Commercial property: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 in South East
Boyes Turner provides 'technically competent, client-focused' advice on both domestic and international property transactions across a wide range of sectors including commercial, industrial, and residential. Practice head Nick Carter has developed a practice managing portfolios of properties for large national and international corporate clients, often in the tech and innovation sector. 'Experienced, pragmatic and approachable' Derek Ching specialises in advising on land development issues, including all aspects of site acquisitions and site assembly, environmental issues and planning law. Mark Appleton deals with the management of investment properties and estates. Rachel Duncan and Sarah Webb are recommended associates.
‘There’s always an individual who is an expert, so nothing concerns me when I’m advised by Boyes Turner. They seem to share knowledge and apportion work fairly and support each other appropriately to the client’s benefit.’
‘They have helped us (in my capacity as chair of the board of a school) with a number of school property related matters over the last few years, and have impressed with their legal ability; their non-legal, commercial advice and awareness; and their diligence.’
‘Derek Ching has been excellent, giving clear explanations for the board as to the options available to them.’
‘Will Nassau-Lake is exceptional. He’s dedicated, loyal, and always goes one step further than most I know.’
‘The partners are very accessible and easy to deal with. They are not an aloof lawyer practice. They offer simple, old fashioned, good advice and a personal service. Working with them is enjoyable.’
Montpelier Estates Limited and Montpelier Land Limited
Guardian Media Group plc
Ssassy Property Limited
Cancer Research UK
Thomas Homes Limited
Drift Golf Club
Brooklands Investments Limited
Analog Devices UK Limited
K Care Nursing Agency Limited
Spitfire Bespoke Homes
- Advised Reading Borough Council on a £38m investment purchase.
- Advised Montpelier Estates Ltd on the back to back acquisition of a care home development site from a local authority and its onward sale to a care operator.
- Advised Cancer Research UK on its acquisition of new laboratory space at Granta Research Park in Cambridge.
Blake Morgan LLP has been expanding its Reading real estate practice, recruiting partner Robert Lynch and director Angela Mildenhall from Harrison Clark Rickerbys and Shoosmiths LLP respectively. The team provides real estate advice to corporates, as well as advising clients in the charity, education and banking sectors. Practice head Andrew Farmery manages some of the most significant client relationships alongside Michael Ward. Associates George Panteli and Sophie Boswell are both recommended. Ruth Leadbitter retired in 2019.
DX Networks Services Limited (part of DX Group plc)
Anheuser-Busch In Bev
The Methodist Church
Canary Wharf Group Plc
Aldermore Bank plc
Cherwell District Council
XPS Pensions Consulting Limited
- Advised IWG plc in relation to a complex lease re-gear of 30,000 square feet of offices and new letting of adjoining retail unit on Baker Street, London.
- Advised Cherwell District Council on an 11 unit industrial estate in the centre of Banbury.
- Advised DX Group on the lease acquisition of new warehouse premises in Maidstone.
Freeths LLP provides comprehensive real estate support on matters including construction & development, planning, environmental, tax and property litigation. The practice is particularly experienced in advising educational institutions, charities and healthcare sector clients. Practice co-head Patrick Whetter specialises in acquisitions, disposals, property portfolio management and HQ relocations, while co-head Adrian White acts for a number of substantial corporate and charity clients on development projects. Desh Patel, promoted to director in 2019, handles commercial landlord and tenant matters and acquisitions and disposals of freehold and leasehold properties. Senior associate Laura Brown is recommended.
‘Extremely knowledgeable and committed to protecting their clients’ position.’
‘The team take time to understand the quirks in our particular business, allowing for timely advice and understanding our needs.‘
‘The team are very proactive and have a commercial approach to matters, which is extremely helpful.’
Oxford University Press
Lloyds Bank Plc
Resmed UK Ltd
GEFCO U.K. Limited
Vitra UK Limited
RUSI (Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies)
The Oxford Trust
Ortho Consulting Group
Sulzer Mixpac (UK) Ltd
J A Pye (Oxford) Limited
- Advised Vitra (UK) Limited on the acquisition of leasehold space in Clerkenwell, London.
- Advised J A Pye (Oxford) Limited on the purchase of a site for the development of 240 houses.
