Commercial property: development in London
At Ashurst, the real estate team's partners are praised for being ‘technically very good, but also commercially astute’. Richard Vernon is particularly active in the corporate occupier space where the team represents both corporate and government occupiers on a wealth of matters including landlord and tenant affairs, the leasing and acquisition of headquarters, lay-out construction advice and portfolio management. Elsewhere, David Jones who was recently elected to the firm’s main global board, is a star name in the investment field where the group is routinely instructed for direct and indirect real estate investments, fund formation, joint ventures and real estate private equity, hosting a dedicated team for Asian investment into the UK, Europe and Australia. On the development front, Hugh Lumby and the ‘brilliant’ Tim Regis are both experts in major development and regeneration schemes with the team also active in respect of build-to-rent, logistics, student accommodation and transport projects. The practice works closely the firm’s finance, funds, corporate, construction, planning and environment departments and is well-equipped to advise on a range of asset classes including office, retail, residential, industrial, leisure, alternative and logistics. Another promotion of note saw Sarah Sivyour appointed to co-head of the firm’s global division for projects and real estate; her broad expertise ranges across corporate real estate acquisitions and disposals, pre-lets and development agreements.
‘The Ashurst real estate team offers a broad range of capabilities and provides sound and practical advice. The team’s strength lies in its partners who are technically very good, as you would expect, but also commercially astute.’
‘Very flexible and agile team. Will use all endeavours to get deals over the line whilst remaining disciplined and protecting client position. Always flexible in incorporating client wishes and feedback on key matters.’
‘Tim Regis is solution-oriented and practical in his advice. He understands what is at stake for the client and is very responsive and approachable.’
‘Tim Regis was brilliant when I worked with him. His responsiveness, professionalism and ability to work through concerns and risk in a positive and productive way meant we were able to move forward continually.’
Great Portland Estates
Oxford West End Developments
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
Transport for London
Westfield (now Unibail Rodamco Westfield)
Grainger / Connected Living
Associated British Ports
- Advising Lendlease on the joint venture and development agreements, public procurement, construction, tax and planning of the 22 hectare £4bn Euston Estate regeneration scheme over and around both the existing mainline station and new HS2 terminal with a new interchange with London Underground, comprising 4.8m sqft of mixed use development in partnership with The Secretary of State for Transport and Network Rail.
- Grainger and Transport for London have formed a joint venture, Connected Living London. The principal business of the JV is to acquire, develop, let and operate real estate in the private rental sector. Sites will be sourced from the existing property portfolio of TfL. In that regard, the team is advising the JV on two potential development schemes at Nine Elms and Woolwich which will deliver in excess of 900 units.
- Continuing advice to Partners Group on its development of its 250,000 sq. ft. office-led development at 80 Fenchurch Street in the City of London, including advising on the appointment of Yard Nine as development manager, real estate aspects of the £135m development financing by Alianz and TH Real Estate, and on construction documentation rights of light and relocation agreements.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is home to ‘an excellent team whose broad range of practice areas is covered by talented individuals’. One such name is practice head Chris De Pury; he is particularly active in investment matters, leveraging his experience in all activities from day-to-day asset management through to high-value transactions and the restructuring of UK and Europe-based assets and portfolios. The department has specialist expertise in a broad variety of assets including hotels and leisure, industrial, transport, logistics, residential, mixed-use, healthcare and student accommodation; it serves as a ‘one-stop-shop for complex developments’ including large scale multifaceted redevelopment and regeneration projects. In addition to domestic and international investors and developers, the representation of landlords and occupiers is also integral to the practice with pre-lettings particularly prevalent within the workload. Other standout names include development specialists Andrew Yates and Robert MacGregor, sales and purchases expert Claire Milton and Alan Wight, noted for his ‘depth of experience’ in landlord and tenant matters. The practice recently gained two new partners through the internal promotions of Matthew Pomfret and Ciaran Londra; other names to note at the junior end of the partnership spectrum are Liana Hewson, hailed for her ‘great brain’, as well as Emma La Wita and Chris Rowe who are both well-versed in signficant lettings.
Other key lawyers:
‘BCLP have an excellent team – covering a broad range of real estate practise areas with talented individuals. They are personable, professional and dedicated.’
‘A very competent real estate practice – a leader in the market and head and shoulders above other firms.’
‘Chris Rowe and Liana Hewson are extremely knowledgeable and both are very hardworking. I have worked for many years with both on some of the biggest transactions, and have always felt reassured by their guidance. Both are very commercial and can focus on the transaction at hand rather than the academics merits of a case.’
Canary Wharf Group
Capital & Counties
Heathrow Airport Limited
Oak View Group
Transport for London
Great Portland Estates
Quintain & Tipi
- Advising US based Oak View Group on its potential development of a £300m world-class arena in Manchester in a joint venture with Eastlands Development Company.
- Advising Quintain subsidiary Tipi, the owners of a large estate at Wembley Park, on all aspects of their regeneration of the area. At Wembley, Quintain hope to create a vibrant and self-sustaining new district of London and to speed up the delivery of housing, by creating the UK’s largest Build to Rent development.
- Advising on the complex development of GPE’s Square estate above the Bond Street Crossrail eastern ticket hall.
Hailed as ‘the most service-orientated firm in the market’, Clifford Chance LLP’s lawyers are praised for their ‘commercial acumen, expertise of the market and breadth of legal knowledge’. Large scale developments, including regeneration, station and infrastructure projects are a particular forte with support provided at all stages of the cycle including finance, planning and construction. The team complements its development offering via its considerable corporate occupier expertise, frequently advising occupiers and operators on the building of their own facilities in addition to representing tenants entering into pre lettings. Central London headquarter transactions and secondary market lettings are also a key focus while on the investment side, distinguished strengths include the sales, purchases and joint ventures relating to major real estate platforms and cross-border portfolio transactions. The ‘extraordinary’ Alis Pay frequently acts for new investors into the European market while Mark Payne is noted as ‘head and shoulders above practitioners at other firms’; both act on behalf of global funds, private equity houses and sovereign wealth funds. Angela Kearns is ‘quick to identify and raise commercial considerations to clients’ and Ian Painter is ‘particularly proactive’, boasting a track record in London office developments. Adrian Levy is one of the market’s most experienced names, serving as co-head of the firm’s global real estate sector.
‘The team at Clifford Chance offers top notch legal advice – I have also found them also to be the most service oriented firm in the market. CC is our go to firm for the most complex and largest transactions where we need all hands on deck.’
‘The most impressive part of the business is the sheer depth of coverage when dealing with a large/complex transaction. As and when any issues arises, be it tax, corporate, financing, Clifford Chance are a one stop shop for fixing problems.’
‘Sometimes lawyers focus too much on form and forget the substance of the matter at hand. That is not the case with Clifford Chance. They always get the big picture and provide advice accordingly.’
AIG Global Real Estate
Battersea Power Station Development Company
Canary Wharf Group plc
Coin Street Community Builders
Legal & General
- Advised Legal & General on its development forward purchase and pre-letting arrangements of 7-8 Wellington Place from joint venture partners Hermes Investment Management and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. The buildings are fully let to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government on behalf of HM Revenue & Customs and NHS Digital.
- Advised the joint venture between Helical plc and AshbyCapital on the acquisition of a major mixed use development site in the heart of Farringdon from a client of Nuveen Real Estate.
- Advising Slovakian developers JTRE on their first large mixed use development in the UK, Triptych Bankside.
CMS has a ‘top quality team with the strength, depth and ability to handle any type of transaction’. Marie Scott, ‘excellent technically and always commercial’, is a key contact in the corporate occupier area where the team is primarily focused on the London market, handling matters such as headquarters leasing, day-to-day freehold and leasehold portfolio management and exit strategies. Development is also a front on which the department excels, handling multi-faceted developments and major regeneration projects including those in the mixed-use, retail, residential and alternative asset sectors. As for investment work, the group supports co-living and co-working providers, domestic and international institutional investors, major property and technology companies and private equity investors on the full range of relevant transactions, across all forms of property assets. Ciaran Carvalho, ‘leads deals in an effective and fair manner’; he heads the practice which is closely aligned with the wider firm’s planning, construction, environment, tax, environment and residential enfranchisement departments. His team also include Mark Heighton who has ‘an unrivalled sixth sense about commercial property transactions’.
‘Professional, client-centric, sound advice on point from corporate real estate partners and associates alike.’
‘CMS value us a client and make sure that we are given very good quality service. They are able to bring in experts from other areas of practice as and when necessary.’
‘Real strength and depth. It is a very large team and has not only great resources but also strength in each real estate sub-discipline. It can cater for all types of transaction and provide project management support too.’
Imperial College London
Great Portland Estates
Urban & Civic
- Advised the developer AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets on its high-profile agreements on various pre-lettings for the 22 Bishopsgate office building.
- Acting for WeWork across the UK and European jurisdiction including; Belgium, Hungary and Romania.
- Acted on the disposal of the office and retails elements of a landmark £850m mixed-use development on London’s South Bank to Starwood Capital, a US private equity firm.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
The commercial property team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is ‘a safe pair of hands for large, high-profile, complex transactions’ and is ‘well-integrated with the firm's tax and corporate’ practices. Global department head Jeremy Walden ‘provides an exceptional individual service’, with a broad practice which sees him represent private equity investors, listed vehicles, sovereign wealth funds and family offices in joint ventures, structured acquisitions and disposals and asset management. Elsewhere, Donald Rolands is ‘a standout player in his field’; together with Richard Forsdyke he frequently acts on large-scale multi-phased developments in the UK and EMEA. Paul Chases counts sovereign wealth funds, high-net-worth individuals and pension funds among his clients while Shona Grey is well-regarded for private equity investments. For corporate occupier affairs, Nick Turner is a distinguished name, providing a ‘clear commercial understanding’ to both landlords and tenants. Regeneration work is also a core pillar of the practice, as are planning, construction, finance and corporate real estate activities.
‘Very consistent across the board and capable of providing a good breadth of services. A lot of experience and depth in all real estate elements.’
‘Extremely commercial in their approach. Have a strong inclination toward problem solving. Jeremy Walden leads the team well and is capable of unlocking difficult impasses and finding solutions. Jeremy’s strong connections can also benefit clients in complementary ways.’
‘HSF have been one of our longstanding trusted advisers for many years. They have a great understanding of our market and are always happy to share their legal know-how and insights to assist our business. The team has great strength and depth and is able to respond quickly to our needs and always happy to assist.’
‘I value the personal touch that HSF bring with regular updates via phone and meetings in person (when permitted!). They take the time to check in and really understand the business.’
‘The team is fully dedicated to the service and you receive results as soon as possible, no matter what time of day it is. You are given the sense of priority whilst you know your lawyers are providing the same exceptional service to many other clients at the same time. The firm has exceptional experience to draw upon in almost any scenario so you are well catered for.’
‘Jeremy Walden is clearly managing a huge operation but still manages to provide exceptional individual service to his clients. He is a relationship partner that stays fully involved in the work-streams which is a valued attribute.’
Aberdeen Standard Investments
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Allianz Real Estate
- Ongoing work for the Broadgate Estate including the redevelopment of 100 Liverpool Street, Exchange Square, 135 Bishopsgate, 155 Bishopsgate, 2-3 Finsbury Avenue 1 Broadgate, 1 Finsbury Avenue and the refurbishment of Broadwalk House.
- Acting for The Madison Square Garden Company on the proposed development of MSG Sphere London, a 20,000 seat next generation entertainment venue in Stratford, adjacent to the former Olympic Park.
- Advising Argent Related on its major regeneration scheme for Tottenham Hale in London. This included obtaining the planning permission for the whole development and securing third party financing for the first phase of development.
