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Who Represents Who

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2015 proved to be a strong year for commercial real estate in London, a performance that was driven to a large extent by foreign investment, particularly from North American and Chinese investors, as well as the Gulf states and Singapore. Some Β£54bn of new real estate debt was issued in 2015, a marked increase on previous years; notably, one quarter of the new financing came from alternative (non-bank) lenders, as bank lending continued to be restricted by regulation, including capital requirements. However, Lloyds Banking Group issued its largest commercial property development loan since the global financial crisis with the Β£185m financing of a designer outlet village at London’s O2 Arena.

City and West End prime rents were at an all-time high and robust take-up encouraged strong rental growth. Besides office property, a number of other asset classes proved popular: in particular, student accommodation and warehouse space for retailers kept many law firms active and, in one standout deal, Brandeaux Student Accommodation Fund and the Wellcome Trust entered into a Β£2bn joint venture with Goldman Sachs and Greystar to form a new student accommodation company.

The second half of 2015 evidenced a noticeable increase in appetite for major new development projects, with investors and developers using corporate structures such as joint ventures and forward funding arrangements to facilitate risk sharing. Alongside a cluster of mixed-use projects, the home-building market was extremely busy, as the capital wrestles with a chronic housing shortage.

The Conservative government’s focus on new housing manifested itself in the Housing and Planning Bill (envisaged to become statute in 2016). The new Act allows for an accelerated planning system so as to deliver more housing quickly. It also proposes a further squeeze on social housing providers, following hard on the heels of the summer budget, which stipulated a cut in social housing rents. The moves have increased legal work in the area and housing providers have sought to secure their future by way of merger, portfolio transfer, and diversification into other areas of funding, such as the bond market.

For construction lawyers, infrastructure projects such as HS2 (high-speed rail link), the Thames Tideway Tunnel and a substantial mandate for Highways England helped to offset the ongoing decline of private finance initiatives (PFI). Other valuable sources of non-contentious work were provided by energy projects, in particular wind and solar, and the active development market in London. On the contentious side, a number of law firms were engaged in domestic disputes arising from PFI contracts that had ground to a halt, although the rise of adjudication has led many litigation practices to seek more profitable work overseas.

While conventional sources of environmental work such as contaminated land and water pollution provided some environmental practices with business, the remit of the discipline has broadened; aside from transactional due diligence, many practices were engaged with increased instructions from the consumer products and telecoms sectors, particularly with regard to environmental aspects of product compliance and the concept under various EU environment laws of β€˜placing on the market’ of new products.

Although contentious property work is rarely at the mercy of the economy, last year’s property boom is expected to be followed by an increase in property litigation. Currently rights of light, enfranchisement and mixed-use developments are major themes causing disputes among parties. Accompanying the increase in litigation, the first part of 2016 has also yielded a slowdown in the market, as investors awaited the outcome of the UK referendum on continued participation in the European Union.

Commercial property

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: general
  2. Commercial property: development
  3. Commercial property: hotels and leisure
  4. Commercial property: investment
  5. Commercial property: retail
  6. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial property clients in London 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


Ashurst’s practice, led by Richard Vernon, draws on the expertise of global practice head Hugh Lumby, who continued to advise key client Westfield on a number of mandates including its joint venture with Hammerson to develop the Croydon town centre. On the investment side, David Jones has β€˜tremendous energy and enthusiasm’ – he assisted the Employees Provident Fund of Malaysia with the Β£210m sale of One Sheldon Square, London. The practice was augmented by the hire of investment specialists Darren Rogers and Patrick Williams, both of whom joined from King & Wood Mallesons.

For some clients, Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP is β€˜head and shoulders above the rest’. In one key deal, chairman Robert MacGregor advised Quintain Estates and Development on the Β£700m recommended cash offer by Bailey Acquisitions. The firm continued to be highly active on behalf of key clients such as Land Securities, Blackstone and Tesco. The team is particularly recommended for its hotels work, where the β€˜technically brilliant’ Karen Friebe advised hotel owner YC Amsterdam on a new hotel management agreement with Intercontinental Hotels. Other key figures are practice head Chris de Pury, investment specialist James Knox and Claire Milton.

β€˜Market leader’ Jonathan Solomon is in charge at Clifford Chance, where the practice is noted as being β€˜very thorough and quick to grasp complex property structures and issues’. Solomon advised key client Helical Bar on the disposal and forward funding of the development site at One Bartholomew Close, London. In another standout deal, global sector co-head Adrian Levy acted for Brandeaux Student Accommodation Fund Sterling on the Β£1.1bn sale of its UK student property portfolio. Mark Payne has β€˜a rare mix of technical excellence and commercial acumen’.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s practice has been busy with a number of infrastructure-related mandates, including advising London and Continental Railways on the Β£371m sale of its interests in the King’s Cross Central Partnership. The team also secured some significant new panel appointments and continued to work for leading developers such as Hammerson and Brookfield Property Partners; head of practice Donald Rowlands acted for the latter on the first pre-letting at 100 Bishopsgate, London. Julian Pollock and Jeremy Walden lead the investment team.

Hogan Lovells International LLP delivers a β€˜first-class service’ under the leadership of global practice head Jackie Newstead, who is praised for her β€˜very thorough knowledge’. Highlights in 2015 included Daniel Norris acting on the European aspects of General Electric’s sale of its global real estate equity and debt portfolio business, and Nicholas Roberts advising an Argent and Related Companies consortium on its bid for the Brent Cross South redevelopment project. Dion Panambalana can β€˜simplify the most complex matters’ and Gill McGreevy is β€˜good in an emergency’.

At Nabarro LLP, team leader and newly appointed senior partner Ciaran Carvalho advised Lendlease and London and Continental Railways on the Β£615m forward funding of two buildings at the International Quarter. The team has particular strength in acting for UK REITs and counts Land Securities, Hammerson and Segro among its clients; in one significant deal, Barry Morris advised Land Securities on the Β£268m sale of its 95% stake in Times Square, London, to private equity group Blackstone. Clare Thomas and Simon Staite also handled major transactions for Queensgate Investments and Hammerson, respectively. Deborah Parry retired.

Addleshaw Goddard LLP’s practice attracted a number of new Asian investor clients including Tabung Haji, for which it acted on the Β£256m disposal of 151 Buckingham Palace Road. Practice head Leona Ahmed, who impresses with her β€˜initiative and acumen in spotting potential pitfalls in transactions’, is acting for Omega Warrington on the redevelopment of Warrington town centre. Newly elected partner Andrew Martin is regarded as β€˜a rising star’.

CMS’ practice is particularly well known for its institutional client base and the team was active again in this regard, advising M&G Real Estate on a number of mandates including the Β£115m purchase of Bridgend Designer Outlet Centre in Wales. Another area of strength is the hotels and leisure sector, where Louise Wallace and Thomas Page were busy on behalf of investors and asset managers such as Algonquin and LRG Acquisitions. Mark Heighton heads the practice.

DLA Piper provides β€˜very detailed and pragmatic advice’ to clients such as Blackstone, Brookfield and Tishman Speyer. Key players include Richard Hopkinson-Woolley, who advised Oxford Properties on the sale of a 50% interest in an SPV that owns 1 Angel Lane, London, and Richard Wilkinson, who leads the London team. The firm’s regional offices handle a substantial amount of work for major retailers.

Dentons’ β€˜capable and diligent’ team has been particularly active on behalf of US private equity funds, with Ian Outen advising Karlin Real Estate on the Β£260m sale of its K2 portfolio. The practice has significant strength in the retail, hotels and leisure sectors – in one standout deal, Matthew Tinger and Mark Daliere acted for KSL Capital Partners on its disposal of Frasers Hospitality UK. Richard Budge and Virginia Glastonbury head the team.

At Eversheds LLP, β€˜exceptional’ practice head Bruce Dear advised Legal & General Capital on the purchase of a 50% stake in the BBC MediaCityUK scheme in Salford. In another example of the firm’s strong institutional client base, the β€˜highly responsive’ Richard Lampert acted for Scottish Widows on the Β£167m sale of Bedfont Lakes to M&G PAIF. Mukhtiar Tanda joined from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP to take charge of development and regeneration work.

Jones Day secured mandates in a number of sought-after asset classes including student accommodation and retail warehouses; for example Anna Cartwright and Neil Ferguson advised Hansteen Holdings on the Β£192m sale of Hansteen UK Industrial Property Unit Trust, while global head of practice David Roberts acted for LondonMetric Property on the acquisition, development and pre-letting of a distribution warehouse in Thrapston. Stephen Walter heads the London team.

King & Wood Mallesons’ practice was busy with a number of substantial investments for Asian investors such as China Life and HK CTS Metropark Hotels. On the development side, practice head Edward Page advised joint venture partners AXA and Blackrock on the acquisition, development and letting of 6 Bevis Marks in London. Another name to note is Bryan Pickup, who continued to service key client the Crown Estate. The practice was afflicted by a number of departures.

Practice head Andrew Bruce β€˜offers red-carpet service’ at Linklaters LLP, where key mandates included acting for AustralianSuper on the acquisition of a 67% interest in the Kings Cross Central regeneration scheme and advising Abu Dhabi Financial Group on the proposed Β£1bn redevelopment of the New Scotland Yard site in London. Recently promoted partner Tom Watkins specialises in joint ventures.

Macfarlanes LLP’s practice was boosted by the hire of Gerald Kelly from Ashurst and the promotion to partnership of Dan Marriott. As well as handling a number of matters for key client Stanhope, the team also acted for Legal & General Property on the Β£370m acquisition of the Bishopsgate Long Term Property Fund Unit Trust. Practice head Ian Nisse and Anthony Burnett-Scott are recommended.

Mayer Brown International LLP’s β€˜fantastic’ global practice head Jeremy Clay advised Brookfield Property Partners on its acquisition of Center Parcs from Blackstone. The team has experienced an increase in transactional work from Asian investors; for example, Martin Wright acted for Ping An Life Insurance on the Β£330m acquisition of Tower Place in London. Chris Harvey is β€˜professional and proactive with experience to match his commercial nous’.

Mishcon de Reya LLP continued to provide β€˜efficient service’ on a range of significant development projects for clients such as Capital & Counties and Delancey. Investment work included Stephen Hughes advising Minerva on the Β£575m sale of the Walbrook Building to Cathay Life. Other names to note are practice head Nick Doffman, Philip Freedman CBE, QC and Ian Paul, who is particularly active in the retail sector.

At Norton Rose Fulbright, practice head David Sinclair β€˜comes up with flexible solutions’ – he is advising Hinduja Group and OHL on the acquisition and redevelopment of the Old War Office Building in Whitehall. The impressive hotels and leisure team includes Nick Clayson, who relocated from the Dubai office, and β€˜excellent client relationship manager’ Richard Hughes, who joined from Simmons & Simmons.

Allen & Overy LLP’s strong investment expertise was once again in evidence with the team being active on a number of deals for private equity players such as Kildare Partners and Tristan Capital Partners. Elsewhere, practice head Imogen Moss is advising Croydon Gateway Limited Partnership in relation to the development of Ruskin Square next to East Croydon Station. Christopher Woolf is the other main contact following the retirement of Adam Cleal.

Baker McKenzie LLP was active on a number of transactions for Asian investors, including advising Shimao on the Β£260m purchase of an office building in Paternoster Square, London. Another area of strength was the hotel sector, where Justin Salkeld, who β€˜knows the property industry inside out’, advised a joint venture between Singha Estate and Fico on the purchase of the Jupiter hotels portfolio. Stephen Turner heads the practice.

β€˜Advice is given efficiently and with a very high level of attention to detail’ at Fieldfisher, where the team has been particularly active in the healthcare, hotels and leisure sectors. In one standout deal, Paul Houston advised Gala Coral Group on the real estate aspects of the disposal of its bingo trading division. Key lawyers include practice head Antony Phillips, Rhodri Pazzi-Axworthy and Jayne Elkins, who has a β€˜leading understanding of the market’.

Forsters LLP fields β€˜solution-focused commercial property experts’ and is best known for its institutional investment expertise; in one example, Ronan Ledwidge advised Aberdeen Asset Management on the Β£154m sale of its Amber portfolio. The team is also active on various residential and retail-led developments for clients such as Knight Dragon and LXB Retail Properties. Matthew Swainston’s team includes founding partner Smita Edwards, who is β€˜second to none in her field’.

Although Gowling WLG is particularly well known for its retail expertise, the firm was busy in a number of other sectors including student accommodation and data centres; for example, Reena Patel advised Empiric Student Property on the acquisition of seven student properties from Urban Sleep. Other key players in the Birmingham-based team are practice head Richard Bate, Jon Lloyd and Peter Thorne. Julian Innes-Taylor is now an independent consultant.

Head of practice *Rob Thompson at Irwin Mitchell provides β€˜first-rate service’ to clients such as Mercer Real Estate Partners and Caudwell Properties. Also of note is *Louise Cartwright, who β€˜gives excellent, targeted advice’, and continued to act for IDI Gazeley on its major transactions at Magna Park, Milton Keynes. The team advised key client Ellandi on a number of shopping centre deals. *Following completion of research, Rob Thompson and Louise Cartwright joined Dentons and Osborne Clarke, respectively.

Olswang LLP’s team mainly focuses its work on data centres, shopping malls, student accommodation and residential deals. Stephen Slater acted for key client UBS Global Asset Management on the Β£113m acquisition of New Brook buildings in London. Active clients in the hotels and leisure sector include Prezzo and Hardrock International Hotels. Jonathan Lewis heads the practice, in which other key figures include Simon Kanter and Martyn Needham.

Head of department Peter Day at Osborne Clarke handled a range of investment mandates for clients such as Orchard Street Investment Management and Henderson UK Property Fund. Rajindh Mangat is acting for Icknield Port Loop on the eponymous regeneration scheme in Birmingham. The β€˜exceptional’ Dolf Darnton leads the firm’s strong retail practice from Bristol.

Pinsent Masons LLP has a β€˜sophisticated property knowledgebase’, which was in evidence on a number of significant investment and development mandates including advising a leading UK property investment company on the Β£490m acquisition of a portfolio of 20 properties. Hotel specialist Claire Hughes heads the team and acts for clients such as Accor Hotels Group, while other important figures include the highly rated David Taylor and the β€˜first-class’ Michael Reid.

Reed Smith LLP has β€˜good bench strength’ through partners such as global practice co-head Andrew Jenkinson, Graham Reid and Danielle Martin. Recent work includes advising key client Commercial Estates Group on the development of a 23-hectare site at Kirkstall Forge, Leeds, and a key investment mandate advising VBR Investments Limited and Nationwide Building Society on a Β£100m property portfolio sale to Goldman Sachs.

Simmons & Simmons’ client roster includes Deka Immobilien Investment, the Ministry of Defence and Avenue Capital. As well as handling development work in the social housing sector for Cheyne Capital, the team also advised HNA Group on the Β£235m acquisition of the long leasehold interests of the Reuters Building at Canary Wharf. John Kelsey’s team includes Matthew Hooton, who is a β€˜reassuring presence for clients’.

Slaughter and May’s practice continued to advise key client Derwent London on various major development and investment schemes, including Jane Edwarde advising it on the development of the site above the new Crossrail station at Tottenham Court Road. Steven Edwards is acting for London Resort Company Holdings on the proposed London Paramount Entertainment Resort.

Taylor Wessing LLP was busy with significant transactions for clients such as InfraRed Capital Partners and Tritax Big Box REIT. The β€˜attentive and professional’ Keith Barnett assisted an Isle of Man SPV with the Β£99m sale of two office buildings in Croydon. One particular area of strength is the hotels sector, where the highly regarded Richard Bursby advises operators and owners alike. Christopher Turley heads the practice.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP β€˜rapidly distils complex issues and finds solutions’ for a broad-ranging client base that takes in public sector bodies and institutional investors. Examples of work included Scott Dorling acting for the London Borough of Enfield on the Meridian Water regeneration project and Julien Allen advising American Realty Capital on its Β£100m acquisition of the Foster Wheeler headquarters in Reading. Practice head Philip Peters and Adrian Leavey are also names to note.

β€˜Technically as good as the biggest but probably with a more personal touch’, Boodle Hatfield LLP’s team is led by Caroline King. As well as handling a variety of mandates for clients such as Grosvenor and Marriott International, the team is also acting for IGB Corporation on the redevelopment of a major site on the South Bank in London.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is perhaps best known for its expertise in the housebuilding sector and the team was once again active in this regard on behalf of Pocket Living. On the investment side, Lee Medlock and Louise Ward acted for Stonegate Pub Company on its acquisition of 53 pubs from Tattershall Castle Group. Mark Smith heads the team, in which Simon Ewing leads on transactional work.

Clyde & Co LLP’s expertise in the retail sector was once again in evidence, with David Wyatt active on behalf of clients such as B&Q. The team also experienced an increase in mandates from Hong Kong and the Middle East, and advised an international consortium led by Native Land on a joint venture to acquire Sampson House and Ludgate House on the South Bank. Robert Pilcher heads the team, which includes Martin Quicke, Graeme Taylor and legal director Annabel Evans.

Robert Lee leads DAC Beachcroft LLP’s team, which acts for a broad range of clients including Royal Mail, Irish Life and Essential Living. The group is well known in the housebuilding sector, where it advised Linden on a significant land sale to Bovis Homes. Further depth was added by the recruitment of James Ross from Ashurst and Nick Marshall from EMW Law LLP.

