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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 > Real estate > Property finance > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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Index of tables

  1. Property finance
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Property finance clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Allen & Overy LLP is 'probably the market leader on commercial real estate deals', thanks to its 'deep bench of partners' and ability to handle large, cross-border matters. Paul Flanagan (who 'quickly gets to the commercial points and knows the market very well'), Arthur Dyson, Simon Roberts and Mark Manson-Bahr lead the team, which acted on a number of high-profile real estate M&A transactions in the logistics and student accommodation sectors. The firm counts many leading real estate lenders and sponsors among its clients, including Barclays, Lloyds, Société Générale and Starwood Capital. Other noted team members are the 'solid' David Oppenheimer, Ian Powell, Atif Hanif, Lucy Oddy and 'very pragmatic' senior associate Peter Mailer. The practice is also known for its expertise in CMBS matters.

The 'experienced, commercial' team at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP had an active year, handling two of the most high-profile real estate finance transactions of 2017: Claire Watson advised CC Land on the £622m financing of its acquisition of the 'Cheesegrater' building at 122 Leadenhall Street, and department head Naveen Vijh assisted Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies with providing a £323m loan to refinance existing debt, facilitate a corporate reorganisation and develop St Giles Circus, a mixed-use project in the West End. The practice has a strong client base on the lender and sponsor sides, covering clearing banks, major investment banks, insurers, US financial institutions and funds; new clients include Wells Fargo Bank, HSBC Investment Bank and Blackstone. Other noted members of the team are Daniyal Ansari, who is 'very hand-on and leads transactions well', Steve Clark, Gordon McMillan, who was promoted to partner in April 2018, and senior associate Payam Yoseflavi.

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 LLP¬†fields 'the premier property finance team in Europe', and provides a 'Rolls-Royce' service to clients regarding major investment and development financings, cross-border deals, and loan portfolio sales and restructurings, among other matters. Team head¬†Andrew Carnegie,¬†who is praised for his 'vision, deep technical skills, stamina, commitment and innate commercial ¬†understanding of deals', and¬†Barry O‚ÄôShea¬†advised CIC on its¬†‚ā¨12.25bn acquisition of pan-European logistics company Logicor, and, on the lender side,¬†Jane Cheong Tung Sing¬†assisted HSBC, ING and Bank of China (Hong Kong) with a ¬£622m loan relating to the 'Cheesegrater' building.¬†Emma Matebalavu,¬†Alistair McGillivray, consultant¬†Damian Perry¬†and senior associate¬†Claire Fawcett¬†are also noted members of the team.¬†Zak Ikponmwosa¬†moved to¬†Addleshaw Goddard¬†in April 2018.

Under the leadership of Simon Chadney¬†and Gary Hommel, the team at¬†Herbert Smith Freehills LLP¬†offers 'value for money and partner involvement'; it advises leading market lenders such as Deutsche Bank, Lloyds, Morgan Stanley, PBB Deutsche Pfandbriefbank and PGIM, and has a strong borrower-side client base, including Brookfield, Oxford Properties and Quintain. Chadney acted¬†for Morgan Stanley on its ‚ā¨2.6bn financing of the acquisition by Cerberus of a Spanish property portfolio from BBVA; Hommel assisted new client DekaBank with the ¬£152m refinancing of Argent's 1 and 2 St Pancras Square; and¬†Robert Carr¬†advised Oxford Properties on the mezzanine financing¬†of Old Spitalfields Market for Tribecca, which was the client's first loan in Europe.

Linklaters LLP¬†‚Äėstands out for cross-border or complex deals‚Äô, and is praised for its ‚Äėflexible approach, willingness to go the extra mile, ability to tell clients if they want too much, and market know-how‚Äô. Led by Steve Smith, who is ‚Äėhands down one of the top performing, most knowledgeable and commercial lawyers in the market today‚Äô, the team acts for borrowers, sponsors and developers, and has added to its historically strong debt-funds client base with a number of investment and commercial bank clients, including Citibank and Wells Fargo. Smith and Scott Simpson, an ‚Äėexcellent communicator‚Äô and ‚Äėan invaluable port of call for advice‚Äô, advised LaSalle Investment Management and DRC Capital as lenders on the financing of Global Student Accommodation‚Äôs acquisition of a Spanish student accommodation portfolio, operating business and brand from Oaktree; the ‚ā¨141m deal was the client‚Äôs first in Spain. Mark O‚ÄôNeill, a ‚Äėstalwart of the industry‚Äô, also acted on a number of high-value development finance matters.

The team at Addleshaw Goddard is known for its expertise in hotel financing, private rental sector (PRS) schemes and student accommodation, and has also been doing an increasing amount of work for investors from Asia and the GCC; practice head Paul Salsbury acted for GR Properties on the £134.5m acquisition of Juxon House, the client’s second purchase in the UK market. While the practice is known for its lender-side strength, it has also expanded its client base on the borrower side, taking on Puma Investments and HB Reavis, among others; James Salford acted for the former on the development financing of the Hampton by Hilton Hotel at Edinburgh airport. Habib Ullah joined in May 2017 from Taylor Wessing (Middle East) LLP  to strengthen the firm’s Islamic financing practice; Zak Ikponmwosa  joined as a partner from Clifford Chance in April 2018; and Dave Wilson retired from the practice. Sarah Egbu, Steve Mackie and 'incredibly good deals captain' Zoe Maurer are also noted.

The 'dedicated team' at Ashurst is praised by clients for its 'great attention to detail', 'strong knowledge' and 'focus on getting the necessary results'. Highlights included Ruth Harris advising M&G Investments on a £517m secured notes issuance facility relating to the high-profile residential development at No. 1 Grosvenor Square in central London, and Sarah Watkinson, who specialises in acting for investment banks, private equity funds and Asian inbound investors, assisting Samsung SRA Asset Management with the acquisition and financing of an office building in the capital. The team handled a number of multi-jurisdictional matters, including EQT Real Estate's refinancing of an acquisition located on Avenue Dubonnet in Courbevoie, Paris. Jessica Jenner is noted for her 'excellent leadership, knowledge and responsiveness'; senior associates Sarah Winter and Stuart Blacklock, 'a strong technical lawyer with excellent commercial awareness', are also key members of the team.

CMS'¬†‚Äėend-to-end service is superb‚Äô; strengthened by the merger with Olswang and Nabarro, the team provides ‚Äėprompt attention, service with transparency and clarity and strong advice‚Äô. The ‚Äėhugely experienced, attentive and commercial‚Äô Simon Johnston¬†co-heads the practice with Clive Swillman, who is ‚Äėvery efficient and responsive, and carries the weight of the transaction for his client‚Äô. Swillman advised Lloyds, Aviva and Scottish Widows on the latter's largest deals in 2017: two long-term investment facilities to LXi REIT and a joint lending instruction to Regional REIT. In addition, the firm handled a number of cross-border matters; Ian McGarr¬†acted for a private hotel group and the related investors as the borrower and sponsor group on the acquisition financing of a hotel in Ibiza, and Mike Delaney¬†advised a student accommodation operator on its initial acquisition in the Spanish market. Andrew Besser, Keith Ham, Andrew McLean, Charles Kerrigan¬†and Ruth Marken¬†are also noted members of the team.

