Addleshaw Goddard's team is 'very responsive, reasonably priced and provides the right advice at the right level'. It is a recognised regional leader in build-to-rent, senior living and student accommodation. It is also heavily involved in infrastructure and cultural developments and landmark regeneration schemes; in one key mandate, Ian Smith advised Kirklees Council on acquiring the site for the new National Rugby League Museum as part of the £250m Huddersfield regeneration project. Bruce Lightbody focuses on matters related to the retail industry, while Lucy Sturrock leads on hospitality and leisure sector mandates. Andrew Williamson is recommended for sales and purchases of investment properties and large-scale portfolios.
Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire in Yorkshire And The Humber
Bruce Lightbody; Lucy Sturrock
Other key lawyers:
Ian Smith; Andrew Williamson
‘The team are skilled real estate lawyers but are also highly commercial in their approach, which has enabled us to manage and navigate complex or difficult transactions efficiently. The team are able to apply strong practical and commercial logic to legal situations and work well with our property advisors which helps us form a rounded view on matters.’
‘Ian Smith has been relentless in his drive to close out a significant disposal for us this year. I was impressed with how Ian was able to step out of the traditional external legal advisor role, and advise me and others in the team on other aspects of the transaction. Quite simply, the deal would not have happened without his dedication and perseverance.’
‘AG have an excellent commercial property team. They have advised us on a wide variety of property issues, from leases, licences to occupy and advice on bespoke issues. They are very responsive, reasonably priced and provide the right advice at the right level.’
‘Addleshaw Goddard has great diversity in its team that bring a wide range of experiences and approaches to solving legal issues, and this also closely aligns with our organisation’s objectives.’
‘The individuals I have worked with at Addleshaw Goddard are reassuringly very focused on protecting our organisation’s interests, whilst at the same time they are pragmatic and determined to find win-win solutions to legal issues.’
Muse Developments Limited
Travelodge Hotels Limited
Eastern and Oriental plc
Columbia Threadneedle Investments
Asda Stores Limited
Ribston Industrial Fund
Argo Real Estate
DB Cargo UK Limited
- Advising Asda on the real estate aspects of the sale by Walmart of its majority stake in Asda to a consortium comprising the Issa brothers and TDR Capital.
- Acting for CPPI Bridgewater Place Limited Partnership (managed by Marrick Capital) on the £84.5m sale of Leeds’ tallest building, Bridgewater Place, one of the first assets intended to be acquired for seeding into the new IPSX stock exchange for properties
- Acting for Richardson and Ask Real Estate on the £57m forward funding to L&G of the 245 unit Build to Rent scheme, being Phase 1 at Tower Works, Holbeck, Leeds.
DLA Piper's 'practical and personal approach' sees it generate a strong flow of work from investors, national retailers, developers, financial institutions and blue-chip corporate clients. The firm is prominent in landmark transactions, development projects and financing matters. Andrew Clarke's practice encompasses the acquisition and development of new buildings, as well as the disposal of assets and share sales. He often acts for charities and clients operating in the renewable energy industry. Other key individuals include practice head Tim Field and hospitality sector specialist Susan Samuel. Ruth Williamson is knowledgeable about corporate occupier asset management.
Other key lawyers:
Andrew Clarke; Susan Samuel; Ruth Williamson
‘Attention to detail and working to tight deadlines without losing focus or quality of advice. Building close working relationships with us and understanding of our needs and requirements.’
‘Practical and professional approach.’
Harrison Street Real Estate
NatWest Group PLC
- Acting for Harrison Street/Trinity Investment Management on the joint venture with Trinity investment management and acquisition of four UK life sciences properties in a £32m transaction involving the corporate acquisition of the target vehicle.
- Advising Priory Group Limited on the property aspects of the sale of the Group to Dutch healthcare firm Waterland for circa £1.1bn.
- Advised on the sale of British Airways’ data centre and previous training centre known as “Cranebank” and the leaseback of the data centre for a consideration of £72m.
Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP‘s team has ‘excellent expertise in all key areas’, with a strategic focus on investment work, where it acts for blue-chip institutions, pension funds and property companies. The department has a strong background in the acquisition, disposal and management of shopping centres, as well as development projects and real estate finance transactions. Investment and asset management specialist Steve Felstead acts for clients such as Legal & General and UK Land Estates. Sue Buckworth manages the portfolios of the firm’s international real estate clients, while Simon Harris and Ian Barker work on development mandates.
Other key lawyers:
Sue Buckworth; Simon Harris
‘Excellent expertise in all key areas and good at problem-solving and follow-up.’
Legal & General
Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc
UK Land Investments
The University of Manchester
- Advised on the real estate and construction aspects of the contractual partnership between, client, Anchor Hanover Group and McCarthy & Stone, which agreed to collaborate on the development of 482 units on 5 sites with McCarthy & Stone developing for Anchor Hanover Group 124 affordable rent units and 192 shared ownership.
- Appointed by the University of Manchester to advise on the landmark development of its North Campus site, involving the creation of a c.£1.5 billion world class innovation district and major mixed use scheme with opportunities for office, residential, retail, leisure, hotels and research and development.
- Acted on Legal & General’s £150m investment into Sheffield City Centre – an acquisition and development funding of over 200,000 sq ft of Grade A office space, 350 build-to-rent residential apartments, multi-storey car park and landscaped public realm.
