Rachel is a Partner in the commercial property team. She has extensive experience advising public and private sector clients on a range of commercial real estate transactions including development and regeneration schemes, investment acquisitions and disposals, funding, letting and portfolio management. She also advises institutional lenders on high value secured lending transactions matters in respect of acquisition and development finance and re-financing transactions.
With a particular emphasis on advising public sector clients, Rachel works with housing associations, universities, local authorities and health boards and Police Authorities. She has also provided advice to public sector clients on public law matters including planning, corporate governance and public procurement issues in the context of development projects.
Working with property developers and housing associations, Rachel is well-versed in a wide range of commercial property aspects, from site acquisitions and planning agreements to the purchase, development and disposal of sites. Her expertise spans across a variety of sectors; affordable housing, residential development, local authority regeneration schemes, housing development and more.
Key clients include Bellway Homes, Stonewater, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Natural Resources Wales (NRW), Dyfed Powys Police, Bridgend County Borough Council and other educational institutions.
A key part of her work, Rachel has advised Cardiff University on land exchange and development at Cathays, various local authorities in respect of portfolio management issues, landlord and tenant advice, and acquisition and onward disposal of land.
Lease renewals, lease restructuring and long-lease transactions also play a significant part in Rachel’s work, where she has advised NRW and Cardiff & Vale University Health Board as part of the UHB’s risk management strategy.
On the commercial side, during her time as a public sector in-house lawyer, Rachel advised on and drafted a wide range of commercial contracts including advising on commercial terms of sale and purchase contracts, standard terms, framework agreements, collaboration and partnership arrangements and joint venture agreements. This also included associated state aid issues, risk management and public procurement issues relevant to contracting authorities.
Rachel has also advised on preparation and drafting of Heads of Terms and Memorandum of Understanding involving various public sector organisations in the context of partnership working and collaborative arrangements.
Rachel graduated from Cardiff University with an LLB and went on to complete a Master of Laws in Commercial and International Law from University of Sheffield. Moving on to work for the Faculty of Law in Aberystwyth, she assisted two professors on a research project concerning trade restrictions and barriers to free market of goods and services within the European Union.
Rachel then continued her education through the completion of a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from College of Law in Chester. Upon qualifying, she joined the commercial property team in Morgan Cole (now Blake Morgan). Prior to joining Hugh James in 2017, as a Senior Associate, Rachel worked in the Corporate Division of South Wales and Gwent Police Joint Legal Services as a corporate and property lawyer. Rachel became a Partner in May 2022.