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Ian Rowson


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“Ian has extensive experience and takes a proactive approach to addressing matters. He is very responsive and has a forward-looking approach.”
(Chambers & Partners, 2023)

Ian is an experienced and trusted senior lawyer who has in-depth knowledge of development and regeneration projects, both from a private and public sector perspective. He heads the Real Estate team at our London office.

Over many years he has advised a wide range of developer and public sector bodies in relation to major development and regeneration projects, and recently has handled many major purchases for public sector bodies.

For 10 years, he ran a specialist team that acted for West Register, the RBS Distressed Property arm and during that period the team acquired in excess of 500 sites and properties, all of which have been disposed of over the last 2 years.

Ian is listed as a Recommended Lawyer in the Legal 500 (2022 edition) and is ranked as a Leading Individual in Chambers & Partners (2024 edition).


Legal Services

Real Estate

Ian has a wide ranging experience in acting on large scale regeneration and development projects.

Recent Work

  • Acted for Guildford Borough Council in relation to Development Agreement, re-geared headlease and related documentation relating to the redevelopment of Tunsgate Shopping Centre in Guildford, a £50 million scheme.
  • Recently instructed by Loughborough University to act on their behalf in relation to the University’s strategically important Science Park in Loughborough.
  • Recently instructed by London Borough of Camden in relation to advising on options for the disposal/regeneration of an important and valuable site in West Hampstead.
  • Acting for Mole Valley Council in relation to the redevelopment and re-gearing of the Head Lease of the St Martin’s Shopping Centre in Dorking.
  • Acted as lead partner for Pigeon Development Group in relation to the acquisition of a large 55 acre commercial site in Norwich and a 220 acre site in Ipswich.
  • Acted for Epsom & Ewell Borough Council on an investment acquisition in excess of £60 million over the last 12 months.
  • Acted for London Borough of Havering on forward funding a large residential block with a value of £16 million for the Council’s housing company.
  • Acted for London Borough of Havering in relation to the acquisition of Havering College, a highly complex project.
  • Acted for and continues to act for Loughborough University in relation to the establishment of their new campus at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.
  • Acted for receivers of Investec in relation to the disposal of 2 major investments in Barnsley and a complex site and investment building in Poole.
  • Acted for private Bank Hoare & Co in relation to the provision of financial facilities relating to the acquisition of approximately 260 acres of agricultural land via an Australian based corporate vehicle and in relation to the provision of debt finance for a large commercial site in Suffolk.
  • Has acted for Surrey County Council over the last 12 months in relation to Development Agreements relating to approximately 20 school projects within the County.



To contact Ian or for more information…

Call: 0345 050 3627
Mobile: 0795 880 5492
Or email: Send an email



“Ian has led a Team that serves West Register for many years. He is committed to the provision of high quality client service and is sensitive to the costs to the client or providing that service. He is prepared to go the extra mile in trying to solve difficult cases.”

(Robin Dixon, West Register Group)

“I really appreciate the excellent work Freeths’ have done for us on this and other matters. It is great to have total confidence that matters will be handled well by you and your team, and with clear regard to our needs. Mark has recently obtained authority to borrow up to £20million, so I hope we’ll be able to work together on some other acquisitions in the very near future!”

(Simon Young, Epsom & Ewell Borough Council)

“Ian Rowson is responsive, experienced, considered and excellent at managing relationships and challenging situations.”

(The Legal 500, 2022)

“Ian is responsive, experienced and excellent at managing relationships and challenging situations.”

(Chambers & Partners, 2022)

“Ian Rowson is responsive, knowledgeable, engaging and sensible.” noted one client. Another client commented: “We appreciate Ian’s expedient and practical advice, which allows us to make reasoned, commercial decisions and analyse risk quickly.”

(Chambers & Partners, 2021)

“Ian is very progressive in contractual negotiations and proactively attends to any issues, with a fantastic understanding of the commercial environment.”

(Chambers & Partners, 2021)

“Ian Rowson has a forward thinking approach and commercial approach to development.”

(The Legal 500, 2020)

“The practice is led by Ian Rowson, who has ‘an ability to eloquently explain complex matters’.”

(The Legal 500, 2020)

Client service

‘Doing the right thing’ is at the heart of Freeths. Find out more about our excellent client service and the strong set of values that guide the way we work.

Our values


Talk to us

Freeths are a leading national law firm with 13 offices across the UK. If you have a query about our services or just want to find out more, why not give us a call?

Contact: 03301 001 014

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