Commercial property: elsewhere in the East Midlands in East Midlands
Gateley Plc's practice has become synonymous with advising developers on large, flagship regional and national development projects, under the leadership of practice head Simon Taylor. Its work covers a wide range of developments, including those involving residential, hotel, industrial, retail and student schemes. Town centre regeneration projects are another strong suit, with Taylor being a noted name in this area. The firm's credentials in the development space have been further enhanced by the hire of construction partner Piet van Gelder from Spearing Waite LLP. Colin Gittus assists clients with property finance, quality asset management and letting work, and property-related support in corporate transactions.
Other key lawyers:
Clowes Developments (UK) Limited
Simons Developments Limited
Barberry Developments Limited
Concierge 3 Limited
Southampton City Council
Certas Energy UK Limited
- Advised Clowes Developments on pre-letting, construction and forward funding sale of Units 2 & 3 Capacity Dartford to M&G and Standard Life.
- Advised Simons Developments on a joint venture with Salhia Investments in relation to a strategic development site at Lolworth near Cambridge for a new business park.
- Acted for Barberry Developments on the sale and development of approximately 800 student rooms in Bishopsgate Coventry.
- Acted for Concierge 3 on the development, pre-letting and funding of a 620-room hotel complex at phase 3 North Wharf Gardens and major pre-lets to Staycity and Premier Inn.
Hewitsons provides full-service support on all aspects of commercial property work, and while its strong profile in the Northampton market sees it attract mandates from boot and shoe manufacturers, the firm also has notable specialisms in the motor dealer, healthcare and education arenas. Work for public sector clients is another pillar of the practice. Team head David Wells has vast experience of investment acquisitions and sales (particularly in the office and light industrial sectors), and also commercial landlord and tenant matters. Marc Carter is recommended for his commercial property development expertise. Other standout individuals include Patricia Kempson and legal director Claire Howard-Amos.
‘Able to understand the key issues and practical concerns.’
Mansfield College, Oxford
United Learning Group
The Trustees of the Wilson Foundation (Charity)
IMT Aviation Limited
Cheaney Shoes Limited
Medigold Health Consultancy Limited
Bedford College (FE)
Ardent Hire Solutions
A W James
Levitt Bernstein Associates Limited
Wimbledon Property Holdings Ltd /Marchmont Investment Management Limited
Bright Horizons Family Solutions Limited
XPO Transport Solutions UK Limited
Community Spaces Northampton (charity)
- Acted for United Church Schools Foundation on the acquisition of two independent schools, one in Hertfordshire and one in Surrey.
- Assisted the Wilson Foundation with acquiring a residential outdoor centre for school children from a local authority.
- Acted on a significant pre-letting agreement whereby AW James Limited, a major property company in the Milton Keynes area, contracted with a wholly owned subsidiary of Regus, in respect of over 47,000 square feet of office accommodation, backed by a multimillion-pound guarantee from the Regus parent company.
- Advised on a significant pre-letting agreement whereby AW James Limited, a major property company in the Milton Keynes area, contracted to let nearly 20,000 square feet of office premises to Shoosmiths solicitors.
- Advised Levitt Bernstein Associates on the leasehold acquisition of 11,000 square feet of newly redeveloped professional office accommodation in north London.
Howes Percival LLP's East Midlands practice is spearheaded in Northampton and Leicester by Lucy Lord and the 'ultra-commercial' Nicholas James respectively. It handles a varied workload, including investment fund acquisitions and disposals, residential and commercial development, property finance (including portfolio lending and refinancing), and landlord and tenant work. In addition to James, Stuart Burns is another key partner in Leicester. Alexandra Kirkwood and Erica Gradus are highly regarded associates in Northampton.
