Sarah Gaines leads the commercial property team at Brachers in Maidstone; the firm has recently boosted its South East presence with the opening of a new office in Canterbury in 2020. The team handles work for clients in the education, primary care, charity, agricultural, waste and energy and leisure and hospitality sectors. Gaines, who is on the Board of Kent County Agricultural Society, has extensive experience working with clients in the agricultural and charity sectors. Ash Jilani leads the firm's primary care team with considerable experience in acting on new GP premises developments as well as in commercial landlord and tenant law.
Commercial property: Kent, Surrey, Sussex in South East
Other key lawyers:
Ash Jilani; Bill Butler; Sarah Webster; Emma Andersen
‘The team at Brachers has a wealth of experience and the team are always responsive to our requests for legal advice. Various members of the team at Brachers have different areas of expertise so the most appropriate person is allocated to work with us for each individual piece of work.’
‘We have a strong working relationship with the firm and have done for a number of years.’
‘Excellent team that has provided a complete commercial and real estate service during the past year when we have sold a substantial site with planning permission, renegotiated leases with tenants and purchased an adjoining land holding all through Covid restrictions and the challenges that has bought to us all.’
‘The team members are very approachable and have a wealth of knowledge in their respective field. I have a regular monthly phone call with Sarah to review the current leases, licences or other legal issues which they are working on and Sarah collates responses from the individual team members in advance of the call.’
‘Ash Jilani led on a disposal of a development site exhibiting exceptional patience and tenacity to get a deal over the line in the face of a very demanding purchaser.’
‘Emma Andersen dealt with the purchase of a land holding with marriage and hope value. A simple transaction made difficult by the funding package needed and demands of the funder and their solicitors as well as the vendors demands on timescale and their solicitors performance. The purchase was completed and Emma did an excellent job in getting it done.’
‘Emma Andersen is our main contact point and provides excellent service, support and advice. Sarah Gainesalso supports and provides valuable advice and insight in our dealings with Brachers.’
East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust
Sea Street Developments Limited
The East Malling Trust
Ashford Borough Council
East Kent College
Alan Firmin Limited
Phoenix Medical Practice
Greensands Medical Practice
Saga Group Limited
Medway Practices Alliance
CAF Bank Limited
- Acted for Ashford Borough Council in its purchase of the New Quarter, an £18.5m investment comprising the East and West Wings adjacent to the Panorama building in the heart of Ashford.
- Advising Medway Practices Alliance, a GP Federation of 43 practices in Kent which has played a significant role in the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Acted on the disposal by the East Malling Trust of surplus land to a housing developer for 110 units of housing.
Charles Russell Speechlys LLP handles complex transactions within sectors including retail, leisure and hospitality, healthcare; the practice's regeneration team has recently undergone significant growth. The group, which 'comprises a superb range of highly competent individuals operating as an efficient, client focused team' advises a range of UK, international and high-net-worth individuals, as well as major corporates and charities. Ingrid Saffin leads the Guildford-based team with particular expertise in the healthcare, retail, hospitality and industrial sectors, whilst Claire Timmings has experience in advising on strategic property issues. Charlotte Major is also a strong member of the team.
Other key lawyers:
Claire Timmings; Charlotte Major
‘They have an established relationship with our company and understand the somewhat unique challenges of our industry. The skill set and experience of team members is well matched to our needs.’
‘Working with both the restructuring and property teams, it was evident to see the high level of collaboration between these teams to deliver an efficient and seamless client experience. The team were also highly adaptable and placed a strong emphasis on client service, producing bespoke reports to present completion progress and highlight issues so that they could be dealt with in real time.’
‘Efficient and approachable with a proactive and personal response to problem solving.’
‘No-nonsense and considered, straight forward and practical advice.’
‘The CRS commercial property team comprises a superb range of highly competent individuals operating as an efficient, client focused team. Diligent and professional, I have found all members of the team to be highly responsive and friendly.’
‘Ingrid Saffin was incredibly diligent in ensuring matters were progressed efficiently. She also made sure that she was available to discuss general project matters, such as staffing levels, in good time to ensure the project was being delivered effectively. Claire Timmings demonstrated excellent, in-depth legal knowledge and was very happy to explain the more complicated legal principles / procedures to myself and other team members, which were always set out clearly. This, together with her affable and friendly personality, meant that Claire was quickly regarded with trust, and as someone who could be easily approached with any queries.’
‘Charlotte Major is very commercial, takes practical approach and provides practical solutions. Very knowledgeable and happy to provide direction when needed.’
‘Ingrid Saffin is a stand-out lawyer, a client focused commercial property specialist with an eye for detail and a personal touch. Ingrid has proven herself to be an invaluable resource to our business. She is diligent and client focused. Clare Timmings is technically excellent; an astute solicitor with a ‘can do” approach.’
Nike (UK) Limited
Converse Retail (UK) Limited
Converse Netherlands BV
Dentex Healthcare Group Limited
Save the Children
Warrant Investments Plc
discoverIE Group PLC
- Advising Exeter Property Group on the acquisition of the former British Airways pension trust property portfolio exceeding £150m.
- Advising Dentex Healthcare Group on the acquisition of more than dental 10 practice groups in 2020.
- Advising Save The Children Fund regarding the management of their retail portfolio of over 500 retail shops in England and Wales.
