Planning and environment in North West

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Praised for being ‘thoroughly on the ball’, the practice at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP stands out for its deep bench of experienced practitioners, offering expertise in a range of specialisms. Richard Lloyd, who leads the planning team, supports clients with major regeneration schemes. Michelle Moss, an expert in compulsory purchase issues, is involved in major infrastructure projects, as is senior associate Fiona Barker-Hall. The 'fantasticJane Southworth heads the environment team, which handles non-contentious matters, particularly in the areas of chemicals, product stewardship and waste, as well as contentious matters, covering both prosecution and defence work. Principal associate Catherine Manning also plays a key role in the environment practice.

Practice head(s):

Jane Southworth; Richard Lloyd

Other key lawyers:

Michelle Moss; Fiona Barker-Hall; Catherine Manning; Sarah Wood


‘Thoroughly on the ball. Reliable, precise and very knowledgeable. When you place a matter with them you know it is in good hands and you know things are going to get done, and done well.’

‘Michelle Moss is excellent. Efficient, meticulous and dependable. She progresses matters with proficiency, care and skill. You always know what’s happening and you know that nothing is going to get missed.’

‘Great compulsory purchase order and planning team offering pragmatic advice and the ability to take things off your desk and run with it.’

‘Michelle Moss, Fiona Barker-Hall and Sarah Wood are all exceptional individuals who stand out because they understand their client and work well with various stakeholders.’

‘Jane Southworth is fantastic. She was recommended to me for environmental and chemicals matters and I can see why. She’s very personable and her legal knowledge and practical experience is second to none; she is the kind of specialist that everybody needs.’

‘Provide a balanced view, considering the sometimes different requirements of complex, interlinked regulations and will advise us of the potential options available to us and any associated risks.’

‘Jane Southworth has taken the time to build relationships with us and get to know us as individuals as well as our business. She explains complex issues in simple and easy-to-understand terms, and is extremely pragmatic, but at the same time provides valuable advice enabling us to take steps to protect our business. She understands and works to our timescales.’

‘Excellent legal support received from Eversheds’ environment practice.’

Key clients


Sims Group UK Limited

Severn Trent Water

Legal and General

Segro Plc

Thames Water Utilities Limited

High Speed Two Limited

English Cities Fund (a joint venture between Muse Developments, Legal & General, and Homes England)

Thurrock Council

The London Borough of Barnet

National Grid

Highways England


The Peel Group


Mentor Mon Morlais Limited


Mace Developments

Capital & Regional plc

Homes England

Work highlights

  • Advising HS2 on compulsory acquisition strategy and compulsory purchase order (CPO) compensation matters arising from the High Speed Rail (London –West Midlands) Act 2017 to deliver Phase One of HS2.
  • Advising Hammerson on the planning and future delivery of the major regeneration of Martineau Galleries, a large site in Birmingham city centre next to the proposed HS2 station site.
  • Instructed by Peel L&P to advise on the planning appeal public inquiry relating to its proposed B8 logistics scheme at Haydock Point, St Helens.

Pinsent Masons LLP

The team at Pinsent Masons LLP retains an eminent position in the market, and is regularly involved in complex planning and environmental mandates of national importance. Renowned practitioner Mike Pocock heads the planning practice; he acts on significant development and infrastructure schemes, advises local authorities and leads the firm's planning advice to Homes England. The environment practice is headed by Claire Gregory; ‘an outstanding lawyer and expert in her field’, she handles a wide range of contentious and non-contentious issues. While planning associate Melanie Grimshaw left for Mills & Reeve LLP in May 2020, associate Elizabeth Nuttall continues to contribute her considerable expertise in contentious planning matters.

Practice head(s):

Richard Griffiths; Mike Pocock; Claire Gregory

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Nuttall


‘Michael Pocock has been flexible in meeting the Covid challenges and responded at short notice. He has facilitated the development of precise, robust and quick positions, helping our client deliver their projects. 2020 has been a challenging year and Pinsents were more than up for the challenge.’

‘Claire Gregory is incredibly user friendly; her ability to engage with our operational teams in order to find a practical solution to regulatory issues is excellent. The nature of her role means that her clients often require urgent advice – in our experience she delivers.’

