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Work 03700 868 000
Fax 03700 868 008
553051 EDINBURGH 18

Janette Speed

Work 03700 868129
Shoosmiths LLP

Work Department

Social housing and property: commercial property/ real estate.


Partner in real estate and head of the Edinburg office specialising in social housing. Work undertaken is diverse but principally large scale complex development of regeneration acquisitions; was at the forefront of new finance/ development acquisition models focused on mid-market rent provision and involved in pilot project producing the original legal drafting now being rolled out in various hybrid versions. Specific highlights include: complex Dunedin Canmore acquisition; sale and leaseback of development at Lady Road Edinburgh, which included State aid, planning, regulatory, governance and construction issues as well as property related advice; working closely with Port of Leith Housing working group and advising them on the risk assessment procedure involved in arms length lease between them and their commercial subsidiary Persevere Developments Limited – the remit was broad and ranged from property advice to Asset Management to board presentations to corporate governance and S107 consent and charitable status issues; acquisition of site at Greendykes, Edinburgh including complex title issues and sale structure for Manor Estates Housing Association; currently advising on acquisition of three development sites in Edinburgh utilising City of Edinburgh Council on lending facility for Dunedin Canmore Housing Limited; advising Viewpoint Housing Association on loanstock restructure.


Trained Pagan Osborne & Grace, qualified 1990; partner 2004.


Basic French.


SFHA; CIH and Law Society of Scotland.


Perth High School; Aberdeen University: LLB (1987); Dip LP (1988).


Reading, travel, music/ arts.

Scotland: Finance

Insolvency and corporate recovery

Within: Insolvency and corporate recovery

Rod Macphail leads Shoosmiths' insolvency sector recoveries unit, which covers all stages of the debt recovery process, from pre-litigation to post-litigation and enforcement. The firm also counts on the experience of practitioners in other areas to advise on insolvency issues, particularly those in real estate and corporate. Stuart Clubb, Stuart Murray, Andrew Foyle and associate Peter McGladrigan acted for the liquidators in the winding-up of Yolo For Men Limited in 2017. In an ongoing case, Foyle and McGladrigan are representing a retail bank in a circa £100,000 claim brought by a company over money deposited into a bank account, which was allegedly held on trust for the client by a (now insolvent) customer. In addition to acting for insolvency practitioners and lenders, other clients include distressed businesses and individuals.  Real estate partner Janette Speed is another key figure.

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Scotland: Real estate

Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow

Within: Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow

Shoosmiths, which has Stephen Dougherty at the helm as practice head, provides 'a reliable and steady service'. In addition to assisting clients with investment acquisitions and disposals (including portfolio transactions), it has seen significant growth in property finance mandates. Edinburgh office head Janette Speed, who is particularly knowledgeable about the student accommodation sector, has been instrumental in the firm seeing a major uptick in residential development work; clients in this space include Mactaggart and Mickel, Bellway, Balfour Beatty and Wheatley Group. In 2017, Speed and associate Shona White acted for student accommodation provider Watkin Jones in the disposal of a development site at Pittodrie Street in Aberdeen. Another pillar of the practice is commercial leasing, where the firm has a particularly strong profile among retail and office occupiers. Speed, senior associate John Dunlop and others assisted Roomzzz with negotiating a pre-let with TH Real Estate (the landlord) of a 73 room aparthotel at the Edinburgh St James development. Also experienced in landlord and tenant matters is Robin Mitchell. Senior associate Sheelagh Cooley specialises in real estate finance. Senior associate Gillian Wood joined from Shepherd and Wedderburn in 2017.

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Social housing

Within: Social housing

A core area of strength at Shoosmiths is its advice to RSLs on real estate development projects (including the associated site acquisitions and sales) in Edinburgh, Fife and Glasgow. Janette Speed and senior associate Gillian Wood are acting for Port of Leith Housing Association in its acquisition of development sites at Granton Harbour and Brunswick Road (both in Edinburgh). Kingdom Housing Association, Dunedin Canmore and Wheatley Group are other notable clients on development matters. Elsewhere, the firm also advises RSLs on other matters; Karen Harvie has expertise in employment and governance issues. Solicitor advocate Andrew Foyle undertakes recoveries work and is also knowledgeable about insolvency-related issues. Commercial litigator Stuart Clubb and corporate partner Stuart Murray are also recommended. Laura Bloxham departed for Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP in 2017.

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