Alison Key



Alison is Head of Real Estate, and specialises in a wide variety of real estate matters including leading projects, delivering strategic advice and numerous acquisitions, disposals, conditional contracts and forward funding agreements as well as all aspects of asset management.
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About Alison

  • Biography

    Alison leads our Commercial Real Estate team. She has over 20 years’ experience advising clients across a range of sectors acting for owners, investors, tenants, funds and developers as well as for local authorities and other charitable or public bodies. Her key clients include intu, Lendlease, Quintain and Cheshire West & Chester Borough Council.

    Alison has a particular specialism in all aspects of retail, food and beverage and leisure including shopping centres, factory outlets and mixed use schemes.

    Relevant experience includes advising:

    • A pension fund on the forward purchase of two industrial warehouse schemes with a combined value of nearly £100 million, including dealing with sale and purchase contracts and managing the internal due diligence team dealing with planning and construction advice and general real estate title review. Both properties were under construction so planning and construction were critical in terms of condition sign off and ongoing responsibilities. We have recently advised on a planning related issue and continue to act on the transactional lettings.
    • A pension fund on the acquisition of a mixed use investment (including residential) for circa £55 million. The transaction involved a substantial due diligence exercise in relation to the freehold and leasehold titles, 55+ retail and leisure tenants, 30 office and residential owners/occupiers and associated ownership matters, and an agreement of a complex sale and purchase contract including rent guarantee/top up provisions, tenant management, and ongoing works obligations.
    • An education sector client on the acquisition of a large Manchester city centre site for acquisition including dealing with the purchase agreement, site transfer and a number of agreements relating to the site as a whole, pre-emption rights, works obligations and estate obligations together with subsequent development and strategic advice and funding support.
    • The development of a circa £80 million town centre regeneration mixed retail and leisure led scheme which involved detailed title assembly and risk report leading to CPO and appropriation, state aid and governance advice, the anchor pre-letting of cinema, large format food store and retail anchors, grant funding documentation, and creation of commercial unit documentation.
    • The purchase of a shopping centre with development angles which involved a substantial due diligence exercise in relation to 70 + retail and leisure occupiers, title due diligence in relation to a number of separate titles/interests, interrogation of restrictive obligations/cross rights, negotiation of agreement for purchase, and the creation of commercial unit documentation and ongoing asset management.

    Alison is recognised by Chamber & Partners for her “clear and sensible guidance” and as someone for whom “nothing is too much trouble, she always makes time”. Alison is recognised as a leading individual by the Legal 500.

    In addition, Alison is a member of Revo.

Sector Expertise
  • Real Estate

Service Expertise
  • Asset Management

Office Location

Manchester Skyline


  • 3 Hardman Street
  • Manchester
  • M3 3HF

+44 (0) 161 934 3260

View our office


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