The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

BDB Pitmans

50 BROADWAY, LONDON, SW1H 0BL, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 020 7227 7000
Fax:
Fax 020 7222 3480
DX:
2317 VICTORIA
Email:
Web:
www.bdbpitmans.com/

London: Corporate and commercial

M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m
M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m - ranked: tier 2

BDB Pitmans

Following a merger with legacy Bircham Dyson Bell, the newly formed BDB Pitmans now counts 12 partners in its London corporate/M&A  team. The practice handles both public and private work, predominantly for smaller and mid-market clients, although some much larger clients are noted. The firm retains a strong private wealth team, which collaborates with the corporate M&A team to bring work for private individuals, including entrepreneurs. Nick McCarthy is the key name to note, and his large sector breadth means he acts for private equity firms, large listed clients and private companies, including some high-profile retail businesses.

Practice head(s):Philip Lamb

Other key lawyers:Nick McCarthy

Key Clients

Harwood Capital LLP

FIH Group plc

Claranet Limited

Health Service Laboratories LLP

The Childcare Corporation Limited

EKF Diagnostics PLC

Bioquell PLC

Ten Entertainment Group Plc

Work highlights

  • Advised IT managed services provider Claranet on its acquisition of Union Solutions from its founding shareholders.
  • Advised Claranet on its further purchase of NotSoSecure Global Services from its founding shareholders.
  • Represented Health Services Laboratories on its purchase of University College London's advanced diagnostics medical testing business.
  • Advised the selling shareholders of a consultancy and talent recruitment business on its sale to a US-based global provider of brand experiences.
  • Advised Harwood Capital LLP in connection with its acquisition of the Curtis Gilmour Group.

[back to top]

London: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 8

BDB Pitmans

In late 2018, Pitmans LLP merged with Bircham Dyson Bell to become BDB Pitmans. The commercial litigation practice covers shareholder disputes, financial litigation and complex IT litigation. Geoffrey Kertesz is litigation head and Sinéad Lester heads the commercial litigation team. Also highly regarded are Richard Langley, Donna Goldsworthy, David Archer and Neil Emerson.

Practice head(s):Geoffrey Kertesz; Sinéad Lester

Other key lawyers:Richard Langley; Donna Goldsworthy' David Archer; Neil Emerson

Testimonials

'Richard Langley is exceptional'.

Key Clients

Dinglis Properties

Smurfit Kappa

Claranet

Nuffield Health

Investec

EFG Bank

Electrosonic

Work highlights

  • Defended Germany's North Channel Bank against a breach of duty of care claim by Denmark's tax authority.  

[back to top]

London: Human resources

Employment: employers
Employment: employers - ranked: tier 6

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans has a strong offering for both employers and senior executives, and has solid expertise in acting for clients drawn from the charity sector. The team handles a broad range of employment law matters, including TUPE issues, contracts, service agreements, redundancies, constructive dismissals and discrimination claims. Jesper Christensen leads the practice. Caroline Yarrow, Brian Gegg and senior associate Ian Wasserman are also key contacts.

Practice head(s):Jesper Christensen

Other key lawyers:Caroline Yarrow; Brian Gegg; Ian Wasserman

Key Clients

Smurfit Kappa UK

The Doctors' Laboratory

SITA

St John Ambulance

The Health and Care Professions Council

London General Transport Services

Work highlights

  • Assisting Smurfit Kappa UK with a broad spectrum of employment law issues, including restrictive covenants and trade union relations.
  • Acted for SITA in its company reorganisation, including assisting with its redundancy consultation processes.

[back to top]

Employment: senior executives
Employment: senior executives - ranked: tier 2

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans has a strong offering for both employers and senior executives, and has solid expertise in acting for clients drawn from the charity sector. The team handles a broad range of employment law matters, including TUPE issues, contracts, service agreements, redundancies, constructive dismissals and discrimination claims. Jesper Christensen leads the practice. Caroline Yarrow, Brian Gegg and senior associate Ian Wasserman are also key contacts.

Practice head(s):Jesper Christensen

Other key lawyers:Caroline Yarrow; Brian Gegg; Ian Wasserman

Work highlights

  • Assisting the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations with advising chief executives of charities on a range of employment-related issues.

[back to top]

Immigration
Immigration: business - ranked: tier 5

BDB Pitmans

Immigration: human rights, appeals and overstay - ranked: tier 2

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans advises large corporates and SME clients on a broad range of immigration matters, including sponsorship duties, right to work checks and applications. The team also advises entrepreneurs, investors and their families on visas and relocation to the UK. The team is also engaged on immigration work relating to acquisitions, disposals, reorganisations and outsourcing. Its client base spans the professional services, hospitality, medical and charity sectors. The team also acts for individuals and private clients on a broad range of immigration matters and can offer estate and tax planning advice as part of its service.