Dentons¬†is known for its ability to handle complex, cross-border transactions, and for its lender-side strength; in a recent highlight, team head James Irvine¬†advised HSBC on ‚ā¨635m of real estate investment facilities to Chariot Top Group, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) incorporated in the Netherlands. The practice is, however, also strengthening its borrower-side capabilities, with clients including KSL Capital Partners, Apollo Global Management and Aprirose; Simon Masri¬†was part of the team which advised the latter on its acquisition and the related financing of QHotels group from Bain Capital Credit and Canyon partners, the largest hotel portfolio acquisition deal in the UK in 2017. The team also counts a number of Asian banks, including United Overseas Bank, Development Bank of Singapore, OCBC and CIMB Bank Berhad, among its clients.¬†Lorraine Davis, Simon Tweedle, Jason Sheard, Brendan Slack¬†and Rob Thompson¬†are also noted.

DLA Piper counts leading market lenders such as Lloyds, HSBC and Deutsche Bank among its clients, and it recently took on Harrison Street and Capstone Asset Management. Highlights included UK group head Toby Barker acting for Aareal Bank on its financing of Henderson Park’s £500m acquisition of the London and Birmingham Hilton Metropole Hotels and assisting Barings Real Estate Advisers with the acquisition and development financing of the Landmark Manchester office space. Among the team’s cross-border work was Christopher Chan’s advice to an investment bank on the provision of a facility to assist with the acquisition and development of a student accommodation site in Belfast, and to a German financial institution in relation to an investment facility to refinance the acquisition of a portfolio of assets in Germany. Paul Gray is also a key member of the team. Laurence Rogers moved to McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP in April 2018.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP¬†is a ‚Äėgo-to firm for development financing‚Äô, recently acting for Cheyne Capital on a complex refinancing and redevelopment matter and for RBS on the financing of the acquisition and development of The Westgate Building in Glasgow. The team has also been handling an increasing amount of work for Asian banks; Simon Mead¬†advised HSBC Hong Kong on the ¬£169m financing of SEA Holdings' acquisition of the entire issued share capital of 33 Old Broad Street, and, alongside¬†Robert Ludwig,¬†acted for ICBC as senior lender on the refinancing of a shopping centre in the West Midlands.¬†On the borrower side, the team acted for Audley Retirement on a ¬£125m revolving credit facility, the first of its kind in the retirement villages sector. Mead, who ‚Äėprovides a first class service, is always approachable and is always willing to go the extra mile‚Äô, heads the¬†‚Äėcommercially strong‚Äô team. New clients include M&G Investments and Tyndaris Real Estate.

Hogan Lovells International LLP‚Äôs practice is led by the ‚Äėexperienced and pragmatic‚Äô Andrew Welbourn¬†and is noted for its ‚Äėexcellent understanding of real estate finance‚Äô, with particular strengths in cross-border transactions and development finance matters. Recent highlights include Andrew Flemming, who is ‚Äėtechnically astute‚Äô and ‚Äėa very¬†personable lawyer¬†who can get the deal done‚Äô, advising Colony NorthStar and China Resources Land on the ¬£300m financing of their joint acquisition of the entities which own a trophy office building in the City of London, and, along with senior associate Simon Bacchus, acting for Ahli United Bank in relation to the Islamic financing of two high-end residential towers in West London. In addition, Jo Solomon¬†acted for Cheyne Capital on a ¬£100m development finance facility for two sites in Manchester city centre.

The ‚Äėflexible and agile‚Äô team at Jones Day¬†recently handled a number of big-ticket deals, including two of the largest transactions in the European residential market: it advised Goldman Sachs on the mezzanine financing of Blackstone‚Äôs ‚ā¨3.3bn acquisition of IVG‚Äôs German office portfolio, and on the mezzanine facilities in connection with Blackstone‚Äôs public to private acquisition of Finnish listed real estate company Sponda for ‚ā¨3.8bn. The firm represents several market-leading investment banks and private equity funds; new clients include Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies. Andrew Barker, who provides ‚Äėsensible and considered advice‚Äô and ‚Äėhas a real ability to cut through issues and see the commercial rationale and compromise that can be reached‚Äô, leads the team, which also includes the ‚Äėbright, commercial‚Äô Emily Stew¬†¬†and associates Jeremy Philpott, Luke Johnson, James Dibble¬†and Matt Trafford.

Nigel White¬†and Andrew Hepner¬†lead the ‚Äėvery strong‚Äô team at Mayer Brown International LLP, which clients praise for its ‚Äėlevel of responsiveness and the quality of its advice‚Äô. High-value cross-border transactions are a particular strength, and recently the team has advised an increasing number of Asian investor clients; Hepner acted for Sinarmas Land, an Indonesian real estate development firm, on the ¬£130m acquisition financing of 33 Horseferry Road by OCBC Bank, and for Emperor Holdings on the ¬£169m acquisition financing of the Ampersand Building by ICBC. The firm also has a highly regarded CMBS practice, acting for investment banks and funds such as Citi, Morgan Stanley, Lloyds and Cheyne Capital. Other noted members of the team are Andrew Crotty¬†and the 'commercial and creative'¬†David O‚ÄôConnor.

The 'excellent' team at¬†Norton Rose Fulbright¬†handles a mixture of acquisition and development finance matters, acting for both lenders and borrowers, with a particular focus on the hotel sector. Highlights included practice head¬†Dan Kennedy¬†acting for SNIPUT, a Jersey-registered property unit trust, on the ¬£200m acquisition of a tower building in Spinningfields, Manchester's financial centre, and¬†Sarah Cullen¬†advising a joint venture of institutional investors on the acquisition and financing of the Olympia London Exhibition Centre for ¬£296m. On the lender side,¬†Richard Hughes¬†(who 'really knows his stuff')¬†acted for a leading bank on the redevelopment of two buildings in West London as a new private members' club, and¬†Duncan Hubbard¬†and senior associate¬†William Lo¬†advised¬†M√ľnchener Hypothekenbank as lender on the refinancing of the acquisition of commercial property in Glasgow. The firm also has a strong RMBS practice.

The team at¬†Paul Hastings LLP¬†is 'very good in terms of speed of service and value for money', and specialises in debt origination, complex structured joint ventures and funds, and CMBS matters.¬†Justin Jowitt, who 'can¬†be very hands-on if required', is advising Starwood Capital as borrower on facilities including the ¬£245m refinancing of Cumberland Hotel and the ¬£23m acquisition and development financing of the Westergate Building in Glasgow. The team has also handled a number of cross-border matters:¬†Miles Flynn¬†and¬†James Taylor¬†advised Oaktree Capital as mezzanine lender on the¬†¬†‚ā¨1.28bn acquisition of a portfolio of Dutch and German logistics and light industrial assets by Blackstone and M7, and¬†Conor Downey¬†and¬†Jennie Dorsaint¬†acted for AIG Asset Management (Europe) on the ‚ā¨263m loan-on-loan refinancing facility for Marathon's European commercial real estate debt fund.

