Commercial property: Birmingham in West Midlands

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is engaged for a broad array of commercial property work including major developments and redevelopments, headquarter relocations and high-value property leasing, dispositions and acquisitions transactions. The Birmingham market is particularly pivotal to the firm and is home to its global head of real estate, Gurjit Atwal, a development and investment specialist with expertise of all mainstream asset classes from retail through to industrial. David Jones fronts the firm’s commercial development practice from Birmingham and another local name, Philip Medford spearheads the national residential development group. Beyond its big-ticket investment and development workload, the practice is also extremely active in the field of corporate real estate where Dawn Hilton and Iftkhar Ahmed respectively act on significant portfolio and occupier matters.

Practice head(s):

David Jones

Other key lawyers:

Gurjit Atwal; Philip Medford; Iftkhar Ahmed; Ben Newton; Dawn Hilton; Matthew Storer

Key clients

Arqiva Limited

Lord Stafford

Nikal Ltd

Friargate Coventry Development Limited

Buzz Group Limited

Homes England

Hammerson

Landsec

SEGRO

Capital & Regional

HSBC Bank plc

National Grid

Seven Trent

Mitchells & Butlers

Boparan Restaurant Group

Odeon Cinemas

Work highlights

  • Acting on the sale of Arqiva’s telecoms division to Cellnex for an enterprise value of £2bn.  The transaction involved circa 7,400 cellular sites including masts and towers as well as urban rooftop sites.
  • Acted for the landowners on the sale of Callender Farm Nuneaton to Taylor Wimpey and Jelson Homes for the development of 850 new homes, a local centre, a new primary school and more than £14m in contributions to open space, sport and recreation, highway improvements, police infrastructure and healthcare for the local community to create a new sustainable urban extension.
  • Advised Nikal Ltd on securing forward funding on Phase 2 of the Exchange Square development in Birmingham city centre.

Gowling WLG

The real estate practice at Gowling WLG provides ‘a broad range of services with noteworthy depth of resources and capability’. Its investment work, handled on behalf of a number of global institutional work, consists of acquisitions, disposals, asset management and letting while development activity is centred around major mixed-use, retail, industrial and regeneration projects. The third key pillar of the practice is its corporate occupier matters which includes strategic real estate projects, acquisition programs and general estate management. Practice head Richard Bate is a residential development specialist who enjoys a track record in large-scale consortium developments and a prominent position within the house-building sector; his team enjoys formidable strength in-depth at partner level and also includes US and overseas investment expert, John Burns, as well as Matthew Walker whose asset knowhow encompasses student accommodation in addition to mainstream classes such as retail, industrial and office.

Practice head(s):

Richard Bate

Other key lawyers:

John Burns; Matthew Walker; Mike Trainer; Duncan Murphy; Richard Beckingsale; Emma Pioli; Mike Twining; Edward Colreavy; Nisha Jassal; Helen Emmerson; Susan Bennett; Chris Hunt

Testimonials

‘Genuinely dedicated real estate team. Everything done commercially with a minimum of fuss and no point-scoring. Ahead of the game on legal tech.’

‘The team are very committed to providing a high level of commercial legal advice and offer a broad range of services with a depth of resource and capability in both their London and Birmingham offices. The team works well as a collective and the partners are heavily involved and on hand to provide advice on all matters across the portfolio. ’

‘Mike Twining is a very down to earth no nonsense partner who cuts through legal noise and focuses on getting the deal done. He is very experienced and capable in development driven deals and is excellent in project managing time pressured transactions. He is extremely user friendly and commercially astute, very glad to have him on our side.’

‘Emma Pioli works in tandem with Mike Twining, taking the partner lead on the asset management side of the portfolio and focusing on the day to day activity. Emma is calm and measured and extremely user-friendly. She is very personable and technically assured.’

‘The Gowling real estate team have come together to think about how they can provide a tailored service that supports our business and directly relates to our business objectives. They are keen to identify and share opportunities to improve efficiency and reduce costs for us even when this may reduce their involvement. They are happy to put their legal advice in the context of the commercial decision to help our own decision making. They are proactive in trying to address issues and also with the volumes of work try hard to meet the varying resourcing demands.’

‘Where legal advice is required the senior team members provide clear and helpful guidance and always seek to provide the commercial context.’

Key clients

A& J Mucklow

Aston Martin

Atkins

Bellway

Blackstone

Cadent

Freshwater Group

Government Property Agency

Harbert

Helical

HSBC Bank Pension Fund

IM Properties

Jaguar Land Rover

M&G

M&S

Metro Bank

Miller

Northern Ireland Local Government Officers Superannuation Committee

Oxford Properties

Persimmon

Premier Foods

Prologis

Schroder Real Estate Finance

SEGRO PLC

St Modwen Plc

Taylor Wimpey

Telereal Trillium

The Hut Group

The Mid Counties Co-operative

The Rugby Football Union

UK Power Networks

Work highlights

  • Helped IM Properties to secure forward funding in relation to a new 3m sq ft global parts logistics centre for Jaguar Land Rover at Mercia Park in North-West Leicestershire.
  • Advised Warwickshire County Cricket Club on the £93m redevelopment of the land adjoining Edgbaston Stadium.
  • Advised St Modwen on the letting of Unit T321, the company’s largest speculatively built unit of 321,204 sq. ft. at St Modwen Park Tamworth, to Winit (UK) Limited.

