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  1. Commercial property: Elsewhere in the West Midlands
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Higgs & Sons’ four-partner team wins praise for its ‘proactive and business-focused advice’. The team won new clients across a range of sectors and also developed its property finance expertise. Key players include Cherry Elliott, who was active on a number of high-value letting, refinancing and disposal matters, and the ‘very capablePeter Coleman, who leads the team. London & Cambridge Properties is a key client.

Hailed by one client as ‘number one for commercial property by a mile’, Knights Professional Services Limited’s team is led by Karl Bamford, who is an ‘authority on leases’. The team acts for various retail household names, as well as large commercial portfolio owners such as M&G and Telereal Trillium. Helene Maillet-Vioud is the other name to note.

Nick East’s team at Lodders Solicitors LLP grew through the hires of residential development specialist James Mottram from Gateley Plc, and James Spreckley from Shakespeare Martineau LLP, who focuses on agricultural property work. Mottram in particular has been busy on behalf of clients such as Cala Homes and Cameron Homes and wins praise for his ‘responsiveness and accuracy’. Mark Lee is now with Hill Hofstetter.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s team has a particular focus on the energy sector, with Richard Cox handling the property aspects of renewable energy projects for clients such as E.ON, and Janet James active on behalf of utility clients such as the National Grid. Samantha Orluta advised the ExtraCare Charitable Trust on the purchase of land from a local authority to build a retirement village.

Wright Hassall LLP’s broad practice includes Mark Miller, who leads on commercial and residential development work, David Slade, who handles secured lending for clients such as Lloyds and HSBC, and Barry Sankey, who specialises in science parks. In one highlight, the team advised Beechfield Estates on the land acquisition for a brownfield development in Coventry. Slade jointly leads the team alongside Claire Waring. Chairman Nick Abell is also recommended.

Leader in the fieldSimon James heads the team at Ansons Solicitors Ltd, which also includes Adele Wakefield, who joined the firm from an in-house role. As well as covering the full range of development work, the team provides expertise in agricultural land, charities, solar energy farms and wind turbines. Associate Neil Faunch is ‘reliable and enthusiastic’.

FBC Manby Bowdler LLP’s eight-partner team handles a range of investment, development and retail work for clients such as St Modwen Properties and Marston’s. Names to note are practice head David Grove and SME specialist Andrew Wynne, who is ‘good humoured and easy to work with’.

At George Green LLP, Kevin Styles’ team includes newly promoted partner Alex-Jayne Lowe, who ‘goes way beyond the call of duty’. The team has particular expertise in secured lending transactions and acted for key client Ortus Secured Finance on the refinancing of investment premises located in Richmond upon Thames.

Name partner Nick Button leads the team at Band Hatton Button LLP, which remained busy on behalf of clients such as Allied Irish Bank and Sisk Construction Group. Haydn Jones has expertise in charity and agricultural property work.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys’ ‘extremely switched-on practice’ is jointly led by Philip Parkinson and Matthew Hayes. The team acted for new client Funding Circle on a number of important matters, including advising on a lease for the company’s headquarters. The practice was boosted by the arrival of Harriet Murray Jones from Knights Professional Services Limited, although Kevin Joynes left for an in-house role.

Praveen Chaudhari’s team at Lanyon Bowdler provides ‘excellent customer service’ and has specialist expertise in residential property development and farmer/landowner real estate transactions. Senior partner Andrew Evans was active on behalf of Galliers Properties.

Beswicks Legal’s practice was boosted at the junior end by the hire of Simon Abbotts from Knights Professional Services Limited and Gemma Hanmer from an in-house role. Practice head Richard Saum has been busy on behalf of clients such as NatWest and the Prince’s Regeneration Trust.

At Brethertons LLP, Mary Anderson handles secured lending in the healthcare sector, as well as large-scale residential development schemes.

mfg Solicitors LLP’s practice was boosted by the hire of energy and renewables specialist Miles Dearden from an in-house role. Sarah Astbury leads the team and focuses on development work.

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Legal Developments in West Midlands for Commercial property: Elsewhere in the West Midlands

  • Parking rights: here to stay? Consent might be the surprising answer 

    In the field of the acquisition of easements by prescription, little has caused more consternation over the last decade or so than the question of whether a right to park cars can be acquired by twenty years user as of right. The types of property capable of being adversely affected range from individual residential units all the way up to major development sites. The establishment of such a right can have a devastating impact on the value of the burdened land.

    - Falcon Chambers

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