Cripps’s ‘very thorough, competent and professional‘ commercial property team in Tunbridge Wells handles work for clients including institutional property investment companies, residential developers, local authorities, shopping centre owners and real estate lenders. The team is co-led by Michael Scott, Stephen Hedley and Richard Blackman, with Hedley handling investment and development transactions. Sarah Ferguson has expertise in advising institutional investors regarding commercial and residential property, whilst Sally Ashworth deals with promotion and collaboration agreements, site assembly and structuring of development documentation.
Mike Scott; Stephen Hedley; Richard Blackman
Other key lawyers:
Sarah Ferguson; Sally Ashworth; Lisa Steer
‘Very thorough, competent and professional team – they have always had our firm’s best interests in mind. The quality of legal advice provided is exceptional. Matters are project managed, partner-led and supervised. Alongside the legal advice the firm provides clear, pragmatic advice and empowers us to make the right decisions. The firm also plays an important role in the local community which we value.’
‘Personal, committed, hardworking and the ability to communicate well throughout all legal matters.’
‘Sarah Ferguson is easy to deal with, responsive and commercial.’
‘Lisa Steer was a pleasure to work with, never missed a scheduled meeting and always took my calls. What I especially liked about Lisa was the time she took to get to know our group, her knowledge of commercial property matters and her understanding of our sector. ’
‘Having worked with Lisa Steer on several property and land related projects, I can confidently state that Lisa’s communication skills are excellent as is her depth of experience in dealing with complex legal matters.’
The Dulwich Estate
Hermes Real Estate
Ocean Infinity Group Limited
Omega (After Alpha) Limited
Park Holidays UK Limited
Ramsgate Development Company Limited
Runnymede Borough Council
SMCP UK Limited
SRG Group in UAE
- Advising Omega (After Alpha) Limited on three strategic residential care home projects with a combined value of £15m, comprising the sale of a recently converted, vacant care home conditional on planning for change of use; the sale of the residential care home business with input on corporate, banking and property documentation; and the transfer of a residential care home business with change of leases and the grant of a new 10 year lease conditional upon consents.
- Advising Kennedy Wilson on key investment matters valued at £38m regarding the sale of two adjoining shopping centres in Oldham totalling approximately 80 retail units.
- Acting for Ramsgate Development Company Limited in relation to obtaining development finance for the Pleasurama Amusement site in Ramsgate, Kent. and acquiring the company that owned the development site and helped them obtain project funding.
The 'widely respected' commercial property team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP handles work for regional, London and national clients, with specialism in planning, promotion agreements, construction, social housing, development and industrial matters. Mike Busby heads the department in Guildford with considerable expertise in high-value asset work and development work, acting for national retailers, hotel operators and large landowners. Timothy Davies handles acquisitions of development land commercially and residentially whilst Tony Burns handles work involving industrial and logistics sites, especially regarding development funding agreements.
Other key lawyers:
Timothy Davies; Tony Burns; Sam Davies; Lyndsey Whittell; Jamie Lynch; Graham Dixon
‘A great team spirit is clearly evident within this department. Communication and knowledge across colleagues are seamless and they strike a great balance of delivering the highest standards for their clients with a very personable approach.’
‘A friendly and laid-back firm, always diligent in their responses and work.’
‘Penningtons Manches Cooper have a widely respected property team covering all aspects of the law. Regionally the team have become market leaders and are head and shoulders above the competition in terms of response times, quality of advice, communication etc.’
‘Mike Busby’s legal knowledge and expertise is second to none. What makes Mike different to other solicitors is his commercial awareness which ensures that his clients’ best interests are always primary.’
‘Graham Dixon has excelled himself in his advice and assistance working for us, most recently on a complex estate purchase.’
‘During this past year I have once again had good reason to be extremely grateful to Mike Busby and Jamie Lynch. Both have been absolutely excellent and consistently so. Mike Busby particularly is clearly hugely experienced, commercially aware and despite, no doubt, being exceptionally busy, he is always abreast of matters. His timely advice and proactive interventions have been vital on several occasions. Likewise, Jamie Lynch is highly competent and an excellent communicator. Both are extremely hard-working and have provided a superb service, seemingly unaffected by the pandemic.’
‘Tony Burns is hard working, reliable, responsive and easy to deal with and friendly.’
Seybourne Estates Limited
Adanac Busines Park Limited
Gordon Murray Automotive Limited
Signature Senior Lifestyle
Burhill Golf and Leisure
Flight Centre (UK) Limited
- Advised Three Joes on its purchase of The Stable pizza group with its portfolio of 14 restaurants from Fullers Brewery.
- Advising long-standing client Gordon Murray Automotive Limited on the acquisition of a site for its new global headquarters.
- Advised Adanac Business Park Limited on the infrastructure, construction and letting of the c180,000 square foot development for light industrial use, being phase 1 of the scheme.
Stevens & Bolton LLP works with a range of clients in sectors including office, retail, industrial and logistics, hotels, leisure, education and medical care, offering 'a central London service from an out-of-town firm'. The team has strengths advising on investment, real estate finance, and is increasingly handling development matters with an environmental, social and corporate governance focus too. Department head Andrew Steele has previously worked in Australia and London for a range of clients including developers, investors and corporate occupiers. Howard Lupton has particular expertise in handling work involving strategic land assembly and development and investment projects whilst Alex Watt has considerable experience advising clients on complicated option, promotion and overage arrangements.
Other key lawyers:
Howard Lupton; Alex Watt; Daryl Rivero; Sarah Kirwan
‘Stevens & Bolton give a fantastic all-round legal service, due to their multi specialist departments, and have helped us cover everything from commercial property legals to commercial business legals when required. Their seamless delivery of these services is commendable.’
