Real estate funds in London

Allen & Overy LLP

The team at Allen & Overy LLP forms part of a closely integrated global team working across multiple jurisdictions, throughout which, one of the principal areas of expertise is real estate funds. In addition, the wider team advises on private equity, infrastructure, credit and sovereign wealth funds. The team is led by Matthew Huggett, who has a notable specialism in advising clients on the impacts of Brexit on their funds. ‘Unflappable’ partner in the team Nick Williams advises a catalogue of significant, and often international, clients on their funds, joint venture arrangements and regulatory requirements, whilst partner Pavel Shevtsov, who has been responsible for some of the team’s largest funds in recent years, specialises in advising clients on UK and EU regulations and legislation. The team’s workload involves working, often cross-jurisdictionally, on high and ultra-high-value real estate funds, from their structuring and establishment, to providing ongoing regulatory and corporate assistance. Dominic Von Wulffen stands out for his work advising institutional, sovereign and DFI investors in real estate, while Emma Danforth was appointed partner in May 2022.

Practice head(s):

Matt Huggett

Other key lawyers:

Emma Danforth; Christina Pope; Olivia Butcher; Nick Williams; Pavel Shevtsov; Dominic von Wulffen; Matt Jobson

Testimonials

‘The team work collaboratively together and are all very technically proficient. Legal advice is always provided in a timely & user-friendly fashion.’    

‘In addition to their technical proficiency, all individuals in the team are friendly and a genuine pleasure to work with. Nothing is ever too much trouble, even when deadlines are tight and demands high. Nick Williams is unflappable and has been a key factor in getting a number of investor negotiations over the line. Emma Danforth, Olivia Butcher & Christina Pope are equally valued and consistently provide high-quality work.’

 

Key clients

Nuveen Real Estate

Hines

Aviva Investors

CQS

Cairn Capital

International Finance Corporation

Electra Private Equity

Blackbrook Capital

Meyer Bergman

Schroders

Goodman

M&G

Cain International

Corestate

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie‘s investment funds team is led by James Burdett , who has recently been active in advising clients on consortium and co-investment arrangements in infrastructure and real estate matters. The UK team acts as a hub for the wider global offering; its areas of focus include advising investors on complex areas of formation, obtaining FCA recognition of overseas fund structures, acquisition, structuring and negotiation on ultra-high-net-worth matters. Mark Simpson , who leads the non-contentious side of the firm’s financial services and regulatory, is a particularly strong partner. In addition, the team is well-versed in advising on the increasingly significant ESG policies, and has a dedicated sustainability taskforce; partner Caitlin McErlane is a key member of said taskforce, and also has a strong reputation for her specialism in navigating UK and EU financial services regulation.

Practice head(s):

James Burdett

Other key lawyers:

Caitlin McErlane; Mark Simpson; Matthew Legg; Jon Unger

Key clients

Invesco Real Estate

Arcus Infrastructure Partners/Stockhabo

Edmond de Rothschild/Orox Europe

Government Pension Fund of Thailand

Employees Provident Fund of Malaysia

Government of Singapore Investment Corporation

Harwood Capital

Oddysean Capital

Temasek

Equinix

Aroundtown SA

Goldman Sachs Real Estate Investments

Gaw Capital

Nomura Real Estate

Work highlights

  • Advising Arcus Infrastructure Partners’ portfolio company, Stockhabo, in relation to the acquisition of a cold storage logistics portfolio in Netherlands, Belgium and France operated under the name of Frigo Logix.

Clifford Chance LLP

The team at Clifford Chance LLP is co-led by head of real estate funds Gerard Saviola and head of the global private funds group Alexandra Davidson. The team of real estate specialists provide advice on a broad scope of matters, including real estate; private equity; infrastructure; debt and credit; and emerging market funds; it also has a strong reputation for its broad knowledge of the structuring issues that apply to real estate managers. The firm’s international platform allows it to work effectively on cross-border mandates for its global client base. Specialising in the establishment and operation of private investment funds across asset classes, Lily Marcel was promoted to partner in May 2022 is a notable team member. Also worthy of mention are Alexander Chester, experienced in advising on some of the team’s most complex funds work, and Jonathan Bray, whom has built a strong strong practice advising a global client base on the establishment, structuring and offering of closed and open-ended real estate funds. Former head of the private funds group Nigel Hatfield retired in April 2022.

Practice head(s):

Gerard Saviola; Alexandra Davidson

Other key lawyers:

Lily Marcel; Alexander Chester; Jonathan Bray; Vishal Mashru; Stephanie Dunne

Testimonials

‘The Clifford Chance team is pro-active, service-oriented and very knowledgeable. They provide pragmatic advice, whilst taking into account the commercial needs of the client.’

‘Excellent market knowledge and ability to relate this to different situations.’

‘Gerard Saviola is all over the market and can guide on common practice and terms across the spectrum knowledgeably.’

‘Jonathan Bray is technically strong.’

‘Clifford Chance has a market-leading real estate funds practice and we consider them to be one of a limited number of firms who are able to serve the breadth of our needs both geographically and in terms of subject matter expertise.’

‘Our primary relationship partner in London is Jonathan Bray. He is very strong technically, has deep market knowledge and is ably supported by a strong team spread across offices in Europe and Asia. The firm has also shown that they are invested in the relationship and, as well as providing generally high-quality legal advice on the matters we instruct on, the firm adds add value in other ways, such as the provision of tailored training.’

‘We particularly value Clifford Chance’s professionalism and quick response time, although our requests nearly always require coordination across multiple jurisdictions and/or faculties. In particular, as a Luxembourg-based fund, we find it very helpful that Clifford Chance have local counsel in all of the countries we are operating in. It makes the discussions quick and easy, as we’re all on the same team.’

‘Jonathan Bray is not only very competent, making sure all the teams work together quickly and well, he is probably the nicest lawyer I have ever met. He has a humble, friendly way of handling conflict situations that is pleasantly disarming.’

