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Paul Flanagan, Arthur Dyson, Simon Roberts and Mark Manson-Bahr are key partners in Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘outstanding’ team. Atif Hanif advised Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank on a £350m loan to finance the redevelopment of the former BBC Television centre in west London. Lucy Oddy joined from Latham & Watkins in September 2015.

Ashurst’s ‘very strong team of smart lawyers’ advised Lloyds Bank on a £185m facility to finance the development of a new retail village outside the O2 arena. The ‘very practical, commercial’ Sarah Watkinson and the ‘extraordinarily hardworking, helpful, cheerful’ Ruth Harris lead the practice; Jessica Jenner made partner in May 2015.

FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Maples Teesdale

The only property law firm you’ll ever need. Maples Teesdale acts for lenders and borrowers on property investment and development finance transactions. Our clients include leading banks and financial institutions, alternative debt providers, as well as privately owned commercial and residential developments to large commercial forward fundings on complex property developments. Developments range from mixed use residential and commercial developments to large commercial forward fundings on complex property developments. We have a dedicated team of property finance lawyers that has wide ranging experience in this field. We currently advise a variety of banks and other financial institutions as well as property investors, funds and commercial property companies.

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Clifford Chance’s department is commended for its ‘remarkable bench strength and market knowledge’, with Barry O’Shea and practice head Andrew Carnegie singled out for praise. Damian Perry advised NorthStar Realty Finance Corporation on the €579m financing of its €1.06bn acquisition of a pan-Europe real estate portfolio.

Deutsche Bank, Lloyds Bank, Blackstone and Omni Capital Partners are among the clients of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s ‘magnificent’ team, which is led by Simon Chadney and Gary Hommel; these ‘robust negotiators’ are praised as having ‘extensive knowledge and a no-nonsense approach’. British Land and Société Générale are recent client wins.

Easy-going, technically excellent’ department head Steve Smith at Linklaters LLP is ‘widely trusted’; he advised M&G Investment Management on its £153m loan to refinance one of Cosgrave Property Group’s debts. Other clients include Blackstone and Starwood Capital. Trevor Clark and Scott Simpson are recommended.

Claire Watson at Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP is praised for her ‘quick turnaround times’. ‘Very high-calibre, well-respected’ department head Naveen Vijh advised Barclays, RBS and M&G Investment Management on their £300m senior financing of the Brocktun Dunedin industrial property fund to refinance existing assets and acquire others from Hansteen Industrial Property.

Toby Barker and the ‘commercial, practicalLaurence Rogers lead the team at DLA Piper, which welcomed Paul Gray to London following his relocation from the Manchester office. Barker and Gray advised Market Tech Holdings on a £900m debt facility arranged by AIG Asset Management (Europe). Senior associate Chris Chan is also recommended.

Eversheds LLP’s ‘technically excellent, commercially sound and very prompt’ practice is led by the ‘approachableSimon Mead; Robert Ludwig arrived from Linklaters LLP in July 2015, and Jane Allan joined as legal director from Ashurst three months later. Clients of the team include Barclays, Santander and Deutsche Pfandbriefbank.

The key partners at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP are Jeffrey Rubinoff, Simon Johnson, Jonathan Birks and David Trott. Rubinoff acted for J.P. Morgan on the acquisition and part-sale of a €2.2bn portfolio of performing loans. Johnson advised Deutsche Bank on the €224m financing of Blackstone’s purchase of several Spanish NPL portfolios.

The ‘very client-focused’ practice at Hogan Lovells International LLP provides ‘strong partner involvement’. The ‘fantastic, very likeable’ Jo Solomon acted for M&G Investment Management on a £70m loan to Westrock to finance the purchase and redevelopment of four office buildings in England. Andrew Welbourn heads the department, which also includes the recommended Andrew Flemming.

Jones Day’s practice is headed by Andrew Barker, who acted for Wells Fargo on its $23bn joint acquisition – in conjunction with Blackstone – of GE Capital Real Estate’s CRE loan book. Emily Stew assisted Greystar Real Estate Partners with a £390m part-financing of its acquisition of Nido London.

Nigel White and Andrew Hepner lead the team at Mayer Brown International LLP; its clients include Citi, Wells Fargo and Canary Wharf Group. The ‘responsive, commercial and hardworkingDavid O’Connor acted for Citigroup Global Markets on its £125m financing of Starwood’s acquisition of an NPL portfolio.