Practice head(s):Tim Hayes; Jesper Christensen; Alastair Collett

Testimonials

Reply Group

KPI Bridge Oil

Bunker Trading Group

Cancom

The Asfari Foundation

Buckley Gray Yeoman

Fletcher Priest LLP

Hassell Studio

Patel Taylor Architects

Great Ormond St Hospital Children’s Charity

Karakusevic Carson

Robert Bird Group

The Doctors Laboratory

Work highlights

  • Advised a private client on a matter of permanent residence and citizenship.
  • Advised an individual on a Windrush application.
  • Advised The Asfari Foundation on multiple Resident Labour Market Tests and visa applications by key staff.
  • Advising Bunker Trading Group on a sponsor licence application.
  • Advising C40 on an immigration application by a key employee.

[back to top]

Pensions (non-contentious)
Pensions (non-contentious) - ranked: tier 5

BDB Pitmans

Christopher Netiatis is the primary contact for the pensions offering at BDB Pitmans. His specialisms include scheme reorganisations and mergers, design and benefit changes, scheme closures, derisking exercises and rectification applications.

[back to top]

London: Private client

Art and cultural property
Art and cultural property - ranked: tier 4

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans is best known for providing tax and structuring advice to the owners of art and cultural property. The experienced team frequently advises trustees and individuals who own assets that are subject to historic conditional exemptions from estate duty and inheritance tax. The group has also been busy advising on all the issues that arise from the sale and purchase of art as well as issues of provenance, artefact recovery in addition to agency agreements, contracts and IP issues. Susan Johnson and Hugo Smith co-head the team.

Practice head(s):Susan Johnson; Hugo Smith

Other key lawyers:Simon Weil; Jonathan Fewster

Testimonials

'Very strong on cultural heritage and landed estates. Susan Johnson - experience in all aspects of cultural assets'.

'Susan Johnson has a long history of working on heritage matters'.

'The team is always friendly and efficient. Simon Weil and Jonathan Fewster - both have been excellent'.

 

Key Clients

Royal Opera House

Handel House Trust

Historic England

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

The Crossrail Art Foundation

The Landmark Trust

Work highlights

  • Advising long-standing client, the Royal Opera House, on various contractual and regulatory matters including IP issues, including artist and media contracts, contractual disputes, brand protection and copyright infringement.
  • Advising The Landmark Trust in the successful mediated settlement of a potentially damaging property litigation claim involving a historic English Civil War property in Dorset, near Corfe Castle.
  • Acting for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to obtain a (rarely granted) parliamentary scheme of the Charity Commission and associated statutory instrument in order to bring about various changes to the constitution of the charity.
  • Advising on the establishment of a joint venture charity, The Crossrail Art Foundation, between Crossrail and the City of London Corporation to create a programme of public art to tie in with the completion of each of the seven Crossrail stations.
  • Advising Historic England, a public body that looks after England’s historic environment, on a number of heritage issues as well as commercial, planning and property matters.
Leading individuals

Hugo Smith - BDB Pitmans

[back to top]

Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 2

BDB Pitmans

The charities group at BDB Pitmans is led by Penny Chapman and encompasses a core team of charity law specialists who are ably supported by other departments at the firm. The broad practice is adept at dealing with a myriad of complex issues, from reputation management matters, through to philanthropy and legacy disputes. Jonathan Brinsden has considerable expertise in a number of specialised areas including cross-border transactions, social impact investment, charity sector collaborations with the private sector, as well as NHS charity regulation. Simon Weil advises on philanthropy and the resolution of potentially contentious issues arising out of wills, trusts and the co-ownership of property for charities and individuals. Nicola Evans is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Penny Chapman

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Brinsden; Simon Weil; Nicola Evans

Testimonials

'The team is young, energetic, intelligent, charming and fun - and also capable and helpful. It really knows its stuff and you feel the team is part of your team rather than legal advisors looking in from the outside'.

'Jonathan Brinsden is personable, knowledgeable, helpful and calm - and he really gets to know your organisation. He inspires trust'.

'Has outstanding all-round knowledge of sector'.

Key Clients

The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation

The Halo Trust

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity

The Mothers’ Union

Welsh National Opera

The Air Ambulance Service

The Landmark Trust

Wembley National Stadium Trust

Nordoff Robbins

The Garden Bridge Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised the independent trustees of The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation UK in the Court of Appeal in the case of Lehtimaki v CIFF and Ors [2018] EWCA Civ 1605.
  • Advised Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy (the English & Welsh charity) in its merger with its Scottish sister charity.
  • Provides regular advice to The HALO Trust, one of the world’s two leading landmine charities.
  • Acted for DKT International, Inc., a U.S. 501(c)(3) not for profit entity, in the establishment of a new charity in England and Wales, as an international grant-making charity focused on all areas of sexual reproductive health and family planning.
  • Advised Help the Animals on the establishment and running of the inaugural “Help the Animals” live telethon, which was funded and televised by Channel 5.
Leading individuals

Jonathan Brinsden - BDB Pitmans

Nicola Evans - BDB Pitmans

Penny Chapman - BDB Pitmans

Simon Weil - BDB Pitmans

[back to top]

Contentious trusts and probate
Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 2

BDB Pitmans

The vast majority of work undertaken by BDB Pitmans is settled before formal court proceedings, however in 2018 it was involved in two reported cases. Dual-qualified Geoffrey Kertesz heads the department and is regularly instructed in high-value matters that involve an interplay between trusts, probate and divorce, and is adept at handling matters that span the Chancery and family divisions. The team handles all types of private onshore and offshore wealth disputes advising on contested wills and trusts, charity legacies and inheritance tax claims. Key clients include individuals, families, trustees, beneficiaries and charities. Senior associate Lorraine Jeffery is one to watch.

