Ashurst serves as a one-stop shop for development projects, supporting its clients at every stage of major regeneration, logistics, hospitality, life sciences and residential schemes, among others, including the financing, joint venture and construction aspects. The practice also provides a full-service offering on the investment front where it is active on acquisitions, disposal and asset management matters throughout the UK and Europe, including those with international joint venture, capital market and M&A components. Global projects and real estate co-head Sarah Sivyour is extensively experienced in relation to inbound investment into Europe and caters to a client roster which includes Asian institutional investors in addition to North American pension and alternative investment funds. Other prominent names include Tim Regis, a mixed-use residential project specialist, Richard Vernon who holds distinguished expertise in transport-related projects, and David Jones who is a market leader for inbound inward investment from South Korea, having overseen €12bn worth of such transactions over recent years. Henry Moss leads the firm's build-to-rent and private rented sector practice. The final key pillar of the extensive offering is the team’s corporate occupier work which encompasses headquarter leasing, portfolio management and lay-out construction affairs, among other landlord and tenant matters.
Firms in the Spotlight Commercial property: development
Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP
Ronald Fletcher Baker attracts a diverse client base from financial institutions, high-net-worth individuals and substantial freehold corporate investors, as a result of which the firm has considerable expertise acting for corporate investors based in the BVI, Bahamas, Mauritius, Seychelles, Turkey and Isle of Man. This department also acts for sellers and buyers, and buy-to-let investors, …View Profile...
Commercial property: development in London
Sarah Sivyour; David Jones; Richard Vernon; Melanie Jordan
Other key lawyers:
Jamie Chapman; Henry Moss; Tim Regis
‘Ashurst’s key strength is its commercial approach to transactions which ensures a smooth diligence process. This is critical for complex SPV transactions where we are often looking at value add or development product. The team has great experience and there is always good access to the lead partner. Ashurst also provides well thought out quotes which they are subsequently able to honour.’
‘David Jones is always available to add his experience and commercial approach to a deal. This is not always the case with competitors where the lead partner is on the periphery of a deal.’
‘John Arey is extremely diligent and has proved critical pushing deals over the line.’
‘Ashurst bring great depth, knowledge and experience of the sector and of comparable transactions to the table which has proved invaluable in completing our deal.’
‘Tim Regis brings a commercial understanding to very complex negotiations and has a great intuition for unlocking problems.’
‘Ashurst is very good at mapping out potential scenarios in complex situations. They also have a way of deciphering the legal jargon, distilling it down to the key details making it far easier as a client to understand. As a client this is invaluable when weighing risk and helps you make well informed decisions.’
‘David Jones leads an excellent team in London, he is reactive and co-ordinates actively with ease at all levels in the organisation. It feels like bespoke tailoring.’
‘Tim Regis provides a can-do novel approach to property transactions in what has been a buyers’ market.’
‘Sarah Sivyour is really outstanding at her job, her advice is clear and commercial and we have developed a very strong and trusting relationship with her.’
‘Ashurst successfully match the task to the legal resource with partner oversight ensuring appropriate skills and experience for the work without excessive cost. Across the team working on our account we have a range of legal resources that provide for that.’
Transport for London -British Library
Telford Homes (CBRE)
Oxford West End Developments
Invesco Real Estate
Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation
Unibail Rodamco Westfield
Norges Bank Real Estate Management
- Advising Stanhope plc, alongside the Baupost Group LLC, in connection with the development scheme at Royal Street, London including 5 buildings totalling 2.1m square feet for an office-led scheme with supporting retail and community uses, new public spaces and 130 residential units on the 5.5 acre site close to Waterloo Station and next to St. Thomas’s Hospital.
- Advising Transport for London (as sponsors of Crossrail 2) on its a tripartite deal with the British Library (as owners of the development site) and Stanhope/Mitsui Fudosan JV (as British Library’s procured developer), on the expansion of the British Library and a proposed office-led life sciences development above a subterranean station linking the Crossrail 2 line to both Euston and St Pancras.
- Advising Panattoni, Europe’s largest industrial and logistics developer on planning, construction and environmental matters in connection with the acquisition of a 30 acre site in Slough for the development of an industrial-led scheme. The team continues to advise in connection with a proposed redevelopment including planning, construction, environmental.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP leverages its extensive international profile to act on a range of domestic and cross-border big-ticket investment transactions. Chris de Pury, the global head of real estate, is a go-to name for structured sales, purchases and restructurings involving UK and European assets and portfolios and is supported by Claire Milton who in addition to sales and purchases, is also particularly well-versed in lettings and corporate real estate deals. Elsewhere, Samant Narula has transacted over £4bn worth of deals over recent years, including numerous corporate real estate mandates, while Celia Berg is a figure of prominence owing to her first-rate track record in student accomodation investments. On the development front, Liana Hewson is routinely involved in London’s largest regeneration schemes, Chris Rowe demonstrates an aptitude for significant urban regeneration schemes and Andrew Yates leverages his position as one of the market’s foremost experts for build-to-rent projects. Emma Le Wita and Juliet Thomas are among the key contacts for corporate occupier matters for which the team is engaged on everything from day-to-day asset and portfolio management through to high-value pre-letting transactions, the latter of which are a particular forte of Robert MacGregor and Alan Wight respectively. The department is able to call upon its real estate colleagues in the Manchester and Southampton offices as a means of cost efficiency and provides first-class expertise in a wealth of asset classes including mixed-use, industrial, office, senior living, hotels, life sciences and healthcare – a particular focus for Matthew Peel, who co-chairs the London practice.
Chris de Pury
Other key lawyers:
Andrew Yates; Robert MacGregor; Liana Hewson; Tessa Kimber; Matthew Peel; Ruth Miller
‘One-stop shop for multi-disciplinary transactions. Lawyers are robust and know their stuff, always responsive, innovative where they can be and see through legalese and other lawyers’ overcomplications. They never add any unnecessary complexity, always keeping it simple. They are always commercial, with an honest and realistic approach to overcoming issues.’
‘Liana Hewson is clever and creative with a huge amount of technical knowledge and know-how on complex large scale developments.’
‘Bright, commercial, responsive with excellent drafting skills. Deep knowledge of evolving market practice. Superior to almost all other City firms which I have worked with.’
‘I have known a number of the lawyers at BCLP for many years, following them from other firms, so I rate them highly in a number of different categories. For our real estate practice, particularly on acquisitions, they are fast and efficient, highly dependable in their due diligence, and commercial in negotiations with other firms.’
‘Andrew Yates’s input has been invaluable and highly creative.’
‘Good partner involvement with a strong and positive team. They are also a diverse team.’
‘I particularly recommend Claire Milton who focuses on relationship building through a transaction .’
‘High quality, personalised service. Very credible in the UK build-to-rent residential sector.’
Oak View Group
Argent Kings Cross Limited Partnership
TfL – Grainger
University of Cambridge
EquityBridge Asset Management
- Advising US-based Oak View Group on the potential development of a £300m arena in Manchester in a joint venture with Eastlands Development Company.
- Advised Edge Technologies, recognised as one of the most sustainable property companies in Europe, on its purchase of Becket House near London Bridge, the client’s first UK acquisition in 2019.
- Continuing to advise Get Living (the joint venture between Delancey, Qatari Diar, Oxford Properties and APG) on the development and financing of more than 800 build-to-rent apartments at Manchester’s Middlewood Locks.
Magic Circle firm Clifford Chance LLP which has a ‘a wealth of experience and best in class delivery’, is particularly active in the healthcare, logistics, industrial, office, data centre and telecoms sectors, also acting on an array of residential, multi-family and student housing projects. Adrian Levy serves as global head of real estate and focuses on cross-border corporate finance transactions while Mark Payne is adept in all facets of real estate, with a distinguished track record in representing sovereign wealth funds. Alis Pay is recognised as a ‘force within European real estate’, owing to her capacity for portfolio transactions which span the continent. Angela Kearns and Matt Taylor are key contacts on the corporate occupier front, where the team places emphasis on Central London headquarter transactions, including those linked to ongoing development projects and secondary market lettings. The development practice includes London practice head Nigel Howorth, an urban regeneration, infrastructure and energy project specialist, as well as the ‘best in class’ Ian Painter; it provides a full-lifecycle service from initial acquisition, planning and rights of light through to financing, construction, disputes and leasing and thrives on a range of ventures including mixed-use, overstation and ground-up projects.
Other key lawyers:
Mark Payne; Angela Kearns; Ian Painter
‘Ian Painter is outstanding at getting to the commercial point without grandstanding on technical legal issues. He is a dealmaker and draws together the whole team to achieve a shared objective.’
There is no doubt that the Clifford Chance team excel at involving the client’s wider professional team, seeking and giving advice to achieve the best overall result for the client.’
‘A very cohesive property team with strength in depth and willing to do what is necessary to ensure client satisfaction through ensuring an efficient transaction and effective advice.’
‘Clifford Chance is one of the largest law firms in the world. However, their partners and colleagues act in a focused, professional manner, responding quickly to every situation and researching what is needed, almost like a niche firm. We have recommended them several times.’
‘When the work is challenging and complicated but of great commercial value, we choose the Clifford Chance team to deliver. The team are defined by their constant effort and diligence, combined with pragmatism and commercial advice.’
‘Ian Painter is tenacious, driven by value creation and tireless, the man you want in the trenches when the bullets are flying and the bombs are dropping. Best in class.’
‘The team is a safe pair of hands for heavy and complex transactions that require top to bottom engagement (from structuring to direct real estate) in a very coordinated way (they all speak to each other behind the scenes so the client interaction is seamless and thoughtful).’
‘Alis Pay is a force that really knows her European real estate and represents us in a way that both makes us look attractive but keeps us competitive. She is a great champion to us on a deal and keeps her diverse team fully aligned and always slick.’
‘The Clifford Chance investment practice has provided us a rare balance of incisive legal analysis and flawless transaction execution, grounded by a keen sense of commercial realities.’
‘Alis Pays has been excellent. Tells you what to worry about and what not to. Quickly generates confidence in her advice. You know you have an expert on your side.’
AIG Global Real Estate
Battersea Power Station Development Company
Canary Wharf Group plc
Coin Street Community Builders
Legal & General
NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT
Nuveen Real Estate
- Advised Helical plc on the letting of Farringdon East Crossrail over-station development to Chinese tech unicorn TikTok for use as its new European HQ.
- Continuing to advise longstanding client Canary Wharf Group plc on the development of the Canary Wharf Estate. Recent matters include advising on the development consents and complicated multi-building rights of light settlement relating to the redevelopment of 30 South Colonnade.
- Advised the joint venture between US private equity investor Angelo Gordon and one of its operating partner in the UK, The Ridgeback Group, on the forward purchase of several high specification PRS schemes being developed in the UK.
CMSThe London office of CMS, part of the firm's vast international network, is home to ‘one of the top real estate teams in the country with exposure to the biggest and most complex deals'. In the development space, the group is tailor-made to provide full lifecycle support on regeneration, office, leisure, data centre projects and owing to the vast experience of Mark Heighton, is also a powerhouse in the field of mixed-use and regeneration schemes, including senior living and build-to-rent ventures. John Cumpson and Chris Oakley both enjoy respective track record in major retail projects, Leilah Rawle is the key contact for energy-related developments while ‘the cerebral‘ Barry Morris has significant exposure to City of London office schemes. On the investment side, real estate head Ciaran Carvalho has transacted over £1bn worth of disposals and acquisitions over recent months; his team is proficient in supporting all-manner of investors including institutional, private equity and overseas entities, co-living and co-working providers, the world’s biggest technology companies and major property companies. Carvalho is supported by Amanda Howard, who fronts a dedicated funds and indirect real assets group, Caroline Maude, who demonstrates a tenacity for mixed-use and office investments, as well as Alan Crawford, a specialist in opportunity fund representation. Marie Scott and Jules Needleman are among the standout practitioners in the corporate occupier field, a front on which the team is engaged for headquarter transactions, freehold and leasehold portfolio management, related acquisitions and developments, as well as exit strategies. Andrew Banton is another go-to name on the leasing front, often acting for US corporates at retail, office and leisure sites.
Other key lawyers:
Mark Heighton; Leilah Rawle; Barry Morris; Chris Oakley; John Cumpson
‘I have worked with CMS for many years and they are my go-to lawyers for any real estate or construction relates matters in the UK. In recent years we have also used CMS in jurisdictions like Switzerland, France, Portugal Spain, Ukraine and Hungary. The UK team are especially good at knowing the things that are important to our real estate business and they understand and advocate for our position on key issues.’
‘The team is knowledgeable, collaborative, responsive and always ready to think about solutions for the client.’
‘Ciaran Carvalho thinks for the client and strive to find workable solutions for both the seller and the buyer.’
‘The team can run the entire acquisition process in a very professional way and guide the client smoothly through the process. They were also able to give us clear and comprehensible advice on all aspects of UK real estate law.’
‘Personable, commercial, understand our needs and extremely well-informed, exceptional technical understanding.’
‘The CMS real estate team, combined with all the related practice areas (corporate, tax, planning, disputes, construction) is one of the top firms in the country. It has great sector awareness, exposure to the most complex and biggest deals and an ability to get ahead on new developments.’
‘John Cumpson understands our business extremely well and ensures that we have the best balanced team for our needs.’
‘Barry Morris is very cerebral; the person to turn to when you have a knotty problem to unpick.’
‘Good for more complex/high value matters. Consistent delivery of transactions to required timeframes and good at all round communications. They well as a team and stick to fee arrangements and provide competitive fee quotes.’
‘Jules Needleman is a commercially astute lawyer, willing to be flexible on fees and excellent at communication and availability.’
University of the Arts (UAL)
Cleve Hill Solar Farm
UCL and Moorfields Eye Charity
Imperial College London
Prince Global Holdings Limited
Dogger Bank (JV between Equinor and SSE)
DTZ / The Collective
Native Land/Montrose Land and Ashby Capital
- Advising Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL on its £400m joint venture and relocation of the iconic Moorfields Eye Hospital and accompanying UCL Institute of Ophthalmology to a new purpose built development at St. Pancras.
- Advised AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets (AXA IM RE) on a pre-let of Levels 51-54 of 22 Bishopsgate to US law firm Covington & Burling.
