Commercial property: Manchester in North West

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard is the 'market leading firm for real estate work in Manchester' and is lauded as the 'go-to firm for real estate work'. The team is best known for its ability to handle big-ticket transactions in the city and across the North West region and acts for a broad client base which includes: trust and insurance companies, pension fund managers, developers, retailers, banks, transport agencies,  public and private sector organisations and corporate clients. Among the team, department head Peter Kershaw, who is 'exceptional',  Stephen Kinsey, who has a 'great standing in the market', and Anita Weightman are particularly recommended, as are legal directors Lucy Butterworth, Michael Corbett, and Emma Tonge.

Practice head(s):

Peter Kershaw

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Kinsey; Catherine Fearnhead; Anita Weightman; Paul Barnard; Patrick Duffy; Tony Weightman; Rhian Baggaley; Paul Dowdall; Julie Hodkinson; Lucy Butterworth; Brian Ghatan; Michael Corbett; Emma Tonge; Robin Warburton


The advice provided is second-to-none and delivered in plain English, but with great attention-to-detail.

It provides an exemplary service which really helps with easing the load for clients in meeting challenging deadlines.

The team provides excellent partner accessibility and is reliable.

The team has excellent attention-to-detail and is very commercial.

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard Life Group of Companies

Allied London

British Land

Bruntwood Group of Companies

Co-operative Group of Companies


Deloitte & Touch

FI Real Estate


J Sainsbury Group of Companies

Muse Developments

National Grid

Nationwide Building Society


The Peel Group of Companies

The Miller Group of Companies

Threadneedle Group of Companies

Work highlights

  • The team originated, negotiated and completed the project documents on behalf of HERMES Investment Management in connection with Amazon’s decision to locate its second UK HQ in Manchester.
  • Advised Bruntwood on negotiations with Aviva for the forward funding of an innovative hybrid building combining a multi-storey car park and hotel at Circle Square, Manchester.
  • The team advised Trafford Council on the acquisition of the former Kellogg’s building in Old Trafford to be the base of UA92, the higher education project backed by former Man Utd footballer, Gary Neville, the University of Lancaster and Microsoft.
  • Advised Manchester Science Partnerships on the pre-let of the entire 92,000 sq ft Citylabs 2.0 development to Qiagen, which is to be developed as a world-leading precision medicine campus.
  • Advised Bruntwood on the formation of new group, Bruntwood SciTech, and the largest investment made in science and technology property assets in Europe in 2018 which include the life sciences centre at Alderley Park, Citylabs in Manchester on the NHS Campus and Manchester Science Park.


CMS's 'outstanding' real estate department is active across a significant number of key developments in Manchester and also handles a range of acquisitions, disposals and tenant management work across the UK. It is instructed by a range of institutional clients as well as organisations in the aviation, retail, health care, local government and services sectors. Department head Mark Haywood is 'superb', Peter Winnard is 'exceptional' and senior associate Tanya Francis is 'excellent'. Monica Brij has retired.

Practice head(s):

Mark Haywood

Other key lawyers:

Nathan Jansen; Peter Winnard; Chris Hallam; Nigel Lewis; Tanya Francis


A very strong practice for real estate work in Manchester.

The team fields excellent individuals and is very visible in the market.

Key clients

Cromwell Property Group


Far East Consortium

Sigma Capital

DB Symmetry

Genr8 Developments

Ask Real Estate

Manchester City Council

Places For People Leisure Management Limited


Mayfield Development Partnership

Manchester Airport Group

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority



Muse Developments

English Cities Fund


Work highlights

  • The team is advising Manchester City Council on the development of the landmark £111m arts and theatre venue, The Factory.
  • Advised Select, in joint venture with Bruntwood, on the £800m mixed-use Circle Square development to create a new neighbourhood within Manchester City Centre and regenerate the old BBC site.
  • The team has handled a significant number of large-scale portfolio acquisition and disposals for Assura, and has advised on numerous sales and leasebacks and individual primary care property acquisitions.
  • The team has acted for Cromwell Property Group on a series of multi-let investment disposals (both as asset sales and sales of offshore Jersey Corporate wrapper sales), which included the cross-border sale of the Alpha portfolio of eight mixed-use properties located in England and Scotland.
  • Advised Qatari Diar, the real estate investment arm of the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar, on the restructuring of its £1.5bn PRS joint venture with DV4, Oxford Properties and APG.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's 'very well established' team regularly acts for private and public sector developers on development and regeneration schemes as well as acting for  real estate funds and institutional investors on the funding, acquisition and disposal of investment properties and is experienced in 'build to rent' mandates. The team also stands out for its experience in advising corporate clients on property mandates, and for its retail and healthcare sector experience. Team head Nancy Brown is 'very experienced' and handles a range of corporate real estate mandates, with particular experience in advising clients in the financial services, healthcare, retail and logistics sectors. Phillip Tunney acts for industrial clients on their property holdings and is also experienced in the minerals sector, and legal director Joanna Sowerby is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Nancy Brown

Other key lawyers:

Ian Barker; Phillip Tunney; Michael Buchanan; Joanna Sowerby; Tracy Gibson; Elizabeth Cartwright; Roy Barry; Jayne Speers; Lindsey Clark

Key clients

Aviva Investors

Muse Developments

English Cities Fund

Manchester Airport Group

Airport City Limited Partnership

Kier Property Developments

Peel Holdings


The Co-operative Bank

Homes England

Harworth Group

Kwik Fit (ETEL)

Jardine (Lancaster)


Global Radio (Capital Radio)