Farrer & Co’s β€˜hidden gem of a department’ is led by Henry Goulding and the β€˜unflappable’ Andrew Bailey. Alongside mainstream real estate work, the practice has niche expertise in acting for charities, education and arts bodies, landed estates and private individuals. Highlights in 2015 included advising the Duchy of Cornwall on its Poundbury Development and acting for Hub Group on the acquisition of an office block in Wembley.

Fladgate LLP’s β€˜on-the-ball’ team is led by Richard Reuben, who advised ING Real Estate Development UK on the sale of Hayle Harbour to Sennybridge. Antonia Brandes is advising Castle Lane Property on the redevelopment of 6 Castle Lane in Westminster. The team continued to handle a number of instructions in the hotels and leisure sector for clients such as Odeon Cinemas and Starboard Hotels.

Emma Kendall heads the practice at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP; her areas of expertise range from joint ventures to large developments and energy projects. Global head of real estate Mark Wheelhouse is active in the hotels and leisure space.

Alan Samson’s team at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP focuses on transactional work for private equity clients and advised Oaktree Capital Management on a number of deals, including the sale of a UK portfolio to Logicor. The practice is also noted for its expertise in the hotel sector. Wayne McArdle is recommended.

Practice head Joe Conder and newly promoted partner James Spence β€˜provide excellent service’ at Goodwin, where the practice remained busy with a range of deals for inbound investors. Conder advised RREEF on the Β£385m acquisition and forward funding of the new headquarters of the Financial Conduct Authority at Stratford in London. The team’s strength in the hotels and leisure sector was further enhanced by the hire of Gretchen Scott from King & Wood Mallesons.

Greenberg Traurig Maher LLP’s practice head Tim Webb is β€˜a great networker who links his clients and contacts where mutual benefit and interest lies’. Recent highlights include advising Highbridge Properties on a Β£450m data centre development in Newcastle and acting for Osprey Equity Partners on the Β£188m disposal of a portfolio of supermarkets, hotels and retail developments.

Howard Kennedy LLP’s β€˜large and experienced team’ has a strong reputation for occupier work, particularly in the retail and leisure sectors, where it acts for clients such as Mothercare UK and Cartier. In one key mandate the team advised new client Pep on the acquisition of 44 new retail stores across the UK. Julian Hindmarsh and the highly recommended Paul Springall lead the team.

K&L Gates LLP’s practice was active on behalf of a range of institutional and public sectors clients such as TIAA Henderson Real Estate and Barking and Dagenham Borough Council. For new client Henderson UK Property OEIC the β€˜very personable’ Melanie Curtis advised on the acquisition and development of various student accommodation blocks and data centres. Wayne Smith heads the practice.

Lewis Silkin LLP’s practice was busy with a number of substantial development projects, including advising Rio Tinto on the redevelopment of its former St. James’ Square headquarters. The team is well known for representing corporate occupiers in the advertising and media sector, and was once again active in this regard on behalf of clients such as Havas UK and Karmarama. Key contacts include head of practice Leonard Goodrich and β€˜excellent negotiator’ Ursula Harriss.

β€˜Outstanding real estate firm’ Maples Teesdale LLP has particular experience in handling investment work for institutional clients, private equity firms and private individuals. The β€˜very thorough’ Roger Thornton acted for Rockspring in the development, letting and sale of 24 Monument Street, London City, while the β€˜brilliant’ Declan Power is advising Legal & General on the redevelopment of the Grafton shopping centre in Cambridge. Mark Bryan heads the practice.

David Ryland, who leads the team at Paul Hastings LLP, is singled out as having β€˜broad hotel industry knowledge and experience’. Besides continued activity in the hotels and leisure sector for clients such as Starwood Capital, the team was also busy in the office space; Ryland, Michael James (who was promoted to the partnership), Mark Shepherd (who joined from DLA Piper) and Mark Rajbenbach advised Evans Randall on various acquisitions and disposals.

Squire Patton Boggs’ β€˜commercially minded’ team has particular sector experience in healthcare (both NHS and private), hotels and leisure, as well as retail. Head of practice Michael Shaw advised Aviva Investors on a number of acquisitions and disposals, while Gary Paddison was active in the residential and student accommodation space for new client Vinco Group.

At Stephenson Harwood the team has been particularly active in the West Midlands, where its work included advising Rockspring on the Β£150m development of 103 Colmore Row. In London, Simon Brading acted for Schroders on the Β£150m acquisition of Kings Mall shopping centre in Hammersmith. Other key players include the β€˜very client-facing’ head of practice Jonathon Wilkes and hotels and leisure specialist Robert Newman.

Travers Smith LLP provides a β€˜great service at partner level’, with private equity specialist Simon Rutman particularly recommended. He advised Voreda on the Β£150m sale of an office building in White City to Aviva. The team is also established in the hotels and leisure sector, where Julian Bass acts for clients such as Bannatyne Health & Fitness and Pinewood Studios. Anthony Judge heads the practice.

Wedlake Bell LLP’s practice provides a β€˜personalised service and a dedicated team’ under the leadership of Justin Lewis-Vivas. The large team enjoyed an increase in activity in the healthcare sector and also handled significant mandates in the office and retail space for clients such as Melford Capital Partners and Warburg HIH Investment Estate.

Depth was added by the hire of four partners including the β€˜attentive and diligent’ Claire Nelson, who joined from DWFM Beckman.

White & Case LLP’s strength on the investment side was again in evidence, with practice head James Dodsworth advising Digital Realty on numerous investments, including its global data centre acquisitions. David Cox advised Cerberus Capital Management on the purchase of Motherwell Shopping Centre. The team includes recently promoted partner Victoria Landsbert.

Andrew Smith heads Bircham Dyson Bell’s practice, which handles a mix of investment and development work for clients such as South Kensington Estates and Smurfit Kappa. The team acted for Blaircourt Investments on the Β£20m sale of a mixed-use property in Red Lion Square, London.

Blake Morgan LLP’s offering was enhanced by the firm’s merger with Piper Smith Watton. The β€˜hardworking and effective’ team handles a range of public and private sector mandates and is advising the City and County of Swansea on the regeneration of Swansea city centre. Head of practice Jeremy Taylor focuses on investment work.

Burges Salmon LLP’s Bristol-based team led by Colin Ligman continued to be active on behalf of the Crown Estate, which is a key client, advising on the Β£84m disposal of Morfa Shopping Park, Swansea. The practice is known for its retail expertise and acts for clients such as Waterstones and the John Lewis Partnership.

Bristows LLP’s practice leverages the firm’s strength in TMT and life sciences to represent clients from those sectors, such as Monster and Dolby. One area of specialism is garden centre retail, in which practice head Alexandra Lethbridge advised LaSalle Investment Management on the sale of the assets of its LaSalle Garden Centre Fund.

Cripps LLP’s Kent-based team handled a quantity of London development work including advising Kato Kagaku on the refurbishment of the Aldwych quarter. On the retail side, the team acts for clients such as Waitrose and the John Lewis Partnership. Mike Scott heads the department.

For some, Dechert LLP is the β€˜firm of choice for international property acquisition’. Head of practice William Fryzer and the β€˜swiftly responsive’ David Gervais continued to handle a range of investor mandates for clients such as AGC Equity Partners and Haymarket Media Group.

β€˜Business acumen’ is strong at Druces LLP, where the team specialises in private investor syndication. Key players include β€˜calm and confident’ practice head, Nicholas Brent, the β€˜very thorough’ Suzanne Middleton-Lindsley and Karen Chapman; the latter named acts for retailers such as Yours Clothing. Adrian Footer was made up to partner.

Edwin Coe LLP’s practice was boosted by the hire of William Thompson, who joined from Fieldfisher. The team has strength in the hospitality and retail sectors, where it acts for clients such as Lush and Corus Hotels. Key players include practice head Stephen Brower and the β€˜thoughtful’ Ian Gilmour.

Lauded for its β€˜proactive advice’ Hamlins LLP’s team is led by investment specialist Mark Hurst, who remained active on behalf of key client William Pears Group. The team was also busy in the hotels and leisure sector, where Paul Spacey and the β€˜vastly experienced’ Nigel Mason act for clients such as Casual Dining Group and Hilton Worldwide.

Norwich-based Keith Hamilton is in charge at Mills & Reeve LLP, where the team handled a number of London mandates from the firm’s Cambridge office. In one example, the β€˜client-focused’ Nick Finlayson-Brown advised Nesta Trust on the Β£78m acquisition of 58 Victoria Embankment. Charles Staveley leads on investment work.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP’s practice has particular strength in the retail sector where it acts for clients such as Intu Group and the Potteries Shopping Centre. Key figures include β€˜persuasive negotiator’ Anne O’Neill and the β€˜commercially minded’ Fiona Stone, who jointly head the practice. Andrew Denye was promoted to partner and Simon Cockshutt retired.

Payne Hicks Beach’s practice head Andrew Berry has β€˜great expertise and entrepreneurial spirit’. The team is particularly known for representing private individuals and, in one example of work, advised 18 landowners on the Β£100m disposal of a major development at Highfields Littleover in Derby. Peter Black retired in 2016.

As well as handling a number of student accommodation development schemes for Alumno Developments, Peter McElligott’s team at Penningtons Manches LLP was also active in the investment space for clients such as Aviva Investors and Sellar Property Group. James McNeilly was promoted to partner.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal LLP’s practice is now led by senior associate Amit Unadkat, who joined from Ashurst. As well as handling various transactions relating to hotels and shopping centres, the team is also advising the Dooba Group on the development of a brownfield site near Leeds. Simon Hardwick retired.

Sarah Blunn and David Johnston are in charge at RPC, which acts for a range of clients including Sports Direct and Imperial College London. Aside from corporate occupier work, the team was also busy on the investment side and advised Zeno Capital on the Β£90m sale of the London Fire Brigade’s headquarters.

At Ropes & Gray LLP, practice head Iain Morpeth is β€˜consistently thorough’ and advised on a number of high-value corporate investments, including acting for new client Gaw Capital on its Β£256m acquisition of all the issued units in the Elizabeth Bridge Unit Trust. The β€˜extremely pragmatic’ Carol Hopper joined from Allen & Overy LLP.

At Sharpe Pritchard, practice head Joannah Pickering specialises in acting for public sector clients on large redevelopment and regeneration projects; Pickering is acting for London Borough of Enfield on the regeneration of its New Avenue estate in North London.

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s practice is led by Stephen Hubner, who continued to undertake a large amount of energy-related work for clients such as Dong Energy and IGas Energy. Sally Morris-Smith was busy, advising on a number of development and investment mandates for key client Scarborough Group International.

Areas of specialism at Steptoe & Johnson include retirement villages and acting for data centre operators such as Telecity Group. The team was active on a variety of development and investment projects, such as practice head Brendan Patterson advising Coln Park on a Β£220m residential development scheme in the Cotswolds.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP continued to be very active in the mixed-use development space for clients such as Barratt, Redrow and London & Quadrant New Homes. Roger Fitton β€˜understands the housebuilder perspective’, Francesco Ferrari shows β€˜excellent breadth of knowledge’ and Andrew Bedford has β€˜a tireless persuasiveness’. Jodie Campbell joined from Howard Kennedy LLP.

Bates Wells Braithwaite’s practice β€˜treats all work with the same high level of care’. The team has particular expertise in the charities and education sectors and advised on a number of leases. Tony Cartmell and Nick Ivey head the department.

Key figures at Bevan Brittan LLP include Ian Caplan, who focuses on healthcare-related property matters, and Steven Smith, who leads on local authority work. Smith is advising Greater London Authority on the Β£250m mixed-use Lewisham Gateway Development.

Jonathan Baker’s team at Bird & Bird LLP includes data centre specialist Ben Henry, who advised AT&T on the renewal of its UK data centre portfolio. The team was also active in the healthcare sector on a number of development mandates.

At Bond Dickinson LLP, practice head Martin Stacey was busy with various major public sector development schemes for clients such as Oxford City Council. The team draws on support from its regional offices to advise on investment and retail matters.

Real estate boutique Brecher LLP handled various substantial investment mandates for clients such as Ridgeford Properties. The practice’s varied client base takes in retailers and the team advised Diesel on a number of new lettings. Nicky Richmond and Jeremy Abram lead the team. Capsticks LLP’s β€˜collaborative’ team continued to be active in the healthcare, social housing and local authority sectors and advised Public Health England on the relocation of its headquarters to the former GlaxoSmithKline science park in Essex. Philip Brown heads the practice.

Collyer Bristow LLP’s practice is best known for its expertise in the residential and mixed-use space, where it acts for clients such as Bewley Homes and Crest Nicholson. On the investment side, Alex O’Connor and Rory Macpherson advised Ipsus Developments on the Β£20m sale of a London development site. John Rochman heads the team.

At DWF, practice head Toby Askin divides his time between Birmingham and London. Askin and Lorraine Reader have particular expertise in investment work and act for a range of funds, including Ares Management and Colony Capital.

Taunton-based Madeleine Davitt leads the practice at real estate boutique Davitt Jones Bould, which has a strong public sector following. The team also handles private sector mandates and acted for Seafood Trading on a number of acquisitions.

Fox Williams LLP’s practice is led by Phillip Hope, who provides β€˜smart, relevant advice’ to clients such as FM Global and Tennants Consolidated. Also of note is the β€˜extremely experienced’ Simon Smith and the well-regarded Elizabeth Ruff, who jointly advised on a number of substantial leasehold acquisitions.

GSC Solicitors LLP’s practice was active on transactional and development work in the hotels and leisure sector and also handled mandates for media clients such as Universal Music and Channel 4. β€˜Innovative thinker’ Harvey Posener and Peter Belcher are key contacts.

As well as handling various high-end residential schemes for property development and investment companies, Goodman Derrick LLP’s practice continued to advise QA on its commercial real estate portfolio. Practice head Michael Collins and the β€˜exceptional’ Chris Langan are names to note.

Gordon Dadds’ merger with Jeffrey Green Russell saw the addition of Timothy Cope and Kiran Yadav. Jeremy Davy’s team was particularly active on the investment side, where it advised a mix of offshore and domestic clients.

Harbottle & Lewis LLP’s practice draws on the firm’s strength in the media sector to advise clients such as Really Useful Theatres and The Royal Central School of Speech & Drama on a range of development and investment projects. Robert Reilly heads the team, which includes the β€˜excellent’ Leo Marino and the β€˜highly skilled’ Melanie Benson.

At Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP, Peter Sugden’s team was busy with various transactions, including advising key client Shiva Hotels. Other active investor clients include Wasp Investments and Aprirose.

Kingsley Napley LLP’s practice is led by Paul Harbour, who advised Amsprop Cheapside on the letting of 5 Cheapside, London. In another significant piece of work, the team advised Fairfax (Retail) Properties on its purchase of retail units from Friends Life.

Department head Alex Coulter is β€˜good at pulling things together’ at Maclay Murray & Spens LLP, where the team excels on the investment side; it advised Helical Bar on a number of matters including the Β£34m acquisition of Power Road Studios, Chiswick. Anju Suneja relocated to London from the firm’s Glasgow office and director Michelle Kershaw joined from McClure Naismith LLP.

Eugene O’Keeffe’s team at Memery Crystal LLP is particularly known for its retail expertise, where it acts for clients such as Asda and Debenhams. Nicola Kravitz advised Sapcote Developments on the Β£34m sale of its Power Road Studios to Helical Bar.

Michelmores LLP’s practice, led by Paul Paling, was active on a range of office lettings, residential sales and joint ventures for clients such as Carlyle Group and Boultbee Brooks Real Estate. The team shows β€˜strong acumen and comprehensive knowledge’.

Pemberton Greenish LLP counts Helical Bar, Native Land and Birchall Properties among its clients and advises on a range of investment and development mandates. The team, led by Jason Tann, brought in a number of hires at the junior end.

At real estate boutique RLS Law, founding partners Julien Rutler and Craig Themis lead a team that wins praise for its β€˜great personable style’. Highlights in 2015 included advising Deliveroo on the acquisition of a large office and control facility in central London.

RadcliffesLeBrasseur’s two-partner team is led by Karen Mayne and includes Mark Baker, who advised Kurt Construction International on the Β£5.2m acquisition of John Vetch House in Clapham.

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP’s β€˜excellent, problem-solving’ team is led by John O’Callaghan and Sarah Hung, who have β€˜in-depth knowledge’. The β€˜super-reliable’ Simon Lawrence was particularly active and advised on a number of high-value deals in the hotels and leisure sector.

Russell-Cooke LLP’s team was once again highly active in the retail sector for clients such as Pret A Manger and Sports Direct Group. The β€˜self-assured’ Helen Edwards specialises in development work and acted for Petros London on the purchase and development of student accommodation at Canterbury Christ Church University. Peter Dawson heads the practice.

Seddons’ practice focuses on investment work for a range of high-net-worth individuals, entrepreneurs, corporations, and small and medium-sized enterprises. Key figures include practice head Andrew Jacobs and Tessa Naylor, the latter of whom advised foreign investors on a number of multimillion-pound property transactions.

At Teacher Stern LLP, David Irwin and Oliver Azzuri’s team shows β€˜commendable attention to detail and commerciality’. The team has particular strength in the retail and leisure space and acted on various significant shopping centre transactions. Student accommodation was another area of activity.