Practice head(s):Geoffrey Kertesz

Other key lawyers:Lorraine Jeffery; Lavinia Randall; Helen Fry

Testimonials

'Geoffrey Kertesz is charming and very bright. He is very articulate, knowledgeable and experienced and has just the right amount of aggression and forcefulness with the other side'.

'Geoffrey Kertesz often comes up with new ways to approach apparently intractable problems and treats both clients and opponents with respect and candour'.

'Geoffrey Kertesz has built a good group of likeable and bright associates and senior associates who are cohesive and work well together. They are at home in big ticket cases as well as dealing with smaller matters'.

'Geoffrey Kertesz is a very clever lawyer, good on tactics and eminently sensible. He gives the client excellent balanced advice. Clients love him for his humour and kindness. His background as a Californian attorney makes him incredibly useful in cases with a US aspect'.

'The team is first class: it combines real technical expertise with outstanding client management. Geoff Kertesz is wonderful to work with. He is a quite brilliant lawyer, with great commercial instincts. Clients love him'.

'Lorraine Jeffery is very good and works hard'.

'Lorraine Jeffery is diligent and charming'.

'Lorraine Jeffery has a great deal of experience and takes a calm, constructive approach.

'Lavinia Randall is a very able solicitor. Her judgment is spot on and her grasp of the detail of her clients' cases is impressive. She is someone you want on your team'.

'Helen Fry is supremely knowledgeable'.

Key Clients

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity

Barts Health NHS Trust

Work highlights

  • Acting for Jane Griffin, one of three children, in her successful application for the removal of the executors of her late mother’s estate, two of whom were solicitors, and one an accountant, whereby the removal was fiercely opposed by its client’s elder brother and his children.
  • Acting for Barts Health National Health Service Trust, one of the residuary beneficiaries of the estates of Charles and Violet Hamblen-Thomas, to save a legacy gift to the hospital.
Leading individuals

Geoffrey Kertesz - BDB Pitmans

Rising stars

Lorraine Jeffery - BDB Pitmans

[back to top]

Court of Protection
Court of Protection - ranked: tier 3

BDB Pitmans

The Court of Protection team at BDB Pitmans is led by Alastair Collett and comprises a mix of non-contentious and litigation lawyers who practise in this area alongside other connected areas, such as care of the elderly and will and trust disputes. The department is best known for managing capacity issues for high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. The team has substantial experience in contested Court of Protection cases as well as in bringing and defending objections to enduring/lasting powers of attorney. Simon Weil and Geoffrey Kertesz are the other names to note.

Practice head(s):Simon Weil; Geoffrey Kertesz

Other key lawyers:Alastair Collett; Helen Fry; Lorraine Jeffery

Testimonials

'BDB Pitmans is immensely capable, with a real focus on doing the best for its clients. The lawyers are sensible litigators, fighting for their clients' cause but never losing sight of the bigger picture'.

'A strong team with a great depth of litigation experience, which means the team can bring a broader view to COP work than many other firms in this area'.

'Geoffrey Kertesz is technically brilliant and a master tactician. He always seems to see six steps ahead'.

'A strong team with a great deal of litigation and private client experience, particularly good on property and affairs and cross-border (especially US) issues. Geoffrey Kertesz – truly excellent, a master tactician'.

'Helen Fry is extremely efficient, pragmatic and capable. She is able to pick up the issues quickly and tackle them sensibly, whilst also being very clever'.

'Lorraine Jeffery is an excellent solicitor and a real star in this area, capable of dealing with even the most difficult situations'.

'Lorraine Jeffery – very strong, a great senior associate with in-depth knowledge of the Court of Protection and a litigator's brain'.

Work highlights

  • Acting for a son who had an enduring power of attorney as well as a lasting power of attorney in respect of his father in a matter concerning retrospective approval of family care payments that he made to himself.
  • Acting for a high-profile businessman, who is a household name, in a dispute relating to his affairs.
  • Acting for the landlord, a ministerial department, in a straightforward dispute regarding the forfeiture of a farm further complicated by the question of whether the tenant had the capacity to litigate in person.
  • Acting for two deputies in a statutory will application where the deceased, who was intestate, had no immediate next of kin or any relationship with (or even knowledge of) distant relatives such that the estate would pass to charity.

[back to top]

Family
Family - ranked: tier 5

BDB Pitmans

Si√Ęn Jones heads the team at BDB Pitmans¬†and advises many high-profile international couples on pre-nuptial, cohabitation and pre-civil partnership agreements. The busy team was pleased to add David Thompson to its ranks from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP. It is highly regarded for its work on complex international disputes and works closely with its private wealth team and its agriculture and rural property teams. Lisa Bolgar Smith, David Thompson, John Darnton¬†and Isobel Mundy¬†are all mediators and Mundy is qualified to have direct consultation with children. The team is one to watch.

