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Commercial property: elsewhere in the East Midlands

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: elsewhere in the East Midlands
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial property: elsewhere in the East Midlands clients in East Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


The ‘excellent’ team at Hewitsons ‘provides timely and pragmatic advice’ and handles a varied workload that ranges from commercial and residential development to real estate asset and portfolio management. The group is particularly experienced in the public sector and boot and shoe manufacturing industry, with motor dealerships and the healthcare sectors being additional areas of strength. The department also provides corporate support, assists with funding matters, and is adept at advising clients from the charities and mines and minerals sectors. Key figures include practice head David Wells and Patricia Kempson, who split their time between Northampton and Milton Keynes, as well as Northampton-based practitioners Marc Carter and Claire Howard-Amos. The team recently assisted the owners of Northlands Veterinary Hospital with the sale of a multi-site veterinary practice, involving the transfer of eight freehold properties and lease transfers. Stepnell Group, Cheaney Shoes and Medigold Health Consultancy are clients.

Howes Percival LLP’s key areas of expertise are strategic land acquisitions and disposals, including for investment funds, portfolio secured lending and refinancing work, residential and commercial development, and landlord and tenant work. While practice head Tessa Haskey is based in Norwich, Lucy Lord in Northampton and Leicester advisers Nicholas James and Stuart Burns form a solid East Midlands offering. Lord recently led advice for Mulberry Property Developments on the development and subsequent sales of six residential sites, including one at London Road, Bicester. The practice also acted for Winrise One on the land acquisition and development funding for a student apartment block. Other clients include Persimmon Homes and Henderson UK Property Fund.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP attracts praise for its ‘high level of knowledge and skill and ability to respond to the most complex of legal matters’. The group handles commercial development and residential development and promotion, with clients coming primarily from the retail and leisure and banking and finance sectors. Practice head and ‘great commercial lawyer’ Kate Hall has ‘a great eye for detail’. Caroline Smith and associate partners Darren Smith and Louise Ingram are also recommended. Martin Jones led a team assisting The Drummond Estate with a broad range of issues in relation to the creation of the New Lubbesthorpe area in Leicester, including the sale of land to Goodman Logistics for the construction of warehousing and distribution premises and an agreement for provision of management of open space for the entire site under a collaboration agreement with a sole provider of estate management services. Other clients include Godwin Developments, Domino’s Pizza and Persimmon Homes. Legal director Kelly Wood joined from Spearing Waite LLP. Mark Oldershaw joined Purecycle.

Spearing Waite LLP fields a ‘top-flight’ practice that is ‘extremely capable and very diligent’. The team acts for commercial and residential clients on portfolio management and restructuring transactions, real estate finance and plot sales, in addition to having a strong track record advising investor and developer clients. The practice was bolstered by the recruitment of planning and environment specialist Pritpal Singh Swarn from Wright Hassall LLP. Other key figures include senior partner and practice head Tom Bower and Karen Herbert, who are noted for their ‘knowledge and tenacity’; Richard Wyvill, who is ‘an experienced shopping centre expert’; and Satpaul Dard , who is ‘incredibly fast-working whilst maintaining an excellent level of detail and service’. Dard recently led advice for Blue Inc on the acquisition of the business and assets of A. Levy & Son involving 125 prime leasehold properties from the company’s administrators. Erin Vickers and Siobhan Smyth are also recommended.

Wilkin Chapman LLP’s ‘very good’ team excels in residential and commercial development work, social housing and landlord and tenant matters and draws on its key sector expertise in the agriculture and food, tourism and leisure and renewables and energy sectors to advise local and national clients. practice head Ruth Brewin, noted for her ‘exceptional in-depth knowledge’, recently led advice for Maltgrade on the pre-let of a trampoline dome and the letting of a Starbucks Outlet, both for the Meridian Point leisure complex. In other work, Peter Hanson acted for Lincoln Corn Exchange & Markets on the next phase of its proposed £70m redevelopment of part of Lincoln City Centre. Jonty Pearson and Rachael Perry are also noted. The client list also features Linden Homes, Cyden Homes and The Lincolnshire Co-Operative. Wendy Spalding-Siracusa joined from Sills & Betteridge LLP.

