Russell Cooke Putney London 2

About Howard

Representing clients from a very wide range of real estate interests, gives me a broad perspective enabling solutions to complex and often novel challenges. Long-term client relationships, some going back around 40 years, have been a basis for a clear, and sometimes almost telepathic, understanding of clients’ needs.

Howard advises private, public, commercial, charity and not-for-profit clients on all aspects of property development, investment, business leases and occupational matters.

Development schemes where Howard has advised clients have included regeneration of ‘brown-field’ sites, mixed–use schemes with bespoke structures to mitigate residential enfranchisement, joint ventures, overage agreements, government/public sector grants and complex SDLT issues.

Howard qualified in 1980 and joined Russell-Cooke as a partner in 2005 after 19 years as a partner at an international law firm in the City.


  • Acting for a school needing to move to a new location to make way for a council-led regeneration scheme surrounding the school’s existing site. The deal involved many complex interrelated aspects including: re-organizing its original ownership structure, development, leasing and several other agreements with novel/bespoke procurement and financing terms for the custom designed new school building, its potential freehold joint ownership with the other lessee of the new building to mitigate consequences of 1920s enfranchisement law, construction, planning and charity law advice; leading our team of lawyers negotiating with the seven counter-parties involved. Construction of the new building was successfully completed and became fully operational in early 2021

  • For over 35 years, representing the property development and investment arms of an enterprise group based in the South East on: 

    • sales, purchases and on-going leasing and management of its investment property portfolio, including disposals in anticipation of prospective redevelopment including complex overage terms

    • many development/regeneration projects, from acquisition of green- or brown-field sites, JVs, overage, grant funding, planning and other infrastructure arrangements, utility company interests, environmental considerations, complex SDLT deferment clearances, commons/open land issues, through to ultimate freehold or leasehold disposals/lettings of units on completed schemes often involving management companies, or disposal of a turn-key site to ultimate developer

    • its refinancing of a portfolio of properties for circa £25 million

    • the sale of its portfolio of investment properties for in excess of £50 million

A great team player.
The Legal 500 (2014)
  • Leading a team of lawyers representing a charity on the property aspects of the sale for in excess of £100 million of its commercial trading subsidiary with a portfolio of 34 sites

  • Representing a mixed-use property development company on the private treaty or auction acquisitions of sites for development, bank funding arrangements for acquired sites, related leasing and infra-structure arrangements prior to turnkey disposals

  • Acting for a charity on a complex conditional redevelopment agreement with the objective of the re-provision of a new operational facility within the final mixed-use scheme. The project included an unusual sale, leaseback and reacquisition arrangement to mitigate enfranchisement risks and multiple price adjustments and overage terms

  • The re-location of the City HQ to Canary Wharf of the European/UK arm of an overseas publicly quoted international transportation conglomerate

  • The property aspects of the refinancing for in excess of £70 million of a client’s portfolio of over 60 investment and trading properties


  • Member of the Commercial Real Estate Legal Association (CRELA)

Howard's highlights



Russell-Cooke assists Goldcrest Custom Homes in breaking new ground

Pieter Boodt, Partner in the Russell-Cooke Solicitors, real estate, planning and construction team. Russell-Cooke Solicitors staff photograph. Silhouette of a female team member against the backdrop of an office window and corridor with a soft focus effect.
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Pieter Boodt, Howard Swindall
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