About Us

Freehold is a leading and unique networking forum for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender real estate professionals and allies working within the real estate sector. Since its official launch in September 2011, the group has grown to over 1100 members and continues to expand and welcomes active allies.

Our mission is to create a safe, fun network that supports LGBTQ+ people in the built environment industries. We want to create positive change and promote diversity and inclusion within our industry.

Our aims

The aim of Freehold is to address the equality gap for the LGBTQ+ community. The property sector considerably lags behind other industries in tackling sexual orientation issues.

Evidence has demonstrated that people perform better when they are encouraged to be themselves and Freehold is there to provide support so that members of the group can feel empowered to do just that.

What we offer

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Exclusive events

Network and grow with our member-only gatherings.

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Mentorship opportunities

Learn from LBGTQ+ real estate leaders.

support

Support

We help employers to embrace diversity and build a future where everyone thrives in the workplace.

Professional Development

Professional development

Support from our internal network and corporate partners

Employer Engagement

Employer engagement

Learn how we can support your organisation or network to grow

Resources

Resources

Helpful library of resources that offer support, interest and guidance

Values

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Value

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Value

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Board Members

Freehold has been run by team of dedicated volunteers since it was created in 2011 by David Mann and Saleem Fazal. In February 2022 David and Saleem passed the baton on to new co-chairs Scott Parsons and Kelly Canterford. 

Co-Chairs

Founder

Tigrou Consulting

Kelly is the Director/Founder, of Tigrou Consulting.

Kelly’s career spanned media, sales and hospitality before qualifying as a chartered surveyor at JLL. Whilst at JLL Kelly worked as part of the Strategic Asset Management team and was a founding member of JLL’s LGBTQ+ Network Building Pride. With a growing interest in EDI Kelly started her business Tigrou Consulting and delivers equality, diversity and inclusion advice and training to companies globally. Kelly sits on the EG Inclusive Content Panel and Modus Content Panel and is Chair of ULI’s UK’s REDI Committee and a member of the ULI’s Executive Committee.

LinkedIn

Kelly Canterford

(she/her)

Chief Operating Officer

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield

Scott leads Westfield’s UK business, including investment, development, construction and asset management for flagship destinations at Westfield London and Westfield Stratford, and major mixed-use developments in Croydon, Stratford, and White City. His illustrious 13-year tenure at LandSec culminated as Managing Director of their £6.3 billion Retail unit and a key D&I advocate on their board. He's also shaped Brookfield Europe's direction for three years and steered investment at GEReal Estate for a decade.

Scott has served as Board Director of the New West End Company and Vice President of the City Property Association. He is also a trustee of LandAid, focussed on ending homelessness, and has been on the Council of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution since retiring from the Thames Crew. He has been co-chair of Freehold since 2022.

LinkedIn

Scott Parsons

(he/him)

Board

Partner

HTA Design LLP

Lucy is a Partner at HTA Design LLP – the UK’s largest residential only housing practice. She joined HTA over 20 years ago and has been a Partner since 2013, leading the communications, engagement and interiors teams.

She is also the Partner with responsibility for ED&I and has helped to deliver HTA’s comprehensive strategy and target work that not only impacts the work that is done in practice, but also within the wider industry.

Lucy is a member of HTA’s internal LGBTQ+ network, incl., and is active in the women@hta group, as well as speaking regularly on issues concerning LGBTQ+ parenting. She is also a Trustee of the London Society and a member of the Architecture Race Forum.

For Freehold, Lucy is responsible for leading the communications workstream.

LinkedIn

Lucy Smith

(she/her)

Leasing Director

Battersea Power Station Development Company

Dan works at Battersea Power Station Development Company and is the commercial Leasing Director, negotiating with incoming tenants across retail, leisure, office and medical space across the estate. In addition, he works on sitewide commercialisation and sponsorship opportunities and is also on the ESG board.

Prior to working at Battersea Power Station, Dan worked at CBRE, starting on the graduate scheme and then moving into the London office leasing team.

Dan has been a member of Freehold for over six years, his role on the board focusses on organising events for the membership as well as re-establishing the mentoring scheme.

LinkedIn

Dan Westley

(he/him)

Head of Technology

British Land

Paul Macey joined British Land in 2014, he has held various roles in Finance and Real Estate, including Head of Flexible Real Estate, and is currently the Head of Technology. In 2015, Paul was responsible for launching the British Land’s LGBTQ+ network, BL Pride, which he chaired for a number of years before joining the Freehold Board.

Paul is a qualified Chartered Accountant and prior to joining British Land worked within the Real Estate team at EY. Paul has been a Board Member of Freehold since 2019 and his role is focused on Board governance and finance.

