Home / Expertise / Real Estate

Real Estate

United Kingdom

With a recently strong UK real estate market struggling to keep up with demand, competition for prime assets is higher than ever. In addition to availability, landlords, developers, asset managers, investors and occupiers face a range of challenges and opportunities in the current climate. These include the increasing globalisation of the real estate investment market, the growing demand for а high quality built environment with continued focus on achieving sustainability, and the increased use of technology and rising cyber security risks.

With one of the largest real estate teams in the UK, we have the resource and expertise our clients need to respond to this fast-paced market. Our lawyers provide decisive, pragmatic solutions allowing clients to react quickly to seize opportunities. With dedicated planning, finance, tax, construction and dispute specialists as part of the group, we are able to ensure that our clients are realising the most value possible from their assets.

We are delighted to have maintained a Tier 1 ranking for Real Estate categories in the recently published Chambers and Legal 500 UK 2018-19 directories.

We are one of the few City-based firms able to offer clients a truly full UK-wide service with offices in London, Aberdeen, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Sheffield.

In addition to our UK offering, we have real estate lawyers in 68 offices worldwide, making our Real Estate Practice one of the largest specialist teams worldwide.

We are very proud to be working with some of the most dynamic real estate businesses around at the moment. Our clients range from large international and private investors to developers, universities, utility providers and occupiers.

Read more Read less

"With a real depth of experience and an impressive breadth of resources - CMS is hands down one of the strongest firms in the global real estate industry."

Legal 500, 2018

Choose area


    Whether you are an employer/owner, contractor, funder/investor or you are buying an interest in a project that is under construction or has recently been completed, you need documents that reflect your risk profile, protect your interests and promote collaborative working and optimum project delivery.

    Read more


    We are one of the largest planning teams in the UK with over 30 specialist lawyers. We are motivated by a passion to help to create exceptional places and environments and deliver essential infrastructure to meet the UK's demographic and development needs.

    Read more


    The real estate industry is currently going through an unprecedented phase of digital transformation against the backdrop of ‘the fourth industrial revolution’. 

    Read more

    Real Estate Finance

    The real estate finance market has undergone significant change in recent years, with increased regulation, the entrance of more categories of lenders and changes to documentation. At CMS, we understand the challenges that these changes pose for you, having acted for commercial clients, including lenders, developers, borrowers, sponsors and hedge counterparties and others on a wide range of investment and development transactions.

    Read more

    Real Estate

    With the largest real estate teams in the UK by headcount, and the largest team in Europe by headcount, we have the resource and expertise our clients need to respond to this fast-paced market.  We are one of the few City-based firms able to offer clients a truly full UK-wide service with offices in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bristol, and Aberdeen.

    Read more

    Real Estate & Planning Disputes

    As a developer, landlord, contractor or occupier, when a real estate project or transaction becomes contentious, it is essential that matters be dealt with as quickly and calmly as possible to ensure there is minimal disruption to your business and that you maintain the value of your asset.

    Read more

    Real Estate Development

    Competition for sites, access to funding, changing legislation, achieving planning consent, rights to light issues and community infrastructure levy are just a few of the challenges facing developers in today’s real estate market. Whether your development is mixed use, commercial, residential or an urban regeneration project, our team of real estate specialists can help you navigate the entire development cycle from site acquisition right through to lettings and disposal.

    Read more

    Real Estate Energy

    We are one of the few London-headquartered real estate groups to have a dedicated real estate energy team. With a market-leading energy practice, we provide advice from an informed industry perspective. Our client base is diverse and ranges from major energy companies such as National Grid and SSE and landowners such as Scottish Water to a wide range of developers and investors in the renewable sector such as Aviva and Luxcara.

    Read more

    Real Estate Investment

    With demand for prime assets higher than ever, real estate investment is becoming an increasingly global market. Being able to respond quickly to investment opportunities, in whatever jurisdiction they present themselves, is essential. Whether you are looking to make your first investment in the UK or adding to a growing portfolio across Europe, at CMS we have a team of lawyers with exceptional experience across the full range of investment sectors, including the more specialist alternative asset classes.

    Read more

    Real Estate Occupiers

    As an occupier in today’s market, there are a number of key issues to consider. These include establishing strategies for disposal of surplus properties, whether by way of outright sale of freehold interests or termination/assignment of lease arrangements, ensuring that a tenant is adequately protected on a new headquarters letting, and making sure that the appropriate wayleaves are in place at the time the tenant needs them for communications equipment – essential for business continuity.

    Read more

    Real Estate PRS

    Residential property in the UK has never seemed a more attractive investment. With a shortage of quality rental properties available and development struggling to keep up with demand, there is tremendous competition for the right assets. Nevertheless, there are opportunities available, and the returns on a good, well-managed scheme can be attractive - particularly to commercial clients looking for long-term income generating investments.

    Read more

    Residential Real Estate

    CMS’ Residential Real Estate practice has extensive experience and offers pro-active and tailored advice, handling a broad range of work for commercial clients.

