Hall Of Fame

Commercial property in Wales

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Acting on its own, as well as regularly forming a part of cross-office team from across the UK network, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's 'personable and pragmatic' seven partner Cardiff-based team frequently has a leading role for an eclectic mix of clients, including investors, developers and occupiers, for many high-profile transactions both inside and outside of Wales. The size of the team ensures that it is able to provide a significant degree of specialism, whether it be in the context of industry sectors or for different types of real estate sectors. The commercial property team forms a vital component for the firm's overarching excellence in the renewable energy sector and is able to advise stakeholders from project inception through to completion. Key practitioners in this space include James Trafford, for wind farms, in particular and Geraint Pullin Thomas , who provides 'sound and industry leading' advice in relation to solar energy projects. Transport is another core industry sector focus for the real estate team, an area that the Helen Thomas  remains active, alongside her broader responsibilities as European managing partner with responsibility for the firm's offices in France, Germany, Luxembourg and The Netherlands. David Emberson  is a key contact for many institutional clients of the firm in connection with their property work and continues to be the relationship partner for SEGRO. Other recommended practitioners include Gareth Ashfield , who specialises in development acquisition and site set up work for developers; senior associate Jonathan Woodward, who 'delivers an excellent professional service' across a varied mix of property work, including for corporate pension funds across a range of portfolio management issues; and team head Kathryn Roberts .

Practice head(s):

Kathryn Roberts

Testimonials

The team has provided amazing support over the past year and is always prepared to go the extra mile.’

They are personable and pragmatic, and deliver for their client.’

Eversheds Sutherland has a unique understanding of the commercial property requirements for renewable energy projects from project inception to completion. This understanding coupled with the broad range of complementary services within the Eversheds Sutherland practice ensures that our projects have the best advice available within the industry.’

Geraint Pullin-Thomas: I have always found the advice from Geraint to be sound and industry leading. He has always proven to be very accessible which key in the dynamic renewable energy industry.’

Geraint Pullin-Thomas is available 24 hours and is passionate about client service, ensuring we receive the very best advice delivered in a way which is appropriate to the member of the client team being briefed.’

Jonathan Woodward delivers an excellent professional service always to the highest standards and delivered on time and on budget – not an easy task.’

Key clients

National Grid

SEGRO Plc

British Gas/Centrica

Annington Limited

University of Reading

Colony Investment Management

GlaxoSmithKline PLC

EDF Energy

RWE Renewables

Network Rail

Work highlights

    Acuity Law

    Commercial property-related work informs much of Acuity Law’s transactional work and remains a cornerstone practice area for the firm, both in relation to purely domestic work, as well as increasingly outside of Wales. Although the firm’s client base is wide-ranging and includes financial institutions, end users and public sector entities, Rightacres remains a core client across a range of high-profile developments in the Welsh capital. Gareth Baker has been at the heart of much of this work, including in relation to the successful Central Square regeneration scheme, as well as the Central Quay project at the former Brains brewery site in the centre of Cardiff. Damien Cann is a pivotal member of the team, and as well as being responsible for devising and implementing the funding arrangements for RightAcres (enabling it to attract a great deal of investment into the Central Square project), also regularly advises healthcare clients on their property requirements. Steve Morris co-heads the team alongside Baker, and is noted for his expertise advising developers and lenders on commercial and residential schemes in Wales and England.

    Practice head(s):

    Steve Morris; Gareth Baker

    Other key lawyers:

    Jonathan Geen; Damien Cann; Ben Honour; Robert Senior

    Key clients

    Richard Morgan and Company

    Hodge Bank

    Greenhill Investments (Vale) Limited

    Trinity St David

    Royale Life

    Sony Europe

    Bluestone Resorts

    Rightacres Property Co Limited

    Wilfox Resorts

    West Sussex County Council

    Incrementum Housing Development Company Limited/Warrington Borough Council

    Queensberry properties

    Principality Building Society

    Work highlights

    • Advising Rightacres on several large developments including the Central Quay regeneration, located at the former Brains Brewery site in Cardiff, and the multi-phase Central Square development in Cardiff City Centre.
    • Advising Wildfox Resorts on a new adventure resorts at a proposed location on a former coal mining site in the Afan Valley which will be the first of three new resorts in the UK.
    • Advising Incrementum Housing Development Company on the development and construction of  various Warrington housing scheme projects, the first two sites located at Sycamore Lane and Chatfield Drive with a total of 161 homes.

