Commercial property: hotels and leisure in London
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Hailed as ‘the best team in the market for real estate’, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP advises international investor clients on matters such as portfolio purchases, development site acquisitions as well as purchase and leasebacks. The team ‘drives the process from start to finish’, handling redevelopments, regenerations, joint ventures and residential schemes. On the corporate occupiers front, the team represents leasers and leasees alike, and calls upon its strength in development, investment and landlord and tenant matters to assist on the full range of relevant issues. High-profile retail entities instruct the team for licensing, real estate and retail development work with the firm also hosting a full service hospitality and leisure team. Practice chief Chris de Pury handles big-ticket sales, purchases and restructurings, leading a team which includes the ‘superb’ Claire Milton. James Knox and Alan Wight are go-to names in the retail and corporate occupier spaces respectively, while EMEA senior partner Robert MacGregor is a specialist in joint ventures and pre-letting transactions. Key client Silvertown Homes Limited recently instructed the group to advise on a £3bn joint venture to develop a 50-acre Thameside West site at the Royal Docks in London.
Laura Wild; Chris de Pury; Andrew MacGeoch
‘The best team in the market for real estate, full stop. It understands development and is good at driving the process from start to finish.’
‘Claire Milton is superb. She rolls up her sleeves and gets into the trenches. Nothing is too much trouble and she is always available. The associates supporting her are good as well. Rebecca Moore is very good’.
‘The BCLP team stand out in their ability to distil complex issues and transactions into easy to understand concepts and user friendly concise reports’.
‘Their commitment to understanding their client’s business means they don’t waste time point-scoring and focus on key issues that really matter’.
‘The partners truly enjoy what they do and want to do the best for their client. This is demonstrated not just in the way they seek to understand the client’s drivers and lead a positive collaboration with the other side, but also in their ability to dive into the detail and come back out again, using the knowledge they have of the law and pragmatic examples of what others are doing in the market to draft complex documents clearly and produce easy to understand user guides’.
‘In short they are committed, hungry, enthusiastic and a pleasure to deal with.’
‘Strong property team encompassing legals, licensing and construction with continuity at the heart.’
‘They have an ability to simplify the most complicated legal legislation to make it understandable to the lay person’.
UOL Group Limited
Casual Dining Group
EquityBridge Asset Management
PPHE Hotel Group
Crosstree Real Estate Partners LLP
- Advised on the sale of the Globalgrange Limited’s four trophy London hotels for circa £1bn to Queensgate Investments.
- Advised the Globalgrange group on a restructuring (including complex real estate elements) of the Grange Hotels group.
The top-of-the-market real estate practice at CMS is recommended for the ‘breadth of its service and expertise’, 'working seamlessly' on multi-layered development and regeneration projects and providing clients with full life-cycle support on tax, finance and construction issues. Clients in the hotels and leisure space include high-profile hotel operators, restaurants and entertainment venues, which routinely instruct the team for real estate, M&A, management, franchising, financing and litigation matters. Work for the group in the retail sector includes significant development and redevelopment projects, disputes and transactions. UK real estate head Ciaran Carvalho is ‘very collaborative' and 'commercial and astute’, while Mark Heighton acts on development and letting transactions. Notable recent work has included advising AXA IM Real Assets on the £650m sale of Ropemaker Place.
Other key lawyers:
Nick Crosbie; Louise Wallace; James Miller; Danielle Drummond-Brassington; David Roberts
‘The breadth and depth of their practice is a key attribute to CMS. Its real estate and supporting teams are strong in both numbers and experience. They have a strong leadership team in the partner group – the partners are proactive and responsive.’
‘Ciaran Carvalho is very collaborative in his approach and draws upon his wealth of experience in the sector, providing invaluable support, advice and solutions’.
‘Marie Scott is technically excellent in her advice and is also very solutions-focused.’
‘Sarah Meldrum has a wealth of experience in the sector and her assistance and advice is invaluable in streamlining ways of working and processes. She is friendly and approachable, and always makes time to assist.’
‘Impressive breadth of service and expertise. Able to work seamlessly on multi-layered development projects.’
‘Adrian Wright is able to deal with complex development matters.’
‘One of the largest practices in the City; flexible and very commercial and spread of breadth and expertise across various asset classes within the sector.’
‘Adrian Wright is easy to work with; wants to do the best for the client and able to lead complex multi-discipline property transactions.’
‘Dedicated, thorough, creative, and able to pull various elements of the firms practice together to deliver a coordinated legal perspective.’
‘Ciaran Carvalho is always available, commercial and astute.’
‘Kristy Duane is dedicated, commercial, creative and very calm’.
Accor Group and AccorInvest
Lone Star/Amaris Hospitality
Ei Group plc (Enterprise Inns)
Lloyds Banking Group, Santander, The Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC/Bank Leumi
Fattal/Leonardo Hotels/Jury’s Inn Group
Schroders Real Estate Investment Management (formerly Alonquin)
All England Lawn and Tennis Club
- Advised Advance on its purchase of 100% of the shares of Stage Entertainment from CVC Capital Partners and Joop van den Ende.
- Acted for Lone Star, Hudson Advisers and Amaris Hospitality in connection with the disposal of the Doubletree by Hilton hotel, London, Islington and a portfolio of Hilton hotels.
