Commercial property: elsewhere in the East Midlands in East Midlands

BHW Solicitors

Leicester's BHW Solicitors ‘always deliver highly professional and efficient services’ in regard to commercial property work. Areas of particular focus are transactions involving logistics, storage and industrial premises, residential developments and pension schemes related property work. Recently, the practice has seen an increased number of instructions in the area of secured lending, which led to the creation of a secured lending team, led by Kate Burlinson, who was promoted to partner in May 2021. Beverley Merrell is the head of the overall commercial property department and has a focus on acquisitions, disposals and leases. Ian Sanders specialises in development work and Eleanor Rattay has a focus on high-value transactions. Pension scheme transaction focused Raj Hundal made partner in November 2021.

Practice head(s):

Beverley Merrell

Other key lawyers:

Kate Burlinson; Ian Sanders; Eleanor Rattay; Raj Hundal

Testimonials

‘BHW always deliver highly professional and efficient service, with clear and timely communication on all cases we work with them on. Most importantly, the partners and associates with whom we instruct, always remain the primary port of call for all cases we instruct them, which increasingly less common amongst other peer firms.’

‘Kate Burlinson, Ian Sanders and Raj Hundal maintain a very high standard and have done so for the several years that we have engaged with them.’

‘I have worked with BHW solicitors on multiple property matters over many years, we have developed a strong working relationship in that the are strong advocates on all property matters and understand us as a client very very well.’

‘Beverley Merrill – she understands my needs, she understands what specific terms and conditions are important for us in property matters and she can often have the solution thought through before we even ask the question.’

Key clients

Cambridge & Counties Bank Limited

HSBC UK Bank Plc

Handelsbanken Plc

Black and White Hospitality

DHL Parcel UK Limited

Nationwide Platforms Limited

Staircraft Limited

Boolers

BPX Group Limited

T Systems Limited

Crowfoots Carriers Limited

Marks Electrical Limited

KCT Group Limited

WKM Wealth

Invicta Developments Limited

Merch CMT Limited

Oneseat Limited (trading as Frovi)

Parkers Motor Services Limited

WKM Wealth

Gardner Aerospace

Geosynthetics Limited

The Obstrat group of companies

Fischer Future Heat UK Limited

Morningside Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised DHL Parcel UK Limited in its acquisition of purpose-built depots.
  • Advised Cambridge and Counties on the refinance of a property investment portfolio.
  • Assisted Mr White’s Leicester Square Limited on an acquisition of a prominent restaurant in Leicester Square, London.

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP provides a comprehensive offering of legal services in regard to commercial property matters. The ‘professional, efficient and cost effective’ team, which includes investment transaction focused Stuart Burns in Leicester, advises on disposals and acquisitions for investment funds, property finance matters, commercial and residential developments as well as landlord and tenant issues. ‘Ultra commercial’ head of the Leicester office Nicholas James specialises in land acquisitions, collaborations and large scale investment transactions. Northampton-based Lucy Lord  ‘provides timely, expert and pragmatic advice’ with a focus on land acquisitions, site set-up and plot sales, including housing association disposals. Clients feel that the team is ‘excellent at the balance between legal detail and deal commerciality’.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas James; Lucy Lord

Other key lawyers:

Stuart Burns

Testimonials

‘Howes Percival are excellent at the balance between legal detail and deal commerciality.’

‘Nicholas James – ultra commercial. Stuart Burns – superb at detail’

‘Strong across the board; very hands-on partners, but backed up by able team members; seamless transition in and out of various lockdowns over the last two years.’

‘Stuart Burns appears to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law, coupled with a highly commercial attitude, which means that the job always gets done.’

‘Professional, efficient, cost effective, experienced in their field.’

‘Lucy Lord is the real estate partner that looks after our business. She provides timely, expert and pragmatic advise. Does not get stuck on trivial matters.’

Key clients

C.Brewer & Sons Limited

Mulberry Property Developments Limited

Al Zahra Medical Ltd

Motorvogue (Northampton) Limited

Eurokey Recycling Limited

Cold Higham

McGowan Investments Limited

Nene Group plc

In ‘n’ Centres Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted for C. Brewer & Sons Limited in the conditional sale of a freehold commercial building in London to an established developer and lease back of the ground floor to the client.
  • Acted for Mulberry Property Developments Limited in the phased sale of 48 affordable housing plots on a large residential scheme to an affordable housing provider.
  • Acted for Al Zahra Medical Ltd in the purchase of a large commercial building (subject to occupational leases) for future refurbishment as a state of the art medical centre.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP advises clients such as landowners, promoters and housebuilders, on acquisitions and disposals of land for residential development, including for student housing, and on the full lifecycle of commercial developments. The ‘first class team’ delivers ‘consistent levels of service and advice’ on ‘issues across the real estate sector ranging from the mundane to the complex’. The practice has a particular specialisation in regard to later living schemes where it acts for home operators, investors and financial institutions on, among others, securing finance, managing sales as well as leasing arrangements. Louise Ingram, who specialises in residential and mixed-use developments, leads the team from Leicester, working alongside Kate Hall, who has recently been increasingly busy advising on acquisitions, disposals and refinancings of care homes, and Martin Jones, who specialises in commercial developments.

Practice head(s):

Louise Ingram

Other key lawyers:

Kate Hall; Martin Jones

Testimonials

‘The practice as a whole has a friendly, approachable way of working which through relaxed meetings and patient follow-up allows decisions to be made with minimum stress. The people we work with all share this quality, while at the same time being totally professional

‘Louise Ingram: calm and efficient. One of the best land sales lawyers I have dealt with.’

‘A great team to work with fully very professionally run by Louise Ingram.’

‘Louise has excellent communication and very proactive rather than reactive. You can always contact Louise and she will reply immediately. I have recommended Louise to a number of friends and competitors as she is so good.’

‘The team deliver consistent levels of service and advice and are able to resource and deal promptly with issues across the real estate sector ranging from the mundane to the complex.’

‘Both Partners and Associates are accessible and responsive understanding commercial imperatives and will go the ‘extra mile’ to ensure matters are addressed and deadlines adhered to. It is also worth noting that the approach is also embraced with a positive cheerful attitude making working with the team, especially in stressful situations, that much easier.’

‘Always respond on a timely basis and a helpful, practical approach.’

Key clients

Parker Strategic Land Limited

Manor Oak Homes Limited

The Drummond Trust

Everards Brewery Limited

Armstrong Logistics Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Drummond Trust on the development of the urban extension at New Lubbesthorpe, Leicester; provided advice on a wide range of material infrastructure matters.

Wilkin Chapman LLP

Wilkin Chapman LLP, which has a strong presence in Lincolnshire, acts for clients from across the UK on matters pertaining to investment sales and acquisitions, site set up and plot sales, development work, securitisations as well as lease and estate management. The practice has a particular specialisation in social housing work and construction advice as well as renewable energy schemes – an area of expertise of Jonty Pearson. Clients are ‘very impressed’ with Grimsby-based practice head Rachael Dicken, who specialises in acting for house builders as well as social housing providers and developers, and laud the ‘very personal, professional and commercial service’.  Emma Ellinor has ‘an enormous amount of expertise’, in particular with regard to high value development work.

Practice head(s):

Rachael Dicken

Other key lawyers:

Jonty Pearson; Emma Ellinor

Testimonials

‘The team are knowledgeable and work well under pressure.’

‘Always available and able to give clear advice and guidance.’

‘They provide a very personal, professional and commercial service and will offer a more pragmatic service than a lot of other firms of solicitors.’

‘Very professional & commercial.’

‘The full team treat every job equally as important no matter how big or small and with the upmost professionalism and personalisation’

‘Emma Ellinor in particular has proven and shown an enormous amount of professionalism, responsiveness and expertise to several jobs conducted within the last two years.’

‘Responsive and reliable.’

‘We have been very impressed by Wilkin Chapman, they have performed very well on a complicated scheme and ensured we achieved the outcomes we needed to the timescales we wanted. The fees agreed have been comparable to other firms, but even when the process took longer, there wasn’t an unreasonable request for additional fees.’

‘Rachael Dicken has been great to deal with. Very personable and knowledgeable. We have been very impressed with Rachael and her team.’

Key clients

Linden Limited

Lindum Group Limited /Lindum Homes

Beal Developments Limited

Lincolnshire Co-operative Limited

Lincoln Science and Innovation Park

Lincoln Corn Exchange and Markets (1991) Limited (part of the Lincolnshire Co-operative Group)

Vistry Homes Limited

Crest Nicholson

NAVIGO Health & Social Care CIC

Cyden Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised national housebuilder Linden Limited (part of Vistry Group) on complex variation of affordable housing contract.
  • Acted for Lincoln Corn Exchange and Markets (1991) Limited (Part of Lincolnshire Co-operative Group) on three lettings to leading national brands at the newly redeveloped Cornhill Quarter in Lincoln city Centre.
  • Advised Navigo Health and Social Care CIC (Provider of mental health services to NHS) on £2.3m acquisition of two former care home premises.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP’s ‘very responsive and commercially minded’ commercial property team acts for a range of clients from across the UK with key types of work relating to acquisitions and disposals, developments, investments, portfolio management as well as landlord and tenant matters. Simon Abbott and Sam Pancholi jointly head the team from Leicester. Abbott specialises in investment portfolio management and development matters and Pancholi is experienced in property finance, investment and landlord and tenant matters, among others. Harjit Saund has a focus on property finance, property investment and asset management and is recommended for being a ‘true client partner’.

Practice head(s):

Simon Abbott; Sam Pancholi

Other key lawyers:

Harjit Saund

Testimonials

‘Having confidence in the quality of the advice from the team members.’

‘Always available, providing clear and commercially based advice on all cases.’

‘A very knowledgeable and experienced team. Very responsive and commercially minded. A good team player. A diverse team which adds to their knowledge base.’

‘Client care and attentiveness to client needs.’

‘Harjit Saund is technically proficient and a true client partner.’

Key clients

Tarmac

Jelson Homes

Flogas Britain

Abbey Commercial Investments Group

Deichmann-Shoes Limited

Motor Parts Direct Limited

Nelsons Solicitors Limited

Nelsons Solicitors Limited advises clients including developers, SMEs, pension schemes, investors as well as charities, across all asset classes, including retail, warehouse, industrial and student accommodation schemes. The team frequently advises on developments and strategic land projects, including in the form of forward funding transactions, golden brick forward sales and investment purchases, as well as on promotion option agreements and landlord and tenant management issues. Nottingham-based Riaz Dudhia heads the commercial property department, while ‘highly knowledgableJames Coningsby is the head of the Leicester team.

Practice head(s):

Riaz Dudhia; James Coningsby

Testimonials

‘Personal service and timely responses set this firm out from others I have worked with. They are experienced and technically knowledgeable, yet have a can do attitude and having fully explained all the risks and identifying opportunities they let you get on with making the best decisions for the business.’

‘James Coningsby has been my advisor for many years and I have found him to be highly knowledgeable in his field. He is dedicated to getting the job done on time and always goes that extra mile to make sure it happens.’

‘They have worked with us for decades on many different requirements. Always delivered.’

Key clients

GS Property Holdings Limited

Cambridge and Counties Bank Ltd

Abode Nottingham Ltd

Aimrok Holdings Ltd

Petit Forestier UK Ltd

Trafalgar Global Limited

Prime Life Limited

National Westminster

Asfare Limited

Wimbledon Chase Limited

Landmark Property Solutions Limited

Living Choice Investments Limited

UK Land Assets Limited

Yu Group PLC

Chattertons

Chattertons covers all aspects of commercial property work and acts for a variety of clients ranging from national developers to national banks. The team has particular niche expertise in ecclesiastical property work where it recently acted on a complex sale of church grounds. Practice head Jonathan Blythe specialises in, among others, overage transactions and advice to national lenders regarding property finance. May Ozga, a specialist in landlord and tenant transactions, joined in January 2022. Both are based in Stamford, Lincolnshire.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Blythe

Other key lawyers:

May Ozga; Jaimie Barclay

Testimonials

‘The team at Chattertons are hardworking, dedicated and always receptive to answering the changes that are faced as developers. Using their experience of residential development they are able to offer advice on dealing with difficult situations as they arise.’

‘The stand out individual I work with at Chattertons is an associate Jaimie Barclay. Her knowledge, experience and dedication to the role makes her an invaluable resource. Her ability to problem solve and discuss options and provide advice is essential to my role and knowing that I can ask any question is a really important part of the service that Chattertons provide.’

‘We have used Chattertons for most of our legal advice. They are professional, organised and well versed in our areas of work. Most importantly to me, when I need them they are there.’

‘I have dealt with Jonathan Blythe for a number of years. He is always available to discuss matters and always deals with things promptly and professionally which is a breath of fresh air compared to a number of his competitors!’

‘A good team for property and plot sales.’

‘Good range of skills and specialities.’

‘Always available, understand our requirements and willing to provide alternative solutions.’

Key clients

NG Bailey Group Limited

Larkfleet Group Limited

Class Q Ltd

Allison Homes Limited

Renew Land

Belvedere Care Homes

MJS Investments (March) Limited

The Freedom Group Of Companies

Oldrids & Co Limited

Lincoln Diocesan Trust and Board of Finance Limited

Gusto Homes

Castle Square Developments

Sportsbikeshop Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Allison Homes Limited in their disposal of their affordable housing units on one of their development sites to a registered provider.
  • Advised NG Bailey Group Limited on property acquisitions relating to the well-publicised ‘Gigaplant’ battery factory.
  • Advised Milton Gate Limited on the disposal of a large car supermarket business.

Excello Law

The key name at new model firm Excello Law is Richard Osborn, the former Midlands regional office head at national firm Weightmans LLP. He works with national housebuilders, universities, developers, investors and charities as well as retailers, among others, and has further expertise in the area of secured lending, acting for a number of large banks.

Practice head(s):

Richard Osborn

Testimonials

‘Richard Osborn handled a complex sale with brisk efficiency.’

