Commercial property: Cambridge in East Anglia
'The commercial property team is very professional, skilled, responsive and accessible, and offers clear advice', remarks a client of Birketts LLP. The Cambridge office not only provides a full-service commercial property practice, but is also the firm's centre of excellence for strategic land development. Katherine Herbert, who 'excels in strategic land promotion work and is very commercial', leads the team. Gavin Acheson handles commercial property matters for institutional, corporate, family office and private clients based in the UK and abroad. Jeremy Stanton is recommended for promoter and developer work. Clients praise senior associates Gemma Goddard, Claudia Haisman-Green and Deborah Marshall. Legal director Dwight Patten is also recommended.
‘I offered to make a reference on Birketts’ property team in particular because they were standout good – but I have to say that they worked well with the other departments too. Elsewhere from this firm we got clear, intelligible, sensible and “market” tax advice, and comprehensive if cautious corporate advice.‘
‘Gemma Goddard was the standout individual on a recent transaction. The property elements of the matter required high engagement, creative thinking and a deconstructive approach to work past the “can’t do” attitude of the other stakeholders and the limited specialist knowledge of us as her client. Gemma achieved all of that, and more, with dedication, good-humour and much out-of-hours work. We didn’t mind not seeing much of the appointed partner since Gemma was clearly partner-grade and indeed ran rings around the counterparty’s partner.‘
‘The commercial property team is very professional and skilled whilst also being responsive and accessible. Offers clear advice and takes a commercial approach.‘
‘Kath Herbert excels in strategic land promotion work and is very commercial.‘
‘Deborah Marshall is a superb senior associate who works hard for her clients and manages projects with efficiency and competence. A great team.‘
‘Always available to give prompt and personal service with a willingness to go the extra mile to get the job done even when this requires working out of office hours. Good and regular feedback and an ability to see the wider picture and provide the requisite and measured professional advice.‘
‘Gemma Goddard and Kath Herbert are approachable, practical, straight-talking and commercial and work the necessary hours when the pressure is on. The ability to relate to clients in a no-nonsense fashion is appreciated. They go the extra mile and always respond in a timely fashion which is very important to me.‘
‘Katherine Herbert and Deborah Marshall have gone the extra mile for us on our land sale. They have been realistic with the charging of fees and deferment when cash flow has been an issue. They worked beyond the call of duty to achieve exchange when this seemed a serious challenge. I cannot talk highly enough of them. They have been thrown hand grenades by our old solicitors who are not remotely in their league. Birketts just worked hard to get the job done in the most efficient manner.‘
‘All contact with Birketts was and is always very professional and efficient, and their response time is very good. All employees we dealt with are very knowledgeable and if they can’t help they will always put you in touch with a member of their team who can. Advice is good, clear and effective. The team supports our business very well and always makes you feel they are there to help. Probably the best representation for Birketts is that I would have no hesitation in advising anyone I know to use them if they are looking for an effective legal team.‘
‘Deborah Marshall is very knowledgeable, friendly, positive and helpful, providing clear and concise advice. Deborah helped in property lease preparation. Our business always felt in safe hands and was well represented. Deborah is always ready and willing to challenge opposing solicitors’ stance. Our new lease was based outside the Landlord/ Tenant Act and it was, therefore, very difficult to ensure the business wasn’t exposed to major future liabilities. Deborah and her team negotiated this with great skill.‘
Anglia Ruskin University
Cambridgeshire County Council
Trust for London
The Leys and St Faiths Foundation
Jesus College Oxford
Grovemere Property Ltd
Horta Properties Ltd
- Acting for Hopkins Homes Limited and its subsidiary Hopkins & Moore (Developments) Limited in the financing of ongoing site acquisitions via HSBC UK Bank plc.
- Acting for Trust for London, a leading City of London-based grant-making charity for the benefit of the poor of London and with an endowment in excess of £300m, in the strategic acquisition of a long leasehold interest in part of a retail and office building in the City.
- Conducting real estate due diligence and negotiations in respect of the client’s acquisition of a corporate entity with the benefit of an option to acquire a leasehold interest in a consented energy storage facility development site in Cambridgeshire.
Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has a full-service real estate offering in Cambridge and it acts for national and international clients in high-value and strategically important local, regional, London-based and international matters. Key partner Clare Whitaker focuses on investment and occupier work with particular expertise in the hotels, leisure and education sectors. Among the recommended principal associates are Jamie Cawthorn for residential and mixed-use development work for national homebuilders and land promoters; and Geoff Street for acquisitions and disposals, infrastructure and redevelopment work, notably in the transport sector. Senior associate Megan D’Souza-Mathew stands out for development work in the private and public sectors. Dominic Morris moved to Gowling WLG in London.
Transport for London
Signature Senior Lifestyle
Dacorum Borough Council
Legal & General Senior Living
Legal & General UK Property Fund
- Advised Audley Group on all aspects throughout the establishment of a joint venture with the real estate arm of Schroders and Octopus Real Estate to fund the development of four retirement villages. The firm provided corporate, real estate and construction advice.
- Advising Legal & General on the expansion of its later living offering with the establishment of “Guild Living”, a developer and operator of urban later living communities, which plans to deliver 3,000 new homes over the next five years.
- Advised Legal & General Senior Living on providing a rental product in the senior living sector as part of its expanded residential offering. This strategic advice included specialist residential advice, tax and consumer law advice during a time where the Government has pledged reform of the residential market.
A significant part of Mills & Reeve LLP's national real estate practice is based in Cambridge. It handles regional, national and international transactions for a diverse range of clients that includes investors, institutional and local authority funds, developers, strategic landowners, corporates, and education and health providers. Charles Staveley leads the Cambridge team and the firm's real estate investment practice.Vincenzo Maggio focuses on investment work and landlord and tenant matters, Michelle Cookson specialises in complex investment and development projects, Christine De Ferrars Green handles development management agreements and landowner collaboration arrangements, and Nick Finlayson-Brown acts for UK and overseas clients in property investment, development and management matters. Principal associates Laura Ludlow, Christopher Pike and Tom Nash are also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team takes a commercial and pragmatic view, while securing the necessary legal protections.’
‘Tom Nash is very responsive and able to work to tight deadlines.’
‘Charles Staveley is a personable and pragmatic real estate lawyer with a strong technical knowledge and keen attention to detail. He was very much focussed on achieving the best result for his client, but maintained a sense of fairness throughout.’
‘The depth and breadth of knowledge that the Mills & Reeve real estate and commercial property team is well regarded by those that work with them and this is balanced by individuals who make it a priority to learn and understand the approach that their clients generally wish to adopt.’
Trinity College, Cambridge
Floreat Real Estate
St John’s College, Cambridge
Railways Pension Fund
University of Cambridge
Marshall Group Properties
Howard Group of Companies
The University of Northampton
Trinity Hall, Cambridge
Axis Land Partnerships Limited
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Ipswich Borough Council
Kadans Science Partner
Cambridgeshire County Council
- For Kadans Science Partner, the purchase of long leasehold interest of a Unit at Babraham Research Campus fully let to two tenants operating within the Life Sciences sector. The firm acted on behalf of the purchaser and was instructed on all aspects including construction due diligence and financing.
- Advising Marshall Group Properties Limited and Hill Residential Limited on their plans for a major development scheme in Cambridge (1,300 dwellings and commercial space) bringing much needed housing to this area. This is a major development for the city and for the Marshall Group.
- For University of Cambridge, negotiation of land and funding arrangements for development of the new Cambridge Heart and Lung Research Institute (HLRI). The HLRI will ‘draw together the highest concentration of heart and lung researchers from academia, healthcare and industry in Europe’.
Ashtons Legal has a single commercial property across all of its regional offices, with Cambridge being a key hub. The practice acts for Cambridge colleges in property matters. It also has extensive experience in property development, finance, portfolio management and care home sector work. Practice head Magnus McManus has a background in investment property, on which he advises both large financial services companies and smaller private investors. He also acts for large and medium-sized corporates on transactional matters and landlord and tenant issues. Veteran property partner Charles Webb, who leads the acquisition and development team, and senior associate Charlotte Vallins are also recommended.
‘The practice has an intimate working knowledge of my business and my individual capabilities. This enables them to direct services to me that are relevant. Being of such a size that is big enough to have every facility that I require but not too big makes me feel valued as a client. That said, the relationship is such that they do not feel uncomfortable making me aware of risks and pointedly informing me that actions I may take may, on occasion, be against their advice. I find this invaluable and is a strength of a deep relationship.‘
‘The team is always very friendly. The main standout point is that there seems to be good communication between colleagues. At previous firms, it has been a struggle to push a job forward if someone is out of the office as no one else knows what is going on. I haven’t had this problem with Ashtons.‘
Savills (UK) Limited
Flip Out Limited
Stretham and Wilburton Community Land Trust
- Sale of the freehold reversion of a mixed use (retail/residential), multi-let parade of shops in Sutton Coldfield on behalf of Emmanuel College.
- Advising Savills (UK) Limited on its entire England and Wales occupied portfolio. Advice is largely in relation to landlord and tenant matters, refurbishments, lease renewals, new leases and ancillary documentation.
- Acting in various property development matters for Castlemeadow Group including the purchase of a former chemical depot with significant contamination and remediation issues to negotiate on and protect the client against, where the site is intended to be developed out to house a significant care home, assisted living accommodation, and private dwellings.
'They are quick to respond and have a sensible level of engagement', says a client of the real estate group at BDB Pitmans. In three years, the Cambridge practice has expanded to serve a growing client base around Cambridge and nationwide. It institutional investment includes acquisitions, disposals and the management of property portfolios. It also advises landowners and developers on commercial and residential developments, as well as assisting corporate occupiers with complex leasehold structures. Partner Simon Burson and senior associate Katy Klingopulos are the names to note.
Other key lawyers:
‘They are quick to respond and have a sensible level of engagement.‘
Eskmuir Properties Limited
Kurt Geiger Limited
Cording Real Estate Group
Bioregional Homes Limited
Frasers Riverside Quarter Limited
Turnbull & Asser Limited
Twenty 1 Construction Ltd
Profile Books Limited
Hay House UK Limited
- Acting for the tenant, 21 Construction, on a high-value letting of the Fourth Floor, Boundary House, 91/93 Charterhouse Street, London. The lease was conditional and linked to the surrender of the client’s existing premises. The term of the lease was five years with a rental value of £265, 406 per annum.
- Acting for Cambrionix on their new lease of space in the Maurice Wilkes Building at St John’s Innovation Park in Cambridge.
- Acting on the agreement for lease conditional on planning, landlord’s and tenant’s works and utilities for Harrods’ new 23,000 sq. ft debut beauty store at Lakeside in Thurrock.
Hewitsons is 'a long-established, traditional business packed with high-class lawyers who offer a good, traditional, modest but highly competent and joined up service'. It has substantial development expertise in large and complex projects, notably in the leisure and residential sectors. It also acts for numerous clients in the hi-tech and life sciences arena. Strategic land investment is another key workstream for the practice. James Simpson leads a three-partner practice and along with Graeme Sampson handles development, strategic land, investment and financing matters. Sampson also advises on landlord and tenant matters. Up-and-coming partner Susanne Hinde and senior associate Ceri Riddell are also recommended.
‘It has a breadth of commercial knowledge across the team. The team works in a unified manner, providing prompt action and responses.‘
‘Graeme Sampson and Joe Taylor provide great advice and teamwork.‘
‘Hewitsons is a long-established, traditional business packed with high-class lawyers who offer a good, traditional, modest but highly competent and joined up service.‘
‘They show dedication and hard work. The client is put first, which sounds pretty obvious but is so often not the case with law firms.‘
‘Hewitsons demonstrates great care when considering client’s risk. Its advice is set out in a clear way with straightforward recommendations.‘
‘Ceri Riddell provides commercial property advice. I have worked with Ceri on licence to alter documents and her assistance has greatly been appreciated when navigating complex clauses, including the latest energy efficiency regulations.‘
‘Hewitsons has astute commercial lawyers and has great people to work with. They are sensible, proactive and get the job done.‘
‘I have worked with a number of Hewitsons’ commercial lawyers over many years. They have all been knowledgeable, responsive and good to have on your side. James Simpson and Ceri Riddell are standout examples.‘
‘They value the client relationship and view matters from the clients perspective. They are technically very good and always willing to offer practical and pragmatic solutions.‘
‘Ceri Riddell communicates well and is a good listener, which is not always apparent in lawyers! She is good technically and is happy to offer workable solutions to difficult problems.‘
AIB Group (UK) Plc
Anglian Country Inns Limited
Cambridge Investment Partnership LLP
Darwin College, University of Cambridge
Downing College, University of Cambridge
European Molecular Biology Laboratory
Hill Residential Limited
HTS Estates Limited
Lloyds Bank Plc
Pembroke College, University of Cambridge
Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst
Swiss Laundry Limited
The Chesterford Group
The Howard Group
Turnstone Estates Group
- Advised Cambridge Investment Partnership on its development of the former Council depot site in Mill Road Cambridge relating to in excess of 200 new homes.
