The Legal 500

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31 HILL STREET, LONDON, W1J 5LS, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 020 7863 8333
Fax:
Fax 020 7863 8444
DX:
82988 MAYFAIR
Email:
Web:
www.forsters.co.uk

London: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 6

Forsters LLP

Forsters LLP's 'very down-to-earth group' has some 'genuine talent within the ranks. It enjoys great personal relationships with its clients, who are not just other customers for them'. The full-service disputes team has broad expertise across  the commercial, corporate and private wealth sectors, which compliment the firm's contentious teams in property, construction and family. The team also regularly handles matters with multi-jurisdictional elements. Emily Exton heads the dispute resolution group, which also includes Benedict Walton, Andrew Head and senior solicitors Christopher Bacon and Bryan Shacklady. Roberta Harvey joined from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP to strengthen the team's contentious trust and estates practice.

Practice head(s):Emily Exton

Other key lawyers:Benedict Walton; Andrew Head; Christopher Bacon; Roberta Harvey

Testimonials

'Very capable lawyers who are able to handle high-value and complex disputes in an effective and cost-efficient manner'.

'Extremely hands on, with a high level of partner input'.

'Benedict Walton stands out for his commitment to clients, detailed understanding of the facts and issues, and approachability'.

'Senior solicitor Bryan Shacklady has excellent attention to detail and clients visibly trust him'.

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London: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 1

Forsters LLP

Forsters LLP has a sophisticated client base which includes a blend of traditional landowners across multiple generations of a family, ultra-high-net-worth individuals and, increasingly, overseas investors and purchasers with Andrew Lane at the helm. Lane acts for private and commercial investors purchasing farms and estates and Penny Elliott acts for a wide range of private and institutional owners of rural property. The team, which also includes Rupert Mead, is skilled at advising the owners of landed estates on tax planning and succession issues and on the preservation of heritage property. It is also recommended for its work on substantial development transactions. The team was pleased to add Henry Cecil and Christopher Findley to its ranks from BDB Pitmans.

Practice head(s):Andrew Lane

Other key lawyers:Penny Elliott: Henry Cecil: Andrew Lane; Rupert Mead; Christopher Findley

Testimonials

'The team has a detailed knowledge and a commercial approach '.

'Highly capable and able to deliver results in tight timelines, which is essential when purchasing or refinancing property. Forsters really cares about its clients'.

'Henry Cecil and Christopher Findley combine considerable experience and knowledge with a great understanding of the client's needs and a rarely found ability to help their clients focus on the key issues for them'.

'Christopher Findley has a huge depth of knowledge which can be brought to the fore when dealing with the most complex of legal matters relating to farms and estates including all tenancy related issues'.

'Henry Cecil - an outstanding agricultural property lawyer'.

'Penny Elliott ensured that the technical legal work was done in a thorough and timely manner. She was helpful in so many ways'.

'Andrew Lane is very experienced and knowledgeable in all fields, and is also very practical'.

Leading individuals

Andrew Lane - Forsters LLP

Christopher Findlay - Forsters LLP

Henry Cecil - Forsters LLP

Penny Elliott - Forsters LLP

Rupert Mead - Forsters LLP

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

Forsters LLP

Forsters LLP has a wealth of experience in acting for influential individuals and institutions in the UK and international art markets. Clients range from international collectors, auction houses, dealers, museums and charities, to living contemporary artists seeking to establish structures to safeguard their artistic legacies and provide for their family members. Its client base also includes families and their trustees owning old masters and chattels of national importance. Catherine Hill heads the team that also includes Rupert Mead who has a particular interest in the taxation of heritage property (chattels, historic land and buildings).

Practice head(s):Catherine Hill

Other key lawyers:Rupert Mead; David Robinson

Testimonials

'All the people at the Forsters art & cultural property team are very approachable and combine this with knowledge. They also listen which is rarer than you might think'.

'Stand-out individuals are Rupert Mead, David Robinson and Catherine Hill. They have good clients who they look after very well. They are proactive and bring energy to what they do'.

'Catherine Hill is first-class. Smart, diligent and she consistently goes the extra mile'.

'Catherine Hill speaks your language, she is efficient and has an excellent bedside manner'.

