Local government in South West

Bevan Brittan LLP

Bevan Brittan LLP advises on tribunals, regeneration and procurement for local governments across the country. The firm specialises in local government governance, reorganisation, contract management, property regeneration and housing, as well as providing expertise in disputes in the sector. PFI/PPP expert David Hutton leads the team and focuses on assisting councils with transport, housing and other infrastructure matters. Also notable is Sarah Lamont, who advises councils, housing associations, education bodies and private sector companies.

Practice head(s):

David Hutton

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Lamont

Key clients

London Borough of Slough

North Yorkshire County Council

BCP Council

Cardiff City Council

Leicestershire County Council

Oxfordshire County Council

Havant Borough Council

Buckinghamshire County Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Slough Borough Council on its proposed procurement of a multi-phase, residential-led regeneration of the former Thames Valley University site and other adjoining land in Slough town centre.
  • Advising North Yorkshire County Council on its future options to take back its highways service in a new corporate structure with revenue values in excess of £400m.
  • Advised Bournemouth Borough Council in relation to the local government reorganisation affecting the predecessor councils of Poole, Dorset and Christchurch.

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP's broad practice advises central government departments and bodies in connection with local government issues, as well as representing local government-owned and managed organisations in a range of matters. Gary Soloman leads the team and advises on planning and compulsory purchase order (CPO) work faced by local authorities. Also notable are John Houlden, who is head of the firm’s public sector, procurement and state aid teams, and senior associate Paula McGeady, who has expertise in governance, planning, highways and compulsory purchase matters.

Practice head(s):

Gary Soloman

Other key lawyers:

Paula McGeady; John Houlden

Testimonials

‘If you are looking for commercially astute advice that does not compromise on technical legal knowledge and that is bespoke to the organisation, this is the department to go to.’

‘We have worked extensively with the procurement team to develop our in-house skills within the legal department, but they also provide support to the wider organisation including focused group workshops’

‘The team of lawyers in the procurement department of Burges bring with them a wide range of experience and subject matter expertise both in the law and within specific industries’

‘They  take a practical, solutions-based approach’

‘They are super friendly, patient and transparent (exceptionally so) with their fees’

‘They do not over-resource projects or transactions and are always mindful of budgeting restraints’

‘This is our go-to department for all procurement matters and they have helped us build a robust legal and procurement team by providing us with value added tools’

Key clients

Isle of Anglesey County Council

Local Pensions Partnership

Stratford-on-Avon District Council

Greater London Authority

Sandwell Children’s Trust

Northamptonshire County Council Children’s Trust

Stevenage Borough Council

Border to Coast Pensions Partnership Limited

Hampshire County Council

North Somerset County Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Isle of Anglesey County Council on all aspects of its response to the proposed development of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa and associated developments, as well as other major applications in the county.
  • Advising Local Pensions Partnership on real estate and corporate tax matters as it pooled the property assets from each of the three public sector pension schemes that it manages.
  • Advising the Department for Education on all the legal and commercial aspects of establishing a new company to perform children’s social care services for Northamptonshire.

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP advises on a range of local government matters, including procurement, powers, governance, state aid, planning and the Local Government Pension Scheme. Practice head Lucy Woods has particular expertise in the political and governance framework of the area. Also notable in the team is solicitor Melissa Jones, who specialises in providing advice to public sector clients on commercial contracts, procurement law and state aid.

Practice head(s):

Lucy Woods

Other key lawyers:

Melissa Jones

Key clients

Council of the Isles of Scilly

HFL Group Limited

Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

London Borough of Lambeth

London Borough of Hackney

Brick by Brick Croydon Limited

Wandsworth Borough Council and Richmond Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Advising the Council of the Isles of Scilly on reviewing a funding agreement with a community interest company in respect of the obligations under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) grant agreement for the Go-EV-Smart project.
  • Advising the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea on its procurement of a contractors’ framework valued and consultants’ framework in respect of its housing capital investment programme.
  • Advising Brick by Brick on construction, contractual, employment, energy, intellectual property, planning and real estate matters covering 37 sites at various stages of completion.

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP provides broad expertise in local government matters, with particular experience compulsory purchase, regeneration, procurement and state aid. The firm acts for a range of public sector bodies, including local and central government, and police, fire and rescue services. The practice is also active in planning, environmental and governance matters. Joanne Pruden specialises in defendant litigation and focuses on technical claims and social care. She co-leads the team with Peter Ware, who is head of the national government and infrastructure group.

Practice head(s):

Joanne Pruden; Peter Ware

Testimonials

Browne Jacobson have served us very well over the years with a disparate variety of claims to defend.

Jo Pruden in particular is extremely professional and approachable.’

 

Key clients

Cornwall Council

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue

Devon County Council

Dorset County Council

Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

East Devon District Council

Environment Agency

Exeter City Council

Isles of Scilly Council

Kernow CCG

Plymouth City Council

Public Sector Transformation Academy

Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

West Devon Borough Council

Worcestershire County Council

Sedgemoor District Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Worcestershire Children First (a local authority trading company) on entering into a contract for the provision of children’s services to Worcestershire County Council.
  • Advised Cornwall Council on a claim for misfeasance in public office.
  • Acting for Teignbridge District Council in the successful prosecution of a health and safety offence relating to asbestos.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP advises on a diverse range of local government matters, including pensions, mental health, procurement, state aid and governance issues. The firm also has expertise in assisting local authorities with GDPR and data protection issues, as well as real estate investment and property development projects. The team is co-led by Stephen Hocking; Ben Pariser; Ben Thornycroft; Karen Howe; and Stan Campbell, who was promoted to partner in 2019.

Testimonials

DAC Beachcroft works well between its teams and their principals. I have been very impressed by their speed of response, friendliness and approachability.’

All the partners and associates that I have dealt with convey a real sense of interest in what you, the client, is trying to do: I have had very good dealings with Ben Thomas, Karen Howe, Ben Pariser, Gareth Aubrey and Richard Marshall. Jonathan Allen deserves a special mention because of his tenacity in dealing with a s278 Agreement on one of our redevelopment sites, working fluidly between our developer and the highway authority – brilliant‘.

 

Key clients

Cornwall Council

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

Somerset County Council

Bath and North East Somerset Council

Cheshire West and Chester Council

Surrey County Council

Calderdale Borough 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 major town centre redevelopment project.
  • Advising Clifton and Durdham Downs Commons Committee on the submission of an application to carry out works on common land.
  • Acted for Waverley Borough Council on the acquisition of an estate and the asset management of a commercial premises.

Davitt Jones Bould

Specialising in real estate-related work, Davitt Jones Bould advises local authorities, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and local government bodies on regeneration and development projects. Madeleine Davitt leads a team that includes commercial property and planning specialist Robin de Wreede; property expert Sean Bulman; and John Qualtrough, who focuses on assisting local authorities with planning matters.

Practice head(s):

Madeleine Davitt

Key clients

Devon County Council

Bath and North East Somerset Council

Wiltshire Council

Bristol City Council

North Somerset Council

Bournemouth Christchurch Poole Council

Dorset County Council

Chichester City Council

Adur & Worthing Councils

Slough Borough Council

Chelmsford City Council

Surrey County Council

Woking Borough Council

Brighton & Hove City Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Woking Borough Council on the £700m regeneration of Sheerwater.
  • Advised Exeter Science Park, a joint venture between Devon County Council, the University of Exeter, Exeter City Council and East Devon District Council, on the £8m, 64-acre development of the park.
  • Advised Southampton City Council on the agreement to build its new Nelson Gate development.

Foot Anstey

Foot Anstey specialises in strategic infrastructure and regeneration projects, as well as public and private partnerships. Clients include first and second-tier local authorities; city, town and parish councils; and local enterprise partnerships. The firm advises on a range of matters, from procurement and state aid to regulatory issues, judicial review and real estate. Practice head Richard Walford has experience leading on regeneration and infrastructure development matters.

Practice head(s):

Richard Walford

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 & Maidenhead

London Borough of Tower Hamlets

London Borough of Newham

Tavistock Town Council

Ivybridge Town Council

Honiton Town Council

Heart of the South West LEP

Work highlights

  • Advising Plymouth City Council on the public procurement for the design and construction of the Forder Valley Link Road.
  • Advising on the development of the Stadium for Cornwall, a joint venture funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the council.
  • Advising Devon County Council and Plymouth County Council on the operation and call-offs for work under their seven to ten year term maintenance contracts.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has experience in advising on state aid, housing, regeneration and development projects for local authorities. The firm has particular expertise in assisting with heat networks, as well as offering regulatory, planning and public law teams. Practice head Jonathan Bower specialises in the field of infrastructure planning, including energy, regeneration and local government matters.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Bower

Testimonials

A strong command of the subject matter and capability to clearly advise options and solutions.’

Jonathan Bower always has a positive and committed approach to all issues and invariably responds within agreed timelines.’

 

Key clients

Hampshire County Council

Watford Borough Council

Sedgemoor District Council

Cardiff Council

Havant Borough Council

Teignbridge District Council

North Somerset Council

Sedgemoor District, Somerset West and Taunton Councils

South Hams District Council

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council

South Gloucestershire Council

Bath & NE Somerset Council

West Berkshire Council

Work highlights

  • Acting for North Somerset Council and Bristol City Council, South Gloucestershire Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council (the West of England Combined Authority) in the project for the reopening of the railway between Bristol and Portishead for passenger train services.
  • Acting for Sedgemoor District Council and Somerset West and Taunton Council in relation to the implementation of the Hinkley Point C development consent order (DCO).
  • Acting for Bristol City Council on the disposal of a development site adjacent to Cattle Market Road and Feeder Road in Bristol to the University of Bristol for redevelopment as its new Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus.

Deighton Pierce Glynn

The 'very professionalDeighton Pierce Glynn focuses on judicial review challenges against public authorities, as well as inquiries and private law proceedings, and ‘gets great results'. Louise Whitfield leads the team and is an ‘exceptionally helpful and knowledgeable solicitor’. Also notable is the ‘bright, hardworking and thorough’ Dr Connie Sozi, who specialises in cases relating to the Windrush scandal.

Practice head(s):

Louise Whitfield

Other key lawyers:

Dr Connie Sozi

Testimonials

‘The firm works across a range of areas of public law’

‘Frances Lipman, Connie Sozi and Dan Carey are all exceptional’

‘Very professional firm’

‘Louise Whitfield is very thorough, her ability to secure a favourable costs position is unrivalled in my experience, and her client care is really good. She is always available when you need her and very quick to respond and deal with things’

‘Connie Sozi is knowledgeable, friendly and responds quickly’

‘Great ability to deal with vulnerable clients’

‘In-depth and expert knowledge’

‘They have virtually unrivalled expertise in the area of public law’

Key clients

Hope for Justice

All Party Parliamentary Group on Drones

Big Brother Watch

Bahrain Institute for Rights & Democracy

Medical Justice

Asylum Support Appeals Project

Doctors of the World

Bristol Refugee Rights

Privacy International

INQUEST

Detention Action

Work highlights

  • Acting for Big Brother Watch, English PEN and the Open Rights Group as the claimants in a test case before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights challenging the legality of UK government mass surveillance.

Michelmores LLP

The full-service Michelmores LLP brings expertise in real estate, employment, planning and environmental law to its local government work. The firm also provides clients with experience acting for the private and public sector on a range of matters. Carol McCormack OBE leads the team and has particular strength in PFI projects.

Practice head(s):

Carol McCormack OBE

Testimonials

‘Carol McCormack continues to provide solid advice, with the ability to consider the commercial issues as well as the legal options. She is well supported by a team of associates.’

Key clients

The Cornwall Council

Devon County Council

Somerset County Council

Swindon Borough Council

Wiltshire Council

Innisfree Group

Dorset County Council

Mid Devon District Council

Work highlights

  • Advising the London Borough of Camden on a strategic project allowing it to heat part of its estate in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner.
  • Advising Dorset Council in relation to its procurement of a waste treatment and disposal contractor for its administrative area to replace its current contractual arrangements which are due to expire in 2020/2021.
  • Acting for Cornwall Council in the making of a compulsory purchase order (CPO) and side roads order for the proposed new 3.9 mile St Austell to A30 link road in Cornwall.

TLT

TLT advises local authorities nationwide on pensions, property, planning, procurement and commercial matters. The firm also has expertise in projects, particularly renewable energy. The team is co-led by Andrew Glynn, who specialises in commercial property investment; Bill Hull, who has experience in public procurement; and Kuldip Dhanoya, who is known for PFI/PPPs, frameworks, outsourcing and joint venture arrangements.

Key clients

London Borough of Waltham Forest

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 the London Borough of Waltham Forest on a wide range of commercial contracts for its year as the London Borough of Culture.
  • Advising Oxfordshire County Council in relation to a number of major highway infrastructure schemes.
  • Advising the London Borough of Waltham Forest on the regeneration of the Score Centre in Leyton.

VWV

Acting for local government and emergency services clients, VWV advises on governance issues, and is increasingly active in code of conduct matters. The firm also has expertise in data subject access and freedom of information requests, particularly in the context of local authority disputes. The team is led by employment law specialist Allison Cook.

Practice head(s):

Allison Cook

Testimonials

‘The team very quickly fully understood our issues and turned around our advice in the very urgent timescales we needed it in’

‘The advice was presented in an extremely clear and logical manner in plain English, so that it was easily understood with no ambiguity’

‘The team kept to their promised timelines and even exceeded these’

‘They kept us fully updated throughout’

Key clients

Dorset Council

Avon Fire and Rescue Service

Herefordshire Council

Oxford City Council

Thanet District Council

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Borough Council

Surrey Heath Borough Council

Bath and North East Somerset Council

Carmarthenshire Council

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Work highlights

  • Advised Dorset Council on a number of large-scale projects, including providing procurement, commercial and real estate advice on the provision of additional space for social care, housing and primary care.
  • Acting for Wiltshire Council, as the landlord, on a lease renewal of electronic communications apparatus.
  • Advising Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service on a wide range of legal issues, including a highly sensitive matter which is likely to lead to litigation.