Commercial property: Ipswich in East Anglia

Birketts LLP

The Ipswich office of Birketts LLP plays a central role in the firm's commercial property practice, which services clients through four regional offices. Chris Schwer leads the firm-wide practice, which handles developer work, strategic land transactions, institutional investment, property finance, and transactions in the utilities sector. It has specific expertise in the retail, residential development, automotive, charity and ecclesiastical sectors. Chris Barker handles strategic land and major development projects; Paul Squire, who joined from Ashurst, and Stuart Raven act for  corporate, investor, owner/occupier and developer clients; and Oliver Crichton advises on commercial property investments through self-invested personal pensions and small self-administered schemes.

Practice head(s):

Chris Schwer

Other key lawyers:

Chris Barker; Stuart Raven; Oliver Crichton; Paul Squire; Vicki Chilton; Stacy Aspden; Julie Hoy; Keith Andrews; Pam Dawson; Louisa Saunders


“The technical expertise is excellent and the team is proactive and diligent in all matters.”

“Chris Schwer is a true leader and exceptional lawyer.”

“Paul Squire is new to Birketts but is a fantastic addition to the team.”

“James Robinson has an unbelievable legal mind that allows him to assess all our situations and deliver clear and professional advice.”

“Julie Hoy is a very efficient and professional lawyer who delivers superb work for our business.”

“Stacy Aspden is always proactive in advice and on top of all matters – very clear in explanations of technical legal points.”

“Birketts consistently delivers a high standard of work. The team all communicate thoroughly and efficiently, keeping us up to date with each case as it progresses. The whole team is well practised and knowledgeable, and we know we can rely on them.”

“Sam Froud goes above and beyond, his turnaround time is incredible and there isn’t anything that is too much to ask from him.”

“The Birketts commercial property team is the absolute leader in its field. It has strength and depth in its knowledge and the professionalism it delivers is second to none.”

“The key partners allow us to be able to make sure all aspects of our business can have quick and considered advice at a price which is fair. The team are always approachable and their network of specialist teams means that all scenarios can be dealt with.”

“Keith Andrews has always been approachable, efficient and knowledgeable; he always follows up in a timely manner.”

“All of the lawyers are absolute leaders in their fields and behind them is a superb team of associates, assistants and admin staff.”

“Birketts combines high-quality advice with full service capability and backup, commercial acumen and pragmatism, partner accessibility, responsiveness, and understanding of clients’ business and aims.”

“They may have a regional approach in terms of geography but they are more than a match for the large London firms in terms of approach and capability.”

“Stuart Raven has looked after our real estate business for many years and I personally have had the pleasure of dealing with him for three. He understands in depth our way of working and our commercial objectives, and tailors his approach to fit in with our needs.”

“Stuart Raven combines a very high level of professional knowledge and ability with a pragmatic and commercial approach to get things done. He is very accessible and responsive, and has an ability to communicate complex matters simply.”

Key clients

Westbrook Capital

M7 Real Estate

BUUK Infrastructure Limited

Power On Connections Limited

GTC Limited

The Electricity Network Company Limited

Independent Power Networks Limited

GTC Pipelines Limited

Ashtons Legal

Ashtons Legal has a large commercial property practice that operates across all of the firm's offices in East Anglia. James Griffiths is the lead partner in Ipswich for a practice that counts numerous Cambridge colleges, a regional estate agent, a major regional lender, large landowners and housebuilders, and substantial agricultural businesses among its clients. Griffiths leads the firm's portfolio management and property development work, as well as its support for the firm's leading franchising practice.

Practice head(s):

James Griffiths

Other key lawyers:

Simon Burnip; Alexandra Chater; Kimberly King


“The firm has good knowledge and is able to provide valuable insight into how to progress swiftly and efficiently.”

“The firm provided good communication and quick responses to questions, and genuinely looked out for our interests in reviewing contracts.”

“Ashtons is a strong regional and national firm which from my direct experience offers a comprehensive range of services and quality of staff, several of whom are exceptional and a pleasure to deal with. I find Ashtons personable, proactive and responsive.”

