LB & Co is a specialist planning and highway law practice, headed by solicitors Carolyn Lord and Kate Butterfield who have worked together from 1988.

Carolyn and Kate have between them well over 50 years’ experience in planning and related areas of law, working in legal practices, local government and in-house for development companies. Their success is based on:

  • expertise in advising on large or challenging sites with legal planning or highways complexities;
  • detailed involvement in and practical knowledge of the entire development process;
  • persistence in trouble-shooting and following a job through;
  • attention to detail;
  • motivating and managing professional teams (where a client requires this) to deliver projects expediently;
  • strategic thinking and political sensibilities;
  • a willingness to challenge accepted thinking and never to ignore a problem;
  • relationship-building as part of a team and with third parties


Planning applications and related development strategy from first principles, including advice on the technical assessments, reports and professional team required

Advice on Environmental Impact Assessment

Advice on implementing planning permissions, drafting and interpretation of planning conditions and seeking variations

Advice on applications for Lawful Development Certificates

Planning appeals either by way of written representations, hearings or public inquiries

Judicial review of planning decisions, both defending and launching challenges

Advice on enforcement matters

Support on property transactions

Highway law and rights of way advice and documentation

Drafting and advising upon planning obligations (Section 106 Agreements)

Drafting and advising upon infrastructure agreements (including more complex Highways – Sections 38 and 278 - Agreements) and Traffic Regulation Orders

Advice on development plan representations, including Neighbourhood Plan procedure

Community engagement strategies, communications and specialist team building

Advice on Compulsory Purchase Orders and Transport and Works Act Orders

Advice on Town and Village Green and Commons Act 2006 legal issues

Our work with other legal and planning practices

We are often brought in by other commercial property law practices without relevant in-house expertise as their planning and highway law specialist in order to provide a seamless service for their clients.

We also work successfully alongside a number of chartered planning consultants who refer their clients to us for planning and infrastructure agreements and legal planning advice/opinions.

Carolyn Lord


Born and brought up in Leeds, Carolyn left the city for only a few years to complete an honours degree in English Literature and History at the University of York. She then worked within local government, where she worked in urban regeneration and was then involved in implementing new legislation and policy, before studying law and achieving honours in the Law Society’s final examination.

While still a trainee from 1990 at Hammond Suddards (now Squire Patton Boggs), she was appointed secretary to the firm’s multi-disciplinary Building Society Unit and was then seconded to work for a national infrastructure client in preparation for a six month energy-related public inquiry. This, together with her experience working with Leeds City Council, led her to specialise in planning and other areas of public law.

A strong professional team is essential for the success of any large or complex planning project. Carolyn takes pride in her ability to anchor and co-ordinate such teams. She has followed through on her belief in a team ethos, building niche planning law practice Wilbraham & Co, working as a founding consultant to Walton & Co (2004 to 2008) and as in-house adviser to the GMI group of companies (2008 to 2012).

Local Involvement

Carolyn's clients benefit from her deep roots in the north (but with a national practice), extensive networks and knowledge of local and national government operation. She plays an active role in the community and was a governor of Leeds Trinity University (2009 – 2018) and is now a director of Leeds College of Music.

Since 1999 because of her knowledge of local authority matters she has served on several independent advisory panels to make recommendations on local government and on allowances schemes for elected members (including the West Yorkshire Combined Authority). She has been chair of the Standards Committee of West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority/Integrated Transport Authority and is now ‘Independent Person’ for the Combined Authority in relation to Standards.

Carolyn is involved in the wider Yorkshire business community. She is co-founder of Leeds Fashion Works and Yorkshire Textiles, two initiatives that aim to promote the region's fashion and textiles industries internationally and catalyse innovation and economic growth. She regularly promotes and fosters schemes for learning and skills training for local people when opportunities arise with clients or other contacts; see for example the CEG Forging Futures Campus.

Having been identified in Legal Experts and Legal 500 from her earlier career with Wilbraham & Co, Chambers & Partners Directory and Legal 500 both recognise Carolyn as a ranked lawyer in planning law for the region.

Kate Butterfield


Kate studied law in Leeds after completing a degree in Economics. She achieved honours in the Law Society’s final examination and like Carolyn went on to train at Hammond Suddards (now Squire Patton Boggs). She joined Carolyn at Wilbraham & Co, where she became a partner. In 2005, when the firm merged with Cobbetts, Kate remained a partner before moving to Gordons LLP in 2010. Here she developed and grew the planning practice, became a partner, and led on a range of significant retail and residential projects.

Over the years, Kate has advised on numerous and diverse high-profile proposals, both in Yorkshire and nationwide. She has acted for both national house-builders and smaller specialist housing developers on stand-alone residential sites and mixed use development schemes. Kate has an extremely wide knowledge of the planning system and development projects including the conversion of listed buildings; advising on and undertaking planning applications, infrastructure agreements, appeals and judicial reviews; leisure projects, enforcement matters and objections to Compulsory Purchase Orders and Transport and Works Act Orders on behalf of landowners. She is a highly respected specialist planning lawyer in the region and consistently recognised as a ranked solicitor in legal publications such as Chambers & Partners and Legal 500.

