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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Investment fund formation and management > Real estate funds > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Real estate funds
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Samantha Lake Coghlan - Goodwin
    • Justin Cornelius - Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
    • David Evans - Goodwin
    • Nigel Hatfield - Clifford Chance LLP
    • Amanda Howard - CMS
    • Tim Simmonds - Osborne Clarke LLP

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Real estate fund capabilities are embedded within the broader private funds practice at Clifford Chance LLP. Real estate credit funds are an area of particular expertise, with Gerard Saviola taking the lead on this front. A Luxembourg office ensures the firm can seamlessly handle increasingly popular Luxembourg vehicles. The group also boasts an integrated global tax and regulatory advisory service, which assists in the structuring of funds across Europe, Asia and the US. Further ancillary support is provided by the firm's real estate, real estate finance and infrastructure and projects departments, which offer asset-specific expertise. 'Exceptionally client- and-solution-oriented' partner Nigel Hatfield heads up the offering.

Practice head(s):Nigel Hatfield

Other key lawyers:Gerard Saviola


'Fast, efficient and knowledgeable with deep international experience'.

'Nigel Hatfield is very strong on limited partner agreements, especially in the international context'.

Key Clients

M&G Investments

DRC Capital



Nuveen Real Estate


Work highlights

  • Clifford Chance advised DRC Capital, a leading European real estate debt house, on its senior, mezzanine and whole-loan fund and separate account mandates.
  • Advising ICG-Longbow on the formation of ICG-Longbow UK Real Estate Debt Investments V.
  • Advised AEW in respect of its Europe Value Partners Fund – a pan-European value add fund aiming to provide attractive, risk adjusted returns investing in a diversified portfolio of assets.
  • Advising Intriva Capital Partners in relation to its distressed/special situations credit fund Intriva Capital European Principal Investment Fund I.

The 'excellent' funds and indirect real assets practice group at CMS assists clients across a broad spectrum of funds work encompassing high-value fundraisings, club deals and indirect investments. In addition to such mandates, practice head Amanda Howard also has experience of handling fund investments, exits and restructurings. While much of the firm's client base consists of large fund management houses, its services also extend to high-profile institutional investors and major investment banks. The department often coordinates with the firm's wider tax and regulatory practices, which are large enough to extend their assistance on multiple simultaneous transactions. Victoria Henry  is recommended for her extensive experience in the structuring of offshore Pan-European funds, including Luxembourg structures. Several arrivals bolstered the strength of the team including Ed Kingsbury, who joined the group from Dechert LLP in February 2019.

Practice head(s):Amanda Howard

Other key lawyers:Victoria Henry; Ed Kingsbury


'Amanda Howard and her senior associate Ravi Longia are excellent, highly reactive and always ready to provide solutions'.

'The team's key strength is its in-depth understanding and know-how of the market sector including the key players and new developments'.

'I had direct access to partners who were highly pragmatic in offering solutions to problems'.

Key Clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments


Canada Pension Plan

Europa Capital

Legal & General


PATRIZIA (formerly Rockspring)

Savills Investment Management


Tristan Capital Partners


Verdion Logistics

Work highlights

  • Advised Tristan Capital Partners on the launch of its fifth pan-European opportunity fund, EPISO 5, raising over €1.6bn.
  • Exclusively advise UBS Global Multi Manager on investments by its managed mandates into real estate, private equity and infrastructure funds across Europe, the Americas and APAC.
  • Advised Schroder Real Estate Investment Management Limited on the establishment of two UK focused funds: an opportunistic residential land fund and a UK commercial real estate debt fund.
  • Advised PATRIZIA on the launch of its seventh European property fund, PATRIZIA TransEuropean Property VII LP.
  • Advised UBS Asset Management on the launch of the UBS Long Income UK Property Fund.

'Responsive, thoughtful and pro-active' is how one client describes the real estate funds group at Goodwin, which is led by the 'very impressive' Samantha Lake Coghlan. The impressive breadth of the practice, which covers closed-ended, open-ended and variable-priced real estate funds, is matched by the wide range of underlying real estate asset classes it has experience in. These include office, retail, residential, senior housing and infrastructure projects. In-house expertise in the areas of tax, Luxembourg vehicles and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) ensure that the team is able to tailor fund structures to the highly specific regulatory requirements of both institutional and high net-worth investors. UK and pan-European fund specialist David Evans is a valued member of the team; also noted is Michael Halford, who is a particular favourite for investor-side clients.

