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Commercial property: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
  2. Leading individuals

Blake Morgan LLP’s ‘experienced’ team includes Ruth Leadbitter, who has notable public sector experience; Deryn Bassett, who maintains a strong client base in the energy sector; and Andrew Miscampbell, who advises on development and partnership matters for medical practices nationwide. Key clients include Berkley Homes, The British Red Cross and Thames Valley Police.

Boyes Turner’s ‘responsive and professional’ team stands out for its ‘exceptional knowledge of the market’ and ‘measured answers to complex questions’. William Nassau-Lake advises high-net-worth individuals on residential conveyancing, and has notable insolvency expertise. Derek Ching specialises in planning and infrastructure agreements, and is ‘commercially strong and solution-driven’. Nick Carter heads the group.

Real estate specialist BrookStreet des Roches is singled out for its ‘great commercial understanding, which is highly valued by clients’. Managing partner Hugh Blaza and Martin Billings are both recommended.

Field Seymour Parkes LLP is headed by the ‘user-friendlyMarcus Francis, who advises high-net-worth individuals and large companies on matters including investment, commercial development and funding. Dean Bickford is recommended for landlord and tenant matters.

Patrick Whetter and Adrian White head the practice at Freeths, which handles acquisitions, disposals and commercial property portfolio management. White acts for a mixed client base of corporates and charities.

Osborne Clarke stands out for its ‘strong reputation in the residential development field’. Elizabeth Sturgess’ clients include major homebuilders, landowners and funds, and the firm has represented a number of consortiums in relation to new development sites.

Penningtons Manches LLP continues to be instructed by Frontier Estates in connection with the £40m redevelopment of Epping Town Centre, and is also advising White Stuff on the acquisition and disposal of its high street stores. Simon Knott is ‘very knowledgeable, responsive and respectful’.

Pitmans LLP advises on residential developments, social housing and finance matters; recent highlights include handling the £17m acquisition of land from ten separate owners, as well as its onward sale to Bellway Homes. Andrew Davies and Delphine Mehouas are ‘flexible, strategic thinkers’.

Shoosmiths LLP provides ‘an excellent all-round service’, and has ‘a first-class commitment to the work being carried out’. Alan Corcoran has notable expertise in the corporate occupancy field; Andrew Farmery focuses on the retail, leisure and office sectors; and Nathan Rees acts for major investors and developers.

Blandy & Blandy LLP’s group is led by Jane Gunnell and includes John Dingle, whom clients rate for his ‘client-tailored advice and ability to spot things others don’t’; and Katja Wigham, who specialises in the sale and purchase of development land.

At Clarkslegal LLP, the ‘efficient and knowledgeable’ Rachel Krol advises on acquisitions and disposals, as well as on investments and developments. Richard Higgs focuses on infrastructure and healthcare projects, and Simon Berry advises a broad range of investors on property transactions.

Clifton Ingram LLP Solicitors advised Longacres Garden Center on the £2m purchase of a freehold property, and acted for Secured Lending on its £5m loan to facilitate residential development properties. Practice head Ian Graham is recommended alongside Tim Read and Chris Baggs.

Gardner Leader LLP’s Greg Humphreys is ‘very thorough and knowledgeable’, and ‘acts quickly when required’. Jolyon Barton and Richard Buckeridge are also key contacts.

Olswang LLP’s Carol Griffin is noted for her advice to institutional landlords, and also manages property portfolios for corporate occupiers. Senior associate Stephen Baker is also recommended.

Sumeet Shangari leads Aston Bond’s Slough-based group, which advises on a wide range of matters, including plot sales, joint venture building agreements and property taxation. Nick Powe is also recommended.

Tom Lawrence is the key contact at Brethertons LLP; his experience spans all areas of commercial property work.

