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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.
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United Kingdom > North West > Real estate > Commercial property: elsewhere in the North West > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

  1. 1

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The Preston-based team at Brabners LLP is commended for its ‘personal approach’ and for its experience across retail, leisure, agricultural and landed estates matters. Sofology, Betterbathrooms (UK), and National Football Museum are clients.  Team head Ross Shine  is experienced in out of town retail, leisure and development mandates. Other key figures include Charles Hansford and associate Helen Ryan, who are ‘able to come up with solutions to problems presented’. Hansford is active in mines and minerals, agricultural and landed estates work.

Gorvins Solicitors is active across landlord and tenant, estate management work, property acquisitions and disposals, funding and development agreements, and also advises on secure lending, real estate restructuring and distressed property disposals. It advised Peel Media on the lease of three floors at Blue Tower, MediaCityUK to Kellogg Company and advised JWH Capital on the £18m acquisition of 140 apartments and reversionary interest in Liverpool Tower. The team also advised FO Developments on the £9m acquisition of a development site and the £7m sub-sale of part to Redrow Homes. Ourspace, Nong Lau Property and Wood Restaurant Group are also clients. Managing partner Martin Hoare leads the commercial property department and specialises in commercial and residential development and investment matters. Claire Beaumont and Samantha Marcus are key members of the team, as is consultant Colin Mellor.

Specialist commercial property outfit Land Law LLP offers a ‘bespoke service’ and is commended for its ‘efficient, friendly and professional’ approach. The team handles property-related transactions, disputes, banking and finance work. Sarah Bonwick acted for a landowner client on the sale of a site to David Wilson Homes; and Paul Grundy advised DeTrafford Estates Group on several matters including the purchase of a site at Great Jackson Street in Manchester for redevelopment and in connection with the site assembly for the No1 Castlefield development in Manchester city centre. Managing partner Angus Whyte is ‘very knowledgeable, pragmatic and intelligent; and he quickly knows what is important’ and Helen Davidson is ‘brilliant’. Associate partner Nicola Jackson  joined in 2017 from Myerson Solicitors LLP and Jenny Clarke  was recently promoted to partner. Hans Scheiwiller is now a consultant and Andrea Lawrence has retired.

The ‘very professional’ team at Myerson Solicitors LLP is ‘exceptional’ across development matters and property management mandates for a range of private property companies and investor clients. Jeremy Lee advised Fortis Developments on the acquisition and development agreements for several sites including Furness Quay in Salford Quays, Bridgewater Point, Bridgewater Gate, Bridgewater Wharf and Adelphi Wharf in Salford. Andrew Chapman, who is ‘hugely knowledgeable and practical; and even when working with experienced developers he can still bring a new angle to a deal, coming up with solutions that are helpful, timely and full of business acumen’, advised Mosley Street Ventures on the leasing of the remaining floors and ground floor commercial units of 2 St Peter’s Square, Manchester. Mark Gillies is ‘diligent and timely’ and advised Cheshire Concrete Products Group on the acquisition of a quarry business in North Wales. Deputy department head Joanne Perritt’s ‘thorough knowledge and experience shines through’, and department head Richard Lloyd is ‘brilliant’.

Napthens LLP’s provides ‘pragmatic and commercially-led legal advice’ and ‘demonstrates an ethos of putting the client at the front and centre of everything it does and it has a willingness to innovate’. Its expertise spans acquisitions and disposals, leasing, landlord and tenant issues, property finance and investment, development and licensing mandates. The ‘focused and enthusiastic’ Martin Beardsworth in Preston advised The Standen Estate on the residential development of a site in The Ribble Valley, Lancashire, which includes planning permission for 1040 new homes, a new school as well as commercial and retail development; and advised Baxter Homes and Baxter Construction on the purchase of part of Bowgreave House Farm in Garstang.  Blackburn-based David Hill, who ‘always gets deals over the line’, advises N&V Properties on a range of real estate mandates. Paul Hardy in Blackpool advised Create Developments (Land and Property) on the purchase of land for residential development in the village of Inskip near Blackpool. In Preston; department head James Allison, who also operates out of the Kendal office, is a ‘no-nonsense lawyer who has an ability to see through the noise of a transaction’; John Lomax, who’s ‘attention to detail, coupled with his in-depth of understanding of the key commercial principles, enables him to provide balanced and well-considered advice’; Marc Appleton; and Stephen Bell, who was recently promoted to partner; are recommended as is Blackpool-based Martin Long.