In addition to its traditionally strong relationships with the clearing banks, Pinsent Masons LLP acts for international lenders, specialist real estate lenders, insurance companies, and debt and opportunity funds. A particular strength is the team's ability to handle secured to unsecured deals; William Oliver, who leads the team jointly with Gerry Mulholland, acted for HSBC, RBS, Barclays and Santander on the provision of a £430m term and revolving facility to NewRiver REIT, and for HSBC, RBS and Barclays on the amendments to the £550m revolving facility provided to Derwent London. Frances Mallender advised RBS as agent on behalf of a syndicate of banks on the refinancing of Safestore Holdings facilities. Richard Hughes is also a noted member of the practice; he advised new client AM alpha Kapitalverwaltungsgesellschaft on the acquisition financing of The Rylands Building in Manchester, among other matters. The team is also known for its expertise in non-performing loan (NPL) transactions.

The 'calm, responsive and knowledgeable' Mark Waghorn heads the practice at Simmons & Simmons, which is noted for its traditionally strong relationships with UK retail banks, as well as its growing client base of investment banks, insurance lenders and debt funds; new clients include a major investment bank, ING and Starwood. The team is also experienced at handling complex cross-border transactions; Waghorn and Helen Hagan, who joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP in February 2017 and is 'excellent at managing transactions and taking responsibility', recently advised Deutsche Asset Management on mezzanine facilities totalling £64m to two major European investment and asset managers, which were secured on real estate in the UK and France. The practice also advises borrower clients, such as logistics fund Valor Real Estate Partners. Simon Kildahl, William Greig and newly promoted partner Paula Macnamara are also key members of the 'well-connected, pragmatic and commercial' team; John Davies retired in late 2017.

'Strength in depth is the key' to¬†Taylor Wessing LLP's 'first class' service; its partners and associates are of 'the highest quality'. The team is known for its lender-side capabilities, acting for clearing banks, investment banks, German banks and alternative lenders, among others. 'Key contact'¬†Jonathan Marks¬†acted for Cain International on its ¬£290m loan facility to Lodha Developers 48CS for the development of a luxury apartment building in Carey Street, and¬†Amar Ali¬†advised Lloyds on the provision of two facilities worth ¬£132m to Anthology Group to finance the development of residential buildings in Deptford and Hoxton. The team has also handled cross-border matters;¬†Heather Buttle, who 'provides excellent practical advice', advised Deutsche Bank on the ‚ā¨52m financing of the acquisition and refurbishment of the Los Cubos office building in Madrid. The¬†'extremely capable, calm and concise'¬†Gareth Lawson,¬†Emma Oakley¬†and¬†Mark Bennett¬†¬†are also noted members of the 'very commercial and client-focused' team. Mark Rajbenbach¬†joined from Paul Hastings LLP¬†in September 2017, and Rodney Dukes retired in April 2018.

The practice at Baker McKenzie is led by Sebastien Marcelin-Rice, who is  experienced in acquisition finance, particularly the acquisition of loan portfolios. The team also handles development finance; since 2013, it has been advising CIMB Bank Berhad on the £2bn redevelopment of Battersea Power Station, which has involved Islamic and conventional financing. Stephen Turner acted for Singaporean fund Mapletree Investments on the £60m acquisition of student accommodation in Colchester, and Justin Salkeld assisted Thai joint venture FS JV with the refinancing of a portfolio of UK hotels. The team has also handled multi-jurisdictional matters, advising Hines Pan-European Core Fund on the financing of properties in England, France and Germany. Nick Tostivin and Sudhir Nair are also noted. Other key clients are ING, BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered Bank and Tyndaris.

Fieldfisher's 'in-depth industry knowledge and down-to-earth delivery makes it stand out from other firms'; the team is noted for its 'exceptional legal expertise and experience' and ability to provide 'commercial, pragmatic and innovative solutions'. In addition to structured work, it specialises in real estate asset class finance, particularly ground rent hotels, care homes and senior living facilities, and student accommodation financings, and handled a series of long-term financings secured over ground rent portfolios for borrower client Euro Investments. Other highlights included team heads Philip Abbott and John Nelmes acting for an international lender on a £40m debt facility to Target Healthcare REIT secured over a portfolio of care home properties. Jayne Backett and Oliver Abel Smith are also noted members of the team.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP has a diverse client base, including lenders, sponsors, real estate investment funds and real estate private equity funds from the student accommodation, offices, logistics and shopping centre sectors. The team is led by Simon Johnson and David Trott; Maximilian Lang, who splits his time between London and Frankfurt, and structured finance specialists Flora McLean and Christopher Barratt are also noted.

The team at Gowling WLG, which is praised by clients for its 'strong sector knowledge and sound advice', is known for its broad client base of lenders and borrowers. Practice head Nick Turner acts for a number of key debt fund clients, including ICG-Longbow, TH Real Estate and Quadrant Partners, and Jon Lent and Matthew East, who are 'capable of working through complex issues and providing strong client support', advised a debt fund managed by Chenavari on the acquisition and development financing of real estate in London for Westminster Real Estate. Lent, who leads the student accommodation practice, also acted for several REITs, including Empiric Student Property and GCP Student Living. The team, which also includes legal director Oliver Bretherton, also has strong relationships with UK clearing banks - it recently acted for HSBC on a £100m acquisition and development finance matter - and German banks.

The 'very practical and commercial' team at¬†K&L Gates LLP¬†focuses on structured real estate finance transactions, legacy restructuring and special servicing, and cross-border matters in particular. Recent highlights include the 'brilliant' team of practice head Andrew Petersen¬†and special counsel Diego Shin¬†acting for¬†BlackRock Financial Management on a funding tranche of ¬£160m for the refinancing of the Here East 'digital campus' in east London; Petersen and¬†the 'technically very good'¬†James Spencer¬†also acted for Mount Street as facility agent on a¬†‚ā¨340m Dutch multi-property financing transaction. The team has also handled an increasing amount of Islamic finance work, including advising Gatehouse Bank on a ¬£17.5m secured financing for Phoenix Talent Holdings in relation to commercial real estate in the UK.¬†The 'proactive, responsive' Richard Hardwick¬†is also noted.

Michael Steele¬†and¬†Jonathan Birks, who joined from¬†Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP¬†in March 2017, head the practice at¬†Kirkland & Ellis International LLP, which 'provides the highest level of service¬†from partners down to juniors', delivering 'timely and position-specific advice'. The team focuses on representing market-leading borrower and sponsor clients, including Blackstone, Brookfield, GIC, PIMCO, Ares Management and Global Logistics Properties (GLP), and regularly handles complex pan-European transactions. Highlights included Steele ('a¬†great combination of practical experience, deep expertise, and the ability to reach a successful conclusion to transactions') acting for GLP on its¬†$2.8bn acquisition of logistics business Gazeley; the 'outstanding', 'creative' and 'hard-working' Birks advising Brookfield on its ¬£430m acquisition and financing of serviced apartment company SACO; and¬†Richard Semple, who joined as a partner from¬†Vinson & Elkins RLLP¬†in May 2017, assisting Bain Capital with the acquisition of a Spanish real estate portfolio from Liberbank, and the financing of that acquisition, for¬†‚ā¨602m.

The team at Macfarlanes LLP is 'excellent on all counts', and is known for its strength on the lender and borrower sides, advising on a wide range of asset classes, including student accommodation, PRS schemes, hotels and supermarkets. Alternative lenders make up a key part of the client base: department heads Colin Morgan and Clare Breeze  recently advised Venn Partners on a £46.7m facility to refinance a portfolio of PRS units, and Jat Bains acted for Legal & General's BTR fund on the financing of the development of Roseberry Place in Bath, as well as for Legal & General Homes on the financing for the infrastructure development at its Crowthorne site. The team also won work from significant new clients, including housing developer Bewley Homes, which it advised on a £55m land acquisition and development facility, and Supermarket Income REIT; Morgan and newly promoted senior counsel Laura Bretherton acted for the latter on a £100m revolving credit facility with HSBC, partially to fund its first three property acquisitions.

The 'responsive, commercial and solution-minded' team at Mishcon de Reya LLP acts for a variety of borrower and lender clients, including Brookfield, Delancey, Europa Capital, UBS Debt Fund and OakNorth Bank, handling development and investment financing, among other matters. Highlights included practice head Nick Strutt and managing associate Louisa Cockburn - both 'approachable, creative and focused on delivery' - advising Hermes on the refinancing of a loan to Compagnie Du Parc to expand its portfolio of light industrial properties in Greater London; Strutt, Cockburn and legal director Sarah Spurling acting for PGIM as lender on a series of matters relating to the acquisition of warehouse properties by a consortium of South Korean investors; and Raji Bartlett assisting Brookfield as borrower with the £200m financing for the acquisition and development of a number of student accommodation properties across the UK.

Madeleine Clark leads the 'user-friendly' team at Osborne Clarke LLP, which boasts a strong lender-side practice, with clearing banks, debt funds and other alternative lenders among its clients. Work highlights include the 'knowledgeable, calm and collected' Jason Lawrance acting for Lloyds Bank in relation to a syndicated facility to subsidiaries of Ace Liberty & Stone secured against a portfolio of 14 properties. The team is also handling an increasing amount of borrower-side work; Clark recently acted for Student Castle on a major refinancing. Key clients include Santander, RBS, Tyndaris, Aeriance Investments and U+I Group. Dominic Ross, Nick Padget and Ben Truman are  noted partners in the practice.

Reed Smith LLP's team is¬†particularly active in advising on the acquisition, enforcement and restructuring of non-performing commercial real estate loans, as well as acting on a range of CMBS transactions.¬†Angelina Soon¬†acted for a loan servicing business in relation to the origination of three loans secured by real estate in Italy to a private equity firm, and the ‚ā¨403m CMBS securitisation of the loans; the 'very responsive and commercial'¬†Iain Balkwill¬†also advised an investment management firm on the restructuring and disposal of three loans with an aggregate outstanding principal balance of approximately ‚ā¨230m secured on real estate in Germany. Practice head¬†Francisca Sep√ļlveda¬†advised a longstanding client on the refinancing of its hotels portfolio.¬†Nicholas Williams¬†is also noted.¬†Matthew Heaton¬†moved to¬†Al Tamimi & Company¬†in Abu Dhabi.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP¬†is 'the premier law firm representing large sponsors in European real estate markets'; key clients include leading private equity real estate funds Blackstone, KKR, Round Hill Capital and Northwood Investors.¬†Tom Lloyd¬†('always calm under pressure and able to find pragmatic solutions to difficult issues') heads the practice, and regularly handles high-value, complex transactions, particularly with a cross-border element. Highlights included advising Blackstone on the ‚ā¨2.5bn financing of its acquisition and subsequent refinancing of Finnish real estate firm Sponda, and acting for the same client on the financing of its acquisition of a majority stake in Banco Popular's real estate asset portfolio, which includes¬†‚ā¨30bn in properties and loans, and in Aliseda, the bank's real estate management company. 'Highly proficient and technically capable'¬†associate¬†Edward Hampson¬†and 'talented' associate¬†Kazik Michalski¬†are also key members of the team.

The team at Stephenson Harwood handled an increasing amount of high-value cross-border transactions, particularly involving Asian investment; recent highlights include practice head James Linforth acting for Hong Kong-based SEA Holdings on the £169m financing by HSBC of its acquisition of 33 Old Broad Street, and Jonathan Proctor advising DBS Bank in relation to the acquisition and development of a property in Basingstoke by a joint venture SPV subsidiary of two large Singaporean holding companies. The team counts a number of banks among its clients, including RBS, HSBC and ING, and has extended its client base to include alternative lenders such as funds and insurers; Paul Hayward-Surry and George Vaughton, who was promoted to partner in May 2017, recently advised Barings Real Estate Advisers on an £81m investment loan to a vehicle managed by Schroders for the purchase of  1 Spinningfields, Manchester. Jayesh Patel and Andrew Hill are also key figures.

Multi-jurisdictional matters are a particular strength of the team at¬†White & Case LLP, which is led by the 'incisive and capable'¬†Jeffrey Rubinoff¬†and¬†David Cox, who is 'authoritative, commercial and a good negotiator'. Highlights included Rubinoff and¬†Victoria Landsbert¬†(who is 'thorough, responsive and easy to work with') acting for Bank of China alongside lawyers from the firm's offices around the world on the ‚ā¨6.8bn syndicated financing to a sovereign Wealth Fund in connection with the acquisition of Logicor - the largest transaction in the European real estate market in 2017. Cox also acted for Cerberus Capital Management on the acquisition of a real estate portfolio of five shopping centres in Finland from¬†Citycon Oyj, a Finnish listed company. The team also specialises in NPL transactions, including advising Morgan Stanley on the¬†‚ā¨200m refinancing of an Irish NPL portfolio acquired by Cerberus in 2015. Key clients include¬†Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BAWAG, Nomura, JP Morgan and Bank Hapoalim.

'The level of service is excellent' at Bird & Bird LLP and the team is 'knowledgeable, friendly, approachable and professional, with the required depth of knowledge and support, providing good value for money'. Recent highlights include Russell Dellar, who leads the practice and is 'personable, does not over complicate issues and has a knack of cutting through to the main crucial points', advising Santander on the £44m refinancing of a property portfolio; Jonathan Baker ('a very sound lawyer with good commercial judgement') acting for OakNorth in relation to the financing of the acquisition of an office building and its redevelopment into residential flats; and Joss Hargrave, who is praised for his 'response times, efficiency, attention to detail and patience', acting for Shawbrook Bank on the £18.2m acquisition and development financing of a large mixed-use property. Islamic finance matters also make up a key part of the team's workload. Isabel Evans is also noted.

