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Commercial property: Manchester in North West

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard has an experienced and highly capable bench of practitioners in the commercial property sphere. Team head Peter Kershaw is active both regionally and nationally across a wide range of sectors, with significant experience of strategic real estate transactions. Lucy Butterworth, who was promoted to partner in May 2019; she is active in the life sciences and student accommodation sectors. Legal directors Michael Corbett and Emma Tonge both have a strong breadth of experience and manage major client relationships with national retailers and local authorities. Anita Weightman is another key member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Peter Kershaw

Key clients

Access to Music

AIMS Investments

Allied London

Armstrong Works Limited

British Land

Bruntwood Group of Companies

Canal & River Trust

Carsnip Ltd

ColeWaterhouse /Priestley Family

Co-operative Group of Companies

Corestates Limited

Daventry Rail Port Limited

Deloitte & Touch LLP

Element Six (Production) Limited


Fascia Graphics Limited

Gladman Developments

Gladstone Road Exeter Limited

Hallam Land


Hollins Strategic Land

Huron Properties

Hurstwood Properties

Icon Group International Limited

J Sainsbury Group of Companies

Just Communicate Limited

LG Park HT8 Limited

MGH Card


Muse Developments

National Grid

Work highlights

  • Acting for HERMES, the team forward sold 7 & 8 Wellington Place, Leeds to L&G.
  • Advising on the sale and break-up strategy in relation to the Wyevale Garden Centres business, instigated by its shareholder Terra Firma.
  • Advised on its £292.5m funding of MediaCityUK (major regional hub and home of the BBC, ITV, Dock10 and Ericsson) from Helaba; Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited, London Branch; and Sumitomo Banking Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe Limited.


CMS has cultivated a growing team of experienced real estate practitioners in Manchester, and is involved in many of the city's largest real estate transactions. The firm is a member of the panel for Manchester Airport Group, evidencing its participation in the city's ongoing transformation. Mark Haywood leads the team across Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield, while also leading on major regeneration projects as well as on PRS schemes for residential development. Peter Winnard is known for his expertise in development funding and urban regeneration. Tanya Francis, who was promoted to partner in May 2019, has a track record of work on investment transactions.

Practice head(s):

Mark Haywood


‘The team provide an excellent service on complex projects.’


Key clients

Ask Real Estate Limited

Mayfield Development Partnership


Manchester Airport Group

Genr8 Developments

Far East Consortium

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Places for People Leisure Management Limited



English Cities Fund

Muse Developments


Sigma Capital

Assura PLC

Cromwell Property Group

Tritax Symmetry

New River REIT

London and Continental Railway

Work highlights

  • Advising Vita Group on the sale of eight student accommodation developments comprising nearly 3,200 beds to German finance house DWS for around £600m.
  • Advising two Canadian pension funds on their £750m initial investment into Cherry Park, Stratford, one of London’s largest single site PRS projects.
  • Advising on the funding, development and investment sales of 1500 residential unit Deansgate Square, Manchester development, valued at around £750m.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's commercial property practice is active across a wide range of sectors with team head Nancy Brown prominent in financial services, healthcare and retail, handling the full spectrum of corporate real estate matters. Phillip Tunney represents industrial clients in relation to their property work, while Michael Buchanan is another key practitioner, and is noted for his experience in the structuring and delivery of annuity lease development transactions. Legal director Joanna Sowerby has a track record of work on regeneration and development projects.

Practice head(s):

Nancy Brown

Key clients

Muse Developments Limited/English City Funds

Manchester Airport Group/Airport City Partnership

Kier Property Developments Limited

Evans Property Group

Taylor Wimpey UK Limited

The Co-operative Bank Plc

European Tyre Enterprise Limited/Kwik Fit

Homes England

Toni & Guy

Lancaster (Jardine Motor Group)


University of Manchester


Morris Homes

Work highlights

  • Acting for Airport City Limited Partnership on Airport City, in respect of office and hotel developments.
  • Advised English Cities Fund on the £650m regeneration of ‘Salford Central’ for over a decade.
  • Continue to advise Muse Developments, including acting on the £145m development of Stockport Exchange.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP has continued to rebuild its presence in the Manchester commercial property market, with a 29% growth in revenues over the last 12 months. The firm has a breadth of expertise, covering high-profile residential work, student schemes and regeneration matters, as well as a mines, minerals and energy practice. Jonathan Brocklehurst, who heads up the team, is known for his development and investment work, including regeneration projects. Supporting him is Helen Robinson, who also has expertise on regeneration matters. Matthew Rowlands is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Brocklehurst


‘Pinsent Mason offer a strong service in logistics and industrial development. They have taken the initiative to service the sector with a service line and therefore understand the needs of the client and the respective parties in the transaction.’

‘The team has an excellent technical knowledge combined with commercial awareness which enables it to tailor its advice to meet our needs.’

Ann-Marie Salmacis is very commercial and expedient but does not put anyone or the transaction at risk. Always available.’

