Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

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



Commercial property: Bristol

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: Bristol
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Burges Salmon LLP has a strong reputation for renewable energy, student accommodation, hospitality and private rented sector work. The team features a number of ‘outstanding individuals’, including Euan Bremner, who is ‘extremely knowledgeable in renewable energy property matters’; and Ross Polkinghorne, who has ‘exceptional development knowledge and commercial acumen’. Recent highlights include acting for The Crown Estate on the disposal of Morfa Shopping Park and assisting RWE npower with the disposal of Fawley Power Station. Also recommended are investment development and asset management expert Richard Clark, and real estate finance specialist Paul Browne.

Osborne Clarke’s ‘first-class’ team is particularly active on development projects for national housebuilders, and is leveraging its growing international footprint to provide cross-border advice to retailers and international REITs. The well-regarded Ian Wilkinson leads the team, which includes David North and David Powell.

Bond Dickinson LLP is praised for its ‘good commercial advice and excellent response times’. In 2015, Katherine Douglas advised Ashfield Land on the sale and leaseback of its office headquarters to Aegon Property Fund. Simon Hughes (‘a pleasure to work with’) acts on the real estate elements of major energy infrastructure developments.

Clarke Willmott LLP has a strong reputation in the housebuilder and commercial development sectors. Practice head Louise Brown, Greg Lovett and Clare Titchener are valued for their ‘in-depth knowledge and responsiveness’.

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s team is noted for its ‘strong commercial knowledge’ and for its ‘effective identification of risk and solutions’. Highlights included advising Meyer Bergman and Westfield on the leasing agreements for the new £260m Broadway Bradford shopping centre. Key individuals include Ben Pariser, who is ‘able to navigate through the detail to succinctly assess the key issues’; Julitta Yates, who is ‘highly experienced in large-scale portfolio transactions’; and Graham Brothwood.

TLT’s real estate team is led by renewable energy specialist Maria Connolly. Recent highlights include acting for Punch Taverns on the sale of 158 tenanted pubs to NewRiver Retail, and assisting PINE Unit Trust with its nationwide property investments. Julia Lucas and Andrew Glynn are the main contacts.

Bevan Brittan LLP’s ‘exceptional’ team is praised for its ‘pragmatic, commercial and creative approach’. The team has particular expertise in the health, local authority and housing sectors. Mark Calverley and Alison Buckingham are ‘talented lawyers’.

At Foot Anstey, Richard Sutton (‘a great commercial real estate lawyer’) advised South Gloucestershire and Stroud College on the expansion of its facilities through the acquisition of the former Berkeley Nuclear Laboratory site. Other clients include FirstGroup, 99 North and Dimah Capital. Martin Hirst, who specialises in advising house builders, joined from Blake Morgan LLP in March 2016.

At Thrings LLP, Colin Stratton is noted for his ‘strong negotiation skills’ and for his knowledge of the residential development and leisure sectors.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards is ‘extremely responsive and proactive’. The ‘exceptionally good’ Steven McGuigan advised a housebuilder on its site acquisitions and disposals, and assisted a bank with a revolving credit facility for a regional housebuilder. Simon Linnitt has ‘in-depth knowledge of the education sector’.

At Ashfords LLP, Andrew Worley specialises in leases on retail property. Its client roster features a number of residential developers.

Humphreys & Co. has particular expertise of acting for clients in the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors. David Morris is highlighted for his ‘tenacious’ approach.

Commercial property: Dorset and South Wiltshire

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: Dorset and South Wiltshire
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

: ‘Excellent in all respects’, Lester Aldridge LLP’s team ‘often goes beyond the normal call of duty’. Suki Samra and Mark Benham are highly recommended. Clients include Marina Developments, McCarthy & Stone and Horizon Capital Management.

According to one client, Steele Raymond LLP is ‘in a league of its own’. The practice is particularly noted for its assistance to housebuilder clients. Chris Twaits and Sue Middleton are ‘outstanding’.

Trethowans LLP is well regarded for its advice to pension funds on commercial property transactions; James Hay Pension Trustees, Rowanmoor Trustees and Sentinel Housing Association all feature in its client roster. The practice, led by Garry Treagust, expanded further by the merger with Dickinson Manser in October 2015. Poole-based Gareth Yeoman has experience in residential development and is also recommended.

