Neil Toner > Devonshires Solicitors LLP > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Devonshires Solicitors LLP
30 FINSBURY CIRCUS
LONDON
EC2M 7DT
England

Work Department

Real Estate and Projects

Position

Neil is Head of Real Estate at Devonshires. Neil’s work over the last two decades has concentrated on an unusual mix of pure residential development (for both registered providers and private developers), environmental work (for both developers and industrial clients), commercial property (for both occupiers and landlords) and infrastructure projects (principally in the utility sector). This mix of experience has proved particularly useful when working on complex regeneration projects that rarely fit neatly into the residential, commercial or infrastructure boxes.

Neil works with clients from initial heads of terms discussions, through project delivery to commercial property portfolio management. That takes in issues including JV structuring, planning, rights to light, long term environmental and ecological liabilities, development agreements, commercial lease disposals and grant funding.

Over the last twenty years Neil has worked with a range of clients including Registered Providers (such as Hyde, Southern and L&Q), private developers (such as Bouygues, Mulalley and Hill), Local Authorities (such as Woking and Havering), Academy Schools (such as Ark and Future), utility companies (such as EDF and UKPN) and commercial end users (such as Agilent Technologies and OMX (the ‘Swedish Stock Exchange’)).

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Neil led the Devonshires team acting for L&Q on their purchase of a 100% interest in Gallagher Estates one of the largest strategic land businesses in the UK for an enterprise value of approximately £505m.  The team comprised of 20 lawyers from across the firm including employment, corporate, banking, governance and, of course, real estate specialists. 

Neil has continued to act for Family Mosaic/ Peabody in connection with their development of the Heathside and Lethbridge Estates in Lewisham.  His work has spanned from heads of terms through negotiation of a phased conditional development agreement through to the delivery.  The project involves discounted land being provided by the London Borough of Lewisham and grant being provided by the HCA in return for an equity stake in the 1,300 unit development.  Neil’s economics background came in handy when drafting the grant for equity provisions based on a financial viability model with surpluses and deficits cascading down through the 10 year phasing.

Neil advised a major utility company on a deep large bore tunnelling project under central London.  His work concentrated on reaching agreement with a national landowner with regard to the physical impacts of the tunnel on development above and, more importantly from his client’s perspective, the effects of demolition and redevelopment of tower blocks above the tunnel route on the tunnel structure.

Neil and his team acted for Hill in connection with the establishment of a Joint Venture with Origin Housing to acquire, develop, market and sell a scheme at Northolt Road Harrow.  The project will see delivery of approximately 120 homes together with basement car parking.  Work included title due diligence, negotiation of land purchase contracts, development agreements and leases alongside the establishment of a LLP joint venture vehicle with associated members agreement.              

Memberships

Education

Lawyer Rankings

London > Real estate > Social housing: local authorities and registered providers

Devonshires Solicitors LLP fields ‘a wide range of experienced partners who can assist with matters that arise across the affordable housing and RP sectors‘. The team acts for a plethora of housing associations and registered providers on social housing issues and can and boasts ‘great strength in terms of areas of expertise and levels of experience‘. Andrew Cowan specialises in banking and governance work in the social housing sector. ‘FantasticDonna McCarthy heads the housing management and property litigation team and is particularly experienced in acting in public law, human rights, and Equality Act challenges, while Sharon Kirkham heads the property charging work. The cross-departmental team also features banking specialist Julian Barker, dispute resolution lawyer James Dunn, construction specialist Mark London as well as Triya Maicha, Neil Toner and Jonathan Corris, who head the real estate and projects team. The unit was further strengthened with the arrivals of Matthew Waters and Katie Fung. Former housing management and property head Nick Billingham retired in April 2022 but continues to support the team on a consultancy basis.