Key clients

St Modwen Properties Plc

Harworth Estates

Bricks Capital

Balfour Beatty

Tritax Symmetry

The Ability Group


Merseyside Pension Fund

United Utilities

North Star

Morgan Sindall Investments

Hines UK Limited

Homes England

Rochdale Boroughwide Housing Limited

iQ Student

BoKlok Housing

Manchester City Council

Transport for Greater Manchester

University of Chester

Work highlights

  • Advising Bricks Capital Limited in connection with their c.860 bed student development scheme split across two phases involving property, planning and funding elements.
  • Advised on the investment sale of Kirkby Town Centre and development funding agreement with Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council for the redevelopment of a retail park.
  • Advising on all aspects of the procurement of a master-developer partner – Urban & Civic, for a complex joint venture to deliver the 3,500 home new garden village at Manydown in Basingstoke.

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP stands out for high-profile development work, both regionally and nationally, acting for major developer clients. The practice is led by Andrew Pattinson, who represents landowners and occupiers, with a specialism in purpose-built student accommodation. Daniel Hargreaves advises on a range of development projects for both private and public sector clients; Daniel Monaghan has experience of acting for both developers and investors on a wide range of transactions, while Lisa On-Iam has a track record of work on PRS residential development matters.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Pattinson

Key clients

Allied London

Estee Lauder Cosmetics Limited

Peel Land and Property

Euro Car Parks

Lend Lease Residential

Muse Developments

Marston’s plc

Select Property Group

Countryside Properties Plc

Footasylum Plc

Derwent Holdings

Svenska Handelsbanken AB

Ted Baker Plc

Hollins Murray Group

Parlison Properties

PDI (Holdings) Limited

Bericote Properties Limited


Crown Golf Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Allied London on the letting and disposal of a number of key elements of the £1.25bn development at Enterprise City.
  • Acting for Nikal Limited in relation to the £300m leisure-development on a 17-acre site on Blackpool’s Golden Mile, adjacent to Blackpool Tower.
  • Acting for Renaker on the forward sale of Salford’s tallest building, 100 Greengate to Europa Capital.

Brabners LLP

Brabners LLP's practice is organised into several specialist teams, which support the core real estate offering in advising lenders, developers and pension fund investors on complex matters. In January 2020, Roy Barry and his team joined the firm from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, bringing 'legal acumen, pragmatism, commercialism and tenacity', especially in the logistics and aviation sectors in relation to regeneration and infrastructure projects. Krista Powell, who rejoined the firm in late 2018, has built up many years of experience advising owner-occupiers, developers and investors.

Other key lawyers:

Roy Barry; Krista Powell


‘Brabners are able to provide leading-edge real estate development advice at a sensible price, committing senior, experienced, resource throughout. They are willing to share in the risk/reward associated with complex projects and benefit from significant repeat business.’

‘Roy Barry and his team have worked on some of the biggest and most complicated development deals of recent times. Their legal acumen, pragmatism, commercialism and tenacity are second to none; wrapped up in an approachable and affable manner which makes working with them an enjoyable experience.’

Key clients

Manchester Airport/The Airport City Limited Partnership


Coutts & Co

Hillcrest Homes

CorpAcq Group

J W Lees & Co (Brewers) Limited

Easy Access Self Storage


Arbuthnot Latham & Co

Brown Shipley & Co Limited


Harrison Hunt

Begbies Traynor

Work highlights

  • Advising Kids Planet Day Nurseries Limited on the £40m refinancing of a number of sites within the wider portfolio of circa 40 plus of fully operational facilities.
  • Advising K Dock Developments Limited on the joint venture structure and subsequent acquisition of a key strategic site on the historic waterfront of Liverpool.
  • Advising both Gamecock Limited and Jumani Holdings Limited on the disposal of a central Manchester site for the delivery of a new £35m purpose built student accommodation facility.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP assists commercial developers, owner-occupiers, contractors, and institutional funders with their commercial property needs. The practice's work includes asset management as well as property finance. Alison Key leads the team, working alongside Adrian Wallbank.

Practice head(s):

Alison Key

Other key lawyers:

Adrian Wallbank


‘Commercial, pragmatic legal advice delivered in a responsive manner.’

DLA Piper

DLA Piper's North West real estate practice is now led by Alison Mills, with Mark Beardwood  stepping into the role of regional office managing partner. Mills acts for key investment clients, while Beardwood continues to lead on major real estate investment matters in the region, advising a range of both regional and national clients. Robert Arnison specialises in development work, while Tom Kelsall is another key figure within the team, acting on cross-border transactions while also maintaining a well-established development and investment practice. Legal director Tim Williams joined the firm in August 2019 from Horizon Nuclear Power.

Practice head(s):

Alison Mills


‘Accessible advice, both legally and commercially astute.’

‘Tom Kelsall is hardworking, very accessible and provides thorough legal advice, but is also commercial at the same time.’

