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Mills & Reeve LLP

Work 0344 880 2666
122891 CAMBRIDGE 4

Nick Finlayson-Brown

Work 01223 222278
Mills & Reeve LLP

Work Department

Real estate and Head of China Desk


Partner. A real estate lawyer with 20 years of experience in the sector helping a diverse range of UK and overseas clients in connection with property investment, development and management across the private, institutional, corporate and public sectors acting for pension funds, property investors, offshore investors and sovereign wealth funds, high net worth individuals, developers, local authorities and government agencies. This includes dealing with a wide range of clients with a variety of complex requirements and structures. Projects include acting for overseas property investors in connection with the acquisition, management and development of prime London real estate and national property portfolios (including the West End and the City), acting for one client on the acquisition of a multi-tenanted landmark Docklands property investment for £180m; advising in connection with the regeneration of a 24 acre brownfield site in the centre of Cambridge and the promotion of a similar sized site on the outskirts of Cambridge; at a national level, acting on the acquisition of an airfield with commercial and agricultural estates, which will be promoted (in part) for residential development. Another example includes advising a client in connection with the defence of a compulsory purchase of part of their headquarters in a prime London location. This ten-year project culminated in the client achieving a settlement substantially higher than they had expected and the completion of an ancillary land-swap, sale and leaseback of part. In addition, they received a grant of a series of easements that together have unlocked a wider area of their site for redevelopment.  Current projects include the procurement of development partners for 3 brownfield regeneration projects in central London in and around King’s Cross, Docklands and Victoria Embankment.

As head of the firm’s China Desk, working with Chinese state-owned enterprises, private companies and multipliers in connection with direct investment from China into the UK and Europe and also working with lawyers in China to provide a trusted network of advisers to clients seeking to invest in the PRC.  Current projects include advising Chinese entities on the acquisition of student accommodation, schools, investment in real estate development projects in Docklands and more generally facilitating M&A projects, listings and infrastructure projects.


Trainee solicitor Allen & Overy 1991-93; senior solicitor 1993-2001; associate Mills & Reeve 2001-02; partner Mills & Reeve 2003.




Sawston Village College, Cambridge; University of York (BA Philosophy); College of Law, Lancaster Gate, London (CPE; LSF).


Music, reading, walking and gardening.

East Anglia: Real estate

Commercial property: Cambridge

Within: Leading individuals

Nick Finlayson-Brown - Mills & Reeve LLP

Within: Commercial property: Cambridge

Mills & Reeve LLP has a large commercial property practice that handles regional, national and international property transactions for blue-chip clients. It has a nationally recognised specialist real estate finance team, led from Cambridge by Charles Staveley, who acts for institutional pension funds, management houses, property companies, and onshore and offshore investors. Key partner Vincenzo Maggio handles investment work and landlord and tenant matters, particularly those involving science parks. The firm's development work in the higher education sector is led by partner Michelle Cookson, while Christine De Ferrars Green handles large development projects for clients such as Urban&Civic and Keepmoat Homes. Nick Finlayson-Brown, who is now head of the Cambridge office, Richard Noble and Tim Allsop are also key partners in the practice.

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