Commercial property: elsewhere in the North West in North West
Brabners LLP possess a 'wide range of expertise and experience' in property, development and investment matters in the real estate sphere. The practice works with a range of both private and public sector clients and is led by the 'knowledgeable' and 'clear thinking' Ross Shine. He is prominent on transactional work for major clients, particularly in the leisure and retail sectors. Key practitioner Charles Hansford is known for his expertise in acting for landed estates and agricultural clients.
Other key lawyers:
‘Brabners are a local firm with a wide range of expertise and experience, which allows them to provide a personal service whilst allowing the client to be confident that the advice is sound and that the depth of knowledge is adequate for the job.’
‘Ross Shine is knowledgeable and is clear thinking. He is very good at dealing with clients and ensuring that they have a full understanding of the issues and the potential ways forward. He offers positive advice.’
Lancaster City Council
Sofology (Part of the DFS Group)
National Football Museum
T B Group
Cartmel Priory Trust
JNC Plant Hire
- Acting for Lancaster City Council on a land disposal to form The Eden North Project, valued at more than £80m
- Advised Swinton on the disposal of 100+ sites as part of its move to being an online insurer.
- Acting for SUSD on a refurbishment project of 20 flats in London.
Gorvins Solicitors is active in the commercial conveyancing arena, while also regularly handling development and investment work, representing both tenants and landlords. Managing partner Martin Hoare co-leads the team and brings expertise in commercial and residential development work. His co-head Claire Beaumont is noted for her experience advising lenders and working on major investment deals. The firm posted strong growth during the last year with a near-10% increase in turnover.
Chamber of Commerce
European Metal Recycling
Oldham Borough Council
New City Vision
Inner City Music Limited t/a Band on the Wall
Lundy Projects Limited
Wood Restaurant Limited
Redsun Projects Limited
Close Brothers Limited
Opulent Property Limited
Relendex Security Trustees Limited
- Acting for specialist developer JV H2O on the conditional forward funding of a new residential scheme in Manchester city centre to Clarion Housing.
- Acting for new PRS fund, Urban Splash, on its acquisition of multiple residential investments across the country.
- Advised St Leonards Medical Property on the conditional acquisition and simultaneous sub-sale of a development site to medical property fund Assura for the funding and development of a new GP surgery to house two surgeries and a pharmacy following the exchange of conditional agreements for lease with the two surgeries.
The boutique commercial property practice at Land Law LLP is able to 'articulate complex legal issues in an understandable manner', advising on property portfolios, landlord and tenant matters as well as development projects. Founding partner Angus Whyte is 'very pragmatic' in his dealings with clients, providing assistance on the acquisition and management of commercial properties. The 'highly competent and professional' Helen Davidson is another key member of the team, contributing expertise in infrastructure and development work. The transport sector is a key focus of her practice, where she provides advice to clients on the effect of transport schemes and airports on their property. Nicola Jackson and Paul Grundy are recognised for work on landlord and tenant matters and development work respectively.
‘The team have a very good understanding of our business needs and the objectives we are trying to achieve, acting in a professional, friendly and approachable manner and are able to articulate complex legal issues in an understandable manner to the lay person.’
‘The team manage to turn matters round quickly and will go the extra mile to ensure that our business objectives are met. They are a good organisation to work with.’
‘Pragmatic, very high quality.’
‘Helen Davidson of Land Law has worked with my business team for a number of years. I have found her to be a highly competent and professional individual. Helen takes the time to fully understand the issues at hand and comes up with good advice to complex legal matters. Communication is excellent as I am updated on a regular basis on where the various legal matters are up to and where there is an problem this is flagged up long with the potential solutions. She fully understands my business needs and I feel that she is an integral part of the team.’
‘Angus Whyte is very pragmatic and can immediately see what is important, this is a rare quality. He is the best commercial property lawyer that I have met in my 30 years in practice.’
Manchester Unity Friendly Society
De Trafford Estates
Quorum Estates Limited
Styles and Wood
The Peel Group
Eric Wright Group
Thermo Fisher Scientific
- Advised the Hut.Com Limited in relation to their acquisition of the leasehold interest for the former Jamie’s Italian on King Street, Manchester after Jamie’s Italian Limited went into administration.