John Munro’s team at Laceys Solicitors incorporating HLF is ‘diligent, efficient and in tune with its clients’ needs from start to finish’. It handles a wide range of property transactions for clients in the leisure, hospitality and public sectors.

Judith Beddow is the key contact at Wilsons, which acts for various landowners and charitable organisations.

Rupert Vaughan at Battens Solicitors Limited specialises in site assemblies and disposals for developers.

At Frettens LLP, Oonagh McKinney advises on the purchase of development land for large residential projects.

Justin Hopkins at Mogers Drewett LLP acts for a number of developers, funders and businesses.

Commercial property: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

BPE Solicitors LLP is ‘a superb outfit’ with a team of ‘commercially minded’ lawyers led by Antonia Shield. Highlights included advising on acquisitions for Pure Gym, SuperGroup and Tiger, while real estate finance specialist Jo Bewley acted on a number of surgery site acquisitions and developments. Tim Williams is also recommended.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s ‘excellent’ team advises residential and commercial property investors (with a particular focus on residential investment funds) on the purchase and disposal of property portfolios. The practice is headed by Nigel Morton and Ian Brothwood, who also heads the personal and occupational pensions team.

Alex Pinhey leads the team at Thrings LLP. Edward Jackman acted for a landowner on the grant of an option agreement to a commercial developer.

Royds Withy King’s ‘knowledgeable’ five-partner team is led by Paul Daniels and ‘provides commercial advice’. Edward Cooke is ‘an expert at negotiating complex land deals’. Peter Foskett is also recommended.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys has a strong following among clients in the charity and education sectors. Mark Carter is ‘an excellent secured lending lawyer’ and is recommended alongside the ‘very experienced’ Mark Fabian.

Stone King LLP advises a number of clients in the education and charity sectors, as well as private sector clients. Hugh Pearce is praised for his ‘excellent knowledge and practical approach’.

Nigel Whittaker heads the team at Willans LLP and is ‘excellent at providing pragmatic solutions to complex problems’. Clients include Shelter, Gloucester Cathedral and Clydesdale Bank. The ‘thorough and responsive’ Susie Wynne is also recommended.

Recent highlights for Knights Professional Services Limited include acting for a local authority pension fund on the acquisition of a new shopping centre, and assisting with the management of freehold and leasehold property portfolios for an international financial services group. Mark Anton-Smith is recommended.

Ben Slade at Maitland Walker LLP specialises in transactions in the leisure sector.

Mogers Drewett LLP acts for a range of developers, funders and businesses with regional property portfolios. Ian Davies left the firm in September 2016.

Commercial property: The West Country

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: The West Country
  2. Leading individuals

Ashfords LLP’s ‘highly commercial and very responsive’ team acts for residential developers and housebuilders including Persimmon Homes, Cavanna Homes and Barratt Homes. Tim Heal leads the 14-partner team, which includes Andrew Rothwell, Sarah Lomas and Chris Gregson.

At Bond Dickinson LLP, practice head Craig Moore is highly regarded for his expertise in real estate finance. Clients include Eagle One, Princess Yacht International and Plymouth Community Homes.

For some, Clarke Willmott LLP is known as the ‘go-to’ property firm in the region. The practice’s expertise spans residential, agricultural and commercial property, and has ‘true specialists both at partner and associate level’. Tim Walker advises housebuilders, landowners and other stakeholders on development projects. Real estate finance specialist Roger Seaton is also recommended.

Real estate boutique Davitt Jones Bould fields ‘a number of genuine experts with real commercial nous’. The practice has particular strength in the public sector, where it acts for clients including Highways England, The Environment Agency and OFSTED. Madeleine Davitt, Stuart Bould, Kevin Fry and Peter Lowe are ‘all excellent solicitors’.

Richard Walford leads Foot Anstey’s team, which had a prolific year advising clients including FirstGroup, NHS Property Services and QIB (UK). Simon Gregory has particular expertise acting for developers and landowners; he is recommended alongside Duncan Tringham, who provides ‘knowledgeable and efficient advice’.

Michelmores LLP is praised for its ‘responsiveness, excellent industry knowledge and value for money’. Practice head Emma Honey leads the 13-partner team, which has particular strength in residential development and public sector matters. David Howe handles mixed-use developments and joint ventures, and Lucy Smallwood stands out for her experience advising housebuilders and landowners on acquisitions and disposals.

In addition to its mining and rural housing expertise, Stephens Scown LLP’s ‘commercially minded’ team also acts on the sale and purchase of caravan parks for clients in the holiday and residential parks sector. Michael Beadel, Jonathan Hoggett and Mike Northcott are key names.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP has ‘a strong grasp of the requirements of a public sector client’. Lynn Onyett is ‘business savvy and gives practical and useful advice’. Clients include Metropolitan Properties Company, Scot Group and The Homes and Communities Agency.

At Kitsons LLP, Patrick Gaskins and Cameron Caverhill are praised for their ‘first-class understanding’ and ‘efficient and effective service’. In addition to handling commercial landlord and tenant matters and work in the licensed leisure sector, the firm also has a dedicated team specialising in property development.

OTB Eveling specialises in leisure property transactions. Keith Biggs’ clients include property investors as well as commercial and residential developers.

Porter Dodson LLP provides ‘a very focused service’. Bruce Weir is ‘pragmatic and commercial in his approach’, and is recommended alongside Louise Sanders, who stands out for her expertise in secured lending transactions.


Index of tables

  1. Construction
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

A powerhouse in construction’, Burges Salmon LLP’s team is noted for its ‘commercial approach’ and ‘ability to find workable solutions’. Steven James advised longstanding client Ahli United Bank on the sale of a UK-wide student accommodation portfolio to Unite Students. Marcus Harlingcombines first-class industry knowledge with a client-focused approach’. William Gard is recommended for construction disputes.

Osborne Clarke’s team is highly recommended for its ability to handle big-ticket cross-border deals, especially for energy sector clients. Recent highlights include assisting U and I Group on the construction procurement aspects of four developments, and acting for First Solar on the development and subsequent operation and maintenance of a number of solar projects. Jonathan Brooks, Philip Davies and Carl Thompson are ‘extremely capable and hardworking’.

Ashfords LLP’s client list comprises a mix of regional and national clients, including private sector clients and local authorities. Stephen Homer is praised for his ‘understanding of commercial pressures’, and is recommended alongside Patrick Blake for contentious and non-contentious work.

Bevan Brittan LLP advises on a broad spectrum of construction transactions and disputes for public and private sector clients. Louise Robling has been acting for Portsmouth City Council on a series of disputes with Ensign Highways concerning a PFI project. Jonathan Turner has a particular focus on housing and regeneration projects.

Key figures at Clarke Willmott LLP include Peter O’Brien, who specialises in construction disputes; Priscilla Hall; and Zoe Stollard, who acts on non-contentious matters. Clients include MW High Tech Projects, Bouygues UK and EnviTec Biogas.

DAC Beachcroft LLP is ‘extremely responsive’ and provides advice that is ‘always clear and practical’. The firm acts on a wide range of public sector and NHS construction projects, and is advising a growing client base of private health providers on secure and elderly care developments. Highlights for Ben Thornycroft included advising Red & Yellow Care on the £40m redevelopment of a police station in Clapham into a dementia care campus.

TLT has an established reputation for handling transactional work and disputes in the conventional and renewable energy sectors. Key figures include Simon Goss and Neel Mehta, who have ‘profound understanding of the construction industry’; and Tom Wrzesien, who assisted a housing association in relation to disputes regarding a PFI regeneration contract. Ecotricity Group, Midas and Wates Construction are also clients.

Excellent in all respects’, Veale Wasbrough Vizards’ team advises a number of educational institutions and local government clients on contentious and non-contentious matters. Huw Morgan and Jason Prosser are noted for their ‘ability to give straightforward and balanced advice’.

Bond Dickinson LLP handles a variety of work for retail, insurance and energy sector clients such as New Look Retailers, Midas Construction and Network Rail Infrastructure. David Skelton handles transactional matters as well as disputes.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s team advised on a number of construction procurement agreements and leases, and also handled a number of big-ticket international projects. Consultant Sarah Jane Hudson is ‘an experienced’ construction lawyer with ‘an exceptionally good and analytical approach’.

Chris Hoar at Foot Anstey is advising British Solar Renewables on a negotiation with a statutory water undertaker relating to the joint procurement of solar photovoltaic facilities. Stephen Ovenden advises clients across a range of sectors on both contentious and non-contentious matters, and has significant experience in energy projects.

Michelmores LLPtailors its advice to the needs of the client’. The practice advises on contentious and non-contentious matters for a client base that spans a number of sectors. Gerald Offen has ‘a very detailed understanding of the relevant law’ and is ‘an extremely astute tactician’. Brian Hitchcock is also recommended.

Royds Withy King advises on contentious and non-contentious matters for clients in the retail, housing and infrastructure sectors. Philip Banks-Welsh and Graham Street are key figures in the team, which was joined in January 2016 by Andrew Ash from Osborne Clarke.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys's Cheltenham office works closely with colleagues in Worcester across a broad range of contentious and non-contentious construction matters. Lucinda Baker divides time between Cheltenham and Worcester.

At Keystone Law, Martin Howe acts for a number of educational institutions and local authorities on contentious and non-contentious matters. Key practitioners include Jon Close, who joined from BPE Solicitors LLP in March 2016, and Louise Garcia, who has notable experience in contentious construction matters.

At Thrings LLP, Steve McCombe and Eric Livingston handle contentious and non-contentious construction matters, respectively. Bristol Water, Fusion Students, and Anthony Best Dynamics are clients.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP is praised for its ability to provide ‘sound advice to help resolve complex issues and queries’. The ‘attentive’ Alan Tate specialises in transactional construction work, acting for clients primarily in the housing, education and health sectors.


Index of tables

  1. Environment
  2. Leading individuals

Michael Barlow leads Burges Salmon LLP’s team, which advises on all aspects of environmental compliance and is ‘one of the best’. Other key figures include nuclear regulatory expert Ian Salter, and Ross Fairley, who specialises in issues in the infrastructure and energy sectors.

Alan John’s team at Osborne Clarke has a large advisory workload, and also handles regulatory investigations. The team regularly acts for national housebuilders on high-value acquisitions involving complex contamination risk liability issues. Clients include Dell, Western Power Distribution and Hills Waste Solutions.

The individuals at Bond Dickinson LLP stand out for their ‘combination of a well-developed sense of what is practical and commercial with first-rate legal knowledge’. The team acted on an Environment Agency prosecution relating to the breach of an environmental permit due to a non-permitted release of chemicals. Jon Cooper is a key name to note for environmental regulatory matters. Sarah Holmes is ‘a pleasure to work with’, and Jonathan Bower is ‘calm and focused, with a very sharp legal brain’.

Clarke Willmott LLP acts for a predominantly agricultural client base on environmental prosecutions and other enforcement actions taken by local authorities and by The Environment Agency. The team’s track record also includes advising developers on environmental matters relating to planning applications. Neil Baker and Tim Hayden are the main contacts.

DAC Beachcroft LLP is a popular choice for handling due diligence and providing advice on environmental liabilities arising from property and corporate transactions. Anne Harrison’s team recently acted for Hanson on a prosecution brought by the London Borough of Ealing concerning alleged breaches of an environmental permit at a concrete batching plant. It also advised Bellway on environmental liabilities in relation to the lease of land.

Foot Anstey’s team, led by the well-regarded Chris Pritchett, has a solid environmental energy, waste and regulation practice. Representative clients include British Solar Renewables, Lloyds Bank and Earthworm Energy.

TLT has a ‘strong team of experts’ that handles the full spectrum of environmental matters, including environmental litigation and defending against criminal prosecutions. Katherine Evans advises on property-related environmental issues, with a particular focus on waste regulation and contaminated land. Clients include Barclays Bank, The Environment Agency and Viridor Waste Management.

Ashfords LLP regularly prosecutes a wide range of offences for a number of public utility companies and local authorities. Richard Voke and Jeremy Asher are the main contacts.

Bevan Brittan LLP’s strong public sector practice is headed by Nadeem Arshad, who has particular expertise advising on the contractual aspects of environmental projects and environmental services procurements.

Michelmores LLP is singled out for its ‘grasp of operational and commercial realities’. Key figures include Andrew Oldland QC, who has notable expertise in environmental prosecutions, and Mark Howard, who advised on several multimillion-pound deals for waste and material recycling facilities.

Stephens Scown LLP has particular strength acting for clients in the mining, minerals and waste industries. The team also advises on EIA issues and on the application of the Habitats Regulations and the Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) Regulations 2015. Chris Tofts is ‘outstanding’.

Thrings LLP’s team is ‘always ready to go the extra mile’. Clients single out Alex Madden as ‘a highly competent practitioner’.


Index of tables

  1. Planning
  2. Leading individuals

More than a match for specialist planning firms in London’, Bond Dickinson LLP’s team advises on the full range of development and infrastructure planning issues. Jonathan Bower (who ‘always fights hard to make sure his clients get the right result’) is assisting local councils a number of redevelopment and regeneration projects. Richard Guyatt is ‘a brilliant lawyer’ with particular expertise in compulsory acquisition matters.

Burges Salmon LLPcompetes strongly at the national level’. Its broad clients base covers corporates and utilities as well as local authorities and national public agencies. Within Gary Soloman’s team, Elizabeth Dunn is ‘a tour de force in the planning field’ and is ‘a delight to work with’. Patrick Robinson and Julian Boswall are recommended in the fields of energy and infrastructure planning projects.

Clients of Clarke Willmott LLP praise its ‘excellent level of service and approachable team’. It is particularly strong in the housebuilding sector, where it acts for clients including Redrow Homes, Persimmon Homes and Crest Nicholson. In a recent highlight, Neil Baker advised Barratt Homes on planning appeals and inquiries relating to its residential development schemes. Karen Howe has particular expertise in highways and public right of way issues. The ‘extremely knowledgeableChris Charlton is also recommended.

Davitt Jones Bould acts for a number of high-profile public sector clients including the Cabinet Office, DWP and The Environment Agency, as well as acting on infrastructure and development projects for clients in the private sector. In 2015, the team acted for a number of local authorities on the planning aspects of mixed-use development projects. Robin de Wreede, Peter Allinson and Mark Brumwell are ‘excellent solicitors’.

Ashfords LLP advises national housebuilders on planning issues and assists local authorities with Section 106 agreements. John Bosworth heads the team, which was joined by Duncan Moors in March 2016.

Michelmores LLP advises public sector clients on a broad range of planning matters; it also has a nationally recognised coastal development and planning practice, which acts for clients such as Port of London Authority and RNLI. A recent highlight saw the team assisting a housebuilder on planning permission and Section 106 agreements. Mark Howard is ‘pragmatic’ and provides ‘a confident and professional service’.

Osborne Clarke’s broad planning practice has particular experience of acting on the planning aspects of large energy and infrastructure projects. It also acts for a number of leading housebuilders on residential and mixed-use schemes. Neil Bromwich is ‘experienced, incisive and practical’.

The planning team at Stephens Scown LLP is praised for its ‘impressive knowledge and detailed, commercial advice’. Areas of particular strength include mining, agricultural and residential development planning. David Corsellis has ‘a great can-do attitude and will cut through to the real issues quickly and efficiently. Kirstie Apps and Chris Tofts are recommended on the contentious side.

TLT’s team works closely with its licensing and real estate team and handles planning due diligence work in relation to corporate acquisitions and disposals. The group also has a track record in inquiries and High Court proceedings. Clients include WHSmith, Punch Taverns, Swan Housing Group and British Solar Renewables. Katherine Evans has ‘great all-round experience’.

Bevan Brittan LLP’s client roster features a large number of local authorities, NHS trusts and housing associations. Kathryn Lawrance is the main contact.

Anne Bennett at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP regularly advises on Section 106 agreements.

DAC Beachcroft LLP acts for residential developers and local authorities. Anne Harrison has expertise in both planning and environmental law.

Foot Anstey saw the arrival of planning specialist Tim Taylor from Forsters LLP in August 2015. Recent highlights include advising Cornwall Council on Section 106 agreements and highway agreements.

Humphreys & Co. focuses on planning appeals and enforcement work. Robert Humphreys is the main contact.

At Thrings LLP, Alex Madden has notable experience in the rural planning sector. Highlights included advising Castletown Estates on the negotiation of a Section 106 agreement with Carmarthenshire County Council concerning a mixed-use development.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards combines ‘pragmatic and appropriate advice’ with ‘excellent technical knowledge’, particularly in the education, charity and local government sectors. David Bird is the name to note.