Practice head(s):Samantha Lake Coghlan

Other key lawyers:David Evans; Michael Halford


'Goodwin is one of the most active fund formation advisers in the real estate sector;  it has a great breadth of experience'.

'Samantha Lake Coghlan provides an excellent, user-friendly and client-oriented service'.

Key Clients

Ares Management

Baumont General Partner S.à r.l.

Gramercy Europe

GreenOak Real Estate Advisors

Kennedy Wilson UK Limited

M7 Real Estate

Man Group

NREP (Nordic Real Estate Partners)

PGIM Real Estate

Slate Asset Management LP

Work highlights

  • Advised on the second vintage of funds for GreenOak’s Real Estate's European investment strategies.
  • Advised on the structuring and establishment of NREP’s third multi-strategy real estate fund.
  • Advised on pan European real estate fund raisings and co-investment.
  • Advised M7 Real Estate on its recent GP-led restructuring and joint venture.

Practitioners at Greenberg Traurig, LLP's investment funds department garner client praise for their ability to 'explain legal principles in clear and straightforward language'. With the arrival of funds tax expert Ben Eaton from Goodwin in November 2018, the integrated funds tax sub-team now boasts three dedicated partners. The client roster features a large number of funds raised with US capital or overseen by US-based managers, which are areas of specialist expertise for the firm. 'Commercially-minded' partner Steven Cowins leads the offering; Marc Snell and associate Kate Phillips are also highly recommended. Recent highlights include Cowins and others representing Rialto Capital on its fourth flagship US debt fund focusing on commercial mortgage backed securities and loans; the fund is targeting commitments of $2bn.

Practice head(s):Steven Cowins

Other key lawyers:Kate Phillips; Marc Snell


'The team's key strengths include its knowledge across multiple related disciplines  such as tax and regulatory and its multi-disciplinary approach, which results in a largely seamless service'.

'Greenberg Traurig have a very personal approach and put effort in to get to know their clients personally'.

'Excellent commercial understanding of real estate fund formation and management. Efficient at bringing together complex deals under pressure'.

'Steven Cowins is enthusiastic, responsive, commercially astute and possesses a great breadth of knowledge'.

'The team at Greenberg Traurig are very commercial but also possess the legal knowledge to back up its approach'.

'Steven Cowins is well-connected, always reachable and a great problem solver'.

'Kate Phillips is very efficient and takes responsibility for managing the deal process'.

Key Clients

British Airways Pension Fund


Canmoor Asset Management

Chayton Capital

Cording Asset Management

Europa Capital

M3/Atrium Finance

Mitheridge Capital Management

MGT Investment Management and Lincoln Property Company

Paloma Capital



Rialto Capital

Starwood Capital

Work highlights

  • Representation of British Airways Pension Trustee Limited on its partnership with General Ventures JAG Limited and General Projects RE Limited.
  • Representation of the founders of real estate investment fund Brockton Capital on a series of agreements with Alony Hetz, the Israel-listed property company, to establish a new permanent capital vehicle called Brockton Everlast to invest in the UK.
  • Representation of Canmoor Asset Management in relation to a UK pension fund to invest in UK real estate.
  • Representation of new client Chayton Capital on the incorporation and fundraising processes for its South Eastern European opportunistic real estate fund, SEE Real Estate I, targeting commitments of €100-150 million.
  • Representation of Cording Asset Engagement on a fund backed by a well-known UK pension fund to invest in UK real estate, as well as exploring other fund products.

Highlighted by one client for its 'practical approach', Linklaters LLP's real estate funds activity is conducted by the firm's broader investment funds practice . Besides a core roster of real estate asset management clients, certain sovereign wealth funds also instruct the team, which additionally boasts a growing Limited Partners (LP) offering. Mandates for private real estate funds constituted the majority of the firm's recent work, diversified by some listed real estate fund mandates. The London office has access to Luxembourg vehicle-specific expertise, thanks to the firm's robust Luxembourg office. Open-ended fund and illiquid asset specialist Matthew Keogh is team head; recently made-up partner (May 2019) Rahul Manvatkar works across the full range of open-ended and closed-ended vehicles and is noted for his funds regulatory expertise.

