Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
Click here for more details

United Kingdom > North West > Real estate > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Commercial property: Manchester

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: Manchester
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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


Addleshaw Goddard’s β€˜well-resourced’ team is β€˜a major player in the Manchester legal market’, and handles the full spectrum of commercial real estate matters. The energy, housing, healthcare, logistics and transport sectors are key focuses of the department. Catherine Fearnhead advised National Grid Gas on the transfer of its gas distribution transportation assets, which included committing framework and processes for more than 10,000 properties, as well as the hive out and separation of regulated and non-regulated assets. She also advised Omega Warrington on the Β£14m sale and development of a manufacturing, distribution and warehouse facility for owner-occupier DP Group Developments. Stephen Kinsey advised Citybranch on the Β£35m redevelopment of the former Altrincham General Hospital site; and team head Peter Kershaw advised Standard Life on a range of high-profile matters. Clients also single out Colette Withey, who is β€˜extremely pragmatic and commercial in her approach’ and has β€˜strong industry knowledge’; and the β€˜very able’ Vicky Niescier. In other highlights, legal director Michael Corbett led Peel Group on the structuring of the delivery of a mixed-use scheme at MediaCityUK; and Lucy Butterworth (also a legal director) advised Alderley Park on several transactions, including a Β£20m residential plot sale to PH Properties. Legal director Julie Hodkinson and railway property expert Robin Warburton (also a legal director) are also recommended.

The β€˜very commercial’ department at Pinsent Masons LLP is noted for its complex and high-value transactional expertise. Department head Mike Edge led advice for Stockport Council on the purchase of Merseyway Shopping Centre, and acted for St Modwen Developments on a development agreement with Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council, which set out a joint commitment to develop Kirkby Town Centre. Rachel Pitman also advised St Modwen Developments on the Β£2.7m acquisition of a town centre investment block at Moor Lane, Crosby. Phillip Birchall, who was recently promoted to partner, and senior associate Helen Robinson, who specialises in regeneration schemes, are leading advice to ASF European Holdings on a OJEU competitive process to acquire and develop Albert Island, a 25-acre site overlooking London City Airport. Robinson is also advising the Homes and Communities Agency on the development of the former Whittingham Hospital site in Preston. Aldi Stores, Balfour Beatty, DHL and HIMOR Group are also clients. Daniel Hargreaves joined Shoosmiths LLP in 2016.

Shoosmiths LLP’s β€˜very able’ and β€˜enthusiastic’ team is noted for its experience in major regeneration and development projects in the North West. Headline work included advising Park Lane Properties on the development financing of three properties, assisting Bolton Council with three regeneration projects, acting for Allied London on the acquisition of Castlefield House, Manchester, and advising Allied London on the Β£1.3bn redevelopment of the former Granada Studios in Manchester City Centre. The β€˜brilliant’ Vaqas Farooq acts for development clients on substantial regeneration projects. Also recommended are Andrew Pattinson, who is β€˜very experienced’ in development projects; Penny Cranston, who focuses on student accommodation, residential, and serviced accommodation developments; real estate finance expert Barbara Rollin; Daniel Hargreaves, who acts for public and private sector clients on development projects; the β€˜fantastic’ Richard Outhwaite, who acts on development, and landlord and tenant matters; recently promoted partner Daniel Monaghan; and hotels specialist Russell Davidson. The team was further strengthened by the recruitment of Thomas Hall from Irwin Mitchell in January 2017 and Paul Gidman from DWF in March 2017.

The β€˜very talented’ team at CMS is comprised of β€˜brilliant real estate specialists’ who have β€˜in-depth knowledge of the market’. The team advises on a range of high-profile transactions and developments across Manchester, the North West, and beyond. Team head Mark Haywood has particular expertise in forward funding structures related to office and logistics transactions, and led advice for BUPA on the funding and development of its North West regional headquarters at Salford Quay. Nathan Jansen regularly advises on the disposal, acquisition and development of mixed-use, retail and industrial schemes, and is leading on a range of matters for Valad Europe concerning its UK-based real estate fund. Monica Brij (who is β€˜very responsive and thinks through the detail’) specialises in development schemes and large-scale investment transactions, and is advising Manchester City Council on the Factory development project, one of the projects forming part of the Northern Powerhouse initiative. Peter Winnard specialises in large-scale urban regeneration, development, complex site assembly, joint ventures, development funding and investment, and led advice for Marcus Worthington Properties on several matters including the purchase, sale, funding, development and letting of a development in Newcastle. Also recommended are Chris Hallam, who heads the infrastructure practice, and senior associate Tanya Francis. Other clients include Manchester Airport Group, Assura, Hermes Real Estate Investment Management, Select Group, Redefine International and DB Symmetry.

DWF’s commercial property department is active across the retail, leisure, public, telecoms, energy, social housing and technology sectors, and has wide-ranging expertise covering property finance and investment, development projects, property portfolio management, and landlord and tenant matters. Paul Inman heads the firm’s North West team and advised Whitbread Group on the acquisition of nine sites for its Hub by Premier Inn brand. Anita Gupta and Christina Suddes led advice for Swinton Group on the relocation of its national headquarters and contact centre to Salford’s landmark 101 Embankment development. Catherine Haslam, who is recommended for real estate projects in the telecoms sector, is advising EE on several matters, including the installation of its electronic communications equipment in sports stadia and arenas. Naveen Gupta is advising adidas on the completion of a pre-let of retail space in Oxford Street, London for a new flagship store, and David Frankland is advising a local authority on the forward funding of a private rented sector residential development in a London borough. Senior associates Becky Robinson Fox, who was recently promoted, and Robin Sharp are also recommended. Darren Hamer joined Hill Dickinson LLP in 2016 and Paul Gidman joined Shoosmiths LLP in March 2017.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP fields β€˜an excellent team fronted by experienced, market-facing partners who like to roll their sleeves up’. The team handles complex, high-value urban regeneration and development projects, joint ventures, PPPs and mixed-use schemes, and handles a range of regeneration and development projects in Manchester, the North West region, and across the UK. Michael Buchanan heads the development and regeneration team; he is advising English Cities Fund on the Β£650m regeneration of Salford Central, including the pre-let of One New Bailey to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, and is acting for Muse Developments on the land assembly and subsequent lettings of City Place, a Β£120m development next to Chester railway station. Buchanan also advised Kier Property Developments on two strategic acquisitions in Manchester. Phillip Tunney acts for a number of significant industrial clients on property holdings and advised Euro Garages on several key mandates. Ian Barker acts for public and private sector clients on complex, high-value, urban regeneration and development projects, joint ventures, PPPs and mixed-use schemes. The team also continues to act for Manchester Airport Group (MAG) and Airport City Limited Partnership (ACLP) on Airport City. Legal directors Joanna Sowerby, who led Amstone Ventures II on its forward funding of a Β£98.7m build to rent PRS scheme in Salford Quays, and Tracy Gibson are recommended alongside principal associates Roy Barry, Ian Walsh and Jayne Speers who has β€˜great attention to detail’. Department head Nancy Brown is β€˜particularly skilful and very prompt’.

Irwin Mitchell attracts praise for its β€˜excellent response times’ and for its ability to β€˜think outside of the box’. The team is well known for handling high-value investment transactions, as well as development and regeneration work, in the public and private sectors. The team is also adept at landlord and tenant mandates. It advised Workspace Group and BlackRock UK Property Fund on the Β£130m sale of the London Collection, comprising eight investment properties. It also advised Aequitas Estates (Midlands) on the letting of a distribution centre to Royal Mail Group, acted for Greater Manchester Pension Fund on the mezzanine financing of an Β£8.2m residential development scheme, and assisted Jacksons Row Developments with the acquisition and development of a high-profile development at St Michael’s Quarter, Manchester. The β€˜exceptional’ Anita Weightman heads the team and specialises in commercial real estate, with an emphasis on investment and development. She also has extensive experience of brownfield development and regeneration. Also recommended are β€˜very knowledgeable’ regional managing partner Roy Beckett; Tony Weightman, who handles a range of portfolio, re-gears and sale and leaseback instructions; Patrick Duffy, who specialises in development and investment transactions; and associates Emma Tonge, who is β€˜very approachable’, and Paul Barnard, who is a β€˜quick thinker’.

Brabners LLP handles a range of real estate matters involving social housing, residential and commercial developments, public sector developments, health centre and GP surgery developments, landlord and tenant matters, and financing and investment. Highlights included advising JW Lees on the acquisition of a portfolio of public houses from Greene King, and advising Quasar Real Estate on the Β£4.8m acquisition of a business park in Chester. British Cycling is also a key client. Matthew O’Brien heads the team and Peter Barlow leads the housing and regeneration team. Senior associates Cathy McFadden and real estate financing expert Russel Forward are also recommended. Former Manchester team head Chris Parkinson now heads the residential development team in Liverpool.

DAC Beachcroft LLP delivers an β€˜excellent service’, and has β€˜a good level of knowledge, and importantly possesses a degree of commercial pragmatism, which is required in property transactions’. The team is noted for its experience in mixed-use developments in the private and public sector, and is particularly active in the retail and healthcare sectors. Key clients include Land Securities, which it advises shopping centre related property matters, including landlord and tenant matters at Bluewater Shopping Centre and Trinity Leeds. Other highlights included advising Titlestone Structured Finance on a loan facility to develop a student accommodation scheme in Aberdeen, and advising a major national housebuilder on the acquisition of a substantial mixed-use site in the North West. Chester West and Chester Council, Hermes Real Estate Investment Management, intu, Westfield, Pets at Home and Property Alliance Group are also clients. Alison Key heads the real estate team, which includes residential team head Nick Beko, who is β€˜personable, always acts professionally, and often goes above and beyond’; the β€˜very hardworking and efficient’ Peter Williams, who handles property finance; the β€˜very commercial and proactive’ Adrian Wallbank, who heads the retail team; and Eve Gregory, who is based across the Leeds and Manchester offices and handles property development, planning and construction projects, as well as estate management work. Michael Lindley and Liz Donnelly were recently promoted to legal director, and legal director Leanne Murray joined in 2016 from Brabners LLP. Senior associate Rachael Reynolds is noted for disputes.

Gateley Plc handles a range of commercial, residential and regeneration development matters, and handles property finance instructions for a range of banks. Headed by Dean Copley and Darren Hughes, the team is experienced in the retail, sports, care home and renewable energy sectors. Hughes advised RBS on the funding of 13 acres of land at Alderley Park, Cheshire for a development of 74 homes. Rod Waldie advised an SPV established by PGC Capital, on its acquisition of a large development site in Bordesley, Birmingham, and advised Cityblock (Reading), a joint venture established by Cityblock Holdings and All Souls College, Oxford, on the acquisition of an office building in Reading for redevelopment as student accommodation. Gareth Atkinson advised Liveman Properties on the acquisition and redevelopment of the Dock Office, Salford Quays into apartments. Lidl UK, London & Manchester Healthcare, Kwik-Fit Holdings, JD Sports Fashion, Carlsberg UK and Network Space Developments are also clients.

The β€˜proactive’ department at Hill Dickinson LLP has β€˜strong depth of knowledge’. Its expertise spans property investment and development matters, particularly in the retail, transport and logistics sectors, with an emphasis on real estate finance. Highlights for Manchester team head Jim Purves included advising Lookers Motor Group on the development of its new flagship London VW dealership; assisting DHL Aviation with DHL’s investment into a major extension and expansion of its cargo hub at East Midlands Airport; and acting for DHL on the acquisition and development of a new parcel hub at Heathrow Airport. Michael Blakey advised Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society on the Β£2.5m acquisition of a shopping parade in Chorlton, Manchester from Merepark. Also recommended are Jonathan Dover, who delivers β€˜an excellent service, with in-depth knowledge and clarity’; and the β€˜accessible and highly professional’ Chris Johnston, who handles real estate finance matters. In 2016 Darren Hamer joined the team from DWF, while Alastair Reid left the firm to join Taylor & Emmet LLP. Senior associates David Herbert and Alison Batchelor, who was recently promoted and is active on real estate finance, are also recommended.

JMW Solicitors LLP fields a β€˜professional’ team that handles a wide-ranging workload including retail development and investment, asset management, secured lending, investment disposals and acquisitions, and major residential developments. It is also noted for its healthcare-sector expertise. Ian Gordon is leading the team advising Dransfield Properties on a mixed-use development at Stocksbridge, Sheffield, while Peter Chape led The Brookhouse Group on several matters including the redevelopment of Parsonage Retail Park, Leigh. In other highlights, Thomas Pearson is advising Whitecroft Group on a number of matters including six portfolio acquisitions, and is advising Shot Tower Chester on the acquisition of a flagship residential scheme in Chester. Jim Banfi heads the team, which includes β€˜very experienced’ consultant Stephen Goodman; Tom Cressey, who is noted for investment and development instructions; Majid Mahmood who has particular expertise in residential development as well as landlord and tenant matters; and Claire Hamilton and Warren Martin, who handle property finance matters. Dransfield Properties, HSBC, Richer Sounds and Castlemead Group are also clients.