    Blake Morgan LLP

    Led by James Egan Blake Morgan LLP‘s ‘well co-ordinated and knowledgeable‘ six-partner team ‘expedites expert concise advice’ to a balanced mix of public and private sector stakeholders across a wide range of commercial property projects. Clients also benefit from access to the firm’s in-house project and cost management services and are therefore afforded a very holistic service and a single point of contact across all aspects associated with the life cycle of a project. At a senior level, Geoff Reed  has vast experience advising on the acquisition, development and disposal of commercial and residential property, while Nigel Griffiths  longstanding representation of Canary Wharf Group Plc, ensures that he has an enviable retail leasing practice. Louise Howells heads up the firm’s real estate social housing team and provides a ‘fantastic blend of knowledge and insight’ to RSLs across the panoply of their property needs.

    Practice head(s):

    James Egan 

    Testimonials

    It is a well co-ordinated, knowledgeable team which expedites expert consice advice to clients in an easily understood manner.’

    James Egan provides sound commercial advice, not just from a legal perspective but also a real world point.’

    Louise Howells always gives us a fantastic blend of knowledge and insight, coupled with approachability and understanding. She’s razor sharp, yet happy to be patient and talk things through to help our understanding. She meets deadlines and goes the extra mile when needed.’

    The strength of Dawn Smith to highlight a range of options and the benefits/risk of each to allow us to make a clear decision.’

    Key clients

    Canary Wharf Group Plc

    Welsh Government

    Cardiff Parkway Developments Limited

    Cardiff University

    NHS Wales

    The Royal National Institute for Blind People

    Symrise Limited

    Transport for Wales

    Newport City Homes

    HSBC

    Linc Cymru Housing Association

    Cardiff and Vale College

    ClwydAlyn Housing Limited

    Work highlights

    • Continued portfolio management and new leases/re-gears for long standing client, Canary Wharf Group, owners of the Canary Wharf Estate.
    • Advising Symrise Limited on a £8.2m development, enabling them to relocate from an outdated manufacturing site to a new state of the art and fit for future development with the ability to increase its production to almost double its current capacity.
    • Advised bpha on the £23.94m acquisition of 143 affordable housing units at Camborne which was time critical to fall within bpha’s financial years and to ensure a continued good working relationship with Taylor Wimpey.

    Geldards LLP

    Led by Susanne Bradley, Geldards LLP's team 'works well together' and provides a 'high-quality service' to an eclectic mix of stakeholders, including developers, investors and end-users in the private and public sectors. The 'approachable and personable' Ioan Owen 'always aims to go that extra mile for his clients', which include landlord and tenants in the office and retail space. Mike Jeffs is 'extremely efficient and responsive' particularly in the context of the funding of commercial property, investment, acquisition and development projects. The 'approachable and responsive' Adam Thomas has 'sound all round experience in transactional real estate work' and a 'good grasp of public sector requirements'. 

    Practice head(s):

    Susanne Bradley

    Other key lawyers:

    Mike Jeffs; Ioan Owen; Adam Thomas

    Testimonials

    The team works well together and always easy to get hold of. They are fair, realistic and always professional when dealing with clients or their counterparts.’

    They provide a high-quality service.’

    Mike Jeffs – extremely efficient, responsive and competent. Very good advice and attention to detail.’

    Ioan Owen is a dedicated, thorough and practical practitioner who also happens to be approachable and personable. He always aims to go that extra mile for his clients while maintaining the right amount of practicality. Trustworthy and a safe pair of hands.’

    Adam Thomas is very approachable and responsive as well as having sound all round experience in transactional real estate work. He has a sound grasp of public sector requirements.’

    Susanne Bradley provides a high quality service.’

