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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.

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Key Commercial Property Services

  • Property development, property management, property finance, acquisition and sale of property portfolios
  • Full commercial conveyancing service including ownership investigation, searches, enquiries and a review of suitability for your intended use
  • Property litigation including boundary and rights of way disputes 
  • Property telecommunications advice, agreements and leases relating to the Electronic Communications Code
  • Construction projects 
  • Planning consultancy and planning law advice
  • Landlord and tenant advice including lease negotiations and lease agreements, assigning/transferring a lease, subletting, dilapidations, surrendering, lease renewal, break clauses and changing the use of the premises
  • Leasehold enfranchisement

Retail

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

Leisure

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.

In-House Counsel

Our team of experienced lawyers is well-equipped to support you in various ways. Whether you require advice on a specific issue, additional resources due to capacity constraints, or a second opinion, we are here to help. Explore our legal counsel page for more information and details on our schedule of seminars, specifically designed for in-house counsel.

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.

Get in touch to speak with an expert.

Chambers Alternative 500

Introducing your key contacts

John Mansell

Partner – Head of Property and Development

Stuart Allen

Partner – Head of Property Finance, Winchester

Stuart Allen

Partner – Head of Property Finance, Winchester

How we’ve helped our clients

“Referees say “The property and planning department at Paris Smith proved to be the perfect place to go for expert advice. They adopt a very collegiate and professional approach, are well respected in the industry, communicate very well, build constructive relationships between the contracting parties’ legal teams (which is so important) and are also really nice and decent to deal with”; “They have all the expertise you need to guide you through what can be a minefield. Costs are clearly laid out and all the work was delivered within pre-agreed budgets”; For a large business they are very friendly and approachable. I’m not a huge customer but I always feel like my business is valued. With a wide range of skills I have yet to find a matter they cannot help me with. Also what I like is that I have a few key contacts I deal with and if my issue needs to be handled by a different person within the firm they will direct me to the correct person” and “What make them different is they will make sure I get looked after and follow up. It’s the small things that make the difference. This is all backed up my simple and clear billing – which is done with a bit of common sense. They are about more than just billing!” ”

Legal 500 2024 Edition

“We have been using Paris Smith for over 35 years for business and personal issues. I have always been more than happy with the service and in particular the relationship we have with the Property Team”

Barbara McDowell, Director

McDowell’s Development Company Limited

“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

“A referee says “Paris Smith demonstrated professionalism, patience, tenacity and, above all, a practical and commercial approach to get the matter completed.””

Chambers & Partners 2023 – Referee Comments

“The solicitors have a lot of knowledge, and deal with even the most complex Telecom cases. There is a focus on client, ensuring that advice and support is always available.”

DH – Telecom Lease

“The team is highly competent and knowledgeable. Advice is very clear and timely. ”

Paul Kelly

Norma UK Ltd

“After many experiences with solicitors over the years I am impressed by the performance of Jin Takhar, every email and phone call has been answered promptly and in a friendly helpful manner which is reassuring. Conveyancing can be stressful and I’d like to thank Jin for his help.”

Bing O’Toole – Commercial Property Purchase

Chambers Top Ranked Logo 2024

Chambers and Partners Legal Directory 2024

What the team is known for

Paris Smith offers particular expertise in the retail sector, acting for various well-known clients on leases, acquisitions and disposals. The firm continues to carry out commercial development work. Its mandates include multimillion-pound residential development schemes across the South of England. In addition, the firm is experienced in advising on real estate finance matters.

Strengths

“The team has a very strong technical ability and is good at finding compromises in some complex issues.”

“Exceptional legal advice delivered at a sensible price. They are commercial lawyers and are willing to listen.”

Notable Practitioners

Jo Spittles

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.

“Joanne is an exceptional lawyer with great commercial acumen. She understands the big issues and always delivers for her clients.”

“She provides an excellent and comprehensive service.”

“A very knowledgeable and professional lawyer. She’s easy to speak to but at the same time is business-focused. Her work is always of the highest standard.”


Legal 500 Top Tier logo

Legal 500 2024 – Top Tier

The Paris Smith LLP property and planning group is singled out by one client as ‘the perfect place to go for expert advice’, covering the full spectrum of real estate work for major names within the property finance, leisure, and public sectors. John Mansell leads from the Southampton office, bringing extensive expertise on land acquisition and disposals to the group, while the ‘fantastic’ Joanne Spittles regularly handles complex development matters and acquisitions. Rachel Saint focuses on development agreements and conditional contracts, and Winchester-based Stuart Allen deals with structured lending proposals. Claire Long specialises in landlord and tenant issues, while Janet May boasts over 25 years’ experience in the public and private sector. Lisa Busby routinely advises technology companies, while Hannah Winchester acts for national retailers. Sean Hogan is another key contact.

What our clients say:

‘The property and planning department at Paris Smith proved to be the perfect place to go for expert advice. They adopt a very collegiate and professional approach, are well respected in the industry, communicate very well, build constructive relationships between the contracting parties’ legal teams (which is so important) and are also really nice and decent to deal with.’

‘They have all the expertise you need to guide you through what can be a minefield. Costs are clearly laid out and all the work was delivered within pre-agreed budgets.’

‘Joanne Spittles is fantastic, consistently demonstrating not only an incredibly detailed technical legal understanding of land and property development – a complicated area fraught with risk – but also outstanding commercial and negotiating skills, and strong interpersonal skills to succinctly explain complicated issues and enable properly informed decisions to be taken.’

‘I could not recommend Joanne Spittles highly enough as one of the most impressive legal professionals I’ve dealt with.’

‘For a large business they are very friendly and approachable. I’m not a huge customer but I always feel like my business is valued. With a wide range of skills I have yet to find a matter they cannot help me with. Also what I like is that I have a few key contacts I deal with and if my issue needs to be handled by a different person within the firm they will direct me to the correct person.’

‘What make them different is they will make sure I get looked after and follow up. It’s the small things that make the difference. This is all backed up my simple and clear billing – which is done with a bit of common sense. They are about more than just billing!’

Nice to deal with the same skilled people year after year. My two main contacts are Lisa Busby and Joanne Spittles – both have given me excellent service dealing with commercial property matters. I have not had a problem at all in over 10 years. In fact I cannot see me dealing with anyone else for my property matters. From simple things like answering emails or taking phone calls, both have given first class service. They have an excellent attention to detail. Also they know their key area inside out!’

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