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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 West > Real estate > Construction > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Index of tables

  1. Construction
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Led by¬†William Gard, the ‚Äėamazing‚Äô construction and engineering team at¬†Burges Salmon LLP¬†excels in handling critical national infrastructure projects across multiple sectors, including renewables and energy storage, and transport. The group stands out for its niche expertise in nuclear new-build projects; this is an area of specialism for Steven James. Marcus Harling¬†regularly takes the lead on the procurement and delivery aspects of complex construction projects.¬†Also notable is that¬†the team has had an increase in mandates from clients in the utilities, mining and waste management sectors. The team also has experience of acting in construction disputes, which are a specialism for Richard Adams¬†and senior associate Jessica Evans, who was hired from Bevan Brittan LLP¬†in June 2018.

Practice head(s):William Gard

Other key lawyers:Marcus Harling; Steven James; Richard Adams; Jessica Evans

Testimonials

'A great and friendly team with significant, in-depth knowledge of the construction market'

'It is certainly delightful working with this highly dedicated team'

'What sets the team apart is its members' complete understanding of the law, which is also supplemented by everyone's pragmatic approach towards risks which clients may face'

'The team's knowledge is up-to-date and its  expertise in energy construction projects is unrivaled'

'Burges Salmon's construction team truly combines a hands-on approach with the ability to analyse in-depth any relevant legal issues'

'The team is impressive, approachable, well-organised and cost-effective'

'Marcus Harling is amazing'

'Richard Adams certainly stands out - he is proactive, knowledgeable, able to explain things clearly, and good during negotiations'

'Richard Adams is very hard-working and simply excellent'

'Richard Adams has encyclopedic knowledge of the NEC3 form'

'Director Paul Doherty is approachable and very knowledgeable, and always responds and takes necessary measures quickly'

'Steven James has good all-round knowledge and significant experience in the industry'

'One can rely on the advice which Steven James provides  with their eyes closed'

'Quick and very creative, Lloyd James has unrivaled expertise in energy construction projects'

'Lloyd James is a really outstanding practitioner, due to his good negotiation skills and his ability to always go the extra mile in proactively addressing all relevant issues which clients may encounter'

Key Clients

Costain

Highways England

Affinity Water

Crown Commercial Service

Marks & Spencer

John Lewis Partnership

Serco-Abellio

HSBC Bank

University of Bristol

AEG

Anesco

Welsh Government / Transport for Wales

Engie

Work highlights

  • Advising Costain on its work on the £1.3bn M4 relief road project in South Wales.
  • Advising Affinity Water on the construction works required to integrate its assets with the HS2 project.
  • Advising Redcliff as a JV developer of a £250m mixed-use redevelopment in the Bristol city centre.
  • Advising the Welsh government on the £5bn procurement of the Wales and Borders rail service and the South Wales Metro project.
  • Advising the Cayman Islands Government on the PPP structured procurement of a new waste-to-energy scheme and a new waste management system.

The ‚Äėsuperb‚Äô construction team at Osborne Clarke¬†handles a full spectrum of both contentious and non-contentious work. It advises on pioneering projects in relation to urban mixed-use regenerations, as well as the logistics, energy, social care and luxury property sectors. The firm is also a market-leader in the higher education sector, which is an area of focus for Philip Davies. Splitting his time between Bristol and London, Rob Horne¬†advises on the contentious aspects of substantial construction, engineering and infrastructure projects. Associate director David Kirkpatrick‚Äôs practice also focuses on construction-focused dispute resolution.¬†Carl Thompson¬†is recommended for his expertise in energy and utilities projects.

Practice head(s):Philip Davies; Carl Thompson; Rob Horne

Other key lawyers:David Kirkpatrick

Testimonials

'Osborne Clarke's team is very experienced in the construction industry'

'The team is practical and quick in grasping difficult, highly technical issues'

'What sets the team apart is its ability to suggest novel solutions to complex problems'

Key Clients

U and I Group

Gazeley UK

Cubex Land

Palmer Capital

Royal Bank of Scotland

Western Power Distribution

Foresight Group

Civitas Living

Campus Living Villages UK

Equitix

Northacre Renewable Energy

M&G Real Estate

Work highlights

  • Advising Gazeley on the plan to develop G-Park London Docklands, the UK’s first three-storey logistics facility.
  • Advising Civitas Living on the successful bid for the PFI design, build, finance and operation of  1,400 new student beds at the University of York's East Campus.
  • Advised Equitix and Campus Living Villages on a joint venture to deliver a 1,000-bed accommodation development project with Durham University.
  • Advising Cubex Land and Palmer Capital on all construction-related matters at Finzels Reach, Bristol -  a high-profile, mixed-use redevelopment site adjacent to the Floating Harbour.

