Simon Knott > Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP > Oxford, England > Lawyer Profile

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Work Department

Real estate, retail.


Simon is a lateral hire having been a partner at Shoosmiths for 11 years. He has considerable experience dealing with all aspects of commercial real estate including acquisitions, disposals, letting, development and funding. He has particular expertise acting for large corporate tenants with fast ‘roll out’ programmes with a particular focus on the retail and leisure sector including numerous convenience stores. His clients include Fitness First and White Stuff Limited. Examples of work include: acting for Fitness First for 14 years acquiring numerous gyms upon their behalf and dealing with general property matters. He dealt with the property aspects of the recent CVA and the subsequent disposal programme of the non-performing gyms. He met Fat Face when it had one shop and acted for the company until Jules and Tim’s (the founders) exit including dealing with the property aspects of that sale. Over the last five years he has been heavily involved with ground rents and his team have acquired hundreds of ground rent investments with an aggregate value in excess of £125m. He has acted for IKEA in connection with the development of the IKEA Southampton store; for a property investment fund in connection with the sale of a ground rent portfolio of 5,000 units; and for one of the big four banks in connection with the provision of acquisition finance in respect of West Tower Liverpool.


Trained Hughes Watton; qualified 1991; Bond Pearce 1992-98; Shoosmiths 1999 – 2013; partner Penningtons Manches 2013-to date.




Colston’s School, Bristol; Bristol University (LLM).

Lawyer Rankings

South East > Real estate > Commercial property: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP‘s real estate team is ‘one of the best in the Thames Valley‘. The practice is known for its strength in handling complex and high value development projects in residential, education and leisure sectors where it counts Frontier Estates , The University of Oxford and Fitness First as active clients. The team also advises on property tax, environmental issues and planning law. Richard Smith heads the group and is the key figure for large-scale developments and environmental law; other key partner, Simon Knott focuses on acquisitions, disposals, letting and finance. Associate Laura Gorman is a name to note for commercial developments, student accommodation schemes and care homes, as is Catherine Bradshaw,  who focuses on acting on behalf of registered providers.