Next Generation Partners

Firms To Watch: Commercial property: elsewhere in the North

EMG Solicitors established its commercial property department in 2018 and recently benefitted from the opening of a new office in Penrith in early 2022. Gwen Jones leads the group.

Commercial property: elsewhere in the North in North

Baines Wilson LLP

Baines Wilson LLP’s ‘practical and commercially focused team’ excels in commercial and residential development projects thanks to the experience of the highly regarded Sean Logue and practice head Duncan Harty. Other areas of work for the practice span real estate management issues, property acquisitions and secured lending transactions. Laura Barnfield is also a key member of the Carlisle-based team, alongside associate Stephanie Bradley.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Harty

Other key lawyers:

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


‘Practical, commercially focused team, always willing to help.’

‘Duncan Harty and Sean Logue are all excellent in their own fields. Commercially minded, open minded to different situations and always looking to go the extra mile.’

Key clients

Genesis Homes Limited

Kingmoor Park Properties Limited


Clients praise Burnetts’ ‘excellent personal service’ and the ‘competence, capability and capacity of the team’, which handles the full spectrum of property work including portfolio management matters, landlord and tenant issues, developments, financing transactions and mandates in the tourism, education and mining sectors. Robbie Mather and Helen Hayward jointly lead the group; Mather leads the firm’s leisure and tourism work while Hayward focuses on landlord and tenant matters and retail leases. Ben Crystal and Rebecca Davidson support at associate level.

Practice head(s):

Robbie Mather; Helen Hayward

Other key lawyers:

Ben Crystal; Rebecca Davidson


‘Excellent personal service.’

‘Attention to detail and keeping in touch.’

‘What makes Burnetts’ Commercial Property team unique is the Competence, Capability and Capacity of the team. The Team are acutely aware of the commercial realities challenging their customers. To aid this their communication and progress reports are excellent.’

Key clients

Investacc Pension Trustees Limited

Thomas Armstrong Group

South Lakes Housing Association

Amsric Group

AMP Commercial

N Family Holdings Limited

Allerdale Borough Council

Cumberland Building Society

Halston Homes Limited

City and Guilds of London Institute

Work highlights

  • Advised Amsric Group on its significant property portfolio, with varied property advice on landlord and tenant matters, sale of freehold interest, sales and purchases relating to conditional agreements subject to planning and development works.
  • Acting for Thomas Armstrong Group on all property matters, with specific specialism in residential developments and providing all services associated to its subsidiary company Washington Homes Limited, including site acquisitions, planning advice, site set ups, infrastructure agreements and plot sales.
  • Secured multiple sites for N Family Holdings Limited, which provides ‘high-end’ nursery services.

Swinburne Maddison LLP

Swinburne Maddison LLP’s ‘engaged and informed team provides a seamless service’ and is ‘an outstanding firm on all counts’.  Based in Durham, the commercial property practice acts for a broad range of clients from individuals to developers and charities; while the majority of the firm’s clients are based in the North East, the team also advises national organisations. The group has also been a go-to name in the region for advice throughout the pandemic on the government’s CBIL scheme. The full-service practice is led by Victoria Walton, who focuses on development work, and also fields Simon Robinson, Kate Stephenson, who leads the residential conveyancing team, and managing associate Gillian Moir.

Practice head(s):

Victoria Walton

Other key lawyers:

Simon Robinson; Kate Stephenson; Gillian Moir


‘Engaged and informed team, providing seamless service and timely action across all stages of our transaction.’

‘Victoria Walton is an exceptional solicitor who is able to draw on practical experience as well as sound legal advice.’

‘Gillian Moir – Managing Associate – excellent communicator with deep knowledge to facilitate transaction completion.’

Key clients

Durham Cathedral

The Esh Group

Ramside Estates Limited

Beyond Housing Limited

Hargreaves Services plc

Sirius Group

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 (Halnaby) Limited

Mitchells Investments Ltd

Durham County Council

Forest Homes 2020 Limited

Work highlights

  • Completed more than £60m of CBILS and RLS transactions on behalf of Atom Bank plc.
  • Acting for a regional house builder with a turnover of £242m in relation to the acquisition of two large residential development sites with a combined developed value of £36m.
  • Acting on behalf of a purchaser of farmland and buildings at a price of £3.6m with borrowing secured on the property and further farm properties already owned by the buyer.


BHP Law’s commercial and agricultural property department acts across a varied range of industrial, retail, land, office and residential developments at a regional and national level, and leverages its agricultural expertise to assist with renewable energy projects and other rural diversification issues. Group head Peter Blackett primarily acts for rural and farming clients and is praised as ‘genuine, considerate, consistent and objective’.

Practice head(s):

Peter Blackett


‘Fair pricing, excellent communication from the solicitor.’