Practice head(s):Matthew Keogh

Other key lawyers:Rahul Manvatkar


'When our team was unaware of all the legal nuances of the local market, LInklaters' practice was great help in getting the ball rolling'.

'Rahul Manvatkar gets to the core and solution of each specific request'.

Key Clients

Aermont Capital

LaSalle Investment Management

CBRE Global Investors




Royal & Sun Alliance

Katara Hospitality

Future Fund Board of Guardians

Round Hill Capital

Aviva Investors


Emaar Properties


Work highlights

  • Acted for Aermont on the raising of their fourth opportunistic real estate Fund, Aermont Capital Real Estate Fund IV SCSp.
  • Provide ongoing regulatory advice to ProLogis, including in relation to the marketing of their Delaware fund (USLF), which has an investment objective of combining attractive current income with long-term capital growth by investing in operating logistics real estate assets in the US.
  • Acted for Royal & Sun Alliance  in relation to their investment into AB Commercial Real Estate Debt Fund III.
  • Advised Round Hill Capital on forming a Luxembourg joint venture with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts for investment in European student accommodation.
  • Provide ongoing advice to InfraRed, including in relation to amending the LLP Agreement in respect of InfraRed Capital Partners (Management) LLP.

Mandates involving real assets are a key area of specialism for the broader asset management department at Allen & Overy LLP, which is strengthened by expertise from the firm's real estate M&A, real estate finance and tax practices. A sizeable Luxembourg office is another source of support. The group is marked out by integrated expertise on the Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFM) directive and US regulation, in addition to Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules. The practice often advises major pensions funds, sovereign wealth funds and financial institutions on investments, co-investments and fund-of-one arrangements. Joint heads of team Matthew Huggett, Nick Williams and Pavel Shevtsov are all recommended. Huggett is noted for his national and international regulatory knowledge. Senior associate Dominic Von Wulffen often advises institutional investors, including sovereign wealth funds.

Practice head(s):Matthew Huggett; Nick Williams; Pavel Shevtsov

Other key lawyers:Dominic von Wulffen

Key Clients

Nuveen Real Estate



Aviva Investors

Tishman Speyer


Cain International

Meyer Bergman

Local Government Pension Scheme

Work highlights

  • After advising Nuveen Real Estate on the establishment of European Outlet Mall Fund (EOMF), A&O now act as counsel to this open-ended real estate fund on an on-going basis, advising on both up-stream and down-stream matters and providing tax advice and UK, German and Luxembourg regulatory advice.
  • Advising Nuveen Real Estate on the establishment of the Asia Pacific Cities Funds and the European Cities Fund.
  • Advising M&G on the establishment and offering of a closed-ended specialty finance fund, the 'M&G Specialty Finance Fund'.
  • Advising Hines in relation to the Hines European Value Fund and its joint venture in relation to the Cherrywood site in Dublin.
  • Advising Hines in relation to the joint ventures between Hines and Blue Noble.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP's 'whole team is highly recommended' according to one client, while another notes that its 'strengths range from co-investments and joint ventures through to heavily regulated funds'. While the firm maintains its stronghold in traditional real asset classes such as office and retail spaces, it recently made inroads into alternative classes including Student Accommodation and Build to Rent. Half of the firm's key highlights involve a cross-border element in offshore jurisdictions, Singapore, Canada, South Africa, the US and various European countries. Leading real estate asset managers form the majority of the group's client base, supplemented by a number of limited partners (LPs), demonstrating an active investor-side practice. Practice head Justin Cornelius specialises in private equity real estate funds and non-retail open-ended funds.  Antony Grossman, Kate Binedell and Keiran Saunders are also highly recommended.

Practice head(s):Justin Cornelius

Other key lawyers:Anthony Grossman; Kate Binedell; Kerian Saunders


'The team has a strong presence in real estate fundraisings - it clearly has a greater deal flow than other firms and is highly aware of standard market terms for this area'.