Lawyers at Hogan Lovells International LLP ‘provide not just legal advice, but a practical, sensible and commercial’ perspective. They support clients at all stage of development and regeneration projects including site assembly and procurement through to delivery, letting and disposal, with the capacity to call upon supplementary planning, environment and construction expertise from the wider firm. Investment also serves as a keystone of the practice with institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, private equity houses and overseas family offices from all corners of the globe, relying on the group to support on the full cycle of asset management transactions. Jackie Newstead is reputed for joint ventures and her knowledge of the hospitality sector while Daniel Norris, recently appointed as global head of real estate, is primarily focused on developments and high-value investment transactions, both direct and indirect. Dion Panambalana’s practice is characterised by mixed-use urban and non-urban development while Gill McGreevy leverages experience in regeneration and institutional investments with strong retail sector expertise. Newly appointed UK practice head Oliver Chamberlain is highly rated for his ‘excellent balance of commerciality and legal expertise’. The group's corporate occupier work sees it represent both major landlords and leasees with household names from the media, finance, private equity and fintech sectors among the client list.
‘Strength and depth across a very well-led team. They understand the business and are able to provide not just legal advice but also practical, sensible, commercial advice.’
‘Partners through to associates are pragmatic especially during pressurised negotiations. Always proactive with advice. Personable and approachable at all times.’
‘Very commercially aware and focused. Always providing solutions.’
‘Hogan Lovells’ commercial property team provide a truly joined-up approach. They provide an end to end service of the highest level; partner led, but ably supported by the rest of the team. To a person they are commercially sound, client focused and pragmatic.’
‘Highly experienced and very personable individuals. Problem solving and creativity at the fore.’
‘Dion Panambalana is a delight to work with. He inspires confidence and is always 100% engaged in the projects he works on. He is friendly and makes working with him a pleasure never a chore.’
‘Daniel Norris’ seniority as global head of real estate does not prevent him from leading on complex negotiations and providing prompt advice to his clients. He is a straightforward negotiator and cuts to the point. I find that his approach provides for a simple solution to complex problems.’
Argent (and Argent Related)
Battersea Power Station
City of London Corporation
LaSalle Investment Management
M&G Real Estate/Prudential
The Ballymore Group
The Crown Estate
- Advised Berkeley Homes (East Thames) Limited in connection with the Development Agreement with Peabody for the proposed development of the West Thamesmead Gateway site in Plumstead.
- Acting for Argent Related to create a high-end mixed use development in Kings Cross, with over 200 open market and social rented apartments, gym facilities, a gallery, a crèche, lounge areas and gardens.
- Running the auction process of offshore windfarm leases for The Crown Estate offshore wind (its first major auction of offshore windfarm leases in a decade).
Clients praise Addleshaw Goddard's team as ‘truly incredible in working together to find a full solution’. Adrian Collins gears his practice towards infrastructure, education, health and housing projects; he recently succeeded the ‘hands on’ and ‘fully committed’ Leona Ahmed as department head; she remains an active member of the team, directing particular attention to inbound investment from Asia and the Middle East. In the corporate occupier space, the team frequently advises on high-profile locations in London, including key landmarks, and prides itself on representing newcomers to the local market. As for development work, regeneration and matters with a cross-border work are particularly key, with the core real estate investment offering supplemented by corporate and funds specialists. Among others, clients include leading UK asset managers, REITs and a large number of overseas investors. The practice gained two partners in recent months through the arrivals of Frances Richardson and Rachel Orton from Linklaters LLP and Squire Patton Boggs respectively.
Other key lawyers:
‘This is one good team – they are highly ethical and really put their heart and soul into the shoes of the client.’
‘The team is well resourced and enjoyable to work with. The can work to very quick timescales and provide very good value for money for the work they do. They are very good a breaking down a transaction and identifying risks.’
‘They are highly co-operative and matter of fact. I know I can trust them and they aren’t afraid to tell me bad news. Chris Cartwright is an excellent lawyer and great at carving through complex tenure arrangements you see in Central London.’
‘Proactive and client-centric approach.’
‘William Boss is strong on client relationship management.’
‘Lee Sheldon is pragmatic and responsive.’
‘Their team of lawyers are incredible in truly working together as a true, full solution. Each scope of vertical expertise is in-depth, timely and very attentive. As a client I had to deal with an extremely complicated situation; without Addleshaws, the deal would have failed long ago. Leona Ahmed and Lee Sheldon were world class and their advice was pivotal all along the way. They also made themselves fully available at all times and this itself was vital to an overseas client in a different time zone. Truly selfless lawyers.’
Aberdeen Standard Life Group of Companies
Battersea Power Station Development Company
Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
Threadneedle Group of Companies
- Advised on the £1.583bn acquisition by a joint venture (formed between Permodalan Nasional Berhad and the Employees Provident Fund) of the commercial assets comprised within Phase 2 of the wider seven-phase Battersea redevelopment project, being one of London’s largest and most anticipated redevelopment sites.
- Appointed as legal adviser for the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Trust in relation to the Trust’s estates redevelopment programme. The redevelopment of the Trust estate across its campuses at both Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals will see in excess of 20 infrastructure projects bought forward over a 15 year period.
- Advising UPP on the funding, property, construction and facilities management arrangements entered into in connection with a £139.7m deal with the University of Exeter under which UPP is to design, build and operate (over a 50 year term), 1,182 new bedrooms and ancillary space at the University’s Streatham Campus.
Dentons' ‘dynamic and thoughtful team’ is acclaimed as ‘exceptionally thoughtful and diligent’. Its development and regeneration group, co-chaired by Richard Budge, supports clients at all stages of projects including acquisition, structure formation, project and development management agreements. Elsewhere, the firm’s broad international footprint is particularly key in the investment space where in addition to outbound work, the team represents numerous inbound investors from jurisdictions including India, South Korea, Canada, the US and Europe. Sectors including retail, built to rent, senior living, student accommodation and the private rented sector are integral to the practice which is also well-regarded for its corporate occupier work. Rob Thompson is ‘extremely attentive’ while Deepa Deb, whose strengths include residential-led mixed use schemes, is a ‘first-rate lawyer who excels at driving transactions’. Associate Carla Revelo is also a key member of the team and is carving out a strong reputation for large-scale portfolio investments.
Other key lawyers:
‘I am very impressed with the consistently high level of service I receive from partners down through the different levels in the team. They respond to emails and calls promptly and most importantly, they explain the options I have on any issues clearly, and give sound advice on the implications of following a particular route. The other strength I like is that they are always prepared to be commercial when appropriate.’
‘Rob Thompson is extremely attentive and gets the right balance between moments when detail is required and moments when we move onto the next point. He maintains a high level of service, which makes me as the client feel as though I am his number one client all the time.’
‘A dynamic and thoughtful team which understands the need for advice and recommendations – and then acting promptly on the client’s decision.’
Slough Urban Renewal
HOOPP / Verdion
Transport for London (TfL)
Greater London Authority (GLA)
- Advising Taylor Wimpey on the estate regeneration project at Winstanley and York Road, Clapham Junction – a mixed use, residential-led development which is the most expensive project that Taylor Wimpey has carried out to date.
- Advising HOOP/Verdion on the development of the Iport logistics hub in Doncaster.
- Advising Slough Urban Renewal on behalf of MUSE regarding a c.£650m of development in Slough.
DLA Piper’s team is ‘super dependable’, providing ‘practical and commercial advice’. The group serves as a ‘one-stop solution for complicated planning and development’ projects; a field in which the ‘priceless’ Jonathan Northey is particularly active, advising on all aspects of the development process and leveraging extensive experience in housing and mixed-use schemes. The firm also fields a dedicated corporate occupier group, headed by the ‘approachable’ and ‘commercial’ Paul Jayson, which represents owners, investors, operators and financial institutions. The investment practice is closely integrated with the global firm’s US, EMEA and Asia-Pacific offices and is helmed by the ‘always incisive’ William Naunton; he can be counted on for complex joint ventures, structured transactions and fund structure creations. Elsewhere, at senior associate level, Nicholas Haringman is ‘always dependable’ and Hayley Russell-White is highly rated for housing and mixed-use development projects. The team recently added to its strength in depth with the hires of Jo Owen from Proskauer Rose LLP and Katie Jacobson from Hogan Lovells International LLP.
‘Omer Maroof is an exceptional lawyer acting as an adviser in the interest of client, with the highest level of professionalism. He is always ready to investigate a topic and involve the firm to provide the best advice.’
‘A very tight property team with a good balance of experience. Able to turn instructions round quickly and offer swift and pragmatic solutions.’
‘William Naunton is the silverback gorilla of UK real estate law – but has combined it with the bedside manner of a cavapoo. Fun to work with, yet always incisive and commercial in outcomes.’
‘Paul Jayson is a great relationship partner.’
‘The DLA real estate team is both competent and transactional – they clearly understand that the parties in real estate transactions are not adversarial, and that the transaction relies on both parties coming to a legal understanding of a agreed transaction; therefore the task of the lawyers is to complete the legal formalities to close a deal already made, a fact that many lawyers forget.’
‘The team is committed to the client’s interests – even if this means not to proceed with a deal.’
Houghton Regis Management Company Limited
World Wheel Company
Mace Group Ltd
Mace Developments (Greenwich) Limited
Sanofi & Aventis Pharma Limited
Vale Europe Limited
The Pollen Estate
Herbal House Investments Limited
Places for People Group
- Acting for Houghton Regis Management Company Limited, the developer consortium, in respect of a large scale, mixed use development at Houghton Regis to deliver 5,150 homes, three primary schools, retail, leisure, healthcare and entertainment offerings.
- Acting for the World Wheel Company on the long leasehold acquisition, planning and development financing of the “Giants on the Quayside” project on the banks of the River Tyne in Newcastle.
- Continued to advise Mace Group on the planning, estate management and lettings of the mixed-use development schemes of the former bus depot at Exeter and the former West Wing Cardiff Royal Infirmary.
Forsters LLP is reputed for its work on complex long-term redevelopment schemes, headquarter relocations, portfolio management, landlord and tenant matters and leasehold transfers. The team has recently gone through a period of transition, with the departure of former practice head Matthew Swainston to Taylor Wessing LLP and the arrival of Anne O’Neil from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (UK) LLP, where she fronted the real estate practice. She joined alongside several key members of her previous team including Andrew Denye and Sara Branch. Andrew Crabbie is now overall head of commercial real estate, while a key name to note for development projects in the logistics sector is Victoria Towers.
Home to ‘an excellent combination of skilled technicians’, Gowling WLG's real estate practice is headed by Richard Bate; it supports clients with a range of services including the acquisition of leasehold and freehold properties, managing surplus space and portfolio management with established expertise of office, warehouse, manufacturing, retail, leisure and data centre assets. For investment, institutional investors and US private equity funds are a core strength; the group also represents sovereign wealth funds, REITs and family offices across the globe. It handles the buying, selling, letting and asset management of all asset classes including health and care and student accommodation premises. Jon Lloyd is a specialist in mixed-use projects with the team also handling regeneration and transport-related developments, among others.
‘Gowlings work very hard at relationship development. They work to understand what we want to achieve. The advice they give is an good combination of the technical and the pragmatic.’
‘They are all practically orientated with their advice which I find invaluable. Advice is tailored to the needs of the project and the client.’
The team are an excellent combination of skilled technician and friend. They want to get to know us and our roles within the business and take the time to talk to us, as well as providing first rate help and advice. The team are readily available and when they are not, their response times are first rate. They have a clear grasp on important timescales.’
Aldgate Developments Limited
Bracknell Regeneration Limited Partnership
Columbia Threadneedle Investments
Empiric Student Property plc
Janus Henderson UK Property PAIF
LaSalle Investment Management
Legal & General
London and Strategic land
Mosley Street Ventures
Portland Capital Real Estate Limited
Rushmoor Borough Council
Stamford Land Corporation Limited
The Hut Group
Transport for London and London Underground
U and I
- Advised TfL on the competitive dialogue procurement process to secure a joint venture partner and negotiated with the transaction documents with multiple bidders.
- Acting on the regeneration of Bracknell town centre since 1995; a joint venture between Legal & General and Schroders UK Property Fund.
- Advised Aldgate Developments on the agreement for lease with British Telecommunications plc at One Braham, London E1.