Property litigation

Index of tables

  1. Property litigation
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Bond Dickinson LLP’s ‘excellent’ team advises a variety of household names such as Network Rail Infrastructure, New Look, Virgin and RWE Innogy. Recent highlights include acting in a dilapidations claim and in a dispute over the termination date of a lease as well as an associated claim for additional rent payments. Other areas of expertise include high-value property arbitrations. James Rees is noted for his ‘relevant, insightful advice’, and Patrick Wetherall has ‘good judgement’.

Recent highlights for Burges Salmon LLP’s property litigation team include advising Bristol Rovers FC on the enforcement of a development agreement against Sainsbury’s. The team’s experience extends to alternative dispute resolution and property insolvency matters. The ‘extremely professional and thoroughRichard Bedfordhandles tricky property disputes with ease’.

Clarke Willmott LLP’s team is led by housebuilder litigation specialist Chris Taylor and includes a number of highly recommended individuals whose technical expertise is ‘second to none’. Neil Ham acted for Bristol Water in High Court proceedings concerning an order to compel reversal of construction over a water main. Bonnie Martin, Graham McIntyre and Kary Withers are ‘good at identifying solutions to overcome difficult situations’.

In an illustration of Osborne Clarke’s strength in development disputes, Leona Briggs acted for BDW Trading in an agricultural tenancy dispute concerning a significant residential development site. The practice also continues to advise major energy and infrastructure sector clients on disputes over land rights and the exercise of statutory powers over land, and on Electronic Communications Code disputes. Other clients include Vodafone.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards’ Michelle Bendall is praised for her ‘in-depth understanding of local government’. It regularly acts on dilapidation claims and trespassing issues. Representative clients include Airbus, Highways England and The Defence Infrastructure Organisation. David Bird and Naomi Chesterman are ‘very smooth operators’.

Ashfords LLP is active in dilapidation and overage claims, and also assists banks with recovery litigation related to secured lending against commercial premises. Robert Horsey and Sian Gibbon are ‘practical, knowledgeable, but above all commercially-minded practitioners’.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s recent instructions include retail administrations, a right to light claim and a dispute over purchase of a plot of land for development. Practice head David Marsden is ‘technically superb’.

Nick Knapman’s team at DAC Beachcroft LLP acts on contentious asset management issues for clients including Westfield, EE and Croydon Partnership. The team also continues to act on behalf of HMCTS in connection with a high-value dilapidations claim brought against it by its former landlord.

Foot Anstey’s client roster features public sector as well as media sector clients. Its strengths include advising on rural and agricultural disputes and mineral rights. Richard Bagwell has ‘a good commercial view for the merits of a dispute’. Dan Cuthbert is also recommended, particularly for his expertise in the retail sector.

TLT advises on a broad range of contentious property matters, with significant strength in the retail and leisure sectors, for clients including Southern Housing Group, BBC and London Borough of Lambeth. Mark Routley and Kane Kirkbride are ‘very good all-rounders’.

Bevan Brittan LLP draws on its expertise in the public sector to advise a number of local governments, housing associations and NHS trusts. In a recent highlight, the team handled a high-profile High Court case concerning a break notice in a lease. Steven Eccles is ‘dynamic, energetic and commercially-minded’.

Davitt Jones Bould’s ‘excellent’ team regularly advises both local and central government bodies on high-profile litigation. Maeve Bonner is praised for her ‘ability to simplify complex issues’.

Lester Aldridge LLP provides ‘a consistently high level of service’. Jenny Hermer stands out for her ‘clarity of thought and her determination to get the best result for her client’.

Michelmores LLP’s team is now led by Andrew Baines following the departure in December 2015 of former head Rob Nicholson to Ashfords LLP. Baines handled a number of rights of light disputes, disputed lease-break matters and dilapidation claims.

Steele Raymond LLP is ‘a very sound regional firm’. Simone Ritchie is recommended for ‘combining enthusiasm with correct judgement’.

Stephens Scown LLP’s team of ‘very good performers’ has particular strength in the mining and mineral, rural, leisure and housing association sectors. Mark Richardson advises on matters such as rights of way, overage claims and agricultural and residential landlord and tenant disputes. Mark Stubbs is ‘reliable and sound’.