‘The specialist environmental team in Manchester are highly responsive, unquestioningly available, deliver their advice in an understandable manner, and are extremely approachable and down to earth. They always make the client feel at ease, and are friendly and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Claire Gregory is an outstanding lawyer and expert in her field. She has a work ethic that few could match and inspires absolute confidence. Claire is highly approachable, humble, has excellent technical understanding and always delivers. I would always want Claire Gregory in my corner. ’

‘Hands on, personable, practical legal advice.’

‘Mike Pocock is excellent. He works as part of a wider delivery team to a mutual client, providing constructive and objective legal planning advice.’

‘The team is a go-to for planning-related litigation, with depth of experience and reliability.’

Key clients

United Utilities

Northern Trust Company Limited

LaSalle Investment Limited

University of Sheffield

Land and Lakes Limited

Befesa Salt Slags Ltd

Stockport Council

The Casey Group

Sellafield Ltd

Yorkshire Water

Miller Homes Ltd

Kier Construction

Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure Ltd

Tata Steel

St Modwen

Work highlights

  • Advising United Utilities on securing confirmation of one of the UK’s first compulsory purchase orders pursuant to the Water Industry Act 1991.
  • Advising Harworth Estates Limited on a public inquiry into a planning application for a proposed logistics scheme at Wingates, Bolton.
  • Advised contractor companies Kier Construction, Balfour Beatty, Morgan Sindall and BAM Nuttall in relation to Environment Agency or local authority investigations into alleged breaches of environmental offences.

Addleshaw Goddard

Michelle Headrige helms Addleshaw Goddard's diverse environment and sustainability practice, which stands out for its strengths in the water sector and in advising corporate clients on environmental liabilities in M&A transactions. The team also increasingly offers sustainability advice. Legal director Joanne Holbrook contributes experience in energy and utilities work.  Emily Williams leads the 'hugely experienced' planning practice, with particular expertise in planning litigation, and acts for a wide variety of clients including developers and infrastructure providers. The Manchester team secured a major boost in summer 2021 with the hire of Stuart Wardlaw from Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP, where he led the regulatory and environment practice from Newcastle.

Practice head(s):

Emily Williams; Michelle Headrige

Other key lawyers:

Joanne Holbrook; Stuart Wardlaw


‘The team have shown great flexibility in reacting to all situations. They have an excellent cross-subject knowledge base with the necessary detail where required.’

‘The team in Manchester is hugely experienced in dealing with controversial and adversarial planning work. It is a well-oiled and efficient machine.’

‘Great ability to position themselves to represent the client’s best interests, with a wide appreciation and understanding of industry best practice and emerging cases.’

‘Michelle Headrige has a wide knowledge of environmental legislation. She has also over the years developed a detailed understanding of our business and the way it operates, and responds with this in mind.’

‘Emily Williams is a hugely experienced lawyer with a national reputation for dealing with planning litigation. She’s a team player with an eye for the fine detail and a calming influence when the pressure is on.’

‘Joanne Holbrook has an amazing ability to absorb volumes of information and identify the key issues and advise accordingly. She is focused on achieving the best outcomes for her clients, and determined to overcome challenges and obstacles. Great to work with.’

Key clients

Southern Water Services Limited

Water Resources South East

Anglian Water Group

South East Water Limited

Threadneedle Investments

Aberdeen Standard

British Land

BP Oil UK Limited

Samworth Bros.

National Grid

Diageo PLC


Gladman Developments Limited

University of Chester

Nationwide Building Society

Admiral Taverns Limited

Dandara Limited

Miller Developments Limited

Pochin Goodman (Northern Gateway) Limited

Hollins Strategic Land

Rosconn Strategic Land

ColeWaterhouse /Priestley Family

Oakmere Homes Limited

The Strategic Land Group

MGH Card

Morning Foods

Gladstone Road Exeter Limited

Bruntwood Group of Companies

Telereal Trillium

Satnam Developments

Sherlock Street Birmingham

Watkin Jones Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Omega Warrington Limited (Miller Developments Limited) on the call-in by the Secretary of State of a hybrid application for over 2m sq ft of industrial and warehousing development in the green belt on the border of St Helens and Warrington, including the negotiation of a section 106 agreement and appearance at an inquiry.
  • Acting for Hollins Strategic Land in respect of a challenge under section 288 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to the decision of an inspector relating to proposals for 81 dwellings on land in Bedfordshire.
  • Collaborated with HR Wallingford, Adams Hendry, DecisionLab and PJM Economics on the UKWIR’s “Deriving a Best Value Water Resources Management Plan” research project.