Practice head(s):Sian Jones

Other key lawyers:Lisa Bolgar Smith; David Thompson; John Darnton; Isobel Mundy; David Thompson

Testimonials

'Highly effective and efficient family law team with a huge amount of professionalism Lisa Bolgar Smith: hugely experienced; an excellent lawyer and superb with clients, also a top-class negotiator'.

'Highly knowledgeable and willing to fight for its clients. Sian Jones is very experienced and a strong litigator who is very committed to securing the best possible outcome for clients'.

'Sian Jones is calm and sensible. She wins the loyalty of her clients by thorough preparation and her wealth of experience of difficult cases. A safe pair of hands'.

'Client focused and problem solving an experienced team. Isobel Mundy has fantastic experience and judgement'.

'BDB Pitmans will be bolstered by the arrival of David Thompson'.

Work highlights

  • Acting for the potential wife in an enormous pre-nuptial agreement worth approximately £1bn.
  • Acting for a Russian wife in a complex divorce from her Russian husband in a £100m plus cross-border matter.
  • Acting for the wife, an HNW individual with an internationally high profile and multimillion-pound assets, in respect of her cross-border divorce and financial remedies proceedings.
  • Acting for the husband, a prominent international doctor based in Abu Dhabi and the US, in respect of his multimillion-pound divorce and financial remedies proceedings.
  • Acting on behalf of the son of a wealthy deceased Greek industrialist with respect to negotiating a prenuptial agreement designed to both protect his generational wealth but also be upheld in the event of any future divorce.

[back to top]

Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 2

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans is best known for its advice on complex estate planning and succession issues, often involving assets in multiple jurisdictions, as well as for its work on trusts and other wealth-holding vehicles for international families. The team is  well-regarded for its advice to owners of agricultural land and landed estates as well as philanthropists. In addition, the team of trust and tax managers is thriving. Simon Weil heads the department.

Practice head(s):Simon Weil

Other key lawyers:Helen Ratcliffe; Judith Millar; Lara Mardell

Testimonials

'Has in-depth knowledge that is second to none. The lawyers have a way of getting to the issue quickly, explaining it in straightforward terms and giving clear advice as to how to proceed. An excellent firm'.

'The team has a lot of experience and provides a thorough and reasoned style of advice. Helen Ratcliffe is very professional, hardworking and gives practical and technically excellent advice'.

'Helen Ratcliffe is an excellent team player - technically adept, professional yet warm with clients and team members, never competitive but rather focused on getting the best results for the client as efficiently and thoughtfully as possible'.

'Very technically strong friendly team'.

'Cool heads all around'.

'The team at BDB is good to work with and has a refreshing habit of putting its clients' interest first while guiding them carefully through the technical and practical difficulties of personal tax, trusts and probates.'

'Judith Millar is a really good person to work with. She is empathetic to the scenario and will take time to give her advice which is always relevant and spot on to the situation.'

'Judith Millar is very good at handling the more aggressive and bullying practitioners that aggregate fractious family situations.'

'Lara Mardell is very easy to work with and brings good offshore experience to the team'.

Work highlights

  • Instructed by the family office of a high-profile Gulf family to review the restructuring of a series of Jersey trusts holding London property worth several hundred million pounds.
  • Acting for the trustees as shareholders in an insurance company based in Bermuda.
  • Advising the owner of a very large and multimillion-pound estate in the Cotswolds on succession planning.
  • Advising a Liechtenstein foundation that was established for an UHNW family in relation to tax rule changes that impacted on a high-value UK residential property that was owned by the foundation.
  • Advising a successful British entrepreneur with dual UK/US citizenship in relation to his acquisition of a domicile of choice in the US and providing cross-border advice in relation to his estate planning.
Leading individuals

Helen Ratcliffe - BDB Pitmans

Simon Weil - BDB Pitmans

[back to top]

London: Public sector

Administrative and public law
Administrative and public law - ranked: tier 3

BDB Pitmans

The administrative and public law practice at BDB Pitmans has a strong track record for public inquiry work, with Matthew Smith representing a number of individuals involved the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, the London Bridge Inquests and the Westminster Bridge Inquests. The team’s client roster recently expanded, bringing in a number of key local councils acting as interested parties in a judicial review concerning local government reform. Other judicial review challenges are regularly acted on in the fields of planning and climate change, with a highlight being an ongoing instruction by the Committee on Climate Change against the central government. Procurement advice is covered by David Mundy, with the landmine clearance charity HALO being a significant client.

Practice head(s):Matthew Smith; David Mundy

Testimonials

'Richard Langley is shrewd, realistic and highly experienced - a good person to have on your side'

'The team's organisation and management of major cases is second to none and it consistently shows up-to-date knowledge of the law in the field'

'Natasha Davis is a rising star in the field and consistently demonstrates a high level of intelligence and rigour in her work'

'Sian Jones provides outstanding legal expertise, coupled with acute tactical judgement and excellent client management'

Key Clients

National Audit Office

The Chief Coroner of England and Wales

Mrs Jane Jones and Mr Peter Rice

Committee on Climate Change

HALO

The Health and Care Professions Council

The Corporation of Trinity House

Dorset County Council; Purbeck District Council; Bournemouth Borough Council; Poole Borough Council; East Dorset District Council; Dorset Councils Partnership

Work highlights

  • Acted for eight Dorset councils as interested parties in a judicial review forwarded by another local council to the Secretary of State concerning local government reform.
  • Assisting the Committee on Climate Change with a judicial review claim concerning the Secretary of State's refusal to revise the 2050 carbon reduction target.
  • Representing the former safeguarding co-ordinator for the Archdiocese of Birmingham in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
  • Appointed by the chief coroner of England and Wales in the Westminster Bridge Inquests and the London Bridge Inquests.

