Hall Of Fame

Firms To Watch: Commercial property: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx

Shakespeare Martineau LLP has recently made a series of eye-catching real estate hires for its Milton Keynes office, including David Wells, who joined from HCR Hewitsons, and a team of former EMW Law LLP lawyers, including Allawee Albaghdadi, who was recently promoted to lead the Milton Keynes base.

Commercial property: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx in South East


Dentons is one of the leading real estate practices in the South East and regularly handles complex high value transactions. The Milton Keynes-based team services clients across multiple sectors including retail, logistics, residential and the public sector. The firm carries out acquisition work for house builder clients such as Taylor Wimpey and acts for banks including HSBC on lending matters. Since Roland Gray left to join Browne Jacobson LLP, Robert Wyatt  now heads the real estate team and has experience in residential development work. Lorna Rogers handles acquisitions, disposals and conditional agreements. Susie Stross specialises in railway management work.

Practice head(s):

Robert Wyatt

Other key lawyers:

Lorna Rogers; Susie Stross

Key clients

Pye Homes

Taylor Wimpey

Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Limited – Convenience

Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Limited – Estates

Oak Furnitureland Group

Group 1 Automotive

Eastbrook Facilities Limited (SPV)

National Crime Agency

Mulberry Homes

Abbey Developments Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised on the sale of a high profile property at 42/43 New Bond Street by long standing investor client Ebchester.
  • Advised Pye Homes in relation to proposals for a new garden town at Harrington in Oxfordshire.
  • Assisted Sainsbury’s group with the acquisition of several local fulfilment centres which are mid sized depots in key network locations across the country.


The real estate practice at EMW Law LLP is split into specialist groupings due to the size of the practice. These groups cover occupier work, investment matters, real estate finance, social housing, healthcare, education and telecommunications. The firm has a broad range of clients from startups to notable players such as Santander and Toolstation. Co-heads Stephen Kay and Terence Ritchie have substantial expertise in advising corporate occupiers and investors in acquisitions and disposals. Co-head Mark Davies joined the firm in 2021 from Howes Percival LLP and heads the development team. Associate Lucy Richardson is a notable practitioner.

Practice head(s):

Terence Ritchie; Stephen Kay; Mark Davies

Other key lawyers:

Mary Philips


‘Good commercial approach to lease negotiations and diligence to support a UK-wide roll out.’

‘Stephen Kay is very experienced and able to push deals through in a timely manner.’

‘The team are all excellent communicators and keep us updated on all our transactions.’

Key clients

Santander UK plc

Anya Hindmarch

Riverside Capital

Formula One Autocentres Limited

BFS Group Limited

CBRE Global Investors Trustee Limited

Milton Keynes Community Foundation

Redwood Bank

Settle Group

Grand Union Housing Group Limited (including Grand Union Homes Limited)

Work highlights

  • Advised Santander UK Plc in the disposal of 20 former bank branches spread nationwide to various purchasers for a total price in excess of c £20m.
  • Advised new property development client Rose & Co on the terms of a £2.1m development loan provided by OakNorth for a new-homes project in Nottinghamshire.
  • Represented Housing Association client on the unconditional acquisition of 45 flats for £9.25m which our client intends to sell and rent as 100% affordable housing.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP is a multi-disciplinary real estate practice which is known for its sectoral expertise in drinks, hospitality and leisure. The firm regularly undertakes a range of high-value work for long-standing clients such as FedEx Group. The team handles construction and development work, property litigation and environmental matters. New practice head Lucy Bradban leads the team and advises on secured lending projects and corporate banking transactions. Co-head Leo Skinner handles property portfolio acquisitions, disposals and general estate management. Darren Debock is a valuable new addition to the practice joining from top tier firm Dentons.

Practice head(s):

Lucy Bradban; Leo Skinner

Other key lawyers:

Darren Debock; Christopher Ainsworth; Lucy Walford


‘We’ve instructed Freeths on the basis of our long standing relationship with Darren Debock but have been suitably impressed with their approach.’

‘High quality advice and very knowledgeable. Good to communicate and enjoyable to work with.’

‘High quality of individuals with broad knowledge and ability to communicate.’

‘Excellent commercial awareness and understanding of the client’s needs. The team offer solutions and put forward ideas to ensure the best possible outcome for the client.’

‘Excellent communication.’

‘Shashi Chambers and Sam Pomfret have been extremely helpful and pro-active in all our dealings with Freeths. They work hard for us as clients in a very professional, but friendly manner, always looking after our best interests.’