Barry Shaw and consultant Simon Edwards lead Wallace LLP’s practice, which wins praise for its β€˜business acumen and industry knowledge’. In the hotels and leisure sector – a particular area of strength – active clients include Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and Giraffe Restaurants, as well as Soho Estates, which the team is advising on the redevelopment of Kettners Restaurant.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP’s expertise in the hotels and leisure sector was further enhanced by the hire of Ranjeev Kumar, who joined from Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP. In one major deal, the team advised Frasers Hospitality on the acquisition of Malmaison Hotel du Vin hotel group from KSL Capital Partners. Key figures include Gary Ritter and Felicity Jones, the latter of whom shows β€˜excellent understanding of hotel and restaurant contractual arrangements’.

Huseyin E Huseyin leads the practice at Bowling & Co., where the team handled a number of hotel and public house acquisitions. The firm has extensive experience across retail, industrial, commercial space and residential developments.

Browne Jacobson LLP’s Caroline Green has very strong retail sector expertise and advises a range of major retailers, including LVMH and Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Clarkslegal LLP represents private and public sector clients such as Carillion and NHS Property Services. Highly recommended practice head Rachel Krol was particularly busy with investment mandates.

Glovers Solicitors LLP’s practice is best known for its leisure and restaurant sector expertise, where it acts for clients such as Prezzo, Nando’s and PizzaExpress. On the development side, practice head John Barber continued to act for R&M Projects on the Crayford Town Hall regeneration project.

Kennedys’ practice head Dennis Ko advised key client Scarborough Group International on a major development near the centre of Manchester. Jeremy Palmer is another name to note.

Keystone Law’s team includes Lara Cole, who was busy with various transactions, including advising FW Properties on the Β£10m purchase of Westlegate Tower in Norwich. Nick Ellis has been acting on development mandates.

Laytons acts for high-net-worth individuals, private property companies and corporate occupiers in relation to investments, leasing arrangements and developments. John Beesley heads the department.

Mark Lavers and Guy Hitchin head the team at Marriott Harrison LLP, which also includes β€˜very detail-focused’ consultant Vivienne Elson. As well as attracting instructions from Planet Organic in the retail sector, the team also advised the Fulham Shore on the Β£27.5m purchase of the Franco Manca pizza chain.

At McGuireWoods London LLP, Martin Barrett has been active on a number of matters for key client AstraZeneca, including advising on the acquisition and development of long leasehold interests at Cambridge Biomedical Campus. Arlington Investors and Revera are also clients.

Moon Beever provides β€˜excellent value for money’ under the leadership of the β€˜calm and controlled’ Daniel Moore. Among other work, the team was busy on the investment side for key client Vernon Smith. Associate Deepak Gupta is β€˜pragmatic’ and has particular expertise in the healthcare sector.

REN Legal’s practice, headed by Laurence Applegate, is best known for advising on corporate investments for private equity clients. Emma Bucknall is the other name to note.

At Shearman & Sterling LLP, counsel Lucy Keeble focuses on the property aspects of M&A transactions.

Simons Muirhead & Burton’s team is led by Martin Smith, who is particularly active in the retail and leisure space. Smith advised Connolly Retail on the Β£12m purchase of a property in Mayfair, London.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards’ four-partner team handled a mix of development and investment work for clients such as the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. Mark Hughes’ team includes Jon Durham, who has β€˜first class technical and communication skills’.

Rupert Jones continued to handle various corporate investment mandates at Weil, Gotshal & Manges and advised a consortium including Blackstone, Cinven and CPP Investment Board on its bid for assets sold by Holcim and Lafarge.


Index of tables

  1. Construction: contentious
  2. Construction: non-contentious
  3. Leading individuals

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β€˜Construction law is a particularly strong area of specialism’ at Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, where the practice is a favourite with clients such as Great Portland Estates, Balfour Beatty and Thames Water Utilities. On the non-contentious side, the highly rated Marc Hanson was active in a number of real estate projects, including advising Hermes Real Estate Management on the Paradise Circus regeneration project in Birmingham. Of the various β€˜top-drawer litigators’, key figures include the β€˜experienced and tough’ Bob Maynard, the β€˜clear-sighted’ Caroline Pope and Terry de Souza, who has β€˜impeccable judgement’. The team is acting for Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in a substantial PFI dispute with Healthcare Support (Newcastle).

β€˜Excellent niche construction and energy firm’ Fenwick Elliott LLP is well known for its contentious expertise; as well as handling various disputes in the offshore wind farm sector, the team is also acting for Galliford Try Construction in multi-party High Court proceedings relating to allegations of defective mechanical and electrical installations. Senior partner Simon Tolson and managing partner Tony Francis are recommended, as is β€˜outstanding strategist’ Richard Smellie. On the non-contentious side, David Bebb and newly promoted partner Jatinder Garcha have particular expertise in infrastructure projects.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s non-contentious practice is led by Nicholas Downing, whose impressive caseload ranges across the most significant real estate, infrastructure and energy projects; for example Downing is advising Capital & Counties Properties on the redevelopment of Earls Court and Olympia. On the contentious side, Mark Lloyd-Williams’ team mainly handles international cases, although in the UK Ann Levin is active in a number of PFI disputes, including representing Prospect Healthcare (Hairmyres) in an Β£11m litigation concerning the water pipework installed throughout the Hairmyres Hospital in Scotland.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s β€˜top-notch’ practice β€˜never misses a trick in the most complicated litigation or arbitration’; Martin Roberts, Jonathan French, Rob Wilkins and Neal Morris are all recommended for contentious work. On the non-contentious side, Michael Watson and Richard Laudy’s projects team is involved in various major infrastructure and energy projects and also advised a Carillion and Equitix joint venture on its successful bid for the Midlands priority schools building programme. The practice has seen some reorganisation, with the promotion to partnership of Helen Waddell and Alexander Grant and the transfer to Dubai and Sydney of Andrew Hibbert and Andrew Denton, respectively.

CMS’ strong mix of UK and international mandates takes in acting for Wates on the redevelopment of Wembley Park and advising International Power and Engie on the construction of assets for Chile’s Sistema Interconectado Central power grid. Practice head Victoria Peckett is β€˜able to set out a clear strategic vision’ and handles a mix of contentious and non-contentious work for clients such as Shell. Other key figures are international disputes specialist Adrian Bell, who β€˜successfully combines a magic mix of legal, strategic and commercial acumen’, and non-contentious specialist Karen Clarke, who has particular expertise in facilities management framework contracts.

Clifford Chance LLP wins plaudits on the non-contentious side, with key mandates ranging from acting for Battersea Project Land Company on the Battersea Power Station development to advising RWE and Galloper Wind Farm on the 340MW Galloper offshore wind project. Head of practice David Metzger β€˜combines intellectual mastery of his subject with commercial acumen’ and Tim Steadman is β€˜world-class when it comes to EPC matters’. On the contentious side, Alex Panayides and Audley Sheppard QC lead the litigation and international arbitration teams respectively. The practice was boosted by the return of Sandy Hall from the UAE.

Eversheds LLP’s three-partner team retained its focus on the energy, transport and real estate sectors, acting for clients such as Centrica, Crossrail and Lend Lease. Practice head Simon Oats and the β€˜very pragmatic’ Jonathan Bowley focus on non-contentious work; disputes specialist James Pickavance leads in international arbitrations.

Practice head Jane Jenkins and Sally Roe at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP handle contentious and non-contentious mandates across a wide range of sectors, including transport, real estate, natural resources and power generation. In 2015, highlights included advising Almacantar on the construction of Centrepoint and the Marble Arch Tower and acting for various lenders on the building of the Thames Tideway Tunnel. Jenkins shows β€˜a remarkable grasp of even the smallest detail’ and Roe β€˜makes sure all risks are identified before decisions are made’. Also of note is senior associate Elizabeth Wilson, who β€˜reads everything and comes up with useful angles’.

Hogan Lovells International LLP has a β€˜good depth of team and ability to understand the client’s commercial objectives’. The β€˜incredibly knowledgeable’ Gillian Thomas continued to advise on a number of major real estate projects including acting for King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership regarding the King’s Cross Central development. The contentious team, headed by John Gerszt, focuses on international work for a broad range of clients including employers, contractors, project managers and funders. Key figures include Tony Marshall and Roberta Downey, who has particular expertise in offshore wind farm disputes.

At Mayer Brown International LLP, Michael Regan’s team is β€˜very good at contentious and insurance-related matters’, and the team has been busy handling disputes for a number of contractors including Hyundai E&C, Wates and Costain. In one highlight, Regan is representing Kier in a High Court claim to recover costs associated with extensive damage to a car park at the Castlepoint Centre. Sally Davies β€˜fights the corner well but not at the expense of the relationship’ and Tom Duncan is β€˜very knowledgeable and on the ball’. Chris Fellowes is the main contact on the non-contentious side.

Nabarro LLP’s practice continued to experience rapid growth, with the hire of David Parton from Irwin Mitchell and Lucy Plowright from White & Case LLP. Parton and Alistair McGrigor provided non-contentious advice on various substantial real estate projects to developers such as Segro, Delancey and Great Portland Estates. In the contentious space, Matthew Taylor and practice head Steven Williams, who has β€˜very good client skills’, successfully defended McGee against an adjudication claim from a forward funder in relation to the construction of a multi-storey car park in Liverpool. Kevin Joyce is β€˜a strong addition on the infrastructure side’.

White & Case LLP’s international caseload continues to impress, particularly for infrastructure and energy work, with recent highlights including advising Qatar Rail on the $37bn construction of the Qatar Integrated Railway Project and acting for Egyptian Electricity Holding Company and Al Nowais Investments in connection with the construction of a 2,640MW coal-fired power generation plant in Egypt. On the disputes side, highway and airport projects have provided a strong work stream. Practice head Ellis Baker and Phillip Capper give β€˜to-the-point advice’ and are well-regarded experts on FIDIC contracts.

Addleshaw Goddard LLP β€˜combines sector expertise with commercial focus’, and has been particularly active in real estate development, such as acting for Mount Anvil on the development of Keybridge House in Vauxhall and advising Croydon Council Urban Regeneration Vehicle on a scheme at Lion Green Road in Coulsdon. On the contentious side, Jonathan Tattersall is defending Progress Health against a claim relating to widespread defects in fire-stopping measures at a major PFI hospital. Andy McVeigh heads the practice.

At Allen & Overy LLP, Nigel Pritchard and Troy Edwards provide non-contentious advice on a range of high-profile energy and infrastructure projects. Recent examples include advising Hitachi and Horizon Nuclear Power on the development of a new-build nuclear power plant in north Wales and, at an international level, acting for Biwater International on the construction arrangements for the Erbil and Sulaimani water and wastewater projects.

Ashurst’s β€˜very committed team’ was active in a range of matters for key client Interserve, including Matthew Bool advising it on a joint venture with China State Construction Engineering Corporation to build the Β£550m One Nine Elms residential scheme in Battersea. On the infrastructure side, Michael Smith is acting for the Department of Energy and Climate Change on the development of the Swansea Tidal Bay Lagoon Project. Litigator Tim Reid heads the practice and specialises in energy disputes.

Mike Webster heads Baker McKenzie LLP’s team, which is particularly strong in EPC and EPCM agreements in the energy, mining and infrastructure sectors. He is advising Southern Water on the procurement arrangements for its asset management plan. Steve Abraham and senior associate Kate Corby focus on international disputes. Jeremy Winter left the firm and is now an independent arbitrator.

The β€˜exceptionally tenacious’ Steven Carey heads the practice at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, which attracts β€˜quality work and does a quality job’. Key figures include Tim Raper, who has β€˜bags of experience’, and non-contentious specialist Duncan Salmon, who is advising Greenwich Millennium Village on the latest phase of its regeneration scheme. Derwent London and Mace are also active clients.

Clyde & Co LLP shows β€˜expertise across the entire spectrum of construction matters’ and handles a strong contentious caseload for contractors and consultants, including Hawkins Brown Architects and Carillion. The team is also known for its professional indemnity work through Richard Moody, who is β€˜cool in a crisis’. The β€˜knowledgeable and calm’ John Morris leads the practice and handles a mix of contentious and non-contentious work for employers such as Grainger and Native Land.

Non-contentious specialist Stephen Malley heads DLA Piper’s practice, which recently saw the retirement of Jim Pinsent. Malley, who β€˜provides solutions to complex construction matters’, was active in a range of real estate and infrastructure projects, such as advising Precis Management Services / Montcalm Hotels on the development of Royal London House. Mark Hilton is β€˜excellent in putting together strong teams for international arbitrations’.

Kevin Greene’s team at K&L Gates LLP is β€˜easily accessible and doesn’t forget the client’s overall objectives when negotiating tricky contract or appointment terms’. The practice experienced an increase in international infrastructure work, and its successes were reflected in Inga Hall and Nicola Ellis being promoted to special counsel. Other names to note are litigator Mike Stewart and global practice co-head Matthew Smith.

Following the retirement of Ann Minogue, β€˜good communicator’ Angus Dawson leads non-contentious work at Macfarlanes LLP and acts for a strong developer client base that includes Stanhope and Brookfield Property Partners. On the contentious side, Doug Wass’ team, which includes four solicitor advocates, is defending Grove Developments against a substantial claim for payment by the contractor relating to the construction of the Intercontinental hotel and ballroom in Greenwich.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s non-contentious team is co-led by Mark Berry and Peter Hall, who focus on infrastructure and energy respectively; Hall is advising Ofwat in relation to the Thames tideway Tunnel project. Donald Warnock has particular expertise in transport disputes, while Simon Ramsden has been active in a range of energy matters, including acting for Magnetar Capital in disputes arising from the buildout of its solar energy project portfolio. Matthew Hardwick was promoted to partner.

RPC’s substantial contentious practice spans insurance-related and standalone construction law work, and is singled out as being β€˜notably strong in large multi-party disputes’; the team acted for VolkerFitzpatrick in a High Court dispute relating to defective piles at Accolade Park in Bristol. Robert Hogarth is β€˜an exceptional operator’ and newly promoted partner Dan Preston gives β€˜practical advice’. On the non-contentious side, director Mark Lynch has β€˜an innovative streak’ and acts for clients such as AstraZeneca and Imperial College, London.

Reed Smith LLP wins praise for its β€˜very impressive response times and customer care’. Richard Ceeney produces β€˜very clear arguments’ when dealing with non-contentious issues – he advised Commercial Estates Group on a Β£400m mixed-use development in the outskirts of Leeds. The firm’s strong contentious practice – which includes Peter Cassidy, Nick Speed, Vincent Rowan and Shareena Edmonds – acts for clients such as Siemens AG and Doosan Lentjes UK. Lynne Freeman sadly passed away in 2015.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP’s varied practice has social housing, real estate and institutional clients such as Newlon Housing Trust, The Berkeley Group and BT. Charles Morrish’s non-contentious team can draw on national head of construction Stephanie Canham and, as well as handling a strong caseload of real estate mandates, advised Amey on construction issues relating to an energy-from-waste project in the Isle of Wight. Contentious team head Anthony Yates is β€˜a great hand at the tiller in marshalling large cases’.

Vinson & Elkins LLP’s growing practice is particularly well known in the international energy sector, where it acts for clients such as Saipem and the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR). Non-contentious specialist Andrew Nealon was active in a number of high-value projects in the CIS, including advising SOCAR Polymer on the construction of a polypropylene plant in Azerbaijan. On the contentious side, β€˜very client-focused’ practice head Nick Henchie and Amir Ghaffari continued to represent Panama Canal Authority in various adjudication board and ICC arbitration proceedings.

Sheena Sood now leads the insurance and construction boutique Beale & Company Solicitors LLP, which has strong contentious expertise and is complemented by some impressive non-contentious instructions. Will Buckby advised WSP on its successful bid to be appointed to the Highways Agency’s collaborative delivery framework. Other names to note are β€˜excellent tactician’ Antony Smith, who specialises in construction negligence claims, and Ben Mellors, who is β€˜going places’.

Edward Corbett heads the team at specialist construction and engineering firm Corbett & Co International Construction Lawyers Ltd, which remained active in international disputes relating to major power, road and rail projects. Andrew Tweeddale in particular stands out for his β€˜exceptional written work and advocacy skills’. Martin Bridgewater specialises in wind projects. The practice attracted a number of new international funder clients.

DAC Beachcroft LLP is led by Michael Blackburne, who handles contentious matters for insurers, contractors and residential developers. Nicholas Taylor advised Crest Nicholson on its acquisition of Valentine Place in London.

Dentons’ non-contentious practice is led by John Woolley, who focuses on energy and infrastructure projects, and is advising Canadian Solar on the acquisition and financing of a number of solar energy projects in the UK. The practice handles contentious matters from its Milton Keynes office, where Alastair Young is the main contact.

Fladgate LLP’s β€˜cerebral and dedicated’ practice includes β€˜incisive adviser’ Barry Hembling, who has been busy on behalf of Merlin Entertainments, advising on a portfolio of leisure-related construction projects globally. The team also has expertise in renewable energy and is acting for BTS Biogas on the construction of an anaerobic digestion plant in south Yorkshire. Gillian Birkby and Alan Woolston head the practice and handle a mix of contentious and non-contentious work.