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP β€˜ensures that all matters proceed smoothly, quickly and effectively’ and β€˜ensures that advice is delivered in a way which is clear, practical, and meets the needs of the client’. The team acts for investors, developers, owner-managed businesses, and landlords and tenants across the North West and beyond. Team head Nick Nyunt has β€˜excellent commercial and technical expertise, which he consistently provides clearly and concisely’; he advised David Samuel Properties on a number of transactions including the Β£23.5m sale of a mixed-use portfolio. Adam Hymes is advising Halite Energy Group on more than 50 land agreements to secure the advancement of its Preesall Underground Gas Storage Facility project in Lancashire. Managing partner Steve Eccleston, who β€˜always gets to the root of an issue and delivers practical and solutions-focused advice’, advised The Ventnor Group on a number of matters including the Β£30m sale of Princes Gate Retail Park in Catterick Garrison. David Haffner, who β€˜consistently delivers results to deadline’, advised Morley Estates on its Β£9m purchase of the KME Group's former copper tube production warehouse. Stephen Lopeman acted for Amber Taverns on the acquisition of 12 public houses, while Martin Davies advised GG Hospitality on its deal with Manchester’s National Football Museum to take over the restaurants, hospitality and event management of the museum. David Moroney’s clients include Beech Holdings, which it advised on its Β£5.3m acquisition of 11 St James’ Square, and the Β£3.5m acquisition of Salisbury House. Also recommended are Christopher Hardy and consultant Tony Fitzmaurice, who has β€˜a wealth of experience’.

Clients of Slater and Gordon rate its β€˜excellent responses’, as well as its β€˜focus on providing practical advice’ and β€˜real commercial understanding’. The team handles commercial and residential matters, as well as public sector development and regeneration matters. It also has a particular focus on the hotel, retail, leisure, charity, education and industrial sectors, and advises on landlord and tenant matters. National team head Stephen Crook is β€˜a great listener; he makes a point of really understanding an issue, gives careful consideration to a topic’ and β€˜offers clear and practical advice’. Crook led advice for longstanding client John Hamer, on the sale of a mixed-use development in Saltaire, and the acquisition of a warehouse, showroom and external storage yard in South Manchester. Head of business legal services Stephen Lintott advised Redsun Developments on the pre-let of a warehouse to Domino Printing Services, to be constructed on an 11-acre site owned by Sefton Council, and on the forward funding arrangements with Global Gate Capital.Tessa Leonard, who recently joined the team from Cheshire East Borough Council, led advice for Burnley Borough Council on a development partnership with Trebor Developments relation to Vision Park, a five-acre site adjacent to the University of Central Lancashire campus.Samantha Blackburn is also recommended. Stephen Chalcraft joined Shakespeare Martineau LLP in 2017.

Squire Patton Boggs’ β€˜proactive’ team houses a β€˜depth and wealth of experience’ and delivers expertise in a β€˜timely, efficient and effective’ manner. It advises on development and regeneration projects, as well as real estate finance instructions. The sport, leisure, hotel and chemical sectors are a key focus of the team, which advised Watkin Jones Group on several matters including the Β£75m forward funding development and sale of a 32-storey student accommodation scheme in Stratford, London to the University of London. It also advised Warrington Borough Council and its development manager, Muse Developments, on the Β£107m regeneration of Time Square, Warrington, and advised the same client on a development agreement with Conwy County Borough Council for the provision of new office accommodation for the council, as well as the redevelopment of the Civic Centre office campus. Mark Gaffney provides β€˜commercially astute real estate advice’ and β€˜gets the job done’. He leads a team that includes Jonathan Brooke, who advises on complex strategic land acquisitions for a range of commercial and residential developers; and the β€˜very practical and extremely commercially minded’ Mark Barker, who specialises in development work with particular emphasis on complex and strategic regeneration projects and large-scale developments.

The β€˜responsive, proactive and professional’ department at TLT delivers β€˜excellent response times’. The financial services, leisure, retail, energy and renewables sectors are key areas of focus for the β€˜strong team’, which features Dan Sweeney, who heads the retail and leisure real estate team. He advised Pets at Home Group on the relocation of the Vets4Pets national support office from Kingston Lisle, and advised Athena Healthcare on the acquisition, finance, development and letting of a Β£40m care home portfolio. Andy Bell heads the firm’s real estate focused national financial services practice and advises Nationwide Building Society on management matters relating to its high street branch portfolio. Iceland Foods, RBS, Lookers, Landmark Investments Group and British Solar Renewables are also clients.

Weightmans LLP’s team acts for public and private clients on investment, development and regeneration projects, and is noted for its retail sector experience. National head of real estate Karl Jackson specialises in city centre regeneration, and advised Concept Property on an office investment in Lancashire. John Hyde handles development, investment, asset management, and landlord and tenant matters, and heads the national built environment team. He advised Total Fitness on the acquisition, re-gearing and redevelopment of two health clubs.Varun Maharaj, who is noted for landlord and tenant and property finance matters, advised Two Dogs Huyton on the purchase of Huyton Place Shopping Centre, Liverpool. Andrea Steventon handles a range of property development and regeneration matters, as well as investment acquisitions and disposals; she advised Anglesey Aluminium Metal on the disposal of its smelting facility in Anglesey. Retail and development specialist Steven Silver is also recommended. Other clients include Bruntwood, Peel Holdings, Oak Tyres and Staples.

Clyde & Co LLP handles a range of high-profile commercial development and regeneration projects, as well as corporate and real estate portfolio transactions, industrial and distribution developments, renewable energy projects, and retail acquisitions. Highlights included advising U+I plc on a major redevelopment of a new district in Manchester, acting for Co-operative Group in a joint venture with Manchester City Council regarding the strategic development of Angel Meadow, and assisting Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council with the Β£100m redevelopment of Rochdale Town Centre. Key figures include Liam Buckley, who advises on commercial property development and investment matters, and Stelios Coutsavlis, who acts for a wide range of energy clients and has extensive experience in property development, regeneration, PFI and projects. Construction specialist Steven Cannon recently joined the Manchester team from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP.

Mark Beardwood leads the North West team at DLA Piper UK LLP, which advised PGIM on several matters, including a speculative land acquisition. The β€˜responsive and proactive’ Tom Kelsall advised Greater Manchester Pension Fund on two disposals and the acquisition of a retail park in Croydon, and acted for Allied Irish Bank on new debt facilities provided to an international investor relating to a Β£91m hotel acquisition in Mayfair. Robert Arnison advised Capital & Centric on the redevelopment and regeneration of the Littlewoods Building in Liverpool, and is acting for Central Regeneration Limited Partnership, a joint venture between Ballymore and Merepark, on the acquisition and development of Central Village in Liverpool. Arnison and Kelsall also advised Aecom on its new head offices at Aldgate Tower, London, which involved a bespoke multiple leasehold structure, and assisted Co-operative Bank with the restructuring and re-gearing of its occupation of the Miller Street CIS Tower, Manchester. Legal director Paul Burney joined from Addleshaw Goddard in 2016.

β€˜Excellent niche real estate firm’ Davitt Jones Bould has an β€˜increasing presence in the Manchester market’. It advises on major real estate projects in the North West, including property portfolio advice for large organisations. Key clients include the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Managing director Madeleine Davitt, who operates across Manchester, Taunton and London, attracts praise for her β€˜superb client care’. Emma Gormley is also recommended. In 2016, Philippa Hipwell joined the firm from Hill Dickinson LLP, and Anita Gargye joined from DWF. Tony Fitzmaurice is now a consultant at Kuit Steinart Levy LLP.

Nexus Solicitors Limited specialises in the retail sector, and is noted for its expertise in landlord and tenant mandates. The team acted on the acquisition of 212 Subway stores and handles the retail portfolios of Swinton Group, Johnson Cleaners UK and Sayers the Bakers. The team also advised Moto Services on the acquisition of a new motorway services site on the M25. Des O’Driscoll heads the team.

Slater Heelis LLP’s β€˜very experienced’ team advises on residential property developments and handles a range of banking and finance matters in relation to security requirements and commercial funding. Will Henson advised a property investor and Coutts Bank on the Β£3.2m refinancing of a substantial residential property portfolio; and acted for a property investor on a Β£1.5m refinancing of its commercial portfolio. Anne Irwin heads the residential property development team and advised Land & Lakes (Anglesey) on the Β£4.6m acquisition of a 600-acre site for a residential, leisure and mixed-use development. Simon Maddox joined the team from Gateley Plc in January 2017.

Turner Parkinson LLP handles a range of real estate matters, with particular experience in residential developments. Headline matters included advising Stobart Properties on the Β£8m sale of a former depot site to a national housebuilder for the development of 100 new homes; acting for Ground Rents Income Fund on the Β£8m forward purchase of the freehold to a 643-bed student village; assisting Seven Capital with the Β£22m development financing for a residential scheme in Birmingham; and advising Castelnau Acquisitions on the Β£2.2m acquisition of the freehold reversion of a new residential development and adjoining leasehold interest of car parking in Slough. It also advised Well Pharmacy Group on the restructuring of a property portfolio of 50 pharmacies. Paul Bibby heads the team and is experienced in residential and commercial real estate matters and Jonathan Kay is active on property funds in the student accommodation, ground rent and private rented sectors.

The β€˜responsive’ team at Berg advises on acquisitions and disposals, residential and commercial developments, investment, real estate finance, and landlord and tenant mandates. Metro Bank, Sixt Rent A Car, Nationwide Building Society, Primesite Developments and Rammon Group are clients. Team head Ruth McCarthy, who recently joined from gunnercooke LLP, handles real estate finance and development matters. Consultant Pamela Young is recommended for real estate finance, investment, and landlord and tenant matters. Other key figures include associates Darren Ashworth, who joined from Bury Council, and Michelle Howell, who joined from Southerns.

Browne Jacobson LLP advises a range of government clients on real estate matters, and acts for clients in the education sector on academy status conversions. The team also acts for corporate clients. Highlights included acting for the YHA on the refinancing of its existing banking facilities, which were secured over its property portfolio, and is advising the Homes and Communities Agency on the ongoing development of a former industrial estate at Queenborough and Rushenden. Associate Dominic Buckley heads the team, which includes Victoria Thourgood, who joined in January 2017 from Nabarro LLP and is experienced in development, investment and asset management matters in the healthcare sector. Associate Peter Marks is also recommended.

Clarke Willmott LLP has an β€˜effective and slick’ team that is β€˜keen to ensure that "partner-led", really means "partner-led"’. In addition to handling commercial development, landlord and tenant, and secured lending mandates, the team is also noted for its logistics, retail and leisure sector expertise. Highlights included advising CWRP on a lease agreement with B & M Retail for the construction of new store, and advising Cascade Holdings on the Β£1.1m purchase of retail premises in Manchester City Centre. It advised Gaylord Investments on the Β£13m purchase of a Travelodge hotel in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey. EDM Group, Mayr-Melnhof Packaging UK, IJS Global UK and Arbuthnot Latham & Co are also clients.

Highlights for Freeths LLP included advising Rockar on the expansion of a new car retail offering in UK shopping centres, and acting for Derby City Council on plans to construct of a major new road in Derby, to facilitate greater access to the Rolls Royce innovation park. Nottinghamshire County Council, Ingleby (1245), Poundstretcher and Barratt Developments are also clients. Ian Tempest heads the team and is experienced in advising local authorities on property law, PPPs and regeneration work. Also recommended are Paul Calladine, who is an expert in mines and minerals advice, and Stephen Lewis.

The β€˜efficient and impressive’ department at Mills & Reeve LLP handles large-scale landlord and tenant portfolio management work, and acts for investors, developers, strategic land owners, major corporates, as well as education, health and care providers. Team head Caroline Hanratty advised Urban & Civic on its competitive tender for the Manchester city centre regeneration project at Mayfield near Piccadilly. Consultant Anne Fairhurst, who is experienced in the education and healthcare sectors, advised a group of Lancashire GPs on the multimillion-pound sale of Thornton Medical Centre to Lancashire County Council Pension Fund. Principal associate Louise Robinson is also recommended.

