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Thinking out of the box

We interview our new head of Commercial Property Development & Investment team, Chris Dewes.

In our most recent issue of Lodders Life, we interview the head of Lodders’ Commercial Property Development & Investment team, Chris Dewes.

Chris Dewes and Ian Yarde of Lodders Solicitors LLP

What does your role at Lodders involve?

I’m a partner at Lodders and head of the Commercial Property Development & Investment team. We act for developers, investors, and other clients on complex transactions including dealing with acquisitions, agreements with occupiers, funding, disposals, and other bespoke matters.

My role involves a fair amount of out-the-box thinking to determine what is needed, breaking this down, and working out which bespoke documentation is likely to be required.

I’m also experienced in helping clients to reach the endpoint; a big part of my role involves preparing, negotiating, agreeing, and exchanging documentation for clients to enable them to obtain the necessary planning permission and subsequently develop the property concerned to create a fundable investment.

We are advising in relation to village centres and other schemes including commercial with supermarkets, mixed use, warehousing and logistics.

Looking back, what first attracted you to Lodders?

I’d known Paul Mourton and Mark Miller for some time and always thought Lodders to be an excellent firm. Shortly after the pandemic, Paul contacted me to say Lodders had extended its Birmingham office space and now offered hybrid working. We then began discussing the opportunity in more detail and I knew it was something I wanted to pursue as I thought Lodders would be a great fit for me.

In your career to date, what has been your favourite project to work on?

I honestly haven’t got a favourite project but when I look back there are a few that stick out. Some projects are memorable because they were challenging technically, and it took a lot of effort and ingenuity to get them over the line. There are other landmark projects e.g., Arena Central in Birmingham that I am proud to have been involved in.

Are you working on any exciting cases at the moment?

Lots! As a team, we have an interesting and varied caseload relating to a variety of matters. No matter or day is ever the same and I like the challenge.

Finally, what does life outside of Lodders look like to you?

I’ve always been very sporty and competitive, and I still like to stay active by going skiing, golfing and running when I can. Before I started work, I did a fair amount of backpacking including trips around Europe and the world; those sorts of trips still appeal to me more than lying on a beach! My family also keeps me busy. We’ve been through GCSEs and A-levels this summer and it’s great to unwind taking our dog on long walks.

Click here to read Lodders Life Issue 9 in full.

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