Aaron & Partners LLP's expertise spans ecclesiastical property and charity land and management; renewable energy and waste management, landed estates and agriculture. It also handles development, investment and secured lending work and is experienced in the retail, leisure and utilities sectors. Team head Simon Ellis is leading advice for Dŵr Cymru Cyfyngedig on the proposed extension of a water treatment works, which involves development over common land outside the Snowdonia National Park, and advised the University of Chester on the £2.2m freehold purchase of the former Land Registry building in Birkenhead. Elsewhere, Trish Randles is instructed by Galliers Properties on a range of matters. Senior associates Lisa Moncur and Iwan Williams , who is ‘commercially astute and has a broad spectrum of knowledge across all commercial property matters’, are also noted.

DTM Legal LLP provides a ‘partner-led service’, is ‘efficient, professional and is always available’ according to clients who also praise its ‘ability to explain difficult legal issues in a way that is understandable to the layman’. Highlights included advising a developer client on the refinance of a London hotel, which is let to Premier Inn. Commercial property head Anna Duffy is noted for her experience in property disputes and Sally Pilott is also a key member of the team that was recently bolstered by the arrival of Paul Makinson and Stephen Lunt from Slater and Gordon. Associates Michael Wright and Sue Elias, who specialises in residential conveyancing, are also recommended.

The ‘pro-active’ department at Forbes Solicitors is active on pension fund commercial property transactions and is instructed on the development of commercial and residential property sites. The retail, health and sports sectors are a focus of the team which spans its Blackburn and Preston offices. Team head Adam Bromley has the ‘ability to understand the issues and delivers commercial solutions which are explained in an easy to understand manner’ and Tim Hollingsworth is ‘very experienced’, particularly on development, purchases, leasing and securitisation matters. Stuart Shorthouse specialises in the sale, purchase and lease of commercial property and Richard Clithero is active on high-value transactions and secured lending. Clients include WEC Group, Taylor Patterson (Pensions), Lawrence Hunt & Co, Paul Heathcote, GPC SIPP, Burnley Football Club and Blackburn Rovers Football Club.

Hillyer McKeown LLP ’s Chester and Birkenhead offices work closely with its Liverpool office to advise on real estate finance mandates, as well as acquisitions and disposals. It advised The Contact Company on the refinance of a flagship building at the Tower Wharf Development in Birkenhead and advised One Planet Adventure on the acquisition of an outdoor pursuits centre. It also advised Anselmians Rugby Union Football Club on the construction of new clubhouse, the sale of land for residential development and the construction of a youth service facility.  Ian Millington is regularly instructed by owner-managed businesses, SMEs, charities and pension trustees on commercial lending, development, acquisitions and disposals work, as well as landlord and tenant mandates, and SSAS and SIPP transactions. David Wright  acts for local and national building clients on development projects. Senior partner Philip McKeown is active on acquisitions and disposals, commercial lending, site acquisition, redevelopment and plot disposals. Caroline Jones heads the residential and commercial property teams.

SAS Daniels LLP provides a ‘proficient and professional’ service and is noted for its experience in development work in the residential sector. The team also acts for landowner clients on promotion agreements and land disposals. Agriculture and estates work is also a mainstay of the practice, as are leisure, renewable energy and education-sector mandates. Stockport-based James Clarke, who is ‘always methodical and thoughtful in his approach’, heads the team with Nigel Read in Macclesfield. In Chester Andrew Clark has expertise in development, leasing and portfolio management matters; and senior associates James Goddard, who handles agricultural mandates, and Stewart Smith are also recommended. Also in Stockport; Neil Powell is a ‘very accomplished and commercially minded lawyer’; and Roger Allsup leads on construction and engineering work. Macclesfield-based associate Steven Percy  ‘takes a common-sense approach’.

Slater Heelis LLP is regularly instructed by investor clients on property transactions. It also handles a range of high-profile landlord and tenant matters and is noted for its residential development expertise. The team advised Gino D’Acampo Worldwide Restaurants on the lease for a new restaurant in Liverpool and is advising PJ Livesey Holdings on the let of part of a development to a retailer. It also advised a property investor on the sale of a block of flats  in Manchester and advised a property investor on the acquisition of a mixed-use building in Covent Garden. In Sale, consultant solicitor Edward Michell heads the residential property team; senior partner Mike Fox handles complex landlord and tenant matters and advises on site acquisitions and disposals; Zara Banday is noted for residential property matters; Hannah Al-Shaghana is active across acquisitions and disposals, secured lending and landlord and tenant matters; and Olajide Jay Lafinhan  was recently promoted to partner. Timperley-based Stephen Locke is also noted for residential property work.

