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Stephen Ashworth

Work 020 7320 6134

Work Department

Planning, real estate.


Stephen advises on a broad based planning, projects and regulatory practice acting for both the public and private sectors. His extensive practical experience is complemented by having worked on secondment for two years at Sainsbury's and by a year as a Visiting Fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Cambridge, Mass, USA.

Stephen has worked on projects including the Argent proposals at Kings Cross, the Places for People new settlement of 8,500 homes at Gilston Park Estate part of the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town, the Land Securities proposals at Eastern Quarry and Victoria, the redevelopment of the Dome by AEG, the Harwell Oxford science facilities, the Forewind Dogger Bank windfarm proposals, on the Paddington Cube and on the three garden communities being promoted by the North Essex local authorities. Stephen has worked on numerous major legal and policy developments in his field. He worked on the Milton Keynes tariff model for the Milton Keynes Partnership and has advised on recent changes to the locally led new town legislative framework, giving evidence on these issues at the MHCLG Select Committee on Value Capture.
Stephen is rated as 2nd of the highlighted rated planning solicitors in the Planning Magazine Guide to Planning Lawyers.


Trained SNR Dentons, qualified 1988, year made partner in present firm 1995. Memberships held: chair of British BIDs Advisory Board.


British Property Federation Development Committee; CABE Planning Advisory Committee; Design Council Built Environment Expert Board Member of Centre for Cities and Chair of Finance and Audit Committee; Highbury Group on Housing Supply.


Trinity College, University of Cambridge.

London: Public sector

Administrative and public law

Within: Administrative and public law

Christopher McGee-Osborne and Catherine Bingham co-head the government sector group at Dentons which serves an impressive roster of governmental, regulator and corporate clients. Multi-disciplinary teams advise on procurement, environmental and other areas in addition to the public and administrative law, especially in the telecoms sector. It has been appointed to a number of government panels, including the central government General Legal Services Panel. Recent work includes advising the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and other government entities on the procurement of their global fixed and mobile voice and data telecoms network and services. It is also advising Ofgem on a range of matters including  an offshore transmission asset licensing process. Other noted contacts include Stephen Ashworth and Mark Bassett.

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Local government

Within: Local government

Specialists at Dentons provide expertise on housing, transportation, planning, procurement and environmental issues and the team stands out for the scale of the urban regeneration work that it attracts. Virginia Glastonbury, Stephen Ashworth, Mark Bassett, and Roland Gray are some of the key partners handling such work. It is advising Essex, Braintree, Colchester and Tendring Councils on their  proposals to create a number of garden communities which will provide thousands of homes; it is advising on planning policies, development vehicles as well as the delivery of commercial spaces and infrastructure. It is also advising the Greater London Authority on the complex redevelopment of Beam Park, a former Ford industrial site which would deliver thousands of homes, leisure areas and a new rail station.

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London: Real estate


Within: Leading individuals

Stephen Ashworth - Dentons

Within: Planning

Dentons' team is headed by Stephen Ashworth, who specialises in major housing projects, including new towns and garden settlements, and retail schemes. Ashworth's recent development work includes the £1bn Winstanley and York Road project. Ashworth also continues to advise Great Western Developments Limited on the £775m Paddington Cube proposals, specifically on judicial challenges of the scheme. Roy Pinnock and Lucy McDonnell are acting for Sainsbury's in a public inquiry into the supermarket's Ilford scheme (which proposes to provide up to 683 residential units, with community uses and a replacement store); they are also advising on the client's Whitechapel store redevelopment.

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Social housing: local authorities and registered providers

Within: Social housing: local authorities and registered providers

Following its merger with Murray Maclay & Spens in 2017, Dentons¬†has become an active player in the social housing sector, where its ‚Äėpragmatic, specialist team‚Äô is instructed by public authorities and housing associations in corporate, real estate and financing matters. Department head Wendy Wilks¬†is acting for Family Mosaic Housing in relation to the acquisition of 94 units at a development site in Islington, and also assisted a housing association with the amendment of a planning permission for a London regeneration project. Similarly, Stephen Ashworth¬†is advising Places for People on the planning aspects of a regeneration project at the Gilston Park Estate, which is one of the UK‚Äôs largest urban extension projects. David Knox, who focuses on employment and pensions funding, leads a team that is advising Port of Leith Housing Association Group on its pension schemes and obligations. Also recommended are employment specialist Roger Tynan¬†and senior associates Theresa Ferguson-Battershill¬†and Fiona McDonald. Additional clients include GLA, Brighton & Hove City Council and Affordable Housing Finance.

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