Rising Stars

Commercial property: Nottingham and Derby in East Midlands

Browne Jacobson LLP

The real estate team at Browne Jacobson LLP works across the full spectrum of commercial property matters. Development and regeneration projects are particular areas of expertise, especially within the retail, leisure and logistics sectors. Property matters within the healthcare and education sectors are also focus areas. National real estate head Sarah Parkinson has particular experience in the effects of omni-channel retailing on lease agreements. Deputy head Barry Sully specialises in development land disposals and acquisitions. Suki Tonks is another key name, advising clients on complex development agreements and the acquisition of freehold and leasehold properties.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Parkinson; Barry Sully

Other key lawyers:

Dominic Swift; Roland Gray; Robert Wofinden; Gabor Taller; Suki Tonks


‘Client focused people with a positive attitude to take opportunities forward and get contracts agreed whilst providing good advice to clients’

‘Proactive problem solving approach to deal making.’

‘Can do attitude and always happy to debate solutions to challenges’

‘The team really care about the client and act quickly and efficiently.’

Key clients

LVMH – Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton group of companies

Walgreen Boots Alliance (Boots)




Canal and River Trust

Platform Homes



Chesterfield Borough Council

Freeths LLP

The ‘professional, efficient and knowledgeable’ real estate team at Freeths LLP covers the entire spectrum of the industry, with a particular specialism in housebuilding and strategic land matters. Commercial and industrial development is another area of expertise, alongside property work within the care sector. Darren Williamson acts on all forms of commercial development for occupiers, developers and funds, particularly in the food and retail sectors. Jon Smart is an expert in care home development and residential land sales, while Guy Winfield focuses on acquisitions, disposals and complex development schemes.

Practice head(s):

Darren Williamson; Guy Winfield; Simon Abbott; Janet Rhodes; James Hart; Patrick Adie

Other key lawyers:

Jon Smart; Atiyya Khaliq; Heather Davies; James Clamp


‘The team is large enough to deal with the work that we put into them, but also small enough that the partner gets involved in most of our projects fairly closely.’

‘Professional, efficient and knowledgeable and well resourced team.’

Key clients

Barratt Developments Plc (Barratt David Wilson Homes)

Bellway Homes

Persimmon Homes

Davidsons Homes

Keepmoat Homes


William Davis Homes

Harworth Group Plc


Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company

EG Group (Euro Garages)




Travis Perkins

Maria Mallaband Care Group

Waterfield Group (including Scotch Corner Designer Village)

Eddie Stobart

Nottingham Trent University

Toolstation Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the Harworth Group on their ‘Thoresby Vale’ scheme, within Sherwood Forest, which is being developed as 800+ dwellings (ranging from apartments and starter homes, through to five-bedroom houses and a retirement village) together with a 350-acre country park, commercial units and a link to the new ‘Robin Hood’ community centre.
  • Advising Toolstation on all matters relating to the development and letting of their new 493,098 square foot regional distribution centre at Prologis Park, Pineham.

Gateley Legal

Handling all aspects of work in the real estate market, Gateley Legal has considerable expertise in investment and development matters, as well as asset management, real estate finance and distressed property. Additionally, the firm is particularly experienced in the healthcare, residential development and pensions sectors. Adam Youatt leads the team, specialising in property investment and development work. Simon Taylor is an expert in development matters, including strategic land, logistics and urban regeneration. Steven Plummer acts for house builders, developers and land promoters dealing with residential development sites.

Practice head(s):

Adam Youatt; Steven Plummer

Other key lawyers:

Simon Taylor; Colin Gittus; Alex Parkes


Team which is client focused and brings refreshing commerciality and momentum to deals they are involved in.’

Steven Plummer is an outstanding residential development lawyer. He’s extremely commercial and innovative in how he approaches the legal aspects of residential property transactions. Service levels are outstanding and he’s extremely approachable.

Key clients

Custodian REIT plc

Southampton City Council

Concierge II Limited

Clowes Developments (UK) Limited

Avant Homes (England) Limited

McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles Ltd

Peter James Homes Limited

Southernwood Investments

Bildurn (Properties) Limited

Sygnature Discovery Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Avant Homes in the purchase of land at Birchwood Lane, Somercotes for immediate residential development and successfully secured an interest on neighbouring land for Avant Homes for future residential development of the wider area by way of an Option.
  • Acted for Custodian Property Income REIT plc on the purchase of a retail park in the Midlands for £15,000,000.
  • Advised Southampton City Council in relation to a detailed Development Agreement with Packaged Living for the comprehensive redevelopment of the former Toys R Us site, Weston Esplanade, Southampton

Geldards LLP

The commercial property team at Geldards LLP specialises in residential and commercial development work, where they handle large and complex deals for some of the biggest clients in the market. Other key work streams are industrial and logistics matters, as well as work in the public, education, utilities and motor retail sectors. Managing partner Graham Banks leads the Derby team and specialises in operational property, property investment and planning and environment law. David Watson leads the Nottingham team with experience in in transactional commercial real estate work. Jamie Gordon is particularly active in the utilities sector, while ‘knowledgeable and committed’ Heather Dixon leads the team’s industrial and logistics work.

