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Who Represents Who

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In real estate terms 2016 was undoubtedly the year of the residential developer, as the government’s requirement for new housing in London and the UK triggered a multitude of substantial housing projects, including garden cities and villages in places such as Aylesbury, Didcot and Taunton. Social housing providers continued to be highly active, while the private sector focused on numerous build to rent schemes – these schemes have become a desirable asset type in investor portfolios. Traditional investors weren’t the only ones to profit. Increasingly local authorities, hamstrung by government cuts, have being getting in on the act, and using public money for investment purposes.

The year was far patchier for those dealing in property for commercial use, as both the run-up to the EU referendum, and the ensuing period of shock after the Brexit result kept investors extremely cautious. A reported £650m of commercial property deals were thought to have collapsed in the City of London in the weeks following the UK’s vote to leave the EU. Despite the uncertainty, property remains a fundamentally safe asset class, and the characteristics that have distinguished the market of late – inbound international capital and the rise of alternative asset classes such as student accommodation and senior living, where the asset can be sweated - appear to be still present. Indeed, the sterling devaluation that occurred after the Brexit decision has made UK property even more attractive for international investors pegged to the US Dollar or Euro, with activity in central London dominated by Asian, American and Pan-European investors. March 2017 saw the sale of the City of London’s tallest tower, the Cheesegrater, to Chinese investors for £1.15bn. However, UK institutional investment has, save for a fire-sale in the retail sector in the Autumn of 2016, been much quieter.

Finance continues to be readily available for deals, with the UK clearing banks gradually returning to the real estate finance space, to take back some of the ground that has been ceded to foreign banks and alternative lenders such as DRC Capital, Aviva and LaSalle Investment Management. Many lenders are following transactions into regional cities, particularly Birmingham and Manchester, in search of a return.

Property litigation has inevitably accompanied the surge in development; in particular the opportunities for right of light claims - that exist notwithstanding the grant of planning - have arisen in response to the increasing urban density. Enfranchisement is also a growth area.

Construction lawyers were able to benefit from the active development market, and the UK contracting market is still quite hot. Contractors are nonetheless starting to push risks back onto owners which in recent history owners have been able to offload, and owners are starting to think about moving away from the recent period of adherence to design and build contracting in favour of other forms of procurement such as construction management. The market is awaiting a better understanding of the effect Brexit will have on UK labour supply, materials prices and procurement structures. 2016 was a much leaner time for new infrastructure projects, although the more successful construction legal practices have started to take advantage of the opportunities for gas providers (or new interconnectors) to plug an energy capacity gap in the UK market. On the contentious side, the search for high value construction work continues to encourage practitioners to move into the international arbitration arena, although there are pieces of UK litigation – notably around PFI projects and waste energy plants – that are capable of sustaining top tier practices.

For planners, the Housing and Planning Act 2016 proved to be yet another piece of planning legislation that made little difference to the intricacies of the planning regime. There is talk of the Government abolishing the unnecessarily complicated Community Infrastructure Levy, however that is a watch this space for the moment. Headline grabbing planning matters have continued to be dominated by the airport sector, with Norton Rose Fulbright’s planning team picking up a number of legal prizes for overturning the London Mayor’s refusal of London City Airport’s expansion plans; all eyes are now on the highly contentious question of Heathrow’s third runway.

In the environment space, the Brexit decision (triggering a departure from the EU legislation that is so all governing in relation to environmental practice) is creating a degree of uncertainty. Some law firms have rushed through Irish qualifications to maintain the link with Europe, while others have deemed this an unnecessary precaution. It is anticipated that the UK will initially put through legislation that bundles up most EU directives into one statute. In terms of work for environmental lawyers, the main change has related to a move by corporates to be more transparent with their stakeholders: driven, amongst other things, by the introduction of the UK’s Modern Slavery Act 2015. As a result, there has been an increase in the number of corporate reporting and transparency advice mandates.

For law firms, it was a time to be a well-hedged practice, and perhaps this was a background feature of two very differing stories in the London legal market. In January 2017, the European arm of King & Wood Mallesons (that incorporated the legacy S J Berwin practice - once the envy of the real estate sector) filed for administration. By contrast, in May 2017 the three-way merger of CMS, Olswang LLP and Nabarro LLP went live, and in doing so created the largest real estate team in the UK.

New to the Real estate chapter this year is Residential property. Ranked firms have demonstrated a track record handling high-value (£8m-plus) real estate transactions for high-net-worth/ultra-high-net-worth clients.

Commercial property

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: general
  2. Commercial property: development
  3. Commercial property: hotels and leisure
  4. Commercial property: investment
  5. Commercial property: retail
  6. Leading individuals
  7. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial property clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


At Ashurst, the ‘service level for high value acquisition and development work is excellent’ and 2016 saw the team leverage off the firm’s strong international presence to advise on a range of high-value transactions. David Jones, who heads up the real estate capital markets group, advised on a number of deals emanating from North America, including acting for key client Oxford Properties on the £198m joint venture acquisition (with RLG Real Estate) of 48-50 New Bond Street from Scottish Widows. The team was also busy on various mandates from the Asia-Pacific region, including advising Poly Real Estate on the £146m structured acquisition of 5 Fleet Place from ADIA. In the development sub-sector, planning specialist Trevor Goode and senior associate Tim Regis (whose ‘knowledge is second to none’), acted for Greenland Group on the redevelopment of the Spire in London’s Canary Wharf; and global practice head Hugh Lumby continued to advise Westfield on phase 2 of the Westfield London development in White City. In another retail-related development scheme, the ‘very good’ Richard Vernon, who leads the London team, assisted Stanhope with the redevelopment of land at Elwick Road, Ashford. The practice’s hospitality client base includes the likes of the Ritz Hotel, and one recent mandate saw head of development Melanie Jordan advise The Berkeley Group on the City Forum regeneration at 250 City Road, which includes a significant hotel site. In other highlights, the team acted on one of the largest sale and leasebacks of the last few years, with Sarah Sivyour and Henry Moss assisting BP with the £300m sale and leaseback of its Sunbury office campus. The practice was weakened on the investment side by the loss of both Darren Rogers and Patrick Williams to Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson (London) LLP.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP is ‘exceptionally good on most performance criteria’ and as a result is regularly instructed on the largest transactions in the UK market; in 2016 head of practice Chris de Pury acted for CC Land Holdings on its £1.15bn acquisition of the Jersey company that owns 122 Leadenhall Street from a joint venture between The British Land Company and Oxford Properties; and in another example of cross-border investment work, de Pury and Adam Bogdanor assisted China Life and Brookfield with the £346m acquisition of the corporate entity that owns Aldgate Tower from a privately controlled Irish developer and investor. On the development side, the team saw involvement in some of the largest new public sector housing development schemes, including Andrew Yates’ advice to the Homes and Communities Agency on the delivery of a 10,000-home new community at Northstowe, outside Cambridge. In the private sector space (where clients include Canary Wharf and Land Securities), Samant Narula continued to advise Hermes Investment Management on its Paradise Circus development in Birmingham. The practice is particularly recommended for its hospitality work, with department head Karen Friebe a ‘standout for hotel management agreements for boutique hotels’. Examples of hospitality work include Friebe acting for Qatari Diar on the redevelopment of the old American Embassy site in Grosvenor Square London into a luxury hotel, and Claire Milton assisting Derwent London with the sale of 120-134 Tottenham Court Road, which comprises a 330-room hotel, as well as retail and restaurant floor-space. Other key figures are James Knox, who leads on retail work for clients such as Tesco and Westfield Shopping Towns, and chairman Robert MacGregor.

CMS’s tie-up with Nabarro and Olswang on 1st May 2017 has resulted in a highly significant real estate offering, that is led by the ‘experienced and very calm’, Ciaran Carvalho. The new practice now has access to the full spectrum of clients, including UK REITs such as Land Securities and Hammerson, institutional bodies such as Standard Life Investments and M&G Real Estate, and foreign investors such as Beijing Capital Development Holdings and SRE Group. Key players on the investment side include ‘intelligent and reliable’ investment head Edward Benzecry, who assisted Aberdeen UK Property Fund with the sale of 10 Hammersmith Grove, London, to Brockton Capital; ‘pragmatic and incisive advisorSimon Staite, who advised Beijing Capital Development Holdings on its £200m purchase of 30 Crown Place in the City of London; and Jonathan Lewis. In the development sub-sector, names to note include ‘sensible and approachable’ UK-head Mark Heighton; Kevin Stimpson, who is assisting joint venture partners Hammerson and Standard Life on the £4bn regeneration of Brent Cross; and the ‘very diligent and commercialClare Thomas. The new practice services a plethora of hospitality clients, including the likes of Hyatt and The Savoy, and has considerable experience in big ticket transactional mandates; in one recent example global head of hotels and leisure Thomas Page acted for Cranefield on its acquisition of DoubleTree by Hilton Tower of London from Blackstone. In the retail space, there is particular strength on the landlord side, where shopping centre specialist Martyn Needham, is ‘great to work with on transactions’; the practice also acts for tenants such as Toys "R" Us and Sports Direct. Helen Johnson is the main contact for retail work.

Clifford Chance’s ‘involvement applies a high quality stamp on transactions which is recognized across borders’; during 2016 the team was busy on a high volume of corporate deals involving real estate entities. In the self-storage sector, Catherine Cook acted for Storage Mart on its £113m acquisition of Big Box Self Storage; while in the housing sector global practice co-head Jonathan Solomon, who has a ‘wealth of relevant industry knowledge’, assisted L&Q with its £505m acquisition of Gallagher Estates. Other key players for investment work include ‘superb’ global practice co-head Adrian Levy, who is ‘good at finding solutions to problems’; and Mark Payne, who is a ‘seasoned, calm and pragmatic adviser on large deals’. The practice was also active in the development sub-sector, where specialisms include large-scale regeneration projects, mixed-use schemes and over-station developments. Solomon is representing Native Land on its $1bn regeneration project at Bankside, and Angela Kearns advised The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels on the acquisition of Grosvenor’s entire 50% interest in their joint venture to deliver a mixed use development at 1-5 Grosvenor Place, London. The hospitality sector is another strength and the practice is invariably ‘used for the largest and most complicated projects in the industry’. Both Alis Pay and Jane Cheong Tung Sing are singled out for their ‘expert, detailed knowledge’, particularly in relation to hotel and leisure facility financings. Payne and ‘industrious’ senior associate Ian Painter acted for a high-net-worth individual and restaurateur on the acquisition of 74 Charlotte Street, to include a newly developed restaurant unit.

Leader of the packHerbert Smith Freehills LLPdeals with multiple jurisdictions easily with one single reporting line’, and the team is regularly instructed on significant cross-border mandates; recent examples include Richard Forsdyke acting for Oxford Properties on the sale of its 50% stake in the Leadenhall Building to CC Land, and ‘excellent practical advisorJeremy Walden assisting Shaw Holdings with its £270m acquisition of 88 Wood Street from Kumpulan Wang Amanah Pencen. The practice enjoys a strong relationship with FTSE REITs such as The British Land Company and Hammerson, and head of practice Donald Rowlands, who is ‘excellent at taking clients through complicated transactions’, acted for the latter on the £335m sale of its 50% stake in the Grand Central shopping centre in Birmingham. Another name to note on the investment side is Julian Pollock, who co-heads the investment team with Walden. In the development sub-sector, the practice is ‘particularly good on pre-letting buildings that are off-plan or under construction’. Infrastructure-related development work is another area of strength, and Nick Turner, ‘who is rapidly becoming top-class’, is advising on numerous over-station developments. In other work Forsdyke continued to handle a number of key development mandates, including acting for Almacantar on the redevelopment of Marble Arch Place, and assisting Anschutz Entertainment Group with the transformation of the Millennium Dome and surrounding 40 acres on Greenwich Peninsula into the O2 Arena and entertainment district. The practice’s retail and hospitality expertise is heavily landlord/owner oriented. Additional key figures include regional managing partner Ian Cox and ‘clear advisorDavid Rosen.

In 2016, Hogan Lovells International LLP’s ‘pro-active, solution-based’ practice secured first-time panel appointments with The British Land Company and U+I Group, complementing a diverse client base that takes in institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, private equity houses, and overseas family wealth. The practice also enjoyed a number of significant investment deals across asset types such as student housing and high street retail; one standout mandate saw the ‘technically brilliantSian Owles advise Queensland Investment Corporation on the £410m sale of its 50% interest in Merry Hill Shopping Centre in Dudley to Intu Properties. In other investment highlights, newly appointed UK-head Daniel Norris, who is ‘exceptional on portfolio deals’, advised Mapletree on the acquisition of 23 student housing blocks; and the ‘committed and very smartDion Panambalana and Andrew Flemming assisted U+I Group with its new 50:50 joint venture platform with an affiliate of Colony NorthStar. In the development sub-sector, ‘standout performerNicholas Roberts advised Argent Related on securing its role as development partner in the multibillion-pound Brent Cross South regeneration scheme; and Norris acted for key client M&G Real Estate on its equity funding of a major development at Three Snowhill in Birmingham city centre. In other highlights, Panambalana assisted Land Securities with asset management for both retail and hospitality assets; and global practice head Jackie Newstead, who ‘consistently delivers’, advised Hermes on the lettings and proposed redevelopment of a shopping centre at Royal Victoria Place in Tunbridge Wells. Gill McGreevy was also active on various landlord-side retail mandates. The practice also has a number of recommended lawyers below partner level, including newly promoted counsel Christopher Somorjay; senior associate Stella Bliss, who has ‘excellent commercial sense’; and senior associate Anthony Newton, who is a ‘leader in the student accommodation field’.

Addleshaw Goddard has ‘in-depth knowledge of the UK real estate market, especially in relation to commercial buildings’, and the team continues to handle various deals for foreign investors seeking to acquire office space. In one example, practice head Leona Ahmed, who ‘impresses with her interpersonal skills and responsiveness to queries’, advised Lembaga Tabung Haji on the acquisition of an office building in Windsor, as well as an asset at 129 Wilton Road in London. The team also has expertise in handling a range of other asset types such as pubs and residential, and in one highlight Lee Sheldon is acting for Dandara Group on one of the UK’s largest single build-to-rent development schemes in the private rental sector. In the hotels space, finance specialist James Salford has ‘good links with hotel brands’ such as Travelodge Group Companies. Another key figure is Andrew Martin, whose ‘over-arching commercial and practical approach to problem solving sets him apart from his peers’. Martin is assisting Surrey Heath Borough Council with the acquisition of the units in a Jersey Property Unit Trust which hold the legal and beneficial title to Camberley Town Centre from Capital & Regional. The practice is currently enjoying a strong period of growth; besides securing additional resources by way of the firm’s recent merger with HBJ, it also made a number of key hires, including Iain Hindhaugh from Jones Day, and William Boss, Luke Harvey, Michael Scott, and Simon Tager, all from King & Wood Mallesons.

DLA Piper showed its intentions for this practice area with the hire of 27 lawyers, including William Naunton and Bryan Pickup, from King & Wood Malleson. ‘Naunton and his team provide a wonderfully commercial, user friendly approach to the law’, with George Burrha described by one client as ‘one of the best property lawyers in the business’. In line with this expansion, the practice handled one of the UK’s largest investment mandates, with corporate specialist Robert Salter and legal director Jonathan Whiteford acting for Oxford Properties on its £563m sale of the Green Park business park to Singapore-based Mapletree Investments. In another significant investment mandate, ‘cerebral’ London practice head Richard Wilkinson, who ‘goes the extra mile to understand the specific industry sector relevant to the deal’, represented Deutsche Fonds Holding on the real estate aspects of the £155m sale of 20 Moorgate to SEA Holdings. The team’s development work has a strong regional focus, and in one example, Liverpool-based Mark Beardwood is advising Cheshire West and Chester Council in connection with the Chester Northgate town centre regeneration programme. In London, Paul Jayson is acting for WeWork on the development and pre-letting obligations of its portfolio of prime city office buildings. The hotel-and-leisure and retail offerings are led from the Leeds office by Matthew Duncombe and Valerie Mather, respectively. Duncombe acted on behalf of Marriott International on various hotel franchise deals, while Mather continued to service the practice’s strong portfolio of retailers, which includes BHS, Dixons Carphone and JD Sports Fashion. Richard Hopkinson-Woolley departed for Simmons & Simmons.

Industry knowledge is second to none’ at Dentons, and the team’s ‘considerable strength in depth’ was further enhanced by a number of key hires during 2016, including Rob Thompson, Rupert Dowdell, Lewis Myers, Simon Tweedle, and Jayne Schnider from Irwin Mitchell, and corporate real estate specialist Jonathan Cantor who joined from Nabarro. Thompson and Myers, who have particular expertise in investment work, advised Secure Income REIT on the £196m acquisition of a portfolio of 55 hotels held in Jersey Unit Trusts; and in another key investment deal, practice co-head Richard Budge advised Topland Group on the sale of the Cyrus property portfolio to Fortress Investment Group for in excess of £400m. Budge also handles development work and is singled out for his ‘first class experience of Local Asset Backed Vehicles and public/private partnerships’; he is advising HOOPP/ Verdion on a £400m logistics development project on a 337-acre greenfield site located just south of Doncaster. Another name to note is practice co-head Virginia Glastonbury, whose ongoing work includes handling a substantial volume of retail instructions for Network Rail, including the Paddington Lawn retail and dining hub at Paddington station. Besides landlord-side retail work, the practice also has a strong tenant-side client base including the likes of John Lewis and Sainsbury’s; Miriam Best acted for the latter on the sale of its pharmacy business to Celesio. Hospitality and leisure is another strength, where key players include US qualified practice head Mark Daliere; the ‘highly respectedSimon Masri; and Babette Märzheuser-Wood, who ‘knows the franchise world inside out’. The ‘top qualityMatthew Tinger and Masri advised the Al Habtoor Group on the corporate acquisition of the Hilton London Wembley from funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP specialises in major institutional, inward investor and REIT mandates, and the team is also experienced in handling global level headquarters work for the likes of Facebook and KPMG. Recent investment highlights include Lee Jackson advising a client of TH Real Estate on the sale of the units in a Jersey Property Unit Trust that owned the Peak building (in Victoria) to a private middle eastern investor, and Richard Lampert acting for Scottish Widows on the £360m disposal of a significant proportion of its Mayfair block. In a standout corporate deal, practice head Bruce Dear advised Electricity Pension Scheme on the real estate aspects of its £1.47bn merger with the CBRE UK Property Fund. Dear was also active in the development sub-sector, where he assisted Legal and General Capital Investments with its £350m joint venture investment into the Newcastle Science Central urban regeneration scheme. In another example of development work, Nicholas Bartlett advised London & Continental Railways on its joint venture redevelopment of the Mayfield site in central Manchester; this project is Europe’s largest urban regeneration scheme. The practice’s ‘hugely client focused and commercial’ hospitality-and-leisure team is led by Leeds-based Susan Samuel, who advises on a range of real estate products including casinos, hotels, leisure complexes, and health and fitness facilities; Samuel acted for Kentucky Fried Chicken on the refranchising of 160 KFC stores. Manchester-based James Batham is in charge of retail, where clients include Harrods and Marks and Spencer.

Jones Day’s ‘proactive’ team provides ‘tailored and appropriate advice’ to a range of global real estate players, including Goldman Sachs, Blackstone and Greystar Real Estate Partners; in one standout matter, David Smith advised Goldman Sachs on the formation of a student-housing joint venture with Wellcome Trust to be known as Vero Group. Global practice head David Roberts is ‘experienced and pragmatic’ and has particular experience in acting for UK REITs; as well as advising The British Land Company on the acquisition of a block of shops in the centre of Plymouth, he also assisted LondonMetric with the acquisition, development and letting of a one million ft² distribution centre in Thrapston. Corporate specialist Alistair Grant and Alex Millar handled transactions for a number of foreign investors, including advising CBRE European Co-Investment Fund on the £500m acquisition of a portfolio of 22 UK logistics assets from Prologis, and representing Antirion SGR in its purchase of a 50% interest in Principal Place Commercial (which is in the course of developing office, retail and ancillary accommodation largely to be occupied by Amazon). In the development space, Smith, who has an ‘unparalleled work ethic and the ability to cut through complicated issues’, is representing Meyer Bergman European Retail Partners II on the development of Thames House in Borough Market, London. The practice’s retail expertise is predominantly on the landlord side, and Grant also advised CBRE Global Investors on a joint venture with Arax Properties for the acquisition of Willowbrook Shopping Centre. Iain Hindhaugh departed for Addleshaw Goddard.

Linklaters LLP’s ‘excellent’ team ‘grasps the gist of the legal intricacies, but at the same time does not get bogged down into acrimonious negotiations’. Although the practice is not large, it still manages to attract some of the best mandates in the UK market; for example Martin Elliott and newly promoted partner Tom Watkins (who is a ‘good problem solver, with particularly strong drafting skills’), acted for AustralianSuper Pty on its £434m acquisition of an additional 42% interest in the King’s Cross Central regeneration scheme. In another standout deal, Watkins and Patrick Plant assisted Fidelidade - Companhia de Seguros with the £300m acquisition of the Thomas More Square estate, through a joint venture with Resolution Property. Plant’s caseload also included advising on various corporate headquarter mandates in the media sector, such as advising the Economist Group on the sale of its complex in St James’s, London. Practice head Andrew Bruce is ‘consistently excellent’ and ‘strikes a fair balance between fierce negotiator and reasonable mediator’. Bruce represented Chinese Estates Holdings in its acquisition of 14 St George Street, Mayfair; and in the development space, he continues to advise Lendlease on its regeneration of Elephant & Castle. In other development highlights, Mark Burgess-Smith represented Prologis on the setting up of a joint venture with CBRE Global Investors to invest in investment-and-development properties in the UK; and Simon Price assisted Meyer Bergman with the development of a residential site at West Cromwell Road, Kensington. The practice often features on the landlord side in retail sector work.

Macfarlanes LLPprovides a trusted and tailored service’ and ‘always demonstrates a reliable accessibility and a willingness to turn documents around swiftly’. The practice has a strong UK client base, which includes the likes of Stanhope, Legal and General and Intu Properties; Dan Marriott acted for the latter client on its acquisition of a 50% stake in the Merry Hill shopping centre from the Queensland Investment Corporation. In another significant investment deal, Ian Nisse advised a joint venture led by Stanhope on the acquisition from the BBC of the Media Village and Gateway sites in White City, London. Practice head Anthony Burnett-Scott is ‘level headed, pragmatic in negotiations and capable of identifying solutions where none seem obvious’; he is acting for Balfour Beatty Investments on the public procurement process for the regeneration of the Winstanley and York Road estates adjoining Clapham Junction railway station. The team also advised on a number of hotel and leisure mandates in the development sub-sector, including Dominic Cunliffe’s advice to Arena Racing and Cozumel Estates in connection with the proposed redevelopment of Folkestone Race Course as part of Otterpool Park Garden Town, and newly promoted partner Nick Barnes representation of Arora Group and Whitebridge Hospitality on the agreement for the development of a Crown Plaza Hotel and a Holiday Inn Express at Heathrow airport’s Terminal 4. In retail work, the practice is mainly active on the landlord side, and Steven Pitchford acted for Derwent London on the pre-letting of 12 floors of the White Collar Factory in East London to retail and leisure tenants.

Mayer Brown International LLPis always responsive’, its ‘legal advice well considered and commercially focused’ and ‘the firm consistently achieves excellent results’. In 2016 the practice enjoyed a large number of investment mandates originating in the Far East; for example, newly promoted UK head Chris Harvey advised Asia Growth Properties on the £155m purchase of the entire issued units in the Trust that owns 20 Moorgate, London; he also assisted China Overseas Holdings with the £140m acquisition of the Helicon Building in the City of London from Deutsche AWM. Global head of practice Jeremy Clay, who is ‘client driven and commercial’, was also active on investment work, and represented Crosstree Real Estate on the £248m disposal of its interests in 207 Old Street and 211 Old Street to its joint venture partner, Helical. The other key figure in the team is European practice head Martin Wright, who ‘is a hugely safe pair of hands, with an endless depth of experience in development transactions of a large scale’. Wright continues to advise The Silvertown Partnership on the ongoing £3.5bn redevelopment of Silvertown Quays in London’s Docklands. The team was also highly active on behalf of key client British Land Company, to which the ‘experienced and knowledgeable’ Caroline Humble continues to provide on-going advice regarding the redevelopment and leasing of its high-profile scheme at Clarges, Mayfair. The firm is also acting for the same client on the management of the Leadenhall building. In another example of the practice’s expertise in development work, Patricia Jones advised Chelsfield Partners and Carraig Investments on a development agreement with London Underground concerning new station entrances, step free access and cooling, and oversite development for residential, retail and office use. The practice’s retail expertise is on the landlord side.

Mishcon de Reya LLP’s ‘depth of knowledge and ability to deliver on time’ make it a favourite with a number of heavyweight US investors, including Brookfield, and the practice also acts for various major European institutional investors. In 2016, the well regarded Ian Paul and Simon Hart were particularly busy on investment mandates relating to student accommodation and trophy buildings in Central London. On the development side, head of practice Nick Doffman, who ‘impresses with his business ethos’, continued to act for new client Berkeley Group on its established development at Royal Arsenal Riverside in Woolwich; and the ‘excellentNick Minkoff is assisting Olayan Group with the redevelopment of the northern part of the Knightsbridge Estate. Another key player in the development sub-sector is Stephen Hughes, who is acting on a number of major London projects including advising Earls Court Partnership on the £8bn Earls Court redevelopment project. The team was also highly active in growth areas such as PRS, with Daniel Lipman and legal director Edward Hughes-Power singled out for their ‘thorough skill set in the emerging build-to-rent market’. In the retail sector, the team continues to handle a good range of mandates for both landlords and tenants; on the tenant side, clients include Limited Brands and Coach, and legal director Claire Manches acted for the latter on the acquisition from Jaeger of a £5m premium leasehold interest in The Crown Estate’s Regent Street London.

Norton Rose Fulbright has a ‘strong, broad practice with good calibre lawyers throughout, who are all incredibly hard working’. The practice witnessed some change at the top, with the ‘fast, skilled and reasonableWasim Khan taking over from ‘outstanding lawyer and networkerDavid Sinclair as head of London real estate in May 2017. Khan has particular expertise in real estate matters employing Islamic finance. Sinclair, who remains a key figure, is able to ‘mastermind intricate negotiations’, and continued to act for 57 Whitehall Investments on the redevelopment of the Old War Office Building, Whitehall. In other examples of development work, David Hawkins assisted Ashby Capital with the forward funding of a new 100,000 ft² office building at Brunel Place in Slough, as part of the Heart of Slough Redevelopment; and Dan Wagerfield continued to act for Ecoworld on three prime residential projects in Nine Elms, London Docklands and on the River Lea peninsular. On the investment side, the team benefited from the post-Brexit interest of German funds in the UK market, and advised on a number of transactions for German sellers: Sinclair acted for GLL Real Estate Partners on the sale of Kinnaird House in Pall Mall, and Hawkins advised WealthCap on its sale of 100 Lower Thames Street. The team was also busy on behalf of key client TH Real Estate, which Neil Biswas assisted with the €250m sale of three shopping centre portfolio companies in Italy and Spain to a joint venture between TPG Capital and Partners Group. The practice is particularly well-regarded for its hotel expertise; Nick Clayson, who leads the team, has a strong Middle East client base and acted for Mubadala Development Company on the structuring of the Rosewood and Four Seasons’ hotels in Abu Dhabi.

Praised for its ‘highly competent, speedy advice’ on acquisitions and disposals, the team at Allen & Overy LLP remained highly active in transactional matters during 2016. Practice head Imogen Moss, who has a ‘great depth of industry knowledge and is calm under pressure’, acted for Ashby Capital on its £217m acquisition of a 50% stake in Fitzroy Place from Kaupthing. In another practice highlight, the ‘proactive and client sensitive’ Christopher Woolf advised key client Westbrook Partners on its £85m acquisition of the mixed-use Project Rio UK portfolio from BlackRock. Although the practice is characterised by its international investor clients, it continues to handle a good spread of development work, including global headquarters mandates. Recent examples saw Moss advise Schroder UK Real Estate Fund on the development of Ruskin Square (Croydon), and the pre-let of the first office phase to HMRC’ and Woolf’s assistance to QInvest on its joint venture with Osprey Equity Partners for the £80m forward funding for the development of 27 Commercial Road, Aldgate. The team retains its presence in the hospitality and retail sectors, where it recently handled various funding and investment mandates; for example, Moss and counsel Emma Willoughby (an ‘accomplished negotiator of commercial leases’), represented Oxford Properties and Richemont on the £198m acquisition of Mulberry’s flagship store from Aberdeen Asset Management.

At Baker McKenzie, head of practice Stephen Turner and Justin Salkeld continued to service the firm’s broad international client base across a range of areas, including finance, M&A, investment, development and corporate headquarters work. In the M&A space, Turner advised Emerson Electric on the real estate aspects of a series of carve-outs, including the spin out of its global Network Power business; and Salkeld assisted Equinix with its $3.8bn acquisition of Telecity Group. Turner was also involved in various significant investment deals, including representing a purchaser from the Far East in one of the UK’s largest property deals of 2016. Salkeld regularly acts for investors and operators in connection with the acquisition, development, operation and disposal of hotel assets; in on-going work he continues to represent Edwardian on the development of a high-profile luxury hotel project in the UK. In other highlights, the team assisted Cobelfret with various infrastructure and development projects, and also advised the Canadian High Commission on the re-gear and lease extension of its UK High Commission and Chancery buildings on Trafalgar Square and Cockspur Street.

Fieldfisher’s ‘rigorous and technically able team gives real, hard-edged commercial advice to help deliver a stronger outcome’. The practice has particular strength on the investment side, where it acts for a range of institutional and investment fund clients such as Shell Pension Funds, and Deutsche Asset and Wealth Management. Recent investment work mandates saw the ‘excellent’ Paul Houston (who ‘valuably demonstrates the balance of commercial/business acumen and legal knowledge’), act for Ladbrokes Coral Group on the £175m disposal of 50 bingo clubs; and Jonathan Wright assist Liberty Property Trust with the sale of One Didsbury Point. Other key players include the ‘very impressive’ Rhodri Pazzi-Axworthy (who is ‘always able to think around problems’), and the ‘efficient and astute’ Jayne Elkins. The firm’s merger with Solihull-based Hill Hofstetter enhanced the practice’s development capability, particularly with the addition of Sue Simpson, who is acting for Cambridge Biomedical on the development of its campus. In another development highlight, the team is acting for Imperial College, London, in relation to the development of its site at White City. In the hotel and leisure sub-sector, Houston was active on behalf of Dominvs Group; and Ramatu Banga, who is ‘professional, commercial, and a good frontwoman’, continued to assist We Are Bar with property acquisitions and lease renewals. The practice further illustrates its breadth by acting for a number of retailers including Nike and BMW.

Forsters LLP provides ‘strong business acumen, and thoughtful advice’ to a range of investment funds and asset managers, including Aberdeen Asset Management and LaSalle Investment Management. Recent investment-side mandates saw Eugene McMahon and Magnus Hassett act for British Airways Pension Fund on the £179m sale of 61-67 Oxford Street and 1-14 Soho Street; and Sarah Pass assist HIFML UK Property Fund with the £56m disposal of Gallows Corner Retail Park, Romford. The practice has a strong track record in retail-led redevelopment schemes, and recently handled the acquisition and redevelopment of a mixed-use scheme at Piries Place, Horsham for British Airways Pension Trustees. In other examples of development work, Glenn Dunn acted for the Corporation of Trinity House in connection with the redevelopment of the site of the former Southwark County Court; and Ronan Ledwidge assisted a fund managed by Aberdeen Asset Management with the funding of Helical Retail’s Cortonwood Shopping Park, near Rotherham. Corporate specialist Craigie Pearson leads on hotel and leisure instructions, and is regularly engaged on M&A for clients such as Bespoke Hotels. In other highlights, the client-focused Victoria Towers acted for a subsidiary of Bursha Holdings on the sale of the Theatre District in Milton Keynes to Otium Real Estate. Practice head Matthew Swainston and founding partner Smita Edwards, who ‘gets things done and fights the client’s corner’), are also key figures.

Although Gowling WLG’s offering is led from Birmingham by Richard Bate, the practice maintains a substantial London presence that includes key players such as Jon Lloyd, Rabinder Chaggar, and Peter Thorne. Lloyd recently acted for Merlin UK Property Venture Luxembourg on the £120m sale of The Broadway Shopping Centre, Bexleyheath, to New River Retail UK; and in another example of investment work, Robert Adam assisted TIAA Henderson with the £115m sale of Ryder Court, St James’s, to Vanke. In the development sub-sector, Thorne continued to advise VSM on all aspects of the redevelopment of the New Covent Garden market, including its pending sale; and Chaggar represented a joint venture of the Crown Estate and TIAA Henderson on the development arrangements with Exeter City Council for the development of a new mixed-use retail/leisure shopping centre at Princesshay, Exeter. The retail sector is a particular area of strength and the team enjoys a good balance of landlord and tenant work, with retailer clients including Specsavers Optical Superstores, Jaeger and Under Armour. In one highlight, Chaggar advised a joint venture partnership between the Crown Estate Commissioners and TH Real Estate on the mixed-use leisure-and-retail development of the existing bus garage site in Exeter city centre. Corporate specialist Michael Lacey leads on hotel and leisure work, and advised Dolphin Capital Investors on the disposal of its 100% interest in the Playa Grande Golf and Resort project in the Dominican Republic.

Able to see both sides’, Osborne Clarke LLP’s ‘practical and commercial’ team underwent further expansion in 2016 with the hires of Louise Cartwright and Jo Footitt from Irwin Mitchell; their arrival has helped to broaden the practice’s landlord-side retail work. Tenant-side retail work is led from Bristol by Dolf Darnton, whose impressive client list includes Homebase, Selfridges and Halfords. Aside from retail, the practice has a strong sector-focus in areas such as energy, student housing and build to rent/PRS. In one example of the latter, David North acted for Palmer Capital and Cubex Land on the forward funding of two eight-storey towers comprising around 200 private rented homes, together with leisure space at ground level. In the development sub-sector, the team advised on a range of residential mandates for housebuilders and land promoters such as Welbeck Land and Taylor Wimpey East London. National head of investment Peter Day leads the London offering, where clients include UK and overseas institutions, public and private property companies and private investors; his recent work includes advising Savills IM on the £75m sale of 33 Gracechurch Street, London, by way of transferring the Jersey Property Unit Trust to a private overseas investor; and representing Orchard Street Prime UK Property Fund on its acquisition of a freehold interest in Broadway House, 1-15 King Street Hammersmith. Legal director Tim Hart and senior associate David Kerr are also both recommended.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘pragmatic approach and clear understanding of client objectives’ ensured that the practice was busy on investment deals across a range of asset types. Simon Gardiner advised Legal & General Pensions on the £200m acquisition of a distribution warehouse to be occupied by Amazon at Tilbury Dock, and the ‘very able and personableKevin Boa acted for Grainger Residential on the £99m acquisition of a build-to-rent private rented sector development scheme in Salford Quays. The practice is possibly best known for its expertise in the hotels sector, with London practice head Claire Hughes particularly highly regarded in this respect. Hughes acted for Junson Assets Management Europe on the property aspects of its acquisition of the Hilton Dockland Riverside Hotel. Another name to note for hospitality work is corporate specialist Nick Skea-Strachan, whose caseload covers hotel and resort management contracts and franchising arrangements for the likes of Cycas Hospitality and Shangri-La. On the development side, senior consultant David Taylorremains a strong supervisor’, and Michael Reid is also ‘strongly favoured for development and occupier work’. Reid is acting for Luton Town Football Club on the acquisition and redevelopment of the Power Court site in Luton. Other key figures include investment specialist Richard Lloyd, who is ‘never unavailable and always has the interests of his client at top of mind’, and urban regeneration specialist Nic Berry.

Reed Smith LLP’s ‘extensive experience in development work’ was once again in evidence, with the team active on a number of substantial regional development projects. Well-regarded practice head Graham Reid, and the ‘unflappable’ Jon Pike, are acting for Patrizia Immobilien on the £500m development of First Street in Manchester; and Brigid North is advising The Botley Development Company on all real estate aspects of a major proposed mixed-use development at Botley in Oxford. Reid was also active in the investment space, where he is advising a joint venture between new client Angelo Gordon and Trinity Investment Management on the £95m acquisition of five multi-let science parks across the UK. In other transactional highlights, Oliver s’Jacob, who leads on real estate private equity work, advised Starwood Capital Group and Trinity Investment Management on the £85m sale of The Royal Exchange building in Manchester; and Jimmy Theodorou assisted the Reuben Brothers with the £60m purchase of Mayfair’s oldest car park site on Carrington Street. Theodorou was also busy on various high-value hotel deals. The team was weakened by the loss of Danielle Martin and senior associate Sarah Atkinson, who departed for Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

Simmons & Simmons provides ‘appropriate and pertinent advice’ to the firm’s substantial hedge fund client base, which includes the likes of Cheyne Capital and Sedco Capital. Recent investment-side mandates saw practice head John Kelsey act for Avenue Capital on the £400m disposal of its student accommodation portfolio to Brookfield; and Nick Jones assist Deka Immobilien Investment with its £164m acquisition of One St Peter’s Square, Manchester, from Argent and The Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund. The practice’s development work is often sourced through its investor clients, and in one example the ‘excellentMatthew Hooton (who is a ‘reassuring presence on a deal’), acted for Deka Immobilien Investment on the acquisition of a development site at Rathbone Square, London. In another development highlight, Bristol-based Iain Macfarlane continued to act for The Ministry of Defence on the new Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre at the Stanford Hall Estate, near Loughborough. Simon Kildahl is recommended for his hotel finance work; and the practice was strengthened by the hire of Richard Hopkinson-Woolley from DLA Piper and Deian Rhys from an in-house role.

Slaughter and May continues to receive a significant volume of instructions from key client Derwent London, with head of practice Jane Edwarde advising said client on the £68m sale of Tower House (10 Southampton Street) to Capital & Counties Properties, and also continuing to assist it with the office, theatre and retail development above the new Crossrail station at Tottenham Court Road. Edwarde was also active in the corporate sub-sector where she advised Midlothian Capital Partners and Hattington Capital on the real estate aspects of its £217m acquisition of Dobbies Garden Centres from Tesco Holdings. The other main contact is John Nevin, who, like Edwarde, was active on a range of investment and development mandates: as well as assisting Equinix with its $874m sale of eight European data centres to Digital Realty Trust, he also continued to act for Masterworks Development in connection with its proposals to redevelop 13-14 Appold Street, London. The practice acts predominantly on the landlord-side for retail work, while in the hotel-and-leisure sub-sector, it has experience in a range of real estate assets including football stadiums, public houses, and holiday home parks. Nevin represented Bourne Leisure on its acquisition of the Studley Castle Hotel in Warwickshire. Steven Edwards retired from the practice.

