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Property litigation in South West

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP fields a team of 'creative and versatile thinkers.' The members are often active in lease and dilapidation disputes, insolvency-related matters, estate litigation and proceedings arising out of renewable energy projects. Practice head James Sutherland is a go-to counsel for  landlords and occupiers, financial institutions and high net worth individuals. Chris Preston is well versed in advising landowners and operators in issues arising from the Electronic Communications Code. Senior associate Lucy Redman also handles forfeiture/possession claims. Richard Bedford left to for Ebery Williams LLP in May 2020 and David Benjamin joined Foot Anstey in September 2020.

Practice head(s):

James Sutherland

Other key lawyers:

Chris Preston; Lucy Redman; Rebecca Lee

Testimonials

‘Burges Salmon performs strongly in this practice area. They provide high quality commercial advice which adds real value to the client. Not only are they very knowledgeable of the law but they deliver advice successfully in the context of the commercial dispute and the negotiations.’

‘Impressive versatility taking on a case where most of the legal aspects where relatively clear cut but an unsophisticated client in distressed personal circumstances required careful handling. Adapted well to changing requirements and priorities and keeping focused on a sound legal strategy even when the viewpoint and priorities offered by the client were often varied and unpredictable.’

‘All of the people that have worked with us at Burges Salmon have been incredibly creative and versatile thinkers. This is essential when dealing in property litigation. They also have very good technical, legal knowledge, which provides the foundation for such advice.’

‘James Sutherland at Burges Salmon LLP is simply excellent. He is approachable and accessible and provides clear succinct high quality commercial advice. James has a strength of really understanding the commercial context of a situation, adding real value with his advice. His quality of work and response times are impressive. James is also very personable and a pleasure to work with.’

‘James Sutherland offered clear advice on strategy and dealing with the litigation counterparties involved – pros, cons and recommendations laid out concisely, backed up by experience.’

‘Rebecca Lee is to be noted for handling difficult characters well and showing remarkable patience.’

‘The people listen to the problem and offer very good advice. They are prepared to think outside of the box in order to come up with a solution. They are also prepared to advise against litigation and not waste the client’s money.’

Key clients

FTI Consulting (acting as administrators of Côte Restaurants Group Holdings Limited)

Goldman Sachs International

Severn Trent Water

Transport for Wales

John Lewis / Waitrose

Virgin Clubs Ltd

East Hampshire District Council

Sutton Harbour Holdings

Deloitte LLP (acting as administrators of Adelie Foods Group)

Harving Limited

The Crown Estate

BDO LLP

Nordic Entertainment Group

Savile Row Investments Unit Trust

Work highlights

  • Advising administrators at FTI on the administration of Côte Restaurants Group Holdings Limited.
  • Advising Goldman Sachs International in relation to surrenders of leases of its London office portfolio, including advising on settlement of dilapidations claims brought by Goldman Sachs’ landlords and against its sub-tenants.
  • Advising Virgin in relation to the termination of their lease of Kensington Roof Gardens and then resolving a long-running dilapidations claim by its former landlord.

Osborne Clarke LLP

Osborne Clarke LLP is able to handle 'complex legal issues with incredible ease and has strong forensic tactical knowledge.' The team is regularly sought after in development disputes, and landlord and tenant matters, as well as in proceedings relating to energy, utilities, compulsory purchase and other infrastructure, and telecoms. Beyond clients from these industries, the group also acts for investors, residential developers and retail sector clients. Practice head Leona Briggs also has know-how in the Electronic Communications Code. Newly promoted partner Emily Van Schalkwyk is 'incredibly hardworking and extraordinarily bright' and director, David Shakesby has a focus on disputes in the energy and infrastructure sectors.

Practice head(s):

Leona Briggs

Other key lawyers:

David Shakesby; Emily Van Schalkwyk

Testimonials

‘The property litigation team has great depth in and experience of Real Estate property litigation. They can handle complex legal issues with incredible ease and have strong forensic tactical knowledge. The work with and around clients, providing in depth advice and focussed litigation assistance. This also work extremely well with other legal team members, such as barristers and experts. It is difficult to overate how strong their real estate property litigation team is.’

‘Emily Van Schalkwyk is a truly outstanding lawyer. She can seamlessly move from advising on and litigating on Compulsory Purchase disputes to doing the same on Electronic Communications Code disputes. She is incredibly hardworking, extraordinarily bright and has very sound litigation judgment. She is one of the best solicitors I have worked with in 40 years at the Bar and 18 years as Q.C.’

‘Leona Briggs is also a first class litigator. She is very hardworking, has sound litigation judgment and really knows the law in her subject areas.’

‘The team has excellent knowledge across the real estate litigation sphere and specialist expertise in telecoms disputes. In respect of the latter the team offers impressive commercial nous and knowledge of the industry, and an ability to work well with demanding clients in concert with counsel. They provide City of London firm level care and skill in case management, at extremely competitive rates.’

‘Leona Briggs provides invaluable oversight and guidance, managing the demands of clients with a level-headed sense of pragmatism whilst achieving solid results.’

