injury claims (and the public inquiry) arising from the Grenfell Tower disaster. It is also continuing to act for Coventry City Council and Zurich Insurance on around 25 historic abuse claims relating to the alleged crimes that took place at a care home in Coventry.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP, who come 'very highly recommended', serves local authorities nationally from its London base. It advised Waveney District Council on the creation of two new Parish Councils and is assisting East Staffordshire Borough Council on a leisure procurement project. In other work it is assisting clients with employment issues and the protection and restoration of significant cultural buildings. Practice head Joanna Bussell  advises central as well as local government departments on PPPs and outsourcing as part of her broader expertise and Consultant Simon Randall CBE has considerable experience in housing, outsourcing and joint ventures. Charlotte Swift is also a name to note.

Due to its merger with Nabarro LLP,  CMS  boosted its expertise in large-scale public procurement, infrastructure and regeneration projects. Head of the planning team, Martin Evans advises local authorities and government agencies as well as major property companies on all aspects of developments, zoning and compulsory purchases. Real estate expert, Amy Norton in Edinborough also counts local authorities among her clients and Michael McAuley  advises local authorities, health boards and other clients on procurement matters including the EU procurement regime.

Davitt Jones Bould has a partner-led offering which is said to have 'excellent lawyers who are receptive to the needs of a local authority in challenging times' and is also 'efficient and discreet.' Malcolm Iley is the experienced head of the practice who has a focus on property and regeneration projects. Robin de Wreede is a planning and property specialist who is highlighted for his 'depth of knowledge and diligence in pursuing matters' and John Qualtrough has years of experience advising local authorities on planning issues. It is advising on a number of large-scale regeneration projects including Woking Borough Council on the £500m urban regeneration of Sheerwater.

The regional and national teams at Freeths LLP have considerable  geographical reach. Nathan Holden, based in Birmingham advises on real estate and commercial projects including town centre expansions and Mitchell Ball, also based in Birmingham, has extensive retail development expertise. Other key names to note are Stephen Pearson and Christopher Waumsley in Nottingham and Philippa Dempster in London. It is dealing with all the 'right to buy' work for the Royal Borough of Greenwich and is advising the London Borough of Havering on the acquisition of Havering College of Further and Higher Education’s Quarles Campus for £5.5m and the subsequent leaseback of the campus to the College for two years.

At Gowling WLG a multi-disciplinary team can offer the gamut of expertise to local authorities. Sarah Sasse heads the procurement practice and has many years of experience of outsourcing matters, especially in the IT sector. Mark Greenburgh heads up the inter-departmental local government team and is advising Bury Metropolitan Borough Council on the fall out following the leader of the council having to suspend the Chief Executive, the Monitoring Officer and the Director of Children’s Services following a critical external review of an historic child protection issue. On the procurement and regeneration front it is advising the London Borough of Barnet on the £4bn Brent Cross/Cricklewood scheme involving housing, transport and commercial units. The team was boosted with the hire of planning partner Vicky Fowler from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP handles a broad range of work for local authorities, especially large-scale regeneration projects. Highlight work includes advising the London Borough of Lewisham on areas such as planning and property matters relating to the redevelopment of the New Bermondsey site. This complex case includes proceedings brought by Millwall Football Club seeking disclosure of a financial due diligence report and the price under a land sale agreement between the Council and the developer. It is also advising Three Rivers District Council in respect of the South Oxhey Initiative, a mixed use regeneration project in partnership with Countryside Properties (UK) and Home Group. Martin Stacey  has a focus on redevelopment and regeneration projects, Iain Greenshields  takes on PFI, PPP, joint ventures and outsourcing matters and Jocelyn Denton handles  planning and infrastructure. The team has been enhanced with the addition of Andrew Hirst, managing associate, who joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP.

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