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Local government in North West

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard's local government work spans areas such as energy, transport, public infrastructure and public services. The firm is a go-to for major outsourcing and partnership transactions, and it also has a strong reputation defending local government entities against high-value procurement claims. Andrew Pettinger, who handles outsourcing and other commercial transactions, jointly leads the team with Michael O’Connor.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Pettinger; Michael O’Connor

Other key lawyers:

Richard Goodfellow; Ian Smith; Sara Gilmore

Testimonials

Excellent practical advice provided in a timely manner.’

Michael O’Connor has exceptional knowledge of our sector – healthcare procurement and capital development – and always gives expert but genuinely practical and sound commercial advice. Just a pleasure to work with.’

Excellent sector depth and trusting relationships at very senior levels. Happy to make introductions in order to make projects ultimately more successful.

Key clients

West Midlands Combined Authority

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

Manchester City Council

Cheshire East Council/Connecting Cheshire

Cumbria County Council

Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council

Burnley Borough Council

Cheshire West & Chester Council

York City Council

Luton Borough Council

Reading Borough Council

Derby City Council

Somerset County Council

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council

City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council

Salford City Council

City of Stoke Council

Connexin Limited

Warrington Borough Council

Kirklees Council

Greater London Authority / Transport for London

Merseytravel/Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Work highlights

  • Advised the West Yorkshire Combined Authority on all elements of legal advice relating to its station’s development programme.
  • Advised London Luton Airport on its airport expansion programme.
  • Advised the Greater London Authority on a procurement for the retrofit of existing public housing with net zero carbon solutions.

DWF

DWF is highlighted for its strengths in infrastructure and urban regeneration schemes, and it is also adept in public procurement work; the latter is an area in which Colin Murray is recommended. Murray jointly leads the team with Jonathan Branton, who specialises in subsidy control, state aid and EU competition matters. Other key areas of work  include governance, health and safety, environmental and other regulatory advice for local authority clients. The practice also handles insurance work, defending claims for historical abuse and failures of social care, with a specialism in the recovery of outstanding care debt. Associate Bradley Martin focuses on public procurement and outsourcing transactions.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Branton; Colin Murray

Other key lawyers:

Bradley Martin

Testimonials

‘Client focus. Sensible pricing. Putting the client relationship before billing targets. Concentrating on the points that matter most. Accessibility – they promise to field their A-Team – and they deliver that in spades.’

Key clients

Wirral Borough Council

Wigan Council

Blackpool Council

Liverpool City Council

Transport for Greater Manchester

Lancashire County Council

Cornwall County Council

Conwy County Borough Council

Royal Borough of Greenwich

Bradford MBC

Wakefield Council

West Midlands Combined Authority

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Manchester City Council

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Lancashire LEP

Cheshire & Warrington LEP

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP excels in structuring public sector joint venture vehicles and partnership structures involving local authorities, and it also handles regeneration projects for local government clients. Other core areas of activity include advising on governance issues and dispute resolution. Practice head Scot Morrison works with Mike Pocock and associate Liz Nuttall.

Practice head(s):

Scot Morrison

Other key lawyers:

Mike Pocock; Liz Nuttall

Key clients

Manchester City Council

Nottinghamshire County Council

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CA

London Borough of Harrow

Bracknell Forest Council

Portsmouth Council

Colchester Council

Homes England

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council

Sunderland City Council and South Tyneside Council

London Borough of Croydon

Work highlights

  • Advised Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council on Manydown, a £1.6bn major residential-led development scheme being delivered through a joint venture structure comprising of a land area of approximately 843 hectares (2,080 acres) west of Basingstoke and at least 7,800 homes.
  • Advised the London Borough of Harrow in respect of the procurement of a private sector joint venture partner for a £2.5bn transformational project to develop three core sites and to deliver a new civic centre in Harrow to support the Council’s regeneration programme.
  • Advised Bracknell Forest Borough Council in procuring a private sector partner with whom to establish a corporate joint venture for a major regeneration project initially involving the development of a number of Council owned sites in the Borough. The first three sites are in the town centre and have an estimated development value of £150 million.

BLM

BLM is well known for defending local government clients in complex and difficult litigation. Other key areas of work include misfeasance claims, abuse and CSE claims, inquests and inquiries, development projects and social housing. Paul Tarne represents local authorities and emergency services in civil and regulatory matters; he jointly leads the team with Matthew Hyam, who concentrates on acting for stock-owning local authorities and registered providers of social housing. Associate Nicholas Leigh specialises in claims involving allegations of physical and sexual abuse, representing charitable institutions, local authorities, churches and schools.