At Dentons, Simon Masri and senior associate Laura Gowing are standout names in the firm's acclaimed hotels and leisure team, which handles high-value transactions and projects across the EMEA region. The firm's caseload includes mixed-use hotel projects, day-to-day operational work and franchising matters with a standout instruction recently coming from Topland on the sale of a portfolio of 26 hotels for £220m. The firm also hosts a full-service development offering which has recently been boosted by the arrival of former Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP partner Deepa Deb, a specialist in residential-led mixed used schemes and the alternative assets sector. Investment clients include family offices and sovereign wealth funds based in China, the Middle East and South East Asia while corporate occupier clients rely on the team for leasing, construction, planning, dispute, joint venture, fund management and finance matters. Richard Budge is a standout in the retail space where the team's construction, structuring, planning, funding advice, competition, franchising and GDPR issues complement its core real estate offering. Real estate head Rob Thompson ‘goes the extra mile’ for clients and is a specialist in complex corporate real estate and real estate finance transactions on both a domestic and international scale.
Simon Masri; Matthew Tinger; Mark Daliere; Rick Ross; Meghan Cocci
Other key lawyers:
‘Clients receive a high quality and a very professional service from Dentons. They have high skilled staff coupled with great industry exposure. The value Dentons render is immense and they have a unique approach to professional attend each and every query with high importance.’
‘The real estate team at Dentons have a complete commercial awareness that means even the most complex deals can be negotiated with confidence.’
‘Rob Thompson, Lewis Myers and Carla Revelo bring a wealth of experience and valuable mix of skills from due diligence to complex structuring. They are always willing to explore options and go the extra mile.’
‘Andrew Henderson has a very detailed knowledge of the market and provides very commercial advice in order to help get deals done.’
‘A client-focused practice with experts in their field.’
‘Emma Frost displays unrivalled dedication to her clients and goes the extra step to find creative solutions. She has a strong ability to anticipate and deal with the arguments of the opposite side at the negotiating table.’
‘Rob Thompson leads the team with quiet authority. He is responsive, available and goes the extra mile for the benefit of the client.’
‘Harleen Kandola shows great diligence and takes a commercial approach to negotiating leases and other documents appreciating which points can be conceded to achieve gains elsewhere.’
‘Dentons have demonstrated on numerous occasions their commercial awareness and ability to think out of the box to present solutions to clients and lead on complicated property transactions.’
‘Commercially minded, good problem solving.’
‘Richard Budge is a high quality lawyer. Creative and focused on getting things done.’
‘There is an excellent balance to the team in terms of individual qualities and characteristics, not to mention diversity, which helps to maintain the high quality of advice received’.
‘They never drop the ball. Their attention to detail and quality of advice is superb. Their extensive market coverage across skill-lines is very important’.
‘Sarah Rowlands and Emma Frost are always available for advice and work tirelessly to execute deals’.
‘Pragmatic approach to problem solving. Good communication between the lawyers and litigators. Partner level involvement.’
Apollo Global Real Estate
Park Hotels & Resorts
KSL Capital Partners
LGH UK Management Limited
Secure Income REIT
Malmaison and Hotel du Vin
HPL (UK) Ltd
Metro Bank PLC
HSBC Bank plc
Lloyds Banking Group
That Bournemouth Company
- Acted on the important strategic sale of a significant hotel portfolio for the Topland Group, which consisted of 26 hotels, for over £220m.
- Acted for Secure Income REIT on the hotels element of a purchase, placing and financing of two property portfolios totalling £436m.
Katten’s hospitality practice represents a client base of hotel managers, developers, investors, restaurants, theme parks, casinos and resorts, among others. It operates on an international scale, working with large international conglomerates to small boutique hotels from markets such as the US, Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Australia. In addition to real estate matters, the department draws on the wider firm’s expertise of financial, tax, litigation, IP, insolvency, restructuring and corporate issues to provide a full-service offering. Managing partner Peter Sugden heads the practice and is particularly reputed for his transactional experience.
Wyndham Worldwide (and subsidiaries)
BridgeStreet Worldwide (and subsidiaries)
Union Hanover Securities
Luxury Hotel Partners
AccorHotels/FRHI Hotels & Resorts
- Instructed by Aprirose on the purchase of the freehold interest in De Vere Hotel in Cheshunt owned by the Starwood group.
- Handled numerous hotel management agreements for FRHI Hotels & Resorts.
Clients recommend the lawyers at Norton Rose Fulbright for their ‘tenacity and attention to detail’, ‘technical ability’ and ‘commercial acumen’. The team is reputed on the investment and development fronts for global inward investment, infrastructure projects, financing and long-term projects, including an increasing number of mixed-use and residential-led schemes. The firm’s hotel and leisure practice, led by the highly recommended Nick Clayson, handles a broad range of work on cross-border branding, construction and development, data protection, IP, franchising and financing matters, among others, while high-profile corporate occupier clients engage the group for pre-letting negotiations, construction and refurbishment contracts, IT procurement and strategic lease advice. Recent work highlights include advising on the £700m redevelopment of the Olympia London exhibition centre. David Hawkins is a go-to name in the development space while David Sinclair possesses ‘an incredible grip on the minute details of each project’ and is active on a broad range of investment and development projects, including hotels, infrastructure, offices and shopping centres. Louisa Roe was recently promoted to counsel and is a specialist on complex leasing transactions.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team make a concerted effort to understand the exact requirements of the client, as well as appreciating what the client cannot accept before entering into any negotiations. They also take time to understand the corporate structure of the client to appreciate the nuances behind decision making requirements. This makes the deal process much easier and significantly more manageable from a client perspective.’
‘Louisa Roe is pragmatic, commercial, has a can-do ethic, understands the requirements of the client and translates these into manageable obligations and requirements.’
‘Dan Wagerfield has fantastic knowledge and ability to apply legal expertise to the issue at hand to ensure pragmatic workable solutions are achieved.’
‘The turnaround time on advice is very quick, which is hugely valuable, but the advice is always clear, concise and well explained. They have a great understanding on what the client’s needs are and what they want to achieve and are always on hand to offer advice to help bring matters to a conclusion.’
‘Very pragmatic and commercial, not points scoring solicitors. They get the deals done with the minimum of fuss.’
‘Tenacity and attention to detail. Commercial acumen. Speed and efficiency’.
‘Friendly and helpful, willing to support even when other members may be on leave’.
‘Alex Parry is very helpful, competent and supportive’.
‘Very good technical ability and excellent customer communication’.
‘David Sinclair has an incredible grip on the minute details on each project and provides an excellent level of service.’
British Racing Drivers Club Limited
PPHE Hotel Group (Park Plaza)
57 Whitehall S.à.r.l.
Mandeville Hotel Limited
Danby Investments Limited
Marlin Apartments Limited
HSBC Bank plc
Harlequins Football Club Limited
DBS Bank Ltd
London City Airport
- Advising British Racing Drivers Club on the sale and development of a track-side hotel.
- Continuing to advise a joint venture on the development of a Raffles branded luxury hotel and luxury apartments at the Old War Office Building, Whitehall, London SW1.
Pinsent Masons LLP is home to a ‘well-coordinated team that covers all aspects of development, construction and investment’. It represents institutional UK investors, commercial and residential developers, local authorities and financial institutions on a variety of high-profile investment and development projects within the UK and abroad. Student accommodation, build to rent and retirement living are sectors where the team, headed by Claire Hughes, is particularly well-versed. The practice also has a market-leading reputation in the hotel and leisure sector where core strengths include management contracts, franchising and transactions, as well as the full range of related issues. Recent highlights for the team have included advising Heathrow Airport on the third runway expansion project.
Other key lawyers:
Adam Carney; Claire Hughes
‘A very strong team who have a very solid understanding of the requirements of the client’s business.’
‘Their attention to detail is excellent and they are always on hand to deliver well thought out advice. There are two standout partners – Kevin Boa and Natalie Harris both of whom are excellent lawyers and very good to work with.’
‘Luke Miotte is attentive to complicated matters.’
‘Commercial approach and very willing to work hard’.
‘Good project management. Focused on risk and protecting client interest. Personable, courteous, professional.’
‘Project management and an understanding when to make a recommendation and when to take instruction.’
‘A very approachable team which shows expertise and professional knowledge throughout all transactions. They have a very pragmatic approach, that gets the very best for my company.’
‘A well co-ordinated team that covers all aspects of development, construction and investment sales.’
‘Mike Reid is an accurate, commercially minded and results focused lawyer – he has a can do attitude.’
Sir Richard Sutton Limited
Legal and General
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc
Henderson Park Capital
Meliá Hotels International
Rhubarb Food Design Limited
- Advised Bricks Capital on the development of a 197 bedroom Hilton Garden Inn Hotel at the Silverstone race circuit.
- Advised Cycas on a management contract with Resolution Property for a 280 room Hyatt Place Hotel in the City of London.
Taylor Wessing LLP’s commercial property practice has ‘consistently demonstrated exceptional service over a number of years’, and excels in the hotels and leisure space, particularly on the M&A front, recently advising Vivion Capital on the acquisition of almost 60 UK hotels via three separate portfolio deals totalling in excess of £1.25bn. Additional core strengths include investment sales and purchases, major portfolio sales, urban regeneration projects and property portfolio management. International and institutional investors, funds and REITs are among the key investment clients while corporate occupiers regularly engage the department for acquisitions and leasehold negotiations. In addition, the practice demonstrates experience in advising owners, developers and occupiers in the retail space on the full range of related real estate issues and is also well-regarded within the student accommodation, co-living, residential and logistics sectors.
Other key lawyers:
Mark Rajbenbach; Edward Story
‘First class offer, good value for money in comparison to other similar sized firms. Prepared to stand by their advice and work in a dedicated manner to a successful outcome. Available and accessible at all times. Integrated corporate and property advice with one point of contact.’
‘Mark Rajbenbach is astute, commercial and able to assist with transactions as if he is genuinely part of the client team. Keith Barnett has excellent technical and pragmatic lawyer with strong and wide ranging contacts.’
‘Georgina Watts and Adam Marks are can do individuals who respond quickly and give great advice even if it’s not always the client wants to hear.’
‘The firm’s commitment is with out question and they really care about the success of the project.’
‘Adam Marks is a brilliant adviser who provides excellent advice throughout our time working with him. His colleague Al Watson really knows his stuff on planning and is an invaluable support’.
‘Their breadth and depth of experience comes through when providing advice in complex and unusual circumstances,’
‘The continuity of the team is their strongest attribute, making for a strong working relationship.’
‘The Taylor Wessing team have consistently demonstrated exceptional service over a number of years. They have a wide ranging team covering all aspects of real estate but also have access to in house specialists in their wider team for specific area such as employment matters or capital project management.’
RBH Hospitality Management
Invesco Real Estate
London & Regional
Casual Dining Group
Millennium & Copthorne
- Advised Vivion Capital on three separate portfolio deals for the acquisition of almost 60 UK hotels along with the existing operating businesses and UK asset management platform.
- Advised YOTEL on Hotel Management Agreements for Yotel Edinburgh, Yotel Glasgow and Yotel Amsterdam as well as the ongoing $250m investment by Starwood Capital in YOTEL.
