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Bond Dickinson LLP is noted for its ‘high-quality and professional work and excellent client care’. Jen Smurthwaite leads the practice, which was appointed sole property adviser to retailer River Island in 2015, and gained Jack Wills as a new client. The firm is also on Taylor Wimpey’s panel and is advising Grainger plc on the management of its retirement solutions portfolio. Associate Elspeth Moncrieff is ‘excellent at managing litigation, and knows how to achieve the best result possible for the client – she also has a realistic grasp of the strengths and weaknesses of a case’.

At Hay & Kilner, the highly regarded Martin Soloman ‘who is ‘admirably calm in a crisis’’ leads the team, and recently led a matter involving a dilapidations claim for a country house and estate. Other key figures include Lucy Gray, who is ‘always prompt with responses and is able to clearly explain very complex matters’. The team’s recent experience includes acting in mismanagement claims relating to flooding and collapse of culverts.

Ward Hadaway’s practice is led by Sharon Mathieson, who acts for national supermarket chains in landlord and contractor disputes. New clients include Virgin Money and Calibre Search.

Watson Burton LLP recently acted for a client in a breach of covenant claim concerning the lease of a property in London worth in excess of £10m. Gavin Winter, who led on that matter, heads the practice and ‘brings a commercial awareness to the table to ensure clients get the best outcome’. Winter also has particular expertise in dilapidation claims and contested lease renewals.

Mincoffs Solicitors LLP’s Susan Roberts is noted for her expertise in contractual disputes, shareholder and partnership disputes, and insolvency matters. The team continues to provide litigation and case-planning advice to a longstanding client in the retail sector, including covering cross-border issues.

Muckle LLP’s ‘very knowledgeable and engaging’ team is headed by Charlotte McMurchie, who is rated by clients for her combination of ‘excellent professional skills and friendly and engaging personality’. Recent matters include acting for Malhotra Group in an ongoing dispute with its tenant in relation to the tenant’s plans to carry out work on the property.

Sintons LLP handled a claim for possession of four residential properties following a compulsory purchase order from a local authority. Graeme Ritzema, who co-heads the team with Angus Ashman, ‘has excellent contract law and construction litigation skills’.

David Low leads Swinburne Maddison’s team, which has been dubbed ‘one of the most progressive and efficient in the market’. Jonathan Moreland and Kate Stephenson ‘have a wealth of knowledge’ and the team welcomed Jennifer Pearson from Bond Dickinson LLP in 2015. The team continues to defend a local authority in relation to housing disrepair claims.

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