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One of the standout practices in the North East’, Archers Law LLP’s ‘truly excellent, competitive and professional team’ attracts praise for its ‘ability to turn around substantial and complex matters without affecting the quality of work’. ‘Exceptional in all areas’, the department is ‘a genuine pleasure to work with’ and regularly advises on development work, property sales and acquisitions, and landlord and tenant issues for a client base of private individuals, local authorities, charitable institutions and regional businesses. Recent highlights include advising the owners of a former pub on its refinancing for retail redevelopment, and assisting a client with the purchase of three care homes. The ‘very knowledgeable’ Christopher Todd leads the group, which includes associate Rachel List, who ‘consistently proves herself as one of the best property solicitors in the region’. Patrick Quigley joined Samuel Phillips Law Firm.

Baines Wilson LLP handles the full range of real estate issues, with notable expertise in development projects through department head Sean Logue. Logue acts for commercial businesses, lending institutions, housebuilders and developers, particularly those active in the North West. The department also handles landlord and tenant matters, option arrangements and property sales. The well-regarded Duncan Harty specialises in acquisitions and disposals, landlord and tenant transactions, secured lending and renewable energy matters. Laura Barnfield’s expertise includes developments, regenerations, site assembly, portfolio management, landlord and tenancy matters, and restructuring issues. Other noteworthy individuals include associates Elizabeth Sewell, who regularly advises on the property elements of corporate transactions; and Lynne McFaul.

Richard Miller leads the ‘unfailingly excellent’ team at Burnetts, which is noted for its ‘well-informed advice and local knowledge, which is second-to-none; it can always be relied on to give the best support, irrespective of the situation and complexity’. Clients single out the ‘genuinely invaluable’ Robbie Mather, who ‘provides outstanding support and an unmatchable energy alongside an ability to communicate difficult legal matters in plain English’, and Helen Hayward, who is ‘absolutely brilliant, easy to get on with and who takes a no-nonsense approach’. Key areas of focus include planning and development, real estate finance, with emphasis on the education, leisure, tourism and energy sectors. Hayward’s recent highlights include advising H&H Group on the pre-let development of a retail food hall. In another key mandate, Mather assisted Washington Homes with a £20m acquisition of a residential development site, while associate Susan Scott handled Amsric’s £1.5m acquisition of six Starbucks franchised coffee shops. Tony Lake retired.

Endeavour Partnership LLP has a highly regarded commercial department recognised for its development expertise, banking work and agricultural and healthcare practices. Practice head Simon Wake regularly acts for developers, owners and managers of licensed premises as well as primary healthcare providers, and is assisted by Jamie Brown, who is recognised for his agricultural and renewable energy experience and regularly advises on high-value agricultural transactions; and associate Helen Roberts, who joined the firm in 2016 from Square One Law and has extensive expertise in real estate finance (including secured lending) and property sales. Key clients include Benchmark Leisure, Atkinson Northern, Stockton Riverside College and Ryedale Estates. Recent work includes advising on the development of a large-scale visitor attraction in North Yorkshire, assisting with the redevelopment of the Grangetown Hub and acting for Middlesbrough FC on its acquisition of the freehold reversion to the Riverside Stadium.

Under the leadership of senior associate Mike Little, Cartmell Shepherd’s team recently advised a substantial landowner on a promotional agreement for a residential development, acted for a high-net-worth individual on the purchase of a commercial river front property and was instructed by a large landed estate on a commercial refinance agreement. The team regularly acts for large country estates, especially in property portfolio issues; other strengths include acting for development builders, handling property finance mandates, advising on the sale of partnership assets, assisting with commercial and residential leases, and landlord and tenant mandates. Little is recommended for commercial property sales and purchases, commercial leases and land development; director Jonathan Carroll focuses on farm sales and purchases, and associate Andrew Marquis regularly acts for developers.

Jacksons Law is a ‘highly professional outfit’ that ‘instils confidence in clients through its service level and exceptional knowledge’ as well as through its ‘pragmatic, commercial and practical approach’. Department head Geoff Skeoch has notable experience in development work and regularly acts for investment clients; highlights included advising on multiple property acquisitions and land disposals. Managing partner Jane Armitage is praised for her ‘approachable yet no-nonsense attitude’; she counts Ravensworth Property Developments and Carlton Power Group as clients. Erica Turner recently advised Green Parks (Holdings) on the sale of multiple newly constructed holiday apartments at Westward Ho! Devon. The firm also has a Newcastle office, which includes associates Rebecca Dawson, who is ‘able to provide solutions to any problems that arise’, and John Bewick, who has ‘exceptional attention to detail’.

Latimer Hinks Solicitors fields ‘an exceptionally professional and pragmatic’ group, which includes Neil Stevenson, who is recommended for agricultural and renewable energy property issues; Nicola Neilson, who focuses on agricultural work; and the ‘very diligent and trustworthyMartin Williamson, who is the key name for residential property matters. Investment acquisition and disposal expert Adam Wood also advises on landed estates, mineral leases and secured lending mandates. Consultant Tim Haggie advises on landed estate acquisitions and management, mineral options, development contracts and promotion agreements.

Swinburne Maddison is ‘a very professional and accomplished firm’ that ‘provides a high-quality service with a friendly approach’. The team’s client roster includes individuals, developers, commercial property portfolios and charitable entities such as Atom Bank, Durham Cathedral, Coast & Country Housing and Handelsbanken. In a recent highlight, department head Victoria Walton advised TJD Properties on the refinancing of a portfolio of 18 properties. Other highlights included assisting Prince Bishops Homes and Derwentside Homes with the acquisition of seven separate sites for residential developments, and handling the refinancing of a Grade II listed building for AKV (Cladding Fabrications). Simon Robinson is recommended for agricultural, development and landlord and tenant work, and the ‘extremely competent’ Kate Stephenson attracts praise for her ‘incredible knowledge of landlord and tenant issues’; she ‘always goes the extra mile to ensure the best result possible’ and is recommended for property portfolio work and residential matters.

Martin Levinson heads the ‘friendly, prompt and efficient’ practice at Tilly Bailey & Irvine, which ‘consistently goes above and beyond to find solutions to problems that appear insurmountable’. ‘Top-notch’ associate Andrew Beattie has particular expertise in agriculture transactions; he recently advised Holme Mills Properties on the sectional disposal of a 17-acre industrial site and acted for Stellprop and its related companies on a number of site disposals in Hertfordshire and the Isle of Wight. Clients also praise the ‘exceedingly good and incredibly helpful’ Sara Garnett, who ‘combines formidable knowledge with outstanding service’; she recently handled an industrial unit acquisition for a client and assisted a developer with the acquisition of a development site. Barnard Castle School, Janus International (UK) and IPM Personal Pension Trustees are additional clients.

BHP Law’s experience spans regional, agricultural and industrial developments, disposals and acquisitions, landlord and tenant law, mineral leases and licensing issues. It acts for a wide range of clients including developers, high-net-worth individuals, farmers and landowners. Associate Jane French leads the group, which includes the well-regarded Peter Blackett, who is acting for Bussey and Armstrong on the West Park Development in Darlington. French’s highlights included advising Maden Properties on its acquisition of a listed building and site for residential development; handling multiple property transactions for Peron; and assisting Nifco UK with its phase 3 factory development of its factory facility in Eaglescliffe. Associate Mark Clayton is recommended for agricultural transactions.

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