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Real estate funds in London

Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance LLP is a powerhouse in the real estate funds space, and the group is a key part of the wider private funds practice. Nigel Hatfield heads up the team, which has an outstanding track record acting for UK, European and  global fund managers; it also generates investor-side mandates. Leveraging the resources of the firm's global network, the London group delivers a full service to clients across the entire lifecycle of real estate funds. A recent highlight involved Gerard SaviolaAlexander Chester (who was promoted to partner in 2019) and senior associate Ian Ferguson acting for ICG-Longbow on the £1bn launch of its flagship fund ICG-Longbow UK Real Estate Debt Investments V. In another matter, Chester is advising Patrizia on the €1bn fundraising of its Living Cities residential fund. Senior associates Jonathan Bray and Lily Marcel are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Nigel Hatfield

Testimonials

‘The fund formation team we worked with, led by Gerard Saviola, has been very helpful in getting our real estate fund off to a great start with great advice, practical solutions to structuring challenges. All in all, we have been very pleased with their services.’

‘Gerard Saviola is unparalleled! Smart, creative, quick thinking, accommodating. He is very good to have on side. Patrick Meniru is very quick and extremely responsive. Together, he and Gerard have been supportive legal advisers.’

‘A cohesive, thoughtful, and proactive team, with a deep knowledge of the space they operate in. A healthy bench of lawyers who are able to pick up work without clients feeling like they are fighting for partner time and attention, but with the confidence that the work is thorough, considered, high quality and being overseen properly at a senior level.’

‘Gerard Saviola strikes the perfect balance of visibility and access so that we feel supported at partner level, but without dominating the conversation or making us feel that our fees are top heavy. His insight, oversight and creativity is clear in the communication we receive through his team, and him directly, and his ability to connect clients with the right people and areas of the wider business to ensure we have a rounded view of things is second to none.’

Key clients

AEW

DRC Capital

ICG-Longbow

M&G Investments

PATRIZIA

Nuveen Real Estate

Intriva

Aventicum Capital Management

Work highlights

  • Advised AEW on its Europe Value Partners Fund.
  • Advised DRC Capital on its senior, mezzanine and whole-loan comingled fund and separate account mandates.
  • Acted for Aventicum Capital Management on the launch of its second European real estate fund, Aventicum Real Estate Partners Europe II.

CMS

CMS' London team excels in handling big-ticket mandates for institutional and private equity real estate fund and asset managers, as well as major investors. The group's work covers the entire ambit of issues, including fund structuring and establishment matters, fund governance, reorganisations and fund exits; it also handles some of the market's largest club arrangements and indirect investments. The firm's Luxembourg offering is a key differentiator, with funds increasingly being structured through the jurisdiction post-Brexit. In a recent highlight, practice head Amanda Howard advised Aberdeen Standard Investments on the launch of its new open-ended European long-income real estate fund. Howard is a former chairperson of the IPF, while Victoria Henry sits on its indirect committee. Darren Stolzenberg, senior associate Patrick Groves and financial services regulatory expert Pippa Tasker also advised longstanding client Patrizia (formerly Rockspring) on the restructuring of its pan-European property fund. Other notable individuals include Ed Kingsbury (who joined from Dechert LLP in 2019), Christopher Luck and Colin Lawrie.

Practice head(s):

Amanda Howard

Testimonials

‘We have worked with the CMS real estate funds team for a year plus and have had very positive experiences. They excel in the following areas: – willingness to adapt to client practises; transparency on fees; European coverage; and value for money. A great one stop shop for European fund structuring matters.’

‘Amanda Howard is very responsive.’

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments

APG

Aviva Investors

CBRE GIP

DTZ Investors

Europa Capital

Franklin Templeton

Nuveen

PATRIZIA

Principal Global Investors

Savills IM

Schroder Real Estate Investment Management

Tristan Capital Partners

UBS Asset Management

Verdion

Work highlights

  • Advised DTZ Investors, in partnership with co-living developer The Collective, on the structuring, launch and first acquisition for COLIV, the world’s first fund to buy and build co-living accommodation in London. The fund aims to bring £1bn of institutional capital into the co-living market in London over the next 10 years.
  • Advised Principal Real Estate on the launch of its open-ended Eurozone real estate fund, the Principal Eurozone Durable Income Fund. The fund is targeting a size of €800m – €1bn in the first five years and will have a weighting towards assets in Germany, Benelux and France.
  • Advised Tristan Capital Partners on the Brexit-driven restructuring of its €2.5bn core plus pan European CCP 5 Long-Life fund (CCP 5).

