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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.
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United Kingdom > South East > Real estate > Commercial property: Kent, Surrey, Sussex > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: Kent, Surrey, Sussex
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

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Helen Archibald leads on commercial property work and Clare Andrews focuses on residential property at Barlow Robbins LLP. The group is valued for 'providing top quality advice and in-depth local knowledge combined with the professionalism of a top London firm' and is also 'excellent at handling complex property or planning litigation'. Jo Farr is a key name in the Guildford office for commercial property work, senior associate Daisy Waldren 'provides an outstanding service' and senior associate Victoria McDonagh is another key name. Bekki Pritchard is also noted for 'handling everything exceptionally'. The practice undertakes commercial landlord and tenant matters, acquisitions and sales, and secured lending work for clients such as Svenska Handelsbanken, Soaro Developments, the Halebourne Group and Caran Developments.

Brachers¬†fields 'a¬†first-class team' and department head Sarah Gaines¬†is noted for her handling of contentious issues and her¬†‚Äėcan-do attitude'.¬†William Butler, who has a focus on the health and education sectors,¬†applies 'methodical patience to complex land issues'. The team has comprehensive expertise in all aspects of real estate including¬†planning, environment, construction, property finance and litigation. A multi-disciplinary team acted for¬†Sea Street Development on a complex ¬£20m project involving the¬†purchase of disused land from Canterbury City Council for a mixed-use development, which also involved planning permissions and which faced considerable resistance from local residents.¬†Ash Jilani,¬†Sarah Webster¬†and Emma Andersen¬†are other noted practitioners.

Clyde & Co LLP's team is able to draw on the firm's network to handle all aspects of advisory and contentious real estate across commercial, residential and mixed-use projects for national and international clients. It counts plcs such as Grainger and Helical among its clients as well as  Frogmore Property Group,  Aurora Group and Portsmouth City Council. The team acted for Spelthorne Borough Council on the £47m development of the world business centre 4 at Heathrow, which included handling the acquisition of the building, due diligence on the existing title, construction and planning arrangements. as well as a pre-let agreement. Adam Taylor-Smith and Martin Quicke jointly head the department. John Pearce, Will Deeprose and Choisanne Man are other key practitioners

Cripps LLP's team includes 'specialists in each area who are able to jump in when needed'. Mike Scott is noted for 'his great knowledge of the industry', Kate Robinson is 'super responsive, very technically knowledgeable and has amazing attention to detail' and Jason Towell  is 'calm and pragmatic'.Stephen Hedley, Richard Blackman and Glenn Miller are other key practitioners. The team handles all facets of real estate work from planning, funding and construction to refinancing and sales. Clients include investment companies, pension funds, private equity houses and REITs, as well as developers and occupiers. It is advising Liberty Property Trust UK on a mixed-use development near Horsham in a project that is valued in excess of £200m; the development is intended to provide a new sustainable community.

The 'excellent' team at Mundays LLP, which is led by Michael Nixon, provides 'a London quality of service at a provincial cost and offers a superb service'. The team  is a popular choice due to its expertise in commercial, residential and retail matters and related financing. It is particularly active in the hotel and leisure sectors and in recent work is advising a real estate developer on all aspects of the development of a 300-room hotel complex. The team is also assisting well-known clients with mandates including secured lending linked to properties in the UK and commercial lease renewals. Kevin Healy and Victor Barker are 'particularly strong in all aspects of development site acquisitions, sales, and in negotiating complex agreements with land owners and other parties' and Gemma James' broad expertise includes conventional and Islamic finance. Gavin Partridge, who made partner in August 2017, has broad expertise in the property space, including in landlord and tenant matters. Stephen Morris has retired.

Stevens & Bolton LLP's team 'has a broad range of skills, a lot of depth and provides well-balanced, practical advice'. Its clients include developers such as Lynton Developments and Equinox Living and corporate occupiers including BOC/Linde Group, Emirates and Kia Motors UK. In one highlight, it acted for Antares Underwriting Services on the development of its new London headquarters, including the grant of a 15-year lease. Head of department Andrew Steele, Howard Lupton, Daryl Rivero and Bethan Dodd are key names. The 'exceptional' Alex Watt and Alice Donzelot are 'great as a team' and Ian Craig joined the firm as a partner in 2017 from CMS.

