Graham Bennett is a commercial property partner at Shoosmiths specialising in development, acquisition, leasing, financing and disposal work.
He advises a wide range of companies, developers, banks and charities on commercial property matters, including those involved with brownfield sites.
He has advised the South East Economic Development Agency (SEEDA) for a number of years in connection with its interests in southern England.
Recent projects include the acquisition of the North Works site from GKN Aerospace Services at East Cowes, Isle of Wight; a major investment in the Thames Gateway; and the purchase of Husbands Shipyard, Woolston, Southampton. Other high-profile clients advised by Bennett include Credit Suisse Asset Management and Bournemouth International Airport Limited with regard to its property interests, and Esso Petroleum Company Limited in connection with its concerns regarding ABP’s proposals for a new container terminal at Dibden Bay, Southampton.
He also advises IKEA in connection with its property interests at HSBC in connection with its property financing requirements.
In 2000, he advised Heinz UK on the property and financing issues relating to the development of a 350,000ft2 National Distribution Centre at Wigan (the largest high-bay, automated warehouse in Europe), including the first use in the UK of a synthetic lease.
Other high-value or novel property transactions that Bennett has dealt with include the privatisation of Chatham Docks and Southend Airport. He has also advised Roehampton Institute, London, in the legal aspects of restructuring and financing of five new halls of residence and East Hampshire Housing Association in the acquisition and funding of its head office.
- Admitted 1980
- Partner, Wilde Sapte 1987–1994
- Joined Shoosmiths as partner in 1994
He is a fellow of the Society of Advanced Legal Studies and has been consistently cited as a leader in his field by Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession since 1997. Bennett has been identified as a leader in his field of real estate by Chambers and Partners for the last 15 years. Chambers 2013 ranked the firm in Band 1 commenting: ‘Sources praise the firm’s ability to do well on high-value, complex deals as well as its timely and good advice.’ Chambers 2013 stated ‘Graham Bennett is very efficient, very experienced and gives clear commercial advice.’