Shoosmiths at Olympic marina plaque unveiling

Shoosmiths at Olympic marina plaque unveiling

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Author: Alastair Gray

A Shoosmiths partner was among guests invited to see Lord Coe unveil a plaque at Portland Marina, which hosted sailing the events at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Real estate specialist Graham Bennett used his marine-related knowledge to advise the Dorset marina's owner Dean & Reddyhoff Ltd on development matters and putting together the legal structures required for delivering an Olympic venue.

He and associate Alison Westbrook advised on water side lease negotiations with the Crown Estate, and on land side lease arrangements with the South West of England Regional Development Agency.

Shoosmiths also advises Dean & Reddyhoff, which has been a client since 2006, on commercial and retail unit lettings. It also runs a helpline for general legal queries concerning all four if its marinas.

Bennett was among the 40 guests who witnessed Lord Coe - a former Olympian and London 2012 mastermind - reveal the commemorative plaque.

The inscription on it reads: Commemorating the role played by Portland Marina in hosting the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games Sailing Events, unveiled by Sebastian Coe CH KBE on 18th July 2013

Portland Marina was the scene of five Olympic sailing successes for Great Britain, with four silver medals and a gold, which was won by Ben Ainslie.

Bennett, who is based at the national law firm's Southampton office, said: "It was a great honour to be invited to attend the ceremony, and at a venue that I've become very closely involved with over the past few years.

"The plaque is testament to the hard work our client has put in to make Portland Marina a truly world class facility. It's well deserved."

Bennett, who has been at Shoosmiths almost 20 years, specialises in real estate development, acquisition, leasing, financing and disposal work, and is head of the firm's public sector group.

He has worked on the privatisation of Chatham Docks and Southend Airport - both of which were the first of their kind in the UK - and has advised on major regeneration projects across the south, including Rochester Riverside, redevelopment of West Medina Mills, and the Gateway to Portsmouth project.

As well as Portland Marina, Dean & Reddyhoff - founded by sailors John Dean and Richard Reddyhoff - runs marinas at Weymouth, also in Dorset; Haslar, in Hampshire; and East Cowes, on the Isle of Wight.

Reddyhoff said: "We were delighted to have Graham at the unveiling. Without his knowledge and experience, Portland Marina might not have made it as an Olympic venue or become one of the sailing fraternity's most popular facilities."