Key clients

BentallGreenOak

Hillwood Investment Properties

M&G Investment Management Limited

DRC Savills Investment Management LLP

Work highlights

  • Advising BentallGreenOak, a leading global real estate and real estate debt house, on simultaneous fundraisings of multiple real estate debt funds and separate managed accounts.
  • Advising M&G Investment Management on the fundraising of their current vintage of its real estate debt finance funds.
  • Advising DRC Savills Investment Management, a leading pan-European real estate debt sponsor, on its full range of products including, senior, mezzanine and whole-loan comingled funds, co-investment and separate account mandates.

CMS

CMS‘ head of international funds Amanda Howard leads its funds and indirect real assets offering, which is focused on advising big-ticket investors on indirect real assets, structured real estate transactions, joint ventures and funds; said funds are consistently of high and ultra-high-value, complex and cross-jurisdictional. The firm has a significant presence across Europe and continues to develop its practice further afield; with Patrick Groves offering expertise in the structuring and launch of closed and open-ended European and UK real estate funds. The team has developed a particular specialism leading discussions in and advising clients on ESG and sustainability principles. Victoria Henry is a noteworthy team member; her focus is on the funds and indirect real estate space, advising managers and investors on the structuring, establishment and governance of large-scale joint ventures, complicated structured real estate transactions and real estate funds. William Lawrence is also noted as an up-and-coming practitioner, focusing heavily on real estate funds work.

Practice head(s):

Amanda Howard

Other key lawyers:

Darren Stolzenberg; Victoria Henry; Patrick Groves; Justin Coaley; William Lawrence

Testimonials

‘The team is one of the best teams that I ever collaborated with. The CMS real estate team is always available, deals with the toughest deadlines and delivers the best quality.’

‘The team is not only a service provider, it treats clients as professionally as possible and delivers the best results. The standout partner is Darren Stolzenberg.’

 

Key clients

abrdn

AIMCo

APG

Aviva Investors

Delancey

DTZ Investors

Edmond de Rothschild REIM

Franklin Templeton

M&G Investments

Nuveen

NW1

PATRIZIA

Principal Global Investors

QuadReal

Savills IM

Schroder REIM

Tristan Capital Partners

UBS Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Advised Tristan Capital Partners on the launch of its latest flagship closed-ended opportunistic pan-European fund, European Property Investors Special Opportunities.
  • Advised Aviva Investors on the launch of its Climate Transition Real Assets Fund, targeting investments that accelerate, and benefit from, the transition to a low-carbon economy and the active decarbonisation of inefficient real estate assets, particularly interesting given its sustainable investment focus.
  • Advised Principal Real Estate on the establishment of its first European data centre fund, a sector-specific real estate fund.

Goodwin

Goodwin‘s real estate funds team is co-led by ‘exceptional partner’ Justin Cornelius and the ‘simply outstanding’ Samantha Lake Coghlan, and is known for its expertise in real estate funds topics affecting the market and industry.  The team regularly collaborates with its Luxembourg office on cross-border matters, with its recent work also seeing significant demand from a diverse set of investors from Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East. The broad range of asset classes the funds team covers includes office, retail, residential, multifamily, industrial, hospitality, senior housing and assisted living, student housing, logistics and infrastructure, it also represents a broad range of investor types, being public pensions, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, foundations, family offices and private banks. Partner David Evans has particular expertise dealing with complex tax and real estate issues for both UK and pan-European funds.

Practice head(s):

Samantha Lake Coghlan; Justin Cornelius

Other key lawyers:

David Evans; Greg Barclay; Adnan Bhaiji; Bhargavi Mudakavi

Testimonials

‘Justin Cornelius and his support team are all very talented.’

‘Justin Cornelius is an exceptional partner who always finds time for us and is very pragmatic and solutions-focused.’

‘Market presence, expert knowledge and a pragmatic approach’

‘David Evans, Greg Barclay and Adnan Bhaiji are noteworthy.’

‘Very good, broad industry knowledge and skills as well as an extremely high-level of engagement and client service. We feel like a truly valued client and as though they are an extension of our team.’

‘Samantha Lake Coghlan and Justin Cornelius are simply outstanding; my favourite partners to work with throughout my career. They are supported by strong associates like Bhargavi Mudakavi. The key is their client-centred approach and pragmatic advice.’

Key clients

NREP

Patron

Frogmore

Kennedy Wilson

Slate Asset Management

USAA Real Estate

Ares Management

BentallGreenOak

Nuveen

Clearbell Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Ares Management on the final closing of Ares European Property Enhancement Partners III; the fund was oversubscribed with approximately €1.5b of commitments compared to its €1b target and is more than twice the size of its 2016 predecessor fund.
  • Advising on the formation and fundraising of Frogmore Real Estate Partners IV, L.P. their fourth value-add and opportunistic fund, targeting investments in the UK.

Linklaters LLP

UK head of investment funds Matt Keogh leads the team at Linklaters LLP. The team has a strong reputation for expertise across all major fund formation markets, acting for sponsors, management teams and investors. The globally integrated team works consistently on multi-jurisdictional, ultra-high-net-worth and complex real estate deals, alongside advising on the structuring, formation, taxation and regulation of all types of alternative investment funds, including open and closed-ended, perpetual core+ and real estate. In addition, the team has expertise in ESG advisory work, particularly within the European fund space. Managing associate Ben Jennings has experience in private equity, venture capital, hedge, debt funds and real estate work, assisting with both transactional and advisory matters for a broad range of clients. The ‘technically excellent’ and ‘unflappable’ Rahul Manvatkar is a standout team member, as is leader of the offering's private investment practice Clare Baker.

Practice head(s):

Matt Keogh; Silke Bernard

Other key lawyers:

Matt Keogh; Rahul Manvatkar; Clare Baker; Julia Vergauwen; Benjamin Jennings; Gareth Crimp

Testimonials

‘Excellent and well-resourced team at all levels.’

‘Rahul Manvatkar is unflappable, Matt Plaskow has great knowledge; insightful with an unbelievable work rate.’

‘Rahul Manvatkar is the best relationship partner that we’ve come across, not only is he technically excellent but he really cares about the growth of not only our business, but the growth of the supporting teams themselves and ensuring that everyone is aligned with our businesses’ development. We rely on Linklaters like an extra limb, they know that and they take care of us.’