Lucy Lord (Northampton); Nicholas James (Leicester)
‘Howes Percival is excellent at covering all the aspects of work undertaken by an investment and development property company. Complex lettings, land transactions and acquisitions are handled with great skill and practicality‘
‘Nicholas James is ultra-commercial and Stuart Burns is superb at detail‘
Mulberry Property Developments Limited
Mulberry Commercial Developments Limited
Santander UK plc
HSBC UK Bank plc
C Brewer & Sons Limited
Motorvogue (Northampton) Limited
Davidsons Developments Limited
Charles Street Buildings Group
Henderson UK Property Fund
Persimmon Homes Limited
Welcome Break Group Limited
In ‘n’ Out Centres Limited
- Acted for Mulberry Property Developments on the estate set up and subsequent plot sales for eight of the client’s residential developments in the Midlands.
- Acted for Mulberry Commercial Developments as the buyer of a commercial development site in Bedford, acquired by way of sub-sale, for £5m.
- Acted for developer landlord Mulberry Commercial Developments on the grant of a development agreement for lease and lease in respect of a 3.5 acre site housing a 60,000 sq ft commercial building with associated office space.
- Acted for a lender on the finance of a scheme for the redevelopment of a town centre conservation area in a prominent market town in Northamptonshire which included the conversion of listed buildings and the development of new residential, commercial and retail units.
- Acted for a shoe manufacturer on the ten-year letting of a retail unit in a premier retail arcade in Central London.
Knights PLC's acquisition of Spearing Waite LLP in 2018 saw it pick up the firm's commercial property team, which is led by Tom Bower. The group covers commercial and residential property matters throughout England and Wales. In the development space, it excels in work involving large retail, care home, office, warehouse and residential development schemes. On the investment side, it also demonstrates strong capabilities in office and retail portfolio acquisitions and disposals, and provides ongoing support on portfolio management and restructuring (Satpaul Dard specialises in portfolio management in the retail sector). Real estate finance and dispute resolution are also cornerstones of the practice. Former partner Erin Vickers left to join Fraser Brown after five years at the firm.
Other key lawyers:
Shakespeare Martineau LLP has a particularly strong track record in residential development and promotion, where it acts for strategic land promoters, housebuilders and PRS providers, among others; practice head Louise Ingram and legal director Ian Slinger specialise in this area, advising on strategic acquisitions and disposals of land nationally. The firm also has a first-rate reputation in the commercial development sphere, where its work covers retail, leisure, warehouse, office and industrial developments; Martin Jones is a name to note in this area. Elsewhere, Kate Hall has many years of experience of secured lending transactions and insolvency-related property work. Portfolio management (for SMEs and family businesses) is another area of strength of the firm. Kevin Sumner is another key figure.
Parkers of Leicester Limited
Parker Strategic Land Limited
Countryside Plc/Westleigh Partnerships
David Wilson Homes Limited
Avant Homes Limited
Mattioli Woods Plc (and their pension schemes)
CJC Development Company Limited
Royal Bank of Scotland Plc
Lloyds Bank Plc
Whitworth Brothers and Whitworths Holdings Limited
CODE Students Limited
Archaylen Property Limited
Artisan Press Holdings Limited
NIS Signs Leicester Limited
- Advising the Drummond Trust on the next phase of residential land sales at New Lubbesthorpe, valued in the region of £40m.
- Acted for The Hunny Pot Day Nursery on its £800,000 acquisition of a redevelopment site.
- Advising on the acquisition and development arm of national contractor Winvic Construction Limited on the acquisition, construction and development of an out-of-town site adjacent to the A14/A1 junction in Cambridgeshire.
- Advised Godwin Developments on the speculative acquisition of an out-of-town site in Rutland with development potential to create a modern multi-let roadside retail park adjacent to the A1.
- Acting for two private landowners as part of a collaboration of six private landowners in selling land for a residential development of 450 houses to BDW Trading Limited.