‘The Stevens & Bolton team have strength in depth and have been well placed to give high quality advice across a wide range of issues. The quarterly free webinars are informative, concise, interesting, and relevant. Billing is accurate, timely and provides sufficient information.’
‘A central London service from an out-of-town firm. Excellent client liaison with individual attention from well qualified partners, whether it be with property acquisitions/disposals or in compiling and completing complicated JV agreements. They never lose sight of the client’s objectives and are able to advise and transact in a very professional manner. They also have a team that is strong in depth.’
‘Andrew Steele provides very good partner-level contact and is fully briefed and aware on how a transaction is progressing and what issues there may be. Very good at phoning the client and providing an update on progress.’
‘Alex Watt is exceptional in all areas in supporting our business. Especially when it comes to advice, execution, communication and the friendly approach that makes working together feel easier and smoother.’
‘I have worked closely with Sarah Kirwan on all of our property projects; she is undoubtedly one of the most competent professionals I have encountered. Sarah stands out because she is very knowledgeable and technically astute and is able to guide us through complex legal matters by providing tailored, commercial and relevant guidance. Sarah consistently demonstrates a clear awareness of our business objectives and always provides solutions that are congruent with our goals. I value Sarah’s approach to solving problems that we have encountered – she always adopts a pragmatic, creative approach and manages to deliver solutions where others would undoubtedly struggle. I greatly appreciate Sarah’s care for and commitment to our business and the manner in which she strives to overcome obstacles – it’s very clear that she is absolutely dedicated to supporting her clients. Sarah consistently demonstrates real strength in negotiating on our behalf to protect our objectives; this makes her an invaluable member of our team. When working on a project, Sarah is very much part of our team – she is completely aligned to us and there is no end to the commitment she devotes to achieving our objectives. She’s always available, consistently professional and a pleasure to work alongside.’
‘Daryl Rivero is not only highly responsive to me but when dealing with other solicitors responds with immediate turnaround following working and advising me on details of leases. Excellent legal knowledge, easy to work with and always available.’
‘Howard Lupton takes the time and makes the effort to get to know their clients and their businesses which results in a more responsive and pragmatic approach to advice.’
Adur District Council
Alpha/Social Long Income Fund
Boundary Real Estate Partners
CMS Developments Ltd
Day Group Ltd
Definition Capital/Abbey Wood Ltd
Leightons Holdings Ltd
Lloyds Bank plc
Octopus Healthcare Development Ltd
Store Property Investments Ltd
University of Surrey
Virgin Care Ltd
Wilky Investments Ltd
- Advising 2020 Capital on the purchase of warehouse premises in Stratford, London, for development of 200 student flats, including negotiating complex overage provisions and advising on development constraints in anticipation of a comprehensive student housing and commercial scheme.
- Advising Store Property Investments Ltd on its purchase of 22-24 Cowper Street in Islington, London, from a fund with a complicated trust structure, and subsequently on the financing of the property by a global bank.
- Advising Wilky Investments Ltd on the sale of its Silvergate building in Redfields Industrial Park, Hampshire, to a residential developer, including arrangements for the allocation of Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace and a section 106 agreement with a Strategic Access Management and Monitoring contribution.
Thomson Snell & Passmore
Richard Ellard leads the large Tunbridge-Wells-based commercial property and development team at Thomson Snell & Passmore. The department handles property finance, residential development, project work, portfolio management, and rural and agricultural work. Its clients are locally-based and nationwide, including medium-size house-builders, educational institutions, landowners and occupiers. Sarah Easton leads the team’s residential development matters with a strong regional presence, whilst Joanne Wright heads the portfolio asset management team, advising on strategic management.
Other key lawyers:
Sarah Easton; Joanne Wright
‘An impressive knowledge of commercial real estate transactions and the firm provides an excellent service. Importantly, this has stayed consistent post-covid.’
‘Extremely professional and thorough in dealing with commercial property and able to work with very complex matters under very tight schedules’
‘I found that this company offers an immediate service, both on the corporate commercial and the private residential aspects. They are a one-stop shop and their extended hours of work enable fast transactions.’
‘I found, particularly on the corporate management side, Richard Ellard is both caring and concise. It was a pleasure to work with him and his performance was first class. I also used him on personal transactions, which were conducted in a short time-frame.’
‘They have given us exemplary professional service with excellent caring, relevant and anticipatory advice. Their ability to handle complex purchases on a very tight schedule has enabled us to complete on several contracts on an advantageous basis. Their astute pointing out of potential pitfalls has allowed us to steer clear of questionable purchases. They are extremely pleasant and easy to work with and offer advice that can really be relied upon.’
Pentland Homes Limited
COOK Trading Limited
Brakes a Sysco Company
North Kent College
The Motorline Group
Fernham Homes Limited
Millwood Designer Homes Limited
Close Brothers Limited
The Association of Conservative Clubs Limited
Sticks ‘N’ Sushi
St Edmunds School, Canterbury
- Advised North Kent College on its acquisition of the education related assets of Hadlow College, one of the first education administrations of this kind.
- Advising Fernham Homes Limited in connection with the acquisition and assembly of sites for residential development by way of options and conditional contracts.
- Acted for Aldermore Bank PLC regarding the development finance in the sum of over £29m that it provided to a borrower to develop and convert part of an existing six-storey office building on the Isle of Dogs in London, to 108 residential apartments.
