Real Estate

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Our approach

Our Real Estate lawyers, based in Kent but acting for clients nationally, form one of the largest and most experienced teams in the region. We offer commercial advice and a London style service that helps you achieve your objectives as swiftly and cost effectively as possible.

We place an emphasis on understanding your commercial strategies and tailoring our services accordingly. We act for a wide variety of commercial clients including businesses, individuals, house builders and developers, pension funds, retailers, restauranteurs, charities, lenders, local authorities and other public sector organisations.

Our Real Estate lawyers practice in areas including:

The size of the team and level of experience and expertise that we have, means that we can deploy specialist Real Estate lawyers at all levels, as appropriate. We can also draw on support from the firm’s very strong Corporate, Commercial, Employment and Private Wealth teams.


Thank you very much for the hard work and getting this done under such tight deadlines. Thomson Snell & Passmore nailed it again!

Acquisitions & disposals

Our experienced Real Estate lawyers, based in Kent, advise on all aspects of acquisition and disposal whether owner-occupation or for investment.

We work with institutional investors, operating businesses, the public sector, estates and private individuals and in acquiring portfolios of properties.

Our particular expertise includes:

  • Acting for a PLC on the disposal of a number of its freehold sites for a value in excess of £40 million
  • Advising a Middle Eastern family office in respect of a wide range of residential and commercial investments including industrial, retail and motor retail assets
  • Working with a large motor retail client in connection with multiple acquisitions, including providing complex planning, construction and funding advice.

Thomson Snell & Passmore is always responsive and available acting professionally. So often you need to talk to a partner/senior lawyer and they aren't available and don't respond in a timely manner. This isn't the case at Thomson Snell & Passmore.

Portfolio asset management

Our Real Estate lawyers, based in Kent, has a wealth of experience acting for both landlords and tenants of property portfolios.

We provide the following services:

  • Expanding portfolios – new leases, site acquisition and purchases
  • Moving on – sales, lease surrenders, break clauses and assignments
  • Managing transition and changes – agreements for lease, licences for alterations, underletting and deeds of variation
  • Consolidation and review – day to day asset management, review of existing leases and refinance
  • Managing a tenant’s exit from a lease – assisting and settling claims for dilapidations and/or reinstatement
  • Development potential – advising on a strategy for obtaining possession
  • When things go wrong – recovering rent and other payments due and enforcing tenant covenants
  • Insolvency – protecting your position when a tenant becomes insolvent or is on the brink of insolvency
  • Renewing business tenancies – guiding you through the statutory process from start to finish
  • Lease enfranchisement and extension.

We provide advice to landlords in the event of tenants defaulting and work closely with our real estate dispute colleagues.

The whole team are great to work with, with the highest business acumen. You are guaranteed a fantastic service from Joanne - nothing is too much.

Residential development

Our expert team of residential development lawyers is highly regarded and we act for landowners, developers and house builders across the South East and nationally.

We act for a number of national house builders and provide the whole range of development services to support the aims and objectives of these clients.

We provide specialist expertise in connection with joint venture and partnership arrangements, promotion agreements, the acquisition or disposal of strategic land, equalisation agreements, option and pre-emption and overage arrangements.

Our specialisms include:

  • Purchase or sale of land for residential development
  • Infrastructure agreements
  • Land promotion
  • Plot sales/new homes
  • Planning.

Our residential development team also works closely with our specialist construction lawyers and our planning team.

Commercial development

We offer practical, commercially orientated advice to clients including landowners, corporate entities, private landlords and developers.

Our specialisms include:

  • Purchase or sale of land for commercial development
  • Infrastructure agreements
  • Land promotion
  • Planning
  • Development agreements, leases and construction related documents.

Real estate finance

We act for senior debt and mezzanine funders as well as advising borrowers. Our clients include major financial institutions, banks, private equity houses and high net worth individuals. We have been appointed to numerous panels, acting for various lending clients over many years.

Whether you are a funder or borrower, our real estate finance lawyers provide commercially focussed advice aimed at ensuring deals are completed within the required time frames whilst still protecting your interests. Our role is more than simply knowing the law on property finance, it is about applying our business acumen and experience to the deal to get it done in a timely and efficient way.


Our specialisms include:

  • Development finance
  • Commercial finance
  • Bridging finance
  • Mezzanine finance
  • Sale of loan portfolios
  • Complex inter-creditor agreements
  • Servicing requirements
  • Advising on enforcement of security
  • Bilateral & syndicated loan agreements.

We also prepare and advise on all documentation involved from term sheets and facility agreements through to security documentation.

The team works very closely with our Banking & finance, Construction and Planning colleagues.

They are easy to deal with, approachable and hard-working team led by Matthew Grogan who is on hand to support the team as and when required.

Agricultural & rural property

We have extensive experience in, and a deep understanding of, the agricultural sector. Our ALA qualified team of agricultural property lawyers act for estates, landowners and landowning trusts, tenants and developers.

Our specialisms include:

  • Land sales and purchases
  • Agricultural tenancies and lettings
  • Grazing licences
  • Sporting rights
  • Renewable energy projects
  • Development projects
  • Issues concerning stamp duty on agricultural land
  • Agricultural real estate disputes
  • Planning.

