At Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, the practice 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. The client roster includes institutional investors, real estate companies and funds, family officers, banks and tenant occupiers. James Nadin heads the practice which is also instructed by hotels for acquisition, disposal, development and leasing work.
The 'proactive, thorough and diligent' real estate team in Cambridge acts for a range of clients across many sectors including global banks, developers, housing associations, science parks, colleges and high-net-worth families. The lawyers are 'extremely thorough and professional in everything they do', and one client remarks that lead partner Sarah Coates is 'highly accessible and knowledgeable; she has a great eye for detail and is excellent in her appraisal of risks'.
The real estate team is 'one of the best in the Thames Valley'. The practice [in Oxford] is known for its strength in handling complex and high value development projects in the residential, education and leisure sectors. Key partner Simon Knott focuses on acquisitions, disposals, letting and finance. Associate Laura Gorman is a name to note for commercial developments, student accommodation schemes and care homes, as is Catherine Bradshaw, who focuses on acting on behalf of registered providers.
The Legal 500 - 2020 edition
Offers knowledge in a vast array of areas, including sizeable development and infrastructure projects for high-profile clients in the rail and energy sectors. Also advises a number of corporates on their property requirements. Retail, leisure and education groups also feature in the team's client list. Ability to advise on the environmental and planning aspects of real estate transactions.
Strengths: Clients praise the team for its ‘strong interrogation of problems, creative thinking about solutions and good overall client service.’
A client says: ‘The main strength of the team is their ability to respond and react to ongoing commercial negotiations that fall outside of the sphere of pure legal advice.’
Clients describe the firm's lawyers as ‘very knowledgeable, thorough and experienced.’
Mike Busby is recognised for his expertise handling purchasing and leasing transactions across a range of asset classes including office, industrial and retail space. Clients praise his ‘technical knowledge, commercial awareness and excellent customer service.’
Peter McElligott is a key contact.
Richard Smith assists clients with an extensive range of real estate matters, including the environmental and planning aspects. He regularly advises clients in sectors such as energy, social housing and technology.
Chambers UK - 2019 edition
Penningtons Manches LLP acts primarily for institutional investors and developers in strategic land and investment portfolio transactions, and development projects. Development highlights have included Louis Manches advising Munroe K on its 500,000 ft2 development at White Rose Office Park in Leeds, and Alison Lewis assisting Lavignac Securities with the establishment of a development joint venture with Conygar Investment Company, and the partnership’s subsequent £13.5m acquisition of a development site in Nottingham. James Nadin led the property due diligence for a major hotel portfolio transaction, and John Hargreaves has particular expertise in the student accommodation sector. Martin Codd and James McNeilly are key contacts for site disposals and letting work.
Lead partner [in Cambridge] Sarah Coates is 'very knowlegable, efficient and always available'. She worked with corporate partner and finance specialist Helen Drayton to assist James Dolan Ltd with the acquisition of the Dooley Rumble Group, which included substantial real estate assets in the form of four existing leases with complex dilapidations issues. Partner Mark Sellers, who joined in late 2017, works from both the London and Cambridge offices. He acts predominantly for social housing providers.
The [Guildford] team at Penningtons Manches LLP 'works seamlessly and incredibly hard on all instructions' according to one client. Department head Mike Busby and associate Sam Davies are 'outstanding solicitors with excellent communication skills'; the 'excellent' Tim Davies and Tony Burns are also key names, together with senior associate Graham Dixon. Jamie Lynch joined the team.
Richard Smith heads the [Oxford] team and leads the environmental and planning law group. Simon Knott has assisted White Stuff with the acquisition, disposal and day-to-day management of various high-street stores and warehousing centres.
The Legal 500 - 2019 edition