- Assisted De Trafford Group with their purchase of the site of the soon to be constructed ‘Transition’ development at Great Jackson Street in Central Manchester – a three block multi- storey residential development with commercial ground level space.
- Advised Swizzels Matlow in relation to the purchase and development of land at Plot 4b Ma6nitude, Middlewich, to house a new manufacturing and distribution facility.
Myerson Solicitors LLP has expertise in residential development and plot sales, as well as a range of residential property issues, and is always ready to provide 'commercial, pragmatic advice' to its clients. The practice is led by Joanne Perritt who is a specialist on 'property option and promotion agreements'. She works with landowners and property developers on land issues. Also of note is Richard Lloyd, the firm's COO, who has built up the larger practice group with Perritt. Andrew Chapman is a 'top rated lawyer.' The team has been bolstered by the addition of Ian Gordon, the former head of real estate at JMW Solicitors LLP.
Other key lawyers:
‘Always responsive and provide commercial, pragmatic advice. They take account of your business needs and work as one of your team on a deal.’
‘Myerson has grown in recent years to be a diverse legal services firm with city centre credentials. They have created a firm that has become very popular with clients.’
‘Joanne Perritt deals with property option and promotion agreements. These are complicated agreements that require a specialist solicitor; Joanne is very good at getting to grips with them and ensuring they are turned round efficiently.’
‘Andrew Chapman is always on hand and available to discuss matters. he spots the problems and lets you know them in a commercial and accessible manner. He is top of his work and never needs to be chased to get things done. His management of our overall account is attentive and efficient. All in all a top rated lawyer.’
Fairhome Group Plc
Armstrong Brooks Limited
Dean Property Group
Fortis Developments Limited
LadBible Group Limited
Property North West Limited
Philip J Davies Holdings Plc
Hall & Co Developments Limited/Fletcher
Park Homes Limited
The City of Liverpool Investment Company Limited
Aldbury Homes Limited
- Advised Fairhome Group Plc in connection with the acquisition, development and disposal of a portfolio of 17 operational care homes, as well as numerous other projects throughout the year.
- Acted for Philip J Davies Holdings Plc in connection with their flagship pre-letting of the newly redeveloped Two Express in Ancoats, Manchester to CTI Digital.
- Acted for Fortis Developments Limited in connection with sites comprising more than 1,000 apartments, including advising on acquisitions, funding, ancillary agreements and plot sales.
Napthens LLP's commercial property practice 'operates effectively as a team', with its lawyers 'supporting each other to ensure continuity of service and advice.' Jamie Allison, who heads up the team in Kendal, handles commercial and residential property investment matters. Under his leadership the practice has grown by 14% in the last year in fee income terms. Martin Beardsworth leads the Preston team and advises on refinancing, as well as landlord and tenant matters. Paul Hardy is noted as 'an excellent lawyer, communicator and leader' while Kate Mallaband specialises in commercial property estate and portfolio management for retailers. David Hill leads the team's Blackburn office.
‘Napthens have department heads and team leaders that are not only highly professional but also very personable. They operate effectively as a team and support each other to ensure continuity of service and advice. The key strength has to be communication and responding in a timely matter to enquiries and offering direction and solutions to legal matters. The ability to do this in a clear and a precise manner sets that well above their competitors in the local market.’
‘Provision of extremely thorough, efficient and technically competent service in a very personable manner.’
‘What sets Napthens apart from their competitors is their no-nonsense approach and clear and direct advice. Attention to detail and perseverance when dealing with complex matters is a key attribute to their commercial real estate team.’
‘Paul Hardy is an excellent lawyer, communicator and leader. He is calm and can deliver to targets whilst making sure that clients are kept well informed.’
‘I worked most with Kate Mallaband who handled my property/business purchase. She was patient, clever, focused, had great attention to detail and was very generous with her time. She made a difficult transaction bearable and I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to her in future.’
‘Tony Coates was by far the easiest solicitor I have ever dealt with. He’s organised, available to answer queries quickly and efficiently and thoroughly knowledgeable. Indeed, he is an asset to Napthens. He kept the deal moving and was forward thinking to pre-empt any enquiries. He was an absolute pleasure to deal with.’