Clients recommend Baker McKenzie for its ‘global coverage’, ‘extremely responsive team’ and ‘commercial advice’. The team is particularly well-regarded for investment matters, handling finance, structuring, documenting, development and divestment matters in addition to the negotiation of joint ventures. Overseas inbound investment is also a strength with the highly recommended Stephen Turner recently advising Asian investor Far East Consortium on the acquisition of a £200m development site in Manchester. Specific expertise is also held in relation to the European rollout of US and other international retail groups, while the practice also supports corporate occupiers on leasing, transactions, developments, planning and dispute resolution matters, among others. Justin Salkeld is another standout name and heads the hotels and leisure offering. He is an expert on the acquisition, development, operation and disposal of hotel assets. His team is also engaged for employment, IP, tax, environment, franchise and construction-related instructions.
‘The best for the level of services they provide, the competence, the assistance in each European country and the sense of urgency they put in each deal’.
‘Stefanie Price is great and makes the client feel as though they are getting the best service’.
‘Global coverage, extremely responsive, ability to provide support and guidance across all business functions for completely different platforms and models. Excellent teamwork and resources within the organization to provide the best outcome in cross functional situations.’
‘Very responsive – the team offers advice that is straightforward, pragmatic and commercial’.
‘Stefanie Price is highly organised and ensures that momentum is maintained on all matters. She involves Stephen Turner whenever appropriate to get a second point of view or additional seniority.’
Cockpit Hotel (London) Ltd
Britannia Hospitality (The Stafford)
FS JV Co (owners of the ‘Planet’ portfolio)
- Involved in multiple workstreams for the Edwardian Group involving both its hotels portfolio and commercial operational agreements.
- Acted for Marriott at the Upper Tribunal on appeal regarding VAT consequences of customer loyalty schemes.
Bird & Bird LLP’s hotel and leisure practice continues to flourish under the leadership of highly recommended Karen Friebe, who joined from Berwin Leighton Paisner in early 2018. Her team is engaged on the buying, selling and development of hotels on an international scale and draws on the firm’s expertise of technology, food and beverage, franchising and wellness matters to provide clients with a full-service offering. Friebe recently advised Cadogan Estates in relation to the hotel management and food and beverage agreements at the five star Belmond Cadogan Hotel which will see celebrity chef Adam Handling serve as consultant to its main restaurant. James Fowler also played an active role on the matter and is recommended for his expertise on franchising. Also forming the workload are IP-related instructions, data protection issues, international rebrandings and a range of real estate matters.
Other key lawyers:
James Fowler; Mark Abell; Graeme Payne; Ian Edwards
All Star Leisure
Cedar Capital Partners
Moto Hospitality Limited
- Advising the owner of a hotel in Rome on its conversion to a lifestyle, food and beverage focused offering.
- Advised the Kastrati family on the negotiation of the hotel management agreement with Hyatt to revamp and rebrand the client’s existing hotel to become one of the leading 5* luxury hotels in Albania.
Clifford Chance LLP's ‘pre-eminent’ practice is a ‘market leader, both domestically and cross-border’. Its corporate occupiers practice has a proven track record in acting on central London headquarter transactions, particularly those linked with development projects, and also handles secondary market lettings on both the landlord and occupier side. Development-related strengths include regeneration and infrastructure projects as well as developments over stations. Expertise on the investment side encompasses transactions and joint ventures pertaining to major real estate platforms, as well as high-end cross-border portfolio transactions. In a market-leading case, the team successfully acted for the Canary Wharf Group on its opposition to the European Medicines Agency's claim that its 25-year lease in Canary Wharf had been frustrated due to Brexit. Jonathan Solomon is highly experienced in central London development matters and is recommended alongside Adrian Levy, a specialist in real estate-related corporate finance. Angela Kearns handles the full range of transactions, while the team also includes recently promoted partner Ian Painter. He and Mark Payne are noted as ‘extremely knowledgeable’. Alis Pay is a standout name in the hotels and leisure team which is well regarded for acquisition development financing and M&A-related transactions along with operating and related agreements.
Andrew Carnegie; Sarah Thomas
Other key lawyers:
Steve Curtis; Alis Pay
‘Top level pan-European advice – best in class.’
‘Extremely responsive and professional – especially Mark Payne.’
‘Ian Painter and Mark Payne are both extremely knowledgeable in this area’.
‘The team has strength in depth and market leading knowledge. Certainly one of the small handful of leaders in this area of legal practice.’
‘Ian Painter is very knowledgeable, has a great work ethic and leads from the front as a partner in that practice.’
‘Clifford Chance’s practice is pre-eminent and the quality of their legal advice and transaction management is second to none.’
‘The standout partner is Mark Payne together with associate, Rob Donnell. Mark is pragmatic, commercial and technical, all at the same time, an excellent combination. Rob provides excellent client service and is exceptional at transaction management’.
‘Great strength in depth. High quality, commercial advice. One of the best firms in this sector.’
‘Willingness to go the extra mile. Excellent response times and ability to advise on highly complex structuring issues. Particular mention to Angela Kearns and Ian Painter who are both outstanding’.
‘Excellent quality team from top to bottom’.
‘Market leading practice, both domestically and cross-border’.
‘Ian Painter combines unparalleled market and legal knowledge with an unflappable nature to achieve trusted adviser status.’
‘Catherine Cook is an outstanding partner with an incredible deep knowledge and experience in the industry. She will fight tooth and nail on behalf of her clients, while simultaneously reminding the client of what is fair to fight for and what is not’.
‘Ian Painter takes charge of issues and sees them through to resolution with practical and commercial ideas.’