Practice head(s):

Graham Banks; David Watson; Jamie Gordon

Other key lawyers:

Heather Dixon; Paul Hilsdon


‘Heather Dixon is the most knowledgeable and committed lawyer I’ve ever worked with. Her dedication to a deal is unbelievable, and her ability to juggle highly complex transactions whilst also working on several other deals at the same time is staggering’

‘All staff share the same philosophy of client first.’

Key clients

Cedar House Investments Limited

Trent Motor Traction Company Ltd

Nottingham City Council

Sleekmade Property Co Limited

Cenex Consulting Services limited

Bowmer & Kirkland and Peveril Homes Limited

Walgreens Boots Alliance

Clowes Developments (UK) Limited and Dove Valley Park Limited

DPK Management

BioCity Group Limited

Connections Legal Management

Derby City Council

Sheffield City Council

Nottinghamshire County Council

Electricity North West

Western Power Distribution

Omya UK Limited

Wacker Neuson Limited

UK Power Networks

Easement Solutions

ESP Utilities

Carlisle City Council

Connections Legal Management

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

SMB Group (Brooksby Melton College and Stephenson College)

DCG (Derby College)

Vattenfall Networks

Milton Keynes Council

South Staffordshire District Council

Isle of Wight Council

Tees Valley Combined Authority

Leeds City Council

Eurocell plc

Foundry Top Co LLP

Redrow Homes Limited

Derbyshire County Council

Burnley Borough Council

Burnley Borough Council

Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council

Greater Manchester Pension Fund (Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council as administering authority)

Warrington Borough Council

Redditch Borough Council

GF Tomlinson Limited

South Staffordshire College

Work highlights

  • Advised Clowes Developments (UK) Limited on a group record breaking multi-million pound deal with international investor, Hines, for the development of 1.15million square feet of high-quality logistics space in the East Midlands.
  • Advised a motor retail group in the refinancing of their freehold and long leasehold properties in the region of £300 million.
  • Advising Warrington Borough Council on the acquisition of a solar farm at Doncaster, building on previous acquisitions of solar farms at Hull, York and Cirencester.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP are particularly experienced in the energy sector, where they act for energy developers and infrastructure investors on a variety of market-first projects. The later living and healthcare sector is another focus area, where the team acts for care home operators and investors on all level of their projects. Practice head Peter Dilks focuses on real estate matters in the energy and utilites sector while also handling large scale transactions. Victoria Bovington leads on the firm’s work for healthcare providers, while also specialising in development finance for banks and venture capitalists.

Practice head(s):

Peter Dilks

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Bovington; Sat Ubhi; John Buckley


‘Team is commercially savvy and always thinking what might be best for the client commercially rather than just legally. Pre-empt issues and consider things in the wider context.’

‘Very easy to work with, hard working and knowledgeable.’

‘I have dealt with John Buckley for many years now and always found his advice to be sound and helpful.’

Key clients

Statera Energy Limited

FPC Electric Land Limited

Electricity North West Limited

Western Power Distribution (now National Grid Electricity Distribution)

First Provincial Properties Limited

Asfordby Haulage & Storage

Last Mile Asset Management

Kona Energy Ltd

Johal Pension Fund

Shoby Properties Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for Asfordby Storage & Haulage Limited on the sale of over 600,000 sq. ft. industrial and logistics centre in Leicestershire to Urban Logistics REIT for over £40m.
  • Acting for Last Mile Asset Management on over 700 instructions in 2022, including innovating to project manage their transactions.

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP handles some of the biggest real estate mandates in the East Midlands and nationally across the firm’s core areas. This includes real estate investment matters, as well as partnering transactions development work and strategic occupancy issues. The team is led by investment occupier and airport specialist Matthew Kenwood, who handles a range of complex transactional matters. Deborah Gordon Brown in portfolio acquisitions and disposals on behalf of property funds and and corporate occupiers. Su Kemp was promoted to partner in May 2022, specialising in occupier, airport and investment matters.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Kenwood

Other key lawyers:

Deborah Gordon Brown; Ellis Gardner-Browne; Su Kemp; Matthew Kemp


‘Very diligent and thorough, excellent to work with.’

