Firms To Watch: Planning and environment

In 2022, Bexley Beaumont recruited Emma Tattersdill from Freeths LLP to lead the firm's planning & environment team, specialising in environmental permitting and regulatory compliance, as well as judicial reviews nuisance claims.

Planning and environment in East Midlands

Browne Jacobson LLP

The ‘superbly experiencedBrowne Jacobson LLP works for a wide range of public sector clients, including governmental bodies, local authorities and NHS trusts. The team is skilled at handling all forms of planning and environment matters such as consent orders, energy projects and environmental law. Laura Hughes has a particular specialism in nature conservation matters, while Richard Barlow handles a variety of high profile planning cases. Ben Standing specialises in the negotiation of complex section 106 agreements and applications for major development projects. Andrew Hopkin leads the firm’s criminal compliance and regulatory team, prosecuting a number of prominent environmental cases.

Practice head(s):

Richard Barlow; Laura Hughes; Ben Standing

Other key lawyers:

Dmitrije Sirovica; Jonathan Allen; Victoria Searle; Andrew Hopkin


‘Richard Barlow, who leads the team and is immensely capable and as importantly a very skilful manager of clients expectations.’

‘Clarity of thought, integrity, professionalism.’

‘Richard Barlow is outstanding – Deep environmental knowledge, energy & enthusiasm, wisdom & integrity.’

‘Regional firm that punches above its weight in this category.’

‘Richard Barlow is vastly experienced and very knowledgeable in this field.’

Key clients

Inland Ltd

Welsh Government

Canal & River Trust

First State Investments

Thurrock Council

Homes England

Mace Dragados JV

Boots UK Ltd

Platform Housing Ltd

London Borough of Croydon

Inspired Villages

Freeths LLP

The planning team at Freeths LLP is best known for its work concerning the residential care sector, large scale mixed-use development and urban developments on behalf of a number of blue-chip clients. Other areas of expertise include roadside services developments, industrial development and local planning authority advice. National panning and environment head Paul Brailsford specialises in large scale complex mixed use proposals and contentious residential developments. Mark Bassett is experienced in planning consultancy for large scale urban extensions. Emma Tattersdill left the firm in 2022 to join Bexley Beaumont.

Practice head(s):

Paul Brailsford; Mark Basset

Other key lawyers:

Louise Burnett


‘The Planning team lead by Paul Brailsford are extremely knowledgeable, easy to work with and have a very successful track record. I have worked with them on a number of complex projects and highly recommend them.’

‘Paul Brailsford is the stand out person. he gets involved every step of the planning journey and is an excellent communicator.’

‘The team have a unique understanding of commerciality and the complexities of the planning system therefore ensuring they get the best result for their clients.’

Key clients

Genesis Homes

Padley Group

Welcome Break

ALB Group


Hallam Land


Allison Homes

Larkfleet Group

Freshwater Group of Companies

Boutique Care Homes


Hallmark Care Homes/Savista

Principle Care Homes

Country Court Care Homes

Euro Garages

Carta Real Estate

Commercial Development Projects

GMS Estates

Leicester City Council

Derby City Council

Waverley District Council

West Northamptonshire Council

EM Lawshare Consortium of Local Authorities

Rula Developments

Saint Gobain

CL:AIRE (Contaminated Land: Applications in Real Environments)

Travis Perkins Group of Companies

The Tarmac group of companies

Yorkshire Water


Newton Nottingham Limited

Johnson Aggregates

Newcastle Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Advising ALB Group/High Road Developments on the redevelopment of the former Central College site, Beeston, Nottinghamshire.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP is instructed by some of the biggest developers and local authorities in the East Midlands on a range of contentious and non-contentious matters, including complex section 106 agreements and due diligence for major corporate and real estate transactions. Paul Wakefield leads the planning team in the Nottingham and Derby offices, where he has significant experience in the management of planning applications and appeals for both public and private sector clients. Recent partner promotion Kylie Wesson is experienced in judicial reviews and statutory challenges, while Julie Russell has a strong track record dealing with large scale infrastructure projects.

Practice head(s):

Simon Stanion; Paul Wakefield

Other key lawyers:

Kylie Wesson; Julie Russell


‘Paul is my ‘go to’ Planner of choice. The breadth of knowledge is vast, his calm and patient explanation of the law is confidence building and he gets results.’

‘The team has a strong experience in large, nationally significant infrastructure projects. This is a unique and complicated field of planning practice and their skills and experience have greatly helped my Local Authority tackle the challenges of development of this scale.’