Jones Day comes highly recommended for development and investment matters and is distinguished via its focus on real estate private equity, REIT and banking clients. The team prides itself on its project management for large scale transactions and is home to expertise in joint ventures, corporate purchases and landlord and tenant activities. David Smith and Anna Cartwright jointly head the department, which also has the capacity to assist with finance, tax and regulatory affairs and is well-versed in relation to office, retail, industrial, hospitality and leisure assets. Alistair Grant is 'extremely responsive and knowledgeable' while of counsel Kirsty Rogerson supports development clients from site assembly all the way through to forward funding and letting.
‘Jones Day provide superb client service. They are truly focused on helping us to achieve our goals in a commercial, pragmatic and efficient manner. Their work between international offices and practices is seamless and first rate as is their business acumen, understanding of our business and technical legal ability. ‘
‘Jones Day has a strong real estate practice across Europe particularly in relation to high-end, complicated real estate development and investment work and we have undertaken large transactions with them, often on a cross border basis, in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Holland and the Netherlands. They have a real focus on efficiency whilst excelling at client service and solutions delivery.’
‘It is clear that the lawyers we work with are all pulling together as a team, rather than as a collection of individual lawyers, to provide us with top notch client service. All of the lawyers we deal with have sound technical ability but their focus on working seamlessly together across practices and offices is second to none and marks them out as a firm focused on first rate client service. A number of individuals are seen as trusted advisers to us because of their business understanding and not just legal ability.’
‘Alistair Grant is well known and liked in the sector, understands the market very well, is commercial, pragmatic and solutions oriented and is essentially a trusted adviser to our business. He has helped navigate us through many large mandates.’
‘David Smith who is incredibly experienced in high-end, complicated investment and development matters.’
‘Alistair Grant is extremely responsive and knowledgeable.’
CBRE Global Investors
CIT Real Estate Partners
Cortland Real Estate Partners
Greystar Real Estate Partners
Hansteen Holdings PLC
Henderson Park Real Estate Fund
Henley Real Estate
Meyer Bergman, Ltd.
Oxenwood Real Estate
- Advised Delancey and APG on the purchase and ongoing development of the Earls Court development site in West London.
- Advised Meyer Bergman on its £1bn redevelopment and restoration of the Whiteleys Shopping Centre in Bayswater, London into mixed use retail, commercial and residential units.
- Advised Elephant and Castle Properties – a subsidiary between DOOR, SLP Stiching Depositary APG Strategic Real Estate Pool and QD UK Holdings Limited Partnership – on the redevelopment of Elephant and Castle, which will deliver a new town centre for one of London’s largest regeneration projects.
Linklaters LLP has ‘the breadth and depth within its practice to advise on extremely complex real estate transactions’. The team is led by Andy Bruce, an ‘expert in understanding the issues at play on deals’; his practice spans the acquisition, development, letting and disposal of all forms of commercial real estate, both in the UK and Europe. A further key name is Patrick Plant, he is well-versed in representing both landlords and tenants and is recommended by clients for his capacity to ‘offer tailored solutions that fit the bill’. The ‘superb’ Tom Watkins handles joint ventures and restructuring while a further integral component of the offering is high-value regeneration work.
‘A really collegiate team that supports each other and clients in getting transactions over the line in both an expertly professional and pragmatic way.’
‘Andy Bruce is expert in understanding the issues at play on deals and navigates those through using legal and commercial levers to achieve outstanding results on transactions.’
‘Linklaters has the breadth and depth within their practice to advise on extremely complex real estate transactions. They are able to move quickly and meet the demands of any transaction.’
‘Tom Watkins is an exceptional lawyer and the best person to have “on point” to project manage complex transactions and ensure that the different work streams are delivered in the right order and on time. His advise is always of the highest quality and commercial in its application. Tom works effectively with the wider Linklaters team as we often have to draw on the other specialist teams.’
‘Tom Watkins is superb. He combines industry knowledge, technical skills and commercial acumen to deliver excellent outcomes for his clients. He is definitely the person that you want on your side of the negotiating table.’
‘The firm has a well established reputation which was something for them to live up to. I am pleased to say that they did, exceeding expectations in challenging circumstances. This is clearly a well run business which remains focused on its clients’ needs.’
‘Linklaters runs a hybrid real estate and corporate practice which we use for the majority of our UK and European real estate transactions. They are also in my opinion best-in-class at having a single lead partner who is not just a “relationship partner” but truly stays across all of the various practice areas working on a single transaction and can negotiate with all the facts to hand, and indeed recall the specifics of highly technical advice received from colleagues to really pull the deal together. To have one team that can bring this consistency of approach seamlessly across the many different country legal regimes in Europe is, in my experience, exceptional.’
‘Tom Watkins is highly intelligent, commercial, and makes it his business to fully understand all advice being given by different practice areas within Linklaters to ensure he always advises with all possible considerations to hand. Most impressive of all is his ability to mentally track in real time the implications of any given negotiating point and the impact that will have across a suite of transaction documents. In my experience this is a rare skill for a partner managing a large team and demonstrates the commitment he personally makes to a transaction. Tom is also very affable and a pleasure to work with, which makes a difference.’
Permodalan Nasional Berhad / Employees Provident Fund
- Advising Lendlease on its contractual joint venture with Birmingham City Council for the £1.5bn redevelopment of the 17-hectare Smithfield site.
- Advised MGH Card LLP, a joint venture with Arlington Real Estate and the Richardson family, as developer in relation to the Phase 1 development of Milburngate, Durham.
- Acted for the joint venture on the £1.583bn acquisition of the commercial assets comprised within Phase 2 of the wider seven-phase Battersea redevelopment project, being one of London’s largest and most anticipated redevelopment sites.
On the development front, Macfarlanes LLP handles a range of projects including commercial, standalone residential and mixed-use schemes. Led by Anthony Burnett-Scott , the team is particularly knowledgeable of the public rented sector and undertakes a broad range of investment-related transactions, including those pertaining to hospitality assets. Commercial office lettings and asset management are further strengths for the group which is able to call upon the vast experience of Ian Nisse, a senior consultant well-versed in the structuring and financing of joint ventures, investment transactions and development projects. Another name to note is regeneration and mixed-use development expert Nick Barnes.
- Advising on Legal & General’s £400m development of Cardiff Central Square, and the £100m development of Sunderland Riverside.
- Advising Berkeley Homes on the redevelopment of a brownfield site in West Ham, planned for 4,000 homes as part of a residential-led, mixed-use development.
- Advising Stanhope and its joint venture partner, Mitsui Fudosan, as it signed a development agreement to extend the Grade-I listed British Library, in a cornerstone project for the development of the Knowledge Quarter around St Pancras.
An ‘exceptionally talented team from top to bottom’, Mayer Brown International LLP represents major private equity funds and UK property companies on complex development projects as well as high-value investment and corporate real estate transactions. A distinguishing feature of the practice is its emphasis on cross-border transactions for overseas investors, particularly in relation to outbound Asian clients purchasing London-based assets. Japan and China are key jurisdictions for Martin Wright, while Jeremy Clay demonstrates a track record of representing major financial institutions. Additional names to note are Iain Roberts, a mixed-use development expert and Caroline Humble, ‘an outstanding individual who is incredibly bright yet fiercely commercial’. On the corporate occupier side, the group represents both landlords and tenants on a range of high-value leasing transactions; examples include headquarter relocations, post property acquisition leasing transactions and the management of portfolios and mixed-use schemes. Asset expertise includes data centres, residential, office, retail, restaurants, industrial parks and hotels. Chris Harvey handles both development and investment transactions with clients describing his service as 'top notch'.
‘The team is exceptionally talented from top to bottom. It is obvious they communicate well and tasks are divided out appropriately. Most importantly, the team is commercially minded and always focused on my objectives.’
‘Caroline Humble is an outstanding individual, incredibly bright yet fiercely commercial.’
‘Chris Harvey and his team were top-notch from beginning to end. Chris and his team were able to offer us advice literally around-the-clock given that we are based in Hong Kong while him and his team (and the deal) are based in London. Chris and team held everything together – this was our first major commercial deal, and Chris and his team provided valuable advice and guidance in the process. Chris already came highly recommended from previous investment partners and associates we have worked with and this deal just proved exactly why.’
‘The strengths could almost take up a whole page if I were to elaborate. Two of my most treasured capabilities – their commercial sense and their readiness to assist you whenever you need them.’
Gaw Capital Partners
The British Land Company plc
Chuang’s China Investments Limited
Crosstree Real Estate Partners
K&K Properties Limited
Cabot Properties, Inc.
- Representing British Land on the redevelopment and leasing of its high-profile scheme at Clarges, Mayfair, and the redevelopment of Norton Folgate, Shoreditch.
- Advising Tide Construction on the development, sale and forward funding of a large student housing and residential development scheme in Lewisham.
- Advising Ascott/Capitaland on the development of Islington Square (the former Royal Mail sorting office in north London) which, when completed, will comprise a 108 room Citadines aparthotel.
Mishcon de Reya LLP hosts a ‘great, practical team, which gets deals done’. Headed by acquisition and sales expert Nick Doffman, the practice serves as a one-stop-shop for development and investment work with the ability to call upon dedicated teams for planning, construction, real estate tax and finance. Stephen Hughes is a key name for portfolio transactions, joint ventures and structuring, with the team also concentrated on inward investment matters, especially those coming from the Far East. A key differentiator is the firm's dedicated asset classes group which holds expertise in respect of the build to rent, student accommodation and senior living sectors.
‘The team has an entrepreneurial focus – there is absolute understanding at partner level of our business aims and what we are aiming to achieve commercially.’
‘One of the things I like most about working with this team is the consistency of who works on our deals. We aren’t dealing with a new associate every other day, like in many large firms.’
‘Simon Hart is excellent. He is practical, responsive and knows how to move a deal toward exchange/completion. He has great deal acumen and is in tune with what is going on in the overall market.’
Brookfield’s ‘Student Roost’
Delancey, APG, Qatari Diar (QDD) and Oxford Properties joint venture
Capital & Counties Properties plc (Capco)
Olayan Group (Knightsbridge Estate)
The Office Group
PGIM Real Estate Finance
Derwent London Plc
Trophaeum Asset Management
- Advised Chelsfield on the major development adjacent to Knightsbridge tube station known as the Knightsbridge Estate, K-1. This is a 3.5 acre freehold between Harrods and Harvey Nichols in prime central London.
- Advised Brookfield-owned Student Roost on the forward-funding of three new student accommodation schemes in a series of deals with developer McLaren Property worth a combined £175m.
- Continued to advise longstanding client, Capital & Counties CG Limited, in relation to its Covent Garden portfolio, worth £2.6bn, including general landlord and tenant work, acquisitions and real estate litigation.
The team at Norton Rose Fulbright is praised for its ‘outstanding reactivity, expertise and client orientation’, and is particularly highly rated for inward investment, financing and long-term development and infrastructure projects. Its core real estate expertise is enhanced by close integration with the conveyancing, planning, corporate and fund structuring, construction, tax and financing departments, drawing on the firm’s expansive global footprint. David Hawkins, recommended for his ‘excellent teamwork’, represents numerous international investors whereas David Sinclair thrives in relation to office, hotel and shopping centre projects. Practice head Wasim Khan has a focus on representing tenants moving office; his team supports landlords and tenants at each stage of the letting process including occupational requirements, pre-letting negotiations and refurbishment contracts. Counsel Louisa Roe is particularly active in the letting space.
‘Charlie Pinkerton and Claire Younger are excellent to work with. They keep an eye on the detail but also on the bigger picture. Very commercial and pragmatic.’
‘The team offers legal expertise and attention to detail.’
Resolution Property IM LLP (UK)
Europa Capital (UK)
Ask Real Estate (UK)
Commerz Real (Germany)
Prudential plc (UK)
57 Whitehall S.à.r.l. (Old War Office) (India and Spain)
Bank ABC (Middle East)
Schroder Real Estate Investment Management (UK)
Tristan Capital Partners (UK)
HSBC Alternative Investments (UK)
Bank of Montréal (Canada)
Employees Provident Fund (Malaysia)
Orstead Energy (formerly Dong Energy) (Denmark)
Argo Group (USA)
Ashby Capital (UK)
State General Reserve Fund (Oman)
Hobart Partners (UK)
Sidra Capital (Dubai)
Ivanhoé Cambridge (Canada)
- Advised Azerbaijani sovereign wealth fund SOFAZ on the redevelopment of Grade II listed 78 St James’s Street – one of the largest buildings in the heart of the St James’s district.
