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Peter Swinburn

Chief Executive

Home office: Southampton and London
Peter Swinburn - Partner - Commerical Property - Clarke Willmott Southampton - 13112018

Peter is Clarke Willmott’s CEO and chair of its executive board. He is responsible for defining and implementing the firm’s strategy.

Prior to becoming CEO, Peter was responsible for the delivery of excellent client service and management of our people strategy for our Real Estate practice. He worked closely with our teams to preserve and build on the excellent reputation that the firm has in this key legal area.

Peter specialises in development, investment, retail and property finance. His work includes acquisitions and disposals of freehold and leasehold property for investment and development, substantial landlord and tenant work acting both for large institutional landlords and tenants and smaller enterprises, drafting and negotiation of heads of terms and development agreements (incorporating overage, construction and collateral warranty provisions), property finance (including the securitisation of debt against property portfolios), the provision of Law Society form Certificates of Titles and general property management work.

Peter acts for, and is client relationship partner for, some of the firm’s major clients in these sectors, including Fat Face, Cornish Bakery, Student Homes, Sheet Anchor (London and Cambridge Properties) and Lloyds. Peter is also relationship partner for some of the firm’s key local authority contracts including New Forest District Council and Isle of Wight Council.

Peter joined Clarke Willmott as a Partner in May 2011, having previously worked at Shoosmiths since March 2006. Peter qualified with Bevan Ashford in 2004, having trained in London, Bristol and Exeter.

Peter is a member of the Southampton Property Association and is also a trustee of The Hampton Trust and Business Beats Cancer.


  • Property management – Peter is relationship partner for a large clothing retailer. Peter’s team manage the property portfolio. The work includes contested and non-contested lease renewals, property litigation, regearing and relocating of stores and general property management.
  • Property finance – Peter has developed a strong reputation in the market for property finance and acts for key financial institutions in connection with the securitisation of debt. Peter’s team recently completed a £50m refinancing of a 250 strong property portfolio, undertaking full due diligence and the provision of Certificates of Title.
  • Local authority – Peter is relationship partner for one of the firm’s key local authority contracts. The team that Peter has developed to work on the local authority mandate have invested considerable time in understanding the needs, requirements and focus of the Client. The instructions from legal services are often varied and wide ranging, and can involve a great deal of complexity. The total team size now extends to some 20 lawyers spanning across various disciplines including commercial property, property litigation, construction, planning, employment and commercial contracts.
  • Investment – Peter is relationship partner for the firm’s largest student housing client. Our client has been on an aggressive and successful acquisition drive with a significant number of teams involved in the delivery of the purchase of a significant property portfolio.


A client remarks: ‘Peter is very experienced and knowledgeable in his field. He provides us with a first-class service, and his approach is always thorough, proactive and commercially sensible’.

Chambers UK 2020

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