Commercial property: corporate occupiers in London
Allen & Overy LLP is routinely engaged for high-end, cross-border work for a prestigious roster of clients. The practice, which is led by global real estate head Imogen Moss, also advises landlords and tenants on the leasing and management of real estate investments, covering rent reviews, insurance and repair obligations. Moss plays an active role in the firm’s thriving headquarters practice and is also an expert on joint ventures and investments which use complex offshore structures. In a recent highlight, the team advised Westbrook Partners on its acquisition of the Sterling Industrial Platform, a portfolio of 28 UK logistic assets spanning over three million sq ft of lettable space. Well-regarded counsel Emma Willoughby represents a range of developers, landlords and tenants from the retail, office and industrial sectors.
Other key lawyers:
Emma Willoughby; Christopher Woolf
‘The team is outstanding in their knowledge, and have a great ability to give pragmatic advice (not just the legal theory). Very responsive and great at leveraging other specialities within the firm.’
‘The individuals truly go the extra mile. They have great commercial sense between protecting the client position and making transactions happen.’
THRE’s European Cities Fund
Orion Capital Managers
- Advised TH Real Estate on the acquisition, via a joint venture, of the Devonshire Square Estate in London, together with the leaseback of 200,000 sq ft of the estate to WeWork as anchor tenant.
- Advising a high-profile client on a refurbishment and multiple lettings at different premises.
At Ashurst, the firm's bench of real estate lawyers are ‘extremely adept at tackling complex issues’ and display an ‘unrivalled attitude to supporting their clients’. On the development side, the team is active in the logistics, build-to-rent and private rented sectors and demonstrates prowess on urban regeneration and major development schemes. Investor clients span Europe, the Middle East, Australia, North America and Asia, particularly South Korea, Japan, China and Singapore, and entrust the group to handle the full range of asset management and cross-border investments. The team represents both corporate and government occupiers on the leasing of industrial, retail and headquarter buildings and also supports a number of household retailers on the full range of real estate matters, including planning and construction. The group notably continues to advise Westfield on phase 2 of the Westfield London development project in White City, which is extending the shopping centre by over 500,000 sq ft. David Jones is a ‘stand out’ in the investment field and tailors his practice towards international real estate M&A and joint ventures, while Hugh Lumby is another recommended name. Recently promoted partner Tim Regis is recommended for regeneration schemes and joint ventures while 'tenacious and attentive' senior associate Julie Connolly is also well-regarded.
Hugh Lumby; Richard Vernon; David Jones; Melanie Jordan
Other key lawyers:
Tim Regis; Richard Vernon; Sarah Sivyour; Henry Moss
‘The team has deep and incredibly insightful experience of highly complicated deals.’
‘The working relationships between infrastructure, planning and commercial real estate partners is personal and collaborative in a way that delivers frictionless and excellent advice.’
‘Highly knowledgeable and specialised in their field. Very accessible and consistently provide a high service and results regarding of the situation and problems encountered’.
‘Very versatile and pragmatic in their approach. Always willing and able to overcome issues that with other firms can derail a deal’.
‘Jamie Chapman and Henry Moss have between them a depth of legal and commercial expertise in real estate generally’
‘Ashurst are extremely adept at tackling complex issues and identifying solutions in a clear, concise and professional manner. They have a broad range of expertise which makes them first choice for the most complex deals’.
‘Donna Fleming stands out. She is an excellent negotiator, and understands the value of building excellent working relationships with the other side’s counsel during deals. Her tenacity and commitment to get the deal done, in the right manner, on the right terms for her clients, and in the demanding timeframes, is exceptional’.
‘What sets this practice apart from others we deal with is their attentiveness and unbridled commitment and persistence to seeing a transaction through to completion’.
‘Jamie Chapman and Julie Connolly are most highly regarded given their tenacity and attentiveness and unbridled and persistence and commitment to seeing a transaction through to completion’.
‘Henry Moss navigates complex legal and commercial points and discussions well. Good understanding of the real estate industry and where potential pitfalls can lie.’
‘The Ashurst team is unquestionably different to other real estate legal teams in other firms. They have an unrivalled attitude to supporting their clients and have the expertise across the real estate practice to deliver. The property law, tax and structuring and real estate debt advisory teams all work seamlessly together and the result is excellence’.
‘All members of the Ashurst team excel in putting their finger on the issues in a real estate transaction and they guide their clients to a solution that will work for them and the other party on the opposite side of the deal’.
The Berkeley Group
Knight Frank Investment Management
- Acting for M&G on its relocation from several existing premises in the City to a new headquarters building on Fenchurch Avenue.
- Advising Oaktree on its head office move to the Verde building in Victoria from existing premises in Knightsbridge.
- Advising Virgin Media on the relocation of its UK headquarters to a 120,000 sq ft leasehold premises in Reading.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Hailed as ‘the best team in the market for real estate’, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP advises international investor clients on matters such as portfolio purchases, development site acquisitions as well as purchase and leasebacks. The team ‘drives the process from start to finish’, handling redevelopments, regenerations, joint ventures and residential schemes. On the corporate occupiers front, the team represents leasers and leasees alike, and calls upon its strength in development, investment and landlord and tenant matters to assist on the full range of relevant issues. High-profile retail entities instruct the team for licensing, real estate and retail development work with the firm also hosting a full service hospitality and leisure team. Practice chief Chris de Pury handles big-ticket sales, purchases and restructurings, leading a team which includes the ‘superb’ Claire Milton. James Knox and Alan Wight are go-to names in the retail and corporate occupier spaces respectively, while EMEA senior partner Robert MacGregor is a specialist in joint ventures and pre-letting transactions. Key client Silvertown Homes Limited recently instructed the group to advise on a £3bn joint venture to develop a 50-acre Thameside West site at the Royal Docks in London.
Chris de Pury
Other key lawyers:
Juliet Thomas; Alan Wight; Emma Le Wita; Chris Rowe
‘The best team in the market for real estate, full stop. It understands development and is good at driving the process from start to finish.’
‘Claire Milton is superb. She rolls up her sleeves and gets into the trenches. Nothing is too much trouble and she is always available. The associates supporting her are good as well. Rebecca Moore is very good’.
‘The BCLP team stand out in their ability to distil complex issues and transactions into easy to understand concepts and user friendly concise reports’.
‘Their commitment to understanding their client’s business means they don’t waste time point-scoring and focus on key issues that really matter’.
‘The partners truly enjoy what they do and want to do the best for their client. This is demonstrated not just in the way they seek to understand the client’s drivers and lead a positive collaboration with the other side, but also in their ability to dive into the detail and come back out again, using the knowledge they have of the law and pragmatic examples of what others are doing in the market to draft complex documents clearly and produce easy to understand user guides’.
‘In short they are committed, hungry, enthusiastic and a pleasure to deal with.’
‘Strong property team encompassing legals, licensing and construction with continuity at the heart.’
‘They have an ability to simplify the most complicated legal legislation to make it understandable to the lay person’.
Argent King’s Cross Limited Partnership
Great Portland Estates (GPE)
WR Berkley Group
CMA CGM Group
- Acting for longstanding client Landsec on its London portfolio including the lettings of Nova, a 897,000 sq ft mixed use scheme, part of Landsec’s £2.2bn re-invention of Victoria that delivers office space, high quality apartments and restaurants
- Advising Argent Kings Cross Limited Partnership on a pre-let to Facebook, which will take leases of 611,000 sq ft of office space at King’s Cross.
Clifford Chance LLP's ‘pre-eminent’ practice is a ‘market leader, both domestically and cross-border’. Its corporate occupiers practice has a proven track record in acting on central London headquarter transactions, particularly those linked with development projects, and also handles secondary market lettings on both the landlord and occupier side. Development-related strengths include regeneration and infrastructure projects as well as developments over stations. Expertise on the investment side encompasses transactions and joint ventures pertaining to major real estate platforms, as well as high-end cross-border portfolio transactions. In a market-leading case, the team successfully acted for the Canary Wharf Group on its opposition to the European Medicines Agency's claim that its 25-year lease in Canary Wharf had been frustrated due to Brexit. Jonathan Solomon is highly experienced in central London development matters and is recommended alongside Adrian Levy, a specialist in real estate-related corporate finance. Angela Kearns handles the full range of transactions, while the team also includes recently promoted partner Ian Painter. He and Mark Payne are noted as ‘extremely knowledgeable’. Alis Pay is a standout name in the hotels and leisure team which is well regarded for acquisition development financing and M&A-related transactions along with operating and related agreements.
‘Top level pan-European advice – best in class.’
‘Extremely responsive and professional – especially Mark Payne.’
‘Ian Painter and Mark Payne are both extremely knowledgeable in this area’.
‘The team has strength in depth and market leading knowledge. Certainly one of the small handful of leaders in this area of legal practice.’
‘Ian Painter is very knowledgeable, has a great work ethic and leads from the front as a partner in that practice.’
‘Clifford Chance’s practice is pre-eminent and the quality of their legal advice and transaction management is second to none.’
‘The standout partner is Mark Payne together with associate, Rob Donnell. Mark is pragmatic, commercial and technical, all at the same time, an excellent combination. Rob provides excellent client service and is exceptional at transaction management’.
‘Great strength in depth. High quality, commercial advice. One of the best firms in this sector.’
‘Willingness to go the extra mile. Excellent response times and ability to advise on highly complex structuring issues. Particular mention to Angela Kearns and Ian Painter who are both outstanding’.
‘Excellent quality team from top to bottom’.
‘Market leading practice, both domestically and cross-border’.
‘Ian Painter combines unparalleled market and legal knowledge with an unflappable nature to achieve trusted adviser status.’
‘Catherine Cook is an outstanding partner with an incredible deep knowledge and experience in the industry. She will fight tooth and nail on behalf of her clients, while simultaneously reminding the client of what is fair to fight for and what is not’.
‘Ian Painter takes charge of issues and sees them through to resolution with practical and commercial ideas.’
‘Amina Tacconi and Alis Paye are responsive and resourceful. They respond quickly to the clients needs and go above and beyond by their creative thinking and innovative ways of agreeing an outcome that both parties can adhere to. They are problem-solvers whilst being experts in their legal field. There are no other lawyers like them’.
Canary Wharf Group plc
Mitsubishi Estate London Ltd
Sadler’s Wells Foundation
- Advised TH Real Estate on the pre-let of 70 St Mary Axe to US law firm Sidley Austin.
- Advised Helical plc and AshbyCapital on their first major pre-let at One Bartholomew in Farringdon London to digital advertising company The Trade Desk.
The top-of-the-market real estate practice at CMS is recommended for the ‘breadth of its service and expertise’, 'working seamlessly' on multi-layered development and regeneration projects and providing clients with full life-cycle support on tax, finance and construction issues. Clients in the hotels and leisure space include high-profile hotel operators, restaurants and entertainment venues, which routinely instruct the team for real estate, M&A, management, franchising, financing and litigation matters. Work for the group in the retail sector includes significant development and redevelopment projects, disputes and transactions. UK real estate head Ciaran Carvalho is ‘very collaborative' and 'commercial and astute’, while Mark Heighton acts on development and letting transactions. Notable recent work has included advising AXA IM Real Assets on the £650m sale of Ropemaker Place.
Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is a market leader in the corporate occupier space and recently acted for Facebook on a multi-building pre-let of 620,000 sq ft at Argent’s King’s Cross development. The highly recommended Bruce Dear led on the matter, with other recent highlights including office relocations, headquarter expansions and a range of complex leasing issues. The retail sector is another area in which the practice excels as it handles data privacy, insolvency and smart warehousing matters, among many others. The firm is also recommended for its work in the hotels and leisure industry as well as development and investment matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘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 and irritating process at times.’
‘Nick Bartlett is a highly capable, innovative and personable lawyer, with extremely strong commercial acumen equalled by public sector knowledge.’
‘Mark Shepherd is a pleasure to work with. He provides solutions when issues arise, and is always accessible.’
Facebook UK Limited
Exor Investments Limited
Venus Asset Management
- Advised KPMG in relation to 15-year letting of No.2 Forbury Place, Reading.
- Advised AXA Investment Managers is relocating from its two London offices into two and a half floors at 22 Bishopsgate in London.
The team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP delivers a ‘consistently high quality service from consistently high quality personnel’, working with a wide variety of owner, development and tenant clients on high-profile matters. The practice handles the full lifecycle of investment projects and transactions as well as large development and regeneration projects. The globally integrated hotels and leisure practice advises on areas including acquisitions, disposals, disputes, IP and employment issues, while expertise in the retail sector includes development, acquisition, disposal and letting issues. Donald Rowlands, a ‘leader in his field’, is a key member of the team, as is Richard Forsdyke, who is knowledgeable across the full spectrum of financing, development and investment matters. The group is currently acting for Madison Square Garden Company in relation to the proposed development of MSG Sphere London, a 20,000 seat entertainment venue in Stratford. Clients include sovereign wealth funds, private equity funds, investment and fund managers, borrowers and lenders. Nick Turner is a key name and leads the corporate occupier offering, while Paul Chases is an expert in the structuring, negotiation and completion of complex development joint ventures. Also recommended is Shona Grey, a specialist in corporate acquisitions and disposals in the private equity real estate sector.
‘Excellent level of knowledge and technical competency. Exciting people to work with and highly diligent.’
‘First rate firm of the highest quality.’
‘Richard Forsdyke is commercially extremely savvy and focuses on getting things done rather than getting bogged down in legal arguments’.
‘Strong team with gravitas. Very knowledgeable and capable.’
‘Jeremy Walden is an outstanding, sensible lawyer.’
‘Jeremy Walden is a stand out practitioner. Aside from market-leading technical expertise, he is adept at quickly and accurately pinpointing client priorities.’
‘Sebastian Taylor is particularly skilled at manoeuvering complex negotiations with a balanced focus. He is a dedicated team leader and his ability to identify, understand and act on the commercial imperatives involved is especially well developed.’
‘The team seamlessly bring together all of the different disciplines required to make large complex transactions happen. They are equally skilled at negotiating with counter parties and managing clients and clients expectations.’
‘Don Rowlands and Nick Turner are a particularly strong team. They do a very strong double act as good cop/bad cop. They are also very efficient and fun to work with.’
‘Consistent high quality service from consistently high quality personnel.’
‘Don Rowlands is a leader in his field who often does the the dirty work that partners of his experience regularly pass down to juniors. There are no half measures with his approach.’
‘Emma Carter has a prodigious work rate which is always of the highest quality. A clear listener who delivers on what her clients specifically ask for and gets things done’.
Aberdeen Standard Investments (formerly Standard Life)
Canary Wharf Group
Hermes Real Estate
Transport for London
- Advising British Land and its joint venture partner in relation to the letting programme at 135 Bishopsgate.
- Advised Pearson on the sale of One Southwark Bridge, The Financial Times headquarters, to M&G Real Estate for £115m.
Hogan Lovells International LLP's practice represents high-profile landlords and tenants in the corporate occupier arena, and demonstrates particular expertise in surplus property disposals. The firm is also home to a well-regarded hotels and leisure practice which assists clients with relevant transactions, joint venture agreements, hotel developments, financing, disputes and operational agreements. Investment clients include institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, private equity houses and overseas family offices who rely on the team for the full cycle of asset management transactions. The 'absolutely fantastic' Dion Panambalana and Gill McGreevy are key contacts for development and regeneration work with the team undertaking the full range of related matters including planning allocation, procurement, delivery, letting and disposals. In a recent caseload highlight, Panambalana represented Calthorpe Estates in an agreement with U+I concerning a substantial urban regeneration project in Birmingham. The highly recommended Daniel Norris and Jackie Newstead head the practice which includes recently promoted partners Katie Gill and Paul Tonkin. Counsel Christopher Somorjay is a standout junior member of the team, representing numerous institutional investor and pension fund clients.
Jackie Newstead; Daniel Norris
‘They genuinely provide competitive advantage through their advice. They can only do that by really understanding the business at a strategic and operational level and the markets within which the business operates.’
‘They think about their impact on the business and its customers, both in terms of what they say, but also how they say it. They continually challenge themselves to bring genuine value as commercial lawyers. Nick Roberts and Graham Cutts exemplify this.’
‘Dion Panambalana is very focused, pragmatic and user friendly.’
‘The ability for them to quickly obtain the necessary information be it legal, tax or another area of financial law is highly impressive and key to a successful project.’
‘Dion Panambalana is absolutely fantastic, both in his professionalism but also in his commitment and interest in the project he is working on. The way in which he interacts and uses schematic diagrams and flow charts to simplify complicated processes is extremely useful.’
‘Excellent and wide ranging offer in terms of services such that there is full and highly competent range of professionals to deal with the most complicated of real estate transactions.’
‘Dion Panambalana is extremely personable and attentive to detail. His response to our requests have been both timely and considered, often going the extra mile.’
‘The team at Hogan Lovells have shown themselves to not only be clear and concise in their advice but are also able to adapt that advice to emerging and unprecedented situations.’
‘Practical application of the law with a commercial understanding. High quality across the various disciplines: commercial, litigation, construction and planning.’
‘John Condliffe is a high quality individual, a pleasure to work with’.
‘Daniel Norris has very strong business skills, good interpersonal skills – he is an excellent negotiator and good communicator.’
‘John Condliffe and Laura Oliver in particular offer excellent levels of service and advice.’
‘Victoria Sutcliffe and senior associate Chris Somorjay must be mentioned for their application and abilities.’
CCLA Investment Management
LaSalle Investment Management (Mars Pension Fund and Coal Pension Properties)
M&G Real Estate (Prudential)
The Crown Estate
- Acting for the BBC on its pre-let to take, and enable, the development of the cultural and educational district at Stratford.
- Advising Shaftesbury on the letting of the redeveloped Thomas Neal’s Warehouse to KERB for a new food hall concept.
Linklaters LLP's ‘excellent' real estate team represents domestic and international investors, developers and occupiers on premium investments, high-value regeneration and developments and lettings. Practice head Andy Bruce is highly recommended and experienced in financing, development, acquisition, letting and disposal matters across the UK and Europe. In a recent highlight for the practice, a team led by Patrick Plant advised Malaysian investors on the £1.6bn purchase of a stake in the Battersea power station redevelopment project. Simon Price has notable experience with structured investments and is also possesses expert knowledge of the hotels sector, while the 'exceptional' Martin Elliott leads the development team.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team has an excellent working knowledge of our company’s structures and requirements. Advice is always timely and concise. The practice has a very thorough and expert knowledge of the development process.’
‘Martin Elliott is exceptional in his knowledge of the real estate process and our companies needs. He surrounds himself with excellent associates, notably Richard Liversedge, Kathryn Griffiths and Kate Pearson.’
‘Patrick Plant is knowledgeable and well respected. His advice is well balanced and commercial – he understands when to push and when to give.’
‘Linklaters have an excellent real estate development and construction team that provides practical advice on all relevant matters for real estate lenders. They are able to tailor their advice for a lender (rather than, say, the developer or owner).’
‘Siobhan Burton is excellent and always provides practical and useful advice.’
‘Siobhan Burton is a very strong performer’.
‘Excellent service; commercially aware advice; always available to client and quick turnaround of documents.’
‘Martin Elliott and his team provide a great service to clients, with a thoroughly professional and friendly approach. Readily available and excellent advice.’
- Acting for Glencore on the pre-let of its new UK HQ from Great Portland Estates.
- Acting for an investment bank on the development and subsequent sale and leaseback of its new European HQ.
The highly regarded commercial property practice at Mayer Brown International LLP is 'well resourced, incredibly capable and commercial'. On the corporate occupier side, it represents both landlords and tenants on headquarter relocations and post-property acquisition leasing transactions, and is also reputed for its handling of large mixed use schemes. Development-related strengths include land acquisition, site assembly and structuring, planning and statutory issues, tendering and procurement, development constraints strategy and environmental issues. Firmwide managing partner Jeremy Clay is a key name on the investment side and primarily represents private equity funds, though the group also acts for property companies, family offices and overseas investors. Martin Wright recently acted for First Base Limited, Macquarie Capital and Chelsfield Properties on the sale of The Silvertown Partnership to a joint venture vehicle between Lendlease and Starwood Capital. Iain Roberts is recommended for high-value investment transactions and mixed use property developments while Caroline Humble is another standout name.
Martin Wright; Chris Harvey; Anita Jones
‘Very high quality; exceptional availability and thoughtful approach.’
‘Exceptional quality of personnel around the whole team. Highly commercial and effective.’
‘Diligent, knowledgeable and highly commercial.’
‘A well resourced and incredibly capable team who are highly commercial.’
‘Excellent at giving strategic advice and structuring complex deals. Always commercially aware.’
‘Outstanding strategic advice on complex transactions – Jeremy Clay is particularly recommended.’
‘They have a number of talented junior lawyers who provide a strong service’.
‘Martin Wright is very adept at understanding our key commercial objectives. He is able to strike a sensible and pragmatic balance between covering the detail and ensuring our commercial property transactions progress expeditiously.’
‘Very strong commercially, ability to think round corners in extremely complicated scenarios.’
‘Chris Harvey has excellent skills and always provides great partner time.’
The British Land Company Plc
Derwent London plc
Cabot Properties Inc
Putnam Investments Limited
- Advising British Land on various leasing projects at three of their high-profile campuses.
- Advising Tishman Speyer on pre-lettings and lettings at the Verde SW1 building in Victoria, London.
Clients recommend the lawyers at Norton Rose Fulbright for their ‘tenacity and attention to detail’, ‘technical ability’ and ‘commercial acumen’. The team is reputed on the investment and development fronts for global inward investment, infrastructure projects, financing and long-term projects, including an increasing number of mixed-use and residential-led schemes. The firm’s hotel and leisure practice, led by the highly recommended Nick Clayson, handles a broad range of work on cross-border branding, construction and development, data protection, IP, franchising and financing matters, among others, while high-profile corporate occupier clients engage the group for pre-letting negotiations, construction and refurbishment contracts, IT procurement and strategic lease advice. Recent work highlights include advising on the £700m redevelopment of the Olympia London exhibition centre. David Hawkins is a go-to name in the development space while David Sinclair possesses ‘an incredible grip on the minute details of each project’ and is active on a broad range of investment and development projects, including hotels, infrastructure, offices and shopping centres. Louisa Roe was recently promoted to counsel and is a specialist on complex leasing transactions.
‘The team make a concerted effort to understand the exact requirements of the client, as well as appreciating what the client cannot accept before entering into any negotiations. They also take time to understand the corporate structure of the client to appreciate the nuances behind decision making requirements. This makes the deal process much easier and significantly more manageable from a client perspective.’
‘Louisa Roe is pragmatic, commercial, has a can-do ethic, understands the requirements of the client and translates these into manageable obligations and requirements.’
‘Dan Wagerfield has fantastic knowledge and ability to apply legal expertise to the issue at hand to ensure pragmatic workable solutions are achieved.’
‘The turnaround time on advice is very quick, which is hugely valuable, but the advice is always clear, concise and well explained. They have a great understanding on what the client’s needs are and what they want to achieve and are always on hand to offer advice to help bring matters to a conclusion.’
‘Very pragmatic and commercial, not points scoring solicitors. They get the deals done with the minimum of fuss.’
‘Tenacity and attention to detail. Commercial acumen. Speed and efficiency’.
‘Friendly and helpful, willing to support even when other members may be on leave’.
‘Alex Parry is very helpful, competent and supportive’.
‘Very good technical ability and excellent customer communication’.
‘David Sinclair has an incredible grip on the minute details on each project and provides an excellent level of service.’
BMO Real Estate Partners
Prime London Ventures
Barnard’s Inn Unit Trust
Conning Asset Management Limited
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Europa Capital/Hobart Partners
Resolution Property Holdings
- Advising WELPUT on the lettings of its newly redeveloped building at 20 St James’s Street in London.
- Advising Argo Group on the pre-letting of a floor at Generali’s new-build prime office space at 1 Fen Court in London.
Clients recommend Baker McKenzie for its ‘global coverage’, ‘extremely responsive team’ and ‘commercial advice’. The team is particularly well-regarded for investment matters, handling finance, structuring, documenting, development and divestment matters in addition to the negotiation of joint ventures. Overseas inbound investment is also a strength with the highly recommended Stephen Turner recently advising Asian investor Far East Consortium on the acquisition of a £200m development site in Manchester. Specific expertise is also held in relation to the European rollout of US and other international retail groups, while the practice also supports corporate occupiers on leasing, transactions, developments, planning and dispute resolution matters, among others. Justin Salkeld is another standout name and heads the hotels and leisure offering. He is an expert on the acquisition, development, operation and disposal of hotel assets. His team is also engaged for employment, IP, tax, environment, franchise and construction-related instructions.
Stephen Turner; Justin Salkeld
‘The best for the level of services they provide, the competence, the assistance in each European country and the sense of urgency they put in each deal’.
‘Stefanie Price is great and makes the client feel as though they are getting the best service’.
‘Global coverage, extremely responsive, ability to provide support and guidance across all business functions for completely different platforms and models. Excellent teamwork and resources within the organization to provide the best outcome in cross functional situations.’
‘Very responsive – the team offers advice that is straightforward, pragmatic and commercial’.
‘Stefanie Price is highly organised and ensures that momentum is maintained on all matters. She involves Stephen Turner whenever appropriate to get a second point of view or additional seniority.’
Cancer Research UK
Airline Tariff Publishing Company
- Acting for CRUK in relation to its relocation strategy from the Angel Building, Islington its new 120,000 sq ft headquarters premises at Stratford East.
- Advising Michael Kors on its store expansion across EMEA, acting on over 200 leases across Europe.
Bristows LLP ‘continues to be a trusted and reliable’ firm with a commercial property team that is 'well versed in their field’. A keystone of the practice is its corporate occupier work where the group is active on major transactions, particularly for international businesses in the technology and life sciences sectors. Practice head Teresa Edmund ‘has the ability to make even the most complex issues sound straightforward’. She is active on all commercial property fronts and handles property transactions in a range of sectors, namely retail, charities, learned institutions and not-for-profit. The ‘exceptional’ Tim Allen, who recently made partner, acts on development projects, sale and leaseback transactions, property finance and landlord & tenant work. Supporting him on the corporate occupier front is recommended associate Gemma Kirsch.
‘Bristows has a very commercial real estate team who are instrumental in advising clients on real estate legal negotiations. The team has a diverse set of experience and is rapidly building up its profile as real estate lawyers, especially in the London market.’
‘In particular, Tim Allen is a key individual at Bristows. He takes a commercial view on issues in order to best advise the client whilst ensuring negotiations do not become protracted.’
‘Tim Allen and Giles Davy provide specialist knowledge which is particularly invaluable when negotiating turnover rent provisions.’
‘Tim Allen’s work is exceptional. Commercially pragmatic, hard working, and explained concepts clearly. His associate Gemma Kirsch also follows in the same footsteps.’
‘Bristows continues to be a trusted a reliable business partner whose team are well versed in their field, very responsive to questions as well as being sensitive to our timelines.’
‘Availability and quality of technical knowledge and sector insight. Effective and balanced recommendations that aligned with business needs.’
‘Extremely approachable, quick to respond, can-do attitude, excellent client service’.
‘Teresa Edmund is very responsive, knowledgeable with good interpersonal skills. She offers practical solutions and leads her department efficiently.’
We have dealt with Bristows for many years. They have a strong team and there is always someone available to deal with any queries we might have. We get immediate response, and the partners are also readily available.
‘Teresa Edmund heads up the team, but is always available to discuss anything. She has the ability to make even the most complex issues sound straight forward.’
‘Bristows offers exceptional advice and provides the advice in a way that is easily understood by their clients. They are pragmatic and take an approach that satisfies their clients as well as enabling a transaction to run smoothly in order to achieve the desired outcome.’
‘Extremely accessible and easy to work with. This varies greatly with other law firms who a difficult to relate to and do not solve tasks in a way that individuals who do not work in law can understand and contribute to.’
‘Teresa Edmund is pragmatic, thorough and methodical.’
‘They are professional and knowledgeable while being approachable.’
‘Working closely with Tim Allen and Gemma Kirsch is a fantastic experience, their pragmatism alongside industry knowledge is invaluable.’
Blue Diamond Limited
NIO Nextev (UK) Limited
Time Out Markets Limited
Dimension Data Networking Services Limited
The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn
Stirling Land Limited
Halfswing Properties Limited
Randle Siddeley Limited
Totaljobs Group Limited
Schibsted Products & Technology Limited
Flexera Software Limited
Avalara Europe Limited
Trafigura Pte Limited
Bloomfield Service Stations Limited
- Represented Blue Diamond in its acquisition of nine garden centres from Wyevale and the subsequent sale and leaseback of three of those sites to a BlackRock fund.
- Appointed by NIO Nextev (UK) Limited for the development and leasing of 110,000 square foot European HQ and R&D facility.
Clients recommend Burges Salmon LLP for its ‘City quality advice at regional rates’, with the breadth of its offering in the development space covering joint ventures, regenerations, forward funding, sales and lettings along with niche expertise in sustainable and public sector projects. Investment clients include major landowners, investment managers, developers and constructors along with local authorities and other public sector bodies. On the hotels and leisure and retail fronts, the team draws upon the firm’s wider expertise on matters such as disputes, IT and IP, advertising, finance and M&A to assist on instructions that extend beyond real estate. In addition, corporate occupiers rely on the team, which is headed by Richard Clark, for matters including HQ moves, lease work, rent reviews, exit strategies and dilapidations.
Other key lawyers:
Rick Read; Matthew Sims; James Sutherland
‘Good liaison between the individuals directly involved in the project and, after discussion/agreement on a way forward, the willingness and ability to bring in other people and specialists as and when required.’
‘Commitment to delivering a solution.’
‘Enjoyable to work with, professional and friendly, dedicated.’
‘As you’d expect of Burges Salmon, they provide City quality advice at regional rates. They also bring the corporate transactional mind-set to the real estate sector where it is often absent – speedy and commercially astute advice. Good dynamic between partners and associates – partner closely involved for key negotiations but delegating for cost-efficiency as appropriate.’
‘Rick Read combines dynamic advice, ready availability and affability very well.’
‘Overall Burges Salmon always provide clear, professional and honest advice.’
‘Partner led advice in this instance is a genuine strapline. Matthew Sims provides exceptional advice.’
‘Flexible, committed, proactive, responsive’.
John Lewis plc and Waitrose
Competition & Markets Authority
Abellio West London Ltd
Gooch & Housego plc
- Acted for the Competition and Markets Authority on its headquarters move.
- Advising Waterstones as corporate occupier on its UK store portfolio, providing strategic and transactional property support.
The team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP was recently bolstered by the arrivals of Melville Rodrigues and David Paxton from CMS and Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP respectively. Rodrigues joined as head of the real estate funds team, while Paxton has bolstered the team’s development transaction offering. International and domestic institutional private investors, HNWs, asset managers and property funds routinely instruct the team for matters including urban renewal and mixed-use developments, PRS schemes and modular housing. The corporate occupier workload includes disposals, acquisitions, HQ relocations, exit strategies, restructuring, sales and leasebacks as well as portfolio management. Mark Smith heads the practice which includes recommended senior associate Eddie Richards, a specialist in secure lending and development projects. The group, which is highly regarded for its sector expertise, provides expert understanding of the charities, education, retail and leisure, healthcare and residential markets.
Other key lawyers:
Sarah Morley; Ingrid Saffin
‘Professionalism, diligence and integrity‘.
‘Very professional, very rigorous, smart, ethical and results-oriented‘.
David Lloyd Leisure Limited
Janus Henderson Investors
Silver Lake Europe LLP
Samena Capital Management LLP
Stonegate Pub Company
Rathbone Brothers PLC
Dean & DeLuca
ZS Associates Inc.
Direct Line Group
- Acting for FTSE 250 investment and wealth management services provider Rathbone Brothers on its move to Stanhope Mitsubishi’s new 160,000 sq ft City development at 8 Finsbury Circus in London EC2.
- Acted for IQVIA Limited on its disposal of leasehold premises at Green Park, Reading, with a rent roll of £3.3m per annum to Virgin Media Limited and simultaneous acquisition of leasehold premises at M&G’s development at Forbury Place, Reading with a rent roll of £1.65m per annum.
Collyer Bristow LLP is highly rated in the hotels and leisure space, representing a client base of hotel owners, operators, restaurants, bars and sports clubs on matters such as extensions, sales and leases, refurbishment and licensing. A further key strength is development, with the group holding particular expertise in relation to mixed-use sites, joint ventures, profit sharing, planning agreements, overage agreements and renewable energy matters. Development-related finance is also a core focus, with a number of banks and financial institutions forming the client roster. In the corporate occupier space, the practice has recently represented a number of regulatory bodies in relation to office moves and is also engaged by banks for related matters.
Other key lawyers:
Alex O’Connor; Jonathan Wiese
Aldersgate Investments Ltd / Motcomb Estates Ltd (Reuben brothers)
Arney Fender Katsalidis Limited (International architects)
Bewley Homes plc
Charterhouse Voice and Data Plc
Chase New Homes Ltd
Crest Nicholson plc
The Deltic Group
EDHEC Business School
GMS Estates Ltd
Ipsus Developments Ltd
Lochailort Investments Ltd
Sutton Harbour Holdings plc
Willmott Dixon Holdings Ltd / Be Living Ltd
DAC Beachcroft LLP’s ‘outstanding all-round team’ represents institutional, international and private investors and developers, and is particularly adept on mixed-use schemes while also handling asset management, litigation and strategic land projects. The build-to-rent sector is an emerging keystone of the practice while joint ventures are also an established fortitude. Retail and corporate occupier expertise are also part of the firm’s offering, with the team acting on acquisitions and disposals, landlord and tenant law, regulatory matters and environmental requirements. Andrew Boulton serves as practice head, while at the junior end, residential development specialist Charlotte Wilson 'provides innovative solutions'.
Other key lawyers:
Nick Marshall; Madeline Ball; John Noonan
‘The team is focused on delivering clear and concise advice. They are proactive and should any unforeseen events occur they advise promptly and offer workaround solutions.’
‘Good quality people who are capable and work to get a deal over the line.’
‘Gemma Leonard has a good grip on the overall picture and proactively works to resolve issues with significant success.’
‘Charlotte Wilson is an expert at drafting and providing innovative solutions to tricky contractual points.’
‘An outstanding team all round. They are always available and responsive and deliver on time. Whilst remaining organised and pragmatic, they are very personable and genuinely care about the client’.
‘One to one attention. High quality of service. Specific client contacts that make the effort to understand the requirements of business.’
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
CHEP / Brambles
IDE Group Manage
Page White & Farrer
X Real Estate
NYX Professional Makeup
Hydro Mine Inc
- Acted for Panasonic UK in connection with the relocation of its UK headquarters.
- Advising CHEP UK on the purchase of the freehold interest in industrial premises in Trafford Park, Manchester for a purchase price of £8m.
DLA Piper’s practice is lauded for its ‘comprehensive set of real estate skills' which enable it to execute complex transactions, including all aspects of property investment work. In the development sector, the firm possesses particular experience on housing and mixed-use schemes along with build-to-rent projects. In addition, the firm’s hotel and leisure practice excels in a broad range of industries, representing global, regional and national hotels in addition to sports operators, health and fitness facilities, cinemas, gambling establishments and leisure complexes, among others. The team is notably advising the European Medicines Agency in a high-profile case which raises the question of whether Brexit has frustrated its lease at Canary Wharf. Paul Jayson heads the retail and corporate occupier practices, handling a caseload which includes asset management, acquisitions and disposals, disputes and financing. 'Strong leader' William Naunton is highly recommended and represents a variety of fund managers and institutional investors.
Other key lawyers:
Tim Field; Ian Brierley
‘A high quality team and expertise in all facets.’
‘Recommended for quality of the advice as well as quick turnaround of the work.’
‘The team is responsive and gets real world issues, rather than being stuck in an ivory tower in the City divorced from what goes on in the real world. They do all that is needed plus more to get the deal done on time. They operate in a practical, constructive and collaborative way.’
‘Really hard working and dedicated. Keen to impress.’
‘Paul Dineen is incredibly keen to please.’
‘Very responsive, decisive and reliable team. Depth of knowledge and transaction experience.’
‘The team’s strength in depth makes it stand out. All aspects of property investment are covered including contract, structuring, tax and construction. In each case the individual advising is best in class.’
‘The team has a comprehensive set of real estate skills which enables to it provide clear advice and execute complex transactions.’
‘William Naunton is a strong leader with a thorough understanding of his client’s needs’.
‘Mark Keeling captures all the detail of complex matters and translates them into simplified concise points.’
‘They consider all aspects of bringing a hotel project to delivery and are able to bring together experienced partners in a coordinated way.’
‘Excellent client information, easily reachable, well informed and excellent network.’
‘William Naunton combines a very open, client focused approach with high quality of advice.’
- Acted for The Boston Consulting Group UK LLP in the renegotiation of its agreement to take seven floors at 80 Charlotte Street in London.
- Represented WeWork in its leasing of the majority of 21 Soho Square.
Fladgate LLP’s practice ‘provides depth across real estate’, delivering ‘excellent attention to detail and customer care’. On the corporate occupier front, it represents major office occupiers, co-working providers, professional businesses, barristers chambers and restaurateurs on the full range of landlord and tenant work. Elsewhere in the development space, urban regeneration along with office, industrial, mixed-use and residential projects are among the areas of expertise. The group is also active in the investment arena, priding itself on its knowledge of tax considerations and routinely acting on sales and acquisitions, lettings, joint ventures, finance and receiverships. Sector expertise encompasses the retail, hotel and leisure sectors, where the team caters to a client base of casinos, cinemas, gyms, hotels, museums, resorts, restaurants and theatres on a range of matters. Stephen Lewis heads the practice, which was recently bolstered by the arrivals of Simon Kanter, Alan Karsberg and James Norton from CMS. Kanter advises on reconstructions including debt acquisition and work-out schemes, while Norton directs particular focus towards acquisitions, disposals and investment management.
Other key lawyers:
Alan Karsberg; Gavin Whitney; Gideon Dabby-Joory
‘Personable, knowledgeable, accessible and helpful.’
‘They are true principals as lawyers, and time is never an issue for them. They make the time.’
‘Very comprehensive service, clear explanation of issues and tenacity.’
‘Stephen Lewis is extremely helpful and consistent with the high level of service’.
‘Excellent attention to detail and customer care. Top quality advice.’
‘The team provides depth across real estate in conveyancing, finance, litigation and planning to a standard expected of larger practices. The firm is gaining recognition and weight for the transactional work.’
Stephen Lewis makes the time and puts in the effort to help the client achieve its goals. He has both sound legal understanding and enough commercial experience to seek solutions to the hurdles every transaction has these days.’
Black Sheep Coffee
London Executive Offices
Penguin Random House
Squire & Partners
4C Hotels Limited
Aldgate Tower Investments
Beagle Investments Lux S.à r.l.
Flora Developments Limited
ING Real Estate Development
London and Regional
Madison International Realty
Otium Real Estate
Paul Smith Limited
Primary Health Care Centres Ltd
The Max Barney Estate
- Advised Penguin Random House Limited on an agreement for lease of a new London office at One Embassy Gardens.
- Advised Turner Broadcasting System Europe, on the pre-let of 98,100 sq ft in a new development at 160 Old Street, EC1.
Forsters LLP ‘provides a high level of expertise and delivers a very professional service’. It is well-regarded for complex long-term redevelopment schemes, with core strengths including site assembly, funding, joint venture agreements, development finance, pre-letting, site disposal and overage matters with the group routinely representing overseas investors and leading UK property funds. Also forming the client base are high-end London retail boutiques and luxury hotel operators who engage the practice for hotel financing deals. On the corporate occupier side, the workload includes HQ relocations, portfolio management, leasehold transfers as well as landlord and tenant matters. Practice head Matthew Swainston holds notable expertise concerning the redevelopment of landmark properties while Victoria Towers is a development specialist with particular knowledge of the logistics sector.
Glenn Dunn; Matthew Swainston
‘Recommended for their ability to understand the key issues and report them in a relevant and concise way.’
‘The team is responsive, pragmatic and adept at dealing with fast-paced transactions.’
‘Victoria Towers is responsive, approachable and extremely engaged on all matters, and provides excellent client service.’
‘Forsters have a no nonsense, proactive approach. They just get on with it and don’t feel the need to show off about what they are doing.’
‘Guy Jordan is accessible and pragmatic.’
‘All members of the team are strong. Eugene McMahon as lead partner is an exceptional team leader and will take the lead on larger and more complex instructions.’
‘Katherine Ekers is extremely impressive.’
‘Forsters provide a high level of expertise, they are knowledgeable and deliver a very professional service.’
Columbia Pictures Corporation Limited (Sony)
Dow Chemical Company Limited
At Macfarlanes LLP, the ‘commercial property team provides an excellent level of service’. In the development and investment space it is engaged for joint ventures, real estate fund structuring and inward investment along with the full range of financing and construction matters. On the corporate occupier front, the group handles relocation programmes, premises management and acquisitions, construction and planning issues. The firm is also home to a hotels practice which advises on tax, financing, management and franchising affairs. Standout individuals include Ian Nisse, a specialist on the structuring and financing of real estate projects, and Nick Barnes, whose strengths include debt financing, commercial letting and joint ventures. Dan Marriott is another standout name and is active on the full array of commercial property affairs.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team work collaboratively with each other, take a commercial view and delegate work to the right level.’
‘Clare Breeze is proactive, very open to feedback and responsive. Tania Barnes is very capable, calm and doesn’t let anything slip on a large transaction. Dan Marriott is very responsive and has a good knowledge of our previous deals with him.’
‘The Macfarlanes commercial property provide an excellent level of service. The team fully understand commercial objectives and risk appetite, and approach their commissions in such a way as to ensure these are met and managed accordingly.’
‘Dominic Cunliffe, Margaret Rhodes and Chris Smith deliver a consistently high level of service and are very proactive. They are very knowledgeable and highly experienced, which, along with their good communication skills, provide a great deal of comfort in often complex and difficult situations.’
‘The partners always make themselves available. Dominic Cunliffe is an excellent person to have on your team.’
Fulbright & Jaworski
Maybourne Hotels Limited
- Advised financial tech company NEX Group on its new letting of approximately 50% of the London Fruit and Wool Exchange, a new development adjacent to Spitalfields market, London.
- Advised Milltown partners on its recent office move from King’s Court, Goodge Street to 9 Cavendish Square.
Slaughter and May is particularly well-regarded for its work on stadium developments, and has been advising Everton Football Club on the development of its new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock, with leasing, financing, construction, planning and real estate issues coordinated by the firm. On the investment side, major transactions, including property disposals, form the workload while on the corporate occupiers front, headquarter letting and relocations are a key strength. The department prides itself on high-value, non-commoditised work and has particular expertise in the energy and retail sectors. Jane Edwarde serves as practice head and handles the full range of commercial property matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team has a wide-ranging knowledge of property issues and a sound commercial approach to practical problems.’
‘John Nevin keeps a close eye on transactions even when they are allocated to more junior fee earners and offers excellent advice when necessary.’
‘Really bright people who are committed and work very hard.’
Dobbies Garden Centres
Legal & General
Midlothian Capital Partners
Ministry of Sound
NTT Urban Development Corporation
- Advised Dobbies Garden Centres on the acquisition of six garden centres.
- Advised English National Ballet on its relocation to London City Island.
Wedlake Bell LLP’s real estate team is 'well led and resourced with well qualified individuals’ who cater to a client base of investors, developers, banks, owner-occupiers, tenants, retailers and charities. In the corporate occupier space, the team represent several health and care sector clients and has recently handled several high-profile HQ relocations in addition to cross-border leasing and acquisition matters. Investment-related work has seen an uptick on the inward investment front while the development team is particularly well-regarded for residential projects. David de Maupeou recently joined from Cripps Pemberton Greenish and brings with him particular expertise of central London office space and mixed use development schemes.
Other key lawyers:
Suzanne Gill; Sarah Blunn; Grainne McCourt
‘Wedlake Bell provide high quality legal work, with strong communications and a sense of personal ownership of issues and work flow by the respective partners. In an increasingly complex and confusing world in the post brexit era Wedlake Bell provide clarity and strong counsel.’
‘Suzanne Gill is an excellent legal adviser, transactional lawyer and highly personable individual. She brings a refreshing prospective to the law. Suzanne has immense gravitas and a razor sharp legal mind.’
‘Sarah Blunn is an exceptional real estate lawyer, commercial and dedicated to her clients’.
‘Leah Freeman has expert knowledge of our business, stores and internal ways of working’.
‘Personable, professional, prompt, detailed and authentic people to deal with.’
‘The team is well led and resourced with well qualified individuals who are intent on providing a responsive service and giving commercially sound legal advice. Their team has wide ranging expertise and are able to offer a comprehensive legal service, avoiding the need to approach alternative sources.’
Charles Taylor PLC
Fuller, Smith & Turner PLC
MS Amlin PLC
The Bristol Port Company
Resolution Life Group Services Limited
- Advising Illumina Cambridge Limited on completion of state of the art European Headquarters in the biotech hub at Granta Park in Cambridge and completion of a 20-year lease of the premises.
- Advising Charles Taylor PLC on relocation to their new London HQ premises.
Addleshaw Goddard is home to a ‘wealth of expertise’, ‘producing high-quality and innovative legal solutions’. Significant development works in London, including those with a cross-border element, are an area where the team excels, and the same likewise applies to regeneration works and joint venture projects. Leona Ahmed is ‘outstanding in every way’ and is currently advising Battersea Power Station Development Company in relation to the development and asset management strategy of the commercial assets within Phase 2 of the power station development. Ahmed is an expert on inbound investment, particularly from Asia, and the team also counts several high-profile real estate investment funds and property companies among the client base. Luke Baines is key in the hotels and leisure sector where the team enjoys a particularly strong reputation for hotel finance and also handles development, construction, financing, IP, employment and commercial agreements in addition to leisure schemes for pub and restaurant clients. The practice also acts on HQ relocations and main office transactions, and in the retail space is particularly experienced within the shopping centre arena.
Leona Ahmed; Lee Sheldon; Adrian Collins
Other key lawyers:
Iain Hindhaugh; Chris Cartwright
‘The investment team is extremely thorough and diligent, yet commercial. They are always thinking ahead and anticipating needs. Partners and associates are very strong.’
‘Leona Ahmed is outstanding in every way. Very commercial and has an understanding of the market beyond what one would expect a lawyer to have. She is extremely well connected. She is always looking beyond the current task ahead to the next ones. In general, all the associates are great, with Hanan Taousi-Chahboun standing out.’
‘Responsive and practical’.
‘The team are receptive, commercial, knowledgeable and dependable.’
‘Andrew Martin has distinguished himself as an expert in his field, a professional services adviser at the very top of his game.’
Battersea Power station
Royal Mail Group
- Acting for WeWork in connection with completion of its lease of Two Southbank, a new development near London Waterloo, which when open this year will be the world’s largest co-working space.
- Acting for M&S on its rationalisation programme which in addition to its store closure programme included the reduction in its need for office space at its London HQ and as part that the subletting of space in its existing premises at 5 Merchant Square, Paddington Basin.
The team at Clyde & Co LLP demonstrates a proven track record on development matters and investment work, both domestically and abroad, ‘taking the initiative and going beyond what is required’. Public sector-driven schemes and projects are a particular strength; so too is the retail sector, where the practice is able to call upon the firm’s planning, construction, litigation and IP departments, among others, to provide clients with a full service. David Wyatt heads the retail practice, while Martin Quicke and Graeme Taylor lead on development and investment matters. The firm is also recommended for corporate occupier instructions.
Davitt Jones Bould ‘specialises in commercial property and has a vast depth of talent in this particular area’. The team undertakes all relevant work for corporate occupiers, notably acting for high-profile landowners at a range of landmark locations. The full spectrum of relevant work is undertaken including large estate management projects and major projects work such as Hyde Park’s showing of the 2018 World Cup. In the investment space, high-value investment property acquisitions, estate management work and investments for local authorities form the caseload. A plethora of new arrivals have recently bolstered the practice, most notably Nigel Heilpern, who joined from King & Spalding LLP and regularly undertakes investment work for US and London-based pension funds.
Other key lawyers:
Sean Bulman; Tom Castle; Robin de Wreede
‘Davitt Jones Bould provides an excellent service to the clients. All the individuals are very knowledgeable and well qualified to deal with transactions. They are also approachable and helpful and they have a very efficient and well organised team who keep on top of the administration side.’
‘The firm does of course specialise in commercial property and so has a vast depth of talent in this particular area. Their solicitors are very experienced, giving clients the confidence that their work is being dealt with at an appropriate level. They also have a particular focus on public sector work, which gives them an advantage over other firms in dealing with matters involving the public sector’
‘Madelaine Davitt is extremely good at dealing effectively with any client issues which have arisen in relation to the project, and generally manages the client relationship extremely well.’
‘Very strong public law awareness and skills in Compulsory Purchase elements in particular. Many of their team are from public sector backgrounds so understand the additional issues specific to the sector in the real estate arena. Very good on drafting development agreements across numerous partners.’
‘Robin de Wreede in particular feels like part of our in house team from the natural way he grasps the projects and supports the client.’
‘Good quality and cost effective.’
‘Geoffrey Lander is very creative and imaginative.’
‘Sophie Davies is outstanding and proactive.’
The Royal Parks
Department of Health
Fujifilm UK plc
Rick Stein (TV Celebrity Chef) restaurant group
Department for Education
Attorney Generals Office
Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MCHLG)
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
Slough Borough Council
- Serving as sole property lawyers to the Royal Parks, undertaking all legal work relating to Hyde Park, St James’s Park, Kensington Gardens, Richmond Park, Bushy Park, The Green Park and Regents Park.
- Advising Defra on all of the legal needs relating to its large estate.
Dechert LLP is recommended for its work in the corporate occupiers field. The team is home to experience in tax-efficient real estate structuring, occupier and financing transactions, high-value acquisitions, international and domestic real estate finance and private equity along with UK retail and fund formation and regulation. Counsel David Gervais serves as practice head and tailors his practice towards investment-related acquisitions and disposals.
‘They are very knowledgeable about the conversion of commercial property to residential and fully understand the complexities of Grade 1 listings.’
‘David Gervais is always at the end of the phone and provides very sensible solutions to somewhat confusing and frustrating problems’
‘The professional we worked with were very professional, very responsive and always provided clear answers and solutions to problems’.
‘David Gervais always proves to be extremely competent and has the right advice and solutions’.
‘Freya Hocking continues to be a delight to work with. She has always been responsive to enquiries and offers qualified expert advice.’
SAL Pension Fund
Hanson Asset Management Limited
Versace UK Plc
M1 Real Estate
GSA Capital Partners
Ring Corporation and Ring Containers
Consumer’s Association (Which?)
- Advised Ring Corporation, an international packaging company, in connection with two new leases of Units A and Unit B Southern Cross, Swanley, Kent for a total of £5.7m.
- Advised Roomservice by CORT, a furniture rental company, in connection with two new leases totaling £4m.
At Dentons, Simon Masri and senior associate Laura Gowing are standout names in the firm's acclaimed hotels and leisure team, which handles high-value transactions and projects across the EMEA region. The firm's caseload includes mixed-use hotel projects, day-to-day operational work and franchising matters with a standout instruction recently coming from Topland on the sale of a portfolio of 26 hotels for £220m. The firm also hosts a full-service development offering which has recently been boosted by the arrival of former Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP partner Deepa Deb, a specialist in residential-led mixed used schemes and the alternative assets sector. Investment clients include family offices and sovereign wealth funds based in China, the Middle East and South East Asia while corporate occupier clients rely on the team for leasing, construction, planning, dispute, joint venture, fund management and finance matters. Richard Budge is a standout in the retail space where the team's construction, structuring, planning, funding advice, competition, franchising and GDPR issues complement its core real estate offering. Real estate head Rob Thompson ‘goes the extra mile’ for clients and is a specialist in complex corporate real estate and real estate finance transactions on both a domestic and international scale.
Rob Thompson; Virginia Glastonbury
Other key lawyers:
‘Clients receive a high quality and a very professional service from Dentons. They have high skilled staff coupled with great industry exposure. The value Dentons render is immense and they have a unique approach to professional attend each and every query with high importance.’
‘The real estate team at Dentons have a complete commercial awareness that means even the most complex deals can be negotiated with confidence.’
‘Rob Thompson, Lewis Myers and Carla Revelo bring a wealth of experience and valuable mix of skills from due diligence to complex structuring. They are always willing to explore options and go the extra mile.’
‘Andrew Henderson has a very detailed knowledge of the market and provides very commercial advice in order to help get deals done.’
‘A client-focused practice with experts in their field.’
‘Emma Frost displays unrivalled dedication to her clients and goes the extra step to find creative solutions. She has a strong ability to anticipate and deal with the arguments of the opposite side at the negotiating table.’
‘Rob Thompson leads the team with quiet authority. He is responsive, available and goes the extra mile for the benefit of the client.’
‘Harleen Kandola shows great diligence and takes a commercial approach to negotiating leases and other documents appreciating which points can be conceded to achieve gains elsewhere.’
‘Dentons have demonstrated on numerous occasions their commercial awareness and ability to think out of the box to present solutions to clients and lead on complicated property transactions.’
‘Commercially minded, good problem solving.’
‘Richard Budge is a high quality lawyer. Creative and focused on getting things done.’
‘There is an excellent balance to the team in terms of individual qualities and characteristics, not to mention diversity, which helps to maintain the high quality of advice received’.
‘They never drop the ball. Their attention to detail and quality of advice is superb. Their extensive market coverage across skill-lines is very important’.
‘Sarah Rowlands and Emma Frost are always available for advice and work tirelessly to execute deals’.
‘Pragmatic approach to problem solving. Good communication between the lawyers and litigators. Partner level involvement.’
Karlin Real Estate
Greyhound Investing Corp
Virdis Properties 5 Limited
Ho Bee Land Limited
Karlin Real Estate
- Advising Upfield on the occupation of its manufacturing and office premises across the globe.
- Acting for Argos on all aspects of estate management, including lease renewals and re-gears.
The commercial property team at Fieldfisher possesses particular experience of representing occupiers in the leisure and hospitality, healthcare and industrial sectors, while the investment practice is increasingly acting for overseas entities, particularly from the US, along with clients from the real estate private equity sector. Elsewhere, the retail offering includes franchising, advertising and IP knowledge in addition to acquisitions, lettings, asset management, leasing and portfolio management expertise. Hotel and leisure clients turn to the 'hard working and commercially savvy' Paul Houston 's team for high-value transactions, financing, competition, brand protection, employment and advertising matters. The firm’s development department prides itself on its full service offering, from planning and environmental matters through to land acquisition, constructions and disposal. Ramatu Banga - 'the epitome of a professional'- works with both private and public sector clients.
Ramatu Banga; Paul Houston
Other key lawyers:
‘Fieldfisher seem to be a firm that puts client service right at the top of their agenda.’
‘They have genuine experts in all the areas required areas and absolutely offer a one-stop shop for legal services.’
‘Great technical strength and very commercial, the team really understand the hotel market, and get the deal done quickly and effectively.’
‘Client service is fantastic, the team go the extra mile including delivering bespoke training on real estate, finance and other technical matters.’
‘The Hotel and Leisure team at Fieldfisher is led by Paul Houston who is a fantastic real estate and development lawyer.’
‘In addition to Ramatu Banga’s expertise and experience, she possesses a further quality of understanding the client’s business and culture.’
‘Paul Houston is really hard working and commercially savvy. Outstanding dedication to the acquisition, with commercialism and attention to detail.’
‘Ramatu Banga is outstanding and dedicated with a strong work ethic to get the job done to the required expertise required.’
‘The practice is unique in its commercial perspective and focusing on the outcome requried by the client and not on winning legal points.
‘Ramatu Banga is the epitome of a professional. Precise, likeable, good humoured, but most importantly possessing the ability to solve complicated property issues.’