Thomson Snell & Passmore fields a substantial team that handles the gamut of real estate work from property portfolio management, developments and, increasingly, related finance matters. New funding clients include Charity Bank, Aldermore Bank,  Paratus AMC and Oak North Property Finance. In one highlights, it assisted A A Homes & Housing with the refinancing of five properties with an aggregate value in excess of £70m and it acted for Brakes Bros on a range of matters concerned with managing its property portfolio including new leases, acquisitions, disposals and dilapidation issues. Practice head Richard Ellard and Sarah Easton are key contacts, together with Joanne Wright, Matthew Grogan and senior associate Laura Keatley.

Based in the firm's Maidstone and Crawley offices, the team at asb law LLP is led by Jonathan Cavell, who has notable experience advising on house building and developments. The group handles all areas of the buying, selling and leasing of property and related finance matters, as well as handling issues related to occupiers, landlords and tenants. In recent work, it acted for Castle Property Group on the acquisition of an office building where the site was  subject to restrictive covenants. It also advised Canon Europe on a complex lease renewal with an annual rent of £2.7m. Chris Worthington, Nigel Wigin, Ian Greenfield and associate Sarah Ovenden are other key practitioners.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's team is led by Ingrid Saffin following her arrival in July 2017 from Mundays LLP; Saffin provides 'quick, definitive advice that the client can understand, together with options for moving the matter forward'. Other key practitioners in the team include David Haines and Claire Timmings, who collectively provide 'a first-class service'. Retail and leisure, charities, healthcare and energy are key sector strengths; recent work includes acting for CareTech Holdings on the acquisition of Selborne Care and the team continues to assist Wagamama with portfolio management including disposals, leasing and subletting matters. Debra Kent retired.

DMH Stallard LLP fields a substantial team from its various offices in the region and counts builders and developers, investors and banks among its clients. The team's recent work includes advising Chartwell Land & New Homes on the acquisition of land for development, which included the negotiation of options and resolving various title issues. It is also acting for a number of corporate and individual landowners on a large mixed-use commercial and residential development that could provide up to 500 homes and which involves complex contractual and planning issues. Key senior members of the team include practice head Tina George, Nick Pentecost, who heads the real estate development team, Cathy Searle who is based in the Guildford office, Anne Milne, whose work includes various real estate-related financing,  Charles Pfister and Ben Price.

Led by practice head Tim Hardesty, the team at Herrington Carmichael LLP has 'an intelligent and business-like manner' and 'always provides a first-class service that is excellent value for money'. It acts for an impressive roster of residential builders and investors as well as broader commercial property clients. The group's recent work includes the purchase of development sites for substantial house building, commercial borrowing mandates, and handling the acquisition of an office leasehold for an overseas client. Mark Izquierdo stands out for his 'outstanding expertise  combined with a fine legal brain and an uncompromising level of business and commercial acumen' and Daniel York, who leads on landlord and tenant and secured lending work, is 'a good leader'. Other key team members include Claire McSorley and new hire associate Terri Warren, who joined from Perrins Solicitors LLP and has many years experience in social housing and acquisitions work.

The team at Penningtons Manches Cooper 'works seamlessly and incredibly hard on all instructions' according to one client. It handles a range of work including the acquisition of sites for substantial developments in the retail, hotel and industrial space, and also has lending and refinancing expertise. Clients include developers, landowners, landlords and tenants, including Barrington Brown Partnership, Flight Centre (UK), Rainham Steel Investments and Seybourne Estates. Department head Mike Busby and associate Sam Davies are 'outstanding solicitors with excellent communication skills'; the 'excellent' Tim Davies and Tony Burns are also key names, together with senior associate Graham Dixon. Jamie Lynch and Amanda Bolland joined the team from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP and Gowling WLG respectively.