Nabarro LLP’s ‘responsive, creative and commercial’ practice shows ‘solid all-round industry and banking knowledge’; Andrew McLean and the ‘calm, considered’ Mike Delaney are recommended. Clients include Brockton, Frogmore and Santander. ‘Clear-thinking, practical’ department head Clive Swillman is ‘firm when necessary’.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s ‘first-class, widely sought-after’ practice is jointly led by the ‘fantastic, personableSarah Cullen; the ‘robust, commercialDuncan Hubbard; the ‘popular and solution-drivenDan Kennedy; and Richard Hughes, who joined from Simmons & Simmons in July 2015. Clients include AEW Europe, Eco World and HSBC.

The ‘very likeable, very bright’ Andrew Besser leads the team at Olswang LLP; he ‘manages complex cross-border matters with ease’. The practice had a very strong year, advising Cain Hoy and Sager House (Almeida)’s joint venture vehicle on a £190m loan from Lloyds Bank to develop Islington Square.

The ‘hardworking, efficient, exceptional’ team at Paul Hastings LLP assisted Starwood Capital with the €122m financing of its purchase of a Spanish hotels portfolio. In February 2016, Michael James made partner and David Ereira joined from Linklaters LLP. David Ryland, Justin Jowitt and Miles Flynn are particularly active contributors to the practice.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s department lost William Greig to Simmons & Simmons. William Oliver and Gerry Mulholland head the practice, whose clients include RBS, Barclays and National Bank of Kuwait.

Mark Waghorn leads the team at Simmons & Simmons, in which Simon Kildahl is another key figure. William Greig joined the department from Pinsent Masons LLP in December 2015, which offset Richard Hughes’ departure to Norton Rose Fulbright. Deian Rhys joined in June 2016 from Goldman Sachs.

Rodney Dukes heads Taylor Wessing LLP’s practice, which has ‘strong knowledge’. Ross Caldwell provides ‘sound advice and good leadership’, and senior counsel Marcus Earnshaw is ‘very effective and diligent’. Clients include Canada Life, Cheyne Capital and Deutsche Bank.

Paul Salsbury’s six-partner department at Addleshaw Goddard LLP has ‘strong industry knowledge and business acumen’. James Salford acted for Tribeca Holdings London on the £210m refinancing of its Sloane Avenue and Brompton Cross portfolios. Dave Wilson is commendably solution-oriented.

Stephen Turner heads Baker McKenzie LLP’s department, in which Justin Salkeld and Paul Hibbert are also prominent practitioners. The team advised CIMB Bank Berhad on the financing of the £2bn Battersea Power Station redevelopment. Senior associate Sudhir Nair joined from Linklaters LLP.

CMS’ ‘very responsive, user-friendly’ practice is headed by Simon Johnston, who is ‘extremely technically able and experienced’. The ‘commercialKeith Ham advised HSBC on the refinancing of Cola Holdings’ portfolio of hotels. Other clients include Lloyds Bank, Wells Fargo and Roland House.

James Irvine’s ‘user-friendly’ department at Dentons counts Standard Chartered and CIMB Bank Berhad among its clients. Lorraine Davis and Simon Masri assisted Development Bank of Singapore with the £144m financing of the acquisition of 10 Fleet Place by a Hong Kong-based consortium. Consultant Greg Thwaites is recommended.

Philip Abbott’s team at Fieldfisher shows ‘enormous energy and commitment’ in its handling of complex transactions. Oliver Abel Smith is ‘very knowledgeable, well connected and easy to deal with’. Matt Hinxman joined from Baker Botts (UK) LLP in November 2015.

The team at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP shows ‘very good negotiation skills’. Department head Alan Samson acted for Oaktree Capital Management in its refinancing of the Liberty Wharf development in Jersey. Tom Budd and Wayne McArdle are also recommended.

The ‘fantastic’ Nick Turner heads the team at Gowling WLG; he displays ‘pragmatism, commercialism and technical ability’. Clients include ICG-Longbow, HSBC and TIAA Henderson. Jon Lent shows ‘technical excellence and impressive understanding’. Judith Gershon is also recommended.

Santander, HSBC and Deutsche Hypo are among the lender clients of Irwin Mitchell’s practice, which is headed by Simon Tweedle. Tweedle advised AREO Sarl on its refinancing of a €150m loan from GE Real Estate. The department’s borrower clients include Raven Russia and Ellandi.

