Commercial property: elsewhere in East Anglia in East Anglia

Birketts LLP

The Ipswich office of Birketts LLP has one of the region's largest real estate teams and is highly regarded for strategic land deals, property investments, commercial and residential developments, and an array of other work. Chris Schwer is the lead partner and acts for many of the region's leading investors, developers, landlords, tenants and funders. Stuart Raven routinely deals with the sale and purchase of large investment properties, high-value leases and commercial development projects. Oliver Crichton is a leading property pensions lawyer, and Paul Squire is active in the firm's property investment practice. Stephen Sumpton, who joined from DWF, head of utilities Vicki Chilton and senior associate Julie Hoy are also key members of the real estate practice.

Practice head(s):

Chris Schwer

Other key lawyers:

Stuart Raven; Oliver Crichton; Paul Squire; Stephen Sumpton; Vicki Chilton; Julie Hoy; Amanda Timcke; Mark Elgar

Testimonials

‘All the solicitors are of a high calibre and work together as a team. So if your project needs say a legal notice to be served, Birketts will bring in an expert to work alongside your key contact. A responsive and bespoke service.’

‘Julie Hoy – good assertive skills protecting the clients position. Good customer care and quick to understand the clients objectives. Amanda Timcke – friendly approachable service. Again good at taking clients issues on board and providing a bespoke and tailored service. Confident advice on technical points.’

‘We have enjoyed a very good working relationship with Birketts for years now. The team always go that extra mile for us and get paperwork turned around quickly.’

‘Birketts carry out primarily commercial property related tasks on our behalf which include leasing transactions, investment purchases and sales and funding agreements. We find they have an impressive understanding of what we are seeking to achieve and work efficiently to that end.’

‘A consistently good level of service is delivered by all the team who work towards completing transactions in a professional, efficient and timely manner.’

‘Very attentive, good clear knowledge and advice. I can leave them to get on with other professional parties involved in the job.’

‘Great team. Their strength is being pragmatic with issues along with a quick turnaround of high quality work.’

‘Mark Elgar provides high-quality support to my business on all property matters. His pragmatic approach is invaluable to the business.’

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 Childrens Hospices

Suffolk County Council

Basildon Borough Council

Fairview New Homes

Work highlights

  • Advised 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 on a range of transactions including miles of easement routes crossing multiple landowners land both agricultural and central London locations. The team are often instructed on crucial infrastructure projects including primary substations and multiple substations within a development site.
  • Exclusively retained by Hopkins Homes Ltd on all acquisition, disposal, plot sale and strategic land work for leading regional housebuilder.
  • Acting for Various leading SIPP and SSAS providers on transactions in the SIPP/SSAS sector (approx. 750 completed transactions per annum).

Ashtons Legal

Ashtons Legal shows 'an unrivalled commitment to delivering what the clients require, no matter the circumstances, with honesty and integrity'. The practice is led from Cambridge, but Ron Clare in Bury St Edmunds is a vastly experienced partner who advises corporate and institutional clients in East Anglia and beyond. Clare recently represented Abel Homes in its disposal of affordable housing sites at Swaffham and Bawdeswell, Norfolk. Senior associate Simon Burnip in Ipswich and 'thorough and approachable' associate Katie Noble are key practitioners in the firm-wide practice.

Other key lawyers:

Ron Clare; Simon Burnip; Katie Noble

Testimonials

‘An unrivalled commitment to delivering what we the clients required no matter the circumstances with honesty and integrity.’

‘We have used Katie Noble, associate on property matters for a number of years. Her advice is always thorough and she does a great job.’

‘Katie Noble is thorough in her work and completely approachable. We trust her implicitly to do a good job for us and our clients who we refer to her.’

‘They are a good team with great knowledge of their sector.’

‘They are very good and always on hand to help.’

