Ed Austin is a Commercial Real Estate Solicitor with over 25 years’ experience. After getting a first class honours degree in Law from Manchester University, Ed trained with a major City law firm and then worked for a large regional practice in the South-West of England. During this period he undertook a great deal of commercial property and estate management work for a major port operator and for a national tyre retail chain. He also advised on property secured lending for one of the big four banks as well as landed estate work for the National Trust. In his employment work Ed advises employers and employees on both contentious and non-contentious employment matters, including in relation to the tax implications of different employment arrangements, and frequently undertakes his own advocacy on defended cases in the Employment Tribunal. Ed has also been General Counsel of the former Birmingham Midshires Building Society, dealing with its entire property portfolio, and its large commercial lending and securitisations book. Ed managed the legal aspects of BM’s acquisition by HBOS, becoming divisional company secretary. More recently he was an equity Partner in a high street law firm. He has also worked with and advised public authorities, particularly on development proposals, EU procurement law, commercial contracts, community asset transfers to charitable trusts, and general estate management. Ed contributed to Butterworths ‘Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents’, authoring the ‘Sales of Leaseholds’ Section, and frequently publishes articles on topical legal issues.
William Bartlett is a solicitor with over twelve years’ experience as a planning and environmental law specialist having trained and qualified with Ashurst and started his career in planning with Nabarro, Dentons and Sharpe Pritchard. William has worked on a wide range of development projects, providing strategic planning advice to developers, landowners, local authorities and other bodies, including preparing and managing cases at public inquiries (CPO, call-ins, s. 78 appeals, and local plans), drafting and negotiating all types of planning and highways agreements, advising on Judicial Review proceedings and advising on planning issues in relation to property acquisitions and disposals. He has wide ranging energy and waste project expertise covering major off-shore and on-shore wind farm proposals, as well as the remediation and re-use of landfill and former quarry sites and their associated s. 106 agreements and performance bonds.
Edward de la Billiere is a Solicitor and co-founder of Prospect Law. He was educated at Newcastle University and trained at the leading Middle East firm Trowers and Hamlins, working in both their London and Dubai offices, predominantly in the oil sector. On qualification, Edward moved to Magnox Electric, which was taken over by the nuclear operator BNFL. He has retained a strong interest in infrastructure and, in particular, energy related projects and has advised recently in respect of energy and waste projects for corporate, local authority and private clients across the UK and internationally. Edward has developed a particular specialisation in Regulatory Law, advising individual and major corporate clients in the UK and abroad on international requirements for compliance with various legislative frameworks and also defence and strategic advice where clients are involved in litigation connected with allegations of regulatory breaches. He has advised on Parliamentary Select Committees and been consulted by the SFO on Regulatory Law matters, has been named as a leader in his field since 2009 and has contributed to numerous publications including Butterworths “Fraud: Law, Practice and Procedure” in 2011.
REGULATORY LAWYER OF THE YEAR – ACQ5 LAW AWARDS 2017
Ashley Bowes was called to the Bar as a Prince of Wales scholar by Gray’s Inn. He holds a doctorate in law and specialises in Planning, Property, Environmental and Public law. He is the Assistant Editor of Sweet and Maxwell’s Journal of Planning and Environment Law and a contributor to Moore and Purdue’s A Practical Approach to Planning Law (13th ed.). Ashley Bowes has appeared in the recently created specialist Planning Court within the High Court, and has wide experience of Public Inquiry work covering planning and enforcement appeals, local plans, village greens, common land and rights of way. He is also experienced in litigation concerning restrictive covenants, easements and boundaries. Prior to his being called to the Bar, Ashley Bowes ran his own planning consultancy representing developers, local authorities and objectors, and for a number of years he has been both Portfolio Holder for Planning Policy and Chairman of Woking Borough Council’s planning committee.
