Ashurst serves as a one-stop shop for development projects, supporting its clients at every stage of major regeneration, logistics, hospitality, life sciences and residential schemes, among others, including the financing, joint venture and construction aspects. The practice also provides a full-service offering on the investment front where it is active on acquisitions, disposal and asset management matters throughout the UK and Europe, including those with international joint venture, capital market and M&A components. Global projects and real estate co-head Sarah Sivyour is extensively experienced in relation to inbound investment into Europe and caters to a client roster which includes Asian institutional investors in addition to North American pension and alternative investment funds. Other prominent names include Tim Regis, a mixed-use residential project specialist, Richard Vernon who holds distinguished expertise in transport-related projects, and David Jones who is a market leader for inbound inward investment from South Korea, having overseen €12bn worth of such transactions over recent years. Henry Moss leads the firm's build-to-rent and private rented sector practice. The final key pillar of the extensive offering is the team’s corporate occupier work which encompasses headquarter leasing, portfolio management and lay-out construction affairs, among other landlord and tenant matters.
Commercial property: corporate occupiers in London
Sarah Sivyour; David Jones; Richard Vernon; Melanie Jordan
‘Ashurst’s key strength is its commercial approach to transactions which ensures a smooth diligence process. This is critical for complex SPV transactions where we are often looking at value add or development product. The team has great experience and there is always good access to the lead partner. Ashurst also provides well thought out quotes which they are subsequently able to honour.’
‘David Jones is always available to add his experience and commercial approach to a deal. This is not always the case with competitors where the lead partner is on the periphery of a deal.’
‘John Arey is extremely diligent and has proved critical pushing deals over the line.’
‘Ashurst bring great depth, knowledge and experience of the sector and of comparable transactions to the table which has proved invaluable in completing our deal.’
‘Tim Regis brings a commercial understanding to very complex negotiations and has a great intuition for unlocking problems.’
‘Ashurst is very good at mapping out potential scenarios in complex situations. They also have a way of deciphering the legal jargon, distilling it down to the key details making it far easier as a client to understand. As a client this is invaluable when weighing risk and helps you make well informed decisions.’
‘David Jones leads an excellent team in London, he is reactive and co-ordinates actively with ease at all levels in the organisation. It feels like bespoke tailoring.’
‘Tim Regis provides a can-do novel approach to property transactions in what has been a buyers’ market.’
‘Sarah Sivyour is really outstanding at her job, her advice is clear and commercial and we have developed a very strong and trusting relationship with her.’
‘Ashurst successfully match the task to the legal resource with partner oversight ensuring appropriate skills and experience for the work without excessive cost. Across the team working on our account we have a range of legal resources that provide for that.’
- Advised on the sale and leaseback of 1 St James’s Square, a key part of BP’s global real estate strategy, which also saw it enter into a sale and leaseback of its Sunbury Campus with Spelthorne Borough Council in 2016 and on which the team also acted.
- Advised on the UK headquarter office move for Hyundai UK to new offices at Birchwood Building Leatherhead and the exit from the previous head office in High Wycombe.
- Advising IBM on the proposed redevelopment of the IBM headquarters building on Southbank including the potential 2 year move out and move back mechanism with temporary accommodation for the 2 year period.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP leverages its extensive international profile to act on a range of domestic and cross-border big-ticket investment transactions. Chris de Pury, the global head of real estate, is a go-to name for structured sales, purchases and restructurings involving UK and European assets and portfolios and is supported by Claire Milton who in addition to sales and purchases, is also particularly well-versed in lettings and corporate real estate deals. Elsewhere, Samant Narula has transacted over £4bn worth of deals over recent years, including numerous corporate real estate mandates, while Celia Berg is a figure of prominence owing to her first-rate track record in student accomodation investments. On the development front, Liana Hewson is routinely involved in London’s largest regeneration schemes, Chris Rowe demonstrates an aptitude for significant urban regeneration schemes and Andrew Yates leverages his position as one of the market’s foremost experts for build-to-rent projects. Emma Le Wita and Juliet Thomas are among the key contacts for corporate occupier matters for which the team is engaged on everything from day-to-day asset and portfolio management through to high-value pre-letting transactions, the latter of which are a particular forte of Robert MacGregor and Alan Wight respectively. The department is able to call upon its real estate colleagues in the Manchester and Southampton offices as a means of cost efficiency and provides first-class expertise in a wealth of asset classes including mixed-use, industrial, office, senior living, hotels, life sciences and healthcare – a particular focus for Matthew Peel, who co-chairs the London practice.
Chris de Pury
Other key lawyers:
Alan Wight; Juliet Thomas; Chris Rowe; Emma Le Wita
‘One-stop shop for multi-disciplinary transactions. Lawyers are robust and know their stuff, always responsive, innovative where they can be and see through legalese and other lawyers’ overcomplications. They never add any unnecessary complexity, always keeping it simple. They are always commercial, with an honest and realistic approach to overcoming issues.’
‘Liana Hewson is clever and creative with a huge amount of technical knowledge and know-how on complex large scale developments.’
‘Bright, commercial, responsive with excellent drafting skills. Deep knowledge of evolving market practice. Superior to almost all other City firms which I have worked with.’
‘I have known a number of the lawyers at BCLP for many years, following them from other firms, so I rate them highly in a number of different categories. For our real estate practice, particularly on acquisitions, they are fast and efficient, highly dependable in their due diligence, and commercial in negotiations with other firms.’
‘Andrew Yates’s input has been invaluable and highly creative.’
‘Good partner involvement with a strong and positive team. They are also a diverse team.’
‘I particularly recommend Claire Milton who focuses on relationship building through a transaction .’
‘High quality, personalised service. Very credible in the UK build-to-rent residential sector.’
GHS Limited Partnership (JV between GPE and HKMA)
WR Berkley Group
- Continuing to act for longstanding client, Landsec, on its London portfolio. The team recently acted on its lettings of Nova, a 897,000 sq ft mixed use scheme, part of Landsec’s £2.2bn re-invention of Victoria that delivers office space, high quality apartments and restaurants.
- Advised the GHS Limited Partnership, a 50:50 joint venture between Great Portland Estates (GPE) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), on a pre-let of approximately 60,000 square feet of space on their Hanover Square Estate to international investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co Partners (KKR) and Glencore.
- Acting for 34 Leadenhall Street Limited on commercial lettings of The Scalpel. The building comprises an iconic 36 story glass tower with WR Berkley occupying around 25% of the space under separate subleases and the remainder being let in the open market.
Magic Circle firm Clifford Chance LLP which has a ‘a wealth of experience and best in class delivery’, is particularly active in the healthcare, logistics, industrial, office, data centre and telecoms sectors, also acting on an array of residential, multi-family and student housing projects. Adrian Levy serves as global head of real estate and focuses on cross-border corporate finance transactions while Mark Payne is adept in all facets of real estate, with a distinguished track record in representing sovereign wealth funds. Alis Pay is recognised as a ‘force within European real estate’, owing to her capacity for portfolio transactions which span the continent. Angela Kearns and Matt Taylor are key contacts on the corporate occupier front, where the team places emphasis on Central London headquarter transactions, including those linked to ongoing development projects and secondary market lettings. The development practice includes London practice head Nigel Howorth, an urban regeneration, infrastructure and energy project specialist, as well as the ‘best in class’ Ian Painter; it provides a full-lifecycle service from initial acquisition, planning and rights of light through to financing, construction, disputes and leasing and thrives on a range of ventures including mixed-use, overstation and ground-up projects.
Other key lawyers:
Mark Payne; Angela Kearns; Ian Painter; Matt Taylor
‘Ian Painter is outstanding at getting to the commercial point without grandstanding on technical legal issues. He is a dealmaker and draws together the whole team to achieve a shared objective.’
There is no doubt that the Clifford Chance team excel at involving the client’s wider professional team, seeking and giving advice to achieve the best overall result for the client.’
‘A very cohesive property team with strength in depth and willing to do what is necessary to ensure client satisfaction through ensuring an efficient transaction and effective advice.’
‘Clifford Chance is one of the largest law firms in the world. However, their partners and colleagues act in a focused, professional manner, responding quickly to every situation and researching what is needed, almost like a niche firm. We have recommended them several times.’
‘When the work is challenging and complicated but of great commercial value, we choose the Clifford Chance team to deliver. The team are defined by their constant effort and diligence, combined with pragmatism and commercial advice.’
‘Ian Painter is tenacious, driven by value creation and tireless, the man you want in the trenches when the bullets are flying and the bombs are dropping. Best in class.’
‘The team is a safe pair of hands for heavy and complex transactions that require top to bottom engagement (from structuring to direct real estate) in a very coordinated way (they all speak to each other behind the scenes so the client interaction is seamless and thoughtful).’
‘Alis Pay is a force that really knows her European real estate and represents us in a way that both makes us look attractive but keeps us competitive. She is a great champion to us on a deal and keeps her diverse team fully aligned and always slick.’
‘The Clifford Chance investment practice has provided us a rare balance of incisive legal analysis and flawless transaction execution, grounded by a keen sense of commercial realities.’
‘Alis Pays has been excellent. Tells you what to worry about and what not to. Quickly generates confidence in her advice. You know you have an expert on your side.’
Apollo Global Management
Canary Wharf Group
Generali Real Estate
Legal & General
NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT
Nuveen Real Estate
- Advised on the letting of Farringdon East Crossrail over-station development to Chinese tech unicorn TikTok for use as its new European HQ.
- Advised Legal & General on the regearing of the occupational interests and £300m acquisition of the Sanctuary Buildings in Victoria, London.
- Acted for a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund on the pre-letting of their new London HQ in Mayfair.
The London office of CMS, part of the firm's vast international network, is home to ‘one of the top real estate teams in the country with exposure to the biggest and most complex deals'. In the development space, the group is tailor-made to provide full lifecycle support on regeneration, office, leisure, data centre projects and owing to the vast experience of Mark Heighton, is also a powerhouse in the field of mixed-use and regeneration schemes, including senior living and build-to-rent ventures. John Cumpson and Chris Oakley both enjoy respective track record in major retail projects, Leilah Rawle is the key contact for energy-related developments while ‘the cerebral‘ Barry Morris has significant exposure to City of London office schemes. On the investment side, real estate head Ciaran Carvalho has transacted over £1bn worth of disposals and acquisitions over recent months; his team is proficient in supporting all-manner of investors including institutional, private equity and overseas entities, co-living and co-working providers, the world’s biggest technology companies and major property companies. Carvalho is supported by Amanda Howard, who fronts a dedicated funds and indirect real assets group, Caroline Maude, who demonstrates a tenacity for mixed-use and office investments, as well as Alan Crawford, a specialist in opportunity fund representation. Marie Scott and Jules Needleman are among the standout practitioners in the corporate occupier field, a front on which the team is engaged for headquarter transactions, freehold and leasehold portfolio management, related acquisitions and developments, as well as exit strategies. Andrew Banton is another go-to name on the leasing front, often acting for US corporates at retail, office and leisure sites.
Other key lawyers:
Marie Scott; Jules Needleman; Andrew Banton; Mark Heighton
‘I have worked with CMS for many years and they are my go-to lawyers for any real estate or construction relates matters in the UK. In recent years we have also used CMS in jurisdictions like Switzerland, France, Portugal Spain, Ukraine and Hungary. The UK team are especially good at knowing the things that are important to our real estate business and they understand and advocate for our position on key issues.’
‘The team is knowledgeable, collaborative, responsive and always ready to think about solutions for the client.’
‘Ciaran Carvalho thinks for the client and strive to find workable solutions for both the seller and the buyer.’
‘The team can run the entire acquisition process in a very professional way and guide the client smoothly through the process. They were also able to give us clear and comprehensible advice on all aspects of UK real estate law.’
‘Personable, commercial, understand our needs and extremely well-informed, exceptional technical understanding.’
‘The CMS real estate team, combined with all the related practice areas (corporate, tax, planning, disputes, construction) is one of the top firms in the country. It has great sector awareness, exposure to the most complex and biggest deals and an ability to get ahead on new developments.’
‘John Cumpson understands our business extremely well and ensures that we have the best balanced team for our needs.’
‘Barry Morris is very cerebral; the person to turn to when you have a knotty problem to unpick.’
‘Good for more complex/high value matters. Consistent delivery of transactions to required timeframes and good at all round communications. They well as a team and stick to fee arrangements and provide competitive fee quotes.’
‘Jules Needleman is a commercially astute lawyer, willing to be flexible on fees and excellent at communication and availability.’
University College London
Ernst & Young
Allen & Overy
Investec Asset Management
European Banking Authority (EBA)
- Advised video-sharing and social networking service TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, on its new London headquarters above Farringdon East Crossrail Station in London, where it will occupy the entire six-storey Kaleidoscope development from developer Helical.
- Advised on various lettings for Google.
- Advised University College London on the letting of floors 1-6 at 97 Tottenham Court Road comprising nearly 40,000 sq ft by Derwent London to University College London including carrying out by Derwent of various refurbishment works.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is widely considered a go-to name for big ticket property transactions, catering to a client roster consisting of property companies, investors, developers, SWFs, corporate occupiers, borrowers and lenders. Jeremy Walden fronts both the national and EMEA practices from London and handles a wealth of matters from leasing and asset management through to joint ventures and structured acquisitions and disposals; he is supported by Richard Forsdyke and Donald Rowlands, both of whom are specialists in high-magnitude development projects, as well as Nick Turner who enjoys a commanding presence within the corporate occupier field owing to his involvement in many of the market’s most high-value pre-lets. The team also includes well-regarded partners Shona Grey and Paul Chases who are forging prominent reputations for corporate real estate matters.
Other key lawyers:
Donald Rowlands; Nick Turner; Will Turnbull; David Rosen
‘Responsive and user friendly. No weak links in the team.’
‘High quality advice, experienced, thorough, and readily available.’
‘A knowledgeable team with great bench strength.’
‘A very mature practice with real depth in all areas. They are very well connected internally and provide a seamless service across all areas.’
‘David Rosen is always available. Very personable with great depth of knowledge and a can-do attitude. Always delivers.’
‘Nick Turner takes a pragmatic and commercial approach.’
‘Don Rowlands is first class. He has a very calm measured style. He is good at assessing risk and coming up with commercial solutions based on his assessment of risk.’
‘Nick Turner is an excellent technical lawyer and tough negotiator.’
Aberdeen Standard Investments
London & Continental Railways
Local Pensions Partnership
Straits Real Estate
- Ongoing work for British Land and its joint venture partner including advising on the redevelopment of 100 Liverpool Street, Exchange Square, 135 Bishopsgate, 155 Bishopsgate, 2-3 Finsbury Avenue, 1 Broadgate, 1 Finsbury Avenue and the refurbishment of Broadwalk House.
