Commercial property: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire in South West

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has a particularly strong profile undertaking strategic land work for landowners, but it also acts for developers as well. The scope of its work in this space includes advising on land promotion, landowner collaboration, the acquisition and sale of sites, the planning process, infrastructure works and land disposals, among other matters. The strategic land team is led by the ‘superbIan Brothwood, who is active in both residential and commercial development schemes. Nigel Morton, who is ‘very experienced in portfolio sales and purchases’, serves as a principal contact for multiple specialist residential funds, national and regional housebuilders, charity investors and corporates. Naomi Nettleton’s practice focuses on property investment, with particular emphasis on the Specialist Supported Living sector. Jonathan Wilkinson and recently promoted senior associate Julie Sharpe are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Ian Brothwood

Testimonials

The practice offers a City-quality service

All team members are very knowledgeable, accessible and highly professional

The client can benefit from the feeling of intimacy of a smaller firm but the practice has the depth and experience of a much larger one

Naomi Nettleton goes out of her way to look for solutions to problems, efficiently and effectively

Ian Brothwood and Naomi Nettleton approach their work with the focus and the work ethic of experienced City solicitors

Key clients

The Crab Hill Partnership/ Crab Hill Developments

Trustees of the Grove Airfield Pool Trust

Topland Henley Healthcare Investments

Topland Jupiter

Hearthstone Residential Fund 1 L. P.

Kout Advisory

Swiss Land Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for the trustees of the Crab Hill Partnership on the disposal of the next phase of the Kingsgrove development in Wantage, Oxfordshire comprising 174 homes.
  • Acting for the trustees of the Grove Airfield Pool Trust in relation to the development of 2,500 home mixed-use scheme at Grove Airfield, Oxfordshire.
  • Assisted a client with the sale of a portfolio of 36 freehold properties.
  • Assisting Hearthstone Residential Fund 1 L. P. with high-value purchases.

BPE Solicitors LLP

BPE Solicitors LLP’s strong track record in the commercial property sphere enables its team to generate work from clients active in sectors such as retail, leisure, logistics, healthcare, and finance. The team handles a wide range of matters, including high-value investment transactions, leaseback arrangements and property portfolio management. Jo Bewley, who acts for an extensive list of institutional investors and developers, jointly heads up the practice with Antonia Shield. Rebecca Maxwell acts for Plcs and privately held companies in relation to acquisitions and disposals, developments and forward funding, as well as corporate occupation requirements. Doug Armstrong is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Antonia Shield; Jo Bewley

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Maxwell; Doug Armstrong

Key clients

Mears New Homes

Plexus UK (First Project)

Boultbee Brooks Real Estate

Stobart Group

Pure Gym Limited

Superdry Plc (C-Retail Limited)

Lilian Faithful Limited

Howard Tenens Limited

Lloyds Bank Plc

Mears Housing Management Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Plexus UK (First Project) Limited on the acquisition of 60 affordable housing units from Persimmon Homes Limited.
  • Acted for Gloucestershire Airport as Landlord on the grant of a substantial hangar at the airport subject to a conditional Agreement for Lease for the construction of the hangar.
  • Acted for a private investor on the acquisition of ex Carillion headquarters at Westlink House, Brentford.
  • Acted for Stobart Group on the sale of its freehold investment interest in a 476,000 sq ft warehouse and AGR compound at Lillyhall to Workington M7 Real Estate Investment Partners.

Thrings LLP

Warren Reid leads Thrings LLP's commercial property team, which has vast experience of managing property acquisitions and disposals, commercial agreements and strategic land transactions. Alex Pinhey acts for a highly diverse client base, which includes pension schemes and factories. Legal director Charlotte Barrett’s practice focuses on advising landlords and tenants on portfolio management issues. Alan Goulding specialises in strategic land development.