Goodwin

Goodwin acts for over 150 real estate investment managers on the full range of matters, including fund structuring and formation issues, fundraisings and the deployment of capital. Its expertise spans a wide range of investment vehicles, including open-end and closed-end funds, variable-priced funds, club arrangements, programmatic joint ventures and separate accounts. The firm's fund formation capabilities are enhanced by its ability to advise on ancillary securities, regulatory and ERISA issues. Samantha Lake Coghlan leads the team, which was bolstered by the recent arrival of Justin Cornelius from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP. The firm also opened a Luxembourg office in late 2019, strengthening its European funds platform. David Evans and Alan Skerritt are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Samantha Lake Coghlan

Testimonials

Goodwin’s real estate funds team is exceptional and marries a high level of technical knowledge with a refreshingly commercial approach. The team possesses an abundance of talent and experience, and always responds rapidly to transaction developments and client requests.

Samantha Lake Coghlan (Partner) – Sam is clearly one of the pre-eminent lawyers in the real estate funds space. She has an unparalleled understanding of the practice area and is always cognisant of her client’s commercial needs. Sam is personable, pragmatic and consistently goes the extra mile to ensure a positive outcome for her client. Ravi Chopra (Partner) – Ravi is a highly accomplished funds lawyer and is well versed in advising on real estate fund structures. He has an outstanding technical skill-set and applies a solutions-orientated approach. Niall Dick (Associate) – Niall is very diligent, easy to work with and highly reliable in managing transaction workstreams.

Very responsive and extremely clear advice. My clients have found Goodwin excellent, particularly for start-ups where practical advice is at a premium.

Samantha Lake Coghlan is outstanding. Leading individual in her field.

Key clients

Ares Management

BauMont Real Estate Capital

Macquarie

Gramercy Europe

Glennmont Partners

ICG Longbow

Bentall

Greenoak

M7 Real Estate

NREP

Kennedy Wilson

Work highlights

  • Advised Ares Management on the structuring and establishment of Ares European Real Estate Fund V SCSp. The fundraise is the largest Ares Real Estate fund to date and raised €1.78bn.
  • Acted for BauMont Real Estate Capital on its debut pan-European real estate fund, BauMont Real Estate One SCSp, raising €337m (including €25m of discretionary co-investment capital).
  • Advised BentallGreenOak on the conversion of the fund from an open-ended fund to a closed-ended fund; the rationalisation of the fund’s management and management fee structure; and obtaining ‘Jersey Expert Fund’ regulatory status.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Greenberg Traurig, LLP's sponsor clients range in size from emerging managers raising first-time funds to global behemoths. Other clients include financial institutions, family offices and investors. The firm has an integrated funds tax capability, which is a particular value-add for fund establishments and the structuring of investment holding vehicles below the fund. In addition to advising on fund formations, the group also advises on fundraises and capital deployments, as well as issues specific to fund managers themselves. Practice head Steven Cowins and senior associate Kate Phillips are advising Tristan and Edmond de Rothschild Group (formerly Cording Real Estate Group) on the establishment of a club vehicle to invest in a London estate known as Holborn Links; while Cowins and Marc Snell acted for Digital Colony on the formation of its Luxembourg-based Aviator Fund.

Practice head(s):

Steven Cowins

Other key lawyers:

Marc Snell; Kate Phillips; Tom Dear

Testimonials

Greenberg Traurig London is very client-oriented. They invest in getting a true understanding of our business and are thus able to provide very insightful and valuable advice. Most firms say they put the client in the centre but few truly do. Greenberg Traurig has succeeded on that very important point.

The funds team adopts a refreshing commercial approach and is always aware of standard market terms/competing products in the market. This is helpful in raising not only successive fund products but also when looking to launch into different markets. Although the team is external to our firm, it approaches funds work as an extended team to the business and its dedication to investor negotiations is one that I have not been able to better with other law firms.

Steven Cowins’ team is market aware, technically excellent, always available and one that finds solutions rather than problems. Steven has a winning personality which enables him to overcome bumps in the transactions which can prove problematic with more dogmatic lawyers. The team has a very significant presence in the market and tends to be aware of market norms and indeed know the lawyers on all sides of the transaction. Whilst technical competence is important, it is the ability to get things done which may involve a compromise and perhaps contextualising a risk which is so important.

Steven Cowins – commercial, always makes himself available, simplifies technical points and resolves them quickly. Kate Phillips – very hard working, ensuring all phases of the process move forward efficiently. Consistently positive and willing to go the extra mile to make sure the project is a success.

