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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > South West > Public sector > Local government > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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  1. Local government
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

Leading individuals

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Rising stars

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Bevan Brittan LLP's Bristol team, which is part of a larger¬†national operation, which spans four offices. Its recent work included advice to clients on the commercialisation of public services, including new housing vehicles. The group also advises on property regeneration and housing, local government governance and reorganisation, contract management advice to councils and contractual disputes. The ‚Äėcertainly impressive‚Äô David Hutton, who¬†leads the practice nationwide, assists clients with developing their strategies on transport, housing and other infrastructure matters. Sarah Lamont¬†provides employment advice to councils, housing associations and education bodies. Chris Jarman¬†retired from private practice in 2018.

Practice head(s):David Hutton

Other key lawyers:Sarah Lamont

Testimonials

'Certainly a leader in the field'

'The go-to team for local government maers'

Key Clients

Sheffield City Council

Surrey County Council

Birmingham City Council

London Borough of Havering

Bournemouth Borough Council

Slough Borough Council

Brighton and Hove City Council

Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Sheffield City Council on the renegotiation, potential re-procurement and termination of its integrated PPP contract with Veolia Environmental Services.
  • Supporting five councils with their contract management regarding a contract with an outsourced provider for the provision of their back office services.
  • Advising Birmingham City Council on its new waste and energy PPP project, future waste strategy and exit arrangements from its current 25-year contract with Veolia Environmental Services.
  • Assisted the London Borough of Havering in connection with the redevelopment and renewal of 12 sites in Havering, including a large Waterloo estate adjacent to Romford.
  • Advising the Bournemouth Council on the local government reorganisation (LGR) affecting the Councils of Poole, Dorset and Christchurch, following the Secretary of State's decision to create two new unitary councils for those areas.

Housing a number of former local authority lawyers, Burges Salmon LLP provides a comprehensive range of services, which includes advice to local authorities on statutory and constitutional interpretation of powers, corporate and commercial work, public procurement, infrastructure projects, and waste and energy projects. The team also has particular expertise in planning and environmental work and pension schemes. In addition to acting for local authorities, other clients include central government departments and bodies, as well as government-owned organisations. The practice is led by planning expert Gary Soloman, who advises on local authority, regeneration and compulsory purchase matters. John Houlden specialises in in procurement, state aid and project funding. Matthew Ramus, Marcus Harling and senior associate Paula McGeady are also highly recommended.

Practice head(s):Gary Soloman

Other key lawyers:John Houlden; Matthew Ramus; Marcus Harling; Paula McGeady

Testimonials

The team is very responsive, experienced in the field, and always willing to work closely with clients

Very skilful and professional, Matthew Ramus and Marcus Harling do a great job even when working under tight deadlines

Key Clients

Isle of Anglesey County Council

Sunderland City Council

North Somerset Council

Greater London Authority

Hampshire County Council

Stevenage Borough Council

Torbay Borough Council

Isle of Wight Council

Bristol City Council

Work highlights

  • Advising the Reading Borough Council on its major children’s services transition projects.
  • Assisting the Isle of Anglesey County Council in its role as host authority for the new nuclear power station at Wylfa and associated developments.
  • Advising the Greater London Authority on a series of major regeneration projects in East London.  
  • Advising the South Yorkshire Pensions Authority on protecting and enhancing the value of its landholdings.
  • Advising a pension service provider on its procurement of actuarial and other services.

Ashfords LLP's public sector group is led by Exeter-based Elizabeth Gibson, who advises local authorities and other public bodies (including unitary, county and district councils) on public law, project structuring, governance support, procurement, state aid and EU law matters. The firm is also increasingly active in the advice to externalised public sector companies. Recent highlights for the team included housing development work, regeneration projects concerning residential and school property, and technology and broadband projects. Senior associate Lucy Woods advises on high-value projects and outsourcing.