    Read more

    Student Accommodation

    Student housing has moved from the “alternative” asset class firmly into the mainstream in recent years. Whilst student housing is a high performing and extremely attractive asset, fierce competition for land, coupled with increasing Government regulation in the sector, means that commercial, pragmatic legal advice is more important than ever.

    Read more
    Law-Now: Real Es­tate & Con­struc­tion
    Vis­it Law-Now for leg­al know-how and com­ment­ary


    Show only
    08 April 2021
    New Per­mit­ted De­vel­op­ment (“PD”) rights to change from Class E to res­id­en­tial...
    The Gov­ern­ment has con­firmed that it will in­tro­duce a new PD right to al­low the change of use from com­mer­cial, busi­ness and ser­vice uses (Class E) to res­id­en­tial uses (Class C3) in Eng­land.  This PD...
    07 April 2021
    Com­mer­cial Rent Col­lec­tion and Cov­id-19: Gov­ern­ment’s call for evid­ence...
    The tem­por­ary re­stric­tions on land­lords’ rights to take ac­tion against their com­mer­cial ten­ants for non-pay­ment of rents, im­posed due to the COV­ID-19 pan­dem­ic, are due to ex­pire on 30 June 2021.  These...
    06 April 2021
    Re­struc­tur­ing Plans – a power­ful new tool for re­struc­tur­ing lease li­ab­il­it­ies?
    Des­pite the scale of the pan­dem­ic and res­ult­ing build-up of Cov­id re­lated rent ar­rears, cur­rently es­tim­ated at around £4.5bn, busi­ness re­struc­tur­ing has been re­l­at­ively muted. This is partly ex­plained...
    06 April 2021
    EU is­sues draft of Di­git­al Mar­kets Act aimed at cre­at­ing a new and fair...
    The European Com­mis­sion has pub­lished a draft pro­pos­al for a new com­pet­i­tion law frame­work for large on­line plat­forms, called the Di­git­al Mar­kets Act (DMA). The Com­mis­sion pro­posed the DMA due to the...
    01 April 2021
    Deal­ing with un­wanted per­sons such as protest­ors on your land - some do’s...
    If there are people on your land who are not leg­ally en­titled to be there and are caus­ing you or your com­pany dif­fi­culties or dis­rup­tion, there are rem­ed­ies that can be sought from the court. One of the...
    31 March 2021
    Lo­gist­ics Un­boxed: Box Clev­er 2.0
    On­line de­mand has meant the lo­gist­ics sec­tor is con­tinu­ing to thrive. The sec­tor is now prov­ing to be one of the most re­si­li­ent as­set classes for the cur­rent glob­al eco­nom­ic down­turn. In this guide...
    31 March 2021
    Court of Ap­peal saves homes from (self) isol­a­tion
    The Court of Ap­peal has dis­missed a de­veloper’s chal­lenge in a long run­ning dis­pute over the de­vel­op­ment of Bramshill Park, Hamp­shire. Set in a grade I lis­ted Jac­o­bean man­sion and grade I re­gistered...
    29 March 2021
    Busi­ness rates and Cov­id-19: re­stric­tion on ma­ter­i­al change of cir­cum­stances...
    On 25 March 2021, the Gov­ern­ment an­nounced meas­ures with im­me­di­ate ef­fect to lim­it the use of the Ma­ter­i­al Change in Cir­cum­stances (MCC) pro­vi­sions to achieve re­duc­tions in the rate­able value of prop­er­ties...
    26 March 2021
    Tres­pass­ers Be­ware! – is­sues of iden­ti­fic­a­tion, ser­vice and en­force­ment...
    In­junc­tions dir­ec­ted against “Per­sons Un­known” and par­tic­u­larly how they should prop­erly be iden­ti­fied and served con­tin­ue to cause dif­fi­culties for com­pan­ies and gov­ern­ment bod­ies in­volved in pro­jects...
    26 March 2021
    The re­turn to the of­fice…how to en­sure your build­ing is ready
    With the UK gov­ern­ment and de­volved ad­min­is­tra­tions’ an­nounce­ments on re-open­ing look­ing in­creas­ingly pos­it­ive, now is the time for busi­nesses to start con­sid­er­ing what ac­tions are re­quired to get build­ings...
    24 March 2021
    CMS Ex­pert Guide to European care homes
    The world is get­ting older by the minute.Ac­cord­ing to the the 2021 Age­ing Re­port of the EU, the old-age de­pend­ency ra­tio in the EU’s demo­graph­ic old-age de­pend­ency ra­tio (i.e. the ra­tio between people...
    22 March 2021
    Im­port­ant new Gov­ern­ment con­sulta­tions on en­ergy ef­fi­ciency
    Sum­mary The Gov­ern­ment on 17 March 2021 is­sued two im­port­ant con­sulta­tions on en­ergy ef­fi­ciency. The first con­sulta­tion seeks views on the Gov­ern­ment’s pro­pos­als to in­tro­duce a na­tion­al per­form­ance-based...