  • Advising PegasusLife on construction procurement matters relating to the £100m development of retirement living premises across the UK.

Ashfords LLP is very active on the contentious front; in addition to handling litigation, the firm assists clients with adjudications and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. On the non-contentious side, the team generates work from clients in industries such as leisure, waste and utilities, as well as the public sector. Practice head Patrick Blake is experienced in high-value energy projects. Another key figure is Stephen Homer, who undertakes contentious and non-contentious work for local authorities, developers and contractors. In 2018, Neel Mehta joined from TLT.

Practice head(s):Patrick Blake

Other key lawyers:Stephen Homer; Neel Mehta

Testimonials

'Ashfords provides great partner-led service, supported by an outstanding team of associates'

'The team provides City-quality services'

'Steven Homer and Patrick Blake are certainly two of the most experienced construction lawyers in the region'

'Steven Homer and Patrick Blake have tremendous knowledge and demonstrate an outstanding ability to achieve clients' goals'

Key Clients

Wates Construction

Canterbury City Council

CC Construction

Cornwall Council

Exeter City Council

Midas Construction

United Living Group

BDW Trading

Parabel UK

MK Refurbishment

Yarlington Homes

Hardrock Developments

Swindon Borough Council

CG Fry & Son

Work highlights

  • Advising Exeter City Council on the construction documentation for Exeter City Council's new state-of-the-art leisure centre and swimming pool.
  • Acting for Exeter City Council on its professional negligence claim against a well-known firm of London architects.
  • Acting for Midas Construction on a claim against a timber-frame contractor and architect in relation to defective timber-frame high -end residential houses at Exmouth.
  • Assisting Canterbury City Council with a claim for negligent design and breach of contract in relation to the part-conversion of the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury.
  • Advised Wates Construction on a long-term framework contract, valued at £200m.

Bevan Brittan LLP is widely recognised for its work for public sector clients, and it advises a number of local authorities on construction-related issues. It also has a growing private sector client base, which turns to the firm for advice on complex projects. The firm's construction work spans a broad cross-section of areas, including urban regeneration, healthcare, urban regeneration, education, social housing, waste and energy projects. Louise Robling, who heads up the department in Bristol, has expertise in complex private finance initiative (PFI) contracts, and advises on related renegotiations and disputes. Jonathan Turner is knowledgeable about construction issues in the housing sector. Senior associate Jessica Evans moved to Burges Salmon LLP.

Practice head(s):Louise Robling; Andrew Tobin

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Turner

Key Clients

North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust

North Bristol NHS Trust

Plymouth City Council

Kajima Partnerships

Sovereign Housing Association

Places for People

Midas Construction

University of Oxford

NHS Property Services

London and Quadrant Group

Peabody Housing Group

Sanctuary Housing Group

Together Housing Group

Southern Housing Group

Catalyst Housing Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for London Borough of Harrow in a dispute following a school's expansion project, undertaken by Keepmoat Regeneration.
  • Advising  Places for People/ Urban Splash joint venture development company formed between Places for People Group and Urban Splash upon its separate joint venture with Birmingham City Council and Canal & River Trust.
  • Advising Catalyst Housing Group on the procurement and contracting arrangements for the asset management of its housing stock.
  • Advising North Norfolk District Council on an innovative coastal defence project.

Clarke Willmott LLP's dedicated construction practice, which has a national footprint, places a particular emphasis on sectors such as waste management, waste-to-energy, transport and infrastructure. In Bristol, Anna-Liisa Blanks-Walden specialises in construction dispute resolution, and is particularly experienced in acting for registered providers and housing associations in the social housing sector. Recently promoted partner Natalie Read also focuses on dispute resolution. Non-contentious construction work is led by Zoe Stollard.

Practice head(s):Priscilla Hall (London); Anna-Liisa Blanks-Walden; Zoe Stollard

Other key lawyers:Natalie Read

Testimonials

'The team is very experienced in construction matters'

'Team members provide clear and concise advice'

'Lawyers on this team are able to handle all types of construction-related queries. Responses are always speedy, especially when urgent advice is needed. The team also goes out of its way to build stable relationships with clients.'

