Commercial property: Norwich in East Anglia

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP is 'highly approachable, with experts across all sectors'. The Norwich office is a key pillar of  the firm's real estate practice that handles high-value transactions and projects regionally and nationwide. 'Commercially focused and supportive' practice head Melissa Loucas has notable experience in the office and industrial sectors, and Cameron Barlow is the key partner in the firm's real estate investment group. Chris Hoxley, who joined from Butcher Andrews, acts for regional housebuilders in matters ranging from site acquisitions to plot sales. Senior associate Andrew Ridout has experience in the landlord and tenant, retail, banking and real estate finance sectors, and Bhargav Trivedi leads the strategic land practice.

Practice head(s):

Melissa Loucas

Other key lawyers:

Cameron Barlow; Chris Hoxley; Bhargav Trivedi Andrew Ridout

Testimonials

‘Commercial, quick, value for money, proactive not reactive.’

‘The Birketts team, led by Melissa Loucas, has supported me and my businesses through many property transactions over the years and each time customer (client) service has been exceptional – a rarity in the legal profession.’

‘Melissa Loucas is, without doubt, the most commercially focused and supportive property lawyer that I have had the pleasure of working with in my career. Whilst keeping me, and my companies, on the straight and narrow legally, all the deals that I have worked with Melissa on have been concluded satisfactorily at great value.’

‘The team has always come across as professionals and are definitely an expert in the field that I have had dealings with them.’

‘Melissa Loucas is the partner I deal with – she consistently went the extra mile to deal with various challenges we have had on our lease completion and I would have absolutely no issues in recommending her for her conscientiousness and diligence.’

‘Highly approachable, with experts across all sectors that I am involved. They are trusted professional advisers.’

‘Bhargav Trivedi leads an impressive team. He is proactive and a real team player.’

‘Birketts have supported us with several commercial property transactions over the last few years, from exiting leases to executing new leases. The support provided has always been first class and certainly, at times, has been above and beyond the agreed scope. Fees are usually quoted in advance and have always been pretty accurate with fair negotiation with any changes.’

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

  • Advised MH Star UK Limited (a Chinese-owned multi-national import/retailer) on the purchase of a new build 206,000 sq ft distribution warehouse.
  • Advised LendInvest on over 400 instructions with values ranging from £100k to £2m per loan.
  • Advised Interbay Funding Ltd on a range of property-related loans.

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP handles all aspects of real estate work, ranging from commercial development projects to property finance work and the management of property investment portfolios. Tessa Haskey and Tracey Hughes, who focuses on complex development projects, are the lead partners in Norwich. Clients of Joanna Nicholls, who deals with development, landlord and tenant and investment work, state 'nothing seems to faze her or disturb her calm even approach to things'. Nicola Curle, who frequently advises education and local authority clients, and residential development project specialist Christopher Cubitt are also key partners.

Practice head(s):

Tessa Haskey

Other key lawyers:

Tracey Hughes; Joanna Nicholls; Nicola Curle; Christopher Cubitt

Testimonials

‘The team at Howes Percival is unique in the way they collaborate in bringing all their necessary experts to you as a new client in order to understand your needs and the best fit for you as a client and how you work. A diverse team with a clear understanding of billing and transparency allows for a good working relationship with someone always there to take a call or run through any issues.’

‘The team covers a range of specialisms and has individuals with key skills in property and planning law which suits our needs.’

‘Many of the lawyers within the practice are willing to work in an agile basis to assist with getting transactions over the line.’

‘In my experience with HP the difference factor in comparison to other law firms is how tangible the partners are, not just at the beginning of the project, but throughout.’

‘Joanna Nicholls takes personal interest throughout the project, she’s pragmatic and she gets the job done.’

‘Always available, at the end of a phone or email in these trying Covid times. We appreciate the difficulties of providing a service in the current situation, but Howes Percival have mastered the problem more effectively than other firms we have dealings with.’

‘We mainly work with Joanna Nicholls and Tessa Haskey. Joanna never ceases to amaze with the speed with which she can master a load of documentation dropped on her desk the night before and get to the heart of the matter. Nothing seems to faze her or disturb her calm even approach to things, she remains pragmatic and adept at achieving desired outcomes within commercially realistic timetables and budgets. Tessa always conveys the impression that you are her only client and that her considerable skills of pragmatic problem solving are solely reserved for you.’

