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  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

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Bevan Brittan LLP is noted for its ‘excellent understanding of local government and very professional approach’. In an illustration of its outstanding reputation for shared services, practice head David Hutton advised Nottinghamshire County Council on alternative service delivery models, and Bethan Evans assisted the London Borough of Wandsworth and the London Borough of Richmond with the introduction of a shared staffing agreement. The practice further bolstered its Leeds office with the arrival of the ‘approachable’ Judith Barnes, who joined from DAC Beachcroft LLP, Frances Woodhead, who joined from Eversheds LLP and is ‘good at providing clarity on intractable problems’, and Hugo Stephens, who joined from DWF. The ‘knowledgeable and methodical’ Virginia Cooper is also recommended. Olwen Dutton left the firm.

Eversheds LLP’s ‘excellent’ team ‘consistently provides timely and clear advice in a proactive manner’. Employment specialist Huw Rolant Jones, who is based in Cardiff, now heads the team following the departure of Frances Woodhead to Bevan Brittan LLP. Richard Lloyd, who is valued for his ability to ‘find practical solutions’, is assisting with a regeneration scheme for the London Borough of Barnet, which involves a public inquiry. Bridgette Wilcox and Peter Watkin Jones are other names to note.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP is ‘one of the select group of go-to firms for the local government sector’. Scott Dorling is leading a team advising Enfield Council on a mixed-use development that will include 8,000 new homes and retail facilities. James Hawkins, who jointly heads the team with Ian Doolittle, assisted Amey with its successful bid to provide waste collection and treatment services over a 25-year period on the Isle of White. Helen Randall’s ‘knowledge of the public sector is second to none’, and Paul McDermott has ‘an excellent breadth of experience on regeneration issues’. Hilary Blackwell joined the firm in April 2015 from Capsticks LLP.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP has established itself as a major name for large-scale residential and infrastructure regeneration projects. Andrew Yates is leading a team advising the Greater London Authority on the regeneration of the Greenwich Peninsula site. Consultant Alan Aisbett joined in 2015 from Pinsent Masons LLP and has considerable expertise in the financing of housing schemes. Lesley-Anne Avis and Vicky Fowler are also recommended.

Burges Salmon LLP provides ‘a very good-quality service in terms of capability, commitment and client care’. Planning specialist and practice head Gary Soloman assisted Pembrokeshire County Council with a compulsory purchase order (CPO) and side roads order for new highways to be built, as well as representing the client in an inquiry into the same. Nick Churchward, who is very experienced in waste PFI/PPP projects, led a cross-departmental team advising the Isle of Wight Council on the procurement process for waste collection and treatment services. Marcus Harling and Philip Beerprovide excellent all-round support on procurement and development work’.

Highlights for the team at Pinsent Masons LLP included advising the London Borough of Wandsworth on an estate renewal scheme; Leeds-based Anne Bowden led on that matter and is a key name for regeneration. Adrian Eakin, who leads the infrastructure, projects and concessions practice, is another name to note. Other clients include Westminster City Council and the London Borough of Hackney.

Sharpe Pritchard attracts praise for its ‘excellent overall level of service’ and for its impeccable credentials in public law. Procurement mandates remain a mainstay of the practice; Julia Rudin and practice head John Sharland are advising five councils on the procurement process for various corporate services through a competitive dialogue procedure. Sally Stock led a team handling procurement matters for the London Borough of Wandsworth, which included assisting with the procurement of a hard and soft facilities management operator. Timothy Farr is also recommended.

Weightmans LLP has a strong track record across the full spectrum of local government work. Practice head Simon Goacher was part of a team advising Stoke-on-Trent City Council on an integrated working project across the public and private sectors. The team was bolstered by the arrival of real estate specialists Zo Hoida and Chris Webb-Jenkins, who joined from DWF and Browne Jacobson LLP respectively; and pensions specialist Jane Marshall, who joined from Eversheds LLP.

Addleshaw Goddard LLP handles a mix of procurement, outsourcing and partnership projects. The team is assisting Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council with the procurement process for a PPP for various services, including highways and street lighting maintenance. Key names include Michael O’Connor, Andrew Pettinger and Jacqui Langley-White.

