Planning in London
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
This sizeable team at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is headed by 'elder statesman' Tim Hellier who 'brings a wealth of experience and practical planning knowledge', with particular expertise in complex mixed-use regeneration, London tower developments, CPOs and judicial reviews. As one of the go-to planning practices for the UK's largest and most complex infrastructure and housing projects, it is instructed on the full range of planning matters by a prestigious clientele that covers the transport infrastructure, communications and retail sectors, among others. Highly regarded practitioners Tim Smith, Christian Drage, James Good and Giles Pink handle a range of of high-profile long-term projects, including providing CPO, consenting and land assembly advice for National Grid as well as dealing with high-value compensation claims. Senior associate Emma Perring is also praised for her litigation skills.
‘BCLP has a very strong in-depth planning team that is remarkably smart, hard working and commercially orientated.’
‘Tim Smith is hugely knowledgeable, calm and reassuring, with great legal/commercial judgement.’
‘James Good is really hard working and outstandingly good on the detail – very impressive.’
‘BCLP’s practice is unique because it is resourced with partners and associates who have deep experience of planning. A very practical and competent team; its leaders have wisdom and associates very good judgement. Its key strength is its breadth of knowledge and skills. Whatever the issue BCLP has the people that can do the job. In terms of capability; no fuss, quick, decisive and very professional.’
‘The planning practice at BCLP is top-drawer. Across the team their advice is technically excellent, but what sets them apart is their commercial approach and focus on understanding and achieving business objectives. They get the need to manage risk and the trade-offs so often required in complex commercial decisions. The size of their team brings the resilience needed for large, complex projects and their lawyers are a pleasure to work with and able to integrate seamlessly with wider project teams.’
‘Tim Smith is superb. He brings a level of knowledge, expertise and authority which (in my experience) is unparalleled. But it is the measured, practical and simple way he delivers that really marks him out.’
‘I rate James Good highly. He is great team player, pragmatic and commercially astute and brings a wealth of experience particularly on major infrastructure projects.’
‘The team is led by very experienced practitioners, the majority of whom I have known and worked with for more than 20 years. They are focused, analytical, and give sound advice (legal and practical to clients).’
‘Tim Hellier is an elder statesman in planning practice terms and brings a wealth of experience and practical planning knowledge. I have always found his judgement to be excellent and pragmatic.’
‘James Good is a good lawyer and very tactical, as well as being quite tenacious and good at promoting his clients interests with a great degree of vigour.
‘Emma Perring is an excellent lawyer with attention to detail and great practical sense – she is very good in litigation in adopting an appropriate tactical approach and the legal points to be taken.’
‘Emma Perring is excellent on planning litigation – she really knows her stuff.’
The Crown Estate
Unibail-Rodamco Westfield (formerly known as Westfield)
Heathrow Airport Ltd
- Acting for Heathrow Airport on its proposed expansion, including submissions to the Airports Commission.
- Advising Lendlease on the £5.8bn redevelopment around Euston Station including 1,700 new homes, offices and retail space above and around the revamped London Euston Station.
- Advising National Grid on the delivery of the second phase of a tunnelled 32km “electricity cable super-highway” across south London.
The planning team at CMS provides comprehensive coverage across the breadth of work in residential developments, energy and infrastructure. As a go-to practice for housing, the group covers build to rent, student accommodation and retirement housing, among others. Recent work has included the UK's largest PRS scheme as well as significant regeneration projects across the country. Practice head Martin Evans offers 30 years of experience and expertise in this area. The practice is one of the country's leading planning teams in the energy sector; recent work includes advising on DCOs for windfarm expansions and gas stations. Transport infrastructure is another important area for the team, particularly in its work on airport expansion, with Ashley Damiral being a key contact.
‘CMS are absolutely the market leaders in planning in the capital in my view. Their team is unrivalled and their client list is one that engenders serious envy. They have strength in depth in terms of the quality of the legal ability of their team, but also acute tactical awareness. I would unhesitatingly recommend CMS for planning.’
‘Josh Risso-Gill is one of the most impressive planning lawyers in the UK’
‘A modern, user-friendly, extremely knowledgeable and able practice with particularly impressive aptitude for seamless cross-departmental working in demanding public law cases involving a crossover with different areas of law.’
‘Ashley Damiral is one of the best planning partners in London with a real aptitude for planning related public law work.’
‘In-depth knowledge and quick understanding of our complex business.’
‘Accurate and clear advice, with the correct level of legal/law explanation ensuring the client has a clear understanding of their advice, without ambiguity.’
Heathrow West (part of The Arora Group)
St Edward (part of the Berkley Group)
Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd
National Grid Property
Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea
SSE and Equinor JV
Imperial College London
- Advising Heathrow West on the delivery of the new Terminal 6.
- Advising Quintain on the planning of UK’s largest build to rent residential scheme next to Wembley Stadium.
- Advising SEE and Equinor on the joint venture expansion of the world’s largest offshore wind farm at the Dogger Bank.
Pinsent Masons LLP
The standout practice at Pinsent Masons LLP draws on the wealth of experience from its substantial team to assist on the full range of planning and infrastructure matters. Nicholle Kingsley leads on residential and commercial developments, with a notably strong standing in the sports sector as well as working on the largest regeneration schemes in London. The group is instructed on over 45 NSIPs, with Richard Griffiths and Robbie Owen providing expertise in that field, covering the energy, transport, water and waste sectors. Having previously co-led the practice, Iain Gilbey now focuses on the residential sector, leading on large-scale residential and mixed-use development, commercial and sporting stadium led schemes. Emma Harling-Phillips specialises in planning and other regulatory approvals for major road, energy, infrastructure and marine projects, acting on a wide range of matters for public and private sector clients.
‘They have tremendous experience, which is very comforting when seeking their counsel on new issues that emerge for the business. Their advice is also clear and capable of being understood by colleagues from different professional backgrounds, meaning you do not need to spend a significant amount of your time translating it for them.’
‘Their competence and experience means that you’re unlikely to come across a problem that they haven’t seen before and won’t be able to address. I never have to chase them – if I ask for work by a particular date, they’ll deliver it by then – regardless of the turnaround. In the rare instances where that’s not possible, they’re up-front about it at the start so I can manage expectations internally, which is very helpful.’
‘Emma Harling-Phillips is not afraid to provide honest advice, even where it may not be want you to hear. This approach is really valuable.’
‘Very impressive infrastructure planning practice with plenty of depth. The practice to go for for the most complex matters.’
‘Robbie Owen is a very experienced infrastructure planning lawyer.’
Capital & Counties Plc
Transport for London
Drax Power Limited
London Borough of Croydon
London Legacy Development Corporation
Old Oak Common and Park Royal Development Corporation
2020 Developments (Luton) Ltd/Luton Town Football Club
Ebbsfleet Development Corporation
Stone Hill Park Limited
Cory Riverside Energy
Scottish Power Manweb
Heathrow Airport Limited
Southampton International Airport Limited
- Advising LLDC as local planning authority in relation to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, including development of a new cultural quarter.
- Advising on a joint venture between Hive Energy Ltd and Wirsol Energy Ltd in respect of Cleve Hill Solar Park, a 700MW solar and storage project on the north Kent coast, near Faversham.
- Assisting Heathrow Airport on all planning aspects of its proposed expansion, including on the Government’s Airports National Policy Statement and on Heathrow’s proposed application for a Development Consent Order which went to statutory consultation in June 2019.
The widely praised recruitment of 'intellectual heavyweight' Claire Dutch to co-head the practice alongside the 'extremely knowledgeable' Trevor Goode has bolstered the position of Ashurst's planning team as one of the standouts when it comes to housing development and expansion work. Instructions come from a diverse client list covering landowners, developers, investors, local authorities and government bodies. Recent work has included CPO applications for leading developers, section 106 negotiations on affordable housing projects and comprehensive advice on the regeneration of former gasworks sites. The firm's corporate law experts dovetail with the planning team, enabling them to advise on NSIPs as well as market-leading acquisitions in the energy sector. Highly regarded senior associates Charlie Reid and Ben Groves add strong support on the negotiation of planning and infrastructure agreements, as well as appeals and court litigation.
‘Trevor Goode and Charlie Reid are extremely knowledgeable, responsive and flexible. I find the service is second to none.’
‘Ashurst has a strong commercial understanding of planning and development and appreciation of the key issues which it comes to providing advice and drafting and negotiating legal documents. They also work across the practice so understand both land and planning elements.’
‘Trevor Goode embodies the spirit of the team, has a strong commercial understanding of the planning system and is a robust negotiator. Good communicator and knowledgeable.’
‘Solid knowledge and rich experience in all sorts of developments projects made Ashurst’s planning team incomparable with any other planning team from other firms. Their understanding of clients’ commercial needs beyond planning realm is also very helpful. Once you have instructed services from this planning team, it is hard to move away to others.’
‘Trevor Goode is one of the most impressive partners that we have worked with – he is a man of few words, but every comment he has made is to the point and invaluable. His leadership of team and work, his delivery of services are all to the top quality. It has been a real pleasure to work with Trevor for so many years.’
‘Charlie Reid is a senior associate who you almost can rely on as a partner. There is rarely any detail that can can escape his eagle eyes; his diligent work attitude and attention to details kept impressing us.
‘Trevor Goode and Charlie Reid would make a dream planning team for any client in the market.’
‘Trevor Goode is one of the most experienced planning solicitors in the country. Excellent eye for detail and a pleasure to work with.’
‘Claire Dutch is incredibly down to earth and sensible – someone who listens, absorbs and then forms her own judgement. Robust without being abrasive, she is someone who gives straight advice backed by long experience.’
‘Claire Dutch is an intellectual heavyweight with a keen eye for how to make things work.’
‘Under the leadership of Trevor Goode, the team offers strength in depth but also a uniquely commercial insight.’
‘The team has fantastic knowledge and excellent negotiations skills which enables them to liaise directly with local authorities and other stakeholders when it comes to discussion the relevant agreements.’
The Berkeley Group
Greater London Authority/Transport for London
The Crown Estate
The Ballymore Group
Uniper UK (formerly Eon)
Lakeside Energy from Waste Limited (JV between Grundon and Vividor)
Amey Keolis Infrastructure
Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC)
Associated British Ports
Connected Living – New Eastside Partnership
- Acting for Grosvenor on the formation of a new neighbourhood in Bermondsey comprising 1,500 retail homes, a school and other support infrastructure.
- Advising The Crown Estate on a major urban extension to Hemel Hempstead.
- Advising the GLA on some of the capitals’ most high profile developments including Newcombe House, Kensington Olympic and Stratford Waterfront and have recently been appointed to advise on Thameside West (Sivertown).
BDB Pitmans' sizeable planning team is known for advising on major projects, particularly DCOs for nationally significant infrastructure projects; planning consents; orders under the Transport and Works Act; and Harbours Act orders. Current key work includes major transport infrastructure projects for TfL and Highways England, as well as housing regeneration in the London Borough of Lambeth. The team, led by Mark Challis, includes Angus Walker, a noted specialist in DCO applications who has recently been advising on the Manston Airport re-opening, the first DCO application for an airport scheme. Both Sarah Clark and Tom Henderson are names to note, being instructed by Highways England on the upgrade of the M25 Junction 28 and the proposed Lower Thames Crossing respectively.
Transport for London
London Borough of Lambeth
London Luton Airport Limited
Transport for Greater Manchester
RiverOak Invests Corp LLC
- Advising Highways England on all planning aspects for the Lower Thames Crossing project.
- Assisting RiverOak on its proposals to re-open Manston Airport, Kent, for freight and passenger travel.
- Advising Transport for London on obtaining a Transport and Works Act Order to authorise this major extension to the Bakerloo Line from Elephant & Castle to Lewisham.
With a client base that includes impressive names in both the public and private sectors, Dentons' planning team handles the full range of large-scale matters. Stephen Ashworth advises clients on strategies for major housing and retail schemes, as well as promoting CIL. He jointly leads the practice with Roy Pinnock, who advises developers, funds, lenders and planning authorities on strategies for large-scale development and major urban regeneration schemes. Notable ongoing work covers complex major section 106 agreements on new settlements as well as significant CPO applications. Both Michele Vas and Rachael Herbert stand out from a strong bench of senior associates; Vas advising on the delivery of urban extensions, new towns and CPO regeneration projects, while Herbert is an expert on extra care projects, appropriation and CIL, and advises on a range of complex brownfield schemes.
‘Dentons has a wonderful planning practice. They have long specialised in high-end development work, and that tradition is carried on with aplomb by the present team. They combine excellent brain-power with commercial savvy and a client-friendly approach.’
‘Roy Pinnock is really excellent. As well as being very clever he has a briliant feel for what a case is really about and what really matters to a client, and -which I think is pretty important – is a very nice person.’
‘The team are very responsive which is what we need given the pace we work at. Their advice is clear and precise.’
‘Roy Pinnock is excellent at what he does, very experienced and can turn things around quickly.’
Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd
Taylor Wimpey UK Limited
Mid Sussex District Council
North Essex Authorities
South Cambridgeshire District Council
Lands Improvement Holdings
Places for People
Chelmsford City Council
GLA Property/ Transport for London
- Advising South Cambridgeshire District Council on the major section 106 agreements to secure new urban settlements providing up to 6,500 new homes.
- Representing North Essex Authorities at their initial local plan examination hearings on promoting garden communities with their local plans, as well as on governance issue and their suite of supporting planning policy documents.
- Advising Bluescape in relation to a public inquiry into the Albany Riverside scheme in Brentford, proposing 193 homes and a new arts centre as part of a wider project involving the regeneration of the Brentford Police Station.
Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's planning practice provides advice on a range of residential developments, as well as major commercial, retail and leisure developments. Large-scale housing projects have been a recent area of growth for Stuart Andrews and his team, while the group's reliably strong offering in the field of transport and energy infrastructure includes the complex management and delivery of interconnector projects and DCO applications on significant rail freight interchanges, handled by the highly rated Morag Thomson. Recent highlights for the team have included environmental impact assessments for energy infrastructure projects of national importance as well housing developments for regeneration at new town sites.
Other key lawyers:
‘They just get it. They keep things simple. Effortless service.’
‘The team are proactive, highly knowledgeable and accessible at all times. They provide clear guidance upon which you can make decisions with confidence.’
‘Morag Thomson is acknowledged and respected widely which is a great strength when dealing with third parties who also have the same respect for her.’
National Grid Viking Link Limited
Westferry Developments Limited
Redrow Homes Limited
Barratt Strategic/Taylor Wimpey
Blaby District Council
L&Q (previously Gallagher Estates)
MACE Developments (Stevenage) Limited
Coventry and Warwickshire Development Partnership LLP
Roxhill (Junction 15) Ltd
Four Ashes Limited
- Acting for National Grid Viking Link on the consenting, environmental impact assessments and compulsory acquisition for the UK elements of Viking Link, an HVDC interconnector linking the electricity networks of the UK and Denmark.
- Advising Berkeley Homes on the delivery of the comprehensive redevelopment of a site in multiple ownerships to deliver 1,300 new homes in South London, which includes a range of tower heights up to 44 storeys.
- Assisting Roxhill (Junction 15) on the Northampton Gateway Rail Freight Interchange infrastructure project.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
High-profile commercial development projects and major energy and infrastructure projects are the primary focus for the planning team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP. On the infrastructure side, a 'superb team of specialist infrastructure planners' work with clients on groundbreaking projects including Hinkley Point C, the UK's first new nuclear power station development since 1995, led by energy and infrastructure expert Catherine Howard. Real estate projects, including a new urban centre development in London as well as site acquisition and planning of other significant developments in the city, are being led on by practice head Matthew White. Of counsel Charlotte Dyer is also a key contact, advising across infrastructure and residential issues.
‘The team is very responsive to client needs and committed to the success of projects. All team members are outstanding experts in their field and provide excellent and practical advice on all areas of planning law. The quality of their work firmly puts them at the top of the league table. As a bonus, they are a pleasure to work with. In simple terms – absolutely exceptional.’
‘Catherine Howard sees any issues a mile ahead and suggests deliverable strategies to deal with them. Catherine possesses a great deal of practical experience across many sectors, which makes her excellent at breaking down mind-bending planning issues into manageable components. ‘
‘Matthew White provides good strategic advice and is excellent in the detail of drafting key provisions within documents and case submissions.’
‘HSF has a superb team of specialist infrastructure planners, with particular expertise in large scale energy projects. Their understanding of the commercial and practical requirements of energy infrastructure projects is class-leading. They also have a long established and highly successful team of planners specialising in commercial development.’
‘Catherine Howard is a particular favourite. She is razor sharp, pragmatic and commercial and also a brilliant technical lawyer. In a market full of very clever and able practitioners she stands alone. I have also found Charlotte Dyer to be extremely capable and smart.’
‘The team is a world-class planning outfit, that provides an all-round service.’
‘Matthew White is amazing with clients and very smooth.’
‘Charlotte Dyer is hard working and thorough, a joy to work with.’
Stratford City Business District
Transport for London
Aberdeen Standard Investments
London Luton Airport Operations Limited
The Madison Square Garden Company
- Advising British Land on its development proposals for the Canada Water Masterplan in the London Borough of Southwark.
- Assisting EDF Energy on the development of the nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C in Somerset.
- Advising WPIL in relation to its proposals to redevelop the former Wisley Airfield site, which includes the largest previously developed green belt site in Guildford.
