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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 > West Midlands > Public sector > Local government > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



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Bevan Brittan LLP’s clients praise its ‘very prompt responses, excellent knowledge of local government law and practical advice’ and for its ‘outstanding overall level of service that is great value for money’. In Birmingham, commercial partner Matthew Waters focuses on innovative corporate structures in the context of service redesign and income generation; his recent highlights include establishing a joint venture on behalf of Hove and Brighton city council, a funded wholly-owned investment vehicle for the London borough of Brent, and assisting several authorities with new structures for regional adoption agencies. Adam Kendall heads the firm’s litigation, advisory and regulatory department and is also recommended. Olwen Dutton joined Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP.

Didar Dhillon leads Pinsent Masons LLP’s local government practice in Birmingham, which consists of a further two partners and three senior associates. Dhillon and senior associate Gemma Glasspole are acting for ten local authorities in South Wales on the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal, a £1.28bn programme which will involve a significant contribution to South East Wales metro scheme. Kultar Khangura’s advice to Coventry City Council regarding the selection of a development partner for a major multi-use development scheme. Property partner David Meecham is representing a London borough on the South Kilburn rejuvenation project, and handled a high-value strategic transaction conducted through the use of an innovative procurement approach for a borough council. Leisure and waste specialist Oliver Mangiapane acted alongside the Manchester-based Scot Morrison in a real estate development. Clients also recommend senior associate Rebecca Pendlebury.

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP was joined in 2016 by Olwen Dutton from Bevan Brittan LLP; she jointly heads the local government team with Mark Cook. Jon Coane, who has a particular focus advising local authorities on loan facilities for housing investment special purpose companies and housing associations, recently assisted Cook with the setting up of a joint venture housing development company between Watford Borough Council and Watford Community Housing Trust. Associate Gayle Monk, who specialises in public contract procurement law and state aid, is supporting Dutton and Cook with their advice to Monmouthshire County Council on an alternative delivery method for a range of tourism, leisure, youth and culture services. Hilary Harrison led the team advising Birmingham City Council on the redevelopment of an indoor market area, which involved issues concerning merchants’ occupancy and lease renewal. Other key figures include Andrew Lancaster, who handles construction and commercial disputes; and Andrew Millross, who jointly leads the construction and procurement team and recently acted for a borough council in connection with a mini-tender process.

According to clients, Weightmans LLP is ‘one of the pre-eminent local government firms’. In Birmingham, Jawaid Rehman leads on local authority matters and has strong expertise in equal pay and the restructuring and implementing of pay schemes. He is supported by Chris Webb-Jenkins, who has significant experience advising social care providers on safeguarding issues; and real estate specialist Zo Hoida, whose recent highlights include several high-profile rejuvenation projects. Rehman acted for Derbyshire County Council with regards to a senior management review, while Hoida advised Walsall council on an ongoing development project alongside Highways England to widen and improve a junction on the M6. Other key contacts include litigation expert Penelope Marshall; Chris Green, who leads the Midlands regulatory team and recently prosecuted the owner of a care home on behalf of Mansfield District Council following the accidental death of a service user; and Tim Lang who focuses on employment and professional regulatory work.

Clients rate the overall levels of service at DWF as ‘excellent’. Caroline Coates leads on local government matters in Birmingham and has strong expertise in personal injury and professional negligence matters in the public sector. She is assisted by Denise Brosnan, who is ‘very strong on personal injury and general litigation’ and handles liability claims; and insurance policy specialist Derek Adamson, who ‘is outstanding on contractual liability and professional indemnity questions’. In recent highlights, Melanie Williams assisted the in-house legal team of a city council with regards to funding and property aspects of a major city centre transport development project; and director Neil Jinks, who sits within the firm’s recoveries team, is acting for a local authority in connection with the enforcement of council tax liability orders. Coates and senior associate Paul Donnelly are representing a local government and a major insurer in a series of personal injury claims brought by attendees of a high-profile public event, while Brosnan is handling a group of claims brought on behalf of residents and former residents of a housing estate built on chemically contaminated land. Toby Askin, who leads the real estate teams in London and Birmingham, is also recommended.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s local authority team in Birmingham consists of Gary Delderfield, who is currently advising LGPS Central – a collaboration of nine local authorities – on the creation of a new corporate structure to pool £35bn of pension fund investments; and transport law expert Anne Harris, who acts for clients such as Birmingham City Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority. Delderfield also provides pensions advice to the operator of a collective investment vehicle pooling the investments of 32 London borough pensions funds. He is supported by principal associate and pensions team member Gavin Paul. In other recent highlights, Sarah Jones acted alongside the Cardiff-based Peter Jones on the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, a high-profile public inquiry into child abuse in care and the regulatory climate surrounding care homes; principal associate Isabelle Mitchell also acted in this matter.

Nathan Holden heads the national local authority practice at Freeths LLP and focuses on real estate and commercial projects including outsourcing arrangements, care home contracts and framework agreements for housing services. He is supported by commercial property expert Mitchell Ball, who acts for both private and public sector clients and has a track record in retail developments. Holden and Ball advised Leicester City Council on the regeneration of a site to make the area suitable for housing and office and retail development. Clifford acted alongside James Dyson on behalf of Birmingham City Council in connection with a number of projects, including providing due diligence support on state aid and negotiating loan and grant agreements. Other notable clients include the Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and East Lindsey District Council. Perveen Akhter is also recommended.

Gowling WLG’s Sarah Sasse heads the firm’s public-sector IT and outsourcing practice and advises on procurement, commercial contracts and risk minimisation. Previous highlights include acting for Croydon Council on a procurement contract with Capita for its ICT, and assisting the Department of Health and NHS trusts with issues arising from the Independent Sector Treatment programme.

Trowers & Hamlins LLPalways provides good advice within a short turnaround period’. Practice head Amardeep Gill ‘has great knowledge and understanding of PFI and public contract matters’. He was joined by partner Christopher Plumley from Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP and solicitors Michael Stead, who joined from joined from Gowling WLG, and Rajveena Sangha, who joined from Mach-Tech. Gill and Stead are advising a district council in connection with an innovative joint venture partnership agreement for the provision of leisure facilities, and is acting for Belfast City Council on the establishment of a private company to manage the Waterfront Hall and Ulster Hall venues. On the development front, Plumley is negotiating the redevelopment of a high-profile waterfront site in Chester with the aim of transforming the currently derelict location into prime real estate material, and is assisting Tamworth Borough Council with its project to become financially self-sustainable through the use of its property assets and wider investment powers. Louis Sebastian left the practice for a position at North West Leicestershire District Council.

Henry Bermingham and Paul Owston jointly lead BLM’s local government practice and are noted for their expertise in local government disputes; Bermingham is singled out for his expertise in social care work involving historic abuse and deprivation of liberty, while Owston specialises in defendant insurance litigation. They are assisted by Joanna Brocklehurst, who focuses her practice on defending clients in employers’ liability and public liability claims, and Jagdeep Hayre, who acts in high-value commercial disputes. The team successfully defended an appeal for Kent City Council, which faced a personal injury claim after an individual fell on a pothole on common land. In another key matter, Hayre is acting for a local authority in a dispute with a construction company revolving around the termination of a framework agreement. Val Hughes, who handles disease claims, is also recommended. Other notable clients include Birmingham City Council, Derby City Council and Shropshire Council.

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