‘The team we work with are always avaliable, prompt with any considerations and listen to our specific critera or concerns and revert appropriatly with a well rounded and helpful response – taking into consideration our business, commercial opperations and specific issues, concerns and criteria (of the owners). The team is concise and direct, which we appreciate.’

‘Emily Van Schalkwyk has a natural ease and confidence with clients and counsel, as well as a deep understanding of the telecoms sector and the interests of mobile operators. Sound and savvy.’

Key clients

Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited

Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited and Vodafone Limited

Olympian Homes Limited

Western Power Distribution (South Wales), (South West), (East Midlands) and (West Midlands) Plc

BDW Trading Limited

WPD Telecoms Limited

Wales & West Utilities Ltd

PGIM

Vodafone Enterprise UK

Taylor Wimpey UK Limited

Vistry

Bloor Homes Limited

Greystar

FRP Advisory LLP

Marks and Spencer PLC

Work highlights

  • Acted for Cornerstone in relation to the acquisition of rights under paragraphs 26 and 20 of the Electronic Communications Code, over a building owned by the University of Arts, London.
  • Advising BDW Trading Limited (Barratt Homes) on a complex claim by a local authority for an injunction in respect of alleged breaches of a s106 agreement, and a related indemnity claim against another prospective defendant.
  • Advising Western Power Distribution in its negotiations with HS2 including property-led contentious issues.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP impresses with its 'wealth of talent from partner-level down and a constant stream of top drawer work.' The team is sought after by public and private sector clients from the energy, retail and telecoms fields. Its offering covers the full gamut of commercial, residential and agricultural matters. James Rees leads the Bristol-group and is a got-to counsel for both landlords  and tenants. Sasha Hinton is well versed in property management and general commercial property disputes. Managing associate Naomi Cunningham is experienced in contentious telecoms and service charge matters.

Practice head(s):

James Rees

Other key lawyers:

Sasha Hinton; Naomi Cunningham

Testimonials

‘Always available, professional, understanding, engaged, focused, timely and with on-point solutions.’

‘Womble Bond Dickinson have first rate property litigation department. They have a wealth of talent from partner level down and a constant stream of top drawer work. I have worked with them for at least 15 years and dealt with a variety of commercial landlord and tenant matters, cases which have always been managed and prepared to the highest standard. I have recommended them to a number of other clients because I cannot think of a safer pair of hands for real estate work.’

‘Very strong property litigation team with a lot of experience of infrastructure related disputes.’

‘James Rees is a very experienced and knowledgable solicitor.’

‘The team are very client focused. They always think of the best legal team to use and when, and how, it is best to use Counsel. They are a very nice firm to work with.’

‘ James Rees gets on top of a dispute from the outset. He always structures the best team for the job and helps formulate and lead a sound strategy to resolve disputes quickly and cost effectively.’

‘Naomi Cunningham  is good at looking at problems from more than one angle, and she can be very persuasive in negotiations.’

‘Sasha Hinton – since promotion to partner, she has become a real presence in the sector and deals with some of the firm’s biggest clients and works hard to achieve results.’

Key clients

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

Ministry of Justice (Estates Directorate)

National Grid

New Look Retailers Limited

River Island Clothing Co. Limited

NPower

RO Group

Majestic Wines

National Trust

AA

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP handles a range of property disputes, with a 'strong and genuine specialisation in this area.' The team acts for landowners, landlords and tenants, and is led by Sian Gibbon, who is particularly well versed in advising public sector clients. It has experience in commercial landlord and tenant cases, dilapidations, and commercial lease disputes. Other noted practitioners are Rob NicholsonJames Hemsley, and associate Marjorie BattenWarren Reid joined from Thrings LLP in May 2020.

Practice head(s):

Sian Gibbon

Other key lawyers:

Rob Nicholson; James Hemsley; Sophie Michaelides; Marjorie Batten; Warren Reid

Testimonials

‘Very strong real estate litigation practice working on matters such as complex repossession actions raising consumer mis-selling issues.’

‘Ashfords have a practical and realistic approach to their work.’

‘Warren Reid has great depth of knowledge and sound judgement on what is realistic and cost effective.’

‘James Helmsley and Sophie Michaelides are stand out performers with real expertise in real property law disputes. Both have good technical knowledge and combine that knowledge with commerciality. The team is a pleasure to work with and they attract very good work across the South West.’

‘Strong and genuine specialisation in this area, rather than general litigation practice. A significant number of partners and associates who understand real estate disputes and litigation very well. ’

‘A very strong team with great levels of experience, expertise, and understanding of the law and the commercial realities’

‘Rob Nicholson – really good lawyer; great commercial nous.’

‘This practice has a very personal approach and seeks to develop a lasting professional relationship with their clients. Compared to other firms in the area, Ashfords, quite simply “know their stuff”. Advice and guidance provided is concise and accurate according to the law with an application of “common sense”. All in all an excellent legal partner for any business.’

