Firms To Watch: Planning and environment

The arrival of Sophie Stewart from Brabners LLP in January 2022 was instrumental in giving DLA Piper a concerted planning and environment presence in Manchester; she brings her experience advising on large-scale and complex regeneration projects to the newly-formed North West offering.

Planning and environment in North West

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard‘s ‘exceptional strength in depth‘ ensures that the group is able to expertly handle the most notable contentious, including both civil and criminal cases, and advisory mandates across the UK and around the world. ‘Absolute starEmily Williams heads up the planning and infrastructure consenting side of the practice, while Michelle Headridge leads the environment and sustainability offering. The ‘fantastic team‘ recently cemented its strength even further with the recruitments of Stuart Wardlaw – former head of Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP‘s regulatory and environment practice – and legal director Julie Goulbourne – an ex-Environment Agency lawyer.

Practice head(s):

Emily Williams; Michelle Headrige

Other key lawyers:

Joanne Holbrook; Stuart Wardlaw; Julie Goulbourne


‘The service a client gets is that of efficiency and flexibility as well as being nimble when the situation requires. Overall excellence.’

‘Emily Williams is a stand out performer in this firm in respect of her planning and environmental field. She is particularly notable for her judicial review experience and her ability to assist clients as well as being an excellent facilitator to barristers and their work. She is both highly proficient and immensely hardworking. She has a no-nonsense attitude and is brilliant when under pressure. An absolute star.’

‘Emily Williams is a lynchpin of the Planning and Environment Practice of Addleshaw Goddard. She is my go-to when planning becomes litigious.’

‘They have exceptional strength in depth, always working towards the client’s requirements with interaction across their skill sets to ensure they always provide good and appropriate advice. They have always worked with a commercial attitude to get deals done whilst ensuring our needs and requirements are meet, with clear advice on legal matters and commercial decisions.’

‘Emily Williams is outstanding. She has in-depth knowledge and experience of planning related litigation. She is a superb solicitor, organising large and complex teams for planning inquiries. Easy with clients and fun to work with!’

‘Michelle Headrige and her team have provided excellent support on all environmental matters.’

‘Emily Williams is first class. She combines in depth knowledge of court procedure and process with considered tactical advice.’

‘Michelle Headrige has built up a fantastic team around her matching her skills in communication, knowledge and ability to translate complex messages into straightforward actions for a client.’

Key clients

Affinity Water

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

National Grid Group

Travelodge Hotels Limited

Diageo PLC




Tradebe Inutec

Qatar Rail

British Sugar

Next plc

Romal Capital Limited

PGL Travel Limited

British Land Ealing Limited

Kettley International Limited

Taracove Limited

Gladman Developments Limited

Aggregate Industries UK Limited

Pocket Living Limited

Terra Firma Investments Limited

Manchester Metropolitan University

Admiral Taverns Limited

Dandara Limited

Miller Developments Limited

Pochin Goodman (Northern Gateway) Limited

Hollins Strategic Land

Hollins Homes Limited

Rosconn Strategic Land

Hallam Land Management Limited

Saloria Investments Limited

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 Investments

Watkin Jones Group

Work highlights

  • Advised both Anglian Water and United Utilities on their strategic resource projects procured under Ofwat’s DPC Model – namely United Utilities’ approximately £1bn Haweswater Aqueduct Resilience Project and Anglian Water’s £300m Middlegate treatment and transfer scheme.
  • Representing Next in its planning appeal concerning a refused planning application for the development of a 57,000sqm logistics warehouse with an integrated photo studio in Waltham Abbey, Essex.
  • Representing Romal Capital in its planning appeal concerning the non-determination of a planning application for a mixed-use residential-led waterfront scheme at Liverpool Waters.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP‘s Manchester office is instructed on high-profile, complex projects across the country, offering clients expertise in planning applications, land assembly issues, Section 106 agreements and environmental regulations. The team frequently advises on large-scale regeneration projects, residential and mixed-use developments, and transportation and energy infrastructure. Practice head Richard Lloyd has deep experience in regeneration schemes, while Michelle Moss is particularly recognised for her work on compulsory acquisitions, including handling a number of reported cases involving compulsory purchase orders. Principal associates Fiona Barker-Hall and Catherine Manning also have broad practices in this space.