PH Properties



Co-operative Bank

John Lewis/Waitrose

TSB Bank


BAE Systems

Macbryde Homes


Medesham Homes

Beech Developments

Livingbridge LLP


Johnson Controls (formerly Tyco)


Lend Lease


Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council


Seashell Trust

Turning Point

Igloo Regeneration


Barclays Bank

Taylor Wimpey

Guardian Industrial


Siglion Developments

RR Donnellley

Slough Urban Regeneration

Cable Swan

Ashall Group

Salford City Council

Trafford Borough Council

PMG Regeneration


Manchester Metropolitan University

Premier Foods

Swissport GB



Caddick Developments

Sappi Papier Holdings

Tarmac Group

Manchester International Festival

St Helens College

Carlisle City Council

Lyondelllbasel Industries

NCC Group


Dong Energy

University of Manchester

Leeds University

Maple Tree

Morris Homes

Work highlights

  • Advised Airport City Limited Partnership on the development and construction of a new multi-phase 1,000,000 sq ft HQ office campus for The Hut Group at Manchester Airport City.
  • Advised Airport City Limited Partnership on the development of three hotels at the core of the £180m hotel district at Airport City.
  • Advised English Cities Fund on its third bespoke PRS building at New Bailey, a £35m, 199 unit 20 storey riverside scheme
  • Advised Evans Property Group on the £90m investment sale of Rotherham Borough Councils’ civic headquarters underpinned by an ‘annuity’ lease structure.
  • Advised Trafford Borough Council on its investment in the Grafton Centre in Altrincham for £10.3m.

Shoosmiths LLP

The 'strong and able' team at Shoosmiths LLP is best known for its experience in real estate development and investment work. The firm is also noted for its experience in student accommodation and PRS schemes and is acting for an increasing number of public sector clients. The retail and leisure sectors are key areas of focus. Andrew Pattinson, who heads the firm's Northern real estate team, is noted for his development expertise while recently promoted partner Lisa On-Iam has an investment work focus. Vaqas Farooq is now primarily based in the firm's London office.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Pattinson

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Hargreaves; Daniel Monaghan; Paul Gidman; Ruth Clare; Lisa On-Iam; Christine Suddes; Will Sanderson; James Brodie; Anna Lowe; Dave Lawson


The team is very able and has strong visibility in the Manchester market.

Key clients

Allied London

Estee Lauder Cosmetics

Euro Car Parks

Lend Lease Residential

Muse Developments


Revolution Bars Group (formerly Inventive Leisure)

Select Property Group

XPO (formerly Norbert Dentressangle)

Watkin Jones

Countryside Properties


Derwent Holdings

Svenska Handelsbanken

Ted Baker

Hollins Murray Group

Parlison Properties

PDI (Holdings)

Bericote Properties


The Gym Group

Synergie Holdings

Aspire Gym

Humberside Airport

Virgin Wine Online

Brightstar 20:20




Royal Borough of Kingston

Bolton Council

Stockport Council

Staying Cool

St Modwen Properties

Property Alliance Group Limited/Alliance Real Estate LLP/ARE II LLP

Godiva UK

Patrick Properties

Keepmoat Homes

Anwyl Land Limited/Anwyl Construction

Gladman Developments


Greenbank Partnerships

Gilltown Limited Retail

Walgreen Boots Aliance

Euro Garages Limited

Monte Blackburn

Galliford Try Partnerships

Helena Partnerships

Taylor Grange Developments

De Trafford


Landmark Investments

Total Developments

F1 Real Estate Management

Ralph Lauren UK

The Restaurant Group

Sigma Property Capital

Chantler Trading

Stretton Wakefield

Lancashire County Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Allied London on the sale and restructuring for the development of The Factory which will consist of a theatre and arts venue and will be owned by Manchester City Council and operated by MIF as the home of Manchester International Festival.
  • Advised Allied London on the pre-let of Manchester Goods Yard to
  • Acted for Marston’s on the acquisition of 15 former M&B pubs by way of purchase of the assets and the grant of leases of the properties from Aprirose.  
  • Advised Sigma Property Capital on the portfolio acquisition of a number of residential development sites.
  • Advised Select Property Group on the development of  three new residential towers at Embankment West, near Chapel Street, Salford.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP handles a full range of real estate work and is particularly noted for its experience in handling large scale asset management work for shopping centre operator clients. Commercial and residential development work is a key focus, and the team is also noted for its fund management expertise. The healthcare sector is an area of focus, as is real estate finance which is led by Peter Williams. The practice, which is led by Alison Key, was recently bolstered by the arrival of Sally Morris-Smith, who joined in 2019 from Shepherd and Wedderburn, and legal director David Lees, who joined from CMS in 2018.

Practice head(s):

Alison Key

Other key lawyers:

Sally Morris-Smith; Peter Williams; Adrian Wallbank; Liz Donnelly; Rachael Reynolds; Leanne Murray; Nick Molloy; David Lees; Katy Reddiough; Adam Simpson

Key clients

Property Alliance Group

URW (Westfield)

Intu Properties

Land Securities

Lend Lease

Barratt Homes

Titlestone (now Paragon Bank)

Chester West and Chester Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Acted for Bolton Council in connection with the agreement for the refurbishment of the Octagon Theatre and the grant of a new long lease to Octagon Theatre Trust.
  • Advised Property Alliance Group on a development finance facility and pre-let agreements for two schemes in Bury and Leigh
  • Advised Titlestone on the sale of its £274m loan book to Paragon.
  • Advised The Kings School in Macclesfield on the disposal of the existing school site and the acquisition of a new 80 acre site, together with the construction of a new £60m purpose built state of the art campus.
  • Advised Unibail Rodamco Westfield in relation to lettings at the £600m extension to Westfield London.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper UK LLP is experienced in handling development and investment work for public and private sector clients. The team advises on high-profile developments in Manchester and across the UK, and has particular expertise in funding and in structuring specialised assets. Department head Mark Beardwood acts for a number of investment clients; Robert Arnison stands out for his development work expertise; and Tom Kelsall leads on development and development-funding matters and co-heads the North West real estate finance team.