'Throughout our relationship, The BCLP team has been consistently responsive, commercial and proactive. In addition to top-quality legal support, they also provided relevant strategic advice'.

'A huge depth of expertise; they have experience in all types of real estate, from agricultural land to offshore investment trusts and shopping centres'.

Key Clients

Aviva Investors

BlackRock Investment Management

CBRE Global Investors

Clearbell Capital

Frogmore Real Estate Partners

Hermes Investment Management

M&G Investment Management

Unite Students




Morgan Sindall Investments Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising TFL on a unique, high profile joint venture to develop residential sites with a Build to Rent investment partner.
  • Advising private equity real estate firm, Frogmore, on raising its fourth fund, Frogmore Real Estate Partners IV.
  • Advised Blackstone on its sale of a 26-storey tower overlooking the Bank of England for £385m to Singaporean-listed City Developments Limited.
  • Advised private equity real estate fund manager, Clearbell, on the formation and equity capital raise of its third UK value add fund, Clearbell Property Partners III.
  • Advised Investec Property Fund on the acquisition (through its wholly owned subsidiary, Investec Property Fund Offshore Investments Proprietary Limited) of a 42.9% interest in a portfolio consisting of twenty-two logistics properties located across Europe.

Thanks to a strong historical reputation for funds regulation work, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP often advises clients on compliance with non resident Capital Gains Tax (CGT), European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR), the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) and Brexit planning. Besides fund management work of this kind, the firm's recent highlights have been marked by an increasingly steady flow of fund formation instructions. The group is capable of handling matters involving alternative real asset classes such as build-to-rent schemes and homeless shelters. Additional teams in Luxembourg, Dublin, Hong Kong and the US ensure seamless coordination during cross-jurisdictional fund work. Michaela Walker heads up the practice; Richard Batchelor is an expert in alternative funds.

Practice head(s):Michaela Walker

Other key lawyers:Richard Batchelor

Key Clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments

BMO Real Estate Partners

M&G Real Estate


AEW UK Investment Management LLP

Local Pensions Partnership

Aon Hewitt Limited



Work highlights

  • Advised AEW Investment Management on the establishment and marketing of a new closed-ended opportunistic fund, structured as a limited partnership with an exempt unauthorised unit trust feeder.
  • Advised on the combination of two property authorised investment funds following the merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen in 2017.
  • Advised on the structuring of Gresham House Energy Storage Fund PLC, the first closed-ended fund listed on the specialist fund segment of the London Stock Exchange plc investing in real estate infrastructure of energy storage systems.
  • Acting for Long Harbour on the establishment of a fund for institutional and high net worth investments, structured as a Guernsey limited partnership, and its acquisition of land and partnership interests in two limited liability partnerships and related joint venture arrangements.

John MacGarthy is group head and key contact in Jones Day's London private equity practice, which manages the firm's real estate funds mandates. Real estate fundraises, fund exits and emerging managers mandates are core areas of operation for the team, which also has a burgeoning limited partner-side offering. While the London office generates funds work independently, it also regularly liaises with offices in New York, Chicago, Singapore and Hong Kong to offer a fully integrated global service. The group is known for fostering long-term client relationships and also has the advantage of expertise from the firm's tax and regulatory departments. Alistair Grant is another name to note.

Practice head(s):John MacGarty

Other key lawyers:Alistair Grant

Well regarded for a 'truly exceptional team culture' in the words of one client, Macfarlanes LLP's real estate equity team works on matters involving a range of different asset classes, including industrial, commercial and residential property. The practice is able to assist in the formation and management of a broad spectrum of funds which cover listed, unlisted, closed-ended, open-ended, onshore and offshore vehicles. Furthermore, the firm's tax department provides regular support and boasts recent experience in property income-focused structures. Practice head Alexander Amos specialises in real estate and credit funds while senior associate Harriet Miller is 'clearly experienced' in her field.

Practice head(s):Alex Amos

Other key lawyers:Harriet Miller


'Each partner has a good understanding of other partners' areas of expertise so the team as a whole can speak well to tax issues even if the tax partner is unavailable'.