Key clients

Emmanuel College

Savills (UK) Limited

NIAB

Flip Out Limited

Castlemeadow Group

Abel Homes

Christ’s College

Stretham and Wilburton Community Land Trust

Work highlights

  • Representing developer Abel Homes Ltd in its disposals to a registered social landlord (Flagship Housing) of affordable housing sites at Swaffham and Bawdeswell, Norfolk.
  • Acted for Xafinity in the granting of an under-lease of retail premises forming part of its investment at Royal Hospital Road, London SW3.  This involved drafting and negotiating the lease, obtaining consent from the freeholder and assisting with the tenant’s due diligence.
  • Representing a landowner client in connection with exchanging a promotion agreement for the proposed residential development of a 14-acre site in mid-Suffolk.

Buckles Solicitors LLP

Buckles Solicitors LLP in Peterborough is 'highly capable, efficient and responsive'. The firm is frequently involved in major projects in the leisure and retail sectors, and handles agricultural land matters. Michael Rabbett leads the practice, in which Colleen Gostick has in-depth experience in retail and industrial development projects and provides 'consistently clear, concise advice of the highest quality'. Chris Mundell has particular expertise in occupier and investment acquisition and management work.

Practice head(s):

Michael Rabbett

Other key lawyers:

Colleen Gostick; Chris Mundell; Michael Blank

Testimonials

‘Highly capable, efficient and responsive.

‘Colleen Gostick is outstanding. She consistently provides clear, concise advice of the highest quality. Always responds quickly to correspondence.’

‘Buckles’ expertise in the conveyancing and associated matters has served us exceptionally well for many years.’

‘Colleen Gostick has seen our business grow over the past 50 years and knows all there is to know about our policy and attitude. In Colleen’s occasional absence her colleagues always step up to meet our needs in the same way as Colleen would.’

‘The commercial property team in Peterborough is well established, has a known team of experienced individuals who have been together for a number of years and as such are well connected in the various business circles. They are able to react quickly and efficiently and have a thorough knowledge of the area and other supporting professionals.’

‘Colleen Gostick – known to me and always acts very quickly, professionally and gets to the point. Often speed is a necessity in complex property transactions and Colleen always gets the job done in a timely, efficient and helpful way. Michael Blank – again I have known Michael for many years and he always provides a calm balanced and professional view even when things are getting tricky.’

‘They offer a full range of services with highly experienced and commercially-minded solicitors.’

‘Colleen Gostick is possibly the best commercial property lawyer I have ever dealt with. Succinct and accurate with her advice, commercially-minded and proactive, always gets the job done efficiently and on time.’

Key clients

TGI Friday

Virgin Active

Reply Ltd

Devonshire Metro Ltd

Greene & Greene

Greene & Greene in Bury St Edmunds has 'a great depth of experience and a practical commercial approach'. The firm has a strong presence in transactions in the engineering, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and healthcare sectors, and it is heavily involved in pension fund transactions and portfolio investments. Practice head Neil Grigg deals with retail landlord and tenant matters, as well as development and land promotion work. Jonathan Mathers specialises in rural and agricultural property transactions, while Tim Mendes da Costa frequently acts for London-based clients. Among the junior lawyers, Julia Routledge, Julia Cardy and Hugo Greer-Walker bring to bear a broad range of real estate experience.

Practice head(s):

Neil Grigg

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Mathers; Tim Mendes da Costa; Julia Cardy; Julia Routledge; Hugo Greer-Walker

Testimonials

‘Great expertise for difficult matters outside London or in East Anglia. A great depth of experience and a practical commercial approach.’

‘I work mostly with Neil Grigg. Neil is excellent and has dealt with a number of difficult matters for me – I feel very confident when he is advising. He is efficient, practical and very good value – he provides a top London service for East Anglia.’

‘This practice has an excellent reputation in the regional commercial property market. Specifically the practice was able to meet the needs of a fast-moving commercial property company and executing transactions in a diligent and timely manner.’

‘Julia Cardy has provided an excellent service to our commercial property company. She was able to meet the demanding timescales required within a cost effective fee structure. Her communication has been particularly good which is necessary for a fast-moving market.’

‘My experience has been that in whatever field – commerce, employment law or property – Greene & Greene has always provided exceptional advice and followed up / supported by outstanding efficiency from very capable and user-friendly personnel.’

‘I found Greene & Greene to be a very professional and responsive firm to deal with. Our engagement with them was collaborative and positive throughout, which was hugely appreciated by myself and my team, as it helped to keep things as easy as possible. We held a handful of virtual meetings, but just being able to pick up the phone or to send an email to talk something through was really valuable. Billing was transparent, reporting and assistance provided to us throughout the transaction was clear and comprehensive.’

‘The open channel of communication that I and the team had with Hugo Greer-Walker and prompt replies from start to finish were hugely appreciated – particularly at a time when we were all working on a split remote working, experiencing upheaval in general due to the global pandemic, and notably, when working with us on a transaction where lots of last minute changes on the side of the client were presented and quick decisions needed to be made due to time sensitivity often for complex situations.’

Key clients

MSD – Merck Sharp & Dohme

Advanced Air (UK) Ltd

Con-Mech Group Limited

Masterlord Estates

West Suffolk Council

Handelsbanken plc

Half Moon Investment Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised on the purchase of an additional 83,000 sq ft/ 3 acre Factory site in Thetford for Advanced Air UK Ltd, combined with re-finance of the same site and re-financing of an additional 68,000 sq ft factory site to enable the package of transactions to allow the client manufacturing business to expand.
  • Handled the sale of Hardwick Manor Estate for a private landowner to the (adjoining) West Suffolk Hospital to enable the development of a new Hospital.
  • Handled the disposal of DIY, garden centre, home retail out of town premises for Con Mech Group Limited /Marlows Home and Garden Ltd.

Greenwoods GRM

Greenwoods GRM in Peterborough provides 'practical advice and feasible solutions'. The firm has a deep roster of clients for real estate work, which includes property developers, charities and a major national motor dealer; it also acts for high-net-worth individuals and owners of agricultural land. Samantha East leads the practice and focuses on all aspects of commercial real estate work, including development and option arrangements, while the highly regarded Karin Horsley has substantial experience and frequently assists overseas investors with multimillion-pound property portfolios. Senior associate Ann-Marie Clow also plays a pivotal role in key transactions.

Practice head(s):

Samantha East

Other key lawyers:

Karin Horsley; Ann-Marie Clow

Testimonials

‘They provide practical advice and feasible solutions to issues and challenges. I have been a client for nearly 20 years and have always found them professional and on the ball.’

‘Accessibility! You can always get across to the person you need to speak with.’

‘The team are always available or prompt in their response to queries. The team are friendly yet professional and always happy to explain any legal terms /practices that we do not fully understand.’

Key clients

Robertson Sands Eco Developments Ltd

A & L Kirby Property Ltd

Escape Fitness Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing Robertson Sands Eco Developments Ltd in the development and finance of a development site and resultant sales of residential units.
  • Representing A & L Kirby Property Limited in the commercial letting of a number of units on a key development site.
  • Representing Escape Fitness Limited to assist with its property portfolio.

Butcher Andrews

The team is friendly and approachable, yet have the knowledge and experience to provide the professional expertise required', say clients of Butcher Andrews in Fakenham. Helen Hemingray leads the practice, following the departure of Chris Hoxley to the Norwich office of Birketts LLP. She frequently assists large businesses and estates with complex and high-value property transactions, including refinancings, development projects and landlord and tenant matters. Highly regarded associate Carla Goodyear joined from Fraser Dawbarns in early 2021.

Practice head(s):

Helen Hemingray

Other key lawyers:

Carla Goodyear

Testimonials

‘The team is not large but it does cover all of the bases!’

‘Very good communication great service.’

‘Very helpful always ready to sort out any problems and most importantly answers the phone whenever you call.’

‘An excellent local practice who are always so supportive and are always accessible.’

‘Helen Hemingray is excellent and is very approachable. Helen is extremely knowledgeable and offers timely and practical advice.’