‘We work with the real estate funds team in Linklaters because they provide our European funds platform with consistent, comprehensive and commercial advice in each of our working jurisdictions. We rely on the team to track our precedent positions, developing those across our different products and assisting each of those product client teams. Linklaters are very strong at managing us as client, and helping us each week identify workstreams where we can make progress.’

‘Dedicated and efficient; knowledgeable on market terms.’

‘Intimate knowledge of clients’ needs.’

Key clients

Hines

Aviva Investors

Barings

BlackRock

CBRE Investment Management

LaSalle Investment Management

Prologis

Aermont Capital

PSP Investments

Ashurst

Piers Warburton leads the investment funds team at Ashurst, which provides specialist advice on establishing, investing, restructuring and operating on the full-range of real estate funds, including multi-investor, club deals, pan-continental or global as well as value add, core-plus and core. The team advises on all typical fund vehicles, corporate vehicles and limited partnerships, often on matters cross-jurisdictional and ultra-high-value in nature. Nick Goddard and Nicola Hopkins notably acted for Capman on a cross-jurisdictional value-add real estate fund.

Practice head(s):

Piers Warburton

Other key lawyers:

Nick Goddard; Nicola Hopkins

Testimonials

‘The team is approachable, practical and down to earth. It does not engage in theoretical debates but, rather, looks for practical solutions and always keeps within fee arrangements.’

Key clients

CapMan

Savills Investment Management

Foresight Group

Equitix

Octopus Investments

Work highlights

  • Advised CapMan on the establishment of their third Nordic value-add real estate fund, the €564 million CapMan Nordic Real Estate III Fund.
  • Advised Foresight Group on the establishment of the Foresight Energy Infrastructure Partners Fund, focused on investing in European, sustainably-led energy infrastructure.
  • Advised Savills Investment Management on the establishment Savills IM Asia Pacific Income and Growth Fund III, a closed-ended real estate fund investing primarily in core-plus, income producing assets targeting the office/logistics/industrial, residential and retail sections within the Asia Pacific region.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

The funds and investment management offering at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is headed by Kieran Saunders, specialising in advising on the structuring, operation, formation and restructuring of high-value private investment real estate funds and other real estate investment vehicles, including onshore and offshore limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, unit trusts and authorised open-ended funds. In addition to its strength with traditional asset classes, it also handles office and retail, real estate debt, build-to-rents and student accommodation matters, and also has a reputation for advising pan-European investors on the impacts of Brexit, as well as advising on ESG principles. Kate Binedell, described as ‘commercial, responsive and technically strong’, has a particular speciality advising global investors on their equity investments and joint ventures.

Practice head(s):

Kieran Saunders

Other key lawyers:

Kate Binedell; Antony Grossman; Nileena Premchand; Sam Narula

Testimonials

‘The BCLP real estate funds team  are extremely knowledgeable across the full spectrum of onshore and offshore investment vehicles including limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, unit trusts and authorised open-ended funds. They effectively leverage the firm’s multidisciplinary real estate expertise to deliver great results for clients. I view them as a top-tier real estate funds practice.’

‘Kate Binedell is always a pleasure to deal with – she is commercial, responsive and technically strong. Kate delivers complex funds transactions with energy and enthusiasm.’

Nileena Premchand is a senior associate in the team and a pleasure to work with; she is an effective communicator and excellent project manager. She is enthusiastic, responsive and also strong on the regulatory side.’

‘A great multi-disciplinary team on the real estate and corporate real estate side. Excellent communication and always available.’

‘Excellent commerciality, particularly Sam Narula and Kieran Saunders.’

‘Our relationship partner is smart and responsive to our real estate fund needs. We have a collaborative relationship, from the conceptual discussions regarding new fund opportunities through to the detailed drafting and negotiation of documentation with multiple investors.’

‘A bright, quick and attentive team.’

Key clients

Long Harbour

Pluto Partners

Northwood Investment

Edge Technology

Kayne Anderson Real Estate Advisors

Security Benefit Life Insurance Company

CBRE Investment Management

LaSalle Global Partners Solutions (GPS)

BlackRock Investment Management

Ares

Henderson Park

Tristan Capital

Ballymore

Work highlights

  • Advised on the sale of 49% of the Long Harbour fund management platform, new joint venture arrangements in respect of such platform and the simultaneous establishment of a £750m club fund for investment into UK build-to-rent.
  • Advised U.S. private equity real estate firm Kayne Anderson Real Estate Advisors  on a significant joint venture with GSA/Kinetic to create a new $1 billion debt funding platform for the European student housing financing market.
  • Advised a joint venture between Oxford Properties and DV4, a fund advised by Delancey, on raising external funds from a number of significant investors for investment into Get Living.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

‘Top-notch real estate funds lawyer’ Steven Cowins leads the investment funds team at Greenberg Traurig, LLP, which has a strong reputation for its knowledge of the wider market and its ability therein to advise on it. Notably, the team has a fully-integrated funds tax capability, which gives it in-built expertise in this area. Its recent workload has involved advising some of the leading clients in the market on complex funds of high and ultra-high-value. In addition, the team has been advising on several continuation funds and GP-led secondaries, complex, cross-jurisdictional end of life funds, and providing guidance on the addition of real estate units in order to improve funds such that they align with ESG criteria. Marc Snell and the ‘fantastic’ Tom Dear have notably been advising on Europa Capital‘s first institutionally open-ended core fund.

Practice head(s):

Steven Cowins

Other key lawyers:

Tom Dear; Marc Snell; Chris Coyle; Charles Case

Testimonials

‘The team is very attuned to what is happening in the market and understanding the commercial side of transactions and they can speak about the commercials at a level no other law firm is capable of.’

‘Steve Cowins is a top-notch real estate funds lawyer. Practical, commercial and personable. He understands the industry extremely well. Much more than “just a lawyer”.’

‘The team at Greenberg Traurig fulfil much more than the standard legal advisor role in my opinion. They are a great sounding board when it comes to the market position on a variety of commercial terms and arrangements. The whole team act as an extension of our in-house team and I feel a genuine drive to get the transaction completed successfully.’