BHW Solicitors’ ‘superb’ team provides ‘first-class service’ and is especially well-versed in transactions in the retail and leisure sector; development projects; and leases for distribution and data centres. Investment property instructions, secured lending mandates and work for clients specialising in pension funds, including funding and refinance matters, are other areas of strength. The addition of Ian Sanders, who joined from Nelsons Solicitors Limited, and the launch of the firm’s specialist division for developer clients, has significantly strengthened the real estate practice. Beverley Merrell heads the practice, which includes the ‘very thorough and professional’ Kate Chorley and ‘very knowledgeable’ associate solicitor Eleanor Rattay. Julie White led advice for Next Holdings on the implementation of its national project to incorporate concessions into Next stores across the UK. Other clients include UK Mail Group, Lavendon Group and Natwest.

Freeths LLP offers ‘strength in depth’ and ‘excellent service’ from a team willing to ‘go the extra mile’. Key strengths include acquisitions and disposals, development and investment work, landlord and tenant advice, and portfolio management and real estate finance work. ‘Brilliant solicitor’ Sam Pancholi recently advised Cambridge & Counties Bank on the £15m refinancing of student accommodation, while legal director Harjit Saund acted for a buyer on the high-value acquisition of a large investment property. Simon Abbott heads the practice. Jelson and Santander UK are also clients.

Gateley Plc handles residential and commercial development and investment schemes, real estate finance, and mandates pertaining to student accommodation and senior living. Practice head Simon Taylor specialises in town centre regeneration, while Colin Gittus is particularly adept at property-related finance work. Recent highlights include acting for Simons Developments on the funding, construction and development of Portsmouth Retail Park. English Care Villages and Richardson Barberry are also clients.

Langleys Solicitors LLP has particular strength in mixed-use development work, but also handles mandates relating to student housing, commercial and residential investment and landlord and tenant work. Key figures include practice head Peter Horner, who is also a notary public, and the ‘excellent’ Sarah Miles. The practice recently advised Intuitive Standard on the transfer of a property portfolio into a limited company and acted for Melbourne Holdings on the purchase of two office blocks as investment properties, including one fully let with a telecoms mast. Jackson & Jackson Developments, Thames Ambulance Services and The University of Lincoln are additional clients.

Weightmans LLP focuses on commercial development and regeneration work, both specialisms of Midlands practice head Richard Osborn, who splits his time between Leicester and Birmingham. Secured lending is another area of expertise. Both Osborn and associate Catherine Bowen demonstrate particular strength in the retail sector, but a significant number of instructions also come from education sector clients. Recent highlights include assisting Strada Trading with the portfolio management of 43 Strada and Coppa Club restaurants, involving the assignment of several leases in addition to regears, variations, and restaurant conversions as well as new acquisitions and disposals. The Food Retailer Operations, Santander UK and the University of Leicester also feature on the client list.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited specialises in property finance, residential development and property work in the charities and education sectors. James Coningsby, the main adviser in the Leicester office, is especially well-versed in urban development work, but the team also fields a strong practice in refinancing work. Led by Coningsby, the group recently advised Abode Hallam on the disposal of a £32m PRS Development in Sheffield by way of forward funding sale, leveraging the team’s construction and planning expertise. In other work, the department acted for GS Developments on its £2.35m acquisition of a development site at Abbey Meadows in Leicester. Aimrok Holdings, Shalis and Kenworth also instructed the team. Associate Ian Sanders joined BHW Solicitors.

‘Efficient and prompt’, Roythornes Solicitors acts for a mix of commercial clients, landowners, developers and investors, and stands out from competitors through its expertise in the energy sector. Jo Ladds heads the practice and recently acted for a national housebuilder on the property due diligence related to a multimillion-pound joint venture transaction, involving the transfer of thirteen residential development schemes into the joint venture.

Wilson Browne Solicitors fields a ‘very good’ team that handles a broad spectrum of work, ranging from acquisitions and disposals to agricultural developments. Practice head Tom Warrender is recommended alongside Nina Wilson , who is noted for her ‘eye for detail and timely responses’. Recent work includes advising Market Harborough Building Society on multiple secured lending matters, totalling a portfolio value of £7.4m. Other clients include Allied Irish Bank and Beeches Farm.