‘Amina Tacconi and Alis Paye are responsive and resourceful. They respond quickly to the clients needs and go above and beyond by their creative thinking and innovative ways of agreeing an outcome that both parties can adhere to. They are problem-solvers whilst being experts in their legal field. There are no other lawyers like them’.
The HongKong and Shanghai Hotels Limited
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
Marlet Property Group
Royal Bank of Canada
Sadler’s Wells Foundation Limited
- Advised RBC on the refinancing of the Four Seasons Hotel in Prague.
- Advised Blackstone on the acquisition of the National Exhibition Centre Group, the live event and exhibition operator, for an enterprise value of £860m.
DLA Piper’s practice is lauded for its ‘comprehensive set of real estate skills' which enable it to execute complex transactions, including all aspects of property investment work. In the development sector, the firm possesses particular experience on housing and mixed-use schemes along with build-to-rent projects. In addition, the firm’s hotel and leisure practice excels in a broad range of industries, representing global, regional and national hotels in addition to sports operators, health and fitness facilities, cinemas, gambling establishments and leisure complexes, among others. The team is notably advising the European Medicines Agency in a high-profile case which raises the question of whether Brexit has frustrated its lease at Canary Wharf. Paul Jayson heads the retail and corporate occupier practices, handling a caseload which includes asset management, acquisitions and disposals, disputes and financing. 'Strong leader' William Naunton is highly recommended and represents a variety of fund managers and institutional investors.
Other key lawyers:
Susan Samuel; Stephen Malley
‘A high quality team and expertise in all facets.’
‘Recommended for quality of the advice as well as quick turnaround of the work.’
‘The team is responsive and gets real world issues, rather than being stuck in an ivory tower in the City divorced from what goes on in the real world. They do all that is needed plus more to get the deal done on time. They operate in a practical, constructive and collaborative way.’
‘Really hard working and dedicated. Keen to impress.’
‘Paul Dineen is incredibly keen to please.’
‘Very responsive, decisive and reliable team. Depth of knowledge and transaction experience.’
‘The team’s strength in depth makes it stand out. All aspects of property investment are covered including contract, structuring, tax and construction. In each case the individual advising is best in class.’
‘The team has a comprehensive set of real estate skills which enables to it provide clear advice and execute complex transactions.’
‘William Naunton is a strong leader with a thorough understanding of his client’s needs’.
‘Mark Keeling captures all the detail of complex matters and translates them into simplified concise points.’
‘They consider all aspects of bringing a hotel project to delivery and are able to bring together experienced partners in a coordinated way.’
‘Excellent client information, easily reachable, well informed and excellent network.’
‘William Naunton combines a very open, client focused approach with high quality of advice.’
Intercontinental Hotels Group
Hilton Worldwide Inc.
Intercontinental Hotels Group
- Acting for Henry Boot on a new £360m arena.
- Advising M&G Investments on £224m acquisition of pubs, hotels and London events space.
The commercial property team at Fieldfisher possesses particular experience of representing occupiers in the leisure and hospitality, healthcare and industrial sectors, while the investment practice is increasingly acting for overseas entities, particularly from the US, along with clients from the real estate private equity sector. Elsewhere, the retail offering includes franchising, advertising and IP knowledge in addition to acquisitions, lettings, asset management, leasing and portfolio management expertise. Hotel and leisure clients turn to the 'hard working and commercially savvy' Paul Houston 's team for high-value transactions, financing, competition, brand protection, employment and advertising matters. The firm’s development department prides itself on its full service offering, from planning and environmental matters through to land acquisition, constructions and disposal. Ramatu Banga - 'the epitome of a professional'- works with both private and public sector clients.
Other key lawyers:
‘Fieldfisher seem to be a firm that puts client service right at the top of their agenda.’
‘They have genuine experts in all the areas required areas and absolutely offer a one-stop shop for legal services.’
‘Great technical strength and very commercial, the team really understand the hotel market, and get the deal done quickly and effectively.’
‘Client service is fantastic, the team go the extra mile including delivering bespoke training on real estate, finance and other technical matters.’
‘The Hotel and Leisure team at Fieldfisher is led by Paul Houston who is a fantastic real estate and development lawyer.’
‘In addition to Ramatu Banga’s expertise and experience, she possesses a further quality of understanding the client’s business and culture.’
‘Paul Houston is really hard working and commercially savvy. Outstanding dedication to the acquisition, with commercialism and attention to detail.’
‘Ramatu Banga is outstanding and dedicated with a strong work ethic to get the job done to the required expertise required.’
‘The practice is unique in its commercial perspective and focusing on the outcome requried by the client and not on winning legal points.
‘Ramatu Banga is the epitome of a professional. Precise, likeable, good humoured, but most importantly possessing the ability to solve complicated property issues.’
We Are Bar (Jamie’s Bars, Smollenskys, We Are Bar etc)
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels
Morgans Hotel Group
Bibendum Wines Limited
Gourmet Burger Kitchen
- Advising GHG London Holdings on the sale of the Curtain Hotel Shoreditch.
- Advising Viacom on hotel licence agreements for the development of Nickelodeon and MTV branded hotels.