‘The team has been involved in structuring a number of private funds, coming up with new structures aligning operators to capital and enabling growth in a sustainable fashion.’

‘The Greenberg Traurig Real Estate practice is one of the most commercial, forward thinking teams in the City. They are always willing to find practical solutions for their clients, and have great depth of market knowledge.’

‘Steven Cowins is an exceptionally talented partner, who is a valuable asset to all of his clients. Steven’s is flexible and adaptable to his clients’ needs, and is always able to navigate them through the various challenges they face.’

‘Steven Cowins and Tom Dear are fantastic.’

‘Steven Cowins, Marc Snell and Chris Coyle all go the extra mile to really understand what we are seeking to achieve.’

Key clients

Ardent

Europa Capital

Paloma Capital

Patrizia

Work highlights

  • Advising Europa Capital in relation to its sixth pan-European value-add fund. The fund raised approximately €700m of commitments and advising the client in relation to its first institutionally open-ended core fund targeting €2b.
  • Advising Patrizia on various ongoing fund initiatives, including in relation to end-of-fund-life issues relating to its long life German retail box fund, a potential GP-led secondary.
  • Advising Ardent in relation to various fund strategies, including its strategic acquisition fund-targeting $230m of commitments, its UK debt fund targeting $300m of commitments.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

The team at Hogan Lovells International LLP advises across the full range of real estate funds; including closed and open-ended, core strategy, value-add, opportunistic, private and listed funds, with a small or a large investor base. The team’s workload consists of frequently cross-border, high-value advisory work regarding complex restructuring, reorganisation and transfer of funds. The firm is also active on ESG issues, with a global practice dedicated to work with funds clients within this space. Global co-head of the investment funds team Nicholas Holman  leads the team, with partner Sian Owles , described as having an ‘impeccable grasp of the area’, a standout team member, with a true niche in real estate work; an expert on joint venture and club deal terms, investment, development, acquisition, disposal and structuring of real estate funds.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Holman

Other key lawyers:

Sian Owles; James Alder; Amelia Stawpert

Testimonials

‘A genuine independent practice with strength-in-depth.’

‘Nicholas Holman is hardworking, bright and solutions-focused. Sian Owles is bright, helpful, has good sense of humour and is great to work with.’

‘There is deep experience across multiple sectors of the real estate sphere. All practitioners are approachable, direct with feedback and information, and can be trusted and relied upon to give clear advice.’

‘Sian Owles is an outstanding partner with an impeccable grasp of the area, especially in complex transactions. James Alder has an outstanding grasp of the law.’

Key clients

M&G Real Estate

abrdn

Russell Investments

Numis Securities

NTM Capital

Columbia Threadneedle

Work highlights

  • Advised Numis as sponsor for the transfer of Industrials REIT Limited from the London Stock Exchange’s specialist fund segment to the FCA’s official list and the premium segment of the main market of the London stock exchange.

Jones Day

The private equity team at Jones Day, noted for its ‘strength-in-depth and creativity’ in this sector, is co-led by John MacGarty and Alistair Grant, who work with the global fund formation sub-team on the firm’s most complex formation transactions and relationships. The team advises its clients on matters across the private funds market’s key sectors, including private equity, venture capital and renewable energy. With regards to its real estate work, the team closed a number of fund and fund-related transactions in the past year, namely advising Greystar Real Estate Partners on its first pan-European real estate fund, which will reach €1.55b in value. It has considerable experience in cross-jurisdictional funds work in particular. In addition, it has advised on private rental sector and commercial real estate investments and on matters including acquisitions, disposals and GP-led secondaries. A trusted advisor to key firm clients on the structuring, formation, and operation of funds and ‘standout talent’ Hannah Rose, is a noteworthy team member.

Practice head(s):

John MacGarty; Alistair Grant

Other key lawyers:

Hannah Rose; Aiden Lawes; Christopher Slack

Testimonials

‘Jones Day are a preferred firm for sophisticated, complicated and/or cross border matters. The Jones Day team is very affable and extremely capable. Their global approach fosters seamless advice across practices and offices without exception and it is clear that their primary focus is client service, responsiveness, giving practical and efficient advice and making transactions as easy for us as possible. They understand the business inside-out, understand what we are trying to achieve and work tirelessly to achieve that.’

‘The team has real strength-in-depth and creativity and everyone in the team works well together. Alistair Grant, Hannah Rose and John MacGarty all stand out for their knowledge, manner and client focus.’

‘Very strong team with a range of experience across different fund types and structures. The London team are very well integrated in the global team so obtaining advice on regulatory aspects from multiple jurisdictions is seamless and efficient.’

‘Hannah Rose is a standout talent. She is incredibly clear-minded and she communicates and negotiates in a thoughtful and highly effective manner at all times.’

Key clients

Pantheon Ventures

Greystar Real Estate Partners LLC

True Capital Ltd

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP

The Kirkland & Ellis International LLP investment funds group is headed by the ‘super-skilled’ Jonathan Tadd, who has a strong reputation for his knowledge of real estate fund products, in addition to other asset classes. His experience includes working on both local and international investment funds. The team is experienced in advising notable investors on the establishment, formation and restructuring of ultra-high-value funds; it is well-versed in advising UK-based, pan-European and global investors. Benjamin Harding is a noteworthy team member, representing a range of top-tier real estate sponsors on an array of sophisticated investments. Alan Skerritt specialises in advising clients on closed and open-ended investment funds and co-investments across the range of asset classes, with a real estate specialism.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Tadd

Other key lawyers:

Alan Skerrit; Benjamin Harding; Carolina Barry-Laso; Alex Brodkin; Louisa Cobbe; Catherine Gokah

Testimonials

‘A market leader in establishing funds in both Europe and the US, with expertise and experience within all relevant topics (fundraising, regulatory, tax etc.) as well as with different fund vehicles and structures.’

‘Jonathan Tadd is super skilled and has deep insights in the P&E fund space. Very knowledgeable and extremely commercially minded. He and his team have improved our fund offerings significantly. Alex Brodkin has an eye for the detail and is very diligent. With him on your team you will be sure never to leave money on the table.’

‘Commercial, committed and collaborative – generally the team is focused on getting the right outcome for the client rather than fighting legal points.’

‘I have found the Kirkland team to be professional, commercial and responsive. They bring a sense of team spirit to our project and are always ready and willing to be adaptable when timings change. Carolina Barry-Laso is always very professional while being collaborative and is a pleasure to work with.’

‘Market insight and leading fund terms.’

‘Commitment to product and technical perfection.’

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP‘s ‘excellent’ real estate funds team is led by Ed Gander . The team is mainly focused on advising its global, high-profile clients on primary fundraisings and secondary transactions across a range of asset classes, being real estate, real assets, private equity, ESG and credit.  In addition to its UK-based work, the team has a significant standing in pan-European real estate funds due to the calibre of its work on the continent, a recent example being its advising Brookfield European Real Estate Partnership on the formation of its first European-focused real estate investment fund. James Bromley, described as a partner who will ‘go above and beyond’ for his clients, has particular expertise in complex GP-led secondaries and the expansion of funds, whilst James Sargent is described as ‘exceptionally bright’.

Practice head(s):

Ed Gander

Other key lawyers:

James Bromley; James Sargent, Marloes Zaman; Jacqueline Volpe

Testimonials

‘A high-quality team, with good market knowledge and commercial sense. They have been adept at managing a difficult project through many twists and turns that have kept us all on our toes.’

‘James Bromley is an exceptional lawyer with a true dedication to client service. He is committed to his clients’ success and will go above and beyond to find solutions to difficult issues. He’s smart and practical and a true partner of ours.’

‘An excellent team that are all very personable, always available and commercial with excellent knowledge in their area of expertise. The Weil team has given us fabulous support in our raising of a new open-ended real estate fund and also educated us in a new business area for CapMan. Weil were a key factor in us being able to deliver our new open-ended pan-Nordic rental residential fund to the market in 2021.’

‘James Sargent, Marloes Zaman and Jacqueline Volpe are always exceptional in their help, commitment and advice. All frequently demonstrate enormous energy, patience and a can-do attitude to getting the job done. They are always available to us and, even at very short notice, we feel like a very valued client. Each of the lawyers are all highly knowledgeable in their areas of expertise and give us, as a client, a lot of comfort in what we are doing.’

‘Many of the “real estate” funds practices are corporate real estate lawyers trying to do funds. And many of the best funds practices are best know for buyout funds and aren’t know for their real estate funds work. Weil is unique in that it has a top-notch fund formation practice across asset classes (buyout, real estate, credit etc.) with a deep understanding of real asset fund formation.’

‘James Sargent is exceptionally bright, hard working and devoted to his clients.’

‘Highly knowledgeable of market positions and key issues in respect of fundraising and acutely aware specific investor requirements across a wide-range of jurisdictions and sectors. Very responsive in light of often extremely tight timeframes.’

‘James Sargent is highly knowledgeable of market positions and key issues in respect of fund raising and acutely aware specific investor requirements across a wide range of jurisdictions and sectors. He is very responsive in light of often extremely tight timeframes and has a strong understanding of critical points for our business.’

Key clients

Actis

ARA Europe

Arch Emerging Markets Partners

Astarte Capital Partners

Brookfield

CapMan

Castleforge

Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Dalmore Capital

Farview Equity Partners

Generation Investment Management

Infracapital

InfraRed

Lazard Asset Management

Lone Star

PATRIZIA

Revetas

River & Mercantile

Victory Advisors

Yoo Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Brookfield European Real Estate Partnership SCSp in connection with the launch of Brookfield’s first European-focused real estate investment fund, including fund structuring and establishment; legal and marketing documentation; and investor negotiations.
  • Advised CapMan on one of the largest sector specific funds set up in 2021, CapMan Residential Real Estate Fund.
  • Advised on a heavily over-subscribed fundraising for Victory’s flagship opportunistic fund.

Addleshaw Goddard

Head of the investment management group and co-head of the firm’s real estate sector at Addleshaw Goddard Lee Sheldon , has experience leading the real estate funds offering in advising LPs and GPs on ultra-high-net-worth fund formation and establishment. Notably, the team successfully navigated investors through the difficult fundraising landscape at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, launching multiple funds for emerging GPs. In addition, it is entrusted by its clients to to work ESG issues into existing funds; Jan Gruter has particular expertise in this field.  Daniel Woolston is well-equipped to advise fund managers, asset managers, developers, family offices and financial institutions. Jonathan Powling departed the firm in mid-2021 to DLA Piper.

Practice head(s):

Lee Sheldon

Other key lawyers:

Aiden McConville; Daniel Woolston; Jan Gruter; Liam Diggins

Testimonials

‘Client care and a true understanding of our needs. The core focus remains on properly servicing our evolving requirements.’

‘Great solid team. Low attrition, very loyal and hard working. leaders in their sector market.’

‘Aiden McConville is a rising star associate. Wise beyond his years!’

‘Daniel Woolston – cannot help enough in walking us through our first fund so that we are completely confident in our choices, structure and we understand what we are doing and why.’

‘They have an extremely strong and professional team, who are client focused and dependable. They understand the importance and criticality of client deadlines and are able to ensure that milestones are met/adhered to.’

‘Despite cutting across various teams, the service provided from a client perspective has been seamless.’

Key clients

Aldar

LGPS Central

Gravis Capital Management Ltd

IMMO Capital

Q Investment Partners

Northtree Investment Management Limited

Aberdeen Standard Investments

The National LGPS Framework

Aviva Investors

Federated Hermes

Kamco Invest

Par Equity

EcoTree (Paintitgreen S/A)

Pension Insurance Corporation

Warrington Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Par Equity on its high-profile partnership with Aviva Investors which has the potential to capture 1.4 million tonnes of carbon from Glen Dye Moor in West Aberdeenshire over the life of the project and will see a huge amount of investment going into Glen Dye Moor.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP‘s financial services team is led by Michael Newell , who has extensive experience in advising clients in the asset management industry and, particularly on the establishment and reorganisation of onshore and offshore collective investment vehicles. The offering advises across various jurisdictions, on all aspects of the formation, restructuring and operation of investment funds; Michael Gwydir has particular expertise advising internationally. Recently, it has had a particular focus on social housing within real estate. In addition, the team advises regularly on regulatory and compliance issues.

