Firms To Watch: Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire

Gowling WLG opened a Leeds office in late 2022 with the hire of a well-regarded housing development and regeneration team from Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP including Julia Dacre Field and of counsel Mark Owen.

Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire in Yorkshire And The Humber

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard fields a ‘capable team across all levels of seniority’ and ‘offers the full spectrum of services’, with notable expertise in student accommodation and senior living mandates, as well as infrastructure projects and regeneration schemes. Nancy McGuire oversees the team with the support of Anna Heaton, who has experience in real estate joint ventures. Ian Smith acts for local authorities and handles acquisitions, development projects and disposals, while Bruce Lightbody advises on retail sector matters and Lucy Sturrock focuses on hotel and leisure property work. Other key members of the team include Andrew Williamson and Peter Mason, who focus on commercial, residential and mixed-use development and regeneration projects.

Practice head(s):

Nancy McGuire; Anna Heaton

Other key lawyers:

Ian Smith; Bruce Lightbody; Lucy Sturrock; Andrew Williamson; Peter Mason; Joe Maitland


‘The team manages to rise to every challenge I have thrown at them, no matter how tight the timescales have been and have always delivered an excellent service with which we have been entirely satisfied.’

‘Anna Heaton is one of the brightest, most diligent lawyers I have worked with, yet she retains a commercial sense that enables deals to be done.’

‘The AG property team is very experienced and offers the full spectrum of services. It is considered in its approach and always provides well thought solutions to any legal problems.’

‘Joe Maitland is very user friendly, always reliable and excellent in his advice, his drafting and non-confrontational manner with the opposite side. Joe drives deals through and can always be relied upon to best protect your position at every juncture, whilst remaining commercial in his approach.’

‘They are a very capable team across all levels of seniority. They have attention to detail, resilience and act in a professional manner with both clients and counterparts alike.’

‘Peter Mason is a consummate professional, who takes a big picture view of all issues to ensure that we can make demonstrable progress, rather than getting stuck in the weeds.’

‘Very good legal knowledge and are able to provide clear and commercially-focused advice in a timely manner.’

‘Good collaboration across the team members and with the rest of the project team.’

Key clients

Argo Real Estate Limited

CBRE Investment Management

West Midlands Combined Authority

Hull Eco Park Limited (joint venture between Vital Energi, Sewell Group, Chiltern Group and MS3 Networks)

Vita Group

Aviva Investors

Primark Stores Limited

Caddick Developments / Moda Living

British Land

Travelodge Hotels Ltd

Work highlights

    DLA Piper

    Noted for its capability in handling cross-border commercial property deals, DLA Piper’s client roster includes global corporate and household names such as NatWest Group, InterContinental Hotels Group and British Airways. Real estate litigator John Kittle leads the practice, while Andrew Clarke advises on a broad range of transactions, from acquisitions and new building developments to the disposal of assets and share sales. Tim Field acts for financial institutions, corporate occupiers, airlines and developers, as well as for life science and healthcare providers. Susan Samuel is noted for her expertise in the hospitality and leisure sectors, and Ruth Williamson advises on the acquisition and disposal of large property portfolios.

    Practice head(s):

    John Kittle

    Other key lawyers:

    Andrew Clarke; Tim Field; Susan Samuel; Ruth Williamson


    ‘The team handles international commercial property deals for us. They are very effective at finding the right lawyer in the right place around the world to handle these. They coordinate our requirements from Leeds which drives our costs down without compromising quality of work.’

    ‘Andrew Clarke is quick, efficient and very sharp. We have great confidence in the advice that he provides and the service of his team.’

    ‘The commercial property team we deal with in Leeds have our full confidence to be able to handle work, whatever the size, to the highest professional standards.’

    Key clients

    Redical Holdings AG

    Harrison Street Real Estate


    NatWest Group PLC


    GE Energy

    HSBC Bank Plc

    British Airways

    Merlin Entertainments

    Tate & Lyle

    Ramsay Healthcare



    Kentucky Fried Chicken

    Maria Mallaband Care Homes Group

    Hain Daniels



    Interpath Advisory

    Telereal Trillium

    Avison Young

    Pinsent Masons LLP

    Pinsent Masons LLP’s property development and investment practice offers ‘strength in depth‘ in handling top-tier transactions involving student accommodation, housing and regeneration schemes, as well as acting for institutional landlords, private equity investors, developers and operators in the later living and healthcare sectors. Richard Daffern, who leads the team alongside infrastructure planning expert Jonathan Riley, has been kept busy with investment work, while Victoria Goddard focuses on development structures and has notable expertise in the higher education sector. Other key members of the team include James Long, who specialises in health investment work, Andrew Quinlan and Stephen Glass.

    Practice head(s):

    Richard Daffern; Jonathan Riley

    Other key lawyers:

    Victoria Goddard; James Long; Andrew Quinlan; Stephen Glass


    ‘The team has strength in depth and provides a professional service.’

    ‘Richard Daffern provides reliable, sound advice with a practicality around complicated structured legal agreements. Always available to interpret the documents’.

    ‘Varied team to support clients on all aspects of project.’

    Key clients

    University of Leeds

    University of Huddersfield

    University of York

    Unipol Student Homes

    McCarthy & Stone

    AXA/ RVG

    Aedifica NV / SA



    Aston University

    Aviva Investors

    London & Associated Properties plc

    Aberdeen Standard

    Lowell Financial

    Saint Gobain

    Mint Velvet

    L & G Capital / IVG

    Royal London


    Homes and Communities Agency

    Frontier Developments


    St Modwen Properties plc

    Leeds City Council

    Grainger Plc

    Apache Capital Partners

    Henry Boot


    Mayfair Capital


    Kier Property

    Westminster City Council

    Wandsworth Council

    Durham County Council

    Lambeth Council

    Eco World Developments

    Moda Living


    Present Made

    Work highlights

    • Advised Latimer Developments on the acquisition of the former Yorkshire Chemicals site and advising on a residential, mixed-use development comprising of over 1000 dwellings.
    • Acting for Unipol on a redevelopment in Leeds, for a 604-bed student residences scheme, known as Carlton Hill.
    • Advising Lowell on taking 133,000 square feet of new build office space at Thorpe Park Leeds.

