Commercial property: Nottingham and Derby in East Midlands

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP's large team in Nottingham leverages the firm's nationwide reach to advise private and public sector clients on all aspects of major real estate projects, including those spanning multiple jurisdictions. 'Fantastic lawyer' Sarah Parkinson has a particularly strong track record of assisting clients with large-scale retail and property developments. Barry Sully specialises in land acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures, urban regeneration projects and mixed-use schemes. In an ongoing highlight, Sully is advising Leicestershire County Council on an urban extension to the town of Lutterworth, comprising 2,750 new homes, two new schools and various other public facilities. Suki Tonks, Robert Wofinden and Gabor Taller are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Parkinson


‘This is truly a team with quality in depth.  I have used them for various types of property transactions both domestic and commercial and every member of the team is a quality lawyer who gives you great confidence.’

‘There is a drive from the team to exceed expectations and offer good sound sensible advice.’

‘Outstanding communications and follow up, aided by working with various cross functions seamlessly.’

Key clients

Walgreen Boots Alliance – Boots UK; Alloga (“Boots”)

Bridge Farm Group

Paperchase Products Ltd

LVMH – Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton

Enfield Council

Miller Birch Developments

Westerman Homes

Homes England

Aggregate Industries UK Ltd

DPDgroup UK Ltd

Lightquote Limited

EM LawShare- a number of County Councils

Lace Market P

Work highlights

  • Advised Miller Birch Developments on a £120m development of the Guildhall complex in Nottingham City Centre.
  • Acted for Boots on the acquisition of its new concept store in Covent Garden in record time.
  • Advised Bridge Farm Group on the sale of its multi-million pounds business, including the sale of its facility in Spalding.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP provides a full-service offering to clients, which includes property finance, residential conveyancing, licensing, and assistance with all stages of regeneration projects and commercial and residential developments. Darren Williamson specialises in portfolio sales and acquisitions, predominantly in the food and retail sectors. Jon Smart focuses on commercial development and funding, areas in which he acts for investors, developers, landowners and occupiers. Guy Winfield is retained by major clients on an ongoing basis in relation to large-scale projects. Most notably, he recently advised Travis Perkins on around 200 assignments of leases. James Clamp and Janet Rhodes are also names to note.

Practice head(s):

Guy Winfield; Janet Rhodes

Other key lawyers:

Darren Williamson; Jon Smart


‘Always have time for the client, and understand the issues we face and deal with them in a timely fashion.’

Key clients

Cambridge & Counties Bank


Jelson Homes

Deichmann Shoes

Minster Property Group Limited

Abbey Commercial Investment Group


Harworth Estates

LNT/Ideal Carehomes

BDW Trading (Barratt, David Wilson Homes)

EM Lawshare


Travis Perkins

Davidsons Developments

Waterfield Group (incl Scotch Corner)

Fitzwilliam Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised Scotch Corner Designer Village on all aspects of the development of the Scotch Corner Designer Village in the North of England, comprising 92 units.
  • Acted for the landowners and developer, Peveril Securities and Sladen Estates, on the acquisition, development, letting to HMRC and forward sale to Legal & General Limited of the largest office development within Nottingham.
  • Advised Travis Perkins on the acquisition of the Coldhams Lane trading estate in Cambridge.

Gateley Plc

Based in Nottingham, Gateley Plc's team acts for investors, developers, occupiers and national housebuilders. Its work covers real estate finance, asset management, pension schemes, insolvencies in the property industry and various other matters. Commercial property head Adam Youatt advised Custodian REIT on the increase of its revolving credit facility from £35m to £50m. Steven Plummer, who is the head of residential development, has a wealth of experience in acquisitions, land disposals, promotion agreements and regeneration projects. Associates Elly Duggins, Charlotte Chapman and Tertia Werry are also key members of the team.

Practice head(s):

Adam Youatt; Steven Plummer


‘Leaders in their field in the East Midlands, with some excellent talent to service their range of quality clients.’

Key clients

Custodian REIT plc

Fresenius Medical Care Renal Services

Bildurn Properties

McCarthy and Stone

The Church Commissioners for England

Lloyds Bank Plc

Harworth Group Plc

Avant Homes

Peter James Homes Limited

Sygnature Discovery Limited

Guildhall Estates Limited

DHP Family

Work highlights

  • Advised property developer and investor Bildurn on the letting to Cosy Club of the historic Grade II listed building that was previously known as The Victoria Club in Nottingham’s city centre.
  • Advised Custodian REIT plc on the property issues relating to an increase of the client’s revolving credit facility to £50m.
  • Advised Church Commissioners for England on the sale of land to Persimmon Homes for the development of up to 450 new houses with associated commercial land.  

