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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 > Real estate > Construction > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Construction
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Addleshaw Goddard provides a service that is ‘consistently of a high standard’ and handles local, national and international healthcare, infrastructure, regeneration and development construction projects and disputes. The team is advising Manchester Airport on the construction contracts required to support Phase 1 of its £1bn transformation programme at Manchester Airport, and is advising Omega Warrington on the £1bn development of a 575 acre site near Warrington, which involves a 25 year development partnership between Omega Warrington and the Homes and Communities Agency, supported by Warrington Borough Council. The team is also advising the House of Commons on its £160m Northern Estate Programme, which involves the adaption and conservation of a number of historic buildings in Westminster, and acts for Moda Living on several residential and mixed-used schemes in: Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool. National construction, engineering and environment group head Nancy McGuire is ‘superb’ and head of contentious construction Jonathan Tattersall is ‘very reliable, gives quick responses, and delivers good strategic advice’. Legal director Steve Ormand specialises in non-contentious construction and engineering mandates and managing associate Philip Withey, who is ‘very knowledgeable and experienced, provides good clear advice and support, and is dedicated and responsive’, handles in construction and engineering disputes, with a particular emphasis on PFI projects. The team was recently bolstered by the arrival of an eight-strong team from DWF, which includes Paul O’Kane (former national head of construction at DWF) and Paul Barge (former North West construction head at DWF).

Pinsent Masons LLP handles a range of UK and international construction projects, with focus on the nuclear, energy and infrastructure sectors, and it has ‘strength-in-depth in relation to the construction disputes’. Transactional, construction and projects team head Graham Alty, who has a ‘wealth of knowledge’, is advising Sellafield on relation to more than £10bn in projects at its nuclear decommissioning site in Cumbria and is leading advice for the Ministry of Justice on its £1.3bn Prison Estate Transformation Programme (PETP), under which it intends to procure the design and construction of up to four new prisons in England and Wales, and on the procurement of a long-term framework arrangement for up to £3bn of construction works. Construction advisory and disputes head Michael Hopkins represented Connect Plus (M25) on a £87.5m dispute with its Highways England Company relating to the meaning and operation of the payment mechanism in a DBFO contract. Mark Job leads the transactional construction team and is advising Yapı Merkezi İnşaat ve Sanayi as EPC contractor for a $1.7bn railway project in Ethiopia.Anthony Bradley is a ‘very bright, technical lawyer’ who ‘inspires confidence’ and legal director Siân Hughes and recently promoted partner Katherine Sneddon are ‘adept at identifying the best strategy for achieving client aims and delivering on that strategy’. Legal directors Ian Fairclough and Nick Kippax, who is ‘bright, conscientious, very good with clients and is a good case manager’, are also noted as are senior associates Andrew Batty, who is ‘a very good technical lawyer’ and Jo Falencka. Legal directors Arwyn Jones from CMS and Steve Ovenden from Foot Anstey recently joined the department.

DLA Piper UK LLP has ‘good industry knowledge, good strength-in-depth’ and is ‘tenacious’. It is active across a spectrum of national and international construction-related disputes and projects. Key work included representing Severfield (UK) on a final account claim against contractor, Duro Felguera UK, in relation to the Carrington Combined Cycle Gas Technology Power Station Project.  The team also acted for Downing Group in relation to European Property Investors Special Opportunities IV (EPISO 4)’s acquisition of a 90% stake, worth £439m, in a joint venture, which owns a portfolio of six student halls of residence, and is advising Cheshire West & Chester Council on the proposed £300m Chester Northgate mixed-use development. United Utilities Water, Unilever, and Sellafield are also clients. In Manchester, Paul Giles heads the UK contentious construction team, which includes; David Moss, who also operates from the Leeds office; Alison Fagan, who is experienced in PPP and PFI disputes; senior associates Robin Jack , Anthony Willis, and Naithan McBride, who splits his time between Manchester and Leeds; and associate Jenny Barnett, who was recently recruited from Pinsent Masons LLP. Legal director Elspeth Christie in Liverpool heads the non-contentious team, which includes Manchester-based consultant Nigel Proctor.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is regularly engaged on a range of contentious and non-contentious construction work and the team is noted for its procurement expertise. The infrastructure, energy, transport and real estate sectors are key areas of expertise for the department. The team advised Network Rail Infrastructure on a the electrification and upgrade of the Transpennine Route from Manchester Victoria to Leeds and York and is instructed by Manchester City Council on its £330m project to refurbish Manchester Town Hall.  It is also advising National Grid on the construction of a sub-sea electricity cable connecting the Shetland Islands with the Scottish mainland electricity transmission network.  Simon Chamberlain is head of construction and engineering in the North and is experienced in contentious and non-contentious construction matters. Chris Pickens advises on the procurement of infrastructure projects and recently promoted partner Gregory Buckley handles construction and engineering disputes. Lucy Frith has joined Clyde & Co LLP.

Gateley Plc's sizeable construction practice handles a range of contentious and non-contentious matters, with notable expertise in bond and surety work.  Working with the firm’s planning and banking teams, it is advising QBE Insurance (Europe) on a project concerning the PCW Property Group, the Crown and Thames Water in relation to two section 106 agreements for planning permission, and one section 185 agreement for sewage diversion at Park Crescent, Westminster, London. It also advised Coventry Parkside Developments on a 12-storey student accommodation scheme in Coventry; advised Bournemouth Football Club on the construction contracts relating to its new training facilities. Department head Karen Spencer is noted for her expertise in surety law and construction disputes, Emlyn Hudson handles contentious and non-contentious matters and is noted for defending complex bond claims. Recently promoted partner Hayley Sullivan heads the non-contentious construction practice and leads the national construction banking team. Associate Gemma Wilson is also recommended.

Hill Dickinson LLP is active across transactional matters and disputes, with expertise across the energy, industrial, renewables, transport infrastructure, insurance, retail, and further education sectors. Highlights for the team include representing FAST Consortium, a joint venture contractor, on several contentious matters; advising FCC Elliott DAC on its involvement in major PFI scheme for the construction of a hospital; advising a major port authority on a dispute with its designers and project managers for a port infrastructure project; and advising Ion Projects on the construction of a £40m mixed-use scheme. X1 Developments, FirstGroup and Peel Group are also clients. In Liverpool; Alan Pugh heads the construction and engineering team, and David Chinn leads the business services department, which includes the ‘reliable, sensible and practical’ David Oram,  Tricia Morrison, legal director Brian Quinn, consultants Ronald Farrell and Nick Connor, and senior associate Phillip Gazzola, who recently joined from Systech Solicitors. In Manchester, senior consultant Edward Davies, Michael Woolley, and associate David Banks, who joined from Napthens LLP, are key contacts.

Squire Patton Boggs is praised for its ‘excellent industry knowledge and legal expertise’ and handles contentious and non-contentious construction and engineering matters. The team advises on large infrastructure projects, regeneration schemes and is noted for its energy and hospitality and leisure sector expertise. Contentious construction and engineering specialist Sean McCay is ‘very articulate, with an ability to explain very complicated legal matters in a way that is easy to understand’ and is ‘an excellent tactician with a calm, reassuring and authoritative manner that secures results’. Julian Scott is active on projects and non-contentious construction matters and is experienced in projects across the energy, leisure, hospitality and retail sectors. Nick Helm, who recently joined from DLA Piper UK LLP, is active across infrastructure project finance and PFI and PPP schemes.

Noted for its ‘commercial and practical’ approach, Brabners LLP's team is active across power, port infrastructure, commercial development, retail, logistics and student accommodation projects. It also handles a raft of contentious construction mandates. The team advised Viridor Waste Management on the $230m procurement of a waste to energy power plant at Avonmouth near Bristol; advised Cityheart on the £24m development of new student accommodation in Gloucester; acted for Glenbrook SQ on the £40m development of a private sector rented accommodation scheme at Salford Quays; and advised Flintrock on the development of a new distribution centre in Knowsley; and advised T J Morris in connection with 21 new stores and the upgrade of its head office in Liverpool. Ian Hardman, who is ‘an experienced and commercially astute construction lawyer’ and the ‘very experienced’ Barry Goodall are based across the Manchester and Liverpool offices. Liverpool-based senior associate Eleanor Stirrett is ‘very approachable and knowledgeable, and has a good handle on the requirements of the client’.

