At Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, the 'approachable, clear and always willing to help' practice team handles a wide range of development projects and transactions, including forward funding deals, and recently supplemented its offering with the hire of Simon Allan; a specialist in working with private capital on infrastructure-related assets. The acquisition and disposal of investment properties and portfolio is a further core strength, as is fund and asset management work. James Nadin heads the practice, which is also instructed by hotels for acquisition, disposal, development and leasing work.
In the commercial property space, the team led by Donald Lambert is particularly active in contested lease renewals and tenant insolvency matters, while, in the residential property sphere, the group is adept at assisting with the recovery of service charges and lease matters. Housing association specialist Ben Robinson made partner in April 2018. Oxford team head John Morrison advises on both commercial and residential property disputes, and has a notable specialism in contentious matters involving the education sector.
The Legal 500 - 2020 edition
Handles investment and development matters and property joint venture projects. Regularly advises on student accommodation, prime residential sales and purchases and a variety of other property investments.
Strengths: ‘They understand our business and work to provide us with the best commercial position in any instruction,’ says a client.
‘They are terrific with communication,’ says another source, continuing: ‘Nothing is ever too much trouble.’
Louis Manches is a key contact.
Mike Busby's clients include developers, retailers and funds. He is praised for being ‘always on top of the details’ and ‘attentive and responsive to queries in a very prompt and personable manner.’
Lyndsey Whittell continues to advise on landlord and tenant matters. A client praises her ability to be ‘in control of everything.’
Richard Smith frequently advises on sizeable development schemes, including associated environmental issues. He is described as a ‘very well-considered property lawyer’ by sources.
Chambers UK - 2018 edition
[Commercial property] Penningtons Manches LLP services a number of major institutional investor and developer clients such as Aviva Investors, Sellar Property Group, and Alumno Developments. Key players include John Hargreaves, who has particular expertise in handling student accommodation schemes for Alumno Developments; James McNeilly, who focuses on the tech sector; and practice head Peter McElligott. The team is noted for its proficiency in advising foreign investors seeking to purchase property in London, with Duncan Taylor the name to note in this regard.
The [Cambridge] team at Penningtons Manches LLP ‘has very detailed knowledge in this field and always explains things fully in a language clients can understand’. It is ‘a standout firm for local projects thanks to its knowledge of the land and its strong local connections’, and lead partner Sarah Coates is ‘very responsive and doesn’t just tick boxes’.
Penningtons Manches LLP fields a ‘very competent real estate team’ [in Guildford] that attracts praise for its ‘prompt and professional’ service. The firm handles the full range of commercial property matters including land development issues, property finance mandates and acquisitions and divestments, with a specialty in advising retail and leisure sector clients. Practice head and retail sector expert Mike Busby ‘is always on top of the detail and drives the timeframe very well’; the team also includes joint practice leader and development specialist Tim Davies, acquisitions and disposals expert Tony Burns, and James Matthews, who ‘is incredibly diligent, knowledgeable and extremely pleasant to deal with’.
In Oxford, Simon Knott handles the roll-out of new stores for Starbucks’ franchisee 23.5 Degrees, while practice head Richard Smith, who leads the environmental and planning law group, is advising Oxford Nanopore Technologies on leasing a building in Oxford Science Park.
The Legal 500 - 2017 edition