In January 2015, she joined Carolyn at LB & Co in order to take advantage of the undoubted synergy which arises from their long-standing association. Working in a specialist planning law practice means she can offer clients better value for money and a service specifically tailored to their needs.


As well as legal expertise, large projects involving significant infrastructure call for strategic decision making and the ability to co-ordinate a complex series of procedural building blocks in order to bring the project to fruition. Both Kate and Carolyn have particular experience in managing or working as part of the teams involved in complex planning projects which are often overlaid with highway and rights of way matters.

  • Clay Cross, Derbyshire
    Clay Cross, Derbyshire
  • Community Engagement
    Community Engagement
  • Travelodge Huddersfield
    Travelodge Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
  • Teesside Retail Scheme
    Teesside Retail Scheme
  • Doncaster Lakeside
    Doncaster Lakeside
  • Thorpe Park Leeds
    Thorpe Park Leeds
  • Thorpe Park Leeds
    Thorpe Park Leeds

Since 2015 the firm has coordinated the legal planning process for CEG’s city centre Temple district £350 million mixed use development where on-site work has started in Leeds South Bank. The planning permission granted in October 2018 (supported by a complex Section 106 Agreement drafted by LB & Co) was acknowledged as one of the largest mixed-use permissions in the country in 2018 and involved a team comprising some 30 consultancies. LB & Co have now been instructed by CEG on the same basis to promote a wider regeneration scheme, centred on funding the stabilisation of and bringing back into use internationally important but ‘at risk’ Grade I Listed Temple Works. This will be one of the most significant city centre regeneration schemes in the country, comprising some 27 acres adjacent to Leeds train station and the terminus for HS2. The 2020 budget announced funding to catalyse the potential for a new British Library North to be located at Temple Works.

The firm undertakes work for national and local housebuilders including Persimmon Homes, Countryside Properties and Strata Homes and developers including CEG, GMI, Litton Properties and Sterling Capitol as well as SMEs, charities and heritage organisations. The firm advised the vendors on complex planning legal aspects of a city centre site which attained a new city-wide high in purchase price for a brownfield redevelopment site.

Over the last few years, LB & Co has increased its role as planning legal adviser to a major rail freight operator, DB Cargo (UK) Limited, including extensive advice relating to rail freight facilities in the London Boroughs and input to the New London Plan. In 2019 the firm completed long-running advice on Herten Triangle, a significant extension to Lakeside sub-regional leisure park for Willmott Dixon and Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council. The firm is instructed on a strategic mixed-use development for over 43 ha of employment land and around 1700 new homes and supporting infrastructure in South Yorkshire, and by another developer for a significant office development on a site at an M1 Junction.

Carolyn and Kate’s combined experience covers the entire spectrum of planning and related areas of law, and includes:

  • A long-standing involvement (from 1995 and continuing) with the complex land assembly and public/private sector partnership for the Clay Cross town centre regeneration scheme in North East Derbyshire. This CPO scheme is anchored by a 60,000 sq ft (5570 sq m) Tesco and includes a medical centre, retail parade, new bus station and innovative public art. It also involved obtaining consents to clear the site of 100,000 cubic metres of colliery spoil.
  • Co-ordinating the strategic direction of securing Yorkshire Water Services’ planning permissions for all coastal and estuarine waste water treatment works needed by 1998 for compliance with the first round of the 1991 Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive.
  • Obtaining the suite of some 40 planning, environmental and infrastructure consents required to bring forward the White Rose Centre, Leeds – a major out-of-town mall – involving specialist aspects of minerals, highways and rights of way law, and formulation of innovative Highways Act agreements.
  • Acting for the British Wind Energy Association to promote pre-renewable energy policies in UK development plans.
  • Obtaining planning permission and dealing with consents required for the first proposed commercially operated biomass power station, including drafting and co-ordinating its Environmental Statement.
  • Obtaining planning permission for Bridgewater Place which was, at the time, Yorkshire’s tallest building
  • Obtaining planning permission for Thorpe Park Leeds, a 1.8m sq ft business park in the green belt; negotiating (with the Treasury Solicitor) the complex highway agreements required for all associated motorway and trunk road junctions, and co-ordinating the implementation process from 1994 to 2008.
  • Negotiating planning permission and highway agreements for Redhouse Interchange in Doncaster, a prime 81 hectare employment site on the A1.
  • Promotion of contentious food and non-food based retail schemes with ‘enabling development’ dimensions.
  • Resisting a claimed Byway Open to All Traffic through World Heritage Site, Fountains Abbey and Studley Park, on behalf of the National Trust, including a three-week public inquiry.
  • Acting for national house-builders and smaller specialist housing developers on stand-alone residential sites and mixed use development schemes, including the conversion of listed buildings to residential use.
  • Advising on leisure projects, including obtaining planning permission for a motor racing circuit and for cinema development (both on appeal).
  • Retained to advise on planning applications, infrastructure agreements, appeals and judicial reviews for a national retailer.
  • Objecting to Compulsory Purchase Orders and Transport and Works Act Orders on behalf of landowners – and successfully negotiating settlement agreements for a number of landowners in relation to the Leeds Trolley Vehicle System Order and advising on the operation of the Crichel Down Rules.
  • Successfully defending judicial reviews of the grant of planning permissions, as well as promoting claims for judicial reviews.
  • Promotion of extra care apartments and retirement villages, including a continuing community retirement village in the green belt which was the subject of a public inquiry.
  • Advising landowners and local residents on Town and Village Green law and practice.
  • Advising on planning sensitive development of listed buildings and in Conservation Areas; protection of heritage assets.
  • Advising on enforcement of planning control and Certificates of Lawfulness