- Continuing to advise Aberdeen Standard Investments on its UK property portfolio.
- Acting for Brookgate on their masterplan developments of the mixed-use development schemes at Cambridge Central Station and Cambridge North Station.
Home to ‘expertise which covers all real estate areas’, Hogan Lovells International LLP leverages its extensive international footprint to act for institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, private equity houses and family offices from all over the globe; the practice provides a full lifecycle service on asset management transactions and is also geared to support at all stages of significant projects, from site assembly issues and compulsory purchase powers through to the environmental and construction components. Jackie Newstead runs a notably broad practice with a distinguished level of expertise in the hotel and leisure space while Daniel Norris, the firm’s global head of real estate, specialises in direct and indirect investments, joint ventures and student housing assets. The ‘very responsive’ Oliver Chamberlain leads the national practice and along with Gill McGreevy, noted as ‘unyielding in pursuing her clients’ interests’, is among the key contacts for large-scale regeneration projects. Dion Panambalana provides the group with mixed-use urban and non-urban development expertise and is also an active player in the corporate occupier field where the caseload spans structured sale and leasebacks, headquarter relocations, pre-lets and the up-scaling of trophy buildings.
Jackie Newstead; Daniel Norris; Oliver Chamberlain
Other key lawyers:
Dion Panambalana; Victoria Sutcliffe
‘They provide sensible commercial advice across the board. Strong on document automation and assisting with client billing processes.’
‘Gill McGreevy has great attention to detail and is unyielding in pursuing her client’s interests.’
‘Daniel Norris – I have no words to explain how satisfied we are with his work as partner. Just perfect. He find solutions, works quickly and efficiently, and manages his teams perfectly.’
‘I worked closely with Victoria Sutcliffe on a landmark deal for our mutual client. Victoria’s knowledge, experience, strategic thinking, recollection on matters that had been going on for many years was outstanding. Nothing was ever too much, she would put the time in, work the hours, update the client, provide comprehensive overviews when required, there were never any corners cut – her work was exceptional.’
‘Nicholas Roberts is very responsive and provides sensible advice.’
‘The team clearly communicate internally and ensure the right resource is placed on it and the client is aware.’
‘I have found when the commercial pressure has increased the support given by the individuals gets stronger and gives more reassurance.’
‘Dion Panambalana – pragmatic, very responsive and approachable. Oliver Chamberlain; again, very responsive and gives good practical advice.’
CCLA Investment Management
LaSalle Investment Management (as Fund Managers for the Coal Pension Fund)
M&G Real Estate
The Courtauld Institute
The Crown Estate
- Sole legal adviser to The Crown Estate in relation to The Crown Estate’s offshore wind, tidal, carbon capture & storage and gas storage portfolios in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- Acting for the BBC on various properties; in particular, its move of the Symphony Orchestra and Rock & Pop from Maida Vale to a new state of the art premises in the £500m development at Stratford.
- Acting as News UK’s real estate counsel in England and Wales for over a decade.
Mayer Brown International LLP is a global firm with an aptitude for real estate development and investment work 'which requires caution and tough negotiation’. The group is knowledgeable of a wealth of asset classes from office, residential and retail through to student accommodation, co-living and data centres and is particularly active on the inbound investment front with Chris Harvey having overseen over £6bn worth of transactions for Asian investment into London. Caroline Humble fronts the development service, often acting for US and European clients, while Martin Wright commands a prominent position within the market owing to his proficiency in large-scale urban regeneration projects. Iain Roberts provides mixed-use development and corporate occupier prowess and the practice also includes Simon Price, a recent arrival from Linklaters LLP, who has bolstered the team’s hospitality sector expertise and joins with a track record in corporate real estate transactions, high-profile lettings and joint ventures. Joe Conder, former practice head of Goodwin, also joined in April 2021 and hones his focus on the purchases and disposal of high-value and structured investment properties, catering to a client list which includes a wealth of European, American, Asian and Middle Eastern entities. A key distinguisher for the group is its excellent reputation for development and asset management matters at large mixed-use schemes. Managing partner Jeremy Clay is also a real estate specialist.
Chris Harvey; Andrew Hepner; Anita Jones
Other key lawyers:
Iain Roberts; Caroline Humble; Martin Wright
‘They are proactive and rational in their approach. They work with us to reach the best conclusion. A driven team who never let us down. This allows you to trust their opinion and provides a much needed level of comfort in our business decisions.’
‘They are polite, attentive and have an exceptional level of industry knowledge.’
‘Iain Roberts provides an excellent and personal all-round service regardless of the time pressures involved.’
‘This firm delivers high-quality services to its clients. This team focuses on property development as well as investments that require carefulness and tough negotiation. This feature seems to be outstanding compared to other law firms as far as I know.’
‘Anita Jones is very able – always calm and measured with great market knowledge and attention to detail.’
‘Jeremy Clay is a class act; he understands complex issues quickly and is a very able negotiator.’
‘Martin Wright is strongly dedicated to his clients and has shrewd views and negotiation skills. He always tries to find the best solution in his clients’ favour, even in difficult circumstances. Also, he keeps in touch with clients at regular intervals to provide them with useful information regarding the real estate sector.’
Lifestyle International Holdings
China Overseas Holdings
The British Land Company plc
Cabot Properties, Inc.
- Advised China Overseas Holdings on the five-year extension of Stephenson Harwood’s lease on c.160,000 sq ft at One Finsbury Circus, London, and the grant of a new 10 year lease of the 1st floor for an initial rent of £1.48m.
- Advised on the £250m acquisition of 1-2 St James Square in London, the headquarters of multinational oil and gas company BP, for Hong Kong-based investor, Lifestyle International Holdings. The sale includes a lease back agreement of two years.
- Advised British Land on the running of the Paddington Central Campus worth approximately £1bn.
Norton Rose Fulbright leverages its considerable international network to support on an array of inward investment transactions and cross-border real estate projects. The practice counts its expertise in energy, infrastructure and large-scale social housing schemes as its keystones and is able to tap into the firm’s wider finance, tax and corporate structuring capabilities to provide a full lifecycle service. Dan Wagerfield fronts the global real estate practice from London, providing distinguished experience in mixed-use developments and outbound capital from Asia; he is supported by UK practice head Wasim Khan, a prominent Islamic finance specialist, as well as David Hawkins who has been supporting London Olympia on its ongoing £2bn redevelopment . David Sinclair enjoys a first-rate reputation for both investment and development matters, particularly those at offices and hotels, while well-regarded counsel Louisa Roe is particularly integral to the corporate occupier offering which supports landlords and tenants from initial lease negotiation through to terminations and subsequent disputes.
Other key lawyers:
Louisa Roe; David Sinclair; Charlie Pinkerton; David Hawkins; Dan Wagerfield
‘The team works well together and collaborates across the departments to ensure issues are assessed and taken care of.’
‘Everyone we deal with at Norton Rose Fulbright is highly capable, hardworking, pleasant to work with and, importantly, have a sense of humour (the latter has been important given the challenges the last year has thrown at us!)’
‘We deal with many solicitors – Louisa Roe and her team are the most commercial and proactive team I have dealt with in recent years. They are incredibly responsive to both the client’s requirements and to input made by ourselves. Their turnaround time is exceptional. They are very collaborative as a team and bring the wider team together with is critical in making deals happen and so often is not the case with other solicitors.’
‘A team of solicitors I have always enjoyed working with. The partners are very approachable, and all the associates are extremely knowledgeable about the real estate sector and have got me out of trouble a few times.’
‘Louisa Roe is head and shoulders above other solicitors we deal with day in day out. Very commercial, brilliant at problem solving, great attention to deal, incredibly responsive.’
‘David Hawkins has excellent engagement with and understanding of the complexities of deals. Very committed and never let us down on timing. David is very well supported by Louisa Roe and both work extremely hard.’
MS Amlin Corporate Services
DP World London Gateway
Bank of Montreal
Civitas Social Housing
1 Spinningfields Unit Trust
Schroder Real Estate Investment Management
EasyJet Airline Company Ltd
Prime London Ventures
SAAB Technologies UK Limited
Barnard’s Inn Unit Trust
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Khoo Teck Puat Charitable Foundation
Europa Capital/Hobart Partners
Resolution Property Holdings
McGill & Partners
Rolls-Royce Motorcars Limited
British Racing Drivers Club (Silverstone)
State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan
GLL Real Estate Partners
- Advised the developers of the £2bn redevelopment project at Olympia London on the first pre-letting of the music venue to AEG Presents and hotel operator agreements with Hyatt and CitizenM.
- Advised the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) on the re-gearing of its headlease at 78 St James’s Street to facilitate its proposed redevelopment of the historic Grace II* listed building.
- Advised Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) on the re-gearing of its existing leases and its expansion at 40 Portman Square.
Magic circle firm Allen & Overy LLP is home to real estate lawyers with notable expertise in corporate structuring and are equipped to advise on holding company transactions in addition to asset-only deals. The team is headed by Christopher Woolf, who has succeeded the recently retired Imogen Moss, and leverages a track record consisting of over £12bn worth of investment deals throughout the UK and Europe. In addition to cross-border transactions, the group is also home to a dedicated headquarters department which represents financial institutions and corporates alike, as well as a development projects practice which has supported a number of private equity firms on major London-based redevelopment and refurbishment projects. Nick Saner delivers niche expertise in transactions relating to offshore property holding structures and is one of the key junior partners within the group; so too is the recently promoted Emma Willoughby who supports landlords and tenants in the leasing and management of their real estate investments and is well-versed in student, senior living and hospitality sectors, among others.
Other key lawyers:
Jane Fox-Edwards; Daniel McKimm; Emma Willoughby; Nick Saner
C C Land
Orion Capital Managers
An international firm with offices across the globe, Baker McKenzie’s London commercial property department is led by property investment and operation specialist, Justin Salkeld, who supports clients on a broad variety of activities including sales and purchases, hotel transactions, developments and financings in addition to joint ventures. The team also includes two prominent junior partners; Ben Farnell who acts for multinational corporates, overseas governments, port operators and offshore investors, and the recently promoted Stefanie Price who focuses on the real estate aspects of corporate transactions. Price is also an expert in the landlord and tenant field and forms part of the firm’s corporate occupier practice which is geared to support blue-chip clients on lease restructurings and portfolio rationalisations at retail, logistics and manufacturing sites.
Other key lawyers:
Ben Farnell; Stefanie Price
‘The Baker McKenzie team has been very helpful with our development project. They are consistent in responding queries within a good timeframes which is great. We have managed to complete quite a few legal documents in time which helped us meeting development programme targets as a result, such as programme and loan facility drawdown.’
‘Ben Farnell is exceptional. His advices and follow-ups have helped resolving our complicated real estate matters but without causing any further complication which is extremely important.’
‘They provide sound commercial advice on a range of deal types. The quality of the team and its consistent high performance has made them our advisor of choice.’
‘The firm has handled all of our UK property work for many years. Always available, responsive. They know our business inside out – almost our in-house legal property team. Excellent and dedicated service, including through the pandemic.’
‘Stefanie Price is accomplished, personable, professional and understands what client care and high quality legal services are about. An extremely effective partner.’
‘They immediately knew the things that were important to our real estate business and understand our position on key issues. They were incredibly aware of our billing practices which can sometimes cause teething issues when we engage a new firm and they provided regular and very clear concise updates on WIP incurred versus agreed budget milestones which was very helpful.’
‘Stefanie Price was our primary point of contact on matters and she was absolutely excellent to work with. She was up to speed on our core concerns on day one and integrated into our work style seamlessly.’
Google UK Ltd
Mapletree Property Investments
Edwardian Hotels Group
Cancer Research UK
Employees Provident Fund
- Continuing to act for Tapestry (a publically listed company on the NYSE) in respect of all their UK retail stores and numerous EMEA stores across their three brands: Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman.
- Advising on commercial property, infrastructure and development projects for CLdN Cobelfret.
- Advised Nasdaq in respect of a pre-let at 22 Bishopsgate.
Bristows LLP is a single office London firm based on Victoria Embankment; it is home to an ‘excellent’ corporate occupier department which supports on headquarter relocations, pre-lettings and lease renewals, among other matters. Teresa Edmund ‘offers practical solutions and efficiently leads the department’ which predominantly caters to charity, life sciences, technology and retail clients, including e-commerce operators, restaurants, garden centres and luxury fashion outlets. Tim Allen provides expertise in sale and leasebacks, as well as general landlord and tenant matters, while senior associate Gemma Kirsch demonstrates a tenacity for supporting US corporates on their entry into the UK market.
Other key lawyers:
Tim Allen; Gemma Kirsch
‘They work incredibly hard out of sight on very detailed and complex issues, yet are able to relay important information in a calm, concise way.’
‘Their ability and willingness to update the client and relay progress at regular and important stages is commendable.’
‘The client service is excellent and their commerciality is good. The value for money and billing transparency is also praiseworthy.’
‘Teresa Edmund is very responsive, knowledgeable with good interpersonal skills. She offers practical solutions and leads her department efficiently.’
WPEF Holding XCooperatief W.A
Blue Diamond Limited
Delice De France Limited
Dolby Europe Limited
The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn
Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale
Exeter Pharma Consultancy Limited
NIO Nextev (UK) Limited
One Trust Technology Limited
- Acting for Waterland Private Equity in connection with the purchase of the Priory Group for a total consideration in excess of £1.1bn.
- Advising Frontier Economics, a worldwide consultancy business, on a pre-letting acquisition and lease renewal of its UK headquarters building.
- Acting for new client and international bank, Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale, on its leasing strategy and renewal arrangements for reconfigured space at its premises at Wood Street London.
Several of the key commercial property lawyers at Burges Salmon LLP split their time between the firm’s London and Bristol offices, predominantly operating from the latter. Richard Clark acts for both public and private sector clients; he fronts the investment and asset management offering and is supported by Richard Read who specialises in student accommodation, hotel and leisure-related transactions, in addition to those involving mainstream classes. The group is also geared to handle a range of development projects; Ross Polkinghorne directs particular attention to large-scale sustainable regeneration schemes and the wider team is also adept in all facets of landlord and tenant work such as rent reviews, dilapidations, sale-leasebacks, headquarter moves and lease terminations.
Paul Browne; Richard Clark
Other key lawyers:
Richard Read; Philip Beer; Matthew Sims
‘High quality legal advice and deep knowledge of the industry, at competitive rates.’
‘Richard Read is supported by a team of associates and provides top quality advice in a very cost-effective manner.’
‘Strong commercial acumen. They offered our business support during pandemic which was appreciated and recognised.’
Ross Polkinghorne, Richard Clark and Ashley Davies are an excellent team. Diligent, commercial. They understand development process and can see beyond individual issues to wider context.
‘The team is large and diverse and brings in partners from around the business as required to inform the deal.’
‘The team are available, knowledgeable and offer pragmatic advice.’
Greater London Authority
YTL and YTL Hotel Group
St. Modwen Properties Plc
Albion Community Power
Transport for London
UK Atomic Energy Authority
The Crown Estate
- Appointed to advise the consortium of landowners comprising Aviva Investors, Land Improvement Holdings and the Diocese of St Albans on the development scheme known as Linmere, a 630-acre site, 37 miles north of London.
- Advising YTL Developments on all aspects of the Brabazon development which consists of 2,675 new homes commercial space an arena for Bristol, including the sale of first four phases of affordable housing to Bromford Housing Association.
DAC Beachcroft LLP
DAC Beachcroft LLP represents both domestic and overseas investors in respect of portfolio sales, purchases and management matters, leveraging specialist high-end luxury retail, shopping centre, health and hotel expertise, as well as a strong capacity for Shari'ah compliant financing. Practice head Robert Lee brings over 25 years’ worth of development expertise to the table, predominantly focusing on projects within the mixed-use, regeneration, house building and private rented sector spheres; he is closely supported by newly promoted partner Charlotte Wilson who counts residential developments and strategic land matters as her foremost fields of expertise. A further keystone of the practice is its corporate occupier activity which sees it engaged by household names at a range of sites, including offices, distribution centres, retail and hospitals.
Other key lawyers:
Andrew Boulton; Madeline Ball
‘A friendly, reliable team covering various areas of law and providing a value for money and high quality service. Particular strengths are availability of the team, communication within the team, expert knowledge in all areas of law the transactions require and any timescales are adhered to.’
‘The real estate team are very responsive, technically strong and a pleasure to work with.’
‘Our work has been led by the excellent Madeline Ball, who is very hardworking, reactive and has significant experience. She and her team are also very commercial and approachable.’
‘DAC’s understanding of the our business objectives/commercial challenges has really grown over recent years. They have updated our precedent documents, queried our commercial needs whilst always communicating efficiently workloads, fees and timescales on specific projects. We have reached a stage where I trust them implicitly to lead on any land deal, providing support to the wider land team and educating junior members.’
‘An exceptional team. Charismatic, professional and diligent.’
The Go-Ahead Group
L’Oréal (U.K.) Limited
Chiaro Technology Limited
University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH)
- Advising new femtech start-up Chiaro Technology Limited (Elvie) on its new offices in Bristol from which it will lead its Research and Design Facility.
- Advising L’Oréal in relation to their corporate real estate requirements across their portfolio including, offices, hairdressing academies, distribution centres and retail stores in England, Scotland and Ireland.
- Advising FTSE 250 bus and rail operator Go-Ahead Group and its many subsidiaries on all aspects of its real estate portfolio comprising over 150 sites.
With two London offices operating alongside bases in Manchester, Birmingham and Taunton, Davitt Jones Bould is a specialist real estate firm with a track record in corporate occupier matters at prominent landmarks and major national events such as Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. The firm is uniquely adept in matters at a number of niche property types including zoos, nuclear power stations and lakes and is headed nationally by founding member Madeleine Davitt; she enjoys an excellent reputation for high-magnitude commercial property projects in the public sector, having notably supported The Royal Parks on the hosting on 2012 Olympics, and routinely supports local authorities with investment, development and city regeneration projects.
Other key lawyers:
Teresa Kamppari Baker; Sean Bulman; Louisa Swanton; Melanie Greer-Walker
‘A niche property practise. All of their lawyers have many years’ experience but given how they operate, clients get the benefit of very experienced lawyers but at great value for money. They seem to have established their firm with client satisfaction at front and centre. They know their own strengths and have created a structure which plays to them absolutely. Their whole structure is innovative which leaves lawyers free to provide legal advice supported by a talented and able team which further strengthens their value offering. They really care about their clients.’
‘They live and breathe their own business and that of their clients. Their knowledge in particular of the public sector, is exemplary. Their overall approach is refreshingly straightforward and open. They are a pleasure to work with.’
‘The firm only recruits experienced lawyers from leading law firms. This translates to very high quality work and service. They have excellent commercial nous ensuring the legal advice is tailored to the unique needs of each client. In terms of innovation, the firm’s business model is unique for the legal industry. I am also impressed by their diversity. They have a higher percentage of female partners than the industry average for firms of their calibre.’
‘Melanie Greer-Walker is very proactive and commercially minded in her advice. She really understands the fine detail with legal work associated with property development and is very collaborative to work with. She understands the client needs very well and is an invaluable team member on any commercial/development deal.’
‘They have strong knowledge and awareness of real estate work, in particular in the public sector, where they understand some of the challenges of a public body in a commercial environment. I would recommend them to any public body undertaking commercial property projects of any size.’
‘Attention to detail, good humour and willingness to go the extra mile to achieve the desired outcome.’
‘Melanie Greer-Walker is an exceptional lawyer. She combines an excellent technical knowledge with commercial acumen which results in advice that is spot on for our needs.’
‘DJB are the best external lawyers I have dealt with. Their knowledge and client care are second to none.’
Public Health England
Department for Health and Social Care
The Royal Parks
Rick Stein’s Restaurants
Ministry of Defence
Surrey County Council
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Merchant Land Investments
Brighton and Hove Council
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Spelthorne Borough Council
Woking Borough Council
- Secured multiple leases for Public Health England’s Health Protection Teams, ensuring they could focus their energy in continuing to protect local communities during the Covid-19 crisis.
- Advised The Royal Parks on the hosting of the London Marathon 2020.
- Advised TV celebrity chef Rick Stein’s restaurant group on navigating the Covid-19 crisis.
Acclaimed for its ‘excellent knowledge and commercial approach’, Dentons employs its expansive international network to serve as a go-to option for international investors from the US, South Korea, India and Luxembourg, among other jurisdictions. Deepa Deb fronts the national real estate practice and her core strengths lie in mixed-use investment and development projects, especially those encompassing alternative asset classes such as student accommodation and multifamily; the team includes Rob Thompson, who is likewise active on both the development and investment fronts, bringing an intimate knowledge of hotel, logistics and high-end residential assets to the table. Elsewhere, Rupert Dowdell and Alex Coulter are among the key contacts for office, retail and industrial lease negotiations and asset management mandates while at the more junior end, associate Carla Revelo is developing a reputation for her transactional work, particularly in respect of vast investment portfolios.
Deepa Deb; Rob Thompson
Other key lawyers:
Alex Coulter; Rupert Dowdell
‘Excellent knowledge – they always respond with a commercial approach.’
‘Dentons offer good client service and are responsive, approachable, likeable and commercial.’
‘Alex Coulter has been the primary contact at Dentons and has personally handled all the transactions that we have undertaken. Alex is very hands on, thorough, approachable, commercial but also fun to work with.’
‘Rob Thompson is very experienced, thorough and commercial.’
‘Highly responsive; lots of partner contact; added value outside of billable work.’
‘Rob Thompson and Carla Revelo are always there when needed and are able to go the extra mile to get a deal agreed. Working so closely with them is like having an extension to your team.’
‘Simon Masri is a hands-on partner with confidence in his team so you don’t only deal with him.’
Frasers Group Plc (Sports Direct)
John Lewis Partnership / Waitrose
Transport for London
- Advised John Lewis Partnership on the sale and leaseback of eleven Waitrose Limited stores by way of two transactions carried out simultaneously.
- Negotiated three new leases for the Royal Mail Group (RMG) in a one-month period to fulfil increased parcel distribution needs.
- Leading on the convenience store acquisition deals for Sainsbury’s including; Leicester Square; in the new City Island development; and in Hackney Wick, Wallis Road.
DLA Piper can draw on resources from its significant network of offices, both nationally and internationally, fielding an ‘exceptional’ commercial property practice which serves as a one-stop shop for substantial development schemes. Jonathan Northey and associate Hayley Russell-White thrive at each stage of the project pipeline, including site acquisition, forward funding and land assembly; Northey is principally adept in housing and mixed-use schemes though the overall team also enjoys an excellent reputation for complex living, office, pharmaceutical and logistics ventures. The investment offering was recently bolstered by the arrival of Bonnie Calnan, former practice co-head of Dentons, and is fronted by William Naunton caters to a range of fund managers and institutional investors with extensive portfolios, providing particular expertise in joint ventures and structured transactions. The firm is also home to a dedicated corporate occupier practice which is led by Paul Jayson, an expert in sustainability strategies who also fronts the firm’s green real estate team. Senior associate Nicholas Haringman is also active in the leasing space and has recently acted on headquarter relocations, office openings and lease portfolio restructurings.
Other key lawyers:
‘A multidisciplinary, commercially minded law firm – they provide accurate advice on important issues whilst not trying to point-score with the counterparty. The team includes a huge range of down-to-earth people, who are likeable and clearly enjoy working with the company. They introduced us to property tech which has hugely helped us track and manage our asset management initiatives.’
‘Lorraine Reader is the spearhead of our legal team; unflappable honest advice from a superb team leader. Andrew Walker focuses on the material issues; he is a future partner in the making in my opinion.’
‘The practice has a broad church of services available that are required for a large corporate business, from landlord & tenant, litigation, planning and construction. In addition, it can when needed, pull on colleagues to cover such issues as environmental legislation, domestic residential, etc.’
‘DLA provides exceptional, relevant and highly practical and reliable advice. They are incredibly responsive. They have shown great flexibility in interfacing with our internal case management system. The team at DLA feels like an extension of our internal teams and all advisers are highly respected and trusted. They have a great commercial understanding and awareness and this is reflected in their approach, which is tailored and proportionate to the commercial reality and risks of each situation. We rely on DLA for transactional, advisory and litigation support.’
‘I have worked with various members of the team and they are first-class. They all seem very knowledgeable, commercial and efficient. It is always a pleasure to work with them.’
‘George Burrha – a talented and personable lawyer who keeps a cool head in all situations to seek out solutions.’
‘The support provided is always calm, methodical and practical – they seek to find commercially appropriate solutions rather than scoring points.’
British Airways Plc
Lego Company Limited
Mothercare Global Brand
Tata Steel UK Limited
Heineken UK Limited
NatWest Group Plc
University of Sheffield
ITM Power (Trading) Limited
- Advising ExCeL in relation to their Covid and post Covid-strategy.
- Advised on the sale of BA’s data centre and previous training centre known as Cranebank and the lease‑back of the data centre for a consideration of £72m.
- Advised Lego in relation to their leasehold portfolio including their global store location and in respect of the expansion of its production base globally.
With offices in London, Oxford, Cardiff, Dublin and Hong Kong, as well as a new base in Belfast, Lewis Silkin LLP is hailed for its ‘friendly, sociable and attentive service’. Brian Kilcoyne fronts the overall real estate department with Anthony van Hoffen, a lawyer with a distinguished level of knowledge in sports-related assets, fronting the regeneration and development offering. The practice represents private and public sector clients alike on major projects throughout the country, particularly the mixed-use, leisure and residential sectors and is also engaged by family offices and high-net-worth individuals on a wealth of investment transactions. Elsewhere, Rachel Francis-Lang ‘combines fastidious care and attention with a pragmatic commercial acumen’ and is the key contact for corporate occupier matters, catering to a client roster of media, technology, hotel, leisure, telecoms and technology entities.
Other key lawyers:
Rachel Francis-Lang; Julia Poulter
‘We have worked with Lewis Silkin for over 10 years and have never been let down on service or good advice.’
‘Rachel Francis-Lang and her team are always there when you need them and they take time to explain everything.’
‘Rachel Francis-Lang combines fastidious care and attention with a pragmatic commercial acumen; she instills confidence and is a joy to work with.’
‘The team are friendly and sociable, professional and attentive. They also offer good value for money.’
‘Rachel Francis-Lang is a standout real estate professional. She is thorough, responsive and easy to work with.’
‘Great service. Could reach the team at odd hours. The advice provided is clear and the firm has a wide range of services which we could pull in on a case by case basis very handy specially for our organisation.’
‘For me diversity is fundamental in principle and practice in professional as well as business life: Lewis Silkin exemplifies this in certainly all the dealings I have had with them over the years.’
‘Anthony van Hoffen is not just a highly professional and extremely competent lawyer, but is a person who appreciates and conveys a deep understanding of the social and political contexts that shape legal problems as well as the advice he gives. In particular, he understands more than most senior lawyers I know and have worked with over the decades the need to promote as well as align his multicultural view of the world with the values that give expression and meaning to justice and equality.’
The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc and all of its group companies
Unispace Global Limited
Nova Scientia Limited
Digital Unlimited Group Limited
- Advising Verisk, which has taken two floors by way of two separate leases within AXA’s development at 22 Bishopsgate. The property is being taken on a pre-let basis and comprises 76,845 sq. ft.
- Advised McCann-Erickson on the acquisition of a new leasehold interest in 5 floors of 135 Bishopsgate with contraction rights and pre-emption rights.
- Advised Mediabrands Limited on the acquisition of a 15 year leasehold interest in circa 120,000 sq ft in Central London.
Renowned for its ‘focus on getting the deal done’, the team at Linklaters LLP has a strong emphasis on big-ticket investment, regeneration and development projects, often acting on £1bn-plus mandates which include M&A and distressed real estate components. Andy Bruce fronts the firm’s global practice from London and is supported by Patrick Plant; both are thoroughly experienced in all facets of property, from acquisitions and disposals through to lets, financings and developments. Tom Watkins is also a ‘go-to’ lawyer with a track record in corporate transactions which encompass real estate assets, namely public and private M&A deals, joint ventures and restructurings.
Other key lawyers:
‘We use this team almost exclusively for our real estate needs. They are cost effective, constructive and technically very good.’
‘Andy Bruce has a diplomatic style and solves problem, but is also invaluable for real estate asset management. He is made for complicated situations and knows where to strike the fair balance between client needs and market practices.’
‘Andy Bruce is a pleasant lawyer who captures real estate core aspects but also the investment context. He is able to devise solutions to suit the investment objectives in real estate. Always open to exploring options, he always lands the optimal result.’
‘Tom Watkins is our go-to lawyer. He is very easy to deal with, very knowledgeable about the market and has a good team of senior associates.’
‘The team fully understands the clients objectives and is focused on getting the deal done rather than winning individual legal points.’
‘Martin Elliott is excellent. He is fully involved in all aspects of the agreement and is on hand to provide very strong advice at every point.’
‘Made to measure, with a dedication that is unrivalled. They are fast, creative and accurate.’
