Firms To Watch: Residential property

Axiom DWFM receives plaudits for its ’ability to react to situations’ and to then ‘provide considered advice’. Idnan Liaqat heads the department and receives a steady flow of instructions from some Chinese property investors.
Bishop & Sewell LLP is a ‘very professional practice’ that provides ‘consistent and timely help’ by paying ‘close attention to detail and is always willing to go the extra mile’. Ossie Swaine ; Mark Chick  and Thom Wilkinson head the department
Brecher LLP fields a team that is ‘technically strong but practical and commercial too, seeing things from the client’s point of view and turning often turgid real estate issues into sensible, practical and actionable advice’. Jacqui McCoy  heads the team that also includes Craig Sherrard  and Alyson Thornton-Clark.
The ‘super knowledgeable, punctual and thorough’ team at Healys LLP is led by Kiri Kkoshi  who acts for a broad range of clients from high-net-worth individuals to property developers and banks.
Jaswal Johnston LLP garners praise for its ‘very personalised service’ with a ‘good balance of partner and associate involvement on mandates’.  Key names to note are Sandeep Jaswal; Mo Hakim and Gursant Sandhu.
The 'hugely professional team' at North Star Law Ltd. has' good communicators who respond to queries in a timely and efficient manner. They are both helpful and hugely knowledgeable' under the direction of Benedikte Malling Bech and John Fox.

Firms in the Spotlight Residential property

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP

Ronald Fletcher Baker attracts a diverse client base from financial institutions, high-net-worth individuals and substantial freehold corporate investors, as a result of which the firm has considerable expertise acting for corporate investors based in the BVI, Bahamas, Mauritius, Seychelles, Turkey and Isle of Man. This department also acts for sellers and buyers, and buy-to-let investors, …

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Residential property in London

Boodle Hatfield LLP

Saskia Arthur leads a ‘very professional team’ at Boodle Hatfield LLP that has an ‘excellent level of expertise in all aspects of property transactions which allows it to solve clients’ questions quickly and efficiently’. The team has a wealth of experience in acting for individuals in the purchase, finance and sale of prime residential and ‘trophy’ properties as well as managing the residential property portfolios of major landed estates in London and across the UK. Other core areas of expertise include advising both landlords and tenants on statutory lease extensions and freehold purchases and advising on the construction documentation for the building and refurbishment of listed central London and rural properties. Shaima Jillood  is the joint head of the firm’s Middle East practice and is skilled at handling all aspects of residential property matters. Reem Al-Jumaily is a key member of the Middle East practice too and specialises in the sale and purchase of UK residential property and large London development projects.

Practice head(s):

Saskia Arthur


Other key lawyers:

Shaima Jillood; Reem Al-Jumaily; Edward Allan; Simon Kerrigan; Graham Winkley


‘Edward Allan and his team are exceptional. They are highly professional, diligent and are commercial in their approach. We would entrust them with all of our clients. Edward Allan is truly excellent. We have transacted on numerous properties together’.

‘A good sized team, with a broad range of knowledge and expertise, well known in the industry, easy to get on with and very reliable. Comparing advice received from different firms, the level of detail is usually of a better quality and is easy to understand, without unnecessary jargon’.

‘Including Simon Kerrigan and Graham Winkley, the individuals are approachable, thorough in the advice given, prompt in responding, highly professional and always willing to assist. They provide in depth advice, not just the basics, which is always appreciated’.

‘Boodle Hatfield are problem solvers. They don’t do conveyancing, they conduct conveyancing and do so like a musician in an orchestra. They make boring old law exciting and deliver a level of service that I haven’t found anywhere else in London’.

‘I only deal with Simon Kerrigan although I am aware that he has a team behind him and if it were necessary partners of equal ability to step in if necessary. He is tenacious, detailed, seems to survive on two hours sleep a night and offers what seems to be a 24/7 service’.

‘Saskia Arthur is a fantastic property lawyer with an exceptional level of expertise. She is always focused on achieving the best outcome for the client and is calm and reassuring. She is a pleasure to deal with, and I always feel that my clients are in safe hands when she is representing them’.

‘Reem Al Al Jumaily is one of the most exceptional lawyers I have worked with in my 25 year career. She is always on hand and being an Arabic speaker this has allowed many middle eastern clients have felt much more assured in working with her. As a firm they are formidable!’

‘Wonderful – Saskia is different class’.


Farrer & Co

The ‘outstanding’ team at Farrer & Co ‘provides a high level of service’ as ‘you have a good hierarchy with the principal having a lot of knowledge and experience with several very capable team workers reporting quickly to the principal if needed’. Laurie Horwood  is a key member of the department that remains focused on complex work across the residential property market in prime Central London and in the countryside. Laura Conduit  predominately advises on buying and selling both leasehold and freehold residential property for her clients with values ranging from £25,000 to in excess of £30m. Newly promoted partner Hugh Wigzell is vastly experienced in high-value conveyancing matters and acts for both banks and borrowers in secured lending transactions. Other areas of expertise include acting on new-build acquisitions and sales in addition to representing purchasers who are based outside of the UK. Edmund Fetherston-Dilke is also recommended. It is a team that ‘works seamlessly together’.