Wilkin Chapman LLP, which acts for regional and national clients, is particularly noted for its strengths in the housing and development space, where it undertakes a significant amount of work for developers; Rachael Perry is the lead adviser to Galliford Try, one of the firm's largest clients. In addition, the firm also has a sizeable social housing client base. Led by practice head Ruth Brewin, the team also has a strong profile in commercial property matters with a nexus to the energy and renewables, education and academies, and tourism and leisure industries. Peter Hanson and Jonty Pearson are other key figures in Lincoln. Long-serving partner Martyn Chilvers retired during 2018, while Wendy Spalding-Siracusa, whose practice is split between Grimsby and Lincoln, came on board from Sills & Betteridge LLP.
Ruth Brewin (Grimsby)
‘The firm has great strength in depth and a good team ethos‘
‘Peter Hanson is very experienced and knowledgeable, and is supported by a diligent team‘
‘The team’s strengths are its insightfulness, dogged determination and ability to work to tight deadlines in a transaction‘
‘The team is very down-to-earth‘
‘The firm strikes a good balance between modern efficiency and a personal approach to client contact/relations‘
‘Ruth Brewin is not only an outstanding property solicitor, but also has great interpersonal skills and is a pleasure to work with. She also has good common sense and offers practical advice, which is always based on legal necessities. Her negotiation skills are excellent and she always seems to remain calm when under pressure‘
Linden Homes/Galliford Try Group
Cyden Homes Limited
LACE Housing Association
Aga Rangemaster Group Plc
The Brocklesby Estate/Earl of Yarborough
Acis Group Limited
M F Strawson
Ashover Estates Limited
Lincoln Corn Exchange Markets (1991) Limited/ Lincolnshire Co-operative Limited
Castle Square Developments
- Acted for Lincolnshire Co-operative on the letting of retail premises in Lincoln city centre to Lakeland, part of a flagship city centre redevelopment scheme.
- Acted for a landowner on the negotiation and exchange of conditional agreement of residential development land with a national housebuilder.
- Acted for a developer on the refinance of a landmark luxury residential development in the centre of the historical quarter of Lincoln.
- Acted for Leverton Farms on the sale of land in a village near Lincoln to a national housebuilder.
- Acting for a landlord developer on the development agreement for lease and lease to the Botanist (a national bar/restaurant operator), which is taking a 9,000 square foot unit in the next phase of the £70m redevelopment of part of Lincoln town centre.
The growth of BHW Solicitors' practice has been reflected by an uptick in the firm's secured lending work for institutional lenders and peer-to-peer lending platforms; in a related development, secured lending specialist Kate Burlinson joined as an associate solicitor from Spearing Waite LLP. Development-related work is another core part of the practice; Ian Sanders heads up this part of the offering, and advises developers on all aspects of development projects across the UK. Lucy Ward, who (like Burlinson) has joined from Spearing Waite LLP, leads a new specialist plot sales team, which acts for developers and housebuilders. The firm also acts for plot purchasers in relation to new build developments. Elsewhere, Beverley Merrell heads up a group,which advises pension schemes on property-related matters. The firm also assists investors with portfolio transactions (office blocks, business parks and warehouse premises), and acts for clients in matters connected with sectors such as retail and leisure, and storage/distribution. Recently promoted partner Eleanor Rattay is another name to note.
Beverley Merrell; Ian Sanders; Eleanor Rattay
‘Excellent communication, really understanding of clients and their needs, quick and professional service, good advice‘
‘Beverley Merrell is an excellent lawyer and very personable‘
Mattioli Woods Plc
Morningside Holdings Limited
Fischer Future Heat UK Limited
Next Holdings Limited
DHL Parcel UK Limited
Lavendon Group Plc
Natwest Bank Plc
Svenska Handelsbanken Plc
HSBC Bank Plc
Folk 2 Folk
Bamfords Trust Plc
Marks Electrical Limited
- Advised Euranglo Cardiff Limited on the surrender back from a substantial tenant of a number of floors in Southgate House, a flagship office building in Cardiff City Centre.
- Became a professional partner of Folk2Folk in February 2018.
- Advised MoneyThing on substantial loans secured against UK real estate, some of which related to significant redevelopment projects in Liverpool city centre.