State Street Bank and Trust Co
- Advised Glencore on the pre-let of their new UK HQ, being three floors of the new Hanover Square development, above the Bond Street Crossrail station, from Great Portland Estates.
- Advised State Street Bank on the sub-letting of two floors in its London HQ at 20 Churchill Place in Canary Wharf to the Barts Health NHS Trust.
Praised for providing ‘a competitive edge in real estate deals’, magic circle firm Slaughter and May is instructed on all types of direct and indirect investment, frequently acting on large portfolio transactions in addition to those with cross-border elements. The 'first-class' team, which has 'a reputation for excellence', is also a strong player in the development field, working closely with its construction, planning, finance and environmental colleagues to serve as one-stop destination for major projects. It is also active in the corporate occupier space where it leverages a long-standing reputation as a go-to name for headquarter moves and developments and has also recently handled an array of CVA, rent payment agreement, regearing leases and restructuring matters owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. Jane Edwarde serves as practice head; she has first-rate expertise in relation to sports stadiums, advising both Arsenal and Everton FC on projects at their respective stadiums in recent years. Further key names include John Nevin, who has 'excellent business sense and a keen understanding of the law’, as well as senior counsel Simon Bartle, who is ‘adept in navigating through complex transactions’.
Other key lawyers:
‘Jane Edwarde is an extremely responsive partner who is always on hand to provide commercially minded legal support. Great to work with.’
‘A wonderful firm – you can tell they only hire the best.’
‘John Nevin is unique in that he has excellent business sense as well as a keen understanding of the law.’
‘Richard Todd is an extremely capable partner. Engaging and fully understands the client brief with strong commercial acumen.’
‘A depth of team resource and talent which allows significant transactions across jurisdictions to be handled efficiently.’
‘Top to bottom talent and highly skilled professionals delivering innovative solutions to emerging real estate problems.’
‘John Nevin has expertise and experiencing various types of real estate deals.’
‘Simon Bartle deserves a mention. He is adept at navigating his clients through complex transactions such as development agreements for lease and is excellent at suggesting solutions whenever problems are encountered that are acceptable on a commercial and legal footing.’
Dobbies Garden Centres
Marks and Spencer
- Advising Jones Lang LaSalle on its new London headquarters at 1 Broadgate.
- Advised Baker McKenzie on its new London headquarters at 280 Bishopsgate.
- Advising Linklaters in connection with its move to new London headquarters at 20 Ropemaker. The team is also advising a number of other law firms in connection with their headquarters moves, including the firm itself on its own office requirements.
Wedlake Bell LLP, which recently merged with fellow City firm Moon Beever, has a strong commercial property department which covers a range of specialisms including high-value investments, a front on which David Roberts is exceedingly active, leveraging his expertise in logistics and retail assets. The department is also reputed for its full-service development service, which has a focus on mixed-use, business park and heritage building schemes with Kim Lalli particularly busy in the residential project space. Justin Lewis-Vivas helms the practice, which also includes Sarah Blunn, a lawyer integral to the firm's corporate occupier practice which caters to companies from the luxury brand, hospitality and leisure, co-working, sciences and professional services sectors.
Other key lawyers:
Sarah Blunn; Suzanne Gill; Leah Freeman
‘Wedlake Bell combine professionalism, knowledge, pragmatism and a personal relationship that makes interactions quick and easy. With reasonable charging rates and quality of personnel, they are my default practice of choice.’
‘David Johnston has been our lead point of contact at Wedlake Bell, working on property transactions and development agreements. These throw up many diverse challenges but he has been my rock in every storm. I have 100% confidence in him. His legal knowledge and grasp of context, fused with his ability to communicate precisely, succinctly and clearly, have been invaluable.’
Suzanne Gill is simply brilliant. Suzanne is both a trusted advisor and a great lawyer. A titan in real estate world, both deeply analytical with a razor sharp wit. Her velvet glove negotiating style is backed with extreme gravitas, making her the only lawyer you want on your team.’
‘The partners we deal with always have their clients’ best interest at the heart of what they do, but balanced with a commercial approach. The partners and surrounding team are all very knowledgeable and available whenever needed to get things done.’
‘Leah Freeman is like our in-house lawyer, she completely understands retail and our business.’
‘The individuals I have worked with have been terrifically down-to-earth, looked to understand exactly what we wanted and how we wanted to work with them, they explained things in a simple and friendly manner and delivered on what they have said.’
‘Claire Nelson embodies everything that makes challenging situations easier to work in. A detailed knowledge of complex legalities combined with an ability to disseminate information, communicate clearly and directly a collaborative way forward.’
J. A. Kemp
- Worked with Oxford Sciences Innovation PLC to develop a lease form requiring minimal negotiation with a clear understanding that the client is also a shareholder in its tenant companies.
- Advised on the acquisition of new leasehold premises for patent attorney firm J A Kemp’s London HQ.
- Worked closely with Hugo Boss UK Limited to ensure that they were prepared for the challenges involved in opening a new store at Unit 37 Drake Circus, Plymouth in a pandemic/Brexit transition scenario.
At Addleshaw Goddard, London office head Leona Ahmed is the key contact for inbound investment matters - she 'exemplifies exceptional client service' and works in tangent with her colleagues in Europe, Asia and the Middle East to support a significant number of overseas investors. The commercial property practice is headed by Adrian Collins who, in addition to finance and infrastructure projects, is also particularly well-versed in the development space where the team is currently active on a number of London’s most prominent regeneration schemes. In terms of asset expertise, the group is a major player in the fields of affordable housing, retail and education and has been increasingly active in the life sciences and build-to-rent sectors of late. Rachel Orton, who joined the firm in 2020 from Squire Patton Boggs, also provides distinguished expertise in the senior living and healthcare sectors.
Other key lawyers:
Leona Ahmed; William Boss; Michael Scott; Rachel Orton; Christopher Cartwright
‘Very strong problem solvers. Very experienced in our key real estate sectors. Advice is commercially led. They consider themselves key partners in our business, understand our wider drivers for our business and want to help our business grow.’
‘William Boss and Andrew Martin are recommended.’
‘Rachel Orton gives excellent advice that is both pragmatic and strategic. She is responsive and keeps the process moving, identifying and unclogging potential delays in a proactive manner.’
‘Leona Ahmed is very responsive and committed and always looks out for her clients’ best interest. She exemplifies exceptional client service. She is very professional in her dealings with different investors from different backgrounds. She’s approachable and very knowledgeable.’
‘A pragmatic and client-focused team.’
‘The team is always there to address any issues, and have been proactive in suggesting different ideas on how to tackle any problem.’
‘The team is very knowledgeable and helpful in this area. We, as clients, felt very comfortable with the transaction based on the advice we have received.’
Aberdeen Standard Investments
Battersea Power Station
Canary Wharf Group
Guys and St Thomas’ Trust
Marks and Spencer Group PLC
Bank Leumi (UK) PLC
Balfour Beatty Investments
Civitas Social Housing PLC
- Advised boutique lender Leumi UK on its relocation from its home of more than 20 years, Stratford Place, W1, to a Grade A office space at Angel Court, in the heart of the City of London. Leumi UK, which is part of Leumi Group (Israel’s largest banking group).
- Advised UCB on the acquisition of a new life sciences campus in Windlesham, Surrey.
BDB Pitmans’ department, which is led by Jonathan Fewster, counts the firm’s wider expertise in the charities and not-for-profit sectors as a key point of distinction. The team includes legal director Emma Roche, who is a specialist in complex leasehold structures. The firm is also noted for its development practice, which supports both developers and landlords on everything from land assembly and collaboration agreements to related construction, planning and tax issues. It disperses its know-how across mixed-use, commercial, infrastructure and residential schemes.
Other key lawyers:
Ellen James; Bhaminee Sharma; Dennis Ko; Emma Roche
‘Communication is simple to understand. They prefer to have a quick conference call to ensure they understand the instruction. This is very helpful. The estimates they provide are detailed and generally it is what is billed.’
‘BDB Pitmans has a very strong team, always willing to help and provide advice. Having a senior member of the team as our point of contact within the firm ensures that deadlines are met and the service offered meets our needs. We always have someone at the end of the phone to assist and guide us.’
‘We have developed a good working relationship with a number of individuals at BDB Pitmans, especially our main point of contact. The solicitors at the firm are always ready to help and value our instructions, no matter how small the instruction may be.’
‘Jonathan Fewster and Emma Roche worked as a team and dealt well with all difficulties as they arose to conclude matters.’
‘Bhaminee Sharma goes over and above what is required to ensure that lease and legal matters are handled efficiently and to the best outcome.’
‘Jonathan Fewster is always practical, considered and pragmatic. He is very competent and approachable.’
Education International Services Limited
The Drapers’ Company
Multiple Sclerosis Society
Foundation for Language & Educational Centres
Healthcare Management Trust
- Advising Education International Services Limited on the renewal of a lease of 12-15 Manson Place, South Kensington, London from the landlord, Western Property Developments Limited. The lease is for a term of 10 years at a rent of over £1m per annum.
- Advising MFB Solicitors (a leading firm of specialist shipping lawyers) on their leases of the upper and lower decks at Fishmongers Chambers on Upper Thames Street in the City of London. Rent is £400,000 per annum.
- Advising nChain Limited (a multinational provider of enterprise-grade blockchain solutions) on two new 10 year leases of separate floors of offices on Oxford Street, London at combined rent of £800,000 per annum.
Acclaimed for their ‘technical, practical and commercial’ service, the team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP cater to a client roster of developers, investors, property companies and urban estates in addition to corporate occupiers. Practice head Lee Medlock also represents private equity-backed businesses, namely in respect of leisure and hospitality transactions; his team includes Robin Grove, a mixed-use and regeneration development specialist who leverages the firm’s joint venture and partnership proficiency, as well as Sarah Morley who fronts the office occupier group, undertaking office acquisition, headquarter relocation and rationalisation of space matters. The firm’s international presence across EMEA and Hong Kong makes it a go-to option for international investors and owing to its dedicated sector expertise, it is also a popular choice among sporting, retail, food and beverage, charity, private wealth, logistics and life sciences clients.
Other key lawyers:
Robin Grove; Louise Ward; Sarah Morley
‘They provide a technical, practical and commercial application of their property knowledge in a form easily understood by their housebuilder clients.’
‘They are professional within their particular residential field – informative, receptive and communicative.’
‘Robin Grove has great all-round knowledge.’
‘They have an outstanding grasp of the London and Cambridge real estate markets, and have provided expert legal and practical advice, helping us adapt to the UK legal and business climate. They are our most trusted outside law firm globally, and we greatly benefit from their expertise and practicality. They are responsive, personable and well respected by their peers. They are an integral part of our team, and I have recommended them numerous times to other potential clients.
‘Louise Ward’s expertise in real estate has proven invaluable. While other firms’ lawyers are prone to trying to win negotiations, Louise recognises that completing a transaction is the desired result and do not let others’ egos or bluster distract her.’
Aberdeen Standard Investments
BioMed Realty L.P
Caring Homes Group
Stonegate Pub Company
David Lloyd Leisure Limited
Howard de Walden Estate Limited
National Museum for the Royal Navy
City of London Corporation
The Church Commissioners
Exeter Property Group
- Acting for longstanding client Stonegate Pub company on all their occupational and real estate needs.
- Acting for longstanding client Wagamama in defending litigation brought against it by a Legal & General associated company owning and developing the Arndale Centre extension in Eastbourne.
- Acted for longstanding client David Lloyd Leisure Limited on the freehold sale and 30 year leaseback of one if its leisure properties to a Jersey Trust Fund.
Under the leadership of Michael Grace, Collyer Bristow LLP's real estate practice is home to a dedicated housebuilder department which thrives in respect of mixed-use and residential developments. The team is equipped to support at every stage of projects, from acquisition and finance through to eventual disposal, and is also adept in single asset and portfolio transactions, property management matters and commercial lettings. As for the corporate occupier service, it has advised a number of regulatory bodies and motor industry participants on office moves of late and owing to the firm's connections in the Far East, continues to act for a number of banks on the full suite of headquarter-related mandates.
Other key lawyers:
Alex O’Connor; Stephen Gawne
Aldersgate Investments Ltd / Motcomb Estates Ltd (Reuben brothers)
Bewley Homes plc
Chase New Homes Ltd
Crest Nicholson plc
EDHEC Business School
GMS Estates Ltd
Ipsus Developments Ltd
Lochailort Investments Ltd
Willmott Dixon Holdings Ltd / Be Living Ltd
Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's team is able to draw on support from offices all over the globe, and adopts a sector-specific approach to real estate, principally focusing on student housing, build-to-rent, logistics and city office assets. Practice head Bruce Dear is frequently involved in occupier-related matters at some of London’s most prominent locations; the wider team is made up of lawyers with dedicated expertise in regeneration projects, inbound investment into the European market, build-to-suit logistics schemes, innovative transaction structuring and investment vehicles, related estate-related M&A and portfolio management.
Other key lawyers:
Lee Jackson; Tom Goldsmith; Nicholas Bartlett; Angus Ford
‘Tom Goldsmith understands what actually matters to us as a client and what doesn’t, which means we don’t waste time arguing over points that have no commercial or operational impact. We value clear, plain English in written and verbal communications and Tom is very good at this. He is also excellent at dissecting an issue and coming up with a creative fix that is likely to be agreed by everyone. We have now started to use Eversheds Sutherland in France and Portugal, with Tom ensuring a consistently high level of service.’
‘The lawyers coordinate well internally so we as clients get a considered consolidated response. They offer flexibility in terms of fees and billing arrangements.’
‘Our relationship partner, Lee Jackson, watches out for us.’
‘Tom Goldsmith is incredibly commercial and responsive and a trusted advisor to us. He is always accessible, well staffed with associates and takes complicated deals and breaks them down into elements that commercial stakeholders understand and appreciate.’
‘Tom Goldsmith goes above and beyond and his level of service exceeds the average outside counsel. He is always down to earth, proactive and focused on driving a deal to completion.’
‘They take a very comprehensive, hands-on approach to commercial real estate transactions. Very strong in looking at deals from all angles, and in coordinating other advisors (technical, tax, etc.) to provide complete and coherent results. Very proactive in solving problems as soon as they appear (or even anticipating them).’
‘Proactiveness and availability. Good grasp of all issues that have an impact on real estate acquisitions.’
‘Tom Goldsmith and his team have extensive experience acting for corporate occupiers. They have done an outstanding job for us on a number of complex agreements for lease and leases, drawing on this experience. They are highly responsive and honour their fee proposals.’
