Rising Stars

Commercial property: Essex in South East

Birkett Long LLP

Praised by clients as ‘experts in the field’, Birkett Long LLP‘s Colchester-based real estate department is equipped to handle an array of commercial real estate work, including acquisitions, site set-ups, plot sales and financing issues, with established expertise in the healthcare, environment and education sectors. Group head Emma Wraight is well versed in strategic land matters, such as option and overage agreements, acquisitions and dispositions, and acts for major banks in securing charges.‘Stand-out partner’ Melanie Bache has a track record in complex and high-value work, acting for some of the firm’s leading clients, while Sian Taylor is noted for her specialist knowledge of landlord and tenant matters.

Practice head(s):

Emma Wraight

Other key lawyers:

Melanie Bache; Hayley Goldstone; Sian Taylor; Justin Stock; Peter Allan


‘They are experts in their field. They are able to work closely and expeditiously with other teams in the firm (e.g. insolvency and litigation) to provide detailed solutions to complex property situations.’

‘Emma Wraight is a superb solicitor, who has a deep knowledge and understanding of commercial property matters and has been able to assist on some complex insolvency scenarios.’

‘Highly proficient in a range of sectors.’

Key clients

Healthcare Homes Group Limited

Colchester Institute Corporation

Direct Commercial Limited

Evelyn Court (Deptford) LLP

Kent Blaxill & Co Limited

Kent Blaxill Properties Limited

Southdowns Village Limited

St Olav’s Court Ltd

St Helena Hospice

Triolo Commercial Holdings Limited

Institute of Customer Service

Paton & Lee Ltd

BEW Electrical Distributors Limited

T Rippon & Sons (Holdings) Limited

T Rippon Estates Limited

Stubbings Investment Holdings Limited

Stubbings Land Development Limited

Stubbings Food & Beverage Holdings Limited

Cliffords Limited

Stonechart Property Limited

Carter Backer Winter

Melia Rowe Developments

Essex Radiators Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised group Project Etopia UK Limited and subsidiaries on various acquisitions of development land, including financing and refinancing, s278 agreements, Deeds of Grant, s106, UU’s, site set ups, Homes New England Finance Agreement, Transfers of substations, sales of sites, and Deeds of Easements.
  • Advised Carter Backer Winter LLP on the assignment of 141 properties for a charity in administration.
  • Advised Colchester Institute on Deeds of Surrender and new 40-year leases of theatre buildings from Colchester Borough Council.

Birketts LLP

Praised by clients for its ‘competence and efficiency’, Birketts LLP’s commercial property team in Chelmsford is engaged by a range of high-profile clients, including developers, investors, and national and international corporates. The department is especially recommended for advice on development, portfolio management and high-value landlord and tenant matters. Group head Grace Kerr is a member of the team’s dedicated strategic land practice, and is well versed in  landowner and option agreements, as well as contracts conditional to planning consent. Steven Kay heads up the firm’s dedicated housebuilder sector team, and is experienced in acting for major national housebuilders, and Hannah Harbottle is the key name at senior associate level.

Practice head(s):

Grace Kerr; Steven Kay

Other key lawyers:

Duncan Williamson; David Springett; Johanna Cope; Matthew Grindley; Hannah Harbottle; Adele Dean


‘Competence and efficiency.’

‘The team is very experienced across the commercial property arena. Grace Kerr is that stand-out partner’.

‘The team exceed expectations at all points of contact.’

‘The teams have an outstanding knowledge, combining well across different departments to deliver an exceptional service.’

‘The personnel at Birketts deliver a very high level of service, with a hands-on approach to understand the issue and producing a fast and effective resolution to the matter.’

‘The two standout partners we have dealt with at Birketts have been Steven Kay and David Springett.’

‘Birketts have provided commercial property services for our organisation for a number of years. We have found we can rely on them to provide expert advice, support and guidance. Client care is where they excel and we always feel our work is valued and important to the firm.’

‘Hannah Harbottle is always available to offer her expert advice.’

Key clients

Riduna Holdings Limited

Breyer Group Limited

HBC Limited

Gates Group Limited

Kefco Sales Limited

Ernest Doe & Sons Limited

Scenesafe Holdings Limited

St Katherine Group Limited

Commodity Centre UK Limited

Harlow Council

Ellisons Solicitors

With a particular expertise in development matters, Ellisons Solicitors‘ commercial property team is primarily based in Colchester, and is sought out by regional, national, and international clients for advice on the whole array of commercial property matters. The firm further expanded its offering with niche knowledge from the dedicated Islamic finance team, which is headed up by Antony Mao. Ross Wiltshire and Guy Longhurst are leading the overall department, with Wishire excelling in development and secured lending transactions, and Longhurst’s practice including advising on the acquisition and disposal of development sites and investment properties. Philip Roberts covers investment sites, property portfolios, and development and leasing matters.

