Commercial property: corporate occupiers in London

Ashurst

At Ashurst, the real estate team's partners are praised for being ‘technically very good, but also commercially astute’. Richard Vernon is particularly active in the corporate occupier space where the team represents both corporate and government occupiers on a wealth of matters including landlord and tenant affairs, the leasing and acquisition of headquarters, lay-out construction advice and portfolio management. Elsewhere, David Jones who was recently elected to the firm’s main global board, is a star name in the investment field where the group is routinely instructed for direct and indirect real estate investments, fund formation, joint ventures and real estate private equity, hosting a dedicated team for Asian investment into the UK, Europe and Australia. On the development front, Hugh Lumby and the ‘brilliantTim Regis are both experts in major development and regeneration schemes with the team also active in respect of build-to-rent, logistics, student accommodation and transport projects. The practice works closely the firm’s finance, funds, corporate, construction, planning and environment departments and is well-equipped to advise on a range of asset classes including office, retail, residential, industrial, leisure, alternative and logistics. Another promotion of note saw Sarah Sivyour appointed to co-head of the firm’s global division for projects and real estate; her broad expertise ranges across corporate real estate acquisitions and disposals, pre-lets and development agreements.

Testimonials

‘The Ashurst real estate team offers a broad range of capabilities and provides sound and practical advice. The team’s strength lies in its partners who are technically very good, as you would expect, but also commercially astute.’

‘Very flexible and agile team. Will use all endeavours to get deals over the line whilst remaining disciplined and protecting client position. Always flexible in incorporating client wishes and feedback on key matters.’

‘Melanie Jordan understands the commercial pressures that in-house teams and companies are subject to and adapts her advice to take these into account.’

‘Very competent in navigating and coordinating complex topics and nuances within legal docs.’

Key clients

H&M

Invesco

Lendlease

IBM

The Berkeley Group

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield

Stanhope

Partners Group

Oxford Properties

Deutsche Bank

Bombardier

M&G

Mitsui

Work highlights

  • Advising IBM on the proposed redevelopment of the IBM headquarters building on Southbank including the potential two-year move out and move back mechanism with temporary accommodation for the two-year period.
  • Advising Invesco on a development agreement and lease for the whole of a newly constructed office building in central Wimbledon.
  • Advised Virgin Media on the relocation of its UK headquarters to a 120,000 sq ft leasehold premises at 500 Brook Drive, Reading. This deal was exchanged in a very short timetable at the end of 2018 to allow occupation in 2019.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is home to ‘an excellent team whose broad range of practice areas is covered by talented individuals’. One such name is highly regarded practice head Chris De Pury; he is particularly active in investment matters, leveraging his substantial experience in all activities from day-to-day asset management through to high-value transactions and the restructuring of UK and Europe-based assets and portfolios. The department has specialist expertise in a broad variety of assets including hotels and leisure, industrial, transport, logistics, residential, mixed-use, healthcare and student accommodation; it serves as a ‘one-stop-shop for complex developments’ including large-scale multifaceted redevelopment and regeneration projects. In addition to domestic and international investors and developers, the representation of landlords and occupiers is also integral to the practice, with pre-lettings particularly prevalent within the workload. Other standout names include development specialists Andrew Yates and senior partner Robert MacGregor, sales and purchases expert Claire Milton and Alan Wight, noted for his ‘depth of experience’ in landlord and tenant matters. The practice recently gained two new partners through the internal promotions of Matthew Pomfret and Ciaran Londra; other junior partners to note include the 'commercial and articulateLiana Hewson, as well as Emma La Wita and Chris Rowe who are both well-versed in signficant lettings.

Practice head(s):

Chris de Pury

Testimonials

‘I have found this team to be extremely knowledgeable, responsive, and helpfully pragmatic in their advice. They have always provided excellent support navigating me and my internal clients through complex issues. I particularly appreciate their ability to hand off matters seamlessly between the commercial and litigation sides of the team.’

‘Alan Wight is always a pleasure to work with – highly capable and knowledgeable, good humoured and solutions-focused.’

‘The strengths of this practice are responsiveness, deep understanding of the law and how it applies in practical instances, commercial awareness, a desire to conclude transactions, the ability to work collaboratively with the client.’

‘If I had to give one standout measure, it would be responsiveness – confidence that I will get a timely answer to a question and that it will be well considered.’

Key clients

Landsec

Argent King’s Cross Limited Partnership

Great Portland Estates (GPE)

WR Berkley Group

Henderson Park

Kingboard Investments

Delancey

CMA CGM Group

Canary Wharf

eBay

Work highlights

  • Acting on commercial lettings of The Scalpel including to the ultimate occupier, WRB. The building comprises an iconic 36 story glass tower with WRBC occupying around 25% of the space under separate subleases and the remainder being let in the open market.
  • Acting for three of the tenants of 100 Bishopsgate on HQ moves – Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Paul Hastings and a large US investment Bank.
  • Managing all of ebay’s international real estate transactions outside the USA. This involves engaging outside counsel in a large number of jurisdictions, using technology to reduce the administrative burden on the client while at the same time managing risk by ensuring consistency and speeding up transactions.

Clifford Chance LLP

Hailed as ‘the most service-orientated firm in the market’, Clifford Chance LLP’s lawyers are praised for their ‘commercial acumen, expertise of the market and breadth of legal knowledge’. Large scale developments, including regeneration, station and infrastructure projects are a particular forte with support provided at all stages of the cycle including finance, planning and construction. The team complements its development offering via its considerable corporate occupier expertise, frequently advising occupiers and operators on the building of their own facilities in addition to representing tenants entering into pre lettings. Central London headquarter transactions and secondary market lettings are also a key focus while on the investment side, distinguished strengths include the sales, purchases and joint ventures relating to major real estate platforms and cross-border portfolio transactions. The ‘extraordinaryAlis Pay frequently acts for new investors into the European market while Mark Payne is noted as ‘head and shoulders above practitioners at other firms’; both act on behalf of global funds, private equity houses and sovereign wealth funds. Angela Kearns is ‘quick to identify and raise commercial considerations to clients’ and Ian Painter is ‘particularly proactive’, boasting a track record in London office developments. Adrian Levy is one of the market’s most experienced names, serving as co-head of the firm’s global real estate sector.

Practice head(s):

Nigel Howorth

Testimonials

‘Ian Painter is extremely efficient and responsive – he is constantly thinking about how to deal with matters as they arise.’

‘The team at Clifford Chance offers top notch legal advice – I have also found them also to be the most service oriented firm in the market. CC is our go to firm for the most complex and largest transactions where we need all hands on deck.’

‘Angela Kearns is quick to identify and raise commercial considerations to the client. She argues well to pursue and protect her client’s interest.’

‘The most impressive part of the business is the sheer depth of coverage when dealing with a large/complex transaction. As and when any issues arises, be it tax, corporate, financing, Clifford Chance are a one stop shop for fixing problems.’

‘Sometimes lawyers focus too much on form and forget the substance of the matter at hand. That is not the case with Clifford Chance. They always get the big picture and provide advice accordingly.’

Key clients

Canary Wharf Group

Employees Provident Fund of Malaysia

Generali Real Estate

Helical plc

Legal & General

Mitsubishi Estate

Mitsui Fudosan

Nuveen Real Estate

Sadler’s Wells

Work highlights

  • Advised New York-listed private equity group Apollo Global Management on the pre-letting of its new large London headquarters at 1 Soho Place.
  • Advised L&G on the acquisition of Quarry House, an office building wholly let to The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, for a price of approximately £243m. .
  • Advised Employees Provident Fund of Malaysia and CBRE Global Investors (acting as investment agents for the Employees Provident Fund of Malaysia) on the acquisition and leaseback of Sports Direct’s Headquarters and National Distribution Centre at Brook Park.

CMS

CMS has a ‘top quality team with the strength, depth and ability to handle any type of transaction’. Marie Scott, ‘excellent technically and always commercial’, is a key contact in the corporate occupier area where the team is primarily focused on the London market, handling matters such as headquarters leasing, day-to-day freehold and leasehold portfolio management and exit strategies. Development is also a front on which the department excels, handling multi-faceted developments and major regeneration projects including those in the mixed-use, retail, residential and alternative asset sectors. As for investment work, the group supports co-living and co-working providers, domestic and international institutional investors, major property and technology companies and private equity investors on the full range of relevant transactions, across all forms of property assets. Ciaran Carvalho, ‘leads deals in an effective and fair manner’; he heads the practice which is closely aligned with the wider firm’s planning, construction, environment, tax, environment and residential enfranchisement departments. His team also include Mark Heighton who has ‘an unrivalled sixth sense about commercial property transactions’.

Practice head(s):

Ciaran Carvalho

Testimonials

‘Professional, client-centric, sound advice on point from corporate real estate partners and associates alike.’

‘CMS value us a client and make sure that we are given very good quality service. They are able to bring in experts from other areas of practice as and when necessary.’

‘Real strength and depth. It is a very large team and has not only great resources but also strength in each real estate sub-discipline. It can cater for all types of transaction and provide project management support too.’

‘Marie Scott is excellent technically and always commercial.’

Key clients

University College London

WeWork

Ernst & Young

Deloitte

Allen & Overy

Convene

Big Yellow

Morgan Stanley

Investec Asset Management

FTI Consulting

Work highlights

  • Acting for WeWork across the UK and across many other European countries, including; Belgium, Hungary and Romania.
  • Advising University College London on a number of property acquisitions including acquiring over 80,000 sq ft of additional space in central London.
  • Acting for Deloitte taking the remaining space its headquarters at 66 Shoe Lane, London (approximately 78,742 sq ft of space and a total of over 150,000 sq ft in a Grade A asset) and, in doing so, becoming the occupier of the whole of the property.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

The commercial property team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is ‘a safe pair of hands for large, high-profile, complex transactions’ and is ‘well-integrated with the firm's tax and corporate’ practices. Global department head Jeremy Walden ‘provides an exceptional individual service’, with a broad practice which sees him represent private equity investors, listed vehicles, sovereign wealth funds and family offices in joint ventures, structured acquisitions and disposals and asset management. Elsewhere, Donald Rolands is ‘a standout player in his field’; together with Richard Forsdyke he frequently acts on large-scale multi-phased developments in the UK and EMEA. Paul Chases counts sovereign wealth funds, high-net-worth individuals and pension funds among his clients while Shona Grey is well-regarded for private equity investments. For corporate occupier affairs, Nick Turner is a distinguished name, providing a ‘clear commercial understanding’ to both landlords and tenants. Regeneration work is also a core pillar of the practice, as are planning, construction, finance and corporate real estate activities.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Walden

Testimonials

‘Very consistent across the board and capable of providing a good breadth of services. A lot of experience and depth in all real estate elements.’

‘Extremely commercial in their approach. Have a strong inclination toward problem solving. Jeremy Walden leads the team well and is capable of unlocking difficult impasses and finding solutions. Jeremy’s strong connections can also benefit clients in complementary ways.’

‘HSF have been one of our longstanding trusted advisers for many years. They have a great understanding of our market and are always happy to share their legal know-how and insights to assist our business. The team has great strength and depth and is able to respond quickly to our needs and always happy to assist.’

‘I value the personal touch that HSF bring with regular updates via phone and meetings in person (when permitted!). They take the time to check in and really understand the business.’

‘The team is fully dedicated to the service and you receive results as soon as possible, no matter what time of day it is. You are given the sense of priority whilst you know your lawyers are providing the same exceptional service to many other clients at the same time. The firm has exceptional experience to draw upon in almost any scenario so you are well catered for.’

‘Jeremy Walden is clearly managing a huge operation but still manages to provide exceptional individual service to his clients. He is a relationship partner that stays fully involved in the work-streams which is a valued attribute.’

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Almacantar

Blackstone

British Land

Brookfield

Brookgate

Canary Wharf Group

Hellman & Friedman

Hyperion Group

Transport for London

Travis Perkins

Work highlights

  • Advised London Wall Place LP (formerly a joint venture between Brookfield and Oxford Properties, now 100% owned by Brookfield) on the 2019-2020 lettings of c.80,000 sq ft of space at 2 London Wall Place to new tenants Macintyre Hudson, Trailstone, Zenzic Partners, Daisy Green and existing tenant R3.
  • Advising Brookgate on the pre letting of 30 Station Road Cambridge to Apple and forward funding of the building to Aviva Life & Pensions UK Limited.
  • Acting for Canary Wharf Group on major lettings at its flagship iconic tower, One Canada Square.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Lawyers at Hogan Lovells International LLPprovide not just legal advice, but a practical, sensible and commercial’ perspective. They support clients at all stage of development and regeneration projects including site assembly and procurement through to delivery, letting and disposal, with the capacity to call upon supplementary planning, environment and construction expertise from the wider firm. Investment also serves as a keystone of the practice with institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, private equity houses and overseas family offices from all corners of the globe, relying on the group to support on the full cycle of asset management transactions. Jackie Newstead is reputed for joint ventures and her knowledge of the hospitality sector while Daniel Norris, recently appointed as global head of real estate, is primarily focused on developments and high-value investment transactions, both direct and indirect. Dion Panambalana’s practice is characterised by mixed-use urban and non-urban development while Gill McGreevy leverages experience in regeneration and institutional investments with strong retail sector expertise. Newly appointed UK practice head Oliver Chamberlain is highly rated for his ‘excellent balance of commerciality and legal expertise’. The group's corporate occupier work sees it represent both major landlords and leasees with household names from the media, finance, private equity and fintech sectors among the client list.

Other key lawyers:

Dion Panambalana; Gill McGreevy

Testimonials

‘Strength and depth across a very well-led team. They understand the business and are able to provide not just legal advice but also practical, sensible, commercial advice.’

‘Partners through to associates are pragmatic especially during pressurised negotiations. Always proactive with advice. Personable and approachable at all times.’

‘Very commercially aware and focused. Always providing solutions.’