Legal & General
Aprirose Real Estate
State of Qatar
Elite Partners Capital PTE
Secretary for State for Transport
Hailed as ‘experts in the field', the lawyers in Fieldfisher’s London office operate as part of the firm’s national team, frequently collaborating on major instructions with colleagues in Birmingham and Manchester. The practice is best known for its development, finance and investment work, directing particular emphasis to alternative assets such as hotel, healthcare, industrial and student residential properties. Paul Houston, a specialist in the hospitality sector, is a ‘standout’ name for mixed-use developments and pre-lets while Jayne Elkins is a reputed ‘expert’ in significant investment transactions and non-contentious landlord and tenant affairs. Ramatu Banga is also a prominent name within the team owing to her notable proficiency in high-value office lettings, sale and leaseback and portfolio transactions.
Antony Philips; Paul Houston
Other key lawyers:
Jayne Elkins; Ramatu Banga; Gary Pickard
‘Each and every person at Fieldfisher that I have come into contact with has impressed me with their efforts to fully understand our situation and become part of the team by solving issues and take responsibility. Communication is excellent and working across departments is seamless.’
‘Gary Pickard is an extremely diligent, hard-working and focused lawyer. He is equally happy to take the lead or be guided by our own commercial needs.’
‘The team are very friendly, we enjoy doing business with them, but they combine this with high quality advice that is commercial and focused on getting deals done rather than creating issues.’
‘Paul Houston is the standout individual. He leads our client relationship and has been responsible for successfully concluding a number of important transactions for us during the past year. We like dealing with him a lot.’
‘Their depth of knowledge is a huge asset. Billing is transparent. All staff that join the team are well briefed and hit the ground running.’
‘Jayne Elkins is an expert, always contactable and able to explain in a manner I understand. I would not go to another firm – Fieldfisher are my go-to experts.’
‘For me it is simple – they are experts in their field. They cover a vast range of services with all staff from juniors to partners that are a pleasure to work with. Sound advice and excellent communication.’
Ark Data Centres Limited
Co-operative Group Limited
Fridge Spares Wholesale Limited
H & M Hennes & Mauritz UK Limited
Hammerson plc (Purchaser)
Healthpeak (formerly HCP, Inc.)
Infrastrata plc / Harland & Wolff
Imperial College, London
Landprop Holding B.V. and Vastint UK B.V. (part of the inter IKEA Group of Companies)
Richer Sounds Limited
William Hill Organisation
- Assisted Infrastrata with all aspects of the purchaser of the historic Appledore Ship Yard Bideford North Devon to a tight commercial deadline.
- Assisted Co-Operative Food Group with the acquisition and development of a new 600,000 sq ft warehouse and distribution centre to form the core of its south of England operations.
- Acting for booking.com on the acquisition of 230,000 sq ft for a new headquarters office building at Manchester Goods Yard. This is the largest commercial letting in Manchester in the last 20 years.
Hosting ‘an exceptional amount of industry knowledge’, Fladgate LLP is a single office London firm which is traditionally strong in terms of entrepreneurial and inbound investor representation and has also noted a notable recent upturn in the number of big-ticket deals handled for institutional quality clients and private equity lenders. The practice is also frequently instructed on development projects for family office, hotel, retail and leisure clients and is headed by Stephen Lewis, a specialist in the latter two sectors. Gideon Dabby-Joory and Alan Karsberg are among the key points of contact for corporate occupier matters, a front on which the group is geared to act on everything from day-to-day landlord and tenant matters to major headquarter relocations and caters to a client roster of major professional businesses, co-working providers and barristers' chambers, among others.
Other key lawyers:
Gideon Dabby-Joory; Gavin Whitney; Richard Reuben; Alan Karsberg
‘From my experience of dealing with a number of lawyers at the firm, I am able to attest to the excellent and very responsive service from all of them.’
‘Richard Reuben has been my main contact through this last year. His speed of response, sensible and very nuanced advice has been invaluable.’
‘In my point of view, it it a one-stop shop law firm of medium size – meaning that I still have easy access to partners and associates but at the same time without compromising any quality.’
‘We have fantastic experience with Gideon Dabby-Joory, one of the partners who acts as our main point of contact for all our real estate needs. On a few occasions, when we required expertise from other colleagues such as litigation, finance, corporate, he has directed us to the right colleagues but at the same time, continued to be involved in order to take care of our interests.’
‘A team of experts that can quickly provide advice on a wide range of property issues. A one-stop shop.’
‘The team at Fladgate has an exceptional amount of industry knowledge to leverage from and their approach to handling transactions (from client care to billing) is tailored to suit the client’s needs, which is always helpful.’
‘Alan Karsberg and Fiona Smith, in particular, are a trusted pair of hands, especially when it comes to guidance towards making commercial decisions. Our organisation has benefited from their services for many years and we would not hesitate in recommending their services.’
‘A superb service. The team are practical, commercial, extremely professional and know their subject inside and out. They are not shy to give clear advice and are extremely efficient in finalising transactions. They are also client user friendly.’
Yo! Sushi UK Limited
Penguin Random House
Black Sheep Coffee
4C Hotels Limited
Batting Star Limited
Mindspace London Limited
- Advised on a review of YO! Sushi’s company leases in England and Wales, assembling a team to review almost 80 leases and prepare a report on contingent liabilities in connection with the company’s CVA.
A single office West End firm with a strong focus on real estate, Forsters LLP represents a number of household names in the corporate occupier space. Glenn Dunn acts for major players in the media, finance and banking sectors with clients citing the ‘remarkable leadership’ with which he oversees the practice. Another key name is Helen Streeton, who provides the group with distinguished expertise in acting for entities from the oil and gas and chemicals industries. Examples of recent work include major headquarter relocations, lease assignments and several landlord and tenant matters including terminations and disputes. The practice is also highly regarded for its investment and development expertise, the latter being a particular forte of Victoria Towers.
Other key lawyers:
Helen Streeton; Sarah Cook
‘A firm focused on property law matters. The firm has good diversity (an important topic for us). Practical advice with clear guidance to clients.’
‘Expertise and availability. Proactive and thoughtful advice.’
‘I had the good fortune to work with Forsters on a very difficult deal with tight timeframes and complex terms. We faced many unexpected hurdles and many changes of our internal stakeholders. I was extremely impressed by their pragmatism, ability to adapt to changing circumstances, ability to explain complex legal issues clearly to foreign counsel and internal stakeholders, flexibility, determination and hard work.’
‘Glenn Dunn showed remarkable leadership and good cheer in diving into a matter over a holiday break when more junior lawyers were unavailable. He managed to cut through all manner of complexity in deals, explain UK law and COVID signing requirements to opposing US counsel, counsel our clients on the best ways to resolve difference and get our deal done by its impossible deadline.’
‘Anna Penn was a delight to work with; she explained things clearly, escalated matters when appropriate and turned redlines rapidly and well.’
‘Very good team – they are responsive and understand our business.’
‘Glenn Dunn puts the right people on the specific project, but is also there to support when needed.’
Columbia (Sony Pictures)
Warner Media (Warner Bros.)
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company
Dow Chemical Company
- Acting for a global corporate occupier in relation to acquiring 80,000 square feet of prime office space in one of the largest deals of 2020.
- Advised Britannia Global Investments in relation to taking c.22,500 square feet at the iconic Scalpel in the City, a transaction that was delivered in a very tight timescale.
- Acting for an international corporate occupier in relation to its exit from a landmark London building, with a deal value in excess of £10m.
Glovers Solicitors LLP's practice, which is led by the ‘brilliant’ Philip Shotter, generates mandates from a variety of occupiers, including cinemas, pubs, luxury fashion brands, restaurants, retailers and grab-and-go companies. The team often advises on day-to-day estate and operational matters, as well as acquisitions, although the impact of Covid-19 has led to a shift towards advice on the property aspects of corporate restructurings, dispute resolution, and consensual and non-consensual rent concession arrangements. Paul Jagger is highlighted for his 'diligent, efficient and cut to the point service'.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team are highly experienced, responsive and thorough.’
‘Philip Shotter and Paul Jagger are my main contacts at Glovers and they are highly experienced, responsive and thorough in all communication. They are always available to discuss contentious issues and provide clarity as and when needed.’
‘The Glovers team are superb; quick, commercial and really understands our business.’
‘Philip Shotter is highly commercial, thorough, nimble and provides clear pragmatic advice. He stands out as he is as passionate and interested in our business as we are.’
‘Glovers LLP offer expert legal service within the hospitality sector, have worked to unlock complicated legal matters quickly and efficiently. They have adapted through covid working remotely, but still keeping us updated at all times through new media.’
‘Philip Shotter and Paul Jagger are both very diligent, efficient, and cut to the point on property matters, be it acquisitions on new property, disposal of property, or technical property legal issues.’
‘Glovers is a boutique style firm of solicitors specialising in the hospitality and leisure sectors. There is a longstanding group of partners all of whom are very personable and easy to relate to both in and out of the office.’
‘A really good boutique firm which provides a one stop shop for all of their clients.’
Agnes B UK Limited
All Things Greek Limited
ASK Italian Restaurants Limited
Bayley & Sage Limited
BDL Restaurants Limited (Bocca di Lupo, Plaquemine Lock)
Black Goo Ltd
Club Mexicana Limited
Chalk Restaurants Limited
Deep Blue Restaurants Limited
Donald Byford & Sons Limited
Everyman Media Limited
Fatto A Mano Limited
Flat Iron Steak Limited
Frontier Pubs Limited
Giuseppe Zanotti UK Ltd
Hache Burger Connoisseurs Limited
Hop Vietnamese Limited
Jack Wolfskin Ltd
McMullen and Sons Limited
Nando’s Chickenland Limited (Nando’s)
Noble Rot Limited
Neds Noodle Box (Holdings) Limited
Oaxaca Restaurants Limited
Perilla Dining Limited
Pizza Express Restaurants Limited
Prezzo Trading Limited
The Vurger Co Ltd
ZLC London Limited (The Palomar and The Barbary)
Zandi Enterprises Limited (Zuaya)
Zizzi Restaurants Limited
- Acting for Zizzi Restaurants Limited and ASK Italian Restaurants Limited on the acquisition of 184 restaurants following the pre-pack Administration of Azzurri Restaurants Limited to include dealing with the assignments themselves and associated rent concession assignments for every site following on from the Covid-19 Pandemic.
- Acting for Prezzo Trading Limited on the acquisition of approximately 130 restaurants following the pre-pack administration of Prezzo Limited to include dealing with the lease assignments and associated rent concession arrangements for every site following on from the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Acting for Wagamama Limited on its acquisition of four delivery kitchens, as well as continuing to advise the company on all estate management work extending this year to consensual negotiations of Covid-19 related rent concession arrangements with the company’s major landlords.
Gowling WLG is an international firm with the ‘depth of resource to handle every size of transaction’; its investment work sees it engaged by institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, family offices and private equity funds, including those based in the US, Europe, Canada, Asia and the Middle East, on disposals, lettings, purchases and asset management matters across an impressively broad array of asset classes. The team is also active in the development space where practice head Richard Bate and Nick Mumby excel in respect of residential schemes and ‘excellent operator’ Jon Lloyd specialises in retail and mixed-use projects, tapping in to the firm’s wider construction, planning and finance expertise to offer a full lifecycle service. Helen Emmerson spearheads the corporate occupier offering which handles portfolio optimisation, pre-let, new lease, saleback and subletting mandates at a range of sites such as data centre, office, warehouse and manufacturing facilities.
Richard Bate; Helen Emmerson
Other key lawyers:
Joe Morris; Mike Trainer; Kay Desai; Emma Pioli
‘Helen Emmerson continues to provide excellent service, she maintains an awareness of all her team’s projects and is always approachable, and takes a very practical, pragmatic approach.’
‘Strong technical capability and refreshingly commercial approach to cut through the legal noise and focus on the important elements of a deal to get the transaction over the line. They have the depth of resource to handle every size of transaction with strong support from tax, construction, planning and environmental experts. A cohesive team lead by very strong and reassuringly available partners.’
‘Down to earth, user friendly, commercial, capable, no-nonsense, experienced, tactical, problem solvers, big thinkers. Mike Twining is a stand out, top class legal operator.”
‘Jon Lloyd has provided an excellent level service to us for many years now. Highly professional, pragmatic, very commercial, and swift in response. An excellent operator in his field.’
‘Friendly and knowledgeable team who are always prepared to go the extra mile to achieve our goals.’
‘The team is brilliantly led by Richard Bate, whose knowledge and commercial acumen still astound me everyday.’
‘The individuals we work worth have an unrivalled passion for what they do and the care they show for us as a client. Nothing is too much trouble, and they happily make our problems their problems. At partner level, Emma Pioli always knows what’s going on. Below partner level, Kay Desai stands out.’
‘Emma Pioli gives timely advice very clearly, with clear recommendations.’
The Hut Group
Intermediate Capital Group
Coca-Cola European Partners
Queensberry Real Estate
A.F. Blakemore (Cash & Carry)
Young & Co.’s Brewery
- Managing IM Properties’ office lettings at its Blyth Valley Park site in Solihull, including advising on a 15-year lease to underwear and apparel brand, Lounge Underwear Ltd, for its new UK HQ offices.
- Advised UK cereal maker Weetabix on the disposal of its manufacturing facility in Corby, Northamptonshire.
- Advised The Midcounties Co-operative Limited on the real estate aspects of both its acquisition of the travel business of Central England Co-operative Society comprising multiple high street and in–store travel agencies and the disposal of its pharmacy business.
GSC Solicitors LLP combines ‘unrivalled technical knowledge with innovative thinking and superb commercial awareness'. Noted for its strong client following of blue-chip companies and high-net-worth individuals, the firm is notably active in the hospitality, leisure, retail, media, healthcare and fast food industries. One of the names to note is practice head Harvey Posener, who is described by one client as ‘the best property lawyer in London bar none’; he advises large corporate occupiers on leasing or acquiring significant headquarters buildings across the UK. Peter Belcher has finance, transactional and development expertise.
Other key lawyers:
Peter Belcher; Carole Joseph; Matthew Phillips; Amee Popat
‘GSC Solicitors is a multi discipline, diverse small firm which punches well above its weight. They provide a commercial approach to deals that is often missing from solicitors plus a personal and professional service.’
‘Harvey is an exceptional lawyer; he is a very talented operator who is both pragmatic and intelligent.’
‘The depth of the service you receive from GSC in amazing; they give you 360 degrees of representation, checking and flagging all the relevant issues that arise during a property transaction. I would say that they have their own special standard, and as a client, you are getting a first class service.’
‘GSC provides unrivalled property advice, far surpassing magic circle firms while retaining the benefits of a smaller practice. They combine unrivalled technical knowledge with innovative thinking and superb commercial awareness.’