Practice head(s):

Mark Beardwood

Other key lawyers:

Robert Arnison; Tom Kelsall; Paul Burney

Key clients

Transport for Greater Manchester

HS2/Secretary of State for Transport

Barings Real Estate Advisors

Greater Manchester Pension Fund

Capital & Centric

Balfour Beatty Investments

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

CBRE Global Investors

Houghton Regis Development Consortium

FI: Real Estate

Solutus Advisors

Beaufort Capital

Maslow Capital

The Soller Group

Work highlights

  • Advised the vendors on the £100m sale of the Microsoft Campus, Reading, a trophy investment asset acquired by a consortium of South Korean institutional investors.
  • Advised Capital & Centric on its redevelopment of the iconic Littlewoods Buildings, Liverpool including the agreement for lease entered into with Twickenham Studios.
  • Advised Houghton Regis Development Consortium on the development of an urban extension at Houghton Regis North, extending to 630 acres, to create more than 5,150 houses, a commercial / logistics space in excess of 2.25m sq ft, three new schools and around 190 acres of open space.
  • Advised on the strategic disposals of various former Toys R Us capital value properties from within the Duke portfolio.
  • Advised MRC Pension Trust on the purchase of a portfolio of industrial estates from CBRE Global Investors.


DWF provides 'timely and commercial advice'; the team is noted for its expertise across retail, hotels and leisure, public, telecoms, energy, social housing and technology sector real estate mandates, and regularly acts for occupiers, developers, public sector clients, and investment clients and funders. David Frankland is experienced in hotel and leisure sector mandates, Naveen Gupta is noted for his retail sector expertise and Catherine Haslam is experienced in telecommunications property law. Anita Gupta heads the Manchester team and Paul Inman heads the firm's North West real estate practice.

Practice head(s):

Anita Gupta

Other key lawyers:

Paul Inman; David Frankland; Naveen Gupta; Catherine Haslam; David Walton; Katherine Heywood; Rachel Lawler; Alicia Renshaw


‘The team offers a breadth of expertise and is available to deal with any specific needs.’

‘Anita Gupta delivers pro-active advice.’

‘The team works great together, and is always on hand to deal with queries promptly and with great knowledge.’

‘The team is very approachable, which is a charming strength to have compared to other firms.’

‘Rachel Lawler is brilliant in her field; she is straight talking and commercial.’

Key clients


Whitbread Plc/Premier Inn

EE Limited

The adidas Group

United Utilities

Greene King

Primus Property Group

Speedy Hire

Peel Holdings

Work highlights

  • The team advised on EE Limited’s special projects sites, which includes dealing with the installation of its electronic communications equipment in sports stadia and arenas.
  • The team advises Costa on an exclusive basis on all property work across England, Wales and Scotland.        
  • Advised Odeon Cinemas on its head office relocation to Ask Properties First Street Scheme in Manchester.
  • The team acts for The adidas Group on all of its real estate portfolio matters, which has included acquisitions, disposals, asset management in the UK, as well as strategic advice on real estate and construction aspects across Europe.
  • Advised Lancashire County Council Pension Fund on the pre-let of a 76,000 sq ft property, following a £10m re-development.

Gateley Plc

Gateley Plc handles a range of commercial property transactions, is noted for its residential development and property finance experience, and has a strong presence in the retail sector. The team also handles estate management work and is engaged on a number of acquisitions and disposals. Darren Hughes heads the team which was bolstered by the arrival of legal directors Louise Ilhan, who joined from an in-house role, and Nick Beko, who joined from gunnercooke LLP.

Practice head(s):

Darren Hughes

Other key lawyers:

Jon Mason; Rod Waldie; Gareth Atkinson; Louise Ilhan; Nick Beko

Key clients

Fairhome Group Plc

Bellway Homes

Bloor Homes

Wainhomes (North West)

Lidl UK

JD Sports Fashion

Network Space Developments

Northern Trust Company

McCafferty Asset Management

Hurstwood Holdings

Glossop Land

LPC Living Limited and Group


NM Rothschild & Sons


Work highlights

  • The team advised CityBlock (Gillows) on the acquisition, funding and development of the iconic listed Gillows Building in central Lancaster as bespoke student accommodation.    
  • Acted for Bellway Homes  on the acquisition of land at the Knowsley Estate for the development as a mixed-use site, including 154 homes, with immediate sub-sale to a commercial developer for employment use.
  • Advised Bloor Homes on the acquisition of land at Phases 2 and 3 of a residential development scheme at Lowton Heath, Wigan.
  • The team advises Lidl UK on site acquisitions across the UK.
  • Advised Glossop Land on the development and disposal of an estate of 57 residential dwelling houses and apartments.

Hill Dickinson LLP

Hill Dickinson LLP is active across a range of real estate mandates; it handles property investment and development work as well as real estate finance. The team is active in the logistics and retail sectors, and is often instructed by friendly societies and local authority clients. National head of property and construction Jim Purves is experienced in property mandates across the logistics, industrial and retail sectors.