Town Legal LLP
Specialist planning boutique Town Legal LLP, which was founded in 2016, continues to grow and now features a ten-partner team. With a focus on development projects, the firm is instructed on the full breadth of planning matters, including judicial reviews, planning appeals and CPOs. Recent additions to its client list have included major names in property development, the energy sector and student accommodation. 'User-friendly' Managing partner Patrick Robinson advises on prominent schemes in London and offers specialist expertise in rights to light infringement. Highly praised firm co-founder Simon Ricketts has particular experience in major mixed-use development, while Duncan Field, who joined from Norton Rose Fulbright in 2019, has recently been advising on a number of key matters in the City including the £1bn refurbishment and redevelopment of the Olympia Exhibition site. Clare Fielding adds expertise on CPOs, CIL, public inquiries and planning-related litigation, while both Raj Gupta and the 'exceptional' Meeta Kaur are also recommended. Other significant recent additions to the team include Michael Gallimore and Louise Samuel, the former practice heads at Hogan Lovells International LLP and Linklaters LLP respectively.
Other key lawyers:
‘The planning team at Town Legal are an integral part of our project’s success. They take a collaborative and proactive approach, seeking to secure the most optimum outcome for their client.’
‘Clare Fielding always finds creative solutions to complex problems. Whilst always acting in the interests of her client, Clare takes an approach of engineering an outcome where everybody wins which is an effective way to negotiate.’
‘Our overall impression was overwhelmingly positive and we would highly recommend the firm, which has excellent knowledge of the subject area, excellent strategic thinking and good relationships with other professionals of a similar calibre, enabling them to create extremely strong professional teams.’
‘Simon Ricketts and Raj Gupta were consummate professionals who demonstrated an encyclopaedic knowledge of the subject area and were available to assist with at all hours.’
‘The team are approachable, quick to respond and highly experienced. They are flexible in their approach and not overly pedantic just for the sake of things.’
‘Simon Ricketts is highly knowledgeable and experienced, grasps the issues very quickly, and sees things through the eye of the developer. He doesn’t ‘stand on ceremony’ but is approachable and personable.’
‘Meeta Kaur is flexible in her approach – she is patient and manages client expectations well.’
‘Great to work with. Trustworthy, supportive, constructive advice, efficient and very effective.’
‘Michael Gallimore provides an excellent service in terms of quality of advice, efficiency and courtesy of delivery.’
‘The team is second to none, focused, hard working and very client friendly. The firm considers and develops strategy very well. They always see a sensible, client friendly response to problems if they arise. The whole firm is approachable and available.’
‘Simon Ricketts is second to none, his knowledge and understanding of the fast changing planning legal environment is simply frightening. His open and friendly manner makes confrontation almost impossible, whilst his knowledge ensures his arguments are successful.’
‘Michael Gallimore always provides timely advice founded on in-depth knowledge of the subject, which is invaluable when considering both day-to-day practical issues and more strategic matters.’
‘Patrick Robinson is very user-friendly. He has an in-depth knowledge of the commercial aspects of development and provides practical advice for the application of planning law. A team player and an asset to the team. A pleasure to work with.’
‘Spencer Tewis-Allen has an exceptional manner and is able to liaise with all parties with charm and grace combined with excellent drafting skills.’
‘Spencer Tewis-Allen is hard working, animated and friendly. He has a real passion and flair for planning. His drafting and negotiation skills are well known and respected.’
Manchester Airports Group
St William Homes LLP (part of the Berkeley Group)
Fawley Waterside Limited
Battersea Power Station Development Company
Olympus Property Holding Limited
Car Giant Limited
Starbones Limited (Galliard Homes together with investors)
Langwith Development Partnership
- Acting for Stansted Airport in relation to legal issues relating to its planning application to increase annual passenger throughput at Stansted Airport above its current 35 million passengers per annum ceiling.
- Advising Fawley Waterside on the residential-led redevelopment of the 300-acre site of the former Fawley Power Station site, on the edge of the New Forest, Hampshire.
- Acting for the Malaysian consortium which owns the Battersea Power Station site, advising on all of the planning matters in the redevelopment of the site.
Winckworth Sherwood LLP
The practice at Winckworth Sherwood LLP advises on a range of the country's largest, most complex mixed-use residential development schemes, as well as planning issues relating to tall buildings and riverside schemes. Karen Cooksley leads an experienced four-partner team that covers the full spread of planning matters. Recent work has covered CPOs, advice on CIL and appeals, and included regeneration work on large former factory sites. Tim Fogarty regularly assists UK housebuilders and is the key contact for contentious matters; Colette McCormack 'is skilled at delivering major projects and keeping them on track', and has advised the London Borough of Wandsworth on regeneration projects since 2012. Lindsay Garratt is another key contact for complex urban brownfield regeneration development, s106 matters and CIL.
‘The team offers dedication to client needs and innovative problem solving.’
‘The team is proactive and very solutions driven. They are team players.’
‘Winckworth Sherwood work collaboratively as a team to provide in-depth and innovative legal planning advice in a timely manner. Given the complex character of our projects, it is hugely important to have a planning lawyer on team that is able to think about the crucial interrelationship between planning, commercial, contracting and development issues. It is also important to create a proactive, dynamic and fun environment within which to draw together the professional team and Winckworth Sherwood play a key role in creating this environment.’
‘The Winckworth Sherwood planning team led by partner Colette McCormack are clear leaders in the field of planning. As planning law/policy becomes ever more complex, they are always ahead of the curve in terms of new law/policy and how it affects local planning authorities.’
‘Lindsay Garrett is excellent – her advice to us was accurate and succinct, and met my demanding timescale.’
- Assisting Notting Hill Genesis on the ongoing regeneration of the Grahame Park Estate.
- Advising Silvertown Homes on the proposed joint venture redevelopment of Thameside West, alongside GLA Land and Property.
- Acting for Peel Land and Property on the Liverpool Waters regeneration project.
Addleshaw Goddard's planning group tackles a range of matters across both housing and infrastructure, advising on many of London's most high profile housing schemes, with a strong reputation for its work on build to rent, student housing and co-living developments. The practice also has particular strength in contentious matters; recent highlights include planning appeals for student housing projects, service station sites and de-listing ahead of redevelopment. Marnix Elsenaar heads the practice and has recently led on DCOs and section 106 agreements for complex mixed-use developments as well as infrastructure projects. Gary Sector is also recommended in both a contentious and advisory capacity, acting for corporate clients, housing developers and energy companies. Senior associate Sarah Hodge provides strong support in complex development projects in the city.
They are the leaders for complex railway litigation but have strength across the planning sector as a whole.’
‘Marnix Elsenaar is thoughtful and clever.’
‘Gary Sector is experienced and wise.’
‘The team is well connected within the industry and gives sound, practical commercially focused advice and assistance. They have a pragmatic can-do attitude and are always very pleasant to work with, approachable, friendly, pro-active and professional.’
‘Gary Sector is very knowledgeable, pragmatic and commercially focused.’
‘A relatively small group of lawyers who continually strive to understand their clients’ business.’
‘Gary Sector is down to earth, approachable, commercial and easy to deal with.’
‘Highly efficient and effective. Conscientious and committed. A pleasure to work with.’
London Luton Airport
Notting Hill Genesis
- Acted for student housing provider UPP in a planning appeal (including a two week public inquiry) against the refusal by Reading Borough Council to grant planning permission for a new on campus student housing scheme at its St Patrick’s Hall Site.
- Represented BP in relation to the successful prosecution of its planning appeal against the refusal of planning permission for a new service station and M&S concession at Malton, in North Yorkshire.
- Assisted British Sugar in securing a de-listing of its former headquarters building in Peterborough following an emergency spot listing by the Secretary of State.
Led out of Bristol, the Burges Salmon LLP planning team advises on a broad range of matters around the country for a mixed clientele, with particular strength in the public sector. Energy is another field that the group excels in, with recent highlights including advice on wind farms, nuclear power stations and conservation projects. Practice head Gary Soloman has significant expertise in the planning, CPO and compensation aspects of regeneration projects, large-scale developments and highway proposals. Elizabeth Dunn is the key contact for energy and grid connection projects while Patrick Robinson and Julian Boswall are also noted for infrastructure.
Isle of Anglesey County Council
Canal & River Trust
Department for Transport
YTL Property Holdings
Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew
DS Smith Paper Ltd
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Stevenage Borough Council
Torbay Borough Council
- Advising the Isle of Anglesey County Council on all aspects of its response to the proposed development of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa and associated developments as well as other major applications in the county.
- Assisting the Environment Agency and Canal & River Trust on a range of issues, including strategic planning and CPO, in connection with a high-profile scheme for installing state-of-the-art fish passes along the River Severn.
- Acting for Highways England on the consenting for a large number of schemes under its programme of works to improve motorways and trunk roads across the country.
Clifford Chance LLP's planning team handles some of the City's most significant regeneration projects, including sites at Wood Wharf and North Quay for the Canary Wharf Group. The practice advises on a diverse range of planning cases including the country's biggest DCOs, judicial reviews, and all planning aspects of financing, acquisitions and disposals. Practice head Nigel Howorth has significant expertise and experience in London's large-scale regeneration projects as well as leading on major energy-related work, most notably Horizon Nuclear Power's new build programme.
‘High level professionalism and knowledge with great insights into the issues at hand. We always get a swift response to our questions and it’s a pleasure dealing with the team.’
‘Nigel Howorth has huge knowledge and experience with great intuition when analysing the questions at hand. He is a great strategist and together we have a very successful track record.’
‘A small, but really high quality planning team that really delivers.’
‘Nigel Howorth is a really smart senior planning partner who is very client-focused.’
‘Liz Hardacre is really good on all aspects of planning law.’
‘Excellent knowledge combined with an ability to understand and assess commercial drivers and provide practical and risk-weighted advice taking account of the multiple issues faced by large infrastructure projects. The team is high performing and well-motivated, but without losing the identity or personality of the individuals – all in all, they are a pleasure to work with on both a professional and personal level.’
They are able to provide prompt relevant advice; taking account of non-legal factors, and communicate assessments and outcomes in an appropriate manner to a varied audience. Over the years they have become an integral part of our development team – at particularly busy times, they have located team members near our offices to enable optimal working arrangements.’
‘Anneke Theelen is a first-class port of call assessing the salient points and organising strategy. She responds to key questions promptly and efficiently and is a pleasure to deal with.’
‘Katie Kempthorne – an outstanding senior associate who is knowledgeable, tireless and a pleasure to work with.’
Anneke Theelen is a really good and hardworking associate.’
Canary Wharf Group
Horizon Nuclear Power
Legal & General
CBRE Global Investors
TIAA Henderson Real Estate
AIG Global Real Estate (AIGGRE)
- Advising Canary Wharf on the continuing 750,000 sq m urban quarter project at Wood Wharf; and on the North Quay development (a mixed-used office and residential towers scheme) on a 7.3 acre site.
- Advised Angelo Gordon & Ridgeback Group on the acquisition and development of the Kangaroo Works in Sheffield, a PRS scheme
- Assisted Horizon Nuclear Power on their UK nuclear new build programme.
Advising on national infrastructure projects, new town settlement proposals and landmark city office developments, Clyde & Co LLP's planning team works closely with its adjacent practices to provide a wide-ranging offering to a diverse client base. Instructions come from sectors including residential, commercial, transport infrastructure, heavy industry and leisure - the group has 'unparalleled strength in the ports sector' led by practice co-head Brian Greenwood. Ian Ginbey bolsters this leadership with strong experience in compulsory purchase, High Court claims, listed building enforcement and environmental impact assessments. Stephen Webb is another name to note having recently led the planning advice and High Court representation in relation to a number of residential development matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘Accessible expertise in the field of town planning and property development.’
‘The team provide a good all-inclusive service.’
‘Brian Greenwood is outstanding for the clarity of his advice and down to earth commercial approach. Ian Ginbey is also technically very sound.’
‘Although the firm is well equipped in the planning filed generally, it has unparalleled strength in the ports sector, led by the highly experienced Brian Greenwood.’
‘A highly able, commercially focused team. They are one of only a few City firms which are really involved in day to day planning activity and across a wide spectrum of work, from Nationally Significant Infrastructure projects to commercial schemes and residential planning appeals.’
Stephen Webb is a go-to planning lawyer, whether for advice, planning appeals or judicial reviews.’
‘Brian Greenwood is excellent on ports and major infrastructure projects.’
‘Ian Ginbey is an excellent lawyer with a wide appreciation of client needs.’
Associated British Ports
Shepperton Studios Ltd
Corinthian Land Limited
CEMEX UK Operations Limited
Freshwater Group of Companies
Oikos Storage Limited
Frontier Dragon Limited
Briggens Estate Limited
Peel Holdings plc
U + I
St. Modwen Developments Limited
UK Regeneration Limited
Galliard Homes Limited
- Acting for Associated British Ports in relation to the Welsh Government’s proposal to construct a Relief Road for the M4 that would have been constructed on a low motorway bridge cutting through the middle of the Port of Newport.
- Advising Shepperton Studios Ltd in obtaining planning permission for a significant expansion and redevelopment of the existing Shepperton Studios, which is located within the Green Belt.
- Advising Corinthian Land Limited in relation to its planning application for a mixed-use urban extension comprising (amongst other things) 4,000 dwellings, two primary schools and a new A2 junction south of Canterbury.
The multiple specialisms of Gowling WLG's planning practice cover the making of and implementing CPOs for both public and private sector clients; high-profile city estate regeneration schemes; and DCOs for infrastructure-led projects. Practice head Vicky Fowler is an expert on CPOs and regeneration projects and has recently handled key matters including multibillion-pound town centre redevelopment as well as CPOs on mixed-use retail developments. Ben Stansfield is another key lawyer, noted for his expertise in environmental law. He has recently led on environmental judicial review challenges for the firm.
Other key lawyers:
‘Ben Stansfield has been a great recruit to the partnership. We transferred our work from Ben’s previous firm so that he could continue to handle it.’
‘We have engaged Gowlings for housing regeneration planning advice; Gowlings are agile, competent, relevant, straightforward legal advice-givers, they also add value to us.’
‘Vicky Fowler is technically fantastic and commercially astute.’
Transport for London
U & I
Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd
Legal & General
The Crown Estate
Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation
South Tees Development Corporation
Galliard Homes Limited
Kidbrooke Partnership LLP
- Advising the London Borough of Barnet on the multibillion-pound Brent Cross Cricklewood scheme, which will create a new town centre, incorporating 7,500 homes, 27,000 jobs, three re-built schools, redevelopment of Brent Cross shopping centre, new parks and community facilities, an additional Thameslink train station, as well as major road and public transport improvements.
- Advising the GLA on three further Mayoral Call-ins (five in total – one in the London Borough of Barnet, one in the London Borough of Wandsworth, one in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, one in the Royal Borough of Greenwich and one in the London Borough of Southwark). The work has included advising on the planning agreement and relevant drafting to reflect the Mayor’s Affordable Housing and Viability SPG.
- Assisting Westminster City Council on the redevelopment of Ebury Bridge one of its Housing Renewal Sites, including advice on compulsory purchase.
Focusing on big-ticket projects involving greenbelt developments, housing schemes and infrastructure, the planning practice at Hogan Lovells International LLP is now led by the 'approachable and excellent to work with' Hannah Quarterman, who was recently promoted to partner and succeeded former practice head Claire Dutch who left to join Ashurst in January 2020. Key ongoing matters include DCO applications on major redevelopment projects in London, Court of Appeal defences on environmental planning issues and a Heritage Partnership Agreement on a site in King's Cross. Quarterman has particular expertise in CPOs as well as handling complex issues on long-term projects, including environmental assessments and rights of light.
‘A top quality firm of fine lawyers. Excellent service. Thorough preparation and presentation. very user friendly
‘Hannah Quarterman is approachable and excellent to work with – thoroughly deserving of her recent promotion to partner. She has a good legal mind and a commercial understanding of what is practical.’
‘A very efficient team that really knows what it’s doing and how best to get things done, and done well.’
‘Hannah Quarterman is supremely well-organised, efficient and on top of everything.’
Argent PLC and Argent Related
Berkeley Central London & Berkeley East Thames
Bishopsgate Goodsyard Regeneration Limited (a joint venture between Ballymore Group and Hammerson plc)
Braeburn Estates (Canary Wharf & Qatari Diar)
Carbon 8 Aggregates Limited
M&G Real Estate
Mars Pension Fund
Real Estate Investment Management Limited
Rookery South Limited (a partnership between Covanta Energy, Veolia and Green Energy Group)
The Ballymore Group
The Church Commissioners
The City of London Corporation
The Historic Royal Palaces Commission
- Advising London Legacy Development Corporation on the redevelopment of the Olympic Park.
- Advised Covanta and Veolia on all aspects of the implementation of the Rookery South Resource Recovery Facility Development Consent Order, including on the successful defence of the environmental permit in the Court of Appeal.
- Advised Bishopsgate Goodsyard Regeneration Limited (a joint venture between the Ballymore Group and Hammerson plc) on all aspects of the call-in by the Mayor of London of its proposals for the regeneration of central London’s largest remaining brownfield site.
Mishcon de Reya LLP offers an 'inventive approach to planning policy' and is building a reputation for its advice on complex sites across the country. Under the leadership of Anita Rivera, the team advises leading commercial and residential property developers, investment funds and high net-worth individuals on a broad range of planning matters. The practice has recently grown its list of local government clients as well as being instructed on an increasing number of matters with complex environmental elements. Another area of strength is in contentious matters; Daniel Farrand is noted for his expertise in judicial reviews and challenges as well as PRS schemes and student housing.