Avery Healthcare Group
H & M Hennes & Mauritz UK Limited
Landprop Holding B.V. and Vastint UK B.V. (part of the inter IKEA Group of Companies)
Imperial College, London
Co-operative Group Limited
Jacobs Douwe Egberts
BGC Partners Inc / Cantor Fitzgerald
20 Essex Street Chambers
- Represented booking.com on the acquisition of a new headquarters office building in the new development by Allied London at St. John’s / Enterprise City, Manchester.
- Represented Co-operative Group Food Limited when taking a 600,000 sq ft strategic logistics hub at Biggleswade.
The team at Glovers Solicitors LLP consists of ‘specialists in restaurant and retail property’ and counts pubs, bars, cinemas and theatres among its client base, in addition to high-end fashion brands and grab-and-go food offerings. Corporate occupier matters are also a strength. Philip Mundy heads the retail offering and advises clients from across Europe on their UK commercial property requirements while John Barber represents several high-profile names in the restaurant sector. Paul Jagger, a licensing expert, was recently promoted to the partnership.
Gowling WLG is hailed for its ‘exceptional credentials and impressive client list in the retail sector’ where it undertakes a wide spectrum of matters including joint ventures, refinancing and restructurings, expansions and store acquisitions. Also recommended for its investment and development work, the team is engaged by institutional investors on buying, selling, asset managing and letting work and also acts on mixed-use development and regeneration matters. In the hotels and leisure space, IP, operating agreements, regulatory issues and M&A are among the group’s offering, as is insolvency, finance and construction work. Corporate occupier matters are also a focus for the department, which includes the highly rated Jon Lloyd, who is recommended for retail and mixed-use investment and development projects and is also handling an increasing number of residential-focused schemes.
K&L Gates LLP
K&L Gates LLP's practice is home to ‘wide expertise' within the commercial property arena. The hotels and leisure team represents clients on large-scale, urban and resort hotel projects across the globe while the corporate occupiers department has recently been busy handling headquarter establishments, office acquisitions and lease work. The team’s cross-disciplinary structure provides it with an edge in the investment and development space with expertise on finance, construction, tax and planning all readily available. Highlights in the retail space include development work, supermarket acquisitions, refinancing and lettings. Wayne Smith heads the team which includes recommended special counsel Paul Alger, who is well-versed in acquisitions and disposals for institutional investors, landlord and tenant matters, property finance and institutional portfolio management.
Other key lawyers:
Paul Alger; Rajeev Joshi; Chris Major
‘The K&L Gates team are a class apart. Clear, concise advice is offered’.
‘Paul Alger is a key member. Paul always gives you comfort that everything is on track and under control, and provides solutions when discussing problems that we encounter in each transaction.’
‘K&L Gates have expertise in a wide area within commercial property. They strike a good balance between reach across the industry while offering a personal service.’
‘Piers Coleman is a partner with vast experience – he has contacts across the property industry which prove beneficial.’
Sweat Union Limited
Nuveen Real Estate
Tourmaline Financial Services
Standard Life Aberdeen (ReAssure)
Association of British Travel Agents
One New Oxford Street Limited Partnership
World Wrestling Entertainment Inc (WWE)
Cheergrey Properties Limited
- Acting for Unity Software on a substantial pre-let of a building being developed in Brighton for occupation by the client.
- Acting for Akelius, a Swedish investor, on the acquisition of a new headquarter building in Clerkenwell.
Clients recommend Lewis Silkin LLP for its ‘highly commercial and pragmatic’ advice, with the practice priding itself on its sector-specific knowledge, specifically in the advertising and media, technology and professional services industries. Headed by Jonathan Reuben and recommended on all commercial property fronts, the practice is adept on HQ relocations, major development works and regeneration projects. Investment-related work includes the acquisition and disposal of high-value multi-tenanted Central London properties in addition to related refinancing and portfolio management for both high-net-worth individuals and foreign investors. High-profile retailers form the client base, as do a number of hotels which instruct the team for developments, redevelopments and asset acquisition, among other matters. Legal director Julia Poulter is a recommended junior member of the team.
Other key lawyers:
Rachel Francis-Lang; Emily Meredith Hardy; Leonard Goodrich
‘Highly commercial and pragmatic with spirit of the law guidance rather than letter of the law edict.’
‘Good legal knowledge, available, responsive, commercial’.
‘Anthony van Hoffen and Philip Foster provide good strategic advice and great technical knowledge’.
‘They are friendly in their approach which makes you feel comfortable interacting with them, yet they maintain formality when appropriate. Nothing appears to ever be too much trouble.’
‘Direct partner engagement on all matters. Very practical approach on various legal and business situations. Quite refreshing.’
‘From day one, direct partner attention. Industry knowledge is plentiful and always available when needed.’
Interpublic Group of Companies and all its subsidaries
Christie’s Auction House
Marks & Spencer
Havas SA and all of its group companies
Vevo UK Ltd
Transport for London
Howden Joinery Group Plc
- Acting for McCann-Erickson EMEA Limited on the acquisition of new leasehold interest in five floors of 135 Bishopsgate with contraction rights and pre-emption rights.
- Acting for Sheppard Robson Architects in a reconfiguration of their campus office premises in Parkway Camden Town.
Specialist real estate firm Maples Teesdale LLP, which is praised for 'punching well above its weight', provides expert knowledge on matters including forward funding, construction, redevelopment, joint venture agreements, site acquisitions and assemblies, leaseback transactions and pre-lets. Development and investment work for the group encompasses several sectors including retail, office, hotels and leisure, mixed-use, industrial and residential. Roger Thornton is ‘strong at identifying risks’ and heads the practice which is geared towards acting for landlords.
Other key lawyers:
Neil Sagoo; Katherine Watts; Chris Wilkinson
‘A great team, consistent in personnel, easily contactable and responsive to requests and requirements’.
‘Very approachable offering good advice highlighting options available. Provide regular progress updates and go the extra mile when closing out transactions.’
‘Advice is always decisive and firm, easy to get on with, prepared to discuss drafts on document face-to-face on over phone rather than relying on written representations only. Not overtly fee-driven.’
‘Service excellence, personal attention from partners, good no-nonsense advice’
‘Attention to detail and easy access to partners. Declan Power stands out in particular as someone I would appoint in the future to provide commercial property legal advice.’
‘The team comprises very commercial, hard-working, collegiate lawyers who focus on the UK real estate market and work on competitive terms. They punch well above their weight.’
‘Declan Power and Roger Thornton have vast experience and know how to solve issues and get deals done.’
‘Roger Thornton is very proactive and reactive to any work we require completing. Very approachable.’
‘Martin Smith is exceptional for his ability to negotiate a deal and make it work rather than bog it down in legal complexity. Provides actual advice rather than disclaimers.’
‘Maples Teesdale are large enough to be able to cover all real estate issues while being small enough to act coherently as a team on large projects. The firm is low on ego and seen as practical and friendly.’
BDO (Previously Moore Stephens)
City, University of London
Kingdom of Belgium
Pacific Life Re
Royal & Sun Alliance
- Acting for The Royal Philatelic Society London on its acquisition of a new headquarters at 15 Abchurch Lane in the City of London from a private investor.
- Acting for Broadridge Financial Solutions on their UK headquarters move.
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP’s development expertise encompasses mixed use sites, energy projects and mixed tenure private and affordable residential schemes. The practice is particularly active in the shopping centre space, handling not only developments but corporate occupier work such as leasing, construction and strategic asset management for industry clients. Other areas of expertise include the technology, industrial and logistics and hotels and healthcare sectors, as well as retail where the team delivers transaction, acquisition and finance, commercial leasing, strategic management and regulatory advice. UK real estate head Anne O’Neill is regarded as a 'go-to solicitor' who 'leads her team with the utmost professionalism.'
Anne O’Neill; Andrew Denye
‘Reliable and experienced team offering first class expert knowledge in all areas of retail property’.
‘Anne O’Neill leads her team with the utmost professionalism, providing excellent advice.’
‘Very responsive, quick, good commercial advice. Resourcing is managed carefully across our portfolio. Everybody is accessible.’
‘Fiona Stone is hugely knowledgeable and offers good commercial advice.’
‘Andrew Denye is very commercial, approachable. A good leader.’
‘The members of the practice go beyond providing legal advice; they become members of the project team working towards creative solutions and achieving the most beneficial outcome. The legal advice is excellent, accurate, reliable and robust – it is the authority with which it is delivered in commercial negotiations which makes the practice unique.’
‘Anne O’Neill is a go-to solicitor. Sara Branch is excellent and a first choice to negotiate complex contracts and development agreements.’
Chobham Farm North LLP
intu Properties Group
Notting Hill Genesis
NVIDIA Technology UK
Rubicon West PLC
- Advising intu Properties Group (intu) on its joint venture with LaSalle Investment Management to jointly own the intu Chapelfield Shopping Centre in Norwich, England.
- Acting for CAB International in the sale of land in Oxfordshire in order to fund the development of a new UK headquarters building.
Property boutique RLS Law is well-regarded in the retail space, handling matters including lease extensions, new leases, store acquisitions and HQ refurbishments. Corporate occupier clients engage the group particularly for its office, warehouse and industrial unit expertise while in the leisure space, high-profile restaurateurs, pub owners and gym operators form the roster. The team also regularly acts on investment, property-related corporate transactions, property litigation and development matters. Tom Foley is highly recommended and recently made partner.
Julien Rutler; Craig Themis
‘What sets RLS Law apart from other legal practices is simple, it listens to the requirements and doesn’t just hear you. Flexibility has been proven throughout as the requirements can change, understanding the deadlines to meet means that the entire team has to work together.’
‘Julien Rutler understands that legal support is key to the success of completing the deal. Small details that often get forgotten are picked up by the entire team’.
‘What makes RLS unique is the high level of personal service and attention to detail. RLS senior partners are more than just your legal advisers, they act as if they are your business partners.’
‘Julien Rutler is more than a lawyer. In addition to providing balanced legal advice, he has been fully involved and often leads in all commercial negotiations. He is incredibly thorough in reviewing legal documents.’
‘Craig Themis is concise and provides timely advice, relevant to matters in hand. Richard Webber delivers clear explanation of issues and possible avenues.’
‘Julien Rutler and Liam McArdle continue to outperform themselves.’
‘An approachable, pragmatic and professional privately owned firm with a track record of performance with integrity.’
Alken Asset Management
Stratton Street Capital LLP
- Representing Alken Asset Management on the relocation of its Headquarters to new offices on 25 Saville Row, a high end recently refurbished office owned by Derwent London.
- Acting for Deliveroo on the assignment of a lease of the second-floor Atrium Building in Cannon Bridge House.
Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP ‘provides real expertise' and 'looks at matters from a commercial perspective’. Its corporate occupier practice is tailored towards portfolio management such as high-value lease work, refinancing, sale and leaseback transactions and the spectrum of landlord and tenant advice. Instructions in the hotels and leisure sectors encompass leasing issues, hotel developments, work for restaurateurs and disputes, among others matters. Commercial redevelopment is another keystone of the practice, as is property finance and high-value developments in prime London locations. Domestic and international financial institutions, high-net-worth individuals, freehold corporate investors form the investment client base. Senior associate Simon Lawrence is highly regarded for commercial lettings and acquisitions.
Rudi Ramdarshan; Sarah Hung; John O’Callaghan; Jonathan Roberts
Other key lawyers:
‘A great blend of exceptional talent at partner level covering both litigation and transactional expertise.’
‘Rudi Ramdarshan is outstanding in his approach to mixed use commercial and residential sites. He is an expert on obtaining vacant possession and in unlocking development potential.’
