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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > North West > Public sector > Local government > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Index of tables

  1. Local government
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Addleshaw Goddard regularly acts for and against local government clients on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters; its experience includes outsourcing,  housing , real estate, projects and funds work. The team also advises combined authority and local government pension fund administrators on investments. Michael O’Connor handles public, private and project finance transactions, while Andrew Pettinger, who is based across the Leeds and Manchester offices and leads the local government team, advises on a wide range of commercial transactions for local government clients.

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

Other key lawyers:Stephanie Townley; Rob Thompson; Philip Dupres

Key Clients

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

Manchester City Council

Cheshire East Council/Connecting Cheshire

Cumbria County Council

Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council

Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council

Burnley Borough Council

Cheshire West & Chester Council

York City Council

Leeds City Council

Luton Borough Council

Reading Borough Council

Hull City Council

Derby City Council

Somerset County Council

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council

Bradford City Council

Wakefield County Council

Stoke City Council

 

Work highlights

  • Acted for Tameside (in its capacity as administrator of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund), as mezzanine lender and equity investor in a Joint Venture with Urban & Civic, as developer in connection with the development of three residential blocks at Manchester New Square.
  • Acted for Leeds City Council the promotion and procurement of a district heating scheme in Leeds.
  • Advised Wakefield City Council on a variation to its street lighting PFI agreement which will allow the Council to make energy savings in excess of 60%.
  • Advised Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council on a second generation ICT outsourcing contract to replace its existing arrangement.  
  • Advised Cumbria County Council on the refinancing of senior debt facilities on the Carlisle Northern Development Route PFI Project.

DLA Piper UK LLP is 'very dedicated and the team is quick to understand issues at hand'. It advises its local government clients across the UK on a range of matters such as corporate and commercial projects, planning, outsourcing; real estate; projects; pensions; and disputes. Peter Brook is experienced in large scale outsourcing transactions, legal director Sophie Stewart handles planning, highways and compulsory purchase matters. Legal director Gemma  Cowap handles commercial matters, while Sarah Bell and Liam Cowell , who is 'always available', jointly head the team.

Practice head(s):Liam Cowell; Sarah Bell

Other key lawyers:Sophie Stewart; Peter Brook; Ben Miller; Gemma Cowap; Paddy Dwyer

Testimonials

'The team is very responsive team and shows leadership.'

 

Key Clients

Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council

Cumbria County Council

Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority

Halton Borough Council / Mersey Gateway Crossing Board

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Liverpool Vision

The Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime

Transport for Greater Manchester

 

 

Work highlights

  • Advising on all aspects of Cheshire West and Chester Council ("CWAC")'s major regeneration scheme at Chester Northgate, which included planning, heritage, CPO, highways and open space advice.
  • Advised the Greater Manchester Combined Authority on the re-procurement of waste management services across Greater Manchester following the termination of its existing waste PFI project.
  • Advised Mersey Gateway Crossing Board/Halton Borough Council on outstanding compensation claims.  
  • Advised Transport for Greater Manchester on a variation to its existing agreement for the supply of light rail rolling stock for the Metrolink system.
  • Advised Merseytravel on a ground-breaking digital railway project to provide a digital Train Connectivity and Information System (TCIS) which will enable state of the art train management systems and passenger information, CCTV and public announcement systems on the new trains to communicate with the Merseyrail Electrics control room.

DWF 's multi-disciplinary local government team stands out for its specialist state aid and public procurement expertise, as well as its experience in regeneration and infrastructure projects and insurance mandates. The team also advises public sector clients on loan funding projects. EU and competition head Jonathan Branton and Colin Murray, who are based across the firm's Leeds and Manchester offices, jointly head the team. Bradley Martin is recommended as a rising star.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Branton; Colin Murray

Other key lawyers:James Lupton; Paul Brown; Bradley Martin; Jay Mehta

Key Clients

Wirral Metropolitan Council

Liverpool City Council

Lancashire County Council

Wigan Council

Cheshire and Warrington LEP

South Tyneside Council

Cornwall County Council

West Lindsey District Council

Bradford Council

Wakefield Council

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Wrexham County Borough Council