Key clients

London Boroughs of Wandsworth and Richmond

London Borough of Newham

Torbay Council

Brick by Brick (Croydon) Limited

CDS (Superstores International) Limited (“the Range”)

Kernick Farm Limited

London Borough of Southwark (planning and property team)

Courtenay Group of Companies

St Mungo

West of England Developments

The Guinness Trust

Bevan Brittan LLP

The team at Bevan Brittan LLP has 'strength in depth'; it is regularly instructed by public sector clients from the health, education, local authorities and housing areas but also increasingly by the private sector. Disputes often encompass landlord-tenant arrangements, proposed land sales, rent strikes and secured lending. Practice head Steve Eccles has considerable experience in the social housing area. Senior associate Kate Hicks is 'always thorough and well prepared.'

Practice head(s):

Steven Eccles

Other key lawyers:

Kevin Dawson; Kate Hicks 

Testimonials

‘Bevan Brittan has an extremely strong, experienced and well-regarded real estate litigation practice. They have strength in depth, some very big clients and a rich stream of interesting work. They have impressed me this year by managing some heavy pieces of litigation seamlessly, and with good use of technology, during the pandemic period.

‘Steve Eccles does a lot of work for local authorities and NHS bodies and is particularly strong in real property cases with a public law angle to them; and has good knowledge familiarity with how local and public authorities operate and litigate, which I know is much appreciated by those clients. He is clearly interested in the detail of the finer legal arguments, but never loses sight of the bigger, commercial picture – he keeps his eyes firmly on the prize. I would have no hesitation recommending him to clients.’

‘Excellent property legal knowledge. Practical, accurate advice and common sense approach. Attention to detail. Effective case management and ability to manage multiple cases. Swift assistance. ’

‘Kevin Dawson is an excellent and experienced Senior Associate, providing expert advice on property. Knowledgeable, professional, efficient, responsive, patient and easy to work with. Great from start to finish! ’

‘Bevan Brittan are a modern, pragmatic and commercially focused firm. They are very responsive to our needs and frequently provide usual updates or sector specific knowledge and advice.’

‘Kate Hicks – a good senior associate who is involved in management of the team and the client relationship management. Always thorough and well prepared.’

‘Excellent property legal knowledge. Practical, accurate advice and common sense approach. Attention to detail. Effective case management and ability to manage multiple cases. Swift assistance. ‘

‘Steve Eccles is a pleasure to work with. Down to earth, pragmatic with impressive legal expertise. I would strongly recommend his services.’

 

Key clients

Canal & River Trust

Places for People Group

NHS Property Services Limited

Sanctuary Housing Group

University of Oxford

Peabody Group

Brent Council

Bath & North East Somerset Council

De Montfort University

Oxford City Council

Orbit Group

Pearce Fine Homes Limited

Allerdale Borough Council

LiveWest Homes

Sovereign Group

Abri (formerly Radian/Yarlington Housing Group)

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Brent Council in a trial involving complex issues which made new law regarding charitable trusts over land and whether the Attorney-General must be a party to any litigation where the existence of a charitable trust is in dispute.
  • Appointed as sole external advisors to Sanctuary  to deal with property disputes relating to Sanctuary’s national housing stock.
  • Acting as lead solicitors to the NHS’ national property company on contentious property issues across its national estate, including advising on core strategic issues and litigation.

Clarke Willmott LLP

Clarke Willmott LLP is noted for its broad client base, which includes property investors, retailers, housing associations, telecoms, house builders and local authorities, among others. Under the lead of Chris Taylor, the group acts in lease renewals, forfeiture, dilapidations, and telecom disputes as well as in rights of light and party wall issues. Neil Ham 'thinks of all the angles' and handles litigation as well as arbitration proceedings. Kary Withers is well versed in representing landowners against mast operators.

Practice head(s):

Chris Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Neil Ham; Nicola Seager; Graham McIntyre; Kary Withers; Simon Freeman

Testimonials

‘Strong local regional presence, personal service, partner led. Assisted on virtual reality arbitration with all documents and hearings conducted remotely via Opus Platform.’

‘Neil Ham – very knowledgeable in real estate (litigious and non litigious), personal service, thinks of all the angles.’

‘Their organisation and focus are very impressive. They are a well resourced and knowledgeable team.’

‘Kary Withers is superb.’

 

Key clients

Sutton Harbour Group plc

Mapeley

Marcol

London and Quadrant

Westray Investments Limited

Lidl Great Britain Limited/Lidl GmbH

Orvis

Fat Face

Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation

Mileway

CALA Homes Plc

Poplar Harcar

Peabody

Bristol Water plc

Bath and North East Somerset Council

Work highlights

  • Acted for London and Quadrant on the landmark telecoms case Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Ltd v London & Quadrant Housing Trust clarifying the extend of an Operator’s ability to seek rights over a Landowner’s property for the purposes of installing and using telecommunications equipment.
  • Continuing to act for Mapeley on the substantial portfolio under their management.
  • Advised Orvis on the impact of the COVID restrictions on trade and landlord action on their obligations as tenants and on other issues across its English stores.

