700 professionals at Knights service 10,000 clients across the full spectrum of legal & professional services.
Andy is a Partner in the Real Estate team.
Andy's clients include leading mine and minerals operators, landed estate owners and real estate developers who turn to him for his transactional skills and attention to detail. He provides strategic insights, drawn from a career that takes in the first significant urban wind turbine construction in the UK and the challenges involved in the de-contamination of former factory sites for housing.
Andy has expertise in advising on routes to unlock asset value and he regularly assembles and manages multi-disciplinary teams to tackle challenges beyond real estate.
Recent examples of how Andy has helped clients include:
• enabling a landowner to sell, and a developer and house builder to transform, a former quarry into a mixed-use scheme of 200 houses, a superstore and a retirement village by advising on planning agreements, risk mitigation and complex engineering covenants;
• ensuring the successful merger between Newcastle-under-Lyme College and Stafford College; and
• enabling the construction of a major £15 million office headquarters by acting as the client's trusted advisor.
Andrea is a Partner in the Planning team.
Andrea works with leading landowners, house builders, mine owners and quarrying firms on planning matters, from securing agreements for significant housing and warehouse developments to complex environmental or minerals questions. She provides advice on the need for planning permission, application procedures, environmental impact assessments, statutory infrastructure agreements and planning obligations, liability for community infrastructure levy, interpretation of permission, appeals and enforcement, judicial review and statutory challenge. She has also dealt with protected habitats, the diversion of highways and public rights of way.
On mineral developments Andrea advises on acquisition and disposals, leases and easements, including advice on mineral ownership and removal of electricity apparatus.
Recent examples of how Andrea has helped clients include:
• ensuring the early grant of planning permission for a new entrance to a mine by successfully challenging a request to the Secretary of State that the mine operator carry out an environmental impact assessment;
• obtaining mineral planning permission for a new, strategic quarry site following a contentious public inquiry by accounting for flood risk, lorry routeing, landscape and wider community considerations;
• securing planning permission for a mixed-use development by the timely completion of a multi-party, complex section 106 agreement, that would enable the construction of a sports stadium to proceed; and
• successfully challenging a Secretary of State decision not to make a stopping-up order which would allow access to nationally significant mineral reserves.
Russell is a Partner in the Real Estate team.
Russell advises on joint ventures, development of new sites, acquisition and disposal, and site feasibility for alternative use following restoration. He also advises on acquisition and disposal of investment property and matters associated with the redevelopment of rural and commercial land, including multi-party option and promotion agreements.
Russell acts for landowners and operators in the mines and minerals sector, such as Hanson and The Hills Group, institutional investors including M&G Real Estate and First Property Group plc, and developers such as Henry Boot.
Recent examples of how Russell has helped clients include:
• enabling an institutional investor to purchase a distressed multi-let industrial estate and, by maintaining a good buyer-seller relationship, resolve delays due to title defects;
• enabling the extraction of gravel under a lease, despite uncertainties over third party utility infrastructure; and
• ensuring a developer and a builder could purchase and convert office space to residential use by drafting a contract that matched funding and works input and minimised legal costs.
Richard is a Partner in the Mines & Minerals team.
Major mineral and waste operators, together with land owners and public authorities turn to Richard as the leading authority in his field for larger and challenging property transactions, often where minerals rights and projects have implications for development.
Richard's expertise covers all aspects of mining, quarrying, waste agreements and disputes from extraction licences to manorial rights and post-quarrying development, as well as issues related to the Mining Code and compulsory acquisition of rights.
Recent examples of how Richard has helped clients include:
• enabling the $1.4 billion disposal of a major UK brick manufacturing business by preparing and implementing a restructuring programme of UK property;
• obtaining full compensation, without litigation, from a utility operator when a water pipeline prevented our client from working minerals; and
• successfully managing the disposal of multiple and varied former quarrying and manufacturing sites for a leading UK minerals company.
Gemma HanmerSenior Associate
Gemma is a Senior Associate in the Mines & Minerals team.
Gemma acts for mineral operators who are seeking to expand their operations through site acquisitions for the quarrying or processing of sand, gravel and other minerals.
Gemma has specialised in commercial property and she advises on and negotiates options for land and mineral rights. After her colleagues in the planning law team have secured the appropriate permissions, she then negotiates and concludes the lease agreements for quarry and plant sites, to include provisions for dilapidations and potential restoration of a site.
Having spent several years in-house with a leading commercial bank, Gemma is experienced in the property aspects of company sales or purchases and often provides support on corporate transactions.
Examples of how Gemma has helped clients include:
- acquiring neighbouring land for a quarry operator to expand their operations;
- managing a portfolio of leases on behalf of a retail operator and a housing association;
- negotiating an options agreement for mineral leases on agricultural land; and
- securing a lease for a cement processing site.
Lee HayesSenior Associate
Lee is a Senior Associate in the Mines and Minerals team.
Lee provides advice on a range of commercial property matters, from the acquisition and disposal of quarries and industrial estates, to the taking or granting of leases and licenses for premises in multiple occupation and the creation or reservation of easements, wayleaves and options. He also advises on the sale and purchase of potential development sites.
Lee acts for some of the UK's biggest producers of aggregates and building materials, and for private landowners and developers.
Examples of how Lee has helped clients include:
• negotiating the exchange of conditional contracts for the sale of a former brickworks in a deal worth £2.7 million where issues needed to be resolved around environmental permits, Japanese knotweed guarantees and newt protection;
• successfully completing the sale of two disused quarries, occupying a 350-acre site, which required the grant and removal of various rights and restrictions and the - resolution of issues of ownership in respect of existing stockpiles of minerals;
• securing an option agreement with one of the UK's largest supermarket chains for the sale of a development site worth £4 million, which avoided the landowner having to divide the site into lots to achieve the desired development scheme; and
• facilitating the acquisition of two redundant local authority-owned sites for a housing association for the token sum of £1, given the need for extensive environmental remediation works to be carried out before the sites could be brought back into use.
Alison McCrackenSenior Associate
Alison is a Senior Associate in the Mines & Minerals team.
Alison advises leading UK mines and minerals operators on asset acquisitions and disposals and undertakes due diligence on high-value corporate real estate transactions between a landlord and tenant. She also has experience with international mining companies and multi-jurisdictional activities.
Alison is particularly appreciated for her dedication to adding value to the client relationship, liaising with colleagues to deliver timely advice regardless of practice area, whilst giving consideration to the potential commercial impact of an issue for all of her clients.
Recent examples of how Alison has helped clients include:
• ensuring the property portfolio of a major corporation was fully registered voluntarily at the Land Registry by leading the due diligence on the assets of its 900-plus companies;
• enabling the sale of a building materials business to a North American company by leading, coordinating and managing due-diligence and multi-jurisdictional aspects of the disposal; and
• managing the relationship with a major minerals company by ensuring prompt professional advice from a number of teams including tax, litigation and real estate.
Kerry WilliamsonSenior Associate
Kerry is a Senior Associate in the Mines & Minerals team.
Kerry has a thorough knowledge of mines and minerals and works with major operators in the mining sector and a broad range of commercial property investors and developers. She advises on high value real estate transactions from acquisition and disposals to easements, wayleaves and options.
Kerry is closely involved in day-to-day advice and assistance to the UK's leading quarry products and aggregate suppliers, notably with respect to the strategic implications of regulatory changes on real estate planning.
Recent examples of how Kerry has helped clients include:
• advising a large corporate landowner on the effects of changes to proposed Telecoms Code changes, enabling them to plan the best future use of their sites;
• successfully ensuring a utility company could secure the necessary rights for its electricity cables by advising on a lease that kept sacrosanct the layout and design of the landowner's property; and
• enabling the sale of a high-value brownfield former manufacturing site for the corporate landowner by liaising between developer, planning authority and the community to overcome challenges presented by listed structures and their demolition.
Jayne is an Associate in the Mines & Minerals team.
Jayne advises landowners on the registration of their land with the Land Registry which provides protection from third party claims, such as adverse possession. She helps clients who believe that they own land but lack paperwork and require a statutory declaration or statement of truth.
Jayne acts for one of the largest landowners in the country, as well as commercial landowners, landed estates and land-holding trusts.
She advises on title relating to mineral rights, whether separate or combined with surface rights, and is experienced in the complex rules for Stamp Duty Land Tax relating to mineral leases and commercial property transactions. She also advises on landlord and tenant issues relating to commercial property.
Recent examples of how Jayne has helped clients include:
• completing the voluntary registration at the Land Registry of the entire property portfolio of a major corporation;
• due diligence in relation to property titles and leases for the sale of a building materials business;
• investigation of split surface and mineral interests for a significant landowner;
• successfully registering a mineral reservation for a private client; and
• completing the voluntary registration of freehold interests for several large landed estates.