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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 > Wales > Real estate > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Property litigation

Index of tables

  1. Property litigation
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Berry Smith has an excellent reputation in the local market and further afield on behalf of developers, landowners and financial institutions across a wide array of property litigation, including as it relates to commercial dilapidations claims and land disputes. Simon Care  provides 'very considered and knowledgeable counsel', across a range of disputes including on dilapidations claims, where he is recognised for his 'sound and practical advice'. Iwan Doull  is the other key partner in the team and is noted for his 'sage advice on complex matters', which have recently included representing a client in judicial review proceedings relating to a large domestic infrastructure project.

Practice head(s):Iwan Doull; Simon Care

Other key lawyers:Jane Rees


The key partners are good, sensible commercial lawyers who do most of the work themselves without overreliance on barristers.

Simon Care is very technical and thorough

Iwan Doull is highly likeable and engaging

Key Clients

Waterstone Estates

Welsh Government

HB Thomas & Sons

The Trustees of the Ahmed Trust

Jacques & Dinah de Wit

Gerald & Julia Jones

Arthur Beale

CAD Properties


Faisal Ali

Work highlights

  • Representing Waterstone Estates in a judicial review.
  • Defending the Welsh Government against a claim brought by the owner of adjoining land that its development work had caused flooding.
  • Representing HB Thomas & Sons in a dilapidations claim.
  • Acting for the trustees of the Ahmed Trust 2005 defending a claim brought against them by their tenant in relation to contested commercial property lease renewal proceedings.
  • Representing Jacques and Dinah de Wit in relation to a dispute they have with their neighbours concerning a right of way which their property enjoys over the property owned by their neighbours.

Blake Morgan LLP generates a significant amount of repeat instructions for a range of local and UK-wide landlord and tenants across the gamut of property litigation, including on high-value commercial dilapidations and compulsory purchase order compensation claims. Team head Sian Jones is particularly noted for her social housing-related property litigation prowess and regularly represents housing associations in their most pressing disputes.

Practice head(s):Sian Jones

Other key lawyers:David George

Key Clients

Welsh Government

Canary Wharf Group

RPS Group

NHS England

Triumph Furniture

Crabtree & Evelyn

Cardiff Council


Eagle One Group

Royal National Institute for the Blind

Work highlights

  • Representing Clwyd Alyn Housing Association in respect of a breach of lease and breach of management agreement for the provision of support services to people with addiction problems.
  • Contested lease renewal for Eagle One Shopping Village, relating to the landlord's development requirements and the anchor tenant's requirements for a long lease.
  • Advising on the commercial and residential aspects of the regeneration of a former council estate for Newport City Homes - including Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 lease renewals for retail tenants (major chains and local retailers), and variations of long residential leases to ensure that land is available when required for development.
  • Continuing to act for South Wales Land Developments in relation to the claim against Western Power Distribution (South Wales) Limited for damages for breach of covenant contained within a deed of easement in respect of obligations to relocate an electricity pylon.
  • Acted on urgent instructions from Festiniog Railway Company to obtain an injunction against an individual from accessing and interfering with the railway line and endangering members of the public.

Sitting as an integral part of the firm's UK-wide property litigation offering but also regularly generating and leading on its own case load, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's seven-strong team has the strength-in-depth to handle a broad range of litigation for a diverse array of clients, such as major institutional landlords and financial services entities (including SIPP providers). The transport and energy sectors are also growing and key focal points for the team, with major national clients instructing the team on property disputes arising across their portfolios including on major strategic advice. Team head Kathryn Cook acts on a range of contentious property issues including landlord and tenant matters and property-related professional negligence.

Practice head(s):Kathryn Cook

Other key lawyers:Julie Dilcock


'Julie Dilcock is highly experienced and proficient, communicates very effectively, and is very patient and pleasant to discuss legal matters with.'


Key Clients

Legal & General

Annington Property

Thames Water Utilities

High Speed Two

RWE Generation UK


Transport for London

Network Rail

Cuadrilla Resources

HMV Retail

Forestry Commission

Stena Line

Work highlights

  • Sole legal adviser to Thames Water Utilities across its diverse portfolio dealing with all contentious property and property management issues.
  • Continuing to represent the Forestry Commission across its diverse portfolio including advising at a strategic level in relation to its operations as well as acting on all business-as-usual contentious property and property management issues across its estate.
  • Continuing to act to protect Cuadrilla’s interest in relation to an injunction and contempt proceedings obtained in respect of anti-fracking protestors occupying land near to test sites in the North of England.
  • Acting for RWE Npower across a range of contentious property issues arising across its portfolio of properties including office accommodation and power stations.
  • Acting for HMV across its portfolio of retail properties dealing with all contentious property and property management issues, including break notices, lease renewals, dilapidation advice, termination issues and strategic advice in terms of the management of its stores.

Able to call upon the expertise of 'some of the foremost litigators in real estate currently practising in Wales', Geldards LLP 's seven-strong team excels in providing 'creative solutions' across the panoply of property-related disputes for central government and local authorities, as well as large commercial entities. 'Exceptional' team head Ed Meggitt oversees the portfolio management concerns of numerous large retail clients, work which often includes varied property disputes. Nicola Lawrence has an 'impressive scope of practice', and as well as regularly handling core landlord and tenant disputes, has also built up a very strong practice in relation to property litigation in the water industry.

Practice head(s):Ed Meggitt

Other key lawyers:Nicola Lawrence


The team displays great attention to detail

Ed Meggitt is exceptional at handling complex disputes

Nicola Lawrence has a very sound and practical knowledge of commercial landlord and tenant disputes, as well as easements including rights of way and water law.

Key Clients


Carmarthenshire County Council

Edinburgh Woollen Mill / Peacocks Group

Boots UK

T Land

EUI / Admiral Group plc


Dwr Cymru Cyf

Royal Voluntary Service

Welsh Ministers / Welsh Government

Celsa Steel

Leekes Limited

Pendragon Plc

Jaeger Retail

Coed D’Arcy / St Modwen

Associated British Ports

Western Power Distribution

Work highlights

  • Defending Malthurst Limited in litigation brought by a former franchisee claiming security of tenure and significant damages.
  • Defending Carmarthenshire County Council in court proceedings brought by its former landlord for significant damages for dilapidations
  • Defending Peacocks Stores in court proceedings where the landlord opposed a new tenancy under ground (f) of the 1954 Act.
  • Secured a favourable settlement for Edinburgh Woollen Mill as defendant following court proceedings for significant damages for dilapidations
  • Advising the trustees of T Land in respect of the determination of an option agreement which was in favour of a third party and now releases the significant value of that land.

Hugh James handles a plethora of property litigation matters for the firm's impressive roster of public/third sector clients, including local authorities and registered social landlords. The development sector is another fertile source of work, with the team regularly advising house builders and the development arms of social housing clients on matters ranging from breach of covenants to adverse possession claims. Team head Robert Phillips has developed niche expertise defending the rights of landowners in disputes involving mineral rights.

Practice head(s):Robert Phillips

Other key lawyers:Jo Brown


The personable and knowledgeable Robert Phillips grasps complicated issues very quickly.

Key Clients

Welsh Government

Natural Resources Wales

The Crown Estate

Monmouthshire County Council

Curo Housing Association

Trivallis Housing Association

Tai Calon

Barratt Homes

AP Wireless II (UK) Limited

Shaw Healthcare

Work highlights

  • Representing the Welsh Government Consortium against a local community that claims the land that the public body holds for development purposes is a Town and Village Green.
  • Representing the Natural Resources Body for Wales in the defence of a claim for ownership of mineral rights over several large areas in Wales.
  • Acting for a leading high-street bank in the defence of an adverse possession claim made by several parties for the freehold and leasehold title to a theatre.
  • Advising AP Wireless II (UK) Limited on various access and wayleave issues at its portfolio of properties.
  • Advising Curo on a residential development scheme that faced significant resistance by local residents.

