September 30, 2020

Planning Law solicitors recognised as one of best teams in the region

Holmes & Hills Solicitors’ large and growing team of specialist Planning Law solicitors has again been independently ranked as one of the leading sources of expert legal advice and representation on planning matters in the region.

The well-regarded Planning and Development Team at Holmes & Hills has long been identified as one of the go-to teams for specialist, strategic and pragmatic advice on a wide range of planning related issues for developers, land owners, local authorities and planning consultants across East Anglia. Such is the team’s reputation that they have, for several years now and at the request of Sweet and Maxwell, contributed to the publisher’s “Planning Law Practice and Precedents” publication – this used as a guidance document by legal professionals.

As well as being recognised by the Legal 500, the team of Planning Law solicitors at Holmes & Hills is also ranked by Chambers & Partners, a second independent list of the UK’s top law firms and solicitors, as a leading source of Planning Law advice in East Anglia.

As part of the extensive research undertaken by the Legal 500 into the legal services marketplace in the region, comments received by editors from clients of Holmes & Hills’ Planning and Development Team included:

“The team at Holmes & Hills is approachable, responsive, affable, and always have time to deal with all categories of enquiry. They are not afraid of expressing opinions and pursuing trains of thought that are healthy and can lead to very agreeable solutions. On the odd occasions where conflicts of interest have prevented working together, other firms have been very disappointing in comparison.”

Whilst commentators have remarked that part of the team’s strength comes from the number of specialists within the department - the team is one of the largest teams of dedicated Planning Law specialists in East Anglia - the expertise of individuals is of note. The Legal 500 2021 editors recognise, at an individual level, four of the senior members of the team.

Steven Hopkins, Partner and Head of the Planning & Development Team, provides specialist advice on contentious Planning Law matters, particularly where matters facing clients concern Planning Law, contentious Property Law and litigation procedure. Steven’s unique experience allows him to bridge the gap between these areas.

Michael Harman, also a Partner in the department, is one of the contributors to Sweet and Maxwell’s planning publication and specialises in providing strategic Planning Law advice, particularly concerning planning appeals, breaches of planning control, planning enforcement issues, certificate of lawfulness applications, as well as CIL and CPO matters.

Senior Solicitors Jo Lilliott and Tom McPhie are both Section 106 and Highways specialists, as well regarded by planning professionals in the private sector as they are by local authority planning officers. Jo and Tom both regularly work with local authority planning departments across East Anglia in relation to negotiation and drafting of Section 106 Agreements with developers.

Consultant David Whipps is one of the leading Planning Law solicitors in the region. David is the only Planning Law solicitor in Essex to be recognised by Chambers & Partners as a leader in his field. He is also personally recognised once again by The Legal 500 as a Leading Individual in this 2021 publication, in recognition of his wealth of experience and expertise.

The team continues to grow and has, in September 2020, been joined by a Trainee Solicitor. The team is currently also recruiting an experienced Planning Law solicitor to join its ranks, to be based at the firm’s new regional head office, the A12 Commercial Hub at J25 of the A12, Marks Tey, Colchester.

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