820 professionals at Knights service 10,000 clients across the full spectrum of legal & professional services.
Mark Anton-SmithOffice Partner
Mark is a Partner in the Real Estate team.
Mark has assisted several well-known businesses to expand and manage their property portfolios - Paddy Power, First Property Group PLC and Yorkshire Building Society. This support encompasses the negotiation and acquisition of new sites, trading premises, business parks and established business chains, as well as property disposals.
Mark's team provides ongoing legal support to the landlords and investors in the management of their real estate portfolios, handling lease renewals, break negotiations, lease alteration and occasionally working with colleagues to resolve property disputes.
Mark is also office leader in Cheltenham, where he is responsible for recruiting and managing new professionals to expand the range of services available locally and nationally. He ensures his team have regular contact with clients to really understand their needs and focus on speedy delivery of advice.
Recent examples of how Mark has helped clients include:
- the acquisition of two retail park investments, with an aggregate value of circa £50 million, for First Property Group PLC;
- leading a team acting for three property investment funds with a total value of more than £300 million;
- supporting Irish bookmaker Paddy Power in the acquisition of over 200 betting shops in England and Wales; and
- leading a team acting for Yorkshire Building Society in respect of the asset management for part of their national branch office portfolio.
Philip MarshOffice Partner
Philip is the Office Partner in Oxford.
Philip's particular expertise lies in acting for residential developers acquiring land for development whether by way of options, conditional contracts or other strategic land agreements. He also advises property funds, landowners, developers and banks on all aspects of commercial property from secured lending to acquisition and disposal.
Philip also acts for retailers and occupiers regarding lease negotiations and other landlord and tenant matters.
Philip is also office leader in Oxford, where he is responsible for recruiting and managing new professionals to expand the range of services available locally and nationally. He ensures his team have regular contact with clients to really understand their needs and focus on speedy delivery of advice.
Recent examples of how Philip has helped clients include:
- enabling a house builder to purchase a profitable site for 200 residential units made up of 4 parcels of separately owned land within two weeks under highly-pressured circumstances;
- ensuring a landed estate and a house builder could develop a site in a tax-efficient and mutually profitable way, by drafting a joint venture agreement dealing with marketing, construction and sale; an
- acting on the sale of a central London multi-let mixed use property for an off-shore trust at a sale price of £17.5m.
Jonathan MooreOffice Partner
Jonathan is the Office Partner in York.
Jonathan’s practice encompasses commercial and residential property, with an emphasis on commercial development work. He assists clients with site acquisition, project finance, the negotiation of planning conditions, devising promotion agreements, aiding joint ventures and other collaborations, overseeing site assembly and facilitating onward disposal through freehold and leasehold sales.
Jonathan works with clients in the development of industrial and business parks, city centre hotels, large scale housing estates and student accommodation, sporting facilities, retail outlets and new corporate headquarters.
Acting primarily for regional and national landowners and development companies, he also advises commercial funders, private investors and landlords and tenants.
Recent examples of how Jonathan has helped clients include:
- supporting accountancy firm Garbutt & Elliott in the relocation of their headquarters under a carefully structured arrangement to ensure a smooth relocation for this large regional practice;
- providing strategic and legal advice to achieve a sale of agricultural land for £6.5 million on behalf of a landowner, working collaboratively with an adjoining property landowner to secure a planning permission for residential development; and
- the acquisition, development, refinancing and freehold and leasehold disposals of the Rose Centre Business Park in York.
Bob is a Partner in the Real Estate team.
Bob advises on strategies for the effective and efficient management of commercial properties, the acquisition and disposal of commercial buildings, the purchase of commercial land, the assembly of development sites and on commercial landlord and tenant matters, including the grant and renewal of leases, lease re-gears as well as sale and lease back arrangements.
Bob’s clients include retailers, warehousing and distribution operators, private landlords and a consortium of councils. He also works for a large number of registered social housing providers, including Jigsaw Homes Group, Salix Homes and Onward Homes Limited.
