Next Generation Partners

Rising Stars

Commercial property: Hampshire in South East

Blake Morgan LLP

Boasting national and international clients from across the property finance, leisure, and agricultural sectors, the Blake Morgan LLP property services group has vast expertise in handling section 106 agreements, as well as landlord and tenant issues. The team works closely with the property litigation department to provide bespoke advice on dilapidation claims, and Southampton-based practice head, Oliver Sowton, specialises in all aspects of landlord and tenant service matters, including lease renewal management. Daniel Curtis focuses on property and development finance, while Elizabeth Covil supports companies with the disposal and asset management of commercial property. Iain Munro has experience of dealing with the developments of food retail outlets, and Hollie Jones routinely handles portfolio management issues for landlords. John Shallcross and Debbie Brown are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Oliver Sowton

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Curtis; Elizabeth Covil; Iain Munro; Hollie Jones; John Shallcross; Debbie Brown; Ian Howlett; Andrea Mathias


‘Iain Munro is excellent.’

‘Debbie Brown – strong commercial real estate professional.’

‘The level of detail with which they engaged and the problem-solving approach they took to the inevitable hurdles. It was all resolved well.’

‘Ian Howlett and the wider team are knowledgeable and capable of a fast turnaround of key matters.’

‘Trusted advisers and safe pairs of hands.’

‘The practice looks after the clients’ interests with great care and attention to detail. I have worked with Andrea and she is thorough, competent and extremely nice to work with.’

‘I have worked with Andrea Mathias and she is thorough, competent and extremely nice to work with. She makes the legal process understandable for me and has lead me through complicated negotiations.’

Key clients

BAE Systems Plc & BAE group companies

Barker Mill Group of Trusts

Clydesdale Bank Plc

Cobra Coffee Limited

Costa Limited

Coutts & Co

David Lloyd Leisure

De La Rue Plc & De La Rue Group companies

Fitzroy Support

Forelle Estates Limited

Gada Property Investments Limited

MSP Capital

Harlequins Football Club

HSBC UK Bank Plc

Inchcape Family Investments Limited

Kerry Group Plc & group companies

Metro Bank Plc

MSP Capital

Port of London Authority

Newbie by KappAhl Limited

Southern Co-operative Limited

Specsavers Optical Stores Limited

St Johns Winchester

The Methodist Church

Work highlights

  • Advise Newbie by KappAhl on its national 25 store acquisition programme.
  • Advising Specsavers on asset management and store roll-out programmes nationally.
  • Instructed as panel members for The Methodist Church nationally, advising on an esoteric mix of property transactions.

Paris Smith LLP

The Paris Smith LLP property and planning group is singled out by one client as ‘the perfect place to go for expert advice‘, covering the full spectrum of real estate work for major names within the property finance, leisure, and public sectors. John Mansell leads from the Southampton office, bringing extensive expertise on land acquisition and disposals to the group, while the ‘fantastic’ Joanne Spittles regularly handles complex development matters and acquisitions. Rachel Saint focuses on development agreements and conditional contracts, and Winchester-based Stuart Allen deals with structured lending proposals. Claire Long specialises in landlord and tenant issues, while Janet May boasts over 25 years’ experience in the public and private sector. Lisa Busby routinely advises technology companies, while Hannah Winchester acts for national retailers. Sean Hogan is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

John Mansell; Rachel Saint; Janet May; Stuart Allen

Other key lawyers:

Joanne Spittles; Mark Withers; Claire Long; Lisa Busby; Hannah Winchester; Sean Hogan; Edward Watson; Edward Power; Peter Gammie; Tamsin Simmonds; Lisa Sherman; Melissa Thompson; Alexander Cheele; Elinor Davis; Rachel Montgomery; Jennifer Sanders


‘The property and planning department at Paris Smith proved to be the perfect place to go for expert advice. They adopt a very collegiate and professional approach, are well respected in the industry, communicate very well, build constructive relationships between the contracting parties’ legal teams (which is so important) and are also really nice and decent to deal with.’