Knights Professional Services Limited’s takeover of Darbys Solicitors in 2016 brought Philip Marsh into the fold. He joins a team which includes Jenny Birrell, who is recommended for complex purchase/development agreements.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys handles a variety of matters including managing property portfolios, insolvency, investment and development. Mark Fabian heads the practice, which includes Robert Lynch.

Tim Hardesty’s group at Herrington Carmichael LLP handles a range of commercial and residential real estate matters, and has been highly active in property development throughout 2015. Clients include Metro Bank and National Westminster Bank.

Plainlaw solicitors is noted for its ‘thorough and specialist real estate knowledge’, along with ‘a wide range of skills and good value for money’. Stephen Stratton is ‘particularly good at acquisition due diligence’, and ‘always finds a practical solution to any legal problem or technicality’.

Spratt Endicott’s key figures include Andrew Woods, who has ‘sound commercial acumen and a pragmatic, practical approach’, and Howard Meakin, whose expertise includes joint ventures, development work and partnership and shareholder agreements.

At Royds Withy King, Paul Daniels’ group has niche expertise in charities work, and also advises on residential development, corporate sales and landlord and tenant matters. Andrew Chalk and senior associate Julie Acock are the other key figures.

Commercial property: Kent, Surrey, Sussex

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: Kent, Surrey, Sussex
  2. Leading individuals

At Clyde & Co LLP, ‘responsive and commercial’ practice head Adam Taylor-Smith led on several transactions for US-based client Ares Property Management, including its £270m acquisition of multiple retail parks from Land Securities. In another highlight, Martin Quicke advised Grainger on its role as development partner for the Ministry of Defence’s Aldershot Urban Expansion scheme. Other clients include Microsoft and Dixons Carphone.

Cripps LLP advised Japanese company Kato Kagaku on the £60m refurbishment of the Aldwych Quarter in London; is assisting with the Crossrail development; and is currently advising the University of Kent on an ongoing project. The ‘approachable, user-friendly and commercial’ Mike Scott and the ‘diligent, reliableSarah Ferguson are recommended.

Mundays LLPis a class leader in commercial property’. Practice head Ingrid Saffin ‘stands out for her professionalism, knowledge and client commitment’; she led the team advising a private equity consortium on the acquisition of a major redevelopment site in Hampshire consisting of more than 900 properties. Kevin Healy is also recommended.

At Stevens & Bolton LLP, practice head Andrew Steele advised TGI Friday’s on six new restaurant openings in the UK. The team also assisted Octopus Healthcare Development on the site acquisition, pre-letting, construction and forward funding of a 60-bed care home development in Colchester. Stephen Rockhill joined from his own engineering consultancy business, and Alex Watt joined from Clyde & Co LLP.

Thomson Snell & Passmore’s 18-lawyer practice is headed by Richard Ellard, who advised A A Homes & Housing on its £15m purchase of Metro Point in Croydon. The firm also acts for a strong lender client base including Close Brothers Limited, which it advised on a £5m loan for a land redevelopment in Yorkshire. Motorline and Lloyds Bank are also clients.

asb law LLP advised Amadeus Properties on its £4.5m sale of a single-let office building in Bromley to a residential developer, and assisted The Milton Group on the disposal of a 1.75 acre site in Deptford to housing association Family Mosaic. Newly promoted senior partner Jonathan Cavell heads the practice, which includes Chris Worthington are key names.

Barlow Robbins LLP’s team is headed by Helen Archibald and includes Graham Wilson, who advised AFC Bournemouth on covenant issues and a new lease related to the redevelopment of its stadium. Jo Farr assisted the Crescent School of Riding with its £15m sale and development of the riding centre.

Brachers saw the ‘extremely knowledgeableAsh Jilani lead the team advising West Kent and Ashford College on its new £16m campus development, which involved the acquisition of two further parts of the development site. Head Sarah Gainesresponds to matters promptly and thoroughly’.

Highlights for Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s Debra Kent represented Forest Property Developers in opposing a compulsory purchase order for The Stratford Sail. Other key clients are wagamama and Barnardo’s.

