Real estate

The lawyers have the balance between good-quality work and quick response times.

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 notes: ‘The communication and knowledge across departments is seamless, and they strike a great balance of delivering the highest standards for their clients with a very personable approach.’

Another interviewee comments: ‘They are highly experienced in all property-related matters and are a class outfit.’

An impressed client praises the team for being ‘approachable and hands-on’. The same client highlights that the lawyers are ‘good at spotting issues we didn't anticipate’.

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.’

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


Impressive team handling 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. Ably handles the acquisition and disposal of substantial property portfolios, notably in the hotels and leisure sector. Development expertise includes residential schemes and mixed-use redevelopments.

Strengths: 'They've been excellent,' says a client, adding that the lawyers are 'really good on the client service side and among the best for real estate work.'

One client states: 'They are well organised, efficient, professional and exceptionally good at what they do.'

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


From its office in Guildford, Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP advises national clients on commercial property matters. The firm is particularly active in advising on matters involving hotels, developments, retail, and promotion agreements. The practice is led by Mike Busby, who has a strong track record in acquisitions, disposals, and portfolio refinancings as well as development work. Tony BurnsTimothy Davies, and associates Graham Dixon and Lyndsey Whittell are also singled out for praise by clients.

Mike Busby holds a very wide knowledge of his field. A great team leader and you know he is always there if needed. Fights for you whilst still being pragmatic. An outstanding lawyer both with regard to personality and expertise. 

Tony Burns in the commercial real estate department has broad experience of the development world and is backed by a highly efficient team.

Tim Davies and Graham Dixon are the stand-out folk for us, but we had no hesitation at all in speaking to any of their colleagues.

Sam Davies is excellent. Great potential. Delivers in time and effort. Total commitment.

Sarah Jordan has been exceptional in pulling the transaction together.

Senior associate Lyndsey Whittell is patient and copes well with multiple points from various joint owners and agents.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP [in Oxford] has a strong reputation for handling major projects and complex development contracts for sectors such as rail, housing and renewable energy. Practice head Simon Knott acts for developers and landowners in connection with land assembly for residential and mixed use schemes. Senior associate Laura Gorman leads on complex and high value transactional work relating to housing and commercial developments, student accommodation schemes and care homes. Justin Winterbottom arrived in April 2019.

Justin Winterbottom is approachable and always at hand for any advice needed – nothing is a chore.

The Cambridge real estate practice acts for global banks, developers, housing associations, science parks, colleges and wealthy families. It handles property finance transactions for both lenders and borrowers. Lead partner Sarah Coates is best known for the acquisition and set-up of residential development sites. Social housing partner Mark Sellers, working from both London and Cambridge, assists registered providers with acquisitions, option agreements and golden brick transactions. Senior associate Giorgia Clements handles investment purchases, and landlord and tenant matters.

The Legal 500 - 2021 edition


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 'outstanding' Mike Busby leads the team [in Guildford] and senior associate Sam Davies is also highlighted for his client-centric approach.

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.’

Notable practitioners
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


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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