Clyde & Co LLP

With particular strengths in environmental criminal matters, the ‘tactically astute‘ team at Clyde & Co LLP assists clients in the composting, utilities, energy and manufacturing sectors. Former environmental agency prosecutor Rod Hunt draws on 20 years of experience in the environmental arena, making him invaluable to blue-chip clients. Chris Morrison leads the firm's health, safety and environmental regulatory practice; he has significant environmental litigation experience, whilst Jason Bleasdale’s expertise includes contaminated land, waste, hazardous substances and environmental issues related to the insurance sector.

Practice head(s):

Rod Hunt; Chris Morrison

Other key lawyers:

Jason Bleasdale; Roger Cartwright; Stephanie Lunt


‘A hugely acute and tactically astute team of lawyers in the environmental field. This is a complex and tricky area both legally and practically – and the Clyde team are, to use the vernacular, all over it. Their client care seems to me to be second to none in this field.’

‘Rod Hunt is completely on top of his cases. He is never fazed. This is an area of law where even seasoned practitioners can sometimes stumble through the thicket of legislation, but Rod never does. Very impressive indeed.’

‘Outstanding individuals with an exceptional eye for detail and commercial acumen. Together, they work brilliantly as a team and are extremely responsive. I have been extremely impressed with their approach to novel and emerging environmental issues and their desire to be able to keep their clients up to date.’

‘Rod Hunt is extremely alert to issues that are likely to affect clients and provides exceptional advice. Chris Morrison is commercially savvy and excellent tactically, and unafraid to give the right advice. Stephanie Lunt is brilliant, dedicated and always has the necessary detail at her fingertips.’

‘The environmental law team at Clyde & Co is supremely knowledgeable, dynamic and one of the best there is.’

‘Rod Hunt is an environmental law genius. He has a complete mastery of this tricky area of law and boardrooms love his attention to detail. Corporate clients want him fighting their corner. Roger Cartwright is an exceptional young lawyer. He is not out of place in boardrooms and has a relaxed style. Nothing can ruffle his feathers, which is a superbly calm and reassuring feature for clients. Stephanie Lunt is a complete asset to the team: she is calm, focused and on top of the detail of her cases. Corporate clients love working with her.’

Shoosmiths LLP

The team at Shoosmiths LLP is described as ‘knowledgeable and skilled in advising on planning issues’; in addition to advising on major regeneration schemes across the country, it is noted for its strong residential development practice and its compulsory purchase work. ‘Superb strategic adviserKathryn Jump, who draws on 20 years of experience, leads the team together with Lisa Tye, who is described as a ‘go-to contact for section 106 agreements and related matters’. David Mathias contributes planning and compulsory purchase order (CPO) expertise to the team, while legal director Samantha Grange has experience in complex CPO objections and claims.

Practice head(s):

Kathryn Jump; Lisa Tye

Other key lawyers:

David Mathias; Samantha Grange; Aaron Hopley


‘Sam Grange is a brilliant member of the team. An incredibly committed professional, to the company, projects and the profession itself. Always willing to discuss potential issues and consider the best and most pragmatic solutions to challenges.

‘Sam Grange and David Mathias are really friendly, available and approachable.’

‘Kathryn Jump is a very focused individual. Careful but forceful when necessary.’

‘The Shoosmiths Manchester team have high-quality practitioners across partner and associate level. They were early pioneers in remote working and digital collaboration pre-pandemic. It is a strong cohesive team, which is exceptionally well led by Kathryn Jump and Lisa Tye, and they have a real strength in depth. A great firm to work with on a long-term, complex and high-value project.’

‘Kathryn Jump is a superb strategic adviser. She has played a pivotal role in leading multi-disciplinary planning and technical teams on behalf of some of the major players in North West land promotion. Brilliantly organised, with a keen eye for practical solutions, she is one of the most impressive partners in the region, and exemplifies best practice nationally. She inspires confidence in clients and in other members of the team.

‘The team is knowledgeable and skilled in advising on planning issues. They are able to respond within the timescales that are required and advice is pragmatic and given with the client’s needs in mind.’