Gateley Plc

Home to 'exceptional knowledge and experience’, Gateley Plc gears its practice towards residential developments, urban regeneration, property finance and large-scale logistics projects. Rebecca Sherwin fronts the real estate department, advising banks, borrowers and funders on commercial and residential financings while Callum Nuttall leads the residential development sub-practice and frequently supports on new settlement, urban extension and regeneration schemes. The group also includes large-scale residential tower, industrial and retail development expert, Chris Adams in addition to Richard Pettifor, a specialist in the industrial and logistics specialist hailed as 'one of the top lawyers in the country'; it has made a conscious effort to ramp up its activity in the PRS, modular homes, retirement and later living sectors of late.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Sherwin; Callum Nuttall

Other key lawyers:

Chris Adams; Pam Scott; Tim Ledger; James Madill; James White; Richard Pettifor

Testimonials

‘Exceptional knowledge and experience in land transactions with thorough knowledge of housebuilders requirements.’

‘I have worked with the Gateley real estate team for 20 years. They have consistently offered a high level of service, backed with fantastic knowledge and industry experience. Always partner-level involvement.’

‘Richard Pettifor is intelligent and experienced; he is probably the most talented and competent property lawyer I have come across. He has an excellent grasp of detail, and always combines it with a strategic overview to ensure each deal gets done quickly and without drama. He is also very loyal to his established clients, which is another reason why he is so highly valued.’

‘I found the team to be both incredibly knowledgeable but also very capable of explaining key legal matters in a simple to understand manner. The team went above and beyond to ensure our complex project was adequately serviced. Matters were regularly and diligently followed up with lawyers from the other side to ensure progress. I found Gateley incredibly pragmatic to progress negotiations but at the same time robust and consistent to protect my interests.’

‘The team led by partner Chris Adams were very helpful on all matters. Chris is always friendly, approachable and very knowledgeable and this clearly runs through the team.

‘I work extensively with Pam Scott and find her personal approach to me as client and knowledge of the industry and our business exceptional. I have 100% confidence in the advice given and she is clearly respected by her colleagues and industry peers.’

‘Richard Pettifor is one of the top property lawyers in the country and ensures he employs capable assistant lawyers to help deal with his undoubtedly hectic workload.’

‘Finding solutions that resolve complexities whilst providing strong legal support and progressing contractual agreements has been a real strength from the team. Having worked with Callum Nuttall on one particular transaction, his approach and resourcefulness was excellent. It is questionable whether the contractual deadlines would have been achieved without his input and perseverance.’

Key clients

Barratt Plc

Bellway Plc

Taylor Wimpey Plc

HSBC UK Bank Plc

Vistry Plc

McCarthy & Stone Plc

Ilke Homes Land Limited

Tarmac Plc

Cala Homes Limited

Mountpark Properties Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising a consortium of housebuilders and Homes England on the £1.5bn development of one of the largest urban extensions in the UK delivering new homes, schools and infrastructure.
  • Advised Manse Opus (Ansty) LLP on the high-profile £50m forward funding, sale and letting one of the UK’s largest out-of-town office lettings and the largest office development in the West Midlands.
  • Advised Ilke Homes on its groundbreaking modular homes scheme, the first of its kind to be delivered with major investment from Homes England, fulfilling the UK Government’s brief for a sustainable future in housebuilding.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP has expertise across large local development and regeneration schemes, high-magnitude housing schemes, investment and asset management, as well as restructuring transactions. Practice head Tom Johnson is a veteran of many commercial, mixed-use and residential development schemes and is supported by regeneration, energy and infrastructure project expert, Kultar Khangura, along with asset management and investment lawyer, Lisa MiddletonDavid Meecham leads the firm's public sector development practice, acting on significant projects throughout the country while at the more junior end of the partnership spectrum, Carl Scott is a property-related restructuring expert and Tom Eastwood enjoys a prominent reputation in respect of healthcare assets.

Practice head(s):

Tom Johnson

Other key lawyers:

Kultar Khangura; Tom Eastwood; Carl Scott; David Meecham; Lisa Middleton

Testimonials

‘The team has the mechanisms and technology support one would expect but what makes its commercial property team stand out are the level of personal commitment, the clarity of advice and the awareness of a broader range of issues beyond the pure property matters.’

‘Lisa Middleton provides thoroughness, insight and intelligence; she spots considerations others do not. She always goes the extra mile and also stands out due to her clarity of communication, the urgency and commitment to get things done to challenging timescales and her management of the team to meet the deadline.’

‘Very supportive often at short notice. Understand the business and its stakeholders.’

‘Pinsent Masons are a first rate legal practice whom offer the full suite of real estate services. We have worked with Lisa Middleton for a long time now and find that we get an excellent level of service across all business lines, but mainly real estate, construction and litigation. There is a real strength in depth across the property team at Pinsent Masons. Each individual we have worked with has been excellent. ’

‘Lisa Middleton is one of the hardest working people not just in the legal sphere, but in the whole property industry. Lisa has worked for our business for close to two decades, during which time her work ethic, attention to detail and most importantly he care for what she does has been stand out. She works to extremely high standards which then as a result runs through her whole team. Lisa is also exceptional at managing our workload and delegating to ensure workflow delivery and quality control.’