Practice head(s):

Richard Lloyd; Michelle Moss

Other key lawyers:

Fiona Barker-Hall; Sarah Wood; Jane Southworth; Catherine Manning


‘The team is brilliant in terms of their attention to detail, their ability to progress with cases in an efficient manner and effectively drive cases. The teams strength is the Partner’s who lead the team, who are always contactable, friendly, helpful and honest. The individuals who deal with our cases have been fantastic, which has yielded positive results. The team has been very good at putting complex cases together, working collaboratively across multi-disciplinary teams, and ensuring that all bases have been covered.’

‘Michelle Moss has been brilliant. She has always made herself available, and has ensured that evidence and cases have been presented in the most appropriate form. Michelle’s knowledge of the CPO world has been second to none, and her experience and diligence has been valued on all of the cases she has worked on. Fiona Barker-Hall has also been exceptional. She is by far the most organised solicitor that I have worked with, and has progressed a very complex case very efficiently.’

‘Richard Lloyd has been outstanding in giving CPO advice. He understands the nuances of how the government work and is pragmatic and measured.’

‘Richard Lloyd leads a superbly competent team of good old fashioned lawyers with a particular expertise in CPO and large scale infrastructure.’

‘Richard Lloyd is easily the best planning and CPO solicitor in the North of England (and beyond!).’

‘Michelle Moss is an industry expert and Fiona Barker-Hall is not far behind Michelle. Both seen as trusted advisers.’

‘Very strong compulsory acquisition and property teams, really dedicated to the best outcome for their clients and to progressing legal matters to resolution. Great understanding of our requirements as a client.’

‘Michelle Moss is a thorough, careful and sensible compulsory acquisition expert. Excellent in getting points across to examining authorities and counter-parties. She works with a well trained and very competent team, has represented us in several Development Consent Orders and CPOs and continues to be our first choice for that.’

Key clients

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

High Speed Two Limited

Thurrock Council

The London Borough of Barnet

National Grid Viking Link Limited

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


The Martineau Galleries Limited Partnership (Hammerson plc)

Homes England and Taylor Wimpey

Mentor Mon Morlais Limited

Ask Patrizia

National Highways

National Grid Gas

Homes England

RWE Generation UK Plc

National Grid Electricity Transmission Plc (NGET)

Work highlights

    Pinsent Masons LLP

    The planning team at Pinsent Masons LLP is one of the leading practices in the North West, with experience acting for clients in complex contentious and non-contentious matters. The team provides advice on the development of logistics, housing and hospitality projects, and also stands out for its experience handling the planning issues surrounding utilities infrastructure. The practice offers clients expertise across complex areas of planning law such as compulsory purchase orders, development consent orders and issues related to heritage listed assets. Practice head Mike Pocock acts for North West and national clients on planning applications and judicial reviews, where he acts for objectors and in defence of planning applications. Senior associate Elizabeth Nuttall handles a variety of planning matters and has a focus on contentious cases. Claire Gregory departed the team in March 2022.

    Practice head(s):

    Mike Pocock

    Other key lawyers:

    Elizabeth Nuttall


    ‘Good work across the board, helping planning authorities and high profile commercial clients.’

    ‘Mike Pocock is a stand out partner, he is approachable and knowledgeable.’

    ‘The Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds teams all have a sound knowledge of planning law and have also assisted with a property query which was linked to a S106 legal agreement. There is always a member of staff on hand to respond to any queries or questions and cover is provided when staff either go on leave or work part time. You are assigned suitably qualified solicitors relating to the matter which is being dealt with.’

