Survey success for Clarke Willmott’s planning lawyers while debt recovery team aims for top award

April 13, 2018

National law firm Clarke Willmott, which has an office in Bristol, has been ranked at number six in a prestigious list of the highest-rated planning practices for 2018.

The Planning Law Survey is an in-depth report based on testimonials by the consultants, developers and officers that use law firms’ services.

Clarke Willmott has moved up five places since last year’s survey to make an appearance in the top 10 for the first time.

Feedback for Clarke Willmott included one consultant saying: “I’ve always found they provide consistently sound and constructive legal advice across a wide range of development matters.”

Another added: “We have worked with Clarke Willmott on a number of residential schemes and they have always offered clear and robust advice that has enables our clients to move forward with surety.”

The firm has also increased its planning solicitor headcount, which now stands at 11, placing it within the top 20 biggest employers of planning lawyers.

In the individual solicitor’s section, Bristol-based partner Neil Baker has risen from joint 15th in 2017 to joint second in 2018.

Neil, pictured above, is described as having “an excellent grasp of the technical detail of planning law” and a “commercial, client-friendly and astute outlook [which] means he is always a pleasure to work alongside.”

Also making the list of highest rated planning solicitors is Clarke Willmott partner Caroline Waller, who is the highest new entry in the table at joint 15th.

Clarke Willmott CEO Stephen Rosser said: “There are some truly excellent results in this year’s Planning Law Survey and I’m very pleased to see both the firm’s offering as a whole and individual solicitors named in the rankings.

“Planning law is an area of rapidly changing growth and can be a minefield to navigate. As such, being able to rely on your legal adviser is critical. Our planning team consistently delivers timely commercial advice and provides experienced practitioners to sit alongside clients to guide them through the complexities of the planning system.

“To be ranked among the best firms for planning law and planning lawyers is a great achievement and further cements our reputation as a market leader.”

Meanwhile, the firm’s specialist team of debt recovery lawyers has been named as finalists at a prestigious award ceremony honouring the best in the credit industry.

The team is shortlisted in the category for Law Firm of the Year at the annual Credit Awards organised by Credit Strategy, the information service for the UK’s commercial and consumer credit industry.

The shortlist has been compiled by an experienced judging panel made up of industry professionals and the winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on May 17.

Described as ‘The Baftas’ of the credit world the awards are the flagship event for the UK’s credit industry and return in 2018 for the 19th year, hosted by comedy star Katherine Ryan.

Phil Roberts, pictured, a partner at Clarke Willmott and who, together with Kat Quinton, leads the debt recovery team, said: “It is wonderful to be recognised as a talented and high achieving team by some of the best in the business. 

“We have made several appointments and promotions within the team this year, which has really strengthened our offering and cemented our reputation as industry leading debt recovery specialists.

“The debt recovery team is one of the largest teams in the firm and plays an important role in its overall success.

“The team is very proud to be named as finalists and we’re thoroughly looking forward to the awards in May where we can celebrate not only our achievements but the important work undertaken by the whole industry.”

The Law Firm of the Year category asked for entrants to demonstrate how the team has achieved exemplary performance, both in achievement of cash recovered as well as in conduct standards and an ethical approach. 

Clarke Willmott also has offices in Birmingham, Cardiff, London, Manchester, Southampton and Taunton.


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