Key clients

Transport for Greater Manchester

Barings Real Estate Advisers

Greater Manchester Pension Fund

Capital & Centric

Balfour Beatty Investments

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

CBRE Global Investors

FI: Real Estate

Beaufort Capital

Maslow Capital

Soller Real Estate

Aecom Limited

Elite Partners Capital

Portswigger Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Elite Partners Capital, the Singaporean investment fund, on the acquisition of a cross border portfolio of 19 x Government let offices for £65m.
  • Advising Capital & Centric on their Joint Venture agreement with Kamani Commercial Property to acquire and develop a mixed use scheme on a prominent site in the Northern Quarter, Manchester.
  • Advised Barings Real Estate Advisers on all aspects of the 180,000 sq ft office building, Landmark St Peter’s Square, in Manchester city centre including the development pre-letting to Jones Lang LaSalle.


DWF has a broad client base comprising occupiers, developers, local authorities and funders. From 'paralegals up to partners' the team is 'committed to providing the right advice' on matters such as development projects and portfolio management. Anita Gupta leads the team and has experience on complex development transactions. Paul Inman's expertise helped to gain the firm a three-year panel appointment with Costa and Premier Inn for all their real estate work. David Frankland is also noted for representing developers, occupiers and investors. Naveen Gupta and Catherine Haslam are likewise recommended.

Practice head(s):

Anita Gupta


‘DWF at their core from paralegals up to their partners are committed to providing the right real estate advice to allow us to make to correct decisions in any transaction. They have a diverse group of people that can be contacted at any point and provide continued advice that can be trusted and is in the best interests of our business.’

‘Everyone I have personally worked with at DWF I cannot fault; however, Rachel Lawler is an exceptional solicitor who always provides timely detailed advice and will continuously go over and above to provide assistance in commercial real estate matters. She is very hard working, committed and driven to ensure where possible the correct decision is made to protect the business in the short and long term.’

Key clients

Premier Inn/Whitbread Plc


EE Limited

The adidas Group

BT Plc

Greene King

Speedy Hire Plc

Peel Holdings

Wirral Borough Council.

Blackpool Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Costa as its exclusive supplier of real estate services in the UK.
  • Advised Wakefield Council  in relation to a deal with City and Provincial Properties for the delivery of a multi-million pound mixed used scheme to be branded Tileyard North, including creative industries space/ music studios, boutique hotel, offices and a food market.

Gateley Plc

The team at Gateley Plc has a broad range of industry expertise, covering real estate finance, residential development and commercial development. Department head Darren Hughes advises banks and funds on the real estate elements of commercial and residential developments. Rod Waldie is active on mixed use development and estate management work, while Gareth Atkinson provides 'solid advice' on estate matters.

Practice head(s):

Darren Hughes

Other key lawyers:

Rod Waldie; Gareth Atkinson


‘Gareth Atkinson – exceptional integrity and very solid advice across a wide range of land/estates issues over many years.’

Key clients

Fairhome Group Plc

Lidl Great Britain Limited

JD Sports Fashion Plc

Network Space Developments Limited

Barratt (Manchester) Limited

Hurstwood Holdings Limited

Harworth Estates Limited (North West)

LPC Living Limited and Group

Cityblock Limited

Rothschild & Co Wealth Management (UK) Limited

HSBC UK Bank plc

McCarthy and Stone Retirement Lifestyles Limited

Bellway Homes Limited

Bloor Homes Limited

Taylor Wimpey UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Network Space Developments Completion of letting and refinancing of new industrial development at Tunstall Stoke on Trent comprising five units.
  • Advising on the relocation of the Everton Football Club’s offices from Goodison Park to the iconic Royal Liver Building in the centre of Liverpool.
  • Advising Bloor Homes on the acquisition of a development site for the construction of circa 200 dwellings.

Hill Dickinson LLP

Hill Dickinson LLP is active across several sectors, including logistics and retail, acting for local authorities, property developers and banks. Jim Purves leads the team; he acts on property development matters in relation to logistics and industrial property, with notable clients including DHL. Former head of the Manchester property team Michael Blakey is well regarded, with decades of experience acting on commercial property issues. Senior associate Alistair Wallworth is 'quick at grasping issues and works hard in his client's interests.'

Practice head(s):

Jim Purves

Other key lawyers:

Michael Blakey; Alistair Wallworth


‘On the other side of transactions I find them to be pragmatic and easy to work with, good listeners who seek to find solutions to problems or commercial issues that work for all parties involved. They push hard to get the best outcome they can for their client and try to push things forward to get the deal done quickly.’

‘Jim Purves is an absolute gent who personifies integrity and pragmatism. He wants to get the deal done and is creative in finding solutions and adopting a commercial stance.’

‘Alistair Wallworth is a rising star and always a pleasure to deal with. He is quick at grasping issues and works hard in his client’s interests.’

