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Commercial property: elsewhere in the North in North

Baines Wilson LLP

Led out of Carlisle, Baines Wilson LLP is at the forefront of both commercial and residential property development projects. The team’s recent workload also testifies to its ability to handle property acquisitions and secured lending mandates, among other matters. Duncan Harty sits at the helm of the practice, where Sean Logue is also a key team member.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Harty

Other key lawyers:

Sean Logue; Laura Barnfield; Stephanie Bradley; Sophi Al-Tikriti


‘Duncan Harty is very approachable, professional and willing to go the extra mile to provide comprehensive advice.’

‘Baines Wilson have grown alongside our company and have always delivered what has been necessary in a timely manner.’

‘Senior property partner, Sean Logue understands the importance of getting the deal done whilst at the same time highlighting the salient issues which could give rise to doubts regarding a potential acquisition. He moves at pace and ensures his team have the same mindset. I cannot recommend him highly enough.’

Key clients

Genesis Homes Limited

Kingmoor Park Properties Limited

BGH (North) Limited


Carlisle-based Burnetts advises on a broad scope of commercial property transactions and related contractual arrangements. The group benefits from its panel appointment to the Cumberland Building Society, particularly in relation to lending matters into the leisure and tourism sector; practice co-head Robbie Mather is retained by the Society. In addition, the team is very active in landlord and tenant work; department co-head Helen Hayward increasingly acts for occupational tenants. Associate Rebecca Davidson is also a key contact for commercial lease issues.

Practice head(s):

Robbie Mather; Helen Hayward

Other key lawyers:

Ben Crystal; Rebecca Davidson


‘A team which respects its clients’ needs and inputs. Technologically ahead of the game – phones and computers handled Covid working from home seamlessly.’

‘Robbie Mather is enthusiastic, actually wanting to listen to the client and understand what he/she does, why they do it, and what they want out of any legal document rather than simply apply standard legal concepts and wording. He has respect for his clients’ input and comments, wanting to ensure his advice fully understands and best serves their needs. He also goes out of his way to understand the commerciality and importance of deadlines rather than the common legal approach of it takes the time it takes.’

Key clients

Investacc Pension Trustees Limited

Thomas Armstrong Group

Sharba Homes Limited

Amsric Group

AMP Commercial

N Family Holdings Limited

Harrison Leisure UK Limited

Cumberland Building Society

Benton House Limited & CRS (NE) Limited

Lakes College

Work highlights

  • Acting on the national panel of the Cumberland Building Society in relation to lending matters and the client’s property portfolio.
  • Acting for N Family Holdings on site acquisitions.
  • Acting for Thomas Armstrong Group on a full scope of property-related matters, including site acquisitions, planning advice, site set up, infrastructure agreements and plot sales.

Swinburne Maddison LLP

The past year saw Swinburne Maddison act on various issues arising due to the Covid-19 pandemic, such as landlord and tenant matters, as well as lending issues in the banking sector. The Durham-based firm maintains a high-class property development practice, ensuring not only a constant stream of instructions from development clients, but also mandates from landowners looking to sell land plots to developers; practice head Victoria Walton is highly regarded in the development space. Simon Robinson is very experienced in property investment and finance. Managing associate Gillian Moir is also well versed in property refinancing.

Practice head(s):

Victoria Walton

Other key lawyers:

Simon Robinson; Kate Stephenson; Gillian Moir; Chris Ross


‘The firm has undergone a significant expansion providing improved facilities and resources. In particular the conference and meeting room facilities are impressive and the in-house resources have been constantly expanded and improved with new faces and experience being added on a regular basis. Despite the expansion, Swinburne Maddison continues to offer a friendly and personal service. This firm manages to provide a very professional and efficient service to match the larger City firms while maintaining their friendly and personal service.’

‘The service which Chris Ross provides our company is exemplary. His overall service and advice has meant that Swinburne Maddison are now the only legal practice which our company uses for all commercial property matters.’

‘The team at Swinburne Maddison are the most helpful and professional people we have ever had to deal with. No matter what your query might be, and we have had many over the years, they do not hesitate to offer sound, professional advice. People are important and this team always make sure that everyone is as important as each other.’

‘The practice is very professional and personal. It is of sufficient size to offer a wide range of services but keeps a personal touch. Many of the partners have been around long; therefore, there is continuity.’

‘Good communication, professionalism and willingness to give committed advice. Well-resourced, knowledgeable and always happy to assist.’

‘Always pleased to work with Swinburne Maddison’s team who not only provide solid and reliable legal advice but also have a good understanding of the commercial landscape and our guiding principles. This allows them to provide relevant and tailored advice.’

‘We consider partner Victoria Walton a part of our in-house team when it comes to commercial property management. Her advice is concise, astute and she takes a proactive approach to casework management.’

‘Victoria Walton comes with significant experience; she is able to provide strong advice and a quick erudite response when necessary. Additionally, she often brings forward sensible suggestions as to tactics etc which is invaluable. Her problem-solving abilities are amazing.’