‘Harvey Posener is the best property lawyer in London bar none. He personifies all the atttributes of the firm, combining a deep knowledge of the law with creative and innovative thinking and commercial awareness which sets him apart.’
‘Peter Belcher is an extremely experienced property lawyer who understands the complexities of purchasing a hotel.’
‘Carole Joseph stays calm under pressure and manages my (unwarranted) impatience with the other parties to get the deal through.’
Universal Music Operations Limited
Freshwater Group of Companies
Harbottle & Lewis LLP undertakes a significant amount of corporate occupier work with a nexus to the retail, hospitality and office sectors. In addition, it is also active in the tech, video games and interactive entertainment arenas. Melanie Benson leads the property department, which acts for a client roster including restauranteurs, cinemas and fashion luxury brands, as well as landlords, ultra-high-net-worth investors and family offices.
Other key lawyers:
Leo Marino; Lee Greaves
‘The partners are very talented and helpful, giving good commercial advice . The accounts team have been very understanding through the pandemic. In summary, they are well run, professional and a client-focused company.’
‘Melanie Benson is very insightful, using her excellent knowledge to make complex leases transaction run smoothly. She has very good interpersonal skills which makes working with her a pleasure.’
Commercial Holdings 496 Limited
IMO Car Wash Group
Arch Light Cinemas
Cross Stone Group
Gordon Ramsay Holdings
LW theatres limited
- Ongoing advice to longstanding client Commercial Holdings 496 Limited on its England-wide and varied property holdings. Work in 2020 included various acquisitions, new lettings and general property management such as the grant of licences.
- Acted for the world’s largest car wash group, IMO Car Wash, on the sale and leasebacks of seven sites in its portfolio to two buyers.
- Acting for the property holding group owned by well-known television and multiple Michelin-starred chef, Gordon Ramsay. In 2020, highlights included handling the acquisition of new premises located in Charing Cross, London. Other portfolio acquisition work is ongoing.
The London team at K&L Gates LLP is acclaimed for its ‘outside-the-box thinking, very commercial service and great global platform’. Practice head Christian Major is principally reputed for his corporate occupier expertise which sees him direct a distinct focus towards the representation of overseas clients in respect of their space requirements in London and the wider UK. Steven Cox is particularly active in the leisure space while special counsel Chiara Del Frate supports numerous Italian clients with their corporate real estate requirements, including several high-profile names in the fashion sector; the group also acts for clients in the health, finance and technology sectors and, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, has made a conscientious effort to ramp up its development, investment and regeneration activities within the residential, logistics and light industrial fields. Tim Webb and Emma Maher, who both joined the team from Greenberg Traurig, LLP in mid-2019, are very well regarded by clients, handling work including major property projects across Europe, Brazil and China, among other jurisdictions.
Other key lawyers:
Steven Cox; Chiara Del Frate
‘We have been working with K&L Gates for a long time and we are extremely satisfied with the outstanding level of legal service they provide. They are commercial and fast and provide a full service that really meets our needs. They are very collaborative and upfront.’
‘Chiara Del Frate is enthusiastic, kind and always ready to help. She is qualified both in the UK and in Italy and that really helps us to have advice quickly in both jurisdictions and facilitate cross-border deals. She also speaks three languages and is able to deal with complex transactions.’
‘Tim Webb is why I use K&L Gates. He’s that good.’
‘Emma Maher is fantastic. She is the perfect foil to Tim Webb – a great listener, very clever, gets things done.’
‘Tim Webb has been my lawyer for 10 years. Emma Maher has worked with Tim for a long time and complements him well.’
‘Friendly and approachable, combined with great expertise. Able to quickly provide pragmatic and succinct advice tailored to the issue in hand, without overcomplicating matters.’
‘Tim Webb is an exceptional lawyer and brilliant relationship manager.’
‘The team are very user-friendly and are well co-ordinated across the real estate and finance disciplines. Pragmatic solutions are forthcoming and the team is always switched on and helpful.’
Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA)
Hines Global Income Trust
Royal Academy of Arts
Sweat Union Limited
Tourmaline Financial Services
- Advised technology giant Unity Software in relation to its UK space requirements across a number of locations in London, Brighton, Southampton and Stratford upon Avon. This has included the acquisition of two large offices in Brighton, the second of which (the Brinnel Building) was a pre-let of a substantial part of a new office development in Brighton.
- Advising Hakkasan on its portfolio of prominent restaurants in London, including the Yauatcha chain, during a time of crisis for the hospitality industry.
- Advised the Association of British Travel Agents on possible strategies for either a renewal of the current tenant’s lease or a potential redevelopment of their previous headquarters building near Oxford Circus.
The commercial property team at elite London firm Macfarlanes LLP is well-regarded for offering ‘concise, prompt and practical advice across all commercial real estate disciplines’. In the development space, its key differentiators include the high degree of emphasis it places on helping clients obtain value from surplus land, as well as the vast experience that Nick Barnes and Anthony Burnett-Scott possess in respect of mixed-use and urban regeneration projects. Clare Breeze was recently appointed as Burnett-Scott’s co-head and centres her practice around cross-border commercial and residential property transactions, including those relating to build-to-rent, private rented sector and student accommodation assets. The team caters to both institutional and private investors, also frequently supporting on the real estate aspects of major corporate transactions, and has seen significant growth in the private equity real estate market of late. Standout recent work has included advising on the acquisition of The Ritz Hotel in London by a private Qatari investor, a deal on which Tom Pedder played a key role. The firm's corporate occupier practice is centred around the representation of clients in the retail, professional services, media and creative industries and is geared to act on relocation projects, premises acquisitions and excess space disposals, among other matters.
Anthony Burnett-Scott; Clare Breeze
Other key lawyers:
Tom Pedder; Dan Marriott; Nick Barnes
‘A market-leading team with intimate knowledge of sector. They work exceptionally hard but are also good fun. They understand how my business works and structure their work around it.’
‘Macfarlanes offer concise, prompt and practical advice across all commercial real estate and construction disciplines. The lawyers get straight to the point and they can always be relied upon to offer optimised solutions to fit the circumstances. At the end of each billing period, I rarely worry about fees because they are very good at sticking to agreed multiple workstream budgets. I really enjoy working with the lawyers at Macfarlanes.’
‘Special mention to Anthony Burnett-Scott: Anthony is very experienced across the real estate spectrum and can always be relied upon to respond promptly and deliver succinct advice to address complex circumstances; he is also a tremendous ambassador for his firm and is able to help me navigate effortlessly to other disciplines when needs arise.’
‘Extremely strong and responsive team who communicate between one and another and our team very efficiently. The lead partner was available when necessary and always responsive to email or phonecalls. The process was particularly document heavy but the Macfarlanes team worked through it steadily and with a good nature and responded to any queries promptly and with a thorough answer. They were extremely focused and moved through the work quickly and efficiently.’
‘Dan Marriott is always available and willing to offer guidance or insight. He is very creative and flexible and he has a very collaborative and inclusive approach which helps to build positive momentum on projects.’
‘Clare Breeze proactively looks for solutions and is good humoured under pressure.’
‘Tom Pedder is a dedicated hard working professional who has dealt on my behalf in a number of very complex transactions – a credit to his profession and to his partnership.’
‘Down to earth, detailed advice and sufficient power to get deals over the line.’
Specialist commercial real estate firm Maples Teesdale LLP provides a ‘much valued dedicated focus on property’ and is headed by investment specialist Roger Thornton, valued for ‘advising on the finer points of complex transactions’. Declan Power is the standout name on the projects front and handles a range of matters, including forward funding and purchases, joint ventures and development agreements, chiefly in respect of retail, mixed-use, office and industrial schemes. On the corporate occupier side, Katherine Watts caters to both occupiers and landowners alike while Neil Sagoo has forged a reputation for business-critical relocations.
Neil Sagoo; Katherine Watts
Other key lawyers:
Roger Thornton; Chris Wilkinson
‘Maples Teesdale’s staff are very knowlegable and approachable. In the nature of our dealings we require instant responses and they are always available to discuss any matters either via email or telephone. Where necessary, new technology requirements have been implemented seamlessly. We have enjoyed many years of excellent service.’
‘We have dealt with Chris Wilkinson for many years – what makes him unique is his ability to fully explain situations and set out all steps required in order to progress and completed matters. He is always aware of the audience he is dealing with and makes everyone involved feel fully at ease.’
‘Maples have always provided a responsive and considered service, taking into account the needs of our business and customers. The team have good legal knowledge blended with commercial understanding, and generally approach things with a problem-solving mindset. The team works well together and cover all aspects of property for us. We value their dedicated focus on property and I would have no hesitation in recommending them.’
‘Roger Thornton is our main account holder and has led the team for many years now. New team members are well-inducted and I meet with Roger regularly to ensure that the service we get is optimised and we straighten out any issues (on both sides) to avoid misunderstandings or any problems developing. There is a strong degree of trust involved in our business relationship which has resulted in some significant property acquisitions and disposals over the years.’
‘They are a dedicated property practice with good client relationship skills, are commercial and efficient.’
‘Roger Thornton is responsive, helpful and commercial.’
Cass Business School
City, University of London
Gerson Lehrman Group
Pacific Life Re
Royal & Sun Alliance
- Advised City, University of London, on the new City Business School lease (formerly Cass Business School) – one of the biggest investment lettings in the City in 2020.
- Advising Bleckmann Logistics, a leader in supply chain management solutions for the fashion and lifestyle industry, over the last few years on its occupational requirements.
- Advised South African commercial bank Nedbank Limited, as occupier, on a lease of the 8,685 sq ft seventh floor at 12 Arthur Street in the City.
RLS Law is praised by one client as providing ‘the expertise of a magic circle within a property boutique’. Its team is adept in all facets of real estate, including disputes, developments, investments and general advice. It is particularly noted for its corporate occupier expertise, particularly in relation to offices and warehouses, as well as retail, leisure and industrial sites. The ‘friendly and responsive’ Julien Rutler and ‘exceptional’ partner Craig Themis jointly lead the practice, leveraging their strong credentials in high-profile headquarter relocations. The team also includes Tom Foley, who is 'a calm expert and makes transactions complete without drama.'
Julien Rutler; Craig Themis
Other key lawyers:
‘The RLS team is highly responsive and pro-active and always meet the tight deadlines we set them. They are also all highly qualified in commercial property and the team’s quality of advice is excellent.’
‘Julien Rutler is friendly and responsive and understands our business requirements and priorities.’
‘RLS are consistently responsive, commercial and solutions focused. They are my go -to firm for specialist real estate advice.’
‘Craig Themis is exceptional. He has real depth of experience and market knowledge. Craig is always all over the detail, but has an ability to distill the essential commercial points. Craig is always a pleasure to deal with and his personable, relaxed and non confrontational style really delivers results.’
‘Genuine specialists in the property field who understand the law, think through their client’s needs and are practical, efficient and responsive.’
‘This is a practice where the individual specialists in leasing, construction etc work together as a co-ordinated team. The people we deal with are all excellent, including Craig Themis and Julien Rutler.’
‘The expertise of a magic circle firm but in a boutique firm.’
‘Tom Foley is a calm expert and makes transactions complete without drama. Always approachable, reasonable and good humoured.’
Sony Music Entertainment Limited
Urban & Provincial
Soho Housing Association Limited
Look Ahead Care and Support
- Advising ViacomCBS Inc. on all UK real estate premises, which were part of the disposal by the client of CNET Media to Red Ventures, a digital media company for a sale price of c£400m.
- Acted for AllianceBernstein (AB) on the new lease of the 7th and 8th floors (a total of 52,814 square feet) of the newly constructed Grade A building known as Sixty London Wall in the heart of the City of London.
- Acted for Ottolenghi Limited, the holding company of all the Ottolenghi brands including restaurants, books, media and online shopping, in its new 10,000 sq. ft. London headquarters for its offices, kitchen experiments and food distribution services.
Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP has a team that ‘goes above and beyond’ for its clients. It is principally reputed for its corporate occupier work, which spans high-value headquarter leases, portfolio refinances and sale and leasebacks. The group also provides the full spread of landlord and tenant advice. Practice head Rudi Ramdarshan acts for clients such as high-net-worth individuals, charities and corporate investors. David Burns is a go-to for advice on enfranchisement and residential lease extensions. In addition, another key individual is senior associate Simon Lawrence, who ‘always keeps the client’s best interests at the forefront of transactions’. The team is well-placed to provide support on international matters, owing to it having an associate office in Turkey, as well as dedicated desks for Iran, CIS and Russia. Sarah Hung, who has experience of acting for investors from the Far East, is noted for her ‘clear and concise advice and fluency in Cantonese and Hakka’.
Other key lawyers:
David Burns; Simon Lawrence; Sarah Hung; John O’Callaghan
‘They are always ready to help with client interest at the forefront. Never can do too much, they work 24/7, always reply, have a very strong work ethic and an attitude to get things done.’
‘They have a multidisciplinary team that covers a wide variety of areas within the organisation, which is a huge asset given we have multiple interests in different fields.’
‘Simon Lawerence is experienced and provides a quick turnaround. David Burns is flexible to clients’ needs. Rudi Ramdarshan provides both knowledge and availability.’
‘Simon Lawrence is approachable and a pleasure to work with. We have no hesitation in putting matters forward to him and can rest assured that our best interests will always be kept at the forefront in all transactions.’
‘We have been working with Sarah Hung for some years now and she stands out for us in comparison to the previous solicitors we used before. Sarah Hung is accurate, reliable, extremely professional and always provides advice that is specifically tailored to transaction and organisation.’
Glasshouse Asset Management
Al Sraiya Group Limited (Qatar)
Habib Bank AG Zurich
Keystone Holdings Limited (Isle of Man)
Urban Spectrum Property Management Limited
Harson Investments Limited
- Acting for Comptoir Group Plc on the acquisition of a number of high-value leases for growing restaurant chain, which included agreements for lease, rent deposit deeds and outside seating arrangements
- Acting for ILM Capital on the acquisition of a number of distressed mixed-use properties and thereafter obtaining vacant possession to allow the redevelopment of the property and grant of new leases.
- Acting for Glasshouse on the redevelopment of complex multi-party mixed-use sites in prime London locations.
Sherrards Solicitors LLP's corporate occupier practice stands out in areas such as hospitality, retail, leisure, franchising and education. The team handles matters ranging from standalone lease renewals to portfolio asset management. Charles Hodder's experience includes investment acquisitions and sales. He co-heads the practice with Terry Fendt, whose client list includes several high street outlet retailers. The group also includes Isabel Wolfe Barry, who made partner in 2020.
Charles Hodder; Terry Fendt
Other key lawyers:
Isabel Wolfe Barry; Stephanie Kierans
‘Attentive and responsive service with friendly and helpful personnel.’