- Advised Perspectum Diagnostics Limited on relocating its Headquarters.
Osborne Clarke takes a 'practical and commercial approach' to advising clients on substantial acquisitions and disposals, portfolio and asset management, complex mixed-use development and real estate finance work. The team is particularly active in the construction sector, acting for some leading UK house builders. Rebecca Tuffs leads the team and has a particular focus on real estate finance and investment work; Elizabeth Sturgess specialises in strategic land purchases and represents a number of consortia and joint venture entities. Steve Schofield arrived from Thrings LLP in September 2019.
‘Elizabeth Sturgess is a valued adviser. She provides clear, commercial advice and is very approachable.’
Barratt/David Wilson Homes
Sovereign Housing Association
Galliford Try/Linden Homes
The Trade Desk
ERLP (Europa Capital)
Barclays Bank Plc
Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company
Virgin Media Limited
- Advised Consilio Property Limited in connection with the multimillion-pound acquisition of Burystead Court Business Park in Milton Keynes.
- Advised Whitehill and Bordon Regeneration Company on the mixed use redevelopment of Bordon Garrison.
- Advised The Office of Rail and Road on the relocation of its headquarters from Kemble Street to Canary Wharf.
Shoosmiths LLP provides a full service real estate offering to high profile corporate occupiers and also has an active base of real estate fund and investor clients. Nathan Rees heads the Reading practice, acting for major property investors on large scale acquisitions, disposals and financing transactions. Alan Corcoran leads the southern team across three offices and has extensive experience in the corporate occupancy field including buying, selling, leasing and funding of major real estate. Matthew Walker and associate Marcus Devanny are both recommended. Paul Murray departed to join Brecher LLP in 2019.
‘They put the relationship first and don’t take us for granted. They step up every time we need them to and have excellent technical capabilities. Not all legal teams are created equal and although some teams say they do these things – this one actually does!‘
‘Nathan Rees is a true sector and specialist area expert. His experience and thoughtful approach is much valued as a vital component of our property strategy and tactical activities. We seek out his input on an early engagement basis. Again, many lawyers try to offer this degree of “business partner” support and are absolutely hopeless at it – they simply are too “private practice” and don’t add the value they think they can. We have worked with hundreds of real estate lawyers over the years and Nathan is an exception in our legal panel and wider experience. He is a very good guy to have on speed dial.‘
McKay Securities PLC
Mabey Holdings Limited
Calor Gas Limited
Lloyds Bank PLC
Component Source Ltd
Department of Work and Pensions
- Advised McKay Securities Plc in the conditional sale of its long leasehold interest in 30 – 32 Lombard Street for £76.5m
- Advised The Third Space Group in connection with its acquisition of bespoke/landmark sites in connection with the expansion of its high end gym operations.
- Advised AEW Europe LLP on its management of Festival Place Shopping Centre.
Much of BDB Pitmans' work relates to residential developments, advising local and national residential developers and commercial developers for hotel and landmark projects on contracts, promotion agreements, strategic land purchase, conditional agreements subject to planning, collaboration agreements and joint ventures. Sarah Potter, Delphine Mehouas, Marcus McCluggage and Paul Brame are the key Reading-based practitioners. Jonathan Fewster leads the practice from the London office.
Spitfire Bespoke Homes Limited
Palatine Homes Limited
- Provided support for the Aldermore Bank’s property strategy which included acquisitions of additional space in flagship office buildings.
- Assisted Vanderbilt Homes Limited with its acquisition of entire share capital of Crayfern Homes Limited, a housebuilder on the South Coast.
Blandy & Blandy LLP advises a wide range of private and public sector commercial clients including SMEs and fast growing private companies, large landowners and landed estates, with particular expertise in development land and secured lending. Jane Gunnell and Katja Wigham lead the practice; the former handles secured lending work for banks and finance companies, the latter specialises in advising charities, educational institutions and third sector organisations. John Dingle has particular experience acting in the healthcare sector. Associate Gemma Smith is recommended for advising charities and ecclesiastical bodies on property matters.