Alice Boyle is a solicitor with extensive experience in all areas of immigration law. She qualified in 2000 at Norton Rose and has specialised in immigration since 2003. Alice has been accredited as a Senior Caseworker at Level 2 and a Supervisor under the Law Society’s Immigration accreditation scheme since February 2005. She was a director and a head of the immigration department at Duncan Lewis from 2007 until 2014. Alice can assist both corporate and individual clients with any immigration, nationality or asylum matter. She has a sound understanding of Tier 1 Investors, Tier 1 Entrepreneurs and Tier 2 matters. Alice has substantial experience of challenging UK Home Office decisions, regularly representing clients in appeals at both the First-Tier and Upper Tribunal and also by way of Judicial Review applications in both the Upper Tribunal and UK High Court. Alice has a Masters Degree in Refugee Studies from the University of East London and has also been seconded to the Danish Refugee Council in Tajikistan, training government officials on international law and best practice procedure.
Theresa Chong is a commercial real estate solicitor with over 10 years post-qualification experience in private practice. She obtained an LL.M in International Commercial Law and an LLB, both from the University of Nottingham and she trained at Martineau Johnson. Theresa joined the national firm of Shoosmiths in 2004, where she acted as a transactional lawyer for nine years advising on a wide range of general commercial property work and acting for off-shore property funds, PLCs, household name retailers, investor landlords, corporate users, universities and a charities. Theresa’s commercial property experience covers acquisitions and disposals of freehold and leasehold commercial and industrial premises, industrial estates, office buildings, shopping parades and retail units. She is experienced in all aspects of landlord and tenant work from both the landlord and tenant’s perspectives, having been on the client service teams of two household name companies managing their national portfolio and acting for a number of property funds and individual property investors in managing large portfolios of commercial and industrial properties. Theresa also provides support on corporate transactions and has managed large-scale real estate project work involving securitisation, re-financing, acquisitions and disposals of commercial and retail property portfolios, and the preparation of certificates of title. Theresa is currently involved in a number of large scale renewable energy projects involving primarily wind and solar technologies for schemes around the UK.
Rupert Cowen joined Prospect Law having been a partner at Hammonds and then Dentons’ London energy and infrastructure practice. He was admitted as a solicitor in 1986 and has an MSc in Construction Law. He has advised on the contractual arrangements for a large number of UK and international infrastructure projects and in a wide range of industry sectors. For the past 10 years, Rupert has provided specialist advisory services to the nuclear energy and decommissioning industries on nuclear law and licensing, supply, service and outsourcing contracts and environmental and waste regulation. Rupert has also provided training on legal, regulatory and policy issues for the nuclear energy and related industries both nationally and internationally. He took a leading role in the privatisation of the decommissioning of the UK civil nuclear legacy and has worked with successful consortia including UK Nuclear Waste Management, the owners of Low Level Waste Repository Limited, Nuclear Management Partners, the owners of Sellafield Limited, and the Cavendish Dounreay Partnership. He has continued to work with and advise each of the Site Licence companies. Rupert has worked in various countries on nuclear projects for the developer vendor and has drafted for and provided ongoing guidance to those creating or revising national legal regulatory frameworks. He is recognised as a leading expert in international nuclear law and regulation; he lectures on a frequent basis around the world and has published papers on various aspects of nuclear regulation, particularly nuclear waste strategies. He has provided consultancy advice on all aspects of nuclear law and regulation, including: legal/regulatory frameworks; international nuclear law and regulation; global nuclear safety regimes; EU and EURATOM; licensing, oversight, and enforcement with a special focus on the licensing of new nuclear power plants; security, safeguards and export control; nuclear third party liability; nuclear waste and decommissioning; the regulatory aspects of JV’s, mergers and acquisitions; and the regulation of contracts with vendors and suppliers.
William England is a regulatory law barrister who specialises in advising and defending clients in public inquiries and matters involving financial and other complex corporate crime. He was educated at University College London where he obtained a Masters in Law and was called to the Bar in 1991. His specialist areas of expertise include: (i) Health and Safety, where he has recently acted as leading counsel in the successful defence of the attempted prosecution of senior members of the Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service for gross negligence manslaughter; (ii) advising corporate and individual clients on investigations into market abuse, serious fraud, money laundering and bribery & corruption, including restraint orders and asset recovery; and (iii) public inquiries and military law, where he recently completed two years as lead counsel for a core participant in the Baha Mousa Public Inquiry chaired by Sir William Gage – an inquiry of national importance into the death of an Iraqi whilst in custody during Operation Telic. He is the only barrister to have appeared in all of the Iraqi abuse cases since 2003. William has been recommended as a “leader in his field” in Chambers and Partners directory since 2003 and is also recommended in the Legal 500.
John Faulks is commercial lawyer with over 25 years’ experience in a wide variety of roles in private practice, the not-for-profit sector and in-house as General Counsel. He qualified as a solicitor in 1990 and has a law degree from Oxford University and a Masters in Environmental Law from King’s College, London.He was General Counsel at Solarcentury for 15 years and a key player in taking the business from start-up in the UK to a £200m turnover group active across 4 continents. This gives him a deep knowledge of what it takes to make renewable energy projects commercially successful, and an excellent understanding of what it takes to keep a fast growth company profitable. John has advised on a wide range of commercial law matters including utility scale energy projects, multi building portfolios and high volume residential programmes, as well as on product development and commercialising innovation. He has had a specific focus on construction and supply chain contracts; sales, marketing, distribution and licensing agreements; and contract manufacturing and joint ventures.
Jonathan is a commercial law and dispute resolution specialist with dual qualification as a solicitor in England & Wales (in 1991) and in Hong Kong (in 1992). Jonathan read medieval history at the University of St. Andrews, and trained at Richards Butler (now US firm Reed Smith) in London and Hong Kong. He was a partner in the firm’s Hong Kong commercial litigation department from 1997 to 2012. Jonathan’s practice areas include contentious intellectual property disputes, including copyright in various industrial designs, trademarks, patents and passing off, commercial contracts and disputes, regulatory matters, insolvency/restructuring and media work for UK and Asia based clients. Jonathan is currently advising energy companies in respect of a wide variety of commercial agreements concerning wind, solar, biomass and other renewable and conventional energy projects around the UK, as well as private and public law claims and investigations. He has acted for a well known environmental group in the first Judicial Review of the Hong Kong Government regarding development in a Country Park, and for listed companies, airlines, banks, trading businesses, and individuals in a wide variety of disputes. He has acted in shareholder disputes, advised the directors of a collapsed Hong Kong merchant bank, advised a US listed media company in investigating and preparing factual reports for the purposes of compliance with the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, advised the employees of a European Bank under investigation by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, acted for an individual in defending two sets of libel proceedings arising out of an unsuccessful takeover offer, acted for the victims of fraud and corruption in civil proceedings, and for individuals with claims against financial advisers. Jonathan has been listed in Chambers Global, Chambers Asia, the Asia Pacific Legal 500 and in the 2013 edition of Asialaw’s Leading Lawyers.
Claire Harvey joined Prospect Law from US firm Squire Sanders Hammond. She was formerly head of legal at United Kindom NIREX Limited (formerly the Nuclear Industry Radioactive Waste Executive). Claire has specialist expertise of domestic and international Nuclear Regulatory Law including the transport and storage of radioactive substances. She has wide experience advising on the regulatory aspects of Nuclear New Build (including the NPS) and nuclear suppy contracts, and of advising Tier 1 contractors in Nuclear Decommissioning. Claire also advises on International Law and the application of International Treaties including Nuclear Liability Conventions. She has presented at International Nuclear Lawyers (INLA) Congress Meetings and is a Member of the International Nuclear Law Association and the Nuclear Institute (Management Committees). Claire is currently working with the Nuclear Industry Association, the World Nuclear Association, Ciria and UKELA.
James Hilsdon is a solicitor advocate with over 18 years’ experience in domestic and international commercial litigation. James was educated at Cambridge University before reading for the Bar, being awarded Mansfield and Megarry Scholarships by Lincoln’s Inn. James practised at the Chancery-commercial Bar for a number of years before joining Clifford Chance, where he was a member of the core advocacy team. He has also worked offshore with leading global firms Appleby and Harneys, and is admitted to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla circuits. Latterly James was a commercial litigation partner in the mid-tier City of London firm, Davies Arnold Cooper. James’s practice encompasses a broad range of issues, including Intellectual Property (IP) issues and disputes, commercial litigation, investor disputes, contentious and cross-border insolvency, civil fraud and asset recovery, and professional negligence.