E. H. Booth & Co Limited (Booths Supermarkets)
Kensington Developments Limited
The Trustees of the Standen Estate
Melrose Developments Limited
Cox Motor Group Limited
HSBC Bank PLC
Clydesdale & Yorkshire Bank PLC
Svenska Handelsbanken PLC
Russells Construction Limited
Baxter Homes Limited
Daniel Thwaites Plc
Home Farm Limited
Cumberland Building Society
Bowker Motor Group
- Acted for Calico Homes on an innovative deal which involved the purchase of part of Burnley General Hospital from East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.
- Advised Crossens Way LLP on the sale of a multi-tenanted site in Southport. There were a number of irregularities that needed to be resolved in respect of the occupational leases that the site was subject to and one of the tenancies needed to be regularised prior to and as a condition of completion.
Aaron & Partners LLP's practice delivers a 'fantastic service' on development projects, covering residential, commercial and industrial, as well as agricultural holdings and estates. Simon Ellis heads up the team with a 'formidable grasp' of his areas of focus. He is noted for his expertise in the charity sector, especially in regard to ecclesiastical charities. Emma McGlinchey contributes to the practice with her experience in the retail and food retail work, acting for major regional clients such as Aldi.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is very knowledgeable, very approachable and delivers a fantastic service. I have always been very impressed by their attitude and depth of knowledge and interaction with their clients, whose interests are at the forefront of their minds. They are a relatively small firm but they can most certainly hold their own with the larger firms.’
‘Simon Ellis is simply one of the best property lawyers I have ever encountered, he has a formidable grasp of his subject and also certain niche areas such as common land.’
Dŵr Cymru Cyfyngedig (Welsh Water)
John Holford Charity
Chester Diocesan Board of Finance
Parkfield Homes Limited
Corbett Sports (Bookmaker)
University of Chester
Special Needs Group
Spurstow Properties Limited
Thomas Plant Hire Limited
- Retained by Dŵr Cymru Cyfyngedig (Welsh Water) to advise on Property, Property Litigation, Environmental and Planning law.
- Advising on a series of developments for this Edenstone Homes focused on the South Wales and South West area.
- Dealing with a range of property matters for the University of Chester including property acquisition and renewals of existing commercial leases and other arrangements for assets within the university portfolio.
Butcher & Barlow LLP possesses a 'strong team based across a number of offices' which is 'proactive in drawing on the experience' of other team members. Zoë Paton-Crockett leads the practice. She has advised on major transactions for developer clients, acting as the firm's principal contact in this sphere. Jonathan Aldersley handles the property aspects of commercial refinancing and commercial transactions. Daniel Woodcock has 'vast experience' in commercial leases and property investment work. Andy MacKenzie is 'accommodating and knowledgeable' and is 'always seeking to go the extra mile.'
‘Strong team based across a number of offices where they are proactive in drawing on their colleagues’ experience across the firm. Genuinely partner-led service.’
‘The team at Butcher & Barlow are very dynamic and have individual strengths resulting in a comprehensive offering. They are quick to refer out for advice to their excellent network of fellow professionals to the benefit of their clients.’
‘Jonathan Aldersley is the partner who is in charge of our account – this he accomplishes with great dedication, efficiency, knowledge and skill.’
‘Daniel Woodcock has vast experience and a very considered approach.’
‘Zoe Paton-Crockett is an exceptional partner. She oversees matters with great efficiency.’
‘Zoe Paton Crockett is calm and knowledgeable, doesn’t overcomplicate things and delivers information in plain English to clients.’
Branley Estates Limited
Dappa Homes Limited
Branley Homes Limited
Podium Property Developments (North) Limited
Renew Land Developments Limited
New Keys Properties Limited
Muller Property Group
Mancunian Spring Company
Fifield Glyn Limited
Handelsbanken plc (Manchester, Trinity Way)
Trustees of the Booth Charities
Joseph Holt Ltd
Hollands Country Clothing Limited
Elcroft Filey Limited
Cheshire Peaks & Plains Housing Trust Limited
Hulme Trust Estates
- Advised on the acquisition of a new build commercial unit for over £1m with a forward-funding structure.