‘I work with Lisa Tye, who is my go-to contact for section 106 agreements and related matters. Lisa is always responsive and is very approachable and always works as one of the team. Lisa is pragmatic about difficult matters such as fees and is always willing to to have challenging conversations when they arise.’

‘Aaron Hopley has successfully advised on and driven several recent section 106 agreements on my behalf. Aaron is proactive in advising on matters that arise during negotiations and will always chase progress on our behalf. Aaron also instils confidence on technical points and case law where this is necessary.’

Key clients

Allied London

Peel Holdings

London Borough of Hackney

Select Property/Vita Ventures Limited

Story Homes Limited

Ainscough Strategic Land Limited

Vastint BV

Watkin Jones

Stockport Borough Council

Bolton Council

Countryside Properties

Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames

Thurrock Council

Anwyl Land Limited

Sigma Property Capital Limited

Taylor Grange

Wirral Council

Wirral Growth Company

Cube Homes Limited

Historic England

Work highlights

  • Assisting Peel Holding with the redevelopment of Horwich Golf Club in Bolton.
  • Advising the council of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames on the £850m regeneration of the Cambridge Road Estate.
  • Advised Vastint on three separate projects in Leeds, Cardiff and London.

Weightmans LLP

The 'excellent' planning and environment team at Weightmans LLP is known for its strengths in compulsory purchase, infrastructure, development and waste sector work, as it assists both private and public sector clients. Simon Colvin leads the practice's environment team, drawing on his waste management expertise and environmental biology background. On the planning side, Lee Gordon has a wealth of experience in major infrastructure and strategic residential projects, assisting clients on complex high-value schemes. The team was further strengthened with the arrival of principal associate Elaine Field, who specialises in all aspects of planning law, from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP in January 2020.

Practice head(s):

Simon Colvin; Lee Gordon

Other key lawyers:

Elaine Field


‘Straightforward, practical advice.’

‘Weightmans are very client focused, with their eye firmly on achieving the best practical outcome for their clients. They have a group of lawyers who have great knowledge of the workings of local government – many of whom have local government experience – which gives them unrivalled expertise in achieving good results.’

‘The team is excellent, offering a real range of expertise with the ability to relate to both public and private sector clients.’

‘Lee Gordon has great ability, drive and industry, as well as being a thoroughly pleasant and decent person. He has a real eye for telling detail, as well as a firm grasp of principle and the overall direction of a case.’

Key clients

Welsh Government

Northern Power Grid

Royal Mail Group

Broad Energy

Prospect Estates

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Prosperity Developments

Peel Ports Group

Leeds City Council

York City Council

Harlow & Gilston Garden Town partner authorities


Certas Energy

Severn Trent Water

Vinci Plc and Taylor Woodrow

Mariana Waste Management Ltd

London Fire Commissioners

Bolsover District Council

S Norton & Co

Barratts/ BDW

Robinsons Brewery

Nottingham County Council

Peterborough City Council

Bolton Council

Ford Motor Company Ltd

Anglesey Aluminium Ltd/Rio Tinto

Viridor Waste Management

Chiesi Ltd



Work highlights

  • Advised Safetykleen UK Ltd in relation to an end of waste judicial review application in the High Court, which related to a decision by the Environment Agency that certain substances handled by the client should be considered waste.
  • Advising Liverpool City Region Combined Authority on the promotion of a large-scale tidal energy project, including advising on the development consent order (DCO) process.
  • Advising the Welsh government on the proposed Wylfa Nuclear Power Station DCO application.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP

The practice at Winckworth Sherwood LLP, headed by leading planning adviser Colette McCormack, assists clients with major, high-volume development and regeneration projects. The team stands out for its 'specialist planning knowledge coupled with its understanding of local government law'. McCormack, who has 20 years of experience in the field, is supported by senior associate Joanne Hannah. The team has continued to handle a steady flow of major planning instructions, as well as offering strategies to existing sites and navigating the myriad of Covid-19 related planning changes.

Practice head(s):

Colette McCormack

Other key lawyers:

Joanne Hannah; Matthew Steinbrecher


‘As planning law and policy becomes ever more complex, the Winckworth Sherwood team are always ahead of the curve in terms of new law and how it affects local planning authorities and the development industry. Importantly, they don’t just tell you what the law is – which is what some lawyers do – they tell you how to apply it and provide a solution.’

‘Colette McCormack, Jo Hannah and Matthew Steinbrecher are proactive and very solutions driven. What makes them stand out from other advisers is their specialist planning knowledge coupled with their understanding of local government law.’

‘Transparent and comprehensive approach to billing which respects clients’ revenue and sales expectations. Planning law expertise across multiple sectors which is available at short notice. Quality service and advice.’

‘Colette McCormack has been an invaluable members of our project team. She has consistently provided commercially focused advice in an efficient and effective manner, with full awareness of our business requirements.’

Key clients

Peel Land and Property (Ports) Limited

Barking Riverside Limited

Wandsworth Borough Council

St. Modwen Limited

Persimmon Homes (North West) Limited

Keystone & Partners

Peel Land & Property Group Management Limited

Clarion Housing Group (North)

Romal Capital Limited

A2 Dominion Limited

Gladman Development Limited

Work highlights

  • Continuing to advise Peel Land and Property Limited on its flagship development, Liverpool Waters, including advising on three private rental sector schemes and a new cruise line terminal.
  • Continuing to advise Wandsworth Borough Council on the delivery of the Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea regeneration project, including the iconic Battersea Power Station redevelopment, as well as advising the council on its borough-wide estate regeneration including, York Winstanley and Alton.
  • Advising Barking Riverside Development on creating a new London destination in the outer boroughs to deliver up to 10,800 homes, including affordable homes and supporting infrastructure.

Aaron & Partners LLP

Noted for its ‘ability to bring together planning and environmental expertise’, the team at Aaron & Partners LLP displays strengths in the energy sector, water law and Welsh planning law. David Harries leads the practice; he is an energy specialist, with particular expertise in renewable energy. Keith McKinney is also a key practitioner, handling planning matters, advising on environmental legislation and representing clients in investigations and prosecution by environmental regulators.

Practice head(s):

David Harries

Other key lawyers:

Keith McKinney; Richard Forrester


‘The environmental law team is second to none. They manage to bring together the best of sophisticated City practice with high-street care and attention to clients. Their reactive and attentive relationship with their clients mean that they can adapt their approach to a varied client base, dealing with industrial and agricultural businesses with equal skill.’

‘Keith McKinney is a good solicitor and excellent at the hard graft that goes into the preparation of a case for court. He is realistic in his approach to cases and firm with his clients.’

‘The ability to bring together planning and environmental expertise in such an effective way is rare but is accomplished through the experience and specialist knowledge at Aarons.’

Key clients

Cornish Lithium plc

Hillside Parks Ltd

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

Aldi Stores UK Ltd

Bryn Blaen Wind Farm Ltd

Hendy Wind Farm Ltd

North Wales Tidal Energy & Coastal Protection Ltd

Morris Homes Ltd

Meadow Foods Ltd

Tudor Griffiths Group

Lady Rona Delves Broughton

British Hydro Power Association

Work highlights

  • Continuing to advise developers on a number of wind and solar farms in Wales.
  • Advised developer Lady Rona Delves-Broughton on the public inquiry into her application for enabling development to facilitate the £35m restoration and redevelopment of the family home as an hotel, successfully securing planning permission and overturning the local authority’s refusal.
  • Acted for developer Hillside Parks Ltd in court proceedings against the Snowdonia National Park Authority, which sought to prevent the developer from exercising ‘drop-in’ planning permissions it had granted.

Brabners LLP

The practice at Brabners LLP handles a range of environmental and planning work, including matters relating to complex section 106 agreements, highway work and compulsory purchase orders, as well as assisting with due diligence on environmental issues. Sophie Stewart leads the team, drawing on a broad range of expertise, and advising a number of high-profile clients. She is supported by associate Alex Jones.

Practice head(s):

Sophie Stewart

Other key lawyers:

Alex Jones

Key clients

Halton Borough Council

Oldham Council

Peel Ports Group

Liverpool Football Club and Athletics Ground Limited

Regenda Group



Peel Land and Property

TJ Morris

McColls Retail Group PLC

Work highlights

  • Advising Liverpool Football Club and Athletics Ground Limited on the Anfield Road stand expansion project and application for permanent consent to hold concerts and other major events at Anfield stadium.
  • Advising the Peel Ports Group on a number of planning and environmental matters across its national port portfolio.
  • Advising Halton Borough Council on two compulsory purchase orders, a leisure scheme under the Town and Country Planning Act and a highways scheme, to complete the junction access for the Mersey Gateway Bridge.