The team at¬†Brown Rudnick LLP¬†has been bolstered by the arrivals of¬†Louisa Watt, who joined from¬†Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP¬†in February 2018 and now co-heads the practice with¬†Tuvi Keinan, and¬†Agnes Abosi, who joined from¬†King & Wood Mallesons¬†in March 2017. Among other highlights, the team acted for Queensgate Investments on its¬†‚ā¨215m multiple facility refinancing in relation to the acquisition of youth hostel chain Generator Hostels from Patron Capital, and advised private equity investment firm Catalyst on its disposal of commercial real estate company Geneba Properties to Singaporean property company Frasers Centrepoint for¬†‚ā¨364m.¬†Omega Poole,¬†Elena Rey-Sabinina¬†and¬†Nicholas Vasquez¬†are also key members of the team.

The 'very strong' team at Burges Salmon LLP acts predominantly for lenders, including traditional clearing banks such as HSBC, RBS and Lloyds and, increasingly, new lenders such as Gravis Partners, Temporis Capital, ICG Longbow and Helaba; it is noted for its specialisms in student accommodation, hotels, healthcare and housing, among other sectors. Practice heads Richard Leeming and Paul Browne acted for HSBC in relation to the £162m refinancing of Harbour Hotels, and Leeming and Sally Jupp - who 'both focus on client commercial advice and relationship development to ensure a completely immersed service delivery model' - advised the same client on the provision of an £80m revolving credit facility to a joint venture between Kier Living and a housing association for the acquisition and development of various residential property sites. The team also acted for Helaba on the financing of Embankment GP's acquisition of an office building in Manchester.Colin Ligman, Rachael Ruane and senior associates Katie Allen and Alastair Rattray are also noted.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP¬†handles a mixture of borrower and lender-side work, and has bolstered its client base with the addition of Metro Bank, OakNorth Bank, Octopus Property, Downing and Man Group. The team, which is led jointly by¬†Paul Kay¬†and¬†Daniel Sullivan, advises clients on a range of real estate asset classes; Sullivan acted for Downing as lender on a ¬£22m syndicated facility for the development of a data centre campus, and¬†Jon Bond¬†acted for Octopus Property on a ¬£25.5m loan to an SPV to fund the acquisition and development of the Brighton Astoria Cinema into a building comprised of residential and commercial units. In other highlights, the team acted for Aerium in relation to the ‚ā¨103m refinancing of its H2O headquarters in Luxembourg with an investment facility from Nomura. Key clients include Lloyds Bank and¬†Aeriance Investments.

The 'commercial, customer-friendly' Chris Lenton heads the team at Clyde & Co LLP, which 'offers a tailored service that is timely, effective and relative value for money'. Recent highlights on the borrower side include advising Regal London on the £136m financing provided by Cheyne Capital for the development of Shoreditch Exchange in London, and assisting Urban & Civic with the £75m financing provided by Manchester City Council and Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council for the acquisition and development of a mixed-use three-tower development. On the lender side, the team advised Secure Trust Bank and new client Arbuthnot Latham on the financing of a student accommodation building in Portsmouth, and acted for Credit Suisse on a variety of matters including refinancing the acquisition of commercial and residential property in central London. Annabelle Redman, newly promoted legal director Sam Clarke and senior associate Andy King are also noted.

The team at Dechert LLP specialises in structured finance and loan-on-loan matters, particularly with a cross-border element, and counts a number of leading funds among its clients, including Apollo, Blackstone (a new client), Bain Capital, Chenavari and Hayfin. Charles Malpass, who heads the department, recently acted for an affiliate of Apollo Global Management as the lender on several high-profile developments in London worth £300m; he was assisted by newly promoted counsel Kevin-Paul Deveau and senior associate Andrew Papworth.

The 'knowledgeable, timely and communicative' team at DWF is praised by clients for its 'superb service, which is comparable to larger, more expensive firms'. While the practice is known for its strong relationships with clearing banks such as RBS and Santander, it has acted for an increasing number of alternative lenders, including Canada Life and Fortwell Capital; the 'practical, knowledgeable and efficient' John Fox and Simon Elphick, who is able to 'distil complex property matters and effectively present the core issues', advised the latter on a facility to fund a residential development in Surrey. Practice head Iain Thomas and Christian Francis - 'both extremely personable individuals and very experienced lawyers, with business acumen and a commercial approach' - also acted for a number of alternative lenders on the acquisition of portfolios of residential investment properties and student accommodation, among other matters.

The team at Farrer & Co  - 'the epitome of "a safe pair of hands"' - has a substantial number of commercial lenders, international banks and UK private banks in its client roster. 'First-rate negotiator' Simon Graham acted for Credit Suisse on a £30m term loan facility to fund the acquisition of a commercial office property in Manchester; Laurie Horwood advised the same client on a £42.5m loan to refinance and develop a large country estate. Practice head Martin Blake, who, along with Bethan Waters, is praised for having a 'vast breadth of knowledge, patience and professional manners', assisted Coutts & Co with a £13m term loan facility to an international property fund group to refinance the acquisition of a shopping centre in the West Midlands. Annabel Dean, newly promoted partner Marc Glancy, senior associate Kate Corke and associates Laura Uberoi and Caroline Pearce are also noted.

Fladgate LLP's 'responsive, attentive, commercial' team is led by Kim McMurray, who offers 'client service par excellence: she is can-do, invested, and creative'. McMurray recently acted for Hodson Developments on the £150m financing of the acquisition and development of Chilmington Green, a mixed-use community in Ashford; other significant work for borrower clients included Gary Smith advising London & Regional on the refinancings of the London Hilton on Park Lane and L&R's office building on Baker Street, and Seetal Modi assisting a property developer with the £42m financing of a historic site in the South East to be developed into housing. The team also acts for a number of lender clients, including Bank of Ireland, Bank of Singapore and Europe Arab Bank. Other key members of the team are Luke Morris, Jenny Sargeant and newly promoted partner Amanda Hado-Bodfield.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher is noted for its ability to handle the borrower and sponsor side of high-profile transactions. Recent highlights include practice head Alan Samson acting for Oaktree Capital Management on its £743m disposal of its UK business park portfolio to Singapore-listed real estate company Frasers Centrepoint, and Wayne McArdle advising a real estate private equity firm and its co-investors on the acquisition and financing of Porthaven Care Homes Group from Phoenix Equity Partners. The team also acted on one of the largest hotel deals in Europe: Apollo Global Management's sale of its portfolio of 13 hotels in Germany and the Netherlands to Investco. Other clients include Colony Capital, Meadow Partners, Hyatt, Marriott International, British Land and Prudential Capital.

Goodwin specialises in advising on debt-related matters, including mortgage and mezzanine financings and refinancings, CMBS loans, and loan assumptions, extensions and restructurings, as well as acquisition and development financing. Its client base has grown rapidly since the practice was set up in 2012, and includes a range of borrowers and lenders, such as PGIM, GreenOak, Meadow Partners, Ares Management and Macquarie Capital. Paul Lyons leads the team, which also includes Simon Fulbrook and counsel Colin Baker.

Investment managers make up a substantial proportion of¬†Greenberg Traurig, LLP's client base. Practice head¬†Emma Menzies¬†acted alongside members of the firm's Netherlands office to advise Amundi Asset Management on its¬†‚ā¨500m acquisition of 'The Atrium' office project in Amsterdam - the largest single-asset real estate acquisition in Dutch history. In addition,¬†Gary Bellingham¬†acted for new client Paloma Capital on the acquisition of RVB Investments, a Guernsey-based entity which owned a portfolio of 40 properties. The team has advised on matters involving a variety of asset classes, including student accommodation, offices and residential developments;¬†Steven Cowins¬†recently assisted another new client, The Collective, with the ¬£150m financings of several co-living and co-working developments. Other key clients include Osprey Equity Partners, DRC Capital, LXi REIT and Rockspring Property Investment Managers.

Latham & Watkins' practice is praised by clients for its¬†¬†'expertise, knowledge of the lending market and ability to always suggest creative solutions'. The team specialises in commercial mortgage transactions (particularly mezzanine loans), large loan portfolio acquisitions, and loan-on-loan transactions; cross-border matters make up a significant proportion of its workload. Practice co-head¬†Jeremy Trinder¬†recently acted for a European bank on the¬† ‚ā¨1.3bn refinancing of Lone Star's acquisition of the Propinvest Dutch real estate loan book from the Dutch state, as well as advising a bank lender client on¬†a ‚ā¨142m Spanish NPL financing. The team has also handled acquisition financing involving a variety of assets; practice co-head¬†Quentin Gwyer¬†advised¬† Ashkenazy Acquisition on its acquisition of the Grosvenor House Hotel - the most significant single-asset hotel transaction in UK history - and assisted Energy Capital Partners with the ¬£230m acquisition of three power stations.¬† Bank of Ireland, BAWAG, BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, Partners Group and Platinum are also clients.

Iain Morpeth leads the team at Ropes & Gray LLP, which also includes Partha Pal, Carol Hopper, David Seymour and newly promoted counsel Richard Hanson. The practice focuses on non-bank lenders, and has considerable strength in representing investment managers, advising a number of market leaders. Structured finance and opco/propco matters make up a substantial proportion of the team's workload.

The team at Travers Smith LLP is praised for its 'extremely high level of customer service' and 'excellent knowledge of the field, which is combined with unrivalled commerciality'. On the lender side, the team has acquired a number of new clients, including clearing banks such as Wells Fargo and the Royal Bank of Canada, debt funds such as Laxfield Capital, and insurer Rothesay Life. It also specialises in advising private equity real estate funds, and recently handled several opco/propco matters; practice head Danny Peel and Paul Kenny acted for Dean & Reddyhoff, an investee company of Mansford Capital, on the refinancing of debt facilities secured on a portfolio of five marinas, as well as advising new client Office Space in Town, a provider of serviced office space, on the refinancing of existing senior and mezzanine facilities. Other clients include Patron Capital, Clearbell Capital and Benson Elliot.

Tony Coyne heads the team at Blake Morgan LLP, which 'provides good consistent advice' and 'shows the necessary commerciality and business acumen'; it was bolstered recently by a number of significant arrivals, including legal director Navpreet Atwal, senior solicitor Sophie Shaladi and Meera Jansen, who joined from Brecher LLP. Property, construction and development finance are key areas of focus, and the team also has specialist expertise in Islamic finance. Banking clients include Santander and Coutts; legal director Maria Watmough acted for the former on the provision of £29.5m secured term and revolving facilities to a further education college, and Malcolm Pearson advised the latter on the £15m refinancing of a care home group. On the borrower side, senior associate Euan Mitchell acted for Ashbury and Bloom on the acquisition of Boat Race House in Mortlake, with plans to convert it into residential units. Jeremy Taylor, Mark Hiley, Stephen Solomons and Steve Cole are also noted.

The 'well-established' team at Brecher LLP is praised by clients for providing 'a clear response to all queries' and 'a lot of partner involvement'. It specialises in acting for real estate lenders, particularly in relation to residential development finance. Recent highlights include Richard Gilchrist, who heads the practice, and Redmond Byrne acting for Investec Bank on an £18m investment loan to Ballymore Group to enhance existing income at two light industrial sites in east London while residential-led planning consent is secured, and 'solid, down-to-earth' managing partner Nicky Richmond advising a UK-based specialist property bank on a series of transactions for a residential developer specialising in accommodation for the over-65s. The team's growing client base includes new clients Urban Exposure and Maslow Capital, as well as long-standing clients such as Close Brothers, Pluto Finance and Amicus. Michelle Brown is also noted. Meera Jansen moved to Blake Morgan LLP.

Forsters LLP is known for its work for borrower clients, but has recently added a number of leading lenders to its client roster, including Rothschild Bank International, OakNorth Bank and United National Trust Bank. The practice is led by Victoria Edwards - an 'excellent negotiator' who is 'practical' and 'always responds quickly' - and also includes Simon Collins, Ronan Ledwidge, Matthew Swainston and Craig Thompson. 'Diligent' senior associate Rowena Marshall is also noted.

The team at Freeths LLP is noted for its 'excellent level of service', 'commercial approach' and 'unparalleled attention to detail'; it handles a range of work for borrower and lender clients, including  specialising in development finance, mezzanine lending, distressed property finance, and matters in the healthcare sector. Practice head Richard Williams, who is 'highly effective, very intelligent and a strong and personable  negotiator', and 'rising star' senior associate Helen Jones advised City North Finsbury Park on a loan for the development of a mixed-use property in north London. On the lender side, the team acted for ICG Alternative Investment on its £15m senior facility to an international investment and asset management platform; Chris Freeston also advised Clydesdale Bank on the senior debt financing of a development programme for a care home in Berkshire. The team has also handled several Islamic financings, and has acted  for overseas banks including Ahli United Bank.

Development finance and Islamic finance are key areas of growth for the 'supportive, responsive and pragmatic' team at Howard Kennedy LLP, which also handles senior and mezzanine lending, bridge finance and investment finance. It acts for a healthy balance of lender clients, including Santander, RBS, Metro Bank and Octane Capital, and borrowers such as Galliard Homes and Ballymore. Steve Clinning, who is 'always commercial, responsive and a pleasure to deal with', acted for Octopus Property on the £48m funding of the acquisition of the Sky building in Brentwood, completing the matter in just ten days; Clinning and Marcus Jamson also advised Neo Capital on the £50m acquisition of a property in Hammersmith. Daniel Fireman, 'one of the most knowledgeable and experienced solicitors in this industry', heads the practice, which also includes Samantha Hook. Nada Jarnaz joined from Taylor Wessing LLP.