Commercial property: Nottingham and Derby

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: Nottingham and Derby
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial property: Nottingham and Derby clients in East Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


‘Always quick to respond and assist’, Browne Jacobson LLP’s team attracts praise for its ‘good market knowledge’ and ‘practical advice’. The group is noted for its strength in the retail and distribution, luxury, development and housing, public property, education and health sectors, handling a wide spectrum of issues, ranging from project developments to real estate finance. Highlights included advising Kevin Wheatcroft on the sale of Donington Race Track from Wheatcroft Properties to Motorsport Vision, including obtaining the necessary competition clearance and assisting with multiple long leases and options. Sarah Parkinson led on that matter and is praised for her ‘excellent vision and commercial acumen’. Barry Sully, who jointly heads the practice with the Birmingham-based Dominic Swift, led the team acting for Westerman Homes on the completion of funding arrangements, the acquisition of third-party land interests and disposal agreements with several national housebuilders in the context of the client’s joint venture with Nottinghamshire County Council and a Jersey-based investor regarding a development in Mansfield. Walgreens Boots Alliance and Enfield Council are also clients. Also recommended are Suki Tonks, who was recently promoted to partner, and Claire Burns, who was promoted to legal director.

Delivering ‘excellent service all-around’, Freeths LLP is praised for its ‘outstanding depth of knowledge’. The practice is active across the full range of commercial property mandates, and has experienced a recent uptick in real estate finance work for education and care sector clients. Key figures include Nottingham practice head Guy Winfield, Emna Sfar-Gandoura, who joined from Shoosmiths LLP , Gary Reynolds (an ‘excellent communicator and negotiator’) and  ‘exceptional lawyer’ James Clamp . Also recommended are James Hart, Gillian Roberts (‘a lateral thinker who finds solutions on her feet’), Heather Davies, Jon Smart, Adam Watson and Isobel Radford, who is noted for her ‘excellent pragmatic and commercial approach’. Williamson advised Lucan Gray on the sale of the Custard Factory and surrounding land to Oval Real Estate. Other highlights included advising BDW Trading on the proposed purchase of a site for 1100 new houses in Bingham from the Crown Estate, involving a planning permission requiring the building of a new school and covering the costs for the expansion of an existing school; and acting for One Housing Group on a development agreement and thirty-year institutional leases for four luxury care homes in Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire. Other clients include Tarmac, Chancerygate and Bellway Homes.

Gateley Plc’s ‘efficient and professional’ team ‘always adopts a commercial outlook’ and offers ‘excellent service’. ‘Extremely competent and knowledgeable’, the group undertakes a broad spread of work, but is especially active in investment and development schemes, the healthcare sector, pension scheme work and real estate finance, with added expertise in distressed property. Practice head Adam Youatt, whose team includes senior associate Elly Duggins and associate Charlotte Chapman, ‘translates the requirements of clients into legal documents with flair and ability’ and recently led advice for Bildurn on the high-profile letting of a new retail unit in the centre of Nottingham’s retail district. Custodian REIT instruced the team to assist with the acquisition of a multi-let retail park in Plymouth. The client list also features Fresenius Medical Renal Services and Guildhall Estates.

Geldards LLP is praised for providing ‘pragmatic advice that is tailored to the client’s desired outcome’. The ‘very responsive and knowledgeable’ team acts for public and private sector clients across a range of commercial property mandates, including residential and commercial development, large-scale regeneration projects, lease renewals and property finance. Graham Banks heads the practice, which includes the ‘resolute and pragmatic’ Tiffany Cloynes, who is noted for ‘her vast experience in the public sector’, the ‘experienced and persuasive’ Heather Dixon, and Jamie Gordon, who has a particular focus on the electricity distribution sector. Recent instructions include advising Leicester City Council on the first phase of its Waterside regeneration scheme and, under the lead of David Watson, assisting BioCity Group with the acquisition and development of the Discovery Building. Walgreens Boots Alliance, Rushcliffe Developments and Office Depot are also recommended.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s practice provides ‘prompt efficient service’ to clients active in commercial development and residential promotion and development, as well as clients in the energy, banking and finance and healthcare and senior living sectors. The ‘very experienced and commercial' Brendan Walsh heads the practice, which includes associate partners Victoria Bovington and Peter Dilks and legal director Sarah Gunton who is noted for her ‘ability to get the deal done’. In a major highlight, Walsh led advice for Everards Brewery on the sale of the former Brewery site at Castle Acres to Wexford Retail as part of the development of the site into the largest retail scheme planned in the East Midlands. It also acted for The Christian Guild on the procurement of an unusual permissive consent for residential development in St Ives. Also on the client roster are Wilson Bowden Developments RBS, and new clients Motorpoint, Kingsmoor Power and Allied Irish Bank.