Birmingham-based Michael O’Shea and Richard Green lead Gowling WLG’s practice, respectively handling contentious and non-contentious work. In the London office, Philip Baker focuses on real estate mandates and advised two financial services companies on the construction aspects of their letting of office space in 20 Fenchurch Street. Litigator Sue Ryan divides her time between Birmingham and London.

Holman Fenwick Willan is β€˜very thorough, well organised and well represented in key locations’. The team specialises in energy and infrastructure disputes and continues to act for Hochtief Solutions and Hochtief (UK) Construction in a case arising from the collapse of a water tunnel at a hydro-electric scheme in Scotland. The non-contentious practice serves a range of international and domestic contractors and consultants. Practice head Max Wieliczko β€˜shows unparalleled knowledge of a case’ and Michael Sergeant is β€˜a great communicator’.

β€˜Outstanding solicitor advocate’ Mark Tiggeman leads the team at Kennedys, where the practice focuses on handling contentious matters for a range of insurers and contractors. Although many of the mandates relate to infrastructure projects, the team also handles real estate and energy disputes. Michael Hogg is defending Volkerfitzpatrick against a defects claim relating to a Holiday Inn in north London. On the non-contentious side, James Shaw has β€˜considerable breadth of knowledge of contract law’.

At King & Wood Mallesons, practice head Julia Court is particularly strong in real estate projects, where it handles contentious and non-contentious work for clients such as the Crown Estate, AXA and Lagos State. The practice’s international work has continued to develop, especially with regard to the Middle East and China, and, in one key mandate, the team has been advising China Nuclear 23 on the EPC contracts for the RAPID oil refinery in Malaysia. Stuart Jordan moved to Baker Botts (UK) LLP.

Osborne Clarke’s β€˜highly experienced and user-friendly practice’ was enhanced on the contentious side by a number of hires, including Matthew Heywood and senior associate Daniel Cashmore, both of whom joined from Pinsent Masons LLP. Heywood has β€˜exceptional knowledge of Middle East culture and contracts’. On the non-contentious side, the Bristol-based team led by Phil Davies was particularly active in the solar energy space for clients such as First Solar and Foresight. Litigator Jonathan Brooks β€˜provides good strategic advice’ and divides his time between London and Bristol.

Simmons & Simmons’ contentious practice was recently augmented by counsel Mark Grasso’s recruitment from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP. Other key figures are chartered arbitrator and adjudicator Rob Horne, who is β€˜a market leader on the NEC contract’, and Navneet Juty, who is β€˜very bright and has a lot of railway industry experience’. On the non-contentious side, the team focuses on energy and infrastructure projects and is particularly known for its expertise in the UK solar market. The β€˜extremely experienced’ Richard Dyton heads the practice.

Stephenson Harwood’s practice continued to develop on the non-contentious side, with newly promoted partner Graeme Barton advising on a range of key infrastructure and real estate mandates such as assisting 4C Hotels with its developments at Queensbridge House and the Minories Estate. On the contentious side, where the practice is best known, Ron Nobbs has β€˜superb judgement and tactical skills’ and Paul Thwaite is β€˜excellent on technical legal issues’. Nobbs and Thwaite, who jointly head the team, attracted a number of new contractor clients.

At Taylor Wessing LLP, Matthew Jones’ team focuses on non-contentious work for clients such as Infinity and Conergy. As well as handling various energy mandates, the team was also active in the real estate sector and advised Blackstone on the redevelopment of the St Katharine’s Dock precinct. David Quinlan is β€˜confident and knowledgeable’.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s practice is now led by Hamish Lal, who joined the firm from Jones Day; Lal β€˜provides a level of intellectual and factual rigour that is unmatched in the contentious construction market’. The team focuses on international disputes, particularly in the energy and infrastructure sectors.

BLM’s strong contentious practice is led by β€˜seasoned construction litigator’ Michael Salau and Keith Lonsdale, who is β€˜highly regarded by insurers in finding solutions to claims against a wide range of construction and property professionals’. Key clients include Griffiths & Armour, Aviva and Arup.

Bevan Brittan LLP recruited contentious specialist Marie-Claire O’Hara, who joined from Nabarro LLP. Practice head Andrew Tobin specialises in education construction projects and is advising the Department for Education on its Priority School Building Programme. Aside from its substantial public sector client base, the team also handles work for contractors such as Wates and Kajima.

β€˜Very strong tactician’ Emily Monastiriotis leads on contentious matters at Bond Dickinson LLP and successfully defended Starstone and Beltec in the Technology and Construction Court in a case relating to the collapse of a residential property during a basement conversion. On the non-contentious side, Alex Hirom has particular expertise in power generation projects.

At Boodle Hatfield LLP, practice head David Johnson has β€˜great technical experience’ and acts for clients such as Grosvenor and Bedford Estate on a range of real estate projects.

Bracewell (UK) LLP’s practice is led by Tracy London, who is considered by some to be β€˜the best construction and O&M lawyer in the market’. London provides non-contentious advice on major energy projects and acts for clients such as Vestas Wind Systems and Ophir Energy. Matthew Mulqueen moved to Squire Patton Boggs.

Burges Salmon LLP’s Bristol-based team represents clients such as Costain, the Crown Estate and Greater London Authority in a range of sophisticated matters. Department head Marcus Harling handles contentious and non-contentious mandates and is acting for London Underground on the delivery of the Metropolitan line extension. William Gard provides β€˜informed and pragmatic advice’ on contentious matters.

DWF is particularly known for handling professional negligence disputes on behalf of clients such as Emcor and Amlin. Energy projects are a core focus on the non-contentious side. Key figures include Peter Sewell, Peter Campion and Adam Nell.

Mark London is recommended at Devonshires Solicitors LLP and is handling a range of disputes on behalf of social housing providers and local authorities. Susannah Davis is the name to note on the advisory side.

At Farrer & Co, practice head Clive Lovatt and Edward Banyard Smith have been busy with a number of unusual real estate mandates for private individuals and entities such as Royal College of Surgeons of England. The practice mainly handles non-contentious matters, but draws on the expertise of Adrian Parkhouse for disputes.

Fieldfisher’s β€˜well established non-contentious’ practice is led by Cecily Davis, who has recently been successful in attracting a number of high-profile real estate and infrastructure mandates. The contentious practice was enhanced by the hire of β€˜heavy hitter’ Louise Elmes, who was formerly at the Bar. Interconnector and St Thomas Street Development Company are active clients.

At Forsters LLP, litigator Andrew Parker β€˜combines genuine circumspection with boldness when he is sure his client is in the right’; he successfully defended LXB Retail Properties in an adjudication relating to the redevelopment of a former gasworks in Sutton. Sarah Cook has been handling a number of significant real estate projects.

Goodman Derrick LLP enhanced its practice with the hire of Tim Mould from Weightmans LLP; Mould represented IPCO in the Court of Appeal in relation to the enforcement of an arbitral award. Other key figures are Richard Bailey, who handles a mix of contentious and non-contentious work, and practice head John Wright, who sits as an arbitrator and has β€˜a good reputation as a third party neutral’.

The team at Howard Kennedy LLP has been busy with a range of contentious and non-contentious real estate mandates, and advised key client Ballymore Properties on the construction of Providence Tower, close to Canary Wharf. Former practice head Ian Reid recently left the firm.

Irwin Mitchell’s team is now led by Gordon Anderson, who arrived from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP to take charge of the team following David Parton’s move to Nabarro LLP. Anderson provides non-contentious advice on real estate projects and is acting for Redevco on the redevelopment of the former Hanningtons department store estate in Brighton.

Non-contentious specialist Clare Reddy is in charge at Lewis Silkin LLP and handles real estate mandates for a range of employers and consultants, including Rio Tinto Group and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. Managing associate Owen Williams deals with contentious matters.

Maples Teesdale LLP’s non-contentious practice wins praise for its β€˜detailed recommendations and commercial viewpoints’. Practice head Sam Nichols β€˜gets on with things’ and handles a range of real estate mandates for clients such as Arcadia Developments and London Properties. Consultant Claire Egerton has β€˜good building contract and procurement skills’.

At Mishcon de Reya LLP, non-contentious specialist Simon Hunter has particular expertise in mixed-used development projects and continues to advise Consolidated Developments on the St Giles Circus development in London. Hunter wins praise for his β€˜knowledge and common-sense approach’. Professional negligence specialist Richard Gerstein now leads the contentious practice following the departure of Nick Lane to Decimus Fearon LLP.

Olswang LLP provides β€˜efficient service’ under the leadership of Francis Ho, who is commended for his β€˜breadth of knowledge of JCT contracts’. The team has secured a number of new clients in the hotels and leisure sector and advised Great Eagle Hotels Group on the refurbishment of the Langham Hotel. Senior associate Ben Worthington handles disputes.

Identified as β€˜an excellent alternative to the big firms’, Payne Hicks Beach’s team focuses on real estate mandates for private individuals and developers. Julian Critchlow left the firm to start his own practice, and Carl Asser left the firm in 2016.

β€˜First-class negotiator’ Justin Mendelle heads the practice at Sharpe Pritchard, where the team continued to handle a range of contentious and non-contentious matters for the firm’s public sector clients. Among other work, Mendelle is advising London Borough of Southwark on its primary school expansion programme.

Wedlake Bell LLP’s β€˜commercially savvy’ team focuses on providing non-contentious advice to clients such as Spire Healthcare and Heron International. Key figures include Sarah Elliott, Helen Garthwaite and practice head Suzanne Reeves, who shows β€˜a preparedness to listen and respond with appropriate advice’.

The β€˜professional and competent’ team at Winckworth Sherwood LLP is led by Colin Hall and Eleanor Kilminster, who were busy with a range of contentious and non-contentious matters. Highlights in 2015 included advising Barratt London on its Sugar Quay development of luxury flats and acting for Notting Hill Housing Trust on the regeneration of the Aylesbury Estate in Southwark.


Index of tables

  1. Environment
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Environment clients in London 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


In an illustration of Allen & Overy LLP’s corporate strength, the team is advising Saudi Aramco on a joint venture with Lanxess Deutschland for a synthetic rubber business. On the regulatory side, the team handles the full range of environmental, health and safety, human rights and carbon issues; in one highlight it is representing Total in multiple challenges against numerous member states’ implementation of the European Commission’s calculation of carbon allowances. The β€˜very strategic’ Matthew Townsend heads the practice.

Thought by some to be the β€˜best overall group in London’, CMS’ broad practice takes in transactional support, environmental liability and climate change advice. The team also handles a substantial number of regulatory enforcement matters, and is currently active in various large odour nuisance class actions. The waste sector is a particular area of strength, with key clients including FCC and Red Industries. Practice co-heads Paul Sheridan and Olivia Jamison are β€˜a formidable team’.

Dentons’ focus on the oil and gas and waste sectors was again in evidence, with the team advising Total Lindsey Oil Refinery on a number of contentious matters brought by the Department for Transport and the Environment Agency. On the non-contentious side, Sam Boileau advised Hatfield Colliery Partnership on environmental issues arising from the closure of the Hatfield Colliery. Practice head Stephen Shergold is β€˜commercially aware’ and senior associate Helen Bowdren is β€˜very credible in the field of environmental litigation and risk’.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is particularly noted for its strength in the nuclear sector, where counsel Vanessa Jakovich is advising NuGeneration on environmental issues relating to its decision to acquire the Moorside nuclear new-build site. The practice is also well versed in assisting with transactional work in the energy space. Jonathan Isted is defending Equion Energia in a substantial environmental damage claim in the High Court. Other names to note are practice head John Blain and Paul Bowden.

Linklaters LLP has the β€˜ability to cope with challenging situations and find solutions appropriate for multiple parties’. Chris Staples acted for Anglo American plc in the carve-out of five non-operational properties from Lafarge Tarmac Holdings, while, in the project sector, β€˜superb’ practice head Vanessa Havard-Williams advised lenders on regulatory issues pertaining to various energy projects. Climate change and product liability are other streams of work. Managing associate Rachel Barrett is recommended.

At Baker McKenzie LLP, practice head Graham Stuart has been advising many corporate clients on environment-related EU product regulations. Another area of strength is climate change, with recent work encompassing the EU Emissions Trading System. Key clients include Google, Logitech and Dyson.

Nigel Howorth’s team at Clifford Chance provides β€˜focused advice in a manner that is capable of being digested by a wide range of audience and skill set’. The team was particularly active in the energy projects sector, with Howorth and senior associate James Shepherd advising RWE Innogy UK and Galloper Wind Farm on the environmental aspects of the successful project financing of the Galloper offshore wind farm.

Hogan Lovells International LLP handles a good mix of contentious and non-contentious work, with recent highlights including advising SABMiller on the environmental aspects of its acquisition of Meantime and acting for Albany Homes in a prosecution by the Environment Agency relating to contaminated soil. Louise Moore heads the team following Christopher Norton’s departure to Baker Botts (UK) LLP.

Claimant specialist Leigh Day continued its involvement in major environmental litigation, with Martyn Day and Daniel Leader successfully acting for the Bodo community in a Β£55m settlement with Shell following an oil spill in Nigeria. Richard Stein is β€˜excellent at high-profile environmental judicial reviews’, while Sean Humber has been active in cases relating to passive smoking.

At Norton Rose Fulbright, Caroline May has β€˜a wide understanding of implementation issues’ and advised Ecoworld Development Group Berhad on potential environmental liability relating to the development of three large London residential schemes. In another significant piece of work, May and consultant Jacqui O’Keeffe are assisting DP World London Gateway with issues arising from the site acquisition and implementation of the largest remediation and ecology programme in Europe.

At Pinsent Masons LLP, practice head Georgie Messent has substantial experience in the waste sector, both in relation to regulatory advice and nuisance cases. The team is also known for its expertise in environmental advice pertaining to energy projects and advised Levenseat on the financing of an energy-from-waste plant in Scotland. Paul Rice is recommended.

β€˜Phenomenal practice-builder’ Doug Bryden is in charge at Travers Smith LLP, where work ranges from transaction-related instructions referred by major US law firms to product-related regulatory advice for clients such as Nike. In one highlight, Bryden advised a leading agribusiness client on EU and UK controls in respect of genetically modified organisms. The team also has experience in advising on large solar projects.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP’s practice handles a steady flow of environmental compliance and liability instructions arising from contaminated land, water pollution and waste, in addition to which head of department Aidan Thomson is β€˜a leading expert on environmental insurance issues’.

Burges Salmon LLP’s Bristol-based team includes the β€˜hugely experienced’ Ian Salter and William Wilson, who is β€˜a thought leader in the environmental and energy field’. Ross Fairley advised GDF Suez Shotton on all aspects of the closure and divestment of the 210MWe gas-fired combined heat and power

station at Shotton. Michael Barlow heads the practice.

DLA Piper’s six-partner practice takes in the β€˜outstanding’ Teresa Hitchcock, who is based in Sheffield, and Birmingham-based Roy Tozer, who is regarded by some as being β€˜the best regulatory criminal lawyer in the UK’. Leeds-based Stuart Ponting is assisting Newgen Recycling with an Environment Agency investigation following the ignition of 15,000 tonnes of tyres.

King & Wood Mallesons’ practice covers a range of areas including corporate and real estate transactions, and energy and infrastructure projects. The team is able to leverage the firm’s exposure to the Chinese market and, in one highlight, advised China General Nuclear Power Corporation on the environmental aspects of its potential investment in the UK’s new-build nuclear programme. Department head Angus Evers has β€˜a very good grip on the detail of environmental law and takes a sensible, strategic approach’.

At Latham & Watkins, practice head Paul Davies has been particularly active assisting with environmental policy-making in China. Other recent mandates include acting for investors in relation to allegations concerning Volkswagen’s potential use of defeat devices. Recently promoted counsel Michael Green is the other name to note.

Mayer Brown International LLP’s team is led by Michael Hutchinson, who focuses on advising global players in the process industries and wider manufacturing sectors. As well as handling carbon litigation across five EU member states, Hutchinson was also active on the transactional side, advising Brookfield Property Partners on its acquisition of Center Parcs’ five holiday villages from Blackstone.

Bristol-based Alan John heads the practice at Osborne Clarke and has particular expertise in advising on power and heat purchase agreements, private wire arrangements and renewables incentives. The practice also handles regulatory investigations and contamination and climate change issues. Brian Greenwood joined Winckworth Sherwood LLP.

Reed Smith LLP’s β€˜result-driven’ practice is led by Nicholas Rock, who has β€˜a very thoughtful and strategic approach’. As well as handling a broad non-contentious caseload including transactional support and regulatory advice, Rock is also well versed on the contentious side and is acting in relation to the Churngold waste prosecution. The team was enhanced by the hire of senior associate Adam Hedley from Bond Dickinson LLP.

Steven McNab is in charge at Simmons & Simmons, where highlights included advising Strategic Value Partners on its loan-to-own strategy in relation to Cory Environmental. On the contentious side, the team acted for a group of claimants in a large class action precipitated by the government’s removal of the exemption on the climate change levy to generators of renewable energy.

Ashurst’s practice is led by consultant Andrew Waite, whose expertise ranges from waste and contaminated land to climate change. Waite advised Macquarie on environmental issues relating to its acquisition of significant fuel storage facilities. The team enjoyed a number of client wins in the energy and mining sectors.

