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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 > London > Public sector > Local government > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



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  1. Local government
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Hall of Fame

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Leading individuals

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Who Represents Who

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Bevan Brittan LLP is ‘one of the standout firms in the local government field’, has ‘exceptional legal knowledge and outstanding professionalism’ and its ‘proactive approach allows it to tackle any challenging problem that arises in a helpful and responsive way’. PPP and outsourcing specialist David Hutton leads the ‘excellent’ team, which includes ‘undisputed leader in the field’ Bethan Evans and the ‘truly brilliant’ Judith Barnes, who is based in Leeds. In a recent highlight, Evans assisted the London Borough of Wandsworth and the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames with a new staffing model including shared workforce agreements. Matthew Waters is also singled out; he recently advised Brighton & Hove City Council on its £176m joint venture with Hyde Housing, with the intention of developing 1000 new homes, and led advice to the London Borough of Brent on the establishment of a housing investment vehicle. The South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Northamptonshire City Council and the London Borough of Hackney are also clients. Other key practitioners include litigator Virginia Cooper, employment expert Sarah Lamont, property specialist Steven Smith and Leeds-based Frances Woodhead.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s team is ‘incredibly reliable across all of its national offices’ and is jointly led from Cardiff by employment specialist Huw Rolant Jones, procurement expert Bridgette Wilcox and Paul Pugh, who focuses on corporate matters. The firm’s London offering was recently strengthened by the arrival of Mark Dennison from Norton Rose Fulbright, who specialises in public sector finance. Recent highlights include Dennison assisting Eastleigh Borough Council with the proposed refinancing of the Ageas Bowl business, stadium and hotel; Manchester-based Jackie Heeds and Nicholas Bartlett acting for London and Continental Railways on the regeneration of the Mayfield Quarter of Manchester; and Manchester-based pensions expert Gary Delderfield advising the Local Government Pensions Scheme on the creation of a new corporate structure, which will pool its pension fund investments. Leeds-based Charles Reynard stands out for his ‘ability to provide detailed, reasoned and specialist advice’. Cardiff-based Peter Jones, who leads the inquiries and investigations team, is also noted.

The ‘exemplary’ practice at Trowers & Hamlins LLP counts the Greater London Authority (GLA) and London Councils as clients; it is acting for the latter on the structuring options for a delivery vehicle which will provide adoption services across London. The team is also advising Enfield Council on the Meridian Water regeneration project, a development of 8000 new homes, retail units and cultural and leisure facilities; assisting the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham with the formation of Be First (a company aimed at providing the council with regeneration services); and is handling a commercial investment and regeneration strategy for Tamworth Borough Council. PPP specialist James Hawkins and housing and regeneration expert Ian Doolittle jointly head the practice, which also includes Helen Randall, who ‘inspires a great deal of confidence in clients due to her support and expertise’, Amardeep Gill, Paul McDermott, and Scott Dorling. Christopher Plumley, who specialises in regeneration and development projects, joined the firm in 2016 from Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP’s ‘efficient, practical and knowledgeable’ practice excels in handling large-scale regeneration, housing and infrastructure mandates. Its recent work includes advising the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and GLA on the Blackwall Reach regeneration project, which includes the redevelopment of the Robin Hood Gardens Estate. The group handled several matters for key client the Homes and Communities Agency, including advising on the funding of several housing schemes across London, including the financing of four residential towers in Canary Wharf; advising on its accelerated construction scheme; assisting it with the government’s private rented sector housing guarantee scheme; and handling a land assembly for the client in Northstowe, which will ultimately create a 10,000 home community including affordable housing units, schools and sports facilities. Newcastle City Council, Transport for London and East Sussex County Council are also clients. Practice head Andrew Yates, consultant Alan Aisbett and regeneration and development expert Lesley-Anne Avis are the names to note.

Browne Jacobson LLP’s national public sector practice is led by Nottingham-based Richard Barlow. Stephen Matthew, who ‘always has a cool head when needed’, is the key name to note in the firm’s ‘pragmatic’ London team, which ‘combines excellent attention to detail with exceptional market knowledge’. Recent highlights for Matthew include advising Harlow Council on its separation from a joint venture agreement with Kier and the creation of a new company which will provide housing and street repair services; handling the sale of a Grade II listed building for the London Borough of Ealing; and acting for Guildford Borough Council on the Slyfield Area regeneration project. Matthew is also advising the London Borough of Havering on two key development projects and is assisting Local Partnerships with its work with local authorities to develop new housing delivery methods. Other noteworthy names include Peter Ware, who focuses on procurement issues, and project specialist Craig Elder.

Burges Salmon LLP’s practice is led by planning and regeneration expert Gary Soloman, who, alongside Patrick Robinson, advised the Isle of Anglesey County Council on its response to the proposed development of a nuclear power station at Wylfa. Soloman is also advising North Somerset Council on its delivery of the South Bristol Link, a new highway between south Bristol and the city centre. Marcus Harling is acting for the GLA on multiple major regeneration projects in East London including the development of Royal Albert Dock, and John Houlden is assisting Bristol City Council with the financing of Bristol Energy, one of the UK’s first municipal energy companies. Matthew Ramus focuses on outsourcing issues and PFI projects, Nick Churchward specialises in the energy sector, Michael Hayles is recommended for pensions matters and Philip Beer handles real estate work including infrastructure and energy projects.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s group attracts praise for its ‘exceptional industry knowledge, high level of professionalism and depth of support provided by the entire team’. In a recent highlight, practice head and regeneration expert Anne Bowden, who splits her time between London and Leeds, led advice to the London Borough of Southwark on the creation of a new town centre in Canada Water, London Docklands, a joint venture with British Land, and also assisted the London Borough of Lambeth with the delivery of and investment into mixed tenure developments. Adrian Eakin leads the firm’s infrastructure, projects and concessions practice and the ‘knowledgeable and commercialDavid Meecham is recommended for housing matters. Manchester-based Scot Morrison regularly handles PPP projects; his recent highlights include assisting the London Borough of Haringey with the establishment of the Haringey Development Vehicle and acting for the London Borough of Wandsworth on the establishment of a joint venture vehicle to deliver a regeneration scheme in the Winstanley and York Road estates.

Sharpe Pritchard’s team advises on the full spectrum of local government matters with key areas of expertise spanning judicial reviews, statutory appeals, development projects and infrastructure mandates. The firm’s procurement strength is evident in its recent highlights; the group advised Slough Borough Council on a project concerning repair and maintenance services provided to its 5000 housing units, acted for Cheshire East Council on the procurement of a replacement enterprise resource planning IT system and a dry anaerobic digestion facility, and assisted Westminster City Council, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham with the procurement and operation of four shared IT framework agreements. Timothy Farr and Justin Mendelle are also handling an outsourcing project relating to property asset management function and facilities management for Wakefield Council, the first of its kind in the region. Practice head Roseanne Serrelli, Trevor Griffiths, Nicola Sumner and John Sharland are the key names.

Weightmans LLP’s team has ‘a pragmatic and helpful approach’ and ‘expertise across the full gamut of local government issues’. Liverpool-based practice head Simon Goacher is highly regarded for his governance experience and recently advised Mansfield District Council on the rewriting and remodelling of its constitution and assisted Oldham Council with an investigation into a complaint that a member of council had been convicted of downloading inappropriate images of children. The group is also handling the operation of Lawyers in Local Government’s Monitoring Officer Defence phone line. Other work includes Lee Gordon acting for Charnwood Borough Council on the North East of Leicester sustainable urban extension project, Chris Webb-Jenkins acting for Rochdale Borough Council in its participation in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, and Clive Bleasdale handling Flintshire County Council’s strategic housing and regeneration programme, which will enable the council to deliver affordable housing to the county. EM LawShare, North West Legal Consortium and the London Borough of Croydon consortium are also clients.

Addleshaw Goddard’s practice is recognised for its outsourcing, partnership transaction and procurement expertise. Recent work includes acting for Leeds City Council on its procurement of a heating scheme, advising Blackburn with Darwen Council on its procurement of a new partner to deliver multiple council functions, and assisting Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council with the outsourcing of the catering provisions at over 80 primary schools. Michael O’Connor and Andrew Pettinger jointly head the practice, which also includes Andrew Martin, Jonathan Powling and legal director Rob Thompson. Martin was recently part of a team that acted for Surrey Heath Borough Council on its investment in the town centre under prudential borrowing, Pettinger handled Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s refinancing of its pathfinder street lighting PFI scheme and Thompson assisted Transport for Greater Manchester with the establishment of a highways shared-services arrangement, partnering with three Greater Manchester local authorities.

At Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP, Mark Cook jointly heads the team with Olwen Dutton, who joined the firm from Bevan Brittan LLP in 2016. In a recent highlight, Cook advised Watford Borough Council and Watford Community Housing Trust on the establishment of a new joint venture housing development company and separate limited liability partnership; he and Dutton also acted for various local authorities on the establishment of housing development and rental vehicles, and assisted Monmouthshire County Council with the development on an alternative delivery model for tourism, leisure, culture and youth services. Other names to note include financing specialist Jon Coane, procurement and state aid expert Richard Brooks, litigator Andrew Lancaster, Andrew Millross, who focuses on construction issues, and Hilary Harrison, who advises on commercial disputes. Christopher Plumley joined Trowers & Hamlins LLP.

The ‘truly excellentBircham Dyson Bell fields a ‘thorough, effective and personable team’, which is led by infrastructure specialist Angus Walker. Key areas of strength for the group include advising local authorities on charitable institutions and assisting with the creation of new regional government entities. The transport sector is a core strength of the team and, in a recent highlight, Nicholas Evans led advice to Transport for the North and, separately, Midlands Connect on the establishment of a sub-national transport body. Other work in the transport sector includes David Mundy recently acting for Three Rivers District Council on its petition against the HS2 railway project. Mundy also assisted Slough Borough Council with several compulsory land purchases and is advising East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Bridlington Harbour Commissioners on plans to regenerate Bridlington harbour and the construction of a marina. Other clients include Blackpool Council, Nottingham City Council and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council.

CMS is included in the ranking for the first time thanks to its merger with legacy firm Nabarro LLP, which was widely recognised for its expertise in large-scale public procurement, infrastructure and regeneration projects, real estate issues and education sector-related matters. Waste and renewables expert James Snape jointly heads the department with construction litigator Fraser Askham and Mark Rocca, who are both based in Sheffield. Key clients include Redcar & Cleveland Council and Sheffield City Council; Manchester-based Christopher Hallam, who was a new arrival from Pinsent Masons LLP, is advising the latter on the first phase of the creation of Sheffield’s new retail quarter. Other work included Askham assisting Leicester City Council with the extension of the PFI agreements for four of its schools. Construction expert David Parton and infrastructure financing specialist Lucy Plowright joined the firm from Irwin Mitchell and White & Case LLP respectively.

DWF’s Manchester-based Michael Mousdale specialises in public procurement projects. Other noteworthy names in the ‘excellent’ practice include competition specialist Jonathan Branton, Colin Murray, who is recommended for public procurement issues and charity-related mandates, James Lupton, who focuses on infrastructure projects, litigator Jon Hainey and funding specialist Paul Brown. The practice’s wide-ranging experience includes commercial contracts, competition law, debt recovery, PFI projects, litigation, regeneration projects and social housing mandates.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP’s practice head Joanna Bussell is recognised for her substantial expertise in public sector outsourcing projects, particularly in the leisure and culture sectors. Bussell also regularly advises local authorities on the establishment of new not-for-profit organisations and the spinning out of discretionary services. Consultant Simon Randall is also singled out; he focuses on housing issues, the externalisation of local authority services, charitable trusts, regeneration projects, joint ventures and public procurement mandates.

Ashfords LLP’s ‘always available and diverse’ team ‘consistently exceeds all expectations’ and has an approach that ‘gets the message across clearly and concisely every time’ and ‘lets the clients know exactly what they need to hear’. The group advises on the full gamut of local government work and recent highlights include advising the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on its involvement in the Trellick Tower and Edenham Way regeneration project; handling housing, employment, planning and contentious matters for Wandsworth Borough Council, and acting for the London Borough of Croydon in a constructive unfair dismissal, sex and disability discrimination claim brought by a deputy head teacher. Elizabeth Gibson and John Bosworth lead the practice, which also includes employment specialist Charles Pallot, Andrew Rothwell, who specialises in development and regeneration schemes, property litigator Sian Gibbon and constriction expert Jessica Taylor, who recently joined the firm from Clarke Willmott LLP.

The ‘exceptional’ group at Bates Wells Braithwaite provides ‘an extremely high’ level of service, and stands out for its ‘rigorous approach to any problem, approachable manner and solution-driven attitude’ and ‘a team that goes above and beyond for its clients’. Practice head Melanie Carter, who is ‘a very good communicator with an Olympic-standard knowledge of public law’, also leads the firm’s local government audit team, and recently advised the National Audit Office on an external audit of local government legal queries arising from the client’s functions. The ‘genuinely brilliantAbbie Rumbold specialises in public service delivery and social care issues; Rumbold’s recent work includes acting for Hounslow Music Service on the transferral of its music services to an independent charity. Lawrence Simanowitz assisted Lincolnshire County Council with the movement of its music services into an independent charitable incorporated organisation. Senior associate Augustus Della-Porta is also recommended.

Bond Dickinson LLP’s ‘exceptionally brilliant and personable’ team ‘clearly has a strong understanding of the technical, commercial and practical issues facing local authorities’ and provides ‘high quality advice on a timely basis to get the job done’. Key names in the practice include real estate expert Martin Stacey, Iain Greenshields, who focuses on projects and procurement mandates, and Jonathan Bower, who handles planning and infrastructure work. Recent work includes Bower advising Three Rivers District Council on the South Oxhey regeneration scheme, Greenshields assisting Luton Borough Council with the establishment of a company that will create build-to-rent and build-for-sale housing, and Ian Ward acting for Medway Council on the Rochester Riverside project, a regeneration programme that will deliver 1500 residential units, a new school and leisure facilities. Jackie Gray and Richard Collins made partner in 2016; Collins successfully defended West Berkshire Council in the High Court concerning a judicial review and procurement challenge brought by Faraday Development.

Real estate boutique Davitt Jones Bouldprovides an excellent level of service’ coupled with ‘exceptional client care, pragmatism and an approachable manner’. The ‘highly knowledgeable’ team focuses on commercial property issues, portfolio work, regeneration projects, property investments, litigation, planning and school academy transfers for a local authority client roster including Woking Borough Council and Chelmsford City Council. Tom Castle and the ‘excellentSean Bulman recently advised the latter on its involvement in the sale of Britvic’s property assets, including local landmark, the Britvic Clock Tower, to Aberdeen Asset Management. The group counts over 60 local authorities as clients with London Borough of Bromley Council, Surrey County Council, the Borough of Poole and South Gloucestershire Council notable examples; the team also recently gained Slough Borough Council as a client. Madeleine Davitt heads the group, which includes John Smith, the ‘extremely helpfulRobin de Wreede, Sophie Philippon-Thomas and Malcolm Iley as key practitioners.

Dentons’ ‘experienced’ team ‘inspires confidence in its clients thanks to consistently high levels of service, in-depth industry knowledge and a commercially aware approach’ that ‘ensures the team always provides the best support from the beginning’. The group has core strengths in real estate work and key names in the team include real estate practice head Virginia Glastonbury, planning specialist Stephen Ashworth and Mark Bassett, who focuses on public procurement mandates. In a recent highlight, Bassett and Glastonbury advised the GLA on its involvement in the Beam Park development, including assisting with the land acquisition and environmental risk plans. Other work includes Ashworth assisting GLA with a compulsory purchase order made by London City Airport wishing to acquire its land, Madeleine Smallwood acting for the Royal Borough of Greenwich on the Spray Street regeneration scheme and managing associate Michele Vas handling various housing and urban extension mandates for Huntingdonshire District Council. Roland Gray is recommended for development and regeneration work.

Freeths LLP’s team has notable experience handling real estate work, with recent examples including advising Guildford Borough Council on its £20m acquisition of an office building, acting for Guildford Borough Council on multiple transactions spanning property management issues, development site acquisitions and asset disposals; and handling an investment property acquisition for Epsom and Ewell Borough Council. Other areas of expertise include employment issues and commercial work. Birmingham-based Nathan Holden heads the team nationally and is recognised for his commercial property project expertise. Outsourcing and regeneration specialist Stephen Pearson, property expert Mitchell Ball, Clive Pearce, who joined the firm in 2016 from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, London real estate head Ian Rowson and consultant Nicholas Dobson are other names to note.

At Gowling WLG, Mark Greenburgh is noted for his employment expertise, regularly advising clients on general employment issues, equality mandates, bribery cases and whistleblowing matters. Sarah Sasse heads the firm’s public sector IT and outsourcing practice and is recognised for her public procurement and commercial contract experience advising public bodies, local authorities and commissioners. The multidisciplinary team also includes experts from the firm’s pensions, real estate, IP, infrastructure, energy and regulation practices.

At Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, solicitor advocate Andrew Lidbetter handles a wide range of public law issues including judicial reviews, professional regulation matters and freedom of information requests. Other areas of expertise for the practice include advising on complex infrastructure projects and procurements, government asset sales, restructuring programmes, PPP structures, regulatory issues and handling litigation, including inquiries and disciplinary proceedings. Adrian Clough, who has notable expertise handling PPP matters and infrastructure mandates, litigator Nusrat Zar and Stephen Rayfield, who primarily handles corporate transactions and restructurings, are also noted.

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