The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Addleshaw Goddard

Work 0113 209 2000
Fax 0113 209 2060
12004 LEEDS

Ian Smith

Work 0113 209 2098
Addleshaw Goddard

Work Department

Real estate.


Ian leads the Sainsbury’s real estate team nationally and is the lead real estate partner for Threadneedle and Skanska in the Leeds office. General: involved in all aspects of commercial property work including sales and purchases (especially for institutional investors such as Threadneedle and VALAD), complex development projects (including acting for regional developers such as GMI Property Group and Horncastle Group Plc), acting for public bodies (such as The HCA and Leeds City Council) and landlord and tenant work (particularly in the retail sector acting for household names such Sainsbury’s, HOBBS and LEGO). Particular expertise in the food store investment market. Specialism: retail/Sainsbury’s/food store investment/high-value sale and leasebacks – recognised expert. Has developed an outstanding practice acting for Sainsbury’s where he has twice been nominated for their panel lawyer of the year and has recently been recognised as ‘exceptional amongst our panel lawyers’. Sainsbury’s have told Addleshaw Goddard that they routinely instruct Ian on more complex, higher value transactions and that they regard him as the ‘go to’ man for these projects. This is best demonstrated by the way Ian has developed the firm’s role acting for Sainsbury’s Property Investments (SPI). SPI recognise Ian as their principal advisor for sale and leasebacks and one of the leading experts in this niche field. These transactions are strategically important in raising capital for reinvestment and need to be turned around quickly whilst balancing investment value against operational flexibility. Ian’s work in shaping their lease has earned him a reputation for innovation (with one senior SPI executive describing Ian as ‘the most innovative lawyer I have worked with’). Credited by SPI as helping them ‘move forward the industry standard lease, not just for Sainsbury’s, but for the food store industry as a whole’. Other retail clients include HOBBS and LEGO and he is a key member of the firm’s national retail and consumer team.


Trained Clifford Chance; qualified 2001; partner Addleshaw Goddard 2012.


Ehenside, Cleator Moor, Cumbria (GCSEs); St Benedict’s, Whitehaven, Cumbria (A-Levels); College of Law, York (1998-99 LPC (Distinction)); Durham University (1995-98 Law (LLB 2:1 Hons)).


Reading, gardening.

Yorkshire and the Humber: Real estate

Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire

Within: Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire

Addleshaw Goddard’s ‘excellent’ practice is ‘at the top of the list in this region and very high on the list nationally’, and clients appreciate ‘the way the team acts as in-house support rather than external consultants’. Bruce Lightbody leads the practice, which includes Lucy Sturrock, who ‘combines true legal expertise with a sound understanding of the commercial elements of a deal, she is pro-active and always available for support’; Ian Smith, who advises institutional investors on high-value purchases; Andrew Williamson, who provides ‘excellent support’; and Anna Heaton, who has expertise in development funding, joint venture and corporate real estate deals. Notable highlights include advising the National Grid on the property business separation aspects for the sale of over 10,000 properties; advising British Land on the £60m refurbishment of Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield and a related £300m redevelopment project; and advising on various residential development matters for a national infrastructure company. It also handled various matters for Standard Life, including assisting with the refinancing of all assets held by Standard Life Investments Property Holdings, advising on the merger of the Standard Life Investments UK Property Fund with the Standard Life Investments Ignis UK Property Fund, assisting with five post-Brexit disposals for the Standard Life Investments UK Real Estate Fund with an aggregate value in excess of £115m, and advising on the £69m disposal of a shopping centre in Birmingham.

[back to top]

Back to index

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to