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Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Work 0161 838 2000
Fax 0161 838 2001

North West: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Manchester
Commercial litigation: Manchester - ranked: tier 6

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP represent clients on procurement disputes, contentious insolvency disputes, contentious bankruptcy, fraud, shareholder disputes, breach of warranty claims, and professional negligence claims. Clients include local authorities, real estate investment companies, pension funds, private companies, high-net-worth individuals and public sector bodies. Dan Butler co-heads the team and acts for local authorities, housing associations, NHS trusts, and other contracting authorities, working alongside London-based co-head Lucy James.

Practice head(s):Dan Butler; Lucy James


'Robust yet commercial legal advice given in a very timely manner. Whilst other firms can also give good technical advice, this isn't always backed up by a commercial and pragmatic approach. The team, which has strength and depth, is particularly strong in the not-for-profit and property sectors and draws on the deep sector expertise within the wider firm.'

'Dan Butler is consistently proactive and gives robust and commercial advice.  He is able to work very quickly and pick things up at very short notice.'

'Dan Butler has an excellent career ahead of him - he has an impressive set of skills and commercial nous.'

Key Clients

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)

Arch (North Staffs) Limited

MMBS (UK) Limited

Your Housing Group

Equity Housing Group

Integrated Dental Holdings Limited (t/a MyDentist)

Caprice Holdings Limited

UK Container Maintenance Limited

Caring Homes Group Limited

RSM Restructuring & Recovery LLP

Quantuma LLP

Ningbo Corleone Import and Export Company

Mazars LLP

Smith & Williamson LLP

Core Education Trust

Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of the Education and Funding Skills Agency in contested insolvency proceedings against its former landlords, R Square Properties and Moors Properties.
  • Represented an institutional landlord in an advisory capacity arising out of its tenant House of Fraser's proposal for a CVA and subsequent administration.
  • Represented an institutional landlord in respect of issuing flowing from the CVA of Homebase.
  • Represented MMBS (UK) Limited in its challenge against Birmingham City Council's procurement of major adaption building works for housing for citizens with disabilities.
  • Represented Arch (North Staffs) Limited in its challenge against the Police and Crime Commissioner's procurement of domestic abuse support service across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

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North West: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 4

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP is best known for its property finance expertise and housing finance is a key area of strength for the department; the team acts for a range of clients on a range of mandates such as property investment finance, development finance, bridging finance and finance from institutional investors. Neil Waller heads the team which also includes the 'brilliant' Eleanor James .

Practice head(s):Neil Waller

Other key lawyers:Eleanor James


A strong banking and finance department with excellent experience in housing finance

The team acts quickly when instructed

The department is always on hand to pick up the telephone and deal with any issues or questions

Eleanor James is first-rate

Key Clients






Naissance Capital Real Estate


Work highlights

  • Advised Greater Manchester Pension Fund on the provision of a mezzanine facility agreement to Select Property Group to finance the Circle Square residential development.
  • Advised Peabody Trust on the refinancing of 417 legacy loan agreements into nine primary bank facilities.
  • Advised Karbon on all aspects of its maiden £250m bond issue.
  • Acted as UK counsel on a private placement for mhs homes.
  • Advised Orbit Capital on its second bond issue.
Next Generation Partners

Eleanor James - Trowers & Hamlins LLP

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North West: Human resources

Employment - ranked: tier 6

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Senior associate Helen Cookson leads Trowers & Hamlins LLP's Manchester employment department, which is best known for its TUPE work, acting for private as well as public sector clients. Other areas of activity relate to restructuring, industrial relations and advising clients on managing difficult employees. Cookson predominantly advises employers in the housing and social care field, but also acts for local authority trading companies.

Practice head(s):Helen Cookson

Other key lawyers:Laura Welchew




Key Clients

A2 Dominion Housing Group Ltd

Anchor Trust & Hanover Housing Association

Association Care International

Association of Accounting Technicians

Aster Group Limited

Asthma UK

Aurora Options

BACS Payment Schemes Limited

Chartered Institute of Housing

Choice Support

Dimensions (UK) Limited


Golding Homes Limited

Grant Thornton LLP

Hyde Housing Association Limited

Norwood Ravenswood

Saxon Weald


Settle Group

The English Heritage Trust

THFC (Services) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Dimensions on significant tribunal claims relating to TUPE.
  • Providing GDPR advice to the Epilepsy Society.
  • Negotiating the departure of Cardiff Community Housing Association's chief executive.
  • Advising Hightown Housing Association on a number of tribunal claims.