Fladgate LLP’s practice ‘provides depth across real estate’, delivering ‘excellent attention to detail and customer care’. On the corporate occupier front, it represents major office occupiers, co-working providers, professional businesses, barristers chambers and restaurateurs on the full range of landlord and tenant work. Elsewhere in the development space, urban regeneration along with office, industrial, mixed-use and residential projects are among the areas of expertise. The group is also active in the investment arena, priding itself on its knowledge of tax considerations and routinely acting on sales and acquisitions, lettings, joint ventures, finance and receiverships. Sector expertise encompasses the retail, hotel and leisure sectors, where the team caters to a client base of casinos, cinemas, gyms, hotels, museums, resorts, restaurants and theatres on a range of matters. Stephen Lewis heads the practice, which was recently bolstered by the arrivals of Simon Kanter, Alan Karsberg and James Norton from CMS. Kanter advises on reconstructions including debt acquisition and work-out schemes, while Norton directs particular focus towards acquisitions, disposals and investment management.
Julian Lewis; Stephen Lewis
Other key lawyers:
‘Personable, knowledgeable, accessible and helpful.’
‘They are true principals as lawyers, and time is never an issue for them. They make the time.’
‘Very comprehensive service, clear explanation of issues and tenacity.’
‘Stephen Lewis is extremely helpful and consistent with the high level of service’.
‘Excellent attention to detail and customer care. Top quality advice.’
‘The team provides depth across real estate in conveyancing, finance, litigation and planning to a standard expected of larger practices. The firm is gaining recognition and weight for the transactional work.’
Stephen Lewis makes the time and puts in the effort to help the client achieve its goals. He has both sound legal understanding and enough commercial experience to seek solutions to the hurdles every transaction has these days.’
London & Regional Properties
Science Museum Group
National Portrait Group
Flora Developments Limited
Concert Productions International BV (CPI)
WebJet Group (JacTravel, SunHotels, WebBeds)
Yo! Sushi UK Limited
Millennium and Copthorne Hotels
Otium Properties Limited
Sanguine Hospitality Developments Cardiff Ltd
CIMC Development Limited
4C Hotel Group
China International Marine Containers Developments Limited
Highgate Hotels Inc
Odeon Cinemas Ltd
Major League Baseball Properties Limited
- Drafting and negotiating the building contracts and associated project documents in relation to the Science Museum Group’s new storage facility.
- Advised on the acquisition of Abbey Hotel (Bath) Limited by KE Hotels from The Kaleidoscope Collection Ltd.
Hailed for ‘the breadth of its experience’, Goodwin directs particular attention towards the hotels and leisure sector where it represents equity investors and other capital sources investing in hospitality assets, as well as operators of hotels and resorts. The City team, which is closely integrated with the firm’s US practice and operates on matters across the globe, handles acquisitions, disposals, financing, franchising agreements, developments, employment and regulatory matters, among others. Also noted as ‘solid on commercial property investment’, the group is recommended for inbound cross-border investment, capital raising and transactional work. The highly recommended Joe Conder has a client base of sovereign wealth funds and ultra-high-net-worth managers and is a specialist on development financing, leaseback transactions and real estate financing.
Other key lawyers:
Matthew Pohlman; Gretchen Scott
‘The funds team at Goodwin is simply brilliant. The breadth of their experience and the numbers of deals they are doing the market gives them a lot of insight into what is market or not.
‘Samantha Lake Coghlan is always available, super pragmatic and commercial. She advises on every aspect of real estate funds and is a go-to person on every fund related question’.
Away Resorts Limited
Caesars Entertainment Corporation
Cairn Hotel Group
Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts
Oaktree Capital Management
- Represented Angelo Gordon in its acquisition of several holiday parks.
- Represented Cairn Hotel Group in negotiation of management agreements for redevelopment and rebranding of Saint Georges Hotel.
Hogan Lovells International LLP's practice represents high-profile landlords and tenants in the corporate occupier arena, and demonstrates particular expertise in surplus property disposals. The firm is also home to a well-regarded hotels and leisure practice which assists clients with relevant transactions, joint venture agreements, hotel developments, financing, disputes and operational agreements. Investment clients include institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, private equity houses and overseas family offices who rely on the team for the full cycle of asset management transactions. The 'absolutely fantastic' Dion Panambalana and Gill McGreevy are key contacts for development and regeneration work with the team undertaking the full range of related matters including planning allocation, procurement, delivery, letting and disposals. In a recent caseload highlight, Panambalana represented Calthorpe Estates in an agreement with U+I concerning a substantial urban regeneration project in Birmingham. The highly recommended Daniel Norris and Jackie Newstead head the practice which includes recently promoted partners Katie Gill and Paul Tonkin. Counsel Christopher Somorjay is a standout junior member of the team, representing numerous institutional investor and pension fund clients.
Other key lawyers:
‘They genuinely provide competitive advantage through their advice. They can only do that by really understanding the business at a strategic and operational level and the markets within which the business operates.’
‘They think about their impact on the business and its customers, both in terms of what they say, but also how they say it. They continually challenge themselves to bring genuine value as commercial lawyers. Nick Roberts and Graham Cutts exemplify this.’
‘Dion Panambalana is very focused, pragmatic and user friendly.’
‘The ability for them to quickly obtain the necessary information be it legal, tax or another area of financial law is highly impressive and key to a successful project.’
‘Dion Panambalana is absolutely fantastic, both in his professionalism but also in his commitment and interest in the project he is working on. The way in which he interacts and uses schematic diagrams and flow charts to simplify complicated processes is extremely useful.’
‘Excellent and wide ranging offer in terms of services such that there is full and highly competent range of professionals to deal with the most complicated of real estate transactions.’
‘Dion Panambalana is extremely personable and attentive to detail. His response to our requests have been both timely and considered, often going the extra mile.’
‘The team at Hogan Lovells have shown themselves to not only be clear and concise in their advice but are also able to adapt that advice to emerging and unprecedented situations.’