King & Wood Mallesons assisted Far East Orchard with the £23m financing of its acquisitions of two student accommodation sites in Newcastle. Jen Yee Chan and Jeremy Cross were particularly active in advising traditional lenders; Ian Borman and department head Steven Cowins were kept busy with work for debt funds.

The ‘pragmatic’ practice at Macfarlanes LLP is appreciated for its combination of ‘partner-led advice, great technical knowledge and huge focus on client service’. Clients include City Developments (145), Maybourne Hotel Group and Canary Wharf Group. Colin Morgan leads the team with Clare Breeze.

Nick Strutt, who has ‘substantial industry knowledge’ and is ‘always accessible’, heads Mishcon de Reya LLP’s department; he advised Reginvest UK on debt facilities totalling £90m to fund the purchase of a UK property portfolio. The ‘commercial, responsive and efficientRaji Bartlett gives ‘detailed advice’.

The team at Sidley Austin LLP is led by Graham Penn. Aparna Sehgal and Nicholas Brittain advised Welltower on funding arrangements relating to the development of a portfolio of English care homes. Jason Richardson is also recommended. Counsel Elizabeth Le Vay joined the team in June 2015.

Stephenson Harwood’s ‘very commercial’ department head James Linforth has ‘a straightforward approach and a high level of involvement’; Paul Hayward-Surry is also recommended. Jayesh Patel assisted Wells Fargo Bank with a £400m facility to Henderson Retail Warehouse Fund.

Matthew Ayre leads the ‘extremely diligent, responsive’ team at Travers Smith LLP, in which ‘great negotiator’ Danny Peel advised Safestore Holdings on the amendment and extension of its existing property finance bank facilities. ‘Smart, enthusiastic’ senior associate Christopher Brooks is ‘a pleasure to work with’.

Bird & Bird LLP’s ‘commercial, responsive and efficient’ department is headed by Jonathan Baker and Russell Dellar, the latter of whom advised Berlin-Hannoversche Hypothekenbank on the amendment and extension of a £33m loan to refinance the acquisition of iQ Aberdeen. Santander, Wellesley and Handelsbanken are other clients of the practice.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s practice is jointly led by Jon Bond, Daniel Sullivan and Paul Kay. Bond advised Lloyds TSB Bank on a facility to finance Coulby Newham’s purchase of a shopping centre, and assisted Ahli Bank with £25m-worth of loans to investors in London property.

Charles Malpass leads the team at Dechert LLP, with strong support from Eleni Skordaki and Jeremy Trinder. Malpass advised Apollo Management International on various European loan-on-loan financings totalling $3bn. Other clients include Wells Fargo Bank, BAWAG and Haymarket Media.

Farrer & Co’s department head Simon Graham acted for Eton College on a £45m bond issuance, with the College’s covenant strength including its property portfolio. Deutsche Bank and RBS are also clients of the practice, in which Bethan Waters and Annabel Younger made partner in May 2015.

Goodwin counts Angelo Gordon & Co, Ares Management, London Square Developments and Kennedy Wilson Europe among its clients. The department is led by Paul Lyons and recent arrival Simon Fulbrook, who joined from King & Wood Mallesons.

K&L Gates LLP’s ‘very knowledgeable’, ‘hardworking’ department shows ‘strength in depth’. ‘Strong negotiator’ James Spencer advised Henderson Central London Office Fund as borrower on a £40m facility for working capital; practice head Andrew Petersen and ‘prompt problem-solver’ Richard Hardwick are also recommended.

Clients have ‘no hesitation in recommendingOsborne Clarke’s department head Madeleine Clark; she is ‘great fun to work with, and a smart cookie’. RBS, Barclays and IDI Gazeley are among the practice’s clients. The ‘keenly commercial, technically excellent’ Dominic Ross is ‘quick to grasp complex concepts’.

Reed Smith LLP’s department is jointly led by Matthew Heaton and the ‘extremely knowledgeable, hardworking and efficient’ Francisca Sepúlveda. Georgia Quenby advised Telereal Trillium on the £51m refinancing of 174 properties in the Royal Mail portfolio. Iain Balkwill is also recommended.