Shoosmiths LLP acts mainly for corporate occupiers, developers and investors and is especially active in large portfolio acquisition and disposal transactions as well as in joint venture transactions involving off-shore structuring and alternative investment. It also assists with property finance as well as portfolio management. Key figures include Sean Burke, retail expert Ellis Gardener-Browne, retail and leisure specialist Matthew Kenwood, David Morley and Deborah Gordon Brown. Ann Summers, Fulham Shore and Mountain Warehouse are clients. Emna Sfar-Gandoura joined Freeths LLP .

Flint Bishop LLP has a strong development focus and primarily acts for clients from the retail, leisure, industrial and residential property sectors, in addition to advising schools and colleges. Recent highlights include advising Clowes Developments (UK) on the development and subsequent sale of a large storage and distribution depot, and assisting longstanding client Broadlands Wolverhampton with the £11m investment sale of an office development . Ian Beardmore heads the team, which includes Beverley Simms, Christine Owen and Lucy Carter.

Fraser Brown acts for a mix of individuals, SMEs and domestic and international PLCs on sales and acquisitions, as well as lease and development work. Practice head Anthony Ogley is experienced in development and land promotion agreements as well as site acquisitions for residential, commercial and mixed use development. Other key figures include Chris Barnes and Graham Green, who is now a consultant. Peter Thornley retired.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited’s core areas include banking and property finance, property instructions in the healthcare sector and residential development. It is also active in office and retail matters, including refinancings, acquisitions of industrial property and landlord and tenant work. Recent highlights include advising Fairgrove Homes and Redrow Homes East Midlands on residential development matters. Practice head Riaz Dudhia and Martin Jinks are the main advisers. Other clients include Cambridge & Counties Bank and Giant UK.

Praised for its ‘superb business acumen’, Actons' real estate practice handles commercial and development transactions, landlord and tenant work and secured lending matters, especially for banks. The group also provides property support to corporate transactions. The team is led by the ‘extremely hardworking and dedicated’ Amanda Gordon and includes the ‘extremely knowledgeable’ Caroline Pearson. Recent highlights include assisting a client with strategic advice and documentation drafting for alternative funding methods to finance a multimillion-pound redevelopment of residential apartments, and assisting a private family trust with the sale of more than 200 acres of agricultural land to a local developer. The Framework Housing Association is a client.

Austin Moore & Partners LLP is praised for providing ‘impeccable service’ on commercial property sales and acquisitions, investment property management matters, property developments and property finance. It also handles landlord and tenant issues. Highlights included advising Kennelpak on the property aspects of the sale of Kennelpak to Enact, involving the restructuring of multiple investment properties and lease renewals; and acting for Instarmac Group on the property aspects of its acquisition of Aztec Aerosols. Managing partner Vik Moothia heads the practice, which includes recently promoted partner Rachael Briggs. Other clients include 200 Degrees Coffee Shops, Cardzone and Paragon Property Development Company.

The ‘highly professional’ Smith Partnership offers ‘excellent business acumen’ and ‘great depth of expertise’. Key figures include practice head Jason Wood, who has particular expertise in the healthcare sector, and the ‘very supportive’ Rashid Ali, who handles commercial property work for pharmacies. The group's expertise covers acquisitions and disposals, property finance and development work, landlord and tenant instructions and corporate support work. The client list features a major pub company and several players from the food and drink industry as associate Tara Harding has carved out a niche in licensing work.


Index of tables

  1. Construction
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Construction clients in East Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


The ‘excellent’ Browne Jacobson LLP provides ‘advice that is, without exception, timely and insightful’. Between the ‘insightful’ Michael Sadler and Peter Westlake, the team covers an array of construction mandates, both contentious and non-contentious, with recent highlights including advice for J Coffey Construction on the negotiation of a £50m trade contract package on the Battersea Power Station project to carry out work on the four main towers. Additionally, the group acted for Miller Birch on the development of the Nottingham City Centre Guildhall site, advising on the construction documents strategy to cater for the varying demands of potential purchasers. Mace, Willmott Dixon and Clegg Group are also clients.

Freeths LLP’s ‘commercially minded’ team acts for a largely national client base. Newly minted practice head Chris Holwell took over the role from Guy Berwick, who is now national head of dispute management. Amy Morley is another key practitioner. The team advised ALDI on the construction of its network of supermarkets and the corresponding regional distribution centres, involving both new-builds and extensions. It also acted for Scape Group on the review of the legal terms of the National Construction Framework Contract and the Regional Construction Framework, involving NEC3 and NEC4-related advice. Tarmac, Gleeds and Novartis Pharmaceuticals are also clients.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP fields a particularly strong contentious practice, encompassing adjudication, Technology and Construction Court litigation, mediation and other alternative dispute resolution methods. The team also handles non-contentious matters such as risk management in procurement contexts. The group is especially active for developers, contractors, clients from the healthcare sector and professional practices such as architects. Practice head Alex Smith recently joined forces with real estate colleague Kevin Sumner to advise Code Students on the development of a large new student accommodation scheme in Coventry, including the negotiation of the construction documentation. Other highlights included advising Bildurn on the development of an extensive new commercial office development in Nottingham, involving advice on the demolition and the building contract. The client list also features Zone Developments, Lloyds and new client Rotherwood Group.

Buckles Solicitors LLP specialises in matters related to social housing, student accommodation, engineering and renewable energy, acting for a mix of private and public sector clients that includes developers, contractors and sub-contractors, funders, education players and commercial occupiers. James Coppinger heads the practice. Hill Partnerships and Taylor French Developments are clients.

The ‘excellent and professional’ practice at Flint Bishop LLP is praised for its ability to ‘act as an extension of internal commercial teams’. Sector strengths include energy, retail infrastructure, leisure and education. ‘Very responsive’ practice head Andrew Perry ‘has the ability to focus on the crucial points and risks’ and is especially well-versed in contentious work and procurement advice.

Spearing Waite LLP’s expertise encompasses domestic and European procurement contracts, especially in the tourism and leisure sector, retail development projects, and renewable energy projects, with an emphasis on anaerobic digester plants. Rail sector projects and international engineering contracts are other focus areas for the practice, which is headed by Piet van Gelder . Recent work includes advising Bernhards Sports Surfaces on a final account claim in the Technology and Construction Court in relation to the installation of a 3G artificial soccer pitch at Whyteleafe Football Club, Surrey. It also acted for Bailgate Court on the negotiation and drafting of construction contracts for a residential conversion project. Other clients include Submarine Manufacturing & Products and new client SIG.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited’s ‘very strong’ team ‘has an excellent understanding of the various dispute resolution mechanisms used in the construction industry’, and also handles non-contentious matters. The client list includes contractors and specialist sub-contractors, funders, and developers as well as professional service providers. Recent non-contentious work includes advising Abode Hallam on the construction aspects of the disposal of a £32m PRS Development in Sheffield. The ‘highly responsive’ and ‘highly practical’ Cathryn Selby leads the team.


Index of tables

  1. Environment
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Environment clients in East Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


‘A leading environmental law firm’, the ‘first class’ Browne Jacobson LLP handles a vast array of matters, spanning regulatory, governance and enforcement work, with niche expertise in national countryside and nature conservation. The group includes ‘hugely knowledgeable and experienced’ practice head Richard Barlow and the ‘excellent’ Laura Hughes. Barlow recently led advice for the Marine Management Organisation in relation to the grant of a marine licence to Dover Harbour Board for the extraction of gravel from Goodwin Sands to be used for construction works at Dover port, a contentious matter because of the potential presence of multiple crashed aircraft from World War 2 in the extraction zone. In other work, the group acted for Blaby District Council on the planning application for the redevelopment of Everards Brewery Site, including an environmental impact assessment regarding highways, archeology, flooding and air quality. The client list features a large number of public sector clients such as government bodies, non-departmental public bodies, local authorities, fire authorities, NHS trusts and national parks, as well as corporate clients and NGOs. Clients include The London Electric Vehicle Company, Natural England and the Welsh Government.