‘Hogan Lovells’ commercial property team provide a truly joined-up approach. They provide an end to end service of the highest level; partner led, but ably supported by the rest of the team. To a person they are commercially sound, client focused and pragmatic.’

‘Highly experienced and very personable individuals. Problem solving and creativity at the fore.’

‘Dion Panambalana is a delight to work with. He inspires confidence and is always 100% engaged in the projects he works on. He is friendly and makes working with him a pleasure never a chore.’

‘Daniel Norris’ seniority as global head of real estate does not prevent him from leading on complex negotiations and providing prompt advice to his clients. He is a straightforward negotiator and cuts to the point. I find that his approach provides for a simple solution to complex problems.’

Key clients

American Express

BBC

BMW

British Land

CCL Investment Management

Electra

Fluor

Land Securities

LaSalle Investment Management (Mars Pension Fund and Coal Pension Fund)

M&G Real Estate

News Corp

OKA

Shaftesbury

The Courtauld Institute

The Crown Estate

Work highlights

  • Advising Eli Lilly on its UK real estate requirements, including its head office relocation.
  • Advising the BBC on several matters including occupation of the £500m bespoke development at The Queen Elizabeth Park for the London Symphony Orchestra.

Mayer Brown International LLP

An ‘exceptionally talented team from top to bottom’, Mayer Brown International LLP represents major private equity funds and UK property companies on complex development projects as well as high-value investment and corporate real estate transactions. A distinguishing feature of the practice is its emphasis on cross-border transactions for overseas investors, particularly in relation to outbound Asian clients purchasing London-based assets. Japan and China are key jurisdictions for Martin Wright, while Jeremy Clay demonstrates a track record of representing major financial institutions. Additional names to note are Iain Roberts, a mixed-use development expert and Caroline Humble, ‘an outstanding individual who is incredibly bright yet fiercely commercial’. On the corporate occupier side, the group represents both landlords and tenants on a range of high-value leasing transactions; examples include headquarter relocations, post property acquisition leasing transactions and the management of portfolios and mixed-use schemes. Asset expertise includes data centres, residential, office, retail, restaurants, industrial parks and hotels. Chris Harvey handles both development and investment transactions with clients describing his service as 'top notch'.

Testimonials

‘The team is exceptionally talented from top to bottom. It is obvious they communicate well and tasks are divided out appropriately. Most importantly, the team is commercially minded and always focused on my objectives.’

‘Caroline Humble is an outstanding individual, incredibly bright yet fiercely commercial.’

‘Chris Harvey and his team were top-notch from beginning to end. Chris and his team were able to offer us advice literally around-the-clock given that we are based in Hong Kong while him and his team (and the deal) are based in London. Chris and team held everything together – this was our first major commercial deal, and Chris and his team provided valuable advice and guidance in the process. Chris already came highly recommended from previous investment partners and associates we have worked with and this deal just proved exactly why.’

‘The strengths could almost take up a whole page if I were to elaborate. Two of my most treasured capabilities –  their commercial sense and their readiness to assist you whenever you need them.’

Key clients

LKK/Infinitus

Wing Tai

Gaw Capital Partners

The British Land Company plc

Tide Construction

Helical plc

Cheyne Capital

Regal Hotels

Chuang’s China Investments Limited

Crosstree Real Estate Partners

K&K Properties Limited

Cabot Properties, Inc.

Derwent London

Tribeca Holdings

Work highlights

  • Advised Oriental Harvest Ventures Limited in connection with the high profile retail letting of 26 New Bond Street
  • Advising Tribeca Holdings on all lettings at Old Spitalfields Market.
  • Advising Helical plc in connection with the redevelopment and leasing of the Bower, Old Street.

Norton Rose Fulbright

The team at Norton Rose Fulbright is praised for its ‘outstanding reactivity, expertise and client orientation’, and is particularly highly rated for inward investment, financing and long-term development and infrastructure projects. Its core real estate expertise is enhanced by close integration with the conveyancing, planning, corporate and fund structuring, construction, tax and financing departments, drawing on the firm’s expansive global footprint. David Hawkins, recommended for his ‘excellent teamwork’, represents numerous international investors whereas David Sinclair thrives in relation to office, hotel and shopping centre projects. Practice head Wasim Khan has a focus on representing tenants moving office; his team supports landlords and tenants at each stage of the letting process including occupational requirements, pre-letting negotiations and refurbishment contracts. Counsel Louisa Roe is particularly active in the letting space.

Practice head(s):

Wasim Khan

Testimonials

‘NRF have been efficient and good value, giving pragmatic advice on some unique issues.’

‘Dan Wagerfield is approachable and user friendly. He communicates the issues succinctly and ensures as a client that we understand the pros and cons of different approaches.’

‘NRF’s commercial property team is top ranked and well respected in the market. The team work seamlessly and efficiently together and provide robust and commercial advice. They have strong industry experience to draw on and go above and beyond to provide an exceptional level of service to their clients.’

‘Charlie Pinkerton is extremely commercial and very easy to work with and get along with. Charlie has not only been able to provide first class legal advice on the transactional side but was also able to engineer an extremely clever and very creative solution to a problem that we were facing in respect of the cross-border merger that resulted in a large saving to the firm, as well as countless hours of work.’

‘David Stevens clearly has extensive experience in the industry and is a real font of knowledge. David was instrumental in putting forward the technical rationale for our proposed treatment of the merger to the other side, which he did both brilliantly and eloquently, leaving the other side no choice but to accept our position.’

Key clients

Bank of Montreal

VF International

McLaren Group

Korn/Ferry International

WELPUT

Schroder Real Estate Investment Management

SOFAZ

Olympia London

EasyJet Airline Company Ltd

Ivanhoé Cambridge

Prime London Ventures

Genel Energy plc

SAAB Technologies UK Limited

Ashby Capital

Barnard’s Inn Unit Trust

Prudential Plc

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Khoo Teck Puat Charitable Foundation

Total

Europa Capital/Hobart Partners

Resolution Property Holdings

McGill & Partners

OGCI Climate Investments

Work highlights

  • Advised VF Corporation on the pre-letting of a 580,000 sq ft distribution centre on a build-to-suit basis from developer Mountpark.
  • Advised Bank of Montreal on the pre-letting of its new London headquarters at British Land’s 100 Liverpool Street development.
  • Advising the developers of the £1.3bn redevelopment project at Olympia London on the pre-lettings of office and leisure space at the site.

Allen & Overy LLP

The real estate practice at Allen & Overy LLP is home to a team of ‘very knowledgeable and rounded partners’. For investment work, the team is highly regarded for its advice on the buying, selling and lease-back of assets in addition to cross-border transaction structuring and the establishment of investment vehicles. Practice head Imogen Moss brings distinguished expertise in relation to complex offshore structures and joint ventures and also specialises in major headquarter lettings; her team works closely with the wider firm's construction, planning and litigation specialists to support at all stage of development projects. Christopher Woolf, vastly experienced in UK and European investments, is noted for offering 'innovative solutions' while counsel Emma Willoughby's broad practice which spans the retail, office and industrial sectors.

Practice head(s):

Imogen Moss

Other key lawyers:

Emma Willoughby

Testimonials

‘The team is differentiated by their deep knowledge of all real estate aspects. The team is highly attentive and available to manage fast moving situations. The team is well tied into different constituencies of London’s real estate market.’

‘Imogen Moss is a dealmaker who is passionate to help her clients succeed at every turn. She is able to assess and give sage advice on the largest of issues, and equally able to go deep on any detail that arises. She has a deep bench of loyal team members working for her.’

‘A great firm, with competitive pricing compared to some of the other big names. Very knowledgeable and rounded partners. Very good integration across the various disciplines, with the ability to come across as a one-stop shop.’

‘Nick Saner and Chris Woolf are both fantastic lawyers; very commercial and interested in coming up with innovative solutions whilst still protecting their clients’ interests.’

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s corporate occupier team, which supports clients on lease restructurings, portfolio rationalisation, transactions, asset management and developments, is geared towards representing bluechip corporates with both global and pan-European holdings. Meanwhile on the investment front, high-value inbound work continues to define the practice, with Malaysia, Hong Kong and South East Asia serving as key markets, as well as a recent uptick in instructions from Japan. Stephen Turnerprovides an excellent worldview’ while Justin Salkeldis the right man for all leisure and hotel advice; the pair jointly head the department which includes the ‘excellentBen Farnell and associate Stefanie Price, praised for her retail expertise.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Turner; Justin Salkeld

Other key lawyers:

Ben Farnell

Testimonials

‘The team are dedicated to helping their clients achieve the right outcomes. The worldwide breadth of the team provides insightful UK market knowledge that clients around the world need and appreciate.’

‘Stephen Turner continues to provide an excellent worldview.’

‘Justin Salkeld is the right man for all leisure and hotel advice.’

‘Ben Farnell is an excellent lawyer helping his clients achieve the right outcomes.’

‘Stefanie Price is a retail leader and a great help to her clients in these difficult times.’

Key clients

Mapletree Property Investments

Cancer Research UK

Tapestry, Inc.

Michael Kors

Hitachi

FedEx

Cobelfret

Motorola

Employees Provident Fund

Emerson

Nasdaq, Inc.

Hutchison Whampoa

Inter Terminals

Regeneron

Work highlights

  • Acting for CRUK in relation to its re-location strategy from Islington to its new 120,000 sq ft headquarters premises at Stratford.
  • Continuing to act for Tapestry in respect of all their new UK retail stores across their three brands.
  • Acted for Hitachi in respect of its largest ever overseas acquisition valued at $11bn.

Bristows LLP

Bristows LLP offers ‘an intrinsic knowledge of the law, applied in a commercial manner’. Highly rated for its work in the corporate occupier sector, the team is led by Teresa Edmund who has a strong track record of work for clients in the technology, life sciences, retail and charities sectors. Her team continues to grow its presence in the fitness and leisure industries and specialises in representing first-time entrants into the UK market. The ‘always on handTim Allen is another ‘stand out’ name; his practice is focused on sale and leaseback transactions, property finance and landlord and tenant work. Senior associate Gemma Kirsch’s workload includes acquisitions, disposals and asset management.

Practice head(s):

Teresa Edmund

Other key lawyers:

Tim Allen; Gemma Kirsch

Testimonials

‘Partner-led, friendly and pragmatic approach. Really engaging with the project and understanding the issues facing the business. On hand at any time.’

‘Bristows has a relatively small real estate team but they are easily my go-to people within the industry. They are very commercial, take a view on best negotiation strategy for clients and are very easy to deal with. They have a vast understanding of all sectors within the real estate industry and act for both landlord and tenants, giving them a holistic perspective.’

‘An instinctive knowledge of the law but applied in a commercial manner and providing clients with genuine and practical advice.’

‘We used Bristows to support us in our first major office move with a priority emphasis on speed of completion. They provided excellent support in terms of quality of expertise and guidance; patience with us a very inexperienced client; support and proactive communications throughout the process; a great ability to expedite the process and achieve our very aggressive deadlines.’

‘Tim Allen is always available and offers clear, succinct advice.’

‘Tim Allen is hungry, commercially minded and a pleasure to deal with. I would highly recommend Tim to anyone for real estate work.’

Key clients

Blue Diamond Limited

TotalJobs Group

Delice De France Limited

Dolby Europe Limited

The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn

NIO Performance Engineering Limited

Adevinta Products & Technology Limited

Oxis Energy

University of Cambridge

Wowcher Limited

Flexera Software

Wayfair Ltd

Exeter Pharma Consultancy Limited

Versant Partners

Petrofac

ChargePoint Inc

Work highlights

  • Acting for Blue Diamond UK Ltd on a second portfolio transaction involving the acquisition of the assets and business of six garden centres for in excess of £7m in conjunction with a seventh garden centre acquisition and lease re-gearing project.
  • Advised new client Delice De France on the real estate aspects of their management buy-out including an occupational lease of their UK distribution centre and securing all option to acquire the freehold for £10.5m.
  • Acting on behalf of Dolby Europe Limited in connection with a major restructuring of their UK property interests including a lease extension and major programme of improvement works to their listed European headquarters at Soho Square, London.

Burges Salmon LLP

Led from the firm's Bristol headquarters, Burges Salmon LLP’s service is distinguished via its ‘strength in depth, responsiveness and desire to understand the client’. For investment work, the team works closely with the wider firm's corporate practice to support major investment managers, investment funders and landowners on high-value investment acquisitions and disposals, structuring and asset management. In the development space, key differentiators include the team’s focus on nuclear, renewables and other energy-related projects in addition to those pertaining to transport. Expertise spans office, retail, industrial, mixed-use and leisure assets; the group is also well-versed in acting for rural estates. Richard Clark, hailed as ‘the perfect client partner’ leads the department alongside Richard Read who represents high profile investors and occupiers based both in the UK and abroad. Their team also comes recommended for landlord and tenant work such as lease negotiations and terminations, headquarter moves, sale and leasebacks, exit strategies and rent reviews.

Practice head(s):

Richard Clark; Richard Read

Other key lawyers:

Ross Polkinghorne; Matthew Sims

Testimonials

‘Highly commercial, giving thoughtful but practical advice. They try to solve the problem and not just score points against the other side as some lawyers do.’

‘Good strenght in depth, responsive and keen to understand the client.’

‘Richard Clark and Ross Polkinghorne are both highly respected within the market – they are commercial and market-facing coupled with a deep technical knowledge.

‘Richard Clark is the perfect client partner.’

