Real estate development is one of the most exciting and dynamic areas in the UK real estate sector. It is also one of the most diverse, encompassing construction and refurbishment projects, new homes and communities, infrastructure, transport and new working and leisure environments.

Our award-winning real estate development lawyers advise on a wide range of real estate development projects.

We are market leaders in sustainable real estate development, having advised on some of the most cutting-edge projects in the UK. We provide a holistic approach to development and draw expertise from different parts of the firm including real estate, planning and compulsory purchase, construction and engineering, real estate tax, corporate, procurement and subsidy control, real estate finance, environment and real estate disputes.

We also have a specialist team who advise developers on contracting with the public sector (procurement and subsidy control) and a team who advise developers on projects which involve significant infrastructure works.

 Our team operate across the UK including in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Areas of focus

Our real estate development expertise includes the following:

  • Development agreements.
  • Joint Ventures.
  • Forward sales, forward funding and letting.
  • Planning and Compulsory Purchase.
  • Construction and Engineering.
  • Real Estate Tax.
  • Procurement and Subsidy control.
  • Environmental law.
  • Energy.

Advising the Greater London Authority on all aspects of the procurement of a development partner for The Royal Albert Dock regeneration project. This culminated in the award of a development agreement to a Chinese developer with plans to invest over £1 billion in the site, creating over 4 million square feet of new mixed use and residential accommodation, the potential for 20,000+ jobs and the addition of £6 billion to the value of London's economy. This project is quoted by London’s Mayor as the most important redevelopment and regeneration site in East London after the Olympic Park.

Advising The Crown Estate (TCE) on the development of St James's Market, a landmark project in London and, the largest ever undertaken by TCE. From the outset of the project, providing advice on the procurement strategy, negotiating the project documents, drafting and negotiating the building contracts, professional team appointments and development management agreements. The project is a joint venture between TCE and Canadian real estate company, Oxford Properties Group (one of Canada's largest pension funds).

Advising Malaysian-owned developer YTL on its entry to the UK development market with the purchase of the former Filton Airfield, which has the potential for a mixed use regeneration including 2,675 residential units and up to 24ha of employment land.

Advising Skanska on the development, letting and sale of its flagship UK sustainable development – 66 Queen Square. This development was let to KPMG and Handelsbanken and forward sold to Aviva. This office development was shortlisted for UK deal of the year at the 2015 Estate Gazette Awards.

Advising St Modwen on its development agreement with the Homes and Communities Agency to develop Locking Parklands, a new £400 million mixed-use 200 acre site. The site will create approximate 600,000 sq ft of employment space, 1450 new homes, a district centre, new schools, libraries and retail facilities.

Advising St Modwen on the development agreement with Taunton Deane Borough Council and on the subsequent delivery of Firepool Taunton, a new £105 million development in Taunton town centre comprising a vibrant mix of offices, shops, restaurants, cinema, hotel and new homes.

Advising Canadian & Portland Estate Plc on planning, development, real estate, construction and finance for “Riverside Kingston”, a large restaurant led development and will see the redevelopment of the Riverside Walk in Kingston-upon-Thames. The first tenants at the restaurant complex include Cote Brassiere, Bills, Busaba and Cau (part of Goucho Grill). The aim is to transform the riverside in Kingston-upon-Thames into a dynamic restaurant destination, surrounded by engaging public space.

Advising Canadian & Portland Estates Plc on all aspects of the development of 103 New Bond Street. This new development was developed for Christies (as a prime central London retail and gallery space) and sold to an overseas investor.

Advising East Devon District Council on a portfolio of integrated major projects connected to Cranbrook — a new 3,500 home new community in East Devon.

Advising the developer on the development, letting and sale of Horizon House, a mixed residential/employment led scheme that is occupied by Triodos Bank and is the Environment Agency's UK (it was also the greenest office in the UK when constructed).

Advising City & Country, a specialist heritage developer (specialising in developing listed buildings), on their acquisition of a portfolio of prisons (Gloucester, Shepton Mallet, Dorchester and Portsmouth) to be converted for residential use.

Meet the team
Ross Polkinghorne

Ross Polkinghorne Partner

  • Built Environment
  • Development and Regeneration
  • Infrastructure
Philip Beer

Philip Beer Partner

  • Real Estate
  • Transport
  • Energy and Utilities
Steven James

Steven James Partner

  • Construction and Engineering 
  • Energy and Utilities
  • Construction Disputes
Gary Soloman

Gary Soloman Partner

  • Head of Planning and Compulsory Purchase
  • Regeneration and Highways
  • Compulsory Purchase and Compensation
Elizabeth Dunn

Elizabeth Dunn Partner

  • Energy and Utilities
  • Infrastructure
  • Real Estate
John Houlden

John Houlden Partner

  • Head of Public Sector
  • Head of Procurement and Subsidy Control
  • Projects
Michael Barlow

Michael Barlow Partner

  • Head of Environment
  • Head of Water
  • Head of ESG
Robert Forman

Robert Forman Partner

  • Head of Scottish Real Estate 
  • Real Estate Advisory
  • Real Estate Investment

What others say...

The team is the ‘go-to’ for development work. We’ve partnered with Burges Salmon on multiple transactions, and they are stellar.

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