Practice head(s):

Michael Newell

Other key lawyers:

Michael Gwydir; Jack Andrew Kelly; Paolo Del Val

Testimonials

‘Work well together and individually. Partner is available and reviews associate work in a timely fashion. Good rapport between team members make them a pleasure to work with.’

‘Mike Newell, partner – incredibly knowledgeable across disciplines with the ability to cover tax and regulatory issues. Makes himself available for quick timely advice.

Paolo del Val, associate – safe pair of hands. Turns work around with minimum of fuss.’

Key clients

Greencoat UK Wind PLC

Schroder Real Estate Investment Management Limited

Greencoat Renewables PLC

Residential Secure Income PLC

Civitas Investment Management Limited

Constantine Group Limited

Floreat Real Estate Limited

ReSi Capital Management GP Limited

Alpha Real Capital LLP

Civitas Social Housing PLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Greencoat UK Wind PLC on its £450m oversubscribed equity raise pursuant to a placing, offer for subscription, open offer and intermediaries offer, and its admission to the official list and trading on the London Stock Exchange’s main market for listed securities.
  • Advised Schroder Real Estate Investment Management Limited on the final close of Social Supported Housing LP (SOHO), which finances the development of new social supported housing assets throughout the UK.
  • Advised Residential Secure Income PLC (ReSI) on its £20m equity raise pursuant to a placing and a retail offer, and its admission to the official list and trading on the London Stock Exchange’s main market for listed securities.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper‘s team is led by James O’Donnell, and works across its international offices with a range of notable clients on a variety of investment funds, including real estate, private equity funds, venture capital and structured products. The team advises on all aspects of often ultra-high-value, cross-jurisdictional funds, including structuring and establishment; contentious and non-contentious fund restructuring; advice to potential investors; and advice about structured products. Partner and real estate funds specialist formerly of Allen & Overy LLPJonathan Powling, has won new European real estate mandates, as well as continuing to expand the firm’s client base Sam Whittaker is a key name to watch in the team. Notably, former international head of investment funds Andrew Wylie left the firm in June 2021.

Practice head(s):

James O’Donnell

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Powling; Sam Whittaker

Testimonials

‘The team is strong, particularly in the US and Luxembourg, and has grown with some good hires in London over the last 18 months. They have broad experience and are able to deliver high-quality advice with strength on the regulatory side too.’

‘Jonny Powling and Sam Whittaker in London stand out as having strong credentials. Given their strength in Luxembourg and US, and their growing presence in the UK, they provide a full offering which helps in particular on getting funds over the line, whilst seeing ahead of the pack on regulatory matters.’

Key clients

Harrison Street Real Estate

Harbert Management Corporation

LaSalle Investment Management

Longfellow Real Estate Partners

PGIM Real Estate

RTP Global

Waypoint Asset Management

BRG Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Advised Harrison Street Real Estate on the launch and successful closing of Harrison Street Real European Property Partners III, the third pan-European real estate fund to be sponsored by HSRE, which raised over €800 million.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

The financial services offering at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is led by Michaela Walker , who has recently been appointed as European financial services head, and advises pan-European clients on the establishment and regulation of funds. The team has significantly broadened its workload to make alternative and private funds space work a significant portion of their practice. In particular, it works on ultra-high-net-worth, cross-jurisdictional real estate and infrastructure issues, with an increasing focus on sustainability; recently, the team advised on the rebranding of a $1b fund for AXA to meet ESG principles. Phil Spyropolous is noted for leading on the firm’s ESG initiatives, while Ronald Paterson is noteworthy for his real estate focus. Notably in April 2022, partner Pamela Thompson retired, whilst Ben Watford left the team.

Practice head(s):

Michaela Walker

Other key lawyers:

Jamie Dunlop; Richard Batchelor; Michaela Walker; Ronald Paterson; Julian Brown; Phil Spyropoulos

Testimonials

‘The team has an extreme attention-to-detail and is always is able to suggest appropriate citations to UK law in drafting agreements.’

‘Jamie Dunlop and Richard Batchelor work well as a team and provide insightful comments on secondary transactions in the UK.’

‘Our ‘go-to’ team for all things ACS-related. The team are very responsive and will always help at short-notice, where needed. Very considered and commercial advice.’

‘Richard Batchelor is good to work with. He is hard-working, excellent at simplifying issues for non-lawyers and has a good network which can be useful in negotiations.’

‘They are specialists in retail investor funds.’

Key clients

M&G Securities

Abrdn Asset Management

Aviva Investors Fund Services

Schroders Real Estate Investment Management

Janus Henderson Investors

Rathbones Unit Trust Managers

Artemis Fund Managers

Fidelity International

Ninety One (formerly Investec)

Santander Asset Management UK

Gowling WLG

Nick Heather leads Gowling WLG‘s corporate and investment funds team, described as providing ‘top-notch support’ to its clients. The real estate funds offering advises large institutional investors and GPs on complex transactions and has a particular presence in the social housing, specialist supported housing, senior living and retirement housing markets. It deals with private closed-ended, platforms, club deals, joint ventures and deal-by-deal investment structures. The team is recognised for its expertise in investment funds, more specifically in relation to closed-ended, listed funds and REITs; Oliver Riley has established himself as a leading adviser on real estate fund transactions with focus on the launch, structuring and reconstruction of onshore and offshore closed-ended funds and REITs, having advised on the UK residential REIT GCP Student Living.

Practice head(s):

Nick Heather

Other key lawyers:

Kristian Rogers; Sharon Ayres; Oliver Riley; John Reed

Testimonials

‘Personable, collegiate team run by an excellent partner who retains oversight of the wider projects. excellent at understanding clients requirements and processes and taking initiatives on our behalf.’

‘Always available and happy to get involved in any issue no matter scale or complexity. Very engaged and distribute work sensibly to maintain focus on costs.’

‘We get top-notch support from our team at Gowling on managing our real estate fund transactions.’

‘Sharon Ayres – great to have her defending your interests or pushing to improve positions. She is completely across the docs and makes compelling arguments.’