‘We mainly work with Charles Hodder and Isabel Wolfe Barry. Both are extremely helpful and responsive and easy to get on with. They are very knowledgeable and have always found solutions for us.’
‘Very good and responsive to our requirements.’
‘What makes the practice unique is that there is more of a can do attitude i.e. after assessing the risk profile there is usually a constructive approach.’
‘When it comes to commercial property transactions, Charles Hodder and Isabel Wolfe Barry stand out for their knowledge, experience and tenacity to get the deal done.’
Tang Eng 2 (Investment property)
La Rose Vallee (Investment Property)
Cambria Automobiles Plc
Watch House Coffee Holdings
Tang Eng 1 Limited (Investment property)
Explore Learning Ltd
Master Removers Group and Ward Thomas Removals Limited
Landmark Estates Limited
EMCOR Group (UK) Plc.
- Acting for a large retail developer on a number of transactions, which involved the client taking an option to acquire a property for the purposes of redevelopment and the grant of a lease to a large supermarket chain.
- Acting for a growing coffee chain on the acquisition of another chain of coffee shops, and also advising on the renegotiation of leases of shops arising from that.
- Acting for various corporate and retail clients in connection with their property portfolio, including lease acquisitions and disposals.
Shoosmiths LLP, which has a broad national footprint, undertakes a wide array of corporate occupier work on behalf of both landlords and tenants. Its team is active in matters spanning a broad cross-section of business sectors, including retail, technology, office and leisure. Joseph Mazzucca, who leads the department, is engaged in matters ranging from investments and developments to corporate and finance transactions. The firm's standing in the market sees it frequently act as co-counsel alongside US and international law firms. Liam Phillips is another name to note.
Other key lawyers:
Liam Phillips; Choisanne Man; Paul Alger
‘Very knowledgable, very commercial and very efficient.’
Dixons Carphone plc
Holland & Barrett
Polo Ralph Lauren
Proximity Data Centres
Infinity SDC Limited
Far East Consortium
City and Provincial Properties
Nicolas James Group
Sir Robert McAlpine Capital Ventures
Cordia Black Swan
Future High Street Living
BM Corporate Holdings
Attic Self Storage
- Advised McArthurGlen Group (Europe’s leading owner, developer and manager of designer outlets) on all UK asset management and leasing work.
- Having been successfully re-appointed to the Dixons Carphone Plc panel, in 2020, the firm undertook some 140 matters overall, including supporting the client on the closure of its standalone Carphone Warehouse stores in the UK, against a tight timescale.
- Acted for Global Switch (the leading owner, operator and developer of customer data centres in Europe and Asia Pacific) on numerous large-scale transactions.
Acclaimed as a ‘highly experienced team able to deal with complex issues quickly and efficiently’, the UK real estate team at international firm Taylor Wessing LLP has been especially busy in the logistics sector of late, having transacted over £1bn worth of deals in the first quarter of 2021. Matthew Swainston is reputed for his vast knowledge of prime London office space and alongside structured transaction and joint venture expert, Mark Rajbenbach, is among the key contacts on the investment front. The group focuses on acquisition, disposal and development matters in the purpose build living, hotels and hospitality sectors and is geared to provide a full lifecycle offering on all projects and transactions. Practice head Keith Barnett and Emma Oakley are the standouts for corporate occupier matters, often acting for leisure, online retail, tech, life sciences entities, in addition to prominent landlords.
Other key lawyers:
Emma Oakley; Paul Lawrence; Alan Evans
‘A highly experienced team able to deal with complex issues that arise very quickly and efficiently.’
‘A first class team who seamlessly work together. Whether its corporate, real estate, construction or employment, everyone is top of their game and have a handle on the salient matters.’
‘The individuals are very personable and professional and are able to deal with any queries immediately speeding up the legal process.’
‘Emma Oakley understands my business and needs and understands the market in which I operate to enable her to give practical and commercial advise to ensure deals are completed.’
‘Mark Rajbenbach is always available for sage, incisive advice. While he is a specialist in real estate and corporate transactions, his pragmatic advice cuts across all disciplines.’
‘Matthew Swainston and Louise Tobbutt share our drive to get deals done rather than expend time and energy on intellectual debates on terms, all the time with good humour and common sense.’
‘The commercial real estate team are consistently commercial and sensible in finding solutions that enable transactions to be concluded at pace.’
‘Excellent industry knowledge and expertise; partners available whenever required; first rate service.’
Tritax Big Box REIT
- Advising EQT on the letting of their new headquarters in Soho, London.
- Acting for new client Mindspace on their real estate portfolio.
- Advising Workday Inc on taking a lease of their London HQ in the newly refurbished Broadgate Centre.
Bates Wells' commercial property department has notable prowess in the sports, education, charities, social enterprise and retail sectors. It is engaged in a broad array of finance and secured lending transactions, development projects, property disposals and investment acquisitions. The team is also particularly strong in headquarter relocations and site acquisitions. Practice head Mark Traynor is noted for his expertise in the property aspects of hydro-electric and solar panel systems. Also recommended is Jamie Huard, who focuses on charity, social enterprise and heritage property matters. In addition, another key individual is Karli Hiscock, who supports the firm's real estate clients on sustainability and wellness matters as part of the firm’s Impact Economy service.
Other key lawyers:
Karli Hiscock; Malcolm Headley; Tony Cartmell; Jamie Huard
‘Thorough, easy to work with, practical and pragmatic when dealing with the other side.’
‘The uniqueness is the in-depth knowledge of the charity sector and ability to advise across teams, if something unusual arises. Their e-signature platform for signing off deeds and other documents works well and is much better than getting hard copies executed, as was the case pre-pandemic.’
‘They are reliable and give sensible, commercial advice that is concise, which I like.’
‘Malcolm Headley and the team are readily available, willing to put in the hours as needed, are commercially realistic on fees, give clear advice and have good technical and commercial knowledge and instincts.’
‘They are direct and provide advice that can be relied upon. Their experience in the sector has been an asset to our transaction. The partner Jamie Huard is available when there is an urgent issue.’
‘Karli Hiscock is very clear in her communications and explains legalistic language for the layperson and explains options well.’
YMCA Thames Gateway
Lely Atlantic Limited
Nikon UK Limited
The Advertising Standards Authority
Everybody Sport and Recreation
World Cancer Research Fund
Council of Inns of Court
FM Conway Limited
The Charity Bank
- Advising JM Finn in relation to its new HQ at 25 Copthall Avenue.
- Advising ClientEarth on moving its international headquarters to Drayton Park, London, by taking a lease for a term of ten years.
- Advising Lely Atlantic on their relocation to office premises at a Birmingham business park.
At Bird & Bird LLP, Jonathan Baker leads the real estate department, which is home to a thriving corporate occupier practice. It is regularly engaged in lease negotiations, surrenders, licenses and disputes, among other operational management matters. A key point of differentiation for the group is its sector-specific approach, which is predominantly centred around the financial services, retail and consumer, hospitality and leisure, technology, communications, energy and utilities industries.
Other key lawyers:
Karen Friebe; James Salford; Peter Nicholson
‘Tenacity is a quality one needs in the property world – and particularly from your legal team. B&B have shown this in spades on small and larger issues.’
‘Peter Nicholson – thinks through issues and offers strategic advice.’
‘The strengths I encountered was their ability to work in different countries in Europe. That flexibility benefited my company (based in the USA) to navigate through the various countries we were moving into.’
‘The individuals I worked with were very adept in their fields and provided prompt advice when needed. To this end, everyone I worked with at Bird & Bird was very responsive. That helped to timely complete my projects. ‘
‘Karen Freibe is excellent. Her approach to problem solving is extremely commercial and effective. She does not just go through the hoops.’
Still Waters Green Technology
Philips Electronics UK Limited
Allies & Morrison
- Advised a global safety equipment manufacturer on the acquisition of UK based business, Bristol Uniforms, valued at approximately $60m.
- Acting for a tenant within the esports sector who is taking a 15-year lease on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
- Advising Philips Electronics on the acquisition of its new UK head office in Farnborough and managing the exit from other offices in the south of England.
Cripps Pemberton Greenish, which operates from two bases in London and Tunbridge Wells, works with a client list which includes institutional investors such as REITs, private equity bodies and pension funds, who engage the group for transactions across a wealth of asset classes, particularly retail, hospitality and prime Central London assets. Jason Tann is the key contact in the development space, specialising in residential, mixed-use and landmark office schemes in addition to regeneration, housebuilder and joint venture-led ventures. Elsewhere, the ‘exceptional’ Oliver Morris is a specialist in head office relocations, new premises transactions and lease negotiations, catering to a broad array of occupiers including professional and financial service, media, technology and central government clients.
Other key lawyers:
Ed Fowler; Kate Robinson
‘They get straight to the crux of a matter and separate all the issues from the real issues, focusing on just the issues.’
‘Jason Tann is exemplary in his straight-talking, no-nonsense, “let’s focus on the issues and get-the-deal-done” approach.’
‘Very professional with patience in explaining the legal process and practice of English law and court to clients.’
‘Easy to reach out to answer your question and give you their legal opinion with clear direction and easy to understand.’
‘A great firm and highly reliable.’
‘Oliver Morris is exceptional. Always helpful, diligent and knowledgeable.’
Maje Stores Limited & SMCP UK Limited
M&G Real Estate
Mott MacDonald Limited
Ocean Infinity Group
Spink & Sons
Sovereign Capital Partners
Tabula Investment Management
- Advised Brilliant Basics (part of Infosys) on the expansion of their presence in London, taking four separate leases of approximately 40,000 sq ft of office space at Helical’s new Old Street development, The Bower.
- Instructed on the assignment of a lease held by an Israeli tech company Panaya. Panaya no longer needed their office premises. The team assisted with the transfer of their lease which included payment of a reverse premium to the new tenant.
- Advised American data analytics and marine robotics company, Ocean Infinity Group, on a £6m lease of their new UK headquarters.
Druces LLP, which is particularly renowned for its work in the corporate occupier arena, has recently guided a number of landlords and tenants through rental renegotiations as a result of Covid-19. Department head Nicholas Brent runs a broad practice, with a particular emphasis on supporting occupiers on their development projects. The other key partner in the team is the ‘excellent’ Adrian Footer, who is principally active in the hospitality and leisure sectors.
Other key lawyers:
Adrian Footer; Tom Rawe
‘I have known some of the team members for very many years and so that familiarity means easy access, transparency at all times on fees, billing patterns, and, of course, frank discussions about legal issues. Druces are very accessible, providing good sound commercial advice; fees are fair and transparent and communication highly effective.’
‘My main points of contact in the real estate team are Adrian Footer and Tom Rawe, both of whom I rate highly. Both are excellent lawyers and very strong on their real estate practice, but they are both great communicators and, importantly, very focused.’
‘Druces have always given excellent legal advice but importantly it comes with common sense and practical application that makes assessment of the business risk easy to evaluate. They don’t try to confuse you up with legalese and red tape.’
Carl Bechstein London Limited
AXA Insurance UK Plc
Equinix UK Limited
Conde Nast Publications Ltd
Hamilton Insurance brokers
Council on International Educational Exchange
Open House London Limited
- Assisting AXA with granting under-leases of a large provincial office to a branch of government.
- Acting for piano-maker Carl Bechstein (London) Ltd in connection with its showrooms in London and across the UK.
- Acting for leading insurance underwriter Hamilton on the subletting of part of its City office. There are complex dilapidations issues against the background of a lease-renewal elsewhere in same the building.
The team at Fox Williams LLP ‘combines technical legal skills with a commercial approach and notable speed of execution’. It is highly regarded for its work for corporate occupiers across a broad cross-section of business sectors, with a particular strength advising office occupiers in the London real estate market on transactions against institutional landlords. One of the key individuals at the firm is Elizabeth Ruff, whose recent work included several headquarter relocations and leasing matters. Practice head Phillip Hope is increasingly sought after by hotel clients and investors from the Middle and Far East. Also recommended are senior associate Mary Majewska and key hire Nish Kapoor, who was recruited from Mundays LLP in late 2020.
Other key lawyers:
Elizabeth Ruff; Nish Kapoor; Rebecca Evans; Mary Majewska
‘Competitive on fees and provide a first class service across all sectors.’
‘Elizabeth Ruff was a calm, authoritative presence who was available whenever required.’
‘Very responsive and understanding of their clients’ needs.’
‘Nish Kapoor is a great team player who clients love working with. He is straight-talking and is focussed on delivering what is important to his clients. Very strong and able team. It combines legal technical skills, a quick grasp of issues, a commercial approach and speed of execution.’
‘Nish Kapoor and Mary Majewska are the stand out individuals. Both are technically strong, proactive, have a quick grasp of the commercial aspects and able very quickly to distinguish between what is important and what is less important.’
‘They are efficient and responsive to requests. We have agreed a good fee structure with them and they are always willing to discuss matters openly.’
‘Mary Majewska has a firm understanding of the group structure and how development sites and existing business acqusitions fit into the portfolio. We consider Fox Williams a part of the wider development team.’
Welbeck Publishing Group
LaLive London LLP
Milberg UK LLP
Guinness Book of World Records
- Advised leading UK fintech Wagestream on its relocation from existing serviced premises in London to a newly refurbished building near Tottenham Court Road.
- Advised international law firm LaLive LLP on its exit from existing premises and acquisition of new City of London premises.
- Advised Guinness Book of World Records on its new London office acquisition.
Goodman Derrick LLP
Fielding a team that is ‘highly focused on client support’, Goodman Derrick LLP is engaged in a broad variety of corporate occupier matters, including lease renewals, variation and surrenders, dilapidations and rent reviews. Dominic Whelan, who has notable expertise in pre-lets, leads the department. He is particularly knowledgeable about the retail, leisure and PRS fields.
Other key lawyers:
Dagmara Selwyn-Kuczera; Chris Barkley; Simon Catt
‘Simon Catt is simply exceptional. Old school but truly the best school.’
‘Chris Barkley has an excellent, pro-active nature and problem solving ability. He also provides an industrious work ethic.’
‘The strongest point I would say is the ease of personal contact and approachability. Too many times in the past with other firms I would become frustrated waiting for an email reply or a call back.‘
‘Apart from conscientiousness and attention to detail there is an ease of contact and rapid response times that I had never experienced previously.’
‘The team at Goodman Derrick are highly focused on client support, with a dedication to successful resolution and outcomes; we value their collaborative approach.’
