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Leo Skinner, Partner

Leo Skinner


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Leo is a highly experienced real estate lawyer, with a specific focus on the hospitality and leisure industry.

His expertise covers not only complex development projects, acquisition and disposal of portfolios of property and general estate management work, but also extends to regulatory and commercial points of particular concern to the sector.

His client base is national, reflecting the spread of operators across the country.

Leo is listed as a Recommended Lawyer in the Legal 500 (2020 edition).


Drinks, Hospitality & Leisure

Leo has acted for many years on acquisition and disposal programmes for major pub, restaurant, bar, late night venue, and hotel operators, heading up the firm’s leisure team since 2002. As a result he has many connections within the industry and substantial knowledge of the issues that businesses in the sector are likely to come across. Leo regularly advises on widely ranging real estate transactions within the sector, frequently involving commercial contract points and often extending to issues such as TUPE.


  • Advising leading multiple operators of pubs and restaurants on ongoing leasehold acquisitions.
  • Acquisition of hotel development sites, both freehold and leasehold, including many individual sites for Premier Inn.
  • Negotiating options to take premises in new developments for national restaurant operators.
  • Assisting with aspects of planning and construction law in development/re-development cases for hotels, including issues such as rights to light and other impediments to development.
  • General estate management work and operational issues covering issues such as licences to assign and for alterations and release of restrictive covenants.
  • Portfolio sale and lease-back transactions and property finance transactions such as opco propco structures and property aspects of securitisations/refinancing of public house estates.
  • Negotiating Section 106 and Section 278 Agreements and other statutory agreements, electricity sub-station leases and deeds of easement relating to servicing.
  • Acquisitions of distressed business assets out of pre-pack administration or sales from administrators.
  • Advising on real estate aspects of restructuring businesses – including two national pub companies.
  • Property aspects of securitisations/refinancing of managed or tenanted public house estates – for example, refinancing of a 1,000 house estate.



To contact Leo or for more information…

Call: 0845 271 6755
Or email: Send an email



“Leo expertly handles all of our property legal transactions and has proved to be an expert in this field. Over a number of years he has developed an extensive knowledge of our property portfolio and the wider London market in general. I would not hesitate in recommending Leo and his team for the hospitality industry.”

(CEO, Novus Leisure)

“We recognised Leo as an expert in hospitality and the restaurant/bar sector and he demonstrated to us it is a reputation well earned. Leo is thorough and provides sound commercial advice as well as providing us with a timely service.”

(Managing Director, Gondola Group)

“I have worked with Leo for some years now and would recommend him as a recognised specialist in the leisure and licensed trade sector – he gives direct and commercial advice and has steered me through some complex transactions – a proactive lawyer prepared to work hard to secure the best result possible for his client.”

“We have hired Leo several times to provide advice and support services on complex property issues. Always been a very satisfied customer as a result of his grasp of the issues, sound counsel and prompt attention. Leo always makes you feel as though you are his most important client!”

“I have known Leo for 10 years now and during this time, have found him to be completely professional and able to think outside the box. His experience and knowledge of the sector we operate in is complex and specialised, therefore the advice I receive is crucial. I have complete confidence in Leo’s ability and his colleagues and have no hesitation to contact him no matter the situation. Aside Leo is very personable and understands his clients! See Leo as one of the Team rather than purely an external advisor.”

“Leo provides tremendous support & experience to our acquisition programme. He brings clarity to the process, risks & strategies to optimise value to his client & is able to call upon strong support staff as needed. He has a great sense of humour & builds strong relationships underpinned by results. A rare combination. Would absolutely use him again.”

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