Practice head(s):

Laurie Horwood

Other key lawyers:

Laura Conduit; Hugh Wigzell; Annabel Dean; Edmund Fetherston-Dilke; Jenna Whistler; Adam Fletcher; Lindsay Cunningham


‘Partners are very much involved and lead their teams, which cannot be said for all real estate firms. A hands on approach, without interfering, offering a smooth transaction. All members of the team we’ve worked with are extremely knowledgeable, sensible, practical and communicate! The service is a cut above the rest and Farrer & Co is the top law firm we recommend to discerning clients’.

‘Laura Conduit, Laurie Horwood and Hugh Wigzell are a thoroughly professional team who are always on hand to answer any questions posed either by myself or by our mutual clients. Something which is rare these days! Their knowledge is detailed and advice is concise. Always prepared to look at everything from all angles and possibilities and going above and beyond their remit. A pleasure on every occasion to work with delivering a smooth outcome’.

‘I work regularly with the principal partners; Laurie Horwood, Annabel Dean, Laura Conduit and Edmund Fetherston-Dilke in the residential property department. I also work closely with their associates including Jenna Whistler, Hugh Wigzell and Adam Fletcher, all of whom are excellent at understanding any legal issues which come to light following a survey and clearly explaining this to the client. All of the partners and associates I work with exhibit a keen attention to detail and a quick understanding of the problems or issues I raise with them. They are also all very personable and pleasant individuals and it is a pleasure to work with them!’.

‘The team is always on hand and works extremely closely together. They have given excellent advice throughout all the transactions I have worked with them on. My main dealings have been with Hugh Wigzell who has been exceptional, always contactable, professional, polite and very knowledgeable.’

‘An outstanding team for residential conveyancing. Exceptional experience and knowledge throughout the team but also extremely approachable and excellent bedside manner. I know I can recommend them in the full knowledge that clients will get an exceptional service.’

‘Having worked on several deals with Annabel, Laura, Hugh, Lindsay, Jenna, Edmund and Laurie, I can vouch they are all brilliant. Incredibly conscientious, open minded, experienced, hardworking and intelligent’.

‘The team has a far-reaching and multi disciplinary practice. So whilst we may use 90% of one section within the firm, it is great to know we have the back up of further expertise in different fields should we need it’.

‘Laura Conduit is a consummate professional, she is diligent, consistent and available whenever needed. Reacts rapidly to problems and nothing is too much trouble. Edmund Featherstone Dilke, is a man with more real estate law knowledge than anyone else I have ever dealt with. His calm and relaxed approach betray quite what is going on in his brain’.


Forsters LLP

Under the excellent leadership of Lucy Barber the team at Forsters LLP continues to be active in transactions involving super prime and prime properties in London as well as on the sale and purchase of country houses. It has a diverse client base of wealthy clients who are based in the UK and abroad as well as prime residential developers, banks, property funds and investors. Charles Miéville is considered a 'go-to' adviser for particularly complex conveyancing and property financing matters for a client base that consists of a number of high-profile UHNW individuals and landed families. Robert Barham  has been busy advising on various high-value transactions on behalf of international clients. Helen Marsh handles a broad spread of issues from high-value sales and purchases to advising on financing issues and landlord and tenant matters. Anna-Marie Short is now at Galloway Hughes Solicitors.

Practice head(s):

Lucy Barber

Other key lawyers:

Charles Miéville; Robert Barnham; Helen Marsh


‘They are attentive, knowledgeable and great communicators. Charles Mieville’.

‘This team is known in London as acting for developers selling high end residential new build apartments. There is also an agricultural practice. Charles Mieville is the stand out partner in this team. Very user-friendly and commercially minded. He has a following among high end estate agents’.

‘The team at Forsters is excellent, there is lots of strength and depth in the team. They are always friendly and easy to deal with, and you get matters done with them. I enjoy acting opposite them on transactions. Robert Barham and Charles Mieville are both fantastic’.

‘A professional and welcoming practice with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in every area. High end residential conveyancing in Prime Central London’.

‘I would highly recommend Helen Marsh to any client. Helen is professional, knowledgeable and also personable. She is able to build a rapport and read her clients, managing situations and making the whole conveyancing process as painless and as stress-free as possible’.

Key clients

The Crown Estate

The Trinity Estate

The Phillimore Estate


Land Securities

Clivedale Limited

JP Morgan Private Bank

Banque Havilland

Nationwide Pension Fund

Knight Dragon

Keystone Law

Keystone Law has ’an in-depth knowledge of the real-estate market, and is therefore best placed to offer relevant and accurate advice in terms of trends and what’s actually happening on the ground’. It has an excellent portfolio of high-net-worth national and international clients and advises buyers and sellers as well as property agents, companies, banks and financiers in addition to development companies, trustees and property acquisition companies. Among the key names in the practice are Ian Cooke  and Sakhjit Randhawa. Cooke has considerable expertise in transactions relating to prime and super-prime London residential property. Randhawa garners praise for her work on high-value residential property acquisitions, sales and new development projects. Hugh Murphy  acts for private clients, landed estates and institutional clients on a whole host of property related matters. Dagmara Selwyn-Kuczera  is also well-regarded.

Other key lawyers:

Ian Cooke; Sakhjit Randhawa; Katie Cohen; Johnny Drysdale; Hugh Murphy; Dagmara Selwyn-Kuczera


‘Very knowledgeable and capable. Katie Cohen’s depth of knowledge and proactive working ensures clients get the best results’.