Geldards LLP

With notable strength in the utilities, education, retail and motor retail sectors, Geldards LLP handles a broad sweep of commercial developments and public sector projects, including major regeneration schemes. Graham Banks in Derby specialises in property investment and development, project finance, planning and environmental law. In Nottingham, David Watson assists commercial developers with construction projects, from initial site assembly through to disposal. Jamie Gordon focuses on advising national utilities companies, such as UK Power Networks, on their operations and expansion plans. In a recent highlight, the firm advised Nottingham College on a land exchange arrangement with Nottingham City Council, facilitating the council's major regeneration project in Nottingham southside. The 'exceptionally committed and diligent' Heather Dixon has a track record of work on residential and commercial development projects, acting for a range of clients in both the public and private sector, while Tiffany Cloynes leads the public sector and regeneration team.

Other key lawyers:

Heather Dixon; Tiffany Cloynes 


‘Really good firm, with excellent knowledge of the industry.’

‘A team which is dedicated to providing a first-class service to the client.’

‘Jamie Gordon is extremely client-focused and inspires similar values within his team. He has proved himself to be a valuable ally at stakeholder events and has a proven track record initiating and implementing innovation in the legal process.’

‘Heather Dixon provides total commitment; she is always able to deal with other parties, no matter how difficult, and has excellent knowledge.’

‘Heather Dixon is the best commercial real estate lawyer I’ve ever worked with. Exceptionally committed and diligent, she makes deals happen whilst protecting our legal interests. She covers a broad spectrum of commercial projects, all having a different commercial value – but all deals are treated as equal and are given the same level of attention.’

‘Geldards provide a very personal service and keep us fully engaged and updated with all transactions. They are always prepared to spend time with you to ensure you fully understand the deal. The way they interact as a team is fantastic, as they make dealing with different departments very straightforward and promote a fantastic team ethos.’

Key clients

Cedar House Investments Limited

Nottingham College

Trent Motor Traction Company Ltd

Nottingham City Council

North Sands Developments Limited

Heatherton Developments Limited

Sleekmade Property Co Limited

Lycee Charles de Gualle Londres

Bowmer & Kirkland

Walgreens Boots Alliance

CWC Group – (Clowes Developments (UK) Limited and Dove Valley Park Limited)

Miller Birch/Cedar House

PPH1 Ltd and DPK Management

BioCity Group Limited

Wise Living Developments

Trent Barton Buses

Connections Legal Management

Stadler Rail Service UK Limited

Derby City Council

Leicester City Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Western Power Distribution, the UK’s largest electricity distribution network operator, for a significant number of years on a sole mandate regarding all its operational property requirements throughout its licence areas.
  • Advised Nottingham College on the acquisition, construction and funding of the College’s new ‘Skills Hub’ at Broadmarsh East, Nottingham.
  • Advised Clowes Developments (UK) Limited, as an integral part of its professional team, on the delivery of mid to large units for the industrial and logistics sector, which involved negotiating complex conditional build agreements and forward funding documents.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

With particular expertise in the energy and healthcare sectors, Shakespeare Martineau LLP's Nottingham team acts for all parties in commercial projects in a full-service capacity. The firm is also well-placed to advise banks, funds and venture capitalists in relation to acquisitions, secured lending and development funding. Peter Dilks has a wealth of experience in energy and infrastructure projects. In a recent highlight, the team advised Garner Holdings on the development and sale of Denby Hall Business Park, comprising a 108,000 sq ft warehouse with offices, parking and other facilities. 

Practice head(s):

Peter Dilks


‘Generally speaking, the team are efficient and effective and deal with our work in a capable manner.’

Key clients

Last Mile Asset Management Limited

Shoby Properties Limited

Charterpoint Developments

Brackley Property Developments Limited

Zone Developments

Graystacks Castle Boulevard Limited

Garner Holdings Limited

Wilson Bowden Developments Limited

The Johal Family

Work highlights

  • Advising Last Mile Infrastructure Group, an investor in essential infrastructure connecting new developments across the country.
  • Advised Shoby Properties Limited on the acquisition and development of City Buildings, an iconic historic building in Nottingham city centre.
  • Advising Charterpoint on the development of a new 70-bedroom care home, which is to be run by one of the UK’s leading care home operators.