Highly commercial, as well as technical, great market knowledge and penetration. Seem to be more in the market than competitors – great breadth of client base and client focus, not just on legal issues but on wider issues.

Hugely knowledgeable and experienced team that have all worked together for a long time. Little senior turnover.

Key clients

Chancerygate

Cording Real Estate Group

Digital Colony

Europa Capital

FREO

General Projects

JR Capital

King Street Capital

M3 Capital

Mitheridge Capital Management

NBK Capital

Paloma Capital

Patrizia

Revcap

Rialto Capital

The Collective

Tristan

Valor Real Estate Partners

Vengrove

Zenprop

Work highlights

  • Advising Europa Capital, one of Europe’s largest and most prestigious real estate fund managers, on its sixth pan-European value add fund, seeking to raise up to €1bn.
  • Advising Revcap on its fifth pan-European opportunistic fund, seeking to raise up to £350m.
  • Advised Rialto Capital on its flagship fourth private debt fund, seeking to raise up to $2bn.

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP is a market-leader in the real estate funds sphere, as is evidenced by its high-end work for sponsors, management teams and investors. Led by global investment funds head Matthew Keogh, the practice offers a combination of fund structuring and management expertise, and tax and regulatory capabilities. The London team works in tandem with practitioners across the firm's European network, including practitioners based in Luxembourg. As part of a multidisciplinary cross-office group, Rahul Manvatkar and associate Stephanie Pang provided AIFMD compliance advice to ProLogis in connection with the marketing of an open-ended Asian fund, which targets investments into logistics real estate assets in certain Asian markets. In a recent development, Tom Alabaster joined Ropes & Gray LLP to become its EMEA funds head.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Keogh

Other key lawyers:

Rahul Manvatkar; Stephanie Pang

Testimonials

Broad practice with a great global reach. Partners tend to leave a lot of the heavy lifting to really stellar senior associates and show great flexibility when it comes to billing. Really impressive team, all very polished, giving succinct, to the point advice.

All of the associates are impeccably trained and really know their stuff, as well as being a pleasure to work with. Partners know when to get involved and when to keep their distance, which makes billing conversations much easier.

Key clients

Aermont Capital

LaSalle Investment Management

CBRE Global Investors

BlackRock

Barings

Prologis

Equitix Investment Management

Cerberus Capital Management

Round Hill Capital

Aviva Investors

InfraRed

Brookfield

Work highlights

  • Advising Equitix Investment Management Limited on the formation of a managed account for Kindbright , a Chinese state-owned investment company, to acquire a 15% indirect interest in Electricity North West, an electricity distribution network operator covering the North West of England.
  • Providing ongoing advice to Aermont Capital, including providing assistance in relation to the administration of its carry plans as well as other house matters, such as transfers.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP provides a comprehensive service to a wide variety of market participants. Among its roster of high-calibre, longstanding clients are the largest institutional and private equity real estate sponsors, sovereign wealth funds and pension schemes. Its team's wide-ranging experience includes handling the structuring and formation of funds and joint venture vehicles, ongoing fund portfolio management issues, investments into funds, and the sale and purchase of secondary fund interests. The group also has expertise in the regulatory issues impacting the real estate funds sphere. Another significant factor in the London team's ability to deliver top advice is its access to a vast pool of resources across the firm's global network, including practitioners based in Luxembourg. Matthew HuggettNick Williams and Pavel Shevtsov co-head the practice. Paul Sampson and Dominic Von Wulffen were recently promoted to the partnership, and senior associate Emma Danforth is another key figure.

Testimonials

The team drove this project to completion efficiently and effectively. They were quick, knowledgeable and reliable and I trusted we were in good hands.

Matthew Huggett was spectacular to work with – quick, commercial, patient, clearly knowledgeable about his craft and flexible in finding solutions to any matter which arose.

The A&O team as a whole are excellent and the quality of work they deliver is very high. Matters are always resourced well and partner engagement is there when required. The end product is always well-considered and their industry/market knowledge is a useful resource.

Nick Williams (partner) is very knowledgeable of the real estate sector and Emma Danforth (senior associate) is incredibly detail-focused, whilst remaining practical/commercial.

