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Commercial property: Birmingham

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: Birmingham
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial property: Birmingham clients in West Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP handles agenda-setting transactions across real estate asset classes, ranging from infrastructure and retail through to office space and residential. David Jones handles commercial developments and heads the firm’s Birmingham real estate team – he advised SEGRO EMG on the site acquisition and pre-letting elements of the planned East Midlands Gateway rail freight terminal. Gurjit Atwal is the firm’s global real estate sector head – he handles retail, student housing and leisure deals such as advising Landsec on purchasing three outlet centres from Hermes Investment Management for £333m, which was partially structured through Jersey Property Unit Trusts (JPUTs). Helen Annable advised a hospitality company on the sale of 73 pubs across Great Britain as going concerns for £50m. Meg Heppel advised HM Revenue and Customs on pre-letting 22,300 sq m of space in 3 Arena Central. Philip Medford, the head of the residential development practice, advised Taylor Wimpey on purchasing the former Flightshed in Longridge for residential development in a transaction conditional on remediation. Mark Chester is a new hire from Gowling WLG – he and Iftkhar Ahmed advised Iron Mountain on the purchase of two leasehold data centres for £83m – one in Slough, the other in Singapore. Other clients include the Blackstone Group, which Atwal advised on selling a £460m social housing portfolio to Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Gateley Plc handles a mix of work, with a particularly strong roster of work for housebuilders. Callum Nuttall  advised Harworth Group on promoting a scheme to develop 3,000 homes near Derby, while Richard Pettifor continues to advise the consortium backing the Langley Sustainable Urban Extension, which is a proposed 6,000-unit residential development in the West Midlands. In addition, Tim Ledger is acting for Keepmoat Homes on an £80m development on the banks of the River Soar in Leicester. Pamela Scott advises a consortium of two housebuilders and a social housing provider on the purchase of sites as part of the Hull Citywide Framework. Robert Thompson is also a name of note for major house-building developments, while Ray Simpson advised Regal on financing its plan to construct Birmingham’s tallest residential tower. Away from housebuilding, Pettifor advises Mountpark Logistics on a speculative commercial development in Warrington, and Soulplane on developing a logistics property near Manchester Airport. James Madill advised Avignon Capital on the acquisition of a long-term lease of the arts complex in Southampton’s Cultural Quarter. Rebecca Sherwin advises HSBC on real estate finance matters. James White advised Gymshark on letting a new headquarters in Solihull. Andrew Mellor is now at Shakespeare Martineau LLP.

Gowling WLG handles a range of work, with a particular strength in the residential space. Susan Bennett and director Matthew Walker continue to advise Ballymore on the development funding from M&G Real Estate for Three Snowhill. Duncan Murphy and principal associate Simon Brown advised Clarion Housing Group on its purchase of 603 residential units as part of the development of AFC Wimbledon’s new stadium. Michael Twining and senior associate Paul Lloyd advised HSBC Alternative Investments on purchasing Brindleyplace for £260m, which involved purchasing shares in six Luxembourgish companies. Nisha Jassal heads a team advising advising The Arden Cross Consortium on a planned urban development in Solihull near the proposed Birmingham Interchange HS2 station. John Burns, who divides his time between London and Birmingham, and Susan Bennett  handle heavyweight logistics deals. Other clients include Blackstone, which Twining advised on the sale of the Hilton Hotel Westminster to Westmont Hospitality Group, and Warwickshire County Cricket Club. Richard Bate, who is based in Birmingham, heads the firm’s UK real estate practice.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s real estate practice in Birmingham handles a range of heavyweight development work concerning housebuilding. David Meecham advises the Homes and Communities Agency, a cornerstone client, on various projects, and also advises Birmingham City Council on procuring a development partner for a site near Sutton Coldfield earmarket for industrial use. Tom Johnson continues to advise Henry Boot Developments on its role as preferred development partner for the Phoenix 10 site near the M6 in Walsall. Away from the residential sector, Lisa Middleton and Johnson advised Arena Central Developments on the pre-letting of 3 Arena Central to HM Revenue and Customs. Legal directors Tom Eastwood and Carl Scott are key contacts for health-related work, with Medicx and Order of St Johns and Methodist Homes key clients in this space – another legal director of note is Victoria Potterill-Tilney, who handles transactional housebuilding work.

Squire Patton Boggs’ ‘great’ team includes Victoria Camfield, who advised Birmingham City Council on the disposal of the 3 Arena Central Building to Legal & General, which in turn let it to HM Revenue and Customs, and separately led the due diligence aspects of Warrington Borough Council’s purchase of a multi-occupier business park. Practice head and Birmingham office managing partner Nick Green advised Amaris Hospitality on the real estate elements of its sale of the Jurys Inn hotel chain. Neil Taylor is also ‘an excellent partner with strong commercial knowledge, but also the ability to manage a great team of people’. Other work concerns social housing deals. Anne O’Meara has retired, and Mohammed Alam is now at Hogan Lovells International LLP.

DLA Piper UK LLP’s Birmingham real estate team handles work covering deals ranging from infrastructure-related land purchases through to large-scale portfolio transactions. Monique Sutherland ‘takes ownership of legal issues and discussions and is quick to respond with well thought out, balanced advice’. She continues to advise Gulf Ventures on the development and leasing of a distribution park, on top of transactions concerning site purchases of infrastructure developments, as well as transactions of existing buildings with sitting tenants. Roger Collier advised Busy Bees Holdings on the sale and a sale and leaseback transaction concerning over 100 properties used for childcare. Fiona Thomson  is also a name of note. Simon Hambly left the firm for an in-house position.

Fieldfisher LLP in Solihull has a strong track record of development work, spanning commercial and residential assets. Sue Simpson, Jonathan Wright and Mark Lee – who is dual-qualified as a chartered surveyor – are key partners in the team.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP is ‘a strong law firm: reliable, professional and always helpful. Andrew Mellor, a new recruit from Gateley Plc, handles challenging work concerning leases, including ones with threats of dispute. James Gooch handles significant work concerning housebuilding, including sales of options over land – Debbie Irwin is also a name of note for major residential developments. Kevin Nagle handles heavyweight residential portfolio sales. Rob Adey has retired, while Laura Murphy, who was a legal director of the firm, is now a principal associate at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP.

At Shoosmiths LLP, Jason Jackson heads a practice which handles work concerning industrial, office, leisure, retail and logistics spaces, much of which involving pre-lets. Patrick Garner advised St Modwen Developments, a cornerstone client, on the real estate aspect of its creation of a new rolling stock factory for CAF in Newport, and separately advised IM Properties on the letting space in the newly-expanded 55 Colmore Row.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP, which is instructed by both public and private sector clients, provides ‘excellent service, great response times and a team with strength in depth’. Christopher Plumley heads a team advising the Urban Growth Company, which is owned by Solihull Council, on the proposed UK Central Hub, and advised Leicester City Council on a redevelopment, including the disposal of an office block to Mattioli Woods. Turning to the private sector, Amanda Hanmore, who has ‘great technical knowledge and commercial acumen’ advised Hinton Group on purchasing two Travelodge hotels in the West Midlands from the relevant local authorities; she also advised the West Midlands Pension Fund on a range of real estate investments. Simon Robinson’s work includes acting for Richborough Estates on a range of land promotion agreements. Inox Group is another client – Hanmore advised it on purchasing two strategic sites outside Truro with planning consent for 1,700 residential units and a new stadium, as is the Greater Manchester Pension Fund. Digby Morgan is a new partner promotion in the team.

