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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. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Michael O’Connor  leads the firm’s national infrastructure, projects and energy group at Addleshaw Goddard and regularly advises on transactions for and opposite local government. Andrew Pettinger is recommended for his work on a wide range of commercial transactions for local government. The team has a first-rate reputation for its work on outsourcing and partnership deals and for defending local government in high value procurement claims. Other areas of expertise include its work on renewable projects for local governments many of which involve a mix of public and private sector finance. The team was appointed to advise Stoke City Council on a proposed variation and refinancing of its pathfinder street lighting PFI Scheme. Significantly the team had originally advised on this in 2002/2003. In another significant matter the team advised Transport for Greater Manchester on establishing a highways shared services arrangement with three Greater Manchester local authorities. Under this agreement the client plans to host a core team that provides technical services to each local authority.

Sarah Bell  and Liam Cowell  are recommended at DLA Piper UK LLP . The team has been busy advising on various matters such as on large scale procurements for a range of goods and services and on projects for the development of property and associated complex planning issues. Bell led on the appointment to advise Liverpool City Council on its high pressure, time critical bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The timetable for bidding for the Games was incredibly tight following Durban losing its appointment. It has an impressive roster of clients such as The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, Cumbria County Council, Knowsley MBC and Liverpool Vision Limited. Other clients include Transport for Greater Manchester and York Central Partnership. Legal director Gemma Cowap  is also well-regarded for her support to private and public sector clients on a variety of commercial matters. Nick Helm is now at Squire Patton Boggs .

DWF's team advises more than 200 local authorities and other public sector bodies. Colin Murray  ‘works to a very high standard’. Murray is best known for his work on complex regeneration projects. James Lupton  produces ‘good quality work’ and advises local authorities on a broad range of matters ranging from contracting strategies and procurement processes to restructuring major projects relating to schools, highways, waste, housing and police projects. Jonathan Branton and senior associate Jay Mehta  ‘both carry a high degree of specialist knowledge and adopt a solutions-focused and flexible approach’. It advises Stockport MBC on a wide range of issues such as advising it on the closure of a number of leisure centres and the opening of some new ones. It has also advised Wirral MBC on the delivery of the Golf Project with the Jack Nicklaus consortium to deliver two new golf courses, a hotel, new homes and a new link road. Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority, Manchester City Council/Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Liverpool City Council are other major clients. It has also advised a number of companies in the private sector on their bids to local authorities.

The lawyers at BLM  ‘put an enormous amount of effort into the work that they do but they never seem to lose focus on the main issue: getting the best result for the client’. The team has particular strength in abuse cases that are handled 'expertly, confidentially, sensitively and with the confidence of Council clients’. The ‘experienced, client-focused and very approachable’ Paul Tarne is a key member of the team and regularly acts for local authorities and emergency services in relation to civil claims. Mark Eisen  has also worked extensively for public sector clients in defending highways, employers’ and public liability claims. The team was pleased to add some key people to its ranks from Slater and Gordon  including Stephen Lintott and Tessa Leonard  . The ‘experienced and knowledgeable’ Nicholas Thorne  is recommended from the catastrophic injury unit and Natalie Puce for her health, safety and environmental work. Wirral MBC, Sheffield City Council and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service are all clients.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's ‘well-organised team’ includes Jackie Heeds, who is ‘knowledgeable across the full spectrum of PFI, is experienced and competent and is also good at leading a team. She is a pleasure to work with’. Heeds has extensive experience of infrastructure transactions that are procured through PFI/PPP/PF2, and is leading the advice to Transport for Greater Manchester on its multimillion-pound project to restructure the operation and maintenance contractual structure for the Metrolink light rail system. The team is also advising London and Continental Railways Limited on the Mayfield regeneration project.

Scot Morrison  heads the department at Pinsent Masons LLP  and is recommended for his work on structuring public sector joint venture vehicles and partnerships involving local authorities and other government bodies. Morrison is leading the advice to Manchester City Council on the Northern Gateway project which will provide 10,000 new homes. The development is one of the largest urban regeneration projects in the UK and spans 300 acres. He has also been leading the advice to London Borough of Wandsworth on the establishment of a joint venture between the authority and a joint venture provider to deliver a regeneration scheme in the Winstanley and York Road Estates immediately adjacent to Clapham junction station.

Simon Goacher   heads the team at Weightmans LLP  that provides full support to local authorities from advising on major regeneration projects, to equal pay disputes and child care and adult social care issues. Lee Gordon has been leading the advice to Charnwood District Council on the North East Leicester sustainable urban extension project which includes 4,500 dwellings on a 360 hectare site that will be developed over a 15 year period. North West Legal Consortium, Manchester City Council and Liverpool City Council are all clients.

DAC Beachcroft LLP  ’s work spans the full gamut of local government requirements from constitutional and governance advice to projects and litigation. In Manchester Jan Levinson is recommended for commercial litigation and Alison Key for real estate matters. Legal directorRachael Reynolds  is leading the advice to St Helens Borough Council on the implementation of and compensation issues surrounding the compulsory purchase of land at Newton le Willows station. Other major clients include Oldham Council, Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council and East Hampshire District Council.

Head of team Mark Fitzgibbon  at Hill Dickinson LLP  has considerable experience in commercial contracts across all aspects of the supply chain. The team was pleased to win the opportunity to advise Liverpool City Council on all the legal work associated with the design and build of a new state of the art cruise liner terminal on the Mersey waterfront. The group also continues to advise Rochdale Borough Council on a broad range of matters including procurement, pensions, property regeneration and constitutional governance related matters. Warwickshire County Council, Wrexham County Borough Council and Powys County Council are all significant clients.

Key contacts at Squire Patton Boggs are Mark Barker  who along with Giles Chesher are ‘exceptionally knowledgeable. Both appear able to give clear and concise advise 100% of the time. Definite strengths include their industry knowledge which was invaluable for the Council’. The team was pleased to addNick Helm  to its ranks from DLA Piper UK LLP . Highlights included advising Preston City Council on the redevelopment of the City’s indoor market for a leisure led scheme comprising a multi-screen cinema, high quality restaurant units and a multi-storey car park. In other matters the team was appointed by the Local Government Association to advise on the local government pension scheme. The team provides an ‘excellent level of service and has very good knowledge. Its response time are always very quick’.

Stephensons Solicitors LLP   advises on a wide range of issues such as child care, employment, housing management, property and court of protection matters. It has a large child care team and many members of staff are appointed to the Children Panel. The ‘vastly experienced’ Donna Roberts  manages the team’s public law practice and is a ‘skilled advocate ’David Baybut acts for housing associations/registered social housing landlords as well as local authorities on various matters from estate development to planning and construction.

At Trowers & Hamlins LLP  Suzanne Benson  leads the team and specialises in regeneration, joint ventures and in advising on the outsourcing of management services and the development of intermediate home ownership models. The team led by Benson continues to advise the Homes and Communities Agency on the Help to Buy equity loan programme. Manchester City Council, Gloucester City Homes and Tamworth Borough Council are other important clients.

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