‘They have all the expertise you need to guide you through what can be a minefield. Costs are clearly laid out and all the work was delivered within pre-agreed budgets.’

‘Joanne Spittles is fantastic, consistently demonstrating not only an incredibly detailed technical legal understanding of land and property development – a complicated area fraught with risk – but also outstanding commercial and negotiating skills, and strong interpersonal skills to succinctly explain complicated issues and enable properly informed decisions to be taken.’

‘I could not recommend Joanne Spittles highly enough as one of the most impressive legal professionals I’ve dealt with.’

‘For a large business they are very friendly and approachable. I’m not a huge customer but I always feel like my business is valued. With a wide range of skills I have yet to find a matter they cannot help me with. Also what I like is that I have a few key contacts I deal with and if my issue needs to be handled by a different person within the firm they will direct me to the correct person.’

‘What make them different is they will make sure I get looked after and follow up. It’s the small things that make the difference. This is all backed up my simple and clear billing – which is done with a bit of common sense. They are about more than just billing!’

Nice to deal with the same skilled people year after year. My two main contacts are Lisa Busby and Joanne Spittles – both have given me excellent service dealing with commercial property matters. I have not had a problem at all in over 10 years. In fact I cannot see me dealing with anyone else for my property matters. From simple things like answering emails or taking phone calls, both have given first class service. They have an excellent attention to detail. Also they know their key area inside out!’

Key clients

The Ancient Order of Foresters Friendly Society Limited

Parkview Retail Limited

Private Jersey-owned company (owner) and Hamdon Gate (developer)

Le Gallais Group

Private landowning trust

Hobby Craft Group Limited

Co-operative Group Limited (Co-op)

Bourne Leisure Limited

Hillier Nurseries Limited

Castle Trust Bank PLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Hillier Nurseries on the £17.5m acquisition of Rosebourne, a company with a portfolio of three garden and homeware centres in Solihull, Aldermaston and Andover.
  • Advising The Co-operative Group on its acquisition programme for new stores.
  • Advised Castle Trust on £10m worth of funding for local residential portfolio investors, which included a variety of residential investment property types, including flats and HMOs.

Shoosmiths LLP

Fielding a group of ‘great communicators’, the Shoosmiths LLP real estate team has ‘lots of practical experience’ of handling complex regeneration projects, large-scale financing schemes, and land development services. The group covers a wide breadth of issues, which includes advising on the interplay between property law and the electronic communications code, as well as assisting with nitrate mitigation initiatives. Joanne McGuinness leads the department, specialising in rail infrastructure and regeneration-related projects. Sara Hampson is noted as an expert on acquisitions and strategic aspects for residential and mixed-use development sites. Mehar Patel is ‘first class’, routinely handling property finance and portfolio management matters. Legal director Jess Ready has infrastructure expertise and is a trusted advisor to the national air traffic services. Katrina Spolander rounds out the roster of recommended practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Joanne McGuinness

Other key lawyers:

Sara Hampson; Mehar Patel; Katrina Spolander; Jess Ready


‘Little churn, most of the team has been there a long time – there is a good balance between senior and junior members of the team.’

‘Great communicators, with lots of practical experience. Jess Ready and Katrina Spolander are stand out for their efficiency and knowledge.’

‘Fantastic partner-lead service; feels like an extension of our team when using them.’

‘Mehar Patel is first class. Always available and extremely commercial in his approach.’

‘The team work closely together and support our portfolio collectively and seamlessly. Trasnactions are completed successfully and collaboratively.’

‘It is a real pleasure working with the extended team in all locations.’

‘They are all unique.’