‘Professional and extremely efficient service. I have worked with Johnny Drysdale on many occasions and I would highly recommend him. He is always available to offer his professional advice when I call or email and communication skills are exceptional. He responds quickly on any queries or questions in order to proceed the transaction through as quickly and efficiently as possible’.

‘Broad range of strongly technical lawyers. Johnny Drysdale – Extremely thorough, diligent and commercial. In what was a very difficult purchase Johnny had full grasp of key issues and was able to navigate them extremely well. I will be using him again’.

‘We have been very delighted with the service offered by Keystone. They handled the purchase of our new home with great efficiency and thoroughness. Jonny Drysdale handles our case and was exemplary throughout. Excellent communication, attention to detail and a delight to have on our side!’.

‘An excellent team, our clients’ go-to residential and agricultural lawyers. We principally deal with Hugh Murphy. Hugh is efficient, knowledgeable, personable and accessible’.

‘Outstanding at delivering a wide range of property law advice even in a busy market. Fair value fees when cross referenced against the advice and service a client receives. Low profile operators who are busy delivering great advice rather than talking about it’.

‘I work very closely with partners Ian Cooke and Sakhjit Randhawa who quite simply operate on another level. Their property law knowledge and advice is excellent- and their client care, respect and availability is nothing short of outstanding. In my 25 years of business I haven’t experienced advice and service like it. Furthermore, they are both lovely to work with and their results speak for themselves’.

‘Ian Cooke and Sakhjit Randhawa have been exceptional in delivering a first class service in advising us on the legal front. Their market knowledge and intel is truly impressive, as they seem to have their finger on the pulse of what is happening real time in the market place. They are both exceptionally pro-active, where they will foresee a potential issue, and provide a solution even before it has been raised’.


Key clients

Regent’s Crescent Property Holding – Super-Prime London Residential Developer

The Old War Office Project

60 Curzon Street Limited

British Land PLC

Chester Collection Limited

Regent’s Crescent Property Holding – Super-Prime London Residential Developer

The Old War Office Project

60 Curzon Street Limited

British Land PLC

Chester Collection Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised on the sale of all of the apartments so far in the Regent’s Crescent development in prime central London. These apartments have continued to sell well during the coronavirus pandemic and in one-week alone Sakhjit Randhawa dealt with over £100m worth of transactions in the building.
  • Acting for Westminster Development Services Limited which is developing the famous building known as The Old War Office on Whitehall in London. The project is attracting huge media interest and is achieving records on pricing. One of the exchanges the firm has achieved in Autumn 2021 is for an apartment in the building which sold to a Middle eastern buyer for nearly £50m.
  • Ian Cooke and Sakhjit Randhawa have been advising British Land PLC throughout the development and sales programme of their super-prime Clarges, Mayfair development opposite the Ritz since the decision was made to purchase the original office building, knock it down and create some ultra-luxury residential apartments. Ian and Sakhjit have handled with their team all apartment sales and have concluded the final sales during 2021.

Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP

Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP fields a skilled and nimble team with Sarah Conway at the helm. Key areas of expertise include acting in many high-value residential sales and purchases throughout the UK with particular expertise in listed buildings. It is also adept at handling leasehold enfranchisement and lease extensions in addition to advising on residential financings and the purchase of SPV companies holding residential properties. It is a known name for its work on super prime transactions and Edward Burton is another key figure who has a wealth of experience across the full spectrum of residential property work from listed buildings, country houses to new build super prime apartments.  Other core areas of expertise include providing specialist real estate advice when there is family disharmony and advising on private client and trust related matters with a real estate element (including doing a substantial amount of work on de-enveloping matters).

Practice head(s):

Sarah Conway

Other key lawyers:

Edward Burton


‘They are refreshingly easy to deal with, transparent and engaged at all times. They don’t blind with science, their work ethic is second to none, and they are delightful people to deal with to boot’.

‘Ed Burton – Ed is tour de force, enormously bright but with absolutely no side. Self-deprecating, highly efficient and organised – I go nowhere before speaking to Ed first. He knows his business backwards and is a genuine pleasure to work with’.

‘Sarah Conway – with Ed, they make an outstanding team. Sarah is wise and calm, is consistently voted the best in the business, and the safest pair of hands. She has a great sense of humour and a real asset to MTG‘.

‘A truly personal service. Always available, extremely hardworking and an exceptional ability to navigate complex issues’.

‘All the partners I have dealt with have been highly efficient and discreet. With a fast moving residential property market speed and efficiency are crucial more especially with today’s considerably demanding compliance requirements. Sarah Conway. Always available whatever the day of the week. Extremely calm and efficient during large transactions’.

‘Edward and Sarah are an outstanding duo. Exceptionally hardworking and efficient, they are the most dynamic small team providing a very personal residential conveyancing service in Central London. They are both hugely knowledgeable, experienced and have a fantastic track record of finding sensible solutions and getting deals done. I hear nothing but outstanding feedback’.

‘Edward Burton is possibly one of the most hardworking and efficient individuals I have ever come across. His attention to detail is outstanding but he also knows when to take a view. Extremely experienced and outstanding communication skills when dealing with tricky clients, annoying agents and overly zealous solicitors’.

‘Sarah is a perfect partner to Edward, given her lengthy experience and incredible knowledge. She also brings a fantastic bedside manner and ability to get deals concluded successfully‘.


Mishcon de Reya LLP

Mishcon de Reya LLP has substantial experience of working with UNHW individuals from around the globe. Its diverse client base also includes sophisticated and start up developers, investors, banks, corporates in addition to onshore and offshore investment funds. Head of department is James Liffen who is highly regarded for his work on a range of complex deals involving shared ownership, auction sales, portfolio purchases as well as tenancy and planning issues. Sonal Thakrar advises on all aspects of UK residential property and secured lending to banks. Thakrar has built up a dynamic client base ranging from overseas investors to trustees, investment companies, trading companies, banks and HNW individuals. Simon Chadowitz is also skilled at handling a wide range of high-value commercial and residential real estate. Sarah Conibeere is now at Fladgate LLP.

Practice head(s):

James Liffen

Other key lawyers:

Sonal Thakrar; Fiona Callaghan; Monika Patel; Simon Chadowitz


‘If there was only one firm that I could use it would be the residential team at Mishcon de Reya. A group of cheerful, professional experts who define what a good conveyancing operation should look like. Always available, the team never gives up ensuring that our mutual clients get the very best advice possible. My only problem with this firm is when I find them acting for the other side!’.

‘Sonal Thakrar manages to squeeze 36 hours into every business day, Fiona Callaghan seems to be responsible for half of the biggest deals in London, Monika Patel represents the next, exciting generation at the firm. There’s no chance any of them have dandruff because they are “Head and Shoulders” above the industry competition. They must have glue on their hands because when you hand them a property deal they never drop it till it’s finished‘.

‘Each of them is a great communicator and unlike many property solicitors they actually pick up the phone when you need them. In addition they are willing to use their experience to advise clients on the things they can take a view on. My clients love their tech and this has allowed them to provide the best service at a competitive price, in relation to the size of deals they do. In summary, MdR is aptly, streets ahead of the competition in property law’.

‘Like Stormzy is to the Grime scene and Messi is to football James Liffen is the G.O.A.T. of the property world. Sincere, hardworking, unemotional (in terms of work) and a great communicator, he always goes the extra mile for me and the countless others who regularly recommend him. He is a Prince among men and single-handedly gives a good name to his industry’.

‘The team is incredibly collaborative and transparent in its approach. Always looking to improve procedures within the industry, recent example is promoting, Thirdfort. They reduce the risk to businesses with automated ID verification, AML compliance and source of funds checks’.

‘James Liffen is an elite conveyancer who is at the top of his game. His care and attention to detail is second to none. James has a wonderful way of handling any complex matter with ease and professionalism. I cannot recommend anyone more highly’.


BDB Pitmans

The London office of BDB Pitmans primarily acts for very wealthy individuals, corporates, investors and trusts that are buying and selling property in prime and super prime central London. It is also recognised for its experience in lease extensions, enfranchisement, refinancing, landlord and tenant matters in addition to advising on block management  issues, the acquisition of property portfolios and SPV asset purchases. Practice head Hema Anand handles a variety of high-profile and high-value residential transactions and is adept at advising on complicated landlord and tenant matters. John Stephenson is another prominent member of the department and Tristan Ward is also a known name for his work on a range of ultra-high-net-worth deals.

Practice head(s):

Hema Anand

Other key lawyers:

Tristan Ward; John Stephenson


‘Very efficient, keep clients under control. Personable, will communicate at any time of day or week’.

‘Practical knowledge, legal knowledge, depth of team. Tristan Ward is very practical and an excellent lawyer’.


Key clients

Swiss company

Private couple

Private UHNW clients

UHNW Family

UHNW Family

Private couple

Private UHNW clients

Residents freehold company

Residential Property Developer

Investment Company (with sole director)

Work highlights

  • Advising on £38m refinance of significant portfolio (worth 60m) in PCL
  • Advising on the sale of unique property in London worth £40m.
  • Advising on complicated asset share sale of an overseas company holding a property worth in excess of £35m

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has an excellent reputation for its work on complex and high-value transactions in the prime London market as well as the country market and rural estates. Clients include buyers and sellers in addition to financiers, developers, property agents and other very wealthy individuals and families. William Marriott heads the department. Thomas Moran  is well regarded for his work with national and international clients on the purchase and sale of high-value residential property in the prime and super prime London market. Tristam Van Lawick has particular expertise in advising on big estates and farms. There have been changes to the team at a senior level. Christian Massey is now at Michelmores LLP and property consultant Alastair Morrison has recently joined the practice from Burges Salmon LLP.

Practice head(s):

William Marriott

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Moran; Tristram van Lawick


‘CRS is exceptional. They have the ability to advise clients in so many areas and the advice given is always excellent. The recent C19 outbreak has resulted in a lot of them working from home, but they still deliver the same great service’.

‘Tom Moran is a sage and worldly lawyer. He has a wealth of experience and always knows how to navigate through the finer points of law. He is also a great deal of fun to work with and does things with a smile’.