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

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

Pension Protection Fund

Local Government Pension Scheme Panel

AXA Real Estate Investment Managers

Lincoln Property Company

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

Downing Renewables & Infrastructure Trust plc

Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust PLC

Work highlights

  • Advising the National Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Society Limited (“NFU Mutual”), having previously advised on the launch of a new investment platform for build-to-rent schemes, on new funding within the structure.
  • Advising the Universities Superannuation Scheme into a long term partnership investment arrangement with BP.
  • Advised a fund on a complex long-term joint venture arrangement with a subsidiary of Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (Cadillac Fairview) and Stanhope; with Stanhope also being appointed as development manager.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP‘s offering includes investment funds specialist Tim West, who has been involved in numerous fund launches, secondary capital raisings and fund reconstructions, primarily in relation to closed ended investment vehicles, advising complex and innovative structures. The team advises GPs and an increasing number of LPs such as sovereign wealth funds on high-value deals. Stephen Newby has expertise in international funds work, with a particular focus on real estate specifically, having advised on the establishment, arrangement and investment on some of the team’s highest-value matters in this sector.

Practice head(s):

Nigel Farr

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Newby; Tim West

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard

AEW Europe LLP

Anglesea Capital

Argent

Australian Superannuation Fund

AXA Investment Managers – Real Estate

Blackstone Strategic Partners

Cabot Square Capital LLP

Canada Life

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB)

Carlyle Group

CarVal Investors

Chelsfield

GLP

Hammerson

Henderson Global Investors

Hermes Investment Management

Hermes Real Estate Investment Management

Hines Interests Limited Partnership

Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate plc

Lendlease

Local Pensions Partnership Investments Ltd

Moorfield Group Limited

Orchard Street Investment Management LLP

Oxford Properties

PSP

Qatari Diar

RREEF Real Estate Investment Managers

Shuaa Capital

Signature Group

Sustainable Development Capital

Work highlights

  • Advising a Canadian pension fund in connection with its investment in CLF Fund III LP, a Cayman Islands-exempted limited partnership investing in, developing, owning and operating a diversified portfolio of logistics facilities in key markets across China.

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins‘ funds team works on various funds structures. Clare Scott has particular expertise in assisting sponsors with formation, global fundraising, capital deployment, and operating activities as well as advising on such regulatory matters as AIFMD. Partner James McCrory has been involved in standout real estate-focused work and is fundraising counsel for some of the biggest global real estate and infrastructure managers in the market, such as LaSalle. The team advises on such matters as fund formation, joint ventures, investor representation and management operations. Nick Benson has a strong reputation in private funds.

Other key lawyers:

James McCrory; Nick Benson; Clare Scott

Testimonials

‘There is great depth in the team and they work for some of the biggest names in the market. They combine state-of-the-art legal, commercial and technical knowledge and deliver responsive advice. They are very good at handling cross-jurisdictional matters also.’ 

‘James McCrory stands out as a very strong practitioner. He is always available, very responsive and keeps a positive attitude, whatever the circumstances. This makes him a pleasure to work with. His advice is always taking due account of all dynamics involved, including the commercial side of things.’

Key clients

LaSalle

IFM Investors

Boyu Capital

TA Associates

Silver Lake

OMERS Infrastructure

OMERS Capital Markets

VentureSouq

CDPQ

Generali

Chimera Capital

Microsoft

Zinc Ventures

Quadriga Capital

Capvis

Cornerstone

Macfarlanes LLP

Macfarlanes LLP‘s private equity real estate team is co-headed by Robert Porter and investment management lead Alex Amos. The team’s recent workload has consisted in large part of property income focused structures. The team assists its high-profile clients on high-value onshore and offshore, closed and open-ended funds, on various aspects, including their formation, acquisition, management and disposal. Further, the team assists clients in navigating increasingly prominent sustainability-focused ESG principles, creating new or adapting existing funds to meet them. Nicole Mitchell is a key member of the team, developing a particular specialism in real estate funds.

Practice head(s):

Robert Porter; Alex Amos

Other key lawyers:

Lora Froud; Nicole Mitchell; Andrew Hughes

Testimonials

‘Practical and prompt legal advice from the retail/regulatory funds team at Macfarlanes, over the course a protracted project. The Macfarlanes team were honest about when we needed to make decisions and reformulate our questions in order to use their resource most efficiently.’

‘Great quality advice – prompt and commercial – a very knowledgeable team. They are happy to work to fee caps and we’re happy with their billing (they frequently pick up out of scope work at no extra cost).’

‘Macfarlanes independence means they are uniquely positioned in the London real estate market to provide commercial, tailored advice to a range of clients.’

Lora Froud is delightful – very friendly, approachable and supportive to our team and me personally, in a new role as I was finding my feet.’

‘Alex Amos is an exceptional real estate partner, who’s knowledge of the funds industry is a real asset to all of his clients.’

Key clients

Ergo Real Estate

Legal & General

Apache Capital

Venn Partners

Cale Street

NatWest Group Pension Fund

Signal Capital

Octopus Investments

Work highlights

  • Advising on a 15-year joint venture with financial services company Legal & General which will invest £500m of equity to build net-zero carbon, later living communities developed and operated by Inspired Villages.
  • Advising Signal Capital on a joint venture with Santander Asset Management to establish Signal Santander European Hospitality, an investment fund aimed at investing in hospitality assets in Iberia and Southern Europe
  • Advising a sovereign wealth investor in relation to a significant commitment to AXA Investment Managers’ €1.9bn fund focusing upon European life sciences real estate.

Osborne Clarke LLP

‘True expert in his field’ Tim Simmonds leads Osborne Clarke LLP‘s financial institutions group from Bristol, specialising in real estate funds, acting for institutional managers, property fund managers and significant institutional investors. The team advises on funds, tax and regulatory matters, with ESG being an essential part of the firm’s overall business strategy, offering sub-teams to advise clients on the development and implementation of sustainability principles into existing and future funds. Recent notable work includes its advising high-profile investors on the updating of structures and the admission of sovereign wealth into existing funds. Team member Alison Riddle has particular expertise in the field, having worked on the structuring and establishment of real estate funds and the secondary sale and purchase of fund interests and other corporate structures holding real estate.

