Firms To Watch: Commercial property: elsewhere in the West Midlands

Helmed by the Leamington Spa-based James Polo-Richards, JG Poole & Co. LLP acts for a number of further education institutions and property managers on various big-ticket residential and commercial development projects.

Commercial property: elsewhere in the West Midlands in West Midlands

Lodders Solicitors LLP

Spearheaded by a number of dedicated sector specialists, Lodders Solicitors LLP‘s real estate practice is highly rated for its far-reaching capabilities, helming a number of nationally-significant land and residential development projects.  Mark Miller and James Mottram jointly steer the team’s efforts in this space, acting for landowners, investors, and end users active in a multitude of industries. Paul Mourton helms the commercial development and property investment desk, with recent engagements including hybrid planning promotion and option agreements for mixed-use ventures. Victoria Longmore, who heads up the planning and highways team, regularly negotiates sensitive infrastructure agreements on large settlements, while town and country homes lead Caroline Nemecek specialises in high-value residential transactions. Senior associate Daniel MacLeod is recommended for his capabilities acting for multi-party landowner consortia on large-scale development projects.  All named lawyers are based in Stratford-upon-Avon unless noted otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Mark Miller; James Mottram; Caroline Nemecek

Other key lawyers:

Paul Mourton; Daniel Macleod

Key clients

Tustain family

Waterside Medical Centre

High Cross Farms Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised a landowner on a significant sale of land with the benefit of planning permission for 1,100 dwellings and associated infrastructure to Spitfire Homes and Crest Nicholson.
  • Advised Waterside Medical Centre on their expansion plans for the creation of new patient, clinical and training facilities in Leamington Spa.
  • Continue to act for key clients Spitfire Homes and Cameron Homes on a number of development land acquisitions and strategic land agreements.

Higgs LLP

Higgs LLP works with a diverse roster of owner-managed businesses and PLCs throughout the Black Country on the full gamut of commercial development matters. Cherry Elliott is especially regarded as an advisor to end users on major new builds and refurbishment transactions. Sara Shepherd advises corporate owner occupiers and property investors on a national scale, and possesses particular experience in transactions involving industrial estates, care homes, and medical practices. Promoted to partner in December 2021, Jen Hicks-Jones leads the commercial property sub-team, regularly helming matters in the industrial, retail, and childcare sectors. Rachael Hobbis spearheads the firm’s construction desk, with recent engagements including multi-million pound regeneration schemes and contractor claims. All named lawyers are based in Brierley Hill.

Practice head(s):

Cherry Elliott

Other key lawyers:

Jen Hicks-Jones; Rachael Hobbis

Testimonials

‘Fantastic, and couldn’t have been more helpful.’

‘The team at Higgs are very relatable and friendly. Everyone I have dealt with at Higgs are extremely respectful, engaging and provide a very high level of service.’

Key clients

The Old Station Nursery Limited / La Maison Bleue

London & Cambridge Properties

ETAC Limited

Sheet Anchor Group

Urban Splash Group

Inland Homes

Ark 29 Limited

Richborough Estates (PC) Limited

A F Blakemore & Sons

Miric Engineering (Holdings) Limited

Clear Score Technology Limited

Giffords Property Limited

Hovi Developments Limited

City Estates (Midlands) Limited

Royal Bank of Scotland plc

Weleda (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised The Old Station Nursery Limited on six further share acquisitions across England, comprising 23 leasehold properties.
  • Advised ETAC Limited in relation to acquisition of new build shell specification premises for relocation of its Midlands HQ.
  • Acting for Richborough Estates (PC) Limited, as promoter, on a Planning, Promotion and Marketing Agreement, entered into with a consortium of landowners, for the purpose of the residential development of 26 acres of land at Strawmoor Lane, Codsall.

MFG Solicitors LLP

Working across multiple offices throughout the West Midlands, MFG Solicitors LLP is noted for its active and diverse commercial property practice. Department head Clare Regan, who divides her time between Worcester and Birmingham, specialises in renewable energy sector projects, advising both landowners and developers on leases, promotion agreements, and site assembly matters. Beth Margetson regularly works on investment and development strategy issues for major landowners in the Birmingham area, while Brian Flint handles both industrial and retail sector transactions. Telford-based David Raymont is especially experienced in Shropshire-based commercial property matters. In Kidderminster, newly promoted partner Rhiannon Clark heads up the residential development team, while Ben Rothery specialises in asset management support and property securitisation. All named lawyers are based in Birmingham unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Clare Regan

Other key lawyers:

Beth Margeston; Brian Flint; David Raymont; Rhiannon Clark; Ben Rothery

Testimonials

‘Beth Margetson was very commercially aware, efficient, always available and delivered our project on time and within budget.’