Ian Jones qualified as a solicitor in 1992. His experience and skills reflect a diverse commercial law background with a strong real estate and real estate finance core. Ian’s real estate experience includes commercial portfolio acquisition and disposal, landlord and tenant work, and planning and property finance. In 2001, he led the BT legal team that sold and leased back BT’s UK property portfolio for £2.38bn. Given the nature of BT’s operations, he is experienced in national infrastructure work including the specialist area of infrastructure property rates (Cumulo rating). Ian’s career has also encompassed M&A, Outsourcing, IT and Commercial Work including the establishment of the Airwave Contract, overseeing the legal response to the insolvency of Worldcom and work on the UEFA 2012 Euro and the FIFA 2014 World Cup. He has extensive project management experience, both as a project leader and a team member. After spending 14 years in private practice, Ian moved into industry in 1999. He spent 11 years at BT Plc, including 6 years as head of BT’s Real Estate Legal Team, followed by three years as a senior lawyer at BP Plc managing the global supply chain of Castrol. He is the author of “Butterworths In-House Lawyers’ Handbook”, and is a contributor to “Butterworths Guide to the Legal Services Act 2007”.
Jonathan Leech was a partner in Magic Circle firm Dentons energy practice before joining Prospect Law’s Projects, Energy and Natural Resources team in September 2016. He is a solicitor specialising in project and infrastructure work, with particular emphasis on the energy, nuclear and utility sectors. His work includes advising on legal and contracting strategies and regulatory issues associated with major nuclear development, decommissioning, waste and reprocessing projects, energy infrastructure and other utility and infrastructure related projects. Jonathan also works extensively on procurement strategies for development and renewal of UK electricity and gas network infrastructure, including development of multi-party alliance structures and innovative incentive models, as well as broader energy and construction projects. He blends regulatory, commercial, construction law expertise to provide effective solutions for clients.
William Moffett is a barrister, called to the Bar in 2000 having gained top awards from Gray’s Inn in consecutive years and before that a double first from Cambridge University. His practice is based in commercial chancery work, focussing upon commercial litigation, property and partnership disputes, civil fraud, professional negligence and also in private client work relating to estates, wills and trusts. William advises in these areas and is also an experienced advocate who regularly appears in courts and tribunals at various levels. Much of William’s work relates to land, both commercial and residential: ownership and rights over property, leases, easements, adverse possession, boundaries, restrictive covenants, mortgages, wrongful interference with land, as well as landlord and tenant disputes including the renewal of business tenancies and dilapidation claims. Similarly, much of William’s professional negligence work concerns land: acting for and against solicitors, surveyors, architects, engineers and construction professionals in respect of conveyancing, advice as to property interests, valuation of land, or the design and construction of buildings and other structures. William Moffett is recommended for Commercial Litigation, Professional Negligence and Property Litigation by The Legal 500 and Traditional Chancery and Real Estate Litigation expertise by Chambers UK.
Rowena Moss is a commercial solicitor with a background in PFI and government infrastructure projects. More recently she worked in-house for a large PLC. She was educated at Bristol University and after training with Pinsent Masons she qualified into their Major Projects team. She has worked on a wide range of complex infrastructure projects as well as smaller outsourcing projects with energy companies. She has advised government departments on pathfinder national programmes from the procurement stage to developing the final legal contracts. Past clients include government departments, local authorities and private consortia.
Simon Murray is a barrister whose practice focuses on public, human rights and employment law matters. Called in 2000 and winner of the Inner Temple Sunley Prize, he has broad experience, with many reported cases. In particular, Simon has considerable experience in dealing with issues surrounding claims of damages under the Human Rights Act 1998, acting for both Claimants and Defendants. His administrative and public law practice involves regular appearances in judicial review proceedings. In particular, he is closely involved with the ongoing litigation arising out of various government and regulators’ decisions in respect of micro-generation schemes. His employment work covers ligation both in the tribunal and in the Employment Appeal Tribunal. He has principally acted for employers and is well versed in whistleblowing, resisting claims for unfair dismissal and discrimination and victimisation claims under the Equality Act and its predecessor provisions. He is also familiar with acting in the context of a unionised workforce and in very large organisations as much of his employment work has been acting for central government departments. Simon also handles private law claims, particularly in the fields of professional negligence and general commercial work. He is a very experienced advocate who has appeared in a wide variety of courts and tribunals, and at all levels.
