Hall Of Fame

Commercial property: elsewhere in East Anglia in East Anglia

Birketts LLP

Commercial property lawyers in the Ipswich office of Birketts LLP are 'willing to go that extra mile and explain legislation to us numerous times'. Whether in strategic land matters, portfolio management, commercial and residential development, or transactions for utilities, the firm has one of the deepest practices in the region. Chris Schwer, who has particular expertise acting for housebuilders and developers advising on collaboration arrangements, joint ventures, options and promotion agreements. and Stephen Sumpton, who acts for investors, developers and major corporate occupiers, lead the practice. The 'cool calm and collected' Oliver Crichton handles a leading property pension’s lawyer, while Stuart Raven frequently deals with the sale and purchase of large investment properties, high-value leases and commercial development projects. Up-and-coming partner Vicki Chilton, legal director Julie Hoy and senior associate Amanda Timcke also play key roles in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Chris Schwer; Stephen Sumpton

Other key lawyers:

Oliver Crichton; Stuart Raven; Vicki Chilton; Sam Froud; Hannah Meara; Amanda Timcke

Testimonials

‘The team are always contactable and willing to help. They are willing to go that extra mile and explain legislation to us numerous times. The fees are extremely competitive and for pensions they are unbeatable in the market.’

‘We have worked with Sam Froud for years now; he is a credit to the Birketts team. He is always there for us know matter how big all small the query may be. The helpful and efficient service he provides is second to none. Everyone enjoys working with him.’

‘Birketts’ commercial property team is proactive and understands the client needs. They work to agreed timescales and understand their clients objectives.’

‘Oliver Crichton is cool, calm and collected. We completed a transaction with Oliver personally late on 24 December last year after many people had finished work for Christmas days earlier.’

‘Birketts’ commercial property team offer service and expertise on a par with the best, and benefit from sitting within a full service practice, providing depth of knowledge for more unusual situations requiring a co-ordinated approach. They are commercial, pragmatic, responsive, and with excellent access to partners and senior associates. They compare very favourably to the top Tier 1 London practices, but at a realistic fee level.’

‘We have worked with Stuart Raven for many years and remain firm fans of his. His prompt, detailed, commercial, problem solving, and sensible approach gets things done as quickly as possible, but without unnecessary compromise. We have also been very pleased to work with Hannah Meara and Amanda Timcke this year, who we are also notable for their clear advice, commercial approach, attention to detail, and tenacious attitudes.’

‘Birketts have been exceptional in their services. Our purchases often come with complex issues and tight deadlines but the team have expert knowledge in our field meaning we have full trust that we are fully protected.’

‘Over the years, we have worked with a number of different solicitors, all of who have been thorough, professional and dedicated. Keith Andrews is our key contact at Birketts who reviews all the purchases and will always take on those he feels require extra assistance to ensure that the quality of service we receive never falters.’

Key clients

Hopkins Homes Ltd

The Churchmanor Estates Company Plc

Dencora Group

M7 Real Estate Ltd

IWG Group Services (UK) Limited

The Electricity Network Company Limited, GTC Pipelines Limited, Open Fibre Networks Limited, Independent Water Networks Limited, Independent Pipelines Limited, Independent Power Networks Limited, Independent Heating Networks Limited.

East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices

Suffolk County Council

Basildon Borough Council

Lendinvest

Barclays

Lloyds TSB

HSBC

Fairview New Homes

Work highlights

  • Acting as co-counsel in relation to the sale of Hopkins Homes Limited to Terra Firma. The transaction comprised a complex intra-group reorganisation; and the exercising of and completion of numerous land options during and as part of the sale.
  • Acting for NNB Generation Company (SZC) Ltd (an EDF company) in securing privately negotiated option agreements with landowners across the region for numerous sites associated with the proposed Sizewell C development.
  • Acting for Dencora in securing an agreement for lease to a major global corporate, conditional on the acquisition and development of the land by Dencora to the specification of the corporate tenant. The land then being forward sold by Dencora as an investment upon completion of the lease.

Ashtons Legal

The commercial property practice at Ashtons Legal is led from Cambridge but has substantial resources across the region. Ron Clare in in Bury St Edmunds is a standout lawyer in property matters involving care homes. He assisted Able Homes Limited with the disposal of affordable housing at Taverham Norfolk to Flaship Housing. Associate Katie Noble frequently acts for corporate entities, charities and individuals in commercial property transactions, as well as assisting developers and landowners with both residential and commercial developments. Senior associate Alexandra Chater in Ipswich is ‘a very diligent, commercially focused lawyer, who brings a level of tenacity‘.