The ‘very assured and reliable’ team at Cartwright King acts for individuals and businesses, specialising in investigations and prosecutions by the Environment Agency and the environmental health and trading standards departments of local authorities as part of the firm’s wider regulatory offering. ‘Highly experienced and impressively robust’ practice head Andrew Brammer and ‘amazingly efficient’ solicitor Deborah Robinson are the key practitioners.

Freeths LLP ‘approachable and knowledgeable’ department focuses on litigation and dispute management, especially in relation to claims arising from noise, odour or pollution, and environmental permitting and regulatory compliance, including waste management. Clients come mainly from the minerals, waste, construction and house-building industries, but also include governmental and non-governmental agencies and environmental consultancies. Tarmac Aggregates, ALDI and new client Interxion Carrier Hotel are on the client roster. The recent caseload saw an increase in defences of statutory noise nuisance and in support work for the firm's corporate and real estate teams in transactions involving environmental constraints or liabilities. Practice head Emma Tattersdill  ‘has a superb knowledge in the mineral planning and environmental sector’ which she combines with ‘a very pragmatic and commercial approach to litigation’.


Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Planning clients in East Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


The ‘excellent’ Browne Jacobson LLP has a strong transactional focus and is especially adept at handling work on the intersection between planning and environmental law, such as the planning aspects of the Habitats Regulations. Joint practice heads Richard Barlow and Laura Hughes form the heart of the practice, with associate planner Stephen Coult providing key support. In addition to advising Wm Morrison Supermarkets on various arrangements required for the opening of a new supermarket on the site of the former Abergavenny Cattle Market, the team also assisted North East Derbyshire District Council on its Local Plan, involving advice on the anticipated changes to the National Planning Policy Framework. Other clients include the Homes and Communities Agency, City of Lincoln Council and Defence Infrastructure Organisation. Anita Bradley left the firm.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s ‘excellent’ team is ‘renowned and very well-respected’ for its ‘extensive knowledge’ and ‘strength in depth’. The house-building sector generates a significant portion of the group’s caseload, but the team also excels in advising clients from the education, energy and healthcare sectors. The practice is led by ‘top planning solicitor’ Simon Stanion, who splits his time between Birmingham and Leicester and whose ‘excellent tactical judgment and great client manner’ makes him ‘wonderful to work with’. Other key figures include the ‘knowledgeable, thorough and approachable’ Abigail Walters, associate partner Richard Thurling and John Edmond, ‘a giant of the Midlands planning scene’ who ‘possesses tactical wisdom that others could only dream of’. ‘Efficient’ associate partner Paul Wakefield recently led advice to Barratt David Wilson Homes on the development of a sustainable urban extension in Cambridge, the Darwin Green. Avant Homes joined North West Leicestershire District Council and Cadent Gas on the client roster.

Noted for its ‘commercial awareness’ and ‘pragmatism’, Freeths LLP ‘provides an excellent level of service’. The group specialises in large-scale developments, with clear emphasis on residential, retail and commercial mixed use, including town centre and urban regeneration projects. ‘Very experienced’ practice head Christopher Waumsley, noted for his ‘considerable knowledge and experience’, and Paul Brailsford, both chartered town planners, are the main advisers in the mixed solicitor-town planner group. Waumsley’s recent caseload includes advising Newton Nottingham on complex section 106 negotiations involving requirements for a bridge over the A46 dual carriageway, new schools and other community facilities. Barratt David Wilson Homes, IOM Consortium and Henry Boot Developments are also clients.