Browne Jacobson LLP handles a mix of work for government bodies as well as private sector clients. On top of work for local authorities and institutional investors, Thomas Howard advised Amcor on the sale and partial leaseback of a former tobacco packaging site, which completed within six weeks. Lisa McGinn advised Handelsbanken on refinancing Cygnet Property Management’s Sock Island development in Leicester, and in the property transactional space advised the Homes and Community Agency on purchasing a 14.5 acre site from Birmingham City University, which could potentially be used as the site of the athletes’ village for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Dominic Swift  handles work concerning large property portfolios, including for public sector clients. Zo Hoida  joined from Weightmans LLP in May 2018.

DWF's Melanie Williams heads the firm’s hospitality group – she handles transactional and finance work, including hotel deals. Toby Askin handles a range of work concerning retail real estate. Both divide their time between London and Birmingham.

Emms Gilmore Liberson handles a range of work, with sales of land to developers a particular bright spot for the practice. Director Simon Jobson advised Warwickshire College on the £5.3m conditional sale of its former campus for development, and also assisted Revelan Estates with the development of a factory site near Coventry. In addition, Mark Dakeyne advised Stoford Developments on the letting and sale of two warehouses in the Worcester Six business park – he also has heavyweight housebuilding expertise. Director Beth Margetson works with the Gooch Estate, a key client, on various maters concerning residential developments. Other clients include Sustainable Energy Centre, which Margetson advised on a lease for additional land for developing a waste to energy facility.

Irwin Mitchell’s team, which is headed by Ben Acheson  and handles a range of significant residential developments, is ‘excellent, with good knowledge and timely responses’. He advised Persimmon Homes on the conditional purchase of part of the former Longbridge site from St Modwen Properties for £10.8m. Other clients include SECP, which he advised on the sale of land for £11.8m after planning permission for 2,700 homes was granted, and Henry Davidson Developments, which he advised on purchasing development site on Faversham. He also advises tenants on high-profile office relocations.

Capsticks LLP’s ‘excellent’ associate Henry Matveieff handles the real estate elements of a range of public sector deals. He advised Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust on the disposal of a part of the Birmingham City Hospital site to the Homes and Communities Agency, on top of various work for private health care providers on deals including the sales of existing sites for residential development and the purchase of buildings and land for conversion to medical use. Other NHS clients include the South Staffordshire and Shropshire NHS Foundation Trust, which Matveieff advised on selling the former Shelton Hospital to a residential developer, and the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, which the practice advised on a similar transaction.

Clarke Willmott LLP provides ‘prompt, accurate, professional and effective’ advice, with a particular strength in retail properties. Lidl is a key client of the team – ‘very thorough property specialist’ Jonathan Morton advised it on the purchase of a long lease of a site for the development of its new headquarters in Tolworth, and also assisted it with a programme of mortgaging its existing stores, plus selling a site to Crest for it to develop a Lidl store topped with housing. Iain Harrison  advised the same client on the acquisition of a site for the development of a new store in Lichfield. Senior associate Fiona Rendell advised the Royal British Legion Austin Branch on the sale of part of its site to developers, with consideration coming in the form of the redevelopment of its existing building. Other clients include CWRP Manchester, which Morton advised on the sale of a property in Oldham, and De Montfort University.

Mills & Reeve LLP has a particular following among higher education clients. Christian Bull advised the University of Birmingham on becoming a tenant in the former Municipal Bank building in central Birmingham, and also advised Coventry University College on purchasing the the Dagenham Civic Centre building. Below partner level, principal associate Robbie Turner is a key contact.

Sydney Mitchell LLP’s team handles a range of multimillion-pound deals. Consultant Georgina Walsh in Shirley handles work concerning purchases and sales of development sites, while Stewart Coles, an associate, has experience in handling hotel deals. At partner level Div Singh , who is based in Birmingham, also handles buy-side deals, often involving title issues. Fahmida Ismail is also a key contact.

VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards)’s Clive Read and senior associate Julie Newell advised Birmingham Law Society on leasing an unused and derelict building to Revolution Bars. The firm also acts for a number of local authorities; Read and senior associate James Overstall advised the University of Northampton, a new client win, on developing a new tannery. Consultant Adrian Watson's clients include universities and investment funds such as MGTS St Johns Property ICVC, a regular client, which he advised on purchasing newly-built student housing in Taunton. The firm also acts for Jaguar Land Rover, Wing Yip and several United Reformed Church entities.


Commercial property: elsewhere in the West Midlands

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: elsewhere in the West Midlands
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Karl Bamford - Knights Professional Services Limited
    • Nick East - Lodders Solicitors LLP
    • Barry Sankey - Wright Hassall LLP
    • David Slade - Wright Hassall LLP

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial property: elsewhere in the West Midlands clients in West Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Higgs & Sons' ‘professional and responsive’ practice handles a wide range of transactions, including residential development sales. Cherry Elliott  advised Cassidy Group on the £44m purchase of a 350-bed residential development in Nottingham, among various other instructions in the space – Sara Shepherd  and Kevin Joynes handle work for major housebuilders, concerning both land sales and option agreement purchases. In hospitality, Richard Saxton  and associate Andrew Stokes  advised Talash Hotels on the purchase of the Mercure Hotel Chester and the Mercure Telford from Aviva; Saxton also acted for Primitivo Restaurant on the real estate elements of its temporary closure due to building works, and subsequent expansion into a neighbouring unit. Other work concerns corporate head office moves, real estate aspects of food and restaurant deals. The firm also acts for Bathams Brewery.

Lodders Solicitors LLP handles a range of work, including some significant residential developments. Nick East  advised IM Group, a repeat client of the firm, on purchasing and then subsequently selling land in Bath to a housebuilder for £9.5m, and also advised Spitfire Bespoke Homes on the sale of a 220-home private rented sector development in Birmingham. Alastair Frew advised Lakeside Homes on the purchase of a site in the Cotsworlds with a development value of £10m. James Mottram and Mark Miller also handle eight-figure housing land deals. In addition to housebuilding work Paul Morton, who divides his time between Stratford upon Avon and Cheltenham, handles office deals such as advising Central and Commercial Property Investments on selling a building in Warwick for £3m to a private investor. Among the senior associates Victoria Longmore  is is recommended, as is Russell Spencer , who joined in October 2017 from Wright Hassall LLP.

