Commercial property: Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire in South West

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is considered to be an 'excellent practice with a broad range of commercial and residential property experience.' The team covers the full range of real estate matters, with special expertise in strategic land and development, specialist supported living, and property investment and management matters. The client portfolio includes corporates, individuals and investors. Ian Brothwood, who leads the group, has know-how in residential schemes. Naomi Nettleton is also well versed in the hotel sector. Nigel Morton and senior associate Julie Sharpe are also prominent practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Ian Brothwood

Other key lawyers:

Nigel Morton; Julie Sharpe; Naomi Nettleton


‘A very user-friendly commercial property team, who understand how to progress complex development agreements.’

‘Ian Brothwood is extremely conciliatory in the face of difficult contract negotiations, and understands what is commercially relevant to development agreements, ensuring that transactions maintain momentum and meet the clients’ objectives.’

‘They really work as a team and share an interest celebrating what they achieve for their clients.’

‘Julie Sharpe has delivered an excellent service in dealing with complicated development land transactions, and has an ability to ask only right questions of her clients and to ask them clearly with good advice.’

‘The relationship with our legal team is vitally important to us. There is a great deal at stake and they are a key part of our professional team. We have ever learnt to have ever confidence in them. We rely on them for ideas, advice and guiding us through the legal contracts and issues which keep arising.’

‘I have always found the CRS team to be approachable, polite and helpful. Their advice is always well considered and of a high standard. They are an excellent firm, and lovely to work with.’

‘An excellent practice with a broad range of commercial and residential property experience, co-ordinated from the Cheltenham office. They have shown a willingness to work alongside other law firms on specific projects, to share systems and processes and in doing so to generate greater efficiencies.’

‘Naomi Nettleton’s team offers a wide range of expertise and is well-resourced at all fee earner levels, offering experience where it’s needed and more junior support where appropriate. Naomi has a habit of asking the right questions and always manages to provide clear and practical answers. ’

Key clients

Crab Hill Developments Limited

Hearthstone Investment Management

Property Investment and Development Company

Countryside Properties (UK) Limited

Actis LLP

Work highlights

  • Assisting Crab Hill Developments with its development of the Kingsgrove estate in Oxfordshire.
  • Advising Hearthstone Investment Management on the deployment of monies in to residential investments on behalf of Local Authority pension funds and acting on the acquisition of dwellings from national housebuilders.
  • Acting for Countryside in a framework agreement with Places for People to document a long term collaboration for the future delivery of over 10,000 homes across various developments.

Davitt Jones Bould

Davitt Jones Bould fields a large team of dedicated real estate specialists. It is active for public and private landowners, and is involved in a variety of real estate projects. Main areas of expertise are lease negotiations, development projects and regeneration work. Senior partner and practice head Madeleine Davitt has a track record of handling central government commercial property projects. Michael Wear is knowledgeable int matters with agricultural elements, and Maeve Bonner specialises in dispute resolution. Other prominent practitioners are Tim Sylvester-Jones and Stuart Bould.

Practice head(s):

Madeleine Davitt

Other key lawyers:

Tim Sylvester-Jones; Maeve Bonner; Stuart Bould; Michael Wear; Sean Bulman

Key clients

Bristol City Council

Plymouth City Council

TV celebrity chef Rick Stein and his restaurant group

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affair

Natural England

North Somerset Council

Grainger Plc

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council

Wiltshire Borough Council

Highways England

Met Office

City and County of Swansea Council

Dorset County Council

Devon County Council

Work highlights

  • Acting as sole legal advisor to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) on all issues to arise out of their large, national estate.
  • Advised many local authorities based in the South West including Bristol City Council, Plymouth City Council, Devon County Council, North Somerset Council, Dorset County Council and Wiltshire Council on property issues ranging from property investment acquisitions to large developments.
  • Advised the Met Office on the lease for a new weather station.

