Wilbrahams climbs planning table but Berwins is at the top

NICHE planning firm Wilbraham & Co has come third in a survey of the UK's leading planning firms – despite having only been set up in 1994.

But apart from the Yorkshire firm and Leicester's Marron Dodds, which came in eighth, the rankings are dominated by major firms in the City and Edinburgh.

The survey was conducted by Planning Magazine, which asked 50 solicitors with an acknowledged specialism in planning law to identify three law firms, other than their own, that they regarded highly for their planning work.

Berwin Leighton came first, then Herbert Smith. Surprisingly, Nabarro Nathanson, Ashurst Morris Crisp and Clifford Chance came only 14th equal.

Ian Trehearne, joint head of planning at Berwin Leighton, said: “We are pleased that our position as the top firm was confirmed.”

Trehearne attributed the planning department's success to “working together as a team, a very important factor”.

The solicitors polled were also asked to identify three barristers whose work exemplified “good practice”.

The leading silk was Duncan Ousely QC of 4-5 Grays Inn Square, followed by Christ-opher Lockhart-Mummery QC of 4 Breams Buildings and Lionel Read QC of 1 Serjeants Inn in joint second place. Sasha White of 1 Serjeants Inn was voted the one to watch out for among planning barristers under 35.