Headed by Clare Tregoning , Acuity Law's nascent property litigation offering has made strong inroads into the local market, where it has been effectively able to leverage the firm's impressive roster of commercial real estate clients, as well as generating a significant amount of standalone mandates for private individuals, SMEs and local authorities. Tregoning's diverse caseload includes issues under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, forfeiture, easements, boundary disputes, and claims for determination of service charge accounts

Practice head(s):Clare Tregoning


Provide a helpful and knowledgeable service


Key Clients

Stromag UK


William Savage and Linda Savage

Marisa Hampton

Richard Davies, Jonathan Davies and David Davies

Community Homes of Intensive Care and Education

GPP Big Field LLP and GPP Langstone LLP

Work highlights

  • The team represented Stromag UK Limited in a dispute over the validity of a break notice
  • Represented Perthyn Limited, a care provider, in its claims for encroachment and trespass
  • Representing two private individuals in their claims for boundary determination and injunctive relief of a sizeable residential property in Usk
  • Represented a private individual in a dispute over solar panels
  • Representing three clients in an arbitration against their tenant

Darwin Gray LLP handles a wide range of property litigation, including on landlord and tenant matters and dilapidation claims. Rhodri Lewis is one of the key practitioners in the team, who as well as handling core property litigation also handles property-related professional negligence matters.

Other key lawyers:Rhodri Lewis

At Dolmans, private client department head Philip Bradley  has significant experience acting for management companies, landlords and tenants across a range of property litigation including in relation to rent reviews, breach of covenants and possession proceedings. The team also regularly handles property litigation for the firm's large roster of domestic and UK-wide local authorities.

Practice head(s):Philip Bradley

Other key lawyers:Simon Evans; Peter Bennett; Claire Thomas

At Douglas-Jones Mercer, team head Russell Price has an excellent reputation in the market for handling property disputes for clients in the public/quasi-public sector, including local authorities, health sector entities and housing associations. Price also provides contentious support to the real estate team's extensive roster of SIPP providers.

Practice head(s):Russell Price

Key Clients

Welsh Government

Pembrokeshire County Council

Coastal Housing Group

Four Counties (Holdings) Ltd

JRT Holdings Ltd

Longford Investments (No.1) Ltd

Players Industrial Estate

Knightsbridge Property Development Corporation

Estateways Plc

Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust

Pobl Group (including Gwalia Housing Association)

Sanlam Life & Pensions UK

Work highlights

  • The firm is representing Dawnus Construction Holdings with regard to a claim against Southern Electric Power Distribution plc (part of the SSE Group) concerning an alleged trespass on the site of a hotel development in Poole, Dorset by SSE, which historically installed electric cables across the development site without authority/permission.
  • Representing Carmarthenshire County Borough Council in relation to a large portfolio of disrepair claims received from the council’s social housing tenants
  • Advising Estateways plc in relation to two outstanding rent reviews relating to a property currently occupied by a major leisure operator based in Swansea
  • Advised Gary Stones & Co (a trustee in bankruptcy) upon the recovery of farm buildings/land as part of a bankruptcy process.

Headed by the 'experienced and confident' Sarah Davies, JCP Solicitors provides a 'practical and client-focused service' to local landlords and tenants, developers and management companies across a range of litigation, including on issues relating to rent review, boundary disputes, adverse possession and termination of commercial premises. Davies has particular expertise on right of way claims.

Practice head(s):Sarah Davies

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Flynn


A strong team of solicitors with experience and knowledge across all aspects of property work.

The team provides a cost-effective service

Sarah Davies has a very strong grasp on her case law and manages cases well.

Led by the 'technically very able' Jason Williams , Morgan LaRoche's property litigation team has an excellent reputation in the local south west Wales market, particularly in relation to landlord and tenant disputes. Regularly engaged in litigation in the courts at all levels, Williams' recent caseload has seen him involved in a high-profile case concerning the interpretation of service charge clauses which reached a final determination before the Supreme Court.

Practice head(s):Jason Williams

Other key lawyers:Jessica Blandford

Social housing

Index of tables

  1. Social housing
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Blake Morgan LLP has a 'big local presence' among many of the country's most significant housing associations, which appreciate the firm's ability to resource matters utilising practitioners with core social housing knowledge, as well as lawyers in complementary practice areas including employment, property, health, finance and construction who have developed a strong track-record in the sector. Team head Sian Jones excels at handling housing management and leasehold issues, and frequently represents housing associations in anti-social behaviour cases.

Practice head(s):Sian Jones

Other key lawyers:Louise Howells; Penri Desscan

Key Clients

Pennaf Group

Newport City Homes

Cardiff Community Housing

Melin Homes

Wales and West Housing Association

Linc-Cymru Housing Association

Pobl Group

Peabody Group

Midland Heart

Tai Tarian

Work highlights

  • Advised Valleys to Coast Housing on a £10m term loan to facilitate further investments in the social housing sector
  • Acted for Linc-Cymru Housing Association on obtaining possession of an excluded licence in contested proceedings where the occupier raised Equality Act defences, challenged the status of the licence agreement and made personal allegations against staff members
  • Advising Newport City Homes on land acquisition and leasehold portfolio matters (both residential and commercial) to enable regeneration plans to proceed.
  • Advised Clwyd Alyn Housing Association in a complex relocation of residential tenants with physical and mental health disabilities to enable outstanding improvement works to be carried out.
  • Acting for Clwyd Alyn Housing Association in respect of a breach of lease and breach of management agreement regarding the provision of support services to people with addiction problems.

Benefiting from practitioners with extensive knowledge across core issues impacting on the sector (including advice on acquisitions and redevelopment projects and housing management issues), as well as being able to resource matters utilising the expertise of lawyers from across other complementary practice areas - including commercial property and employment - Hugh James provides a 'client-oriented service' for many of the country's most prominent housing associations.  Commercial property partner Richard Macphail provides 'very knowledgeable and helpful' advice to housing associations on development work. Bethan Gladwyn heads up the housing management team and has particular expertise at handling anti-social behaviour matters.

Practice head(s):Richard Macphail

Other key lawyers:Bethan Gladwyn; Caroline O'Flaherty; David Roberts; Iwan Jenkins; Matthew Stevens


Very proactive and knowledgeable about the sector

Provides a first-class service

Very client-oriented and capable

Richard Macphail and Matthew Stevens are personable and a pleasure to deal with

Key Clients

Pobl Group (Seren)

Charter Housing

Stonewater Limited

Hafod/Hendre Group

Coastal Housing Group

Newport City Homes



Monmouthshire Housing Association

Linc Cymru Housing Association

Work highlights

  • Advised Pobl Group on an extensive phased development of affordable homes using innovative funding schemes and procurement arrangements.
  • Advising Linc Cymru Housing Association on wide-ranging aspects of its housing stock and care homes, including representing it on the delivery of a pioneering 'wellness centre' in Bridgend.
  • Representing a registered social landlord on its dispute with a contractor relating to a late completion of works.
  • The team acts for Coastal Housing Group in relation to the Urban Village development in Swansea, which has included a number of acquisitions resulting in multimillion-pound developments spanning retail, residential and social rent units as well as a cutting-edge community hub.      
  • Advising Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd on policy changes in North Wales to consider homelessness duties in Wales which has required an in-depth knowledge of the relevant case law, statutory responsibilities and housing mechanisms.