'The team is capable of  providing seamless and consistent advice'.

Key Clients

Ergo Real Estate

Legal & General

Apache Capital

Venn Partners

Cale Street

Forum Partners

Queensgate Investment

Work highlights

  • Macfarlanes advised on the creation of new property investment company Ergo Real Estate and the terms of its first joint venture.
  • Assisted Legal & General on the restructuring of L&G’s £2bn Industrial Property Investment Fund as an evergreen fund and a capital raising project to raise an additional £150 million from existing and new investors.
  • Acting for a real estate fund manager to raise a third fund seeking to invest into the pan-European and North American real estate sector.
  • Advised UK-based Apache Capital Partners on the successful establishment of a new joint venture platform with investment from US investor Harrison Street Real Estate Capital, Apache Capital and other significant real estate investors.
  • Advised a major real estate debt and equity manager on raising a $2bn managed account for pan-European real estate equity and debt investments.

'Highly proactive, commercial and efficient', the investment funds team at Osborne Clarke LLP 'always delivers work to a high standard and in a solution-driven way'. Both financial institutions and real estate asset management houses feature on the group's client roster. The firm is especially noted for the range of fund managers it is able to assist, which vary from large multinational names raising repeat funds to first-time managers and start-ups. In terms of LP representation, the team saw continued activity in the secondaries market and has a demonstrable record advising a large number of US-based investors. Tim Simmonds, who heads up the practice, is 'highly commercial and proactive'.

Practice head(s):Tim Simmonds


'The strength of the team across all levels was exceptional. Any request or question throughout the fundraising process was answered efficiently and commercially'.

'The team's experience in the unlisted real estate fund formation space proved invaluable'.

'Tim Simmonds' knowledge and depth of experience is excellent and his ability to apply a commercial approach to negotiations facilitated a quick and successful first close'.

Key Clients

Palmer Capital Partners

Newcore Capital Management

Niam AB

Nuveen Real Estate (formerly TH Real Estate)

InfraRed Capital Partners

Bridges Fund Management Limited

Marchmont FM Limited


Hollyport Capital

Cording Real Estate Group

Orchard Street

Barwood Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised on the formation of The GCC UK Jersey Property Unit Trust, a Jersey fund which will invest in UK commercial real estate.
  • Acting for Newcore Capital Management on the establishment of its Fund IV.
  • Advising Niam on the launch of its seventh Scandinavian real estate fund, Niam Nordic VII, which is structured as a Swedish limited partnership and a parallel English limited partnership.
  • Acted for Nuveen Real Estate on the asset and investment management arrangements for the acquisition of Devonshire Square.
  • Acted for InfraRed Active Real Estate Fund III on the disposal of a £320 million portfolio of UK industrial assets to Blackstone and M7.

At Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP, real estate funds matters sit within the firm's broader private funds practice group. Besides real estate fundraisings and fund closings, the group also often works on general partner-led restructurings and secondaries matters. The offering is marked by a strong record for infrastructure fund work, particularly in the greenfield space. In addition, the group boasts an integrated strategic advisory function to provide a commercial perspective alongside its core legal services. Head of team Ed Gander is a key client contact while James Sargent specialises in real asset funds. James Bromley was made partner in January 2019.

Practice head(s):Ed Gander

Other key lawyers:James Sargent; James Bromley

Key Clients

8 Miles


Aleph Capital Partners

AMP Capital

Apax Partners

aPriori Capital Partners

Argos Wityu

AS Equity Partners

Astarte Capital Partners

Benefit Street Partners



Castleforge Partners


Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Crow Holdings

Dalmore Capital

Disruptive Capital Finance

Farview Equity Partners

Forward Partners

Generation Investment Management

Graphite Capital Partners

GMT Communications Partners

ICG Enterprise Trust

IFM Investors

Incus Capital




Local Globe

Montagu Private Equity

NCB Capital

Octopus Investments

PAI Partners

Parker Infrastructure Partners

Prudential Portfolio Managers

Revetas Capital


Yoo Capital

Whitehelm Capita

Work highlights

  • Advised Actis in relation to the formation and fundraising of its $1.5 billion target Actis Long Life Infrastructure Fund.
  • Advised Astarte Capital Partners LLP on the establishment of their flagship fund, Alternative Special Opportunities Platform, a $200 million specialist alternatives co-investment platform targeting investments in real assets.
  • Acted as lead fundraising counsel for Dalmore’s largest fund to date by a significant margin (raising£950 million, far exceed the initial hard cap).
  • Advised InfraRed Capital Partners in relation to the formation and promotion of its $1.2 billion global greenfield infrastructure fund