Michael Salau is β€˜excellent on both the detail and overall strategy of a case’ at BLM, where the team is active on behalf of insurers and insureds in significant civil and criminal matters. Salau successfully acted for Saltbrook Motors in securing the withdrawal of a suspension notice issued by the Environment Agency on a vehicle scrap site in the West Midlands.

Greenberg Traurig Maher LLP’s practice is best known for its contaminated land and waste work, especially for clients in the manufacturing and chemical industries. On the transactional side, the team advised GKN on the acquisition of Fokker Technologies Group from Arle Capital Partners. The β€˜commercial and pragmatic’ Cate Sharp heads the team.

At Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, litigator John Ogilvie and senior associate Julie Vaughan are defending Vedanta Resources and Konkola Copper Mines in High Court proceedings relating to Konkola’s mining operations in Zambia. Vaughan also has been active advising in relation to UK fracking operations.

Jones Day was active on a sizeable number of corporate and real estate transactions, including advising LondonMetric Property on its acquisition of a distribution warehouse. Head of practice Christopher Papanicolaou gives β€˜pragmatic advice’.

At K&L Gates LLP, Scott Megregian advises on a wide range of EU regulations, environmental liability matters, climate change related legislation, and matters pertaining to hazardous waste, transportation, and storage of dangerous substances. Sebastian Charles left to start up his own firm.

Consultant Nigel Price at Macfarlanes LLP is β€˜extremely bright and hardworking, with excellent experience in corporate transactions’; he recently advised GHO Capital on the environmental aspects of its acquisition of Quotient Clinical. The team is β€˜building experience in environmental nuisance cases’.

Sheffield-based Lukas Rootman and Christopher Bowes are in charge at Nabarro LLP, where areas of expertise include regulatory enforcement actions, environmental permitting and EU environmental law. The team advised Whitemoss Landfill on the environmental aspects of its application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) for a hazardous waste landfill site. Senior associate Alex Ibrahim works from the firm’s London office.

Slaughter and May’s practice is led by senior associate Samantha Brady, who focuses on transactional work. The team’s expertise in the energy sector extends to shale gas and Brady advised INEOS in connection with its proposed acquisition from IGas Energy of an interest in ten onshore licences across England and Scotland. David Waterfield retired.

Areas of expertise at Squire Patton Boggs include REACH, CRC Energy Efficiency, WEEE, environmental permitting, fracking and the contaminated land regime. The team is based in Birmingham and Manchester, with Manchester-based Rob Elvin leading the practice.

Stephenson Harwood’s team is led by the β€˜excellent’ Ben Stansfield, who specialises in low carbon energy projects and brownfield land development; Stansfield is advising North London Waste Authority on the environmental aspects relating to its application to build an energy recovery facility in north London.

Addleshaw Goddard LLP’s practice is led by Manchester-based director Michelle Headrige and draws on the expertise of consultant Claire Sheppard, who is based in London. The team enjoyed an uptick in transactional work and advised Foresight Group on an investment in an energy-from-waste project in Hull.

Bird & Bird LLP has β€˜a high-quality practice with specialist expertise in energy and product-related environmental law’. Associate Joanna Ketteley is strong on climate change and emissions trading and provides β€˜focused advice that is pitched at the right level’.

Clyde & Co LLP’s four-partner team, which is led by Manchester-based Chris Morrison, was active in a range of civil and criminal cases and is advising a major UK waste wood company in relation to the Environment Agency’s Fire Prevention Guidance. Former Environment Agent prosecutor Rod Hunt is β€˜superb’; he is also based in Manchester,

Kennedys’ practice provides β€˜concise, appropriate and commercial advice’ to a range of public and private sector clients in contentious regulatory defence matters. Key players include head of practice David Wright and Daniel McShee.

At Shearman & Sterling LLP, counsel Mehran Massih handles a mix of regulatory and transactional work and has particular expertise in bespoke pollution insurance coverage in transactions involving industrial assets.

White & Case LLP’s practice regularly advises on environmental liabilities relating to major energy projects and is assisting Vale in connection with the development and financing of the Nacala Corridor project in Mozambique. Counsel Tallat Hussain β€˜has excellent knowledge of environmental and social standards applicable to international trade and financing’.


Index of tables

  1. Planning
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Planning clients in London 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


Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP provides β€˜excellent and thorough service, focused on mitigating the risk of legal challenge through the planning process’. As well as continuing to advise on nationally significant infrastructure projects, the team also assisted clients such as the Homes and Communities Agency and Land Securities with planning applications and judicial reviews of major development and regeneration schemes. The seven-partner practice is β€˜an incredibly strong team at all levels’; key figures include β€˜the very measured and knowledgeable’ Tim Smith, Timothy Pugh and practice head Tim Hellier.

Pinsent Masons LLP is a β€˜leader in the Development Consent Order (DCO) arena’. Recent highlights include Richard Griffiths assisting Stag Energy and Watt Power with their proposals for four new gas-fired power plant projects. On the real estate side, Richard Ford has been advising the London Borough of Croydon in respect of the Β£1.3bn Whitgift Shopping Centre development in Croydon. Other names to note are national practice head Iain Gilbey, β€˜great strategic thinker’ Robbie Owen and Nicholle Kingsley. The team experienced further growth through a number of new hires, including Gareth Phillips and his team from Watson Farley & Williams LLP.

At Ashurst, Trevor Goode’s team wins praise for its β€˜high degree of expertise in Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) and related work’. Among other matters, it successfully obtained a CPO for Berkeley St James on a mixed-used development at Southall Gas Works. Lucy Thomas acted for TFL in securing planning permission for a major commercial office development at Paddington. GLA is a new client.

Bircham Dyson Bell has β€˜a wealth of practitioners with strength and experience in the planning of infrastructure’. Recent highlights include advising TFL on the promotion of Crossrail 2 and acting for London Resort Company Holdings in obtaining a DCO for a new leisure and entertainment resort in Kent. Practice head Angus Walker has β€˜an encyclopaedic knowledge of the national infrastructure system’, and Mark Challis is β€˜calm and thoughtful’. The practice also handles real estate planning.

Under the leadership of Ashley Damiral, CMS provides β€˜excellent and well-informed service’. Damiral has particular expertise in retail planning and advised key client J Sainsbury on a number of mixed-use regeneration projects. Infrastructure specialists Robin Hutchison – who has β€˜particular strength in marine and onshore consenting knowledge’ – and the β€˜pragmatic and decisive’ Stephen McNaught continued to assist National Grid with the DCO for the King’s Lynn Connection project.

At DLA Piper, Howard Bassford was particularly busy, advising Highways England on promoting the M4 Smart Motorway DCO and London Borough of Newham on a s106 agreement for Royal Albert Dock’s regeneration project. For the latter client, Karen Howard assisted with planning of a major regeneration project at Silvertown Quays. The practice benefits from in-house counsel when dealing with contentious matters.

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) specialist Stephen Ashworth β€˜leads the team brilliantly’ at Dentons, where recent highlights include advising Royal Borough of Greenwich on a number of significant schemes including Greenwich Peninsula. Roy Pinnock is β€˜very personable and has sound judgement’ and managing associate Michele Vas has β€˜an extensive knowledge of CPO procedures’.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s team includes newly promoted partner Catherine Howard, who was active in the infrastructure and energy space for clients such as EDF Energy and Cuadrilla Resources. Practice head Matthew White and Patrick Robinson focus on real estate matters and, in one key piece of work, White acted for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club in successfully resisting a High Court challenge of the validity of a CPO relating to land for the club’s new stadium.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s β€˜rock-solid and innovative’ practice is led by the highly rated Michael Gallimore, who has particular expertise in urban regeneration projects; Gallimore acted for Braeburn Estates Limited Partnership on the redevelopment of the Shell Centre, South Bank. Also on the real estate side, the β€˜insightful’ Claire Dutch won two appeals for Londonewcastle on residential-led schemes in Shoreditch. The practice extends to infrastructure work and acted on a DCO for Carlton Power.

The β€˜terrific’ Simon Ricketts heads the team at King & Wood Mallesons, where the team was active on a number of mixed-use development projects including assisting British Land with the planning aspects of its Blossom Street scheme in Shoreditch. Residential schemes is another strength of the team and Stephen Webb acted for St Modwen Developments in securing planning permission for 500 new homes at Copthorne, near Gatwick Airport.

Nabarro LLP wins praise for its β€˜proactive contribution to real estate projects’. As well as being busy on behalf of key client Hammerson, the team also advised Heathrow Hub on the promotion of its extension to the northern runway at Heathrow Airport. Practice head Martin Evans is β€˜technically superb and tactically very sound’, Joshua Risso-Gill has β€˜excellent judgement’, and consultant David Hawkins is well known for his CPO expertise. Christopher Stanwell moved to DAC Beachcroft LLP.

Noted as being β€˜very strong on residential development and strategy’, Winckworth Sherwood LLP remains busy on behalf of clients such as Redrow and Persimmon. The infrastructure side of the practice was augmented by the arrival of Brian Greenwood from Osborne Clarke. The well-regarded Karen Cooksley heads the department.

As well as securing some significant new panel wins on the advisory side, Addleshaw Goddard LLP’s practice also enjoyed success in contentious mandates; in one highlight Gary Sector defended the grant of a marine licence on behalf of Brunswick Developments in the Court of Appeal. Marnix Elsenaar heads the practice.

Clifford Chance remained active on behalf of key client Canary Wharf Group, advising on a number of matters including the Wood Wharf Regeneration scheme. The team is also assisting Horizon Nuclear Power with planning for a power station in Wales. Practice head Nigel Howorth is β€˜a very safe pair of hands’.

Eversheds LLP’s practice was boosted by the hire of the β€˜vastly experienced and very wise’ Morag Thomson from Shakespeare Martineau LLP; Thomson has particular expertise in infrastructure projects and is advising Roxhill Developments on the DCO for a new rail freight interchange and two highway schemes for the M1. Birmingham-based Stuart Andrews heads the team.

Clare Fielding’s team at Gowling WLG was once again busy with numerous design-led projects, including assisting Battersea Power Station Development Company with all planning aspects of the regeneration of Battersea Power Station. Stephen Turnbull is now a consultant.

Lewis Silkin LLP handles a range of significant mandates for private and public sector clients. The team is advising Sager Group on planning for the old Royal Mail sorting office in Islington. Former sole practitioner Paul Winter joined the firm as a consultant; practice head Judith Damerell is on sabbatical until 2017.

At Linklaters LLP, David Watkins is β€˜excellent with clients and local planning authorities’. He acted for Palace Street Development in relation to a s106 agreement and subsequent deed of variation concerning a significant development adjacent to Buckingham Palace. Great Portland Estates is a key client.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s Duncan Field has β€˜unrivalled, up-to-date knowledge of the aviation market’ and continued to advise London City Airport on its development programme. Senior associate Sarah Bischoff is β€˜fabulously efficient and hardworking’.

Osborne Clarke’s practice takes in a wide range of clients, including Barratt Homes, Asda and Heron Land Developments. Head of practice John Baird was successful in obtaining planning permission for Ptarmigan Land at the Albert Wharf site in London.

At Stephenson Harwood, β€˜excellent negotiator’ Ben Stansfield leads a growing team that is particularly known for its work in energy infrastructure projects. The team has also been busy on behalf of objectors to major schemes such as HS2 and the Westfield shopping centre in Croydon.

The β€˜hugely enthusiastic’ Alistair Watson leads the practice at Taylor Wessing LLP and has specialist expertise in sports stadium developments; recent clients in this respect include Brentford Football Club and Saracens Rugby Club. The team was also busy in the student accommodation sector for McLaren Developments.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP provides β€˜a good level of service and regular reporting’ under the leadership of Claire Fallows. On behalf of key client The Church Commissioners for England, the team advised on the promotion of a major urban extension in Hereford. Senior associate Helen Hutton has significant experience in hydrocarbon planning.

Clyde & Co LLP’s β€˜small but diligent and hardworking team’ is led by Ian Ginbey, who is β€˜a first-rate tactician, particularly in contentious proposals for new residential development’. In one example of work, the team secured planning permission for Commercial Estates Group in relation to a large residential site in Rownhams, Hampshire.

At Farrer & Co, the β€˜very personable’ Karen Phull has been acting for various promoters and objectors. Key mandates included acting for the Institute of Cancer Research in a planning application for a new research building in Sutton.

The β€˜very clever’ Oliver Wright leads the group at Forsters LLP, which was boosted by the arrival of Claire Saffer from CMS and Matthew Evans from the London Borough of Hackney. The team continued to advise Knight Dragon Investments on its plans for the regeneration of Greenwich Peninsula.

At Irwin Mitchell, Martha Grekos β€˜turns around matters very quickly’ and advises in relation to real estate and infrastructure projects. Highlights included providing strategic planning advice to Almacantar regarding the redevelopment of Marble Arch Tower, Westminster. National Grid is a new client. Since publication Martha Grekos has joined Howard Kennedy LLP.

K&L Gates LLP’s practice is now led by recently promoted partner Feroze Abbas following the departure of Sebastian Charles and Jane Burgess to set up their own firm. In 2015, the team handled a variety of planning work for public and private sector clients such as Workspace Group and London Borough of Hounslow.

Keystone Law’s four-consultant team was reinforced by the arrival of port specialist Andrew Hignett from Lester Aldridge LLP. Other key figures are David Evans and Oliver Goodwin, with the latter advising Barwood LaSalle Land on planning for a large residential and community site in north Wales.

Mishcon de Reya LLP is β€˜very sound on judicial review and High Court challenges’. The team handles a range of contentious and non-contentious mandates for private wealth and major property companies, such as Delancey and Capco. Key figures include practice head Anita Rivera and managing associate Daniel Farrand, who is β€˜level-headed and thorough’.

Sharpe Pritchard’s β€˜responsive and approachable’ practice is best known for its public sector work and has β€˜a very good knowledge of the local authority perspective and way of working’. The team continued to act for London Borough of Wandsworth in relation to the DCO for the Thames Tideway tunnel. Practice head Brian Hurwitz and Denise Stephenson are the names to note.

The β€˜committed and knowledgeable’ Jacqueline Backhaus leads Trowers & Hamlins LLP’s team, which β€˜demonstrates an in-depth understanding of local government’. It is representing the London Borough of Enfield in strategic planning of the Meridian Water Regeneration Project.

Practice head Sara Hanrahan at Blake Morgan LLP shows β€˜attention to detail and knowledge of the subject’. Hanrahan advised Berkeley Homes on planning issues pertaining to a large mixed-use development in Buckinghamshire.

Burges Salmon LLP’s four-partner practice is particularly noteworthy for energy and infrastructure projects; the team is advising Highways England on planning relating to the M20 Junction 10a project. Bristol-based Gary Soloman heads the practice.

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s department is now led by Christopher Stanwell, who joined from Nabarro LLP. Key clients include Crest Nicholson and Taylor Wimpey.

Specialist real estate firm Davitt Jones Bould attracted a number of significant new public sector clients and also advised the Royal Parks on planning of the new London Cycle Super Highway. Mark Brumwell is the main contact.

Under the leadership of the β€˜intuitive and efficient’ Christopher Proudley, Druces LLP is β€˜especially good at drafting and advising on s106 obligations’. Clients include Dogs Trust as well as Bank of London and the Middle East.

Mark Harnett β€˜explains issues very clearly’ at Fladgate LLP, where the team focuses on mid-size schemes for clients such as Hodson Developments and CLTX.

Howard Kennedy LLP’s Christine Hereward has β€˜first-rate commercial sense’ and her experience as a former head of planning at Westminster City Council allows her to determine β€˜best tactics with local authorities’. The team recently achieved a good result for Galliard Homes in the first Planning Enforcement Order case to be defended. Since publication, Martha Grekos has joined from Irwin Mitchell as the new head of planning.

Maples Teesdale LLP’s growing team has seen an increase in judicial review work and is acting for Gatwick Obviously Not in relation to contesting an air space decision made by the Civil Aviation Authority. β€˜Hard-worker’ Chad Sutton heads the team.

Boutique practice Richard Max & Co undertakes a full range of planning work, including public inquiry advocacy. Name partner Richard Max is the main contact.

Alex Ground heads the practice at Russell-Cooke LLP, where recent work includes representing Woodcock Holdings in an appeal to the Secretary of State relating to a mixed-use project at West Sussex.

At Slaughter and May, associate Richard Keczkes – who joined from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP – leads on planning matters following the retirement of David Waterfield. Recent mandates include advising Delancey/Minerva in connection with the proposed Queen’s Square mixed-use development project in Croydon town centre.

At Watson Farley & Williams LLP, senior associate Nick Walker arrived from Norton Rose Fulbright to take charge of the practice. The team has been particularly active in its specialist area of energy infrastructure for clients such as Dong Energy and Solar 21. Gareth Phillips joined Pinsent Masons LLP.

Property finance

Index of tables

  1. Property finance
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Property finance clients in London 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


Paul Flanagan, Arthur Dyson, Simon Roberts and Mark Manson-Bahr are key partners in Allen & Overy LLP’s β€˜outstanding’ team. Atif Hanif advised Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank on a Β£350m loan to finance the redevelopment of the former BBC Television centre in west London. Lucy Oddy joined from Latham & Watkins in September 2015.