Taylor Wessing LLP’s ‘engaging, knowledgeable and personable’ practice provides a ‘very cohesive and complete solution’ to real estate issues. The team has notable expertise in the student accommodation and logistics sectors, where Paul Leamy acted for McLaren Property on the £150m sale of a portfolio of six student housing developments to a new investment vehicle owned by a group of German pension funds, and Alan Evans advised a REIT on the acquisition of distribution warehouses. Another area of strength is the hotel-and-leisure sector, with the highly recommended Richard Bursby a specialist in hotel management agreements; he is currently advising Redefine BDL on eight separate hotel management agreements involving 29 hotels in the UK. In other highlights the ‘patient, brilliant and practicable’ Paul Lawrence is advising City Pride and Chalegrove Properties on their plans to build a 75-storey residential tower in the Isle of Dogs, and Adam Marks continued to act for Brentford Football Club on the development of its new stadium and related facilities. Practice head Christopher Turley and John Whitfield ‘both provide unrivalled market experience and technical knowledge of real estate law’.

Possessing a wide breadth and depth of experience’, Trowers & Hamlins LLP offers a ‘very responsive and comprehensive service that is good value for money’. The team handles a healthy mix of public and private sector mandates, and one recent public sector matter saw newly appointed national head Sara Bailey act for Enfield Council on the Meridian Water Regeneration Project, including the development of 8000 new homes, new retail, commercial leisure and cultural facilities. Private sector clients include Galliford Try, Linden Homes and Apache Capital Partners; and Julian Keith acted for the latter on a joint-venture with Moda Living to acquire and develop a £130m project in Central Manchester. The team is probably best known for its residential development expertise, where recent highlights saw Rebecca Wardle act for Opal (Silvertown) in relation to the Silvertown Way development in Canning Town, East London; she also advised Linkcity on its project to deliver a £65m education and residential development at the former Ebury Bridge Centre, close to Sloane Square. In the hotel and leisure sub-sector, key contact Julian Allen ‘always takes a commercial and pragmatic view when drafting documents and giving advice’; he regularly advises on the establishment of restaurants and clubs for clients such as Caprice group and Hakkasan.

Boodle Hatfield LLP is probably best known for advising on the private investment portfolios of landed clients such as Grosvenor and Bedford Estates. The practice also services a range of pension funds and investment companies and in 2016 it continued to focus on mixed-use and residential developments, as well as more bespoke mandates; in an example of the latter, the ‘intelligent and commercialAndrew Wilmot-Smith acted for Lovett Enterprises on the acquisition of a lease for a new music venue/late night theatre in the arches of Flat Iron Square Southwark. Other names to note include practice head Caroline King, who has particular expertise in major urban regeneration schemes, and office, hotel and retail developments; and Karen Mason, whose specialisms include roadside retail.

According to one client, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is ‘much more user friendly than other London-based practices and offers a value comparable to smaller provincial practices’. The team has a strong residential-developer client base that includes Bellway and Crest Nicholson Operations, and in one recent mandate Robin Grove acted for Countryside Properties on the acquisition of land for around 800 homes in Ebbsfleet Garden City. The hotel-and-leisure sub-sector is another strength, with the ‘super experienced, pragmatic and speedyLee Medlock, assisted by ‘thorough and tenacious’ senior associate Eddie Richards, regularly acting for both Stonegate Pub Company and P&O. In other highlights, practice head Mark Smith handled a major corporate relocation mandate, and investment specialist Simon Ewing advised a high-net-worth individual on various significant acquisitions and divestments.

Clyde & Co LLP stands out for its retail work, with global head of retail David Wyatt (who is ‘a significant cut above the rest’), providing ‘valuable and realistic advice’ to a large number of multi-national and UK high street retailers, including Estée Lauder and B&Q. The practice also handles development work for a notable number of UK property businesses, including Daejan Holdings and U+I Group; Graeme Taylor is acting for the latter on its development agreement with the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority for the comprehensive redevelopment of the fire station on Albert Embankment. Practice head Robert Pilcher focuses on acquisitions and disposals and recently handled a major deal in the affordable housing sub-sector. In other matters Taylor and Annabelle Redman assisted CGIS Group with the disposal of ten investment assets in London to a variety of purchasers.

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s ‘personable and astute’ lawyers act for a broad array of housebuilders and public sector clients including Crest Nicholson, Taylor Wimpey and Waverley District Council. Recent highlights included Crispin Tomlinson’s advise to Linden Homes on the acquisition of a development site from The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, and Glenn Ruddy’s advise to Amcorp Properties Berhad on a joint venture with Grosvenor Europe Investments and Grosvenor Fund Management Spain to invest in Spanish real estate. The team was also active in the retail space on behalf of both landlords and high-end retail tenants: in one ongoing matter, Andrew Boulton continues to represent Epping Forest District Council in relation to the leasehold agreements for the Epping Forest Shopping Park in Loughton. Head of practice Robert Lee focuses on regeneration work with an emphasis on housebuilding. The practice underwent some expansion in 2016 with the hires of Helen Murcott from King & Wood Malleson, James Ross from Ashurst, and Nick Marshall from EMW Law LLP.

Farrer & Co wins praise for its ‘excellent team ethos, expert and commercial advice and very quick turnaround times’. The practice has a strong high-net-worth client base, and remains active in this sub-sector, with the ‘thorough and diligentCharles Anderson acting for a private office investor on the acquisition of a long leasehold interest in the commercial retail unit of a building at Embassy Gardens, Nine Elms. Other areas of expertise include charities, educational and arts bodies, and landed estates; recent matters saw Mark Gauguier and practice head Andrew Bailey acting for the Charities Property Fund on various deals including the forward purchase of a new build office building at 122-126 Back Church Lane in Whitechapel. In the development sub-sector, the team handled a number of mandates for the Duchy of Cornwall, including advising on the development of an urban community in Dorchester. Other clients include Highbridge Properties and Hub Group.

Fladgate LLP’s ‘strong team with strength from partners to associates’ is ‘very experienced in the leisure sector’, where key players include the ‘very commercial and deal orientatedStephen Lewis, and Mark Saunders, who is ‘market leading on title and lease issues and excellent at large transactions, especially cinemas’. Saunders recently advised Odeon on the opening of a cinema in the new BH2 leisure complex in Bournemouth. The practice is also noted as being ‘a very good source for guidance in difficult transactional situations’, and in one highlight Nick Mumby acted for Aldgate Tower Investments on its £346m sale to a joint venture between China Life and Brookfield Property Partners. Other names to note include the highly recommended Gideon Dabby-Joory, who represented an offshore private family trust on the £35m disposal of a brownfield site for development in St Pancras, and senior associate Amanda Hado-Bodfield, who ‘gets the deal done’. In the retail sector, high-end tenant clients include Roche Bobois and Jurlique UK. The ‘very insightfulRichard Reuben leads the team.

At Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP global head of real estate Mark Wheelhouse advises on large-scale real estate developments and investments, real estate joint ventures and major investment transactions in the hotels and hospitality sector. The team is regularly instructed on the real estate aspects of corporate transactional work and in one recent highlight advised IVG Immobilien on the €3.3bn sale of Officefirst to Blackstone. Other clients include TPG Real Estate, Ares Management Real Estate and Host Hotels & Resorts.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s ‘extremely detail-oriented team is able to quickly synthesize complex issues, explain them clearly, and propose solutions’. The team continues to be involved in a high volume of corporate transactions for foreign investors, often with real estate located outside the UK; recent examples include advising Terra Firma Capital Partners on its sale of Odeon and UCI Cinemas to AMC Theatres, and assisting Oaktree Capital with its joint venture with Valad for the acquisition of Wisniowy Business Park in Poland. Key figures include ‘great lawyerAlan Samson, senior partner Wayne McArdle (who focuses on M&A in the real estate sector), and associate Claibourne Harrison, who is ‘differentiated by his quick thinking and ability to dissect certain concepts accurately and exhaustively’. The team is also noted for its strong hotel-sector offering, which advises clients such as Hyatt and Marriott International.

Goodwin is best known for its investment work on behalf of clients such as Ares Management and Credit Suisse Asset Management, and in 2016 the team represented Deutsche Asset Management on its £370m acquisition and forward funding of the development of a new headquarters for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in Stratford. Head of practice Joe Conder and counsel Martin Smith have ‘excellent expertise at driving deals forward’ and in one highlight assisted Kumpulan Wang Persaraan with the £270m sale of 88 Wood Street to The Shaw Foundation. The team also impresses in the hotel and leisure sector, further developing its offering in this area with the hires of the ‘efficient and commercially minded’ Gretchen Scott from King & Wood Mallesons, and Matthew Pohlman, who joined from an in-house role. Pohlman and Conder advised Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts on the management agreement for a new luxury hotel at Ten Trinity Square.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP has further expanded its practice over the last 12 months, hiring Danielle Martin from Reed Smith LLP, as well as a number of individuals from King & Wood Mallesons, including Matthew Priday and corporate transactional specialists Steven Cowins and Michael Goldberg. Priday recently advised British Land on the £210m acquisition of 1 Sheldon Square, Paddington, and Cowins represented Cannon Street Unitholder in the £485m sale of the corporate structure which owns 78 Cannon Street. Demonstrating ‘exceptional knowledge and speed’, practice head Tim Webb was active on a range of property deals, advising Osprey Equity Partners on the acquisition and forward funding of an apart-hotel at 27 Commercial Road in Aldgate, and assisting Rockspring Property Investment Managers with the £50m acquisition and forward funding of a PRS development in central Birmingham.

Hamlins LLP’s ‘focused, efficient and professional’ team specialises in investment work for a range of professional property companies, sovereign wealth funds, private equity investors, banks and high-net-worth individuals. Senior partner Joseph Holder, who is a ‘transaction facilitator’, acted for Criterion Capital on the £170m sale of East India Dock, and Paul Spacey assisted Brukaros with its £42m acquisition of Exchange Flags in Liverpool. The practice also stands out for its expertise in the hotel and leisure sector, in particular in relation to acquiring and developing brands and sites for new restaurants, pubs, bars and clubs across the UK. ‘Commercially aware’ managing partner Nigel Mason is currently advising the Drafthouse on the acquisition of a portfolio of five pubs in Central London, and Ben Kilshaw acted for Leon Restaurants on the acquisition of more than twenty individual new leases in central London and across the UK. The practice is led by Mark Hurst, who was active on a number of matters for key client William Pears.

Howard Kennedy LLP provides ‘strong service and excellent industry knowledge’ particularly in relation to the hotel-and-leisure and retail sectors. Eric Gummers, who is ‘very attentive to the details’, specialises in condo-hotels, fractionals, and timeshares; while Adam Walford leads on restaurants work and acts for clients such as Carluccio’s and Samba Brands. On the retail side the team ‘is particularly good at assisting new entrant retail businesses to the UK to get up to speed with local laws and commercial leasing practices’. Retail co-heads Julian Hindmarsh and Nicky Stewart, and ‘fantastic’ senior associate Vanessa Laundon, provide ‘succinct, timely advice’ to a multitude of luxury brands including Honey Birdette and NARS Cosmetics. The practice’s investment work is led by Andrew Collins and Graham Kaye, and in one highlight Collins advised a group of Isle of Man investors on the re-gear of the occupancies of a landmark office building in central London. Paul Springall heads the practice.

Irwin Mitchelldelivers a good service to clients and offers a truly viable alternative to the established leaders in the real estate market’. The practice underwent some reorganisation in 2016, with Ian Silverblatt taking charge of the team, following the departure of a number of lawyers, including Rob Thompson, to Dentons. Silverblatt focuses on corporate lettings, and investment acquisitions and disposals. The team continued to advise HSBC on a range of development and investment instructions and was also active in the corporate space, with James Letchford assisting The Hendy Group with the property aspects of its acquisition of Lifestyle Motor Group. Claire Illingworth was particularly active, advising Honda on the letting of part of its Manchester dealership to Harley Davidson, and acting for Caudwell Properties on the management and redevelopment of its investment site in Solihull. Other key players in the team include the ‘very pragmaticChris Baker, who leads on leasehold enfranchisement and residential work, and ‘excellent team leaderAyesha Hasan, who recently handled a significant divestment.

K&L Gates LLP’s diverse practice services a mix of international investors, public sector clients and domestic developers. The team is currently instructed on a number of major development projects for key client TIAA Henderson Real Estate, including the St James Quarter Development in Edinburgh and a mixed-use development at 40 Leadenhall Street; the team also advised the client on the £58m sale of Barnard’s Inn in Holborn to Europa Capital. Another active client of the practice is Z Hotels, for which newly promoted partner Rajeev Joshi and Richard Smith acted on various acquisitions, including a site in Holborn. In the retail sub-sector, the team acts for both landlords and tenants; one recent mandate saw senior associate Paul Alger assist Blackrock UK Property Fund and Coal Pension Properties with a letting to DFS in Nottingham. Other key figures in the practice include global co-head Wayne Smith (who is advising Lendlease Construction Europe on various development projects), Piers Coleman and Melanie Curtis.

Lewis Silkin LLP focuses on commercial and residential development work for corporates, private developers and registered social housing providers, and the team also services a variety of retailers and restaurants including Wagamama and Esprit. Key team members include foreign investment specialist Jonathan Reuben, who leads the practice; Leonard Goodrich, whose clients include Rio Tinto; and Rachel Francis-Lang, who focuses on landlord and tenant issues for corporate occupiers with large portfolios of real estate, particularly in the retail and advertising and marketing sectors. Sager Group Aldermore Bank and Pizza Express are also clients of the practice.

At real estate boutique Maples Teesdale LLP, the ‘experienced team has good bench strength for mid-ticket investment deals and property management’. In 2016 the practice leveraged off its strong institutional investor and investment company client base to advise on a number of shopping centre deals; Mark Bryan, Liam MacDonnell and managing partner Chris Wilkinson acted for Standard Life Investments on the £41m purchase of Regent Circus in Swindon; and Roger Thornton and the ‘very commercial and pragmaticKatherine Watts assisted Rockspring UK Value 2 with the £40m acquisition of Clayton Square Shopping Centre, Liverpool, from InfraRed Capital Partners. In other highlights, Wilkinson and the ‘technically ableNeil Sagoo continued to represent the US Embassy in the £350m sale of its building at Grosvenor Square to Qatari Diar, and the ‘tenacious and reliableDeclan Power acted for London & UK Property on the purchase of The Globeworks, Birmingham, and ensuing student accommodation development scheme. The team was also active in the hotel and leisure space, where Watts acted for Cineworld on two new cinema pre-lets in Warrington and Northamptonshire. Other key figures include the ‘bright and focusedMark Bryan, and ‘clear and concise communicatorAlison Ramsey.

Mills & Reeve LLP developed its London offering as a result of the firm’s merger with Maxwell Winward on 1 June 2017, which added the likes of Orla O’Sullivan and Michael Giess to the team. The practice, that continues to be led from Cambridge by national head Beverley Firth, is regularly instructed on substantial London mandates, particularly in the development sub-sector. David Roberts is acting for Lendlease on a number of key instructions, including the regeneration of the International Quarter, Stratford, and Nicholas Finlayson-Brown is advising The British Library on the proposed development of a three-acre site to the rear of its St Pancras HQ. Charles Staveley leads the investment offering and in one example of the team’s work, Michelle Cookson advised Trinity (D) on its £185m acquisition of the Designer Outlet Village at The O2. The practice was also active on behalf of the firm’s array of university clients, which includes the likes of the University of Cambridge and the University of Westminster.

Paul Hastings LLP’s ‘knowledgeable and pragmatic’ team continued to be highly active for a range of investor clients on domestic and international real estate acquisitions, often with a hotel component. Head of practice David Ryland, whose ‘strength lies in his overall understanding of real estate from individual asset transactions to funding platforms’, advised key client Starwood Capital on the proposed sale of a majority interest in the Principal Hayley portfolio of approximately 50 UK assets. Ryland and Michael James also acted for Goldman Sachs International on the €60m purchase of 12 Travelodge hotels across Ireland and Northern Ireland. Another name to note is the ‘client driven and commercial’ Mark Rajbenbach; he and Ryland continued to advise Crosstree Real Estate on the development of Camden town hall into a lifestyle hotel development. Outside the hotels sector, Mark Shepherd assisted Brockton Capital with the acquisition of office premises on Folgate Street.

Squire Patton Boggs’ team is ‘practical and pragmatic whilst ensuring its client’s legal needs are covered’. London real estate head Michael Shaw focuses on investment work for a variety of institutional investors, private real estate funds, and high-net-worth individuals; in one key transaction he advised Aviva Life & Pensions UK on the sale of its interest in the Intu Bromley shopping centre to the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation. In another example of investment work, Patrick Ryan represented the shareholders in Alanchoice on the £27m sale of the company and its industrial property portfolio. In the development sub-sector, the team often advises on the real estate aspects of power projects, and further capability was added in this area by the hire of John Danahy, who joined from King & Wood Mallesons. Other names to note include Rachel Orton, who assisted One Healthcare Partners with the development of a site in Goodman’s Hatfield Business Park; and the ‘professional and reliable’ Gary Paddison, who focuses on the funding of large investment portfolios and associated disposals and acquisitions. Hospitality-and-leisure clients include Quintain Estates.

In 2016 Stephenson Harwood’s team was active on a high volume of deals in the retail sector on behalf of investor clients such as Schroders and Tristan Capital. Practice head Jonathon Wilkes acted for LaSalle Investment Management on the £240m purchase of the Intu Bromley shopping centre from Aviva Life & Pensions UK and the London Borough of Bromley, and he also assisted Metric Income Plus with the acquisition of Haverhill Retail Park. The hotel-and-leisure sub-sector is another area of strength for the practice and the team acts for a good spread of clients including Macdonald Hotels and Resorts, Ambassador Theatre Group, and De Vere Hotels. Robert Newman acted for AccorHotels Group on the sale of the former Formule 1 Hotel in Birmingham to the owner of the adjoining Ibis Hotel, and Stephen Laud assisted Pho Restaurants with a number of new site acquisitions. Simon Brading and James Trundle are also key contacts.

Travers Smith LLP specialises in advising real estate investment funds such as Ciel Capital and Cinnamon Care Capital on the acquisition, management, and disposal of property assets. The team is ‘always able to tackle complex projects and fields’ lawyers with in depth industry knowledge’; 2016 work highlights included newly-promoted partner Paul Kenny’s advice to BTC Qatar on the acquisition of Bow Street Magistrate’s Court and Police Station in Covent Garden; and consultant Julian Bass assisting Clearbell Capital with the purchase and redevelopment of The Riverwalk, Durham, into a mixed-use retail and leisure scheme with student accommodation. Practice head Simon Rutman, who ‘excels on complex development/investment arrangements which form part of a wider corporate transaction’, was active on a number of care-home site purchases for Patron Capital, and also assisted Greenacre Capital with the acquisition of a 90-acre strategic land site near Thanet in Kent. The team was also active in the hotel-and-leisure and retail sectors, with Kenny advising Exclusive Hotels and Venues on its acquisition of the Castle Inn Hotel, and retail specialist Anthony Judge assisting McColls Retail Group with the £120m purchase of 298 Co-op stores.

Wedlake Bell LLP demonstrates ‘superb knowledge and excellent delivery of advice and information’, and the practice is well-versed in advising international investors on a range of deals. The ‘very commercialClaire Nelson acted for an offshore private property company on the £40m purchase of a central London multi-let mixed-use property, and Grainne McCourt represented Warburg-HIH Invest Real Estate on its £17m sale of a large distribution unit in Durham to Stafford County Council. Senior partner Kim Lalli focuses on the healthcare and residential sub-sectors, and in one highlight, is acting for CALA Management on the acquisition and redevelopment of an industrial site at Imber Court, Surrey. In the retail sub-sector, the team was enhanced by the hire of Leah Freeman, who joined from Druces LLP; Freeman and Graham Atkins advised Hugo Boss on a re-gear of its head office in Camden. Malcolm Macfarlane and Justin Lewis-Vivas are the main contacts.

White & Case LLP offers ‘a unique combination of commercial insight, industry knowledge and an ability to find good solutions to complicated legal issues’. The team is regularly instructed on major corporate transactions, and in one example corporate specialist David Cox, who is ‘frank, direct and concise’, acted for Montagu Private Equity on its acquisition of Funeral Partners Group. Practice head James Dodsworth was also busy in transactional matters, advising Corney & Barrow Bars on the disposal of its London wine bar portfolio. The other name to note is newly-promoted partner Victoria Landsbert, a ‘highly skilled lawyer who is very aware of the legal aspects of foreign jurisdictions in multi-jurisdictional transactions’. The team has particular experience of data centres, logistics facilities and hotels-and-leisure mandates.

Bircham Dyson Bell continues to act on major energy and infrastructure projects; one highlight saw head of commercial property Ellen James advise Garden Bridge Trust on the development of the Garden Bridge project across the River Thames. The team was also active in the investment area, where David Darvill advised Famous Brands Management Company on its £120m share-sale purchase of Gourmet Burger Kitchen; and investment head Jonathan Fewster assisted a student housing charity with the conditional sale of leasehold property comprising student accommodation and a number of residential properties. Michael Parker leads the department.

Blake Morgan LLP’s ‘practical, value for money’ team is led by Jeremy Taylor, who demonstrates ‘deep knowledge of the sector’. Taylor advised key client Dorrington on a number of transactions including the £25m purchase of a multi-let office building at 12 Gough Square from Zurich Assurance. In the development area, the team is probably best known for its work in the social housing sub-sector, but it also acts for commercial developers; one mandate saw the ‘prompt and proactiveStephen Solomons advise Danehurst Developments on the purchase and development of a site in Kingston-upon-Thames for use as student accommodation and commercial space. Another name to note is Mark Hiley, who is ‘particularly good at dealing with the detail quickly’.

Bristows LLP offers ‘pragmatic and business orientated advice, which demonstrates expert knowledge and focuses on material issues’. ‘Very professional’ head of practice Teresa Edmund operates across a range of sectors including TMT, life sciences and garden-centre retail; in the latter area she advised Blue Diamond on the acquisition of the land and assets of Harlow Garden Centre. Edmund was also active for key client The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, which she advised on the re-development and pre-letting of 11 Stone Buildings to Edwin Coe LLP. The other key contact is Alexandra Lethbridge, who co-heads the practice with Edmund; she continues to act for Kodak Alaris on its partnering arrangement with Land Securities to deliver the phased redevelopment of its production facility in Harrow. Senior associate Tim Allen ‘demonstrates good business acumen and avoids over-labouring minor points’.

Burges Salmon LLPprovides a consistently high level of service’ to a varied client base that takes in the Greater London Authority, Bouygues Development and Aviva Investors. The team is also a favourite with the Crown Estate, which it advised on a number of investment and development deals, including Richard Clark’s advice on the sale of 1 Carlton House Terrace in London. Richard Read leads on investment work and has a focus on the hotel-and-leisure sector; in one highlight he advised Virgin Active on the sale of a portfolio of 35 gyms and health clubs to Nuffield Health. In the development space, Philip Beer and the ‘commercially astute and service mindedRoss Polkinghorne are advising Greater London Authority on the procurement of a development partner for the Royal Albert Dock regeneration project. The practice also has strength in the retail sector where Matthew Sims acts for a client base of of high profile tenants, including Marks and Spencer and Waterstones Booksellers. All named partners divide their time between the firm’s Bristol and London offices.

Collyer Bristow LLP’s ‘partner-led service is great value for money and excellent for technical competence and commerciality’. Practice head Alex O’Connor and Rory Macpherson, who demonstrate ‘a can do approach and pay attention to details’, were active on a number of major development schemes, including advising Ipsus Developments on the acquisition and development of a site in Clapham for residential purposes. The practice has a number of housebuilder clients, and O’Connor and ‘client focused’ senior associate Sukina Dhillon are acting for Prime Place Developments on the development and sale of sites in Sevenoaks and Cheshunt. Stephen Gawne is a key contact for investment work; he recently assisted an insurance company with the £13m sale of its headquarters in Docklands. In the hotel-and-leisure sub-sector, the team has particular expertise in hotel financing and also acts for restaurants, bars and sports clubs on acquisitions and disposals.

Cripps LLP is probably best known for its work on behalf of retailers such as Waitrose and Jigsaw, although the practice actually assists a broader client base that also takes in public and private companies, financial institutions, institutional and individual investors and developers. Practice head Mike Scott, and senior partner Clare Hyland are the main contacts and lead the team from the firm’s Kent office. Retail specialist Matthew Cox departed for TLT.

Dechert LLP’s team is led by William Fryzer, who has been active on a number of regional development projects for both domestic and international businesses. His work highlights include advising Adderstone Group on the development of a five tower PRS development at East Quay, Newcastle, and representing the trustees of a syndicate of private investors in the £65m sale of a development site in Petersfield. Another name to note is senior associate David Gervais, who assisted the firm’s Dubai office with various international mandates, and also advised Fryzer on the renewal of leases for the Sal Pension Fund property portfolio.

Edwin Coe LLP’s team is ‘very knowledgeable on landlord and tenant’ matters and has expertise in a number of areas including retail, hospitality, residential developments and property investments for overseas clients. Practice head Stephen Brower focuses on transactional work and is advising Luxlo on the development and sale of individual flats at 77 South Audley Street in London. In another example of investment work, Philip Boursnell handled a number of retail and hospitality deals for S I Pension Trustees, including the sale of a Travelodge in Sunbury to a private investor. The ‘efficientIan Gilmour focuses on retail work for clients such as Lush, while the ‘professional and approachableWilliam Thompson is active in the corporate occupier sub-sector.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP is probably best known for its work in the retail sector, where the team remained highly active on behalf of key client Intu Group. Head of practice Anne O’Neill advised Intu Bromley on the sale of its interest in the Intu Bromley shopping centre to the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, and newly promoted partner Andrew Denye assisted Intu Lakeside in negotiating SEAT’s first shopping centre retail store. The practice was also active in areas such as the real estate aspects of energy projects and housing association development work; in a highlight in the latter area, counsel Sara Branch advised Notting Hill Home Ownership on the purchase of a development site at 4-20 Eldridge Road for a mixed-use development scheme. Fiona Stone co-heads the practice with O’Neill.

Payne Hicks Beach continued to handle a range of investment and development deals for the firm’s array of landed estate clients and high-net-worth individuals. The ‘very commercially minded and astuteAndrew Berry leads the team and advised Home Counties landed estate on the prospective development of 90 acres of its agricultural holdings for several thousand units of commercial, residential development, community-use and care homes; he also assisted another landed estate with the negotiation of terms for a mixed-use housing development in Yorkshire. Another name to note is Richard Stapylton-Smith, who assisted a Middle Eastern Consortium with the £15m sale refurbished high-end flats in South Kensington. The team also acts for a number of corporate occupiers with large portfolios.

Penningtons Manches LLP services a number of major institutional investor and developer clients such as Aviva Investors, Sellar Property Group, and Alumno Developments. Key players include John Hargreaves, who has particular expertise in handling student accommodation schemes for Alumno Developments; James McNeilly, who focuses on the tech sector; and practice head Peter McElligott. The team is noted for its proficiency in advising foreign investors seeking to purchase property in London, with Duncan Taylor the name to note in this regard.

RPC’s ‘attentive’ practice has ‘good industry knowledge’, and the team has particular strength in sectors such as retail, education and charities. Practice co-head Sarah Blunn, who is ‘personable and pragmatic’, specialises in corporate occupier work, and in one highlight, is advising Quadrature Capital on the relocation of its head office to London’s "cheesegrater" building (122 Leadenhall). Blunn was also busy in the investment sub-sector, where she represented Maybrook Properties in the £13m sale of a factory and warehouse asset in Carlisle. Her fellow practice co-head, David Johnston, focuses on investment work for both UK and foreign investors and is acting for NHBC on various transactions including the transfer of a residential development. In the retail sub-sector the team advises both tenants and occupiers, and Johnston is assisting Kout Food Group with the signing and termination of leases, and property occupation management, among other matters.

Ropes & Gray LLP’s ‘top notch’ practice focuses on high-value transactional work for international investment managers such as DivcoWest Fund and TH Real Estate. In recent highlights, practice head Iain Morpeth and newly-promoted partner David Seymour advised APG on its acquisition (with Henderson UK Shopping Centre Fund) of a 75% interest in the Edinburgh St James Shopping Centre; and the ‘very pragmatic’ Carol Hopper represented DS Smith on the development aspects of a £300m combined heat-and-power facility at Kemsley. Seymour also acted for DivcoWest Fund IV REIT on its £243m sale of 123 Buckingham Palace Road, London, to a consortium led by Gaw Capital.

Sharpe Pritchard leverages off its strong public sector client base to advise on a slew of high value development schemes. Head of practice Joannah Pickering is advising the London Borough of Haringey on its procurement of a development partner to redevelop the Council’s Hornsey town hall site; he is also acting for Thanet District Council in connection with the potential development of the Dreamland Amusement Park in Margate. In the investment sub-sector, the team assisted Runnymede Borough Council with its £30m acquisition of a twelve unit industrial development site.

Steptoe & Johnson UK LLPis good at "cutting to the chase" in complex transactions’, and the team has particular expertise in retirement villages, data centres and residential developments. Head of department Brendan Patterson (a ‘strong negotiator’) and Sam Kelly recently advised Telecity on the real estate aspects of the $3.8bn takeover of Telecity by Equinix. In the development sub-sector, the ‘experiencedMatthew Farmer, who is ‘able to get the deal done’, is assisting Hillesden Trust with the development and sale of Bourne End Mills in Hemel Hempstead. Another name to note is Simon Collis, who has ‘very strong attention to detail and a good retention of key points, together with good analytical skills’. Collis and Patterson are acting for Coln Park in relation to a residential development and sale of luxury houses in the Cotswolds.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP has ‘very strong industry knowledge and is well organised with effective processes and service levels’. The team remains highly active on residential and mixed-use development mandates for the firm’s substantial housebuilder client base; highlights included ‘experienced’ practice co-head Francesco Ferrari’s advice to Barratt London on its £3.5bn mixed-use redevelopment of Meridian Water; and James Mackay’s assistance to Redrow Homes on the purchase and proposed redevelopment of Global Court, West Drayton. On the investment side, the team is ‘considerably better than others in the niche of ground rent acquisitions’, and the ‘commercially astuteEollyn Ives is acting for Hart Retirement (Thamesnorth) and Hart Retirement Developments (Southern) on the sale of a portfolio of companies that own 15 large mixed-use developments to Long Harbour for the purposes of ground rent investment. Other key team members include practice co-head Roger Fitton and the ‘very pragmatic and commercialAndrew Bedford.

Bates Wells Braithwaite offers ‘practical, down to earth advice at a good price’ and the practice has an ‘excellent understanding of the charity and commercial property sectors’. In one recent example of work in the charity sector, the firm is advising YMCA London Southwest on the purchase of land with a view to development as a housing project providing 36 units of accommodation for the homeless. The team also has a strong leisure offering, which takes in cultural and creative organisations; ‘intelligent’ deputy head of department Mark Traynor and ‘efficient’ senior associate Karli Hiscock are advising the British Film Institute on the acquisition of a long leasehold interest in part of the Hungerford Car Park for the construction of a new National Film Centre on the Southbank. Tony Cartmell heads the department. Nick Ivey joined Stone King LLP.

In 2016 Bevan Brittan LLP’s team remained active on a high volume of commercial mandates for the firm’s considerable public and third-sector client base. Andrew Shaw advised Peabody on its acquisition of 190 affordable housing flats in a 45 storey tower and terrace development forming part of the Elephant & Castle regeneration, and Steven Smith advised London Borough of Hounslow on the phased disposal of its existing Civic Centre to a consortium including Bouygues Developments and Notting Hill Housing. Ian Caplan leads on property work for NHS Trusts and recently assisted West London Mental Health NHS Trust with the disposal of Broadmoor Hospital.

The technology and energy sub-sectors are particular specialist areas at Bird & Bird LLP, and the team has considerable experience in advising on data-centre transactions. In one recent highlight, Ben Henry advised Cardiff Data Investments on its £25m acquisition of a data centre at Celtic Gateway in Cardiff Bay. Henry was also active in the corporate occupier sub-sector and advised Sony Mobile Communications Management on its relocation from Hammersmith to Building 10 in Chiswick Park, London. Jonathan Baker heads the team and advised Nando’s on its purchase of 37 Battersea Square in London.

At Bond Dickinson LLP, London head of practice Martin Stacey has particular expertise in representing local authorities in development and regeneration projects, often in relation to town centre and retail-led schemes. The practice operates UK-wide and has a certain public-sector focus, with clients including London Borough of Lewisham, Luton Borough Council and Medway Council. In the retail sub-sector, the regional team acts for a very broad array of retailers that includes Sainsbury’s, Costa Coffee, and Specsavers. Southampton-based Alistair Walton is representing New Look Retailers in its proposed head-office relocation to the King’s Cross Development.

Real estate boutique Brecher LLP enjoys a strong UK developer client base which includes the likes of The Office Group and Oakmayne Properties. The team’s work encompasses large scale residential developments in London and the regions, high-value lettings, and also acting for shopping centre owners and leisure sector tenants. Names to note include joint managing partners Nicky Richmond and Jeremy Abram, as well as senior partners Valerie Brecher and Andrew Brecher.

Capsticks LLP acts for the NHS, large national and international private healthcare companies and social-housing providers on a broad range of real estate mandates including: new hospital developments, infrastructure projects, estate restructuring, major headquarters developments and portfolio management. Key practitioners include practice head Sam Hopkins, social-housing specialist Susie Rogers, and head of housing Philip Brown. Hilary Blackwell departed for Trowers & Hamlins LLP.

Clarkslegal LLP wins praise for its ‘top quality conveyancing and property-related advice’, which is ‘provided swiftly with a practical, commercially-minded approach’. The team handles a good mix of public and private sector work, and recent highlights saw Reading-based Richard Higgs advise Swanscombe Development on the disposal of two large quarry sites in Kent, and act for Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on the disposal of land near Oxford for residential development. The team is led by Rachel Krol, who is ‘good at explaining technicalities and identifying points of substance’; and newly-promoted partner Simon Ralphs is noted for being ‘very knowledgeable in the field of restaurant leases’. Other clients include Carillion, Lafarge UK Pension Trustees, and St Clair Developments.

Davitt Jones Bould is probably best known for its public sector expertise, with the team noted as being ‘receptive to the needs of a local authority in challenging times’. Taunton-based head of practice Madeleine Davitt continued to advise Royal Parks on the construction of the new London Cycle Superhighway through St James’s Park, Hyde Park and Green Park. Davitt was also active in the investment sub-sector, where she advised Plato Estates on the £1m acquisition of a Formula 1 Garage in Milton Keynes. In the London office, Sean Bulman handled a number of investments in the retail sector, and together with ‘good communicatorTom Castle and Taunton-based Robin de Wreede, continued to assist a local authority with a major regeneration project.

Druces LLP provides ‘good clear advice and a commercial approach’. The practice is probably best known for its specialism in syndicated property investment, but it also acts for a range of REITs, financial institutions, property companies, and pension funds; clients on the investment side include Henderson Global Investors and British Arab Commercial Bank. In the development sub-sector, the team is active across a range of asset types including sports facilities, data centres, and premises for corporate occupiers. Names to note include Suzanne Middleton Lindsley and Nicholas Brent, who show ‘detailed commercial understanding of key issues and the ability to deal with issues incisively’; and the ‘responsive and sensibleAdrian Footer. Karen Chapman leads on syndicated investment work.

Fox Williams LLP is ‘quick to respond with relevant and practical advice’ and the team continues to handle a number of investment deals in the hotel and leisure sectors. Head of practice Phillip Hope, who ‘knows the law and the property market inside out’, advised Richmond Property Investments on the purchase of a former public house for residential purposes, and also acted for Tortelli on the signing of a lease for a restaurant in London’s Haymarket. In other highlights, the ‘focused and reliableSimon Smith continued to advise a major property investment company on its office and retail portfolio, and the ‘knowledgeableElizabeth Ruff assisted Neil Hudgell with lease renewal and the restructuring of its office portfolio. Clients include FM Global, Placid Invest and Al Rumaithy Investment Company.

GSC Solicitors LLP provides a ‘very personal and business-like service’ to a range of clients in the media and hotel-and-leisure sectors. In 2016, the team handled a number of corporate occupier mandates, one of which saw the ‘innovativeHarvey Posener advise Universal Music on the relocation of its headquarters to Pancras Square in King’s Cross. Other names to note include ‘great strategistPeter Belcher, who has a strong practice acting for franchisees, and Amee Popat, who specialises in the purchase of leases and freeholds for corporate occupiers. Clients include Double Negative, EMI and Channel 4.

Goodman Derrick LLP handled a high volume of development site disposals in 2016 for a broad client base that takes in property investment companies, developers, funds and high-net-worth individuals. The team was also active on numerous development schemes: Gregor Hamlen advised QED Property on three development projects for affordable housing in Ealing, for example, and Simon Catt continued to act for Oakland Primecare on developments for high quality nursing homes. In the retail sub-sector, clients include Beauty Base, Game retail and Essentials. Practice head Michael Collins and investment and development specialist Chris Langan are additional contacts.

At Gordon Dadds LLP, Justin Neal has taken over leadership of the practice, although Jeremy Davy remains a key figure. The practice has particular expertise in advising international clients on property acquisition in London, and is proficient in dealing with a range of asset types, including residential, mixed-use, hotels, retail and petrol stations. Marilyn Elstow advises developers on the acquisition of development sites, and Kiran Yadav has experience across the range of landlord and tenant matters. Clients include Buccleuch Property Group, Centaur Media and Rymans.

Harbottle & Lewis LLP’s ‘very well informed’ team has particular expertise in the media, leisure and entertainment sectors. In recent headline work, Melanie Benson acted for Really Useful Theatres Group on its acquisition of 6 Catherine Street (off Drury Lane), and practice head Robert Reilly continued to assist The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama with the development of its campus. Another name to note is Leo Marino, who has ‘excellent legal and commercial knowledge’; particularly active in the investments sub-sector, he has been advising a number of investment syndicates including on the purchase of the Castle View Shopping Centre in Caerphilly. The practice is also present in the retail sector, where it acts for the likes of Wolford London and IMO Car Wash.

At Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP, practice head Peter Sugden and Gavin Vollans are ‘both very commercially minded and able to assist the client in weighing up the risks and getting the deal done’. The team is best known for its expertise in the hotels sub-sector, where it acts for a large number of brands including Wyndham Worldwide and Luxury Hotel Partners. In recent work, Sugden advised Shiva Hotels on the sale of the Hampton by Hilton at Gatwick Airport to Redefine BDL Hotels, and Terry Green advised Wyndham Worldwide on its $55m acquisition of a hotel chain based in India. The practice also handles a range of other asset types, and in the retail sub-sector Sugden assisted Chester Greyhound Retail Park Property and Aprirose with their £36m investment acquisition of Greyhound Retail Park in Chester.