Key clients

Nuveen Management Company

Hines

Aviva Investors

CQS

Cairn Capital

International Finance Corporation

Electra Private Equity

Macquarie

Meyer Bergman

Schroders

Goodman

M&G

Cain International

Corestate

Work highlights

  • Advising Nuveen Real Estate Management on the establishment of the Asia Pacific Cities Fund, an open-ended fund focused on commercial real estate investments in select Asia Pacific cities, and the European Cities Fund, an open-ended fund focused on commercial real estate investments in select European cities.
  • Appointed as fund counsel for Hines Europe on the establishment and fundraising of its successor fund, the Hines European Value Fund 2 (HEVF2). HEVF2 held its first closing for €637m of equity in December 2019 and is targeting total commitments of €1.25bn.
  • Advising on The Hines European Value Fund (HEVF). This is the flagship value added fund for Hines in Europe, which is intended to be the first in a recurring HEVF series.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

At Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLPKieran Saunders took over as head of the practice, following the departure of former head Justin Cornelius to Goodwin. The firm remains a major force in the real estate funds space and advises many of the leading investment advisers in the market and also generates a significant amount of work from institutional investors. The group acts on many large cross-border transactions, including those with a transatlantic element. In 2019, Saunders led a cross-practice group, which advised Pluto Partners LLP on the establishment of two real estate debt funds, which raised £400m in capital commitments. In addition, recently promoted partner Louisa Cobbe and members of the tax practice acted for ED Group Limited and its affiliate LBS Properties Limited on the establishment of Paladin LBS UK Residential Fund I, which is targeting between $200m and $300m of commitments. Antony GrossmanKate Binedell and senior associate Nileena Premchand are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Kieran Saunders

Testimonials

The team is clearly in the market and knows the sector inside out. It comprises five specialist partners all focused on the structuring, formation and operation of real estate private investment funds and other structured real estate investment vehicles. They have a broad bench with a longstanding track record and wealth of experience in the sector.

I have worked with partner, Kate Binedell, on numerous fund formations, mergers and restructurings over the past 7 years. Kate is a pleasure to deal with – she is commercial, responsive and technically astute. Kate is capable of delivering complex funds transactions with energy, enthusiasm and a flair for problem solving. Nileena Premchand is a senior associate in the team and a pleasure to work with. Nileena is an effective communicator and project manager. She is enthusiastic, responsive and also strong on the regulatory side.

I use BCLP extensively They have strength in depth across the property specialisms.

The partner understands the intricacies of the business and provides commercial solutions.

Louisa Cobbe combines a robust technical approach with insightful commercial knowledge to provide practical solutions and advice.

Key clients

Aviva Investors

BlackRock Investment Management

CBRE Global Investors

Clearbell Capital

Frogmore Real Estate Partners

Hermes Investment Management

M&G Investment Management

Unite Students

Europa Capital

Blackstone

Frogmore

Morgan Sindall Investments Limited

Secure Income REIT Plc

Long Harbour

AXA Real Estate Investment Managers

Balmain Asset Management Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Europa Capital and Generation Estates on the launch of its first student accommodation fund.
  • Advised Long Harbour Limited on its recent entry into a £500m fund-of-one with PSP, structuring and negotiating the venture and its management arrangements.
  • Advising Frogmore, the UK private equity firm, on a £500m global fundraise which has held its first two closings at £123m with equity capital raised from a US state Retirement System and two Canadian pension funds.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is particularly well-known for its capabilities in open-ended real estate funds, and has grown its strength in closed-ended real estate funds. Michaela Walker leads the London team, which has increasingly made a name for itself in international real estate funds (particularly closed-ended private market real estate funds), where it works closely with groups based in Luxembourg, Dublin, the US and Hong Kong on cross-border mandates. On the domestic front, the firm is involved in real estate funds work connected with the build-to-rent and shared ownership sectors of the domestic housing market. Pamela Thompson is particularly noted for her open-ended funds expertise, which includes property authorised investment funds (PAIFs) and authorised contractual schemes (ACSs). She was part of a team led by Richard Batchelor, which advised Local Pensions Partnership on the establishment of a £1.3bn real estate ACS. Funds taxation expert Camilla Spielman is another key figure in the group.

Practice head(s):

Michaela Walker

Testimonials

It has a friendly, professional (but appropriately informal) approach to providing legal support. Eversheds collaborates well and has an expansive knowledge and useful insight of how the regulator (FAC) thinks and operates.

Julian Brown and Camilla Spielman are very approachable and are proven experts in their respect fields of collective investment fund regulation and taxation.

