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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

Editorial

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Index of tables

  1. Local government
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

The Bevan Brittan LLP team is rated by the market for the breadth of its practice; it has worked with over 300 local authorities around the country. It advises on a comprehensive range of work from regeneration and procurement to assisting on new ways to raise finance in order to provide key services. It also assists on local government governance and reorganisations, often in cases where the authority is in financial distress. The team, which is led by David Hutton in Bristol, includes Steven Smith, Virginia Cooper and Judith Barnes, who is based in Leeds. 'Strong negotiator' Nadeem Arshad is also a key member of the team and is especially noted for his expertise in the waste industries.

Practice head(s):David Hutton

Other key lawyers:Steven Smith; Virginia Cooper; Judith Barnes; Nadeem Arshad

Testimonials

'The team have an exceptional knowledge about the waste industry and the market that they have been more than happy to share to ensure the correct outcomes for the project. The team have shown patience, dedication and have gone the extra mile on more than one occasion to ensure that goals were met. They are always on hand to provide advice and are an integral part of the project team.'

'Nadeem Arshad is a strong negotiator who offers support at every stage of the process.'

'Phil Roberts'  attention to detail ensures that we are fully briefed with all the facts to enable swift decision making.'

'Nathan Bradberry excels at ensuring that momentum keeps the project moving forward in a timely manner.'

 

Key Clients

Sheffield City Council

Surrey County Council

5 Councils: Mendip: Vale of White Horse DC: Havant DC; Hart DC; South Oxfordshire DC

London Borough of Havering

Nottingham City Council

Slough Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Sheffield City Council on the renegotiation, potential re-procurement and/or termination of their major integrated PPP contract with Veolia Environmental Services.
  • Advising Surrey County Council on the procurement of a joint venture partner in order to procure largely housing and some mixed-use developments, led by a development partner on a JV basis.  The potential matter value ranged from £250m to £1bn.
  • Advising five councils – Mendip, Vale of White Horse DC, Havant DC, Hart DC, South Oxfordshire DC – on contract management services with an outsourced provider for the provision of their back office services and including negotiating a complex variation to allow the councils to bring back strategic control of some service elements. Provided advice on contractual terms and support to a negotiation strategy designed to improve service delivery.
  • Advising  Birmingham City Council on their new waste PPP project, future waste strategy and exit arrangements from their current  contract with Veolia Environmental Services.
  • Advising Slough Borough Council on its proposed procurement of a multi-phase, residential-led regeneration of the former Thames Valley University site and other adjoining land in Slough town centre. The council is proposing to procure this flagship development through its joint venture Local Asset Backed Vehicle (Slough Urban Renewal LLP).

The 'consistently reliable' national offering at Pinsent Masons LLP  includes  real estate, housing, planning, commercial structuring and governance.  It advises on issues in the areas of education, health, energy and IT in conjunction with its understanding of political or regulatory factors. Anne Bowden heads the practice and has a focus on regeneration/housing projects and new funding, and Scot Morrison is especially skilled in structuring public sector joint venture vehicles and partnership structures in relation to property/regeneration schemes and procurement matters. Didar Dhillon has advised on large-scale projects and regional investment funds and real estate partner Nicholas Berry is also noted for his work with local authorities.

Practice head(s):Anne Bowden

Other key lawyers:Scot Morrison; Didar Dhillon; Nicholas Berry

Key Clients

Manchester City Council

London Borough of Wandsworth

London Borough of Lambeth

Leeds City Council

Birmingham City Council

Sunderland City Council

Oxford City Council

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Westminster City Council

London Borough of Brent

Work highlights

  • Acted for the London Borough of Southwark on its JV with British Land for the creation of a new town centre at Canada Water, a £2bn project.
  • Acting for Basingstoke & Deane Council in relation to the creation of a JV to deliver its 3,500-dwelling urban extension at Manydown, in partnership with Urban and Civic.
  • Advising Westminster City Council at the inception stage of its flagship 1,750-unit housing regeneration project at Church Street estate.
  • Acting for the London Borough of Wandsworth on its £1bn regeneration of the Winstanley/York Road estate beside Clapham Junction, a JV with Taylor Wimpey.
  • Advised Birmingham City Council on its procurement of a developer for its most significant new employment site at Peddimore, which will create 10,000 new jobs.

The team at Trowers & Hamlins LLP is especially skillful in relation to local authorities' challenges in financing the provision of public services. In addition to advising on a range of regeneration/housing projects, it assists on developing new ways for local authorities to work together to deliver services, including shared service arrangements and wholly owned trading companies. The team is also well versed in local authority powers, finance and procurement rules, state aid and competition law. James Hawkins heads the national team and has a track record in PPPs relating to environmental/waste services and regeneration projects. The highly experienced Helen Randall  has a background as an in-house local government advisor and Scott Dorling  is the national head of the public sector housing practice. In Birmingham,  Amardeep Gill advises on a range of commercial/PPP matters. Consultant Ian Doolittle  provides expertise in regeneration and housing projects.