Dyne Solicitors Limited

The standout environment practice at Dyne Solicitors Limited is known for its expertise in the waste and permitting areas, as well as litigation work. John Dyne heads the practice, advising recyclers, landfill operators and food manufacturing clients, in addition to assisting clients in the agricultural sector.

Practice head(s):

John Dyne

Hill Dickinson LLP

The practice at Hill Dickinson LLP is led by experienced practitioner Grant Anderson, 'a very effective litigator who displays excellent judgement’. The practice advises a client portfolio that includes various developers, occupiers and funders on a range of planning matters, including contentious issues, and environmental questions.

Practice head(s):

Grant Anderson


‘Grant Anderson is a very effective litigator, who displays excellent judgement and has a calm and measured approach to solving problems. He was quick to respond to queries.’

‘The practice has exceptional experience in planning law. They are also very well connected to QCs and barristers who are again very experienced.’

‘My main contact in the practice is Grant Anderson. He works efficiently, diligently and in a timely manner. He is always conscious of client requirements, deadlines and priorities.’

Key clients

UK Oil & Gas PLC


Muller Property Group

FI Real Estate

The Co-operative Group

Iceland Foods Limited


Lancashire Cricket Club

NHS Trusts

FP McCann Limited

Mersey Aggregates Ltd

ABR Holdings

Ibstock PLC

MLN (Land and Properties) Ltd

Opto Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Horse Hill Developments in a high-profile judicial review, defending a claim to quash the grant of planning permission for oil extraction in Surrey.
  • Advising FI Real Estate on a major residential-led mixed-use development in Croydon, comprising 31 storeys, providing up to 357 residential units and retail/commercial floor space.
  • Advising Muller Property Group on a highly contentious housing-led mixed-use scheme called in by the Secretary of State for his own determination, in which the team successfully quashed by legal challenge in the High Court two Secretary of State’s decisions refusing planning permission for the scheme and for which two public inquiries were held before planning permission was finally secured.

Irwin Mitchell

An ‘excellent, hardworking team with great commercial awareness', the practice at Irwin Mitchell covers contentious and non-contentious planning and environment matters. Led by environment and planning expert and ‘good tacticianClaire Petricca-Riding, the team has grown its client portfolio and continues to represent clients in environmental prosecution and advise on regulatory matters, as well as negotiating various section agreements for residential developer clients.

Practice head(s):

Claire Petricca-Riding

Other key lawyers:

Stuart Tym


‘Excellent, hardworking team with great commercial awareness.’

‘Claire Petricca Riding has fantastic client-facing skills and is a great communicator.’

‘The team has some big hitters, all with different strengths, which makes them a formidable firm.’

‘Claire Petricca-Riding is very client focused and a good tactician. She is good at thinking outside of the box.’

Stuart Tym is across every case he does. He really knows his stuff and doesn’t drop the ball.

Key clients

R Plevin and Sons Limited

Whitkirk Waste Solutions Limited

Alan’s Skip Hire Limited (Ash Waste Group)

Port of Heysham Limited (Peel Ports Group)

Trafford College Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for R Plevin and Sons Limited in relation to a criminal prosecution brought by the Environment Agency following one of the largest fires in South Yorkshire, after a five-year investigation.
  • Acted for Port of Heysham Limited in a dispute with Lancaster City Council after the council removed the port allocation of a piece of operational land  within the port’s ownership.
  • Advising waste management company ASH Waste Group on all environmental matters, including regulatory issues relating to its permitted sites.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Keith Davidson heads the environment side of the practice at Mills & Reeve LLP, and is known for his expertise in contaminated land, brownfield development and environmental insurance. The arrival of Melanie Grimshaw from Pinsent Masons LLP in May 2020 has introduced a solid planning practice, bolstering the firm’s infrastructure work as she contributes her experience in development planning, highways and compulsory purchase matters.

Practice head(s):

Keith Davidson; Melanie Grimshaw


‘The Mills & Reeve team are pragmatic, highly knowledgeable, personable and professional.’

