Stephen Harris

I find that I am a point of contact for a number of my clients for whatever their legal problem happens to be. I enjoy the law and if I don't know an answer, I need to find it. Having worked in the customer service industry as a restaurant manager for many years before taking up law, I like to go the extra mile for my clients to keep them informed and to gain the result they want. I embrace new technology and try to work as paperless as possible.

I am a Partner at Spencer West in the commercial property / real estate team and am based in Exeter.

Prior to joining Spencer West, I have been practising commercial property law since 2003 at various firms in Exeter and the South-West of England, including at Ashfords and before that at Bond Pearce (now Womble Bond Dickinson).

I undertake a variety of complex work on behalf of a range of clients, including a mix of commercial property transactions, but have particular expertise in business landlord and tenant matters, sale and purchase of commercial properties including HMOs and student letting properties, small development and estate set up, secured lending and business asset sales/purchases.

My clients include pension providers, commercial investors and developers, landlords and tenants, banks and business operators.

I was born and schooled in Adelaide, South Australia and undertook my Undergraduate degree in Brisbane, Queensland. I then lived and worked in and around Noosa Heads on the sunshine coast for a number of years before meeting an English girl and travelling to the UK where I undertook the law conversion course in Exeter and have lived and worked as a solicitor ever since.

Recent Experience

  • Acting on the sale of development land conditional upon the buyer/developer obtaining planning permission – including advising on the potential security requirements of lenders
  • Acting on the purchase of a retail park with occupational tenants at a purchase price of £2.45m
  • Sale of purpose built fully occupied student letting property for more than £5m
  • Purchase of development land, estate set up and assisting with plot sales
  • Purchase and sale of businesses as a going concern (including transfer of employees, assets, contracts and goodwill)
  • Acting for a number of pension providers in respect of numerous transactions involving the transfer of commercial and agricultural property to SIPP & SSAS funds
  • Acting for an employment services company in the lease (as tenant) of dozens of office premises in London, the South West and South East UK. These transactions have ranged from small offices with rents of around £20,000 p.a. to large offices in London with rents in excess of £130,000 p.a.
  • Acting for various clients on the purchase and sale by way of auction of commercial property.