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments

BMO Real Estate Partners

M&G Real Estate

Schroders

AEW UK Investment Management LLP

Local Pensions Partnership

Aon Hewitt Limited

Nuveen

Townsend Group

Lendlease

Work highlights

  • Advised AEW UK Investment Management LLP on the establishment and marketing of a new £100m private equity style real estate closed-ended opportunistic fund, structured as a limited partnership with an exempt unauthorised unit trust feeder.
  • Advised BMO Real Estate Partners on the structuring and establishment of its £500m open-ended build to rent real estate fund. The fund is structured as a Luxembourg FCP-RAIF, targeting UK, German and Dutch pension funds.
  • Advised Townsend Group on the structuring and launch of the Townsend Global Core Real Estate Fund, a Luxembourg umbrella FCP-RAIF.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP distinguishes itself in headline fundraises; the group also excels in setting up complex multijurisdictional carried interest arrangements, co-investment schemes and other incentivisation arrangements, secondary sales and fund restructurings. Practice head Ed GanderJames Sargent and recently promoted partners Marc Schubert and Aron Joy, are among the key names to note.

Practice head(s):

Ed Gander

Ashurst

Ashurst's investment funds practice operates seamlessly internationally, with practitioners in London working alongside those in Luxembourg, Germany, Hong Kong and Australia. The London group has a wealth of experience structuring a wide variety of vehicles, including real estate funds, managed investment schemes and REITs. It also has expertise in joint ventures and club arrangements, and advises on investments into funds, as well as secondary disposals of investments. Piers Warburton, who is the global practice head, has built up longstanding relationships with a number of major sponsors and investors.

Practice head(s):

Piers Warburton

Testimonials

Very good knowledge of fund terms and excellent tax team.

Pragmatic/practical, can-do attitude, responsive, work well collaboratively.

Key clients

Tritax Management LLP

Equitix

AIMCo

Big Society Capital

CapMan

Credit Suisse

Oxford Properties

Saray Capital

Knight Frank Investment Management

Partners Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Tritax Management LLP on a joint venture with another leading UK real estate manager to establish a fund to invest in last mile retail warehouses in the UK and on the arrangements to acquire up to six seed assets for circa £290m.
  • Advised Equitix on the establishment of its fifth core UK infrastructure fund, Equitix Fund V, which raised £1bn.
  • Advised Foresight Group on the establishment of the Foresight Energy Infrastructure Partners Fund, which focuses on investing in European, sustainably-led energy infrastructure.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie is a strong performer in the private equity real estate funds space, which is reflected by its full-service offering to the most notable real estate sponsors, financial institutions and institutional investors (particularly sovereign wealth funds). James Burdett leads the London team, which has expertise covering a wide variety of investment vehicles and asset classes. In addition to being knowledgeable on all aspects of the funds lifecycle, the team is experienced in handling matters that are specific to fund management businesses, including M&A-related mandates. Mark Simpson has expertise in regulatory issues impacting the asset management sector.

Practice head(s):

James Burdett

Other key lawyers:

Mark Simpson; Eric Lim; Jon Unger

Testimonials

Global reach. Truly seamless delivery.

The team is excellent and is headed by James Burdett who, beyond being a very exceptional technical lawyer, is pro-active and has deep commercial acumen and a pleasure to work with.

Bakers has a big linked network, which you certainly need when going for multinational transactions. This way they can cover several jurisdictions and support you with identifying risks and opportunities. Their level of professionalism is one of the best in the market. They are experienced in their field which you notice when it comes to the coordination of the teams.

Bakers has a full suite of services. It can work in all European jurisdictions and has a multidisciplinary capability, including fund structure, tax, investment structure, due diligence and entitlement. Bakers has this ability in all of our markets. Bakers is extremely responsive and has the team capacity to handle investments when they come in and are under time constraints.

Key clients

Edmond de Rothschild/Orox Europe

Government Pension Fund of Thailand

Employees Provident Fund of Malaysia

Government of Singapore Investment Corporation

The Townsend Group

Invesco

Harwood Capital

Oddysean Capital

Temasek

Mapletree Investments

Quadrum Global

Equinix

Aroundtown SA

Goldman Sachs Real Estate Investments

Arcus Infrastructure Partners

Gaw Capital

Nomura Real Estate

Work highlights

  • Assisting Invesco Real Estate Management with successfully obtaining FCA recognition of an overseas fund structure under Section 272 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
  • Acted for Equinix, Inc., the global leader in the data centre market, on its $1bn+ Europe-based joint venture with GIC, to develop and operate hyper-scale “xScaleTM” data centres.
  • Acting as Townsend’s principal external legal adviser globally, advising on numerous fund formations, co-investments, bespoke investment fund structures and managed accounts across UK, Europe and rest of the world.