Fladgate LLP

The ‘knowledgeable and very responsive’ team at Fladgate LLP advises domestic and international clients ranging from HNW individuals to businesses and trusts on acquiring, owning and disposing of all types of residential real estate in the UK. Helen Curtis-Goulding  heads the practice that specialises in prime and super prime properties in central London and surrounding locations. A considerable amount of its work has a cross-border component and it also advises onshore and offshore professional administrators on various key real estate matters. Sarah Conibeere  joined the practice from Mishcon de Reya LLP and is adept at advising on matters with an offshore element such as dealing with trust companies or being involved in de-enveloping tax structures.

Practice head(s):

Helen Curtis-Goulding

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Conibeere


‘ Sarah Conibeere is extremely professional, knowledgeable, personable and meets all timelines/deadlines etc and offers guidance as well as providing recommendations when so required’.

‘The team is always very approachable and will ensures deadlines are met. They will make pragmatic decisions but always ensuring that the Bank’s interest is protected’.

‘We have dealt with Helen Curtis-Goulding in respect of a number of property transactions. Helen responds to our queries in a timely manner (not always the case in respect of other law firms) and will keep us regularly updated as the transaction progresses’.

‘Helen Curtis-Goulding is a highly efficient solicitor with a deep understanding of the market, she is always on hand to provide sound advice and to keep things moving forward. In addition to this she is very responsive, proactive and hardworking with a can do attitude!’.

‘Overall level of care and professionalism is high. Attentive, immediate responses to emails or phone calls is appreciated despite working from home and other restrictions’

‘A good mixture of professionalism and casualness which makes the team approachable, not intimidating and modern’.

‘Helen Curtis-Goulding is that rare mixture of being utterly professional while remaining down to earth and approachable. Dealing with her is easy and fluid experience. She knows the law inside out and this level knowledge inspires confidence in clients’.

‘Fladgate is a well regarded firm in my field. Sarah Conibeere is superb and is a lawyer that gets things done and is a problem solver and best in class’.


Kingsley Napley LLP

The agile team at Kingsley Napley LLP is vastly experienced in advising on the sale and purchase of substantial and high-value central London houses and apartments as well as country houses in the South of England. With Bethan Owen at the helm the majority of its clients are celebrities and U/HNW individuals both nationally and internationally. As well as royalty, politicians, sports and media personalities its key clients also include professionals and business people. Vanessa Rhodes is adept at advising on the acquisition and disposal of complex portfolios with residential assets. Paul Harbour is another name to note for his expertise in this area along with Victoria Lowe who recently joined the group from Memery Crystal LLP.

Practice head(s):

Bethan Owen

Other key lawyers:

Vanessa Rhodes; Paul Harbour; Victoria Lowe

Payne Hicks Beach LLP

Emma Copestake  leads the high-end residential property practice at Payne Hicks Beach LLP that frequently acts for international investors. It has a substantial number of Scandinavian, European, Middle Eastern and Far Eastern clients. The group also frequently works with its strong family department on various residential property matters such as  advising on the property elements of financial orders and pre- and post-nuptial agreements. Other key areas of focus include advising its prime residential property clients on leasehold enfranchisement, lease extensions and collective acquisitions as well as working closely with its private client colleagues on a whole host of  property related matters. Among the other names to note are Andrew Berry and Simon Blackburn .

Practice head(s):

Emma Copestake

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Berry; Simon Blackburn


‘ Emma and I have worked closely for a number of years and indeed continue to work closely as I provide specialist planning advice for her clients. Emma is top of her game. Clients remain loyal to her for the quality of her sound commercial advice and efficiency. Exceptional all round’.


Taylor Wessing LLP

Led by Elaine Dobson the team at Taylor Wessing LLP receives a steady flow of instructions on a variety of high-value and luxury mandates. Dobson is well-known by various advisers across Asia, the Middle East and Europe. The team has considerable strength in advising on complex enfranchisement issues. Its clients include UHNW individuals and families, well-known A-list celebrities, founders of household names in the technology sector as well as high-profile sports individuals. The group also has a significant client base of traditional landowners, their heirs and trustees as well as family offices, entrepreneurs and international buyers. Lisa Bevan advises on all aspects of residential property. Luke Callaghan is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Elaine Dobson

Other key lawyers:

Lisa Bevan; Luke Callaghan


‘Lisa Bevan has the ability to make a client feel they are dealing with a trusted friend. She is as warm as she is efficient. She has the ability to understand a client’s needs and, thereby, distil down any transaction to its fundamentals’.

‘Without a doubt, Elaine and her team are in my opinion the best real estate practice in London. My largest clients are put to this firm on the basis that it’s a one stop shop of excellence. Quite frankly, the clout this firm has with finding the impossible and creating the impossible, I just cannot do my job without it!’.

‘They have a very broad offering as a firm, clients who need straightforward conveyancing are superbly looked after but those with more complex needs, commercial, planning, tax, etc are equally well served. Friendly lawyers who communicate concisely and in understandable language abound’.

‘Lisa Bevan is excellent, never has she let me down and every client is more than satisfied with her. She’s friendly, efficient, even on the tightest of timescales’.

Elaine Dobson is by far the best conveyancing lawyer in London. Did you also know that Elaine used to be a surveyor so has an in-depth knowledge about real estate‘.