‘They are dedicated, thorough and take your case personally.’
‘The team is thorough and has detailed knowledge of the relevant law.’
‘The team includes several very experienced lawyers competent in the field of compulsory purchase who adopt a hands-on, practical and commercial approach. They are approachable and personable, unlike any other firm.’
‘Working with Anita Rivera, the team has a formidable partnership who I expect to see becoming more prominent in years to come.’
‘Tom Barton has vast experience in hostel planning which allows him to find workable, winnable strategies for most cases.’
‘Tom Barton is extremely knowledgeable for a person of his level and has the confidence to run technical projects himself. He has incredible commercial acumen for a planning lawyer and advice is given with commercial factors borne in mind which sets him apart from his peers. Great value for money. He is also very approachable and accessible which makes it very easy to build a strong working relationship.’
Slough Borough Council
QDD Athletes Village UK
The Office Group (TOG)
Mansford / Student Cribs
Capital & Counties Properties PLC (CAPCO)
Sahaviriya Steel Industries Public Company Limited
London Business School
Ilford (Jersey) Limited
Acai (7-11 Cavendish)
UBS Asset Management (UK)
Chelsea Green Hotels
Canopy Property Management
Prudential Insurance Company of America
Bourne Capital / Happybadge
Lemos Private Family Office
Affinity Global Real Estate
Southern Grove Property
Habitat First Group
- Advising Tisco Bank and Krung Thai Bank on the closure and proposed regeneration of the Redcar Steelworks at Teesside.
- Assisting Brookfield on the planning elements of its purchase of two property sites from McLaren.
- Advising Meadow Partners on the controversial redevelopment of Champion Hill Stadium in Dulwich.
Osborne Clarke LLP's London-based planning team advise on a range of projects in the capital and around the country, from large residential and mixed use developments to key sites in the transport and energy infrastructure sectors. John Baird heads the practice and regularly advises landowners, residential and commercial developers, and strategic land promoters on the full range of planning issues. Anna Fouracre is another key contact, with a focus on planning obligations and infrastructure agreements; she has strong experience of managing contentious planning inquiries for a number of clients.
‘First class understanding of the planning and development sector plus the scope to call on knowledge of other teams within practice.’
‘John Baird is very approachable, and gives well considered and pragmatic legal advice, having regard to the client’s particular circumstances. He tells it as it is. John’s team have shown the ability to respond quickly.
‘This practice is excellent and very strong in planning. I highly recommend it.’
‘Sensible, practical lawyers who know how to collaborate and are free of the unearned self-worth of many lawyers.’
‘John Baird is a gifted planning lawyer who understands how to get things done without grandstanding or upsetting weaker council lawyers. Ben Naish has the same DNA.’
‘Ben Naish worked hard to ensure deadlines were met in difficult circumstances.’
Welbeck Strategic Land
Barratt David Wilson
Swindon Borough Council
U and I Group
Henry Boot Developments
- Advising Gazeley on all planning and environmental aspects of the UK’s first three-storey logistics facility.
- Acting for Gazeley on a joint venture with Ashfield Land in relation to Rail Central, a proposed new £700m rail freight interchange in Northamptonshire, which has involved advice on the DCO and the CPO.
- Assisting RWE on bringing a judicial review of plans for a large commercial and residential development adjacent to Didcot Power Station, which could have prevented ongoing operation; successful negotiations followed with the developer and the councils for an amended S73 plan.
With expertise in planning and development as well as infrastructure, Alistair Watson leads on significant mixed-use developments for Taylor Wessing LLP's clients in the sports sector and residential developments across the UK. Working closely with the wider firm's real estate group, the planning team's recent highlights include the highly publicised mixed-use redevelopment for Brentford FC and Lionel Road Developments, converting the former stadium site to housing as well as advising on the new stadium build. The group features a strong crop of senior associates; Emma Tait stands out, with particularly strong expertise in the development of land and buildings.
Brentford Football Club / Lionel Road Developments
Southend United Football Club
Saracens Rugby Club
Try Market Halls
89 Holland Park Management
Asserson Law Offices
Noted for landmark private sector development schemes in London, Asserson Law Offices' planning team is led by private sector planning expert Daniel Drukarz, an experienced lawyer with particular knowledge of mixed-use regeneration schemes, tall buildings, and green belt applications. The team is also adept at handling the planning aspects of property acquisitions and transactions, work which is regularly generated from the wider firm's international client base. Marianne Barker is another noted practitioner, and has recently been advising on a £500m regeneration project in the Old Kent Road area.
‘Asserson are a niche planning and development law firm providing clients with a bespoke service suited to their needs. They are great to work with and very responsive.’
‘We have mainly dealt with Danny Drukarz and Marianne Barker, both of whom have brought their considerable experience and diligence to the projects. Their style is competitive rather than combative which helps enormously in negotiations.’
‘Very diligent in complex real estate transactions. Always looking to protect the client’s interest.’
‘Constant communication. Always looking to push to close out work and move on to the next project.’
‘Efficient, good breadth of knowledge, hardworking.’
City and Docklands Property Group
Countryside Properties PLC
Diageo Pensions Trust
ITC Properties Group
Old Kent Road Regeneration Limited
Public Sector (PSP)
SD Investments & Management
- Advised City & Docklands Group on planning application and section 106 agreements for a series of buildings in the private rented sector.
- Assisting Old Kent Road Regeneration on the planning application and section 106 agreement for a number of buildings in the Old Kent Road Opportunity Area.
- Acting for Countryside Properties on the development proposal for 3,500 homes and two new schools on land at Bourn Airfield.
Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's planning practice advises on big-ticket developments and complex regeneration projects and takes instructions from a mix of corporate clients and HNWIs. Recently the team has taken on a number of projects involving retirement living properties and also has a particular foothold in the hydrocarbons sector. Claire Fallows heads the practice, advising developers on matters including environmental impact assessment, section 106 agreements, CPOs and court challenges.
‘Very approachable and accessible, down to earth and very responsive and efficient.’
‘Extremely practical, commercial advice. Unfazed and unflappable, and very careful on the law. Claire Fallows is the absolute epitome of these things.’
‘Knowledgeable, available at all times to the client and very client oriented.’
The Church Commissioners for England
Bellway Homes Limited
Europa Oil and Gas
Greenwich Millennium Village Limited
- Advising on the development of Greenwich Millennium Village including a successful appeal into a tall residential building.
- Acting for Church Commissioners for England on a number of substantial urban extensions around the country.
- Advising Alperton on a planning application relating to a major redevelopment of an industrial estate in the London Borough of Brent.
DAC Beachcroft LLP
The 'extremely hard-working' planning team at DAC Beachcroft LLP takes on complex instructions across the country from a sizeable roster of housing developers. Its strong offering, which handles both contentious and non-contentious work, covers DCOs, CPOs, judicial reviews and High Court appeals. 'Enormously experienced and very intelligent' practice head Christopher Stanwell leads on the range of planning matters for public and private clients with support from development consent expert Andrew Morgan.
Other key lawyers:
‘Very experienced and practically minded.’
‘Christopher Stanwell is easy to deal with and has good knowledge of the law in relation to the political environment, which is important in this area.He is also well plugged in on latest developments.
‘Christopher Stanwell is a leading figure in this practice who gives commercially astute advice and has a really strong commitment to client care.’
‘DAC Beachcroft’s client service is excellent. I’ve worked with them on numerous occasions and on every occasion, every single member of the team (from the most senior to the most junior) has been fully dedicated to the case, very quick to respond to the client, enthusiastic and extremely hard-working. They’re also a down-to-earth team and good fun to work with, which makes it easier to navigate difficult cases successfully.’
‘Christopher Stanwell is enormously experienced and very intelligent; he cuts through difficult cases effectively and never loses sight of the client’s commercial objectives. He really cares about his team and is skilled at bringing out their best performances. He’s calm and effective in a crisis and huge fun to work with. He’s also very strong on diversity.’
Heathrow Hub Limited
Royal Mail plc
Cumbria County Council
Baroness Cumberlege of Newick
University College London Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Crest Nicholson plc
The planning practice at Farrer & Co is characterised by its work on urban development and community projects, as well as its expertise in judicial reviews and the heritage sector. The team has also recently taken on an increasing amount of planning-related environmental work. Its notably diverse client list covers high-net-worth individuals, landed estates, businesses in the manufacturing and leisure sectors and public institutions. Karen Phull leads on the range of planning work, with recent highlights including high-profile developments for museums in London as well as complex CPO work for corporate clients in the City.
Other key lawyers:
‘In-depth knowledge across the property sector as a whole.’
‘Karen Phull has demonstrated the excellent quality of Farrer & Co that I have found to exist whenever I have dealt with them.’
