Freehold is a leading and unique networking forum for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender real estate professionals working within the real estate sector. Since its official launch in September 2011, the group has grown to over 1000 members and continues to expand.
Freehold is a network set up exclusively for the real estate industry and its members include building surveyors, valuation surveyors, agency surveyors, asset managers, architects, developers, investors and property lawyers from both the public and private sector.
As an industry first for real estate professionals, Freehold is the collaboration of two major players in real estate – international law firm Taylor Wessing and leading building and property consultants Tuffin Ferraby Taylor.
With the backing and support of the lesbian, gay and bisexual charity, Stonewall, the aim of Freehold is to address the equality gap for the LGBT community. The property sector considerably lags behind other industries in tackling sexual orientation issues. Evidence has demonstrated that people perform better when they are encouraged to be themselves and Freehold is there to provide support so that members of the group can feel empowered to do just that.
Freehold hosts regular events that bring the LGBT community together to network with other real estate professionals and to share concerns and issues as well as to explore business opportunities in an informal environment.
David is a Chartered Building Surveyor, specialising in Technical Due Diligence and Project Monitoring for investors and funds. He leads TFT’s London office and is on their Executive as Marketing Partner. He works with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors promoting diversity and is chair of the working group producing industry guidance on technical due diligence of commercial property.
Saleem is head of the firm’s Real Estate Disputes group. He has experience of all types of disputes arising in relation to leasehold and freehold land. This includes rent reviews, dilapidations claims and service charge disputes. Saleem also has particular expertise in dealing with real estate issues arising in insolvency situations.
Brie is a client focused property specialist with 27 years of experience in dealing with property litigation and transactions. Her property work extends to property related professional negligence and probate. She is also an experienced mediator and sits as a First Tier Tribunal Judge in the Property Chamber – Land Registration. Brie is also a member of the Bar Standards Board Quality Assurance Committee.
Brian is a Chartered Accountant, who has worked in the property sector for over 30 years. He joined Shaftesbury at its inception in 1986 and spent 25 years as Finance Director, moving up to become Chief Executive in 2011. He has overall responsibility for strategy and day-to-day operations. Shaftesbury is a FTSE250 Real Estate Investment Trust, with a market capitalisation of £2.6 billion. It has assembled a portfolio of 14 acres of freeholds, comprising over 500 buildings in the centre of London’s West End, principally in Carnaby, Chinatown and Covent Garden.
An urban planner by trade, Chris now leads on implementing Travers Smith’s D&I strategy as well as managing the Firm’s Corporate Social Responsibility Programme. Before joining Travers Smith in 2015, Chris was a Client Group Manager at Stonewall where he advised the construction, property and engineering sectors on how to develop inclusive workplaces for lesbian, gay and bisexual people. Chris previously worked for the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment where he helped a range of clients to plan, manage and design better public spaces.
Kelly is a Chartered Surveyor with over 20 years’ experience in the property industry, media and coaching. She is the Programme Manager for Changing the Face of Property and Property Needs You, a collaboration of 12 of the largest real estate companies in the UK who are working together to accelerate diversity and inclusion across the real estate industry.
Marko is a Chartered Project Manager at Clarion Housing Group. Prior to joining Clarion, Marko spent around four years working on Battersea Power Station redevelopment, including on the delivery of the Power Station itself. He led Freehold's entry at London Pride in 2019.
Misa is UK Head of Marketing & Communications at BNP Paribas Real Estate and Strutt & Parker. Misa has over 20 years' Marketing experience and has worked in the Property sector since 2004. In addition to her day job, Misa is a trustee of the University College of Estate Management and Eastside Young Leaders Academy. Prior to joining BNPPRE, she worked in Marketing at JLL and was instrumental in setting up their LGBT ‘Building Pride’ network.
A chartered surveyor with more than 20 years’ experience in commercial property. Ollie sits on the Executive Board of JLL and is the Lead Director for the Alternatives Division which encompasses student housing, healthcare, self storage, data centres and other specialist assets. Ollie authored “Valuation Calculations : 101 Worked Examples” which was published by the RICS in 2010, and he sits on the Valuation Advisory Panel of the College of Estate Management. He was a partner at Deloitte until 2014.
Paul is a Property Finance Director at British Land; prior to joining British Land Paul was an audit Director at EY. He founded and until recently chaired British Land’s LGBT and allies’ network, the BL Pride Alliance. Through a programme of events, activities and communications the BL Pride Alliance has been instrumental in driving dialogue and coordinating awareness of LGBT issues and change across the British Land.