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG's team, which is spread between the London and Birmingham offices, demonstrates extensive expertise across a wide variety of funds and fund-like vehicles. It assists clients with the launch of onshore and offshore closed-ended real estate funds and REITs, and is also experienced in club arrangements and joint ventures. Team head Nick Heather is a well-known name among brokers, investment banks and investment management companies. John Reed and Lee Nuttall are among other key names.

Practice head(s):

Nick Heather

Testimonials

The team’s knowledge of fund formation, foreign direct investment into UK real estate and tax are its real strengths. In addition, the team follows a partner-led approach with a real focus on client care and responsiveness. Overall, an excellent balance of commercial acumen and client-focused delivery.’

‘Sharon Ayres and Lee Nuttall are both stand-out partners. Their technical expertise and client delivery are exceptional. Within their team, legal director, Emma Payne, is also highly experienced and technically minded.’

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard European Logistics Income plc

CEIBA Investment Limited

Empiric Student Property plc

ICG-Longbow Senior Secured UK Property Debt Investments Limited

GCP Student Living plc

Pacific Industrial & Logistics REIT plc

AEW UK REIT PLC

AEW UK Long Lease REIT PLC

Urban Logistics REIT plc

Triple Point Social Housing REIT plc

CBRE

M&G Real Estate

NFU Mutual

Universities Superannuation Scheme

Corby Land & Development Ltd

Monarch Alternative Capital LP

Royal London Asset Management

Thales Pension Scheme

Goodman

Greater Manchester Pension Fund

LGPS Panel

AXA Real Estate Investment Managers

Work highlights

  • Advising NFU Mutual on its investment platform with Apache Capital and Harrison Real Estate Capital, including three further acquisitions of build-to-rent schemes each with different secured senior lending facility, with a total value of almost £500m.
  • Advising AXA Real Estate Investment Managers on the sale to National Bank of Kuwait of the shares in a Luxembourg company which owns 20 St Andrews Street, London EC3.
  • Advising TP REIT on its downstream investment mandates covering 43 acquisitions across 103 properties valued in excess of £75m.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has a strong expertise in advising fund managers and investment banks on IPOs of closed-ended investment funds, as well as secondary capital raises and fund reconstructions. In addition, it also handles all facets of private real estate fund formation and management issues, including fund restructurings and regulatory advice, as well as real estate asset management firm M&A. Complementing its excellent GP-side practice, the firm also generates mandates from LP clients, including sovereign wealth funds, fund of funds investors and pension funds. Nigel Farr heads up the practice. Jonathan Blake joined from O'Melveny in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Nigel Farr

Testimonials

Depth of expertise in structuring complex cross-border private funds.

Responsive and efficient. Focused on the client’s end game.

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments

AEW

Fiera Capital Corporation

Hermes Investment Management

Cabot Square Capital LLP

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Wittington Investments

Moorfield Real Estate Fund IV

Cain International

Allianz Real Estate

Public Sector Pension Investment Board

Real Estate Credit Investments Limited (‘RECI’)

HSBC Global Asset Management (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Real Estate Credit Investments Limited on three secondary fund raises of new ordinary shares raising almost £130m, on the publication of a prospectus to launch a new placing programme and on the publication of a shareholder circular to disapply pre-emption rights for shares to be issued in connection with that placing programme.
  • Advised Signature Senior Lifestyle on the establishment of SSL Partners IV, a private equity real estate fund investing in the development and operation of retirement living projects in the UK.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Hogan Lovells International LLP's real estate funds team is knowledgeable about the entire range of listed and private vehicles that adopt open-ended and closed-ended structures. Led by Nicholas Holman, the team acts for many of the biggest names in the space on funds that are connected with all traditional and alternative asset classes. In 2019, Sian Owles, Holman and counsel Amelia Stawpert were among the advisers to Columbia Threadneedle Investments on the sale of 127 Kensington High Street and Kensington Arcade to AshbyCapital; the disposal was effected by the sale of a complex sub-fund structure that was part of Columbia Threadneedle's novel pledge fund.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Holman

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments

BlackRock Investment Management

British Land

Cannacord Genuity

Columbia Threadneedle

Crosslane

Fortress Investment Group

Grainger

ICG Longbow

LandSec

M&G Real Estate

NAREIT

Nippon Life

NTM Capital

PMM Partners

Russell Investments

The Crown Estate

Shore Capital

SunSuper

UBS Asset Management

U+I

Work highlights

  • Advising Columbia Threadneedle Investments on the sale of 127 Kensington High Street and Kensington Arcade to AshbyCapital, through the disposal of a complex sub-fund structure.
  • Advising British Land on an investment into a newly established holding structure for West One, a 92,000 sq ft mixed-use scheme on Oxford Street, W1.
  • Advised Nippon Life on the launch of a new Luxembourg-based real estate fund of funds, established in order to make investments in a range of European real estate funds.

Jones Day

Jones Day's team, which is a core part of a larger global network, handles cross-border real estate funds work across a wide range of asset classes. In addition to advising on the formation and launch of real estate funds, the group handles fund recapitalisations and various types of secondary transactions, including secondary directs and structured secondaries. John MacGarty is a name to note.

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP‘s reputation as one of the key names in the private funds sphere makes it a notable contact for many clients on complex real estate funds transactions. The firm has won new mandates from clients including La Salle Investment Management, Principal, EQT and KKR. Benjamin Harding, who was hired from Clifford Chance LLP in 2019, is knowledgeable about a wide range of fund structures, including closed-ended and open-ended funds, club and pledge funds, separate managed accounts and joint ventures. Jonathan Tadd leads the real estate funds practice in Europe.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Tadd

Other key lawyers:

Benjamin Harding

Key clients

LaSalle Investment Management

Principal Real Estate Europe

EQT AB

Realterm

GLP

KKR

Work highlights

  • Advised on three funds for GLP in 2018/2019, including GLP Continental Europe Development Partners I, GLP European Development Partners I, and GLP European Income Partners I.

Osborne Clarke LLP

Osborne Clarke LLP's practice, which is led by Tim Simmonds, has a strong track record undertaking the full spectrum of funds work for institutional clients, fund management houses and investors. The group's expertise in fund formation and management matters is complemented by strengths in financial services regulatory and tax issues. In 2019, Simmonds and senior associate Rachael Clayden acted for Newcore Capital Management on the launch of £150m value-add fund Newcore Strategic Situations IV LP. Another name to note is Alison Riddle, who was promoted to partner in 2019; in one highlight, she advised Strathclyde Pension Fund as a cornerstone investor in the DTZi managed Co-Living Fund.

Practice head(s):

Tim Simmonds

Testimonials

OC have proven consistently dependable over time, invariably delivering to budget, understanding our business and inspiring confidence.

Tim Simmonds, supported by Seema Chandaria. It is always refreshing to work with Tim: he has an efficient, pragmatic approach, and inevitably meets the commercial objective. His input is of consistently high standard, and he has few obvious weaknesses.

Very personable and bright, they really know the market well and keep up to date on the latest developments in the real estate sector.

Tim Simmonds stands out as knowing his clients very well and is unflappable in difficult negotiations. Rachael Clayden thought through issues carefully before asking intelligent questions and provided an educated guess as to where we might end up and look to move towards, and her approach was appreciated and easy to deal with. Alison Riddle is also knowledgeable in the real estate funds market and a pleasure to work with.

The team punches above its weight and provides a magic circle quality service. A niche team, well led, experienced and they price sensibly. Would strongly recommend them as a fund formation team.

Key clients

Niam AB

Fiera Capital

InfraRed Capital Partners

CBRE Global Investors

Savills Investment Management

Newcore Capital Management

Barwood Capital

Bridges Fund Management

DTZi

PGIM

Work highlights

  • Advised Niam on the launch of its seventh Scandinavian real estate fund, Niam Nordic VII, which is structured as a Swedish limited partnership and a parallel English limited partnership.
  • Advised Fiera on the launch of Fiera Real Estate Opportunity Fund V (UK) Limited Partnership in November 2019. The Fund is a £250m value-add fund targeting value-add and opportunistic real estate transactions in the UK.
  • Acted for Strathclyde Pension Fund as a cornerstone investor on the DTZi managed Co-Living Fund. The new fund – COLIV – will seek to acquire, or forward-fund, between six and ten co-living assets in London, with a target gross asset value of £1bn over the ten-year life of the fund.

Paul Hastings LLP

Paul Hastings LLP provides full service support to many of the world's largest fund managers, as well as institutional investors. Its real estate funds offering is part of a broader practice, which encompasses private equity funds, secondaries transactions, fund financings and credit funds. With support from tax and regulatory experts on both sides of the Atlantic, the team is particularly adept at forming heavily regulated and complex fund structures, including hybrid funds. In a recent highlight, Diala Minott advised Cheyne Capital on the launch of its second impact real estate fund, the Cheyne Impact Real Estate Trust. Minott co-heads the practice with Christian Parker and Duncan Woollard.

Testimonials

Very good partners. Excellent real estate and fund tax capabilities. Very responsive and highly value the relationship with us.

Diala Minott – Excellent lawyer who consistently performs and delivers for you as a client. Always wanting to provide the best service possible.