Wright Hassall LLP has ‘a wide-ranging team capable of addressing clients’ needs’. Andrew Jones  advised EDR Developments on buying a site for, and subsequent pre-letting of, a development in Redditch. James Polo-Richards  advised Wigley Contracts on several transactions, including an industrial transaction which completed four days after the receipt of heads of terms. David Slade, who heads the team, and Polo-Richards advised 3P Innovation on the land purchases required for a new headquarters in Warwick. Barry Sankey  has particular expertise in science and technology parks – he advised Lincoln Science & Innovation Park on purchasing an office block. Gill Worthington, who heads the retail property team, advises TUI. Lucie Byron handles real estate finance deals, such as advising Lloyds Bank on the security aspects of the acquisition financing of a portfolio of pharmacies, secured mostly against “make-weight” assets. Joanna Deffley handles significant housebuilding work, as does Clare Waring.

FBC Manby Bowdler LLP's ‘excellent’ practice handles work covering a range of sectors including residential, retail and hospitality.  In Wolverhampton, David Grove handles significant residential development work, acting for corporate and private investors. In Shrewsbury, senior associate David Raymont , whose work includes industrial transactions, is ‘pleasant, prompt and knowledgeable’; in the same office, associate Charlotte Nutting  is a key contact for retail property deals. Stephen Burke in Telford handles noteworthy hospitality work. Andrew Wynne  in Wolverhampton is also a key contact.

George Green LLP handles a range of work, with real estate finance one of several bright spots. Kevin Styles advised an Icelandic investor on the purchase of an existing hotel, seeking to use the site to construct apartments and retail units, and PalletTrack on leasing a new depot. Alex Jayne Lowe advised Telent Technology Services on subletting a floor of office space to a subtenant, and Ortus Securted Finance on a secured bridging loan for the £6.5m acquisition of office space in Luton. Also in real estate finance, Paul Woodman (who also handles property sales) advised OakNorth Bank on several development finance facilities to Guernsey companies concerning projects in London. Philip Round handles property finance work concerning the social care sector. Other clients include ThyssenKrupp, which Lowe advised on leasing additional space at its existing premises and the sale of a warehouse. Paul Kettle, who handles a range of transactional work, is also a key contact.

Knights Professional Services Limited Newcastle under Lyme office is headed by Karl Bamford, who has a track record of portfolio management work for large institutional investors. HÊlène Maillet-Vioud is also a key contact. The team has a track record of acting for clients such as Telereal Trillium and JCB.

Lanyon Bowdler ‘has the depth of knowledge and experience to support clients in all apsects of property transactions, assisting in negotiations and drafting robust legal frameworks’. Emma Wilde in Oswestry advised Primoris Homes on purchasing development land for an HCA-backed project to construct over eighty homes plus condign infrastructure – she also has expertise in the hotels space. Cindy Wright  in Shrewsbury also handles residential development work. Also in Shrewsbury, Andrew Evans, who ‘identifies the most appropriate documentation and makes recommendations in a simple and straightforward way, making decision-making easier’, handles work concerning real estate finance. Alan Gittins, who is based in Oswestry, handles several deals crossing over into Wales; Ian Glenister is also a name of note in Oswestry. In Telford, Praveen Chaudhari handles a range of work concerning offices and industrial properties, some of which cross-border.

In Kidderminster, MFG Solicitors LLP’s ‘specialist team gives great depth in its area’, providing ‘advice with the right level of commerciality’. Maynard Burton  handles site purchases for development. Miles Dearden  and Peter Copsey  (who ‘completes jobs in a timely and efficient manner and keeps clients well-updated on progress’) handle student housing projects, while Justin Travelyan Parker and Dearden advised Wychavon District Council on an urban redevelopment. Sarah Astbury  handled a sale and leaseback transaction concerning a garden centre. Other work concerns property financing. Associate Jennifer Hicks-Jones is also a name of note.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP provides ‘good, personalised service that manages risk and provides good commercial advice when required.’ Richard Cox handles sales of development sites for landowners, including ones with sitting tenants. Janet James  is also a key contact for work concerning infrastructure developments. The ‘exceptional’ Caroline Irvine  handles work for logistics lessees, among other work such as hospitality deals. Louise Drew (who ‘has strong experience and works with clients to resolve transactions’) advised Bromford Housing Association on the purchase of 107 plots as part of a 535-unit site in Staffordshire. Other clients include the National Grid.

Ansons its noted for its particular specialism in rural and agricultural clients matters. On top of a number of deals concerning residential property, working farms and sales of farmland to residential developments, the team advised Walton Homes on the purchase of six new development sites, as well as the sales of groups of properties to Tamworth Borough Council. It also advised The Regard Group on purchasing two care services centres. Richard Saum heads the team with Simon James and Neil Faunch key contacts for agricultural work. Lloyds Bank is a client for secured real estate finance.

Coventry’s Band Hatton Button LLP has ‘a wealth of experience and knowledge in property matters, which it deploys in a clear and user-friendly manner’. Daniel Blood, who heads the practice after Nick Button’s assumption of the senior partner role at the firm, advises housebuilders on sales of completed residential developments. Dina Parmar handles work concerning assisted living developments. Philip Costigan acts for Allied Irish Bank as well as handling redevelopments and property acquisitions. Other clients include The Albany Theatre.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys has particular strengths in work regarding mining and agricultural real estate. Philip Parkinson in Worcester and Matthew Hayes in Hereford are key contacts.

Beswicks Legal in Stoke on Trent provides ‘excellent service on all counts’. Associate Simon Abbotts is ‘prompt, efficient and a solid performer – totally user-friendly’; he handles deals concerning assets such as care homes and leisure properties, as well as advising house builders and pension investors. Senior associate James Cullen is also a key contact. At partner level, Ian Johnston handles a number of blight claims concerning HS2.

At Brethertons LLP in Rugby, Tom Lawrence  handles a range of work concerning residential leases, development plot sales and office space transactions, advising property investors and land owners alike. Actionlake Properties is a client.

Hatchers Solicitors LLP has ‘an in-depth knowledge of local markets and an active and friendly attitude to client service’. Val Edwards is ‘approachable, efficient and understanding’ – she advised a pension investor on purchasing a retail estate with twelve existing leases, while Matthew Bowering handles work concerning residential developments. Both are based in Shrewsbury.

Hawkins Hatton Corporate Lawyers Limited ‘has the ability to be commercial, with foresight of issues that some clients compare to a soothsayer’. Dudley-based director Colin Rodrigues is ‘a true partner in progressing a deal through to completion in an efficient and professional manner’ – he advised Absolute Apparrel on the purchse of an industrial building and office block in Wolverhampton for £3.2m, and assisted the buyer of a new industrial estate in Coventry. The firm also handles real estate finance work, acting for several major banks. Associate Director Natasha Bhardwaj  is also a key contact.

Pickerings Solicitors LLP ‘leads the way in Tamworth and the surrounding area – it looks after is clients really well and provides the help and advice needed in urgent situations’. Director Sue Albini ‘has a depth of knowledge that is second to none’ – she advised a landowner on the sale of a site with planning permission for 800 homes to a developer for £31m, and separately advised the buyer of a £20m warehouse development. Other work concerns residential development acquisitions, as well as agricultural land and retail matters. Solicitor Kate Pearce is also a name of note.


Construction

Index of tables

  1. Construction
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Construction clients in West Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Gowling WLG handles heavyweight construction disputes, as well as transactional work involving major projects. In the construction disputes arena, Ashley Pigott and principal associate Sarah Dyer are key contacts for litigation and arbitration concerning a range of buildings and infrastructure developments. Michael O’Shea is another name of note for contentious work, as is Daniel Wood, who represented E.ON in a dispute concerning the inclusion of technical standards as terms in contracts, as applied to defective foundations of sixty wind turbines in the Robin Rigg offshore site in the Solway Firth, which reached the Supreme Court. On the non-contentious front, Richard Green and principal associate Gemma Whittaker continue to advise Aston Martin Lagonda on its project to convert the former MoD St Athan site into a factory to build the Aston Martin DBX. Other clients include Roxhill Developments, which Green and Mark Stephenson advised on procuring the construction of a new, 200,000 sq m, warehouse in Tilbury to be let to Amazon.

Squire Patton Boggs, which handles contentious and non-contentious work, with an emphasis on energy and infrastructure developments, is praised for its ‘solid common-sense approach and very good client management’. Contentious highlights include Robert Norris and senior associate Alex Johnson’s representation of Blackpool Borough Council in several adjudications and High Court proceedings against the contractor constructing an extension to the town’s tram system. Ray O’Connor is another key contact for contentious work, as well as handling non-contentious matters; recent highlights include advising the National Exhibition Centre on development works for its new Legoland attraction. Other transactional work includes Graeme Bradley’s advice to J-Power Systems, a subsidiary of Sumitomo, on the procurement of land and underwater installations required for the Nemo Link power interconnector connecting Sandwich to Zeebrugge. Bradley also acted for Al Shamsh General Contracting in a dispute over the construction of a military air base in Iraq. Other clients include Equitix, which Bradley advised on the procurement of a waste-to-energy plant constructed under a FIDIC Silver Book contract, Claremont Land & New Homes and Sky.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is ‘aware of all the current issues contractors face in entering building contracts and adept at handling negotiations to reach a suitable point to allow projects to proceed’. David Jones, working with the firm’s Manchester office, continues to advise Severn Trent Water and Dee Valley Water on creating a new framework agreement for procuring water treatment plants and pipe networks. Jones also advises Network Rail on a proposed people mover connecting Luton Airport Parkway railway station to Luton Airport 2km away. Peter Scurlock continues to advise NNB Generation Company, a subsidiary of EDF Energy, on several contracting packages for the Hinkley Point C project, including the construction of several marine tunnels required to cool the reactor. He also advises Lynemouth Power on the conversion of the eponymous coal-fired power station to biomass wood pellets, but away from energy also advised Nikal on procuring 600 apartments across three buildings as part of the Exchange Square development in central Birmingham. Formerly a principal associate at the firm, Michael Shires is now Head of Legal at Hill & Smith Holdings.

Gateley Plc, which counts several prominent housebuilders among its clients, handles both contentious and non-contentious work. David Lloyd Jones advised Jaguar Land Rover on construction contracts for a £96m development, including a new head office, using a construction management contract – in the residential space, he also advises Taylor Wimpey on contracts for Bouygues to redevelop part of the Mount Pleasant Mail Centre into housing. In the contentious arena, legal director Amira Khan advises Bovis Homes on a dispute with Network Rail concerning delays to upgrades to Wellingborough railway station, which is adjacent to Bovis’ Stanton Cross development. Peter Davies and senior associate Peter Cursham Will Cursham represent Volvo in a £3m claim regarding a defective area of hardstanding. The firm also acts for Linden Homes. Senior associate Paul Scott is a new hire from Shoosmiths LLP .

Mills & Reeve LLP is a ‘professional and personable firm that provides high-class advice and support’.  Stuart Pemble  handles non-contentious work, including the 55-91 Knightsbridge project for Cheval Group and advising Blackswan Development on a new project in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. Pemble also has a following among education clients – he advised Eltham College on drafting construction contracts for a new building, and the Southern Universities Construction Consultancy Affinity Group on a new framework agreement. Litigator Martino Giaquinto, who is dual-qualified as a barrister, is ‘an extremely smart and sharp man’ who ‘always provides sound advice relative to the needs of the client, and is also a very impressive advocate’ – he handles disputes regarding residential, hotel, infrastructure and energy projects, as well as more unusual structures. Associate Patrick Wisheu Patrick Wisheu ‘has an amazing ability to delve into the most technical aspects of complex disputes’.

Shoosmiths LLP, for some, ‘sets the bar, providing an unrivalled service in a competitive marketplace’. In the ‘strong contentious team’,  Simon Wain and Stephen Belshaw are key partners for construction disputes, as is Ian Yule , who ‘has a technical background which is most helpful in analysing and preparing claims and witnesses, which he does exceptionally well’. Turning to transactional work, Patrick Garner and senior associate Andrew Outram, who ‘can decipher complex legal jargon into an understandable format with a common-sense response’, advised IM Properties on the construction elements of the redevelopment of 55 Colmore Row, which included the addition of two floors. Formerly a senior associate at the firm, Paul Scott is now a legal director at Gateley Plc.

Wright Hassall LLP in Leamington Spa is ‘very well-recognised and respected in all areas of construction law and clients find it to be exceptionally knowledgeable in this area’. Clients ‘can’t find weaknesses’ in Michael Hiscock – he advises Alatas on a FIDIC contract to install specialist cooling infrastructure for data centres in Singapore. Philip Harris provides ‘responsive and provides clear, commercial advice’ – he advises Socotec UK on providing geotechnical investigations for HS2, resolving a billing dispute. Other clients include Oliveti Construction, which Hiscock advises on its contract to refurbish several airports owned by Manchester Airport Group. Nichola Vine is also a key contact – her practice includes significant non-contentious work.

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP  ‘stands out in its understanding of the public sector, and how to reach sensible negotiated outcomes in that context’. The firm handles a mixture of contentious and non-contentious work for housing associations, local authorities and others involved in the provision of public services, alongside some private sector work. Andrew Milcross  advised Clarion Housing Group on its gas and lift maintenance contracts; he also advises Aster Group on the development of NEC3 contracts for the construction of 2,500 homes. Andrew Lancaster's ‘great strengths are his understanding of the values and priorities of the public sector, and the most cost effective ways to defend them, and to get the right deal for them when disputes arise’ – he advised Triuva, a German real estate investor, on bringing a claim against a contractor due to alleged defects in curtain walls and cladding in a building in Birmingham. Richard Brooks  and senior associate Rajinder Bhangal continue to advise Sports and Leisure Management on a contract to provide services in East Hampshire; Brooks also advises Winchester City Council on procuring an architect for a multi-use development.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys ‘rates highly in non-contentious construction related activities’. Andrew James  in Worcester advises Speller Metcalfe on aspects of its participation in the Dudley College CABTech project, and advises a leisure centre constructor and operator on a dispute with a local authority and a national contractor. Keith Blizzard, who joined the Birmingham office from Shakespeare Martineau LLP , accepts adjudicatorial appointments on top of contentious work for employers and contractors.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP handles both contentious and non-contentious work across the UK. Ruth Phillips, who heads the non-contentious side of the practice, advises Tucan Developments on contracts to develop and lease a hotel to be branded as a Premier Inn, and also advises Max Barney Developments on construction documentation regarding the creation of a mixed-use development in Shoreditch. Rachael Hobbis, a legal director, is a key name below partner level for non-contentious work. Kate Onions, who joined as a partner from Gateley Plc where she was a legal director, handles heavyweight dispute work touching on sectors including energy, education and leisure. Mark Beesley is also a name of note. Other clients include the University of Birmingham, PBS Energo and Stantec Global Engineering – the latter two new client wins.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP ‘looks at the bigger picture and gives practical and commercial advice that is tailored to the needs of clients’ businesses’. Mark Robinson heads the non-contentious side of the practice – he advises Prosperity Investments and Developments on various residential developments in Birmingham. Senior associate Victoria Ball handled the construction aspects of a private residential development comprising 677 apartments in Manchester for Tameside MBC and the Greater Manchester Pension Fund. Managing associate Paul Mountain advises the Severn Rivers Trust on contractual work. Vijay Bange , who handles the contentious side of the practice, ‘provides a responsive service and delivers commercial solutions’ – he handles a range of disputes work, much of it for contractors such as Colmore Tang Construction and Interserve Construction. Also in the disputes team, senior associate Tanya Chadha is ‘an integral part of the team, who is impressively dedicated to getting the desired commercial result’. Swan Housing Association is another client. Andrew Vickery has retired.

Beswicks Legal ’s Karen Elder  is ‘able to grasp the fundamental points in the case and quickly start addressing the issues’. She represents employers, contractors and subcontractors in various disputes before the Technology and Construction Court and is experienced in alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.

Browne Jacobson LLP's Martin Cannon  handles a range of dispute work for contractors and various public sector employers such as NHS trusts and local authorities. Clients include Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, North Midland Group and HM Revenue and Customs.

Pinsent Masons LLP ’s Nigel Blundell  advised Morgan Sindall on forming a joint venture with Bemo Tunnelling for future London Underground works. Blundell also advises Volkerrail on participation in Network Rail procurements. Away from infrastructure, the team handles other mandates concerning utilities, projects and office space.


Environment

Index of tables

  1. Environment
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Gowling WLG's  Lee McBride provides advice concerning remediation work prior to developments, including treatment work required to particularly challenging former industrial sties before conversion into housing. Andrew Lichfield handles contentious regulatory work, such as Environmental Agency prosecutions and litigation against subcontractors running in tandem. Clients include significant names in sectors such as natural resources, construction materials, food and real estate.

DWF ’s ‘tenacious, well-informed and pragmatic’ team in the West Midlands is headed by David Egan, who handles a range of contentious work concerning Environment Agency investigations and prosecutions and enforcement undertaking negotiations. He advises clients such as Persimmon, Bloor Homes and Rolawn. Resource consultant Simon Stuttaford is a name of note for non-contentious matters. New River Retail is another client for transactional matters.

Gateley Plc 's Ruth Armstrong and associate Kate Oliver  are regularly called on to handle Environment Agency and local authority prosecutions, as well as assisting with transactional risk advice. Clients include major housebuilders, waste management companies and administrators of insolvent companies.

Squire Patton Boggs 's David Gordon  and senior associate Robert Biddlecombe advised Taylor Wimpey on a costs award following an earlier successful defence of a contaminated land appeal – Gordon also advises other well-known businesses on contentious regulatory matters. Biddlecombe also advised Mitha Forecourts on the sale of the filling station business. Below partner level, director Anita Lloyd has WEEE expertise, and senior associate Caroline Almond handles transactional work – she acted for the purchaser of a vehicle hire business with contamination liability and asbestos issues.

Zyda Law  in Stratford upon Avon’s Paul Zyda  is a key contact for various matters – he has a track record of handling environmentally-sensitive work such as nuclear power, for instance.

In Shoosmiths LLP’s Birmingham office, Roy Tozer handles contentious work such as Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales investigations. Hayley Saunders is also a key contact – she handles cross-border matters, as well as renewable energy regulation work and planning enforcement notice appeals. Clients include Final Mile Recycling, Volkswagen Group and Extra Motorway Services.


Planning

Index of tables

  1. Planning
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Planning clients in West Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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DLA Piper UK LLP handles heavyweight work including the planning aspects of major residential developments and national infrastructure projects. Trevor Ivory has ‘extensive planning experience and very good judgement’ – he and senior associate Amy Truman successfully represented West Midlands Pension Fund in an appeal against the refusal of permission for a thousand-home urban extension near Redcar. In addition, Ivory was instructed by Hopkins Homes in 2017 Supreme Court case Hopkins Homes v Suffolk Coastal District Council concerning the implementation of the National Planning Policy Framework’s “tilted balance” provision in favour of development in the absence of an up-to-date sustainable development plan. Howard Bassford (who relocated from London to the Birmingham office and is ‘enthusiastic and knowledgeable – great to have on your side’) is advising the Department for Transport on drafting its proposed National Policy Statement for further airport capacity in the South East, and also continues to assists National Grid with the planning aspects of constructing a partially-underwater 200km power line to connect with the planned Moorside nuclear power station. HS2 Limited is a cornerstone client.

Gowling WLG is a ‘highly motivated and well-run practice in which clients have a great deal of trust and faith’. Andrew Thomas (‘a great strategist’) and director Toni Weston continue to advise Goodman Real Estate on securing a development consent order for a real freight interchange near Derby – the pair also advised the North Whiteley Consortium (which includes Taylor Wimpey and Bovis) on a planning application for 3,500 new homes near Winchester. Directors Graham Wrigglesworth (‘excellent for detail’) and Thomas are advising the London Borough of Barnet on planning aspects of the Brent Cross Cricklewood scheme. Other clients include Copeland Borough Council, which it advises on planning issues concerning nuclear decommissioning and proposals for a geological disposal facility. Cairo Nickolls is a key senior associate. Vicky Fowler is now based in the firm’s Dubai office.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP handles work concerning infrastructure developments and housebuilding schemes. Paul Maile and senior associate Duncan Williams continue to advise Taylor Wimpey on a development in Stafford, and are advising IM Properties on several planned developments. On the infrastructure front the team is advising DB Symmetry on developing a new rail freight interchange near Hinckley. Other work includes advice to local authorities – the team advised Cherwell District Council on drafting section 106 agreements concerning the North West Bicester Eco Town development. Energy clients include RWE Generation, which Maile continues to advise on its application for consent for a 2.5GW gas-fired power station near the proposed Tilbury 2 port, and Community Wind Power.

Shoosmiths LLP ‘combines personal service and insightful advice’. The firm handles works concerning both residential and non-residential developments, some of which for local authorities. The ‘experienced and friendly’ Tim Willis has ‘excellent negotiation and drafting skills’- he and the ‘efficient and knowledgable’ Anna Cartledge (who was promoted to partner in May 2018) continue to advise IM Properties on a planned development in the Blythe Valley Park in Solihull, which will necessitate the use of green belt land. In the non-residential space, the pair advise Safestore on proposals to develop several warehouses. Other clients include Maximus Strategic Stafford, which the pair advise on a proposed 3,000 home extension to Stafford, and Hart District Council, which the practice advises on a matters relating to proposed changes to a Grade 1 listed building. The Duchy of Lancaster is another client.

FBC Manby Bowdler LLP ‘offers professional and robust advice in this sector - it is particularly adept at ensuring every avenue is fully explored before deciding on what strategy is best for the client’. Niall Blackie is a key contact in the practice, with Suzanne Tucker a key associate. Highlights in 2017 include advising on housebuilding matters, including affordable housing issues and section 106 agreements.

Pinsent Masons LLP's Birmingham office has ‘a highly professional team with strategic vision, detailed technical knowledge, and a clear problem-solving approach’. Heidi Slater, who was promoted to legal director in 2017, is a ‘superbly efficient and hard-working team player with an in-depth knowledge of all aspects of both planning and infrastructure work’ – she worked with the London office on advising Suffolk County Council on two projects designated as “nationally important” under the Planning Act 2008. Slater also advised the London Borough of Brent on the planned regeneration of the South Kilburn Estate. Rebecca Warren left in November 2017 to become planning director of Crest Nicholson.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP, which represents a strong roster of local authorities and public sector clients, ‘devotes real attention to its clients and cases’. Simon Stanion (‘he has excellent tactical judgement and a great client manner’) acted alongside legal director Leenamari Aantaa-Collier for several NHS trusts on securing contributions from developers through the planning process. Legal director Ian Graves acts for a number of individual planning objectors, including successfully representing a private individual who saught a re-consultation following amendments to an application. Louise Portman (also a legal director) is rated for her ‘impressive knowledge of enforcement and knowledge of the best actions to resist notices’.

Zyda Law in Stratford upon Avon is a boutique firm with a track record in the planning elements of energy and infrastructure developments. Paul Zyda is the key contact at the firm.

Ansons in Lichfield handles work for both local authorities and housebuilders, as well as planning prosecution matters. David Anderton acted for Lichfield Distric Council, seeking a planning enforcement order against the builders of a cottage. Neil Faunch, a senior associate is also a key contact in the firm – his practice includes various section 106 agreements.

At Beswicks Legal in Stoke on Trent, consultant Ian Johnston handles a range of planning and compulsory purchase matters, many of which concerning HS2. The firm also handles transactional property matters, as well as blight claims and representation of individuals subjected to planning enforcement actions.

At Gateley Plc, senior associate Matthew Scudamore  handles a range of work regarding planning consents, much of which concerning section 106 agreements. He advised a consortium of Keepmoat Homes and Strata Homes on section 111 and 106 agreements concerning construction on a brownfield site in central Leeds. Other clients include UK Land Developments, which Scudamore advised on agreements concerning a development in Redditch, David Wilson Homes and Harworth Estates.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys is a ‘truly responsive team capable of distilling the fast evolving planning landscape into intelligent advice’. Rosalind Andrews, a ‘very responsive’ new partner promotion in Worcester, represented Piffs Elm Limited in an application to the Court of Appeal as part of a judicial review of a remedy issued after a decision made by Tewkesbury Borough Council was found to be biased. Andrews also represented Access Homes in litigation, securing the quashing of a tree preservation order. Other work concerns enforcement litigation and section 106 agreements. The firm also acts for Malvern Hills District Council and the Policing and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire.

Knights Professional Services Limited in Newcastle under Lyme includes several lawyers with planning expertise. Ben Weatherley and Carl Copestake are both qualified as chartered town planners. Andrea Bruce, who has expertise in minerals matters, and Rob Pattinson are also key contacts.

In Shrewsbury, Lanyon Bowdler’s David Brammer handles a range of work for landowners and private developers. Highlights include representing a farmer in a judicial review to a council decision to approve residential conversion for one barn but not a neighbouring one. Other mandates concern section 106 agreements, requisitions for information and enforcement appeals. The firm also advised Hydro Electric Development on securing approval for a hydroelectric project in Carmarthenshire.

Wright Hassall LLP’s team is headed by senior associate John Gregory, who joined the firm from an in-house role at Warwickshire County Council. He took a part in a multi-disciplinary team from the firm advising Hayden Homes on a planned 21 home development necessitating a section 106 agreement, and also advises developers such as AC Lloyd and Two Rivers Development. Compulsory purchases are also an area of expertise. Pritpal Singh-Swarn is now at Spearing Waite LLP in Leicester.


Property litigation

Index of tables

  1. Property litigation
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Property litigation clients in West Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP ‘provides straightforward and clear advice and quickly assesses clients’ legal positions, often within constrained timescales’. Paul Moorcroft, who heads the firm’s national practice in this space from the Birmingham office, is ‘an affable solicitor who provides straightforward and clear real estate litigation advice’. He represents public bodies and private sector clients alike on matters including service charge disputes. Lisa Barge, who heads the West Midlands team specifically, is ‘a pleasure to work with, attentive and a great lateral thinker providing clear advice on complex real estate litigation disputes’; she acts for Waitrose on company guarantee matters, as well as handling other work concerning landlord and tenant issues, many of which involve agricultural elements. Solicitor advocate David Feist  is ‘sharp and to the point, always able to help assess legal issues at hand to quickly decide the best course of action’ – he advised National Grid Electricity Transmission on securing an injunction to gain access to farm land to inspect powerlines which trees were growing dangerously close to. Below partner level, senior associate Rob Holloway  represents Safestore in seeking to injunct a private road owner from interfering with a right to park outside Safestore’s Acton facility by maintaining segregated pedestrian walkways, and advises a Westfield-Hammerson joint venture regarding vacant possession to facilitate a redevelopment of the Whitgift Shopping Centre. Principal associate Arren Thornton advised United Utilities Water on a rating appeal of its entire network, securing a refund of £7m.

Pinsent Masons LLP ‘asks all the right questions and presents the advice in an understandable easy-to-read way’. Alicia Foo  provides ‘robust, sharp and straight advice, but is able to see the bigger picture and compromise when necessary’; she and senior associate Craig Downhill represent Arqiva in a range of litigation, including defending it against a vacant possession claim brought by an NHS trust, reinstating access to a broadcast tower which was blocked by a landlord, and various cases involving trespass by travellers. Downhill himself leads various mandates for Union Investments. Other clients include JD Wetherspoon (which the practice represents in lease renewal matters and break clause disputes), the University of Lincoln, and E.ON. The waste industry and rights to light matters are other strong suits.

