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David Baybut

Chairman & Head of Real Estate


David is managing partner of real estate which comprises of our residential conveyancing and commercial property teams. He is also a our Chairman.

During his time overseeing the real estate team he has set up and delivered expert advice in niche areas such as supported living. Additionally, David has given back to the wider community through several non-executive board roles for charities and registered societies, who help some of the most vulnerable in society. He is the relationship manager for several frameworks the team is appointed to and recommended in The Legal 500.

David oversees a team of over 60 people and his team is also responsible for helping clients in distress when we act as intervention agents for the Solicitor Regulation Authority and CLC.

David has extensive experience of helping a number of charitable organisations and registered societies in many roles.

David is a board member of Partners Foundation. Partners Foundation are a not-for-profit voluntary organisation. They are a supported housing landlord that provides accommodation and related support services for people with varying levels of support needs.

David is the non-executive chair of Encircle Homes who provide homes for people with a learning disability, mental health needs, sensory impairments, homeless, leaving care homes, and physical disabilities. He is also the non-executive chair of Quay Housing another charity in the supported living sector specialising in homeless accommodation and non-executive director of Change Housing who aim to raise the industry standard in the specialist supported housing sector.

David specialises in all areas of commercial property work, including but not limited to:

  • Commercial development (including site assembly, option agreements, conditional contracts, planning agreements, pre-let)
  • Acquisition and disposal
  • Investment and portfolio transactions including legal management
  • Construction
  • Landlord and tenant law
  • Commercial finance
  • Tender and bid application assistance

In addition to acting for a wide range of commercial clients, including owner occupiers, investors and developers, David has a great deal of experience acting in the leisure, retail, pharmaceutical and health sectors. David has many years’ experience acting for housing association/registered social housing landlords, from site assemble, estate development, management to disposal on shared ownership and shared equity basis. He acts for schools and colleges, leisure providers, and many other quasi government organisations.

David is often asked for expert opinion by sector specific publications and he takes part in roundtable discussions.

On a personal note, David is a keen runner. David previously ran the London Marathon raising funds for the charity Children’s Wish. He has continued running, including on several occasions the Great North Run, and the Hawkshead 14k trail race.

What others say

"David Baybut has an understanding of what local government in-house legal departments need from panel firms." - Legal 500, 2022

"The real estate team at Stephensons have demonstrated over the last couple of years extensive knowledge of the residential long lease model. Use of shared data room has facilitated effective working. Billing is clear and well documented." - Legal 500, 2022

"Both David Baybut (Partner & Head of Real Estate) and Chris Stephens(Partner) have in-depth knowledge of the housing lease sector, and constructing associated agreements (landlord/tenant, and construction). Both are very approachable and can explain sometimes very complicated points of property law in lay persons terms. Both are very accessible and responsive when dealing with matters, they also take a co-ordinating role when working across multiple parties.’"- Legal 500, 2022

"David Baybut, client relationship partner is very responsive commercial and helpful. He can relate to us and us to him, he talks the language of the surveyors, they like that. He gives pragmatic solutions. Stephensons are very responsive, quick to respond, efficient, good to deal with” - Mark Nicholson, Senior Legal Officer, Kirklees Council

“David has offered pro bono work to support us with our ambitions to grow and thrive, offering professional advice on company matters. We have found him to be very knowledgeable, professional and approachable and nothing is ever too much trouble. He has an extensive understanding of our business and needs. Sitting on several Boards of other Housing Providers, he is able to provide invaluable support to the management" - Michelle Rimmer, Managing Director – Partners Foundation

“Over the last three years, David has used his extensive knowledge of real estate law to the benefit of Encircle Housing and the leased based specialist supported social housing leasing sector more generally. He has provided stewardship and secured favourable negotiations for smaller lesser resourced housing associations often against larger better resourced superior landlords.

Through his very effective chairing capabilities at Encircle Housing he has overseen significant governance and regulatory compliance improvements. He has ensured that housing for vulnerable people continues to secure much needed private and public leased based investment but based on more favourable terms for housing associations than historically.

David allocates a significant amount of time in a pro-bona capacity and takes a personal interest in the needs of people living in accommodation designed specifically for people with learning disabilities, sensory impairment, or mental health conditions.” Peter Aviston, Managing Director Encircle Housing

"Quays Housing is a small community Benefit Society and addressing homelessness is at the heart of what we do. David Baybut as acting Chair of Quays has come along on that journey with Quays, David along with the board have been at the forefront of driving forward Quays ethos and values to achieve success, safety and sustainability. David has been a strong support to myself as Managing Director and as a result, Quays are now in a better position to focus on other areas of significance, such as promoting social values, investing in tenants interests outside of our standard service delivery and to encourage and improve community inclusion.All our activities focus on supporting vulnerable individuals in need of accommodation. Since inception Quays Housing have supported over 800 tenants in our properties, working with over fifteen local authorities to target areas where there is a high priority need to tackle homelessness. Quays Housing staff offer housing, support needs and most importantly kindness.” Michelle Bolton, Managing Director – Quays Housing

David Baybut is a partner and head of the Stephensons’ real estate work type, overseeing the firm’s conveyancing and commercial property law teams.

He is an expert in matters relating to social housing and local authority owned housing law, particularly around issues relating to the ongoing UK ‘housing crisis’ and affordable homes. In the past he has provided analysis for leading housing and local government titles, including :

PBC Today 

David is also well positioned to provide a legal perspective on fluctuations in the housing market and the effect of changes in policy at Westminster and external forces, such as the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

In particular, David is a keen commentator on the effects of the government’s extended ‘Right To Buy’ scheme, which has seen registered providers compelled to sell their housing stock to tenants who wish to buy them.

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    • Wigan
      • Wigan Investment Centre
      • Waterside Drive
      • Wigan
      • Greater Manchester
      • WN3 5BA