Maples Teesdale LLP added Alteris Capital, ICICI Bank UK and OakNorth Bank to its strong existing client base, which includes Lloyds Bank, Maslow Capital and Tristan Capital. The firm has been particularly active in investment and development finance, especially in relation to the residential and student accommodation sectors; practice head Chen Ikeogu, who is noted for his 'organisation and commercial appreciation', advised Maslow on a series of transactions to fund the acquisition and development of residential schemes and student accommodation in Uxbridge, Coventry, Durham and Manchester. On the borrower side, highlights included advising a core plus fund vehicle managed by Tristan Capital on the £71m acquisition of the Interchange office building in Croydon. Katherine Watts is also noted. Ajoy Bose-Mallick left for Pemberton Greenish LLP in December 2017; Rohan Campbell joined from Irwin Mitchell in May 2018.

Memery Crystal LLP recently gained several key lender clients: OakNorth Bank (for which practice head Matthew Lindsay acted on the financing for the corporate acquisition of a Cypriot company), ASK Lendco (which the team advised on a series of development and bridging finance loans), and Allied Irish Bank (which David O’Dwyer advised on secured lending matters). The team also continued to act for Zorin Finance on a number of transactions. On the borrower side, Lindsay assisted Z Hotels with the financing of its acquisitions of further properties around London. Beckman Group, ZenProp, Blackfinch Investment and EFG Bank are among the practice's other clients. Andrew Titmas, Daniel Abrahams and Rumit Nanji are also noted, along with senior associate Helen Abel, who joined from Kingsley Napley LLP, and solicitor Michaela Berryman, who joined from Blake Morgan LLP.

The 'excellent' team at Shepherd and Wedderburn has continued to strengthen its borrower client base, handling transactions for Accrue Capital and Scarborough Group; practice head Jonathan Rickard, who 'can be relied upon to provide insightful and effective advice', acted for the former in relation to its £42m acquisition of eight Isle of Man-incorporated SPVs, and Patrick Bell advised the latter on a senior development facility from a syndicate of lenders in relation to the development of the Middlewood Locks site in Manchester. The firm also boasts an established lender-side practice; the team recently acted for key client ICG-Longbow Debt Investments on the £50m refinancing of the Cornbow Shopping Centre near Birmingham. Banking clients include Santander and Deutsche Hypothekenbank, which Philip Knowles advised on the £43.5m financing of the acquisition of the Capella Building in Glasgow. Stephen Hubner, Sally Morris-Smith, newly promoted partner Lauren McLeod and 'highly effective' senior associate Lucy Hall are also noted.

The team at Trowers & Hamlins LLP is particularly active on the borrower side;  recent highlights include Simon Owen, who heads the practice, advising Anthology London as borrower on the £85m financing for its residential tower development in Hoxton and the £45m financing of another residential development in Deptford (including back-to-back arrangements with a social housing landlord). Eddie O’Hanrahan acted for Balfron Tower Developments in relation to its redevelopment of the Balfron Tower in Poplar, part of a wider regeneration scheme in the area. The firm has a large public sector footprint; on the lender side, Imogen Fisher advised Homes England (formerly the Homes and Communities Agency) on financing the £46m acquisition and future infrastructure development of Priors Hall in Corby. Other lender clients include Lloyds, RBS, Santander and National Bank of Kuwait. Katharine Lewis, who also handles Islamic finance matters, is also noted.

Hilary Platt leads the 'well-balanced', 'knowledgeable' and 'approachable' team at Wedlake Bell LLP, which has handled transactions relating to a variety of asset classes, including student accommodation, residential schemes and hotels. In addition, Chris Vause acted for HSBC on a £15m term loan and accordion facility with a golf club company, and advised a central London property investor on a £35m loan secured over a portfolio of commercial properties. Key clients include Alpha Bank London, Day Lewis, Care UK and Fairacre Asset Management; Arbuthnot Latham, Elysian Residences and Global Holdings are among the team's new clients. Associate Helena Heaton and solicitor Tamsin Davies are also noted; Richard Roberts left for an in-house role.

Boodle Hatfield LLP handles work for both borrower and lender clients, particularly private banks, specialist lenders, and high-net-worth developers and investors, and focuses on the residential, office and private rented sectors. Clients include Arbuthnot Latham, Svenska Handelsbanken, Hadley Homes and Rubicon Capital. James Dakin leads the team; Rahul Thakrar is also noted.

Collyer Bristow LLP has a strong borrower client base, but is also increasingly acting for lenders, particularly foreign banks such as Arab National Bank, Bangkok Bank and Svenska Handelsbanken. The team has handled the financing of homes and mixed-use developments, hotels and offices. Highlights included practice head Alex O’Connor acting for Willmott Dixon's Be Living vehicle on the acquisition and development of sites in Reading, Sevenoaks and Cheshunt, and Rory Macpherson continuing to advise Chase New Homes on the forward sale/funding of a development at Palace Wharf in Fulham to a large residential landlord. Other borrower clients include Bewley Homes, Crest Nicholson and Ipsus Developments.

At Druces LLP, the 'overall level of service is superb': 'partners stay actively engaged in the deals and provide commercial, sensible advice'. Shari'ah-compliant matters are a niche specialism of the team, which acted for key client Bank of London and the Middle East on a series of loan facilities to property developers involving development and refurbishment financing, and it also has a niche specialism in syndicated property investment. In addition, the team handles conventional acquisition and development finance and refinancing; recent highlights include advising a corporate borrower on the £15m financing of a large mixed-use development in the City of London, as well as acting for a different borrower client on the acquisition and refinancing of a number of care homes across the UK. Christopher Axford heads the practice, which also includes Suzanne Middleton-Lindsley and Simon Pullen, who 'demonstrate an excellent technical ability, are thorough and methodical, and best of all are an absolute pleasure to deal with'.

Stephen Brower heads the 'extremely knowledgeable and thorough' team at Edwin Coe LLP, which focuses on commercial, investment and development finance, as well as acting for high-net-worth individuals as borrowers - and for lenders financing HNW individuals - on the acquisition of residential real estate assets. Clients include Maybank, Riyad Bank, Waterman Group and Handelsbanken. The 'outstanding' Joanne McIvor and of counsel Mark Menhennet are also key members of the team.

The 'well-established' team at specialist property practice Glovers Solicitors LLP is praised by clients for providing an 'excellent, partner-led service' and 'a clear and concise response to all queries'. The team acts predominantly for lenders, focusing on residential development finance and investment loans. Darran Smith, who joined from Fladgate LLP in September 2017, heads the practice; he has recently handled a number of transactions for Close Brothers. Other highlights included Liza Lam-Kee advising United Trust Bank on an £8m loan facility to fund the conversion of an office building in Basildon into residential flats, and Philip Mundy acting for Heritable Development Finance on a £22.5m development loan to a subsidiary of Hollybrook Homes, secured over a site in Rotherhithe. Other key clients include Hampshire Trust Bank, Investec and ABN Amro Bank. Senior associate John Mills is also noted. Andrew Parker retired in June 2018.