Key clients

Cavendish Education Group

National Air Traffic Services (NATS) Limited

Roke Manor Limited

BDW Trading Limited trading as Barratt David Wilson Homes Limited (Southern Counties)

William Lacey Group Limited

Telefonica UK Limited

Seaward Properties Limited

Hitachi Rail Limited

The Hamleys Group

McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles Limited

Wolverhampton City Council

Thurrock Borough Council

Almacantar Limited

Marsh Corporate Services Limited

Porterbrook Leasing Company Limited

IKEA Properties Investments Limited

South Somerset District Council

Hitachi Europe Limited

Lifeways Care Group

Civil Nuclear Police Authority

London EV Company Limited

Drew Smith Homes Limited

Taylor Wimpey UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Dukes Group on the acquisition of land in Notting Hill for development into a new school site, followed by an immediate sale and leaseback transaction.
  • Advised Roke Manor on the purchase of land in Romsey to create a new nitrate mitigation scheme to deliver off-site nitrate credits, including negotiating a nitrate profit sharing agreement with the seller.
  • Advising a notable lender on a £130m refinancing of a development portfolio.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

The Southampton-based commercial property team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is highly regarded for its combination of expertise in property litigation, construction, corporate, planning, and tax issues. Tim Burbidge leads the group, with vast experience in advising developers, regeneration companies, and occupiers; this is further complemented by Jon Hobbs’ expertise in acting for property investor clients. Having been promoted to partner in May 2022, Joanna Beattie-Edwards focuses on funding arrangements and development agreements, while Anthony Alderman handles marine and energy-related transactions. Alistair Walton regularly assists corporate occupiers with managing their operational portfolios, while Nikki Powell supports clients with acquisitions and divestments. William Akerman specialises in real estate investment work, and senior counsel Adam Taylor-Smith provides guidance on landlord and tenant matters. Stephen Baker deals with the real estate aspects of corporate transactions, and managing associate Georgina Hook is knowledgeable on the disposal of assets.

Practice head(s):

Tim Burbidge

Other key lawyers:

Anthony Alderman; Alistair Walton; Joanna Beattie-Edwards; Jon Hobbs; Nikki Powell; William Akerman; Adam Taylor-Smith; Stephen Baker; Georgina Hook; Anna Larbi; Nicholas Brown

Key clients

The Crown Estate

New Look Retailers

Babcock International Group Plc

Associated British Ports

Havant Borough Council

Moorfield Group

Rockspring UK Value 2 Fund (Patrizia Asset Managers)


Tristan Capital/Addington Capital

Historic England


CareerBuilder LLC

Go Ape!


London Borough of Sutton


Church Commissioners for England

BMO Property Growth and Income Fund

The Bournemouth Development Company LLP


RATP Dev UK (London United)

Quidnet Capital Partners



Ann Summers


Scottish Power


HBOS Final Salary Pension Scheme / CBRE Investment Management

London Theatre Company

First Alliance

D&D London


Work highlights

  • Advising Associated British Ports on the grant of a long lease to Maritime Transport to operate Hams Hall Railfreight Terminal, Coleshill, Birmingham.
  • Advising on property strategy for Ann Summers,  including negotiating over 150 transactions.
  • Assisting ScottishPower Renewables with the offshore transmission owner transaction for its East Anglia One offshore windfarm project.

Clarke Willmott LLP

Counting financial institutions, real estate agencies, and hospitality companies amongst its client base, the ‘superb’ Clarke Willmott LLP team has in-depth experience of handling commercial development matters and ground rent investment issues. Southampton-based practice head Andrew Cooper specialises in the buying and selling of commercial property for investment and trading, while Peter Swinburn focuses on portfolio management and property finance. Joseph Campbell regularly supports companies with acquisitions and disposals of freehold property, and Greg Goodman is knowledgeable on landlord and tenant issues. Kristian Johnson advises on the sale of freehold and leasehold property. Robert Hill joined the team from DAC Beachcroft LLP in September 2022.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Cooper

Other key lawyers:

Peter Swinburn; Joseph Campbell; Greg Goodman; Kristian Johnson; Robert Hill


‘Broad team of experienced individuals who are quick to respond and provide good, trusted advice to help us achieve the best outcome at all times.’

