Nicola Insley

Legal Director

Personal Profile

Nicola is a Legal Director in the planning team in the Real Estate department. The Planning team advises leading commercial and residential property developers, property companies, investment funds and high net worth individuals on a broad range of planning matters. 

Nicola advises clients on complex planning strategies which are future facing. She is focused on delivering flexibility and reducing costs in the planning and development process. She is a Community Infrastructure Levy and affordable housing expert. Nicola regularly advises on planning appeals and challenges, planning, highway and development agreements, community infrastructure levy, planning policy examination and interpretation, environmental impact assessments, listed buildings, planning enforcement, and certificates of lawfulness.

She has extensive experience of regeneration and alternative residential development including build to rent, student accommodation and co-living. She also has specialist experience of hotel, retail and office development in high value locations.

Nicola has also acted for clients across the commercial and logistics sectors. She has experience of development of data centres for large tech companies, and warehouse development including "last mile" logistics and new concept such as "beds and sheds" where industrial and residential uses are combined on a single site. She also has experience of working on development projects in the City of London including tall buildings and complex heritage and highways matters.

Nicola is also a member of Women in Property and has been nominated for several awards for her work in social mobility.


Key Experience

  • Acting on the planning strategy for the regeneration of Wembley park as a destination including the largest single-site purpose built build to rent development in the UK
  • Acting on the delivery of a first-class light industrial and urban logistics facilities, alongside c1000 homes at the former Nestle factory.
  • Acting on the regeneration of Notting Hill Gate and the Stratford Centre;
  • Acting for public and private pension funds on their development portfolios including development in London around proposed transport hubs;
  • Acting for Chinese and Korean investors on their acquisition and re-generation of large assets in London, including complex CIL strategies;
  • Developing strategies for the regeneration of grade II listed tall buildings in Westminster for high net worth individuals;
  • Acting on planning appeals relating to the delivery of large hotels and student accommodation in sensitive locations.
  • Complex advice on the use of permitted development rights as part of a planning strategy to enable residential development in inner London for
  • Acting for tech giants on the delivery of large data centres in outer London
  • Successfully challenging planning refusals in the courts in Berkshire Assets (West London) Ltd, R (on the application of) v London Borough of Hounslow [2018] EWHC 2896 (Admin)

Career History

Legal Director, Mishcon de Reya LLP 
Senior Associate, CMS
Cambridge University, BA Law
Open University, Master of Laws


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