Practice head(s):James Hawkins

Other key lawyers:Helen Randall; Scott Dorling; Amardeep Gill; Ian Doolittle

Key Clients

Local GovernmentAssociation

West Midlands CombinedAuthority

London Councils

London Borough ofHammersmith & Fulham

Slough Borough Council

Gravesham BoroughCouncil

Harlow, Epping Forest and East Herts DistrictCouncils

Lambeth Council

Tameside MetropolitanBorough Council

Norwich City Council

London Borough ofSutton

Westminster City Council

UK Central (Solihull)Limited trading as UrbanGrowth Company (owned by Solihull BoroughCouncil)

Camden Living

Reading Borough Council

Stoke-on-Trent CityCouncil

Southwark Council

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority

Bracknell Forest Council

London Borough of Newham

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Local Government Association on an innovative  project to establish a local authority mutual protection company for local authorities
  • Advising the West Midlands Combined Authority on the public sector's first intervention in the telecoms market as part of the Urban Connected Communities 5G Project.
  • Advising London Councils (the cross-party body representing the 32 London boroughs and the Corporation of London) on a ground-breaking initiative to increase the supply of good-quality temporary accommodation for homeless households, as well as cutting the increasing cost burden.
  • Advising the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham on a £100m affordable housing delivery framework scheme to provide 800 new homes over six years.
  • Advising Slough BC on an innovative solution to a high-risk private sector residential block following the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

A substantial group at Ashfords LLP provides multi-disciplinary services to local authorities in London and elsewhere, many of whom are long-standing clients, and it is on a large number of panels. In addition to housing, regeneration and IT projects, it provides expertise on areas ranging from governance and state aid to corporate matters and civil and criminal disputes. Elizabeth Gibson heads the services and Paul Butterworth provides expertise on complex regeneration and development projects, social housing and public finance. Senior associate Lucy Woods assists local authorities and central government departments on various corporate and outsourcing projects and Andrew Rothwell is highly rated for his real estate advice.

Practice head(s):Elizabeth Gibson

Other key lawyers:Paul Butterworth; Lucy Woods; Andrew Rothwell

Testimonials

'Andrew Rothwell is exceptional - an excellent understanding of local government, creative in identifying solutions to challenging legal issues, with a calm and reassuring demeanour.'

Key Clients

HFL Group Limited

Brick by Brick Croydon Limited

Wandsworth Borough Council

London Borough of Newham

London Borough of Hackney

Exeter City Council

Council of the Isles of Scilly

Cornwall Council

Work highlights

  • Advising HFL, established by the London Borough of Lambeth as the 'Homes for Lambeth' housing delivery venture. The advice includes social housing, commercial contracts, property and planning, and corporate governance matters.
  • Advising Brick by Brick (Croydon) Limited, a wholly owned company of Croydon Borough Council, on a range of matters relating to 40 schemes, aiming to deliver 1,400 housing units.
  • Continuing to provide legal services to Wandsworth and the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames (with which Wandsworth has been sharing services) on a broad range of matters including housing, procurement, planning and civil and criminal disputes.
  • Providing a multi-disciplinary service to the London Borough of Newham in respect of its various corporate outsourcing projects, involving the outsourcing of a vast range of services from providing school meals to core facilities.
  • Assisting the London Borough of Hackney with its Britannia Project which is a large mixed-use social infrastructure development  and includes plans for a new leisure centre and school, as well as residential developments (both social and private market) and associated infrastructure and public realm works. The project is valued at £360m.

BDB Pitmans (Bircham Dyson Bell merged with Pitmans in late 2018) has an impressive national practice, especially in areas of transport, regeneration projects and clean air/emissions matters. Mark Challis heads the department and David Mundy leads the practice area - he is a Roll A Parliamentary Agent and his expertise spans development schemes, public procurement and state aid and broad administrative law matters. Also a Roll A Parliamentary Agent, Nick Evans advises on major  infrastructure projects in the transport, energy, water and waste sectors. Angus Walker also has a focus on these sectors and 'stand out' Tom Henderson handles infrastructure planning. Senior associate Rahul Bijlani  is noted; he acted for Transport for London on numerous extensions and variations of London's congestion charging regime.

Practice head(s):Mark Challis; David Mundy

Other key lawyers:Nick Evans; Angus Walker; Tom Henderson; Rahul Bijlani

Testimonials

'Very customer focused, practical and always looking for solutions.  Very knowledgeable and clearly experts in their field.'

'They have longstanding expert knowledge and experience as lawyers and Parliamentary agents in relation to congestion charging and particularly workplace parking levy schemes and air quality legislation.'