Practice head(s):Elizabeth Gibson

Other key lawyers:Lucy Woods

Key Clients

Exeter City Council

Council of the Isles of Scilly

Cornwall Council

HFL Group

Brick by Brick (Croydon)

Wandsworth London Borough Council

London Borough of Newham

London Borough of Hackney

Work highlights

  • Advising Exeter City Council on its wholly owned housing development group of companies Exeter City Group, as well as on its procurement of a £20m state-of-the-art leisure centre.
  • Advising Council of the Isles of Scilly on its electric vehicle project to secure grant funding for an ICT platform to manage the electric vehicles fleet.
  • Assisting Cornwall Council with its £800m project to appoint contractors and consultants to cover works for construction, mechanical and electrical works and construction-orientated consultancy work.
  • Acting as HFL Group's sole legal adviser; the client was established by the London Borough of Lambeth as the "Homes for Lambeth" housing delivery venture.
  • Acting as sole legal adviser to Brick by Brick (Croydon) - a wholly owned company of Croydon Borough Council providing housing led development.

Davitt Jones Bould's strong market presence in the South West is evidenced by the fact that it acts for a significant number of local authorities in the region. It recently advised clients on property investments, the delivery of development projects, and high-value regeneration projects. Robin De Wreede is adept at handling large infrastructure developments both for local authorities and their joint venture partners.

Practice head(s):Madeleine Davitt

Other key lawyers:Robin de Wreede

Testimonials

First-class client care, deep knowledge of the practice area and attention to detail

The team has a very good understanding and knowledge of the processes relevant to the operation of local authorities and the applicable legislation

The team is always approachable and reacts quickly to resolve clients’ issues

Melanie Greer-Walker is the best lawyer we have ever dealt with

Robin de Wreede has encyclopedic knowledge of compulsory purchase orders

Key Clients

Bath and North East Somerset Council

Devon County Council

North Somerset Council

Wiltshire Council

Bournemouth Borough Council

Dorset County Council

Hertfordshire County Council

The City and County of Swansea Council

Sedgemoor District Council

Woking Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Woking Borough Council on the £500m regeneration of Sheerwater.
  • Advising The City and County of Swansea Council on the regeneration of the old Haford Copper works.
  • Advising a council on a large mixed-use development, including over 300 homes, a hotel, and retail  and office facilities.
  • Advising a number of local authorities in the South West on a full range of property issues.

Foot Anstey’s team provides a wide range of services to clients, such as advising on regulatory issues, judicial reviews, procurement, state aid, real estate, planning and litigation. Department head Duncan Tringham is adept at handling collaborations in the public and private sector, including grant-funded development, regeneration and infrastructure projects. Legal director Mark Li, who has experience of acting on local government-led regeneration projects, joined from Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP. In February 2019, James Falle departed to join Temple Bright LLP.

Practice head(s):Duncan Tringham

Other key lawyers:Mark Li

Key Clients

Cornwall Council

Devon County Council

Somerset County Council

Plymouth City Council

Exeter City Council

Truro City Council

Torbay Council

Bournemouth Borough Council

Teignbridge District Council

South Hams District Council

Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

London Borough of Tower Hamlets

Work highlights

  • Advising Cornwall Council on the £19m development of the Cornwall Stadium.  
  • Advising the London Boroughs of Newham and Tower Hamlets on the statutory transfer of a complex scheme of land, rights and contracts forming part of the Olympic Park development running to the Royal Docks.
  • Advising the Plymouth Council on the public procurement for the design and construction of the Forder Valley Link Road and associated highways infrastructure under the NEC3 form of contract.
  • Advising Cornwall Council on the high-value development of a new eco-town in Cornwall agreed under the government's garden village programme.
  • Advising Teignbridge District Council and Devon County Council on strategic planning and other matters regarding  the South West Exeter Urban Extension, a major scheme in Devon.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's local government team has a particularly strong capability in complex and innovative regeneration schemes and development projects. It also has a standout offering in the heat networks and leisure sectors. In addition, the firm has a national reputation in contentious and non-contentious procurement mandates. Elsewhere, the firm is becoming increasingly well-known for its expertise in the state aid space. Infrastructure planning expert Jonathan Bower has a wealth of experience acting for clients on town centre and highways schemes.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Bower

Key Clients

Tees Valley Combined Authority

Newcastle City Council

London Borough of Lewisham

West Berkshire Council

Three Rivers District Council

Leeds City Council

Doncaster Borough Council

Three Rivers District Council

Newcastle City Council

Middlesbrough Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Bristol and Bath Regional Capital CIC on its plans to create an inclusive housing scheme with the acquisition of 61 homes in the South West.
  • Advised Tees Valley Combined Authority on the scoping and review of three potential district heating schemes.
  • Advising Newcastle City Council on the procurement of a long-term energy partner to deliver current and future district energy projects in Newcastle.
  • Advising West Berkshire District Council on a number of regeneration projects in Newbury.

Browne Jacobson LLP acts for more than 200 local authorities, either directly or through their insurers. It also advises central government departments, as well as police, fire and rescue services. The scope of its wide-ranging practice includes corporate and commercial work, regeneration projects, housing, state aid and employment matters. In addition, contentious work is another driver of activity for the group. Peter Ware advises all types of public sector clients on public procurement, state aid and alternative service delivery models.

Practice head(s):Richard Barlow; Peter Ware

Key Clients

London Borough of Croydon

Devon County Council

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council

High Peak Borough Council

Dorset County Council

Cornwall Council

Exeter City Council

Plymouth City Council

Work highlights

  • Advised London Borough of Croydon on an arrangement for the Council to provide equipment services to the local health bodies.
  • Advised Devon County Council on an application to the Housing Infrastructure Fund for upfront funding of capital works to release land parcels for development.
  • Advised Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and High Peak Borough Council on the creation of a joint venture for the delivery of waste collection services.
  • Acted for Dorset County Council on a case concerning alleged historic sexual abuse, which also raised questions of vicarious liability.

DAC Beachcroft LLP leverages strengths in multiple disciplines to advise local authorities on property, development, income generation projects and complex public law work, including state aid and procurement. In addition, it has had an increase in mandates from local authorities seeking GDPR and data protection advice. Stephen Hocking is knowledgeable about local authority governance, powers and conduct issues.

Practice head(s):Stephen Hocking; Ben Pariser; Ben Thorneycroft; Andrea Livingstone; Giles Taylor

Key Clients

Cornwall Council

Borough of Tunbridge Wells

Somerset County Council

Bath and North East Somerset Council

Cheshire West and Chester Council

Surrey County Council

Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council

Bristol City Council

Blackburn with Darwen Council

Liverpool City Council

Blackpool County Council

Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council

Waverley Borough Council

East Hampshire District Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Tunbridge Wells Borough Council on its £90m town centre redevelopment project.
  • Advised a council on the amendments to and the extension of the council's repair and maintenance contract for its social housing stock.
  • Advising Bath and North East Somerset Council on the disposal of a high-profile redundant asset to a charity for redevelopment.
  • Advising Somerset County Council on its Building Schools for the Future programme and its programme of conversion of schools to academy status.
  • Advising Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council on the purchase of two new distribution parks.

Deighton Pierce Glynn, is widely recognised as a leading firm for claimant-side public law litigation and civil actions against local authorities. It has a particularly strong track record acting for non-governmental organisations, vulnerable individuals (including migrants and trafficking victims) and community organisations. The firm's varied workload covers matters concerning healthcare, mistreatment by public authorities, social support and migration. Adam Hundt has 'a wealth of experience' of handling cases involving complex human rights issues, discrimination challenges and other cases arising from the operation of public bodies. Daniel Carey’s practice covers issues such as unlawful detention, data retention and internet surveillance.