‘The team brought a range of real estate, planning and finance skills to a complex transaction that took many months to complete.’

‘Tom Johnson lead the team superbly bringing both high level technical and practical advice to the table. There were many different counter parties parties to consider with quite different agendas and styles of working. Tom marshalled them all and adapted the approach to ensure that each one was handled as effectively as possible.’

Key clients

IM Properties

Medical Properties Trust

LDC Bidco

Kier Property

HBD (Henry Boot)

Birmingham City Council

Ebbsfleet Development Corporation

CX Holdco

Homes England

Lovell Partnerships

E.ON UK plc

Urban Growth Company

NEC Group

Worcestershire County Council

Elevation Advisors

CBRE Global Investors

Work highlights

  • Advising the NEC Group on the property and commercial contracts with the NHS to enable the set up and use of the NEC site in Birmingham as a Nightingale Hospital.
  • Acting for the Urban Growth Company a development company created by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council in connection with the £300m upgrade of Birmingham International railway station.
  • Advising HBD on the acquisition, funding and development of the Phoenix 10 regeneration scheme in Walsall, the largest brownfield development site in the Black Country

DLA Piper

Home to ‘extensive knowledge of the property market’, DLA Piper is engaged on everything from large scale developments and transport and infrastructure projects through to high-value investments and landlord and tenant projects. Practice head Monique Sutherland provides input at each stage of energy, housing, leisure, office and mixed-use projects and holds distinguished expertise in respect of brownfield land considerations; she is supported at partner-level by Roger Collier who oversees office, industrial and warehouse premises on behalf of his clients, as well as Katie Jacobson who predominantly focuses on mixed-use schemes and retail developments. Sernior associate Rachel Williams is also integral to the offering and is noted as a 'source of knowledge in large infrastructure projects and land transactions'.

Practice head(s):

Monique Sutherland

Other key lawyers:

Roger Collier; Katie Jacobson; Rachel Williams

Testimonials

‘Friendly and supportive.’

‘Rachel Williams is partner material already. She is exceptional. Great with clients. Knows the law. Very commercial and practically minded. ’

‘Extensive knowledge of property market and key partner for clients in large infrastructure projects.’

‘Rachel Williams is source of property knowledge on large infrastructure projects and land transactions around that sector. She demonstrates an awareness and interest in the changing factors in the market, including the green revolution and the alternatives investment market.’

‘The team at DLA Piper in Birmingham has been one of our leading providers for several years, advising on a range of matters from routine sales and lettings to complex JV transactions. The DLA team ishighly responsive, aligned to our business needs and provide high quality legal advice at competitive rates.’

‘Monique Sutherland provides excellent commercial awareness, great negotiation skills and a calm presence in difficult negotiations.’

‘Sophie Murtough’s skillset and knowledge has grown significantly over recent years, a real asset for the firm.’

‘Monique Sutherland has a wealth of experience  across the spectrum of commercial property matters and I hold her advice in great store.’

Key clients

National Grid

Avison Young

LaSalle Investment Management

UPS Limited

High Speed Two (HS2) Limited

The Land Restoration Trust

Oval Developments Limited

Dignity Funerals Limited

Prologis

Travelodge Hotels Limited

Amber Real Estate Limited

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council

Forensic Archive Limited (a subsidiary of the Home Office)

Genting Casinos UK Limited

Aggregate Industries UK Limited

Croda Europe Limited

Willis Towers Watson

Harris Strategic Land Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised logistics real estate company Prologis on the sale of a portfolio of buildings and land in the UK to real estate funds managed by Blackstone for £473m.
  • Advised longstanding client 2 Sisters Food Group on the Real Estate aspects of its sale of part of Fox’s Biscuits to Ferrero Group.
  • Advised the Far East Consortium on the acquisition of an office building for development of a £250m residential led mixed use scheme.

Fieldfisher LLP

Fieldfisher LLP has recently attracted a number of new clients in the regeneration and development field, and has also enjoyed a particularly busy year in the real estate finance and homebuilder markets. The practice is also geared to handle high-value property investment and dispute matters and is headed by Sue Simpson, a lawyer with a track record in numerous local regeneration and redevelopment schemes of significance, including those in the logistics sector. Elsewhere, Mark Lee handles has a history of handling retail park, shopping centre, distribution and warehousing portfolio transactions while Merle Wray provides the team with expertise in healthcare facilities and forward funding deals.

Practice head(s):

Sue Simpson

Other key lawyers:

Mark Lee; Merle Wray

Testimonials

‘The team provides thoroughly reliable legal advice and services in relation to the development of land for residential and business purposes. But above all, the focus is always on practical and innovative advice and solutions to ensure that the law is the client’s friend rather than an obstacle to be overcome.’

Key clients

Bloor Homes Limited

Alldos UK Limited

Avery Healthcare Group Limited

I.M. Properties Plc

Countryside Properties Limited

CALA Midlands Limited

CALA Southern Home Counties Limited

Exeter Properties

Cambridge Medipark Limited

Prologis

Castle Marinas Limited

Nightinghale Derbyshire Limited

Corbally Holdings

Lloyds Bank Group

Robert Bosch Limited

Skanska UK Plc

Godwin Developments Limited

Akzo Nobel Limited

Work highlights

  • Reapppinted to act for Cala Homes (Midlands) Limited, advising on all aspects of real estate acquisitions, planning and highways matters.
  • Acting for Cambridge Medipark Limited, a joint venture between Countryside Properties Limited and Liberty Property Trust UK Limited (now owned by Prologis), on the major redevelopment and expansion of Cambridge Biomedical Campus which combines world-class biomedical research, patient care and education on a single site worth over £100m.
  • Acting for Skanska UK PLC, in joint venture with the Ministry of Defence, is transforming the former Princess Royal Barracks in Surrey into a high-quality, sustainable rural heathland village known as Mindenhurst offering 1,200 new homes and essential local amenities and over 69 hectares of public green space.

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP fields a ‘one-stop shop’ commercial property practice, supporting on a range of commercial developments including logistics, warehouse, student accommodation and care house schemes in addition to substantial residential projects. The practice also consists of a corporate occupier group which acts for hospitality, retail and non-retail clients and is active on the real estate finance and investment fronts. Jason Jackson has overseen several complex development projects in the logistics space over the past year and fronts the team which includes the 'excellent' Tim Flight, head of the real estate finance department. A further key component of the department is the specialist corporate support team which supports US and London-based law firms as co-counsel in real estate due diligence affairs.

Practice head(s):

Jason Jackson

Other key lawyers:

Kathy Murphy; David Perry; Catherine Hood; Beth McArdle; James Needham; Tim Flight

Testimonials

‘The team effects good cross-specialism links within their own property brief and when required other parts of the practice.’

‘James Needham takes a pragmatic approach to the construct of contracts balancing the requirements for legal protection with the needs of keeping a deal on track and ultimately completed. His ability to see and understand the wider picture is a key strength.’

‘They have a diverse range of abilities within their team and are therefore able to draw on additional expertise quickly and easily. Communications are good and I feel like they take the time to understand the business and the individual issue they are being engaged on.’

‘Very knowledgeable individuals and always very friendly and willing to help, regardless of how many times you call them. Kathy Murphy in particular has helped us with a number of complex issues and helped with our concerns around certain aspects of what was being agreed with the other party due to her approachable and professional nature, a real pleasure to work with.’

‘Regardless of what challenge we come across in a transaction, there is a member of the team to deal with it. A one-stop shop. All of the team are aligned in their approach and the advice is consistent. ’

‘I would like to highlight the excellent work completed by Tim Flight. Tim heads up our account. He is always available to speak to and manages to break any issue in to an idiot’s guide, this is particularly useful for me!! Tim is able to navigate his way through any issue presented by a seller. I trust Tim’s judgement and if he says that a particular issue is a show-stopper then I know it requires attention.’

Key clients

Newlands Property Developments LLP

Stoford Properties Limited

Nurton Developments Limited

Manor Oak Homes Limited

Maximus Group Limited

Tanglewood Care

Birmingham Properties Group

Aytan Holdings

Parch Estates

Lasercare Clincs (Harrogate) Limited t/a Sk:n

XPO (Supply Chain) Ltd

American Golf (Trading) Limited

One Stop Stores Limited

Accident Exchange Limited

Aramark Limited

Stellantis (PSA, Vauxhall and Fiat)

The Foschini Group (Hobbs, Phase Eight and Whistles)

London + Regional Properties Limited

Fortis Living Limited

Muir Group Housing Association Limited

Midland Heart Housing Association Limited

Walsall Housing Group

Opus Land Limited/Manse Opus LLP

IM Properties plc

Waterstones Booksellers Limited

Crown Paints Limited

Krispy Kreme (UK) Limited

Midland Heart Limited

Rotala plc

Atlantic Leaf Properties

Equation Properties

Work highlights

  • Exchanging over £40m of deals for developer client Nurton Developments Limited on its flagship strategic site at Branston Locks, Burton on Trent, which has planning permission for up to 2,500 new dwellings and 1 million sq ft of employment floorspace.
  • Co-ordinating the acquisition, pre-let and forward funding of a complex hotel and automotive development site for Opus Land at Gallows Hill including work to ensure that existing infrastructure agreements were fit for the client’s purpose.
  • Completing an £18m HQ sale and leaseback for retailer Topps Tiles (UK) Limited to strengthen the group’s financial position in responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Praised as ‘quick to respond and succinct with their advice’, lawyers of Trowers & Hamlins LLP are active in all facets of the real estate market, from residential developments, public regeneration and commercial projects through to asset management, corporate support and property disputes. Recently appointed practice head Fiona Thomson is well-versed in both public and private sector schemes with a particularly keen eye for industrial-related projects; her team also includes Chris Plumley, a lawyer with a track record in town centre generation and mixed-use development projects, and Digby Morgan who fronts the affordable housing practice and routinely handles regeneration projects, RP-led and S106 developments, portfolio sales and leasing matters within the housing sector.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Thomson; Sara Bailey

Other key lawyers:

Chris Plumley; Simon Robinson; Digby Morgan

Testimonials

‘A solid team of people who respond well to client requests ’

‘Fiona Thomson is my main contact. I find her efficient, professional and she has an engaging style.’

‘We only started using Trowers & Hamlin within the last six months but so far have been impressed with their attention to the commission in hand.’

‘We have dealt with Fiona Thomson for many years and have not been disappointed since her move to Trowers & Hamlins.’

‘The Trowers team are always quick to respond and succinct with their advice.’

