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United Kingdom > East Midlands > Real estate > Commercial property: Nottingham and Derby > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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  1. Commercial property: Nottingham and Derby
  2. Leading individuals (region-wide)

Who Represents Who

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Browne Jacobson LLP’s ‘very responsive’ group is ‘willing to go the extra mile for its clients’, advising private as well as public sector entities on matters ranging from real estate finance to project development. Clients include luxury brands, retailers, local authorities, education institutions, agricultural landowners and registered providers of affordable housing. Work highlights saw the firm assist Local Space with the £250m refinancing of over 1,300 residential properties in East London through a security trustee structure. Recommended lawyers include Sarah Parkinson, who has an ‘in-depth knowledge of the retail sector’ and was part of a team that advised Macintosh Retail Group on the property aspects of the sale of its UK footwear chains such as Jones Bootmaker to Alteri Partners, and Barry Sully, who advised Miller Birch with the Guildhall site redevelopment and continues to handle matters arising from New Linx Housing Trust’s planned residential development. Walgreens Boots Alliance, HMRC, Westerman Homes and NHS Property Services are also clients.

Clients needs are of paramount importance’ to the ‘exceptional’ team at Freeths LLP, which combines ‘strong commercial sense and significant knowledgebase and resources’ with ‘a "can-do" attitude’. Darren Williamson is a ‘strong leader’ who ‘makes deals happen’ and specialises in portfolio management matters as well as assisting occupiers, developers and funds with commercial development projects, particularly in the retail sector. Mike Taplin and the ‘capable and thoroughGary Reynolds are also recommended alongside Jon Smart, who advised Eddie Stobart on the development and acquisition of a warehouse and office property at a new airport development site. Highlights also included advising the LNT Group on a residential care project with Oakdale Care Group and Target Healthcare REIT.

The team at Gateley Plc is led by Adam Youatt, who specialises in investment and development work, particularly in student accommodation and healthcare sectors. Youatt’s department includes Andy Matthews, who specialises in property finance. The group also assists investment funds with residential and commercial development schemes and manages issues arising from distressed property. Work highlights included advising Custodian REIT on the £11.5m acquisition of the Helical portfolio comprising three tenanted properties from Helical Bar; assisting Starwood Capital Group with the £50m purchase of purpose-built student accommodation; and acting for Bildurn in various matters including the residential conversion of a historic hotel.

Graham Banks, Jamie Gordon and Paul Hilsdon lead the practice at Geldards LLP, which handles residential and commercial development projects, lease renewals, property finance and wider transactional work. Clients include public sector entities, as well as companies in the retail, utilities, agricultural and charities sectors. Tiffany Cloynes and Heather Dixon are also names to note, as is David Watson, who assisted BioCity Nottingham with the acquisition and development of a new bioscience incubator facility; advice included managing the disposal of a part of the facility to Sygnature Discovery. Other work highlights saw the team acting for Leicester City Council during the first phase of its Waterside Regeneration Scheme, managing Western Power Distribution’s operational property requirements in the region, and advising Clowes Development on transactions arising from mid- to large-scale development projects in the logistics industry. South Derbyshire District Council is also a client.

Shoosmiths LLP assists national occupiers, developers and investors with a range of matters such as large-scale portfolio acquisitions and disposals, joint venture transactions and property finance matters. Ellis Gardner-Browne is managing Walgreens Boots Alliance’s national real estate portfolio and advising Estée Lauder Cosmetics on high-profile property acquisitions. The group is also handling the management of industrial sites nationwide for Stainton International’s joint venture with an international alternative investment fund. Deborah Gordon Brown - Sean Burke and Matthew Kenwood are other names to note. Clients also include AEW Europe, IKEA, Thomas Cook, Ann Summers and Mountain Warehouse.

Flint Bishop LLP has a strong focus on development work in sectors such as retail, leisure, industrial and residential. It is advising Broadlands Wolverhampton on letting two office buildings to the same tenant and an additional agreement for the future construction of a third property. Other highlights included assisting the Land Registry with nationwide portfolio management, handling a forward sale of mixed-use premises, and acting for the purchasers in several large-scale land acquisitions. Ian Beardmore heads the group, which includes Beverley Simms. Simms is advising Wrexham Football Club with its long leasehold interest in the Mold Road football stadium.

Chris Barnes heads Fraser Brown’s department, which assists private investors with a wide range of commercial property transactions such as acquisitions, disposals, leases and project development. Highlights included managing large property portfolios, advising a developer on the purchase of an office block for a conversion project and acting for a client in a substantial industrial redevelopment project. The group also assisted a lender with the refinancing of several residential tenanted properties. Graham Green is also recommended.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited acts for developers, investors and occupiers in a range of matters arising from acquisitions, disposals and development projects. Riaz Dudhia specialises in advising pension scheme trustees on property acquisitions as well as handling other matters such as landlord and tenant issues. Martin Jinks is part of a team advising Radleigh Group on the acquisition of a residential development site; advice included securing an option agreement with the seller, managing financial security arrangements and incorporating a variation to a Section 106 agreement. Other highlights included advising PKF Cooper Parry on letting its former office building in Nottingham, acting for Talbot & Muir SIPP in property transactions involving pension schemes, and handling site acquisitions and letting agreements for Giant UK.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s client base includes national and local developers, housebuilders, landowners, banks, funds and investors, such as Wilson Bowden Developments, Linden Homes, Lloyds, Camborne Group, Frontier Estates and D P Realty. Brendan Walsh heads the team, which handles commercial and residential developments and is particularly active in the retail, energy and financial services sectors. Walsh continues to advise Everards Brewery in its joint venture with Next on the procurement of its major retail development project and recently managed the acquisition of a mixed-use development site for Fountainbridge Holdings. The team also advised Statera Energy on options for lease agreements related to multiple reserve power stations and battery storage sites, and acted for Zone Student Developments during the sale and development of three accommodation sites in Leicester.

Actons’ clients include developers, lenders and private individuals. Amanda Gordon handled the acquisitions of residential and operational premises for a local charity, acted for a major bank during the refinancing of a portfolio comprising mixed residential and commercial properties, and advised on the acquisition of an industrial site by the existing tenant and a pension fund. The group also advised a distressed organisation on a partial property disposal, and assisted several developers with option agreements and secured lending agreements.

Austin Moore & Partners LLP acts for owners, developers, investors and occupiers. The ‘commercially astute’ Vik Moothia ‘combines attention to detail with a good eye for the big picture’; he acted for Wineworld London during the disposal of a long leasehold and freehold interests as part of a larger corporate deal. The firm also provides ongoing advice to 200 Degrees Coffee Shops regarding its expansion strategy, including securing new leases and handling relationships with landlords.

Smith Partnership’s ‘very responsive’ team has ‘commercial acumen that enables it to understand client objectives’. Practice head Jason Wood focuses on development projects, property finance and residential care home matters. Rashid Ali ‘does not sit on the fence and provides fantastic advice’, particularly on complex freehold and leasehold acquisitions and disposals as well as development projects, refinancings, wider corporate transactions and matters between tenants and landlords. Solicitor Tom Hoyle is another name to note.


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