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Commercial property: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 in South East

Boyes Turner

Boyes Turner's real estate group consists of four distinct areas of property expertise; commercial issues; developments and house building work; residential and plot mandates; and collective enfranchisement mandates. The group also has niche specialisms in acting for offshore trusts and investors, and aggregate and waste companies. Nick Carter heads up the practice, handling commercial property transactions for a range of national and international companies in the industrial, life sciences and TMT sectors. Mark Appleton is an expert in the management of investment properties and estates, and Derek Ching specialises in land development work including environmental and planning issues. Associates Rachel Duncan and Sarah Webb are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Nick Carter

Other key lawyers:

Mark Appleton; Derek Ching; Rachel Duncan; Sarah Webb; William Nassau-Lake

Testimonials

‘The team continues to provide excellent advice and support. The attention to detail and prompt turnaround of matters sets this team apart from others.’

‘Attention to detail and personal service levels… many years of collective experience is invaluable.’

‘Rachel Duncan. She makes the effort to really understand client priorities and then goes the extra ten miles to deliver them. In my experience her ability to do this is rare in private practice.’

‘They were very responsive from start to finish during a complex transaction and their high standards of work were not disrupted by the pandemic.’

‘Nick Carter is exceptional and provided all the support needed to meet our requirements and kept us updated every step of the way with very commercial and practical advice.’

‘Very personable, nothing is too much, can be contacted at most times of day. Mark Appleton and Derek Ching particularly.’

Key clients

Cotax Limited and Winslett Property Limited trading as Cygnet Investments Limited

Castlefort Homes

Allerton Group

Guardian Media Group plc

Analog Devices UK Limited

Ramboll

AS 24 Fuel Card Limited

Hitachi Consulting

Verifone

Montpelier Estates Limited and associated companies.

Thomas Homes

Harleyford Aggregates Ltd

Trowelrads.Com

Ssassy Property

Work highlights

  • Advising Ssassy at every stage throughout the life cycle of its ground breaking carbon natural 100% sustainable residential development of 25 custom build residential units in Southmoor Oxfordshire with a GDV of circa £12.5m.
  • Advising Kyocera on the reorganisation of its headquarters in the UK at Eldon Court Reading.
  • Acting for Cygnet Investments on a refinancing of existing debt over a property, and the development of 63 apartments, infrastructure and other buildings and to create 77 serviced house plots situated lakeside in the Cotswolds with a deal value of £38m.

Blake Morgan LLP

Blake Morgan LLP's Thames Valley property group is comprised of a large team of lawyers with specialisms in property litigation, construction, planning and environmental matters. The practice is well known for its wide-ranging sector expertise, acting for major corporate occupiers, institutional investors, charities and faith groups, and clients in the science and technology industries. Practice head Andrew Farmery leads the team in Oxford and Reading and acts as a trusted adviser to major companies alongside Michael Ward. Newly appointed partner George Panteli focuses his practice on high-value pre-lets and freehold acquisitions and disposals.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Farmery

Other key lawyers:

Michael Ward; George Panteli; Rob Lynch

Testimonials

‘The team is impressively responsive with replies to emails and calls being provided expeditiously. As a consequence, we are able to be agile and responsive in commercial matters, which invariably means obtaining the best results quickly.’

‘Outstanding communication, which means someone will always come back to you with the answer you are looking for, whether a legal or simple administrative query.’

‘Great link-up between estates and property litigation teams. You can rest assured that your matter is in safe hands from beginning to end, across the two contentious and non-contentious fields.’

‘Vast experience of dealing with charity retail clients. Is able to draw upon this experience to advise on any special consideration we should be considering on unusual matters.’

Key clients

IWG plc

DX Networks Services Limited (part of DX Group plc)

Anheuser-Busch In Bev

Sorbon Estate Limited

The Methodist Church

Canary Wharf Group Plc

Gigaclear plc

Aldermore Bank plc

Cherwell District Council

XPS Pensions Consulting Limited (part of XPS Pensions Group plc)

Montpelier Estates Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Sorbon Estates Limited on estate management work in respect of its office, retail and industrial premises.
  • Advised IWG on a project to negotiate lease restructures of a significant proportion of its 300 plus office leases and completed deals with landlords.
  • Advised Montpelier Estates Limited, a healthcare developer, on the development of a large multi-let surgery development in Buckinghamshire.

