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Barr Ellison Solicitors – commercial property
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1 October, 2020 - 23:24 By Tony Quested

East Anglia lawyers hot property in Real Estate ring of fire

Commercial Property developers are doing their utmost to defy the coronavirus pandemic and keep piling cement between bricks in new=build office, retail and industrial properties.

On the flip side of their endeavours to remain upbeat is the fact that many companies have decided to work from home during the crisis and many retail operators have either given up the ghost or are fighting a rearguard battle to survive.

This region’s law firms have tasted the highs and lows of commercial property activity in the last couple of decades and have become slick and assured in the advice they offer throughout the property proposition – from plans to build to applications for consent to the niceties of clinching leasehold or freehold deals.

Once again The Legal 500 guide has taken the temperature of a broad range of Real Estate activities in East Anglia and delivered their verdict on the best legal practitioners in this important marketplace.

Three law firms share Tier 1 status for Commercial Property advice in Cambridge – given alphabetically – Birketts, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP and Mills & Reeve.

Ashtons Legal, BDB Pitmans, Hewitsons, Howes Percival and Taylor Vinters are named in Tier 2. Greenwoods GRM and Penningtons Manches Cooper share Tier 3 slots.

Steven Beach of Howes Percival and Robert Gibbs of Birketts make the Hall of Fame here. The list of Leading Individuals testifies to the depth of legal talent in this particular discipline.

Mills & Reeve has four star performers – Michelle Cookson, Nick Finlayson-Brown, Christine de Ferrars Green and Charles Staveley. Birketts, Hewitsons, Howes Percival and Taylor Vinters each have two. The Birketts duo are Gavin Acheson and Katherine Herbert.


Nick Finlayson-Brown of Mills & Reeve

Graeme Sampson and James Simpson fly the flag for Hewitsons. Jonathan Greenhalgh and Michaela Henson are feted for Howes Percival. Helen Mutucumarana and James Slinger from Taylor Vinters are rated along with Simon Burson of BDB Pitmans, Sarah Coates of Penningtons Manches Cooper, Magnus McManus of Ashtons Legal and Clare Whitaker of Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP.

Vincenzo Maggio of Mills & Reeve and Kelly Peck of Greenwoods GRM are feted as Next Generation Partners while there is a huge list of Rising Stars – reflecting the long-term  health of the sector, regardless of pandemics.
Here Birketts, Mills & Reeve and Taylor Vinters each have three stars in the firmament.

Birketts’ threesome are Gemma Goddard, Deborah Marshall and Claudia Haisman-Green. Keven Fehmi, Elliot Wilson and Becky Woodcock are the Taylor Vinters threesome while Laura Ludlow, Tom Nash and Christopher Pike cover Mills & Reeve in glory.

Other stand-out performers here are Megan D’Souza-Mathew of Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP;  Katy Klingopulos of BDB Pitmans, Ceri Riddell of Hewitsons, Will Stokes of Howes Percival LLP and Charlotte Vallins of Ashtons Legal.

The guide says of Birketts’ commercial property expertise in Cambridge: 'The commercial property team is very professional, skilled, responsive and accessible, and offers clear advice', remarks a client of Birketts LLP. 

“The Cambridge office not only provides a full-service commercial property practice, but is also the firm's centre of excellence for strategic land development. 

“Katherine Herbert, who 'excels in strategic land promotion work and is very commercial', leads the team. Gavin Acheson handles commercial property matters for institutional, corporate, family office and private clients based in the UK and abroad. 

“Jeremy Stanton is recommended for promoter and developer work. Clients praise senior associates Gemma Goddard, Claudia Haisman-Green and Deborah Marshall. Legal director Dwight Patten is also recommended.”


Katherine Herbert, Birketts LLP

Of Eversheds Sutherland it is also complimentary. The guide reports: “Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has a full-service real estate offering in Cambridge and it acts for national and international clients in high-value and strategically important local, regional, London-based and international matters. 

“Key partner Clare Whitaker focuses on investment and occupier work with particular expertise in the hotels, leisure and education sectors. Among the recommended principal associates are Jamie Cawthorn for residential and mixed-use development work for national homebuilders and land promoters; and Geoff Street for acquisitions and disposals, infrastructure and redevelopment work, notably in the transport sector. 

“Senior associate Megan D’Souza-Mathew stands out for development work in the private and public sectors. Dominic Morris moved to Gowling WLG in London.”

The Legal 500 reports that a significant part of Mills & Reeve's national real estate practice is based in Cambridge. “It handles regional, national and international transactions for a diverse range of clients that includes investors, institutional and local authority funds, developers, strategic landowners, corporates, and education and health providers. 

“Charles Staveley leads the Cambridge team and the firm's real estate investment practice. Vincenzo Maggio focuses on investment work and landlord and tenant matters, Michelle Cookson specialises in complex investment and development projects, Christine De Ferrars Green handles development management agreements and landowner collaboration arrangements, and Nick Finlayson-Brown acts for UK and overseas clients in property investment, development and management matters. 

“Principal associates Laura Ludlow, Christopher Pike and Tom Nash are also recommended.”

Birketts, Howes Percival and Mills & Reeve share Tier 1 status for commercial property work in Norwich. Elsewhere in East Anglia, Birketts is stand alone no 1 with Ashtons Legal, BNuckles and Greenwoods GRM sharing Tier 2 status.

For more information visit legal500.com

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