Local government in West Midlands

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP maintains a strong reputation in local government work, fielding a multi-disciplinary team, which is experienced in governance work, real estate and construction mandates, regeneration planning issues, licensing work and litigation. Olwen Brown chairs the practice, which also includes Mark Cook, who advises councils on commercial ventures. Real estate partner Sandy Munroe, who joined in 2019 from Bevan Brittan LLP, focuses on  asset rationalisation disposals, acquisitions and regeneration projects. Other key names include Richard Brooks, senior associate Gayle Monk and associate Alex Lawrence.

Practice head(s):

Olwen Brown

Key clients

Harborough District Council

Blackpool Council

PSP Gateshead LLP

Stratford-on-Avon District Council

Redditch Borough Council and Bromsgrove District Council

Ashford Borough Council

Acivico Limited

Coventry City Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Blackpool Council on housing delivery options and putting in place an optimal structure, following the establishment of Blackpool Coastal Housing Blackpool Housing Company.  
  • Represented Stratford-upon-Avon District Council in an investigation concerning allegations that the council had a sexist culture.
  • Supporting Bromsgrove District Council and Redditch Borough Council in the drafting of three large infrastructure-based section 106 agreements.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP has a 'stellar reputation' in local government work, evidenced by its involvement in major redevelopments including the Ladywood Estate regeneration scheme and the Aquatics Centre for the Commonwealth Games. Practice head Didar Dhillon's areas of expertise include advising on structures to facilitate housing developments and regeneration schemes and innovative PPP procurement matters. Other key figures in the sizeable team include Kultar Khangura and David Meecham and associates Amy Walker and Chris Haines, who are acting on large-scale redevelopments and public private joint ventures.

Practice head(s):

Didar Dhillon

Testimonials

‘Pinsent Masons’ entire Birmingham team have a stellar reputation.’

Key clients

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council & Hampshire County Council

Cardiff City Council

Sandwell Borough Council

Watford Borough Council

Worcestershire County Council

Coventry City Council

Work highlights

  • Assisting Coventry City Council with its collaboration with Warwick University and Dudley Council to create an affordable highway tram system that is capable of being successfully deployed in Coventry and across the wider region.
  • Advising the London Borough of Harrow on the procurement of a private sector joint venture partner for a £2.5bn transformational project to develop three sites to support the council’s regeneration programme and to also deliver a new civic centre.
  • Advising Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council on a joint venture property project that is intended to deliver a ‘New Town’ comprising of 4,000 new homes as part of the Government’s Garden Cities Initiative.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP's team, which is co-led by Amardeep Gill and Christopher Plumley, is praised for its 'professionalism, expertise and competence'. The team is at the forefront of high-profile town regeneration schemes and national infrastructure developments; it recently advised Solihull Council and the Urban Growth Company on a portion of the HS2 train station development at Birmingham Airport. Real estate specialist Fiona Thomson joined the practice from DLA Piper in late 2019.

Other key lawyers:

Fiona Thomson

Testimonials

‘The team has professionalism, expertise and competence without any hint of superiority complemented by responsiveness and a clear empathy with the client’s needs.’

‘The Birmingham team have the experience held by the team to be invaluable in Local Government to ensure the best service is being provided and the correct advice to ensure we can progress with a commercial mindset.’

‘Amardeep Gill is someone you can trust, reliable and gives you the confidence to move forward with commercial activities in the public sector with confidence.’

‘Amardeep Gill has impressed from the start. Expert and clear, always responsive and able to develop a good rapport with Directors and Members.’

Key clients

West Midlands Combined Authority

The Urban Growth Company

Cotswold District Council, West Oxfordshire District

Council, Forest of Dean District Council and Cheltenham Borough Council

Tamworth Borough Council

Slough Borough Council

Leicester City Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Northamptonshire County Council on the potential variation of the private finance initiative entered into with a private healthcare provider over a 25 year period to fund the construction and operation of four specialist care centres.
  • Advising the West Midlands Combined Authority on the public sector’s first intervention into the telecoms market as part of the Urban Connected Communities 5G Project.
  • Supporting the West Midlands Combined Authority in its development of the UK’s first ‘Future Mobility Zone’, which will see the transformation of more than 100km of public highways into a hi-tech test bed spanning between Coventry, Solihull, and Birmingham.