TWM Solicitors LLP’s ten-partner team is spread across its Surrey offers and acts for both lenders and developers. Practice head Adrian Price, Anne Fowler and Matthew Truelove are all recommended.

Commercial property: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx
  2. Leading individuals

Dentons’ ‘first-class’ team was strengthened by the recruitment of five real estate specialists in 2015 from Howes Percival LLP, Birketts LLP, Heald Solicitors, EMW Law LLP and the University of Law. It remains at the forefront of the retail market and handled several matters for Sainsbury’s Supermarkets, including assisting with issues related to its portfolio of convenience stores in London and the South East. Roland Gray, Robert Wyatt and Chris Denny are the key names.

In an illustration of EMW Law LLP’s focus on advising real estate and pension funds on their investments, the practice advised Connection Riverside Torquay on its acquisition of a 90-bed hotel. Practice head Stephen Kay is singled out for his ‘commercial approach and industry knowledge’. Rob Goffman and Aimee Barrable are also recommended.

IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett) is highly regarded for its work for housebuilders including Persimmon Homes and Bellway Homes. The sizeable team also regularly acts in real estate developments and investments; in an illustration of the latter, Juliusz Wodzianski led advice to BAM Properties on letting a newly constructed mixed-use development in Stockport. Other key names include practice head Bill Bidder, Vicky Stokes, Ross Johnstone, Vivien Rimmer, Jeff Elphee and Susan Mawson.

Shoosmiths LLP further cemented its development credentials with the arrival of Catherine Williams, a commercial and mixed-use development specialist, from Fladgate LLP. The team also has a strong reputation in the leisure sector and assisted The Deltic Group with purchasing a nightclub in Hereford. Steve Wiltshire heads the team, which includes Lisa Williams and Melissa Barker.

Ruth Boulton heads the practice at Debenhams Ottaway; her highlights included advising AXA on relocating its UK headquarters to flagship property 6 Bevis Marks. Jonathan Foy is increasingly being called on to advise on high-value leases.

Key figures at Freeths include Leo Skinner, who regularly acts for clients in the beverage, hospitality and leisure sectors including Novus Leisure and Casual Dining Group; and practice head Valerie Warman, who assists The Parks Trust with acquisitions, refinancings and estate management.

Steve Kenneford and Terence Ritchie jointly head SA Law LLP’s ‘excellent’ team, which includes John Moore, Glenda Ferneyhough and ‘extremely hardworking’ senior associate Gary Dunger. Highlights included assisting Eurochange with its new branch openings.

Taylor Walton LLP’s Angela Thomas led on Capita’s acquisition of Britannia Building Society’s headquarters and the leaseback of part of the site. Dermot Carey and Mike Kelly stand out for landlord and tenant matters.

Key figures at Veale Wasbrough Vizards include David Power, Joe Kwok, David Marsden and the ‘very smooth’ Richard John.

Woodfines LLP routinely advises Geodis on its commercial property portfolio and assisted Linkline Transport with the lease of a warehouse. Sylvia Goulding’s team includes Brian Hall, Charlotte Benjamin, Brian Bennett and the ‘diligent and resourceful’ Suzanna Stephenson.

B P Collins LLP attracts praise for its ‘ability to work to tight deadlines’. Michael Larcombe leads the team, which includes Alison Taylor and acts for clients including Inland Homes and Chartridge Developments.

Blaser Mills advised on acquisitions for development and property companies, as well as on the sale and purchase of hotels. David Kemp leads the team, which includes Adrian Palmer and consultant David Michaels.

Sherrards Solicitors LLP is best known for its retail-sector expertise, where it frequently acts for tenants. Terry Fendt handled several short-term occupancy leases for Menkind Seasonal and Red5.