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Hull City Council

Leeds City Council

Birmingham City Council & Finance Birmingham

Work highlights

  • Advised Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council on a £500m regeneration project,  which includes the delivery of 500 new homes; the Tower Road Project; the delivery of a golf course, new hotel, new road, and new residential properties; and the development of a Maritime Knowledge Hub and new offices.
  • Advised Liverpool City Council Matter on its 'Parklife' project, which involves the refurbishment and upgrading of four new football facilities across Liverpool.
  • Advised Lancashire County Council on the delivery of the Samlesbury Enterprise Zone, and also advised the client on advised on the Judicial Review of Defra's decision to end the entitlement of LCC to receive Revenue Support Grant as a result of the early termination of the PFI arrangement.
  • Advised Wigan Council Matter on the North Leigh Project and on the provision of a new medical centre.
  • Advised South Tyneside Council its procurement of a development partner for a £200m mixed-use development.

Pinsent Masons LLP  in Manchester is best known for its ability to advise on a range of issues for local government clients including cutting-edge developments in PPP policy in regeneration and social housing, alternative service models, alternative investment models and infrastructure funds in the region and beyond. The team also offers planning advice and is regularly engaged on housing, development and regeneration schemes. Team head Scot Morrison has a 'wealth of experience' and is noted for his experience in joint venture structuring; he is ably supported by Helen Robinson on public-private partnership transactions.

Practice head(s):Scot Morrison

Other key lawyers:Helen Robinson; Michael Pocock; Victoria Scanlon; Liz Nuttall

Key Clients

Manchester City Council

Wandsworth Borough Council

London Borough of Haringey

Homes England

Folkestone and Hythe District Council

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Sunderland City Council and South Tyneside Council

London Borough of Croydon

Work highlights

  • The team continues to advise Manchester City Council on the Northern Gateway Project.
  • Advised London Legacy Development Corporation in relation to a number of residential developments across the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and wider area.
  • Advised Folkestone and Hythe District Council in relation to Otterpool Park – a new Garden Town.
  • Advised London Borough of Wandsworth on the procurement of a private sector development partner for the delivery of a 13 hectare estate renewal project, for the Winstanley and York Road Estates.
  • Advised Manchester City Council and the Greater Manchester Pension Fund in relation to the delivery of its second Housing Investment Fund.

BLM handles a range of work for local government clients and boasts experience across development work, site acquisitions and funding, governance, abuse and child sexual exploitation, social care, misfeasance, regulatory matters, social housing, personal injury, IP, media and communications instructions. Commercial advisory head Stephen Lintott specialises in real estate mandates. Paul Tarne, who is experienced in civil claims, and Matthew Hyam, who is noted for his social housing expertise, jointly head the team.

Practice head(s):Paul Tarne; Matthew Hyam

Other key lawyers:Stephen Lintott; Tessa Leonard; Garry Dover; Nicholas Leigh; Lauren Gosnell

Key Clients

Wirral MBC

Knowsley MBC

Sheffield City Council

Stockport MBC

Lancaster City Council

West Lancashire Borough Council

Lancashire County Council

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service

Rochdale MBC

Blackpool Council

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service

Work highlights

  • Defended council on an accident claim.
  • Advised Sheffield City Council on a claim for damages following a fall the claimant had during the course of her employment.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP stands out for its public sector expertise and the firm advises on projects, governance and structures, collaboration with the private sector and third sector, regeneration developments, major outsourcing, procurement, investigations and public sector pension matters. In Manchester, the team has handled significant transport and development projects. Jackie Heeds is 'brilliant' and has vast experience in infrastructure transactions procured through PFI/PPP/PF2 and Joint Ventures. Kuljeet Gill is also a key figure.

Practice head(s):Jackie Heeds

Other key lawyers:Kuljeet Gill

Key Clients

Transport for Greater Manchester (“TfGM”)

The University of Manchester

 

Work highlights

  • Advised Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), in conjunction with Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council (SMBC) and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) who are the co-promoters, on the proposed delivery of a transport interchange facility, associated ‘green space’ park, residential mixed-use development and link to heavy rail station works in Stockport town centre.
  • Appointed by the University to advise on the development of its North Campus in Manchester City Centre in September 2017.

The 'impressive' team at Trowers & Hamlins LLP handles a range of matters such as complex advisory work; town centre infrastructure and regeneration projects; estate regeneration; local authority housing development; and governance and strategy mandates. The team is also experienced on the large scale voluntary transfer of council housing stock and advises local government clients on constitutional and contractual work. In Manchester, Suzanne Benson heads the housing and regeneration team.

Practice head(s):Suzanne Benson

Other key lawyers:Richard St John Williams; Tom Wainwright; Matthew Holbrook; Kativa Roy

Key Clients

Homes England

Liverpool City Council

Wokingham Borough Council

Bury Council

Wolverhampton City Council

London Borough of Lambeth

Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council

London Borough of Sutton

Reading Borough Council

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority

Work highlights

  • Advised Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) on the establishment of a joint venture between it and 10 members of the Greater Manchester Housing Partnership.
  • Advising Homes England on the implementation of its national Local Authority Funding for Accelerated Construction Sites programme across a number of schemes.
  • Advising Liverpool City Council on its mayoral initiative to promote improved access to home ownership for first time buyers.
  • Advised the administrating authority for the West Midlands Pension Fund in respect of the management of its property investment portfolio.
  • Advising the London Borough of Lambeth on its regeneration plans for Brixton Central.

Weightmans LLP's local government expertise spans major regeneration, projects, property, construction, planning, employment, civil litigation, commercial debt recovery, prosecutions, governance issues, commercial matters, public procurement, State aid, housing, child and adult social care mandates. Team head Simon Goacher advises on governance matters for many local authorities and often conducts sensitive investigations.

Practice head(s):Simon Goacher

Key Clients

North West Legal Consortium

Manchester City Council

Rochdale Borough Council

Wirral Borough Council

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Stockport MBC

Cheshire East Council

Cumbria County Council

Knowsley MBC

South Ribble BC

Oldham MBC

Bolton MBC

Staffordshire Moorlands DC

Stoke on Trent CC

Salford CC

Telford BC

Shropshire CC

Work highlights

  • Advised Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council, which is a core participant in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.  
  • Advised Liverpool City Council on its £1bn flagship expansion site at the eastern gateway to the City, earmarked as 1.8m sq ft of science, technology, education and health space.
  • Advised Denbighshire County Council on an overarching development agreement, development agreements for leisure and hospitality phases and the funding documentation including lease-backing arrangements.  
  • Advised The Senior Coroner of the County of Cumbria in relation to an application for Judicial Review by the father of a deceased child.
  • Advised Herefordshire Council on its receipt of £23m of grant funding from the Department for Education and the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership to build a new university in Hereford, called the New Model in Technology & Engineering (NMiTE).

DAC Beachcroft LLP is active across a range of real estate, project, corporate and commercial mandates and also offers expertise across construction, pensions, mental health, safeguarding, information law, corporate manslaughter, procurement, competition law and state aid. The team also handles core local government law and governance issues for local government clients. Northern real estate head Alison Key leads the team.

Practice head(s):Alison Key

Other key lawyers:Rachael Reynolds

Key Clients

Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

St Helens Council

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council and John Laing Infrastructure Fund

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

Greater Manchester Pension Fund

Trafford Borough Council

Bradford City Council

Liverpool County Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Bolton Council in the property and construction matters relating to a jointly-funded refurbishment of the Octagon Theatre.
  • Advised Warrington Borough Council on a £42.5m interest only term loan to Your Housing Group for the development of private rental sector apartments on the Liverpool waterfront.
  • Advised Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council on behalf of Greater Manchester pension Fund Real EstateMatter on the purchase of two new distribution parks in the South East of England.
  • Advised Bradford City Councilon all aspects of a scheme to regenerate and relocate the Bradford Markets.
  • Advised St Helen's Council on the £340m redevelopment of Newton le Willows Station.

Hill Dickinson LLP stands out for its experience across a range of public procurement, regeneration, dispute resolution and telecoms mandates. The team also offers construction, restructuring, health, restructuring, banking and planning expertise. Mark Fitzgibbon, who leads the commercial, TMT and IP team and Tracey Sheehan, who is head of telecoms, jointly lead the team.

Practice head(s):Mark Fitzgibbon; Tracey Sheehan

Testimonials

'The level of strategic thinking and understanding of the national health agenda and 'politics' is key.'