Ashurst’s β€˜very strong team of smart lawyers’ advised Lloyds Bank on a Β£185m facility to finance the development of a new retail village outside the O2 arena. The β€˜very practical, commercial’ Sarah Watkinson and the β€˜extraordinarily hardworking, helpful, cheerful’ Ruth Harris lead the practice; Jessica Jenner made partner in May 2015.

Clifford Chance’s department is commended for its β€˜remarkable bench strength and market knowledge’, with Barry O’Shea and practice head Andrew Carnegie singled out for praise. Damian Perry advised NorthStar Realty Finance Corporation on the €579m financing of its €1.06bn acquisition of a pan-Europe real estate portfolio.

Deutsche Bank, Lloyds Bank, Blackstone and Omni Capital Partners are among the clients of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s β€˜magnificent’ team, which is led by Simon Chadney and Gary Hommel; these β€˜robust negotiators’ are praised as having β€˜extensive knowledge and a no-nonsense approach’. British Land and SociΓ©tΓ© GΓ©nΓ©rale are recent client wins.

β€˜Easy-going, technically excellent’ department head Steve Smith at Linklaters LLP is β€˜widely trusted’; he advised M&G Investment Management on its Β£153m loan to refinance one of Cosgrave Property Group’s debts. Other clients include Blackstone and Starwood Capital. Trevor Clark and Scott Simpson are recommended.

Claire Watson at Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP is praised for her β€˜quick turnaround times’. β€˜Very high-calibre, well-respected’ department head Naveen Vijh advised Barclays, RBS and M&G Investment Management on their Β£300m senior financing of the Brocktun Dunedin industrial property fund to refinance existing assets and acquire others from Hansteen Industrial Property.

Toby Barker and the β€˜commercial, practical’ Laurence Rogers lead the team at DLA Piper, which welcomed Paul Gray to London following his relocation from the Manchester office. Barker and Gray advised Market Tech Holdings on a Β£900m debt facility arranged by AIG Asset Management (Europe). Senior associate Chris Chan is also recommended.

Eversheds LLP’s β€˜technically excellent, commercially sound and very prompt’ practice is led by the β€˜approachable’ Simon Mead; Robert Ludwig arrived from Linklaters LLP in July 2015, and Jane Allan joined as legal director from Ashurst three months later. Clients of the team include Barclays, Santander and Deutsche Pfandbriefbank.

The key partners at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP are Jeffrey Rubinoff, Simon Johnson, Jonathan Birks and David Trott. Rubinoff acted for J.P. Morgan on the acquisition and part-sale of a €2.2bn portfolio of performing loans. Johnson advised Deutsche Bank on the €224m financing of Blackstone’s purchase of several Spanish NPL portfolios.

The β€˜very client-focused’ practice at Hogan Lovells International LLP provides β€˜strong partner involvement’. The β€˜fantastic, very likeable’ Jo Solomon acted for M&G Investment Management on a Β£70m loan to Westrock to finance the purchase and redevelopment of four office buildings in England. Andrew Welbourn heads the department, which also includes the recommended Andrew Flemming.

Jones Day’s practice is headed by Andrew Barker, who acted for Wells Fargo on its $23bn joint acquisition – in conjunction with Blackstone – of GE Capital Real Estate’s CRE loan book. Emily Stew assisted Greystar Real Estate Partners with a Β£390m part-financing of its acquisition of Nido London.

Nigel White and Andrew Hepner lead the team at Mayer Brown International LLP; its clients include Citi, Wells Fargo and Canary Wharf Group. The β€˜responsive, commercial and hardworking’ David O’Connor acted for Citigroup Global Markets on its Β£125m financing of Starwood’s acquisition of an NPL portfolio.

Nabarro LLP’s β€˜responsive, creative and commercial’ practice shows β€˜solid all-round industry and banking knowledge’; Andrew McLean and the β€˜calm, considered’ Mike Delaney are recommended. Clients include Brockton, Frogmore and Santander. β€˜Clear-thinking, practical’ department head Clive Swillman is β€˜firm when necessary’.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s β€˜first-class, widely sought-after’ practice is jointly led by the β€˜fantastic, personable’ Sarah Cullen; the β€˜robust, commercial’ Duncan Hubbard; the β€˜popular and solution-driven’ Dan Kennedy; and Richard Hughes, who joined from Simmons & Simmons in July 2015. Clients include AEW Europe, Eco World and HSBC.

The β€˜very likeable, very bright’ Andrew Besser leads the team at Olswang LLP; he β€˜manages complex cross-border matters with ease’. The practice had a very strong year, advising Cain Hoy and Sager House (Almeida)’s joint venture vehicle on a Β£190m loan from Lloyds Bank to develop Islington Square.

The β€˜hardworking, efficient, exceptional’ team at Paul Hastings LLP assisted Starwood Capital with the €122m financing of its purchase of a Spanish hotels portfolio. In February 2016, Michael James made partner and David Ereira joined from Linklaters LLP. David Ryland, Justin Jowitt and Miles Flynn are particularly active contributors to the practice.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s department lost William Greig to Simmons & Simmons. William Oliver and Gerry Mulholland head the practice, whose clients include RBS, Barclays and National Bank of Kuwait.

Mark Waghorn leads the team at Simmons & Simmons, in which Simon Kildahl is another key figure. William Greig joined the department from Pinsent Masons LLP in December 2015, which offset Richard Hughes’ departure to Norton Rose Fulbright. Deian Rhys joined in June 2016 from Goldman Sachs.

Rodney Dukes heads Taylor Wessing LLP’s practice, which has β€˜strong knowledge’. Ross Caldwell provides β€˜sound advice and good leadership’, and senior counsel Marcus Earnshaw is β€˜very effective and diligent’. Clients include Canada Life, Cheyne Capital and Deutsche Bank.

Paul Salsbury’s six-partner department at Addleshaw Goddard LLP has β€˜strong industry knowledge and business acumen’. James Salford acted for Tribeca Holdings London on the Β£210m refinancing of its Sloane Avenue and Brompton Cross portfolios. Dave Wilson is commendably solution-oriented.

Stephen Turner heads Baker McKenzie LLP’s department, in which Justin Salkeld and Paul Hibbert are also prominent practitioners. The team advised CIMB Bank Berhad on the financing of the Β£2bn Battersea Power Station redevelopment. Senior associate Sudhir Nair joined from Linklaters LLP.

CMS’ β€˜very responsive, user-friendly’ practice is headed by Simon Johnston, who is β€˜extremely technically able and experienced’. The β€˜commercial’ Keith Ham advised HSBC on the refinancing of Cola Holdings’ portfolio of hotels. Other clients include Lloyds Bank, Wells Fargo and Roland House.

James Irvine’s β€˜user-friendly’ department at Dentons counts Standard Chartered and CIMB Bank Berhad among its clients. Lorraine Davis and Simon Masri assisted Development Bank of Singapore with the Β£144m financing of the acquisition of 10 Fleet Place by a Hong Kong-based consortium. Consultant Greg Thwaites is recommended.

Philip Abbott’s team at Fieldfisher shows β€˜enormous energy and commitment’ in its handling of complex transactions. Oliver Abel Smith is β€˜very knowledgeable, well connected and easy to deal with’. Matt Hinxman joined from Baker Botts (UK) LLP in November 2015.

The team at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP shows β€˜very good negotiation skills’. Department head Alan Samson acted for Oaktree Capital Management in its refinancing of the Liberty Wharf development in Jersey. Tom Budd and Wayne McArdle are also recommended.

The β€˜fantastic’ Nick Turner heads the team at Gowling WLG; he displays β€˜pragmatism, commercialism and technical ability’. Clients include ICG-Longbow, HSBC and TIAA Henderson. Jon Lent shows β€˜technical excellence and impressive understanding’. Judith Gershon is also recommended.

Santander, HSBC and Deutsche Hypo are among the lender clients of Irwin Mitchell’s practice, which is headed by Simon Tweedle. Tweedle advised AREO Sarl on its refinancing of a €150m loan from GE Real Estate. The department’s borrower clients include Raven Russia and Ellandi.

King & Wood Mallesons assisted Far East Orchard with the Β£23m financing of its acquisitions of two student accommodation sites in Newcastle. Jen Yee Chan and Jeremy Cross were particularly active in advising traditional lenders; Ian Borman and department head Steven Cowins were kept busy with work for debt funds.

The β€˜pragmatic’ practice at Macfarlanes LLP is appreciated for its combination of β€˜partner-led advice, great technical knowledge and huge focus on client service’. Clients include City Developments (145), Maybourne Hotel Group and Canary Wharf Group. Colin Morgan leads the team with Clare Breeze.

Nick Strutt, who has β€˜substantial industry knowledge’ and is β€˜always accessible’, heads Mishcon de Reya LLP’s department; he advised Reginvest UK on debt facilities totalling Β£90m to fund the purchase of a UK property portfolio. The β€˜commercial, responsive and efficient’ Raji Bartlett gives β€˜detailed advice’.

The team at Sidley Austin LLP is led by Graham Penn. Aparna Sehgal and Nicholas Brittain advised Welltower on funding arrangements relating to the development of a portfolio of English care homes. Jason Richardson is also recommended. Counsel Elizabeth Le Vay joined the team in June 2015.

Stephenson Harwood’s β€˜very commercial’ department head James Linforth has β€˜a straightforward approach and a high level of involvement’; Paul Hayward-Surry is also recommended. Jayesh Patel assisted Wells Fargo Bank with a Β£400m facility to Henderson Retail Warehouse Fund.

Matthew Ayre leads the β€˜extremely diligent, responsive’ team at Travers Smith LLP, in which β€˜great negotiator’ Danny Peel advised Safestore Holdings on the amendment and extension of its existing property finance bank facilities. β€˜Smart, enthusiastic’ senior associate Christopher Brooks is β€˜a pleasure to work with’.

Bird & Bird LLP’s β€˜commercial, responsive and efficient’ department is headed by Jonathan Baker and Russell Dellar, the latter of whom advised Berlin-Hannoversche Hypothekenbank on the amendment and extension of a Β£33m loan to refinance the acquisition of iQ Aberdeen. Santander, Wellesley and Handelsbanken are other clients of the practice.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s practice is jointly led by Jon Bond, Daniel Sullivan and Paul Kay. Bond advised Lloyds TSB Bank on a facility to finance Coulby Newham’s purchase of a shopping centre, and assisted Ahli Bank with Β£25m-worth of loans to investors in London property.

Charles Malpass leads the team at Dechert LLP, with strong support from Eleni Skordaki and Jeremy Trinder. Malpass advised Apollo Management International on various European loan-on-loan financings totalling $3bn. Other clients include Wells Fargo Bank, BAWAG and Haymarket Media.

Farrer & Co’s department head Simon Graham acted for Eton College on a Β£45m bond issuance, with the College’s covenant strength including its property portfolio. Deutsche Bank and RBS are also clients of the practice, in which Bethan Waters and Annabel Younger made partner in May 2015.

Goodwin counts Angelo Gordon & Co, Ares Management, London Square Developments and Kennedy Wilson Europe among its clients. The department is led by Paul Lyons and recent arrival Simon Fulbrook, who joined from King & Wood Mallesons.

K&L Gates LLP’s β€˜very knowledgeable’, β€˜hardworking’ department shows β€˜strength in depth’. β€˜Strong negotiator’ James Spencer advised Henderson Central London Office Fund as borrower on a Β£40m facility for working capital; practice head Andrew Petersen and β€˜prompt problem-solver’ Richard Hardwick are also recommended.

Clients have β€˜no hesitation in recommending’ Osborne Clarke’s department head Madeleine Clark; she is β€˜great fun to work with, and a smart cookie’. RBS, Barclays and IDI Gazeley are among the practice’s clients. The β€˜keenly commercial, technically excellent’ Dominic Ross is β€˜quick to grasp complex concepts’.

Reed Smith LLP’s department is jointly led by Matthew Heaton and the β€˜extremely knowledgeable, hardworking and efficient’ Francisca SepΓΊlveda. Georgia Quenby advised Telereal Trillium on the Β£51m refinancing of 174 properties in the Royal Mail portfolio. Iain Balkwill is also recommended.

Partha Pal at Ropes & Gray LLP provides β€˜excellent all-round service, putting clients first and showing broad ability and expertise’; he joined from Chadbourne & Parke (London) LLP in May 2015. Iain Morpeth is also recommended. The team’s clients include Blackstone Mortgage Trust and Gaw Capital.

Brecher LLP’s team is praised for its β€˜first-rate response times, top-notch industry knowledge and good strength in depth’. Redmond Byrne advised Century Capital on a Β£3m bridging loan for a BVI-based borrower. Department head Richard Gilchrist is β€˜calm under pressure and very hardworking’.

Brown Rudnick LLP’s team is headed by the UK- and US-qualified Tuvi Keinan, with support from Omega Poole, Elena Rey-Sabinina and senior associate Sam Gunson, who assisted Queensgate Investments with financing the acquisition of the Kensington Forum Hotel.

Paul Browne heads the department at Burges Salmon LLP, which counts Lloyds Banking Group, RBS and Handelsbanken among its clients; Colin Ligman and Richard Leeming are also prominent figures. Richard Read advised AUB Student Accommodation fund on its sale to Unite UK Student Accommodation Fund.

Clyde & Co LLP’s practice head Chris Lenton provides β€˜a very good level of client service’, an approach that is mirrored by the team, which is β€˜user-friendly and good value for money’. Senior associate Robert Davy joined from Clifford Chance, whereas Terry Green moved to Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP.

Hotels expert Paul McCartney leads the team at DAC Beachcroft LLP. The team assisted Pinnacle No 1 with the financing of its sale of 22 Bishopsgate to a consortium led by Axa REIM. McCartney has substantial experience in shari’ah-compliant transactions.

Fladgate LLP’s β€˜very efficient, astute’ team has β€˜the skills and knowledge to cover all areas of a transaction’, thanks to its β€˜strength in depth’. Richard Reuben leads the team alongside Kim McMurray, who gives β€˜calm, thoughtful advice’. Gideon Dabby-Joory is also recommended.

Forsters LLP’s β€˜responsive, efficient’ department is β€˜very good value for money’, and acts for clients such as Santander UK, Banque Havilland, Dwyer Asset Management and Brookshire Capital. β€˜Approachable’ department head Victoria Edwards has β€˜excellent business acumen’.

Practice co-heads Ajoy Bose-Mallick and Chen Ikeogu joined Maples Teesdale LLP in the summer of 2015 from Irwin Mitchell and Shepherd and Wedderburn, respectively. Clients of the practice include Rockspring Asset Management, Lloyds Bank International and Avignon Capital.

Penningtons Manches LLP assists borrowers and lenders with originations, refinancing and loan facility negotiations; it is particularly strong in acquisition finance. Clients include Lloyds Bank and Sellar Property Group. Peter McElligott and Mark Phillips lead the team, with support from senior associate John Chater.

Sukh Ahark leads the team at RPC, where David Johnston, legal director Edward Colville and senior associate Adam Chamberlain are also active in the sector. Ahark and Chamberlain advised Consolidated Contractors Group on the Β£42m financing, acquisition and development of several residential sites in central London.

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s β€˜excellent’ property finance team is headed by Jonathan Rickard, and also includes Philip Knowles, Stephen Hubner, Sally Morris-Smith and Patrick Bell. Scarborough, Dunedin Property, TJAC and Azure Hotels are longstanding clients.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP’s β€˜responsive and highly capable’ department counts Anthology London, RBS and Inox Group among its recent client wins. β€˜Approachable’ department head Simon Owen has a β€˜no-nonsense approach and extensive knowledge’, and the β€˜well-organised, diligent’ Eddie O’Hanrahan β€˜works through complex documents quickly’.

Wedlake Bell LLP’s department head Hilary Platt advised William Nash on its Β£15m refinancing of an 18-property portfolio through Santander, and acted for Messila House on the Β£30m financing of the development of Montrose Square and 47 Belgrave Square. Chris Vause is also active in the sector.

At White & Case LLP, the β€˜responsive, intelligent and hugely knowledgeable’ David Cox is β€˜a force to be reckoned with in negotiations’. James Dodsworth heads the practice, in which the β€˜diligent, hardworking’ Victoria Landsbert made partner in January 2016. Clients include BAWAG, Blackstone and Microsoft.

James Dakin’s department at Boodle Hatfield LLP was particularly active in residential development, family offices and the private rental sector. Its clients include Rubicon Capital and MRP Developments. Senior associate Rahul Thakrar is β€˜smart and hardworking’. Associate Henry Ryder joined from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in November 2015.

Consultant Mark Menhennet is the key figure at Chadbourne & Parke (London) LLP, alongside counsel Jan Peter Weiland and project finance specialist Despina Doxaki. Weiland advised the IFC on a €15m loan to a Belarussian company to finance a commercial real estate project.

Alex O’Connor is the key partner at Collyer Bristow LLP; he is supported by Rory Macpherson. The department was instructed by various clients on the financing of Β£1bn-worth of assets between May 2015 and May 2016. Lender-side clients include Bangkok Bank and Hampden & Co, with Crest Nicholson being a key client on the borrower side.

Druces LLP’s team is led by Simon Pullen, who joined from Howard Kennedy LLP in August 2015; his clients include Bank Julius Baer & Co and British Arab Commercial Bank. Christopher Axford combines β€˜pragmatic solutions, sound judgement and an ability to get to the heart of complicated problems’.