Commercial property: Hampshire

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: Hampshire
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Blake Morgan LLP’s team is led by Sean Palka and new recruit Chris Dolan, who joined from Shoosmiths LLP. The practice advised Metro Bank on its store roll-out programme, including a £5.5m leasehold acquisition. Martin Hurst joined Foot Anstey.

Bond Dickinson LLP advised Associated British Ports on its combined £89m purchase of two industrial parks, and assisted E.ON with the real estate aspects of its £1.6bn Rampion offshore windfarm development. Andrew MacKean, Mark Barley and Verity Waington are all recommended.

Clarke Willmott LLP’s ‘highly efficient and competent’ team advises Sheet Anchor Evolve on its £11.6m security system for a shopping centre. Mehar Patel and Peter Swinburn are ‘very client-centric and responsive’. Paul Hinett was promoted to partner.

Coffin Mew LLP’s team is headed by Nick Leavey and is ‘very easy to deal with’. Highlights included assisting Brighton West Pier Trust with the Brighton i360 project. Peter Fellows and associate Amanda Read are highly recommended. Luc Algar joined Moore Blatch LLP.

Lester Aldridge LLP advised Lewis Investment Fund on several retail and leisure acquisitions totalling £30m, and assisted McCarthy & Stone with its £7m purchase of 80 assisted living blocks in Harrow. Practice head Matthew Barrowhas excellent all-round knowledge’ and is recommended alongside Roger Woolley.

At Moore Blatch LLPLuc Algar, who ‘has excellent industry knowledge and business acumen’, was appointed head of real estate, replacing Martin Duck and Julian Parkes, who remain partners at the firm. The team regularly works on a mix of lender and borrower work for clients including Bloor Homes and Barratt Homes. Gaenor Thomas moved to Hart Brown.

Paris Smith LLP’s practice handled several property investment projects and real estate acquisitions in 2015. Clients include Co-Operative Group and Svenska Handelsbanken. Mark Howarth leads the team.

Shoosmiths LLP provides ‘an excellent service’. Practice head Joanne McGuinness advised the Defence Infrastructure Organisation on a multimillion-pound development in Aldershot. John Downs joined from Fieldfisher, while Chris Dolan moved to Blake Morgan LLP and Graham Bennett retired.

Irwin Mitchell, which inherited Thomas Eggar LLP’s team, is headed by David Fanchi and Philip Gray; the latter advised Micheldever Tyre Services on several acquisitions, including its acquisition of Tyremark. The ‘professional and attentive’ Biddy Walker is also recommended.

At Pitmans LLP, practice head John Newtonresponds quickly with clear advice’; he recently advised Red Funnel Ferries on its £25m redevelopment of the East Cowes waterfront. Other clients include Lloyds Bank and The Lantern Community.

Trethowans LLP’s clients include Santander UK and Stannah Lifts Holdings. The ‘personable and communicativePaul Longman is highly recommended. Jennifer Rogerson joined Steele Raymond LLP.

Phillips Solicitors is advising Stax Properties on the sale and development of a sports park in Surrey and Berkshire. Jonathan Pender heads the team.

Commercial property: Essex

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: Essex
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

The ‘practical and pragmatic’ team at Birketts LLP is ‘always available and responsive’. Grace Kerr specialises in assisting landowners with transactional matters, including negotiating collaboration agreements and joint ventures, whereas Steven Kay has been consolidating the group’s house builder practice.

Melanie Bache leads the practice at Birkett Long LLP, which expanded with the acquisition of Asher Prior Bates and the recruitment of Justin Stock from Hill & Abbott. The ‘very knowledgeableDavid Rayner is ‘always available for advice and support’.

At Ellisons Solicitors, Guy Longhurst led a team which assisted a developer with a £15m sale of land to a national homebuilder for the construction of more than 300 houses. Philip Roberts and Kevin Wilsher are recommended.

The ‘excellent’ and ‘extremely professional’ team at Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP is led by Ellen Petersen and provides a holistic service, with particular strength in financial transactions. Chris Jones is recommended.