    Walker Morris LLP

    Praised for delivering a ‘first-class service’, Walker Morris LLP ‘provides excellent support on commercial property matters’ and is noted for its capability in real estate transactions and financing mandates. Austin Judson advises on commercial and mixed-use developments, as well as acting for property developers, investors and high-street banks on real estate portfolio work. The Leeds-based team, which is led by Jeremy Moore, also includes Will Cousins, who handles development projects, sales and purchases and refinancing transactions. George Bacon advises national retailers, developers and property investors on development mandates. Adam Reed and Judith Pike are also key members of the group.

    Practice head(s):

    Jeremy Moore

    Other key lawyers:

    Austin Judson; Will Cousins; George Bacon; Adam Reed; Judith Pike


    ‘The team always provides excellent support on commercial property matters in a very flexible way, tailored to commercial needs at any given time. They value relationships very highly and invest in these.’

    ‘George Bacon is calm under pressure, technically excellent and he understands the commercial aspects of our business. I see George as a colleague, not just as an adviser. He is very much a valued part of the in-house team.’

    ‘Personable team who really take the time to understand our business, forge relationships with stakeholders and deliver first-class service. We are always made to feel like we are their most important client even if, as I am sure, they are juggling scores of transactions for others at the same time.’

    ‘We have used Walker Morris now for approaching ten years and have never been let down,. They are all engaging people, top of their profession and provide excellent client service. We do regularly recommend them elsewhere which we believe to be testament to them.’

    Key clients

    Moda Living

    Unite Students

    Welltower, Inc

    Moda Living


    Peel Group

    Walker Family Trust

    Xian Developments Limited

    Peel Group


    Work highlights

    • Advised Moda Living on an extremely complicated development involving 750 units in central London with a gross development value of c.£600m.
    • Advised Unite Students on the acquisition of a development site in Paddington, London from Travis Perkins.
    • Advising Welltower, Inc, alongside Gibson Dunn, in relation to the provision of a £550m loan to HC-One Limited.


    Noted for its expertise in the residential development sector, Clarion’s ‘proactive and practical’ team is led by Martin Grange, who specialises in strategic land and development finance mandates. The Leeds-based practice counts national housebuilders such as Persimmon Homes and Avant Homes amongst its clients, and also acts for retailers, financial institutions and local authorities. Lindsay Texel advises on large portfolio acquisitions and disposals for retail-sector clients, while Ben Lamb leads the department’s real estate secured finance offering. Other key members of the team include Simon Mydlowski, who joined from Knights plc in September 2021, and senior legal director Alison Batty. Eve Gregory retired.

    Practice head(s):

    Martin Grange

    Other key lawyers:

    Lindsay Texel; Ben Lamb; Simon Mydlowski; Alison Batty


    ‘A great team, who are very proactive and practical.’

    ‘Martin Grange and Alison Batty have dealt with our work for over ten years and deliver excellent service and product. They are hands-on and know our business inside out.’

    ‘Clarion are a well respected, multidiscipline practice. I have found the advice and approach of the Clarion team to be consistently of a very high standard.’

    Key clients

    Name of Client

    Avant Homes Limited

    HSBC UK Bank plc

    The Ground Group Limited

    Frank Marshall Estates Limited

    Ilke Homes Limited

    Candelisa Limited

    Transwaste Limited

    Opus North

    Mott MacDonald

    Wolds Produce Limited

    N. Peal Limited

    Brook Taverner Limited

    Love Brownies Limited

    McCarthys Removals and Storage


    Persimmon Homes Ltd

    Leeds Beckett University

    Warburtons Limited

    Yorkshire Housing Limited

    Masons Gin Limited

    Close Brothers Limited

    Oaknorth Bank plc

    Arc Inspirations Limited

    Aldermore Bank Plc

    ATC Properties Limited

    HSN Care Limited

    Rougemont Limited

    Harron Homes Ltd

    Hill Giftware Ltd

    KMRE Group Ltd

    Strata Homes Ltd

    Hampshire Trust Bank plc

    Renewable Land Resources Limited

    Newby Investments Limited

    Illuminating Investments Limited

    Countryside Properties (UK) Limited

    Tolent Living Ltd

    Redefine Paragon Square (Hull) Limited (Hammonds of Hull)

    V & A Homes

    Tate Estates Limited

    The Wentworth Charity

    Newett Homes Limited

    Berkeley de Veer Limited

    Rusty Rabbit International Limited

    Emerald Property Developments (Yorkshire) Limited

    TFP Group Limited

    Tile Giant Limited

    The Mosaic Tile Company Limited

    Leeds and London Properties Limited

    The Piece Hall Trust

    Work highlights

    • Acted for Aldermore Bank plc on its largest lend of £46m.
    • Acted for a JV company between Opus Land and Rougemont Estates acquiring on a conditional contract basis a mixed use development site with a GDV of £45m.
    • Acting for clients in the energy and, more specifically, waste to energy sectors, including Enertecgreen, developing green electricity production across the UK.

    Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

    Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP acts for blue-chip institutions, pension funds and property companies in investment mandates, and has demonstrable expertise in the acquisition, disposal and management of shopping centres. Following the departure of George Bacon to Walker Morris LLP in July 2021, Simon Harris, who advises key clients such as Legal & General, Harworth Group and NewRiver Retail on development mandates, jointly leads the team alongside Steve Felstead, who specialises in investment, fund structuring and asset management work. Ian Barker focuses on development and regeneration projects, and Sue Buckworth recently retired.

    Practice head(s):

    Simon Harris; Steve Felstead

    Other key lawyers:

    Ian Barker

    Key clients

    Legal & General


    NewRiver REIT plc

    Harworth Group plc



    Land Sec

    UK Land



    Work highlights

      Squire Patton Boggs

      Practical and realistic advice is given in a timely manner’ by the team at Squire Patton Boggs, who handle development and investment work concerning student accommodations, and count high-street retailers, corporate occupiers and energy operators among its clients. Matthew Dalzell, who heads the Leeds and European real estate group, is noted for his expertise in the student accommodation, hospitality and private residential sectors, while David Chan focuses on regeneration and energy projects. Other key members of the team include ‘first-class’ partner Prew Lumley, who heads the national retail real estate practice, and Karen French, who is praised by clients.

      Practice head(s):

      Matthew Dalzell

      Other key lawyers:

      David Chan; Prew Lumley; Karen French; Abduss Patel


      ‘SPB has served our property needs very well over the last few years, assisting on all aspects of property transactions.’

      ‘Prew Lumley is first-class, super efficient and straight forward to deal with. Focused on getting deals done and not over-complicating things. Always responds in reasonable timeframe and also turns documents out very speedily too. Highly recommend!’

      ‘Practical and realistic advice is given in a timely manner.’

      Key clients

      Henry Boot Developments Limited

      Ainscough Strategic Land Limited

      Helix Property Limited

      Vistry Partnerships Yorkshire Limited

      Alliance Holdings (Beverley) Ltd

      Muse Developments Limited

      Pronovias UK Limited

      Sirdar Properties Limited

      Cummins Ltd

      The Brookfield Group

      Citu Group Trading Ltd

      Hallam Land Management Limited

      Muse Developments Limited

      Taylor Wimpey plc

      ZM Land and Capital Limited

      Royal Bank of Scotland/Natwest & Royal Bank of Scotland International

      Ryman Limited

      Burning Night Pub Group

      YUM! III (UK) Limited (KFC, Pizza Hut)

      Selfridges Retail Limited

      Charlotte Tilbury Cosmetics Ltd

      Joe Browns Ltd

      CKL Realisations limited (Cath Kidston)

      Scapa UK Limited

      Zenith Vehicle Contracts Ltd

      Gate Gourmet London Limited

      Princes Foods Ltd

      Selecta UK Limited

      Habasit (UK) Limited

      Reach plc

      Univar Limited

      TransUnion Information Group Limited

      Mercia Power Response Limited

      Western Power Distribution plc

      Electricity North West Limited

      Northern Powergrid (Northeast) Limited

      Scottish Power Manweb plc

      Work highlights

      • Acted for Henry Boot Developments on a £53.8m forward funding deal with Oxenwood Real Estate in connection with a 28 acre site in Nottingham that was part of the former Imperial Tobacco plant.
      • Advised regeneration business Vistry Partnerships Yorkshire Limited on securing a £22.5m contract to build 152 affordable homes on the former site of Leeds City College in Horsforth on behalf of social housing provider Stonewater.
      • Acting for Muse in the development of the mixed use leisure led Forge Island scheme at Rotherham, involving, cinema, hotel and restaurants.

      Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

      Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP’s ‘breadth of disciplines and wider resource pool provides a one stop shop’, offering clients demonstrable experience in regeneration projects and real estate transactions. Claire Wilkinson acts for clients in the retail, logistics and hotel and leisure sectors.

      Other key lawyers:

      Claire Wilkinson; David Cole


      ‘The team at WBD in Leeds are an excellent one. Their breadth of disciplines and wider resource pool provides a truly one stop shop for all property development and management needs.’

      ‘Claire Wilkinson is an enabler, her knowledge, commitment and ability to communicate inspires confidence when negotiating complex agreements. Claire responds in a timely manner.’

      ‘WBD provide a great level of service. Their advice is always thorough and clear with close attention to detail. Very friendly, personable and a pleasure to work with.’

      ‘Dave Cole is a very experienced and competent solicitor, with tremendous tenacity and attention to detail. His drive and will to succeed, including against tight deadlines and with challenging issues, is exceptional.’

      ‘Highly motivated and efficient. Clients have access to specialist disciplines when required.’

      Key clients

      Commercial Estates Group

      Barratt & David Wilson Homes

      Taylor Wimpey

      Vistry (formerly Linden)

      Leeds City Council


      Bellway Homes

      Town Centre Securities PLC

      Doncaster Borough Council

      Wykeland Group

      University of Law

      Ptarmigan Land Limited

      Beal Homes

      Strata Homes

      Marick Real Estate Limited



      Places for People (PFP)

      Yorkshire Land

      Persimmon Homes

      Harron Homes

      Jones Homes

      Woodsford Farms

      Highgrove Estates

      Obsidian Strategic Land

      This Land

      The Devonshire Group

      Kirklees MBC

      Q West Homes

      Highstone Homes

      Yorkshire Housing

      National Trust

      Work highlights

      • Acting for BDW Trading Limited as the buyer in the purchase of a flagship site at Burley in Wharfedale for the development of c.500 dwellings in a deal with a GDV of c.£183m.
      • Advised ITV Plc and their associated companies on all aspects of their property portfolio and requirements.
      • Instructed by Taylor Wimpey in relation to the proposed joint acquisition with Home Group of a brownfield site in Stockton on Tees from a company in administration, which will provide in excess of 845 dwellings.

      Bevan Brittan LLP

      The commercial property team at Bevan Brittan LLP advises private investors and local authorities on investment acquisitions, sales, refinancing and estate management mandates. Deborah Powell jointly leads the practice alongside Lyndon Campbell, who handles portfolio acquisitions of residential properties, while James Atkins focuses on health-related development projects. Richard Stirk and Julie Cowan-Clark act for registered providers and local authorities and are key contacts for social housing matters.

      Practice head(s):

      Deborah Powell; Lyndon Campbell

      Other key lawyers:

      James Atkins; Richard Stirk; Julie Cowan-Clark

      Key clients

      A Shade Greener Finance

      Park Lane Properties (Leeds) Limited

      NHS Property Services Limited

      Leeds City Council

      Worthing Borough Council

      Fernhill Property Holdings Limited

      Communication Workers Union

      Hornbeam Park Developments Limited


      Shred it Limited

      Work highlights

      • Advised Worthing Council on the acquisition of a key site, known as Teville Gate, in Worthing for future redevelopment.
      • Advised Leeds City Council on the purchase of a portfolio of 40 long residential leases, on a development in Leeds.
      • Advised University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust in relation to all aspects of the development of the “Outwoods Integrated Care Campus”,  a new development with a combined value of c.£50m.

      Blacks Solicitors LLP

      Noted for its expertise in the holiday and home park sector, Blacks Solicitors LLP’s capability in residential development projects has been bolstered by the arrival of Andrew Pedley, who joined the firm from Eaton Smith Solicitors in May 2021, where he previously led the commercial property team. Matthew Hutchinson provides a ‘quality service and is proactive in seeking to conclude transactions’ on behalf of lenders, landowners, property investment companies and residential developers. Nick Dyson leads the practice, as well as the firm’s specialist holiday and home parks team.

      Practice head(s):

      Nick Dyson

      Other key lawyers:

      Andrew Pedley; Matthew Hutchinson


      ‘Every member of the team works well together, and all have the same ethos and values, which means that which ever member is working on a matter for us, the same level of competence and efficiency can always be expected. There are no weak links.’

      ‘Matthew Hutchinson provides a high quality service and is proactive in seeking to conclude transactions.’

      ‘Blacks LLP are caravan sector experts and have steadily grown their expertise in the sector. They invest in educating themselves in the evolving world of holiday and home park sites.’

      ‘Matt Hutchinson from the commercial property team is approachable, available and good to deal with. He’s particularly good at brokering acceptable compromise between what might be standard bank requirements and what the client wants so as to keep a deal moving.’

      ‘Good depth and variety of expertise across the areas we need.’

      ‘Nick Dyson has spearheaded the practice in getting to grips with the caravan sector. This doesn’t happen overnight and comes through a passion to learn and a willingness to listen.’

      ‘A responsive and professional team.’

      Key clients

      Great Rail Journeys Limited

      Dusk Retail Limited

      Avison Young (UK) Limited

      Ashfield Park Homes Limited

      Serenity Parks Limited

      Work highlights

      • Advised Great Rail Journeys Limited on the lease of new headquarters in a new development in York.
      • Advising Ashfield Park Homes Limited, a long-standing family operator of a residential mobile home park, in relation to the sale of its business.
      • Acting for Avison Young (UK) Limited in taking a lease of a 4,000 square foot office at 1 City Square, Leeds.


      DWF acts for clients across the financial services and real estate sectors on investment transactions and property development mandates, and is well-placed to leverage the expertise of other teams across the firm. Jim Speed leads the practice and advises institutional investors on portfolio management, while Guy Rusling handles development projects. Helen Balliger, who heads the firm’s asset management group, is another key member of the team.

      Practice head(s):

      Jim Speed

      Other key lawyers:

      Guy Rusling; Helen Balliger

      Key clients


      Wykeland Chambers

      Hylios Wynard/Northumberland Estates


      Sterling Capital



      Work highlights

      • Advised Moda Living Limited on two investment platforms backed by KKR and Apache Capital.
      • Acting for Custodian REIT on over £60m of investment transactions and 1.5m sq ft of lettings.
      • Advising LXi REIT to deploy £350m of equity on various acquisitions, including the £58.9m acquisition of Sainsbury’s supermarket in Middlesbrough.

      Freeths LLP

      Freeths LLP’s ‘commercial and forward-thinking’ team in Leeds acts for leisure operators and retailers on a range of property transactions, from acquisitions and new site developments to portfolio management and disposals. Liz Banks handles commercial development projects, fund management and investment work, while John Flathers acts for corporate occupiers on landlord and tenant issues and Jonathan Crew advises on property portfolio management for national retailers, in addition to investment acquisitions and disposals. All named partners collectively lead the practice.

      Practice head(s):

      John Flathers; Liz Banks; Jonathan Crew


      ‘John Flathers is very easy to work with, he understands what we are needing to achieve and works to get there on time and on budget.’

      ‘They’re very easy to work with, commercial and forward-thinking.’

      ‘Liz Banks is excellent, with great commercial acumen and consistent delivery of her commitments.’

      ‘They are very easy to work with, providing practical solutions to issues and work well as a team to get the job done.’

      Key clients

      Travelodge Hotels Limited

      Wickes Building Supplies Limited

      Aldi Stores Limited

      Magnet Limited

      PPG Architectural Services UK Limited (Johnstones Paints)

      FRP Advisory Trading Limited

      C.P. Hart & Sons

      Hargreaves Environmental PLC

      Samara Group

      KCS Development Limited

      Work highlights

      • Advised Gripple Limited on the acquisition of 6.5 acres of land, including the Morgan Sindall South Yorkshire Head office, for a figure of c.£7m.
      • Advised Mena Developments on the acquisition of Hillsborough Shopping Centre.
      • Advising Wickes on the property aspects of its de-merger from Travis Perkins.

      Gateley Legal

      The ‘capable, competent and experienced commercial property team’ at Gateley Legal is noted for its expertise in residential development mandates and counts national housebuilders, regional developers and promoters among its client base. John Kiff focuses on residential acquisitions and disposals as well as policy issues relating to leasehold reform and jointly leads the practice alongside Philip Gregory, who advises on retail development projects and regeneration schemes.

      Practice head(s):

      John Kiff; Philip Gregory


      ‘The Gateley team are friendly, approachable and hardworking. They focus on delivering outcomes and do this through working collaboratively.’

      ‘The individuals who deal with our account, understand our business, and our objectives, work with us to achieve those objectives, and provide both a proactive and when required, reactive approach.’

      ‘The team are capable, competent and experienced commercial property team.’

      ‘The standout individual is Phil Gregory, who has worked tirelessly for us over recent years, both in the work he does but also as the front person for the relationship funnelling and delegating work around the practice.’

      Key clients

      Taylor Wimpey UK Limited

      Lovell Partnerships Limited

      Persimmon Homes Limited

      Bellway Homes Limited

      Advant Homes Limited

      Strata Homes

      Peveril Securities Limited

      Broadland Properties Limited

      Harworth Investments Limited

      Lidl Great Britain Limited

      Recognise Bank

      Aldermore Bank


      Work highlights

      • Advised Taylor Wimpey UK Limited on the acquisition of a strategic development site intended for 950 new homes for £13.5m in the North East.
      • Advised a regional investment company on the acquisition, letting and subsequent disposal of a 400,000 sq ft industrial property for around £23.5m.
      • Advising Recognise Bank Limited on a series of 21 property focused funding matters.

      Gordons LLP

      The commercial property team at Gordons LLP is led by Joanne Fearnley, who has a ‘great understanding of the retail property landscape’ and advises national retailers, such as B&M Retail and Iceland Foods, on property portfolio acquisitions and leasing matters. The practice continues to demonstrate its capability in mandates arising out of the utilities infrastructure and energy, and secured lending sectors, with Michael Finnett a key contact for residential development work. Sarah Ratcliffe acts for clients in the logistics and retail sectors on property transactions and recently promoted partner James Kimberley is praised as ‘a powerhouse when it comes to getting deals over the line’.

      Practice head(s):

      Joanne Fearnley

      Other key lawyers:

      Michael Finnett; Sarah Ratcliffe; James Kimberley; Nick Chamberlain; Paul Young


      ‘They are a well-rounded practice, who are able to service a wide range of clients.’

      ‘James Kimberley is a powerhouse when it comes to getting deals over the line.’

      ‘The commercial property team is commercially minded and understands the need to balance our needs and the realistic outcome of needless protracted negotiation on points that ultimately won’t impact us.’

      Key clients

      Molson Coors

      B&M Retail Limited

      Iceland Foods Limited

      AO World Plc

      Wren Kitchens Limited


      Hermes Parcelnet

      ISG Global

      Safestyle UK

      HSBC Bank Plc

      Heron Foods Limited

      Timothy Taylors

      Skipton Properties Limited

      HSBC Bank

      The Original Factory Shop

      Yorkshire Building Society

      British Garden Centres

      Carnell Management Services

      Limes Developments Limited

      Work highlights

      • Advised AO Logistics on the acquisition of a 305,360 square feet logistics warehouse at Crewe 305.
      • Acted for JMC Developments on the c.£30m sale of Phase II of its Victoria Riverside residential development scheme in Leeds to an institutional investor.
      • Advised Hermes Parcelnet on all aspects of its acquisition of a new depot in Barnsley named “Colossus”.

      Irwin Mitchell

      Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds and Sheffield team advises on regeneration and mixed-use development projects for clients including Henry Boot, Rula and Artisan Real Estate. Elsewhere, the team handles strategic land and site assembly mandates, and has demonstrable experience across the leisure and retail, education and care sectors. Noted for his experience in development projects, practice leader James Knowles advises on corporate and retail lettings, property financing and investment acquisitions and disposals. National head of the firm’s housing sector team, Michelle Beaumont, is praised as one of ‘the best in the business’ and focuses on education, housing and student accommodation developments.

      Practice head(s):

      James Knowles

      Other key lawyers:

      Michelle Beaumont; Ben Rogers


      ‘The team is very proactive and knowledgeable. They are able to hone in on the issues immediately, and cut through what other lawyers would ordinarily take some time over. We consider Michelle Beaumont and her team part of our business.

      ‘Michelle Beaumont is an experienced practitioner, whose vast experience and pragmatic approach enables us to meet our internal deadlines. Michelle is quite simply the best in the business.’

      Key clients

      Henry Boot PLC

      Wilton Developments Limited

      Rula Developments Limited

      Furnival Quay Limited

      Sheffield Hallam University

      Vistry Partnerships

      Jones Lang LaSalle Limited

      Newmarket Lane Limited

      Gravity Fitness Limited

      Magnum Homes

      Rula Homes

      Hartpury University

      Caddick Land

      Fusion Global Management LLP

      Dobbies Garden Centres Limited

      Dyson Industries Ltd

      HSBC Bank PLC

      Thorntons Limited

      Ferrero UK Limited

      Artisan Real Estate

      Strata Homes (Yorkshire) Limited

      Excel Parking Services Limited

      Country Style Foods Ltd

      Christeyns (UK) limited

      Suon Group

      MAF Students

      St Paul’s Developments Ltd

      Crescent Developments (York) Limited

      Heworth Green Developments Limited

      Boston College

      Newham Sixth Form College

      Summit Learning Trust

      University of Maryland

      Jaynic Properties Ltd

      EE Ventures Limited

      Persimmon Homes Limited

      Keepmoat Homes Limited

      Peveril Securities Limited

      Pennine Property Partnership

      Arcam Developments Management 1 Limited

      Manor Oaks Property Limited

      Work highlights

      • Advised Newmarket Lane Limited on their 200 acre industrial and logistics scheme adjacent to junction 20 of the M62 in Yorkshire.
      • Advised Artisan Kirkstall Leeds Limited in relation to its acquisition of a site known as Kirkstall Place from Tesco and Leeds City Council.
      • Advised Rula Developments Limited in connection with the acquisition of land, sale and forward fund, and development with the benefit of grant funding of a 125,000 sq ft distribution warehouse at Tankersley.  

      Lupton Fawcett

      Praised as ‘diligent, professional and pragmatic’, Lupton Fawcett’s commercial property team counts corporate occupiers, financial services, educational institutions, property investors, developers and retail companies among its roster of clients. Adam Wilkinson, who is noted for his expertise in the retail sector, was recently named head of commercial property, succeeding David Whitaker who is head of ecclesiastical and charities. Zoe Lang handles commercial property acquisitions as well as landlord and tenant work.

      Practice head(s):

      Adam Wilkinson

      Other key lawyers:

      Zoe Lang; David Whitaker


      ‘The property team are very diligent, professional and pragmatic. They are keen to provide solutions to ensure the deal gets done. We have direct partner involvement on all our transactions and know we will receive a prompt and professional service.’

      ‘The standout partner is Adam Wilkinson. They have a “can do” attitude and pragmatic approach whilst also being thorough and diligent.’

      ‘I personally found Lupton Fawcett and their team in York very professional and helpful whenever I needed to contact. They answered my queries promptly and explained everything to me in an easy to understand manner.’

      Key clients

      Jack Lunn Group

      Leeds Building Society

      Bauer Group Limited (which includes the S2W companies and JAD Developments)

      Hand Picked Hotels

      Egton Medical Information Systems Limited

      Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House Limited

      ISG Developments Limited

      York Science Park Limited

      Infinity Investments Limited

      Loxley Homes Limited

      Hartshorne Crossroads Properties Limited

      Yorkshire Congregational Union (Incorporated)

      Swan Homes Group (which includes Vigo Properties Limited)

      University of Law

      AJK Tri-Properties Limited

      Work highlights

      • Advising The University of York’s subsidiary, York Science Park Limited, on the letting of the historic Guildhall from the City of York Council.
      • Advising Gap on the closure of approximately 70 retail stores as they exit the UK high-street.
      • Advising Hartshorne Crossroads Properties Limited on the acquisition of a seven-acre site of a former bank’s data recovery unit.

      Mills & Reeve LLP

      Mills & Reeve LLP’s Leeds-based team is led by ‘client-focusedSimon Sherwood, who advises on primary healthcare development projects, as well as acting for institutional funds and private offices on investment mandates. The practice is noted for its capability across all real estate investment asset classes and has a strong focus in the student accommodation, higher education and senior living sectors. Associate Andrea Newman advises national museums and charities on development matters.

      Practice head(s):

      Simon Sherwood

      Other key lawyers:

      Andrea Newman


      ‘We receive a highly responsive, partner-led service, providing first-rate commercial advice. They work hard to understand our business.’

      ‘Simon Sherwood is very client-focused and offers an efficient and effective service with good commercial understanding.’

      ‘Simon and his team are always professional and point out the different solutions possible and any consequences therein. His advice is commercial and he is at pains to discuss both sides.’

      ‘Simon Sherwood is the reason we use Mills & Reeve. He is our go-to real estate external provider. He understands how we work, what we want and always delivers.’

      ‘The firm offers a client-focused, partner led service for real estate development and related-property work at rates that offer good value for money.’

      Key clients

      British Library

      Science Museum Group

      Westerleigh Group

      Local Housing Group Limited

      Brookgate Property Limited

      Consolidated Property Group

      Evesham Properties Limited

      Crosslee Properties Limited

      Harmony Bridge Limited

      Harpin Limited

      Work highlights

      • Acting for Crosslee Properties Limited on the development of a mixed use 27-acre site in Hipperholme.
      • Advised an institutional fund on the £50m+ disposal of offices intended for redevelopment.
      • Acting as estates advisory to University of Hull.

      Schofield Sweeney

      Schofield Sweeney has demonstrable experience in residential development projects and property finance mandates, and acts for a range of clients across the renewable energy, healthcare, logistics and warehousing sectors. Based in Bradford, practice leader Darren Birkinshaw handles residential acquisitions and developments, regeneration schemes and property joint ventures, while Manjit Virdee focuses on secured property finance matters. In Leeds, other key members of the team include energy expert Adam Hastie, Farooq Zar and Tom Jackson, who joined from Walker Morris LLP in January 2022. Simon Hellewell joined the firm in May 2022 from Ward Hadaway LLP.

      Practice head(s):

      Darren Birkinshaw

      Other key lawyers:

      Manjit Virdee; Adam Hastie; Farooq Zar; Tom Jackson


      ‘The practice has quality professionals who can go toe-to-toe with the London practices. The staff are highly competent, professional, approachable and friendly. Client service is a top priority as is integrity and the approach employed is totally collaborative.’

      Key clients

      The Trafford Centre Limited

      Santander UK PLC

      Hermes Parcel Net Limited

      Greenhaus Group

      Cubico (UK) Limited

      Shearings Group

      Park Lane Group of Companies

      YPP Lettings & Management Co Ltd

      Mayfair Group of Companies

      Frank Marshal Group of Companies

      Pinnacle View Homes

      Horton Housing Association

      HSBC Bank PLC

      Games Workshop Limited

      Rotary Developments Limited

      AWD Holdings Ltd/AWD Investments Ltd

      Fenwood Estates Limited

      Hansons Logistics

      Barclay Firth Limited

      Work highlights

      • Advised on the £10.29m finance for development of 22 new homes in Bridlington, conducting due diligence.
      • Advised on purchase, development agreement and subsequent sale of a commercial site in Tankersley.
      • Advised on the purchase of the Leeds Mercedes Benz site in Leeds.

      Shoosmiths LLP

      Shoosmiths LLP advises on development mandates arising out of the living sector, including build-to-rents, student accommodation and later living, and has demonstrable experience acting for retail clients on property transactions. National head of the firm’s build-to-rent group, Simon Meek, leads the practice and handles residential investment work and strategic land matters, while Judy Fawcett is praised for her ‘excellent knowledge in property finance’. Richard Outhwaite departed to Hill Dickinson LLP in April 2022.

      Practice head(s):

      Simon Meek

      Other key lawyers:

      Judy Fawcett


      ‘Judy Fawcett has excellent property finance knowledge.’

      Key clients

      The Fraser Group (House of Fraser, Sports Direct, Flannels, Game, Evans Cycles)

      Alteri Partners


      Extra MSA

      Moorfield Group

      Countryside Group

      Hallam Land (part of the Henry Boot Group PLC)

      Royal Bank of Scotland International

      Cinnamon Homes


      Lloyds Bank Plc

      Berkley DeVeer


      Work highlights

      • Advised Berkeley De Veer on its acquisition of Avant Homes for c.£500m.
      • Advised Moorfield Group on its sale of two completed and let “build to rent” developments, The Forge, Newcastle and Trilogy, Manchester for £57m and £53m respectively.
      • Advised Packaged Living on its £79m disposal and forward funding for development of The Castings, as a build to rent scheme comprising 352 residential units, with flexible residential amenity space and commercial use on the ground floor.

      Ward Hadaway LLP

      Ward Hadaway LLP advises national housebuilders, regional developers and local authorities on residential development matters, as well as acting for land owning charities on portfolio management, acquisitions and disposals, redevelopments, and landlord and tenant issues. Andrew Pliener jointly leads the team alongside Kevin Weston, who focuses on charity-related property mandates, while Jonathan Dickson handles residential development acquisitions and disposals. Simon Hellewell departed the firm in April 2022.

      Practice head(s):

      Kevin Weston; Andrew Pliener

      Other key lawyers:

      Jonathan Dickson; David Pridmore

      Key clients

      Canal & River Trust

      Land Restoration Trust

      Keepmoat Homes Limited

      Allied London

      Banks Property Limited

      BDW Trading Limited (trading as Barratt Homes)

      First Alliance Limited

      Strata Homes Limited

      Kirklees Council

      OCS Group (UK)

      Gleeson Homes (Yorkshire and North West Divisions)

      Springfield Healthcare

      All Work and Social Leeds Dock Limited (wholly owned subsidiary of Allied London)

      Eshton Investments Limited and Eshton Developments Limited

      Camstead Limited

      Yelcon Limited

      Work highlights

        DAC Beachcroft LLP

        DAC Beachcroft LLP has demonstrable experience in the healthcare sector and advises its roster of clients on matters pertaining to strategic site acquisitions and disposals, statutory restrictions on community estate and development arrangements. Practice leader Clare Hartley is noted for her expertise in property-related telecoms mandates and acts for landowners, operator and infrastructure clients in this space.

        Practice head(s):

        Clare Hartley

        Key clients

        Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Ltd

        Telefonica UK Limited (02)

        Virgin Media

        British Telecommunications PLC


        Department for Education

        Surrey County Council

        Quintain LDO (General Partner) Limited

        Axione Fibre Limited

        Meadfleet Limited

        LCF Law

        LCF Law provides ‘excellent and justified advice in a timely fashion’ on a range of mandates, from commercial leases and portfolio management to developments and property finance transactions. Practice leader Paul Anderson acts for clients across the retail, agricultural and healthcare and the charity sectors. Ann-Marie Casey, who advises The Salvation Army on its property portfolio, and Steven Silver are key members of the team.

        Practice head(s):

        Paul Anderson

        Other key lawyers:

        Ann-Marie Casey; Steven Silver


        ‘The firm and team members are extremely contactable and responsive. I have always received excellent and justified advice in a timely fashion.’

        Key clients

        Salvation Army Trustee Company


        Raworths’ commercial property practice handles all aspects of residential developments, from site acquisitions to planning and plot sales. Praised as ‘technically excellent’, the Harrogate-based team is led by Alasdair Inglis, who frequently acts for residential developers, while associate John Carter advises landlords and tenants on sale and purchase matters.

        Practice head(s):

        Alasdair Inglis

        Other key lawyers:

        John Carter


        ‘Raworths offers a full range of legal services to both commercial and private clients. The commercial property team are technically excellent, responsive to our requirements and we regard them as part of our team.’

        Key clients

        Patrizia Hanover Property Unit Trust


        Tyr advises landlords, corporate occupiers, developers, landowners and investors across the manufacturing, wholesale and retail, leisure and healthcare sectors and is well-placed to leverage the expertise of other teams within the firm, such as planning, tax, construction and property litigation. Practice leader Dean Jowett, who is noted for his expertise in residential property developments, is frequently supported by senior associate Marcus Watson.

        Practice head(s):

        Dean Jowett

        Other key lawyers:

        Marcus Watson; Sarah Temple

        Key clients

        Persimmon Homes Limited

        Strata Homes

        Sterling Capitol

        Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

        Carlton Forest Group

        YESSS Electrical

        Astonish (Cleaning Products)

        Thomas the Baker

        Neom Organics

        Teakwood Developments Limited

        Work highlights

        • Advised a plc national housebuilder on the acquisition of land for 450 dwellings, with a land value of £28m.
        • Acting for Astonish Cleaning Products in relation to its acquisition and development of a 120,000 square foot commercial unit in Bradford, from a regional commercial developer, with a gross development value of £12m.
        • Advised a regional commercial developer upon the acquisition, development and disposal of a mixed-use development scheme in North Yorkshire, with a combined gross development value in excess of £15m.


        Led by senior associate Allan Stewart, the commercial property team at Berwins advises landowners on negotiations with promoters and acts for residential housebuilders on land promotion agreements, option agreements (land and minerals) and conditional sale and purchase contracts. Senior consultant Richard Wheeldon is a key member of the team.

        Practice head(s):

        Allan Stewart

        Other key lawyers:

        Richard Wheeldon

        Capsticks LLP

        Based in Leeds, Capsticks LLP stands out for its expertise in the health, social care and housing sectors, and counts hospital developments, portfolio management, acquisitions and landlord and tenant matters in its workload. Practice leader Lisa Geary is noted for her experience in primary care matters, such as advising on sale and leasebacks, leases, as well as the property aspects of GP practice mergers.

        Practice head(s):

        Lisa Geary

        Other key lawyers:

        Tracey Blundell; Deema Sodha


        ‘We have been the clients of Capsticks for many years and would not hesitate to recommend this practice to other surgeries and clients. Capsticks cover the whole range of services needed for an NHS organisation and they are very professional and respond in a timely manner to all our queries.’

