Property litigation in South West

Burges Salmon LLP

The ‘excellent team’ at Burges Salmon LLP advises on the full range of property litigation matters, including in relation to Covid-19, cladding issues and the telecoms sector. The ‘extremely dedicated and experienced’ James Sutherland leads the Bristol-based practice and specialises in insolvency disputes relating to real estate assets as well as professional negligence claims. Chris Preston, who is particularly well versed in regard to telecoms work, is praised for his ability to ‘communicate complex issues to clients in an easily digestible way’.

Practice head(s):

James Sutherland

Other key lawyers:

Chris Preston


‘Excellent team – first rate. I have found their expertise, experience, technical skills, organisation and commitment are really evident.’

‘Burges Salmon have been our corporate lawyers for many years and they have always given us excellent service and legal advice across the board. Their ability to work together as a unit specifically across property litigation, sale and purchase as well as working closely with our technical advisors is a standout quality that has given us real benefits.’

‘Chris Preston is an excellent litigator and is able to communicate complex issues to clients in an easily digestible way, always focussed on the client’s objectives and a pragmatic solution where possible.’

‘There are several stand-out individuals who are excellent. In relation to partners, I have worked with James Sutherland who I have found to be extremely dedicated and experienced. I have also worked in the past with Chris Preston, who is a relatively new dynamic and extremely able partner. Chris Preston is always on hand to assist us with any issues.’

‘Commercially aware, approachable and technical experts in the complex area of telecoms property litigation.’

‘The partners and associates at Burges Salmon are high quality being dependable and reliable, over the years we have appointed many of them and their performance has given us confidence for them to continue to be our go-to choice for legal matters.’

‘Fair and they listen to the client, communicate with honesty.’

Key clients

265 Strand s.a.r.l.

Severn Trent Water Limited

Oakia Ltd

Truespeed Communications Limited

Nordic Entertainment Group UK Limited

Hewlett-Packard Limited

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

Tryst Limited

Houghton Regis Management Company

Taper Building Residential Leaseholder


The Milliners Residents Association

Kent County Council

Devonshire Homes

John Lewis & Partners / Waitrose & Partner

Work highlights

  • Acted for 265 Strand s.a.r.l. in relation to a significant dilapidations claim against Covington & Burling following their departure from their former London head office.
  • Advising Tryst Limited on a number of matters relating to arrears accrued in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic involving tenants and their guarantors going into administration and tenant companies seeking to utilise the Government legislation to prevent enforcement of debt.
  • Acting on behalf of Taper Building Residential Leaseholder Association in respect with a dispute over remedial cladding works to a high-rise residential building which have been implemented following the Grenfell Tower Disaster.

Clarke Willmott LLP

Clarke Willmott LLP sports of ‘professional multi-faceted team’ which supports clients on the whole range of property litigation matters for both the private and public sector. The practice also brings to bear expertise in the telecoms sector, where it usually acts on behalf of landowners against telecoms operators. Graham McIntyre leads the team from Bristol, where Kary Withers is a key contact for telecoms disputes. In Taunton, Nicola Seager has extensive expertise pertaining to insolvency issues affecting leases. Naomi Cunningham joined the team as partner in June 2022 from Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP.

Practice head(s):

Graham McIntyre

Other key lawyers:

Kary Withers; Nicola Seager; Naomi Cunningham


‘A professional multi-faceted team in Bristol, good at sharing information across disciplines to provide a great service.’

‘We felt the lead representing us, Graham Mcintyre, took a genuine personal interest in our case and created a positive team ethos when working with other parties involved in the case.’

‘Deep bench of experts.’

‘I’ve worked with this team for many years on a large number of property negotiations of many types and have always found their work to be excellent.’

‘All partners have been great but the stand out individual has been Nicola Seager, her knowledge of the law is immense and she has the ability to think outside the box and also to make you aware of areas of opportunity or jeopardy you may not have thought of.’

‘Everyone is kind and welcoming, professional and knowledgeable. You are treated as a valued client no matter what size case you present and communication is always understandable but never condescending.’

‘Nicola Seager is a true asset to this company. She always gives honest feedback and never misses the finer detail. Her experience and compassion as well as her knowledge is second to none and we would use her services above any larger London firm any day.’

‘The Clarke Willmott is knowledgeable and communicate technical matters with we laymen effectively. They are efficient and punctual with their correspondence.’

Key clients

Ashtenne Industrial Fund Limited

Ashville Group

Barratt Homes

Bath and North East Somerset Council

BHPA Limited

Bristol Water plc

Burger King Limited

Crest Nicholson

Eagle One

Farrow & Ball Limited

Fat Face Limited

The Guinness Partnership

Hansteen Holdings plc

Hawksworth Securities plc

Hyde Group

Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation

London & Quadrant Housing

Lidl Great Britain Limited

Mapeley Estates Limited

Marcol Group


N G Devco (led by Orion Capital)

Orvis Group

Parkdean Resorts Limited

P G Group

Persimmon Homes

Sovereign Housing Association


Summerfield Developments Limited

Summerfield Estates Limited

Sutton Harbour Group


Work highlights

  • Acted for Mapeley in managing multiple simultaneous lease terminations by various means in April 2021 including onerous break options.
  • Successfully intervened on behalf of Bath Recreation Ltd at the Court of Appeal stage in Bath Rugby Ltd v Greenwood & Ors v Bath Recreation Ltd [2021] EWCA Civ 1927, winning the appeal.
  • Instructed by Lidl Great Britain Limited to provide strategic litigation advice in relation to issues arising across Lidl’s portfolio to support its ambitious plans for growth within the sector, including site clearance the use of 1954 Act redevelopment rights and restrictive covenants.