- Acting on the biggest UK solar project – Cleve Hill Solar Farm in Kent. It will provide enough power for nearly 100,000 homes and is being developed on a subsidy-free basis.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is widely considered a go-to name for big ticket property transactions, catering to a client roster consisting of property companies, investors, developers, SWFs, corporate occupiers, borrowers and lenders. Jeremy Walden fronts both the national and EMEA practices from London and handles a wealth of matters from leasing and asset management through to joint ventures and structured acquisitions and disposals; he is supported by Richard Forsdyke and Donald Rowlands, both of whom are specialists in high-magnitude development projects, as well as Nick Turner who enjoys a commanding presence within the corporate occupier field owing to his involvement in many of the market’s most high-value pre-lets. The team also includes well-regarded partners Shona Grey and Paul Chases who are forging prominent reputations for corporate real estate matters.
Other key lawyers:
Donald Rowlands; Richard Forsdyke; David Rosen; Julian Pollock; Paul Chasess
‘Responsive and user friendly. No weak links in the team.’
‘High quality advice, experienced, thorough, and readily available.’
‘A knowledgeable team with great bench strength.’
‘A very mature practice with real depth in all areas. They are very well connected internally and provide a seamless service across all areas.’
‘David Rosen is always available. Very personable with great depth of knowledge and a can-do attitude. Always delivers.’
‘Nick Turner takes a pragmatic and commercial approach.’
‘Don Rowlands is first class. He has a very calm measured style. He is good at assessing risk and coming up with commercial solutions based on his assessment of risk.’
‘Nick Turner is an excellent technical lawyer and tough negotiator.’
Aberdeen Standard Investments
London & Continental Railways
Local Pensions Partnership
Straits Real Estate
- Advising British Land and its joint venture partner on the redevelopment of 100 Liverpool Street, Exchange Square, 135 Bishopsgate, 155 Bishopsgate, 2-3 Finsbury Avenue, 1 Broadgate, 1 Finsbury Avenue and the refurbishment of Broadwalk House.
- Advising British Land on all aspects of the Canada Water development project.
- Advising Argent Related on its major regeneration scheme for Tottenham Hale in London.
Home to ‘expertise which covers all real estate areas’, Hogan Lovells International LLP leverages its extensive international footprint to act for institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, private equity houses and family offices from all over the globe; the practice provides a full lifecycle service on asset management transactions and is also geared to support at all stages of significant projects, from site assembly issues and compulsory purchase powers through to the environmental and construction components. Jackie Newstead runs a notably broad practice with a distinguished level of expertise in the hotel and leisure space while Daniel Norris, the firm’s global head of real estate, specialises in direct and indirect investments, joint ventures and student housing assets. The ‘very responsive’ Oliver Chamberlain leads the national practice and along with Gill McGreevy, noted as ‘unyielding in pursuing her clients’ interests’, is among the key contacts for large-scale regeneration projects. Dion Panambalana provides the group with mixed-use urban and non-urban development expertise and is also an active player in the corporate occupier field where the caseload spans structured sale and leasebacks, headquarter relocations, pre-lets and the up-scaling of trophy buildings.
Jackie Newstead; Daniel Norris; Oliver Chamberlain
Other key lawyers:
Gill McGreevy; Dion Panambalana; Nicholas Roberts
‘They provide sensible commercial advice across the board. Strong on document automation and assisting with client billing processes.’
‘Gill McGreevy has great attention to detail and is unyielding in pursuing her client’s interests.’
‘Daniel Norris – I have no words to explain how satisfied we are with his work as partner. Just perfect. He find solutions, works quickly and efficiently, and manages his teams perfectly.’
‘I worked closely with Victoria Sutcliffe on a landmark deal for our mutual client. Victoria’s knowledge, experience, strategic thinking, recollection on matters that had been going on for many years was outstanding. Nothing was ever too much, she would put the time in, work the hours, update the client, provide comprehensive overviews when required, there were never any corners cut – her work was exceptional.’
‘Nicholas Roberts is very responsive and provides sensible advice.’
‘The team clearly communicate internally and ensure the right resource is placed on it and the client is aware.’
‘I have found when the commercial pressure has increased the support given by the individuals gets stronger and gives more reassurance.’
‘Dion Panambalana – pragmatic, very responsive and approachable. Oliver Chamberlain; again, very responsive and gives good practical advice.’
Argent (and Argent Related)
Battersea Power Station
City of London Corporation
LaSalle Investment Management (as Fund Manager for the Coal Pension Fund)
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.
- Sole legal adviser to The Crown Estate in relation to The Crown Estate’s offshore wind, tidal, carbon capture & storage and gas storage portfolios in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
At Addleshaw Goddard, London office head Leona Ahmed is the key contact for inbound investment matters - she 'exemplifies exceptional client service' and works in tangent with her colleagues in Europe, Asia and the Middle East to support a significant number of overseas investors. The commercial property practice is headed by Adrian Collins who, in addition to finance and infrastructure projects, is also particularly well-versed in the development space where the team is currently active on a number of London’s most prominent regeneration schemes. In terms of asset expertise, the group is a major player in the fields of affordable housing, retail and education and has been increasingly active in the life sciences and build-to-rent sectors of late; at the more junior end of the partnership spectrum, Rachel Orton also provides the team with distinguished expertise in the senior living and healthcare sectors.
Other key lawyers:
Leona Ahmed; Peter Hardy; Christopher Cartwright; William Boss; Andrew Martin
‘Very strong problem solvers. Very experienced in our key real estate sectors. Advice is commercially led. They consider themselves key partners in our business, understand our wider drivers for our business and want to help our business grow.’
‘William Boss and Andrew Martin are recommended.’
‘Rachel Orton gives excellent advice that is both pragmatic and strategic. She is responsive and keeps the process moving, identifying and unclogging potential delays in a proactive manner.’
‘Leona Ahmed is very responsive and committed and always looks out for her clients’ best interest. She exemplifies exceptional client service. She is very professional in her dealings with different investors from different backgrounds. She’s approachable and very knowledgeable.’
‘A pragmatic and client-focused team.’
‘The team is always there to address any issues, and have been proactive in suggesting different ideas on how to tackle any problem.’
‘The team is very knowledgeable and helpful in this area. We, as clients, felt very comfortable with the transaction based on the advice we have received.’
Aberdeen Standard Investments
Battersea Power Station
Canary Wharf Group
Guys and St Thomas’ Trust
Marks and Spencer Group PLC
Bank Leumi (UK) PLC
Balfour Beatty Investments
Civitas Social Housing PLC
- Advised Pension Insurance Corporation on its first deal in the build-to-rent sector – the New Victoria development in the heart of Manchester, which was purchased from Network Rail.
- Advised Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust on the development of the ‘Triangle’ site, a project which is part of a major regeneration plan to transform the St Thomas’ estate opposite the Houses of Parliament.
- Advised Royal London on its first entry into the retirement living market; a joint venture between Royal London and luxury retirement living operator the Audley Group.
DLA Piper can draw on resources from its significant network of offices, both nationally and internationally, fielding an ‘exceptional’ commercial property practice which serves as a one-stop shop for substantial development schemes. Jonathan Northey and associate Hayley Russell-White thrive at each stage of the project pipeline, including site acquisition, forward funding and land assembly; Northey is principally adept in housing and mixed-use schemes though the overall team also enjoys an excellent reputation for complex living, office, pharmaceutical and logistics ventures. The investment offering was recently bolstered by the arrival of Bonnie Calnan, former practice co-head of Dentons, and is fronted by William Naunton caters to a range of fund managers and institutional investors with extensive portfolios, providing particular expertise in joint ventures and structured transactions. The firm is also home to a dedicated corporate occupier practice which is led by Paul Jayson, an expert in sustainability strategies who also fronts the firm’s green real estate team. Senior associate Nicholas Haringman is also active in the leasing space and has recently acted on headquarter relocations, office openings and lease portfolio restructurings.
Other key lawyers:
Hayley Russell-White; Paul Jayson; Rob O’Hanrahan; Paul Dineen; George Burrha; Omer Maroof
‘A multidisciplinary, commercially minded law firm – they provide accurate advice on important issues whilst not trying to point-score with the counterparty. The team includes a huge range of down-to-earth people, who are likeable and clearly enjoy working with the company. They introduced us to property tech which has hugely helped us track and manage our asset management initiatives.’
‘Lorraine Reader is the spearhead of our legal team; unflappable honest advice from a superb team leader. Andrew Walker focuses on the material issues; he is a future partner in the making in my opinion.’
‘The practice has a broad church of services available that are required for a large corporate business, from landlord & tenant, litigation, planning and construction. In addition, it can when needed, pull on colleagues to cover such issues as environmental legislation, domestic residential, etc.’
‘DLA provides exceptional, relevant and highly practical and reliable advice. They are incredibly responsive. They have shown great flexibility in interfacing with our internal case management system. The team at DLA feels like an extension of our internal teams and all advisers are highly respected and trusted. They have a great commercial understanding and awareness and this is reflected in their approach, which is tailored and proportionate to the commercial reality and risks of each situation. We rely on DLA for transactional, advisory and litigation support.’
‘I have worked with various members of the team and they are first-class. They all seem very knowledgeable, commercial and efficient. It is always a pleasure to work with them.’
‘George Burrha – a talented and personable lawyer who keeps a cool head in all situations to seek out solutions.’
‘The support provided is always calm, methodical and practical – they seek to find commercially appropriate solutions rather than scoring points.’
This is Gravity
World Wheel Company
Far East Consortium (FEC)
Southend United Football Club
Hadley Property Group
- Acting for Mace Developments on all aspects of two PBSA schemes; including the acquisition, development, finance, construction and planning aspects of the two sites in Exeter and Cardiff.
- Acting for This is Gravity Limited in connection with the redevelopment of the Gravity site near Bridgewater. The property is presently a decommissioned BAE Systems site to be developed into a sustainable low carbon smart campus spread over 635 acres with mixed use including offices, light industrial, residential, storage and distribution, energy generation and manufacturing.
- Acted 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.
Gowling WLGGowling WLG is an international firm with the ‘depth of resource to handle every size of transaction’; its investment work sees it engaged by institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, family offices and private equity funds, including those based in the US, Europe, Canada, Asia and the Middle East, on disposals, lettings, purchases and asset management matters across an impressively broad array of asset classes. The team is also active in the development space where practice head Richard Bate and Nick Mumby excel in respect of residential schemes and ‘excellent operator’ Jon Lloyd specialises in retail and mixed-use projects, tapping in to the firm’s wider construction, planning and finance expertise to offer a full lifecycle service. Helen Emmerson spearheads the corporate occupier offering which handles portfolio optimisation, pre-let, new lease, saleback and subletting mandates at a range of sites such as data centre, office, warehouse and manufacturing facilities.
Other key lawyers:
Jon Lloyd; Richard Beckingsale; Richard Bate; Giles Clifford; Ashley Mitchell; Nick Mumby
‘Helen Emmerson continues to provide excellent service, she maintains an awareness of all her team’s projects and is always approachable, and takes a very practical, pragmatic approach.’
‘Strong technical capability and refreshingly commercial approach to cut through the legal noise and focus on the important elements of a deal to get the transaction over the line. They have the depth of resource to handle every size of transaction with strong support from tax, construction, planning and environmental experts. A cohesive team lead by very strong and reassuringly available partners.’
‘Down to earth, user friendly, commercial, capable, no-nonsense, experienced, tactical, problem solvers, big thinkers. Mike Twining is a stand out, top class legal operator.”
‘Jon Lloyd has provided an excellent level service to us for many years now. Highly professional, pragmatic, very commercial, and swift in response. An excellent operator in his field.’
‘Friendly and knowledgeable team who are always prepared to go the extra mile to achieve our goals.’
‘The team is brilliantly led by Richard Bate, whose knowledge and commercial acumen still astound me everyday.’
‘The individuals we work worth have an unrivalled passion for what they do and the care they show for us as a client. Nothing is too much trouble, and they happily make our problems their problems. At partner level, Emma Pioli always knows what’s going on. Below partner level, Kay Desai stands out.’
‘Emma Pioli gives timely advice very clearly, with clear recommendations.’
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 Transport for London and London Underground Limited on the competitive dialogue procurement process to secure a joint venture partner and negotiated with the transaction documents with multiple bidders. The team supported on the joint venture documentation, which was based on the property partnership framework documents.
- Acting for Bracknell Regeneration Limited Partnership – a joint venture between Legal & General and Schroders UK Property Fund – on the regeneration of Bracknell town centre.
- Advised Aldgate Developments on the agreement for lease with British Telecommunications plc at One Braham, London E1.
Clients of Jones Day benefit from its capacity to ‘make unimaginably complex portfolio transactions feel simple’. The US firm's London team is active on disposals and acquisitions across the entirety of Europe and is co-led by Anna Cartwright who is proficient in a range of transaction types including joint ventures, public and private M&A, fund formation and private equity funds. David Smith is a figure of prominence owing to his student accommodation and build-to-rent expertise and is integral to the firm’s development and regeneration offering, often working in close tangent with counsel Kirsty Rogerson who has carved out a reputation for her work on City of London developments. The firm commands a longstanding reputation in the retail and logistics sectors and has made strides within the senior living and care home sectors of late.
Other key lawyers:
John Crowley; Kirsty Rogerson
‘The team works well together and interacts with other disciplines both internally and externally very easily. The individual members are thoughtful and listen to the client’s concerns and are very good at coming up with alternative strategies.’
‘Great overall coverage, deep bench of solid lawyers.’
‘Alistair Grant, Simon Kiff and Ryan Hill are recommended.’
‘Jones Day is fast, authoritative and user-friendly – they make often unimaginably complex portfolio transactions feel simple for the client. They have enormous strength in depth, with experienced partners and talented hardworking associates across every field for real estate including litigation, environmental and banking. They have actually taken the time to understand their clients’ decision-making processes and resourcing issues and engineer a tailormade process in a way to make our lives as easy as possible. It is only when using other solicitors that one realises quite what exceptionally high standards of service we have become accustomed to.’
‘Simon Kiff has the ability to understand every single commercial component of a deal, and think strategically in a clients interest across the whole of a large transaction. This is a rare skill indeed!’