The Guildford-based commercial property team at Clyde & Co LLP works with the firm’s other teams across the UK to advise on the full spectrum of matters, including investment, development, finance and real estate tax. Martin Quicke has particular expertise in handling development work regarding urban mixed-use regeneration projects; he has stepped down as a partner but remains at the firm as a consultant. Local practice head Adam Taylor-Smith left to join Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP in spring 2021 with two other lawyers, while long-serving partner David Wyatt has retired.
Other key lawyers:
Daejan Holdings Plc
Frogmore Property Group
Lai Sun Development Group
C & J Clark International Limited
U + I Plc
Spelthorne Borough Council
Portsmouth City Council
Harbour Hotels/Nicolas James Group
Dixons Carphone Plc
Hutchinson Property Group
Places for People Capital Limited
Liberty House Group
IO Asset Management
- Advised Portsmouth City Council on a £140m strategic investment and regeneration opportunity, resulting in Portsmouth City Council now effectively controlling the bulk of the office market in Portsmouth, presenting it with an opportunity to regenerate the City core over time.
- Acted for Helical plc in a substantial investment deal involving disposing of a significant multi-let office investment portfolio.
- Acted for Integra 61 on a development involving site assembly and development, cumulating in the recent 2m square foot pre-let to Tritax Big Box (creating around 1,000 new jobs in the area) and the sale of a large residential site to Persimmon Homes.
DMH Stallard LLP has a strong regional presence across the South East, with offices in Gatwick, Guildford, Brighton and Horsham. The real estate team is adept at advising banking institutions, house-builders, regional and large developers and utility providers. Department head Tina George oversees all four South Eastern offices as well as London, leading the commercial and residential property teams and the real estate dispute resolution practice. Anne Milne leads the team in Gatwick with expertise in advising on property finance transactions, and Cathy Searle heads the Guildford office, often advising developers and land-owners on their residential development matters.
Other key lawyers:
Richard Pollins; Nick Pentecost; Anne Milne; Ian Greenfield; Jonathan Crook; Cathy Searle; Ben Price
‘What makes the service unique is it is very flexible, each team member specialises in specific aspects of law. The advantage is that each specialist is immediately available and responsive.’
‘They communicate effectively with us having learned how our business works and what our priorities are and have adapted to fit in with our expectations.’
‘Well-balanced range and depth of legal disciplines. Ability to collaborate across teams and offices. Individual team members have developed a very good understanding of our business model and consequently are able to instinctively prioritise and resource services to assist us to meet our aims.’
‘First rate legal minds. Highly efficient and organised in their dealings. Immensely personable.’
‘Jonathan Crook is an excellent technical lawyer who delivers an outstanding service. City law firm quality at less than half the price.’
Orbit South Housing Association Limited
Diocese of Arundel and Brighton
Sigma Hones Limited
Concept Developments Land Limited
Friday Media Group
Landspeed Homes Limited
E-Zec Medical Transport
- Advised Sigma Homes Limited on a complex and high value residential development project with numerous commercial issues.
- Advised the corporate team of Friday Media Group Limited in undertaking detailed due diligence on the property aspects of a deal.
- Handling regular property work for E-Zec Medical Transport, a family-run company and one of the longest established and largest independent ambulance providers.
Hart Brown’s commercial property team is spread across Guildford and Woking, handling work for a well-established client base including SMEs, developers, landlords and tenants across Surrey, Hampshire, Sussex and Kent. Department head Roderick Campbell has a specialism in acting for large resident associations operating freehold estates. Tamzin Mandelli advises on work across the full spectrum of commercial property, including development, acquisitions and disposals, and option agreements.
Other key lawyers:
Tamzin Mandelli; John Guthrie; Anne Bridger
‘I have used Hart Brown a good number of times over the past few years. I have found the calibre of staff very high. They are responsive to issues within tight deadlines. I trust their advice, experience and recommendation in potentially ‘grey’ areas, and their ability to get things done in a fast paced environment.’
‘Long term focus and support on customer requirements. Always being clear, candid and putting clients’ best interests first.’
‘I have known Hart Brown for 35 years or more. Partners have a team spirit; they know what is going on throughout the practice.’
‘Hart Brown is a practice with experts in virtually all legal subjects and provides in depth, detailed advice and guidance.’
‘This is by far the best property team I have ever dealt with in my 30 years of developing. The breadth of experience here is excellent and the diverse team has covered everything I have ever required.’
‘Tamzin Mandelli has been my primary contact for several leases or extensions to leases. She is diligent, and more importantly, approachable on key issues- responding quickly and practically to resolve issues and blockages in a timely manner. I enjoy her clarity and brevity in dealing with ‘curve balls’. I have no hesitation in using her extensively in the future.’
‘John Guthrie is my main contact, and he has provided impeccable service both reactive and proactive. His speed of dealing with inquiries from me is the best I have ever known in the industry and I would now never use anyone else. If he cannot do something, he will find someone who can.’
‘Roderick Campbell is a clear stand-out. Roderick has provided us superb support and guidance over many years. He is objective, fair and fact based, so we always know exactly where we stand. In addition, Roderick is excellent at keeping us informed at every point; we never feel there is a delay or a miscommunication, which is vital in dealing with complicated matters. These attributes are easy to claim and are claimed by many, the difference is that Roderick delivers them day after day, year after year.’