The investment funds team at Ashurst can handle both listed and unlisted real estate funds work spanning most of the fund life cycle from fund formation, tax structuring and commercial negotiations to carried interest and co-investment schemes, secondary transactions and management spin-outs. The arrival of real estate fund specialist Nicola Hopkins from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP in January 2019 has significantly bolstered the offering. Furthermore, the firm opened a Luxembourg office in October 2018 with new partner hires in the areas of funds, tax and regulatory. It is now better placed to provide a robust cross-practice service on matters involving Luxembourg vehicles. Piers Warburton and David Jones lead the London offering together.

Practice head(s):Piers Warburton; David Jones

Other key lawyers:Nicola Hopkins

Key Clients

Aviva Investors

Knight Frank Investment Management


Bywater Properties




Oxford Properties

Jefferies International

Akur Limited

Platina Partners

Intermediate Capital Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Jefferies International Limited and Akur Limited in relation to a placing of 109.4 million new ordinary shares in Tritax Big Box REIT plc.
  • Advised Tritax EuroBox plc on its successful initial public offering to raise £300 million.
  • Advised Oxford Properties on the sale of a 49.9% stake in its French portfolio to a fund advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
  • Advised Oxford Properties on its acquisition of 100% of the units in Investa Office Fund.

Fund sponsors, institutional investors and financial institutions all feature on Baker McKenzie's varied client roster, which has seen significant expansion in the last year. On the institutional investor side, the firm boasts some particularly strong relationships with sovereign wealth funds. The investment funds department assists clients with a range of fund structures, such as blind pool funds, club deals, co-investments, consortium arrangements and managed accounts. Work highlights have been marked by a  recent resurgence of acquisitions and disposals of fund and asset management firms. James Burdett, who acts as team head, was especially active this year on consortium and co-investment instructions. Mark Simpson is the name to note for fund regulatory issues.

Practice head(s):James Burdett

Other key lawyers:Mark Simpson

Key Clients

Edmond de Rothschild/Orox Europe

Government Pension Fund of Thailand

Employees Provident Fund of Malaysia


The Townsend Group


Harwood Capital

Oddysean Capital


Work highlights

  • Advised Edmond de Rothschild and Orox Europe on its agreement to acquire a controlling stake in Cording Real Estate Group, creating a comprehensive European real estate fund and investment management business.
  • Advised Harwood Real Estate on the ongoing launch of the Multifamily Housing REIT Plc.

'Calm voice of reason' Sharon Ayres is a key contact at Gowling WLG's investment funds practice group, which is jointly led by Nick Heather and Lee Nuttall. While the firm has experience handling both listed and private funds, it has particular expertise in closed-ended listed funds and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) work. Besides a steady flow of mandates involving student accommodation and mixed-use real estate assets, the group has also seen increasing instructions relating to specialist supported housing accommodation and private rented sector assets. Complex secondaries transactions are another demonstrable growth area, with large institutional investors a  key client class.

Practice head(s):Nick Heather; Lee Nuttall

Other key lawyers:Sharon Ayres


'Gowlings are easy to contact, responsive and keen to find solutions rather than dwell on problems. They are commercial and always apply, rather than just state, the law'

'Sharon Ayres is is quick to take a step back and recommend an alternative route to bring the matter to a successful conclusion'

Key Clients

Aberdeen Standard European Logistics Income plc

M&G Real Estate

CEIBA Investment Limited

Empiric Student Property plc

ICG-Longbow Senior Secured UK Property Debt Investments Limited

GCP Student Living plc

Pacific Industrial & Logistics REIT plc



Urban Logistics REIT plc

Triple Point Social Housing REIT plc

Stockdale Securities Limited


Pension Protection Fund

Greater Manchester Pension Fund (acting by Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council)