Ugo Palazzo is a defence solicitor with an economics background. After graduating from City University London in 1978, Ugo worked for a company accounts department, completing his common professional law examination in 1983 and Law Society finals in 1984, before qualifying as a solicitor in 1986. After five years practice in property law, Ugo moved into criminal defence work, specialising in high end fraud cases. He has defended cases brought by the Serious Fraud Office, Fraud Investigation Group, the Department of Work and Pensions, the Post Office Prosecutions Department, HM Revenue and Customs, DBERR, Royal Military Police and the CPS. Ugo’s case experience, inter alia, includes: a major fraud allegation against the CAP intervention board; a multi-million dollar US insurance fraud; an international property money laundering allegation; VAT evasion allegations on the importation of gold; a $30m fraud allegation and extradition to USA; hotel chain VAT fraud allegations; Missing trader (MTIC) fraud allegation; excise duty breaches relating to the importation of alcohol; bonded warehouse duty evasion allegations and both mortgage and banking fraud. With extensive experience as a Legal Services Commission serious fraud case supervisor and peer reviewer, Ugo has conducted and supervised cases at all levels. Having represented bankers, magistrates, lawyers, teachers and surveyors as well as hundreds of clients from all backgrounds over his extensive career, Ugo fully understands the pressures faced by clients at the critical investigation stage of their case. Ugo also recognises that defence work is a 24/7 job and will always personally attend clients where possible regardless of the location. Ugo is a member of the London Criminal Courts Solicitors Association and sits on the management committee of the British Italian Law Association. His knowledge of the Italian language means he can comfortably service the needs of Italian clients.
Henry Pinchbeck is a commercial property solicitor with specialist experience in the renewable energy sector. Henry completed a degree in Environmental Science prior to studying law and qualifying with Manches LLP, a City law firm. After 8 years at Manches, Henry moved to Lightsource Renewable Energy, the UK’s largest solar PV developer, to take up a role as their in-house counsel. While at Lightsource, Henry dealt with the development and acquisition of multi-MW solar PV sites by means of options and long-leases of land, and his work included the implementation of alternative acquisition processes by the purchase of companies and/or the assignment of options or leases with associated rights such as planning, grid connection agreements and PPAs. Henry has advised on the refinancing of major property portfolios, acting for both lenders and borrowers, and the acquisition of mixed commercial portfolio properties in JV funds, as well as the subsequent management and disposal of those assets. At Prospect Law, Henry Pinchbeck has used his experience on behalf of developers, lenders and landowners to draft renewable energy options and leases, and he has advised on all aspects of land acquisition involving wind, hydro and solar PV projects around the UK.
Justin Price-Jones qualified as a solicitor in 1998 and has gained wide ranging experience in specialist planning work within local government as well as in industry and private practice. He was Director of Legal Affairs for an AIM listed quarrying and landfill company and subsequently the Deputy Head of Legal Services for Northamptonshire County Council where he led the authority’s planning, highways and environmental law team. More recently Justin has worked as an Associate Solicitor with an independent planning specialist legal practice and his planning experience covers both contentious and non-contentious planning, minerals, waste, highways and public rights of way matters for local planning authorities, commercial developers, local action groups and individuals. Justin’s advisory experience covers applications for planning permission and certificates of lawfulness, planning enforcement appeals and prosecutions, planning agreements (including s. 106 Obligations), infrastructure agreements and compulsory purchase orders as well as High Court planning and enforcement statutory challenges and Judicial Review proceedings. Justin has developed a specialist advisory role on the planning aspects of UK energy projects and he also undertakes advocacy in public rights of way informal hearings and Public Inquiries.
Edmund Robb is a barrister and co-founder of Prospect Law. He heads up the firm’s Dispute Resolution practice. He was educated at Oxford University, was awarded a Prince of Wales Scholarship from Gray’s Inn and was a founder Member of Landmark Chambers in London where he developed a specialised practice covering the environmental, planning and public law fields at Public Inquiries and at all levels in the Courts. Edmund’s case work has been reported widely, and he has been named as a Legal Expert in his field since 2006. Edmund has particular expertise advising corporate, local authority and private clients on infrastructure and other development projects and in High Court judicial review and declaratory relief proceedings.