Practice head(s):

Warren Reid 

Harrison Clark Rickerbys

Harrison Clark Rickerbys handles a wide range of secured lending and commercial property transactions. Another distinguishing feature of the team is its vast experience in the charity and education sectors. Clients include sellers, investors, developers, landlords, tenants and lenders. The ‘highly competentMark Carter, who ‘offers excellent advice’, jointly heads up the department with Zoe Touhey. Solicitor Eimir Tuckett and Ben Thomas, who joined from Knights plc, are both recommended.

Practice head(s):

Mark Carter; Zoe Touhey

Other key lawyers:

Ben Thomas; Eimir Tuckett 

Testimonials

Excellent knowledge of the property sector combined with a friendly approach towards clients

Matters are handled promptly

Excellent communication and speedy responses

High-quality, concise advice, coupled with a willingness to make clear recommendations, are particular strengths of the department

Key clients

Bruton Knowles Property Consultants

Lloyds Bank

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire

Countrywide Estate Agents

HSBC Bank

Santander UK

YMCA Cheltenham

Farncombe Estates

Gloucestershire College

Cheltine

Synlatex

Work highlights

  • Assisted Synlatex with the acquisition of flagship head office premises at the Brewery Centre in Cheltenham.
  • Acted for The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire on the sale of a site at Bishops Cleeve for commercial development.
  • Acted for Gloucestershire College on a transaction involving a lease and shared use agreement between charity trustees and Gloucestershire College relating to Llanthony Priory.
  • Advised Parris Property Group on an option to purchase commercial premises with an intended conversion to residential use.

Royds Withy King

Royds Withy King’s varied workload includes property acquisitions and disposals, landlord and tenant work, property development, as well as secured lending and refinance work. Paul Daniels is the overall head of the team firmwide, whose clients include banks and borrowers, corporates, developers and pension schemes, among others. Greg Callard, who made partner in 2018, has experience of handling the transfer of businesses (such as pubs and restaurants), as well as acquisitions of retail stores in large shopping centres. Senior associate Aman Hart provides specialist advice on acquisitions, disposals and all matters concerning property development. Peter Foskett leads the commercial property group in Swindon. Edward Cooke retired from private practice in 2018.

Practice head(s):

Paul Daniels 

Other key lawyers:

Peter Foskett; Greg Callard; Aman Hart

Testimonials

The team is very solid and well-respected in the region

Stone King LLP

Stone King LLP has a full-service practice, which covers sales, acquisitions, landlord and tenant work, and disputes, among other matters. Work for charities and education sector clients is a core strength; Stephanie HowarthHugh Pearce and senior associate Kathryn Williams are names to note in this space. Caroline Taylor joined from Michelmores LLP in April 2018 to head up the practice. Sarah Lane stands out for her experience in handling licensed property transactions involving public houses, petroleum filling stations and leisure industry facilities.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Stephanie Howarth; Hugh Pearce; Sarah Lane; senior associate Kathryn Williams

Key clients

Triodos Bank

Wadworth & Company

No1 Lounges

The Faithful Companions of Jesus

United Learning Trust

FirstLight Trust

Charterhouse

Bernardine Sisters

The Edward James Foundation (West Dean College)

Work highlights

  • Advising Triodos Bank on multiple high-value property transactions.
  • Assisting Wadworth and Company with portfolio management matters.
  • Advised The Edward James Foundation (West Dean College) on a disposal of agricultural investment estate, thereby generating valuable capital for the charity.
  • Advising FirstLight Trust on the property aspects of ongoing work in relation to the charity’s portfolio, including opening up a network of hubs to enable access to support for military veterans.
  • Advising The Faithful Companions of Jesus on the £4.7m sale of a development site for 13 houses to a developer.

Willans LLP

Willans LLP undertakes the entire ambit of commercial property matters for clients in sectors such as telecoms, technology, food and leisure, among various others. ‘Superb’ department head Nigel Whittaker handles commercial freehold and leasehold acquisitions and disposals, lettings, assignments and surrenders. Susie Wynne’s practice covers development projects, property finance and investment, renewable energy, and telecoms agreements. Alasdair Garbutt has particular experience of assisting charities with managing high-value property portfolios.

