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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > East Midlands > Real estate > Property litigation > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Index of tables

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

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Browne Jacobson LLP's Nottingham team, which is led by Mark Aldrich, is a first port of call for many public and private sector clients for a wide range of matters, such as contentious lease renewals, dilapidations cases, title disputes and possession proceedings. Aldrich has specialised in property litigation for 27 years. At associate level, Louise Read is noted for her particular experience of acting for retail sector clients in all types of contentious issues relating to freehold and leasehold property. Helen Taller is another name to note.

Practice head(s):Pamela Shepherd (Birmingham); Mark Aldrich (Nottingham)

Other key lawyers:Louise Read; Helen Taller

Testimonials

'The team is well-led by Mark Aldrich, who has a realistic approach to dispute resolution'

Key Clients

Walgreen Boots Alliance

Select Service Partner UK Limited

DPDGroup UK Limited

Paperchase Products Limited

Lincolnshire Cooperative Limited

Homes England (formerly Homes and Communities Agency)

London Borough of Croydon

Cheshire East Borough Council

Department for Work and Pensions

YHA (England and Wales) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising a retail tenant on an unopposed lease renewal for a prominent central London store.
  • Acting on behalf of a sizeable Nottinghamshire landowner in a dispute with a national housebuilder over a residential land option.
  • Acting for a private landowning individual, who entered into a sale contract in 2015 for the sale of a substantial area of land for residential development..
  • Acting for a tenant retailer in an opposed lease renewal of a very profitable store.
  • Acting for an NHS primary care centre landlord in forfeiture proceedings against a tenant operating a café business within a surgery.

Freeths LLP's first-rate reputation in property-related dispute resolution sees it generate work from clients in sectors such as retail, energy, food and construction, among others. Simon Baigent, who is highly regarded for his restructuring and insolvency expertise, has an excellent record in contentious matters involving an interplay between property and insolvency; his experience includes cases where landlords are faced with insolvent tenants and insolvency matters involving large property portfolios. Practice head Paul Tomkins is closely involved with the East Midlands branch of the Property Litigation Association, while senior associate Edward Pickard is active in all areas of property litigation, with a particular strength in dilapidations disputes, acting for landlords and tenants.

Practice head(s):Paul Tomkins

Other key lawyers:Simon Baigent; Edward Pickard

Testimonials

'The firm provides practical, good value advice'

'Paul Tomkins gave clear, straightforward legal advice and guidance on dilapidation issues. The advice was practical and set out the implications of various actions very clearly'

Key Clients

Travis Perkins Group including Wickes

Well Pharmacy

Tarmac

Chancerygate Asset Management

Middlesbrough Borough Council (Teeside Pension Fund)

Deichmann-Shoes UK Limited

EM Lawshare

Jelson Limited

Mazars

Work highlights

  • Advising a leading sustainable building materials group in relation to a right to break its lease of premises, which was conditional on it materially complying with all covenants in its lease.
  • Represented an independent fuel retailer in a dispute, where its neighbour was preventing access to its commercial site, in breach of covenant.
  • Acting for a Fire and Rescue Authority in relation to the removal of  telecommunications apparatus from its site.
  • Acting for one of the UK’s leading builder’s merchants in resisting attempts by its landlord to terminate its tenancy on purported redevelopment grounds.
  • Representing a UK-based property investment fund in a significant dispute concerning the amount of overage payable to it after the grant of planning permission to a developer.

Howes Percival LLP's head of property litigation in Leicester is Satnam Chayra, who primarily handles landlord and tenant matters (such as dilapidations, lease renewals, rent recovery, contentious breaks and forfeiture), although she is also active in other general property litigation, including boundary disputes and negligence cases. Also based in Leicester is Geraint Davies, who has more than 25 years of property litigation experience. Director Jane Bloomer leads on property litigation matters in Northampton and, like Chayra, is also known as a landlord and tenant specialist, but she is also strong in residential and commercial insolvency related possession claims, as well as matters involving rights of way, restrictive covenants, easements and adverse possession, among others.