The team at GSC Solicitors LLP is led by Harvey Posener, and also includes Peter Belcher, who 'understands the client's needs completely from a speed and commercial perspective', Matthew Phillips and Amee Popat. It handles acquisition, development and investment financing for a range of borrower and lender clients, including developers, institutional, private and overseas investors, and UK financial institutions. The hotel and restaurant sectors are areas of particular strength: the team represents a number of major hotel owners and fast food franchise owners.

The 'outstanding' and 'responsive' team at Hamlins LLP focuses on development and investment financing, with particular expertise in student accommodation, hotels, care homes and residential properties. Practice head Charles Bezzant ('very clear in his advice and commercially minded') and the 'extremely efficient and reliable' Aselle Djumabaeva-Wood acted for Bank Leumi on a series of loans in relation to the development of various care homes; the team also advised Shawbrook Bank on loans to finance the acquisition and development of residential properties and student accommodation in London. On the borrower side, it advised a joint venture between WP Carey and Crown Student Housing on securing development financing of £75m overall for three student accommodation schemes in Norwich, Portsmouth and Cardiff. Palace Capital, James Taylor Homes, Svenska Handelsbanken and Bangkok Bank are other key clients.

The team at property specialist Harold Benjamin is led jointly by Ray Oshry and Vijay Parikh. Clients range from domestic and international banks to high-net-worth investors and property developers. Secured lending is a particular strength for the team, which handles transactions in the residential, commercial, hotels, leisure and healthcare sectors. Highlights on the borrower side included Parikh advising Jaysam on the £30m financing for its development of a block of flats in Wembley, and acting for Serani Hotels on its £13m acquisition of a hotel in the Midlands; on the lender side, Oshry acted on several refinancings, including assisting State Bank India with the £11m refinancing of 33 properties and the refinancing of a hotel in Croydon, and advised Allied Irish Bank on the refinancing of a care home in Westcliff-on-Sea.

Terry Green heads the 'very practical' team at Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP, which provides 'a genuine personal service' and 'good technical knowledge'. Development financings, mezzanine and profit-participation structures, opco/propco structures, restructurings and pan-European financings are all key areas of focus for the practice, which has a particular strength in the leisure sector. Clients include Morgan Stanley, Victory Park Capital, Shiva Hotels and Bank Leumi. UK managing partner Peter Sugden and Peter Englund - who are 'both friendly, commercial, hard working and help the process inordinately' - are also noted members of the team, along with Gavin Vollans and of counsel Michael Speranza. Kumar Tewari joined in January 2018 from an in-house position at Lloyds.

The team at Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP is set apart by its 'responsive service' and 'great strength in depth'. It handles development finance, Islamic finance and portfolio refinancings in particular, and acts for borrower and lender clients, including Al Sraiya Group, Dominvs Property Developments and Habib Bank Zurich. John O’Callaghan 'is a real expert in his field and knows his game'; Sarah Hung and Paul Cain are praised by clients for their 'great technical knowledge and strategic ability'; senior associate Simon Lawrence 'always provides exceptional service'; and Afsheen Nasr is also noted. Tamara Manojlovic moved to Rollingsons in November 2017.

The 'very client-focused', 'responsive and astute' team at Rosling King LLP is led by James Walton and Simon Geoghegan, and acts for a range of clients on the borrower and lender sides. The team recently advised EFG Private Bank on a £23m loan secured over properties in London and Surrey; Mount Street Mortgage Servicing as agent, security agent and loan note registrar in relation to a £517m loan to Lodha Group for the redevelopment of the former Canadian High Commission into a luxury apartment, retail and hotel complex; and Rengen (Cumberland), an SPV of Iesis, on the acquisition and development financing of a listed building in Bristol city centre to be converted from offices into student accommodation. Other key clients include Handelsbanken, EFG Private Bank, Bank of Cyprus, Mizen Homes and Tyburn Lane Private Equity. Jonathan Hyndman, Alexander Pelopidas and Peter Lewis are also noted.

The team at Russell-Cooke LLP  has strong relationships with a number of bank clients, including Barclays, Habib Bank AG Zurich and Bank of Singapore; it also recently acted for Standard Bank Jersey and several offshore trust companies in relation to the refinancing of a portfolio of commercial properties. Also on the lender side, the team advised Calmez, an SPV, on development stretch financing for a residential conversion project in Cornwall. The team also acts for borrower clients, particularly developers and offshore investors. Helen Edwards leads the team, which also includes Matthew Garrod,  Kathrin McClintock, Scott Leonard, David Webster and James Harris, who was promoted to partner in July 2018.

Adam Chamberlain heads the practice at Shoosmiths LLP, which counts several UK clearing banks, private banks, an international private wealth bank, developers and investors among its clients; it handles acquisition and development financing and portfolio refinancings involving a variety of assets, including residential, logistics, retail and leisure properties. Highlights included acting for Brighton College in relation to the £54m financing of the development of its new sports and science facilities, and advising Octopus Investments on debt financings ranging from £5m to £30m to healthcare and venture capital businesses.

Teacher Stern LLP's primary strengths are peer-to-peer, bridging, short-term and mezzanine finance; it also handles acquisition and development finance in relation to mixed-use, residential, office and student properties. Key clients include Octopus Property, United Trust Bank, HSBC, Avamore Capital and Handelsbanken. Phil Berry heads the 'outstanding' practice; Claire Gibson is praised for her 'unparalleled professionalism and diligence'; and associate Lorna Clarke, who joined from Maples Teesdale LLP in November 2017, is also noted.

The 'fantastic, always available and very commercial' team at Thomson Snell & Passmore has a strong lender client base, including UK investment and clearing banks, commercial funds, mezzanine lenders and bespoke funders; Lloyds Bank, RBS, Close Brothers, Titlestone, Svenska Handelsbanken and Lendinvest are key clients. Among other highlights, the 'proactive', 'very approachable' and 'knowledgeable' Matthew Grogan advised Close Brothers on a series of transactions, including a £24m loan facility to a large developer to refinance an existing site to create a mixed-use residential and office space, and acted for Titlestone on an initial £21m loan to a large developer to acquire six sites as part of a major land assembly and development project of houses, retail and office space. Head of commercial property Richard Ellard, Sarah Easton and senior associate Laura Keatley are also noted members of the team.

Ranjeev Kumar leads the team at Watson Farley & Williams LLP, which specialises in advising international (predominantly South East Asian and Middle Eastern) investors and non-traditional funds, with particular expertise in the hotels and student accommodation sectors. Development finance is also a key strength; recent highlights include Kumar advising Downing on the financing for residential developments in the North West and South West. The team also acted for OakNorth Bank, a new client, as the lender on the acquisition and development financing of a £10m mixed-use scheme in Birmingham. Other new clients include Wellesley Finance, Welkin & Meraki, JS Bank and Shapadu Corporation.

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