Shoosmiths LLP’s team is ‘prompt, efficient, courteous and knowledgable’. National practice head Nick Shepherd  advised Student Castle on recovering possession of fifteen properties in order to redevelop a building into student accommodation, and continues to advise Tingdene Parks on an adverse possession claim regarding a strip of land connecting its caravan park to the foreshore. Paul Knight, who handles work concerning dilapidations claims and break notice disputes, heads the Birmingham property litigation team. The firm handles work regarding the real estate assets of insolvent companies: Kate McCall represented BDO as administrators of Seacourt Developments, seeking possession orders against the former directors of a company unlawfully occupying properties in Mayfair. Other clients include Central Midland Estates and Central England Co-operative, which Shepherd and Knight advise on dilapidations claims and lease renewals. Bukola Obadun-Craigs, whose practice crosses over with social housing, is a key senior associate.

Browne Jacobson LLP  handles a range of work this space, with a particular strength in dilapidations claims. Tim Rayner defended the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in a Technology and Construction Court case, succeeding at trial because the landlord failed to beat a Part 36 offer. He also represented EIRP, the landlord, concerning the termination of a lease against the backdrop of an alleged £1.2m of dilapidations. Pamela Shepherd  acts for retailers such as Walgreen Boots Alliance and institutional real estate investors. Other clients include Birmingham Properties Group, which Rayner advised on recovering a parade of shops in order to redevelop the site.

Gowling WLG's  Carole Peet continues to represent Persimmon Homes in litigation against Ashfield Provincial Properties concerning a failed joint venture to develop strategic land outside Bristol, and also acted for Crossrail in a settle claim brought by AG Thames Holdings for alleged negligent misstatement concerning land that could be affected by future upgrades to the eponymous railway. Other clients include Metropolitan Housing Trust, Bloor Homes, and CFNX, which owns the Custard Factory. Rob Bridgman is a key senior associate. Paul Kent has retired.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP 'provides excellent support, and is proactive, very responsive and understanding of clients’ economic needs’. Martin Edwards advises Workspace on terminating telecoms base station leases in order to redevelop a central London site for residential uses, and continues to handle all of Vision Express’ landlord and tenant disputes such as lease renewals and break notices. Mark English also handles heavyweight work. Associate partner James Fownes is ‘very service-oriented and looks for the best legal and pragmatic solutions’: he represented Farmfoods in a lease renewal case, in which the landlord reneged on an agreement for a ten year lease and insisted on rolling one-year terms. The firm also acts for Statera Energy.

Squire Patton Boggs, in addition to being ‘friendly and pleasant to deal with’, ‘shows great commercial understanding of the issues faced by its clients, who feel confident that the firm can progress matters autonomously’. Nick Green and senior associate Michelle Adams  (who ‘provides a great service to clients’) handle all issues concerning ITV and its subsidiaries’ property portfolios across England and Wales, including nuisance claims, dilapidations cases as both landlord and tenant, and covenant matters. In addition, the two represent Signet Group in a range of real estate litigation including contested lease renewals, dilapidation claims and covenant enforcement. Adams also represents Cancer Research UK. Other clients include sports teams, real estate investors, retailers, and the National Exhibition Centre, which the firm advised on the ejection of trespassers from the Genting Arena’s south car park.

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP provides ‘friendly and efficient’ to a client base which includes a number of public sector heavyweights. Hilary Harrison advises Birmingham City Council on litigation concerning lease renewals and service charges for refrigerated counters in Birmingham Market prior to its redevelopment. Associate Cynyr Rhys is ‘helpful, attentive, and a source of practical advice’ – he advised The Peacocks Centre on a contested lease renewal. Other clients include the Birmingham Roman Catholic Diocesan Trustees.

Emms Gilmore Liberson has ‘a very good property team with a thorough knowledge of issues such as long leasehold rights, and provides excellent strategy in tackling the most difficult of cases’. Martyn Liberson represented cornerstone client Telereal Trillium in a dispute concerning the sale of a building used for religious purposes, and defended the same client in two dilapidations claims against its former landlords, one of which concerned a term of the lease rendered unenforceable by the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927. Liberson also represented Craigard in a dilapidations claim brought against its tenant, McDonald’s. Associate director Helena Bannister  handles residential service charge disputes, while director Anna Albini handles heavyweight work for major public sector clients. Other clients include Corinthian and Burlington Estates.

Gateley Plc handles a range of work, with a particular strength in representing housebuilders. Legal director Iain Davies  handles seven-figure landlord and tenant disputes, while Peter Davies  handles disputes concerning construction and remedial works, as well as flood risk. Senior associate Phil Scully represented Bovis Homes, securing an injunction for the client to allow construction of a road to carry out works.

George Green LLP's workload covers possession claims, dilapidations litigation, boundary disputes and rights of way litigation. James Coles  represented Scrivens in a dilapidations dispute, arguing that a site would be redeveloped in to homes, rendering any dilapidation irrelevant. Coles' other highlights included represented Orton Group in a boundary and rights of way dispute. Other clients include West Bromwich Commercial, which the firm represents in various professional negligence claims against surveyors; and St Francis Group, which Coles represented in eviction proceedings against a large number of travellers encamped on one of its construction sites.

Higgs & Sons acts for a range of clients including occupiers, real estate investors and private individuals. Paul Barker  represents Bentley Designs, a new client, on litigation concerning a dilapidations claim and a conditional break clause it triggered as part of a move of its headquarters. He also advised Heritage Homes Associates on dealing with threats of injunctions over construction of a house over a purported right of way. Nyree Applegarth  represented Waynes Foods in a dispute against a landlord which withheld re-assignment of a lease, with quantum issues regarding the redundancy costs triggered by the closure of the store. Other clients include London and Cambridge Properties, for which the firm handles a range of litigation concerning lease renewals, service charges and other asset management issues.

At Stoke on Trent’s Beswicks Legal, Gareth Wilkinson , Karen Elder  and Stephen Taylor handle work such as boundary disputes, nuisance claims, misrepresentation of sales and trespass. Trusts of Land Appointment of Trustees Act cohabitation claims are another area of expertise.

Bevan Brittan LLP  ‘has good knowledge on complex areas of law’. Steven Eccles is ‘particularly helpful in property litigation regarding leases and service charges’ – he advised East Hampshire District Council on terminating a hotel lease after a number of health and safety failings, securing possession via court proceedings, and assisted the Canal & River Trust on recovering possession from commercial occupiers in order to covert the site in to residential properties. Mark Robertson , a new partner promotion, advises Rentokil Initial on a range of work. Other clients include Wycombe District Council, Places for People Homes, which Eccles represented in a dispute regarding if, as leaseholder, it was entitled to use the Leasehold Reform Act to acquire the freehold interest, and NHS Property Services, which the team represents in a panoply of cases.

At DWF in Birmingham, Michael Green has a track record of various commercial property management work. Nerissa Hatcher is a key associate.

Lodders Solicitors LLP in Stratford-upon-Avon handles a range of work concerning issues such as ground rent disputes, proprietary estoppel claims, contested rent reviews, option agreement litigation and rights of way. Jane Senior  is the key partner leading work, with senior associate Victoria Khandker , who joined in July 2017 from The Wilkes Partnership, also a key contact; she represented Stockfalcon Properties in a dispute as to the existence of a contact to sell a property to its tenant. Consultant Michael Orlik  handles matters concerning rights of way.