Pinsent Masons LLP
Pinsent Masons LLP is 'an invaluable one-stop shop' that provides 'sensible, pragmatic and commercial advice'. It is recognised for the strength of its property investment and development practice, which is led by Richard Daffern, and includes Andrew Quinlan, Natalie Harris and Stephen Glass. The firm is regularly instructed by institutional investors and major national retailers on transactions involving alternative investment assets, healthcare and leisure assets, student accommodation and commercial ground rent investments. Victoria Goddard specialises in complex development structures, with particular experience of the education sector. Jonathan Riley is the key partner for large-scale housing and manufacturing schemes.
Richard Daffern; Jonathan Riley
Other key lawyers:
Andrew Quinlan; Victoria Goddard; Stephen Glass; Natalie Harris
‘Very proactive and detail-oriented – understand their clients business so they can be proactive in their advice.’
‘This practice has extensive and experienced resource to work quickly on complex real estate transactions.’
‘Customer service is at the heart of the team we work with. There is excellent oversight from the lead partner Richard Daffern.’
‘Pinsents provides sensible, pragmatic and commercial advice, often with little notice, and is effectively an extension of the in-house team. This is all provided with a competitive fixed rate prices which gives the internal client comfort and security.’
‘I work principally with Victoria Goddard, who has really good oversight with her team but also more widely within Pinsent Masons. They foster a spirit of collaborative partnerships with clients; they understand not only the wider institutional client but also the priorities of instructing individuals. ’
‘Victoria Goddard is a voice of calm and reason; she brings clarity to complex issues and helps identify priorities without getting stuck in the detail. It is a genuine pleasure to work with her.’
University of Leeds
University of Huddersfield
University of York
McCarthy & Stone
Morgan Sindall Later Living
Aedifica NV / SA
London & Associated Properties plc
AXA – IM Real Assets / Retirement Villages Group
Octopus Healthcare / MedicX Fund (PHP)
Homes and Communities Agency
L&G Capital / Inspired Villages Group
St Modwen Properties plc
Leeds City Council
Apache Capital Partners
Westminster City Council
Durham County Council
Eco World Developments
- Advising Apache Capital Partners on the acquisition and funding of the Quarry Hill Build to Rent scheme – a major Leeds residential project.
- Acting for Unipol (representation from the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University) on a redevelopment in Leeds, Yorkshire for a 604-bed student residences scheme known as Carlton Hill.
- Advising Lowell Financial on taking 133,000 square feet of new build office space at Thorpe Park Leeds – a very significant office pre-let transaction for Leeds.
Walker Morris LLP‘s team has ‘a diverse range of skills’ in real estate transactions and property financings. The ‘highly responsive and pragmatic’ Jeremy Moore is sought after by national blue-chip corporates on landmark transactions; his recent work included advising the administrators of Debenhams on the real estate aspects of its administration. Austin Judson acts for property investors, developers, retailers and high street banks on real estate portfolio matters. Also recommended are Judith Pike, who acts for clients in the energy and utilities sector, as well as Will Cousins and director Adam Reed. George Bacon recently joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, where he led the Leeds real estate team.
Other key lawyers:
Austin Judson; Judith Pike; Will Cousins; Adam Reed; George Bacon
‘Excellent value, flexible approach to fees and to work, very responsive and pragmatic.’
‘Jeremy Moore – highly responsive and pragmatic and genuinely interested in and supportive of our business.’
‘The team have a diverse range of skills, ranging from standard sale and purchase agreements to structuring complex retirement living purchases.’
‘Client care and approach is second to none. We always receive robust advice and an excellent service.’
‘The key strength of Walker Morris is no doubt its people. We’ve always felt that Walker Morris has an understanding and genuine interest in the direction and growth of our business.’
‘The level of contact that we are able to have with the partners and associates stands out from other firms. We work closely with Will Cousins (partner). We value Will’s opinions very highly and would rate the accessibility and flexibility that comes with working with him as a key component.’
Hospital Topco Limited/ BMI Hospitals
City Square Developments Limited
Unite Accommodation Management Limited
Major regional landowner/developer
Leeds Beckett University
Gregory Projects (Bingley Street) Limited
Tait Technologies UK Limited
- Providing real estate advice to Hospital Topco Limited on the disposal of BMI Healthcare and the GHG group.
- Advised third party logistics provider Neovia Logistics on its sale and leaseback of a 1.65m sq ft warehouse campus to Griffen UK, an international real estate investment and development fund managed by Griffen Capital.
- Advised Leeds Beckett University on a high value lease re-gear relating to Broadcasting Place, Leeds, part of part of the teaching facilities at the university.
Clients praise Clarion for its 'excellent value for money', 'high standard of work' and 'very hands-on involvement at partner/legal director level'. The practice handles the full gamut of property transactions and development work. It also has a growing secured lending practice, which is led by Ben Lamb. Martin Grange, who is a specialist in large-scale developments, 'runs the team very well'. Retail specialist Lindsay Texel is experienced in portfolio management and commercial development mandates. Senior legal directors Eve Gregory and Alison Batty active in acquisitions and residential development matters.
Other key lawyers:
Ben Lamb; Lindsay Texel; Eve Gregory; Alison Batty
‘Martin Grange runs the team very well – he is always available to discuss strategy around my business, and then makes sure the work is done cost effectively and efficiently. Alison Batty has been a superstar in helping me this year!’
‘The firm provides excellent value for money, providing a high standard of work and advice at considerably lower rates than that of larger more expensive firms. Unlike other firms, very hands-on involvement at partner/legal director level.’