- Advised Swiss Laundry Limited on the sale of its former headquarters in Central Cambridge.
- Continuing to act on behalf of Cambridge Investment Partnership (“CIP”) in connection with its development of the former “Ridgeons” site in Cromwell Road Cambridge which is a development of nearly 300 new homes which is being marketed as “Timberworks”.
Howes Percival LLP is 'responsive and knowledgeable providing concise advice when required'. The three-partner practice excels in residential and commercial development, property investment and property finance, with particular expertise in the leisure, tourism, education, technology and public sectors. Head of office Jonathan Greenhalgh specialises in complex development work. Steven Beach has more than 30 years' experience in property investment and development work. Michaela Henson stands out for advice to landowners, developers and commercial clients on commercial and housing development, investments and site assembly. Director Will Stokes acts for landlords and occupiers in the negotiation of high-value building lease agreements.
‘Responsive and knowledgeable providing concise advice when required.‘
‘The team is personable and keen to assist with reasoned advice.‘
‘The commercial property team provides a very client-focused and professional service. They are good at understanding our approach to business and transactions which is achieved by a consistent partner-led service. They integrate well with their construction and planning teams to ensure we get a holistic approach to solutions which is delivered quickly.‘
‘Jonathan Greenhalgh provides a very straightforward and pragmatic approach to every instruction and takes a genuine personal interest. This is the lawyer you need by your side in every tricky negotiation.‘
‘Elizabeth Thomas is a no-nonsense lawyer who delivers a high-quality service with speed, attention to detail and with a smile.‘
Cambridge University Endowment Fund
Turnstone Estates Limited
Greene King Limited
Newcore Capital Management LLP
Luton Hoo Estate
East Cambs Trading Company Limited (trading as Palace Green Homes)
Girton College, Cambridge
Artisan (UK) Developments Ltd
BPP Holdings Limited
- Advised Irish hotel group O’ Callaghan Hotels Group on its disposal of three companies that together owned and operated the Tamburlaine Hotel in Cambridge.
- Acted for residential developer East Cambs Trading Company Limited in the purchase of an ex-MOD site in Ely for 88 dwellings via a sub-sale from East Cambridgeshire District Council with funding from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.
- Acted on behalf of Newcore Capital Management LLP in connection with the purchase of a £5.2m investment property in Oxford.
'Helpful, efficient and practical' is how one client describes the service from Taylor Vinters. 'Their instruction processes and team responsiveness is second to none', remarks another of head of real estate Helen Mutucumarana and head of commercial property James Slinger. Mutucumarana leads on non-contentious landlord and tenant work, while Slinger deals with complex acquisition, development and leasing transactions and deals in the renewable energy sector. The firm acts for international and domestic clients in matters in Cambridge, East Anglia, London and across the UK. Senior associate Elliot Wilson and associates Becky Woodcock and Keven Fehmi are also recommended.
‘Helpful, efficient and practical.‘
‘Taylor Vinters makes it really simple and easy to engage on commercial projects – both their instruction processes and team responsiveness are second to none. It means that we can concentrate on the task at hand without delay. Other firms we have used can be a little slow to initiate on instructions. They demonstrate an impressive breadth of experience as a team, but its noticeable that they work across internal teams efficiently to ensure relevant advice is delivered accurately, e.g. referring for specialist advice from a construction colleague, while the core team concentrate on a transaction. This type of synergy can be more clunky or less forthcoming with larger firms in our experience.‘
‘Helen Mutucumarana is an exceptional property lawyer. She is highly responsive, pragmatic and commercial. Her open, communicative approach always demonstrates that our organisation’s interests are in focus. We often think and refer to Helen as part of our team, although she is external to our organisation. Helen has consistently delivered excellent outcomes for our organisation on property matters, often against tight deadlines, with ease and professionalism.‘
‘We have continued to use Taylor Vinters year on year due to its professionalism and the fact that it oversees our legal requirements in the most helpful manner. Good back up support is available if required, with excellent response times for all matters. We are very happy to continue trusting in their legal support for our company.‘
‘We have worked with Taylor Vinters extensively this past year on a few major projects on the Melbourn Science Park. We have had the help and support of Helen Mutucumarana, Elliot Wilson and Callum Blundell throughout the year. They are friendly and professional, and we are very pleased to use TV for all our legal requirements each year.‘
‘Legal advice is not simply provided in a vacuum, it is thought through and considered taking account of commercial realities. The focus on what makes sense for the business is a refreshing approach, not often seen in practices of this size.‘
‘Helen Mutucumurana has tireless energy. Her workload and response rate are second to none. She has a sharp brain and can quickly cut to the commercial imperative.‘
Jockey Club Estates
Melbourn Science Park Limited
Babraham Research Campus
Elgin Energy Limited
Clearstone Energy Limited
Freeline Therapeutics Limited
Cambridge Flow Solutions Ltd
- Acting on behalf of Clearstone Energy Ltd, a gas power station generation company, in the leasehold acquisition of sites across the UK for the installation of generation equipment and connection to the National Grid (between 20MW and 40MW).
- Advising Melbourn Science Park Limited on the development of a new headquarters building on land adjoining Melbourn Science Park as part of its significant expansion plans.
- Acted for RxCelerate in an agreement to take 25,000 sq ft of prime office and lab space at BioMed Realty’s flagship research development at Babraham Research Campus.
Dixon Phillips, which joins the ranking this year, is 'a small, motivated practice staffed by good quality lawyers who will take on complex matters but are good value and a good antidote to bigger practices', says a client. The firm is a niche corporate, commercial and commercial property practice that caters for small and medium sized businesses with up to £25m in turnover. Key partner Paul Dixon has more than 25 years' experience in the Cambridge market.
‘Dixon Phillips is a small, motivated practice staffed by good quality lawyers who will take on complex matters but are good value and a good antidote to bigger practices. They are also thoroughly nice people of integrity. A real alternative appointment.‘
Asahi Glassplant UK Limited
Kingswood Advisory Limited
Bromium UK Limited
Premier Travel Agency Limited
dB Broadcast Ltd
Cambscuisine Group Limited
COEL Group Limited
Dernford Properties Limited
Genie Ventures Limited
- Advised Premier Travel Agency on a series of new shop leases in the wake of the insolvency of Thomas Cook.
- Advised Asahi Glassplant on a number of complex property issues relating to its purchase of Syrris Limited from Blacktrace Holdings Limited.
- Advised private landowners on the exchange of contracts for a promotion agreement for a substantial mixed commercial development in Battersea, London.
Greenwoods GRM is 'very responsive and gives clear and concise advice', according to one client. Another notes that it is 'small enough to retain the personal feel but large enough to offer wide-ranging advice'. The firm is known for its expertise in landlord and tenant matters, as well as for its development work in Cambridge and its knowledge of the education and the hospitality sectors. The 'incredibly helpful' Kelly Peck is the lead partner in Cambridge, supported by Karin Horsley who works predominantly in Peterborough. Senior associate Neville Drummond is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘I have been with Greenwoods since my husband came back from Holland in 1974. Compared with the firms we had in London before we went to Holland in 1964, Greenwoods were fantastic. A very high standard of personal help over the years.‘
‘Over the years we have dealt with various solicitors. Without exception they were all of the same high standard, always explaining very clearly the legal language I did not understand, and always being available and helpful over any crisis.‘
‘We have used several different practices over the years but found Greenwoods GRM LLP the best for dealing with our commercial premises.‘
‘Greenwoods is very responsive by phone and by email and gives clear and concise advice.‘
‘Our most recent office lease was handled by Greenwoods and was the smoothest I have ever experienced. They kept up the momentum on our behalf and made sure that nothing was forgotten on both our side and the landlord’s side.‘
‘Greenwoods is a friendly and approachable practice that is small enough to retain the personal feel, but large enough to offer wide-ranging advice.‘
‘Kelly Peck has a fantastic knowledge of the local property market, and leads a proactive and vibrant team. Kelly is always approachable and draws from her wealth of experience, to give sound, reasoned and efficient advice to her wide range of clients.‘
‘All the individuals at Greenwoods GRM are very personable, competent and approachable.‘
‘Kelly Peck has been incredibly helpful in various matters and is a pleasure to work with, her advice is always clear, concise and practical. Her knowledge of commercial law generates confidence.‘
‘I have been working with Greenwoods GRM for more than ten years and they always hold the pragmatic and personal approach while providing a very valuable commercial legal advice on commercial properties. The team has a wealth of local and regional, as well as national market knowledge. No job is ever too big or too small for them. I appreciate the continuous review they hold with their clients. It means they always put the right resources in for the jobs.‘
‘Kelly Peck is a partner at Greenwoods. I have worked with Kelly for almost ten years and it has always been a pleasure working with her, and it was great to see her career has progressed with the growth of the firm. Kelly was relocated to Cambridge a few years ago to expand its business in Cambridge. Her hard work seemed to pay off as Greenwoods is now one of the established and well known practices in Cambridge. Kelly is always helpful and I can always call upon her on advice. Her advice is professional and honest but also bears commercial perspective, which is a breath of fresh air from other competitors I came across.‘
- Acting for OpenArch Properties Limited in more than 40 matters including strategic disposals, leasehold management of the portfolio, surrenders, renewals and new lease, planning advice, HMO lending matters and refinancing.