Kingsley Napley LLP continues to handle a range of development mandates for entrepreneurial investors and property companies, and recent mandates saw head of practice Paul Harbour advise Northants with regard to its 620-acre mixed-use development site in North Wellingborough. On the investment side, senior associate Daniel Moan assisted a new investment company with a number of acquisitions for its retail portfolio. The other key contact is residential specialist Bethan Owen, who is ‘exceptionally good on conveyancing work’. Besides residential mandates, Owen is also active in the corporate occupier space. Clients include Ravensbourne Property Holdings, Baxter Properties and Harwell Campus.

The team at Maclay Murray & Spens LLP is ‘very easy to work with’ and has a strong investment company client base that includes the likes of Aberdeen Asset Management and Mayfair Capital Investment Management; the practice is also noted for its ‘very quick turnaround and hands on approach’ on behalf of overseas investors. ‘Particularly good’, the ‘proactive, commercial and diligentAnju Suneja acted for Helical on the letting and subsequent sale of a property unit at Fourth Avenue in Burton on Trent. Other matters saw ‘very commercial’ practice head Alex Coulter advise a joint venture of The Property Income Trust for Charities and Mayfair Capital Investment Management on the purchase of a long leasehold of Grade A office space in Nottingham from Friends Life. In a development mandate, Coulter is advising Aberafan SC Propco on its conversion of an empty office block in Port Talbot’s shopping centre into residential housing. The practice is also active on landlord work in the retail sector.

McGuireWoods London LLP noted an uptick in foreign investor work during 2016, and the practice was active across a range of asset types for international investors, including student accommodation and care homes; in one key deal the team advised Arlington Investors on the acquisition of a Jersey SPV, holding a long leasehold interest in student accommodation premises in Ipswich. Another area of strength is advising corporate occupiers: Martin Barrett assisted Blackberry with the establishment of a new UK head office at the Pearce Building in Maidenhead, and also handled a number of matters for key client Astra Zeneca. In addition, Barrett was active in the residential development sub-sector, where he represented an investment company on the proposed development and sale of two residential towers.

Memery Crystal LLP underwent some reorganisation at the top of the practice with Matthew Lindsay taking over as practice head from Eugene O’Keeffe who is now "general counsel" to the real estate team. Lindsay focuses on real estate finance, but also handles a mix of investment and development work, while O’Keeffe leads on retail development work for key client ASDA Wal-Mart. In 2016 the team was particularly active on investment deals for both domestic and international private investors and in one highlight Lindsay advised RP1 Propco on the acquisition of York Terrace East, in Regents Park. The leisure sector is another area of strength, with David O’Dwyer singled out for his ‘clear understanding of legal issues’. O’Dwyer was busy on various pub deals, including advising McGettigans Holdings on its UK opening in Fulham. In development matters, Alastair Moss assisted Fairview New Homes with its acquisition of a car park site for residential development at Park Royal, West London.

Michelmores LLP continued to handle a high volume of residential sales related to significant London projects, such as Spire London in West India Quay and the BBC Television Centre redevelopment in White City. The team was also active on a major redevelopment site disposal, with Melanie Hughes and practice head Paul Paling advising the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime on the £370m sale of New Scotland Yard (at 8-10 Broadway) to the Abu Dhabi Financial Group. While the practice is strongest in the residential sector, it is also active on landlord mandates in the retail sector; in one example, Paling and Richard Honey are advising Poplar Housing and Regeneration Community Association on the regeneration of the Chrisp Street Market in Poplar, East London, including assisting with new lettings, lease renewals and the termination of leases of the current retail units. Clients include Lendlease, Meyer Homes and Boultbee Brooks Real Estate.

The ‘very effective’ team at Pemberton Greenish LLP has the ‘ability to manage complex matters and transactions’ and ‘give commercial advice’. The practice is particularly known for its representation of landed estates, and in one highlight ‘very able’ practice head Jason Tann advised a client on the purchase of two distribution units in the course of development. The team also acts for a number of major developers including Helical and Native Land; Tann is currently representing Birchall Properties and Peak Worldwide on a hotel and leisure-led scheme in the Peak District. Other names to note include senior partner Robert Barham, who focuses on the residential aspects of residential and mixed use schemes, and David de Maupeou, who is a ‘master in client relationship management and a skilful negotiator’.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal LLP provides ‘good general support on deals’ to a range of international investors and developers including Simon Property Group REIT and Hines Real Estate. Amit Unadkat heads the team, and was once again active in the hotel and leisure sub-sector, advising CRP Hotels on the sale of Bow Street Hotel to a business trading company group based in Doha. In another significant investment mandate, Unadkat advised Lee Kum Kee International Holdings on the £40m acquisition of Harbour Exchange Square in the Isle of Dogs.

Property boutique RLS Law specialises in providing ‘responsive, pragmatic, commercially-savvy advice’ to private property companies and high-net-worth individuals in mid-market transactions; in one example, the team is acting for TCN UK on the letting of offices at Assay Studios, Birmingham. The practice has a ‘number of strong individuals’, including founding member Craig Themis, who has ‘impressive technical legal skills’; the ‘exceptionally knowledgeable and experiencedJeff White; and landlord and tenant specialist David Leedham. Another key figure is founding member Julien Rutler, who is currently advising West Smithfield Developments on the conversion of a hostel in West Smithfield into luxury flats and the onward sale of the flats. In the hotel-and-leisure sector, where the team has particular expertise, senior associate and ‘rising starTom Foley is representing Flat Iron Square in relation to the granting of leases at the eponymous development. The practice is also active in the retail subsector on behalf of both landlords and tenants.

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP has a ‘large team with some very senior and experienced solicitors’ who ‘focus on getting the deal done and providing good and strategic advice’. The practice is particularly known for its expertise in hotel-and-leisure related matters, with practice co-head Sarah Hung who ‘really knows the restaurant industry’, displaying ‘great attention to detail’; and senior associate Simon Lawrence ‘highly sought after for his expertise in development and hotels’. The team was also active in the residential sector, where it advised key client Dominvs Property Developments on a number of investment and development mandates. Other key figures include practice co-head John O'Callaghan, whose ‘25 years’ experience ensure that the most complex cases proceed with speed’; and newly promoted partner Paul Cain, whose ‘knowledge in each sector is unrivalled’.

Russell-Cooke LLP’s practice is ‘commercially aware, pragmatic, efficient and provides good value for money’. The team remained active on behalf of various high profile retailers, including Sports Direct Group and Pret A Manger, and in one recent mandate Helen Edwards (who ‘gets deals done in commercial and friendly way’), advised Matalan Retail on an agreement for the lease-surrender and downsizing of a Matalan store in Sunderland. Edwards was also active in the investment sub-sector, advising a joint venture comprising RoundHill Capital and Starwood Capital Group on the £73m acquisition of student accommodation properties in England and Scotland. Howard Swindall focuses on complex development schemes and assisted Newable Property Developments on its £2.6m acquisition of a brown field site in Rainham for commercial redevelopment. The team was strengthened by a number of hires including Peter Nicholson who joined from Blake Morgan LLP. Peter Dawson heads the practice.

Seddons enjoyed strong growth in 2016, with the addition of Howard Freeman and Savvas Fiaca, who joined the firm as part of its 2016 merger with BD Laddie. The team handles development and investment mandates for a variety of development companies, private individuals and offshore entities, and in one highlight Tessa Naylor advised a property developer on the £31m sale of a portfolio of five commercial properties, comprising multi-let offices and industrial units. Head of practice Andrew Jacobs specialises in the acquisition and disposal of hotels and restaurants, as well as multimillion-pound commercial developments. Lili Davarzani is another key contact.

At Shepherd and Wedderburn, practice head Stephen Hubner has particular expertise in handling the real estate aspects of major energy projects; he recently advised Dong Energy on the landowner/occupier option and lease agreements for the onshore cable route for the Hornsea Offshore Wind Farm. In other development highlights, Sally Morris-Smith advised Fairbriar Developments Salford on its development of a residential site in Manchester. On the investment side, the team is regularly instructed by the OLIM Property portfolio, and Elaine Colville assisted said client with the sale-at-auction of Scarborough & District Bus Depot. Senior associate Fraser Grant joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.

Teacher Stern LLPcharges a fair fee for a fantastic work ethic’ and the team has a ‘depth of knowledge and sector experience that gives confidence when any left-field issues arise’. The leisure sector is a particular area of expertise, and the team acts on both the landlord and tenant sides. Recent matters saw Victoria Hodges advise Burger & Lobster Restaurant Group on a new restaurant letting at the W Hotel in Leicester Square. In other areas, associate Artan Llabjani is assisting the Embassy of the Republic of Kosovo with the negotiation of an embassy lease with an option to buy, and Russell Raphael is advising Sasha Traders on a mixed-use development in Belsize Park. The ‘knowledgeable and assuredEytan Weisz, along with practice co-heads David Irwin and Oliver Azzuri are all additional contacts.

Wallace LLP is an ‘enormously experienced firm when it comes to leasehold enfranchisement’, and the team has a number of specialists in this area, including Martin Otvos and Mark Randolph. The hotel sector is another strength, and in one recent highlight, practice co-head Simon Edwards and Jackie Boot advised a joint venture comprising Bespoke Hotels and a number of private investors on the purchase of various boutique hotels including the Talbot Hotel in Ripley and the White House Hotel in Dorking. In the investment sub-sector, the practice acts for a range of private investors, property groups and public companies with significant portfolios, including Soho Estates and Hays. The practice is also present on the landlord side of retail sector deals. Randolph, Otvos and practice co-head Barry Shawall provide a comprehensive and professional service’.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP’s practice takes in a number of institutional investor and fund clients such as Ropemaker Properties and Morgan Stanley, and also services energy companies such as OMV on the property aspects of energy projects. In one highlight, newly promoted partner Hetan Ganatra advised Ropemaker Properties on its £60m acquisition of an office block and surrounding development in Brentford (London), from Carlton Properties. The practice is also noted for its strength in the hospitality sector, where Felicity Jones is highly regarded for her ‘understanding of hotel franchises, management agreements and any agreement/contract relating to hotels’. Jones is advising Grivalia Hospitality on the purchase agreement for a 60% stake in the Pearl Island resort project in Panama from Dolphin Capital Investors. Gary Ritter heads the practice.

Browne Jacobson LLP is well known in the retail sub-sector, where it acts for a number of major retailers including LVMH, Walgreens Boots Alliance, and Wm Morrisons. Recent matters saw Nottingham-based practice co-head Sarah Parkinson and Richard Cox advise Macintosh Retail Group on the sale Jones Bootmaker and Brantano to Alteri Partners. In the London office, practice co-head Caroline Green is the main contact.

DWF is ‘super value for money’, with Melanie Williams in particular singled out for her ‘practical, spot-on advice’; she divides her time between the firm’s Birmingham and London offices and leads on hospitality work. As well as acting for Premier Inn and Whitbread Group on the sale of freehold and leasehold land, forward funding and the development of a hub hotel at London’s King’s Cross, Williams also represented Maven Capital (Shire Hall Durham) on its acquisition and development of a Grade II listed building into a four-star 81-bedroom boutique hotel. In the London office, national head of practice Toby Askin and Lorraine Reader specialise in the retail sector and focus on advising investment and fund clients on portfolio acquisitions.

Freeths LLP’s ‘competent and reliable’ team provides ‘excellent client service’ to a mix of public and private sector clients, including London Borough of Newham and GAM. The practice was boosted considerably by a number of hires in 2016, including ‘great negotiatorClive Pearce, who joined from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP; and retail specialists Jenny Cooper and Sarah Griggs, who both joined from Clyde & Co LLP. Pearce focuses on development projects but also handles investment work and is advising London Borough of Guildford on the £20m acquisition of a fully tenanted office building in Guildford. In the retail space, Cooper and Griggs act for various luxury retailers such as Hotel Chocolat and the PVH Group. The practice is led by Ian Rowson, who has ‘an ability to eloquently explain complex matters’.

Glovers Solicitors LLP’s ‘reactive and available’ team often handles development work for contractors such as Sir Robert McAlpine and Cove Construction; the ‘diligent and thoroughAndrew Nicklinson is currently advising the latter on a large redevelopment and associated sale of residential units involving a housing scheme in Hampshire. Nicklinson has also been active in the self-storage sector, where he continued to act for Lok’nStore and Time Investments on the acquisition of sites. In addition, the team is noted for its strong leisure practice, where restaurant operator clients include Azzurri, Nando’s and Pizza Express. Other names to note include ‘extremely swift and knowledgeable’ practice head John Barber, and retail specialist Philip Mundy, who provides ‘pragmatic legal analysis’ to retailers such as Jack Wolfskin and Wolford.

Keystone Law enjoyed considerable expansion in 2016, with a number of hires including Susan Anand, who joined from Russell-Cooke LLP and Stuart Darlington, who joined from Simkins LLP. The team remained active across a range of sectors including residential, hotel and leisure and healthcare, and in one standout mandate Shayne Foley acted for Nilerace on the £50m sale of 36 care homes. Another name to note is Lisa Raymond, who specialises in acting for retailers such as Models Own; she advised said client on various matters including the granting of a new lease at Trinity Leeds Centre.

The ‘overall level of service is very good’ at Marriott Harrison LLP, where the team remained active in the development sub-sector for clients such as British Land and Burney Group. Highlight mandates included advising Templar Commercial Property on the redevelopment of a landmark building in Bristol, and acting for RAM Capital on the redevelopment and re-gearing of Bradbeers Retail Park in Hedge End, Hampshire. The practice also has presence in the hotel-and-leisure sector where it advised on various hotel, restaurant and cinema deals, including acting for Peckham Refreshment Rooms on a lease for an adjoining unit in Peckham Rye. Names to note include ‘very helpful’ head of practice Mark Lavers, Guy Hitchin and Vivienne Elson, who shows ‘meticulous attention to detail’.

REN Legal is probably best known for its real estate private equity practice, and the team continued to act for a major real estate fund on multiple transactions during 2016. Notable deals included an investment and joint venture in relation to two designer outlet centres in France, and acting for the sellers on a sale-and-leaseback of prime office space in the City of London. Key figures include head of practice Laurence Applegate, and Emma Bucknall, who focuses on corporate acquisitions and disposals.

At RadcliffesLeBrasseur, Mark Baker was especially active in 2016; his work included advising MDDUS Property on the £29m acquisition of 50 Cannon Street, and assisting the Association of Commonwealth Universities with the re-gearing of leases at Woborn House in St Pancras. In the residential sub-sector, key figures include practice head Karen Mayne, and Philip Vickers and Ping Leung, who both joined from VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards). Clients include Nicole Farhi, Carluccio’s and Canada Life.

At VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards), head of London real estate Mark Hughes and Jon Durham focus on high value development work across a range of sub-sectors including retail, charity, healthcare and education. Durham continued to advise the Governing Body of Rugby School on the redevelopment of part of its London Estate at 4-5 Long Yard, Bloomsbury, and Hughes represented Lady Hewley Charity Trust Company on the purchase of land adjacent to Low Grange Farm in North Yorkshire with a view to development of the site. In the transactional area, the team advised the Trustees of the Frank Collins Estate on the sale of land at the rear of 11-13 Stanhope Gardens in London. Philip Vickers and Ping Leung departed for RadcliffesLeBrasseur.

Construction: contentious and non-contentious

Index of tables

  1. Construction: contentious
  2. Construction: non-contentious
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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At Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, the practice has ‘knowledge of not just the legal processes involved but also the development sector as a whole - this gives great confidence’. The non-contentious team continued to handle a stream of high profile domestic development projects in 2016; practice head Marc Hanson, who provides ‘clear and concise advice’, is acting for Hermes in relation to the construction aspects of the Paradise Circus regeneration scheme in Birmingham; and Nazir Dewji is assisting Qatari Diar in relation to all design and construction aspects of the redevelopment of the 12.8 acre Chelsea Barracks site in London. In the infrastructure sub-sector, ‘great lawyer’ John Hughes-D’Aeth is advising Highways England on the delivery and procurement process for the Government’s £15bn Roads Investment Strategy. Bob Maynard leads the contentious offering, which received an increasing number of instructions from Korean contractors including Samsung Engineering and Hyundai Engineering & Construction. Besides a strong portfolio of international work for both contractors and employers, the team was also involved in a number of major PFI and development disputes in the UK, including Terry de Souza’s representation of Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in a dispute concerning the standard of completion of 2 phases of the construction of a hospital and clinical office blocks for the Trust. Other litigators to note are the ‘very brightCaroline Pope and senior associate Marcus Birch, who ‘runs cases well’.

At CMS, the recent merger of CMS, Nabarro LLP and Olswang LLP has resulted in a substantial practice that impresses on both domestic and international work. On the contentious side, ‘excellent strategistSteven Williams leads on UK mandates and has charge of a team whose members are ‘above all, strong lawyers with a first-class nose for the correct answer to a case’. Williams and Matthew Taylor, who ‘delves into the detail quickly’, continued to handle a range of cases for the likes of Lendlease, and in one work example successfully acted for Brockton Capital in a £4m adjudication relating to the development of retail precinct The Mailbox in Birmingham. The other key contentious practitioner is international arbitration specialist Adrian Bell, a ‘strong and determined litigator who knows where the merits lie, and how to deploy his team to reach a satisfactory outcome’. Bell, who co-heads the team with Williams, recently defended ISG Construction against a multi-party claim in the High Court for defective design and construction at a mixed-use development in central London. The non-contentious team is also well regarded, with head of practice Victoria Pecketta leader in the field, who is quietly leading the changes to the standard forms produced by JCT’. Aside from Joint Contract Tribunal (JCT) matters, Peckett also has extensive experience of international construction forms and is assisting Engie with a number of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts for the construction of assets to support the provision of electricity to Chile’s Sistema Interconectado central power grid. David Parton leads alongside Peckett and has a strong developer focus; he is acting for Delancey Real Estate Asset Management on the construction aspects of the development of 185 Park Street in Southwark.

Construction boutique Fenwick Elliott LLP is particularly highly regarded for its contentious practice, which wins favour with a range of employers, contractors, architects, and governments, for its ‘precise, commercial and highly knowledgeable service’. In one high profile litigation, Simon Tolson, who ‘understands complex arguments very quickly’, successfully represented National Infrastructure Development Corporation against BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole and Santander in three multimillion-dollar claims arising from performance securities issued by those banks at the request of a Brazilian contractor. The team was also highly active in international arbitration, where Karen Gidwani has a ‘wealth of experience within the offshore energy industry’. In the PFI disputes arena, Ted Lowery is advising various SPVs on disputes relating to hospitals and water treatment plants. Other names to note include Tony Francis, who has a ‘true depth of understanding of construction-related matters’, and Richard Smellie, who is ‘the first go-to in an emergency’. On the non-contentious side, Jatinder Garcha focuses particularly on the energy-from-waste and renewable energy sub-sectors, while David Bebb specialises in London development work. In 2016, the team’s work included acting for King’s College London on the appointment of the professional team for the redevelopment of the former Mulberry Business Park site at Canada Water, and also assisting a German contracting company with the project documentation for a proposed anaerobic-biogas combined heat and power plant in northern England.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s team is ‘worth every penny for complex matters’, with non-contentious head Nicholas Downing first choice for many of the UK’s most important development, energy and infrastructure projects. Downing is advising High Speed Two (HS2) on the procurement and delivery of the new north-south high speed railway project, and is also acting for NNB Generation (HPC) on its nuclear programme; recent work includes assisting the latter with its £3bn reactor contract for the nuclear stream supply systems (and associated information control systems), which will be the main component of the nuclear island at Hinkley Point C. In the development sub-sector, Downing and Tim Healey are acting for Capital & Counties Properties on all demolition and construction aspects of the redevelopment of Earls Court and Olympia, including the phased residential development at Lillie Square. The team is also advising Hammerson Brent Cross and Standard Life on construction of the new Brent Cross shopping centre. On the contentious side, the practice provides advice that is ‘timely, accurate and tailored to the commercial need at the time’ to clients such as Transport for London, Marubeni and Healthcare Support (Newcastle). Contentious head Mark Lloyd-Williams focuses on international arbitration, while Ann Levin and David Nitek (who has an ‘excellent strategic brain’), handle a mix of PFI disputes and standard form disputes in sectors such as transport, energy and medical research. The contentious team was further bolstered by the return of James Doe from the firm’s Seoul office.

Pinsent Masons LLP remains at the forefront of contractor work in the UK, with the practice handling a high volume of adjudication and litigation claims for the likes of Balfour Beatty, Carillion and Kier Group. The contentious offering is now led from Scotland by Fraser McMillan. Mark Roe is in charge of international arbitration work, and together with oil-and-gas specialist Adrian Elliott, he assisted Tepe Insaat Sanayii with the recovery of monies due to it under an arbitration award stemming from two substantial ICC arbitrations concerning construction of the Baku-Tiblisi-Ceyhan pipeline in Turkey. The firm’s international capability has been further developed as a result of the expansion of its relationship with major Spanish and Italian contractors such as Ferrovial and ACS Dragados. In the non-contentious sphere, names to note include global head of infrastructure Richard Laudy and John Mullee, with the latter specialising in providing procurement strategies and advisory work on large scale projects. The team remained active on a range of significant energy and infrastructure projects, with examples including Jonathan Hart’s advice to Aspire Defence Capital Works and Aspire Defence Services regarding the Ministry of Defence’s Army Basing Programme; and Leeds-based Melanie Grimmitt’s assistance to E.On Climate & Renewables UK Humber Wind with the construction aspects of the disposal of the transmission assets at Humber Gateway offshore wind farm to a consortium comprising Balfour Beatty Investments and Equitix.

Ashurstbrings a big city firm approach to construction litigation’, and the team ‘handles a good mix and breadth of domestic and international disputes’. Head of practice Tim Reid, who is ‘utterly unflappable, calm and insightful’, is advising on a number of infrastructure and energy-from-waste projects; and global head of dispute resolution Simon Bromwich, who is ‘very good at strategy’, is handling various major PPP disputes for both consortia and local authorities. Another name to note on the contentious side is senior associate Jessica Neuberger, who is ‘very bright and knows her subject matter really well’. The practice’s ‘client focused and collaborative’ non-contentious offering was particularly busy on development mandates for developers such as British Land, Westfield and Stanhope; ‘superb lawyer’ Matthew Bool ‘provides a unique level of assurance and guidance’ and is advising Hines on all construction elements of the extension and refurbishment of 25 Cabot Square in Canary Wharf. Bool also continued to advise Kennedy Wilson on the construction aspects of the planned 200,000 sq ft redevelopment of Friar’s Bridge Court in central London. In another piece of major development work Ben Patton is acting for Westfield on all construction aspects of its ongoing asset-enhancement works at the £2.3bn Westfield London development at White City in London. The team also saw involvement in several domestic energy projects, with Michael Smith, who impresses with his ‘industry knowledge and experience’, advising NuGen on the development of the 3.8GW Moorside Nuclear Power Project, and also acting on the construction elements of the 43MW Kemsley energy-from-waste plant in Kent.

Offering ‘top class quality on very complex issues’, the non-contentious team at Clifford Chance LLP remained active on a number of high profile London development projects during 2016. ‘Absolute expert’ Marianne Toghill is leading on construction work for Battersea Power Station Land Company in relation to the redevelopment of Battersea power station, and is also acting for Helical on a mixed-use development at Barts Square. In the energy sub-sector, practice head David Metzger combines ‘mastery of his subject with commercial and practical application’; he advised Galloper on various contracts, including turbine supply terms and electrical systems contracts for the 340MW Galloper offshore wind project in the UK. The team is also noted for its African thermal energy practice, with director Tim Steadman, Sandy Hall, and ‘very commercial’ senior associate Edward Bretherton busy on a range of mandates, including acting as sponsor’s counsel for a 567MW CCGT plant in Nigeria. On the contentious side, the ‘first rate’ practice specialises in energy sector arbitration; recent work examples include Marie Berard and Alex Panayides representing a consortium and an offshore wind developer in an ICC arbitration against one of its main contractors relating to the construction of an offshore wind farm; and Panayides and Robert Lambert advising Hyundai Heavy Industries in LMAA arbitration proceedings concerning the cancellation of a semisubmersible drilling platform (and associated overrun issues), that occurred during the construction of the vessel.

Clyde & Co LLP provides ‘excellent industry knowledge and properly tailored advice’ to an impressive range of contractors and consultants, and the practice is well known for its litigation expertise, often with a professional indemnity angle. Key figures include head of professional indemnity Richard Moody and Jonathan Brown, who are ‘both excellent lawyers and very personable’, Patrick Perry and Tom White. The team’s recent caseload took in international arbitration, a major PFI dispute in the health sector, and litigation in the Technology and Construction Court (TCC); in one example of the latter, practice head John Morris is representing Imperial Chemical Industries and AkzoNobel on a series of adjudications and TCC proceedings relating to a £100m project to construct a new paint manufacturing facility in northern England. Unlike the majority of his practice colleagues, Morris regularly acts for employers (as opposed to contractors), and in the non-contentious sphere, he is assisting Urban & Civic Princess Street with the design and construction of a multi-storey three block development in a city centre site in Manchester. Another name to note on the non-contentious side is Robert Meakin, who provides support to Wates Group on tender reviews, bonds, guarantees and collateral warranties.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s ‘high quality litigators’ include global co-head of major projects Jane Jenkins and public sector co-head Sally Roe. The team advises on major domestic and international disputes in areas such as natural resources, power generation, transport, and real estate development. In the arbitration sphere, Jenkins has expertise in ICC, LCIA, UNCITRAL and ad hoc arbitrations. Both Jenkins and Roe also handle non-contentious mandates, with Roe particularly active on behalf of public sector clients such as the Ministry of Defence. Other practice clients include National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago, Almacantar and Urenco.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s ‘long established construction practice’ has a ‘strong customer focus’, and provides ‘bespoke advice tailored to each situation’. The highly recommended contentious team ‘gets repeat work from major engineering companies’ such as Bechtel and Alstom, and is regarded by one client as being particularly strong for power plants, rail and airports. Global co-head Roberta Downey, is a ‘stand out individual, whose gravitas and experience are far beyond her years’; she is acting for an international bank on a potential dispute regarding defective chiller units in a data centre that could damage the bank’s functions. The team is also ‘right at the top when it comes to arbitration’; in one mandate the ‘excellentRupert Sydenham is representing a Russian investment and development group in an LCIA Arbitration concerning disputes arising under a joint venture agreement for the construction of a substantial mixed-use development in Russia. Another name to note is Tony Marshall, who is ‘very bright and superb with clients’. On the non-contentious side, Gillian Thomas is ‘calm with a wealth of knowledge’; focusing on major development projects, her recent work includes advising King’s Cross Central on all construction aspects of the £2bn King’s Cross Central development, and assisting Argent Related secure its role as development partner in the multi-billion pound Brent Cross South regeneration scheme. Global co-head of projects Adrian Walker leads on energy and infrastructure work, and is assisting an international contractor with its bid to build the world’s largest suspension bridge (and associated road development) in Turkey. Anna Mills was promoted to counsel, but John Gerszt left for an in-house role.

Mayer Brown International LLP’s ‘good, in-depth team is responsive and commercial and has a good strategic approach’; it is best known for contentious work on behalf of both insurers and standalone construction clients. Key litigators include head of practice Michael Regan, who ‘quickly grasps key issues’; Sally Davies, who ‘resolves problems rather than scoring points’; and Tom Duncan, who is ‘tactical, with a great client manner’. The team was highly active on behalf of various leading contractors including Wates Construction, Kier, and Hyundai Corporation during 2016, and in one highlight Duncan advised Costain (and its insurers) on multiple issues that arose at three microbiological treatment plants and four IVC plants in Manchester. Regan, Davies and Raid Abu-Manneh were all active in international arbitration matters. The non-contentious team is jointly led by Regan and Chris Fellowes, with the latter receiving praise for his ‘very sound advice set in a market context’. Fellowes and Jonathan Hosie are advising Wates Construction on the ongoing Shepherd Engineering and Construction contracts following Wates’ acquisition of the construction business of Shepherd Group. Hosie was also active on a range of international mandates, including advising Randgold Resources on a series of contracts to be used on the re-development and operation of Randgold’s mining activities in Mali, DRC and Cote D’Ivoire. Jonathan Stone made partner.

Norton Rose Fulbright is particularly noted for its strength across the infrastructure and natural resources sectors, and the team remained active in both areas during 2016. Non-contentious head Mark Berry specialises in EPC (and associated management) contracts, and together with Matthew Hardwick is acting for Ina-industrija Nafte (INA) on the front-end engineering design for INA’s residue upgrade project at its Rijeka refinery in Urinj, Croatia. In another significant international mandate, energy specialist Richard Hill is advising the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy on the third phase of the NOOR solar-power complex in Morocco. Peter Hall, leads the nuclear services group, and is currently assisting with various nuclear new-build projects, including in the UK. The team also handles development work, and Hardwick is currently acting for the University of Sussex and University of Essex on a student accommodation project involving the provision and maintenance of over 2000 units of student beds at the University of Sussex’s Falmer campus near Brighton. On the contentious side, Donald Warnock and Simon Ramsden focus on international arbitration for the likes of Bombardier and Thales. Ramsden was also active on a number of litigated disputes, including representing Beckton Energy in the TCC in a dispute with a contractor concerning the employer’s right to make a call on an on-demand performance bond. International arbitration specialist James Rogers relocated to London from the firm’s Hong Kong office.

White & Case LLP has an ‘excellent group for construction disputes’, and the practice is particularly recommended for ‘very complex, large scale arbitrations’. In 2016 the contentious team was particularly active in the transport sector across a range of airport, rail and road project disputes; in a headline mandate, Phillip Capper (who is praised for his ‘wise selection of points worth pursuing’), continued to represent Grupo Unidos por el Canal and its shareholders in a dispute with the Panama Canal Authority relating to the $5.5bn Panama Canal expansion project. While the practice focuses almost exclusively on international work, it does handle domestic cases; in one such mandate, Robert Wheal is acting for Emcor Engineering Services in a multi-party dispute with the main contractor in connection with the redevelopment and fit-out of the Rolls Building, London. On the non-contentious side, the team remained active in its key area of major power projects, with Philip Stopford and Kirsti Massie advising Egyptian Electricity Holding Company and Al Nowais Investments on the construction of a 2,640 MW coal-fired power generation plant in Egypt, and associate Gareth Oxley advising Galileo Technologies in relation to the construction of a 40MW gas-fired power plant in Argentina. The team also noted an uptick in petrochemical projects; Stopford is advising Carbon Holdings, as sponsor, on all aspects of a proposed multibillion-dollar petrochemical complex in Egypt. ‘Industry heavyweightEllis Baker heads the practice and handles both contentious and non-contentious mandates; his recent caseload includes assisting a project company with the development of a 1000MW DC power interconnector between the UK and France.

Addleshaw Goddard’s non-contentious practice is led by Andrew McVeigh, who has broad sector experience across areas such as housing and regeneration, manufacturing and engineering, and hotels and leisure. McVeigh remained active on the construction aspects of a number of development schemes, including advising Mount Anvil on the development of Keybridge House in the Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea Opportunity Area, and advising Croydon Council Urban Regeneration Vehicle on a scheme at Lion Green Road in Coulsdon. In another development mandate, McVeigh is assisting AG Beltane 24KWS with its redevelopment of the 24 King William Street offices beside London Bridge. Jonathan Tattersall leads on disputes and acts for clients such as Peel Group and Semperian PPP Investment Partners, as well as various local authorities and NHS Trusts. The team noted an uptick in PFI/PPP disputes, and Tattersall is representing Peterborough (Progress Health) in response to claims advanced by Peterborough and Stamford NHS Foundation concerning widespread defects in fire retardation measures at a major PFI hospital.

Allen & Overy LLP enjoys a strong reputation for energy and infrastructure work in relation to both domestic and international projects. Head of practice Nigel Pritchard, has extensive experience of EPC and EPCM contracts, and in one high-profile mandate is advising Biwater International on construction arrangements with the Kurdistan Regional Government for the Erbil and Sulaimani water and wastewater project. Another key figure is Troy Edwards, who is advising Trans Adriatic Pipeline on the construction of the 10 BCM gas pipeline between Turkey and Italy. In the UK, Pritchard and Edwards’ work included advising Infrastructure UK on all aspects of the financing and development of the £18bn Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, and assisting Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank with the financing of the redevelopment of White City. Clients also include Balfour Beatty and Horizon Nuclear Power.

Baker McKenzie’s ‘very commercial’ practice has ‘an impressive practical understanding of the construction industry’, where it continues to focus on heavy engineering and process plant projects, as well as on the development of high-profile commercial buildings. The ‘calm and pragmaticMike Webster is in charge of non-contentious work and is advising the British Virgin Islands’ government on its international airport expansion project. Webster is also acting for the Housing Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago in relation to the Mount Hope Project, a social housing project being procured on a construction finance/PPP basis. Other important figures include nuclear specialist Neil Donoghue, who handles construction in the energy, mining, petrochemical and infrastructure sectors; and associate Matthew Martin, who ‘combines being hands on’ and ‘into the legal detail’, with ‘a deep commercial understanding of projects’. On the contentious side, Steve Abraham, who now heads up the dispute resolution practice for the London office, was active on both ICC and UNCITRAL arbitrations arising from the construction of major international energy and infrastructure projects; he is supported by newly promoted partner Kate Corby. Andy Moody acted for Retansel Enterprises in seeking to defend an anti-suit injunction brought against it by Mace (Russia), following a declaration by the Russian courts that the construction contract between the two parties had been terminated.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s ‘highly responsive service represents good value for money’, and the team continues to enjoy a range of mandates for both contractors and employers. Recent non-contentious highlights include head of practice Steven Carey (who is a ‘great resource for sound, supportive commercial advice’), acting for Bauer Technologies in relation to the piling and groundworks sub-contract at Battersea Power Station; and development specialist Fiona Edmond advising Derwent London on the redevelopment of the current London headquarters of Publicis Groupe. In other development work, Duncan Salmon is advising Pocket Living on the construction of 89 residential units in Mapleton Crescent, Wandsworth. Tim Raper, who has ‘very good all round knowledge’, was particularly active on the contentious side, both in relation to domestic and international mandates. Raper’s work took in disputes relating to process engineering projects and nuclear reactor refurbishment. The practice signalled its contentious intent with the promotion of two litigators to the partnership: Michael O’Connor, who is ‘knowledgeable, commercially minded and very approachable’; and Rupa Lakha, who has ‘very sound construction understanding’. Clients include Bouygues Construction and Permasteelisa Group.

Construction boutique Corbett & Co International Construction Lawyers Ltd is well known in the international arbitration area, where it enjoys a reputation for ‘excellent factual and legal input and case management’. In one recent highlight, name partner Edward Corbett and Stephen Mangan are acting for Reinhold Meister Wasserbau in arbitration against the River Administration of the Lower Danube, and concerning the construction of bank protection along a 15km section of the Sulina shipping channel. In 2016 the firm secured a number of new employer clients, including the Government of Serbia and the Government of Georgia, and Corbett and counsel Taner Dedezade acted for the former in Dispute Adjudication Board proceedings relating to various claims brought by the contractor in relation to a complex tunnel project. Other names to note are solicitor-advocate Andrew Tweeddale and Victoria Tyson, who are both ‘distinguished lawyers with great experience and very good time management’, and consultant Martin Bridgewater.

DLA Piper’s non-contentious team is led by Stephen Malley, who specialises in advising developers on property development, including head-office projects and R&D facilities. Malley’s work in 2016 included advising Quintain Estates on the construction documentation for a 360-unit residential development at Wembley Park; and assisting Granville Homes with its first UK residential development, the construction of a luxury PRS scheme in Holland Park. The contentious team focuses on international arbitration, with an emphasis on large civil, engineering, energy (including nuclear and renewables), oil-and-gas and infrastructure matters. Contentious co-head Mark Hilton and legal director Edward Shaw are both ‘bright and tenacious’; Shaw is currently acting for an employer in an extension-of-time claim against a contractor arising from the £10m re-development of a high-value residential property. Also of note are ‘thoughtful and effective leader’ Philip Chong, and Kate Cervantes-Knox, who is ‘a growing force in the international arbitration field’. Legal director Ben Peecock joined from Addleshaw Goddard, but Stephen Haller retired.

Dentons’ Milton Keynes-based contentious team is now led by Akin Akinbode and Gurbinder Grewal, following Alastair Young’s move to the firm’s Dubai office. Akinbode is ‘calm under pressure, and leads by example’, while the ‘very able and practical’ Grewal is an ‘adjudication specialist’; he is currently acting for Ensign Highways in various disputes arising out of a PFI contract with Portsmouth City Council for the upgrade and maintenance of the highway network in Portsmouth. The team impresses with a broad service offering that takes in litigation, international arbitration and construction adjudication. On the non-contentious side, London-based practice head John Woolley focuses on the power-and-infrastructure sector, where he advises clients such as Mota-Engil. Other names to note include managing associates Shaun Tame (who provides ‘clear and concise technical responses’), and Jane Miles, who is advising Troy Verdion Holdco on all aspects of a £400m multi-phase and multi-tenanted rail and freight logistics development project on 337 acres of greenfield land in Doncaster. Both Tame and Miles are based in Milton Keynes. Robert Turner left for Devonshires Solicitors LLP.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s strong sector focus takes in energy, transport and real estate development, and the team regularly acts for the likes of Centrica and Lendlease. On the contentious side, James Pickavance, who leads on international arbitration work, is handling various significant ICC and LCIA arbitrations as well as representing Hammerson on a claim arising out of problems identified with the design and construction of the Selfridges store at the Bull Ring in Birmingham. In another contentious highlight, principal associates Kathryn Patel and Kate Hencken are assisting Doha-based Richard Ward in representing Dairy Crest on disputes arising out of the design and construction of its creamery at Davidstowe. Names to note on the non-contentious side include global practice head Simon Oats, who has particular experience of major PFI projects and regeneration projects, and Jonathan Bowley, who is active on various UK infrastructure projects and development schemes. The practice was enhanced by the hires of Richard Streeter from CMS and Jonathan Douglas from Nabarro.

Holman Fenwick Willanexcels in arbitrations of the greatest complexity’ and the team remains active on a high volume of international disputes for the likes of Singapore Airlines and UBS. Michael Sergeant, who is ‘good at understanding complex issues and finding pragmatic solutions’, was particularly active in this regard. In the UK, head of practice Max Wieliczko successfully defended Hochtief Solutions and Hochtief (UK) Construction in Scotland’s Court of Session in a case concerning the collapse of a 6km tunnel at the Glendoe hydro-electric scheme in Scotland. On the non-contentious side, the practice is instructed by a number of EPC contractors (both international and domestic) operating in the UK offshore wind industry and the energy-from-waste sector; Wieliczko’s current mandates include assisting an EPC contractor with the tender and associated construction documentation for a Round 3 UK offshore wind farm. The team was strengthened by the hire of Ben Mellors, who joined from Beale & Company Solicitors LLP and senior associate Sarah Mather, who joined from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

K&L Gates LLP is ‘top rate for response times, strength of team and value for money’, and the team is currently instructed on one of the UK’s largest construction projects: practice head Kevin Greene is advising St James Edinburgh Unit Trust on the construction aspects of the St James Quarter mixed-use development in Edinburgh. Greene is also assisting Norbord Europe with the expansion of the Norbord Inverness OSB3 Line Project, comprising the construction of new process buildings and equipment for a new Oriented Strand board mill and a biomass heat plant in Scotland. Outside the UK, global practice co-head Matthew Smith, who demonstrates ‘integrity and total dedication and commitment’, is representing Corinth Pipeworks Holdings on the construction aspects of two major international projects: the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline and the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline. On the contentious side, the team has particular experience with the NEC3 and FIDIC suites of contracts, and acts for clients such as PJ Carey (Contractors) and Angola LNG. International arbitration specialist John Gilbert joined from Pinsent Masons LLP, but Mike Stewart departed for Wikborg Rein.