'Extremely knowledgeable in the sector', Clarke Willmott LLP's 'accessible and knowledgeable' Cardiff team has a market-leading reputation for handling financing work - including syndicated loans, securitisations and private placements - on behalf of housing associations and lenders. Team head Vicky Kells regularly acts for registered social landlords (RSLs) on the property security aspects associated with bank and bond financings. The 'solutions-oriented' Fraser MacRae provides the core financing expertise for lenders and borrowers.

Practice head(s):Vicky Kells

Other key lawyers:Fraser MacRae; Bethan Evans


'The team provides thorough and insightful advice.'

'Vicky Kells is always on hand if something really does go horribly wrong - and she has a great track record for fixing it.'

Key Clients

Wales & West Housing Association

Grŵp Cynefin

Melin Housing

Cadwyn Housing

Hafod Housing Association

Rhondda Housing Association

Newydd Housing Association

Pobl Group

Metropolitan Thames Valley

L&Q Housing Trust

One Housing Group


GreenSquare Group

Yarlington Housing Group

Work highlights

  • Represented Wales & West Housing in a charging exercise comprising 1,400 residential properties to support a £70m loan facility.
  • Instructed by Cadwyn Housing Association to undertake a property title review of unencumbered properties that will be charged in 2019.
  • Instructed by Grŵp Cynefin to undertake a project to apply for first registration at the Land Registry for more than 100 residential properties
  • Acted for Southern Housing Group in connection with property security to be put in place for its £75m revolving credit facility.
  • Instructed by Principality Building Society to draft and negotiate a bespoke facility agreement and security documentation together with taking fixed charge security over tenanted social housing assets.

Led by Susanne Bradley , Geldards LLP's multi-disciplinary group handles a wide range of work within the social housing sector, including on property, finance, litigation and employment matters. Leveraging her property and charities (not-for-profit) expertise, Harriet Morgan regularly represents housing associations on development projects for residential and mixed-use purposes. Liz Ganderton has expertise advising housing associations on the property security aspects of loans.

Practice head(s):Susanne Bradley

Other key lawyers:Harriet Morgan; Liz Ganderton; Rhian Davies


The team is accessible, responsive and knowledgeable


Key Clients

Chrysalis Housing Association

Cadarn Housing Group

The Curo Group

First Choice Housing Association

Valleys 2 Coast Housing

Pembrokeshire Housing Association

Tai Calon Community Housing

Merthyr Valley Homes

Monmouthshire Housing Association

The Seren Group

Work highlights

  • Acts for Chrysalis Supported Association on supported living schemes involving private funds who purchase multiple residential properties as well as newly built accommodation to house vulnerable adults.
  • Acting for Newydd Housing Association (1974) Limited in connection with a £17m loan facility.
  • Acting for Newydd Housing Association (1974) Limited in connection with the purchase of seven new-build houses and flats.
  • Acting for Newydd Housing Association (1974) Limited in connection with the purchase of a development site with planning permission for 17 bungalows
  • Representing Newydd Housing Association (1974) Limited on the acquisition of three pubs from Brains in close proximity to transform into residential accommodation.

The 'friendly and responsive' six-strong team at Duncan Lewis Solicitors has a focus on acting for tenants in legal aid funded matters, including on reviews, appeals and judicial review proceedings relating to homelessness, disrepair, succession for tenants and neighbourhood disputes. The team, which is now led by the 'bright and pragmatic' Lynda Reid, acts for a wide spectrum of clients throughout south Wales.

Practice head(s):Lynda Reid

Other key lawyers:Christopher Simmonds


'The team has a caring attitude'

'Knowledgeable and understanding'

'The very enthusiastic Christopher Simmonds really knows his stuff'

'Lynda Reid is bright and pragmatic'

Work highlights

  • An appeal against a homeless decision for a private individual.
  • Acted on behalf of a private individual who was very vulnerable, having serious health conditions and a great deal of difficulty dealing with her tenancy obligations
  • Defended an introductory tenant in a rent possession claim.
  • Defended a private individual in possession proceedings, issued on the grounds of rent arrears.
  • Represented a private individual in possession proceedings that were brought on discretionary grounds following her ex-partner being found guilty of dealing drugs from her property.

Leveraging the real estate and litigation credentials of the firm, Morgan LaRoche provides a 'good service' to a sizeable number of housing associations throughout south west and mid-Wales. Ann Thomas  has a core specialism for social housing work and regularly advises on acquisitions/sales and development schemes.

Practice head(s):Ann Thomas (Real Estate – Social Housing); Jason Williams (Litigation – Social Housing); Llyr Davies (Litigation – Social Housing)

Other key lawyers:Jessica Blandford

Commercial property

Index of tables

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

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Led by James Trafford, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's ten-partner team has the critical mass to handle a tremendous volume of work, primarily in the private sector, for a well hedged array of clients including developers, investors and corporate occupiers. While the team does handle some regional projects, it is best-known for its work outside of Wales, including on real estate-related energy and transport matters. David Watkins, who has expertise across a range of finance, portfolio acquisitions and estate management; Helen Thomas, whose clients include a number of high-profile UK and international corporate occupiers; Geraint Pullin Thomas, for renewable energy-related real estate matters; James Emberson , who has extensive experience in acting for institutional clients in connection with acquisitions and disposals, property management work, are all recommended. At an associate level, Jonathan Woodward is very well regarded.

Practice head(s):James Trafford

Other key lawyers:David Watkins; Helen Thomas; Geraint Pullin Thomas; James Emberson; Kevin Booth; Andrew Burns; Jones


'The Cardiff real estate team provide a first rate, professional service which is unmatched across the sector, leading the way in residential investment, development and construction.'

'David Watkins superbly manages of the Eversheds team to ensure we get all the support we need.'

'Geraint Pullin Thomas has fantastic knowledge relationships with client to ensure the right resources in terms of skill sets and manpower are allocated to the various work streams. Unequalled commitment to the client.'

'Jonathan Woodward is bright and enthusiastic and has full commitment to the transactions engaged on, always available to take on challenging tasks.'

'Janet Morgan manages the transaction team to deliver a great client service, ensuring that all matters are progressed to completion with least impact on client. Handles a range of transactional work across the residential spectrum to the highest standards.'

Key Clients

Transport for London

GlaxoSmithKline Plc


British Gas/Centrica


CBRE Global Investors

Persimmon Homes

Transport for London

EDF Energy


Work highlights

  • Development of the Education and Enterprise Campus into a new college campus, a STEM Centre, a new Secondary School, a new Special Educational Needs School, a “tech hub” and digital incubator and a new sports centre, to serve the College, schools and local community.
  • The firm advised Karbon Homes, one of the North East’s largest housing providers, on its £250m bond issue.
  • Advising SEGRO on the relocation of Japan Centre (leading provider of Japanese food and retail) from Victoria Industrial Estate to Premier Park.
  • Advised Picture Living in connection with the acquisition of a seed portfolio of residential assets from Places for People.
  • Acting for Telereal Trillium on the sale of a 10-acre development site to Cardiff University for the future development of its College of Biomedical and Life Sciences.