Ashurst’s local government group, part of the firm’s public sector and planning team, handles regeneration and infrastructure projects. Trevor Goode and counsel Jane Staveley, who focuses on housing, health and social care, are the names to note.

Bircham Dyson Bell provides an ‘excellent’ level of service and has ‘sound knowledge and experience of local government law and public law administration’. The ‘extremely professional’ Nicholas Evans is advising Transport for the North on the legislation required for it to become a statutory body. Mark Challis and David Mundy are also recommended.

Browne Jacobson LLP’s team ‘provides commercial solutions for clients’. Stephen Matthew, who is experienced in infrastructure projects, is leading advice to Enfield Council on the Lee Valley Heat Network. Richard Barlow heads the national practice.

DWF’s extensive client list includes Cornwall Council, Norfolk County Council and Bristol City Council. Michael Mousdale is experienced in handling public procurement projects.

Nabarro LLP is advising Watford Borough Council on a mixed-use regeneration scheme. Key names include James Snape, who focuses on PPP procurement in the waste and renewables sectors, and Sheffield-based Tim Shaw.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP’s practice is valued for its ‘excellent industry knowledge’ and includes the ‘professional, tenacious and dedicatedJoanna Bussell. It is experienced in transferring services to not-for-profit organisations, and advised Devon County Council on assigning its library services to a social enterprise.

Mark Cook’s team at Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP gained Jon Coane in 2015, a local authority financing specialist who joined from Bevan Brittan LLP. The firm is advising Leicester City Council on a long-running mixed-use development scheme. Chris Plumley joined Trowers & Hamlins LLP in May 2016.

Ashfords LLPconsistently provides prompt, clear and client-focused advice’. John Bosworth, who leads the team with Elizabeth Gibson, is advising the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham on a planning application to redevelop a landmark building for residential use. Andrew Rothwell has a ‘commercial’ approach.

Bates Wells Braithwaite is noted for its ‘thorough and robust’ advice and is frequently instructed by Grant Thornton to handle the external audit of local councils, including assisting the client with an investigation into unlawful revenue generated through car parking charges. Key figures include the ‘invaluableMelanie Carter, who has established a national practice for local government audits; Abbie Rumbold, who is a specialist in social enterprise models and public service mutual; and senior associate Augustus Della-Porta.

At Bond Dickinson LLP, Iain Greenshields is experienced in handling procurement and regeneration projects, with a particular focus on assisting with school building and waste and energy schemes.

DAC Beachcroft LLP is in a transitional phase following the departures of practice head Judith Barnes, ho joined Bevan Brittan LLP, Anita Rivera, who moved to Mishcon de Reya LLP, and Ruth Connorton. Areas of expertise include commissioning and procurement, and transport and infrastructure projects. Stephen Hocking is the key contact.

Dentons’ multidisciplinary team draws from the firm’s planning team and is ‘excellent at handling CPOs for local authorities’. The group assisted the Royal Borough of Greenwich with the planning application for Enderby Place that will include a new cruise terminal. Stephen Ashworth and Mark Bassett are the key contacts.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has notable experience handling regeneration projects, including assisting Silvertown Partnership and the Greater London Authority with the Silvertown Quays redevelopment. Solicitor advocate Andrew Lidbetter heads the team.

Tina George is the key name at DMH Stallard LLP following the departure of Jenny Thorp. The firm is handling s.106 agreements for Crawley Borough Council.

Real estate specialist Davitt Jones Bould is advising Slough Borough Council on the £1bn regeneration of the town, financed by way of a local asset backed vehicle provided by Morgan Sindall Investments. Individuals singled out include Madeleine Davitt, Maeve Bonner, and the ‘efficient, knowledgeable and practicalSean Bulman.

Freeths has strong real estate credentials for local government clients. Ian Rowson, who is ‘proactive and prepared to take the initiative’, is providing property-related advice to clients including Mole Valley District Council. Nottingham-based Nathan Holden leads the national team.

Mark Greenburgh and Sarah Sasse are the key names at Gowling WLG, which acted for Birmingham City Council on the sale of the NEC Group.

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