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Who Represents Who

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Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP β€˜sits at the top of the tree’ with β€˜a hugely knowledgeable and proactive team’, which β€˜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 β€˜hugely experienced’ Wendy Miller and β€˜true master’ Roger 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 β€˜go-to expert’ Cohen. Clients also single out Michael Metliss, who regularly acts for institutional landlords, β€˜absolute star’ Akhil Markanday and associate director Jeremy Stephen, who advises on insolvency-related matters and has a β€˜no-nonsense approach’. Joanna Lampert joined Mishcon de Reya LLP in 2017.

The β€˜exceptional’ Danielle 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 β€˜one of the best in the market and stands as the pre-eminent firm for property litigation’, fields an β€˜extremely professional, responsive and highly knowledgeable’ team. Nick Lloyd is β€˜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; β€˜client favourite’ Julie Gattegno, who is β€˜a joy to work with’; Nick Wood, who is β€˜intensely bright and focused, commercially minded, realistic and incredibly dedicated to the cause’; Marcus Barclay; and the β€˜highly commercial’ Simone Ketchell. Clients also single out senior associates Anna Ralston, who β€˜has a great enthusiasm and appetite for heavyweight litigation’ and Robin Biela, who is β€˜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.

FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Maples Teesdale

The only property law firm you’ll ever need. Maples Teesdale dispute resolution department advises on the full range of property, construction and general commercial litigation services. The team regularly works with clients on service charge disputes, rights of light issues, rent reviews, dilapidations, planning disputes and enforcement of lending obligations.

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Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s β€˜absolutely superb’ team is β€˜hands on and proactive, and provides solid, reliable and speedy advice’. Practice head Will Densham, who is β€˜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 β€˜truly outstanding litigator’ Stuart Wortley, who is β€˜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. β€˜Tough but pragmatic litigator’ John Kemkers is also recommended, as are principal associate Kate Poole and senior associate Heather Tomlinson, who are both β€˜exceptional talents’. The Berkeley Group, Aberdeen Asset Management, Qatar National Bank and British Land are also key clients.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s β€˜second-to-none team’ is β€˜one of the best in the market’ fielding β€˜incredibly bright practitioners who have considerable depth of knowledge and experience that is unmatched by any others in the area’. The β€˜superb’ groups acts for β€˜undisputedly impressive clients’ including the Crown Estate and Qatari Diar. Practice head Nicholas Cheffings, who is β€˜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 Ditchburn β€˜inspires 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 β€˜a future star’, who is β€˜inventive, intellectually rigorous, assiduous and utterly reliable’.

Under β€˜brilliant strategist’ Daniel Levy’s β€˜inspirational leadership’, Mishcon de Reya LLP’s team is β€˜going from strength to strength’, and it was further strengthened by the addition of Joanna Lampert – β€˜one of the market’s best players’ – from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP. The β€˜elite’ team is β€˜focused on providing clients with effective and commercial advice’ and β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜a first-class litigator with a robust, commercial, tenacious and creative manner’ that makes him β€˜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 β€˜enviable team of excellent individuals’ is led by the β€˜genuinely brilliant’ Robert Highmore and counts the β€˜thoroughly commercial’ Louise Clark, β€˜outstanding lawyer’ Emma Humphreys (who is β€˜extremely down to earth and approachable’) and the β€˜highly practical’ Jeremy Hudson as key practitioners. The group has substantial expertise in leasehold enfranchisement matters, which is a key area of strength for Hudson and the β€˜highly skilled’ James 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 β€˜a brilliantly strong litigation practice’, which handles the full gamut of commercial, residential and enfranchisement mandates. The β€˜professional and efficient’ Natasha Rees, who specialises in residential disputes and leasehold enfranchisement, leads the team, which β€˜saw a huge boost’ with the hiring of Ben Barrison from DLA Piper. β€˜Astute and practical lawyer’ Jonathan Ross, who is β€˜a pleasure to work with’ and regularly handles dilapidation claims, β€˜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 β€˜a superb array of talent’ that includes Matthew Bonye, who is β€˜highly strategic in his leadership’, the β€˜remarkable’ Martin Dawbney and Tom Leech QC. Clients also single out β€˜wonderful’ senior associate Frances Edwards, whose β€˜rigour and attention to detail separates her from the rest’, β€˜impressive’ senior associate Julia Tobbell, who is β€˜truly fantastic and pairs practicality with a fearless approach’ and β€˜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 β€˜responsive, impressive and reliable’ London team is jointly headed by Siobhan Cross, whose β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜a very commercial team player who always looks for the best possible answers’, heads the practice, which includes β€˜incredibly knowledgeable’ senior associate Lucy Grey.

