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Cambridge Spotlight: Elliot Wilson

Posted on 29 August 2023

This article is the first in our 'Cambridge Spotlight' series, profiling our lawyers based in our Cambridge office. In the series, we find out about their backgrounds, their journey through law and hear why Cambridge is important to them. 

Elliot Wilson is a Partner in the Real Estate team. He has extensive experience advising developers, entrepreneurial landowners, investors, commercial landlords, corporate occupiers, and technology and life science companies on all aspects of commercial real estate transactions with particular expertise in the renewable energy sector. 

I wanted to get into law because … I was fascinated by how the law is continually evolving and I wanted to be in an environment that constantly challenges you intellectually and commercially. After I finished my law degree at the University of East Anglia, I went to law school in Nottingham to do my LPC and undertook some work experience. It was then that I knew this was the right career for me. 

I came to be in Cambridge because … I grew up in Suffolk, which is not far from Cambridge, and I was aware it would be a fun and vibrant city to work in. Cambridge is a thriving commercial hub where you get the opportunity to act in high value and complex matters with great connections to the City, nationally and internationally. Lots of the world-leading academics and innovative businesses are here – I wanted to be part of that. 

I chose Commercial Real Estate because … I've always been interested in architecture and it's an area that clicked for me since I first studied law at university.  Working in real estate means that there is a physical embodiment of your work and it is rewarding to see the fruits of your labour.  

The thing that motivates me most is … seeing clients flourish on their growth journey – supporting them as they start out and continuing to advise them as they scale-up and become more sophisticated. The start-ups we work with are fast growth, high impact, and at the cutting-edge of innovation whose impact will have daily significance for all of us. They are bringing new and revolutionary ideas to the market that have the potential to shape a better world through innovation – working with them is inspiring and exciting. 

The work achievement I'm most proud of is … working on the sale of Elgin Energy's 519MW portfolio of solar PV projects and 70MW of co-located energy storage capacity to ScottishPower. At the time, this portfolio sale was the UK’s largest solar PV transaction to date.   

The thing that makes Cambridge such a hub of innovation is … that it is an ecosystem that actively encourages those that want to challenge the status quo, disrupt, and push boundaries to realise their ideas with professional services geared up to support innovators in reaching their full potential. It is also a centre of academic excellence and full of entrepreneurs. For example, you have the likes of Microsoft, Google, Astra Zeneca in the city – all businesses where R&D innovation is at the core of what they do. 

One opportunity from the merger is … the increased depth and enhancement of services that we can now offer from class-leading experts – including in property litigation, planning and construction – which will enable us to bring additional value to existing clients and attract new ones.  

Somebody that has inspired me during my career is … James Slinger. I joined Taylor Vinters as a trainee, and he was a Partner. He is the most commercially savvy lawyer I have worked with and an expert at distilling complex problems into layman's terms. I like to think I have picked up some of those traits and will continue to do so. 

One thing I wish I knew when I started my career is … the importance of putting yourself in the shoes of the client, having a deep understanding of their business, their drivers and what they want to achieve.  Having strong technical knowledge is a vital base, but being commercially savvy is what clients value most and what makes you stand out as a lawyer.  

One future trend in my practice area is … the focus on energy, which is an increasingly key market for us. From house builders to asset owners to business occupiers, delivering on sustainability goals and ESG targets is playing an increasingly important role in the decision making process of property transactions.  

One thing you didn’t know about me is … I'm a keen drummer in my spare time. It's a great way to de-stress. I'm also a sports enthusiast – I enjoy cricket, basketball as well as being a Manchester United fan.  

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