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United Kingdom > South East > Real estate > Planning > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Legal Developments in South East for Planning

  • 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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