- Advised Olympus Property Holding Limited on all aspects of the redevelopment of Olympia London – one of the few remaining indoor events venues in Central London.
- Advised United Overseas Bank on the financing of the redevelopment of Brentford Football Club to provide a new stadium and 72 homes.
Pinsent Masons LLP
Pinsent Masons LLP caters to a broad client base which encompasses investors, institutions, commercial and residential developers, housebuilders, retailers and local authorities, among others. Under the leadership of Claire Hughes, who has particular knowledge with regards to hotel and leisure assets, the team notably represents a number of European and Middle Eastern investors and demonstrates a proven track record in high-profile London developments. Asset management, infrastructure projects and structuring work are also key to the department, which possesses a strong focus on the alternatives sector, including purpose built student accommodation and retirement living, in addition to the residential market. The team’s regeneration capabilities were recently boosted by the transfer of Natalie Harris from the firm's Leeds office.
‘They provide a complete, joined-up, well coordinated and efficient service and their work is accurate. They also avoid the practice of many of the big law firms of overlawyering their drafting.’
‘Mike Reid is an exceptional lawyer. He drafts accurately, and makes deals happen. He and his support team also cover all the detail of a deal and follow up until al is properly concluded.’
‘I have worked with Richard Lloyd for a number of years and have always found him commercial, pragmatic and attentive. I would – and do – recommend him to anyone.’
‘Claire Hughes is hugely supportive. She drives the team approach and adds huge value to our team.’
Royal London Asset Management
Legal & General
AXA Real Assets
Capital & Counties Properties plc
The Portman Estate
Abstract Securities Group
Ministry of Defence
Kier Property Developments
William Pears Group
Telereal Trillium (Land Improvement Holdings)
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
Anglo American plc
Urban & Civic
LaSalle Investment Management
iQ Student Accommodation
Melia Hotels International
- Acted on the c.£90m purchase of 25 Lavington Street, Southwark for Landsec.
- Acted on an innovative forward funding solutions for Legal & General.
- Acted for Guildford Borough Council on a new residential led mixed use scheme comprising circa 1,500 new houses.
Slaughter and May
The team at Slaughter and May ‘demonstrates an excellent combination of attention to detail, commercial acumen and an understanding of client needs’. On the occupier side, the group enjoys a strong reputation for headquarter developments and relocations with clients also noting its prowess for ‘large HQ pre-letting transactions across central London’. Meanwhile, in the investment arena, the team handles all forms of direct and indirect investments with large, multi-party portfolio deals and matters with a cross-border component notably prevalent. Also ‘exceptionally capable at navigating developments’, the team is set apart through its expertise in major projects in the sports sector in addition to its hands-on project management. Practice head Jane Edwarde is a ‘powerhouse in the development market’ while John Nevin’s ‘attention to detail and the market is first-rate’. At the junior end, senior counsel Simon Bartle has ‘an exceptional ability to work through complex scenarios’.
‘The team have an in-depth understanding of us as the client, our operations and our mission. They give honest advice and not just what we want to hear. They fully understand our governance process and therefore ensure their approach is appropriate.’
‘An incredibly focused team that somehow manage to cover all issues at all times of the day or night. Great capabilities in real estate but boosted by superb backup on corporate, tax, construction and litigation. Strong positive approach to problem-solving and never shy away from talking to other lawyers to resolve issues which some of their competitors are more reluctant to do.’
‘Despite the team’s achievements, there is an element of modesty in their approach to projects. This is vital in key legal negotiations, where egos between individuals can all too often override commerciality and clients’ interests.’
‘John Nevin is exceptional. Sound advice with commercial good sense, often on short notice. I would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone.’
‘John Nevin displays excellent expertise and initiative.’
‘Simon Bartle is a ‘Welsh wizard’ – he balances a forensic eye for detail and great technical ability with a broad commercial awareness. One of those lawyers you’re always grateful is working for you rather than against you he is someone able to think on his feet, identify problems before they arise and provide innovative solutions to them, all the while retaining a calm and unflappable demeanour.’
‘Jane Edwarde is a powerhouse in the development market, giving straightforward practically orientated advice with an engaging negotiation technique.’
‘Mark Gulliford and Jane Edwarde are the best solicitors I have ever worked with. Slaughter and May have supported us through the largest property transaction and project in our company’s history. They are more cost-effective than some other mid-tier firms, as they do things once and do it right.’
English National Ballet
Legal & General
London Resort Company Holdings
NTT Urban Development Corporation
- Advising Derwent London on the mixed-use redevelopment of 19-35 Baker Street, London W1 including in connection with the re-gearing of its joint venture with The Portman Estate.
- Advising Everton on the development of its new 52,000-seat stadium at Bramley‑Moore Dock and also on the future redevelopment of Goodison Park.
- Advising Lendlease on its role as construction delivery partner for the Perry Barr Residential Scheme providing the Athletes’ Village for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and legacy housing.
The team at Travers Smith LLP, which is known for ‘understanding the commercial imperatives of transactions’, is well regarded for representing real estate funds and private equity real estate clients on a broad range of developments, investments and lettings. In particular, the knowledgebase of asset classes is a real standout, with the firm's recent workload spanning marinas, care homes, hotels, shopping centres, mines, restaurant chains and cinemas. Practice head Simon Rutman supports on joint ventures with specialist knowledge of the healthcare and private rented sectors. When it comes to development and regeneration work, Alex Millar is the key name, working with the firm's corporate M&A, finance, funds and tax lawyers to support at all stages of individual projects.
‘The Travers team are responsive, knowledgeable but are also very good at understanding the commercial imperatives of transactions, which enables them to remove obstacles from a transaction rather than create them.’
‘Emma Pereira is an exceptionally capable partner, who has strong commercial understanding of what is required of a deal. She is also extremely loyal to her clients and is always available when you need her.’
- Acting on the development of London Resort at Ebbsfleet, a proposed theme park which, when complete, will be three times larger than any other park in the UK. It will contain two theme parks and a resort water park set in over 535 acres, and a bespoke entertainment district, including 3,500 hotel rooms.
- Advising on the Boulevard redevelopment of Crawley town centre in a joint venture with Crawley Borough Council. The redevelopment will include a new nine-storey building housing a new Town Hall and office space; 273 new apartments, including 109 affordable homes; a new public square with public artwork; and new commercial units.
- Advising Clearbell Capital on the real estate aspects of its major mixed use redevelopment to create The Riverwalk, Durham.
Under the leadership of Sara Bailey, a PPP, joint venture, regeneration and development expert, Trowers & Hamlins LLP ‘offers the exact support that clients are looking for’. The team assists on commercial developments and investments from planning through to disposal, with particular significance placed on inward investment from the Far and Middle East, bolstered by long-established expertise in Islamic finance. Other distinguished names include many public sector bodies in addition to private wealth residential clients. Asset expertise also encompasses shopping centres, logistics, hotels, retail, restaurants, cinemas and leisure-related real estate. Rebecca Wardle ‘has real commercial acumen and demonstrates fantastic composure’.
‘They offer exactly the support you look for as a client; they are incredibly responsive and the advice is always well thought through, practical and relevant to us and our key requirements and concerns. No matter how busy they may be with other clients, as even the smallest query is dealt with in this way, they manage to give the impression that your work is their priority, which in my view is the gold standard of service.’
‘Yvette Bryan and Dwynwen Lewis are very responsive and pick up the detail of each transaction. They disseminate well with teams they work with.’
‘Rebecca Wardle is great to work with. She has real commercial acumen and demonstrated fantastic composure under pressure to get the deal done.’
Watford Borough Council
Museum of London
Octopus Real Estate and Shroders Real Estate
Monzo Bank Limited
Urban Logistics REIT Plc
Chase New Homes
Boklok Housing Limited
- Advising the Museum of London on the proposed relocation from its current site in London Wall to a new location Smithfield Market.
- Advised a fund set up by Octopus Real Estate and Schroders Real Estate on their first joint retirement living investment in the UK.
- Acting for the London Borough of Enfield on a nationally significant project.
Boodle Hatfield LLP has a strong focus on work for private capital-backed entities, including family offices, private funds and high-net-worth individuals. The team places a heavy degree of emphasis on mixed-use developments and investments in addition to residential projects. Led by Simon Williams, who is a specialist in the retail, leisure and hotel sectors, the team is also active in terms of handling lettings, disposals and acquisitions pertaining to major portfolios, working in collaboration with the firm’s real estate litigation, construction and finance teams. Another standout name is Caroline King; she is particularly highly rated for major urban regeneration schemes and joint venture work.
‘They are efficient, clear-thinking and provide practical solutions to problems. Always responsive and inspire confidence.’
‘Andrew Wilmot-Smith always comes up with a solution. I never worry about whether he has missed something.’
‘The prestige of their name continues to be deserved as the service is always attentive.’
‘Their advice is always well grounded and easily understood.’
‘Dennis Ko particularly provides a personal service and understanding of our business needs.’
‘Dennis Ko works hard to ensure that once agreed a sale progresses.’
IBM UK Pensions Trust Ltd
Black Pearl Limited
Berry Brothers & Rudd
Harcourt Investment Limited
The real estate practice at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is praised by its clients as a ‘thoroughly professional team which provides expertise guidance’. The team is active in terms of corporate occupier work, handling lettings, disposals, acquisitions, relocations, exit strategies and a broad range of portfolio management, both for UK assets and those abroad. The investment-related workload includes high-value investment transactions, joint ventures, financing and tax-efficient structures with the firm’s offices in Hong Kong, the Middle East and across the EU, giving it an edge in acting for international private and institutional investors. Development and regeneration work also serve as keystones of the practice with the team able to call upon both planning and construction expertise to advise all stages of projects from site acquisition and planning through to letting and disposals. Lee Medlock leads the department, which gained two new partners over the past year through the promotions of Alexander Gold and secured lending expert Eddie Richards. Sector expertise includes sports, leisure, retail, food and beverage in addition to private wealth and charities.
‘A very strong team, down to earth, great communicators – they work as a team and are experienced. No time wasted and very efficient.’
‘Lee Medlock has great experience in real estate law but is also a pragmatic businessman. He is well liked and connected and respected. I find I get full support from Lee on all aspects – this gives us great confidence.’
Aberdeen Standard Investments
BioMed Realty L.P
Caring Homes Group
Stonegate Pub Company
David Lloyd Leisure Limited
Howard de Walden Estate Limited
National Museum for the Royal Navy
City of London Corporation
The Church Commissioners
- Acting for longstanding client, houebuilder, Bellway homes on its joint venture with Lambeth Riverside on a £109m tenant-backed estate regeneration in south London.
- Acted for the client on the sale of 40 Chancery Lane to a Deka Immobilien fund for a headline price of £121.3m.
- Advised Lum Chang Holdings on the purchase, and then sale of part of Kelaty House for a JV between two Singaporean listed property companies, with a deal value of £200m.
Clyde & Co LLP is recommended by clients due to its ‘ability to mould the strict legal position into practical commercial advice’. The department is jointly headed by Graeme Taylor, who advises on disposals, lettings, acquisitions, development and joint ventures, along with Martin Quicke, whose practice is geared towards urban mixed-use regeneration projects. The team represents a number of investors from Hong Kong and South East Asia while employing the firm’s planning, finance and tax departments to advise on the full life cycle of projects. Particular emphasis is placed on public sector driven schemes with key asset classes spanning office, leisure, retail and residential; David Wyatt heads the firm's retail and consumer group.
‘Excellent advice coupled with good response times and value for money.’
‘The team have the ability to mould the strict legal position into practical commercial advice.’
Regal London Limited
Native Land Limited
Hutchison Property Group Limited
U + I Group Plc
Urban & Civic plc
- Acting for Native Land on the acquisition and development of a residential led mixed use development of some 1.2m sq ft at the former Ludgate House/Sampson House, Blackfriars, working alongside Network Rail.