Appreciated for its 'proactive and commercial approach', Acuity Law continues to be involved in many of the country's highest-profile projects as a result of its deeply entrenched ties with one of Wales' largest commercial property groups. In addition to its high visibility in major domestic development projects, the team is increasingly active in UK-based deals, in part due to the 'excellent' Jonathan Geen's market-leading reputation for handling housing-led regeneration, energy, and infrastructure projects, work which has seen him handling major housing regeneration and community schemes in London and the South East of England.  Gareth Baker excels at development matters and is a key member of the team that also includes Damien Cann, who has niche expertise advising housing and healthcare companies on their property developments.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Geen and Stephen Morris

Other key lawyers:Gareth Baker; Damien Cann; Steve Berry


Proactive when negotiating commercial deals

Acutely aware of the financial implications and act accordingly in a timely manner

Key Clients

Rightacres Property

Hadston Southwark

Mears Group

Community Homes of Intensive Care and Education

University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Associated British Ports

Greenbank Partnerships

Principality Building Society

Bluestone Resorts

Middleton Mobility

Work highlights

  • Represented property developer Rightacres on the £100m Transport Interchange in Cardiff's Central Square development.
  • Represented housing and social care provider Mears Group on a joint venture partnership raising £88m for the rolling acquisition of a 400 home temporary accommodation portfolio in Waltham Forest.
  • Performed complex due diligence and analysis on the extensive and historic property portfolio of care home provider Choice Care Group on its fast-moving £152.5m sale to Caledonia Investments.
  • Represented a Welsh University at heart of £300m joint venture mixed-used Swansea waterfront development.
  • Represented resort operator Bluestone on the acquisition and development of  a £105m site in Anglesey.

Led by the 'excellent' James Egan, Blake Morgan LLP's five-partner team handles a balanced mix of work across the private and public sector, in addition to niche social housing-related property matters. The 'very reliable and strong' Geoff Reed excels in handling high-value domestic development transactions, while Nigel Griffiths continues to oversee a thriving retail leasing offering for  landlords and tenants in a major London retail space. As well as being able to call upon the expertise of lawyers, the firm also now boasts a significant non-lawyer in-house capability which includes surveyors, project managers and cost consultants.

Practice head(s):James Egan

Other key lawyers:Geoff Reed; Nigel Griffiths; Louise Howells; Daniela Smith; Dawn Smith


It is a really friendly, approachable team who work hard to meet our deadlines and requirements

James Egan has a broad understanding of property and tenancy matters

Louise Howells is very experienced in social housing work

Key Clients

Canary Wharf Group Plc

Welsh Government

Cardiff Metropolitan University

NHS Wales

The Royal National Institute for Blind People

Rightacres Property Company

Barola Property Holdings

Hodge Bank


Pennaf Housing Association

Work highlights

  • The team is acting for the health board on the procurement of the development, by a private sector developer, of a new primary care facility in Brynmawr.
  • Advising the university on the development and leasing of three floors (circa 45,000 square feet) of a new central Cardiff Grade "A" office on a 25 year lease.
  • Acting for the client on its negotiations with Persimmon Homes in respect of the development of strategic land north of Junction 33 on the M4 on mixed use development of approximately 2,000 homes, employment, other associated community uses and a strategic park and ride.
  • Acting for the bank who took security over part of Hartpury College, Hartpury House, Gloucester in consideration of a facility provided to the college to develop a new sports facility
  • Acted for the client on the acquisition of the former Avana Bakery site now known as Avana Business Park, Wern Trading Estate, Rogerstone, Newport.

Traditionally 'very strong within the public sector', but also now as active for private sector entities (including developers, investors and end-users), Geldards LLP has an increasingly diverse and well-hedged commercial property practice. Despite the recent retirement of numerous longstanding commercial property heavyweights including Rowland Davies (although he does still remain as a consultant), the firm has successfully nurtured some strong talent to effectively succeed these luminaries including recently promoted partner Harriet Morgan, who specialises in charity property law and Adam Thomas, who has particular strength in handling real estate finance and portfolio and estate management work.

Practice head(s):Susanne Bradley

Other key lawyers:Ioan Owen; Michael Jeffs; Adam Thomas; Harriet Morgan


The team takes a proactive stance and is always on hand to provide timely advice.

Susanne Bradley is personable and easy to work with.

Ioan Owen is highly competent and knowledgeable.

Key Clients

Admiral Insurance

Ashtenne Industrial Fund

Cardiff Gate Business Park

Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group

Julian Hodge Bank

Richard Hayward Group

Royal Voluntary Service No

Torfaen County Borough Council

Welsh Ministers/Welsh Government

Western Power Distribution

Work highlights

  • The firm continues to act for the Welsh Ministers in relation to the proposed M4 relief road.
  • Advised the seller in disposing of 2 Callaghan Square (a prime grade A office block) to the Daily Mail Pension Fund
  • Acted for Leekes in their strategic disposal of a 185,000 square feet redundant retail unit.
  • Acted for the owner of land at Bridge Street Exchange Cardiff, in its development by the construction of a 22 floor tower of student accommodation located above major retail units and private residential accommodation and incorporating a new Alcohol Treatment Centre for Cardiff and Vale UHB.
  • The firm continues to be the main property advisor for Western Power Distribution, dealing with the whole of its portfolio across the South West, Wales and the Midlands.

Hugh James provides a 'very strong service' to a dynamic mix of local authorities, housebuilders, housing associations and developers. Team head Peter Hurn is 'very easy to work with', and as well as his market-leading practice on behalf of numerous national housebuilders, is also responsible for overseeing the property requirements of numerous major institutional clients of the firm. Caroline O'Flaherty is particularly strong in relation to local and affordable housing, higher education and investment portfolio management matters.

Practice head(s):Peter Hurn

Other key lawyers:Caroline O'Flaherty; David King; Dan Morgan; Shelley Ikram


'The team is very proactive and knowledgeable about the sector in which they operate to ensure a first class service is provided.'

Key Clients

Walters Group

The International Convention Centre Wales

Cardiff University

S.A. Brain & Company Limited – Brewery Quarter

Coleg Gwent DCC

BDW Trading Limited (Barratt Homes)

Draycott Group

Tirion Group

S.A. Brain & Company Limited – Coffee #1

Work highlights

  • The firm has acted for this group of companies in a combined asset and share sale of Ffos Las racecourse as well as advising on numerous wind farm and solar projects, among others.
  • Advising across practice areas in the acquisition of the site for the new international convention centre for Wales as well as supporting infrastructure.
  • Advised on the £50m centre for Student Life, substantial regeneration projects using lottery funding and a variety of eco schemes.
  • Advising on the acquisition of new headquarters for S.A.Brain, Wales’ biggest brewer and hospitality company, a joint venture scheme and regeneration project that will substantially impact the city.
  • Advised Coleg Gwent on a complex development involving innovative funding mechanisms and lease arrangements, developing an area that will substantially alter the city of Newport.

Jointly led by Martin Pursall and Chris Jones , Berry Smith's 11-strong team provides a partner-led service to SME clients, banks and local authorities across a range of local development and secured lending work. Jones is praised for his ability to use 'actual plain English to talk through issues and provide commercial solutions', particularly as it relates to the assembly of development sites and landlord and tenant work. Pursall is noted for his 'excellent secured lending practice'.

Practice head(s):Martin Pursall and Chris Jones

Other key lawyers:Alice Prendergast; Sian Reynolds


'The team is very commercial in its outlook.'

'Chris Jones offers exceptional knowledge and experience of dealing with complex issues.'

'Having dealt with majority of Wales commercial property solicitors, Chris Jones is my go to option for complicated and difficult property dealings.'