LinkedIn

Paul Macey

(he/him)

Head of Corporate Affairs & Marketing - Europe

Lendlease

Misa, Lendlease's European Head of Corporate Affairs and Marketing, boasts a 20-year real estate career, including roles at BNP Paribas and JLL. Previously, she served in marketing at EY and the Imperial War Museum. A Chartered Institute of Marketing Fellow, Misa chairs the judging panel for the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors' awards.

A long-standing equality, diversity, and inclusion advocate, she honed her marketing skills through 1990s campaigns. Misa was pivotal in launching JLL's D&I programme in 2014. A Freehold member since 2014, she joined its board in 2018, managing communications, events, and charity representation.

LinkedIn

Misa von Tunzelman

(she/her)

Construction Partner

Boodle Hatfield LLP

Sarah, a partner at Boodle Hatfield LLP, leads the construction team, specialising in digital construction, sporting projects, and the Building Safety Act. A renowned expert in BIM and digital twins, she's published extensively and contributed to the Chartered Institute Of Building's Complex Projects Contract, particularly its BIM clauses. She's also penned a chapter on BIM's legal facets for The Construction Manager’s BIM Handbook and is a sought-after speaker on the subject.

Additionally, Sarah spearheads ED&I initiatives at Boodle Hatfield LLP, is an ESG committee member, and has championed multiple LGBTQ+ endeavors, including chairing LGBTQ+ networks at various law firms.

LinkedIn

Sarah Rock

(she/her)

Director

SEAM Advisory

Anyi, founder of SEAM Advisory, specialises in merging ESG and DEI for real estate and social impact projects. With asset management experience at J. Safra Real Estate, Grosvenor, and Commerz Real, she's executed intricate ESG and Regeneration projects.

Her diverse background spans finance, fashion, and consultancy roles across the US, UK, and Europe, fluently speaking five languages. A New York Blatina*, Anyi has affiliations with Black Women in Asset Management, Black Women in Real Estate, and The Mentoring Circle. Formerly a Cripplegate Foundation governor, she joined the Freehold board in May 2023.

(*Blatina: Own term)

LinkedIn

Anyi Hobson

(she/her)

Development Project Manager

Greystar

Marko is a chartered project management surveyor (MRICS), working for Greystar – a leading global BTR developer and operator. Marko has an extensive experience in urban regeneration schemes – spanning from feasibility stage to completion. Markocurrently works on an exciting c. 1600 units masterplan in Bermondsey, and his past experience covers large masterplan projects (e.g. Battersea Power Station), mixed use schemes, affordable and private residential schemes, brownfield sites and sites in challenging conservation areas along with delivery of infrastructure.

Marko has a MSc in Construction and Project Management with Distinction from Queen’s University Belfast, having graduated top 5% of the class. Marko is a Freeman of City of London and a member of Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors.

Marko has been a Board member of Freehold since 2019. He has published thought leadership pieces, been organising Freehold’s Pride in London participation, recently taken on leading Freehold Mentoring scheme and supports rest of the Board in key initiatives.

LinkedIn

Marko Salopek

(he/him)

Associate Director & Head of Public Sector Bids

Savills

Sarah leads the Savills Public Sector Bids team with over 11 years’ bidding experience. Since joining in 2020, she has strengthened Public Sector tenders. Sarah provides end-to-end bid management, alongside contributing to Social Value answers. She drives continuous improvement, leading to increased scores and successful framework appointments.

At Savills, Sarah is the Business Development Diversity & Inclusion representative, acting as the key contact for pitch information and updating business-wide material. Sarah is a steering committee member of Savills’ LGBTQ+ and Social Mobility working groups, contributing to diversity-related strategies and reverse mentoring.

At Freehold, she is a Next Gen Board Member.

LinkedIn

Sarah Chapman

(she/her)

DE&I and Responsible Business Manager

Montagu Evans

Warren Stapley

(he/they)

Associate Director

CBRE

Eric is an Associate Director at CBRE, specialising in prime real estate in London and international markets. With a background in marketing and governance, Eric brings a wealth of experience to his role.

Eric is also a member of CBRE's Proud Network, and serves as a Trustee of Kakilang - a performing arts charity that promotes multi-disciplinary artforms from a diverse range of Southeast and East Asian artists.

At Freehold, he is a Next Gen Board Member.

LinkedIn

Eric Chou

(he/him)

Real Estate Professional

Formerly JLL

Ollie Saunders

(he/him)

Former Chief Executive (Retired)

Shaftesbury PLC

Brian Bickell

(he/him)

Barrister and Mediator

Gatehouse Chambers

Brie Stevens-Hoare KC

(she/her)

Partner and Head of Liverpool Office

Taylor Wessing LLP

Saleem Fazal

(he/him)

Partner

Tuffin Ferraby Taylor LLP

David Mann

(he/him)

Ambassadors

The Freehold Ambassadors group is made up of board alumni and supporters who have made an outstanding contribution to the industry’s LGBTQ+ community.