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Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 3

Forsters LLP

Under the direction of Fiona Smith at Forsters LLP the team advises individual philanthropists, charities and other not-for-profit organisations, both in the UK and worldwide, on diverse matters from setting up a tailor-made charitable vehicle, to partnering with organisations that offer donor advised funds. The group is increasingly advising clients on involving the next generation in their philanthropic endeavours and on the tax implications of giving to charity. It is also advising on issues surrounding the fiscal efficiency of cross-border donations. The team has considerable expertise in the establishment of dual UK/US charities and also acts for trustees of charities. Other strengths lie in advising on the giving of charitable donations through Zakat.

Practice head(s):Fiona Smith

Other key lawyers:Catherine Hill; Katie Coles

Testimonials

'The team is extremely solution-oriented and has a great capacity to summarize and digest complex multi-jurisdictional estate matters. The team has a much better understanding of the common civilian law issues than most of the other English firms'.

'Catherine Hill - technically astute with strong attention to detail'.

'Katie Coles is an absolutely dedicated lawyer, very responsive and knowledgeable'.

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Contentious trusts and probate
Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 1

Forsters LLP

Forsters LLP was pleased to recently add Roberta Harvey to its ranks from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP. The team handles complex and sensitive matters for high-net-worth individuals and sometimes high-profile clients. Emily Exton heads the team and focuses on handling disputes in the private wealth sector where she regularly acts for trustees and wealthy individuals and families. Catharine Bell frequently advises on complex, high-end international trust and estate disputes, with multiple cross-border and conflict of law issues. Bell advises high-net-worth individuals and their trustees on the creation and fortification of trust vehicles and other succession planning structures for asset protection and wealth preservation.

Practice head(s):Emily Exton

Other key lawyers:Catharine Bell; Roberta Harvey; Hannah Mantle; Charlotte Evans-Tipping; Ashleigh Carr;Soraya Kimber

Testimonials

'Offers a first-class service to clients and is, in my experience, consistently excellent. The team is uniquely sensitive to each individual client's needs and is able to take on any challenge'.

'Emily Exton, who is an A-list litigator. I have never known her put a foot wrong. She always sees all sides of a problem, and is fantastic at handling tricky issues'.

'Emily Exton is extremely personable and straight forward. She was able to negotiate with the most difficult people and sort out the messiest of issues. She was always available and understood what we needed'.

'Roberta Harvey fights hard for her clients and works hard to get a result for them'.

'Emily Exton and Roberta Harvey are seasoned litigators'.

' Catharine Bell- 'hands-on' advice'.

'Catharine Bell - very knowledgeable and is able to provide very rounded and commercially aware advice. Extremely responsive and able to distil complex matters in an informed and straightforward manner'.

'Ashleigh Carr and Soraya Kimber  are impressively thorough and completely on top of the details of their cases'.

'Charlotte Evans-Tipping - eye for detail whilst maintaining a commercial approach to the work at hand. Demonstrates an ability to think quickly and approach issues from different angles'.

'Hannah Mantle is very organised and has a great eye for detail'.

Leading individuals

Catharine Bell - Forsters LLP

Emily Exton - Forsters LLP

Roberta Harvey - Forsters LLP

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Family
Family - ranked: tier 3

Forsters LLP

Joanne Edwards heads the team at Forsters LLP. Edwards’ practice has a strong focus on relationship breakdown for high and ultra-high-net-worth individuals and on the financial consequences of divorce and separation. She is increasingly advising on large nuptial agreements and is also skilled at resolving arrangements for children. Rosie Schumm is another key member of the team and is experienced at drafting and negotiating bespoke nuptial agreements for wealthy clients. The team also boasts considerable expertise in other niche areas such as surrogacy, adoption, cohabitation and international child abduction cases. It was pleased to add Simon Blain to its ranks from Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP. This team is one to watch.

Practice head(s):Joanne Edwards

Other key lawyers:Rosie Schumm; Simon Blain; Anna Ferster; Dickon Ceadel; Amanda Sandys

Testimonials

'Technically excellent team and with a well-deserved reputation for commercial pragmatism'.

'Joanne Edwards has built a strong team since her arrival. Her team continues to expand with prominent hires'.

'It is a very strong team with extremely strong leadership from Joanne Edwards – extremely intelligent with very sound judgement, practical and sensible'.

'Joanne Edwards lives and breathes family law'.

'It is a tight-knit team that works well together focused on providing bespoke solutions for clients in the best and quickest way possible. Joanne Edwards – exceptional in her client care and breadth of knowledge as well as her practical approach to even the most complex of cases'.

