Kay Desai

Kay Desai has gained a reputation of being fiercely committed in advising a wide variety of corporate occupiers in acquiring, disposing and managing various types of corporate space from offices to warehouses, retail units to leisure accommodation and everything in between. Proactive and commercial, delivering to tight timescales within a specific budget and minimal fuss is key to her clients' business objectives and her understanding of the key drivers behind any transaction allows her to focus on getting deals agreed efficiently while protecting her client's position.

In particular, Kay is embedded in the leisure sector, advising market-leading operators on large-scale acquisitions and disposals. Being both a member of the Leisure Property Forum committee and heading up the firm's leisure taskforce, she is widely recognised as one of the go-to lawyers in the sector.


A wide range of household name brands and retailers, leisure and other corporate occupiers, such as Young & Co.'s Brewery PLC, JD Wetherspoons PLC, Cloudwater Brew and Punch Partnerships as well Fat Face, Coca Cola, Essar, Birds Eye Limited, The Midcounties Co-operative Limited, GKN Automotive, Globecast and ICG PLC.


  • Advising Young's on the disposal of its tenanted pub estate comprising of 53 pubs, the corporate acquisition of various pub portfolios including those from Pearmain Pubs and Redcombe Pubs & Bars as well as advising on a number of standalone multi-million pound acquisitions of new premises, ranging from existing trading businesses to new builds with continuing development obligations.
  • Acting for 1Life Management Solutions Limited on the disposal of three leisure centres at Woughton-on-the Green, Broughton and Brooklands.
  • Acting for a Birds Eye Limited in a refinancing of their factory sites in the UK, incorporating complex title reviews.
  • Advising The Net-a-Porter Group Limited in connection with the acquisition of their new tech hub at White City.
  • Acquiring head office location for various corporates including GKN Automotive, ICG plc, BicycleTX, Nomad and Upfield Foods who took space in a building which is described as the "most smartest and energy efficient" building in Europe.
  • Acting for Weetabix in disposing their original manufacturing plant in Corby.
  • Acting for a major online furniture retailer in connection with acquiring a number of developed and pre-developed warehouses with rents in excess of £3 million as well disposing of warehouse space for Coca Cola.
  • Working with a number of retailers, including Deciem in connection with acquisitions, disposals and estate management transactions.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2019

    • Career
      July 2019
      Gowling WLG (UK), legal director
  • 2016

    • Career
      Gowling WLG (UK), principal associate
  • 2015

    • Career
      Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, principal associate
  • 2014

    • Career
      Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, associate
  • 2005

    • Career
      Wragge & Co LLP
  • 2003

    • Career
      Harrison Clark, trainee