Purchasing a building for development in London SW8

Our client had the opportunity to acquire a freehold mixed use building for development.

The building was subject to a commercial lease of the shop, an assured shorthold tenancy of the residential parts and a hoarding licence of the flank wall.

It was one of two transactions (the other for a development site in another part of SW8) where exchange of contracts was required within 14 days of receipt of draft documentation.


Julian joined Verisona Law in October 2014 as an Associate Director in the Commercial Property department. Julian has over 10 years’ experience of commercial and residential property and currently acts for a variety of clients including developers, landowners, receivers, landlords and tenants.

Julian mainly deals with commercial property work including property development, acquisitions and disposals and landlord and tenant.

Julian has extensive experience in buying buildings in London and elsewhere from a variety of entities (charities, housing associations, local authorities, receivers, companies and individuals) for conversion into residential dwellings or for mixed residential and commercial use.

His previous experience in volume plot sales including work for divisions of a major national house builder means he is always thinking about onward sales when buying a site for a client and understands the importance of meeting and exceeding his clients’ expectations.

Julian is a keen runner has completed the London Marathon and numerous other events including, while travelling abroad, the City to Surf (Sydney) and the Auckland Quarter Marathon.

Julian qualified in 2001 having trained at Pearson Maddin Solicitors in New Malden and Surbiton, where he was retained upon qualification.

In 2002, Julian joined Laytons Solicitors in Guildford working in the Plot Sales Department until he took a planned career break in 2007.

In 2008, Julian joined Downie & Gadban Solicitors in Alton where carried out both commercial and residential property work. He developed a residential development practice through the recession acting on behalf of smaller bespoke developers as well as carrying out work for landowners, landlords and tenants.

Residential development

Acquisition of sites (with or without planning permission) for residential use or for mixed residential and commercial use and the subsequent plot sales.

Advice on option agreements and conditional sale and purchase contracts. Typically, Julian’s clients are smaller-scale developers (or landowners selling to developers) who enjoy the personal attention that they receive from him.

Commercial property/conveyancing

Sale and purchase of freehold and leasehold commercial buildings and offices.

Landlord and tenant

Commercial tenancies including the grant, renewal and termination of leases, licences and related matters.

A few examples of matters recently concluded or ongoing include:-

  • Purchase of building (shop subject to commercial lease and flats) in London from administrative receiver. Subsequently concluding deed of surrender of part in relation to shop lease.
  • Purchase of site for development (conversion from multiple units to two residential houses) by way of conditional contract from a Local Authority in London.
  • Purchase of site in Hampshire with planning permission for 3 dwellings. Transaction involved transfer of part incorporating overage provisions and separate option for easement.
  • Sale of site with planning permission for development (acting for residential landowner) in Hampshire.
  • Lease of office (acting for tenant) in London.
  • Julian De Giovanni

    Julian De Giovanni

    Head of Property Development

    T: 023 9231 2056