C Hoare & Co
HSBC (UK) Bank plc
National Westminster Bank plc
Abyss One Foundation
Alexson Developments Limited
Bar Rising Limited
Beechworth Properties Ltd
Boyce Thornton Limited
Buckingham Homes Limited
Burwood Park Estate Limited
Quintage Consulting Group
CGC Technology Limited
Design Vintage Limited
Elmbridge Property Investments Limited
Greenbank Homes Limited
HGL Dynamics Limited
Impact Oil and Gas Limited
Mont Calm Asset Management Limited
NW Publishing UK Limited
OKR Regeneration Limited
Parade Holdings Limited
SAV United Kingdom Limited
SC Properties Limited
Surrey Wildlife Trust
The Classic Home Company (Southern) Ltd
The Fairmile Estate Limited
Trenchard Arlidge Estate Agents Limited
Wellden Turnbull Limited
- Advised CGC Technology Limited on taking a 10 year lease of a specialist, bespoke, large new build warehouse, including dealing with US head company guarantors.
- Acted for Greenbank Homes Limited on the sale of a highly complex housing development site to another developer for £1m+, with significant issues over easements, existing rights, covenants, rights of way, parking and planning issues.
- Advising Handelsbanken Plc on taking a first legal charge over an investment building with six occupational tenants in situ.
The real estate team at Herrington Carmichael LLP has expertise in advising on residential development work, including acting for lenders in the development sector, working with banking institutions, undertaking agricultural matters, and advising on leasehold and enfranchisement issues. The department is led by Tim Hardesty who has particular expertise in development matters. Josh Watkin is growing the team’s international capabilities through the firm’s membership of IR Global. Daniel York leads the landlord, tenant and secured lending area; associate Ashvind Kaur joined the team in 2020 from Stevens & Bolton LLP, strengthening this offering.
Other key lawyers:
Daniel York; Joshua Watkins; Ashvind Kaur
‘The team at Herrington Carmichael are responsive and reliable and provide an exceptional service to us. There is a strong level of ownership from the team and they go the extra mile to ensure that there is a thorough examination of each transaction and our interests are always protected.’
‘The team works well together as well as interacting well with our in-house team. Everyone in the team is knowledgeable but if a situation arises that requires more senior involvement, escalation is quick and efficient to enable satisfactory solutions for all parties, to be found as quickly as possible.’
‘The whole team is friendly and knowledgeable and provides a relaxed, professional service. ’
‘Herrington Carmichael have the experience and in-depth knowledge of property law with the ability of individual solicitors to refer specific problems to specialist teams like the dispute resolution team.’
Grundon Waste Management
National Westminster Bank
Irwin Mitchell advises clients on the full spectrum of commercial property matters, including commercial and corporate real estate, property finance, construction and planning, in particular handling complex development projects, regeneration and strategic land. In addition to its local expertise, the team also benefits from the firm’s nationwide presence. Guy Sackett leads the real estate department in Gatwick, as well as the firm’s retirement living and care sector group. Richard Purcell has extensive experience in transactions regarding residential development projects.
Other key lawyers:
Richard Purcell; Hannah Nix
Micheldever Tyre Services Limited
Artisan Real Estate Investors
Infrastructure Investments Limited
North Street Quarter Limited
Balfe’s Bikes Limited
Welbeck Strategic Land Limited
Landlink Developments 1 Limited
- Advised Welbeck Strategic Land on three separate disposals totalling approximately £20m to house builders of complex development sites, having worked these through the land promotion cycle.
- Advising Landlink Developments 1 Limited on the development of its Bognor Business Park including the forward funding of phase one of the development.
- Advising North Street Quarter Limited in relation to its complex 413-unit mixed-use development scheme in Lewes, East Sussex, with a GDV in excess of £200m.
Barlow Robbins and Moore Blatch merged in May 2020 to form Moore Barlow; the combined firm has strength in the leisure, retail and hospitality sectors as well as handling secured lending for high-profile landlord and tenant transactions. The team acts for clients such as housebuilders, developers, banks, national retailers and corporate occupiers. Luc Algar leads the Southampton commercial real estate team, whilst Jo Farr heads the commercial property department based in Guildford. Stephen Ball leads the regionally-strong land development team, whilst the plot sales team is headed by Zoe Owen. Helen Archibald leads the real estate division in Woking.
Luc Algar; Jo Farr
Other key lawyers:
Stephen Ball; Helen Archibald; Zoe Owen
‘Wide coverage by very knowledgeable people.’
‘A competent, professional organisation that we are grateful to have on our side. The Moore Barlow team have proved patient, and highly flexible, supporting us as we develop our acquisition strategy, and dealing efficiently with the many landlords’ solicitors that are not normally comfortable with our market. For us, the biggest plus is that we can be confident that, where matters are dragging on, it is the landlord that we need to be chasing, not Moore Barlow. They work very well with us to ensure that they/we are never holding up a transaction, and so together we demonstrate absolute professionalism.’
‘From our numerous dealings with the firm there is clear evidence of a team spirit. Each member of the team works to a high standard and you have confidence with whoever you are dealing with that the task will get done. They are always helpful and will go out of their way to answer any queries we may have.’
‘The practice is fantastic at hosting networking events and encouraging collaborations between other consultants they work with. The people are great to work with and the staff are all very professional but also approachable and easy to deal with.’
‘The individuals I have worked with are all efficient and responsive. Jo Farr was commended for her efficiency by a landlord when she was acting for the tenant in agreeing their lease.’
‘Jo Farr, has a depth of experience that is applied sensibly and also utilises trainees well, with good oversight involved which enables transactions to progress..’
‘I have full faith in Jo Farr’s abilities and would recommend her highly and will always use her in the future.’
Churchill Retirement Living
Foreman Homes Limited
Ankers & Rawlings
Gleeson Strategic Land
South Somerset District Council
Camm & Hooper
Albion & East
Darwin and Wallace
No Wright & Bell
William Grant & Sons
Ankers & Rawlings
Fastned fast charging stations
Hall & Woodhouse
- Advised the Richmond Charities on the purchase of a new bespoke almshouse comprising nine flats and two commercial units for £5.75m.