‘David Burns is an expert in preemption rights, in particular for those in mixed use sites. He has obtained outstanding results in commercial forfeiture actions in the past.’
‘The team and has an excellent breadth of experience with both transactional and litigation expertise.’
‘Rudi Ramdarshan and David Burns can really add value to the realisation of mixed use development. Simon Lawrence has decades of experience in the industry and brings gravitas to matters’.
‘A great reputation in the hotel industry acting for some of the biggest names. The unique feature is the strength at partner and associate level.’
‘John O’Callaghan is a calm presence who knows how to mobilize large teams on complex high value hotel transactions Sarah Hung is known for her expertise in restaurants.’
‘The firm’s reputation in this area is continuing to grow and as a result the firm is attracting large corporate clients and high net worth individuals.’
‘Simon Lawrence has decades of experience and ensures deals run smoothly John O’Callaghan is a calming influence and can coordinate large teams on the more complex matters’.
‘They provide real expertise and are skilled at adding value and looking at matters from a commercial perspective; a good team to have in your back pocket. They are great at dealing with out of the ordinary transactions and solving problems.’
‘Sarah Hung is incredibly efficient and great on complex deals. John O’Callaghan is very approachable with an in depth understanding of the market. Paul Cain is a go to for high value transactions.’
‘Sarah Hung knows retail and leisure intimately and is incredibly efficient. Senior associate Simon Lawrence has a sizeable hotels practice. Mustafa Abbas is very quick. Special mention should go to managing partner Rakeebah Rahim, who is really a class apart in her management and leadership style.’
‘Associate Simon Lawrence is a good man to have on your side; experienced and reliable. John O’Callaghan is very approachable, with an in depth understanding of the market. Paul Cain is a go to for large volume transactions.’
Glasshouse Asset Management
Al Sraiya Group Limited (Qatar)
Habib Bank AG Zurich
Cranfield Investments Limited
Comptoir Libanais (Levant Group)
Keystone Holdings Limited (Isle of Man)
Law Business Research Limited
Urban Spectrum Property Management Limited
Harson Investments Limited
- Acted on behalf of Comptoir Group Plc in negotiating leases for four flagship restaurants in the UK.
- Instructed by Celebro Media, which required high quality office space.
Shoosmiths LLP represents major landlords and occupiers on the full gamut of corporate occupier matters. Among the caseload are HQ acquisitions and developments, relocations, lease renewals and pre-lets. Joseph Mazzucca heads the team and tailors his practice towards investment and development transactions. Will Seymour is a new arrival from PwC Legal and brings expertise of landlord and tenant matters with him, alongside a client base of institutional and overseas investors, property companies and private clients.
Holland & Barrett
IWG plc (formerly Regus)
Investec Bank plc
- Acting for Investec Bank Plc on the relocation of its London headquarters.
- Acting for BenevolentAI Limited on the acquisition and redevelopment of their global headquarters in central London and the subsequent disposition of their previous headquarters.
Taylor Wessing LLP’s commercial property practice has ‘consistently demonstrated exceptional service over a number of years’, and excels in the hotels and leisure space, particularly on the M&A front, recently advising Vivion Capital on the acquisition of almost 60 UK hotels via three separate portfolio deals totalling in excess of £1.25bn. Additional core strengths include investment sales and purchases, major portfolio sales, urban regeneration projects and property portfolio management. International and institutional investors, funds and REITs are among the key investment clients while corporate occupiers regularly engage the department for acquisitions and leasehold negotiations. In addition, the practice demonstrates experience in advising owners, developers and occupiers in the retail space on the full range of related real estate issues and is also well-regarded within the student accommodation, co-living, residential and logistics sectors.
Other key lawyers:
‘First class offer, good value for money in comparison to other similar sized firms. Prepared to stand by their advice and work in a dedicated manner to a successful outcome. Available and accessible at all times. Integrated corporate and property advice with one point of contact.’
‘Mark Rajbenbach is astute, commercial and able to assist with transactions as if he is genuinely part of the client team. Keith Barnett has excellent technical and pragmatic lawyer with strong and wide ranging contacts.’
‘Georgina Watts and Adam Marks are can do individuals who respond quickly and give great advice even if it’s not always the client wants to hear.’
‘The firm’s commitment is with out question and they really care about the success of the project.’
‘Adam Marks is a brilliant adviser who provides excellent advice throughout our time working with him. His colleague Al Watson really knows his stuff on planning and is an invaluable support’.
‘Their breadth and depth of experience comes through when providing advice in complex and unusual circumstances,’
‘The continuity of the team is their strongest attribute, making for a strong working relationship.’
‘The Taylor Wessing team have consistently demonstrated exceptional service over a number of years. They have a wide ranging team covering all aspects of real estate but also have access to in-house specialists in their wider team for specific area such as employment matters or capital project management.’
InfraRed Capital Partners
Try Market Halls Limited
Tritax Big Box REIT
- Advising Mimecast on the acquisition of their new headquarters premises in Broadgate.
- Advising Societe Generale on issues relating to the management of its principal offices in the City of London.
Noted for its ‘efficiency, commerciality and approachability’, the team at Travers Smith LLP is active on the full spectrum of commercial property matters. It recently handled a number of investment transactions relating to care homes, infrastructure, hotels and retail centres and counts a number of real estate funds and private equity entities among its client roster. The alternative asset classes, particularly healthcare, student housing, build to rent and the private sector, are particular strengths, as are purchases, finance transactions, lettings, developments and CVAs. Additional industry expertise of extends to the logistics, leisure, retail, energy and infrastructure sectors. Simon Rutman heads the department which was recently bolstered by the lateral hire of Alex Millar from Jones Day. He tailors his practice towards development and regeneration projects.
Other key lawyers:
Paul Kenny; Emma Pereira
‘Ease of use and efficiency, commerciality and approachability, easy to digest advice.’
‘Speedy and efficient’.
Office Space in Town
Merian Global Investors (UK) Limited
The London Clinic
STA Travel Ltd
- Acting for Office Space in Town on the sale of a service office portfolio by way of share sale of two property joint ventures to RDI REIT.
- Advising on the 492 property portfolio of Carpetright, in connection with its CVA, together with advice on its £60m equity raise (with US securities aspect) and a £15m shareholder loan and refinance of its property portfolio.
Wallace LLP’s team, which is ‘very responsive, efficient and helpful’, is home to experience in the office, retail, industrial, hospitality and leisure sectors and is frequently instructed by investment companies on portfolio management, acquisitions and disposals as well as development transactions, landlord and tenant, joint venture and financing work. Practice head Martin Otvos counts several high-profile restaurateurs, hotel operators and retailers among his client list and is adept on commercial property transactions, developments, funding and letting.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is technically very sound and reliable. They are able to react very quickly and can be relied upon.’
‘They are extremely responsive, clear, approachable and always have the clients best interests in mind which is not always the case when dealing with other law firms. On top of this, their fee quotes are extremely competitive.’
‘Jackie Boot is efficient, diligent and a great communicator.’
‘The merits of the practice are wholly reliant on the merits of the team, all of whom are very helpful’.
‘The team is always very responsive, efficient and helpful with the ability to guide someone new through the process with ease.’
‘Bibi Fakhrai is very astute at cutting to the chase.’
Duke Corporate Education
London Med Aesthetics
- Acting for Infopro Digital Services Limited on the grant of new lease of office premises in the City of London.
- Acting for Hays Specialist Recruitment Ltd on the grant of three reversionary leases.
Development, land acquisitions, and regeneration, renewable energy and rail infrastructure projects are key planks of the development offering at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP. The practice, headed locally by Martin Stacey, is also active in the retail and corporate occupier arenas, where it undertakes portfolio management, letting work, general landlord and tenant matters and the full range of retail and trading law issues. Institutional investment is also a core pillar of the practice, which works with a broad range of clients including local businesses, councils, national and international corporates, national housebuilders, retail landlords and consumer brands.
Martin Stacey; John Ralph
Other key lawyers:
Tim Burbidge; Craig Moore
Immediate Media Company
Old Mutual Wealth
Babcock International Group plc
English Cities Fund
Proctor and Gamble
Associated British Ports
- Acting for Procter and Gamble on the letting of a HQ building in Surrey.
- Acting for Boxpark Limited in the completion of its new 4,000 sq m bespoke layout Boxpark at Wembley, which included completing the headleases of the site from Quintain, construction advice and the letting agreements with all food and beverage tenants.
Bates Wells' ‘proactive and thoughtful’ commercial property team has an ‘excellent understanding of the charities sector’ and also has particular expertise in the education, social enterprise and high street brand industries. Practice head Anthony Cartmell handles the full range of commercial property transactions, and his team has been bolstered by the arrival of Malcolm Headley from Gowling WLG. His arrival supplements the department’s already strong corporate occupier offering where it excels on leasing, leaseback, disposals and acquisitions. Elsewhere, Karli Hiscock, a specialist in HQ and retail premises acquisitions, recently made partner.
Anthony Cartmell; Mark Traynor
Other key lawyers:
‘They have an excellent understanding of the charity sector and the risk management factor for trustees so their advice is tailored accordingly. They are pragmatic and do not take unnecessary points on drafting issues.’
‘Karli Hiscock and Tom Allen are the stand-out individuals. Their understanding of the charity sector makes transactions run pretty smoothly. They keep us well-informed of progress.’
‘Jamie Huard has a thorough grasp of our complex issues and is able to think beyond the immediate question and propose robust solutions.’
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG)
The Terrence Higgins Trust (THT)
British Film Institute (BFI)
FM Conway Limited
Jane Street Europe Limited
Dartington Hall Trust
Royal British Legion
Medical Protection Society
Sons of Divine Providence
The Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution Care Company
The Marlowe Trust
Girls Not Brides
Architects Benevolent Society
Dogs Trust Trustee Limited
- Acting for longstanding client Dogs Trust on lettings to the sole corporate trustee of the charity of retail premises.
- Acting for Charles Darwin House Limited, a new client, in connection with the sale of two freehold buildings.
Jonathan Fewster’s team at BDB Pitmans is a ‘well-rounded group, offering excellent advice and a hands-on attitude’. The firm, which is a result of the recent merger of Bircham Dyson Bell and Pitmans Law, is particularly reputed for its corporate occupier work which ranges from asset management to acquisitions and leasing arrangements. Development and investment matters are also a particular focus including day-to-day portfolio management, acquisitions and disposals. Also forming the caseload is landlord and tenant work, construction, property finance, planning and enfranchisement work along with a range of matters in the charities and not-for-profit sector such as leasing and constitutional restructuring.
Other key lawyers:
‘A well rounded group offering excellent advice and a hands-on attitude.’
‘Ellen James is always willing to provide off the cuff advice and has time to discuss issues before they arise.’
‘Bhaminee Sharma impresses with her diplomacy and patience‘.
South London & Maudsley Charity
- Acting for the Foundation for Language and Educational Centres (Eurocentres) on the sale of the two language schools in London and Cambridge occupied by corporate occupiers.
- Advised on purchase of long leasehold interest for re-development into a hospital in Swansea.
Blake Morgan LLP’s ‘commercially aware and proactive’ practice is engaged for a broad array of commercial property projects including development, investment, asset management and corporate occupier affairs. Practice head Tony Coyne is well-versed in acting for UK and overseas lenders and borrowers on high-end projects and counts a number of Far Eastern entities among his client base. Other particular strengths within the team include investment acquisitions and sales, leasing matters for both landlords and tenants as well as portfolio transactions. The restaurant and leisure sectors are also a specific focus.