‘Kristian Johnson has a good all-round understanding of property law, offers excellent advice, is commercially pragmatic and really feels like part of our team. At times when Kristian is unavailable, Joseph Campbell is on hand to continue to provide an excellent service.’

‘A superb team – from buying complex sites through to plot sales.’

‘Peter Swinburn – an excellent team leader.’

‘Capable of covering all skill set requirements across the practice. Ability to act like a small practice but skill set and numbers to be a large practice.’

‘Ability to listen and understand. Know the client.’

Key clients

Place Road Properties Limited


Imperial Homes Limited

Sheet Anchor Evolve Limited

Sheet Anchor Evolve (London) Limited

LFH Hotels Limited

Questmap Ltd

Rookman Properties Limited

Unity Trust Bank Plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Questmap on its purchase of a prominent town centre shopping centre comprising 39 units and 3 residential flats.
  • Assisted Sheet Anchor Evolve with the purchase and financing of The Grosvenor Centre Northampton by way of a corporate transaction acquiring the company holding the legal title and the Jersey Property Unit Trust holding the beneficial interest.
  • Assisted Rookman Properties with purchasing and financing Three Spires Shopping Centre Lichfield, held on a long leasehold interest from the local authority.

Lester Aldridge LLP

Lester Aldridge LLP’s real estate group operates out of Southampton, demonstrating significant strength in advising on lender services, residential developments, and property investments. The practice is headed up by 'standout advisorTom AlderLucy Stevens receives regular instruction from hoteliers, landowners, and regional developers. Matthew Barrow is an expert on secured lending transactions and commercial property matters, while Bethan Dodd typically handles landlord and tenant issues. Roger Woolley specialises in major development projects, and Rebecca Humm assists with the drafting of planning and infrastructure agreements. Sian Rogers supports clients with distressed property work. David Fanchi joined from Foot Anstey in December 2022.

Practice head(s):

Mark Benham; Suki Samra; Tom Alder

Other key lawyers:

Lucy Stevens; Matthew Barrow; Bethan Dodd; Roger Woolley; Rebecca Humm; Sian Rogers; Lana Farrell


‘The team offers a diverse range of expertise and experience, resulting in sound advice on a wide range of complex matters that we regularly present them with.’

‘The team are approachable and will frequently respond in a timely matter, making themselves available to fit their clients’ needs.’

‘Tom Alder and Rebecca Humm are the standout advisors that I deal with regularly.’

‘It’s refreshing to have a consistently high level of performance/service from a legal advisor.’

‘I have complete confidence in the advice that they provide and value the commercial understanding that they frequently demonstrate.’

‘It is genuinely a pleasure to deal with them.’

Key clients

McCarthy & Stone

Care South

Lloyds Bank plc

Fragrance Group

University of Southampton

Affordable Housing & Healthcare Group

Big Yellow

C&G Properties

Bargate Homes

Troika Developments

Work highlights

  • Advised University of Southampton on the acquisition of a flagship building in the city.
  • Advising McCarthy Stone on all of its new affordable housing schemes across England and Wales, which the client is seeking to deliver following its appointment as a strategic partner with Homes England, for which it received £94m in grant funding.
  • Advised C&G Properties on a multi-million pound refinancing of its property portfolio.

Moore Barlow

With expertise in matters ranging from acquisitions and disposals, to developments and refinancings, the predominantly Southampton-based commercial property team at Moore Barlow offers tailored advice to developers and banks. The practice is divided into separate departments: Jo Farr heads up the commercial property section from Guilford; Luc Algar, who has specialist experience of advising clients within the hospitality, transport, and logistics industries, leads the real estate element; Sam Willey oversees the land development offering; Jolanda Peters leads on leasehold enfranchisement; Zoe Owen is the contact for new build and plot sales issues; and Sarah Jordan oversees rural property work. Julian Parkes regularly manages investment property portfolios. Lee Edwards focuses on land development issues. Martin Duck is routinely instructed by national and regional house builders. Louise Campbell and William Warnock were both promoted to partner in May 2022.