‘Melanie Grimshaw is easy to work with. The team have a deep expertise in their field and Melanie is no exception. They are accessible and we value their contribution to our business.’

Key clients

The Land Trust

HIMOR (Carrington) Limited

Robertson Group

Urban&Civic plc


Marshall Group Properties




Tritax db Symmetry

University of Birmingham

Railway Pension Nominees Ltd

MyFresh Foods

University of Salford

Industrial Chemicals Limited

Work highlights

  • Providing strategic planning advice to HIMOR in relation to the redevelopment of the former Shell refinery at Carrington into a new district centre in Trafford.
  • Advising Robertson Group Limited in respect of the delivery of a proposed residential development scheme, which could ultimately deliver more than 1,500 new homes in Bartle, Preston.
  • Advised the University of Birmingham on the grant of head lease to Bruntwood for the construction of a new Health Innovation Campus/Life Sciences Park at Selly Oak, Birmingham.


The team at TLT offers ‘second to none, clear and concise’ planning advice, and is particularly active in advising local authorities and assisting on large infrastructure projects. The team also has experience with complex section 106 agreements and undertakes planning due diligence work for acquisitions and disposals. 'Superb' legal director Debbie Reynolds heads the Manchester practice; she has considerable expertise in compulsory purchase and infrastructure work. Bristol and Manchester-based practitioner Katherine Evans is the head of the planning department.

Practice head(s):

Katherine Evans; Debbie Reynolds


‘What makes the team stand out is its understanding of the legal process and the quality of its advice.’

‘Debbie Reynolds uses personality and EQ to engage honestly and openly with clients, counsel and professional teams, and in doing so provides sound advice and delivers successful results.’

‘Truly excellent firm of solicitors with a great reputation.’

‘Debbie Reynolds is superb.’

‘The advice provided was second to none, clear and concise. The team’s knowledge of the subject was great and gave our mutual client confidence and support during a stressful time.’

‘Debbie Reynolds provided a very professional service, being available when needed and able to provide clear advice and turn around the necessary documents at short notice.’

Key clients

Warrington Borough Council

Cheshire East Council

Castlefield Estates Ltd

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Oxfordshire County Council

Landmark Investments Group


Nationwide Building Society

London Borough of Camden

Mersey Heat Ltd

Oldham Council

Sherwin Rivers Ltd

Hondo Liverpool Construction Ltd

Hydes Brewery Ltd

WH Smith Retail Holdings Ltd

Work highlights

  • Providing land assembly and strategic planning advice to Warrington Borough Council on the high-profile Western Link highway scheme, a £212m piece of infrastructure that will improve the highway network and unlock development land.
  • Advised Oxfordshire County Council on land assembly, highways, strategic planning and statutory matters surrounding a series of major highway infrastructure improvements, including the access to Didcot Garden Village, which was awarded £218m of Housing Infrastructure Fund monies from the central government.
  • Advising Cheshire East Council in relation to the ambition Crewe Masterplan, which includes the Crewe Hub station to make the town HS2 ready and improve connectivity.

Squire Patton Boggs

Experienced practitioner Rob Elvin, who leads Squire Patton Boggs' environment team in the Manchester office, has particular sector expertise in the energy, chemicals, engineering and construction industries. He is supported by legal director Gary Lewis, who specialises in environment and health and safety litigation matters. The ‘very strong environment practice’ in Manchester works closely with the environment and planning teams in Birmingham and Leeds.

Practice head(s):

Rob Elvin; Richard Glover

Other key lawyers:

Gary Lewis


‘Very strong environment practice with strength in depth.’

‘Great all-round performance, expertise and very good to deal with.’

Key clients

Olin Corporation

Taylor Wimpey

McBride Plc

St Francis Group

National Oilwell Varco





Molson Coors



Eden Springs

ZF Friedrichshafen

Kobayashi Healthcare Europe Limited

Orbit Homes




Circular Resources

Vital Energi

Baker Hughes

Avery Dennison

Phibro Animal Health Corporation

Michelman Inc


Electricity North West

Hackman Capital Partners

Northern Gas Networks

SP Manweb

Western Power Distribution

Falck Renewables

Fred Olsen Renewables

Elgin Energy

Clear Channel

The Co-op

Karbon Homes

Pure Gym