Charles Russell Speechlys LLP provides clients with comprehensive support along the full lifecycle of a transaction. Its core areas of focus within commercial property are strategic land, specialist supported living, residential investment and development, as well as high-net-worth property investment, lending and management. Ian Brothwood is the key contact and regularly acts for family businesses, charities and institutional landowners in addition to developers on residential and commercial schemes. ‘Stand-out partner’ Naomi Nettleton leads the firm’s hotel focus group with particular strengths in real estate investment and finance. Mixed-use developments are handled by Nigel Morton, while senior associate Julie Sharpe is recommended for her expertise in advising landowners on strategic development sites.
Commercial property: Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire in South West
Other key lawyers:
Naomi Nettleton; Nigel Morton; Julie Sharpe
‘CRS has a strong team of competent and commercial lawyers. The individuals that I have worked with are highly responsive and go over an above to ensure that tight deadlines are met.’
‘Julie Sharpe is an exceptional professional, extremely diligent and is one of the best solicitors I have ever worked with. We have worked together on complex transactions with tight timescales and Julie was always two steps ahead of the other side in the negotiations. No stone was left unturned.’
‘A stand-out partner for me is Naomi Nettleton, she is approachable, tenacious, always there for her clients and goes above and beyond to get deals done whilst ensuring that the deal always works for us as clients.’
‘Outstanding high-level service.’
‘The Charles Russell Speechlys team are unique in the sense that they adjust their working practice to suit the client.’
‘It’s the personal touches, and the unique way that CRS adapts to our needs, rather than the other way round, that keeps us coming back for more.’
‘Attention to detail is second to none.’
Crab Hill Developments
Philip White Leydene Settlement
Bentham Country Club
Calcot Health & Leisure Company Limited
Mosman Estates Limited
The Oxford Asset Management Company Limited
Phi Capital Investments
Hearthstone Residential Fund 2 LP
- Acted for Topland Olympus Limited and Phi Capital Investments on the purchase of over 5 0individual properties with leaseback arrangements in place with Thurrock Council.
- Advising Hearthstone Residential Fund on acquisitions including both forward purchase and forward funding.
- Continuing to act for Crab Hill Developments on the long term development of the Kingsgrove estate in Oxfordshire.
Alongside its strengths in the housebuilder, commercial development and investment sectors, the commercial property practice at Clarke Willmott LLP covers all aspects of property portfolio management for its regional and national clients. Sarah Manley, who specialises in advising investment companies on landlord and tenant acquisitions and disposals, and development expert Philip Brown jointly head the team. Investment property is a particular area of expertise for Roger Seaton. Both having joined the firm in the second half of 2021, Adam Burrage and Caroline Mortimer handle residential and commercial development transactions on behalf of housebuilders, landowners, promoters and affordable housing providers.
Sarah Manley; Philip Brown
Other key lawyers:
Roger Seaton; Caroline Mortimer; Adam Burrage; Tim Walker; Caroline Waller; Nicola Seager
‘They deliver a problem-solving approach.’
‘Excellent legal knowledge delivered in a friendly, down to earth manner.’
‘A strong team who are commercial and offer pragmatic advice.’
‘Philip Brown offers excellent advice and works to commercial timescales. Nicola Seager always provides excellent, pragmatic and good value professional advice. Caroline Waller is a most experienced planning lawyer who is both intelligent and commercial – always offering excellent advice.’
Summerfield Developments (SW) Limited
Persimmon Homes Limited
Countryside Properties (UK) Limited
GPG Projects Limited
Bradford and Sons Limited
Scotsgrove Holdings Limited
AE Securities Limited
Metis Homes Limited
- Continuing to act for Countryside on the redevelopment of the Waltham Forest Town Hall site.
- Advising a private landowner on the sale of a residential development site (c.1,210 residential units) by way of phased disposal along with commercial space (c.12,650sqm) at Wolborough, Newton Abbot, Devon.
- Continuing to be instructed by Summerfield Developments (SW) Limited (“Summerfield”) relating to their commercial development site at Westpark 26, Wellington.
BPE Solicitors LLP
Noted for ‘both a keen eye for detail and a willingness to explain legal issues in a client-friendly manner‘, the commercial property team at BPE Solicitors LLP is active across the firm’s core sectors healthcare, logistics and investment. Practice head Jo Bewley specialises in healthcare, where she supports clients on the full range of real estate ranging from acquisition to disposal. The leisure and retail sectors are areas of expertise for Antonia Shield, who frequently advises clients on leasehold and development matters. Douglas Armstrong is well versed in the acquisition, management and disposal of large investment properties, while senior associate Matthew Jones is praised for his ‘outstanding service in terms of speed and accuracy of advice’.
Other key lawyers:
Douglas Armstrong; Matthew Jones; Antonia Shield
‘I have dealt with several members of the BPE commercial property team and all have been very professional with both a keen eye for detail and a willingness to explain legal issues in a client-friendly manner.’
‘Matthew Jones has provided me with outstanding service in terms of speed and accuracy of advice whilst maintaining a very friendly approach and attention to relevant detail.’
Pragmatic advice from an extremely capable team.’
‘Straight forward, no nonsense advice – they don’t quote the law, they tell you how to get things done.’
‘Bright, smart and sociable, always helpful.’
‘A team with a wide range of skills, so capable of addressing a variety of specialist subjects.’
‘Very approachable and easy to discuss matters without creating undue complexity, and do not make a mountain out of a molehill.’
‘Local expertise, friendly team, easy to contact, commercial.’
Boultbee Brooks Limited
Eddie Stobart Limited
Stobart Group Limited
Open Data Institute
- Advised Superdry PLC on surrender conditional upon leaseback of their flagship Regent Street, London store with concurrent conditional agreement for lease of Oxford Street, London store.
- Advised the Post Office Fellowship of Remembrance CIC on a multi-million disposal of The Dumbleton Hall Hotel, Evesham.
- Advised Boultbee Brooks (Castle Park) Limited on the purchase and finance of £20m purchase of One Castle Park, Bristol.
With a ‘client focused attitude’, the commercial property practice at Harrison Clark Rickerbys is well-regarded for its education sector expertise, where it acts for a number of independent schools, academies and higher education institutions. Real estate finance constitutes another area of focus for the team led by Ben Thomas, who fields expertise in the retail sector as well as tenant and asset management work, and Zoe Touhey. Mark Carter handles secured lending matters, while Morgan West advises on real estate aspects that arise in the education sector.
Ben Thomas; Zoe Touhey
Other key lawyers:
Mark Carter; Morgan West; Mark Fabian; Emme Raynsford
‘I never feel like I am a client amongst many, I feel important. Everyone I deal with at HCR has a good knowledge of my business and a keen interest and as a result can offer me the right advice. Their client-focused attitude is refreshing. They feel like an extension to my business.’
‘We have used HCR for a number of years and have been completely satisfied by the services provided.’
‘We have been particularly impressed with Emme Raynsford who has acted for us on a number of occasions, we have been delighted by the level of service provided and very especially her keeping us informed of progress at all times.’
Bruton Knowles Property Consultants
Lloyds Bank Plc
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire
Countrywide Estate Agents
HSBC Bank Plc
Santander UK Plc
Farncombe Estates Limited
Wildmoor Property Group
Watts of Lydney Group Limited
Imperial Hearing Limited
- Advised University of Gloucestershire in its acquisition of the former Debenhams site in the centre of Gloucester which completed in March 2021.
- Advised Watts of Lydney Group Limited on sale of site to Lidl for their new superstore.
- Acted for 270 Adventure Limited, the purchaser of the site known as Bentham Country Club featuring two old inflatable domes, in Gloucestershire, which will be converted into a state-of-the-art climbing centre.
Willans LLP offers clients a full-service commercial property practice which fields extensive know-how in areas including renewable energy, property finance, land development, and landlord and tenant work. Praised by clients for its ‘thorough attention to detail’ and ‘balanced advice’, the practice is led by Nigel Whittaker, who is regularly sought out by charities, property investors, owners and occupiers of commercial property for his real estate expertise. Acquisitions, development transactions, and landlord and tenant matters are handled by Alasdair Garbutt, while Thornton Allen specialises in development matters and strategic land promotion. Associate solicitor Emma Thompson advises both national and local clients on their commercial property legal needs.
Other key lawyers:
Alasdair Garbutt; Thornton Allen; Emma Thompson; Charlotte Brunsdon
‘Excellent and hands-on with clients. They always take calls and give excellent and balanced advice. Also, their work is second to none.’
‘In my humble opinion, Willans are a top class law firm. They answer the phone when I call and they deal with matters succinctly and with a thorough attention to detail, no matter how complicated or convoluted a deal may become.’
‘Nigel Whittaker is outstanding. He is across all of the details and always delivers first class work. Charlotte Brunsdon and Emma Thompson are also both excellent.’
‘I find the Willans Commercial Property team – especially my dealing with Nigel Whittaker – very positive, constructive and a pleasure.’
‘Nigel Whittaker is very approachable and obviously very astute at spotting areas of concern and explaining them in a manner that is easily understood by somebody who may not be familiar with the legal complications that are in question.’