Osborne Clarke LLP

Osborne Clarke LLP fields a property litigation practice in Bristol that frequently handles complex disputes, while also advising clients on risk mitigation and the management of potential disputes. The firm also brings to bear particular sector knowledge in regards to telecoms as well as energy and utilities. Practice head Leona Briggs is praised as an ‘exceptional property litigator with a cool head’ who specialises in disputes pertaining to the Electronic Communications Code, alongside contractual disputes. Energy infrastructure and utility clients regularly seek out Emily Van Schalkwyk, who is ‘truly outstanding in both her legal knowledge and litigation strategy’.

Practice head(s):

Leona Briggs

Other key lawyers:

David Shakesby; Emily Van Schalkwyk


‘Osborne Clarke’s team is first class. They are highly responsive and proactive. Their advice can be trusted to be technically correct but also commercially relevant. They understand our business and commercial/strategic goals. They ensure that they resource our work well with sufficient fee earners at all levels of experience.’

‘Leona Briggs and Emily Van Schalkwyk are excellent. They go above and beyond in terms of responsiveness. I feel I am a valued client of Osborne Clarke and trust their advice implicitly.’

‘The team is highly focused on giving the client the right answer and then, when appropriate, implementing that solution through focused litigation. They are an outstanding in their knowledge of the relevant law and the practical aspects of litigation. One of the best property litigation firms I have worked with.’

‘Emily Van Schalkwyk is truly outstanding in both her legal knowledge and litigation strategy. Leona Briggs is also extremely good as a property lawyer and has huge experience in the property litigation sector.’

‘Leona Briggs is an exceptional property litigator with a cool head, who is regularly instructed in big cases.’

‘This practice stands out with their speed of response, coupled with a rounded response to all queries raised of them. They consider points from all angles, involving members of different teams where applicable, to give the best advice possible.’

Key clients

Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited

Vodafone Limited

Olympian Homes Limited

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

WPD Telecoms Limited

BDW Trading Limited (Barratt Homes)

British Land

Wales & West Utilities Ltd

PGIM Real Estate

EE Limited/BT PLC



Bloor Homes

Marks & Spencer PLC

4 Fibre Limited

SCCI Alphatrack Limited

CBRE Global Investors

Work highlights

  • Acted for Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited on a number of Upper Tribunals regarding rights to carry out multi-skilled visits and investigative works.
  • Acting for Western Power Distribution in its negotiations with HS2 concerning the works that WPD needs to carry out on its own network, to facilitate the construction of HS2.
  • Acted for PLC housebuilder in order to successfully dissuade a County Council from issuing proceedings following failings from other developers to meet necessary s106 obligations on a development site, and obtained the necessary written confirmations from the County Council to allow plot completions to continue across the site while the issue was resolved.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

With a ‘strong team of partners and associates who bring different skill-sets to bear in a property-related dispute’, Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP covers commercial, residential and agricultural matters with its Bristol-based team. Dilapidations, contested rating appeals and restrictive covenants form part of practice head James Rees‘ advisory offering. Sasha Hinton specialises in general commercial disputes and is ‘commercial, assured and has great tactical acuity’. Managing associate Naomi Cunningham left the firm in June 2022.

Practice head(s):

James Rees

Other key lawyers:

Sasha Hinton


‘Sasha Hinton: is commercial, assured and has great tactical acuity. She is meticulous in the way she prepares cases and is rightly well thought of in the field of dilapidations.’

‘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 work well together, using counsel when and where appropriate.’

James Rees – knows how to direct his legal team, to ensure efficiency in terms of expenditure for the client.’

‘A strong team of partners and associates who bring different skill-sets to bear in a property-related dispute.’

‘Sasha Hinton – ready to think outside of the box. Works hard for her clients. James Rees – strong oversight of the property litigation department. Thinks strategically for his clients.’

‘The team brings a great depth of experience to bear across the property litigation spectrum. The telecoms team in particular is strong.’

Key clients

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

Ministry of Justice (Estates Directorate)

National Grid

New Look Retailers Limited

River Island Clothing Co. Limited


RO Group

Majestic Wines

National Trust


Work highlights

    Ashfords LLP

    Sporting ‘considerable experience from partners to associates’, Ashfords LLP advises clients on matters ranging from professional negligence claims to commercial and residential landlord and tenant matters. Sian Gibbon leads the practice from Exeter, where Victoria Bonnet and Marjorie Batten are recommended for their expertise in both private and public sector property litigation. James Hemsley in Plymouth and the Bristol-based Warren Reid are further key contacts.

    Practice head(s):

    Sian Gibbon

    Other key lawyers:

    Rob Nicholson; Warren Reid; James Hemsley; Marjorie Batten; Victoria Bonnet


    ‘The team has strength in depth and exclusively practises in property litigation. Considerable experience from partners to associates. One of the go to firms for property litigation in in the SW.’