Key clients


Lookers Motor Group

Lloyds Banking Group

Cynergy Bank


Co-operative Group

Peel Group

Euro Garages

EP Properties

Genus plc

Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society

M20 Property Group

Gordon Moon Properties

Williams Lea Tag

Work highlights

  • Advised global logistics operator DHL on the acquisition of several new warehouses.
  • Advised leading motor retailer Lookers Motor Group on the acquisition of a new site in Wimbledon and the disposal of two existing sites.
  • Advised Biz-Parks Ltd on the multi-million pound sale of Penketh Business Park (comprising 30 warehouses and 21 storage units).

JMW Solicitors LLP

The team at JMW Solicitors LLP is well-regarded for 'dealing with matters promptly, using the necessary people and giving meaningful advice that is actionable.' The practice is led by Warren Martin, who has a record of work assisting banks and lending institutions on property finance matters. Paul Burton offers knowledge of residential and commercial development, especially in the leisure, education and retail sectors.

Practice head(s):

Warren Martin

Other key lawyers:

Paul Burton


‘Trust is an important factor for me, and having only one principal point of contact for commercial property advice has allowed me to develop that. I know that JMW will deal with matters promptly, using the people necessary and will give meaningful advice that is actionable. In return, JMW know that I treat them as a valuable resource and rely on their expertise; they understand the nature of our business, our customers and suppliers and know if I ask for work to be undertaken it is important to us.’

Key clients

Rushcliffe Assets Limited

Investar Developments Limited

Northhold Group

Grafton Land & Property Limited

Castlemead Group Limited

Maya Property Group Limited

The Brookhouse Group of Companies

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Rushcliffe Assets Limited as the seller of a large Primary Care Centre in the North West.
  • Advising Castelmead Group on a conditional deal subject to planning for acquisition from two land owners as part of a site assembly for assisted living and a purpose built medical centre for the community with onward sale of medical centre to Assura.
  • Acting for Grafton Land and Property on a conditional acquisition and onward sale to a care home operator of a site for development of creation of a centre of excellence for nursing and dementia expertise.

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP offers 'expertise and experience', acting on a range of commercial property matters. The firm works on acquisition structures alongside investment work. Nick Nyunt leads the team, which works in a 'timely and effective manner, with no stone left unturned.' Adam Hymes leads the development offering and undertakes work on infrastructure projects. Managing partner Steve Eccleston is noted for his real estate work in relation to debt finance for borrowers.

Practice head(s):

Nick Nyunt


‘The team are good at returning calls in timely manner. They are happy to run through legal documentation in layman’s terms so we understand them correctly. They have a specialist in each field of real estate. They know how to prioritise.’

‘Kuits’ expertise and experience is unrivalled. The firm has developed a detailed understanding of our business to ensure their advice is practical and relevant to our needs.’

‘Due to the high level of service, we feel that Kuits offer excellent value for money. While other firms may offer cheaper estimates, our own experience has shown us that the depth of commercial expertise and experience offered by Kuits – and, importantly, the value this has added to our business – cannot be underestimated.’

‘Throughout our relationship, partner Nick Nyunt and the rest of the team at Kuits have ensured that all matters have proceeded in a timely and effective manner with no stone left unturned.’

‘Nick iNyunt s prompt in returning calls or e-mails normally within a couple of hours. He can move on transactions very quickly and has the expertise to deal with complex transactions.’

Key clients


David Samuel Properties


PIN Property

Property Alliance Group

Salboy Limited

Stewart Milne Homes

The Ventnor Group

Trafford Housing Trust

University of Salford

Work highlights

  • Advised the University of Salford on the sale of a high-profile and major residential development site in the city to prominent developer Salboy.
  • Provided legal and commercial advice to Property Alliance Group on the funding agreement for a £60m hotel development in Manchester.
  • Advised Persimmon Homes North West on the acquisition of a site for a major residential development at Lee Hall, Westhoughton, Bolton.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP's commercial property practice is led by the highly experienced Mike Edge, who has acted on many major development schemes in the North West; he is also responsible for managing a number of the firm's significant client relationships. Caroline Hanratty specialises in all aspects of hotel development, while principal associate Jennifer Lewis has a range of experience in real estate matters, especially in the healthcare and education sectors. Principal associate Hannah Cheminais, who joined the team from DLA Piper in early 2020, has represented both landlords and tenants on lease transactions.

Practice head(s):

Richard Hanson; Mike Edge


‘What sets them aside is their personable nature and pragmatism. They have deep subject matter expertise and are very professional, but apply that with flexibility and pragmatism.’

‘They are personable and approachable and make an effort to be so; particularly Mike Edge and Alexandra Murphy.’

