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property development

Development projects take a lot of work to get off the ground and need careful management to ensure that they are delivered in line with agreed plans, on time and within budget.

Legal advice will be required at every stage, and particularly in the run up to site acquisition where important checks will need to be carried out to assess development viability and negotiations will be taking place about the purchase price and the deal structure.

Our property team specialises in commercial and residential development work and can provide advice on every aspect of the development process, whether your role in a project is as the landowner, a real estate investor, a commercial funder, the developer, the main construction contractor or even the eventual owner or occupier of the site.

We act for a broad range of clients, including private individuals looking to embark on a self-build, farmers and estate owners keen to unlock the value in their land, retail companies who want to commission a bespoke unit, private builders and social housing providers looking to construct small or large-scale estates, and commercial property developers who specialise in creating business and science parks, new or recycled office space.

Property development services

 We can deal with the legal aspects of:

  • land sales;
  • site acquisition;
  • site assembly;
  • site construction;
  • site disposal; and
  • post-development site management.

This includes the negotiation of promotion agreements, options, rights of pre-emption, conditional contracts, overage agreements, restrictive covenant release, infrastructure arrangements, conditions around planning permission, construction contracts and all associated conveyancing documents and site management.

Services for landowners

When acting for landowners, our aim is to understand the motivation behind your decision to sell and to help you achieve the best possible outcome.

Sometimes the aim may simply be to dispose of a plot for the best possible price, but in other cases there may be additional considerations that need to be borne in mind – like the need to ensure a development is properly screened to protect the outlook from an adjoining area of land that you intend to retain or develop.

Services for developers

When working with developers, initially our aim will be to ensure that a site is fit for purpose, that any potential barriers to development are identified early and dealt with effectively, and that the acquisition of the site is structured favourably.

After this, our focus will shift to supporting you and your contractors to ensure that the build phase of the project goes according to plan and to be on hand to deal with any problems or property related disputes which may arise as the project progresses.

We can then assist with site disposal through freehold plot sales or the grant of leases, and with ongoing legal support through our portfolio management service.

Services for investors and funders

When acting for real estate investors and commercial funders, our aim will be to ensure that it makes financial and business sense for you to back the development that is envisaged and to put in place appropriate security arrangements to protect your interests as far as possible in the event that something goes wrong or the development cannot proceed.

We will carry out the due diligence needed to enable you to make informed decisions, both in regards to the development itself and in respect of your proposed business partner.

We can assist whether you are a private investor, a specialist funder or a mainstream banking and finance institution.

Why choose Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors?

Our property lawyers can help to ensure that a land sale or development project goes according to plan and that you are able to navigate any potential bumps in the road.

We are well known for our expertise in this area, both locally and nationally, and are fortunate to have housing development specialist David Barton and complex commercial and residential site acquisition solicitor Darren Millis as part of our experienced team.

We are listed as a top tier law firm in the highly respected Legal 500 and Chambers directories and receive consistently high praise for our service standards from clients and their professional advisors, with whom we work extremely closely.

You may also like sign up to receive our newsletter visit our resource hub or read some of our most recent client testimonials.

To make an appointment to see one of our Property Solicitors, Darren Millis or Richard Willis, please call on 01908 689314 or contact us.

What our clients say:

“I would like to say it has been a pleasure acting for you both & also working alongside Richard who was able to add a rational legal perspective in proceedings, that seemed to be lacking elsewhere!”
Max Pollock, Commercial Agency Manager

For more information about how we can help, you can read testimonials from our commercial property clients


The Legal 500:  “Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors LLP’s commercial property team is well versed in the areas of construction, property investments, planning and property disputes. Its clients include housing associations and occupiers (landlords and tenants). The practice is headed up by Darren Millis and Richard Willis.”

Legal 500 2020 Leading firm

The Commercial Property Team

  • Darren Millis Partner
    Commercial Property 01908 689319
    Darren has over 25 years’ experience in dealing with commercial property work.  Darren has concentrated in the last few years on the more complicated land acquisition and development work including:


  • Richard Willis Consultant Solicitor
    Commercial Property 01908 689315
    Richard specialises in Property Law, representing clients from small family businesses to large PLC’s’ He also acts for local Councils, Parish Councils, landowners, investors, developers, lenders, Housing Associations and Charities. 


  • David Barton Consultant
    Commercial Property 01908 689395
    David Barton joined Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors in 2014 along with his planning and property development team from Williams & Company in Ampthill. David is widely known for his expertise in helping farmers, landowners and property developers grow houses on their land.  David now assists the team as a Consultant.


  • Georgina Page Solicitor
    Commercial Property 01908 689361
    Georgina joined Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors in October 2014 from Williams & Company in Ampthill.  Georgina completed the Legal Practice Course at Sheffield University after graduating from Sheffield Hallam University with a 2:1 in Law (LLB) and qualified as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives in 2020.


  • Simon Parrott Consultant Solicitor
    Commercial Property 01908 689374
    Simon deals with Commercial Property and Business transactions and has many years’ experience in dealing with complex or unusual transactions. In addition, he has dealt with property and commercial disputes for over 35 years and brings that dispute resolution experience to the table when advising clients on their property or commercial transactions.


  • Asha Ali Solicitor
    Commercial Property 01908 689314
    Asha will be working alongside Darren Millis and Richard Willis handling Commercial Property Sales, Purchases, Option Agreements and Commercial Leases.


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