Gateley Plc’s ‘very good’ team primarily acts for clients from the housing industry, including large national developers and regional specialists. Local centre schemes, commercial use work and car fleet storage are other areas of strength. Andrew Piatt leads the team from Manchester, with the ‘extremely thorough and logical’ Robert Waite, whose ‘knowledge of planning law and application to real projects is immense’, and associate Gareth Davies as the main Nottingham advisers. The duo recently acted for Bloor Homes on the planning conditions to deal with mine water, a Community Infrastructure Levy exemption and a section 106 unilateral undertaking regarding a legacy site at Station Road Deepcar Sheffield with a planning permission for housing.

Property litigation

Index of tables

  1. Property litigation
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Property litigation clients in East Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


The ‘thorough and professional experts’ at Browne Jacobson LLP are praised for providing ‘personalised services tailored to specific requirements’. The practice acts for a varied client base consisting of a mix of retail sector clients, central and local government agencies, large landlords and healthcare sector clients such as NHS trusts. While Tim Rayner and Pamela Shepherd, both in Birmingham, took over as practice heads from Mark Aldrich, Aldrich remains the key adviser in Nottingham where the addition of associate Louise Read from Buckles Solicitors LLP bolstered the group’s strength in retail sector landlord and tenant work. A recent highlight was assisting the Homes and Communities Agency with the removal of trespassers from a land parcel. Walgreens Boots Alliance, British Gas and House of Fraser are also clients.

Freeths LLP fields a team of ‘experts in their field, able to apply knowledge to issues with a great degree of realism and commerciality’. The group handles a wide-ranging caseload including lease renewals, dilapidation claims, break clause and service charge disputes and easement and covenant matters. ‘Dynamic, ambitious, but approachable’ practice head Paul Tomkins ‘has a calm and considered approach’ and often joins forces with ‘hardworking’ senior associate Edward Pickard who is ‘fearless when it comes to difficult cases’. Pickford and Tomkins acted alongside ‘methodical and industrious’ associate Beth Jenkins for a national supermarket retailer on the grant of a new lease for supermarket premises with break rights as the main point of contention. Other clients include Travis Perkins Group, Co-operative Group and Tarmac.

Geldards LLP predominantly handles landlord and tenant disputes across a broad sector spectrum, with the motor trade, retail and utilities sectors generating an especially large volume of instructions. Mark Hacking is the main contact.

‘A top-class regional firm’, Howes Percival LLP acts for landlords and tenants alike in portfolio management work and lease renewals and exits. Satnam Chayra and director Jane Bloomer both specialise in this area, while practice head Geraint Davies handles a range of property-related contractual disputes including lease disputes and renewals, covenant disputes, dilapidation claims and licence issues. The group’s client roster includes large corporates alongside owner-managed businesses, investment funds, developers and private individuals such as Welcome Break Group, Nampak Plastics Europe and C Brewer & Sons.

Flint Bishop LLP provides ‘an excellent service level with swift response times’ and delivers ‘good commercial and practical advice’ to land owners, developers and commercial landlords. The key contacts are Qamer Ghafoor, who recently became the firm’s chief executive, and Andrew Cochrane, who is now chairman and senior partner. Nick Wells and Lorna Trueman also have experience in property disputes. Wells and Cochrane advised Marston’s on more than 100 different litigation matters, primarily regarding landlord and tenant disputes, including forfeitures, injunctions and 1954 Act renewals. Ultimate Insurance Solutions is another client.

Fraser Brown’s portfolio of expertise includes 1954 Act renewals, especially opposed renewals and court determinations; and landlord and tenant disputes, including dilapidation claims. Practice head Don Peel ‘provides very clear, unambiguous advice’. ‘Diligent and trustworthy’ associate Chris Chan is ‘very approachable’. In addition to assisting a client with a notice to repair, involving two headleases and a sub-letting, the group also undertook a review of the entire national property portfolio of a large charity and advised on multiple break notices in order to rationalise the rented stock of offices as well as on a dilapidations claims.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited offers ‘excellent overall service’ and boasts broad property litigation expertise, ranging from landlord and tenant disputes to developer property disputes, and issues pertaining to planning, and compulsory purchase orders. Practice head Simon Waterfield ‘has a calm and pragmatic approach to matters’ and has carved out a niche in public and private rights of way disputes on top of his strong record in landlord and tenant work. Simon Trees recently represented a claimant business in relation to commercial premises purchased subject to a right of way by easement, involving issues regarding the obstruction and re-opening of a passageway.