Englefield Estate Trust Corporation Ltd
Austin Fraser Limited
Cove Construction Limited
Svenska Handelsbanken AB
SAS International Limited
R Collard Limited
Acorah Software Products Limited (trading as TaxCalc)
HANDD Business Solutions Limited
H & T Properties Limited
University of Reading
Homes for Reading Limited
- Advised Reading Transport Limited on the acquisition of three properties that formed part of the corporate acquisition of Courtney Coaches Limited.
Clarkslegal LLP is 'well respected in the market' for providing a full real estate service to the education, leisure, construction, manufacturing and healthcare sectors. Practice head Rachel Krol, now a consultant, counts FTSE 100 companies in her client base; Shona Dunning arrived from Blaser Mills Law in 2019 and has a broad real estate practice working for clients that include commercial landlords, developers, pension funds, lenders, charities and retail occupiers. Simon Ralphs has a detailed knowledge of franchise arrangements and a particular focus on the food and restaurant sector. Mark Izquierdo, who joined in 2018, departed in 2019 to join HW Business Law.
‘They respond very quickly and I am always able to communicate the same day with a solicitor that can help and most usually my contacts. Advice is always sound and straightforward and easy to understand.’
‘This firm takes its responsibility and client care very seriously.‘
University of Reading
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
- Advised the University of Reading on a £40m investment in the first phase of Thames Valley Science Park.
- Advised on a London urban regeneration project which aims to promote culture and the arts.
- Advised the world’s first cheese conveyor belt restaurant on obtaining its premises in the heart of London’s West End.
With offices in Wokingham and Reading, Clifton Ingram LLP Solicitors displays a 'high level of consistency' advising on leaseholds, licensed and retail premises, residential developments and agricultural land matters. Jonathan Foulds and Lewis Djemal took over as practice heads in 2019; both advise on all aspects of commercial property matters, including landlord and tenant, acquisitions and disposals, head office moves and portfolio management. Ian Graham advises charities on property matters and deals with disposals of small businesses involving commercial premises. Tim Read acts for both landlords and tenants in connection with the grant and renewal of leases.
‘Straight-forward uncomplicated advice with a fast turnaround.’
‘Lewis Djemal has been exceptional on all matters. His attention to detail, speed and diligence really is impressive. He is a credit to his company and sector.’
‘Great strength and depth to the team. They all seem to work together well and understand what we are doing and work to deliver for us.‘
‘Tim Read gives good advice on a timely basis. Very approachable and finds the right people at his practice to get the job done.’
‘We have used the department for 20 plus years and not felt the need to use any other firm, which I think sums it up. ‘
‘Thorough, very careful work always done to the highest standards.’
Nike Group of Companies
Just Eat Holding Limited
Endean Enterprises Limited
- Nike Land Securities Limited and Key Properties Limited on the sale of land near Bristol to Bellway Homes
- Advised on the sale of land in Yateley, Hampshire to Bellway Homes.
- Advised Lawsons Holdings Limited on the purchase and subsequent sale of a commercial site for potential redevelopment.
Field Seymour Parkes LLP advises on a range of real estate issues for high profile clients including HSBC, Honda and University of Reading. The practice is led by Marcus Francis, who deals with high value landlord and tenant transactions, investment and development acquisitions and disposals, complex secured lending work and strategic land transactions. Dean Bickford regularly acts for large corporate occupiers, national charities and universities on all aspects of landlord and tenant matters, Michael Higgin is also recommended.
Euro Car Parts
University of Reading
- Advised ICI on the sale of a 30 acre development site in Slough to First Panattoni Group.
- Advised Dominvs Group on the acquisition of three unconsented development sites for £15m.
- Advised RGA on their new HQ letting in the 62-storey skyscraper at 22 Bishopsgate.
Gardner Leader LLP advises on complex acquisitions and financing arrangements, investments, joint ventures, commercial leasing and extensive development projects from its Newbury and Maidenhead offices. In Newbury, Greg Humphreys leads the team and has particular experience in advice relating to property transactions for restaurant businesses; Suki Hardy's experience encompasses acquisitions, disposals, leasing and development of land. In Maidenhead, Richard Buckeridge is 'honest, respectful and understanding' in advising on sales and purchases, property investment and management, leases and property-related commercial contracts. Joanna Bullard is also recommended.
‘The team at Gardner Leader were quick to understand the issues and highly pro-active and efficient throughout the whole sale process. They instilled a sense of confidence that they were always on the case and acting in my best interests.’
‘Good team support given in a number of areas relating to the sale of business and farmland, with in-house specialists advising on complicated issues.’
‘Greg Humphreys’ is was excellent to deal with and handles all matters very quickly, with clear communication throughout. He is very knowledgeable and uses his vast experience to find the most suitable solutions. ‘
- Advised Rivar Limited on the acquisition of a site for the development of 14 dwellings.
Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has a strong reputation for handling major projects and complex development contracts for sectors such as rail, housing and renewable energy. Practice head Simon Knott acts for developers and landowners in connection with land assembly for residential and mixed use schemes. Senior associate Laura Gorman leads on complex and high value on transactional work relating to housing and commercial developments, student accommodation schemes and care homes. Justin Winterbottom arrived from legacy BrookStreet des Roches in April 2019, while former practice head Richard Smith departed in 2020.
‘Justin Winterbottom is approachable and always at hand for any advice needed – nothing is a chore.’
‘Extremely professional and knowledgeable team. The solicitors are all very personable and approachable for any queries that may arise.’
23.5 Degrees (Starbucks)
Coats Group plc
European Space Agency
Fortitudo Homes Limited
Orange Business Services
Oxford Brookes University
Portman Burtley Estate
St Peter’s College, Oxford
- Advised Fortitudo Homes Limited on the acquisition of Poole Pottery in the centre of Poole Quay, Dorset.
- Acted for 23.5 Degrees Limited (a global Starbucks franchisee) on the acquisition, development and ongoing management of its stores.
- Advised St Peter’s College, Oxford on the development of additional student accommodation.
Andrew Woods leads Spratt Endicott's 'efficient' and 'well informed' practice, which advises on development and strategic land transactions; commercial landlord and tenant law; commercial development and property disputes. Director Andrew Querelle has considerable expertise in the commercial property elements of the automotive industry and the particular requirements when dealing with automotive retail space. Michael Campbell is recommended for residential development and strategic land deals.
‘The team have offered excellent post-transaction support. Andrew Woods hasn’t taken his foot off the gas throughout and has been an indispensable adviser through the whole process.’
‘Approachable and listen to my needs, and I can understand their advice.’
Bonnetts Solicitors Limited
Bonnetts Solicitors Limited's team of 'problem solvers' advises clients on various complex issues around development, option agreements and conditional contracts, and the sale and purchase of commercial and mixed-use properties. Liz Hailey is a 'brilliant, astute and commercial lawyer'; she has particular expertise in complex development sites and secured lending. Co-lead Steve Wareham specialises in complex commercial leasing transactions.
‘My main contact is Liz Hailey who does the conveyancing for large, complicated sales. They have all completed with efficiency, which is so important for keeping the deal together and stress levels to a minimum.’
Great Park Developments Limited
Clock House Limited
Global Logistics Management Limited
Collison Care/Gratia/DMP Dagenham/DMP Romford
National Westminster Bank plc
Perry Hill Properties Limited
Searchfield Maori Road Limited
Searchfield Milestones Limited
Searchfield Sandhills Limited
Searchfield Woodside Limited
- Advised Azur Limited on the acquisition of a new leasehold premises.
- Advised Searchfield Woodside on the acquisition of land for development purposes, including the resolution of restrictive covenant claims.
- Advised Collison Care Limited on the acquisition of new care homes from Care UK Limited.
Brethertons LLP handles all aspects of commercial property and property-related finance work, including development and secured lending work both nationally and regionally. Kelly Earle is the primary practitioner locally, acting for both sellers and buyers on freehold and leasehold sales. Senior associate Bejul Lakhani-Lever joined from the Rugby office in 2019; Angela Guess departed to join Shakespeare Martineau LLP . Tom Ansell leads the team nationally.
BrookStreet des Roches
Having acquired Brookstreet des Roches in 2019, Knights plc continues to specialise in the development and management of business parks and large-scale urban regeneration projects. Martin Billings is the key practitioner.
Royds Withy King
Royds Withy King advises private individuals, developers and companies on various real estate issues. Vicky Hernandez and senior associate Natasha Bowcott arrived from Hedges Law in 2020. Former practice head Julie Acock departed to join Mercers Solicitors.
Other key lawyers: