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



Index of tables

  1. Real estate funds
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Real estate funds 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


Clients get a high level of service with quick response times and good practical advice’ from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP. The firm covers the gamut of real estate funds work, covering private equity real estate fund formation and co-investments, secondary sales, advice for limited partners and capital markets work concerning listed real estate funds. Kate Binedell advised CBRE on merging one of its funds with the Electricity Supply Pension Scheme’s portfolio to create a £1.4bn property authorised investment fund (PAIF), while practice head Antony Grossman acted for Ribston on the launch of the Ribston UK Industrial Property Unit Trust with £75m of equity commitments. Justin Cornelius is ‘an outstanding and trusted lawyer who always provides sensible and valuable advice’ – he advised Morgan Sindall Investments on a joint venture with the Universities Superannuation Scheme to invest £100m in housing for people with physical and learning disabilities. In addition, Kieran Saunders is also a name of note. Other clients include Unite Students, Transport for London and Aviva Investors.

At CMS, which has been bolstered by taking on a strong team from Nabarro, ‘clients get very good service’ as well as ‘a very good all-around approach with good strength in depth’. Key names joining the team as part of the merger include Amanda Howard, Darren Stolzenberg and Victoria Henry – the three have track records of advising on a range of funds, a number of which targeting residential property. Melville Rodrigues, who was already at the firm, ‘brings considerable experience to the table, with significant experience in funds combined with a strong track record and experience in real estate – the combination of these areas of expertise is a great strength’ – his work includes secondary market transactions for a range of managers. Rodrigues also advised Vistra Group on its taking of responsibility for over seventy real estate funds as trustee.

Clifford Chance advised fund sponsors such as TIAA Henderson, PGIM and M&G Investments on forming large real estate funds and co-investment vehicles investing in buildings across sectors as well as well as real estate debt. Gerard Saviola and Nigel Hatfield act for managers on products targeting a variety of real estate debt across building types, as well as ones investing assets in international mature markets as well as emerging ones. Alexandra Davidson made partner.

At Goodwin, ‘there is a quality expertise, depth of knowledge and a real understanding of client needs’. The firm handles a range of fund management, covering a mix of asset classes and geographic locations, in both open and closed-ended funds, as well as real estate debt funds. The ‘outstanding’ Samantha Lake Coghlan acted for Nordic Real Estate Partners on NREP Nordic Strategies Fund II, which will invest up to €1.7bn in logistics, retail and residential property in the Nordic region. Gregory Barclay and David Evans handle billion-euro real estate debt fund work. Michael Halford and Patrick Desay, whose practices include private equity real estate, joined the firm from King & Wood Mallesons. Other clients include Ares Management and M7 Real Estate.

Greenberg Traurig, LLPhas a high level of industry knowledge and clients find the team’s advice to be well thought-through and robust’. The firm, which entered the market following the recruitment of a significant proportion of the King & Wood Mallesons team, provides ‘commercially-focussed advice’ on both open and closed-ended funds investing across all asset classes in the United Kingdom and beyond. Steven Cowins is ‘a good practical problem solver who is excellent at structuring and closing deals’ – he acted for Europa Capital on launching its fifth fund, structured with a particular partnership for American investors, as well as co-investment vehicles - one of which designed to target land near the Ford site in Dagenham. Cowins and Marc Snell advised Paloma Capital, a new manager, on its debut fund, which raised £165m. Michael Goldberg acted for Brockton Capital on its third fund, which raised £830m (including a sidecar) to invest in value-add buildings.

Linklaters LLP has a strong roster of European clients, which it advises on open and closed-ended fund launches and co-investments in real estate across sectors, including logistics and value-add. Edward Smith advised Barings Real Estate Advisors on creating the Barings Real Estate Advisers Core Fund, an open-ended pan-European fund with regulatory suitability for German institutional investors. His other work included advising ProLogis on a £1bn joint venture arrangement with CBRE for a number of real estate investments in the British logistics sector. Jonathan de Lance-Holmes also handles billion-dollar real estate fund matters – he acted for PW Real Assets (now known as Aermont Capital) on creating its third real estate fund, which hit its hard cap of €1.5bn at second close to make opportunistic real estate investments. Other clients include BlackRock and Deutsche Bank Asset Management.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP’s funds team advises sector luminaries on various real estate-fund matters, including closed and open-ended fund formations as well as cornerstone commitments from leading institutional investors. New partner James Sargent advised InfraRed on creating InfraRed Active Real Estate Fund IV, which had a target of £500m. Nigel Clark also handles key mandates. Other clients include leading sovereign wealth funds, and open-ended real estate fund managers. Ed Gander leads the overall funds practice.

Allen & Overy LLP advises a number of key managers on sizeable real estate funds, with a particular strength in open-ended funds. Matt Huggett and senior associate Dominic von Wulffen advised TH Real Estate on creating its European Cities Fund, an open-ended fund targeted at €3-5bn which seeks to invest in both residential and commercial property across major cities in Europe. Huggett and senior associate Emma Danforth acted for Aviva Investors on a €500m open-ended fund aimed at long-lease assets. John Goodhall is also a key contact.

The real estate funds that Ashurst works on cover a range of asset classes ranging from commercial property, housing and real estate debt. Nick Goddard, in addition to work concerning more traditional real estate funds, advised Aviva Investors on an open-ended direct lending fund, partially investing in real estate debt, targeted at insurance companies and pension-sector limited partners. Alexander Cox acted for Tritax on the formation of Tritax Property Income Fund, an open-ended Jersey Property Unit Trust (JPUT), while in the listed real estate funds space, Nicholas Holmes advised Jeffries International and Akur on Tritax Big Box REIT’s £350m capital raising. The team also has Islamic real estate finance expertise. Other clients include Knight Frank Investment Management and CapMan.

Jones Day handles a number of cross-border fund launches, including advising new managers. John MacGarty acted for Valor Real Estate Partners, a new fund logistics sponsor. He also advised Vanke Holdings on its employee co-investment programme. Alistair Grant and Neil Ferguson also regularly advise on nine-figure fundraises. Other clients include Henley Investment Management, and Delin Capital Asset Management, which MacGarty acted for on arrangements for Blackstone to manage its real estate strategy.

Macfarlanes LLP’s ‘very competent and thorough’ team advises on real estate funds, with a particular number of funds investing in housing. Alex Amos acted for Legal & General on a fund which raised £170m of commitments at its first close to invest in homes for rental, the fund will operate with both open and closed-ended elements. In the commercial space, Amos represented Venn on a £185m closed-ended real estate debt fund..

Osborne Clarke LLP’s ‘excellent, pragmatic and commercial’ practice advises a number of leading managers on high-value fund formations, conversions, secondary transactions and managed accounts. Tim Simmonds has ‘a fine grasp of commercial practicalities’ – he acted for Niam, a Swedish manager, on forming an €820m closed-ended real estate fund, and Palmer Capital Partners on an unusual arrangement to transform a closed-ended fund into an open-ended fund. Also in the open-ended funds space, he represented Deutsche Bank on creating an open-ended Luxembourg-domiciled fund open to both German and non-German investors.

Paul Hastings LLP’s investment funds practice covers international fund sponsors investing across asset classes and locations. David Ryland advised Internos on creating a German Spezialfond to invest in hospitality-sector assets, as well as a fund designed to invest in social housing which had unusual features requiring FCA approval. On top of this, in addition to work regarding listed REITs, the practice represented Evans Randall on the creation of a real estate club targeting office space in central London, and Alpha Real Estate Capital on a fund targeted at the private rental sector in the UK. Other clients include Townsend Group and AEW Capital Management.

Baker McKenzie’s funds team, led by James Burdett, advises a number of key institutional investors and managers. Highlights included Burdett advising Invesco on the creation of its UK Residential Fund and its European Value Add Fund, a €400m fund which invests in value-add properties across asset classes in Europe. In the limited partner space, he acted for Townsend Holdings on the investment by three of its clients as cornerstone investors into Standard Life Investments Real Estate Club III. Other clients include Mapletree.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s Sally Gibson advised Europa Capital on its first fund, the first as part of a new income strategies platform, which raised £137 to invest in mezzanine real estate debt. Other work includes nine-figure euro value-add as well as real estate funds-of-funds, plus advice to sponsors launching their debut real estate funds.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP advises sovereign wealth funds, insurers and investment managers on a variety of funds, authorised contractual schemes and club deals. Tim West represented an institutional investor on the expansion of an authorised contractual scheme, which now has 21 sub-funds. Nigel Farr and Stephen Newby are also practitioners of note.

Hogan Lovells International LLP advises on a number of property joint ventures and club deals. Nicholas Holman acted for Columbia Threadneedle on the launch of UK Property Equity Club II, which raised £400m of commitments from European, Middle Eastern and Asian investors, James McDonald advised UBS Triton on marketing a fund in the US, as well as the proposed closure of a feeder fund.

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