‘Eve Gregory’s experience and commercial approach enabled us to effectively navigate our way through a number of significant difficulties and challenges.’
‘I have worked with a number of solicitors over the years and Clarion are by far head and shoulders above them all. The level of communication is excellent. When you add this to their knowledge and speed of service, this makes them a great package.’
‘Excellent levels of service, the whole team is always available at the end of a phone, email or video conference for any problems, even if just to direct towards the relevant team.’
‘The individuals genuinely care about the tasks they are completing. Offering support and advice as needed and not being afraid to challenge at the appropriate time. I would without hesitation recommend Clarion’s property team.’
Persimmon Homes Ltd
Leeds Beckett University
Yorkshire Housing Limited
Masons Gin Limited
Close Brothers Limited
Oaknorth Bank plc
Arc Inspirations LLP
Aldermore Bank Plc
ATC Properties Limited
HSN Care 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
- Advised Sports Direct on the £37m acquisition of DW Sports from administrators.
- Acted for Aldermore Bank on the provision of a £29m refinance facility to a large student investment company. It is the bank’s biggest single loan to date.
- Advising The Wentworth Charity, a major landowner on the redevelopment of part of their estate to create the largest distribution centre in Europe for Hermes Parcelnet with an overall development value of £100m.
Lupton Fawcett strengthened its expertise in the development and retail sector with the recruitment of Adam Wilkinson in September 2020 from Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP. Wilkinson has a strong track record in commercial, residential and retail development, and is also experienced in assisting charities with managing their property portfolios. David Whitaker leads on mandates involving the acquisition, management and disposal of investment property portfolios and corporate property. Commercial property specialists Sarah Temple and Zoe Lang are also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
Adam Wilkinson; Zoe Lang; Sarah Temple
‘Lupton Fawcett LLP are a substantial practice with the ability to provide a first class personal service to a private client.’
‘The team are very knowledgeable and always happy to help and assist with any queries and questions you may have and if they can’t get the answer they will find someone within the organisation who can. They also keep you fully informed all the way through any process and manage expectations well.’
‘Zoe Lang who is exceptional at her job, will turn things around in very short timescales should they be needed and will work additional hours to get the job done on time, at the agreed cost and high quality.’
‘Zoe Lang – I would recommend her to anybody – incredibly good at her job, keeping me in step with the process and always getting back to me when I raised questions or wanted progress.’
‘Very helpful and knowledgeable. Advice was always very pragmatic.’
‘The customer care I receive is consistently exceptional. The partner I deal with (Sarah Temple) is extremely committed to providing excellent service and is clear in her written and verbal communications. Sarah has a genuine interest in our business which has led to a strong partnership.’
Bauer Group (which includes the S2W companies and JAD Developments)
Jack Lunn Group
Leeds Building Society
Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House Limited
Hand Picked Hotels
RX Systems Limited, part of Egton Medical Information Systems Limited
Ma Boyles Eatery & Alehouse Ltd
ISG Developments Ltd
TI Group Automotive Systems (Deeside) Limited
William Birch & Sons Ltd
Infinity Investments Ltd
Ripon Cathedral Choir School
Loxley Homes Ltd
- Advised Infinity Investments on sale of commercial property estate in Sheffield subject to multiple office tenancies.
- Advised Leeds Building Society on the acquisition of new freehold property on Commercial Street in Leeds to be converted to become the new city centre branch.
- Acted for Jack Lunn Group on forward funding in relation to a Costa Coffee drive thru unit in Highbridge with multiple parties within the transaction.
At Squire Patton Boggs, European real estate head Matthew Dalzell leads the 'dynamic, professional, results-focused and dependable' group. Dalzell is a specialist in investment transactions and development projects in the student accommodation, hospitality and residential sectors. David Chan offers complementary expertise in transactional regeneration, development and energy work, while Prew Lumley is active in retail-related real estate work. Karen French and senior associate Ian Hartley are also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
David Chan; Prew Lumley; Karen French; Ian Hartley
‘Dynamic, professional, results focused and dependable.’
‘Ian Hartley’s ability to be commercial and pragmatic whilst understanding the real estate/property legal position. In addition Ian’s communication style was a huge benefit to working with the other side and also with the investment company management teams who were very complimentary about his ability to explain in simple terms what it means to them.’
‘Karen French – approachable, funny, great deal of knowledge about our sites and our business.’
Esquire Retail Limited
Artisan Food Hall Worcester Limited
ZM Land and Capital
Large American fast food operator
Capital & Centric (Resurrection) Limited
Nimbus Investments CXLII B.V. and Customade Group
- Advised Esquire Retail Limited on the acquisition from AG Retail Limited of a portfolio of over 250 properties and the negotiation of new leases for the majority of those stores.
- Advised BCEGI on the regeneration of Crompton Shopping Centre, Bolton into a mixed-use scheme.
- Advised ZM Land and Capital on its regeneration of the former Shredded Wheat factory at Welwyn Garden City in a deal valued at £200m.
Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's group is praised for its 'exceptional level of experience and knowledge of the residential land market'. Co-chairs Mark Owen and Julia Dacre Field 'have built one of the best residential property teams in Yorkshire', which includes Claire Wilkinson, Kathryn Wood (who joined from Knights plc in late 2020) and legal director James Lawson. They have an extensive background acting for developers, investors and housebuilders on all aspects of transactions, development projects and regeneration schemes. Paula Dillon left the firm.
