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  1. Commercial property: Ipswich
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Who Represents Who

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Birketts LLP is 'excellent - it has superior technical knowledge and is very client-focused'. The firm's 'knowledgeable and accessible team is ideal for all areas of property advice and delivers a superb service and knowledge base'. The firm has a strong reputation in key areas such as strategic land work, development projects, property investment management, property finance and utilities. Chris Schwer leads the property practice and has extensive experience in acting for housebuilders and developers in joint ventures, collaboration arrangements and promotion agreements; 'he has a thorough and superb understanding of clients' business requirements'. Schwer acts for utility companies in major projects and in day-to-day legal matters. The firm has a deep bench of experienced lawyers including Chris Barker, whose expertise lies in complex strategic land and development projects, most notably for clients in the health and education sectors; Stuart Raven, who has specialist expertise in retail and restaurant developments and regularly handles the sale and purchase of large investment properties; and Oliver Crichton whose broad practice includes property finance and pension fund property investment work, in which he acts for some of the UK's largest self-invested personal pensions (SIPP) and numerous small self-administered schemes (SSAS). Among the senior associates, Julie Hoy who 'delivers exceptional work', advises landowners, developers and housing associations on residential and mixed-use schemes; Pam Dawson has particular expertise in the area of ports and logistics developments; Stacy Aspden is 'very good, proactive rather than reactive with excellent advice'; and Vicki Chilton acts for private developers, investor purchasers and business owners.

Gotelee Solicitors has a commercial property practice with three experienced partners that handles a busy caseload for corporate clients both in Suffolk and London. Practice head Martin Whitworth frequently acts for landowners and developers in the sale and purchase of land and buildings for development. Catherine Abbott handles both commercial and agricultural property work, which includes development projects, sales and acquisitions and landlord and tenant matters. She also advises advising SIPPs and other pension funds on commercial property acquisitions and management. She recently acted for a client in the healthcare sector in the acquisition of a portfolio of registered and unregistered freehold and leasehold properties with complicating factors relating to deceased and absent owners, funding and partnership. Partner Oliver Ray is also recommended.

Kerseys Solicitors¬†scores ‚Äė9/10 for advice and value for money‚Äė, according to one client. Another notes that the firm provides ‚Äėa highly personalised service with¬†high levels of industry knowledge‚Äė. Head of department¬†Kimat Singh¬†has ‚Äėin-depth knowledge of legal matters and is¬†amongst the best commercial property lawyers in the region‚Äė, according to one source who notes that ‚Äėhe¬†has the ability to put himself firmly in his clients shoes and create the best strategy'. The firm has a strong and diverse client base in Suffolk and its recent work included transactional work for¬†established portfolio landlords on new leases and renewals of industrial and retail units, as well as residential and commercial development projects. Partner¬†Jane Riley, senior solicitor¬†Bere Allen¬†and consultant¬†James Hayward¬†are active members of the practice. Solicitor Adrian Green¬†handles both contentious and transactional property work. A recent highlight saw the practice support a¬†large independent retailer with the management of its multimillion-pound investment property portfolio, which included granting leases, statutory renewals, licences, and general landlord and tenant advice.

The commercial property practice at Ashtons Legal operates as a single unity across all of the firm's offices in East Anglia and is led from Ipswich by experienced partner James Griffiths. His practice encompasses the sale and purchase of freehold and leasehold premises, advice on investment properties, property finance transactions, development projects, and landlord/tenant matters. He has the support of associate Simon Burnip whose recent work includes the purchase of a development site that was simultaneously sold off to a pub operator, and which included a lease for a major hotel operator. Associate Alexandra Chater is also recommended.

Barker Gotelee¬†joins the ranking and is ‚Äėexcellent, always available to discuss anything and the work is always carried out in a good time frame without any hitches'. In 2017, practice head¬†Andrew Nicholson¬†negotiated documentation for the transmission of offshore electricity to the National Grid. Key partner¬†Toby Pound¬†has nearly 40 years' experience in commercial property and his recent work includes negotiating option and licence agreements with EDF in relation to the development of Sizewell C power station, and handling promotion agreement relating to a proposed residential development in North Essex.

Andrew Fleming¬†leads the ‚Äėexcellent, thorough and responsive‚Äė team at Blocks, which continues its 20-year role as legal adviser to a well-known commercial lender in the region. The firm advises many clients in the¬†self-invested personal pension (SIPP) sector on property matters and frequently acts for¬†rural businesses in property transactions, particularly¬†light industrial farm unit lettings. Fleming recently acted for¬†a client in the purchase¬†of freehold commercial premises from the Crown following a disclaimer of freehold by a trustee in bankruptcy following an insolvency. This involved reconstitution of the title and new securities with ancillary put and call options, pre-emption rights, forfeiture of lease and the termination of old pre-emption agreement.

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