Firm Profile > Sharpe Pritchard LLP > London, England

Sharpe Pritchard LLP
ELM YARD
13-16 ELM STREET
LONDON
WC1X 0BJ
England

Living Wage

Electoral Tier 1

Sharpe Pritchard LLP specialises in acting for returning officers in contested and high-profile election law cases, as well as providing immediate advice on polling day regarding ballot counting and other controversial and time-sensitive matters. Practice leader and parliamentary agent Alastair Lewis has experience across a range of areas, including public law and human rights law  in addition to electoral law. Partner Emyr Thomas is frequently instructed by returning officers on election cases and 'provides sound judgement' to organisations subject to investigation by the Electoral Commission on matters including alleged breaches of spending limits and rules around donations and loans. Notably, the team was instrumental in arranging the first-ever ‘socially distanced’ recount.

Practice head(s):

Alastair Lewis

Other key lawyers:

Emyr Thomas

Testimonials

The firm has a sound and wide breadth of expertise in various aspects of local government law and in advising local authorities in complex matters relating to local government. I have instructed them on an election petition matter on the one hand and on the other hand, on housing matters relating to ALMO (arms length management organisation) management agreement. They also provide useful free training sessions through the London Boroughs Legal Alliance, e.g. on local government finance and election law.’

I worked on a protracted election petition case with Emyr Thomas. He has vast knowledge in the complex law of elections and is patient and provides sound judgment and advice to clients, especially in high pressure scenarios. He has developed excellent working relationships with and is respected by other experienced practitioners in the field of election law which is an area of law which can become fractious as the stakes involved for parties in an election petition are high and costly.’

Key clients

Returning Officer for the London Borough of Brent Council

Infrastructure (parliamentary) Tier 1

Sharpe Pritchard LLP is known primarily for promoting private Acts of Parliament and acting for opponents to infrastructure projects requiring statutory authorisation, most recently the HS2 Phase 2a Bill, as well as promoting and opposing private and hybrid bills. However, it provides niche advice regarding special procedure orders, environmental and highways law, and compulsory purchase orders. Its clients are usually public bodies, such as local authorities, although it has promoted private Acts for major corporations and banks. Practice leader Alastair Lewis and Emyr Thomas are experts in both private and hybrid legislation regarding infrastructure projects, while Aidan Dickinson focuses on compulsory purchase law.

Practice head(s):

Alastair Lewis

Other key lawyers:

Emyr Thomass; Aidan Dickinson

Testimonials

Unparalleled experience with a healthy practical approach, well aligned to needs of clients.’

Alastair Lewis has vast experience both in the practical aspects but also in procedures and Emyr Thomas combines great advocacy skills and great client support.’

Key clients

The Churchwardens of Monken Hadley Parish Church

Staffordshire County Council

The National Trust

Cheshire East Council

Suffolk County Council

Electrical Safety First

Local government Tier 2

Sharpe Pritchard LLP advises local councils on matters ranging from construction projects through to education, procurement and administrative and public law. In 2020 the team advised a number of boroughs and councils on the implications of Covid-19 on major projects. New head of local government, Rob Hann, joined in January 2021 from Local Partnerships (previously 4ps)  where he helped develop the local government PFI programme. Parliamentary agent Alastair Lewis is highly regarded for his work in environmental and highways law, while managing partner Julia Rudin advises on IT and technology contracts in the public sector. Head of strategic projects Roseanne Serrelli is a key contact for procurement strategies in the energy and waste sectors.

Practice head(s):

Rob Hann

Other key lawyers:

Alastair Lewis; Julia Rudin; Roseanne Serrelli

Testimonials

‘The team has an exceptionally broad and real expertise in all matters local government.’

‘There is no doubt this firm is a leading practice in Local Government Law and they provide first class service and free add-ons such as briefing CPD seminars on a weekly basis on all manner of topics’

‘They are a passionate team who go the extra mile when necessary. They only know one standard of service and treat you as if you are their favourite client. I have worked with many firms in my long career and have invariably had to chase for progress – in this case I am the one struggling to keep up!’

Key clients

London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham

South Cambridgeshire District Council

Suffolk County Council

London Borough of Barnet

London Borough of Southwark

Wycombe District Council

Local Government Association

Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames

Mid Sussex District Council

Vale of White Horse District Council

London Borough of Merton

Education: schools Tier 3

Sharpe Pritchard LLP stands out for its focus on education infrastructure projects; the team has considerable experience undertaking work for local and central government clients and schools. It houses a dedicated unit handling school construction matters, whole-school infrastructure projects and national procurements. Annie Moy advises on the establishment and construction of new schools and associated community facilities; she jointly heads up the sector group with Tim Farr, who specialises in procurements and strategic public private partnerships. Other key areas of work include ICT outsourcings and advice on apprenticeship training and teacher recruitments.

Practice head(s):

Annie Moy; Tim Farr

Key clients

Imperial College London

King’s College London

Department for Education

Education and Skills Funding Agency

Commercial property: development Tier 4

Sharpe Pritchard LLP, which specialises in public law matters, is noted for its team's ‘understanding of local government pressures and needs’. The group acts for clients on major development and regeneration schemes, such as housing-led, mixed-use and estate renewal projects. The ‘extremely helpfulJo Pickering is the head of the department.

Practice head(s):

Jo Pickering

Other key lawyers:

Aidan Dickinson; James Nelson

Testimonials

‘We instructed James Nelson and found him to be an excellent lawyer. He has quickly become our first choice commercial property legal adviser whenever we need external advice.  He has extensive knowledge, responds quickly, is personable and we trust him.’

‘First-class personal service from very competent and personable lawyers. Clearly leaders in their field of local government law and highly capable team throughout. They are my go-to firm of choice.’

‘Very personable and treat you as if you are their best client. Very efficient and always eager to please. They provide free add-ons such as a weekly law briefings online.’

‘Jo Pickering’s team punch above their weight. James Nelson is particularly good.’

‘It is focused on local government/public sector clients, which gives them a better understanding of local government pressures and needs.’

‘James Nelson has been a pleasure to work with. His attention to detail  is excellent and his client care second to none. He updated me on a regular basis and always followed up with an email explaining sometimes complicated legal issues. I look forward to working with James in the future and I would not hesitate to recommend him on any real estate matters.’

‘The team is genuinely friendly and collaborative. They feel like a natural extension of the in-house team but their expertise also shines through. We selected the team for their range of specialisms and previous experience which is a good fit with our multidimensional development projects.’

‘Jo Pickering demonstrates a real interest in our projects and our ambitions for the City. We have developed an great working relationship with Jo and we know she is listening and watching out for our best interests.’

Key clients

Hertfordshire County Council

Southend on Sea Borough Council

Stephen Court Limited

Lewisham Homes

Great Yarmouth Borough Council

Metropolitan Housing Trust Limited

Historic England

Buckinghamshire County Council

Sutton Court Limited

Internet Connections Limited

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Worcester City Council

Stevenage Borough Council

Rother District Council

Cornwall Council

London Borough of Camden

Warwick District Council

London Borough of Merton

Stoke City Council

Dartford Borough Council

Construction: non-contentious Tier 4

Known for its strong work in the public sector, Sharpe Pritchard LLP advises on standard and bespoke documentation for major infrastructure and regeneration projects. Though its core client base is made up of higher education institutions and county and borough councils, the team has expanded its work advising NHS trusts on new construction matters. Justin Mendelle leads the team, adding on procurement and negotiation for high-value projects.

Practice head(s):

Justin Mendelle

Testimonials

‘The team are all experts in their field and provide commercially based advice.’

‘The team at SP are extremely knowledgeable in their field, are proactive and work very well with our in-house legal team. They have a particular understanding of the requirements of local government.’

‘They apply a mix of technical and commercial knowledge, with pragmatic and common-sense outcomes.’

‘Client service is closely curated by the partner, with someone being always available and quick to respond.’

Key clients

West Sussex County Council

Kings College London

Imperial College

London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

London Borough of Southwark

Infrastructure Tier 4

Acting for local and central government, regulators, and regulated utilities, Sharpe Pritchard LLP’s diverse experience covers rail, road, waste, energy, water, digital infrastructure and social infrastructure projects. As well as the legal aspects of a deal, the firm advises on the structuring of commercial strategy, payment mechanisms, technical interfaces and stakeholder management. Nicola Sumner and Roseanne Serrelli co-lead the team and ‘their knowledge and experience is invaluable’.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Sumner; Roseanne Serrelli

Other key lawyers:

Steve Gummer; Jane Crees

Testimonials

‘All partners that I have worked with demonstrate accountability, putting the client 1st whilst maintaining integrity in the support provided at all times’.

‘My personal experience with Sharp Pritchard can only be described as completely positive. They continually put the needs of the Client first in all that they do and always keep the Client up to date with all that is happening. Nothing is ever too much, and I have never been let down by them’.

‘Roseanne Serrelli and Nicola Sumner are absolute legends. Their knowledge and experience is invaluable. I have worked with both for 4 years on many different procurements and can only heap massive praise for their professionalism and dedication’.

‘Drawing on lessons learnt from current industry best practice and identification of risks’.

‘Sharpe Pritchard are professional, friendly and very knowledgeable – specifically on public procurement. They have a team who cover a range of expertise around procurement regs, practical examples of how they are applied, strategies for managing risk,  developing commercial strategies and mechanisms that deliver value for money and equitable risk transfer in a way that maintains appetite within the supply chain’.

‘Other lawyers primarily offer the information required regarding a law or regulation that may apply but are reluctant to provide context of how the regulation or legislation is applied practically. In addition they are usually not forthcoming with advice on what other steps or approaches could be taken. Where Sharpe’s excel is their ability to translate the theoretical position into practical application and give examples of where it has been done elsewhere on other major projects’. 

Key clients

Houses of Parliament (Restoration and Renewal Delivery Authority Ltd)

Portsmouth Water

Cambridgeshire County Council

City of London Corporation

Suffolk County Council

Buckinghamshire County Council

Thames Water Utilities Limited

West London Waste Authority

Merseytravel

Milton Keynes

Planning Tier 4

Sharpe Pritchard LLP holds a 'unique position in the local government and planning world', representing several public bodies on a wide range of planning issues, including negotiating s106 agreements, judicial reviews and statutory challenges, EIA and CIL. Planning and licensing specialist Bernadette Hillman heads up the practice and is supported by William Rose and Andrew Swaffer, who are experts in contentious planning work.

Practice head(s):

Bernadette Hillman

Other key lawyers:

Alistair Lewis; William Rose; Andrew Swaffer; Rachel Lee

Testimonials

‘A fresh, enthusiastic and diverse team who bring energy and capability in equal measure. They are clear in their values and express them well in their work.’

‘Sharpe Pritchard will always strive to find a solution and provide advice that is pragmatic and solid.’

‘Bernadette Hillman has a significant depth of knowledge in local government and planning law, and is eminently approachable, adaptable and practical when handling planning matters.’

‘William Rose, in particular, is the go-to solicitor for High Court work, whether injunctions or other kinds, and is absolutely dependable with an encyclopaedic knowledge of practice and procedure. I recommend him regularly to clients.’

‘Advice is pragmatic and always turned around well within required timescales with the ability to treat low-value matters with the same urgency and skill as the high-value and complex matters. The rates of fees are very reasonable and noticeably less than instructing a local firm.’

‘Sharpe Pritchard holds a unique position in the local government and planning world because of its longevity and consequent depth of knowledge and available skills in these fields.’

‘Experts in judicial review and High Court litigation. Particular expertise administering complex litigation and cost issues.’

‘Andrew Swaffer – A total star – exceptional. Highly experienced dealing with judicial review and associated litigation. Entirely focused on the client’s needs.’

Key clients

Lambeth London Borough Council

Redbridge London Borough Council

Portsmouth Water

South Cambs District Council

Countryside Properties

London Borough of Barnet

Hertfordshire County Council

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council

Thanet District Council

Harrow School

National Trust

Debenham Antiques Ltd

Braintree District Council

Mid Suffolk Council

Test Valley Borough Council

Mid Sussex District Council

Wycombe District Council

Construction: contentious Tier 5

Sharpe Pritchard LLP's contentious construction practice provides 'unparalleled experience of acting for local authorities and government institutions', and as a result it is has particular strength in disputes related to PFI projects. The 'immensely capable' Justin Mendelle leads the team, advising on high-value adjudications for central government bodies. David Owens provides health sector experience and is building the firm's mediation unit.

Practice head(s):

Justin Mendelle

Other key lawyers:

David Owens

Testimonials

‘Excellent advice provided by exceptionally capable individuals. Always available and able to work to tight timescales whilst maintaining top-quality output and submissions.’

‘Justin Mendelle is an immensely capable lawyer, with excellent knowledge of the various standard form contracts. He is able to quickly get to grips with the terms and implications of bespoke contracts and amendments. He has always been seen to provide sound practical and strategic advice to clients.’

‘Sharpe Pritchard have unparalleled experience of acting for local authorities and government institutions. My experience of them is in construction disputes and PFI-type matters, and at every turn their detailed knowledge and experience of these specialist areas is apparent.’

‘Justin Mendelle is truly exceptional. He is a great pleasure to work with and is a people person. But he is also exceptionally hardworking and knowledgeable about his subject, and has excellent judgement.’

‘I have found the team to be responsive and committed to the work. We have had clear, considered feedback and they have ensured we have met some difficult deadlines. They have also displayed tact and consideration when managing stakeholders.’

‘They work very well as a team, are clearly well prepared and I like that they are willing to listen to and consider other ideas even when a point has been worked through.’

