Commercial property: Birmingham in West Midlands
Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's distinguished practice continues to be at the forefront of the real estate sector, working on big-ticket developments in the region including the development, funding and sale of the Exchange Square 1000 unit PRS scheme in Masshouse, and the delivery of Paradise Circus LP. Core members of the team include head of commercial development David Jones; Gurjit Atwal, who is a commercial development and investment specialist; Iftkhar Ahmed and Philip Medford, who leads on residential development work.
Mitchells and Butlers
- Advised Homes England on the acquisition of land ownership at Rushcliffe Nottingham and a collaboration agreement with CWC Group for the delivery of a 3000 unit residential scheme, including the provision of major infrastructure works.
- Advised on Anglian Water’s joint venture with Cambridge City Council for the delivery of a new residential quarter for Cambridge, to comprise approximately 5600 new homes.
- Acting for Taylor Wimpey on all land and planning work in connection with its acquisition of a development area in South West Somerset in collaboration with Bovis Homes.
Gowling WLG is a regional real estate powerhouse with a solid reputation in leading top-end mandates in mixed-use, retail, industrial and regeneration developments. The group is singled out for its experience in acting for global institutional investors and working with residential developers and corporate occupiers. Practice head Richard Bate stands out for his knowledge in strategic land site assembly work, consortium transactions and equalisation issues. Mike Trainer, John Burns, Duncan Murphy, Susan Bennett, Richard Beckingsale and Matthew Walker comprise the other key figures.
Other key lawyers:
A& J Mucklow
Government Property Agency
- Advising the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead on the procurement of a development partner for Maidenhead Golf Course.
- Acted for IM Properties on its prelet of 2,940,000 sq ft to Jaguar Land Rover at IM’s latest employment site at Junction 11 of M42.
- Advised St Modwen Plc on the £38m sale of a student accommodation building at Swansea University Bay Campus to University Partnerships Programme
Gateley Plc's full-service practice has a particularly strong client roster of national housebuilders and is praised for its 'strong breadth of expertise' across commercial and residential developments, finance work, investment issues and property portfolio management matters. Tim Ledger, Chris Adams and Belinda Laurance specialise in residential developments. Rebecca Sherwin and Callum Nuttall jointly lead the department; Nuttall is an expert in urban extension and regeneration schemes who 'responds positively and confidently to complicated and challenging briefs'. Also of note are Richard Pettifor and Ray Simpson for commercial schemes, and large industrial, retail and office development projects.
‘The practice offers a strong breadth of expertise and is able to deliver a joined up service through enthusiastic and very knowledgeable individuals, as well as well thought-out outputs that respond to the client’s brief.’
‘Strategic thinking and first class problem solving.’
‘Callum Nuttall is an enthusiastic and very knowledgeable partner who is able to respond positively and confidently to complicated and challenging briefs.’
‘Richard Pettifor always explains issues concisely and with clarity, well considered and thoughtful.’
Fabrix Capital Limited
Linden Homes (part of Galliford Try Plc)
Lloyds Bank Plc
McCarthy & Stone Plc
Mountpark Properties Limited
- Advised Barberry Cheltenham on the promotion and subsequent sale to Cheltenham Borough Council of a 45-hectare site in Cheltenham for the construction of a cyber business park.
- Advised Icon Manchester Developments Limited on creation of a new head office and separate warehouse facility for a multinational owner-occupier adjacent to Manchester Airport.
- Advised Roxhill Developments on the sale and development funding agreement in respect of the disposal of two speculative warehouse units to Greenoak.
Pinsent Masons LLP
Pinsent Masons LLP is recognised for its involvement in major regional urban regeneration projects and residential schemes, complemented by an investment and asset management practice led by Lisa Middleton. Tom Johnson leads the sizeable team, which includes Kultar Khangura and public sector specialist David Meecham. Carl Scott stands out for his restructuring expertise and Tom Eastwood acts for clients in the health sector. Joel Kordan departed to Pennington Manches Cooper LLP in 2019.