[back to top]

Education: schools
Education: schools - ranked: tier 3

BDB Pitmans

Penny Chapman oversees the education and charities team at BDB Pitmans, which provides 'consistently good advice' to its national clients on all areas of education law, combined with its charity law expertise. The team has handled mergers and restructurings, regulatory work and real estate matters over the past 12 months and has seen a strengthening of its client base, with several independent schools joining the roster. The practice takes a cross-departmental, with real estate group head Jonathan Fewster advising schools on property matters. Senior associates Alice Unwin and Harriet Ainsworth are also key members of the team.

Practice head(s):Penny Chapman

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Fewster; Jesper Christensen; Alice Unwin; Harriet Ainsworth

Key Clients

Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools (AGBIS)

Eltham College

Grange Park School

Plymouth College (formally known as Plymouth College and Dunstan's Abbey Schools Charity)

The Mount School (York)

Cripplegate Schools Foundation –Lady Eleanor Holles

Queen’s College London

Connaught House School (prep)

Westminster School

Merchant Taylors School

Work highlights

  • Providing ongoing, comprehensive advice on charity governance, commercial, corporate, employment and property matters to Grange Park School over the past year.
  • Acting for Plymouth College, and its two subsidiary charitable trusts, in relation to a loan facility being obtained by the client and the related security that each of the three charities are being asked to provide.
  • Undertaking a detailed constitutional review for longstanding client Eltham School, as well as advising on the composition of the board and the requirements of the Companies Act 2006.
  • Advising the Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools (AGBIS) on a detailed model school governance manual that is now available on the client's website for its member schools to download for free usage and adapt for their particular schools.

[back to top]

Infrastructure (parliamentary)
Infrastructure (parliamentary) - ranked: tier 1

BDB Pitmans

As one of the 'very top planning law practices in the country', BDB Pitmans fields a 'talented group of partners and associates' who have 'huge depth of expertise in this area'. Its four parliamentary agents - Angus Walker, Nick Evans, Nick Brown and David Mundy - are active in the promotion and opposition of major infrastructure projects in the transport, water, airports and energy areas; legislative drafting; and as advocates in inquiries and before parliamentary committees. Sarah Clark is likewise experienced in infrastructure planning, public inquiry work and securing compulsory purchase powers.

Practice head(s):Mark Challis, Stuart Thomson

Other key lawyers:David Mundy; Angus Walker; Nick Evans; Nick Brown; Sarah Clark

Testimonials

'Nick Brown is a sage counsellor with immense experience and a joy to work with, and David Mundy approaches his cases with infinite care and sound judgement'.

'Nick Brown is experienced, canny and able to bring momentum to even the most challenging of projects. A born diplomat with reliable delivery and first-class service.'

'Sarah Clark is a superbly safe pair of hands, with a focus and insight that clients appreciate. Impressive, effective, innovative and worth every penny. '

'BDP Pitmans brings an attention to detail, a wish to support and deliver, and a passion for the subject which helps win over even the hard-nosed members of our client team.'

Key Clients

National Audit Office

HS2 objections, including the Greater Manchester Authorities and Leeds City Council

Transport for London

Riveroak Investments

London Resort Company Holdings

Work highlights

  • Providing ongoing advice to the National Audit Office in relation to public law and parliamentary matters, including the Home Office’s handling of the Windrush affair and the financial aspects of the EU Withdrawal Agreement.
  • Providing ongoing advice to a wide range of parties affected by Phases 2a and 2b of the HS2 project, which included representation on behalf of clients before the Select Committee proceedings for the High Speed Rail Bill, negotiating assurances and undertakings from the promoters, and securing changes to the legislation.
  • Advising Transport for London on all aspects of the authorisation of the Crossrail 2 scheme, including matters regarding environmental assessment and public consultation.
Leading individuals

Angus Walker - BDB Pitmans

Next Generation Partners

Nick Brown - BDB Pitmans

Nick Evans - BDB Pitmans

Sarah Clark - BDB Pitmans

[back to top]

Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 2

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans (Bircham Dyson Bell merged with Pitmans in late 2018) has an impressive national practice, especially in areas of transport, regeneration projects and clean air/emissions matters. Mark Challis heads the department and David Mundy leads the practice area - he is a Roll A Parliamentary Agent and his expertise spans development schemes, public procurement and state aid and broad administrative law matters. Also a Roll A Parliamentary Agent, Nick Evans advises on major  infrastructure projects in the transport, energy, water and waste sectors. Angus Walker also has a focus on these sectors and 'stand out' Tom Henderson handles infrastructure planning. Senior associate Rahul Bijlani  is noted; he acted for Transport for London on numerous extensions and variations of London's congestion charging regime.