    Key clients

    United Utilities

    Northern Trust Company Limited

    LaSalle Investment Limited

    University of Sheffield

    Land and Lakes Limited

    Befesa Salt Slags Ltd

    Tata Steel UK

    Lancashire County Council


    Yorkshire Water

    Harworth Estates

    Kier Construction

    Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure Ltd

    EP UK Limited

    St Modwen

    Work highlights

    • Secured confirmation in October 2021 for United Utilities for one of the UK’s first Compulsory Purchase Order pursuant to the Water Industry Act 1991.
    • Obtained planning permission from the Secretary of State in June 2021 for Harworth Estates Limited for a significant logistics scheme at Wingates, Bolton which is situated within Greenbelt.
    • Successfully defended EP UK Limited in a judicial review against the grant of planning permission for a Pulverised Ash Scheme in the greenbelt which is of national significance to the construction industry.

    Clyde & Co

    Clyde & Co is differentiated by its deep expertise in environmental crime issues, as demonstrated by its significant track record of involvement with EA and local authority investigations, prosecutions, and other enforcement actions; former Environment Agency prosecutor Rod Hunt is ‘the full package‘ when it comes to this type of work. The firm’s client base comprises both global corporates and insurers, with Jason Bleasdale noted as a key contact for the latter. Chris Morrison heads up the safety, health and environmental regulatory practice group.

    Practice head(s):

    Rod Hunt; Chris Morrison

    Other key lawyers:

    Jason Bleasdale; Stephanie Lunt


    ‘Clyde & Co’s environment team are first-class. They have a detailed knowledge of their cases and always have an eye on the overall commercial strategy.’

    ‘Rod Hunt is outstandingly good. He is personable but ferociously hard-working and really gets to grips with the granular detail of his cases. He is adept at spotting arguments that persuade regulators against enforcement action and has an awareness of using judicial review proceedings where appropriate. He’s commercially savvy and tactically astute. The full package.’

    ‘Stephanie Lunt has a cool, calm head under pressure. She gives excellent advice, often to global corporate clients facing enforcement action, and is able to handle the most serious cases.’

    Work highlights

      Shoosmiths LLP

      Shoosmiths LLP stands out as an ‘outstanding firm of planning solicitors’; the Manchester office benefits from the presence of national practice co-heads Kathryn Jump and Lisa Tye, as well as David Mathias, who oversees the northern offering, and spends part of his time in Leeds. The team runs the gamut of matters, from first discussions about planning applications to advising on risks associated with potential legal challenges, and is highlighted by clients as being ‘particularly strong in compulsory purchase work‘. Samantha Grange is recommended at the senior associate level.

      Practice head(s):

      Kathryn Jump; Lisa Tye; David Mathias

      Other key lawyers:

      Samantha Grange; Alex Jones


      ‘All members are very approachable and knowledgeable.’

      ‘Outstanding firm of planning solicitors. Know that you can trust them to get on and deliver, whether it is instructing counsel, co-ordinating an appeal team or preparing a legal agreement.’

      ‘Samantha Grange has detailed knowledge and experience of the CPO process.’

      ‘The team is particularly strong in compulsory purchase work.’

      ‘Kathryn Jump is outstanding. Delivers excellent advice, approachable, practical, commercially savvy. Lisa Tye is also outstanding.’

      ‘Great CPO experience, understand both the public and private sector.’

      ‘Kathryn Jump: gives clear, straightforward and sound advice to clients.’

      ‘Lisa Tye has sound judgement which is put to good effect in giving advice to clients.’

      ‘Alexandra Jones is fantastic to work with and my first port of call for any legal planning related queries. I really value her advice and detailed understanding of planning legislation and practical implications, alongside a thorough understanding of commercial realities.’