    Key clients

    Admiral Insurance

    Ashtenne Industrial Fund

    Cardiff Gate Business Park Limited

    Development Bank of Wales

    Julian Hodge Bank Limited

    Lloyds Banking Group

    Principality Building Society

    Richard Hayward Group

    Royal Voluntary Service

    Torfaen County Borough Council

    Welsh Ministers/Welsh Government

    Western Power Distribution

    Leekes Limited

    LDC (Managers) Ltd

    Arcadis

    Sofa Brands

    University of Wales: Trinity Saint David

    ADRA (Tai) Cyfyngedig

    Caerphilly County Borough Council

    Council of the City and County of Swansea

    Cardigan Building Preservation Trust

    Dandara West Limited

    Empowered Homes Limited

    The Future Generations Commissioner for Wales

    Spectrum Fibre Limited

    Bestseller Wholesale Uk Limited

    Uswitch Limited

    South Tees Combined Authority

    Lexington Corporate Advisors Limited

    George LB Limited

    Mad Dog Brewery Co Ltd

    Societe LDC SA

    Work highlights

    • Advised Whiteheads Development Company Limited and Tirion Group on the £85m regeneration of Newport’s former Whiteheads steelworks, to transform a long-disused brownfield site to provide 528 new homes with primary school, neighbourhood centre and dedicated community space.
    • Advised the Welsh Ministers and Blaenau-Gwent County Borough Council as joint venture partners on the construction at Ebbw Vale of a new National Digital Exploitation Centre – a cyber campus for research and development by French company Thales into driverless vehicles and electricity infrastructure.
    • Advised Societe LDC SA French, a listed food group, on its first investment in the UK being the acquisition of Capestone Organic Poultry Limited and simultaneous acquisition of a freehold interest in the processing facility, expansion land, residential property, a commercial premises and a significant agricultural landholding at Capestone Farm in Pembrokeshire.

    Hugh James

    Hugh James' ten-partner team has the strength-in-depth and bandwidth to handle a tremendous range and volume of mandates for public/third sector and private sector clients, including a number of longstanding institutional clients of the firm such as Celtic Manor Resorts and WRU. As well as his niche expertise on renewables-related property work, experienced team head Peter Hurn  continues to be extremely active in the residential development space as a result of his strong ties with a number of well-established housebuilders. In the third sector, social housing remains a core strength of the practice with a large roster of RSLs continuing to rely on the practice for all of their property needs, including on disposals, acquisitions and city regeneration schemes. Notably this side of the practice has also enhanced the residential development work with notable influx of home builders which have been spun out of the social housing sector. Caroline O’Flaherty  remains instrumental to work in the social housing space, work which she combines with a particularly strong offering in the education sector.

    Practice head(s):

    Peter Hurn

    Key clients

    Tirion Group

    WRU

    Pobl

    Coleg Gwent

    Bellway

    Linc-Cymru Housing Association

    BDW Trading Limited (Barratt Homes)

    Wrexham County Borough Council

    Brackley Investments Limited

    ICCW

    Work highlights

    • Advised Tirion Group on the £150m development of 800 new homes and community facilities.
    • Advising Celtic Manor Resort on a new £7m hotel to add to the resort’s portfolio.  
    • Advising Welsh Rugby Union on its portfolio of facilities, including Newport Gwent Dragons and their property at Rodney Parade, Newport and the Welsh Rugby Union’s National Centre for Excellence at the Vale Hotel, Hensol.

    Berry Smith

    The ‘extremely knowledgeable and customer-focused’ seven-strong team at Berry Smith provides a ‘personal and efficient service’ to a varied mix of lenders, developers and public sector oganisations across the panoply of their real estate needs. Martin Pursall spearheads the firm’s secured lending offering and is appreciated by a number of financial institutions including Principality Building Society, HSBC and Handelsbanken for his ability to provide ‘rock solid advice which is delivered with a view to the broader commercial considerations’. Chris Jones co-heads the overarching property team along with Pursall and is ‘the go-to-man for straightforward advice’ in the context of development work.

    Practice head(s):

    Martin Pursall; Chris Jones

    Testimonials

    Personal and efficient service. Friendly and knowledgable team members.’

    The team is extremely knowledgeable and customer-focused. It knows this area of law extremely well, are pragmatic and guide the client at all stages.’

    It is a superb and dedicated team, professional and very quick to respond. When any issues or complex situations arise they have the expertise to advise and bring to a swift conclusion.’

    Chris Jones and Martin Pursall offers unrivalled advice and provides straight forward commercial advice.’

    Chris Jones is one of the best commercial solicitors in Wales and the go to man for straightforward advice.’

    Martin Pursall provides rock solid advice which is delivered with a view to the broader commercial considerations.’

    Key clients

    Principality Commercial (Principality Building Society)

    Development Bank of Wales (formerly Finance Wales)

    Carmarthenshire County Council

    Vastint Hospitality

    Bridgend County Borough Council

    Jehu Group / Waterstone Homes/Waterstone Estates

    Fox Group (Moving & Storage)

    Actoris Group

    HSBC Bank

    Rombourne Limited

    Industrial Property Assets Limited

    Shedmead Limited

    Arbenigol Limited

    Tenovus Cancer Care

    Cadwaladers (Ice Cream)

    Welsh Government

    HEFCW (Higher Education Funding Council for Wales)

    Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council

    Denbighshire County Council

    Handelsbanken

    St Brides Investments Limited

    Portabella Group

    Short Bros Developers Limited

    Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council

    CAD Properties

    Monmouthshire Building Society

    Work highlights

    • Acted for Principality Commercial on the funding of Portabella’s mixed use development scheme (34 houses and apartments plus 9 retail units) at the Laundry Quarter, Pontcanna Cardiff.
    • Advised Development Bank of Wales on the funding of Edwards Homes Ltd 54 plot residential development site at Northern Quarter Glyndwr University, Wrexham.
    • Advising Jehu Group/Waterstone Homes in multiple acquisitions of residential development sites across Wales including several which involved package deals with housing associations.

    Capital Law Limited

    Working collaboratively with complementary practice groups, including construction and planning, as well as frequently teaming up with external consultancy firms, Capital Law Limited's four-partner team provides a 'holistic and commercial approach' and is particularly well-suited to advising on complex development/regeneration projects. Equally accomplished at handling both private and public sector mandates, team head Leanne O’Brien has been pivotal to engendering this approach throughout the group and continues to take the lead on the property front for UK forecourt operator Ascona Group on its ambitious growth plans. O'Brien also handles a significant amount of property-related work in the education sector, including for Bridgend College on a significant town centre campus development and relocation which will be the centrepiece of an ambitious town centre regeneration project. As well as handling a considerable amount of domestic work, Jon Ely  has been pivotal to the growth of the group on projects outside of Wales, principally as a result of his focus on high-value business space lettings in the London occupier market.

    Practice head(s):

    Leanne O’Brien

    Testimonials

    The firm provides a holistic and commercial approach.’

    Key clients

    Ascona Group Holdings

    University of South Wales

    Howard Tenens

    Sero Energy

    Associated British Ports

    Bridgend College

    Government of Ireland

    Genpower Ltd

    Development Bank of Wales (DBW)

    Royal Mint Ltd

    Work highlights

    • Continuing to advise Ascona on its acquisition of forecourts throughout the country, including on the development of a greenfield site for the purpose of new multi-million-pound headquarters.
    • Advising Howard Tenens group on matters connected to the 250,000 square feet Tesco Distribution centre in Chepstow, including negotiating a complex agreement for lease to a PLC.
    • Advising Bridgend College on Phase 2 of the Colleges’ Strategic Plan, involving collaboration with the Local Authority and South Wales Police in delivery of a town centre regeneration project that will be underpinned by a £50m town centre campus development.

    Darwin Gray LLP

    Headed by the 'accessible and knowledgeable' Catherine Burke , Darwin Gray LLP's two-partner team ' has an outstanding knowledge of the South Wales market', and regularly handles work for developers in relation to major regeneration projects in the region. Although he is now only acting in a consultancy role, Donald Gray remains an important resource for this work in light of his environmental and planning prowess, in particular. Burke also has strong ties with numerous housebuilding clients, as well as being well-versed in secured lending matters. 'A consummate professional', Gareth Wedge is the other partner in the team and has a particular focus on landlord and tenant work.

    Practice head(s):

    Catherine Burke

    Other key lawyers:

    Gareth Wedge; Sarah Price

    Testimonials

    The team has an outstanding knowledge of the South Wales market in particular. Extremely thorough and sees issues that other professional advisors do not.’

    I have found the practice to be friendly, efficient and very helpful. They are very approachable and provide an extremely personalised service.’

    Catherine Burke is accessible, knowledgeable and able to provide alternatives when required.’

    Gareth Wedge is a consummate professional.’

    Sarah Price has been managing our property leases and is very knowledgeable, responsive and provides practical and easy to understand advice.’

    Key clients

    DS Properties/Loft Co

    Dawan Developments Limited

    Persimmon Homes Limited

    Principality Commercial

    Handelsbanken plc

    Aspect Developments Wales Limited

    X Stream Properties Limited

    Mill Bay Homes Limited

    Monmouthshire Housing Association Limited

    Premiership Town & Country Developments Limited

    Work highlights

    • Advised DS Properties on its specialist regeneration development of a historic listedVictorian market building in Newport.
    • Advised Dawan Developments on its acquisition of a brownfield site for thedevelopment of a forty-two-unit light industrial scheme.
    • Advised the commercial subsidiary of a large housing association on its acquisition of alarge rural site in a popular seaside town for the purposes of residential development.

    Morgan LaRoche

    Led from Swansea by Kevin Thomas but by no means limited to work in the immediate georgaphical vicinity, Morgan LaRoche's five-partner developer-focused practice is as comfortable handling local regeneration mandates, as it is handling major projects ouside of the Welsh borders. Much of the non domestic work is in the context of student accomodation development, an area that Thomas is particular accomplished and continues to be particularly active on projects throughout the South of England. Renewable energy work is also a key strength for the team, with David Palmer and Carmarthen-based Alun Price regulary engaged by core client AMP Clean Energy, including on the development of biomass plants throughout England and Wales. Rosemary Morgan remains a key member of the team and benefits from vast knowledge of real estate transactions within the education and health sectors, in particular.

