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Linklaters Business Services

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Tom Watkins

Work 020 7456 3073
Linklaters Business Services

Work Department

Real estate.


Tom is a partner in the real estate team. With a background in corporate law, Tom acts on a range of corporate transactions where real estate is the fundamental asset, including on public and private M&A deals, joint ventures and restructurings.

Tom has a varied client base, with particular experience acting for institutional investors on investments in the UK and European real estate markets. He has been involved in transactions across all sectors, including commercial property, logistics, hotels, retail and student accommodation, and has particular expertise of cross-border portfolio transactions.

Work highlights

Tom has led on many high-profile real estate transactions. His experience includes advising:

  • A major US pension fund and its JV partner on its acquisition of a EUR700m portfolio of retail malls located in Spain, Italy and Poland
  • Brookfield on its £4.6bn hostile takeover of Songbird Estates, the holding company of the Canary Wharf Estate
  • AustralianSuper, the Australian superannuation fund, on two separate transactions to acquire a combined 67% interest in the Kings Cross redevelopment project alongside developer Argent
  • A North American pension fund on:
    • its JV with a listed UK REIT and the acquisition by the JV of a £1bn portfolio of logistics assets in Poland, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands
    • its acquisition of three portfolios of student accommodation with an aggregate value in excess of £1bn
    • its JV with a listed UK insurer and the acquisition by the JV of a £1bn portfolio of prime office/retail assets
  • A private investor on the £400m acquisition of 334-338 Oxford Street
  • A US hedge fund on its acquisition of two UK real estate portfolios
  • CBREGI on several acquisitions/disposals, including the Angel Central Shopping Centre and several London office assets
  • Lendlease on its £750m disposal of the Bluewater shopping centre


Partner, Linklaters, 2016 to date


Tom studied jurisprudence at St Edmund Hall, Oxford University

London: Investment fund formation and management

Real estate funds

Within: Real estate funds

At¬†Linklaters LLP, counsel¬†Rahul Manvatkar¬†advised Barings Real Estate Advisers on the launch of a pan-European core real estate fund, which raised ‚ā¨850m.¬†¬†Matthew Keogh¬†advises well-known names in real estate on fund formations, while¬†Amanda Sanchez-Barry¬†advised ProLogis on forming a ¬£1bn joint venture investing in British logistics assets. Tom Watkins¬†advised Cromwell Europe on the sale of two of its real estate funds to a new entity which was listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange. Jonathan de Lance-Holmes¬†handles investor-side work for sovereign wealth funds. Edward Smith has left the firm, while Tom Alabaster¬†joined from Latham & Watkins. BlackRock is another client.

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London: Real estate

Commercial property

Within: Commercial property

Linklaters LLP¬†is ‚Äėcapable of fielding top-notch talent in every discipline affecting a real estate deal, in a way that can only be achieved with the depth of a true specialist firm‚Äô. Global real estate head Andy Bruce¬†has ‚Äėthe unique ability to put his seniority at the service of a deal‚Äô; ‚Äėwhat clients get with him is impressive commercial sensibility wrapped inside a very able lawyer‚Äô. Bruce and Simon Price¬†advised the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund on its role in the concerted purchase of a stake in Accor‚Äôs ‚ā¨4.4bn hotel property business. Price has particular experience in the hotel and leisure sector and assisted Mandarin Oriental Hotels with the management agreements of a new boutique hotel and branded residences in West London. Further, the group assisted a multinational joint venture with its acquisition of a portfolio of large retail property assets spread across three European jurisdictions. In the development space, the team is advising Lendlease on the ¬£2bn Elephant and Castle regeneration project. Additionally, Martin Elliott¬†is acting for the Barratt Group in relation to a mixed-use development in Hounslow comprising over 500 new homes and an extensive leisure and retail complex. Patrick Plant¬†advised Deutsche Bank on the pre-let of its new London HQ, and has acted for a global fintech company on the development of its European HQ. Tom Watkins¬†exhibits ‚Äėexcellent business acumen‚Äô and managing associate Siobhan Burton¬†is ‚Äėwhip-smart‚Äô and ‚Äėknows how to manage a large team‚Äô. Richardson Capital and Triuva are among the department‚Äôs key clients.

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