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

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  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.

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Legal Developments in South West 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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