Key clients

FedEx Group

London Luton Airport

Burger King

Twickenham Studios

APCOA Parking (UK) Ltd

Milton Keynes Council

Milton Keynes Parks Trust

Allica Bank Limited

Advanced Software

Bristol Airport


Wells & Co

Abbey Developments Limited

Milton Keynes Development Partnership LLP

Monument Bank Limited

RedCat Pub Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted on a complex freehold development acquisition for house builder Abbey Developments Limited with an estimated asset value of £50m.
  • Acted for Allica Bank Limited on a £3,000,000 lend to Lily House Park Ltd for the purchase of an investment property in Bracknell.
  • Acted for Milton Keynes Development Partnership LLP on the grant of a conditional agreement for the grant of a development lease and all associated documentation as part of the £180m MK Gateway scheme.

Shoosmiths LLP

Based in Milton Keynes, Shoosmiths LLP has expertise across the areas of development, investment, occupier and finance. The firm advises clients on sales and acquisitions, care home issues, occupancy transactions, mix-use retail and leisure developments. Practice head Steve Wiltshire has residential and commercial development expertise while Catherine Williams leads the firm’s national living sector. Lisa Williams has experience in acting for landowners on sale and development involving option, planning promotion and collaboration agreements. Chris George and Kirsty Chalkley are notable associates.

Practice head(s):

Steve Wiltshire

Other key lawyers:

Catherine Williams; Lisa Williams; Chris George; Kirsty Chalkley


‘Shoosmiths provides excellent advice across the broad spectrum of property development, with a determination to get the right result for their client.’

‘Kirsty Chalkley is a commercially astute solicitor with enormous amounts of patience to get even the most complex and difficult transactions across the line.’

‘Commercially astute, professional and personable. Rarely confrontational – unless needed to be – always problem solving in a positive and proactive manner.’

‘I have worked with Catherine Williams for many years and it is rare to work with someone who always finds a way through by simplifying and keeping positive.’

‘Shoosmiths are an exceptional and integral partner for our business, they provide an excellent client experience on every matter. Our primary contact is the commercial team who provide a first class service every time. Outside of Commercial Property the team are able to recommend and sign post you to colleagues who echo the same standard we receive every time with the commercial property team.’

‘Chris George, Claire Raddan and Soma Fattah all ensure our corporate objectives are at the heart of their advice and focus. This is what makes the commercial property team at Shoosmiths stand out from any other firm I have worked with before. They each have a proactive approach in solving problems and ensuring transactions are completed in time. I have complete trust in the team and the work they do for us in every transaction.’

Key clients

Taylor Wimpey UK Limited

Vistry Group plc

Gade Developments

McKay Securities Plc

Volkswagen Group United Kingdom Limited

Mercedes-Benz Retail Group UK Limited

Travelodge Hotels Limited

Revolution Bars Group PLC

Lloyds Bank PLC

The Open University

The Jockey Club

Tilia Homes


McCarthy Stone

Frontier Estates Limited

Tingdene (MJ) Limited

Millbrook Proving Ground Limited

Perseus Land and Developments

Yusen Logistics (UK) Limited

Storey Homes



Citygrove Securities PLC

Lamington Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Ducati UK Limited on the acquisition of leasehold premises at Arch 70 Albert Embankment London.
  • Acted on the purchase, pre-let, sale and forward funding of three care home development sites in Bishop’s Stortford, Royston and Market Harborough.
  • Advised on the acquisition of major site for Baker Estates in Wolborough for up to 174 units.

B P Collins LLP

B P Collins LLP‘s real estate practice in Gerrard’s Cross acts for a number of property investors and deals with acquisitions, re-gears, financing, lettings and sales. The firm has expertise in the mining and minerals sector, advising on extraction leases for companies and is similarly experienced in the leisure and retail industry. Alison Taylor leads the practice and handles complex portfolio management, commercial lease transactions and sales. Maria Mowberry focuses on real estate finance work while Martina Razaq leads the residential property team.

Practice head(s):

Alison Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Maria Mowberry; Martina Razaq


‘Communication and professionalism. The team are exceptional at keeping us informed of progress and are proactive at addressing issues that arise. A key strength is the diverse skill set that the in-house team have and the ability to resource to meet the demand.’

‘Broad range of expertise with solid local roots and knowledge.’

‘The key commercial property team members are commercial pragmatic and client friendly.’

‘They are a close knit team who have worked extremely well together for a long time. They have City backgrounds and punch above their weight. Also great to see so many women partners and senior lawyers.’

