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Birkett Long LLP

Work 01245 453800
Fax 01245 453801
Basildon, Chelmsford, Colchester

David Rayner

Work 01245 453826
Birkett Long LLP

Work Department

Commercial property
Environment & Energy




I was articled with, and then spent 7 further years in, the London office of Boodle Hatfield, in the West End. My main client was the commercial arm of the Duke of Westminster's Grosvenor Estate, but I also acted for Marina Developments and many others. I then re-located to Boodles' Southampton office for a year, before moving to Blake Lapthorn in early 1991. I had been at Blake Lapthorn for 19 years becoming a senior Solicitor and then Partner and eventually leading the Southampton office Real Estate team with an annual turnover in excess of £2million and being part of the Real Estate Executive Board . My clients ranged from commercial developers, such as Camargue Property Developments Ltd, to investors like Hampshire County Council Pension Fund, and landlords and tenants - such as Hobbycraft Group and Premier Marinas - and secured lenders - all the major banks.

I joined Birkett Long LLP on 1 November 2010. I work across all aspects of commercial property, but have particular expertise in commercial development, investment work, landlord and tenant and secured lending. I also have a specialism in environmental matters and have recently been advising clients on Carbon Reduction Commitment as well as contamination and other ' green' issues. In addition to the commercial development and lending sectors I am also active in the retail and leisure sectors and have historically carried out some charity and some insolvency-related property work.


My family home is Cambridge, where I was educated at the Grammar School (later Netherhall Comprehensive ) and took my law degree at Peterhouse, Cambridge.

South East: Real estate

Commercial property: Essex

Within: Commercial property: Essex

The 'extremely strong, knowledgeable and responsive' firm Birkett Long LLP 'is well recognised for its commercial property work' and has a 'keen interest in supporting local clients and their businesses'. Special expertise exists in development and construction, investment and secured lending matters, while the majority of clients come from the education, healthcare, public and environmental sectors. Key examples are London Southend Airport, University of Essex, Healthcare Homes, Flakt Woods and Braintree District Council. Navigator Terminals Thames and Herald Property Investments instructed the department for the first time in 2017, and the team was also appointed to the Lloyds Banking Group commercial banking pass-through panel. 'Outstanding' partner Emma Wraight advised E Wall as seller of a tenanted industrial site to Bellway for development. Also recommended are 'no-nonsense' partner David Rayner and 'knowledgeable and communicative' associate Daniel Sturman. Melanie Bache heads the overall practice.

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Within: Construction

Birkett Long LLP acts for contractors, sub-contractors, surveyors, engineers, architects and developers on a range of contentious and non-contentious matters, from drafting bespoke construction contracts, handling  consultants' appointments and collateral warranties, and advising on development agreements and options to purchase land, to adjudications, mediations, arbitration and litigation. Recent highlights include acting for Orchard Barns Kindergarten and its pension fund on the conversion of its barn into a day nursery. On the disputes front the practice acted for C&W Industrial Roofing Services in an adjudication relating to an unpaid valuation. It also acted for a bank on the financing for the conversion of a former petrol station site to a residential development. Peter Allen heads the practice and has wide-ranging expertise in construction contracts. Keith Songhurst regularly acts for local authorities, property developers, and construction and engineering companies on construction disputes. David Rayner, Justin Stock and Martin Hopkins are also recommended.

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