Practice head(s):

Luc Algar; Jo Farr; Sam Willey; Jolanda Peters; Zoe Owen; Sarah Jordan

Other key lawyers:

Helen Archibald; Julian Parkes; Richard Hughes; Lee Edwards; Martin Duck; Mark Grant; Louise Campbell; William Warnock; Callum Leary; Sam Ho; Lucy Lawrenson


‘Good solid legal advice that has been fully researched.’

‘The likes of Luc Algar and Louise Campbell are first class.’

‘Willingness to help. Quick to aid and good in delivery. Thoughtful in offering wider training across my team. Not just focused on our key account holder but interested in developing relationships with the whole team.’

‘Luc Algar is a really on the ball, intelligent solicitor who is willing to explore the client’s needs. Good in delivery.’

Key clients

Vesta Investments Management Limited; and Vesta Investments Residential Limited

Fastned UK Limited

Albion & East Limited

Russbrit Limited

Inland Homes

Leith Limited and Bellstar Limited

Handelsbanken plc

The Halebourne Group

The Wooldridge Group

The Binney Group

A2K Leisure LLP

Work highlights

  • Assisted with the sale of the major investment unit on Greenham Business Park to English Provender.
  • Assisted with the purchase of a recently built convenience store for Southern Co-op, which was let to its convenience store arm.
  • Advised A2K Leisure on the purchase of the Albion Hotel, Isle of Wight as a going concern.

Trethowans LLP

Boasting a roster of clients from across the charity, finance and public sectors, the Trethowans LLP team is highly regarded for handling sizeable residential development initiatives and commercial property pension transactions. Southampton-based practice head Paul Longman has extensive experience of assisting syndicate investors with the acquisition and disposal of properties, while Garry Treagust is an expert on investment property matters who operates from the Salisbury office. Sarah Humphrey consistently assists regional and national charities from the Southampton office, and Guy Morgan focuses on the healthcare industry. Juliet Biddle and Jenni Wicheard both specialise in pension property matters and investment transactions. Senior associate Laura Towey deals with development agreements.

Practice head(s):

Paul Longman

Other key lawyers:

Garry Treagust; James Kidner; Sarah Humphrey; Guy Morgan; Juliet Biddle; Jenni Wicheard; Laura Towey; David Jones; Tom Mitchell; Franziska Prosch de Escate

Key clients

Lloyds Bank Plc

Santander UK Plc

HSBC Bank Plc

James Hay Pension Trustees Limited

Vivid Housing Association

Rowanmoor Trustees Limited

James Hay Pension Trustees Limited

Ladbrokes Coral Limited

Stannah Lifts Holdings Limited

Legal & General Assurance Society Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising a multi-national drinks company on the lease of new premises in its relocation from Hampshire to London.
  • Advising James Hay SIPP on the purchase and leaseback of a listed building.
  • Advising a lender on the refinancing of a Grade A commercial investment portfolio.

Foot Anstey

Exeter-based Richard Sutton heads up the Foot Anstey commercial property group, which shows considerable strength in the residential development, property finance, and commercial landlord spaces. In Southampton, Tim Wheen is the key senior contact, specialising in site acquisitions and the negotiation of planning agreements. Carol Phillips advises clients from the retail and leisure sectors, while legal director James Barnett leads on asset management work and assists large property companies. Nicola Sutton focuses on landlord and tenant matters, and Katie Taylor concentrates on handling disposals for institutional landlords.

Practice head(s):

Richard Sutton

Other key lawyers:

Tim Wheen; Carol Phillips; James Barnett; Nicola Sutton; Kate Taylor


‘Good solid team with lots of experience.’

‘Carol Phillips is an excellent lawyer, fast to get to grips with the complexities of issues, incisive, always providing commercial and creative solutions.’