Boodle Hatfield LLP is β€˜one of the go-to groups for leasehold enfranchisement work’ and its β€˜well-respected and experienced team consistently delivers high-quality advice in a responsive and practical way’, which β€˜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 β€˜an absolute star’ and has β€˜a careful, patient and clever manner’, which β€˜makes him the kind of solicitor you want on your side’. Associate Andrew Hindle, who is β€˜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 β€˜strong firm’ Clifford Chance LLP, the β€˜impressive and concise’ Ben Hatton, who is β€˜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 β€˜a key rainmaker in the field’ and β€˜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 β€˜a diligent, pragmatic and practical manner’ paired with β€˜a friendly approach’ and β€˜a real nous when it comes to strategy and tactics’. Senior associate Jonathan Smith is β€˜very dedicated and knowledgeable in residential litigation’ and solicitor Joanna Christou is β€˜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 β€˜bright and enthusiastic’ team is led by the β€˜exceptional’ Ian Brierley and includes β€˜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 β€˜sensible and pragmatic with excellent client handling skills’ and β€˜runs an excellent team of property litigators’, which includes recently promoted partner David Payton, who is β€˜a pleasure to work with’.

Fieldfisher β€˜provides a top-notch service’ and has β€˜a growing presence in the area’ under the leadership of Antony Phillips, who β€˜is a highly experienced litigator who instils confidence with every encounter’. Phillips specialises in dilapidation claims and β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜incredibly bright, extremely likeable and result-oriented’ Owen Talfan Davies β€˜takes complex matters in his stride’ and is recommended for injunction work, and senior associate Hannah Ingham is β€˜exceptionally practical’.

Fladgate LLP is β€˜a highly commercial firm with a broad ability across the property litigation field’. Its β€˜very effective team’ delivers β€˜a brilliant service together with excellent response times and extremely high knowledge levels’ that β€˜completely justifies the confidence clients place in it’. Practice head Thekla Fellas, Alison Mould, who is β€˜an insightful and experienced individual, who is calm in a crisis and allows nothing to slip by’, Jonathan Hibberts, who β€˜works harder than it seems is possible’, and β€˜truly outstanding lawyer’ Janet 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 β€˜superb’ group at Lewis Silkin LLP has β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜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 Β£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 Myers β€˜leads from the front’ and utilises his β€˜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 β€˜incredibly experienced and unflappable’ Sophie Schultz, who is β€˜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 β€˜excellent leadership’ of Saleem Fazal, who is β€˜an able lawyer with exceptionally sound tactical judgement’ and is β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜someone you definitely want on your side’, and senior associate Rachel Kerr focuses on landlord and tenant disputes and is β€˜a very measured lawyer’.

Wedlake Bell LLP’s team β€˜has an in-depth knowledge of the area with different practitioners picking up different specialities’; practice head John Muncey, who has β€˜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 β€˜an instinctive grasp of any challenge given to her’, handles dilapidation claims, service charge disputes and rent reviews; and the β€˜excellent’ Adam 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 β€˜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 β€˜commercial and has a strong legal understanding’ with β€˜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 β€˜very personable, bright and easy to work with’.

Addleshaw Goddard's β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜provides a comprehensive and proactive service’ that includes β€˜accurate and commercial advice, which clients are always pleased with’ paired with β€˜a professional approach and personable manner’. Paul Dunbar, who is β€˜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 β€˜genuinely excellent’.

Bircham Dyson Bell’s team has β€˜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 β€˜approachable, knowledgeable and highly practical’ and β€˜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 β€˜conscientious and prompt individuals’, who have β€˜exceptional market knowledge and consistently practical solutions that make it a pleasure to deal with’. β€˜All-round excellent’ practice head Daniel Kidd, who is β€˜very bright with great legal knowledge and a commercial mind’ that’ β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜bright lawyer’ Julian Johnstone, who β€˜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, CondΓ© 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 β€˜standout individual’ Benjamin Lomer, who is β€˜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 β€˜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. β€˜Excellent all-round litigator’ Shams Rahman β€˜is tenacious and meticulous in his preparation’ and β€˜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 & Co β€˜continues to grow its profile in the property sphere’ and is β€˜easily able to hold its own’, providing β€˜a commercially minded service that is tailored to the client’s needs and always seeks the best solutions’. The team, jointly led by β€˜standout practitioner’ Siobhan Jones and Adrian Parkhouse, β€˜makes a mark in the sector’ and β€˜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 β€˜team of skilled litigators’ is β€˜knowledgeable, sensible and practical’. Edward Vaughan, who is β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜thorough, professional and knowledgeable’ team β€˜has a personal touch that makes it very approachable and understanding of the client’s needs’. Practice head Craig Walker, β€˜tenacious lawyer’ Deborah Rider, who is β€˜better to be working with than against’, and consultant Paul McAndrews, who has β€˜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 β€˜ambitious’ team is β€˜clearly going places’ and has β€˜notably invested in its practice following a spate of promotions’ including the recent elevation of the β€˜genuinely brilliant’ Adrian 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 Bingham β€˜handles the biggest property litigation with calmness and aplomb’. Clients include Berkeley, St James Group, Covent Garden Market Authority and Moat Homes.