‘The individuals are always responsive to phone calls and provide swift responses to email when required. They chase opposing solicitors regularly for updates and always provide feedback whether or not a response has been received.I would recommend Fiona Thomson.’

‘Chris Plumley has been brilliant at organising a the legal support we need at short notice and this has never compromised the quality of the service. Always excellent people.’

‘Responding to short notice requirements often without clear instructions, the team are always willing to work with us to find the best solutions.’

Key clients

PSP Facilitating Limited

Gorcott Estate LLP

Opus Land Limited

Revelan Group plc

HE2 (Trebor/Hillwood JV)

Kent County Council

Westminster City Council

EV Cargo Limited

Neyland Properties Limited

Trine Developments Limited

Norfolk County Council

Wirral Borough Council

Solihull MBC

Urban Growth Company

West Midlands Combined Authority

Homes England

Richborough Estates

Prosperity Developments

Vinci Developments Limited

BT

Countryside Properties (UK) Limited

Midland Heart

Wolverhampton County Council

Leicester City Council

Work highlights

  • Advising the Urban Growth Company, a company owned by Solihull Council and funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority to create the “UK Central Hub”. This is one of Europe’s largest developments and regeneration opportunities and is valued by the UK Government at £3.4bn.
  • Advising Trebor/Hillwood JV Co, a large industrial developer/fund based in the US and utilising funding and expertise in the UK on schemes valued in excess of £100m.
  • Advising on a flagship scheme for Homes England in its strategic homes delivery role in areas of acute housing need The £3bn scheme has the potential to ultimately deliver up to 10,000 new homes with community facilities including two schools and significant enhancements to transport infrastructure.

Bevan Brittan LLP

Bevan Brittan LLP has a track record of work on complex projects, including regeneration schemes, handled on behalf of local authorities, registered providers, universities and healthcare clients. Rebecca Pendlebury leads the department and is a specialist in public sector-led development projects, including those with a joint venture element; she is also engaged for property acquisitions and disposals in the public sector and is supported by property disputes lawyer, Mark Robertson.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Pendlebury

Other key lawyers:

Mark Robertson

Key clients

Sixty Bricks Limited

London Borough of Waltham Forest

London Borough of Havering

Oxford City Council

London Borough of Sutton

Eastwick and Sweetwater Projects (Phase 1) Limited

Royal London Borough of Greenwich

Cardiff County Council

Leicestershire County Council

Northamptonshire County Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Sixty Bricks Limited, a development company wholly owned by the London Borough of Waltham Forest which was set up to expedite housing delivery and ensure that a high level of affordable housing can be provided within vibrant communities. The team negotiated and completed all the documentation required for the delivery of the first scheme and are now advising on the next two development projects.
  • Advised the London Borough of Waltham Forest on a competitive dialogue procurement to appoint a developer partner to develop three sites adjacent to Lea Bridge Station, with the aim of delivering a high-quality, residential-led mixed-use development and public realm.
  • Instructed by the London Borough of Havering in connection with the procurement of a joint venture partner to deliver redevelopment and renewal of 12 sites in Havering including the large Waterloo Estate, adjacent to Romford.

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP’s ‘extremely commercial team’ is extremely adept in regional development and regeneration projects which intersect both the public and private sectors. In addition, the group also generates a considerable amount of investment and financing work, acting for various councils and local authorities in addition to private investors. The practice is also home to a specialist bulk plots sales team and delivers a full lifecycle service for residential and mixed-use developments in addition to acting for a number of occupiers in the health, residential, retail, leisure and manufacturing sectors. Practice head Dominic Swift is a prominent figure within the education sector having advised on several academy conversion and strategic site assembly projects.

Practice head(s):

Dominic Swift

Other key lawyers:

Zo Hoida; Thomas Howard; Brian Hession

Testimonials

‘The team are extremely commercial with a view to the client needs on each mandate. This is based on investing the time to understand both the client and the relevant mandate such that their insights are relevant, rather than just “nice to haves”.’

Key clients

Atlantic Leaf

Investin Group

London Borough of Enfield

Homes England

Cheltenham Borough Council

Sedgemoor District Council

London Borough of Croydon

Performances Birmingham Limited

Court Collaboration

Cheshire East Council

Birmingham City Council

First Sentier Investors

Work highlights

  • Advised First Sentier Investors on the agreement to acquire Wheelabrator U.K from waste management company Wheelabrator Technologies for £995m.
  • Acted for Birmingham City Council on the disposal of 2.5 hectare site, the final acquisition made of four parcels of land in the Birmingham city centre to create capacity for 1,000 homes and 25,000 square metres of employment space.
  • Acting from inception to delivery on a town centre regeneration for Cheshire East Council 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.

DWF

Melanie Williams spearheads DWF’s global real estate sector from Birmingham, leveraging her track record in local authority-led regeneration schemes and prowess in tax-driven, real estate fund matters; she also leads the firm’s hospitality practice and is frequently instructed on hotel-related acquisitions, refurbishments and developments. Charlotte Ward and Stephen Hickling are also active in the retail space where the team handles acquisition, development and letting matters at shopping centres and other retail venues.

Practice head(s):

Melanie Williams; Toby Askin; Charlotte Ward

Testimonials

‘A team that is committed to problem solving for the client and to bring new ideas to how to solve historic issues. DWF is willing to use technology and invest in digital platforms to make our portfolio accessible for all of our law firms and business colleagues.’

