Property Development

Our specialist property development team provide property developers, funders and landowners with commercially driven advice that delivers complex client projects.

The London based team is led by two specialist property development partners, Dominic Whelan and Chris Langan, who use their experience to bring together professional teams to help clients achieve their goals. The team also includes real estate lawyers at all levels, real estate disputes lawyers, construction law advisers, and corporate lawyers with knowledge of structuring property companies.

Our clients are:

  • Property developers of all sizes
  • Multi-unit property developers: build to rent, affordable housing, and student accommodation
  • Mid-size housebuilders
  • Trading property companies, land buyers and promoters
  • Commercial and mixed-use property developers
  • Leisure developers  
  • Specialist funders
  • Landowners
Please contact:

Dominic Whelan, Partner, at dwhelan@gdlaw.co.uk or on +44 (0)20 7421 7983
or
Chris Langan, Partner, at clangan@gdlaw.co.uk or on +44 (0)20 7421 7964

What is it like to work with our property development lawyers?

The advice we provide is pragmatic and commercial and we are geared to deliver complex, multi-party property developments projects involving subject to planning acquisitions and disposals, option agreements, development management agreements, land promotion agreements, corporate and commercial joint ventures, profit participation agreements and overage arrangements.

Our internal team is well-structured which means we have the relevant legal skills in-house. Our clients also benefit from our well managed network of property professionals. As such we are often able to provide the right person to help our clients solve common problems and navigate development obstacles, such as accessing finance, planning, environmental issues, rights of light, social impact, and changing legislation and regulation.

Clients also find that the team quickly understand long term commercial objectives and as part of our client process we make it our business to understand yours. Ultimately our goal is to have long term clients who trust us on their most important work.

Our property development expertise

Our lawyers have expertise in and experience of:

  • Multi-party property developments projects
  • Subject to planning acquisitions and disposals 
  • Option agreements
  • Development management agreements
  • Land promotion agreements
  • Corporate and commercial joint ventures
  • Profit participation agreements
  • Overage arrangements

Our property development experience

  • Acting for a landowner in respect of a 180 acre land promotion agreement relating to a mixed use property development
  • Acting for consortium of owner-occupier businesses in sale of combined property development site for a live/work development
  • Acting for business owner in sale of operating premises on a subject to planning basis to student accommodation property developer
  • Acting for modular design/shipping container property developer in development of creative and leisure space, social housing units and aparthotel
  • Acting for a leading home counties residential property developer in its acquisition of a development site on a subject to planning and environmental remediation conditionality basis Acting for landowner on the sale of green belt land on a subject to planning basis to national housebuilder
  • Acting for a property developer in creation of central London development through a series of conditional development agreements and sale of combined site to national housebuilder on subject to planning basis
  • Acting for a property developer in major redevelopment of an iconic central London hotel
  • Acting for on large scale office pre-lets involving significant development obligations on both parties

Please see our related real estate services on the right.

Property development - your common questions answered

What should I consider when converting excess office space to residential use?

With permitted development rights in hot debate as the Government attempts to reform the planning system, Chris Barkley in our property development team has condensed the current position in relation to office-to-residential conversions, and looks at what the future might hold. Chris' article is available on our blog: www.gdlaw.co.uk/site/blog/sectors-blog/commercial-break-what-to-consider-converting-office-resi-space

How can I ensure I have the necessary rights of way for my property development site?

Good sites with development potential are hard to find. They are often complex and their viability may rely on access that is granted by another landowner. Hannah Rosenthal in our property development team looks at three examples of the law as it relates to access and provides guidance to help you ensure you have sufficient rights and you are not adversely affected by the rights of others. Hannah's article is available on our blog: www.gdlaw.co.uk/site/blog/our-services/real-estate/how-to-ensure-you-have-necessary-rights-of-way

How do I avoid unwanted problems on my property development site?

Unwanted surprises in property development projects come in various forms and are never far away. Dominic Whelan in our property development team has provided some guidance to help you navigate some of the more common problems. Dominic's article is available on our blog: www.gdlaw.co.uk/site/blog/sectors-blog/property-developer-nightmares

What can I do if there is a Tree Preservation Order on my property development site?

Who would think that pruning a tree could trigger a claim under the Proceeds of Crime Act? Certainly not the homeowner in Canford Cliffs, near Poole in Dorset who was recently prosecuted in what is believed to be one of the first cases where the Proceeds of Crime Act was used following a breach of a Tree Preservation Order.  Dominic Whelan in our property development team has provided some further  guidance on our blog: www.gdlaw.co.uk/site/blog/sectors-blog/tree-preservation-orders

What is an overage agreement and how do they operate?

Overage (or “clawback”) agreements are seen as complex and full of hidden traps. Ironically, the commercial rationale for agreeing them is often very simple. Overage is a right to receive additional consideration if a certain trigger or triggers occurs in the future. They are particularly useful (and most commonly used) when selling property with development potential. Dominic Whelan in our property development team has provided some further  guidance on our blog: www.gdlaw.co.uk/site/blog/sectors-blog/real-estate-blog/clarity-is-key-overage-agreements

Recent news and knowledge articles

How much is a hotel worth?

Clarity is key: Overage Agreements