'Anna-Liisa Blanks-Walden and Zoe Stollard are both very knowledgeable and efficient'

Key Clients

L&Q Group

Ashville Group

Secure Trust Bank

Stonewater Housing Association

Sutton Harbour Services

GreenSquare Group

Lloyds Bank

LiveWest

Aster Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for a large retail and commercial bank on a multi-phase deal for the development of residential housing and retail space.
  • Acted for a leading demolition contractor in the acquisition of- and on a demolition contract for a plate mill from a well-known steel manufacturer.
  • Advising a large regional developer on a large multiple-phased development of a business park.
  • Advising a large regional building contractor on a hotel development and a retirement housing project.

Michelmores LLP’s construction and engineering team operates regionally and nationally across the firm’s offices based in Exeter, Bristol and London. Practice head Chris Hoar and Gerald Offen regularly take the lead on contentious construction matters, working closely with members of the wider dispute resolution practice. Senior associate Michael Bonning is another key figure in this space. Elsewhere, Alan Tate’s practice focuses on transactional construction work. The varied client base includes public authorities, developers, contractors, project managers and funders. Areas of significant activity include renewable energy, leisure and residential development.

Practice head(s):Chris Hoar

Other key lawyers:Gerald Offen; Alan Tate; Michael Bonning

Testimonials

Great level of support coupled with attention to detail during all stages of a construction project – inception, negotiation, management of issues, and litigation, where necessary

A very dedicated and highly professional team whose attention to detail is second to none

The team adopts an approach that is proactive, friendly and helpful at the same time

Chris Hoar is diligent and straightforward in his communication with clients

Knowledgeable and approachable, Alan Tate is not only a true professional, but also a pleasure to work with

Gerald Offen and Michael Bonning are very experienced and successful in handling claims

Key Clients

Ministry of Justice

HM Courts and Tribunals Service

Exeter and Devon Airport

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust

Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Midas Construction

Plymouth City Council

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

Met Office

Downing LLP

Swindon Borough Council

Kingsbridge Estates

Work highlights

  • Advising Plymouth City Council on the construction documentation for The Box.
  • Advising The Royal Sussex County Hospital on a large redevelopment health project.
  • Advising the Ministry of Justice on a number of landmark schemes, such as the acquisition of a new civil, family and tribunal courthouse in Newcastle.

Led by practice head Simon Goss, TLT's Bristol team works seamlessly with the firm’s offices in Manchester and London. The group has a particular strength in the public and clean energy sectors, and has also had an increase in mandates in the housing and higher education sectors. It advises on a wide range of high-value projects for building developers and end-users, including global brands, public bodies and housing associations. It also acts for regional and national contractors. Construction dispute resolution specialist Tom Wrzesien is a name to note.  

Practice head(s):Simon Goss

Other key lawyers:Tom Wrzesien

Testimonials

'Highly personable, able to tailor advice accordingly to different individuals within the business.'

'The team offer tactical advice and are able to draw upon differing levels of experience across the national team.'

'Good example of functional team working from different regional offices.'

'TLT provide a well organised, professional and structured service. TLT's strength is their promptness in responding to queries. How they explain the legal language to lay persons simply, clearly and concisely. TLT use their strengths traits and abilities in their approach to complete work, relate with others, and to achieve goals. '

'The individuals I have worked with at TLT have always gone above and beyond to assist with my queries. They talk through difficult situations and come up with prospective solutions in negotiating with difficult clients. Always very helpful and approachable and always make me feel comfortable when discussing matters with them.'

Key Clients

Bank of Baroda

WH Smith

NextEnergy Solar Fund (NESF)

Savills

Midas Construction

HAB at the Acre Limited

Quadrant Construction Services Limited

Total Control Services Ltd

Thrive Renewables PLC

Arlington Energy

Work highlights

  • Advised Bank of Baroda on a £211m development finance facility.
  • Advising Lucozade Ribena Suntory on transactions and contract drafting for supplier contracts, among other tasks.
  • Advising energy supplier Eelpower on its acquisition of one of the UK's largest energy storage schemes.

VWV's equally strong capabilities in contentious and non-contentious construction matters sees it generate work from clients in areas such as education, aerospace, energy, healthcare, insurance, and the public sector. Huw Morgan assists with PPP and PFI projects, design-and-build issues, and various contractual arrangements. Also recommended is Jason Prosser, who is particularly adept at acting on energy and utilities projects. Senior associate Alice Lang is a key contact for education sector clients and property developers.