TWM Solicitors LLP's team provides an 'excellent all-round' service on a comprehensive range of real estate transactions, especially commercial and residential developments, leasing matters and finance. It acts for developer, investor and individual clients, including Hurley Partners, Shilton, Lucas Design & Construction, Lodgecrest and Asprey Homes. Practice head Adrian Price  has expertise in areas including development projects, acquisitions and disposals, and finance and securities work. Other key practitioners include Epsom-based Anne Fowler, 'who can always be relied upon to provide a thorough analysis of a problem and constructive advice'; managing partner Matthew Truelove; Wimbledon-based Claire Campbell; and the 'very intelligent and street-wise' David Stockley. The team expanded with several new hires including Rosy Kidd and associate Gurkiran Notay, who both joined from Stevens & Bolton LLP.

Adams & Remers' team has expertise in a broad range of matters across commercial and residential developments, and landlord and tenant issues. The group is especially known for its commercial property work for pensions funds. It also has an established expertise in the care home sector where recent work includes acting for the seller on the disposal of a number of care homes, which was complicated by various title and access issues and an extended completion date. The group also assisted a care home operator, whose portfolio of care homes is worth some tens of millions, on the refinancing of 11 properties. Department head Katherine Haslam has broad expertise in the area but a noted specialism in agricultural and commercial rural estates work. Other key practitioners include highly experienced senior partner Robin Illingworth, who has experience in healthcare, agriculture and estates, and residential development matters, and Joanna Clark.

According to a client Boys & Maughan provides a very good service from its Canterbury, Margate and other offices in the South East. It counts Brede Hotels, Kentish Projects, Avante Care & Support and Manyweathers Properties as clients and handles land and property acquisitions and sales and leasing mandates involving all types of real estate assets. In recent work, the group is acting for a development company on the acquisition of land linked to a  construction project concerning commercial and residential units, and is assisting another client on a land purchase that involves a leaseback of the purchased land and an overage agreement. Complex development work is a focus for team head Robert Moulsdale and Robert Ailsby is also recommended.

According to one client, Downs Solicitors LLP's team's 'service and ability to respond has been excellent'. The group handles commercial property work encompassing sales, purchases and landlord and tenant matters involving  properties including offices, industrial and retail sites. Working in conjunction with the firm's corporate department, the team acted for a resident-owned management company on the grant to a developer of an option to purchase part of the grounds of a freehold site. Practice head Andrew Peach  is 'brilliant' and 'exceptionally able and helpful' and Heather Kershaw, who was promoted to senior associate in July 2017, stands out for her 'tenacity and client management skills'.

Furley Page Solicitors' team provides 'an excellent level of service on all aspects and is always available to offer sound advice'. It has a strong sector focus on education and healthcare, with specialisms in residential, commercial, mixed-use and student accommodation developments, as well as landlord and tenant issues and lending matters. Practice head Jeremy Licence is well-regarded. Andrew Gough and Liz Brady, who 'has a good in-depth knowledge of property law that is conveyed in a client-friendly way', are other key names.

According to one client, Hart Brown's team 'compares very favourably with other firms in the area'. Its workload includes substantial and complex commercial and industrial acquisitions, sales and leasehold matters for investors, developers, residents' associations and individuals. In recent work, the group is advising the owner of a large industrial site on a mixed-use development that is intended to be developed in stages and which involves complex planning issues. Practice head Roderick Campbell provides 'practical and pragmatic advice' and is 'a first-class communicator'. John Guthrie, who impresses with his 'speed of service and attention to detail', and associate Tamzin Mandelli are other names to note.

The team at Irwin Mitchell, which is based across the firm's Gatwick and Chichester offices, has a 'commercial' approach and is 'sensible on key points'. The group handles complex development projects and land acquisitions including brown and greenfield sites, as well as advising on financing, construction and planning matters. In one recent highlight, it advised Seaward Properties on the acquisition, development, financing and sale of affordable housing plots to a registered social housing provider. Tina Webster is a key contact in the Chichester office and Gatwick-based Balbit Thandi 'is always available to speak and strives to do the best for the client'. The 'pragmatic and efficient' Guy Sackett focuses on residential and mixed-use development matters and urban regeneration projects, and senior associate Brian Dowling is another name to note.