‘MFG have a strong team, with specialist advice quickly available.’

‘Clare Regan is thorough on detail, but also sees the bigger picture.’

 

Key clients

Farefield Estates Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Farefield Estates and Handelsbanken in relation to property disposal strategy and portfolio management in connection with company reorganisation.

Wright Hassall LLP

Widely praised for its ‘responsive, knowledgeable and commercially-considered‘ approach, Wright Hassall LLP’s comprehensive expertise makes it a strong choice for a range of leading investors and developers in the West Midlands and beyond. Development and securitisation head Claire Waring advises on the full spectrum of land development projects, working with private developers, house builders, and registered providers on big-ticket residential projects. David Slade, who helms the investment property desk, acts for institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals on a variety of commercial transactions. Andrew Jones focuses chiefly on the industrial, logistics, retail and leisure sectors, while Emma Adams concentrates on strategic site acquisitions and development agreements. All named lawyers are based in Leamington Spa.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Jones; Claire Waring

Other key lawyers:

David Slade; Andrew Jones; Emma Adams

Testimonials

‘Responsive, knowledgeable and commercially-considered advice.’

‘Good listeners, able to take fully on board the various moving parts to any particular problem and then come up with sensible, pragmatic and well-reasoned advice.’

‘Having worked in the construction and property sectors for over 40 years Wright Hassall is one of the best practices I have worked with. At all times they have kept our best interests at heart in a totally balanced manner.’

‘The willingness of Claire Waring and David Jones to help me with a complex property sale and acquisition was outstanding.’

‘Wright Hassall handle all our commercial property legal requirements. They are quick, friendly and professional.’

‘I have worked with Andrew Jones on numerous transactions, both professionally and personally, for almost twenty years. Andrew is extremely knowledgable on all Landlord & Tenant related matters – the nuances of which are critical to get right – and also commercial property in general. Andrew is my first port of call for any property advice and if there is a situation where it is outside his area of expertise I am always referred to a suitable and equally knowledgeable colleague.’

Key clients

Rosconn Strategic Land Limited

Deeley Group Limited

AC Lloyd Commercial

JBRT Developments Limited

Piper Homes

Coventry City of Culture

Keller plc

Mersey Reactive Power Limited (PeakGen)

Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of PeakGen, a specialist in generation, transmission and distribution energy networks, which took a lease to supply power services to National Grid’s system in the Mersey region.
  • Acted for AC Lloyd which sold the freehold for Hyperion House, a 20,180 sq ft building formerly occupied by Towergate Insurance, on Tachbrook Park, to L&Q Estates, a large strategic land developer.

Ansons

The ‘extremely knowledgable’ team at Ansons handles a sweep of commercial real estate projects for clients operating across the region, including high-value residential developments, agricultural land transactions, and secured lending matters. Practice head Richard Saum works with various corporate occupiers on landlord and tenant transactions, as well as various land acquisitions and disposals. Legal director Neil Faunch possesses key expertise in HS2 and CPO matters, working with a varied roster of regional property investment companies, high net-worth families, and local authorities. Senior associate Jon Rowley, who works between Sutton Coldfield and Cannock, is widely praised for his expertise in residential development matters. All named lawyers are based in Lichfield unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Richard Saum

Other key lawyers:

Neil Faunch; Jonathan Rowley

Testimonials

‘The team at Ansons have a strong cross-specialism cooperation within the firm, so coordinated and consistent advice and support is provided at all levels.’

‘Ansons are extremely knowledgeable and have expertise in all areas, but what sets them apart is their willingness to engage with clients.’

‘Jon Rowley is a stand-out individual and the company are extremely fortunate to have such an individual in their mist, he is certainly one to watch for the future. He is professional, yet personable and offers council and advice effectively and efficiently, drawing on his team as required. He has taken the time to gain great knowledge of our industry which makes legal processes easier and effective.’

‘Jon Rowley provides us with an exceptional service: professional, well-informed and very fair.’

‘Jon Rowley is a stand-out individual and the company are extremely fortunate to have such an individual in their midst.’

‘The entire team is friendly and professional.’

‘Excellent service provided on time and on budget.’

Key clients

Sandyford Properties Limited

IP Developments Limited

Portal Construction NW Limited / Andrews Property

Boningale Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisting Boningale Homes Limitedwith the set-up and sale of a three phased development comprising 120+ residential plots with a gross development value of circa £30m.

Band Hatton Button LLP

Fielding an ‘extremely efficient and knowledgeable‘ team of seasoned specialists, Band Hatton Button LLP is capable in a wide range of commercial and residential property matters. Chaired by Daniel Blood, the team is regularly engaged on portfolio acquisitions, lease renewals, and complex advisory issues related to major infrastructure projects.Dina Parmar is recommended for her expertise in property finance and healthcare property transactions. Senior associate Cormac Glynn works with clients across the West Midlands on development projects and financings. All named lawyers are based in Coventry

Practice head(s):

Daniel Blood

Other key lawyers:

Dina Parmar; Philip Costigan; Cormac Glynn

Testimonials

‘Great ability to react very comprehensively to time demanding requests.’

‘Extremely efficient and knowledgeable. Quick identification of road blocks and suitable resolutions. Supportive approach.’

 

Key clients

Heart of England Co-Operative Society Limited

McLean Restaurants Limited

Talk Talk Mobile Phones Limited

Godiva Awakes Trust

Kathleen and Colleen Pithie and Godiva Carpets Limited

Purewal Commercial Estates Limited

Marston Green Development Company Limited

Life Church (Europe)

Postlethwaite

Deeley Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Providing assistance to Heart of England Co-Operative Society Limited in its continued expansion of its retail and property portfolio.
  • Assisting McLean Restaurants Limited, the largest female UK McDonalds franchisee, with her continued expansion of her franchisee restaurants.
  • Advising Talk Talk Mobile Phones Limited on renewal leases and lease rent deferrals incurred by Covid-19.

George Green LLP

Noted for its prominent position in manufacturing and heavy industry sector work, George Green LLP is a strong choice for a myriad of regional and national commercial clients. Newly promoted partner and ‘exceptional‘ practice chair, Emma Fawkes-Underwood, handles a broad spectrum of work, with recent engagements including various acquisitions and divestitures for real estate investment funds. ‘Incredibly hard-working and consistently excellent‘, Alex-Jayne Lowe is a prolific advisor to many of the firm’s key clients across a number of sectors, most notably in manufacturing and technology. Paul Woodman is recommended for his considerable experience in development work, sales and purchases, and portfolio consultation matters. Kevin Styles  has now retired. All named lawyers are based in Cradley Heath.

Practice head(s):

Emma Fawkes-Underwood

Other key lawyers:

Alex-Jayne Lowe; Paul Woodman

Testimonials

‘The firm’s level of service has been exceptional. They are highly knowledgeable when it comes to the commercial legalities. Having dealt with a wide range of queries and requests, they have not failed to deliver at a competitive value.’

‘Emma Fawkes-Underwood has worked with us on a number of acquisitions and has not failed to deliver an exceptional service. Her knowledge, communication and work ethic has been second to none, and we look forward to working with her again.’

‘Alex-Jayne Lowe has been fantastic to work with from the first phone call we had.’

‘George Green felt like a boutique firm who had teams that knew how to deliver client satisfaction. Their fees are extremely competitive and they deliver a first class service. They always discussed the billing to date, keeping me informed of the fees at regular intervals. Every member of the firm I dealt with showed that they really cared about outcomes for us as a client.’ 

‘Emma Fawkes-Underwood is extremely engaging, helpful and completely on the ball at all times.’ 

‘Alex-Jayne Lowe is incredibly hard-working and consistently excellent.’

Key clients

Scrivens Limited

Telent Technology Services Limited and Telent Limited

Eriks Industrial Services

Ortus Secured Finance I Limited and OSF (UK) I Limited

The Floral Company UK Limited

W Brindley (Garages) Limited

ThyssenKrupp UK Plc and ThyssenKrupp Materials (UK) Limited

St Philips Care

CapitalRise Finance Limited

Central Pharma Contract Packing Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised a leading precision tube manufacturer in relation to the £7.5m acquisition of a key industrial, steel sector site in the Black Country.
  • Advised Telent Technology Services Limited in connection with the disposal of its former warehouse facility in Warwickshire for an undisclosed figure in excess of £3m.
  • Advised CapitalRise Finance on the provision of a £6.4m bridging loan facility to fund the acquisition of a property near Hyde Park Corner.

Lanyon Bowdler

Leveraging a sizeable team with a broad footprint across the West Midlands, Lanyon Bowdler is ideally positioned to advise a diverse roster of clients on the full scope of real estate matters. Telford-based Praveen Chaudhari spearheads both the commercial and agricultural property teams, working with landlords, tenants and developers operating across the retail, industrial, and agricultural sectors. Shrewsbury-based senior partner Andrew Evans  is a seasoned development specialist best known for his work in the agricultural and renewable energy sectors. Conwy office head Edward Nutting divides his time between the firm’s North Wales practice and its office in Oswestry, fielding instructions from various landed estates, and leisure sector operators. Also in Oswestry, associate Tania McGee specialises in the sale and purchase of agricultural sites.

Practice head(s):

Praveen Chaudhari

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Evans; Edward Nutting; Tania McGee

Testimonials

‘Very competent, giving confidence to clients and keeping clients well-informed.’

‘The breadth and depth of knowledge, particularly in regards to commercial residential development, is exceptional.’

Key clients

Coverage Care Services Limited

Shingler Homes Limited

Boys & Boden Limited

The head of a family who are members of The Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain.

On Course Solutions Ltd

Mr Darren Barker and Ms Laura Barker

Steven Jones

K J Shropshire

Herefordshire Mind

Peartree Bridge Homes Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising Bowing Developments Limited on various acquisitions and sales of sites over the past 12 months, with values circa £4.5m
  • Advising Shingler Homes Limited on a £4m development deal.
  • Advising Coverage Care Services Limited on the £2.75m purchase of freehold nursing home.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s sizeable real estate practice is well-versed in all manner of property investment and development matters, and is noted for its burgeoning expertise in Islamic finance-driven transactions. Regional head Joanna Deffley works between the firm’s Birmingham, Stratford, and Solihull offices, handling major residential developments and strategic land acquisitions. In Stratford-upon-Avon, Caroline Irvine ‘s diverse expertise sees her working with landlords and tenants on leases and commercial property transactions, while legal director Fiona Martin is noted for her expertise in private landowner-driven matters. Kevin Joynes focuses chiefly on residential development work. All named lawyers are based in Solihull unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Joanna Deffley

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Irvine; Fiona Martin; Kevin Joynes

Testimonials

‘The approach taken by both partners and associates to deliver a complete service tailored to our (sometimes challenging) way of working is excellent. They feel part of the same company which makes for a great working relationship.’

‘Caroline Irvine in particular has been just great, and I would recommend the firm to anyone.’

‘Joanna Deffley is always fully transparent when any issues arise, and explains positives and negatives around any difficult clauses.’

 

 

Key clients

Wiltshire College & University

Bishops Itchington Parish Council

DKS55 Limited

Persona Property Limited

Fuelsoft Limited

Manmeet Singh

Christopher Heard

Douglas Thrower

Open Hands Trust (Leicester)

James Scott

National Grid

Wales & West Utilities

Anglian Water

Mongoose Limited

Minton Group

Hellman Worldwide Logistics

Werner UK Sales & Distribution

Cox and Jenks Families

Richborough Estates

Work highlights

  • Acting for L&Q Estates on delivery of its scheme at Whitehouse, Milton Keynes.
  • Acted for Spitfire Homes and IM Properties Plc on Spitfire’s acquisition of a 50 hectare mixed-use development site at Daventry.
  • Acting for Keon Homes on the acquisition of a development site at Great Barr, Birmingham – conditional on planning.

Hawkins Hatton Corporate Lawyers Limited

Based in Dudley, Hawkins Hatton Corporate Lawyers Limited is widely praised by clients for its ‘exceptional’ service in a litany of multi-million pound transactions. The practice is chaired by Colin Rodrigues, a prolific advisor to corporate clients and mainstream lenders alike, whose recent highlights include residential portfolio sales and large-scale refinancings for corporate occupiers. Harminder Sandhu is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Colin Rodrigues

Other key lawyers:

Harminder Sandhu

Testimonials

‘They offer a great deal of support to clients through the legal process, keeping them fully informed. They operate a fixed fee arrangement where possible which clients really appreciate.’

‘Very interactive, and responds immediately to all queries. Very thorough.’

‘This was my first commercial purchase, the team were very supportive and knowledgeable and made the whole process comfortable. I would have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone.’

‘Whilst Hawkins Hatton are corporate lawyers, their services are personalised to each client, unlike traditional corporate lawyers. The depth and experience of their partners is rich and varied, and they have a good rapport and giving you the confidence you seek when dealing with legal matters. We have no hesitation in recommending them to any of our clients.’

‘Not only are their fees extremely competitive, but their service is also exceptional.’