Blackstone Solicitors Limited delivers ‘speedy’ responses and is ‘very able’ across development, site acquisitions and leasing matters. It advised Dencourt on a range of matters relating to a hive-up and development funding for the construction of a six-storey building student accommodation development, advised Quasar Real Estate Limited and UK Properties on the sale of industrial units in Crewe and advised Xtravagant Ltd on the purchase of multi-tenanted office building. On the residential front, Qualis Residential Developments, The House Maker and Knight Knox are clients. Team head Nick Jackson is ‘very switched-on’, Michelle Rothburn ‘takes a pragmatic approach and acts extremely diligently’ and residential property head David Walton is ‘very knowledgeable and commercially savvy’.

The ‘efficient’ team at Butcher & Barlow LLP is active across land acquisitions, planning and development matters in the commercial and residential sectors, public house sales and purchases, and commercial refinancing mandates. It advised on the £7.25m acquisition of Holmes Chapel Business Park on behalf of the Trustees of the Booth Charities. Fords of Winsford, Liberty SIPP and Throstles Nest Developments are also clients. Sandbach-based John Hyatt heads the team and is ‘clear and concise with his advice’. In Northwich, commercial team head Jonathan Aldersley is praised for his ‘ability to provide strategic solutions’ and  Dianne Mooney is also recommended. Bury-based James Hodgson’s ‘knowledge, attention to detail and patience is impressive’ and  Mark Fletcher in Leigh is also a key member of the team.

At Chafes Hague Lambert LLP, the’ demonstration of knowledge and business acumen is first rate’ and the team is ‘always trying to find the best route to solve a problem’. The team regularly acts for landlords and tenants on commercial lease work and disputes; and it also handles commercial property investment sales and purchases; commercial and residential development acquisitions; and secured lending and re-mortgaging transactions. It advised the trustees of the Fleming Group SIPP and Investique Ltd on their joint acquisition of a new-build office building on the outskirts of Wilmslow. Svenska Handelsbanken AB is also a client. In Wilmslow, department head Daniel Woodcock is ‘first-rate’, while Andrew Pettitt in Knutsford and consultant solicitor Mike Travis, who is based in the firm’s New Mills office, are also noted.

Farleys Solicitors LLP is active across the acquisition and disposal of commercial property, residential and commercial development, estate management and property finance matters. Blackburn-based  Tom O’Neill heads the team, which also includes Manchester-based + Ian Liddle, who is ‘straight-talking, honest and efficient’, and recently promoted partner Stephen Greenwood in Preston.

The ‘excellent’ team at FDR Law acts for commercial and residential developers, retail and leisure operators, corporate occupiers and investors, and is also regularly instructed by public sector clients and is experienced in education sector matters. It advised Network Space on the £41.2m sale of a property portfolio, which included 18 industrial sites across the North of England, to Threadneedle Pensions. Langtree Property Partners and Daresbury SIC are also clients. Stephen Woodall heads the team, which features the ‘brilliant’ Kirsty Tinsley-Fenney and John King.

Hibberts LLP is regularly instructed by local landlords and tenants commercial leases, surrenders and lease extensions. It is also active on commercial property transactions and has advised on a number of promotion agreements and option agreements. It also operates closely with the firm’s corporate department to advise on real estate matters linked with corporate transactions. Carolyn Brooksbank is the department head.

Jolliffe & Co LLP is instructed by investor and developer clients on real estate transactions and also handles landlord and tenant matters and the team advises clients across the charity, industrial, mineral, retail, pensions, utilities and public sectors. Estate management, environment and agriculture are also specialist areas for the team. The team also works closely with the firm’s corporate department and it regularly provides real estate advice in relation to corporate transactions. James Harris leads the team, which includes consultant Guy Morris and Joseph Fletcher-Hunt, who was recently promoted to associate solicitor. Huw Thomas has joined Capital Law Limited in Cardiff and William Ngan recently joined HRC Law LLP.

JWK Solicitors handles a range of property transactions and has advised on acquisitions of commercial sites and land exchanges between local authorities and private developers. It has also advised on high-value leasing matters and handles dilapidations work. Lancaster-based Peter Bujakowski leads the team.

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