- Advised TFC Blackhorse Limited in the sale of a significant development site in North London for £9.5m.
- Advised Fastned UK Limited on the acquisition of Fastned’s UK sites as it rolls out its rapid charging network across England and Wales.
PDT Solicitors - 'a reliable and friendly firm who always put the needs of the client first - handles local and national work, covering matters including housing and landowner development, the buying and selling of healthcare property, leasehold issues, and property portfolio management. Head of the department and head of healthcare James Clewlow has expertise in planning contracts and development agreements - he 'has an exceptional understanding of all legal aspects associated with land and planning'. The 'very sharp and extremely detail-conscious' Jane Bowden advises clients on conditional contracts and land promotion agreements, whilst Craig Burton heads the landlord and tenant team.
Other key lawyers:
Jane Bowden; Craig Burton
‘I have worked with PDT Solicitors for over 18 years and found them to be a highly competent, reliable and friendly firm who always put the needs of the client first. They have an excellent team of knowledgeable individuals who have consistently demonstrated a high level of understanding of any given project. They fully understand the importance of working to a deadline and treat everything with the same level of professionalism, whether it be a multi-million-pound land deal or something relatively trivial. I thoroughly recommend them.’
‘PDT have developed a great approach to networking, relationship building and communicating with clients which has continued throughout the Covid lockdowns. Their strength is their personal contact with clients and applying their legal knowledge to the specific situation, not just general legal babble. Great range of legal services within the firm and from personal experience, I have noted personnel in the different legal departments clearly collaborate well together, and they have a great attitude to diverse employment and employment practices (part-time for mothers etc).’
‘The team are rooted in the regional residential market and bring a wealth of experience of comparable transactions to the table. The team’s strengths are the building of relationships with the parties to the transaction, resulting in high levels of confidence in the delivery of the conveyance. The scale of the business is such that the senior management team are closely involved in the team’s work and performance is maintained to high standards.’
‘Jane Bowden is very sharp and extremely detail-conscious. We know we can rely on her to be rigorous as well as being realistic.’
‘We have worked with James Clewlow, Jane Bowden, and Craig Burton on numerous projects over the space of a 10-year period. They conduct themselves with a high level of honesty and integrity and their communication and availability through any given project is at the highest level we have seen in our dealings with solicitors within our industry.’
‘Craig Burton particularly stands out beyond any other solicitor I have dealt with in the past. Craig is very pragmatic and can be trusted to simply get on with the job and get a property transaction concluded, but you can be rest assured with Craig that he would let you know if he encountered any problems.’
‘Always a pleasure dealing with PDT because you know they will get the job done. Craig Burton combines all the main attributes which in my view a good commercial property lawyer should including, having an excellent depth of knowledge, an ability to unravel complex issues and convey advice in a straightforward understandable way, being commercial in approach and dealing with matters in a timely manner, using modern media.’
‘James Clewlow has an exceptional understanding of all legal aspects associated with land and planning, with a high level of pragmatism and ability to identify the key issues. His communication skills are excellent, and I have found his personal availability and ability to both understand complicated situations and resolve legal problems to be second to none within the industry.’
Bedford Park Developments Limited
Turnbull Land and Homes Group
Sigma Homes Limited
Camelia Botnar Nominees Limited
Whitehall Homes LLP
CAF Bank Limited
Prime Securities Limited
MKT Properties Limited
Trustees of RNS Clarke Will Trust
The Santhouse Pensioneer Trustee Company Limited
Nucleus Commercial Finance Limited
Creative Foods Europe Limited
Proportion London Limited
Sunley Holdings Limited
- Advised Sigma Homes on the complex acquisition of a site for residential development at a value of £4m.
- Acting for CAF Bank Limited in a variety of secured lending projects into the charitable sector.
- Acting for Sunley Estates on a number of matters including negotiation of S106 Agreement and agreement to provide for a nitrate mitigation strategy, acquisition of large development site for approximately 120 units and acquisition of existing residential development and site for further residential development.
TWM Solicitors LLP has offices in Guildford, Epsom, London, Reigate and Wimbledon. Its clients include individuals, corporate organisations, private investors, public limited companies, national chains and banks. The team handles the full spectrum of commercial property work, including acquisitions and disposals, development projects, commercial leases, landlord and tenant matters, collective enfranchisement and secured finance. Adrian Price leads the commercial property department in Guildford with a broad spectrum of expertise and a growing development client base. Anne Fowler has particular expertise working with clients in the leisure industry.
Other key lawyers:
Anne Fowler; Claire Campbell; Simon Child
‘Theteam are both knowledgeable and approachable. All members of the team are welcoming and they get the job done in a timely and professional manner. I have no hesitation in recommending the team to my clients.’
‘We are a small property company. TWM provided an excellent service in relation to a secured property financing. They were thorough but pragmatic and focused on solutions.’
‘The team have always provided an excellent service and advice and go out of their way to be helpful and informative . ’
‘Our Business has worked with TWM solicitors LLP for over 50 years. Over that time we have had long-term relationships with a number of partners, principally in commercial letting but when needed they have always had someone to help in other areas. Consistency of who we are dealing with is valuable to us.’
‘They always take a professional approach and clearly summarise possible outcomes at the start and throughout any project. Pleasant, available and efficient to deal with.’
‘Adrian Price has always been very proactive with his advice; something that I have not always experienced with other solicitors. He is not just transactional.’
‘The majority of my dealings have been with Claire Campbell who is competent and a pleasure to work with.’
Cheylesmore Estates Limited
Hurley Partners Limited
Main Course Associates Limited
Lucas Design & Construction Limited
Asprey Homes Limited
Aspire LPP Limited
- Acted for Hurley Partners on the sale of a former timber merchant yard in Peckham for £10.7m, with the benefit of planning for a Digital Hub Workspace with student accommodation for 393 bedrooms.
- Acted for Westgate on Sea 1 Limited on the sale of a 75 bed care home development site in Westgate-on-Sea for £2.1m, with retention of a residential development scheme and provisions for construction and use of joint access road between buyer’s care home land and retained residential scheme.
- Acted for Lucas More Limited in the purchase and sale of a site for development as a 72-bed care home for £5.4m.
The Lewes-based commercial property team at Adams & Remers has a focus on agricultural land and estates, healthcare and care homes - including a dedicated care home team - and the retail and leisure sectors. The team handles options and promotion agreements, development and investment work, and landlord and tenant matters. Its clients include private and public banks and lenders and property portfolio clients. Katherine Haslam heads the department and Robin Illingworth has experience in a broad range of residential property transactions. Joanna Clark heads the care home team.
Other key lawyers:
Robin Illingworth; Joanna Clark; James Turner; Jane Sinclair; David Barrett
‘Adams &Remers have a dedicated healthcare Tteam who know the industry really well. They are well connected and offer advice on anything relating to the sector from transactional through to HR. This unique specialism sets them apart from other firms.’
‘Joanna Clark is an excellent communicator and has been a great source of advice, particularly around transactions. She is very knowledgeable in the sector and this comes across well with clients with excellent feedback.’
Coole Bevis LLP has offices in Brighton, Hove, Worthing and Horsham. The team advises buyers and sellers, landlords and tenants, property developers and investors, funders, and institutional lenders. The Worthing office in particular has capabilities advising clients within the motor industry. Oliver Maxwell-Jones heads the department has specific expertise in landlord and tenant issues and development. Carol Blakey leads the residential property department, specialising in residential conveyancing.
Other key lawyers:
Carol Blakey; Nicola Hunt; Jeff Streater; Aman Johal
‘I have dealt with the commercial property team at Coole Bevis for over 10 years and for good reason. Year on year they work tirelessly to provide an extremely efficient and sound service that in turn helps my business succeed. A vast array of extremely knowledgeable individuals within the practice means that whatever the situation, a member of the team is able to resolve any issues or conflicts we may have.’
‘Competency which is married with a structured approach to dealing with complex transactions. However, running through this is a sense of humility and understanding of the pressures we as a client were under.’
‘I have known the key people at Coole Bevis for a number of years as a client. I have always had excellent service. The firm is responsive and professional. At times they will even go above and beyond what is expected if there is a situation which requires urgent attention. In my view Coole Bevis is one of the best legal practices in the South East.’
‘The basis of a good legal practice is for the client to have strong relationships with key team members. I have confidence that there will always be a prompt response, and that any work that I put their way will be dealt with speedily and professionally. Much of our work goes to Nicola Hunt, who in my view is an outstanding lawyer in her field. She has never let me down, and I have complete confidence that, it at all possible, she will do all in her power to get the work done to the highest standard.’
‘There is a good level of support and it is clear that there is good camaraderie amongst the team which makes it easier when working on multiple projects with multiple team members. There is a very good understanding of the immediacy of certain issues, and responses time are extremely good.’
‘Oliver Maxwell-Jones has helped navigate us through a range of situations and his experience and ability to negotiate with differing personalities is worth its weight in gold. I highly recommend Oliver as an exceptional individual in his field. We choose to return time and time again for good reason.’
‘Jeff Streater is very hard working and does an excellent job. All work has been carried out in a timely fashion and all legal details have been explained to us in an excellent manner. We would recommend him to other businesses and associates.’
Royal Docks Management Authority Limited
Tate Bros Limited
Tates of Pyecombe Limited
Tates Property Limited
Bird & Blend Tea Ltd
Downs Solicitors LLP represents both landlord and tenants, and handles work in the food, hospitality, logistics and IT sectors. The Surrey-based team is co-led by Andrew Peach in Dorking, Caroline Walton in Cobham and Madeleine James in Godalming. Peach has experience in advising offshore clients regarding their UK property portfolios. Walton acts for both buyers, sellers and landlords regarding acquisitions, disposals and lease-related issues. James joined the firm in 2016 from Clyde & Co LLP with experience in a broad range of commercial property matters.
Andrew Peach; Caroline Walton; Madeleine James
Other key lawyers:
Heather Kershaw; Ailsa MacLean
‘We find the lawyers at Downs very friendly and cohesive between teams, always approachable and swift to reply and update. As commercial property agents and surveyors we enjoy working with them and are always reassured when one of the Downs team are acting on transactions, whether for clients or applicants – we recommend their services to clients as our first choice.’
‘They are knowledgeable, pragmatic, friendly, very approachable and respond swiftly. It is refreshing to work alongside legal teams that communicate so well and swiftly – in turn this enables us to guide our clients with up-to-date information. Downs have maintained an excellent service throughout lockdown and remote working measures.’
‘Madeleine James and Andy Peach are always available to give advice and to respond rapidly to new instructions.’
‘Andrew Peach is a friendly, down to earth adviser who is always ready to look for solutions and who makes himself available.’