Foot Anstey

Foot Anstey is highlighted for its 'considerable experience in disputes about development land valuations and infrastructure.' It further handles more general commercial and residential property litigation and is also involved in arbitration proceedings. Practice head Patrick Wetherall can also offer expertise in landlord and tenant disputes. The arrival of legal director David Benjamin from Burges Salmon LLP in October 2020 bolstered the practice. Edward Venmore is a trusted advisor to farm and estate owners.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Wetherall

Other key lawyers:

Edward Venmore; Anna Phillips; David Benjamin

Testimonials

‘A very strong property litigation team with considerable experience in disputes about development land valuations and infrastructure as well as all the more common types of property litigation.’

‘A very strong presence in the real estate litigation market in the South West, attracting some significant clients.’

‘Rachel Small – good with the detail of a case.

‘Patrick Weatherall – a strong leader of the team.’

‘Patrick Weatherall and Edward Venmore both use their experience and expertise to achieve great results, often without appearing particularly hostile. I think the team follow the direction of Patrick who is calm and effective, but has a steel backbone where required.’

‘The team is solutions focussed and client centric, they adapt to our own internal processes and documentation and turn matters around quickly.’

‘A strong team with a high reputation particularly in the South West. As a mediator I get to see how they deal with opponents and their own clients and have seen they are effective and well respected.’

Key clients

Netflix

B&Q

Persimmon

Screwfix

Berkeley Homes

The Arch Co

Ashfield Land

Beechcroft Developments

Freightliner

Welcome Break

Stephens Scown LLP

Stephens Scown LLP can offer dispute resolution support to a broad range of clients, such as national and local companies, private developers, rural estate and social housing landlords. The group has further industry expertise in mines, minerals and waste, agriculture, and leisure matters. Richard Bagwell is the practice head and is well versed in landlord-tenant and Electronic Communications Code disputes. Michael Davies advises on rights of way and restrictive covenants.

Practice head(s):

Richard Bagwell

Other key lawyers:

Michael Davies; Ben Jones; Ian Thomas; Mark Richardson

Testimonials

‘My primary point of contact is Michael Davies. His advice is always relevant, to the point, and to be relied upon. He has always been available whenever I have needed to call upon him, invariably responding by return to my enquiries.’

‘The single most important element of Stephens Scown is that the people you deal with are ‘peoples people’ and understand the issues and objectives and work collaboratively with team members to get results.

‘Mark Richardson – a consummate professional in advice, reasoning , integration with Barristers in legal points.’

‘For a South Western practice it has a real strength in legal know-how and commercially practical advice. Good resourcing and a surprising diversity. Excellent value.’

‘Richard Bagwell is a very experienced and thorough property litigator.’

‘The Real Estate Litigation Team at Stephens Scown are a hidden gem who punch well above their weight. I have used them for several chunky property litigation matters in the past year – the large national firms on the other side clearly underestimated them initially, but were soon left reeling. ’

‘Richard Bagwell is exceptionally knowledgeable and commercially focused, with a real understanding of how our business works. He really rolls his sleeves up and gets under the skin of not just the legal implications, but also the financial and business implications of a dispute – and can focus his advice accordingly.

‘Responsive, Commercial and approachable. Knowledgeable in their field.’

Key clients

Imerys Minerals Limited

St Austell Brewery

Viridor Group

Welcome Break Group/Applegreen

Ministry of Sound Group Limited

The Deltic Group Limited The Deltic Group Limited

Hastoe Housing Association Limited

Charles Robertsons Developments Limited

Kivells Limited

Exeter Diocese

Cardens Residential

Stillman’s (Somerset) Limited

LiveWest

The Tregothnan Estate

Ivybridge Town Council

Bodmin Town Council

DJL (Barum) Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Welcome Break Group on a range of property portfolio management issues including redevelopment disputes and landlord and tenant issues.
  • Acting for The Deltic Group Limited, a nightclub operator, on what will be the first case to determine whether frustration and/or supervening illegality can arise as a result of COVID-19.
  • Advising Stillman’s (Somerset) Limited when its landlord sought possession of the land on which Stilman’s was a tenant with a view to then developing it or selling to Developers.

VWV

VWV is noted for providing 'excellent and considered advice' to public sector clients, charities, GPs, education institutions and national occupiers. The group is active in disputes arising between landlords and tenants, development agreements and under telecommunications law. Practice head Michelle Bendall specialises in freehold and leasehold proceedings, while Daniel Hall focuses on pipeline and development disputes. Senior associate Georgina Little is valued for her 'discretion, expertise and pragmatism.'

Practice head(s):

Michelle Bendall

Other key lawyers:

Philip Sheppard; Daniel Hall; Georgina Little

Testimonials

‘I have worked closely with Micelle Bendall and Georgina Little on a number of real estate property litigation matters. Both Georgina and Michelle take a hands on approach to any legal questions or issues that arises. They are proactive and  always available to help even at very little notice. They go the extra mile by following up and even provide reminders of key dates for projects- they care about their clients and do not limit their commitment to their fees. They are also very pleasant to work with, practical and provide knowledgeable.’

‘I have used VWV in both a professional and personal context as I believe that they wish to understand the needs of their clients and tailor their service to meet those needs. I have found all facets of the business to be well organised, punctual, professional and very knowledgeable.’

‘The partners are commercial in their approach which has allowed me to recommend VWV to my clients.’

