Julia McNaught Legal Director

Speaks:  English

Primary office:  Birmingham

Practice areas:

Julia McNaught

Julia McNaught helps clients to strategically acquire and develop land for the purpose of housing. Julia advises house builders acquiring land on a conditional or unconditional basis, or assembling complex strategic sites with an aim to build in the future. She understands the complex nature of land transactions and works with her clients to anticipate and solve problems that could derail a development.

Whether for one client or a consortium of developers, Julia prepares "perfect fit" documentation that takes into account the nuances of a particular site. With over 15 years' of experience in the sector, she is perfectly placed to advise on solutions for complicated titles, covenants, overages and sale issues so that large deals can move forward, acting for both house builders and land owners.

Julia also has a particular focus on strategic sites that have some degree of planning potential, assisting her clients to secure their interest in order to promote the site through the planning process. She advises on the full range of options, promotions and hybrid agreements through to negotiations, purchase and beyond.

Julia said: "If I've learnt anything over the years, it's that there is no such thing as a simple deal! Even the most straightforward transactions have their own challenges, and often deals that look straightforward on the surface have hidden depths further down the track. I try and do whatever is needed to get a deal over the line, from negotiating settlements alongside the client to developing bespoke documentation to overcome the sticking points for that particular site. I really enjoy the strategic and problem solving aspects of development and the dynamism of a market that is trying to anticipate growth years in advance."


Helping a national house builder facilitate the unlocking of a development following a long running dispute with adjoining landowners. This was a complicated dispute where the land had been in limbo for a long period of time. It was really rewarding to be able to resolve the dispute, freeing up land for nearly 800 homes.

In one particular instance, Julia acted for the owners of a site in selling it to a speculative developer. She then not only acted for the bank on the refinancing for that developer, but also for a new developer in acquiring part of the original site (which would become a development of over 1000 houses). It was a fascinating and unique experience seeing the deal from all possible angles depending on what hat she was wearing at the time!

Acting for a company where they had held an option agreement dating back many years. Julia was involved with an arbitration to determine a price for a large phase of the site, then seeking to avoid a further arbitration while negotiating a deal which worked for both the land owners and the developer – a great achievement.


National house builders, developers and landowners.


Extensive experience in acting for land owners and developers in acquiring a significant number of plots each year, from major new developments to smaller strategic acquisitions.

Advising on several strategic sites in the midlands with multiple landowners. These complicated projects included phased payments, overages and underages.

Advising in multiple instances on the acquisition of complicated city centre sites.

Undertaking project work for house builder and developer clients, such as locating ransom strips.

Resolving disputes and other issues, such as those arising out of the recession, to allow deals to be completed successfully.

Practice areas

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2023

  • 2016

    • Career
      Gowling WLG (UK) LLP, director
  • 2014

    • Career
      Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, director
  • 2004

    • Career
      Wragge & Co
  • 1997

    • Career
      Putsmans (now Shakespeares)
  • 1995

    • Education
      College of Law, York
  • 1992

    • Education
      The University of Birmingham, Biological Sciences