Joe Morris Partner Head of Leisure Group

Speaks:  English

Primary office:  Birmingham

Joe Morris

Joe Morris helps clients to achieve what they want, to the time scales they want by providing commercially and sound solution-based advice.

In a fast-paced market, dealing with real estate issues - whether you are a landlord or tenant, buyer or seller - is far from straightforward. Although all parties ultimately have the same goal, their interests are often wide-ranging. With over ten years' transactional experience in retail, energy, leisure and data centres (on both sides), Joe is able to identify the key issues and deal with them commercially to get the right end result for his clients.

Primarily acting for retailers, Joe regularly attends retail seminars and conferences, and also receives regular updates on case law. He also delivers training to the real estate team and is part of the firm's retail group. In this way, he is aware of developments in the law, as well as market trends, which he uses to ensure that he is able to advise on all commercial and technical points in any given matter.

Joe advises on rapid acquisition programmes, portfolio acquisitions and sales and large one-off deals, and while each is different, his approach to providing clear, pragmatic advice to reach the given end goal remain the same.


Joe acted on one of the most complicated and strategically important deals I've ever worked on. It involved the development and restructuring of three forest cabin holiday retreat sites, which had to be completed within a tight time scale to allow the work to be completed so that bookings would be fulfilled. The deal involved a complex lease/lease back structure, development agreements, JCT contracts, warranties, draw-down arrangements, licences from the superior landlord and funder, variation agreements and surrenders. And all of it had to be signed off by the client's lenders. By the end of the transaction he had three boxes of deeds to send out for signing! Not only did it test his legal skills but it gave him a work-out, having to heave big boxes around the office.


Helping a large supermarket retailer kickstart its convenience store portfolio acquisition programme, advising on the first deals before project managing a team that went onto advise on the first 100 store openings in under 12 months. He used his sector knowledge and experience to set up precedents, and create a reporting system to allow a rapidly expanding client and advisory team to meet demanding store opening numbers.

Advising on the acquisition of 62 retail stores from three companies in administration. Having to work to tight timescales set by administrators, Joe set up an innovative traffic light system to assist his client identify problematic sites quickly and easily from the larger portfolio of stores that were on offer, to reduce risk efficiently and ensure that the deals completed on time.

Leads the client relationship with a large nationwide discount retailer, which a fast-paced acquisition pipeline. Joe took the time at the outset to identify the key commercial drivers for the client. This means that he and his team are able to negotiate the necessary documents with minimal instructions. This allows this client to focus on what it needs to do without getting bogged down in the legal process.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2018

    • Career
      May 2018
      Gowling WLG (UK), partner
  • 2016

    • Career
      February 2016
      Gowling WLG (UK), director
  • 2014

    • Career
      Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, director
  • 2002

    • Career
      Wragge & Co, trainee, solicitor and director
  • 1997

    • Education
      University of Cambridge, BA Law

Client work