‘Alison Taylor heads the team and is an excellent commercial lawyer. She is also a great manager and motivator of her close knit team.’

‘Dealing with the same lawyer year on year and thus a very low staff turnover. That same individual providing accurate and quality advice but also well supported by senior partners of the firm.’

‘Always efficient, quick to respond, flexible and personal.’

‘They are a solid law practice that give good legal advice which is also commercial. They provide a prompt service and are always willing to help. They are my go to firm to recommend if a client ever asks because I can trust them to do a good job.’

Key clients


The Original Bowling Company

AMF Bowling

Hollywood Bowl

Biffa Group

Welford Investments Limited

Rico Logistics Limited

Summerleaze Limited

Mobile Mini, Inc

Lacoste UK Limited

Wycombe District Council

CliniMed Holdings Limited

Welland Medical Limited

Bijou Living Limited

Debenhams Ottaway

The real estate team at Debenhams Ottaway is well-versed in advising commercial clients on high value property development, sales and purchases of owner occupied and investment property, secured lending and tenant work. The firm’s client portfolio ranges from large corporates and property investors to charities, local councils and businesses in the hospitality sector. Jonathan Foy co-heads the practice with Ruth Boulton while Neil Mercer is a specialist in complex development agreements.

Practice head(s):

Ruth Boulton; Jonathan Foy

Other key lawyers:

Neil Mercer


‘Nothing is too much trouble and Ruth Boulton always makes herself available 24/7. It makes the whole process enjoyable and the attention to detail is spot on.’

‘Not only are the team competent but they have a refreshing attitude of getting on with transactions and getting them done which in my experience is quite rare!’

‘Ruth Boulton has an ownership of cases which is fairly unique. Neil Mercer and Rosie Penny are both highly capable and amongst a very small handful of solicitors that we recommend to clients.’

‘Debenham Ottaway have all the key competencies required to form a productive and engaged team and service. They demonstrate great skills and knowledge and can unite around a goal and look to build strong relationships. They show excellent team building skills that are very important as the key competencies used to form productive and engaged teams and service. They unite with their clients around a common goal and kindle strong relationships. Always excellent response times, industry knowledge, appropriateness of advice, strength-in-depth of team, and value for money are what makes this practice unique.’

‘Excellent skills and abilities are demonstrated at all times. The commitment and dedication to achieving the goal and objection is outstanding. Neil Mercer is a fantastic example of the great staff working at Debenhams Ottaway.’

‘The practice has given our clients a high level of service on a consistent basis. Our clients have always been treated well and given excellent advice by the firms solicitors.’

‘I have recommended Neil Mercer to my clients for many years as he always gives an excellent level of service.’

‘It is a multi-disciplinary practice covering a wide range of property areas. They provide a central London service for lower rates than their London competitors.’

Key clients

Acorn Braintree Ltd


Stratton Land

HF Holidays

The St Albans Diocesan Board of Finance

Hoya A Group

Sigma Imaging Ltd

Luxottica North Europe Limited

Luxottica Retail UK Limited

InspireAll Limited

Broadwing Homes Ltd

Hertfordshire Centres Ltd

Kier Group

McNicholas Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Acorn Brain Ltd on a complicated option over a development site in Braintree following the grant of outline planning permission.
  • Advised Epson on alterations to it’s UK head office in Hemel Hempstead.
  • Acted for Stratton Land on the purchase of around 8 high value sites, including a disused hospital site in Eastry for a proposed 80 house development.

HCR Hewitsons

HCR Hewitsons is regularly involved in large development projects involving disposals of residential plots, commercial offices, schools and community facilities. The team negotiates complex conditional contracts, development leases, promotion agreements and clawback issues. The practice is also well-versed in dealing with contracts and transfers for the sale and purchase of property assets. Large-scale housing specialist Yvette Morgan leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Yvette Morgan

Key clients

Homes England

AW James Limited

Richard Utley Limited

Vibe Estates Limited

Olney Property Limited

Ardent Hire Solutions Limited

Marchmont Farms Limited

Wimbledon Property Holdings Limited

Bright Horizons Family Solutions Limited

Caljan Limited


The real estate practice at IBB Law offers a range of services including residential-led development, commercial development, real estate finance and construction. The team frequently acts on land acquisitions and disposals, urban regeneration projects and complex planning agreements. Jon Mowbray leads the practice with support from highly skilled development lawyer Vivien Rimmer. Shital Mehta is experienced in residential property matters while Bill Bidder has expertise in complex planning issues. Miles Eckersley is well-versed in mixed-use residential developments.

