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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Legal Developments in South East for Commercial property: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx

  • Parking rights: here to stay? Consent might be the surprising answer 

    In the field of the acquisition of easements by prescription, little has caused more consternation over the last decade or so than the question of whether a right to park cars can be acquired by twenty years user as of right. The types of property capable of being adversely affected range from individual residential units all the way up to major development sites. The establishment of such a right can have a devastating impact on the value of the burdened land.

    - Falcon Chambers

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