‘Victoria Walton is a specialist in her field of commercial and residential property law, ably supported by practitioners such as Simon Robinson and Helen Griffiths. Victoria is our go-to lawyer due to her friendly attitude, strict approach and sound advice, handling herself well in boardroom situations and meetings of a delicate nature associated with property transactions nearing conclusion.’

Key clients

Durham Cathedral

The Esh Group

Ramside Estates Limited

Beyond Housing Limited

Hargreaves Services plc

Sirius Group

Theakston Estates Limited

TJD Properties Limited

Karbon Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing a financial sector client in over 100 separate transactions with a property element over the course of 2020.
  • Advising a client on the completion of a development agreement with Teesside International Airport for the development of a business and logistics manufacturing park.
  • Acting for the landowners on the negotiation of an option agreement and lease for a proposed solar farm.


BHP Law advises a mix of private clients and regional companies on commercial and agricultural property transactions. The team is noted for its expertise in rural diversification, including renewable energy projects. Landlord and tenant law work is also a forte for the group. The practice is led out of Darlington by senior partner Peter Blackett.

Practice head(s):

Peter Blackett

Work highlights

  • Acted for Middlemiss on various transactions involving sales and purchases of land.
  • Advised Ridder on sales and purchases of property.

Endeavour Partnership LLP

The expertise of Stockton-headquartered Endeavour Partnership LLP in property development is paying dividends despite the Covid-19 pandemic – the team continues to high-value work for developers, especially in the leisure sector. Property investment and refinancing work is another field of focus for the group; agriculture team leader Jamie Brown is a key contact in this regard. Practice head Simon Wake (‘pragmatic and a joy to work with’) has extensive experience of development projects.

Practice head(s):

Simon Wake

Other key lawyers:

Jamie Brown; Gareth Jones; Natalie Kay; Alexandra Ketchley


‘The quality of the legal advice equates with any larger national firm, while the service delivery is efficient. Both technically good and commercially astute.’

‘Simon Wake is the best property lawyer I have had the benefit of instructing in my career. Thoughtful but pragmatic and a joy to work with!’

‘Gareth Jones- a good and solid lawyer who is dependable.’

‘Jamie Brown has excellent interpersonal skills and deep knowledge of the agricultural and wider rural market place.’

‘Very professional and always available for advice.’

Key clients

Benchmark Leisure Limited

Ryedale Estates Limited

SubZero Middlehaven Limited

Investacc Pension Trustees Limited

Homes by Carlton Limited Group

Tomahawk Steakhouses

HSBC Bank Plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Benchmark Leisure on all legal documentation for the multi-phase development of The Sands, North Bay, Scarborough.
  • Secured a deal for Subzero Middlehaven with the Homes and Community Agency, and with the Middlesbrough Borough Council for a long-term development agreement of a snow centre.
  • Advised Tomahawk Steakhouses’ group companies on taking new leases of various new premises across the region.

Latimer Hinks Solicitors

Latimer Hinks Solicitors in Darlington is active across a wide spectrum of commercial property matters, including acquisitions and disposals, lease work, funding arrangements and property-related agreements. Adam Wood leads the practice, which assists a varied client portfolio consisting of regional and national sellers, purchasers, landlords and tenants, among others. Residential property practice head Martin Williamson is also a key contact for transactions involving agricultural and rural property.

Practice head(s):

Adam Wood

Other key lawyers:

Martin Williamson


‘Responsive, thorough, timely.’

‘Latimer Hinks have an exceptionally experienced team who make it their priority to ensure client care is paramount. With the Covid-19 situation, we have all ensured through collaboration to have regular updates via Microsoft Teams or via telecom, at times going above and beyond out of hours.’

‘I deal predominantly with practice head Adam Wood and his colleague Jonathan Sturgeon. Both excel in their knowledge but more importantly have an understanding, what, as a client, we are trying to achieve and how to get there. Both individuals provide essential knowledge but also provide alternative solutions, when you fear there is only one way to proceed with matters.’

Tilly Bailey & Irvine

Tilly Bailey & Irvine’s Wynyard-based lawyers focus on advising self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs) and small self-administered schemes (SSASs) on property acquisitions and disposals; in this space, the team also benefits from its panel appointment by longstanding client I.P.M. Personal Pension Trustees. The practice is also adept at advising both landowners and developers on contracts and agreements with a property element. Sara Garnett heads up the department.

Practice head(s):

Sara Garnett

Key clients

I.P.M. Personal Pension Trustees Limited

Gus Robinson Developments Limited

Ron Perry & Son Limited

Landteam Property Investments Limited

Stellprop Limited

Witton Care Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Witton Care on the disposal of a care home portfolio.
  • Advised IPM Personal Pension Trustees on the refinancing of five leasehold properties.
  • Acted for a private family on the disposal of a £9m development site.