- Advised T-Systems Limited on a lease of new and redeveloped top floor offices in central London as part of T-Systems’ relocation from Euston Tower.
- Assisted Garben Holdings with its disposal of bars and pubs across the East Midlands.
Freeths LLP covers the commercial property market extensively, by leveraging the expertise of its Leicester team, and also its wider national network. Its excellent reputation has seen it secure Leicester's Phoenix Arts Centre and Abbey Commercial Investments Group as new clients. Although the group in Leicester primarily focuses on high-value and complex transactions, it also handles development work, landlord and tenant matters, and real estate finance transactions, among other areas. Team head Simon Abbott specialises in investment portfolio management and work with a nexus to the retail sector. Also recommended is Sam Pancholi, who has more than 18 years of commercial property experience. Director Harjit Saund is the lead relationship manager to clients such as Tarmac and Flogas Britain.
Other key lawyers:
Sam Panchioli; Harjit Saund
‘Professional in its work and very efficient‘
Motor Parts Direct Limited
Cambridge & Counties Bank
Abbey Commercial Investments Group
- Acted for H W Coates Limited on the sale of an investment property for £5.1m.
- Acted for HD Property Developments Limited on the sale of an investment property for £5m.
- Acted for AMK Peterborough Fruit Services Ltd on the purchase of land and associated development agreement, with a value of £26m.
Peter Horner leads Langleys Solicitors LLP's practice, which is sought-out for advice on mixed-use development projects in the East Midlands, East Anglia and Greater London. In addition to acting for developers, the firm also generates a strong flow of work from investors and landowners as well. Beyond development work, landlord and tenant matters, and portfolio transactions, are among other drivers of mandates.
University of Lincoln
Melbourne Holdings Limited
Specialist Heat Exchangers Limited
Jackson & Jackson Developments Limited
Thonock & Somerby Estate
Taylors Service Garages (Boston) Limited
Thames Ambulance Services Limited
Saracens Securities Limited
- Acted for Melbourne Holdings on its £1.76m acquisition of a parade of shops on a local community centre, which was owned by Tesco.
- Assisted Burrows, a landowner, with the negotiation – along with two other landowners – of a promotion agreement with a promoter in relation to a piece of land in a Nottinghamshire village.
- Advised Briggs on the exchange of land for development of a new residential estate and development of a small housing estate on client’s land.
- Acted for Hoval Boilers Limited on the sale of land to the owner of the freehold of a factory building, which would see the owner construct an extension of the existing factory. When completed, this would be leased back to the client.
- Advised Havenhand on an option for sale of industrial land in Sheffield.
Nelsons Solicitors Limited's James Coningsby, the firm's lead partner in Leicester, has extensive expertise in a wide range of development projects taking place in cities nationwide, including residential, retail and mixed-use schemes; recent mandates have involved projects in Leicester, Sheffield and Sunderland, among other locations. He is also active in the social housing sector. Other facets of Coningsby's practice include sale and leaseback transactions, secured lending transactions and property acquisitions and disposals. With more than 28 years of commercial property experience, Coningsby's presence in Leicester enhances the firm's commercial offering in the East Midlands generally; the firm also fields specialists in Nottingham and Derby.
Riaz Dudhia (Nottingham)
Other key lawyers:
James Coningsby (Leicester)
Cambridge and Counties Bank Limited
Abode Hallam Limited
Aimrok Retail Limited
Aimrok Development Limited
GS Developments (Leicester) Limited
Ruddle Merz Limited
Petit Forestier UK Limited
National Space Science Centre
IMAP Student Limited
Trafalgar Global Limited
- Assisted Abode Nottingham with a forward funding deal for the development of 117 flats at High Pavement, Nottingham
Roythornes Solicitors' Jo Ladds heads up a a dedicated development and planning department, which acts for regional and national housebuilders, as well as landowners, on development projects across England and Wales; matters range in size from small-scale schemes involving a few units to new town developments involving thousands of homes. Elsewhere, the firm distinguishes itself in the energy and waste sector; Edd Johnson heads up a specialist team, whose expertise includes the property-related aspects of wind farms, solar developments and anaerobic digestion plants, among others. Other mainstream commercial property work is handled by a group led by Andrew Czajka. It is particularly active in landlord and tenant matters, most notably in the licensed trade sector, and also in property-related mining and minerals mandates. The partnership was boosted by the promotion of Iain Hibbert in 2018.
Jo Ladds; Andrew Czajka
‘The team has good knowledge of the development sector, and is hardworking and effective‘
‘Everyone is really friendly and happy to try and help in any way they can. Advice is always clear and free from too much technical jargon‘
‘Individuals are technically very competent – and come across well. As a client you feel as if you’re in safe hands. The individuals adapt their style to your level of knowledge on subject areas, always making sure you fully understand the ramnifications of decisions and fully exploring options‘
- Advised landowner client on the sale of land in the East Midlands for development, with deferred payments secured by way of parent company guarantee, together with option for further phased land disposal.
- Acted for landowner client on sale of a residential development site in Cambridgeshire, with the benefit of outline planning permission.
- Acted for landowner client on the lease of substrata to allow extraction of pot ash in North Yorkshire.
- Advised landowning family trust on the multi-phase development of a new town. The mixed use development comprises of over 3,000 new homes together with 16 hectares of employment land, schools and a community hub including shops
- Advised landowner client on an option for lease over circa 500 acres of land for development of two solar farms.
Weightmans LLP's commercial property practice is led by Richard Osborn, who is the firm's regional office head in the Midlands, and divides his time between the Leicester and Birmingham offices. Osborn is particularly experienced in commercial and residential development and regeneration projects, where he acts for developers, landowners and funders. Also notable is that Osborn has expertise in restructuring transactions in the retail sector. In addition, he advises schools on academy conversions, and he also handles real estate work for universities and other higher education institutions. Osborn works alongside associate Catherine Bowen, whose experience includes property portfolio transactions and landlord and tenant matters.
Other key lawyers:
Notwithstanding Wilson Browne's historic roots as a private client firm, the growth of the firm's commercial property practice now sees it it generate work from a broader client base from across the East Midlands. It acts for private and corporate landowners, developers, housing associations, developers and investors, among others. The firm has further enhanced its profile by acquiring Corby firm Friday Legal Solicitors; John Punni, who is one of the additions to the team, has succeeded Tom Warrender as the head of the commercial property practice. Warrender joined the firm's board of management, while also remaining an active partner in the commercial property team. The firm's varied workload includes freehold acquisitions and sales, leases, options and promotion agreements, and investment portfolios. Senior associate Simon Chambers is another key arrival as part of the Fridays deal. Ika Částka has been advising individuals and businesses on commercial, rural and agricultural property matters since 1986, while Nina Wilson is another key figure in the team.
Bakers Waste Ltd
Perfecta Assets Ltd
Anglo-Turkish International Limited
Beeches Farm Limited
Geo J Cox
F C S Properties Limited
ANC Access Limited
Market Harborough Building Society
Gorell Barnes Chartered Surveyor
Mama Jacq’s Limited
National Education Union
Rushden Town Council
- The firm has acted for the National Education Union for over 20 years in connection with property related matters. During 2018, its work included acting for the client on the disposal of a freehold site in Exeter, and also the acquisition of a freehold office site in Nottingham.
- Acted for Ferrers Technical Services Limited and Oberman’s Audio Visual Limited on the disposal of their entire commercial property portfolio.
- Acted for Compass Children’s Homes in the acquisition of a number of leasehold properties.
- Acted for Mama Jacq’s Limited on its acquisition of a lease at the new development at BoxPark, Wembley.
- Assisted Loake Brothers Limited with acquiring leases in Guilford, Birmingham, Cheltenham and Market Harborough.