Practice head(s):

Tim Simmonds

Other key lawyers:

Alison Riddle; Simon Thomas

Testimonials

‘What makes the team stand out for me is the people; real, genuine and personable – and can of course get the deals done very effectively.’

‘Tim Simmonds is a true expert in his field and knows the real estate sector extremely well – a leader in his field, plus he is pragmatic and a pleasure to deal with. He is our go-to man for real estate funds.’

‘Simon Thomas is very knowledgeable and responsive – always on hand to provide efficient structuring advice.’

Tim Simmonds gives sound commercial advice. Very approachable and a trusted legal adviser.’

‘Useful to have a funds team that works with the transactions team on our structures and consequent transactions.’

Key clients

Alvarium Guardian

Bridges Fund Management

Barwood Capital

Urban Splash

Aberdeen Standard (abdrn)

Elwood/Schroders

Deutsche Bank (DWS)

Newcore Capital

Fiera Real Estate

Barings/Henry Boot JV

InfraRed

Merseyside Pension Fund

SCIF Investor Vehicle LLP

Hawthorn Residential Fund

Patrizia AG

PGIM Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Bridges Fund Management, the market leading specialist sustainable and impact investor, on the launch of Bridges Property Alternatives Fund V.
  • Advised Newcore Capital on the launch of its fifth Newcore Strategic Situations Fund with invests in the UK real estate assets linked to social infrastructure.
  • Advised on a comprehensive restructuring of the Urban Splash Residential Fund, in order to refresh the fund documents and update the structure for the admittance of larger institutional investors.

Paul Hastings LLP

Paul Hastings LLP‘s team is co-headed by Diala Minott Christian Parker and Duncan Woollard , who is renowned for his work with leading actors in the global investment funds market. The team works advising on the launch, establishment and closing of real estate funds; notably, it advised global asset manager Capital Group on a matter as such, involving a new sale and leaseback strategy real estate fund, which offered investment access to commercial real estate from owner occupiers or third-party sellers, and the fund ended up oversubscribed at €1.2bn. Diala Minott has particular expertise advising on direct lending funds across Europe, both regulated and unregulated and has also been critical in the team’s ventures into credit and debt funds.

Practice head(s):

Diala Minott; Christian Parker; Duncan Woollard

Testimonials

‘There is no situation or scenario that Duncan Woollard has not seen. He seems to have an answer to the spectrum of issues and knows how to professionally deal with all investor lawyers’

‘Duncan Woollard gets it done with minimum fuss and at a reasonable price.’

 

Key clients

Octopus Healthcare

Activum

Cheyne Capital

The Government of Gibraltar

Oakley Capital

Octopus Healthcare

Activum

Cheyne Capital

The Government of Gibraltar

Oakley Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Cheyne Capital on its flagship real estate credit funds, CRECH VI and CRECH VII, which recently held its final close.
  • Advised a global alternative asset manager, on the launch, establishment and closing of its new sale and leaseback strategy real estate fund.
  • Represented an investment manager in raising the fourth vintage of the successful LREDs strategy, a real estate debt  with global investment strategy that had a successful closing of £1bn.

Ropes & Gray LLP

Tom Alabaster leads the growing team at Ropes & Gray, and he has a strong reputation for advising on the international structuring, marketing and operation of real estate funds and real estate fund managers across an array of strategies and jurisdictions. In addition, he is experienced in the structuring of real estate sponsor-to-sponsor M&A, joint ventures, structured secondaries, separate managed accounts and co-investments. The team has a significant real estate funds presence in Europe, providing advice to high-profile clients regarding of formations and transactions of various kinds. Emily Brown is a key member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Tom Alabaster

Other key lawyers:

Emily Brown

Testimonials

‘The Ropes & Gray fund formation tea has grown quite a bit over the last year and their name comes up very often as lead counsel to high-profile names – particularly US sponsors – raising funds in Europe.’

Key clients

CBRE

Nuveen

Round Hill Capital

NTR

Stephenson Harwood

The investment funds team at Stephenson Harwood is led by the ‘very bright and solutions-focused’ William Saunders , and is predominantly focused on advisory work regarding the formation, establishment, negotiation, tax and regulatory aspects of funds. It is very much at the fore on invoking the increasingly significant sustainability principles, having, notably, recently supported Immobel Capital Partners on the launch of its new Green Office Impact Fund, focused on investing in and creating a new generation of green offices in leading European cities; significantly, it is expected to reach the highest ESG level. The team specialises in REITs, with a clear focus on social accommodation funds, namely Home REIT, which aims to tackle UK homelessness with accommodation assets. Alex Haynes has a strong reputation in raising, reconstructing and reorganising listed investment funds in the UK and offshore.

Practice head(s):

William Saunders

Other key lawyers:

Alex Haynes; Carolyn Hall

Testimonials

‘Strength-in-depth. Genuine funds-focused practice. Good client base.’

‘William Saunders – very bright, solution-focused and keeps things simple.’

‘Great team – partner access and engagement, team led from the top. Market leader in their practice area. Commercial and pragmatic advice – find solutions to problems quickly’

 

Key clients

Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited

Singer Capital Markets Securities Limited

Home REIT plc

Alvarium RE Limited

Alvarium Securities Limited

Liberum Capital Limited

Nexus Group

Grit Real Estate Income Group Limited

Aseana Properties Limited

LXi REIT plc

Immobel Capital Partners

Schroder UK Real Estate Fund

Custodian REIT plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Singer Capital Markets, Panmure Gordon and Alvarium Securities in connection with the migration of Urban Logistics REIT plc from AIM to the Premium Listing Segment of the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange.
  • Advised Custodian REIT plc on its all-share acquisition of Drum Income Plus REIT plc, which was implemented by way of a court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement under Part 26 of the Companies Act 2006.
  • Advised Home REIT plc, the homeless accommodation fund, in connection with its significantly oversubscribed placing, open offer, offer for subscription and intermediaries offer of new ordinary shares and the establishment of an ongoing placing programme.