    Practice head(s):

    Kevin Thomas

    Key clients

    Hallmark Care Homes

    Enzo’s Homes

    AMP Clean Energy

    Culina Group

    Persimmon Homes

    Swangate Developments Limited

    Colosseum Dental

    The Penllergaer Estate

    The Trade Centre Group

    Swansea University

    CKC Properties Group

    Hacer Developments Limited

    Mercian Developments Limited

    Work highlights

    • Advising a national logistics company on the property aspects of the multimillion-pound share capital acquisition of GreenWhiteStar.
    • Advising an energy group on 46 separate sites across England for the site assembly of its “Urban Reserve” portfolio of gas and battery storage peaking plants with a projected generating capacity of at least 150MW.
    • Acting on behalf of a developer in connection with the construction of an innovative mixed-use regeneration project in central Swansea comprising 20,000 sq. ft. of prime retail space, a new city square, grade A office space, education space and a 12 storey residential tower.

    Douglas-Jones Mercer

    Swansea-based firm Douglas-Jones Mercer has strong market visibility in the context of handling South Wales-based mandates for a range of stakeholders, including on secured lending transactions and for a growing roster of developer clients. Team head Michael Price takes the lead on much of this work and is also well regarded for his pensions-related property expertise.

    Practice head(s):

    Michael Price

    Key clients

    Sanlam Life & Pensions UK Limited

    Action for Children

    Investacc Pension Trustees Limited

    Morgan Lloyd Pension Trustees Limited

    Odyssey Pensions

    Dawn Meats Group

    Principality Commercial

    Tai Gwalia Cyf.

    AP Wireless

    Tablic Limited

    Work highlights

      Lewis Silkin

      Although it is less well-established than many other firms in the region, Lewis Silkin LLP‘s four-strong Cardiff-based team has developed a particularly strong reputation in the corporate real estate market, acting on its own, as well as often alongside colleagues based in London. Team head Emily Meredith Hardy has been pivotal to the team’s growth and as well as regularly providing real estate advice on corporate and finance mandates handled by the firm, is also noted for her landlord and tenant work in the advertising and marketing, technology and retail sectors. Managing associate Tom Merrick is also a key member of the team and ‘provides sound commercially aware advice’ to corporate occupiers.

      Practice head(s):

      Emily Meredith Hardy

      Other key lawyers:

      Tom Merrick; Aimee Dring

      Testimonials

      The advice is always clear and commercially sound with good transparency in relation to fees estimates and billing.’

      The team has strength-in-depth over the commercial property sector and offers a professional, diligent, proactive and pragmatic service.’ 

      ‘Tom Merrick is responsive and thorough and provides sound commercially aware advice that steers us as clients in a good direction.’ 

      ‘Tom Merrick’s communication skills are very strong and he has found innovative solutions to a number of complex matters. He is very diligent and professional in his approach.’

      Key clients

      Wildstone Estates Limited

      A Collected Man

      Four Communications Group Limited

      Navana Real Estate Limited

      Modern Milkman

      Natural Baby Shower Ltd

      Sideshow Group Limited

      Westow Limited

      Havas UK Limited

      Next 15 Limited

      Work highlights

      • Advising Four Communications Group Limited on its head office relocation.
      • Advising Navana on the acquisition of the long leasehold interest of Unit 7, Brookfields Way Rotherham.
      • Advising high-end watch retailer A Collected Man on lease negotiations.

      RDP Law

      Newport-based firm RDP Law is 'very efficient in dealing with all aspects of property law' for landowners and developers throughout the East of the country. 'Very personable' team head James Davies 'comes up with sensible legal solutions' and is pivotal to the firm's strong farming landowner ties which continue to generate a sizeable volume of work, including in the context of land assembly and renewable energy projects.

      Practice head(s):

      James Davies

      Testimonials

      The team is very efficient in dealing with all aspects of property law and offers a complete service which stands them apart from others.’

      They give very clear advice. The advice is extremely commercial. They point out the key risks and come up with pragmatic solutions for them.’

      The core values and work ethic of the leading partners permeates throughout the practice. There is an inherent skill in achieving this in today’s modern professional advisory world.’

      The very personable James Davies comes up with sensible legal solutions and lays out his reasoning clearly for all parties.’

      Work highlights