Key clients

Gardiner Haskins

University of Bristol

Competition and Markets Authority

Aerospace Bristol

Work highlights

  • Advising Gardiner Haskins on the proposed disposal and redevelopment of the iconic, Grade II listed warehouse and adjoining site, in central Bristol, including negotiated the sale of the site to London-based developer First Base Ltd, for a mixed use development into a 20-storey tower block with a hotel, 150 homes, offices and retail space.
  • Advising the University of Bristol in connection with its new £300m Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus development in Bristol city centre.
  • Advising the Competition and Markets Authority during 2019 on its high profile headquarters’ move from Victoria House in Holborn to 113,000 sq ft at The Cabot in Canary Wharf.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

The real estate practice at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is praised by its clients as a ‘thoroughly professional team which provides expertise guidance’. The team is active in terms of corporate occupier work, handling lettings, disposals, acquisitions, relocations, exit strategies and a broad range of portfolio management, both for UK assets and those abroad. The investment-related workload includes high-value investment transactions, joint ventures, financing and tax-efficient structures with the firm’s offices in Hong Kong, the Middle East and across the EU, giving it an edge in acting for international private and institutional investors. Development and regeneration work also serve as keystones of the practice with the team able to call upon both planning and construction expertise to advise all stages of projects from site acquisition and planning through to letting and disposals. Lee Medlock leads the department, which gained two new partners over the past year through the promotions of Alexander Gold and secured lending expert Eddie Richards. Sector expertise includes sports, leisure, retail, food and beverage in addition to private wealth and charities.

Practice head(s):

Lee Medlock

Other key lawyers:

Louise Ward; Sarah Morley

Testimonials

‘A very strong team, down to earth, great communicators – they work as a team and are experienced. No time wasted and very efficient.’

‘Lee Medlock has great experience in real estate law but is also a pragmatic businessman. He is well liked and connected and respected. I find I get full support from Lee on all aspects – this gives us great confidence.’

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Berkeley Homes

BioMed Realty L.P

Caring Homes Group

Stonegate Pub Company

Crest Nicholson

David Lloyd Leisure Limited

Derwent London

Eton College

Howard de Walden Estate Limited

Landsec

National Museum for the Royal Navy

City of London Corporation

The Church Commissioners

Work highlights

  • Advising David Lloyd Leisure on a number of development acquisitions, alongside sale and leaseback transactions and asset management work on the 100 club portfolio.
  • Advised Stonegate Pub Company Limited on the acquisition of Bar Fever, Sports Bar and Grill (which has five sites in central London), the Be At One cocktail bar chain and the acquisition of 15 Novus bars (combined value circa £30m).
  • Advised Derwent London on the sale of 40 Chancery Lane to a Deka Immobilien fund for a headline price of £121.3m.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC BEACHCROFT LLP's team 'offers complete dedication, as if they were part of the client’s company’. For leasing activities, the group demonstrates a hands-on approach, helping clients to set up the right corporate vehicle for lease acquisitions, assessing the authorised planning use and assisting with operational requirements, among other affairs. The practice is praised for its ‘outstanding knowledge and understanding’ of development matters, with distinguishing features including strong strategic land expertise, delivered by the ‘superiorLucinda Walsh, as well as build to rent, urban regeneration, commercial development, public sector partnership and joint venture prowess. Robert Lee heads the department which also represents international, institutional and private investors and developers, particularly in relation to asset management and mixed-use schemes. Senior associate Charlotte Wilson is singled out as a ‘creative thinker’.

Practice head(s):

Robert Lee

Testimonials

‘This practice has all the necessary areas of specialism. They are always available, advice is always concise, and they work well as a team.’

Paul McCartney always controls all aspects of a transaction and keeps clients up to date.’

Key clients

Schindler

Panasonic

Go-Ahead Group

L’Oreal

EDF

Northdoor Plc

PwC

McAfee

The Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth

Queen Mary University of London

Guys & St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust

London & South Eastern Railway

Aquiline Capital Partners

SH Pratt

CHEP / Brambles

Advancy

IDE Group Manage

EQS

Halcyon Galleries

NeuLion Inc

Page White & Farrer

PatSnap

X Real Estate

Elysium

Warpaint

Escada

NYX Professional Makeup

L’Atelier Cologne

Hydro Mine Inc

Laduree

Inchcape

British Bar and Pub Association

WeWork

Work highlights

  • Acting for L’Oréal in connection with a pre-let agreement in respect of their new HQ building in White City Place together with a hairdressing training academy in total around 120,000 sq ft of space for circa 1,000 staff.
  • Advised Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in connection with the collaboration arrangements with another Foundation Trust, surrender of existing leases to Optivo, the sale of part of the site to Optivo, the development of new keyworker accommodation and its subsequent management through a nominations agreement.
  • Advised WeWork on the closing of 10 lettings of more than 135,000 sq ft of London office space with a total rent roll of £6,589,844 for the new Headquarters by We product.

Davitt Jones Bould

Real estate specialist firm Davitt Jones Bould has ‘a vast depth of talent in the area’, and is particularly acclaimed for its work in the corporate occupier and investment arenas where it prides itself on representing high-profile names at prominent locations. Senior partner and founder Madeleine Davitt is famed for her ‘excellent client care and oversight’; she holds distinguished expertise in large central government commercial property projects, having notably acted on the hosting of the 2012 Olympic Games on behalf of the Royal Parks. In addition to the public sector, the group also excels in the retail, professional services, charities, banking and leisure sectors, among others.

Testimonials

‘Mel Greer-Walker is highly practical, thorough and a great communicator – all essential qualities for a commercial property lawyer.’

‘An amazing depth of experience in property issues. All the solicitors have substantial post-qualification experience which always shows in the quality of advice provided.’

‘Madeleine Davitt maintains excellent client care and oversight. She clearly takes pride in her firm and has a great propensity to make clients feel valued and to see that work gets done on time and that the client is kept updated.;

‘The lawyers we deal with really care about how what they do affects us and our objectives.’

‘Geoffrey Lander is a team player, bringing together like-minded professionals into his legal team, taking full responsibility and accountability. This is the key attribute an outside counsel must deliver – a star line-up who integrate into the corporate process, contribute and deliver with no fuss.’

‘DJB provide a personal service and no matter how big or small the case, they take time to talk to clients and often go the extra mile to make sure the client is protected.’

‘Madeleine Davitt is extremely good at dealing effectively with any client issues which may arise, and manages the client relationships extremely well.’

Key clients

The Royal Parks

Well Pharmacy

Hierons LLP

Ministry of Defence

Highways England

Fujifilm

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

Rick Stein (TV Celebrity Chef) restaurant group

Really Local Group

Woking Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Advised The Royal Parks on the conversion of Admiralty Arch into a 5* hotel.
  • Advised technology giants Fujifilm on the lease of a prime office and retail space in Covent Garden.
  • Advised The Royal Parks on all of the legal issues relating to them hosting the Winter Wonderland Event at Hyde Park.

Dentons

The 'dynamic' team at Dentons is acclaimed as ‘exceptionally thoughtful and diligent’. Its development and regeneration group, co-chaired by Richard Budge, supports clients at all stages of projects including acquisition, structure formation, project and development management agreements. Elsewhere, the firm’s broad international footprint is particularly key in the investment space where in addition to outbound work, the team represents numerous inbound investors from jurisdictions including India, South Korea, Canada, the US and Europe. Sectors including retail, built to rent, senior living, student accommodation and the private rented sector are integral to the practice which is also well-regarded for its corporate occupier work. Rob Thompson is ‘extremely attentive’ while Deepa Deb, whose strengths include residential-led mixed use schemes, is a ‘first-rate lawyer who excels at driving transactions’. Associate Carla Revelo is also a key member of the team and is carving out a strong reputation for large-scale portfolio investments.

Practice head(s):

Rob Thompson; Deepa Deb

Other key lawyers:

Simon Masri; Lewis Myers

Testimonials

‘I am very impressed with the consistently high level of service I receive from partners down through the different levels in the team. They respond to emails and calls promptly and most importantly, they explain the options I have on any issues clearly, and give sound advice on the implications of following a particular route. The other strength I like is that they are always prepared to be commercial when appropriate.’

‘Rob Thompson is extremely attentive and gets the right balance between moments when detail is required and moments when we move onto the next point. He maintains a high level of service, which makes me as the client feel as though I am his number one client all the time.’

‘A dynamic and thoughtful team which understands the need for advice and recommendations – and then acting promptly on the client’s decision.’

Key clients

Aprirose

KanAm Grund

Karlin Real Estate

Greyhound Investing Corp

Helical

Vengrove

John Lewis

Sainsbury’s

Virdis Properties 5 Limited

Ho Bee Land Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising on manufacturing, industrial and distribution sites and offices occupied by Upfield, a company with manufacturing sites across the globe.
  • Reappointed to Sainsbury’s panel in 2017 and are now one of only three firms advising Argos on property matters across England and Wales.
  • Advising Sports Direct on the £120m freehold sale and leaseback of its 1.82 sq ft headquarters and distribution centre in Derbyshire to Malaysian pension fund Kwasa Logix Sportivo.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s team is ‘super dependable’, providing ‘practical and commercial advice’. The group serves as a ‘one-stop solution for complicated planning and development’ projects; a field in which the ‘pricelessJonathan Northey is particularly active, advising on all aspects of the development process and leveraging extensive experience in housing and mixed-use schemes. The firm also fields a dedicated corporate occupier group, headed by the ‘approachable’ and ‘commercialPaul Jayson, which represents owners, investors, operators and financial institutions. The investment practice is closely integrated with the global firm’s US, EMEA and Asia-Pacific offices and is helmed by the ‘always incisiveWilliam Naunton; he can be counted on for complex joint ventures, structured transactions and fund structure creations. Elsewhere, at senior associate level, Nicholas Haringman is ‘always dependable’ and Hayley Russell-White is highly rated for housing and mixed-use development projects. The team recently added to its strength in depth with the hires of Jo Owen from Proskauer Rose LLP and Katie Jacobson from Hogan Lovells International LLP.

Practice head(s):

Paul Jayson

Testimonials

‘Omer Maroof is an exceptional lawyer acting as an adviser in the interest of client, with the highest level of professionalism. He is always ready to investigate a topic and involve the firm to provide the best advice.’

‘A very tight property team with a good balance of experience. Able to turn instructions round quickly and offer swift and pragmatic solutions.’

‘William Naunton is the silverback gorilla of UK real estate law – but has combined it with the bedside manner of a cavapoo. Fun to work with, yet always incisive and commercial in outcomes.’

‘Paul Jayson is a great relationship partner.’

‘The DLA real estate team is both competent and transactional – they clearly understand that the parties in real estate transactions are not adversarial, and that the transaction relies on both parties coming to a legal understanding of a agreed transaction; therefore the task of the lawyers is to complete the legal formalities to close a deal already made, a fact that many lawyers forget.’

‘The team is committed to the client’s interests – even if this means not to proceed with a deal.’

Key clients

British Airways

Salesforce.com

Navigant Consulting

Hyundai

Walt Disney

Revolut

National Grid

General Electric

European Bank of Reconstruction and Development

WeWork

Work highlights

  • Acting for The Boston Consulting Group in relation to the relocation of their main European HQ in London.
  • Continuing to advise WeWork on their European portfolio, including Soho London (Soho Square and 14 Meard Street).
  • Acting for Salesforce.com. in relation to the pre-let at City office development, 80 Fenchurch Street on the taking of over 150,000 sq ft of prime office space, involving pre-emption and rights of refusal on various areas of the property.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's development expertise includes urban regeneration, mixed-use schemes and brownfield sites. On the investment side, it leverages its global platform in locations such as Hong Kong and Beijing to act for a range of Asian investors, drawing on the firm’s corporate structuring, funding and tax specialists to provide a one-stop-shop. Bruce Dear is a key name for occupier work; the group's work involves office relocations, headquarter expansions and complicated leasing negotiations.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Dear

Testimonials

‘Nick Bartlett is a highly capable, innovative and personable lawyer, with extremely strong commercial acumen equalled by public sector knowledge.’

‘Tom Goldsmith is an excellent lead negotiator and strategic. Clearly loves what he does and it shows. A pleasure to work with.’

‘The team who worked with us were all highly competent and highly intelligent. It was wonderful to see how skilfully and diplomatically they negotiated with the other side, maintaining their composure throughout the process, during what was probably a time-consuming process at times.’

‘The quality of legal contracts is much higher than other firms who I’ve worked with. I have already recommended the team to another client of mine.”

Key clients

Network Rail plc

Legal & General

KPMG

Brewin Dolphin

Grainger plc

Apple Inc

Convene

Goldman Sachs

Avanton Limited

Aprirose Limited

Elite Commercial REIT Management Pte Ltd

Smith & Williamson

Facebook

Work highlights

  • Acted for longstanding client Brewin Dolphin in connection of its development agreement for lease of the whole of 25 Cannon Street, London EC2.
  • Acting for Apple, on a development agreement for the lease for two whole, bespoke buildings totalling 150,000 sq ft, to be built on the CB1 Estate owned by Brookgate, close to Cambridge station.
  • Advised US co-working and events business, Convene, on their first transaction outside of the US market, taking a number of floors within 22 Bishopsgate, Europe’s tallest skyscraper.

Fladgate LLP

London firm Fladgate LLP combines ‘depth of experience with a personable service’. Practice head Stephen Lewis is praised for his ‘good understanding of investment-related purchases and asset management’. Additional core strengths of the team include cross-border European transactions and high-profile developments and redevelopments, including residential projects, with clients spanning local and offshore investors, developers, high-net-worth private families and institutions and lenders and borrowers. On the corporate occupier front, the team handles everything from start-up first office leases through to major headquarter relocations, representing co-working providers, professional businesses, retailers, restaurants, hoteliers and barristers chambers in the process.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Lewis

Other key lawyers:

Gavin Whitney; Alan Karsberg

Testimonials

‘Gideon Dabby-Joory has good communication skills and makes the effort to go beyond the call of duty.’

‘The team offers sufficient depth of experience, but at the same same remain personable.’

‘Simon Kanter’s comprehensive business understanding of property issues is excellent. He proactively guided us through the type of agreements that would achieve the best results in our unique scenario. Everything was patiently explained to us so we were in a position to make business decisions and Simon then delivered the tailored legal documentation quickly. He has the perfect blend of business knowledge, legal expertise and sound advice that we needed.’