Practice head(s):

Paul Tarne; Matthew Hyam

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Lintott; Natalie Puce; Nicholas Leigh

Testimonials

‘Paul Tarne is an excellent and efficient communicator who manages the team and the complex different needs of the clients and witnesses. He is always readily available, deals swiftly with any requirements of the case and is commercially and reputationally astute. Natalie Puce works with Paul and is an astute lawyer who has a comprehensive knowledge of the case.’

‘The team are commercial and solution focused. Always helpful and honest about cases and possible outcomes giving a balanced view of risk whilst working tirelessly to achieve positive outcomes for their clients.’

‘Paul Tarne has been an able ally through some complex and novel litigation, has always been available and has engaged on a personal level which has meant that it has been easy to work with him as part of a team approach.’

Key clients

Wirral MBC

Knowsley MBC

Sheffield City Council

Oldham MBC

Stockport MBC

Manchester City Council

Halton Housing

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Lancashire County Council

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service

Rochdale MBC

Blackpool Council

London Fire Brigade

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP acts for local authority clients from throughout the North West and beyond. It stands out for its experience in large-scale procurement, regeneration projects, waste and other contractual matters. Other key areas of work include commercial matters, state aid, alternative service delivery models and adult social care issues. Mike Mousdale, who heads up the department, has extensive transactions and projects expertise, having advised on LLP joint ventures and strategic partnerships.

Practice head(s):

Mike Mousdale

Other key lawyers:

Peter Ware; Alex Kynoch

Testimonials

Very capable, excellent communicators, friendly, accessible, responded promptly to queries.’

‘Very good understanding of issues relevant to local government.’

‘Alex Kynoch’s advice on state aid has also been very clear and his knowledge of this area makes him our go to for these types of matters.’

‘Our experience has been that Browne Jacobson are able to balance black letter law in terms of regulatory requirements with commercial understanding and practicality.’

‘Michael Mousdale is our lead partner at Browne Jacobson and we have found that, as well as being extremely knowledgeable in both public and waste law, he is also very pragmatic in finding solutions to problems as they arise.’

Key clients

Derbyshire County Council

Western Riverside Waste Authority

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

North West Leicestershire District Council

Local Government Association

Welsh Local Government Association

London Borough of Southwark Council

New Collaborative Learning Trust

Plymouth City Council

London Borough of Croydon

Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead

Tandridge District Council

Manchester City Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Oxford City Council on a range of contractual documents to deal with financial, property and power supply issues relating to the Council’s largest superhub of electric vehicle charging facility in the UK, core to its zero carbon strategy with a value of £41 million.
  • Advised the London Borough of Croydon on establishing three dynamic purchasing systems to purchase health and social care services related to supported living, supported housing and young people services with an estimated value of £750 million plus permitted extensions.
  • Advised Manchester City Council on all aspects of city centre district heating project with a value of circa £20 million.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper advises local government clients on a broad range of issues, including planning, outsourcing, projects and pensions. It has a notably strong record in regeneration projects. Sarah Bell is experienced in assisting clients with commercial projects, procurement and joint ventures. She jointly leads the team with Liam Cowell, who specialises in infrastructure and project finance transactions. Up-and-coming partner Gemma Cowap focuses on local authority commercial trading projects and strategic partnerships.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Bell; Liam Cowell

Other key lawyers:

Gemma Cowap

Key clients

Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council

Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority

Halton Borough Council / Mersey Gateway Crossing Board Limited

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Liverpool City Council

Liverpool Vision Limited

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council

Transport for Greater Manchester

Transport for the North

Westminster City Council

Wirral Borough Council

Sciontec Developments Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Cheshire West & Chester Borough Council on the Chester Northgate Development.
  • Advised on the establishment of Sciontec (part-owned by Liverpool City Council) and subsequent multi-million investment.
  • Advised Wirral Borough Council in relation to a major development project which exchanged in December 2020.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP's strengths in acting for clients from the public, private and third sectors gives its team an insight into relations between public sector organisations and private sector partners over the supply and delivery of key services. Key areas of focus include social care, housing, schools and waste collection and disposal. Suzanne Benson specialises in major projects, including land projects, joint ventures and regeneration schemes, as well as the development of home ownership projects. She jointly leads the practice with Scott Dorling.

Practice head(s):

Suzanne Benson; Scott Dorling

Other key lawyers:

Richard St John Williams; Matthew Holbrook; Darren Ashworth; Dan Butler

Testimonials

‘My experience is that the team takes the time to understand clients’ needs and then ensures advice is tailored.’

‘Darren Ashworth is my main contact. I hold Darren and his advice in very high regard.’