‘Julie Russell is really good at keeping up to date with the progress of applications, providing example representations for us to work from, and did an excellent job of gauging the Officer and Member attitudes towards a large scale development. She quickly consolidated large volumes of material into a concise response.’

‘Shakespeare Martineau Planning and environment team are always available and their advice is second to none. They provide free CPD Webiners on complex subjects through their partnership with Marrons Planning provide a full suite of legal planning services.’

Key clients

Gallagher Estates Limited

Allison Homes Limited

Platform Homes Limited

Court BD Limited

The Lindhurst Group

Rainier Developments

Rutland County Council

Manor Oak Homes

BDW Trading Limited

Blaby District Council

Severn Trent Green Power

Everards Brewery Ltd

Jessup Partnerships Limited

Chevin Homes (Derby) Limited

Charles Jordan (Swan Courtyard) Limited

Strata Homes Limited

Jeakins Weir Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for L&Q Estates in negotiating a Section 106 Agreement in relation to land at Cawston, Rugby, which will deliver the first phase of a development eventually comprising 5000 dwellings and 35 hectares of employment land.
  • Acting for Court BD Limited in negotiating a Section 106 Agreement required in support of an application for a 46 storey build to rent scheme in Birmingham city centre, housing 581 residential units.
  • Advised BDW Trading Limited on a development parcel at Alconbury Weald, Huntingdonshire, which forms part of a wider mixed use development which included consent for up to 5,000 dwellings.

Roythornes Solicitors

With experience in matters ranging from small bespoke development schemes to large scale infrastructure projects, the planning and environment team at Roythornes Solicitors specialises in advising on all aspects of planning and highways law, including on contentious planning litigation, compulsory purchase matters and judicial review. Shruti Trivedi leads the team with expertise in the drafting and negotiating of complex planning, highway and infrastructure agreements, as well as judicial reviews.

Practice head(s):

Shruti Trivedi

Other key lawyers:

Louise Clifton


‘Shruti Trevidi When Shruti is in charge, I always feel comfortable that the project will complete in a timely fashion and with buildable, commercially aware and viable outcomes.’

‘Roythornes planning team are very engaging and collaborate well with other businesses in the local area.’

‘There is great strength in depth within the team from partners down to the newer members. They really take time to manage their clients well and this shows in the quality of the briefs. Very knowledgeable, responsive and well placed in the local market.’

‘Shruti Trivedi is a fantastic partner – she manages a diverse range of clients with real skill. Always responsive and on top of the detail in her cases.’

Key clients

Allison Homes Limited

Allison Homes SW Limited

Ashley King (Development) Limited

Boningale Homes Limited

Boston & Fosdyke Fishing Society Limited

Chevin Homes

Countryside PLC / Vistry Partnerships

Croftmarsh Limited

Elan Homes Limited

Elveden Estates Limited

Gilbert & Goode Limited

Grace Machin Planning & Property

Hamilton Russell

Lagan Homes Limited

Longhurst Group Limited

Owl Homes Limited

Partner Construction Limited

Piper Homes Limited

Rose Homes Limited

Persimmon Homes Limited

Tarmac Aggregates Limited

Tarmac Services Limited

Tarmac Trading Limited

Tilia Homes Limited (formerly Kier)

Work highlights

  • Advising Croftmarsh Limited in relation to a Local Development Order brough forward by East Lindsey District Council, namely the Skegness Gateway which will include the provisions of circa1,000 residential dwellings, a school, local centres, large parcels of employment space as well as supported living accommodation.
  • Advising Elveden Estate Limited in relation to strategic planning for their circa 10,000 acre estate, including input into the emerging West Suffolk Local Plan.
  • Advising Boningale Homes on a wide array of planning issues including advice on assisting the client to have various of its sites allocated in the emerging South Staffordshire Local Plan.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

The planning and infrastructure team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is regularly involved in high profile local and national development projects, particularly those requiring development consent. Laura-Beth Hutton is experienced with major development schemes and large infrastructure projects, including the securing and implementing of compulsory acquisition matters. Karen Mutton works across all aspects of planning and consenting regimes with a particular focus on renewable energy. Paul Maile leads the team from Birmingham.

Practice head(s):

Paul Maile

Other key lawyers:

Laura-Beth Hutton; Karen Mutton

Key clients

Tritax Symmetry (Hinckley) Limited

RWE Renewables UK Limited

AWG Holdings Limited

High Speed Two (HS2) Limited

INRG Solar (Little Crow) Ltd


L&G Senior Living

Statkraft UK Ltd

EDF Energy Ltd

Taylor Wimpey

Howes Percival LLP

The planning team at Howes Percival LLP works for a client list containing volume national house builders and land promoters, as well as large corporate commercial entities. The team has worked on a number of high profile court cases related to judicial review and statutory challenges. Practice head Paul Hunt is experienced in High Court proceedings and appeals for housing developments. Chris May is skilled in the co-ordination of development proposals.