‘Our work with Simon Catt has been highly successful over the years. He has a focus on constant progress in any given matter and works tirelessly and creatively to find solutions on our behalf.‘
Acro Aircraft Seating Limited
Lok’nStore Group plc
Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company (Europe), Limited
Pure Sports Medicine Ltd
The Office Group
Motorsport UK – The Royal Automobile Club Motor Sports Association Limited
- Advising long-standing AIM-listed client Lok’nStore Group, a well known storage brand, in relation to multiple transactions including acquisitions, sales, lease renewals and general commercial property advice.
- Advising The Office Group, one of the largest providers of high quality business lounges and meeting rooms in London, on its commercial activities including acquisitions and leases.
- Acting for Acro Aircraft Seating Limited on the grant of a new lease of an industrial warehouse at Eldon Way, Crick Industrial Estate, Crick, Northamptonshire. The property has become their UK head office and main manufacturing plant. Acro Aircraft Seating Limited are part of the Zhejiang Science and Technology Investment Company (ZTC) and was acquired by them in 2017 for £55m.
Hill Dickinson LLP's corporate occupier work has recently included lease grants, office moves and landlord and tenant issues. Practice head Jim Garton has specialist expertise in the hotels and leisure sector. The department is also active in high-value developments and inward investments from Africa, the Far East and Middle East.
Other key lawyers:
Ashley Kopitko; Richard Taylor
‘The team is progressive, diligent, responsive and helpful.’
‘The team at Hill Dickinson have been very good to work with because they are very thorough with their legal advice and provide full support to complete the real estate transactions.’
‘Jim Garton is stand out as he is always available and provides solid advice with a smile!’
‘They work closely with us, manage the transactions efficiently and keep us updated. Where problems arise they give us options and recommendations.’
Paragon Development Finance Limited
Espalier Property Ventures
Conygar Investment Company plc
Ingenious Real Estate
BRG Building Solutions
London Women’s Clinic Limited
- Ongoing advice to an international casino operator (which is a longstanding client). It has a diverse portfolio of gaming and entertainment venues. The firm advises on a range of strategic, transactional and landlord and tenant matters at its properties across the UK.
- Advised one of the world’s largest independent commodities trading houses – which has a large number of trading offices in international trading hubs – on an exciting strategic move into its first UK offices. The firm now advises the client on its ongoing property requirements nationally.
- Advised a leading holiday tours operator on the grant of a lease of office premises in London as part of a group reorganisation.
A single office London firm providing a ‘superb service and excellent responsiveness’, Howard Kennedy LLP supports on headquarter relocations and acquisitions, lease variation and surrendering matters, occupancy-related disputes and asset management affairs. Adam Walford is the key contact for corporate occupier matters and is able to leverage market leading expertise in the retail and leisure sectors. Nicky Stewart and Kate Woodgate co-lead the development offering which provides a full lifecycle service on both commercial and residential projects with a prominent track record in joint venture projects involving international investors.
Other key lawyers:
‘Superb service and excellent responsiveness – this inspires confidence that you have got real professionals acting for you.’
‘A special mention for Astrid Stanley, who is absolutely first class on commercial leasing matters.’
Wonderland Restaurants Ltd
Chez Restaurants Limited
Sessions Market Limited
East London Pub Co.
- Assisted client Weezy in the property acquisition of their five sites in London as they started up and continued their expansion and growth.
- Acting for Sessions Market, a new seafront food market in Brighton.
- Involved with Australian fitness brand F45’s UK expansion, advising on the acquisition of a franchise deal in London Fields.
Keystone Law's practitioners are well-versed in all facets of real estate, including large-scale leases and landlord and tenant issues, mid-market acquisitions and disposals, as well as development projects. The practice is particularly strong in corporate occupier matters; Shayne Foley is experienced in the establishment of headquarters and relocations.
Other key lawyers:
Shayne Foley; Lisa Raymond; James Goff; James Daglish; Paula Abrahamian; Andrew Tugwell
Your-move.co.uk (and LSL Property Services PLC Group)
National Home Move Limited
Adam Smith International Limited
Streamlined Communications Limited
Meech Static Eliminators Limited
PFU (EMEA) Limited
Caversham Trading Limited and Caversham Finance Limited both trading as Brighthouse
Archway Homes Limited
The Shuffle Group Limited
- Acted for Omnes Heathcare, a primary care service provider, on its lease from Community Health Partnerships of a substantial part of the newly constructed Tessa Jowell Health Centre in Southwark. The project was a particular success given the sheer number of moving parts in pressurised circumstances and during such unprecedented times.
- Acted for Courts (Chester) Limited on the investment purchase of 47 Northgate and 1 Hunter Street, Chester, CH1 2HQ. This is a beautiful building on the edge of the new Northgate Development and opposite the renowned Storyhouse in Chester.
- Took the lead role and full co-ordination of a pressurised organisational relocation of a UK Japanese subsidiary in Greater London.
Kingsley Napley LLP's recent commercial leasing work has included several high-value lease extensions, pre-lets and surrenders. Elsewhere, the firm's other work spans investment acquisitions and disposals, asset management and financing transactions. The practice is led by Bethan Owen, who has specialist expertise in prime Central London assets.
Other key lawyers:
‘Paul Harbour is fantastic in this area. Creative thinking and able to come up with solutions. He goes above and beyond for his clients to try to give them the outcome they want and make deals happen.’
‘Extremely personable and straightforward to deal with. All members of the team give you their undivided attention.‘
‘Paul Harbour is a very capable real estate lawyer. He really cares about the work and us as a client, and clearly enjoys the technical aspects of the law he practises.’
Marriott Harrison LLP‘s team ‘makes everything easy through its total expertise in commercial property’. The group is principally well-regarded in the corporate occupier field, where it handles headquarter relocations, offices moves and lease negotiations. The practice places a high degree of emphasis on the Central London office market, and owing to the experience of Mark Lavers acts for a notable number of institutional investors.
‘The technical expertise is second to none and the speed of response is just as good. There is depth both at partner and associate level. I especially like the availability of the senior team. They are not always at meetings or out on the golf course!’
‘We have worked with Mark Lavers over a period of time, his understanding of our business needs and timely advice is invaluable.’
‘Total expertise in commercial property law. They make everything easy, which might not sound unique, but on the basis of using other lawyers in this field they were a total revelation. Smart, sharp, swift to respond, with a keen eye for spotting looming issues.’
‘Marriott Harrison go above and beyond. Touching base even when they are not under instruction.’
‘I now consider Mark to be our default property partner and importantly place huge trust in his advice and his diligence on our part. We also get on really well with each other.’
‘Mariott Harrison is an exceptional firm, with polite and memorable individuals whom have a deep rooted knowledge of their respective subject areas. They are always contactable, highly personable and much more commercially astutute compared to other firms with which I have engaged with over the years.’
‘Value their forward thinking, quick and detailed responses but make seemingly complex areas much more digestable and commercial for our businesses.’
‘Mark Lavers provides a great partner service and knows how to get the deal done with minimum fuss.’
CPL Productions Limited
Fenix International Limited
Wardour Communications Limited
First Light Public Relations Limited
Alta Trading UK Limited
Tosca Debt Capital LLP
Procam Take 2 Limited
Bucherer UK Limited
Banco de Sabadell
Planet Organic Limited
Open Energi Limited
ConsenSys Systems UK Limited
- Advised Wardour Communications Limited on new HQ Lease and exit from previous premises.
- Continued to advise Planet Organic Limited on the portfolio, including assimilating the leases of As Nature Intended Limited in to it following a corporate acquisition.
- AdvisedAlta Trading UK Limited on new HQ lease and exit from previous premises.
Elite Lincoln's Inn firm Payne Hicks Beach caters to a far-reaching roster of investors from jurisdictions as diverse as the US, Scandinavia and the Middle and Far East. The practice is particularly well-placed to support on prime residential investments, working in close tangent with the firm’s private client department, and also provides a full-service development offering from promotion and forward funding agreements through to forward funding and land sales. Practice head Andrew Berry is particularly knowledgeable in the residential, leisure and hospitality sectors; his team, which includes commercial landlord and tenant specialist senior associate Andrea Yiakoumetti, has supported numerous occupier clients on lease break options, lease renewals and dilapidation matters of late.
Other key lawyers:
Emma Copestake; Justin Dunlop; Andrea Yiakoumetti
‘I recommend them for the fact that I feel comfortable that nothing will be overlooked or missed to regret later, and that I will be informed in full what I am getting.’
‘Andrew Berry is outstanding – he cannot be criticised at all. His ability to make you feel confident and the knowledge he has is exceptional.’
‘I have found the firm to be honest and competitive in billing – I personally couldn’t fault them in any way.’
Quastels LLP combines ‘the quality and speed of work of a large firm with the attention to detail and client relationships expected from a smaller practice’. Senior partner Michael Haringman co-heads the department with Owen Walsh, whose experience spans asset management, property finance, business tenancies and transactions. Noted for its full-service offering, the firm has forged a particularly strong reputation in the corporate occupier arena, where it is active in the office, retail, industrial, hospitality and leisure sectors.
Michael Haringman; Owen Walsh
Other key lawyers:
‘They are a very strong team, looking to build strong relationships with clients and consultants. They work very collaboratively with both, looking to establish longstanding relationships. You get clear, concise advice and correspondence and have specialists in a number of fields.’
‘They are generally very responsive and easy to get in contact with and resolve problems quickly. They are good at quoting fees and sticking to them without feeling like you are always on the clock, as with a lot of solicitors.’
‘A friendly team that is capable of offering the quality and speed of work expected from a larger corporate firm with the attention to detail and client relationships expected from a smaller practice.’
‘Every transaction has sailed through without a hitch, due to Owen’s impeccable attention to detail, coupled with a strong commercial understanding of the market.’
‘Extremely professional with a very personal service, great commercial outlook, diverse practice and forward thinking. They are also competitive with their fees.’
‘Owen Walsh deals with all my transactions and is always there day and night. His communication is brilliant, he is extremely thorough with research and he develops leases to suit my style.’
The Kitchen Group
My London Home
Ross Shire Engineering
Tommis Burger Joint
- Negotiated assignment of three leases to client, which was relocating its flagship store in the heart of the West End.
- Acting for a client in connection with four leases of a building in London for office use as part of the company’s continued office expansion programme.
- Acting for client in connection with a new five-year lease of a warehouse in Bristol and pre-emption in connection with a lease of an adjoining unit on the same estate as part of the company’s continued expansion programme.
RPC's team is noted for its ‘commercial-led approach’ in matters such as the establishment of company headquarters, office relocations, sale and leasebacks, portfolio management and the full array of landlord and tenant matters. Practice head Elizabeth Alibhai, who is ‘exceptionally knowledgeable of property matters’, excels in transactions involving offices, as well as healthcare, hotel and logistics sites. The retail sector is another area of strength for the firm.
Other key lawyers:
Karen Hendy; Sukh Ahark
‘Great teamwork and negotiation skills in a very complex situation.’
‘Elizabeth Alibhai provides excellent knowledge of property issues and managed the case with an excellent outcome.’
‘In our experience, RPC’s real estate team genuinely cares about gaining an understanding of its clients’ business so that it can provide an appropriate, tailored level of service. There is a real desire to collaborate and add value. The new billing portal makes it very easy to monitor and agree progress charges against each instruction.’
‘I appreciate the balance in the team between both corporate and property specialists, and that both types take a commercially led approach to the job in hand. The team as a whole is made up of pleasant and easy to deal with individuals.’
‘Elizabeth Alibhai manages an effective and highly disciplined team that consistently keeps on top of considerable detail.’
Kout Food Group
- Acted for Svenska Cellulosa (SCA Group), a Swedish timber, pulp and paper group, on the restructuring of its property interests of its UK timber business to prepare for the sale of one of their UK subsidiaries to BSW Timber.
- Acted for Dellner Romag Limited on the negotiation of new leases of its main operating sites at the Hadrian Building and surrounding Compounds on Leadgate Industrial Estate, Durham, as well as options to acquire the sites in whole or part.
- Acting for longstanding client NASUWT on the transfer of 18 freehold properties from the ownership of individual trustees to two specially incorporated companies limited by guarantee as part of a portfolio reorganisation.
Russell-Cooke LLP fields a full-service commercial property department, which is adept in handling investments, landlord and tenant work, finance transactions and development projects. The practice is particularly active in the corporate occupier space, where recent work included advising landlords on the grant of leases, portfolio management and office expansions. Matt Garrod leads the team.
Other key lawyers:
Arnold Isaacson; Kathrin McClintock
‘We have a very good existing relationship that goes back some years.’
Clipstone Investment Management Limited
Goldcrest Land Limited
Pret A Manger (Europe) Limited & Eat Limited
Edward Gostling Foundation
Southern Properties Group
UK Land Limited
Campden Hill Limited
Esas Holdings Limited
Padmanor Investments Limited
Benson Elliot / Cube Real Estate
- Advised Pret for over 30 years (and more recently) Eat on a variety of matters relating to their UK property portfolio. The work ranges from advice on their ongoing management issues to the construction, development, acquisition, renewal and disposal of their leasehold premises.
- Advised Padmanor Investments Limited on the purchase of a circa 84,000 sq. ft. industrial warehouse in Keynsham, Bristol.
- Advised the landlord of Guildford Business Park on a large office expansion of a large video gaming company, Wargaming.
Shepherd and Wedderburn
At Scottish firm Shepherd and Wedderburn, the full-service real estate practice handles disputes, investments and development projects for clients. In addition, the team is well-regarded for its landlord and tenant, management and occupational expertise. Stephen Hubner leads the department.
Other key lawyers:
Jonathan Rickard; Elaine Hunter
‘I appreciate the transparency about costs and the ability to call on different practice areas across the business UK-wide.’
‘Stephen Hubner is exceptionally well-versed in real estate and renewables, bringing many years of experience working for developers and investors. He is able to take a commercial approach to legal advice and support key decisions at short notice.’
Ørsted – formerly Dong Energy Wind Power A/S
Instant Managed Offices
Virgin Money / Clydesdale Bank
- Completed in excess of 20 managed offices deals for Instant Managed Offices Limited over the course of the year, acting as its trusted adviser.
- Advising Epic in relation to its portfolio of occupational sites in England (and across the UK). The firm has advised on the acquisition of new sites as part of Epic’s corporate acquisitions in England and in relation to the ongoing management of the wider property portfolio. Sites include Newcastle, Guildford, Manchester, Leamington and Central London.
- Continued in its role as one of the panel firms advising Virgin Money/Clydesdale Bank on its retail branch management work throughout the UK, including acquisitions, disposals, assignments, underleases, ATMs and licences.
Travers Smith LLP has expertise in a number of niche asset types, including marinas, care homes and mines in addition to more mainstream properties such as hotels, shopping centres, cinemas and restaurant chains. Simon Rutman, a specialist in joint ventures, is head of real estate.