October 19, 2023

First-time individual recognition for Steven Hopkins in this year’s Chambers and Partners

Holmes & Hills’ specialist Department of planning law solicitors continue to be recognised by the Chambers and Partners legal directory, sustaining acknowledgement for almost a decade.

Holmes & Hills Solicitors have once again been identified as one of the leading sources of advice on Planning Law in the East Anglian region.

In the 2024 edition, Chambers and Partners comments on the strengths of Holmes & Hills Planning Law Department, stating with testimonials sought from clients through the extensive research process that: 

  • “Holmes & Hills are the most professional, reliable, efficient, cost-effective, and friendly solicitors in the region."
  • "Holmes & Hills provide a very competitive service and have a full understanding of clients' commercial objectives throughout a matter.”

Individual recognition for Planning Law solicitors

Notably in the 2024 edition, Steven Hopkins received individual recognition at Band 2 level.

Steven is a specialist planning law solicitor and the managing partner of Holmes & Hills. Chambers and Partners note Steven’s “extensive experience of contentious planning law matters”. Commenting on how he “frequently acts for developers, planning consultants and private landowners on a range of contentious planning and property litigation issues”.

Due to Steven’s litigation background, he is unique in being able to bridge the gap between planning law, contentious property law, and litigation procedure and is, therefore, able to provide clients with a single source of expert legal advice that draws on specialist knowledge and experience in all three areas.

Moreover, Chambers and Partners note Steven’s strengths from client testimonial as "Steven's drive and enthusiasm impressed me. I am also extremely grateful for his support and the strong case he presented."

Continued recognition for Jo Lilliott and Tom McPhie in Section 106 matters

Moreover, Jo Lilliott, senior solicitor and member of Holmes & Hills’ Planning Law Department, is personally recognised for the fifth year as a Star Associate. Jo continues to be regarded by Chambers and Partners, as a “highly regarded practitioner sought out by public and private sector clients for her deep expertise in Section 106 agreements and highway law. She regularly acts for local authorities and has significant experience in large residential developments and advising on local development orders”.

Comments made in the 2024 Chambers and Partners edition describe Jo as:

  • “Jo Lilliott is an excellent solicitor who provides an outstanding level of service. She is very experienced, extremely responsive and always provides sound advice."
  • "The service provided by Jo is fantastic. She is extremely knowledgeable and always ensures correspondence is actioned very quickly.”

Also, in the 2024 edition, Tom McPhie, senior planning solicitor, is independently recognised for the third time as a Star Associate, making it a hattrick of mentions. Tom continues to be recommended for his “considerable experience in all planning law areas but is particularly recognised for his work on Section 106 agreements. He frequently acts for local authorities and has extensive expertise in environmental and highway laws”.

Testimonial noted in the 2024 Chambers and Partners edition described Tom as:

  • “Tom McPhie is a very capable and experienced solicitor who is able to keep things understandable and reasonable."

Recognition for the broader Planning Law Department

As well as commending the strengths of individuals at Holmes & Hills Solicitors, Chambers and Partners commented on the Planning Law Department as a whole. In the 2024 edition of the Chambers and Partners, Holmes & Hills Planning Law Department continues to sit amongst only four recommended Planning Law Departments within the East Anglian region.

Chambers and Partners comment on how Holmes & Hills “houses a specialist team advising on the planning aspects of residential, mixed-use and commercial developments”. Moreover, noting that the Department “acts for a number of local authorities as well as developers and private individuals” with the specialist planning law solicitors “regularly engaged to advise on contentious issues such as planning inquiries and judicial reviews” - for which Steven Hopkins has for the first time received individual recognition - as well as being noted for their expertise in Section 106 agreements. As well as a specialism, in Section 106 agreements for which senior solicitors and Section 106 experts, Jo Lilliott and Tom McPhie are individually commended as Star Associates, for 5 years and 3 years respectively.

A large team of Planning Law specialists in East Anglia

Holmes & Hills’ Planning Law Department is one of the largest teams of Planning Law specialists in the region, comprising two Partners (Steven Hopkins and Michael Harman), one senior associate (Sarah Hare), two senior solicitors (Jo Lilliott and Tom McPhie), one consultant solicitor (David Whipps), four solicitors (Catherine Hibbert, Melanie Francis, Ellie Shemming and Issy Bainbridge), a trainee apprentice solicitor (Anna Becker) as well as a paralegal (Susana Silva Moreira), along with additional support from administrative/technical assistant (Lucy Howe).

What is Chambers and Partners?

Chambers and Partners, the prestigious independent legal research organisation and publisher, published its latest insight into the legal industry on 19th October 2023. Chambers and Partners undertake extensive research into law firms, interviewing peers within the legal industry, clients, and professional contacts with a view to identifying the leading specialists across several fields of legal practice.

This most recent recognition by Chambers and Partners for the Holmes & Hills Planning Law Department follows similar recognition for the planning law solicitors by the Legal 500 in September 2023. 

In closing, at Holmes & Hills Solicitors, our dedication to excellence in planning law continues to drive our team's success. We take immense pride in not only achieving recognition but, more importantly, in delivering exceptional results and service to our valued clients. If you have any questions, require assistance, or would like to explore how our team can assist you with your planning law needs, please do not hesitate to reach out to our specialist department.

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