BPE Solicitors LLP

BPE Solicitors LLP's real estate group works closely with the firm's construction, corporate and litigation departments. It is regularly acts for clients from the healthcare, logistics and investment field. Practice head Jo Bewley is well versed in handling transactions relating to care homes, nursing homes and other specialist homes. Rebecca Maxwell left for Bexley Beaumont  in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Jo Bewley

Other key lawyers:

Antonia Shield; Douglas Armstrong


‘Clear advice, speed of turnaround. Expertise in the charity sector’

‘Jo Bewley – Straightforward to deal with. Practical’

‘Very knowledge very accessible, good local knowledge and experience, always happy to pick up the phone and deal with problems and provide sensible commercial solutions.’

‘Doug Armstrong – very experienced commercial development and investment partner, extremely good problem solver very approachable, accessible, commercial and efficient.’

‘Good solid advice and in particular listens to what the Client requires, so does not make a mountain out of a molehill.’

‘Good and fast response time to address issues and documentation. Prepared to work alongside the Client.’

Key clients

Boultbee Brooks Limited

Eddie Stobart Limited

Stobart Group Limited


Open Data Institute

Pure Gym

Mears Limited

Superdry PLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Cheltmed Limited on a super surgery development which included funding from both National Westminster and National Health Service England by way of a grant.
  • Advised a long standing client on the development agreements for lease of three units totalling 625,000 square foot at Panattoni Park in Northampton.
  • Assisted Boultbee Brooks Real Estate with the investment sale of a substantial property in the city centre of Manchester.

Clarke Willmott LLP

Clarke Willmott LLP is well positioned to advise on matters in the housebuilder, commercial development and investment area. The group acts for developers, investment companies, lenders, HNWIs and charities. Tim Walker is knowledgeable in strategic and immediate residential development projects; he jointly leads the practice with Sarah Manley who regularly handles estate management work, acquisitions and disposals. Philip Brown is a go-to counsel for developers, promoters and landowners.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Manley; Tim Walker

Other key lawyers:

Philip Brown


‘Great commercial advice.’


Key clients

Summerfield Developments (SW) Limited

Persimmon Homes Limited

Countryside Properties (UK) Limited

GPG Projects Limited

Bathurst Limited

Bradford and Sons Limited

Scotsgrove Holdings Limited

AE Securities Limited

Metis Homes Limited

Strongvox Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Summerfield Developments (SW) Limited relating to their commercial development site at Westpark 26, Wellington.
  • Assisted GPG Projects Limited, the developers of a new business park named Mercury Business Park in mid-Devon, with the acquisition of the land and on the various ancillary agreements.
  • Acting for Bathurst Limited in relation to their mixed use development at Cam, Dursley comprising circa. 75 acres of land.

Willans LLP

Willans LLP is ' incredibly diligent, extremely professional and most importantly highly effective.' The group is instructed by charities, national retailers, technology and telecom providers, property developers and clients from the renewables, food and leisure sectors. It is often involved in property transactions, landlord and tenant work, energy projects and developments. Nigel Whittaker, who leads the team, gives 'very clear guidance.'  Alasdair Garbutt also covers property management matters. Associate Emma Thompson has experience in securitisation work.

Practice head(s):

Nigel Whittaker

Other key lawyers:

Alasdair Garbutt; Emma Thompson


‘Willans is an outstanding firm of solicitors and I would recommend them every day of the week. They have acted for me on numerous occasions and each time have been incredibly diligent, extremely professional and most importantly highly effective. I would never go anywhere else for my legal needs.’

‘Nigel Whittaker is exceptionally knowledgable and is always available to offer advice.’

‘I have always been impressed by the work rate and end product of Emma Thompson.’

‘The team communicate well internally and if our key contact is not available there are always alternative people to liaise with.’

‘My key contact is Nigel Whittaker who is very accessible and reassuring in his manner. He has a good understanding of my business and often pre-empts questions or concerns he knows I will ask/have. He gives very clear guidance and advice and is very patient in explaining legal detail. ’

‘The expertise across this team is impressive. The team has met all of our needs with regard to commercial property.’

‘We have continued to work mostly with Emma Thompson. She works very effectively, in a timely manner and communicating appropriately throughout.’


Key clients

Sue Ryder

Moog Controls Limited

Newberry International Produce Limited

Trinity Hospice Shops Limited

TLV Euro Engineering UK Limited

Good Sustainable Retail


Crown House Developments Limited/Lansdowne Rodway Limited


We Are With You

Ritual Coffee

Young Gloucestershire

Joedan Group

Painswick Rococo Garden Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised Moog Controls Limited on its acquisition of leasehold premises pursuant to an agreement for lease with new build works.
  • Providing Sue Ryder with assistance on its leasehold retail portfolio but, additionally, in connection with the sale of redundant freehold assets and the acquisition of a long leasehold interest in a new care facility.
  • Acting for Crown House Developments Limited / Lansdowne Rodway Limited in numerous transactions relating to sales of long leasehold interests and letting of commercial units.

Goughs Solicitors

Goughs Solicitors provides 'a first-rate service' to landed estates, sports clubs, SMEs, banks, lenders and commercial property portfolio holders. The team has experience in landlord and tenant matters, disposals, acquisitions and property finance work. Gemma Sumsion is also a key contact for property investment portfolio clients. She leads the practice with Andrew Given who specialises in land acquisitions. Senior associate Aimee Glover joined from DAC Beachcroft LLP in November 2020.

Practice head(s):

Gemma Sumsion; Andrew Given

Other key lawyers:

Aimee Glover


‘The overall service from the development team is excellent. They are very responsive and deal with matters pragmatically. The knowledge base is excellent and they are nice people to deal with!’

‘Incredibly warm team that are easy to talk to and build relationships with. Their Development and Corporate teams work alongside each other to provide a seamless service for new development projects.’

‘There has always been a willingness to engage with clients and fellow professionals and provide a first-rate service and this is more evident today than ever before. Working with the team, we have been delighted to see how they have adapted to the needs of mutual clients in such uncertain times.’

‘The professional standard of the support we get from Goughs is second to none and they strike a perfect balance of advising, supporting and, when necessary, challenging us.’

‘Andrew Given, the partner in charge, is very responsive and excellent to work with.’

‘When working closely with Andrew Given and Gemma Sumsion, we feel confident that we are collaborating with professionals that can meet the needs of the client. Efficiency, a pro-active approach and good communication, underpinned by excellent technical knowledge.’

‘Providing a committed, focused service to clients.’

‘Andrew Given and Gemma Sumsion have been great to work with. Both very personable and hard working. Will go the extra mile to achieve a deal in a short space of time. They look after our interests without being too hard on the opposite parties – always looking for alternative solutions that work for everyone. Very thorough in their processes insuring potential issues aren’t missed.’

Key clients

Redcliffe Homes Limited

Stonewood Homes Limited

Stonewood Partnerships Limited

Whitecroft Developments Limited

Charlcombe Homes Limited

Princeton Homes Limited

Calibre Homes (SW) Limited

Loxton Land Limited

Development 6 Limited

Tolnord Corporation

Respro (UK) Limited

Oakhurst Court Holdings Limited

Bath Demolition Holdings Limited

Stonewood Builders Holdings Limited

Healthmatic Limited

Renelec Limited

Corsham Town Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Tolnord Corporation  on an acquisition of a commercial property portfolio located in Wednesbury, West Midlands coupled with corporate re-finance.
  • Assisted Redcliffe Homes Limited  with the collaboration agreement with Crest Nicholson in relation to a multi-phased development of 1000 dwellings in South Chippenham.
  • Acting for Stonewood Partnerships Limited  in  a 44 unit site acquisition and collaboration agreement in Holt, Wiltshire.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys

The lawyers at Harrison Clark Rickerbys are 'knowledgeable, efficient and results driven'.  It is particularly known for its capabilities in the education sector, where it handles academy conversions, mergers, sales and acquisitions. The team also handles real estate finance work and assists its corporate group in transactions. Mark Carter is a contact for property investment companies, retail landlords and franchise owners. He jointly leads the practice with Zoe Touhey.

Practice head(s):

Mark Carter; Zoe Touhey

Other key lawyers:

Ben Thomas


‘HCR have specialists across all departments and every single one is knowledgeable, efficient and results driven. For us they deal with everything from planning to employment law and their advice is always balanced, thorough and effective. They are different in the fact that they feel like a natural extension of our business, a critical friend always at the end of a phone to calmly help us with whatever may have cropped up.’

‘Good understanding of our business culture and pragmatic approach which has been invaluable in recent years where we have worked extensively with HCR on divestment and acquisitions.’

‘I work with a small number of HCR on a regular basis and having consistency and the rapport that allows and their knowledge of how we work as a business is key.’

‘An excellent range of knowledge on many matters – but at the same time a personal service with excellent response times and attention.’

‘The instantaneous availability and knowledge of previous dealings. Excellence of advice and attention to detail.’

Key clients

Lloyds Bank Plc

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire

Countrywide Estate Agents

HSBC Bank Plc

Santander UK Plc

Hatchbury Limited

Farncombe Estates Limited

Gloucestershire College

Cheltine Limited

Synlatex Limited

Wildmoor Property Group

Watts of Lydney Group Limited

Imperial Hearing Limited

Maitland Walker LLP

Maitland Walker LLP handles acquisitions and disposals of hotels, public houses, nightclubs and shop premises as well as transactions of development sites and pre-lets; general estate management work and agricultural property/land matters. Ben Slade also has know-how in landlord and tenant law; he jointly leads the practice with Hilary Coles who deals with conveyancing transactions.

Practice head(s):

Ben Slade; Hilary Coles

Porter Dodson LLP

Porter Dodson LLP regularly acts for landowners, SMEs and national developers and house builders in their real estate matters. The group, which is noted for being 'professional, knowledgeable and time-bound', has particular experience in landlord and tenant work. Ben Hingley leads the practice and specialises in site disposal of development land through various agreements.

Practice head(s):

Ben Hingley

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Walker; Louise Sanders


‘I found that through the whole process of engagement was managed and completed in a very professional, knowledgeable and time-bound manner. All the people involved where pleasant in there outlook and nothing was too much trouble. I would definitely recommend them as the service provided was excellent.’

‘Ben Hingley was very professional and always helpful in whatever small detail I may not of understood and always came over in a calm and collective manner. With some very technical parts to the process Ben was very knowledgeable and lead me through the process with aplomb.’

‘The major plus with this firm is that the person who you wish to act for you remains constant. You are not passed from pillar to post as often happens when dealing with larger practices.’

‘I have found PD to have a broad knowledge of everything. There was a lot of difficult hoops to jump through but there was always someone within the team that knew what needed to be done or how to handle things correctly and to my advantage. I can honestly say I have found PD to be unlike the crowd in the solicitor field – feels like they actually care.’

‘Victoria Walker: Very professional and knowledgeable… happy to go well above and beyond, I like the way she is willing to let the simple work be completed by a junior and just oversee and ensure everything is as it should be.’

‘Their ability to deal with the highly variable world of commercial property whilst supporting us in opening trade counters every week has been exceptional. Key differentials are an experienced commercial property team which can work at a fast pace and deliver on time.’

‘The feeling of ‘one team’ a professional approach but go above and beyond to resolve issues and get things over the line whether that is working late on a Friday, meeting out of hours or at home to exchange documents. Nothing is a problem.’

‘Louise Sanders, Victoria Walker and their team – such a pleasure to work with, approachable, extremely helpful and despite being part of a different organisation we are one team. Always go above and beyond and have made a challenging change of environment and process a breeze.’

Key clients

Toolstation Limited

HS Supplies

Wyvern Health Partnership

Work highlights

  • Acted for Toolstation Limited in the leasehold acquisition of the majority of their 64 new stores that opened in 2020, being a mix of new build and existing stock.
  • Acted for Wraxhall Vineyard in the sale of a Somerset vineyard composed of land, residential property and business elements.
  • Acting for HS Supplies in the freehold purchase and leaseback of a warehouse in excess of 30,000 square feet to facilitate the client’s urgent need for expansion space due to increased demand for their services from the medical sector.

Stone King LLP

Stone King LLP is praised for its 'efficiency of work'; the offering encompasses sales, acquisitions, leases, landlord and tenant work and dispute resolution. The group has particularly strong expertise in the education and charity sectors, and also supports its corporate team on a regular basis. Caroline Taylor, who leads the practice, has know-how in transactions and contracts. Hugh Pearce covers construction contracting and planning. Joanne Burton is a key contact for education clients.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Hugh Pearce; Joanne Burton


‘We have used the firm regularly and have confidence in the service they offer.’

‘There is strength across the team in their ability to respond to a range of different issues which inevitably arise with Real Estate. This has benefited our clients when transactions have taken unexpected turns. There is a detailed understanding of Charity law within the Real Estate team along with an appreciation of how charity clients operate which helps projects run more smoothly.’

‘Very professional team. We have full confidence in their ability to deliver and to make sure that there are no surprises. Very flexible too in terms of the types of property that we ask them to be involved with’

‘The customer service is highly professional, personable and when linked to high levels of technical knowledge, has enable us to negotiate a significant contract with a large commercial house builder in confidence.’

‘Joanne Burton was very knowledgeable and thoughtful in a complex matter. There was attention to detail, but also the ability to look at the big picture and to phrase advice accordingly. In addition, there were measured discussions about strategy and tactics in order to bring the matter to a satisfactory resolution. This was particularly appreciated as most of this took place during lockdown.’

‘Very attentive to our needs – they will respond very quickly and are flexible. They will look at whatever type of problem we come up with.’

‘Efficiency of work has meant that nothing we have asked has been too much even when working to very tight deadlines. We noted the large amount of work that was taking place outside of normal working hours to support a contract that was going to have significant impact.’

‘Joanne Burton was the Partner working with us always providing sound advice and choices for us to make. Joanne made the process make sense to both our Executive Team and Board and was highly effective representing us with both the commercial house builder and our planning agents.’

Key clients

South East Surrey Schools Education Trust

The Edward James Foundation Limited

Society of Antiquaries of London

The Carmelite Charitable Trust

Kingswood School

Leicester Diocesan Board of Finance


Work highlights

  • Advised South East Surrey Schools Education Trust  on a range of agreements and land transactions in connection with the development of a new school sports hall.
  • Acting for Kingswood School in connection with various property aspects in order to assist in the incorporation of the charitable trust.
  • Provided The Edward James Foundation with property advice and due diligence assistance relating to the financing of various capital projects for the Foundation.

Thrings LLP

Thrings LLP works on secured lending, residential development and investment property matters. The key contacts are Ben Jones and litigator Gemma FeatonbyWarren Reid went to Ashfords LLP in July 2020.

Other key lawyers:

Ben Jones; Gemma Featonby


Wansbroughs provides 'extremely professional, personal service' to clients predominately from the healthcare, renewables and development sectors. The group deals with a variety of real estate matters and is instructed by national and regional corporations, developers and landed estates. Practice head Neil Patterson advises on option agreements, promotion agreements and land collaboration agreements.

Practice head(s):

Neil Patterson

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Bruton; Laura Ingram Hill; Christopher Ware


‘They are all not only very on the ball technically but very communicative facilitating working as a team .’

‘The individuals in the team are all congenial and approachable, ready to discuss ideas and problems quickly.’

‘The team at Wansbrough is very efficient. I have always been very happy and impressed with how rapidly they can turn things around and it is certainly never Wansbrough holding things up as seems to be the case with so many other legal firms. The practice uses modern technology well and has been very pragmatic at dealing with the COVID changes to make sure they remain ahead of the game.’

‘Those we have worked with have been very thorough and are across the detail with contracts which is key so as not to come unstuck later on. I have always been given good, clear and concise advice in a language that I can understand which has proven invaluable to our business.’

‘Extremely professional, personal service guiding through the various legal, technical issues.’

‘Christopher Ware was excellent in dealing with practical legal and difficulties with the purchasing parties in the various transactions in a diplomatic but firm way.’


Wilsons covers a variety of commercial real estate matters, such as commercial leases, renewable energy schemes, residential lettings and landowner development work. The key practitioners are Jane Lonergan and Tim Clayden.

Practice head(s):

Jane Lonergan; Tim Clayden