Practice head(s):Mark Challis; David Mundy

Other key lawyers:Nick Evans; Angus Walker; Tom Henderson; Rahul Bijlani

Testimonials

'Very customer focused, practical and always looking for solutions.  Very knowledgeable and clearly experts in their field.'

'They have longstanding expert knowledge and experience as lawyers and Parliamentary agents in relation to congestion charging and particularly workplace parking levy schemes and air quality legislation.'

'Tom Henderson is a stand-out individual and he is developing team members.  Issues are expedited diligently and professionally with a thoroughness that enables strengths, weaknesses and risks to be identified and properly considered.'

Key Clients

Allerdale Borough Council

Bath & North East Somerset Council

Riding of East Yorkshire Council

Birmingham City Council

Blackpool Borough Council

Cambridge & Peterborough Combined Authority

England’s Economic Heartland Sub-national Transport Body

Nottingham City Council

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Transport for Greater Manchester, Manchester City Council

Trafford Borough Council & Wigan Borough Council

Leeds City Council

Work highlights

  • Advising the Bath and North East Somerset Council on legislative instruments to put into place a clean air zone, where vehicles will be charged to enter the city of Bath.
  • Advising East Riding of Yorkshire on their plans to regenerate the harbour at Bridlington with the  Harbour Commissioners through a Harbours Act Order to facilitate the construction of a marina.
  • Advised Birmingham City Council on various matters including the interface between the local  transport arrangements with the High Speed 2 project.  Currently  advising the council on clean air zones.
  • Continuing to advise Blackpool Borough Council on the extension of Blackpool tramway, the oldest active tramway in the UK, to Blackpool North railway station.
  • Advising England’s Economic Heartland on the legislative requirements of becoming a statutory sub-national transport body, and on the regulatory burdens affecting the delivery of strategic infrastructure in their region.

[back to top]

London: Real estate

Commercial property: corporate occupiers
Commercial property: corporate occupiers - ranked: tier 4

BDB Pitmans

Jonathan Fewster‚Äôs team at BDB Pitmans¬†is a ‚Äėwell-rounded group, offering excellent advice and a hands-on attitude‚Äô. The firm, which is a result of the recent merger of Bircham Dyson Bell and Pitmans Law, is particularly reputed for its corporate occupier work which ranges from asset management to acquisitions and leasing arrangements. Development and investment matters are also a particular focus including day-to-day portfolio management, acquisitions and disposals. Also forming the caseload is landlord and tenant work, construction, property finance, planning and enfranchisement work along with a range of matters in the charities and not-for-profit sector such as leasing and constitutional restructuring.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Fewster

Other key lawyers:Ellen James

Testimonials

'A well rounded group offering excellent advice and a hands-on attitude.'

'Ellen James is always willing to provide off the cuff advice and has time to discuss issues before they arise.'

'Bhaminee Sharma impresses with her diplomacy and patience'.

Key Clients

South London & Maudsley Charity

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Foundation for Language and Educational Centres (Eurocentres) on the sale of the two language schools in London and Cambridge occupied by corporate occupiers.
  • Advised on purchase of long leasehold interest for re-development into a hospital in Swansea.

[back to top]

Commercial property: development
Commercial property: development - ranked: tier 4

BDB Pitmans

Jonathan Fewster‚Äôs team at BDB Pitmans¬†is a ‚Äėwell-rounded group, offering excellent advice and a hands-on attitude‚Äô. The firm, which is a result of the recent merger of Bircham Dyson Bell and Pitmans Law, is particularly reputed for its corporate occupier work which ranges from asset management to acquisitions and leasing arrangements. Development and investment matters are also a particular focus including day-to-day portfolio management, acquisitions and disposals. Also forming the caseload is landlord and tenant work, construction, property finance, planning and enfranchisement work along with a range of matters in the charities and not-for-profit sector such as leasing and constitutional restructuring.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Fewster

Other key lawyers:Ellen James

Testimonials

'A well rounded group offering excellent advice and a hands-on attitude.'

'Ellen James is always willing to provide off the cuff advice and has time to discuss issues before they arise.'

'Bhaminee Sharma impresses with her diplomacy and patience'.

[back to top]

Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 2

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans has a strong reputation as a leading firm in the field of infrastructure planning, and advising on DCO and Transport and Works Act Order applications for major projects across the UK. Particularly noteworthy ongoing work includes the full suite of advice to Transport for London regarding the Crossrail 2 project and the DCO application for the £5.3bn+ Lower Thames Crossing project for Highways England. Angus Walker also advises on NSIPs in the airport and oil and gas sectors. On the development side, practice head Mark Challis advises a number of local authorities on their CPO applications for high-value regeneration programmes, as well as handling contentious issues such as planning objections by way of public inquiry. The sizeable nine-partner team also includes Sarah Clark, who notably is acting alongside Challis on a £3bn+ line extension project for Transport for London.

Practice head(s):Mark Challis

Other key lawyers:Angus Walker; Sarak Clark

Testimonials

'Not only the leading infrastructure planning practice in the UK, but also a really good mainstream planning practice with all-round expertise.'