Practice head(s):

Magnus McManus

Other key lawyers:

Ron Clare; Alexandra Chater; Katie Noble; Ian Hylton

Testimonials

‘The Ashtons team have acted for us exclusively on our property portfolio for a few years now and I have always found them to act quickly in all matters regarding our commercial property in East Anglia. The one strength which I find useful is that the person dealing with our property matters is always at the end of a phone and easy to contact .’

‘Ian Hylton and Alexandra Chater are just friendly, helpful people to have on board.’

‘The commercial property team in the Ipswich office we have found to be very focused in meeting and working in collabaration with clients, and there third party advisers in meeting expectations. they also bring a degree of commercial business acumen to relevant and complex cases and matters, demonstrating a real understanding of different business needs in an ever changing industry.’

‘Alex Chater is a very diligent, commercially focused lawyer, who brings a level of tenacity and wider business skills and understanding of industry at large, outside of the usual toolbox of commercial conveyancing lawyers to deal with complex issues for clients and advisers alike.’

‘Alexandra Chater has continued to stand out for her knowledge, commercial acumen and commitment, a joy to work with.’

‘The team has taken the time to get to know the key people in our organisation and to understand the work we do. Their knowledge of the charity sector and the importance of taking a pragmatic, solutions focussed approach, always stands out as exceptional. It is also refreshing to know that another member of the team will always jump in to respond to a call or email in the event the partner or associates I would normally deal with are not immediately available.’

‘Alex Chater has consistently guided me through a number of legal processes over the years. Aside from knowing I can rely on their own expertise in their respective areas, I also know they will seek specialist knowledge from their peers and wider network when required. While I am continually impressed with the warm welcome that all the Ashtons Legal provide, Alex stands out as always willing to go the extra mile.’

Key clients

Emmanuel College

Savills (UK) Limited

NIAB

Flip Out Limited

Castlemeadow Group

Abel Homes

Christ’s College

The Ormiston Trust

Ormiston Families

J Gardner Holdings Limited

Turners (East Anglia) Limited

Stretham and Wilburton Community Land Trust

Burnside, Martyn

Industrial Boys Ltd/Bearing Boys Ltd

Barsham Securities Limited

Hollyman Care Homes Limited

Buckles Solicitors LLP

Buckles Solicitors LLP in Peterborough ‘does what it says on the tin – they provide excellent legal advice and service at a fair price‘. ‘We consider it to be one of the best firms of solicitors with which we have dealt‘, remarks one client. The firm has stands out in the management of property portfolios for both retail and developer clients, agricultural property work and transactions for registered providers of social housing. Michael Rabbett leads the practice and is ‘highly skilled in what he does and gives consistent, pragmatic advice‘. The vastly experienced Colleen Gostick is ‘just brilliant‘ and up-and-coming partner Chris Mundell, who works with clients including TGI Fridays, is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Michael Rabbett

Other key lawyers:

Colleen Gostick; James Munn; Chris Mundell

Testimonials

‘Highly knowledgeable staff and rapid responses.’

‘They are very efficient, attentive to timescales, practical thinking and get the job done without hassling me as a client. I trust them implicitly.’

‘Colleen Gostick and James Munn are just brilliant.’

‘We would consider Buckles to be one of the best firms of solicitors with which we have dealt over the years. The team has a wide range of skills and we have always had easy access directly with the partner with whom we have dealt. The matters with which we have been dealing have involved contracts and leases of a very substantial value and it was important to us to have full confidence in our legal team. We have never had any difficulties arising relating to fees which we have always considered to be of fair value considering the complexity and values of the work.’

‘Over a number of years our has worked primarily with partner Colleen Gostick. We first engaged her firm in 2007 and were immeditealy impressed with the quality of the service in terms of technical knowledge and accessibility to Colleen. Since then whenever we have had property/contract work at our East Anglia farm we always make Colleen our first port of call in the knowledge that we would receive good and prompt service and that the firm had a wide range of skills among its personnel to back her up.’

‘Buckles do what it says on the tin – they provide excellent legal advice and service at a fair price. Delightful people too.’

‘They are friendly, knowledgeable and you can always get hold of them, they keep you updated and do not need constant chasing – also good value.’