Partha Pal at Ropes & Gray LLP provides ‘excellent all-round service, putting clients first and showing broad ability and expertise’; he joined from Chadbourne & Parke (London) LLP in May 2015. Iain Morpeth is also recommended. The team’s clients include Blackstone Mortgage Trust and Gaw Capital.

Brecher LLP’s team is praised for its ‘first-rate response times, top-notch industry knowledge and good strength in depth’. Redmond Byrne advised Century Capital on a £3m bridging loan for a BVI-based borrower. Department head Richard Gilchrist is ‘calm under pressure and very hardworking’.

Brown Rudnick LLP’s team is headed by the UK- and US-qualified Tuvi Keinan, with support from Omega Poole, Elena Rey-Sabinina and senior associate Sam Gunson, who assisted Queensgate Investments with financing the acquisition of the Kensington Forum Hotel.

Paul Browne heads the department at Burges Salmon LLP, which counts Lloyds Banking Group, RBS and Handelsbanken among its clients; Colin Ligman and Richard Leeming are also prominent figures. Richard Read advised AUB Student Accommodation fund on its sale to Unite UK Student Accommodation Fund.

Clyde & Co LLP’s practice head Chris Lenton provides ‘a very good level of client service’, an approach that is mirrored by the team, which is ‘user-friendly and good value for money’. Senior associate Robert Davy joined from Clifford Chance, whereas Terry Green moved to Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP.

Hotels expert Paul McCartney leads the team at DAC Beachcroft LLP. The team assisted Pinnacle No 1 with the financing of its sale of 22 Bishopsgate to a consortium led by Axa REIM. McCartney has substantial experience in shari’ah-compliant transactions.

Fladgate LLP’s ‘very efficient, astute’ team has ‘the skills and knowledge to cover all areas of a transaction’, thanks to its ‘strength in depth’. Richard Reuben leads the team alongside Kim McMurray, who gives ‘calm, thoughtful advice’. Gideon Dabby-Joory is also recommended.

Forsters LLP’s ‘responsive, efficient’ department is ‘very good value for money’, and acts for clients such as Santander UK, Banque Havilland, Dwyer Asset Management and Brookshire Capital. ‘Approachable’ department head Victoria Edwards has ‘excellent business acumen’.

Practice co-heads Ajoy Bose-Mallick and Chen Ikeogu joined Maples Teesdale LLP in the summer of 2015 from Irwin Mitchell and Shepherd and Wedderburn, respectively. Clients of the practice include Rockspring Asset Management, Lloyds Bank International and Avignon Capital.

Penningtons Manches LLP assists borrowers and lenders with originations, refinancing and loan facility negotiations; it is particularly strong in acquisition finance. Clients include Lloyds Bank and Sellar Property Group. Peter McElligott and Mark Phillips lead the team, with support from senior associate John Chater.

Sukh Ahark leads the team at RPC, where David Johnston, legal director Edward Colville and senior associate Adam Chamberlain are also active in the sector. Ahark and Chamberlain advised Consolidated Contractors Group on the £42m financing, acquisition and development of several residential sites in central London.

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s ‘excellent’ property finance team is headed by Jonathan Rickard, and also includes Philip Knowles, Stephen Hubner, Sally Morris-Smith and Patrick Bell. Scarborough, Dunedin Property, TJAC and Azure Hotels are longstanding clients.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP’s ‘responsive and highly capable’ department counts Anthology London, RBS and Inox Group among its recent client wins. ‘Approachable’ department head Simon Owen has a ‘no-nonsense approach and extensive knowledge’, and the ‘well-organised, diligent’ Eddie O’Hanrahan ‘works through complex documents quickly’.

Wedlake Bell LLP’s department head Hilary Platt advised William Nash on its £15m refinancing of an 18-property portfolio through Santander, and acted for Messila House on the £30m financing of the development of Montrose Square and 47 Belgrave Square. Chris Vause is also active in the sector.

At White & Case LLP, the ‘responsive, intelligent and hugely knowledgeableDavid Cox is ‘a force to be reckoned with in negotiations’. James Dodsworth heads the practice, in which the ‘diligent, hardworking’ Victoria Landsbert made partner in January 2016. Clients include BAWAG, Blackstone and Microsoft.

James Dakin’s department at Boodle Hatfield LLP was particularly active in residential development, family offices and the private rental sector. Its clients include Rubicon Capital and MRP Developments. Senior associate Rahul Thakrar is ‘smart and hardworking’. Associate Henry Ryder joined from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in November 2015.