‘The team brings a pragmatic and ‘can-do’ attitude to helping the client achieve the end goal.’

‘The team works well to understand the needs of the client from the outset and ensures that deadlines are met with the ultimate aim of securing the investment property under consideration.’

‘Stephen Lewis has a good general understanding of the parts of the law needed when buying and asset managing a commercial property investment. He knows how to liaise with the other side for best effect and takes the part of a trusted adviser as far as we are concerned.’

‘Simon Kanter’s extensive experience means that there is little Simon has not come across before on a whole range of issues that a real estate business confronts. This experience allows him to distil the problem and if needed offer candid advice on the imperfect options that often confront us in the real world.’

‘Richard Reuben is impressive in his quick understanding of complex legal issues and is very wiling to offer sensible and pragmatic advice, helping clients to weigh up the risks of courses open to them.’

‘Alan Karsberg has a unique ability to formulate advice and solutions from the perspective of the in-house team, but leverging the full resources of his firm.’

Key clients

Penguin Random House

Black Sheep Coffee

ODEON

4C Hotels Limited

Batting Star Limited

Patron Capital

Mindspace London Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Penguin Random House Limited on completion of their nine leases in new London office premises at One Embassy Gardens, and on their fit-out programme.
  • Acted for HPS Investment Partners in relation to various matters at their central London head office, including their taking a headlease interest in a space that was previously sublet to them, the grant of a reversionary lease to extend their existing interest and the addition of new space on the same floor so as to allow them to expand.
  • Acted for NHS Central London Clinical Commissioning Group, which was taking a sublease of premises in a new headquarters building from NHS Property Services Limited.

Forsters LLP

Forsters LLP is reputed for its work on complex long-term redevelopment schemes, headquarter relocations, portfolio management, landlord and tenant matters and leasehold transfers. The team has recently gone through a period of transition, with the departure of former practice head Matthew Swainston to Taylor Wessing LLP and the arrival of Anne O’Neil from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP, where she fronted the real estate practice. She joined alongside several key members of her previous team including Andrew Denye and Sara Branch. Andrew Crabbie is now overall head of commercial real estate, while a key name to note for development projects in the logistics sector is Victoria Towers.

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP has ‘the breadth and depth within its practice to advise on extremely complex real estate transactions’. The team is led by Andy Bruce, an ‘expert in understanding the issues at play on deals’; his practice spans the acquisition, development, letting and disposal of all forms of commercial real estate, both in the UK and Europe. A further key name is Patrick Plant  - he is well-versed in representing both landlords and tenants and is recommended by clients for his capacity to ‘offer tailored solutions that fit the bill’. The ‘superbTom Watkins handles joint ventures and restructuring while another integral component of the offering is high-value regeneration work.

Practice head(s):

Andy Bruce

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Plant

Testimonials

‘A really collegiate team that supports each other and clients in getting transactions over the line in both an expertly professional and pragmatic way.’

‘Andy Bruce is expert in understanding the issues at play on deals and navigates those through using legal and commercial levers to achieve outstanding results on transactions.’

‘Linklaters has the breadth and depth within their practice to advise on extremely complex real estate transactions. They are able to move quickly and meet the demands of any transaction.’

‘Tom Watkins is an exceptional lawyer and the best person to have “on point” to project manage complex transactions and ensure that the different work streams are delivered in the right order and on time. His advise is always of the highest quality and commercial in its application. Tom works effectively with the wider Linklaters team as we often have to draw on the other specialist teams.’

‘Tom Watkins is superb. He combines industry knowledge, technical skills and commercial acumen to deliver excellent outcomes for his clients. He is definitely the person that you want on your side of the negotiating table.’

‘The firm has a well established reputation which was something for them to live up to. I am pleased to say that they did, exceeding expectations in challenging circumstances. This is clearly a well run business which remains focused on its clients’ needs.’

‘Linklaters runs a hybrid real estate and corporate practice which we use for the majority of our UK and European real estate transactions. They are also in my opinion best-in-class at having a single lead partner who is not just a “relationship partner” but truly stays across all of the various practice areas working on a single transaction and can negotiate with all the facts to hand, and indeed recall the specifics of highly technical advice received from colleagues to really pull the deal together. To have one team that can bring this consistency of approach seamlessly across the many different country legal regimes in Europe is, in my experience, exceptional.’

‘Tom Watkins is highly intelligent, commercial, and makes it his business to fully understand all advice being given by different practice areas within Linklaters to ensure he always advises with all possible considerations to hand. Most impressive of all is his ability to mentally track in real time the implications of any given negotiating point and the impact that will have across a suite of transaction documents. In my experience this is a rare skill for a partner managing a large team and demonstrates the commitment he personally makes to a transaction. Tom is also very affable and a pleasure to work with, which makes a difference.’

Key clients

Glencore

CBRE Global Investors

Work highlights

  • Advised Glencore on the pre-let of its new UK HQ, being three floors of the new Hanover Square development, above the Bond Street Crossrail station, from Great Portland Estates.
  • Advised Linklaters on its own leasing lease agreement for 20 Ropemaker, a new development which will serve as the global firm’s London headquarters from 2026.

Slaughter and May

The team at Slaughter and Maydemonstrates an excellent combination of attention to detail, commercial acumen and an understanding of client needs’. On the occupier side, the group enjoys a strong reputation for headquarter developments and relocations with clients also noting its prowess for ‘large HQ pre-letting transactions across central London’. Meanwhile, in the investment arena, the team handles all forms of direct and indirect investments with large, multi-party portfolio deals and matters with a cross-border component notably prevalent. Also ‘exceptionally capable at navigating developments’, the team is set apart through its expertise in major projects in the sports sector in addition to its hands-on project management. Practice head Jane Edwarde is a ‘powerhouse in the development market’ while John Nevin’s ‘attention to detail and the market is first-rate’. At the junior end, senior counsel Simon Bartle has ‘an exceptional ability to work through complex scenarios’.

Practice head(s):

Jane Edwarde

Other key lawyers:

John Nevin; Richard Todd

Testimonials

‘The team have an in-depth understanding of us as the client, our operations and our mission. They give honest advice and not just what we want to hear. They fully understand our governance process and therefore ensure their approach is appropriate.’

‘An incredibly focused team that somehow manage to cover all issues at all times of the day or night. Great capabilities in real estate but boosted by superb backup on corporate, tax, construction and litigation. Strong positive approach to problem-solving and never shy away from talking to other lawyers to resolve issues which some of their competitors are more reluctant to do.’

‘Despite the team’s achievements, there is an element of modesty in their approach to projects. This is vital in key legal negotiations, where egos between individuals can all too often override commerciality and clients’ interests.’

‘John Nevin is exceptional. Sound advice with commercial good sense, often on short notice. I would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone.’

‘John Nevin displays excellent expertise and initiative.’

‘Simon Bartle is a ‘Welsh wizard’ – he balances a forensic eye for detail and great technical ability with a broad commercial awareness. One of those lawyers you’re always grateful is working for you rather than against you he is someone able to think on his feet, identify problems before they arise and provide innovative solutions to them, all the while retaining a calm and unflappable demeanour.’

‘Jane Edwarde is a powerhouse in the development market, giving straightforward practically orientated advice with an engaging negotiation technique.’

‘Mark Gulliford and Jane Edwarde are the best solicitors I have ever worked with. Slaughter and May have supported us through the largest property transaction and project in our company’s history. They are more cost-effective than some other mid-tier firms, as they do things once and do it right.’

Key clients

Arsenal

Bourne Leisure

Bupa

Cemex

Credit Karma

Diageo

Dobbies Garden Centres

Equinix

Everton

INEOS

ITV

Linklaters

Masterworks

Nimax Theatres

Ocado

Marks and Spencer

MCC

Nimax Theatres

Paymentsense

Taj Hotels

Tata Steel

Tonstate Group

Tottenham

Work highlights

  • Advising Linklaters on its new London offices at 20 Ropemaker which will serve as the firm’s global headquarters from 2026.
  • Advising Ocado on its new customer fulfilment centres in Purfleet and Bristol.  The 304,355 sq.ft. Purfleet facility is the first facility for Ocado’s joint venture with Marks and Spencer.
  • Advised Dobbies Garden Centres on the acquisition of two portfolios of garden centres from Wyevale Garden Centres involving 37 sites.

Wedlake Bell LLP

At Wedlake Bell LLP, Justin Lewis-Vivas oversees ‘a strong property team’ which ‘delivers excellent advice without hubris.’, The group excels in relation to development and investment projects within the care home, healthcare, student accommodation, retail, residential, mixed-use, business park and leisure sectors. Its clients include domestic corporate buyers and funds along with several overseas investors and international bodies. On the corporate occupier side, the workload includes premises moves, portfolio management and leasing affairs in sectors such as sciences, professional services, financial and co-working. The team which includes the 'highly personable and razor sharp' Suzanne Gill, was recently boosted by the additions of David Roberts  and Kathryn West from Jones Day.

Practice head(s):

Justin Lewis-Vivas

Testimonials

‘Decent, ethical people, delivering excellent advice and without hubris. The team has strong depth and robust abilities across the whole sector of real estate.’

‘Suzanne Gill is as much trusted adviser as solicitor. Suzanne is highly personable, razor sharp and always on top of matters. She delivers excellent client care, brilliant legal advice and can deliver withering legal putdowns in the most charming way to the other side. She has immense gravitas and is a strong moral champion for the legal sector.’

‘No-nonsense advice which gets to the heart of the matter but more importantly, identifies practical and effective solutions to drive transactions over the line.’

Key clients

Care UK

Fuller, Smith & Turner PLC

Spire Healthcare

Hugo Boss

Breitling

Robert Dyas

Manpower

Lufthansa

Charles Taylor PLC

MS Amlin PLC

Illumina Cambridge Limited, the English subsidiary of Illumina, Inc.

McCarthy Tetrault

Sopra Steria

Oxford Sciences Innovation PLC

Techspace

Crowe UK LLP

Hachette Group

Revolut Limited

Qube Research & Technologies Limited

Resolution Life Group Services Limited

Novalpina Capital LLP

Riverstone Management Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised on the completion of Illumina Cambridge Limited’s European headquarters in the biotech hub at Granta Park in Cambridge and the completion of a 20 year lease of the premises.
  • Advising Crowe UK on its City of London premises move to newly redeveloped space at Procession House on Ludgate Hill, London EC4.
  • Advising Oxford Sciences Innovation PLC on flagship lease of sciences space at HB Allen Centre at Keble College, Oxford and lease of premises on the Oxford Science Park.

Addleshaw Goddard

Clients praise Addleshaw Goddard's team as ‘truly incredible in working together to find a full solution’. Adrian Collins gears his practice towards infrastructure, education, health and housing projects; he recently succeeded the ‘hands on’ and ‘fully committedLeona Ahmed as department head; she remains an active member of the team, directing particular attention to inbound investment from Asia and the Middle East. In the corporate occupier space, the team frequently advises on high-profile locations in London, including key landmarks, and prides itself on representing newcomers to the local market. As for development work, regeneration and matters with a cross-border work are particularly key, with the core real estate investment offering supplemented by corporate and funds specialists. Among others, clients include leading UK asset managers, REITs and a large number of overseas investors. The practice gained two partners in recent months through the arrivals of Frances Richardson and Rachel Orton from Linklaters LLP and Squire Patton Boggs respectively.

Other key lawyers:

Iain Hindhaugh; Chris Cartwright

Testimonials

‘This is one good team – they are highly ethical and really put their heart and soul into the shoes of the client.’

‘The team is well resourced and enjoyable to work with. The can work to very quick timescales and provide very good value for money for the work they do. They are very good a breaking down a transaction and identifying risks.’

‘They are highly co-operative and matter of fact. I know I can trust them and they aren’t afraid to tell me bad news. Chris Cartwright is an excellent lawyer and great at carving through complex tenure arrangements you see in Central London.’

‘Proactive and client-centric approach.’

‘William Boss is strong on client relationship management.’

‘Lee Sheldon is pragmatic and responsive.’

‘Their team of lawyers are incredible in truly working together as a true, full solution. Each scope of vertical expertise is in-depth, timely and very attentive. As a client I had to deal with an extremely complicated situation; without Addleshaws, the deal would have failed long ago. Leona Ahmed and Lee Sheldon were world class and their advice was pivotal all along the way. They also made themselves fully available at all times and this itself was vital to an overseas client in a different time zone. Truly selfless lawyers.’

Key clients

Sainsbury’s

BT

Primark

M&S

Battersea Power station

HB Reavis

We Work

British Land

WeWork

Diageo

Britvic

Royal Mail Group

Work highlights

  • Advised US law firm, Cooley LLP, on landmark a City tower deal – the relocation of its London office to 22 Bishopsgate, the tallest building in the UK after the Shard.
  • Advised BT plc on the sale and short term leaseback of BT’s HQ building at St Paul’s in London and the acquisition of a new leasehold HQ building in Aldgate (to be known as One Braham, an 18 storey new build development of which BT will be sole occupier).

Collyer Bristow LLP

Collyer Bristow LLP’s ‘very professional and supportive’ commercial property department is acclaimed for its mixed-use and residential development work, acting on projects from inception to completion including finance, site assembly and planning permission. In addition, the team has a track record of handling commercial headquarter developments, also supporting its corporate occupier clients in relation to relocations. Headed by Michael Grace, the group's investment offering sees it undertake commercial lettings, property management and transactions involving both portfolios and individual assets.

Practice head(s):

Michael Grace

Testimonials

‘Very professional and supportive legal firm, explaining all angles and options to each situation clearly.’

‘Stephen Gawne is exceptionally supportive and efficient.’

Key clients

Aldersgate Investments Ltd / Motcomb Estates Ltd (Reuben brothers)

Bewley Homes plc

Chase New Homes Ltd

Crest Nicholson plc

EDHEC Business School

Equus Software

GMS Estates Ltd

Ipsus Developments Ltd

Lochailort Investments Ltd

Willmott Dixon Holdings Ltd / Be Living Ltd

Workman LLP

Dechert LLP

At Dechert LLP, counsel David Gervais fronts the corporate occupier practice. His team handles all aspects of leasing matters, representing both landlords and tenants. Portfolio management, acquisitions and disposals are also key strength for the group which directs a distinct focus towards the representation of clients in the financial services sector.