Pannone Corporate LLP advised High Peak Developments on several matters, including a competition case against Tesco regarding the construction of a new retail store. Bargain Booze, Revolution Bars Group, XPO Logistics, Conviviality and Bibendum Wine are also clients. Team head James Wynne joined from Shoosmiths LLP in May 2016. Senior associate Gareth Birch is also recommended.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP acts for a broad range of property companies on all aspects of property portfolio management, including sales, purchases and refinancings, in addition to general asset management. The team advises a range of public and private sector clients, including local authorities, housing associations and charities. Recent highlights include advising Great Places Housing Group on the Β£4.5m purchase of its head office in Manchester; and advising BLME on the Β£26.8m share-sale of 10 multi-let properties to a private investor. The team also advises the West Midlands Pension Fund on the management of its property investment portfolio, and is advising Cross Keys Homes on the asset management of a large number of mixed-use developments. Key figures include Matthew Holbrook, who attracts praise for his β€˜good-quality technical advice’ and for his β€˜commercial understanding’; Amanda Stubbs, who is noted for environmental matters; and Suzanne Benson, who heads the residential sales team and also handles development acquisitions. Associate Anna Metham is also recommended.

Ward Hadaway handles commercial and residential developments, real estate finance, investments and landlord and tenant matters, for clients including housebuilders, banks, regional funds, commercial developers and investors. It is advising Real Estate Investment Partnerships on plans for a mixed-use scheme in the Northern Quarter area of Manchester; acted for Eurocamp on the relocation of the company headquarters to larger premises in Cheshire; and assisted Neville Johnson Group with securing leases for its stores in Leamington Spa and Tunbridge Wells. Andrew Dunn heads the team, which includes consultant Stephen Hawkins and associate Phil Wright.

Commercial property: Liverpool

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: Liverpool
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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


DLA Piper UK LLP has an extensive track record in high-profile investment matters, as well as complex, large-scale developments. The β€˜approachable’ team attracts praise for its ability to provide β€˜in-depth and practical advice at short notice’. Highlights included advising Cheshire West & Chester Council on the signing of anchor tenant House of Fraser to Chester's Β£300m Northgate regeneration scheme; and assisting the same client with the acquisition of the Crowne Plaza hotel in Chester and the construction of a replacement 4-star hotel. The team also advised Liverpool Football Club & Athletic Grounds on the land acquisition, joint venture arrangements, and construction of an additional 8,500 seats to Anfield Stadium. The team also acts for housebuilders including Elan Homes, which it advised on the Β£7.6m acquisition of Saighton Camp. TIAA Henderson Real Estate, Heineken, PACE Trustees and Picton Capital are also on the team’s client roster. North West department head Mark Beardwood, who splits his time between the firm’s Liverpool and Manchester offices, has β€˜a good commercial brain’. He is assisted by the β€˜extremely commercial’ Philip Rooney, who β€˜resolves complex issues quickly’, and advises investors, public authorities and major space occupiers; Alison Mills, who is β€˜fast, accurate and commercial’ and regularly handles development work in the student accommodation sector; and recently promoted partner Richard Thompson, who focuses on investment work. Legal director Richard Ascroft and senior associate Hannah Cheminais, who recently joined from Pinsent Masons LLP, are also recommended.

The β€˜fantastic’ team at Brabners LLP handles a range of real estate mandates spanning agriculture and landed estates, commercial and residential developments, investment, retail and property management, as well as real estate finance. The team has β€˜good technical knowledge’, delivers β€˜quick response times’, has β€˜a pragmatic approach’, and is able to β€˜cut through the white noise and get to the issue’. Highlights included advising Neptune Developments on the Β£39m forward funding of a mixed-use scheme in Liverpool; and acting for McColls Retail on the acquisition of 298 stores from the Co-operative Group. T J Morris, ABF, Wainhomes (North West), Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, Grosvenor Estate and Peacocks Stores are also clients. David Morgan heads the firm’s regional real estate department; Jeff Gillbanks β€˜keeps focus on what is needed to close big deals’ and advises landlord developers, on forward funded acquisitions, and complex high value developments, which includes Iain Gamble, who primarily acts for developers and landlords on commercial and mixed-use schemes; Richard Roberts (β€˜an exceptional lawyer; he cuts to the core issues very quickly’), who handles retail and property management mandates; Chris Parkinson, who heads the residential development team; and senior associate Kevin Manley. Neil McBurney and Sandy Gill are also receommended. Leanne Murray joined DAC Beachcroft LLP in 2016.

DWF’s expertise spans investment, development, finance, and asset management inthe retail, hotel, leisure, office, industrial and residential sectors. Highlights included advising NewRiver Retail on the Β£120m purchase of Bexleyheath Shopping Centre; acting for NewRiver Leisure on the comprehensive redevelopment of Basingstoke Leisure Park; and assisting Criterion Capital woith the Β£130m sale of Queensmere Shopping Centre in Slough. The team also acted for Lloyds Bank on the provision of development finance to Redsun Developments, for the construction of Canada Dock Exchange, Liverpool and Power Station Business Park, Bromborough. Team head Andrew Nichol is experienced in property finance and investment acquisition work. He is recommended alongside the β€˜very able’ Abby Dry, who handles a range of asset management mandates and advises on acquisitions and disposals; Julie Simms, who handles a range of property development matters; real estate finance expert Luke Hopkins; and senior associates Neil Lacey and Helen Thomas.

Hill Dickinson LLP has a β€˜fantastic reputation’ among its investor and developer clients, for whom it handles a range of real estate projects in the retail and leisure sectors, as well the utilities, energy, transport, logistics and public sectors. It also advises on real estate finance. Highlights included advising a trustee client of Mason Partners on the sale of Ashmount Enterprise Park, Flint; acting for Utopia Leisure on the property aspects of a business transfer agreement relating to Barnett Hill Hotel and Conference Centre, Guildford; advising Signature Living on a mixed-use development in Cardiff; and acting for Elliot Group on a property acquisition and development in Manchester. David Swaffield has a β€˜brilliant reputation’ and heads the national property and construction team, which includes Martyn McDonald, who acts for property owners and investors on high-value acquisitions and disposals; Claire Cosgrove, who is active in the retail sector; Graham Archibald, who advises on a range of property transactions; and Alex McCann, who acts for investors, developers and occupiers. Pamela Jones retired in 2016.

Weightmans LLP is adept at handling complex city centre and town centre regeneration projects for a range of public sector clients. The team also has expertise in residential developments, and handles landlord and tenant matters as well as retail sector mandates. Highlights included advising South Ribble District Council on the disposal of a semi-derelict testing track, which involved a joint venture agreement and a land sale agreement; acting for Denbighshire County Council on the wholesale regeneration of Rhyl Waterfront with development partner Neptune; and assisting BDW Trading on the acquisition of land for development from Wirral Borough Council. The Manchester-based Karl Jackson heads the β€˜hardworking’ and β€˜experienced’ team, which features a number of key figures, including Janice Weatherly, who is active across development mandates and landlord and tenant matters, and is particularly experienced in the education sector; Clive Bleasdale, who has vast expertise in city centre regeneration projects and heads the local government real estate group; Matthew Williamson, who advises on landlord and tenant matters, as well as property acquisitions and disposals; and David Tabinor, who is experienced in volume real estate matters. Also recommended are recently promoted partner Christopher Grady, who specialises in residential development matters; and associates Thomas Starkey, Frank La Rocca (who heads the national plot sales team), Tony Parry, and Sue McGorian.

Commercial property: Elsewhere in the North West

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: Elsewhere in the North West
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

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


Clients of Brabners LLP’s Preston-based real estate department rate its β€˜very pragmatic and commercial advice’, β€˜quick response times’ and β€˜strength in depth’ across the retail, hospitality, landed estates and agricultural sectors. Headline work included advising Unstuffy Hotel Co on the disposal of the Linthwaite House Hotel, and assisting the National Football Museum with the grant of a sublease to a consortium led by ex-footballer Gary Neville. The team’s other clients include Sofology, EWM Group, Betterbathrooms (UK) and The β€˜very commercial, thorough, and on-the-ball’ Ross Shine leads the department, which includes and Charles Hansford, who is noted for his expertise in mines and minerals, agricultural and landed estate matters. Associate Helen Ryan is also recommended.

Gorvins Solicitors provides an β€˜excellent’ and β€˜responsive’ service that covers leases, landlord and tenant matters and leasehold estate management work, as well as acquisitions and disposals, funding, and development agreements for both commercial, residential and mixed-use developments. Secured lending work and real estate restructuring matters are also mainstays of the practice, which advised The Society of Oddfellows on the Β£9m forward funding for the development of B&M and Aldi stores; acted for H20 Urban (No 2) on securing an option over a significant strategic land site; assisted Orbit Investments (Properties) with the Β£4.6m disposal of a partially completed shell unit; and advised Bridgebank Capital Investment Management on five loans. Seddon Developments, Hamilton Heath Estates, Brass Bank and Urban Splash are also clients. Managing partner Martin Hoare heads the team and β€˜shows great commercial acumen’; he advises on commercial and residential development and investment work and is recommended alongside Claire Beaumont and Samantha Marcus, who handle investment deals and regularly work with lending institutions. Consultant Colin Mellor joined in 2016 from LHS Solicitors LLP.

Niche specialist property firm Land Law LLP is adept at property transactions, property disputes, as well as banking and property finance matters. Highlights included advising Hollins Murray Group on the freehold acquisition of 50 King Street, Manchester, from Northumberland Estates. Managing partner Angus Whyte heads the team, which includes the β€˜first-class’ Helen Davidson, who specialises in development work;Paul Grundy who primarily acts for developers, investors, and landlords, as well as surveyors; Andrea Lawrence, whose clients include property development companies; property finance team head Hans Scheiwiller; and Sarah Bonwick, who handles investment, development, and property finance matters. Claire Chapman recently left the firm to join gunnercooke LLP.

Myerson Solicitors LLP’s team handles development and property management work, as well as real estate transactions, for a range of private property companies, owner-managed businesses, and investors. Jeremy Lee and Andrew Chapman continued to advise Mosley Street Ventures on the Two St Peters Square development in Manchester. Chapman led Fortis Developments on the purchase and forward sale of a site at The Green Quarter in Manchester, while Lee advised the same client on the acquisition of various parcels of land that make up the Adelphi Wharf development in Salford. Joanne Perritt, delivers β€˜good quality work’ and advised Svenska Handelsbanken on a number of property portfolio refinancings. Convergys, Lad Bible Group and Taskers are also clients. Also recommended are the β€˜personable and very knowledgeable’ Richard Lloyd, and Mark Gillies, who joined in 2016 from Laytons.

Aaron & Partners LLP’s β€˜experienced’ department handles a range of commercial property matters including secured lending, property investment and asset management. Its sector expertise covers renewable energy and waste management, charities and education, utilities, student and city centre developments, as well as agriculture and landed estates. Highlights included acting for Pinnacle Group on a development site at St James Street, Liverpool, and advising Prime Central London on a South London development, which involved the exchange of options to acquire three separate interests in a former public house, and a contract for the onward sale of the property. Knights of Old, Galliers Properties, KingKabs, DΕ΅r Cymru Cyfyngedig and Mostyn Estates are also clients. Simon Ellis heads the department and is singled out for his expertise in the utilities and charities sector, as well as handling broader development work. Trish Randles conducts landlord and tenant matters, as well as portfolio management work. Senior associate Lisa Moncur recently joined from Land Law LLP and is experienced in diocesan and ecclesiastical property matters.

The β€˜exceptional’ team at DTM Legal LLP is based across its Liverpool and Chester offices and handles a range of contentious and non-contentious matters. Highlights included advising the Atmore Group on the sale of 52 auction properties for Β£20m. Team head Anna Duffy is experienced in property litigation, and also advises investment and retail clients on landlord and tenant matters. Other key figures include Liverpool-based consultant Robert Harris, who is β€˜practical and commercial’ and handles a range of transactional matters; recently promoted partner Sally Pilott, who is based in Chester and advises on acquisitions, site assembly, section agreements and the disposal of large housing developments; and associate Michael Wright in Chester. Victoria Evans left the firm.

The β€˜established and professional team’ at Forbes Solicitors β€˜goes above and beyond to ensure that transactions get completed on time and efficiently as possible’. The team handles a range of real estate matters, ranging from pension fund commercial property transactions to commercial and residential property developments, with expertise in the retail, health and sports sectors. Highlights included advising WEC Group on the Β£7m purchase of an industrial unit. Other clients include Taylor Patterson (Pensions), Lawrence Hunt & Co, Rushcliffe, GPC SIPP, Burnley Football Club and Blackburn Rovers Football Club. The β€˜extremely efficient’ team, whi is praised for its β€˜proactive advice’ and β€˜flexible’ approach, is headed by Adam Bromley, who is noted for his experience in pension-related matters. He is assisted by Tim Hollingsworth, who handles the sale and purchase of development sites; the β€˜very experienced’ Stuart Shorthouse, who is recommended for the sale, purchase and leasing of commercial property; and the β€˜very able’ Richard Clithero, who is active in secured lending.