Key Clients

SA1 Waterfront Development

Principality Commercial (Principality Building Society)

Development Bank of Wales

Peacocks Stores/Edinburgh Woollen Mill

Carmarthenshire County Council

Vastint Hospitality

Bridgend County Borough Council

Jehu Group / Waterstone

Homes/Waterstone Estates

Fox Group (Moving & Storage)

Actoris Group

Charnwood Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for a Dubai-based developer in the acquisition of development land at SA1 Swansea from University of Wales Trinity St David.
  • Acting for the building society on various secured loans over investment properties/development sites across the UK.
  • Acting for the Development Bank of Wales on various secured loans over development sites across Wales.
  • Acquisition of a new leasehold retail Unit for Peacocks at Cross Hands Retail Park in Carmarthen.
  • Acting for the local authority on the grant of a long lease of boat yard and harbour at Burry Port for leisure purposes.

Led by Leanne O’Brien, Capital Law Limited 's four-partner team provides 'commercial and pragmatic advice' to a range of private and public sector stakeholders, including investors, developers and financiers, primarily on local real estate projects. Working closely with the firm's construction team, the firm is also increasingly active advising on renewable energy-related real estate matters.

Practice head(s):Leanne O'Brien

Other key lawyers:Justin Mason; Jon Ely


'The team has a good understanding of property-related matters.'

'Jon Ely is very capable, knowledgeable and quick to respond when required.'

Key Clients

Welsh Government

Inmarsat Global

Howard Tenens

Associated British Ports

Cognatum Environ Developments

University of South Wales

Valleys to Coast Housing Association

Memoria Limited

Gan Plc

Land Securities Group Plc

Work highlights

  • The firm acted for TVS on the lease of a new-build warehouse in Banbury, Oxfordshire (a development by DB Symmetry).
  • Advising the University of South Wales on the disposal of its Caerleon campus.
  • Advising Associated British Ports, and the original landowner on the disposal of Barry Waterfront dock site to a consortium of developers.
  • Assisting the Welsh Government on the development of a new corridor of the M4 motorway around Newport, South Wales
  • Acting for The Royal Mint on the construction of their daffodil inspired wind turbine.

Cardiff-based property boutique Le Gros Solicitors Limited has excellent visibility in the local market and regularly handles some 'very high-quality work' for developer clients in south Wales and further afield. Team head Claudia Le Gros is the lynchpin of the practice and has a very strong reputation among commercial and residential developers, which she advises on site acquisition, planning, development, construction and onward sales and lettings.

Practice head(s):Claudia Le Gros

Other key lawyers:Bethan Sadler


'The team is user-friendly and proactive.'

'Claudia Le Gros is always upbeat and helpful.'


Key Clients

Garrison Barclay Estates

Seasons Holidays Plc

Acorn Property Group

PHG Capital

MVJ Capital

Millgrove Capital

Earl of Plymouth Estates

Senepol Capital


Nextcolour Limited

Wyndham Lewis Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised Churchill Way Estates on the purchase and finance of three properties in central Cardiff.
  • The firm acted for private developers on the development and funding of a luxury housing development.
  • The team advised on the development of 120 housing units and associated infrastructure.
  • Development site for 92 dwellings and ancillary works.
  • Advised on the grant of an Agreement for Lease, conditional on building works with Costa Coffee.

Morgan LaRoche provides 'sensible and commercial advice' to developers, housebuilders and investors, engaged in both local projects, as well as ones further afield. Targeted areas of expertise include energy, education (including student accommodation) and regeneration-related real estate projects. Team head Kevin Thomas has an 'excellent reputation' across a range of development work, particularly as it relates to student accommodation and the retail sector. The firm also continues to handle a growing amount of work across west Wales from its relatively new office in Carmarthen.

Practice head(s):Kevin Thomas

Other key lawyers:Rosemary Morgan; David Palmer; Alun Price; Claire Thatcher


Kevin Thomas is a pleasure to work with

Key Clients

Adventure Estates

Pegasus Life

NMJ Developments

Culina Group

Hallmark Care Homes

Esterkin Group

Greenbury Capital

Athena Care Homes

USB International

Redrow Homes

Persimmon Homes

Enzo’s Homes

GDH (Holdings) Limited

Liberty Property Developments

Mercian Group

AMP Clean Energy

Morgan & Davies

Metro Property Investments

Morgan Advanced Materials Plc

Bran Property Investments

Santander (UK) Plc

National Westminster Bank Plc

HCC International Insurance Plc

CKC Group

Swansea University

Carmarthenshire Council

Penllergaer Estates

Ospreys regional rugby club

Scarlets regional rugby club

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of CML F&L (Telford) Ltd in connection with the strategic acquisition of a distribution centre in Telford from its landlord.
  • Acting in connection with Metro Property Investments' purchase (funded by Lloyds Bank Plc) of a mixed-use development in Norwich comprising 48 residential apartments (all occupied pursuant to assured shorthold tenancies) and three commercial units.
  • Acting in connection with the national roll out of Urban Reserve Ltd's Urban Reserve Projects which will involve the construction of 2MW – 5 MW gas and battery storage peaking plants in urban areas with particular focus on Greater London, Manchester and Liverpool.
  • Acting on behalf of Parkhall Estates Partnership in respect of its portfolio of investment properties - comprising apartments and retail units
  • Acting for Udy & Mala Agawal (the directors of USB International) in connection with the acquisition of a freehold industrial warehouse in Basildon, Essex.

Darwin Gray LLP is particularly accomplished at handling complex development projects with a particular focus on security issues in construction and on mixed use schemes. Team head Donald Gray has expertise across a range of matters and is also 'excellent at handling the more esoteric property work', including property issues relating to the Welsh mining industry.

Practice head(s):Donald Gray

Led by Michael Price , Douglas-Jones Mercer's two-partner team provides 'sensible and commercial advice' to a diverse array of stakeholders including lenders, developers and housing associations, and is regularly involved in significant transactions emanating not just out of Swansea but also its surrounding area and beyond. The team also has a niche area of expertise in relation to property-related pension transactions for self-invested personal pensions (SIPP) providers.

Practice head(s):Michael Price

Other key lawyers:Michael Snowdon; Christopher Seviour


Michael Snowdon is hugely experienced across a range of property work

Key Clients

Sanlam Life & Pensions UK

Action for Client

Investacc Pension Trustees

Morgan Lloyd Pension Trustees

Odyssey Pensions

Dawn Meats Group

Principality Commercial

Tai Gwalia Cyf

Work highlights

  • Advised Tai Gwalia Cyf on the acquisition of a development site for the construction of in excess of 100 houses.

Based out of Swansea but increasingly active throughout the whole of south and west Wales as a result of the firm's merger with Glamorgan Law in April 2017, JCP Solicitors handles a wide range of work for developers, landlords and lenders. Particular areas of expertise include advising landlord clients on various estate management issues at industrial estates, as well as for lenders on purchases and refinancings of development and investment properties.

Practice head(s):Mark Gilroy

Other key lawyers:Georgina Walters; Talia Atkins

Work highlights

  • Acted for a client on the £6m acquisition of commercial premises on an industrial estate and dealt with related refinancing of other property to assist with the funding of the purchase
  • Acquisition of leasehold premises for use as a gym in a city centre
  • Acted in the acquisition and back to back disposal of a former church property.
  • Acted for the lender in the refinance of 13 residential properties.
  • Acted for lender providing secured finance for acquisition and development of residential site.

Able to leverage the firm's strong ties with numerous national lenders and also gaining increased traction in the local market, the Cardiff-based team at Clarke Willmott LLP is particularly strong at handling real estate finance, across general commercial property as well as social housing finance, where Vicky Kells has a particular niche.