‘Karen Phull is very detail oriented without losing sight of the big picture. She is commercially astute and tenacious.’
‘The team have a very good eye for detail as well as an approach that is both pragmatic and commercial.’
‘The individuals I work with are very personable and good at identifying options moving forward and solutions. They don’t just highlight the problems and leave you to it’
‘The Farrers team is at the cutting edge of what is possible in the land and planning disputes arena.’
‘Excellent advice, a ‘tour de force’ in projecting the argument to the opposing side and an overwhelming action plan to get the job done.’
‘If you have a problem or concern in the land planning or disputes just go to Karen Phull – no need to look elsewhere. Keep her on speed dial!’
Celsa Steel UK Limited
Duchy of Cornwall
- Advising the British Library on the planning aspects of its St Pancras estate development, and particularly the disposal of the Pancras development site for commercial investment, along with the construction of gallery facilities and a public realm for the British Library.
- Acting for Porcelanosa, a Spanish manufacturer and retailer of ceramic tiles, in relation to the compulsory acquisition of its Croydon store to make way for planned highway improvements, including submitting a consultation response to Transport for London, the body responsible for the proposed works.
- Advising the Duchy of Cornwall on its main Poundbury urban community development at Dorchester, including in connection with the strategic master planning and structuring of the development, with key recent developments including advice on s.106 variations to update affordable housing provisions, the provision of assisted care housing for the elderly and the adoption of public highways.
The planning practice at Forsters LLP is led by Victoria Du Croz and covers the full range of matters in the area, including section 106 agreements, CPOs and contentious issues. The firm works with institutional investors, property developers and local authorities. Counsel Matthew Evans adds strong support in judicial reviews as well as all aspects of planning, highways and public law.
Other key lawyers:
K&L Gates LLP
At K&L Gates LLP, Feroze Abbas combines niche areas of expertise in vires, transactional structuring and local government affordable housing delivery models, with broad experience in traditional town and city planning to offer 'pragmatic, commercial, helpful and succinct advice' to the firm's clients. Recent work has included negotiating section 106 agreements on complex mixed-use developments in London. The 'fantastic, energetic and tenacious' senior associate Rebecca Daniels is heavily involved across the full range of the team's planning work.
Other key lawyers:
‘Pragmatic, commercial, helpful succinct advice that gives clients a quick answer with enough detail to properly assess risks.’
‘Feroze Abbas is very responsive and helpful, always provides senior resource to the projects I work on with him and is very personable. He explains issues with humility and respect.’
‘The team provide exceptional legal advice and drafting; in a timely and responsive manner.
‘As a public body we need reliable; sound and quality legal advice to enable us to discharge our duties. K&L are able to provide advice on all range of planning matters.’
‘K&L’s planning team are able to handle complex legal negotiations for the Council and are able to protect the Council’s position and negotiate the best outcomes for our Borough. K&L provide good support to our officers of varying levels and are able to communicate legal matters clearly and concisely.’
‘During the Covid-19 crisis, K&L have continued to provide services which has enabled the Council to maintain a full range of planning services, including the granting of major planning applications with Section 106 agreements. This is vital to supporting the Borough’s economic growth during this difficult time and reassuring developers we are open for development and can continue to deliver planning permissions.’
Feroze Abbas leads and small but extremely effective team. His experience in local government prior to joining commercial practice gives him a helpful edge in negotiations and advice when working with our Council. This is vital as he understands how Councils operate and the structures therein. He always delivers excellent work for us. He manages the relationship between the Council and K&L Gates. He has been instrumental in the delivery of key strategic developments for the Council, both private and public development.’
‘Rebecca Daniels provides great support to Feroze and the team.’
‘Feroze Abbas is extremely knowledgeable and an innovative thinker, posing reasonable solutions to the numerous and varied complex problems and queries thrown at him over the years. He fiercely has his clients interests at heart and pursues negotiations on this basis but at the same time is exceptionally personable and very approachable.’
‘Rebecca Daniels is a fantastic, energetic and tenacious advocate who has carefully guided us through many complex S106 negotiations. She is also extremely friendly and approachable.’
‘This team is very pro-active, using their knowledge and experience to take the initiative and provide solutions to complex problems. They make themselves available and are able to clearly set out pros and cons of various courses of action.’
‘Feroze Abbas is very responsive to the need for fast, comprehensive and robust advice. He takes the initiative during negotiations and is able to clearly set out the options available, being sensitive to political and practical constraints affecting local planning authorities.’
‘Rebecca Daniels provides speedy, measured advice and is always available for guidance.’
London Borough of Hounslow
London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
Nuveen Real Estate
Qatari Free Zone Authority
Z Hotels Limited
Loxley Homes Ltd
London Borough of Croydon
- Advising the Quatari Free Zone Authority on setting up a planning system in new Free Zones in Qatar to encourage foreign investment.
- Assisting the London Borough of Hounslow on the section 106 negotiation for a re-development of a former Citroen site to provide a mixed use scheme of comprising 441 residential units and flexible uses.
- Advising Workplace Group on section 106 agreements for the Highway Business Park development.
Richard Max & Co
Richard Max & Co is a 'superb boutique firm' for planning in London, with a particular expertise in work for major hospitality and leisure clients with substantial one-off development projects; notably football clubs on stadiums and training grounds as well as heritage organisations such as the RHS and The Wings Museum. Practice heads Richard Max and David Warman also act for a range of commercial developers and private clients, specialising in planning advice, CPOs and highways law. A strong contentious offering includes permission appeals, public inquiries, High Court litigation, and judicial review challenges.
‘Highly approachable and accessible, ability to grasp breadth and context of matters rapidly.’
‘David Warman’s knowledge and practical application of planning legislation and policy is excellent. In particular, we find him to be extremely grounded in the day-to-day application of law in the planning sphere, with an acute understanding of the practicalities of making timely progress with development matters.’
‘Because Richard Max & Co only practice planning law they are incredibly knowledgeable and pragmatic in approaching transactions in which planning is only one element of something far more wide ranging, at the same time having a good perspective as to how robust or more granular approach to take to a matter. We have always found their response times to be unimpeachable and their willingness to pick up informal queries at short notice very helpful indeed. Richard and David Warman are both always a pleasure to work with.’
‘Both Richard Max and David Warman are very responsive and always helpful. In many ways picking up the phone to them is not different to picking up the phone to a colleague in another department of this firm. They are both able to handle huge matters and also give practical and ever-helpful guidance in relation to the smallest of matters as well.’
‘Richard Max & Co is a unique practice well situated in central London. It is set apart from the traditional big City planning specialist firms. It is much smaller in size but big on expertise, dealing with major and smaller planning projects alike. It exercises a calm and personal approach, is efficiently run and has an excellent understanding of the day to day demands which inevitably arise in the planning world and responds promptly to these challenges.’
‘David Warman has been with Richard Max & Company for many years and has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience which he harnesses to an authoritative and measured approach. His understanding, guidance, skill and approachable manner will be a comfort to any client employing his services.’
‘Richard Max and Co is a small but tight-knit team of excellent people who deserve better recognition. Their size means everyone has first-hand knowledge of the workstream, and partners such as David Warman are accessible and completely on top of what is happening.’
‘David Warman is one of the nicest planning solicitors out there. Incredibly hard-working, every case gets his personal attention. He is measured and thoughtful and provides solid, practical advice.’
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club
Fulham Football Club
Royal Horticultural Society
Galliard Homes/Aviva Investors
Balliol College Oxford
Shaftesbury Homes and Arethusa
Bates Wells Braithwaite
The Wings Museum
St Paul’s School
Ms Judy Cramer
- Assisting Tottenham Hotspur FC on the planning issues associated with its new stadium.
- Advising Fulham FC on the redevelopment of its training centre at Motspur Park.
- Advising The Wings Museum on plans for a new site on land adjoining the Dunsfold Aerodrome.
Notably strong in representing public bodies, the planning team at Sharpe Pritchard LLP takes instructions on major regeneration projects in London and across the UK. Highlights this year have included handling section 106 negotiations on affordable housing projects for local authorities as well as CPOs and advice on the CIL. Bernadette Hillman joined as practice head from Asserson Law Offices in June 2020, taking over from Brian Hurwitz following his retirement in April 2020, and Denise Stephenson, who joined the Royal Mail Group in December 2019.
Other key lawyers:
‘This team is excellent. They are very strong in local government and representing public and statutory bodies.’
London Borough of Lambeth
London Borough of Merton
London Borough of Redbridge
London Borough of Wandsworth
Hertfordshire County Council
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
The National Trust
- Assisting the London Borough of Lambeth on the Clapham Park Estate regeneration.
- Advising South Cambridgeshire District Council on the expansion of the Wellcome Genome Campus in Hinxton.
- Advising the London Borough of Tower Hamlets on the Chrisp Street Market redevelopment.