Practice head(s):

David Gervais

Other key lawyers:

Isaac Bordon

Key clients

AGC Equity Partners

Reynolds Porter Chamberlain

Versace UK Plc

Apollo CREF

International Capital Markets Association

GSA Capital Partners

SAL Pension Fund

Tenax Capital

JSC Concern Titan-2

Consumer’s Association (Which?)

Work highlights

  • Advised AGC Equity Partners on the sale of the Citibank building, 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London to Citibank N.A., the current tenant of the building.
  • Advised funds managed by Apollo CREF on the financing for the redevelopment by Meyer Bergman of the Whiteleys shopping centre, Bayswater.
  • Advised SAL Pension Fund Limited in connection with the purchase and immediate leaseback of the Peach pub portfolio for £6.5m.

Fieldfisher

At Fieldfisher, the corporate occupier practice is led by Ramatu Banga and Paul Houston and is particularly well-versed in acting for clients in the industrial, health care, leisure and hospitality sectors. Elsewhere, house builders, commercial developers and funders, among others, rely on the team for a range of development matters including planning, environmental, land acquisition, construction and disposal-related instructions. Rhodri Pazzi-Axworthy heads the development practice together with Birmingham-based Susan Simpson; alongside Jayne Elkins, Pazzi-Axworthy also oversees the investment offering which represents property funds in addition to institutional and investment clients in the private equity sector.

Practice head(s):

Ramatu Banga; Paul Houston

Other key lawyers:

Nick Philips

Key clients

BOC Limited

booking.com/TravelJigsaw

BP

Consensus Group

Co-operative Group Limited

Fridge Spares Wholesale Limited

H & M Hennes & Mauritz UK Limited

Hammerson plc (Purchaser)

Healthpeak (formerly HCP, Inc.)

Imperial College, London

Landprop Holding B.V. and Vastint UK B.V. (part of the inter IKEA Group of Companies)

Richer Sounds Limited

Robert Bosch

Sir Robert McAlpine (Supplier)

Work highlights

  • Advising booking.com/ TravelJigsaw on the acquisition of circa 230,000 sq ft for a new headquarters office building at Manchester Goods Yard.
  • Advised AstraZeneca on the procurement, design and construction of their new £500m global headquarters.
  • Acting on various major projects for British Pipeline Agency, a national infrastructure provider.

Glovers Solicitors LLP

Property-focused firm Glovers Solicitors LLP combines a ‘commercially minded’ approach with ‘excellent technical expertise’ as well as a more personal approach than some larger firms.The team prides itself on its broad sector expertise, handling lease arrangements for hospitality, leisure, office and retail assets in addition to those at pubs, bars, event spaces and cinemas. Key partners include Philip Shotter, who specialises in acting for occupiers in the leisure and hospitality sectors; the 'fantastic' Paul Jagger and Philip Mundy, who is praised for being 'very easy to work with.' Andrew Nicklinson leads on development work, handling both commercial and residential projects. Former joint senior partner John Barber retired in June 2020 and now acts as a consultant to the firm.

Testimonials

‘A personable team with a friendly approach and culture. Real people who work diligently for their clients.’

‘High level of service, attention to detail with ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking to handle unusual positions and/or complex situations.’

‘Glovers have a small team which have worked together for many years.  They are commercial and flexible in their approach and have all the required skill sets to support their clients in the commercial property world.’

‘Commercially minded with excellent technical expertise. And nice people!’

‘The team are very responsive indeed and are always commercial in their approach to finding solutions for clients at a reasonable price.’

‘The partners have specialist knowledge and are happy to pass work within the firm to whoever has the best expertise for the job.’

‘Glovers are quite simply experts and they give you full confidence that everything is being taken care of professionally. They are small enough to care, big enough to be the best at what they do and the fees are fair and reasonable for the work undertaken. We have worked with Glovers on all of our property transactions over the last two and a half years and we will never have a reason to switch to another firm.’

‘I have been with Glovers for thirty three years and they are absolutely fantastic.’

‘Darran Smith and Phil Mundy are first class property lawyers who focus on getting deals over the line.’

‘All of the team at Glovers demonstrate a desire to understand their clients’ objectives and to provide bespoke solutions to individual problems. They are not constrained by tick box procedures.’

‘Philip Mundy is quick, efficient, technically astute and takes a commercial view.’

‘Phil Mundy is our go-to property lawyer in London. He will always gel with clients, he’s very easy to work with and at the same time highly intelligent so you know you’re in good hands, irrespective of the client type.’

‘Paul Jagger is nothing short of fantastic. He works tirelessly on our behalf and nothing is ever too much trouble. He is an expert, fills us with confidence and we know that we are being treated fairly and reasonably when it comes to fees. Paul also undertakes a huge amount of extra work over and above the fixed fee, to ensure that our transactions are completed thoroughly and accurately.’

Key clients

Agnes B UK Limited

Azzurri Restaurants Limited (Zizzi, Ask, Coca di Mama)

All Things Greek Limited

Bayley and Sage Limited

BDL Restaurants Limited (Bocca di Lupo, Plaquemine Lock)

Bricks and Fuel Limited

Deep Blue Restaurants Limited

Dishoom Limited

Donald Byford & Sons Limited

Everyman Media Limited

Fatto A Mano Central Limited

Flat Iron Steak Limited

Frontier Pubs Limited

Giuseppe Zanotti UK Ltd

Gourmet Burger Kitchen Limited (GBK)

Hache Limited

Hop Vietnamese Limited

Hush Brasseries Limited (Hush Mayfair)

Jack Wolfskin UK Ltd

Made of Dough Limited

McMullen and Sons Limited

Nando’s Chickenland Limited (Nando’s)

Noble Rot Limited

Ned’s Noodle Box (Holdings) Limited

Perilla Dining Limited

PizzaExpress (Restaurants) Limited

Phew Foods Limited

Prezzo Limited

Tarts Kitchen Limited

Thinktank (Streatham Space Project)

The Good Egg Restaurants Limited

The Vurger Co Ltd

Wagamama Limited

Wahaca Restaurants Limited

Vision Team Limited

ZLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Everyman Media Limited on its acquisition of three cinemas including sites at Egham Gateway East, Exeter and Marlow.
  • Acted for Wagamama Limited on the acquisition of new Wagamama restaurants at the Bower, London; Marble Arch and Sheldon Square as well as acting for the company on its first four ‘dark kitchen’ delivery sites and the acquisition of its first grab and go ‘Mamago’ site in the City.
  • Acted for Deep Blue Restaurants Limited in connection with the property law matters arising from its purchase of Harry Ramsden’s from Boparan Restaurants Limited and in particular the acquisition of 16 Harry Ramsden’s restaurants.

K&L Gates LLP

K&L Gates LLP’s team ‘provides outstanding professional advice and is great on cross-border investment transactions’. Department head Wayne Smith  places a high degree of emphasis on big-ticket investment work, including institutional investment management work; the team is also reputed for public sector-led regeneration projects. The arrivals of the ‘incredibly responsive and proactiveTim Webb and Emma Maher from Greenberg Traurig, LLP has significantly bolstered the team's expertise in private equity real estate. The recent corporate occupier workload has a strong cross-border component, including headquarter establishment, office acquisitions, relocation and an array of lease work.

Other key lawyers:

Christian Major; Steven Cox

Testimonials

‘The team are very attentive to details, diligent, quick and they operate with conviction.’

‘K&L Gates provides outstanding professional advice and they are great on international and cross-border transaction, they have great commercial sense, are very available and upfront in understanding client needs and anticipating problems and proposing intelligent and practical solutions.’

‘We have worked with Chiara Del Frate on a variety of matters and we appreciate her professional skills, her commercial sense and her ability of addressing and resolving complicated legal issues. She has outstanding communication skills and is a great at managing her team and relationship with counterparties.’

‘Tim Webb and Emma Maher are incredibly responsive and they are able to work at the speed that I require without compromising the attention to detail that is needed. They are proactive and manage all parties involved professionally and respectfully, but they are also able to move things forward without constantly needing to be directed by me or my team.’

Key clients

Hines Global Income Trust

Home House

Patrizia

Sweat Union Limited

Nuveen Real Estate

Tourmaline Financial Services

Unity Software

Syneos Health

Slalom Consulting

Standard Life Aberdeen (ReAssure)

Hakkasan

Akelius

Association of British Travel Agents

One New Oxford Street Limited Partnership

World Wrestling Entertainment Inc (WWE)

Work highlights

  • Representing a Swedish investor in relation to its real estate requirements, the team acted on the acquisition of a headquarter building for Akelius which is located in Clerkenwell for £17m.
  • Continues to advise Hakkasan on all its leasehold matters, including the acquisition of a production centre in Canning Town and advice in relation to a reversionary lease of a restaurant in Soho, London.
  • Acting on a substantial pre-let of a building being developed in Brighton for occupation by Unity Software.

Lewis Silkin LLP

Lewis Silkin LLP's ‘diverse' and 'cohesive' team works with a range of domestic developers, while also advising China-based clients on mixed-use, leisure, residential and hotel-related projects. On the corporate occupiers side, the team adopts a specialist sector-specific approach and is particularly proficient in representing clients from the luxury brand, lifestyle, advertising and marketing, professional services, retail, restaurants and technology industries. Investment work for family offices and high-net-worth individuals is also integral to the practice, which handles portfolio work in high-profile locations such as Mayfair and Hyde Park. Brian Kilcoyne heads the practice, recently succeeding Jonathan Reuben who remains an active member of the team. The 'smart and commercial' Julia Poulter was recently promoted to partner.

Practice head(s):

Brian Kilcoyne

Testimonials

Lewis Silkin’s expertise and customer service and truly second to none. The team holds a wealth of experience in all real estate related legal matters and they always make you feel as if you are their only and most important client.

‘Lewis Silkin have a very diverse team that are able to attend to a broad number of issues that arise across our business.’

‘The entire team works together in a cohesive manner. All are accessible, approachable, and professional. They are also a pleasure to work with.’

‘Julia Poulter is outstanding. She meticulously addresses every scenario and without exception resolves the situation efficiently with painstaking care. She always carries a large smile and has the ability to balance a negation with firmness to ensure to achieve the very best outcome for the client. Julia is simply a lifesaver – she is an example to all in the field.’

‘Julia Poulter is smart, commercial and available. She has taken the time to get to know our business – I highly recommend her.’

‘Anthony van Hoffen is good to work with and very responsive.’

‘Julia Poulter is very professional at all times and is extremely well versed in her subjects. Julia is also a great listener and takes time to ensure the client is given opportunity to fully express their situation. She does not force her own opinion and is a great person to discuss issues when they arise.

‘Partners such as Rachel Francis-Lang are always available and rarely push work down to less qualified juniors. They are therefore able to take responsibility and give strong and meaningful advice.’

Key clients

CIC International

Digital Unlimited Group Ltd

London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

London Legacy Development Corporation

Mannheim LLC

Mercedes-Benz

Next Fifteen Communications Group plc

Skyscanner

Unispace Global Limited

Verisk Analytics Limited

Wildstone Capital Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Skyscanner on the acquisition of two premises, one as a pre-let and one of flexible office space.
  • Advised Verisk Analytics Limited on the acquisition of two separate leases within AXA’s development at 22 Bishopsgate comprising 76,845 sq ft on a pre-let basis.
  • Advised McCann-Erickson EMEA Limited on the acquisition of new leasehold interest in five floors of 135 Bishopsgate with contraction rights and pre-emption rights.

Macfarlanes LLP

On the development front, Macfarlanes LLP handles a range of projects including commercial, standalone residential and mixed-use schemes. Led by Anthony Burnett-Scott, the team is particularly knowledgeable of the public rented sector and undertakes a broad range of investment-related transactions, including those pertaining to hospitality assets. Commercial office lettings and asset management are further strengths for the group which is able to call upon the vast experience of Ian Nisse, a senior consultant who is well-versed in the structuring and financing of joint ventures, investment transactions and development projects. Another name to note is regeneration and mixed-use development expert Nick Barnes.

Testimonials

‘Clear and concise solution-driven advice delivered in a timely manner and focused on the client’s business needs, all within a reasonable price, something which is difficult to find in the market today.’

‘The team makes a real effort to understand the business landscape in which the client operates.’

‘A formidable team of lawyers with robust technical ability.’

‘Anthony Burnett-Scott is always accessible and a pure pleasure to work with. One to never over-promise, Anthony is realistic about delivering the right advice within a realistic time frame and is honest about that. A level of honesty that clients highly prize. Anthony is also perceived to be a leader in progressing support initiatives for BAME and LGBTQ lawyers, making him attractive to clients who are likewise looking to amplify these initiatives within their own structures.’

‘Anthony Burnett-Scott is a very safe pair of hands and a good negotiator.’

‘Macfarlanes has great in-depth knowledge of the market.’

‘Clare Breeze is very good at relationship-building, both with her clients and with the counterparty which makes negotiations collaborative and run smoothly.’

‘Dan Marriott is quick and capable and technically exceptionally strong, but also a good communicator and commercially astute. He is very available to his clients and is fully engaged with matters that his team are dealing with. It is clear that he mentors and supervises his team well, which is reflected in their performance.’

Maples Teesdale LLP

Maples Teesdale LLP is a ‘specialist real estate firm of lawyers, made up of experts in their field’. Roger Thornton, who ‘ensures good client liaison’, specialises in investment sales and purchases, representing institutional investors and pension funds, among others. Neil Sagoo is a key contact for corporate occupier matters, specialising in headquarter and other business-critical relocations, with a strong reputation for acting for foreign embassies. Elsewhere, the ‘calm and methodicalDeclan Power leads on the development front, specialising in retail, office, mixed-use, industrial and distribution projects.

