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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > North West > Real estate > Planning and environment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Planning and environment
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Value Reimagined: part of the Legal Reimagined Series

Our Manchester Legal Reimagined event will focus on the value proposition for the in-house function, but with a greater focus on reimagining how teams manage both the strategic risk challenge and effective outsourcing solutions.

Legal Reimagined goes beyond the ‘talk shop’, focussing on outcome-based and solution-orientated discussion. Conversation will be led by our Advisory Group of North West based general counsel and supported by insights from KPMG partners Nick Roome, Ed Bartlett and Paul Kelly. We welcome guest contributors on risk (Annabel Reoch) and value in the supply chain (Nicola Brooks).

Be part of it: peer-to-peer experience, knowledge-sharing and insights to transform ideas into solutions and action.

12 September 2019 | One St Peters Square, Manchester

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s expertise spans complex planning and environmental matters, and the team is particularly noted for its experience in compulsory purchase and regeneration schemes, residential schemes, energy and retail sector developments are areas of expertise for the team. It was instructed by London & Continental Railways to resist a potential compulsory purchase of part of its Axis site in Birmingham for a highway improvement scheme and also advised the client on the redevelopment of the site. The team also acted for The London Borough of Barnet on compulsory purchase, planning and highways matters relating to the £4bn redevelopment of the Brent Cross shopping centre and the regeneration of Cricklewood in London; advised developer, Bluemantle Group, on the regeneration of the former Loco Works site at Horwich, Bolton; and advised new client Ørsted in connection with the implementation of two development consent orders to facilitate the delivery of the world’s largest offshore wind farm. The ‘highly recommended’ Richard Lloyd is active across planning, compulsory purchase and highways law, with particular expertise in large regeneration schemes involving compulsory purchase; and heads the compulsory purchase group. Michelle Moss regularly handles high-profile compulsory purchase mandates as does principal associate Matthew Collings. Senior associate Fiona Barker is experienced on infrastructure schemes and advises on the land assembly aspects of Development Consent Orders. Elizabeth Shepherd is ‘very experienced’ and is noted for her specialist chemicals expertise, and heads the environment team, which also features principal associate Catherine Henney and legal director Jane Southworth.

The planning team at Pinsent Masons LLP delivers ‘commercial advice’ and is regularly instructed on planning, development, energy and infrastructure matters, and the environment team handles contentious and non-contentious work across the utilities, waste, chemicals and advanced manufacturing sectors. Department head Mike Pocock is a ‘stand-out planning lawyer’ and is acting for for Land and Lakes Ltd on the development of over 600 acres on the Isle of Anglesey to deliver a site comprising of leisure facilities, residential homes and temporary accommodation for 3500 construction workers to serve the neighbouring Wylfa New Building Nuclear Power Station; is advising HIMOR (Carrington) on the redevelopment of the former Shell refinery at Carrington; is advising United Utilities on its £300m Thirlmere Pipeline Project across West Cumbria, linking Thirlmere reservoir to the rest of its regional network; and is continuing to advise the University of Sheffield on the expansion of its Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. Senior associate Melanie Grimshaw is ‘brilliant’ and associate Elizabeth Nuttall is ‘very commercial, with good attention to detail’. Legal director Claire Gregory heads the environmental team and is experienced across UK, EU and international environmental law and policy, with an emphasis on contentious environmental matters. Gregory is acting for various subsidiaries of the Casey Group on Environment Agency enforcement actions relating to its waste division.

Clyde & Co LLP’s ‘specialist’ team is ‘outstanding’ across the full range of environmental matters; and the team is regularly instructed on environmental issues in relation to corporate and property transactions, emission trading schemes, renewable energy, climate change, contaminated land, nature and habitat conservation, oil spills, rig fires and explosions, environmental crime, planning and licencing, asbestos, air pollution, environmental taxes, and waste management. Rod Hunt, who is ‘extremely knowledgeable’, and Chris Morrison, who is ‘able to mix client-care with attention to his cases’, head the department. Jason Bleasdale is experienced in environmental issues related to the insurance sector. Legal director Helen Simm, who is an ‘experienced litigator’ recently joined from Slater and Gordon, as did senior associate Anna Willetts, who has ‘a very deep knowledge of environmental regulation’.

Shoosmiths LLP’s ‘first-rate’ planning department handles a broad range of complex planning matters for public and private clients, with expertise covering all aspects of the consenting process for residential, commercial, mixed-use and renewable energy schemes, and the team is also active on highways advice and advice in relation to compulsory acquisition, compensation and urban regeneration. The team regularly advises Vastint on its UK development sites and has recently advised on strategic sites they have acquired in Leeds and Cardiff. It is also acting for Peel Holdings on a range of matters including; the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, the planning policy document which will underpin the delivery of development across the Greater Manchester area; and the complex s106 agreement for the Trafford Waters scheme. Ainscough Strategic Land instructs the team on a residential-led development scheme in Swindon and the team is also advising the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames on the £850m regeneration of the Cambridge Road Estate in Kingston.  Kathryn Jump and Lisa Tye ‘give practical and clear advice; and clients are left in no doubt as to the strengths and weaknesses of their case’. Senior associate Samantha Grange is also a key member of the team.

