Karen French has more than 30 years’ experience as a commercial property lawyer. Her work involves a range of property related areas, principally acting for corporate real estate clients across a breadth of types of sector, including manufacturing/engineering/industrial products, speciality materials and packaging, vehicle sales and distribution outlets, food and drink, health supplements, recruitment and marketing data.

Karen co-leads the corporate real estate team in Leeds and heads up the Leeds office manufacturing group. Karen has acted on a number of development projects, both residential and commercial, representing landowners, developers and buyers, including advising on strategic transactions for our corporate real estate clients where they have a need to expand, downsize or develop the properties within their real estate portfolio.

Karen is an experienced real estate partner, who manages several of our global and regional mandates, including managing the global property portfolio of Kantar (including the US and Europe) and Cummins across the EMEA region, including the likes of the UK, France, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. As such, she understands the needs of corporate occupiers, including those principally concerned with manufacturing, distribution and office space, for both their long- and short-term needs.

Karen is recognised in Chambers UK 2022 as being “knowledgeable on a broad range of real estate matters with a particular focus on high value corporate occupier work. She also has strong experience advising on transactional matters pertaining to industrial properties including sales and leases.”

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  • Acting for Cummins Limited on its UK real estate portfolio and leading the real estate portfolio of Cummins across Europe.
  • Serving on Kantar’s legal panel for its global real estate portfolio; leading and project managing that relationship on all transactions that we are instructed on around the globe.
  • Acting for Mativ Group on its UK Real Estate portfolio.
  • Leading the real estate team that provide real estate legal services to Gate Gourmet in respect of their airline food business across the UK.
  • Acting for Univar Limited on its UK real estate portfolio.
  • Acting for TransUnion on the renegotiation of the leases for its headquarters.


  • Newcastle University, LL.B., 1984
  • College of Law, Chester, L.P.C., 1983


  • England and Wales, 1986
  • “She is the most approachable legal professional I have ever dealt with and someone who speaks to me in terms I will understand. I cannot thank Karen enough for her support and advice.” Chambers 2024
  • “Karen French is outstanding in her role. She gives great advice and always knows someone who can help if you need expert knowledge.” The Legal 500 2024

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