Consultant Mark Menhennet is the key figure at Chadbourne & Parke (London) LLP, alongside counsel Jan Peter Weiland and project finance specialist Despina Doxaki. Weiland advised the IFC on a €15m loan to a Belarussian company to finance a commercial real estate project.

Alex O’Connor is the key partner at Collyer Bristow LLP; he is supported by Rory Macpherson. The department was instructed by various clients on the financing of £1bn-worth of assets between May 2015 and May 2016. Lender-side clients include Bangkok Bank and Hampden & Co, with Crest Nicholson being a key client on the borrower side.

Druces LLP’s team is led by Simon Pullen, who joined from Howard Kennedy LLP in August 2015; his clients include Bank Julius Baer & Co and British Arab Commercial Bank. Christopher Axford combines ‘pragmatic solutions, sound judgement and an ability to get to the heart of complicated problems’.

Edwin Coe LLP produces ‘an impressive level of service’. Department head Stephen Brower is ‘a practical negotiator’ with ‘in-depth knowledge and experience’; he assisted Luxlo with the financing of an SPV’s purchase of a Mayfair office building, to be redeveloped into high-end apartments.

The ‘outstanding’, ‘proactive’ team at Freeths is led by Richard Williams, who has ‘a huge depth of commercial and technical knowledge’. Clients include Contour Capital, West Register Group and Santander UK. Chris Freeston is also recommended.

Peter Belcher heads GSC Solicitors LLP’s ‘small but potent’ team, which is particularly strong on the borrower side and in the hotels, leisure and healthcare sectors. Belcher is supported by Matthew Phillips and associate Carole Joseph.

Glovers Solicitors LLP advised Close Brothers on an £18m loan for the purchase and development of a property in south-east London, and acted for United Trust Bank on a £11m facility to refinance existing debt and complete a Notting Hill residential development. Andrew Parker heads the team.

Hamlins LLP’s ‘approachable’ department head Charles Bezzant is particularly experienced in financing investment and development; he is supported by Joseph Holder. Clients include Bank Leumi UK, Bangkok Bank, Palace Capital and Park Plaza Hotels. ‘Very sensible, commercial’ senior associate Aselle Djumabaeva-Wood has ‘an impressive grasp of legal detail’.

Daniel Fireman’s ‘very responsive, commercial and client-centred’ practice at Howard Kennedy LLP provides ‘pragmatic, straightforward’ advice. Clients include Santander UK and Ballymore Property Group. Marcus Jamson is ‘a pleasure to work with’; he joined from Wedlake Bell LLP in August 2015. Steve Clinning is ‘diligent and delightful’.

Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP’s lender-focused team provides ‘a good combination of technical strength and practical-mindedness’. It is led by Terry Green, who joined in October 2015 from Clyde & Co LLP. Counsel Peter Englund ‘will get a deal done, and done properly’.

Matthew Lindsay leads the team at Memery Crystal LLP; he advised T.G. Acquisitions on the £90m acquisition of the Thomas Goode store in Mayfair. Other clients include Z Hotels Group, Allied Commercial Exporters, Imperial Pharmaceuticals and Beckman Group. Andrew Titmas and Nicola Kravitz are also active in the practice.

Sheridans’ department is headed by Jay Soneji and Rex Nwakodo, with strong support from Zareen Ali and senior associate Jolita Kajtazi. As well as handling conventional acquisition finance, Soneji assists clients with securitisation of onshore and offshore real estate transactions.

Counsel Tom Lloyd’s team at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, which specialises in advising institutional investors, and counts Blackstone Real Estate Partners, KKR and Northwood Investors among its clients. Lloyd advised Blackstone on the financing of its acquisition of a European hotel portfolio.

Teacher Stern LLP counts United Trust Bank, Westcity Properties and Svenska Handelsbanken among its lender clients, with Englander Group being a key borrower client. Phil Berry heads the practice, which also includes the recommended figures of Victoria Hodges and the ‘top-notchClaire Gibson, as well as ‘commanding yet commercial’ property specialist David Irwin.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP recently recruited senior associate James Kilgour from DLA Piper. Practice head Ranjeev Kumar advised CACEIS on the £6m financing of the acquisition of residential real estate in Holland Park. Other clients include Frasers Hospitality UK Holdings and MSC Cruises.

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