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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 > South East > Real estate > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



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

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial property: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


At Blake Morgan LLP, Andrew Miscampbell and senior associate and Michael Ward are healthcare sectors experts, who advised a client from the care home sector on refinancing a development. Other healthcare work included surgery development and lease work. Senior associate Deryn Bassett is well regarded for energy matters but the practice’s industry strengths also extend to the charity, education and local government sectors. Recent instructions saw practice head Ruth Leadbitter handle the multimillion-pound acquisition of an industrial park for a council and assist a leading charity with a series of property disposals. Senior associate Paul Brame provides β€˜sound, practical and honest advice’ and is highly regarded with associate Charlotte Astley. Andrew Querelle is now an associate at Spratt Endicott. Amey, Deutsche Bank and Miele feature are clients.

With its β€˜strong local presence and profile in the Thames Valley’, Boyes Turner excels in everything from land developments to landlord and tenant work. The practice provides targeted advice through specialist teams; for example, the development group is led by William Nassau-Lake and Derek Ching, who provides β€˜clear advice and has a workmanlike approach’. Department head Nick Carter leads the commercial practice and advised Ericsson Broadcast and Media Services on extending its lease at Broadcast Centre, among several other matters. Mark Appleton is β€˜always approachable’ and handles UK property transactions for offshore trust companies; a recent instruction saw him lead the multimillion-pound sale of Curatus Trust Company’s London-based waterside site to an overseas company. HSBC and CA Technologies (formerly Computer Associates International) are other clients. At senior associate level, Rachel Duncan, Bob Daniel and the recently promoted Sarah Webb are names to note.

Comprising β€˜experts in their field’, BrookStreet des Roches’ team β€˜really understands property’ and has gone from strength to strength in the retail sector. Retail and leisure practice head Rosie Gibb has been advising Arcadia Group on developing and rolling out a framework for properties, which forms part of a project to open outlets of the company’s biggest brands in Tesco supermarkets. The impressive client roster also includes The Body Shop, and McDonald's. Education sector work grew for the practice, with the β€˜exceptionally thoughtful and responsive’ Mark Davies handling Nuffield College’s joint venture with Oxford City Council to acquire a site for the Oxpens project, which included the purchase of land from London and Continental Railways. Practice head Martin Billings assisted MEPC with numerous matters, including advising on a pre-let agreement to lease a laboratory and office building to Adaptimmune Therapeutics in Milton Park. Managing partner Hugh Blaza and Justin Winterbottom are experienced individuals, as are recently promoted partners Sarah Wildsmith and Jamie Barton, and senior associate Richard Mulcock, who is β€˜a first-class negotiator’. Suki Hardy departed to Gardner Leader LLP.

Field Seymour Parkes LLP’s seven-partner team handles a range of matters: Dean Bickford focuses on investment and landlord and tenant mandates, farming and estates practice head James Burgess has been advising on property acquisitions and disposals, and Nick Winslet’s expertise includes high-value lettings, development and secured lending work. Marcus Francis leads the team and advised Whistl on leasing a new head office from Pruta Property. Meantime, Bickford is assisting Mencap with acquiring retail units, donation stations and discount stores to grow the charity’s nationwide footprint, and Michael Higgin acted for PRS for Music on underletting a London-based office space to Intercept Pharmaceuticals. Panasonic Europe, Benugo and Comland are also clients.

Freeths LLP reported an uptick in healthcare work and acted for a range of companies from this sector on the relocation of headquarters, financing property sales and construction matters. Singled out for his β€˜excellent skills’, director Adrian White heads the practice with Patrick Whetter. Work highlights included advising Market Cafe on acquiring a new restaurant on Strand, London for Β£4.7m. Lease, property disposals and environmental matters were among other mandates. At senior associate level, Desh Patel is recommended alongside Anna Power, whose β€˜attention to detail is especially good’.

Osborne Clarke’s expertise includes advising on developments, real estate finance and leases. Rebecca Tuffs heads the practice and is advising the regeneration team at Bordon Enterprise Park on asset and portfolio management and numerous short-term lettings that generate income for an ongoing development. 4D Data Centres – a recent client gain – instructed Tuffs on acquiring the leasehold for a data centre from EE. Persimmon and Barclays are also clients. Legal director Andrew Annette is recommended for residential development work, and Elizabeth Sturgess now splits her time between the firm’s Reading and Bristol offices.

Penningtons Manches LLP focuses on the education, retail, life sciences, care home and energy sectors, counting White Stuff and Somerville College as clients. Simon Knott handles the roll-out of new stores for Starbucks’ franchisee 23.5 Degrees, while practice head Richard Smith, who leads the environmental and planning law group, is advising Oxford Nanopore Technologies on leasing a building in Oxford Science Park from BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company). John Morrison is the main contact for real estate disputes and is well regarded along with recently promoted senior associate Sabrina Furneaux-Gotch.

For some, Pitmans LLP’s β€˜outstanding’ practice is β€˜by far the best’ in residential development and corporate and finance-related matters. Recent highlights for residential conveyancing practice head Delphine Mehouas included advising Bewley Homes on acquiring land for the construction of 400 residential units and handling the real estate aspects of Ridgeway Garages (Newbury)’s sale to Marshall Motor Group, which saw her handle property portfolio due diligence in addition to environmental and construction matters. Java Asset Management, Ashill and Vanderbilt Homes also feature on the client roster. Paul Murray’s β€˜detailed knowledge of all property issues’ is β€˜second to none’ and he is recommended with Marcus McCluggage and Sarah Potter, who were promoted to partner. Andrew Davies is no longer with the firm.

At Shoosmiths LLP, telecoms, retail and leisure sector expert Andrew Farmery advised GAME on the sale and leaseback of its distribution centre and head office buildings; Birmingham-based senior associate Brian Hession also worked on the matter. In other work, Farmery and London-based Angus Evers handled the disposal of a contaminated former landfill site for Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Matt Walker is assisting Minerva Education with the lease of a landmark site in Piccadilly. Practice head Alan Corcoran and Nathan Rees excel in corporate occupancy mandates, acting for tenants and landlords in high-value transactions. Henkel, Regus and Legal & General are also key clients of the practice, which is also instructed by funds and investors. Senior associate Marcus Devanny is a rising star.

Development, secured lending and transactional work are where Blandy & Blandy LLP’s β€˜strong team’ shines. Katja Wigham acted for Cove Construction in acquiring a site for the development of six residential properties. The β€˜commercial, responsive and flexible’ John Dingle is β€˜a pleasure to work with’, and is particularly recommended for healthcare sector matters and secured lending. Practice head Jane Gunnell is advising landowners on a proposed project that seeks to use a large site for developing 400 homes and community facilities. University of Reading, Englefield Estate and H & T Properties are other key clients. Henley-on-Thames and Reading-based Luke McMath joined the practice through the firm’s acquisition of Collins Dryland & Thorowgood LLP.

CMS has been advising a range of clients on matters relating to their London premises. Counsel Stephen Baker advised CareerBuilder UK on subletting office space in Shoreditch; he β€˜deals very efficiently with larger transactions’ and took over as practice head following Carol Phillips’ move in-house to Virgin Media. The firm is adept in shopping centre management and assisted Capital & Regional with letting a retail unit in Kingfisher Shopping Centre to 360 Play. Kennedy Wilson, Medallia and Benson Elliot Capital Management LLP are also clients, as are institutional landlords such as InfraRed Capital Partners and BMO Real Estate Partners; Baker advised the latter on acquiring high street property from St. Modwen Properties in Farnborough. Senior associate Will Bird is also recommended.

Clarkslegal LLP is β€˜excellent in all respects’ and has a particularly impressive workload in the hotel, leisure, food and restaurant sectors. Dividing time between London and Reading, β€˜very knowledgeable’ practice head Rachel Krol advised Meridian Leisure Hotels on selling two hotels in a multimillion-pound transaction, and recently promoted partner Simon Ralphs provides ongoing advice to restaurants on leases and agreements with occupants, among other matters. Recent instructions for Richard Higgs included handling land disposals and high-value property investments. Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Carillion also feature on the client roster. Simon Berry is highly regarded for residential work and has expertise in conveyancing, auctioning properties and advising on leasehold matters for landlords and tenants.

At Clifton Ingram LLP Solicitors, managing partner Tim Read handled two sizeable transactions for landowners in selling 34 hectares of land at Matthews Green Farm to Bovis Homes and Gleeson Homes, and was retained by Just Eat Holding and Just Eat plc to obtain leases for four floors at the companies’ London base. Chris Baggs’ recent workload included selling residential and agricultural properties. Practice head Ian Graham is also noted with senior associate Jonathan Foulds, who arrived from Stevens & Bolton LLP.

The β€˜excellent’ Gardner Leader LLP has β€˜sufficient strength in depth’ and expanded its development work by hiring former BrookStreet des Roches partner Suki Hardy, who handled the development of barn conversions and live/work units for Rivar. Senior associate Joanna Bullard arrived from Darbys Solicitors LLP and handled a broad range of work, including advising on property warranties and titles. With β€˜expert local knowledge that is the key to obtaining a successful outcome’, practice head Greg Humphreys is well respected and recently handled various lease matters pertaining to construction and fit-out work. Key figures also include Jolyon Barton, who leads the inheritance protection practice, and Maidenhead and Newbury-based Richard Buckeridge. Other clients include Newbury Building Society, J & J Carter and a restaurant chain.

Aston Bond’s team β€˜sees through the muddle of a transaction and remains cool under pressure’, which makes it attractive to clients such as PSB Wealth Management, Mace and Millennium Cleaning. Nick Powe leads the residential conveyancing practice and β€˜very knowledgeable’ consultant John Hunter Wright is also recommended.

Brethertons LLP handles transactional, development and freehold matters, among other work. Practice head Tom Lawrence advises retail sector clients on various property acquisitions and disposals, and associate Angela Guess is handling the purchase of a public house lease for an Oxford-based company. Helix Autosport and Heart of England Training are other clients.

Claire Leyshon and practice head Robert Lynch are the main contacts at Harrison Clark Rickerbys. Together, they handle a plethora of matters, including acquisitions of mixed-use retail properties, residential developments and secured lending. The firm has experience in advising clients from wide-ranging industries such as finance, retail and software.

β€˜Excellent’ boutique firm Plainlaw solicitors is adept in commercial matters and acts for Spectris and Copthorne Hotels, among others. Brendan Rolle-Rowan and the β€˜extremely diligent and pragmatic’ Philip Horn advised Markel International on acquiring a lease for an office floor from Capita Trust Company (Jersey) and Forbrit Trustees as trustees of the Canada Life UK Property Jersey Unit Trust. The firm also acted for XL Services UK in sub-leasing space in a London building to Argenta Holdings. Stephen Stratton is well respected for nuclear sector property transactions and has experience in other industries, including education, healthcare and manufacturing.

At Spratt Endicott, the β€˜exceptional’ Andrew Woods heads the practice and β€˜gets the deal done’ in developments and land transactions; Howard Meakin is recommended for residential and commercial development work; and Neil Belcher focuses on property investment and has particular expertise in property taxation. Associate Graham Roberts is noted for retail sector landlord and tenant mandates as well as portfolio asset management. Individuals, investors, developers and manufacturers are among clients of the practice, which recently hired associate Andrew Querelle from Blake Morgan LLP.

Led by senior associate Julie Acock, Royds Withy King has a wealth of experience in advising on leases for office, retail, restaurant and industrial units, and handles transactional and refinancing work for farms, estates and racing yards. The practice acted for the landlords of Grove Business Park – a recent client gain – in a matter relating to the surrender of a lease by, which will vacate the premises after completing another six-month term. In other work, the firm assisted White Lodge Medical Practice with acquiring a development site for constructing a medical practice and pharmacy. Santander, Helen & Douglas House and Freshly Baked Properties are other clients. Andrew Chalk heads the residential property, farms and estates practice and is recommended along with associate Ruth Bowen, who joined from Capsticks LLP.

Commercial property: Kent, Surrey, Sussex

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: Kent, Surrey, Sussex
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial property: Kent, Surrey, Sussex clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


The β€˜excellent’ team at Clyde & Co LLP β€˜provides a very personable service’. The firm regualrly advises on high-value leasehold negotiations and agreements, portfolio management cases and development issues for lenders, banks and developers among others. The team advised Spelthorne Borough Council on the Β£350m acquisition and leaseback of BP’s headquarters, located in Sunbury-on-Thames, including arranging the loan for the transaction from the Public Works Loan Board and providing specialist tax and planning law advice. It also assisted Ares Property Management with its Β£270m acquisition of Land Securities’ retail park portfolio, and advised U+I Group on its appointment to be a development partner for Mayfield Partnership, for the regeneration of the Mayfield area in Manchester and Manchester Piccadilly Station into mixed-use commercial and residential spaces; the project is value at Β£300m. Other clients include Grainger, Urban & Civic, Portsmouth City Council and Frogmore Property Group. Property financing expert Adam Taylor-Smith and legal director Choisanne Man, who focuses on development work, are praised as β€˜proactive, pragmatic and diligent’. Taylor-Smith leads the department with highly regarded overseas commercial property expert Martin Quicke. Legal director and regeneration projects expert John Pearce is also recommended. Will Deeprose was joined the team in June 2016 from DLA Piper; he focuses on lease negotiations and development projects.

Cripps LLP β€˜goes above and beyond what is required to deliver an exemplary service’. With a strong background in advising developers and lenders, the firm frequently advises on acquisitions and disposals, portfolio management and high-value leasehold issues. The team continued to assist Slough Borough Council on its Β£1bn regeneration project for the area, with work in 2016 including advising on the Β£27m new library in Slough’s town centre and Β£8m football stadium and public sports facility, as well as assisting Studio Wayne McGregor on the leasehold negotiations and refurbishment of the former International Broadcasting centre at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to create a new dance studio. In another highlight, the team continued to advise Hermes Investment Management on the management of The Centre: MK, a shopping centre in Milton Keynes, including handling asset management matters, refurbishment planning advice and negotiating new leases for retail spaces. Peer Group, Canada Life and Barratt Homes are also on the roster. Real estate head Mike Scott β€˜is calm under fire, creative and inventive’; he is ably supported by Kate Robinson who β€˜is calm and efficient’, and Stephen Hedley who β€˜is very personable, well-experienced and responsive’. Senior partner Clare Hyland and Glenn Miller are other key contacts. Matthew Cox left to join TLT and Richard Stokes went into an in-house counsel position at Transport for London.

Mundays LLP β€˜provides sensible and commercial advice backed up by strong technical knowledge’; β€˜the strength-in-depth and experience in high-value transactions is second-to-none’. The team advises on a full remit of commercial property work including portfolio management, leasehold and freehold agreements, and investments into UK-based commercial properties. Highlights for the firm in 2016 included multi-jurisdictional and high-value acquisitions, assisting with the management of industrial estate portfolios, and advising on secured lending matters. Its client base comprises lenders, private companies and individuals in the retail, healthcare, automotive and logistics sectors. Victor Barker and Kevin Healy β€˜are superb, very experienced and never fail to respond’; each is adept at handling development matters as well as acquisitions and disposals. Commercial land acquisition expert James Lawrence, property finance and Islamic finance specialist Gemma James, and experienced disputes lawyer Stephen Morris are also recommended. Michael Nixon is heading the practice following his arrival from DMH Stallard LLP in 2017. Ingrid Saffin joined Charles Russell Speechlys LLP.