Recent examples of how Bob has helped clients include:
- negotiating the re-gearing of a commercial lease for a registered social housing provider to secure an extended period of rent free occupation worth £250,000 and a significant reduction in their ongoing repair obligations;
- identifying the value locked up in an unused commercial lease break for a distribution site operator and unlocking that value by selling the option back to the distributor’s landlord for £400,000; and
- drafting bespoke commercial leases for a registered provider of social housing to increase their rental stream, reduce ongoing legal spend and improve their risk management controls.
Karl is a Partner in the Real Estate team.
Karl advises on all aspects of major real estate portfolios. Author and commentator on commercial leases he has written Amending a Commercial Lease (Bloomsbury Professional) and co-edited Ross: Commercial Leases (Lexis Nexis).
Clients include household names such as M&G, Telereal Trillium, JCB, Waterford Wedgwood and Thyssenkrupp.
Karl has a reputation for innovative thinking when working with clients. He was a pioneer in the Mexican-Wave sub-contracting model which ensures efficient and cost effective working.
Recent examples of how Karl has helped clients include:
- leading the Knights Mexican-Wave team;
- pioneering work with the virtual assignment model allowing economic benefits derived from properties to pass without the need for a legal assignment, so economic benefits and burdens of a lease are transferred to a third party.
Kirsty is a Partner in the Real Estate team.
Kirsty advises on the sale and purchase of commercial, residential and agricultural property, on real estate finance and the securitisation of loans and mortgages and on the acquisition and disposal of development sites, to include the negotiation of options, promotion agreements, overage provisions, conditional contracts, freehold sales and occupier leases.
Kirsty also advises on the property aspects of company sales and acquisitions and on real estate matters that arise in the context of corporate restructuring.
Kirsty acts for landowners, developers, lenders, landlords and tenants. She has experience of transactions involving hotels and leisure facilities, care homes and university estate management and development projects.
Recent examples of how Kirsty has helped clients include:
- completing the sale of a priory for an order of nuns, requiring specialist advice to comply with charities legislation and the agreement of the purchaser to observe restrictive covenants to ensure their enjoyment of an adjoining property would not be compromised by the proposed redevelopment of a hotel and wedding venue;
- negotiating an agreement for lease on behalf of a landowner to facilitate the building of a 90-bed extension to a Premier Inn on land that would be developed by the owner and let to the hotel chain for 25 years;
- supporting the owner of a large area of agricultural land in agreeing terms with a national land promoter and completing the subsequent sale of the land in a £10 million deal;
- advising a developer negotiating with a local authority to facilitate the creation of a large entertainment complex under a quasi-joint venture arrangement; and
- completing the acquisition of five independently owned care homes on behalf of a major UK care home company.
Jenny is a Partner in the Real Estate team.
Jenny advises on the property aspects of corporate transactions and real estate development including financing, acquisitions and sales, landlord and tenant matters such as restrictive covenants. She is experienced in drafting complex sale and purchase agreements involving overage or profit sharing as well as negotiating planning and development obligations.
Jennifer's clients include major retail and technology companies, usually with specific accommodation needs or pre-let agreements, developers of student accommodation, and local authorities including Oxford City Council.
Recent examples of how Jenny has helped clients include:
- enabling the sale and redevelopment of an inner-city swimming pool for affordable housing, despite local objection and without the need for judicial review;
- protecting school grounds from a housing development by demonstrating a lease break clause could not be applied by the freeholder; and
- achieving the sale of land for housing by balancing the requirements of a playgroup, local authority and developer.
Maryam is a Partner in the Real Estate team.
Maryam advises on commercial real estate matters, with a focus on acquisitions and disposals, property investment and refinancing, portfolio and asset management and landlord and tenant transactions including lease grants, renewals, surrenders and regears.
Maryam has experience on working on large portfolios of retail, industrial and office premises across the UK and in providing advice on development finance to major high street banks including Barclays, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland.
Maryam’s clients include one of the world’s largest privately owned property and investment businesses Topland Group, the owners of the Animal lifestyle brand H Young Holdings plc, the third largest fintech company in the world Finastra International and Christchurch and Nuffield Colleges.
Recent examples of how Maryam has helped clients include:
- guiding Topland Group through the multi-million pound sale of the Saddlers Shopping Centre in Walsall to the local Council;
- supporting National Grid in the development of their gas and electricity infrastructure by acquiring pipelines and land to be used as gas governor and pressure reduction sites;
- supporting the British Pipeline Agency in the management of their onshore oil and gas pipeline infrastructure through new site acquisitions and in dealing with pipeline diversion requests and third party access rights; and
- guiding North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust through the development of the North Middlesex hospital while ensuring continuity of service provision.