Wortley Byers LLP’s team garners praise for its ‘first-class industry knowledge’. ‘Nothing is too much trouble’ for Jane Winfield; she is recommended alongside David Chapman, whose experience is ‘second to none’, and ‘exceptional’ practice head Aaron Cane.


Index of tables

  1. Construction
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Blake Morgan LLP’s broad client base covers both public and private sectors. Highlights for practice head Richard Wade included representing Bouygues UK in adjudication proceedings and acting for Southampton City Council in a claim pertaining to defective building works before the Technology and Construction Court (TCC). David Evans, Edward McMullen, Jessica Tresham and James Bessey, who joined from DWF in 2015, are also recommended.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP stands out for its ‘client-focused approach’ and ‘excellent response times’. David Savage has extensive experience in the Middle East and is advising the on the procurement strategy for the modernisation of Bahrain International Airport. Senior associates Andrew Keeley, Kate Knox and Fiona Thompson are also recommended. Stephen Rockhill joined Stevens & Bolton LLP in 2015.

Dentons’ ‘excellent’ team is led by Alastair Young and includes recently promoted partners Gurbinder Grewal (who is ‘a strong negotiator’) and the ‘very brightAkin Akinbode. Managing associate Shaun Tame is part of a team advising Delfont Mackintosh Theatres on the refurbishment and redevelopment of the Victoria Palace Theatre, while managing associate Jane Miles is assisting HOOPP/Verdion with a £400m logistics development.

Sheridan Gold LLP’s ‘excellent’ team acts for clients including BAM Nuttall, Eurobuild and Schindler. Founding partner Peter Sheridan is a construction heavyweight and is highly regarded for his track record in PFI disputes, notably in the waste and recycling space. Also recommended are fellow founder Jonathan Gold, who is ‘a clear thinker with a pragmatic approach to disputes’, Jane Ryland and Michael Draper.

At Brachers, Michael Janney has extensive contentious experience and is regularly called on to act in adjudications. Clients include FM Conway and Neilcott Construction Group. Claire Barwick joined Cripps LLP in 2015.

At Clarkslegal LLP, practice head David Rintoul acted in the drafting and negotiation of two EPC contracts on behalf of Sierra Rutile for the design and construction of two mineral sands pre-concentration plants in Sierra Leone.

Cripps LLP is recommended for its ‘efficient response times’. Andrew Harbourne leads the team, which includes Bill Mackie and disputes specialist Nitej Davda. Harbourne is advising Kato Kagaku on the refurbishment of the Aldwych Quarter.

Hewitsons routinely attracts high-profile instructions from education-sector clients. Tim Richards is advising Mansfield College on the construction documentation for a mixed teaching and student accommodation project.

Former civil engineer Paul Brampton leads the team at IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett), which is valued for its ‘attention to detail’. Highlights included advising Aviva on construction documents pertaining to Aviva Tower. Consultant Ross Humphries and senior solicitor Steven Hayward are also recommended.

Irwin Mitchell’s construction practice (which was inherited from legacy firm Thomas Eggar LLP following the merger of both firms) has a strong pedigree handling projects for further education colleges. Mark Clinton is advising Lambeth College on the procurement process of the proposed development of its Vauxhall campus. Senior associate Sarah Evans is valued for her ‘excellent negotiation skills’.

Stevens & Bolton LLP bolstered its non-contentious capabilities with the arrival of Stephen Rockhill from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP. Matthew Needham-Laing’s team has notable expertise in the pharmaceutical and oil and gas sectors.

DMH Stallard LLP’s Stephen Royle is a key name for non-contentious construction matters and is frequently instructed to draft appointment documents and assist with the procurement process.

EMW Law LLP’s highlights included advising Bidvest Foodservice on the fit out of a food storage and distribution facility. Michael Chilton and consultant Derryn Rolfe are the key names.

Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors LLP’s ‘excellent’ team is led by Richard Millard, who regularly acts in adjudications and advises on draft contracts for professional appointments.

At Gullands Solicitors, David Brown is adept at handling adjudications and assisting with JCT contracts. Clients include Birkby Construction and IDS Builders.

Key names in Mundays LLP’s team include non-contentious specialists Pippa Beesley and Kevin Healy, and dispute resolution practice head Joseph Kean.

Pitmans LLP’s David Gwillim has niche expertise in marine engineering and was recently involved in a long-running dispute concerning a capital dredging contract in Venezuela.


Index of tables

  1. Environment
  2. Leading individuals

B P Collins LLP fields a cross-departmental team with ‘decades of experience’. Alex Zachary (who is ‘a simply superb, commercial environment lawyer’) leads the team, which includes litigator Craig Williams, who is ‘very good at understanding client objectives’. Highlights included advising Biffa on two acquisitions.

DMH Stallard LLP advises on the full range of environmental law issus, including environmental permitting, management of risk and contaminated land. Heidi Copland and Peter Rainier are the key contacts.

Penningtons Manches LLP’s Richard Smith regularly acts on contaminated land liabilities, waste management, environmental impact assessments and habitat planning for an impressive client list including EDF Energy Nuclear Generation and Facenda Group. Highlights included advising Coats plc on a collaboration agreement pertaining to the clean-up of contaminated land.

Stevens & Bolton LLP’s practice attracts praise for its ‘promptness, high-quality output and good industry knowledge’. Valerie Fogleman, who is ‘an expert in her field’, and Catherine Davey co-head the practice, which is a leader in environmental insurance and which assisted WWF-UK with a report into insurance risks and the Arctic.

Blandy & Blandy LLP regularly defends companies and directors prosecuted for environmental crime, and also handles compliance issues, including environmental enforcement undertakings. Simon Dimmick and Karen Jones are the key names.

Clarkslegal LLP’s team in Reading works closely with its Cardiff office to regularly handle high-profile public sector projects. Consultant Kirstin Parker and real estate specialist Richard Higgs acted alongside Cardiff-based Rhiannon Holtham in advising a procurement hub consisting of three Welsh councils on a pathfinder project in Wales for the procurement of a waste treatment contract.

Jason Towell leads Cripps LLP’s environment team, which is part of the firm’s wider planning and environmental practice and which includes contentious environmental specialists Myles McIntosh and Philip Youdan. The practice is frequently called on to handle environmental impact assessments, contaminated land issues, as well as defending clients prosecuted for environmental offences.


Index of tables

  1. Planning
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Blake Morgan LLP’s ‘very experienced’ team is led by the ‘top-notchGuthrie McGruer, who acted alongside Keith Lancaster for Berkeley Homes on planning issues related to a residential development.

A solid option for planning law’, Cripps LLP’s team remains a popular choice for housebuilders. Highlights included advising Hillreed Homes and Ward Homes on a mixed use urban extension. Jason Towell leads the team.

DMH Stallard LLP’s team is ‘efficient, thorough, and knows its subject’. Practice head Heidi Copland (whom one client describes as ‘the senior planning solicitor of choice’) is acting alongside Peter Rainier for Brighton Hove & Albion on the planning aspects of a stadium and training complex development. Geoff Smith and Katie Lamb are also recommended.

Irwin Mitchell inherited Thomas Eggar LLP’s strong planning credentials in the region. Practice head Carl Dyer is leading advice to Asda Stores on its store development programme, which included obtaining planning permission for stores in Wakefield and Redditch. James Pavey and Nicola Gooch are also recommended.

Shoosmiths LLP is highly regarded for its ‘technical knowledge’ and for its public sector expertise. Highlights included advising the Defence Infrastructure Organisation on obtaining planning permission to dispose of a former ammunition site in Kent, which involved acting in appeal proceedings. Kirsten Hewson leads the team, which includes senior associates Paul Weeks and Matthew Stimson.