    ‘Victoria Bonnet is one of the best that I have come across. She knows her stuff. But just as importantly she knows her clients and how to negotiate on their best behalf.’

    ‘James Helmsley is very commercial, easy to work with and is able to immerse himself in detail but also take a wider commercial view of matters.’

    ‘Great expertise and hands-on partner involvement. Must be among the best in the South West for their depth of expertise and range of experience.’

    ‘Warren Reid – commercial, thoughful and insightful, very easy to work with. Rob Nicholson – commercial, bright, responsive.’

    ‘Very prompt, efficient and personal service.’

    ‘Victoria Bonnet provided an effective plan and brought about a resolution within a satisfactory time frame.’

    ‘All of the partners are very capable and it is difficult to pick out one. However Rob Nicholson is somebody with great experience. Whilst he is a tough litigator, he also knows when the correct advice to the client is that the matter should settle.’

    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 Panel Appointment

    West of England Developments

    The Guinness Trust

    Lone Eagle Retail Limited

    Hollis Global

    Allianz Global Corporate & Speciality

    Subway Realty Ltd

    Launcelot Investments Ltd

    Work highlights

      Bevan Brittan LLP

      The property litigation practice at Bevan Brittan LLP is well known for its public sector work, particularly in regards to health, local government and housing. The department is praised for its ‘fantastic blend of real experience and energetic new-comers‘ and for providing ‘outstanding service’. Steven Eccles leads the Bristol team with ‘a wealth of experience’, regularly advising NHS bodies and local authorities on commercial and residential property issues. Senior associate Kate Hicks is often sought out by the firm’s housing clients.

      Practice head(s):

      Steven Eccles

      Other key lawyers:

      Kate Hicks; Kevin Dawson; Aimee Cottam


      ‘Bevan Brittan has a truly first-rate property litigation department with a fantastic blend of real experience and energetic new-comers. They are IT savvy and able to handle the demands that come with doing really big cases.’

      ‘They have a broad range of good individual solicitors – reviewed below – who clearly get on very well together and work well as a team.’

      ‘People, very good, easy to understand way of explaining options so that non property experienced clients can make a decision.’

      ‘Steve Eccles – he is so happy to take the time to explain things to clients.’

      ‘Steven Eccles is a partner with a wealth of experience and has showed great leadership. He handles high-pressured situations with aplomb and has a tremendous facility to help clients (and barristers for that matter) live through difficult moments in the course of litigation.’

      ‘Kevin Dawson lives and breathes his cases; he has a great eye for detail and gives careful and sound advice on both substantive and procedural matters – he is a really safe pair of hands.’

      ‘Steve Eccles is particularly helpful and experienced. His advice is very practical and sensible. His knowledge of the law is exceptional and has a skill of breaking it down so that it is easy to understand.’

      ‘A good strong team with lots of housing experience and enthusiasm. The team work well together and support each other which makes working with them much easier. Instructions are always clear and in good time.’

      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

      East Village Management Limited

      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 London Borough of Brent on its dispute concerning whether a leisure centre site (Bridge Park) in the vicinity of Wembley Stadium is held by the Council as outright owner, or on trust.
      • Acting for NHS Property Services Limited (“NHSPS”) on High Court litigation involving the client’s entitlement to charge service charges from its GP tenants to recover the costs of services provided to those tenants by NHSPS.
      • Acting for a private limited company in relation to the service of a break notice on a landlord incorporated in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

      Foot Anstey

      Taking a ‘holistic approach to all property matters’, Foot Anstey provides clients with comprehensive advice on commercial, residential and agricultural property litigation. The team also fields two specialist groups within the department: Farms, estates and rural land, as well as charity property. Patrick Wetherall is the lead partner and is, together with legal director David Benjamin, based in the firm’s Bristol office. In Exeter, Anna Phillips specialises in advising charity clients on issues with their property assets, while Edward Venmore has extensive expertise in agricultural, estates and rural land matters.

      Practice head(s):

      Patrick Wetherall

      Other key lawyers:

      David Benjamin; Anna Phillips; Edward Venmore


      ‘Good leadership at partnership level and well organised. Quick response times give comfort that cases are being managed.’

      ‘Personal attention and an effort made to keep a case flowing to conclusion.’

      ‘A tight knit team with the skills required in order to advise clients accordingly.’

      ‘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.’

      ‘Patrick Wetherall has excellent commercial instincts and can be relied on to get his clients the best possible result in any property related dispute.’

      ‘Patrick Wetherall: an absolute titan of this area of the law. There is absolutely nothing he does not know about the 1954 Act and he is correspondingly more streetwise and clever than his immediate competitors in 1954 Act work.

      ‘David Benjamin: is another excellent lawyer who is doing great things. He is well versed in a wide variety of real property and landlord & tenant areas of work.’

      ‘Good at fighting a client’s corner and obtaining a successful outcome.’

      Key clients




      Welcome Break

      Beechcroft Developments

      Ashfield Land


      The NFU (members panel)


      The Arch Company

      British Solar Renewables

      Work highlights

        Stephens Scown LLP

        Based across the firm’s Exeter and Truro offices, Stephens Scown LLP counts domestic, international and local companies amongst its clients. The department is also increasingly advising social housing bodies, and brings to bear particular expertise in matters pertaining to mining and mineral waste. ‘Standout individual’ Richard Bagwell leads the team and acts on the full range of contentious property issues. Michael Davies is frequently sought out by waste management companies, while Mark Richardson has experience advising the social housing sector.