Stelios is a Partner in the Real Estate team.
He advises on all aspects of commercial real estate, including land acquisitions and disposals, real estate finance and investment, portfolio management and landlord and tenant matters.
Stelios has experience of regeneration projects funded through the private finance initiative or public-private partnerships, from the procurement process through to site redevelopment.
He has acted on renewable, nuclear and mainstream energy projects, including the acquisition and development of sites for energy peaking plants.
Stelios acts for UK landowners, local authorities, commercial landlords and corporate occupiers. He also acts for foreign companies with UK property interests.
His clients include property management and development specialists Tatton Estates Group, recruitment business Page Group plc and energy developments facilitator AGR Energy. He also acts for Wilton Estates, Rochdale Borough Council and Sandby Estates.
Recent examples of how Stelios has helped clients include:
- supporting AGR Energy in the acquisition of vacant land at Amy Johnson Way in Blackpool for the construction of a new gas fired power station;
- negotiating a land sale for Wilton Estates to ensure they achieve a higher sale price if the purchaser obtains planning permission for redevelopment;
- supporting AGR Energy in the construction of a second gas fired power station at Cavendish Road in St. Albans as part of the government’s peaking power plants development plan; and
- facilitating a deal on behalf of property developer and investor U+I for the regeneration of a 50 acre site adjoining Piccadilly Station in Manchester under a joint venture with Manchester City Council, London & Continental Railways and Transport for Greater Manchester.
Mark is a Partner in the Real Estate team.
Mark advises mainly on property development projects, acting for developers, large landowners and investors.
A typical project will see him acting for the developer who has to set up a site purchase, pre-let to an occupier and a funding partner or long-term investor, all requiring a suite of agreements which have to be inter-conditional and dependent. He advises on promotion and option agreements, leases, easements, collaboration agreements, forward funding development agreements, development management agreements, liaising with local and highways authorities on statutory agreements and with utility providers on supply arrangements.
Mark’s clients are private sector property developers/investors and individual landowners looking to have their land promoted or bought by developers. Property companies include Stoford Properties, Opus Land and IM Properties, and landowners include farmers and the occasional golf club, all owning 100 acres or more.
Recent examples of how Mark has helped clients include:
- facilitating the development of two adjoining sites, from initial options through the planning promotion to securing a global logistics tenant on one site before a sale to an institutional developer, while retaining development rights over the other site to develop infrastructure new road junction and in due course the next phase of development;
- selling 200+ acres of farmland in two adjoining ownerships to a joint venture between a pension fund and local developer-entrepreneur on a conditional contract obliging the promoter to buy the site once planning permission has been obtained; and
- setting up the promotion and draw down process for a business park developer on a greenfield site in a collaborative liaison with the landowners that will share development profits, while allowing repayment of infrastructure investment in new services and roads provided by the local County Council.
Simon is a Partner in the Real Estate team.
Simon acts for high-net-worth individuals, entrepreneurs and investment funds, landlords and tenants, and a small number of housing associations, in regard to their commercial property transactions.
Simon advises on the acquisition, disposal or transfer of property ownership within family trusts and personal pensions funds (SIPP or SSAS). This includes any associated property issues such as ensuring clear title, negotiating options, easements or cross-rights, compliance with trust or pension rules, and associated leases. Simon has a particular interest in leasehold ownership matters such as lease extensions, collective enfranchisement, right of first refusal and right to manage.
A number of Simon’s clients have property on the HS2 route, and Simon has helped them deal with any title issues, secure stage payments and relocate to new premises.
Recent examples of how Simon has helped clients include:
- helping an investment fund to acquire for £15.5 million an established business park, which was fully let with tenants on long leases, and subsequently dispose of two units on the site;
- splitting a farm estate, valued at £10 million in a family trust, into five fair shares for the next generation and agreeing all cross-rights and easements across the separate parcels of land; and
- helping an entrepreneur to transfer his business premises to new pension trustees, before a compulsory sale to HS2, followed by relocation of the business to new premises.
