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Martin Dawbney



Martin is a real estate lawyer with extensive commercial property and energy experience.



Martin is a real estate lawyer with extensive commercial property and energy experience. He is qualified as a solicitor in Scotland and England, and has been a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills for 20 years. Martin works with leading companies and institutions on significant development, investment and finance transactions.

Martin is a specialist in business rates and he also helps deliver innovative finance deals involving ground rent income streams, and collaborates with other members of the firm's energy group in implementing power and wind farm transactions.

Since joining the firm more than 30 years ago, Martin has assisted many leading companies with their property requirements, acting for both landlords and tenants. He collaborates with the firm's corporate, finance and disputes practices and has a varied practice himself, including corporate support, assisting with commercial property loan documentation, PFI/PPP project work, and judicial review in the business rates context.

His business rates practice has involved taking cases to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber), and advising on rates mitigation schemes and rating liability (including the availability of the remedy of judicial review in appropriats circumstances).

He works closely with the firm’s finance practice in ground rent finance arrangements, structuring the real estate aspects to secure the lender’s position and minimise risk.

Together with our corporate team, Martin helps deliver bespoke solutions to property issues and transitional challenges. Similarly, in his work with the energy group, he helps clients achieve their objectives at every stage of the project, with particular expertise in power and renewable energy assets.

Martin’s experience includes advising:

  • Wesfarmers on its acquisition of the UK Homebase business
  • Jaguar Land Rover Limited on various UK property matters
  • Société Générale on its corporate relocation to 1 Bank Street, Canary Wharf, London E14 and other property matters
  • Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners on its acquisition and development of biomass power stations at four locations in the UK
  • InterGen (UK) Limited in connection with the construction of a gas-fired power station at Coryton, Essex (London Gateway).