'Tom Henderson is a stand-out individual and he is developing team members.  Issues are expedited diligently and professionally with a thoroughness that enables strengths, weaknesses and risks to be identified and properly considered.'

Key Clients

Allerdale Borough Council

Bath & North East Somerset Council

Riding of East Yorkshire Council

Birmingham City Council

Blackpool Borough Council

Cambridge & Peterborough Combined Authority

England’s Economic Heartland Sub-national Transport Body

Nottingham City Council

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Transport for Greater Manchester, Manchester City Council

Trafford Borough Council & Wigan Borough Council

Leeds City Council

Work highlights

  • Advising the Bath and North East Somerset Council on legislative instruments to put into place a clean air zone, where vehicles will be charged to enter the city of Bath.
  • Advising East Riding of Yorkshire on their plans to regenerate the harbour at Bridlington with the  Harbour Commissioners through a Harbours Act Order to facilitate the construction of a marina.
  • Advised Birmingham City Council on various matters including the interface between the local  transport arrangements with the High Speed 2 project.  Currently  advising the council on clean air zones.
  • Continuing to advise Blackpool Borough Council on the extension of Blackpool tramway, the oldest active tramway in the UK, to Blackpool North railway station.
  • Advising England’s Economic Heartland on the legislative requirements of becoming a statutory sub-national transport body, and on the regulatory burdens affecting the delivery of strategic infrastructure in their region.

Based in Nottingham, Peter Ware and Richard Barlow lead the Browne Jacobson LLP practice, which is valued for its ability to bring together a range of expertise to large projects. Ware's experience includes acting for a group of local authorities that established as one of the first pooled LGPS funds in the country. Stephen Matthew handles major procurements, infrastructure projects and joint ventures, as does Nick Hurley who has focused of late on regeneration projects. Anja Beriro acts for both public and private sector clients on procurements including for IT. The team also advises on matters such as state aid, planning and environmental law, and health and safety issues.

Practice head(s):Peter Ware; Richard Barlow

Other key lawyers:Stephen Matthew; Nick Hurley; Anja Beriro

Testimonials

'Extremely well linked teams within Browne Jacobson mean that a large project has been seamlessly supported even where it crosses over numerous specialisms.  An awareness of how to link the property, procurement and public law elements of a major property development quickly and with mutual understanding between the specialists is key to their success.'

'Stephen Matthew couldn't be more effective. His grasp of the detail is the best I have seen in my years in the public sector and the apparent simplicity of his pragmatic advice on the way forward is always bedded in that understanding of the many threads behind each case.'

Stephen Matthew is always approachable, knowledgeable and keen to work with us. He adopts a flexible approach and his advice is valued by clients.

Key Clients

Leicestershire County Council

Herefordshire County Council

London Borough of Croydon

Broxtowe Borough Council

Devon County Council

Shropshire Council

West Midlands Combined Authority

Nottinghamshire County Council

Nottingham City Council

London Borough of Enfield

Work highlights

  • Acted for Shropshire Council on the acquisition of three linked shopping centres in Shrewsbury by acquiring the Jersey property unit trusts which held the assets.
  • Provided advice to Hereford County Council regarding the establishment of its development and regeneration programme with Keepmoat Homes and Engie Regeneration  following a competitive dialogue process. A matter potentially worth £1bn.
  • Advised Leicestershire County Council on the establishment of a corporate trading arm through which ESPO, a highly successful collaboration between a number of local authorities, will expand its commercial activities.
  • Advising the London Borough of Croydon on its ‘good to great’ programme -  a total redesign of its IT infrastructure and support.
  • Acted for Derby City Council in entering into a 3.4km underground cable easement with Western Power Distribution Services Limited through land owned by Derby City Council to enable a power connection to a Rolls Royce factory in Derby.

The team at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP attracts high-value regeneration/housing and infrastructure work combined with related funding deals. Andrew Yates specialises in these matters and counts the likes of the Greater London Authority and Homes England among his clients. Other key team members include Lesley-Anne Avis (regeneration and development projects, JVs and funding); Tessa Kimber (regeneration and developments and transport infrastructure) and senior consultant Alan Aisbett, who has decades of experience advising on PPPs, real estate/affordable housing and outsourcing matters.