Greystar Real Estate Partners LLC
LondonMetric Property Plc
The British Land Company PLC
Pictet Alternative Advisors SA
Get Living plc
Oxenwood Real Estate LLP
- Advising Earls Court Partnership Limited in connection with the development of Earls Court, London’s largest cleared Zone 1 development site and one of its most important mixed-use developments.
- Represents Get Living plc on the redevelopment of Elephant and Castle, which will deliver a new town centre for one of Central London’s largest regeneration projects.
- Advises Greystar Real Estate Partners, LLC in relation to its 20-acre development mixed use scheme on the banks of the Grand Union Canal, which is one of the largest Build to Rent schemes in the UK.
Renowned for its ‘focus on getting the deal done’, the team at Linklaters LLP has a strong emphasis on big-ticket investment, regeneration and development projects, often acting on £1bn-plus mandates which include M&A and distressed real estate components. Andy Bruce fronts the firm’s global practice from London and is supported by Patrick Plant; both are thoroughly experienced in all facets of property, from acquisitions and disposals through to lets, financings and developments. Tom Watkins is also a ‘go-to’ lawyer with a track record in corporate transactions which encompass real estate assets, namely public and private M&A deals, joint ventures and restructurings.
Other key lawyers:
Patrick Plant; Martin Elliott
‘We use this team almost exclusively for our real estate needs. They are cost effective, constructive and technically very good.’
‘Andy Bruce has a diplomatic style and solves problem, but is also invaluable for real estate asset management. He is made for complicated situations and knows where to strike the fair balance between client needs and market practices.’
‘Andy Bruce is a pleasant lawyer who captures real estate core aspects but also the investment context. He is able to devise solutions to suit the investment objectives in real estate. Always open to exploring options, he always lands the optimal result.’
‘Tom Watkins is our go-to lawyer. He is very easy to deal with, very knowledgeable about the market and has a good team of senior associates.’
‘The team fully understands the clients objectives and is focused on getting the deal done rather than winning individual legal points.’
‘Martin Elliott is excellent. He is fully involved in all aspects of the agreement and is on hand to provide very strong advice at every point.’
‘Made to measure, with a dedication that is unrivalled. They are fast, creative and accurate.’
Permodalan Nasional Berhad
Lendlease Europe Limited
- Advised Lendlease on the entry into a 50/50 joint venture with Starwood and the subsequent acquisition by that joint venture of a 100% interest in the Silvertown Partnership (TSP) which holds an interest in Silvertown Quays, an urban renewal project in East London.
- Acting for the RCL Partners joint venture in relation to its ongoing development of student accommodation at Brayford Wharf and related sites in Lincoln.
- Advising BDW Trading Limited (part of the Barratt Group) on the mixed-use scheme at High Street Quarter, Hounslow, including in relation to their headlease interests in the site, their development obligations and the pre-lettings of various commercial units within the scheme.
The commercial property team at elite London firm Macfarlanes LLP is well-regarded for offering ‘concise, prompt and practical advice across all commercial real estate disciplines’. In the development space, its key differentiators include the high degree of emphasis it places on helping clients obtain value from surplus land, as well as the vast experience that Nick Barnes and Anthony Burnett-Scott possess in respect of mixed-use and urban regeneration projects. Clare Breeze was recently appointed as Burnett-Scott’s co-head and centres her practice around cross-border commercial and residential property transactions, including those relating to build-to-rent, private rented sector and student accommodation assets. The team caters to both institutional and private investors, also frequently supporting on the real estate aspects of major corporate transactions, and has seen significant growth in the private equity real estate market of late. Standout recent work has included advising on the acquisition of The Ritz Hotel in London by a private Qatari investor, a deal on which Tom Pedder played a key role. The firm’s corporate occupier practice is centred around the representation of clients in the retail, professional services, media and creative industries and is geared to act on relocation projects, premises acquisitions and excess space disposals, among other matters.
Anthony Burnett-Scott; Clare Breeze
Other key lawyers:
Dan Marriott; Nick Barnes
‘A market-leading team with intimate knowledge of sector. They work exceptionally hard but are also good fun. They understand how my business works and structure their work around it.’
‘Macfarlanes offer concise, prompt and practical advice across all commercial real estate and construction disciplines. The lawyers get straight to the point and they can always be relied upon to offer optimised solutions to fit the circumstances. At the end of each billing period, I rarely worry about fees because they are very good at sticking to agreed multiple workstream budgets. I really enjoy working with the lawyers at Macfarlanes.’
‘Special mention to Anthony Burnett-Scott: Anthony is very experienced across the real estate spectrum and can always be relied upon to respond promptly and deliver succinct advice to address complex circumstances; he is also a tremendous ambassador for his firm and is able to help me navigate effortlessly to other disciplines when needs arise.’
‘Extremely strong and responsive team who communicate between one and another and our team very efficiently. The lead partner was available when necessary and always responsive to email or phonecalls. The process was particularly document heavy but the Macfarlanes team worked through it steadily and with a good nature and responded to any queries promptly and with a thorough answer. They were extremely focused and moved through the work quickly and efficiently.’
‘Dan Marriott is always available and willing to offer guidance or insight. He is very creative and flexible and he has a very collaborative and inclusive approach which helps to build positive momentum on projects.’
‘Clare Breeze proactively looks for solutions and is good humoured under pressure.’
‘Tom Pedder is a dedicated hard working professional who has dealt on my behalf in a number of very complex transactions – a credit to his profession and to his partnership.’
‘Down to earth, detailed advice and sufficient power to get deals over the line.’
- Advised on the project to extend the Grade-I listed British Library, in a cornerstone project for the development of the Knowledge Quarter around St Pancras.
- Advised 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 FTSE-250 listed London office specialist Derwent London on activity across its portfolio.
Mayer Brown International LLP is a global firm with an aptitude for real estate development and investment work ‘which requires caution and tough negotiation’. The group is knowledgeable of a wealth of asset classes from office, residential and retail through to student accommodation, co-living and data centres and is particularly active on the inbound investment front with Chris Harvey having overseen over £6bn worth of transactions for Asian investment into London. Caroline Humble fronts the development service, often acting for US and European clients, while Martin Wright commands a prominent position within the market owing to his proficiency in large-scale urban regeneration projects. Iain Roberts provides mixed-use development and corporate occupier prowess and the practice also includes Simon Price, a recent arrival from Linklaters LLP, who has bolstered the team’s hospitality sector expertise and joins with a track record in corporate real estate transactions, high-profile lettings and joint ventures. Joe Conder, former practice head of Goodwin, also joined in April 2021 and hones his focus on the purchases and disposal of high-value and structured investment properties, catering to a client list which includes a wealth of European, American, Asian and Middle Eastern entities. A key distinguisher for the group is its excellent reputation for development and asset management matters at large mixed-use schemes. Managing partner Jeremy Clay is also a real estate specialist.
Chris Harvey; Andrew Hepner; Caroline Humble
Other key lawyers:
Iain Roberts; Jeremy Clay
‘They are proactive and rational in their approach. They work with us to reach the best conclusion. A driven team who never let us down. This allows you to trust their opinion and provides a much needed level of comfort in our business decisions.’
‘They are polite, attentive and have an exceptional level of industry knowledge.’
‘Iain Roberts provides an excellent and personal all-round service regardless of the time pressures involved.’
‘This firm delivers high-quality services to its clients. This team focuses on property development as well as investments that require carefulness and tough negotiation. This feature seems to be outstanding compared to other law firms as far as I know.’
‘Anita Jones is very able – always calm and measured with great market knowledge and attention to detail.’
‘Jeremy Clay is a class act; he understands complex issues quickly and is a very able negotiator.’
‘Martin Wright is strongly dedicated to his clients and has shrewd views and negotiation skills. He always tries to find the best solution in his clients’ favour, even in difficult circumstances. Also, he keeps in touch with clients at regular intervals to provide them with useful information regarding the real estate sector.’
The British Land Company plc
- Serving as a key advisor to British Land on a number of complex high value and mixed us development projects in central London including the regeneration of Norton Folgate, Shoreditch.
- Advised Tide Construction on its development, forward funding and sale of a student housing development in Lewisham, London for £118m to Vita.
- Advised Ascott/Capitaland on the development and financing of Islington Square (the former Royal Mail sorting office in North London) for a 108 room Citadines aparthotel.
Mishcon de Reya LLP regularly advises on big ticket, multi-jurisdictional transactions and projects, working closely with the firm’s property disputes, planning, construction, tax and finance teams to serve as a one-stop shop destination. Key distinguishers for the practice include its dedicated alternative residential group which renders it an ideal option for build to rent, student accommodation and senior living assets, as well as Nick Doffman’s proficiency in inwards investments, principally those made from Hong Kong and also Singapore where the firm opened its second office in May 2020. Nick Minkoff is among the key contacts for major development projects; so too is Stephen Hughes who steers the overall real estate department, calling upon over 20 years’ of experience in portfolio deals, joint ventures and transaction structuring.
Other key lawyers:
Nick Minkoff; Ian Paul; Daniel Lipman; Simon Hart; Nick Doffman; Anju Suneja
‘Very strong problem solvers, good balanced advice. Very experienced in our key real estate sectors. Advice is commercially led.’
‘Anju Suneja creates a very constructive relationship with clients – she goes far beyond the call of duty to ensure all client needs are attended to. A great negotiator.’
‘We consider themselves key partners in our business. They want to understand our wider drivers for our business and are eager to help our business grow.’
‘Very responsive, commercial and user friendly. They have a quick grasp on the main issues and are innovative in finding solutions.’
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 and The Knightsbridge Estate on the major development adjacent to Knightsbridge tube station known as the Knightsbridge Estate, K-1.
- Advised Trophaeum Asset Management on the acquisition of 143 New Bond Street from Brazilian billionaire Joseph J Safra for around £130m.
- Continued to advise longstanding client, Capital & Counties CG Limited, in relation to its Covent Garden portfolio, worth £1.8bn, including general landlord and tenant work, sales and acquisitions, planning and real estate litigation.
Norton Rose FulbrightNorton Rose FulbrightNorton Rose Fulbright leverages its considerable international network to support on an array of inward investment transactions and cross-border real estate projects. The practice counts its expertise in energy, infrastructure and large-scale social housing schemes as its keystones and is able to tap into the firm’s wider finance, tax and corporate structuring capabilities to provide a full lifecycle service. Dan Wagerfield fronts the global real estate practice from London, providing distinguished experience in mixed-use developments and outbound capital from Asia; he is supported by UK practice head Wasim Khan, a prominent Islamic finance specialist, as well as David Hawkins who has been supporting London Olympia on its ongoing £2bn redevelopment . David Sinclair enjoys a first-rate reputation for both investment and development matters, particularly those at offices and hotels, while well-regarded counsel Louisa Roe is particularly integral to the corporate occupier offering which supports landlords and tenants from initial lease negotiation through to terminations and subsequent disputes.
Other key lawyers:
David Sinclair; David Hawkins; Dan Wagerfield; Charlie Pinkerton
‘The team works well together and collaborates across the departments to ensure issues are assessed and taken care of.’
‘Everyone we deal with at Norton Rose Fulbright is highly capable, hardworking, pleasant to work with and, importantly, have a sense of humour (the latter has been important given the challenges the last year has thrown at us!)’
‘We deal with many solicitors – Louisa Roe and her team are the most commercial and proactive team I have dealt with in recent years. They are incredibly responsive to both the client’s requirements and to input made by ourselves. Their turnaround time is exceptional. They are very collaborative as a team and bring the wider team together with is critical in making deals happen and so often is not the case with other solicitors.’
‘A team of solicitors I have always enjoyed working with. The partners are very approachable, and all the associates are extremely knowledgeable about the real estate sector and have got me out of trouble a few times.’
‘Louisa Roe is head and shoulders above other solicitors we deal with day in day out. Very commercial, brilliant at problem solving, great attention to deal, incredibly responsive.’
‘David Hawkins has excellent engagement with and understanding of the complexities of deals. Very committed and never let us down on timing. David is very well supported by Louisa Roe and both work extremely hard.’
DP World London Gateway
British Racing Drivers Club
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)
fDHSBC 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)
ICBC (London) plc
Hobart Partners (UK)
Sidra Capital (Dubai)
Ivanhoé Cambridge (Canada)
- Advised Olympus Property Holding Limited on all aspects of the £2bn redevelopment of Olympia London, one of the few remaining indoor events venues in Central London.
- Advised DP World London Gateway on its pre-letting to DHL of a new 482,000 sq.ft. state of the art, fully automated warehouse at its £1.5bn London Gateway port and logistics park.
- 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.
Praised for providing ‘a competitive edge in real estate deals’, magic circle firm Slaughter and May is instructed on all types of direct and indirect investment, frequently acting on large portfolio transactions in addition to those with cross-border elements. The 'first-class' team, which has 'a reputation for excellence', is also a strong player in the development field, working closely with its construction, planning, finance and environmental colleagues to serve as one-stop destination for major projects. It is also active in the corporate occupier space where it leverages a long-standing reputation as a go-to name for headquarter moves and developments and has also recently handled an array of CVA, rent payment agreement, regearing leases and restructuring matters owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. Jane Edwarde serves as practice head; she has first-rate expertise in relation to sports stadiums, advising both Arsenal and Everton FC on projects at their respective stadiums in recent years. Further key names include John Nevin, who has 'excellent business sense and a keen understanding of the law’, as well as senior counsel Simon Bartle, who is ‘adept in navigating through complex transactions’.
Other key lawyers:
Richard Todd; John Nevin
‘Jane Edwarde is an extremely responsive partner who is always on hand to provide commercially minded legal support. Great to work with.’
‘A wonderful firm – you can tell they only hire the best.’
‘John Nevin is unique in that he has excellent business sense as well as a keen understanding of the law.’
‘Richard Todd is an extremely capable partner. Engaging and fully understands the client brief with strong commercial acumen.’
‘A depth of team resource and talent which allows significant transactions across jurisdictions to be handled efficiently.’
‘Top to bottom talent and highly skilled professionals delivering innovative solutions to emerging real estate problems.’
‘John Nevin has expertise and experiencing various types of real estate deals.’
‘Simon Bartle deserves a mention. He is adept at navigating his clients through complex transactions such as development agreements for lease and is excellent at suggesting solutions whenever problems are encountered that are acceptable on a commercial and legal footing.’