      Key clients

      Peel Holdings

      Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames

      Wirral Growth Company

      Anwyl Land Limited

      Countryside Properties

      Cheshire East Council

      McKay Securities plc

      Allied London



      EG Group

      Story Homes Limited

      Ainscough Strategic Land Limited

      Historic England

      Extra MSA

      Work highlights

      • Advising the Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames on a joint venture – with housing developer Countryside Properties – concerning the development of a major housing estate regeneration scheme at the Cambridge Road Estate, involving the demolition of 800 existing homes to create 2,170 new ones.
      • Successfully assisted Peel Holdings with its proposals for the redevelopment of Horwich Golf Club in Bolton.
      • Advising Wirral Growth Company on its regeneration proposals for Wirral, including the Masterplan for Birkenhead Town Centre and development proposals at Moreton Pasture Road.

      Weightmans LLP

      At Weightmans LLP, Simon Colvin leads on environmental and energy sector work, as well as heading up the firm’s own ESG group; according to one client, his approach to these areas is ‘constantly praised by directors and senior leaders in the business‘. The team also fields infrastructure and urban extension specialist Lee Gordon, who is able to ‘get to grips with the detail at the same time as taking a strategic overview‘, and regularly advises on the most complex residential projects both locally and nationally. Public sector mandates, including contentious issues, are also frequently handled by the department.

      Practice head(s):

      Simon Colvin; Lee Gordon

      Other key lawyers:

      Elaine Field


      ‘Simon Colvin provides clear and concise legal advice and recommendations with a clear commercial angle and is constantly praised by directors and senior leaders in the business about his approach and way that he handles complex legal matters. Simon is also clearly very passionate about this area of law and the journey to net zero and provides added insight and information in those areas.’

      ‘I think Weightmans are an excellent firm with a strong market presence in all planning and environment work particularly Development Consent Orders and Compulsory Purchase Orders.’

      ‘I want to commend Lee Gordon – what impressed me most was his ability to get to grips with the detail at the same time as taking a strategic overview of the client’s objectives and how to achieve them. He did what I can only describe as a brilliant job. What’s more, he was a pleasure to work with, and I know how highly the client valued his work.’

      Key clients

      Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

      Welsh Government

      Barratt & David Wilson Homes

      Northern Powergrid

      Thornton Hall Hotel Limited


      Certas Energy

      Severn Trent Water

      Vinci Plc and Taylor Woodrow

      Mariana Waste Management Ltd

      London Fire Commissioners

      Bolsover District Council

      S Norton & Co

      Charnwood Borough Council

      5th Leisure Limited

      Bolton Council

      Cumbria County Council and Eden District Council

      Cheshire East Council

      Ford Motor Company Ltd

      Anglesey Aluminium Ltd/Rio Tinto

      Viridor Waste Management

      Chiesi Ltd

      BOAL Ltd


      Castle Green Developments Ltd

      Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

      Royal Mail Group

      Terracycle Inc

      Zipp World Ltd

      Work highlights

      • Advising Liverpool City Region Combined Authority on the promotion of the Mersey Tidal Energy Project, a multi-billion pound major energy project which is a key priority for the Combined Authority and the Mayor.
      • Advising Bolton Council on all planning aspects of the Rivington Chase mixed-use regeneration project, which is to include 1,700 dwellings on one the largest brownfield sites in the country which is part owned by the Council.
      • Representing a North West local authority in a sensitive matter concerning a nuisance claim relating to leachate emanating from a historic landfill site.

      Winckworth Sherwood LLP

      The planning and development risk department at Winckworth Sherwood LLP is led by Colette McCormack and is well known in the market for advising on complex residential projects, as well as mixed-use projects, urban extensions, tall buildings and estate regeneration. McCormack has broad planning experience, which includes compulsory purchases, judicial reviews, heritage issues and environmental impact assessments, while Legal director Joanne Hannah is a name to note for highways, and town and village green matters.

      Practice head(s):

      Colette McCormack

      Other key lawyers:

      Joanne Hannah; Matthew Steinbrecher

      Key clients

      Peel Land and Property (Ports) Limited

      Barking Riverside Limited

      Wandsworth Borough Council

      Altered Space

      Morris Homes

      Keystone & Partners

      Peel Land & Property Group Management Limited

      Clarion Housing Group

      Eutopia Homes

      A2 Dominion Limited

      Hollybrook Homes

      Work highlights

      • Advised Peel Land and Property Limited on strategic planning advice to enable delivery, including approval, of the first two neighbourhood masterplans i.e. Princes Dock and Central Docks and planning permission in the Bramley Moore Dock for the Everton Football Club Stadium.
      • Continuing to advise Wandsworth Borough Council on the delivery of VNEB Opportunity Area including the iconic Battersea Power Station as well as advising on the council’s multibillion estate regeneration programme.
      • Providing strategic planning advice to Peel Ports on the delivery of reserved matters application and a s73 application. This multi-billion pound regeneration project will transform the Wirral to deliver 13,000 new homes and 20,000 new jobs.

      Dyne Solicitors Limited

      Regulatory boutique Dyne Solicitors Limited continues to handle a steady stream of regulatory prosecutions in the environmental space, with a particular focus on acting for waste recycling and export businesses. Practice head John Dyne regularly represents clients accused of breaching environmental permits and the unauthorised deposit of waste and is praised as ‘very knowledgeable’.

      Practice head(s):

      John Dyne


      ‘John Dyne is a respectable and committed individual. From my experience, he takes a personal interest in each client’s case. From feedback received, John is a trustworthy and ‘say it how it is’ personality. His staff also seem to be happy to engage to keep cases moving. Overall, I will continue to recommend Dyne’s to my clients if they are in need of assistance.’

      ‘Exceptional knowledge of the field. Unswerving dedication to the client’s case. True experts.’

      ‘John Dyne is passionate and informed. A true champion for his clients.’

      ‘We continue to work with Dynes after 25 years as their approach to regulation matches ours, with the client’s best interests in mind.’

      ‘Dyne Solicitors Limited are unique in my opinion with their understanding of the markets for recyclables and local implementation of the transfrontier shipment regulations. Their great strength is their ability to communicate with the regulator with a great understanding of the current interpretations of the law which can vary on regional basis. I consider this bespoke and it manifests itself into very personal advice and representation.’

      ‘Jonathon Bell is amazing. He is a great communicator and has a deep understanding of the recycling industry. Jonathon will always give you a straight answer, even to the most complicated of questions and issues. You always get the impression that he understands his subject area, and is not afraid to challenge accepted interpretations and understandings.’

      ‘John Dyne will always put in 110% to get the right decision.’

      Work highlights

        Hill Dickinson LLP

        At Hill Dickinson LLP, practice head Grant Anderson handles a varied workload of both contentious and non-contentious planning issues. The energy sector is a particular area of focus for the team, which represents companies in exploration proposals and judicial reviews of planning decisions. The practice also receives instructions on planning applications, appeals and section 106 agreements from clients in the residential, commercial and retail property sectors. Anderson offers additional expertise to clients on environmental regulatory issues.

        Practice head(s):

        Grant Anderson


        ‘They can always be relied upon to give practical and sensible advice, that puts the client’s interests first.’

        ‘Grant Anderson is highly regarded and a very safe pair of hands on any complex planning disputes. He has a strong specialism in onshore gas work.’

        ‘Excellent knowledge of planning laws and regulations. Access to top barristers for appeals and hearings.’

        ‘Dedication to clients, timely response.’

        Key clients

        UK Oil & Gas PLC

        Horse Hill Developments Ltd

        Iceland Foods Ltd

        The Co-operative Group

        Lancashire County Cricket Club

        FI Real Estate Management

        Wakefield MBC



        Various NHS Trusts

        Milford Haven Port Authority

        West Midlands Travel Limited

        Muller Property Group

        Legacie Developments

        Seabridge Developments Ltd

        Work highlights

        • Advising UK Oil & Gas PLC in relation to a “called in” planning appeal against the refusal of an application for hydrocarbon exploration.
        • Advising Horse Hill Developments Ltd in respect of an appeal to the Court of Appeal relating to a legal challenge of a judicial review to the grant of planning permission for hydrocarbon extraction.
        • Advising Wakefield MBC in respect of the redevelopment of Wakefield Trinity Rugby League stadium involving significant green belt enabling development.