- Advising U+I plc in exchanging contracts with Brighton & Hove City Council and the University of Brighton to deliver one of Brighton’s biggest ever regeneration projects.
- On behalf of Regal London, negotiated exclusivity agreement, conditional contract and ancillary documents in connection with the acquisition of a 3.5 acre site with the potential for mixed use development including up to 800 homes.
DAC Beachcroft LLP
DAC BEACHCROFT LLP's team 'offers complete dedication, as if they were part of the client’s company’. For leasing activities, the group demonstrates a hands-on approach, helping clients to set up the right corporate vehicle for lease acquisitions, assessing the authorised planning use and assisting with operational requirements, among other affairs. The practice is praised for its ‘outstanding knowledge and understanding’ of development matters, with distinguishing features including strong strategic land expertise, delivered by the ‘superior’ Lucinda Walsh, as well as build to rent, urban regeneration, commercial development, public sector partnership and joint venture prowess. Robert Lee heads the department which also represents international, institutional and private investors and developers, particularly in relation to asset management and mixed-use schemes. Senior associate Charlotte Wilson is singled out as a ‘creative thinker’.
‘This practice has all the necessary areas of specialism. They are always available, advice is always concise, and they work well as a team.’
Paul McCartney always controls all aspects of a transaction and keeps clients up to date.’
Vistry Group (Linden and Bovis)
Campbell Buchanan George
Canterbury City Council
- Advised Galliford Try Partnerships Limited (now part of the Vistry Group) on the acquisition of four regenerations sites to deliver more than 850 homes across the UK in partnership with Homes England.
- Advised a Cconsortium of overseas investors on the acquisition, funding, development and onward sale of two larges mixed use redevelopment schemes in the Midlands with development values in excess of £200m.
- Advised Taylor Wimpey UK on a significant strategic acquisition of land comprising 545 acres within the M1 corridor in Milton Keynes.
Led by the ‘outstanding and wholly engaged’ Mark Gauguier, Farrer & Co adopts a ‘pragmatic and creative approach to problem solving’. The team’s development and investment activities are characterised by high-value transactions in the mid-market with the London-based assets serving as a priority. The group routinely works with international property investors from Hong Kong, Russia and the Middle East who are looking to expand their interests in the UK. Investments into private offices and high-end residential assets are areas of particular strength, as is a range of asset management including landlord and tenant matters and relevant litigation. The development caseload includes a wealth of flagship projects for institutional clients with urban extensions a well-established forte. Clients regularly single out senior associate Henry Stevens as ‘excellent’ for development-related transactions. Sector strengths include education, charities and estates.
‘Henry Stevens is excellent.’
‘The team at Farrer work extremely well collaboratively, with the interests of the client remaining at the forefront of all they do.’
‘The commercial property team are proactive, easy to talk to and pragmatic in their thinking.’
‘Very easy to deal with. Clarity on single points of contact. Very very good on explaining legal issues in plain language (both in writing and orally). Always ready to talk.’
‘Mark Gauguier is outstanding. He was engaged throughout and felt as if he was really one of the team trying to get the deal over the line. Friendly and approachable at all times. Good on interpersonal skills and kept friendly even when we were discussing business. Was never patronising when I did not understand a legal point and was always able to explain matters in clear English. He was wholly engaged and thoroughly professional. A delight to work with.’
‘A personalised and professional service. They make sure that they understand the businesses that we are involved in and are proactive in their advice. They are not dogmatic in their administration.’
‘Quite above and beyond any other of the firms with which I deal.’
‘They seem to give their associates and trainees excellent experience and support/mentoring.’
‘Pragmatic, efficient and helpful. A lively, wise team to work with.’
‘We find Mark Gauguier’s team friendly, hard working and always willing to put extra effort in if necessary to get the deal done.’
Charities Property Fund
Duchy of Cornwall
Highbridge Properties plc
Lloyds Banking Group
The Ironmongers Company
The Royal College of Surgeons of England
The British Library
Property Trust Group
Victoria and Albert Museum
Arbuthnot Latham & Co Ltd
- Continuing to act as the legal advisers to the Duchy of Cornwall’s Poundbury Development – the urban community at Dorchester.
- Advising in relation to the British Library’s St Pancras development.
- Advising the Victoria and Albert Museum on the relocation of its collections and research centre to new premises at Delancey’s Here East innovation campus in Stratford, east London scheduled to open in 2023 as well as their new museum also opening in Stratford, V&A East.
Lewis Silkin LLP's ‘diverse' and 'cohesive' team works with a range of domestic developers, while also advising China-based clients on mixed-use, leisure, residential and hotel-related projects. On the corporate occupiers side, the team adopts a specialist sector-specific approach and is particularly proficient in representing clients from the luxury brand, lifestyle, advertising and marketing, professional services, retail, restaurants and technology industries. Investment work for family offices and high-net-worth individuals is also integral to the practice, which handles portfolio work in high-profile locations such as Mayfair and Hyde Park. Brian Kilcoyne heads the practice, recently succeeding Jonathan Reuben who remains an active member of the team. The 'smart and commercial' Julia Poulter was recently promoted to partner.
Lewis Silkin’s expertise and customer service and truly second to none. The team holds a wealth of experience in all real estate related legal matters and they always make you feel as if you are their only and most important client.
‘Lewis Silkin have a very diverse team that are able to attend to a broad number of issues that arise across our business.’
‘The entire team works together in a cohesive manner. All are accessible, approachable, and professional. They are also a pleasure to work with.’
‘Julia Poulter is outstanding. She meticulously addresses every scenario and without exception resolves the situation efficiently with painstaking care. She always carries a large smile and has the ability to balance a negation with firmness to ensure to achieve the very best outcome for the client. Julia is simply a lifesaver – she is an example to all in the field.’
‘Julia Poulter is smart, commercial and available. She has taken the time to get to know our business – I highly recommend her.’
‘Anthony van Hoffen is good to work with and very responsive.’
‘Julia Poulter is very professional at all times and is extremely well versed in her subjects. Julia is also a great listener and takes time to ensure the client is given opportunity to fully express their situation. She does not force her own opinion and is a great person to discuss issues when they arise.
‘Partners such as Rachel Francis-Lang are always available and rarely push work down to less qualified juniors. They are therefore able to take responsibility and give strong and meaningful advice.’
London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham
London Legacy Development Corporation
- Advising the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham on the regeneration of Earl’s Court.
- Advising the London Legacy Development Corporation on the ongoing development and infrastructure provision in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
- Advising Tranquilla Silsoe on land assembly for the proposed regeneration of a site to provide 1,000+ residential units, with the initial reprovision of an existing care home.
Maples Teesdale LLP is a ‘specialist real estate firm of lawyers, made up of experts in their field’. Roger Thornton, who ‘ensures good client liaison’, specialises in investment sales and purchases, representing institutional investors and pension funds, among others. Neil Sagoo is a key contact for corporate occupier matters, specialising in headquarter and other business-critical relocations, with a strong reputation for acting for foreign embassies. Elsewhere, the ‘calm and methodical’ Declan Power leads on the development front, specialising in retail, office, mixed-use, industrial and distribution projects.
‘Declan Power is very calm, methodical and contactable.’
‘This real estate-only practice is very commercially focused.’
‘A solid, property focused law firm. They take time to understand our requirements and way of working. A close knit, focused firm. Partners are more available to us than at other firms.’
‘Excellent to work with; proactive, commercial but providing safe advice too. It has been a pleasure working with them, even in lockdown.’
Their lawyers listen to the needs of the client. Seek advice when appropriate and convey quality advice to the client in an easy to understand manner.
‘Strength in depth across every real estate sector. They are also a well joined-up and cohesive unit, and have been a pleasure to work with on recent transactions.’
Roger Thornton maintains involvement and ensures good client liaison and high levels of advice.’
Aberdeen Standard Investments
Legal & General
BMO Real Estate
Tristan Capital Partners
Henry Boot Developments
City, University of London
CLS Holdings plc
- Acted on the disposal of a care home property in North London from the client’s portfolio to a developer for conversion into residential apartments.
- Advising The Collective on a number of developments, including Trewint Street which consisted of 292 co-living units, new pedestrian and cycling bridge, café open to public, internal amenities.
- Acting for City, University of London on its current redevelopment of its library services involving the refurbishment of the 6th floor of the University Building, St John Street, Clerkenwell, London and the addition of a 7th floor together with the replacement of the building’s windows and lift improvement.
Clients are impressed by Osborne Clarke LLP's ‘collaborative and can-do’ approach. Headed by the well-regarded Peter Day, the practice is characterised by high-end mid-market work, setting itself apart through its specialist expertise in logistics and alternative residential assets. Key types of work include portfolio transactions, developments with a mixed-use, leisure, commercial office and residential focus, build to rent projects and transactions involving industrial and logistics assets. The commercial property team is supported by first-rate retail expertise in addition to property finance, planning and litigation expertise.
‘A practical group of people who seek commercial as well as legal solutions to make deals work.’
‘They are prepared to think about deals and come up with alternatives.’
‘Osborne Clarke differentiates itself as a full service law firm that centres around real estate rather than being a commercial firm with a real estate specialism. This is extremely important for us.’
‘Osborne Clarke are extremely collaborative and ‘can-do’, in contrast to many other firms.’
‘They have a pragmatic, commercial, get-the-job-done mentality. They add value through sensible commercial advice as well as the legal practicalities better than any other firm that we have dealt with over 20 years.’
‘I have found Osborne Clarke to be extremely responsive and decisive with their advice. They are able to translate sometimes complex legal matters into clear, helpful and insightful commentary which aides the commercial decision making that follows.’
‘Peter Day has been a long time adviser to our company and consistently provides his advice in a concise and easily digestible form. He is readily available, enabling swift decisions to be reached with the minimum of fuss.’
M&G Real Estate
Vistry Partnerships (formerly known as Galliford Try)
Warburg HIH Invest Real Estate
Nuveen Real Estate
U AND I Group Plc
Welbeck Strategic Land
Axis Land Partnerships
Oculus Real Estate Group
AXA IM – Real Assets
BAWAG Group AG
Landform Strategic Land
- Acting for the developer, Panattoni, on the May 2019 pre-letting of three warehouse units to be developed at Units 4, 5 and 6 Panattoni Park, Northampton, and the forward funding of the development.
- Advising Gazeley on the Development Consent Order and Compulsory Acquisition of land for Rail Central, a joint venture with Ashfield Land, to develop a proposed new 7 million sq ft Strategic Rail Freight Interchange in Northamptonshire at a cost of £700m.
- Advising Vistry Partnerships on the £250m tender, acquisition and development of Meridian 1 – forming the first portion of a mixed use regeneration scheme of national significance in Enfield, London.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP is home to a ‘high quality team that always puts the client first’. It is routinely engaged for commercial, rail, industrial, data centre and mixed-use developments, deploying the firm’s construction, planning, environment, tax and finance expertise to provide a rounded service. Further breadth of practice is found in the group’s investment work which ventures beyond mainstream assets such as office, logistics, retail and leisure to also include student accommodation, elderly living and condominiums. Jimmy Theodorou heads the department; both he and senior associate Daniel Kyriakides are noted for their ‘very effective way of presenting advice’. Also integral to the practice is Brigid North, cited as ‘highly commercial with a fantastic level of technical legal knowledge’.
‘The team at Reed Smith have two unique attributes. The first one is the ability to deliver commercial, practical advice. The second, is that they deliver the advice with speed. Whatever size of the transaction, from a large asset purchase to a leasing deal on a floor in a multi-let building, the level of service, speed and advice remains intact. Impressive from beginning to end.’
‘Nav Sahota, Jimmy Theodorou and Daniel Kyriakides have a very effective way of presenting their advice, views and opinions throughout a transaction which means they generally get their way and are also able to listen to reasonable counter arguments and then provide advice based on all the facts.’
‘The team are knowledgeable about the client and client’s requirements which generally means you are given solutions rather than problems, most other firms are quick to pass the problem back to the client.’