Shoosmiths LLP's planning team takes instructions on the full spectrum of planning matters from a roster of public and private clients. Karen Howard joined the national firm's London office from DLA Piper in April 2019, bringing with her several new developer clients and a specialism in planning for mixed-use developments. She now leads the firm's planning teams across the south, including London. Kirsten Hewson leads the firm's overall real estate division from the firm's Solent office; she previously headed up the planning, environment and CPO team.
Other key lawyers:
‘Karen Howard has a superb grasp of the issues, and takes a collaborative business-like approach at all times.’
‘The team is responsive, knowledgeable and professional. Advice given was clear and appropriate. Attendance at meetings is effective. Excellent support and guidance was provided for a CPO Inquiry. I have been invited to a number of briefings which were helpful and provided networking opportunities.’
‘All individuals are approachable and I was confident that the advice given was appropriate. They are always happy to assist with demanding requests.’
‘I have found the team to be responsive and proactive giving clear relevant advice.’
‘Karen Howard is very personable and swift to react.’
Buckland Capital Limited
Commercial Estates Group
Thurrock Borough Council
Dartmouth Park Estates
S & J Padfield Estates
Stratland Estates Limited
Churchill Retirement Living Limited
Arun District Council
McCarthy & Stone Plc
- Acting for S J Padfield Estates on a joint venture with St Modwen to secure the largest Business Enterprise Park.
- Assisting Buckland Development on 6,000 residential units of strategic housing for the new Welborne Garden Village in Hampshire.
- Advising Grainger in connection with the Aldershot Urban Extension including deeds of variation to the Section 106 Agreement, work regarding the structure and funding of the Management Company for the SANG Proposals and highway agreements.
Trowers & Hamlins LLP's practice deals with planning matters for a range of individuals, registered providers, developers, local authorities and institutional investors. Practice head Jacqueline Backhaus advises on strategic policy and planning applications and is experienced in the negotiation of section 106 agreements for major development and regeneration schemes.
Watson Farley & Williams LLP
Nick Walker leads the planning team at Watson Farley & Williams LLP. The practice offers expertise across the spectrum of planning work including onshore and offshore consents, CPOs and PRS schemes. The team also regularly takes on contentious work and can draw on a strong international corporate client base through the wider firm. A notable specialism comes in advising clients in the renewable energy sector, particularly on large wind farm developments.
‘Nick Walker has a truly exceptional client base that reveals the core strength of his practice: commercially practicable advice informed by hard edged sound legal analysis.’
‘Hands-on partner-level approach. Timely and astute advice.’
‘Nick Walker has provided significant assistance in successfully securing planning consent for us. He has provided valuable advice and direction to secure this consent against some resistance from the local planning authority.’
‘The team has exceptional insight into the challenges faced when developing projects.’
Race Bank Wind Farm
SMBC, Helaba and NatWest
- Assisting Clinitek on the redevelopment and operation of a high temperature clinical waste treatment facility on a former incinerator site at Hanley Castle in Worcestershire.
- Acting for BP Pension Fund on a speculative forward funding development in Bristol.
- Advised Race Bank Wind Farm on its £472.5m sale of transmission system assets relating to the Race Bank offshore wind farm to Diamond Transmission Partners.
With a focus on the development, retail, social housing, leisure and construction sectors, the planning team at Blake Morgan LLP works with both private and public sector clients, including CPOs on infrastructure projects, planning agreements for mixed-use developments and section 106 negotiations. Senior associate Keith Lancaster now co-leads the practice alongside Guthrie McGruer following the departure of Sara Hanrahan to Lewis Silkin LLP.
Berkeley Homes (Southern) Limited
IWG Group Services (UK) Limited / Regus
Southern Water Plc
Hollybrook Homes Limited
Sutton and East Surrey Water
Agudas Israel Housing Association
British Red Cross
Bedfordshire Pilgrims HA
Milford Haven Port Authority
Calthorpe Estates Limited
Westminster City Council
Victoria Land Limited
Beechcroft Developments Limited
Bloor Homes (South West) Limited
Bellway Homes Limited (Thames Valley)
Cooper Estates Limited
Sunley Estates Limited
- Advised Osiers Road Limited (Hollybrook Homes) on a mixed use PSI development of 10-14 storey high buildings providing office floor space with ancillary cafe, flexible commercial floor space and 168 residential units at a prime riverside location in Wandsworth through application and call-in.
- Advised Bellway Homes Limited on the delivery of a 300-unit residential site including critical new road infrastructure which has involved the particularly complex interaction of supplementary section 106 agreement negotiation, advanced payment code and highway advice, planning obligation and condition discharge advice in the context of a lengthy construction period which has enabled continued plot sales.
- Advised the Welsh Government on the compulsory purchase of land to enable the construction of the New Dyfi Bridge, including dealing with the withdrawal of strategic objections from transport providers in order to enable the successful confirmation of the CPO.
Davitt Jones Bould is a real estate boutique with a planning offering that draws on the combined 80 years' experience from its four partners. Instructions come from a considerable client base of local authorities and other public bodies. John Qualtrough and Robin de Wreede are the key planning contacts in London.
‘Attention to detail, quick responses, exceptional client care.’
‘The lawyers we deal with really care about how what they do affects us and our objectives.’
Bath and North East Somerset Council (BANES)
North Somerset Council
The Royal Parks
Woking Borough Council
Slough Borough Council
Minerva Smart Cities
Care Quality Commission
The City and County of Swansea Council
Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL)
Sedgemoor District Council
Surrey County Council
Chelmsford City Council
James Elliman Homes
Devon County Council
Exeter Science Park
- Advising the Royal Parks on all of the planning aspects relating to the hosting of events including the London Marathon and BBC Proms in the Park.
- Assisting Woking Borough Council on a large regeneration for the Council that includes over 1,000 new homes and significant commercial infrastructure.
- Advised the City and County of Swansea Council on the Parc Felindre Business Park development and the Hafod Copperworks regeneration scheme.
Fieldfisher's planning team in London take instructions on mixed-use development, regeneration, infrastructure, and land assembly. Practice head John Bowman has over 20 years of experience advising on national and international projects including transport networks, mineral extraction, brownfield regeneration and corporate acquisitions and disposals.
Mark Harnett's planning practice at Fladgate LLP has a core focus on residential development work including CIL advice, while also regularly assisting with section 106 and infrastructure agreements. Senior associate Miles Crawford supports him across all matters; the team receives instructions from a notable number of clients in the leisure and entertainment sector.
Other key lawyers:
‘A very good team – a pleasure to work with.’
‘They have a great understanding of how local authority legal departments work and ability to build a rapport with them.’
Cheshunt Lakeside Developments
Music Walk of Fame
Delmont Mackintosh Theatres
The Board of Trustees of the National Portrait Gallery
Sandown Properties Limited
Penguin Random House
- Advised Inland Homes in connection with the development of the former MOD School of Languages in Beaconsfield in accordance with a Planning Brief adopted by South Buckinghamshire District Council for 350 homes
- Advising Cheshunt Lakeside on a planning application and section 106 agreement for the redevelopment of the former Tesco’s Head Office in Cheshunt to provide a residential-led mixed use development.
- Advising Hodson Developments on reserved matters, applications and associated infrastructure agreements for a substantial residential development at Chilmington Green, Ashford.
A mix of commercial clients and local authorities work with Freeths LLP's planning and environment group on the full range of adjacent matters, including section 106 negotiations, highways agreements, rights of way issues and CIL. The team also provides a strong contentious offering and as practice head, Robert Bruce brings over 20 years experience in planning and related law.
‘A close-knit team that works well over differing geographical locations. A wide range of services are on offer and they complement their other teams well, such as real estate and construction.’
‘Robert Bruce is always very personable and on top of his brief. He gives clear pragmatic advice in a way that is easy to understand and is practical to deliver.’
‘The team have good knowledge of the planning system and give sound commercial advice.’
‘Rob Bruce has a good grasp of the law and the commercial needs of his clients, resulting in first-rate advice.’
‘Rob Bruce is experienced, calm and has good judgement. He is one of the top partners around.’
Nottinghamshire County Council Pension Fund / Aberdeen Standard Life
Taylor Wimpey / Transport for London
Bucks County Council
Stein Management Limited
- Represented Nottinghamshire County Council Pension Fund in a Supreme Court Hearing relating to implying conditions in a planning permission.
- Advising Taylor Wimpey on a 700 dwelling mixed used development around Finchley tube station.
- Advising and representing English Heritage on a Development Consent Order around Stonehenge.
Best known for working on complex redevelopment projects for a select client base from the private sector, Howard Kennedy LLP's planning team is now headed by senior associate Jade Chalmers following the recent departure of Anita Kasseean to Blake Morgan LLP. Particular expertise include application of CIL regulations; the practice also has a strong contentious offering.