Hillyer McKeown LLP handles the acquisition and disposal of commercial property, leasing, developments, pension fund transactions and property finance. Team head Caroline Jones is advising on the refinancing of a major redevelopment at the Tower Wharf Development in Birkenhead as a prelude to an inter-company restructuring and leaseback refinance for The Contact Company. Ian Millington advised Handelsbanken on the Β£1m refinancing of two industrial properties, and associate Dewi Paddock assisted Halfords Autocentre with the acquisition of new sites, which included including planning, development and construction advice. David Wright heads the residential property team, and Phil McKeown handles a range of acquisitions and disposals, commercial lending, site acquisition, and redevelopment matters.

Jolliffe & Co LLP β€˜always delivers on time’ and advises owner-occupiers, restaurant and pub chains, charities, landed estates and farmers, entrepreneurs, developers and investors on an array of property-related mandates. The team advised FJ Need on the transfer of 22 acres into the company and negotiated a separate pre-emption and option agreement for additional land. Other highlights included advising Power Solutions UK on an office lease at City Place, Chester, and acting for Cheshire Barn Homes on the purchase of a site for residential development. James Harris handles high-value freehold and leasehold commercial real estate acquisitions, with an emphasis on the leisure sector, and Huw Thomas is noted for his transactional expertise. Senior associate William Ngan joined in 2016 from Addleshaw Goddard and is noted for tax-related matters. Consultant Guy Morris is recommended for licensing matters.

Napthens LLP’s team is praised for its β€˜depth of expertise’ and β€˜first-class’ service across a range of commercial property mandates, with a particular specialism in the leisure sector. Highlights included advising Danbro on a etting to VolkerRail related to the former Land Registry building in Lytham, and assisted Seven Bro7hers with the property requirements related to its first Manchester city centre bar. It also advised Emporia Leisure on the major redevelopment of Holmes Mill in Lancashire. WH Bowker, Blackpool Grand Theatre Trust, Fagan & Whalley and Daniel Thwaites are also clients. In 2016, team head Paul Hardy joined the firm from Hempsons, and John Lomax joined from Hill Dickinson LLP. Also recommended are Martin Long, who is β€˜always calm and considered’ and β€˜very responsive’, James Allison, and recently promoted partner Marc Appleton.

The team at SAS Daniels LLP attracts praise for its β€˜excellent service’ and β€˜very commercial’ advice. Its expertise covers development work, particularly in the residential sector, and the team is also noted for its experience in promotion agreements and land disposal matters. Gladman Developments, Anwyl Land, Alliance Living, Frederic Robinson, Bell Developments (NW), South Staffordshire Water and Peaks and Plains Housing Trust are clients. Nigel Read and James Clarke (an β€˜efficient and an extremely strong communicator’) jointly head the team, which includes Roger Allsup, who is recommended for construction disputes and transactions; Andrew Clark, who handles development matters, and provides advice on leasing and portfolio management; and the β€˜very experienced’ Neil Powell, who advises a number of developers and is experienced in mixed-use regeneration schemes, and education sector mandates. Associate James Goddard is recommended for agricultural matters.

Hibberts LLP regularly handles high-value commercial property transactions, as well as acting for local landlords and tenants in relation to commercial leases and lease extensions. Carolyn Brooksbank heads the team.

JWK Solicitors advises on high-value property transactions, including the acquisition of large commercial sites, as well as development and dispersal matters. The team has recently handled a range of matters including high-value office leases, leases to national supermarkets, complex land exchanges between local authorities and private developers, dilapidations claims, and car park management schemes. Peter Bujakowski heads the department.

Slater and Gordon’s commercial property practice handles high-volume landlord property work, secured lending, and agriculture and estates mandates. The team also has expertise in the energy and utilities sectors. Highlights included advising FI Real Estate Management on the sale of industrial premises and on the grant of leases in respect of industrial and office premises, and advising Event Marketing Solutions on the purchase of a new office and warehouse facility in Ellesmere Port. Team head Stephen Lunt acts for landlords on lease management matters, advises developers in the energy industry, and acts for utility companies in the acquisition of easements. Paul Makinson advises on freehold and leasehold sales and purchases, auctions, and commercial lending, and is particularly noted for rural property matters. In 2016, Victoria Jones joined the Chester office from Knights Professional Services Limited, and Mark Alexander joined the growing Preston office from Vincents Solicitors. Helen Nash recently left the firm to join Knights Professional Services Limited.

Slater Heelis LLP fields an β€˜approachable’ and β€˜very user-friendly’ team of β€˜skilled professionals’ that is noted for its banking and financial sector expertise, particularly in relation to commercial lending. The team is also adept at residential matters, and has a particular focus on advising high-net-worth clients. Highlights included acting for a blue-chip insurance company on the purchase of an iconic building in Liverpool for its new UK headquarters, and advising Orange Grove Developments on the purchase of a proposed residential development in Manchester. The team also advised a property investment company on the purchase of Kings Way Business Centre. Clients applaud the team’s ability to β€˜talk in layman’s terms to get the message across’, and single out the β€˜exceptional’ Mike Fox for commercial matters; Edward Michell, who heads the residential property team; and Hannah Al-Shaghana, who handles a range of acquisitions, disposals, secured lending and landlord and tenant matters. Zara Banday and Stephen Locke are recommended for residential property matters. Associate Olajide Jay Lafinhan is also noted.

Blackstone Solicitors Limited fields an β€˜efficient, effective, and very commercially savvy’ team handles a range of commercial property matters including developments, leases, and site acquisitions. Clients include Entertainment Magpie, which the team advises on lease transactions for various shopping centres, and The Fragrance Shop, which the team assists with lease transactions, including a new lease in the Manchester Arndale. It is also advising Ladson Developments on the acquisition of Archer House, Stockport for a residential conversion. House Crowd Project is also a key client. Clients single out the β€˜responsive’ Nick Jackson, Michelle Rothburn, who is β€˜very knowledgeable on all commercial property matters’, and head of residential property David Walton.

Butcher & Barlow LLP’s β€˜prompt and commercial’ department attracts praise for its β€˜fantastic service levels’. The team’s expertise covers land acquisitions, planning and development in the commercial and residential sectors, public house sales and purchases, and refinancing matters. Highlights included advising Joseph Holt on the purchase of four public houses. John Hyatt heads the team.

Chafes Hague Lambert LLP acts for landlords and tenants in relation to commercial lease work and disputes, and advises on investment sales and purchases, commercial and residential development acquisitions, secured lending, distressed property and real estate restructuring matters. H A Marks, Playdemic, Harrington & Hallworth, County Milk Products, Cambrian Homes and Investar Property Group are clients. Team head Daniel Woodcock is β€˜extremely thorough in his work; very proactive and quick to respond’. He is assisted by β€˜impressive’ consultant Mike Travis and Andrew Pettitt.


Index of tables

  1. Construction
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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


Pinsent Masons LLP fields a β€˜pre-eminent’ that β€˜stands out for its dedication and commitment to the industry’ and attracts praise for its β€˜breadth and depth of experience’. The team, which has β€˜an excellent track record in delivering high-value projects’, handles a range of complex UK and international projects for clients including blue-chip companies and public sector bodies. Its project expertise spans the energy, transport, hotel and leisure, social infrastructure, defence, commercial development and waste management sectors. The team is advising the Cayman Islands government on the structuring of new procurement models for its infrastructure investments, including the design and construction of a $50m access road and infrastructure works in Grand Cayman and a $200m PPP project for a new ferry berthing facility at George Town Port. It is also acting for Connect Plus (M25) in a dispute with Highways England Company. Other clients include Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Electricite de France and Capita Property and Infrastructure. β€˜Construction specialist’ Graham Alty leads the transactional construction and projects team, while Michael Hopkins heads the disputes practice. Anthony Bradley combines β€˜exceptional legal skills with sound judgment and an acute sense of the client’s commercial interests’; he handles large-scale construction and civil engineering contracts, with a particular focus on legal risk management and dispute resolution. Mark Job heads the engineering team and is recommended alongside legal directors Sian Hughes, who is β€˜responsive and reliable’, Katherine Sneddon, who is β€˜very experienced and committed to meeting her client’s needs’, and Ian Fairclough, who joined in 2016 from Ashurst.

Addleshaw Goddard attracts praise for its β€˜first-class’ handling of contentious and non-contentious construction, engineering and infrastructure mandates. The team advises on a range of major development schemes in the North West, and nationally, and is noted for its expertise in high-value PFI construction disputes. Clients include developers, employers and public sector entities including Octagon Healthcare, for which the team is handling a multi-party claim against John Laing Construction and John Laing relating to extensive defects in the mechanical and electrical installations at one of the UK's largest PFI hospitals. The team has also been appointed as sole construction law adviser for the Houses of Parliament on the restoration and renewals programme for the Palace of Westminster and the Northern Estate. Other highlights included representing Guinness in disputes relating to Diageo's global headquarters and the Park Royal development; and advising Manhattan Loft Gardens on the development of a mixed-use tower in Stratford, London. It is also assisting Omega Warrington with the Β£1bn development of the 575-acre Omega site near Warrington. Nancy McGuire is national head of the construction, engineering and environment group. Jonathan Tattersall splits his time between Manchester and London and heads the contentious construction, engineering and environment group; he attracts praise for his β€˜measured and commercial advice’. Also recommended are legal director Steve Ormand, who handles non-contentious construction and engineering matters, and senior associate Philip Withey, who handles construction and engineering disputes, with a particular emphasis on PFI projects. In 2016, the team was bolstered by several hires at associate level, while Alison Fagan and Robin Jack left the firm to join DLA Piper UK LLP, and Adam Jason joined United Utilities.

DLA Piper UK LLP is praised for its β€˜responsiveness’ and its β€˜high level of industry knowledge’. The firm’s North West construction and engineering team handles non-contentious development matters, as well as contentious construction and engineering mandates, with an emphasis on PPP and PFI disputes within the infrastructure sector. Cheshire West & Chester Council is instructing the team on the Β£300m Chester Northgate mixed-use development. Other highlights included acting for UPS on the construction of its new sorting and delivery facility at the DP World London Gateway Logistics site, and assisting Downing Group with the construction documentation for a purpose-built student development in Vauxhall and Nine Elms, London. UK head of contentious construction Paul Giles β€˜picks up the detail of complex matters very quickly’ and β€˜is good on strategy and very client friendly’. Contentious construction specialist David Moss is β€˜well known and respected in the market’ and handles project management, contract administration and the resolution of claims in the civil, heavy engineering, power and building industries. Consultant Nigel Proctor advises on owner-funded infrastructure projects, with particular expertise in the procurement of EPC contracts, as well as operating and maintenance contracts. Legal director Elspeth Christie heads the Liverpool team and specialises in non-contentious engineering and construction work. Also recommended are Alison Fagan, who is β€˜outstanding’ in PFI and PPP disputes, and senior associate Robin Jack, who recently joined the team from Addleshaw Goddard.

DWF’s department provides β€˜timely and precise’ advice, with expertise covering the energy, education, student accommodation and hotels sectors. The non-contentious team handles a wide range of procurement matters, including compliance and drafting development and construction contracts. The contentious team is known for adjudications, arbitration and litigation, and other forms of ADR. Highlights included advising West Midlands Combined Authority on the Programme Alliance Agreement (PAA) for the Midlands Metro, and assisting Swinton Group with the construction aspects of its move to a new head office. The team is also advising Warrington Borough Council and Muse Developments on the construction aspects of the redevelopment of Warrington Town Centre. International head of construction and infrastructure Paul O’Kane advises on procurement strategy and project structures, as well as complex disputes, and North West department head Paul Barge advises on construction and engineering contracts. Director Chris Henshaw specialises in construction procurement with a particular focus on complex energy from waste, transport and other major infrastructure projects, as well as high-value development projects.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP fields a β€˜technically able’ construction and engineering team that advises on procurement strategies, risk allocation, and the drafting and negotiation of all types of construction and engineering contracts related to high-value and complex construction and engineering projects. Highlights included advising National Grid Interconnector Holdings on the contracts for the construction of a 200km high voltage sub-sea electricity cable connecting the Shetland Islands with the Scottish mainland electricity transmission network. The team also advised Network Rail Infrastructure on the upgrade of the route from Manchester Victoria to Leeds and York, and is acting for the same client on the construction agreements for the delivery of a new retail development at London Waterloo station, as well as a wider programme to increase train and passenger capacity at the station. The team is also advising English Cities Fund on the Salford Central Regeneration Scheme. The β€˜extremely knowledgeable’ Simon Chamberlain heads the construction and engineering team in the North and advises private and public sector clients on the procurement of construction and engineering contracts, as well as handling strategies for resolving complex construction and engineering disputes. Chris Pickens β€˜always provides an excellent service’ and advises on the procurement of construction and engineering contracts for high-value projects. Principal associate Gregory Buckley and β€˜star’ senior associate Lucy Frith handle complex construction and engineering disputes.

