Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
Click here for more details

United Kingdom > North > Real estate > Environment & planning > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Environment & planning
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Ward Hadaway takes a multi-disciplinary approach to planning matters, fielding a team of chartered town planners and planning technicians alongside experienced lawyers. The group handles a range of issues, including applications, appeals, advocacy, enforcement and matters relating to new developments. The team, which is led by Robin Atkin was joined by consultant Frank Orr, a veteran of the town planning field, in April 2018.

Practice head(s):Robin Atkin

Other key lawyers:Kamran Hyder; Neil Robson; Frank Orr; Nick Gholkar


'Strong commercial solicitors, same day responses and good to work with'

'The team are extremely competent and always willing to offer assistance when asked'

'All individuals are very personable, competent and approachable'

Key Clients

Barratt Homes

Northumberland Estates

Story Homes

Keepmoat Homes

Darlington Borough Council

West Cumbria Mining

Work highlights

  • Over the course of 2018 Ward Hadaway has advised the North West divisions of Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes on a significant number of s.106 Agreements and the wider implications of these Agreements on the planning and development process.
  • Acted for a major housebuilder in relation to a judicial review of one of its planning permissions.  Work involved advising on the judicial review process, the merits of the claim and instructing Counsel.
  • Acting for West Cumbria Mining in relation to a major planning application for development of an existing surface mine entrance for a new metallurgical coal mine including the construction  of an innovative interconnecting underground coal conveyor to a new coal loading and railway siding and  extension of a railway underpass.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's planning department handles major infrastructure projects, redevelopment schemes, judicial review and planning litigation, energy and waste development. The group advise a range of clients including landowners, developers and public sector organisations. The regulatory and environment team is led by Stuart Wardlaw, while managing associate Stephen Dagg leads on planning matters.

Practice head(s):Stuart Wardlaw

Other key lawyers:Stephen Dagg; Antonia Murillo; Kate Ashworth; Francesca Hodgson

Key Clients



Vauxhall Motors (Groupe PSA)


Lotte Chemicals

Work highlights

  • The firm advised Hanro in relation to its objection to the Sunderland City Council (Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor Phase 3) Compulsory Purchase Order 2017 and associated side roads order.

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

GC Diversity and Inclusion Report

In partnership with...

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

International comparative guides

Giving the in-house community greater insight to the law and regulations in different jurisdictions.

Select Practice Area

GC Diversity and Inclusion Report

In partnership with...

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Court of Justice rules on source of income for Derivative Residence applications

    On 2 October 2019, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in Bajratari v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Directive 2004/38/EC) Case C-93/18 which concerns Chen applications and the source of funds for self-sufficiency. 
  • End of the ‚Äėcentre of life test‚Äô in Surinder Singh cases?

    In the recent case of¬† ZA (Reg 9. EEA Regs; abuse of rights) Afghanistan ¬† [2019] UKUT 281 (IAC ), the Upper Tribunal found that there is no basis in EU law for the centre of life test, as set out in Regulation 9(3)(a) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (the ‚ÄúRegulations‚ÄĚ). It further found that it is not to be applied when Judges assess ¬†Surinder Singh ¬†cases that appear before them.
  • Terms of employment as a sole representative

    In this article we examine the working arrangements of sole representatives, looking at the terms and conditions of employment that the Home Office will expect a sole representative to have in order to qualify as a representative of an overseas business.  
  • Can Sole Representatives Be Shareholders?

    The Immigration Rules require that an applicant for a¬† sole representative visa ¬†is not ‚Äúa¬† majority shareholder in the overseas business‚ÄĚ.
  • Immigration Skills Charge - A Guide for Employers

    As a Sponsor, you may be required to pay the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) each time you sponsor a migrant in the  Tier 2 General  or  Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Long-term Staff  subcategory.
  • 5 FAQS about paragraph 320(11)

    In applications for entry clearance where the applicant has a negative immigration history in the UK, the application may be refused under the general grounds for refusal, which are found in part 9 of the Immigration Rules. Where an applicant has ¬†‚Äėpreviously contrived in a significant way to frustrate the intentions of the Immigration Rules‚Äô,¬† the application could be refused under paragraph 320(11). In this post we look at five frequently asked questions about paragraph 320(11).¬†
  • Multiple nationality and multiple citizenship (including dual nationality and dual citizenship)

    British nationality law permits multiple nationality and multiple citizenship, including dual nationality and dual citizenship.
  • Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the Exceptional Talent or Promise Category

    The  Exceptional Talent  and Exceptional Promise categories are for individuals who are recognised leaders or emerging leaders in their field of expertise. There are a number of endorsing bodies for lots of different fields of work, including  artists and musicians ,  architects ,  digital experts ,  scientists  and  academics . While there isn’t an endorsing body for every expert, the growing list means that many individuals could enjoy the flexibility that this category has to offer. 

    Syedur Rahmanconsiders the factors that determine when civil proceedings can go ahead before,or at the same time as, criminal proceedings relating to the same circumstances.
  • Rights of appeal after the Immigration Act 2014

    The Immigration Act 2014 (‚Äúthe 2014 Act‚ÄĚ) reduced the circumstances in which the refusal of an immigration application will give rise to a right of appeal.¬†The¬† explanatory notes ¬†to the 2014 Act state that the Act was intended to restructure rights of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal. Previously, a right of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal existed against any of the 14 different immigration decisions listed in s.82 of the¬† Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 ¬†(‚Äúthe 2002 Act‚ÄĚ). As explained below, whether or not the refusal of an immigration application currently generates a right of appeal depends on the subject matter of the application rather than its categorisation.

Press Releases in the UK

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to