Acting for landlords and tenants alike, Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's client portfolio includes investment managers, office occupiers, retailers and charities alongside residential landlords and tenants. 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. Handling development-related work, including various neighbourly issues and restrictive covenants, as well as social housing litigation are other key areas of expertise. Housing association specialist Ben Robinson made partner in April 2018.
The main focus of the 'really experienced and very good' Andrea Nicholls is real estate litigation, and she works closely with commercial property partner Sarah Coates [in Cambridge] to advise on agricultural and rural property disputes; freehold property disputes; rights of way; restrictive covenants; overage agreements and disputes regarding options; commercial leasehold disputes; forfeiture; rent arrears recovery; lease renewal proceedings; and break notices.
Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's real estate litigation group [in Oxford] is 'approachable, clear and always willing to help'; it shows 'persistence in the face of difficult and rare problems'. 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
Respected and versatile team managing property portfolios for national retailers, regularly handling lease renewals and dilapidations claims, as well as advising residential clients on service charges disputes. Also acts for several institutional investors on contested lease renewals and redevelopment. Further clientele includes educational institutions and start-ups.
Strengths: Clients say: ‘They are a very personable team that provides tailored advice and commercial awareness of how a particular instruction fits within the bigger picture of our strategy.’
Another source says: ‘I feel we get excellent advice and it is delivered in a friendly manner.’
Donald Lambert of Penningtons Manches LLP has expertise in contentious elements relating to portfolio management for landlords and developers. Sources say: ‘He takes everything in his stride and inspires confidence. He has considerable experience and great instincts.’
John Morrison advises on commercial property disputes including issues of dilapidations, lease renewals and break notices. One client reports: ‘He was really helpful – very knowledgeable and thoughtful. His strategic approach to the problem has been absolutely correct.’
Andrea Nicholls has in-depth understanding of developer disputes and suits relating to right of way, dilapidations and restrictive covenants. Sources comment that she is ‘easy to talk to, efficient and very knowledgeable.’ Others describe her as an ‘outstanding litigator,’ adding: ‘She can deal with difficult points of law and has very good client skills.’
Chambers UK - 2019 edition
The ‘strong, commercial savvy’ lawyers at Penningtons Manches LLP ‘combine a deep knowledge of the law with commercial advice and pragmatism’. Practice head Donald Lambert ‘applies the law in a commercial and strategic manner’ while being ‘pleasant to work with and extremely knowledgeable’. Ben Robinson has been promoted to partner and ‘can be relied upon to spot all the angles and be on top of the matter’. Robinson is ‘strong on the residential side’ while the ‘commercially astute’ David Masters has particular expertise in lease extensions, party wall awards and rights to light. Laura West joined the team.
The property litigation team [in Oxford] 'works seamlessly together and incredibly hard, tailoring advice and commercial suggestions according to clients' requirements'. Key figures include John Morrison, who has a strong focus on dilapidation claims, lease renewal and break notices, as well as service charge and boundary disputes and professional negligence disputes.
The Legal 500 - 2019 edition
Respected and versatile team managing property portfolios for national retailers, regularly handling lease renewals and dilapidation claims, as well as advising residential clients on service charge disputes. Counts a number of well-known leisure groups among its clients. Additionally represents start-ups in industries such as life sciences and biotechnology.
Strengths: Clients say: ‘Their ability to tailor their service to their clients' needs is a great asset.’
Another client reports: ‘They are available and responsive, and come back to you with a solution within a good timeframe.’
Donald Lambert of Penningtons Manches comes recommended for his counsel on portfolio management and development-related disputes. Clients say: ‘He’s able to grasp and analyse a broad array of technical detail and apply the law in a commercial and strategic manner.’
John Morrison is a ‘very practically oriented problem solver’ who is ‘always available,’ according to clients. His vast experience covers a broad range of commercial real estate disputes such as break notices and contentious lease renewals.
Senior associate Sabrina Furneaux-Gotch continues to draw praise for her work on disputes such as restrictive covenant matters and rights of way conflicts. She also advises on a variety of contentious commercial landlord and tenant issues. Sources say: ‘She is very thorough and helpful, and has great attention to detail. She also has the ability and willingness to think outside the box to her clients’ benefit.’
Chambers UK - 2018 edition