Smaller projects can also often involve complex questions of planning law and we are often asked to advise smaller-scale developers. After taking legal advice clients need to determine whether the cost of continued advice and support will be justified by the smaller project’s returns. Please note that although we may provide informal initial advice without charge so that clients referred to us by known intermediaries can assess whether a project is viable, we do not provide any pro bono planning law services.


Walsall Football Club Logo

I have known Carolyn for many years and have always found her to be the consummate professional, an expert in her field.

Most recently, I engaged Carolyn to represent the Club (Walsall FC) in a particularly demanding and unique case, which involved the achievement of an Advertising Consent for Europe’s largest digital screen situated on the M6 motorway, and I can say with real conviction that she faced the challenge head-on, leaving no stone unturned and ultimately pursued the matter to a successful conclusion.

Carolyn has an in-depth working knowledge of Planning Law and coupled with a tenacious and determined approach makes her a leading authority in her discipline. What makes Carolyn stand out from the crowd is her ability to ‘think outside the box’ to achieve a positive outcome.

I would have no hesitation in engaging Carolyn to act on my behalf again in future.

— Jeffrey William Bonser, Chairman and Owner Walsall FC

GMI Construction Group Logo

The fact that Carolyn Lord is still working with us after 25 years of dealing with mainly very long running complex planning appeal/applications is testament to our view of her skills, personality and dogged determination to deliver planning consents.

— Peter Gilman, Chairman, GMI Construction Group PLC

Doncaster Council Coat of Arms
As extremely practical and pro-active lawyers, LB & Co have added value by ensuring compliance and project delivery from their first involvement on Doncaster’s long-awaited leisure scheme at Lakeside. They have been an invaluable resource and sounding board for the project. They have helped the Council navigate through the whole development process, identifying issues and providing practical solutions.

— Simon Maxton, Regeneration and Development Manager at Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council

We have had a difficult time with this … and it has really taken its toll …, we truly believe that your input has had a massive impact or resolving things that at times seemed impossible and we greatly appreciate it.

— SME client

Thanks for all your support and amazing input. I wish all the planning teams I work with had you in them!!”

— Technical Director

Carolyn Lord is well versed in advising on major development projects. Sources say she is an "excellent strategist" and "formidable operator" who is "good at dealing with complex planning applications."

— Chambers and Partners 2020

Their attention to detail and ability to derive a project is terrific. They have a really pro-active approach – they identify problems but also suggest solutions.

— Chambers Client Testimonial

Kate Butterfield assists clients with planning applications, appeals and compulsory purchase orders. Sources note that "she reacts to situations promptly."

— Chambers and Partners 2020

Kate’s strength is being able to explain complex planning legal arguments to clients and helping clients understand the legal requirement, putting their mind at ease.

— Chambers Client Testimonial

They are superb. They provide quality, clear, expert legal advice and are always on hand to respond promptly and efficiently.”

— Chambers Client Testimonial

Both Kate Butterfield and Carolyn Lord have been involved in a large number of significant projects in the region for many years and are well known to the key regional developers. Their insight and expertise is well renowned in the region – there are few scenarios they haven’t seen before and they are well connected.

— Legal 500 Client Testimonial

LB & Co has excellent knowledge of planning law, strong experience and attention to detail coupled with a strong client and team ethic‘.

— Legal 500 Client Testimonial

The team has unrivalled experience in planning matters and delivers pragmatic and focused advice. It doesn’t overly focus on the narrower points in a transaction.

— Legal 500 Client Testimonial

Carolyn Lord and Kate Butterfield are first-rate planning lawyers with strong planning experience coupled with an understanding of how to make things happen. They take a thorough and careful approach to all applications and legal matters and have a strong track record of success.

— Legal 500 Client Testimonial


General enquiries  info@LBandCo.uk
Carolyn Lord  carolyn@LBandCo.uk
Kate Butterfield  kate@LBandCo.uk

Postal Address
L B & Co Ltd
Linton House
Avenue des Hirondelles

Pool in Wharfedale
West Yorkshire
LS21 1EY

General enquiries  0113 284 2479
Carolyn Lord  0788 548 4482
Kate Butterfield  0793 045 2477

Carolyn Lord
Kate Butterfield

Gardenhurst, Headingley Conservation Area

Gardenhurst in Headingley Conservation Area