‘Professional advice delivered in a friendly, straightforward and commercial manner.’
‘Andrew Jenkinson is an excellent team builder and problem solver.’
‘Sarah Cunningham is tenacious, organised, and develops good working relationships with lawyers on other side.’
‘Brigid North is quite outstanding – she has an excellent team and always delegates appropriately to ensure cost-effective, timely solutions. Brigid’s oversight is excellent and she is always well aware of the details of issues she has delegated.’
‘Brigid North is calm, considered, hard working, efficient and technically excellent. She’s a real leader.’
‘Brigid North is not only highly commercial but has a fantastic level of technical legal knowledge which is a hugely useful combination. I could not recommend her more highly.’
Taylor Wessing LLP’s client list spans developers, investors, funders, occupiers and owners which is advises on urban regeneration projects, investment sales and purchases, both of individual assets and portfolios, as well as asset management. A key focus is the representation of Asia, Gulf and US-based investors, with core sectors including co-living residential, logistics, stadia and student accommodation. In addition to property companies, practice head Keith Barnett has also carved out a reputation in acting for banks and financial institutions. In a notable development, Matthew Swainston, the former practice head at Forsters LLP, joined in February 2020.
Other key lawyers:
‘Saleem Fazal is an excellent partner, with considerable experience.’
‘Saleem Fazal is experienced, able and has a very good manner with clients.’
‘Mark Rajbenbach is a trusted adviser who brings great experience in the real estate and hotel industries. He is a first-rate lawyer, on top of all the details, but is also able to step back and provide the commercial and strategic advice that we need as clients.’
City Pride Limited
InfaRed Capital Partners
Secure Income REIT
Tritax Big Box REIT
Vivion Capital Partners
Invesco Asset Management Limited
- Advising Secure Income REIT on the sale of a portfolio of eight of its nineteen private hospitals let to Ramsay Health Care Limited for a total of £347m.
- Advising longstanding developer client McLaren Property on a forward funding deal with Brookfield-owned Student Roost for the development of three new student accommodation schemes worth a combined £175m.
- Advising Crosstree on the real estate elements relating to the £137.5m refinancing of the Standard hotel in King’s Cross.
At Winckworth Sherwood LLP, real estate head Francesco Ferrari and managing partner Roger Fitton lead the commercial property offering, which prides itself on its regeneration work and residential developments, handling joint ventures, public-private procurement and fixed income investment projects, among others. The firm's sector expertise is broad with entities from the public sector, education, retail, care home, not for profit and public rented sector forming the client roster. The team, which was recently bolstered by the arrivals of Jamie Barton and Richard Mulcock from Knights plc, is able to call upon construction, planning and finance expertise to support across the full lifecycle of projects.
‘A really broad set of skills across the team and a personable, easy-to-work-with style. There is no pomposity.’
‘Andrew Bedford and his team are first class. Andrew is very experienced in all aspects of real estate, and we would recommend him and his team.’
‘The team is responsive – this is a refreshing element amongst lawyers. this team will not leave you to ‘walk alone’ and will accompany you until things are resolved. One can speak to them without the fear one will be hit by an unknown and unexpected bill.’
‘Alan Duncan is an excellent solicitor who has assisted us on a number of complex deals. His particular strength are negotiating in a non-confrontational manner and he has the ability to relay complex structures to board members in a clear concise manner.’
Redrow Homes Limited
Keepmoat Homes Limited
EURO INVESTMENTS OVERSEAS INC
Laxton Properties Limited
St George PLC
Regis Group Plc
J Sainsbury PLC
- Advised Countryside and L&Q on their sale of an 80-unit development site to Sigma Capital at Beam Park.
- Advised long-standing client Redrow Homes Limited on their negotiation to sell and build two schemes with a combined GDV of £183.5 million to Canadian real estate investment and management company Realstar.
- Acted for Barratt London and Morgan Stanley in their £20m disposal of a significant mixed-use development site in Greenwich to Criterion Capital.
The team at Bevan Brittan LLP differentiates itself through its distinct focus on NHS regeneration projects across London while also handling high-end developments on behalf of London boroughs and other local authorities in the South East. Bristol-based Mark Calverley heads the department which has a strong focus on the housing sector, representing a range of registered providers. Mark Paget Skelin joined from Capsticks LLP while Dalee Kaur is another new arrival from BDB Pitmans.
‘Good sector knowledge. friendly and approachable.’
‘Bevan Brittan are a proactive, knowledgeable public sector legal adviser whose client care is exceptional. The property advisory service is well regarded and respected, team members are easily contactable, responsive and diligent in the service they provide at competitive rates. Very personable and responsive, on top of work at all times, able to draw in specialist expertise as required.’
‘I have worked with Ian Caplan for a number of years on transactional work for NHS Trusts and I would note that he is an outstanding partner and representative of Bevan Brittan. Ian is extremely thorough and knowledgeable but importantly can translate this knowledge and guidance into clear and precise advice for non-property professional clients, and always outlines the options and risks along each step of the process. His ability to ensure the best terms are secured for his client and to drive the deal to completion is outstanding, and the best I have worked within the legal industry.’
Barts Health NHS Trust
NHS Property Services
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust
West London NHS Trust
Birmingham City Council
London Borough of Hounslow
City of London Corporation
London Borough of Brent
Places for People Group
London & Quadrant Housing Trust
Southern Housing Group
Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Instructed to act for Barts Health NHS Trust to advise the Trust on the redevelopment of Whipps Cross Hospital.
- Instructed to act for East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust on the multimillion-pound project to transform and extend the main entrance of Colchester Hospital.
- Advising the Christie NHS Foundation Trust who are leading the redevelopment of the of a world class cancer research centre in Manchester on behalf of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre.
Led from the firm's Bristol headquarters, Burges Salmon LLP’s service is distinguished via its ‘strength in depth, responsiveness and desire to understand the client’. For investment work, the team works closely with the wider firm's corporate practice to support major investment managers, investment funders and landowners on high-value investment acquisitions and disposals, structuring and asset management. In the development space, key differentiators include the team’s focus on nuclear, renewables and other energy-related projects in addition to those pertaining to transport. Expertise spans office, retail, industrial, mixed-use and leisure assets; the group is also well-versed in acting for rural estates. Richard Clark, hailed as ‘the perfect client partner’ leads the department alongside Richard Read who represents high profile investors and occupiers based both in the UK and abroad. Their team also comes recommended for landlord and tenant work such as lease negotiations and terminations, headquarter moves, sale and leasebacks, exit strategies and rent reviews.
‘The quality of the partners, their knowledge and commerciality has always been the driving factor behind us employing Burges Salmon.’
‘Ross Polkinghorne and Richard Clark have exceptional technical knowledge and experience that allowed us to use their skills to unlock a difficult position.’
‘The ability to look at and understand the wider picture gives the client confidence in the advice given.’
‘Ross Polkinghorne is very diligent,competent and easy to deal with.
‘Ross Polkinghorne and Richard Clark are highly commercial and practical, looking to solve the problem without scoring points as some of the market do. Highly efficient and very approachable.’
The Crown Estate
John Lewis plc and Waitrose & Partners
University of Bristol
Transport for London/Greater London Authority
Lloyds Banking Group
- Advising Stevenage Borough Council on one of the largest town centre regeneration projects outside London – a £350m scheme including 1,239 homes, 4,500 sq m of commercial space, and 100,000 sq ft of public sector hub, including providing advice on the selection of Mace as the development partner following a competitive tender.
- Continuing to advise leading Malaysian property developer, YTL, on the development of the 354 acre Filton airfield site in Bristol, a redevelopment scheme including the construction of over 2,600 homes with 62 acres set aside for commercial, industrial and infrastructure development.
- Acted for Abellio, the Dutch multinational public transport company, in connection with the opening this year of Meridian Water Station. This new station, on the Greater Anglia route, forms part of a £6bn development being led by Enfield Council, which will also see the construction of 10,000 new homes in the surrounding area and the creation of thousands of jobs.
Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's development expertise includes urban regeneration, mixed-use schemes and brownfield sites. On the investment side, it leverages its global platform in locations such as Hong Kong and Beijing to act for a range of Asian investors, drawing on the firm’s corporate structuring, funding and tax specialists to provide a one-stop-shop. Bruce Dear is a key name for occupier work; the group's work involves office relocations, headquarter expansions and complicated leasing negotiations.
At Fieldfisher, the corporate occupier practice is led by Ramatu Banga and Paul Houston and is particularly well-versed in acting for clients in the industrial, health care, leisure and hospitality sectors. Elsewhere, house builders, commercial developers and funders, among others, rely on the team for a range of development matters including planning, environmental, land acquisition, construction and disposal-related instructions. Rhodri Pazzi-Axworthy heads the development practice together with Birmingham-based Susan Simpson; alongside Jayne Elkins, Pazzi-Axworthy also oversees the investment offering which represents property funds in addition to institutional and investment clients in the private equity sector.
Berkeley Homes Plc
Birmingham International Airport
CALA Homes Limited
Co-operative Group Limited
Countryside Properties Limited
DWS (formerly Deutsche Asset Management / RREEF)
Imperial College, London
Kennedy Wilson Europe
Landprop Holding B.V. and Vastint UK B.V. (part of the inter IKEA Group of Companies)
Liberty Property Trust (UK) Limited
Morgan Sindall Group
MRP Real Estate Fund
Proark Properties ApS
Shell Pension Funds
Sir Robert McAlpine (Supplier)
- Advising Skanska on the acquisition and development of a former Midenhurst MoD site for a large scale housing development.
- Acting for CA Ventures on number of property acquisitions for a leading US student accommodation developer and operator in connection with its European expansion.
- Advising Dominvs Group on the acquisition, development and financing of an office building in High Holborn for redevelopment as a hotel.
London firm Fladgate LLP combines ‘depth of experience with a personable service’. Practice head Stephen Lewis is praised for his ‘good understanding of investment-related purchases and asset management’. Additional core strengths of the team include cross-border European transactions and high-profile developments and redevelopments, including residential projects, with clients spanning local and offshore investors, developers, high-net-worth private families and institutions and lenders and borrowers. On the corporate occupier front, the team handles everything from start-up first office leases through to major headquarter relocations, representing co-working providers, professional businesses, retailers, restaurants, hoteliers and barristers chambers in the process.
‘Gideon Dabby-Joory has good communication skills and makes the effort to go beyond the call of duty.’
‘The team offers sufficient depth of experience, but at the same same remain personable.’
‘Simon Kanter’s comprehensive business understanding of property issues is excellent. He proactively guided us through the type of agreements that would achieve the best results in our unique scenario. Everything was patiently explained to us so we were in a position to make business decisions and Simon then delivered the tailored legal documentation quickly. He has the perfect blend of business knowledge, legal expertise and sound advice that we needed.’
‘The team brings a pragmatic and ‘can-do’ attitude to helping the client achieve the end goal.’
‘The team works well to understand the needs of the client from the outset and ensures that deadlines are met with the ultimate aim of securing the investment property under consideration.’
‘Stephen Lewis has a good general understanding of the parts of the law needed when buying and asset managing a commercial property investment. He knows how to liaise with the other side for best effect and takes the part of a trusted adviser as far as we are concerned.’
‘Simon Kanter’s extensive experience means that there is little Simon has not come across before on a whole range of issues that a real estate business confronts. This experience allows him to distil the problem and if needed offer candid advice on the imperfect options that often confront us in the real world.’
‘Richard Reuben is impressive in his quick understanding of complex legal issues and is very wiling to offer sensible and pragmatic advice, helping clients to weigh up the risks of courses open to them.’
‘Alan Karsberg has a unique ability to formulate advice and solutions from the perspective of the in-house team, but leverging the full resources of his firm.’
Capreon UK limited
Flora Developments Limited
Penguin Random House Limited
Turner Broadcasting System Limited
Ide Real Estate
- Advised Best Star Real Estate in connection with a £17m brownfield development site acquisition.
- Advised Berkeley Square Developments on the sale of part of Berol Yard (the former Berol Pencil Factory), Tottenham to a Longharbour fund for approximately £20m and the simultaneous entering into of a Development Finance Agreement (DFA), leaseback arrangements and the suite of construction documentation, after the DFA.