        ‘Tracey Blundell is a standout lawyer. Calm, capable and understanding of the commercial needs of the client, as well as being an outstanding commercial property lawyer. She cuts through the jargon and provides advice in an easy to digest manner.’

        ‘The team at Capsticks apply an understanding of the client’s underlying business needs in all negotiations and drafting, enabling them to effectively operate as an in-house team.’

        ‘Lisa Geary is very professional, efficient and proactive in her work with us. The response times are always quick and the quality of the work is highly commendable.’

        ‘Capsticks have provided an excellent service, they really understand our sector, respond quickly with clear, practical advice, explaining complex arrangements so that they really feel like a partner in our project team.’

        ‘Individuals are accessible and responsive to deadlines. Deema Sodha is our main contact and provides a professional service whilst meeting key deadlines.’

        ‘Capsticks provide a well rounded team with a range of experience which can then be tailored to each instruction. Client management is very good with regular updates on instructions’

        ‘Subject knowledge of the team is very good. Dedicated team members.’

        Key clients

        NHS England

        Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust

        Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS FT

        Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

        Humber Teaching Hospitals NHS FT

        Yorkshire Ambulance Services NHS Trust

        Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


        Greenwich Leisure Limited

        Methodist Council of Great Britain

        Humberside Local Medical Committee

        Dulverton Medical Partnership Limited

        Salford Primary Care Together CIC

        Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS FT

        Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust

        Sheffield Teaching NHS FT

        Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS FT

        Affinity Trust

        Croydon Health Services NHS Trust

        South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS FT

        Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

        Northumberland CCG

        North Tees and Hartlepool Hospitals NHS FT

        Oswald Medical Centre Limited

        Middlewood Partnership

        Granta Medical Partnership

        Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS FT

        Genesis Cancer Care UK Limited

        Varian Medical Systems UK Limited

        Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS FT

        James Paget University Hospitals NHS FT

        University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS FT

        Montgomery House Surgery and Alchester Medical Group

        Work highlights

        • Advised NHS England on grant funding to various GP practices.
        • Advised Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust on development agreements to enable £17m refurbishment works at hospital sites.
        • Advised Montgomery House Surgery and Alchester Medical Group on development agreements for lease in respect of a £15m health and wellbeing hub.

        Harrowells Solicitors

        Harrowells Solicitors’ commercial property team, who have seen an increase in mandates arising out of the hospitality and childcare nursey sectors, advises on portfolio management, investment sales and purchases, and acts for landlords and tenants on leasehold issues. Practice leader Matthew Hayward advises on acquisitions and disposals, while Martin Thorpe handles residential property development matters.

        Practice head(s):

        Matthew Hayward

        Other key lawyers:

        Martin Thorpe


        ‘We have a great professional relationship with Martin Thorpe and his team at Harrowells. They are always prompt in their responses and have always given great advice.’

        ‘Martin Thorpe, with whom we deal with on a regular basis, knows everything about the purchase and sale of property and explains the legal implications clearly and concisely.’

        ‘Matthew Hayward is awesome. He delivers every time is his calm, professional and competent manner. He is the solicitor I recommend every time.’


        McCormicks counts property developers and portfolio investors, as well as landed estates and charities, among its list of key clients, and continues to build its roster of commercial property and residential investors. Heather Roberts leads the team and advises on residential development schemes, in addition to sales, purchases and tenant issues arising out of the retail sector.

        Practice head(s):

        Heather Roberts

        Key clients

        John Strutt Conservation Foundation

        The Premier League

        John Strutt Centre for Parrot Conservation

        John Strutt Memorial Foundation

        The John Strutt Charity

        Leeds United FC

        Yorkshire Agricultural Society

        Work highlights

        • Acting for the Estate of John Strutt , the Eden Place Estate, the Belper Estate together with associated trusts and charities on residential property development involving substantial listed buildings and asset management, among others.
        • Advising on due diligence on each Premier League Club’s compliance with the PL Ground Criteria set out in the PL Rules.
        • Acting for Leeds United FC on an ongoing basis, on a range of property work.

        Ramsdens Solicitors LLP

        Ramsdens Solicitors LLP has seen an increase in activity for its retail clients, including business parks, industrial units, warehouse storage and distribution facilities. Based in Huddersfield, ‘highly effective and commercial partner’ Kirsty Jackson leads the team and focuses on landlord and tenant matters, as well as advising property investors and developers on acquisitions and disposals of stand-alone and multi-let sites.

        Practice head(s):

        Kirsty Jackson


        ‘The team provides direct, no nonsense advice with swift and accurate response.’

        ‘Always available when you need them.’

        ‘Very client focused and cost effective.’

        Key clients

        JM Northern Ltd

        Ossett Brewery Group Holdings Limited

        Bossdean Properties Limited

        Work highlights

        • Acted in connection with Bossdean Properties Limited and the sale of the company’s business park.
        • Assisted Ossett Brewery in the grant of the underlease of a brewing site, as well as the assignment of two existing leases held by Molson Coors over tap rooms.


        Weightmans advises a varied client base including landlords, tenants, developers and property owners across the licensed and leisure and healthcare sectors. Practice leader Mark Crabtree notably acts for pub companies, such as Punch Taverns, Greene King and Admiral Taverns, and advises on estate management, lease work and issues involving landlords and tenants.

        Practice head(s):

        Mark Crabtree

        Key clients

        Punch Taverns

        Admiral Taverns

        Greene King Plc

        Hoyer Petrolog (UK) Limited

        Bootham School

        NHS Blood and Transplant

        Gaunts Limited

        Chevin Retail Limited

        Fountainhead Investments Limited


        Omavale Limited

        Well Pharmacy

        Ultimate Commercial

        Mallard Homes Limited

        Devonshire Properties Limited

        Seventeen Group Limited