Stevens & Bolton LLP β€˜provides insightful, proactive and sensible advice that is trusted’. The team’s expertise covers commercial property financing matters, including secured lending, as well as portfolio management, corporate occupier and divestment mandates. Development matters are another key area of expertise; highlights include advising the Royal Horticultural Society on its acquisition of a 156-acre Bridgewater garden, with the intention to develop the land into one of the largest gardens in Europe. Other highlights included assisting Asquith Nurseries on its sale to Bright Horizons Family Solutions, including assisting with the leasehold agreements for 90 properties and advising on multiple Scottish properties to be sub-contracted to McRoberts. It also advised Kia Motors on the acquisition and refurbishment of a showroom in London, which will be the client’s largest in Europe. Emirates, Octopus Healthcare Development, Store Property Investments and JMH Group are also on the client roster. Andrew Steele is well-versed in advising on corporate occupier issues and healthcare property matters. He leads a team that includes retail development specialist Howard Lupton, Alex Watt, and Michael Laver, a portfolio management expert. Also recommended are senior associate and property finance expert Bethan Dodd, and Daryl Rivero, who was appointed to the partnership in November 2016 and is well-versed in handling commercial property investments.

The team at Thomson Snell & Passmore β€˜is excellent and very responsive’; β€˜no job is too small or too large’. The firm is well-versed in undertaking property finance issues, including private funding and investment matters, as well as property portfolio management mandates, acquisitions and leasehold matters in the transport, logistics and education sectors among others. The team assisted Close Brothers with multiple loan facilities with an aggregate value of Β£450m in 2016, and advised Agora Financial on the relocation of its head office in London to Worship Street, including assisting with contractual negotiations and relevant licensing matters. Other highlights included advising AA Homes and Housing on refinancing an office property acquisition for Β£30m and assisting Ashford Borough Council with the regeneration of the area’s commercial quarter, including providing planning advice for new office blocks. Millwood Designer Homes, Titlestone and Motorline Holdings are other clients. Regeneration expert Richard Ellard is the practice head. Other team members include development specialist Sarah Easton who β€˜gives clients excellent, clear and simple advice’; Joanne Wright, who β€˜is efficient with a good commercial attitude’; and Alisa Sweeney, whose β€˜professionalism, knowledge and ability to find a working solution is second-to-none’. Matthew Grogan, who focuses on property finance, was promoted to partner in June 2016.

asb law LLP β€˜gives complete, professional, precise advise and support’ to clients. It regularly assists with acquisitions and divestments, high-value portfolio management matters and plot development and regeneration projects. Highlights included advising Rochester Bridge Trust on acquisitions and divestments of land at Rochester Bridge for maintenance and upkeep of the bridge, and assisting Ashford Commercial Quarter with the development of a new office building in Ashford town centre for Β£16m, including advising on lease agreements for two of the office’s floors to the council and multiple pre-sale agreements. The team also advised a subsidiary of the Milton Group on the sale of a Hertfordshire industrial estate to CBRE Global Investors for Β£4.5m. Other clients include Big Box Storage Centres, Towergate Insurance and Persimmon Homes. Jonathan Cavell leads the team, which includes property finance specialist Ian Greenfield and highly regarded landlord and tenant expert Nigel Wigin. Portfolio management specialist Chris Worthington is another name.

According to clients, Barlow Robbins LLP β€˜is excellent in all respects’. The firm regularly handles the full remit of commercial real estate work including acquisitions and disposals, secured lending work and commercial landlord and tenant agreements for lenders, banks and businesses in the London and South East area. It assisted Achieve Lifestyle with its Β£2.4m lease agreement for a new gym in Addlestone’s town centre as part of the overarching regeneration scheme and advised Rapidmile on its Β£2.3m acquisition of the freehold for a mixed-use property located in Pangbourne from Investec Bank, which involved assisting with the subsequent sale of two freeholds belonging to the building for Β£1.7m. Other highlights included advising Vapestore Retail on multiple new retail stores in the South East. NatWest, Neugarder and Joel Property Developments are also on the client roster. Development specialist Helen Archibald β€˜is a good manager of the team’; she heads the Woking office’s team, while highly regarded property finance expert Jo Farr leads the Guildford practice. Senior associate and property portfolio management expert Victoria McDonagh β€˜is knowledgeable, energetic and responsive’.

Brachers attracts praise for its β€˜quick response times and high-quality work’. Its track record covers acquisitions and disposals, property management matters and freehold negotiations and agreements. The team is well-known for its work on commercial property leases; it advised Beadles Group on acquiring a custom-built flagship outlet, including leasehold negotiations with the landlord who owned the industrial estate and development advice. It also assisted Burgess Marine with the commercial property aspects of its acquisition of marine engineering and superyacht companies. Other highlights included assisting with large-scale retail development plans, assisting a healthcare company with its custom-made research laboratory and acting for the seller on the divestment of agricultural land. Jump Arena, Lloyds Bank, Daunt Books and Dover District Council are also clients. The highly regarded Sarah Gaines heads the team and is well-versed in agricultural business tenancies and private landowner matters. Also in the team is healthcare and education property specialist Bill Butler who β€˜provides outstanding service and really understands the client’s business’, agricultural and rural head Sarah Webster, and primary care specialist Ash Jilani.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP β€˜is very responsive; clients can rely on it to get the job done’. It advises clients in the healthcare, energy and logistics sectors, as well as lenders and banks, on the full remit of matters including secured lending, acquisitions and divestments, and freehold negotiations and agreements. The team advised wagamama on three property acquisitions in Manchester, Colchester and Reigate, including advising on lease renewals and. The firm also has a particular specialism in commercial property matters for clients in the charity sector; it assisted Barnardo’s with various lease acquisitions, licence negotiations and property management issues, and advised Save the Children Fund on multiple acquisitions and lease renewals. CareTech, Eliquo Water Group and Disability Challengers are also on the client roster. Retail and leisure sector expert Debra Kent leads the team, which includes the β€˜excellent’ David Haines and senior associate and corporate occupier specialist Claire Timmings.

According to clients, the team at DMH Stallard LLP β€˜is second-to-none in terms of performance, quality of service and advice’. It regularly handles property portfolio management matters, secured lending finance issues and leasehold arrangement mandates for businesses, lenders and individuals. The team advised Papa John’s on its new standalone branch located in King’s Lynn, including assisting with the development and lease agreements and transaction document negotiations. It also assisted The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea with the proposed redevelopment of a historic retail site into a residential area, and avised an electricity utilities provider on the relocation of a transformer substation to a larger development. Other clients include Ilchester Estate, Crest Nicholson and Tesco. Property portfolio management specialist Tina George leads the real estate department, which includes β€˜highly responsive’ property finance specialist Cathy Searle, Anne Milne, who focuses on advising charity sector clients, and development specialist Charles Pfister. James Regan joined Stephen Rimmer and Co. Michael Nixon is now with Mundays LLP. In 2017, the firm merged with Rawlison Butler LLP, bringing on board development specialist Nick Pentecost, Sean Ryan, who handles a range of commercial property mandates, and senior associate Jonathan Crook.

Penningtons Manches LLP fields a β€˜very competent real estate team’ that attracts praise for its β€˜prompt and professional’ service. The firm handles the full range of commercial property matters including land development issues, property finance mandates and acquisitions and divestments, with a specialty in advising retail and leisure sector clients. It advised Oceanic Estates on its Β£89m disposal of Marchwood Industrial Park to Associate British Ports (ABP) and assisted Armourers & Brasiers with a simultaneous long lease and leaseback transaction for an existing lease in favour of the property’s ground-floor tenant. The team also acted for Flight Centre on high-value lease renewals, property refurbishments and management issues related to the client’s 200-property portfolio. Green Point Developments, Godalming Town Council, Kennedy Wilson Europe and Westgate Healthcare are also on the client roster. Practice head and retail sector expert Mike Busby β€˜is always on top of the detail and drives the timeframe very well’; the team also includes joint practice leader and development specialist Tim Davies, acquisitions and disposals expert and associate director Tony Burns, and associate James Matthews, who β€˜is incredibly diligent, knowledgeable and extremely pleasant to deal with’.

TWM Solicitors LLP frequently advises on leasehold and freehold negotiations, large-scale portfolio management matters and acquisitions and disposals of properties for a number of clients in the retail, logistics and leisure sectors. The team worked in tandem with the firm’s corporate department to advise London & Surrey Property Holdings on its acquisition by Glenstone Holdings. In another highlight, it advised Lucas Design & Construction on its Β£6m acquisition of two Banstead sites, as well as advising on the subsequent plot sales. Also on the client roster are Crown Golf, Svenska Handelsbanken and Tindle Newspapers. Adrian Price is heads the practice and specialises in commercial development projects, freehold agreements and property finance matters. He is ably supported by managing partner Matthew Truelove, who focuses on acquisitions and property divestments, as well as Anne Fowler, who specialises in advising clients in the leisure industry, and Claire Campbell, who is noted for her commercial leasehold expertise. David Stockley joined the team from Russell-Cooke LLP.

Clients of Whitehead Monckton praise its β€˜professional, forward-thinking and client-centric approach’. The team advises lenders, developers and businesses on acquisitions and disposals, property portfolio management issues and property finance matters including refinancing issues and secured lending matters. Highlights included assisting The Ethical Property Company with its Β£37m acquisition of Development House in London, including advising on the leaseback agreement and deferred payment scheme. Other highlights included advising Adaptimmune on its agreement for a custom-built research facility and office in Park Drive Central Milton Park with a total rent value of Β£28m, and advised Ridgeway Land on obtaining a lease for an office building at Ridgeway Office Park to Colt International, which involved selling the freehold for Β£2m. Lloyds Bank, Park Lane Group and Northfleet Developments are also clients. Department head Robert Coombe(who is β€˜at the top of his game’) is well-versed in option agreements and leasehold matters. Commercial landlord and tenant expert Dan Cowley, who was promoted to partner in 2016, is noted for his β€˜pragmatic advice and assistance’. Also recommended are Vicky Stoodley, who is β€˜a great negotiator’ and singled out for planning matters; and senior consultant Sarah Mirza, who joined the firm following its acquisition of legacy firm Docklands Solicitors.

The β€˜well-respected’ team at Adams & Remers has a fine reputation for commercial property matters including pension fund work and landlord and tenant issues. In 2016 the firm handled multiple property finance matters, and handled land development deals, freehold and leasehold matters and property portfolio management issues. The firm’s specialist care home team regularly handles care home acquisitions and disposals. Clients include businesses, property developers and lenders; clients hail from the healthcare, retail and public sectors, among others. Department head Katherine Haslam's areas of expertise include agricultural and commercial rural estate mandates. Also recommended are senior partner Robin Illingworth, whose specialisms include advising healthcare sector clients on option agreements, and Joanna Clark, who is β€˜extremely knowledgeable and efficient’ and advises on commercial landlord and tenant matters, among other areas.

Boys & Maughan attracts praise for its β€˜very professional handling of matters and pragmatic approach to negotiations’. Acquisitions and disposals, lease agreements and option arrangements are all mainstays of the practice, which advises lenders, sellers and developers in the healthcare, education and retail sectors. It is advising Hornby on the sale of its head office and visitors centre in Margate as well as the leaseback of a section of the site. Other highlights included assisting the same client with the acquisition and refurbishment of premises at Ramsgate Harbour for its new visitors centre, and advising Brede Hotels on its Β£2m acquisition of Nayland Rock Hotel in Margate. Kentish Projects, Manyweathers Properties and Avante Care & Support are also clients. Amrita Bartram β€˜is professional, courteous and gives sound market advice’ and Robert Moulsdale β€˜is good in the property development field’.

Downs Solicitors LLP’s β€˜service and knowledge are very good’, according to clients. The team handles large-scale property portfolio management matters, property finance and acquisitions for lenders and businesses. Highlights included advising an investor on the purchase of a freehold site located in Southend and the purchase of a leasehold site in Bedworth, and assisting a ceramic tile company with its relocation to new premises. Other clients are in the food, construction and healthcare sectors. Andrew Peach heads the practice and specialises in cross-border property finance issues. He is ably assisted by Caroline Walton and consultant solicitor Michael Debens, who focuses on development projects. Michael Nixon left the firm to join DMH Stallard LLP.

Furley Page Solicitors β€˜is a good regional practice with several very capable commercial property lawyers’. Acquisitions and disposals, property finance and site development matters are all mainstays of the practice, which advises lenders, purchasers and sellers. The team advised Canterbury City Council on the creation of a new lease for multiple buildings let to the White Friars Canterbury Unit Trust, which involved advising on rent reviews. It is also advising five trustees of existing sports clubs on a new mixed-use facility in Herne Bay being constructed by Redrow Homes. Grupo Antolin, John Parker & Son and Stema Shipping are also clients. Practice head Jeremy Licence and Andrew Gough handle secured lending and planning matters, respectively; they are recommended alongside development agreement expert Liz Brady, who β€˜is very experienced, highly skilled and attentive’.

Clients rate the β€˜faultless’ team at Hart Brown for its β€˜really excellent, rapid and thorough responses’. Property finance, acquisitions and disposals, and infrastructure issues are all areas the firm frequently assists with. It advised a developer on the acquisition of three plots for mixed use, including two schools to be built on the sites; it also handled planning issues related to the site when the request was rejected. The team also assisted a financial institution with a secured lending issue for a mixed-use commercial and residential property. Surrey Wildlife Trust and Purple Parking are on the client roster. Department leader and site acquisitions expert Roderick Campbell β€˜is logical, pragmatic and proactive’. The team also includes senior solicitor John Guthrie, who β€˜is a very safe pair of hands’ and focuses on licensed premises, and highly regarded development specialist Paul Allamand.

Tim Hardesty leads the real estate practice at Herrington Carmichael LLP, which has a particular emphasis on the residential development arena. Clients include national developers, regional housebuilders, and a number of landowners. Hardesty is regularly called on to handle multimillion-pound disposals and acquisition on behalf of developer clients. Other key figures include Mark Izquierdo, who handles investment and development mandates in the residential and commercial real estate sectors, and senior associates Daniel York and Claire McSorley.

Irwin Mitchell’s team β€˜is very quick, knowledgeable and experienced’. The firm frequently advises on property finance issues, including secured lending and investment options, as well as plot acquisitions and property portfolio matters. It is assisting Lambeth College with finding a development partner to undertake the Β£40m regeneration of the Vauxhall Nine Elms campus, as well as advising South Essex College as joint buyer with the HCA and the borough council on the sale of a housing development to be repurposed as a new college campus, including project management advice and planning application assistance. NatWest, Hendy Group and Southern Water are other clients. Chichester team leader Tina Webster is recommended for development agreements. Also in the team are Gatwick team head and investment property portfolio management specialist Balbit Thandi, as well as regeneration project specialist Guy Sackett.

Morrisons Solicitors LLP regularly advises clients in the charity, education and retail sectors on leasehold and freehold agreements, acquisitions and disposals, and property finance matters including secured lending and investments. Highlights for the firm in 2016 were assisting with high-value lease renewal agreements for properties, refinancing a development site and assisting a tenant with letting a floor of a high-profile building in London. Its client base includes Santander, Allens Total Petimeter Security and E-Resourcing. Edward Moseley heads the practice and is ably supported by senior associate Protima Sikdar-Wood, who is adept at handling property acquisitions, and senior associate Tanuja Sellahewa, who focuses on secured lending finance.

Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP is noted for its β€˜very good value for money and excellent turnaround times’. The practice is experienced in lease agreements, development matters and infrastructure issues; in 2016 it advised clients in the retail and leisure sectors on acquisitions and disposals, mixed-use developments and refinancing matters. The team also works closely with the private client and dispute resolution teams for agricultural estate issues and property disputes. Other clients include NatWest, Challenge Packaging and Guess. The β€˜speedy and knowledgeable’ David Ashton heads the department, which includes agricultural expert Nick Fagg, managing partner Richard Cripps and property portfolio management expert William Keating.

Thackray Williams LLP’s wide-ranging expertise includes leasehold and freehold matters, option agreements and acquisitions and disposals for clients in the retail and healthcare sectors. The team advised the freeholder of Dulwich Estate on an enfranchisement matter concerning joining a house with a sports ground and assisted Zenithgold with 72 simultaneous lease extensions. Other clients include NatWest, Harsco Infrastructure Services, Malden Group and Environmental Scientifics Group. Yildiz Betez heads the team; she is an expert in commercial conveyancing as well as commercial landlord and tenant matters. She is ably supported by development specialist David Fearon as well as leasehold expert Vikki Herbert. Amanda Wood retired from the practice.

Warners Solicitors has a fine reputation for property finance matters, with an emphasis on secured lending issues and investment opportunities, as well as acquisitions and disposals. It advised Allied Irish Bank on a Β£2.6m facility for QW Retail Estates, secured against a mixed-used property portfolio. The team also assisted 21st Century Technology with its office relocation from Surrey to Leicestershire. AIB Group, Edward Blake and Antalis Group are also clients. Property finance specialist Angela Robinson, who joined the team from H&R Hughes Solicitors LLP, β€˜is extremely diligent and sees the bigger picture’; she heads the department along with development expert Mark Davis. Clients also single out landlord and tenant specialist Steve Colville, who is β€˜the best commercial property lawyer and is very practical and knowledgeable’; and secured lending expert Angela Rowe.

Commercial property: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial property: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


The β€˜first-class’ practice at Dentons is praised by clients as being β€˜responsive, creative, solution-oriented and commercial’. The department continues to have an active presence in the retail market, and regularly advises a cross-sector client base on development and construction, real estate finance, regeneration projects and international and domestic property portfolios. In a recent highlight, practice head Roland Gray advised Avis Budget Group on its proposed acquisition of French competitor FranceCars, assisting with property due diligence and acquisition documents. The team also acted for Network Rail in negotiations for the lease of 496 stations and 10 depots, and advised Sainsbury’s on the property aspects of its sale of an in-store pharmacy business. Other key individuals include β€˜excellent lawyer’ Robert Wyatt, who specialises in real estate finance and acts for a broad range of banks, and Chris Denny, who has notable expertise in the retail, hotels and leisure sectors.

EMW Law LLP fields an β€˜experienced and capable team of standout lawyers’ that attracts praise for its β€˜good depth of knowledge across a broad range of topics’ and for its ability to β€˜take the time to understand the client’s business inside out’. Clients include a mix of new start-ups and well-established businesses. Recent highlights included advising Santander on the portfolio sale of seven freehold properties, and on a leasehold acquisition of a new branch. The team also acted for Bidvest Foodservice on its acquisition of a new HQ building along with adjoining land for future development. Practice head Stephen Kay β€˜achieves tight deadlines’ and β€˜ensures that the right level of resource is allocated to projects’. He is ably assisted by property development specialist Caroline Hayward, who has β€˜a good level of experience and knowledge’; and Joe Soul, who β€˜provides useful commercial input’.

IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett) has a notably active profile in development and investment work, and also handles the full range of portfolio management matters along with real estate finance, joint venture agreements, construction contracts, planning and letting management issues. Recent work includes advising BAM Properties on the Β£18m-plus sale of a building, and acting for Hudson Advisors UK on the high-value sale of two regional hotels as part of an ongoing strategy to rationalise a recently acquired portfolio. Recommended individuals include β€˜highly experienced real estate lawyer’ Juliusz Wodzianski, who β€˜has a good commercial awareness, strong negotiation skills and a good understanding of what is needed to get a deal across the finishing line’, and Gemma Coles, who specialises in bank securitisation and development transactions. Bill Bidder heads the practice.

Clients of Shoosmiths LLP’s β€˜highly commercial’ team single out its size and ability to offer other forms of legal advice which can overlap with property work as key strengths. The group retains a strong client following in the retail and leisure sector, and also has a solid reputation in caravan park and motor home work, commercial development, investment, property finance and corporate occupancy. Recent work includes advising Balfour Beatty Group on the Β£20m acquisition of land for mixed-use development; acting for London and Continental Railways on the sale of development land in Oxford City Centre; and advising The Deltic Group on its acquisition of a well-known nightclub in Birmingham. Steve Wiltshire heads the team, and β€˜is able to provide solid legal advice in a business context’. Catherine Williams advises a range of hotel operators on mixed-use development matters, and Lisa Williams is noted for her wind farm, agricultural and telecoms expertise.

Blaser Mills’s β€˜excellent’ team β€˜provides prompt and knowledgeable advice along with a reasonable fee structure’. The department advises SMEs on the full range of contentious and non-contentious property matters, and has significant experience handling transactional and contract-related work. The team also has strong development and residential property expertise, advising a mix of offices, shops, commercial units and hotels on land acquisitions and site setup. In a recent highlight, key figure David Michaels advised Ardmore on a Β£7m development project in Coventry, a matter involving a site acquisition, development with subsequent sales and the completion of a Compulsory Purchase Order. Other standout practitioners include β€˜extremely knowledgeable’ practice head David Kemp, who is praised for his β€˜great attention to detail’, and Louise Benning, who leads the real estate development team.

Debenhams Ottaway’s β€˜responsive and well-informed’ team is noted for its β€˜excellent attention to detail, strong advice and great value for money’. The group focuses primarily on landlord and tenant work, property development and secured lending, and also has solid experience handling sales and purchases of owner-occupied and investment property. Key clients include AXA UK, National Pharmacy Association and William Hill Trust; the firm recently acted for the last client on its Β£7m sale of a large portion of its estate to the Crown. In another highlight, key figure Jonathan Foy advised Cupcake Clothing on its Β£3m purchase of new headquarters on the outskirts of St Albans, a building currently belonging to the Ministry of Justice. The β€˜exceptional’ Ruth Boulton heads the department.

The β€˜highly experienced lawyers’ at Freeths LLP β€˜know their chosen field remarkably well’; they β€˜understand the business needs of each client, tailoring their advice accordingly’. The team is known for its expertise in the drinks, hospitality and leisure sector, acting for a wide array of clients including Premier Inn and Casual Dining Group, whose brands include CafΓ© Rouge, Bella Italia and Las Iguanas. The group also acts for a number of logistics companies, and continues to advise regional airports on day-to-day operations and transactional activity involving property. Practice head Valerie Warman β€˜has an incredibly thorough knowledge of the area’ and recently advised Advanced Computer Software Group on its lease of a new office space at The Mailbox in Birmingham. Shashi Chambers is advising Luton Airport on a number of retail and concession agreements.

Clients of SA Law LLP’s β€˜hardworking team’ cite its β€˜willingness to explain issues in a readily understandable manner’ and β€˜ability to assist and guide the client to obtain the best possible results’. The practice has strong expertise in real estate finance and property development, advising on high-value deals in the banking, charities, healthcare and media sectors. Examples of recent work include advising Uavend Norris Castle on its high-value acquisition of Norris Castle on the Isle of Wight, a purchase involving the historic building and 200 acres of surrounding land. The team also assisted Uavend Taymouth with its acquisition of Taymouth Castle in Scotland for redevelopment into a hotel and conference centre. The practice is co-headed by Steve Kenneford, who specialises in residential property matters, and Terence Ritchie, who is recommended for property finance.

Taylor Walton LLP is noted for its expertise in the retail and charity sectors, handling work related to shops and care premises nationwide. The team also advises a sizeable cross-sector client base on development work, site assembly, overage arrangements and security lending. Recent highlights include assisting Capita Business Services with its high-value acquisition of the National Agri-Food Innovation Campus and a subsequent sub-sale to Lloyds Bank, and advising a property investor on the Β£7m acquisition of a mixed-use property for development. Angela Thomas heads the practice and handles the full range of commercial property transactions. Dermot Carey is the other key figure, and is particularly active in the retail, industrial and office park sectors. Barnardo’s, The Entertainer and The Jarvis Group are all longstanding clients.

Woodfines LLP acts for lenders on high-value property transactions, and also advises on the development of residential and commercial property, site assembly, planning promotion agreements, waste management and construction matters. The team was recently bolstered with the arrival of Michael Roche, who specialises in commercial property transactions, from Breeze and Wyles Solicitors Limited. Other key figures include practice head Sylvia Goulding, who has a specialism in licensed premises and planning promotion agreements; James Cardwell, who is known for his expertise across the full range of development work; and Neil Gibbs, who handles environment-related work. Highlights included advising Parrott Development on the Β£5m sale of a large development site to a housing association.

At B P Collins LLP, key areas of specialism include environment, mining and minerals, retail and development work, and the firm also advises a broad range of international entities on their UK-based properties, assisting with acquisitions and disposals and landlord and tenant matters. Practice head Michael Larcombe handles all aspects of commercial property work and is notably strong in transactional matters; he is ably assisted by Alison Taylor, who is recommended for portfolio management and commercial lease transactions, particularly in the leisure, retail and environmental sectors. Active clients include The Original Bowling Company, Biffa Group and Wycombe District Council.

Sherrards Solicitors LLP acts for a broad mix of clients including retail and food outlets, fashion houses and recruitment companies. the team is also highly active in the leisure and healthcare sectors. Real estate finance is another area of strength; recent highlights include advising Svenska Handeslbanken on a Β£4m portfolio financing and new loan facility for 12 multi-tenanted properties, and assisted with a Β£2.6m share purchase of an investment property in London. In another highlight, the team advised food outlet Chop’d on its acquisition of three new premises and the re-gearing of letting documents in connection with two existing premises. Terry Fendt and Charles Hodder jointly head the practice in St Albans and London respectively. Asha Ngai is also a name to note.

VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards) acts for a range of estate managers, developers and investors on the full range of real estate and commercial property transactions, and is also strong in the property development space, assisting with site acquisition, planning and construction applications. Huw Morgan handles construction and engineering contracts in the health, education, energy and aerospace sectors. Other key figures include David Power, who acts for developers on all aspects of commercial, residential and mixed-use schemes; Joe Kwok, who handles investment property and real estate finance matters; and David Marsden, who has notable planning law expertise.

Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors LLP works closely with its construction group on all aspects of commercial property projects, development transactions and investment and funding matters. The team has strong real estate finance expertise and sits on the panels of several major international banks, advising on property financing provided to a broad range of borrowers. Department head Darren Millis acts for national and local property developers on financing deals, and also has substantial experience handling land acquisition work, conditional contracts and landlord and tenant matters. Richard Willis is the other key practitioner, and represents a range of charities, investors, developers and lenders on the full gamut of non-contentious property issues.

Hewitsons has recently advised on a number of housing development projects within Milton Keynes, and also handles land sales and acquisitions as well as financing work. The firm also bolstered its investment and landlord and tenant expertise through the hire of partner David Wells, who arrived from Tollers LLP in September 2016. Tim Richards heads the team, which includes Yvette Morgan, who handles public sector real estate, and Patricia Kempson, who advises on asset management and commercial development. In a recent highlight, the group acted for Delapre Abbey Preservation Trust (DAPT) on an agreement for a lease, a partnership agreement and various ancillary documentation regarding renovation work to Delapre Abbey in Northampton. The firm also advised Mansfield College Oxford on a teaching and student accommodation project.

Longmores Solicitors LLP’ β€˜pro-active and capable’ group β€˜always acts in a timely and professional manner’ and β€˜provides valuable support in complex processes’. Acting for a range of clients across the public and private sectors, the group handles the full spectrum of commercial property matters including investment sales and purchases, business leases and development site acquisitions. Partners Rachael Spalton and Stephen Stewart are β€˜approachable and easy to deal with, offering clients excellent advice from a technical perspective’; Spalton recently advised NJ Richards Project on its Β£1.3m purchase of a residential development site in Royston, and Stuart acted for Sybron (UK) on a leasehold acquisition of two adjoining units in Harlow from The Rockspring Hanover Property Unit Trust. Other active clients include Viking Self Storage Group, Svenska Handeslbanken and Pulse Healthcare.

Nockolds Solicitors attracts a range of investor, developer and occupier clients nationwide, and has a strong reputation in sale and purchase matters involving sites marked for residential and commercial development. The team also advises on site assembly, property disposal and planning and infrastructure agreements along with joint ventures, sustainable developments and the disposition of land for local authorities. Michael Talbot heads the commercial property team and specialises in high-value residential development; other key figures include transactional expert Andrew Fernandes and senior associate Elena Nicolaou, who has notable expertise in regeneration projects.

The β€˜responsive, knowledgeable and decisive’ group at Tees Law β€˜maintains a close link with its clients’, all of whom β€˜benefit from the consistency of the individuals allocated to each project’. The practice continues to receive repeat instructions from a number of regional developers, renewable energy companies, national breweries and local landowners, and also advises several notable banks on secured lending transactions for property purchase. David Miller heads the practice, and recently acted for a local landowner and an international bank on a Β£6m re-mortgage secured against two commercial sites. The other name to note is Govan Bramley, who specialises in strategic land agreements, mineral exploitation and energy projects.

Commercial property: Hampshire

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: Hampshire
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial property: Hampshire clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Blake Morgan LLP β€˜has always demonstrated the highest level of expertise, with good business acumen’. The team handles the full spectrum of commercial property matters including high-value plot development acquisitions, property disposals, contract negotiations and development matters. The firm advised Metro Bank on its store rollout programme, which involved advising the client on Β£11.8m-worth of freehold acquisitions. It also continued to assist Costa Coffee with asset management matters as well as site acquisition and refurbishment issues. Bellway Homes, Premier Inn and Premier Marinas are also on the client roster. Sean Palka and Christopher Dolan head the practice; they specialise in real estate matters and agriculture issues, respectively. Also recommended are commercial development and asset management expert Oliver Sowton, social housing specialist John Russell, waste management and business park development expert Andy Peck, and retail property specialist Alan Harlow. Senior associate Anna Larbi β€˜is very efficient, thorough, prompt and professional’. Mark Charter joined Thrings LLP.

Bond Dickinson LLP is well-known for advising clients in the retail sector on leasehold acquisitions, site development matters and relocation mandates; the team also handles property finance, infrastructure project matters and portfolio management. Highlights included advising Capital Industrial on its Β£80m acquisition of the Heston Airlinks industrial estate from SEGRO, and assisting Boxpark with the Boxpark Croydon development, which involved negotiations for the leasing of 35 shipping container units to be used as retail space. Other highlights included assisting the Crown Estate with coastal infrastructure development for the Hinkley Point C power station, including assisting with lease agreements, land acquisition matters and offshore infrastructure issues; and advising Specsavers on its development of a lens manufacturing facility in Kidderminster, including advising on the funding agreements and structuring the Β£12m transaction. The firm also specialises in advising on marine property matters including managing coastal property portfolios and international cable agreement matters. Other clients include Moorfield Group, Tristan Capital and Ladbrokes Coral. Tim Burbidge heads the practice and specialises in advising corporate occupiers and clients in the education sector. He is ably supported by property finance expert and retail property practice head Alistair Walton, senior counsel and marine real estate specialist Tim Baily, and real estate investment portfolio specialist William Akerman.