Practice head(s):Andrew Yates

Other key lawyers:Lesley-Anne Avis; Tessa Kimber; Alan Aisbett 

Key Clients

Homes England

Greater London Authority

Transport for London

Bath and North Somerset Council

London Legacy Development Corporation

Bracknell Forest Borough Council

Lewisham Gateway Developments Limited

South Oxfordshire District Council

London Borough of Bexley

Swale Borough Council and Maidstone Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Acted for Homes England on a £1bn housing development fund to help build thousands of new homes across England to help increase the pace and volume of housing provision.
  • Acted for long-standing client the Greater London Authority and Barking Riverside Limited. The work has included acting on the acquisition of a 51% shareholding in BRL by London & Quadrant from Bellway Homes and on the development and funding agreements for delivery of the London Overground extension.
  • Continuing to advise the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and Greater London Authority  on the Blackwall Reach regeneration project, involving the redevelopment of the entire Robin Hood Gardens Estate in Poplar.
  • Continuing to advise Swale Borough Council and Maidstone Borough Council in relation to planning agreements and associated issues for development proposals in their areas.
  • Advising Homes England on a £200m loan to the Canary Wharf Group for infrastructure and public realm work at Wood Wharf, thereby unlocking c.3,200 new homes (25% are affordable).

The Bristol-based team at Burges Salmon LLP offers an impressive array of skills to a national client base spanning corporate, procurement and infrastructure matters and has notable expertise in local authority pensions matters and the provision of children's services. Gary Soloman has a focus on regeneration and compulsory purchase work; John Houlden's work includes procurement, state aid and European funding matters and Tom Dunn  and Gareth Malna advise on funding and investment funds. Marcus Harling is the lead advisor to Greater London Authority and Transport for London.

Practice head(s):Gary Soloman

Other key lawyers:John Houlden; Marcus Harling; Tom Dunn; Gareth Malna

Testimonials

'Gareth Malna and Tom Dunn were engaging, logical and used a common-sense approach. Both showed exceptional qualities in executing their duties.'

Key Clients

Isle of Anglesey County Council

Sunderland City Council

North Somerset Council

Greater London Authority

Gwynedd (and 12 other Welsh authorities)

Hampshire County Council

Stevenage Borough Council

Torbay Borough Council

Isle of Wight Council

Bristol City Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Reading Borough Council on its major children’s services transition projects.
  • Assisting Isle of Anglesey County Council in its role as host authority for the new nuclear power station at Wylfa and associated developments.
  • Advising the Greater London Authority on a series of major regeneration projects in East London. The work includes advising on the procurement strategy to deliver in excess of £3bn of investment with multiple development partners and investors.
  • Advising Birmingham Children’s Trust on the council’s major children's services transition project.
  • Advising South Yorkshire Pension Authority on protecting and enhancing the value of its  landholdings.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's public law expertise includes advising local authorities on areas such as procurement - Jackie Heeds  is noted for her infrastructure procurement expertise. Core team members Bridgette Wilcox, Paul Pugh and Huw Jones are based in Cardiff.

Other key lawyers:Bridgette Wilcox; Paul Pugh; Huw Jones; Jackie Heeds

Testimonials

'The employment law team within Eversheds Sutherland have worked with us over a number of years. Their knowledge is excellent and in particular the context of working in Wales with its unique regulation framework'.

'Knowledgeable, well-versed partners at a reasonable price'.

'They are professional at all times whilst offering excellent advice and guidance whilst remaining explaining the options and solutions in a clear way that can be shared with colleagues'.

'Huw Jones provides good employment law advice'.

Sharpe Pritchard LLP provides an extensive range of expertise to local authorities throughout the country. Roseanne Serrelli specialises in procurement, especially relating to large-scale IT projects and John Sharland's broad experience ranges from PPP and PFI contracts and procurement law to governance and social housing issues. Julia Rudin, who co-heads the team with Serrelli and is the managing partner, oversees work in relation to regeneration, including the establishment of housing companies and delivery vehicles for property development. Aside from housing, the team advises on the financing and delivery of services including water, dealing with waste and education.

Practice head(s):Julia Rudin; Roseanne Serrelli

Other key lawyers:John Sharland

Key Clients

London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

Hertfordshire County Council

London Borough of Southwark

West London Waste Authority

Cambridgeshire County Council

Suffolk County Council

Local Government Association

Southampton

Warrington Council

Warrington Council

Milton Keynes

Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

Work highlights

  • Advised Hertfordshire County Council on its high-profile project for the development of its surplus land assets, including the procurement of a joint venture partner, a matter valued at up to £2bn.
  • Acted for Hammersmith & Fulham in Ocean Outdoor UK Limited v London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and successfully defended a procurement challenge to the council’s decision to grant leases of two properties which permitted advertising next to a highway. The rental income on this matter was in the region of £1.7m per annum.
  • Acting for Cambridgeshire County Council who, in partnership with the Community Land Trust of Swaffham,  is developing a project for the sale of heat to domestic and non-domestic customers from a district heating scheme proposed in the village of Swaffham Prior.
  • Having acted for Hertfordshire County Council on its waste PFI project, of late it continues to advise on several complex, related procurement matters to assist the council  to fulfill its statutory duty as a waste disposal authority.
  • Acting for Brentwood Borough Council in relation to their regeneration PPP, currently in procurement. The project is estimated to be worth £1bn over 30 years.