Practice head(s):

Jim Purves

Other key lawyers:

Michael Blakey; Jonathan Dover; Chris Johnston; Darren Hamer; Alison Batchelor; Alistair Wallworth; Gary Cohen


‘The team has excellent availability and legal acumen on both property and financial law.’

‘Jonathan Dover and associate Katie Somerville stand out for their in-depth knowledge and for their ability to explain complex legal points in a succinct and coherent manner.’

‘Michael Blakely has in-depth experience.’

‘The team has very good communication between different areas within the firm and it is efficient and pleasant to deal with at all times.’

Key clients


Lloyds Banking Group

Lookers Motor Group

Wrather Group


Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society


Williams Lea Tag

Euro Garages

M20 Property Group

Gordon Moon Properties

Work highlights

  • Advised DHL in connection with new build warehouses at Reading and Howden.
  • Acted for DHL on the sale-and-leaseback of warehouses at Swansea and Ebbw Vale.
  • Advised Williams Lea Tag on the acquisition of its new London headquarters.
  • Advised Wrather Group company Streetlands Limited on the £10m sale of Merrywalks Shopping Centre in Stroud.
  • Advised Misyl Investments  on the sale of a mixed-use property in Fitzrovia.

JMW Solicitors LLP

JMW Solicitors LLP's 'vast team' is active across a range of real estate work including residential development, retail development, retail investments, healthcare, investment asset management, secured lending, investment disposals, acquisitions and real estate finance work. The team is increasingly active in the logistics and renewable energy space. The 'brilliant' Ian Gordon has in-depth experience in handling retail schemes for developer clients.

Practice head(s):

Ian Gordon; Ruth McCarthy; Andrew Garvie; Warren Martin

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Pearson; Tom Cressey; Jodi Lund; Claire Hamilton; Alex Jeffrey; Daniel Harrison; Russel Forward; Peter Chape; Majid Mahmood, Michael Purvis; Sarah Edwards; Andrew Rimmer; Paul Burton; Andrew Stone; Abdul Salam


The team has a very thorough and professional approach to all transactions, and has a keen appetite to see the deal over the line and complete.

Thomas Pearson is particularly diligent, hardworking and approachable; his work ethic is second to none.

Key clients

Dransfield Properties

Richer Sounds

Castlemead Group Limited


Pochin group of companies

National Westminster Bank

Silverlane Developments (Greengate)

Whitecroft Group


Ascend Properties

Prime Site Developments

China Town Development Company

Work highlights

  • Acted for Stroud Regeneration, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dransfield Properties, on the purchase of The Merrywalks Centre Stroud.
  • The team acted for the buyer on the purchase of Barton Arcade in Manchester.
  • Advised a consortium headed by Jed McCrory on the property aspects of the purchase of Worcester Warriors Rugby Football Club.
  • The team advises Hollins Strategic Landon on a significant number of land promotion agreements.
  • Advised China Town Development Company on the acquisition and development of a high-profile six acre regeneration scheme in Liverpool city centre known as New China Town.

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP 'provides a pragmatic assessment of issues and is able to accommodate short time frames'. It acts for regional and national investors, developers, landlords, tenants and owner-managed businesses, and is noted for its expertise in acquisition structures, investment residential development, commercial development, construction, planning, and landlord and tenant work. The team also advises on holding structures, debt structuring and debt finance work for borrowers. Department head Nick Nyunt, who is 'very commercial in his advice and he has a good understanding of how the client works', leads on development and portfolio work with head of development Adam Hymes.

Practice head(s):

Nick Nyunt

Other key lawyers:

Adam Hymes; Steve Eccleston; Christopher Hardy; David Moroney; Steve Jackson; Tim Arkwright; Emma Nimmo


‘The team provides high-quality advice on property acquisitions, investments, developments and disposals of industrial, office, retail and mixed-use sites.’

‘For portfolio management, the team provides practical assistance and organisation in connection with matters outside England and Wales.’

‘Nick Nyunt is particularly adept in dealing with large complex developments, acquisitions and disposals.’

‘The service level at the firm is very good, from the partners to the solicitors.’

‘Advice is given in a practical manner and is not too technical.’

‘The team has excellent communication and it works swiftly and effectively.’


Key clients

GG Hospitality


David Samuel Properties

Trafford Housing Trust


PIN Property

Story Homes

Stewart Milne Homes

Work highlights

  • Advised THT on the acquisition of a site in Whalley, Lancashire for c. 188 residential units of a major mixed-use development, involving 260 dwellings and a new primary school.
  • Acted for Persimmon Homes  in connection with the acquisition of a major residential development site in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire.
  • Acted for PIN Property on a substantial commercial site assembly of c. 7 acres from multiple landowners at Oldham, which when developed will have a value in excess of £12m.
  • Acted for David Samuel Properties on disposals, as part of its hotel portfolio, at a value of c. £10m.
  • Advised Persimmon Homes North West on the purchase of c. 16 acres of land at Shavington, Crewe for c. 160 units at a price of £6m.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP handles a range of national, and increasingly international, development, regeneration and investment work and has expertise across the industrial, hotels, education, health, retail and public sectors. The 'growing' team is led by the 'exceptionalMike Edge who has an 'excellent reputation in the Manchester market'. Principal associate Jennifer Lewis is noted for her experience in the education and healthcare sectors. The team also houses real estate finance expertise.

Practice head(s):

Mike Edge

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Hanratty; Rachel Pitman; Jennifer Lewis; Graham Collier; Alexandra Murphy


‘The team is always willing to advise at short notice.’