For some, Moore Blatch LLP is β€˜head and shoulders above the competition’. The firm has a fine reputation for freehold and leasehold acquisitions, plot developments and planning matters for commercial developers, lenders and banks. The firm advised Greenham Common Community Trust on the Β£5m sale of a leasehold interest to Nationwide, and assisted Drake & Morgan with on property issues arising from its acquisition of shares in Corney & Barrow Bars. It advised the same client on acquiring a lease for two Manchester venues. Relcap Developments, Foreman Homes and Churchill Retirement Living are also clients. Mike Wilson heads the real estate practice, which includes Luc Algar who is β€˜like a business partner for clients and always thinks of the long-term relationship’; land development expert Martin Duck; and land acquisition specialist Charles Cantoni. The firm saw two new partner hires in 2016: planning expert Bernard Ralph joined from GCL Solicitors (Gellhorn Cooney Laugharne), and property finance expert Lee Edwards joined from Irwin Mitchell.

The team at Clarke Willmott LLP β€˜is very efficient, commercial and has strength-in-depth’. The firm handles the full range of commercial property matters including high-value portfolio management, property refinancing matters and leasehold issues. The team assisted Sheet Anchor Evolve with its Β£17m acquisition of a leasehold for 40 retail units at the Erith shopping centre and advised Lendy on the refinancing of an Β£18m nine-property portfolio, with the deal involving nine separate refinancing matters. Other highlights included advising Farland Developments with its Β£50m acquisition of a 10-acre brownfield site in Nottingham’s city centre, including assisting with the joint venture agreement and initial planning stages. The practice also advised Aster Communities on its acquisition of 83 properties from a construction company. Fat Face, Castelnau Acquisitions and Coyne Group are also clients. Department head Peter Swinburn β€˜has a great approach to getting deals concluded’; he is an expert in property finance and portfolio management. Also recommended are property transactional specialist Andrew Cooper, who β€˜is a fantastic, pragmatic lawyer’, and Paul Hinett.

Coffin Mew LLP’s β€˜service is flexible and versatile, and is always able to cater to the client’s needs’. The firm continued to advise the Brighton West Pier Trust on the Brighton i360 project, which involved assisting with the funding and infrastructure agreements. In another highlight, the team assisted E-Crunch with securing a 10-year commercial lease for office premises in the Brighton area for Β£300,000 per annum. Its expertise also extends to land and site acquisitions, freehold and leasehold property disposals, and property finance. The firm also has specialist expertise advising on marine real estate matters and issues involving listed properties for commercial clients. Other clients include Santander, Crayfern Homes and TJ Transport. Practice head Nick Leavey is β€˜personable, thorough and knowledgeable’; he is well-versed in mixed-use commercial developments and public sector properties. Clients also single out Peter Fellows, who β€˜is a very good technical lawyer with a can-do approach’ and who focuses on property finance.

Lester Aldridge LLP β€˜consistently delivers a very high standard of service, even on the most contentious and complex of issues’; the team has β€˜high-calibre individuals with a vast breadth of experience and knowledge’. It frequently advises clients on high-value site acquisitions and divestments, portfolio management matters as well as freehold and leasehold management issues. The team has developed a specialty in advising clients on industrial estate acquisitions; highlights included assisting McCarthy & Stone with its Β£6.4m acquisition from Travis Perkins of the Churchfield industrial estate in Walton-on-Thames, including advising on the planning issues and infrastructure matters for the site. It also advised Norwich & Peterborough on multiple secured lending deals on commercial property venues, with an aggregate value of Β£50m. Other highlights included advising Lewis Investment on its several acquisitions of retail, office and leisure asset investments totalling Β£40m. Also on the client roster are Big Yellow, Care South and Bloor Homes. Practice head Matthew Barrow is β€˜flexible, practical and willing to negotiate’, with experience in commercial property financing and portfolio management. The team also includes development head Roger Woolley, who advises on development agreements and disposals.

Paris Smith LLP β€˜provides a service that feels in-house rather than being an external consultancy’. Often acting for developers, the firm regularly undertakes leasehold and freehold matters and property portfolio management. The team advised My Local Group on its disposal of 40 convenience stores following the client’s administration, as well as assisting Fat Face with the acquisition of its new warehouse located at Dunsbury Park from Portsmouth City Council. Other highlights included assisting Bargate Homes with multiple land development deal structures and subsequent acquisitions, including negotiating contracts and options for several sites; and advising Petchey Industrial Holdings with Β£10m-worth of leases for the client’s portfolio of commercial properties. Other clients include Hobbycraft, Associated British Ports and Alfred Homes. Mark Howarth heads the practice, which includes development specialist Joanne Spittles, who β€˜possesses a comprehensive knowledge of property matters’ and who was promoted to partner in February 2016. Rachel Saint β€˜is an exceptional team builder and always cognisant of the client’s nuances’. Estate management expert Tom Georgiou is also recommended.

The β€˜very quick and knowledgeable’ team at Shoosmiths LLP assists clients in the public, education and healthcare sectors on land and property acquisitions and divestments, leasehold agreements and planning matters. It is currently advising NATS on its acquisition of a 25-year lease for part of the Daedalus airfield in Hampshire, as well as on the installation of a new air traffic control training facility. The team is also acting for Almacantar Centre Point Investment on multiple pre-lettings for retail units in Centre Point. Other highlights included assisting OHD 1, a subsidiary of the Orchard Homes group, on the Β£4.4m divestment of its development site for a 72-apartment retirement home, as well as advising Lifeways Finance on is acquisition of four leasehold sites to be purposed as healthcare units, with a combined annual income of Β£510,000. Seaward Properties, Hamleys and IKEA Properties Investments are also clients. Joanne McGuinness heads the practice and is noted for her expertise in transport and infrastructure matters. Other key figures include senior associate Cara Beveridge, who is an expert in option agreements and site acquisitions, as well as β€˜first-class’ associate Jessica Ready, who specialises in portfolio management matters and investment issues.

Pitmans LLP β€˜provides commercial, pragmatic and effective advice delivered without fuss’. It undertakes the full spectrum of commercial property matters, including specialist knowledge in marine-related commercial property issues, portfolio management and land acquisition mandates. The firm advised Premier Marinas on its Β£15m acquisition of a site on the River Dart in Devon, including negotiations with the Duchy of Cornwall, and is continuing to assist Red Funnel Ferries with the Β£20m purchase and redevelopment of a site in East Cowes from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). Other highlights included advising Elatum on two acquisitions in the Southampton region: the Β£1.6m acquisition of Linden House and Β£4.2m proposed purchase of Norwich Union House. Other clients include Historic Hotels of Sussex, Mildren Homes and The Wilton Carpet Factory. Nick Todd β€˜is very responsive, technically good and very thorough’, and John Newton’s β€˜attention to detail is excellent’.

The β€˜consistently excellent’ team at Trethowans LLP frequently handles a full range of commercial property matters including leasehold and freehold negotiations, acquisitions and divestments of properties, and development mandates. Its transactional expertise extends to secured lending finance as well as advising lenders on commercial property issues. Highlights included undertaking negotiations for commercial leases in the South as well as nationally, advising on land options, and assisting with high-value site acquisitions. Its client base includes Lloyds Bank, Sippchoice Trustees and Stannah Lifts Holdings. Property finance expert Paul Longman, who β€˜is a highly experienced and knowledgeable commercial property lawyer’, heads the practice in Southampton, which includes Elizabeth Bryson, who joined the team from Warner Goodman LLP and is noted for her development expertise.

At Dutton Gregory LLP, β€˜the service clients receive is generally excellent in terms of responsiveness, support, professionalism and expertise’. In 2016 the firm assisted Countrywide Estate Agents with its portfolio managements, and advised Caxton Properties on its Β£9m acquisition of Havelock Chambers in Southampton. Other clients include Remarkable Group, Rawlings Opticians and Saftdwin. Department head Alan Sydney β€˜is fastidious and knowledgeable, but also commercial’; he specialises in commercial property investment work. Other key figures include retail and leisure sector expert Denise Bull, who β€˜has a pragmatic and practical view of how to get things done in a cost-effective manner’, and commercial lease specialist Richard Brown who β€˜is clear and concise in his communication’.

The β€˜friendly and efficient’ team at Irwin Mitchell frequently advises lenders and developers on property refinancing matters, property acquisitions and divestments, and leasehold agreements. Clients include Micheldever Tyre Services, Santander and NatWest. The β€˜quick and efficient’ David Fanchi heads the department and is an expert in property financing. He is ably supported by Philip Gray, who focuses on corporate occupier matters, and Tina Webster, who β€˜has sound knowledge of development disputes and agreements’. Lee Edwards left the firm in December 2016 to join Moore Blatch LLP and Biddy Walker retired in April 2016.

Phillips Solicitors assists clients with lease negotiations, land and development acquisitions and divestments, and portfolio management matters. The team, which is based in Basingstoke, advised Hampshire Investments (Developments) and Lamedes on multiple commercial property acquisitions, as well as assisting Centerprise International with purchasing a commercial site in Solihull. Another highlight included assisting Portsmouth Estates with commercial property investments, divestments and acquisitions. Other clients are in the retail, IT and naval sectors. Jonathan Pender is the director of the firm and is experienced in development matters.

Commercial property: Essex

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: Essex
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial property: Essex clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


The commercial property team at Birketts LLP in Chelmsford supports commercial developers/housebuilders and investors, as well as corporate clients, landlords and tenants, with work such as site acquisitions, option and promotion agreements, leases and disposals. Head of team Grace Kerr gained deeper expertise regarding investment property and receives regular instructions on the acquisition, disposal and management thereof. She also advises landowners on collaboration arrangements, joint ventures and various types of agreements, while legal director Steven Kay focuses on representing national housebuilders in their portfolio and corporate transactions as well as strategic land issues such as land assemblies and agreements. The third key member is legal director Duncan Williamson, who handles property developments, the property elements of corporate transactions, finance and commercial landlord and tenant matters. The team also includes seven other lawyers, such as solicitor Chris Milner, who assists Kay on site transactions.

The β€˜excellent’ commercial property practice at Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP is β€˜forward-thinking and positive’. The β€˜responsive and efficient’ Ellen Petersen leads a team of eight additional members in Colchester and Chelmsford, which handles developments and transactions in the healthcare, agricultural, finance, investment and transport sectors. Chris Jones advises developers on corporate transactions and agreements and has particular expertise in residential leasing, while Ashton Carter focuses on commercial transactions, reorganisations, leases, finance matters and charity clients. Leah Groves specialises in healthcare transactions, such as dental practices, while solicitor Leon Pascal advises on option grants, leases and portfolio transactions. Senior planner Sharon Smith joined the Colchester office from LSR Solicitors and Planning Consultants in November 2016 and works on site appraisals and planning applications and appeals, as well as matters related to listed buildings.

The commercial property department at Wortley Byers LLP is recommended especially for its β€˜prompt, attentive service’ (with β€˜response times that were quicker than expected’), β€˜thoroughness’, β€˜clarity in response’ and a β€˜professionalism that starts at the door’. The team has expertise in property development, development finance, property management, funding, investment acquisitions and tenancy aspects. All team members also work on property conveyancing. Head of commercial property Aaron Cane provides β€˜superb knowledge’ and has a β€˜practical attitude, sound commercial approach and exceptional dedication to customer service’. Additionally recommended are the β€˜efficient’ Jane Winfield, whose β€˜first-rate service regarding leases’ is conducted with β€˜enthusiasm’ and a β€˜professional approach’, as well as the β€˜clear and concise’ Laura Harrison, who is β€˜easily accessible’ and was promoted to associate in 2016. Property conveyancing and finance lawyer David Grainger has β€˜attention to detail’ and the ability to β€˜come up with alternative ideas’. Solicitor Tom Moulsdale joined from an East Kent firm in November 2016. Countrywide Assured Group, Woodland Global, Florey Investments and William Thompson Homes form part of the practice’s client base.

Birkett Long LLP’s commercial property team in Colchester, Chelmsford and Basildon provides β€˜good, straightforward advice’ in development, construction, investment and secured lending, with a particular focus on the education, healthcare and environmental industries. The latter is a focus of David Rayner. Clients include authorities and public institutions as well as private companies, partnerships, charities and individuals, with examples including Braintree District Council, Healthcare Homes, Svenska Handelsbanken, University of Essex, and Wilkin & Sons. Head of commercial real estate Melanie Bache acts on leases, landlord and tenant matters and transactions, and is profoundly experienced in representing healthcare businesses and charities as well as handling stamp duty land tax transactions, while Justin Stock handles property developments, commercial transactions and secured lending. The β€˜approachable and quick-to-respond’ associate Emma Wraight, who represented Colchester Institute during the partial sale of its college estate to Braintree Council, is recommended. Amanda Timcke joined Birketts LLP.

The commercial property department at Ellisons Solicitors advises on site and investment property transactions, leases, secured lending as well as landlord and tenant matters. Toby Kramers has further expertise in auction sales and purchases. Guy Longhurst advised a private client on the Β£4m refinancing of his property portfolio by Handelsbanken, while Philip Roberts advised a lending institution on an approximate Β£3m secured loan to an individual who purchased a share in a vineyard partnership as well as a related agreement on the letting of vines. Together with associate Louise Harrison, Longhurst also assisted Greyread with the acquisition and final plot sales of a site which contained listed building issues. Another highlight for Roberts was the acquisition of an office site for Crown House Homes and its subsequent residential development, with a total value of Β£6m. Other active clients are DSV Group Companies, RBS and East of England Co-op.

Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors’s commercial property practice gives advice on transactions (including VAT and stamp duty), leases, investment, property management, secured lending, site assembly and planning. Local clients stem from both the public sector (authorities and housing associations) and private sector (developers, property owners, institutional investors, banks and landlords and tenants). Team lead Nicholas Evans, Jonathan Clarke, consultant Stephen Tetlow and associate Hannah Collins are the key names. Tetlow is also experienced in mortgage cases, while Collins handles portfolio financing, block transactions for blue-chip companies and estate management. Evans recently advised on the acquisition of an industrial development plot, which included right-of-way issues. Together with Collins, he also assisted various clients with the disposal of trust assets in the shape of office and retail premises in London. Volker Wessels UK, FE Good Properties and Handelsbanken are active clients.

The β€˜highly respected’ commercial property department at Holmes & Hills delivers β€˜excellent service’ regarding options, promotions, overage, cooperation and joint venture agreements as well as conditional sales contracts and foreshore work, with its lawyers being β€˜tenacious on their clients’ behalf’ as well as β€˜attentive and responsive to their needs’. The client spectrum ranges from developers, agricultural businesses and landowners to retail franchise operators, private businesses and housing associations. In addition to team lead Rebecca Mason, clients recommend the β€˜very experienced and understanding’ consultant Michael Wright, who β€˜goes the extra mile’, as well as the β€˜excellent commercial property and conveyancing’ solicitor Philippa Jerram. Wendy Martin (β€˜thorough, realistic and highly commercial’) was promoted to associate in 2016 and, while dealing with all types of commercial property cases, specialises in landlord and tenant matters. Baljeet Kaur left for Wortley Byers LLP in February 2016. Prime Crest Homes and Larch Housing Association were new clients in 2016, while Honace Developments and Child’s Play Day Nursery remained active.

The commercial property practice at Jefferies Essex LLP in Southend-on-Sea focuses on transactions and the representation of developers and commercial businesses. Mark Hidveghy advises on high-value transactions relating to offices, retail premises and hotels, while the β€˜conscientious and hardworking’ Katrina Holland specialises in commercial leases and development land transactions. The team also comprises consultant Alan Gershlick, associate Amelia Hayes (who is instructed by corporations, developers and investors), and residential acquisition solicitor Callie Tuplin.