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 London Resort Company Holdings in connection with the proposed London Resort. A significant project on the Swanscombe Peninsula in Kent with a wide range of attractions and entertainment, as well as associated hotel and commercial space and significant infrastructure.
- 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.
The team at Trowers & Hamlins LLP is known for ‘pulling out all stops to get the results needed’. The full-service real estate practice thrives at all stages of investments and developments, setting itself apart from the rest of the market through its focus on representing public sector, hotel and leisure and inward investing clients, particularly those from the Far and Middle East. A further defining trait of the practice is its intimate knowledge of residential asset classes; key lawyers, such as Rebecca Wardle, are well-versed in student accomodation, build-to-rent, sheltered housing, senior living and mixed-use properties and the group frequently works in close tangent with its private wealth department to support on occupational and ownership matters at high-value flats and houses. Julien Allen, an ‘outstanding lawyer’, succeeded Sara Bailey as practice head in April 2021.
Other key lawyers:
Sara Bailey; Andy Barnard; Adrian Leavey; Rebecca Wardle
‘The team at Trowers pull out all the stops to get the results we need. No matter the deadlines or the complexity, they have the skill and commercial nous to adapt to the situation. We feel like they are close business collaborators on our deals: they understand the key drivers and they prioritise a quick, successful outcome above any legal points-scoring. Fast, tech-savvy and responsive, they are willing to go the extra mile.’
‘Julien Allen is an outstanding lawyer. He wastes no time, acts quickly and decisively and owns and commands each transaction. He is also very responsive and adaptable. He differs from other lawyers in his judgement in negotiations about when to dig his heels in and when to choose the path of least resistance to get the result. I particularly value how he becomes a key part of our team and how he makes sure he is always at our disposal.’
‘Samir Nathwani is a fantastic associate. He works harder than anyone I have met, is always proactive and is excellent at developing great relationships and building trust with us. One to watch in the future, fast developing into partner material in my opinion.’
Poplar Housing and Regeneration Company Limited
Octopus Real Estate
Cheltenham Borough Council
Angel Gardens Property Company Limited
Museum of London
Berkeley Homes (South East London) Limited, part of The Berkeley Group
Wolverhampton City Council acting on behalf of West Midlands Pension Fund
Northwick Park Redevelopment
Gravesham Borough Council
West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Linq Housing PLC (LINQ)
Boklok Housing Limited
Greater London Authority
- Advised Poplar Housing and Regeneration Company Limited on all aspects of the multi-million pound redevelopment of the Teviot Estate in East London.
- Advising Cheltenham Borough Council in relation to the procurement of its development partner for its Golden Valley Development.
- Advised Wates Group on the client’s bid to become the preferred development partner of Harrow Council in the Harrow Strategic Development Partnership.
Several of the key commercial property lawyers at Burges Salmon LLP split their time between the firm’s London and Bristol offices, predominantly operating from the latter. Richard Clark acts for both public and private sector clients; he fronts the investment and asset management offering and is supported by Richard Read who specialises in student accommodation, hotel and leisure-related transactions, in addition to those involving mainstream classes. The group is also geared to handle a range of development projects; Ross Polkinghorne directs particular attention to large-scale sustainable regeneration schemes and the wider team is also adept in all facets of landlord and tenant work such as rent reviews, dilapidations, sale-leasebacks, headquarter moves and lease terminations.
Paul Browne; Richard Clark
Other key lawyers:
Ross Polkinghorne; Philip Beer
‘High quality legal advice and deep knowledge of the industry, at competitive rates.’
‘Richard Read is supported by a team of associates and provides top quality advice in a very cost-effective manner.’
‘Strong commercial acumen. They offered our business support during pandemic which was appreciated and recognised.’
Ross Polkinghorne, Richard Clark and Ashley Davies are an excellent team. Diligent, commercial. They understand development process and can see beyond individual issues to wider context.
‘The team is large and diverse and brings in partners from around the business as required to inform the deal.’
‘The team are available, knowledgeable and offer pragmatic advice.’
Transport for London
St. Modwen Properties Plc
Kinetic Capital Ltd
- Appointed to advise the consortium of landowners comprising Aviva Investors, Land Improvement Holdings and the Diocese of St Albans on the development scheme known as Linmere, a 630-acre site 37 miles north of London.
- Advised the commercial development team of Transport for London (and other entities within its group) on large scale urban regeneration projects on TfL land.
- Advising in connection with the multi-phased 3,500+ unit residential development at Beam Park, Dagenham. The project is a significant collaboration between public and private sector bodies to accelerate housing delivery for two London boroughs; Barking and Dagenham and Havering.
Acclaimed for their ‘technical, practical and commercial’ service, the team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP cater to a client roster of developers, investors, property companies and urban estates in addition to corporate occupiers. Practice head Lee Medlock also represents private equity-backed businesses, namely in respect of leisure and hospitality transactions; his team includes Robin Grove, a mixed-use and regeneration development specialist who leverages the firm’s joint venture and partnership proficiency, as well as Sarah Morley who fronts the office occupier group, undertaking office acquisition, headquarter relocation and rationalisation of space matters. The firm’s international presence across EMEA and Hong Kong makes it a go-to option for international investors and owing to its dedicated sector expertise, it is also a popular choice among sporting, retail, food and beverage, charity, private wealth, logistics and life sciences clients.
Other key lawyers:
Robin Grove; Suzi Gatward; Louise Ward; Lynn Povey; Alexander Gold
‘They provide a technical, practical and commercial application of their property knowledge in a form easily understood by their housebuilder clients.’
‘They are professional within their particular residential field – informative, receptive and communicative.’
‘Robin Grove has great all-round knowledge.’
‘They have an outstanding grasp of the London and Cambridge real estate markets, and have provided expert legal and practical advice, helping us adapt to the UK legal and business climate. They are our most trusted outside law firm globally, and we greatly benefit from their expertise and practicality. They are responsive, personable and well respected by their peers. They are an integral part of our team, and I have recommended them numerous times to other potential clients.
‘Louise Ward’s expertise in real estate has proven invaluable. While other firms’ lawyers are prone to trying to win negotiations, Louise recognises that completing a transaction is the desired result and do not let others’ egos or bluster distract her.’
Aberdeen Standard Investments
BioMed Realty L.P
Caring Homes Group
Stonegate Pub Company
David Lloyd Leisure Limited
Howard de Walden Estate Limited
National Museum for the Royal Navy
City of London Corporation
The Church Commissioners
Exeter Property Group
- Acting for longstanding client Bellway Homes on multiple aspects of their real estate and construction work, including planning, regeneration and development.
- Acting for Derwent London on the £170m sale of the Johnson Building.
- Acted for longstanding client David Lloyd Leisure Limited on the freehold sale and 30 year leaseback of one if its leisure properties to a Jersey Trust Fund.
Clyde & Co
International firm Clyde & Co LLP fields a team of commercial real estate lawyers with 'excellent commercial instincts, providing concise and relevant advice’. The practice is principally acclaimed for its full lifecycle development practice with Will Deeprose directing his attention to mixed-use residential schemes and the ‘highly experienced’ Graeme Taylor handling warehousing and distribution regeneration developments; the pair jointly lead the practice, which is also extensively well-versed in public sector-driven projects and is engaged for office and retail lettings, investment-related property management and development, as well as a range of disposals and acquisitions. Laura Oliver is a new partner-level arrival from Hogan Lovells International LLP and ‘has already proved to be a great asset for the firm, instilling confidence on any transaction.’
Graeme Taylor; Will Deeprose
Other key lawyers:
John Pearce; Daniel Keys; Annabelle Redman
‘We have found the real estate team at Clyde & Co to be extremely competent technically, commercial, responsive and easy to deal with. Their fees are comparatively reasonable and they are prepared to agree fees not only according to hours spent, but also having regard to the value of the service to the client.’
‘John Pearce is our relationship partner. He is an excellent lawyer technically and combines this with commerciality, common sense and responsiveness. He is always prepared to discuss matters with you and give you his opinion rather than just simply handing down advice.’
‘The practice does not just focus on getting through the transactional / fee paid work but also the wider lawyer/client relationship – for example the training menu that has been implemented. They are keen to understand our business and how they can assist within a broader context keeping us updated with latest thinking and innovation.’
‘Laura Oliver recently joined Clyde & Co and has proved a great asset to the firm. As a client it is important that you have absolute faith in your lawyer’s knowledge, not just technically but also commercially, and Laura has both in abundance. She is also extremely diligent, turning drafting around quickly and always contactable to discuss matters. When embarking on any transaction, having Laura as part of the home team instils confidence in the project.’
‘The team is highly collaborative and supportive of each other so there is always someone able to assist. All the lawyers have excellent commercial instincts and are able to provide concise and relevant advice as to what is practicable and achievable as quickly as possible and at fair and reasonable cost.’
‘The team is led by Graeme Taylor who is highly experienced, personable and extremely approachable. Annabelle Redman mirrors these qualities and is always able to provide speedy and practicable solutions and advice. For both, the commercial imperative is all-important and I value this most highly.’
Spelthorne Borough Council
Regal London Limited
Native Land Limited
Hutchison Property Group Limited
U + I Group Plc
Lai Sun Developments Limited
Urban & Civic plc
One 55 Fenchurch Limited
Connected Living Ltd (TfL/Grainger JV)
Brentwood Development Partnership LLP (a Morgan Sindall/Brentwood Borough Council JV)
- Assisting the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk with the proposed structure of arrangements between 21 landowners to facilitate the bringing forward of development of The South East King’s Lynn Strategic Growth Area.
- Acting for the Brentwood Development Partnership LLP (a Brentwood Borough Council/Morgan Sindall JV) on its purchase and development of properties within Brentwood for residential, commercial and leisure uses.
- Acting for Grainger, the MoD’s development partner, for the development and sale of serviced parcels of land of former Stanhope and Buller barracks in Aldershot.
Acclaimed for its ‘excellent knowledge and commercial approach’, Dentons employs its expansive international network to serve as a go-to option for international investors from the US, South Korea, India and Luxembourg, among other jurisdictions. Deepa Deb fronts the national real estate practice and her core strengths lie in mixed-use investment and development projects, especially those encompassing alternative asset classes such as student accommodation and multifamily; the team includes Rob Thompson, who is likewise active on both the development and investment fronts, bringing an intimate knowledge of hotel, logistics and high-end residential assets to the table. Elsewhere, Rupert Dowdell and Alex Coulter are among the key contacts for office, retail and industrial lease negotiations and asset management mandates while at the more junior end, associate Carla Revelo is developing a reputation for her transactional work, particularly in respect of vast investment portfolios.
Deepa Deb; Rob Thompson
Other key lawyers:
‘Excellent knowledge – they always respond with a commercial approach.’
‘Dentons offer good client service and are responsive, approachable, likeable and commercial.’
‘Alex Coulter has been the primary contact at Dentons and has personally handled all the transactions that we have undertaken. Alex is very hands on, thorough, approachable, commercial but also fun to work with.’
‘Rob Thompson is very experienced, thorough and commercial.’
‘Highly responsive; lots of partner contact; added value outside of billable work.’
‘Rob Thompson and Carla Revelo are always there when needed and are able to go the extra mile to get a deal agreed. Working so closely with them is like having an extension to your team.’
‘Simon Masri is a hands-on partner with confidence in his team so you don’t only deal with him.’
Frasers Group Plc
John Lewis Partnership / Waitrose
Transport for London
- Advised on a joint venture fund between Sigma Capital and EQT, established for the forward purchase of a residential development from Countryside Properties (UK) Limited at Beam Park, Dagenham.
- Advised on the acquisition of a site in Lenham for house builder Abbey Developments/Abbey New Homes.
- Acted for private equity real estate fund manager Harrison Street on a joint venture with CA Ventures to establish a platform for student accommodation development projects initially with four UK properties which will deliver a total of 1,000 beds.
Combining ‘strong traditional experience with an astute commercial approach', the practice at elite London firm Farrer & Co predominantly focuses on mid-market projects and transactions in the capital. Its client list consists of major institutional investors, privately owned investment funds and overseas private offices who rely on the group for transactions encompassing a wealth of assets, including high-end residential and landed estates. Mark Gauguier fronts the department, leveraging a distinguished track record in large-scale urban development projects, and is supported by Charles Anderson who focuses on major community development schemes. Senior associate Barbara Webb is an institutional investment specialist, focused on forward funding, forward purchase and portfolio management, and the team is also home to Henry Stevens, a recently promoted partner well-versed in landlord and tenant and redevelopment mandates.
Other key lawyers:
Charles Anderson; Kate Corke; Sarah Aggarwal; Henry Stevens; Barbara Webb
‘They have an enthusiastic, can-do approach and are of a size that means partners and senior associates are actively involved. They generally seem to care and have been particularly good during the recent lockdowns.’
‘We principally work with Barbara Webb and Rebecca Price who are members of Mark Gauguier’s team. Barbara is an intelligent lawyer who does not just issue the standard PLC draft document and who understands the issues that arise and is happy to discuss any concerns I have.’
‘Strong traditional experience combined with astute commercial approach. Capable of adjusting to specific client requirements and involving specialist departments quickly and effectively.’
‘Mark Gauguier and Henry Stevens possess the breadth of experience and dogmatic determination to both hold to principles and identify compromise positions as necessary.’
Duchy of Cornwall
The Royal College of Surgeons of England
The British Library
Property Trust Group
Victoria and Albert Museum
Arbuthnot Latham & Co Ltd
Commonwealth Real Estate LP
Blackhall Global Partners LLC
Triodos Bank UK Limited
Mayfield Property Group
- Continuing to act as the legal advisers to the Duchy of Cornwall’s Poundbury Development, the urban community at Dorchester, based on the latest principles of successful placemaking and urbanism.
- Advising in relation to the British Library’s St Pancras development, a major central London scheme comprising 2.8 acres to the north of the Library’s Grade I Listed building at St Pancras.
- Advised Blackhall Global Partners LLC on a landmark transaction with The University of Reading for the construction of a major film studios complex in Shinfield, Berkshire.
