Leigh was a pioneer of social housing who in 1929 established the Metropolitan Housing Corporation to provide rented accommodation in London. By 1937 he was attracting attention because of the large number of blocks of residential accommodation he was buying up.
In 1946, following the introduction of rent controls, Leigh focussed on commercial property and merged his business with several others to form the Metropolitan Estates & Property Corporation. He expanded this business into one of the United Kingdom's largest property concerns.
He was married three times - in 1913 to Ester Boss, in 1925 to Myrtle Johnson and in 1945 to Gay Laithwaite.