‘The friendly and dynamic staff have been polite and professional. My recent dealings with Andrew Cox, Colin Rodrigues and Harminder Sandhu have been a pleasure.’

‘Harminder Sandhu and Colin Rodrigues have both worked with us for years on many projects. I respect their judgement and professionalism.’

‘We have used the team to sell a £15m HMO portfolio. The efficiency, accuracy and personal care is world-class.’

 

Key clients

IDS Transport (UK) Limited

Arca Living Limited

MSA Global Holdings Limited

New Century Global Limited

IBC Healthcare Limited

Dovecote Care Limited

Multi Stroke Limited

Medico Healthpro Limited

Mitre Oak Limited

Siren Property Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for the shareholders of New Century Global Limited in respect of the sale of their shares for £15.1m. New Century owns a portfolio of over 30 residential properties.
  • Acting on behalf of Arca Living Limited in the acquisition of a new build 50,000 sq ft warehouse in the Midlands for circa £7m.
  • Acted for MSA Global Holdings Limited in the refinancing of 16 freehold and leasehold properties for the sum of £9m.

Pickerings Solicitors

Pickerings Solicitors' far-reaching real estate capabilities encompass retail leases, residential purchases, and various commercial development and funding matters. Sue Albini works with property developers on large residential ventures and infrastructure projects, as well as commercial landlord and tenant matters opposite major retailers. Kate Pearce’s landowner and developer practice is complemented by her deep knowledge of the agricultural property sector, a forte which sees her handle a significant volume of landlord and tenant work for a varied roster of clients. Associate Pooja Cheema is rated by clients for her broad capabilities, including overage provision negotiations and adverse possession claims. All named lawyers are based in Tamworth.

Practice head(s):

Sue Albini

Other key lawyers:

Kate Pearce; Pooja Cheema

Testimonials

‘A sound knowledge of the law relevant to your own requirements. Attention to detail coupled with a prompt and efficient service.’

‘Pickerings competes phenomenally well with the City firms, and we get an exceptional service for a much better price.’

‘We get a fantastic service from the commercial property team at Pickerings. No matter how busy they are, there will always be a member of the team there to help.’

‘Kate Pearce is unbelievably thorough, a terrific lawyer who will never let you down. She knows her clients inside out and is always willing to provide the service and go the extra mile. We’re in very safe hands with Kate.’

‘Pooja Cheema is very competent and dedicated.’

‘Sue Albini has been helping our business for almost 20 years. She has an unparalleled legal mind. A superb lawyer.’

‘Good spread of knowledge from the team and prompt assistance when needed.’

‘Kate Pearce is a consummate professional: approachable and expert in her field.’

Work highlights

    Thursfields Solicitors

    Thursfields Solicitors is noted for its sector-focused approach, fielding a team of dedicated specialists with wide-ranging commercial property expertise. The practice is led from Worcester by strategic land sector head Tony Gibb, a prolific advisor to landowners and promoters on various commercial and infrastructure-intensive schemes. In Solihull, retail and leisure sector head Robert Pettigrew handles a number of transactions for a diverse roster of clients, ranging from galleries to restaurants. Halesowen-based Stewart Coles is regularly instructed by pension funds and healthcare operators on commercial premises transactions. Worcester-based senior associate Emma Hughes is a key contact for a number of SIPPs, charities, and community trusts.

    Practice head(s):

    Tony Gibb

    Other key lawyers:

    Robert Pettigrew; Stewart Coles; Emma Hughes

    Testimonials

    ‘We have found every member of the team at Thursfields to be responsive, practical and personable. They have made every effort required to understand our business and what we need.’

    ‘Robert Pettigrew has become a key part of our delivery team and has made a major contribution to our expansion over the last 12 months, during which time we have opened a further 10 galleries.’

    ‘Robert Pettigrew is a true leader: personable and resilient.’

    Key clients

    De Montford Fine Art Ltd

    Volume.Property Group

    Lucarelli Restaurant Group / Emporio Artari ( Touchwood ) Ltd

    Cleeve Prior

    KJD

    Clerkenleap Property Developments Limited

    Yakinori Restaurants

    Work highlights

    • Advised De Montford Fine Art on 10 new gallery lettings (incorporating pre-let development agreements), including new tenancies at widely anticipated leading UK shopping centres, Battersea Power Station and London Westfield.
    • Advised Clerkenleap Property Developments Limited on a complex conditional sale contract for a proposed multi-million-pound development, set to include a minimum of 79 residential dwellings.