Mullis & Peake LLP’s commercial property practice in Romford is most experienced in development site transactions, landlord and tenant issues as well as residential estate management, and represents clients across the public and private spectrum, including individuals, companies, developers, institutions and national housebuilders. Associate solicitor Joanne Wood - who advises on landlord and tenant matters and development unit sales - leads the practice, while Andrew Fidler handles site and unit transactions, statutory agreements and the conversion of schools to academy status. He recently advised Argall Properties on co-operation and development agreements with a housing association and also on the sale of an industrial estate worth Β£9m. Wood represented Handelsbanken in the refinancing of a 71-property portfolio. Newly qualified solicitor Rachel Crapnell, who specialises in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement, handled the related leasehold checks and paperwork on this matter. Chairman Peter Connell focuses on matters concerning landlords and tenants as well as commercial investors.

The β€˜long-experienced’ commercial property department at Palmers in Basildon stands out for its β€˜excellent service levels’, resulting in β€˜promptness, efficiency, responsiveness and comprehension’. The team has a special understanding of the construction, engineering and industrial development industries, but also assist the educational, medical, farming and logistics sectors, as well as pension schemes that invest in the market. β€˜Wise’ practice head Carey Jacobs β€˜takes time to understand requirements and is often able to offer a choice of solutions’, dealing with lease negotiations, site assembly, conditional contracts, overage agreements and urgent transactions. Non-contentious construction lawyer Maisie Yau, who was promoted to associate in August 2016, is highly recommended for being β€˜very knowledgeable, thorough, communicative and incredibly diplomatic’ and for her ability to β€˜work towards very demanding deadlines’. She also advises on development agreements, landlord and tenant matters, freehold transactions, refinancing, property management and investments. Recent highlights include Jacobs and Yau advising a construction company on site acquisitions, lease renewals and contract drafting with a total value of Β£4.1m.

Paul Robinson Solicitors LLP’s commercial property department is based in Westcliff-on-Sea and Billericay and comprises seven team members, focusing on transactions involving development sites, care homes, hotels, public houses and fishing lakes, as well as car dealerships. Andrew McClintock leads the property team, with Sam Robinson specialising in transactions for developers, investors, lenders and borrowers. Wendy Cole advises on conveyancing, development planning and transactions regarding development sites as well as freehold and leasehold properties. Mark Deans also specialises in conveyancing, while associate solicitor Rosanna Clarke focuses on lease work, shared-equity transactions, property finance and development transactions.

The commercial property department at β€˜longstanding local firm’ Pinney Talfourd LLP in Brentwood is β€˜very professional, efficient, effective and fast to respond’, providing β€˜an excellent blend of big- and small-firm mentality and high-quality staff’. The β€˜prompt and efficient’ practice head Julien Pritchard β€˜has very good knowledge of all matters concerning landlords and tenants’, β€˜prioritises well’ and β€˜ensures that clients are on the front foot in every scenario’. Apart from specialist expertise in telecoms leases, he also advises on freehold and leasehold transactions as well as licences, easements and options agreements, finance and lending. The team also includes senior associates Keeley Miller, who has β€˜a good work ethic’, β€˜great negotiation skills’ and is β€˜highly professional and knowledgeable’. Pritchard advised a freehold property owner on the grant of Β£5.3m 15-year warehouse lease, including negotiations with the tenants. Together with Miller, he also represented a construction company in the acquisition, financing and leasing of a commercial property.

The commercial property practice at Prettys in Chelmsford undertakes development agreement work, funding matters (for borrowers and banks), transactions and investments, representing corporate clients, developers, investors and banks. Solicitor Lauren Philpot also handles transactions. Craig Marshall additionally represents clients in property disputes, as does Michael Large, who specialises exclusively in this area. Ross Wiltshire joined Ellisons Solicitors.

Tees Law’s commercial property team β€˜provides a first-class, professional and prompt service’ in transactions, development work, leases and telecoms contracts. The β€˜very approachable, meticulous and thorough’ team lead Graeme Atkinson in Chelmsford advised two local landowners and a golf club owner on separate promotion agreements and also supported a company regarding a potential development site in Mid Bedfordshire. Saffron Waldon-based Mark Carter has a β€˜wide breadth and depth of legal knowledge’ and was instructed by an insurance client in the acquisition of a holiday park and also assisted a farming partnership in the disposal of two farms worth Β£6m. Active clients include Chelmsford Star Co-op, Chelmer Housing Partnership, Northumbrian Water and JMW Properties.

In commercial property, the β€˜very capable’ firm Thompson Smith and Puxon has β€˜an excellent team of top-flight lawyers providing proactive advice’, β€˜specialist knowledge’ and is commended for β€˜dealing with matters in a timely and upmost professional manner’. The β€˜incredibly thorough’ team lead Stephen Firmin and associate solicitor Kerry Addison specialise in development and agricultural matters, supporting landowners, developers, housing associations as well as landlords and tenants regarding site transactions, land refinancing, agricultural tenancy, leases, and strategic land planning during rural housing projects. Commercial businesses are other clients, which the team advises on their property assets. Addison is recommended for her β€˜excellent ability to structure development deals and her holistic advice’; she is β€˜very practical, realistic as well as tenacious and patient in negotiations’. The third team member is solicitor Mark Rowlands, who handles commercial property transactions and leases as well as other matters in this field.


Index of tables

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

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Construction clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Blake Morgan LLP’s well-regarded construction practice attracts praise for its β€˜excellent response times and specialist knowledge’. The team advises a range of public and private sector clients on the full scope of issues associated with construction projects. The team has a solid reputation in the retail and leisure, energy, health and local government sectors, and regularly advises London-based clients through its Oxford and Southampton offices. The firm recently acted for Bouygues UK on a logistical reconfiguration of its supply chain following its acquisition of Leadbitter Construction and Denne Construction. Other highlights included advising Victoria Quay Estate on the proposed development of a site on the Isle of Wight, which is set to include onshore residential, leisure and retail space. Richard Wade heads the practice, which includes key figures James Bessey and Catherine Melis.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’ β€˜first-class’ practice provides β€˜consistently high levels of service’; overall the team is β€˜responsive, pragmatic and willing to work closely with the client to meet their requirements’. The firm undertakes a significant amount of construction and engineering work for high-profile companies and high-net-worth individuals, and is particularly strong in the healthcare, transport, energy and charities sectors. Practice head David Savage is β€˜an extremely knowledgeable lawyer’ who β€˜has a broad range of experience in construction matters, which he is able to bring to bear in a very effective way’; Savage recently advised the Ministry of Transport & Telecommunications in Bahrain on a procurement strategy for the Bahrain Airport Modernisation project, a redevelopment valued at $1bn.

Dentons has β€˜a strong offering in the areas of infrastructure and construction’, providing β€˜in-depth industry knowledge and high-quality advice’ to a wide-ranging client base. The team is notably strong in construction disputes, and also receives a steady stream of non-contentious work from the retail, rail, development finance and high-end residential sectors. Highlights included representing Civicon Africa Group in a $72m dispute concerning the construction of a gas extraction barge in Rwanda, and advising Galliford Try Building in a Β£17m project for the construction of a hotel and spa at a UNESCO World Heritage site. Key figures include Akin Akinbode and the β€˜tenacious’ Gurbinder Grewal, who β€˜has an encyclopaedic knowledge of construction law’ and β€˜never loses focus of the client’s commercial objectives’.

Sheridan Gold LLP is β€˜an excellent niche construction practice’ that is praised for its β€˜hands-on involvement every step of the way’. The firm exclusively handles construction and engineering work for a client base comprising domestic and international developers, contractors and consultants. Founding partners Peter Sheridan and Jonathan Gold are β€˜talented lawyers who have considerable experience in their sector; they bring a thoughtful and pragmatic approach to each matter’. Sheridan specialises in PFI disputes related to waste and recycling, and Gold acts for contractors and sub-contractors in adjudications, arbitrations and Technology and Construction Court cases. Key active clients include BAM Nuttall, Readie Construction and Willmott Dixon.

Clients of Brachers praise its β€˜excellent backup in contentious matters’. The firm has recently handled a number of disputes for healthcare and education sector clients. Michael Janney heads the practice and specialises in contentious construction matters, advising on risk management, as well as handling adjudication and alternative dispute resolution. Commercial litigation head Michael Oatham is the other key figure.

Clarkslegal LLP regularly handles major procurement and project contracts, joint ventures and dispute resolution, for a range of new and longstanding clients including Carillion Construction, Stanton Williams and the University of Reading. The firm the last client’s estates and facilities department regarding several major projects, including the design and construction of an M4 motorway overbridge, a relief road and a roundabout. The β€˜practical and knowledgeable’ David Rintoul is acting for Randall Watts London on a Β£23m housing development financed by Pluto Finance, which consists of 280 private and shared ownership apartments. Dispute resolution partner Antony Morris is the other key figure.

Cripps LLP has a notable specialism in regeneration and urban renewal projects, and also handles a strong mix of banking, transactional and contentious work in the real estate sector. Recent highlights include advising Slough Borough Council on a major regeneration project procured in partnership with Morgan Sindall, as well as on a flagship development across Slough town centre. It is also handling a dispute with a contractor related to defects and incomplete work related to the Β£1.5m refurbishment of a community centre. Andrew Harbourne heads the construction practice and specialises in contentious property development matters. Nitej Davda advises on a range of construction projects, his key clients including Crossrail and Liberty Property Trust.

The team at Hewitsons is praised for its β€˜very sound industry knowledge’ and for its ability to provide β€˜efficient responses in good time’. The practice receives a steady stream of construction project mandates, advising a mix of contractors, developers and consultants on the full range of contentious and non-contentious construction matters. The firm is notably active in the education, charities and investor sectors, and recently advised Culford School on the drafting of contracts for the construction of a hockey pitch and tennis court. Tim Richards heads the practice, which includes Colin Jones, who advises UK-based and European clients on all aspects of procurement law. Senior associate Lorna Carter is the other name to note.

IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett) provides β€˜an impressive level of service’, combining β€˜strong strategic input along with advice on commercial risk at all stages of the process’. The group has strong expertise in the commercial real estate sector, and has a strong reputation for its work for housebuilder, contractor and developer clients in energy service company-related transactions, joint venture agreements and major construction projects. The β€˜focused and practical’ Paul Brampton heads the department, and recently advised Aviva on the redevelopment of St Helen’s Square in the City of London. The team also acted for Optimise (Water) in a payment dispute regarding SCADA monitoring at several hundred waste water engineering sites across the UK.

For some, Irwin Mitchell is β€˜an exceptionally strong performer in the construction space’. The β€˜talented team’ provides β€˜good solutions’ and β€˜deals succinctly with complex matters’, with a strong reputation in the education sector. It also handles a high volume of non-contentious instructions in relation to development projects, procurement and engineering-related insurance. In a recent highlight, the team acted for Lambeth College in connection with a transaction with the Education Funding Agency, which will fund the renovation of an education campus in central London. Practice head Mark Clinton has β€˜great legal and commercial instincts’, and has significant experience dealing with construction disputes across the energy, retail, waste management and infrastructure sectors, among others.

Stevens & Bolton LLP’s team is noted for its β€˜quick responses’ and for its ability to provide clients with β€˜a range of different options and approaches’. The practice has been notably active in the healthcare, leisure and high-end residential sectors, advising on every stage of the construction project lifecycle along with procurement, development agreements and funding arrangements. Recent work includes reviewing a range of contracts on behalf of SAB Miller Procurement, negotiating a development agreement for the purchase of land for a major logistics business, and assisting Shanly Homes with two adjudications related to subcontractor accounts. Practice head and chartered engineer Stephen Rockhill β€˜understands the industry very well’ and advises on both contentious and non-contentious construction matters.

Birkett Long LLP’s β€˜excellent’ team has β€˜a huge knowledge of processes and procedures’, and is β€˜always able to provide efficient contributions to problems’. The group advises on standard form contracts, development agreements and bonds and guarantees, while its contentious strength extends to handling adjudications, mediation and arbitration along with litigation at the Technology and Construction Court. The practice recently advised Langham Facilities on several contracts and sub-contracts for the development of Sky Gardens in London, and acted for Stonechart Property on various purchase agreements. Peter Allen heads the construction team, which includes Keith Songhurst, who focuses on contentious issues, and David Rayner, who advises on development land and environmental matters.

Clients of Bond Dickinson LLP single out the construction team’s β€˜professional and timely advice’ and β€˜excellent breadth of knowledge’, which β€˜compares very favourably with City firms offering the same services’. Senior associate Ben Willis (β€˜very hands-on with great sector knowledge’) recently acted for the Church Commissioners for England on the Β£25m construction of a purpose-built building to be used for the housing of the archives of the Church of England. The group also advised Faithdean on several construction contracts for refurbishment, office fit-outs, demolition and extension works. Simon Lewis heads the department and is ably assisted by associate Amy Hodge, who handles the full range of non-contentious matters.

The β€˜experienced and capable’ team at EMW Law LLP β€˜takes the time to learn the client’s business inside out’. Highlights included advising 21 Construction on the Β£15m refurbishment and reconstruction of an office development in London, assisting Adobe Systems Europe with a two-floor lease in the White Collar Factory building, and acting for TXM Plant on the instillation of a section of railway in Docklands, London. Key figures include practice head Michael Chilton, who advises on non-contentious matters, and Derryn Rolfe, who has strong expertise in both construction and engineering law and advises a mix of developers, end users and professionals across a broad range of sectors.

Gullands Solicitors acts for a range of developers, contractors and sub-contractors, architects and construction professionals on the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious construction matters. In a recent highlight, the group defended Carringwood in an adjudication claim regarding a contract for the construction of 16 residential units, where the contractor claimed costs for extensions of time and variations. The practice also acted for Birkby Construction in two adjudications regarding a sub-contract for fit-out works at Old Lodge Place in Twickenham, where a jurisdictional challenge was issued. David Brown heads the department and has strong experience in handling disputes before the Technology & Construction Court (TCC). Health and safety law specialist Andrew Clarke is also recommended.

Mundays LLP advises developers, tenants, lenders and contractors throughout the project lifecycle, and maintains a strong client base of corporate and high net-worth clients across the South East region. Key figures include practice head Pippa Beesley, who focuses on residential and commercial developments; Joseph Kean, who has strong experience in all areas of dispute resolution; and Kevin Healy, who advises on land acquisitions, development agreements and joint ventures. Vision Engineering is an active client.

Pitmans LLP is noted for its expertise in marine engineering matters, and also advises clients in the hotels, design and leisure sectors on the full range of construction matters including site acquisition, planning, procurement and disputes. The group recently advised Merlion Housing Association on its Β£4.5m purchase of a floor on the landmark development in Ashford, The Panorama. It is also representing Soveper LDA in a dispute concerning the mobilisation of a dredger across the Atlantic, along with the removal of gravel and rock material. David Gwillim is the leading figure and has a strong breadth of experience in the construction and engineering sectors both domestically and abroad. Other key clients include Oxford Homes, Ridgeway Group and Frazer-Nash Research.

Birketts LLP’s notable clients include Direct Electrics South, Dean Street Developments and Wes Futures; the firm recently acted for the last client in an adjudication against Allen Wilson Construction, a matter related to unpaid sums for works carries out at a building on the Strand. Key practitioners include practice head Andrew Rush, who acts for a range of funders, developers, public sector bodies and contractors; Ruth Sunaway, who has notable experience in handling high-value claims at the Technology and Construction Court; and Stefan Harris-Wright, who advises on bespoke forms of contract. Senior associate Carolyn Porter is also recommended, and has represented clients in disputes regarding payment recovery, time extension, loss of expenses and defects.