Blandy & Blandy LLP’s team in Reading has strong links with the University of Reading, which it is currently advising on the development of a mixed-use site. Karen Jonesbrings considerable intellectual rigour to the table’ and Simon Dimmick is a ‘talented problem solver’.

Highlights for Debenhams Ottaway included advising Thames Central Open Space Society on a challenge to the planned Garden Bridge over the River Thames in London. Bernadette Hillman joined Shakespeare Martineau LLP in February 2016.

The ‘excellent’ team at Holmes & Hills is best known for acting for local authorities including Colchester Borough Council and Babergh District Council. Key figures include partners David Whipps, who is singled out for his ‘vast and practical experience’, and Steven Hopkins, and Jo Lilliott, Tom McPhie and the ‘extremely conscientious’ Michael Harman.

Lester Aldridge LLP’s ‘very knowledgeable, approachable and efficient’ team has carved a niche in marine-related developments for clients including Littlehampton Harbour Board and Portland Harbour Authority. The practice also handles housing and redevelopment projects. Tom Alder ‘goes the extra mile’. Andrew Hignett is now with Keystone Law.

Pitmans LLP is highly regarded for its work for developers and house builders. Christina Daniels regularly acts for longstanding client Bewley Homes on s106 planning obligations.

Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors’ ‘very good’ team is led by Salvatore Amico, who returned to the firm in 2016 from Winckworth Sherwood LLP. Rob Jameson, who has a strong track record acting for local authorities, stepped down from the partnership and is now a consultant with the firm.

At Clarke Willmott LLP, senior associate Anne Jones assisted Countryside Properties with a planning agreement and appeal.

EMW Law LLP routinely advises Inter MK, which it assisted with planning and highway agreements pertaining to rugby matches hosted at MK Dons’ stadium during the Rugby World Cup. Associate Marco Mauro leads the team following the departure of Giles Ferin to Sherrards Solicitors LLP.

At Stevens & Bolton LLP, consultant Catherine Davey regularly handles planning applications and appeals.

At Whitehead Monckton, practice head Vicky Stoodley is advising Jempsons on the planning aspects of an expansion to a supermarket in Rye.

Property litigation

Index of tables

  1. Property litigation
  2. Leading individuals

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP stands out for its property insolvency expertise, which is due, in part, to the reputation of ‘incredibly talented’ practice head Peter Levaggi, and compulsory purchase work, where David Haines is a specialist. It is heavily involved in acting for petitioners against the HS2 Bill. Senior associate Richard Flenley is also recommended.

Cripps LLP’s group is well known for handling easement and covenant claims and is valued for its ‘thoroughness of approach and great commerciality’. Mike Scott frequently acts for insurers and developers on defending right to light claims arising from new developments, and practice head Miles Paffard is defending Snowball Assets against a collective enfranchisement bid brought by the leaseholders of a block of flats. Nitej Davda is also recommended. Carol Wakeford has retired.

DMH Stallard LLP represents clients including Tesco, Liverpool Victoria and Brighton and Hove Albion. Tina George leads the team, which includes Kerry Cornforth and Emily Wood.

IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett)’s strong team is best known for representing clients including Car Giant in terminal dilapidations disputes. Key partners include the ‘tenaciousAndrew Olins, who is experienced in handling restrictive covenant disputes, and ‘astute and clever tacticianJon Mowbray. Ryan Diamond is also recommended.

Mundays LLP’s practice acts for clients including BP, Octagon Developments and T M Lewin & Sons on disputes ranging from dilapidations to adverse possession claims. Key names include Stephen Morris, James Picknell and ‘technically strong’ and ‘pragmatic’ senior associate Nick Martyn.

Shoosmiths LLP provides ‘a seamless and highly efficient service’. The group acted for Almacantar in a dispute pertaining to its intention to redevelop a landmark building. Practice head Zoe Wright is highly regarded for telecoms-related property matters.