Other key lawyers:
Matthew Bell; Prashant Dave
‘Mark Hiley deals with matters quickly and has has a good commercial awareness.’
‘Michelle Davenport deals with matters promptly and gives good advice.’
‘Commercial approach, exactly understood the requirements and worked as a team to meet them. Focused and well resourced.’
‘Commercially aware, proactive, understanding of our business.’
BLM is active in the corporate occupiers space in London and elsewhere in the UK, representing both landlords and tenants on leasing matters, headquarter relocations, disposals and acquisitions. Stephen Lintott is a specialist in estate management, development and lease work while Stephen Crook routinely acts for public sector and local authorities on acquisitions, disposals and developments. The pair head the practice alongside Peter Klim , who is strong on all fronts within the commercial property arena.
Peter Klim; Stephen Lintott; Stephen Crook
Be At One
Trades Union Congress
- Acquisition of the new headquarter premises for MXW Limited and the disposal of their existing premises.
At Clarkslegal LLP, corporate occupier clients instruct the group for new lease negotiations, rent reviews and a range of other landlord and tenant work. Major development projects, related transactions, investment and portfolio management form the hotels and leisure offering where the team is particularly well-regarded in the food and restaurant arena. Lettings to retail occupiers are a further area of expertise, as are investment portfolio management and development projects. Rachel Krol heads the practice which is also knowledgeable in the education, healthcare and automotive sectors.
Other key lawyers:
University of Reading
NTT Data UK Limited
Crown Packaging Manufacturing UK Limited
Newham Sixth Form College Further Education Corporation
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
St Clair Developments Limited
Lafarge UK Pension Trustees
Eden Motor Group
Offsite Archive Storage and Integrated Services (OASIS)
Liquidators of Carillion plc
- Advising a major plc on the relocation of its headquarters building and other occupancy matters.
- Acting for a global corporation on taking new premises in the UK.
Druces LLP has a ‘hardworking, diligent and thorough property team’ which represents high-profile clients on HQ occupations and specialises in acting for overseas entities on the acquisition of HQ space with a development aspect. Practice head Nicholas Brent is praised for his ‘clear advice and guidance’ and is a specialist across the board in commercial property. His team also possesses experience in relation to portfolio management, syndicated property investments and institutional property investments.
Other key lawyers:
Suzanne Middleton Lindsley
‘They are always briefed on organisational needs and handle questions in a clear and friendly manner.’
‘Nicholas Brent has been incredibly supportive, providing clear advice and guidance. He has an in-depth understanding of my organisation and the environment in which we work which has proved invaluable in helping us deal with complex situations. He is accessible and responsive and able to explain options clearly and concisely.’
‘Responsiveness, accessibility, and good practical down to earth advice. When you go to a firm like Druces, they treat you like an equal.The advice is clear, bespoke and commercial and in negotiations, they are firm but not into grandstanding or point-scoring. Transparency on fees is also helpful in ensuring value for money for clients.’
‘Adrian Footer is consistently on the ball with good sound technical advice; very approachable and commercial. Sarah Dahabiyeh is also very approachable, thorough and methodical, with good attention to detail.’
‘A very hardworking, diligent and thorough property team with a high level of analytical skills and legal knowledge. A good level of communication between the team and client with a partner always up to date with the transaction. The team has specialist knowledge on setting up property syndicates’.
‘Suzanne Middleton Lindsley has proved to be very diligent in her approach to property purchases – she is supported by a strong team but nevertheless remains involved in each transaction and is always available when required for high level and strategic advice.’
‘Competence and promptitude’.
‘Karen Chapman is consistently excellent. Her approach is commercial and pragmatic, yet strong where and when required.’
Conde Nast Publications Ltd
Equinix UK Limited
Edwin Coe LLP’s specialist areas include corporate occupiers, the hospitality sector, developments and property investments for overseas clients. Practice head Stephen Brower is an expert in property finance, specifically high-end residential development funding, while the wider team holds experience in relation to mixed use projects, the disposal of investment and letting. The practice also handles sales and leasebacks, headquarter developments and joint venture planning.
Other key lawyers:
Joanne McIvor; William Thompson
Coutts & Co
Smiths Pension Fund
Carrier Refrigeration Limited
United Technologies Holdings Limited
Toshiba Carrier UK Limited
Pickfords Move Management
TH Real Estate
- Advising Moffat Manor/Gendevon/Riverview Holiday Parks on the sale and leaseback of three holiday parks across Scotland.
- Advising Entrepreneur on the purchase and development agreement to build a new headquarters building.
The team at Fox Williams LLP ‘always act commercially and in a responsive manner’. Phillip Hope delivers a ‘wealth of knowledge and experience’ with a proven track record of acting for international hotels owners and ‘a significant roster of Middle and Far Eastern investors’. His team also undertakes tenant occupation, asset management and development work including regenerations, infrastructure projects and residential projects. Several high-profile London restaurants also frequently instruct the group.
Other key lawyers:
‘In what are challenging times they always act commercially and in a responsive manner’.
‘The Fox Williams real estate team – which is very much partner-led – punches above its weight.’
‘The team are friendly, approachable and personable. Phillip Hope is a stand-out – he has a wealth of knowledge and experience, and an enviable client base – including a significant roster of Middle and Far Eastern investors. He is very commercial in his approach, calm under pressure, easy to deal with, and gets the job done.’
Improbable Worlds Limited
Clean Energy Partners CEP Services Limited (t/a Glennmont Partners LLP)
- Acted for Improbable Worlds Limited in relation to the assignment of premises at 20 Farringdon Road, London.
- Acting on behalf of myWorld International Limited in connection with the taking of a lease of Level 3, Bank Street, Canary Wharf.
The team at Harbottle & Lewis LLP was recently bolstered by the promotions of Melanie Benson to head of department and Lee Greaves to partner. Sector specialisms include retail and technology, with a number of luxury brands, fashion retailers and video game corporations forming the client base. In the leisure space, the practice provides counsel to film, theatre, arts organisations and charities on a broad range of commercial property issues. The group is particularly adept on corporate occupier work and recently handled several new head office leases for an array of high-profile companies. Development and investment matters also form the caseload.
Other key lawyers:
Robert Reilly; Leo Marino
‘Harbottle & Lewis continue to offer swift and concise advise’.
‘Partner Melanie Benson is always available or having the resources in place to respond to our often urgent requests.’
‘Their advice is always correct. They do not over-charge. They virtually give the impression that one is their only client and that the file is always on their desk.’
Really Useful Group Limited
Cross Stone Group
Ingenious Media Limited
IMO Car Wash Limited
Theatre of Comedy Limited
Raft Furniture Limited
Tower Research Capital Europe Limited
Kobalt Music Ltd
- Advising a syndicate of investors on the numerous pre-lets at Castle View Shopping Centre in Caerphilly.
- Advised on the £13.8m disposal of an office building in central London.
Marriott Harrison LLP is hailed for its ‘positive, can-do attitude, backed up by robust and intelligent advice’. Though it handles the full spectrum of commercial property matters, it is particularly active in the corporate occupier area, representing both landlords and tenants on HQ relocations, office moves and leasing issues. The ‘very knowledgeable’, ‘thorough and diligent’ Mark Lavers serves as practice head. His team also frequently undertakes site acquisitions and subsequent developments, investment-related disposals and asset management work as well as a range of property matters in the retail sector.
In the development space, Payne Hicks Beach is particularly recommended for large-scale residential and commercial projects including promotion and forward funding agreements, land sales and funding arrangements. It represents a number of international clients, primarily from the Middle and Far East, France and Scandinavia, on the acquisition of development sites and investments including high-value residential properties. The firm also specialises in acting for bluechip occupiers with large portfolios on the management of hotel, retail, restaurant, warehousing and office premises. Andrew Berry heads the team which was recently bolstered by the arrival of Simon Blackburn from Macfarlanes LLP, an expert in the landed estates team.
Other key lawyers:
- Advised on substantial lease renewal for a corporate occupier along the M4 corridor.
- Advised on pre-let of an office floor in a new substantial office building along the M3 corridor.
Shepherd and Wedderburn’s ‘excellent advice’ and ‘supportive and thorough’ approach earns it strong recommendations from clients. Stephen Hubner heads the team, which has been bolstered over the past year through the promotions of Elaine Hunter and Lauren McLeod to partner. The practice's recent caseload has included leasing and acquisition work for corporate occupier clients, high-value disposals and acquisitions for investors as well as residential and commercial developments.
Other key lawyers:
‘Excellent advice, supportive, and thorough. Joined up with other departments for holistic advice’.
‘When undertaking a leveraged corporate property transaction the different disciplines with in the partnership worked together very well and appeared completely joined up.’
‘Supportive and proactive. All the partners are good at summarising technical points in layman’s terminology.’
Ørsted – formerly Dong Energy Wind Power A/S
Instant Managed Offices
- Advised Kyowa Kirin International plc on lease and fitting out of new premise at Globeside Business Park in Marlow.
- Advised Instant Managed Offices Limited on the lease and fit-out of office space in Budapest.
Sherrards Solicitors LLP is particularly recommended for its corporate occupier work. HQ acquisitions, rent reviews are lease negotiations are examples of the team’s recent work with clients from industries such as retail, leisure and healthcare relying on its expertise. Charles Hodder heads the department, which has continued its recent expansion through the arrival of Martin Halling from Forsters LLP. A broad range of investment and development-related work also makes up the team's caseload.
Other key lawyers:
‘Sherrards is a friendly and accessible team with good leadership and the ability to tailor their working practices to an individual client.’
‘Charles Hodder has provided an excellent service over many years.’
‘A very competent and professional firm with a good sized property team. Very approachable, providing solutions in a prompt and efficient manner.’
Cambria Automotive Plc
Master Removers Group (formerly Ward Thomas Removals)
Lords Builders Merchants
Amey LG Limited
- Assisted Explore Learning to expand and advised on 10 new leases for premises all over the country.
- Represented Energie Property (UK) Limited on its acquisition of gym premises and new head office.
Noted as a ‘very solid and professional organisation', VWV is engaged for a wide range of commercial property work, including development and investment, with particular prowess in the corporate occupiers space. Mark Hughes heads the local practice which represents landlords, tenants and property investors within the sector, undertaking lease renewals and HQ relocations throughout the UK and within the prime central London market. The team also has expertise in the retail, office and industrial sectors.
Huw Morgan; Mark Hughes
Other key lawyers:
Jon Durham; Stephen Josephides
‘Very solid and professional organisation.’
‘A key requirement as a client is having a solicitor who will push forward transactions, respond patiently to delaying tactics and get the job done. Mark Hughes fulfills these requirements very well and was instrumental during 2018 in completing a major sale’.
‘The team members are knowledgeable and provide quick responses to issues raised.’
‘Jon Durham has always been very helpful, responsive and keeps matters moving forward.’
The Richemont Group (including Alfred Dunhill, Montblanc, Peter Millar and James Purdey & Sons)
Sheffield & Regional Properties
Royal College of Music
Royal Academy of Music
City & Guilds
Crest of London
Royal Trinity Hospice Shops
The Governing Body of Rugby School
- Represented the Royal Academy of Music on its 10-year lease of 28-32 Aybrook Street, London W1.
- Advised Crest of London on the renewals of lease of its Central London retail stores at Piccadilly Circus and Whitehall.