Practice head(s):Vicky Kells

Other key lawyers:Clare Gregory


The team takes a very collaborative approach and provides timely and constructive support and advice.

No matter how awkward the title, or how complex the underlying transaction, or how restrictive the timescales, the team delivers.

Clare Gregory always goes the extra mile to make a completion happen - working above and beyond for all transactions.


Key Clients

Santander UK

Rhondda Housing Association

Principality Building Society

Urban Mining Energy

Cambridge & Counties Bank

Careers Wales

Wales & West Housing

Svenska Handelsbanken

Tridos Bank

Lloyds Bank

Secure Trust Bank

Work highlights

  • The firm advised Santander in relation to a loan facility to Cardiff and Vale College, to facilitate the purchase a building adjoining its main Cardiff site
  • The firm advised the housing association on the acquisition of a development site that was transferred to the client by way of a same day transfer from a third party to the seller.    
  • The firm advised the lender on the provision of a loan facility to the borrower to refinance some of its property portfolio.

Led by Mike Jenkins , Harding Evans LLP's four-strong team handles a range of development work (from land assembly through to construction), landlord and tenant matters, and an increasing amount of secured lending mandates.

Practice head(s):Mike Jenkins

Led by the 'commercial and responsive' James Davies  out of Newport, RDP Law's seven-strong team has excellent traction among a range of local SMEs, developers, investors and financiers. Although the team is perhaps best-known for its work on behalf of landowners (including agriculture-related property matters), it also continues to grow its developer client base.

Practice head(s):James Davies


Index of tables

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

Rising stars

  1. 1

Blake Morgan LLP's multi-office team deploys 'comprehensive business acumen' to contentious and transactional construction matters, ranging from large infrastructure projects through to ad-hoc disputes. Led by the 'very responsive' Joanna Rees, the Cardiff team advises private and public sector purchasers and contractors across a diverse array of industry sectors including residential and commercial development, retail and leisure, energy, banking and education. The 'very professional and personable' Rachel Gwilliam specialises in construction and engineering matters, dealing with contentious, non-contentious and professional negligence issues.

Practice head(s):Joanna Rees

Other key lawyers:Rachel Gwilliam; Simon McCann


The team's knowledge and experience on construction contract law is second to none.

Provides a high-quality and efficient service

The team acts with total professionalism at all times and are very clear with their reporting and advice.

Rachel Gwilliam inspires confidence when suggesting a suitable response to any given scenario.

Rachel Gwilliam has extensive industry knowledge, and is very attentive to detail.

Rachel Gwilliam's legal skills combined with her detailed knowledge of all aspects of construction and standard forms of contract make her a force to be reckoned with in all aspects of construction contract dispute resolution.

Joanna Rees is leading in her field

Key Clients

City of Cardiff Council

Wales & West Housing Association

Ledwood Mechanical Engineering

Igloo Regeneration (General Partner)

Transport for Wales

Eastbourne Council

Balliol College, Oxford

Work highlights

  • Drafting a third iteration of the South East and Mid-Wales Collaborative Construction Framework for the City of Cardiff Council.
  • Prepared an overarching agreement and ancillary contract documentation for Wales & West Housing Association, for an eight-lot long-term Wales-wide contractor procurement for the construction of new homes.
  • Conducting an arbitration on behalf of Ledwood Mechanical Engineering concerning a dispute between two parties in a chain of contracts regarding work carried out at a site of an ethane import and cryogenic storage facility in Middlesbrough.
  • Advising on all issues arising out of the Porth Teigr regeneration scheme for Igloo Regeneration (General Partner) Ltd, including the construction of BBC studios, Gloworks, roads, lock crossings and all associated infrastructure.
  • Working with the procurement team on the preparation of construction contracts for Transport for Wales, for the Infrastructure Delivery Partners of the Wales and Borders Rail Service and South Wales Metro.

Best-known for its transactional expertise, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP 's 13-strong Cardiff team either takes the lead on its own or in collaboration with offices from across the firm's network, on large-scale energy and infrastructure projects. Rob McNabb excels in handling the construction aspects of big-ticket international energy projects, including advising the developers engaged in solar projects in Egypt. Focusing more on UK-based matters, Alison Short is the other partner in the team and has developed specialist expertise and many years’ experience in the nuclear, water and transport sectors.

Practice head(s):Rob McNabb; Alison Short

Other key lawyers:Madi Dacey


'The team has a strong grasp of the technical issues and the legal implications - good practical advice on the likelihood of success rather than exploiting client desire to win a case with low chance of success; excellent handling of litigation process; selection of barristers and expert witnesses and managing their needs and availability; excellent instruction of barrister and expert witnesses and guidance on preparation of detailed documents.

'Eversheds has the ability to address complex commercial needs at both strategic and detail levels - excellent understanding of construction risk management. Excellent, detailed work.'

'Alison Short's ability to respond to complicated client needs was impressive - she has strong understanding of construction risks at a detailed level; excellent drafting skills; good response times; and is open to innovation, making positive modifications to industry standards, without failing to point out potential drawbacks. She also has the ability to communicate complicated legal nuances to clients.'

Key Clients

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

Acciona and Swicorp

NNB Generation Company (HPC)


Stena Line

Annington Homes

TATA Chemicals Europe


Work highlights

  • Acted for Welsh Water in the development of its Water Network Alliance, which will support Welsh Water to deliver leading water company services to its customers throughout most of Wales and Herefordshire and parts of Deeside and Cheshire and to build a resilient water network that eliminates interruption of water supply and enhances water quality.
  • Advised Acciona and Swicorp on the construction aspects of three solar projects in Egypt, financed by IFC (the World Bank).
  • Advising EDF’s subsidiary company NNB in respect of its £20bn development of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C, Somerset.
  • Advising in relation to Greencoat Solar Assets II Ltd's acquisition of two portfolios of solar plants, totalling eight projects with a combined size of approximately 35MW.
  • Advising Stena Line in relation to its Holyhead Port redevelopment project.

Acuity Law's construction capability forms a key part of the firm's capacity to handle major commercial property projects for leading developers, including Rightacres which continues to be extremely active in many of the most significant developments in Cardiff. 'Very knowledgeable' team head James Williams has been spearheading the firm's construction advice to Rightacres and provides a 'very commercial approach' as a result of his broad-ranging knowledge gleaned nationally and internationally, having spent time in Australia and the Middle East.

Practice head(s):James Williams

Other key lawyers:Mark Summers


The practice is proactive when negotiating commercial deals

Exceptionally well-versed in building construction matters and eager to go that extra mile

James Williams and Mark Summers are efficient and a pleasure to work with, and always strive to find solutions




Key Clients

Rightacres Property

Principality Building Society

WRW Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Rightacres on the new Wales headquarters for HMRC at Cardiff’s £400m Central Square project.
  • Advising Rightacres on the development of a School of Technologies for the Cardiff Metropolitan University at Central Quay, Cardiff.
  • Advised Rightacres on the successful delivery of Two Central Square – a £56m office development in the heart of central Cardiff.
  • Assisted the Principality Building Society with its investment in Ely Mill, a major residential redevelopment in Cardiff.
  • Assisting Rightacres on the Interchange, Cardiff’s high-profile new transportation hub which will link a new bus station to the capital’s existing central rail station.

Regularly working alongside complementary teams including commercial property and planning, Geldards LLP excels in providing construction input to central and local government in complex and often politically sensitive infrastructure and regeneration projects. 'Fantastic' team head Tony Norris  'understands the industry, the region and players within it very well'.  Norris also handles contentious matters and has recently undertaken adjudications on a prestigious project for a Welsh local authority and for a large regional house developer.