Tracy is a Partner in the Real Estate team.
Tracy has more than 12 years experience handling commercial property issues, notably landlord and tenant matters including lease negotiations, break clauses, assignments, boundary and access issues. She also advises on asset management, acquisitions and disposals, financing, restructuring and development work.
Tracy has a particularly strong track record dealing with space in retail, leisure, office and industrial sectors, working with institutional landlords, national retailers, investors, SMEs and individual tenants. Clients include M&G Real Estate Limited, Paddy Power Betfair plc and The Garland Company UK Limited.
Recent examples of how Tracy has helped clients include:
- ensuring pension fund investment requirements were met in two multi-million-pound portfolio acquisitions;
- enabling a business to expand into warehouse and office space by acquiring the remainder of a long lease, overcoming contamination risks; and
- successfully negotiating a bespoke lease between a retail park and a fashion retailer by balancing tenant-attracted footfall against the park's need for consistency in leases.
James is a Partner in the Real Estate team.
James advises landowners and developers on a broad range of freehold and leasehold development projects, with an emphasis on the redevelopment of brownfield sites for housing and leisure. He deals with promotion contracts, options and overage agreements, land acquisitions, planning conditions, site assembly and property disposal.
James’ clients include high-net-worth individuals, regional and national housebuilders, affordable housing providers and well-known pub and restaurant chains.
Recent examples of how James has helped his clients include:
- devising a residential redevelopment scheme on behalf of a developer in a way that avoided triggering overage payments to the landowner when properties on the site were sold off;
- partitioning jointly owned development land into separate sites following the demerger of a partnership on terms that enabled each partner to walk away owning land commensurate in value to their agreed entitlement, without any charge to tax; and
- resolving a multi-million pound land valuation dispute on behalf of a landowner, securing them substantially increased payments under an option and overage agreement negotiated with a national housebuilder.
Michael is a Partner in the Real Estate team.
Michael has over 15 years experience advising in many different sectors of property law. Michael's experience and work ranges from acquisitions/disposals of commercial or mixed-use investment property; all manner of development work (options, conditional contracts, site setup, planning obligation agreements), advising Universities and Further Education Colleges on disposals of development land and leasehold work; secured lending work (including separately advising lenders on new residential developments, commercial portfolios and dealing with overseas borrowers); acting for GPs, pharmacists and dentists in the healthcare sector and also acting for registered providers of social housing.
Michael specialises in landlord and tenant work; development land (both residential and commercial), sale and purchase of commercial and agricultural property; asset management; finance and leases for pension funds and acting for charities. Michael's broad experience, pragmatic approach and excellent drafting skills means that he is often sought out to advise in the more complex or problematic land transactions.
Michael also has particular expertise in leasehold enfranchisement work, including individual lease extensions of flats or houses (via the statutory route or non-statutory route); collective enfranchisement, right to manage or rights of first refusal. He has also advised clients extending leases in areas of London vested in The Crown Estate.
Recent examples of how Michael has helped clients include:
- unlocking the development potential of a £3 million site by bringing on board a registered provider for affordable housing, selling the remainder of the site to a house builder;
- assisting a University working in conjunction with a national children's charity to deliver an International Children's Centre for Autism to open on schedule; and
- achieving the acquisition (and subsequent lease extension) of a Crown Estate leasehold property from an overseas family trust within a matter of weeks, despite the - complex rules governing Crown Estates leases.
Jonathon is a Partner in the Real Estate team.
Jonathon's experience covers a range of commercial real estate transactions including the sale and purchase of freehold and leasehold premises, the acquisition of land for development and the drafting and negotiation of commercial leases and option agreements,
Jonathon acts for individuals and companies in a range of industry sectors and also acts for large-scale property investors and developers.
Recent examples of how Jonathon has helped clients include:
- enabling a client to secure a site for residential development worth £6.5 million by carrying out due diligence in 5 days, enabling the client to agree a deal for the site ahead of his rival developers;
- accelerating an investor's purchase of a £18 million property portfolio in London by leading a round table meeting between all parties to discuss the final issues, cutting out weeks of correspondence and delay; and
- enabling a business to expand into a new industrial unit by quickly negotiating favourable lease terms.