Key clients


Langtree Property Partners

C. C. Projects (Church Commissioners)

Marick Capital

db Symmetry


Praxis Real Estate Investments

Fortis Developments

Stockport Borough Council

Crosslane Group

Work highlights

  • Aacted for DB Symmetry (Goole) Limited in relation to the acquisition of  land from Homes England; the forward funding of the site to LondonMetric Property and the grant of the occupational agreements to Croda Europe Limited  of a 376,150 sq feet warehouse facility.
  • Acting for Hillwood Investment Properties (a major US property company owned by the Perot family and headquartered in Dallas) on its first UK letting since Hillwood entered the UK property market in 2018.
  • Acted for the University of Salford in its collaboration with Salford City Council to select a private sector partner to bring forward the regeneration of one of the largest schemes in the north west region.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs is characterised by a 'focused team that are able to find solutions to complex problems whilst understanding the wider deal issues.' Team head Mark Barker is an expert in development work, particularly regeneration matters, with a history of representing public and private sector clients. He is recognised for 'going the extra mile to get things across the line.' Mark Gaffney, who acts on public sector funding, portfolio transactions and property joint ventures, is another key member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Mark Barker

Other key lawyers:

Mark Gaffney


‘A very positive, flexible and deal focused team that are able to find solutions to complex problems whilst understanding the wider deal issues.’

‘Very strong relationship with our key partner/relationship manager. Pragmatic and non-point scoring advisers. Building a team to help our business grow.’

‘Mark Barker is very loyal and a strong supporter for our business. Will always make himself available whenever needed and provides pragmatic and sound advice. He does not overcomplicate when not required and will go the extra mile to get things across the line.’

‘Partners are readily available and give the deals the right level of attention. Mark Barker is a friendly face with a great work ethic. Highly knowledgeable on property matters and always able to suggest commercially viable solutions.’

Key clients

Watkin Jones Group

Peel Group

Co-op Group

Muse Developments

HB Villages

Warrington Borough Council

Preston City Council

Manchester City Council

Leeds City Council

Transport for Greater Manchester

AIG Global Real Estate

Bespoke Hotels Limited

Panacea Developments

Stewart Milne Group

Taylor Wimpey

NPL Group

Create Developments

Galliford Try Investments

Fresh Property Group

Findel plc

Vital Energi

Work highlights

  • Advising Watkin Jones Group on the forward funding sale and development of a number of student and build to rent schemes for an aggregate price in excess of £220m.
  • Advising Leeds City Council in relation to its HS2 Growth Strategy, particularly involving the redevelopment of Leeds station and its integration with the new HS2 station.
  • Acting for Muse Developments on the joint venture with Wirral Borough Council to create the Wirral Growth Company, a £1bn regeneration opportunity.


TLT's team advises clients on real estate management, development and investment work, with key sector specialisms including leisure, retail as well as clean energy. Maria Connolly heads up the national real estate team from the Bristol office. Claire Hamilton joined from JMW Solicitors LLP in July 2019, bolstering the firm's commercial property expertise. She undertakes residential development and real estate finance work. John Hyde is another key member of the team, with twenty five years of experience across a wide range of matters.

Practice head(s):

Maria Connolly (Bristol)

Other key lawyers:

Claire Hamilton; John Hyde; Dan Sweeney


‘We are always treated by TLT as if we are their key client. Their attention to detail is excellent. There is always someone who can pick up a point and provide a response. Nothing is too much trouble. The working relationship is excellent and always feels we are working as a team.’

‘Their knowledge is excellent.’

Key clients

Landmark Investments Group

Aviva Public Private Finance Limited

Brown Shipley

Seneca Property

Manchester Airport Group

Warrington Borough Council

Lookers PLC

Tim Hortons

Speciality Restaurants

Barrys Bootcamp

Cynergy Bank

Royal Bank of Scotland (incl. the National Westminster Bank brand)

Hickorys Smoke House

New World Trading Company

Byron Hamburgers

Staples, Inc

EP Properties

Allied London


MCR Property Group

Work highlights

  • Undertaking all transactional estates management work for MAG in relation to its entire occupied estate across all three airports (Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands).
  • Dealing with acquisitions and disposals across entirety of Lookers’ portfolio.
  • Acting for RBS & NatWest on a number of substantial real estate finance projects across the North West, including development projects and various sectors.


BLM provide an 'efficient service' with 'excellent communication', undertaking a range of public sector development and regeneration work. Stephen Lintott and Stephen Crook jointly lead the team; Lintott advises individuals and charitable bodies while Crook represents local authorities and public bodies. Tessa Leonard specialises in regeneration and infrastructure projects.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Lintott; Stephen Crook

Other key lawyers:

Tessa Leonard


‘Very efficient service – communication is excellent.’

‘Stephen Lintott the principal partner, is a wealth of information, is always at hand to offer advise and gives the personal touch.’

Key clients

Urban Splash

Schuh Limited

86TR Limited

Realty Estates Limited/Deansgate Securities LLP

Ellis Brigham Limited

Evonik UK Holdings Limited


Developments/Dwell Properties

Redwater Group

McCaul Group Limited

GW Developments Northern Limited

The Caravan Club

University of Central Lancashire


Heatley Developments

Scarisbrick Hall School

Work highlights

  • Advising Salboy Ltd on its acquisition of the 36 acre former Castle Irwell student campus from University of Salford for a residential-led development comprising around 500 homes.
  • Representing Deansgate Securities LLP in the relation to the sale of part of the former Boddingtons Brewery Site for £21.5m to the Manchester College.
  • Advising FICM Limited on its residential-led mixed use development in Salford.

