Helen Garthwaite



T: +44 (0)20 7395 3095

Helen Garthwaite's LinkedIn profile


Helen acts for all sectors of the construction and development industry advising corporations and institutions owning, investing in, financing and procuring development and infrastructure projects in the residential, office, retail and industrial sectors with experience of public and privately funded schemes.

She has leading expertise in sustainable construction having led the acclaimed industry reports Hitting the Green Wall (2009) and Behind the Green Façade (2010) and is a member of the working party of the Better Buildings Partnership on Energy Performance Contracting.

Helen is co-founder of the Tomorrow’s City, Today’s Challenge initiative and a member of the Board of Management of the British Council for Offices; recently chairing the launch of the BCO Report “Wearables in the Workplace” October 2016.

Recent Experience

Current projects include:

  • High end residential developments (116 units in 2 linked buildings) for leading developer at Millbank and Marylebone (55 units and amenity space), City of Westminster.
  • City of London residential tower development with world class concert hall and theatre facilities for institutional developer.
  • Development and construction advice for multiple retirement living residential developments (each 100+ units with amenity space and care support) for US backed developer new to the UK market with sites at various development stages from pre-planning to construction.
  • Mixed use development in the Park Royal development area with proposed delivery of 450+ residential units (student accommodation, build to rent, affordable, private mix) with office and new community retail/leisure destination for a private family investor/developer.
  • Headquarter office fit out in iconic City landmark office development for global insurer including fit out contract, bond and insurance arrangements.
  • Construction advice and documentation for redevelopment of former airfield in Suffolk for private developer/investor in joint venture including estate infrastructure.

Notable projects include:

  • Advising public grant body (both at strategic and project vehicle levels) in relation to construction security in respect of finance for numerous millennium linked construction projects nationwide with grants ranging from £100,000 to £40m. Schemes involved complex structuring to facilitate additional finance and tax requirements.
  • Advising Heron International on its City of London schemes including the office development known as Heron Tower in relation to construction financing, handover and post completion matters and the office scheme known as “The Peak” on issues arising from the London Victoria Business Improvement District and Victoria Station upgrade including stakeholder engagement with Westminster City Council, TfL and local residents and business associations.
  • Leading the multi discipline legal team advising a UK institutional lender on the restructuring of the Grosvenor Apartments on London’s Park Lane with construction stalled at 60% complete including renegotiation of all construction contracts, securing support of third party and off-short interests, refinance and successful completion.
  • Acting for the Royal Hospital Chelsea in the development at its Grade I listed site of The Lady Margaret Thatcher Infirmary, a 21st century care facility for the ‘Chelsea Pensioners’.
  • Construction advice and documentation for social landlord for pathfinder urban residential zero energy development at Beddington known as BedZED.
  • Construction documentation for relocation of new UK and European Headquarters for US bank to Canary Wharf Tower, Docklands and then to the City.
  • Advising a German financial institution in connection with the finalising of construction of a student accommodation facility in Leeds; the tallest student accommodation tower in Europe and which involved modular construction.
  • Advising a European lender on the significant facility for the Cannon Place office development over Cannon Street station, London and negotiations with related key stakeholders including Network Rail and London Underground Limited concerning infrastructure improvements.

Career History

Helen has over 25 years’ experience providing construction and development legal advice for a wide range of schemes from project inception and feasibility through to completion – including leading construction and multidisciplinary transaction teams. She is recognised as a leader in her field for over 15 years and profiled in the Law Society’s Gazette.

Helen is a member (and past Council member) of the Society of Construction Law and of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. She is internationally ranked expert by Euromoney (2017) as one of 18 UK Women in Construction.

Helen holds a Master of Science in Construction Law and Arbitration, Kings College, London and she qualified as a solicitor in 1990.



  • “Building for Life not Age” – Building, July 2018
  • Regulation has a key role to play in infrastructure improvement” – Property Week, July 2017
  • Building a connected tomorrow’s city” – UK Construction Online, July 2017
  • Investing now to futureproof tomorrow’s infrastructure” – Infrastructure Intelligence, July 2017
  • JCT subcontracts: Court of Appeal calls time on extensions of time” – Construction News, March 2017
  • BCO Guide for Specification”, British Council of Offices (contributor legal issues)
  • Building Information Modelling Report”, British Council of Offices, May 2013 (steering group member)
  • Hitting the Green Wall… and Beyond – 2010 Sustainability Report” (led the Report, published in conjunction with British Property Federation)
  • Behind the Green Façade 2009 Sustainability Report” (led the report, winner of the Property Marketing Awards and Victor Ludorum 2010)
  • “Construction, Law and the Environment” – Joint Editor with Professor John UFF QC

"A very good lawyer with a top-notch rating among clients"

— Chambers UK, 2020

"A fountain of legal knowledge and very impressive on transactions."

— Chambers UK, 2018

"Approachable and realistic in looking after clients' interests."

— Chambers UK, 2018

"Always providing excellent advice, articulating complex legal issues in a fashion that can be readily understood and rapidly actioned" according to an interviewee. She has a notable non-contentious practice and often represents leading domestic property developers."

— Chambers UK, 2017


Introducing the BCO guide to Specification 2019 – Best practice for offices


Episode 5: Retail Therapy: the future of retail and wellness in Tomorrow’s City


Building a connected tomorrow’s city


Building for life, not age – By Helen Garthwaite


Place, Tech and People: Creating Offices Of The Future – By Helen Garthwaite and Suzanne Gill


Regulation has a key role to play in infrastructure improvement – By Helen Garthwaite and Suzanne Gill