 

Key Clients

Liverpool City Council

Rochdale Borough Council

Pendle Borough Council

Sefton Borough Council

Wyre Council

Oldham Borough Council

St. Helens Borough Council

 

Work highlights

  • Advised Liverpool City Council on the design and building of a new  cruise liner terminal on the Mersey waterfront.
  • Acted for Pendle Borough Council on its desire to create a commercially focused joint venture between itself, Barnfield Investment Properties and Harewood Housing Society.
  • Acted for The ACC Liverpool Group, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Liverpool City Council and operates (on behalf of the Council) the Liverpool Arena and Exhibition Centre at the Kings Dock in Liverpool, on commercial and procurement matters.
  • Advising St Helens Borough Council with NHS St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) on the establishment of a collaborative approach to health and social care commissioning and provision in St Helens.
  • Advised Rochdale Borough Council on its project to re-develop the children’s play area at Denehurst Park.

Squire Patton Boggs stands out for its experience across regeneration projects and large scale development transactions involving public and private sector collaboration, and the team also has extensive experience in the funding market. Local government pension schemes, infrastructure and transport projects are also key areas of expertise, as are finance, corporate issues and disputes. Team heads Mark Barker and Mark Gaffney specialise in development work and regeneration projects.

Practice head(s):Mark Barker; Mark Gaffney

Other key lawyers:Nick Helm; Julian Scott; Matthew Ingram; Victoria Leigh; Giles Chesher

Key Clients

Leeds City Council

Preston City Council

Warrington Borough Council

Manchester City Council

Birmingham City Council

Muse Developments

Leeds City Region Revolving Investment Fund

Greater Manchester Pension Fund

South Yorkshire Pensions Authority

Hertfordshire County Council Pension Fund

Galliford Try Investments

Equitix

 

Work highlights

  • Acting for Leeds City Region Revolving Investment Fund in £9.6m of funding for the construction of 330 low carbon homes.
  • Advising Hertfordshire County Council Pension Fund on behalf of the ACCESS Pool on a range of governance and investment issues.  
  • Advised Preston City Council on the £50m redevelopment of the City’s Markets Quarter.
  • Advised Warrington Borough Council on the £130m mixed-use town centre regeneration project at Time Square.
  • Advised Muse Developments on a joint venture with Wirral Borough Council in respect of the Wirral Growth Company, a property/asset JV providing a £1bn regeneration opportunity.

Stephensons Solicitors LLP handles a range of regulatory, discrimination, childcare, adult social services and community care, litigation, property, employment and pensions mandates in the local government space. Regulatory head Sean Joyce, real estate head David Baybut, senior associate Maria Chadwick and family head Victoria Gethin lead the team.

Practice head(s):Sean Joyce; David Baybut; Maria Chadwick; Victoria Gethin

Other key lawyers:Tim Galbraith

Key Clients

Barnsley Council

Boston Council

The Solicitors Regulation Authority

Kirklees Council

The Legal Aid Agency

Stockport Council

Work highlights

  • Advised the Council of the Borough of Kirklees on the  acquisition of properties that had previously been sold under the right to buy scheme.  

TLT handles a range of procurement, IT transformations, and large-scale development and regeneration projects. In Manchester, the team has a growing presence across planning, regeneration projects, real estate, tax, and procurement mandates. It also handles commercial and contractual work and is instructed on disputes. John Hyde heads the property development team and litigator Jon Hainey is experienced in public law and procurement disputes.

Other key lawyers:John Hyde; Jon Hainey; Kuldip Dhanoya; Debbie Reynolds

Testimonials

The team has the ability to cut through the legal jargon to provide succinct advice.'

They team is excellent at flagging the key risks and helping the client to make an informed decision.'

'Debbie Reynolds is friendly, approachable and knowledgeable.'

Key Clients

London Borough of Islington

Warrington Borough Council

Cheshire East Council

London Borough of Barnet

Work highlights

  • Advised Warrington Borough Council on the CPO processes to deliver a high profile highway scheme intended to alleviate town centre traffic congestion in Warrington.
  • Advised The London Borough of Islington on CPOs relating to the redevelopment of Telfer House, an apartment block in London.
  • Acted for Lancashire County Council on a judicial review of DEFRA's decision to withdraw Waste Infrastructure Credits
  • Advised Warrington Borough Council on land assembly and advised on a legal review of the bid for central Government funding relating to the proposed Western Link road, a highway infrastructure scheme which will open up c.205 acres of land for redevelopment.
  • Advised Cheshire East Council on land assembly, land referencing, planning and highways issues relating to the unlocking of a number of sites ahead of HS2's arrival at Crewe railway station in 2027.  

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