Practice head(s):Satnam Chayra (Leicester); Jane Bloomer (Northampton)

Other key lawyers:Geraint Davies (Leicester)

Testimonials

'Thorough and detailed approach to cases. An ability to cut to the chase and to give clear and concise advice'

Key Clients

C Brewer & Sons Limited

Kettle Interiors UK Limited

O Donovan Waste Disposal Limited

Welcome Break Group Limited

Nampak Plastics Europe Limited

Renewi UK Services Limited

Rodericks Dental Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing a client on a £14m reinstatement claim following fire damage to premises.
  • Representing client in an adverse possession claim against Network Rail.
  • Representing a land agent in relation to a dispute relating to a promotion agreement.
  • Representing a client in relation to claim for breach of collaboration agreement.
  • Representing a client in relation to a lease exit following exercise of a break clause.

Flint Bishop LLP has a well-respected property litigation practice, which is led by Qamer Ghafoor. It generates a large volume of high-value and complex work, which includes dilapidations claims, issues arising from lease renewals, easements, restrictive covenants and beneficial interest claims, among many other areas. Ghafoor handles a broad-cross section of cases, and has a particular interest in emergency remedies proceedings and property related negligence claims. Nick Wells and Andrew Cochrane are noted for their experience of acting for clients in the licensed trade sector; Wells, in particular, is increasingly being sought-out for advice on matters connected with the new statutory Pubs Code. Senior associate Jo Milward-Hyde has also developed a specialism in the licensed trade industry and, in addition, she has developed a new offering in relation to estates management. Lorna Trueman is also heavily involved in property litigation matters.

Practice head(s):Qamer Ghafoor

Other key lawyers:Nick Wells; Andrew Cochrane; Lorna Trueman; Jo Milward-Hyde

Testimonials

'Andrew Cochrane is a true professional. He is a very dedicated and knowledgeable individual, who always provides good sound advice. He has an extremely pleasant manner and always treats others with respect. We also deal with Nick Wells and Jo Milward-Hyde, who provide excellent service and sound advice'

'Very professional and approachable personnel, who have an in-depth knowledge of specialist legal matters. Good understanding of clients needs and commercial considerations'

Key Clients

Bowmer & Kirkland

Marston’s Plc

Peveril Securities

The Land Registry

Food Standards Agency

Haven Insurance Company

Costcutter Supermarkets Group

Henry Boot Developments

Ward Recycling

Methodist Homes

Work highlights

  • Advising Ultimate Insurance Solutions, part of the multi-million turnover Markerstudy Group, on cover legal expenses policies for various property litigation matters.
  • Advised pub retail business Marston’s on numerous matters in connection with the new statutory Pubs Code, which applies to just the six largest pubcos in the UK.
  • Advising Methodist Homes Association on numerous commercial and residential landlord and tenant matters.
  • Acting for Marston’s on hundreds of property litigation matters each year and providing a complete estates management role for its leased estate.

Fraser Brown's practice has a strong footprint in the Midlands, generating mandates across the region from banks, accountants, chartered surveyors and real estate consultancies, among others. Led by Don Peel, who is a member of the Property Litigation Association, the team handles a varied portfolio of cases, such as contractual disputes arising from property transactions, contentious lease renewal claims, forfeiture claims and recoveries of rent arrears. Peel, who has over 20 years of property litigation experience, is supported by associate Chris Chan.

Practice head(s):Don Peel

Other key lawyers:Chris Chan

Key Clients

Nottingham Building Society

Subway Realty Limited

Tempophase Limited/Sovereign Corporate/Nova Heights Limited/Steinburger Developments Limited

Parkare Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Christian Liaigre Limited (as a tenant) in dispute with its landlord over loss arising from the flooding of its showroom in Mayfair.
  • Acting for WSP across a range of property litigation matters including renewals, break notices, dilapidations and other property disputes.

Geldards LLP's clients turn to Mark Hacking for assistance with real estate litigation. Hacking, who is also an experienced mediator, handles the gamut of contentious property issues for businesses and private individuals. His areas of expertise include landlord and tenant disputes, and property management matters, with particular experience of those involving the retail, utilities and automotive sectors.