Jennifer Lewis has a down to earth and ‘can do’ attitude which gives confidence that the matter will be dealt with and that any advice will be solution-focused.’

Key clients

Robertson Strategic Land


C. C. Projects (Church Commissioners)

Crosslane Group

db Symmetry

WPA Investments

Fortis Developments

Stockport Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Acted for Bruntwood on a joint venture between Bruntwood and Trafford Borough Council in connection with proposed redevelopment of the former Kelloggs Building at Trafford and to house UA92, the sports and media university backed by Bruntwood, Trafford Council, and Gary Neville.
  • Acted for Manchester Science Parks in connection with Citylabs 2.0, the first phase of a new development on the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) campus, in the heart of Manchester’s Innovation District – Corridor Manchester.  
  •   Advised Stockport Council on its redevelopment of the town’s historic Market Place.
  • Advised Robertson in connection with a promotion agreement for land owned by the Leeming family at Bartle, Preston.
  • Advised Elstree Capital on the sale by auction of three properties – commercial office units.  

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP handles a raft of complex, high-profile development and regeneration projects including investment work, and regularly acts for international investors. The firm also advises on public and private sector developments and joint venture projects, and advises on residential development projects. The hotels, leisure, logistics, energy and infrastructure sectors are key areas of focus, and the team also handles real estate finance mandates. Team head Jonathan Brocklehurst specialises in tax efficient funding structures and is experienced in complex promotion agreements, site assembly and regeneration projects. Helen Robinson, legal director Matthew Rowlands and senior associate David Herbert are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Brocklehurst

Other key lawyers:

Phillip Birchall; Helen Robinson; Jane Morden; Matthew Rowlands; Ann-Marie Salmacis; Sarah Thomas; David Herbert


‘The team is able to handle highly-complex transactions and will get to grips with large volumes of information in a short period.’

‘Matthew Rowlands is down-to-earth and very approachable; he doesn’t just take a textbook legal approach to issues, he will suggest a suitable commercial approach to a matter where required in order to facilitate a transaction.’

‘The scope of services and integration of the commercial teams means the firm provides a one-stop shop for commercial property.’

Key clients

St Modwen Developments

Manchester City Council

Bricks Capital

United Utilities


Morgan Sindall Investments/Lovell Partnerships

Balfour Beatty

Homes England


Harworth Estates

Lancaster City Council

BVK Hines

Yorkshire Ventures

Work highlights

  • Advised St Modwen Developments on the £53m sale of a portfolio of more than 30 industrial estates.
  • Advised Bricks Capital on the acquisition of a long leasehold interest, and provided ongoing advice on the development on the site, of a 197 room Hilton Garden Hotel.
  • Acted for Manchester City Council on the Northern Gateway project.
  • Advised Morgan Sindall Investments on a public-private sector partnership with Hertfordshire County Council to deliver 6,000 homes over 15 years.
  • Advised Basingstoke & Dean Borough Council and Hampshire County Council on the joint procurement of a private sector partner to deliver a major regeneration scheme.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs handles a raft of real estate mandates. It is noted for its development practice and the team advises a range of regional and national developers. The team also acts for a number of public sector clients on regeneration mandates, while the retail, sports, leisure, chemical and transport sectors are key areas of focus. The team also offers real estate finance expertise. Mark Gaffney heads the team and is ably supported by the 'fantastic' Mark Barker.

Practice head(s):

Mark Gaffney

Other key lawyers:

Mark Barker; Jonathan Brooke; Steven Silver; Nick Helm; Claire Hilton


‘A strong, partner led team, with good expertise.’

‘Mark Baker takes a calm and pragmatic approach and is always willing to explain the issues in whatever level of detail as the client requires.’

‘The team is swift to respond to issues and is willing to move appointments to make things work.’

Key clients

HB Villages

Peel Group

Stewart Milne Group

Watkin Jones Group

Warrington Borough Council

Preston City Council

AIG Global Real Estate

Co-op Group

Bespoke Hotels

Muse Developments

The Royal British Legion

NPL Group


First Step Group

Galliford Try Investments


Work highlights

  • Advised Muse Developments on a joint venture with Wirral Borough Council for the Wirral Growth Company.
  • Advised Watkin Jones Group on the forward funding sale and development of a portfolio of four student developments for more than £180m.
  • Advised Preston City Council on the redevelopment of the city’s Markets Quarter.  
  • Advised Galliford Try Investments on its disposal of equity interests in two operational PFI schemes.
  • Represented Bespoke Hotels on an agreement to design and develop a new five-star luxury hotel, forming part of the One Crown Place mixed-use development in London.


TLT stands out for its sector focus approach, with expertise across retail, consumer goods, clean energy, leisure, food, drink, digital and public sector real estate instructions - and the Manchester team is particularly noted for its financial services expertise. The team handles transactional and portfolio management work and is also engaged on real estate developments.  Andy Bell heads the financial services sector for real estate department. Elsewhere, John Hyde leads the property development team, Daniel Sweeney heads the retail property team and Philip Moran heads the leisure property team.

Practice head(s):

Maria Connolly (Bristol)

Other key lawyers:

Andy Bell; Patrick Sheehan; John Hyde; Daniel Sweeney; Philip Moran; Fay Wilshaw; Rachel Smith; Qasim Mohammed


The Manchester office provides excellent client focus in real estate and commercial property matters.

The team has a pragmatic and commercially astute approach which adds value.

Qasim Mohammed is a highly respected and competent professional with excellent client focus and a commercially pragmatic approach.

John Hyde provides an excellent and dedicated service.