Gateley Plc fields a team of β€˜excellent communicators’ that attracts praise for its β€˜detailed responses’. It regularly advises national developers and housebuilders on regional and national developments involving student accommodation, leisure, sports, residential and mixed-use projects. It is also noted for its experience in contentious bond and surety work. Highlights included advising Everton Football Club on all construction aspects relating to the development of a new training complex, and assisting the same client on redevelopment works at Goodison Park. Other clients include Keepmoat, Manchester City Football Club, Zurich Insurance, QBE Insurance (Europe) and CityBlock. Team head and surety law specialist Karen Spencer advises on bond wordings and handles disputes relating to performance bonds, indemnities and guarantees issued in connection with construction projects. Emlyn Hudson handles construction disputes and contentious and non-contentious surety matters. Also recommended are senior associate Hayley Sullivan, who is national head of the construction banking team, and associate Gemma Wilson.

Hill Dickinson LLP fields β€˜a good team of lawyers across both its Liverpool and Manchester offices, who offer great breadth and depth of experience’, and which is β€˜well equipped to deal with matters efficiently’. It handles contentious and non-contentious matters across the energy, industrial, renewables, transport infrastructure, insurance, retail, and further education sectors. Highlights included advising Nxet Trains on design, supply, installation and maintenance contracts in relation to 27 railway stations, and advising M J Quinn Industrial on a major tender for maintenance of IT and facilities to Transport for London. It is also advising Peel Group on a development at Manchester Ship Canal, including the installation of a new lift bridge, and is advising Neptune Projects on the redevelopment of Lime Street in Liverpool. Clients single out β€˜outstanding’ construction head Alan Pugh and the β€˜commercially astute’ David Chinn, who is β€˜able to give a clear and concise view’ and is praised for his β€˜excellent attention to detail’. Also recommended are Michael Woolley, who handles contentious and non-contentious matters; David Oram, who is singled out for his β€˜experience’ in contentious matters; Tricia Morrison, who β€˜gives very clear instructions’ and β€˜strives to give the very best to her clients’; and senior consultant Edward Davies. Eleanor Stirrett recently joined Brabners LLP.

Clients of Squire Patton Boggs rate the β€˜legally and commercially knowledgeable’ team for its β€˜ability to present advice clearly and succinctly’. It handles contentious construction and engineering work in the private and public sectors, and is experienced in infrastructure, transport and nuclear projects, as well as regeneration schemes. On the non-contentious side, it handles renewable energy and energy storage and property development projects. Highlights included advising Princes Limited on its Β£40m redevelopment project in Bradford, West Yorkshire; assisting Gildemeister Energy Solutions with its contract to engineer, procure and construct a solar farm in Scotland; and advising Lagan Construction Group on its bids relating to the procurement, design and construction of energy from waste facilities in Bedfordshire and Bristol. Contentious construction and engineering specialist Sean McCay, who is β€˜able to cut to the key issues and identify the best solutions quickly, and without fuss’, is recommended alongside Julian Scott, who handles non-contentious construction mandates. Matthew Grellier joined Slater Heelis LLP in 2016.

Brabners LLP’s β€˜knowledgeable and approachable’ team advises developers, contractors and subcontractors on port infrastructure and commercial developments, and is experienced in projects in the power, retail, and student accommodation sectors. The team also has dispute resolution expertise and is praised for its β€˜commercial and practical’ approach. Highlights included advising T J Morris on the construction of five new stores, assisting Glenbrook CHD with the development of residential apartment blocks, and acting for The Mersey Docks and Harbour Company on numerous infrastructure projects. Ian Hardman specialises in non-contentious and contentious construction and engineering matters, and is rated for β€˜presenting detail in a clear and concise manner’. Barry Goodall handles contentious and non-contentious mandates, with particular experience in projects and disputes relating to power stations, petrochemical plants, pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, nuclear reprocessing plants, and road and rail projects. Senior associate Eleanor Stirrett joined from Hill Dickinson LLP.

The β€˜prompt and practical’ department at Trowers & Hamlins LLP delivers β€˜comprehensive advice’ on non-contentious and contentious construction mandates across the private and public sectors, and is particularly noted for its public procurement expertise. The team advised Wates Construction on the establishment of a joint venture between Wates Construction and THT Developments, and is acting for Trant Group on a number of projects including a five-year engineering framework with National Grid and an EPC contract for a recycling facility in Corby. Other highlights included advising United Living in the North West on its bids for major construction work in the housing sector. David Vayro heads the construction and projects team and advises private and public sector end users, contractors, subcontractors, consultants and funders on procurement, construction and engineering matters. Katie Saunders β€˜provides meaningful advice which doesn’t get you tied up in legalese’; she specialises in complex housing, accommodation and regeneration projects, and also leads on public procurement matters. Senior associate Tom Holroyd focuses on contentious and non-contentious private-sector infrastructure and engineering work.

Weightmans LLP’s β€˜responsive’ department is commended for its β€˜personal approach’ and has an β€˜excellent’ track record in complex, high-value construction disputes. The team recently acted for Southside Regeneration on newbuild office accommodation at the First Street development in Manchester. It is also advising Total Fitness Health Clubs on the expansion of 17 health and fitness clubs across the North of England and Wales, and advised Merseyside Police on the drafting and negotiation of an NEC 3 building contract relating to a new operational command centre. John Cleaveley is noted for his β€˜commercial awareness’ and advises developers, funders, purchasers, tenants, contractors and consultants on building contracts, appointments, warranties and subcontracts. Also recommended are David Rogers, a β€˜clear thinker’ with β€˜vast experience of construction disputes and litigation’; and associate Tom Collins, who is also recommended for construction-related disputes.

CMS’s infrastructure, construction and energy group handles a raft of contentious and non-contentious matters, including major development and regeneration projects and complex litigation. The team is also singled out for its expertise in PFI disputes. Highlights included advising Bupa UK on the construction of its new headquarters at the Regent Building in Salford Quays, Greater Manchester, and acting for Marcus Worthington Group on the Β£70m 125 Deansgate development in Manchester. It also represented Stanmore Contractors in a Β£3m claim issued by Bellway Homes regarding alleged defects to dry-lining and insulation works at a property development in Kent. Chris Hallam, who joined in March 2016 from Pinsent Masons LLP, heads the infrastructure, construction and energy group, and is noted for his expertise in structuring, negotiating and drafting of contracts for complex construction, engineering and infrastructure projects across the energy, transport, waste management, defence, education and health sectors. The team was also joined by β€˜exceptional’ senior associate Arwyn Jones, who relocated from the firm’s London office and specialises in contentious matters, and associate David Turner, who relocated from the firm’s Sheffield office and handles non-contentious matters.

DAC Beachcroft LLP has a wide-ranging track record in national and international construction mandates, including contentious construction and property work, insurance claims, non-contentious contract and documentation advice, and procurement and regulatory matters. The team is acting for The Co-operative Group on issues arising from the defective design and installation of refrigeration at multiple premises owned by the client, and is advising Cheshire West and Chester District Council on major construction and retail development works with a major developer and retailer in Cheshire. CPD Powerline, BBL Company, Black and Veatch, Dawn Construction Glasgow and Alpha Real Capital are also clients. Phillip Fry specialises in construction disputes, and also provides non-contentious advice to owners, developers, contractors and consultants. Regional senior partner Ian McConkey is noted for construction-related professional negligence matters. Harald Loeffler and senior associate Claire Randall-Smith are also recommended for disputes.

Freeths LLP handles a range of construction and engineering disputes, and has developed a particular specialism in acting for large, Spanish EPC contractors on their projects in the UK. The team acts for Duro Felguera on a number of disputes, and recently advised on disputes arising out of its new gas-fired power station in Carrington. Enwesa Operaciones, Bathsystem UK, BDO and Styles & Wood are also clients. The β€˜exceptional’ James Driver heads the team and is singled out for construction and engineering disputes. Senior associate Jennie Jones handles a range of disputes and transactional matters. Hayley Kennedy left the firm in 2016 to join Schneider Electric.

Mills & Reeve LLP is β€˜always pragmatic’ and is β€˜first-class in terms of response times; it has an excellent understanding of the issues, and can pull in a variety of specialists as and when required’. Its expertise spans construction matters in the education, healthcare, arts and entertainment sectors. Highlights included advising Cheval Group on the redevelopment of 55-93 Knightsbridge, London, and assisting The HallΓ© with the appointment of the design team for stage one of the St Peters Church project. The team also advises L Rowlands (Retail) on a number of projects. Catherine Kay is singled out for her ability to β€˜grasp issues quickly and distil advice into plain English’; β€˜her knowledge of construction in Manchester, and the region, is enormously beneficial’. Kay advises on education and health sector mandates, mixed-use developments, student accommodation projects and secured lending work. She is also noted for her experience in the entertainment and arts sectors, and for advising on heritage projects.

SAS Daniels LLP’s track record includes handling construction disputes, project documentation for building and civil engineering, and advising construction designers and consultants on contracts with employers. The team advised Gladman Developments on the construction of a new residential apartment block in Otley, Yorkshire. Extrudakerb (Maltby Engineering), Bolton Sixth Form College and i-Transport LLP are also clients. Roger Allsup is praised for his β€˜attention to detail’ and heads the department, which includes James Clarke, who acts for developers on the acquisition of strategic development sites, particularly for residential housing; and contentious specialist Christopher MacCafferty.

Shoosmiths LLP attracts praise for its β€˜good, sound, commercial advice’ on non-contentious development transactions, and advises developer clients on construction documents related to office, retail, residential, student accommodation, leisure and industrial developments. The team continues to advise Allied London on construction documentation related to the development of No.1 Spinningfields, Manchester, and advised TIAA Henderson on the five-year redevelopment plan and sale of Festival Place shopping centre in Basingstoke. Neil Armstrong is a β€˜skilled’ and β€˜personable’ senior associate who advises developers on the procurement of projects across the country. He also advises tenants, purchasers and funders on construction issues related to large-scale developments. Associate Sally Haslewood is also recommended.

Clyde & Co LLP handles contentious and non-contentious construction mandates involving social, energy, transport, and commercial development projects. The team is representing U+I plc on the Mayfield Project. Amey, Costain, Carillion, Galliford Try, Anchor Trust, WE Black, Co-operative Group and Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council are also clients. Steven Cannon, who joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP in 2016, heads the team, and specialises in construction, engineering and development projects, often with an international element.

Based across its Chester and Liverpool offices, DTM Legal LLP’s construction practice handles a range of contentious and non-contentious construction matters. The team is defending Rotex Europe Limited in a Β£26m claim brought by a Saudi Arabian firm and advised Dee Tech Services on a dispute with the international owner and operator of a chemical production plant. Anwyl Construction, Foundation Piling, Atmore Developments, Clancy Consulting and Sterling Services are also clients. Jim Morris heads the team, which includes associate Guy Thomas and recently promoted associate Richard Harris.

Pannone Corporate LLP’s β€˜very responsive’ team β€˜punches above its weight’ and provides β€˜pragmatic advice’ on the structuring of construction projects. It also advises on construction disputes, and has expertise in the public sector, with particular emphasis on transport infrastructure, and social housing projects. The team is advising Transport for Greater Manchester on the procurement of the Metrolink light rail system. Legal director Gareth Jessop has β€˜good knowledge of the railway sector and rail projects’ and advises on contentious and non-contentious construction, engineering and technical contract matters. Legal director Kevin Connell is also recommended.

Slater Heelis LLP has β€˜a great amount of experience’ and handles property-related construction work for residential, commercial and industrial developments, as well as construction arbitration and building and engineering adjudication. Consultant Kenneth Salmon, who has a track record in contentious and non-contentious construction and engineering projects, is β€˜truly on top of his game’; he is β€˜great with clients, has very good knowledge and is an excellent tactician’. Senior associate Matthew Grellier, who recently joined from Squire Patton Boggs, handles contentious construction matters in the urban development, energy and transport sectors, and also advises on construction documentation for residential and mixed-use developments. Helen Brown heads the team.