The real estate team based in Canterbury at Furley Page Solicitors handles land development, planning and promotion and agricultural work. Jeremy Licence leads the department with specialisms in advising clients on land promotion and development, healthcare, waste and student accommodation. Liz Brady has experience in commercial landlord and tenant matters, and Ethan Desai is head of the Rural and Agricultural and Rural Business team.
Other key lawyers:
Liz Brady; Ethan Desai
‘Furley Page were prompt adopters of new technology, with virtual meetings and efficient home-working by partners. We continued to work closely and well together.’
‘They take a practical and collaborative approach, with sound advice covering a wide range of issues – clear communication and cost-effective.’
‘Jeremy Licence has a great wealth of experience. Ethan Desai’s very considerable experience is flowering. Both are extremely capable and have proper attention to detail, while clearly discerning the important from the trivial.’
University of Kent
Canterbury Christ Church University
Day Lewis PLC
QH Estates Limited
Trevor Heathcote LLP
G H Dean & Co Limited
Grupo Antolin Uruasa SA
Barretts of Canterbury Limited
Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems Limited
Murston Construction Limited
John Parker & Sons Limited
Foxwood Maclean Estate Agents
Zikoma Properties Limited
FDC Homes Limited
Cinque Port Street Developments Limited
East Kent Spacial Development Company Limited
Whitstable Oyster Company Limited
East Kent Spatial Development Company
Hop & Huffkin (Sandwich) Limited
FGS Agri Limited
Miles Bar Limited
Real Estate Securities Limited
Mount Bros (Deal) Limited
Willmarsh Developments Limited
Roma Capital limited
- Acting for a group of land owners in the negotiation of a promotion agreement for 300 acres of land.
- Acting for FGS Agri Limited on a purchase of a 90-acre brownfield site for waste management.
- Acting for Wahl (UK) Limited in the disposal of an industrial estate.
Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP advises on the full spectrum of commercial property work for clients across Kent and Sussex, including property portfolio management, landlord and tenant matters, development and secured lending. The team handles work within the healthcare, construction, professional services, agriculture, charity and sport sectors. David Andrew Ashton leads the Uckfield-based team. Stewart Gregory , who joined the firm in 2018 from Browne Jacobson LLP, has considerable expertise of the health sector. Oliver Bussell has expertise in planning law.
Other key lawyers:
Richard Cripps; Stewart Gregory; Oliver Bussell
‘We worked with David Ashton and his team – all demonstrated technical knowledge and commitment to client service. Correspondence was dealt with efficiently, and the frustrations arising from a third party’s slow progress were dealt with professionally.’
‘My experience with Rix & Kay was very positive. The team that I dealt with worked hard to support me. They were always responsive in a very timely manner and took the time to explain the process in non legal jargon ’
‘A great team with excellent knowledge -very approachable.’
‘Throughout our dealings with Rix & Kay we found them responsive and professional to deal with. Strong teamworking meant that we were always able to get a response, even if the main contact was unavailable.’
‘Oliver Bussell has provided clear and precise advise, sometimes at very short notice, allowing us to surmount various property related issues. His ability to present his advise in a fashion that we can understand, and his pragmatic approach to resolving issues has proved invaluable ’
‘I have worked closely with David Ashton on several matters. He is a very safe pair of hands and works efficiently to get deals done. Also very friendly and excellent mannerisms with clients. Would recommend without hesitation.’
‘Stewart Gregory and Oliver Bussell are both very competent and efficient, offering timely, expert, co-ordinated advice.’
Turkey Mill Investments Limited
Lenham Storage Company Limited
National Autistic Society Academies Trust
JFL Properties Limited
JAJ Developments Limited
Green Insurance Group
- Advise Turkey Mill Investments Limited on all the negotiated leases with business tenants as well as any other legal work when required.
- Advised Lenham Storage Company Limited with all its property requirements for more than five years, including in 2020 completing more than a dozen transactions relating to its portfolio including safeguarding its estate in the context of a major development proposal on neighbouring land.
- Acted for JAJ Developments in completing two large acquisitions with a further acquisition already planned for 2021.
Thackray Williams LLP
Thackray Williams LLP has a good regional presence with offices in Bromley and Sevenoaks, alongside a recently opened base London. The team specialises in advising clients on leasehold enfranchisement and land development. Department head Yildiz Betez has played a key role in the firm’s expansion into London to increase their client base. Vikki Herbert leads the leasehold team in Bromley with expertise in residential lease-related matters.
Yildiz Betez; Vikki Herbert
Other key lawyers:
‘Thackray Williams offer an excellent all-round service – their knowledge of all aspects of the property business is outstanding and whatever the issue, they will find a solution as a team. An excellent practice – completely recommended without hesitation.’
‘Vikki Herbert is always available, approachable and ready to advise, making me feel well supported in a property business where I do not always have the required depth of knowledge and experience.’
‘Vikki Herbert is friendly, approachable and always ready to support and offer advice. My various ongoing matters with this firm are handled as if having priority. ’
‘We can’t recommend David Gibson highly enough for the excellent all round service he continues to provide to us. His knowledge of complex Freehold/Leasehold law is supreme and he will always find a solution and guide us clearly through many different, and often difficult, situations. We feel completely safe and confident in his hands. David is an excellent communicator, he always responds promptly and will take the time to discuss options in detail and keep us updated. He is always patient, calm, clear and friendly in his approach and has an excellent knowledge in the rather niche area of freehold law. Outstanding! ’
‘The team are extremely knowledgeable and able to communicate issues and instructions clearly. Fee quotes and bills are transparent.’