The group’s purpose is to promote Freehold and its activities in improving diversity and inclusion of LGBTQ+ real estate professionals and to provide ongoing support and encouragement to the sitting Freehold Board. 

Ambassadors

The Freehold Ambassadors group is made up of board alumni and supporters who have made an outstanding contribution to the industry’s LGBTQ+ community.

The group’s purpose is to promote Freehold and its activities in improving diversity and inclusion of LGBTQ+ real estate professionals and to provide ongoing support and encouragement to the sitting Freehold Board. 

Partner and Head of Liverpool Office

Taylor Wessing LLP

Saleem Fazal

(he/him)

Partner

Tuffin Ferraby Taylor LLP

David Mann

(he/him)

Real Estate Professional

Formerly JLL

Ollie Saunders

(he/him)

Former Chief Executive (Retired)

Shaftesbury PLC

Brian Bickell

(he/him)

Barrister and Mediator

Gatehouse Chambers

Brie Stevens-Hoare KC

(she/her)

Where we started

Explore the transformative history of Freehold, where passion and progress converged to create a vibrant community for LGBTQ+ professionals in real estate. Scroll through the pivotal moments that have shaped our path, celebrated diversity, and paved the way for a more inclusive future in the industry. 

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2011
Seed is planted

David and Saleem bump in to each other one weekend and the seeds for Freehold were planted 

Chris Edwards, Brie Steven-Hoare, Brian Bickell, Ollie Saunders join Saleem and David to form the Freehold Board 

Sept 2011
First Freehold Event
7th Oct 2011
First event covered by Property Week
2012
Mentoring scheme started
March 2013
Our first event held in Cannes at MIPIM
April 2013
Liz Peace CEO of BPF speaks at Deloitte hosted event
July 2013
RICS event
2014
Louise Brooke-Smith becomes the first female RICS president and places diversity and inclusion at the top of her agenda
June 2014
Freehold marches in its first Pride in London Parade, even the rain couldn’t dampen our spirits
June 2014
Cluttons are first agent to host a Freehold event
July 2014
Milestone!
Over 500 members
July 2014
JLL launch first property LGBTQ+ internal network
Sept 2014
RICS host their first Freehold event
Oct 2014
Brian Bickell named #11 on the OUTstanding list of the 100 most influential LGBTQ+ executives.
March 2015
First Theatre night ‘My night with Reg’
April 2015
First Freehold Women’s event
June 2015
EG Pride supplement
June 2015
RICS Diversity Conference. Freehold invited to speak and exhibit
Oct 2015
Freehold named #9 on The Collaborators List
Nov 2015
The Crown Estate host their first Freehold event
Dec 2015
Our sister construction sector network ‘OffSite’ is launched
2016
Milestone!
Freehold is 5!
March 2016
David and Saleem named #45 on the EG Power list
March 2016
RIBA LGBTQ+ Event
June 2016
OpenLand launch in Birmingham
Dec 2016
We attend our first panto: Cinderella
2017
Milestone!
Membership hits 1000!
July 2017
First LGBTQ+ in property conference with BNPPRE and JLL
April 2018
The property industry unites against anti-LGBT laws coming in to force in Brunei
Sept 2018
Freehold wins ‘Outstanding Contribution to Property Award’ at EG Awards
2019
Second LGBTQ+ in property conference with BNPPRE and JLL
2019
Milestone!
We are officially sponsored by British Land, Landsec and Shaftesbury
Feb 2019
Paul Macey, Misa von Tunzelman and Marko Salopek join the Freehold board
June 2019
10 Freeholders take part in Pride 10k run
June 2020
“What does the June quarter day hold?“ is our first webinar as Covid forces people to work from home
June 2020
Milestone!
Freehold becomes a legal entity as Freehold LGBT+ CIC is formed
2021
Milestone!
Freehold is 10!
Feb 2021
New website is launched
March 2021
Sarah Rock, Lucy Smith, Dan Westeley, Ian Pattinson and Scott Parsons join as board directors
Oct 2021
We’re back in person to Celebrate 10 years of Freehold and raise £32,000 for LandAid
2022
David Mann and Saleem Fazal announce they will taking on new ambassador roles for Freehold to allow them to pursue other projects
2022
Kelly Canterford and Scott Parsons announced as new Co-Chairs
2022
Montagu Evans host the first in person event for two years
Dec 2022
David and Saleem honoured with MBE’s in King’s New Years Honor’s List
2023
We welcome four new people to the board – Anyi Hobson and Warren Stapley join as directors and Eric Chou and Sarah Chapman join as Next Gen members
2023
Freehold participates in London Trans Pride

A history of Pride t-shirts

2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2022
2023