‘The team are friendly and approachable, yet have the knowledge and experience to provide the professional expertise required.’

‘Helen Hemingray displays a flexible and competent way of working.’

Key clients

The Holkham Estate

Break

Grocott & Murfit Limited

Divine Lettings Limited

Lycetts Insurance Brokers

Anglian Windows Limited

Creeting & Coast Developments Limited

Haller Developments Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting as the sole commercial property legal advisers to Grocott & Murfit Limited, which is rapidly expanding in North Norfolk.
  • Acting on numerous matters for Lycetts Insurance Brokers, from restructuring matters to new leases and bespoke advice on day to day issues.
  • Advising Anglian Windows on all of its landlord and tenant matters.

Gotelee Solicitors

Gotelee Solicitors has a network of offices across Suffolk, through which it acts for landlords and tenants, as well as developers of residential and commercial projects. Claire Barritt, who joined from Prettys Solicitors LLP in late 2020, leads the practice from Ipswich and former practice head Martin Whitworth is now a consultant. Barritt advises investors and lenders on real estate transactions, as well as assisting clients in the retail, health and logistics sectors.

Practice head(s):

Claire Barritt

Other key lawyers:

Martin Whitworth

Key clients

Elemento Group

FDS

Starglade Limited

Wellsbridge

Hunt & Coombs LLP

Hunt & Coombs LLP in Peterborough handles high-value real estate transactions for businesses, charities, high-net-worth individuals and, notably, ecclesiastical organisations; 'the team is extremely professional and capable', notes one client. Practice had Anna Spriggs handles both commercial and rural property deals for a diverse array of clients, ranging from multimillion-pound corporates to small ecclesiastical property funds. Legal executive Sarah Morris is 'absolutely outstanding' and has particular expertise in acting for banks and other lenders.

Practice head(s):

Anna Spriggs

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Morris

Testimonials

‘Hunt and Coombs has the ability to deal with a wide range of legal issues.’

‘Anna Spriggs is excellent.’

‘The team at HC work well together and provide a joined up service. Our instructions always tend to have two points of contact which helps with transaction progression in the absence of either one. They are clear on pricing and stick to their quote unless there are significant additional workloads which neither side identified which is entirely fair.’

‘We work closely with Anna Spriggs and Sarah Morris who in turn work well together and we have built up a solid working relationship and mutual respect with them both over many transactions.’

‘The team is extremely professional and capable, and what really stands out is the level of personal service received.’

‘I worked with Sarah Morris, who was absolutely outstanding. She consistently delivered quality and timely work, provided invaluable advice, and always made time to discuss relevant issues on the phone. She took challenges presented by other parties in her stride, and always ensured results were achieved.’

‘The team is well known and has a good reputation and attention to detail.’

‘The firm is well known to the business.’

Key clients

The Peterborough Diocesan Board of Finance

Handelsbanken Plc

Work highlights

  • Advising The Peterborough Diocesan Board of Finance on complex covenant releases and reverter provision, statutory vesting procedures, disposal of parsonages and land for development, disposal and management of glebe land, commercial leases and licences for church and/or education use – including acquisitions of new church sites, promotion agreements, collaboration and option agreements on a number of sites.
  • Advising The Peterborough Diocesan Board of Finance on the sale of glebe land for development (Kettering) with complex S106 and title issues.
  • Handled the freehold purchase of a warehouse and office site for a client.

Nicholsons Solicitors LLP

Nicholsons Solicitors LLP in Lowestoft is actively involved in development work for housing associations, acquisitions and disposals for housebuilders, and general commercial property transactions. Practice head Mark Rymarz, who has a particular focus on residential property development and lending deals, and new partner Jade Tinney, who joined from Clapham & Collinge Solicitors, work in both the Norwich and Lowestoft offices. Tinney brings a wealth of experience in commercial property transactions, as well as a loyal client base, which includes a multimillion-pound real estate company.