Key clients

Barnack Estates UK Limited

Windmill Property Investments Cambs Limited

Virgin Active Limited (Virgin Active Health Clubs)

Thursdays (UK) Limited (TGI Fridays restaurants)

Devonshire Metro Limited

Greene & Greene

Greene & Greene in Bury St Edmunds provides ‘clear, concise and prompt advice‘ and clients remark that the firm is ‘very efficient, friendly and willing to help in whatever way possible‘. Practice head Tim Mendes da Costa‘s work includes acting for a FTSE-listed company in its purchase of a prime development site for its new HQ at Suffolk Business Park. The ‘thorough, conscious and practicalHugo Greer-Walker handles both transaction work and landlord/tenant matters. He advised Viscountess Marcia Blakenham and The Honourable Caspar Hare on the sale of part of the Blakenham Estate. Sally Whatley-Brown who joined from Atkins Dellow LLP is recommended for high-value sales and lease transactions. Associate Julia Cardy is experienced in acting for owners and occupiers of commercial premises. Neil Grigg left to become a private property consultant.

Practice head(s):

Tim Mendes da Costa

Other key lawyers:

Hugo Greer-Walker; Sally Whatley-Brown; Julia Cardy

Testimonials

‘The team are always communicative and reactive whenever needed. One of the team will inevitably have the right answer.’

‘I work closely with Julia Cardy and she has always been very communicative and able to assist in every Commercial Property matter I have needed.’

‘Julia Cardy provides excellent client service. Her response times are swift. She provides constructive advice and guidance.’

‘Clear concise and prompt advice given on all instructed work’

‘We only work with Hugo Greer-Walker and we value all of the work undertaken on our behalf. The relationship is built on mutual respect and trust.’

‘Very efficient, friendly and willing to help in whatever way possible.’

‘Hugo Greer Walker was thorough, conscious and practical and saw through a complicated and long drawn out transaction of a development site to a large institution involving many parties.’

Key clients

Viscountess Marcia Blakenham and The Honourable Caspar Hare

Orbital Foods Limited

Rushbrooke Consortium

Ensors Accountants LLP

Trimlane Limited

Gotelee Solicitors

Gotelee Solicitors in Ipswich acts for numerous landlord and tenants in regard to commercial and retail premises including SIPP investments, as well as for developers of both residential and commercial developments, including a number of large distribution hubs along the A14 corridor. Claire Barritt leads the practice from Ipswich and advises investors and lenders on real estate transactions, as well as assisting clients in the retail, health and logistics sectors. Martin Whitworth continues in his role as a consultant.

Practice head(s):

Claire Barritt

Other key lawyers:

Martin Whitworth

Testimonials

‘I have used Gotelees for a wide range of business needs, from property to litigation and even criminal. I have found them to be strong in all departments. A thoroughly professional firm.’

Key clients

Elemento Group

FDS

Starglade Limited

Wellsbridge

Monumart Limited

Greenwoods Legal

Greenwoods Legal in Peterborough has extensive experience in acting for property developers, charities and a major national motor dealers. Samantha East leads the firm-wide practice and is south after for a broad range of commercial real estate work, including development and option arrangements. Senior associate Ann-Marie Clow  specialises in landlord and tenant transactions, acting for companies, partnerships, individuals and charities. Karin Horsley is now a consultant with a business development and advisory role.

Practice head(s):

Samantha East

Other key lawyers:

Ann-Marie Clow; Karin Horsley

Hunt & Coombs LLP

Headquartered in Peterborough, Hunt & Coombs LLP is a ‘long-established and well-regarded local firm with an excellent reputation for quality service and range of expertise‘. The firm frequently advises on the management of complex property portfolios and acts for numerous public sector bodies, among them drainage authorities. Practice head Anna Spriggs handles the sale and acquisition of church, charity and development land as well as leasehold and freehold commercial sales and purchases. She has ‘a real breadth of skills and is always very personable‘. Associates James Pepperdine in Peterborough and James Steward in Oundle also play key roles in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Anna Spriggs

Other key lawyers:

James Pepperdine; James Steward

 

Testimonials

‘Amazing availability of our solicitor.’

‘James Pepperdine is a fabulous solicitor who seemed to be available day and night and even answered on his days off. Anytime we had concerns with our transactions he was straight to the rescue and is excellent at his client relationships.’

‘Long-established and well-regarded local firm with an excellent reputation for quality service and range of expertise. Their reputation is based on many years of representation and high client service levels and increasingly this is what makes any service provider stand out.’

‘Anna Spriggs is our main contact and has been for many years. Anna has a real breadth of skills and a specialism in landed estates/older properties and is always very personable.’