- Acted for Blackstone Chambers on a redevelopment deal with the Middle Temple.
Greenberg Traurig, LLP is home to a ‘wide breadth of experience and great leadership’. Danielle Martin gears her practice towards investment-related transactions, the private equity sector, portfolio sales and restructuring; she heads the practice together with Matthew James Priday whose experience spans a range of sectors, with a focus on industrial, logistics, hotels, the private rented sector and build to rent. Mixed-use developments and real estate finance are additional strengths for the practice which of late has seen an influx of multijurisdictional instructions from European clients in addition to instruction pertaining to the education and co-living sectors. Tim Webb left to join K&L Gates LLP.
‘The practice has a very high standard of partners who offer great commercial advice and run transactions to get the best value for us as a large PLC client. Their attention to detail is fantastic.’
‘Carol Hopper has a tremendous amount of experience and together with expertise is ideal to run large and complex transactions for best value for the client.’
‘The team has a wide breadth of experience and great leadership.’
Cromwell European Real Estate Investment Trust
Valor Real Estate Partners
Scape Student Living
Peel Logistics Partnership
- Serving as lead counsel to Stars REI, a Chile-based property investor, on the formation of a joint venture with Trinova Real Estate and the JV’s acquisition of 33 Kingsway, WC2 from Aviva Investors for £62m.
- Acted for Meininger Hotels on two lease agreements with S Harrison Developments, a Yorkshire-based developer, for the development of two new hotels in the north of England.
- Advised the joint venture between Angelo Gordon and Trinity on the £186.5m sale of five UK science parks held by Dutch SPVs.
At Mills & Reeve LLP, Orla O’Sullivan, Michael Giess and Christine de Ferrars Green lead the development practice, which undertakes an array of projects including regenerations, mixed-use developments and asset-specific developments. Key asset classes include education, health, rural land and residential with the core real estate offering supported by environmental, agriculture, construction and finance expertise. Investment work is led by Charles Staveley who delivers advice on the full lifecycle from acquisition and management through to disposal; his team have recently handled an increasing number of forward funding and joint venture agreements in addition to investments in alternative assets.
‘Clear communication across the team, resulting in a common understanding of client needs.’
‘The firm has a willingness to work on long-term relationships and partner with clients.’
‘Charles Staveley provides strong leadership. He has intricate knowledge of even the smaller jobs being undertaken across his team on our behalf.’
Kadans Science Partner
Trinity College, Cambridge
Peabody Developments Limited
Marshall Group Properties
Cinnamon Collection Limited
Langtree Property Partners
London Diocesan Fund
- Advised the Railways Pension Trustee Company Limited on the forward funding of a 5.85 acre logistics site in Waltham Cross.
- Acted for London & Regional Properties in their successful bid for the mixed use regeneration of a 24 acre site in East London known as Albert Island in the Royal Docks area.
- Acted for Possfund as landlord of Bridgwater Retail Park and two adjacent retail schemes.
Sharpe Pritchard LLP is best known for its large-scale development work for public sector clients, including housing-led, mixed-use schemes as well as estate renewals. Jo Pickering helms the practice, which includes a specialist regeneration department, as well as a strong bench of lawyers with projects, housing, planning and constriction expertise.
‘They understands the public sector and the differences we experience compared to private sector.’
‘Sharpe Pritchard have ensured they bring the experience they have into the work they are completing for us. This is reflected both in the individuals they have assigned to the work we are doing as well as the QCs they have sought to support the work.’
‘I have had a long association with Jo Pickering and with that brings better understanding of us as a client.’
‘The team at Sharpe Pritchard are all professional, knowledgeable and thorough in the work they complete.’
Hertfordshire County Council
Southend on Sea Borough Council
London Borough of Enfield
London Borough of Havering
Metropolitan Housing Trust Limited
Buckinghamshire County Council
London Borough of Wandsworth
London Borough of Waltham Forest
London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham
London Borough of Merton
Milton Keynes Council
London Borough of Camden
Hawksworth Securities Plc
- Advised Hertfordshire County Council on its procurement of a JV development partner to develop multiple sites over a 15-year period for GDV c.£2bn
- Advised Buckinghamshire County Council on its CPO to enable the delivery of the South East Aylesbury Link Road.
- Advising the London Borough of Merton on its Morden Town Centre Regeneration Project, with a GDV of c.£1bn.
Simmons & Simmons
John Kelsey is practice head at Simmons & Simmons ; he has expertise in structured transactions of investment properties, sale and leasebacks and a range of landlord and tenant matters. The team, which is particularly well-regarded for corporate wrapper deals and joint ventures, acts on the full array of development and investment activities across all asset classes; examples include skyscrapers, retail centres, student accommodation and social housing, office buildings, industrial warehouses, mixed-use and residential. Found among the client roster are numerous real estate fund managers and sovereign wealth funds.
Deka Immobilien Investment GmbH
Legal & General
M7 Real Estate
The Collective Partners LLP
Valor Real Estate Partners LLP
Social Supported Housing Fund
- Acting for Great Elm Assets Limited on the complete redevelopment of two existing sites owned by the client (101 Finsbury Pavement and 20 Ropemaker Street) into a 27-storey tower comprising 415,000 square feet of Grade A office space with ground floor retail.
- Acquiring assets for M7 Real Estate Investment Partners VIII’s eighth fund focusing on out of town retail assets.
- Advising APG in relation to its acquisition, in partnership with Delancey, of Capital and Counties Properties’ interests in its Earls Court development site for £425m.
Steptoe and Johnson UK LLP
Steptoe and Johnson UK LLP’s lawyers are ‘always contactable and prepared to go the extra mile’. Brendan Patterson serves as practice head; his team's development expertise covers mixed-use, office, supermarket, warehouse and residential projects. Additional key pillars of the practice include investment-related acquisitions and disposals in addition to property management, with the group’s expertise in retirement villages and data centres serving as key differentiators.
‘They have an excellent understanding of our business, and provide prompt responses. Excellent attention to detail and first rate analytical skills.’
‘Broad in-depth understanding of legal issues; always contactable and prepared to go the extra mile; good value for money; and a commercial and practical approach to problem solving.’
‘Simon Collis is diligent and commercial. Exceptional at achieving the end objective even under severe time pressure.’
‘Sam Kelly is a first-class lawyer who fully understands his clients’ needs and delivers what he promises.’
Faccenda Property Limited
Raven Russia plc
Audley Group Limited
Ampersand Group Holdings Limited
Coln Park LLP
Royalton Group Holdings Limited
Lifestory Group Limited
Digital Realty Trust, L.P.
The Hillesden Trust
- Acting for Equinix on the real estate aspects of its $1bn hyperscale joint venture with GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.
- Acting for Coln Park LLP in relation to the residential development and sale of luxury houses at a scheme called ‘Lakes by Yoo’ in the Cotswolds.
- Advising Digital Realty on the ongoing redevelopment of Archway House.
At Wedlake Bell LLP, Justin Lewis-Vivas oversees ‘a strong property team’ which ‘delivers excellent advice without hubris.’, The group excels in relation to development and investment projects within the care home, healthcare, student accommodation, retail, residential, mixed-use, business park and leisure sectors. Its clients include domestic corporate buyers and funds along with several overseas investors and international bodies. On the corporate occupier side, the workload includes premises moves, portfolio management and leasing affairs in sectors such as sciences, professional services, financial and co-working. The team which includes the 'highly personable and razor sharp' Suzanne Gill, was recently boosted by the additions of David Roberts and Kathryn West from Jones Day.
‘Decent, ethical people, delivering excellent advice and without hubris. The team has strong depth and robust abilities across the whole sector of real estate.’
‘Suzanne Gill is as much trusted adviser as solicitor. Suzanne is highly personable, razor sharp and always on top of matters. She delivers excellent client care, brilliant legal advice and can deliver withering legal putdowns in the most charming way to the other side. She has immense gravitas and is a strong moral champion for the legal sector.’
‘No-nonsense advice which gets to the heart of the matter but more importantly, identifies practical and effective solutions to drive transactions over the line.’
City & Country Group PLC
Oxenwood Real Estate LLP
Fresh Wharf Estates
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark
- Advising Care UK on the largest new build programme in the care home sector over the past five years.
- Advised Hollybrook Limited on a development agreement with the University of the Arts, London for the development of 394 units of student accommodation at Eagle Wharf.
- Advising CALA Homes on a new 222 home development at St. Neots.
Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP acts for a mixture of national and international corporates on both headquarter relocations and portfolio management. In addition, it also handles high-end development and regeneration projects, including mixed-use schemes, providing input at all stages including development agreements and land acquisition. Newcastle-based John Ralph heads the department, which counts a number of London bluechip real estate funds among its investment client list. Secured lending and property finance expertise are notable supplementary strengths, as is the group’s project expertise in the energy, rail infrastructure and public sectors.
The Crown Estate
Babcock International Group Plc
Associated British Ports
University of Southampton
London Borough of Sutton
The Bournemouth Development Company LLP
Bristol & Bath Regional Capital
Renewable Energy Systems Limited
Ashfield Land Limited
West Devon District Council
University of Plymouth
Ministry of Justice
REG Windpower Limited
Freightliner Group Limited
Ministry of Defence
Knottingley Power Limited
West Berkshire District Council
Bristol City Council
Wales & West Utilities
Hertsmere Borough Council
Teignbridge District Council
Tewkesbury Borough Council
English Cities Fund
Plymouth Community Homes
James Walker Group
Bristol City Council
Network Rail Infrastructure Limited
South Gloucestershire District Council
University of Bath
West Devon Borough Council
Wales & West Utilities
Hertsmere Borough Council
Teignbridge District Council
Tewkesbury Borough Council
Drax Generation Enterprise Limited
Bellway Homes plc
South Tees Development Corporation
The Vista PRS Fund
Vertu Motors plc
Commercial Estates Group (“CEG”)
Barratt & David Wilson Homes
Linden Limited (part of Vistry)
Leeds City Council
Town Centre Securities PLC
Doncaster Borough Council
University of Law
Ptarmigan Land Limited
Marick Real Estate Limited
Sweco (a European engineering consultancy company)
Places for People (PFP)
- Advising the Borough of Broxbourne and Hertfordshire County Council on the creation of a £400m major new retail and leisure development with Sovereign Centros at Brookfield Riverside.
- Advising South Tees Development Corporation on a range of estate management matters as well as on significant new development schemes and disposals being brought forward in line with master plan development objectives.
- Advising the London Borough of Lewisham on the planning, compulsory purchase and property aspects of the re-development of the New Bermondsey site which has Millwall Football Stadium at its centre.
BDB Pitmans , which has continued to build on the 2018 merger of Bircham Dyson Bell and Pitmans, has a strong track record of handling leases at key London locations as well as managing leasehold property portfolios. It is also adept in relation to the integration and rationalisation of operational land. 'Acknowledged industry expert' Jonathan Fewster leads both the investment and corporate occupier offerings, regularly acting for property companies, corporations and institutional investors on day-to-day portfolio management and investment-related acquisitions and dispositions. Ellen James is the key contact for development work; the team represents both developers and landowners on mixed-use developments at both the pre and post planning stages. A key differentiator is the group’s expertise in the charities and not-for-profit sector, where the firm ‘covers all aspects of what a charity needs’.
Other key lawyers:
‘The level of professionalism is amazing. Every team member understands the client on the same level so makes it easier dealing with them.’
‘The team at BDB Pitmans is exceptional and provides good advice and support in all legal matters. The team works very well together. Each member of the team is very dedicated and willing to go that extra mile to get an instruction completed.’
‘Proactive and pragmatic with a good variety of expertise and skills in a professional and balanced team.’
‘Jonathan Fewster is a very creative partner and a good negotiator. He worked extremely well with a team within our organisation and also with real estate agents, other consultants and every representative from the other parties and their lawyers.’
‘Jonathan Fewster is an experienced commercial property lawyer who has a specialism in acting for charities. This gives me great confidence in his advice, which is practical and timely.’