Based in Liverpool, Simon Goacher heads the substantial Weightmans LLP national public law team. He is noted for being especially adept in the areas of governance and vires issues and the practice is known for its handling of investigations, many of which are high-profile. John Riddell in Leicester handles litigation, judicial reviews and advisory work for local authorities while Clive Bleasdale advises on a range of real estate matters. The team also provides employment-related expertise; Mark Leach acts for local authorities on equal pay disputes and the team is also home to expertise in commercial, procurement and finance matters.

Practice head(s):Simon Goacher

Other key lawyers:John Riddell; Clive Bleasdale; Mark Leach

Key Clients

Selby District Council

Rochdale Borough Council

York City Council

Liverpool City Council

LLG (Lawyers in Local Government)

Rutland County Council

Staffordshire Moorlands County Council

Rotherham MBC

EM Lawshare

North West Legal Consortium

Work highlights

  • Advising Selby District Council on a delivery strategy for the Olympia Park. The plan  involves the proposed development of c 1,500 new homes and 23 hectares of employment land up to 2027.
  • Advised Herefordshire Council on its receipt of £23m of grant funding from the Department for Education and the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership to build a new university in Hereford.
  • Advised York City Council and BE Independent, a community interest company that it had set up, on the transfer of assets from the company to the council. The company provides emergency care and specialist equipment for use at home by vulnerable service users.
  • Acted for Rutland County Council in successfully resisting a proposed claim by a prisoner against the council’s refusal to provide care services directed by the parole board in order to secure the prisoner’s release from prison.
  • Acted for Rochdale MBC in respect of an investigation into multiple complaints against the leader of the council.

The team at Addleshaw Goddard offers a host of services to local authorities in connection with regeneration and redevelopment work, transport projects, outsourcing contracts (including ICT contracts), financing and refinancing.  Mike O’Connor and Andrew Pettinger lead the practice and Richard Goodfellow, who heads the infrastructure, projects and energy group, handles major transactions that include PPPs, project financing and renewables matters. Rob Thompson also has a focus on energy as well as the waste and health sectors.

Practice head(s):Mike O'Connor; Andrew Pettinger

Other key lawyers:Richard Goodfellow; Rob Thompson

Key Clients

West Midlands Combined Authority

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

Manchester City Council

Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council

Cheshire EastCouncil/Connecting Cheshire

Cumbria County Council

Oldham Metropolitan

Borough Council N

Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council

Burnley Borough Council

Cheshire West & Chester Council

York City Council

Leeds City Council

Luton Borough Council

Reading Borough Council

Hull City Council

Derby City Council

Somerset County Council

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Work highlights

  • Acted for Tameside (in its capacity as administrator of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund) as mezzanine lender and equity investor in a joint venture with Urban & Civic as developer in connection with the development of three residential blocks at Manchester New Square.
  • Continuing to advise Luton Airport Limited on the £200m development of a mass passenger transit system (the Luton DART) between Luton Airport Parkway railway station and the airport terminal.
  • Acted for Leeds City Council in relation to the promotion and procurement of a district heating scheme in Leeds. The advice  included state aid, procurement, corporate, joint venture and general commercial aspects.
  • Advising Wakefield City Council on a variation to its street lighting PFI agreement which will allow the council to make energy savings in excess of 60%.
  • Advising West Midlands Combined Authority on all aspects of a £340m expansion of the Midland Metro tram system, including various complex rail regulatory issues, real estate aspects and the suite of asset protection and other agreements to govern the whole life of the scheme.

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP offers a broad range of services to its clients, often providing a local authority with expertise in multiple practice areas. Its skills extend to PPPs, construction, real estate and planning and it has a specialism in company set-ups, for example the establishment of a National Federation of Local Authority Trading Companies. Team head Olwen Dutton is especially known for his expertise in all facets of governance and investigations; Mark Cook  has a wealth of experience in PPP matters and Stuart Evans advises on planning issues.

Practice head(s):Olwen Dutton

Other key lawyers:Mark Cook; Stuart Evans

Key Clients

Coventry City Council

Lincolnshire County Council

Leicestershire County Council

Mendip District Council

Birmingham City Council

Tendring District Council

Northumberland County Council

Cllr Elizabeth Harvey

Oxford Direct Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Provides the planning legal service to Coventry City Council. The service covers areas including  providing officers with a planning surgery for all general planning law matters and planning enforcement issues.
  • Advises Lincolnshire County Council in developing their forthcoming 12-year highways contracts for works, design services and signalling. The total contract value is £762m.
  • Acted as legal advisers to Mendip District Council across a range of matters including: in context of a historic and sensitive matter, advising the council on its engagement with a complainant (and other public bodies) together with the response to the complaint; and advising the council on joint arrangements for service delivery with other authorities and trading, including advice on regulatory compliance, public procurement, state aid and governance implications.
  • Advising Coventry City Council on the first stages of the £300m  redevelopment of Coventry city centre.