‘I have been working closely with Michelle Bendall who I have known for many years and who is able to work along side me and provide an additional dimension to the services we provide our clients. I have always been impressed with the pragmatic and knowledgeable advice that Michelle has given and her unwavering and tenacious approach to achieving the best possible outcome.’

‘The solicitor in our case is Georgina Little and she has been outstanding dealing with both myself as the client and our land agent as the main source of information, in a friendly, open and honest manner and being clear with us about outcomes of different moves and keeping us moving on with the process. I have valued her discretion, expertise and pragmatism and most of all her common sense and in making us feel part of a working team.’ 

‘Their ability to quickly understand your issue and to deal with this succinctly and promptly. Urgent issues are turned around very quickly.’

‘Daniel Hall – experienced, approachable, commercial and engaging.’

Philip Sheppard is always available, succinct, pragmatic, helpful and concise.’

Key clients

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency

Dorset Council

University of Bristol

Diocese of Gloucester

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Airbus

Pell Frischmann Consultants

Natural History Museum

JISC

South Wales Fire and Rescue Authority

Harpur Trust

Work highlights

  • Provided the University of Bristol with  urgent advice on property issues arising as a result of students vacating halls at the outset of the pandemic.
  • Represented PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) in a complex claim for dilapidations and disrepair following vacation of leased property in central London.
  • Assisted Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency with the lease renewal of a driving test centre in the north of England.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP has considerable know-how in representing investors, funds, developers, REITs and occupiers in property litigation matters. Clients come from the finance, health, residential development and public sectors and particularly in the areas of shopping centres and retail. Practice head Nick Knapman also deals with high value asset management matters.

Practice head(s):

Nick Knapman

Key clients

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield

Crest Nicholson plc

AXA Insurance UK plc

Capita plc

Land Securities

Bellway Homes Limited

St James’s Place Wealth Management Group Limited

Zurich Insurance plc

Deeley Freed Estates Limited

Clarks Shoes

Work highlights

  • Handling a significant number of lockdown-related lease enforcement matters arising at Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City.
  • Acting on the 1954 Act litigation relating to a number of high profile lease renewals at Westfield London.
  • Advising various insurance/financial services clients on a range of high value lease termination issues including conditional break options and dilapidations.

Lester Aldridge LLP

Lester Aldridge LLP is instructed by corporate clients, investors and individuals, often from the port and marine, care and telecoms sectors, in a variety of contentious property matters. The team is well versed in adverse possession claims, squatter and residential possession actions as well as party wall cases and residential service charge issues. Practice head Kate Stewart is noted for her ability 'to tackle complex and tricky situations.' Senior associate Rachel Gimson also has experience in rights of light matters.

Practice head(s):

Kate Stewart

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Gimson 

Testimonials

‘Lester Aldridge provides a high level of service. The Partners get involved in the work rather than just acting as coordinators. LA are able to view matters from the perspective of their client’s business and not only the legal perspective and are therefore able to present a range of options to their client.’

‘Kate Stewart has provided an excellent legal service and demonstrated an ability to tackle complex and tricky situations amidst the Covid pandemic and an ability to simplify legal matters and present options to her client in an understandable fashion.’

‘Rachel Gimson has achieved outstanding results in all that she has done for us.’

‘Rachel Gimson is our contact in the litigation team. She is always available to discuss matters and is succinct in her precise replies to our questions’

 

Key clients

Marina Developments Limited

Big. Yellow Plc

Work highlights

  • Providing Marina Developments Limited with ongoing property related litigation advice in the context of managing its extensive residential and commercial property interests.
  • Acted for Big Yellow Limited both in its capacity as a property owner (dealing with issues of trespass and neighbour disputes) and also in its capacity as a landlord (dealing with matters of tenant covenant enforcement etc.).

Michelmores LLP

Michelmores LLP has an established practice which is acting for developers, corporate occupiers and private clients. Led by Andrew Baines, who is noted for his 'excellent technical expertise and judgment', the team handles rent reviews, dilapidation cases, claims of rights, and title disputes, among others. Baines also represents clients in arbitration and mediation proceedings. Senior associate Charlotte Curtis is another specialised practitioner.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Baines

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Curtis

Testimonials

‘Its excellent technical knowledge, the extremely pleasant and highly collaborative manner of its staff, and its very competitive charging rates are noted.’

‘Andrew Baines has excellent technical expertise and judgment, as well as an extremely personable manner and highly collaborative and constructive approach.’

‘Regardless of topic, Michelmores’ practice is always very responsive and reactive to the needs of my business. This is particularly relevant to their property litigation team who have worked on a number of projects with me over the last year, ranging from office space through to commercial premises.’

‘Andrew Baines has led on a number of projects over the last year and takes a very hands on and considered approach to achieving the required outcome. Andrew provides regular updates on progress, including at key stages of a negotiation, where he is able to cut through the detail to identify the points that really matter.’

Charlotte Curtis has a clear approach to property litigation processes and provides excellent client engagement and clear communication on matters she is involved.’

