Kirsten Hewson > Shoosmiths LLP > Southampton, England > Lawyer Profile

Shoosmiths LLP
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Work Department



Kirsten Hewson is head of the real estate division at Shoosmiths, responsible for driving forward the strategy and vision of one of the largest real estate practices in the UK.

As divisional head, Kirsten manages more than 270 legal advisers, including UK-wide teams in core real estate, construction, planning and real estate litigation. The teams are integrated across offices and managed nationally, so that well-leveraged teams (including relevant specialisms) can be selected to meet precisely the needs of project. This client-centred approach, which encourages both collaboration and flexibility, is frequently cited as a benefit by Shoosmiths’ real estate clients who include developers (residential and commercial), investors, occupiers and institutional lenders.

A key focus for the real estate division is the continuing development of integrated solutions to clients, including the innovations and efficiencies (including AI) that clients expect in a changing – and potentially challenging – market.

Before being appointed divisional head in 2018, Kirsten led Shoosmiths’ planning, environment and CPO team, doubling its size and gaining a top ten ranking in the prestigious Planning Law survey 2018.

She is described in the current edition of Chambers UK as “a seasoned planning lawyer who is commercially-minded.”

A refreshingly ‘outside-in’ thinker who is not afraid to challenge law firm norms, she is valued by clients – and by Shoosmiths’ leadership team – for her strategic insights.


Kirsten joined Shoosmiths in 2003 from a city firm. She became head of planning in 2010 and was elected to Shoosmiths’ partnership council from 2015 to 2018, before joining the board as divisional head of real estate in 2018.


University of Warwick; College of Law, Guildford.

Lawyer Rankings

South East > Real estate > Environment and planning

(Leading individuals)

Kirsten HewsonShoosmiths LLP

The planning and environment team at Shoosmiths LLP has ‘real strength in depth’, handling contentious environmental and residential development mandates for clients across the house-building, hospitality, and manufacturing industries. Kirsten Hewson leads the planning side from the Solent office, bringing extensive experience of handling complex projects relating to highways and infrastructure work to the team. In Milton Keynes, Charles Arrand heads up the environmental offering, specialising in offences, including pollution incidents and waste matters. Senior associate Matthew Stimson focuses on mixed-use development issues. In the Thames Valley, Phil Ryan supports businesses from the automotive, retail, and leisure sectors. Principal associate Joanne Sear deals with all aspects of prosecutions relating to environmental law.