The team at Bates Wells is well know for its specialisms in advising local government auditors and advising in relation to mutuals. It has advised on audits in relation to over 40 local authorities, including on some high-profile cases such as the budget deficit of Northamptonshire Council. It advises public sector mutuals and spin-out organisations who are using such vehicles to provide key public services. Abbie Rumbold and Melanie Carter are the experts in these areas, together with Emma Dowden-Teale and Augustus Della-Porta, who also bring charity/social enterprise and social care expertise.

Practice head(s):Abbie Rumbold; Melanie Carter

Other key lawyers:Emma Dowden-Teale; Augustus Della-Porta

Testimonials

'The team has expertise and wide experience in a specialised field of local audit law, covering all aspects of Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 and the associated regulations. I find that the staff at BWB understand what we need from them and provide us with advice rather than replaying to us what we have told them.'

Key Clients

National Audit Office

Public Sector Audit Appointments

Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport

Wales Audit Office

KPMG

Buckinghamshire County Council and

Buckinghamshire Music Trust

Buckinghamshire Learning Trust

Greater London Authority

Canterbury City Council and

the Marlowe Trust

Everybody Sport & Recreation

Hertfordshire County Council

Work highlights

  • Retained  by the National Audit Office to advise on the external audit of local government bodies and legal queries arising from the National Audit Office’s functions.
  • Acting for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport on two new funding streams to come out of the department as part of its new funding for public service mutuals.  
  • Advising the Greater London Authority on structural, governance and contractual matters relating to the  incorporation of public practice, a new social enterprise that brokers placements for planning and place shaping practitioners within local authorities.
  • Continuing to advise Canterbury City Council on the spin-out of The Marlowe Theatre.
  • Advising KPMG (as statutory auditors) in relation to the effective bankruptcy of Northamptonshire County Council, including on the issuing of an unprecedented advisory notice.

Dentons has some long-established local authority clients such as the Greater London Authority, Essex County Council and Transport for London, and has a focus on large-scale regeneration projects. Stephen Ashworth is valued for providing 'a comprehensive service' and other key team members specialise in real estate (Virginia Glastonbury) and strategic acquisitions and disposals as part of redevelopment projects (Roland Gray). Bryan Johnstone handles real estate disputes and counsel Mark Bassett is a lead on public procurement work.

Practice head(s):Stephen Ashworth; Virginia Glastonbury; Roland Gray

Other key lawyers:Bryan Johnstone; Mark Bassett

Testimonials

'Dentons make every effort to understand the Council's issues and provide a cost-effective solution. They invariably provide timely and helpful advice, and give an impression of wanting to help as opposed to simply providing a service'.

'Stephen Ashworth in particular makes every effort to provide a comprehensive service.'

'Bryan Johnstone has undertaken some highly complex property litigation and is extremely highly rated by our surveyors. Overall they do come across as sympathetic to the Council's aspirations.'

Key Clients

Essex County Council

Colchester Borough Council

Northamptonshire County Council

Greater London Authority

Southampton City Council

Huntingdonshire District Council

Basingstoke & Dean Borough Council

South Cambridgeshire District Council

London Borough of Greenwich Council

Transport for London

The London Borough of Southwark

Braintree District Council

Southend On Sea Borough Council

London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham

Hounslow Borough Council

Uttlesford District Council

Mid Sussex District Council

London Borough of Barking & Dagenham

Slough Urban Renewal LLP

Work highlights

  • Advising Braintree District Council, Colchester Borough Council and Tendring District Council (together the North Essex Authorities) on their proposals for three garden communities, which will together provide between 29,000 and 43,000 homes. The development value is in the region of £8-10bn.
  • Advised Northamptonshire County Council on the sale and leaseback of its One Angel Square new HQ building in Northampton to Canada Life.
  • Advising Southampton City Council on the development of Southampton Royal Pier, a multi-phase mixed use scheme with developer Morgan Sindall and fellow landowners Associated British Ports and the Crown Estate.
  • Advising the London Borough of Southwark and City of London Corporation in Supreme Court litigation relating to the extent of land which vests in Transport for London as the body responsible for strategic roads in London.
  • Continuing to advise the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham on a major regeneration scheme, the Barking Riverside Gateways Housing Zone Project.

Mark Whittaker and Perry Hill head a practice at DWF that handles a wide range of contentious cases for county and district councils and London boroughs where councils' liability is in issue. The claims range from personal injuries and professional negligence, to human rights and privacy breaches, and may relate to decisions in areas such as construction projects. The team is skilled in dealing with the insurance aspects of such claims together with the  establishment of insurance-based funds. Caroline Sanders  is also a noted team member for this work.

Practice head(s):Mark Whittaker; Perry Hill

Other key lawyers:Caroline Sanders

Testimonials

'They go the extra mile to deliver an excellent service to their clients and take time to really understand their client's point of view and make sure they are happy with how a case is progressing.'

'We trust who is appointed to deal with a case and know that the service will be of excellent quality and know that your case is in safe hands.'

'Special mention goes to Caroline Sanders and her team who go above and beyond to delivery a good quality service.'

Key Clients

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Westminster City Council

London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham

London Borough of Tower Hamlets

London Borough of Sutton

Surrey County Council

Brighton and Hove Council

Somerset County Council

London Borough of Ealing

Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

Work highlights

  • Advising the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on claims arising from the Grenfell tower tragedy.
  • Advising the City of Westminster regarding a defamation claim brought against a councillor.
  • Advising Surrey County council on the collection of social care debt.
  • Advising Somerset County Council on the establishment of new insurance arrangements for schools and academies within the county.
  • Advising Spelthorne District  Council  in respect of an inquest and subsequent threatened proceedings following the death of an individual who died from carbon monoxide poisoning at his home during the floods of 2014.

Market sources acknowledge Gowling WLG for the quality of its work, including on large regeneration projects. Procurement and outsourcing are Sarah Sasse's core areas with a focus on IT outsourcing - she co-leads the team with Michael Luckman who is based in Birmingham. Richard Beckingsale provides the real estate and joint venture projects expertise, and Giles Clifford has extensive experience in rail/transport and urban regeneration work, and related public-private partnerships. Health/the NHS, housing, leisure, waste and defence are some of the sectors in which it works and it offers a comprehensive range of disciplines, including corporate, intellectual property, governance and employment.

Practice head(s):Sarah Sasse; Michael Luckman 

Other key lawyers:Richard Beckingsale; Giles Clifford

Key Clients

Bury Metropolitan Borough Council

London Borough of Croydon

Transport for London and London Underground

Docklands Light Railway

London Bus Service

London Borough of Barnet

Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

Be First (Regeneration) (subsidiary of London Borough of Barking & Dagenham)

Westminster City Council

London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

Work highlights

  • Advising the London Borough of Croydon on the procurement of an operator to run the Fairfield Halls arts complex.
  • Assisting Transport for London and London Underground on all  aspects of the procurement negotiations with a development partner for TfL's project at South Kensington Station, which is listed in a heritage location. The advice covers real estate, property development, construction, corporate and joint venture issues.
  • Acting for Transport for London, London Underground (LUL), Docklands Light Railway and London Bus Services regarding agreements for the development of a new station entrance for LUL's West Ham Jubilee line station, and for three new bridges across the Jubilee line, and DLR tracks in the vicinity.
  • Continuing to advise the London Borough of Barnet on the £4bn Brent Cross/Cricklewood Scheme.
  • Advising the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead on the procurement of a development partner which has entered into a contractual joint venture with the council to lead the delivery of a residential-led development in Maidenhead.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP's team head, Joanna Bussell, handles public-private partnerships in respect of outsourcings, especially in the leisure and culture sectors, areas that the practice is especially known for. Simon Randall CBE has extensive experience advising both local authorities and housing associations on all aspects of housing projects and joint ventures.

Practice head(s):Joanna Bussell

Other key lawyers:Simon Randall CBE

Key Clients

Braintree District Council

Epping Forest District Council

Chelmsford City Council

East Staffordshire District Council

Canterbury City Council

Lancaster City Council

London Borough of Ealing

London Borough of Hounslow

Lichfield District Council

Slough Borough Council

East Staffordshire Borough Council

Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council

East Suffolk Council

Suffolk Coastal Council

London Borough of Wandsworth

Waveney District Council

Worthing Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Slough Borough Council on its varying roles and responsibilities in acting in its corporate capacity versus acting as trustee of a charity. It holds significant assets, the vast majority of which it holds in its corporate capacity, but some are held as corporate trustee.  
  • The team is advising East Staffordshire Borough Council regarding a leisure procurement. The advice covered the key risk areas and state aid matters.  
  • Advising Lichfield District Council on all aspects of the outsourcing of its leisure portfolio.
  • Advised Waveney District Council on the creation of two new Parish Councils pursuant to the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 and subsequent Local Government Parish Regulations.
  • Advising Slough Borough Council as the corporate trustee of a number of key assets in Slough, including a leisure facility built on recreational ground.  

At Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP five lawyers are the regional or London team heads: Martin Stacey (London), Iain Greenshields (London/Newcastle),   Jonathan Bower (Bristol/London), Will Fraser (London) and Mark Owen  (Leeds/London). The team advises on major regeneration and redevelopment schemes involving house building, commercial, leisure and education schemes. It also advises on State Aid-compliant funding and procurement matters, and is noted for its specialism in district heating schemes.

