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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 > Yorkshire and the Humber > Public sector > Local government > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



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Addleshaw Goddard’s local government practice is recommended for its ‘high degree of knowledge and great insight, which helps to ensure local authorities achieve their objectives’. Leeds-based Andrew Pettinger co-heads the practice with Manchester partner Michael O’Connor. Recent highlights include work for Leeds City Council in relation to the promotion, procurement and structuring of a district heating scheme, for Stoke City Council regarding the proposed variation and refinancing of its PFI street lighting scheme, and for Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council on drafting and negotiating an outsourcing contract regarding catering for over 80 primary schools in the borough. The team has also been advising local councils on procurement matters, PPPs and retail unit acquisitions.

The ‘highly professional’ team at DWF stands ‘head and shoulders above any other firm’ for state aid issues and public procurement compliance. Jonathan Branton heads the overarching public sector department, splitting his time across several offices, including Manchester and Leeds. He is regarded as a ‘highly experienced EU practitioner – particularly in EU state aid law’ and has recently been advising West Riding and Hull councils on public investments by Siemens and Associated British Ports in the locality and related compatibility with EU state aid rules. Branton has also been leading advice to Newcastle City Council on a public investment in new research and development facilities, and to Leeds City Region LEP in supporting local Regional Growth Fund applications from third-party businesses and the administering of funds to a variety of projects in the area. Michael Mousdale splits his time between Leeds and Manchester and regularly advises on local government law, alternative service delivery, conduct and governance.

The ‘well-respected and experienced’ David Kilduff heads the energy, infrastructure and government team at Walker Morris LLP in Leeds. Led by director Elizabeth Wood, the team has been advising the London Borough of Bexley on a joint agreement with the Royal Borough of Greenwich and Peabody Housing Association in connection with the Housing Zone programme, which provides funding and planning simplification to use brownfield land for housing schemes. With director Richard Auton, she has also been instructed by Cambridge City Council to advise on the potential delivery of below-market housing for people that do not qualify for social housing. Tom Peel has been assisting Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council with contract negotiations in relation to the first phase of work on its town centre redevelopment and in relation to its procurement strategy with regards to the second phase.

Eve Gregory heads up the Leeds branch of the DAC Beachcroft LLP local government practice and specialises in real estate matters. The team has been advising Leeds City Council on a high-value property acquisition that forms part of its investment strategy and is assisting Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council with one of the largest schools PFI projects in the UK, including the renegotiation of provider arrangements and the creation of arrangements to allow one of the PFI schools to be remodelled as a further education college. In another education-related matter, the team has been advising Calderdale Borough Council on its schools PFI scheme and also, more recently, in relation to its programme of academy conversions. The cross-departmental team is also able to advise on pensions, mental health, safeguarding, information law, corporate manslaughter, competition law, state aid and governance.

Robert Smith and Roger Gough jointly head the local government team at DLA Piper UK LLP from Leeds and Sheffield respectively. Birmingham City Council is a key client, with the team assisting it with issues arising from a PFI contract with Amey Birmingham Highways Limited; led by Leeds-based Paul Stone, the team has been acting on a series of disputes relating to adjustments made to invoices payable under the contract arising from poor performance. The team also includes Allison Page, office manager in Leeds, who has extensive experience in PFIs and PPPs and is head of the firm’s highways maintenance and street lighting team. Page has been advising a local council on a waste treatment PPP and has been instructed by another to give real estate advice in relation to a city centre development proposal.

The national local government practice at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP provides a ‘genuine full service’ and comprises lawyers across the firm’s Cardiff, Nottingham, Newcastle and Leeds offices. Recent highlights include acting for Sheffield City Council on the proposal for the refinancing of the Sheffield Highways PFI project and acting for Reading Borough Council defending a judicial review application that is seeking to quash the council’s decision to close a swimming pool. Key names in the Leeds practice include Michael Grimes, who is recognised for his expertise on waste projects, and litigation partner Alison Oldfield, who specialises in property disputes.

At Pinsent Masons LLP, head of local government Anne Bowden is a ‘first-class lawyer who works proactively to ward off problems’. Bowden specialises in regeneration schemes, with recent highlights including advice to the London Borough of Southwark in connection with the creation of a new town centre at Canada Water in a joint venture with British Land worth £2bn and to the London Borough of Wandsworth on its proposed regeneration of the Winstanley and York Road estates in Battersea. Planning partner Jonathan Riley has been leading the team advising Leeds City Council in connection with its first planning application for housing on the East Leeds Extension, and on an associated new road, the East Leeds Orbital Route. The team has also been advising Westminster City Council on the development of a new University Technical College and Sunderland City Council and South Tyneside Council in connection with their joint venture, the International Advanced Manufacturing Park.

The Leeds office of public sector firm Bevan Brittan LLP is headed by Judith Barnes and acts for a number of local governments nationally. Alongside Frances Woodhead, who has ‘experience, finely tuned judgement and a capacity for hard work’, the team has been acting for various local authorities in connection with disciplinary actions against statutory officers and on the impact of the changes to Local Authorities (Standing Orders) Amendment Regulations 2015. It has also been advising a local council on a collaboration agreement for service sharing with another local council, and a city council on various housing developments using creative funding models. Representative clients of the team include various London boroughs, such as Wandsworth, Hackney and Richmond upon Thames, as well as Leicestershire County Council and Northamptonshire County Council. Sarah Lamont and senior partner Bethan Evans also come highly recommended for their ‘excellent knowledge of local government law and good client care skills’.

Bond Dickinson LLP provides a full service to its local authority clients, including regulatory, procurement and judicial review expertise, and is advising on a number of high-profile local authority regeneration and development projects for national clients. Leeds-based Jackie Gray co-heads the team following her promotion to the partnership in May 2016. Gray leads the team advising York City council on all aspects of its £37m Community Stadium and Leisure Project, including procurement, match day agreements, the design-build-maintain-operate contract and real estate advice. Other highlights included acting for Leeds City Council on all aspects of the new Victoria Gate development, and advising the London Borough of Lewisham on the redevelopment of a site for housing and a major new sports facility.

Simon Hills heads the national public sector team at Plexus Law and specialises in contentious matters for local and police authorities. The practice advises on a range of issues for local authorities, from employers’ and public liability to judicial reviews, employment issues, professional negligence and officials’ indemnity. The firm frequently handles claims that arise from highways and highway maintenance. Previous clients include Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, Durham County Council, Leeds City Council and

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