Commercial property: Norwich in East Anglia

Birketts LLP

The Norwich office of Birketts LLP has 'a very prompt, efficient and knowledgeable team, with London service but at regional rates'. 'The team has a wealth of knowledge but can explain it in a practical way', remarks one client. The firm handles the full range of property work, including development, strategic land, investment management, acquisitions and disposals, landlord and tenant, and real estate finance matters. Melissa Loucas leads the practice and has a particularly strong track record of transactions in the office and industrial sectors. Chris Hoxley specialises in residential development, acting for national and regional house builders and Cameron Barlow handles portfolio asset management and high-value acquisitions and disposals of commercial property. Up-an-coming partner Bhargav Trivedi is 'always available, utterly reliable, hugely knowledgeable, highly experienced and commercial', and Elizabeth Lee is recommended for real estate finance matters. Senior associate Andrew Ridout also plays a key role in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Melissa Loucas

Other key lawyers:

Chris Hoxley; Cameron Barlow; Bhargav Trivedi; Elizabeth Lee

 

Testimonials

‘Very prompt, efficient and knowledgeable team, with London service but at regional rates.’

‘Bhargav Trivedi: always available, utterly reliable, hugely knowledgeable, highly experienced and commercial.’

‘The team is extremely approachable. The team has a wealth of knowledge but can explain it in a practical way. They are very flexible and have a team who have a shared ambition of customer service.’

‘There are some very capable individuals within the team. Their attitude is always positive and they approach tasks with energy and determination.’

Key clients

Interbay Funding Ltd

LendInvest

Vello Limited

East Anglian Property Limited

Upper King Street Limited

Wallblock Limited

Surplus Property Solutions Limited

Westbrook Partners

M7 Real Estate Limited

Cambridgeshire County Council

John Innes Centre

Norwich Research Park

Campaign Monitor

Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

National Westminster Bank plc

Lloyds Banking Group plc

Norwich Airport Limited

Surplus Property Solutions Limited

MH Star UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Sole legal adviser to M7 Real Estate/Oxford Properties Group on over £300m of deals comprising 12 separate acquisitions for a new retail park fund.
  • Acting for Westbrook Partners as joint advisers on the sale of 27 multi-let industrial assets totalling close to 1.7m sq ft to Blackstone for circa £200m.

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP has 'a pragmatic and responsive practice with a good range of specialisms'. 'We have valued the trouble the people we have worked with have taken to understand our business and its idiosyncracies', remarks one client. The firm is active across the whole waterfront of commercial property, with particular expertise in residential and commercial development, investment portfolio management, property finance and projects in the energy, leisure and tourism sectors. Real estate finance specialist Tessa Haskey leads the practice, which has a strong team in Norwich. Joanna Nicholls is adept in development, landlord and tenant and investment work; Nicola Curle in transactions for public sector clients, among them education institutions and local authorities; and Christopher Cubitt  in residential development projects, strategic land deals, and complex land acquisitions. Tracey Hughes  retired from the practice in 2022.

Practice head(s):

Tessa Haskey

Other key lawyers:

Joanna Nicholls; Nicola Curle; Christopher Cubitt

Testimonials

‘Howes Percival is a pragmatic and responsive practice with a good range of specialisms; we have particularly relied upon them for property, construction and planning support though I am aware that they have a much wider range of expertise available.’

‘We have valued the trouble the people we have worked with have taken to understand our business and its idiosyncracies!’

Key clients

Hughes Electrical Limited

Flagship Housing Group

North Hertfordshire College Further Education Corporation

Anglia Maltings

Ford Retail Limited

Lothbury Broadland Unit Trust and Lothbury Property Trust Company Limited

Persimmon Homes Limited (Persimmon Anglia, Suffolk, Essex & North London regions)

Norwich University of the Arts

Braintree District Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Persimmon Homes Limited’s Suffolk region on the acquisition of a development site for 560 new homes in Felixstowe of value circa £16 million.
  • Advised North Hertfordshire College in the section 106 agreement, sale and finance for £18m surplus land disposal and campus sports redevelopment project.
  • Acting for St Vincent Developments in expedited lease grant to Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust to facilitate emergency COVID Vaccination Centre to be opened.

