LEADING Lakeland Law Firm Temple Heelis has been ranked by the newly released Legal 500 as a leading firm in Private Client services, Rural and Agricultural expertise and Commercial Property.

This is the third consecutive year in which the firm’s Private Client and Rural departments have been recognised by Legal 500, and the first year in which Commercial Property has joined the rankings.

Text BoxCommenting on the Legal 500’s results, Managing Partner Jamie Hamilton said: “This is a tremendous result for the firm and each of the individuals singled out for praise by the Legal 500.

 “The firm undergoes a rigorous assessment process by the Legal 500 over several months, beginning with written submissions which we prepare and followed by a series of interviews conducted by the researchers.

"Interviews take place with each of our teams and detailed feedback is obtained from clients and other professionals.”

Jamie said Legal 500 look at the whole of the North West when considering firms for its rankings.

This means that Temple Heelis is compared to firms in cities such as Liverpool, Manchester, Preston and elsewhere throughout the region.

“It’s a large geographic area represented by a huge range of law firms”, he says. “It’s particularly interesting to us to realise we are being judged against such a variety of firms and their teams.”

Ranking Temple Heelis’ Commercial Property team for the first time, Legal 500 describes how the team “regularly advises on a range of transactions” acting for clients ‘from farmers to charities, investors to manufacturers’ and that the team’s expertise in hospitality and leisure is particularly well known. Heading the department, Associate Lucy Benton is described as ‘very pleasant….efficient….always responded quickly’… and …. a ’great communicator’.

Ranking Temple Heelis’ 9-strong Private Client team, the Legal 500 singled out department head Robert Kornas and partners James Hamilton and Laura Priestley as leading individuals in their field and summarises how the team acts for UK and international clients, often in highly complex situations and with many different types of assets and locations.

Legal 500 cites clients as saying: ‘as a team, and a firm, Temple Heelis is friendly and accessible. I found them to be highly professional, whilst at the same time maintaining an informality that created a welcoming atmosphere, where it is possible to have the conversations that mattered’….

"‘They put the client first, operate as a team utilising the strengths of each of the partners to maximise the value of the service.’ When it comes to Rural work, Legal 500 praises partner Peter Dodd as a true expert and a trusted adviser.

"Peter and his team focus on complex rural and agricultural work including niche specialisms such as boundary disputes, environmental issues, water supply, access and historic rights, and lake frontage issues.

"Recognising that many rural and private client matters are inter-connected, Legal 500 also ranks partner James Hamilton for his Private Client expertise in the rural environment."

Quoting clients and professionals, Legal 500 comments on the key qualities of the team members as being ‘very personable, each member of the team has their own unique specialties and expertise, which gives a client reassurance and confidence in their abilities for the matter at hand’….. ‘Peter Dodd in particular is very committed, with in-depth knowledge of the intricacies of the unique quirks that are found in Lake District properties….If I have a question about a local property with any kind of covenant or restriction, I feel 100% confident in asking Peter’s advice’….and ….‘Peter Dodd is a local chap who is passionate about his work (and puts the hours in to prove it!).’

Temple Heelis recently commemorated its 200th year in business.

Founded in 1822, Temple Heelis is a leading Lakeland law firm providing advice to individuals and businesses throughout the region.

The firm acted for Beatrix Potter when she bought her first farm (and subsequently). Beatrix went on to marry one of Temple Heelis’ partners, William Heelis.