Edwin Coe LLP produces β€˜an impressive level of service’. Department head Stephen Brower is β€˜a practical negotiator’ with β€˜in-depth knowledge and experience’; he assisted Luxlo with the financing of an SPV’s purchase of a Mayfair office building, to be redeveloped into high-end apartments.

The β€˜outstanding’, β€˜proactive’ team at Freeths is led by Richard Williams, who has β€˜a huge depth of commercial and technical knowledge’. Clients include Contour Capital, West Register Group and Santander UK. Chris Freeston is also recommended.

Peter Belcher heads GSC Solicitors LLP’s β€˜small but potent’ team, which is particularly strong on the borrower side and in the hotels, leisure and healthcare sectors. Belcher is supported by Matthew Phillips and associate Carole Joseph.

Glovers Solicitors LLP advised Close Brothers on an Β£18m loan for the purchase and development of a property in south-east London, and acted for United Trust Bank on a Β£11m facility to refinance existing debt and complete a Notting Hill residential development. Andrew Parker heads the team.

Hamlins LLP’s β€˜approachable’ department head Charles Bezzant is particularly experienced in financing investment and development; he is supported by Joseph Holder. Clients include Bank Leumi UK, Bangkok Bank, Palace Capital and Park Plaza Hotels. β€˜Very sensible, commercial’ senior associate Aselle Djumabaeva-Wood has β€˜an impressive grasp of legal detail’.

Daniel Fireman’s β€˜very responsive, commercial and client-centred’ practice at Howard Kennedy LLP provides β€˜pragmatic, straightforward’ advice. Clients include Santander UK and Ballymore Property Group. Marcus Jamson is β€˜a pleasure to work with’; he joined from Wedlake Bell LLP in August 2015. Steve Clinning is β€˜diligent and delightful’.

Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP’s lender-focused team provides β€˜a good combination of technical strength and practical-mindedness’. It is led by Terry Green, who joined in October 2015 from Clyde & Co LLP. Counsel Peter Englund β€˜will get a deal done, and done properly’.

Matthew Lindsay leads the team at Memery Crystal LLP; he advised T.G. Acquisitions on the Β£90m acquisition of the Thomas Goode store in Mayfair. Other clients include Z Hotels Group, Allied Commercial Exporters, Imperial Pharmaceuticals and Beckman Group. Andrew Titmas and Nicola Kravitz are also active in the practice.

Sheridans’ department is headed by Jay Soneji and Rex Nwakodo, with strong support from Zareen Ali and senior associate Jolita Kajtazi. As well as handling conventional acquisition finance, Soneji assists clients with securitisation of onshore and offshore real estate transactions.

Counsel Tom Lloyd’s team at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, which specialises in advising institutional investors, and counts Blackstone Real Estate Partners, KKR and Northwood Investors among its clients. Lloyd advised Blackstone on the financing of its acquisition of a European hotel portfolio.

Teacher Stern LLP counts United Trust Bank, Westcity Properties and Svenska Handelsbanken among its lender clients, with Englander Group being a key borrower client. Phil Berry heads the practice, which also includes the recommended figures of Victoria Hodges and the β€˜top-notch’ Claire Gibson, as well as β€˜commanding yet commercial’ property specialist David Irwin.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP recently recruited senior associate James Kilgour from DLA Piper. Practice head Ranjeev Kumar advised CACEIS on the Β£6m financing of the acquisition of residential real estate in Holland Park. Other clients include Frasers Hospitality UK Holdings and MSC Cruises.

Property litigation

Index of tables

  1. Property litigation
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

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Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP is β€˜commercial but also top of the class analytically’. The β€˜knowledgeable and fun’ Roger Cohen and rights of light expert Wendy Miller jointly lead the β€˜very strong’ team, which also includes recommended lawyers Rashpal Soomal and Jeremy Stephen. Clients include Canary Wharf Group, National Securities Group, Hermes Real Estate Investment Management and National Grid.

Hogan Lovells International LLP is β€˜vastly superior’, attracting an enviable client roster that includes the Crown Estate, which the firm is advising on the contentious aspects of its Β£3bn Regent Street portfolio. Nicholas Cheffings is a β€˜a first-rate lawyer, with an understated style who quickly gets to grips with the issues’; Mathew Ditchburn β€˜combines enthusiasm with very sound legal abilities and excellent judgement’; and Paul Tonkin is β€˜a brilliant young lawyer’.

The β€˜Superb’ Mishcon de Reya LLP is β€˜a delight to work with’, β€˜result-driven’ and β€˜understands the emotional elements which impact clients’. In particular, β€˜excellent operator’ Daniel Levy is, β€˜quite simply, outstanding’; Emma Macintyre is β€˜intelligent and committed’; and Chhavie Kapoor is β€˜excellent’. The client base includes Capco Covent Garden, Earls Court Partnership and Intu Properties, and many high-net-worth individuals.

At Nabarro LLP, the β€˜wise, experienced, reflective’ Jennifer Rickard heads the practice, which is β€˜polished and professional, with huge strength and depth in the field’. Clients include Land Securities, Hermes Real Estate Investment Management and Columbia Threadneedle Investments. Julie Gattegno gets β€˜fantastically involved’; Nick Lloyd is β€˜immensely bright and original in thought’; and Nick Wood is β€˜dedicated, hardworking and enthusiastic’.

Ashurst displays β€˜all-round thinking’ and gives β€˜proactive advice’ that is β€˜beyond what you usually expect from solicitors’. Key clients include Crossrail, Westfield and IBM UK. The much-admired Iain Travers leads the practice and is supported by counsel Mark Race, who has β€˜an excellent commercial brain’.

CMS has β€˜great quality’, with Danielle Drummond-Brassington praised as having β€˜spot-on commercial and tactical judgement’ and Emma Pinkerton being β€˜a robust but pragmatic litigator’. The team is advising The Wellcome Trust on extensive enfranchisement and possession issues and representing Royal Mail on the contentious issues of the redevelopment of its South London mail centre.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has a β€˜very strong’ practice; it is β€˜more approachable, responsive and willing to understand us’, according to one client. Dulwich Estate, Berkeley Group and Derwent London plc are clients. Practice head Robert Highmore gives β€˜exceptional legal advice’ and the five specialist partners β€˜function as a true team’; these include β€˜pragmatic’ Louise Clark and Emma Humphreys, who has a β€˜very commercial and no-nonsense approach’. Graham Ling retired.

Eversheds LLP has a substantial team of β€˜industry experts’ in London and nationwide. The firm successfully represented Aberdeen Asset Management at trial concerning a land dispute regarding Heathrow Airport, a matter led by department head Will Densham, who is β€˜a strategic thinker, commercial and well connected’. Stuart Wortley has a quiet style β€˜but every word he utters is pure gold’.

Gowling WLG has an experienced team across its London and Birmingham offices, led by the β€˜very good’ Martin Thomas and includes rights of light specialist Anne Waltham and the recommended Clive Chalkley. Clients includes the Crown Estate, LaSalle Investment Management and J Sainsbury.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP handles substantial litigation, such as representing Canary Wharf Group in pursuing claims for unpaid rents and other damages against the administrators of Lehman Brothers. Matthew Bonye heads the team, which can draw on considerable resources in the firm’s Belfast office. Other standout individuals include Martin Dawbney and Tom Leech QC.

Clients appreciate Olswang LLP’s β€˜accessible’ and β€˜pleasant’ team, which shows industry knowledge and high-level expertise, and gives β€˜detailed but to the point’ advice. β€˜Skilful negotiator’ Marcus Barclay heads the practice, which includes the experienced Simone Ketchell and the β€˜very bright’ Antoni Hajdon. BP, UBS and Bloomberg are clients.

The β€˜extremely good’ team at Pinsent Masons LLP acts for The Portman Estate, Chalegrove Properties and Capco and won a number of client pitches this year. The large, national team is led by β€˜top-class’ figure Siobhan Cross, who is β€˜a reassuring presence in high-profile, complex development work’. Melissa Thompson is β€˜cool-headed, focused and knowledgeable’. Dev Desai joined Watson Farley & Williams LLP.

Allen & Overy LLP’s practice is led by β€˜focused property litigator’ Jane Fox-Edwards, who is β€˜calm, clever and conscientious’; she is praised for her team management in large litigation, as evidenced by her success in the Supreme Court on behalf of BNP Paribas against tenant Marks and Spencer plc.

Boodle Hatfield LLP is best known for its leasehold enfranchisement expertise but has a broader practice led by Colin Young, who β€˜not only β€œsees the woods for the trees”, but the secret path’. Andrew Hindle is β€˜a shrewd and experienced litigator’. Grosvenor and Bedford Estates are clients.

Clyde & Co LLP shows outstanding β€˜communication and team-building’ skills. Keith Conway is recommended for his β€˜commercial realism and common sense’. Clients include The Financial Ombudsman Service, Capgemini and The Carphone Warehouse.

DLA Piper has a burgeoning caseload and successfully represented John Lewis Partnership Pensions Trust in a High Court possession claim against squatters, a case led by legal director Ben Barrison, who is β€˜very good with clients’. Practice head Ian Brierley β€˜fights hard for his clients’ interests’.

Dentons was victorious in the Court of Appeal on behalf of key client J Sainsbury in its high-profile dispute with Bristol Rovers Football Club, led by Bryan Johnston, who has β€˜a very sound understanding of both the legal and commercial issues’.

Fieldfisher’s impressive client roster includes BP, Axa UK and H&M Hennes & Mauritz. It recently acted for the latter in a high-value lease dispute, led by Owen Talfan Davies, who is β€˜not afraid to think about problems differently’. Antony Phillips is β€˜commercially astute, proactive and diligent’.

β€˜Very effective property litigation firm’ Fladgate LLP has expertise in the leisure, telecoms, site development and high-value residential sectors. Thekla Fellas leads the team, in which Alison Mould β€˜knows her game exceptionally well’, and Janet Keeley is β€˜extremely impressive’.

Property is a core practice at Forsters LLP, where its strong litigators include the β€˜very experienced’ Natasha Rees, the β€˜very knowledgeable’ Jonathan Ross and Rosalind Cullis, who is β€˜technically very strong’. The Crown Estate and City of London Corporation instruct the firm.

Lewis Silkin LLP is β€˜wholeheartedly recommended’ for its commercial advice and β€˜practical (usually ingenious) solutions’. Practice head Brian Kilcoyne is β€˜acutely clever, but with an engaging pragmatic streak’. Clients include Rio Tinto, Pizza Express and Christies Auction House.

Linklaters LLP has β€˜very strong’ capability under Katie Bradford, who has β€˜bags of experience and excellent tactical judgement’. The firm is currently handling a number of high-stakes real estate finance disputes and acts for PwC, Lehman Brothers (in administration) and Lend Lease Europe.

David Stevens at Norton Rose Fulbright β€˜excels at getting to the point and avoids wasting time and his client’s money on unnecessary work’. He acted for Friends Life in the Dolphin Square case, and represents Commerz Real and Schroders fund WELPUT.

Osborne Clarke, which continues to expand its London practice and client base, successfully represented Park Skelmersdale in the Court of Appeal, a matter led by Gary Lawrenson. Siemens and CLS Holdings are client gains.

Pemberton Greenish LLP is β€˜still the go-to firm for enfranchisement’, particularly Damian Greenish. It is the firm of choice for conflict work from many larger practices.

Andrew Jenkinson and the team at Reed Smith LLP are β€˜clever, client-focused and technically very able’. The firm’s work included the β€˜extremely responsive’ Katherine Campbell acting for Norcros Estate in a Β£12m claim against Morrisons supermarket.

Stephenson Harwood is β€˜a go-to firm for a range of litigious problems’. Andrew Myers led representation of Generator Developments in its high-profile claim against Lidl UK. Senior associate Sophie Schultz gives β€˜wise and focused’ advice.

Taylor Wessing LLP β€˜exceeds many of its competitors’ for quality of service and advice, particularly Saleem Fazal, who is β€˜a tremendous asset to the firm’. The team advises Hermes International Management, Derwent London and Brentford Football Club. Jill Carey is β€˜extremely able and competent’.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP fields three partners, namely: Nicholas Levy, who has β€˜very good ability to think laterally and thereby come up with elegant solutions’, β€˜first-rate solicitor’ Paul Marco and department head Michael Donnellan. The firm defended BT in a dilapidation case.

The β€˜excellent’ Wedlake Bell LLP acts for clients such as CALA Homes, Care UK Community Partnerships and Hargreaves Developments. The β€˜excellent’ John Muncey is recommended along with Adam Colenso and Chan D’Souza, who are β€˜extremely knowledgeable and diligent’.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP is β€˜first class’, β€˜dynamic’ and β€˜keen to develop in the market’ under Emma Chadwick, who is β€˜proactive, commercial and sensible’. Other key figures include senior associate Katy Humphrey, who is β€˜a real terrier with a case’, and Charlotte Coleman.

Addleshaw Goddard LLP is recommended for its practical solutions and technical ability. Andrew Blower is β€˜confident and calm’; legal director Gregory Simms takes a lead role.

Paul Dunbar provides β€˜sound advice’ at Ashfords LLP, which acts for clients including United Trust Bank, Redefine International Property Management and The Land Group.

Bircham Dyson Bell has β€˜a clear, practical approach to resolving disputes’ within the commercial and high-end residential sectors. Andrew Couch and independent thinker Simon Painter are recommended. Clients include The Peabody Trust and Centrepoint London.

Daniel Kidd leads the large team at Blake Morgan LLP, which provides β€˜a great service’ and acts for numerous well-known corporate owners and occupiers, developers and national charities.

Clifford Chance LLP provides β€˜excellent-quality’ contentious advice through experienced director Ben Hatton and senior associate Jane O’Leary, as part of its high-end real estate practice.

Collyer Bristow LLP has β€˜a great team of experienced and savvy solicitors’ led by Michael Grace, who β€˜manages his team fantastically well’.

Cripps LLP’s impressive client roster includes the Home Office, M&G Real Estate and Crossrail. Miles Paffard heads the practice.

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s Guy Knight has β€˜a wealth of experience in development litigation’ and Jonathan Smith is β€˜spot-on for landlord and tenant’. Andrew Chesser joined Withers LLP.

Julian Johnstone at Druces LLP is β€˜very astute’ and β€˜a force to be reckoned with’. Clients include Aquila Developments and the Dogs Trust.

Edwin Coe LLP continues to grow its practice under the β€˜excellent’ Joanna Osborne. Shams Rahman is β€˜a good strategist’ with β€˜a really good understanding of property law’.

The β€˜up-and-coming’ team at Farrer & Co does β€˜an excellent job without unnecessary fuss’ and is led by the β€˜very astute and strategic’ Siobhan Jones. The Duchy of Cornwall is a client.

Glovers Solicitors LLP successfully represented the respondent in Credit & Mercantile plc v Kaymuu Ltd & Ors, a case led by Kenny Friday, who, together with Edward Vaughan, has β€˜unrivalled knowledge’ of the mortgage sector.

Craig Walker heads Goodman Derrick LLP’s β€˜very approachable’ team, which advises clients such as Game Retail and Chelsfield on residential and commercial property matters.

Gordon Dadds’ team acts for clients such as Berkeley Homes and Covent Garden Market Authority. Janet Ayres and Ian Chappell are recommended.

Clients appreciate Hamlins LLP’s β€˜really impressive’, comprehensive practice. Clients include National Car Parks. Kate Andrews is β€˜a key player’ and Faiza Ahmad β€˜always has your back’.

β€˜A great all-round firm’, Howard Kennedy LLP boasts the β€˜absolutely brilliant’ Michele Freyne and acts for β€˜top-drawer, entrepreneurial clients’ such as Ballymore Properties and Galliard Homes.

Chris Baker and the β€˜very bright and commercial’ Richard Brown are key figures in the practice at Irwin Mitchell following its merger with legacy Thomas Eggar.

Yashmin Mistry led JPC Law’s successful representation in Rosslyn Tenants Association v Winstonworth. Graham Jaffe is β€˜a tiger in negotiating enfranchisement cases’.

Jones Day counts British Land, Delancey and Goldman Sachs among its clients. Commercial litigator Craig Shuttleworth has β€˜a huge depth of experience’.

King & Wood Mallesons’ practice is overseen by real estate partner Jeremy Brooks following the departure of Jason Juden and a number of associates. Managing associate James MacDonald-Pearce is the key adviser.

Macfarlanes LLP β€˜combines conscientious thoroughness with top-flight strategic thinking and legal analysis’. Doug Wass is commercial and approachable and Mark Lawrence is β€˜outstanding’.

Niche commercial property firm Maples Teesdale LLP has β€˜a fantastic understanding of real estate’, and Dellah Gilbert and Michael Kilner are β€˜excellent’ litigators.

Payne Hicks Beach’s β€˜strong team’ is led by Andrew Tugwell, who β€˜understands commercial and valuation issues’, and also includes the β€˜bright, organised and engaging’ Matthew Spring.

At Penningtons Manches LLP, Donald Lambert is recommended along with David Masters, who has β€˜a great deal of experience’.

RPC’s well-regarded practice is led by Tim Fogarty, who acts for Bellway Homes, Taylor Wimpey and Crest Nicholson.

RadcliffesLeBrasseur has β€˜a growing reputation for litigation’ under the β€˜excellent’ Simon Hartley, who is β€˜concise and to the point’.