- Provided property support for a corporate sale of the shares in an offshore company worth over £15m.
- Advised an offshore family trust company on a refinance of circa 7 acres of land for redevelopment, with a drawdown of circa £1.5m.
Active across a range of residential and commercial property matters, DTM Legal LLP handles both contentious and non-contentious issues with a team jointly led by Anna Duffy and Sue Elias, advising clients such as landowners, landed estates and house builders. Elias has advises on work including plot sales and residential conveyancing, while Stephen Lunt is noted for his work on energy and infrastructure projects, covering both the renewable and conventional energy sectors.
‘The practice is of a size that can provide a broad spectrum of commercial property related advice and expertise, delivered through a very personal approach where contact is easy, responses timely, and fee levels sensible and proportionate.’
‘Stephen Lunt and Robin Sharp are both very approachable and helpful.’
‘I have always found Stephen Lunt to be knowledgeable and responsive – he provides advice on a sensible fee basis. I regularly recommend Stephen to new and existing clients.
‘The team are proactive and approachable.’
Pro Investments Limited/FI Real Estate
The Anwyl Group
Archway Homes Limited
Delamere Homes Pulford Limited
Chester Rugby Union Football Club Limited
Urban Space Property Holdings Limited
Clogau Gold of Wales Limited
Vast Visibility Limited
Tattenhall Dairy Products Limited
Helsby Parish Counci
Wastdale Investments Ltd
The Majory Body Tees Ltd
Larchfield Bell LLP
F & O Homes Ltd
A Bernie Queensferry Auction Ltd
FG Whitley & Sons
Dandy’s (Chester) Limited
Vivio Developments Ltd
Ursula Keyes Trust
Frodsham Town Council
Forbes Solicitors impresses clients for 'the attitude and performance of the team' and demonstrates strength across a variety of sectors including construction, retail and agriculture. Team head Adam Bromley offers 'an outstanding service' with particular expertise in pensions work such as SIPP and SSAS transactions. Also of note is Helen Marsh, who is prominent in the retail sector, acting for the national retailers for nearly two decades.
‘I am consistently impressed by the attitude and performance of the Forbes property team and would not place my commercial property work anywhere else.’
‘Adam Bromley and Richard Clithero provide an outstanding service. They have an extensive range of clients and their knowledge shines through at all points promoting a can-do attitude at all levels of the team.’
SG No.4 Limited (trading as SØstrene Grene)
Collina Holdings Limited
Seneca Bridging Ltd
Pets Choice Ltd
James Hargreaves Plumbers Merchants
Trust Inns Limited
Sharples Property Company Limited
Urban Edge Developers
Tilemaster Adhesives Limited
Loom Loft Ltd
Maytree Construction Limited
Huntapac Produce Limited
Baybutt Holdings Limited
EP Properties Group
Senator International Limited
Begbies Traynor (Central) LLP
- Advised Danish retailer SØstrene Grene on its acquisition of a new Lease in The Royal Exchange, Manchester and secured an all-important pre-Christmas opening for this retailer within this prestigious Grade II listed building.
- Advised Trust Inns Limited on its acquisition of two public houses for this national pub company.
- Advised lender, Seneca Bridging Limited, on this development bridging finance loan for the acquisition of former offices for residential conversion.
Hillyer McKeown LLP
Hillyer McKeown LLP's commercial property practice 'provides a prompt and highly knowledgeable service.' The group is jointly led by Caroline Jones and Ian Millington; Jones handles commercial lending work, with banks and lending institutions as clients, and leads the residential property team. Millington, meanwhile, is praised for providing 'an excellent service' to clients such as SMEs and charities. John Morshead is noted for his non-contentious experience including landlord and tenant matters.
‘The team at Hillyer McKeown provide a prompt and highly knowledgeable service. They are approachable and always easy to speak to – an important, personal touch which is not true with all firms. They treat their clients as valued fellow professionals and have a collaborative and commercial approach. We consider them our trusted, go-to advisers.’
‘They provide a friendly and competent service.’
‘John Moreshead has acted for us on a number of occasions and has always been very thorough in all that he has done. he will go the extra mile by contacting you outside of normal business hours, if he is unsure of anything he will not try to wing it, he will check and revert to you, always offers good well grounded advice.’
‘Ian Millington provided excellent and very practical advice to us in a time-sensitive matter. Ian’s breadth of knowledge is impressive and he assisted us in being able to move forward without delay.’
‘We are lucky enough to have Ian Millington looking after our business needs. He immediately grasps the various situations that we have been in and has given great advice on how to deal with them. His help and advice has been crucial to a number of decisions that we have had to make. He conducts himself in a friendly and when needed firm manner. This has helped us build the confidence we needed in Hillyer McKeown.’
- Advises Progress Schools – a national organisation with independent secondary schools based across England – on all lease transactions throughout the North West.
- Advising FAS Developments on a development set-up and subsequent sales of six luxury apartments and two luxury houses at a site in Mossley HiIl, Liverpool.
- Advising the Anselmians Rugby Football Club on the sale of £1.3m freehold land to a housebuilder and in the redevelopment of their rugby clubhouse and negotiation of a lease in favour of Wirral Borough Council for a community hub linked to the new clubhouse.
SAS Daniels LLP's practice includes lawyers in Stockport, Macclesfield and Chester. The team focuses on residential development, strategic land promotion and land disposals, often handling multimillion-pound deals. Key team members include Andrew Clark, newly promoted partner Steven Percy and agricultural specialist James Goddard. The team also has expertise in the renewable energy section.
‘One to one dealings with partners and good response times in managing client expectations and delivering transactional completions expediently and in an efficient manner.’
‘An excellent firm with a broad range of departments and skills with competitive fees.’
‘Legal knowledge and experience, especially problem solving.’
Gladman Developments Limited
Frederic Robinson Limited
Silkdale Properties Limited
Henderson Homes Limited
Anwyl Land Limited
Beluga Projects Limited
Property Alliance Group
Dean Lewis Estates Limited
Lancashire Developments Limited
Bell Developments Limited
- Advised Frederic Robinson Limited on a variety of matters for their managed estate including the disposal of land for the development of 134 residential homes and the acquisition of a new property for £1m.
- Advised Henderson Homes (UK) Limited on the acquisition of a site for residential development from Tesco Stores.
- Advised Dean Lewis Estates Limited on a strategic land promotion agreement for the development of up to 500 houses in Kent.
Slater Heelis LLP handles a range of residential work, notably for high net worth clients, with the group led by Zara Banday, who also has a track record of work on landlord and tenant matters. Acting on the commercial property side is Will Henson, with over two decades of experience in the field. Mike Fox is another key member of the team, advising property lenders and developers. Hannah Al-Shaghana represents limited companies and partnerships on all commercial property matters. In September the firm was joined by Jonathan Kay from Knights plc, bolstering its commercial property capacity.
Gino D’Acampo Worldwide Restaurants Limited (trading as Gino D’Acampo My Restaurant)
Towerhouse Systems Limited
George Moss & Sons Limited
Mason Developments (Management) NW Limited
Odyssey Interactive Limited
Superstan Property Limited
- Advising Gino D’Acampo Worldwide Restaurants Limited in connection with the existing lease of restaurant premises at Temple Row, Birmingham, next door to the Ivy in connection with: surrendering part of the current lease; and extending the demise and altering some of the terms.
- Advised Towerhouse Systems on the acquisition of a substantial area of land at Cringle Road, Levenshulme. The contract was conditional on the grant of planning permission for 57 new dwellings.
- Retained as property advisor by George Moss & Sons Limited for a number of years. Advice given generally in respect of lease management matters.
Baines Wilson LLP
Baines Wilson LLP's strengths lie in residential and commercial property development, while commercial real estate management is also a key aspect of the practice, which acts for both regional and national clients. Duncan Harty heads up the team and is active on development work and landlord and tenant matters; his clients include regional and national house builders. Sean Logue has broad expertise of advising high street lenders, and is experienced in acting on regeneration projects and refurbishment work.
Other key lawyers:
Blackstone Solicitors Limited
Blackstone Solicitors Limited operate in the leisure and retail sectors, representing pension funds, investors, small and medium-sized enterprises and private individuals. Nick Jackson and Jo Raby are among the key practitioners.
Other key lawyers:
The team at Farleys Solicitors LLP works on commercial leases, estate management and residential development projects, with advice rendered to clients including developers and landowners. The 'diligent' Tom O’Neill co-leads the team, operating out of Blackburn, and provides expertise on infrastructure matters and development agreements. Supporting him is Ian Liddle, who is highly experienced in all aspects of commercial property. Preston-based Stephen Greenwood acts on secured finance and development work.
‘Very attentive and easy to contact.’
‘Tom O’Neill is diligent, contactable out of hours and readily meets very early appointments.’
FDR Law has expertise in acquisitions and disposals, development agreements and asset management. The firm has a broad client base, including corporate occupiers, residential developers and retail operators, with the team led by Stephen Woodall. He is active in both the private and public sectors, advising on acquisitions in relation to investment and development properties. Charles Agar stands out for his work on private sector property development such as the leasing of office and retail units.
Other key lawyers:
Network Space Investments Limited
Network Space Developments Limited
Network Space Management Limited
Beck Developments Limited
Beck Homes (NW) Limited
United Utilities Property Services Limited
Warrington & Vale Royal College
Cheadle & Marple Sixth Form College
Halton Borough Council
Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council
West Lancashire Borough Council
Warrington Borough Council
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service
Warrington & Vale Royal College
Bravo Inns Limited
Bravo Inns II Limited
White Leisure Limited
McLean & Appleton Limited
Warrington Sports Holdings Limited, Warrington Wolves
St Rocco’s Shops Ltd
Warrington Housing Association Limited
Crow Wood Estates Limited
M.C.I. Developments Limited
HSBC Bank Plc
- Acting on behalf of Bravo Inns in connection with a portfolio sale of 43 public houses as part of an acquisition of the entire share capital of Bravo Inns Ltd and Bravo Inns II Ltd by NewRiver REIT PLC for a value of £17.9m.
- Acted on behalf of Beck Homes (NW) Limited in a series of transactions over the last two years leading to the acquisition of various residential properties in Cheshire earmarked for demolition and to allow the construction of a small number of bespoke new build properties for private sale.
- Advising West Lancashire Borough Council on various matters in relation to the proposed redevelopment of Skelmersdale town centre.
Harrison Drury & Co is active in the residential and commercial development markets, advising retailers and investors on the commercial side. Estate management work is also handled by the practice. The 'commercially savvy and pragmatic' Simon England heads up the team and specialises in landlord and tenant work. Also of note is Naomi Fell, who has experience acting on residential conveyancing matters, operating out of the Kendal office.
Other key lawyers:
‘An excellent real estate team headed by Simon England. A diverse range of knowledge always ensuring the suitable solicitor deals with the matter. Communication in particular remains a major strength along with response time and proactiveness, all strengths which I find to be rare particularly outside of Greater Manchester.’
‘Simon England is excellent. Always available and helpful, always looking for the best solution and prepared to work hard to achieve it on behalf of the client.’
‘Simon England embodies the main strengths referred to above by some margin and most certainly is the stand out being commercially savvy, pragmatic and an excellent communicator.’
Eric Wright Group Limited and Eric Wright Pension
James Alpe Developments Limited
M&M Acquisitions Ltd
Oakhill Developments Limited
Peter Jackson, the Jeweller
PJM Property Investments
Sir Simon Towneley (Worsthorne Estate, Cliviger and Burnley)
Oakfield Park, Kirkby Lonsdale
Ballytherm UK Limited
FDC (Holdings) Limited
Chicken Delicatessen Limited
- Responsible for the property portfolio management of Eric Wright Group, which involve rental values of between c£10,000 and c£200,000 per annum, and the acquisitions of new commercial investments for the portfolio upwards of £1.25m.
- Provide wide-ranging advice to Sir Simon Towneley’s land agent who manages the estate day to day.
- Acted for the UK arm, Ballytherm, of an Irish holding company for the £7.65m complex acquisition of a regional distribution centre as part of their expansion strategy, which was subject to a lease to XPO Supply Chain UK Limited.