 

Key clients

Stanhope Plc

Persimmon Homes Plc

Greenland Group

Seasalt Limited

Mole Valley Farmers Limited

Saba Park Services UK Limited

Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (Met Police)

Vistra Trust Company Limited

Kingsbridge Estates Limited

Key West (Holdings) Limited

Work highlights

  • Provided Stanhope plc with advice about property issues arising with the redevelopment of the former BBC TV Centre, and litigation brought by a number of buyers of long leases of parts of the development.
  • Represented Saba Park Services UK Ltd in a lease arbitration over the renewal terms of the client’s Park Lane, Mayfair underground car park.
  • Advised Key West (Holdings) Ltd on the management of its commercial property portfolio during coronavirus restrictions, and about the CVAs of two of its major tenants.

TLT

Clients from the leisure, retail, clean energy, financial services, real estate and public sectors instruct the team at TLT in property litigation matters. It has considerable experience in landlord and tenant disputes, rent reviews, lease renewals, and contractual claims. Practice head Mark Routley is 'a seriously impressive litigator.' He is a go-to advisor to restaurants and pubs. Kane Kirkbride is an expert in social housing matters.

Practice head(s):

Mark Routley

Other key lawyers:

Kane Kirkbride

Testimonials

‘The TLT team is outstanding, clearly the best of its kind in the region. ’

‘Mark Routley is a seriously impressive litigator. He has a masterful appreciation of the law behind every case, and knows how to apply it to the facts in the most effective way, so he can secure the best possible outcome for his clients in every case.’

‘Knowledge and advice provided in hospitality, licensing and pubs code, and associated support on agreement strategy. Proactive and supportive, the best in the industry in these areas.’

‘Mark Routley – industry expert in his field, the go to person on Pubs Code advice.’

‘Kane Kirkbride has exceptional knowledge of the social housing sector which means that he understands the appetite for risk and the constraints we have in terms of our social purpose. It also means that he understand the importance of governance and the requirement for the board to be fully appraised of the risks with regards to litigation outcomes. He made himself available to the board and explained not only the process but the basic legal arguments and potential outcomes in a way which simplified without patronizing. This went a long way to helping the board make explicit their risk appetite in line with key regulatory requirements including value for money and financial sutainability. ’

‘They are approachable’

Key clients

Morris & Perry

Punch Taverns

Greene King

WH Smith

Mayors Office for Policing and Crime

Zedra Trust Company (UK) Limited

Southern Housing Group

Network Homes Limited

SHAL Housing Limited

J Sainsbury Plc

Work highlights

  • Acting as main external lawyers to Southern Housing Group advising their supported housing and care homes teams.
  • Acting for WH Smith in its litigation matters in particular lease renewals and non-payment of rent during Covid-19.
  • Acting for Morris & Perry in a dispute with the (surface) owner of land in Somerset.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's team is active in residential, commercial and agricultural disputes, and is 'always willing to go the extra mile.' It portfolio includes estate clients, retailers, property management companies and charities as well as HNW individuals. Emma Humphreys' broad practice encompasses break rights and insolvency matters, among others. She leads the group jointly with Guildford-based David Haines.

Practice head(s):

David Haines; Emma Humphreys

Other key lawyers:

Emma Preece; Samuel Lear

Testimonials

‘A strong team of talented professionals with considerable experience in real estate litigation across a range of fields. The team works seamlessly across its London and Cheltenham offices.’

‘Very good strength in depth. All members of the team I have dealt with, whether in the Cheltenham or London offices, have been excellent lawyers who are easy to work with.’

‘Emma Preece has a good sense of the merits of an argument and is responsive and personable.’

‘CRS are always on the ball. They provide clear and thorough instructions which are usually targeted at all the right issues. They are always willing to go the extra mile for the client even when the battle is extremely uphill.’

‘A pretty seamless team across both London and the South West – one team across both offices means that they can get the levels of experience, expertise, people and cost just right, which is what many property clients demand. Very responsive.’

‘Samuel Lear – really building up his expertise and experience; well attuned to client aims.’

‘Emma Humphreys – excellent lawyer; very commercial, with a good strategic mind; very focused on client aims, on managing a case efficiently, and on achieving the right outcomes.’

‘David Haines: simply brilliant. Very clever, measured but tough when necessary.’

 

Key clients

Church Commissioners for England

London and Cambridge Properties

Hackney Joint Estate Charity

Hintlesham Hall Hotel Limited

West Bay Holdings Limited

Woodchester Valley Freehold Limited

Karen Zakaim

Davitt Jones Bould

The dedicated real estate boutique Davitt Jones Bould covers the full spectrum of relevant matters. The team handles contract claims and debt recovery; mortgage and secured lending litigation; and personal and corporate insolvency, among others. The key contacts are practice head Madeleine DavittMaeve Bonner and Janani Puvi.

Practice head(s):

Madeleine Davitt

Other key lawyers:

Maeve Bonner; Janani Puvi; Jonathan Warner-Reed

Estate Legal

Estate Legal is praised for its 'wealth of experience matched with commercialism.' The specialist boutique is involved in a wide range of disputes, such as service charge liability cases, repairing obligations and dilapidations. Bonnie Martin has more than 35 years of experience and Amy Rudrum is a key contact for pub tenants.