Practice head(s):Mark Hacking

Knights PLC's property litigation practice is led by Rachael McConaghie, who was hired in 2018 from Sherrards Solicitors LLP, following the departure of former head Michael Lawrence. The firm handles contentious matters for regional and national clients, such as property developers and investors, housebuilders, charities and high net-worth individuals. It also acts for international clients with UK property portfolios. Landlord and tenant work (particularly matters connected with the retail sector) is one of the bedrocks of the practice. Other areas of activity include negligence claims, rectification of title claims and agricultural disputes.

Practice head(s):Rachael McConaghie

Nelsons Solicitors Limited has a well-established reputation in property litigation, as is reflected by its ability to consistently win new work from regional and national clients. Its practice has gone from strength to strength under the leadership of team head Simon Waterfield, whose sole specialism is in property disputes; there has been a notable increase in work from developers. Boundary and easement disputes are among the drivers of activity for the firm, which also sees a strong flow of commercial landlord and tenant matters, such as contentious lease renewals, forfeiture disputes and dilapidations cases. Traveller eviction cases are another notable area of activity.

Practice head(s):Cathryn Selby (head of dispute resolution, Derby); Simon Waterfield (head of property litigation, Nottingham)

Testimonials

'Simon Waterfield is not only a very decent individual, but he is also very commercial'

'Nelsons' approach is always commercial, and you are always left with the feeling that its team is giving you the right advice, rather than the advice that feathers its own nest'

Key Clients

Helier Limited

Chevin Homes (Ashbourne) Limited

W Westerman Limited

Abode Hallam Limited

Intelligent Money Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing Chevin Homes in an objection by a landowner to the development of land for a housing estate.

Smith Partnership's diverse workload includes matters involving recoveries of rent arrears, tenancy deposit cases under the Housing Act 2004, boundary disputes and service charge disputes. In Derby, Russell Davies has a strong track record representing clients in property-related mediations, and works alongside Bally Atwal. who has more than 15 years of litigation experience. Solicitor Liam Kreibich has particular experience of acting for residential landlords in housing-related litigation. The partnership was recently boosted by the promotion of Jak Ward, while professional liability head Alison Neate is a key figure in the Leicester office.

Practice head(s):Russell Davies (Derby); Alison Neate (Leicester)

Other key lawyers:Bally Atwal; Jak Ward; Liam Kreibich

Testimonials

'The team is extremely knowledgeable, yet also has a very pragmatic and realistic outlook when it comes to taking a view on matters. It is refreshingly easy to deal with'

'Russell Davies is a very good lawyer, and is very good at working in a team with counsel and with the clients'

'Russell is very pleasant to work with. Always calm and sensible and has a very solid grasp of the case at all times'

Key Clients

Ei Group Plc

Littler Investments Limited

Eurocell Plastics Limited

Metanodic (Engineers) Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented Littler Investments Limited in a four-day trial of Landlord and Tenant Act lease renewal claims.

Wilkin Chapman LLP's Grimsby and Lincoln offices both generate contentious property work, with the practice being led by team head Joshua Briggs. Noted for its industry-focused approach to servicing its clients, the firm particularly stands out in areas such as housing and developments, tourism and leisure, and renewables and energy. In the agriculture sector, the firm's position as Regional Panel Members for the National Farmers’ Union (Lincolnshire & Nottinghamshire) makes it well-placed to advise on related property disputes. Senior partner Andrew Holt is another key figure.

Practice head(s):Andrew Holt (Lincoln); Joshua Briggs (Grimsby)

Testimonials

'The team is excellent, provides a cost-effective service and is always available to be contacted when needed'

'The team is a nice size. Large enough to handle everything. Small enough to feel you have a personal contact etc. Very approachable. Just extremely competent and quick to respond'

'Joshua Briggs is a standout individual'

'The team is very knowledgeable and experienced'

Key Clients

Canal & River Trust

MSL Legal Expenses Ltd

Work highlights

  • Represented T W Logistics Limited, the owners of a port, in an application under the Commons Registration Act. The Claimant sought amendment of a decision at Inspectorate level to designate an area of the Claimant’s port as a town or village green. The application is combined with a parallel judicial review application decision of the Local Authority in this respect.
  • Represented a client, an expert in an Expert Determination relating to the validity of an option agreement.
  • Representing clients in a farming arbitration relating to the dissolution of a partnership.
  • Represented a household name client in recovering possession of premises from squatters.
  • Represented a client in a high value dispute relating to social housing.

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