Practice head(s):Huw Morgan

Other key lawyers:Jason Prosser; Alice Lang

Key Clients

Bouygues UK Limited

Airbus Operations Limited

University of Bristol

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Bath Spa University

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Taylor Maxwell & Co Limited

Herefordshire District Council

ULC Robotics International Limited

Thanet District Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Airbus on the construction of a bespoke £30m building for research and advanced testing.
  • Acting for Bristol Cathedral Choir School on the negotiation of a complex development agreement to refurbish and expand the School.
  • Advising ULC Robotics on its innovative robotic gas pipeline repair work in the UK energy sector.
  • Acting for a leading Russell Group university on the preparation of an entire new suite of construction documentation for its various projects.
  • Acting for the University of Bristol on the construction aspects of its £350m Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus Project.

DAC Beachcroft LLP is particularly well-known for undertaking commercial construction and professional indemnity claims against construction professionals; illustrative of its excellent reputation in this space, the firm generates a significant amount of work from corporate and London market insurers. Elsewhere, the firm handles a wide range of complex construction projects for clients such as national housebuilders and the NHS. The utilities and financial sectors, are among other areas of activity. Ben Thornycroft heads up the group, which also includes Philip Roberts.

Practice head(s):Ben Thornycroft

Other key lawyers:Philip Roberts

Testimonials

'The team is pragmatic, realistic and efficient'

'Ben Thornycroft is approachable, engaging and proactive'

'They are keen to understand our business and tailor their advice accordingly. In addition to having the relevant expertise, they bring a pragmatic approach to problem solving'

'Ben Thornycroft has authority and expertise, and is also very approachable and a good team player. He is always a pleasure to deal with and very responsive in the timely delivery of his advice, which is focused on the client's needs'

'From the first conversation to the conclusion of the matter, DAC Beachcroft was on hand to offer clear guidance not only on the course of action that we should take, but on the anticipated response of the claimant. It constantly showed that it was three steps ahead of the claimant and this offered the reassurance that we had the right team for the job'

Key Clients

Crown Commercial Service

Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Backhouse Housing

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

Aviva

Deeley Freed Estates

Shore Capital Group

QBE Insurance Company (UK)

Bristol Water

Linden Homes

Work highlights

  • Advising Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust on issues regarding the construction of a new hospital.
  • Advising housebuilder Backhouse Housing on issues regarding development management and construction documents.
  • Advising Mayo Clinic Healthcare on a £9m internal refurbishment of a commercial office building in London to create a private patient diagnostic medical facility.
  • Advised St. James’s Place Wealth Management Group  on multiple construction documents and due diligence issues regarding a new office building in London.
  • Advised DFKE (Hereford) on the development of a Premier Inn in Hereford.

Royds Withy King’s construction and engineering team attracts a varied portfolio of construction work from national and regional clients in sectors such as education, energy, infrastructure, technology and leisure. The team’s client base includes commercial and residential developers, utility companies, contractors and specialist sub-contractors. Practice head Andrew Ash specialises in construction dispute resolution. In 2018, the team expanded its offering on the non-contentious side through the appointment of Catherine Welch, who joined from Ashfords LLP. Welch has experience of drafting and negotiating construction contracts, as well as advising clients on procurement strategies for renewable energy and residential development projects. Managing partner Graham Street is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Andrew Ash

Other key lawyers:Graham Street; Catherine Welch

Testimonials

The team is always practical and supportive

The team is good at handling contentious work, but also focuses on avoiding litigation where possible

Everyone has excellent expertise in the construction field

Catherine Welch is deemed to be one of the regional go-to solicitors when it comes to construction law and contractor contract documentation

Catherine Welch and Andrew Ash are very approachable, friendly and knowledgeable partners, who also value their relationships with clients

Catherine clearly has a passion and desire to do the best for her clients

Andrew Ash is exceptional

Key Clients

Bath Rugby

Arena 1865

Diamond Light Source

Focchi Limited

Hall & Kay Fire Services

MJ Church (Plant)

NatWest

Socomec UK

That Bournemouth Company

University of Bath

Western Power Distribution

Work highlights

  • Advising Bath Rugby Limited/Arena 1865 Limited on its construction procurement strategy, including consultants’ appointments and building contracts for Bath Rugby’s £80m stadium.

  • Advising NatWest on the design and the construction of a new £2.7bn care home.
  • Advising That Bournemouth Company Limited on the refinancing of the development of a £49m mixed-use site in Bournemouth.

Thrings LLP advises a wide range of clients on both commercial and residential development projects. It acts for developer clients of all sizes, which also notably includes larger overseas clients, such as Chait Investment Corporation. Its team’s sector expertise spans healthcare, retail, leisure, transport and energy. Also notable is that it has had an increase in mandates in the infrastructure sector, particularly in relation to contentious matters. Practice head Steve McCombe has vast experience of construction and engineering disputes. In 2018, Eric Livingston departed the firm to become a legal director at BYLOR Joint Venture. In another development, Natalia Sokolov made partner.

