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Our Team

Having built three successful planning law teams whilst I was a partner with Eversheds, I am now building a specialist cluster of exceptionally talented independent planning lawyers working collaboratively (and under my close supervision in projects led by me).

We are essentially focused on the planning strategy and its effective implementation. By sharply focusing in this way, we are able to offer leading expertise and experience, combined with total commitment to achieving our client's planning outcomes at a cost which is highly competitive. We offer transparent itemised fee estimates combined with detailed programmes for the matters in which we are acting so that our clients remain in control of the budget and progress of the work. We try to adopt a principled and cooperative approach to matters on the basis that all parties are aiming for the same objective.  Isues arising on the way towards such objectives are resolved by principled negotiation.

We offer complete versatility to clients in building their project teams. Clients are free to choose the level of resource that they require from us. If they simply want Paul Winter as a strategic and very hands-on planning expert then they can limit our appointment to that role - either on a standalone basis or as a fully integrated member of a larger legal team. Alternatively, we can (in full consultation with our clients or their project leaders) offer a dedicated team from our cluster of specialist lawyers, so as to achieve a completely cost-effective and well-managed specialist planning team dedicated to a particular project.

Key members of this team are as follows:

Paul Winter

Paul Winter

Principal and sole practitioner in Paul Winter & Co. Paul is a member of the Law Society's Specialist Planning Panel and is a Legal Associate Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute. He has practiced as a solicitor for 35+ years and first acted as an advocate in planning inquiries whilst articled to the Town Clerk of Leeds in 1973/4. His passion for planning work has grown throughout his career and this web site provides examples of some of the highlights in that career. He was voted No 1 in the Planning magazine national poll of planning solicitors in 2006 and has generally been included in the top 10 since that poll began. He has presented and published many papers on planning law topics (see the Publications page on this web site) as well as providing tailored workshops and seminars for clients and professional associates.

Debbie Barnaville

Debbie Barnaville

Practice Manager and Personal Assistant to Paul Winter. Debbie was a senior secretary at Eversheds' London office for 14 years, 6 of those working closely with Paul. Paul was delighted when she agreed to join him in the new practice within 3 weeks of it being established. Debbie plays a central role in ensuring that the business performs effectively and provides a positive and charming point of contact with clients, professional colleagues and suppliers. Her integrity and positive professional attitude are a vital ingredient in the firm's ability to deliver top quality service to our clients.

James Smith

James Smith

Principal of James Smith (Planning Law Services) Limited, which he established in August 2011 after leaving Eversheds LLP, where he was an associate in their planning team. James occupies an office in the same suite as Paul Winter & Co and often works in close collaboration with and assists Paul Winter on projects. James was with Eversheds for 10 years and in that time worked for a variety of public and private sector clients, developing a particular expertise in connection with major residential schemes. His experience includes:

  • Advising TfL in relation to the section 106 agreements for Southall Gasworks and the New London Bridge House application at London Bridge station;
  • Assisting Paul Winter in relation to the drafting of the section 106 agreement for the Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration scheme on behalf of the London Borough of Barnet
  • Advising Thanet District Council in relation to the China Gateway business park planning application and the 1,400 dwelling Westwood regeneration scheme
  • Acting for TfL/London River Services Limited in relation to a successful enforcement appeal relating to the mooring of vessels at Temple Pier
  • Advising Norwich City FC in relation to various planning applications and planning agreements in connection with the redevelopment of the Jarrold Stand and land adjacent to it at their Carrow Road ground.

Gemma Armstrong

Gemma Armstrong

Gemma served as a trainee at Herbert Smith and joined Eversheds as a qualified solicitor. She now acts as a locum for James Smith (Planning Law Services) Ltd. Listed below are examples of the projects in which she has been involved during her career to date:

  • Bathside Bay Container Terminal and Felixstowe South Reconfiguration. Herbert Smith acted for the promoter, Hutchison Ports, in its applications to build a large container terminal at Harwich and to redevelop an existing terminal at Felixstowe.
  • Luton Translink Inquiry into building a guided busway from Luton to Dunstable. Herbert Smith acted for Standard Life and the tenants of Luton Retail Park who are objecting to the scheme.
  • The London Development Agency (Undergrounding of Powerlines, Lower Lea Valley) and the London Development Agency (Lower Lea Valley, Olympic and Legacy) CPOs. She was a core member of the team and was present at both public inquiries and was then closely involved in the subsequent land acquisition by the LDA.
  • Acted for Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Homes in negotiating section 106 agreements to secure planning permission for large housing developments and for Crest Nicholson in respect of an appeal site.
  • Salmon Harvester Properties obtaining planning permission for a retail driven development site including negotiating the section 106 and section 278 agreements.
  • Acting for Stockland Ventures in securing planning permission for the redevelopment of a large shopping centre site and a hotel redevelopment.

Anna Alger

Anna was a member of the planning team at Eversheds and since leaving in July 2011 she has assisted Paul Winter occasionally when required on a self-employed consultancy basis, particularly in relation to a CPO compensation claim connected to the Arsenal Stadium Regeneration project. Anna was with Eversheds for 8 years and in that time acted on a wide variety of projects including:

  • The Brent Cross and Cricklewood Regeneration
  • The CPO of a safeguarded wharf in London
  • Various major transport infrastructure projects for Transport for London; and
  • The Arsenal Stadium Regeneration Scheme.

Anna is an excellent planning lawyer with extensive experience across a range of planning matters. She has excellent interpersonal skills and is a great team player.

We are very fortunate to have come across Paul and James and to be able to draw upon the tremendous breadth of expertise and experience and the focused approach to successful delivery they bring to the project. Both of them gave the matter their full attention, often in their own time and were extremely responsive. They understand other parties' timescales. Their personal integrity is undoubted and carries weight. They only go home when the work is finished... This was a very happy and efficient way of working and the S 106 was completed and Planning Consent issued, in a timely fashion.

Hugh Cave: Director, City & Provincial Properties PLC.