‘Pinsent Masons offer excellent levels of advice and service provision across the whole spectrum of business lines.’
‘Whilst the Pinsent Masons business has grown we still feel like an important client to the firm. This feeling comes from the level of service and focus we receive which has never faltered, irrespective of the level of work we pass through the business on an annual basis.’
‘A key attribute for the firm is the ability to offer expertise in most, if not all of the key sectors surrounding property. Investment, development, litigation, residential/PRS, construction, environmental, corporate and many more. We know when we use PM that they can offer a one stop shop for any situation.’
‘Lisa Middleton is actively involved in transactions and ensures our work is resourced correctly both amongst her team and across the wider business. First and foremost with Lisa is that she totally has our best interests at heart. She is focused on delivering what is right for us as a business, and will use the wider PM network where required to do so. She is the key reason why we continue to use PM for the majority of our legal work.’
‘Stand-out partners include Lisa Middleton and Tom Johnson.’
Medical Properties Trust
Henry Boot Developments Limited
Birmingham City Council
Ebbsfleet Development Corporation
- Advising Birmingham City Council on its competitive dialogue procurement of a joint venture and development partner for the delivery of an exemplar estate regeneration of its Ladywood Estate.
- Advising Watford Borough Council on the development of its key Ascot Road site, including the sale of further phases of development land to Orion Land which will see the development of a new residential quarter.
- Advising Worcestershire County Council on its multi-million pound funding and investment in the £120m Worcester Six, a business park at Junction 6 of the M5 being developed with landowner the Spetchley Estate and developer Stoford.
Jason Jackson chairs the real estate practice at Shoosmiths LLP, which fields a 'superbly knowledgeable team' and handles a 'good range of top-end mandates' spanning warehouse distribution developments, commercial office developments, mixed-use properties and leisure issues. James Needham has a solid reputation advising on strategic land mandates for commercial and residential land promoters, while Beth McArdle is praised for her 'dedication to client service and satisfaction'.
‘Beth McArdle stands out with real dedication to client service and satisfaction; getting embedded in the client property team and regularly visiting client offices.’
‘Shoosmiths in Birmingham have a superbly knowledgeable team which act on a range of top-end real estate mandates.’
Nurton Developments Limited
Stoford Properties Limited
The Foschini Group
XPO Supply Chain UK
London + Regional Properties Limited
Fortis Living Limited
- Advising Stoford on its joint venture with the Gooch Estate to promote a large regeneration site at Typhoo Wharf, Digbeth, Birmingham.
- Acting for the strategic land promoter on the assembly of a suite of promotion agreements for a 2,500 dwelling Garden Village promotion in the South West of England.
- Advising Nurton Developments on its flagship strategic site at Branston Locks, Burton on Trent to comprise up to 2,500 new homes, commercial space, village centre, new primary school and associated infrastructure.
Trowers & Hamlins LLP continues to make strides in the real estate sector with the arrival of Fiona Thomson, former head of real estate at DLA Piper, who now leads the Birmingham team. The group handles the full gamut of real estate matters, ranging from residential and affordable housing developments to large-scale mixed-use regenerations; practice head Amanda Hanmore has developed a strong specialisation in the latter. Christopher Plumley specialises in public sector town centre regenerations and mixed-use developments; and Digby Morgan and Simon Robinson comprise the other key partners.
‘Very professional, always looking for solutions to achieve the best outcomes.’
‘Brilliant at problem solving.’
Wolverhampton City Council- West Midland Metropolitan Pension Fund
Interserve Group Limited
UK Central Hub/Urban Growth Company
Tamworth Borough Council
- Acting for Wolverhampton City Council, as administering authority for West Midlands Metropolitan Pension Fund, on several multi-million pound investments including the acquisitions for the fund of 2 St Philips Place and the Network Rail hub in Coventry, and the refurbishment of St Philips Place.
- Assisting Prosperity Developments with the site assembly acquisitions of various holdings within the Birmingham Smithfield district for a residential-led development scheme for up to 600 new homes in an urban regeneration setting.
- Acting for the Inox Group in connection with its acquisition of two strategic sites outside Truro obtaining planning consent for over 1700 residential units, County stadium, hotel, school and commercial units across the two sites.
At Browne Jacobson LLP, practice head Dominic Swift is a commercial property specialist, with an emphasis on procurement issues in the context of land transactions; he also handles complex regeneration projects. Zo Hoida continues to be active in high-profile regeneration projects for local and central government clients,while Brian Hession is an investment-focused partner handling corporate real estate project management matters.
‘The team is easy to contact, accessible and quick to respond. The team have a ‘can do’ attitude, willing to help with queries from small to complex. If the individual doesn’t know the best answer, they will pass on to colleagues within the firm and will come back quickly with a response.’
London Borough of Enfield
Cheltenham Borough Council
Sedgemoor District Council
London Borough of Croydon
- Acting for Cheltenham Borough Council on buying 45-hectares of land near cyber-intelligence centre GCHQ which will see a new cyber business park and up to 3,000 homes built in the west of Cheltenham.
- Acting for Homes England on a complex £6.1m land swap with Birmingham City Council to secure its athletes’ village site for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
- Supporting Cheshire East on the delivery on a town centre regeneration, replacing the old Royal Arcade retail area with a modern cinema-anchored mixed-use leisure/retail scheme including new bus station and multi-storey car park.
DLA Piper's 'pragmatic, pro-active and responsive' team is led by Monique Sutherland, who advises on site acquisitions, development agreements and regeneration schemes for public and private sector clients. Roger Collier is the key figure for corporate occupiers, with extensive experience in advising on primary and secondary office, industrial and warehouse premises. Katie Jacobson, who joined from Hogan Lovells International LLP in late 2019, advises institutional investors, developers, pension funds and corporate occupiers on mixed-use schemes and retail developments. Fiona Thomson joined Trowers & Hamlins LLP in late 2019.
‘They are a team who are pragmatic and pro-active and responsive. They take the time to understand us and our needs. Monique Sutherland manages the team and is a gem.’
LaSalle Investment Management
High Speed Two (HS2) Limited
The Land Restoration Trust
Revelan Group Limited
Dignity Funerals Limited
- Advised Croda on the pre-letting of its new worldwide distribution hub, located in Goole, in the North East of England.
- Advised UPS Limited in connection with its strategically significant purchase of the long leasehold interest in a substantial distribution centre in Kentish Town, London.
- Advising National Grid on the residential development of a number of former gas sites across England.
Fieldfisher LLP's team, which is headed up by development and regeneration specialist Sue Simpson, 'performs at the very top level of planning, property and construction' matters. The team is also well versed in investment issues, real estate finance mandates, dispute resolution and energy matters. On the transactional side, Mark Lee and Merle Wray act for developers and occupiers on new build projects and residential and commercial schemes. Director Dinah Patel is 'one of the leading planning solicitors in the West Midlands'.
‘The team is well known in the Midlands market and has some key players in the market including Dinah Patel, Merle Wray, Susan Simpson and Helen Andrews. The team comprises a great gender balance and performs at the very top level of planning, property and construction.’
‘A very collaborative practice who have a defined structure and who work well as a team and provide good, simple advice on any issues. Fieldfisher are able to provide a full range of services across all the legal disciplines necessary to fulfil all transactions.’
‘Dinah Patel is a Director in the team specialising in planning. She has a strong and credible background having worked for the top house builders.’
‘Dinah Patel is certainly one of the leading planning solicitors in the West Midlands. She always has a practical approach to legal issues / problems and wants solutions / advice that is going to advance her clients’ best interests so as to achieve the optimum outcome. As well as having an eye for detail she thinks strategically and often outside the box.’
Alldos (UK) Limited
Avery Healthcare Group Limited
I.M. Properties Plc
Countryside Properties Limited
CALA Homes Limited
Cambridge Medipark Limited
Liberty Property Trust (UK) Limited (now Prologis Real Estate Investment Trust)
- Advising Atlas Hive Ltd on the development of a 225 bed student accommodation scheme at Dean Street, Bristol with ancillary accommodation for a cafe, office and gym.
- Advised Skanska UK PLC on the sale of a further residential development phase at Mindenhurst, Surrey to Trivselhus, a Swedish housebuilder specialising in sustainable, environmentally-friendly homes.
- Acted for Exeter Property Group in connection with the refinancing of part of its UK portfolio with a £103m loan facility.
The real estate practice at Shakespeare Martineau LLP is led by Adrian Bland, who is an expert in the acquisition and disposal of property, asset management issues and commercial development and regeneration work. James Gooch acts for developers and landowners on all stages of the development process, including strategic land work, site assembly issues, pre-lets and forward funding mandates. Debbie Irwin is recognised for her experience working with housebuilders and promoters on residential and mixed-use developments, and Andrew Mellor also contributes his expertise to the practice.
‘The teams are professional, diligent and, most importantly, have a keen understanding of commercial realities and work hard to balance their advice accordingly.’
‘James Gooch is hard-working, knowledgeable about all aspects of law relating to commercial property and always extremely responsive to delivering projects on required timescales. Moreover, he has excellent communications skills and a personable manner which allows matters to be discussed openly and clearly. One of his biggest attributes is his ability to recognise commercial realities and pitch legal recommendations and advice accordingly.’
‘A total commitment to our work and an approach to getting matters completed.’
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
Al Rayan PLC
BDW Trading Limited (Barratt Homes West Midlands)
Gatehouse Bank PLC
- Acted for developer, Jessup, on being appointed to build the remaining 300 homes and a new park in the final phase of the 1,300-home Lightmoor Village development in Telford.
- Advised Opus Land on the acquisition of a brownfield and contaminated site in the Black Country.
- Advised a bank on the refinancing of a portfolio of 96 commercial and residential investment properties.
At Squire Patton Boggs, managing partner and head of real estate Nick Green leads on corporate real estate mandates, where he focuses on commercial investments with an angle in the hospitality, retail and healthcare sectors. Victoria Camfield specialises in finance work, assisting banks, funds and other institutions with acquisitions and financing real estate investments. In the residential space, Camfield also lends her expertise to strategic land acquisitions, promotion agreements, joint ventures and collaborations. Neil Taylor and Kevin Nagle are also of note.
‘Strong and commercially driven practice.’
‘Nick Green- commercial and practical approach.’
Taylor Wimpey UK Limited
Rexel UK Limited
Volvo Cars UK Limited
Molson Coors Brewing Company UK Limited
Dalata Hotel Group
Cancer Research UK
St Francis Group Limited
- Advised the Dalata Hotel Group, the largest hotel operator in Ireland, on the acquisition of the Tamburlaine Hotel in Cambridge.
- Acted for St Francis Group on the acquisition of the former Eggborough Power Station for the purpose of developing a number of industrial and logistics units.
- Advised Octopus Healthcare Developments Ltd on the acquisition funding and development of a new 80 bed care home at Blythe Valley Park, Solihull, acquired from IM Properties.
Public sector work is the bedrock of Bevan Brittan LLP's Birmingham office, where Victoria Pendlebury specialises in mixed-use regeneration schemes often involving joint venture arrangements. Senior associate Emma Holmes supports registered providers, charities and local authorities in all aspects of commercial property matters including property disposals and acquisitions, landlord and tenant issues and development work.
Other key lawyers:
Leicestershire County Council
Leicester City Council
University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust
Birmingham City Council
Worcestershire County Council
Nottingham City Council
- Advising Leicester City Council in relation to improvements to the Haymarket Theatre, its proposal to acquire the lease of Haymarket House following the construction of a new hotel and grant of a lease to Travelodge.
- Advising Leicestershire County Council on its large housing and regeneration project to deliver Lutterworth East SDA, a new scheme of 2,750 homes, two new schools, new community infrastructure, commercial space and significant green infrastructure.
- Assisting Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council with the documentation required for the conditional acquisition by the council of two retail investment assets in Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield town centre.
Specialising in health and social care real estate matters, Capsticks LLP focuses on large-scale accommodation schemes, primary care premises and new hospital developments. Group head Henry Matveieff handles multi-site rationalisations, third-party development schemes, landlord and tenant matters and projects for retail, radiotherapy and pharmacy sector clients.
Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital NHS Trust
University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Foundation Trust
Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
Methodist Church of Great Britain
Department of Health and Social Care
- Advising NHS England in relation to the funding structure, proposed terms and suite of grant documents for the utilisation of the £1bn NHS Estates and Technology Infrastructure Fund, including the development of 30 new health centres.
- Advised Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust on the £320m design and build contract to complete the Midland Metropolitan Hospital and a major FM framework arrangement.
- Supporting GenesisCare in relation to the property aspects of its partnership with the University of Oxford, including land acquisitions and the development of a new radiotherapy cancer treatment centre.
With a strong focus on nationwide retail development work, Clarke Willmott LLP assists high street lenders with secured lending work, commercial property finance issues, refinancings and landlord and tenant work. Key names include chairman Jonathan Morton, Iain Harrison, who also handles regeneration projects and investment property acquisitions, and Fiona Rendell, who has 'superb attention to detail'.
‘Fast-response team with any query. Excellent formal and informal advice. Clear cost guidance and pricing.’
‘Fiona Rendell – Superb attention to detail and quality of work / advice. Speed and clarity is always of the essence to enable customers to take commercial opportunities.’
Lidl Great Britain Limited
Lloyds Bank plc
Beechdean Homes Limited
Mereway Kitchens Limited
Trevonny Investments Limited
Rediweld Holdings Limited
- Assisting West Midlands Police with portfolio management advice, including first registrations of various unregistered historic titles to police properties.
- Advising Lidl Great Britain on the transfer of all company freehold and leasehold assets, including SDLT returns, Land Registry forms and other ancillary work.
- Advised Lidl Great Britain on the completion of a syndicated secured loan facility with National Westminster Bank plc.
With a strong client roster comprised of public sector bodies, developers, property investment companies, corporate occupiers and banks, DWF is praised for its 'diverse knowledge of issues' which is 'delivered in a commercial and sensible manner'. Head of hospitality and global real estate Melanie Williams is the go-to adviser for property work in the sector, while Stephen Hickling leads the Birmingham-based team.
‘A wide diverse knowledge of issues and the law delivered in a commercial and sensible manner.’
‘Knowledgeable, hard working and commercially sharp but able to see the bigger picture and get deals done.’
Reigate & Banstead Borough Council
Solihull MBC and Urban Growth Company
- Advised the Welsh Government on a redevelopment project to create an integrated transport hub to deliver a new 14-bay bus station, car parking, offices and 318 luxury PRS apartments in Central Square, Cardiff.
- Advising Millennium & Copthorne Hotels PLC in relation to the relocation of the Copthorne Hotel within the Paradise Circus regeneration.
- Advised Premier Inn Hotels Limited in relation to the joint Premier Inn and Staycity Paddington Hotel/Aparthotel Project to be developed in Paddington.
Richard Beverley heads up the Birmingham practice at Freeths LLP, which has a 'broad range of experience and expertise to deliver a prompt and efficient service at a fair cost'. Beverley is singled out for his experience in the retail sector, while Mitchell Ball is the go-to adviser for commercial property mandates relating to food retail developments, town planning issues and property finance work.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team has a broad range of experience and expertise to deliver a prompt and efficient service at a fair cost.’
Paul Smith Limited
Real Estate Investors plc
Santander UK plc
Measure Corporation Limited
Gant UK Limited
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
- Assisted Leicester City Council with securing a compulsory purchase order for a site and dealing with the delivery of over 300 homes and the regeneration of a key former industrial site close to Leicester City Centre.
- Assisting Cherwell District Council with the management and redevelopment of Castle Quay Shopping Centre, Banbury.
- Assisting Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council with the acquisition of two separate shopping centres, Castlegate and Wellington Square Shopping Centre.
At Irwin Mitchell, Ben Acheson advises on all aspects of real estate work including investment and development transactions for commercial and residential projects, and issues for landlords and tenants relating to commercial occupier work. Other key areas of work include strategic land issues, site assemblies and real estate financings.
‘Always quick to respond and keen to be of service.’
A.C. Lloyd Holdings Limited
Henry Davidson Developments Limited
Persimmon Homes Limited
Owl Homes Limited
HSBC Bank plc
Godwin Developments Limited
- Advised A.C. Lloyd on the acquisition and funding of a former Severn Trent Water-owned development site in Nottingham for six major industrial units, 12 trade units, a local centre, a pub, a hotel and a care home.
- Acting for Persimmon Homes Ltd on the conditional acquisition of phase 1 of a strategic land site at Caverswall Lane, Stoke.
- Advised Owl Homes on the acquisition of a residential development site at Market Bosworth for the development of approximately 100 homes.
At Knights plc, Beth Margetson is particularly experienced in the acquisition and disposal of sites for energy provisions, as well as in the core areas of property transactions and developments. Jonathan Wright is also recommended for commercial property developments in the leisure and social housing sectors, brownfield site developments, listed building restoration projects and data centre issues.
Mills & Reeve LLP has a strong focus on the real estate aspects of the education, health and social care sectors. The Birmingham practice is co-headed by Christian Bull, who acts for universities and further education colleges on all manner of property transactions, and Michael Whatley, who advises NHS and healthcare clients on large development projects.
South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust
Birmingham City University
Cemex UK Operations Limited
Webbs Garden Centres Limited
University of Worcester
Keys Group Limited
- Advising South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust on the delivery of two new mental health hospitals at Springfield Hospital, London.
- Advised Birmingham City University on the sale of its remaining land interests at the Doug Ellis Sports Centre.
- Advising Birmingham University on its transformation of a Grade II listed building into its City Centre hub.
At Sydney Mitchell LLP, department head Fahmida Ismail advises a diverse range of clients on property management issues, finance work and corporate structures. Core areas of strength include representing banks in matters relating to the security for loans and enforcement issues, as well as handling site developments, corporate acquisitions and disposals.
- Advised Dains Business Recovery on the sale of a large supermarket store by trustee in bankruptcy.
- Assisting a client with the acquisition of a development site for a new casino.
According to clients, VWV's team 'provides an excellent and valued service' with 'very strong knowledge and expertise'. Clive Read focuses on development, planning and commercial property mandates for a wide range of universities, colleges and local authorities. Andrew Tubbs is particularly recommended for property finance and development work; he advises developers on acquisitions, and works with conventional and challenger banks on the lending requirements for a variety of commercial and residential properties.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team at VWV provide an excellent and valued service. Their knowledge and expertise is very strong and as a client we really value all the hard work they put in. In particular they work extremely well with our third party property managers, providing a seamless service.’
‘Clive Read’s professional approach, impeccable attention to detail and thoroughness ensured the property sale completed without drama.’
‘Andrew Tubbs is a delight to work with, instilling us with a high level of confidence. I have personally recommended VWV because of his work.’
Avon Freight Group Limited
Airparks Services Limited
King Edwards School Foundation
Wing Yip PLC
University of the Arts London
Birmingham Property Group
- Advised Avon Freight Group Limited in its lease of a 94,000 sq ft logistics warehouse at Velocity 42 in Redditch.
- Advising Inox Group on the acquisition of a development premises, contingent on planning and the completion of a section 106 agreement and securing long-term development finance for the conversion of redundant housing into new apartments in North Devon.
- Advised Wing Yip on the £10m purchase of Hyde Road Industrial Estate in Manchester, from Maple Industrial Ltd.