- Advising Doreen Bird College of Performing Arts Ltd on re-brokering its current lease. The new lease terms were for a term of 25 years at an annual rent of £250,000 per annum giving a total value of £6,250,000.
- Acting for the tenant, Supermax Healthcare Limited, in the acquisition of its fourth lease on the site at Unit 10 Titan Drive.
At Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, the Cambridge real estate practice acts for global banks, developers, housing associations, science parks, colleges and wealthy families. It handles property finance transactions for both lenders and borrowers. Lead partner Sarah Coates is best known for the acquisition and set-up of residential development sites. Social housing partner Mark Sellers, working from both London and Cambridge, assists registered providers with acquisitions, option agreements and golden brick transactions. Senior associate Giorgia Clements handles investment purchases, and landlord and tenant matters.
This Land Limited
HSBC Bank UK PLC
Max Barney Estate
Blues Property Limited
Cambridge Commodities Limited
Newbury News Limited
- Acted in a number of ongoing asset management matters for Max Barney Estate, as well as in certain sales and purchases.
- Acting for Newbury News Limited, a joint venture company formed by Edward Iliffe and Peter Fowler, in the acquisition of 152 year-old Newbury Weekly News.
- Advised Friar’s Pride Limited on the acquisition of a strategic property in Bristol with complex long-leasehold and option to purchase provisions.
Tees Law is 'fast to react with sound commercial advice and knowledge'. The practice handles acquisitions and sales, strategic promotion and option agreements for landowners and developers, development site set-up, landlord and tenant work, and transactions in the renewable energy sector. James Dowson, who 'gives 110% to his clients’ case, with true professionalism', is the lead partner. 'Unfailingly courteous' associate Alexander Waples also plays a key role in the commercial and rural property practice.
Other key lawyers:
‘Fast to react with sound commercial advice and knowledge.’
‘I have worked with James Dowson for a number of years now and he has always provided a very high level of service. He has always delivered on time and even when things are complicated he ensures all angles are considered.‘
‘Tees Law has true professionals from the start to finish with absolute knowledge of every eventuality. The commercial team has excellent attention to detail with a fast turnaround.‘
‘James Dowson gives 110% to his clients’ case, with true professionalism. He always communicates his advice with absolute clarity.‘
‘The commercial team is up with the best in the UK although they are based in Cambridge, They are always assessable. When dealing with complex multiple commercial property transactions the firm has to have capacity to handle these matters for a long time. Tees tick all the boxes.‘
‘James Dowson is the leading solicitor. He is knowledgable, accessible and never panics even when difficult issues arise.‘
‘My main contact at the firm was always happy to offer the services of members of the firm’s team on matters outside his particular expertise. This was always provided in a timely and helpful manner.‘
‘Alexander Waples was a quite exceptional professional that it was my pleasure to work with over a period of some years. He was unfailingly courteous, and always answered my questions fully. He was very knowledgeable about an area of law which I had struggled to find an expert to take on. Alex was as pleased as I was that the task was successfully completed in what I understand for this area of law was a record time. Alex often worked outside usual working hours to further the task in hand.‘