RLS Law > London, England > Firm Profile


Real estate > Commercial property: corporate occupiers Tier 3

Praised as ‘exceptionally well-informed and knowledgeable’, boutique firm RLS Law is well-placed to ‘demystify complex matters’ in the corporate occupier space, involving warehouses and offices, as well as retail, industrial and leisure sites. The practice also has demonstrable experience in development projects, investments and property litigation. Founder Julien Rutler jointly leads the practice alongside Craig Themis, both of whom have considerable experience in major headquarters relocations, while Tom Foley’s ‘calm and measured approach, combined with technical excellence and depth of expertise, means that deals are completed with minimum of drama’. Liam McArdle is another key member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Julien Rutler; Craig Themis

Other key lawyers:


‘RLS are a forward thinking, modern firm, connecting with their clients and the industry when required. I have always been impressed with RLS’s depth of knowledge and the industry sectors they cover.’

‘The RLS team are exceptionally well-informed and knowledgeable, and provide an excellent level of service to our client’s. They work well within a team environment where the delivery of the project or instruction is reliant upon a number of individuals or organisations.

‘I have worked with Craig Themis on a number of instructions, and always found Craig to be innovative and committed to the resolution of issues or problems, and delivery of the client’s needs and requirements.’

‘The RLS team are technically expert but very commercial and approachable – they are able to demystify complex matters into totally understandable language for people who are not expert in the field.’

‘Tom Foley is able to cut through issues to get to the heart of the problem. His calm and measured approach, combined with technical excellence and depth of expertise, means that deals are completed with minimum of drama.’

‘Julien Rutler and Liam McArdle both understand the things that really matter to us and are willing to take a commercial view which is helpful in getting deals agreed.’

‘Very thorough, responsive and commercial.’

‘Liam McArdle is excellent. Practical advice and a calm head.’

Key clients

AllianceBernstein Limited

Sony Music Entertainment Limited

Ottolenghi Limited

Octopus Energy

Viacom CBSinc.


Urban & Provincial


Computacenter PLC

Soho Housing Association Limited

Time Out Group PLC

Bloom and Wild Limited

Gama Healthcare Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Octopus Energy Group on the acquisition of its new headquarters at UK House, 2-4 Great Titchfield Street, London W1.
  • Advised ViacomCBS in the disposal of the previous CBS digital media offices in Shoreditch, London.
  • Acting for Time Out Group PLC on its new headquarters in Covent Garden.

RLS Law is a specialist property central London law firm acting on all types of commercial property transactions for retailers, property companies, property developers, investors, corporate occupiers, housing associations, and bar and restaurant companies.

The firm: Co-headed by Julien Rutler and Craig Themis (both ex-Hogan Lovells), who founded the firm in 2003, RLS Law was set up specifically to provide good value, first-class, partner-level advice on mid-market transactions.

RLS Law continues to place huge emphasis on its original core values. It has developed a particularly strong reputation in acting for high-end retailers throughout the UK as well as large corporate office occupiers, housing associations (on the commercial property and residential development aspects of their portfolios), medium-sized property companies and developers, and restaurant and bar operators.

RLS Law is perceived as a viable alternative to mid-tier City firms, large West End firms and national practices. All the firm’s lawyers have more than ten years of experience at highly ranked law firms including Hogan Lovells, Mishcon De Reya, Norton Rose, Slaughter and May, and therefore have a high level of experience and expertise, and work is not delegated to junior lawyers. It has gained a reputation for having a dynamic, responsive and proactive team of top-quality lawyers, offering legal services at competitive rates.

RLS continues to build on this reputation, and has recently secured some high-profile new clients including Ottolenghi, Agent Provocateur and Vilebrequin. Other clients include CBS Corporation, Deliveroo, Look Ahead Care and Support, Sonos, Soho Housing Association, Simon & Schuster, Stone Island & TCN UK Limited. The firm carries out site visits for clients where practicable, enabling it to better understand the properties and to spot any potential issues which may otherwise be overlooked. This level of service means it is widely recommended by many London agents as their law firm of choice due to its outstanding client service, and 100% of clients surveyed say they would recommend RLS to others.

RLS Law’s remuneration structure is heavily geared towards encouraging fee-earners to obtain their own clients and win work, both from new and existing clients. This ensures it delivers the best possible service as the greatest source of new business is from satisfied customers. As a small modern practice with a commercial remuneration structure, this means RLS is able to keep its operating costs tightly controlled, which in turn allows it to keep fees extremely competitive for its clients.

The firm envisages continued growth in the coming year, and aims to further expand by the addition of senior like-minded lawyers, with similar training and experience to the existing team.

Types of work undertaken: RLS Law specialises and regularly advises on sales and purchases (including portfolios) of freehold and leasehold commercial properties; leases of office, retail, industrial and warehousing space acting for landlords and tenants; corporate support (the firm assists commercial law firms that do not have specialist property expertise); property finance for investment and development loans for lenders and borrowers; property-related insolvency matters; commercial property portfolio management; leisure property – dealing with the sale and purchase of bars and restaurants and associated assets; property development; option agreements and pre-emptions; sale and leasebacks; and compulsory purchase matters, including compromise agreements.

In the area of property litigation, RLS Law assists freeholders, landlords, tenants and other property holders in dealing with a full range of disputes, including lease renewals; dilapidations; rent reviews; portfolio management issues; service charge disputes; recovery of possession; collection of rent; breaches of covenant; construction disputes; planning applications, section 106 agreements and appeals; sale and purchase of land; restrictive convenants; highway and rights of way issues; compulsory purchase; and insolvency aspects of holding property.

Senior partner Craig Themis
Managing partner Julien Rutler
Property litigation Richard Webber
Ashley Allton photoMr Ashley AlltonProperty finance and banking lawyer
Tom Foley photoMr Tom FoleyCommercial Property Lawyer
Jason Goldsmith photoMr Jason GoldsmithPartner
Edward Jones photoMr Edward JonesDispute Resolution Lawyer
David Leedham photoMr David LeedhamCommercial Property Lawyer
Liam McArdle photoMr Liam McArdleCommercial Property Lawyer
Anna Rabin photoMrs Anna RabinConstruction and engineering lawyer
Julien Rutler photoMr Julien RutlerFounder and Managing Partner of RLS Law
Craig Themis photoMr Craig ThemisFounder & Senior Partner
Richard Webber photoMr Richard WebberPartner
Number of UK partners : 5
Number of other UK fee-earners : 6
English (fluent)