Wedlake Bell LLP

Wedlake Bell has a broad range of expertise ranging from handling landlord and tenant matters to advising on the purchase and sale of houses, flats, apartments, penthouses, estates and land in prime and super-prime locations in London and the Home Counties. It is also adept at advising on lease extensions as well as individual and collective enfranchisement transactions. Tom Allfree  heads the department and covers all aspects of high-value residential conveyancing. Nick Stone continues to attract high and ultra-high net-worth clients and well-known celebrities and advises on a variety of residential conveyancing matters including the purchase and sale of properties in the prime and super prime markets. Jonathan Achampong also plays a pivotal role in the department.

Practice head(s):

Tom Allfree

Other key lawyers:

Nick Stone; Jonathan Achampong


Nick Stone and his team are exceptional. They are highly professional, diligent and are commercial in their approach. We would entrust them with all of our clients’.

A tenacious and committed team that has consistently delivered an excellent service to my clients. Have worked with them on a significant number of high value transactions I value the attention and consideration they give each client as the real reason behind their success’.

‘I work very closely with Tom Allfree who I find to be professional and measured in everything he does. Having worked on a number of high value transactions with time sensitive deals with demanding clients – these have been handled extremely efficiently. Tom has a rare ability to resolve issues and dissipate pressure whilst retaining a sense of perspective and humour’.

‘The team  is excellent at communicating with all parties and is always available on the phone to speak to both agents and clients. They are proactive in finding solutions to any issues which arise and deal with them swiftly. They are also able to offer clients a comprehensive range of services to facilitate the entire process eg tax advice’.

‘A top drawer firm that is very professional and well regarded in the industry. Nick Stone & Tom Alfree’.

‘The team at Wedlake Bell provides pragmatic advice that allows for a deal to be executed with pace. They don’t look to point score or make the deal process an academic exercise, they just focus on ensuring their client is well protected and add value to sometimes what are commercial decisions that need to be taken to get the deal closed. They are quick to get up to speed and are always available to discuss points of importance as is necessary. I would highly recommend the team.’

‘Tom Alfree is knowledgeable and provides advice in a form that allows for decisions to be made quickly’.


Withers LLP

Henry Stuart  heads the department at Withers LLP. Stuart focuses on residential real estate transactions for UK and international individuals and institutions and is also adept at providing related tax and structuring advice on these transactions. Bertie Hoskyns-Abrahall advises landowners and estates on a wide variety of management and succession issues. In addition Hoskyns-Abrahall has a wealth of experience at advising on agricultural matters and on the commercial aspects of these deals. Nicholas Vaughan is recommended for his work on the sale and acquisition of real property while Edward Jarron deals with a broad range of complex property matters with a particular concentration on the landed estates sector. It was pleased to add Pervaze Ahmed to its ranks from Howard Kennedy LLP. The team is also skilled at assisting in the purchase of commercial property which is then converted into residential property.

Practice head(s):

Henry Stuart

Other key lawyers:

Nicholas Vaughan; PervazeAhmed; George Coleman; Edward Jarron; Bertie Hoskyns-Abrahall


‘The team at Withers is fantastic. User friendly, knowledgeable and incredibly good at their job. Nick Vaughan & George Coleman are great. Slick, smooth and fun to deal with‘.

Ed Jarron in particular is extremely easy to work with but he has a strong and pragmatic team behind him. He is a great communicator and isn’t afraid to pick up the phone rather than hiding behind emails’.

‘Efficient, always contactable and a good communicator. Never a problem, always a solution. Always on hand even in fraught transactions – remaining calm and positive. Henry Stuart – star performer. Nick Vaughan – wealth of experience‘.

‘Fast, efficient and highly responsive to queries. Always available on the phone for queries and updates’.


Cripps fields a highly respected residential property team that acts for wealthy individuals when they are buying or selling high-value private residences and land. It is also well-regarded for its advice to these clients when they are buying or selling farms, rural and landed estates. The team has been busy too advising private investors who have substantial residential portfolios as well as house builders and developers. Under the joint leadership of Kerry Glanville and Fiona McIntosh the practice has developed an excellent reputation for its enfranchisement advice. Amy Jackson has recently been promoted to the partnership.

Practice head(s):

Kerry Glanville; Fiona McIntosh

Other key lawyers:

Zainab Dakhil; Amy Jackson; Kit Mordaunt; Anna Favre


‘I am a long standing client of Cripps and I have always been totally satisfied with their professionalism, efficiency and help. Zainab Dakhil, who is a partner, is an exceptional legal practitioner who specialises in residential property. She is easy to approach, efficient and very thorough in her work, she saved me from an impending pitfall in October 2021 when I was about to purchase a new home. I will always wish to remain her client’.

‘They have a very strong team of residential property specialists who have acted for the great estates for many years, and can apply the acquired knowledge to acting for private landlords and tenants. They have seen just about every issue there is in leasehold enfranchisement, and can provide technical solutions which most firms would not even understand. Amy Jackson, recently promoted to partner is very knowledgeable, experienced and user friendly. She takes great care to get things right.’

‘They are long standing practice with great experience in dealing with residential property, particularly enfranchisement. Amy Jackson – very bright, efficient, personable and a joy to work with’.

Kit Mordaunt is a highly regarded and trusted professional with over 20 years experience. He values long-term client and business relationships and gives practical common-sense advice, thereby simplifying complicated legal problems, always displaying a calm demeanour’.

‘Zainab Dakhil is a well-known property professional with a depth of experience of specialising in high value transactions. She is technical and always searches for practical solutions using her positive and highly competent approach‘.

‘The Residential Property team has a wealth of experience with particular expertise in enfranchisement. Having acted for the main London Estates for many years there are few if any other firms that have such experience’.

‘Kerry Glanville has a no-nonsense approach to real estate litigation, and is a tough and savvy litigator and heads up the real estate litigation team at CPG. Anna Favre is a  true expert in enfranchisement work under both the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 (dealing with houses) and the Leasehold Reform (etc.) Act 1993 dealing with flats and blocks of flats. There is nothing she does not know in these areas’.


Work highlights

  • Advising a London landed estate in relation to the correct construction of a valuation assumption to be made in the context of a freehold claim made under the provisions of the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 which is currently proceeding in the Court of Appeal.
  • Acting for a newly incorporated SPV looking to expand its property portfolio by purchasing 20 apartments within a new complex in London.
  • Advised a Landlord on a Right to Manage Claim on a mixed use building containing 74 high value flats and commercial units to reject the claim as the Building did not qualify for a Right to Mange as the non-residential part of internal floor area of the Premises exceeded 25 percent.

Druces LLP

At Druces LLP, the head of department, Suzanne Middleton Lindsley  has a wealth of experience in high-value residential property transactions and is also adept at dealing with Sharia compliant financing issues. Gemma Wright  is recommended for her work on a range of issues surrounding the sale, purchase and financing of prime residential property and off-plan developments.

Practice head(s):

Suzanne Middleton Lindsley

Other key lawyers:

Gemma Wright; Michelle Goodrum


‘What makes Druces unique is that it takes the time to fully understand its client’s situation and requirements‘.

‘I enjoyed having Suzanne Middleton Lindsley as a representative on my behalf. She stood out because she dedicated her time and put in a lot of effort throughout my property transaction. Even though there was a substantial amount of paperwork to get through, she was very patient and we went through every single document one by one with a keen attention to detail‘.

‘I have worked with Druces for several years and always found them to be reactive but more especially proactive. As a layman I have little or no knowledge of property law, my contacts at Druces have always been there to make sure I am on the right track and that we are aware of changes in the regulations as they affect our business‘.

‘Responsive, pragmatic and solution oriented – very prompt and responsive. Gemma Wright – excellent knowledge of land law, extremely practical and responsive‘.

‘Personal, professional and considered advice and guidance. Client centred – the clients’ needs drive the service. Michelle Goodrum provides a calm, competent and professional service. She is prepared to go the extra mile in terms of clarification of complicated legislation, and to answer legal questions from both client and their professional advisors. Michelle also has the ability to see the whole picture and not just her role, providing the client with best service’.

Work highlights

  • Assisting an individual with the purchase of an estate in Essex valued at over £6m which involved complex negotiations and bridging finance which had to be put in place at short notice whilst the clients were overseas.
  • Dealing with the sale of a residential property worth £20m and special purchase vehicle, working alongside its corporate team. The property had been rebuilt and so there were a number of complex construction and planning aspects. Furthermore, the property was on an estate with restrictions, so it was necessary to evidence consent to the build and deal with the estate’s requirements for the transfer.
  • Advising on the sale for an investor company of a house in Hyde Park Gate and a Mews House worth £15m.

Edwin Coe LLP

Stephen Brower leads the residential property team at Edwin Coe LLP that has extensive central London experience in all aspects of real estate ownership. It frequently advises on the acquisition and sale of property, property development and other areas such as real estate financing and the resolution of real estate and construction disputes. The group has particular expertise in advising on transactions that involve an enfranchisement claim with Rosie McCormick Paice and Katherine Simpson  having considerable strength in this area.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Brower

Other key lawyers:

Julian Gore; James Davies; Rosie McCormick Paice; Katherine Simpson


‘Edwin Coe LLP residential property team has now acted for us following the sale of two residential properties in the last two years . The team was really efficient and timely in their actions. Their attention to detail was excellent and they were happy to answer any questions we had very quickly. Communication was extremely effective using zoom calls, mobile and email contacts’.

‘Julian Gore, Partner and James Davies, Senior Associate were both extremely efficient in all aspects of the work undertaken on our behalf, they are effective, timely communicators and made the whole process as painless as it could have been’.

‘Good service, very diligent. Rosie McCormick Paice’.

‘Edwin Coe is very professional and personable, offering good advice in a timely manner. I work with James Davies who is a very efficient, a brilliant communicator and he goes the extra mile. Even when tensions are high James imparts a sense of calmness and always provides wise, sensible advice’.

We particularly recommend Rosie McCormick Paice for residential transactions and Katherine Simpson for leasehold advice as we find that both provide a very professional yet friendly approach to our clients and always keep us updated which is very important’.

We find that Edwin Coe is a very reputable and highly regarded firm of solicitors whom we regularly use / recommend to our clients for residential conveyancing and specialist leasehold extension advice’.

Key clients

HNW individuals and families

Aion Global Inc

Luxlo Property Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for an UHNW Far Eastern investor in the purchase of two off-plan apartments in Marylebone new build development to include initial advice on financing and lettings.
  • Advising a HNW couple  on the sale of a leasehold house in Chelsea, at the same time as a claim for the freehold against the Cadogan Estate.
  • Acting for a Middle Eastern family advising on the complex acquisition of flats in a building in the Howard de Walden Estate.