‘Practical application of the law with a commercial understanding. High quality across the various disciplines: commercial, litigation, construction and planning.’
‘John Condliffe is a high quality individual, a pleasure to work with’.
‘Daniel Norris has very strong business skills, good interpersonal skills – he is an excellent negotiator and good communicator.’
‘John Condliffe and Laura Oliver in particular offer excellent levels of service and advice.’
‘Victoria Sutcliffe and senior associate Chris Somorjay must be mentioned for their application and abilities.’
William Pears Group
Millennium & Copthorne
Valor Hospitality Partners
M&G Real Estate
- Advised Fattal Hotel Group on its UK hotel acquisitions.
- Acting for AFC Wimbledon on the historic acquisition of a new stadium site, and the subsequent construction of the new stadium, at Plough Lane in the London Borough of Merton.
Excelling in the retail, hotels and leisure sectors, Howard Kennedy LLP handles M&A, tax and finance, employment, immigration, litigation and IP matters alongside property and construction instructions for an international client base. Hotels, including luxury brands, boutique operators, mid-sized chains and international operators, frequently engage the practice, as do restaurants, golf groups, luxury gym brands and casino operators. Leasehold negotiations are an area of specific expertise while entry into the UK market is a specialism for recommended legal director Vanessa Laundon. The luxury goods market is a sector of particular knowledge while team also represents investors, developers, house builders, funders, banks and asset managers in relation to site acquisition, planning, sales and acquisitions, commercial letting, sales and developments. Ed John is a new partner-level arrival from Shoosmiths LLP and brings experience of development disputes and property-related insolvency.
Adam Walford; Eric Gummers; Julian Hindmarsh; Ed John
Action Stadium UK
The Institute of Competitive Socialising
Granger & Co
Liberty Cheesesteak Company Limited (trading as Passyunk Avenue)
- Advising Metro Bank on its £18m loan to Z Hotels for a new site in Trafalgar Square.
Linklaters LLP's ‘excellent' real estate team represents domestic and international investors, developers and occupiers on premium investments, high-value regeneration and developments and lettings. Practice head Andy Bruce is highly recommended and experienced in financing, development, acquisition, letting and disposal matters across the UK and Europe. In a recent highlight for the practice, a team led by Patrick Plant advised Malaysian investors on the £1.6bn purchase of a stake in the Battersea power station redevelopment project. Simon Price has notable experience with structured investments and is also possesses expert knowledge of the hotels sector, while the 'exceptional' Martin Elliott leads the development team.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team has an excellent working knowledge of our company’s structures and requirements. Advice is always timely and concise. The practice has a very thorough and expert knowledge of the development process.’
‘Martin Elliott is exceptional in his knowledge of the real estate process and our companies needs. He surrounds himself with excellent associates, notably Richard Liversedge, Kathryn Griffiths and Kate Pearson.’
‘Patrick Plant is knowledgeable and well respected. His advice is well balanced and commercial – he understands when to push and when to give.’
‘Linklaters have an excellent real estate development and construction team that provides practical advice on all relevant matters for real estate lenders. They are able to tailor their advice for a lender (rather than, say, the developer or owner).’
‘Siobhan Burton is excellent and always provides practical and useful advice.’
‘Siobhan Burton is a very strong performer’.
‘Excellent service; commercially aware advice; always available to client and quick turnaround of documents.’
‘Martin Elliott and his team provide a great service to clients, with a thoroughly professional and friendly approach. Readily available and excellent advice.’
Mandarin Oriental Holdings
- Advised a consortium member on its investment in a €6.4bn global portfolio of approximately 900 hotels.
- Advised Katara Hospitality, the hotel arm of the Qatari Government, on the acquisition of the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane.
At Macfarlanes LLP, the ‘commercial property team provides an excellent level of service’. In the development and investment space it is engaged for joint ventures, real estate fund structuring and inward investment along with the full range of financing and construction matters. On the corporate occupier front, the group handles relocation programmes, premises management and acquisitions, construction and planning issues. The firm is also home to a hotels practice which advises on tax, financing, management and franchising affairs. Standout individuals include Ian Nisse, a specialist on the structuring and financing of real estate projects, and Nick Barnes, whose strengths include debt financing, commercial letting and joint ventures. Dan Marriott is another standout name and is active on the full array of commercial property affairs.
Dominic Cunliffe; Simon Perry; Colin Morgan
‘The team work collaboratively with each other, take a commercial view and delegate work to the right level.’
‘Clare Breeze is proactive, very open to feedback and responsive. Tania Barnes is very capable, calm and doesn’t let anything slip on a large transaction. Dan Marriott is very responsive and has a good knowledge of our previous deals with him.’
‘The Macfarlanes commercial property provide an excellent level of service. The team fully understand commercial objectives and risk appetite, and approach their commissions in such a way as to ensure these are met and managed accordingly.’
‘Dominic Cunliffe, Margaret Rhodes and Chris Smith deliver a consistently high level of service and are very proactive. They are very knowledgeable and highly experienced, which, along with their good communication skills, provide a great deal of comfort in often complex and difficult situations.’
‘The partners always make themselves available. Dominic Cunliffe is an excellent person to have on your team.’
Maybourne Hotel Group
Westmont Hospitality Group
Scandic Hotels Group
Lulu Group International
CDL Hospitality Real Estate Investment Trust
Private client (principal of Grange Hotels)
C1 Capital Partners
L&G (Bishopsgate fund)
Owner of InterContinental Park Lane
LGIM Commercial Lending Limited
- Advised Covivio Hotels, the hotel subsidiary of French real estate investment company Covivio on the purchase of a portfolio of 14 four and five-star hotels for £858m from American investment firm Starwood Capital.
