Neil is a partner in the commercial property team.

Neil has considerable knowledge and experience in advising clients in the central issues that arise: notably the occupying, development and buying and selling of commercial property.

Neil prides himself on being a client centred and proactive lawyer. He combines specialist legal knowledge with practical and common sense concerns to achieve (and exceed) client expectations. Client feedback emphasises that Neil is friendly, straightforward, professional and a ‘good listener’. His effectiveness is demonstrated by high client satisfaction and retention ratings.


Neil’s expertise encompasses commercial letting and leases; landlord tenant relations; rent reviews and recovery; buying and selling companies and businesses; development, refinancing and disposals. Clients are drawn from a wide range of sectors including hospitality, banking, charity, education, leisure, ecclesiastical and healthcare, ranging from individuals and small businesses to large companies with diverse property portfolios. He also regularly acts for doctors, dentists and pharmacists, as well as care home owners. Most clients are based in Hertfordshire and Greater London but there is also a wider UK representation. In addition, Neil advises clients based abroad and offshore property investment companies.

Neil graduated from the University of Durham in 2003 with a BSc Hons degree in Natural Sciences. He then took the law conversion course and joined Debenhams Ottaway as a trainee lawyer in 2007. He qualified with the firm in 2009, achieved a Masters Degree in Law (LLM) with distinction in 2011 (having been awarded a scholarship) was promoted to senior lawyer in 2017, salary partner in 2020 and equity partner in 2024.

Neil received the Marcus Godman Prize awarded by the Hertfordshire Law Society for the highest mark achieved by a trainee lawyer at law school.

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Neil is a member of The Property Section of the Law Society.

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What Clients Say
  • I have recommended Neil Mercer to my clients for many years as he always gives an excellent level of service.

    Legal 500 UK 2023
  • Excellent skills and abilities are demonstrated at all times. The commitment and dedication to achieving the goal and objection is outstanding. Neil Mercer is a fantastic example of the great staff working at Debenhams Ottaway

    Legal 500 UK 2023
  • Neil Mercer is hardworking and responsive, and has specialist knowledge of charitable ecclesiastical aspects of property law matters, including trusts aspects relevant to those matters. Neil manages a very large portfolio of charitable property matters including sales, purchases, leases, development agreements and other property matters.

    Legal 500 UK 2023
  • We have worked with Neil Mercer for a number of years. He has always acted in a very professional, helpful and friendly way. He has excellent knowledge and when required will pass any matters he is not familiar with on to another solicitor.

    Legal 500 UK 2023
  • Neil Mercer and Rosie Penny are both highly capable and amongst a very small handful of solicitors that we recommend to clients.

    Legal 500 UK 2023
  • I have worked with Neil on a number of matters over the last few years and can only compliment him on his excellent communication skills. He expresses himself clearly both in verbal and written form and along with his positive attitude, commitment and professionalism, matters are dealt with in a timeliness manner. Neil makes the ease of doing business very easy for me personally, in a quality and efficient manner.

    John Lee, Estates and Facilities Manager, McNicholas Constructions Services Limited
  • Neil Mercer was appointed by one of our clients for a relatively complicated sale incorporating a mix of commercial and residential property. The process involved me in a considerable amount of communication with Neil. At all stages Neil provided a very strong mix of skills to achieve completion – namely pro-activeness, very fast response times and above all transforming situations from being complicated to clear-cut and hence not cause any delays. I certainly look forward to working with Neil on the next conveyance.

    David Lees, Sales Director, Northwood St Albans
  • Neil always replied to calls or emails promptly. Neil and the staff were friendly and helpful.

    Nicola Cottrell
  • The best aspect of Debenhams Ottaway is your professionalism, honesty and knowledge whilst still staying friendly.

    Naz Tahir
  • Regular and clear communication at every step of the journey. Courteous and professional approach.

  • Communication was – is excellent – prompt responses and actions taken to questions and queries that often arose. I found both Neil and Elton to be very personable.

    Ashley Walsh, Ash Logistics Limited
  • Clear and understandable communication. Looking after our best interests, listening to our needs and advising the best solutions.

    Barry Ferst, Transeur Properties Ltd
  • Being able to talk to someone I’ve known for years. To feel at ease when discussing what is needed and having expert advice. It’s all about good communication really and being confident of a good result, both of which Debenhams Ottaway achieves.

  • We needed to find a new solicitor for a whole range of needs, due to the retirement of our longstanding and trusted family solicitor. The team at Debenhams Ottaway stepped in very quickly and have already slipped seamlessly into the gap. Very impressed by their range of services and professionalism.

  • Neil provided clear and timely advice throughout and was excellent in coaxing the other party through the transaction.

    Philip Callan
  • Neil Mercer is very knowledgeable, has an excellent manner and explains things very well. He will always make time to discuss issues and ensures work is carried out to a high standard.

    Legal 500 UK 2024
  • Neil is very attentive and always provides clear and detailed advice.

    Chambers UK 2024
  • I continually recommend Neil to others as he has always delivered great service.

    Chambers UK 2024