“James Griffiths has always been a standout member for me with commitment, diligence and a depth of knowledge as well as a personal touch, whether working with him directly or in his oversight of his team.”

“Over the last year, I have worked regularly over a diverse range of real estate matters with Alexandra Chater whom I would recommend to anyone. She is committed, diligent and proactive and also has a real commercial touch, enabling matters to sensibly progress where other firms may allow matters to stall or fail.”

“A friendly, professional, and highly accessible local firm with the strength in depth to provide a comprehensive service across many sectors.”

“I like its pragmatism and professionalism. Too often, lawyers only point out the risks and the reasons why not to do something. James Griffiths is excellent at also pointing out the solutions and the reasons for taking a particular course of action.”

“James Griffiths has an acute awareness of the commercial realities of his recommendations, which is a key aspect of why he is my preferred legal adviser.”

“The team has a very personal approach. We know that when we call to discuss something we can always talk through a situation amicably and proactively.”

“You never feel like you are going ‘into battle’. We value their honest approach to tackling every scenario.”

Key clients

Emmanuel College

Savills (UK) Limited


Flip Out Limited

Castlemeadow Group

Abel Homes


This Land Development Limited

Beaumont City LLP

Stretham and Wilburton Community Land Trust

Work highlights

  • The Ashtons Legal real estate team act for Flip Out Limited on all of its property related matters, working closely with the franchising team to ensure all property documents dovetail with the franchise agreements.

Gotelee Solicitors

Gotelee Solicitors has a strong transport and logistics practice that generates a significant amount of commercial property work, and the recruitment of solicitor Alex Butler-Zagni from Steed & Steed extends the firm's reach into the agricultural sector. The practice, led by Martin Whitworth, also handles planning, regulatory matters, occupation arrangements and contracts for mobile home park owners. Associate Emma Cracknell advises occupiers, investors, developers, funders and pension schemes on a broad range of commercial property transactions.

Practice head(s):

Martin Whitworth

Other key lawyers:

Alex Butler-Zagni; Annalise Shelcott; Emma Cracknell

Kerseys Solicitors LLP

Kerseys Solicitors LLP acts for a diverse roster of clients ranging from small property investors to large, nationwide clients with substantial property portfolios. Kimat Singh and Jane Riley are the key partners in a practice that advises a large independent retailer in respect of its multimillion-pound investment property portfolio, which recently included the letting of office business park space, and also a multi-site nursing home group with a multimillion-pound occupational property and investment property real estate portfolio. The practice also counts a London developer and a national garden centre company among its clients.

Practice head(s):

Kimat Singh

Other key lawyers:

Jane Riley; Bere Allen; Adrian Green; Mehmet Duzgan

Barker Gotelee

The commercial property practice at Barker Gotelee is led by managing partner Andrew Nicholson and focuses on development projects that require site assembly and subsequent plot sale, promotion agreements, option agreements, overage agreements and conditional contracts. The firm also handles projects involving the transmission of electricity generated offshore to the National Grid and other renewable energy projects, and has specialist expertise in secured lending.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Nicholson

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Green; Luke Cain; Fenella Eddell; Miles Coates; Sam Read

Key clients

Cambridge Commercial Property Limited

Oxlade & Bond Ltd

Town & Country Turf Ltd

Doozee Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Cambridge Commercial Property Limited on the purchase of an investment property for £300,000.
  • Acted for the purchaser of an investment property for £415,000.
  • Acted for Town & Country Turf Ltd in negotiating a 15-year lease with an annual rent of £59,000 plus VAT.
  • Acted for Oxlade & Bond Ltd in negotiating a ten-year lease and rent deposit deed for a unit on a new build development in Suffolk.
  • Acted for Doozee Limited in negotiating a licence to underlet, deed of variation and underlease for a unit on a business park in Suffolk.


Blocks is among the providers of legal services representation to Norwich & Peterborough Building Society, which is the main commercial lender among mutual societies. In 2018, the firm handled a growing caseload of property work for rural businesses, particularly light industrial farm unit lettings, as well as the sale and purchase of pubs, hotels and restaurants. Andrew Fleming is the key partner and he has more than 30 years' experience in the local market.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Fleming

Other key lawyers:

Gerry Field