        Practice head(s):

        Richard Bagwell

        Other key lawyers:

        Michael Davies; Mark Richardson; Ben Jones; Ian Thomas


        ‘The property litigation team is like a special forces; small, select but packs a punch in the litigation.’

        ‘The great advantage that one has when dealing with the firm is that the partners collectively have a very in-depth knowledge of many aspects of everyday law so can provide expertise on many aspects of highly complex and complicated matters. I have only good things to say about them.’

        ‘The firm provides practical legal advice, in a timely fashion. They are friendly and approachable and it’s easy to maintain a consistent working relationships with them.’

        ‘They are happy to provide ad hoc advice for smaller queries on a general file basis and won’t insist on opening a full matter just because a document needs reviewing. Mark Richardson has been very helpful in dealing with general and specific enquiries – providing quick and simple advice when that’s all that’s required.’

        ‘Responsive, reliable and efficient service.’

        ‘Undoubtedly the premier property litigation team in the south west; I would recommend them unreservedly.’

        ‘The quality of service is second to none; and would compare favourable with much larger firms in the big cities; but all at South West prices. Remarkable value!’

        ‘Michael Davies is simply fantastic. Unflappable. Sound judgment and advice; excellent communication. Knows how to build and lead a team. Gets the job done.’

        Key clients


        Bodmin Town Council

        DJL (Barum) Limited

        Exeter Diocese

        Hastoe Housing Association Limited

        Holland and Barrett

        Imerys Minerals Limited

        Ivybridge Town Council

        Kivells Limited

        Lanhydrock Estate

        Ministry of Sound Group Limited

        St Aubyn Estates

        St Austell Brewery

        Stillman’s (Somerset) Ltd

        The Tregothnan Estate

        Welcome Break/Applegreen

        Work highlights


          Praised for providing ‘a very personalised service tailored to the needs of their clients’, VWV‘s property litigation department is best known for its work in the healthcare, education and public sectors, as well as infrastructure. Located in Bristol, the team is spearheaded by Michelle Bendall, who is experienced in advising on public sector issues and property litigation relating to education. Estate management and healthcare matters fall into the expertise of Daniel Hall. Associate Philip Sheppard specialises in adverse possession claims and the telecoms sector.

          Practice head(s):

          Michelle Bendall

          Other key lawyers:

          Daniel Hall; Philip Sheppard


          ‘VWV provide a very personalised service tailored to the needs of their clients. Within the business there is a depth and breadth of knowledge that provides clients with a wholistic solution to their requirements.’

          ‘The individuals within the business are both knowledgeable and affable.’

          ‘Michelle Bendall is very knowledgeable and always well prepared and responsive.’

          ‘Very friendly and easy to work with yet still experts in their field.’

          ‘The team we work with at VWV are extremely responsive and take time to understand what we are trying to achieve and the constraints within which we operate. They are able to give legal advice which is clear and concise rather than leaving it for us to interpret the law.’

          ‘Philip Sheppard has been responsible for taking us through complex legal processes with charm and clarity. His skill in managing a case to ensure timescales are meet and appropriate action taken are invaluable.’

          ‘The team at VWV are always excellent to work with and provide friendly, knowledgeable and professional service to their clients and advisors working along side them. They work well as a team as well as on an individual basis and can be relied upon to complete work in the timescales requested.’

          ‘In my litigation dealings with VWV during a particularly difficult case I was always impressed by the quality of their advice and their practical ability in helping us secure a successful outcome.’

          Key clients

          Airbus Operations Limited

          Fareham Borough Council

          PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

          Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency

          Environment Agency

          Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council

          Gloucester Diocese

          University of Bristol

          Lakeside Healthcare Group

          Canal and Rivers Trust

          Work highlights

          • Acted for All Saints Charity in the removal of trespassers protesting from its shop premises.
          • Continuing to act for PwC, assisting it with exit strategies, service of notices and dilapidations.
          • Advising DVSA on its approach to structural repairs and liaising with its landlords.

          DAC Beachcroft LLP

          Alongside its focus on shopping centres and the retail sector, DAC Beachcroft LLP‘s real estate litigation practice has strengths in advising clients active in finance, health, residential development and the public sector. Investors, funds, developers, REITs and occupiers regularly turn to the Bristol department to assist with a wide range of property disputes. Nick Knapman leads the team with a focus on high value asset management issues.

          Practice head(s):

          Nick Knapman

          Key clients


          Crest Nicholson plc

          AXA Insurance UK plc

          Capita plc

          Land Securities

          Bellway Homes Limited

          Zurich Insurance plc

          University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation


          Deeley Freed Estates Limited

          Clarks Shoes

          Work highlights

          • Acting for the landlords on a number of lease renewals at Westfield Stratford City.
          • Advising various insurance companies and financial institutions on a range of lease termination issues including conditional break options and dilapidations relating to office premises.
          • Handling contentious lease advisory issues at Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City.