‘Su Kemp – The star everyone needs in their team. An exceptional technical lawyer who knows our business – regularly feels like she is an addition to my in-house team (despite being external) and that in itself is testament as to how valuable she is.’

Key clients

AEW Europe

Arkley Commercial Property

Brunswick Property Partners

Crosstown Concerts Limited

Eel Power Limited

Estee Lauder Cosmetics Limited

Floral Street Fragrances Limited

GPS (Great Britain) Limited (“GAP”)

GRIDServe UK OMM Ltd (trading as GRIDServe)

HSBC UK Bank plc (Petroleum Finance)

IKEA Group of Companies

John Deere Limited

Mountain Warehouse Limited

Ollie Quinn Limited

Pizza Hut (UK) Limited

Rutland Cycles

Safestore Group

Starbridge Limited

Walgreen Boots Alliance Group of Companies

Whitman Laboratories Limited

White & Case

Yianis Group

Work highlights

  • Advised a South African fund manager on £230 million portfolio disposal to listed US investment giant Kennedy Wilson.
  • Acted for Brunswick Property Partners in acquisition of central Twickenham office property for £52m, building out the Akoya workplace brand. The counterparty was Aviva
  • Advised an investment manager on forward purchase of 608,000 square foot last mile logistics portfolio from a JV partners Chancerygate.

Flint Bishop LLP

Flint Bishop LLP is experienced in advising investor, housebuilders and landowners on a range of matters in the market. In particular, the firm’s development sub-team provides support to some of the UK’s largest developers on their flagship development projects. The firm also features a growing real estate finance practice. Ian Beardmore leads the team with extensive experience working in the retail, leisure, industrial and residential property sectors, while Ben Pickup specialises in complex property transactions. Ian Wilson and Sanveer Sandhu both joined the team in 2022, handling a broad spectrum of commercial property work.

Practice head(s):

Ian Beardmore

Other key lawyers:

Ben Pickup; Stephen McCarthy; Paul Sabin; Ian Wilson; Sanveer Sandhu


‘They go out of their way to understand clients requirements’

‘The practice always deals with any matters at speed. The attention to detail is far better than any other firm I have used. They also look at any issue in a creative way and come up with solutions.’

‘Sanveer Sandhu has always dealt with my affairs in a diligent way. He listens very carefully to my needs, questions my thinking and comes up with feasable solutions. I have not dealt with a better lawyer.’

Key clients

Bowmer + Kirkland Group of Companies

Clowes Developments Group of Companies

Ivygrove Developments Limited

MHA (Methodist Homes)

Donald Ward Limited

PM Wrigley & Co Limited

TMD Friction UK Limited

PKF Smith Cooper

Carrelli Homes Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for the developer of a large distribution centre built for a global online retailer.
  • Acting on the acquisition, development, financing, letting and sale of a town centre (including mixed use retail units, children’s day nursery and national large supermarket) for a new town currently being built near Exeter.
  • Acting on the freehold sale and associated leasehold new-build relocation of a regional distribution centre for a national tile distributor.

gunnercooke LLP

The primary areas of focus for gunnercooke LLP‘s real estate team are commercial and residential development, infrastructure, renewable energy and investments. Specifically, the firm is active in matters surrounding logistics, student development and minerals and waste. Brendan Walsh has over great experience in commercial and residential development and real estate investment. Matthew Grocock is experienced in residential and commercial development on behalf of landed estates and agricultural landowners. Bev Simms and Sarah Gunton are other key names.

Other key lawyers:

Brendan Walsh; Matthew Grocock; Bev Simms; Sarah Gunton


‘Brendan Walsh – Brendan is available and it gives me great comfort that he is always on top on the matter.’

‘The people that work for Gunnercooke are extremely knowledgeable. There are many different departments within Gunnercooke so you can use just one firm for most of your real estate matters.’

‘Sarah Gunton & Brendan Walsh, provide my company with outstanding service. The quality of work is exceptional. They are my go to lawyers for all my real estate matters. They provide me with advice when I need it.’

‘Forethought and an ability to understand issues before they have cropped up.’

Key clients

Brookland Group

Bedford Estate

Urban Logistics REIT

Wilson Bowden Developments Ltd (part of Barratts Group PLC)

Garner Holdings

William Davies Limited

Rolta Infotech

Harpur Crewe LLC

Zone Student Developments

BSP Capital

Oregon Timber Frame (England) Limited

Tune Developments Limited


Millhouse Developments

Unibar Restaurants limited

LG Capital Limited

R & S Properties

Work highlights

  • Advised Wilson Bowden on an option and promotion agreement for a strategic commercial and residential site comprising over 436 acres in Hertfordshire.
  • Advising Urban Logistics REIT on the letting of a portfolio of logistics warehouses across the East Midlands and North comprising over 370,000 sq ft.

