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News Environmental Law 10th Jan 2024

Freeths’ strengthens its East Midlands planning practice with senior hire 

National law firm Freeths has continued to expand its market leading Planning and Environment Group with the appointment of Chris May as Partner in the East Midlands. Chris joins from Howes Percival.

With over 15 years’ experience, Chris advises both private and public sector clients on complex planning matters. His experience covers all aspects of town and country planning law with a particular focus on the project management of large scale and contentious development proposals including student accommodation and residential development at regeneration brownfield sites both at application and appeal stage. Chris also regularly advises on planning obligations, compulsory purchase, community infrastructure liability, enforcement, judicial review and environmental impact assessment.

At Freeths, Chris’ will take the lead in growing the legal practice in the East Midlands whilst working closely with Partner and National Head of Planning and Environment Paul Brailsford to strengthen the wider planning practice across the UK.

Commenting on the appointment, Paul Brailsford, said: “We are excited to welcome Chris to the Planning and Environment Group. He is passionate about planning and brings a significant breadth of experience which will strengthen our practice in the East Midlands and contribute towards our growth ambitions nationally.” 

Chris Freeston, Partner and Managing Partner of Freeths Nottingham, continued: “Chris will be a strong addition to Freeths at a time of continued record growth. We look forward to expanding our sector capabilities both regionally and nationally.” 

Freeths’ national Planning and Environment Group, which comprises of both planning and environmental lawyers and planning consultants, received a triple accolade in this year’s Planning Law Survey, identifying Freeths as one of the fastest-growing planning teams over two consecutive years.

The 30-strong team now ranks as the 16th largest in the country and are amongst the top 20 planning law firms. Recently, Partner Alison Ogley was named in the top 20 rated UK planning and environment lawyers, with leading environmental law Partner Penny Simpson picking up the title of one of the 100 UK environmental professionals who have made the greatest impact in the past two years in the ENDS Report 2023 Power list.

Chris May added: “I am delighted to be joining Freeths and its leading planning team. I have been incredibly impressed with the culture and aspirations of the firm and look forward to contributing to the development and growth of the team to ensure that it continues to offer a great service to clients in the increasingly complicated and difficult planning and development world.” 

Chris May

Author: Chris May

Partner

Author: Paul Brailsford

Partner, National Head of Planning & Environment

Chris Freeston

Author: Chris Freeston

National Head of Banking & Finance and Managing Partner - Nottingham

Author: Alison Ogley

Partner

Penny Simpson

Author: Penny Simpson

Partner

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