Practice head(s):

Bonnie Martin; Amy Rudrum

Testimonials

‘Personal service excellent; Keeping us informed when they can do things and when they can not do it absolutely brilliant. Never over-promised and under delivered. Gave a very good road map at the beginning and very much kept to it, which means they asked all the right questions at the beginning and got all the answers. ’

‘Approachable and very knowledgeable. Advice given in an efficient and timely manner.’

‘Amy Rudrum specialises in the PubsCode and MRO. She is a highly valued source of advice on those matters.’

‘A small, sharp team of specialist property litigation experts.’

‘A wealth of experience matched with commercialism.’

‘Estate Legal is a small niche firm which can and does match and exceed the reputation and results of the big players in property litigation. As a mediator I am able to see how a team deals with its opponents and also with its own clients. Their clients rightly feel in very safe and experienced hands. The firm’s current ranking does not reflect its real importance in the sector.’

‘Very hands on from the top people who ensure that all partners are fully informed so that nothing delayed due to holidays/illness.’

‘Bonnie Martin – has an abundance of expertise, clarity, common sense, experience, communication skills, knowledge and she’s nice to work with.’

 

Key clients

The Rank Group, including Grosvenor Casino and Mecca Bingo Limited

The Restaurant Group, including Frankie & Benny’s, Garfunkels and Brunning & Price

Brymain Investments Limited and Hallen Industrial Estate

Bristol City Council

Pang Investments Limited, Pang Property Investments Limited and Kingsway Investments (Frome) Limited

Standford Properties Limited

Daniel Thwaites Plc

Marina Developments Limited

GLH Limited

Hubbox

Work highlights

  • Advised Mecca Bingo on a test case looking at the issue of not paying rent as a result of Covid and relying on Covid being an insurable risk and rent cessor provisions in the Leases to do so.
  • Acted for Daniel Thwaites Plc against Admiral Taverns in a claim to enforce minimum purchasing agreements in various licensed premises pursuant to the terms of the Leases.
  • Advising Bristol City Council on various high value and complex rent review issues.

Laceys

Laceys handles a wide range of landlord and tenant disputes relating to residential and commercial properties; it has special expertise in disputes relating to blocks of flats and housing cases. The practice is led by Mark Timberlake who is also active in possession and debt recovery matters.

Practice head(s):

Mark Timberlake

Key clients

Admirals Walk 2000 Ltd

Goadsby & Harding (Residential) Limited

Pardoes Solicitors LLP

The 'very personable and knowledgeable' team at Pardoes Solicitors LLP acts for individuals, companies, landed estates and farmers. Practice head Bhavani Hogarty has more than 20 years of experience in the property litigation space; under her leads the team handles matters such as lease renewals, rent reviews and dilapidations.

Practice head(s):

Bhavani Hogarty

Other key lawyers:

Nigel Kinder

Testimonials

‘Bhavani Hogarty has a vast amount of experience and knowledge regarding missing landlords and how to extend leases without one. It hasn’t been a quick and or cheap experience but at every stage I knew exactly what the process was, how much it was likely to cost me and updated regarding any recent activity. Bhavani, luckily for me, is tenacious and honest and I have felt looked after and confident throughout the process.’

‘Offers specialist knowledge in property disputes’

‘Very personable; knowledgeable; an excellent communicator; offers support and empathy.’

‘They are all friendly and approachable which is a great attribute. We had a court hearing during lockdown via zoom. A first for everyone involved. It was exceptionally well organised and ran very smoothly. Very impressed.’

‘Bhavani Hogarty- Very knowledgeable. Definitely knows her stuff. We found her to be very approachable which we think is important. Always gave good honest advice. Would thoroughly recommend her.

‘Pardoes fully understands their clients needs, case, and the law.’

‘Nigel Kinder is very clear and straight talking and will not tolerate being messed around by the other party.’

‘Pardoes Solicitors LLP are ideally located to serve a large area of North Dorset and Somerset. They are one of the few companies covering this area with a broad range of legal services.’

Key clients

Burnell

Lewis

Griffin

Gross

Grainway Limited

Messrs Rahamim

Ilchester Estates

Lima

Parsons

Jennings

Freemantle

West Country Windows

Nash

Martin

James

Davis

Cox

Work highlights

  • Advised Burnell in a boundary dispute, with issues also relating to adverse possession and proprietary estoppel.

Steele Raymond LLP

Steele Raymond LLP has 'in-depth knowledge of the local market on the South Coast.' The team specialises in lease extensions and collective enfranchisement matters, but also covers development disputes. It is led by senior associate Hannah Dare who acts in commercial as well as in residential disputes. Senior associate Amelia Williams represents clients in construction and broader contract litigation.

Practice head(s):

Hannah Dare

Other key lawyers:

Amelia Williams; Laura Offer

Testimonials

‘Highly professional, forward thinking, personable – I have limited involvement but have found them to be a firm of “excellence”.’

‘Hannah Dare has been very easy to deal with, skilled and proactive.’

‘During a difficult time for us in relation to the dispute we are having and with the complication of the Covid-19 crisis, Steele Raymond have continued to provide a top class service utilising whatever technology was necessary. It is clear that the firm quickly got to grips with the requirements and through excellent teamwork have kept everything running smoothly.’

