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Linklaters LLP

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Linklaters LLP, David Watkins, London EC2Y, ENGLAND

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David Watkins

Work 020 7456 4852
Linklaters Business Services

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As head of the firm’s planning team, David has significant experience in all aspects of town planning and development activity. His experience includes negotiating planning permissions for large and complex projects, co-ordinating major public inquiries, and obtaining all planning consents, as well as having in-depth knowledge of compulsory purchase orders, road closure orders and statutory agreements. He is well known for his planning successes involving mixed use developments.

Since the early 1990’s David has been heavily involved in advising clients on securing permission to build a series of tall buildings in the City of London, which has changed the face of the City and led to the development of tall buildings in other areas of London.

Work highlights

David has led on a wide range of the market’s most prominent planning applications. These include advising:

  • Aroland Holdings on the development of a 300m tall building to be known as 1 Undershaft on the site of the Aviva Tower, which, when completed, will be the City of London’s tallest skyscraper
  • Bloomberg on the redevelopment of the three-acre site comprising Bucklersbury House, Walbrook, London to create two new buildings
  • British Land on the redevelopment of 122 Leadenhall Street as a 48-storey, 220m tower in the City of London
  • British Museum on the redevelopment of the northwest corner of the Museum’s Grade I listed Bloomsbury Estate to provide a World Conservation and Exhibition Centre comprising five interconnected glazed pavilions
  • Great Portland Estates on the redevelopment of Rathbone Place, a 2.5-acre site adjacent to Oxford Street to create a new mixed use development
  • Grosvenor and Native Land as joint developers of Neo Bankside (next to Tate Modern Gallery) involving the construction of five new buildings with mixed retail/residential use


Partner, Linklaters, 1997 to date


David wrote the chapter on planning in the Guide to Specification, published by the British Council for Offices, 2014.


David studied law at Edinburgh University.

London: Real estate


Within: Planning

At Linklaters LLP, head of practice David Watkins provides ‘superb leadership’ and regularly advises on developments in the centre of London; Watkins is currently assisting Aroland Holdings with the section 106 Agreement for a 73-storey skyscraper at the former Aviva tower site in the Square Mile. Besides office development, the team is also adept at handling significant mixed-use schemes, with recent examples including advising key client Great Portland Estates on its redevelopment for a 1.3-acre site bounded by Hanover Square, Tenterden Street, New Bond Street and Brook Street. The team also acted for Ridgeford Properties in relation to a residential-led mixed-use scheme for 79 new homes, restaurants, shops and leisure space at Moxon Street in Marylebone. The other key figure in the team is senior associate Louise Samuel, whose expertise takes in planning for corporate headquarters, as well as advising on listed buildings. Samuel and Watkins are acting for Black Pearl on its planning application for the redevelopment of a site at 18 Blackfriars Road.

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