We also work closely with our wider agricultural sector team, drawing on experience from across our Employment, Wills, Estate & Tax Planning and Probate teams.

A huge thank you from me for all you did. In scheme of things the transaction once you took over was very smooth. Won’t hesitate to recommend your services!


UK planning law is highly complex and changing rapidly. We have an in-depth understanding of the planning landscape and significant expertise in advising on and unlocking difficult planning issues.

Our planning legal experts work with funders, developer clients and local authorities as part of their professional team, alongside planning consultants, chartered surveyors and architects, adding significant value.

Administrative delays, legal complexity, special interest groups and conflicting government policies can combine to create a dangerous and costly obstacle course. With our cross-departmental expertise, our links with other professionals, our many years’ experience and commercial awareness, we help negotiate a path through the challenges with less pain and greater confidence.

We focus clearly on the results that you want to achieve and we will always be pragmatic, clear and candid on what’s the most realistic way to get there.

Our team regularly assists clients on Town and Country planning aspects of development projects and residential / commercial property purchases and sales. We also represent clients on planning / enforcement notice appeal work, both before the Planning Inspectorate and on High Court judicial reviews and statutory reviews. Of increasing importance, we have wide-ranging environmental expertise.

Our specialisms include:

  • Reviewing the planning position for lending on developments
  • Appeals and enforcement
  • Judicial reviews and statutory challenges
  • Advising on planning history ahead of any purchase
  • Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) regulations
  • NPPF and planning policy guidance
  • Section 106 agreements
  • Highways and infrastructure agreements
  • Section 73 deeds of variation
  • Permitted development rights
  • Sustainability
  • Biodiversity net gains
  • Conservation covenants.

We work closely with our wider Real Estate and Real Estate Dispute colleagues to provide a seamless service.

The Building Safety Act

The Building Safety Act (BSA) is one of the most wide reaching and complex pieces of legislation in recent history. It has the potential to impact on every aspect of the Real Estate industry.

The Act was introduced as a direct result of the Grenfell Tower disaster. Although it received Royal Assent on 28 June 2022, the majority of its provisions are being rolled out in a phased approach.

Such is the complexity of the Act, that it has already been subject to various amendments by the Government, with further updates likely.

We understand that the BSA represents a huge change for the industry and appreciate that many organisations may feel lost when it comes to understanding this new regulatory landscape.

Our Real Estate, Construction and Real Estate Disputes experts can help to answer your questions about the BSA, and guide you through your obligations under the Act.


Our construction and engineering lawyers use their expertise and in-depth knowledge of the construction industry to help make your construction project a success and resolve any disputes that arise.

We advise businesses and individuals on specialist construction contracts and ancillary project documentation, with support that is tailored to each project.

We work closely with the Real Estate Finance team providing support to lenders and borrowers as necessary.

Our specialist construction law experience includes:

  • Project documentation – tailored construction contracts to provide a solid foundation to your project
  • Project support – contractual obligations are often ignored, misunderstood or misapplied. Having the support of a construction lawyer with in-depth knowledge of the practical aspects of a construction project will help things get back on track
  • Dispute resolution – the vast majority of construction disputes can be resolved at an early stage without recourse to formal legal processes. But only if they’re tackled before they have escalated or had a knock-on effect
  • Adjudication
  • International project support.

Thomson Snell & Passmore give first-class advice with regard to all contractual matters arising from projects.

Real estate disputes

Our highly experienced team provide pragmatic and commercial solutions for our clients to resolve real estate disputes.

Our team represent clients in all forums including the High Court and County Court, Lands Tribunal, and the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber), but we look to achieve a cost effective resolution before matters proceed that far.

All of our real estate dispute lawyers are members of the Property Litigation Association and we have strong working relationships with specialist surveyors and experts, as well as Chancery barristers, and are used to working as part of a professional team.

We actively promote alternative dispute resolution processes such as mediation and arbitration in order to achieve results for you.

Above all, we recognise that the real estate world is a business in which personal relationships count and we fully address the human as well as the legal dimension of any problem.

Our specialisms include:

  • Development disputes, including unlocking land for development purposes to include diversion of public rights of way, telecommunications issues, settlement of overage disputes, obtaining permission to carry out work to common land, and all related planning matters
  • Real estate disputes to include advising on easements, restrictive covenants, boundary issues and adverse possession claims
  • Property insolvency matters to include the enforcement of fixed charges and debentures, the appointment of receivers, and advising on company voluntary arrangements
  • Commercial landlord & tenant disputes including rent reviews, breach of tenancy agreements and forfeiture
  • Recovering possession of land from tenants, trespassers and squatters
  • Resolving disputes concerning jointly owned property by utilising the process under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996
  • Lease extensions and enfranchisement under the statutory process
  • Professional negligence claims arising from property related matters
  • Telecommunications & Code disputes
  • Advising landowners and farmers on rights and liabilities in connection with agricultural tenancies
  • Planning disputes.

Very precise; he always gives clear and commercial advice and is a pleasure to deal with.

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