Landsmiths Solicitors

A boutique property firm, Landsmiths Solicitors is split across commercial property and residential conveyancing teams, which often collaborate on complex issues including option and overage agreements. The teams handle a complex and high value work on behalf of a broad client base comprised of occupiers, developers, lenders and investors. Rachael Briggs and Vik Moothia lead the team.

Practice head(s):

Rachael Briggs; Vik Moothia


‘They are approachable, friendly, professional and flexible as they try to fit in with different client’s requirements.’

‘Everyone works as a team and there are certainly no egos, which makes it a pleasurable experience to instruct and work with them.’

‘All the staff at Landsmiths are professional, personable, approachable, very friendly and go out of their way to address any problem no matter how large or small.’

Key clients

200 Degrees Coffee Shops Limited

Artistic Spaces Limited

NOAP Properties Limited

Rush Hair & associated companies

The RH Group Ltd

Monk Estates Limited

Kennelpak Limited

Birds (Derby) Limited


Actons works across a broad range of matters concerning commercial transactions, including the sale and acquisition of freehold and leasehold premises, refinancing and development work. Caroline Pearson leads the team with deep experience working on large projects for residential and commercial sites. Associate Kerry Elliott joined the team in December 2022, specialising in freehold and leasehold acquisitions.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Pearson

Other key lawyers:

Kerry Elliott


‘Extremely competent team of legal advisors with a vast experience of knowledge, a super friendly and responsive team who went above and beyond in advising and assisting with my case.’

‘Actons are a highly experienced, dedicated and knowledgeable team providing an exceptional service. Their approach to problem solving is to be commended, always putting their client’s objectives first and in doing so, ensuring they achieve the best possible outcome for their clients. They are very friendly and approachable, tackling issues head on – nothing is too much for them. They are very responsive in situations and there are always clear lines of communication so, as a client, I always know exactly where I stand.’

‘Knowledge and experience of the partners and their ability to provide the best solution for the individual company’s requirements.’

Key clients

Chevin Homes (Derby) Limited

Framework Housing Association

Gainsborough Business Space Limited

John Cawley Developments Limited

Kings Crescent Limited

Lanterna Property Company Limited

Mansfield Sand Company Limited

Melton Mowbray Building Society

Nexa Finance Limited

Wynbrook Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised John Cawley Developments Limited on the £1m sale of a long leasehold office development in Nottingham.
  • Advised Lanterna Property Company Limited on the purchase of a block of serviced apartments in Nottingham for £1m and the associated leaseback to the apartment operator.
  • Advised Nexa Finance Limited on a loan facility to a developer for a proposed conversion of a site in Birmingham to residential apartments.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited

The commercial property team at Nelsons Solicitors Limited is active across a number of specialist areas, including residential development, commercial development, landlord and tenant and property transactions related to pension schemes. Riaz Dudhia leads the team with a specialism in commercial landlord and tenant matters, as well as land acquisition and disposal. Paul Hinchliffe has a particular expertise in acting for industrial and office commercial property owners.

Practice head(s):

Riaz Dudhia

Other key lawyers:

Paul Hinchliffe


‘The key attribute of Nelson’s commercial property team is the quality and accessibility of the team.’

‘Riaz Dudhia is one of the best out there.’

Key clients

Radford Holdings Limited

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

Universal Works Limited

Intelligent Money Limited

DCLC Limited and CVLC Limited

Anima Victoria Limited

Hydro Systems UK Limited

Westminster Developments (Leicester) Limited

Great Northern Bars Limited

Barrowcliffe Properties

National Justice Museum

T M Trustees Limited

W Westerman Limited

Giant UK Limited

Rolls-Royce plc

Hyperama plc

Smith Partnership

Smith Partnership advises on a broad range of commercial property matters, including landlord and tenant issues, developments and property finance work, particularly within the hospitality and healthcare sectors. Practice head Jason Wood is experienced in property development matters, as well as complex landlord and tenant issues. Danielle Upton advises on freehold and leasehold acquisitions and disposal. Zoe Romain joined the team from Actons in 2022 and was promoted to partner in February 2023.

Practice head(s):

Jason Wood

Other key lawyers:

Danielle Upton; Zoe Romain


‘Smith Partnership really care. They give incredible personal service to our business.’

‘It is the caring side of the people we deal with at Smith Partnership that makes the difference from the other solicitors we have dealt with in the past.’

Key clients

Garibaldi Limited

Sovereign Crest Limited

Comex 2000 Limited

Rushden Enterprises Limited

Littler Investments Limited

HGV Direct

Metanodic Engineers Limited

Spirit Medical Limited

Development and Estate Limited