Next Generation Partners

Firms To Watch: Commercial property: elsewhere in the North

Director Gwen Jones leads EMG Solicitors‘ Durham-based commercial property practice, which advises individuals on planning permissions, lease restructurings and sale instructions.

Commercial property: elsewhere in the North in North


Praised by clients for its 'professional and personal service’, Burnetts advises a range of national clients - including pension funds and institutional banks - on the management of property portfolios. Based in Carlisle, co-heads Robbie Mather and Helen Hayward work with a number of leisure and hospitality sector players on site acquisitions, planning mandates, plot sales and infrastructure agreements. Mather is also a key contact for developers and housing associations seeking advice on large-scale residential developments. Hayward focuses on landlord and tenant instructions, and routinely works on retail leases. The contributions of Rebecca Davidson and Ben Crystal, as well as Sophi Al-Tikriti, recent arrival from Baines Wilson LLP, further demonstrate the depth of support in the team.

Practice head(s):

Helen Hayward; Robbie Mather

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Davidson; Ben Crystal; Sophi Al-Tikriti


‘A very professional and personal service with ready access to all fee earners and partners.’

‘Stand-out Helen Hayward is extremely conscientious and excellent at keeping me updated on transactions.’

‘No nonsense. Practical and pragmatic. Fully explain the process and potential hurdles. Good at identifying and communicating risks. Gets on with the job.’

Key clients

Investacc Pension Trustees Limited

Thomas Armstrong Group

Cumbria Waste Group

Carrs Properties Limited

AMP Commercial

N Family Holdings Limited

Allerdale Borough Council

Cumberland Building Society

H&H Group Plc

Lloyd Motors Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Thomas Armstrong on all property matters, including its expansive residential development within its subsidiary company Washington Homes Limited, involving site acquisition, planning advice, site set up, infrastructure agreements and plot sales.
  • Assisting N Family Holdings on securing tenancies of multiple sites on a national scale.
  • Supporting Cumberland Building Society on sales, lettings, disposals and other matters relating to the Society’s property portfolio.

Endeavour Partnership LLP

Endeavour Partnership LLP’s Stockton-based commercial property team takes on a range of commercial property matters. Practice head Jamie Brown is the key contact for agricultural matters pertaining to land developments and sales. Brown also advises on planning permissions on agricultural land for renewable energy farms. Natalie Kay is the name to note for landlords and tenants across a variety of sectors. Kay also restructures development and planning agreements for property developers. Associate Emma Loughran supports the team.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Brown

Other key lawyers:

Natalie Kay; Emma Loughran


‘Jamie Brown is an old school lawyer who knows his subject matter and communicates well with clients.’

‘Natalie Kay is an exceptional talent. Young, hard working with a great legal brain. She provides advice in a timely and user-friendly manner. I cannot stress how impressed I am with the way she has stepped up and is immediately performing at the highest level.’

‘Emma Loughran has adapted to private practice like a duck to water. A pleasure to work with and has a bright future.’

‘We have been clients of Endeavour for several years, having first instructed them on a commercial property matter following a recommendation. They have always been quick and efficient in seeking solutions and offering advice. There is a wide spread of expertise within the team which has covered all our needs.’

‘Natalie Kay has extensive knowledge of the commercial property world and is very approachable, available and proactive. She is thorough and concise in explaining what is needed and is a good communicator. I would not hesitate to recommend Natalie and the commercial property team at Endeavour.’

‘Endeavour is the leading specialist commercial practice based in Teesside with excellent local knowledge and long-established local lawyers who have a wide breadth of experience across the whole legal spectrum. We principally use their property department headed by Jamie Brown and find their service and attention to our requirements to be first class.’

‘Our main point of contact is currently Emma Loughran who has specifically assisted us with new leases, lease renewals and large complex sales of multi-let commercial buildings. A highly organised solicitor who has dealt with all matters expeditiously and efficiently, especially in terms of the sale.’

Key clients

A.V. Dawson Limited

Ramsdens Financial Limited

Tees Valley Combined Authority

Middlesbrough Development Company Limited

Middlesbrough Football & Athletic Company (1986) Limited

HSBC UK Bank plc

Helmsley Group

FRP Advisory Trading Limited

Racz Group

Hatchery Limited

James Cook Discovery Limited

Principal Project & Management NE Limited

Baltic Training Services Limited

Peart Property Limited

Ursus Property Limited

Cloughton Wood Lodges Limited

Homes by Carlton

Tomahawk Steakhouses

Rio Brazilian Steakhouses

Bianco Property Holdings Ltd

Maple Oak Living Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the Administrators of Vale of Mowbray Limited on the disposal of £5.8m of real estate assets including property subject to third party energy infrastructure interests requiring complex negotiations on statutory compensation.
  • Advised Ramsdens Financial Limited on 23 leasehold instructions relating to its England and Wales commercial property portfolio.
  • Advised landowner clients in North Yorkshire in respect of various transactions relating to the potential development of their land, including a complex Promotion and Project Management Agreement with a land promoter.

Swinburne Maddison LLP

Swinburne Maddison LLP’s full-service commercial property practice is led by Victoria Walton, who advises property developers, landowners, commercial landlords and registered providers of social housing on large-scale residential and commercial developments. Simon Robinson acts for promoters of residential and commercial development sites in the Durham, Darlington and Teesside areas. ‘Highly dedicated partner’, Kate Stephenson frequently supports businesses across the retail, health and hospitality sectors on property acquisitions, sales and developments. Managing associates Gillian Moir and Chris Ross provide support to both the commercial property and corporate teams on the real estate aspects of transactions. Ross, in particular, also works on infrastructure and planning agreements. All named lawyers are based in Durham.

Practice head(s):

Victoria Walton

Other key lawyers:

Simon Robinson; Kate Stephenson; Gillian Moir; Chris Ross


‘What sets Swinburne Maddison apart from larger city firms is that they are equally as capable with lower fees and the partners work very closely together.’

‘The team has been growing steadily year on year and the internal knowledge and experience is impressive, but they also have an extensive network of specialists should these need to be called upon. I have always had a highly professional service at a reasonable price.’

‘My main contact is Kate Stephenson who is a highly dedicated partner specialising in commercial property. Kate is always accessible and if not immediately available will always get back to you in a short timescale. Speed of transaction is very important to me and Kate is quick and efficient even if the other side is often dragging their heels and she will always keep me posted when we are waiting for a response or there is undue delay from the opposite team.’

‘Victoria Walton is very good in heading up the team and can always be relied upon to manage and support colleagues who may be designated to a particular transaction being undertaken on my behalf. Whether it is a sale of property, or commercial lease, I always have the ability to discuss any issues to allow everything to run smoothly and in good order.’

‘Particular mention to Kate Stephenson and Victoria Walton who provide an excellent property service with pragmatic advice. They work well with others, which is key. Kate significantly received praise from another firm representing our contracting partner, expressing that she really knew her stuff. This not only builds credibility for her and Swinburne Maddison but also reflects well on our business.’

‘We have for many years seen Swinburne Maddison as part of our own in-house team, we enjoy good working relationships with all team members and find them friendly, approachable and contemporary in their approach to practicing law.’

‘Victoria Walton is an exceptional solicitor and our go-to for advice and support. We love the fact that Swinburne Maddison are plain-talking and commercially aware, with the benefit of backing this up with a keen eye for the detail and legal process.’

‘Very experienced local practice with a national reputation.’

Key clients

Durham Cathedral

The Esh Group

Ramside Estates Limited

Beyond Housing Limited

Hargreaves Services plc

Theakston Estates Limited and associated companies

TJD Properties Limited

Karbon Homes Limited

Atom Bank plc


The Enquire Learning Trust Limited

Livin Housing

Clever Clogs Day Nurseries Limited

Believe Housing

Vestbrown Limited

The Auckland Project

Banner Holdings Limited

Mitchells Investments Ltd

Durham County Council

Amberstone Security Group Limited

Mulberry Homes Limited

Broadacres Housing

Rose A Farms Limited

Teesside Properties Limited

B Capital Holdings Limited

Cairnwell Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf on Atom Bank plc in connection with 42 separate instructions, including a large volume of Recovery Loan Scheme transactions aimed at supporting SMEs across the UK to access the finance they need to grow and invest in the wake of COVID-19.
  • Advising Argenbright Security Europe Limited in connection with all property elements arising out of their acquisition of the entire issued share capital of The Protector Group Limited and subsidiary companies.
  • Acting on behalf of a consortium of landowners whose land has been allocated for residential development in the local plan.


BHP Law is noted for its focus on the intersection of agriculture and real estate work, acting for farming and landowning clients in the North East, particularly in Durham. Practice head Peter Blackett and key supporting senior associate Natalie Bell not only advise farming clients on the full scope of property matters, but also support companies and shareholders alike on acquisitions and sales of properties as part of wider transactions.  All named individuals are based in Darlington.

Practice head(s):

Peter Blackett

Other key lawyers:

Natalie Bell

Work highlights

Latimer Hinks Solicitors

Noted for its ‘very professional’ approach, Latimer Hinks Solicitors regularly supports landowners and private clients with land sales. Head of the Darlington-based team Adam Wood specialises in agricultural property matters, while Rachel Fletcher focuses on property-related telecoms sector work. Wood is also a key name to note for landowners seeking advice on renewable energy developments.

Practice head(s):

Adam Wood

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Fletcher


‘Simply very professional.’

‘The practice takes a professional approach over a wide range of legal expertise.’

‘I have instructed three individuals who have all been very capable, giving clear explanations, often with a lot of patience, and friendliness. They were very approachable. The lawyers are very prompt in responding, and keen to get the job done.’

Work highlights