Boyes Turner has an extensive track record handling the preparation, negotiation and completion of professional appointments, building contracts, collateral warranties and bonds and guarantees, and also has considerable experience in all forms of construction-related dispute resolution. Led by senior associate Rowan Turrall, the group recently acted for a homeowner in a dispute with their household insurers following a failure to rebuild the client’s home to a satisfactory standard, and is advising a developer in a liquidated damages claim. Consultant John Starr recently advised a contractor on a loss of profit claim following a breach of contract by their employer, successfully resolving the matter at adjudication and before the High Court.

BrookStreet des Roches fields a β€˜strong’ team that brings β€˜a multitude of specialities’ to the table, wrapping them in an ability to β€˜explain complicated construction and planning issues in layman terms’. The practice primarily handles commercial property development, assisting with procurement, construction contracts and maintenance and framework agreements related to projects across the Thames Valley and nationwide. Highlights included acting for MEPC on a pre-let to Adaptimmune Therapeutics, which aims to expand its global headquarters with a new purpose-built laboratory in Milton Keynes. Practice head Joe Bellhouse has strong construction and engineering sector experience, and has advised on a number of electricity generation projects. Solicitor Ben Denton is the other name to note.

Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors LLP’s areas of specialism include development site acquisition, planning queries, construction contracts and collateral warranties, bonds and guarantees. The team acts for a sizeable client base of developers, housebuilders and sub-contractors in the Milton Keynes area, and is increasingly advising on complex construction and development projects. The practice is also strong in all areas of dispute resolution, representing its clients in adjudication, mediation and arbitration. Richard Millard is the leading practitioner and specialises in commercial disputes, and Darren Millis is recommended for his property expertise.

Howes Percival LLP has substantial experience in both contentious and non-contentious construction matters, with notable expertise in property development, financing, investment and construction insolvency. The team continued to advise Turnstone on the construction aspects of its Development Funding Agreement, which was negotiated with Phoenix Life, and was also instructed by Barwood Capital on its construction documents for a series of future developments across Milton Keynes, Birmingham and Cambridge. Practice head Philippa Hebbard specialises in non-contentious construction matters, and consultant Doug Masson is the key contact for dispute resolution.

Palmers’ β€˜excellent’ team is praised for its ability to deal with all types of construction disputes, from adjudications to litigation and arbitration, and β€˜provides efficient advice at all stages of the dispute resolution process’. The firm is continuing to act for a high net-worth individual in a multi-party dispute at the TCC related to construction of a leisure building. Other highlights included representing a defendant in a dispute concerning an application of a bespoke insulated render system. Practice head Adam Davis is β€˜an impressive lawyer who is keen on reducing the risks of litigation whilst also pushing hard for the clients’ objectives’. He is ably assisted by Maisie Yau and the β€˜capable and efficient’ Jack Swadling.

Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP advises a range of construction companies, subcontractors and developers on contested payment applications, defects claims, adjudications and court proceedings. In a recent highlight, the group represented a client in a dispute with a building owner regarding a loft conversion project, seeking costs for complete demolition and rebuilding. Department head Francis Wallace has strong experience in commercial disputes, often involving cross-border elements, and key partner Alistair Rustemeyer is noted for his marine sector specialism.

The β€˜experienced and capable’ team at Thomson Snell & Passmore provides the full range of project-related construction services including project documentation, ancillary support and dispute resolution. Clients include a mix of developers, funders, contractors and professional consultants; Avenue Building Company, Kentish Projects, RBS and Svenska Handeslbanken are all key names. Chris Whittington heads the team and has substantial experience handling non-contentious construction matters, advising on procurement methods and drafting, collateral warranties, bonds and other assorted documentation. Senior associate Chris Kirby-Turner is the other name to note and specialises in multi-party TCC claims. Highlights included advising an Italian installer of high-end kitchens on the construction of its flagship London showroom.


Index of tables

  1. Environment
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Environment clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


According to its clients, B P Collins LLP β€˜deservedly enjoys a national reputation in this area’, and fields a team that is β€˜a great champion of effective and efficient solutions, delivering the best results for its clients in a measured, professional and cost-effective manner’. The practice is best known for its expertise in the waste management sector, and is currently advising the Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) on the possible impact of Brexit on the industry. In other highlights, the group acted for Biffa on its Β£5m acquisition of the business and assets of Blakeley’s Recycling, a local business based in the North West, and advised the same client on it Β£13.5m purchase of Cory Environmental Municipal Services (CEMS). Practice head Alex Zachary has strong recycling sector expertise, and regularly handles M&A activity, procurement and commercial and compliance issues. Other key figures include transactional lawyer David Smellie; commercial property expert Michael Larcombe; and Alison Taylor, who advises on sales, acquisitions and portfolio management.

DMH Stallard LLP’s β€˜highly responsive’ team is β€˜intelligent, knowledgeable and very pragmatic in its approach, providing excellent value for money’. Key areas of focus include the renewables and waste sectors, environmental litigation, water infrastructure agreements and environmental impact assessment. The practice has also seen a growth in instructions related to sustainable drainage and flooding. Recent work includes acting for Crest Nicholson and Countryside Properties in a number of infrastructure matters, and advising Newhaven Port & Properties on planning and environmental issues in relation to a new berth and land development area, a matter involving significant ecological mitigation measures. Heidi Copland leads the multi-disciplinary team and has a strong track record in development and regeneration projects. Associate Gemma Penny advises local planning authorities and housebuilders on section 106 agreements.

Penningtons Manches LLP focuses on the waste management, contaminated land and habitat protection sectors, and regularly advises on European environmental law alongside developing UK policy. Recent work includes advising Coats Plc, an industrial thread and consumer textile business, on its collaboration agreement with Nottingham City in relation to the environmental clean-up of a heavily contaminated industrial site. The group also acted for two individual property investors in negotiations for a new Frimley-based petrol station lease to Esso, a site with a history of contamination and leakages from its underground storage tanks. Practice head Richard Smith advises on the full range of environmental law matters including consummated land liabilities, legal compliance, planning policy and the Habitats Directive. Senior associate Emma Davies is the other key figure; she specialises in regulatory compliance matters. EDF Energy Nuclear Generation, Frontier Estates and Greensphere are also clients.

The β€˜commercially minded’ team at Blandy & Blandy LLP is β€˜well known in the region’ and is β€˜particularly strong on environmental issues that intersect with planning law’. The practice advises on Environmental Impact Assessments, remediation and contaminated land issues, environmental due diligence and warranties and indemnities. The firm’s lawyers also have strong expertise in handling waste regulation matters, defending prosecutions for various clients including landed estates and waste disposal companies. Planning and environment law solicitor Karen Jones heads the department and has notable expertise in nature and conservation law. Simon Dimmick is the other name to note; he advises on strategic planning projects in the local area. Clients have included the University of Reading, London Irish Rugby Club, Lloyds Bank and Englefield Estate.

Cripps LLP handles ecological and environmental issues arising from large-scale developments, as well as Environmental Impact Assessments, contaminated land issues and associated judicial reviews. Recent work includes acting for Liberty Property Trust on a planning agreement for its new mixed-use community in North Horsham; assisting Wates Developments with a section 106 agreement to secure planning permission for 86 new homes; and advising Trenport Investments on a revised planning application at Eurolink V in Sittingbourne. Practice head Jason Towell specialises in residential development matters, acting for housebuilders on various high-profile developments. He is assisted by Philip Youdan, who advises clients on environmental prosecutions, and is noted for his efforts to minimise the risks of enforcement actions and limit damages penalties. Other active clients include ARG Renewables, Persimmon Homes and Slough Borough Council.

Stevens & Bolton LLP’s wide-ranging practice has β€˜a superb level of expertise in the field’ and provides β€˜a great level of service and ongoing support to its clients’. The firm advises on environmental liabilities claims and insurance policies, climate change law, flood risk and environmental permitting, and also handles the environmental aspects of regional and multinational transactions. The team continues to advise WWF-UK on environmental issues arising from its offshore oil and gas operations in the Arctic, and has advised a range of corporate clients on the environmental issues arising from various real estate transactions. Practice head Catherine Davey specialises in environment and planning law, and Valerie Fogleman advises on climate change, environmental insurance and health and safety law. Other key clients include XL Catlin, The BOC Group and Accord Healthcare.

Clients of Birkett Long LLP cite its β€˜great overall level of service’, with β€˜typically good response times and a solid knowledge of the environment within which the client works’. The firm’s wide-ranging experience covers contamination, water pollution, permitting and nuisance and waste issues, and has also received strong mandates in areas of sustainability, renewable energy and climate change. Highlights included advising Vaizey and Waterer Trustees on a promotion agreement entered into with a developer, and acting for a solar farm operator taking agreements for lease from landowners, then subsequently selling the investment interest in the company. Key figures include practice head David Rayner, who handles property, corporate and banking matters, and transactional lawyer Tracey Dickens, whose β€˜highly professional approach enables transactions to be completed within a reasonable timescale’.

Blake Morgan LLP is particularly strong in environmental litigation, regularly defending clients in the full range of regulatory actions including prosecutions, investigations, enforcement actions and nuisance abatement notices. The firm is also strong on the transactional side, advising on the full scope of environmental matters associated with mergers, acquisitions and disposals. John Mitchell is the key figure.

Recent work for Brachers includes handling a number of criminal prosecutions under environmental legislation, and assisting with environmental issues arising from corporate and property transactions. Practice head Lee May advises on the full range of civil and criminal matters involving environmental and planning law, with an emphasis on waste-related issues. Notable work included advising a range of clients on the contaminated land regime, and on warranty and indemnity negotiation.

Clarkslegal LLP is noted for its expertise in the field of carbon trading, and the environmental finance practice regularly advises on carbon credit projects. Waste management is another key strength, as are sustainable infrastructure projects and environmental audits. The firm has a strong client base of local authorities, and recently advised a number of city councils on a substantial procurement for a food waste treatment contract, which will result in the generation of renewable energy; the team also advised on procurement strategy, tender documentation and various sub-contracts arising from the subsequent procurement of residual waste treatment services. Senior consultant Kirstin Parker is the key practitioner, with an emphasis on large-scale projects, PPP matters and environmental law.

Shoosmiths LLP’s workload encompasses environmental due diligence, risk management and apportionment of environmental liabilities, as well as compliance advice and contentious environmental matters. Highlights included advising China General Nuclear Power Corporation on the environmental aspects of its potential investment into the UK’s new nuclear regime, a matter involving the development of three new nuclear power stations at Hinkley Point in Somerset. The group also acted for St Modwen Developments on its agreement with the Secretary of State for Transport regarding historic liabilities at a site in Birmingham, which is being acquired for the HS2 High Speed Rail project. The practice is headed by Charles Arrand, who specialises in regulatory criminal investigations, prosecutions and other enforcement actions. Philip Ryan specialises in compliance and criminal defence and is also recommended.


Index of tables

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

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Planning clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


β€˜Excellent planning firm’ Blake Morgan LLP β€˜has a great reputation in the field’, and has recently expanded its profile in the public sector with the addition of clients such as the Welsh government, Milford Haven Port Authority and Swansea City Council. The firm also continues to be strong in the residential sector, advising on both contentious and non-contentious issues including judicial reviews and High Court appeals. Recent highlights include acting for Cooper Estates Strategic Land in a High Court appeal against Wokingham Borough Council concerning refused planning permission for a major housing development, and advising Telereal Services on a range of matters with regards to a residential unit scheme in Ealing. The β€˜terrific’ Guthrie McGruer heads the practice and is β€˜hugely experienced and practical’. Sara Hanrahan is the other key partner.

Cripps LLP is β€˜outstanding in every respect’ and is recognised for its expertise in the housebuilding sector, advising a range of builders and housing associations on complex planning matters, and increasingly on judicial reviews. The firm is also active in the retail, leisure and renewable energy industries, and has handled a number of bespoke projects over the last year. Recent work includes advising Liberty Property Trust on planning application for a new mixed-use community in North Horsham, and acting for housebuilders Persimmon Homes and Bovis Homes in a planning strategy and section 106 agreement regarding a major urban edge development, a project valued at an excess of Β£20m. Jason Towell heads the practice; β€˜the depth of knowledge and experience he brings to the table is always combined with speed and efficiency, which allows for a first-class service’.

DMH Stallard LLP provides β€˜an excellent level of legal and planning expertise’, and β€˜enjoys a good reputation in the market, with a strong and loyal set of clients’. The practice advises on the full range of planning matters (including site promotion, applications and appeals) and is notably active in the residential and leisure development sectors. Other areas of expertise include section 106 agreements, highways and infrastructure projects, planning enforcement and matters involving Assets of Community Value. Key clients include Crest Nicholson, London Borough of Enfield and Village Developments. The firm recently represented the last client in a challenge to Tandridge District Council’s adoption of its Local Plan and CIL Charging Schedule. The β€˜well-regarded’ Heidi Copland heads the department and is praised by clients as being β€˜straightforward and efficient, providing clear and reliable advice whilst appreciating the commercial pressures clients face’.

Irwin Mitchell is known for its promotion of mixed-use regeneration schemes, particularly on former brownfield land, and regularly handles development projects in the industrial, education, retail and student accommodation sectors, among others. The group also has strong litigation expertise and a solid track record in the High Court, where it represents clients in appeals and statutory inquiries. Practice head Carl Dyer and β€˜rising star’ Nicola Gooch recently advised Santon Developments on planning strategy for the North Street Quarter development, a former industrial site which had been badly damaged by flooding in 2009. The team is also assisting Chippenham Properties and Langley Properties on a mixed-use development set to contain up to 400 new homes, a hotel site and several commercial outlets. Other key figures include James Pavey, who focuses on contentious planning work, and Carolyn Morgan-Welker, who advises on planning, highways and environmental law.

The β€˜professional, helpful and responsive’ team at Shoosmiths LLP is β€˜always attuned to the commercial factors behind clients’ instructions’, and β€˜consistently provides clear and constructive advice’. The group recently acted for Buckland Developments on a promotion planning application for 6000 residential units in Hampshire, a Β£200m allocation designed to meet the needs of the south Hampshire urban area. In another highlight, the team acted for Grainger on the Aldershot army town redevelopment, which involved advising on section 106 agreements, infrastructure delivery and affordable housing, among other issues. The practice is headed by Kirsten Hewson, with Milton Keynes-based Matthew Stimson the other key practitioner. Other notable clients include Prime Finance (West Byfleet), Bellway Homes and the Ministry of Defence.

Blandy & Blandy LLP’s team works closely with its environmental law department, providing β€˜prompt, clear and precise advice’ on the full spectrum of planning permission matters, including complex and controversial schemes and negotiations with planning authorities. The group recently advised Resource Recovery Solutions on the planning of required highway works, including road widening, junction realignment and footpath construction, liaising with Derby City Council regarding maintenance issues and ongoing liabilities. The practice also represented a private individual in prosecution proceedings filed by Croydon Borough Council for non-compliance with an Enforcement Notice, and acted for the University of Reading on the development of the Shinfield location. Karen Jones heads the team and advises on strategic planning, public enquiries and environmental law. Simon Dimmick is recommended for his track record on complex projects across the Thames Valley.