Mark Owen; Julia Dacre Field
Other key lawyers:
Claire Wilkinson; Kathryn Wood; James Lawson
‘Julia and Mark have built one of the best residential property teams in Yorkshire recruiting young up and coming lawyers with drive and motivation.’
‘Julia is without question the best residential property lawyer in Yorkshire. She is focused, provides consistently sound advice and is incredibly commercial, understanding that there is a land deal behind any contract.’
‘WBD’s team are proactive and innovative. They have strong industry knowledge and contacts.’
‘Claire Wilkinson and her team are outstanding communicators. This is something we have struggled with when dealing with other similar law firms. The engagement terms are clear and precise, the response time is impressive and solutions are offered, not more obstacles. Claire is not afraid to say no or advise strongly against a course of action, but offers alternative strategies.
‘The level of experience and knowledge of the residential land market is exceptional along with excellent client relationships.’
Commercial Estates Group
Barratt & David Wilson Homes
Vistry ( formerly Linden )
Leeds City Council
Town Centre Securities PLC
- Advised BDW Trading Ltd (t/a Barratts and David Wilson Homes) in relation to the purchase of the brownfield regeneration of land at Oughtibridge Mill, Sheffield for 284 residential dwellings.
- Instructed by Taylor Wimpey in relation to the proposed joint acquisition with Home Group of a large brownfield site in Allen’s West, Eaglescliffe, Stockton on Tees from a company in administration.
- Advising Leeds City Council in connection with the development of land to the East of Otley for housing, mixed use development, regeneration infrastructure and environmental enhancement, including the provision of major infrastructure works including the delivery of a major relief road.
George Parker-Fuller; Philip Gregory
Other key lawyers:
John Kiff; Barbara Rollin; James Sargent
Bevan Brittan LLP‘s commercial property offering is spread between members of the commercial team, which is led by Deborah Powell and Lyndon Campbell. The firm’s work covers investment acquisitions, sales, refinances and estate management work. James Atkins, Richard Stirk and Julie Cowan-Clark are other key individuals in the group. Public sector and health-related development projects are core areas of activity, as are land acquisitions and residential development projects.
Other key lawyers:
James Atkins; Deborah Powell; Richard Stirk; Julie Cowan-Clark
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
A Shade Greener Finance Limited
Modernistiq Developments – Group of Companies
Grafton UK Limited
The Yorkshire Big City Co – Group of Companies
Communication Workers Union
Church Farm Homes Limited
Escapism Bar Group and related companies
The Classic Prop Hire Company Limited
NHS Property Services Limited
Community Health Partnerships Limited
Department of Health and Social Care
All Property Management Limited
- Acted for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust on four leases of space in 2 Park Lane, Leeds totalling over 50,000 sq. ft. of accommodation.
- Advised Modernistiq (Hull) Limited on the acquisition of former bank premises in Kingston upon Hull from LPA Receivers for conversion into 50 apartments.
- Ongoing advice to The Yorkshire Big City Co in relation to the development of the site for the construction of 31 residential units.
Nick Dyson leads Blacks Solicitors LLP's team, which is 'full of individuals but all with the same Yorkshire spirit and work ethos'. The practice is well-known in the holiday and home park sector. Dyson is an expert in commercial landlord and tenant matters, development projects and investment transactions, as well as sales and purchases of residential and holiday home parks. Matthew Hutchinson acts for residential developers, lenders, landowners and property investment companies on all sales, acquisitions and financing mandates.
Other key lawyers:
‘Nick Dyson – leading from the front in respect of high service levels. Matt Hutchinson – extremely knowledgeable and pragmatic’
‘I have dealt with the property team, the range of services offered is excellent and in the commercial property world Blacks has some substantial instructions reflective of the depth and range of experience in the team.’
‘Blacks have assembled a great dedicated team, full of individuals but all with the same Yorkshire spirit and work ethos.’
‘Nick is always approachable and friendly and gives comfort that instructions will be dealt with properly.’
‘The practice covers a wide range of legal services and has a high level of expertise in all areas. Their approach is professional and also very ‘down to earth’; they take care to ensure that their clients have understanding of proceedings and help them to consider implications of decisions being made. The response when making an enquiry is excellent.’
‘My experience with Blacks has, on the whole, been a positive one. What makes them stand out is their dedication to the holiday and homes park industry and their approachability.’
Gregory Property Group
AV Ogden Holdings Limited
TCS Holdings Limited
St Paul’s Street Investments
Bridge 3 LLP
Harrogate Water Brands Limited
East Street Arts
Production Park Limited
Vida Healthcare Limited
Sir Lawson Tancred and others
- Advised Gregory Property Group on acquisition, development, partial letting and subsequent investment sale of 4 units at Park 32, Pontefract comprising over 150,000 sq ft of prime industrial property.
- Advised 3 landowners including a trust in entering an Option Agreement to sell farmland in Boroughbridge to Taylor Wimpey, conditional on satisfactory planning permission being obtained.
- Advised TCS Holdings on the private sale of Abingdon Street Market, Blackpool to the council which was subject to over 40 occupational tenancies and included the transfer of employees, assignments and dealing with trust restrictions.
James Speed leads the property team at DWF, where he advises institutional investors on forward funding transactions, portfolio management, investment transactions and all aspects of development work. Newly-promoted partner Helen Balliger is another notable individual at the firm, which is also prominent in regional regeneration schemes, real estate finance transactions and landlord and tenant matters.
Other key lawyers:
Caddick Group plc
Countrywide Group plc
Custodian REIT plc
Rivington Land Limited
Peveril Securities Limited
LXi REIT plc
Oakgate Group plc
Palmer Capital Partners
ReInvest Asset Management S.A.
- Advising Caddick Developments on site assembly and sale of the £100m GDV development site for Wakefield515 to Panattoni. This is the largest speculative development in the north for a decade.
- Advising on the mainstay of the entire England and Wales asset management portfolio work for Mileway, the leading last mile logistics real estate company in Europe.
- Advised Sterling Capitol Plc on completion of JV with PLP for a 100 acre industrial and logistical scheme at Capitol Park, J28 M62, Leeds and submission of planning with a value of circa £120m GDV.
Freeths LLP is praised for its 'prompt service, commercial awareness and reasonable fee scales'. The team is led by Liz Banks, John Flathers and Jonathan Crew, who are experienced in a myriad of commercial real estate matters. Banks regularly manages properties on behalf of national hotel brands, retail chains and other occupiers, while Flathers is an expert in financing and investment. Crew handles new store development programmes for large national retailers and is also experienced in commercial development projects.
Liz Banks; John Flathers; Jonathan Crew
‘The team deal with things practically, not over-complicating issues and explaining the legal aspects in an understandable way. They are able to offer practical advice and find solutions to any issues encountered.’
‘Jonathan Crew unequalled service over many years. Fast to respond, not looking for problems which don’t exist. Excellent advice.’
‘Prompt service, commercially aware, reasonable fee scales and always available.’
‘Jonathan Crew provides a very professional and speedy real estate service for us. He knows our requirements in respect of property transactions having used him for many years, which greatly reduces conveyancing times.’
‘John Flathers of Freeths LLP has been impressive on a recent high value and complex sale, and on a subsequent instruction regarding an option to purchase. John was very reliable and communicative. He would undoubtedly be our first port of call on any matter going forwards.’
‘Attentive, commercially pragmatic and realistic in their advice and billing.’
‘John Flathers is a consistent source of of sensible advice that you can rely on.’
Travelodge Hotels Limited
Wickes Building Supplies Limited
NHS Property Services Limited
Caddick Development Group
C.P. Hart & Sons
Aldi Stores Limited
Hargreaves Services PLC
- Advising the administrators (Alvarez & Marsal) of Le Pain Quotidien Ltd on the property disposal of the 16 restaurants in central London to the Buyer Brunchco Limited.
- Advising Yorparks & Trustees of GMI Holdings Ltd Trust Fund on the disposal of the Headingley Medical Centre complex in Headingley Leeds for £8m.
- Advising Wickes on their store acquisition and disposal programme throughout 2020/21.
Irwin Mitchell is a go-to for regional and national commercial property work. James Knowles' practice focuses on development projects, corporate and retail lettings, property financing and investment acquisitions and disposals. In the public and social housing space, Michelle Beaumont is experienced in acting for developers, investors and occupiers on complex structures for both public and private sector clients, particularly those within student accommodation, housing and education. Senior associate Clare Davitt is recommended for landlord and tenant and financing.
James Knowles; Michelle Beaumont
Other key lawyers:
‘Michelle Beaumont leads a team of great lawyers, who provide pragmatic and commercial advice to ensure that our residential schemes are completed in line with our pipeline requirements. As such, we consider Michelle and her team the best in the region.’
‘We consider Michelle (Beaumont) to be part of our business. She integrates with our team as a colleague, and we rely on her as a much valued part of our team.’
Henry Boot PLC
Wilton Developments Limited
Rula Developments Limited
Furnival Quay Limited
Sheffield Hallam University
Vistry Partnerships (Yorkshire) Limited
Jones Lang LaSalle Limited
Newmarket Lane Limited
Gravity Fitness Limited
Jackson and Jackson Limited
Micklegate Developments Limited
Fusion Global Management LLP
Dobbies Garden Centres Limited
Dyson Industries Ltd
HSBC Bank PLC
Artisan Real Estate
Strata Homes (Yorkshire) Limited
Excel Parking Services Limited
Country Style Foods Ltd
Christeyns (UK) limited
St Paul’s Developments Ltd
Crescent Developments (York) Limited
Heworth Green Developments Limited
- Advised Newmarket Lane on development of the 200 acre logistics development site, ‘The Wakefield Hub’ at J30, M62.
- Acted on behalf of Hartpury University on the delivery of student accommodation by way of a complex off-balance sheet structure involving Cityheart (as developer and operator), Gloucester City Council (as original landowner), an investment fund managed by Aviva Investors (as funder) and the University.
- Advised Rula Developments on purchase and forward sale of Chadderton development comprising 22 acres.
Mills & Reeve LLP's real estate investment team acts on all asset classes, with a growing focus on student accommodation and higher education, which is allied to its traditional focal points of healthcare and senior living. Corporate real estate and development is another area of activity for the group, which is led by Simon Sherwood.
Science Museum Group
Ridgeons part of Huws Gray Group
Consolidated Property Group
Harmony Bridge Limited
Local Housing Group Limited
DB Cargo (UK) Limited
- Advised the National Railway Museum on property and construction matters within the context of the York Central regeneration project and the Museum’s masterplan
- Acted on the sale of a portfolio of purpose-built medical centres across England and Wales to a specialist healthcare investor.
- Acted for a developer on £18M+ investment sale to an offshore fund involving 4 parties.
Schofield Sweeney is well-equipped to handle a full range of real estate specialisms, with Darren Birkinshaw leading on residential acquisition and development, joint ventures and commercial landlord and tenant matters. Manjit Virdee 'always provides first class service' on property finance mandates. Richard Innes and Adam Hastie are key contacts for retail and energy sector work.
Other key lawyers:
Manjit Virdee; Richard Innes; Adam Hastie
‘Very commercial and pragmatic. Partner involvement is very significant and key people are always available for discussion. Billing very transparent.’
‘The team are very approachable, remaining professional at all times with sound clear understandable advice. No matter how small or large the project or question is they will always address every issue with solutions.’
‘Darren Birkinshaw – partner – Darren has stood out from the crowd for the last six years I have used him. He is fastidious in his work, leaving no stone unturned. Any problems, which there always are in legal agreements, he will find a solution to, I find him very forward thinking and trust every bit of work he has undertaken.’
‘The team led by Manjit Virdee always provides first class service, on the ball, always proactive!’
The Trafford Centre Limited (owners of the Trafford shopping centre in Manchester) (long standing client)
Santander UK PLC (long standing client)
Pinnacle View Homes
Greenhaus Group (long standing client)
Rotary Development Limited
Shearings Group (long standing client)
Park Lane Group of Companies
Hermes Parcel Net Limited
YPP Lettings & Management Co Ltd
Mayfair Group of Companies
Frank Marshal Group of Companies
Horton Housing Association
HSBC Bank PLC
Games Workshop Limited
Cubico (UK) Limited
AWD Holdings Ltd/ AWD Investments Ltd
Fenwood Estates Limited
- Advised Hermes Parcel Net on proposed Agreement for lease, lease, planning and construction of their new Bolton depot, comprising 80,000 sq ft. It enabled client to substantially improve the scale of their operation in this area and to deal with record levels of demand.
- Advised Wharfedale Grange, a high-end wedding and function space venue with a detached grade two listed 18th century farmhouse and over 22 acres of land, on various property issues, construction and securitisation on funding.
- Advised Rolfe Carpets on purchase and simultaneous leaseback on 120,000 sq ft distribution and manufacturing hub.
Shoosmiths LLP has a ‘strong, well managed team with broad experience and strong sector specialism’ in residential property development and retail sector work. Simon Meek is ‘an excellent lawyer’ who ‘brings commercial acumen in spades’; he is the national head of build-to-rent. Meek advised Moorfield Group on an innovative transaction involving the sale and leaseback of 77 show homes on 29 of Avant Homes’ residential development sites across England and Scotland. Richard Outhwaite is an expert in retail-related real estate work.
Other key lawyers:
‘A highly efficient and commercial team able to handle large volumes of work at any given time.’
‘Richard Outhwaite – Leads well and pulls in other resources from within the Shoosmiths organisation when needed. Takes a commercial view and also advises his team in the same manner.’
‘Strong, well managed team with broad experience and strong sector specialism.’
‘Simon Meek is an excellent lawyer and provides attentive service, very clear advice, and brings commercial acumen in spades.’
The Fraser Group
Royal Bank of Scotland International
- Advised the Fraser Group on the acquisition of a new concept flagship store on Birmingham’s New Street.
- Advised the board of Alteri Partners (retail investment fund) on the overall strategy of this high profile acquisition and dealing with all deals involved in the re-organisation of the portfolio.
- Advised Packaged Living/Fiera on the development and sale of Milton Keynes’ first state of the art private rented sector scheme of 300 apartments.
Ward Hadaway is recognised for its portfolio of regional and national housebuilders and residential developers, such as Barratts and Strata Homes. It also has a growing specialism acting for land owning charity trusts on acquisitions and disposals, portfolio management and redevelopment. Local authority, utilities and corporate occupier-related property work are also key areas of activity. Kevin Weston and Andrew Pliener jointly lead the team, which includes Jonathan Dickson, David Pridmore and Simon Hellewell.
Kevin Weston; Andrew Pliener
Other key lawyers:
Jonathan Dickson; David Pridmore; Simon Hellewell
‘Top practice for partner direct availability and willingness to talk matters through in a considered and objective way.’
Canal & River Trust
Land Restoration Trust
Keepmoat Homes Limited
Banks Property Limited
BDW Trading Limited (trading as Barratt Homes)
Strata Homes Limited
OCS Group (UK)
All Work and Social Leeds Dock Limited (wholly owned subsidiary of Allied London)
Eshton Investments Limited and Eshton Developments Limited
- Advised the Land Trust with their involvement to manage and maintain the green space at Whitehill and Bordon, a £1bn complex, multi-partner collaborative and transformational programme seeking to deliver some 3,350 new homes; 5,500 jobs and create nearly 100,000sqm of new commercial, retail, and leisure floor space.
- Advised Keepmoat Homes Limited on acquisition of land for new residential development in Yorkshire to provide 151 new homes.
- Working on five disposals for Kirklees Council to facilitate the development and increased provision of social housing across Kirklees.
DAC Beachcroft LLP
DAC Beachcroft LLP acts for an impressive list of regional NHS health real estate clients, advising on strategic site acquisitions and disposals, statutory restrictions on community estate and development arrangements. It is also instructed by private sector health providers on portfolio purchases and asset management. The practice, led by Clare Hartley is known for its expertise assisting telecoms clients on estate management. Hartley is a specialist in issues arising for Mobile Operators and Infrastructure Provider clients under the Telecommunications legislation.
Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Ltd
Telefonica UK Limited (02)
Property Alliance Group
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
- Advised Telefonica UK Limited on leases of three properties in the West Midland for use as part of the West Midlands 5G project.
- Acted for Westfield (amongst others) in connection with the asset management of two large shopping centres in London, involving new leases, lease renewals, licences to assign and surrenders of leases.
- Acted for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust on the sale of development land at the trust’s Seacroft Hospital.
Gordons LLP's commercial property practice is split between Joanne Fearnley (who leads the retail side) and Michael Finnett (who specialises in residential development and conveyancing). The practice is also continuing to build its client base and expertise in the automotive, utilities infrastructure and energy sectors. Nick Chamberlain works with corporate clients on acquisitions, disposals and leases, while Paul Young is recommended for residential development and secured lending.
Other key lawyers:
Michael Finnett; Nick Chamberlain; Paul Young
‘We’ve used Gordons for all of our property work for a number of years and the service received is second to none. Highly skilled and commercial lawyers with a can-do attitude. Costs are always fair and transparent. ’
‘Mike Finnett – I have always found to be very knowledgeable, competent and great customer service. Very good at providing advice and helping to understand risk.’
‘As simple as it sounds, the ability to keep the business updated in a timely fashion, with relevant updates, sets them apart from other practices.‘
‘Excellent understanding of business needs and the end goal, communicate well and able to provide exceptional advice, which is easy to understand.’
‘A personable service nothing feels too difficult and it feels they are working with you at all times. Could not recommend highly enough.’
B&M Retail Limited
Iceland Foods Limited
AO World Plc
Wren Kitchens Limited
HSBC Bank Plc
Heron Foods Limited
Skipton Properties Limited
Yorkshire Bank Plc
The Original Factory Shop
Galaxy Dry Lining and Insulation Limited
Yorkshire Building Society
- Advised Carnell Management Services in relation to Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the major new development of Nexus industrial development at Capitol Park, Barnsley.
- Acted for B&M Retail on property acquisitions, lease renewal, management and disposal work in relation to their retail stores.
- Advised new client, Galaxy Insulation and Dry Lining Limited on completion of 2 new warehouse leases and exchanged on a third in Bedford, Newcastle and Bristol.
LCF Law's practice is led by Paul Anderson whose 'wise counsel' is sought after in a range of matters, including commercial leases, portfolio management and property finance transactions. He has a niche specialisation in property matters in the retail, healthcare, charity and agricultural sectors. Other individuals include Ann-Marie Casey, rural planning expert Tim Axe and Harriet Thornton.
Other key lawyers:
Ann-Marie Casey; Tim Axe; Harriet Thornton
‘An innate understanding of our concerns. An ability to sift through the smoke and mirrors of the application and an excellent manner and clarity of necessary and important information presented to me.’
‘A team which clearly understands the needs of the client and delivers with clarity and style on a cost effective basis time and time again. Very strong in all matters relating to landlord and tenant, offering pragmatic advice and solutions.’
‘Top firm led by Paul Anderson and his wise counsel.’
Raworths acts for residential developers on matters ranging from site acquisitions and planning to plot sales. Alasdair Inglis, who is noted for providing 'exceptional communication', has a wealth of experience in residential property development and investment transactions.
‘Raworths’ responsiveness and engagement is stand out excellent and I have recommended them to a number of clients.’
‘Communication is a key to most businesses and Raworths are exceptional, each individual within the company are fabulous to deal with.’
Patrizia Hanover Property Unit Trust
- Advised Patrizia Hanover Property Unit Trust on the re-gearing of its lease with the biggest tenant on its estate. This involved the entering into of an agreement for surrender and grant of a new lease on new terms.
Berwins routinely acts for landowners on negotiations with promoters and residential housebuilders on land promotion agreements, option agreements (land and minerals) and conditional sale and purchase contracts. Allan Stewart is the main contact.
Capsticks LLP has a significant focus on health, social care and housing, and is regularly involved in land sales to major housebuilders, joint ventures and new hospital developments. The firm demonstrates strong capabilities in portfolio management, acquisitions and disposals and specialist primary care advise relating to development and construction of healthcare facilities. Lisa Geary leads a 'strong team with dedicated specialists who know the sector well.'
‘Lisa Geary is our the lead partner which we go to for advice on property matters. Lisa’s advice and communication with lawyers of organisations we work with has been invaluable. Lisa can find sensible and pragmatic solutions to help bring resolution to issues.’
‘The team has always been very responsive, professional and dealt with all our work in a very timely manner.’
‘Lisa Geary has been looking after our account in the most professional and timely way. Her knowledge is outstanding and her communication is very commendable. Would highly recommend her services to other partners.’
‘Lisa Geary and her team have always provided the personal touch with any matter they have dealt with on my behalf. They take the time to get to know their clients, understand their needs and the desired outcomes and work in partnership with their clients. They provide a value for money service of a high quality.’
‘A strong team with dedicated specialists who know the sector well.’
‘The team provided a high level of service with excellent electronic and verbal communication. Little or no management oversight of the matters were required.’