‘Jonathan Fewster took a call with no prior notice and was able to clearly articulate a difficult and complicated issue to a group of people with no legal experience so that they all full understood the problem and were content with the suggested response.’
‘Jonathan Fewster is an acknowledged industry expert in the real estate field and we always benefit from his insightful views, personal touch and commercial acumen.’
‘Bhaminee Sharma is a fantastic lawyer; very professional and diplomatic. She has a very clear understanding and makes everything much simple. She makes life easy.’
Healthcare Management Trust
City & Country Group
Riveroak MSE Limited
Frasers Riverside Quarter Limited
Ensign House Freehold & Ensign House Management (Waterside) Limited
- Advised City & Country Group on the acquisition of part of Springfield University Hospital in Tooting, London from the NHS Trust as part of a multi-party collaboration.
- Advised National Grid on the Dorset visual impact provision project. This project is designed to mitigate the visual impact of the existing overhead line near the villages of Martinstown and Winterbourne Abbas by replacing it with underground cabling.
- Advised RiverOak on the purchase of Manston Airport in Kent in anticipation of reopening the site as an operational airport.
Collyer Bristow LLP’s ‘very professional and supportive’ commercial property department is acclaimed for its mixed-use and residential development work, acting on projects from inception to completion including finance, site assembly and planning permission. In addition, the team has a track record of handling commercial headquarter developments, also supporting its corporate occupier clients in relation to relocations. Headed by Michael Grace, the group’s investment offering sees it undertake commercial lettings, property management and transactions involving both portfolios and individual assets.
‘Very professional and supportive legal firm, explaining all angles and options to each situation clearly.’
‘Stephen Gawne is exceptionally supportive and efficient.’
Aldersgate Investments Ltd / Motcomb Estates Ltd (Reuben brothers)
Bewley Homes plc
Chase New Homes Ltd
Crest Nicholson plc
The Deltic Group
EcoWorld London Holdings Limited
GMS Estates Ltd
Ipsus Developments Ltd
Lochailort Investments Ltd
Sutton Harbour Holdings plc
Willmott Dixon Holdings Ltd / Be Living Ltd
- Acting for Aberfeldy New Village LLP (a joint venture between EcoWorld London and Poplar Harca) in connection with continuing site assembly, funding, development and sales of phase 3 onwards at Aberfeldy New Village in East London.
- Acting for the Kew Bridge Gate Development SPV in connection with its mixed-use development consisting of commercial units, approximately a thousand residential units and buy to let apartments.
- Acting for Willmott Dixon on its acquisition, development and sales at sites in Reading, Sevenoaks and Cheshunt with a combined gross development value of almost £200m.
Cripps Pemberton Greenish fields a ‘great line-up of lawyers who understand the demands and intricacies of property development’. In particular, mixed-use developments and complication regenerations are the core focuses with the team providing input at all stages from planning permission and construction contracts through to letting and sales. Jason Tann, hailed as a ‘master of explaining the complex’, leads the development practice and also co-heads the investment offering alongside Stephen Hedley; their team targets institutional property investment companies, including pension funds, private equity funds and REITs, and is particularly active in respect of retail and hospitality assets. Oliver Morris fronts the corporate occupier practice which has a workload of relocations, new lease negotiations, refurbishments, premises acquisitions and lease exits, among others.
Other key lawyers:
‘A fluid team of individuals who understand the key drivers to getting the deal done. That’s rare.’
‘Jason Tann is a master of explaining the complex in easily digestible, bite-sized chunks. Totally refreshing and unique.’
‘A firm with a personal service tailored to clients and their needs.’
‘Jason Tann offers attention to detail and practical investment real estate advice.’
‘Very hands-on. Personal and incredibly professional. A great line up who understands the demands and intricacies of property development – and how to keep the train from veering off-course.’
‘Very thorough, very responsive and always a pleasure to work with.’
Baylight Properties Limited
Birchall Properties Limited
English National Ballet
Endurance Land (AG EL LWB B.V.)
Hermes Real Estate Investment
John Lyon’s Charity
Liberty Property Trust UK Limited
M&G Real Estate (formerly PRUPIM)
The Cadogan Estate
The London Diocesan Fund
The Sloane Stanley Estate
Francis Holland Schools Trust
- Advising Birchall Properties Limited/Peak Resort on a £400m GDV Peak Resort leisure scheme in Derbyshire including first pre-let to household name leisure provider, David Lloyd.
- Advising the English National Ballet in relation to its high-profile relocation of their main headquarters from Markova House to London City Island.
- Advising a joint venture between Endurance Land and Angelo Gordon, where Endurance Land is asset managing the 209,307 sq ft Grade II listed building at 1-5 London Wall.
Hamlins LLP is an ‘extremely well-regarded real estate practice’ that ‘displays a genuine ownership of its clients’ issues’. Headed by ‘consummate deal-doer’ Mark Hurst, the team is engaged for sales, purchases, portfolio work, development, leasing and asset management activities in addition to structuring and lending affairs. The team is particularly knowledgeable of assets in the hotels, leisure and retail sectors including shopping centres and restaurants. Found among the client list are high-net-worth individuals, offshore funds, privately owned companies and institutional investors, among others.
‘The team is very professional and service oriented.’
‘Mark Hurst is clear, efficient and very commercial.’
‘All the partners are very approachable and commercial in their approach. They are always available to give clear, straightforward advice and have a very good grasp of the needs and priorities of the business. The quality of work at all levels is excellent and compared with other firms is exceptional.’
‘Mark Hurst is exceptional in his service. He deals with all sizes of transaction or lettings in the same way, with complete commercial understanding and works to the ever tight timetables that we set for quick purchases and sales or lettings.’
‘Extremely well-regarded real estate practice that punches comfortably above its weight with an enviable roster of clients that larger firms would kill for. They display genuine ownership of their clients’ issues.’
‘Mark Hurst is a consummate deal-doer and is all over the full range of issues that arise.’
National Car Parks
Park Plaza Hotels
The Sports and Leisure group Ltd (Playfootball)
Casa Bella Developments Limited
- Acted for NCP for over 35 years on all its property requirements including the redevelopment of several major city centre sites.
- Advised Citrus Group, a substantial real estate development and investment firm on various large-scale development projects.
- Advising Casa Bella Developments limited on the purchase and subsequent redevelopment of various properties in London.
K&L Gates LLP
K&L Gates LLP’s team ‘provides outstanding professional advice and is great on cross-border investment transactions’. Department head Wayne Smith places a high degree of emphasis on big-ticket investment work, including institutional investment management work; the team is also reputed for public sector-led regeneration projects. The arrivals of the ‘incredibly responsive and proactive’ Tim Webb and Emma Maher from Greenberg Traurig, LLP has significantly bolstered the team's expertise in private equity real estate. The recent corporate occupier workload has a strong cross-border component, including headquarter establishment, office acquisitions, relocation and an array of lease work.
‘The team are very attentive to details, diligent, quick and they operate with conviction.’
‘K&L Gates provides outstanding professional advice and they are great on international and cross-border transaction, they have great commercial sense, are very available and upfront in understanding client needs and anticipating problems and proposing intelligent and practical solutions.’
‘We have worked with Chiara Del Frate on a variety of matters and we appreciate her professional skills, her commercial sense and her ability of addressing and resolving complicated legal issues. She has outstanding communication skills and is a great at managing her team and relationship with counterparties.’
‘Tim Webb and Emma Maher are incredibly responsive and they are able to work at the speed that I require without compromising the attention to detail that is needed. They are proactive and manage all parties involved professionally and respectfully, but they are also able to move things forward without constantly needing to be directed by me or my team.’
At Payne Hicks Beach, clients receive ‘forensic attention to detail’ coupled with a ‘thorough understanding of the subject matter’. Practice head Andrew Berry is extensively experienced on all commercial property fronts and leads a team with extremely broad expertise. For investment matters, the group has forged a reputation in acting for Scandinavian, French, Middle and Far Eastern clients on inbound London investments, namely in relation to prime residential property. On the development front, both commercial and residential projects are acted upon with promotion agreements, funding and land sales all included within the offering. Bluechip occupiers, including those with large portfolios, also rely on the group, primarily in relation to the occupation of retail, warehousing, restaurant and hotel premises. Landlord and tenant expert Emma Copestake recently arrived from Withers LLP.
‘We had a complex development site to sell; the attention we received was of the highest standard and we cannot complain about any aspect.’
‘They provide personal attention and deal in a practical manner, making things easy for us. I cannot praise them enough.’
‘The firm always act 100% professionally, with absolute integrity, and with an in-depth and thorough understanding of the subject matter. When the matter is urgent, they deal with it expeditiously and adopt a commercial approach, whilst at the same time being forensic in relation to the attention to detail within each transaction. They always provide an exceptionally high standard of service and take full responsibility for their actions.’
‘Richard Stapylton-Smith has provided an exceptional professional service over the last 20 years, with solid legal advice to my various commercial entities. He has also provided personal legal advice and is now not only a trusted legal adviser, but has become a personal friend.’
Squire Patton Boggs' investment offering covers transactions, structuring, fund formation, asset management and the creation of investment vehicles. On the development side, the team handles forward funding agreements and site assembly work, among other matters. The team, which is jointly headed by Andrew Sprake and Matthew Dalzell, is able to call upon strong real estate finance expertise where necessary. Though it operates across all assets including infrastructure, hotels, retail and leisure, it has carved out a particular niche in representing energy, music and entertainment clients, along with high-net-worth individuals from Hong Kong, China and the Middle East. Occupier work is centred around London City and the West End, including notable financial services clients.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team has huge experience, knowledge of the law, and is responsive and easy to work with.’
‘The team understands what we are looking to achieve and approaches work in a pragmatic and commercially minded way.’
‘Andrew Sprake is pragmatic and helpful.’
‘I had the pleasure of working with Pat Ryan and Pippa Botham on a large residential conditional contract. Both are proactive, commercial and personable individuals. Their understanding and handling of the key issues and individuals involved was excellent.’
‘Patrick Ryan is a rarity in the commercial world, in that he proves to be 100% reliable and consistent in all our dealings. A breadth and depth of knowledge and experience that seem boundless. Always happy to explore alternative approaches and find a solution, he is invaluable to us in our transactions.’
‘Pippa Botham regularly impresses with her ability to deal with issues arising in a transaction in the most proactive ways. Her tenacity is admirable as is her ability to understand the commercial view in achieving the most appropriate outcomes.’
Close Brothers Limited
One Healthcare Limited
Bank Leumi (UK) Plc
Retail Employees Superannuation Trust
Apsley House Capital Plc
VTP Global Holdings Ltd and VTP London Limited
Henley Investment Management
HSBC Bank plc
Live Nation Group (including Ticketmaster, Academy Music Group, Festival Republic)
Leeds City Council
- Advising FORE Partnership on the sale of Yorkshire House Leeds for £22m.
- Advising ETC Venues on the acquisition of 50-52 Chancery Lane for £28m.
- Advising CMS Distribution Limited on the lease for a warehousing and distribution hub at Wakefield Europort.
Recommended for development and investment work, Stephenson Harwood supports clients on the full life cycle of projects include acquisition, site assembly, pre-lets and management through to disposal. Its key sectors of late include logistics, retail, mixed-use, regeneration, data centres, hotels and leisure. Practice head Jonathon Wilkes is extensively experienced in individual asset and portfolio transactions, sale and leasebacks, forward funding, joint venture structuring and real estate finance; his team is supported by the wider's firm's specialists in litigation, construction, tax, planning and environment.
Schroder UK Real Estate Fund
LaSalle Investment Management
Tristan Capital Partners
The Langham Estate
Duff & Phelps
London Metric Properties
- Advised Reef Group, Osprey Equity Partners and City of London Development Company on the sale and funding of an aparthotel scheme in Aldgate, London, for £150m.
- Advised on a joint venture agreement between O&H Grafton Developments and LVMH to re-gear and redevelop three buildings in Mayfair into a new luxury hotel and spa including high-end retail outlets.
- Advising Acai, the developer of 7-11 Cavendish Place, on all real estate and construction aspects of its redevelopment.