‘Amelia Williams has been on top of the case from day one, hugely supportive, always available and always willing to give the advice we need, favourable to our case or not. We wanted to do things correctly, no corner cutting, no opportunism and in Amelia we have found an advisor who fits the bill perfectly.’

‘Steele Raymond have in-depth knowledge of the local market on the South Coast and the needs of their particular clients which I think many regional firms do not. The team is very client focussed, even inviting Counsel to attend client events to demonstrate to their clients the full range of services they can obtain through the firm.’

‘Hannah Dare is a stand out of the firm and will no doubt make partner in a short space of time. She is incredibly capable at managing clients and takes a commercially sensible approach to litigation, ensuring clients enter into the process with their eyes wide open. Hannah is a collaborative lawyer and often involves other members of the team in her matters. Hannah is a delight to work with and I have no doubt she will go far within the firm.’

‘I have also been fortunate to work with Amelia Williams on a particularly difficult and involved neighbour dispute. Amelia has managed the case impeccably, especially in dealing with aggressive and unpleasant litigant in person opponents. Amelia works around the clock to ensure clients get the best service possible and I very much look forward to continuing to work with her in the future.’

‘I have worked with Amelia Williams and Laura Offer both at this firm and their previous one. They are both a pleasure to work with. They perform very well, whilst being very approachable and always having time to listen.’

 

Key clients

Bournemouth Churches Housing Association

Jennings Racing

Selwood Group Plc

Goadsby Estate Agents

South Somerset District Council

Betting Shop Limited

South Coast Caterers Limited

Pennyfarthing Homes Limited

D Stewart & Sons Limited

Work highlights

  • Provided advice and notices to Electro Mechanical Systems Limited to successfully terminate 16 oral tenancies.
  • Assisted the sub-tenants in a disclaimer of an underlease against the wishes of the head landlord.
  • Acted for Birchmere Limited in pursuing a claim against former tenant for dilapidations.

Stone King LLP

Stone King LLP is 'particularly good at property issues for charities.' The firm further has a core focus on the education sector. Under the lead of Tony Pidgeon, the team handles dilapidations claims, forfeiture, possession of land and trespasser claims.

Practice head(s):

Tony Pidgeon

Testimonials

‘Great practice which is particularly good at property issues for charities.’

Thrings LLP

Thrings LLP is instructed to handle disputes between corporate occupiers, commercial landlords and tenants as well as long leasehold enfranchisement and rent renewal matters, often in relation to office buildings. Michael Tatters is the contact person after Warren Reid  left for Ashfords LLP in May 2020.

Practice head(s):

Michael Tatters

Willans LLP

Willans LLP's members are 'professionally at the top of their game'. The group covers commercial leasehold work, dilapidation claims and contested renewal matters. The client portfolio includes commercial landlords, limited companies, individuals and trusts. Senior associate and recently appointed practice head Nick Southwell is a key contact for charities and retailers.  Nick Cox is 'extremely experienced and very practical.'

Practice head(s):

Nick Southwell

Other key lawyers:

Nick Cox

Testimonials

‘Willans solicitors provide our clients with an excellent array of top rate advice. Their solicitors are professionally at the top of their game, have an in depth knowledge of their subject and yet are personable, affable and generous with their time and advice. I can refer clients to them in complete confidence that they’ll be well served.’

‘We find Nick Southwell not only an excellent solicitor with vast knowledge but also a pleasure to work with and to refer clients to. One of the many advantages of dealing with Nick is that you receive prompt, no nonsense, easy to action responses to communications. None of this stuffy legal-attitude we sadly still see in some outdated firms!’

‘Nick Cox offers efficient , timely cost effective and concise advice and goes that little bit further to offer true service. It is not unusual for him to call in outside office hours to discuss problems if he has been unable to make contact in the day time. A welcome and unusual level of commitment in these times.’

‘A strong firm with good clients, offering a genuinely specialist property litigation offering in the West.’

‘Nick Cox: extremely experienced and very practical – never loses focus on what the client needs.’

‘Good understanding of our needs as a charity and a good range of knowledge and experience.’

‘There is a good level of institutional knowledge which helps massively.’

‘Nick Southwell is able to think outside of the box; knowledgeable and sure footed; definitely someone to have in your team.’

Key clients

Sue Ryder

G Doc Limited

Shelter the National Campaign for Homeless People Limited

Western Computer Group Limited

Gloucestershire Airport Limited

Eastnor Castle Estate

Whittington Maintenance Trust

Princess Alice Hospice

Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Steam Railway

Lansdowne Rodway Estates/ Crown House Developments

Work highlights

  • Retained by Sue Ryder to advise and act on their behalf alongside their in-house legal team in all aspects of their property portfolio, primarily to protect their interests as tenants, but also as landlords.
  • Acted for Soft Landing Investment Portfolio Limited in a complex claim to recover possession of a property occupied by the defendants.
  • Advising Park Road 3 Limited in dispute with a neighbouring property owner over Party Wall Act issues, trespass, title disputes and damage to our client’s land.