        Irwin Mitchell

        At Irwin Mitchell, the environmental and planning team handles the full spectrum of matters in this space. The team is frequently engaged to provide due diligence on transactions, and also advises developers and private clients on planning proposals. The practice is also active in representing clients challenging planning decisions as well as defending against similar appeals. Claire Petricca-Riding leads the team.

        Practice head(s):

        Claire Petricca-Riding

        Other key lawyers:

        Stuart Tym


        ‘The team is led by a first rate lawyer and operator.’

        ‘Claire Petricca-Riding – excellent technical abilities combined with a pragmatic outlook. Excellent people skills and good to deal with.’

        Key clients

        Artisan Developments

        Jaspar Group

        Chase New Homes Limited

        Seaward Homes

        HSBC UK Bank PLC


        EC1 Residences

        Henry Davidson Developments Limited

        Persimmon Homes Limited

        Trafford College Group

        Work highlights

        • Advised a client on environmental and planning matters for the bidding process for the sale of ABC Leisure Group Limited.
        • Advised Reconomy (UK) Limited on environmental and planning matters relating to the acquisition of GAE Smith Group Limited and its subsidiaries.
        • Advised Bentley Motors Limited on the planning and environmental feasibility elements for adding additional capacity solar panels to its solar power system.

        Mills & Reeve LLP

        Mills & Reeve LLP continues to strengthen its environmental and planning offering, with Claire Gregory joining the practice in March 2022 from Pinsent Masons LLP. Gregory’s arrival bolsters the team’s environmental expertise, as Gregory brings experience across contentious and non-contentious matters in this area. Consultant Keith Davidson is another name to note on environmental matters, with a focus on issues surrounding contaminated land. On the planning side, Melanie Grimshaw has a wide-ranging practice covering strategic planning advice, objections and Section 106 undertakings.

        Practice head(s):

        Melanie Grimshaw; Keith Davidson

        Other key lawyers:

        Claire Gregory


        ‘Keith Davidson is responsive, down to earth and a fountain of knowledge.’

        ‘The team are very professional and very personable. They get the job done but are pragmatic whilst having specialists in the right areas to deal with large complex projects and transactions.’

        ‘I really value their personable approach, they’re contactable and you can have a sensible conversation and kick ideas and thoughts around such that they feel like an extension of the team and make contributions accordingly.’

        ‘On environmental due diligence and transactional support around contaminated land, the team is an excellent resource, especially using Keith Davidson’s vast and unparalleled knowledge of contaminated land. Very competent and capable team who can deliver on a wide range of matters.’

        ‘Keith Davidson is a shining star in terms of non-contentious environmental matters. Around contaminated land, there is not much that Keith has not seen and dealt with already, which makes him great at getting to the heart of the issue and offering a sensible and workable solution. He is the ‘go-to’ resource for warranties and indemnities and ensuring liabilities are appropriately dealt with in commercial transactions.’

        ‘We worked with Melanie Grimshaw in this team. She was outstanding in terms of her commitment to what transpired to be a huge project, which needed delivery in a very short amount of time. She dealt every detail and went above and beyond many times. Knowing that she would be available made all the difference as we had a lot of queries and were under pressure with timings. She showed her excellent subject knowledge and insightfulness in the many meetings we had.’

        ‘The planning team at M&R has always been one of the key reasons we work as extensively as we do with M&R. They are thoughtful, innovative, reliable and well resourced. They are also exceptionally lovely people to work with. We are delighted to have M&R in our corner.’

        Melanie Grimshaw is charming and highly knowledgeable both in respect of the local Manchester market but also nationally.’

