An acknowledged authority and admired figure in contentious and non-contentious commercial property law, Harvey advises large corporate occupiers including Channel 4 and Universal Music on leasing or acquiring buildings across the UK. He also has considerable expertise in the investment, development, sales and letting of all types of commercial property. Yet despite his expertise, Harvey sees things from a typically different perspective.
“I see myself as just a lawyer,” he says. “I grew up in a generation where the specialisation people have now was not so normal.” That legacy of generalism and his breadth of knowledge have proved advantageous on countless occasions.
Buying the Trocadero
“Many years ago I was involved in a transaction to buy the Trocadero for a client,” Harvey recalls. “I negotiated the contract virtually all on my own. On the vendor’s side I dealt with 23 different lawyers. These were really bright, able people, but did they have the overview of the contract that I did? No. Did they understand how it all fitted together? Probably not. That’s where the breadth of knowledge counts.”
Thinking round corners
What would Harvey’s clients describe as his greatest asset? “I think they would say I find solutions to problems that other lawyers don’t,” he says. “I think round corners. I have an ability to look at a problem and think, ‘well, I know that would happen if we applied a certain law in a certain way to area X – but what happens if we apply it area Y?’”
Risk vs reward
“It’s taken me a long time to understand the parts of the law I like,” Harvey admits. “And I love doing law now because I do the intellectually difficult bits. Due diligence may be the backbone of property law but that’s not what I enjoy. What gets me out of bed is the intellectual challenge – finding a different way of looking at something.
“In essence, what I do is an incredibly complex game. I play it well by thinking about the rules of the game, by seeing what the rules mean and how I might apply them in a slightly different way to solve problems. The stakes can be high – winning could mean saving tens of millions of pounds. You won’t always win but the risk/reward ratio makes it worth it for my clients.”
Qualifications & Experience
Harvey attended Manchester University, gaining his LLB Hons in 1981 and qualifying as a solicitor in 1984.
Specialism in property was never the ambition – he started in criminal law – but “as a lot of my contemporaries who aren’t in law are in property I suppose it was a natural progression. As time went by I was funnelled into property.”
Harvey joined GSC in 1990 and became a partner in 1993.back to profiles
‘A small firm which punches well above its weight’ GSC Solicitors LLP undertook leasing transactions for several blue-chip corporate tenants, particularly in the media sector. It acted for a number of hotel owners regarding the acquisition and development of new hotels.
“We have found the service excellent, and it is for this reason we have continued to use GSC. The key strengths for us have been a commercial approach to deals that is often missing from solicitors, and a personal service based on a knowledge of us and our needs and long-term plans.”
“The main positive comparison we have noted from GSC is the personal touch and commercial acumen.”
“We have often used different legal firms for IP and other work in the past, but GSC’s commercial approach and professionalism, coupled with the excellent working relationship we have built up over a number of years makes it our preferred choice.”
“As a Financial Advisor I have been personally using and recommending GSC for over thirty years. I have referred clients of mine to them and only ever been thanked for the recommendation, which should convey the confidence I have in the individuals, and the firm.”
“Great result today. Just wanted to say thank you for your continued hard work in fighting our corner on this case. You have both been amazing. Michael incredible support and good ideas.”
Legal 500: ‘Harvey Posener is a trusted and reliable pair of hands that has helped guide the business through multiple complex deals and landlord related matters over many years.’
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