Weightmans LLP’s planning and environment team is active across infrastructure and energy projects, with particular expertise in compulsory purchase. The retail and waste sectors are key areas of focus and he team is also noted for its experience in contentious environmental matters. Bolton Council instructed the team on the Rivington Chase development, a regeneration project of heavily contaminated brownfield land; advised Broad Environmental Services on its waste packaging, collection, transport and export operations, and on the construction of a new energy from waste facility in Wales; and acted for landowner Anglesey Aluminium Metal on the re-development of its former Aluminium works near Holyhead. Simon Colvin, who heads the environment team and is also head of the utilities sector, specialises in UK, EU and international environmental law and policy; he is 'commercial, responsive and has a good grasp of business needs and excellent knowledge of environmental law'. Planning head Lee Gordon, who splits his time across the Manchester and Leeds offices, has experience in the promotion of major residential and infrastructure projects acting on behalf of both public and private sector clients, and is experienced in compulsory purchase orders. Planning lawyer Bob Pritchard, who also splits his time between Manchester and Leeds, joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, advises public sector clients on large and complex schemes. Consultant Ray Clarke handles planning, environment and health and safety matters; associate Julie Goulbourne defends clients subject to environmental investigations and prosecutions by the Environment Agency and other environmental regulators; and associate Gillian Hulme advises on environmental risk and liability in relation to corporate and property transactions.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP’s planning team is regularly instructed on large developments across the UK and advises on complex mixed-use and residential-led development schemes, new settlements and urban extensions, waterside schemes and energy planning. The team is experienced across compulsory purchase, environmental town and village greens, assets of community value and highway issues. It is advising developer Peel Holdings on the £5.5bn Liverpool Waters scheme; is advising the London Borough of Wandsworth on the £2bn Vauxhall Nine Elms Opportunity Area (VNEB), which includes Battersea Power Station, New Covent Garden Market, One Nine Elms, Embassy Gardens, Market Towers, and the Northern Line Extension; and is also acting for Redrow Homes on the development of Sutton New Hall Farm, Ellesmere Port. Advising Wandsworth Borough Council on the planning matters relating to its estate regeneration across the borough, which includes the first phase of the York Winstanley regeneration, is another key highlight. Department head Colette McCormack handles a range of contentious and non-contentious planning and environmental mandates and senior associate Joanne Hannah is ‘excellent’.

Aaron & Partners LLP is regularly instructed on planning and environmental matters in relation to energy and utilities schemes and retail developments as well as mineral acquisition, mineral site allocations, and waste management developments. It is regularly instructed on planning challenges and is adept at advising on Welsh planning law. The team advised Aldi Stores UK on several matters including the development of new stores in Chester and Whitchurch; advised Bryn Blaen Wind Farm on the development of six wind turbines in Powys; acted for Rhoscrowther Wind Farm on its appeal of against the decision of Pembrokeshire County Council to refuse planning permission for a five turbine wind farm at Milford Haven; and is advising Mynydd y Gwynt on its appeal against the Secretary of State’s decision to refuse consent for a 27 wind turbine wind farm. The ‘brilliant’ David Harries heads the team and is experienced in energy projects, and David Delaney is experienced in planning and compulsory purchase matters. Consultant Richard Forrester specialises in mines, minerals and waste planning matters as well as complex land, agricultural issues, and environmental licencing and regulation. Senior associate Keith McKinney is ‘exceptional’ and is experienced in  environmental crime and energy-related matters; with expertise in advising on consent for renewable energy developments.

The Manchester-based environment team at Addleshaw Goddard works closely with its Leeds office to advise on planning matters. The environment team is regularly instructed on the environmental aspects of national and international real estate, corporate and finance transactions, and also advises on compliance with regulatory regimes as well as producer responsibility, waste, and climate change issues. The retail, manufacturing, waste, real estate and energy sectors are key areas of expertise.  Legal director Michelle Headridge heads the environment team, which includes managing associate  Joanne Holbrook, who recently joined from Fieldfisher. Leeds-based Glenn Sharpe, joined the team from DWF and is an experienced planning lawyer with particular expertise in highways, energy, aviation, minerals and waste-related mandates, led advice for NATS (En Route) on its objection to two proposed wind farms in Scotland.

Brabners LLP renders planning and environmental advice to large corporate clients and the team ‘continues to expand its market share in environmental enforcement work’ and is ‘tenacious in defence of its clients accused of environmental offences’. The team is regularly instructed by large student led developers; residential developers, social housing developers and social landlords and is active on corporate and real estate transactional work, contentious planning and environmental matters. It is also noted for its experience in the marine and waste sectors. Planning and environment team head Claire Petricca-Riding is ‘thorough and has a great tactical overview of her client’s position which means that she gets the best for them, both in and out of court’. Director of planning Kevin Halewood is experienced in town planning and highways matters.