Planning and environment

Index of tables

  1. Planning and environment
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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


Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP attracts praise for its β€˜very responsive and pragmatic advice’, and is active across a range of planning and non-contentious environmental work, with an emphasis on compulsory purchase matters. It continues to advise Mayfield Development Partnership on the real estate, planning and site assembly aspects of the Mayfield regeneration scheme in Manchester; and is advising The London Borough of Barnet on the redevelopment of the Brent Cross shopping centre and the regeneration of Cricklewood, which involved two public inquiries relating to the first two compulsory purchase orders made for the scheme. The team is also advising The Bluemantle Group and Horwich Vision on planning and environmental matters relating to the regeneration of the former Loco Works site at Horwich, Bolton; and is advising Lendlease on the planning and compulsory purchase aspects of the extension of a shopping centre in Solihull. Key figures include the β€˜brilliant’ Elizabeth Shepherd, who specialises in non-contentious environment matters and health and safety mandates; and legal director Jane Southworth, who also handles non-contentious environment matters and β€˜demonstrates an in-depth understanding of the practical and legal issues involved’. Also recommended are senior associate Catherine Henney, who focuses on environmental work; Richard Lloyd, who heads the planning team and is experienced in large regeneration schemes involving compulsory purchase; principal associate Matthew Collings, who has particular expertise in compulsory purchase and compensation matters; and Michelle Moss, who is noted for her β€˜excellent’ expertise in compulsory purchase matters.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s β€˜first-class planning and environment team’ handles a range of development planning, energy and infrastructure projects, as well as contentious and non-contentious matters across the utilities, waste, chemicals and advanced manufacturing sectors. Highlights for the planning team included advising the London Borough of Croydon on the proposed redevelopment of Fair Field Halls in Croydon for residential housing and a new cultural and educational hub; acting for the University of Sheffield on the proposed expansion of its advanced manufacturing research centre on the outskirts of Sheffield; and assisting HIMOR (Carrington) with the redevelopment of the former Shell refinery at Carrington. On the environmental side, the team continues to defend United Utilities in a claim brought by Manchester Ship Canal Company, and is acting for Yorkshire Water in several contentious and regulatory matters. β€˜Exceptional’ team head Mike Pocock stands out for his expertise in highways and compulsory purchase matters. Senior associate Melanie Grimshaw and associate Elizabeth Wiseman are also recommended for planning matters. Legal director Claire Gregory heads the environmental team and has β€˜excellent knowledge’ of contentious and non-contentious waste and water sector matters, as well as handling the environmental aspects of transactions and developments. Alison Messenger left the firm in 2016 for an in-house role.

Clyde & Co LLP has a β€˜bright, knowledgeable and hardworking environmental law team that pays close attention to the detail of any case’. The team is noted for its expertise in environmental crime and civil litigation, and advises on environmental issues arising from corporate and property transactions, as well as matters involving emission trading schemes, renewable energy, nature and habitat conservation, permits, planning and licensing, asbestos, environmental taxes, and waste management. Rod Hunt’s β€˜attention to detail and preparation are truly superb’; he has β€˜an outstanding grasp of the tactical nuances of environmental litigation’. Chris Morrison has β€˜an instinctive feel for litigation that cannot be taught’ and is β€˜calm under extreme pressure’. Jason Bleasdale is also recommended.

Shoosmiths LLP’s planning team is praised for its β€˜commerciality’ and β€˜quick response times’. Highlights included advising Vastint UK Services on a compulsory purchase order needed to deliver a mixed-use residential scheme on a large derelict site adjacent to the 2012 Olympic Park at Stratford. It is also advising Peel Holdings on a number of development sites in the North West, including handling a successful challenge against the refusal of planning permission for 600 new houses at Broadoak in Salford. The team is headed by Kathryn Jump and Lisa Tye, who attracts praise for her β€˜consistently great service’. Senior associate Samantha Grange is also recommended.

The planning and environment team at Weightmans LLP is β€˜exceptionally well organised’ and is praised for its β€˜broad depth of knowledge’. Its planning team is experienced in major residential and urban extension projects, with an emphasis on infrastructure and compulsory purchase matters. It is assisting Charnwood Borough Council with the planning aspects of the North East Leicester Sustainable Urban Extension project, and represented a nationwide logistics company in a judicial review challenge against Peterborough City Council’s decision to grant planning permission. Environment team head Simon Colvin has β€˜a very relaxed and conciliatory approach, which ensures positive engagement and outcomes’. Planning head Lee Gordon has β€˜a great strategic vision of what needs to be done, and how to do it well’. Also recommended are consultant Ray Clarke, who is a specialist planning, environment and health and safety practitioner; sssociate Julie Goulbourne, who is recommended for environmental matters and β€˜approaches topics logically’; and associate and environmental practitioner Gillian Hulme.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP’s β€˜exceptional’ planning department is β€˜very active’ in regional and national projects, including handling urban extensions, waterside schemes and energy planning schemes. Other areas of expertise span compulsory purchase, town and village greens, and highway issues. The team continues to advise Peel Holdings on the Β£5.5bn regeneration of the historic former docks on the River Mersey, which is part of the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile World Heritage Site. It also continues to advise the London Borough of Wandsworth on the Β£2bn Vauxhall Nine Elms Opportunity Area (VNEB) regeneration scheme. The team also advises Redrow Homes on a number of development schemes. The β€˜very able’ Colette McCormack heads the team and advises on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious planning and environmental work. She is assisted by senior associate Joanne Hannah, who handles planning, highways, compulsory purchase, town and village green matters.

The β€˜very experienced’ planning and environment team at Aaron & Partners LLP provides a β€˜highly personalised and tailored service’ across the energy, utilities, retail, minerals and waste sectors. Highlights included advising Mynydd y Gwynt and Renewable Energy Holdings on an application for consent for the construction and operation of a wind farm in Mid Wales, and assisting Aldi Stores UK with the proposed development of a site of former social security offices in a primarily residential area. David Harries is an energy specialist who β€˜leads with great style, and has the experience to match’. He leads the team, which includes David Delaney, who β€˜delivers comprehensive and clear advice’ and is noted for his β€˜top-notch’ planning experience; and Richard Forrester, who specialises in mines, minerals and waste planning matters, as well as complex land and agricultural issues, and environmental licensing and regulation. Associate Keith McKinney is also recommended.

Addleshaw Goddard’s environmental expertise covers transactional regulatory and contentious mandates, with an emphasis on providing support to clients in the manufacturing, energy, banking, retail and leisure sectors in regulatory investigations. Nancy McGuire heads the team, which includes legal director Michelle Headridge.

Brabners LLP handles a range of planning and environmental natters, with an emphasis on the social housing, maritime, waste and retail sectors and notable experience in development and regeneration projects. Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, Martin McColl, Neptune Developments and Liverpool Mutual Homes are clients. Claire Petricca-Riding heads the planning and environment team and is rated for her β€˜encyclopaedic knowledge and remarkable tenacity’. Director of planning Kevin Halewood specialises in town planning and highways work.

DLA Piper UK LLP handles a range of planning, highways, compulsory purchase and regulated matters in relation to high-profile projects, particularly in the regeneration, energy and infrastructure spaces. The North West team is acting for Liverpool Football Club and Athletic Grounds on all planning aspects of the club’s expansion scheme for Anfield Stadium, and is advising Cheshire West and Chester Council on a major strategic town centre regeneration programme. It is also advising Halton Borough Council on the Mersey Gateway project, involving the construction of a new 1.5km tolled bridge across the River Mersey, and associated highway and regeneration works; and is advising National Grid Electricity Transmission on the North West Coast Connections project. Senior associate Sophie Stewart, who was recently promoted, is β€˜hardworking, thorough and has a shrewd understanding of the merits of cases’. She is singled out for development planning and compulsory purchase work, and is increasingly active in infrastructure mandates. Leeds-based Andrew Batterton heads the development and infrastructure planning team. Former team head Kate Creer recently retired.

Clients of specialist environmental law firm ELM Law single out its β€˜experience, deep insights and strong client focus, which makes it one of the leading firms in the environmental arena’. It has notable strength in environmental transactions and insurance deals in the chemicals and industrials, hazardous waste, brownfield development, petrol filling stations and oil terminals sectors. Highlights included advising Malthurst Group on negotiating a remediation agreement with BP related to five petrol filling stations, as well as providing environmental insurance advice and negotiating leases with Asda and Sainsbury’s. It is also advising University of Birmingham on environmental matters related to the purchase of the former Battery Park Site in Selly Oak from Birmingham City Council. β€˜Approachable, creative and solutions-driven’ practice head Keith Davidson is praised for his combination of β€˜extensive knowledge and experience of environmental issues with an ability to explain issues and solutions clearly’.

Gateley Plc’s β€˜knowledgeable and responsive’ planning and environmental team has a substantial track record in High Court litigation, planning appeals, applications, highway issues, compulsory purchase, enforcement issues, and town and village green law matter. It acts for a number of housebuilder clients, and has expertise in retail, residential, energy, infrastructure, hotel, educational and health-related developments, as well as town centre redevelopment schemes. The Co-operative Group, Yorkcourt Properties, Elan Homes, Morris Homes and Bloor Homes are clients. The national planning team is headed by the β€˜bright, shrewd and tenacious’ Andrew Piatt and includes senior associate Mark Iveson and associate Susan Ehlinger, who is β€˜calm, considered and precise in her advice’.

The β€˜proactive, responsive and attentive’ planning team at Hill Dickinson LLP provides β€˜clear and unambiguous advice’ on a range of housing and mixed-use developments, as well as retail, energy and infrastructure projects. It is advising Bamford Property on a mixed-use development in Derbyshire, and is advising Muller Strategic Projects in a High Court challenge against the Secretary of State’s decision to refuse planning permission for a housing-led mixed-use scheme. It also advised Mental Health Care (UK) on its proposals to redevelop the existing care facilities at one of its sites in North Wales. Team head Grant Anderson is a β€˜top-drawer planning lawyer’ and senior associate Lynette Day is noted for her particular focus on housing, retail, infrastructure, rights of way and compulsory purchase matters.

Irwin Mitchell advises on a range of non-contentious and contentious planning work for commercial clients and individual developers. The team also has a growing reputation in planning litigation. Highlights included advising Hollins Strategic Land on a series of legal agreements in connection with a twin-tracked planning application and appeal submission for proposed residential development of land at Dowbridge, Kirkham; acting for Allaston Developments on a challenge to an appeal decision for the development of land at Allaston, Lydney, Gloucestershire; and defending Cairo Properties in a judicial review of the decision to grant planning permission for a 14-storey tower block in Croydon. Recently promoted partner Emily Williams is β€˜an absolute star’, and is β€˜immensely good at handling anything that is thrown at her with great charm and efficiency’.

Squire Patton Boggs has a β€˜knowledgeable’ team that handles a range of complex environmental matters, including civil toxic tort, nuisance, noise abatement, air, water and ground pollution and permit appeal cases in the nuclear, electricity and wind farm industries. The Manchester team works closely with its colleagues nationwide to provide environmental and planning advice and defended Taylor Wimpey UK in a 24-party toxic tort group action brought by residents and personal representatives of former residents. The team also represented Wasteology in an appeal by one of its subsidiaries against a notice served by the Environment Agency to revoke its operator’s environmental permit in respect of its waste management facility. INEOS Shale is another key client. Rob Elvin heads the firm’s UK environment, safety and health practice.

Dyne Solicitors Limited handles a range of environmental matters, with an emphasis in the waste sector. Managing director John Dyne leads on regulatory, defence and advisory work, and also handles environmental, planning and highways work alongside Lewis Denton. Also recommended are associate solicitor Deborah Bond, who leads on contractual and commercial work, and Jonny Bell.

Property litigation

Index of tables

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

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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


Addleshaw Goddard fields a β€˜very strong’ team of β€˜effective litigators’, which is praised for its β€˜proactive approach. It acts for a range of investor and retailer clients, and is particularly noted for its expertise in rights to light and issues arising from mixed-use schemes. The team acted for Crosslane Investments in High Court proceedings, and acted for GO Outdoors in proceedings issued in the Mercantile Court arising from the opening of a store in Warrington. Charles Jagger is a β€˜formidable litigator; he has good judgement and is adept at reaching imaginative solutions to problems’. His expertise covers dilapidations, lease renewals, rent review, professional negligence, insolvency-related litigation and property management work. Legal director Andy Feehan has particular expertise in project work. Managing associate Patricia Love is also recommended.