Key clients

South Coast Furnishing Company Limited

Cellnex UK Limited

Direct Wines Limited

LKBennet Fashion Limited

M Baker Property Services Limited

Irwin Mitchell

Based out of Southampton and Chichester, the Irwin Mitchell team offers a specialised service spanning complex development projects and refinancing of property portfolios. Guy Sackett and Tina Webster co-head the group, with the former regularly handling urban regeneration projects, and the latter focusing on strategic land transactions and planning permission matters. Samuel Knight joined from Coffin Mew LLP in July 2022, bringing in-depth expertise in assisting landowners, housebuilders, and land promoters with nitrate neutrality schemes to the team.

Practice head(s):

Guy Sackett; Tina Webster

Other key lawyers:

Hannah Nix; Samuel Knight


‘Great integrity, in-depth knowledge of their chosen profession, skillset.’

‘Tina Webster and Samuel Knight – pragmatic and confident. Well respected within the commercial property industry.’

Key clients

Artisan Real Estate Investors

Infrastructure Investments Limited

Andrew Sellick

Legacy Habitat Banks Ltd

Hendy Group

Balfe’s Bikes Limited

Welbeck Strategic Land Limited

Shellwin Limited

Landlink Estates Limited

Option Two Developments Limited

Berkeley Strategic Land Limited

Elivia Homes (Southern) Limited

Seaward Properties Limited

Store Property Investments Limited

Chichester College Group

Greater Brighton Metropolitan College

Langtons Farm Partnership LLP

Dorrington Estates PLC

South Essex College

Junnell Homes Limited

Wooldridge Developments Limited

Landacre Developments Limited

Saabon Limited

Coolground Properties Limited

Shopland Gray Developments Limited

Hanbury Properties Limited

JH & FW Green Limited / Covers

Thesis Asset Management Limited

HTH Harrogate LLP

EC1 Residences Limited

XP Factory PLC (formerly Escape Hunt PLC)

Social Income LLP

Roffey Homes Limited

The Caravan Club Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising a group of landowners in West Sussex on issues relating to a mix of brownfield and agricultural land which is the subject of a proposed 1,500 residential unit scheme.
  • Advising a group of landowners on a conditional contract sale to a national housebuilder for approximately 650 residential units in Hampshire, as well as assisting with bird mitigation proposals.
  • Advising Andrew Sellick on the establishment and ongoing credit sales of a nitrate mitigation scheme in Hampshire.

Phillips Solicitors

There is a ‘marked breadth and depth of knowledge and experience’ in the Phillips Solicitors commercial property team; its expertise spans the gamut of matters, including handling complex property acquisitions and development schemes. The group operates out of Basingstoke, with ‘innovative’ practice head Jonathan Pender specialising in all aspects of commercial property transactions. Legal director Clare Strachan is typically instructed by clients from the retail, leisure, and hospitality sectors, while Emma Elkington focuses on the acquisition and disposal of land for development.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Pender

Other key lawyers:

Clare Strachan; Emma Elkington


‘It is not uncommon for me to be speaking to Jonathan Pender after hours during weekends and whilst he is away! This is what sets him apart from other solicitors I have used in the past; he understands deals need to get done and there is no time barrier at any point.’

‘A firm with weight in the industry and many specialised sections, but still with a personal touch and service.’

‘Clare Strachan provides intelligent, common sense, commercially workable opinions and solutions.’

Key clients

Kingscastle Limited

Topaz UK Properties Limited

Boldhurst Properties Limited

Spinach London Limited

Savona Foodservice Ltd

Molin Limited

Bill Kenwright Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Kingscastle on its acquisition of a £17.34m senior loan facility from GRE Finance to support a share buyout of a UK-wide portfolio of over 75 properties.
  • Advising Spinach London on its acquisition of a second new restaurant in Crystal Palace London.
  • Advising Molin on all property aspects of a £10m acquisition of distressed assets including the freehold purchase of Allenby Laboratories for £4.9m.