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP possesses a 'very committed and diligent team of individuals who act well on their own initiative.' The practice's strengths lie in education, public sector and development work. Dominic Buckley co-leads the team, and is known in the market for his work with major developers on residential development. Fellow co-head Victoria Thourgood helped to establish the firm's independent health and social care real estate team; her work involves both the independent sector and the public sector.


‘I have worked on a number of projects with the team – I like the fact they are cohesive and commercial, yet factor real operational problems into their dealmaking.’

‘This is a really good practice which is client focused and highly empathetic to projects and client needs. They just get the job done.’

‘Browne Jacobson work very collaboratively together and work well with external consultants within our supply chain. The practice provides a wide range of legal services which enable them to undertake all elements of transactions and support us through all stages of an acquisition through to construction.’

‘Browne Jacobson have a wide ranging skill set appropriate to all our enquiries and are helpful at every stage of process.’

‘A very committed and diligent team of individuals who act well on their own initiative and revert when instruction is required. They understand our needs as a client and what we are seeking to achieve and do not operate in the mindset of ‘deal prevention’ which many of their peers do.’

Key clients

Aspexan Limited

Department for Work and Pensions

Jayne Commercial Limited

Sandy Investment Limited

Albumedix Limited

York Archaeological Trust

YHA (England and Wales)

Homes England

DG Cities Limited

Milton Keynes Council


Option 2 Limited

Vantage Academy Trust

EJ Orr Limited

Eco Option Management Limited

Care Fertility Group

Wrightington Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust

Hesley Group

Derbyshire Community Health Service NHS Foundation Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised on the sale of Care Fertility Group to Silverfleet Capital, a pan-European private equity firm, for an undisclosed but significant sum.
  • Advised YHA on the high value acquisition (by way of a corporate wrapper) of city centre Hostels in Liverpool and Newcastle.
  • Advised DG Cities on the acquisition of new premises, the first of its kind, a centre where it could test and carry out research and development for new and innovative driverless cars.

Davitt Jones Bould

Davitt Jones Bould is a 'specialised property firm with a great depth of experience.' The team, which is headed up by founding partner Madeleine Davitt, acts on a broad range of estates management matters as well as work for government departments, demonstrating the extent of her high-profile practice. Tony Fitzmaurice has a track record of work on many significant projects, with decades of experience in the field.

Practice head(s):

Madeleine Davitt


‘A very specialised property firm with a great depth of experience. They also compare well in terms of cost with large and medium sized firms.’

‘Vast experience allows for quick, commercial advice and solutions to issues, instead of creating problems.’

‘The firm concentrates on employing and providing senior/experienced solicitors who are able to provide first class legal advice in a commercial manner.’

‘Tony Fitzmaurice is very experienced in property. He is extremely sharp, on the ball and very commercial. He understands the personalities and objectives behind a deal.’

Key clients

Highways England (Manchester)

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

Well Pharmacy

Natural England

Integral UK plc

Wolf Street Food

West Yorkshire Legal Authority

Westmorland Plc

Newcastle City Council (NEPO Framework)

Met Office

Office for National Statistics


Norsk European Wholesale Limited

Listo (Changos) Burrito Restaurants

Grainger Plc

Diocese of Shrewsbury

Bradford City Council

Valuation Office Agency

Kirklees Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Highways England (Manchester) on the legal work required to deliver major road schemes including the A1 Leeming to Barton.
  • Advised Well Pharmacy on a number of legal issues to arise out of its large estate that includes 800 stores.
  • Advising Defra on all of the issues to arise out of its £3bn estate.


Fieldfisher's practice is praised for its 'strong focus on providing excellent commercial advice across a full range of property areas.' Liam Buckley, who heads up the team, has a depth of experience and is known for his work on major development projects in Mancheste . He is supported by legal director Michael Dulhanty, known as a 'thoughtful and intellectually strong lawyer.' Alongside Buckley he manages and develops the firm's panel relationship with the Co-operative Group.

Practice head(s):

Liam Buckley

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Dobson


‘The practice has a strong focus on providing excellent commercial advice across a full range of property areas.’

‘Michael Dulhanty is a lawyer with a very strong commitment to providing exceptional personal service. He is a thoughtful and intellectually strong lawyer able to think through the issues, but always available to his clients. He also has good commercial awareness.’

Key clients

Aura Finance Limited

Co-operative Group Limited

Deutsche Asset Management

Dominvs Group

McGoff Group

Seddon Developments

Standard Chartered Bank Limited

West One Loan Limited

Vision Investments One Limited

Richer Sounds Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for on the acquisition of circa 230,000 square feet for a new headquarters office building at Manchester Goods Yard, St John’s, Manchester.
  • Acted for Downtown in connection with the site acquisition, development and plot sales for c350 apartments at Downtown Salford, of which 160 were legally completed over the course of six weeks.
  • Acting on behalf of DWS in relation to the acquisition, pre-let and forward funding of a 525,000 square foot logistics distribution warehouse to be developed in Corby, Northamptonshire.

Knights plc

Knights plc, which took over Manchester firm Turner Parkinson in 2018, handles development work, plot sales and asset management within the commercial property sphere.

Slater Heelis

The 'extremely diligent' practice at Slater Heelis handles a range of residential real estate matters and is building up its credentials on auction work. Department head Will Henson has two decades of experience in commercial property work and leads the firm's relationship with long-term client Brammer UK. Jonathan Kay, who joined the firm from Knights plc, acts for developers, property funds and ground rent specialists. Nicola Deutsch heads up the team's residential development arm.

Practice head(s):

Will Henson

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Kay


‘A very friendly firm with a broad wealth of knowledge within the practice.’

‘A very knowledgeable team with a keen eye for detail. Extremely diligent giving great confidence that no stone remains unturned and nothing is missed. A prompt and efficient service from the team.’

Key clients

Brammer UK Limited No

Towerhouse Systems Limited No

Mason Developments (Management) NW Limited

Work highlights

  • Over 25 years we have acted for Brammer in over 360 property transactions, supporting their business through “thick and thin”. Brammer are a typical Slater Heelis client, where sound advice and a commercial approach are rewarded with long term retention.
  • Acted 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. For the client, this particular acquisition was of prime importance to the growth of the company. Towerhouse have hitherto focussed on more modest schemes.
  • Acted for Mason Developments in the sale of the freehold of a block of 17 apartments and grounds. There were a number of complicating factors to resolve. These included environmental issues (the site being adjacent to a petrol station), the surrender of existing leases relating to 5 family owned flats and the acquisition of immediately adjacent land that fell outside the title (but which was utilised by the occupiers of theproperty).

Weightmans LLP

Weightmans LLP handles matters on both a regional and national basis, undertaking development and regeneration work. Andrea Steventon co-leads the team and recently acted on the disposal of a large greenfield site for phased development. Fellow co-head Karl Jackson is an expert on city centre regeneration, with experience acting for public and private sector clients.

Practice head(s):

Andrea Steventon; Karl Jackson


‘Weightmans has the benefit of offering all aspects of legal advice specialisms as a one-stop-shop. We are able to rely on Weightmans for all of our land acquisition, contract negotiations, due diligence, tax and planning advice. Furthermore, our key representatives will digest this information from colleagues and report as a single point of contact.’

‘The individuals we deal with are professional in every respect. They are pleasant to deal with and work to build a good working relationship/rapport with the other side to assist with ensuring contractual negotiations are are expedient and problem free as possible.’

Key clients

Oak Tyres


Cheshire Green Employment Park Limited


Phillip Posnett t/a Cheshire Green

Elan Homes

Thomas Jones & Sons (Liverpool) Limited

Persimmon Homes

Chiesi Ltd


Work highlights

  • Continuing to act for the developer, Cheshire Green Employment Park, in respect of the development of a 1.5m² sqft new business park within Cheshire.
  • Advising Barratts on the separate acquisitions of sites at Pewterspear Green Road, Appleton, Warrington for the development of 180 dwellings and Appleton Cross, Appleton for 370 dwellings.
  • Advised on the sale of Oriel Chambers, Liverpool – acting on behalf of Bruntwood Estates Alpha Portfolio in connection with the investment disposal of the multi-let property.

Freeths LLP

The 'commercial and pragmatic' team at Freeths LLP is led by Ian Tempest, who has experience of a wide range of work including public and private sector partnerships. Stephen Lewis is a key figure in the practice and is regarded 'exceptional' when it comes to real estate transactions. His clients include property companies, funds and high net worth individuals. Paul Bibby is also recommended, handling residential property investment matters.

Practice head(s):

Ian Tempest

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Lewis; Paul Bibby


‘They have very strong specialisms in all sectors, very commercial with a pragmatic view. They value their clients.’

‘Stephen Lewis is exceptional in real estate transactions, and will take a commercial view. I have worked with him for 15 years, following him when he moved practice. I trust his judgement 100%.’

Key clients

Wigan Council

Poundstretcher Limited

Barratt Developments plc

Vabeld UK Limited

Seven Capital plc


Nottinghamshire County Council

Derby City Council

Ingleby (1245) Limited

Evenbrook Group of Companies

Rockar Limited

De Trafford Estates Limited

Clogau Gold

Bullen Healthcare

Property Alliance Group


Hope Capital

Select Property Group

Kruger Inc


Work highlights

  • Acted for Glenbrook in negotiating the conditional acquisition of a residential development site in Media City, Manchester in conjunction with negotiating a Development Management Agreement with Latimer Developments to build out on their behalf.
  • Acted for Vabeld in the delivery of a hotel for Quest Aparthotel in Liverpool.
  • Advising Wigan Council on a scheme to secure the redevelopment of five major housing sites, forming part of a former housing estate.