Hosting ‘an exceptional amount of industry knowledge’, Fladgate LLP is a single office London firm which is traditionally strong in terms of entrepreneurial and inbound investor representation and has also noted a notable recent upturn in the number of big-ticket deals handled for institutional quality clients and private equity lenders. The practice is also frequently instructed on development projects for family office, hotel, retail and leisure clients and is headed by Stephen Lewis, a specialist in the latter two sectors. Gideon Dabby-Joory and Alan Karsberg are among the key points of contact for corporate occupier matters, a front on which the group is geared to act on everything from day-to-day landlord and tenant matters to major headquarter relocations and caters to a client roster of major professional businesses, co-working providers and barristers' chambers, among others.
Other key lawyers:
Simon Kanter; Matthew Williams; Richard Reuben; James Fry
‘From my experience of dealing with a number of lawyers at the firm, I am able to attest to the excellent and very responsive service from all of them.’
‘Richard Reuben has been my main contact through this last year. His speed of response, sensible and very nuanced advice has been invaluable.’
‘In my point of view, it it a one-stop shop law firm of medium size – meaning that I still have easy access to partners and associates but at the same time without compromising any quality.’
‘We have fantastic experience with Gideon Dabby-Joory, one of the partners who acts as our main point of contact for all our real estate needs. On a few occasions, when we required expertise from other colleagues such as litigation, finance, corporate, he has directed us to the right colleagues but at the same time, continued to be involved in order to take care of our interests.’
‘A team of experts that can quickly provide advice on a wide range of property issues. A one-stop shop.’
‘The team at Fladgate has an exceptional amount of industry knowledge to leverage from and their approach to handling transactions (from client care to billing) is tailored to suit the client’s needs, which is always helpful.’
‘Alan Karsberg and Fiona Smith, in particular, are a trusted pair of hands, especially when it comes to guidance towards making commercial decisions. Our organisation has benefited from their services for many years and we would not hesitate in recommending their services.’
‘A superb service. The team are practical, commercial, extremely professional and know their subject inside and out. They are not shy to give clear advice and are extremely efficient in finalising transactions. They are also client user friendly.’
Capreon UK limited
Flora Developments Limited
Otium Real Estate
Black Mountain Group
FTH Investments Limited
Ide Real Estate
- Advised on the sale of part of Berol Yard (the former Berol Pencil Factory), Tottenham to a Longharbour fund for approximately £20m.
- Advising FTH Investments Limited on the development of Fulham Town Hall.
A single office West End firm with a strong focus on real estate, Forsters LLP represents a number of household names in the corporate occupier space. Glenn Dunn acts for major players in the media, finance and banking sectors with clients citing the ‘remarkable leadership’ with which he oversees the practice. Another key name is Helen Streeton, who provides the group with distinguished expertise in acting for entities from the oil and gas and chemicals industries. Examples of recent work include major headquarter relocations, lease assignments and several landlord and tenant matters including terminations and disputes. The practice is also highly regarded for its investment and development expertise, the latter being a particular forte of Victoria Towers.
‘A firm focused on property law matters. The firm has good diversity (an important topic for us). Practical advice with clear guidance to clients.’
‘Expertise and availability. Proactive and thoughtful advice.’
‘I had the good fortune to work with Forsters on a very difficult deal with tight timeframes and complex terms. We faced many unexpected hurdles and many changes of our internal stakeholders. I was extremely impressed by their pragmatism, ability to adapt to changing circumstances, ability to explain complex legal issues clearly to foreign counsel and internal stakeholders, flexibility, determination and hard work.’
‘Glenn Dunn showed remarkable leadership and good cheer in diving into a matter over a holiday break when more junior lawyers were unavailable. He managed to cut through all manner of complexity in deals, explain UK law and COVID signing requirements to opposing US counsel, counsel our clients on the best ways to resolve difference and get our deal done by its impossible deadline.’
‘Anna Penn was a delight to work with; she explained things clearly, escalated matters when appropriate and turned redlines rapidly and well.’
‘Very good team – they are responsive and understand our business.’
‘Glenn Dunn puts the right people on the specific project, but is also there to support when needed.’
With offices in London, Oxford, Cardiff, Dublin and Hong Kong, as well as a new base in Belfast, Lewis Silkin LLP is hailed for its ‘friendly, sociable and attentive service’. Brian Kilcoyne fronts the overall real estate department with Anthony van Hoffen, a lawyer with a distinguished level of knowledge in sports-related assets, fronting the regeneration and development offering. The practice represents private and public sector clients alike on major projects throughout the country, particularly the mixed-use, leisure and residential sectors and is also engaged by family offices and high-net-worth individuals on a wealth of investment transactions. Elsewhere, Rachel Francis-Lang ‘combines fastidious care and attention with a pragmatic commercial acumen’ and is the key contact for corporate occupier matters, catering to a client roster of media, technology, hotel, leisure, telecoms and technology entities.
Brian Kilcoyne; Anthony van Hoffen
‘We have worked with Lewis Silkin for over 10 years and have never been let down on service or good advice.’
‘Rachel Francis-Lang and her team are always there when you need them and they take time to explain everything.’
‘Rachel Francis-Lang combines fastidious care and attention with a pragmatic commercial acumen; she instills confidence and is a joy to work with.’
‘The team are friendly and sociable, professional and attentive. They also offer good value for money.’
‘Rachel Francis-Lang is a standout real estate professional. She is thorough, responsive and easy to work with.’
‘Great service. Could reach the team at odd hours. The advice provided is clear and the firm has a wide range of services which we could pull in on a case by case basis very handy specially for our organisation.’
‘For me diversity is fundamental in principle and practice in professional as well as business life: Lewis Silkin exemplifies this in certainly all the dealings I have had with them over the years.’
‘Anthony van Hoffen is not just a highly professional and extremely competent lawyer, but is a person who appreciates and conveys a deep understanding of the social and political contexts that shape legal problems as well as the advice he gives. In particular, he understands more than most senior lawyers I know and have worked with over the decades the need to promote as well as align his multicultural view of the world with the values that give expression and meaning to justice and equality.’
London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham
London Legacy Development Corporation
Dulwich Football Club
Sager Group Limited
London Luton Airport Operations Limited
- Advising London Legacy Development Corporation on the Lease of the Energy Centre and the rights required for the district heating network operated by Engie at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
- Advising longstanding private developer client, Sager Group, on their joint venture with a private landowner in the land assembly and planning phase for a proposed retirement village, including mixed tenure private residential homes, a care facility and community amenities, at Silsoe in Bedford.
- Advising new client Shinfield Studios Limited on their development of the £200m+ state-of-the-art film studio campus at University of Reading’s Thames Valley Science Park.
Specialist commercial real estate firm Maples Teesdale LLP provides a ‘much valued dedicated focus on property’ and is headed by investment specialist Roger Thornton, valued for ‘advising on the finer points of complex transactions’. Declan Power is the standout name on the projects front and handles a range of matters, including forward funding and purchases, joint ventures and development agreements, chiefly in respect of retail, mixed-use, office and industrial schemes. On the corporate occupier side, Katherine Watts caters to both occupiers and landowners alike while Neil Sagoo has forged a reputation for business-critical relocations.
Other key lawyers:
Martin Smith; Liam MacDonnell; Chris Wilkinson
‘Maples Teesdale’s staff are very knowlegable and approachable. In the nature of our dealings we require instant responses and they are always available to discuss any matters either via email or telephone. Where necessary, new technology requirements have been implemented seamlessly. We have enjoyed many years of excellent service.’
‘We have dealt with Chris Wilkinson for many years – what makes him unique is his ability to fully explain situations and set out all steps required in order to progress and completed matters. He is always aware of the audience he is dealing with and makes everyone involved feel fully at ease.’
‘Maples have always provided a responsive and considered service, taking into account the needs of our business and customers. The team have good legal knowledge blended with commercial understanding, and generally approach things with a problem-solving mindset. The team works well together and cover all aspects of property for us. We value their dedicated focus on property and I would have no hesitation in recommending them.’
‘Roger Thornton is our main account holder and has led the team for many years now. New team members are well-inducted and I meet with Roger regularly to ensure that the service we get is optimised and we straighten out any issues (on both sides) to avoid misunderstandings or any problems developing. There is a strong degree of trust involved in our business relationship which has resulted in some significant property acquisitions and disposals over the years.’
‘They are a dedicated property practice with good client relationship skills, are commercial and efficient.’
‘Roger Thornton is responsive, helpful and commercial.’
Henry Boot plc
BMO Real Estate Partners
Bywater Properties Limited
Aberdeen Standard Investments
Legal & General Investment Management
City, University of London
CBRE Global Investors
London City Corporation
- Advising Henry Boot plc on the development of Butterfield Business Park, Luton, in accordance with its joint venture agreement with a group of three landowners.
- Advising Bywater Properties on the redevelopment of the former Costa Roastery, 30-34 Old Paradise Street, Vauxhall.
- Advising Thames Brettenham Limited on the redevelopment of Brettenham House, Lancaster Place, WC2.
Pinsent Masons LLP
A nationwide firm with a large international footprint, Pinsent Masons LLP runs a broad caseload with distinguished expertise in local authority-led housing and regeneration projects, as well as investments in the office, logistics and alternatives sectors. The group counts a number of European and Middle Eastern investors among its client roster and is led by Claire Hughes, a lawyer who is increasingly well-versed of private rented sector, care home and student accommodation assets though also enjoys a long-standing reputation as an ‘outstanding hospitality lawyer’; she is supported by the ‘experienced and highly capable’ Richard Lloyd who is an active participant in the firm’s climate change and sustainability initiative and routinely supports real estate clients on achieving their environmental-related targets.
Other key lawyers:
Mike Reid; Richard Lloyd; Natalie Harris
‘Claire Hughes is an outstanding hospitality lawyer.’
‘Mike Reid is an exceptional lawyer – great eye for detail and excellent client service.’
‘Richard Lloyd is responsive, experienced and highly capable. He also has good commercial acumen.’
‘Knowledgeable, responsive, experienced, easy to deal with. They explain complicated matters in an easy to follow manner.’
‘The team is professional and experienced. They also have a great manner and good client care.’
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
Guildford Borough Council
LaSalle Investment Management
iQ Student Accommodation
Melia Hotels International
- Acted for Grainger plc in connection with the forward funding of a 231 unit build to rent scheme in Bristol with a gross developed value of £63m.
- Advised Abstract Securities on the sale and funding of Buildings 2 & 3 at 100 Bristol Business Park, to the tenant Babcock International, funded by Aviva.
- Advised Aviva Investors on the forwarding funding of a new purpose-built office development comprising c95,000 sq.ft. (NIA) let to Cadent Gas at Prospero Ansty, Coventry.
Acclaimed as a ‘highly experienced team able to deal with complex issues quickly and efficiently’, the UK real estate team at international firm Taylor Wessing LLP has been especially busy in the logistics sector of late, having transacted over £1bn worth of deals in the first quarter of 2021. Matthew Swainston is reputed for his vast knowledge of prime London office space and alongside structured transaction and joint venture expert, Mark Rajbenbach, is among the key contacts on the investment front. The group focuses on acquisition, disposal and development matters in the purpose build living, hotels and hospitality sectors and is geared to provide a full lifecycle offering on all projects and transactions. Practice head Keith Barnett and Emma Oakley are the standouts for corporate occupier matters, often acting for leisure, online retail, tech, life sciences entities, in addition to prominent landlords.
Other key lawyers:
Chris Turley; Matthew Swainston; Alan Evans
‘A highly experienced team able to deal with complex issues that arise very quickly and efficiently.’
‘A first class team who seamlessly work together. Whether its corporate, real estate, construction or employment, everyone is top of their game and have a handle on the salient matters.’
‘The individuals are very personable and professional and are able to deal with any queries immediately speeding up the legal process.’
‘Emma Oakley understands my business and needs and understands the market in which I operate to enable her to give practical and commercial advise to ensure deals are completed.’
‘Mark Rajbenbach is always available for sage, incisive advice. While he is a specialist in real estate and corporate transactions, his pragmatic advice cuts across all disciplines.’
‘Matthew Swainston and Louise Tobbutt share our drive to get deals done rather than expend time and energy on intellectual debates on terms, all the time with good humour and common sense.’
‘The commercial real estate team are consistently commercial and sensible in finding solutions that enable transactions to be concluded at pace.’
‘Excellent industry knowledge and expertise; partners available whenever required; first rate service.’
Tritax Big Box REIT
Southampton Football Club
Brentford Football Club
Smithfield Market Traders Association
- Advised global investor EQT on a £1bn residential real estate joint venture, set to bring 3000 new rental homes to Greater London.
- Continuing to act as the sole real estate legal adviser to Tritax Big Box REIT plc, the UK’s leading investment company focused on larger scale logistics and distribution real estate.
- Acting on range of sites for developer W.RE, including on the planning application and proposed redevelopment of the classic Victorian Grade II listed former Arding and Hobbs Clapham Junction department store. The team is advising on the pre-lets and also rights-of-light issues.
Travers Smith LLP has expertise in a number of niche asset types, including marinas, care homes and mines in addition to more mainstream properties such as hotels, shopping centres, cinemas and restaurant chains. Simon Rutman, a specialist in joint ventures, is head of real estate.
Winckworth Sherwood LLP is hailed as an ‘excellent firm with real depth in real estate’. It has a distinct focus on regeneration projects, including those with PPP and joint venture components. The ‘excellent and responsive’ Francesco Ferrari, who leads the department, is regularly engaged in major projects by registered providers of social housing and national housebuilders. Under his leadership, the team provides an end-to-end service across the entire lifecycle of projects, including development, construction, planning and financing.
Other key lawyers:
Andrew Bedford; Eollyn Ives; Alan Duncan
‘Unlike any other law firm, the team is responsive, responsible, accountable, and committed. The team is not looking at the cases as a source of income/fees but treating each case through cost-effectiveness to the client.’
‘Excellent firm with real depth in real estate. Good knowledge, well connected in the industry; a finger on the pulse.’
‘Flexible, agile and solution focused. Good with deadlines and competitive fees.’
‘Alan Duncan and Francesco Ferrari have provided an excellent and responsive service understanding our business needs and those of the other side of a transaction. Always available and looking to get things done.’
Redrow Homes Limited
Keepmoat Homes Limited
EURO INVESTMENTS OVERSEAS INC
Laxton Properties Limited
St George PLC
Regis Group Plc
J Sainsbury PLC
Bouygues Uk/ Linkcity Horiba Mira Williams Group Yellow Brick Capital – all existing clients
- Advised Countryside, one of the UK’s leading homebuilders, and L&Q, one of the UK’s leading housing associations, on their sale of an 80-unit development site to Sigma Capital at Beam Park.