Key clients

Hughes Electrical Limited

Flagship Housing Group

Lind AG Limited

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

  • Acting for Ford Retail Group on the acquisition of various Quick Lane and Part Plus Sites throughout England.
  • Advised Braintree District Council on all aspects of its acquisition and development of the commercial development site, Horizon 120.
  • Acting for Flagship Housing Developments Limited on the acquisition of sites for provision of social housing.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP 'always delivers to time and its ability to maintain corporate knowledge is exceptional'. The Norwich office is part of a large national real estate practice that frequently assists clients with large, complex and high-profile projects across the UK. Caroline Dean, who specialises in development work, and Carina Cobbold, whose work includes mixed-use developments and large-scale projects, are the lead partners. Anna Aldous, Zoe Cooke, Lisa-Marie Kennedy and the newly promoted David Siddall are among the group's principal associates with niche experience in corporate occupier work and affordable housing developments, among others.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Dean; Carina Cobbold

Other key lawyers:

Anna Aldous; Zoe Cooke; Lisa-Marie Kennedy; David Siddall

Testimonials

‘The team can provide legal support in a wide range of areas and it is rare for us to engage alternative firms. They always deliver to time and their ability to maintain corporate knowledge is exceptional.’

Key clients

Anglia Innovation Partners LLP (Norwich Research Park)

Archant Limited

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 & Otley College

Fitzmaurice Holdings Limited

Giraffe Concepts Limited

Group Lotus plc

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

Work highlights

  • Advised on the completion of a residential development sale for Jarrold & Sons Limited and associated companies to developer Hill Residential in connection with the key city centre site at Whitefriars Norwich.
  • Acting for a consortium of landowners – Kilverstone Trust – which is selling land in phases for a residential led development of circa 5,000 houses near Thetford known as Kingsfleet.
  • Advising Urban & Civic on the setting up and delivery of multiple large-scale mixed-use strategic sites in the region and across the UK.

Clapham & Collinge Solicitors

Clapham & Collinge Solicitors handles a range of real estate matters including buying and selling business premises, landlord and tenant issues, property finance matters and development work. The firm is 'efficient and helpful at all times' and clients praise the 'reliable and approachable team'. Legal executive Sarah Garlish leads the commercial property practice and has more than 15 years' experience in the area. Solicitor Molly Byrne 'deals with all matters efficiently and quickly'.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Garlish

Other key lawyers:

Molly Byrne

Testimonials

‘They were efficient and helpful at all times, from initial contact via telephone to conclusion. Availability, reassurance and courtesy was key in our dealings with them.’

‘Molly Byrne was very reassuring and dealt with all matters efficiently and quickly, eliminating unnecessary delays. She was confident in all matters, which in turn gave me confidence during the whole process. An excellent job well done.’

‘The main individual that I worked with was Sarah Garlish and I felt from the outset that we have a good rapport.’

‘Reliable and approachable team, responsive to all enquiries and follow up is prompt. We were well advised through each stage of the process and kept up to date on costs as the project progressed.’

‘Sarah Garlish has been very helpful in our recent development project, advising us of the pros and cons at each stage and has guided us through the process exceptionally well.’

Work highlights

  • Received several instructions from a commercial property client including handling notices to quit, lease renewals, new leases and tenancies at will.
  • Advised on the sale of a Norwich based property subject to a commercial lease and a residential AST.
  • Advised on the purchase of commercial premises in Norwich with commercial mortgage funding.

Fosters

Fosters is praised for its 'thoroughness in getting things absolutely right'. The real estate team has recently restructured, but the firm maintains a loyal client base across Norfolk that includes franchisees of a global restaurant business, as well as a holiday park operator, which recently made major purchases outside the East Anglia region. Practice head James Allen, who joined from Leathes Prior in early 2021, leads the team of lawyers, who are 'very approachable and knowledgeable in their respective fields'.

Practice head(s):

James Allen

Testimonials

‘A local firm, well-situated throughout Norfolk.’

‘All the partners are very approachable , and knowledgeable in their respective fields.’