Osborne Clarke LLP

Osborne Clarke LLP's real estate team in Reading acts on a wide range of real estate work, ranging from portfolio and asset management issue to complex mixed-use developments and real estate finance work. Rebecca Tuffs leads the department and has significant experience managing large portfolio sales and financings involving multiple jurisdictions. Elizabeth Sturgess focuses on developments and strategic land work, with a particular emphasis on house building mandates.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Tuffs

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Sturgess; Steve Schofield

Testimonials

‘Osborne Clarke have a range of disciplines within the business which provide an ‘all rounded’ legal service from site acquisition, affordable housing sales, tax and planning advice all of which are fluidly linked with each other to offer the best comprehensive and commercially minded advice to us as clients. The people in the different disciplines are all friendly and very responsive to queries on both existing and upcoming projects.’

‘Steve Schofield (Partner) – I have worked with Steve on a number of complex projects and he always delivers an exceptional legal service. Steve is very commercial minded which is incredibly valuable to us as clients, whilst ensuring that our legal interests are appropriately protected. I always feel like I can ask any questions no matter how insignificant they may seem, and Steve always takes the time to respond or point me in the right direction.’

Key clients

Barratt/David Wilson Homes

Sovereign Housing Association

Vistry Group

Taylor Wimpey

The Trade Desk

ERLP (Europa Capital)

QinetiQ Limited

Barclays Bank Plc

Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company

Thames Valley Housing Association

Work highlights

  • Advised The UK Trade Desk on a major pre-letting agreement for One Bartholomew Close, a new, high-quality office building in Farringdon London, where the company took over a quarter of the letting space in the building.
  • Advising Whitehill and Bordon Regeneration Company on the multi-million pound redevelopment of Bordon Garrison, a neighbourhood in Bordon, Hampshire.
  • Advising a major housing association regarding its freehold interest in a strategic land site in Berkshire, including regular meetings with the consortium of developers.

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP's Thames Valley real estate team is 'superb', and is best known for its expertise in corporate occupancy, investment, commercial development and property finance mandates. Practice head Nathan Rees has extensive experience in large-scale acquisitions and disposals, asset management issues and development work. Alan Corcoran, who has significant expertise in the corporate occupancy field, is a key practitioner and heads up three of the firm's southern real estate teams. Marcus Devanny is a recommended associate whose specialties include providing advice to institutional investors on property portfolios.

Practice head(s):

Nathan Rees

Other key lawyers:

Alan Corcoran; Marcus Devanny

Testimonials

‘Superb team who are knowledgeable, clear thinking, good with advice and sensible on pricing. They feel like an external add on to our own team as opposed to paid externals.’

‘Alan Corcoran is a great leader with superb knowledge and excellent to work with. He leads his team and is enthusiastic about the work. He and his team are motivated to help achieve the best outcome.’

‘The team has been providing all-round property law services for the last 10 years. Generally good level of service.’

Key clients

McCarthy Stone

Hovis

Nissan/Renault Alliance

Department of Work and Pensions

Mattel

Third Space

Lloyds Bank PLC

McKay Securities PLC

AEW Europe

Mabey Holdings Limited

Component Source Ltd

Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals

Allegro Microsystems

DXC Technology

Work highlights

  • Advised McKay Securities PLC on the development, letting and £70m disposal of a class-leading London scheme.
  • Acting for McCarthy Stone on acquisitions and strategic land issues with an overall GDV in excess of £56m in the final quarter of 2020.
  • Acted for Third Space, the UK’s leading luxury gym operator, in connection with its London-focused estate of gyms, including its further expansion through the acquisition of additional key sites.

BDB Pitmans

The team at BDB Pitmans advises on a wide range of real estate matters, including property asset management work and property litigation. The Reading team is also experienced in large-scale residential developments, with Marcus McCluggage leading in this area, regularly acting for housebuilders and promoters. Delphine Mehouas and Sarah Potter are also key practitioners in Reading, with Mehouas advising on commercial and residential property matters and Potter focusing on landlord and tenant work, including student accommodation issues. Paul Brame left the firm to join Bower & Bailey in May 2020. Jonathan Fewster leads the group from the London office.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Fewster

Other key lawyers:

Marcus McCluggage, Delphine Mehouas; Sarah Potter

Key clients

Cala Homes

Bewley Homes

Shanly Homes

Ashill Land

Oakford Homes

Vanderbilt Homes

Palatine Homes Limited

Brookworth Homes Limited

Deanfield Homes Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted for Ashill Land on the sale of a multi-landowner site in Tonbridge with part of the site being owned by an educational facility that entered into the first ever educational administration.
  • Advised Charles Follett Limited on the acquisition and sub-sale of a large retail unit in central London.