Practice head(s):

Roger Thornton

Testimonials

‘Declan Power is very calm, methodical and contactable.’

‘This real estate-only practice is very commercially focused.’

‘A solid, property focused law firm. They take time to understand our requirements and way of working. A close knit, focused firm. Partners are more available to us than at other firms.’

‘Excellent to work with; proactive, commercial but providing safe advice too. It has been a pleasure working with them, even in lockdown.’

Their lawyers listen to the needs of the client. Seek advice when appropriate and convey quality advice to the client in an easy to understand manner.

‘Strength in depth across every real estate sector. They are also a well joined-up and cohesive unit, and have been a pleasure to work with on recent transactions.’

Roger Thornton maintains involvement and ensures good client liaison and high levels of advice.’

Key clients

BDO

Bleckmann Logistics

Cass Business School

Cineworld

City, University of London

Crestbridge

Endemol Shine

Eversheds Sutherland

FremantleMedia

Gerson Lehrman Group

Kingdom of Belgium

NedBank

Old Mutual

Pacific Life Re

Royal & Sun Alliance

RSM

US Embassy

Work highlights

  • Advised Eversheds Sutherland on both their Cambridge and Manchester office relocations.
  • Advised BPL Global, the world’s leading insurance broker specialising in credit and political risk insurance, on their pre-let of their offices at The Scalpel – also known as 52 Lime Street.
  • Continuing to advise Shine TV Limited on their lettings requirements on the Ground, Second and Third Floor, 42 Gloucester Avenue, NW1 as well as on the surrender of a leaser for premises in Bristol.

RLS Law

Boutique London property firm RLS Law delivers ‘expert and extensive knowledge of the subject matter’, with a specialism in acting for corporate occupiers in relation to their warehouse, office and industrial unit assets. Craig Themis, hailed as a ‘go-to for UK real estate advice’, heads the practice alongside Julien Rutler; both have proven track records of assisting household brands in their headquarter relocations, with the team also active in respect of investment, litigation and development-related instructions. The firm has a particular focus on companies in the retail and leisure sectors.

Practice head(s):

Julien Rutler; Craig Themis

Other key lawyers:

Tom Foley

Testimonials

Nimble, high service level and very capable.’

‘Craig Themis and Julien Rutler are both technically excellent, commercially astute and realistic, very focused, hard working and efficient.’

‘Access to senior members of the RLS team, with expert and extensive knowledge of the subject matter and issue at hand, ensures the practice provides a superior level of service for our clients.’

‘RLS is a strong team of smart, experienced property experts. This means they can be streamlined, efficient, cost-effective and reliable – everything you could want from a property team. They are also unusually down to earth and very easy to deal with. They take a commercial approach because they are experienced enough to know what is really important and they know they will get it right.’

‘RLS are extremely responsive, very knowledgeable and always commercial.’

‘Tom Foley is always contactable and extremely valuable, providing insight into complex matters.’

‘All members of the RLS team are professional and expert in the services they provide.’

‘Tom Foley is an outstanding property lawyer, very popular with clients and easy to get on with. He is very good at spotting the wood for the trees and immediately and precisely honing in on the key issues. He is responsive, clear, and no-nonsense without ever making you feel he is trying to rush matters.’

‘Craig Themis is our go-to for UK real estate advice and always a pleasure to deal with. Craig is a master of his subject, commercially savvy and extremely market aware.’

Key clients

Sony Music Entertainment

CBS Broadcasting Inc

Octopus Energy

Finncap Group PLC

Zinc Media Group PLC

Four Marketing

Iwoca

Computacenter PLC

Switzerland Tourist Board

Urban and Provincial Limited

Ottolenghi restaurants

Soho Housing Association

TCN UK

Look Ahead Care and Support

Work highlights

  • Advised Octopus Energy Limited on relocation of its 20,000 sq. ft. HQ offices to UK House, Great Titchfield Street
  • Advising Four Marketing (which owns brands such as Agent Provocateur, Paul & Shark, Stone Island) in relation to a joint venture with another retail partner for the acquisition and development of new 50,000 sq. ft. head offices in central London.
  • Represented Finncap Group on the acquisition of its new London office headquarters at One Bartholomew, Barts Square, London EC1.

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP

The team at Ronald Fletcher Baker LLPconsistently goes above and beyond’, providing an ‘integrated’ and ‘multi-disciplinary’ service. A high degree of focus is given towards portfolio work for corporate occupiers including landlord and tenant matters, refinances, sale and leasebacks and high-value leasing matters. Commercial redevelopment work, hotel developments, property finance and investments also fall within the core expertise with the firm’s Istanbul, Iran, Russia and China desks resulting in frequent cross-border instructions. Sarah Hung's multilingual abilities are highly valued by clients, while Rudi Ramdarshan  is hailed as a ‘leading name’; John O’Callaghan is another practitioner of note with clients citing his ‘decades of experience’ and ‘commercial advice’. At the junior end, senior associate Simon Lawrence is already 'a well-known name within the industry'.

Other key lawyers:

Simon Lawrence

Testimonials

‘This law firm stands out for me as the team is able to act for a range of high net worth international clients both individuals and companies. The team is very commercially aware, specialists in their field and many are multilingual which is important.’

‘Few firms have such a strength of depth both on the transactional side and litigation side. The departments are well integrated which adds real value to me as a client. At other firms it feels like a completely different department with different partners when you have to bring court proceedings. At Ronald Fletcher Baker it is one experience. I can always rely on Ronald Fletcher Baker to deliver sound commercial advice and to fight when needed. They never lose sight of the commercial reality which I am dealing with.’

‘Sarah Hung is superb. Her precision, speed, determination, technical excellence and ability to digest complex issues and convert them into user-friendly concise language impresses me. Her advice shows her extensive knowledge in this field and is very much solutions-focused. Our projects involve international investors from the Far East and Sarah not only provides clear and concise advice, she is also multilingual and able to communicate in Chinese.’

‘Rudi Ramdarshan is an outstanding litigator who has a breadth of knowledge.’

‘John O’Callaghan provides very detailed and commercial advice, and takes time to provide expert and novel solutions to complex commercial property problems that clients experience.’

‘Simon Lawrence is equally as dedicated when dealing with simple matters like commercial lease renewals as he is with multimillion-pound transactions. His experience adds value.’

‘Rudi Ramdarshan is a leading name in the industry and a go-to person whenever I have a mixed use site, whether its to get vacant possession or to deal with breach of covenants or dilapidations. He is the first person I call if I have court proceedings and has a creative approach which is only possible due to his experience and depth understanding of this sector.’

‘David Burns has helped me on a number of forfeiture matters and knows the area inside out.’

Key clients

Glasshouse Asset Management

Al Sraiya Group Limited (Qatar)

Dominvs Group

Habib Bank AG Zurich

Comptoir Libanais (Levant Group)

Keystone Holdings Limited (Isle of Man)

Drakesfield Group

Urban Spectrum Property Management Limited

Ganco Limited

Harson Investments Limited

ILM Capital

Work highlights

  • Acting for Comptoir Group Plc on the acquisition of a number of high value leases which included agreements for lease, rent deposit deeds and outside seating arrangements.
  • Acting for ILM Capital in the acquisition of a number of distressed mixed-use properties and obtaining vacant possession to allow the redevelopment of the property and grant of new leases.
  • Acting for Glasshouse in the redevelopment in complex multi-party mixed-use redevelopment matters in prime London locations.

Shoosmiths LLP

The ‘very commercial’ practice at Shoosmiths LLP supports landlords and major occupiers on matters including relocations, lease renewals, pre-lets and headquarter acquisitions and developments. Active across the full array of assets, including retail, technology, office and leisure-relared real estate, the team also specialises in representing both domestic and overseas investors with a track record of acting for first time entrants into the UK market. Joseph Mazzucca serves as practice head; he counts landlord and tenant matters, real estate finance and development projects among his core sectors of expertise. Liam Philips is particularly active in the occupier space, holding distinguished knowledge in data centres. Elsewhere, Paul Alger is a new partner-level arrival from K&L Gates LLP, he brings expertise in the letting and disposal of prime central London assets.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Mazzucca

Other key lawyers:

Liam Philips

Testimonials

‘Liam Phillips has a very good understanding of the commercial challenges facing the property market, and his advice is tailored to resolving the commercial issues.’

Key clients

McArthurGlen Group

Dixons Carphone plc

Global Switch

Holland & Barrett

OYO Hotels

Hyperion

BenevolentAI

Investec Bank plc

Telereal Trillium

Marston’s plc

Kaspersky

Work highlights

  • Advised the McArthurGlen Group in relation to all UK asset management and leasing work.
  • Acted for Global Switch, an owner, operator and developer of customer data centres in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, on numerous large-scale transactions.
  • Acted for Dixons Carphone plc in relation to its real estate transactions, including advising on 40 transactions relating to its strategically important estate across the UK, including in respect of a major portfolio transaction including 20+ properties.

Taylor Wessing LLP

Taylor Wessing LLP’s client list spans developers, investors, funders, occupiers and owners which is advises on urban regeneration projects, investment sales and purchases, both of individual assets and portfolios, as well as asset management. A key focus is the representation of Asia, Gulf and US-based investors, with core sectors including co-living residential, logistics, stadia and student accommodation. In addition to property companies, practice head Keith Barnett has also carved out a reputation in acting for banks and financial institutions. In a notable development, Matthew Swainston, the former practice head at Forsters LLP, joined in February 2020.

Practice head(s):

Keith Barnett

Testimonials

‘Saleem Fazal is an excellent partner, with considerable experience.’

‘Saleem Fazal is experienced, able and has a very good manner with clients.’

‘Mark Rajbenbach is a trusted adviser who brings great experience in the real estate and hotel industries. He is a first-rate lawyer, on top of all the details, but is also able to step back and provide the commercial and strategic advice that we need as clients.’

Key clients

City Pride Limited

Meadow Partners

InfaRed Capital Partners

McLaren Property

Secure Income REIT

Canada Life

Investec

Tritax Big Box REIT

Vivion Capital Partners

Bretford FC

Invesco Asset Management Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Tritax on the acquisition of a total of 10 assets over the past 12 months with an aggregate investment price in excess of £500m.
  • Advising Mimecast on the acquisition of their new headquarters premises in Broadgate.
  • Advising Blackstone on the management of the St Katherine’s Docks estate.

Travers Smith LLP

The team at Travers Smith LLP, which is known for ‘understanding the commercial imperatives of transactions’, is well regarded for representing real estate funds and private equity real estate clients on a broad range of developments, investments and lettings. In particular, the knowledgebase of asset classes is a real standout, with the firm's recent workload spanning marinas, care homes, hotels, shopping centres, mines, restaurant chains and cinemas. Practice head Simon Rutman supports on joint ventures with specialist knowledge of the healthcare and private rented sectors. When it comes to development and regeneration work, Alex Millar is the key name, working with the firm's corporate M&A, finance, funds and tax lawyers to support at all stages of individual projects.

Practice head(s):

Simon Rutman

Other key lawyers:

Paul Kenny; Emma Pereira; Alex Millar

Testimonials

‘The Travers team are responsive, knowledgeable but are also very good at understanding the commercial imperatives of transactions, which enables them to remove obstacles from a transaction rather than create them.’

‘Emma Pereira is an exceptionally capable partner, who has strong commercial understanding of what is required of a deal. She is also extremely loyal to her clients and is always available when you need her.’

Key clients

AJ Capital Partners

Ancala Partners LLP

Ashby Capital

Azzurri Group

Beazley

Bridgepoint Advisers Limited

BS Pension Fund Trustee Limited

Carluccio’s Ltd

Carpetright plc

Chemonics International

Clearbell

Dockley Limited

Foster & Partners

Giraffe Concepts Limited

Impact Healthcare REIT plc

London Metric

Lothbury Investment Management

Lyceum Capital

Mansford LLP

Merian Global Investors (UK) Limited

Micro Focus

Numis Securities

Office Space in Town

Patron Capital

Pemberton Capital

STA Travel Ltd

TA Associates

The London Clinic

The World Universities Insights Limited

Tullett Prebon

Work highlights

  • Advised longstanding client Bridgepoint on the pre-let of 5 Marble Arch Place overlooking Hyde Park (seven floors and 83,000 square foot) which will become the new Bridgepoint HQ.
  • Acting on Tullet Prebon’s move to new headquarters at 135 Bishopsgate, EC2. It will take up four floors, which will comprise 123,000 sq ft of office space.
  • Acted on the pre-let of a new HQ for Numis Securities across 50,000 sq ft of the top 3 floors at 40 Gresham Street, London, EC2V, which is known as Gresham St Paul’s, for a 15 year leasehold term.

Bates Wells

The ‘extremely approachable and friendly’ team at Bates Wells is hailed for its ‘exceptional level of service’. Led by the ‘super-efficient and knowledgeable’ Mark Traynor, the practice is well-regarded for its particular focus on the not for profit sector in addition to its distinguished expertise of assets in the social enterprise, sports, education and retail sectors. The group handles the full array of development, investment and corporate occupier activities which it complements through noteworthy experience in finance and secured lending matters. The ‘excellentKarli Hiscock can be relied upon for headquarter moves and acquisitions of retail premises.

Practice head(s):

Mark Traynor

Testimonials

‘I have worked with Mark Traynor on a number of complicated charity transactions over more than a decade and wholeheartedly recommend him. His abiilty to understand and simplify issues and find practical, simple solutions is outstanding.’

‘Malcolm Headley is very experienced and avsafe pair of hands. He has a really effective non-confrontational style when negotiating with the other side.’

‘When you engage the real estate commercial property team at Bates Wells you know that the individual assigned to your case will deliver work that is second to none. Additionally, you know that there is a whole team of other partners and associates who can provide additional support as required.’

‘Mark Traynor is super-efficient, very knowledgeable and great to work alongside.’