Key clients

Lloyds Banking Group

Pets at Home

SUK Retail Limited (Office Outlet)

Landmark Investments Group

New World Trading Company

Royal Bank of Scotland


Total Fitness

Iceland Foods

Hydes Brewery

Aviva Public Private Finance

Manchester Airports Group

Work highlights

  • Advise Pets at Home on acquisitions, disposals, asset management and property or construction litigation.
  • The team advises New World on its ongoing acquisition programme which included the acquisition of new sites in Milsom Street Bath, Cathedral Lanes Coventry and Church Street, Cardiff.
  • The team advises Manchester Airports Group on all real estate asset management work on an exclusive bases, which includes the group’s core and non-core lettable estate across all three airports; Manchester, East Midlands and London Stansted.
  • Advised on the acquisition, development, finance and occupational letting of a portfolio of luxury care homes for Athena Healthcare Group and its related companies.
  • Advised Landmark on the acquisition of a portfolio of retirement living ground apartments and residential schemes.


BLM handles a range of commercial, residential and public sector development mandates, and is also active on a number of regeneration projects. The education, charities, industrial, hotels, retail and leisure sector are key areas of focus, while property investment and finance work is a growing area of expertise for the department. Commercial advisory head Stephen Lintott and Stephen Crook, who is experienced in portfolio management mandates, head the team.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Lintott; Stephen Crook

Other key lawyers:

Tessa Leonard; Mark Alexander; Emma Edwards; Helen Smith; Andrew Knight


The team has extensive knowledge of commercial property law and offers a seamless service.

The team is partner-led, has strong commercial astuteness and good attention to detail; it understands very well what clients need.

Stephen Lintott is very approachable and responsive.

Key clients

Urban Splash


Maxilead Limited

Realty Estates/Deansgate Securities

Evonik UK

Salboy and related entities


Property (Done)

Dwell Developments/Dwell Properties

Redwater Group

McCaul Group

The Caravan Club

University of Central Lancashire

Santander UK

Milliken Industrials

Etc Urban (Guildhall) Limited

Scarisbrick Hall School

Lancashire County Developments

Cramant Homes

Methodist Church (Manchester Circuit)


Work highlights

  • The team advises Schuh on a number of transactions which included advising it on new leases in Leeds, Westfield Stratford, Bullring, Leicester, Southampton, Rushden and Lakeside in 2018.  
  • Advised UCLan on its £200m redevelopment.  
  • Advised The Caravan Club (now trading as the Caravan and Motorhome Club) on the renewal, extension and variation of leases, and on the acquisition of additional land.
  • The team advises Lancashire County Developments on all sales, acquisitions, lettings, property management and property disputes at the 150 acre Lancashire Business Park, the 300,000 square foot White Cross Business Park and Rising Bridge Business and Enterprise Village.
  • Advised J and G Marshall on the property aspects relating to the conversion of various schools across the country to academy status.  

Brabners LLP

Brabners LLP acts for a range of retailers, lenders, occupiers and developers on development, investment, management, finance, housing and regeneration work. Matthew O’Brien heads the Manchester real estate team and Paul Firth heads the firm's real estate group. Krista Powell recently joined from Fieldfisher and senior associate Helen Burns, who focuses on real estate finance, joined from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP. Peter Barlow heads the housing and regeneration team.

Practice head(s):

Paul Firth; Matthew O’Brien

Other key lawyers:

Krista Powell; Helen Burns; Helena Davies; Peter Barlow


Paul Nicholls and his team act swiftly and of integrate exceptionally well with their corporate and employment colleagues at Brabners to provide an all encompassing service.

Paul Nicholls is exceptional.

Key clients

Restore Harrow Green

JW Lees & Co

C F Vending


The Royal Bank of Scotland


UK Properties

C G Recovery


JLT Properties

Neo Solar Power Corporation

Plus Dane Housing

Warrington Borough Council

Arbuthnot Latham & Co

Work highlights

  • Advised Restore Harrow Green on the design and build of a large industrial unit in Bedford.
  • Acted on behalf of JW Lees & Co in the £1m acquisition of land for development purposes in Woodford Garden Village Green.
  • Advised CF Vending on lease of an industrial unit under construction.
  • Advised Restore on the purchase of five properties from TNT UK.
  • Represented RBS on the secured acquisition finance in relation to a hotel business.

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP acts for a range of clients across the health, social care, education and public sectors on real estate instructions. The team is experienced on a range of development, investment, management and property finance mandates. Dominic Buckley and Victoria Thourgood lead the team in Manchester.

Practice head(s):

Dominic Buckley; Victoria Thourgood

Other key lawyers:

Camille Stephenson


The team has in-depth knowledge of the complex nature of NHS and other government agencies legal requirements.

The team is diligent and shows professionalism.

Key clients

Department for Work and Pensions

Homes England

YHA (England and Wales)

Vantage Academy Trust

PH Properties


Kersh Developments


Swangate Development

Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust

East Midlands Ambulance Service

Nottingham University Hospitals

Cambridge Community Services

Work highlights

  • The team is advising the Department for Work and Pensions on the re-acquisition of the entire DWP estate.
  • Advised DCHS on the agreement for lease of a medical centre after it has been constructed by the owner and developer, Brackley Investments.  
  • Advised East Midlands Ambulance Service National Health Service Trust (EMAS) on an agreement for lease as part of the client’s strategic review of services.
  • Advied Homes England on the on-going development of a strategic site at Basford East Crewe in partnership with Muse Developments.

Davitt Jones Bould

Davitt Jones Bould is 'focused on real estate and has great experience in the field'. The team offers advice on the full remit of real estate work and is regularly involved in large estates management projects. It is frequently instructed by central and local government bodies and is increasingly advising on private sector investment mandates. Department head Madeleine Davitt works across the firm's Manchester, London, Birmingham and Taunton offices. Tony Fitzmaurice, who recently re-joined the firm from Kuit Steinart Levy LLP, is regularly instructed on large real estate projects.

Practice head(s):

Madeleine Davitt

Other key lawyers:

Tony Fitzmaurice; Philippa Hipwell; Emma Gormley; Richard Holmes; Anita Gargye; Zaheer Bashir


Tony Fitzmaurice is a very experienced operator and is very commercial too; his ability gives you total confidence in your approach to an issue.

Madelaine Davitt is extremely good at dealing effectively with any client issues.

The firm consists of experienced solicitors who provide good commercial advice in an expeditious manner.

Richard Holmes is always available and deals with matters swiftly and effectively.

Key clients

Well Pharmacy

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

Equality and Human Rights Commission

Public Health England

Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)


Westmorland Plc

Department of Health

Met Office

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)


Fieldfisher is regularly engaged on real estate transactions in the industrial, logistics, retail, hotel and leisure sectors, and the team handles a raft of commercial property work and residential development mandates. The firm also handles energy sector projects and offers property finance advice. Team head Liam Buckley has a 'fantastic reputation in the market' and handles high-profile real estate transactions.

Practice head(s):

Liam Buckley

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Dobson; Stephen Evans-Jones; Leo Rossiter; Alison Barton


‘Rapid, reliable and knowledgeable team; it makes the complex simple.’

Key clients

Aura Finance

Co-operative Group

Deutsche Asset Management


McGoff Group

Seddon Developments

Standard Chartered Bank

Stobart Group/London Southend Airport Company

West One Loan

Work highlights

  • Represented Co-operative Group Food  on the development and lease of a 600,000 square feet strategic logistics hub at Biggleswade.    
  • Advised RREEF Spezial Invest on the sale of the Lateral office building in Leeds for £24m.  
  • Represented on the acquisition of a new headquarters in a new development by Allied London at St. John’s/Enterprise City, Manchester.    
  • Advised Vision Investments One Limited on the acquisition and development of Manchester Hall.  
  • Advised EPF (a Deutsche AM fund) on the investment sale of Norfolk House, in Central Manchester.  

Knights plc

Knights plc confirmed its Manchester presence with its acquisition of Turner Parkinson LLP in 2018.  The team handles a range of asset management work and is regularly engaged on commercial and residential development projects. Property finance mandates are also a key area of expertise.

Slater Heelis

Slater Heelis LLP is regularly instructed on residential development matters and acts for a number of national developer clients; recently promoted partner Nicola Deutsch heads the residential property development team. The team also advises on real estate developments in the leisure sector and handles a range of retail sector real estate work. The team has a burgeoning real estate finance practice. Will Henson leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Will Henson

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Deutsch; Anne Irwin; Simon Maddox


‘The team is very knowledgeable and helpful, and is always willing to give advice when difficult matters arise.’


Weightmans LLP

Weightmans LLP handles a range of development and investment transactions and is noted for its experience in regeneration mandates. The team acts for a raft of public sector clients but also advises a number of private sector clients. Karl Jackson is the head of built environment; he specialises in city centre regeneration work and is also experienced in development mandates. Andrea Steventon is also a key figure. Steven Silver has joined Squire Patton Boggs.

Practice head(s):

Karl Jackson

Other key lawyers:

Andrea Steventon

Key clients

Oak Tyres

Barratt BDW

Cheshire Green Employment Park


Pets at Home


Thomas Jones & Sons (Liverpool)

Work highlights

  • Advised Cheshire Green Employment Park on the development of a large business park that is currently under construction.  
  • Advised Barratts on the purchase of Pewterspear Green, which was brought to the market by Homes England who required the development to be built pursuant to the Government’s Accelerated Construction Initiative.
  • Advised Bruntwood on the surrender and new leases of Investec at the Plaza, Liverpool.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP is instructed by public and private sector clients across a range of residential and commercial property development matters. Ian Tempest heads the team and Stephen Lewis specialises in investment and transactional work for funds, property companies and high-net-worth individuals. Lewis also heads the real estate finance team, specialising in high-value development bridging finance.

Practice head(s):

Ian Tempest

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Lewis

Key clients

Nottinghamshire County Council

Derby City Council

Ingleby (1245) Limited

Evenbrook group of companies

Poundstretcher Limited

Barratt Developments


Wigan Council

De Trafford Estates

Clogau Gold

Vabeld UK

Work highlights

  • Advised Wigan Borough Council on the acquisition of a shopping centre in Wigan Town Centre.  
  • Advised Vabeld UK on the negotiated agreement for lease with H&M to take the former BHS-occupied premises in Liverpool.  
  • Advised Wigan Borough Council on its strategic partnership with Wigan Warriors Rugby League Club to relocate the headquarters and training facility to the council-owned Robin Park Arena.
  • Advised Evenbrook Group on a rationalisation of its portfolio, which involved the disposal of 145 PRS properties.
  • Advised China Town Developments on the sale of the proposed China Town Development in Liverpool.

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell handles a range of real estate development and investment transactional work, and is also instructed on real estate occupier work. The team works closely with the banking team to provide real estate finance advice. Department head Roy Beckett  has a 'strong reputation'.

Practice head(s):

Roy Beckett

Other key lawyers:

Paula Hanlon


‘A solid all-round team that works well with banking and construction functions.’