          Freeths LLP

          Since opening its Bristol office in 2019, Freeths LLP has built a South West property litigation practice that fields particular expertise in the telecoms sector, particularly in regard to the Electronic Communications Code. Apart from the work in telecoms, the team also covers more general property disputes, including dilapidations and restrictive covenant issues. Electronic Communications Code specialist Daniel Cuthbert leads the firm’s offering in the region, while associate Ella Carroll covers contentious matters ranging from renewals to redevelopment schemes, in addition to telecoms disputes.

          Practice head(s):

          Daniel Cuthbert

          Other key lawyers:

          Ella Carroll


          ‘Freeths always feature when recommending specialist litigation for telecoms matters to clients. Their superior knowledge of this complex area of law stands out, as does the attention to detail and relentless pursuit of the best outcome for the client.’

          ‘The litigation team work seamlessly with their transactional colleagues to deliver the complete package – a true “one-stop shop.’

          ‘Dan Cuthbert  is an expert litigator in telecoms disputes, having had experience on both operator and property owner sides.’

          ‘The team is collaborative, working across centres effectively. They are experts in the area and thoughtful litigators.’

          Key clients

          London Borough of Enfield

          London Borough of Hackney

          London Borough of Merton

          London Borough of Ealing

          Runnymede Borough Council

          Gravesham Borough Council

          Elmbridge Borough Council

          Royal Berkshire Fire Authority

          Buckinghamshare Fire Authority

          Cambridgeshire Fire Authority

          The Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent

          Dreams Limited

          Chancerygate Assert Management and Development

          Rushmoor Borough Council

          Harborough District Council

          South Somerset District Council

          Cornwall Council

          Nottingham City Homes Limited

          David Stephenson

          Citizen Housing Group

          Coventry City Council

          Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

          Work highlights

          • Advising the London Borough of Hackney in EE Ltd & Anor v London Borough of Hackney, a case dealing with the Electronic Communications Case.
          • Advising David Stephenson a case brought against our client and AP Wireless by EE Limited and Hutchinson 3G UK Ltd.

          Lester Aldridge LLP

          At Lester Aldridge LLP, the property litigation team supports the wider real estate group in addition to advising standalone clients on contentious matters. Maritime-based landlords are also part of the practice’s client portfolio, for which it can draw on the expertise of the firm’s specialist maritime department when necessary. The Bournemouth team is led by Kate Stewart, whose broad experience allows her to advise on all aspects of property litigation. The ‘extremely efficientRachel Gimson was promoted to partner in May 2021 and regularly handles construction, telecoms and insolvency property issues.

          Practice head(s):

          Kate Stewart

          Other key lawyers:

          Rachel Gimson


          ‘Rachel Gimson: She was very on the ball, on top of the brief and commercially aware.’

          ‘Efficient service.’

          ‘Rachel Gimson was extremely efficient and quick to respond to me at all times. Her advise was clear and concise.’

          Key clients

          MDL Developments Limited

          Work highlights

            Michelmores LLP

            Praised for ‘working as a team and pooling resources’ in order to ‘achieve more for their clients’, Michelmores LLP is regularly sought out by developers, private wealth clients, as well as corporate occupiers to assist with property disputes. ‘Star performer’ Andrew Baines, who is well versed in advising both public and private sector clients, heads the practice from Bristol. Senior associate Charlotte Curtis is located in Exeter and noted for her experience in contentious property and asset management matters.

            Practice head(s):

            Andrew Baines

            Other key lawyers:

            Charlotte Curtis


            ‘This is an excellent department, the team are very supportive of their clients yet they appreciate the risks and downsides of their case. By working as a team and pooling resources they achieve more for their clients.’

            ‘The individual team members not only have a high level of skills but also have a strong personality which is appreciated by their clients and assists the parties coming to a satisfactory resolution.’

            ‘Andrew Baines, a star performer: pragmatic and constructive.’

            Key clients

            Battersea Power Station Development Company

            Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime

            Burrington Estates

            Forestry Commission

            Stanhope plc

            Saba Park Services UK Ltd

            Greenland Group

            Mole Valley Farmers Ltd

            VG Corporate Trustee Ltd

            Kingsbridge Estates

            Work highlights

            • Retained by Battersea Power Station Development Company to advise on contentious aspects of the letting of Phase 1 of the redevelopment of the London landmark site.
            • Represented the Mayor’s Office for Policing & Crime in the contested renewal of business leases for the Met Police’s North West London Vehicle Recovery & Examination Service site.
            • Advised Burrington Estates Group in the disputed determination of overage on a substantial residential development site in Plymouth.


            Retail, leisure, clean energy and the public sector are focus areas for TLT‘s real estate litigation practice, which covers a wide variety of litigation such as contractual disputes, landlord and tenant disputes, and rent reviews. Mark Routley is the head of the Bristol-based practice, combining an ‘encyclopaedic knowledge of the law with an ability to immerse himself totally in the factual details of each case’. Kane Kirkbride specialises in social housing and often acts on behalf of registered providers.

            Practice head(s):

            Mark Routley

            Other key lawyers:

            Kane Kirkbride; Emma Cork


            ‘Mark Routley is, to my mind, the best property litigation solicitor I’ve ever worked with. He combines an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law with an ability to immerse himself totally in the factual details of each case, and synthesise them into the most cogent instructions and litigation correspondence I have come across.’

            ‘Mark Routley takes and overview and will step in where needed. He is technically strong and provides good, clear advice.’