Warre Reid at Thrings LLP advises a broad range of clients such as Waitrose, and Countrywide Estate Agents. Michael Tatters is ‘excellent and is very prompt in his response to queries’.

At Trowers & Hamlins LLP, Jason Hobday ‘spots relevant points well in advance’, and is ‘an expert in relation to social housing litigation’.

Ceri Stephens at Battens Solicitors Limited handles all aspects of property litigation including rights of way and boundary disputes.

At Davies and Partners, Claire-Elaine Arthurs handles commercial, agricultural and residential disputes, as well as professional negligence claims against property professionals.

Laceys Solicitors incorporating HLF displays ‘high business acumen and industry knowledge’. Mark Timberlake represented a commercial landlord on dilapidation claims and tenant insolvency.

At Pardoes Solicitors LLP, Bhavani Hogarty is ‘extremely knowledgeable, approachable and helpful’.

Trethowans LLP advises a wide range of clients including National Trust and Jewson. Ian Singleton is the main contact.

At Willans LLP, Nick Cox handles a variety of property-related matters including professional negligence claims.

Peter Bourke at Wilsons has notable experience in agricultural land disputes.

At Royds Withy King, Caroline Preist is praised for her ‘good core knowledge of real estate litigation’. Preist regularly handles boundary, access and drainage rights disputes.

Social housing

Index of tables

  1. Social housing
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

TLT had a prolific year advising a number of housing associations on big-ticket deals. Recent highlights for property regeneration specialist Paul Butterworth include acting for Swan Housing Group on the variation of a major development agreement with the HCA and Basildon Borough Council, and assisting Aster Communities and Aster Homes with the acquisition of 328 affordable dwellings across eight schemes. Kane Kirkbride is highly recommended for housing and property disputes for registered providers and other housing clients.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP’s ‘highly experienced’ team is ‘extremely reactive to clients’ needs’ and provides ‘appropriate levels of expertise’. The team acted on a number of site acquisitions and regeneration projects. In a recent highlight, Joseph Acton acted for North Devon Homes on its acquisition of a site for mixed-use development. Recently promoted partner Rachel Carter is also recommended.

Ashfords LLP is praised for its ‘excellent client-care skills’. The five-partner team, led by Sian Gibbon and Tim Heal, has particular strength in housing litigation and property development work. Cornerstone Housing, Sovereign Housing Association and The Guinness Partnership feature in its client list. Victoria Bonnet has ‘an excellent understanding of housing and local authority law’.

Bevan Brittan LLP’s clients praise its ‘pragmatic, commercial and creative approach’ and its ability to ‘resource advice at an appropriate level’. The firm’s client base features both housing associations and local authorities such as Sovereign Housing Group, Bournemouth Borough Council and Coastline Housing Association. Matthew Waters, Jonathan Turner and Alison Buckingham are the main contacts.

Oliver Smedley’s team at Clarke Willmott LLP has a wide range of expertise in all areas of housing and asset management, including development and securitisation matters. Property litigator Kary Withers is ‘very good at identifying solutions to overcome difficult situations’; in 2015 Wither represented a number of housing associations on contentious matters and property portfolio management. Anne Hayward retired in December 2015.

Foot Anstey’s recent highlights include acting for a registered provider on an acquisition of land under a sub-sale land acquisition structure, and entering into an immediate build contract with the seller to develop residential units. Michael Gay and Georgina Savill are key contacts.

At Stephens Scown LLP, the ‘approachable and knowledgeable’ Hillary Pitts advised Hastoe Housing Association on a number of site acquisitions, as well as right to acquire and enfranchisement issues. Keith Wright has notable strength advising rural housing associations.

Stephen Burtchaell at Tozers Solicitors LLP advised on sale of shared ownerships and property refinancings. Other areas of expertise for the firm include advising housing sector clients on employment matters.

Humphreys & Co. acts for individuals on shared ownership transactions. Name partner Robert Humphreys is the key name to note.

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

GC Diversity and Inclusion Report

In partnership with...

International comparative guides

Giving the in-house community greater insight to the law and regulations in different jurisdictions.

Select Practice Area

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

Press Releases in the UK

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to