Practice head(s):Martin Stacey; Iain Greenshields; Jonathan Bower; Will Fraser; Mark Owen

Key Clients

London Borough of Lewisham

Three Rivers District Council

West Berkshire Council

NewcastleGateshead Initiative

Durham County Council

Northumberland County Council

Tees Valley Combined Authority

Newcastle City Council

City Of York Council

Newcastle City Council

Leeds City Council

Doncaster Borough Council

York City Council

Newcastle City Council

Middlesbrough Council

Work highlights

  • Acting for the London Borough of Lewisham on the Lewisham Gateway scheme - a strategic site which is key to the regeneration of Lewisham Town Centre, a matter valued at c£375m.
  • Advising Durham County Council on all contractual and procurement aspects, including procurement strategy and designing the tender process, of the Council’s project to build a new city-centre headquarters in Durham.
  • Assisting Northumberland County Council on all procurement aspects of the council’s £47m Ponteland Schools and Leisure development project. Under this project new buildings are being constructed for a Ponteland Secondary School and Ponteland Primary School on a shared complex, together with a new leisure centre and library.
  • Advising Havant Borough Council on a number of procurement and commercial contract aspects related to the redevelopment of the Civic Campus through a competitive dialogue process - a matter valued at  £3.4m.
  • Advised Tees Valley Combined Authority in relation to the scoping and review of three potential district heating schemes in their area (which extends to the five local authority areas of Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton, Redcar and Cleveland, and Darlington.

Madeleine Davitt leads Davitt Jones Bould's national practice, which advises on a range of development and regeneration projects. Its work relates to commercial investments, commercial acquisitions and sales, and various housing schemes. It also advises council-owned investment companies. Robin de Wreede  and Sean Bulman are two of the senior lawyers who advise on commercial property, investments and planning matters. John Qualtrough  and Kevin Fry, who is noted for his real estate work, are other core team members.

Practice head(s):Madeleine Davitt

Other key lawyers:Robin de Wreede; Sean Bulman; John Qualtrough; Kevin Fry

Testimonials

'Very happy with the service provided - efficient and thorough.'

'Kevin Fry very knowledgeable and helpful.'

Key Clients

Surrey County Council

Woking Borough Council

Hertfordshire County Council

Bath and North East Somerset Council

Devon County Council

North Somerset Council

Wiltshire Council

Bournemouth Borough Council

Dorset County Council

The City and County of Swansea Council

Work highlights

  • Continues to assist Woking Borough Council on the £500m+ regeneration of Sheerwater. the advice includes the property aspects and compulsory purchase order.  
  • Advising Slough Borough Council on a £40m acquisition of an office as an investment (later became their head office).
  • Advising a property investment company on its £700m+ portfolio - the company is owned by a local council.
  • Advised Poole Borough Council on its academy transfers, a niche area of real estate law.

A substantial offering at Freeths LLP comprises numerous offices around the country that advise on a broad range of development and regeneration projects, including mixed-use constructions, shopping centres and investment transactions. It provides planning, environment and real estate expertise in these areas, and more broadly also advises on areas such as tax and property litigation. Nathan Holden is a key contact in Birmingham and Stephen Pearson is noted for his broad expertise, which includes employment law. Some of the key team members include Ian Rowson and Clive Pearce for real estate, and Robert Bruce and Jennifer Roe for planning.

Practice head(s):Nathan Holden

Other key lawyers:Stephen Pearson; Ian Rowson; Clive Pearce; Robert Bruce; Jennifer Roe

Testimonials

'They are flexible and responsive, good engagement with both officers and members'.

'Stephen Pearson is very knowledgeable and able to brief clients in plain English and is supportive of the development new policy and excellent at Elected member briefing'.

 

Key Clients

Rushmoor Borough Council

Wigan Borough Council

Melton Borough Council

Nottinghamshire County Council Pension Fund

Darlington Borough Council

Leicester City Council

Hinckley and Bosworth BC

London Borough of Camden

Royal London Borough of Greenwich

Swindon Borough Council

Staffordshire Moorlands DC

Work highlights

  • Acting for Mole Valley District Council on the £6m restructuring of the long shopping centre lease of St Martin’s Walk, Dorking.
  • Acting for Rushmoor Borough Council on a £3.4m acquisition of a retail unit occupied by Marks and Spencer.
  • Successfully defended  Nottinghamshire County Council Pension Fund and Standard Life Aberdeen on a High Court challenge, and subsequent appeal to the Court of Appeal to a valuable certificate of lawfulness obtained by Notts CC as land owner. The matters has been appealed to the Supreme Court.
  • Acting for Milton Keynes Development Partnership (a development partnership set up by Milton Keynes Council to promote the development of its land). The promotion is for the development of up to 1,200 homes.
  • Acting for the London Borough of Camden in connection with the development of land in West Hampstead, which comprises the development of the site for housing and office uses, including an 11-storey tower.

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