'There is no one with more experience and expertise in nationally significant infrastructure projects than Angus Walker.'

'Sarah Clark is a great lawyer who can guide a case through to a successful conclusion, as well as being able to inspire confidence in clients and the team that she leads.'

'Angus Walker is the leading infrastructure lawyer of his generation. There is no one with his experience and expertise in nationally significant infrastructure projects.'

'The firm has exceptional associates who are more than capable in their own right, including Lauren Spencer and Joanna Purkis.'

'Angus Walker has an encyclopaedic knowledge of infrastructure planning.'

'Provides cutting-edge, well-informed. strategic, innovative and thoughtful advice.'

'Mark Challis really understands what his clients' needs are and what they want to achieve.'

'Lee Tearle is hardworking, thorough and a safe pair of hands.'

'Nicholas Brown is a bright, attentive problem solver who can win with both intellect and charm.'

'The firm has exceptional associates who are more than capable in their own right, such as Lauren Spencer and Joanna Purkis.'

Key Clients

Transport for London

National Grid

Highways England

London Borough of Lambeth

London Luton Airport Limited

Historic England

Transport for Greater Manchester

Peel Group

RiverOak Invests Corp LLC  (developers of Manston Airport)

Environment Agency

Transport for Wales

Work highlights

  • Advising Transport for London on all aspects of the authorisation of the Crossrail 2 scheme.
  • Advising Highways England on the authorisation of the Lower Thames Crossing project.
  • Advising London Luton Airport Ltd on a proposed major expansion of the airport.
  • Advising Transport for London in obtaining a Transport and Works Act Order to authorise the building and operation of a major extension to the Bakerloo Line.
  • Advising RiverOak Investment on its proposals to reopen Manston Airport for freight and passenger travel.
Leading individuals

Angus Walker - BDB Pitmans

[back to top]

Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 5

BDB Pitmans

Following the merger between Bircham Dyson Bell and Pitmans, the firm now operates under the name BDB Pitmans. Its property litigation team is jointly led by the 'approachable and knowledgeable' Simon Painter and Neil Emerson and is best known for its high-end residential property work, which frequently involves unlawful alterations and noise nuisance claims as well as enfranchisement disputes but the practice also handles commercial property issues including those involving an insolvency element.

Practice head(s):Simon Painter; Neil Emerson; Andrew Couch

Testimonials

'Very good level of service with very quick response times.'

'They have a clear, practical approach to resolving disputes, paying close attention to the relevant legal principles and always look for practical solutions.'

'Their careful analysis is impressive.'

'Simon Painter gives full and careful attention to the detail of the case as well as the overall picture. He is also a pleasure to work with.'

Key Clients

Clarion Housing Group

The Ministry of Defence

Fred Perry

Smurfit Kappa UK

The Landmark Trust

City & Country Group

Bank of Ireland

Peel Holdings

The National Landlords Association

Work highlights

  • Acting for Sarvenaz Fouladi, a private individual, who brought an action against the long lessee and the landlord of a high-value flat close to High Street Kensington in central London.
  • Acting for Cacique Investments and Damor Investments, the owners of two flats in a Knightsbridge property containing four flats, in a dispute with the owners of the other two flats, who attempted to exercise their right to acquire the freehold by collective enfranchisement.
  • Acting for a private individual, who sought to challenge the decision of the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) on a leasehold valuation point relating to the lease extension of his flat in Chelsea, London.
  • Provided advice to the Secretary of State for Defence on tenant eviction and associated rent arrears matters.
  • Acting for Brompton Estates Nominees No. 1 and Brompton Estates Nominees No. 2, the landlord of commercial retail premises located in South Kensington, in court proceedings against the tenant, Boots UK, opposing the grant of a lease renewal on the grounds of redevelopment under Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.

[back to top]

Residential property
Residential property - ranked: tier 2

BDB Pitmans

Following its merger in December 2018, BDB Pitmans has increased its historic strength in all types of leasehold matters, including acquisitions and enfranchisements, which are handled alongside a consistent stream of high value residential property transactions, acting for buyers and sellers in prime central London locations such as Chelsea, Belgravia and Knightsbridge. Further expertise is displayed by the practice in property development and estate acquisitions. Practice head Hema Anand frequently acts for high net worth individuals buying and selling residential property in London, providing particular expertise in relation to tax structuring and the complex areas of Right to Manage and Right of First Refusal. Former senior partner John Stephenson leads on leasehold enfranchisement work.

Practice head(s):Hema Anand; John Stephenson

Work highlights

  • Advised on £18.8m acquisition of development site for 40 dwellings in London W6.
  • Advised on £24m sale of property converted from office to residential in London W1.
  • Advised on the purchase of a £15.65m new-build leasehold property on the Clarges Development in London.
  • Acting on behalf of a second group of 30 leaseholders in a well-known residential development in Chelsea for lease extension claims.
  • Advised on complex £2.5m purchase of a leasehold flat and share of freehold in prime central London.
Leading individuals

Hema Anand - BDB Pitmans

[back to top]

London: Transport

Rail
Rail - ranked: tier 3

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans focuses on planning and authorisation work in the rail sector; it advises on the planning aspects of large-scale infrastructure projects in heavy and light rail; and it has 'deep experience in the field'. The firm's Parliamentary Agents advise on the promotion and opposition of railway bills and it has a dedicated public affairs practice. The team continues to act for a wide range of parties affected by HS2 Phases One and Two, including statutory bodies and undertakers, local authorities, utility companies, private organisations, individual landowners and rural businesses.