Harbottle & Lewis LLP

With Melanie Benson at the helm at Harbottle & Lewis LLP it had another busy year acting for various wealthy clients on a range of sales, purchases, leasehold management and enfranchisement matters. The group predominantly concentrates on the London prime and ultra-prime markets but also handles matters involving country estates and rural properties. There have been some changes to the team at a senior level as Lee Greaves is now at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP and Caroline Roberjot joined the department from Adams & Remers.

Practice head(s):

Melanie Benson

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Roberjot


Partner led, always available. Excellent client service. 24/7‘.

‘The team has a real entrepreneurial feel to it – exceptional clients, quality partners and associates and a respected position in the market’.

‘Melanie Benson is stand out in residential’.

Key clients

An investment SPV

Work highlights

  • Acted for an investment SPV in connection with the purchase of 32 apartments within a premium residential tower in a new development in central London.

Howard Kennedy LLP

Amalie Raben-Levetzau now heads the department at Howard Kennedy LLP. The team typically handles the financing, acquisition and tax structuring of some key property matters in addition to advising on the sale and management of prime residential property on behalf of domestic and international high-net-worth clients, their families and other prominent real estate investors. The group routinely handles transactions in the £15-£50m range supporting buyers from within the UK and overseas. Pervaze Ahmed who was the former head of department has left the firm and is now at Withers LLP.

Practice head(s):

Amalie Raben-Levetzau

Other key lawyers:

Ruby Begum


‘Great client relations. Sound advice and deals with enquiries and responses in a timely manner’.

‘Speed efficiency and good humour. Not as expensive’.

‘Property team at Howard Kennedy is Premier League with depth ensuring that there is never a gap. Clients and their advisors are always kept informed and each one feels they are the only client that the firm is dealing with. Service beyond expectation’.

‘I deal with Ruby Begum who is professional, bright and who relishes a challenge. Ruby is always available and refuses to allow her clients to get anything less than 100% from her and the firm. I have no hesitation in recommending Ruby to anyone looking for the best conveyancing service’.

‘The practice provides a personalised, professional and diligent service’.

‘Ruby Begum is an exceptional individual who I have been working with a long time – always has time for her client and has an extensive knowledge base’.


Macfarlanes LLP

Under the leadership of Clare Breeze  the team at Macfarlanes LLP  is well-placed to advise private clients in connection with all their property needs ranging from the sale, purchase and refurbishment of prime central London houses to the forward purchase of bespoke luxury houses. Other core areas of expertise include advising on all issues relating to the enlargement and restoration of prestigious country estates. Senior associate Helen Simmons and associate Penny Cox are also recommended. Senior counsel Helen Sculthorpe joined the practice from Farrer & Co.

Practice head(s):

Clare Breeze

Other key lawyers:

Penny Cox


‘Macfarlanes remains one of the most respected teams in the market, with its private client team pre-eminent. Claire Breeze is exceptional and incredibly responsive’.

Penny Cox is commercial and has a great “bedside manner” while getting her point across with gravitas. She is persuasive and always considers the options and thinks before advising‘.

‘Comprehensive in terms of service line offering and very high level of expertise. Penny Cox in particular consistently the high level of service one would expect from a firm like Macfarlanes. She is responsive, pragmatic and progressive in her attitude’.

Memery Crystal (part of RBG Legal Services)

Nicola Kravitz leads the practice at Memery Crystal (part of RBG Legal Services) that handles the full range of real estate issues for its clients that include high-net-worth individuals and family offices as well as developers, banks, retailers, property owners and asset managers. Victoria Lowe has recently left the group and is now at Kingsley Napley LLP.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Kravitz


‘We receive very speedy responses and the individuals dealing with our business make us aware of potential problems that are not necessarily apparent when we agree terms. The senior lawyers are extremely competent. They also act very speedily’.

‘We receive immediate responses and from years of experience we have not found a better firm. Nicola Kravitz who heads the team with whom we deal is outstandingly capable and in disputes we have not found anyone better’.

‘I have always trusted the team at Memery Crystal to deliver when referring them to my private clients. The firm is reliable, respectable and honourable company and the lawyers are exceptional’.


Key clients

Telford Homes

Gage Properties UK


PPR Estates

Luxgrove Capital Partners

Dandi Living

Countryside Properties (UK)

Work highlights

  • Advising a private client in relation to the c.£20m acquisition of a penthouse in Marylebone.
  • Advising a private client on the purchase, charge, lease extension, license to alter, and onward sale of 10 residential flats in West London.
  • Advising Gage Properties on a £15m loan from Hilltop Credit Partners for the acquisition and development of nine high-end units within the reputable Taplow Riverside development by Berkeley Homes.


Weightmans LLP handles the full array of high-end residential property matters for owner-occupation, investment and development by UK and offshore clients with particular expertise in leasehold enfranchisement.  Practice head Karen Mayne is well-regarded for her work in this area. Clients include landed estates, high-net-worth owners, occupiers, investors and property companies.

Practice head(s):

Karen Mayne


James Bunker at Vardagsis awesome. He shows outstanding client care, is proactive and always responsive. He genuinely cares for his clients and this shows in his work’.