DLA Piper UK LLP handles planning, highways, compulsory purchase and other regulated consent issues relating to regeneration, infrastructure and energy projects. The team continues to advise Liverpool Football Club and Athletic Grounds on the planning and highways aspects of its plans to expand its academy facilities in Kirkby and to co-locate the first team training ground; and is advising Cheshire West and Chester Council on its town centre regeneration programme, Chester Northgate, which includes advice on site assembly by compulsory purchase orders, planning and listed building consents and highway matters. The team is advising Liverpool City Council and Sefton Borough Council on a suite of consents required to facilitate the dualling of the A565, which includes four compulsory purchase orders and a side roads order; and is advising Liverpool City Council on its City Centre Connectivity Programme. The team has also been instructed by Highways England to promote a number of new highway and highway improvement schemes as part of its RIS1 Project, which includes projects on the M62 and A1 and a new a dual carriageway road on the north side of Liverpool. Senior associate Sophie Stewart is ‘commercial; gives well-considered, strategic advice; is pro-active in managing consultants to ensure that the team effort is co-ordinated and gets to where it needs to be; and is excellent at client care’. Leeds-based Andrew Batterton heads the development and infrastructure planning teams in Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield.

Dyne Solicitors Limited is a ‘leading niche firm’ for regulatory matters and environmental law. It regularly represents numerous business owners and directors on environmental regulatory breaches, with waste management a key area of expertise. Managing director John Dyne is ‘passionate about his clients, providing excellent client care without losing objectivity; he has an excellent grasp of this area of law and is always willing to engage in legal debate to try and find the best outcome for his clients, which he is able to do with skill and great flare because of his wealth of experience in this area’. Deborah Bond is noted for contentious matters and Jonathon Bell has a ‘thorough understanding of waste management law; he is solution-focused and an excellent communicator’.

Specialist environmental outfit ELM Law is commended for its ‘depth of knowledge in environmental matters’. The firm handles a range of brownfield development projects, as well as providing advice in the environmental industries and assisting with transactional matters. The team advised Inland Homes on environmental issues in connection with a former gas works at in High Wycombe. Seven Capital is also a key client.

Gateley Plc’s planning team is regularly instructed on matters relating to retail, residential, energy, infrastructure, hotel, educational and health-related developments. The team is also experienced in minerals and town centre redevelopment schemes and is regularly instructed by housebuilder clients. National head of planning Andrew Piatt has an ‘inquiring and original mind’ and specialises in planning, highways, compulsory purchase, compensation and local government law, legal director Mark Iveson handles large scale infrastructure, residential and retail projects and is experienced compulsory purchase work and associate Susan Ehlinger has a clear, analytical and sound approach to problems and always delivers advice on time’.

Irwin Mitchell’s ‘impressive’ team is instructed on an array of contentious and non-contentious planning mandates and represented Gladman Developments an appeal against the Secretary of State’s decision to refuse its application to build 180 new homes on farmland near Coleford, and represented Hallam Land on its appeal against the Secretary of State’s decision to refuse permission for 225 homes and a 60-bed care centre in Hampshire. It also represented St Modwen Developments on its challenge against the refusal of its proposals for  510 homes at Melton Park near North Ferriby, along with a care home and other facilities. On the non-contentuous side, the team advised Eric Wright Group and its development arm, Maple Grove Developments, on the planning elements surrounding a development agreement with Lancashire County Council for a retail and leisure site at Cuerden at the end of the M65 motorway. Emily Williams  ‘delivers a quick service and always provides thoughtful, considered advice that actually reflects the client’s objectives’. National planning head Carl Dyer operates across the firm’s Manchester, Gatwick and London offices.

Squire Patton Boggs works closely with its national and international network of offices to advise on planning and environment matters. The environment team is regularly instructed on non-contentious advisory work and regulatory defence work and is noted for its experience across environmental permitting, fracking and contaminated land. Manchester managing partner Rob Elvin  leads the contentious environment team, which includes director Gary Lewis, who handles environmental and health and safety litigation, and associate Laura Clare.  The national planning team is led by Leeds-based Richard Glover.

The planning team at TLT’s ‘response times are exceptional’ and it is regularly instructed on major infrastructure and regeneration projects. The team is advising Muse Developments, as the developer partner to Warrington Borough Council, on the £108m regeneration of the Time Square area of Warrington Town Centre. Cheshire East Council and Warrington Borough Council are also clients. Associate Debbie Reynolds is ‘technically superb and delivers excellent practical and commercial advice’; she is ‘clear and strategic in her assessment, and her advice plays a pivotal role in driving partnerships forward to deliver desired outcomes’.

Value Reimagined: part of the Legal Reimagined Series

12 September | 6pm | Manchester

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