Holmes & Hills is β€˜a go-to firm for local planning matters’ and β€˜has an excellent level of expertise in section 106 matters, planning law and newly emerging case law’. The team acts for a number of local authorities in the South East region, covering all aspects of planning law including policy, applications, civil planning injunctions and prosecutions at the Magistrate’s and Crown Courts. The group is regularly called on to provide planning law advice to Forest Heath District Council, and recently assisted the client with a single issue review following the quashing of an existing local plan by the High Court. Practice head David Whipps has notable expertise in planning appeals and β€˜always has a firm grasp of the issues at hand’; he is ably assisted by Steven Hopkins, who advises on commercial property sites, and Jo Lilliott, who is β€˜very knowledgeable in affordable housing and highway-related matters’.

Lester Aldridge LLP’s β€˜excellent’ team attracts praise for its β€˜clear and concise advice’; it is β€˜commercially minded, and appreciative of the need to respond in a timely manner’. The firm advises developers on planning proposals, infrastructure agreements and related negotiations along with planning appeals and judicial reviews, and is notably active in the housebuilding sector. Recent work includes advising Barnet, Enfield & Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust in its capacity as landowner on the proposed development of a new hospital, primary school and 500 additional residential units, which involved a section 106 agreement. The team also acted for C&G Properties in a planning appeal for the development of 100 dwellings in Kent, negotiating with a local planning authority to obtain consent for disposal of the land to the client. Tom Alder heads the department.

Pitmans LLP’ β€˜outstanding’ practice provides β€˜rock-solid advice’, and β€˜is able to report complex planning issues in terms that can be easily relayed to non-professionals, a strength which is partly down to the high level of partner engagement’. Key areas of focus include section 106 agreements and affordable housing; community infrastructure levy (CIL) matters; real estate work; and issues involving assets of community value. The β€˜extremely efficient’ Christina Daniels heads the practice and is β€˜a great strategic thinker – highly detailed and efficient and able to act quickly, always keeping the client on the front foot when negotiating’. Daniels is acting for Cala Homes and Highwood Group in negotiations for a section 106 agreement for a 700-unit development. Other key clients include Redrow Homes, Ashill Land and Thames Water Utilities.

Whitehead Monckton is praised for its β€˜excellent client care’ with β€˜good out-of-hours response times’, and the group’s β€˜commercial attitude’ and β€˜good industry knowledge in both planning and development’ are also singled out by clients. The practice acts for a number of developers and housebuilders on high-value residential development schemes, and the team is also noted for its agricultural, farming and retail expertise. Recent work includes advising F D Attwood & Partners on the site assembly for a 450-unit residential development scheme, which includes affordable housing, estate roads and open farmland space. Practice head Vicky Stoodley is β€˜an outstanding planning lawyer’ who is β€˜constantly engaged with the client to get the best possible outcome’. Planning disputes expert Christopher Longden is also recommended.

Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors fields an β€˜impressive’ planning team that β€˜provides timely and measured advice based on a wealth of experience’ and is β€˜very good at making planning applications in difficult cases’. The group acts for local authorities, private individuals, planning consultants and property developers on the full scope of planning and development issues, both contentious and non-contentious. Highlights included advising Maldon District Council on a section 106 agreement for the development of more than 1,000 new houses in the Maldon district; representing Great Munden Parish Council in a case opposing a solar panel farm application; and assisting Cheltenham Tewkesbury in a local plan examination. Rob Jameson β€˜is always able to identify key issues’, and practice head Salvatore Amico offers β€˜consistently helpful and clear responses’.

Clients of Clarke Willmott LLP rate the firm’s β€˜excellent all-round planning advice’ and its strengths in the housebuilding, social housing and food retail sectors. The team regularly advises on the drafting and negotiation of section 106 agreements and deeds of variation, and also assists with CIL issues, affordable housing and infrastructure projects. Senior associate Anne Jones has strong planning and environmental law expertise, and recently advised Countryside Properties on an estate regeneration scheme for a mixed-use redevelopment. The β€˜highly skilled’ Neil Baker heads the practice, and was recently instructed by Persimmon Homes Southern to handle a planning appeal against Fareham Borough Council’s refusal to grant planning permission for 120 land dwellings. Other key clients include East Thames Homes, Isle of Wight Council and New Forest District Council.

Debenhams Ottaway advises small-to-medium-sized businesses on the full range of planning issues, with an emphasis on the mixed retail housing space. Highlights included obtaining planning permission and quashing an enforcement notice on a former RAF Airfield site on behalf of Runways Farm; advising Thames Central Open Space Society on its challenge to planning permissions granted by Westminster and Lambeth Council for the controversial Garden Bridge; and acting for AXA PPP Healthcare on additional planning agreements for its new HQ in Tunbridge Wells. Commercial property expert Ruth Boulton heads the practice. Bernadette Hillman left to join Shakespeare Martineau LLP.

EMW Law LLP’s practice covers all areas of land-related law including planning, promotion, construction and funding issues, and the group has a strong track record in complex development projects. Recent work includes advising Marlborough Oasis on its planning application for a mixed-use development comprising 1500 new dwellings; providing ongoing advice to Inter MK in relation to a football stadium development set to include a hotel, arena, retail and leisure facilities; and dealing with all planning due diligence in respect of Grand Union Housing Group’s acquisition of several affordable housing sites. Associate Marco Mauro acts for a range of developers, landowners, investors and high-net-worth individuals, advising on the full spectrum of planning issues.

Stevens & Bolton LLP is praised for its β€˜prompt and appropriate responses as well as its good mixture of technical and practical advice’. The group β€˜demonstrates a good understanding of planning and local government operations’. The team’s diverse roster includes clients in the healthcare, high-end residential development, retail and leisure sectors, and the practice regularly advises on highway issues and development site assembly. β€˜Experienced planning consultant’ Catherine Davey is the key practitioner and is β€˜very thorough in her knowledge of the intricacies of the area, particularly in enforcement cases and listed building issues’. Davy is also well-regarded for application advice and assistance with CIL issues, regeneration projects and section 106 agreements, amongst other matters. Senior associate Markus Klempa is also a name to note.

The team at BrookStreet des Roches β€˜has a full understanding of the issues surrounding planning, and is quickly able to identify problems’. It is known for its representation of landowners, promoters and developers in residential-led and mixed-use schemes, and has been significantly active in the holiday, leisure and retail sectors. The group is advising Office Estates on the development of office space, new flats, public houses and community spaces in Central London’s Wandsworth, assisting the client with application reviews and Environmental Impact Assessments. Other highlights included acting for Buchanan (H) in a planning application and an associated section 106 agreement, and advising DP World on an Environmental Impact Assessment for a lorry park associated with London Gateway Port. Practice head Nigel Hewitson has β€˜a deep understanding of planning law and the development process’, providing β€˜legally sound and commercially sensible advice’.

Paris Smith LLP advises on early stage planning appraisals of development sites, represents local authorities in relation to emerging local plans, and assists its broad range of clients with the drafting and negotiation of section 106 agreements. The team recently acted for Ageas Bowl on the landmark redevelopment of the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground, a high-profile matter involving the construction of a four-star Hilton hotel and the extension of an existing golf course. Practice head Mark Howarth deals with high-value commercial property work; he is ably assisted by Nick Vaughan, who is noted for his expertise in the charities sector, and Peter Gammie, who specialises in brownfield site assemblies and disposals, acting for a number of regional developers and investors. Other clients include Southern Water Services, Eastleigh Borough Council, Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Drew Smith Group.

Property litigation

Index of tables

  1. Property litigation
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Property litigation clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Charles Russell Speechlys LLP fields a β€˜strong property litigation team’ that provides β€˜an excellent service’ and β€˜has a very good knowledge of the real estate sector’. The group has a strong track record across the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the High Court as well as in tribunal litigation, and is particularly noted for its expertise in handling mortgage-based compensation claims against banks arising from interest rate hedging products. The group recently acted for the National Crime Agency on the enforcement of property possession orders in relation to Β£300m-worth of seized assets, a matter handled by β€˜tough negotiator’ Peter Levaggi. David Haines is the other key figure and is praised for his β€˜excellent level of all-round knowledge’.

The team at Cripps LLP is β€˜very good on all fronts’, providing β€˜solid, well-structured and well-considered advice’. The practice acts for a mix of businesses and private individuals, for which it handles the full scope of issues including property insolvency, land registration disputes, real estate-related insurance claims and compulsory purchase compensation claims. Highlights included representing Hermes in lease renewal proceedings with Boots, and acting for Great Lakes Reinsurance in a claim related to a residential block development. Miles Paffard heads the department, and Mike Scott is the other name to note.

DMH Stallard LLP is praised for its β€˜swift, clear and knowledgeable responses, working closely with the client to offer practical and tailored advice’. In a recent highlight, the team represented Cardtronics Europe in an Upper Tribunal appeal against a previous determination, which decided that the client’s ATM machines should be separately assessed for business rates from the premises in which they are situated. The group also acted for London Borough of Enfield in a claim for unlawful subletting and profit, successfully obtaining a favourable outcome for the client. Practice head Tina George specialises in collective enfranchisement claims, and key partner Emily Wood handles dilapidations, rights of light and contested lease renewals.

IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett) fields a team of β€˜top-class property litigators’ that has β€˜a wide range of experience and a broad depth of knowledge of the subtleties of property law’. The team is known for its expertise in property finance disputes, and also regularly handles lease renewals and rent reviews in relation to City and West End property. Recent work includes representing real estate fund manager Frogmore in a High Court claim against Nationwide related to wrongful disposal of loans totalling Β£112m. Jon Mowbray heads the practice, and Andrew Olins is commended for his β€˜strong academic knowledge of the law’.

Mundays LLP β€˜combines superior legal knowledge with commercial acumen to ensure that claims are always robust and equitable’, and the β€˜reliable and accurate’ team β€˜has a good understanding of the risks of legal action’. The firm represents housebuilders, developers and Plcs on matters including rights of way, adverse possession, boundary disputes and restrictive covenants, and also has a strong track record in mediation. Practice head Stephen Morris handles the full gamut of property litigation matters, and is also experienced in dealing with commercial leases. Key active clients include Ahli United Bank, Murailles Properties and Octagon Developments. Also recommended are Nick Martyn, who was promoted to partner in August 2016, and James Picknell.

Shoosmiths LLP has a β€˜user-friendly, responsive and efficient’ group that is particularly active in lease enfranchisement matters, retail-related claims and developer and agricultural issues, and also regularly acts for corporate occupiers in substantial dilapidation and trespassing claims. The team recently acted for Paynes and Borthwick in a Β£1.4m defended claim regarding alleged breaches of contract terms, a matter related to the freehold purchase of a new London development. The firm is also representing SGR Bicester 2 in a claim for declaratory and injunctive relief arising from the termination of an option agreement. Practice head Zoe Wright handles landlord and tenant matters, and Simon Pestell is β€˜very practical and gets excellent results’.

Blake Morgan LLP’s range of expertise includes commercial and residential landlord and tenant matters, property development claims and various work for high net-worth clients including boundary, adverse possession, right to light and flooding claims. The team currently manages Costa Coffee’s national portfolio, including all related contentious matters, and is currently advising J E Beales on its insolvency process, a matter involving dilapidations and liability for business rates. Helen Dickie and Rachel Gimson are recommended. Kate New joined Foot Anstey.

Bond Dickinson LLP retains a strong client base of public and private sector bodies, and has a particularly strong reputation in the rail transport, residential and retail sectors. Practice head Mark Barley advises on mainstream portfolio management and foreshore and mooring issues, and managing associate Vicki Young acts for a range of clients including Addington Capital, B&Q and Specsavers. The team recently represented The Crown Estate in a Supreme Court case regarding the boundary between public and private fishing rights, and successfully acted for B&Q in a dispute over the rental terms of a new lease.

Boyes Turner is β€˜a very good regional firm that has longstanding relationships with all the key names in the property sector’; the β€˜well-connected’ team provides β€˜sound advice on all the risks and probabilities of a case’. In an illustration of its track record acting for blue-chip businesses on leases and litigation related to large property portfolios, the team acted for Thomas Homes in First Tier Tribunal proceedings regarding lease provisions. It also represented a corporate property owner in an opposition to an application for adverse possession of land. Senior associate Russell May heads the practice.

BrookStreet des Roches fields a team of β€˜experienced litigation specialists’ that is praised for its β€˜great depth of knowledge, excellent response times and commercial acumen’. The team is β€˜particularly strong in the retail sector’ and its client base includes a range of high-profile names including McDonald’s, Topshop, Miss Selfridge and The Body Shop, for which it advises on the full gamut of issues including lease renewals, dilapidation claims and occupancy rights. Practice co-head Katy Kirk recently represented Arcadia Group in a dispute brought by a local authority freeholder who sought to recover rates via contractual obligations in the lease, a multi-party litigation which settled on favourable terms. Philip Shaw specialises in disputes arising from property transactions.

Dentons fields an β€˜outstanding’ team of lawyers that has β€˜a solid knowledge base, is pragmatic and client-focused and always works well as a team and with counsel’. The firm is β€˜particularly strong in private client litigation’, and handles cases in the banking, telecommunications, retail and infrastructure industries. Highlights included representing Sainsbury’s in several matters including an expedited Court of Appeal judgment where an appellant’s bid for a decision of unlawful contract termination was successfully dismissed. Practice head Bryan Johnston is β€˜ambitious and client-focused’.

Furley Page Solicitors acts for a range of commercial landlords, developers, landowners and private individuals and regularly handles disputes related to lease renewals, rights of way, dilapidations and breaches of covenant. Practice head David Hall’s expertise includes business lease renewals, tenant default and insolvency issues; Hall recently represented Charles Knowles in a breach of covenant and unlawful assignment claim related to a tenant who took occupation of a property without the consent of the landlord, and also acted for The Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company in a matter regarding a coastal duty imposed on the Secretary of State.

The β€˜pragmatic and helpful’ team at Penningtons Manches LLP provides β€˜very clear guidance on the legal principles involved in each case, including how the dispute might develop, what evidence would strengthen the case and the likelihood of succeeding with objections’. The practice is most known for its tenant-side work, particularly in the life sciences and biotechnology sectors, and has also been active in disputes between neighbouring landowners. Practice head John Morrison recently advised Flight Centre (UK) on the contentious and non-contentious issues associated with its retail store portfolio.

Stevens & Bolton LLP’s β€˜outstanding’ team provides β€˜pragmatic, sensible advice’ and is β€˜highly pro-active, with a great depth of knowledge and insight into its clients’ needs’. The firm has seen an increase in instructions from development and investor clients, and also handles the full range of landlord and tenant matters, including easements and covenants. Senior associate Markus Klempa is β€˜tenacious and personable’, and is currently acting for Papa John’s in a substantial terminal dilapidation claim. Helen Wheddon heads the practice, and has β€˜excellent technical knowledge’.

Brachers advises a diverse range of NHS Trusts, public bodies and local councils on the full spectrum of property disputes, and regularly employs the use of ADR and mediation alongside litigation across all court levels. The team has been increasingly active in development disputes, advising on development agreements and the interpretation of overage provisions along with the enforcement of collateral agreements, and has recently undertaken significant work for the Secretary of State for Health in this capacity. Key clients include Hadlow College, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and James Baird (Home Farm). James Millis heads the practice.

Brethertons LLP is β€˜an extremely impressive firm which continually strives to provide its clients with the highest levels of professionalism, excellence and dedication’; β€˜it has created an environment where client care is paramount’. The firm advises on a range of mixed-use residential and commercial leasehold litigation, and also handles cases related to enfranchisement, property management and debt recovery at the High Court, Upper Tribunal and Court of Appeal. Highlights included defending Modtec in proceedings related to equipment installed in a managed block, and representing Silber Homes in an application for the restoration of a liquidated company, with the aim of granting an interest in the freehold to various leaseholders. Roger Hardwick and Fiona Hewitt are the key figures.

The β€˜competent and forward-thinking’ team at Clyde & Co LLP is acting for Native Land on its Β£1bn scheme for the development of Bankside Quarter in London, obtaining vacant possession of offices and other commercial units on behalf of the client. Other recent work includes advising Dairy Crest on the removal of a mobile phone mast, initiating proceedings against the operators and successfully leading them to concede to the termination of their lease and the removal of their equipment. Tim Foley advises on breaches of covenant, dilapidations, possession actions and landlord and tenant issues, and Keith Conway has extensive experience in High Court proceedings.

Dean Wilson LLP provides β€˜a service that is excellent in every aspect’, offering β€˜sound advice and appropriate response times’. The practice is noted for its strength in enfranchisement matters and lease extensions, and is also well regarded for commercial lease renewals in the retail sector. Highlights included defending a private individual in proceedings concerning misrepresentation against sellers of a property, and acting for Quintana Exeter in a professional negligence claim, which settled with damages in the client’s favour. Practice head Claire Whiteman is β€˜a very able solicitor who communicates effectively’ and β€˜is able to handle complex matters in a clear, concise and practical manner’.

Field Seymour Parkes LLP acts for a mix of charities, housing associations, educational establishments, developers, funders and landed estates, and advises on the full range of high-value property disputes. The group has notable expertise handling High Court proceedings, and regularly appears before specialist property tribunals in leasehold reform cases. Joe Lott heads the practice and specialises in lease extension and enfranchisement claims. Julia Mactear is the other key figure along with Alexandra Dennis, who joined the firm from Bond Dickinson LLP.

Freeths LLP provides β€˜excellent value for money’ and β€˜always makes sure to understand the client’s business thoroughly, tailoring its advice accordingly’. The group is particularly strong in the licensed leisure sector, acting for pub owners, regional brewers and nightclub and hotel owners on the full range of contentious property issues. Recent work includes acting for SWA Developments in a case concerning substantial dilapidations and other breaches of covenant, and representing Hawthorn Leisure, the owner of the Royal Hunt in Ascot, in an appeal to the Upper Tribunal against the listing of the public house as an asset of community value. Mark Brown heads the practice.

Mayo Wynne Baxter LLP recently acted for Timothy Martin as claimant in an AST possession matter based on arrears of rent. Other highlights included defending Tiber Properties against an application for a new tenancy pursuant to the Landlord & Tenant Act, and representing liquidators Begbies Traynor in a substantial dilapidation claim. Department head Helen Bell deals with high-value dilapidation claims, boundary disputes and rights of way matters. Chairman Dean Orgill is the other name to note.

At Moore Blatch LLP, Sarah Watley specialises in asset recovery litigation, commercial and residential possession claims, as well as debt recovery and professional negligence claims on behalf of major insurers and mortgage providers. The group also advises on commercial landlord and tenant disputes, and undertakes repossession litigation nationwide for its extensive list of lender clients. Highlights included representing Commercial First Business in a claim for the recovery of monies for outstanding mortgage payments.

Rawlison Butler LLP advises on the full spectrum of property-related disputes, and is particularly known for its expertise in complex investment and development site issues. The group also handles business lease renewals, dilapidation claims, alienation and alteration issues, as well as property-related insolvency, along with the full gamut of residential tenancy disputes. Vanessa Joll heads the practice, and recently advised a property investment company in a claim concerning breaches in the terms of an Environment Agency permit.

The β€˜excellent, responsive and bright’ team at Blandy & Blandy LLP handles the full range of property and planning litigation, including judicial review work and commercial and residential landlord and tenant matters. Recent work includes advising a property trust with a large portfolio on tenancy agreements and other associated issues, including tenancy terminations and breaches of terms. Philip D’Arcy heads the team, which includes associate Jessica Irwin, who is praised as being β€˜very thorough, succinct and precise in her communication’.

β€˜High-quality firm’ Blaser Mills β€˜combines the best of the high street with the best of the City’, providing β€˜commercial advice within a short timeframe’. The practice has picked up a number of new developer clients in the last year, and is particularly strong in the logistics, healthcare, restructuring and construction sectors. Highlights included acting for Wicker Riverside Residents Association in a service charge dispute. Property ownership expert Alka Kharbanda heads the team.

EMW Law LLP acts for a substantial amount of institutional investors with large commercial property portfolios, and also advises on lease renewals, rights of light claims, break options and dilapidation and contamination claims. Charles Clay heads the practice, and Karen Young specialises in high-value lease renewal cases. Key clients include Santander, Arqiva Services and Milton Keynes Community Foundation.

Gardner Leader LLP’s team is praised for its β€˜creative approach’; it is β€˜quickly able to assess a complex dispute, implementing an efficient strategy which results in a favourable outcome for the client’. Highlights included acting for a Plc in a breach of statutory duty claim, and representing a religious society in an enfranchisement and lease renewal matter. Alastair Goggins heads the team, which includes Hilary Messer, who β€˜is highly approachable and able to plot effective routes through unconventional disputes’.

At Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors LLP, key individuals include practice head Kenneth Stangoe and Mairead McErlean, who deals with applications for relief, leasehold enfranchisements and boundary and right of way disputes. The group has solid expertise across the full range of landlord and tenant work, advising on rent service and charge recovery, rent recovery and forfeiture actions.

Pinney Talfourd LLP’s β€˜excellent’ team is β€˜always ready to act at a moment’s notice’, and provides β€˜solid advice in a timely manner’. Highlights included acting for FRP Advisory in an order for possession and the sale of a bankrupt property, and advising a property developer on obtaining an interim possession order from Romford County Court. Practice head Stephen Eccles is β€˜extremely knowledgeable, with an excellent track record in resolving complex cases’.

Pitmans LLP fields a team of β€˜highly competent’ lawyers that has β€˜a great awareness of the client’s business’, advising on landlord and tenant litigation, insolvency, development and construction-related disputes. The team recently acted for a group of private individuals in a nuisance and negligence claim brought by multiple claimants, and advised Thames Water on a successful claim for possession of a large area of land near the William Girling reservoir in London. David Williams heads the practice where Phil Smith is the other key figure.

SA Law LLP’s Lynsey Newman acts for a range of clients with national portfolios including Mackays Stores, PHS Group and Exertion Media, advising primarily on development disputes, restrictive covenants and rights to light. Highlights included representing Mackays Stores in a claim for a new lease at its Crowborough store, and the team also continues to advise Tulsesense on the contentious and non-contentious aspects of its property portfolio, including several collective enfranchisements.

Thomson Snell & Passmore is noted for its expertise in landlord and tenant disputes, and works closely with its commercial property team to provide input on potentially contentious matters arising from complex property transactions. Key clients include Brake Bros, the British Transport Police and The Association of Conservative Clubs; the team recently acted for the last client on matters involving land recovery, unlawful fund distribution and property damage. Nicholas Horton and Mark Steggles are the main practitioners.

Social housing

Index of tables

  1. Social housing
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Batchelors provides β€˜an excellent service, allocating lawyers with appropriate experience to all cases and offering focused advice early in the game’. The practice specialises in housing management, property and development issues, and has notable expertise in dealing with complex antisocial behaviour matters and tenancy fraud, along with leasehold and shared ownership, acquisition work and affordable housing developments. In a recent highlight, the team successfully obtained an outright order of possession for West Kent Housing Association following a defendant’s conviction of ABH. Other work included advising Sutton Housing Partnership on securing a without-notice injunction against the carer of a vulnerable tenant, and representing London & Quadrant Housing Trust in a claim for possession following the death of one of its tenants. The β€˜calm and organised’ Thaine Wilson heads the practice, while Andrew Harmer β€˜has a wide perspective of the housing sector’ and β€˜takes a holistic approach to issues raised by clients, understanding the risks of litigation and doing everything necessary to present a strong case’. Anne Nurse specialises in plot sales, and Mary Martil heads the leasehold management group.

Clients of Capsticks LLP’s β€˜excellent’ team single out the β€˜flawless quality of its work’; the team is β€˜extremely knowledgeable, with a broad spectrum of knowledge’ and β€˜is able to explain complex matters clearly and simply’. It handles all aspects of housing and asset management along with development, leasehold law, hew home sales and property litigation. The team also has substantial experience advising on large-scale projects. Recent work includes advising Tamar Housing Society on the Rentplus Project, which uses investor funding to acquire new-build properties for lease to registered providers, and assisting Sovereign Housing Association with a full review of policies and procedures, including succession policy. Practice head Michael Owen β€˜responds very promptly’, β€˜has a clear and concise way of answering queries’ and β€˜is very receptive to feedback, taking the time to understand what the client needs’. Jennifer Bennett is the other name to note, and has a particular interest in leasehold schemes.

Highlights for Penningtons Manches LLP included acting for Southern Housing Association on a number of sales at its Bow River scheme, a project comprised of 86 apartments sold by way of shared ownership. The team also advised Viridian Housing on a number of sales at Riverlight Quay Battersea, a series of transactions totalling Β£25m, and assisted Sovereign Housing Association with its voluntary right to buy programme. Key practitioners include department head Linda Storey, who specialises in home ownership programmes; Andrew Casstles, who has significant expertise in property development and regeneration, commercial conveyancing and landlord and tenant work; and Peter Massey, who is recommended for construction and procurement matters. Employment disputes partner Eugene Wojciechowski is also a name to note. The firm secured a number of new clients over the last year, including Swan Housing, Ekaya and Richmond Housing Partnership.

Blake Morgan LLP’s β€˜impressive’ group β€˜has a strong understanding of the housing sector’ and β€˜is always keen to respond to queries as quickly as possible’. The group retains a strong client base of national housing associations and advises on governance, procurement matters, bank refinancing and social care issues alongside the full gamut of property, housing management and employment mandates. Highlights included advising Radian Group on the development of 500 new affordable homes; acting for Hyde Housing Association on various plot sales and asset management matters; and advising Network Homes on its Β£4m acquisition of 23 shared ownership and affordable rent units, a project done as part of a regeneration of a former football stadium. Key individuals include practice head John Russell, who specialises in property development and strategic planning, and Hugh James, who has notable expertise in development site assembly, regeneration work and section 106 agreements.

Judge & Priestley LLP has β€˜a well-deserved reputation for quality of service and approachability’, and the team β€˜always acts with foresight, incorporating a deep understanding of the law into its advice’. The practice covers all aspects of property, dispute resolution and debt recovery, and has a strong client base of social housing providers across the country. Practice head Nitika Singh represents local authorities, registered providers and private landlords and β€˜exhibits an assurance in complex matters’. He is ably assisted by Mark Oakley, who is noted for his expertise in landlord-side work, especially in public sector leasehold disputes and service charges; and Lucy Rudd, who specialises in property development. Key clients include Barnet Homes, Wandle Housing Association, London Borough of Havering and Southward ASB Unit.

Perrin Myddleton’s β€˜excellent’ group is β€˜always fully aware of its clients’ requirements and the parameters under which they operate’, and is β€˜able to deal swiftly with all types of situations’. The practice acts for a wide range of clients across London, the Thames Valley and East Anglia, and is best known for its work for housing association registered providers, advising on development site acquisition, shared ownership sites and employment law issues. Recent work includes advising Aragon Housing Association on the preparation, negotiation and finalisation of an agency agreement with Central Bedfordshire Council; acting for Apna Ghar Housing Association on the expansion of housing stock available for disabled individuals; and advising Catalyst Housing Association on the purchase and construction of a new building comprising of 42 self-contained flats, to be sold as a mix of shared ownership schemes and affordable rent units. Frederick Perrin heads the practice.

Cripps LLP’s wide-ranging practice advises registered providers, housebuilders and affordable housing divisions on the full range of social housing matters, with key areas of expertise including site acquisitions, development and funding, regeneration schemes and shared ownership leases. Recent examples include advising Southern Housing Group on its Β£6.7m purchase of land for the construction of 36 affordable housing units, and acting for Golding Homes on its acquisition of 45 properties in Kent from The Riverside Group. The team also advises Family Mosaic Housing on various contentious and non-contentious property portfolio matters, including property management, leases and licenses. Andrew Harbourne heads the practice and advises on governance, public procurement and construction law issues. Sarah Ferguson is the other name to note.

Niche social housing firm Housing Law Services acts exclusively for registered providers, and has a strong track record in all types of housing-related disputes. Highlights included advising Paragon CHG on injunctions issued against three youths on the grounds of serious damage to communal areas; assisting AmicusHorizon with an injunction issued against a non-tenant for harassment of elderly residents; and representing Lewes District Council in proceedings against a tenant who was not living at the relevant property as their only and principal home. Managing partner Julie Allen is the main practitioner, and has strong expertise in housing management disputes involving antisocial behaviour and disrepair. Consultant solicitor Lawrence Talbot is the other name to note.

The β€˜excellent and knowledgeable’ team at Clarke Willmott LLP regularly represents clients in complex housing claims involving antisocial behaviour, breach of tenancy, failed succession and trespassing. It also advises on non-contentious matters involving policy and procedures, disrepair, leases and tenancy agreements. Recent work includes acting for Radian Group as tenant of a commercial property in Portsmouth in a matter involving dilapidations, lease issues and insolvency, and representing the same client in injunction proceedings against an elderly tenant following complaints of hoarding and annoyance. The team also assisted United Communities with obtaining a without-notice injunction against a former tenant suspected of drug dealing. Key figures include Kary Withers, who advises on the full range of property disputes, and Lindsay Felstead, who heads the housing management team. Oliver Smedley is also a name to note.

DMH Stallard LLP provides β€˜a good and prompt service at competitive rates’, and β€˜is able to steer clients through complicated processes quickly and efficiently’. The team’s housing management expertise includes possession claims, advice on antisocial behaviour orders, succession claims and public law and policy. The firm also handles the full range of site development, construction and corporate and commercial matters. Highlights included successfully representing London Borough of Enfield in a claim for unlawful subletting and profit, and advising Livin Housing on a sale and purchase agreement with Broadacres Housing Association for 39 newly-built dwellings. Miles Eckersley specialises in non-contentious property development and construction, and Roger Yates has β€˜impeccable attention to detail’, advising on transactional matters in the social housing sector.

EMW Law LLP’s β€˜responsive’ team has notable expertise in property development and acquisitions, shared ownership sales and right-to-buy matters, and regularly advises on the planning aspects of property acquisitions. Key individuals include Caroline Hayward, who acts for developers and landowners on property development matters; Joe Soul, who has strong healthcare sector expertise; and Michael Chilton, who is the name to note for construction matters. Highlights included advising Aragon Housing Association on the Β£7.5m acquisition of 70 affordable housing units, and acting for another housing association on the Β£20m redevelopment of a supported living accommodation in Milton Keynes.

Marsons Solicitors has β€˜a strong level of expertise in this area of law’, advising a range of social housing providers, local authorities and social landlords on the full gamut of issues including housing disrepair, tenancy fraud, antisocial behaviour and debt recovery. The group also increasingly advises on business leases, adverse possession claims and compulsory purchase orders. The β€˜conscientious, knowledgeable, practical and intelligent’ Bernadette Reid heads the practice, advising on land acquisitions, right-to-buy and shared ownership schemes. It also represents clients in contentious housing issues.

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