‘Jamie Huard is extremely helpful and supportive, he takes time to understand what we are doing as a charity and takes an interest in our work, and not just the legal side of things, and he is proactive in his approach and doesn’t just wait for us to contact him.’

‘Tony Cartmell and Jamie Huard are approachable engaging partners; they are not afraid to go beyond mere legal expertise and “tell it like it is” which only industry experience and knowledge can provide.’

‘Karli Hiscock was excellent in dealing with our lease.’

‘Maisie Ireland,  Jamie Huard and Karli Hiscock have all made our commercial property experience a positive one. It feels like the team has the same ethos and approach – which is to be accessible, to carefully and fully explain things, to make recommendations based on both best practice and our specific context, and most importantly to listen.’

Key clients

HCT Group

YMCA Thames Gateway

Charles Darwin House Limited

Nikon UK Limited

WaterAid

The Advertising Standards Authority

Everybody Sport and Recreation

World Cancer Research Fund

Dogs Trust

FM Conway Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised on Nikon’s relocation to new headquarters in Surbiton and also advising on their exit from former Richmond headquarters which involved successfully challenging a £500,000 dilapidations claim.
  • Advising World Cancer Research Fund on its move to newly refurbished head office premises in Pentonville Road.
  • Advised WaterAid in entering into an agreement for lease at Canary Wharf for its new headquarters building.

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans , which has continued to build on the 2018 merger of Bircham Dyson Bell and Pitmans, has a strong track record of handling leases at key London locations as well as managing leasehold property portfolios. It is also adept in relation to the integration and rationalisation of operational land. 'Acknowledged industry expert' Jonathan Fewster leads both the investment and corporate occupier offerings, regularly acting for property companies, corporations and institutional investors on day-to-day portfolio management and investment-related acquisitions and dispositions. Ellen James is the key contact for development work; the team represents both   developers and landowners on mixed-use developments at both the pre and post planning stages. A key differentiator is the group’s expertise in the charities and not-for-profit sector, where the firm ‘covers all aspects of what a charity needs’.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Fewster

Other key lawyers:

Ellen James; Bhaminee Sharma

Testimonials

‘The level of professionalism is amazing. Every team member understands the client on the same level so makes it easier dealing with them.’

‘The team at BDB Pitmans is exceptional and provides good advice and support in all legal matters. The team works very well together. Each member of the team is very dedicated and willing to go that extra mile to get an instruction completed.’

‘Proactive and pragmatic with a good variety of expertise and skills in a professional and balanced team.’

‘Jonathan Fewster is a very creative partner and a good negotiator. He worked extremely well with a team within our organisation and also with real estate agents, other consultants and every representative from the other parties and their lawyers.’

‘Jonathan Fewster is an experienced commercial property lawyer who has a specialism in acting for charities. This gives me great confidence in his advice, which is practical and timely.’

‘Jonathan Fewster took a call with no prior notice and was able to clearly articulate a difficult and complicated issue to a group of people with no legal experience so that they all full understood the problem and were content with the suggested response.’

‘Jonathan Fewster is an acknowledged industry expert in the real estate field and we always benefit from his insightful views, personal touch and commercial acumen.’

‘Bhaminee Sharma is a fantastic lawyer; very professional and diplomatic. She has a very clear understanding and makes everything much simple. She makes life easy.’

Key clients

The Dyers’ Company

The Landmark Trust

The English Heritage Trust

Andrew Martin International Limited

Education International Services Limited

London Women’s Clinic

The Fly Fisher’s Club

Work highlights

  • Advised the Landmark Trust on the re-grant of its existing lease of Lundy Island which lies off the coast of North Devon. This involved taking a new 50 year lease of the island from the National Trust.
  • Advised The Dyers’ Company on a new lease of offices known as Drake House in Dartford for a term of 15 years at a rent of £360,000 per annum, to Bellway Homes Limited.
  • Advised interior design company, Andrew Martin, on its new lease of warehouse premises at 29 Deer Park Road, Wimbledon and the surrender of a lease at 208 Durnsford Park, Wimbledon.

Druces LLP

Druces LLP is engaged for a broad array of occupier lease matters, including those at head offices and other key sites. Practice head Nicholas Brent specialises in advising occupiers on development projects with his team’s expertise in representing overseas entities serving as a further key differentiator. Elsewhere, Adrian Footer, praised for his ‘no-nonsense’ and ‘highly focused’ service, has a noteworthy track record of representing clients in the finance sector. A further key component of the practice is its syndicated and institutional property investment work.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Brent

Other key lawyers:

Adrian Footer

Testimonials

‘I always appreciate the fantastic communication and work ethic. We always manage to find solutions. These days I only work with Druces as they always deliver and have sound advice.’

Pragmatic, experienced and market-facing advice.’

‘We have a very valued relationship with the firm and the key individuals who look after us. The importance of that relationship cannot be understated, because it means that they understand our business, what matters to us (and what is less important). They know we need value for money, incisive advice, to steer clear of posturing and point-scoring in negotiations and not to lose focus. They provide professional, clear and concise advice.’

‘Nick Brent breaks down complicated issues into easy to understand segments. He always finds a solution and does so with good humour.’

‘Adrian Footer is a highly focused lawyer, who understands what our goals are and how to achieve them. He takes a no-nonsense approach with other solicitors, sets realistic expectations, makes a conscious effort to manage fees and – importantly – is readily accessible and easy to speak to. He’s a good listener (a quality not all solicitors can boast) and effective communicator.’

Key clients

AXA Insurance UK Plc

Equinix UK Limited

Philips Auctioneers

Dogs Trust

Conde Nast Publications Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for Pantechnicon London Limited in relation to the redevelopment and acquisition of The Pantechnicon Building in the heart of the Grosvenor Estate.
  • Acting for national retailer Yours Clothing in its continuing acquisition programme.
  • Advising Buro Four Project Services Limited on a new lease of premises in Manchester for the client’s occupation and new under lettings in their London Building re modelling the leases to cater for changes in the building configuration.

Edwin Coe LLP

Lincoln’s Inn firm Edwin Coe LLP comes recommended for its corporate occupier work which includes headquarter acquisitions, leases and developments. Led by Stephen Brower, the group holds specialist knowledge of the hospitality and retail sectors with supplementary expertise in property finance, inbound investments and high-end residential developments. Brower also leads the firm’s hotel and hospitality group, and has a track record of work for clients from Asia and the Far East.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Brower

Other key lawyers:

Joanne McIvor; Ian Gilmour

Testimonials

‘A firm with a good reputation. Very approachable partners. I feel very much at ease when I need to engage them for my work.’

‘Knowledgeable, diligent, accessible.’

Key clients

Lush

Coutts

Luxlo

Smiths Pension Fund

Carrier Refrigeration Limited

Bostall Group

United Technologies Holdings Limited

Janus Et Cie UK Ltd

Pickfords Move Management

TH Real Estate

Work highlights

  • Advising on the lease of a shop and showroom in the Fulham Road, London for Janus Et Cie UK Ltd.
  • Acting on the complex sale of a freehold interest in Travelodge Hotel at a price in excess of £10m.
  • Advising an entrepreneur on the purchase of land and development agreement with a public listed company to build a new building, designed to be used by the client as a headquarters for their business.

Fox Williams LLP

Fox Williams LLP is acclaimed for its ‘efficiency and ease of communication’. The team is relied upon by major occupational tenants at some of London’s most prominent locations including the West End, Oxford Street and Cavendish Square. Work consists of sales, acquisitions and lettings with specialist knowledge held in relation to both office and retail premises. Development work is also an active front with department head Phillip Hope specialising in large-scale and infrastructure projects.

Practice head(s):

Phillip Hope

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Ruff; Rebecca Evans

Testimonials

‘The team is accessible at all levels, almost at all times – something unique in my experience.The practice delivers excellent pragmatic and commercial advice to our clients, although based in the City  the relationship between price and quality is excellent. The team really values and builds on its client relationships.’

‘The team are pragmatic, commercial and responsive. For a City practice the rates are very good relative to other firms – City expertise at regional rates.’

‘Phillip Hope is exceptionally good with a depth of understanding that is hugely commercially comforting.’

‘Elizabeth Ruff leads the team and deploys resource in an efficient and appropriate way to the nature of the matter. She is supported by a great team of associates.’

‘Phillip Hope is quick to see the issues and is always happy to be hands-on to ensure results are achieved.’

Key clients

DHX Worldwide Ltd

Britannia Financial Group

FM Insurance Company Limited

Improbable Worlds Limited

Vedder Price LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised DHX Worldwide Limited on the restructuring of its current and the acquisition of additional space in the same building allowing expansion and team consolidation to the West End.
  • Advised Improbable Worlds Limited in respect of two new leasehold acquisitions to facilitate the expansion of the development arms of the client’s business.
  • Advising US law firm Vedder Price on the acquisition of additional space in its Central London building to facilitate the expansion of its business in conjunction with the re-gear of its existing lease.

Gowling WLG

Home to ‘an excellent combination of skilled technicians’, Gowling WLG's real estate practice is headed by Richard Bate; it supports clients with a range of services including the acquisition of leasehold and freehold properties, managing surplus space and portfolio management with established expertise of office, warehouse, manufacturing, retail, leisure and data centre assets. For investment, institutional investors and US private equity funds are a core strength; the group also represents sovereign wealth funds, REITs and family offices across the globe. It handles the buying, selling, letting and asset management of all asset classes including health and care and student accommodation premises. Jon Lloyd is a specialist in mixed-use projects with the team also handling regeneration and transport-related developments, among others.

Practice head(s):

Richard Bate

Other key lawyers:

Chris Hunt; Joe Morris; Helen Emmerson

Testimonials

‘Gowlings work very hard at relationship development. They work to understand what we want to achieve. The advice they give is an good combination of the technical and the pragmatic.’

‘They are all practically orientated with their advice which I find invaluable. Advice is tailored to the needs of the project and the client.’

The team are an excellent combination of skilled technician and friend. They want to get to know us and our roles within the business and take the time to talk to us, as well as providing first rate help and advice. The team are readily available and when they are not, their response times are first rate. They have a clear grasp on important timescales.’

‘Helen Emmerson works tirelessly to maintain a strong relationship with her clients, having a friendly and open demeanour. Her advice is always well though through, well structured and reflects the needs of the project. Her leadership style flows through to her team.’

Key clients

Royal London

Metro Bank

The Hut Group

IM Properties

U+I

Pearson

NFU Mutual

Atkins

Net-a-Porter

Intermediate Capital Group

Coca-Cola European Partners

Lidl

Intu Properties

Queensberry Real Estate

Made.com

Work highlights

  • Advised the world’s largest independent Coca-Cola bottler, Coca Cola European Partners, on the business and asset sale of a significant bottling facility in Milton Keynes, to Refresco Drinks UK.

GSC Solicitors LLP

The team at GSC Solicitors LLP represents a number of bluechip corporates, fast food franchise owners, hotel owners and private equity funded SPVs on the full gamut of commercial property matters. Led by the ‘trusted and reliableHarvey Posener, the practice comes particularly recommended for its corporate occupier work, handling significant headquarter leasing and acquisition matters. Peter Belcher is decribed as 'wonderful at managing teams and complex projects.'

Practice head(s):

Harvey Posener

Testimonials

‘A great combination of a City practice with a niche firm, giving individual and tailored advice.’

‘Carole Joseph takes a practical and long-term approach, which means that timescales and costs are always under control. Peter Belcher is very good at allocating the right team members to projects that play to their specific skills.’

‘Peter Belcher has all-round knowledge of real estate including conveyancing, leasing and financing. He gets to crux of the deal and does not waste time on matters that are insignificant.’

‘Carole Joseph and Peter Belcher balance sound and detailed legal advice with practical and pragmatic business sense. We couldn’t ask for more.’

‘Harvey Posener is a trusted and reliable pair of hands that has helped guide the business through multiple complex deals and landlord related matters over many years.’

‘Carole Joseph is the only person you need to know in London if you are buying or selling a property, especially if things drag on or change while the transaction is taking place.’

‘Peter Belcher is wonderful at managing teams and complex projects.’

‘Peter Belcher is hugely experienced in property transactions. He understands hotels, brands and banks and just makes the most complicated transactions come together.’

Key clients

EMI

Universal Music Operations Limited

Abbey Road Training Limited trading as Abbey Road Institute (part of the Virgin Records group)

Channel 4

Freshwater Group of Companies

Work highlights

  • Advising EMI on its potential liability under 235 guarantees of leases following HMV and its successors going into administration.  
  • Advising Universal Music Operations Limited on various property matters including finalising the leasehold occupation of their headquarters building at Pancras Square of King’s Cross.

Harbottle & Lewis LLP

Harbottle & Lewis LLP represents both landlords and tenants in the office and retail corporate occupier field, specialising in the technology, entertainment, media, luxury and retail sectors. The ‘very commercialMelanie Benson delivers ‘great knowledge of the law’; she heads the department which is active in respect of mixed-use and residential development projects and also undertakes transactions, financing and asset management instructions on behalf of investor clients.

Practice head(s):

Melanie Benson

Testimonials

‘They are very responsive, always know the right answer, and are not expensive.’

‘Melanie Benson has a great support team around her. All the other partners I have dealt with have been very professional and knowledgeable in their chosen fields.’

‘I have worked with Melanie Benson for the last 15 years. In this time we have worked on many transactions. She is so good because of her great knowledge of law, but she also makes it clear and understandable for us. She is very commercial in the professional advice that is given, and is responsive in dealing with questions and documentation. She has great understanding of our business and the people who run it which makes it a pleasure to deal with her.’

Key clients

Network Homes

Ingenious Media Limited

Cross Stone Group

Take Two Interactive Software Europe Limited

IMO Car Wash Group

British Olympic Association

Hanger 13 Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Network Homes on the acquisition of the new headquarters in the iconic Repton Building near Wembley Park.
  • Advised the UK’s National Olympic Committee, the British Olympic Association, on the acquisition and fit-out of its new headquarters.
  • Advising Take Two Interactive Software Europe Limited on all their property matters, including acquisitions, disposals and general property management.

