Janette Speed > Shoosmiths > Edinburgh, Scotland > Lawyer Profile


Work Department

Social housing and property: commercial property/ real estate.


Janette advises on a full range of residential and commercial development transactions for national housebuilders, property funds, student accommodation providers and Affordable Housing clients in Scotland.

She is particularly experienced in complex, large scale mixed use urban developments and strategic site assembly acquisitions. She also has extensive experience in project management across public/private sector initiatives as well as overseeing Scottish plots and disposals team for national clients in Scotland and her approach is seen by her clients as proactive, client focused and practical.

Janette is a ranked lawyer and Chambers Directory reports that clients consider her “very proactive and conscientious”. They also praise her ability to tune into client relationships, saying: “she is responsive and sensitive to our needs, anticipating them rather than waiting for us to get back to her.” She is also described as “very commercial” and “pleasant to deal with.”

Recent projects on which she has advised include:

Acting in a multi-million pound new housing development at the former Hunter’s Tryst Primary School in Edinburgh for property fund PfP Capital through the site’s purchase and forward funded development. It is one of the first developments delivered as part of a housing investment fund set up last year by the Scottish Government and Places for People Group and its aim is to provide around 1,000 mid-market rent homes across the country. She is currently acting on another 3 sites across the central belt including Millerhill in Edinburgh where the fund acquired 2 parcels of land from a well-known contractor/housebuilder and construction is already underway.

Acting for Bellway in the acquisition of a major development site at Lasswade, Edinburgh. This acquisition involved 3 firms of solicitors, 4 different overage provisions (incorporating a worked example for a Section 75 overage payment such was its complexity), extensive provisions relating to liability for planning conditions and Section 75 Agreement obligations, numerous bespoke provisions in the missives, various non-standard title issues, a title indemnity policy for extensive reservation and mining issues, detailed and extensive Collaboration Agreement with Miller Homes to inter alia govern how the transaction and development itself would be managed and bespoke Deed of Conditions provisions allowing the seller’s land to be brought into the ambit of the Deed of Conditions in the event that the seller does not get planning permission for development on that area. The deal also included licences for works for site investigation, various reliance letters and dealing with deferral of LBTT in respect of the overages. This deal was strategically important for our client as it was the first site to be acquired by the newly formed East of Scotland Division of our clients.


Janette joined Shoosmiths in 2012 and is the office head of the firm’s Edinburgh office.Trained Pagan Osborne & Grace, qualified 1990; partner 2004.


Basic French.


SFHA; CIH and Law Society of Scotland.


Perth High School; Aberdeen University: LLB (1987); Dip LP (1988).


Reading, travel, music/ arts.

Lawyer Rankings

Scotland > Real estate > Social housing

(Leading individuals)

Janette SpeedShoosmiths

With a focus on the mid-market rent model, Shoosmiths receives regular instructions from RSL developer clients and government-backed property funds requiring assistance with various matters arising from social housing projects. Typically, this includes M&A, funding, planning and regulatory compliance as well as property litigation. Commercial and residential development transactions specialist Janette Speed heads the team, which includes principal associate Gillian Ralph, who has recently been particularly active advising on acquisitions and development funding agreements.

Scotland > Real estate > Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow

Shoosmiths is well regarded for its work in the living sector, with a focus on housebuilding, build-to-rent, student accommodation, serviced apartments and hotels. Retail and leisure are other core areas of strength for the practice, where it has recently been handling COVID-19-related occupier and landlord issues, alongside insolvency and restructuring matters. Former practice head Stephen Dougherty retired and the practice is now led by Janette Speed, who handles both residential and commercial developments, and counts a number of national housebuilders among her clients.