Key clients

University of Leicester

Seven Capital PLC

Village Partnerships Limited

VISTA (Royal Leicestershire Rutland & Wycliffe Society for the Blind)

Modus Partnerships Limited

Blyth Group (Paragon Living Space, H2B Homes & H2B Investments)

GNM Developments Ltd

Stor-a-File Limited

208 LR Ltd / 5BGS Limited

Cambridge & Counties Bank Limited

Trustees of the Bosley Trust

The Braunstone Foundation

5BGS Limited

Eagle Rock Investments Ltd

Leicester YMCA

Bybrook Builders Limited / Raj Uppal

Toklas Ltd

Finishing Techniques Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for University of Leicester on the development and letting of internationally-recognised Space Park Leicester.
  • Acted for national residential Seven Capital plc and Seven Homes on several significant residential development projects.
  • Acted for a landowning family group in South Oxfordshire on a significant Land Promotion Agreement and sale for development to Berkeley Homes.

Sills & Betteridge LLP

Sills & Betteridge LLP's commercial property department advises on a broad array of matters, such as freehold sales and purchases, leasehold sales, surrender and variations, option agreements, equity release, secured lending, financing and refinancing. Lincoln-based practice head Malachy McGill is experienced in a variety of commercial property matters, including landlord and tenant matters. Melissa Kirk joined the Lincoln office in January 2022.

Practice head(s):

Malachy McGill

Other key lawyers:

Melissa Kirk

Testimonials

‘Sills & Betteridge have acted so efficiently and professionally while dealing with the sale of our properties. In particular keeping us informed and up to date during the problems presented with covid.’

‘Always being there to help and keep us informed and up to date with proceedings. I have been happy to recommend the team to others on a number of occasions.’

‘The team certainly deserves recognition for their knowledge and support. I recommend it highly.’

‘We found the team at Sills to be very professional and swift in every area.’

Key clients

Turnbull & Co Limited/Hopkins Group Limited

Beauty Outlet Limited

Centurion Finance (Lincoln) Limited

Pharmagen Land Holdings Limited

Lindum Group Limited

Critical Environment Solutions Limited

Benmar Property Group Limited

Mason Investments Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Hopkins Group Limited in purchasing the freehold of one of their operating sites for the sum of £1.35m.
  • Acted for Applewhite in the sale of development land to a large regional housebuilder for £2.0276m. The transaction included complex planning provisions and deferred consideration with appropriate security.
  • Acted on the sale of the Crown Hotel in Skegness for £700,000.

Wilson Browne Solicitors

Wilson Browne Solicitors acts for a wide range of clients, from farmers and landowners to developers, housing associations, pension funds, councils and charities as well as a national union on all aspects of commercial property. The ‘very polished and professional service’ includes advice on land acquisitions, leases as well as option and promotion agreements. ‘OutstandingIka Castka heads the practice from Kettering and specialises in rural and agricultural property matters. Tom Warrender is noted for his ‘full understanding’ of clients’ business requirements.

Practice head(s):

Ika Částka

Other key lawyers:

Tom Warrender

Testimonials

‘A very polished and professional service provided. Approachable and clear explanations of services provided and costs. Always keeping us informed of how the case/instructions are progressing. Have dealt with them over many years for various reasons and have full trust in their responsibility to give the best service.’

‘Ika Castka at the Kettering branch of Wilson Browne have been outstanding. Extremely professional and totally reliable. Acts quickly and keep in touch with progress. Very safe hands!’

‘A perfect size for an SME such as ourselves, with the ability to effectively offer a one-stop shop with a reasonably diverse range of services covering the majority of the business spectrum, whilst ensuring that the relevant partner is available for communication/correspondence.’

‘Knowledgeable, approachable, responsive, a good understanding of their clients’ needs.’

‘Excellent local team that understand our business and our objectives.’

‘Tom Warrender has worked with us over a number of years giving excellent service and sound advice, demonstrating a full understanding of our business requirements.’

‘The small team at Wilson Browne ensures that the client receives a specialist and personal service, led by the partner. This enables the transaction to be both flexible and move at pace, through close communication between the client and Partner – something which can get lost in bigger firms.’

‘Wilson Browne Solicitors have an efficient and friendly team who are experienced in all aspects of law.’

Key clients

Rodericks Dental Limited

United Pallet Network

Richard Sanders Holdings Limited

The Walker Group of Companies

The Alternative Pallet Company Limited

AC Building (Peterborough) Limited

Infrastructure Gateway Limited

Rushden Town Council

Beeches Farm Limited

Bowbridge Homes Group of Companies

Papa John’s (GB) Limited

Fernbrook Investments (UK) Limited

Omindra Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Roquette Limited on sale of various parcels of land.
  • Advised UPN in the acquisition of its new logistics hub.
  • Advised the Bowbridge Group of companies on various development land projects.