Practice head(s):

Paul Hunt

Other key lawyers:

Chris May; Sarah Hollis


‘Always very helpful and have useful insights into planning law related issues.’

‘The team offer topical legal updates which are incredibly useful in an ever changing planning context. They are always approachable and helpful.they always make you feel like you are their only client and will make time for you.’

‘Chris May is always on hand to provide his thoughts and I value substantially his reliability and creative thinking. His ability to collaborate positively with me and my team is impressive so we can jointly deliver challenging projects for clients. He is my first point of contact for any specialist planning law advice and support.’

‘As a whole, the team work well together providing a strong level of knowledge within the planning and environment sector. The CPD sessions they run are also invaluable.’

‘Chris May – Chris has assisted on a number of projects, most recently an appeal, which no task was too great or small in order to progress and get us the decision we needed. He is always available to discuss matters and takes genuine pride in his work.’

‘Paul Hunt – No question is too much for Paul to answer, he seems to know every shred of planning law there is and can provide advice off the top of his head. He is also very considerate in how he provides solutions taking into account the goals and aims of our business.’

‘Sarah Hollis – Sarah is a valuable member of the team who is always on hand to support the partners during appeals and larger tasks. She is also very approachable and responds in a timely manner.’

Key clients

CODE Student Ltd

Vistry Partnerships Limited

Kler Group Limited

Anchor Hanover Group

CVS Group Plc

Mulberry Property Development Limited

Sowden Group Limited

Persimmon Homes (North Midlands) Limited

FPC (Banbury) Limited

Kaplan Property Group

Davidsons Developments Limited

Hazelton Homes (Midlands) Limited

Countryside Properties (WPL) Limited

Hampton Brooks

Langton Homes

Fisher German

Summix Ltd

Moto Hospitality Ltd

Christchurch Properties Ltd

Persimmon Homes (East Midlands)

Jelson Ltd

Parker Strategic Land Ltd

CJC Development Company Ltd

Grace Homes Ltd

Countryside Properties (UK) Ltd

Persimmon Suffolk

HNC Developments LLP

HGT Developments LLP

Windermere Capital Ltd

Palmer-Tomkinson Trust

Venture Property Group Limited

Edenstone Homes Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising Davidson Developments on securing a grant of planning permission for a new garden village north of Birstall , Leicester, including 1950 houses, a care village, 15 hectares of employment land, retail centre and a new primary school
  • Representing a developer in proceedings in the High Court – Business and Property Court seeking a declaratory judgement as to the rights to connect a multi-million pound railway bridge to a highway and the rights of the owner of the land where the highway is located, to block such a connection without payment of compensation.
  • Acting on behalf of multiple landowners in respect of a housing lead SUE including 650 dwellings and a new primary school site, local centre and community facilities at Wigston, South Leicester.

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP acts for a range of public sector bodies, corporate clients and housebuilders on a variety of building and infrastructure matters with a particular focus on the living sector. The team also has considerable expertise in planning litigation. This contentious work is led by Tim Willis, who handles judicial review, statutory challenges and planning enforcement matters. Stuart Tym works on major strategic development work, while Will Thomas has a strong track record with section 106 agreements.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Tym

Other key lawyers:

Tim Willis; Will Thomas


‘Stuart Tym and Will Thomas led the Shoosmiths Planning team delivering sound and decisive advice across a broad spectrum of key matters to inform the clients of a succinct response and give consideration to wider more sensitive outcomes that the instructing clients wished to achieve.’

Key clients

Boots UK Limited

Maximus Strategic Land Limited

Walsall Housing Group Limited

Parker Strategic Land Limited

Richborough Estates

Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames

Persimmon Homes Limited

Safestore Properties Limited

Romo Holdings Limited

Churchill Retirement Living Limited

Central England Co-operative Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Boots UK Limited in the negotiation of the section 106 Agreement for the development of the Nottingham Enterprise Zone, a landmark scheme for the construction of 900,000 sq ft of commercial space and up to 675 new homes adjacent to Boot’s UK headquarters.
  • Acted for Maximus Strategic Land in securing planning permission for a new urban extension of 2000 dwellings in Stafford.
  • Acting for Walsall Housing Group in a successful planning appeal for 29 dwellings in Walsall with a full award of costs given in favour of the client.