‘The solicitor that has provided a service for me has given explanations clearly and simply. He has always been super quick to respond, paid great attention to details and given patient, full, clear explanations to me.’

‘Excellent relationships built over many years.’

Endeavour Partnership LLP

Following the retirement of former practice head Simon Wake, Endeavour Partnership LLP’s practice is now under the leadership of Jamie Brown, who is experienced in agricultural property issues including land diversification work. The group also focuses on property developments and mandates in the renewables, logistics, retail, petrochemical and hospitality sectors. Newly promoted partner Natalie Kay excels in development transactions.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Brown

Other key lawyers:

Natalie Kay; Emma Loughran


‘Endeavour Partnership is unique in that they are one of the few firms you can expect city firm levels of service and expertise at local competitive rates. Endeavour has continued to expand its practice and expertise making it a natural go to firm for all a businesses needs.’

‘Local knowledge, business connections and expertise is what makes Endeavour different to rival firms. We have used Jamie Brown, Partner, Commercial Property on a number of different projects and his understanding of our business as a client and connections with external parties has been evident in getting results.’

‘The team went through a major change when the highly respected Simon Wake retired in 2021. They managed to handle this seamlessly with newly appointed associates (particularly Emma Loughran) exceeding expectations in terms of technical ability, speed of service and communication skills – the remaining partners have also showed themselves more than able to pick up where Simon left – first class effort in very difficult circumstances.’

Key clients

A.V. Dawson Limited

Middlesbrough Development Company Limited

Ramsdens Financial Limited

Homes by Carlton Limited

Tees Valley Combined Authority

Tomahawk Steakhouses

Middlesbrough Borough Council

Maple Oak Living Limited

Benchmark Leisure Limited

HSBC UK Bank plc

Helmsley Group

Teesside University

Bulkhaul Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised a local authority’s development subsidiary in relation to its purchase of a derelict part of Middlesbrough to be developed for affordable housing, entering into development agreements with multiple registered housing providers and various ancillary commercial property matters.
  • Advised the administrators of Cleveland Bridge UK Limited and LPA receivers of Cleveland Bridge Dorman Long Engineering Limited in relation to the sale of the company’s commercial property assets for more than £5m.
  • Advised a German parent company on the sale of its UK based shipyard facility at Haverton Hill.

Latimer Hinks Solicitors

In Darlington, Latimer Hinks Solicitors utilises the firm’s private client strength to advise on land development work, transactions involving landed estates, renewable energy projects and property acquisition funding issues. Team head Adam Wood is experienced in development sales, collaboration agreements and planning issues, while Martin Williamson heads up the residential property group and advises on agricultural, rural and residential properties.

Practice head(s):

Adam Wood

Other key lawyers:

Martin Williamson


‘An excellent and professional team that covers nearly all the sectors that clients need advice on. Very friendly and approachable. Latimer Hinks are extremely personable which is important to many of the clients I deal with who prefer face to face engagement.’

‘Extremely helpful, knowledgeable and easily contactable.’

Tilly Bailey & Irvine

Tilly Bailey & Irvine’s ‘superb service’ attracts a range of local and national clients to the Wynyard-based practice including landowners and farmers, which instruct the group on residential developments and agricultural land disposals. The team also counts several pension schemes as clients, which it advises on property work. Sara Garnett leads the practice, which also includes development specialist Andrew Beattie and associate Rhiannon Melrose, who handles landlord and tenant work.

Practice head(s):

Sara Garnett

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Beattie; Rhiannon Melrose


‘I find this firm Thorough, Efficient, Very Knowledgeable, easy to contact (always available) and I trust their expertise.’

‘The partner in charge of my case is exceptional, she was meticulous and does a great job explaining the legal concept for my understanding.’

‘From the first contact with Rhiannon Melrose I knew I was in good hands. Her knowledge was second to none. Always kept me up to date with what was going on and what I needed to do.’

Key clients

Ron Perry & Son

I.P.M. Personal Pension Trustees Limited

Gus Robinson Developments Limited

Landteam Property Investments Limited

Hartforth Homes Limited

Amsa Holdings Limited

Wainstones Developments Limited

Buller Holdings Ltd

Witton Care Limited

Arrowcruit Holdings Limited

The Darlington Farmers Auction Mart Company Limited

Stellprop Limited

Appleton Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised an individual in relation to the sale of part of their land for development which involved a conditional contract, a put and call option, two transfers of part, a call option, a licence to occupy and deeds of grant for services.
  • Advised Buller Holdings Ltd in connection with the lease of an existing bar, Storytellers, which included a right of pre-emption to purchase the freehold interest in the building.
  • Advising The Darlington Farmers Auction Mart Limited in relation to its prestigious new auction centre at Humbleton including the management and ongoing lettings of various commercial and office units.