Next Generation Partners

Local government in West Midlands

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP

With a large team of local government specialists, Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP offers a full service across governance, property, construction, planning, litigation, employment, pensions and local government law. Lawyers advise local councils across the UK, including Birmingham, Coventry, Somerset and Cumbria. Matthew Gregson leads the team and advises on all aspects of employment law, with experience advising on disciplinary issues at senior levels. Mark Cook  provides strategic advice on models for transforming public services, while Sandy Munroe is lead local government property partner with 30 years of experience in land transactions. Senior associate Gayle Monk is known for her expertise in local authority services such as waste, leisure and recycling.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Gregson

Other key lawyers:

Mark Cook; Sandy Munroe; Richard Brookes; Gayle Monk

Testimonials

They have a lot of local government experience and this shows when dealing with them.’

The team that I have dealt with are very thorough and practical and don’t just give one option available, but a range and then advice based on their experience.’

I find Matthew Gregson to be extremely approachable and a first class employment lawyer with a very good understanding of what the client wants, needs and expects. Matthew always makes himself available at short notice and immediately puts the client at ease, making them feel confident in how the matter is being handled.’

Key clients

Coventry City Council

Shropshire Council

Worcestershire County Council

Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

Northamptonshire County Council / North Northamptonshire and West Northamptonshire Council

Leicester City Council

Borough Council of Kings Lynn & West Norfolk

Mid Devon District Council

Somerset County Council

Newark and Sherwood District Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Somerset County Council on the reorganisation of local government in Somerset. Also advised on the process for submissions and on issues that arose during the Government consultation; and prepared the draft Structural Changes Order which was submitted by the Council.
  • Advising on the procurement of Northamptonshire County Council / North Northamptonshire and West Northamptonshire Council’s £1.1bn highways asset management contract. Appointed to provide procurement advice to design and guide the Council through a complex competitive dialogue process to enable the market to bring innovative solutions to our client.
  • Providing legal support to Coventry City Council including support in relation to infrastructure agreements to two large sites allocated in Eastern Green and Keresley for urban expansion.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP has a large local government team with lawyers across a broad range of disciplines, such as real estate, employment, energy, IT and infrastructure. The team has expertise in housing development and regeneration and is frequently involved in cutting edge transactions like Coventry City Council’s Very Light Rail project. Didar Dhillon leads the practice with vast experience in commerciality, carbon reduction measures and regional investment funds. David Meecham leads the firm’s UK Public Sector Development Office and has particular skill in the structuring of transactions to be State aid compliant. Associates Chris Haines and Amy Walker are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Didar Dhillon

Other key lawyers:

Kultar Khangura; David Meecham; Amy Walker; Chris Haines; Rebecca Rowley

Key clients

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council & Hampshire County Council

Cardiff Capital Region

Sandwell Borough Council

Watford Borough Council

Worcestershire County Council

Coventry City Council

Bracknell Forest Borough Council

Watford Health Campus Partnership LLP

Wiltshire Council

London Borough of Harrow

Birmingham City Council

London Borough of Waltham Forest

Sunderland City Council

West Midlands Combined Authority

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Wolverhampton City Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Cardiff Council and 9 other regional local authorities on the establishment and implementation of their £1.2bn City Deal which has included the acquisition of the Aberthaw Coal Power Station from RWE Plc and transformation of the 500 acre site into an exemplar £1bn+ green energy generation park; the creation of a £100M regional innovation fund; £40M investment into a new high-tech semi-conductor facility for IQE Plc; equity investments into a new med-tech company; £10M Housing Fund; and £100M Strategic Sites Fund.
  • Advising the Councils on the joint procurement of a new £100M state of the art waste materials recycling facility which will be owned and financed by the Councils via a corporate joint venture vehicle. The project is being procured in response to the hardening commodities market and the limited value being provided through conventional outsourcing contracts. The Councils are committing to supply all recyclable materials to the new facility and will assume all upside and downside risk associated with the sale of off-take materials.
  • Advising the Council on the procurement of a private sector partner, Countryside, to establish a corporate joint venture for the development of a number of Council owned sites in the Borough. The first three sites are in the town centre and have an estimated development value of £150 million and the project provides a 20 years pipeline of development opportunities valued at over £1 billion.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP advises on major regional local government projects, recently supporting Birmingham City Council in its capacity as host city to the 2022 Commonwealth Games; a matter led by Amardeep Gill, who specialises in advising local authorities in transactions across a range of sectors. Key areas for the team include PFI, joint property ventures, infrastructure, housing authority reviews and devolution. Chris Plumley leads the public sector real estate practice and is well known for his work with public sector property regeneration and development. Associates Louis Sebastian and Matt Whelan  are also key members of the team.

Practice head(s):

Amardeep Gill; Chris Plumley; Scott Dorling

Other key lawyers:

Louis Sebastian; Matt Whelan

Testimonials

A highly skilled team with great personal skills, and excellent leadership.’

The diversity of the practice skills and competencies, along with the easy access to that wider team of specialists, makes this team unique.’

Amardeep Gill has great personal skills, and is brilliant at communicating with clients. He has a very astute legal mind, and a skillset to match his personality.

Key clients

WM5G Limited

West Midlands Combined Authority

Birmingham City Council

Kent County Council

Lancaster City Council

Belfast City Council

Wolverhampton City Council

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

Wirral Council

Guildford Council

Work highlights

  • Advise the council in its capacity as Host City for the Commonwealth Games, replacing an existing provider.
  • Provided lead advice in relation to several large procurement and technology related projects, and are considered their go-to firm for complex projects.
  • Advised Kent County Council on a number of commercial, procurement and governance matters over the last 12 months.

Bevan Brittan LLP

Bevan Brittan LLP‘s Birmingham local government team advises local authorities on a number of key matters including real estate projects, governance issues, contract management and climate change policy. Adam Kendall specialises in commercial litigation and undertakes a wide range of dispute work for housing associations, charities, local authority and healthcare clients. Rebecca Pendlebury stands out for her specialism in regeneration and development schemes across a range of structures. Kirtpal Kaur Aujla leads the local government commercial team and advises on complex matters involving service re-organisation, public sector collaboration and outsourcing arrangements.

Practice head(s):

David Hutton

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Pendlebury; Adam Kendall; Kirtpal Kaur Aujla; Sarah Greenhalgh; Rosie Tabrizi; Alex Lawrence

Testimonials

When issues have arisen, Bevan Brittan have come up with innovative solutions to overcome roadblocks, whilst advising us as client as to the procurement risks involved the whole way to enable us to take informed decisions.’

Kirtpal Kaur Aujla is always a pleasure to work with, she takes the time to engage with me very early and provides logical solutions.’

Kirtpal is always happy to liaise directly with in house client departments and is able to communicate using non technical language to assist with their understanding of the challenges involved.’

Kirtpal has been brilliant. She has worked closely with our in house legal advisor and the commissioners to reflect the aspirations to underpin the partnership with a more relational and productive commissioning agreement reflecting the outcomes and costs that matter.’

Key clients

Somerset County Council

Cardiff Council

Birmingham City Council

Portsmouth City Council

Oxfordshire County Council

North Yorkshire County Council

Sandwell Council

Dudley MBC

London Borough of Waltham Forest

London Borough of Havering

Leicester City Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Somerset County Council on its £70 million innovative strategic partnering agreement. This brings together our niche expertise in the children’s social care sector (having advised on most children’s trusts set up nationally) and our experience in establishing public sector collaboration projects.
  • Advising Birmingham City Council on its flagship £1.9bn Smithfield development – a long term relationship with the Council on major projects and demonstrative of the breadth of our multi-disciplinary expertise.
  • Advising Sandwell Council on its Towns Fund project under which the Council is appointing projects partners to receive £67.5 million of funding from the Department of Levelling Up Housing and Communities for the delivery of projects to support economic growth and wider development.

Browne Jacobson LLP

The government, regulatory and advocacy team at Browne Jacobson LLP advises local authorities on a range of contentious and non-contentious issues, including property investments, regeneration, estate management, environmental issues and judicial review. Thomas Howard runs the firm's local authority investment practice, while Zo Hoida focuses on development within the public sector. Ben Standing is another important name, specialising in planning matters and local government matters.

Practice head(s):

Ben Standing; Zo Hoida; Thomas Howard

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Searle

Testimonials

‘The public sector team has a wealth of knowledge coupled with practical know how. The are available to talk issues through as well as for specific pieces of advice.’

‘I have worked closely with Peter Ware on projects. Peter is careful to listen and understand viewpoints and issues impacting the respective authorities and factor these into his advice.’

‘Nothing is too much of problem. We don\’t have to chase as we know the matters are in hand. The responses are always spot on and appreciate the strategic imperative in relation to legal options available.’

‘We know Ben Standing as Ben (Out)standing for the exemplary service he provides, automatically reaching for relevant case law to set out our options for perusal.’

Key clients

Thurrock Council

Buckinghamshire Council

Oxford City Council

Telford & Wrekin Council

London Borough of Sutton

London Borough of Croydon

Shropshire Council

South Cambridgeshire District Council

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council

Coventry City Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Thurrock Council on response to the Development Consent Order for Lower Thames Crossing which is an approximately £8bn new tunnel and highway project.
  • Advising Flintshire County Council and the Welsh Local Government Association in connection with the updating of the model constitution for Wales and the new plain language guide required by the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021.
  • The acquisition of St Nicholas Shopping Centre for £26m.

DWF

DWF‘s public sector team offers a complete spectrum of legal advice to local authorities, including niche areas handling complex claims relating to the Human Rights Act, historic abuse claims and professional negligence claims. The team is also known for advising on procurement and state aid arrangements. Group co-head Melanie Williams  leads the global real estate practice group with a particular focus on property investment and development within the hospitality, consumer, real estate and public sectors. Fellow co-head Derek Adamson  specialises in insurance policy interpretation, development of insurance law, fire, construction and local authority work.

Practice head(s):

Derek Adamson; Melanie Williams

Other key lawyers:

Denise Brosnan

Testimonials

‘Denise Brosnan is superb with clients. She prepares comprehensive and helpful briefs, and her reviews of documentation are always accurate and thorough. Peter Wright also has an excellent eye for detail.’

‘This is an insurance team providing litigation services to local authorities. They are excellent. Their understanding of the law is second to none and their ability to work with the clients to get positive results is exemplary. I was recently involved in the case of DFX v Coventry City Council, a 15 day trial which DWF ran on behalf of the local authority. The teams dedication to detail, hard work and ability meant that the defendant won what was always going to be a difficult test case.’

‘Great strength in depth. The partners are excellent and all at the top of their field. Below them is an excellent layer of associates and the paralegals are all skilled and well-supervised.’

‘Denise Brosnan – great client management and intelligent approach to cases. Paul Donnelly – intelligent and robust with great tactical insight.’

‘Dedicated, hard working, exceptional insight into the unique aspects of working on cases for local government clients’

‘Derek Adamson and Denise Brosnan are a formidable team, who are a joy to work with. They bring unrivalled insight into the tactics and sensitivities of working for local government clients. Their attention to detail is second to none.’

Key clients

Coventry City Council

Urban Growth Company

Walsall Council

Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

Leeds City Council

West Midlands Combined Authority

Newcastle City Council

Wolverhampton Council

Cornwall Council

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Manchester City Council

London Borough of Greenwich

Birmingham City Council & Finance Birmingham

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Coventry City Council in the first trial to consider the circumstances in which a common law duty of care may (or may not) be owed by a local authority in the conducting of its social care function in what is now the leading case with the judgment have been approved on appeal in subsequent strike out judgments.
  • Acting for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in connection with the personal injury claims (and indeed the public inquiry) arising from the Grenfell Tower disaster in June 2017.
  • Advised Wolverhampton City Council on various lettings at the new Grade A office development, i9.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP specialises in property developments and investments, as well as partnership agreements. The last year has also seen the practice increase the amount of commercial work done with local authorities such as Luton Borough Council. Practice leader Nathan Holden  has over 25 years of experience handling local government law, with a strong emphasis on property projects. Mitchell Ball  is an expert in town planning, known for his expertise in food retail development work and site acquisitions.

Practice head(s):

Nathan Holden; Mitchell Ball

Other key lawyers:

Alexander Jones; Lucy Jackson

Key clients

Walsall Council

Royal Borough of Greenwich

Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

Buckinghamshire Council

Solihull MBC

Enfield Council

Nottinghamshire County Council

Leicester City Council

Milton Keynes Council

Derby City Council

Kettering City Council

London Borough of Ealing

Nottinghamshire Police Authority

Kent County Council

Nottingham City Council

Rugby Borough Council

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority

Isle of Wight Council

Stratford Upon Avon District Council

Coventry City Council

Doncaster Children’s Trust

West Midlands Combined Authority

The Police & Crime commissioner for Kent

Work highlights

  • Continuing to advise Derby City Council on the Castleward Scheme
  • Providing Royal Borough of Greenwich advice on commercial contracts.
  • Advised Oxford City Council on the Blackbird Leys Housing Redevelopment Scheme