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We advise across the public sector, whether it be local authorities, health and social care organisations, educational establishments, central government, and their private sector partners, contractors, developers, funders and investors.


Whether you are a Local Authority balancing the requirement to provide statutory services with the need to promote growth by investing in regeneration, or a Central Government Department seeking to deliver on major policy initiatives or nationally significant infrastructure projects, we have a team of experienced lawyers who can help you at competitive hourly rates.

We are a national award-winning law firm employing over 70 senior and experienced lawyers specialising in all aspects of the real estate sector.  As a specialist practice we pride ourselves on providing a fresh and entrepreneurial approach to the law, based on commercial experience within the sector and practical, solution-orientated advice.

Our Public Sector legal team is led by Madeleine Davitt and Stephen Chalcraft who have supported the public sector over many years.

Madeleine is one of the founding members of Davitt Jones Bould, having previously worked for the Government Property Lawyers.  Madeleine has advised public sector clients for many years, including Central and Local Government organisations such as The Royal Parks, the Cabinet Office, Ministry of Defence, BCP Council, Somerset County Council, DEFRA, UK Health Security Agency and more.  She has led on major projects including regeneration schemes for Wiltshire Council and Bedford Borough Council, and numerous estates rationalisation projects for the Government.   

What we can advise on

  • Large scale real estate portfolio management.

  • Planning, CPO and Highways law.

  • Regeneration and town centre development projects.

  • Public Procurement law and running an effective procurement process. 

  • Public Sector governance, vires and powers. 

  • Working with Housing Associations to deliver affordable housing.

  • Sustainability advice including net zero carbon transitioning and green leases.

  • Partnering, collaboration and joint ventures (including the establishment of overseas facilities).

  • Construction law including bespoke construction contracts, professional appointments, and warranties. 

  • Alternative dispute resolution, mediation, proceedings in the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) and court litigation relating to construction, real estate and planning.

  • We are aware of the importance of the Public subsidy control regulations and can advise if required.

  • Nationally significant infrastructure projects and Development Consent Order work. 

  • Environmental law issues. 

  • Specific issues relating to the protection and restoration of natural resources. 


Stephen has over 20 years’ experience in the local authority real estate sector and was head of the public sector team at a national law firm between 2006 and 2017. He has acted for a range of local authorities including Manchester City Council and Lancashire County Council where he advised on significant regeneration and infrastructure projects. He is renowned for providing commercially focused advice combined with exceptional project management skills, bringing together the wide range of disciplines that work on large multi-disciplinary projects often encountered within the public sector.   In recognition of his work in the real estate sector, Stephen was elected as an honorary Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Many of our lawyers have worked within the public sector, often in senior positions and we are panel members of a number of key legal frameworks, which makes it easy for you to appoint us.
We are hugely enthusiastic about the Public Sector and the value it brings to our local communities and to the wider economy, and we hope to be able to work with you in the future.



Madeleine Davitt

Senior Partner

PQE: 37 years


T: 020 3026 8295


Stephen Chalcraft


PQE: 34 years


T: 0161 399 8202


Stephanie Hall


PQE: 16 years


T: 0161 399 0127

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Malcolm Iley


PQE: 48 years


T: 020 7870 7500


  • Market leading real estate practice with public sector awareness and senior level experience.

  • Supporting your advisory and management teams.

  • Effective client management linking to external audit, governance and oversight requirements.

  • A specialist ESG group.

  • Expertise in net carbon zero transitioning, green leases, and the use and opportunities created by new technologies.

  • An effective approach to risk management with an appropriate sense of humour.

  • Effective knowledge transfer and training.


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"Your lawyer has been an invaluable member of the team during busy times for us... their flexible legal skills have ensured a seamless service with clients, and added much-needed robustness to the team at a challenging time."
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