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP's Nottingham team often acts for large investors on a broad range of property transactions, including portfolio acquisitions and joint venture transactions. In addition, the firm advises clients on corporate occupancy, commercial development and property finance. Ellis Gardner-Browne typically acts for occupiers and investors on joint venture transactions and projects in the logistics industry. Sean Burke advises occupiers, retail developers and investors on major site acquisitions and disposals. Deborah Gordon Brown has standout expertise assisting investment funds with all of their activities in the commercial property space. David Morley is another notable individual.

Practice head(s):

Sean Burke


‘Very approachable and down to earth; cost effective.’

‘Sean Burke is very knowledgeable, responsive and approachable.’

‘Very good all round firm that provides excellent value for money.’

‘Helen Parrott has provided excellent advice and support, also in complicated transactions.’


Key clients

AEW Europe LLP – Festival Place Unit Trust

Brunswick Real Estate UK

Chelsea FC plc

Deb Group plc

Estee Lauder Cosmetics Ltd

IKEA Group of Companies

John Deere Limited

Joules Limited

Leftfield Group

Mountain Warehouse Limited

Next plc

Rutland Cycles

Pizza Hut (UK) Limited

Safestore Group

Stainton International Limited

Starbridge Limited

Walgreen Boots Alliance Group of Companies

White & Case

Work highlights

  • Advised Brunswick Real Estate on the disposal and acquisition of high value mixed use residential/commercial portfolios located in Central London with multi-million pound deal values.
  • Collaboration with Skadden to provide UK real estate advice on multiple transactions of significant value including bids for global businesses and acquisition of UK businesses.
  • Advising Ingka on its first acquisition of a shopping centre in the UK and its first central urban location of its global 44 centre portfolio.

Landsmiths Solicitors

Elvin Moore Solicitors' team mainly focuses on commercial property transactions and lease agreements, which often have a nexus to the retail sector. Practice head Vik Moothia is frequently instructed by developers and private companies in various transactions underpinning commercial and residential projects. 'Hardworking and technically knowledgeable' partner Rachael Briggs has notable expertise in landlord and tenant work. In addition, she also acts for private individuals, SMEs and large retail clients.

Practice head(s):

Vik Moothia

Other key lawyers:

Rachael Briggs


‘Although only a small commercial property team, the partners are experienced and knowledgeable.  In common with the practice as a whole they are all commercial and concentrate on completing the assignment quickly but with appropriate protection for the client.’

‘They offer a highly personal service, act swiftly upon my instructions and provide first-class commercial advice.’

Key clients

200 Degrees Coffee Shops Limited

Birds (Derby) Limited

Kennelpak Limited

Mr Tajinder Singh Ubhi (and associated companies)

Go Plant Limited

Cardzone Limited

CS Properties (Asset Management) Ltd

Mr Gabriel Strauss (and associated companies)

IH Moore and Company (Holdings) Limited

Nu-Energy Limited

Mr Harry Warren (and associated companies)

Mr Nicholas Pancisi (and associated companies)

Mr Frederick Reid (and associated companies)

Instarmac Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised a client on the sale of a 177 bedroom student accommodation block for £15,100,000.
  • Advised KLPG (Nottinghamshire) on its acquisition of 230 acres of land and lakes for £3,250,000 for the development of a watersports centre, hotel and holiday park.
  • Acting for a tenant client on the acquisition of a lease of a new head office site, which is to be designed and built by the landlord with a rental value of £2,500,000.

Flint Bishop LLP

Noted for its sector specialisms in retail and leisure, Flint Bishop LLP's Derby-based group focuses on development work, including lease agreements and straightforward sales and acquisitions. Ian Beardmore has a strong track record of assisting developers with all stages of commercial projects, including site assembly and funding. Christine Owen has notable expertise executing land promotion and collaboration agreements. Lucy Carter is a go-to partner for clients engaged in commercial property transactions and agreements.