At Morrisons Solicitors LLP, 'the level of service is exceptional' and the team provides 'value for money'. Practice head Edward Moseley has 'a broad depth of knowledge of his subject area' and is ably assisted by senior associates Tanuja Sellahewa and Protima Sikdar-Wood. The team handles the gamut of real estate matters, including investment, development and landlord and tenant work, as well as acting for lenders. In highlight work, it advised on a high-value commercial tenancy agreement and in another matter assisted with the refinancing of a development site.

The team at PDT Solicitors is 'excellent in all respects'. It handles work for developers and builders, commercial landlords, housing associations and landowners and has a niche healthcare focus acting for pharmacies. Managing partner James Clewlow heads the team; he and Emma Van Klaveren are 'easy to work with and provide vital advice and support'. Jane Bowden and Craig Burton are the other names to note. The team is advising on the acquisition of residential development land via a joint venture, which involves a development agreement as well as planning and land acquisition agreements. It is also advising Horsham Football Club on the sale of part of its existing sports ground and acquisition of a new ground for the construction of a replacement football ground.

Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP's team provides 'a similar level of service to City firms but with more sensible fees'. The team is headed by David Ashton, who is highlighted for his combination of 'property knowledge and commercial acumen', and whose expertise spans development, investment and commercial lease work. Managing partner Richard Cripps has broad expertise in development and investment work and Oliver Bussell specialises in planning law as well as broad commercial property matters. Property portfolio management expert William Keating is another noted practitioner. Nick Fagg joined Cripps LLP.

Thackray Williams LLP's team 'is very responsive' and has 'good depth and breadth of knowledge'. It advises on a variety of land development, leasehold and conveyancing matters for commercial, retail and residential clients. Yildiz Betez is experienced in all aspects of commercial conveyancing and land development and Vikki Herbert leads on leasehold matters. David Fearon's expertise lies in advising developers and includes trusts and pension-based property issues and the 'knowledgeable and commercially astute' Paula Irvine is also a key member of the team. 

Warners Solicitors' clients range from banks and construction companies to family-owned farming businesses, estate owners and charitable institutions. The team advises on all aspects of site development, property investment portfolio work, planning permission and finance matters. In recent work, it is advising the independent record label Rough Trade on negotiating the lease of a new store as well as assisting with planning permission and a license to make alterations. Angela Robinson, who is based in Tonbridge, and Sevenoaks-based Mark Davis jointly head the practice. Angela Rowe, who acts for lenders and borrowers on secured lending, and Steve Colville are other names to note.

Whitehead Monckton handles the full range of real estate mandates, including acquisitions and disposals, options and promotion agreements, planning and property-related disputes. Robert Coombe, who heads the department, handles a range of commercial and residential property work including joint ventures and lending work. Dan Cowley's expertise includes commercial landlord and tenant leasing transactions and Vicky Stoodley is especially well regarded for her planning expertise.

Coole Bevis LLP was established following the 2016 merger of Coole & Haddock and Woolley Bevis Diplock. The sizeable and experienced group 'can be relied on with complete confidence', stands out for its 'expertise and ability to deal thoroughly and effectively with matters' and has 'a strong team ethos and excellent client care skills'. Practice head Oliver Maxwell-Jones has 'extensive knowledge of landlord and tenant issues'. Rebecca Turnbull-Simpson is noted for 'being able to quickly formulate effective strategies to resolve complex and often contentious issues' and Carol Blakey, Nicola Hunt and Carina Moss stand out for their 'client focus and for going the extra mile when required'. The team handles the spectrum of real estate mandates and acts for property developers and investors, lenders, landlords and pension funds. It acted for Royal Docks Management Authority on complex negotiations with several stakeholders involving easements and landlord and tenant issues.

The Guildford-based team of Laytons LLP, which is headed by Andrew Li, is 'very proactive' and has 'good industry knowledge'. Ian Cook and David McClenaghan are highlighted for their in-depth knowledge of residential building projects. The team advises local and national developers on residential and mixed-use developments and also assists with landlord and tenant and planning issues. In recent work, it is advising a developer on a project involving the construction of 2,000 homes, together with retail and community facilities.

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