Key clients

The Peterborough Diocesan Board of Finance

Anglia Home Furnishings Ltd t/a Fabb Furniture

Stamford Country Inns

Anglia Components Ltd

The Peterborough Diocesan Board of Finance

Work highlights

  • Advised The Peterborough Diocesan Board of Finance on two interconnected option agreements with additional complexities of local objections under ecclesiastical law.
  • Advised Anglia Home Furnishings Ltd t/a Fabb Furniture on various commercial retail park 10 year leases for this long standing client.
  • Advised Anglia Components Ltd on surrendering existing lease and creating new one for a special purchase vehicle company. Dealing with finance element of the transaction. Simultaneous completion, funds received and surrender of existing lease.

Nicholsons Solicitors LLP

This is not your local firm of solicitors, but a practice of lawyers capable of competing on a level playing field to a major firm‘, says a client of Nicholsons Solicitors LLP. Based in Norwich and Lowestoft, the practice is ‘highly professional, providing advice to match any City firm‘. Property work is often in support of the firm’s growing activity in corporate and commercial matters, with partners Mark Rymarz, who specialises in large-scale property development transaction, and Jade Tinney, who leads the commercial practice, working closely together.

Practice head(s):

Mark Rymarz; Jade Tinney

Testimonials

‘Highly professional, advice to match any City firm.’

‘This is not your local firm of solicitors, but a practice of lawyers capable of competing on a level playing field to a major firm.’

Taylor Rose MW

Taylor Rose MW in Peterborough has a broad client base for property matters that includes pension funds, property companies, investors, developers, corporate occupiers and high-net-worth individuals. Practice head Nick Scutt and associate Navead Yousaf, who is ‘very friendly and thorough and proactive’ and specialises in portfolio work and high-value individual transactions, advised Brightfield Group on the re-financing of its prime city centre property which accommodates over 100 apartments. Consultant Neil Pota assists with all aspects of commercial property.

Practice head(s):

Nick Scutt

Other key lawyers:

Navead Yousaf

Testimonials

‘Very proactive and thorough.’

‘Navead Yousuf – very friendly and thorough and proactive.’

Key clients

Brightfield Group

Domo Partners Ltd

Capital Karts Limited

Coldchain Bars Ltd

Borehole Solutions Group

Galaxy Group

Sunrise Estate Holding and Construction

Zenstone Properties Ltd

Postland Estates Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised the Brightfield Group on the refinance of key city centre property which accommodates in excess of 100 apartments.
  • Advised Postland Estates on the acquisition of the former Yorkshire Building Society building in Peterborough for £3.72m.
  • Advised Coldchain Bars on the acquisition of leasehold premises in the UK as a leading brewer and pub.

Spire Solicitors LLP

The property practice at Spire Solicitors LLP is led from Norwich, but partner Howard Bailey in Attleborough handles commercial landlord and tenant matters, land and property acquisitions and sales, secured lending, and work for property developers. He 'leaves no stone unturned in reviewing and questioning the potential consequences of various clauses stated in leases'. He advised The London Brewery Ltd on the acquisition of two industrial units as part of its relocation to Norfolk. Clients view the firm as 'consistently helpful, responsive, considered, thoughtful and sensible in their advice'.

Practice head(s):

Protima Sikdar-Wood

Other key lawyers:

Howard Bailey

Testimonials

‘The team at Spire solicitors have a number of key strengths. They are consistently helpful, responsive, considered, thoughtful and sensible in their advice.’

‘Howard Bailey – over our years of working with Howard we have come to firmly rely on his help and advise. He has become a trusted member of our extended team. He is exceptionally diligent, conscientious and a great listener and he is very kind.’

‘Part of a bigger group, but still feels like a local firm when it comes to personal relations – you don’t feel like a smaller client, even when they are dealing with routine work.’

‘Always easy to get hold of, approachable, answer direct questions quickly. Happy to explain in plain English if asked.’

‘Spire Solicitors have targeted the mid market and provide excellent services at an affordable price.’

‘When this firm acts for me I feel like it behaves with a level of care and diligence almost as if it was protecting its own family silver.’

‘Howard Bailey leaves no stone unturned in reviewing and questioning the potential consequences of various clauses stated in leases. He has saved me from numerous open ended commitments’

‘Howard Bailey has an excellent understanding of my business and the need at times to act quickly.’

Key clients

John Walpole Commercials Ltd

Micross Components Ltd

Chapel Partners

William Router

The London Beer Factory Ltd

Putt Noodle East Ltd

United Business & Leisure Properties Limited

Alex Valori

Work highlights

  • Advised on the acquisition of two industrial units for a London Brewer (The London Brewery Ltd) relocating its operations to Norfolk.