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  1. Property litigation
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

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Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP is ‘commercial but also top of the class analytically’. The ‘knowledgeable and funRoger Cohen and rights of light expert Wendy Miller jointly lead the ‘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 ‘vastly superior’, attracting an enviable client roster that includes the Crown Estate, which the firm is advising on the contentious aspects of its £3bn Regent Street portfolio. Nicholas Cheffings is a ‘a first-rate lawyer, with an understated style who quickly gets to grips with the issues’; Mathew Ditchburncombines enthusiasm with very sound legal abilities and excellent judgement’; and Paul Tonkin is ‘a brilliant young lawyer’.

FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Maples Teesdale

The only property law firm you’ll ever need. Maples Teesdale dispute resolution department advises on the full range of property, construction and general commercial litigation services. The team regularly works with clients on service charge disputes, rights of light issues, rent reviews, dilapidations, planning disputes and enforcement of lending obligations.

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

At Nabarro LLP, the ‘wise, experienced, reflective’ Jennifer Rickard heads the practice, which is ‘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 ‘fantastically involved’; Nick Lloyd is ‘immensely bright and original in thought’; and Nick Wood is ‘dedicated, hardworking and enthusiastic’.

Ashurst displays ‘all-round thinking’ and gives ‘proactive advice’ that is ‘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 ‘an excellent commercial brain’.

CMS has ‘great quality’, with Danielle Drummond-Brassington praised as having ‘spot-on commercial and tactical judgement’ and Emma Pinkerton being ‘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 ‘very strong’ practice; it is ‘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 ‘exceptional legal advice’ and the five specialist partners ‘function as a true team’; these include ‘pragmaticLouise Clark and Emma Humphreys, who has a ‘very commercial and no-nonsense approach’. Graham Ling retired.

Eversheds LLP has a substantial team of ‘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 ‘a strategic thinker, commercial and well connected’. Stuart Wortley has a quiet style ‘but every word he utters is pure gold’.

Gowling WLG has an experienced team across its London and Birmingham offices, led by the ‘very goodMartin 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 ‘accessible’ and ‘pleasant’ team, which shows industry knowledge and high-level expertise, and gives ‘detailed but to the point’ advice. ‘Skilful negotiatorMarcus Barclay heads the practice, which includes the experienced Simone Ketchell and the ‘very bright’ Antoni Hajdon. BP, UBS and Bloomberg are clients.

The ‘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 ‘top-class’ figure Siobhan Cross, who is ‘a reassuring presence in high-profile, complex development work’. Melissa Thompson is ‘cool-headed, focused and knowledgeable’. Dev Desai joined Watson Farley & Williams LLP.

Allen & Overy LLP’s practice is led by ‘focused property litigator’ Jane Fox-Edwards, who is ‘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 ‘not only “sees the woods for the trees”, but the secret path’. Andrew Hindle is ‘a shrewd and experienced litigator’. Grosvenor and Bedford Estates are clients.

Clyde & Co LLP shows outstanding ‘communication and team-building’ skills. Keith Conway is recommended for his ‘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 ‘very good with clients’. Practice head Ian Brierleyfights 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 ‘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 ‘not afraid to think about problems differently’. Antony Phillips is ‘commercially astute, proactive and diligent’.

Very effective property litigation firmFladgate LLP has expertise in the leisure, telecoms, site development and high-value residential sectors. Thekla Fellas leads the team, in which Alison Mouldknows her game exceptionally well’, and Janet Keeley is ‘extremely impressive’.

Property is a core practice at Forsters LLP, where its strong litigators include the ‘very experiencedNatasha Rees, the ‘very knowledgeableJonathan Ross and Rosalind Cullis, who is ‘technically very strong’. The Crown Estate and City of London Corporation instruct the firm.

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

Linklaters LLP has ‘very strong’ capability under Katie Bradford, who has ‘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 Fulbrightexcels 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 ‘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 ‘clever, client-focused and technically very able’. The firm’s work included the ‘extremely responsive’ Katherine Campbell acting for Norcros Estate in a £12m claim against Morrisons supermarket.

Stephenson Harwood is ‘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 ‘wise and focused’ advice.

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

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

The ‘excellentWedlake Bell LLP acts for clients such as CALA Homes, Care UK Community Partnerships and Hargreaves Developments. The ‘excellentJohn Muncey is recommended along with Adam Colenso and Chan D’Souza, who are ‘extremely knowledgeable and diligent’.

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

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

Paul Dunbar provides ‘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 ‘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 ‘a great service’ and acts for numerous well-known corporate owners and occupiers, developers and national charities.

Clifford Chance LLP provides ‘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 ‘a great team of experienced and savvy solicitors’ led by Michael Grace, who ‘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 ‘a wealth of experience in development litigation’ and Jonathan Smith is ‘spot-on for landlord and tenant’. Andrew Chesser joined Withers LLP.

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

Edwin Coe LLP continues to grow its practice under the ‘excellentJoanna Osborne. Shams Rahman is ‘a good strategist’ with ‘a really good understanding of property law’.

The ‘up-and-coming’ team at Farrer & Co does ‘an excellent job without unnecessary fuss’ and is led by the ‘very astute and strategicSiobhan 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 ‘unrivalled knowledge’ of the mortgage sector.

Craig Walker heads Goodman Derrick LLP’s ‘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 ‘really impressive’, comprehensive practice. Clients include National Car Parks. Kate Andrews is ‘a key player’ and Faiza Ahmad ‘always has your back’.

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

Chris Baker and the ‘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 ‘a tiger in negotiating enfranchisement cases’.

Jones Day counts British Land, Delancey and Goldman Sachs among its clients. Commercial litigator Craig Shuttleworth has ‘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 LLPcombines conscientious thoroughness with top-flight strategic thinking and legal analysis’. Doug Wass is commercial and approachable and Mark Lawrence is ‘outstanding’.

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

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

At Penningtons Manches LLP, Donald Lambert is recommended along with David Masters, who has ‘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 ‘a growing reputation for litigation’ under the ‘excellentSimon Hartley, who is ‘concise and to the point’.

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP has ‘excellent teams’ that are ‘dynamic and result-driven’. Rudi Ramdarshan is ‘a formidable litigator’ and Jonathan Roberts provides ‘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 Telefónica UK, Bank of China and Macquarie, for example. Carol Hewson is a key figure.

Squire Patton Boggs is ‘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 ‘reassuring’ and ‘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 Patelknows her stuff’.

A ‘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 ‘superb to work with’.

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

Knowledgeable and pragmatic firmFletcher Day acts for Everyman Cinemas in all its property litigation through Greg Barnbrook, who ‘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 ‘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 was recently successful in the Court of Appeal in an adverse possession case, led by Riz Majid.

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 ‘impressed with the dedication and hard work’ of the team, which includes the ‘extremely thorough’ Katie Hickman. PwC and Esso Petroleum are clients.

Creative thinkerMichael Madden at Winston & Strawn London LLP is ‘robust in his advice and strong on tactics’. Berkeley Homes instructs the firm.

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