Howard Kennedy LLP

Howard Kennedy LLP is involved at all stages of the development process from site acquisition and planning through to sales and commercial letting. The team has a focus on advising international investors, from South East Asia and the Middle and Far East, on joint venture projects, with retail and leisure key areas of specialisation. Julian Hindmarsh heads the real estate department with Kate Woodgate and Mark Johnstone respectively leading the residential and commercial development practices. For corporate occupier work, Adam Walford is the key contact; his team acts on the acquisition and relocation of headquarters in addition to warehousing and distribution premises.

Practice head(s):

Adam Walford

Testimonials

‘Astrid Stanley’s advice was straightforward, she was very responsive and helpful. An excellent service all round’.

‘The depth of experience within the team is good, and compares well with other practices – it is essential that good project management within the practice is in place to pull the various facets together. The partners are readily available when required and deal with issues quickly and efficiently.’

‘The team is proactive in liaising with both the client and other advisers, bringing the different strands together as good lawyers should. Their advice is practical and tailored to specific situations. They are willing to have tough conversations with demanding clients.’

‘I was really impressed by Astrid Stanley. She was brilliant at producing a strategy that worked across the whole project. I felt very confident about the advice and tactics that she proposed and that we were in good hands. Her approach was though and detailed and very intuitive. She was quick to recognise what we needed before we did ourselves. She also did a fantastic job of managing all the different parties on our side and ensuring that everyone was kept on track without ruffling feathers. Astrid is highly effective – she is a very talented lawyer and exactly what an in-house team is looking for when instructing external counsel.’

Key clients

Reiss

Pandora

Orla Kiely

Blue Inc

The Row

Antler

bareMinerals

Swoon

GUESS UK

Hobbs

Work highlights

  • Advising Checkout Limited on the acquisition of its new headquarters in London.
  • Advising CVC Advisers on their new lease refurbishment acquisition of headquarters in London and new lettings.
  • Advising BTVK on the acquisition of its new headquarters in London.

Marriott Harrison LLP

At Marriott Harrison LLP, clients receive ‘true in-depth commercial property expertise and an ability to explain complex issues to the client’. A keystone of the practice is its corporate occupier work where it represents both tenants and landlords on a range of instructions including lease negotiations, headquarter relocations and office moves. The ‘exceptionalMark Lavers, acclaimed for his ‘proactive attitude and problem-solving approach’, heads the department which has notable expertise with regards to retail assets and also undertakes a wealth of development and investment-related instructions.

Practice head(s):

Mark Lavers

Other key lawyers:

Guy Hitchin

Testimonials

‘Strong attention to detail and excellent communication with us as the client.’

‘The team is professional, offers excellent communication and they make all obscure legal terms easy and straightforward to understand.’

‘A true in depth expertise in commercial property and an ability to explain complex issues to the client

‘The team is very professional and committed.’

‘Quick response times and practical clear advice.’

‘Friendly, helpful, always willing to discuss a question or issue.’

‘Mark Lavers is professional, and hardworking; however I think his honesty is what makes him stand out in most cases. That’s why we trust him when coming across complications.’

‘Mark Lavers is exceptional. I have worked with him for 20 years and he has a focus and diligence that I have never identified at any other practice.’

‘Mark Lavers always goes beyond our requests, with a proactive attitude and a problem-solving approach.’

Key clients

GSM London Limited

Flux Systems

Onyx Commodities

Prime Collateralised Securities

Pico London

Total Media

Medical Imaging Partnership

Smol Limited

Finsbury Business Centre

Pagero

CPL Productions

Metail

Falck Renewables

Banco de Sabadell

Work highlights

  • Advising Banco de Sabadell in relation to its leases in the Leadenhall building.
  • Advising GSM London on its Greenford and Greenwich campuses and the sale of its lease by London Bridge.
  • Advising tech company Flux Supplies on its lease in the Aldgate Tower.

Payne Hicks Beach

At Payne Hicks Beach, clients receive ‘forensic attention to detail’ coupled with a ‘thorough understanding of the subject matter’. Practice head Andrew Berry is extensively experienced on all commercial property fronts and leads a team with extremely broad expertise. For investment matters, the group has forged a reputation in acting for Scandinavian, French, Middle and Far Eastern clients on inbound London investments, namely in relation to prime residential property. On the development front, both commercial and residential projects are acted upon with promotion agreements, funding and land sales all included within the offering. Bluechip occupiers, including those with large portfolios, also rely on the group, primarily in relation to the occupation of retail, warehousing, restaurant and hotel premises. Landlord and tenant expert Emma Copestake recently arrived from Withers LLP.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Berry

Testimonials

‘We had a complex development site to sell; the attention we received was of the highest standard and we cannot complain about any aspect.’

‘They provide personal attention and deal in a practical manner, making things easy for us. I cannot praise them enough.’

‘The firm always act 100% professionally, with absolute integrity, and with an in-depth and thorough understanding of the subject matter. When the matter is urgent, they deal with it expeditiously and adopt a commercial approach, whilst at the same time being forensic in relation to the attention to detail within each transaction. They always provide an exceptionally high standard of service and take full responsibility for their actions.’

‘Richard Stapylton-Smith has provided an exceptional professional service over the last 20 years, with solid legal advice to my various commercial entities. He has also provided personal legal advice and is now not only a trusted legal adviser, but has become a personal friend.’

Shepherd and Wedderburn

Described as 'excellent, consistent and creative', clients recommend Shepherd and Wedderburn for ‘both transactions and ongoing portfolio management’. Stephen Hubner heads the team, deploying expertise in investment structures and large-scale energy projects. The firm works with both public and private sector clients, from the UK and abroad; the team has recently noted an uptick in activity in the manged workspace, hotel and development sectors.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Hubner

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Rickard

Testimonials

‘An excellent, consistent, creative and fast all-round service, both on transactions and ongoing portfolio management.’

Key clients

Ørsted – formerly Dong Energy Wind Power A/S

Ellandi

Ocado

iomart Group

Instant Managed Offices

Safestay plc

Clydesdale Bank

Cordatus

EPIC

Haynes and Boone

Kyowa Kirin

Work highlights

  • Advised on first managed deal for IBM, as part of a strategic portfolio assessment and engagement.
  • Acted for Kyowa Kirin in taking lease of remaining space in Globeside Building Marlow,.
  • Acted for international law firm Haynes and Boone in taking lease of new premises in New Fetter Lane and advising on contracts for fit-out of space and disposal of its former headquarters.

Sherrards Solicitors LLP

Jointly led by Charles Hodder and Terry Fendt, the commercial property department at Sherrards Solicitors LLP is primarily active in the retail, leisure, franchising, healthcare and banking property investment sectors. The team handles work relating to acquisitions, landlord and tenant matters, financing and portfolio asset management, in addition to development projects spanning residential, commercial and mixed-use schemes. The group is well-equipped to provide advice at all stages of projects, covering easements, options, funding and planning, and is praised for 'going above and beyond to make sure clients are well informed and happy.'

Practice head(s):

Charles Hodder; Terry Fendt

Testimonials

‘They are very straightforward to deal with and easy to get along with, whilst also being effective solicitors.’

‘Sherrards provide a full range of commercial services – they are partner-led and supported by excellent senior associates and support staff. Sherrards compare favourably on fees.’

‘Experts in their fields but they also go above and beyond to make sure their clients are well informed and happy with the service received. I have worked with multiple associates and the standard/level of service has been excellent each time. The team are proficient, efficient, brilliant, personable, and really friendly.’

‘Charles Hodder is an excellent lawyer with good knowledge and experience.’

Key clients

John Jones Art Centre Limited

La Fosse Associates Limited (Technology, Digital and Change Recruitment Company)

Evapo Ltd

Chokdee Ltd trading as Giggling Squid

Menkind Limited

City Athletic Limited

Energie Property (UK) Limited

Watch House Coffee Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Watch House Coffee Holdings on the acquisition of another chain of coffee shops and advising on renegotiation of leases of shops arising out of that.
  • Acting for various developers on the acquisition of the airspace above a leasehold commercial building with the benefit of planning permission to construct additional floors and permitted development rights to convert the remainder to residential and acting in the refinance to obtain development funding.
  • Advised La Fosse Associates on new leases of five floors of an office building at a substantial rent.

VWV

VWV’s ‘very diligent’, ‘experienced and helpful’ team supports tenants, landlords and property investors with the full array of corporate occupier matters. Clients stem from the higher education, retail, charity, leisure, healthcare, ecclesiastical and aerospace industries, among others, and the group is well-versed on all assets including retail, office and industrial. Mark Hughes leads the London real estate practice which also specialises in property development, management, investment and finance matters.

Practice head(s):

Huw Morgan; Mark Hughes

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Josephides; Jon Durham

Testimonials

‘This is a great team to work with. Very diligent and steeped with the ability to give practical advice.’

‘Jon Durham is excellent. Always responds speedily with practical advice.’

‘Approachable, flexible and very knowledgeable.’

Key clients

The Richemont Group (including Alfred Dunhill, Montblanc, Peter Millar and James Purdey & Sons)

Canterbury Cathedral

Sheffield & Regional Properties

Royal College of Music

Field Studies Council

City & Guilds

Citizens Advice

Crest of London

London Stock Restaurant

The Governing Body of Rugby School

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Royal College of Music on the purchase of the long lease of Markova House, Kensington from English National Ballet.
  • Advised new restaurant London Stock in taking a lease in the Ram Quarter, Wandsworth Town.
  • Represented a central London university in the surrender of two leases of teaching space in the City of London, with a related dilapidations settlement.

Wallace LLP

At London firm Wallace LLP, the property team - which is led by the 'exceptionally good' Martin Otvos  - represents a number of prominent tenants in the office, hotel, retail and leisure sectors, spreading its expertise beyond the capital to other major UK cities. In addition to lettings, the team is also well-versed in development, sale, acquisition and funding matters, also representing a number of investment property companies with portfolio management.

Practice head(s):

Martin Otvos

Other key lawyers:

Mark Randolph; Matthew Morgan

Testimonials

‘It is very helpful to deal with experienced partners throughout and not have matters delegated to more junior associates who may be less sure of the advice of they are providing. And in spite of their expertise, their fees are significantly lower than their counterparts at larger practices.’

‘Very responsive, diligent and a common-sense approach.  Excellent advice and good at getting things done.’

‘Martin Otvos is an exceptionally good lawyer who has worked with us over many years. He is very quick in responding, always gives great advice and has the best interests of us as client.’

Martin Otvos is extremely thorough and commercial. He’s also extremely responsive and remarkably quick in dealing with complex issues.’

‘Reliable, dependable and flexible. I get a sense the long-term relationship is very important to all at Wallace.’

Key clients

Tottenham Hotspur Football Club

Hays Plc

Infopro Digital Services Ltd

Warwick Hotel Group

Giraffe Concepts Limited

Lester Hotels

Mimi’s Hotel Soho

Escape Hunt Group

Natuzzi

Art-Line Limited (trading as Cass Art)

Fishworks

Soho Estates

GLD Brands (Superga)

Work highlights

  • Providing Certificate of Title on Tottenham Hotspur Football Club’s new stadium as part of a security package for funders led by Bank of America Merrill Lynch on the club’s £637m refinancing.
  • Acted for Infopro Digital Services Limited in relation to the grant of new office leases.
  • Acted for Escape Hunt in relation to the grant of a new lease of two units and an option to take an additional unit at Resorts World Birmingham.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP runs a specialised, sector-specific practice which focuses on data centre, logistics, hospitality, leisure and logistics assets. Led by James Dodsworth, the team represents investors, financial institutions, family offices, private equity funds and retailers on a broad array of activities; examples include investment-related sales and acquisitions, joint ventures, leasing matters and portfolio management.

Practice head(s):

James Dodsworth

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Landsbert

Testimonials

‘Unparalleled data centre sector expertise, with the personal touch.’

‘They provide a high level of partner contact, and have good commercial acumen.’

Key clients

Oaktree Capital Management

Digital Realty

Selfridges

Credit Suisse

London Stock Exchange

Westmont Hospitality

Swiss Israeli Family Office

Telereal Trillium

Nomura

Middle Eastern Family Office

Oaktree Capital Management

Digital Realty

Work highlights

  • Advised Credit Suisse in relation to the sale and leaseback of its 285,000 square foot datacenter in Clifton, New Jersey to DXC Technology.
  • Advised Telereal Trillium in relation to its lettings at Grays Inn Road, London, a significant property within its portfolio of assets acquired as part of the market first PRIME transaction with the Department of Work and Pensions
  • Advised Selfridges on the structuring and papering of the Fora transaction in for the high end retail sector.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP acts for a mixture of national and international corporates on both headquarter relocations and portfolio management. In addition, it also handles high-end development and regeneration projects, including mixed-use schemes, providing input at all stages including development agreements and land acquisition. Newcastle-based John Ralph heads the department, which counts a number of London bluechip real estate funds among its investment client list. Secured lending and property finance expertise are notable supplementary strengths, as is the group’s project expertise in the energy, rail infrastructure and public sectors.

Practice head(s):

John Ralph

Key clients

New Look Retailers

Babcock International Group Plc

Associated British Ports

B&Q

Specsavers

CooperVision

Quilter

Decathlon

Footlocker

AIG

Post Office Limited

Carlsberg

Virgin

Accor UK

Freightliner Group Limited

Brittany Ferries

Barden Corporation

James Walker Group

Babcock

Brittany Ferries

Arriva

Vertu Motors plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Quilter on the acquisition of its new head office in London.
  • Acting for James Walker Group in respect of all of its real estate work including leases of office accommodation at their headquarters in Woking.
  • Acting for Carnival Plc, the parent company for P&O Cruises and Cunard, on the extension of its lease to remain at Carnival House, Southampton until 2038.