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
Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
NHS Herts CCG
Methodist Council of Great Britain
Humberside Local Medical Committee
Dulverton Medical Partnership Limited
Varian Medical Systems 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
Croydon Health Services NHS Trust
South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS FT
Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust
North Tees and Hartlepool Hospitals NHS FT
Oswald Medical Centre Limited
Granta Medical Partnership
Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS FT
- Advising Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust on the sale of its existing HQ which is a complex site, comprising a mix of Trust owned freehold and leasehold titles and with telecoms equipment in situ.
- Advising NHS England on the parameters for spending government money to improve primary care infrastructure, and in particular, the provisions of financial grants to GPs to improve their surgery premises and develop new surgery premises.
- Advised Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust on a wide range of real estate advice including advising on a lease of IVF facilities, a nominations agreement with Hull University in respect of the housing of medical students and staff at the Trust and redevelopment of the front entrance at Hull Royal Infirmary. Of particular note was completion of the final phase of the disposal of land at Castle Hill Hospital, Cottingham to Persimmon Homes for residential development.
Harrowells Solicitors' 'professionalism and efficiency is second to none'. The practice, which is led by Stephen Proctor, has seen an increase in acquisition activity and property management instructions in the warehousing sector. The team is also experienced in the residential development market. Matthew Hayward and Martin Thorpe are also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
Matt Hayward; Martin Thorpe
‘Martin Thorpe is available 24/7 and provides an invaluable service for our business. He always gets things done with efficiency and in a timely manner.’
‘I have been working with the team now for around 20 years and wouldn’t dream of using anyone else, the professionalism and efficiency of the team is second to none.’
‘Very professional company with a wide range of expert solicitors to cover all the fields a business requires.’
‘Excellent communication, always contactable and extremely knowledgeable.’
‘Matthew Hayward handles all our property issues, including new leases and renewals, licences and new land/business purchases. He has made it his business to virtually know what my answers will be before he asks them. He offers very sound advice in a very personable way in language that I can understand.’
McCormicks has built up a sizeable portfolio of commercial property and residential investor clients, landed estates and charities. The firm's work includes property sales and purchases, landlord and tenant matters, property management and disputes. Heather Roberts is experienced in commercial letting, regeneration schemes and specialist areas of agricultural law, such as shooting rights.
John Strutt Conservation Foundation
The Premier League
Yorkshire Agricultural Society
John Strutt Centre for Parrot Conservation
John Strutt Memorial Foundation
The John Strutt Charity
Rudding Park Ltd
Leeds United FC
Wycombe Wanderers FC
Frank Adams Legacy Ltd (Wycombe Wanderers Supporters)
- Continuing to act 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.
- Continuing advice and representation in relation to the Premier League’s Headquarters building in London, including internal re-development, and landlord and tenant issues.
- Advising Leeds United Football Club on the proposed purchase of the former Matthew Murray School site in Leeds as home to the new training ground with Leeds City Council including scoping site and design and working with local partners on potential conditions.
Ramsdens Solicitors LLP
Kirsty Jackson is the main contact at Ramsdens Solicitors LLP, which is 'a local firm with national capabilities'. Jackson focuses on landlord and tenant work relating to offices and restaurants, as well as leisure and retail premises. She also acts for property investors and developers on the acquisition and disposal of standalone and multi-let sites.
‘The whole Ramsdens team are very happy to help and will always find the correct solicitor/partner/lawyer who is most appropriate for your query.’
‘Very approachable, professional and knowledgeable. Always get the job done in a timely manner. They are a local firm with national capabilities.’
‘Very client-focused and always available. Excellent speed of response and always deliver to the required timescales.’
‘Kirsty Jackson is excellent and can be relied upon to deliver projects to the required timescale. Quite sensible on fees as well.’
At Tyr, Dean Jowett ‘blazes the trail that others follow’ and is noted for his expertise in residential development. Clients include regional landlords, corporate occupiers, developers, landowners and investors across a number of sectors, such as manufacturing, retail, leisure and healthcare.
‘Tyr offer a high quality, professional service but the team is able to provide a personal touch with access to senior partners at all times.’
‘They are always willing to go the extra mile and quickly grasp the key commercial objectives and how these impact on a transaction. The team has a can-do attitude which is essential in today’s market.’
‘Dean Jowett blazes the trail that others follow. Always available, always willing to help, and readily able to provide a solution to the most complex of issues.’
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Astonish (Cleaning Products)
Thomas the Baker
- Advising national plc housebuilder Persimmon in respect of a number of regional immediate and strategic land acquisitions, deal values ranging from £1m to £10m.
- Acting on behalf of Astonish Cleaning Products in relation to its proposed acquisition and development of a 120,000 square foot commercial unit in Bradford from a regional commercial developer.
- Acting for PPB Limited, a paper and board manufacturer, in relation to the acquisition of a new build 30,000 square foot commercial unit in Dartford from a regional commercial developer.
Weightmans acts for landlords, tenants, developers and property owners across multiple industries, with a particularly strong portfolio of pub companies, healthcare providers and local authorities. Mark Crabtree is the main partner, handling portfolio management, lease work and property investments.
Greene King Plc
Hoyer Petrolog (UK) Limited
NHS Blood and Transplant
Chevin Retail Limited
Fountainhead Investments Limited
- Advised a pharmaceutical company on the sale of 18 properties.
- Acting on behalf of a private seller in connection with the sale of over three hundred houses for £3.5 million.
- Advising in excess of 20 tenants in connection with the proposed acquisition of the freehold of their apartment building.