'It has expanded successfully, it is a hugely nice team. Simon Blain was a recent good recruit'.

'Friendly, down-to-earth but analytically sharp team – especially Joanne Edwards and Rosie Schumm. Anna Ferster is a superb associate always willing to go the extra mile and really caring about her clients'.

'Simon Blain has a calm, dignified presence. Like Joanne and Rosie, he is extremely bright. He is very authoritative and well able to stand his ground in a fight, but never aggressive'.

'Dickon Ceadel – a rising star, wonderful with clients and takes an extremely sensible approach to pre-nuptial agreements'.

'Amanda Sandys is great: resourceful, engaging and efficient. She is commercially astute, knowledgeable and inspires confidence'.

Leading individuals

Joanne Edwards - Forsters LLP

Rosie Schumm - Forsters LLP

Next Generation Partners

Simon Blain - Forsters LLP

Rising stars

Amanda Sandys - Forsters LLP

Dickon Ceadel - Forsters LLP

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Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 1

Forsters LLP

Forsters LLP 's practice spans the full range of high-net-worth sectors, including international wealth, family offices and family business succession as well as advising other clients such as landed estates, titled individuals and public personalities (sports people, celebrities and well-known public figures). Patrick Harney heads the team that was pleased to add Christopher Findley and Henry Cecil to its ranks from BDB Pitmans - both Findley and Cecil are experienced at acting for high-net-worth families with rural landed estates. Harney specialises in UK tax planning for non-domiciliaries with a focus on US-UK tax planning and UK-Irish tax planning. Other highlights included Catharine Bell 's recent admission as a member of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Lawyers.

Practice head(s):Patrick Harney

Other key lawyers:David Robinson; Anthony Thompson; Catharine Bell; Christopher Findley; Henry Cecil; Kelly Noel-Smith; Daniel Ugur; Nick Jacob; Carole Cook; Xavier Nicholas

Testimonials

'Forsters has one of the best private client teams in London. It has the depth of experience that other firms lack'.

'Forsters has emerged as one of the brightest stars in the private client firmament partly through organic growth and partly through careful absorption of teams from other firms. Its focus is entirely on its clients and the quality of advice cannot be faulted'.

'There is a genuine sense that the firm cares about its clients and values them and their well being. Patrick Harney - very knowledgeable across a range of subjects. He gives clear advice and recommendations and does not complicate things'.

'Forsters has one of the best private client teams in London. It has the breadth and depth that a private client would need'.

'Patrick Harney who is just great on the cross-over between UK and US issues. Daniel Ugur is doing some good work in the Asia market and Nick Jacob is very good too'.

'Anthony Thompson is impressive for his precise legal knowledge and his capacity to supervise matters extremely efficiently'.

'Catharine Bell is an absolutely talented and strategic lawyer very at ease in complex cross-borders estate matters. She is an excellent listener, a great team leader and a  very nice and pleasant person'.

'Kelly Noel-Smith is very good at getting to the nub of the issue. Her advice on complicated issues is delivered in an easy to understand and timely manner'.

'Kelly Noel-smith - very approachable and provides excellent, timely service. She is involved in high value complex structures and is very effective in the advice she provides'.

'Carole Cook and Xavier Nicholas are dedicated professionals and both are responsive to the needs of their clients'.

Leading individuals

Anthony Thompson - Forsters LLP

David Robinson - Forsters LLP

Patrick Harney - Forsters LLP

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London: Real estate

Commercial property: corporate occupiers
Commercial property: corporate occupiers - ranked: tier 2

Forsters LLP

Forsters LLP¬†‚Äėprovides a high level of expertise and delivers a very professional service‚Äô. It is well-regarded for complex long-term redevelopment schemes, with core strengths including site assembly, funding, joint venture agreements, development finance, pre-letting, site disposal and overage matters with the group routinely representing overseas investors and leading UK property funds. Also forming the client base are high-end London retail boutiques and luxury hotel operators who engage the practice for hotel financing deals. On the corporate occupier side, the workload includes HQ relocations, portfolio management, leasehold transfers as well as landlord and tenant matters. Practice head Matthew Swainston¬†holds notable expertise concerning the redevelopment of landmark properties while Victoria Towers¬†is a development specialist with particular knowledge of the logistics sector.

Practice head(s):Glenn Dunn; Matthew Swainston

Testimonials

'Recommended for their ability to understand the key issues and report them in a relevant and concise way.'

'The team is responsive, pragmatic and adept at dealing with fast-paced transactions.'

'Victoria Towers is responsive, approachable and extremely engaged on all matters, and provides excellent client service.'

'Forsters have a no nonsense, proactive approach. They just get on with it and don't feel the need to show off about what they are doing.'

'Guy Jordan is accessible and pragmatic.'

'All members of the team are strong. Eugene McMahon as lead partner is an exceptional team leader and will take the lead on larger and more complex instructions.'

'Katherine Ekers is extremely impressive.'

'Forsters provide a high level of expertise, they are knowledgeable and deliver a very professional service.'

Key Clients

Columbia Pictures Corporation Limited (Sony)

Dow Chemical Company Limited

RELX Group

MUFG

Netflix

Warner Media

Takeda Pharmaceutical

Publicis Groupe

TI Media

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Commercial property: development
Commercial property: development - ranked: tier 2

Forsters LLP

Forsters LLP¬†‚Äėprovides a high level of expertise and delivers a very professional service‚Äô. It is well-regarded for complex long-term redevelopment schemes, with core strengths including site assembly, funding, joint venture agreements, development finance, pre-letting, site disposal and overage matters with the group routinely representing overseas investors and leading UK property funds. Also forming the client base are high-end London retail boutiques and luxury hotel operators who engage the practice for hotel financing deals. On the corporate occupier side, the workload includes HQ relocations, portfolio management, leasehold transfers as well as landlord and tenant matters. Practice head Matthew Swainston¬†holds notable expertise concerning the redevelopment of landmark properties while Victoria Towers¬†is a development specialist with particular knowledge of the logistics sector.

Practice head(s):Matthew Swainston

Other key lawyers:Eugene McMahon; Smita Edwards; Victoria Towers

Testimonials

'Recommended for their ability to understand the key issues and report them in a relevant and concise way.'

'The team is responsive, pragmatic and adept at dealing with fast-paced transactions.'

'Victoria Towers is responsive, approachable and extremely engaged on all matters, and provides excellent client service.'

'Forsters have a no nonsense, proactive approach. They just get on with it and don't feel the need to show off about what they are doing.'

'Guy Jordan is accessible and pragmatic.'

'All members of the team are strong. Eugene McMahon as lead partner is an exceptional team leader and will take the lead on larger and more complex instructions.'

'Katherine Ekers is extremely impressive.'

'Forsters provide a high level of expertise, they are knowledgeable and deliver a very professional service.'

Work highlights

  • Advising owner/developer Alloy MTD on the 400,000 sq ft mixed use development at One Crown Place, EC2.
  • Acting on a project for LXB’s Stafford which entailed the acquisition development pre-letting and sale of superstore, retail park and leisure investment in Stafford town centre.
  • Advised Patrizia on behalf of Rockspring TransEuropean Property Limited Partnership V, in conjunction with its development partner PLP, in relation to the development and sale of the 256,000 sq ft Island Road logistics development in Reading.
  • Advised Rockspring Hanover Property Unit Trust in relation to the off-market sale of a Grade A office building at 6 Queen Street, Leeds to clients of Mayfair Capital Investment Management.
  • Advised Wrenbridge, on behalf of the Palmer Capital Development Fund IV, in relation to a joint venture arrangement with the owner of a site in Basildon for the redevelopment of that site into a new 223,000 sq ft warehouse scheme.
Next Generation Partners

Victoria Towers - Forsters LLP

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Commercial property: hotels and leisure
Commercial property: hotels and leisure - ranked: tier 3

Forsters LLP

Forsters LLP¬†‚Äėprovides a high level of expertise and delivers a very professional service‚Äô. It is well-regarded for complex long-term redevelopment schemes, with core strengths including site assembly, funding, joint venture agreements, development finance, pre-letting, site disposal and overage matters with the group routinely representing overseas investors and leading UK property funds. Also forming the client base are high-end London retail boutiques and luxury hotel operators who engage the practice for hotel financing deals. On the corporate occupier side, the workload includes HQ relocations, portfolio management, leasehold transfers as well as landlord and tenant matters. Practice head Matthew Swainston¬†holds notable expertise concerning the redevelopment of landmark properties while Victoria Towers¬†is a development specialist with particular knowledge of the logistics sector.

Practice head(s):Andrew Parker

Other key lawyers:Victoria Edwards

Testimonials

'Recommended for their ability to understand the key issues and report them in a relevant and concise way.'

'The team is responsive, pragmatic and adept at dealing with fast-paced transactions.'

'Victoria Towers is responsive, approachable and extremely engaged on all matters, and provides excellent client service.'

'Forsters have a no nonsense, proactive approach. They just get on with it and don't feel the need to show off about what they are doing.'

'Guy Jordan is accessible and pragmatic.'

'All members of the team are strong. Eugene McMahon as lead partner is an exceptional team leader and will take the lead on larger and more complex instructions.'

'Katherine Ekers is extremely impressive.'

'Forsters provide a high level of expertise, they are knowledgeable and deliver a very professional service.'

Key Clients

Rocco Forte

Bespoke Hotels

Clivedale London

The Park Tower Hotel Limited

Slatters Development

Reignwood UK Limited

Wentworth Club Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted on the £150m-plus refinancing of Rocco Forte Hotel's facilities with Bank of Scotland.
  • Acted on the development financing of 25 Hanover Square, where Clivedale London is developing the second Mandarin Oriental Hotel in London.

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Commercial property: investment
Commercial property: investment - ranked: tier 3

Forsters LLP

Forsters LLP¬†‚Äėprovides a high level of expertise and delivers a very professional service‚Äô. It is well-regarded for complex long-term redevelopment schemes, with core strengths including site assembly, funding, joint venture agreements, development finance, pre-letting, site disposal and overage matters with the group routinely representing overseas investors and leading UK property funds. Also forming the client base are high-end London retail boutiques and luxury hotel operators who engage the practice for hotel financing deals. On the corporate occupier side, the workload includes HQ relocations, portfolio management, leasehold transfers as well as landlord and tenant matters. Practice head Matthew Swainston¬†holds notable expertise concerning the redevelopment of landmark properties while Victoria Towers¬†is a development specialist with particular knowledge of the logistics sector.

Practice head(s):Matthew Swainston

Other key lawyers:Katherine Ekers; Smita Edwards; Eugene McMahon; Andrew Crabbie

Testimonials

'Recommended for their ability to understand the key issues and report them in a relevant and concise way.'

'The team is responsive, pragmatic and adept at dealing with fast-paced transactions.'

'Victoria Towers is responsive, approachable and extremely engaged on all matters, and provides excellent client service.'

'Forsters have a no nonsense, proactive approach. They just get on with it and don't feel the need to show off about what they are doing.'

'Guy Jordan is accessible and pragmatic.'

'All members of the team are strong. Eugene McMahon as lead partner is an exceptional team leader and will take the lead on larger and more complex instructions.'

'Katherine Ekers is extremely impressive.'

'Forsters provide a high level of expertise, they are knowledgeable and deliver a very professional service.'

Key Clients

British Airways Pension Fund

Patrizia (Formerly Rockspring Property Investment Managers LLP)

Buccleuch

Moorfield

The Crown Estate

LaSalle Investment Managers

LXB Retail Properties

Work highlights

  • Advised The Crown Estate on the acquisition of the long leasehold interest in 30 Warwick Street, London W1 in a joint venture arrangement with Norges Bank Real Estate Management.
  • Advised longstanding client LaSalle Investment Management on the sale of a shopping centre in Bolton for £14.8m.
  • Advised Moorfield Group, the UK real estate private equity fund manager, on securing two new tenants at Aurora, the fully refurbished office building in Ealing, London.
  • Advised its longstanding client the British Airways Pension Fund on the £37.1m sale of a modern 133 bedroom student development on St Aldates/Queen Street, Oxford, to Legal & General Retirement.
  • Advised clients of Rockspring Property Investment Managers LLP, a Patrizia company, in relation to the purchase of a mixed use office and hospital building in a prime location near to Old Street, London EC1.

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Commercial property: retail
Commercial property: retail - ranked: tier 2

Forsters LLP

Forsters LLP¬†‚Äėprovides a high level of expertise and delivers a very professional service‚Äô. It is well-regarded for complex long-term redevelopment schemes, with core strengths including site assembly, funding, joint venture agreements, development finance, pre-letting, site disposal and overage matters with the group routinely representing overseas investors and leading UK property funds. Also forming the client base are high-end London retail boutiques and luxury hotel operators who engage the practice for hotel financing deals. On the corporate occupier side, the workload includes HQ relocations, portfolio management, leasehold transfers as well as landlord and tenant matters. Practice head Matthew Swainston¬†holds notable expertise concerning the redevelopment of landmark properties while Victoria Towers¬†is a development specialist with particular knowledge of the logistics sector.

Practice head(s):Matthew Swainston

Other key lawyers:Glenn Dunn; Victoria Towers

Testimonials

'Recommended for their ability to understand the key issues and report them in a relevant and concise way.'

'The team is responsive, pragmatic and adept at dealing with fast-paced transactions.'

'Victoria Towers is responsive, approachable and extremely engaged on all matters, and provides excellent client service.'

'Forsters have a no nonsense, proactive approach. They just get on with it and don't feel the need to show off about what they are doing.'

'Guy Jordan is accessible and pragmatic.'

'All members of the team are strong. Eugene McMahon as lead partner is an exceptional team leader and will take the lead on larger and more complex instructions.'

'Katherine Ekers is extremely impressive.'

'Forsters provide a high level of expertise, they are knowledgeable and deliver a very professional service.'

Key Clients

BMO Real Estate Partners

Hunter UK Retail Unit

LaSalle Investment Management

LXB Retail Properties

McDonalds Restaurants Limited

PLP (Peel Logistics Property)

Soho Estates

The Worshipful Company of Mercers

Work highlights

  • Advised The Worshipful Company of Mercers on the letting of 28,000 sq ft of prime retail and office space to Boots.
  • Advised developer PLP, together with funding partner Patrizia, on the first pre-let at their urban logistics development known as South Central in Nursling, Southampton.

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Construction: contentious
Construction: contentious - ranked: tier 5

Forsters LLP

Forsters LLP's contentious team acts for developers, funds, contractors and consultants, under the leadership of the 'commercially astute' Andrew Parker, who also handles construction disputes arising out of hotel projects. Parker recently advised real estate investment company LXB on the insolvency of its design and build contractor midway through the development of a retail terrace, as well as handling a number of matters for LaSalle Investment Management. Sarah Cook advises clients in the pre-action stage of disputes and with respect to the negotiation of settlement agreements.

Practice head(s):Andrew Parker

Other key lawyers:Sarah Cook

Testimonials

'Highly experienced'

'Advice given is always well thought through and practical.'

'Both Andrew Parker and Emily Holdstock have been very commercial in their advice with a clear focus.'

'Perfectly formed team that punches well above its weight in all forms of construction dispute resolution and consistently provides cost-effective advice and representation.'

'Andrew Parker gives clients realistic and commercially astute advice, skillfully shepherding them to the most cost-effective resolution of their disputes.'

'Alistair Robertson is a precociously good lawyer and a skilled draftsman.'

Key Clients

LXB Retail Properties

Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council

British Airways Pension Fund

Canmoor

LaSalle Investment Management

The Crown Estate

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Reignwood Investments UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for funds advised by LaSalle Investment Management in relation to a cladding system containing aluminium composite materials which potentially breach the Building Regulations 2010.
  • Advised Patrizia UK on behalf of Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council, the funder and landlord, in relation to its claim and subsequent settlement agreement with Bouygues UK, in respect of defective cladding at a student accommodation building at the University of Southampton.

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Contruction: non-contentious
Contruction: non-contentious - ranked: tier 5

Forsters LLP

Forsters LLP's non-contentious practice advises on real estate development for a range of clients across sectors including logistics, mixed use, retail and hotels. The practice is led by Sarah Cook who brings 'something different to the table', and was the lead partner advising Warner Bros in respect of the refurbishment of its European headquarters in Central London. Fellow partner Andrew Parker acted as lead partner advising Reignwood on the redevelopment of 10 Trinity Square.

Practice head(s):Sarah Cook

Other key lawyers:Andrew Parker

Testimonials

'An excellent firm, much more user friendly and approachable than most. The construction and property teams are excellent providing pragmatic advice in a timely manner. Very good indeed.'

'Forsters works with dedication and commitment. Until recent experience from another large London firm, I did not realise how much I took Forsters' performance for granted.'

'A very proactive team who are very easy to talk to. The difference that we find with this team is that they not only understand construction law and contracts but also have an ability to look at solving issues with a commercial understanding.'

'Our longstanding relationship with Forsters means they really know how our developments work and so can give practical, solutions-based advice within tight timeframes.'

'Forsters are very experienced in construction and property matters, both contentious and non-contentious, and this gives them a breath of expertise that is very impressive; they've seen it all.'

'Forsters as a practice are very accessible and personable. They act in a more personal way although they are a reasonably sized practice.'

'Sarah Cook is outstanding. Efficient, experienced and knowledgeable and quick to grasp the complexities of what happens in the real world on construction sites. Her advice is always sensible, practical and yet still robust, without unnecessary complications.'

'Associate Richard Spring's advice has been very valuable - he always delivers in a timely manner and is a pleasure to deal with.'

'Sarah Cook is always happy to listen to points raised by the client - she may not always agree but finds a position that we can work with. Her commercial understanding really does make her stand out from other solicitors that we work with.'

'Emily Holdstock really adds value during the whole process and negotiates points very quickly without much fuss.'

'The team does really stand out and they are all a pleasure to work with.'

'Sarah Cook is very responsive and commercial - but also very thorough. Highly recommended.'

'Emily Holdstock is proactive, thorough and extremely commercial. She is an absolute pleasure to deal with.'

'Sarah Cook and Andrew Parker are exceptional because they don't just quote the legal options, but they also make recommendations on what to do, which is invaluable for clients. Thoughtful, measured and calm, they are both a pleasure to work with.'

'Emily Holdstock presents herself in a very straightforward manner. Her communications are simple and to the point, making them very understandable. We as a business are more commercial than contractual and Emily/Forsters recognise that and act in the appropriate manner.'

Key Clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments

British Airways Pension Fund

LaSalle  Investment Management

Mayfair Capital

Patrizia UK

Reignwood Group

Sony Pictures Entertainment

The Crown Estate

Warner Bros

Work highlights

  • Advised Warner Bros on the £30m refurbishment of its European HQ in London.
  • Advising Reignwood on the £200m redevelopment of 10 Trinity Square.
  • Advising Apartments for London in relation to over-station developments using modular construction.
  • Advising Sony on the construction aspects of its occupation of 77,000 sq ft of office space at the newly constructed Brunel Building, Paddington, and in connection with the construction documentation for the fit out works.
  • Advised Wrenbridge, on behalf of the Palmer Capital Development Fund IV, in relation to a joint venture arrangement, with the owner of a site in Basildon, for the redevelopment of that site into a new 223,000 sq ft warehouse scheme.

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 4

Forsters LLP

Forsters LLP's planning practice head, Victoria Du Croz, specialises in the full range of planning issues, from section 106 agreements, CIL advice and site acquisitions, to niche areas such as Special Protection Area issues and public rights of way compliance. Current high-profile work includes the provision of mixed-use developments and redevelopments in central London, obtaining planning consent for build-to-rent schemes, and complex site acquisition due diligence. The practice regularly receives planning strategy instructions from the firm’s significant high-net-worth individual client base. Recent contentious work involves planning refusal appeals and advising on planning objections. Senior associate Matthew Evans, who led on a number of residential-led regeneration schemes, is the other key contact in the practice.

Practice head(s):Victoria Du Croz

Other key lawyers:Matthew Evans

Testimonials

'Extremely knowledgeable and not afraid to make suggestions and recommendations which lead to pragmatic, commercial solutions.'

'Provides excellent advice throughout the planning process.'

'Knowledgeable and diligent.'

'Victotria Du Croz is diligent, thorough and provides personal engagement throughout a case.'

'Matthew Evans is very knowledgeable, pragmatic and commercial. He communicates in a timely, straightforward manner.'

'Matthew Evans has commercial nous and Alice Gordon-Finlayson is hard working.'

Key Clients

LBS Properties

British Steel

Aitch Group

Knight Dragon

Galliard Homes

British Airways Pension Fund

Menta Redrow

Consolidated Developments

Clivedale London

Mayfair Neighbourhood Forum

Work highlights

  • Advising LBS Properties on the redevelopment of 225 Marsh Wall.
  • Instructed by Menta Redrow to negotiate the section 106 agreement for the delivery of 445 residential units and flexible commercial space on land off Cherry Orchard Road, Croydon.  
  • Ongoing advice to Aitch Group concerning its London portfolio.
  • Instructed by British Airways Pension Fund to carry out a legal audit prior to submission of the planning application for the redevelopment of the 'Ugly Brown Building' in the London Borough of Camden.
  • Instructed by Consolidated Developments to ensure the timely delivery of their scheme at St Giles in the West End.
Next Generation Partners

Victoria Du Croz - Forsters LLP

Rising stars

Matthew Evans - Forsters LLP

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Property finance
Property finance - ranked: tier 6

Forsters LLP

Victoria Edwards leads the team at Forsters LLP, which acts for a range of lenders and borrowers, from institutional lenders, funds and developers to high-net-worth individuals and family offices. The team handles investment and development finance in relation to commercial and high-value residential developments, hotels, student accommodation, and retail and office parks.

Practice head(s):Victoria Edwards

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 2

Forsters LLP

Forsters LLP's 'knowledgeable and friendly' team led by residential property and leasehold enfranchisement specialist Natasha Rees is well placed to handle the full spectrum of commercial, residential and enfranchisement work including disputes at the interface of property rights and the right to privacy, as recently demonstrated by representing the residents of the NEO Bankside development in their nuisance and human rights claim against Tate Modern. Other instructions from institutional investors, real estate investment funds, corporates and developers routinely involve rights to light matters, CVAs and telecom sector issues. Commercial property litigator Jonathan Ross is another key figure of the team as is senior associate and 'future heavyweight in the making' Anna Mullins; she has been particularly active in landlord and tenant issues.

Practice head(s):Natasha Rees

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Ross; Ben Barrison; Anna Mullins

Testimonials

'Natasha Rees is absolutely at the top of the tree when it comes to enfranchisement and service charge cases.'

'Ben Barrison is a force to be reckoned with in the property litigation world. He is a great technical lawyer, both in his knowledge of the substantive law and in his command of procedure.'

'They are an absolute pleasure to work with.'

'Clients appreciate the team's knowledgeable but unstuffy approach.'

'Anna Mullins is bright, industrious and commercially sensitive. Her enthusiasm is infectious.'

Key Clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments

The Crown Estate

The Corporation of Trinity House

The Phillimore Estate

LaSalle Investment Management

BMO Real Estate Partners

Gascoyne

British Airways Pension Fund

Mayfair Capital

Sony Pictures

Work highlights

  • Acting for Giles Fearn and a number of other tenants of the NEO Bankside development in a High Court claim against the Tate Gallery. The claim concerns the viewing gallery element of the recent extension to the Tate Modern, known as the Blavatnick Building, and is based on private nuisance and breach of Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998.
  • Assisted Scottish Widows Authorised Contractual Scheme with its application to challenge the validity of Wulfrun Specialised Fasteners' CVA following the client's tenant seeking to use the CVA process to end its lease early and avoid liability.
  • Acting for the nominee purchaser Lawrence Wharf Freehold in a contentious collective enfranchisement claim relating to a six block development in Canary Wharf.
  • Acting for the tenants of York House in Chelsea in an enfranchisement dispute where the landlord has resisted the tenants' right to acquire the freehold.
Leading individuals

Jonathan Ross - Forsters LLP

Natasha Rees - Forsters LLP

Rising stars

Anna Mullins - Forsters LLP

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Residential property
Residential property - ranked: tier 2

Forsters LLP

As well as acting for high net worth individuals selling and acquiring prime and super-prime properties, Forsters LLP 's 'highly professional' group also handles substantial amounts of work for property funds, investors, developers and banks, advising on lease agreements, bulk sales, freehold transfers, title issues, secured borrowing and lending. The 'knowledgeable and engaging' Lucy Barber has broad expertise, ranging from advising clients on freehold and leasehold property deals to advising trustees and estates on asset management and investment options. Junior partner Helen Marsh stands out for her work for developers on high value schemes and the structuring and execution of secured lending transactions.

Practice head(s):Lucy Barber

Other key lawyers:Helen Marsh

Testimonials

"Forsters are very proactive and always manage to balance the commercial and legal requirements of a deal."

"Forsters' residential property team have an excellent manner of communication and a strong, collaborative team ethic."

"The individuals within the various parts of Forsters' team communicate very well."

"Forsters have proven to be particularly capable with complex transactions."

Key Clients

The Crown Estate

The Trinity Estate

The Phillimore Estate

Northacre

Land Securities

Clivedale Limited

JP Morgan

Bank Havilland

Nationwide Pension Fund

Caudwell

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Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
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