Practice head(s):

Nigel Whittaker 

Other key lawyers:

Susie Wynne; Alasdair Garbutt

Key clients

Sue Ryder

Kohler Mira

Shelter

Newberry International Produce

Trinity Hospice Shops

Clydesdale Bank

Eagle Strategic Property

Joden (Builders)

Scope

Milspeed

Victim Support

Infusion GB

Princess Alice Hospice

Lansdowne Rodway Estates

Cavendish Homes

Joedan Group

A.C. Nurden

Sparsholt College

Work highlights

  • Advised Scope on a new head office relocation in London. Managing the client’s retail shops portfolio across the country.
  • Advising Infusion GB on the acquisition of commercial premises in Gloucester.
  • Assisting Sue Ryder with matters concerning its head office relocation,  lease acquisitions and renewals, and others.
  • Advising Trinity Hospice Shops on the expansion of its retail property portfolio.
  • Advised Sparsholt College on a transaction relating to the construction of a rifle range, among other matters.

Clark Holt

Clark Holt’s practice has a particularly standout reputation in the rural business and agriculture sector, where it generates work from rural businesses and landowners. It is also highly regarded by clients in other industries; practice head Karron Whitter, who joined from Goughs Solicitors, has expertise in the office, retail, leisure and hospitality, and industrial sectors. Although the firm is based in Swindon, it generates work from clients located throughout the South West, as well as in London, the West, Wales and the Midlands. It also increasingly acts for overseas-based clients. The team's varied workload includes site acquisitions, lettings and sales, landlord and tenant work, and portfolio management. Jonathan Ashbridge, who has property finance experience, is 'great at helping clients in tricky situations'. Rachel Booth is regularly engaged by national and local housebuilders, as well as landowners selling to developers. In August 2018, former practice head Alasdair Kirkpatrick moved to Thrings LLP.

Practice head(s):

Karron Whitter

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Ashbridge; Rachel Booth

Testimonials

The team never fails to deliver – it is very helpful and available to assist clients outside standard working hours

The lawyers are always happy to travel to see clients, regardless of where they are based

Great cross-practice cooperation

Key clients

Meyer Bergman

Sameer Group

Sparkler

Supanova Holdings

Koh Thai Group

Westbourne Capital

Shift Living

Lorica General Insurance Brokers

Stapleford Park

EFG Private Bank

Dreweatts 1759

Work highlights

  • Assisting Meyer Bergman with the acquisition of strategic real estate assets for mixed-use asset redevelopment in Central/ West London.
  • Advising Shift Living on matters regarding a site investigation and acquisition.
  • The team acted for the shareholders of Orangebox on the property aspects of a share sale, covering issues concerning properties such as offices, plants and showrooms.

Lodders Solicitors LLP

The growing real estate team at Lodders Solicitors LLP acts for clients such as residential and commercial developers, logistics companies, investment companies and individual investors, and owner-occupiers. The practice handles a wide-ranging workload, including acquisitions and disposals of commercial and residential land for development purposes, property investment transactions, portfolio management, commercial leases, real estate finance, property taxation, and all types of property-related agreements. Managing partner Paul Mourton, who leads the department, focuses on investment property transactions and large-scale property development for both residential and commercial clients.

Practice head(s):

Paul Mourton; Mark Miller

Key clients

Hinton Properties

Work highlights

  • Acted for Craigard Prospect (SBP) Limited & Craigard Prospect (SBP) Nominees Limited on the £5.7m purchase of five office buildings on an estate in Fareham, Kent, with further instruction on the onward sale of one of the units.
  • Acting for Hinton Properties on the assembly of land for a major new retail and office scheme in Gloucestershire.