The β€˜responsive’ team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP handles contentious matters in the retail, transport, energy, utilities, education, industrial and financial services sectors. It also houses expertise in mines and minerals, telecoms, compulsory purchase and judicial review cases. It is acting for Manchester Airport Group in a series of disputes with the operator of the Radisson Blu hotel at East Midlands Airport, and represented The Co-operative Bank in securing an interim possession order against trespassers on the ground floor of one of the bank’s branches. It also defended European Metal Recycling in a claim for an injunction and a declaration relating to a right of way and an easement at an industrial estate in Coventry. Team head James Batham is β€˜exceptionally talented’ and regularly acts for blue-chip retail occupiers and developers in landlord and tenant disputes as well as high-value professional negligence claims. David McGuirk handles contentious landlord and tenant issues, as well as disputes arising from property developments. Principal associate Gemma Staples is experienced in the telecoms and retail sectors, and associate Alex Wright is also recommended.

Hill Dickinson LLP’s β€˜very experienced’ team regularly handles complex property disputes in the retail, utility, energy, insurance, education, transport and logistics sectors. The team acted for NHS Property Services in a contentious break clause matter, assisted IGas Energy with anti-protester injunctions relating to an anti-fracking camp set up in Cheshire to protest against drilling operations, and is acting for Signature Care Homes St Albans in an application for declaratory relief on non-enforceability of restrictive covenants. Peel Ports & Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, Iceland Foods and Liverpool City Council are also clients. The β€˜fantastic’ Kevin Lee and Ralph Bullivant head the team. Lee is noted for his expertise in rights of light, dilapidations, mines and minerals claims, and is also experienced in large-scale protestor actions in the fracking industry, while Bullivant is experienced in dilapidations claims, business tenancies and contested lease renewals. Consultant Craig Walker handles general property litigation with an emphasis on energy and utility providers, as well as property investor clients. Also recommended are senior associate Phil Parker, who is noted for his retail sector expertise, legal director Julia Stansfield, and associate Helen Evans.

DLA Piper UK LLP β€˜tailors its advice to the client, based on the circumstances and greater strategy around the matter’. Based across the Liverpool and Manchester offices, the team regularly acts for pension funds and institutional investors, and is known for its expertise in complex dilapidations cases. The team also acts for landlords and corporate occupiers. It is acting for St James's Place UK in a Β£1.3m dilapidations claim against an outgoing tenant, and in a professional negligence claim. The team also defended Barclays Bank and Zurich Global Corporate UK in a property damage and business-loss claim. Team head Martin Griffiths is β€˜very fast to respond’, delivers β€˜clear, concise advice’, and is noted for his expertise in landlord and tenant related disputes, telecoms matters, major redevelopment projects and property management work. Senior associate Rachael Jones is also recommended. Former team head Steven Jennings joined Land Law LLP in January 2017.

DWF fields a β€˜commercial’ property litigation team that is noted as a β€˜leader in the field of telecommunications-related property litigation’. The team is also active in the banking sector, advising lenders on the enforcement of security, and acts for a number of local authorities, public sector bodies, developers, retailers and hotel chains. EE, Premier Inn Hotels (Whitbread), Speedy Hire Group, adidas, Frederic Robinson, Greene King and United Utilities Water are clients. The β€˜knowledgeable’ and β€˜pragmatic’ Alan Walker is β€˜excellent on telecoms-related matters’ and heads the team, which includes the β€˜very experienced’ Jeremy Steele, who is particularly noted for rights of light disputes. Directors Helena Davies and Graeme Dixon, who is β€˜thorough, commercial and very able’, are also recommended. Lynn James joined Trowers & Hamlins LLP in 2016.

Pannone Corporate LLP handles a range of property disputes, including cases related to portfolio management, development, the public sector, and professional negligence. The team also acts for high-net-worth individuals in property disputes. Recent work includes successfully defending Turley in a high-value claim against Henley Healthcare regarding alleged negligence in the preparation of a planning application for a private hospital in the South East of England, and acting for Equalgrade in a professional negligence dispute against its former solicitors regarding a lease break option. It also acted for High Peak Developments in a Competition Appeal Tribunal claim against Tesco relating to a restrictive covenant. Other clients include Conviviality Retail Group, DB Cargo Rail (UK), Dee Valley Water and Diamond Resort (Group Holdings). Team head David Brown attracts praise for his ability to β€˜obtain practical results for clients’. Also recommended are senior associates SeΓ‘n Hackett, who is a β€˜first-rate litigator with an eye for detail’, and Suzanne Carr.

The β€˜commercially aware’ and β€˜very experienced’ team at Pinsent Masons LLP delivers β€˜speedy response times’ to investors, developers and occupiers on landlord and tenant disputes and development matters. The agriculture, financial services, housing, development, infrastructure, retail and education sectors are key areas of focus, and it stands out for its specialist experience in areas such as vacant possession strategies, residential tenants' rights and non-domestic business rates. The team is acting for Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council in securing vacant possession for the redevelopment of the Merseyway Shopping Centre, and is also acting for clients such as Wirral Borough Council and Leeds City Council on vacant possession strategies. Team head Nicola Buchananis experienced in the investment, retail, education and development sectors and is noted for her expertise in housing, mixed-use regeneration schemes and student accommodation projects. Senior associate Stuart McCann β€˜works incredibly hard for the client, and is always ready to go the extra mile’; his experience encompasses the financial services, retail, infrastructure, agriculture and development sectors.

Brabners LLP handles a range of commercial, residential, and agricultural property disputes involving landlord and tenant matters, dilapidation claims, boundary disputes, restrictive covenants, easements, professional negligence claims, and enfranchisement and agricultural disputes. It also acts for a number of major retailers on lease renewals. Associated British Foods, Assura Properties, Bridgemere Estate, Cooper Property Services, Bridging Finance Solutions Group and Halfords Autocentres are clients. Stuart Irons is β€˜well established in the market’ and heads the property dispute resolution practice, which includes Jeff Lewis, who heads the Manchester litigation team, senior associate Andrew Rogers, who joined from DWF in 2016, and β€˜thoughtful and tactical’ associate Hannah Carter.

DAC Beachcroft LLP has in-depth asset management and leasing expertise, advising institutional investors, property funds and REITs. The team is also noted for its focus on the retail, financial services and public sectors. Highlights included acting for Clas Ohlson in a landlord and tenant dispute regarding a conditional break clause contained in a premises lease, and acted for an international travel management business on the successful settlement of a contested lease renewal claim. It also acted for St Helens Borough Council in partnership with Merseytravel to successfully secure the confirmation of a compulsory purchase order to facilitate the redevelopment of Newton-le-Willows Station. Lesley Hughes heads the Northern real estate disputes team, which includes β€˜exceptional’ senior associate Rachael Reynolds, who acts for major funds, shopping centres and REITS, and handles complex risk assessment and development matters for local authorities, housebuilders and private sector developers, as well as high-value landlord and tenant matters. Associate Simon Kelly is also recommended.

Shoosmiths LLP handles a range of disputes in relation to development and regeneration projects, including rights to light. It is also experienced in landlord and tenant matters, including dilapidations, lease renewals and consents. The team is representing Travelodge Hotels in a substantial professional negligence claim arising out of the drafting of a rent review clause; a material water damage claim; and claims in connection with noise nuisance. The team is also assisting Allied London with proceedings for the removal of scaffolding erected by one its tenants to the outside of one of its buildings in Leeds, and is acting for William Hill in a negligence claim against its former solicitors in relation to a compulsory purchase compensation claim. Team head Wayne Nash stands out for his experience in development matters, including rights to light cases. Other key figures include β€˜exceptional’ senior associate Kirsty Black, and Richard Symonds, who joined in 2016 from Addleshaw Goddard and is praised for providing advice that is β€˜clear and easy to understand’.

TLT’s β€˜excellent’ team stands out for its expertise in banking-related property litigation, acting for a number of major clearing banks and other financial service providers on their residential and commercial loan portfolios. It is also active in landlord and tenant disputes, rent reviews, lease renewals and advises on the management of property portfolios. The retail, leisure, energy and public sectors are also key areas of focus for the team. Highlights included acting for Iceland Foods in a Court of Appeal case concerning the treatment of air-handling plant and machinery for the purposes of business rates assessment; representing Pets at Home Group in lease and dilapidation claims relating to the relocation of the Vets4Pets support services office; and acting for Nationwide Building Society in all property litigation and management matters relating to its high street branch portfolio. It also acts for Lloyds Banking Group on title rectification matters emanating from its retail mortgage portfolio. Team head James Chadwick β€˜leads by example’ and has β€˜good knowledge of the law and excellent commercial sensitivities for the client’s needs’. He leads on property litigation matters relating to financial services title rectification and receivership issues. Legal director Matthew Forrest is β€˜very capable’ and handles property litigation matters in the retail, leisure and energy sectors.

Weightmans LLP’s property litigation practice regularly handles matters related to collecting rent and arrears, tenant insolvency and dilapidation disputes. The team acted for PR Investments, the freehold owner of the Aigburth Cricket Club, in lease renewal proceedings brought by the trustees of the cricket club; represented Wolsey, the tenant of warehouse and office premises in Leicester, regarding liability for dilapidations; and is assisting Dunster, the freehold owner of residential and commercial premises in Fulham, with a claim against a head leaseholder for unpaid service charges. The team also acts for AS Watson Group and Three Mobile on a range of property litigation matters. Co-operative Group, Royal Mail Group, Bruntwood and Metropolitan Police Authority are also clients. Sian Evans heads the team, which includes associates Peter Hall, who is β€˜very experienced’, and John Darnell.

Irwin Mitchell’s wide-ranging property disputes acts for landlords, tenants, developers and investors, as well as insolvency practitioners and banks on property-related insolvency matters. It also acts for high-net-worth individuals in property disputes. Highlights included acting for a national clearing bank in a Β£3m fraud matter involving four commercial properties, and representing Mapeley Estates in a complex dilapidations claim. Canal & River Trust, Carillion, General Medical Council and National Grid are also clients. National head of real estate litigation Chris Perrin is β€˜bright, hands-on, assiduous, and not afraid of taking the big decisions in a case’; he is also β€˜skilled at boiling it all down to succinct advice which can be turned into practical solutions’. Recently promoted associate Joanne Mills, who splits her time between the Manchester and Sheffield offices, is also recommended.

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP acts for property agents, public and private companies and LPA receivers on property disputes, and also acts for clients in the retail, leisure, healthcare and education sectors on contentious property matters. The team is representing Cantt Pak in a dispute with former tenant JD Williams regarding the alleged overpayment of rent upon exercise of a break clause. Land Securities, Persimmon Homes, Property Alliance Group, Morley Estates and London and Scottish are also clients. The β€˜excellent’ Andrew Weinberg β€˜really knows his stuff’ and heads the team, which includes recently promoted partner David Jones. In 2016, associate Catherine Gritt, who is β€˜a pleasure to work with’, joined from Squire Patton Boggs, and associate Phillip Warburton joined from Muldoon Britton. Construction specialist Benjamin Connor recently joined from DLA Piper UK LLP. Daniel Stern is now at Slater Heelis LLP.

Squire Patton Boggs’ β€˜knowledgeable and proactive’ team handles vacant possession matters, the removal and modification of restrictive covenants, and boundary and easement issues. It is also active on commercial landlord and tenant disputes, title rectification matters, rent reviews and adverse possession. It continues to advise Preston City Council on obtaining vacant possession of an indoor market, and is acting for Luxfer Group in a lease renewal dispute. Recently promoted director Helen Hoath is β€˜extremely knowledgeable and professional, with a practical, hands-on approach’; she β€˜goes the extra mile to get the job done’ and particularly stands out for landlord and tenant disputes.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP acts for commercial clients, local authorities, government bodies and housing associations, and has particular expertise in portfolio management for public sector pension funds and rights of light issues. The team also handles residential disputes for public and private sector clients. Highlights included representing Origin Properties in a dispute regarding rights of way and access. Paras Stores, Guinness Partnership, Rowlinson Investments, The Green Transport Co and Longhurst & Havelok Homes are also clients. Team head Guy Willetts is a β€˜very experienced property lawyer and litigator’ and is noted for rights of light claims, property management issues, landlord and tenant matters, and disputes concerning development agreements. The β€˜brilliant’ Lynn James recently joined from DWF and specialises in leasehold management matters.

Forbes Solicitors fields a β€˜well-organised’ team that acts for public and private sector clients, including developers, investors and housing associations, on landlord and tenant disputes, and trespass and nuisance cases. The β€˜impressive’ Robin Stephens heads the team, and is praised for his β€˜superb knowledge of the law and excellent grasp of procedure and tactics’. Dispute resolution head Tom Smith is also recommended.