Practice head(s):

Ross Wiltshire; Guy Longhurst

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Fernandes; Antony Mao; Philip Roberts; Susan Ryan; Bethan Williams


‘Philip Roberts is an excellent solicitor, prompt, professional and attentive – 5 stars.’

‘They have been very effective at not leaving any matters to fall through the cracks.’

‘They were immediately responsive to my initial enquiry, Ross Wiltshire in particular gave me a lot of time to understand my needs.’

Work highlights

  • Assisted Hobbs Estates Limited with obtaining planning permissions for two new developments on its Earls Colne Business Park, to include the constructions of a new Grade A rural office business centre (approx. 35,000 sq. ft) in Earls Colne, Essex.
  • Advised Backyard Cinema Ltd in relation to a Licence to Operate a Cinema for the launch of its new site at Depot Mayfield, Baring Street, Manchester.

Tees Law

With offices in Brentwood, Saffron Walden and Chelmsford, Tees Law’s commercial property department is led by Aaron Cane, and praised by clients for its ‘exceptional support’. Caine is reputed for his knowledge of property development, development finance, and complex transactional work. The ‘very knowledgeable’ Jane Winfield heads up the Brentwood team, and is recommended for landlord and tenant work, and commercial transactions including investment finance issues. Daniel Fairs’ practice includes handling commercial conveyancing work, property finance matters and transactions, while Lucy Beck handles asset site acquisitions and disposals, strategic land developments and secured lending matters.

Practice head(s):

Aaron Cane

Other key lawyers:

Graeme Atkinson; Lucy Beck; James Dowson; Daniel Fairs; Jane Winfield


‘Knowledgeable, reliable, very straightforward to do business with.’

‘Jane Winfield is very knowledgeable, and highly professional. She has been an absolute asset in negotiating a new commercial lease.’

‘Tees are an outstanding law firm.’

‘Jane Winfield played a massive part in the progress of the sale, bringing together other members of her team to deal with sensitive and delicate areas of the sale. Absolutely outstanding solicitors.’

‘The team are great to work with. They all put each case in such high regard. All members of the team are professional and hold your best interest as a client highly.’

‘Daniel Fairs is the best solicitor I have come across in my 40 years in business.’

‘They provide a professional service, are very prompt and keep us updated. We would highly recommend Tees Law.’

‘The support we received from the Commercial Property team was exceptional.’

Key clients

R.V.L. Properties Limited

William Thompson Homes Limited

Magri Developments Limited

Snowbird Property Limited

Fairacres Group Limited

Chappell Estates Limited

Earl Estates Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Fairacres Group Limited across its portfolio, including a prominent industrial estate in Chelmsford and, in particular, the extensive and lengthy work in connection with the sale of a boutique hotel in Newmarket.
  • Acting for Snowbird Property Limited in connection with its significant industrial estate property portfolio including acting on various new leases, licence for alterations, lease renewals and tenancies at will.
  • Acting for Florey Properties Limited in connection with the sale of an industrial estate subject to commercial leases and with adjoining residential flats, preparing an extensive and detailed data room and planning, title, property and search enquiries.

Holmes & Hills

Noted by clients for its ‘wide-ranging skill set’, Holmes & Hills‘ commercial property department is especially knowledgeable in land and development matters. Exemplifying this in particular is head Rebecca Mason in Marks Tey, who is sought out by investors, landowners, developers, land promoters, and business owners for her expertise in this area of work. Philippa Jerram is noted for handling acquisitions and disposals, as well as commercial landlord and tenant and other commercial matters. Notable hires in 2022 include Chris Milner from Birketts LLP and George French from Tees Law.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Mason

Other key lawyers:

George French; Phillipa Jerram; Chris Milner


‘The firm covers all aspects relating to commercial property under one roof. The firm is always up to date on recent case law developments and is very approachable.’

‘Philippa Jerram has an excellent commercial understanding and detailed legal knowledge. We are kept regularly updated on progress.’

‘I have the utmost confidence in their handling of my businesses.’

‘I stay with this firm because of their prompt attention in any given matter. This is overridden by the level of expertise that I experience giving me all the confidence.’

‘Holmes & Hills have an exceptionally good set up. All department heads are available to go through and talk about matters before appointment.’

