Real estate

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Chambers UK

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Real Estate

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Real estate

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Offers knowledge in a vast array of areas, including sizeable development and infrastructure projects for high-profile clients.

Strengths: One client says: ‘They have really impressed us with their initiative and desire to get the deal done.’

Another says: ‘It’s a very professional, knowledgeable and commercial team that provides very clear, concise advice and value for money.’

‘They are very focused and work hard to secure results,’ says a client, adding: ‘They listen to their clients, understand their objectives and support them in getting the job done.’

Notable practitioners
Mike Busby: ‘Mike's friendly demeanour and sheer knowledge of his subject gives me, as a client, the confidence that matters are dealt with in a timely fashion, with every avenue explored to ensure the best possible outcome.’

Sarah Coates is ‘great to work with; she is very responsive and professional’.

Sam Davies: ‘Sam works tirelessly to ensure that deadlines are met and is quick to think of elegant solutions on the rare occasion a problem is thrown up by the other side.’

Simon Knott heads the Penningtons Manches Cooper real estate team in Oxford.

Peter McElligott is head of the real estate division and a key contact at the firm.

Chambers UK - 2022 edition


Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP’s London property team places a high degree of emphasis on real estate investment work, supporting on a variety of ownership structures, funding arrangements and subsequent leasing negotiations, in addition to forward sales and purchases. Practice head James Nadin demonstrates a tenacity for high-value portfolio transactions and is also active in the development space. The team’s development work includes a number of significant large-scale projects and is supported by the firm’s wider proficiency in construction and planning affairs.

Mike Busby heads the department in Guildford with considerable expertise in high-value asset work and development work, acting for national retailers, hotel operators and large landowners. Timothy Davies handles acquisitions of development land commercially and residentially whilst Tony Burns handles work involving industrial and logistics sites, especially regarding development funding agreements.

Sarah Coates, who is known for her 'great clarity and proactivity', leads the practice [in Cambridge] and is supported by London-based social housing partner Mark Sellers, who frequently works from the Cambridge office. 'Courteous, responsive' senior associate Giorgia Clements frequently advises investors on the sale and purchase of property assets.

Simon Knott leads the Oxford practice, regularly acting for large corporate tenants with fast 'roll out' programmes in the retail and leisure sector, including convenience stores and drive-thrus. Other key members of the team include Justin Winterbottom, who is a specialist in portfolio management issues, and associate Laura Gorman, who leads on high-value transactional work relating to commercial developments, student accommodation and care homes.

‘A great team spirit is clearly evident within this department. Communication and knowledge across colleagues are seamless and they strike a great balance of delivering the highest standards for their clients with a very personable approach.’

‘Penningtons Manches Cooper have a widely respected property team covering all aspects of the law. Regionally the team have become market leaders and are head and shoulders above the competition in terms of response times, quality of advice, communication etc.’

‘Mike Busby’s legal knowledge and expertise is second to none.’

‘Tony Burns is hard working, reliable, responsive and easy to deal with and friendly.’

‘Giorgia Clements operates with an attention to detail that is both thorough and accompanied by a strong instinct towards problem-solving.’

‘Sarah Coates operates with great clarity and proactivity. Sarah is open, accessible and calm, as well as being technically and commercially astute.’

Graham Dixon has excelled himself in his advice and assistance working for us, most recently on a complex estate purchase.’

Laura Gorman: ‘Her work for us has been exceptional without fail and I could not recommend her highly enough.’

‘Led by Simon Knott, all of his team are diligent, intelligent, friendly, astute and commercially minded.’

Jamie Lynch is highly competent and an excellent communicator.’

The Legal 500 - 2022 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. Able to advise on the environmental and planning aspects of real estate transactions.

Strengths: Clients note: 'They are an outstanding firm; they have an edge, and are widely experienced.'

Another reports: 'They are well coordinated and efficient with rapid turnaround of documents.'

Notable practitioners
Mike Busby maintains a broad practice, acting for commercial and developer clients among others. He often advises on acquisitions, disposals and lease renewals. 'Mike is hugely experienced and is commercially aware. His advice and proactive interventions have been very important.'

Sarah Coates acts for clients on a wide array of real estate matters, including lease agreements and terminations, property acquisitions and landlord and tenant matters. She also advises on development matters and the real estate aspects of corporate transactions.

Sam Davies acts on a range of commercial property matters. He has particular experience of acquisitions and disposals. 'He is efficient and has clear communication skills.'

Simon Knott is a key contact.

Joel Kordan is a respected real estate practitioner in the Birmingham market. He has experience handling a wide range of deals, including investment transactions and development matters.

Peter McElligott is head of the real estate division and a key contact at the firm.

Chambers UK - 2021 edition


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.’

Notable practitioners
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


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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP