Simon qualified as a Solicitor in August 2006 and worked at a leading International law firm for 17.5 years before joining Birketts in February 2022. He is a Partner in our Commercial Property Team.
Simon has extensive experience of advising investors, occupiers and developers on a wide range of commercial property matters and has particular expertise in strategic land promotion and development and in acting for landowners and occupiers on managing their assets, in particular development leasing. Earlier in his career, Simon undertook two separate secondments to the in-house legal teams of two major corporate occupiers and so has a very clear understanding of what they require and why, and of how to guide occupiers through the process of leasing and then managing business space, which both his occupier and landowner clients find invaluable on transactions.
Simon seeks to provide pragmatic, commercial advice, and to build constructive working relationships with both clients and counterparties in order to ensure that the experience of each transaction is as smooth and good natured as it can be. And, as a member of the committee that oversees and updates the Model Commercial Lease, he has excellent credibility and recognition by his peers, too.
Sustainability, ESG and all the real estate issues arising from these increasingly important topics are of particular interest to Simon, who has advised extensively on “green leasing” and the complex web of legislation emerging as the UK heads towards net zero, including Energy Performance Certificates, Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards, and the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme, as well as helping various clients with their responsible property investment and ESG policies and strategies.
Some of Simon’s most recent experience includes acting for landowners, promoters and developers on several major strategic land projects across England, including joint venture agreements, promotion and development agreements and structured sale/purchase agreements, in particular:
- a joint venture to deliver a new logistics park in Exeter*
- the promotion of a new office/business park development in Winchester*
- and the delivery of substantial residential schemes in Uckfield (East Sussex), Ashford (Kent), Leighton Buzzard (Bedfordshire) and Newark (Nottinghamshire)*
His landlord/tenant experience includes acting for both major institutional investors and blue chip corporate occupiers on retail, office and industrial/logistics properties, including the management of major shopping centres and pre-leasing offices, as well as disposals of surplus space (by way of assignment, subletting and surrender) and lease regears and renewals*.
* Experience gained prior to joining Birketts.
Simon grew up and was educated in Cambridge and, having relocated back to Cambridgeshire in early 2020, is based in our Cambridge office.
Simon is recommended and named as a ‘Leading Individual’ by Legal 500 [UK 2024]. In this edition, clients note “‘Simon Keen leads the team with exceptional commercial and legal expertise that would not go unnoticed in a larger London firm.”
Awards and Memberships
Simon Keen leads the team with exceptional commercial and legal expertise that would not go unnoticed in a larger London firm.
Legal 500 [UK 2024]