MFG Solicitors LLP has ‘very impressive knowledge and understanding of clients’ situations’. Harjie Singh Bindra  in Bromsgrove ‘is a very sincere and knowledgable person’ – he represented the defendant in Lea v Ward, a High Court case concerning the interpretation of a right of way over land as spelt out in a deed of gift. His other work concerns telecoms, alleged fraudulent transfers, among other matters. In Worcester, Kirsten Bridgewater  handles a number of cases concerning easements and land title, many of which with agricultural elements.

Mills & Reeve LLP  has ‘a breadth of knowledge to fit most scenarios – all in all, it is a very knowledgable team’. Principal associate Christopher Bartley advised LTE Group (which operates The Manchester College) on securing the removal of telecoms masts so it can redevelop its campus. Other work concerns sale and purchase disputes (an area in which senior associate Henry Mahalski  leads work) and dilapidations claims.

At Sydney Mitchell LLP, associate Sundeep Bilkhu handles a range of commercial property disputes, frequently acting for landlords. Highlights include representation of a landlord in a dispute over the unauthorised removal of a stud wall, which was initially thought to have caused £30,000 of damage but triggered a subsequent order from the local authority to demolish and replace the buildings. Other work concerns boundary restrictive covenant disputes and Party Wall Act matters. In Shirley, Kam Majevadia handles trespass to land matters concerning residential developments, including Court of Appeal cases.

Wright Hassall LLP in Leamington Spa handles a range of work concerning both residential and commercial property, acting for businesses, land owners and some residential clients. Dawn Reynolds  represented JCDecaux in litigation to remove a squatter, who claimed adverse possession, from one of its sites. Her other work concerns commercial lease disputes, trespass cases and dilapidations claims. Senior associate Tom Romecin  handles litigation concerning ground rents.


Social housing

Index of tables

  1. Social housing
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Social housing clients in West Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP  ‘offers a level of service that is second to none;  the property and housing teams boast a real strength in depth’. The firm handles work ranging from restructuring exercises to stock management litigation. Victoria Jardine  advised B3 Living on its restructuring, which involved increasing the size of its non-subsidised portfolio, setting up a development company and a separate trading company. Gemma Bell also advised The Community Housing Group on a restructuring exercise. In the planning space, Ranjit Bassey  advised another housing association on purchasing a number of homes for affordable housing use as part of a section 106 agreement. Jonathan Cox also handles major stock transfers. Helen Tucker’s ‘no-nonsense approach to litigation also gives her real gravitas in the sector’ – she represented a housing association in a forfeiture case following repeated refusals by a leaseholder to allow access to his flat to carry out electrical works, delaying the upgrades to the entire building. Baljit Basra has a ‘deservedly loyal client following’ and is noted for her expertise in disrepair and health and safety matters. Associate Robert Whitehouse is ‘known for his user-friendly approach and experience of anti-social behaviour litigation in particular’.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP , which is noted for providing ‘advice in a clear manner that is appropriate to the clients’, handles both work around stock transfers and social housing construction deals as well as landlord and tenant housing law litigation for social housing providers. Newly promoted partner Digby Morgan advised Accord Housing Association on the purchase of a site to construct affordable homes and a dementia care facility, and also assisted Bournville Village Trust with selling the homes in the Bordesley Court housing estate to Nehemiah UCHA while retaining the commercial units underneath. The firm is also noted for its ‘good depth of expertise’ in housing management litigation; Yetunde Dania, who offers ‘in-depth sector knowledge and valuable expertise, which enables her to serve the needs of her clients in the region and beyond’, represented Red Kite Community Housing in litigation utilising the Ground 7A right to evict a tenant for breaching an anti-social behaviour injunction after repeated threats of violence towards his neighbours. Senior associate Dorota Pawlowski is another key contact.

Wright Hassall LLP which handles stock management litigation and heavyweight transactional work and is singled out for ‘displaying an extensive knowledge of stock rationalisation projects and offering sound advice’. Andrew Dudley headed a team advising Fortis Living on purchasing 75 affordable homes from Bloor Homes, and the same client on a site for the construction of 22 homes in Stroud. Clare Waring also handles property transactions. In the litigation space, Mary Rouse ‘has excellent knowledge, and her client care is exemplary’; she represented Heart of England Housing Association, securing a no-notice injunction within 48 hours of being instructed against a tenant who threatened contractors with a metal bar, despite disability discrimination allegations. Carol Matthews, who ‘can be relied upon to make good judgement calls and provide good sound advice in difficult and challenging circumstances’, is now a consultant; Natalie Owen, who is ‘both thorough and well organised and has a sound knowledge of stock rationalisation projects’, is a key senior associate. Other clients include Walterton & Elgin Community Housing, which the firm advised on a £9m club finance facility borrowed from Charity Bank and Unity Trust Bank.

Gowling WLG handles a range of transactional real estate and corporate finance work for housing clients. Jacqueline Knox, who heads the practice, advised Sanctuary Housing Association on land acquisitions for three new care homes and subsequent development work. Richard Beckingsale, who divides his time between London and Birmingham, advised Home Group Limited on the regeneration plan for the South Oxhey housing estate. In the financing space, Chris Brierley advised Sanctuary Housing Association on a £75m revolving credit facility and note purchase agreement with MUFG – other clients include banks lending to housing associations. ‘Outstanding’ director Sally Farrall also handles key development work.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP handles a range of work concerning housing association management. Louise Drew advised Bromford Housing Association on the conditional purchase of 107 affordable housing plots on a strategic redevelopment site, and in a separate deal, on the purchase of 59 plots in the redevelopment of a former Ministry of Defence site, structured with a “golden brick” provision. Rachel Gwynne, who joined the firm’s Stratford upon Avon office in April 2017 from Wright Hassall LLP, has expertise in charity law matters as applied to housing associations – in the same office, Paul Huggins advised Rooftop Housing Association on purchasing farmland for social development, and Emma Gamble has experience in dealing with head leases of sublet retirement schemes. Geraldine Haden retired.

Shoosmiths LLP ’s Bhavesh Amlani advises Walsall Housing Group, a key client, on a residential development in partnership with Keepmoat Homes, securing 74 affordable rent properties – Amlani also advised it on purchasing 60 affordable homes in a development in Droitwich. David Perry also advised Midland Heart on divesting itself of a number of existing and not-yet-constructed properties. Senior associate Bukola Obadun-Craigs  heads the team handling housing management litigation.

Pinsent Masons LLP handles a range of work including construction and procurement work for housing association and local authorities. David Meecham advises St Mungo Community Housing Association on procuring a development partner to redevelop 60 residential units and a hostel, and separately advises the London Borough of Brent on finding a partner to regenerate the Peel Precinct of the South Kilburn estate. Stephen Brown  advised Lloyds Bank on the security aspects of a £65m loan to B3 Living. Homes England, formerly known as the Homes and Communities Agency, is another key client – the practice advises it on a number of proposed developments.


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