‘There is real enthusiasm to try and work through issues with us and try to help solve the problem, whilst keeping the fees to the level that has been quoted to us.’

‘The team invests the time to understand what we need from their firm. In particular, they have produced a dashboard that allows all parties to see exactly where we are with all cases.’

‘The stand out member of the team is Melanie Williams – she makes things happen.’

Key clients

Welsh Government

First Panattoni

Clearbell Capital

Reigate & Banstead Borough Council

Whitbread plc

Solihull MBC and Urban Growth Company

Ashall Developments

Fairview Hotels Limited

Millennium & Copthorne Hotels PLC

Assura Healthcare

States of Jersey

Severn Trent Water Plc

BT plc

Debenhams Retail Limited

Work highlights

  • Negotiated the contracts to enable Interstate to step in as the new management company for all 31 of Jupiter Hotels’ UK properties.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP delivers a ‘complete service combining planning, finance, development and landlord and tenant’ expertise. Managing partner Richard Beverley heads the practice and is principally experienced in land assembly and mixed-use development projects with further expertise in supporting prominent fashion retailers on their real estate requirements. The ‘excellentMitchell Ball is also a ‘standout’ due to his proficiency in food retail developments and site acquisitions, as well as his expertise in town planning.

Practice head(s):

Richard Beverley

Other key lawyers:

Mitchell Ball; Lucy Jackson; Alexander Jones; Nathan Holden

Testimonials

‘The team are by far the most responsive I have worked with. ’

‘Mitchell Ball has been excellent. Nothing is too much trouble and his response time is superb. All done with a smile too which makes a big difference. Mitchell is very good a distilling complicated legal matters into something that we can understand and use. ’

‘Freeths has a complete service combining planning, finance, development and L&T which integrate well together to provide a total solution to all property deals regardless of size and complexity. The firm offers good value for money for the service and level of expertise provided.’

‘Mitchell Ball is the standout real estate partner. He works quickly and effectively to meet any timetable set. He has the ability to get to the nub of issues providing straightforward, pragmatic and understandable advice.’

Key clients

Paul Smith Limited

Real Estate Investors plc

Santander UK plc

Measure Corporation Limited

Calthorpe Estates

Gant UK Limited

Lacoste UK Limited

The Kooples UK Limited

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

Leicester City Council

Cherwell District Council

Castle Point Borough Council

Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

Telford & Wrekin Council

Daventry District Council

Stockton on Tees Borough Council

West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Tandridge District Council

Lloyds Bank plc

Y International (UK) Limited

The National Exhibition Centre Limited

National Westminster Bank

Bates Wells Braithwaite LLP

The Richborough Estates Partnership Limited

Savills

Birmingham Metropolitan College

Gloucester City Council

Cheltenham Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Instructed to advise Peterborough City Council in relation to the £150m City Centre North Westgate scheme. This is a major City Centre development to comprise new homes, offices, hotel, retail, restaurants and public spaces.
  • Acitng on behalf of the National Exhibition Centre Limited on the management of their property portfolio. Work includes leasehold work on their warehouse and exhibition spaces at both the NEC and the Birmingham City Centre sites.
  • Instructed by national residential land promoter The Richborough Estates Partnership to put in place land promotion agreements in relation to proposed residential development sites.

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell is primarily active in the field of residential and commercial developments where department head Ben Acheson supports at every stage of the project lifecycle, from site assembly through to planning and disposal. The team is also regularly engaged for investment transactions and owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, has been particularly active in terms of supermarket acquisition work of late. Other workstreams include secured lending real estate finance matters and corporate occupier portfolio management.

Practice head(s):

Ben Acheson

Other key lawyers:

Gurpreet Hayer

Testimonials

‘Excellent customer service’

‘Ben Acheson and Gurpreet Hayer are recommended.’

‘Excellent client focus in terms of communication, clarity of advice and speed in turning matters around.’

‘Ben Acheson provides concise, commercial advice; he has a real client focus and is a pleasure to deal with.’

Key clients

A.C. Lloyd Holdings Limited

Henry Davidson Developments Limited

Persimmon Homes Limited

Owl Homes Limited

Lifestory Group

Godwin Developments Limited

Euro Property Investments Limited

W Wing Yip

LNT Care Developments

Court Collaboration

Work highlights

  • 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, a care home and other small uses.
  • Acting for the Lifestory Group developer, Anthology, on the bespoke refinancing of two high quality residential schemes in Wembley and Deptford. The deal refinances 150 apartments that remain for sale at Anthology’s 195-home Wembley Parade and its 316-home Deptford Foundry developments.
  • Acting for Persimmon Homes on the conditional acquisition of phase 1 of a strategic land site at Caverswall Lane, Stoke and on the collaboration agreement to ensure that the joint development of the wider site continues without delay.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s residential development practice is headed by Neil Gosling, a specialist in respect of large-scale housing, regeneration and new town projects; his team counts a number of leading house builders among its client list and also frequently acts on high-rise PRS, student accommodation and care home developments. Adrian Bland leads on the commercial projects front, overseeing a team active on industrial, distribution, office, retail and leisure-led schemes. The group is also relied upon for corporate occupier and commercial investment work and includes Andrew Mellor, a specialist in pre-letting, joint venture and forward funding agreements.

Practice head(s):

Neil Gosling; Alex Smith

Other key lawyers:

Joanna Deffley; James Gooch; Adrian Bland; Andrew Mellor

Testimonials

‘It is important that we have a quick, honest and understandable service, Shakespeare Martineau LLP certainly provide this. They make the legal process comfortable and explain each and every step of the process clearly.’

‘Joanna Deffley has been a vital member of the team, she provides a consistent and open approach, she is always on hand to talk. It is always a pleasure working with Joanna.’

‘They have essentially become an extension to our internal team. They fully understand our business drivers and think extremely commercially, and negotiate with their peers in a positive, non confrontational style.’

‘They have recently introduced a real-time tracker to show the progress on all the current ongoing work items which my staff can access and update at any time.’

‘All of the team are accessible, responsive and fully in tune with our business objectives. All are well respected both by our own staff and also by our ultimate customers.’

‘A multi-disciplinary practice of lawyers well established in the Midlands market.’

James Gooch is a bright and detailed property lawyer.’

Key clients

Barratt Homes Eastern Counties

Barratt Homes Northampton

Barratt Homes West Midlands

Barratt Homes – East Midlands

Barratt Homes – Cambridgeshire

David Wilson South Midlands

Deeside Regeneration Limited

Farmfoods

Gallagher Developments

Hillwood Group

Jessup Construction

Kendrick Homes

L&Q Estates

Opus Land

Partner Construction Limited

Trebor Developments LLP

Vision Express

Real Estate Investor Plc

Work highlights

  • Acting for $2bn US property developer Hillwood, on the acquisition, construction and letting to DHL of logistics facility with subsequent investment sale
  • Acting for prominent West Midlands developer Opus Land in the simultaneous 15 year letting and investment sale of new build 121,000 sq ft industrial facility for £18m, completed in four weeks from instruction.
  • Advised Jessup on the redevelopment of the iconic 19th-century city centre Royal Hospital in Wolverhampton. Acted on the acquisition, planning development and disposal, securing the long-term use of an historic building and providing circa 200 new homes.

Squire Patton Boggs

The team at Squire Patton Boggs handles complex regeneration projects, calling upon its reputed infrastructure and environmental expertise to serve as a one-stop shop. The practice is also active in the field of corporate real estate where department head Nick Green handles investment and portfolio matters in the hotel, hospitality, retail and healthcare sectors. Other prominent figures include Neil Taylor who represents commercial developers, plc housebuilders and regeneration specialists, along with Kevin Nagle who is primarily active in the residential development sector, acting for house builders on significant national housing project.

Practice head(s):

Nick Green

Other key lawyers:

Neil Taylor; Kevin Nagle

Testimonials

‘Good interaction between the property and tax teams.’

‘Good communication and efficency.’

‘As a global company, we have worked with many different firms. We have been so happy with Nick Green and his Squires team that we now use them for all of our UK and Europe expansion projects; allowing Nick to then select and manage local counsel on our behalf.’

‘Nick Green and his team are exceptional.’

Key clients

MBS Hackman

Volvo Cars UK Limited

Molson Coors Brewing Company UK Limited

Dalata Hotel Group

Signet Group

Taylor Wimpey UK Limited

St Francis Group

Claire’s Accessories (UK) Limited

Rexel UK Limited

Octopus Healthcare Development Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Hackman Capital Partners/MBS Studios on a nationally important transaction building a new film studio regenerating Dagenham and beyond.
  • Advised Birmingham Chambers of Commerce and Industry on a regionally important deal securing its long term future.
  • Advised Dalata Hotel Group PLC on a strategic hotel development.

Capsticks LLP

Clients praise Capsticks LLP for its ‘unrivalled concentration of knowledge and experience in healthcare'; the team has a distinguished level of focus within the sector and frequently acts upon hospital developments, portfolio management, disposals, acquisitions and of late, Covid-19-related leasing and licence matters for testing centres. Henry Matveieff co-heads the team which is also extremely active in the social care and emergency services sectors.

Practice head(s):

Sam Hopkins; Henry Matveieff

Testimonials

‘They have a multi-skilled team specialising in the NHS and covering all real estate areas well. This is why we have used them regularly for many years. ’

‘All of the team are always helpful and able to either advise quickly or provide a colleague who can on any subject.’

‘I firmly believe that collectively, the real estate team at Capsticks offers an unrivalled concentration of knowledge and experience in the healthcare sector.’

‘I am assured by the sense that individuals within the real estate team, whilst being strongly client focused, also provide mutual support to one another and achieve a valuable work/life balance, such that this combination of attributes instils genuine confidence from a client perspective. ’

‘All members of the team are approachable and knowledgeable.’

‘Capsticks provide fast commercial sound advise and have good knowledge of the workings of the NHS. This helps to ensure the options provided are pragmatic. ’

‘The solicitors which I work with have a good understanding of the complexity of the legal issues within the NHS.’

Key clients

NHS England

Methodist Church of Great Britain

Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital NHS Trust

GenesisCare

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust

Department for health & Social Care

Gloucester Health & Care NHS Foundation Trust

Midland Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group

Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust

Kettering General Hospital NHS Trust

Invicta Health CIC

Pride Pharmacy Limited

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Foundation Trust

Your Healthcare CIC

Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Trust

Work highlights

  • Advising NHS England in relation to the funding structure, proposed terms and suite of funder documentation in relation to the utilisation of the £1bn NHS Estates and Technology Transformation Fund, including the development of circa 30 new health centres.
  • Advising the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust in relation the development of two new multi-storey car parks on two of its key city centre hospital sites and the outsourcing of its car parking operations across about various hospital and health centre sites to a large multi-national car parking operator.
  • Advising the Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust on the redevelopment of part of the hospital to create a new main entrance with extensive new retail units within it.

Clarke Willmott LLP

Clarke Willmott LLP has a notable focus on retail development projects in which it supports at every stage of relevant schemes; the other key pillar of the practice is its secured lending work handled on behalf of high street lenders, which sees it engaged on complex, high-value commercial property finance and re-financing transactions. Jonathan Morton also frequently acts for borrowers on portfolio secured lending while Iain Harrison is thoroughly experienced in mixed-use regeneration projects; the pair lead the team together with Fiona Rendell, a landlord and tenant and portfolio management specialist.

Practice head(s):

Iain Harrison; Fiona Rendell; Jonathan Morton

Other key lawyers:

Rabinder Chaggar; Alex Walsh

Testimonials

‘The team is big enough to provide all manner of services we require but small enough to care. Always super responsive.’

Fiona Rendell responds in an incredibly timely manner and is personable and friendly whilst also being great at her professional work. She has provided excellent commercial advice.’

‘Clarke Willmott have a great team of property specialists that deal with the technical complexities allowing me to get on and run my business.’

Key clients

Lidl Great Britain Limited

Lloyds Bank plc

Allegra Care

Beechdean Homes Limited

Mereway Kitchens Limited

Trevonny Investments Limited

Rediweld Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Lidl Great Britain Limited on a complicated mixed-use development with Montreaux in North London, involving a Lidl store at ground level, with residential above.
  • Providing general portfolio management advice to the West Midlands Police Authority, including first registrations of various unregistered historic titles to police properties.

Roythornes Solicitors

Roythornes Solicitors is principally focused on development projects, acting on land purchase, development agreements, warranty and JCT build contracts, among others. Bhavesh Amlani leads the firm’s national real estate practice from Birmingham; his team is particularly knowledgeable of the residential sector and is also engaged from acquisition, disposal and landlord and tenant matters in addition to property-related tax and disputes affairs.

Practice head(s):

Bhavesh Amlani

Other key lawyers:

Emily Danson; Benjamin Smith; Bukola Obadun-Craigs

Testimonials

‘An excellent property team with deal experience and background to cater to all complexities of property transactions.’

‘Bhavesh Amlani and Emily Danson have immense resilience to high volume workload with an impressive ability to quickly tune in and focus on the core issues complimented with commercial awareness and an ability to find simple acceptable solutions to complex problems. I have been consistently reassured by their ownership of the deal process and delivery in agreed cost and time.’

Key clients

Kier Group

Owl Homes

Piper Homes

Macc Group

Gilbert and Goode

Work highlights

  • Advising Macc Care Group on its share purchase acquisition from Octopus Healthcare Development Limited to secure the care home site acquisition in Blythe Valley Park, Solihull with planning for an 80 bed care home.
  • Advising Kier Living Limited on completion of the first phase of the multi-phase development at  Hardingstone, Northampton.
  • Advising Macc on its acquisition of a former Morrisons supermarket site in Shirley, Solihull on a pre planning basis for a future multi-generational development to comprise apartments and a care home.

The Wilkes Partnership

The Wilkes Partnership caters to a client roster of both local and national clients. The 'extremely pragmatic and commercial' Tim Coplestone and Mark Hodgson are the key contacts in Birmingham; the former hones his focus on development, refinancing and restructuring, investment, portfolio and site assembly matters while the latter is a specialist in property matters within the leisure, motor trade and retail fields, predominantly catering to a client base of OMBs.

Practice head(s):

Tim Coplestone; Mark Hodgson; Andrew Watts

Testimonials

‘They are a good fit with our business and its requirements.’

‘Tim Copplestone is always ready to assist – he is extremely pragmatic and commercial in his approach to real estate matters.’

‘A full service practice with good access to partners without the big firm price tag.’

‘Mark Hodgson provides practical advice and seeks to find a way to get things done. A regular “phone a friend” when additional help is required.’

‘Easy to contact and always return calls and emails. They make you feel wanted and important to them.’

‘Tim Coplestone is a people person who is easy to communicate with and understand. He also assists in planning future courses of action to achieve a required programme. He has built an excellent support team around him.’

‘Mark Hodgson is always approachable, provides cost effective solutions and protects your position in negotiations.’

‘Experienced solicitors who are always willing to provide a commercial view on potential risks arising from a transaction, rating the risk and providing practical solutions.’

Key clients

Wesleyan Bank

Rigby Group Plc

Cambridge & Counties Bank Limited

Handelsbanken

Wesleyan Assurance Society

Gallan Developments

Avon Capital Estates

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Avon Homes in connection with a six plot development in Coventry with plot prices circa £175,000.
  • Acted in a complicated secured lending transaction over a specific phase of a large regional retail park. The case involved advising the client, a high street bank, on an unusual ownership structure and resolving security concerns/issues and providing innovative solution in conjunction with borrower’s solicitor.
  • Advised a major insurance company on the purchase of a major HQ office building and grounds at a price of £15m as part of the investment portfolio of a major insurance institution.