Mills & Reeve LLP

'The team has real strength in depth and excellent technical knowledge, and they are also very responsive and genuinely nice people to deal with', says a client of Mills & Reeve LLP. From Norwich, the firm is active in major projects not only in the local region, but also across the UK. 'Truly exceptional lawyerCarina Cobbold, who focuses on large-scale projects and complex joint ventures, and Caroline Dean, who has 'has a tenacity not often seen' and deals with development work for landowners and corporates, are the lead partners. The team of principal associates includes Anna Aldous, who deals with large-scale mixed use development sites; Zoe Cooke, who handles high-value residential development work for London based developers; David Siddall, who focuses on corporate real estate structuring; portfolio acquisition specialist Lisa-Marie Kennedy ; and Judy Day, who handles complex projects for education sector clients across the UK.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Dean; Carina Cobbold

Other key lawyers:

Anna Aldous; Zoe Cooke; David Siddall; Judy Day

Testimonials

‘The team has real strength in depth and excellent technical knowledge. They are also very responsive, and genuinely nice people to deal with. They want to work with you to find the best approach and outcome and are flexible around fee arrangements.’

‘Mostly it’s their willingness to work as a team, collaborate and work together. Every person I’ve dealt with has been a pleasure to speak to and work with. They’re open to feedback and always looking to improve and learn.’

‘Carina Cobbold stands out as very driven to provide a client with the best advice and legal service and this filters down into her team in the Commercial Property Department.’

‘Caroline Dean has a tenacity not often seen in my opinion, as a landowner involved in development over several years and still ongoing Caroline has guided me through the ups and downs. She is available anytime of day or week and has been a major reason I have been so successful.’

‘The team have a comprehensive skills set which meets the needs of our charity. They are efficient and client focused. Information/advice is clear and advantages and disadvantages are thoroughly explained.’

‘We work closely with Judy Day. Judy supports us as if we were her only client. Her work is efficient; Judy is always responsive to our needs. Judy’s advice is always clear and well thought through. I have never been disappointed with the service Judy has delivered or the advice/information she has given.’

‘We are extremely pleased with the strong relationship we have forged with M&R’s real estate team with whom we work on a wide variety of projects. The team operate across offices and regions to ensure we have the right people for the right jobs. M&R invest heavily in our relationship taking time to get to know our business so as to tailor legal services, training and market updates accordingly.’

‘Carina Cobbold is a truly exceptional lawyer who understands commercial requirements and is able to draft and negotiate the details of complex legal agreements with style and aplomb. A pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Anglia Innovation Partners LLP (Norwich Research Park)

Archant Limited

Brown Family (Holt)

Central Trust

Cinnamon Collection Limited

City College Norwich

Clifford Estate Company Limited

Colman Family Trust

Countrywide Legal Indemnities Limited

Diocese of East Anglia

East Anglian Air Ambulance

Easton College

Fitzmaurice Holdings Limited

Giraffe Concepts Limited

Group Lotus plc

Homes England

Jarrold & Sons

John Innes Centre

Kilverstone Trust

KLM UK Engineering Limited

Land Registry

Lend Lease

London Diocesan Fund

Midwich Limited

Norfolk Historical Buildings Trust

Norwich City Football Club plc

Norwich Preservation Trust

Norwich School

Nurse Plus & Carer Plus (UK) Limited

Oasis Dental Care Limited

Ortona Group

Peabody Developments Limited

Randall & Quilter Investments Limited

Repton Developments Limited

Serruys Property Company Limited

Solus (London) Limited

Southwold Town Council

Timewell Properties Limited

The Forum Trust

University of East Anglia

University of Suffolk

Upton Trust (Red Lodge, Suffolk)

Urban&Civic Group

VetPartners Limited/VetPartners Practices Limited

WR & PJ Tann

Work highlights

  • Advising SUE Developments LP (Urban & Civic) on the sale of BTR parcel at Houlton, Rugby to Goldman Sachs.
  • Advising Kingsfleet consortium of landowners (the Kilverstone Trust, Blakeney Trust and the Crown)  on the Thetford North Strategic Urban Extension –residential led development of circa 5,000 houses near Thetford known as Kingsfleet.
  • Advising University of Suffolk on a joint venture with BT to deliver apprenticeships and Higher Education services out of BT’s Adastral Park in Suffolk.