Blandy & Blandy LLP

Blandy & Blandy LLP is praised by clients as 'excellent and commercially astute' and is particularly known for its development land and secured lending expertise, in addition to handling the full range of commercial property transactional work. Practice head Katja Wigham has significant experience in advising charities, educational institutions and third sector organisations, while John Dingle advises on a wide range of areas including property developments and commercial leases, with a focus on the healthcare sector. Jane Gunnell and associate Gemma Smith are experienced in landlord and tenant matters and the sale and purchase of freehold and leasehold property.

Practice head(s):

Katja Wigham

Other key lawyers:

John Dingle; Jane Gunnell; Gemma Smith

Testimonials

‘Simply excellent. A great team specialising in all facets of commercial property. A thorough understanding of client’s requirements To the point, managing client’s expectations. A thirst to achieve the very best outcome for their client.’

‘Honest, a high degree of integrity, professional and practical knowledge and experienced. The highest standard of professional ethics.’

‘Katja Wigham is exceptional. A thoroughly lovely person to deal with and with razor-sharp intellect and knowledge to back it up. Also, turnaround time on work is extremely fast.’

‘Blandy & Blandy are an excellent and commercially astute team who have worked for a number of years on a wide variety of complex commercial property lease negotiations involving NHS trusts. Not only is their sense of collaboration commendable, but they are also always willing to go above and beyond. Their team consists of a number of hard-working and professional staff who have built an excellent rapport and are truly valued for their continuous dedication to achieving the absolute best for their clients.’

‘John Dingle within the commercial property team is exceptional, knowledgeable, responsive and a pleasure to work with. He has an extremely impressive understanding of the healthcare sector and has become an invaluable resource for our in-house legal team.’

Key clients

Englefield Estate Trust Corporation Ltd

University of Oxford

Simplyhealth Group Limited

InHealth Limited

Handelsbanken plc

SAS International Limited

R Collard Limited

Austin Fraser Limited

Cove Construction Limited

H & T Properties Limited

Clarkslegal LLP

Clarkslegal LLP provides the full spectrum of real estate advice, with specialist expertise in the areas of public procurement, charity and property finance matters, including Islamic finance mandates. The team is well-known for its work in the education, healthcare and motor retail sectors, and is growing its hotel and leisure practice as well as its public sector client base. Simon Ralphs took over from consultant Rachel Krol as head of department and has extensive experience in real estate development and investment work, acting for institutional investors, large retailers and property funds. Shona Dunning acts for charities, parish councils and NHS Trusts.

Practice head(s):

Simon Ralphs

Other key lawyers:

Shona Dunning; Rachel Krol

Testimonials

‘The current property commercial construction and ligation partners of this firm are in my recent experience prompt, efficient, competent and very pleasant people to deal with – they have maintained the service we need and expect well in the current difficult circumstances. Their charges are not cheap but we feel we get value for money – they understand that often commercial considerations in transactions can be as important as the legal. They have worked well when we need to close down deals quickly. Few practices are “unique” but their combination of attributes puts them in the “rare” category.’

Key clients

NTT Data UK Limited

Crown Packaging Manufacturing UK Limited

Newham Sixth Form College Further Education Corporation

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

St Clair Developments Limited

Lafarge UK Pension Trustees

Eden Motor Group

Offsite Archive Storage and Integrated Services (OASIS)

Liquidators of Carillion plc

Work highlights

  • Acting for a London-based urban regeneration specialist that aims to create high street spaces that promote culture and the arts encouraging whole-area regeneration.
  • Advising Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on a number of matters including the ongoing Botnar Research Centre project at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford.  
  • Acting for a developer on a complex matter involving prime residential real estate in the Home Counties.

Clifton Ingram LLP Solicitors

Clifton Ingram LLP Solicitors advises clients on a wide range of commercial property matters, with a particular focus on leasehold work relating to office, industrial, educational and retail premises. The team also advises on agricultural-related work including farmland and large country estate matters, an area in which Tim Read has expertise. Jonathan Foulds advises on all property matters, including refinancings and business acquisitions, lease acquisitions and disposals. Ian Graham has expertise in the management of investment portfolios and lending secured on properties.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Foulds

Other key lawyers:

Ian Graham; Tim Read; Chris Baggs

Testimonials

‘Superb organisation and efficiency to an outstanding level.’

‘Very quick to respond to issues as they arrive so we can deal and resolve matters that arise in our business in a prompt and efficient manner. Specialists in many varied areas that give confidence that you are always getting the best advice and guidance possible.’

‘Jonathan Foulds – a very professional, calm, collected and forward-thinking property lawyer. A pleasure to deal with and excellent communication skills throughout.’

‘The approachability of people in the practice is very refreshing. Talking honestly and plainly makes it much easier to understand and take any problems into account. I genuinely feel like they want to help and solve problems for you.’

Key clients

Elstree Land Limited

Darcliffe Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Darcliffe Homes Limited on the purchase of a site in Tilehurst which it has planning permission for to construct 66 residential units on.
  • Advising Elstree Land Limited on the purchase of a development site and subsequent conditional contract for the sale of the same site which included negotiating the s106 Agreement with the local authority and dealing with the completion of the sale of the site.

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Field Seymour Parkes LLP advises numerous blue-chip corporate clients and high-net-worth individuals on a range of real estate matters, including complex secured lending work, investments, development acquisitions and disposals. Practice head Marcus Francis is well respected, advising on high-value landlord and tenant matters and strategic land transactions. Dean Bickford acts for a number of large corporate occupiers, national charities and universities, and James Burgess has a wealth of experience in real estate mandates and is particularly active in agricultural and rural land matters.

Practice head(s):

Marcus Francis

Other key lawyers:

Dean Bickford; Michael Higgin; Richard Higgs; James Burgess

Testimonials

‘Dean Bickford – Pragmatic, diligent and wants to get the deal done.’

‘A complete team of professionals. All like-minded with a similar ethos of ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality. Provide solid commercial advice in a solution-driven culture. From top-down and bottom-up it is a class team.’

‘Friendly, reliable, professional, diligent lawyers. Always going beyond expectation in the level of service and sound advice. Competitively priced and as good as you get across the industry.’

Key clients

Euro Car Parts

Westbury Street Holdings (Benugo, BaxterStorey, Searcys, Holroyd Howe, Caterlink, etc)

Sorbon Estates

Shanly Homes

Whistl

Ascot Racecourse

University of Reading

Akzo Nobel (ICI)

Dominvs Group

Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre

Formal Investments

Thames Properties Group

HSBC

Work highlights

  • Advising Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) on all aspects of its new world-leading facility in Harwell.
  • Acted for Whistl UK Limited on a brand new distribution warehouse letting.
  • Acted for Bewley Homes plc on a £20m acquisition.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP provides comprehensive real estate support including advice on construction and development projects, planning issues, environmental and tax work and property litigation. The practice is led by Patrick Whetter whose specialisms include the life sciences, medtech, healthcare, publishing and education sectors. Philip Gray joined the group in April 2020, strengthening the team's offering in non-contentious commercial property work, with particular emphasis on the property elements of corporate mergers, acquisitions and disposals. Desh Patel and managing associate Laura Brown are also recommended; Brown handles occupier and developer work for corporate, offshore and charity clients.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Whetter

Other key lawyers:

Philip Gray; Laura Brown; Desh Patel

Testimonials

‘Fantastic approach, always responds in a timely manner, able to point us in the right direction if help in other areas are required. Always so helpful.’

‘We have been with Freeths for some years and have found them to be quick to grasp the latent points of the negotiations as required.’

‘The team are able to provide a complete service even if that means bringing in colleagues from other offices. The team are very aware of their skill set and where within the overall firm they can source additional skill sets as required.

‘Laura Brown is an excellent solicitor but has an extremely sensible commercial approach. She brings a breath of fresh air to every project.’

‘I have worked with a lot of lawyers over nearly 30 years and Philip Gray is amongst the very best.’

‘Patrick Whetter – so approachable even when contacted out of the blue. Extremely helpful and ensures a timely response to whatever is required.’

Key clients

Micheldever Tyre Services Limited

Oxford University Press

Original BTC

Lloyds Bank Plc

Perspectum Diagnostics

Resmed UK Ltd

Pembroke College, Oxford

Kitchen Architecture

Vitra UK

Annie Sloan

Work highlights

  • Advised Micheldever Tyre Services Limited on the property aspects of asset and share acquisitions of four businesses to add to its circa 200 site property UK portfolio.

Gardner Leader LLP

Based in Newbury and Maidenhead, Gardner Leader LLP's commercial property team advises on complex acquisitions and financing arrangements, investments, joint ventures, commercial leasing issues and extensive development projects. Greg Humphreys leads the practice from the Newbury office and has particular experience in handling property transactions for restaurant businesses, while Suki Hardy advises clients from the telecoms and data centre industries. In Maidenhead, Richard Buckeridge's practice handles all property matters, including leasehold enfranchisement matters and regulatory and advisory work. Joanna Bullard is experienced in the acquisition and disposal of commercial properties.

Practice head(s):

Greg Humphreys

Other key lawyers:

Suki Hardy; Richard Buckeridge; Joanna Bullard; Clare King

Testimonials

‘The team’s USP is that it undertakes City level high value, complex transactions, punching far above its regional competitors.’

‘Partner Suki Hardy is a highly accomplished transactions lawyer, having the perfect combination of technical, deal management and commercial skills. Her clients (mainly big-hitting US developers) adore her and won’t do anything in the UK without her input. She deserves their loyalty, given her indefatigability in working round the clock on their complex and demanding real estate deals.’

‘Richard Buckeridge of Gardner Leader has dealt with my legal matters in a clear friendly and efficient manner offering sound advice and producing work of excellent standard.’

‘Suiki Hardy and Clare King are both friendly and experienced solicitors. For us, they stand out because they meet deadlines and do what they say they are going to do. We have struggled with other solicitors delaying matters, but this has never been the case here. Suki and Clare always undertake a thorough job and are willing to go above and beyond.’

Key clients

CloudHQ UK Limited

Progressive Technology Group

Organic Research Centre

Rivar Limited

Swift Logistics Group

Newbury Building Society

Work highlights

  • Advised Organic Research Centre on the sale of a portfolio of agricultural and residential properties with an aggregate value in excess of £4m.
  • Advised CloudHQ UK Limited on the acquisition and development of a strategic site for the development of data centre premises.
  • Advising long term client, Progressive Technology Group on various property matters with a deal value in excess of £5m.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP advises clients on the full spectrum of real estate matters, with a particularly strong offering in the retail, leisure, education and life sciences sectors. Simon Knott leads the Oxford practice, regularly acting for large corporate tenants with fast 'roll out' programmes in the retail and leisure sector, including convenience stores and drive-thrus. Other key members of the team include Justin Winterbottom, who is a specialist in portfolio management issues, and associate Laura Gorman, who leads on high-value transactional work relating to commercial developments, student accommodation and care homes.

Practice head(s):

Simon Knott

Other key lawyers:

Justin Winterbottom; Laura Gorman

Testimonials

‘All of our work is directly overseen by one of the firm’s partners. Simon Knott and his team in the Oxford office deal with our extensive list of day-to-day real estate matters. Always efficient with excellent communication between their in-house team.’

‘The blend of commercialism, professionalism and understanding of their client. Open, friendly, and will challenge decisions where appropriate.’

‘Always there to get the job done and deliver exceptional standards of delivery even in difficult and time-critical circumstances.’

‘Led by Simon Knott, all of his team are diligent, intelligent, friendly, astute and commercially minded.’

‘Laura Gorman has undertaken some very important work for us on the estate and has ensured excellent delivery and also managed to keep me calm in the process. Her work for us has been exceptional without fail and I could not recommend her highly enough.’

Key clients

Frontier Estates Limited

The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals

The Oratory Schools Association

Fortitudo Homes Limited

White Stuff Clothing

23.5 Degrees Limited (t/a Starbucks)

Evotec

Kensaltown Recording Studios Limited

St Peter’s College

Selco

Leyland SDM

Grafton Group

Hitachi Vantara

Work highlights

  • Assisting Fortitudo Limited with 24 different developments, each site is in various stages of the development process, from land acquisition to sale.
  • Acting for The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals in respect of an option agreement with a housebuilder relating to a 134-acre development site that has the potential to supply a significant number of new homes for the local community.
  • Acting for a national Starbucks franchisee on all of its property matters, including new drive-thru stores which are designed and built for the client, by developers.

Spratt Endicott

Spratt Endicott's commercial property practice specialises in handling complex, high-value transactions for a range of local, regional and national clients. The team has particular expertise in strategic land work, including promotion agreements and option agreements, commercial landlord and tenant issues, commercial developments, property investments and property disputes. Managing director and practice head Andrew Woods 'never fails to impress and deliver', while Andrew Querelle has considerable expertise in the property elements of the automotive industry and advises on commercial developments and infrastructure arrangements. Senior associate Emma Buck is also recommended and deals with a range of investment acquisitions.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Woods

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Querelle; Emma Buck

Testimonials

‘Spratt Endicott has been advising me now for a number of years, over a number of different projects, and increasingly in different areas of law. In particular, the property department continues to offer City advice in the provinces. The firm delivers a truly commercial approach and ensures that the legal issues do not become a bar to the completion of the deal. The invoicing attitude of the firm aligns perfectly with that of the client, with billing only taking place at completion. A truly outstanding all-round service, and one for which I will continue to return.’

‘Time and time again I ask Andrew Woods to support me almost exclusively with the very largest firms acting for the counter-party. Andrew never fails to impress and deliver.’

‘I have been dealing with Emma Buck for the past three years and have received a speedy and personal service. Always available and quick to react.’