Roy Beckett  is very knowledgeable.

Key clients

Bruntwood Estates

Goals Soccer Centres

Northpoint Developments

General Medical Council


Bridgewater Road Holdings

National Grid

Work highlights

  • Advised Gazprom on its Manchester headquarters relocation.
  • Advised Bridgewater Road Holdings on the sale of prospective development site.
  • Advised Select Property Group on the provision of a syndicated structured finance facility for a £60m gross development value student accommodation development.
  • Advised National Grid on a national network portfolio transfer of 4,500 properties.
  • Represented Bridgewater Road Holdings in value engineering property for development disposal.


Kennedys is active across the retail and logistics sectors and is particularly experienced in development mandates. Real estate finance is also a key area of expertise, as is landlord and tenant work. The arrival of senior associate Angela Bhaseen, who joined from Taylors LLP  in 2018, has led to several new client wins. Bhaseen heads the team with Reuben Berg.

Practice head(s):

Reuben Berg; Angela Bhaseen


‘The real estate team understands the issues, address them promptly without fuss, and gets the deal done within the allotted timescale.’

‘Angela Bhaseen anticipates problems and identifies solutions before they arise and gets the deal done quickly.’

Key clients

Midia Group

Scarborough Group

Project Management & Building Consultancy Limited (PMP)

Gladman Developments

MPH Ancoats

Bolton Borough Council

Together Commercial Finance

Fitzwilliam Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised Bolton Borough Council and an international development company on the acquisition of part of Crompton Shopping Centre, Bolton for £14.8m.
  • Represented Together Commercial Finance on its £4m refinance of a hotel.
  • Advised Centric House on the acquisition of property and on the subsequent leases of individual plots.
  • Advised Lower Hillgate (2018) on the purchase of a site in Stockport for residential development.
  • Represented MPH Ancoats as the developer in the acquisition of a site and on the disposal of residential apartments.

Nexus Solicitors Limited

Nexus Solicitors Limited stands out for its retail and food sector focus and the team is regularly engaged on a range of landlord and tenant work, as well as development projects. Des O’Driscoll heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Des O’Driscoll

Key clients

Swinton Group

Ashtead Plant Hire

Sayers The Bakers

Work highlights

  • The team acted on the acquisition and transfers of 316 Subway stores.
  • Advised on the acquisition of an industrial park in the Midlands on behalf of a Singaporean investor client.

Pannone Corporate LLP

Pannone Corporate LLP is experienced in property matters across the retail, leisure, logistics, industrial and student accommodation sectors. The team is instructed on a number of residential and commercial development matters and also handles commercial investment and financing work. The team also offers residential conveyancing advice and is instructed by a number of high-net-worth individuals. James Wynne heads the team.

Practice head(s):

James Wynne

Other key lawyers:

Garry King; Gareth Birch

Key clients

Mersten Holdings

Alternative Futures Group

Revolution Bars Group

Junkyard Golf Club

Oliver James Associates

Manchester Central Convention Centre

Bunny Jacksons Juke Joints

Stockport Homes Limited

Cartwheel Lettings (Middleton)

GTV (Crowley)

G2V Recruitment

Work highlights

  • Advised Revolution Bars Group on a pre-let agreement and lease in relation to the redeveloped Albion House in Woking.
  • Advised Junkyard Golf Club on the pre-let agreement and lease for Junkyard Golf’s largest venue, which is situated at The Light, Leeds, a mixed leisure and retail development site.
  • Advised Alternative Futures Group on a pre-let agreement for a redevelopment of care units at Besford House, Liverpool.
  • The team has advised Mersten Holdings on several acquisition and development instructions.  
  • Advised Cartwheel Lettings (Middleton) on the acquisition of the ‘Little Germany’ Bradford portfolio, which involved the purchase of three residential (part-let) blocks.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP regularly acts for housing associations on residential development schemes and on commercial portfolio asset management. The team was bolstered in 2018 with the arrival of Chris Parkinson from Brabners LLP and is increasingly acting for private sector developer clients as a result. Matthew Holbrook, who specialises in landlord and tenant and asset management matters, and Suzanne Benson , who heads the housing and regeneration team and specialises in major projects and the development of homeownership products, head the team.

Practice head(s):

Suzanne Benson; Matthew Holbrook

Other key lawyers:

Chris Parkinson; Amanda Stubbs


‘Firm ethos is geared to delivering service.’

‘Matthew Holbrook and his team are quick, responsive, user-friendly and adopt a commercial attitude.’

Key clients

Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council

Wolverhampton City Council

St Helens Council

Whitefriars Housing Group

Cambian Group

Orbit Group

Ainscough Strategic Land


South Liverpool Homes

Swanton Care and Community

Homes England

Countryside PLC

Rowlinson Construction

Heylo Housing

Work highlights

  • Advised Ainscough Strategic Land on the land promotion and sale of sites most recently in Bishop Auckland (Durham) and Poynton (Cheshire).
  • Advised Homes England on a public-private collaboration agreement between it and Taylor Wimpey on the 1,500-unit residential development at Pickerings Farm in Lower Penwortham, Preston.
  • Acted for Rowlinson Constructions on its development at the former Stagecoach Bus Depot site in Moss Side, Manchester.
  • Acted for Homes England on the £22m acquisition of the Fence Avenue site at Kings School, which included a bespoke lease back arrangement to allow the school to continue occupying the site on a flexible basis.
  • Advised Swanton Care and Community on the expansion of its care home business, through a combination of corporate share acquisitions and property purchases. The team is currently instructed on four separate acquisitions for a combined value of £20m.