Sarah Stephens Director


Speaks:  English

Qualified: 2006 - Solicitor of England & Wales


Primary office:  London


Areas of expertise:


Sarah Stephens

Sarah Stephens helps clients to achieve their commercial goals. She works closely with clients to understand their needs and motivations in order to deliver what is required.

It is her proactive approach to deals and commercial decision-making that is appreciated by her clients. Sarah prides herself on her ability to establish good working relationships with clients and their other advisers, a key skill when working towards the same objective.

Sarah is focused in her work and, by maintaining good communication with her clients, instils trust and confidence in them. In the fast-paced property world, Sarah's pragmatic approach to the law ensures that clients receive clear and concise advice in order to meet the deadlines set.

"I have always been someone that likes a challenge and I embrace new experiences. As a people person, I really enjoy getting to know my clients and understanding their businesses.
"I am an organiser by nature, so like to get things done and to be on top of matters. I'm not afraid to make decisions and give straightforward advice to clients, rather than a long list of options."

Highlights

"The highlight of my job is completing a deal and knowing that I have been a part of it. I get a real sense of satisfaction when I walk past a development that I helped to get started or see a tenant opening a store for which I negotiated the lease. This is the aspect of property law that I enjoy the most – a successful end result.
"To get that end result, I always aim to make the due diligence and reporting as pain-free as possible, only highlighting what is really important to the individual client. Managing a transaction smoothly through to its conclusion and assisting a client to achieve their commercial objectives is something that I take pride in."

Clients

Listed investment and development companies, pension funds, large landlords and retail tenants, educational institutions.

Experience

Negotiating the contract on behalf of an investment company for the £22.98 million purchase of land occupied by a large retail tenant, including advising on a number of ancillary documents.

Acquiring two retail parks for an investment fund, with a combined value of £14.86 million.

Acting on behalf of a well-known sandwich chain in relation to their acquisition of a number of new stores in London, including Westfield Stratford City and Waterloo station, which involved reviewing complex title documents and ensuring that contracts were exchanged before the deadline.

Dealing with an agreement for lease for a five-a-side football centre adjacent to Wembley Stadium.

Advising a developer in relation to an investment purchase of office and retail property from Aviva Investors for £9.16 million. This involved reviewing the development proposals, title documents and occupational leases, summarising any issues or obstacles to development and advising on solutions.

Negotiating agreements for lease and leases on behalf of a major sports retailer for a number of new stores in central London and across the UK. These were a mix of high street and shopping centre locations, including new builds requiring the negotiation of construction and development obligations.

Advising a developer client on restaurant pre-lets for London's first designer outlet centre, including agreements with Frankie & Benny's, Jimmy Spices and Handmade Burger Co. The agreements were exchanged in the early stages of the development, so the documents needed to address various issues relating to construction and co-ordinating target opening dates.

Acting for a tenant taking a lease of prime office space at Tower 42 in the City of London.

Advising on the grant of a lease to Tesco on behalf of a developer client, which included dealing with access and loading bay issues and drafting provisions in the lease to deal with the store's close proximity to residential homes.

Acting for a pension fund in the negotiation and grant of new leases to Pets at Home and Carpetright as part of a lease restructuring at one of its retail parks, which resulted in an increase in the value of the client's portfolio.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2018

    • Career
      July2018
      Gowling WLG (UK), director
  • 2016

    • Career
      July2016
      Gowling WLG (UK) LLP, principal associate
    • Career
      February2016
      Gowling WLG (UK) LLP, senior associate
  • 2015

    • Career
      2015
      Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, senior associate
  • 2013

    • Career
      2013
      Metropolitan Police
  • 2011

    • Career
      2011
      Russell-Cooke
  • 2007

    • Career
      2007
      Nabarro
  • 2006

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      2006
      Qualified, Solicitor of England & Wales
  • 2004

    • Career
      2004
      Hart Brown
  • 2003

    • Career
      2003
      Lovells
  • 1999

    • Education
      1999
      Kingston University, LLB Law