Practice head(s):

Jon Mowbray

Other key lawyers:

Vivien Rimmer; Shital Mehta; Bill Bidder; Miles Eckersley


‘Always helpful, responsive and go above and beyond what is asked of them to make sure the client is well informed and well serviced. I feel confident and happy using IBB.’

‘I dealt with Gemma Coles, a partner with excellent interpersonal skills and very knowledgeable and helpful in her field. I did not have experience in selling Commercial Property and I really appreciated the way Gemma explained everything to me in a way I could understand. I always felt she had my back. Gemma provided incredible service to me on a complex and long drawn out transaction during Covid-19, which was by itself a challenge.’

‘As an in -house lawyer I primarily deal with their commercial property lawyers and in particular their specialist residential property lawyers. The three development lawyers that I am most used to dealing with are partners Bill Bidder, Vivien Rimmer and Miles Eckersley. All three are fantastic specialists with a thorough understanding of the needs of our business and the complexities of commercial/residential development. Without exception, they are excellent to deal with as they are down to earth and provide sensible practical advice. They are approachable and extremely friendly. It is always a pleasure to deal with them and I very much view them as an extension to our in- house team.’

‘Gemma Coles was dogged and determined during difficult and slow response from the other party. Keeping us informed, highlighting any opportunities and actually pressed them at times. Attention to detail like this goes a long way. We knew she was on ‘our side’ so to speak and not just ticking boxes.’

‘Super ability to communicate. They just get on and sort it all out.’

‘Easy to contact and flexible on fee when appropriate.’

Key clients

Lands Improvement

Thrive Homes Limited

Riverdale Developments Limited

Optima (UK) Limited

Dandara Limited


Frontier Estates Ltd

AIB Group (UK) plc

Renault Retail Group UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for a major national housebuilder in the acquisition of a greenfield development site.
  • Acted for a major national housebuilder in the acquisition of a well-known football club’s football stadium and grounds for the purposes of residential development.
  • Acted for two individual landowners in the conditional sale of circa 30 acres of greenbelt land for residential purposes to a major national housebuilder.


Based in St Albans, SA Law LLP offers a comprehensive service in all aspects of commercial and residential real estate. This includes specialist leasehold enfranchisement and residential lease extension matters, development work and high-value acquisitions. The team advises across a range of sectors from Premier League football clubs to farm business tenancy. Gary Dunger has expertise in real estate finance and co-heads the practice with Steve Kenneford who specialises in residential conveyancing. Stephen Ryan and Jacqueline Button are notable names.

Practice head(s):

Gary Dunger; Steve Kenneford

Other key lawyers:

Jacqueline Button; Stephen Ryan


‘We have been very happy with the depth of knowledge and prompt responses we have had from SA Law. They have given us advice which we have relied on heavily in some tight situations. Their advice has always been well researched and holds good under pressure. They have adapted to zoom very readily.’

‘We have dealt extensively with Amy Sevir and Gary Dunger for quite a number of years. The thing we find very refreshing is that they always get back to us promptly and undertake work in a very timely fashion.’ 

‘They gave a personal service from the first moment of contact, looking into our needs. Other firms contacted seem to give standard answers and quotes.’

‘Gary Dunger made contact from the first enquiry and is an extremely talented lawyer. He is very knowledgeable in his field, generous with his replies and time, quick to reply and overall a very pleasant person to deal with.’

‘London quality lawyers and expertise from a firm based outside of the City. Strong property team with experience in a wide range of matters and types of project.’

‘Jacqueline Button is exceptional at dealing with matters efficiently and effectively. Jacqueline deals with a number of our projects of varying sizes and complexity simultaneously and always delivers.’

Key clients


Audbern Investments Limited

Tulsesense Limited

Portman Structured Finance Limited

AM Surveying Holdings Limited

OYO Developments Limited

Ashworth Homes Limited

Holywell Haulage Limited

Buxton Homes Midlands Limited

Eurochange Limited

Francis Jackson Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Lion Free Limited on securing support from the needed majority of qualifying tenants to be able to proceed with the acquisition of the freehold of their building.
  • Advised HSBC on its security relating to the financing of over 10 site acquisitions by a specialist national operator of petrol forecourts.
  • Advised Portman on the financing of the purchase of former Millennium Communities land by a special purpose vehicle of developer Gemselect Limited.

Sherrards Solicitors LLP

Sherrards Solicitors LLP advises on all aspects of development work from acquisition, planning and construction to sales, lettings and management. The real estate practice specialises in several sectors including retail , hospitality and franchising. Practice head Terry Fendt has extensive experience in commercial property matters with particular expertise in the retail industry. Stephanie Kierans focuses on transactions such as acquisitions and disposals.

Practice head(s):

Terry Fendt

Other key lawyers:

Stephanie Kierans


‘I work mainly with the corporate property team on negotiating new leases and renewals. The team is very professional and personable.’

‘They all make you feel like your business is important to them and don’t just take the repeat business for granted.’

‘The property team is very dedicated and listen to their clients needs / requirements and act accordingly. They keep the client updated at all stages and go above and beyond for their clients with the advice they provide.’

‘Stephanie Kierans & Terry Fendt go above and beyond with their service. Nothing is too much trouble for their clients.’

‘Pro-actively commercial and promptly reactive to our business’ needs. Always willing to go the extra mile to get things done, but sensibly priced to boot.’

‘Great attention to detail and good understanding of our priorities and needs. Individual’s willingness to respond and work to our timescales is always impressive and helpful.’

‘Great commercial advice and speed of response.’

‘Terry Fendt and Stephanie Kierans both are exceptional in their client management. They are available 24/7 and always respond as soon as they can’

Key clients

Chokdee Ltd

Menkind Limited

Evapo Ltd

Energie Property (UK) Limited

Foodco UK Franchising Limited

Rituals Cosmetics UK Limited

DBD Distribution Limited

Central City Training Venues (CCTV)

Bright Young Things (BYT)

Fawcett Mead Ltd

AM Coffee Retail Ltd

Thai Tana Ltd

Work highlights

  • Our sector expertise in retail gives us the opportunity to work with some very interesting and dynamic clients on transactions where our ability to deliver a quick turnaround can make the difference between a successful and poor financial year.
  • Our team advise various clients on matters including purchase of investment properties subject to an occupational tenant. These matters include lease renewals, agreement of leases, tenant substitution agreement, licence to underlet and licence to alter.
  • Our team have the skills, experience and size of team to advise our clients on all their property needs including dispute resolution and litigation. In addition, our full-service capability allows us to advise our property sector clients on all aspects of their business, including Corporate and employment advice.

Blaser Mills Law

Blaser Mills Law provides commercial property services for landlords, corporate occupiers and investors on the acquisition, disposal and letting of business premises. The Amersham-based office is led by Louise Benning who specialises in residential development with expertise in option agreements, unilateral undertakings and site assembly. David Michaels is experienced in property finance and handles building construction and housing association matters.

Practice head(s):

Louise Benning

Other key lawyers:

David Michaels; Simone Ganley


‘Blaser Mills provide focused, fuss-free legal input that reflects their wide range of experience working with clients across the region. Simone Ganley’s commercially savvy advice and pro-active management of her clients’ matters will be familiar to anyone who has enjoyed working with high-quality large law firms in London or elsewhere.’

‘Simone Ganley is a delight to deal with, her advice is always directional and to-the-point. She understands how to guide clients who may have prior experience with property matters, but is equally adept when supporting those who require more comprehensive guidance. Simone also delivers the wider Blaser Mills offering in a very neat, targeted way, identifying areas where clients may need to consider wider issues or engage with colleagues. From a relationship perspective, she makes Blaser Mills very easy to use.’

‘Carlos Parece and Tina Middleton are highly experienced in telecoms.’

Key clients

Ardmore Limited

The Moroccan National Tourist Office


Seiko UK Limited

Concordia International

Nammo UK Limited

The Gurney Trust

Lindfield Nursery

Heywood Real Estate Limited

Revere Developments Limited

Westgold Developments Limited

Millen Homes Limited

Bellwood Homes Limited

Landim Limited

Hae Developments Limited

Swakeleys Property Developments Limited

Howes Percival LLP

The commercial property team at Howes Percival LLP has been strengthened immensely by the arrival of Marcus Carter from EMW Law LLP. The Milton Keynes office has grown in size with new recruits such as Graham Jones from Machins Solicitors LLP and the relocation of experienced practitioner John Herd from the Northampton office. The practice specialises in corporate occupier and investment work with some prominent clients including Getir UK Limited.

Practice head(s):

Marcus Carter

Other key lawyers:

Graham Jones; John Herd, Fleur Chapman


‘New team that is keen to offer good all-round service. Very responsive to achieve deadlines.’

‘Marcus Carter. Able to offer very quick response times and an overall commercial approach.’