Practice head(s):Mark Challis

Other key lawyers:Sarah Clark; Nicholas Evans; Christina Daniels

Testimonials

Mark Challis is very experienced in railway work and has excellent judgement.

 

Key Clients

HS2 objections, including the CLA, BMW, Aston Villa, Birmingham City Council, Birmingham Airport and NEC.

Transport for Wales

Transport for London

Transport for Greater Manchester

Leeds City Council

Blackpool Borough Council

Work highlights

  • The team advises TfL on all aspects of the authorisation of the Crossrail 2 scheme, which includes advising on environmental assessment and public consultation, and advising on the delivery of 200,000 more homes along its route.
  • The team is advising TfL on the necessary consents to build and operate a scheme involving an extension of the existing Gospel Oak to Barking London Overground line to a new station to be built in the heart of Barking Riverside, a substantial new mixed-use development.
  • The team is advising TfL on the Bakerloo extension and the Holborn station upgrade schemes.
  • The team is advising TfW on the process of taking over the ownership and operation of the Core Valley Lines, so that these can be converted to light rail operation.
  • The team advised Transport for Greater Manchester on the promotion of every part of Manchester’s Metrolink, the UK’s largest light rail network and, more recently, on the Trafford Park Extension.

[back to top]


Further information on BDB Pitmans

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about BDB Pitmans in other jurisdictions.

East Anglia

Offices in Cambridge

London

Offices in London

South East

Offices in Reading RG1, Southampton, and READING RG1

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Court of Justice rules on source of income for Derivative Residence applications

    On 2 October 2019, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in Bajratari v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Directive 2004/38/EC) Case C-93/18 which concerns Chen applications and the source of funds for self-sufficiency. 
  • End of the ‚Äėcentre of life test‚Äô in Surinder Singh cases?

    In the recent case of¬† ZA (Reg 9. EEA Regs; abuse of rights) Afghanistan ¬† [2019] UKUT 281 (IAC ), the Upper Tribunal found that there is no basis in EU law for the centre of life test, as set out in Regulation 9(3)(a) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (the ‚ÄúRegulations‚ÄĚ). It further found that it is not to be applied when Judges assess ¬†Surinder Singh ¬†cases that appear before them.
  • Terms of employment as a sole representative

    In this article we examine the working arrangements of sole representatives, looking at the terms and conditions of employment that the Home Office will expect a sole representative to have in order to qualify as a representative of an overseas business.  
  • Can Sole Representatives Be Shareholders?

    The Immigration Rules require that an applicant for a¬† sole representative visa ¬†is not ‚Äúa¬† majority shareholder in the overseas business‚ÄĚ.
  • Immigration Skills Charge - A Guide for Employers

    As a Sponsor, you may be required to pay the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) each time you sponsor a migrant in the  Tier 2 General  or  Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Long-term Staff  subcategory.
  • 5 FAQS about paragraph 320(11)

    In applications for entry clearance where the applicant has a negative immigration history in the UK, the application may be refused under the general grounds for refusal, which are found in part 9 of the Immigration Rules. Where an applicant has ¬†‚Äėpreviously contrived in a significant way to frustrate the intentions of the Immigration Rules‚Äô,¬† the application could be refused under paragraph 320(11). In this post we look at five frequently asked questions about paragraph 320(11).¬†
  • Multiple nationality and multiple citizenship (including dual nationality and dual citizenship)

    British nationality law permits multiple nationality and multiple citizenship, including dual nationality and dual citizenship.
  • Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the Exceptional Talent or Promise Category

    The  Exceptional Talent  and Exceptional Promise categories are for individuals who are recognised leaders or emerging leaders in their field of expertise. There are a number of endorsing bodies for lots of different fields of work, including  artists and musicians ,  architects ,  digital experts ,  scientists  and  academics . While there isn’t an endorsing body for every expert, the growing list means that many individuals could enjoy the flexibility that this category has to offer. 
  • PARALLEL PROCEEDINGS ‚Äď CIVIL AND CRIMINAL

    Syedur Rahmanconsiders the factors that determine when civil proceedings can go ahead before,or at the same time as, criminal proceedings relating to the same circumstances.
  • Rights of appeal after the Immigration Act 2014

    The Immigration Act 2014 (‚Äúthe 2014 Act‚ÄĚ) reduced the circumstances in which the refusal of an immigration application will give rise to a right of appeal.¬†The¬† explanatory notes ¬†to the 2014 Act state that the Act was intended to restructure rights of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal. Previously, a right of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal existed against any of the 14 different immigration decisions listed in s.82 of the¬† Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 ¬†(‚Äúthe 2002 Act‚ÄĚ). As explained below, whether or not the refusal of an immigration application currently generates a right of appeal depends on the subject matter of the application rather than its categorisation.