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Jon Smart

Jon Smart

Partner

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“Jon is pragmatic, commercial and gets things done.”
(Chambers & Partners, 2023)


Jon leads one of three large teams of commercial property lawyers in our Nottingham office and runs client service teams of lawyers across our various offices and disciplines for both property and non-property industry clients.

As well as undertaking general commercial property work, he has sector experience in retail, care home development, residential land sales and property finance for a wide range of investors, developers, landowners and occupiers for whom he is client partner including, Scotch Corner Designer Village, Seafrigo UK and Allica Bank

The Legal 500 (2024 edition) listed Jon as a Recommended Lawyer and in the Hall of Fame for Commercial Property. The Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence.

Jon is also ranked as a Leading Individual in Chambers & Partners (2024 Edition).

Legal Services

Real Estate

Recent Work

  • Scotch Corner Designer Village – Jon is lead partner for the owner developing and pre-letting of this 92 unit, 250,000 square foot new designer outlet scheme, set to be the biggest in the North of England. Also coordinates the team dealing with construction and infrastructure procurement, statutory agreements, tax, utilities and other elements.
  • Former RAF Newton – Acting for landowner on the sale of land at a former airbase to a national house builder for 550 houses, village centre and community facilities on 180 acres and continued portfolio management and further development strategy for the rest of the commercial estate.
  • Baycroft/One Housing Group – forward funded agreement for development and 30 year leases with Frontier Estates for 4 large new luxury care homes with over 250 bedrooms. Jon closely advised Baycroft,new to the care home development and construction process, in their first deal with leading care home developers Frontier and Aviva fund.

Housebuilding & Strategic Land

Jon’s residential development work is primarily on strategic residential land transactions for landowners and promoters and also in the new care homes sector.

Recent Work

  • Baycroft/One Housing Group – forward funded agreement for development and 30 year leases with Frontier Estates for 4 large new luxury care homes with over 250 bedrooms. Jon closely advised Baycroft, new to the care home development and construction process, in their first deal with leading care home developers Frontier and Aviva fund.
  • Former RAF Newton – Acting for landowner on the sale of land at a former airbase to a national house builder for 550 houses, village centre and community facilities on 180 acres and continued portfolio management and further development strategy for the rest of the commercial estate.

Commercial Development

Jon conducts numerous development transactions both for property developers and end-user owner occupiers and tenants.

Recent Work

  • Scotch Corner Designer Village – Jon is lead partner for the owner/developer on the development and pre-letting of this 92 unit, 250,000 square foot new designer outlet scheme, set to be the biggest in the North of England. Also coordinates the team dealing with the construction and infrastructure procurement, statutory agreements, tax, utilities and other elements.
  • Development and acquisition of brand new build 220,000 square feet forward funded factory and office accommodation in Peterborough for E-Leather. Full suite of construction contracts, appointments and warranties. Jon and his team guided client and agents through the deal, including development agreement, lease and significant power supply works and associated statutory agreements.

Real Estate Finance

Jon acts for Lloyds Bank and Clydesdale/Yorkshire Bank funding work and for their specialist healthcare teams. He is also lead partner for challenger Bank, Redwood and acts on the borrower side in banking/finance deals for property and care sector clients. Jon leads a team conducting substantial sale and leaseback and other funding structures / transactions in the wider sense.

Recent Work

  • Acting for Waterfield group on its £30 million plus refinancing and new facilities for all group entities to support a portfolio of circa £100,000,000. This demonstrated our continued support for this group, which has significant development proposals at Scotch Corner for a 92 unit out of town shopping centre at Scotch Corner, 600 houses and a village centre development at former RAF base in Nottingham and other substantial commercial property holdings in Sheffield, Kemble/ Cotswold airfield and Worcester Trade Park.
  • Leading a team on around 100 lending deals for rapidly expanding Redwood Bank since its opening in 2017.
  • Development funding transactions for specialist care sector lenders for care homes, pharmacy businesses and health centres involving pre-lets to GP surgeries, NHS, Pharmacies and local business, interplay with grant funding.

Occupiers

Jon has always enjoyed working for an impressive occupier client base including Eddie Stobart and Raleigh. Work has included development and acquisition of new build HQ premises and major expansions. Jon can guide his clients through complex processes.

Recent Work

  • Development and acquisition of brand new build 220,000 square feet forward funded factory and office accommodation in Peterborough for E-Leather. Full suite of construction contracts, appointments and warranties. Jon and his team guided client and agents through the deal, including development agreement, lease and significant power supply works and associated statutory agreements.
  • Led team on HQ office relocations for 2 London based clients.

 

Sectors

Care

Jon is a senior partner in our private care sector team which acts for key operators/developers, LNT Group, Maria Mallaband, Country Court Care, Baycroft (part of One Housing), Anchor and healthcare teams at Lloyds, Yorkshire Bank and other lenders.

Cases

  • Acting for joint venture companies within the NHS sector seeking to maximise benefit from development of NHS Trust real estate.
  • Acted for Baycroft on the agreement for development and 35 year lease of brand new luxury 64 bedroom care home in Chelmsford, Essex, swiftly followed by an agreement for development and 30 year lease with Frontier Estates for 4 large new luxury care homes with over 250 bedrooms Jon closely advised a client new to the development and construction process and their first deal with leading care home developers CastleOak and Frontier and latterly Aviva.
  • Property aspects of refinancing and care home development for Country Court Care.
  • Development funding transactions for specialist care sector lenders for care homes, pharmacy businesses and health centres involving pre-lets to GP surgeries, NHS, Pharmacies and local business, interplay with grant funding.

 

Latest

To contact Jon or for more information…

Call: 0345 050 3650
Mobile: 0788 423 8380
Or email: Send an email

 

Testimonials

“Jon has led all of the work for my various property assets and holding entities for over 15 years. This ranges from portfolio management and residential land sales on our business parks on former RAF bases in Gloucestershire and Nottinghamshire, acquisition of our new Dorset Business Park, logistics estate and our acquisition and development of Scotch Corner Designer Village, involving development, land assembly, infrastructure, pre-lets and overall project management. We have a small staff and so are particularly reliant on Jon and his team. He consistently “has my back” on general business concerns as well as the immediate legal ones and there is great mutual trust in the relationship which continues to thrive after all these years.”

(Simon Waterfield)

“Jon and Freeths have been with Redwood Bank from before we got our Banking licence from the Regulators . Freeths produced much of our standard documentation and helped shape our procedures with an eye to clarity, speed, simplicity and pragmatism. Redwood Bank prides itself in quick, pragmatic, risk-based decision making and Jon as our client partner is in tune with that being very commercial but keeping the legal remit and spend on our many and various lending transactions to a sensible minimum whilst protecting the bank’s interests. Jon’s team are pragmatic in their approach and look at ways to support and mitigate the risks for client and Bank alike.”

(Chris Platt, Director of Credit and Underwriting, Redwood Bank)

“Jon is well known and respected.”

(Chambers & Partners, 2024)

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.

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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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