Key clients

Kings College London

Administrative and public law Tier 6

Sharpe Pritchard LLP predominantly represents local authorities in judicial reviews, and is also increasingly involved in public law challenges on behalf of central government departments. Mari Roberts handles a wide range of disputes in the field of housing law, in addition to representing local authorities and individual claimants in judicial reviews. William Rose is noted for his expertise in public law cases concerning planning and zoning issues.

Practice head(s):

Mari Roberts

Other key lawyers:

William Rose

Testimonials

‘They are fluent in public law! The team convey a sense of expertise and experience that gives clients clarity and confidence in decision making. Very impressive. I have also been impressed with some of the more junior team members, who are empowered to advise and develop relationships with clients. The firm clearly has a very positive culture of developing junior lawyers.’

‘The expertise of William Rose, in particular, is much-admired – he is my go-to practitioner for planning injunctions and related High Court work. I know he is relied upon by many local authorities to do London High Court work, and I consider him to be the best in that field.’

‘The breadth of experience and expertise is palpable, which makes the team easy to recommend for a wide array of matters, certain that its members will not disappoint.’

‘William Rose – you would not find another solicitor who has the specialist knowledge that he has of procedural matters relating to injunctions, statutory review and judicial review.’

Key clients

Covent Garden Market Authority

Local Government Association

Pubs Code Adjudicator

London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham

Vale of White Horse District Council

London Borough of Waltham Forest

Slough Borough Council

London Borough of Redbridge

Sharpe Pritchard is a London-based firm of public law specialists, which serves a client base comprising local authorities, other public sector organisations and registered social landlords, as well as commercial clients and third sector organisations.

The firm advises on a wide range of public law matters, spanning electoral law, procurement, construction, infrastructure, data protection and information law, planning and dispute resolution, to name a few key specialisms.

Sharpe Pritchard combines expert legal advice with commercial acumen, a high level of client service and has developed an outstanding reputation for its public law work. It takes particular pride in building close working relationships with its clients and providing added value at every step.

We are on a number of panels and all public sector organisations have a route to instruct us.

The practice was recently Highly Commended in the Boutique Firm of the Year category at The Lawyer Awards 2019.

Sharpe Pritchard’s services include:

Construction: The construction team advises a range of clients across the industry, including central government, local authorities, housing associations, developers, funders, project sponsors, consultants and charitable institutions.

Data and privacy: Sharpe Pritchard has experience of a vast array of issues in this rapidly-changing area of law, including advising on data protection, privacy, freedom of information, online communications, web accessibility and regulatory matters, together with advising on privacy protection in the context of the European Convention on Human Rights.

ICT: Sharpe Pritchard’s technology law team has extensive experience in advising on ICT outsourcing – whether as a standalone ICT procurement or as part of a wide ranging facilities management contract, business process outsourcing or PFI/PPP project.

Infrastructure: The infrastructure team advises on all legal issues including procurement, land assembly, planning, parliamentary, regulation, contracts, finance, joint ventures and construction.

Planning law: Sharpe Pritchard’s planning law team advises on all aspects of planning, highway law and environment law, from major regeneration projects to providing advice on planning enforcement.

Procurement: We have one of the leading teams in the field of public procurement. We have extensive knowledge of EU and UK procurement law, including the public contract regulations and surrounding case law.

Public law and Parliamentary: Lawyers in all departments advise on public law issues, including on governance issues, collaborative arrangements, trading powers, licensing (including prosecutions), freedom of information, human rights and vires.

Sharpe Pritchard is one of the few firms of lawyers with Roll A parliamentary agents amongst their number. The firm is also an acknowledged expert in election law, advising on a wide range of electoral issues.

Real estate: The real estate team advises on a wide range of activities including compulsory purchase, development agreements, right to buy, the sale and purchase of commercial property, landlord and tenant law. Our projects team provides legal support on some of the country’s largest developments in infrastructure and regeneration, including PPP and PFI projects.

Photo Name Position Profile
 Peter Collins photo Peter Collins Partner
 Jane Crees  photo Jane Crees Partner
 Timothy Farr  photo Timothy Farr Partner, Head of Services
 Alastair Lewis photo Alastair Lewis Partner
 Justin Mendelle photo Justin Mendelle Senior Partner, Head of Construction
 Paul O'Sullivan photo Paul O'Sullivan Partner
 Jo Pickering photo Jo Pickering Partner
 William Rose photo William Rose Partner, Privy Council Agent
 Julia Rudin photo Julia Rudin Managing Partner
 Roseanne Serrelli photo Roseanne Serrelli Partner, Head of Projects
 Nicola Sumner photo Nicola Sumner Partner, Head of Infrastructure
 Emyr Thomas photo Emyr Thomas Partner
 Gemma Townley photo Gemma Townley Partner