Hamlins LLP’s β€˜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 Andrews β€˜works 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 β€˜a formidable opponent and a force to be reckoned with’. Faiza Ahmad moved in-house at E&M.

Howard Kennedy LLP’s β€˜strong practice’ has β€˜a no-holds barred approach to property litigation’ covering β€˜straightforward landlord and tenant issues to complex development disputes’. Amanda McNeil, whose β€˜gentle persona hides her steely determination and toughness as a litigator’, leads the group following the move of the β€˜absolutely top drawer’ Michele Freyne to a consultancy role. The β€˜awesome’ Lara Nyman is β€˜always spot on tactically’ and is singled out by clients for her β€˜exceptional reliability’; she recently successfully acted for the claimant Spartafield in a contractual dispute. Senior associate Daniel Swimer is β€˜one to watch with a very focused, careful and knowledgeable approach’ and β€˜senior statesman of the property litigation world’ Simon Taylor is β€˜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 β€˜very bright and commercial’ Richard Brown leads the department, which includes the β€˜incredibly charming’ Chris Baker, who is recommended for leasehold enfranchisement matters, and James Pavey, who has β€˜a real flair for client care’ and acts for rural landholders, high-net-worth individuals and institutional landowners.

JPC Law is β€˜exceptionally good in the residential arena, particularly leasehold enfranchisement and service charge work’ and practice head Yashmin Mistry is β€˜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 β€˜could make a deal with absolutely anyone’ and regularly handles collective enfranchisements, lease extensions and freehold acquisitions.

Linklaters LLP’s β€˜extremely knowledgeable’ practice is headed by β€˜incredibly perceptive’ counsel Frances Richardson. Katie Bradford, who β€˜has bags of experience and is excellent at using this to provide a highly informed judgement’, is now a consultant. Euan Clarke is β€˜excellent for real estate finance matters’ and senior associate Chris Stevenson is β€˜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 β€˜small yet perfectly formed’ team of β€˜technical, commercial and knowledgeable’ lawyers led by the β€˜highly strategic’ Doug Wass. Andy Mather has β€˜a clear insight into the necessary strategies required to achieve a successful outcome’ and senior counsel Mark Lawrence is β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜small but very effective team’ is led by β€˜impressive talent’ Andrew 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 β€˜extremely tenacious’ Matthew Spring, who is β€˜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 β€˜knowledgeable, efficient and commercially minded’ team include team head Donald Lambert, who β€˜provides clear and concise advice through an incredibly affable manner’, and David Masters, who is β€˜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 RadcliffesLeBrasseur β€˜takes an innovative approach that allows for practical and commercial advice to be provided in a pragmatic and effective way’. Practice head Simon Hartley, who β€˜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 β€˜a unique dynamic’ with β€˜a well-integrated and exceptionally talented property litigation team’. The group is jointly headed by β€˜excellent tactician’ Rudi Ramdarshan, Jonathan Roberts, whose β€˜outstanding qualities include incredible commercial acumen and an ability to solve the most intractable of cases’, and newly promoted partner David Burns, who is β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜extremely responsive and knowledgeable with a real feel for the client’s needs and a clear and concise approach’. Practice head William Lawrence is β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜one of the leading groups in the sector and is highly efficient and meticulous’. Samantha Bone, who is β€˜incredibly well versed’, heads up the enfranchisement team, while Simon Serota, who is β€˜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 β€˜reacts quickly, thoroughly and will not let any dispute drift away from her’. β€˜Strong associates’ Shamin Kashem and the β€˜excellent’ Fleur Neale are also recommended.

The β€˜responsive, thorough and knowledgeable’ department at Bates Wells Braithwaite β€˜acts 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 β€˜fabulous to work with’ and has β€˜an immensely commercial, practical and experienced approach’, heads the group, which also includes β€˜excellent lawyer’ James Sutherland, whose advice is β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜measured, considered and realistic’ advice. Greg Barnbrook, who stands out for his β€˜outstanding knowledge’ in the space, is highly regarded in the restaurant sector; he recently acted for CΓ΄te 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 β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜prompt and professional’ team at Squire Patton Boggs is β€˜always on top of the issue, no matter the complexity’. The group recently gained the National Exhibition Centre and Leeds City Council as clients; β€˜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 β€˜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 β€˜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 LLP β€˜has established itself as a player in the market’ following the arrival of the β€˜astute and practical’ Dev Desai from Pinsent Masons LLP in 2016. Desai, who is β€˜a real star, with a thoughtful yet practical manner’, heads the practice; he represented TelefΓ³nica 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 β€˜excellent’ team is led by rent review specialist Michael Madden, who β€˜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.

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