Commercial Property


Any commercial property transaction needs careful management, whether you are acquiring your first commercial property, or you manage a full portfolio. Using our experience in the UK property market, our large commercial property team will work with you to understand your needs and business strategy and make sure your transaction happens smoothly in line with your commercial objectives.

Key Commercial Property Services


Retail is a challenging industry and has been dealing with huge changes in consumer buying behaviours and demands over the last 12 months. Now more than ever retailers are having to adapt quickly, changing the use of their technology and their premises and storage facilities. With our experience in the UK retail sector we understand the challenges and are able to work with you to provide strategic advice and support, enabling your business to retain a competitive edge.

Some of the businesses we work with include:

  • Co-operative
  • Haskins
  • Hobbycraft

Development projects

Our experienced team of property development solicitors can support you in all aspects of property development and regeneration. Working with our combined group of specialists throughout the commercial property department, we can advise you on everything from site acquisition and planning applications through to construction and disposals of commercial space.

Our development specialists advise investors, landowners and property developers to ensure that projects are delivered in line with commercial needs.

Clients we have helped recently include:

  • Pirelli
  • McAleer Rushe
  • Drew Smith
  • Forelle Estates


The leisure industry is facing a period of rapid transformation, driven by consumer habits, technology and the use of space. You need innovative, commercial advice from your legal team at this time and we have a wealth of experience of working with restaurants, public houses, coffee shops, hotels, holiday parks, marinas, cinemas, sports facilities and theatres and nightclubs, giving us a rounded view of what is happening in your industry right now.

For schools

Our Commercial Property team have specialist experience working with schools and education establishments. We can assist with:

  • general property management enquiries;
  • leases of education land from local authorities, faith bodies and other organisations;
  • tenancies granted to occupiers and users of the educational land;
  • building contracts and associated works in connection with building projects carried on at the educational establishment; and
  • planning enquiries and applications for the development of educational land.

How we work with you

Whilst based in the South of England, Paris Smith acts for businesses and families throughout the UK. Technology has enabled us to provide a high level of service to our clients whether they are local to our offices or not. Our advice can be given in many ways:

  • Over the telephone
  • Via video conferencing
  • In face to face meetings

We will talk through how you would like to be contacted and the best ways for us to meet in our early conversations with you.

Meet the team

Our Commercial Property team is made up of 18 partners, 8 associates, 11 solicitors, 11 paralegals, 1 legal executive, 2 trainee solicitors and 4 administrative assistants.  You can find contact details for the team below.

Introducing your key contacts

John Mansell
Partner – Head of Property and Development


Stuart Allen
Partner – Head of Property Finance, Winchester


Rachel Saint
Partner – Head of Retail & Leisure



How we’ve helped our clients

“I have worked closely with the Paris Smith team for a number of years on a range of property issues and have found them to be responsive, knowledgeable and excellent value for money. Their experience is evident in the professional manner they adopt and the outcomes achieved. They are very personable and their interest in both work and personal well being has earned my trust over numerous years. ”

Darren Nelson-Hall, Head of Estates

Co-Operative Group

“I would highly recommend working with the commercial property team at Paris Smith. Over the course of the last 5 years the client care provided by Hannah Winchester has been exceptional with numerous complex transactions being dealt with in a pragmatic and efficient manner. Hannah is always available to provide timely advice on a multitude of legal queries and it is a pleasure to work with her and the team. ”

John Hillman, Regional Acquisitions Manager – Co-Operative Group

“Our business needed a full range of property related advice including purchase, funding and construction. We wanted to move from a London based firm and were aware of Paris Smith’s experienced team. Paris Smith have been assisting us on options, conditional contracts, purchases together with funding, construction and appointment documents. Stephanie, along with her team, are always helpful, easy to reach and provide good advice. ”

Charles Wilkinson, Director – Footstep

“I approached Paris Smith to provide legal support for the acquisition of a substantial commercial property which involved some very complex bespoke terms, dealing with a large corporate company in the UK. I have known of Paris Smith for some time via business connections and networks, where they always come very highly recommended. Alex supported in 16 months of solicitor negotiations, including keeping things pushing forward across a national lockdown thanks to COVID-19, offering quick and personal updates on progress of the acquisition and a demonstrated a high level of detail when reviewing a large amount of documentation. I often recommend Paris Smith to fellow business connections and we will certainly be using Alex and the Paris Smith team again in due course. ”

Steven Northam – The IncuHive Group

“I have worked with Paris Smith Southampton for a number of years, and with Stephanie in Commercial Property and Planning for the last 2 years. The workload, and time constraints have been difficult, but Stephanie has handled the contract management professionally and expediently, and brought a calm to what could sometimes be a frenetic process! I regularly recommend Stephanie and Paris Smith to my business colleagues, and fully intend to use her going forward with my Commercial Property work.”

Sean Parrott, Director

Hoxton Bakehouse Ltd

“Stephanie Bellamy worked with me on some property related activity and I found her to be excellent. She was clear and efficient in responses and work undertaken, identified the key issues for me and worked to solve problems constructively.”

Ben White

Chambers and Partners Legal Directory 2022

The Paris Smith Commercial Property team offers particular expertise in the retail sector, acting for various well-known clients on leases, acquisitions and disposals. Also continues to carry out commercial development work. Mandates include multimillion-pound residential development schemes across the South of England. Additionally experienced advising on real estate finance matters.

A client comments: “The common thread with all contacts is the personable nature of all the individuals, their willingness to work at your desired pace, and clarity of thought to explain the key features of a case in our language.

Noticeable Practitioner :

Joanne Spittles is experienced in acting for both developer and commercial clients. She advises clients on a range of matters spanning development, acquisitions and disposals.

Legal 500 2022 – Top Tier

Paris Smith LLP’s commercial property practice comprises dozens of lawyers across its two Hampshire sites, who regularly act for clients on a range of high-value real estate matters. Following the retirement of Mark Howarth, John Mansell has been leading the overall department. Mansell also leads the firm’s sizeable development practice – where Victoria Onoufriou is a key contact for brown and greenfield site acquisitions and infrastructure agreements. Rachel Saint handles retail and leisure instructions, supported by the landlord and tenant-focused Hannah Winchester. Claire Egerton runs the construction team, while Lisa Busby helms the firm’s growing telecoms offering. In the Winchester office, Stuart Allen heads up the property finance practice. All named lawyers are based in Southampton unless noted otherwise.

Clients say:

  • “Paris Smith have an excellent track record of retaining talent, which means we benefit from longstanding relationships with team members who really understand our business and the issues that are important to us. Whilst we have one main point of contact for commercial property matters, Paris Smith makes sure that a wider team is available to support us”
  • “I would not hesitate to recommend the partner I deal with. The speed of the service provided has always been first class”
  • “Many of the staff and partners have been with the firm a long while, which creates stability and consistency, especially when it comes to long-term strategic land promotion”
  • “All of the Paris Smith team have just the right balance between the personable and the professional. Each grasps the required direction of objectives quickly and, in each case so far, has effected the requested outcome”
  • “I have always found dealing with Paris Smith to be very commercially minded and fast in turning things round. I can’t praise them enough”

Commercial Property Resources


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