CMS is active across a number of high-profile local and national development projects, and is regularly instructed on construction disputes, and contentious PFI cases. Headline work included advising Select Property Group on the £750m Circle Square mixed-use development in Manchester; advising Renaker on the construction of four residential towers at Owen Street in Manchester; acting for Public Health England on procurement and construction matters relating to a new circa laboratory and public health campus in Harlow, Essex; and advising U+I, as part of a joint venture with The Mayfield Partnership, on a development project at the former Mayfield railway station in Manchester. Acting for Ipsen Pharma on the development of two of its three international hubs in Slough and in Wrexham and advising Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council on the procurement of a development management organisation for the Glass Works Retail and Leisure Development, which is related to the its Better Barnsley urban regeneration scheme, are also key highlights for the team. Chris Hallam heads the energy, projects and construction group and Nigel Lewis, who joined in 2017 from Gowling WLG, leads the infrastructure, construction and energy disputes practice. Associates David Turner and Elizabeth Ormesher are also noted. Arwyn Jones recently joined Pinsent Masons LLP.

DWF handles non-contentious and contentious construction matters and is noted for its experience in local and national construction projects, with expertise in public sector mandates as well as experience in energy, education, student accommodation and hotels sector matters. Homes & Communities Agency, Alumno Developments, Warrington Borough Council and AMC Mining are clients. Manchester-based David Vayro, who joined from Trowers & Hamlins LLP in 2018, heads the construction and infrastructure team and specialises in procurement matters as well as construction disputes. Associates Gemma Wilson, who joined from Gateley Plc and Ragene Raithatha, are also key members of the team. Leeds-based Andrew Symms leads the national team and is experienced in energy-related mandates. Former international head of construction and infrastructure for the firm, Paul O\'Kane has joined Addleshaw Goddard, as has former North West department head Paul Barge and  Chris Henshaw .

Trowers & Hamlins LLP is active across the waste, education, health and housing sectors, acting for public and private clients. The team advised Amey on an EPC contract for an energy-from-waste facility on the Isle of Wight and advised the London Housing Consortium on their model framework agreement to primarily procure a £1.5bn programme of new build housing projects in Scotland. The team also advises the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) on a number of construction projects. Your Housing Group, Eastern Procurement and Places for People Group are also key clients. Katie Saunders is ‘very experienced and responsive’ and handles non-contentious work, specialising in advising housing providers on asset management programmes, and the maintenance and improvement of their housing stock; and also advises on complex housing, care accommodation and regeneration projects. Senior associate Tom Holroyd is noted for his waste sector expertise and associate Jo Davies is also recommended. Former team head David Vayro  joined DWF in 2018.

Weightmans LLP is highly commended for its ‘strong’ expertise in construction disputes, and the team is increasingly instructed on significant regional construction projects; the team is advising Ask Real Estate on the second phase of the £40m Greengate Embankment Development on the Manchester and Salford border; advised Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council on the contract documents for a highways project at Junction 10 of the M6 in the West Midlands, in partnership with Highways England; and advised Southside Regeneration on a £140m private rented sector scheme in Manchester. The team is also advising Manchester Metropolitan University on the development of an International Screen School. In Manchester, department head Colette Morgan-Ford, who joined from Pinsent Masons LLP in 2017, and David Rogers, who has a ‘wealth of experience in construction law’, handle construction disputes; John Cleaveley is instructed on contentious and non-contentious mandates; and Liverpool-based associate Tom Collins is also noted for his experience in construction disputes.

Clyde & Co LLP is particularly noted for its expertise in contentious construction cases and is advising The University of Manchester on a dispute with its contractor in relation to the design and construction of the National Graphene Institute. Sisk, Amey, Costain and Anchor Trust are also clients. Legal director Lucy Frith, who specialises in construction and engineering disputes and has particular expertise in the energy and infrastructure sectors, recently joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP. The practice bolstered its non-contentious expertise with the arrival of consultant + Julie Morrissy from Keystone Law in 2018. Steven Cannon heads the department.

DAC Beachcroft LLP is active across contentious construction, insurance claims, contracts and leases, procurement and transactional work. On the contentious side, the team is representing The Co-operative Group on disputes with Johnson Construction on 12 sites across the UK, is acting for McLaren Construction on a final account and payment dispute with a leading developer and is acting for CPD Powerline on claims for payment for power gird work on multiple sites in Northern Ireland. Non-contentious highlights include advising Cheshire West and Chester District Council on major construction and property retail development works with a developer and retailer in Cheshire and advising The Co-operative Group on the transfer of lease and contract documentation relating to a distribution warehouse at Rugby Valley Park. Consultant Phillip Fry heads the team and specialises in construction disputes and regional senior partner Ian McConkey handles professional indemnity claims on behalf of construction professionals. Harald Loeffler and senior associate Claire Randall-Smith are also key members of the team.