        Key clients

        University of Cambridge

        Wain Estates (Carrington) Limited

        Robertson Group


        Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

        Railway Pension Trustees Limited


        Aksiom Group

        CVC Capital Partners

        Work highlights

        • Advising University of Cambridge in its capacity as a registered statutory objector to Network Rail’s Transport and Works Act Order application for the proposed (Cambridge South Infrastructure Enhancements) Order to authorise the proposed new Cambridge South Station.
        • Advised Robertson Group Limited in respect of the delivery of a proposed 1,100 home urban extension on a 46-hectare site in Bartle, Preston.
        • Advised CVC Capital Partners on the acquisition of the Away Resorts group.


        The planning team at TLT has carved out a niche in acting for local authorities in the North West, including providing strategic planning advice, assistance on the statutory order process and due diligence on transactions. Highway infrastructure and regeneration schemes are particular areas of focus for the team. Practice head Debbie Reynolds also advises both public sector bodies and private property owners on compulsory purchase orders. Katherine Evans leads the national practice and works between the Manchester and Bristol offices.

        Practice head(s):

        Katherine Evans; Debbie Reynolds


        ‘Sensible, straightforward advice delivered clearly.’

        ‘Debbie Reynolds provides excellent advice and is willing to discuss/listen and explain points. Very thorough.’

        ‘Debbie Reynolds leads an excellent public sector facing team, with an excellent regional reputation.’

        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

        Oldham Council

        Sherwin Rivers Ltd

        Hydes Brewery Ltd

        WH Smith Retail Holdings Ltd

        Warren James (Jewellers) Ltd

        Work highlights

        • Providing land assembly and strategic planning and statutory order advice to Warrington Borough Council on the high-profile Western Link highway scheme.
        • Advising 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 and the widening of the A40 to include a Smart Corridor.
        • Advising Cheshire East Council on the Middlewich Eastern Bypass, a £74m highway infrastructure scheme, which aims to bypass Middlewich town centre, linking the A54 and the A533 to Sandbach and Northwich.

        Brabners LLP

        Brabners LLP experienced significant changes in 2022, with Sophie Stewart departing in January and legal director Pamela Chesterman arriving from Prosperity Law LLP; she now co-heads the planning team alongside litigation specialist Lachlan Nisbett. Her experience in the planning space includes previously working in-house at several North West local authorities.

        Practice head(s):

        Pamela Chesterman; Lachlan Nisbet


        ‘Brabners are a great team to work with overall. They are quick to respond to queries and give an initial view, with their formal advice always being prepared to a very high standard.’

        ‘We used them for drafting of S106 agreement – very approachable and solution focused.’

        ‘Approachable, accommodating and solution focused. Also highlighting wide range of issues and risks and presented options for approaches.’

        Key clients

        Halton Borough Council

        NWF Group PLC

        Wirral Council

        Cheshire West and Cheshire Council

        Peel L&P

        Peel Ports Group

        Lancaster City Council


        W&S Sandbach

        Crosslane Group

        Cobalt Housing Association

        Arnold Clark

        Cityheart Developments

        McColl’s Retail Group plc

        Pavers Shoes

        Williams Tarr

        Promenade Estates

        Work highlights

        • Acted for Wirral Council on the ambitious development to transform Birkenhead Town Centre, including negotiating the associated legal agreements (s106/s111).
        • Advised the Peel Ports Group on multiple instructions across the national port portfolio, ranging from advising on permitted development rights, level crossings, development constraints and adoption of private drainage and sewerage connections.
        • Acted for Lancaster City Council on the negotiation of a complex section 106 agreement for the Eden Project North in Morecambe which will be a game changer for the visitor economy in Lancashire.

        gunnercooke LLP

        gunnercooke LLP is singled out by clients for its ability to provide a ‘very personal service, given with passion, pride and extensive knowledge‘; the team brings this approach to a range of mandates, including environmental criminal and regulatory defence work, planning and environmental advice and appeals, and land reclamation projects. Key contact Anna Willettswill not leave a stone unturned‘.

        Other key lawyers:

        Anna Willetts


        ‘The practice are as invested in the case as the individual instructing them; it’s a very personal service, given with passion, pride and extensive knowledge. The knowledge and expertise held is unparalleled in the environmental sector and there is not a better practice out there.’

        ‘Anna Willetts is a lawyer with determination and tenacity who is not afraid to stand up for what is right and just. She has a true passion, which goes beyond that required for the job; she genuinely cares for the clients and is passionate about seeing justice served. Added to the above is an unrivalled knowledge about environmental regulation and environmental regulators and this makes Anna a lawyer that the environmental regulators should fear – she will not leave a stone unturned.’

        ‘A very hands-on team willing to work at all levels of engagement. Particularly knowledgeable and current on assessing potential legal outcomes.’

        ‘Anna Willetts is hands-on and always available on the phone. Will have your back in a crisis and provides a ready sense of assuredness about likely outcomes.’

        Key clients

        Ripley Property Holdings Ltd.

        Assured Energy LLP

        Calder Valley Skip Hire Limited

        Fowles Crushed Concrete Limited

        J&J Transport Limited

        Golf Environmental (UK) Limited

        Killoughery Waste Management Limited

        Kitewood Estates Limited

        Stockley Park Golf Club Limited

        Work highlights

          Squire Patton Boggs

          The team at Squire Patton Boggs brings its ‘great technical knowledge‘ to the gamut of specialist environmental services, from non-contentious advisory matters to regulatory defence work. The group is also regularly instructed to interpret new and proposed environmental legislative requirements. The close collaboration between Manchester-based Rob Elvin and Leeds-based Richard Glover exemplifies the ties which exist between the two offices.

          Practice head(s):

          Rob Elvin; Richard Glover

          Other key lawyers:

          Gary Lewis


          ‘Great technical knowledge applied in a very practical and helpful way.’

          ‘This team only came to my attention recently following enquiries I made concerning what is now the Environment Act 2021. Very quickly I was asking myself why I had not been in touch with them sooner. They are now an invaluable source of information, recommendations and guidance. The team’s in-depth knowledge is phenomenal. They are friendly, approachable and nothing is too much trouble. They will explain complex areas, in Planning and Environmental law, in easy to understand ways and will ensure my understanding before they move on. The team is also adaptable and were happy to provide specific training to accommodate our requirements. Just such a great service and exactly what we want.’

          ‘The individuals that I have had the opportunity to work with are extremely hardworking and knowledgeable about their area of practice. They have the ability to explain things in a way that both fellow lawyers and company engineers and business representatives can understand.’

          Key clients

          ZF Friedrichshafen

          Orthios Eco Parks (Anglesey) Limited

          Olin Corporation

          Michelman Inc.

          Zippo Manufacturing Company


          Owens Corning

          McBride Plc

          Braskem Netherlands BV

          Taylor Wimpey

          St Francis Group

          Berry Global

          Avery Dennison


          Eden Springs



          Clear Channel

          Baxter International Inc

          Energy Networks Association

          Community Wind Power Limited

          Low Carbon

          Black Mountain Renewables

          Wessex Energy Limited

          Aldwark Toll Bridge Limited

          Western Power Distribution

          Falck Renewables

          Fred Olsen Renewables

          Elgin Energy

          Clear Channel

          The Co-op

          Leavesley Group


          Karbon Homes

          Loxley Homes

          DHLand Limited

          Strata Homes

          Homes by Carlton


          Watkin Jones Group

          SP Manweb plc

          Electricity North West

          Northern Powergrid

          Northern Gas Networks

          Work highlights

          • Advising Orthios Eco Parks on issues relating to EU/UK REACH, end of waste regulatory matters and securing the necessary regulatory permits for a new facility processing oil and chemicals from waste plastic.
          • Advising a large oil refinery in relation to the acceptance by the Health & Safety Executive of its updated COMAH report.
          • Advising a global manufacturer of construction and insulation products on a waste and producer responsibility mapping exercise across multiple European jurisdictions.