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP has β€˜excellent teams’ that are β€˜dynamic and result-driven’. Rudi Ramdarshan is β€˜a formidable litigator’ and Jonathan Roberts provides β€˜strong backbone’ to the team.

Russell-Cooke LLP shored up its team following the merger with Alan Edwards & Co, which now includes Jason Hunter, Paul Greatholder, Graham French and Matilda Rubens.

Simmons & Simmons provides contentious real estate advice to TelefΓ³nica UK, Bank of China and Macquarie, for example. Carol Hewson is a key figure.

Squire Patton Boggs is β€˜more commercial with a better understanding of the buttons worth pressing’. Alison Hardy and Andrew Walker are recommended.

The experienced Andrew Ross leads work at Travers Smith LLP, which acts for clients such as Nomura Properties, Pure Gym and ArcelorMittal.

Property litigation boutique WH Lawrence Solicitors acts for various well-known companies, charities and high-net-worth individuals. William Lawrence is β€˜reassuring’ and β€˜pragmatic’; Richard Anyamene and Illyr Pride joined as partners.

Wallace LLP’s Samantha Bone is representing the landlord in a Court of Appeal case concerning properties in Harley Street. Meera Patel β€˜knows her stuff’.

A β€˜consistently excellent service’ is provided by Bates Wells Braithwaite, where Lesley Robinson and William Scott are recommended.

Burges Salmon LLP acted for Bristol Rovers Football Club in the Court of Appeal against J Sainsbury and has a substantial London-based clientele. Richard Bedford is β€˜superb to work with’.

The β€˜excellent property lawyers’ at real estate boutique Davitt Jones Bould act for an impressive public and private sector client base. Maeve Bonner in particular β€˜inspires confidence’.

Dechert LLP’s Jeremy Grose has many years’ experience and acts for clients such as Blackfriars Investments, St Ives and SAL Pension Fund.

β€˜Knowledgeable and pragmatic firm’ Fletcher Day acts for Everyman Cinemas in all its property litigation through Greg Barnbrook, who β€˜works tirelessly to get a good result’ for clients.

Simon Colledge heads the London practice of Maclay Murray & Spens LLP and has represented Frenchgate plc and RSM Restructuring Advisory in the past year.

The β€˜bright and highly pragmatic’ Ross Berridge now heads the practice at Mayer Brown International LLP following Nichola Padget’s move to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP.

Memery Crystal LLP’s standalone property disputes team is led by Richard Evans and acts for Asda Stores, Deloitte and St Modwen Properties.

Neumans LLP’s track record includes handling matters related to adverse possession, as well as handling High Court property litigation claims. Riz Majid joined Bark&co.

Nockolds Solicitors’ practice includes two partners: James Brunton and dilapidations expert Sean Fitzgerald, who represents clients such as Weston Homes plc and Kennedy Wilson.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP recruited Nichola Padget from Mayer Brown International LLP following the retirement of Simon Cockshutt.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards’ clients are β€˜impressed with the dedication and hard work’ of the team, which includes the β€˜extremely thorough’ Katie Hickman. PwC and Esso Petroleum are clients.

β€˜Creative thinker’ Michael Madden at Winston & Strawn London LLP is β€˜robust in his advice and strong on tactics’. Berkeley Homes instructs the firm.

Social housing: finance

Index of tables

  1. Social housing: finance
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

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Addleshaw Goddard LLP is noted for its β€˜superior all-round package’ and for its lender-side strength-in-depth. The team β€˜works tirelessly to support its clients’: standout individuals include Steve Mackie, who is β€˜a go-to lawyer for social housing’; Chris Drabble (β€˜an unsung hero on the property side’); Nick Barlow, whose β€˜knowledge is undoubtedly first class’; and practice head Lee Shankland, who is β€˜an excellent ambassador’ for the firm in this sector.

Devonshires Solicitors LLP is praised for its teamwork and bespoke service. The practice acted opposite Allen & Overy LLP and Addleshaw Goddard LLP in advising Swan Housing Group on its Β£250m bond issue and Β£340m refinancing. Banking head Julian Barker has β€˜cutting-edge knowledge of contemporary market practice’. Other key individuals include head of securitisation Sharon Kirkham, senior partner Andrew Cowan (who β€˜always pushes to get the last yard in a negotiation’) and Richard Sharpe.

β€˜One of the best’, Trowers & Hamlins LLP is praised for its β€˜excellent’ industry knowledge and high levels of service. The large team includes London-based partners Adrian Carter and Sarah Gooden, who are β€˜very experienced and pragmatic banking lawyers’; and Anna Clark, who is β€˜excellent at building relationships’. In Manchester, Neil Waller β€˜knows the finance market and key issues’ and senior associate Eleanor James is β€˜an excellent problem solver with a growing reputation’. Highlights included advising Affordable Housing Finance plc on two bond issues totalling Β£402m and subsequent lending to 17 registered providers.

Allen & Overy LLP stands out for its β€˜superb’ track record on public bond offerings. Highlights included advising Barclays, Lloyds Bank and RSB as joint book runners, and Prudential Trustee Company as bond trustee, on London & Quadrant Housing Trust’s Β£250m bond issue. Geoff Fuller and counsel Beth Collett (β€˜a safe pair of hands’) are also recommended.

Clifford Chance has β€˜a small group of specialists, all of whom contribute immensely to our sector’. Real estate finance partner Alistair McGillivray succeeded Despina Pantelia as practice head following her retirement. Other key figures includes capital markets specialist Paul Deakins, who was promoted to partner and β€˜beats most people in the room’; and Ruby Giblin, who β€˜brings a wealth of specialist experience’. The firm acted for a consortium of seven banks on a Β£90m loan to Affinity Sutton Homes for the charging of over 1,000 units.

Pinsent Masons LLP is growing in both profile and market share under the leadership of the β€˜vastly experienced’ Ian Roberts, who is ably assisted by senior associate Sarah Whitty. The lender-focused practice acted for Lloyds Bank on the provision of a Β£30m revolving credit facility and private placement for Hanover (Scotland) Housing Association, which represented a first for the social housing sector.

In an illustration of the innovative work carried out at Winckworth Sherwood LLP, the firm acted for Affinity Sutton Homes on the finance implications of its proposed merger with Circle Housing to form one of Europe’s largest housing associations. Other highlights included advising Hightown Housing Association on an innovative Β£27m unsecured bond. Key figures include Patricia Umunna, James Duncan and the β€˜excellent, calm and very experienced’ Louise Leaver.

Birmingham’s Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP has a burgeoning national reputation predominantly acting for borrowers such as Knowsley Housing Trust, which the firm advised on its Β£195m debt restructuring comprising two bilateral loans and a Β£90m US private placement. Natalie Singh led on that matter.

Clarke Willmott LLP is β€˜great to work with’ and has β€˜good, sound knowledge of the sector’. Key figures include securitisation partner Vicky Kells, who is β€˜very commercial and efficient’, practice head Sarah Hind and banking partner Fraser MacRae. Clients include Home Group, One Housing and Principality Building Society.

Gowling WLG acts on a wide range of financial structures for clients including Sanctuary Housing Association, Home Group and Circle Housing. Practice head Chris Brierley has a strong track record in the social housing sector.

Wendy Wilks heads the practice at Maclay Murray & Spens LLP, which advises both lenders and borrowers on big-ticket mandates. Key clients include The Housing Finance Corporation (THFC), Affordable Housing Finance plc and Thames Valley Charitable Housing Association.

Social housing: local authorities and registered providers

Index of tables

  1. Social housing: local authorities and registered providers
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

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β€˜A leader in the field’, Trowers & Hamlins LLP has a heavyweight team of specialists spread across its national office network. Ian Graham leads the practice nationally, while Sara Bailey heads the team in London. In an illustration of its cutting-edge caseload, Tonia Secker is leading the team advising the Greater London Authority on its Β£400m, pan-London initiative to deliver 53,000 homes across 20 housing zones. In another highlight Scott Dorling is leading advice to Enfield Council on the Β£2.5bn Meridian Water Regeneration project, one of the largest regenerations since the London Olympic Games. Other standout individuals include Robert Beiley, Ian Doolittle, Catherine Hand and Ian Davis.

Devonshires Solicitors LLP has β€˜a tremendous background and tradition in the social housing field’, and its team β€˜works very well together where there are multiple issues’. Key figures include senior partner Andrew Cowan, who has β€˜good overall knowledge of a wide range of sector issues’; Nick Billingham, who has β€˜a wealth of experience’; and Donna McCarthy, who is β€˜well known for her commitment, pragmatism and impressive track record’. Clients include London and Quadrant Housing Trust, Home Group and Hyde Housing Association.

β€˜Excellent in all areas’, Winckworth Sherwood LLP is noted for its pragmatism and commercial awareness, which clients view as instrumental to β€˜unlocking deals where other solicitors may have compounded the issue by legal wrangling’. It acts for the majority of London’s housing associations, as well as local authorities and leading house builders. It is advising Affinity Sutton on its proposed merger with Circle Housing to form the UK’s largest housing association. Andrew Murray heads the practice, which includes Charlie Proddow, who has β€˜a lot of relevant knowledge and expertise’, and Charlotte Cook, who is β€˜a rock’ and β€˜fun to work with’.

Birmingham-based Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP has expanded its share of the London market with a number of significant client wins. Highlights included acting for Affinity Sutton on its new Β£600m contract with Osborne Property Services, and advising on the Helena Partnerships/Golden Gates Housing Trust merger to form Torus Group. Helen Tucker, Baljit Basra, Andrew Millross and Jonathan Cox are all recommended.

Anne Bowden heads the national practice at Pinsent Masons LLP, which includes David Meecham, who is relationship partner to key client The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). It acts for a large local authority client base including Westminster City Council and the London boroughs of Haringey, Lambeth and Wandsworth, which it advised on its flagship estate renewal scheme.

TLT is noted for its β€˜highly effective and responsive service’. National practice head Paul Butterworth and Linda Convery are β€˜experienced, helpful and take a strong interest in the progress of work which they are overseeing’. Also recommended are Kate Silverman, who is leading advice to the CHA Ventures/ Mulalley & Co joint venture in the Β£200m, 500-unit Ladderswood regeneration in Enfield; and Gillian Bastow, who is highly experienced in the sector. Andrew Shaw joined Bevan Brittan LLP.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP acts for a heavyweight client base including HCA, the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and Greater London Authority. Andrew Yates and Tessa Kimber are leading advice to LLDC on a transformational residential project at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to create two new neighbourhoods, East Wick and Streetwater.

Clarke Willmott LLP has a strong practice acting for registered providers on significant developments and transactions, including acting for Circle Housing on the Β£14m acquisition of five sites from Crest Nicholson, and assisting London & Quadrant Housing Trust with the Β£10m purchase of a freehold reversion of a lease from South Of England NHS Trust. Chimi Shakohoxha and Jonathan Hulley head the practice.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP acts for a number of registered providers operating in the London market, including Family Mosaic Housing and Thames Valley Housing Association. Wendy Wilks heads the team and is recommended for development, finance and governance matters.

Penningtons Manches LLP provides an β€˜excellent’ service and is noted for its β€˜prompt and sensible advice’. Real estate partner Andrew Casstles led a team advising Spectrum Housing Group on its joint venture with a south west based local authority for the development of 550 dwellings, and led advice to Paragon Community Housing on the phased purchase and forward funding for 60 apartments at Battersea Exchange. Also recommended are construction partner Peter Massey and team head Linda Storey. Key strengths include home ownership and housing management.

Ashfords LLP’s team β€˜has a sound understanding of the housing sector and a firm grip on the legal issues affecting it’, while head of property litigation and social housing Sian Gibbon is praised for her β€˜deft approach to litigation that clients clearly find reassuring’. Clients include The Guinness Partnership, London Borough of Croydon and London and Quadrant Housing Group.

Bevan Brittan LLP bolstered its practice through several significant partner hires: Hugo Stephens, Julie Cowan-Clark and Richard Stirk arrived from DWF; and Andrew Shaw arrived from TLT. They join head of housing Jonathan Turner, who is β€˜very good’ at building the team around appropriate skill sets. The firm provides β€˜sensible, pragmatic advice’ to an extensive client list that includes Peabody, Southern Housing Group and a number of London local authorities.

Capsticks LLP has proven its place in the London market earning instructions from The Guinness Partnership, Notting Hill Housing Trust, Affinity Sutton and Barking and Dagenham Council. Head of housing management Michael Owen is β€˜knowledgeable’ and β€˜always very helpful’, and Daniel Skinner is a β€˜colossus of housing law’.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP provides β€˜reliably consistent, high-quality and prompt service’ and has β€˜excelled in some extremely complex transactions’. Head of real estate Anne O’Neill is β€˜exceptionally sharp’ and β€˜a consummate, persuasive negotiator’. Clients include Chobham Farm North, Housing Solutions Ltd and Notting Hill Housing Group.

Social housing: tenant

Index of tables

  1. Social housing: tenant
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Social housing: tenant clients in London 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


Anthony Gold fields a large team of β€˜tenacious lawyers with excellent experience and a strong reputation’. Its β€˜ethically-driven approach’ makes it a natural choice for challenging instructions, including its recent representation of Crisis in the landmark Supreme Court decision concerning homelessness and the meaning of β€˜vulnerability’. Giles Peaker led on that matter and is β€˜one of the best solicitors in the business today’. Other key figures include β€˜quiet hero’ Timothy Waitt and β€˜extremely knowledgeable’ department head Andrew Brookes.

Bindmans LLP is β€˜absolutely top-notch’, particularly in housing matters related to mental capacity, civil liberties and community care. The small but β€˜highly sought-after’ team is led by Paul Ridge, whose β€˜knowledge of housing law is second-to-none’ and is β€˜highly committed yet realistic with his advice’. Clients include the Islington Park Street and Crescent Road Community communal living groups.

β€˜True leaders in the field’, Hodge Jones & Allen LLP is β€˜able to take on difficult test cases and run them with great aplomb’. The β€˜forward-thinking team that is well resourced’ is led by β€˜true star’ Jayesh Kunwardia, who was successful in the widely-reported Supreme Court case Nzolamesco v City of Westminster. Daniel Fitzpatrick, Farzana Chowdhury and recently promoted partner Sophie Bell are β€˜all truly committed and leading housing lawyers’.

Deighton Pierce Glynn has notable expertise in immigration-related housing issues. Head of department Sasha Rozansky is advising on a potential test case challenging the UK’s duties to provide social housing under the Trafficking Directive. Sue Willman is β€˜good and professional’.

Duncan Lewis Solicitors has a β€˜young and energetic team’ that includes the β€˜very approachable’ Dianne Cowie and Subbiah Sivapunniyam, who specialises in possession actions. With several offices across London, its β€˜tentacles spread out far beyond the reaches of traditional firms’ in this sector.

Morrison Spowart is widely recommended for its expertise, particularly Anne Spowart, Ossie Sandalon and Stephen Penfold. The firm is acting in Romans v Southwark LBC and SSDCLG and Alabi v SSDCLG concerning the housing rights of Artice 8 β€˜leave to remain’ migrants.

Osbornes’ β€˜hardworking, competent, young and energetic’ team continues to grow in profile and reputation and has acted in a number of reported cases before domestic and European courts. Shilpa Mathuradas leads the practice, assisted by β€˜standout’ housing lawyer William Ford.

TV Edwards LLP has β€˜a strong body of very experienced specialists in this area’. Recent work includes Supreme Court case Hussain v LB Waltham Forest, led by consultant William Flack. Jane Pritchard heads the practice, which includes John Gorringe, who β€˜knows housing law inside out’ and the β€˜amazing’ Katie Brown, who β€˜combines brilliant lawyering with a real tactical and strategic understanding’.

Edwards Duthie’s strong team is led by the β€˜knowledgeable and experienced’ James Harrison (whose β€˜approach is always considered and well-judged’) and the β€˜absolutely outstanding’ Rebecca Manson.

Christian Hansen leads the β€˜dedicated’ housing team at Hansen Palomares Solicitors and specialises in disrepair, homelessness and possession. The firm was successful against Southwark Council in recent cases concerning homelessness and gate keeping.

Hopkin Murray Beskine Solicitors is widely respected and handles all issues of social tenancy. Standout individuals include Rebekah Carrier, Lesley Curtis and Ann Bevington.

Philcox Gray & Co provides β€˜an excellent service to very vulnerable clients whom many other firms might turn away’. Ruth Camp β€˜can identify arguments where others might not spot them’, and Rebecca Bahar β€˜provides a truly five-star service for every client without fail’.

Russell-Cooke LLP’s merger with legacy Alan Edwards & Co brought a specialist social housing team led by the β€˜clear-thinking and knowledgeable’ Graham French. Consultant Matilda Rubens is also recommended.

Burke Niazi Solicitors & Advocates’ β€˜committed and hardworking team’ provides β€˜a very good, reliable service’. Keith Clarke heads the practice and is noted for his β€˜excellent client skills’.

At GT Stewart Solicitors & Advocates department head Denise Phillips is β€˜utterly committed, hardworking and has managed to achieve results for her clients when advised that there is nowhere to take the case’.

Hockfield & Co Solicitors handles a broad caseload with notable expertise in disrepair claims. The β€˜very professional’ Sarah Mossop is recommended.

Steel & Shamash represents vulnerable clients as part of its large public law practice. Anna O’Connell and Chris Callender are key housing advisers.

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