University Superannuation Scheme

Local Government Pension Scheme Panel

Work highlights

  • Acted on the London listing of CEIBA on the Specialist Fund Segment of the main market for listed securities of the London Stock Exchange in conjunction with an initial issue (by way of placing and offer for subscription) that raised £30 million.
  • Advised on the launch of a new investment platform between NFU Mutual, Apache Capital and Harrison Real Estate Capital.  The platform intends to invest in a range of up to seven build-to-rent schemes across England and Scotland.
  • Advised M&G Real Estate on the setup and structuring of a circa £94 million investment fund using the new private fund limited partnership vehicle and bringing together both national and international professional investors.
  • Advised University Superannuation Scheme, on the setup of a £300 million+ joint venture fund with Places for People.
  • Advise on the downstream disposal by Corby Land & Development on the sale of its investment which was implemented by way of a sale of a Jersey unit trust, a limited partnership interest and another English limited company to LXI REIT Plc.

Although General Partners (GPs) constitute the majority of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's current clientele in the real estate funds space, the firm boasts a burgeoning LP practice, with a recent increase in mandates from sovereign wealth funds and other institutional investors. Backed by a strong real estate practice, the investment funds team maintains good relationships with a number of longstanding clients, with mandates highlighting advisory roles as they diversify into alternative asset classes. Practice head Nigel Farr focuses primarily on closed-ended investment vehicles; also recommended is Tim West. The group is praised by one client for its 'excellent availability and client service'.

Practice head(s):Nigel Farr

Other key lawyers:Tim West


'HSF's property team is excellent and brings all its knowledge to bear in structuring vehicles..

Key Clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments


Fiera Capital Corporation

Hermes Investment Management

Cabot Square Capital LLP

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Wittington Investments

Moorfield Real Estate Fund IV

Cain International

Allianz Real Estate

Public Sector Pension Investment Board

Work highlights

  • Advised Allianz Real Estate on the creation of a market leading student accommodation real estate joint venture in London with Greystar Real Estate Partners and Public Sector Pension Investment Board.
  • Advised Broadgate joint venture on the sale of 5 Broadgate, global headquarters of UBS.
  • Advised Cain International on its 50.50 joint venture with US fund Kennedy Wilson in respect of the €500 million development of City Block 3 in North Quays, Dublin.
  • Advised Hammerson on the sale and joint venture arrangements of a 50% stake in Highcross shopping centre in Leicester to an Asian investor for £236m.
  • Advised AEW on its managed account arrangements with UK and Dutch pension funds relating to a portfolio of UK retail assets.

The Crown Estate and M&G Real Estate are some of Hogan Lovells International LLP's key clients within the real estate funds department. A variety of real estate fund vehicles fall within the remit of the practice including closed-ended and open-ended vehicles, as well as private and listed funds. The firm has been expanding its real estate funds work, advising on a number of  fund launches. Practice head Nicholas Holman is a key contact.

Practice head(s):Nicholas Holman

Key Clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments

BlackRock Investment Management

Barclays Bank UK Retirement Fund

British Land

Cannacord Genuity

Columbia Threadneedle


Fortress Investment Group

Future Fund of the Commonwealth of Australia

ICG Longbow

Land Securities

M&G Real Estate


NTM Capital

PMM Partners


The Crown Estate


Shore Capital


UBS Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Advised Clipstone Logistics REIT plc on (i) approval of the sale of 5 warehouses for £85.4 million, (ii) its acquisition of Clipstone Industrial Unit Trust for £86.5 million via a units-for-shares exchange offer and (iii) and a £5 million share buyback.
  • Assisted on the disposal by an NTM managed fund of two sub-fund vehicles to new offshore partnership investment vehicles established between NTM and an investor/developer with experience in the Irish student accommodation sector and negotiation of new management arrangements.
  • Legal adviser to British Land on its proposed acquisition of a 50% interest in a tiered limited liability partnership investment structure and negotiation of new investor and management agreements.