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell has a 'experienced and dedicated' team which is 'unafraid to give the right advice.' It is led by Roy Beckett, who has an 'exceptional knowledge of the Manchester property market' and acts on investment transaction matters as well as corporate real estate occupier work. He has a record of work for local authorities and developer clients.  

Practice head(s):

Roy Beckett


‘Experienced, dedicated and unafraid to give the right advice.’ 

‘An unrivalled in depth knowledge of the commercial property market in Manchester and an exceptional level of attention to detail to ensure that even from the point at which heads of terms are being discussed, the client is guided to get the best terms.’

‘Honesty, dedication, perseverance and valued opinions.’

‘Roy Beckett has an exceptional knowledge of the Manchester property market and is able to provide advice on terms ensuring the client has the best available deal. He will review each lease in great detail to make sure that his client’s interests are best served. All of this is done in a positive and open manner where all options are clearly explained to the client.’

Key clients

Bruntwood Estates

Goals Soccer Centres

Swansway Group

Northpoint Developments

General Medical Council


Bridgewater Road Holdings

National Grid

Gazprom Retail

Select Property Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for Select Property Group / Vita –Project Swift on the disposal of St Albans, Leeds and Pebble Mill, Birmingham, being two of eight Vita student residences sold to DWS Group.
  • Advising National Grid on Project Piccadilly – hive across of the North West gas distribution network’s constituent assets supporting National Grid’s sale of the national distribution network to Cadent Gas Limited, involving the transfer of approximately 4,500 properties and an overall enterprise value of £13.8bn.


Kennedys' practice acts on a range of commercial property matters, covering real estate finance as well as landlord and tenant work. Angela Bhaseen, who leads the team, has a wide array of real estate experience with specific sector expertise in logistics and retail.

Practice head(s):

Angela Bhaseen

Key clients

Bolton Borough Council

Wilkinson SIPP

Roma Finance

MPH Ancoats Limited

Bolton Borough Council


Silva Timber Holdings Limited and Silver Timber Products Limited

Protective Forsikring ASA

Newly Weds Foods Inc

International Travel Group Limited

Sheffield United Football Club Limited

Wilkinson Group SIPP

Oaknorth Bank Plc

Mazars LLP (new for property)

MLM Ltd (trading as ACN Europe)

Centric House Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Newly Weds Foods Inc on real estate matters and working with the Corporate and Employment teams on the cross-border share acquisition of Jigsaw Foods Limited.
  • Advised Sheffield United Football Club Limited on the acquisition of retail premises in Meadowhall Shopping Centre.
  • Advised Protector on new leasehold acquisition of premises at 3 Hardman Street, Spinningfields, Manchester.

Nexus Solicitors Limited

Nexus Solicitors Limited's practice, which increased its turnover by 9% in the last financial year, is known for its retail expertise. Des O’Driscoll, the head of team, acts for investors and surveyors; the firm also handles landlord and tenant matters.

Practice head(s):

Des O’Driscoll; Jessica Hall

Pannone Corporate LLP

The 'very professional and personable' team at Pannone Corporate LLP works with range of clients in the leisure, retail and logistics sectors. James Wynne heads up the team, which regularly advises on commercial property joint ventures and acquisitions.

Practice head(s):

James Wynne


‘The team provides a very professional and personable approach for our SME business.’ 

‘Very good at planning the issues and helping clients to understand any problems.’

Key clients

Mersten Holdings Limited

Alternative Futures Group

Junkyard Golf Club Group

Mission Mars

Oliver James Associates Limited

Manchester Central Convention Centre

Bunny Jacksons Juke Joints Limited

Stockport Homes Limited

Cartwheel Lettings (Middleton) Limited

GTV (Crowley) Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Junkyard Golf Club on its largest venue to date at 9 Appold Street London.
  • Advised Kamani Property Group on a 50:50 Joint Venture with Capital & Centric in relation to a strategic development in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.
  • Advised Kamani Property Group on acquisition of a 13,000 sq ft former warehouse (Knott Mill).

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP acts for property companies on various commercial property matters including sales, purchases and asset management. The firm has also advised housing associations on residential development schemes. Suzanne Benson, who leads the team, has a range of expertise including work on regeneration projects.

Practice head(s):

Suzanne Benson

Other key lawyers:

Amanda Stubbs; Matthew Holbrook

Key clients

Wolverhampton City Council No

St Helens Borough Council

St Albans Council

Stevenage Borough Council

Rowlinson Construction Ltd

Cambian Group

Ainscough Strategic Land Limited

Patrick Properties Limited


Tatton Group

Homes England

Beechlane Investments Limited

Cringle Corporation

Swanton Care and Community Limited

Countryside PL

Work highlights

  • Acted for Homes England on the acquisition and amalgamation of the King’s school site in Macclesfield, which will deliver approximately 300 new homes to the area.
  • Acting for Midia Group Limited (through subsidiary company Beechlane Investments Limited) on a scheme which entails the development of the Trinity Gateway site in Bolton.
  • Advising Hermes Property Unit Trust on the sale of the listed Elliott House in Deansgate, Manchester.