DWF

DWF is praised for its 'attention to detail and the knowledge of the law - both practical and academic'. Core areas of work include town centre regeneration projects, real estate issues and employment mandates;the group also has a reputable insurance practice, covering claims for historical abuse and failures of social care. Paul Donnelly, group co-head Derek Adamson and Denise Brosnan focus on insurance law and act for local authorities and their insurers. Fellow co-head Melanie Williams focuses on funding development projects.

Testimonials

The strength of this team is its in depth knowledge of the client and insurer, the dedication, the endless hard work, the attention to detail and the knowledge of the law – both practical and academic. Everything is meticulously prepared. No stone is left unturned.’

‘Denise Brosnan is in a class of her own. Her extensive experience, great instinct and detailed knowledge of the cases she is involved is impressive. Her preparation for trial is second to none. She runs a highly impressive team. Peter Wright is also an impressive associate.’

Key clients

Coventry City Council

Walsall Council

Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

Leeds City Council

West Midlands Combined Authority

Newcastle City Council

Work highlights

  • Representing Coventry City Council in a potentially precedent setting case in the area of causation surrounding neurodevelopment specific to learning disabilities relating to the circumstances in which a duty of care is owed by a local authority in conducting its social care function.
  • Represented Birmingham City Council in an inquest concerning public liability and failure to detain a mentally ill member of the public who killed an innocent man.
  • Representing Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in connection with personal injury claims arising from the Grenfell Tower disaster in June 2017.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP has substantially bolstered its local government practice with the recruitment of Alexander Jones from Shoosmiths LLP and Alex Johnson from Squire Patton Boggs. The group has a strong track record in assisting government bodies with acquisitions of shopping centres and commercial property investments, drafting partnership arrangements, compulsory purchases and general commercial work. Team head Nathan Holden is recognised for his extensive expertise in advising local authorities on joint venture arrangements, land disposal issues, compulsory purchase orders, EU procurements and housing company and property investment vehicle mandates. Mitchell Ball is particularly recommended for retail and residential regeneration developments.

Practice head(s):

Nathan Holden

Testimonials

‘The Freeths team have provided high-quality comprehensive advice on a range of property development issues and have provided solutions to complex issues that have in turn unlocked development opportunities.’

‘Mitchell Ball and Nathan Holden’s easy approachable manner, well-grounded advice and timely responses to issues have enabled us to make substantial progress with a number of key opportunities.’

Key clients

Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council

Stockton on Tees Borough Council

Leicester City Council

Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council on the purchase of the Galleries shopping centre.
  • Advised Stockton on Tees Borough Council on the acquisition of Castlegate and Wellington Square Shopping Centres.
  • Advising Leicester City Council Council on securing a CPO for the site and ongoing matters associated with the project to deliver 500 homes and regenerate a key former industrial site close to Leicester City Centre.

Bevan Brittan LLP

At Bevan Brittan LLP, real estate specialist Rebecca Pendlebury focuses on large-scale development schemes and mixed-use regeneration schemes, with particular expertise in procurement regulations, planning issues and state aid work. Ashley Norman advises Birmingham City Council on employment law matters, and David Hutton leads the national local government team from Bristol. Sandy Munroe departed to Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP.

Practice head(s):

David Hutton

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Pendlebury; Ashley Norman

Key clients

Cardiff County Council

Leicestershire County Council

Worcestershire County Council

Oadby & Wigston Borough Council

Leicester City Council

Birmingham City Council

London Borough of Waltham Forest

Work highlights

  • Advising Leicestershire County Council on its large housing and  regeneration project to deliver Lutterworth East SDA, comprised of over 2,000 homes, two new schools, new community infrastructure, commercial space and green infrastructure.
  • Advising Leicester City Council on improvements to the Haymarket Theatre and its proposal to acquire a lease on Haymarket House following the construction of a new hotel.
  • Advising Birmingham City Council on its £1bn Birmingham Smithfield mixed-use scheme, involving the development of 2,000 homes and mixed-use retail and office space.