Dr. Stefan Schmitz focuses his work exclusively on energy worldwide. Dual qualified in England and Germany and originally a project finance lawyer, Stefan has been active in the renewable energy sector for over 10 years and has thus been involved since the early stages of that market, starting with on-shore wind projects in Germany. Stefan advises developers, investors, banks, manufacturers and governments on all aspects of renewable energy. In his practice, Stefan is or has been involved in renewable energy projects in Europe, the U.S., Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Stefan is recommended for renewables work in Legal 500 UK 2010 as “responsive and experienced” and in Chambers Global 2012 “as particularly well regarded for his work in the renewable energy sphere, where he draws upon extensive experience in project finance transactions”. Chambers and Partners Global 2013 ranking states that, “clients appreciate his deep knowledge and extensive network of contacts: he really has the ear of the industry.”
Gemma Shore is a commercial real estate solicitor. She trained at Trowers & Hamlins and qualified in 2007 when she moved to Oxford and worked at Blake Lapthorn as part of the development team in the commercial property department. She advised on a wide range of general commercial property work, including landlord and tenant transactional work; and acquisitions and disposals of freehold and leasehold commercial and industrial premises, industrial estates, office buildings and retail units. She also advised on transactions involving land development. Gemma acted for individuals, partnerships, banks, retailers, investor landlords, corporate users, universities and charities. She also provided support on corporate transactions and has managed large-scale real estate project work involving financing, acquisitions and disposals of commercial property portfolios and the preparation of certificates of title. From 2011 to 2012, Gemma worked as a commercial property manager at Genesis Housing Association. She was employed to review and report on the commercial property portfolio owned by Genesis, reporting on the terms of Leases and Licence Agreements; setting up a database for the commercial properties; advising on Lease renewals and assisting with the management of one of the residential portfolio teams.
Andrew Waite is a solicitor and specialist in environmental, health and safety and public law, advising on regulatory and liability issues for a broad range of industries. He defends prosecutions for breaches of environmental and health and safety legislation, deals with regulatory appeals, judicial reviews and civil litigation and advises on environmental issues relating to projects and transactions. He deals with all the main areas of environmental law including waste, energy, nuclear, contaminated land, pollution controls, environmental permitting, water rights, flooding, climate change and nature conservation. He has been listed as a leading expert in the legal directories for many years. He joined Prospect Law after sixteen years as a partner of Berwin Leighton Paisner and more recently a consultant with Ashurst. Andrew is a graduate of Oxford University and is a former Lecturer in Law at Southampton University and a Visiting Professor at the University of Georgia (USA). He is the leading author of Waite and Jewell, Environmental Law in Property Transactions, 4th ed (2016) and editor of the Environmental Law Handbook, 4th ed (2013).
Anna Walker is an ex Shoosmiths commercial property solicitor with wide ranging experience advising on a variety of commercial property matters, and with a particular focus on the investment and retail sectors. Anna’s expertise includes all aspects of commercial property transactions involving both acquisitions and disposals (including high value portfolios), landlord and tenant matters and property management issues. Anna has acted for investors, landlords and tenants, including a number of major retail and leisure sector clients. Her recent experience includes advising a major national UK retailer in connection with their commercial property portfolio, carrying out a mix of complex underletting arrangements and franchising, new lease acquisitions (both high street and edge of town) and lease renewals and re-gears and assignments. Anna has advised investment clients on day to day portfolio management, including new lettings and assignments and commercial property due diligence in respect of corporate restructuring. Anna has also acted in relation to the commercial property aspects of retail unit portfolio management, acting on behalf of both landlords and tenants, to include the negotiation of new leases, lease renewals, licences to occupy, licences for alterations and ancillary documentation, and she has assisted in the sale and leaseback of a property portfolio for a limited company. Anna Walker graduated with a degree in Law from the Nottingham Law School, and after obtaining an MA in Ethics and Law and completing her training contract, Anna joined the commercial property team at Shoosmiths in 2006.
Adam Mikula graduated from Nottingham Law School in 2015 after completing a four year course that combines the LLB degree with a year in industry. Adam provides paralegal, administrative, research and due diligence assistance for fee earners at Prospect Law.