Gorvins Solicitors handles a range of contentious property matters, including landlord and tenant disputes in the commercial and residential sectors, for property owners and landlords, as well as commercial tenants. It is acting for Hamilton Heath in a number of commercial lease disputes relating to sites across the North West. Vernon Building Society, Ritrama UK, Avonside Roofing and Rowlinson group are also clients. Guy Lightowler heads the team, which includes senior associate Danielle Clements.

J B Leitch Ltd is a β€˜growing’ niche firm that acts for institutional landlords of residential and mixed-use developments, and residential management companies on volume recovery of service charges and ground rents, as well as forfeiture, breach of lease and right to manage cases. The β€˜very effective’ team provides a β€˜top-class service’, and attracts praise for its β€˜strong tactical and technical knowledge, and commercial approach’. Clients include Estates and Management, Homeground Management, Freehold Managers, Birmingham City Council, Urban Splash, Southern Land Securities, Shenstone and Aviva. Key figures include Rob Denman, who heads the real estate team, the β€˜tactically astute’ Jonathan Leitch, and Philip Parkinson, who is β€˜dynamic, knowledgeable and practical’.

Land Law LLP fields a β€˜very experienced’ team that handles a range of contentious property matters, including landlord and tenant work such as lease renewals, break notices, dilapidations issues, forfeiture, insolvency and alienation disputes. Highlights included acting for tenant Exterion Media (UK) on the early termination of a lease and represented Hollins Murray Group in a dispute regarding a break notice by its tenant, First Choice Fruit. Recently promoted partner Jen Morris heads the team, which welcomed consultant Steven Jennings from DLA Piper UK LLP in 2017, and senior solicitor Patricia Mellody, who recently joined from Shoosmiths LLP. Recently promoted associate partner Karen Taylor is also recommended.

Nexus Solicitors Limited fields a β€˜very responsive’ and β€˜approachable’ team that stands out for its β€˜friendly approach’. The team acts for landlords, managing agents and tenants on leasehold and property disputes including tenancy renewals, dilapidations, service charge disputes, and rectification, as well as claims concerning break notices, breaches of covenant and forfeiture. Director Debbie Whiteley provides an β€˜excellent and efficient service’.

KK Thompson Solicitors β€˜punches above its weight’, provides β€˜clear-thinking and straight-talking superior service’ and is a β€˜firm to watch for the future’ for property litigation work. The team acts for commercial landlords, investment companies, and high-net-worth individuals on contentious property mandates. Highlights included acting for Roubaix Group on a range of disputes and property portfolio management issues. Key figures in the β€˜hands-on’ team include Karl Thompson, who acts for large commercial landlords and investment companies, and Kate Thompson, who is noted for landlord and tenant matters; both have β€˜bags of experience’ and deliver β€˜very prompt responses’.

Slater Heelis LLP handles a range of property disputes including dilapidations, options, residential block management issues, contested lease renewals, and commercial and residential landlord and tenant instructions. North Tower Residents Management and Heart Property Management are clients. Managing partner Chris Bishop heads the team, which includes associate solicitors Daniel Stern, who recently joined from Kuit Steinart Levy LLP, and Daniel Wise.

Social housing

Index of tables

  1. Social housing
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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


Brabners LLP fields a β€˜dedicated and knowledgeable’ department with a β€˜first-class reputation’ for providing β€˜a full range of services’ to housing providers, including property and development, governance, housing management, corporate finance, banking, procurement, construction, and disputes. In an illustration of its ability to draw on its extensive corporate expertise alongside social housing credentials, the firm is advising Pierhead Housing Association on the proposed move by Leasowe Community Homes from Your Housing Group to become a subsidiary of the client. It is also acting for The Riverside Group in an anti-social behaviour case which resulted in an immediate possession order being obtained after a two-day trial in the County Court; and advised Halton Housing Trust in connection with a supported housing scheme at Ashton Green. The team, which is praised for its β€˜breadth and depth’, is headed by Alistair Fletcher, who also leads the governance team. Other key figures include housing management head Ian Alderson; Rupert Gill; Angela Clearkin and Peter Barlow, who head the development team; and Nigel Williams, who leads the home ownership team. Also recommended are senior associate Josephine Morton, who is β€˜very intelligent, sharp, and always spots the key legal issues amongst the mass of information’; and associate Catherine Fearon, who is β€˜very strong on cases involving a mental health element’. The team has been bolstered by several arrivals including consultant Suzanne Gregson, who joined from DWF and is a specialist in anti-social behaviour and tenancy management; and senior associate Lisa Robotham, who joined the development and home ownership team from Capsticks LLP. Thomas Starkey recently left the firm to join Weightmans LLP.

Croftons Solicitors LLP fields an β€˜adaptive’ and β€˜knowledgeable’ team whose specialist social housing advice β€˜instils confidence in the client’. Its wide-ranging expertise spans housing and leasehold management, property and development issues, commercial real estate matters, and procurement, employment, governance and regulatory advice. Highlights included acting for Salix Homes in a nuisance case against a complainant; representing One Vision Housing (Sovini Group) in a matter involving injunction proceedings against a tenant displaying anti-social behaviour; advising Trafford Housing Trust on a site acquisition for a flagship development of 94 homes; and assisting The Regenda Group with a complex land purchase for a flagship Β£21m development that will form part of Peel Holding’s high-profile Liverpool Waters regeneration scheme. Managing partner Simon Leighton heads the team, which includes Jo Savage, who is β€˜really engaging and knowledgeable’ and heads the governance and regulation team; head of housing management Melanie Dirom, who is noted for her β€˜flexible approach’; property team head Arthur Chapman, who is β€˜very considered and reassuring’; Julie Loggenberg, who handles development site acquisitions and regeneration schemes; and Bob Agnew. Clients also single out senior associate Kirsty Varley, who is experienced in anti-social behaviour.

Clients rate Forbes Solicitors for its β€˜prompt action’, β€˜flexibility’ and β€˜very customer-focused approach’. The firm handles the full range of matters for housing associations, including litigation, property, corporate, leasehold, development, employment, procurement and governance matters. The team acted for Soho Housing in possession proceedings related to a flat in Central London, and represented Riverside Group in an inquest following the death of a resident at a hostel. Together Housing, Guinness Partnership, Trafford Housing Trust, Community Gateway and Shoreline are also clients. Stuart Penswick heads the housing litigation team and specialises in housing management, asset management and leasehold. Other key figures include the β€˜brilliant’ Lucy Worrall, who heads the housing and regeneration property team; projects team head Daniel Milnes; housing management specialist Lachlan McLean; and Jonathan Holden, who is noted for employment matters. Also recommended are recently promoted partners Shirley Faragher and Ruth Rule-Mullen, and β€˜very experienced’ associate Sarah Mansfield, who joined from BLM.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP’s β€˜skilled and responsive’ team β€˜excels’ at social housing work, handling the full range of matters including regeneration and development projects, regulatory and governance matters, joint ventures, investment and funding. Highlights included acting for the Homes and Communities Agency on the appointment of a mortgage administrator to deal with the overarching management and administration of the HCA's grant-funded equity loan portfolio; and advising Accent Group on its Fit for the Future project, which included the consolidation of its three stock-owning RPs into a single landlord. It also advises Sovini Group on a range of matters, including its acquisition of the Carroll Group, and a group restructure. The β€˜extremely knowledgeable’ Mike Gaskell heads the β€˜well-respected’ team and advises on constitutional, governance, and regulatory matters. Other key figures include Janet Winrow, who leads on major regeneration schemes; Adrian Bode, who specialises in complex social housing property transactions; Kate Bouchier, who advises on major development and regeneration projects; the β€˜very able’ Suzanne Benson, who specialises in major projects and heads the credit and FCA regulatory practice, as well as the sales and homeownership team, which advises on sales and leasehold management transactions; and Richard St John Williams, who acts for registered providers, local authorities and private sector clients on affordable housing matters. Also recommended are Lynn James, who recently joined from DWF and is noted for contentious property matters, and Melanie Comer, who heads the real estate finance security team.

BLM represents social landlords in housing management matters, and is particularly strong in contentious matters involving anti-social behaviour and on cases involving youths and vulnerable individuals. Disrepair and housing fraud matters are also a key area of focus. The team acted for City West Housing Trust in a possession case at the Court of Appeal, and represented Wolverhampton City Council in a closure order where tenants were engaging in criminal activity. It also advised Places for People in an issue relating to disrepair. Golden Gates Housing Association, EMH Homes and Sheffield City Council are also clients. The β€˜first-rate’ Matthew Hyam heads the team, which includes associate and advocate Chris Larkin.

Praised for its β€˜personal approach’, the team at Clarke Willmott LLP regularly delivers housing management advice to private registered providers, including handling possession, anti-social behaviour, breach of tenancy, tenancy fraud, injunctions, policy, disrepair and lease drafting matters. The team acted for Adactus in an accelerated possession claim, and represented Plus Dane Group in a longstanding fraud and sub-let case. Halton Housing Trust, Equity Housing Trust and South Liverpool Homes are also clients. Head of the housing management and asset team Lindsay Felstead is β€˜very knowledgeable’, β€˜manages to get her clients’ aims and objectives across in a fair and transparent manner’ and β€˜is also able to communicate in non-legal jargon so that case information can be digested and decisions can be made easily’. β€˜Effective and efficient’ associate Matthew Wilson is β€˜very adaptable and committed’ and is β€˜passionate in achieving the best possible results in terms of outcome, and negotiates cases commercially’. John Cox joined Bevan Brittan LLP in Leeds.

Pinsent Masons LLP acts for landowners, residential developers, local authorities, funders, grant givers and contractors on transactions in the sector and β€˜is very experienced in estate regeneration for local authorities’. Its expertise spans residential planning, residential structuring, tenant rights and housing litigation, and acts for clients including the Homes and Communities Agency, which the team advised on the roll-out of starter homes as a new tenure of affordable housing. The team is also advising a number of London boroughs on high-profile projects to regenerate housing stock. Senior associate Helen Robinson heads the housing team in Manchester, and leads the firm’s relationship with the Homes and Communities Agency in the North West. Also recommended are Nicola Buchanan, who leads on contentious property matters, and Michael Pocock.

Weightmans LLP’s β€˜responsive’ and β€˜available’ team advises housing associations, groups and consortiums and is praised for its ability to handle contentious matters in the sector. It advised Liverpool Mutual Homes on possession proceedings following the criminal conviction of a joint tenant and also advised the client on the establishment of a development company to procure building works. It is also acting for Halton Housing Trust on the acquisition and development of a former school site used for the construction of 100 dwellings in Cheshire. Team head Sian Evans is β€˜first-rate’ and specialises in property litigation, advising on housing management, including anti-social behaviour and disrepair matters. Associate Thomas Starkey joined from Brabners LLP in November 2016, while Sheila Whitton joined Primas Law in 2016.

Slater and Gordon’s social housing practice has expertise in development projects for both private sector and housing providers and on funding arrangements. It is advising First Choice Homes Oldham on a development agreement and related documentation for the acquisition and delivery of its new office building in Oldham Town Centre, and continues to advise Urban Splash on the Park Hill project in Sheffield, which involves the delivery of new homes, as well as a commercial and community space. It is also advising McCaul Homes on the variation of a HCA funding agreement. Social housing head Stephen Lintott advises social housing clients on property and charity law issues. Principal lawyer Samantha Blackburn is also recommended.

The housing and regeneration team at Stephensons Solicitors LLP acts for housing associations on a range of matters and has developed a niche practice assisting supporting living sector clients. Keyworkers Housing Association is a client. David Baybut heads the practice, which includes the β€˜excellent’ Kate Bullen, who leads on property and development matters; Louise Hebborn, who leads on housing management matters and is experienced in injunction proceedings and boundary disputes for registered providers; the β€˜knowledgeable’ Philip Richardson, who is noted for employment matters; and recently promoted partner Chris Graves.

Specialist housing firm Knox Ellis Solicitors attracts praise for its β€˜in-depth knowledge and understanding of social housing issues’. The firm handles a range of matters including anti-social behaviour, housing management, and estate, leasehold and asset management. Parkway Green Housing Trust, Impact Housing Association, Trafford Housing Trust and Magenta Living are clients. Tom Knox handles housing and asset management matters and Sarah Ellis advises on anti-social behaviour and housing management matters. Knox and Ellis are β€˜hands-on’, β€˜calm and professional’, β€˜always provide sound advice in a manner that is clear to understand’ and β€˜understand the bigger picture’. The β€˜very professional’ Andrew Pearson and senior associate Ian Larkins joined the team in 2016.

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

GC Diversity and Inclusion Report

In partnership with...

International comparative guides

Giving the in-house community greater insight to the law and regulations in different jurisdictions.

Select Practice Area

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

Press Releases in the UK

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to