Spearing Waite LLP combines ‘great service’ with ‘excellent advice’ and is particularly active for national retail clients, especially in landlord and tenant disputes, but also undertakes work for property developers and investors, house builders, charities and high-net-worth individuals. While Michael Lawrence left the firm, new practice head Rachael McConaghie joined from Sherrards Solicitors LLP and recently led advice for a retail client on a claim against a landlord following the release of asbestos in one of its stores as a consequence of ceiling repair works. Travis Perkins, Dunelm and Glenstone Property are also clients.

The ‘excellent’ Brady Solicitors focuses on disputes in the property management and leasehold sector and acts for a largely national client base that includes new clients Westbury Residential and Savills in addition to long-standing clients BNS, Atlantis Estates and Block Management. Practice head Carmela Inguanta  ‘has great depth of knowledge in property-related matters, which she combines with a pragmatic approach to legal problems, ensuring that the best possible results are obtained’. The specialist property management firm acted for a client in disputes surrounding a high-end residential development in Canary Wharf, involving service charge disputes, difficult covenants and a multitude of overseas leaseholders.

Smith Partnership is noted for its niche expertise in brewery-related litigation, a specialism of practice head Russell Davies who ‘provides great all-around support' and is able to assist with a broad gamut of property disputes, including boundary disputes, possession proceedings, rights of way issues and lease terminations. Bally Atwal’s recent work includes acting for a commercial landlord in multiple matters regarding a property portfolio consisting of retail units, office space and residential property, involving rent recovery in addition to boundary and repossession issues.

Social housing

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Social housing clients in East Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Browne Jacobson LLP's social housing sector expertise covers property and development work, as well as matters involving banking, planning, environment and construction. Key figures include practice head Barry Sully and recently promoted partner Gabor Taller. The practice acted for Local Spaceon a two-tranche private placement raising £75m for the purpose of supporting the client’s plan to build or acquire 800 new homes by 2020. It also advised Westleigh Partnerships on a scheme to deliver 270 new homes on a site near Leeds. Waterloo Housing Group and Metropolitan Housing Trust are also clients.

Freeths LLP’s wide-ranging expertise spans not only property development, securitisation, planning, construction and procurement work, but also extends to housing management governance and employment, especially for registered providers and arms-length management organisations. It also handles shared ownership sales. Gary Reynolds leads the team, which recently experienced an uptick in golden brick development agreements and alternative funding structures such as joint ventures; recent highlights include advising Nottingham Community Housing Association on a development which the client acquired jointly with the local council, involving separate golden brick agreements, but separate infrastructure. Matthew Grocock is also noted. Bellway Homes, Longhurst & Havelok Homes and Greensquare Group are also clients.

Wilkin Chapman LLP advises registered providers and developers on the property aspects of social housing, but also on governance issues and housing management matters. The team is adept at sales and acquisitions, acting for both regional and national clients, but with a strong client concentration in the East Midlands. Peter Hanson led advice for Boston Mayflower on its acquisition of 62 affordable housing dwellings on a new mixed-use scheme by Chestnut Homes, structured as a golden brick agreement and involving the provision of tailored transaction documents for these first sales of the new development. Other key figures include Rachael Perry and commercial property head Ruth Brewin. Galliford Try, Linden Homes and Cyden Homes are also clients.

Wilson Browne Solicitors ‘holds a great amount of industry knowledge and can be wholly relied on to guide clients through any arising matters or legislative changes’.  Tom Warrender heads the team, which includes Jennifer Laskey ‘who goes above and beyond’. The practice acts for private and professional landlords, including local authorities and housing associations, on work ranging from tenancy issues, arrears, demotion and possession instructions to anti-social behaviour orders and high-value acquisitions. Recent highlights include advising EMH Housing and Regeneration on the acquisition of a site in Wellingborough, involving the purchase of the land and a design and build contract, and securing a warrant for eviction on behalf of Spire Homes against tenants on the grounds of breach of a previous suspended possession order relating to the management of the tenancy. Rockingham Forest Housing Association also features on the client roster.

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