Kennedys is best known for its contentious offering, with the team representing a broad range of clients including funders, employers, contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers, consultants, and insurers. Infrastructure is a particular strength, and the team is acting on a high volume of disputes arising from road construction. Mark Tiggeman heads the practice and is regularly instructed on international mandates, often involving both civil and common law jurisdictions. Another name to note is Michael Hogg, who continues to act on various domestic cases, including the representation of Volkerfitzpatrick in a claim relating to substantial structural problems at a privately owned Holiday Inn in North London. Insurance specialist Iain Corbett is ‘very astute and strategic with a real passion to understand the commercial drivers’. On the non-contentious side, James Shaw focuses on advising architects and construction consultants such as Allies & Morrison and Fletcher Priest Architects on the drafting of professional appointments and bond wordings. Shaw is ‘always mindful as to what is important to the client and how this should be communicated’.

According to one client, ‘there are no weak links’ in Macfarlanes LLP’s team, and the practice remains a favourite with clients such as Genting and Legal & General. The contentious side, in particular, garners numerous plaudits: ‘superb’ contentious head Doug Wass is ‘unruffled by even the most difficult challenges’; Andy Mather is ‘very impressive with a good command of construction law issues’; and counsel Mark Lawrence is a ‘real high flier’. Wass and Mather successfully represented Grove Developments in the Court of Appeal on a substantial claim for payment by a contractor involved in the construction of an Intercontinental-branded hotel and ballroom and a 100-unit residential tower. In other work, Simon Nurney is acting for Sir Robert McAlpine in a multi-party High Court claim by Newlon Housing Trust regarding the construction of 250 flats at Ashburton Grove. On the non-contentious side, the team is best known for acting for developers on development schemes; practice head Angus Dawson, who ‘turns work around quickly’, advised Stanhope on the construction documents for the redevelopment of Royal Albert Dock by a Chinese consortium. Dawson is also acting for 20 Grosvenor Square on the redevelopment of the former US Navy Headquarters at said address into 34 super-prime residential apartments.

RPC reported a further increase in contractor work during 2016; the team currently acts for a sizeable number of domestic contractors, including Sir Robert McAlpine, Morgan Sindall Group and ISG. Newly promoted partner Jonathan Hutt and legal director David Thorne (both are ‘hardworking, and do their very best for the client’), are currently acting for Carillion on various claims, including one to recover losses incurred in the construction of the Rolls Building. In other contentious highlights, Dan Preston and contentious practice head Robert Hogarth are representing Hammerson in a claim against Lend Lease Construction for costs arising from glass failures at 125 Old Broad Street, London. The team was also highly active on various PFI-related disputes arising in the health and education sectors. Preston leads on transactional work following Mark Lynch’s departure. Recent non-contentious mandates include acting for Arup and Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure on a joint venture to provide a range of infrastructure asset services to Sellafield; and advising AstraZeneca on the procurement, design and construction of its new global research and development centre, and corporate headquarters, at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

Reed Smith LLP’s four partner contentious offering is lauded as being ‘highly experienced in the resolution of construction disputes’, with Vincent Rowan ‘able to provide measured and constructive guidance’, and senior associate Antoine Smiley (who recently joined from Corrs Chambers Westgarth), able to ‘interrogate matters to get to the heart of complex disputes’. The team remains active on a range of international instructions, including Peter Cassidy’s representation of Todaysure Matthews and Matthews International Corporation in a multimillion-pound dispute with Marketing Ways Services relating to a contract for the design and supply of incineration systems for a slaughterhouse waste treatment facility in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Shareena Edmonds was also active on international matters, advising on various arbitrations in the energy and shipbuilding sectors. In the UK, Nick Speed defended Amec Foster Wheeler in a claim arising from construction defects at the Malmaison hotel in Liverpool. The transactional team is led by Richard Ceeney, whose practice takes in energy, infrastructure and development mandates; he is currently advising Commercial Estates Group regarding a substantial mixed-use development on a 23 hectare site on the outskirts of Leeds, and is also assisting the Rwandan Cricket Stadium Foundation with the construction of a cricket stadium. Gordon Bell left for Gowling WLG.

Stephenson Harwood’s practice demonstrates a good mix of domestic and international mandates across a breadth of sectors including rail, oil, gas, power and real estate. For one observer the team is ‘top of the list for rail-related projects’, with ‘very impressive litigatorRon Nobbs a standout for his ‘meticulous preparation and good judgment’. The team attracted a number of new rail instructions in 2016, acting for existing and new clients such as Abellio and Arriva. Paul Thwaite, who co-heads the contentious offering with Nobbs, is also highly regarded and garners praise for being ‘superb with clients, and an intelligent, hands on partner’. Thwaite’s recent caseload includes acting for Chatsworth House Trust in a claim arising from defective asbestos removal, and assisting Cofely in arbitration regarding a £4m fee dispute against its former advisor, Knowles. Graeme Barton leads on transactional matters and has particular expertise in the energy, hotel-and-leisure, and education sectors; his recent caseload includes advising Mandarin Oriental Hotels Group on all aspects of the multimillion-pound restoration and renovation of its flagship Knightsbridge hotel, and acting for Fabricom on the construction of a 30 megawatt photovoltaic farm at Copley in Lincolnshire.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP is probably best known for its work on residential-led mixed-use developments in the UK, and the team remained highly active in this regard during 2016. National head of practice Stephanie Canham is advising Berkeley Homes (South East London) on the construction and infrastructure aspects of the development of a 25-acre site in West Ham to provide approximately 3,500 new homes, commercial space, a new school, bridges and station upgrades; and is also assisting Quintain with the construction of new phases of its Wembley Park development. Other names to note on the non-contentious side include Assad Maqbool, Paul Bartter and London head of practice Charles Morrish, who is assisting the Board of Governors of the Museum of London with the construction aspects of the proposed relocation of the museum. Anthony Yates is in charge of disputes and has been highly active on behalf of key client Berkeley Group. Ian Reid, who joined from Howard Kennedy LLP, was also active on a range of mandates including the representation of Interwell in TCC litigation against Shell UK arising from the decommissioning of the Brent Delta oil platform in the North Sea. Peter Kitson left for Russell-Cooke LLP.

At Vinson & Elkins LLP department head Nick Henchie is well known for his arbitration work on major infrastructure and energy projects; his ongoing work includes handling a series of arbitrations and disputes for the Panama Canal Authority arising from the design and construction of a third set of locks for the Panama Canal expansion project, and representing Saipem in an ICC claim brought against a Gazprom entity over a terminated contract to build the South Stream gas pipeline between Russia and southern Europe. While the bulk of the team’s work is international, it does provide representation in the UK, most recently advising on a number of disputes in the energy-from-waste sector. On the transactional side, Andrew Nealon has extensive experience of EPC contracts, and is particularly active on energy projects in the CEE region. Nealon’s recent caseload includes advising SOCAR GPC on its proposed development of a gas processing plant and petrochemicals facility in Azerbaijan; and representing Uz-kor Gas Chemical (and its sponsors), on the construction of a $4bn integrated, upstream gas-and-petrochemical complex in the Ustyurt region of Uzbekistan.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is a natural choice to handle disputes with ‘high levels of factual, technical and legal sophistication’, with practice head Hamish Lal offering ‘an unparalleled degree of business acumen and industry knowledge’ and the ability to ‘execute robust resolution strategies’. The team continued to be particularly active for key client China State Construction Engineering Corporation (Middle East), advising said client on international arbitration in Dubai concerning Dubai International Airport, and also assisting with an arbitration in respect of final account, contractual audit, extensions of time, prolongation and defects claims concerning the high-profile Meydan Racecourse in Dubai. Another important client is Lukoil, which Lal is representing as claimant in arbitration against an oilfield services contractor concerning work performed on the West Qurna Phase II Project.

BLM noted an uptick in adjudications against consultants in 2016, and the practice continues to be highly active defending construction professionals either directly or on behalf of insurers. Contentious co-head Keith Lonsdale is acting for Buller Welsh in six adjudications arising from the design and construction of a high-end residential development at St John’s Wood, London. Lonsdale was also active in litigious matters, where he defended the Millward Partnership in a design claim relating to water ingress into the basement of an apartment block with underground parking in Buckingham. The other main contact is ‘good strategist and team-leaderMichael Salau, who co-leads the practice with Lonsdale. Salau’s reent mandates include a number of professional negligence matters for clients such as Griffiths & Armour, QBE and Adjaye Associates. Peter Stockill specialises in disputes involving infrastructure, process plant and other complex engineering projects.

Construction and engineering boutique Beale & Company Solicitors LLP provides contentious and non-contentious advice across a broad range of areas, including commercial development, transport, ports, energy, defence and education. While the firm is best known for its professional indemnity practice, where clients include Arup Group, Mott MacDonald and BAM Nuttall, the team is also handling an increasing amount of contractor and housebuilder work. On the contentious side, names to note include practice head Sheena Sood, professional negligence specialist Antony Smith, and John Henderson; while Will Buckby is the key figure for transactional work. The firm experienced an increase in international mandates as a result of its new office in Dubai. Ben Mellors joined Holman Fenwick Willan and Tom Pemberton joined Goodman Derrick LLP.

Burges Salmon LLP’s Bristol-based team offers ‘very good strength and depth’, and according to one observer is ‘as good as any magic circle firm’. The practice has particular strength in the infrastructure, nuclear and renewable energy sectors, where it is instructed on a number of high profile domestic mandates; recent work saw Lloyd James advise new client, Highways England, on the construction aspects of the proposed A303 Stonehenge expressway. Other non-contentious highlights included Steven James’ advice to Affinity Water in relation to its Mains Infrastructure Preferred Supplier framework agreement, and Marcus Harling’s assisting the Crown Estate with construction procurement across its development portfolio. Harling, who is ‘enormously helpful on strategy’, was also active on contentious matters, handling a number of disputes on behalf of employers such as the University of Exeter. Another key figure on the contentious side is arbitrator and adjudicator William Gard, who has replaced Harling as head of practice. Gard recently defended a public sector services provider in an adjudication arising from disagreement over a highways maintenance PFI.

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s ‘energetic and efficient team’ handles a considerable development work caseload, and demonstrates a ‘high level of understanding’ – particularly in relation to the housebuilding sector. Non-contentious head Nicholas Taylor, who has a ‘wealth of experience and in-depth knowledge of construction law’, advised McLaren Construction on two mixed education-and-residential developments procured under the London Borough of Hackney’s Building Schools for the Future Programme, and also handled various housebuilding mandates for the likes of Taylor Wimpey and Linden UK. On the contentious side, the team specializes in representing main contractors undertaking design-and-build work, and their insurers. Practice head Michael Blackburne, who is a ‘great communicator, and a canny thinker’, acted successfully for Amec Foster Wheeler in resisting Arcadis Hyder’s attempt to limit a potential claim arising from the construction of Castle Point car park in Bournemouth. Other names to note are Mark Roach and Chris Doran.

Response times and value-for-money are very good’ at Fladgate LLP, where the team continues to undertake a range of instructions in key sectors such as hotels and leisure, renewable energy, and museums and exhibitions. Digby Hebbard advised the Science Museum Group on the construction of its new interactive and maths galleries, and David Weare assisted Hitachi Zosen Inova with an EPC contract to deliver an energy-from-waste facility on the outskirts of Edinburgh. In other non-contentious highlights, practice head Alan Woolston and senior associate Chris Farrell, who are ‘commercially astute, technically excellent lawyers’, advised Go-Ahead Group on a range of construction works as well as professional appointments related to the infrastructure for various well-known Go-Ahead brands, including Southeastern trains and Brighton & Hove buses. Hebbard and Weare were also active in contentious matters, where work included representing contractors on various energy-from-waste project disputes, and acting for John Laing Investments on potential claims relating to the design and upgrade of Aylesbury Park railway station. International construction specialist Barry Hembling is another key contact.

Gowling WLG’s predominantly Birmingham-based team, continued to be engaged on a number of important London projects during 2016; non-contentious head Richard Green and London-based Philip Baker are advising Battersea Power Station Development Company on the construction aspects of various elements of the £8bn redevelopment of Battersea power station, and Green is also assisting VSM (NCGM) with the redevelopment of the New Covent Garden market site in Nine Elms, London. The team’s recent contentious-side caseload saw Daniel Wood represent E.ON Climate & Renewables in the Supreme Court in a significant claim arising from defects encountered at E.ON’s offshore windfarm development in the Solway Firth; and Sue Ryan and Ashley Pigott act for Commercial Management (Investments) in multi-party TCC proceedings arising from the design and construction of a manufacturing warehouse in Erith. Other names to note include contentious head Michael O'Shea and London-based international arbitration specialist Gordon Bell, who joined from Reed Smith LLP. All named partners are based in Birmingham except where stated otherwise.

Osborne Clarke LLP reported an uptick in contractor work during 2016, with the contentious team busy on domestic and international mandates for clients such as Midas Construction, Arabtec, and San Jose Construction. Jonathan Brooks, who divides his time between Bristol and London, is acting for Midas Construction in a final account dispute with Anchor 2020 concerning the construction of a £37 million retirement village in Hampshire, and the team is representing Knauf Group on a substantial dispute arising from the supply of materials for a very large UK PFI build. The non-contentious offering is led by Philip Davies, and energy and utilities specialist Carl Thompson, who –like Brooks– divide their time between Bristol and London. Asser ‘impresses on power cable projects’, and is also recommended for his solar expertise – he continues to advise Foresight Group on its entire UK solar park portfolio. Davies’ recent caseload took in a number of major development mandates, including advising Palmer Capital Partners and Cubex Land on the construction of a mixed-use development at Finzels Reach in Bristol, and acting for Bristol Sport on the £45m redevelopment of Ashton Gate football stadium. Matthew Heywood joined Clyde & Co LLP’s Dubai construction team in July 2017.

Simmons & Simmons expanded its contentious-side offering with the recent hire of Emily Monastiriotis and managing associate Jonathan Spencer, who joined from Bond Dickinson LLP. The two are recommended for their ‘strong commercial acumen’, particularly on behalf of both insurers and contractors. Contentious head Robert Horne, who is a ‘market leader in advising on the NEC form of contract’, was busy on a range of domestic and international mandates, particularly those arising in the transport infrastructure sector where he is regarded as ‘highly innovative’; he also sits as an adjudicator. On the transactional side, the ‘very professionalRichard Dyton focuses on the energy and infrastructure sectors, and is acting for Momentum Infrastructure in its bid for the enabling and civil works contracts for the High Speed 2 rail project. In 2016, Dyton was particularly active on behalf of key client the Ministry of Defence, which he advised on the construction of aircraft hangars, classroom training centres and flight simulator facilities on military bases. Other clients of the practice are PfalzSolar and Galliford Try.

Providing ‘quick and well thought through responses, and detailed and fair advice’, the team at Taylor Wessing LLP was active on a range of major residential development projects during 2016; David Quinlan is currently advising St. John’s Wood Square on the construction aspects of an eponymous residential development scheme, and he also continues to assist Essential Living on all construction matters relating to the development of a portfolio of projects in the private rental sector. The team’s expertise extends to sectors such as student accommodation and energy, with ‘very knowledgeable and thorough’ practice head Matthew Jones, and consultant Laurence Cobb, acting for McLaren Property on a number of student accommodation projects. On the contentious side, Cobb and Quinlan were active on behalf of both employers and EPC contractors in the renewable energy sector.

Bevan Brittan LLP has established a strong public sector client base which it advises on projects in a range of areas including social housing, education, hospitals, and waste and renewable energy. Andrew Tobin leads on non-contentious work and is continuing to act for the Department for Education on the second stage of the Priority School Building Programme. Tobin is also proficient on contractor-side mandates and regularly acts for Wates Construction – most recently advising Vita Student on student accommodation projects in Newcastle, York and Manchester to provide over 1,700 student units. On the disputes side, Marie-Claire O'Hara has experience in both domestic and international work; in addition to advising Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust regarding delays to the completion of the £50m Birmingham Dental Hospital and School of Dentistry, she is also representing a development charity on a dispute concerning the construction and fit-out of a hospital in West Africa.

At Bircham Dyson Bell, Karen Kirkham’s non-contentious caseload takes in commercial development and public infrastructure projects for a range of public and private sector clients. Recent highlights include assisting Quantas with the management contract for a fit-out at Heathrow, and advising Market Tech on various substantial refurbishment projects within Stables Market in Camden. Other clients include Cambridgeshire County Council and Transport for London.

Bond Dickinson LLP is probably best known for its ‘strong and loyal insurer client base’ that includes the likes of QBE Insurance (Europe) and Starstone. The team is ‘particularly experienced at handling professional negligence claims’ and in one example, Newcastle-based Simon Lewis is defending NG Bailey in a claim relating to defective design and construction of a sixth form college. The firm’s London offering includes legal director Dan Hall, who has ‘excellent strategic judgement’, but endured the loss of Emily Monastiriotis and Jonathan Spencer to Simmons & Simmons. On the transactional side, Alex Hirom, who is ‘very experienced in international construction, including in civil law countries’, remains particularly active in the power generation sector; his recent work includes advising SABIC Petrochemicals UK on the conversion of its gas cracking plant on Teesside, and assisting Barking Power with the contracts to convert a large gas fired power plant in East London.

Boodle Hatfield LLP’s development-focused practice flourishes in areas such as hotel projects, urban estates, high value residential, and mixed-use development. During 2016 practice head David Johnson was particularly active on non-contentious instructions, including procurement methods and contract drafting for employer clients such as Grosvenor, Marriott International and Bedford Estates. The team was enhanced by the hire of John Wevill, who joined from Clarkslegal LLP; Wevill is proficient in both contentious and non-contentious work.

Bracewell (UK) LLP demonstrates ‘deep industry knowledge’ on international energy projects, with head of practice Tracy London praised for her ‘phenomenal attention to detail and ferocious negotiation technique’. London’s recent highlights include advising Ophir Energy on the procurement, construction and operation of a floating LNG project in Equatorial Guinea, and assisting RWE and Belectric in relation to the EPC and operation and maintenance (O&M) aspects of their bid for the 350 MW Sweihan Solar PV Project in Abu Dhabi. Senior associate Tom Swarbrick is a ‘real up-and-coming star’.

Browne Jacobson LLP’s London offering continued to see positive progress under the leadership of Tim Claremont, who has experience in both domestic and international matters. The practice handles a good balance of private and public sector work for clients such as Mace, Heatherwick Studios and HMRC, and in one example of work advised Montagu Evans regarding its appointment as a multi-disciplinary consultant for two residential sites in Camberley. The team’s contentious caseload includes insurance litigation, as well as advising on various substantial international disputes arising from the construction of industrial and infrastructure assets.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s ‘strong, hard-working team deals with complex international matters’ and has ‘achieved an exceptional balance of resources and support in relation to construction disputes’. Key figures include the highly regarded Tony Dymond, who is ‘one of the few lawyers who genuinely understands construction and engineering delay matters and how these fit within the broader arguments’; and solicitor advocate Gavin Chesney, ‘who has a great facility for understanding the detail of construction costs and collecting these into clear submissions’. While the team focuses on international arbitration work, it also handles litigation at the TCC, recently representing Hess Denmark in a dispute with Dragados Offshore concerning defects in two offshore well-head platforms for use in Danish North Sea waters.

Devonshires Solicitors LLP’ four partner team is led by Mark London, who delivers ‘confident contentious and non-contentious advice’ to the firm’s extensive public sector and third sector client base. Recent examples of his work include advising Project Light Development 1 on the construction aspects of a major regeneration project in Canada Water, and defending Home Group in an adjudication concerning alleged breaches of two large construction-management contracts in the North East of England. Another name to note on the contentious side is Matthew Cocklin, who provides ‘a good and responsive service on latent defect matters’; he is also a specialist in extensions of time and delay. Non-contentious specialist Susannah Davis remains active, primarily in the housebuilding sector. The practice’s capability in the infrastructure sector was significantly augmented by the hire of Robert Turner, who joined from Dentons.

Farrer & Co’s ‘excellent industry knowledge and quick turnaround times’ make it a favourite with landowners such as Coutts, the Duchy of Cornwall and the Royal College of Surgeons. Head of practice Clive Lovatt and Edward Banyard Smith are both recommended for their non-contentious work on large development projects, and the team remained active in this sub-sector in 2016. Highlights included Lovatt advising Highbridge Properties on the construction of the Westmoor Park distribution centre in Doncaster. Adrian Parkhouse leads on contentious matters and also assists with non-contentious issues. The practice experienced an uptick in contractor work during 2016, handling a number of matters for key client Price & Myers.

Fieldfisher’s practice underwent some senior-level reorganization, with Manchester-based James Flynn replacing Cecily Davis as head of practice. Davis, who specialises in non-contentious work, remains a key figure, and is acting for Stoke-on-Trent City Council on the UKs first ever large scale low-carbon heat network system; she is also advising Reaction Engines on the construction aspects of a space missile testing facility. As a result of the firm’s recent merger with Hill Hofstetter, the practice’s contentious offering was boosted with a number of new arrivals, including Birmingham-based international arbitration specialist Richard Waugh, who is ‘confident and reassuring’. Louise Elmes leads on contentious work in London and focuses on the energy and natural resources (particularly power, renewables and mining), and maritime sectors; her caseload also takes in development work and she advised employers on a number of disputes arising from hotel developments during 2016.

Forsters LLP demonstrates ‘great commercial and tactical awareness’ when handling disputes for the firm’s broad client base of developers and institutional property owners – including the likes of LXB Retail Properties and Realis Estates. Contentious head Andrew Parker is ‘at ease with all aspects of construction disputes and has a very good eye for the key issues in cases’, and associate Alastair Robertson is ‘remarkably capable relative to his year of qualification’. On the non-contentious side, Sarah Cook continued to advise Knight Dragon Developments on all the construction aspects of the regeneration of Greenwich Peninsula, and also provided construction advice to a client regarding the funding of a development comprising a Premier Inn and retail outlets in Exeter.

At Goodman Derrick LLP, Tim Mould and Richard Bailey handle a mix of contentious and non-contentious work for clients such as Essex Services Group, South Eastern Electrical and Stephenson Group. Mould, who is ‘very hardworking and thorough, with an encyclopaedic knowledge of legal documents’, advised the governors of an independent charitable school on the construction documentation for a new school building; and also continued to act for IPCO (Nigeria) on the enforcement of a Nigerian arbitral award. The ‘highly competent’ Bailey was engaged on a high volume of contentious matters, including representing Penten Group in two separate adjudication enforcements and a set of declaratory proceedings at the TCC. Arbitrator, adjudicator, mediator and dispute board member John Wright is now a consultant with the firm. Tom Pemberton was a new arrival from Beale & Company Solicitors LLP.

At Irwin Mitchell, non-contentious specialist Gordon Anderson provides ‘clear and practical advice’ and has considerable expertise in advising on sites bisected by, or adjoining, operational railways – or with significant third party interfaces such as Network Rail, or the Canal & Rivers Trust; for example, Anderson is advising Blackstone on the construction of a pedestrian bridge at Chiswick Park, including advising on the construction aspects of the related project agreements with Network Rail and the London boroughs of both Ealing and Hounslow. Anderson is also well versed in handling major residential and commercial development projects, and is assisting Caudwell Properties with the construction contract for the development phase of Audley Square in Mayfair.

Lewis Silkin LLP’s team is led by non-contentious specialist Clare Reddy, whose work takes in mixed-use regeneration schemes, fit out projects for clients in the creative media, technology and retail sectors, residential projects for high net worth individuals, and advising on architects appointments. On the contentious side, managing associate Owen Williams divides his time between the firm’s London and Oxford offices, and represents clients such as VVB Engineering Services and Peabody Housing Trust.

At property boutique Maples Teesdale LLP, the ‘construction and commercial property departments work very well together to provide strong, clear advice’ to a range of property funds and developers. Practice head Sam Nichols focuses on non-contentious work and is advising TCCW Properties on the design and construction of a new high-rise building including 706 units of residential accommodation at Canary Wharf. In another highlight, Nichols and Leicester-based consultant Claire Egerton continued to act for Legal & General’s UK Property Income Fund 2 on the redevelopment of the Grafton Centre in Cambridge.

Memery Crystal LLP’s team is led by transactional specialist Joanne Kelly, who has ‘exceptional familiarity with multiple construction contracts, both at drafting and dispute stages’. Kelly has particular expertise in advising on procurement routes and acted on a range of development mandates over the last year, including advising Big Yellow Construction Company on the refurbishment of various sites, and acting for Carrigmay Kings Point (Jersey) on the design and construction of a mixed-use development in Reading.

At Mishcon de Reya LLP, head of construction and professional negligence Richard Gerstein litigates on behalf of a variety of owners, developers, specialist subcontractors and consultants; in one recent matter, Gerstein is defending Mears in the TCC in a dispute with Family Mosiac Housing over the determination of the provisions of a partnering contract. Simon Hunter leads on non-contentious work and has experience in a breadth of development schemes across sub-sectors such as hotels-and-leisure, retail, education, student accommodation and residential. Hunter continued to advise Consolidated Developments on the construction of a mixed-use development at St Giles Circus, and also assisted Fizzy Living with the construction aspects of forward funding agreements for private rental sector housing developments at Silvertown Way, Canning Town and Walthamstow. The non-contentious offering was enhanced by the hire of legal director Justine Ayto, who joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.

Penningtons Manches LLP’s ‘thoughtful and knowledgeable team’ is probably best known for its development work on behalf of housing associations such as Sovereign Housing Association, but it also acts for a range of private clients; one recent mandate saw Peter Massey advise Hoxton Hotel Group on the construction of a signature hotel in Holborn. On the private sector side, the practice was further developed with the hire of the ‘proactive and engagedFrancis Ho, who joined from Olswang; Ho’s recent instructions include acting for Harlow Properties on the regeneration of a 78-acre site in Harlow, Essex. Richard Cooke leads the team.

Very strong on public sector matters and dealing with the challenges they pose’, 2016 saw Sharpe Pritchard active on a number of public sector education mandates; head of practice Justin Mendelle (who is ‘very accessible, intelligent and has sound judgement’), and Annie Moy, are advising the London boroughs of Southwark and Brent, respectively, in relation to their primary school expansion programmes. In another example of non-contentious work, infrastructure specialist Roseanne Serrelli continued to act for Thames Water Utilities in relation to the delivery of the Thames Tideway project. Mendelle also handles contentious work and was active on various multimillion-pound disputes, including defending a prominent London borough in a claim brought by a contractor relating to an increase in the scope of work, extension of time and loss-and-expense.

Newly-promoted partner Rebecca Williams leads on disputes at Watson Farley & Williams LLP and demonstrates ‘high quality client service’ and ‘significant legal, technical and industry knowledge’. Besides handling a high volume of energy-related disputes, both in the UK and overseas, Williams was also active in the development sub-sector, where she represented a high-end residential property developer in multiple adjudications.

Wedlake Bell LLP has particular strength in non-contentious development work, and the practice remained highly active in this regard in 2016. Practice head Suzanne Reeves continued to act for key client Care UK on a range of mandates, including facilities management procurement work, and the construction of a new care home in Bromsgrove. Helen Garthwaite was busy in the residential space and advised Ronson Capital Partners on the construction aspects of residential developments at Riverwalk House, Millbank, and 66 Chiltern Street in Marylebone. Sarah Elliott is also a key contact; her caseload included advising Illumina on the construction of a new headquarters in Cambridge’s biotech hub. The team also handles major developments in areas such as hospitals, office blocks and television studios.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP’s ‘bright, knowledgeable lawyers’ serve a range of developers, house builders and infrastructure operators, and offer a good balance of contentious and non-contentious expertise. Practice head Colin Hall (who is, for one client, ‘first choice for resolving construction disputes’), assisted Kane Haulage with a claim relating to the alteration and extension of the Exchange Shopping Centre in Putney, West London. In other work, Hall is providing non-contentious advice to the Balanced Energy Networks Consortium on the construction and operation of a heat-transfer scheme at Waterloo. Practice co-head alongside Hall, Eleanor Kilminster is also highly regarded and has been advising on a number of housebuilding projects, including assisting Redrow on the design and construction of 2,900 homes in Colindale, North London. The practice secured a number of new clients during 2016, including Industry Capital, Kershaw Mechanical Services and Network Housing Association.


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Allen & Overy LLP’s team is ‘technically on-point and extremely adept at realistically applying the regulatory environment to the realities of businesses’. The practice’s wide-ranging workload includes advising on energy regulatory issues, chemical regulations, and product stewardship. It attracts particular praise for its corporate environment work; recent highlights include advising Life Healthcare Group Holdings on the environmental and regulatory aspects of its acquisition of Alliance Medical Group, and assisting TE Connectivity with its acquisition of the Creganna Medical Group. Head of practice Matthew Townsend is an ‘extremely strong and truly engaging professional adviser’, who has particular expertise in the energy and power sector; Townsend continued to assist Horizon Nuclear Power with permitting issues connected to the development of the Horizon new-build nuclear power plant in the UK. In other highlights the team acted for JP Morgan Securities in connection with environmental matters associated with the IFC’s $152m Forests’ Bond, and also provided advice to News Corporation on the Modern Slavery Act and related requirements to report on human rights issues. Senior associate Alana Lampitt has experience in areas such as industrial and contaminated land and international emissions regulation.

CMS is possibly best known for its expertise in waste and contaminated land, and the practice provides a ‘first-class service’ in defending regulatory enforcement actions; Paul Sheridan, who wins praise for his ‘excellent perception, strategic direction and client handling’, recently acted for Brett Aggregates in an Environment Agency investigation arising from a fatality, allegedly from cyanide in the environment. Sheridan’s other highlights included advising Red Industries on the purchase of a landfill. The practice is also highly proficient in areas such as clean energy, EU product advisory work and environmental permitting; Olivia Jamison (who heads the practice with Sheridan) has been advising clients such as John Laing Infrastructure Fund on energy efficiency, carbon schemes and environment reporting requirements. In the transactional space, associate Valentina Keys represented a consortium including Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets and CIC Capital Corporation on the environmental aspects of its purchase of a 61% stake in the National Grid’s UK gas distribution business.

Nigel Howorth heads the practice at Clifford Chance; he has an extensive track record in energy sector mandates, including advising Horizon Nuclear Power on the environmental aspects of the development of a new generation of nuclear power facilities in the UK, and acting for 3i Infrastructure on the environmental and regulatory aspects of its acquisition of Infinis' landfill gas generation business. In another transactional energy highlight, Howorth acted for PKA and Kirkbi on the regulatory aspects of the purchase of 50% of the 32-turbine, 258MW Burbo Bank Extension offshore wind project from Dong Energy. Outside the energy space, the team assisted key client Pfizer with various regulatory matters: as well as advising on different aspects of the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation, the team also advised on environmental liability issues arising from a supplier contract concerning manufacturing operations in a developing country. Senior associate James Shepherd specialises in emissions trading work, renewable energy projects, energy regulation, and the environmental aspects of corporate and real estate transactions and projects.

The practice at Dentons is noted for its ‘sound legal advice on a wide range of environmental matters’, and the team enjoys a strong following in the oil and gas, and waste sectors. Practice head Stephen Shergold, who is ‘capable of combining technical and strategic positioning’, advised World Fuel Services on the cross-border acquisition of ExxonMobil’s aviation fuelling operations. In other transactional highlights, Sam Boileau provided environmental advice to the Greater London Authority on its acquisition of land at a derelict former Ford factory plant in East London; Boileau also assisted Marshall Motor Group with its acquisition of Ridgeway Garages. Boileau was also active in the corporate reporting space, where, together with Helen Bowdren, he advised Flextronics on various issues including compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015. Environmental insurance is another key specialism; Shergold regularly assists AIG with claims brought under environmental insurance policies, as well as the underwriting of specialist warranty and indemnity insurance policies on acquisitions. Eleanor Reeves joined Ashurst.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s ‘excellent team has many years of experience, delivering quality advice with a firm grasp of business realities’. The impressive contentious practice features a number of key figures, including John Blain, Paul Bowden and Jonathan Isted, who are regularly involved in defending clients in litigation arising from breaches of product regulations or pollution. On the non-contentious side, counsel and nuclear specialist Vanessa Jakovich regularly advises on the environmental aspects of transactions, and on the consenting and operation of major infrastructure and energy projects. The practice is particularly known for its work on behalf of international energy companies, such as Urenco Group and Equion Energia.

Linklaters LLP’s ‘depth of expertise is unmatched’; the team’s wide-ranging workload covers environmental regulations and compliance issues, as well as strategic advice in respect of sustainability and climate change. The team is particularly well regarded for its transactional expertise, where it ‘brings a pragmatic and commercially informed approach to the environmental aspects of M&A transactions’; in one recent highlight practice head Vanessa Havard-Williams |(who has ‘an exceptional ability to provide insight and clarity in complex situations’) advised National Grid on the environmental aspects of the sale of four distribution networks as part of a hive-down and share sale. Harvard-Williams was also busy in the international project finance space; she advised International Finance Corporation, as well as a consortium of other export credit agencies and lenders, on the environmental risks arising from a rail corridor in Mozambique and Malawi, which will link a major coal mine to the coast. Other key players in the team include Chris Staples, who advised International Finance Corporation on the issuance of a forest bond, and managing associate Rachel Barrett, who is ‘superb at facilitating challenging meetings and a great communicator’.

Baker McKenzie’s practice has particular strength in product stewardship and climate change law, and the team acts for a range of international businesses including Google and Mattel. In 2016 Graham Stuart, who leads the practice, advised across the full spectrum of EU and UK law in areas such as chemicals, restricted substances, hazardous substances, waste electrical and electronic equipment, toys, biocidal products, and product ecodesign and energy efficiency. In the climate change space, the team regularly advises on global investments in emission reduction projects under the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism, and on voluntary carbon offsetting projects. Senior associate Rachel Barlow is the other main contact.

Burges Salmon LLP’s Bristol-based practice has a strong contentious offering; the team regularly defends businesses in civil claims for environmental nuisance, particularly in the energy sector. Simon Tilling is defending a client in High Court proceedings for alleged noise nuisance from a wind turbine. Head of practice Michael Barlow specialises in flooding claims and is acting for Great Yarmouth Port Company in litigation against Great Yarmouth Port Authority relating to losses allegedly caused by the construction of an outer harbour at Great Yarmouth. In the non-contentious space, Tilling provided environmental advice to an international microelectronics manufacturer in relation to the sale of a high-tech manufacturing business, and Ross Fairley assisted key client RWE with the disposal of Willington Power Station to Calon Energy. Ian Salter is well known for his regulatory expertise in the nuclear sector.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s practice handles regulatory and transactional work, as well as criminal and civil litigation, and has a particular focus on the energy and industrials sectors. In 2016 the team noted an increase in environmental-related litigation; recent work includes acting for new client Transocean on regulatory and liability matters arising from the grounding of the 17,000-tonne Winner oil rig, which ran aground on the Western Isles. Another fruitful source of work was the nuclear sector, where the team was active on behalf of clients such as Exelon. Transactional highlights included representing SABMiller on the environmental and regulatory issues relating to its divestment of the Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime businesses to Asahi, and assisting EDF with its acquisition of the Studsvik nuclear waste treatment business, including its waste facility in Warrington. Head of practice Louise Moore and consultant Gary Cassidy are the main contacts.

Leigh Day is well known in the market as a ‘leading claimant firm for public law environmental challenges’, and the team is involved in many of the most high-profile environmental cases, both nationally and abroad. Daniel Leader focuses on international work and is acting for the Ogale and Bille communities in claims against Royal Dutch Shell and Shell Nigeria relating to damage suffered from oil spillages in the Niger Delta. On the UK front, Richard Stein was active in various judicial review claims seeking to overturn local authority grants of planning for fracking. Stein’s other work included acting for ClientEarth and DG Cars in a potential claim against the Secretary of State for Transport for failure to adhere to EU regulations on vehicle emissions. Other names to note include Sean Humber, who is acting in a series of cases relating to serious health risks posed by environmental tobacco smoke, and Shanta Martin, who has ‘pursued groundbreaking claims to secure justice for victims of modern slavery in the UK’. Martyn Day heads the department.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s ‘knowledgeable and committed’ team focuses on large infrastructure and energy projects, substantial remediation and redevelopment projects, and regulatory advice. The ‘highly experiencedCaroline May heads the team and handles both contentious and non-contentious mandates; recent work includes advising Dagenham Dock on its purchase of a former Ford stamping and tooling site in Essex from the Ford Motor Company, and continuing to advise DP World London Gateway on environmental liabilities arising from the site acquisition and implementation of the largest remediation and ecology programme in Europe. The practice continued to see an increase in instructions relating to product regulation, recall and safety, and in one highlight May is assisting Tokyo Electron Europe in relation to the negotiation of its sales contracts with its international customers. Consultant Jacqui O’Keeffe is ‘adept at understanding critical aspects of the work’ and has particular expertise in the waste sector, where she advises clients on regulatory and commercial matters arising from the trans-frontier shipment of waste. Lucy Bruce Jones was promoted to of counsel.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s practice benefits from the firm’s impressive roster of construction and engineering contractor clients, which includes AMEC Foster Wheeler and Balfour Beatty; the team acted for Morgan Sindall on environmental permitting issues in relation to its construction site at Bryngwyn Cattle Market. Practice head Georgie Messent specialises in the waste sector and in 2016 assisted waste companies both in relation to litigation, including a significant nuisance action, as well as on various transactional matters; in one example of the latter, Messent acted for Cory Environmental Group and its fund managers on the sale of its municipal waste business, Cory Environmental Municipal Services, to Biffa Waste Services. In other transactional highlights, Messent advised Deloitte on environmental risks and liabilities in relation to the sale of Evolve Polymers to Plastipak, and also assisted AMC Entertainment with its £921m acquisition of Odeon & UCI Cinema Group.

In 2016, Reed Smith LLP secured Hewlett Packard as a new client, which it assisted with a number of product stewardship matters including advising on REACH and the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) compliance, as well as on labelling and packaging. The team was also busy in the emissions trading space, where its ‘willingness to engage as a legal expert in the context of a multi-stakeholder debate is exceptional’. Practice head Nicholas Rock advised GE Capital Aviation Services on EU and wider global proposals to combat the aviation sector's greenhouse gas emissions. In other highlights, Rock handled a number of matters for key client Koppers UK, including the sale of two large industrial facilities in the UK, as well as a soil and groundwater investigation at a chemicals production and testing facility. In an illustration of Rock’s expertise in brownfield redevelopment, he continued to advise Commercial Estates Group on the environmental remediation of its Kirkstall Forge urban redevelopment project. Senior associate Adam Hedley ‘delivers detailed knowledge in an appropriate way’.