Practice head(s):Steve McCombe

Other key lawyers:Michael Chilton; Natalia Sokolov

Key Clients

Fusion Students

Chait Investment Corporation

Bristol Water

AFL Telecommunications Europe

Anthony Best Dynamics

TrueSpeed Communications

National Westminster Bank

Foundation Property and Capital

Braintree Properties LLP

Baylis Estates

Work highlights

  • Advising Anthony Best Dynamics on the construction of a new high-value manufacturing facility.
  • Advising Chait Investment Corporation on the construction elements of the £10m refurbishment and redevelopment of a property in Islington, London, aiming at creating a high-quality office space.
  • Advising Chait Investment Corporation on the construction elements of the design and construction of a mixed-use scheme.
  • Advising Christian Grant Properties on the redevelopment of a former industrial property in Bristol into a luxury-apartments building.
  • Advising Baylis Estates on the documentation regarding the construction of a multi-tenant business park in Bristol.

Foot Anstey has established a reputation as a strong performer in the construction sphere, as is reflected by its work for clients in the energy, infrastructure, technology, retail and leisure sectors. In addition to acting for clients in domestic UK matters, a significant portion of the firm's work has a cross-border element; team head Ian Stubbs is experienced in acting for overseas-based clients. Legal director Brian Hitchcock and managing associate Tris Tucker are other key figures in the team, which was strengthened by the arrival of senior associate Suriya Edwards from Geldards LLP.

Practice head(s):Ian Stubbs

Other key lawyers:Brian Hitchcock; Brian Hitchcock

Key Clients

Plymouth City Council

NEC Energy Solutions

WElink Energy Group

British Solar Renewables

Eden Project

Willmott Dixon

Screwfix Direct

Green Frog Connect

TClarke

Hodge Bank

Handelsbanken

Work highlights

  • Advising Screwfix Direct on construction-related aspects concerning one-off stores and other larger projects, such as distribution centres.
  • Advised NEC Energy Solutions on two UK energy-storage projects; work involved drafting documentation concerning the construction of the energy-storage systems.
  • Advising Green Frog Gas Utilities on grid-connection contracts, supply and installation of gas-control systems.

Keystone Law, whose team in the South West is part of a wider UK construction group, provides partner-led advice on both contentious and non-contentious construction matters. The names to note at the firm are Louise Garcia, Martin Howe, Jon Close and Tom Phillips. Practitioners undertake work across a number of industries, including the education, transport, healthcare, central and local government, energy, waste, and leisure sectors. In addition to acting for employers, the firm acts for contractors, sub-contractors and consultants.  

Other key lawyers:Louise Garcia; Martin Howe; Jon Close; Tom Phillips

Testimonials

'A hands-on approach to getting the job done'

'A well-balanced team with mixed skills and expertise'

'The team is client- focused and responsive, and provides pragmatic advice'

'Louise Garcia is pleasant and efficient'

'Tom Phillips is a leader in non-contentious construction work; he has a keen eye for detail and constantly delivers exceptional-quality services'

'Tom Phillips is organised and provides commercial advice'

Key Clients

Alpine Works

Complete Utilities

Dribuild

Eastleigh Borough Council

Ecotricity Group

Geoffrey Osborne

Geocisa UK

GBE Converge

The Hall for Cornwall Property Trust

iStudio Projects

Kingfisher Una Resort

King’s College, Cambridge

Link Highway Services

Manstal

MKR Construction

RES Land and New Homes

St James’ Construction

University of Southampton

University of the West of England

Work highlights

  • Advising Eastleigh Borough Council on the construction documentation for the construction of a car showroom on land adjoining fleming way and advice on the construction aspects of a development agreement for the re-development of the former civic offices to provide a four-storey office block.
  • Acted for Ecotricity Group on the procurement of a number of projects and provided contract law advice.
  • Representing Manstal as a second defendant in a £1.1m-worth claim alleging breaches of contract; the claim is brought before the Technology and Construction Court.
  • Provided construction and procurement advice to Hall for Cornwall Property Trust. Drafted the documentation relating to the Trust’s capital redevelopment project to refurbish and expand the Hall for Cornwall theatre facilities.
  • Advising University of the West of England on multiple issues concerning the construction of a new engineering building on the client's Frenchay Campus.

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