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North West: Public sector

Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 2

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

The 'impressive' team at Trowers & Hamlins LLP handles a range of matters such as complex advisory work; town centre infrastructure and regeneration projects; estate regeneration; local authority housing development; and governance and strategy mandates. The team is also experienced on the large scale voluntary transfer of council housing stock and advises local government clients on constitutional and contractual work. In Manchester, Suzanne Benson heads the housing and regeneration team.

Practice head(s):Suzanne Benson

Other key lawyers:Richard St John Williams; Tom Wainwright; Matthew Holbrook; Kativa Roy

Key Clients

Homes England

Liverpool City Council

Wokingham Borough Council

Bury Council

Wolverhampton City Council

London Borough of Lambeth

Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council

London Borough of Sutton

Reading Borough Council

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority

Work highlights

  • Advised Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) on the establishment of a joint venture between it and 10 members of the Greater Manchester Housing Partnership.
  • Advising Homes England on the implementation of its national Local Authority Funding for Accelerated Construction Sites programme across a number of schemes.
  • Advising Liverpool City Council on its mayoral initiative to promote improved access to home ownership for first time buyers.
  • Advised the administrating authority for the West Midlands Pension Fund in respect of the management of its property investment portfolio.
  • Advising the London Borough of Lambeth on its regeneration plans for Brixton Central.

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North West: Real estate

Commercial property: Manchester
Commercial property: Manchester - ranked: tier 5

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP regularly acts for housing associations on residential development schemes and on commercial portfolio asset management. The team was bolstered in 2018 with the arrival of Chris Parkinson from Brabners LLP and is increasingly acting for private sector developer clients as a result. Matthew Holbrook, who specialises in landlord and tenant and asset management matters, and Suzanne Benson , who heads the housing and regeneration team and specialises in major projects and the development of homeownership products, head the team.

Practice head(s):Suzanne Benson; Matthew Holbrook

Other key lawyers:Chris Parkinson; Amanda Stubbs


'Firm ethos is geared to delivering service.'

'Matthew Holbrook and his team are quick, responsive, user-friendly and adopt a commercial attitude.'

Key Clients

Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council

Wolverhampton City Council

St Helens Council

Whitefriars Housing Group

Cambian Group

Orbit Group

Ainscough Strategic Land


South Liverpool Homes

Swanton Care and Community

Homes England

Countryside PLC

Rowlinson Construction

Heylo Housing

Work highlights

  • Advised Ainscough Strategic Land on the land promotion and sale of sites most recently in Bishop Auckland (Durham) and Poynton (Cheshire).
  • Advised Homes England on a public-private collaboration agreement between it and Taylor Wimpey on the 1,500-unit residential development at Pickerings Farm in Lower Penwortham, Preston.
  • Acted for Rowlinson Constructions on its development at the former Stagecoach Bus Depot site in Moss Side, Manchester.
  • Acted for Homes England on the £22m acquisition of the Fence Avenue site at Kings School, which included a bespoke lease back arrangement to allow the school to continue occupying the site on a flexible basis.
  • Advised Swanton Care and Community on the expansion of its care home business, through a combination of corporate share acquisitions and property purchases. The team is currently instructed on four separate acquisitions for a combined value of £20m.

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Construction - ranked: tier 4

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP handles construction disputes as well as non-contentious construction mandates. The team is noted for its housing sector expertise, where it enjoys a 'strong reputation', and it is increasingly active on infrastructure, education and leisure projects. Katie Saunders heads the team and is noted for her experience in advising on construction contracts in the real estate sector and engaged by housing providers on the procurement of regeneration, PFI, investment and asset management projects. Recently promoted partner Tom Holroyd leads the contentious practice and is experienced in waste sector mandates.

Practice head(s):Katie Saunders

Other key lawyers:Tom Holroyd; Andy Waite; Jo Davies


'The team is approachable and easy to work with.'

'Katie Saunders cuts through the complications, and sets out solutions and options.'


Key Clients

Department for Education

Homes England




Liverpool City Council

Clarion Housing Group

Plus Dane Housing Group

Your Housing Group

Places For People Group

Onward Housing Group

Wates Construction

Seddon Construction

Contract Services

McLaren Construction

Osco Homes

Accent Housing Group

Guinness Housing Group

Work highlights

  • The team advises the Department for Education on the delivery of its free schools programme.
  • Advised Liverpool City Council on the procurement of new frameworks for core and planned highways works and setting up a housing construction framework for its new local housing company.
  • Advised Plus Dane Housing Group on procurements of major works programmes and the high-profile Welsh Streets Refurbishment project.
  • The team represented Wheeldon Brothers on a successful TCC claim against its insurer, Millennium Insurance, in respect of a fire causing nearly £2m of damage to one of Wheeldon's waste plants.
  • The team advises Clarion Housing Group on its major housing developments across the country, which includes advising on the construction contracts for the development of a £38m high-rise housing project in Salford.
Leading individuals

Katie Saunders - Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Next Generation Partners

Tom Holroyd - Trowers & Hamlins LLP

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 4

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP stands out for its 'personal touch' and is instructed by a range of commercial clients, local authorities, government bodies and housing associations on disputes. Team head Guy Willetts is based across the firm's Manchester and Birmingham offices and handles rights of light, property management cases, landlord and tenant issues, and disputes concerning development agreements. Lynn James is also a key contact in Manchester, as is senior associate Sam Coward.

Practice head(s):Guy Willetts

Other key lawyers:Sam Coward; Lynn James


Sam Coward is very professional and answers queries in a timely manner; his written reports are comprehensive, and he is balanced in his approach to disputes


Key Clients

The Riverside Group

Bromford Housing Group

One Vision Housing

Equity Housing Group

Great Places Housing Group

The Guinness Partnership


Cambian Group

Secretary of State for Education

Interserve (and all of its related and subsidiary companies)

St Helen's Council as Landlords of commercial property

The West Midlands Local Authorities' Pension Fund Property Portfolio

Homes England

South Lakes Housing

Accent Housing

Progress Housing

Work highlights

  • Represented Eclipse Property (HFX1) on its appeal against a notice served upon it by the Borough Council of Calderdale, pursuant to s215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

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Social housing
Social housing - ranked: tier 1

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP is engaged by a raft of housing associations and local authority clients on a gamut of issues with expertise across housing management, regulatory, governance, joint ventures investment, finance and funding work. The team is also experienced in development and regeneration projects in the sector. Housing and regeneration head Suzanne Benson also heads the consumer credit and FCA regulatory practice, and leads the sales and home ownership team. The 'brilliant' Richard St John Williams, Janet Winrow, who leads on major regeneration schemes, and Melanie Comer, who heads the real estate finance security team, are also noted. Senior associate Tom Wainwright  handles governance, corporate and contracts work.

Practice head(s):Suzanne Benson

Other key lawyers: Richard St John Williams; Janet Winrow; Melanie Comer; Tom Wainwright; Ru Anwar; Louise Robinson


The team stands out for its strong social housing sector knowledge

It has the ability to set out complex issues in a clear manner

The team's flexibility means that it can respond to fast changing situations

Melanie Comer is an exceptional lawyer

The team has an exceptional grasp of issues facing the sector

Key Clients

Homes England

Great Places Housing Group

Trafford Housing Trust

Onward Group

Community Gateway

The Guinness Partnership

Clarion Housing Group

South Liverpool Homes

Bromford Housing Group

WM Housing Group

Peabody Trust

Johnnie Johnson Housing Trust

Accent Group

Wirral Partnership Homes (t/a Magenta Homes)

Rowlinson Construction

Your Housing

Stockport Homes

Hightown Housing Association

Cross Keys Homes

Network Homes

Heylo Housing

Orbit Grouo

South Yorkshire Housing

Work highlights

  • The team is advising on the establishment of a joint venture between the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and ten members of the Greater Manchester Housing Partnership.
  • The real estate finance security team advised on all the property work for the amalgamation of Peabody Trust, Gallions Housing Association and Family Mosaic Housing.
  • The team provided grant funding agreement advice to Homes England on its project to invest grant funding to deliver up to 32,000 housing starts on site by March 2021.
  • The team was instructed to act for Onward Homes on the acquisition and development of a site in Liverpool.
  • Acted for Stockport Homes Group on the acquisition of the Tatton Cinema site in Gatley, Stockport from Dickens Group.
Leading individuals

Janet Winrow - Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Richard St John Williams - Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Suzanne Benson - Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Next Generation Partners

Melanie Comer - Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Rising stars

Tom Wainwright - Trowers & Hamlins LLP

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