Blake Morgan LLP is a popular choice for clients in the retail and leisure sector and regularly acts for Costa Coffee on contentious property matters. Senior associates Kate New, Claire Hitchman and Rachel Gimson are the key names.

Boyes Turner’s ‘excellent’ team is led by senior associate Russell May and is frequently called on to advise blue-chip tenants on contested developments, lease enfranchisement and extensions, and adverse possession claims.

BrookStreet des Roches is best known for representing national retailers in contentious lease renewal matters and high-value dilapidations claims. Clients include Mothercare and Oxfam. The ‘thoroughKaty Kirk and ‘experiencedPhilip Shaw are the key names.

Dentons is ‘able to combine commercial savvy with an impressive depth of substantive and procedural expertise’. The practice covers the full range of property litigation matters and includes London-based Bryan Johnston, who leads the team and is ‘calm and assured in high pressure litigation’; and Natalie Johnston in Milton Keynes.

Furley Page Solicitors’ ‘approachable and client-focused’ team is led by ‘canny litigatorDavid Hall, who ‘never takes his eyes off the commercial objective’, and includes George Crofton-Martin and Jeremy Ferris. In 2015, the group resolved a long-running compulsory purchase case for the London Borough of Wandsworth.

At Penningtons Manches LLP, practice head and ‘fierce litigatorJohn Morrison is supported by associate Sabrina Furneaux-Gotch, who is ‘an up-and-coming star’. 2015 highlights included representing East Tower Apartment in a service charge dispute and a dispute concerning unreasonably withheld consent to assign.

Social housing

Index of tables

  1. Social housing
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

The ‘strong and experienced’ team at Batchelors secured several panel appointments over the course of 2015, cementing its position as ‘a leading provider of housing law services’. Thaine Wilson represented Sutton Housing in an unlawful subletting dispute. Andrew Harmer, ‘industry expertAnne Nurse, Mary Martil and Gavinder Ryait are also recommended.

Capsticks LLP’s ‘first-class’ practice acts for clients including Paragon, Guiness and Spectrum. The group covers the full ambit of social housing, including transactional matters through London-based Susie Rogers; asset management and charging under the direction of Jennifer Bennett; and housing management, which is headed by Michael Owen, who is valued for his ‘knowledge’ and ‘robust approach’.

Blake Morgan LLP’s ‘impressive’ sizeable social housing team assisted with some 2,500 purchases in 2015 for clients including Raven Housing Trust and Sentinel Housing Association. Key figures include practice head John Russell and Penny Rinta-Suksi, who is a key name for governance advice.

Judge & Priestley LLP has a ‘strong heritage in the housing management space and is regularly called on to handle housing management litigation and leasehold and service charges. Mark Oakley has ‘an excellent ability to grasp and master issues’. Pamela Bachu, Nitika Singh, Patricia Walters and Suki Dhoopher are also recommended.

Penningtons Manches LLP has a strong track record advising on shared ownership schemes, with ‘very good’ practice head Linda Storey a key name in this space. Storey led advice to Southern Housing on developing a product aimed at existing shared owners seeking to purchase a property on the open market.

Perrin Myddleton is experienced in handling social housing acquisitions; highlights included Sanjeev Shah’s advice to APNA GHAR Housing Association on the acquisition of a portfolio of tenanted residential properties across seven sites; and Adele Scrivens’ assistance to a housing association on its acquisition of 74 affordable housing units from four developer companies. Frederick Perrin and Colin Bosher are other names to note.

Cripps LLP’s Andrew Harbourne regularly acts for Family Mosaic Housing on contentious and non-contentious property portfolio matters, while Sarah Ferguson handled several matters for Golding Homes, including assisting with a stock acquisition of 50 units.

Housing Law Services specialises in housing management matters and is adept at handling outright possession orders, injunctions and suspended possession orders, as well as disrepair claims. Tim Crook is the key name.

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