- Acted for Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd on the negotiation of a proposed development agreement in relation to one of Sainsbury’s London stores. This concerns the total regeneration of this store in terms of its demolition, provision of temporary store through development and thereafter, the construction of a new supermarket with 580 residential units situated above (above first floor slab).
- Advising Countryside, one of the UK’s leading homebuilders, on a joint venture with Bracknell Forrest Council to regenerate Bracknell Town Centre.
Allen & Overy LLP
Allen & Overy LLPMagic circle firm Allen & Overy LLP is home to real estate lawyers with notable expertise in corporate structuring and are equipped to advise on holding company transactions in addition to asset-only deals. The team is headed by Christopher Woolf, who has succeeded the recently retired Imogen Moss, and leverages a track record consisting of over £12bn worth of investment deals throughout the UK and Europe. In addition to cross-border transactions, the group is also home to a dedicated headquarters department which represents financial institutions and corporates alike, as well as a development projects practice which has supported a number of private equity firms on major London-based redevelopment and refurbishment projects. Nick Saner delivers niche expertise in transactions relating to offshore property holding structures and is one of the key junior partners within the group; so too is the recently promoted Emma Willoughby who supports landlords and tenants in the leasing and management of their real estate investments and is well-versed in student, senior living and hospitality sectors, among others.
Other key lawyers:
Jane Fox-Edwards; Daniel McKimm; Emma Willoughby; Nick Saner
C C Land
Orion Capital Managers
Bevan Brittan LLP is a national UK firm with a distinct focus on acting for NHS bodies, local authorities and registered providers, in addition to advising entities from the social care and private health fields. Ian Caplan is noted for his prowess in hospital redevelopments, while Steven Smith has experience of supporting over 20 London boroughs on local authority-led regeneration and development projects. Mark Calverley is the practice head.
Other key lawyers:
Wendy Wilks; Mark Paget Skelin; Ian Caplan; Steven Smith
‘Speedy, practical and user-friendly.’
‘Mark Paget-Skellin is dynamic and very user-friendly.’
Charnwood Borough Council
Barts Health NHS Trust
Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
City of London Corporation
London Borough of Hounslow
Greater London Authority
Royal Holloway University of London
Johnson Matthey PLC
- Supporting Barts Health NHS Trust on property instructions over the last 15 years, which recently included assisting the client with negotiating the documents for a mass vaccination centre at ExCel London.
- Advising the City of London Corporation on its development partnership with the Museum of London, which is set to deliver the £600m redevelopment of former Smithfield Market to provide a new, state-of-the-art facility for the Museum.
- Advising Anthology (Kennington Stage) Limited on major residential planning application for the former Woodlands and Master’s House in Lambeth, which proposes the erection of a 29 storey building and 258 residential units.
Boodle Hatfield LLP which operates from two London offices in Mayfair and Bankside, is adept in a range of development, letting, disposal and acquisition matters. Led by Simon Williams, a specialist in retail, leisure and hotel assets, the team directs particular emphasis toward mixed-use developments and investments and is especially well-versed in serving private capital clients, namely family offices, private funds, high-net-worth individuals and overseas investors. The group has noted an uptick in activity in the co-working and serviced office space over the past 12 months and also includes Caroline King whose core strengths lie in regeneration schemes, office and retail developments, joint ventures and funding matters.
Other key lawyers:
Caroline King; Andrew Wilmot-Smith; Rajeev Joshi
- Acting on the redevelopment of Harcourt House in Marylebone from mixed-use to high-end residential and medical-use.
Under the leadership of Michael Grace, Collyer Bristow LLP's real estate practice is home to a dedicated housebuilder department which thrives in respect of mixed-use and residential developments. The team is equipped to support at every stage of projects, from acquisition and finance through to eventual disposal, and is also adept in single asset and portfolio transactions, property management matters and commercial lettings. As for the corporate occupier service, it has advised a number of regulatory bodies and motor industry participants on office moves of late and owing to the firm's connections in the Far East, continues to act for a number of banks on the full suite of headquarter-related mandates.
Other key lawyers:
Rory Macpherson; Alex O’Connor; Jonathan Wiese; Stephen Gawne
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.
DAC Beachcroft LLP
DAC Beachcroft LLPDAC Beachcroft LLP represents both domestic and overseas investors in respect of portfolio sales, purchases and management matters, leveraging specialist high-end luxury retail, shopping centre, health and hotel expertise, as well as a strong capacity for Shari'ah compliant financing. Practice head Robert Lee brings over 25 years’ worth of development expertise to the table, predominantly focusing on projects within the mixed-use, regeneration, house building and private rented sector spheres; he is closely supported by newly promoted partner Charlotte Wilson who counts residential developments and strategic land matters as her foremost fields of expertise. A further keystone of the practice is its corporate occupier activity which sees it engaged by household names at a range of sites, including offices, distribution centres, retail and hospitals.
Other key lawyers:
Crispin Tomlinson; Gemma Leonard; Andrew Boulton; Charlotte Wilson; Shahnaz Sharif; Matthew Cox
‘A friendly, reliable team covering various areas of law and providing a value for money and high quality service. Particular strengths are availability of the team, communication within the team, expert knowledge in all areas of law the transactions require and any timescales are adhered to.’
‘The real estate team are very responsive, technically strong and a pleasure to work with.’
‘Our work has been led by the excellent Madeline Ball, who is very hardworking, reactive and has significant experience. She and her team are also very commercial and approachable.’
‘DAC’s understanding of the our business objectives/commercial challenges has really grown over recent years. They have updated our precedent documents, queried our commercial needs whilst always communicating efficiently workloads, fees and timescales on specific projects. We have reached a stage where I trust them implicitly to lead on any land deal, providing support to the wider land team and educating junior members.’
‘An exceptional team. Charismatic, professional and diligent.’
The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited
Portland Place (Properties) Jersey Limited
Royal London UK Real Estate Fund
Crest Nicholson Operations Limited
Arab Investments Limited
Go Ahead Group
Guy’s and Thomas’s Hospital
Royal Brompton Hospital Trust
Qatari Investment Bank
- Advised Vistry Homes Limited on the acquisition of 166 acres at Great Haddon Peterborough for the development of 1499 homes.
- Advised Taylor Wimpey on the acquisition of a central London riverside development site with the benefit of outline permission for 530 residential units, 2644sqm (GIA) of workspace, 508sqm of retail, professional services and restaurant/bars.
- Acting for Bellway Homes on an unconditional acquisition of development land within the commuter hotspot of Croydon. Proposals for the Waddon Way site are for 168 homes and some commercial space, which will contribute to the Croydon Local Plan requirement to build 32,890 home across the borough by 2036.
Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLPEversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's team is able to draw on support from offices all over the globe, and adopts a sector-specific approach to real estate, principally focusing on student housing, build-to-rent, logistics and city office assets. Practice head Bruce Dear is frequently involved in occupier-related matters at some of London’s most prominent locations; the wider team is made up of lawyers with dedicated expertise in regeneration projects, inbound investment into the European market, build-to-suit logistics schemes, innovative transaction structuring and investment vehicles, related estate-related M&A and portfolio management.
Other key lawyers:
Angus Ford; Balraj Birdi; Mukhtiar Tanda; Tom Goldsmith
‘Tom Goldsmith understands what actually matters to us as a client and what doesn’t, which means we don’t waste time arguing over points that have no commercial or operational impact. We value clear, plain English in written and verbal communications and Tom is very good at this. He is also excellent at dissecting an issue and coming up with a creative fix that is likely to be agreed by everyone. We have now started to use Eversheds Sutherland in France and Portugal, with Tom ensuring a consistently high level of service.’
‘The lawyers coordinate well internally so we as clients get a considered consolidated response. They offer flexibility in terms of fees and billing arrangements.’
‘Our relationship partner, Lee Jackson, watches out for us.’
‘Tom Goldsmith is incredibly commercial and responsive and a trusted advisor to us. He is always accessible, well staffed with associates and takes complicated deals and breaks them down into elements that commercial stakeholders understand and appreciate.’
‘Tom Goldsmith goes above and beyond and his level of service exceeds the average outside counsel. He is always down to earth, proactive and focused on driving a deal to completion.’
‘They take a very comprehensive, hands-on approach to commercial real estate transactions. Very strong in looking at deals from all angles, and in coordinating other advisors (technical, tax, etc.) to provide complete and coherent results. Very proactive in solving problems as soon as they appear (or even anticipating them).’
‘Proactiveness and availability. Good grasp of all issues that have an impact on real estate acquisitions.’
‘Tom Goldsmith and his team have extensive experience acting for corporate occupiers. They have done an outstanding job for us on a number of complex agreements for lease and leases, drawing on this experience. They are highly responsive and honour their fee proposals.’
Legal & General
Aprirose Real Estate
State of Qatar
Elite Partners Capital PTE
Secretary for State for Transport
- Representing growing client The Collective on the development funding arrangements regarding a 292 co-living room site in Earlsfield, South London.
- Advising SEGRO on its acquisition of a 450 acre logistics site, known as Gateway South, Coventry, which is adjacent to the city’s Airport. The site has planning consent to develop 3.7m sq ft of industrial and warehouse buildings with a gross development value in excess of £400m.
- Acting for Mace as developer on a European-inspired Stevenage town centre mixed use regeneration project. The team negotiated the conditional development agreement for the redevelopment which spans a 14.5 acre town centre site which is to include c.1,250 new homes, new commercial and retail units, restaurants, bars and c.100,000 sq ft of public services and associated public realm works.
US firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP's London team is active on a wealth of investment mandates including cross-border portfolio transactions, asset and share deals, joint ventures and partnerships. Also busy on the development front, the group has been engaged on a range of schemes of late including redevelopment, mixed-use, co-living, logistics and residential projects. Danielle Martin provides the practice with distinguished expertise in the private equity real estate sector and leads the offering together with Matthew James Priday whose broad asset expertise encompasses office, business park, industrial and life sciences properties.
Danielle Martin; Matthew Priday
Other key lawyers:
Steven Cowins; Sarah Atkinson; Carol Hopper; Steven Cowins
‘Carol Hopper is a real pleasure to work with. She is thorough, detailed, wicked-smart and has a great sense of humour. She is a force to be reckoned with at the negotiating table, I am glad she is on our team! She is diligent, accessible at all hours of day or night and always in good humour. Her breadth and depth of knowledge with UK real estate law is impressive. She is by far the best real estate counsel I have worked with in the UK.’
‘Matthew Priday is an extremely diligent and focused adviser.’
‘Steven Cowins is great to deal with and totally understands our business and goals. Dani Martin is highly responsive and very hard working.’
‘Matthew Priday is outstanding – he is backed up by a good team of associates who are all high calibre individuals.’
‘The Greenberg Traurig UK team goes well above and beyond just legal duties to help support real estate acquisitions, insures that other legal disciplines which are needed to support aspects of transactional work are identified and recommends best-in-class experts, even outside of the firm.’
‘The negotiating skills of this team are paramount, with expert advice, calm and professional demeanor and the ability to navigate complex, difficult and large transactions.’
British Airways Pension Fund
Berkeley (SQP) Limited
Valor Real Estate Partners
Edmond de Rothschild Real Estate Investment Management
Oaktree Capital and MGT Limited
Weerts Group N.V.
Revcap Capital Advisors
Kernel Court Limited
Westway JV Limited
Trinova Real Estate
Crosstree Real Estate Partners
- Acted for British Airways in the establishment of a joint venture with Supermarket Income REIT and the subsequent acquisition from British Land of a c.25% interest in an investment property portfolio, alongside Sainsbury’s and Aviva, subject to a securitisation structure and comprising 26 supermarket stores leased to Sainsbury’s based in England (deal value in excess of £1bn).
- Advising Berkeley (SQP) Limited in relation to real estate aspects of its development of South Quay Plaza with a £600m build cost.
- Advised Weerts Group N.V on the acquisition of 42 acres at Suffolk Park in Bury St Edmunds for the purpose of developing a 870,000 sq ft logistics unit in 2021, with acquisition and development finance from Blackstone and multiple pre-lettings of the logistics space at the property.
K&L Gates LLPThe London team at K&L Gates LLP is acclaimed for its ‘outside-the-box thinking, very commercial service and great global platform’. Practice head Christian Major is principally reputed for his corporate occupier expertise which sees him direct a distinct focus towards the representation of overseas clients in respect of their space requirements in London and the wider UK. Steven Cox is particularly active in the leisure space while special counsel Chiara Del Frate supports numerous Italian clients with their corporate real estate requirements, including several high-profile names in the fashion sector; the group also acts for clients in the health, finance and technology sectors and, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, has made a conscientious effort to ramp up its development, investment and regeneration activities within the residential, logistics and light industrial fields. Tim Webb and Emma Maher, who both joined the team from Greenberg Traurig, LLP in mid-2019, are very well regarded by clients, handling work including major property projects across Europe, Brazil and China, among other jurisdictions.
Other key lawyers:
Wayne Smith; Tim Webb; Neil Logan Green; Emma Maher
‘We have been working with K&L Gates for a long time and we are extremely satisfied with the outstanding level of legal service they provide. They are commercial and fast and provide a full service that really meets our needs. They are very collaborative and upfront.’
‘Chiara Del Frate is enthusiastic, kind and always ready to help. She is qualified both in the UK and in Italy and that really helps us to have advice quickly in both jurisdictions and facilitate cross-border deals. She also speaks three languages and is able to deal with complex transactions.’
‘Tim Webb is why I use K&L Gates. He’s that good.’
‘Emma Maher is fantastic. She is the perfect foil to Tim Webb – a great listener, very clever, gets things done.’
‘Tim Webb has been my lawyer for 10 years. Emma Maher has worked with Tim for a long time and complements him well.’
‘Friendly and approachable, combined with great expertise. Able to quickly provide pragmatic and succinct advice tailored to the issue in hand, without overcomplicating matters.’
‘Tim Webb is an exceptional lawyer and brilliant relationship manager.’
‘The team are very user-friendly and are well co-ordinated across the real estate and finance disciplines. Pragmatic solutions are forthcoming and the team is always switched on and helpful.’