‘The commerciality of the team’s advice sets them apart from their competitors. You don’t just get the legal answer you get a legal answer that is then applied to the real life situation. They take the time to understand the needs of the business for each property they work on for us. They also fundamentally know their stuff and are not trying to be something they are not.’

‘Marcus Carter is always available and his experience in dealing with retail warehousing is excellent. This experience gives him an inherent understanding of our requirements and he makes things happen without me needing to trouble myself with them. Marcus and his team work seamlessly alongside ours.’

‘They just get us and make ever transaction smooth.’

‘Marcus Carter makes it happen.’

Key clients

Steven Eagell Limited

Steven Eagell Properties Limited

Getir UK Limited

Movus Logistics Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Movus Logistics Limited on 3 leases that together make up their new 100,000 plus square foot central London distribution centre.
  • Acted for Steven Eagell Properties Limited on their first non car dealership acquisition of a commercial property for £2,750,000.
  • Advised the Directors of a Hampton Brook Company on the acquisition of a 140 acre site at South Caldecotte which will be the UK’s first net zero carbon logistics park.

Longmores Solicitors LLP

The real estate department at Longmores Solicitors LLP advises clients on both commercial and residential matters from development and strategic land transactions to commercial property sales, purchases and leases. Rachael Spalton heads the team with significant experience in complex promotion, option and overage agreements. Victoria Sandberg specialises in the purchase of rural and agricultural land while John Wagstaffe focuses on property litigation.

Practice head(s):

Rachael Spalton

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Sandberg; John Wagstaffe


‘The Longmores team has plenty of strength in depth and are always quick and helpful in their advice which is much appreciated by us and our clients.’

‘Victoria Sandberg and Rachel Spalton provide excellent and practical advice. They are pro-active and the agreements they prepare are very helpful in ensuring that new tenancy agreements are completed quickly. The same is true of the advice relating to sales of property where they have done excellent work on some highly complex and difficult sales. Their help and support throughout adds real value and they are a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Shine Partnerships Limited

Viking Self Storage Limited

Rooff Group

King & Co Properties Limited

Svenska Handelsbanken AB

Tappenden & Co Limited

Independent Clinical Services Limited

Hertfordshire and Middlesex Wildlife Trust

Great Northern Works Limited

414 Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised a farming client in relation to a promotion agreement for potential residential development and in relation to tenant farmer succession rights under and Agricultural Holdings Act tenancy.
  • Advised a developer client on a complex variation of an option agreement and subsequent assignment of the option.
  • Advised Shine Partnerships in relation to the purchase of three properties and the subsequent sale of those properties by way of a share sale in the property owning Special Purpose Vehicle companies.

Taylor Walton LLP

Taylor Walton LLP's real estate team advises clients in the public and private sectors including overseas investment trusts, charities and high net-worth individuals. James Cottrell heads the practice which deals with development work, property finance, real estate acquisition and disposals. Dermot Carey handles complex conditional sale and purchase contracts while James Khakpour-Smith acts for overseas property investors.

Practice head(s):

James Cottrell

Other key lawyers:

Dermot Carey; James Khakpour-Smith


‘The firm has on offer expertise in many fields. Although our principal interest is commercial property there has been occasions when there has been some overlap into other areas. Taylor Walton were excellent at joining up the diverse issues and presenting a complete legal package suitable to our needs.’

‘James Khakpour-Smith has dealt with our commercial property matters for many years. He is first class at providing expert advice and steering us through the many complex situations we have encountered. He is always on hand and quick to respond. I have no hesitation in recommending him to others.’

‘Great practice! Great work ethic – all the team contribute and pull together to make sure they hit any deadlines.’

‘James Khakpour-Smith  always makes sure the work is done on time and with the upmost detail. Does whatever is needed, even if it means working outside normal work hours and always available to discuss any issues or concerns. The work is always prioritised to the clients need and to important deadlines.’

‘This firm offers a wide range of services, all very professionally delivered at reasonable cost.’

‘The individual I work with is very knowledgeable and knows our requirements without having to ask every time. Always deals with items in a timely and professional manner.’

‘From time to time Taylor Walton offer useful seminars on legal matters affecting business and property owners .I have found this most useful. The practice also offers professional advice on family law and other areas. In all respects I have found that the advice is well researched and with good commercial considerations taken in to account.’

‘I work principally with James Khakpour-Smith and his property law team. Invariably the response to correspondence and my calls is very prompt and helpful. Over time it has been very useful to have a lawyer who understands my approach to issues and ensure that conveyancing is dealt with promptly and with attention to detail.’