‘Alasdair Garbutt and Thornton Allen are both excellent solicitors who have consistently managed to push awkward and complicated deals to completion, without compromising the quality of their work.’
Panikz Express Limited
The Abbeyfield Gloucestershire Society Limited
Newberry International Produce Limited / Smootheelicious
Moog Controls Limited
Crown House Developments Limited/Lansdowne Rodway Limited
Elemento Group Limited
Joden (Builders) Limited
Valentine London Ltd
Blakey Developments Limited
Princess Alice Hospice
Trinity Hospice Shops Limited
- Advised Moog Controls Limited in relation to an agreement for a long lease of commercial premises having a construction value of circa £40 million.
- Acted for Crown House Developments Ltd on numerous lettings at three Worcester industrial estates and also advised on refinance.
- Acted for new client Elemento Group Ltd, an expanding housebuilder, on post site acquisition matters and plot sales.
Providing an ‘equally high level of service regardless of the scale of the job and the fee attached to it’, Goughs Solicitors covers a broad range of commercial property matters, including landlord and tenant work, acquisitions, disposal and property investment. Gemma Sumsion leads the practice together with head of land and development Andrew Given. Senior associate Aimee Glover regularly acts for national housebuilders, local planning authorities, as well as highway authorities.
Gemma Sumsion; Andrew Given
Other key lawyers:
‘Goughs provides an equally high level of service regardless of the scale of the job and the fee attached to it. They are a multi-disciplinary practice where the individual specialists communicate well between departments.’
‘The property team is very responsive and efficient. They are also very nice people to deal with!’
‘Andrew Given is the partner in charge of the development team and has a very professional approach to his work, as well as being friendly and approachable. The sense of a cohesive team under his leadership is palpable.’
‘The team are incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. They are well respected locally.’
‘Andrew Given and Gemma Sumsion both have a fantastic depth of experience. They are also both personable and approachable to their clients. Their values shine through the rest of their team, and everyone we have worked with has upheld the same principles and have been enjoyable to work with.’
‘Andrew Given is an excellent solicitor with an in-depth knowledge of land and development transactions. He is used by developers and private individuals alike.’
‘I have found Andrew Given to be uniquely commercial in his approach to development land sales insofar as he is aware of the financial and practical implications of a particular deal structure, beyond just the legal implications, and how this will impact a client.’
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
Colburn Homes Limited
Clayewater Homes Limited
Cadmus Rock Limited
Thomas Homes Limited
Chapter One Developments
Oakhurst Court Holdings Limited
Bath Demolition Holdings Limited
Stonewood Builders Holdings Limited
Corsham Town Council
Renelec Construction Limited (part of Renelec Group Limited) and Handelsbanken PLC
- Acting for Renelec Construction Limited on the acquisition of an agricultural barn on the fringes of a fully developed site in Wantage with the benefit of planning and now looking at financing the development of the barn.
- Acting for Stonewood Partnerships Limited on a 30+ unit site acquisition in North Somerset together with investment funding from the Housing Growth Partnership.
- Continuing to act for Redcliffe Homes Limited on a collaboration agreement with Crest Nicholson in relation to a multi phased development of 1,000 dwellings in south Chippenham, Wiltshire with first phase acquisition now complete.
Maitland Walker LLP
Maitland Walker LLP is frequently instructed to handle acquisitions and disposal, general estate management work, and agricultural property transactions. Hilary Coles, who acts predominantly for agri-related businesses, owners of rural properties and farers, as well as leisure and licensing industry specialist Ben Slade jointly lead the team.
Benjamin Slade; Hilary Coles
Luxury Leisure, Talarius, RAL Limited
Ilton Estates Limited/ Dunn’s Motors Limited
Downs Farm Limited
PPN Taverns Limited/ Gamehouse Limited/ Nolan
- Advising Ilton Estates Limited on the refinancing and general estate management of a large industrial estate in Ilton, Somerset, including general lease advice arising in respect of the 35 commercial unit site.
- General estate management of ca. 250 freehold and leasehold commercial property high street units around the UK, including acquisitions of new sites
- General estate management advice (acquisitions, lease variations, side letters) relating to nine Motorway Service Area lettings across the UK.
Praised for being ‘not only knowledgeable but also very client-centric and easy to work with’, Porter Dodson LLP is sought out by clients for its experience in residential development and land transactions, secured lending, energy and renewables, as well as advising GP partnerships across the region on their property requirements. Practice head Ben Hingley regularly supports landowners on the full range of commercial property. ‘Highly skilled practical lawyers’ Louise Sanders and Victoria Walker are further key contacts.
Other key lawyers:
Louise Sanders; Victoria Walker; Steve Farnham; Gemma Lindegaard
‘The commercial property team at Porter Dodson provide clear, no-nonsense advice in a manner crafted to the needs of the clients.’
‘Whatever issue we’ve needed dealing with has been handled efficiently and professionally by both Gemma Lindegaard or a colleague of hers best suited to a particular issue.’
‘We work closely with Gemma Lindegaard for most of our property related dealings, and always find her extremely approachable, knowledgeable and thorough.’
‘Steve Farnham is excellent, always available but quietly gets on with matters unless he has a genuine query. He always contemplates whether there is a more straightforward way of accomplishing the matter in hand.’
‘Louise Sanders and Victoria Walker are highly skilled practical lawyers giving a wide range of advice , bringing in help when needed on specialist matters , but always keeping the client at the fore of their thoughts.’
‘Well rounded multi-disciplinary firm, wide range of skills and efficient at getting work done.’
‘The team are not only knowledgeable but also very client-centric and easy to work with. Where issues arise they take a practical approach to resolve these, in a way that works for both the client and third parties.’
‘Victoria Walker is my principle contact and personally delivers all of the above, in a style which promotes collaboration and efficiency.’
Wells City Practice
Minehead Medical Centre
Lynton Health Centre
Trustees of the Camel Pension Fund
Levers Estates Limited
- Acting for a solar developer on multiple sites nationally in the sector of solar parks and battery storage.
- Advising Toolstation Limited on the acquisition of in excess of 60 leasehold warehouse/trade counter units over the year as part of Toolstation Limited’s continuing rapid roll out programme.
- Advising the partners of Lynton Health Centre in respect of the transfer of the business and assets to a company, backed by the local NHS Trust.
The ‘precise, insightful and competent’ team at Stone King LLP advises clients on commercial property matters including acquisitions, leasing, landlord and tenant work, and dispute resolution. The firm is particularly active in the charity and education sectors alongside its corporate work. Caroline Taylor leads the team and regularly assists companies and non-faith charities with their property requirements. Hugh Pearce covers a broad range of real estate matters with a particular focus on advising charities, while Joanne Burton specialises in the education sector.
Other key lawyers:
Hugh Pearce; Joanne Burton
‘Very comprehensive all-round professional coverage, combined with approachable and knowledgeable staff.’
‘Joanne Burton was excellent in her considered advice, balancing wider strategy against specific points. She was vital in getting a complex legal situation resolved.’
‘Hugh Pearce is extremely helpful and supportive, looking for the best value for the client. The support from partners in other departments is offered on a timely basis to provide support when required.’
‘Over our years of engagement with the team, from inception to completion of required legal assistance on individual projects, my experience of the team has been very positive: precise, insightful and competent in often very complex cases, dealing not only with presenting issues but also with implications in broader contexts.’
‘Team members that we have worked with have been thorough with an eye not only to completion but even to perfection. At each stage of legal processes, it is reassuring to know that we are in competent, well-trained and experienced hands. Hugh Pearce has been particularly valued in this respect.’
‘All staff/partners that we deal with are accessible and responsive. They are all team players who interact well with clients and their other advisors – there is no game playing/ point scoring that you sometimes experience.’
‘Stone King seem to be able to deal with all different types of issues that we throw their way without any problem.’
‘Very professional and provide sound advice which we have full confidence in. Always quick to acknowledge and come back whenever.’
South East Surrey Schools Education Trust
Church of England Diocese of Bristol
Prep Schools Trust
Yate Town Council
Congregation of Our Lady, Canonesses of St Augustine CIO
Whitehill Chase Foundation
The Carmelite Charitable Trust
- Advising 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 and the creation of a new free school.
- Advising Belmont Abbey on the incorporation of the existing charitable trusts into charitable incorporated organisations, including transfer of all of the properties into the newly formed charities.
- Advising Whitehill Chase Foundation on the sale of the charity’s main headquarters.
Wansbroughs is known for its strengths in commercial property matters arising in the healthcare, renewables and development sectors. Led by Neil Patterson, who sports a focus on complex land development projects, the practice counts corporations, developers and landed estates amongst its clients. The ‘always reliable’ Laura Ingram Hill specialises in landlord and tenant work, particularly in regard to the healthcare sector.
‘Attention to detail and view things commercially. Dealt with some very complex transactions with tight deadlines efficiently and quickly but without compromising on detail.’
‘Laura Ingram Hill – Always reliable, eye for detail, easy to get on with and clients like skill set.’
‘Top people. Good to deal with. Timely advice.’
‘Good advice, reasonable cost, quick.’