‘The best commercial property team I have dealt with.’

‘Rebecca Mason is outstanding.’

‘The wide-ranging skill set of the lawyers and partners is very comforting to a client.’

Key clients

Abbeyfield Braintree Bocking & Felsted Society Ltd

ALS Labs Ltd

Blue Square Homes Ltd

Chelmsford Cars and Commercial

E J Taylor & Sons Ltd

Lawrence and Wolfe Families

Mattar Estates AS – Geneva

Mersea Homes Ltd

Montare LLP

Rose Builders Properties Ltd

Wilkin & Son Ltd

Oakland Country Homes Limited

Global Park Estates

Privo Developments Limited

Charles Tabor

DCP Developments

D. Mason Developments

Westward Look

Work highlights

  • Advising a client on a complex and high-value option agreement, including overcoming issues relating to the reserved right to mine minerals, overage and dealing with multiple solicitors.
  • Acted for Montare LLP in connection with the purchase and development finance of a site in New Hall with a potential developed value of £4.9m.
  • Advising a landowner with 7 acres of land on the best way to structure the transaction to ensure profits were maximised.


Palmers‘ commercial property department in Basildon has well-established experience in matters related to the sale, purchase, and lease of commercial properties. The team is jointly led by transactional expert Elena Nicolaou, and ‘superb’ supervising director Carey Jacobs, whose focus includes property taxation and insolvency work. Maisie Yau’s practice extends to all aspects of non-contentious construction projects, such as building contracts, insurance issues, collateral warranties and third-party rights.

Practice head(s):

Elena Nicolaou; Carey Jacobs

Other key lawyers:

Maisie Yau


The members involved in our case worked as a team. I often experience that seamless progress is made even when team members are away.’

‘Each individual works well, and response to queries are dealt with timely. Advice is given proactively.’

‘Maisie Yau is very personable and listens to what our needs are, we have confidence in her.’

Thompson Smith and Puxon

Based in Colchester, Thompson Smith and Puxon’s commercial property team is well known for its high level of experience in the agricultural sector. Team head and ‘five-star solicitor’ Stephen Firmin covers acquisitions and disposals, and development, diversification and renewable energy projects, while Kerry Addison focuses on advising developers, affordable housing providers, farmers and landowners on a range of rural property matters. Mark Rowlands is praised by clients for his ‘impressive ability to come up with workable solutions to complicated issues‘.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Firmin

Other key lawyers:

Kerry Addison; Mark Rowlands


‘An all-round team, willing and able to provide answers to tricky issues very quickly and explain them simply. I would always recommend them. A lovely firm with a very personal touch.’

‘Kerry Addison has always been able to provide sound and good advice. I would always recommend any clients who have particular estate and property issues to see them and discuss the issues they have as I know they would be well advised.’

‘Stephen Firmin is an excellent solicitor – prompt, professional and reliable – 5 stars.’

‘Experienced, pragmatic, grounded, with a good technical knowledge of the sector.’

‘Kerry Addison is very hard working, accurate, timely, and experienced in the local sector.’

‘Kerry Addison is hard working and quick to respond. She has excellent knowledge of property and development work. Stephen Firmin is technically excellent, and highly efficient.’

‘Mark Rowlands’ expertise and understanding of commercial property law, both from a legal and practical angle, has been invaluable to my business for many years. His ability to come up with workable solutions to complicated issues is very impressive.’


Non-contentious transactional work, such as property investment, acquisition, disposal and development matters, are at the heart of Aquabridge‘s commercial property practice in Chelmsford. The team is led by the ‘highly capable’ Kieran Lowe, who has particular experience in overseeing high-value transactions for owner-managed businesses. Priyanka Kamal advises landlords and tenants on leasehold transactions, and is also equipped to handle sale, purchase, investment and development matters.

Practice head(s):

Kieran Lowe

Other key lawyers:

Priyanka Kamal; Amy Legg


‘The team has always responded to our needs in a positive manner, being able to fully understand the nature of our requirements quickly and able to offer suitable advice, aligned with our risk appetite.’

‘Kieran Lowe is professional and highly capable in not only highlighting legal issues, but also showing an in-depth knowledge of our business and the potential impact of the legal issues on the business.’

‘Prompt and practical advice and support.’

‘Kieran Lowe has been one of the main individuals to support us. Approachable and reliable, providing sensible and prompt advice and support.’

‘Finding a practice that is proactive, professional and friendly is a real boon. They are also commercially aware. All the team respond in a timely manner. Aquabridge Law have acted for me personally and my company, and I am more than happy to recommend them to my clients, friends and family who always give me good feedback on their experiences.’

‘All the team are a pleasure to deal with, particularly Priyanka Kamal for commercial conveyancing and Amy Legg for residential conveyancing for the proactive and speedy way they work to deliver good outcomes.’

Jefferies Essex LLP

Jefferies Essex LLP’s property department in Southend-on-Sea covers the whole cycle of property transactions, including development, acquisition and sale mandates. The team is led by Mark Hidveghy, who has more than 30 years’ experience in the property sector, and has led numerous multi-million-pound transactions. Amelia Hayes is praised by clients for her ‘exceptional guidance’, and Katrina Holland left the team in July 2022 to Allington Hughes Solicitors.

Practice head(s):

Mark Hidveghy

Other key lawyers:

Amelia Hayes


‘They have been exceptional in helping each time, solving the cases satisfactorily for us, never been let down and always guided properly. They are a unique solicitor firm.’

‘Amelia Hayes’ guidance and understanding to deal with our each & every case is not just swift but always uncompromising. Her guidance is exceptional. With Amelia dealing with our case, we always feel that we are in the safest hands.’

‘Jefferies is very good at building long-term working relationships, and are able to assist with any problem.’

Mullis & Peake LLP

Mullis & Peake LLP‘s Romford-based commercial property team is known for its expert advice on the acquisition and disposal of development sites, as well as commercial landlord and tenant matters. Joanne Wood leads both the residential and commercial property departments, and provides support to the firm’s largest clients, while Sophie Williamson handles the renewal of leases and grant of licenses for landlord clients. Andrew Fidler is recommended for complex commercial land transactions.

Practice head(s):

Joanne Wood

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Fidler; Sophie Williamson


‘We have found Mullis and Peake extremely personable and accessible for all our needs. This has been at an extremely professional level and without any “air of superiority”, allowing us to feel comfortable in discussing issues and raising ideas for solutions and therefore engaging, so that we fully understand what we are legally responsible for.’

‘We are 100% comfortable with Sophie Williamson’s competence and confident, she is always very pleasant to deal with but also firm in her advice.’

Key clients

Unisystems Freight (UK) Limited

Gurdev Channa of Britannia Pharmacy

Paul Robinson Solicitors LLP

Paul Robinson Solicitors LLP ‘s commercial property team acts for individuals, businesses and financial institutions on a broad spectrum of property transactions, including acquisitions and sales, tenancy agreements and leases, as well as option and investment agreements. Mark Deans leads the team in Billericay, and is well versed in high-value commercial leases, sales and purchases of freehold investment properties, and commercial loans. The team in Southend-on-Sea is headed up by Wendy Cole, who specialises in site acquisitions through various mechanisms, such as unconditional and conditional purchases and option agreements.

Practice head(s):

Mark Deans; Wendy Cole


‘Fast and efficient – good communication.’

‘Mark Deans is super efficient.’

Pinney Talfourd LLP

With significant experience in handling issues relating to properties held in pension funds, as well as complex land transactions, Pinney Talfourd LLP‘s commercial property team is also well versed in advising on offshore transactions with jurisdictional requirements. The department is led by Julien Pritchard in Brentwood, who regularly acts for landowners who are approached by developers to sell their land.

Practice head(s):

Julien Pritchard


‘Pinney Talfourd has an excellent balance of size and efficiency. Staff and partners collaborate well across service lines, and provide the service I am looking for.’

‘Julien Pritchard is excellent in both the quality, and speed of his work. He offers practical and considered advice, but is not afraid to point out the difficulties, issues and risks associated with situations and decisions that need to be made. Overall, a pleasure to deal with.’

‘The outstanding service is underpinned by the responsive service provided by the team.’

‘All members of the team provided excellent communications and advice.’

‘Julien Pritchard is always approachable, innovative and practical in his approach to our appointments.’

‘They have a multi-faceted team that covers all aspects of our requirements for commercial property law.’

‘They are a multi-disciplinary practice which offers a one-stop shop for all of my requirements, with a specialist in each field providing clear and effective advice.’

Key clients

Keech Hospice Care

Textile Reuse & International Development Limited

Berwen Limited

Connells Group

Work highlights

  • Advising on the grant of a new lease and reversionary leases over commercial office space in central London with a rent exceeding £800,000 per annum.
  • Concluding a long running development deal which saw a client completing on a sale which grossed in excess of £6m for the seller.
  • Making an application to register land on the basis of ancient possession, the land having been vested in the client by the Enclosure Act 1859.