Practice head(s):

Mark Rymarz

Other key lawyers:

Jade Tinney

Testimonials

‘Very quick understanding of the problem or requirements Simple language and common sense communication. Legal terms and consequences explained simply and advice highlights potential outcomes.’

‘Mark Rymarz has dealt with our property issues for several years now, his professionalism is a real stand out feature Always available and delivers when required. The whole practice delivers a service beyond the standard.’

‘The real estate team, under partner Mark Rymarz has the professionalism and expertise necessary to provide an excellent and bespoke service to developers.’

‘The real estate team is headed by Mark Rymarz (partner) who has a wealth of experience in this specialised field, and a proactive approach to problem-solving, and ensuring that our interests are best represented.’

‘Nicholson are a small practice based in the centre of Lowestoft. You can always get through to the partners quickly and easily. They seem to pride themselves on knowing their clients on a personal basis and are quick to assist with legal matters and advice.’

‘Our main point of contact and lawyer at Nicholsons is Jade Tinney. Jade has consistently delivered an exemplary level of service to our business, solving all manners of issues from lease negotiations, boundary disputes and landlord/tenant matters. She is highly approachable, diligent in her work and offers sound guidance. I would thoroughly recommend her and Nicholsons to others in the Commercial Property sector.’

Taylor Rose MW

The Peterborough office of Taylor Rose MW has a small real estate practice that continues to grow its client base in the region and beyond; it recently assisted Galaxy Group with its multimillion-pound investments in Lincolnshire. Practice head Nick Scutt, experienced commercial property consultant Neil Pota, who joined from Buckles Solicitors LLP, and associate Navead Yousaf play key roles in transactions for property companies, landlords, tenants, developers and investors.

Practice head(s):

Nick Scutt

Other key lawyers:

Neil Pota; Navead Yousaf 

Key clients

Galaxy of Homes

Borehole Solutions Group

Jolly Good Beer

CAG Properties Ltd

Moda Invest Ltd

Brightfield Group

Cambridge Realty Ltd

NH Hotels Ltd

Bayard Plaza

Spire Solicitors LLP

Spire Solicitors LLP is a long-established Norfolk firm that has 'a friendly and helpful team that is always willing to help and goes that extra mile to solve any issues'. The real estate practice is led from Norwich but newly promoted Howard Bailey in Attleborough, who is an experienced commercial property partner with knowledge of landlord and tenant matters, property sales, secured lending work and property developments.

Other key lawyers:

Howard Bailey

Testimonials

‘A friendly and helpful team that is always willing to help and goes that extra mile to solve any issues.’

‘I have have been represented by Spires solicitors for over 2 years on a planning issue. I previously dealt with another firm with this matter. Always available for discussion and very pleasant and efficient.’

‘Howard Bailey was introduced to me by a friend and I was never disappointed with his work. He is always extremely helpful, very clear with his explanations and incredibly efficient with his response to any problems. I cannot recommend him more highly.’

‘I have worked with a number of solicitors in the past but Spire have been our single property solicitors for some time now. There are many reasons for this not least that they are extremely efficient and knowledgeable in our operating area and will often assume responsibility for overcoming a problem or drafting documents to avoid delays or unnecessary work. Spire have assisted us as a client across many aspects of our business and their in-house expertise allows each team to work in harmony with one another making a seamless service throughout.’

‘We use Spire due to the depth and breadth of knowledge about our sector (social housing). They took working from home in their stride, and embrace all methods of technology and information sharing which makes this easy yet secure.’

‘Client Care. Interest in seeing us succeed. Easy access. Prepared to go that little bit further to ensure the deal is done on time and in clients best interest.’

‘We have been working with Howard Bailey for 3+ years. He is outstanding. Great listener. A real asset to our business together with his team of associates so much so that we feel he is a member of our team.’

Work highlights

  • Dealing with the sale of land for the development of 380 dwellings.
  • Acting for an international business acquiring a lease of a new production facility at an annual rent of £80,000.
  • Acting for a PR company acquiring a lease of a new office in London at an annual rent of £30,000 per annum.