Key clients

Homes England

Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council

Warwickshire County Council

Bury Council

West Midlands Combined Authority

Hartlepool Borough Council

Wolverhampton City Council

London Borough of Barking and Dagenham

Reading Borough Council

Wokingham Borough Council

Northamptonshire County Council

Salford City Council

One Manchester

Work highlights

  • Appointed to advise Tameside on their relationships with housing providers and developers within the Borough in order to achieve their affordable housing strategy and to act as an enabler in delivering their housing targets.
  • Supported West Midlands Combined Authority on a proposed joint venture between the West Midlands Combined Authority and 5 RPs centred in the West Midlands
  • Advised Hartlepool Borough Council in relation to its debut issue of £17m loan notes.

Weightmans LLP

Weightmans LLP provides a full service to local authorities, with core pillars of the practice including regeneration projects and property transactions. The team also handles public service transformations and large employment mandates, such as major restructures. It is also highly recommended for governance advice and conduct investigations. Simon Goacher is the head of the practice.

Practice head(s):

Simon Goacher

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Johns; Vincent King

Key clients

Selby District Council

Leeds City Council

Craven District Council

Ryedale District Council

North Yorkshire County Council

Sheffield City Council

York City Council

East Hertfordshire, Epping Forest and Harlow District Councils

North West Legal Consortium

Liverpool City Council

Manchester City Council

Rochdale Borough Council

Wirral Borough Council

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Stockport MBC

Cheshire East Council

Cumbria County Council

Knowsley MBC

South Ribble BC

Oldham MBC

Bolton MBC

Eden Borough Council

Staffordshire Moorlands DC

Stoke on Trent CC

Salford CC

Telford BC

Shropshire CC

Derbyshire County Council

Work highlights

  • Advised on the promotion of the Mersey Tidal energy project.
  • Advised the Welsh Government in respect of the Development Consent Order application a proposed new Nuclear Power Station at Wylfa on Anglesey in Wales (5,400MW).
  • Advised Rutland County Council on the receipt of £29.4m of grant funding from Homes England under the Housing Infrastructure Fund.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP is recommended for town centre regeneration and development schemes, strategic property investment acquisitions and complex procurement challenges. Other key areas of work include public law and governance advice. Alison Key, who has extensive experience in forward funding agreements and asset management, heads the local government team, and she also leads the commercial real estate practice.

Practice head(s):

Alison Key

Other key lawyers:

Katherine Calder

Testimonials

‘Timely, pragmatic advice, which demonstrates understanding of clients’ goals.’

‘Very dependable and approachable. Always willing to provide support and more importantly guidance.’

Key clients

Surrey County Council

Sunderland City Council

Warrington Borough Council

St Helens Borough Council

Liverpool City Council

Transport for Greater Manchester

Waverley Borough Council

Isle of Wight Council

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP's local government practice is particularly recommended for property work, with expertise in construction, tax, property litigation and town planning. Another key strength lies in providing strategic advice on the local government regulatory environment, with issues including powers, EU procurement and subsidy control. Nathan Holden, who leads the practice, advises on property projects and local authority powers of investment and disposal. Jackie Heeds joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP in September 2020.

Practice head(s):

Nathan Holden

Other key lawyers:

Jackie Heeds; Ian Tempest

Testimonials

Strength in depth in quite a technical field (telecoms). Good understanding of how local authority projects work e.g. how seemingly minor problems can actually escalate quickly in a local authority context.’

Key clients

Cheshire East Council

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Wigan Council

Cumbria County Council

Halton Borough Council

Allerdale Borough Council

Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

Warrington Borough Council

Blackpool Council

Buckinghamshire Council

Mansfield District Council

Sheffield City Council

London Borough of Camden

City of Bradford Metropolitan Council

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Transport for the North

Derby City Council

Royal Borough of Greenwich

Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

Cherwell District Council

Milton Keynes Council

Milton Keynes Development Partnership

East Northamptonshire District Council

Nottinghamshire County Council

Cambridge City Council

Walsall Council

Leicester City Council

Corby Borough Council

Broxtowe Borough Council

London Borough of Ealing

Enfield Council

South Cambridgeshire District Council

Nottingham City Council

Work highlights

  • Advised on a £150m town centre project to secure the redevelopment of Wigan Town Centre.
  • Advised on a £165m project application for the extraction of 2.7m tonnes per year of coking coal near the Cumbria coastline north of St Bees.
  • Advised Liverpool City Region Combined Authority on a digital regeneration project to create a new full fibre backhaul network.

Hill Dickinson LLP

Hill Dickinson LLP has a well-established presence in the local government sector, with it being able to draw upon the expertise of practitioners from multiple disciplines, including public procurement, construction, banking, employment and planning. It stands out for its involvement in large regeneration projects and is also a major player in telecoms sector projects. Mark Fitzgibbon, who advises on procurement regulations relating to complex regeneration projects, jointly leads the team with Tracey Sheehan, who has extensive telecoms experience.

Practice head(s):

Mark Fitzgibbon; Tracey Sheehan

Key clients

Liverpool City Council

Rochdale Borough Council

Trafford Borough Council

Pendle Borough Council

Oldham Borough Council

Broadway Partners Limited / Monmouthshire Broadband Limited

The Welsh Government

Cardiff Capital Region (CCR)

Work highlights

  • Handled property work, development agreements and construction contracts for Liverpool City Council in the Festival Gardens regeneration project.
  • Supported Oldham Borough Council with the structuring of their procurement to appoint a contractor (and reserve) as a strategic delivery partner for a period of 4 years to undertake a range of design work and delivering those designs to improve the public areas of Oldham town centre in terms of flow, quality of materials being used and general appeal.
  • Advised a consortium on the Innovative National 5G Programme in Wales.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs' team is instructed in matters involving public and private sector entities, particularly complex regeneration schemes and large-scale development projects. The practice is also active in infrastructure and transport projects, and has a niche in clean air and decarbonisation initiatives. Mark Barker leads the group.

Practice head(s):

Mark Barker

Other key lawyers:

Mark Gaffney; Nick Helm; Andrew Herring

Key clients

Leeds City Council

Manchester City Council

Birmingham City Council

Warrington Borough Council

Transport for Greater Manchester

Leeds City Region Revolving Investment Fund LP

Preston City Council

Lancashire County Council

Galliford Try Investments

Work highlights

  • Advised Transport for Greater Manchester on the proposed Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan and the Greater Manchester Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Project.
  • Advised Leeds City Council on its HS2 Growth Strategy, particularly involving the redevelopment of Leeds station as well as its integration with the new HS2 station.
  • Worked with Warrington Borough Council and Muse Developments to deliver a key strategic regeneration project within the town centre which is driving economic change as well as physical change.

Stephensons Solicitors LLP

Stephensons Solicitors LLP is one of eight law firms in England and Wales that has a place on the SRA intervention panel, and one of two firms on the intervention panel of the Bar Standards Board. In addition, it also acts for other public bodies, as is evidenced by its work for NEPO, which is a consortium of 12 local authorities. Regulatory head Sean Joyce, family head Victoria Gethin, real estate head David Baybut, employment head Philip Richardson and discrimination law expert Maria Chadwick are key contacts at the firm.

Practice head(s):

Sean Joyce; David Baybut; Maria Chadwick; Victoria Gethin; Philip Richardson

Testimonials

‘David Baybut has an understanding of what local government in-house legal departments need from panel firms.’

‘They are very approachable and professional. They always present as if nothing is too much trouble. Extremely knowledgeable and have a team ethos with a can-do approach.’

‘All individuals work to a high standard.’

Key clients

NEPO framework

West Yorkshire framework

Crown Commercial Wider Legal Services

CLA Civil Contracts LAA

CLA Discrimination

SRA intervention Panel

TLT

TLT advises local government clients from across the North West and further afield nationally on a wide range of matters, such as planning, procurement and real estate, among others. It is notably prominent in large-scale regeneration schemes and major infrastructure projects. Jon Hainey has over 25 years of experience advising public sector entities on a range of issues, including public law and procurement disputes. Kuldip Dhanoya leads the local government group.

Practice head(s):

Kuldip Dhanoya

Other key lawyers:

John Hyde; Jon Hainey; Debbie Reynolds; Joseph Meredith

Testimonials

‘Professional, clear advice and down-to-earth professionals.’

‘Debbie Reynolds – Confident, knowledgeable and friendly.’

‘Very diligent and attentive in how they go about the practices and procedures on a daily basis. Debbie Reynolds is a particular asset in advising on all aspects of the Compulsory Purchase process.’

‘Massively well respected in the public sector. First rate advisers.’

‘Debbie Reynolds is one of the most talented, courteous and downright nice solicitors advising the public sector, with a particular specialism in CPOs and road schemes.’

‘The team are attentive and are always available. It is also worth noting that TLT provide incredibly good value for money.’

Key clients

Warrington Borough Council

Cheshire East Council

Oxfordshire County Council

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Provided land assembly and strategic planning and highways advice to Warrington Borough Council on the Western Link highway scheme.
  • Advised Oxfordshire County Council on land assembly, highways and strategic planning surrounding a series of major highway infrastructure improvement.
  • Appointed by Oldham Borough Council to act on the purchase of The Spindles / Town Square Shopping Centre.