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  1. Commercial property: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
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Blake Morgan LLP’s ‘experienced’ team includes Ruth Leadbitter, who has notable public sector experience; Deryn Bassett, who maintains a strong client base in the energy sector; and Andrew Miscampbell, who advises on development and partnership matters for medical practices nationwide. Key clients include Berkley Homes, The British Red Cross and Thames Valley Police.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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