Practice head(s):

Ian Beardmore

Other key lawyers:

Christine Owen; Lucy Carter

Key clients

Bowmer & Kirkland Group of Companies

Clowes Developments Group of Companies

Ivygrove Developments Limited

MHA (Methodist Homes)

Donald Ward Limited

Urbo (West Bar) limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Bowmer & Kirkland Limited on the property aspects of acquiring a 20% shareholding in This is Gravity Limited, which in turn secured the client a position on a substantial mixed-use development site close to the M5 south of Bristol.
  • Advised Kensington Power on the creation of an EV Charging Point Model Lease, which the company is using to roll out its provision of EV Charging Points across the Country.
  • Advised Ivygrove Developments Limited on the sale of land and thereafter a development agreement for the construction of new police headquarters on Ivygrove’s Dunstall Park Development.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited

Nelsons Solicitors Limited's varied portfolio of work includes strategic land acquisitions, lease agreements, site assembly and project finance transactions. Riaz Dudhia is particularly experienced in commercial landlord and tenant work, land acquisitions and disposals, as well as commercial development. Associate Paul Hinchcliffe has a strong track record acting for freeholders and landlords on projects in central Nottingham, including regeneration schemes and portfolio acquisitions and disposals.

Practice head(s):

Riaz Dudhia

Other key lawyers:

Paul Hinchcliffe


‘The people I have dealt with have all been courteous and knowledgeable in their fields of expertise.’

Key clients

Redrow Homes East Midlands Ltd

Fairgrove Homes Limited

PKF Cooper Parry LLP

Giant UK Limited

Carlton Street Trading Limited

Intelligent Money Limited

Talbot & Muir Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted a client with securing a ten-year lease of the Orange Tree premises in Derby.
  • Advised Thurgarton RLF on raising funds to lend to Red Lion Properties in order to finance the acquisition of the premises and a refurbishment.
  • Advised Stanton Developments (Derby) on a development project consisting of housing over 1,850 to 2,650 sq ft of land.


Actons' Nottingham practice predominantly advises a range of clients, including developers and high-net-worth individuals, on land and property acquisitions. Amanda Gordon handles the real estate aspects of corporate transactions, including joint ventures and partnership dissolutions. Caroline Pearson's expertise lies in freehold and leasehold sales and acquisitions, and also landlord and tenant work. Zoe Romain, who made partner in 2019, is another key member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Amanda Gordon

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Pearson; Zoe Romain


‘All of my legal work, whether personal or corporate, is completed by Actons. I have absolute faith in their team and the wide variety of experience they have in their office.’

‘The practice has and continues to provide clarity and direction to companies to allow decision making to be undertaken with knowledge that the outcome required will be attained.’

‘Amanda Gordon offers a very personal service and is always on hand to assist.’

‘Caroline Pearson is extremely knowledge, personal and able to deal with urgent matters.’ 

Work highlights

  • Advised a local property investment company on the sale of a former public house site.
  • Advised a charity and lender on a refinance arrangement over a complex commercial property portfolio.
  • Advised a property investor on the acquisition of a residential buy to let property.

Smith Partnership

Smith Partnership acts for developers and lenders involved in commercial projects throughout the East Midlands. The practice is led by Jason Wood, whose expertise spans site assembly, property finance, investment, funding and acquisitions. 'Exceptionally professional and diligent' partner Rashid Ali has particular strengths in refinancings, landlord and tenant matters, and acquisitions and disposals. Associate Tara Harding is also a key practitioner.

Practice head(s):

Jason Wood

Other key lawyers:

Rashid Ali; Tara Harding


‘The team works exceptionally well together to provide practical, commercial and always professional advice.’

‘I work closely with Rashid Ali, a very competent solicitor, providing practical advice and suggested solutions. You could not ask for a better solicitor.’ 

Key clients

Garibaldi Limited

Sovereign Crest Limited

Comex 2000 Limited

Granite Homes Limited

Bridgefast Beech Partnership

Reece Enterprises Limited

Littler Investments Limited

Blueline Homes Limited

HGV Direct

Consolidated Charities at Burton

CT Skills Limited

Albion Football Club (Burton) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Derby Museums on the lease of the Silk Mill and the funding of the refurbishment with the assistance of funding from the Arts Council and Big Lottery Fund.
  • Advised Snowfield Pubs Limited on its freehold purchase of The Red Lion for £425,000.
  • Advised landlord on the granting of a ten-year lease for its large warehouse in Goole, comprising 48,000 sq ft floor space.