            ‘Top city quality at regional rates.’

            ‘Friendly and approachable.’

            Key clients

            Southern Housing Group Limited (SHG)

            SHAL Housing Limited

            Official Receiver

            WH Smith Plc

            Tui Travel

            Admiral Taverns

            Punch Taverns

            Greene King Limited

            British Broadcasting Corporation

            Metropolitan Police

            Work highlights

            • Acted for WH Smith in the renewal of its lease in the Westfield Shopping Centre under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
            • Advising three pub companies in relation to the Tied Pubs (Scotland) Act 2021 in judicial review proceedings to challenge the legislation on the grounds that the Scottish Parliament lacked jurisdiction under its devolved powers to pass the Act.
            • Advising Network Homes in regard to the majority of their disrepair cases and working with them closely both in resolving cases under the protocol for housing condition and defending and taking cases to court when required.

            Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

            Besides a specialisation in matters relating to the telecoms sector, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP supports clients in a wide range of residential, commercial and agricultural property litigation. Guildford-based David Haines leads the real estate disputes practice together with Emma Humphreys, who splits her time between London and Cheltenham and regularly handles break rights, insolvency matters and dilapidations, amongst others.

            Practice head(s):

            David Haines; Emma Humphreys

            Key clients

            Hackney Joint Estate Charity

            West Bay Holdings Limited

            London & Cambridge Properties

            Work highlights

            • Advised West Bay Holdings Limited in defending three separate service charge claims brought by a group of leaseholders in the Tribunal, one of which was settled at mediation.
            • Acted on behalf of London and Cambridge Properties Limited to recovery significant rent arrears owed by Subway across 18 units, with a successful settlement achieved following the issue of court proceedings.

            Estate Legal

            With a team that is ‘purely focused on offering specialist commercial property litigation advice’, Estate Legal advises on the full gamut of property portfolio management, as well as property rights and the Pubs Code. Founding partners Bonnie Martin and Amy Rudrum jointly lead the Bristol practice. Associate Abbie Mundell is well versed in issues arising out of landlord and tenant asset management.

            Practice head(s):

            Bonnie Martin; Amy Rudrum

            Other key lawyers:

            Abbie Mundell


            ‘A small team with great experience and focus.’

            ‘They do not just look at the question raised by the client who may not have enough knowledge to ask the right question, they go beyond that and make sure client is fully educated so the right question is asked, the right answer is received and the right conclusion is achieved.’

            ‘The firm is purely focused on offering specialist commercial property litigation advice. The founding directors have a huge amount of experience between them and give first-rate client service.’

            ‘Bonnie Martin’s knowledge and experience is a key strength. Bonnie is clear, concise, firm and good at managing expectations. She is incredibly responsive and provides practical sensible advice and gets results.’

            ‘Bonnie and Amy provide partner level expertise and experience but with fantastic accessibility to them. None of the faff of dealing with a large firm, yet you get very sharp and commercial brains on your side!’

            ‘Both Bonnie Martin and Amy Rudman have unrivalled knowledge and expertise of property litigation which makes them both easy to use and – I imagine- scary to be up against. Their access to top barristers is good as well knowing that if needs be they can utilise the best legal minds in court – or the most appropriate depending on the case.’

            ‘Amy Rudrum and her colleagues are very responsive and pro-active on what needs to be done.’

            ‘Specialist niche team led by Bonnie Martin and Amy Rudrum. This team has the ability to match real estate teams in any of the national/international firms.’

            Key clients

            The Rank Group, including Grosvenor Casino and Mecca Bingo Limited

            GLH Limited

            Loungers Plc

            Bristol City Council

            Hub Box Limited

            Hartnell Taylor Cook

            Indigo Leisure Limited

            Parsons Bakery Limited

            Valley Resorts Limited

            Capital Professional Limited T/A Ascot Lloyd

            Work highlights

            • Acting for Mecca Bingo Limited in respect of the test case Re partial frustration, rent cesser and the impact of Covid as an Insured Risk,.
            • Acting for Loungers to secure a new venue for their Lounges brand on the South coast in the face of opposition from the Administrators of Peacocks.
            • Advising GLH regarding a rent guarantee, including reviewing the impact of implied indemnities, insolvency and assignment of rights.

            Harrison Clark Rickerbys

            Praised for an ‘exceptional team with strong practical experience’, Harrison Clark Rickerbys brings to bear property litigation skills across sectors and assignments, including strengths in energy and telecoms as well residential and commercial real estate matters. ‘Top drawer adviser’ Andrew Walker leads the Cheltenham-based practice and is regularly sought out by investors, occupiers and developers for his broad expertise in property litigation. Andrew Cave handles issues arising out of contested probate or trust issues alongside contract disputes.

            Practice head(s):

            Andrew Walker

            Other key lawyers:

            Andrew Cave; Kate Hallifax


            ‘They have an exceptional team with strong practical experience that enables them to offer not just abstract legal advice but well considered practical advice to resolve disputes as effectively as possible without prejudicing any fallback position needed for litigation.’

            ‘Andrew Walker is a top drawer adviser.’

            ‘HCR have provided advice on transactions for leases and excellent advice and guidance when we had a dispute with our landlords. HCR are always available for advice as and when we need it, we would not consider going anywhere else.’