Practice head(s):Tony Norris

Other key lawyers:Joanne Maclean; Emma Ashby; Celine Jones


Pragmatic and cost-effective service

The team has great communication skills

Tony Norris is very pragmatic and focuses on the big picture and getting the right commercial result for us.

Tony Norris is always positive and willing to get involved with all types of construction legal matters regardless of the time/day.

Emma Ashby worked tirelessly to ensure that a clear plan was in place and that everything was happening on time.


Key Clients

Cardiff Council

Carmarthenshire County Council

Welsh Government


Western Power Distribution

Newydd Housing Association

National Museum of Wales

Arts Council of Wales

Bonna Sabla

Ceredigion County Council

Pembrokeshire College

Evans Electrical

J W Bowkett (Electrical Installations)

Cheshire East Council


Work highlights

  • Advising Admiral Insurance on a new office development at Capital Quarter, Cardiff, with the developer J R Smart Limited.
  • Continuing to represent Western Power on construction matters related to its infrastructure network including the construction of warehouses, depots, garages, offices and other supporting buildings across Wales, the South West of England and the Midlands.
  • Successfully resolved two adjudications for Ceredigion County Borough Council involving the Aberystwyth Bandstand works and subsequently dealt with a Freedom of Information request from local journalists.
  • Successfully defeated two adjudications brought by the contractor Morganstone in relation to the extension to the Pembrokeshire College building.

Active on local and UK-wide mandates, Hugh James provides a balanced offering across the gamut of contentious and non-contentious matters for developers, contractors and lenders. Instructed by both private sector and public sector entities, the team has witnessed significant growth in relation to social housing-related work, as well as work generated by local authorities. Team head Ioan Prydderch is particularly strong on public sector work and is regularly instructed by the Welsh Government to advise on the most politically sensitive, high-value construction and transport projects. Senior associate Matthew Stevens  has a flourishing reputation on the claimant and defendant side of adjudications/disputes on behalf of developers and contractors.

Practice head(s):Ioan Prydderch

Other key lawyers:Iwan Jenkins; Alun Tobias; Matthew Stevens

Key Clients



Systems Pipework

Ely Mill

SA Brain & Co

Cenin Renewables

The International Convention Centre Wales


Work highlights

  • Advised Pobl Group on all construction aspects of the construction of 250 houses at Herbert Road in Newport.
  • Drafted a Memorandum of Understanding between seven social housing partners, including Coastal Housing Group, for their co-working on the investigation and research on a modular manufacturing base in South/West Wales.
  • Acted for Systems Pipework on its final account dispute with Rotary Buildings.
  • The tender and contract drafting of a building contract for the Welsh Government for the construction of a new multimillion-pound training facility for Airbus in north Wales.
  • The firm continues to act for Ely Mill Development Company Ltd on a £100m project to remediate and develop the 53-acre brownfield ‘The Mill’ site in Cardiff.

Now headed by Stuart Pearson following the departure of Jeremy Williams in April 2018 to establish his own consultancy firm, Capital Law Limited continues to develop a strong practice, particularly in relation to the construction aspects of energy and infrastructure projects. This particular area of focus was also recently enhanced following the arrival in November 2018 of associate Kate Evans  from Stephens Scown LLP, who herself has a niche focus on renewables-related construction matters. The team typically represents either the central government or a local authority in such matters, although it is by no means absent on the private sector front, with clients including contractors and developers.

Practice head(s):Stuart Pearson

Other key lawyers:Kate Evans


A relatively new player into the market who punch above their weight and are getting instructions which other larger more established firms are envious of

Stuart Pearson is a real gentle giant, who just gets his head down and gets the work done.

Key Clients

Welsh Government

Caerphilly County Borough Council

The Royal Mint

Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council

Bridgend College

University of South Wales

Howard Tenens

Intelle Construction

Development Bank of Wales

Hodge Limited

Work highlights

  • Retained by the Welsh Government to provide construction advice surrounding the M4 Corridor – the largest infrastructure project in Wales in recent years.
  • Advised Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council on the procurement and contractual documentation of a £10m Dry-Mixed Recyclate Facility in Bryn Pica.
  • Represented Royal Mint in the construction of a wind turbine, as part of a sustainable energy project.
  • Advising Bridgend College on the development of its £30m STEAM Academy based on the NEC3 forms of contract.
  • Advised the University of South Wales on the procurement of a cleaning contractor using the Crown Commercial Service procurement framework, as well as modifying an NEC3 Term of Service Contract.

One of the leading construction offerings outside of Cardiff, led by the 'calm and objective' Philip Graham, Swansea-based firm Douglas-Jones Mercer has a very strong reputation in the market for handling contentious work, which has seen it pick up not only local mandates but also work emanating from South West England, London and the Midlands. Final account disputes and extension of time claims continue to be a fertile source of litigation for Graham, as does work on behalf of insolvency practitioners in relation to construction contract recoveries.

Practice head(s):Philip Graham

Other key lawyers:Laura Alliss


The team has a thorough knowledge of the different forms of construction contracts and takes a pragmatic view of prospects for success in any given dispute.

Philip Graham is a rational advocate who is always accessible (even on holidays) and prepared to offer an initial view without financial commitment


Key Clients

John Weaver (Contractors)

WRW Construction

Dawnus Construction (Holdings)

Swansea Stadium Management Company;

Stones & Co

Work highlights

  • Successfully defending Dawnus Southern Limited in a claim in professional negligence and running a counterclaim for breach of contract against an SPV following damage caused as a result of a flood
  • Successfully pursuing adjudication enforcement on behalf of John Weaver (Contractors) Limited arising out of the failed payment for works post practical completion in relation to the construction of a student accommodation block in Cardiff.
  • Represented Swansea Stadium Management Company, the company responsible for managing and operating the Liberty Stadium, in a ten-day trial for a claim for defects

At Berry Smith, senior associate Gavin Hoccom  handles a considerable amount of contentious mandates for high-net-worth individuals, as well as an increasing amount of adjudications for contractors and sub-contractors, both locally and UK-wide.

Practice head(s):Iwan Doull

Other key lawyers:Gavin Hoccom

Key Clients

Arag Plc

Welsh Government

Federation of Master Builders Cymru

Dawnus Construction Holdings


Carmarthenshire County Council

Blaenau Gwent County Council

LCB Construction

M Delacey & Sons

French Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing an ultra-high-net-worth individual based in London in a claim against the architect and contract administrator for breach of contract and negligence arising from the refurbishment of a property in St John’s Wood
  • Representing Dawnus Construction Holdings in the defence of a claim brought by an employer for the cost of materials worth in excess of £125,000
  • Representing Infuse Construction in an adjudication against a multimillion-pound investment fund regarding the unlawful termination of a contract and non-payment of an interim account in excess of £500,000 arising from construction works in London.
  • The team represents Blaenau Gwent County Council in a claim against a national provider of asbestos surveying services arising from the failure of the proposed defendant to provide its services with reasonable care and skill

Morgan LaRoche remains one of the leading firms in west Wales for handling contentious and non-contentious construction matters for developers and contractors. Team head Steve Mundy  has a niche expertise in relation to aviation-related construction matters, work which regularly sees him instructed on projects outside of Wales.

Practice head(s):Steve Mundy

Other key lawyers:Eleanor Griffiths

Key Clients

Bristol Airport Limited

CKC D&B Limited

Liberty Property (G.P.) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Bristol Airport Limited in relation to the construction of the new southside apron and taxiway and all associated works located at Bristol Airport
  • Advising Bristol Airport Limited in relation to the construction of a new car park on the former radar site together with all associated works.  
  • Advice and assistance to CKC D&B Limited in relation to the design and construction of 49 units consisting of 39 private and 10 affordable homes in London.
  • Commencing a claim by Liberty Property (G.P) Limited against Bombay Palace Restaurant Limited in relation to variations to the contract sum.

Planning and environment

Index of tables

  1. Planning and environment
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

Rising stars

  1. 1

Co-headed by Charles Felgate  and Huw Williams, who both have an 'excellent understanding of local government in Wales', Geldards LLP 's two-partner team provides a 'fantastic level of service' to public sector clients through its range of contentious and non-contentious planning/environmental  expertise. Praised for his 'in-depth knowledge of planning law', Felgate is particularly accomplished at advising clients on planning/environment issues with a contentious edge, including public inquiries and judicial reviews. Senior associate Tomos Phillips is gaining an excellent reputation in the market for advising private developer clients and local planning authorities on a range of contentious and non-contentious matters, including with regard to section 106 matters and CPO issues.

Practice head(s):Charles Felgate; Huw Williams

Other key lawyers:Tomos Phillips


Impressive resources, knowledge base and capabilities

Relaxed yet focused approach


Key Clients

Peakman Limited

Welsh Government

South Derbyshire District Council

Brecon Beacons National Park Authority

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority

Western Power Distribution

Wrexham County Borough Council

Leicester University

Welsh Local Government Association

Derbyshire County Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Peakman Limited on a reclamation of former opencast workings at Tir Pentwys – three-week public inquiry into this locally contentious application for the recovery of a nationally important resource of high-specification aggregates, which involves the construction of an access road through ancient woodland.
  • Acted for the Welsh Government in relation to the public inquiry into a scheme for a circa 20km section of new motorway to the south of Newport, which traverses several sites of special scientific interest, a special area of conservation and the statutory undertaking of Newport docks, as well as bounding a special protection area.
  • Acted for Cheshire East Council in relation to the making of the compulsory purchase order and side roads order for the delivery of the Poynton Relief Road scheme, which was promoted on behalf of Cheshire East Council and Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council.
  • Acted for South Derbyshire District Council in the drafting and negotiation of the s106 agreement for a major development of up to 1,100 houses (in addition to a supermarket, public house and retail units) at New House Farm, Mickleover, Derby.
  • Acting for Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority in relationship to judicial review of decision to grant planning permission for a replacement single dwelling house at Pont y Meddwyg.

Regularly working in conjunction with the firm's excellent real estate team, and also handling discrete planing matters, Acuity Law has an 'up-and-coming' reputation in the market on behalf of private and public sector entities. Able to tap into his overarching general commercial real estate prowess, as well as benefiting from a significant knowledge of the nuances of planning requirements, Steve Morris provides an 'invaluable service' to a broad range of clients on their highest-profile south Wales-based projects. Although the team is largely focused on non-contentious matters, its growing Swansea-based general commercial litigation offering enables it to provide some capacity on the planning litigation front.

Practice head(s):Steve Morris

Other key lawyers:Gareth Baker; Damien Cann

Key Clients

Rightacres Property

Greenbank Partnerships

Fitzpatrick Construction UK

Associated British Ports

University of Wales Trinity Saint David

South Wales Land Developments

Principality Building Society


LifeCare Residences

Bluestone Resorts

Work highlights

  • Acted for Rightacres Property on a successful £30m development, involving bespoke planning agreement drafting and advice in connection with the twin tracking of an adjoining site.
  • The firm represented the University of Wales Trinity St David at the heart of a £300m joint venture mixed-use Swansea waterfront development.
  • Advising (as sole legal partner) resort operator Bluestone on the planning history, current planning obligations and requirements for variations in obligations in connection with its potential acquisition of a £105m site in Anglesey, the largest ever property development in that county.  
  • Acted for the Principality Building Society on a phased residential development in monitoring compliance with ongoing planning conditions and reviewing terms of a section 106 agreement.

Although the Cardiff team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is fairly small, it regularly works alongside other practitioners across the firm's network, as well as in conjunction with the office's vast real estate offering, across a range of planning and environmental issues. 'Very solid' principal associate Kee Evans heads the team and is particularly noted for her environmental expertise, which includes advice on contaminated land matters, acquisitions/disposals and all Welsh legislation. Key industry sectors include transport, health care and renewables.

Practice head(s):Kee Evans


'Kee Evans was prepared to give sound advice around complex issues- she has a good depth of knowledge and provides practical as well as legal advice to resolve issues.'

Key Clients

Glaxo SmithKline

National Grid

Nuclear Decommissioning Agency


Sims Group UK

Severn Trent Water

Legal and General

Segro Plc

Koch Industries

Thames Water


Work highlights

  • The Cardiff team provided environmental advice and support to GlaxoSmithKline on the sale of its iconic Horlicks Factory in Slough.
  • Advice to a household name utility company in relation to the environmental permitting regime and the link with the funding/pricing arrangements agreed by the relevant utilities regulator.
  • Advised a large US manufacturing company in relation to a breach of the ROHS Regulations by one of its suppliers.
  • Acted as lead adviser for Elite Partners Capital on its first UK real estate acquisition.
  • Advised a large water utilities company on a range of contentious and non-contentious environmental issues, including in the context of Environment Agency investigations into matters of strategic importance with potentially heavy penalties.

Leveraging expertise from across the firm's property, construction and litigation teams, Hugh James' multi-disciplinary planning and environment practice handles non-contentious and contentious matters for public and private sector clients. Senior associate Shelley Ikram regularly provides the planning advice (including Section 106 agreements) associated with major projects handled by the firm's real estate and construction teams, and has also been involved in matters with a more contentious element, including as it relates to village green matters.

Practice head(s):Peter Hurn

Other key lawyers:Shelley Ikram

Key Clients

Welsh Government

Ely Bridge Development Company

Parc Eirin Development

Llanmoor Homes

Bellway Homes

Curo Group

Dwr Cymru Cyfyngedig (Welsh Water)

Barratt Homes

Persimmon Homes

Cenin Renewables

Walters Group

Natural Resources Wales

Work highlights

  • Advising Dwr Cymru Cyfyngedig (Welsh Water) on a proposed hydro electric scheme at Alwen Reservoir in Conwy, north Wales
  • Acts for the Walters group subsidiaries, Pennant Walters and Enersyst, on multiple windfarm, solar and battery storage projects throughout the UK – work which involves some planning and environmental considerations.
  • Advising Walters Automotive on the disposal of an automotive dealership in mid-Wales.
  • The negotiation and drafting of a multimillion-pound wind turbine contract situated at Stormy Down, Bridgend on behalf of Cenin Renewables
  • Advising Natural Resources Wales on multimillion-pound claims made to ownership of mineral rights beneath the surface of several large forestry areas in Wales

Led by the 'perceptive and focused' Rory Hutchings, JCP Solicitors' three-strong team is particularly strong at handling the planning issues within the agriculture sector, work which includes advising on town and country planning matters and compulsory purchase orders. The firm is also well-regarded in relation to planning and environmental issues associated with renewable energy projects.

Practice head(s):Rory Hutchings

Other key lawyers:Michael Williams; Alice Dearden-Cobbett


It is a strong regional (South Wales) practice which covers a range of specialist areas including environment, agriculture, planning and compulsory purchase

The team is very approachable and knowledgeable

Rory Hutchins is very knowledgeable about the agricultural industry and the rural sector as a whole. He knows what makes farmers tick and understands the logic behind their activities, which may not be logical to many practitioners.

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