Duncan Woollard is a pleasure to work with. He really goes the extra mile and you get the impression he has seen everything as he always has a solution! I really value his openness and sense of humour, even when under pressure. He is genuinely unflappable!

Key clients

Octopus Healthcare

LaSalle

Activum

Work highlights

  • Advising Octopus Healthcare on the structuring and tax aspects of the conversion of the closed-ended MedicX I Healthfund into a perpetual life fund targeting over £1bn of commitments.
  • Acted for LaSalle on the fourth fundraising round for its LaSalle Residential Finance LP fund, bringing total capital in the fund to approximately €800m.
  • Assisted Activum SG with the first closing of Fund VI and also worked closely with the client in dealing with the ongoing tax structuring aspects of its funds.

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood is a key name for clients seeking advice on a wide range of vehicles investing in real estate, including REITs, authorised and unauthorised unit trusts, limited partnerships and open-ended investment companies. In addition to handling fund launches, fund restructurings and transactional work are among other mainstays of the practice. Led by William Saunders, the team acts for a mix of clients, including investment trusts, offshore funds and investment managers. Simon Brading and Stephen Laud are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

William Saunders

Testimonials

The level of engagement and insight into both our sector but also our geographic location is excellent! Kate Longman and William Saunders are highly trusted advisers and have the ability to distil some complex situations into simple, easy to follow advice that incorporates the best elements of a large best-in-class practice with the ease of relationships from a smaller firm.’

‘William Saunders and Kate Longman are both consummate professionals! We’ve found their level headed approach, their “can-do” attitudes and the comprehensive professional knowledge to be a very compelling package.’

Key clients

Grit Real Estate Income Group Limited

Schroder European Real Estate Investment Trust plc

Schroder Real Estate Investment Trust plc

Schroder Real Estate Fund

LXI REIT plc

Phoenix Spree Deutschland Limited

Schroder Real Estate Management Ltd

Nexus Tradeco Ltd

Tristan Capital

Custodian REIT plc

Firethorn Real Estate Management LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised Schroder UK Real Estate Fund on its sale of Kings Mall, a 27,000 square metre shopping centre in Hammersmith, to Ingka Centres, the real estate division of Ikea’s parent company Ingka Group.
  • Advised a joint venture between IED and a number of BAE Systems pension schemes through a JPUT structure on the acquisition of the long leasehold interest in the Sofitel London Gatwick North.
  • Advised GRIT, a real estate company with a portfolio across Africa, with its proposed fundraising to raise capital for a number of targeted acquisitions, including the acquisition of Club Med in Senegal.

Travers Smith LLP

Travers Smith LLP demonstrates strong capabilities in matters connected with REITs and private real estate funds, under the leadership of practice head Aaron Stocks. On the listed funds side, the firm has made a name for itself in healthcare sector IPOs and fundraisings. The practice draws upon the firm's strengths in fund formation, regulatory and tax matters to provide a full service to clients. In a notable development, Cathryn Vanderspar joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP in 2019 to head up the firm's real estate tax offering.

Practice head(s):

Aaron Stocks

Other key lawyers:

Sam Kay; Ed Ford; Cathryn Vanderspar

Testimonials

Always feels as if they are waiting for my phone call. Excellent availability and advice.’

From my experience, they have been extremely organised and on top of ongoing matters with a great attitude and enthusiasm to give knowledgeable and practical advice.’

‘On an individual level, all of the team members I have worked with have been well-versed in the ongoing matters their firm has been engaged with by us, showing good communication across the team and allowing them to utilise their resources appropriately to address any pertinent issues in an efficient manner.’

Key clients

Impact Healthcare REIT Plc

Assura plc

Benson Elliot Real Estate Partners V

JPMorgan Cazenove

Peel Holdings

Alternative Income REIT plc

Numis Securities

Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited

Lothbury

Cantor Fitzgerald Europe and BDO LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised Numis Securities Limited and JPMorgan Cazenove on a unique combination of a partial tender offer and subscription to effect a partial takeover of former FTSE 250 member, Capital & Regional plc by South Africa’s largest REIT, Growpoint.
  • Advised Benson Elliot on its oversubscribed £830m private equity real estate fundraising of its latest fund, Benson Elliot Real Estate Partners V.
  • Acted for BDO LLP and Cantor Fitzgerald Europe as sponsor and financial adviser and sole bookrunner on the IPO, placing and offer for subscription made by The Global Sustainable Farmland Income Trust Plc, a unique listed investment trust enabling investors to profit from investment in farmland.