            ‘Kate Hallifax, in particular, has a very strong team-based ethos, ensuring that complex cases are dealt with inclusively across the disciplines involved and that comprehensive advice is both given and updated by a unified team.’

            ‘Andrew Walker’s skill and craft of mediation helped us tremendously during a dispute. The outcome of our dispute was resolved amicably.’

            ‘Our work is done promptly and competently, and if our usual contacts are unavailable, we have found there is good back-up.’

            Work highlights


              ‘Approachable and efficient in every area of law’, Laceys offering covers both commercial and residential property disputes, with particular expertise in matters regarding landlord and tenant issues. Based in Bournemouth ‘exceptional solicitor’ Mark Timberlake heads the team, in which Brendan Herbert regularly handles freehold property disputes.

              Practice head(s):

              Mark Timberlake

              Other key lawyers:

              Brendan Herbert


              ‘The personal touch makes all the difference. Straight to point advice and action gives confidence in dealing with the practice.’

              ‘Mark Timberlake is an exceptional solicitor. He is sympathetic, yet straight-talking. He is very knowledgeable and gives you everything you need to make an informed decision about the best way forward.’

              ‘The Lacey team have been incredible and helped us navigate a very stressful situation with a high level of proficiency and compassion.’

              ‘Lacey’s is a local firm that has a local, welcoming feel to it, however the experience and expertise of the partners is equal or better than what you would expect from any London firm.’

              ‘Mark Timberlake is very experienced but as well as understanding the legal position often gives practical advice on how to solve a problem or dispute.’

              Key clients

              Admirals Walk 2000 Limited

              Goadsby & Harding Residential Limited

              Work highlights


              Pardoes Solicitors LLP

              Pardoes Solicitors LLP‘s property litigation practice counts private individuals, companies, landed estates and farmers amongst its clients, for whom the team acts in disputes and on a preventative basis. Yeovil-based practice head Bhavani Hogarty, whose expertise spans commercial, residential and agricultural disputes, is praised for her ability to ‘bring various experts to help with building a thorough case’. 

              Practice head(s):

              Bhavani Hogarty

              Other key lawyers:

              Nigel Kinder


              ‘I particularly like the authenticity of Pardoes. From the greeting at reception to the time taken at any given meeting. I don’t feel rushed or that my opinion is of no consequence.’

              ‘I have a very good working relationship with Bhavani Hogarty. Bhavani is super good at not leaving huge gaps in communication, even if there’s not a lot to report, she makes me feel that my case is important to her and never lets things get stale.’

              ‘Bhavani Hogarty was brilliant.’

              ‘The way Bhavani Hogarty and team have been able to communicate clearly has been excellent. Communication of information has been prompt and clear and her expertise in the field of land dispute is clear. Bahavani is also able to bring various experts to help with building a thorough case.’

              Key clients

              PSJ Properties Limited


              Ilchester Estates



              Deem Property Agents Limited

              Matt Durbin Associates

              Vanessa Voegele-Downing

              TMA Leisure Limited

              John F and Susan O’Dowd

              Greg Daniel

              Hugh Charles Boswell

              Penelope Hunt

              Lee Moss

              Work highlights

                Steele Raymond LLP

                Steele Raymond LLP sports a ‘dynamic team with an in-depth insight into the needs of their clients’ that has recently seen growth pertaining to its agricultural land practice and houses in multiple occupations. Head of dispute resolution Peter Rolph leads the team together with senior associate Hannah Dare, who is experienced in handling landlord and tenant disputes as well as leasehold enfranchisements. Solicitor Laura Offer is another key contact and acts for clients in residential and commercial property litigation.

                Practice head(s):

                Hannah Dare; Peter Rolph

                Other key lawyers:

                Laura Offer


                ‘The team we dealt with struck that valuable balance between totally realistic assessment of the situation being faced and human consideration/understanding of the experience that had resulted in the position we were in.’

                ‘Steele Raymond are a dynamic team with an in-depth insight into the needs of their clients, especially those based on the South Coast.’

                ‘I have worked with Hannah Dare who is an exceptional lawyer and a complete delight to work with. Hannah works hand in hand with other members of the team to provide the highest quality of service to her clients.’

                ‘Very Professional, I haven’t got a bad word to say about them.’

                ‘Steele Raymond has always had the ability to provide service to solve difficult problems.’

                ‘The quality of all their partners and staff is exceptional for a practice located outside of London.’

                ‘Very professional, bags of integrity and very high standard of work.’

                ‘A strong (and female-led) team with particular experience in property disputes. Well placed to advise on commercial as well as legal aspects of claims.’

                Work highlights

                  Stone King LLP

                  With particular strengths in the charity and education sector, Stone King LLP supports clients in issues arising out of breach of covenant and lease claims, rights of way and boundary, urgent possession, and management company and service charges, amongst others. ‘Efficient and astute’ Tony Pidgeon is the team lead, acting for educational bodies, national charities and corporations in a wide range of property dispute matters.

                  Practice head(s):

                  Tony Pidgeon


                  ‘Dynamic and responsive team with a very loyal and established local following of charities, business and high net-worth individuals.’

                  ‘Able to adapt to client needs by setting up teams able to manage small property disputes (such as boundary or easement litigation) up to large scale litigation including covenants affecting significant developments.’