Clapham & Collinge Solicitors

The Norwich office of Clapham & Collinge Solicitors is home to a commercial property practice that advises both private and public sector clients on a broad range of matters including the buying and selling business premises, landlord and tenant issues, property finance and development projects. Legal executive and head of commercial property Sarah Garlish acted for a landowner selling a plot of land with planning permission for a residential dwelling, and also handled complex leasing matters in Norwich. Vastly experienced consultant Hugh Berridge still plays a key role in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Garlish

Work highlights

  • Advised client looking to purchase a commercial property in Norwich subject to four tenancies to develop and continue to let out.
  • Acting for the landowner who is selling off a plot of land with the benefiting of planning permission for a residential dwelling. The sale is subject to specific covenants for constructions of boundaries.
  • Acted for the Landlord in a lease renewal of their premises in Norwich. The Tenant is operating a fish & chip shop from the Premises.

Fosters

The Norwich office of Fosters is the hub of the firm's commercial property practice, and it has 'a very effective and dedicated team that delivers service in a timely manner'. The firm is expanding its client base, as is reflected in its recent work. It acts for McDonalds franchisees in the acquisition of further sites, is representing holiday chalet park owner Tingdene in matters arising from its sites across East Anglia and the South East, and is assisting numerous local charities including domestic violence charity Leeway. James Allen is the lead partner and he is supported by solicitor Katy Dickinson, who 'makes sure matters go through smoothly', and legal executive Irina Goodwin.

Practice head(s):

James Allen

Other key lawyers:

Katy Dickinson; Irina Goodwin

Testimonials

‘Katy Dickinson was my contact and was excellent at keeping me updated and ensured they had everything they needed to make sure the matter went through smoothly.’

‘Good and clear communication throughout the process and willing to give calm and thoughtful advice. Always felt that our best interests were uppermost.’

‘We dealt with Katy Dickinson in the Commercial department. She always returned our emails and calls promptly and updated us on progress regularly, which is certainly different from some of our past experiences with other firms. She was also very helpful in accommodating our needs as regards signing documents and explained things clearly, offering advice and alternatives when necessary.’

‘Fosters has a very effective and dedicated team. In spite of the heavy work load they experienced last year, they still managed to deliver the service in a timely manner. The team was always available to clarify our numerous first time buyers’ questions and that made us feel safe and looked after during the whole process.’

‘Fosters, and James Allen and his team particularly are unfailingly polite, courteous, helpful and professional. They kept us abreast of the situation all along, and have a meticulous attention to detail’

‘Fosters Solicitors are easy to contact and quick to respond. I have dealt with the same team members and built a rapport with them, so that they understand how our business works and what we require from them. From my point of view their people are their main strength.’

Key clients

Tingdene Group/Tingdene Parks Limited

Martin Francis Limited

Crusader Holdings Limited

Norwich Practices Limited

Richard Ellis (Britons Arms)

Norwich Galleries

Leeway Domestic Violence & Abuse Services

Direct Dialogue Visual

Work highlights

  • Advised leading local brewery Woodfordes on the purchase, renovation, and lease of three further public houses as they seek to develop their business in this area.
  • Representing local but expanding builder and developer Crusader Holdings Limited in the purchase, of several plots of land for development followed by the subsequent building of housing and sale of the same to fund further purchases.
  • Acting for long-standing holiday park client Tingdene Holiday Parks Limited in the sale/assignment of a large number of holiday chalets to a variety of purchases/assignees at various locations across East Anglia and the South East.  