Paul Hastings LLP's broad investment funds practice advises across a wide range of funds including credit funds, real estate funds and private equity funds, as well as handling fund financing matters. The team, which includes partners Duncan Woollard, who joined from King & Wood Mallesons in 2015, and former Ashurst partner Diala Minott, advises both funds and investors through the full life-cycle of a fund. It works with many well known fund managers and has advised on a number of particularly high-profile matters.

Other key lawyers:Duncan Woollard; Diala Minott; Katherine Rainwood


'The team is clearly highly experienced in the sector and able to provide both legal and some insight into practical and commercial considerations arising from possible choices. One of the most challenging aspects from a client perspective with little relevant experience was trying to establish a useful sense of the appropriate options available from what could be a baffling universe of choices. This was perhaps a challenge to all parties to begin with, but the advice and patient approach we believe has produced a good result.'

Key Clients

LaSalle Real Estate Finance III/IV LP

Farringdon LP

Bradda Capital

LaSalle Real Estate Debt Strategies III


Baumont Real Estate

Work highlights

  • Acted for LaSalle Investment Management in the creation of the £1bn Farringdon LP structure, established to acquire the iconic Goldman Sachs HQ in London with funding from East Asian capital.  
  • Represented Bradda Capital in respect of the launch of its new real estate fund management business and the launch of its open-ended real estate fund.
  • Acted for Baumont Real Estate as sponsor investor and part owner of the Baumont business on the establishment of the first fund by this asset manager.  

With a core strength in listed real estate vehicles, Stephenson Harwood handles the structuring and launch of a range of fund types including REITs, offshore funds, authorised and unauthorised unit trusts and open-ended investment companies and limited partnerships. The investment funds group also regularly advises clients on joint venture arrangements aimed at real estate investment, as well as divestment transactions. William Saunders, who leads the practice, is name to note. Also recommended is Warren Allan who focuses on private funds, including private real estate funds.

Practice head(s):William Saunders

Other key lawyers:Warren Allan

Key Clients

Grit Real Estate Income Group Limited

Schroder European Real Estate Investment Trust plc

Schroder Real Estate Investment Trust plc

Schroder Real Estate Fund

LXi REIT plc

Phoenix Spree Deutschland Limited

Schroder Real Estate Management Ltd

Nexus Tradeco Ltd

Tristan Capital

Custodian REIT plc

Firethorn Real Estate Management LLP

Work highlights

  • Acted on the London IPO of Grit Real Estate Income Group Limited.
  • Acted on a secondary fundraising for LXi REIT plc.
  • Advised LXI REIT plc on its acquisition of five hotels in Aberdeen, Brighton, Liverpool, Llanelli and Nuneaton.
  • Acted for the property manager of Primary Health Properties plc on its merger with Medicx fund.
  • Advised Phoenix Spree Deutschland on its entry into a new property advisory and investor relations agreement.

Fund formation work is supplemented by specialist funds tax and regulatory capabilities in Travers Smith LLP's investment funds department, which is led by key contact Sam Kay. The firm is able to handle a wide range of fund structures including REITs, offshore investment entities, limited partnerships and unit trusts. Listed funds are another key focus point for the team, which has a strong record of assisting clients with healthcare real estate funds across both fundraisings and Initial Public Offerings (IPOs). Aaron Stocks is noted for his expertise in this area.

Practice head(s):Sam Kay

Other key lawyers:Aaron Stocks

Key Clients

Benson Elliot Capital Management LLP

Hermes Infrastructure

Impact Healthcare REIT Plc

Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited

GLIL Infrastructure LLP

Pensions Infrastructure Platform

Voreda LLP

Assura Plc

Ares Management

Work highlights

  • Advised Impact Healthcare REIT on seven acquisitions of care homes, including asset and share acquisitions, and a portfolio sale and leaseback from and to Prestige Care Group.
  • Advised Stifel in its capacity as sole bookrunner and financial adviser on a placing, open offer and offer for subscription of £94m of Ordinary Shares in Target Healthcare REIT Limited and a subsequent placing programme of up to 150 million ordinary shares in Target.
  • Acted for long-standing client, Benson Elliott, on the successful fundraising of Benson Elliott Fund V.
  • Advised Hermes Infrastructure in connection with the structuring and fundraising of Hermes Infrastructure Fund II LP.

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