                  ‘Tony Pidgeon – An excellent lawyer. Efficient and astute. Very friendly and personable with it.’

                  Key clients

                  National Heritage Memorial Fund

                  The Governing Body of Christ the King College

                  Work highlights

                  • Successfully defended a claim brought against the Governing Body of Christ the King College for breach of a lease agreement arising out of a ‘hire agreement’ for a modular building.
                  • Successfully defended a claim brought against the client by a professional sports club for a declaration that a restrictive covenant preventing development of a new multi-seater stadium is unenforceable.

                  Trowers & Hamlins LLP

                  Described as ‘commercial, efficient and easy to get on with’, Trowers & Hamlins LLP acts for all principal stakeholders in a broad range of sectors. This incudes residential service charge disputes and tenancy enforcement as well as property related insolvency and real estate litigation in the telecoms sector. The Exeter department is able to draw on the firms wider expertise across offices in London, Birmingham and Manchester when needed, and is led by Emma Barnfield, who transferred from London to Exeter in June 2021 and acts primarily on behalf of institutional landlords and local authorities.

                  Practice head(s):

                  Emma Barnfield

                  Other key lawyers:

                  Charlotte Brasher


                  ‘They provide extremely good quality work and have a wide and varied client base. They are one of the fastest growing teams in the South West and are a pleasure to work with. Commercial, efficient and easy to get on with.’

                  ‘Emma Barnfield heads up the team and is a leading partner in the area of Property Litigation. Charlotte Brasher is one to watch for the future.’

                  ‘The practice is excellent. The firm is a market leader with an extraordinary array of clients. Real superstars.’

                  ‘The team are very adept at collaborative working so that one of the team can seamlessly step into any situation without the need for repetition of background or instructions.’

                  ‘A number of the individuals in this team have shown a practical side so that common sense works alongside the technical expertise.’

                  Key clients

                  Westminster City Council

                  Delph Property Group

                  J D Wetherspoon plc

                  Caprice Group

                  First Abu Dhabi Bank

                  National Bank of Kuwait

                  Kent County Council

                  LiveWest Homes

                  Devonshire Homes Limited

                  East Devon District Council

                  AXA Real Estate

                  Hermes Investment

                  Richmond Housing Partnership

                  Homes England

                  Tansor (Cornbow) Limitged

                  Heritage Homes Limited

                  Arc Legal Assistance Ltd

                  Work highlights

                  • Retained as sole legal adviser in relation to Westminster City Council’s rooftop telecommunications portfolio.
                  • Advising Delph Property Investments in its capacity as the long leasehold owner of 33 residential units in a large residential unit in Bristol on its ability to take action against the freehold owner and management company for lack of compliance with their repairing obligations.
                  • Advised Julian Clarke and Matthew Nagle of Savills as receivers on their duties in respect of the intended sale of the freehold interest in the asset, 30 Queen’s Gate Terrace, London.

                  Willans LLP

                  Providing ‘outstanding legal knowledge’, Willans LLP‘s Cheltenham property litigation practice handles commercial leasehold work, dilapidations and other terminal claims for corporate and private clients as well as charities and commercial landlords. Practice head Nick Southwell was promoted to partner in summer 2021, and regularly acts for the retail arm of national charities in a number of property disputes. The work of Nick Cox focuses on commercial landlord and tenant matters.

                  Practice head(s):

                  Nick Southwell

                  Other key lawyers:

                  Nick Cox


                  ‘Very approachable, adaptable and know their stuff.’

                  ‘What made this practice unique was the way they embraced a non-standard case. This did not dissuade them from taking on the challenge, quite the contrary.’

                  ‘They knew the law extremely well and collaborated with partners and associates in the firm to rely on their expertise and experience to propose next steps. I felt confident that they had considered the consequences of taking a particular route and explained this to me.’

                  ‘Nick Cox was professional and competent throughout and explained with clarity each turn of the case.’

                  ‘Throughout my dealings with the individuals at Willans they demonstrated the following values: honesty, expert knowledge, professionalism, clarification of the issues, legal framework explanation and clarity on the legal process. I felt supported.’

                  ‘Approachable and easy to understand. Efficient and knowledgeable.’

                  ‘They explain all the technical jargon and make sure that I understand exactly what is going happening. I wouldn’t consider going anywhere else than Willans, should I need legal advice. A great team!’

                  Key clients

                  Weird Fish Limited

                  Knightsbridge Business Centre (Glos) Ltd

                  Panikz Express Limited

                  Gloucestershire Airport Limited

                  Lane, Britton & Holdings Limited

                  Sue Ryder



                  Marie Curie


                  Greenwich & Beckley Community Hospice Ltd

                  We are With You

                  Western Computer Group Ltd

                  Claire House Children’s Hospice

                  Princess Alice Hospice

                  Trinity Hospice Shops Ltd

                  Victim Support

                  Trevose Golf and Country Club

                  Work highlights

                  • Advised Weird Fish Limited in a contested lease renewal followed by a dilapidations claim.
                  • Instructed by Gloucestershire Airport Limited in dealing with a dispute over implied covenants, rectification, and boundary issues.
                  • Acting for Sue Ryder alongside its in-house legal team in all aspects of its property portfolio, primarily to protect its interests as tenants, but also as landlords.