Martin Smith is a partner in the firm's Real Estate Industry group and a member of its Real Estate Transactions and Hospitality & Leisure practices. Martin advises clients on all aspects of investment in UK real estate, including acquisition, development, leasing, management, and disposal. He deals with direct investment in assets as well as indirect transactions through SPVs, including limited companies and unit trusts, acting for a variety of UK institutions and international investors.
Martin represents clients investing in all asset classes including offices, retail, student accommodation, PRS and logistics. He has particular expertise in hospitality and leisure assets (advising owners and operators of hotels, holiday parks and branded private residences) and operational real estate, especially advising on ground rent sale and leaseback structures. Martin regularly represents hotel management companies on transactions throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
Martin is also involved in Goodwin’s PropTech Initiative, which is focused on supporting the intersection of Real Estate and Technology through thoughtful collaboration across the two practice areas. As a participant, Martin stays up to date on relevant market trends impacting the PropTech sector to effectively support clients involved in this space.
Martin is a member of the Urban Land Institute, a global organization that focuses on a variety of verticals within the real estate industry.
Martin’s recent experience includes representing:
- AXA IM – Real Assets backed Kadans Science Partner on the establishment of a development platform with Canary Wharf Group to build Europe’s largest commercial lab building – the transformational 750,000 square feet building will form the first phase in the construction of a world leading health and life sciences hub on an 8.2 acre Canary Wharf site, which will play a key role in establishing London and the UK as a leading destination for the life sciences sector
- Medical Properties Trust on the acquisition of a corporate structure which ultimately owns a portfolio of 30 acute care hospital facilities, valued at approximately £1.5 billion
- Slate Asset Management on its first UK acquisition, a retail park in Northern Ireland
- DWS on the acquisition of a £600 million high end student accommodation portfolio and the management agreement with operator Vita Group
- Q-Park, one of Europe's leading parking service providers, on a sale and leaseback of a portfolio of 13 assets to a variety of purchasers over a period of 12 months
- Serviced office operator, CBRE Hana, on the establishment of its platform in the UK
- Global hotel management companies on development, management and operational matters in relation to new hospitality projects in locations including Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Italy, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Spain
- A global real estate investor on its £97 million joint venture acquisition of a multi-let office building at 1-5 London Wall, London
- A real estate investment fund on the establishment of a new UK holiday parks brand, including joint venture and management agreements, site acquisitions, development and financing
- A UK holiday parks owner/operator on the ground rent sale and leaseback of a portfolio of holiday parks
- Medical Properties Trust (a U.S. REIT) on the acquisition and development funding of a new Circle operated hospital in Birmingham
Prior to joining Goodwin, Martin was a managing associate with Linklaters LLP.
The College of Law, Guildford
University of Southampton
- Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales
Recognition & Awards
Martin comes recommended by Chambers and Partners (2023) in the Real Estate category, in which clients commended him as “typically the most knowledgeable person in the room and a real asset” in transactions. He is also ranked as a leading individual by IFLR1000 (2020) and was named as a next generation real estate lawyer in The Legal 500 (2017).
Martin’s recent article publications include:
- Contributor, “Travelodge landlords must decide whether to stay or go,” Property Week, August 2020
- Co-Author, “Envisioning the New Normal: Real Estate + Technology – Part 2: Hotels,” July 2020
- Co-Author, “Renegotiating lease terms in a COVID-19 environment,” Lexis PSL, July 2020
- Contributor, "Deliveroo Teams Up With Industry Experts to Navigate Recovery of Restaurant Sector," Property Week, May 2020
- Author, "Use of Ground Rent Structures in Hospitality and Leisure Transactions," Goodwin Trend Watch, April 28, 2020
- Co-Author, "Rights of Landlords & Tenants – Unpicking the Effect of the UK Coronavirus Act," Goodwin Client Alert, April 1, 2020
- Co-Author, "Checking into UK Hospitality Transactions," Goodwin Trend Watch, April 10, 2018