‘Fosters has completed quite a large number of transactions for me. The thoroughness of Fosters getting things absolutely right is the key factor in the work carried out successfully for me. Where difficulties arose in legal matters the team was able to use consultants to iron these out.’

Key clients

Tingdene

Martin Francis Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Tingdene Limited on three chalet park developments in East Anglia including preparing the management company documentation and documentation/information on all chalet sales and re sales.
  • Advising and representing Martin Francis Limited on a variety of property sales, purchases, re-mortgages and lease variations.
  • Acting for an insolvency practitioner on the sale of a number of properties following the instigation of insolvency/liquidation proceedings.

Isadore Goldman

According to clients, 'no matter the light or heavy matters at play, the service and attention to detail is unwavering' at Isadore Goldman. The firm is best known for handling the real estate aspects of insolvencies, but has expanded the scope of its work. Robert Pyke has almost 25 years' experience in real estate matters and has built up a large roster of residential and commercial property developer clients; he recently advised Norfolk Homes Limited on the site acquisition for a 70-home development. Associate Lauren Toynton joined from Howes Percival LLP in late 2020.

Practice head(s):

Robert Pyke

Other key lawyers:

Lauren Toynton

Testimonials

‘Robert Pyke has built up a very strong Commercial Property Team. They are always accessible, client focused and provide a depth of knowledge. Pricing is also very competitive which stands this team ahead of its peers for value for money.’

‘Robert Pyke is an exceptional property lawyer. He is always available and he never sits on the fence and instead he takes a proactive view on any decisions to be made or issues to be addressed. His work is always of the highest quality and he has built up a team of good people around him. Always available at the end of the phone to advise and discuss. He is also prepared to take a practical view whilst making sure his clients best interests are protected at all times. Quite simply he is an exceptional lawyer and the best at what he does in the local market place.’

‘Robert Pyke’s team just get it done! No matter the light or heavy matters at play, the service and attention to detail is unwavering.’

‘Robert Pyke listens, solves and acts. As simple as that! No matter the depth or breadth put to him. Exceptional value for money with a can-do attitude with no drama. As good as it gets.’

Key clients

Norfolk Homes Limited

Agile Property Partners Limited

Windmill 004 Limited

T Blanchflower Carpentry Limited

Handelsbanken Plc

Wallblock Projects LLP

J O Sims Holdings Limited

Purnells Insolvency Practitioners

DFB Project Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising Norfolk Homes Limited on a residential site acquisition of a 70-plot development.
  • Advising Norfolk Homes Limited on a residential site acquisition of an 84-plot development together with subsequent sales.
  • Advising a local housebuilder on the set up of Phases 1 and 2 of a development site in Essex.

Spire Solicitors LLP

Spire Solicitors LLP has an extensive office network across Norfolk with its Norwich office acting as the main hub of its real estate practice, frequently advising on commercial, residential and mixed-use developments, as well as handling a range of transactions for clients in the social housing sector. Protima Sikdar-Wood is the lead partner and is 'always ready to assist with her wealth of knowledge'. Tim Chiverton has more than 30 years' experience in real estate work and provides an 'outstanding service', according to clients.

Practice head(s):

Protima Sikdar-Wood

Other key lawyers:

Tim Chiverton

Testimonials

‘I deal primarily with Protima Sikdar-Wood at the Spire Norwich Office. She is always ready to assist with her wealth of knowledge of the commercial market and happy to discuss any aspects with my clients or myself.’

‘Protima Sikdar-Wood is easy to deal with, efficient and knowledgeable.’

‘In this category I use Tim Chiverton. He gives outstanding service and has a knowledge of the commercial property part of my business that I find reassuring and supportive.’

Ashtons Legal

Ashtons Legal fields a large real estate practice across its network of offices in East Anglia and, while it is led from Cambridge, it has a strong presence in Norwich thanks to Sally Challinor. Her experience in banking work, environmental due diligence and commercial property transactions is sought after in landlord and tenant matters, investment transactions and development land transfers.

Other key lawyers:

Sally Challinor; Michael Fahy

Testimonials

‘Michael Fahy offers effective expertise, professionalism and a courteous manner.’