Aberdeen Standard Investments (ReAssure)
Beehive Affordable Homes
Caisson Investment Management LLP
Cromwell Property Group
Edinburgh St James Limited Partnership
European Estates Plc
Highbridge Properties Plc
Hines Global Income Trust/Hines Global REIT
Nuveen Real Estate
Workspace Group Plc
- Advised Patrizia on the development of a 450 bed £95m GDV BTR scheme in Edgbaston.
- Advising Avanton on the c.£1bn area-wide regeneration around Ruby Triangle Old Kent Road, London.
- Advising Workspace on the mixed-use redevelopment of the Chocolate Factory in Haringey, part of a broader £3.5bn area-wide regeneration scheme.
An international firm adept in ‘complex and high value mandates’, Osborne Clarke LLP is a go-to choice for a range of development and regeneration projects with a distinct emphasis on schemes pertaining to mixed-use, logistics and living assets, including alternative residential. Louise Cartwright, a lawyer with notable experience in portfolio deals and real estate finance, heads the team, succeeding Peter Day who was recently appointed as head of the firm’s London office. The practice directs a clear emphasis towards upper mid-market work and compliments its transactional and project knowhow through close collaboration with the firm’s wider property disputes, finance, planning and procurement practices.
Other key lawyers:
William Gay; Jo Footitt
‘Good for more complex/high value matters. Consistent delivery of transactions to required timeframes and good all-round communications. The lawyers work well as a team. They provide competitive fee quotes.’
‘Very commercial client-focused team. Happy to get the job done rather than score points against other lawyers (a widespread sin in many law firms).’
‘Will Gay is a pragmatic lawyer with excellent negotiation skills. Dave Kerr displays the same nous and can-do attitude.’
GLP (formerly Gazeley)
M&G Real Estate
U + I Group Plc
Axis Land Partnerships
Oculus Real Estate Group
AXA IM – Real Assets (Baytree Logistics Properties LLP)
Fiera Capital (formerly Palmer Capital Partners)
RO Real Estate
Colony Capital Inc.
Taylor Wimpey plc
Barratt Developments plc
- Advised GLP on the letting/pre-letting of two logistics units at G-Park in Stoke.
- Advised Taylor Wimpey South Thames on their £48m acquisition of a residential development site for 600 units from land promoter, MJ Gleeson.
- Primary legal advisor to Welbeck Land’s £35m Investment Partnership IV.
Reed Smith LLP
International firm Reed Smith LLP has a ‘diverse, friendly and approachable’ property practice in London which is geared for high-value portfolio acquisitions and disposals, as well as a wealth of mixed-use and commercial property developments. Jimmy Theodorou spearheads the global real estate practice from London and is extensively experienced in respect of financing and major corporate acquisition matters; he is supported by Andrew Jenkinson who provides distinguished expertise in sale and leaseback financings along with Brigid North who ‘cleverly thinks ahead to proactively deal with issues before they arise’.
Other key lawyers:
Brigid North; Nick Harris
‘The team are very strong and have supported us for a number of years. Their technology is innovative and has greatly helped our land assembly programme.’
‘Brigid North is clever and thinks ahead to proactively deal with issues before they arise. Good at coordinating workstreams across the firm and bringing in expertise as required. Very supportive of our business.’
‘Diverse, friendly and approachable. Feels like working with friends rather than lawyers.’
‘Andrew Jenkinson – responsive and accessible, straightforward and commercial.’
‘Very varied experience base, incredibly hard working.’
‘Nav Sahota and Jimmy Theodorou are very prompt with dealing with queries and requests for information.’
‘A strong team from a technical legal perspective. They cover all aspects of property, and are focused on commercial outcomes which is critical. A hard-working, dedicated team who loyally support our business.’
Sharpe Pritchard LLP, which specialises in public law matters, is noted for its team's ‘understanding of local government pressures and needs’. The group acts for clients on major development and regeneration schemes, such as housing-led, mixed-use and estate renewal projects. The ‘extremely helpful’ Jo Pickering is the head of the department.
Other key lawyers:
Aidan Dickinson; James Nelson
‘We instructed James Nelson and found him to be an excellent lawyer. He has quickly become our first choice commercial property legal adviser whenever we need external advice. He has extensive knowledge, responds quickly, is personable and we trust him.’
‘First-class personal service from very competent and personable lawyers. Clearly leaders in their field of local government law and highly capable team throughout. They are my go-to firm of choice.’
‘Very personable and treat you as if you are their best client. Very efficient and always eager to please. They provide free add-ons such as a weekly law briefings online.’
‘Jo Pickering’s team punch above their weight. James Nelson is particularly good.’
‘It is focused on local government/public sector clients, which gives them a better understanding of local government pressures and needs.’
‘James Nelson has been a pleasure to work with. His attention to detail is excellent and his client care second to none. He updated me on a regular basis and always followed up with an email explaining sometimes complicated legal issues. I look forward to working with James in the future and I would not hesitate to recommend him on any real estate matters.’
‘The team is genuinely friendly and collaborative. They feel like a natural extension of the in-house team but their expertise also shines through. We selected the team for their range of specialisms and previous experience which is a good fit with our multidimensional development projects.’
‘Jo Pickering demonstrates a real interest in our projects and our ambitions for the City. We have developed an great working relationship with Jo and we know she is listening and watching out for our best interests.’
Hertfordshire County Council
Southend on Sea Borough Council
Stephen Court Limited
Great Yarmouth Borough Council
Metropolitan Housing Trust Limited
Buckinghamshire County Council
Sutton Court Limited
Internet Connections Limited
Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Worcester City Council
Stevenage Borough Council
Rother District Council
London Borough of Camden
Warwick District Council
London Borough of Merton
Stoke City Council
Dartford Borough Council
- Advising Southend on Sea Borough Council on the delivery of the Better Queensway Regeneration Project, which is the Council’s most significant and largest ever regeneration project. This project requires a multidisciplinary legal team across real estate, planning, CPO, construction, procurement and corporate and is being delivered following the procurement of a JV development partner for the Council.
- Advising Stoke City Council on the acquisition of land and interests within the city centre and the neighbouring district to enable the construction of a new link road, including an agreement with Network Rail for a bridge over the Manchester to Birmingham mainline, and with the Canals and River Trust for a bridge over the Trent and Mersey Canal, as well as the potential use of CPO powers.
- Acted for Seven Arches Investments Limited (Brentwood Borough Council’s wholly owned property company) on their recent multimillion pound acquisition of Snowhill Retail Park in Wakefield. This acquisition was of significant strategic importance to the client in securing a long-term revenue stream.
Simmons & Simmons
A global firm with ‘a high degree of technical ability, professionalism and dedication to transactions’, Simmons & Simmons supports its clients on a broad variety of investment and development matters; the team is adept in all mainstream assets with distinguished expertise of hospitality, student accommodation, build-to-rent, skyscraper and retail centre and logistics sites and excels in transacting joint venture and corporate wrapper deals. John Kelsey spearheads the practice which counts its asset management work, conducted on behalf of several prominent real estate fund managers, as a core pillar of its overall offering.
Other key lawyers:
James Curry; Ali Crosthwaite; Simon Gardiner; Deian Rhys; Caroline Turner-Inskip
‘The team is extremely flexible and personable, with a strong grasp of our business fundamentals. Dealing with Simmons & Simmons feels like working with an extension of our own organisation. They go to great lengths to ensure they have understood the specific transaction requirements and that everything is explained clearly and thoroughly.’
‘Simmons & Simmons have been especially good at adapting to remote working and using all the tools that we do. They are easily contactable whenever we need them and host very effective collaborative video calls with third parties. Everyone is down to earth and genuine. They really care about doing the best job for us and providing honest advice on the best way forward at all stages of a case. It seems unfair to single anyone out, but Caroline Turner-Inskip does an especially good job of leading the account for us.’
‘The team have shown a high degree of technical ability, professionalism and dedication to transactions we have engaged them with. This capability coupled with an agile, commercial and creative approach to negotiations and delivery methods are stand out features for me in what can be quite a traditional part of the legal market. I rate them very highly as leaders in their field.’
‘Matthew Hooton is simply exceptional. Incredibly smart, fantastic technical knowledge and experience coupled with a rare ability to think commercially in the best interests of his client. A lawyer you definitely want on your side for any challenging real estate transaction. First class!’
‘Highly professional and agile. Their advice and suggestions are both practical and insightful – especially Deian Rhys.’
Legal & General Assurance Society Limited
Fairview New Homes Limited
Old Park Lane Management Limited
NextEnergy Solar Fund
- Advised GEAL on the 300,000 sq ft pre-let of its 20 Ropemaker Street development to Linklaters LLP who have chosen the 27 storey development as the location of their new global headquarters.
- Advised Legal & General Assurance Society Limited in relation to the pre-letting, development and associated funding structure for the proposed Sky Studios in Elstree, L&G’s largest ever development transaction.
- Advising Fairview New Homes Limited in connection with a complex conditional joint venture arrangement with One Housing Group intended to bring forward the development of a circa 650-unit scheme in New Barnet, London on the site of a form gas works.
Steptoe and Johnson UK LLP 's team is experienced in development projects associated with data centres and retirement village schemes, as well as mixed-use, hotel, leisure, residential, industrial and logistics projects. The practice is led by Matthew Farmer, who is particularly noted for his expertise in structuring joint ventures. Under his leadership, the team is also instructed in investment transactions (principally in respect of office and technology assets) and it also provides a wealth of property management services.
Other key lawyers:
Simon Collis; Sam Kelly
‘Steptoe have been incisively commercial and pragmatic in their approach, helping our growing business make good decisions.’
‘Simon Collis is focused, attentive and feels like part of our team. He is a real asset.’
‘Personal service & partner led.’
Faccenda Investments Limited
Raven Russia plc
Audley Group Limited
Ampersand Group Holdings Limited
Yoo Capital Limited
Royalton Group Holdings Limited
Lifestory Group Limited
Digital Realty Trust, L.P.
- Acting for Equinix on the renewal of leases at its Slough Trading Estate, Matrix Park, and Manchester Science Park mature data centre sites.
- Acting for Yoo Capital’s SPV, Coln Park LLP, in relation to the £300m residential development and sale of luxury houses at a scheme called Lakes by Yoo in the Cotswolds
- Advised Wendlebury Developments on planning elements of the development of High Tech office business park and David Lloyd Leisure Centre in Bicester.
Wedlake Bell LLP, which recently merged with fellow City firm Moon Beever, has a strong commercial property department which covers a range of specialisms including high-value investments, a front on which David Roberts is exceedingly active, leveraging his expertise in logistics and retail assets. The department is also reputed for its full-service development service, which has a focus on mixed-use, business park and heritage building schemes with Kim Lalli particularly busy in the residential project space. Justin Lewis-Vivas helms the practice, which also includes Sarah Blunn, a lawyer integral to the firm's corporate occupier practice which caters to companies from the luxury brand, hospitality and leisure, co-working, sciences and professional services sectors.
Other key lawyers:
Suzanne Gill; Kim Lalli
‘Wedlake Bell combine professionalism, knowledge, pragmatism and a personal relationship that makes interactions quick and easy. With reasonable charging rates and quality of personnel, they are my default practice of choice.’
‘David Johnston has been our lead point of contact at Wedlake Bell, working on property transactions and development agreements. These throw up many diverse challenges but he has been my rock in every storm. I have 100% confidence in him. His legal knowledge and grasp of context, fused with his ability to communicate precisely, succinctly and clearly, have been invaluable.’
Suzanne Gill is simply brilliant. Suzanne is both a trusted advisor and a great lawyer. A titan in real estate world, both deeply analytical with a razor sharp wit. Her velvet glove negotiating style is backed with extreme gravitas, making her the only lawyer you want on your team.’
‘The partners we deal with always have their clients’ best interest at the heart of what they do, but balanced with a commercial approach. The partners and surrounding team are all very knowledgeable and available whenever needed to get things done.’
‘Leah Freeman is like our in-house lawyer, she completely understands retail and our business.’
‘The individuals I have worked with have been terrifically down-to-earth, looked to understand exactly what we wanted and how we wanted to work with them, they explained things in a simple and friendly manner and delivered on what they have said.’
‘Claire Nelson embodies everything that makes challenging situations easier to work in. A detailed knowledge of complex legalities combined with an ability to disseminate information, communicate clearly and directly a collaborative way forward.’
Honourable Society of Middle Temple
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
Shareholders of Tendring Farms
London City Mission
- Advised Jaynic Properties Limited on a development and promotion agreement for 156 acres of land near Stowmarket Suffolk for 2.3m sq ft commercial development.
- Advised The Honourable Society of Middle Temple on the refurbishment and redevelopment of Garden Court and Blackstone House and construction of a four-storey link building between the two, together with financing the development works and forward letting to a leading set of barristers.
- Advised Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance on plans to extend its facilities by entering into two development agreements with two house builders in relation to sites adjacent to their existing building in Deptford.
Cripps, which operates from two bases in London and Tunbridge Wells, works with a client list which includes institutional investors such as REITs, private equity bodies and pension funds, who engage the group for transactions across a wealth of asset classes, particularly retail, hospitality and prime Central London assets. Jason Tann is the key contact in the development space, specialising in residential, mixed-use and landmark office schemes in addition to regeneration, housebuilder and joint venture-led ventures. Elsewhere, the ‘exceptional’ Oliver Morris is a specialist in head office relocations, new premises transactions and lease negotiations, catering to a broad array of occupiers including professional and financial service, media, technology and central government clients.
Other key lawyers:
‘They get straight to the crux of a matter and separate all the issues from the real issues, focusing on just the issues.’
‘Jason Tann is exemplary in his straight-talking, no-nonsense, “let’s focus on the issues and get-the-deal-done” approach.’
‘Very professional with patience in explaining the legal process and practice of English law and court to clients.’
‘Easy to reach out to answer your question and give you their legal opinion with clear direction and easy to understand.’
‘A great firm and highly reliable.’
‘Oliver Morris is exceptional. Always helpful, diligent and knowledgeable.’
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 London Diocesan Fund
The Sloane Stanley Estate
Francis Holland Schools Trust
- Advising landowner and developer Birchall Properties Limited on all aspects of the development of the Peak Resort scheme in Derbyshire, a mixed leisure, health, sport and education scheme on the edge of the Peak District with a GDV of c. £400m.
