Pinsent Masons and Kingston top ratings in lawyers survey

Pinsent Masons has topped the Planning Law Survey rankings of the most respected planning law firms for the second year running.

Eversheds took second place in the ratings, narrowly ahead of Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP). These three firms scored significantly higher than their competitors, taking almost a third of the law firm nominations between them. Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) and Hogan Lovells tied for fourth place.

King & Wood Mallesons partner Simon Ricketts retained his position as the highest rated individual solicitor for a sixth year. HSF partner Matthew White rose to second place, with Hogan Lovells’ Michael Gallimore, Tim Smith of BLP and Ian Ginbey of Clyde & Co also in the top five.

No 5 Chambers’ Martin Kingston QC regained top slot in the Queen’s Counsel rankings from seven times winner Christopher Katkowski QC of Landmark Chambers. Landmark’s David Elvin QC rose to third place, with two relatively recent silks – Landmark’s James Maurici QC and James Pereira QC of Francis Taylor Building (FTB) – completing the top five.

Also from Landmark, Matthew Reed rose from fifth to first in the junior barristers’ ratings, ahead of Cornerstone Barristers’ Richard Ground and Tom Cosgrove, while Charles Banner was voted the most proficient planning barrister under 35.

The results identify Katkowski as highest rated barrister for commercial expertise. Jeremy Cahill QC of No5 Chambers was highest rated for housing work and FTB’s Michael Humphreys QC best for infrastructure.

The survey received responses from almost 100 solicitors and around 120 barristers. Each participant was invited to make up to five nominations for planning silks, junior barristers, barristers under 35, planning law firms and individual solicitors whose work exemplifies best practice in planning law.

n total, we received 2,839 valid nominations, including 783 for silks, 695 for juniors and 373 for barristers under 35. In addition, 445 nominations were received for planning law firms and 543 for individual solicitors.

Elsewhere in the survey, City of London comptroller Deborah Cluett, Camden Council senior legal adviser Louise McLaughlan and New Forest District Council head of legal and democratic services Grainne O’Rourke emerged as the most widely respected figures among council planning lawyers.

The annual survey, first published in 1998, helps planners and legal practitioners to identify the solicitors, law firms and barristers best equipped to deal with planning matters.

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