Work highlights

  • Advised Canton Limited in connection with a sale and overage to a national house builder for the sum of £18,500,000.
  • Advised overseas investment trust London Iris Growth Two Limited on acquisition of River Thames property for central London office development for £9.5m
  • Advised JEDS development on the sale of development site with the benefit of planning for £4m.

Tees Law

The commercial property team at Tees Law undertakes a range of real estate work including site acquisitions, enfranchisement, residential management, property finance and acquisitions. The team has several sub-specialisms with particular expertise in renewable energy with infrastructure projects and mineral exploitation. Practice head Kay Piper deals with complex matters relating to option agreements, land sales and purchases. David Miller focuses on rural and agricultural matters.

Practice head(s):

Kay Piper

Other key lawyers:

David Miller; Samantha Worth


‘They hire and take care of a great team.’

‘I have worked with Tees Law partner Kay Piper for years now. She has prepared and helped me with all the legal aspects of buying properties, freeholds and building disputes and I cannot recommend her service and work more highly. She is thorough, insightful and her work exudes confidence and expertise.’

‘Govan Bramley and more recently Kay Piper at Tees have carried out professional duties on our behalf with diligent and have been successful in achieving several good outcomes for our financial benefit . Achieved with excellent value for money. We also had excellent results when Caroline Metcalf undertook to recover monies owed to us by a government department.’

‘Tees Law is a large regional legal practice which provides a full range of legal services and advice under one roof. Their knowledge across all sectors we have engaged has been excellent. Their availability has been excellent, even during the Covid-19 pandemic.’

‘I have no hesitation in recommending them.’

‘The commercial property team at Bishops Stortford have been knowledgeable and professional in every interaction we have had with them and have maintained this throughout the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic.’

‘Established and highly reputable practice with comprehensive local knowledge.’

‘Samantha Worth recently dealt with a sale for us. Samantha was focused and determined, she is an excellent communicator and filled us with confidence.’

Key clients

Hastingwood Developments (Harlow) Ltd

Lightsource BP

Pubprop Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised a global market leader in the development, acquisition and long-term management of large-scale solar projects and smart energy solutions.
  • Advised a landowner on complex option in favour of national housebuilder, relating to the potential residential development of land valued at £7 million.
  • Acted for a leading global logistics service provider in the sale of their UK commercial premises for £2.75 million.

Woodfines LLP

The real estate team at Woodfines LLP operates across three primary sectors including transport and logistics, agriculture and technology. The practice regularly handles matters such as joint ventures, funding work and property developments. Suzanna Stephenson heads the practice and advises on landlord and tenant matters, acquisitions, disposals, corporate support and development work. Associate Reena Mistry is a notable name.

Practice head(s):

Suzanna Stephenson

Other key lawyers:

Reena Mistry


‘A regional firm with talented lawyers across many sectors. The size of the firm is perfect for the work we do with them with a good mix of partner and associate input.’

‘Whilst our dealings with this company principally revolve around commercial property transactions they are our ‘go to’ firm of solicitors on a variety of matters.’

‘Whether you are dealing with the partners, lawyers or admin staff you know you will get an outstanding service which is vital for our business and our clients. Woodfines provide a great deal of knowledge and experience of the commercial property sector particularly on a local and regional basis. Each member of the Woodfines team has bought into business of providing a high end service to their clients.’

‘Good strong team.’

‘We work mainly with Sylvia Goulding who is very efficient, effective and knowledgeable in her field of expertise.’

Key clients

Geodis Contract & Logistics United Kingdom Limited

Linkline Transport Limited

Chaselet Limited

ATL Haulage

3cTest & Applus

Carlton Packaging

Kidderminster Property Investments Limited

Lousada Plc

Grand Union Properties Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Geodis Contract & Logistics United Kingdom Limited on multiple agreements in relation to securing, exiting, and occupying distribution centres in the UK.
  • Advised Kiderminster Property Investments Limited on the sale of a £10m a development site subject to planning with ancillary construction and infrastructure agreements.
  • Advised Eagle Enterprises (Bedford) Limited in connection with a sale of a commercial property for over £3m occupied by a pharmaceutical tenant.

Crane & Staples LLP

Based in Welwyn City, Crane & Staples LLP‘s commercial property department is known for assisting individuals and businesses with acquisitions, security documentation, re-mortgages, lettings and finance. Bonnie Twiggs is specialised in leasehold enfranchisement work and co-heads the practice with Christopher Brewis who handles high value residential matters.

Practice head(s):

Bonnie Twiggs; Chris Brewis

Other key lawyers:

Manish Patel


‘Chris Brewis handled our conveyancing and I can’t really add anything except to say that his team were always on hand to deal with enquiries if Chris was busy or away.’

‘I was impressed with the team collaboration. When different team members gave an update or requested information from us, they understood the transaction, where we were at in the process and what needed to be done. We didn’t have to re-explain anything!’

‘Chris Brewis was personable, helpful and offered pragmatic advice on how to navigate the process.’

‘Always work in a timely manner and are always easy to reach.’

‘I have worked with Manish Patel for many years and would not trust anyone else with my legal affairs. Always gives good advice.’

‘Excellent people who work together seamlessly to achieve results. I think their team is second to none in terms of quality and skill.’

‘Chris Brewis has always provided excellent service and advice. We couldn’t have asked for more from him – proactive communications, quick responses, always on the front foot.’

‘Bonnie Twiggs has handled my affairs promptly and efficiently and always seemed available on the day!’

Lennons Solicitors

Lennons Solicitors provides a full range of commercial property work including landlord and tenant work, acquisitions, disposals of investment property, secured lending and development work. Serdar Mehmet heads the practice and focuses in residential-led development, finance matters, commercial landlord and tenant work. Jackie Craig is well-versed in share sales and secured lending transactions.

Practice head(s):

Serdar Mehmet

Other key lawyers:

Jackie Craig


‘Lennons Solicitors offer not just business and family legal advice, but they are the best legal practitioners over the last 30 years I have ever worked with. Lennons cover business as well as personal legal support. They are efficient, professional, client friendly and have excellent communication skills. Time and time again they have delivered projects on time, within budget, they always go the extra mile to ensure their clients best interests are protected. This has given me the confidence to work with them on my personal as well as business matters. I would highly recommend their services and having worked with many, many companies offering legal advice over the years, Lennons are certainly the best. I would have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone, and indeed I have.’

‘Serdar Mehmet Senior Associate at Lennons has acted for us on a number of occasions, regarding the acquisiton and sale of commercial properties, he has drafted complicated leases, assigned leases and terminated leases on our behalf. They have worked with other solicitors and lawyers to ensure the projects we have instructed them on, have been delivered efficiently and on time. Serdar is always extremely professional, personable, passionate, diligent and his attention to detail is second to none, as well he has excellent communicating skills.’

‘Good technically at fair value. Good response times. Personable.’

‘Good personal communication and understanding of our needs.’

‘All Lennons staff are very personable and helpful.’

‘This is a very strong practice in dealing with property matters, both commercial and residential, in terms of conveyancing and advice generally.’

‘Serdar Mehmet heads up the property team and is a good all-rounder. What is particularly important here is strength in depth,which is what is rarely found elsewhere.’

Key clients

W E Black Finance Ltd

Kalpesh Patel

Durkin and Sons Retirement Fund

Trudy Pension Fund

Ridgepoint Homes Limited

Troy Homes Limited

W. J & M. Mash Limited

Howarth Homes Plc

Inland Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented W E Black Finance Ltd in the redemption of a £17M loan facility and dealing with a new £2M loan to the same borrower for funding another project.
  • Acted for Ridgepoint Homes Ltd in the acquisition of a significant residential development site for circa 200 units.
  • Acted on behalf of W E Black Ltd regarding the unconditional sale of a development site with planning permission for 45 residential dwellings to a registered provider.

Machins Solicitors LLP

Machins Solicitors LLP is experienced in advising clients such as investors, charities and banks across the industrial, retail and agricultural sectors. The team frequently undertakes bank securitisation work, portfolio management and acquisitions. Simeon Clipstone specialises in property asset-based business sales and co-heads the practice with Santokh Singh who focuses on development matters. Nick Ginger is also a notable lawyer.

Practice head(s):

Simeon Clipstone; Santokh Singh

Other key lawyers:

Nick Ginger


‘Personal contact. Straight forward, easy to understand advice even when it not what you want to hear.’

‘We have dealt with Machins for in excess of fifty years. During this time we have found them at all times to be most diligent. Partners always ensure that we are treated respectfully and the advice given always reflects the long term relationship.’

‘Throughout our time with Machins we have used Nick Ginger in our dealing with commercial property issues. He has shown to be most thorough and is prepared to go the extra mile when deemed necessary, even to the point of being available on holidays!’

‘A very attentive service with quick responses.’

‘Nick Ginger & his team give good practical advice with speedy & effective solutions. Very happy.’