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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 > Real estate > Commercial property: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

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Providing ‘true City-style service from outside of London’, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s real estate lawyers are ‘all-round experts in commercial and residential property’. The team is particularly active in residential and retirement home development, corporate leasing and property investment. Nigel Morton advised Hearthstone Residential Fund 1 on its inaugural £24m purchase of about 170 let apartments in Manchester, Nottingham and Birmingham. Morton is also assisted Aura Care Living with the development and structuring of two retirement villages in the South West. ‘Diligent, hard-working, and reliably responsive’, department head Ian Brothwood is acting for Crab Hill Developments in relation to its development and disposal of a site in Oxforshire, which will include 1500 homes, a community centre and a primary school. Additionally, Brothwood advised a financial planning firm on a leasing agreement for a newly built office building in London. Recently promoted partner Naomi Nettleton assists Topland Heanley Healthcare Investments with ongoing property acquisitions, which totalled about £40m in 2017. Jonathan Wilkinson specialises in SIPP/SSAS property investment transactions.

BPE Solicitors LLP is instructed by corporate occupiers and property developers and regularly handles warehouse and development site transactions, corporate leasing, and property funding. Jo Bewley, who has expertise in real estate finance, advised Pure Gym on the property aspects of an equity sale to Leonard Green & Partners. Department head Antonia Shield and senior associate Alex Curtis assisted a well-known corporate with one of the nation’s largest warehouse lease acquisitions in 2017. Similarly, the ‘responsive and knowledgeable’ Doug Armstrong advised Boultbee Brooks Real Estate on its purchase of a city-centre warehouse in Leeds, and its subsequent refurbishment and pre-lets to various tenants. In the residential space, Thornton Allen acted for Mears Housing Portfolio 2 in its £13m acquisition of a development site for the development of nearly 100 houses. Lloyds Bank and SuperGroup are also among the team’s key clients. At the time of publication Rebecca Maxwell was on maternity leave and Tim Williams was on secondment to a nuclear power company.

Royds Withy King’s property group provides ‘a standard of service that is comparable to many larger—and more expensive—London and Bristol firms’. Headed by Paul Daniels, the team has a particularly broad, sector-based real estate service, which covers healthcare, education and charity work, pension and investment property, residential development, corporate occupier and leasing work, and secured lending. Of particular note, Daniels assisted Gold Care Holdings and its shareholders with a high-value disposal and leaseback of 18 care homes to an American REIT. Edward Cooke acts for residential developer Kersfield Group in connection with its ongoing property acquisition and disposal strategy. Senior associate Aman Hart counselled a specialist property developer on the property and construction aspects of its development of a large care home and assisted living village; Hart also advised on the security arrangements for the associated financing. Further, the ‘proactive, diligent, and commercially minded’ Greg Callard , who made partner in 2018, advised a company on a transaction with a European bank to refinance the client’s property portfolio. Peter Foskett is also recommended.

The property team at Thrings LLP is best known for handling commercial agreements and strategic land transactions, but also advises corporates in property acquisition strategies and has a developing practice focused on renewable energy property. Alex Pinhey assisted a well-known regional brewery with its strategic acquisition of a pub and hotel. In the secured lending space, Pinhey advised a European bank on a multimillion-pound refinancing transaction, the financing for which was secured by several public houses. Edward Jackman assisted a high-net-worth landowner with a promotion agreement for a mixed-use development site of over 200 acres. Alan Goulding also specialises in strategic land transactions. Legal director Charlotte Barrett provides ongoing portfolio management advice to a LSE-listed company with over 200 properties under management. Associate Iain Mason is instructed by landowners and developers to handle various property aspects of renewables schemes.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys is ‘big enough to be a serious player’ in regional secured lending and property transactions, ‘but is small enough to be responsive, accessible, and very knowledgeable of its clients’ goals’. The ‘reliable and commercially minded’ Mark Carter specialises in secured lending work and was appointed as head of the real estate group. Carter advised a regional university on the procurement of separate refinance and development finance facilities with two high street banks. Mark Fabian assisted Gloucestershire College with its multimillion-pound land acquisition for the new Forest of Dean campus. Fabian also advised Cheltenham College on a local property purchase transaction. Senior associate Annabel Hull is also recommended. The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire is another key client, while lender clients include Lloyds Bank, Santander, HSBC and Paragon Bank.

Stone King LLP runs a dynamic cross-office property team with experience in general commercial property and property finance, but is perhaps best known for its prolific non-profit client-base, which includes a host of religious charities, educational bodies, community groups and cultural charities. Joanne Burton assisted Harrow College with a £10m disposal of two adjoining sites to a foreign SPV. Similarly, Hugh Pearce is instructed by the National Heritage Memorial Fund, in addition to various religious organisations and diocese. Sarah Lane has advised No. 1 Loungers on a number of leasing transactions involving the client’s operations in various UK hub airports, including Heathrow and Gatwick. In the property finance space, Stephanie Howarth acted for a European bank in relation to a number of multimillion-pound property finance and refinance transactions.

Acting for landowners, developers, corporate occupiers and non-profits, Willans LLP is ‘extremely thorough’ and is rated for is work on ‘particularly complex real estate and construction mandates’. Department head Nigel Whittaker provides a standard of service that literally inspired one client to ‘volunteer to pay a higher rate than what was billed’. Whittaker has particular expertise in freehold and leasehold transactions and advised two Republic of Ireland-registered companies on the multimillion-pound sale of a property in Bath, subject to a lease agreement in favour of a building society. Alasdair Garbutt was promoted to partner and assisted Joedan Group with a number of office and industrial property acquisitions in 2017. Whittaker and Garbutt also provide ongoing portfolio management advice to local, regional, and national charities such as Sue Ryder. Susie Wynne is ‘a go-to partner’ for development projects, property finance and investment transactions. Wynne assisted Cavendish Homes with a land promotion agreement in relation to a site with a potential development value of £37.5m. Other key clients include Holy Trinity Brompton and Princess Alice Hospice.

Headed by Alasdair Kirkpatrick, the real estate group at Clark Holt has experience in real estate development and site transactions, property finance and secured lending, and non-contentious landlord and tenant issues. Of particular note, the team advises London private equity firm Meyer Bergman on its ongoing acquisitions of strategic real estate assets in relation to a massive redevelopment project in the City. Additionally, the group assisted Hallam Land Management with the proposed multimillion-pound sale of a plot of land, which has been promoted for residential development. Jonathan Ashbridge, who specialises in property finance, is instructed by national and international banks. Rachel Booth has experience acting for national house builders, farmers and estate owners, investors, local authorities, and non-profits.

Lodders Solicitors LLP’s Cheltenham-based property team is instructed by residential and commercial developers, investors and owner/occupiers, and is regularly involved in high-value transactions that belie the office’s size. Paul Mourton heads the department and assisted C.M. Downton Haulage with its £12m full-occupancy lease for a new distribution facility in Chepstow. Acting alongside senior associate Constantine Berry, Mourton also advised a large UK developer on the promotion agreement for a 250 acre residential development site, subject to planning permission. The team has also handled high-value office lease transactions for household-name occupiers and regularly work alongside its Stratford-upon-Avon colleagues. Additional clients include Hinton Properties, The King’s School Gloucester and I.M. Properties.

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