McGrath Bros Waste Control (Hackney)
City and Docklands Property Group
- Acting for First Base on a £43m redevelopment.
- Assisting McGrath Bros Waste Control in technical and strategic planning advice on all aspects of a planning application for the redevelopment of a waste site on the edge of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Irwin Mitchell's London planning team works closely with the national firm's other lawyers around the UK to deliver a service known best for its work on mixed-use regeneration schemes. Retirement living has also been a recent strength and area of client growth. Recently promoted partner Nicola Gooch is the key contact across London and Gatwick following the retirement of former practice head Carl Dyer; Claire Petricca-Riding now leads the newly combined planning and environment department from Manchester.
‘Irwin Mitchell’s planning team are an incredibly adept and proactive set of staff, with complementary areas of expertise.’
‘Nicola Gooch is an outstanding lawyer to deal with, with the ability to give sound legal advice in a commercial and strategic way. Her sensible, clear and pragmatic advice is easy to digest, underpinned by a robust understanding of planning law and the legal system. Nicola works hard to make sure she is always on hand to provide informal or formal advice rapidly, which is incredibly valuable, and has an excellent talent for making you feel like her only clients. Nicola’s professional qualities are complimented by her personable and friendly approach which make an absolute pleasure to work with.’
Grange Bedfont Limited
The Congregation of The Sisters Of Nazareth
HSBC UK Bank Plc
- Advising Jaspar Group on four residential schemes.
- Assisting Welbeck Land on section 106 agreements and environmental issues related to several housing developments in Wealden.
- Advinsing Octopus Property on the negotiation of two Deed of Variations.
The planning offering at Keystone Law is strong in (General Permitted Development) Order (GPDO) matters and has recently gained a number of notable new clients across the construction, house development, retail and infrastructure sectors. Ben Garbett is a specialist in judicial reviews and leads the practice alongside Oliver Goodwin, an experienced planning lawyer with expertise in major urban regeneration schemes and complex environmental assessments.
Other key lawyers:
Coventry Gliding Club Limited
Solent Retail Limited
Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust
Solo Retail Limited
Hayashi Developments Ltd
Drayton Construction Limited
Atlas Partners Ltd
International Property Investment Company
Bembridge Harbour Trust
Private Couple – Listed Building
- Represented the Coventry Gliding Club in a High Court claim for judicial review of the local planning authority’s decision to grant ‘prior approval’ for development affecting the club’s airfield.
- Assisting Atlas Partners on planning advice to secure a new planning permission for a previously approved residential scheme (against strong opposition) at St Leonards which, consists of 417 units and overlooks the sea.
- Represented for Bembridge Harbour Trust in the challenge of several planning applications for residential development and other development activities of the Harbour Authority and other company entities, and use of powers under the Harbours Acts generally.
Lewis Silkin LLP's planning team is now led by Sara Hanrahan following her arrival from Blake Morgan LLP in January 2020. In conjunction with the firm's wider real estate department, the team handles the full range of planning matters, working with corporate occupiers, luxury retail and leisure clients, investors, high net-worth individuals and developers; Chinese developers being a key source of clients for the firm.
Other key lawyers:
‘Listening is key to the uniqueness of this practice. Being prepared to talk and to understand and then put into layman’s terms the intricacies of an area of science.’
‘Sara Hanrahan has a good commercial and legal understanding of cases and client needs.’
‘The practice is small enough to care but big enough to attract the right team. They have been working on my real estate project for over a decade and have maintained a continuity where possible within their team; this has been vital in dealing with the intricacies of the many legal agreements we have in place on the project. The leadership is always informed, and the support lawyers exemplary.’
‘Always proactive and ‘can do’. Intelligent and thoughtful, with relevant feedback.’
‘Sara Hanrahan is knowledgeable and approachable.’
A6 Management Ltd
London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham
London Legacy Development Corporation
London Luton Airport Operations Ltd
Notting Hill Home Ownership Limited
- Advised Cain International on the £500m redevelopment of the former Royal Mail North London Post Sorting office site known as Islington Square, which included two planning inquiries.
- Acted for London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in connection with the £8bn regeneration of the Earls Court Estate including strategic masterplan advice and compulsory purchase.
- Advised the London Legacy Development Corporation on a number of complex planning issues over a number of years.
Barrister Sarah Fitzpatrick now heads the planning practice at Norton Rose Fulbright, having joined from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP in January 2020. The team is now in a period of re-establishment and growth, with the 'thought-leading and thorough' Fitzpatrick handling key mandates including large-scale housing and leisure redevelopments across the country.
Other key lawyers:
‘Sarah Fitzpatrick and team have been looking after my affairs for some years; her reputation precedes her so much so when other consultants hear of her involvement they are reassured.’
‘Not afraid to stand firm to external stakeholders when putting forward the case for their client’s agreed strategy.’
‘I have worked with Sarah Fitzpatrick for some time; the qualities that have made our partnership successful is the virtually constant success rate in planning terms of the projects we have worked on together.’
‘Sarah Fitzpatrick is thought-leading and thorough in getting the best for clients in the ever evolving planning arena.’
‘The marvellous Sarah Fitzpatrick is the pre-eminent planning lawyer based on my wide experience of working with multiple practices. The quality of her advice is quite exceptional.’
‘Sarah Fitzpatrick’s advice is outstanding. Her ability to cut through a maze of issues and provide practical, on-point advice is the best in the business.’
‘The knowledge, depth of experience and accessibility of the planning team is exceptional.’
‘Sarah Fitzpatrick stands out, her knowledge and ability to find practical solutions to difficult situations is refreshing and welcome.’
Crystal Palace Football Club
DB Cargo (UK)
Atlas Property Services
Funding Affordable Homes
Civitas Social Healthcare Advisors
ABC International Bank
National Westminster Bank
Balfour Beatty Investments
Tees Eco Energy
Total Renewables SAS
Alex Ground leads the growing practice at Russell-Cooke LLP, assisting clients on all issues in the planning sphere, covering highways, compulsory purchase, planning applications, appeals and negotiating section 106 agreements. The team are also becoming increasingly strong on the contentious side, notably receiving recent new instructions from high net-worth individuals.
Newable Property Developments
Graham Oates Associates
Pret A Manger
Imperial London Hotels
- Advised Copperwood Developments on the planning application for 154 residential units.
- Acting for Triplerose in an enforcement appeal case against the London Borough of Hackney.
- Instructed by a high-net-worth individual on a section 289 high court appeal against upholding of an enforcement notice at appeal.
Slaughter and May
With specialist strength in sports stadiums, urban redevelopments and planning support on corporate acquisitions, Slaughter and May's planning practice is headed by senior associate Richard Keczkes. Clients range from Premier League football clubs to private equity investors and local government authorities; the team also takes instructions on energy and infrastructure projects across the country.
Other key lawyers:
‘Attention to detail and a wide reaching perspective that protects and de-risks our interests over a number of complex and interconnecting issues.’
‘They have the ability to convert and explain complex practical issues and arguments into a workable and proportionate legal solution or response.’
‘Richard Keczkes has a tremendous depth of knowledge and experience. He is very thoughtful and provides very good and practical advice. He gets the job done.’
‘Along with the superb response time, the depth of knowledge and risk management is excellent.’
‘The team have an in-depth understanding of us as the client, our operations and our mission.’
‘They give honest advice and not just what we want to hear. They fully understand our governance process and therefore ensure their approach is appropriate.’
The Clothworkers’ Company
Essex County Council
The Fishmongers’ Company
Legal & General
Marylebone Cricket Club
Ørsted (formerly DONG Energy)
Tottenham Hotspur FC
- Advised Everton FC on its development of a new stadium in Liverpool’s World Heritage Site at Bramley Moore Dock and the redevelopment of Goodison Park.
- Advised The Clothworkers’ Company on its development of a new 35 storey office tower at Fenchurch Street.
- Advised Essex County Council on the planning applications, public inquiries and High Court litigation for its county-wide energy from waste facility.
Stephenson Harwood's planning group is headed by senior associate Sarah Wooton and provides support on a range of instructions, including an increasing number of complex regeneration schemes across the UK. The firm acts for developers, public authorities, investors and occupiers across all planning disciplines.
‘The team are very approachable and practical but also with a good technical background.’
‘The individuals are committed and offer alternative solutions to problems as apposed to just ‘taking instructions’.’
Great Lakes UK Limited
North London Waste Authority (NLWA)
O&H Properties Mayfair London (O&H)
Sterling Property Ventures Limited
SREIT (Bedford) Limited
LaSalle Investment Management
- Advised Great Lakes UK Limited in relation to the planning application for the development of a new leisure park.
- Assisted O&H Properties Mayfair London with obtaining planning permission for an approximately 400 unit residential development and new primary school in Doncaster.
- Acted for LaSalle Investment Management on the planning aspects of the purchase of the Galleries Shopping Centre in Bristol.