Isadores

Isadores has a small but highly experienced commercial property practice in Norwich, with partner Robert Pyke having built up a development practice that handles complex acquisitions and disposals, including option agreements and contracts conditional upon planning.  He assists clients with the setting up and then selling residential sites with a wide mix of tenures and properties, including dealing with relevant infrastructure agreements such as S104, S38 and S278 Agreements. Pike, who is ‘one of the finest commercial property solicitors in the region‘, advised Norfolk Homes Limited on the set-up of two large developments on the outskirts of Norwich. Clients remark that he provides ‘rounded, commercial and pragmatic advice‘.

Practice head(s):

Robert Pyke

Testimonials

‘Response times are very good and on the numerous transactions they have dealt with have always got the transaction over the line in a timely fashion. Great clarity with their advice and very commercially minded.’

‘Robert Pyke and his team are always on the front foot and proactive to ensure timescales are met. Robert Pyke is excellent at negotiating difficult issues and finding commercial solutions.’

‘My experience of the practice has been very positive. They are highly efficient and contactable, and provide rounded, commercial and pragmatic advice.’

‘Quick to grasp issues and derive commercial robust approach.’

‘Robert Pyke. One of the finest commercial property solicitors in the region.’

‘A strong team with great people and great values that does everything it can to put the client first. Billing is always competitive and visual with fee quotes stuck to without unwanted add ons.’

‘Robert Pyke is an exceptional corporate property lawyer. He is always on hand and available however busy he may be hence excellent communication skills. He is also very good at finding solutions to issues as they arise. Unlike some lawyers, rather than coming back with questions, he always outlines the position and comes back with a suggested solution. Absolutely first class!’

Key clients

Norfolk Homes Limited

Agile Property Partners Limited

Handelsbanken Plc

Scott Residential Limited

M Scott Properties Limited

T Blanchflower Carpentry Limited

Purnells Corporate and Personal Recovery Specialists

NES Healthcare (UK)

Poppyfields (Norfolk) Limited

DFB Project Ltd

Fairfax and Favor LTD

Jadelink UK Limited and New Buckenham Property Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised M Scott Properties Limited on sale of land by way of contract conditional upon planning permission up to 400  dwellings.
  • Advised M Scott Properties Limited on the sale of land conditional upon planning permission in respect of a supermarket site.
  • Advised Norfolk Homes Limited on the sale of land forming phases 3, 4 and 5 of a development site at Attleborough.

Spire Solicitors LLP

Spire Solicitors LLP has a network of offices across East Anglia but the Norwich office is the key hub for its commercial property practice. It handles a broad range of work, encompassing site acquisitions and disposals, new-build schemes, site assembly, options, development agreements and joint ventures. The firm is ‘professionalism, very friendly and efficient‘, and clients remark that the team led by Protima Sikdar-Wood ‘makes it easy and understandable to those that haven’t got a clue what’s written down sometimes‘. Associate Katharine Chatters focuses on asset disposals, including open market sales and auctions, right to buy and right to acquire, staircasing, shared ownership and shared equity leases and shared equity charges.

Practice head(s):

Protima Sikdar-Wood

Other key lawyers:

Katharine Chatters

Testimonials

‘Professionalism, very friendly and efficient.’

‘Very friendly. Pleasant to work alongside. A genuine pleasant experience. They make things easy and understandable.’

Key clients

Norfolk and Waveney Mind

H.G Pledger (Storage) Ltd

Ashtons Legal

Ashtons Legal has a deep commercial property practice across East Anglia and partner Michael Fahy, who joined as part of the merger with Steeles Law, splits his time between Norwich and Cambridge to give the practice a presence in Norfolk. Fahy focuses on property development and handles all aspects of legal work from site acquisition, including option agreements, through to setting up the development documentation. He also advises on portfolio management and occupier services.

Practice head(s):

Magnus McManus

Other key lawyers:

Michael Fahy

Key clients

Abel Homes

Hollyman Care Homes

ACS & T Logistics

Equitix Management Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising a developer in Norfolk with negotiations of a development agreement, with new provisions for potential Covid delays and data protection.
  • Advising a management company on office leases as part of a restructuring exercise.
  • Advising a client on a range of commercial property work including telecommunication licences; wayleave agreements; and property advice work.