- Acting for an offshore client in connection with various prime central London hotel/leisure investment assets valued at c£100m.
- Acting as main construction advisers in relation to the development and maintenance of Harrow School’s 300-acre estate on Harrow-on-the-Hill, working on various large scale and high value projects across the estate.
With two London offices operating alongside bases in Manchester, Birmingham and Taunton, Davitt Jones Bould is a specialist real estate firm with a track record in corporate occupier matters at prominent landmarks and major national events such as Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. The firm is uniquely adept in matters at a number of niche property types including zoos, nuclear power stations and lakes and is headed nationally by founding member Madeleine Davitt; she enjoys an excellent reputation for high-magnitude commercial property projects in the public sector, having notably supported The Royal Parks on the hosting on 2012 Olympics, and routinely supports local authorities with investment, development and city regeneration projects.
Other key lawyers:
Philippa Hipwell; Melanie Greer-Walker; Teresa Kamppari Baker; Robin de Wreede
‘A niche property practise. All of their lawyers have many years’ experience but given how they operate, clients get the benefit of very experienced lawyers but at great value for money. They seem to have established their firm with client satisfaction at front and centre. They know their own strengths and have created a structure which plays to them absolutely. Their whole structure is innovative which leaves lawyers free to provide legal advice supported by a talented and able team which further strengthens their value offering. They really care about their clients.’
‘They live and breathe their own business and that of their clients. Their knowledge in particular of the public sector, is exemplary. Their overall approach is refreshingly straightforward and open. They are a pleasure to work with.’
‘The firm only recruits experienced lawyers from leading law firms. This translates to very high quality work and service. They have excellent commercial nous ensuring the legal advice is tailored to the unique needs of each client. In terms of innovation, the firm’s business model is unique for the legal industry. I am also impressed by their diversity. They have a higher percentage of female partners than the industry average for firms of their calibre.’
‘Melanie Greer-Walker is very proactive and commercially minded in her advice. She really understands the fine detail with legal work associated with property development and is very collaborative to work with. She understands the client needs very well and is an invaluable team member on any commercial/development deal.’
‘They have strong knowledge and awareness of real estate work, in particular in the public sector, where they understand some of the challenges of a public body in a commercial environment. I would recommend them to any public body undertaking commercial property projects of any size.’
‘Attention to detail, good humour and willingness to go the extra mile to achieve the desired outcome.’
‘Melanie Greer-Walker is an exceptional lawyer. She combines an excellent technical knowledge with commercial acumen which results in advice that is spot on for our needs.’
‘DJB are the best external lawyers I have dealt with. Their knowledge and client care are second to none.’
Brighton and Hove City Council
The Royal Parks
Surrey County Council
Woking Borough Council
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Runnymede Borough Council
Government Property Agency
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Merchant Land Investments
Brighton and Hove Council
- Advising Woking Borough Council on its mixed-use regeneration of Sheerwater.
- Advising Fujifilm on the development of its new UK headquarters.
- Advising Exeter Science Park on the development of a state of the art Science Park.
Hailed as ‘experts in the field', the lawyers in Fieldfisher’s London office operate as part of the firm’s national team, frequently collaborating on major instructions with colleagues in Birmingham and Manchester. The practice is best known for its development, finance and investment work, directing particular emphasis to alternative assets such as hotel, healthcare, industrial and student residential properties. Paul Houston, a specialist in the hospitality sector, is a ‘standout’ name for mixed-use developments and pre-lets while Jayne Elkins is a reputed ‘expert’ in significant investment transactions and non-contentious landlord and tenant affairs. Ramatu Banga is also a prominent name within the team owing to her notable proficiency in high-value office lettings, sale and leaseback and portfolio transactions.
Antony Philips; Paul Houston
Other key lawyers:
Rhodri Pazzi-Axworthy; Jayne Elkins
‘Each and every person at Fieldfisher that I have come into contact with has impressed me with their efforts to fully understand our situation and become part of the team by solving issues and take responsibility. Communication is excellent and working across departments is seamless.’
‘Gary Pickard is an extremely diligent, hard-working and focused lawyer. He is equally happy to take the lead or be guided by our own commercial needs.’
‘The team are very friendly, we enjoy doing business with them, but they combine this with high quality advice that is commercial and focused on getting deals done rather than creating issues.’
‘Paul Houston is the standout individual. He leads our client relationship and has been responsible for successfully concluding a number of important transactions for us during the past year. We like dealing with him a lot.’
‘Their depth of knowledge is a huge asset. Billing is transparent. All staff that join the team are well briefed and hit the ground running.’
‘Jayne Elkins is an expert, always contactable and able to explain in a manner I understand. I would not go to another firm – Fieldfisher are my go-to experts.’
‘For me it is simple – they are experts in their field. They cover a vast range of services with all staff from juniors to partners that are a pleasure to work with. Sound advice and excellent communication.’
Ark Data Centres Limited
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
Proark Properties ApS
Sir Robert McAlpine
- Assisting CA Ventures in its continuing expansion into the European student accommodation market with sites for 4 major PBSA projects being successfully acquired in 2020.
- Assisted Dominvs Group with a number of complex Covid related delay construction issues to ensure the completion, letting and sale of their hotel development in Milton Keynes.
- Advising Skanska in connection with their joint venture with the MoD to create a sustainable rural heathland village to be known as Mindenhurst; it will entail over 1,200 houses with associated local infrastructure such as a new school.
A single office London firm providing a ‘superb service and excellent responsiveness’, Howard Kennedy LLP supports on headquarter relocations and acquisitions, lease variation and surrendering matters, occupancy-related disputes and asset management affairs. Adam Walford is the key contact for corporate occupier matters and is able to leverage market leading expertise in the retail and leisure sectors. Nicky Stewart and Kate Woodgate co-lead the development offering which provides a full lifecycle service on both commercial and residential projects with a prominent track record in joint venture projects involving international investors.
Nicky Stewart; Kate Woodgate
Other key lawyers:
Charles Maxwell; David Philips; Astrid Stanley
‘Superb service and excellent responsiveness – this inspires confidence that you have got real professionals acting for you.’
‘A special mention for Astrid Stanley, who is absolutely first class on commercial leasing matters.’
RER London Limited
Octopus Real Estate
The Club Company
CJ O’Shea and Company
- Acted for both RER London and Orlandis Capital in the sale of Leven Road Development site. The riverside project involves space that is intended to create a new residential and retail area in Poplar, that will include 547 apartments and over 35,000 sq ft of space for play areas, cafes and shopping.
- Acted for F3 Group on the acquisitions and forward funding for 357 bed student accommodation for the University of Bristol.
- Advising First Base on the Edward Street Quarter project, which involves the redevelopment of the old American Express headquarters site.
National firm Mills & Reeve LLP fields an ‘exceptionally strong development team’ equipped for the full lifecycle of both large-scale regeneration and asset-specific development projects. Orla O’Sullivan is well-versed in everything from site assembly and forward funding through to management agreements while Michael Giess is a specialist in a range of schemes including industrial, retail, Central London office and town centres. Charles Staveley splits his time between Cambridge and London and spearheads the investment practice which in addition to acquisitions and disposals, also provides portfolio management services aimed at improving income streams; his team has noted a significant uptick in alternative asset investment of late including student housing, health, higher education and life sciences.
Orla O’Sullivan; Michael Giess; Christine de Ferrars Green
Other key lawyers:
‘Reliable, trustworthy and pragmatic advisers, who we really enjoy working with. Michael Giess epitomises this, providing a very personal and efficient service, whilst remaining commercial at all times. The positive feedback from lawyers acting on the other side, reinforces these qualities.’
‘The team’s response times are second to none. Client contact and solicitor availability is always exceptional. The entire team has a commercial approach to transactions which is refreshing – they tailor documentation to meet client needs and expectations.’
‘Mills & Reeve have a exceptionally strong development team that is flexible in its ability to resource as required, has strength in depth and which really seeks to understand a project and the business motivation to help provide the optimal legal services.’
‘Mills & Reeve have advised one of our UK pension fund clients for many years. They have the experience and breadth of expertise in all areas of law to advise us on all aspects of development transactions in any asset class, in such a way that protects our clients’ best interests.’
‘A team that fully understands our needs and how best to protect our client’s interests. They cover all aspects of law related to commercial property and offer a highly personal and dedicated service.’
London & Regional Properties
Kadans Science Partner
Bruntwood Science Limited
Trinity College, Cambridge
Peabody Developments Limited
Marshall Group Properties
Cinnamon Collection Limited
Langtree Property Partners
London Diocesan Fund
- Acting for Urban&Civic plc on the negotiation of a joint venture development agreement with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council and with the Wellcome Trust (as co-funder) for the development of the urban extension to Basingstoke (known as Manydown Project) for c.3,500 new homes and a full range of community facilities.
- Advised Lendlease (Elephant & Castle) Limited) on the investment by a pension investment board to help fund 123 new build to rent homes at Elephant Park in South London.
- Advised on a £62m purchase and development funding of seven properties for a client of LaSalle Investment Management for the development of a site in Wimbledon as a Travelodge Hotel with commercial units; and an agreement for long (income strip) lease of the site with a Local Authority.
Payne Hicks Beach LLPElite Lincoln's Inn firm Payne Hicks Beach caters to a far-reaching roster of investors from jurisdictions as diverse as the US, Scandinavia and the Middle and Far East. The practice is particularly well-placed to support on prime residential investments, working in close tangent with the firm’s private client department, and also provides a full-service development offering from promotion and forward funding agreements through to forward funding and land sales. Practice head Andrew Berry is particularly knowledgeable in the residential, leisure and hospitality sectors; his team, which includes commercial landlord and tenant specialist senior associate Andrea Yiakoumetti, has supported numerous occupier clients on lease break options, lease renewals and dilapidation matters of late.
Other key lawyers:
Emma Copestake; Justin Dunlop
‘I recommend them for the fact that I feel comfortable that nothing will be overlooked or missed to regret later, and that I will be informed in full what I am getting.’
‘Andrew Berry is outstanding – he cannot be criticised at all. His ability to make you feel confident and the knowledge he has is exceptional.’
‘I have found the firm to be honest and competitive in billing – I personally couldn’t fault them in any way.’
Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP’s London property team places a high degree of emphasis on real estate investment work, supporting on a variety of ownership structures, funding arrangements and subsequent leasing negotiations, in addition to forward sales and purchases. Practice head James Nadin demonstrates a tenacity for high-value portfolio transactions and is also active in the development space. The team’s development work includes a number of significant large-scale projects and is supported by the firm’s wider proficiency in construction and planning affairs.
‘Professional practice. Always available to talk and discuss.‘
Fairbridge Developments Limited
Munroe K Luxembourg SA
- Acting on Middlewood Locks, a 25 acre waterside development linking Salford and Manchester. This development will provide 2,200 homes and 900,000 sq. ft. of commercial space (offices, hotels, shops and restaurants).
- Acted for Aquastrada Limited on the sale of Stratford Office Village, Stratford to an SPV of Aberdeen Standard Pan European Residential Property Fund for a land price of £19.8m. The team also supported on the entry into a development funding agreement where Aquastrada contracted to build 158 residential units with a maximum commitment of circa £32m. This was a build to rent scheme.
- Advising on real estate, financing, planning and construction work of a development site in Sussex to Ilke Homes Limited. The development site has planning permission for over 300 homes.
Squire Patton Boggs’ London real estate department is ‘dependable, commercial, down to earth and efficient’. It has a strong presence in development projects and is sought after to assist clients with development and forward funding agreements, memorandums of understanding and site assembly issues, among various other matters. Elsewhere, the varied portfolio of work encompasses acquisitions and disposals, as well as fund formation and other asset management mandates. In addition, corporate occupier work is another cornerstone of the practice, which includes leasing matters in the City of London and West End. Andrew Sprake leads the group.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is dependable, commercial, down to earth and efficient.’
‘Good knowledge of the law. Practical advice in relation to leases and negotiating leases. Good knowledge of our business and application of that to our contracts. Works well with lay clients.’
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
Live Nation Group (including Ticketmaster, Academy Music Group, Festival Republic)
Leeds City Council
- Continuing to act for Leeds City on its HS2 Growth Strategy, particularly in respect of the redevelopment of Leeds classic station as well as its integration with the new HS2 station.
- Acting for Live Nation on the construction and management of the Cardiff Indoor Arena (a 15,000 seat capacity venue to be completed in 2025). The firm advised the client on its successful bid to Cardiff City Council and are now advising it on the grant funding and financing documentation, as well as the real estate and construction aspects of the transaction.
- Continuing to act for Leeds City Council on the South Bank Regeneration project, including advising on the potential grant funding for the refurbishment of Temple Works, a Grade I Listed Building (£50m works package) and the redevelopment and regeneration of the wider South Bank area.
Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP’s London team is a core part of the larger national practice, which is spread across other locations, including Leeds, Southampton, Newcastle and Edinburgh. On the development side, the firm is prominent in a number of schemes, including regeneration projects, as well as garden village, mixed-use, affordable housing, residential and local authority-led projects; Martin Stacey is a name to note in this space. Elsewhere, Alistair Walton is the key contact for corporate occupier matters; he has extensive experience of head office acquisitions and relocations, and has a notably strong reputation among large retail chains. John Ralph takes the lead on investment-related matters.
Other key lawyers:
Mark Owen; John Ralph; Julia Dacre Field
Commercial Estates Group (“CEG”)
Barratt & David Wilson Homes
Vistry ( formerly Linden )
Leeds City Council
Town Centre Securities PLC
Marick Real Estate Limited
Places for People (PFP)
South Tees Development Corporation
Ministry of Defence
Scottish Power Renewables
Innogy Renewables UK Limited
Plymouth Community Homes
Bristol City Council
Renewable Energy Systems Limited
REG Windpower Limited
The Crown Estate
Havant Borough Council
Church Commissioners for England
- Advised the Borough of Broxbourne and Hertfordshire County Council on the creation of a c.£400m major new retail and leisure development with Sovereign Centros at Brookfield Riverside.
- Acted for Places for People Group on its ongoing development programme, including acquisitions of sites, development agreements and the acquisition of units from house builders fulfilling their section 106 obligations.