Freeths LLP is active across a range of construction and engineering disputes and procurement work. The team is regularly instructed by large, Spanish EPC contractors in relation to their UK projects and continues to defend Duro Felguera on a £4m claim brought by Severfield in relation to works carried out at the Carrington Power Station. The team is also defending Trokel in a £2m claim brought by a Stadco. Cape plc, De Trafford Estates, Select Property Group and Styles & Wood are also clients. Senior associates Jennie Jones, who is active on contentious and non-contentious work, and Pandora Lougheed, who joined in 2018 from DWF, are also recommended as is consultant David Lorenzo. Department head James Driver handles complex construction and engineering disputes.

Mills & Reeve LLP’s ‘brilliant’ construction department delivers an ‘outstanding service’ and is active across non-contentious construction work and is regularly instructed by contractors and developers on local and national projects. The team has particular experience in the arts sector and houses in-depth expertise in heritage buildings; it is advising The Hallé on the appointment of the design team for the stage 2 works at St Peter’s, a former church in Manchester; and is also advising Contact Theatre on its redevelopment. The team also handles high-end London-based mixed-use and residential developments and is advising Cheval Group on the redevelopment of 55-91 Knightsbridge. The education and health sectors are also a key area of focus and clients also include Royal Northern College of Music, LTE Group and L. Rowlands (Retail). Team head Catherine Kay ‘makes complex legal issues and terminology understandable for those who do not have a legal background’ and her ‘tenacity and expert knowledge on contracting is invaluable’. Associate James Badger is also recommended.

The Stockport-based team at SAS Daniels LLP acts for employers, contractors, sub-contractors and professionals on both construction contracts and disputes. The team is experienced across mandates in the education, retail, commercial property developments, residential developments, care homes and public sectors. Team head Roger Allsup is noted for his contentious construction experience and is considered an ‘expert in the field who works very hard for his clients’, and James Clarke regularly handles acquisitions for developers and advises landowners on disposals.

DTM Legal LLP handles a range of contentious and non-contentious construction mandates and represented Dee Tech Services on disputes that against the international owner and operator of a chemical production plant. Anwyl Construction, Foundation Piling and Clancy Consulting are also clients. Liverpool-based Jim Morris heads the team, where associate Richard Harris is also based. Associate Guy Thomas in Chester is also recommended.

At Kuit Steinart Levy LLP the ‘service is always first-class and this creates confidence that legal matters are being dealt with efficiently and effectively’. The team handles a range of construction matters relating to development work, and advises on bonds and guarantees, construction contracts, appointments and warranties, disputes and procurement. It advises The Ambassador Theatre Group on refurbishment and renovation works required within their theatres across the UK and advised Bretton Properties on the construction elements of its acquisition of Peterborough retail park The Bretton Centre. It also advised Beech Construction Partnership on phase 1 of its Westpoint development at Old Trafford, Manchester. Senior associate Benjamin Connor heads the team.

Pannone Corporate LLP is engaged by developer clients on the procurement of projects across the UK, and also advises tenants, purchasers and funders on the construction of developments. It is advising Transport for Greater Manchester on the procurement of the Metrolink light rail system, is acting for Urban Splash on the construction documentation for the £4m redevelopment of the Brownsfield Mill in Ancoats, Manchester, and is advising High Peak Developments in relation to the construction of a new build retail warehouse unit in Whaley Bridge, High Peak. Renaker Build is also a key client. Director Gareth Jessop  is  recommended. Kevin Connell recently joined gunnercooke LLP and Neil Armstrong  joined Myerson Solicitors LLP to head its team in 2018.

The ‘excellent’ department at Slater Heelis LLP  is regularly instructed on contentious and non-contentious construction mandates and is particularly experienced in developments in the real estate, education and energy sectors. The team provided DBD with contractual advice regarding tenders for the provision of professional services in the nuclear energy sector and advised Kids Allowed Ltd on the drafting and negotiation of contract documentation relating to the construction of a new nursery in Greater Manchester. Grŵp Cynefin instructs the team for contractual advice to this in relation to residential development sites and the team also advised Novo Property Solutions Ltd on the drafting and negotiation of a professional services agreement for a residential development. Consultant Kenneth Salmon is an ‘excellent construction lawyer with great experience’ and associate Matthew Grellier heads the team.

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