Practice head(s):Adam Hundt; Daniel Carey; Frances Lipman

Testimonials

'The firm is excellent'

'Strong commitment to excellence in public law'

'One of the best public law firms around'

Key Clients

Hope for Justice

All Party Parliamentary Group on Drones

Big Brother Watch

Bahrain Institute for Rights a Democracy

Medical Justice

Asylum Support Appeals Project

Doctors of the World

Bristol Refugee Rights

Privacy International

Inquest

Work highlights

  • Acting for the claimants in a case challenging the National Referral Mechanism’s legality because of the chronic delays in completing the process and making a ‘conclusive grounds’ decision as to whether a person is a victim of trafficking.
  • Acting for the claimants in a high-profile European Court of Human Rights challenge to the UK government's regime for mass surveillance disclosed in the Edward Snowden disclosures.
  • Acted for a family and estate at an inquest concerning the death of an individual, who was restrained in a prone position at a police station.

The cross-practice local government team at Michelmores LLP’s covers a full spectrum of local authority law issues concerning real estate transactions, planning, environment, employment, regeneration, and funding and asset management. Mark Howard’s practice focuses on planning and environmental matters. Real estate partner Sally Rice assists local authorities with transactions involving redevelopment work.

Practice head(s):Carol McCormack

Other key lawyers:Mark Howard; Sally Rice

Key Clients

Cornwall Council

Devon County Council

Plymouth City Council

Somerset County Council

Swindon Borough Council

Wiltshire Council

Innisfree Group

South West Smart Applications

Work highlights

  • Assisting Plymouth City Council with its £34m regeneration project in central Plymouth.
  • Assisted Cornwall Council with the acquisition of land in Newquay with the benefit of outline planning consent for 455 new homes.
  • Acted for Swindon Borough Council on a conditional sale for specialist age-exclusive housing.

TLT's practice is going from strength to strength, with the firm gaining a sizeable number of new local authority clients recently; it now acts for more than 70. The team advises clients on a wide ambit of issues, such as employment, procurement, project arrangements, planning, renewable energy, real estate and general commercial issues. In addition to acting for local authorities, other clients include central government departments and government agencies. Senior partner Andrew Glynn and Bill Hull co-head the practice.

Practice head(s):Andrew Glynn; Bill Hull

Testimonials

'The team is great, especially in handling contractual matters'

Key Clients

London Borough of Islington

London Borough of Lambeth

Cornwall Council

London Borough of Hounslow

London Borough of Ealing

London Borough of Brent

London Borough of Barnet

Work highlights

  • Advising London Borough of Lambeth on the transfer of two Academy school sites from a failing Academy.
  • Ongoing advice to the London Borough of Hounslow on various real estate matters, which includes dealing with large volume of right to buy property sales, reviewing Section 125 notices, preparing and submitting documents; completion, advising on notices to complete and other legal issues related to right to buy.
  • Advising London Borough of Barnet on the redevelopment of Granville Road Estate, including advising on the development agreement, CPO, stopping up order and public path creation order requirements.
  • Acted for The London Borough of Islington on the redevelopment of Telfer House, a 1970s apartment block which was badly designed and not utilising much-valued space in the London market.

VWV's clients, which include local authorities and the emergency services, turn to the firm for advice on particularly complex issues, such as governance reviews, disputes, Code of Conduct complaints and constitutional matters. In addition, the firm is sought out to advise on projects, employment and real estate matters. Also notable is that it has had a longstanding role running and facilitating the Local Government Training Partnership (LGTP), which is a platform that is intended to enable members to provide and receive sector-specific training. Department head Allison Cook has been instrumental in growing the emergency services practice.

Practice head(s):Allison Cook

Key Clients

Dorset County Council

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Borough of Poole Council

Thanet District Council

Surrey Heath Borough Council

Fareham Borough Council

Herefordshire Council

South Somerset District Council

North Wales District Council

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of a council in dealing with a number of Code of Conduct complaints.
  • Assisting Dorset County Council with the procurement of a care home and social housing as part of the Bridport Gateway scheme.
  • Instructed by Surrey Heath Borough Council to carry out a Code of Conduct investigation.
  • Instructed by a council to carry out a peer review of the structure and focus of its legal department.
  • Advised Oxford City Council on the renewal of leases for the Covered Market.

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