Travers Smith LLP’s team is praised for its ‘clear, pragmatic advice that is sensitive to the way corporate governance works’. The practice has a particularly strong reputation for product stewardship, where it regularly acts for clients such as Nike and Greatbatch; in one recent example, the team advised Specialized Bicycle Components on various EU environmental regimes relating to electronic waste, packaging waste, and general product safety. The team was also busy in the transactional space; highlights included advising on a number of corporate and property deals, including supporting Ancala Partners on the acquisition of more than 100MW of ground-mounted solar PV development sites, and assisting Breedon Aggregates with its acquisition of Hope Construction Materials. Practice head Doug Bryden and senior associate Carl Boeuf, are ‘both excellent; apart from their expert legal knowledge, they listen to the client and take time in asking questions to gain a full understanding of the facts’.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP has a strong focus on environmental compliance and liability issues arising from contaminated land, water pollution and waste, and Thames Water Utilities remains a key client of the practice. Aidan Thomson acted for said client on a number of mandates including continuing to advise on the environmental aspects of the £4.2bn Thames Tideway Tunnel project. In another environmental compliance matter, Thomson is assisting a government authority with its discussions with the Environment Agency over the renewal of an environmental permit for a type of waste material. Thomson is also noted as being ‘extremely knowledgeable in the field of environmental impairment liability insurance and connected matters’, where he regularly acts for clients such as AIG and International Underwriting Association. The practice also leverages the firm’s substantial commercial property offering to advise on a range of real estate transactions; recent highlights include advising Perryman Properties on all environmental issues in relation to the acquisition of Discovery Park from a joint venture, and assisting BlackRock UK Property Fund with the sale of a portfolio of 20 non-strategic UK assets to Westbrook Partners.

DLA Piper’s ‘market-leading’ practice stands out for its ‘industry knowledge, and extensive experience of dealing with regulatory agencies’. Sheffield-based Teresa Hitchcock, who is praised for her ‘ability to quickly digest and understand complicated technical issues and communicate clearly and effectively’, has particular expertise in contaminated land, nuisance disputes and regeneration projects. Her recent work includes assisting Unilever with an overview of the key environmental risks relevant to its European business, and acting for Heineken UK in relation to an incident at a manufacturing site that led to a chemical loss to a nearby watercourse. Also in Sheffield is legal director Alistair Clough, who continued to provide specialist environmental and remediation advice to Grant Thornton in its capacity as administrators of J G Ambergate. The team is also noted for its expertise in criminal investigations brought by the Environment Agency, with Leeds-based Stuart Ponting the name to note in this respect. Roy Tozer departed for Shoosmiths LLP.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s practice is led by Catherine Howard, who assists with regulatory and consenting issues for a large number of infrastructure projects including nuclear powers stations and interconnectors; Howard is advising Cuadrilla Resources on environmental issues arising from fracking, and most recently acted for the company on obtaining additional permits for greenhouse gas emissions. ‘Very competent’ senior associate Julie Vaughan was also busy in the energy space; her work included acting for a joint venture of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor on all aspects of the acquisition and development of a biomass-fired combined heat and power plant project in Kent, and representing two bidding consortia in the auction for a majority joint venture stake in the remaining gas distribution network assets of National Grid Gas. Litigator John Ogilvie leads on environmental disputes.

Level of service is excellent’ at Latham & Watkins, where the team provides environmental advice on a high volume of cross-border transactional mandates for the firm’s impressive international client base; recent examples include acting for Onex Corporation in connection with its $1.4bn acquisition of Parkdean Resorts, and assisting Emerson Electric with its $1.2bn sale of Leroy-Somer and Control Techniques to Nidec. The team also successfully acted for Royal Dutch Shell and a Nigerian subsidiary on a major piece of litigation, and in the debt capital markets space, advised Volvo Cars on a €500m senior notes issuance. Other areas of work include management of contaminated land, the insurance of environmental risk, climate change, asbestos and waste management issues. Practice head Paul Davies and counsel Michael Green are both praised for their ‘practical advice on environmental indemnity issues’.

Mayer Brown International LLP’s team advises across a broad range of sectors including oil and gas, biotechnology, chemicals, insurance and real estate. Practice head Michael Hutchinson is particularly noted for his transactional expertise, where he ‘combines technical excellence with the ability to provide commercial and pragmatic advice’; his recent work includes advising Beazley Furlonge on the environmental risks involved with the acquisition of three UK-based concrete pumping businesses, and assisting H.I.G. Capital on the acquisition and financing of two regional shopping centres in Newbury and in Bradford. In the capital markets space, Hutchinson acted for Oxford BioDynamics on its admission to AIM. The team is also experienced in handling carbon litigation, in particular cases arising from the EU Commission’s decision to introduce a cross-sectoral correction factor to reduce the number of free carbon credits available to non-electricity generating companies. Brookfield, Dow Chemicals Group and Solvay are also clients.

Osborne Clarke LLP’s Bristol-based practice continues to impress in the renewables space, where it advises on a variety of technologies including solar, wind, biomass, waste and landfill gas. In one highlight, the team advised Oxford Capital Partners on its acquisition and development of a large portfolio of farm-based anaerobic digestion projects in England and Wales. Legal director Matthew Germain was particularly busy, handling a range of mandates including product stewardship, Environment Agency investigations and corporate transactions; Germain is currently acting for Northacre Renewable Energy on the environmental aspects arising from the construction and development of a merchant energy from waste project in Westbury, Wiltshire. The practice also enjoys a strong housebuilder following; Germain assisted clients such as Taylor Wimpey and Barrett Homes with environmental matters concerning the acquisition and sale of land. Alan John heads the team.

At Simmons & Simmons, specialist areas include dirty site development, energy (with a particular focus on renewables) and waste and water, and the team serves a good spread of domestic and international clients. Recent highlights include acting for Iggesund Paperboard (Workington) on securing environmental permits (including permitting for water abstraction) for a paperboard mill, and assisting Energy China with its preparations for entering the UK energy and energy from waste market. Practice head Steven McNab has strong expertise in the solar sector, where he advised British Solar Renewables on regulatory issues relating to the design and structure of Bradenstoke Solar Farm at RAF Lyneham. The team’s caseload extends to product stewardship and real estate transactions: McNab and senior associate Sarah-Jane Denton advised Avaya on two matters relating to hazardous substances in products, and also acted for APG Rechtenbeheer on the purchase of part of the former Olympic Village at Stratford.

Ashurst’s team is ‘very strong in the cross-over between commercial and environment’, with corporate specialist Nick Stalbow singled out for his work on high-quality PFI, waste and energy from waste work; Stalbow acted for Wheelabrator Technologies in relation to the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of a combined heat and power energy from waste facility in Kemsley, England. The practice underwent some change at the top, with counsel Eleanor Reeves – who is ‘excellent on the detail of environmental law and regulation, and a good lateral thinker’ – joining from Dentons to replace Andrew Waite as head of the practice. Reeves’s expertise in enforcement matters has added additional depth to the team; her recent highlights include acting for a global industrial operator following pollution of a watercourse adjacent to one of the client's UK industrial facilities. In other highlights, the team advised China General Nuclear Power Corporation on the environmental aspects of various deals including its investment into Hinkley Point C, as well as a joint venture designed to bring Chinese nuclear technology to the UK for future projects.

For one observer BLM is ‘amongst the leading firms in the field of representing liability insurers covering pollution or contamination claims’, and the team continued to be highly active defending claims for the likes of XL Insurance and QBE. The practice is also adept in the defence of criminal prosecutions, where it serves waste and water operators such as Viridor Waste Management and South West Water. Other avenues of work include advice on policy wording, regulatory advice and assistance with environmental permitting. Michael Salau heads the practice and is a ‘good strategist and team leader’.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP is possibly best known for its contaminated land and waste work, especially for clients in the manufacturing and chemical industries; recent examples include advising a major pharmaceuticals company on a waste classification matter and in relation to the discharge of waste water in the UK. The team was also active on a range of corporate deals, including assisting GKN with environmental issues arising in respect of the sale of certain significant businesses and assets to Altra Industrial Motion, and acting for Imperial Innovations Group and Abingworth Management on the sale of SIW Holdings to Stryker Corporation. Cate Sharp leads the team.

Jones Day’s ‘quick, highly knowledgeable and efficient’ team provided environmental advice on a number of significant cross-border deals, including acting for Total on the $3.2bn sale of its chemical business to The Carlyle Group, and assisting Guardian Digital Communications Holdings, Guardian Digital Communications and Airwave Solutions with the sale of Airwave Solutions to Motorola. The team was also active in the real estate space, where it acted for British Car Auctions on the sale and leaseback and development of a new British Car Auctions auction facility at Perry Barr, Birmingham. Other areas of expertise include environmental permit applications and appeals, waste and water resources laws, infrastructure project issues, and EU product regulations. Practice head Chris Papanicolaou is praised for his ‘high-quality and tailored advice’.

At K&L Gates LLP, practice head Scott Megregian handles a wide range of EU regulations, and has particular expertise in REACH issues. In 2016 he was active on a number of appeals before the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) Board of Appeal, including successfully representing Emerald Performance Materials Kalama Chemicals in its appeal of an ECHA decision regarding compliance of the client’s registration dossier and additional animal testing required by ECHA. Megregian also advised International Molybdenum Association on the removal of molybdenum from the Chemicals of High Concern to Children list under the Washington State Children’s Safe Products Act. Planning specialist Feroze Abbas, who heads the practice with Megregian, focuses on the environmental aspects of real estate transactions, including environmental permits and compliance, and contaminated land liability.

Consultant Nigel Price heads the team at Macfarlanes LLP, which has handled a range of M&A deals across sectors such as global consumer product manufacturing and fuel terminals. Highlights included acting for Caledonia Investments on the environmental aspects of the sale of Park Holidays to Tiger Bidco, and advising key client 3i on the £300m sale of Mayborn Group to Shanghai Jahwa. The practice draws on the firm’s strong commercial property offering to advise clients such as Legal and General and Stanhope on real estate acquisitions, issues arising from the contaminated land regime and off-site migration of pollution, waste law and permitting, and the regulatory and transactional aspects of energy efficiency and climate change legislation.

In 2016 Slaughter and May’s team was particularly busy advising on the environmental aspects of M&A stemming from the energy and infrastructure sectors; newly promoted senior counsel Samantha Brady advised Centrica on the £423m joint sale, with its 50% joint venture partner, of the Glens of Foudland, Lynn and Inner Dowsing wind farms to a consortium. It also acted for Global Infrastructure Partners on the sale of its 75% interest in London City Airport to a consortium comprising AIMCo, OMERS, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Wren House Infrastructure Management. The team was also busy on behalf of key client Tata Steel, advising said client on the sale of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Longs Steel UK Limited, to Greybull Capital. Richard Todd heads the practice.

Squire Patton Boggs’s practice has a ‘high degree of technical ability’ and is ‘regularly instructed on high profile environmental matters’; Manchester-based Rob Elvin, who leads the team, defended Taylor Wimpey in a 24-party toxic tort group action brought by the residents of a former gasworks in Willenhall. In another highlight, Elvin successfully acted for Wasteology in an appeal against a notice served by the Environment Agency to revoke its operator’s environmental permit in respect of its waste management facility. The team also has a presence in Birmingham, where ‘excellent all-rounderDavid Gordon specialises in contaminated land, environmental permitting and REACH. Legal director Anita Lloyd (also in Birmingham) continued to advise American Greetings on a range of product regulations including Packaging Waste Regulations, WEEE and Toys Safety Regulations.

Stephenson Harwood’s practice is led by the ‘dynamicBen Stansfield, who has ‘excellent client-handling skills and a very no-nonsense approach’. The team’s experience encompasses a range of areas including advising developers of energy infrastructure projects, in particular low carbon power generation, on environmental matters; in one example, Stansfield is acting for North London Waste Authority on a project to build an Energy Recovery Facility in north London. Other work encompasses advising real estate acquirors on contaminated land issues and corporate transactional due diligence; and assisting multinational industrial companies with legal obligations imposed by EU Directives and Regulations. The team also advises on criminal prosecutions for breach of environmental law.

Bird & Bird LLP’s team provides ‘a reliably prompt service’ under the leadership of associate Joanna Ketteley, whose ‘professionalism is matched by a friendly, easy and helpful disposition’. Ketteley focuses on product compliance and producer responsibility, but also handles energy management work and corporate transactional matters. Other areas of expertise include advising on environmental legislation registers and analyses for clients.

Clyde & Co LLP’s varied client base includes SMEs, FTSE-listed corporates, partnerships and public bodies, and the team also acts for insurers such as Aviva and Axa. The practice is probably best known for its defence of criminal prosecutions brought by the Environment Agency, with Manchester-based Rod Hunt the main contact in this regard. Also in Manchester is regulatory specialist Chris Morrison, who recently handled a major pollution case for a farming partnership. In 2016 the practice advised a number of clients on contaminated land issues including asbestos removal and management. Newcastle-based James Thompson left for Woods Whur.

Planning and environment boutique Harrison Grant is praised for its ‘excellent knowledge of the relevant environmental legal framework’. Key players include Andrew Wiseman, who has ‘an unrivalled knowledge of contaminated land legislation and regulation’, ‘very effective litigator’ Kate Harrison, who focuses on claimant work, and judicial review specialist Susan Ring, who joined as part of the firm’s merger with Richard Buxton’s London office. Wiseman advised various local authorities including Wolverhampton City Council on contaminated land issues and also successfully acted for Crystalvale Kennels on the withdrawal of a noise abatement notice. Harrison is acting for WWF Germany in challenging a decision of the Marine Stewardship Council in relation to the sustainability of fishing the Orange Roughie in and around New Zealand waters. Greenpeace and Ecotricity are also clients of the practice.

Kennedys’ regulatory defence team focuses on advising clients who are being investigated by the Environment Agency in the aftermath of pollution incidents, including category 1 fires and water pollution events; Kier Group, Morrison Utilities and Thames Water are all clients of the practice. Practice head David Wright and Daniel McShee are recommended.

Shoosmiths LLP substantially enhanced its offering with a number of key lateral hires including Angus Evers, who joined from King & Wood Mallesons, and Birmingham-based Roy Tozer, who joined from DLA Piper UK LLP. Evers’ recent caseload includes advising Epiris Managers on compliance issues relating to its funds’ participation in the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, and assisting St Modwen Developments on the negotiation of an agreement with the Secretary of State for Transport dealing with historic environmental liabilities at a site in Birmingham that is being acquired for the HS2 High Speed Rail Project. Tozer and newly promoted partner Hayley Saunders (also in Birmingham) focus on investigations and prosecutions by environmental regulators.

According to one client, White & Case LLP is ‘one of the premium providers of environmental legal advice in a transactional context, and particularly for international finance involving export credit agencies’. Recent highlights include acting for a lending consortium including Banco de Chile on the project financing for the development of a 600km electricity transmission line interconnecting the Sistema Interconectado Central and the Sistema Interconectado del Norte Grande in Chile, and advising Kraton Performance Polymers in the $1.37bn acquisition of Arizona Chemical Holdings. Counsel Tallat Hussain has ‘excellent knowledge of environmental and social standards applicable to international trade and financing, and crafts practical solutions in the challenging context of large-scale multi-party projects’.


Index of tables

  1. Planning
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

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Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP maintains a reputation as an ‘experienced and trusted organisation that provides sound, relevant advice in a timely manner’; in 2016 the team continued to be instructed on the UK’s most high-profile mandates, including numerous recovery actions by the London Mayor. In the development space, head of practice Tim Hellier and Tim Smith have considerable expertise in mixed-use regeneration; recent highlights include advising Stratford City Developments on planning for a major retail extension to the Stratford Shopping Centre along with more than 1,300 residential units at Cherry Park, and assisting the Homes and Communities Agency with all planning matters related to the development of the government-owned former RAF base in Northstowe, near Cambridge. The team also experienced growth on the infrastructure side; Christian Drage acted for National Grid on various matters, including the UK’s first EU-funded carbon capture and storage demonstration project based on wholly new infrastructure, while James Good continues to represent Tideway on planning relating to the Thames Tideway Tunnel. Other names to note are newly promoted partner Sarah Fitzpatrick, associate director Paul Grace, who is ‘very personable and has an unparalleled breadth of knowledge’, and consultant Timothy Pugh. Vicky Fowler left for Gowling WLG.

CMS’s recent three-way merger with Nabarro and Olswang has resulted in a practice that is ‘most definitely in the upper end of the market’. The newly merged firm is able to draw on a unique developer following that includes Hammerson, Land Securities and SEGRO; the ‘very commercialMartin Evans, who is in charge of the team, acted for the SEGRO on its partnership with the GLA to bring forward land across five sites to be rejuvenated for a range of industrial uses. In another major development scheme, Joshua Risso-Gill, who ‘stands out for his legal acumen’, successfully defended Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund in various judicial reviews relating to a site at Enderby Wharf for 1,150 homes and a cruise ship terminal. Ashley Damiral, who is also noted as being an ‘expert in the area of commercial real estate planning’, handled a range of planning issues for housebuilders such as Berkeley Homes and Crest Nicholson. The new practice’s broad capability extends to energy and infrastructure consenting; Stephen McNaught and Robin Hutchison are acting for National Grid on the development consent order (DCO) for an electricity interconnector between the UK and France. McNaught, who gives ‘pragmatic advice on complex matters’, also assisted Scotia Gas Networks and National Grid with their objections to Transport for London (TfL)’s DCO application for the Silvertown Tunnel.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘fabulous’ nine-partner team handles a wide range of planning matters involving infrastructure projects as well as commercial and residential developments. National head of practice Iain Gilbey, who has ‘exceptional knowledge and confidence when dealing with county councils’, is acting for Berkeley Homes on all legal planning aspects of the developments in the South Quay area of Canary Wharf. In another example of large-scale development work, Nicholle Kingsley and senior associate Jamie Lockerbie are acting for Elephant & Castle Properties on the redevelopment of Elephant and Castle shopping centre and London College of Communication. On the infrastructure side, the team are well known for handling a high volume of DCOs across the energy and transport and waste sectors: recent examples include Robbie Owen (whose ‘energy and dynamism stand out’) acting for TfL on its DCO application for a twin-bore highway tunnel beneath the Thames in east London, and Gareth Phillips advising Dong Energy on all planning and property matters associated with the Hornsea Project Three Offshore Wind Farm. Other key figures include the ‘very ableRichard Ford, who leads on international work; Richard Griffiths, who is acting for NuGeneration in relation to the development of a nuclear power station in Moorside; and Emma Harling-Phillips, who joined from DLA Piper.

Ashurstprovides superb legal advice whilst never losing sight of the reality of its clients' commercial objectives’. The team enjoys a strong public and private sector following that includes the likes of TfL and Grosvenor. ‘Great strategist and statesman’ Trevor Goode, who leads the team, handled a number of significant planning applications for the Greater London Authority (GLA), including advising the Mayor of London on the grant of planning approval for the £500m residential-led redevelopment of the Westferry Printworks site. Goode was also assisted Berkeley St James with the promotion of a compulsory purchase order (CPO) to facilitate Berkeley's regeneration of the former Southall Gasworks site. The other key player in the team is Lucy Thomas, whose caseload included representing Westfield on the extension to its development at Stratford City, and successfully defending BAE Systems in judicial review challenges to its regeneration scheme at Filton, Bristol. Below partner level, names to note include senior associate Charles Reid, who has ‘all the details at his fingertips’, and counsel Eleanor Reeves, who joined from Dentons.

Bircham Dyson Bellenjoys great depth in the promotion of major planning projects such as railways and roads’; recent examples of the practice’s work include Nicholas Evans advising TfL on all aspects of the authorisation of the Cross rail 2 scheme, and Tom Henderson assisting Highways England with the DCO promotion for the Lower Thames Crossing project. Department head Angus Walker is singled out for his ‘encyclopaedic knowledge of the major planning project regime’. The team was also active in the energy space, where Nicholas Brown helped National Grid to secure consents for the construction of an electricity transmission connection between Richborough and Canterbury. Besides its projects expertise, the practice also has experience in conventional planning work; Mark Challis (a ‘wise and reflective adviser’) is representing Thrive Homes on an objection to a CPO seeking to appropriate a large part of the company’s housing stock. Sarah Clark and Ian Cameron, who both made partner in 2016, are ‘rising stars in the planning firmament’.

DLA Piper is possibly best known for its work in the infrastructure and energy space, where Howard Bassford was active on a range of significant mandates; as well as drafting the DCO for Tidal Lagoon Power’s natural power project in Swansea Bay, Bassford also successfully promoted Highways England’s DCO for junctions 3 to 12 of the M4. In another highlight, the team is acting for National Grid on the North West Coast Connections transmission power line project running from Carlisle to Lancaster. The team also handles development planning, and is praised for its ‘ability to provide innovative solutions to secure consent’. The ‘first-classKaren Howard advised the London Borough of Newham on planning relating to the £3.5bn regeneration project at Silvertown Quays, and also represented Commercial Estates Group on the promotion of a site in Maldon, Essex which is a strategic housing site for 1000 houses. The practice is led from Birmingham by Trevor Ivory. Emma Harling-Philips left for Pinsent Masons LLP.

In 2016 Dentons’ ‘accessible and professional’ team handled a number of substantial residential schemes for both public and private sector clients; examples included community infrastructure levy (CIL) specialist Stephen Ashworth acting for a group of North Essex authorities on planning for various garden communities, and Roy Pinnock advising Linkcity on two major private rented sector (PRS) development projects in the Royal Docks Opportunity Area. The retail sector is another area of expertise; Pinnock is assisting Sainsburys with the planning, CIL and highways aspects of the 700-unit mixed-use schemes at Whitechapel Square and Ilford Opportunity Areas. The team also handles some of the Capital’s most high-profile development projects for clients including Great Western Developments, which Ashworth is assisting with the planning application strategy for the development of the Paddington Cube. On the contentious side, managing associate Michele Vas is representing various clients in their objections to the London Borough of Barnet’s Brent Cross Cricklewood CPO.

At Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, national head of planning Stuart Andrews has particular expertise in contentious planning matters. His 2016 highlights included acting for Nuffield Trust and Barratt Homes and Connolly Homes on an appeal by way of Inquiry relating to a sustainable urban extension at St Neot’s in Cambridgeshire, and assisting Camland Developments with the restructuring of planning permissions for a new garden city at Ebbsfleet, Kent. The practice also excels at transport and energy infrastructure planning, where Morag Thomson has a strong reputation for strategic rail freight interchange projects; recent examples of Thomson’s work include advising Four Ashes on an application for a DCO for a strategic rail freight interchange near junction 12 of the M6 in Staffordshire, and securing a DCO for York Potash relating to the harbour facilities for a new potash mine. Andrews advised Third Energy on a highly contentious hydraulic fracturing scheme at Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire, and secured a DCO for National Grid in respect of the River Humber Feeder 9 Gas pipeline replacement project. James O’Connor made partner, while Yohanna Weber left for Fieldfisher.

In an illustration of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s impressive reputation for contentious work, the ‘commercial and proactiveCatherine Howard handled a number of high-profile disputes in the energy sector; as well as successfully representing Cuadrilla Resources on three appeals following the initial refusal of the company’s planning applications for exploratory shale gas operations, Howard also successfully defended EDF Energy against a High Court challenge to consent to carry out surveys of land needed for Sizewell C. In another important energy sector mandate, Howard is advising Aquind on planning for a £1.1bn interconnector link to France’s nuclear-powered electricity grid. Head of practice Matthew White focuses on big ticket developments for private sector developers and is noted for his ‘thoughtful and strategic advice’; his recent highlights include obtaining planning for the Silvertown Partnership in relation to Silvertown Quays, and advising Lendlease on all aspects of the redevelopment of the Deptford Wharves site in the London Borough of Lewisham. The practice has a number of well-regarded individuals below partner level, including Charlotte Dyer, who provides ‘clear direction on planning issues’; the ‘very assured’ Ben Hazenberg; and Martyn Jarvis. Patrick Robinson and senior associate Elizabeth Christie departed for Town Legal LLP.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s practice underwent some restructuring at the top, with Claire Dutch taking charge of the team following Michael Gallimore’s appointment as head of the firm’s Birmingham office. The team is possibly best known for acting on major urban development projects, where it provides advice that is ‘client focused, and tailored to the commercial imperatives which drive the development sector’. Dutch is advising Bishopsgate Goodsyard Regeneration on proposed revisions to the 10-acre Bishopsgate Goods Yard brownfield site in Shoreditch following a call-in by the London Mayor, and is assisting Benson Elliot with a Secretary of State public enquiry relating to a site at Ealing Broadway. In another significant piece of work the ‘unflappable and user-friendly’ Gallimore continued to act for Argent Related on planning issues relating to the Brent Cross South regeneration scheme. The practice also handles energy and infrastructure planning and secured a DCO for Carlton Power relating to a 20km gas pipeline project in South Yorkshire. Senior associate Kathryn Hampton joined from Nabarro, while Victoria Du Croz left for Forsters LLP.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP offers ‘a very pragmatic approach that is aligned to the commercial realities of getting optimised planning consents’. The practice’s client base comprises some of the UK’s biggest housebuilders, making it particularly well placed to profit from the current boom in the residential property sector; highlights included advising Barratt London on planning for a regeneration scheme in Enfield for more than 10,000 new homes, and acting for Redrow Homes on all aspects of the redevelopment of the former Metropolitan Police Training College in the London Borough of Barnet. Practice head Karen Cooksleyhas extensive experience of operating in London for a range of clients, with the benefit of having negotiated planning agreements with the vast majority of the London boroughs’. Cooksley is continuing to act for the London Borough of Wandsworth on matters relating to the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station, and advising Essential Living on a major PRS scheme in Ealing. Other names to note are Lindsay Garratt, who ‘goes the extra mile to understand the client’s main drivers’; the ‘tenaciousColette McCormack; and litigator Tim Fogarty, who re-joined the team from RPC. Infrastructure specialist Brian Greenwood left for Clyde & Co LLP.

At Addleshaw Goddard, practice head Marnix Elsenaar continued to be busy in the housebuilder space, where he assisted Dandara with planning for a £400m build to rent deal for the delivery of 2000 new homes. Elsenaar also specialises in planning issues arising from energy and transport projects, and in 2016 his work included advising Luton Airport on the consents strategy required for the proposed Mass Passenger Transit scheme that will link Luton Airport Parkway Station and the terminal building, as well as acting for various clients such as South East Water in the opposition of DCOs. The practice also handles planning matters related to retail and mixed-use developments for clients such as Brunswick Developments and Muse Developments; Gary Sector is representing Tellon Properties in all strategic planning issues relating to the proposed redevelopment of the former Bargate shopping centre in Southampton for a new retail-led, mixed-use city centre development. Sector also handles shale gas and fracking matters.

Clifford Chancecombines excellent pragmatic advice with rapid response times, and a willingness to engage on day-to-day as well as more complex issues’. The team acted for key client Canary Wharf Group on a number of major development schemes, including planning for the landmark North Quay development, as well as assisting with implementation of the outline planning permission for the Wood Wharf regeneration scheme. In another significant development highlight, the team is representing Helical Bar on variations to the section 106 agreement relating to the development of Barts Square. The practice also handles energy planning and regularly advises on power station developments, as well as renewables and new-build nuclear; in one highlight the ‘extremely able and experienced’ Nigel Howorth, who heads the practice, is advising Horizon Nuclear Power on the DCO for a new nuclear power station in Wylfa, Wales. Senior associate Elizabeth Hardacre ‘works tirelessly for clients, and is rated for her amazing attention to detail’.

Clyde & Co LLP fields an ‘excellent boutique planning team that is very strong on planning court litigation as well as residential development’. Head of practice Ian Ginbey, who is a ‘first-rate tactician’, represented the trustees of the Barker Mill Estate in relation to three planning appeals against the refusal of planning permission for a large development at Adanac Park, Southampton; Ginbey is also advising key client Grainger in relation to securing a CPO to acquire the land needed to facilitate the delivery of a mixed-use regeneration project at Wards Corner, Seven Sisters. The practice was substantially enhanced by a number of senior hires, including Brian Greenwood and his team from Winckworth Sherwood LLP, and Stephen Webb from King & Wood Mallesons. ‘An experienced strategist’, Greenwood has considerable experience of major infrastructure projects and acts for Associated British Ports in relation to all its planning matters. Webb focuses on development work and is advising Galliard Homes on the development of up to 10,000 new dwellings, together with all supporting infrastructure, at a new Garden City development at Boxted Wood in North Essex.

Gowling WLG’s practice welcomed the ‘excellent’ Vicky Fowler from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, who took charge of the team following Clare Fielding’s departure for Town Legal LLP. Fowler’s expertise takes in city offices, residential, retail and major regeneration projects; her recent work includes providing strategic planning advice to U+I in relation to a major regeneration scheme at Morden Wharf on the Greenwich Peninsula, and also advising Friends Life and DMI Properties on all planning aspects for the development of a strategic employment site in Sevington, Ashford. The practice handles a high volume of public sector work, where clients include Westminster City Council and London Borough of Barnet; Fowler is advising TfL on CIL issues raised by Battersea Project Holding Company in connection with Battersea Power Station. On the contentious side, Fowler and senior associate Tim Sharp successfully acted for Grafton Group in challenging the Secretary of State for Transport’s decision to make a compulsory purchase order to acquire Orchard Wharf.

At Linklaters LLP, head of practice David Watkins provides ‘superb leadership’ and regularly advises on developments in the centre of London; Watkins is currently assisting Aroland Holdings with the section 106 Agreement for a 73-storey skyscraper at the former Aviva tower site in the Square Mile. Besides office development, the team is also adept at handling significant mixed-use schemes, with recent examples including advising key client Great Portland Estates on its redevelopment for a 1.3-acre site bounded by Hanover Square, Tenterden Street, New Bond Street and Brook Street. The team also acted for Ridgeford Properties in relation to a residential-led mixed-use scheme for 79 new homes, restaurants, shops and leisure space at Moxon Street in Marylebone. The other key figure in the team is senior associate Louise Samuel, whose expertise takes in planning for corporate headquarters, as well as advising on listed buildings. Samuel and Watkins are acting for Black Pearl on its planning application for the redevelopment of a site at 18 Blackfriars Road.

Norton Rose Fulbright fields a ‘relatively small team that is growing in strength’ under the leadership of Duncan Field, who is ‘first rank in the quality of his legal advice and tactical thinking’. Field is particularly highly regarded for his work on infrastructure projects; in a standout matter, he successfully represented London City Airport on the planning appeal for its £344m expansion project. Other infrastructure highlights included advising DP World on planning issues arising from the London Gateway Port and Logistics Park, and assisting London Luton Airport Operations with the implementation stage of its expansion of airport capacity. Field and associate Victoria Watson, who ‘diligently provides very good advice’, were also busy in the development space, where they secured planning approval for the Crown Estate’s development of Duke’s Court, St James’s; they also acted for British Land Retail Warehouses on a judicial review claim which challenged the decision of Swindon Borough Council to issue liability notices for CIL in relation to a retail warehouse development at the Orbital Shopping Park in Swindon.

At Osborne Clarke LLP, John Baird and senior associate Anna Harlow have particular expertise acting for housebuilders such as Taylor Wimpey and Barratt David Wilson Homes on planning for large residential schemes. The practice is also noted for its leading position in the growth area of student accommodation, with key clients including Student Castle and UNITE. Asda Stores is a longstanding client in the retail space.

Stephenson Harwood’s ‘very client-friendly team’ is led by the ‘personableBen Stansfield, who ‘has the ability to take complicated legal points and make them user friendly’. Stansfield handles a wide variety of development projects, including large urban regeneration projects and the development of significant real estate assets in prime urban areas; recent highlights include advising Telford Shopping Centre on planning issues related to the centre’s redevelopment, and acting for Blakes Hotel on the planning application for a luxury hotel at Corsham Street, Shoreditch. The practice is also proficient in handling large-scale energy projects; Stansfield is advising the North London Waste Authority on applying for and obtaining a DCO for a £500m energy recovery facility in north London. Below partner level, names to note include senior associate Anita Kasseean, and associate Patrick Senior, with the latter winning praise for his ‘dogged determination’. Senior assisted Stansfield with a judicial review on behalf of Langham Estate relating to the grant of planning by Westminster City Council to a tenant of the Estate.

Taylor Wessing LLP handles a wide range of planning matters, including large-scale development and compulsory purchase matters, with clients highlighting the team for ‘ensuring they feel prioritised’. Practice head Alistair Watson, who is ‘very determined and has excellent experience’, continued to be busy in the sports arena space; he acted for Brentford Football Club on the CPO process and Inquiry for the club’s new stadium, and also assisted Saracens Rugby Club with the section 106 agreement arising from its relocation. Another fruitful sector was student accommodation, where clients include McLaren Property and Empiric Student Property; Watson acted for the former in relation to its successful appeal against refusal of planning permission for a 270-bed student accommodation scheme in Cambridge. In other highlights the team is advising Buckminster on the planning application for the proposed Grantham Designer Outlet Village at Grantham. Senior associate Emma Tait is ‘highly intelligent and resourceful’.

Newly established planning boutique Town Legal LLP has an ‘outstanding range of talent, with a good range of skills’. The six-partner team is headed by Patrick Robinson, who joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, and includes Simon Ricketts, who joined from King & Wood Mallesons, Clare Fielding, who joined from Gowling WLG, and barrister Mary Cook, who joined from Cornerstone Barristers. The firm focuses on major mixed-use schemes, commercial developments, urban extensions and heritage and cultural projects, acting for clients including British Land and Berkeley Homes, who benefit from the firm’s ‘more personalised approach’. Recent highlights include advising Quintain on all planning matters relating to the regeneration of the area surrounding Wembley Stadium, and continuing to act for the Battersea Power Station Development Company on the promotion of revised planning applications for the £8bn regeneration project. In the contentious space, the team is acting for Richborough Estates in a Supreme Court case concerning the interpretation of the National Planning Policy Framework.

Blake Morgan LLP impresses with its ‘detailed knowledge and understanding of the planning system that results in an ability to provide expert advice on a wide variety of areas of planning’. ‘Highly competent’ practice head Sara Hanrahan specialises in urban redevelopment projects, particularly in relation to compulsory purchase and affordable housing schemes. Her recent highlights include continuing to act for Peabody Housing Association on planning for two new housing zones in Thamesmead, and assisting Renewal Group with the £1bn regeneration of the 30-acre site in Lewisham known as New Bermondsey. The team has also been handling a variety of contentious mandates: Hanrahan represented Dory Ventures on its planning appeal concerning the Fulham Old Town Hall redevelopment, and acted for Paradigm Land in its successful appeal relating to the redevelopment of the former Woolwich Theatre site. Senior associate Keith Lancaster is singled out for his ‘very good technical knowledge and problem-solving approach’.

Burges Salmon LLP’s Bristol-based team is ‘very diligent and provides a very attentive service’ under the leadership of Gary Soloman. The practice has a strong reputation for handling nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIP); Soloman acted for Isle of Anglesey County Council on all aspects of its response to the proposed development of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa and new grid connection, and Elizabeth Dunn advised Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm on the DCO for the 110km Triton Knoll Electrical System. The team was also busy on a wide range of energy projects falling outside the NSIP scheme, including Julian Boswall’s work for BRIMS Tidal Array on the planning application for the 200MW BRIMS tidal array project off Orkney. On the conventional planning side, Soloman advised Redrow on the section 106 agreement for a 7,000-house Garden City at North West Cardiff.

At Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, ‘very impressive’ practice head Claire Fallows is ‘proactive and firm in her recommendations; she doesn’t sit on the fence’. Fallows focuses on large, mixed-use projects in London and major strategic land developments outside the capital; recent highlights include advising The Church Commissioners for England on planning for various sites in Bognor Regis, and assisting Bellway Homes with a section 106 agreement relating to the redevelopment of a site at Cooks Road, Pudding Mill Lane totalling 200 new flats and commercial floor space. Fallows also handled a number of matters in the affordable housing sector, including acting for Pocket Living on the redevelopment of a site in Waltham Forest. Newly promoted partner Helen Hutton, who has significant experience in hydrocarbon planning, continued to advise Europa Oil and Gas (Holdings) on planning issues arising from its hydrocarbon projects in the UK.

For one observer, DAC Beachcroft LLP is ‘ubiquitous when it comes to section 106 issues arising from residential developments across the country’. The team, which is well known for acting for housebuilders such as Taylor Wimpey and Linden Homes, is headed by Christopher Stanwell, who is ‘highly experienced and effective in relation to infrastructure matters’; Stanwell’s recent caseload includes advising Cumbria County Council on planning and compulsory purchase processes in respect of NuGen’s Moorside Power Station and National Grid’s North West Coast Connections Project. He is also representing Heathrow Hub on planning matters relating to the extension of its northern runway. Other key figures include senior associate Andrew Morgan, who is ‘particularly good on viability disputes’ and is advising a major developer on all legal planning aspects of its 2500-dwelling scheme in West Sussex; and senior associate Kali Yau, who is assisting David Wilson Homes with its mixed-use scheme at Newbury Racecourse.

Farrer & Co handles a wide range of planning matters, including acting on urban developments, advising landowners on judicial review claims, and assisting high-net-worth individuals with heritage assets. Head of practice Karen Phull continued to enjoy a stream of instructions for key client the Duchy of Cornwall, including advising on infrastructure for a 4,000-home development scheme to the east of Newquay, and assisting with variations to the section 106 agreement governing the Duchy’s urban community at Dorchester. Phull also secured Agenda Capital’s planning application for the Alexandra public house in Kingston upon Thames (and in doing so resisted an application to designate the pub as an Asset of Community Value), and also acted for Porcelanosa in opposing a compulsory purchase order relating to the company’s Sheffield store. In another example of the practice’s diverse client base Phull is advising the University of Kent on its local planning representations. Associate Jay Sattin joined from DMH Stallard LLP.

Forsters LLP enjoyed further growth in 2016 with the hire of Victoria Du Croz from Hogan Lovells International LLP and the addition of new clients such as Grosvenor Estates and The Aitch Group. Head of practice Oliver Wright advised on the restoration and change of use of St Mark's, North Audley Street, into a high-end retail, restaurant and community space building. Wright acted for Soho Estates on the demolition and redevelopment of the landmark Foyles building on Charing Cross Road. The team also continued to be heavily involved in the redevelopment of Greenwich Peninsula, including assisting Knight Dragon Investments with its objection to TfL’s DCO for the Silvertown Tunnel. The ‘experienced and effective’ Matthew Evans is also recommended.

Experienced in all planning aspects’, Howard Kennedy LLP’s ‘hardworking and competent’ team continued to be active on behalf of the firm’s strong developer client base, which includes BlackOnyx Group and Ballymore. ‘Technically excellent’ practice head Martha Grekos focuses on the promotion of urban regeneration projects, and is acting for longstanding client Almacantar on all aspects of its office-led redevelopment of 125 Shaftsbury Avenue; Grekos also continued to assist the same client with planning for the redevelopment of Marble Arch Tower. In other highlights the team is advising Galliard on its planning application for the redevelopment of Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium, and is acting for First Base on a 230-apartment scheme in Preston Park, Brighton, which is the client’s first development scheme outside London. Senior associate Laura Nation is the other name to note.

K&L Gates LLP handles a mix of public and private sector work for clients such as London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and Workspace Group. The team, which is particularly adept at handling site regeneration projects and the delivery of infrastructure-enabling development, is headed by Feroze Abbas, who works closely with the London Borough of Hounslow. In 2016 he advised the Borough on infrastructure agreements relating to Chiswick Bridge and Brentford Football Club, and the demolition of Hounslow’s Civic Centre to make way for 940 homes. Another key client of the practice is TH Real Estate, for which Abbas acted on the negotiation of a section 106 agreement relating to a commercial development scheme at Greenwich View. Senior associate Rebecca Daniels is the other main contact.

At Lewis Silkin LLP, public sector specialist Judith Damerell advises on issues arising in land acquisition, infrastructure provision, development proposals, implementation, enforcement, appeals and legal challenges. The practice enjoys a strong housing association following, with clients including London & Quadrant and Peabody Trust; it also acts for a number of public transport providers. Consultant Paul Winter is the other main contact.

Mishcon de Reya LLP provides ‘swift, detailed, and accurate legal planning advice’ and is ‘very good at understanding the client’s needs’. Practice head Anita Rivera, who is praised for her ‘thorough knowledge and holistic approach’, services a strong developer client base that includes Delancey and Capital & Counties Properties. Rivera is acting for the former client on planning issues relating to development plots at its East Village scheme (the former London 2012 Athletes Village) in Stratford. In another highlight Rivera advised TPS Abbeydale Archway on its planning strategy for a redevelopment of a prominent site in Archway. The practice is particularly recommended for its contentious work; managing associate Daniel Farrand successfully acted for Brackenwood Polo in its appeal against South Downs National Park Authority’s decision to refuse retrospective planning permission for an international-class dressage facility. Farrand is also acting for various objectors opposing Chelsea FC's application for the construction of a new 60,000-capacity stadium.

Sharpe Pritchard is ‘a true public sector specialist’. Practice head Brian Hurwitz and Denise Stephenson ‘have first-rate knowledge of both the local government context and planning law, as well as very good client-care skills’. The practice acts for a large number of planning authorities such as Tower Hamlets, Merton, and Kensington and Chelsea, and in 2016 the team advised the London Borough of Wandsworth on a number of contentious planning applications, including the holding of the Formula E motor racing event at Battersea Park, as well as the development of a site at 88 Thurleigh Road, Wandsworth. In both matters the team successfully defended judicial reviews that threatened the schemes. In other highlights Hurwitz assisted London Borough of Lambeth with amendments to the section 106 agreement governing 22-29 Albert Embankment, London.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP is best known for its work on major housing schemes, and the team enjoyed a high volume of instructions in this space in 2016. Practice head Jacqueline Backhaus is acting for London Borough of Enfield on the planning and CPO strategy for the Meridian Water Regeneration Project in Edmonton; she is also advising the Peabody Trust on a £320m housing-led regeneration scheme at a site between Abbey Wood Station and South Mere Lake. The team was also active in the education sector, where it acted for the Secretary of State for Education on numerous planning applications relating to the delivery of the free school programme. Although the focus of the practice is public and third sector, the team does act for clients in the private sector; in one example Backhaus successfully defended a private landowner against a threatened enforcement action by the local planning authority and English Heritage following work carried out at a Grade 2 listed estate. Tim Brown joined from an in-house role with the London Borough of Hillingdon.

At Fladgate LLP, Mark Harnett has been busy handling a mix of contentious and non-contentious mandates, predominantly in the development space. Highlights in 2016 included acting for Hodson Developments on the planning application and associated infrastructure agreement for a substantial residential development at Chilmington Green, Ashford, and representing CLTX in its appeal against an enforcement notice issued by Westminster City Council requiring the brick by brick reconstruction of the demolished Carlton Tavern public house in Maida Vale. Harnett was also active in the waste sector; his work includd advising BP Mitchell on its successful defence to a challenge brought by Tarmac against the decision of Hertfordshire County Council to grant planning for a permanent inert waste recycling facility in the green belt.

Irwin Mitchell’s ‘highly experienced’ team is now led from Gatwick by national head of planning Carl Dyer, who attracts praise for his ‘detailed knowledge of current legislation’. Dyer handled a number of mandates for Cairo Properties, including obtaining planning consent for a 14-storey residential led scheme in Croydon, and then successfully defending the planning permission granted for the scheme against judicial review proceedings brought by an adjacent landowner. The practice is noted for its strong education sector following; Dyer and Gatwick-based senior associate Nicola Gooch, who is ‘versatile and dependable’, are acting for Lambeth College on planning issues arising from the College’s redevelopment and improvement programme in Nine Elms. Other names to note are contentious specialist James Pavey (also based in Gatwick), who successfully represented an individual landowner in a long-running campaign to prevent Mid Sussex District Council from developing a local meadow, and London-based associate Rachel Lee.

Keystone Law is lauded as a ‘market leader in the virtual law firm niche’, and the five-strong team of consultants remained highly active both in the promotion of, as well as the objection to, planning schemes. Ben Garbett, who has ‘good technical knowhow and commercial savvy’, advised Lynton and Barnstaple Railway Trust on a series of planning applications for Phase II of the re-establishment of the Lynton to Barnstaple heritage railway which runs through Exmoor National Park. The team was particularly busy in the contentious space; Garbett acted for joint claimants in a judicial review challenge seeking to quash South Gloucestershire Council’s grant of planning that allowed the use of fields and woodland as a shooting school. Other names to note are David Evans, Oliver Goodwin and Andrew Hignett; Hignett has been handling a number of significant marine sector projects, including the promotion of new statutory powers for the Isle of Wight Council, in its capacity as harbour authority for Newport, in order to regenerate a central part of the town. Barrister Gareth Hughes joined from Gordon Dadds LLP.

Russell-Cooke LLP’s team, which is singled out for its ‘detailed work with fantastic insight’, handled a high volume of contentious mandates in 2016, including acting for Perenco UK in its application to extend the operational life of an oilfield development at Wytch Farm Dorset, and representing Woodcock Holdings in its High Court challenge to the Secretary of State’s refusal of planning for a mixed-use scheme at Sayers Common in West Sussex. In other highlights, the team acted for Stonegate Homes and Littleworth Properties in the first successful judicial review of a Neighbourhood Plan, and advised Big Sur on a judicial review claim against the decision of Bristol City Council not to take enforcement action against an unlawful nightclub. In the non-contentious space, the team assisted Limitbrook with a section 106 agreement relating to brownfield land in Leiston Suffolk, where the site was allocated in a Neighbourhood Plan. Head of practice Alex Groundprovides an efficient service and explains planning matters in a manner that is easy to understand’.

Shoosmiths LLP’s impressive housebuilder following ensured a steady stream of work in the residential sector in 2016; practice head Tim Johnson – who for one client has ‘unmatched ability and knowledge’ – advised Persimmon Homes on various mandates including planning for 3000 dwellings in Northamptonshire. Other clients of the practice include Caprice Holdings and Savills Investment Management; Johnson acted for the latter in relation to the proposed development of land in Essex for 120 dwellings. Contentious highlights included Johnson’s successful representation of Crest Nicholson and CGNU in the Court of Appeal in a judicial review into the grant of planning permission for a business park and 200 residential units in the green belt in Surrey.

At Slaughter and May, associate Richard Keczkes acts for clients such as Carillion and Derwent London, and the team remained active in its key areas of infrastructure projects, football stadia and urban developments. Keczkes’ recent work includes advising Arsenal Football Club on variations to the section 106 agreement governing developments surrounding the Emirates Stadium, and assisting Delancey with the planning strategy for its Queen’s Square mixed-use development in Croydon Town Centre. On the contentious side, Keczkes represented key client Legal & General in its objection to TfL’s Transport and Works Act application to extend the Gospel Oak to Barking over ground railway line to the Barking Riverside development.

Property finance

Index of tables

  1. Property finance
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Noted for its strength in depth and cross-border capabilities, Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘commercial, user-friendly’ team advises lenders and sponsors on the full range of property finance matters. Paul Flanagan, Arthur Dyson, Simon Roberts and Mark Manson-Bahr jointly head the department; the ‘direct, to-the-point’ Manson-Bahr has strong experience in UK and German real estate finance, loan portfolio financings as well as complex real estate financings and refinancings, while Roberts is noted for his expertise in large-scale loan portfolio transactions. Flanagan is an expert in structured finance, debt and equity funds and investment banks. Other key London partners include David Oppenheimer, Ian Powell, Lucy Oddy and Islamic finance expert Atif Hanif. Senior associate Peter Mailer is also recommended.

The team at Ashurst handles the full range of property finance matters, including development finance, acquisition finance, high-value European loan-portfolio acquisitions, debt fundraising and complex refinancing. Sarah Watkinson, an expert in pan-European investment and development finance, heads the practice jointly with Ruth Harris; Watkinson advised an SPV on financing its €320m acquisition of a portfolio of non-performing loans from the National Asset Management Agency, with financing provided by Morgan Stanley Bank. Harris assisted an asset management firm with a £280m notes issuance, comprising senior and mezzanine notes, to refinance an earlier bridge facility. She also advised CECIF LUX Bidco 1 on financing its €120m purchase of a seed portfolio comprising three Dutch property companies. Major banks also frequently instruct the practice: Harris advised RBS and Deutsche Pfandbriefbank on the £127m financing of the Manhattan Loft Gardens development in Stratford, London. Banking expert Tim Rennie, who is noted for his experience in leveraged finance, acted for a property developer on on a £150m credit facility. Jessica Jenner assisted Oxford Properties with a refinancing of King Edward Court – location of the London Stock Exchange’s headquarters – that involved a £158m facility from DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale and a £76m facility from PGIM Real Estate Finance. Kildare, Nomura, Blackstone, Crédit Agricole and Santander are other representative clients. Senior associates Victoria Tarr, Mitch Ingham and Sarah Winter are also recommended.

With an excellent lender-borrower split and experience across an exceptionally wide range of property finance matters, Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP’s 11-partner team is ‘very efficient, commercially pragmatic, and shows real understanding of market norms’. The ‘trustworthy, pragmatic and extremely experiencedClaire Watson has a ‘can-do attitude’; she advised Capital & Regional on the £373m refinancing of its existing loan facilities, which were secured against The Mall Fund. She also acted for Project Blue on obtaining a £664m development facility from HSBC and Qatari National Bank for the first three phases of the £3bn Chelsea Barracks redevelopment, and assisted Chine Life Investment Holding with the £208m financing of its purchase of the corporate structure owning Aldgate Tower. Senior associate Payam Yoseflavi advised King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership on obtaining a £191m facility from Helaba to finance the development of the S2 and T2 buildings, part of the King’s Cross development. Practice head Naveen Vijh and ‘very responsive, detail-oriented’ senior associate Lydia Boos are ‘diligent, experienced and decisive’; Vijh’s clients include HSBC, Barclays and Wells Fargo. Other lender-side clients of the practice include AIG, RBS, Santander and Cheyne Capital Management; Blackrock, Quintain, Tristan Capital Partners and Qatari Diar are borrower and sponsor clients. Steve Clark, Daniyal Ansari and senior associate Gordon McMillan are also recommended.

Clifford Chance, whose practice is well stocked with ‘market leaders’, is a ‘go-to firm for complex property finance transactions’, especially in development finance and pan-European finance. Lender-side work is a particular strength: the ‘extremely knowledgeable, practical’ Barry O’Shea, who provides ‘sound, well-thought-out advice’ and is ‘great at driving deals forward’, acted for Wells Fargo and AIG as joint lead arrangers on their £560m financing of both Quintain’s redevelopment of the Wembley Estate and the refinancing of an extant acquisition finance facility. He also advised both institutions on the associated inter-creditor arrangements for the £240m mezzanine facility provided by Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board. Damian Perry assisted HSBC and Qatar National Bank with their £664m residential development financing of the first three phases of the £3bn Chelsea Barracks redevelopment. Jane Cheong Tung Sing and practice head Andrew Carnegie acted or HSBC on the CZK13.5bn refinancing of a portfolio of residential properties in the Czech Republic. Other lender-side clients include J.P. Morgan, Starwood European Finance Partners, Deutsche Bank and Barclays. The team also handles borrower-side work: Cheong Tung Sing advised an affiliate of TKG StorageMart partners on an £83m facility from an affiliate of Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies to finance the former’s purchase of Big Box. Alistair McGillivray is ‘very, very good’; Emma Matebalavu is also recommended. ‘Incredibly thorough’ senior associate Zak Ikponmwosa is an ‘excellent negotiator and a safe pair of hands on any deal’; he has ‘excellent technical and industry knowledge’. Senior associate Claire Fawcett is also recommended.

Noted for its lender-side strengths, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s department advises clearing banks, investment banks, German banks, insurers and funds on a variety of complex, high-value property finance transactions. The ‘highly experienced, technically excellent, calm and collected’ Simon Chadney, who heads the practice jointly with Gary Hommel, ‘knows how to get things done, focuses on what’s important, and is respected by borrowers and lenders alike’. Robert Carr acted for Deutsche Bank on the €226m financing of the acquisition of a mixed-use portfolio in the Netherlands, and on the €35m financing of the acquisition of an office block in Paris. Chadney assisted Deutsche Pfandbriefbank with its £75m refinancing of Tishman Speyer’s purchase of the Economist Plaza in London, and acted for Helaba on its £175m refinancing of the Ocubis London office portfolio. On the borrower and sponsor side, Hommel advised Brookfield Office Properties on the £515m development financing of 100 Bishopsgate, while Carr acted for Brookfield Strategic Real Estate Partners on the £436m acquisition financing of CityPoint Tower. Chadney advised Almacantar on the £400m financing of the Marble Arch Tower development. The team also assists publicly listed real estate companies with debt financing: Chadney acted for Capital & Counties on the £100m financing of its Olympia exhibitions business (secured against the Olympia Exhibition Halls), and on the £150m infrastructure financing of its Earls Court joint venture with Transport for London – the facility was provided by the Homes and Communities Agency. Chadney also advised Hammerson on a £420m revolving credit facility to refinance an existing loan.

Linklaters LLP’s ‘amazing’, ‘high-calibre’ team is commended for its bench strength and responsiveness, as well as its ‘deep industry knowledge and huge amount of experience’. It handles the full range of property finance matters, and is particularly noted for its strength in structured finance and cross-border transactions. Practice head Steve Smith advised Tyndaris on its €15m B-note position in the €80m refinancing of the Borgo Egnazia resort in Puglia, Italy, and acted for M&G Investments on its €93m financing of the acquisition, by a joint venture between RedTree Capital Invest and Carrefour Nederland, of 14 distribution and logistics warehouses in France. Smith also assisted a sovereign wealth fund with financing its £370m purchase and £800m development of 10 Broadway, New Scotland Yard. Scott Simpson advised Blackstone on the financing of Storage Mart’s acquisition of Big Box Storage. The ‘practical, commercialMark O’Neillbalances technical expertise with in-depth sector understanding’, and is an ‘exceptionally strong choice for complex deals’; a former real estate finance head at Allen & Overy LLP, he joined in May 2016 and counts Wells Fargo and Deutsche Pfandbriefbank among his clients. Other clients of the department include Cerberus, Citibank, Lloyds Banking Group, Prologis and Royal Bank of Canada. Managing associate Philip Gore is also recommended.

Addleshaw Goddard’s ‘pragmatic’, ‘very professional and very friendly’ department has ‘excellent technical and industry knowledge’, is praised for its strength in depth at associate and senior associate level, and provides ‘exemplary service, with partner input at all stages of a transaction’. The team is noted for its lender-side expertise, especially in the hotels space: ‘experienced hotel finance expertJames Salford acted for Aareal Bank on its financing of 15 central London hotels. Group head Paul Salsbury advised HSBC Bank and HSBC Corporate Trustee Company (UK) on a £75m loan to Panther Securities, secured against nearly 30 UK properties. In an illustration of its growing profile among borrowers, Salsbury advised Dandara Group Holdings on a £183m senior loan provided by HSBC and a £45m mezzanine loan from the Homes and Communities Agency for private rental sector developments in Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham. Steve Mackie acted for UPP on the £105m financing of a student housing development for the University of London. The ‘very responsive, very diligentZoe Maurer is an expert in investment and development finance, especially in the office space sector. The ‘extremely goodSarah Egbu has ‘a strong understanding of lenders’ and borrowers’ requirements’. Dave Wilson is also recommended.

Thanks to its merger with Nabarro and Olswang, CMS’s ‘extensively experienced’ department has expanded significantly. ‘Technically strong’ former practice head Andrew Besser and the ‘personable, commercial’ and ‘client-focusedRuth Marken joined from Olswang along with Charles Kerrigan and of counsel Kerry Langton, while Andrew McLean, Mike Delaney and the ‘commercially strongClive Swillman arrived from Nabarro. Swillman advised Urbanest UK on the £350m refinancing of its student accommodation portfolio with M&G Investments and Aviva Investors, while Marken acted for BMO Real Estate Partners on financing its acquisition of a £191m retail real estate portfolio from British Land. Besser advised the trustees of Heron Tower Property Unit Trust on their £400m refinancing of 110 Bishopsgate. The merged practice continues to be particularly strong in the hotels space, thanks to CMS’s credentials in this area; Simon Johnston acted for Cranefield on the £200m financing of its £300m acquisition from Blackstone of the company that owned the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel. Together with Jonathan Dames, Johnston advised Pension Insurance Corporation and Assured Guaranty on their £105m financing of a student housing development for the University of London. Keith Ham and Ian McGarr, who are experts in hotel and healthcare financing, are also recommended. Other clients include Bank of Ireland, Deutsche Pfandbriefbank, Capital & Regional, Cromwell Property Group and Galliard Homes.

DLA Piper’s practice acts for lenders and borrowers on a wide range of property finance matters, and is noted for its strong multi-jurisdictional capabilities. Refinancing is a particular strength: group head Toby Barker acted for Aereal Bank on a €1bn pan-European real estate financing for Invesco, comprising a €580m facility to refinance a portfolio of properties located across France, Spain, Germany, Poland, the UK and the Netherlands; a €30m facility to refinance one of Invesco’s existing Italian portfolios; and a further €390m to enable Invesco to expand its portfolio throughout all seven jurisdictions. Barker also advised Aviva on its £469m refinancing of a £1.2bn London portfolio owned by one of its borrowers, Lazari Properties. Paul Gray, an expert in highly leveraged international real estate and structured finance transactions, advised Market Tech Holdings on a £900m facility arranged by AIG Asset Management (Europe) for future acquisitions and developments. An expert in CMBS, he also advised Solutus Advisors on replacing its special servicer, and the ensuing £250m restructuring of its Mapley Gamma office portfolio. On the development finance side, Gray assisted Stadio TDV with obtaining €30m of credit to finance some of the pre-development costs of its Stadio della Roma project. In acquisition finance, Laurence Rogers acted for M&G Investment Management on a £60m loan to Secure Income REIT for the purchase of units in several Jersey unit trusts in possession of a portfolio of Travelodges.

The ‘trusted, experienced’ team at Dentons, which is especially active on the lender side and is noted for its cross-border capabilities, provides ‘very good service’ and ‘strong advice at competitive prices’. The ‘knowledgeable, approachable’ partners, who ‘balance commercial points with legal considerations’, include two recent recruits from Irwin Mitchell: Simon Tweedle and Rob Thompson. They join a team headed by James Irvine and featuring Lorraine Davis, Simon Masri and Catherine Astruc, who acted for CIMB Bank Berhad on a £120m development finance loan to an IJM Berhad-led consortium for a luxury residential and leisure development at Royal Mint Gardens. Davis also advised European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and a leading global bank on a PLN121m loan to Oaktree Capital Group-owned entities for the acquisition, renovation and development of a portfolio of 15 student accommodation complexes across Poland. Other clients include Société Générale, United Overseas Bank, International Hotel Group and Bank of London and the Middle East. Brendan Slack and Jason Sheard are also recommended.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s department is headed by the ‘decisive, diligent and experiencedSimon Mead, and has particular experience in complex structured property finance work, development finance and the private rental sector (PRS). Alongside Robert Ludwig, Mead acted for HSBC Bank on a credit facility to Dandara Group for a multi-site £400m PRS project. He also advised PRS Operations on the financing of PRS assets owned by London and Quadrant, and of PRS assets operated under Quintain’s Tipi brand in Wembley, through two separate bonds under the £3.5bn PRS Housing Guarantee Scheme. Mead also acted for Venn Partners, on behalf of the UK government, on the aforementioned scheme – a debt capital-raising initiative to increase liquidity for institutional investors in the PRS, and advised the same client as arranger, and VeCREF as lender, on a €65m facility to finance an Irish collective asset management vehicle’s acquisition of central Dublin real estate. He also acted for RBS on the £42m financing of Star City Leisure Park in Birmingham. In another development highlight, Ludwig advised Starwood Capital Group and Hibernia REIT on the development finance aspects of Hibernia’s purchase of Starwood’s 50% stake in the Windmill Lane site in Dublin. Other clients include Santander, Crédit Agricole, ICBC, Aviva Investors and Svenska Handelsbanken. Nick Swiss and legal director Jane Allan are also recommended.

The team at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP handles a wide range of property finance work, including loan portfolio transactions, portfolio restructuring, development finance and acquisition finance; it also has noteworthy multi-jurisdictional capabilities. David Trott, who heads the practice jointly with Simon Johnson, acted for TPG Real Estate and its joint venture partner Ivanhoé Cambridge on the €1.4bn refinancing of their European logistics portfolio business P3, and on the ensuing €2.4bn sale of P3 to GIC. In another cross-border matter, Trott assisted Cerberus Capital Management with a €65m facility, arranged by Deutsche Bank, to refinance Cerberus’s acquisition of an Italian commercial real estate portfolio. Johnson advised Bank of America Merrill Lynch as arranger and lender on a £375m loan to refinance Vero Group’s acquisition of a student accommodation portfolio. He also assisted Morgan Stanley Bank and RBC Europe with the £305m refinancing of Vero Group’s Westbourne student housing portfolio. The team is also adept at advising clients on setting up financial platforms: Trott acted for Belmont Green on the establishment of its business and on obtaining £200m-worth of warehouse facilities to fund its residential mortgage lending platform. Flora McLean, securitisation expert Christopher Barratt, senior associate Louise Asbridge, and Maximilian Lang, who splits his time between London and Frankfurt, are also recommended. Jeffrey Rubinoff joined White & Case LLP in July 2016, and Jonathan Birks left for Kirkland & Ellis International LLP in December 2016.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s practice benefits from the firm’s excellent real estate practice and is noted for its strength in development finance, its cross-border capabilities and its lender-borrower balance. Andrew Flemming acted for U and I Group on its joint venture with an affiliate of Colony NorthStar, a platform intended to invest €300m in the London, Manchester and Dublin office markets. Tauhid Ijaz, who is an expert in loan portfolio acquisitions and securitisation, advised a major UK financial institution, as arranger, on the securitisation of a portfolio of mortgage loans secured on agricultural land and property across the UK. He also acted for Deutsche Bank as arranger on the financing of a portfolio of Irish REO residential properties bought by a sub-fund of an Irish collective asset management vehicle. Other clients of the practice include investment management firms such as Davidson Kempner, ICG-Longbow and Kennedy Wilson Europe, as well as banks such as Barclays. Andrew Welbourn, who has particular experience in Italian real estate finance, leads the group; Jo Solomon, an expert in joint ventures and cross-border property finance transactions, is also recommended, as is senior associate Andrew Whittaker.

Jones Day’s ‘incredibly hardworking, diligent’ and ‘efficient’ practice handles ‘large, complex transactions’ and combines ‘very good technical analysis’ with ‘commercial awareness and sensitivity’. ‘Very sensible’, ‘incredibly knowledgeable’ department head Andrew Barker is ‘technically and commercially strong’, and ‘a pleasure to work with’; he acted for Wells Fargo on the £184m financing of Fortress Investment Group’s acquisition of a portfolio comprising 76 Marks & Spencer stores and other retail properties. He also advised Goldman Sachs on the €767m financing of Blackstone’s acquisition of the Blanchardstown shopping centre in Dublin – one of the largest single-asset property transactions in Irish history. Additionally, Goldman Sachs instructed Barker on the £297m financing of Lone Star’s acquisition of the Manor hotel portfolio. Emily Stew (who ‘combines the brain power of a genius with the work ethic of an ox’) acted for Greystar Real Estate Partners and Oman Investment Fund as sponsors on the £175m development financing of a PRS scheme in Canary Wharf. She also advised Goldman Sachs as sponsor on the £305m refinancing of Vero Group’s Westbourne student housing portfolio, with Morgan Stanley as arranger. Other clients of the department include Macquarie, OCBC Bank, and developers such as British Land and Delancey. Associates Matt Trafford and James Dibble are ‘very good’. David Fricker went in-house at Wells Fargo in June 2016.

Noted for its ‘outstanding industry knowledge’, the ‘hardworking’, ‘solution-oriented’ team at Mayer Brown International LLPalways provides sound advice’ and is ‘very good value for money’. It is adept at handling ‘complicated financial structures that require creative thinking and in-depth risk analysis’. Nigel White, who heads the team alongside hotels expert Andrew Hepner, has been especially busy with loan-on-loan portfolio work and with advising US private equity funds on financing real estate portfolio acquisitions. He acted for MetLife Investment Management on a loan to Lone Star secured over a £2.3bn portfolio of real estate-backed loans originated by Aviva. Hepner, who has been particularly active on the sponsor-side, assisted Canary Wharf Group with refinancing £700m-worth of existing loan facilities, and with the £350m development financing of the Newfoundland Tower in Canary Wharf. The ‘quick, technically superbDavid O’Connoralways looks to protect clients’ interests, pre-empts risky situations, and provides excellent advice’; he advised Cheyne Capital on its £450m mezzanine co-financing of Brookfield’s purchase of the CityPoint Tower. ‘Problem-solver’ Andrew Crotty handles a wide range of property finance transactions, including complex structured financings. Additional clients include Citi, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, Värde Partners and Ping An Bank.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s ‘strong, broad, partner-led practice’ is well stocked with ‘incredibly hardworking, high-calibre lawyers’. The ‘calm, pragmaticRichard Hughes is ‘very bright, very commercial and very good fun to work with’, and ‘meets incredibly tight deadlines’; he advised Santander UK and United Overseas Bank on a £130m loan to the Meridian Group Hotel to refinance the original construction loan for the InterContinental Hotel at the O2 in Greenwich. Sarah Cullen has been active on the development finance side, assisting HSBC Bank and Bank of China with a £150m loan to Greenland Development Group for the Ram Brewery in Wandsworth. Also on the lender side, Daniel Metcalfe advised Standard Bank and Rand Merchant Bank on the restructuring of a $100m loan to Oando Wings Development for an office development in Lagos, Nigeria. Group head Duncan Hubbard acted for Invesco Real Estate on its €1bn refinancing of a portfolio of European properties, including a €390m facility for the client to expand its portfolio in France, Spain, Germany, Poland, the UK and the Netherlands. He also advised Scottish Widows on £9bn-worth of loan portfolio sales and secondary-market loan acquisitions. Additionally on the refinancing side, Dan Kennedy assisted PPHE Hotel Group with refinancing £585m-worth of loans in 2016. Senior associate William Lo is also recommended.

The ‘very responsive, knowledgeable and pragmatic’ team at Paul Hastings LLP was joined by ‘absolute legend’ James Taylor from Allen & Overy LLP and structured finance and securitisation expert Paul Severs from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP. Debt origination, CMBS and structured joint ventures and funds are particular strengths of the practice. The ‘diligent, pragmatic and very thorough’ Jennie Dorsaint, who is especially strong in cross-border refinancing and restructuring, made partner in July 2016; she acted alongside Conor Downey for AIG Asset Management (Europe) on loan trades that culminated in AIG’s acquisition of £500m-worth of bank-originated loans. Taylor (an ‘incredibly hard worker who grabs a deal by the scruff of the neck and delivers it’) acted for DRC Capital as arranger on the financing by two of its real estate funds of Picture Holdco’s £323m purchase of Pinewood Group. ‘Very good’ securitisation specialist Miles Flynn assisted Oaktree Capital with setting up a European real estate lending platform, trading as Fairfield Real Estate Finance, which specialises in a new form of real estate lending: discounted pay-off financing for investors who purchased their loans as part of NPL portfolios sold by UK and Irish banks. David Ryland and Justin Jowitt are ‘client-oriented and commercial’; Charles Roberts is also recommended.

Noted for its strong investment and development finance capabilities, its ‘technical knowledge’ and its ‘can-do attitude’, Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘speedy, accessible and insightful’ department also frequently handles non-performing loan transactions, and has excellent relationships with numerous clearing banks. The ‘extremely commercialWilliam Oliver, who heads the practice jointly with Gerry Mulholland, provides a ‘high level of service’; ‘he outlines risks, highlights mitigants, and gains the respect of all parties’. On the borrower side, Oliver advised Redefine International on the refinancing of a £168m facility provided by Aviva Commercial Finance, and acted for Mount Anvil (Kidderpore) on a £75m development facility from RBS for the redevelopment of Kidderpore College in Hampstead. The ‘very strong’ Frances Mallender, who made partner in May 2016, ‘completes deals to very tight deadlines’, and ‘combines legal knowledge with an understanding of lender and borrower behaviour’. She acted for RBS on the exercise of a £45m accordion option available to Safestore Holdings, constituting an overhaul of the original facility agreement between the two parties. Richard Hughes acted for Junson Assets Management (Europe) on a £40m loan to finance the purchase of the Hilton Dockland Riverside Hotel by a Chinese investor. Other clients of the department include HSBC, Barclays, National Bank of Kuwait and the Homes and Communities Agency.

The ‘responsive’ team at Taylor Wessing LLP provides ‘well-thought-through advice’, and ‘really adds value’; clients say it is ‘one of the most engaging, knowledgeable and personable practices around’, and commend it for its ‘highly competent senior associates’. Finance partner Gareth Lawson ‘analyses complex transactions and concisely communicates potential resolutions in plain English’; he advised Helaba on the £191m financing of the King’s Cross Central development, and acted for MetLife on its £274m co-financing of the purchase of 123 and 151 Buckingham Palace Road by a Gaw Capital-arranged consortium. Jonathan Marks advised Cain Hoy on its £78m loan to Lodha Developers 48CS for the refinancing of 48 Carey Street. On the borrower side, Martin Yells assisted City Pride with obtaining a £320m facility to finance the development of the Landmark Pinnacle on the Isle of Dogs. Ross Caldwell acted for Secure Income REIT on a £60m senior loan from M&G Investments to finance the former’s £196m acquisition of a portfolio of 55 Travelodge hotels. The ‘very experienced’ Raman Sharma ‘delivers results seamlessly’. Paul Harrison, Amar Ali, Mark Bennett, Heather Buttle, Emma Oakley and group head Rodney Dukes are also recommended.

Often acting on high-profile, high-value matters, Baker McKenzie’s practice has cross-border capabilities and excellent lender-side experience. Justin Salkeld and department head Stephen Turner continued to act for CIMB Bank Berhad on the financing of the £2bn Battersea Power Station redevelopment, the third of phase of which required a combination of Islamic and conventional financing. Paul Hibbert advised ING and Landesbank Baden-Württemberg on a £400m senior loan to refinance Salesforce Tower, also known as 110 Bishopsgate. Together with the Barcelona-based Marcel Enrich, Lynn Rosell Rowley assisted Spanish elderly care operator SARquavitae with refinancing a number of its existing loans. Other clients of the practice include Edwardian Group. Acquisition finance expert Sebastien Marcelin-Rice, funds specialist James Burdett, real estate tax expert James Smith and Ian Jack, who has a particular focus on CEE transactions, are also recommended.

Fieldfisher’s ‘extremely user-friendly and pragmatic’ practice provides ‘Magic Circle-level knowledge’, and ‘decodes complex legal concepts into easily understandable language’. The partners are backed by ‘a team that always exceeds expectations, providing invaluable support in meeting extremely challenging deadlines’. Structured finance expert Alex Campbell advised Dominvs Group on a £43m loan from Clydesdale Bank for the redevelopment of the Tower Bridge Magistrates’ Court into a Marriott Hotel. Group head Philip Abbott acted for Corner House Investments on a £4m loan from the National Bank of Kuwait for the acquisition of a student accommodation block in Cardiff. Lender-side mandates make up the majority of the practice’s workload; Abbott assisted Lloyds Bank on the £3m refinancing of an existing portfolio for an existing customer. Other clients include Deutsche Pfandbriefbank, Bank of Ireland, Europe Arab Bank, ICG Longbow and new client DRC Capital. Oliver Abel Smith and John Nelmes are ‘commercial’ and ‘trustworthy’ and have ‘in-depth knowledge’. Jayne Backett arrived from Mayer Brown International LLP in September 2016; she is noted for her experience in complex development financing, especially for UK- and Africa-based projects.

Gowling WLG’s ‘speedy, commercial’ department is noted for its ‘partner-led’ service and lender-side strength; clients include UK clearing banks, German banks, debt funds and alternative lenders. It also acts for borrowers on hotel investment and development financings. The ‘commercial, clairvoyantJon Lent and practice head Nick Turner advised a high-profile UK clearing bank on the amendment of an existing £102m facility and on a new £22m facility for Commercial Estates Group to develop a seven-storey office building – the first phase of a £400m, 57-acre development at Kirkstall Forge, Leeds. Turner also acted for ICG-Longbow Debt Investments as arranger on a £118m facility to finance the acquisition of Welbeck Street car park, to be developed into a 145-bedroom hotel; and advised HSBC Bank and Bank of East Asia on a £166m loan to Knight Dragon for the construction of a residential tower on Greenwich Peninsula. On the borrower side, Lent acted for Empiric Student Property on a £120m loan secured against a portfolio of income-generating property assets. Legal director Oliver Bretherton is also recommended.

The ‘very knowledgeable’ team at K&L Gates LLP is ‘very good value for money’. Structured finance, securitisation, legacy restructuring and originated senior and mezzanine loan transactions are its core strengths; the practice also regularly handles cross-border matters. Department head Andrew Petersen and asset finance expert James Spencer acted for Marathon Asset Management on the €550m restructuring of a senior and mezzanine financing of a pan-European real estate portfolio. Spencer also advised the London branch of Industrial & Commercial Bank of China on its acquisition of £500m-worth of senior and mezzanine property finance loans from various originating banks. Other clients include Capita Asset Services (UK), Mount Street Mortgage Servicing and Investec Bank. ‘Absolutely fantastic’ special counsel Diego Shin ‘fights clients’ corners and distils complicated points into their constituent parts’.

Macfarlanes LLP’s ‘very good’ team handles complex work for lenders and borrowers alike; the private rental sector and hotels are sector specialisms. Acting for alternative lenders, especially insurance companies such as AIG, is a strength of the practice: Jat Bains and Clare Breeze advised Legal & General on the £23m financing of the development of two plots of land in Salford. Bains also assisted Arora T5 Holdings on the £175m refinancing of its existing facilities with Legal & General. Colin Morgan, who heads the department jointly with Breeze, acted for Meridian Hotel Holdings on the £130m refinancing, with Santander and Overseas United Bank as lenders, of the InterContinental Hotel at the O2 in Greenwich. Additionally on the borrower side, Richard Fletcher advised Canary Wharf Group on obtaining a £90 senior loan from MetLife and a £20m mezzanine loan from Qatar Investment Authority to refinance 15 Westferry Circus. On the lender side, Bains assisted ING Bank with its £109m loan to the New Bond Street JV II Unit Trust for the purchase of 48-50 New Bond Street. Other clients include McArthurGlen and OCBC Bank.

With various high-profile, international borrowers and lenders among its client roster, Mishcon de Reya LLP’s department handles a wide range of property finance, including refinancing, development finance and acquisition finance, and has plenty of experience with senior, mezzanine and syndicated loans. Raji Bartlett advised Chelsfield Partners on the financing of its disposal, to the National Pension Service of Korea, of two corporate entities owning two Club Quarters hotels. He also assisted O&H Properties with its £94m refinancing, with Prudential Insurance Company of America as lender, of a portfolio of properties; and advised Laurence Kirschel and Consolidated St Giles on their £35m refinancing, with Lloyds Bank as arranger, of a property on Great Newport Street. Additionally, Bartlett acted for Brookfield on a £17m loan from HSBC for the acquisition and development of a student accommodation site in Glasgow. Other clients include Investec Bank, Delancey, Consolidated Group, OakNorth Bank and PGIM. Nick Strutt heads the group.

Though it has particular experience in advising high-profile borrowers and sponsors, Reed Smith LLP’s practice is increasingly active on the lender side. Leon Stephenson acted for OakNorth Bank on its £20m senior financing to Whittlebury Hall & Spa for its purchase of a luxury hotel and country club complex. Angelina Soon advised Situs Asset Management as special servicer on Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s securitisation of a €244m loan to Dream Global REIT. Other clients include Barclays Bank, Starwood European Real Estate Finance, London & Regional Properties and M7 Real Estate. In August 2016, leveraged finance expert Benjamin Davis left to join Proskauer Rose LLP. Structured finance and securitisation specialist Simon Hugo made partner in January 2017. Matthew Heaton and Francisca Sepúlveda head the department. Tamara Box, Georgia Quenby and Iain Balkwill are also recommended.

Sidley Austin LLP’s practice, which is noted for its strength in complex inter-creditor arrangements, syndication techniques and structured finance, is led by Graham Penn. He acted alongside Aparna Sehgal for Wells Fargo on the acquisition and associated financing of its new European headquarters at 33 Central Street in London. The team is increasingly active in advising alternative lenders and handling loan-on-loan transactions, and has a strong line in matters involving loans secured against foreign properties. Penn acted for Lantis Holdings on the restructuring of a €200m portfolio of loans backed by real estate in Cyprus and Greece, while on the securitisation side Jason Richardson advised Globalworth Real Estate Investments on a €180m loan secured against commercial property in Bucharest, Romania. Richardson also acted for Cairn Capital on €21m-worth of investments, including one loan backed by commercial real estate in Greece. Other clients include Mace, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and BAWAG.

The ‘pragmatic, results-driven’ department at Simmons & Simmons is led by Mark Waghorn and provides ‘great service, very precise industry knowledge and good value for money’. Particularly strong on the lender side, and benefiting from healthy relationships with clearing banks, debt funds and alternative lenders, the team counts Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Santander and Cheyne Capital among its clients. Simon Kildahl assisted ING Real Estate Finance (UK) as arranger and lender on the £18m refinancing of a central London office property. William Greig advised APG Rechtenbeheer on the finance aspects of its merger of the Elephant & Castle and East Village residential projects to create a £1.4bn joint venture with Delancey and Qatari Diar. Greig also acted for HSBC as arranger and lender on the refinancing of a portfolio of properties owned by the Youth Hostels Association. British Land is another representative client. Richard Hopkinson-Woolley and Jen Yee Chan arrived from DLA Piper and King & Wood Mallesons, respectively. Securitisation and structured finance experts John Davies and Helen Hancock are also recommended.

The ‘very personable’, ‘knowledgeable and always available’ team at Stephenson Harwood does ‘very high-quality work’; its property finance offering is complemented by its ‘high level of property law knowledge’. James Linforth and Jayesh Patel head the practice; Linforth acted for a consortium including Temasek and HPL on obtaining a £433m loan from OCBC Bank and Development Bank of Singapore for the acquisition and development of a mixed-use scheme near Blackfriars Bridge in London, while Patel, together with Jonathan Proctor, advised an HSBC-led syndicate of lenders on a £635m loan to Mount Eden Land. Proctor also assisted Wells Fargo with £96m-worth of loans to Ares European Real Estate Fund to finance its acquisition of commercial and retail real estate in the UK. Other clients include Bayern, ING Real Estate Finance, Alaska Permanent Fund, RBS and easyHotel. Linforth, Proctor and recently promoted partnerGeorge Vaughton are singled out by clients for their ‘practical, commercial advice’; Paul Hayward-Surry, hotels and leisure expert Robert Newman, senior associate Oliver Jefferies and associate Sean Crowley are also recommended.

The ‘absolutely first-class and universally respected’ Jeffrey Rubinoff heads White & Case LLP’s ‘highly responsive’ practice alongside the ‘quick, clear, commercial and commandingDavid Cox. Rubinoff arrived from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in July 2016, bringing clients including J.P. Morgan, Host Hotels & Resorts and GIC; he advised the latter on financing Davidson Kempner’s acquisition of a portfolio of 88 UK car parks. Cox advised Cerberus Capital Management on its acquisition of a £1bn non-performing loan portfolio from Nationwide. The ‘thorough, experienced, thoughtful and commercial’ Victoria Landsbert is ‘very pleasant and easy to deal with’; real estate expert James Dodsworth is also recommended.

Bird & Bird LLP’s ‘impressively dedicated’, ‘commercially minded’, ‘well-resourced’ and ‘knowledgeable’ team is very strong in development finance and in advising lenders, though it also has excellent borrower-side capabilities and handles acquisition finance, Islamic finance and cross-border mandates. Joss Hargrave advised longstanding client Santander UK on a £12m loan to easyHotel Group for refinancing existing debt and for financing potential future expansion. Jonathan Baker, who heads the department jointly with Russell Dellar, acted for Titlestone Property Lending on financing Kingmead’s £15m purchase of 27 office units near Ealing Green, London. Other clients include Svenska Handelsbanken, Byblos Bank Europe and Munoz Group. Dellar and senior associate Stephanie Robinson have ‘in-depth knowledge’, are ‘very responsive and fun to deal with, and ‘get deals completed in record time’. Isabel Evans is also recommended.

The team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP assists lenders and borrowers with financings across a wide range of asset classes, with an emphasis on financing involving private wealth and business owners. The ‘dogged, no-nonsenseDaniel Sullivan is ‘exceptionally good at getting deals done’; he advised Downing as lender on a £22m loan for the development of the £200m KAO Data Campus. In another data centre highlight, group head Paul Kay assisted Lloyds Bank with its £24m financing of the London data centre that is the principal asset of MFC Industrial REIT, the first global REIT to be listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. Jon Bond advised Henley Property Finance 404 on a £19m loan to finance its redevelopment of a Croydon office block. Other clients include OakNorth Bank, CareTech and Regal Homes.

As well as being on the panel of all the major UK clearing banks, DWF counts alternative lenders such as Aeriance Investments, Canada Life Investments and Fortwell Capital among its client roster; on the borrower side, it acts for clients such as ARES. John Fox advised RBS on the £33m development financing of Balfron Tower in east London, and along with Nicola Giddens acted for a syndicate of clearing banks on a £150m credit facility to Hill Homes for various construction projects in southeast England. Iain Thomas heads the ‘fast, knowledgeable and well-resourced’ practice, which welcomed Amrish Sharma as director from Gowling WLG in February 2016. Christian Francis and Simon Elphick are also recommended.

Charles Malpass heads the practice at Dechert LLP, which is particularly strong in structured finance and loan-on-loan work. He acted for Apollo Management International on its €700m purchase of a portfolio of loan assets from the National Asset Management Agency, which included a financing by BAWAG, and assisted the same client with a €600m loan-on-loan transaction involving a loan portfolio secured against numerous mortgage and real estate portfolios in Ireland. Capita Asset Services instructed Malpass on the disposal of £100m-worth of mortgage loans secured against UK real estate. The department saw numerous changes at partner level: Philip Butler and David Miles joined from DLA Piper in August 2016, and John Markland arrived from Kirkland & Ellis International LLP three months later. Eleni Skordaki departed to establish her own property finance consultancy, ES Real Estate Finance, while Jeremy Trinder left to join Latham & Watkins.

Farrer & Co fields a ‘prompt, knowledgeable’ eight-partner team that ‘goes the extra mile’, has a ‘can-do attitude’ and provides ‘seamless service’. It acts for a growing range of lenders and borrowers, and is particularly active in financings involving London-based property. Practice head Simon Graham advised Royal Bank of Canada on a £100m facility, secured against three central London apartment blocks, loaned to a Jersey trust for refinancing its existing debt and engaging in further investments. Graham and Laurie Horwood acted for the same client on the £75m refinancing of two high-value properties in London. Martin Blake and Annabel Younger acted for Deutsche Bank Luxembourg on a £37m loan to a Guernsey-incorporated entity to finance the acquisition and development of prime residential real estate in Knightsbridge. Associate Caroline Pearce is ‘completely unflappable when handling stressful, complex banking completions’; senior associates Kate Corke and Marc Glancy are also recommended.

Sponsor-side and borrower-side work is what Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s team is best known for, though it also counts US funds and high-profile sovereign wealth funds among its client roster. Practice head Alan Samson acted for Oaktree Capital on its joint venture with Valad for the acquisition and financing of Wiśniowy Business Park in Warsaw, Poland. He also advised Meadow Partners on its acquisition (and the associated financing) of a group of entities owning property in Glengall Bridge, in London’s Docklands. Other clients include Ares Management, Deutsche Bank, Investcorp, MUFG and Welltower. Tom Budd is recommended, as is Wayne McArdle for corporate real estate matters.

The practice at Goodwin has grown significantly and acts for high-profile clients such as Macquarie Capital, Deutsche Asset Management, PGIM Real Estate and Kennedy Wilson Europe. It frequently advises clients on development finance, acquisition finance and refinancing, and handles financings that involve portfolios of real estate located across Europe. Group head Paul Lyons advised Meadow Partners on the £16m refinancing of a residential site in London’s Docklands, and on obtaining a £33m facility to develop a commercial site in the same area. Lyons also acted for GreenOak Real Estate on its £10m refinancing of a commercial site in East London, and on its £32m senior loan to Halamar to develop a central London mixed-use site. Simon Fulbrook and counsel Colin Baker are also recommended.

With real estate funds experts Steven Cowins and Marc Snell, corporate finance specialists Michael Goldberg and David Fitzgerald and real estate partner Matthew Priday arriving from King & Wood Mallesons, Greenberg Traurig, LLP’s ‘absolutely fantastic’ practice has seen a significant expansion in its bench strength, support teams and client roster. The ‘helpfulEmma Menzies heads the group; she acted for new client DRC Capital on its €48m refinancing of a German property portfolio. The ‘technically excellentGary Bellingham advised Midlands homebuilder William Davis on a £20m development loan from Barclays Bank, and Tim Webb assisted Osprey Equity Partners with the terms of its development, investment and bridge financings of various hotel, supermarket and retail park developments – financings worth £250m in total. Other clients include The Collective Canary Wharf, Urban Exposure and Gravis Capital Partners.

Osborne Clarke LLP fields a ‘strong, very responsive team’ that provides ‘very good coverage’ of a range of property finance matters and has cross-border capabilities. It is well known for its borrower- and sponsor-side strength, but is handling more and more matters for lenders. ‘No-nonsense, commercial and client-oriented’ practice head Madeleine Clark ‘knows the market well’; she advised Campus Living Villages (Salford) UK on the £9m refinancing of student accommodation at the University of Salford. On the lender side, Nick Padget and Dominic Ross acted for Santander UK on the £60m refinancing of three of NewRiver Retail’s shopping centres. Other clients include Infrared Capital Partners, Meyer Homes, Delph Properties and Aeriance. Louise Cartwright and real estate expert Jo Footitt, who are noted for their experience with logistics and shopping centres, joined from Irwin Mitchell in November 2016. Jason Lawrance made partner in May 2017. Akmal Ghauri and Ben Truman are also recommended.

The team at Ropes & Gray LLP counts structured finance, investment financing and opco/propco matters as key strengths. It is headed by Iain Morpeth and Partha Pal, who have particular experience on the borrower side and the lender side respectively; they are supported by David Seymour and Carol Hopper. Pal assisted an equity sponsor with the restructuring of the £123m Mapeley Gamma loan. Morpeth acted for Gaw Capital on its £256m acquisition, and the associated financing, of the Elizabeth Bridge Unit Trust. Senior associate Richard Hanson advised Blackstone Mortgage Trust on its investment in a €400m private pan-European CMBS. Other clients include TH Real Estate.

With notable experience in financial covenants and fund finance, Travers Smith LLP’s department is increasingly busy on the lender side, though sponsor- and borrower-side work remains a core strength: Danny Peel and Andrew Gregson acted for Peel Holdings (Land and Property) on the £300m refinancing of its land bank, and Peel assisted an investee company of longstanding client Meyer Bergman with financing its acquisition and development of a retail and office building on New Oxford Street, London. Additionally on the acquisition finance side, Peel advised Clearbell Capital on the £9m financing of its acquisition of a mixed-use scheme in Coventry. Peel also acted for various investee companies of new client Cinnamon Care Capital on the £14m development and investment financing of a care home and assisted-living units in Hextable, Kent. HSBC is a key lender-side client, and instructed the team on the refinancing of £32m-worth of loans made to Sparring Partners Holdings. Fairview New Homes, Mansford Capital and RBS are additional clients. Paul Kenny, who made partner in July 2016, is also recommended.

Brecher LLP’s ‘very knowledgeable’ practice provides ‘speedy responses’ and a ‘high-quality, highly professional service’. ‘Calm, reassuring’ department head Richard Gilchrist is ‘fast, accurate and efficient’; he is supported by managing partner Nicky Richmond, development finance experts Redmond Byrne and Michelle Brown, and Meera Jansen, who is strong in leveraged finance, fund finance and asset finance. Byrne assisted CPB Residential Finance with obtaining a £28m for the refinancing and development of Beaumont Court and Richmond House in Southend-on-Sea, Essex. On the lender side, Gilchrist acted for Investec Bank on a £26m loan to a subsidiary of Balfour Beatty for the development of a site on Kennedy Street, Glasgow. Other lender-side clients include Fortwell Capital, LendInvest, RBS and Santander.

The ‘very responsive, very well-run’ team at Burges Salmon LLP provides ‘clear, unambiguous advice’, and is very strong in development finance and investment finance. It counts housing, hotels and leisure, student accommodation and healthcare as sectors of expertise, and is experienced in Islamic finance. Paul Browne and Richard Leeming, who are ‘very knowledgeable, experienced and professional’, head the practice; Leeming advised HSBC Bank on a £135m loan to an undisclosed borrower to invest in student accommodation in London. The ‘personable, knowledgeable’ Sally Jupp made partner in May 2016; Colin Ligman, Rachael Ruane and senior associate Katie Allen are also recommended.

Counting refinancing and loan restructuring as key strengths, Clyde & Co LLP’s ‘high-quality, well-established’ department frequently handles acquisition and development finance and structured finance. Practice head Chris Lenton advised Regal Homes on the £44m senior and mezzanine development financing of its purchase and redevelopment of the Manor School in Brondesbury, London, into housing scheme. Other borrower clients include Daejan Holdings, Metropolitan Properties and One 55 Fenchurch; Deutsche Bank is a lender client. Annabelle Redman is also recommended, especially for high-end residential property finance. Senior associate Sam Clarke handles complex, cross-border investment and development financings, and senior associate Robert Davy assists clients with mixed-source and Islamic financing products.

Fladgate LLP’s ‘very responsive, cost-effective’ practice provides ‘high-quality service’ and is noted for its ‘strong attention to detail’. The ‘highly experienced, commercialKim McMurray is an ‘efficient, professional co-ordinator’ with a ‘can-do attitude’; she heads the practice jointly with Richard Reuben. Jeremy Whiteson advised Halamar Developments on the £50m refinancing of a property development in Soho. Other sponsor clients include Weston Homes and Hodson Developments; CIMC Capital, Europe Arab Bank and GreenOak UK Secured Lending are lender clients. Gary Smith has ‘very strong experience and industry knowledge’. Jenny Sargeant joined from Macfarlanes LLP in July 2016; Seetal Modi arrived from Sidley Austin LLP six months later. Luke Morris is also recommended. Darran Smith joined Glovers Solicitors LLP.

Though it is increasingly active on the lender side, Forsters LLP’s department is best known for its strong borrower-side experience. Victoria Edwards heads the practice, with support from Craig Thompson, Matthew Swainston, borrower-side specialist Ronan Ledwidge and Simon Collins, an expert in syndicated and bilateral credit facilities who made partner in April 2016. Clients include Santander UK, J.P. Morgan International Bank, Knight Dragon Investments, LaSalle Investment Management and, on the sponsor side, Ballymore Properties.

Development finance, distressed property finance, mezzanine loans and inter-creditor negotiation are key areas of expertise of Freeths LLP’s ‘cost-effective’ practice, which counts healthcare, student accommodation, residential and mixed-use real estate as sector strengths. ‘Stellar, incredibly knowledgeable’ department head Richard Williams advised a leading British non-bank lender on the amendment and restatement of an existing £59m loan facility extended to a Manchester-based investment and development group, while on the borrower side Chris Freeston acted for a specialist fund manager on an £11m facility from Lloyds Bank to be cross-collateralised with an existing £50m facility, to finance the acquisition of eight UK office sites. Other clients include Waterfield Group, City North Finsbury Park and Longbow Debt Investments No 4.

Particularly strong on the lender side, the ‘technically strong, cost-effective and client-oriented’ team at Howard Kennedy LLP is ‘always available’, and counts bridging and development financings as core areas of expertise. It also handles Islamic finance: Samantha Hook advised Al Mubarakia as borrower on obtaining a £21m loan to convert offices to a 124-apartment private rental scheme in east London. Other clients include Aldermore, Amicus Finance, Arbuthnot Latham & Co and Bank Julius Baer & Co. ‘User-friendly’ group head Daniel Firemanirons out potential issues early on’. Also recommended are the ‘pragmatic and very responsive’ Marcus Jamson, and Steve Clinning.

Irwin Mitchell’s practice frequently assists clients with investment and development financing, refinancing and loan restructuring. Group head Rohan Campbell acted for Clarus on obtaining a £91m loan to acquire Holborn Gate, and advised Castleforge on the £11m financing of its redevelopment of office space in Bristol. Lender clients include HSBC Bank, Santander and Deutsche Hypo. Ayesha Hasan is also recommended, as is Claire Illingworth, who made partner in November 2016. In the same month, Rob Thompson and Simon Tweedle departed for Dentons, and Louise Cartwright and real estate expert Jo Footitt left to join Osborne Clarke LLP.

Real estate boutique Maples Teesdale LLP fields a very capable property finance team, led jointly by Ajoy Bose-Mallick and Chen Ikeogu. Acquisition finance, development finance and refinancings are the practice’s core strengths. Bose-Mallick advised Castleforge Real Estate Partners on the refinancing of a £30m commercial property near Canary Wharf; he also assisted City, University of London with obtaining a £20m facility from HSBC Bank, and acted for Lloyds Bank International on a loan to Real Assets (RA) Global Opportunity Fund 1 to refinance the debt incurred when the latter bought a building on Grosvenor Street, London.

The team at Penningtons Manches LLP is headed by Mark Phillips and Peter McElligott, and has experience with financings in a wide range of real estate sectors, including student housing, residential housing, retail parks and hotels and leisure. Clients include Lloyds Bank, Santander UK, Allied Irish Bank and, on the sponsor side, Sellar Property Group. Reading-based senior associate John Chater is also recommended.

RPC’s department is headed by Sukh Ahark, with support from David Johnston and legal director Edward Colville, who are both noted for their development finance experience. Lender clients include Shinsei International Bank, Royal Bank of Canada and Development Bank of Japan; Dorsett Hospitality International and Maybrook Properties are sponsor clients.

Though split evenly between lenders and borrowers, Shepherd and Wedderburn’s ‘very responsive, knowledgeable’ and ‘commercial’ department won some high-profile lender clients in 2016. ‘Calm, collected, highly experienced’ practice head Jonathan Rickard acted for Deutsche Hypo on its £20m loan to Falcon Group to finance its purchase of 60-62 Lombard Street, London, and advised Bayerische Landesbank on its £16m financing of IDI Gazeley’s acquisition of a distribution warehouse in Lutterworth. Sponsor-side clients include TJAC London Cambridge and Scarborough Group. Philip Knowles, Stephen Hubner, Sally Morris-Smith, Patrick Bell and associate Lucy Hall are also recommended.

Tom Lloyd, who has cross-border experience and is particularly active on the sponsor side, heads the team at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP; he made partner in January 2017. High-profile private equity companies comprise much of the department’s client base: Lloyd advised Blackstone Real Estate Partners Europe IV on the financing of its acquisition of OfficeFirst Immobilien and of six logistics assets from IDI Gazeley. He also assisted Blackstone Group and Roundhill Capital with the €500m refinancing of their acquisition of a portfolio of residential assets in the Czech Republic. The practice acts for corporate clients too: Lloyd advised Biomed on the development financing of two pre-let biomedical facilities in Cambridge.

Simon Owen heads the team at Trowers & Hamlins LLP. Though especially noted for his experience in the healthcare and hotels sectors, Owen also advised Manhattan Loft on obtaining a £125m loan from a two-bank club to develop a 42-storey tower in Stratford, London, and assisted Anthology London with its £55m acquisition, and the associated financing from the Greater London Authority, of the Gateway Tower in Tottenham Hale, London. Though particularly active on the borrower side, the practice counts Santander, RBS and National Bank of Kuwait among its clients. Katharine Lewis and Imogen Fisher are also recommended. Richard Hathaway joined in October 2016 from Osborne Clarke LLP.

Wedlake Bell LLP’s practice is ‘highly knowledgeable, very professional and good value for money’. ‘Dedicated, efficient’ asset and acquisition finance expert Hilary Platt leads the department, and advised Fairacre Asset Management on the £16m refinancing of its acquisition of a shopping centre in Ashton-under-Lyne. Other clients of the team include Bank of Ireland, Devonshire Investment Holdings, HSBC Bank and Natixis; Arbuthnot Latham & Co and Blom Bank France are new clients. Also recommended are Chris Vause, who is an expert in financing, structuring and restructuring property development transactions, and senior associate Richard Roberts.

Blake Morgan LLP’s ‘very proactive’ team has ‘great knowledge and expertise’; it handles construction and development financing across a wide range of property asset classes, and has experience in Islamic finance. The practice is especially busy on the lender side: consultant Malcolm Pearson advised HSBC on a £30m loan to a provider of supported housing, for asset purchases, refinancing and renovation. He also acted for the same client a £10m loan to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster to refinance and renovate a church friary. Tony Coyne heads the practice, with support from Mark Hiley and Stephen Solomons. ‘Extremely organised, proactive’ senior associate Laura Wilkinson has ‘in-depth knowledge’.

Real estate and private client boutique Boodle Hatfield LLP fields a ‘very strong’ property finance practice, which is commended for its ‘first-class service’. It is led by James Dakin, with strong support from Rahul Thakrar and Andrew Wilmot-Smith. Residential developments, family offices and the private rental sector have been areas of particular activity for the team, whose clients comprise private banks, specialist lenders, and private capital-funded developers and investors; Lanner Capital, Rubicon Capital, Flemyn and Hadley Homes are representative clients. New clients include Weatherbys Bank, Rampart Capital and Arbuthnot Latham & Co.

The ‘ever-available’, ‘technically competent and commercial’ department at Collyer Bristow LLP provides ‘timely advice’, has a ‘can-do attitude’ and ‘pays attention to detail’. It is primarily borrower- and sponsor-focused, but has been increasingly active on the lender side, especially for Far Eastern banks. Group co-heads Alex O’Connor and Rory Macpherson are noted for their ‘expertise in financing a broad range of property asset classes’, and are ‘loyal, dedicated, skilful and knowledgeable’. Macpherson acted for Chase New Homes on the £30m forward-sale and financing of a development on Palace Wharf in Fulham, while O’Connor advised Key Developments Godalming on obtaining a £20m development loan.

Hotels expert Paul McCartney heads DAC Beachcroft LLP’s group; he advises lenders and borrowers, and has experience in acquisition, investment and development finance. He also handles Islamic finance. Clients have included Pinnacle No 1.

Druces LLP has strong expertise in syndicated property financing and Islamic finance; Bank of London and the Middle East and British Arab Commercial Bank are key clients. Suzanne Middleton-Lindsley and Islamic finance expert Christopher Axford acted for more than a hundred property investment syndicates on their real estate investments and associated financings. The practice is increasingly active in handling syndicated mezzanine loans. Other clients include Henderson Global Investors, Ratcliffes, Alpha Bridging Solutions and Bank Julius Baer & Co. Simon Pullen is also recommended.

The ‘responsive, commercial’ and ‘very highly regarded’ team at Edwin Coe LLP provides ‘robust, sensible advice’ and has ‘in-depth knowledge’. ‘Practical negotiatorStephen Brower, who has ‘outstanding knowledge’, leads the group, which counts investment, development and residential finance as its core strengths. William Thompson, Philip Boursnell, Ian Gilmour and Julian Gore are also recommended. Clients of the practice include Waterman Group, Riyad Bank and Handelsbanken. Joanne McIvor, who has particular experience on the lender side and has strong cross-border capabilities, made partner in April 2016. Mark Menhennet joined as of counsel from Chadbourne & Parke LLP in June 2017.

Especially strong on the borrower side, GSC Solicitors LLP’s ‘speedy, high-quality and reliable’ department is noted for its development finance capabilities, its ‘practical common-sense approach’ and its ‘very broad knowledge of property-related issues’; it is also increasingly active in refinancings. Harvey Posener heads the group, with strong support from Peter Belcher, who has particular experience in the healthcare, banking and hotels and leisure sectors; and Matthew Phillips, who provides ‘expert property advice’. Amee Popat is also recommended.

The ‘very knowledgeable, speedy and partner-led’ practice at real estate boutique Glovers Solicitors LLP is particularly experienced in residential development finance and investment loans. It has a strong lender-side practice: group head Andrew Parker advised Hampshire Trust Bank on a £13m loan for the acquisition of a building in Mill Hill, London, and assisted Heritable Development Finance with a £5m loan to help an undisclosed sponsor acquire land in Essex, construct an ambulance station there, and exchange the latter for the existing ambulance station. Liza Lam-Kee advised mezzanine lender Strata Residential Finance on a £2m loan to partially finance the construction of four houses in Golders Green. Other clients include Close Brothers, Investec Bank and United Trust Bank.

Development and investment financings are what Hamlins LLP’s ‘responsive, commercial and very proactive’ practice does best, though it is also experienced in financing equity acquisitions of property-owning companies. The ‘outstanding’ team is noted for its ‘strength in depth and lightning-fast deal-making’. Hotels, high-end residential developments and student accommodation are sectors of particular expertise. Department head Charles Bezzant advised Bank Leumi (UK) on loans of between £2m and £25m extended to various borrowers. On the sponsor side, Bezzant advised Felda Investment on £45m-worth of development financing for various London properties. The ‘pragmatic, technically knowledgeableAselle Djumabaeva-Wood is a ‘tenacious, brilliant negotiator’ who is ‘thorough, diligent, forward-thinking’ and ‘very assured even under extreme time pressure’.

Terry Green heads the practice at Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP; he advised BNP Atisreal, as Lloyds Bank-appointed receiver, on a restructuring facility relating to the £57m receivership sale of serviced apartments and shops in South Kensington. Other clients include Metro Bank, Morgan Stanley, Bank Leumi (UK), Shiva Hotels and General Electric Capital. Peter Englund made partner in July 2016; Peter Sugden, Gavin Vollans and of counsel Michael Speranza are also recommended.

Evenly balanced between lenders and borrowers, Memery Crystal LLP’s team is headed by Matthew Lindsay, who advised Z Hotels on increasing an existing facility with Santander from £7m to £25m, to finance further London property acquisitions by the client. On the lender side, corporate partner Andrew Titmas assisted Zorin Finance with bridge financings and development loans to various borrowers. Transactional real estate expert Daniel Abrahams joined from Philip Ross & Co in June 2016; associate William Heywood joined from Proskauer Rose LLP five months later. Nicola Kravitz and bridge finance expert Rumit Nanji are also active in the space.

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP’s ‘sizeable, responsive and very knowledgeable’ team counts portfolio refinancing and bridging finance as key strengths. Clients include C. Hoare & Co, Svenska Handelsbanken and Keystone Holdings. John O’Callaghan is ‘intelligent, experienced and reassuring’, and ‘exceptionally talented’ Far East expert Sarah Hung pays ‘great attention to detail’; they head the team jointly with Afsheen Nasr, who made partner in October 2016. Senior associate Simon Lawrence, who frequently leads on deals, is ‘calm, knowledgeable and impressively speedy’; senior associate Tamara Manojlovic is also recommended. Paul Cain, who is particularly active on the borrower side, made partner in July 2016.

Peter Dawson heads Russell-Cooke LLP’s ‘very commercial, practical and cost-effective’ practice, which handles refinancing, acquisition finance and development finance. He acted for Clipstone Industrial Trust Unit on a £25m loan from Santander UK to refinance 18 of Clipstone’s industrial estates. Senior associate James Harris is very active in the space: he advised Bank of Singapore and various offshore trust companies operated by Standard Bank Offshore Trust Company Jersey, as lender and borrowers respectively, on the refinancing of a mixed-use portfolio owned by three of the trust companies. He also acted for Calmez as mezzanine and bridge lender on a £1m loan to finance a development in Kent.

Sheridans’ property finance practice has experience across a wide range of sectors, including hotels and leisure, retail, hospitality, commercial property and residential property. Real estate specialist Jay Soneji and corporate expert Rex Nwakodo lead the team, with strong support from Zareen Ali and senior associate Jolita Kajtazi, who has experience in Islamic finance.

The team at Shoosmiths LLP welcomed Adam Chamberlain from RPC in May 2016; he brought various property developer and banking clients with him. Development finance, hotel finance, and property finance involving private wealth are key strengths of the practice. Chamberlain, who is particularly strong on the lender side, advised RBS on its £26m loan to a large property and media group, and acted alongside associate Lauren Conroy for Octopus Investments as lender and joint venture partner on the establishment of a new £30m healthcare asset acquisition structure. Santander UK is another client. Real estate experts Joseph Mazzucca and Andrew Farmery are also recommended.

Teacher Stern LLP’s ‘quick, holistic and knowledgeable’ department is headed by Phil Berry; it counts peer-to-peer, bridging and mezzanine financings as key strengths. Corporate and finance partner Kelly Whitfield has ‘the patience of a saint – she filters information from numerous parties, and sets out action points in clear English’. The ‘super-efficientClaire Gibson is ‘always on top of things’. Real estate associate Siobhan Parish is a ‘rising star’; finance associates Laura Brown and Chris Nelson are also recommended. Lender clients include LendInvest, Octopus Property and Credit Peers; Englander Group is a borrower client.

Noted for its experience advising Asian investors and non-traditional funding institutions, Watson Farley & Williams LLP frequently handles complex property financings, especially in the hotels and student accommodation sectors. Ranjeev Kumar heads the practice, with strong support from senior associate James Kilgour. Clients include Downing Capital, Height Developments, Salutem Healthcare and Ascalon Smart City Partners.

Property litigation

Index of tables

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  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

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Berwin Leighton Paisner LLPsits at the top of the tree’ with ‘a hugely knowledgeable and proactive team’, which ‘has an excellent sense of the client’s commercial concerns and provides the clear and direct advice that helps it to achieve its goals’. The ‘hugely experiencedWendy Miller and ‘true masterRoger Cohen jointly lead the group, which excels in rights of light work – an area of focus for Miller and associate director Rashpal Soomal. In a recent highlight, Miller and Soomal advised Aviva Investors on the development constraints (including rights of light issues) surrounding an office space on Fenchurch Street. Other team highlights include successfully representing the British Property Federation and the Rating Surveyors Association in a case heard in the Supreme Court, where the clients sought permission to intervene in a ratings case regarding the length of time a developer must pay rates on a site that is being developed, and acting for Tesco in an appeal against rating assessments made regarding the store’s ATM machines; both matters were led by ‘go-to expert’ Cohen. Clients also single out Michael Metliss, who regularly acts for institutional landlords, ‘absolute starAkhil Markanday and associate director Jeremy Stephen, who advises on insolvency-related matters and has a ‘no-nonsense approach’. Joanna Lampert joined Mishcon de Reya LLP in 2017.

The ‘exceptionalDanielle Drummond-Brassington heads the team at CMS following the firm’s merger with legacy firms Nabarro LLP and Olswang LLP in 2017. The practice, which is ‘one of the best in the market and stands as the pre-eminent firm for property litigation’, fields an ‘extremely professional, responsive and highly knowledgeable’ team. Nick Lloyd is ‘a leading rights of light lawyer’; he is representing Station Hill North and Station Hill South in a dispute pertaining to rights of light and development constraint issues surrounding the Station Hill mixed-use regeneration project. Other noteworthy practitioners include Emma Pinkerton; ‘client favouriteJulie Gattegno, who is ‘a joy to work with’; Nick Wood, who is ‘intensely bright and focused, commercially minded, realistic and incredibly dedicated to the cause’; Marcus Barclay; and the ‘highly commercialSimone Ketchell. Clients also single out senior associates Anna Ralston, who ‘has a great enthusiasm and appetite for heavyweight litigation’ and Robin Biela, who is ‘undoubtedly one to watch in the future’. Highlights included representing citizenM Hotel Group in a dispute regarding the interpretation of a right to waive certain pre-conditions in a contract for a development site sale, acting for Hilton Worldwide in litigation relating to a portfolio of ten hotels, and handling a valuation case for the Wellcome Trust. Jennifer Rickard retired.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s ‘absolutely superb’ team is ‘hands on and proactive, and provides solid, reliable and speedy advice’. Practice head Will Densham, who is ‘a street fighter in the best possible way’, is representing River Doree Holdings in a dispute with the Government of St Lucia regarding the Government’s failure to honour an option to purchase agreement, and is acting for Associated British Ports in a dispute with Tata Steel before the High Court surrounding a licence for the use of a jetty at Port Talbot Tidal Harbour. Densham and ‘truly outstanding litigatorStuart Wortley, who is ‘fiercely sharp and misses nothing, allowing him to achieve superb results’, are part of a team representing PCW Property Holding in a dispute arising from its residential development at Park Crescent West relating to noise and vibration claims brought by neighbouring property owners. ‘Tough but pragmatic litigatorJohn Kemkers is also recommended, as are principal associate Kate Poole and senior associate Heather Tomlinson, who are both ‘exceptional talents’. The Berkeley Group, Aberdeen Asset Management, Qatar National Bank and British Land are also key clients.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s ‘second-to-none team’ is ‘one of the best in the market’ fielding ‘incredibly bright practitioners who have considerable depth of knowledge and experience that is unmatched by any others in the area’. The ‘superb’ groups acts for ‘undisputedly impressive clients’ including the Crown Estate and Qatari Diar. Practice head Nicholas Cheffings, who is ‘eagle-eyed, supremely smart and incredibly resourceful’, is representing the latter in two separate claims brought by Chelsfield Advisers arising from a development agreement relating to the US Embassy building in Grosvenor Square, and is acting for Hermes in all contentious issues arising from the client’s redevelopment of the Royal Victoria Place shopping centre in Tunbridge Wells. Mathew Ditchburninspires confidence thanks to his enthusiastic and commercial approach’; his recent work includes representing the Libyan Investment Authority in bankruptcy proceedings involving key real estate issues, and defending The Master and Wardens of the Art or Mystery of the Girdlers of London, as landlord, in a dispute heard in the High Court concerning claims that it unreasonably withheld consent to an assignment of a pub lease. Senior associate Paul Tonkin is ‘a future star’, who is ‘inventive, intellectually rigorous, assiduous and utterly reliable’.

Under ‘brilliant strategistDaniel Levy’s ‘inspirational leadership’, Mishcon de Reya LLP’s team is ‘going from strength to strength’, and it was further strengthened by the addition of Joanna Lampert – ‘one of the market’s best players’ – from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP. The ‘elite’ team is ‘focused on providing clients with effective and commercial advice’ and ‘delivers to an extremely high standard with a very personable service’. Levy, who stands out for his development dispute expertise is acting for Delancey in a variety of development issues arising out of its redevelopment of the Royal Mint Court, which includes handling complex rights of light matters, and is representing Chelsfield Advisers in litigation concerning a development agreement with Qatari Diar relating to the redevelopment of the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square. Emma Macintyre, who is highly experienced in dilapidation claims, was part of the team acting for Capital & Counties Properties in various disputes arising from its Covent Garden property portfolio, including rights of light issues, nuisance claims and lease renewal proceedings. Other key team members include development disputes specialist Chhavie Kapoor, residential litigation expert Laura Odlind and managing associate Sarah Heritage, who focuses on landlord and tenant disputes.

Iain Travers heads the practice at Ashurst, which provides ‘an excellent service across the board’. The team’s expertise in this space spans right of lights issues, break options, restrictive covenants, dilapidation claims, insolvency issues and contractual terminations. Travers is defending Greenland against an overage claim arising from the purchase of a development site. Other highlights include acting for Westfield in a dispute pertaining to a compensation claim concerning proposed bridge access for the stadium and shopping centre at Stratford shopping centre, representing Deutsche Asset Management in rent review litigation and assisting BAE Systems with the termination of a contract for the sale of multiple airfield sites. Counsel Mark Race is ‘a first-class litigator with a robust, commercial, tenacious and creative manner’ that makes him ‘a first port of call for many clients’. Transport for London, British Land, IBM and Diageo Pension Trustees are also clients.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s ‘enviable team of excellent individuals’ is led by the ‘genuinely brilliantRobert Highmore and counts the ‘thoroughly commercialLouise Clark, ‘outstanding lawyerEmma Humphreys (who is ‘extremely down to earth and approachable’) and the ‘highly practicalJeremy Hudson as key practitioners. The group has substantial expertise in leasehold enfranchisement matters, which is a key area of strength for Hudson and the ‘highly skilledJames Souter; Hudson recently acted for Howard de Walden Estate, as the freeholder, in a leasehold enfranchisement claim for a lease extension. The team has notable expertise in residential property issues and regeneration project disputes, and is also highly regarded for its urban regeneration, rights of light and telecoms work. The department regularly acts for retail and leisure occupiers, commercial investors, developers and high-net-worth individuals. Aberdeen Asset Management, the Church Commissioners for England, Ballymore Group, Berkeley Group and Dulwich Estate are among its clients.

Specialist property firm Forsters LLP has ‘a brilliantly strong litigation practice’, which handles the full gamut of commercial, residential and enfranchisement mandates. The ‘professional and efficientNatasha Rees, who specialises in residential disputes and leasehold enfranchisement, leads the team, which ‘saw a huge boost’ with the hiring of Ben Barrison from DLA Piper. ‘Astute and practical lawyerJonathan Ross, who is ‘a pleasure to work with’ and regularly handles dilapidation claims, ‘strategic thinker’ Rosalind Cullis, senior associate Charlotte Ross, who is experienced in contested lease renewals, and senior associate Emma Gosling, who handles residential development disputes, are also noted. Recent highlights include Rees acting for The Corporation of Trinity House of Deptford Strond, as the freeholder, in Upper Tribunal proceedings relating to a collective enfranchisement claim, Barrison acting for Savills IM Prime Residential Fund II in litigation surrounding a major development project in Putney and Ross representing Reedbase in a service charge dispute relating to roofing works. Aberdeen Asset Management, Deutsche Bank, the Phillimore Estate and LaSalle Investment Management are also clients.

Martin Thomas, who splits his time between the firm’s London and Birmingham offices, leads the national practice at Gowling WLG, which includes rights to light expert Anne Waltham, Birmingham-based Carole Peet, who handles arbitration and mediations, principal associate Charlotte Tyfield, who is recommended for lease renewals, development disputes, dilapidation claims and rent reviews, and Clive Chalkley. Other areas of expertise for the group include service charge issues, option agreements, landlord and tenant disputes and insolvency-related matters. Clients include JPMorgan, Royal London and Waitrose.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s team has ‘a superb array of talent’ that includes Matthew Bonye, who is ‘highly strategic in his leadership’, the ‘remarkableMartin Dawbney and Tom Leech QC. Clients also single out ‘wonderful’ senior associate Frances Edwards, whose ‘rigour and attention to detail separates her from the rest’, ‘impressive’ senior associate Julia Tobbell, who is ‘truly fantastic and pairs practicality with a fearless approach’ and ‘youthful but brilliant’ associate Matthew Weal. Bonye is representing Canary Wharf Group in a claim resulting from the administration of Lehman Brothers and the ultimate termination of its lease. The group is also defending TAG Farnborough Airport against compensation claims brought by 250 local residents arising from an alleged depreciation in property prices resulting from noise levels, and is acting for the Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery in proceedings brought by the residents of a neighbouring residential development who claim that members of the public being able to look into their apartments from the gallery’s rooftop viewing platform is a breach of their human rights and their right to privacy.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘responsive, impressive and reliable’ London team is jointly headed by Siobhan Cross, whose ‘expertise is invaluable’, and Melissa Thompson. The practice has core strengths in rights of light matters; recent work examples include acting for Royal London on the rights of light issues affecting several proposed developments and assisting The Portman Estate with development mandates including rights of light and vacant possession strategies. The group is also highly regarded for its vacant possession expertise as well as experience in energy-related property disputes, telecoms-related issues, protester actions, town and village green mandates and insolvency-related property disputes. The team is acting for Capital & Counties Properties in various vacant possession strategies pertaining to a hotel development in Covent Garden and successfully represented Aurora Energy Resources in a claim under the Mines (Working Facilities and Support) Act 1966 to obtain access rights to undertake multiple seismic surveys in Sefton. Legal & General Property, Berkeley Group and Origin Housing are also clients. Associate Richard Bartle is recommended for mediation. Dev Desai joined Watson Farley & Williams LLP.

Allen & Overy LLP fields ‘a professional and experienced’ team. The group recently advised multiple landlord clients on retail tenant insolvency issues, including the failure of BHS and Brantano’s administration; acted for Schroder UK Real Estate Fund on its repossession of the Dickens World attraction in Chatham; and handled rights of lights issues for several developers and property owners. Other highlights include successfully acting for Padwick Properties in the High Court in a landlord and tenant dispute relating to the surrender of office premises in Manchester. The firm’s impressive client roster includes Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, West End of London Property Unit Trust and Orion Capital Managers. Jane Fox-Edwards, who is ‘a very commercial team player who always looks for the best possible answers’, heads the practice, which includes ‘incredibly knowledgeable’ senior associate Lucy Grey.

Boodle Hatfield LLP is ‘one of the go-to groups for leasehold enfranchisement work’ and its ‘well-respected and experienced team consistently delivers high-quality advice in a responsive and practical way’, which ‘instils a high level of trust in clients’. Other areas of expertise for the group include disputes over basement developments, access and restrictive covenant matters, business lease renewal claims and residential tenancy litigation. Practice head Colin Young is ‘an absolute star’ and has ‘a careful, patient and clever manner’, which ‘makes him the kind of solicitor you want on your side’. Associate Andrew Hindle, who is ‘experienced, pragmatic and knowledgeable’, and associate Kellie Jones are other noteworthy names. Grosvenor Group, Bedford Estates and IBM UK Pension Fund are key clients, with the team also acting for landlords, developers, tenants, freeholders and investors.

At ‘strong firmClifford Chance LLP, the ‘impressive and concise’ Ben Hatton, who is ‘an experienced and able property litigator’, heads the practice, advising across the full gamut of property litigation with particular expertise in development disputes. Hatton’s recent work includes advising The Hongkong & Shanghai Hotels on the creation of a rights of light strategy pertaining to a development in Grosvenor Place, representing Deloitte in a fit-out dispute against its landlord Land Securities, and handling rights of light issues for Saxon Land relating to a major central London development. Other highlights include acting for Horizon Nuclear Power in squatter and trespass actions at its nuclear power station sites and representing Grosvenor Group, as landlord, in a dispute against a former tenant regarding rent defaults. Senior associate Jane O’Leary is recommended for insolvency-related real estate disputes and commercial litigator Iain Roxborough regularly handles development litigation.

Clyde & Co LLP’s practice head Keith Conway is ‘a key rainmaker in the field’ and ‘an excellent lawyer and strategist that is able to settle cases on very favourable terms’. In a recent highlight, Conway defended Molyneux Investments in the High Court in litigation relating to the breach of the terms of a share pledge agreement, breach of trustee duties, breach of the right of redemption and unjust enrichment. Other work includes advising Greenfields Community Housing on boundary issues, trespasser actions and possession claims; handling dilapidation claims and lease renewal proceedings for Frogmore Real Estate Partners Investment Managers; and representing Daejan Investments and Freshwater Group in litigation surrounding two central London developments, which includes rights of light issues, covenant elements and vacant possession strategies. Other key names include Tim Foley and Tom White.

At DAC Beachcroft LLP, practice head Guy Knight, has ‘a diligent, pragmatic and practical manner’ paired with ‘a friendly approach’ and ‘a real nous when it comes to strategy and tactics’. Senior associate Jonathan Smith is ‘very dedicated and knowledgeable in residential litigation’ and solicitor Joanna Christou is ‘highly organised, good with clients and always on top of her brief’. The group regularly handles residential development disputes and is also recommended for issues concerning retail and shopping centre management, work for NHS clients, advising on property portfolio management litigation and representing family property investment companies. Smith recently acted for Royal London in a service charge dispute. Persimmon is also a client.

DLA Piper’s ‘bright and enthusiastic’ team is led by the ‘exceptionalIan Brierley and includes ‘incredibly talented’ senior associate Alasdair Thomas. The team has core strengths in development litigation; Brierley handled various development issues for developer Aroland pertaining to its 1 Undershaft development project, which included advising on rights of light issues, which is another area of expertise for the department. In other work, the group acted for Market Tech in a vacant possession issue for a retail development site in Camden High Street, and in a possession claim in the High Court against squatters at a property in King’s Cross; represented Sauchiehall Street Properties in a guarantee claim in the High Court against EMI Group; and acted for Friends Life in a High Court claim against squatters in the client’s retail park development.

Dentons’ team has core strengths in rights of lights issues and ratings disputes; its recent work in the latter space includes representing Sainsbury’s and The Co-operative Group in a business rate appeal in the Valuation Tribunal for England relating to the rating assessments made for the stores’ ATM machines. Other recent highlights include successfully acting for Sainsbury’s in the Court of Appeal in dismissing a declaration that the client had unlawfully terminated a purchase contract, and handling a dispute and arbitration for the London Borough of Southwark with Transport for London regarding the acquisition of land by vesting declaration. The group has further strengths in portfolio management issues and the property elements of corporate insolvencies. Practice head Bryan Johnston is ‘sensible and pragmatic with excellent client handling skills’ and ‘runs an excellent team of property litigators’, which includes recently promoted partner David Payton, who is ‘a pleasure to work with’.

Fieldfisherprovides a top-notch service’ and has ‘a growing presence in the area’ under the leadership of Antony Phillips, who ‘is a highly experienced litigator who instils confidence with every encounter’. Phillips specialises in dilapidation claims and ‘gives high quality advice right from the outset of a case’; his recent work includes defending Perenco UK and Southern Gas Networks against a landowner’s claim for compensation for sterilised minerals in land, and acting for Melbury Road Properties 1995 in an ownership dispute surrounding a high-value London property. Lesley Webber, who is ‘a key name in the market for rent review cases’ and is also highly regarded for her planning expertise, is acting for Nike and BMW in separate rent review disputes pertaining to the clients’ flagship stores. The ‘incredibly bright, extremely likeable and result-oriented’ Owen Talfan Davies ‘takes complex matters in his stride’ and is recommended for injunction work, and senior associate Hannah Ingham is ‘exceptionally practical’.

Fladgate LLP is ‘a highly commercial firm with a broad ability across the property litigation field’. Its ‘very effective team’ delivers ‘a brilliant service together with excellent response times and extremely high knowledge levels’ that ‘completely justifies the confidence clients place in it’. Practice head Thekla Fellas, Alison Mould, who is ‘an insightful and experienced individual, who is calm in a crisis and allows nothing to slip by’, Jonathan Hibberts, who ‘works harder than it seems is possible’, and ‘truly outstanding lawyerJanet Keeley are the key names. It has notable expertise in the leisure, telecoms and residential sectors, among others, and further experience in site developments and leasehold enfranchisement. Mould recently defended ML Convenience in possession proceedings and Fellas acted for the landlord Point West GR in a service charge dispute relating to the recoverability of building management administrator fees.

The ‘superb’ group at Lewis Silkin LLP has ‘a loyal following and a solid client base’ which includes Sager House, Pizza Express Group, Notting Hill Housing and Grainger. Practice head Brian Kilcoyne, who is ‘one of the most intellectual and cerebral solicitors in the market, with an ability to wrestle with and unravel the trickiest of legal conundrums’, is a key figure for dilapidation claims; the team is also recommended for advice on break clauses, rights of light, property insolvency, lease renewals and protester actions. In a recent highlight, the group acted for Harvey Nichols in obtaining an injunction against protesters who were protesting the sale of fur at the client’s stores. Paul Hayes leads the firm’s housing litigation group, and was recently part of the team that obtained a forthwith possession order for Southern Housing Group.

Dellah Gilbert and Michael Kilner jointly lead the property litigation team at niche commercial property firm Maples Teesdale LLP, which is highly regarded for its expertise in dilapidation claims, rights to light issues, insolvency mandates, business tenancy renewals and rent reviews. Gilbert’s recent work includes advising Legal & General on the development of the Grafton Centre, including obtaining vacant possession of units in the centre, and handling a lease forfeiture for Rockspring UK Value 2 Manchester (Jersey). Kilner recently acted for Rockspring in a dilapidations claim against Acxiom arising from its former lease of a Sunderland-based warehouse, and is representing the United States of America in various issues relating to the relocation of its Grosvenor Square Embassy to Nine Elms. Standard Life and Royal & Sun Alliance are also clients.

Osborne Clarke LLP’s practice, led by Gary Lawrenson, stands out for its expertise in development litigation and landlord and tenant disputes. Recent highlights include acting for Oxford Capital Partners in several landlord and tenant matters arising out of the construction of an anaerobic digestion energy plant and representing New Printing House Square in a rights to light case against the Royal Mail regarding the redevelopment of the Royal Mail’s Mount Pleasant site. Lawrenson also successfully acted for G Park Skelmersdale in the Court of Appeal, in a case pertaining to compensation for the depreciation in the value of land caused by overhead electricity lines. Associate director Carl Roche is noted for his energy sector expertise, senior associate Donal Kelly regularly advises corporate occupiers, and energy-related dispute specialist David Shakesby, who is based in the firm’s Bristol office, made partner in 2017.

Pemberton Greenish LLP is ‘in the premier league when it comes to leasehold enfranchisement’ with consultant Damian Greenish handling all aspects of enfranchisement work for landlords and tenants. The group also covers a wide variety of issues spanning possession claims, boundary disputes, dilapidation claims, forfeiture proceedings, rent reviews and lease variations. Practice head Kerry Glanville has considerable expertise in landlord and tenant litigation, and Laura Southgate’s experience includes handling injunctions, contractual disputes and property-related negligence claims.

Reed Smith LLP counts top investors among its high-profile client roster including Reuben Brothers and Commercial Estates Group; the group is acting for the latter in the enforcement of a £12m agreement for the sale and purchase of a development site. The team also represented Merix International Ventures against an individual seeking recoveries relating to the transfer of four Mayfair properties, and successfully obtained a possession order for M7 Real Estate Investment Partners IV Propco for land that was being occupied by trespassers. Other noteworthy clients include Aldersgate Investments, Laura Ashley and McCarthy & Co. Practice head Andrew Jenkinson, Katherine Campbell, who focuses on dilapidations, service charge claims and breaches of covenant, and associate Lynsey Ellard, who regularly handles landlord and tenant disputes, are recommended.

Stephenson Harwood’s Andrew Myersleads from the front’ and utilises his ‘wealth of hard-acquired encyclopaedic knowledge and tenacious manner to get the best results for clients’. Myers recently led advice to the London Borough of Hackney on an overage dispute with a housing association; represented Clarendon LP GP and Clarendon Nominees in a lease renewal proceeding; obtained possession orders for Wembley Park Business Centre against squatters at a North London industrial estate; and acted for Episo 3 Tyre Property in a rectification claim resulting from a drafting error which led to underpaid rent. The ‘incredibly experienced and unflappable’ Sophie Schultz, who is ‘a real talent’, was promoted to the partnership in 2017. Other clients include Mount Eden Land, Schroder Real Estate Investment Trust, HSBC Pension Fund, Northern Rail and LaSalle Investment Management.

Taylor Wessing LLP’s team is a key name in this space thanks, in part, to the ‘excellent leadership’ of Saleem Fazal, who is ‘an able lawyer with exceptionally sound tactical judgement’ and is ‘always a delight to work with’. Fazal primarily acts for developers, corporate occupiers and investment landlords with noteworthy examples including Canada Life, Hermes Investment Management and Royal Hospital Chelsea. The group regularly acts in dilapidation claims, service charge disputes, injunctions and development litigation. In a recent highlight, Fazal assisted Derwent London with rights of light issues surrounding a major redevelopment project in South London; he also acted for McLaren Group in a potential claim for interference with rights of access across a development site, and handled various rights of light issues for St John’s Wood Square Project and also advised on a vacant possession strategy.

Michael Donnellan leads the four-partner practice at Trowers & Hamlins LLP, which saw the promotion of ‘rising star’ Emma Barnfield, who specialises in development disputes and property-related insolvencies, to the partnership in 2016. Nicholas Levy is noted for his expertise in development-related litigation, including rights to light issues, insolvencies and title indemnity insurance claims; he recently acted for a commercial property investment fund in a retail insolvency including a lease forfeiture. Paul Marco, who is ‘hugely experienced with terrific tactical judgement’, is highly regarded for his enfranchisement expertise and also handles rent reviews, landlord and tenant disputes, dilapidation claims and service charge litigation. Managing associate Leigh Shapiro is ‘someone you definitely want on your side’, and senior associate Rachel Kerr focuses on landlord and tenant disputes and is ‘a very measured lawyer’.

Wedlake Bell LLP’s team ‘has an in-depth knowledge of the area with different practitioners picking up different specialities’; practice head John Muncey, who has ‘an amazing ability to be unflappable with a calming influence and engenders the best in his team’, is recognised for his landlord and tenant litigation expertise; Chan D’Souza, who has ‘an instinctive grasp of any challenge given to her’, handles dilapidation claims, service charge disputes and rent reviews; and the ‘excellentAdam Colenso regularly handles leasehold enfranchisement work. Recent matters include acting for Somerford Parish Council in a judicial review of Cheshire East’s decision to refuse the client’s town and village green application, and representing AHM Block 5 RTM Company in a service charge recovery claim.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP’s clients are ‘impressed by its ability to unravel complex issues, deal with challenging adversaries and consistently produce a positive way forward in very difficult circumstances’. The team primarily focuses on development litigation and portfolio management disputes, and its client roster includes Bouygues, Fidelity International, Notting Hill Housing, Peabody and WestRock. Practice head Emma Chadwick is ‘commercial and has a strong legal understanding’ with ‘a good eye for detail, strategic thinking and an ability to instantly strengthen a case’. Other key team members include senior associate Charlotte Coleman, who regularly assists developers with rights of light matters, vacant possession strategies, restrictive covenants and trespass issues; and senior associate Katy Humphrey, who is ‘very personable, bright and easy to work with’.

Addleshaw Goddard's ‘highly professional’ practice is headed by Julie Middlemass following Andrew Blower’s decision to step down as national head of the team. Blower is still active in the group; he recently acted for an individual in a complex trust claim pertaining to property that involves proceedings in the UK and Singapore. The group is particularly recognised for its advice to fund-owned and corporate occupier portfolios and for handling real estate funding-related litigation. Legal director Gregory Simms is ‘prompt, client-focused and hands on’ and is a key name for rights of light disputes and complex rent reviews. The team’s expansive client roster includes Travelodge, Level 3 Communications, Primark, KPMG, South Yorkshire Pensions Authority and Muse Developments.

Ashfords LLP’s team ‘provides a comprehensive and proactive service’ that includes ‘accurate and commercial advice, which clients are always pleased with’ paired with ‘a professional approach and personable manner’. Paul Dunbar, who is ‘a very robust and tenacious litigator who strives to improve his client’s position’, leads the department; his work included representing a Kensington landlord in a rent review, acting for a property investor as landlord in development litigation in which a tenant opposed the redevelopment of a mixed-use building, and handling a claim for a freeholder involving party wall notices relating to a major City of London redevelopment. Other key figures include Ken Smith, who specialises in development litigation and landlord and tenant disputes, particularly dilapidation claims, service charge issues and opposed tenancy renewals, and associate Alison Oates, who is ‘genuinely excellent’.

Bircham Dyson Bell’s team has ‘a clear and practical approach to resolving disputes, paying close attention to the relevant principles while always looking for realistic solutions’. It is highly regarded for its experience in the residential property space, and also counts leasehold enfranchisement work as a core strength. In a recent highlight, Simon Painter represented a private individual in the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) in a challenge to a leasehold valuation point relating to a lease extension; he also acted for 31/32 Ennismore Gardens Freehold in an application for injunctive relief against a tenant relating to unlawful alterations. Painter, who is ‘approachable, knowledgeable and highly practical’ and ‘gives full and careful attention to the detail of the case alongside the overall picture’, leads the practice, which also includes key practitioner Andrew Couch, who is experienced in compensation claims and land contamination issues.

Blake Morgan LLP fields a team of ‘conscientious and prompt individuals’, who have ‘exceptional market knowledge and consistently practical solutions that make it a pleasure to deal with’. ‘All-round excellent’ practice head Daniel Kidd, who is ‘very bright with great legal knowledge and a commercial mind’ that’ ‘always puts the clients’ best interests at heart’, handles landlord and tenant disputes and development issues. His recent work includes representing Cetyl International Group in a dispute with a tenant regarding building possession and the status of the tenant’s lease, and defending a national IT company against an adverse possession claim and related boundary dispute. David Wadsworth is also recommended, as is Claire Lamkin, who focuses on retail property litigation and is ‘a great person to call on in a tricky situation’; she splits her time between London and Oxford.

Collyer Bristow LLP’s specialist team, which is ‘highly competent, commercial and practical’, acts for property owners, investors, developers, funders, landlords and tenants on a wide spectrum of issues spanning rent reviews, squatter and trespass mandates, service charge disputes, property cases involving insolvency elements, forfeiture issues and leasehold enfranchisements. Michael Grace, who ‘always goes above and beyond’, heads the department, and handles a range of matters in the commercial real estate sector, including lease terminations, dilapidation claims and business lease renewals. Paul Henson, who is ‘a pleasure to work with due to his innovative and practical solutions’, is recognised for his experience acting for tenants in the leisure sector.

At Druces LLP, the practice is led by ‘bright lawyerJulian Johnstone, who ‘has a cool head for litigation and an ability to think laterally with a reassuring style and realistic merit assessment’; he combines substantial landlord and tenant expertise with professional negligence experience. He regularly acts for property investors, developers and private individuals, and clients include Aquila Developments, Condé Nast Publications, Dogs Trust, Urban Evolution and Gatwick Airport. Johnstone and senior associate Michael Pidge acted for Zedra Trustees (Jersey) and Walbrook Properties, as trustee for Aquila, in a dispute pertaining to the recovery of part of an industrial estate from a neighbouring owner claiming adverse possession. Pidge is recognised for his experience advising landlords and tenant occupiers. The team also includes senior associate and ‘standout individual’ Benjamin Lomer, who is ‘particularly pragmatic and commercially minded’; he handles the firm’s leasehold enfranchisement work.

Edwin Coe LLP’s team acted for a variety of companies in the United Technologies Group in relation to a range of landlord and tenant issues, including lease renewals, dilapidation claims and lease terminations. Practice head Joanna Osborne, who ‘leads from the front with an incisive mind, enormous enthusiasm and an unshakeable resolve’ led the matters; she is also acting for easyGroup in a nuisance claim relating to the redevelopment of an adjoining office, is representing Smiths Pensions Trustees in a lease renewal case, and is handling various lease renewals and lease terminations for Lush. ‘Excellent all-round litigatorShams Rahmanis tenacious and meticulous in his preparation’ and ‘always builds a good rapport with clients’; he recently represented Kout Food Group in a service charge dispute with its landlord. Stuart Nash joined Rosenblatt.

Farrer & Cocontinues to grow its profile in the property sphere’ and is ‘easily able to hold its own’, providing ‘a commercially minded service that is tailored to the client’s needs and always seeks the best solutions’. The team, jointly led by ‘standout practitionerSiobhan Jones and Adrian Parkhouse, ‘makes a mark in the sector’ and ‘routinely deals with high-value disputes’; recent examples include advising Diageo on issues surrounding its development of an investment site, including obtaining vacant possession of the site and advising on a potential contested lease renewal, handling various possession claims and forfeiture applications for Coutts & Co, and representing Charities Property Fund in a dilapidation claim relating to an industrial premises. The Church Commissioners, Strutt & Parker and the Duchy of Cornwall are also clients.

Glovers Solicitors LLP’s ‘team of skilled litigators’ is ‘knowledgeable, sensible and practical’. Edward Vaughan, who is ‘the kind of person you want on your side when you have difficult opposition thanks to his ability to adeptly cut through the issues to work out a commercial solution’, and Kenny Friday, who is ‘very solid and possibly the calmest solicitor in the market’, jointly head the team. The team is prominent in the casual dining sector, advising a client roster including Prezzo, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Nando’s. Friday is acting for Azzurri Restaurants in challenging the validity of a notice of disclaimer. Winkworth Franchising is also a client.

Goodman Derrick LLP’s ‘thorough, professional and knowledgeable’ team ‘has a personal touch that makes it very approachable and understanding of the client’s needs’. Practice head Craig Walker, ‘tenacious lawyerDeborah Rider, who is ‘better to be working with than against’, and consultant Paul McAndrews, who has ‘a practical approach to solving cases’, are the names to note. Landlord and tenant litigation is the cornerstone of the practice, with recent work including acting for retailer Game in a lease renewal and representing QA in various dilapidation claims. The team also receives recognition for its advice on complex developments and work in the residential sector, including handling service charge disputes, forfeiture matters and restrictive covenant enforcement.

Under the leadership of Janet Ayres, Gordon Dadds LLP’s ‘ambitious’ team is ‘clearly going places’ and has ‘notably invested in its practice following a spate of promotions’ including the recent elevation of the ‘genuinely brilliantAdrian Griffiths to the partnership in 2017. Griffiths heads up the firm’s enfranchisement practice and regularly handles lease extension claims and collective enfranchisements, alongside his expertise in possession actions, trespass matters and rights of light issues. Ian Chappell is recommended for his work for developers, land owners, landlords and construction professionals and Adrian Binghamhandles the biggest property litigation with calmness and aplomb’. Clients include Berkeley, St James Group, Covent Garden Market Authority and Moat Homes.

Hamlins LLP’s ‘always responsive, commercial and knowledgeable’ team has notable experience acting for clients in proceedings before the High Court, Court of Appeal and Upper Tribunal, and is also highly regarded for its expertise in alternative dispute resolution. Practice head Kate Andrewsworks her socks off for clients and has strong commercial instincts’; she recently acted for National Car Parks in proceedings relating to Westminster City Council’s failure to pay service charges and business rates, and represented Lunar Stretford in a business rates hearing. The team also regularly advises on leasehold enfranchisements, an area of focus of principal associate and residential property litigation specialist Sarah Finch, who joined the firm in late 2016 from Fladgate LLP and is ‘a formidable opponent and a force to be reckoned with’. Faiza Ahmad moved in-house at E&M.

Howard Kennedy LLP’s ‘strong practice’ has ‘a no-holds barred approach to property litigation’ covering ‘straightforward landlord and tenant issues to complex development disputes’. Amanda McNeil, whose ‘gentle persona hides her steely determination and toughness as a litigator’, leads the group following the move of the ‘absolutely top drawerMichele Freyne to a consultancy role. The ‘awesomeLara Nyman is ‘always spot on tactically’ and is singled out by clients for her ‘exceptional reliability’; she recently successfully acted for the claimant Spartafield in a contractual dispute. Senior associate Daniel Swimer is ‘one to watch with a very focused, careful and knowledgeable approach’ and ‘senior statesman of the property litigation worldSimon Taylor is ‘a bright and seasoned practitioner with a safe pair of hands’.

Irwin Mitchell’s impressive client roster includes Maplin Electronics and Greenwich Leisure; the group is representing the latter in claims against its landlord surrounding repairs required to its swimming pools and health clubs. The team also acted for Chloride Group in a dispute pertaining to liability issues regarding an industrial premises lease and a related dilapidations claim; and acted for Evans Cycles as tenant in a contested right to oppose lease renewal, in which the landlord opposed the client’s application to renew the lease on its retail premises in Spitalfields. The ‘very bright and commercialRichard Brown leads the department, which includes the ‘incredibly charmingChris Baker, who is recommended for leasehold enfranchisement matters, and James Pavey, who has ‘a real flair for client care’ and acts for rural landholders, high-net-worth individuals and institutional landowners.

JPC Law is ‘exceptionally good in the residential arena, particularly leasehold enfranchisement and service charge work’ and practice head Yashmin Mistry is ‘a real specialist in enfranchisement work, service charges and residential property management issues’. In a recent highlight, Mistry represented an occupational tenant in a contested lease extension claim. The firm’s residential property expertise is also evident through its experience in possession proceedings, forfeiture claims and service charge disputes. Consultant solicitor Graham Jaffe is a highly regarded member of the team, who ‘could make a deal with absolutely anyone’ and regularly handles collective enfranchisements, lease extensions and freehold acquisitions.

Linklaters LLP’s ‘extremely knowledgeable’ practice is headed by ‘incredibly perceptive’ counsel Frances Richardson. Katie Bradford, who ‘has bags of experience and is excellent at using this to provide a highly informed judgement’, is now a consultant. Euan Clarke is ‘excellent for real estate finance matters’ and senior associate Chris Stevenson is ‘extremely collaborative and thinks outside the box to find innovative and original solutions’. The team regularly acts for finance clients with notable examples including KPMG and PwC; Bradford recently led advice to the latter as administrators of Lehman Brothers in claims relating to dilapidations, unpaid rent and damages for loss of future rent. Barclays Bank, Deloitte and Lendlease are also clients.

Macfarlanes LLP fields a ‘small yet perfectly formed’ team of ‘technical, commercial and knowledgeable’ lawyers led by the ‘highly strategic’ Doug Wass. Andy Mather has ‘a clear insight into the necessary strategies required to achieve a successful outcome’ and senior counsel Mark Lawrence is ‘an outstanding and technical lawyer who is awe-inspiringly intelligent and lovely to deal with’. Recent highlights include defending Glenside Holdings in a Land Registry Tribunal claim regarding the beneficial ownership of a residential estate in Oxfordshire, acting for Swettenham Stud (2015) in a claim against Esso relating to the reduction in value of Manton Estate following an oil spillage, and advising Canary Wharf Group on the implementation of the East-West Cycle Superhighway and a related judicial review. Maybourne Hotel Group, The Berkeley and Goldman Sachs International are all recent client wins.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s position as ‘an international firm with the substantial resources needed for heavyweight litigation’ attracts an enviable list of clients, including Xl Catlin and Gemini (Eclipse 2006-3); the team recently acted for the latter as claimant in a high-profile negligence claim relating to a property valuation. The group is also defending Circus Apartments in High Court proceedings relating to alleged breaches of tenant covenants and is handling a range of issues including rent reviews, lease renewals and possession issues for Welput. David Stevens, who is ‘a great pleasure to work with’, heads the team and regularly acts for developers, investors, banks, landlords and corporate occupiers. Charlotte Bijlani joined Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla.

Payne Hicks Beach’s ‘small but very effective team’ is led by ‘impressive talentAndrew Tugwell. The group acts for major corporate occupiers, high-net-worth individuals, landowners and developers, and clients include Saga Group, Cola Holdings, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK Payments group of companies and Snap-on. Tugwell is highly regarded for his expertise in valuation cases and matters involving estate agents, and the ‘extremely tenaciousMatthew Spring, who is ‘a masterful strategist and is technically and legally razor sharp’, is recognised as the key individual for residential matters and leasehold enfranchisement disputes. In a recent highlight, Tugwell led advice to GMS Estates on the property litigation elements of the redesign and development of a new shopping area.

At Penningtons Manches LLP, key names in the ‘knowledgeable, efficient and commercially minded’ team include team head Donald Lambert, who ‘provides clear and concise advice through an incredibly affable manner’, and David Masters, who is ‘very pleasant to deal with’. Lambert is highly regarded for his lease renewal expertise; his recent work includes advising on stalled negotiations surrounding a party wall relating to a mixed-use development and acting for JenningsBet in a dispute pertaining to liability issues relating to building repairs. Senior associate Ben Robinson is recommended for residential property issues including rent and service charge disputes, enfranchisement claims, party wall-related matters and adverse possession claims.

The six-partner department at RadcliffesLeBrasseurtakes an innovative approach that allows for practical and commercial advice to be provided in a pragmatic and effective way’. Practice head Simon Hartley, who ‘has a good legal brain with an excellent analytical style’, has substantial experience handling rent reviews, professional negligence claims and insolvency issues. Highlights included acting in a possession claim against squatters and handling a landlord and tenant repair dispute. Jane Emberton regularly advises on breaches of covenant, rent arrears, service charge disputes, rights of ownership to land matters and judicial review proceedings. Stephanie Thomas joined Bishop & Sewell LLP.

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP’s team has ‘a unique dynamic’ with ‘a well-integrated and exceptionally talented property litigation team’. The group is jointly headed by ‘excellent tacticianRudi Ramdarshan, Jonathan Roberts, whose ‘outstanding qualities include incredible commercial acumen and an ability to solve the most intractable of cases’, and newly promoted partner David Burns, who is ‘a charming yet aggressive litigator’. Ramdarshan is recognised for his lease renewal expertise, Roberts is a key name for adverse possession work and Burns regularly handles lease extensions and collective enfranchisement issues. Recent highlights include acting for EDHI International Foundation in a commercial forfeiture case, handling a case concerning the right of first refusal including enfranchisement elements, and advising Keystone Holdings on development issues including right to light issues.

At Russell-Cooke LLP, the ‘excellent team does a great job for clients and is highly knowledgeable’ thanks to the experience of joint practice heads Jason Hunter and Graham French; Hunter regularly acts in party wall disputes and nuisance cases, and French is recognised for his expertise in landlord and tenant and breaches of lease disputes. Paul Greatholder, who is ‘knowledgeable and practical in his approach while being personable and fun to work with’, is also singled out. The group recently acted for Norfolk Square as landlord in several disputes including an injunction to gain access and damage claims; handled a rent review case for the Spitalfields Small Business Association; and acted for Grainger in several possession orders. Consultant Matilda Rubens and senior associate Stephen Small, who is ‘knowledgeable, thorough and practical’, are also noted.

At Travers Smith LLP, practice head Andrew Ross focuses on development disputes, including breaches of development agreements, rights of light issues, restrictive covenants and agency agreements. His recent work includes acting for Pure Gym in its attempts to recover development losses following a delay in the construction of a building in Liverpool; acting for Clearbell as landlord in seeking possession from several tenants in the Riverwalk shopping centre, which is being redeveloped; and representing Vixcroft in a dispute relating to a right to terminate an asset management agreement. Ross is also acting for McAleer & Rushe in a dispute relating to the value of land which will be used for a hotel development. Other clients include Pinewood Group are Lothbury Property Trust.

Property litigation boutique WH Lawrence Solicitors is ‘extremely responsive and knowledgeable with a real feel for the client’s needs and a clear and concise approach’. Practice head William Lawrence is ‘an exceptionally knowledgeable property specialist with an excellent manner with clients, who get great comfort from his calmness, his realistic approach and his extreme diligence’; Richard Anyamene and Illyr Pride are also noteworthy names. The team covers the full gamut of property litigation including commercial landlord and tenant issues, spanning rent reviews, break notices and lease renewals; residential matters including enfranchisement issues, rent deposits and residential possessions; and land law claims including boundary disputes, party walls and rights to light. Clients include investors, developers, landlords, local authorities and house builders.

Wallace LLP fields a ‘fantastic team of professional and resourceful individuals who run cases exceptionally well and are all a pleasure to work with’. The firm also has a specialist leasehold enfranchisement team, which is ‘one of the leading groups in the sector and is highly efficient and meticulous’. Samantha Bone, who is ‘incredibly well versed’, heads up the enfranchisement team, while Simon Serota, who is ‘a deep and clever thinker who can always find ways around complex issues’ leads the general property litigation team. Meera Patel is recognised for commercial landlord and tenant expertise; she ‘reacts quickly, thoroughly and will not let any dispute drift away from her’. ‘Strong associates’ Shamin Kashem and the ‘excellent’ Fleur Neale are also recommended.

The ‘responsive, thorough and knowledgeable’ department at Bates Wells Braithwaiteacts in a first-class professional manner that clients find incredibly impressive’. Lesley Robinson and senior associate William Scott are the key names to note in the practice, which focuses on the charity sector; the group’s client roster includes YMCA, the National Rifle Association, Diabetes UK and The Guide Association. Other areas of expertise for the team include handling telecoms disputes and possession claims, and advising clients in the education and retail sectors.

Burges Salmon LLP acted for Bristol Rovers FC in the Court of Appeal against Sainsbury’s in a dispute pertaining to the abortive sale of the Memorial Stadium, advised Virgin Clubs on its application for a new business tenancy and defended Torbay Council in damage claims relating to an alleged breach of a development agreement. Richard Bedford, who is ‘fabulous to work with’ and has ‘an immensely commercial, practical and experienced approach’, heads the group, which also includes ‘excellent lawyerJames Sutherland, whose advice is ‘extremely clear and detailed and positively assists the negotiation and wider commercial process’.

At Cripps LLP, practice head Miles Paffard primarily acts for retail landlords and government tenants in landlord and tenant litigation; key expertise includes lease renewals, rent reviews, service charges issues and repair claims. Nitej Davda is also recommended and handles construction disputes, leasehold reform, property insolvencies and property-based professional negligence. Mike Scott is another name to note.

Real estate boutique Davitt Jones Bould has ‘an excellent technical property skill base to draw on’, which includes team head Madeleine Davitt, Ted Dancey, Maeve Bonner and John Smith. Recent highlights include acting for Westmorland in the removal of a group of travellers from one of its motorway service stations, and handling the removal of travellers and the disposal of sites for Highways England. The team is noted for its expertise advising public sector clients; the Cabinet Office, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Royal Parks, the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Environment Agency are notable examples.

Fletcher Day’s group provides ‘measured, considered and realistic’ advice. Greg Barnbrook, who stands out for his ‘outstanding knowledge’ in the space, is highly regarded in the restaurant sector; he recently acted for Côte Restaurants in a variety of issues, including handling lease renewals, dilapidation claims and rent reviews, and acted for Jackson and Rye Restaurants in a dispute pertaining to breach of quiet enjoyment. The ‘responsive and hardworking’ Chris Hill leads the department; he acted for Stayr in litigation following the failure of a property sale and represented Mascolo Group in a High Court claim against its landlord in litigation relating to breach of repair obligations.

Craig Shuttleworth heads the department at Jones Day, which also includes associate Gregory Barden. Barden recently led advice to Hansteen on several lease renewal claims, acted for Greystar in a High Court possession claim against trespassers on a vacant brownfield site, and handled various asset management issues for Metro, including a rent review dispute and dilapidation claims. British Land, Evans Randall and Goldman Sachs are also clients.

Memery Crystal LLP’s ‘incredibly hardworking’ team acts for clients including Asda Stores and the Freshwater Group of Companies. The group acted for the latter in a variety of disputes, including dilapidation claims, possession recoveries, lease renewal proceedings and service charge disputes. Other highlights include handling various issues for St Modwen Properties arising from the client’s property portfolio, including insolvency disputes and lease forfeitures; and acting for Wyevale Garden Centres in recovering outstanding rent. The ‘meticulous and knowledgeable’ Richard Evans heads the team, which includes director Adam Gross, who regularly acts for property companies, developers, family trusts and high-net-worth individuals.

Carol Hewson is the key name of note at Simmons & Simmons; she primarily focuses on commercial property litigation, landlord and tenant disputes and insolvency-related matters, regularly acting for institutional landlords, developers, banks and commercial tenants. Hewson acted for key client Network Rail in a lease renewal dispute at the High Court.

The ‘prompt and professional’ team at Squire Patton Boggs is ‘always on top of the issue, no matter the complexity’. The group recently gained the National Exhibition Centre and Leeds City Council as clients; ‘commercially minded’ practice head Alison Hardy advised the latter on a vacant possession strategy. Hardy also obtained vacant possession of a redevelopment site for Preston City Council and is acting for developer Quintain in several lease forfeitures, dilapidation claims and rights of way issues. The team is also prominent in the telecoms sector, acting for site providers and landowners. Andrew Walker joined Harrison Clark Rickerbys.

VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards) is recognised for its expertise in compensation claims following compulsory land acquisitions. The ‘approachable and helpful’ practice is also active in the opposition of the HS2 Bill, acting for British Overseas Bank Nominees and WGTC Nominees as owners of land that will be adversely impacted by the Bill; the team includes Roll A parliamentary agents. Other clients include the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury Cathedral, the governing body of Rugby School and International Management Group. Practice head Michelle Bendall specialises in leasehold and freehold disputes, Katie Hickman, who ‘converts detailed knowledge into practical and economically sensible advice’ is recommended for compensation claims following purchase orders and recently promoted partner David Bird focuses on planning disputes.

Watson Farley & Williams LLPhas established itself as a player in the market’ following the arrival of the ‘astute and practical’ Dev Desai from Pinsent Masons LLP in 2016. Desai, who is ‘a real star, with a thoughtful yet practical manner’, heads the practice; he represented Telefónica UK in an access and upgrade dispute relating to a telecoms installation. Desai also acted for Ropemaker Properties in lease forfeiture proceedings and defended the same client in injunction proceedings, and obtained a vacant possession for P3P Partners.

Winston & Strawn London LLP’s ‘excellent’ team is led by rent review specialist Michael Madden, who ‘can be relied upon to get to the root of a problem quickly and effectively deal with it’. Senior associate Daniel Meagher, who handles commercial disputes and arbitrations, is also singled out. The team’s expertise in the space includes handling real estate finance disputes, development issues, dilapidation claims, landlord and tenant litigation, and challenges to town planning decisions. The firm regularly acts for corporate occupiers and clients including Ladbrokes, Berkeley Group, Freshwater Group, Telereal Trillium and the Capital Group.

Residential property

Index of tables

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Boodle Hatfield LLP is ‘one of the best firms in the market’, and its ‘exceptional specialist knowledge and outstanding diligence’ places it ‘at the top of its game’ as an ‘undoubted leader in the residential arena’. The ‘fantasticSaskia Arthur heads up the seven-partner practice and is ‘highly regarded by her loyal following of clients’ which spans high-net-worth individuals, large landowners and estates; she regularly advises on the sale and purchase of high-value residential properties, landed estates and farms as well as easement issues and general management matters. Other key members of the team include Amanda O’Keeffe, who focuses on the high-end London and country property markets; Jane Littlejohn, who is highly regarded for her landlord and tenant work; and Shaima Jillood, who joined the firm in 2016 from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP and has substantial experience advising Middle Eastern clients. Associate Kirsty Ions is ‘a superb lawyer with practical knowledge and a thorough approach, which makes her a real asset to have on your side’.

Farrer & Co, which is ‘in the upper echelons of the residential sector’, provides arguably ‘the best quality service in the market’ thanks to its ‘excellent, capable and professional team’, which has ‘a knowledge and gravitas that is unmatched’. The group is recognised for its residential and secured lending work, which ‘sets it apart from the others’, alongside substantial conveyancing expertise. Practice head Laurie Horwood is ‘totally unflappable, charming and works tirelessly to achieve his client’s wishes – the mark of a property solicitor at the top of his game’. Edmund Fetherston-Dilke, who is highly regarded for his high-value London property knowledge, ‘brings a certain dignity to matters having worked in the super-prime market for a long time’; he is ‘a true market leader with an approachable, honest, reliable and trustworthy manner’. Annabel Younger, who is ‘very knowledgeable and innovative’, is recognised for her Middle East expertise, and recently promoted partner and residential conveyancing specialist Laura Conduit is ‘the full package’ with ‘experience, knowledge and determination that others would do anything for’.

Mishcon de Reya LLP’s well-regarded practice acts for UK and international clients and regularly advises high-net-worth individuals focusing on London properties at the top end of the market. The group, which is ‘absolutely excellent and unparalleled in every way in its execution’, is ‘hard to compete with for its phenomenal client service and attention to detail’ and is led by Sonal Thakrar, who focuses on the super-prime residential market in Central London.