- Advising Arora Group on the development of the Crowne Plaza London and Holiday Inn Express London at Heathrow’s Terminal 4.
Paul Hastings LLP’s ‘extremely knowledgeable’ London team is led by Michael James, a ‘go-to adviser for all property-related matters’ with expertise in structured acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures, finance matters and fund investments. He also possesses specialist knowledge of the hotels sector with his team recently acting on high-value portfolio acquisitions and disposals, international management agreements and development projects. The team is also recommended for investment-related acquisitions and disposals, including those with a cross-border element.
‘The Paul Hastings team consistently delivers’.
‘Michael James is a go-to adviser on all property related matters.’
‘Stephen Nicolas is a rising star.’
‘Michael James is an exceptional partner who goes above and beyond on every deal. His commercial judgement is excellent and his commitment and hard work are second to none.’
‘They pick up on points that other lawyers miss’.
- Represented Starwood Capital on its disposal of 12 full-service hotels forming part of the Principal Hotel Company to FdM, for a purchase price in excess of $1.1bn.
- Represented LRC UK Ltd (LRC) in the acquisition of nine Mercure branded hotels across the UK with a headline purchase price of £118m.
Slaughter and May is particularly well-regarded for its work on stadium developments, and has been advising Everton Football Club on the development of its new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock, with leasing, financing, construction, planning and real estate issues coordinated by the firm. On the investment side, major transactions, including property disposals, form the workload while on the corporate occupiers front, headquarter letting and relocations are a key strength. The department prides itself on high-value, non-commoditised work and has particular expertise in the energy and retail sectors. Jane Edwarde serves as practice head and handles the full range of commercial property matters.
Other key lawyers:
John Nevin; Richard Todd
‘The team has a wide-ranging knowledge of property issues and a sound commercial approach to practical problems.’
‘John Nevin keeps a close eye on transactions even when they are allocated to more junior fee earners and offers excellent advice when necessary.’
‘Really bright people who are committed and work very hard.’
Dobbies Garden Centres
Legal & General
Midlothian Capital Partners
Ministry of Sound
NTT Urban Development Corporation
- Advised Midlothian Capital Partners on the acquisition of HB Education.
- Advising Tottenham on its new stadium.
Active on a range of development and investment work, Stephenson Harwood provides clients with full lifecycle support from acquisition to disposal. Sectors of particular activity include warehouse and logistics, retail, data centres and mixed-use with an increasing number of instructions pertaining to regeneration and alternative assets. Jonathon Wilkes heads the department, which gears its inward investment practice towards France, Hong Kong, Dubai and Singapore, among other jurisdictions. The hotels and leisure sector is a further area where the practice excels, representing a roster of hotel managers, nightclubs, restaurants and casinos on real estate, tax, corporate, employment and health and safety matters.
Other key lawyers:
Stephen Laud; Graeme Barton; Paul Hayward-Surry; Catriona Berman
InterContinental Hotels Group
Ambassador Theatre Group
Macdonald Hotels and Resorts
De Vere Hotels
- Advising Macdonald Hotels on claims against Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group.
- Advising LXI REIT plc on the acquisition of a portfolio of hotels.
Noted for its ‘efficiency, commerciality and approachability’, the team at Travers Smith LLP is active on the full spectrum of commercial property matters. It recently handled a number of investment transactions relating to care homes, infrastructure, hotels and retail centres and counts a number of real estate funds and private equity entities among its client roster. The alternative asset classes, particularly healthcare, student housing, build to rent and the private sector, are particular strengths, as are purchases, finance transactions, lettings, developments and CVAs. Additional industry expertise of extends to the logistics, leisure, retail, energy and infrastructure sectors. Simon Rutman heads the department which was recently bolstered by the lateral hire of Alex Millar from Jones Day. He tailors his practice towards development and regeneration projects.
Other key lawyers:
Paul Kenny; Alex Millar
‘Ease of use and efficiency, commerciality and approachability, easy to digest advice.’
‘Speedy and efficient’.
BTC Hotel Management
- Represented Bridgepoint on its sale of Pret a Manger.
- Acted for Credit Agricole and a consortium of other banks in their financing of Foncière des Régions’ acquisition of a portfolio of 14 UK hotels for £858m from Starwood Capital.
Addleshaw Goddard is home to a ‘wealth of expertise’, ‘producing high-quality and innovative legal solutions’. Significant development works in London, including those with a cross-border element, are an area where the team excels, and the same likewise applies to regeneration works and joint venture projects. Leona Ahmed is ‘outstanding in every way’ and is currently advising Battersea Power Station Development Company in relation to the development and asset management strategy of the commercial assets within Phase 2 of the power station development. Ahmed is an expert on inbound investment, particularly from Asia, and the team also counts several high-profile real estate investment funds and property companies among the client base. Luke Baines is key in the hotels and leisure sector where the team enjoys a particularly strong reputation for hotel finance and also handles development, construction, financing, IP, employment and commercial agreements in addition to leisure schemes for pub and restaurant clients. The practice also acts on HQ relocations and main office transactions, and in the retail space is particularly experienced within the shopping centre arena.
Leona Ahmed; Lee Sheldon; Adrian Collins
Other key lawyers:
James Salford; Luke Baines
‘The investment team is extremely thorough and diligent, yet commercial. They are always thinking ahead and anticipating needs. Partners and associates are very strong.’
‘Leona Ahmed is outstanding in every way. Very commercial and has an understanding of the market beyond what one would expect a lawyer to have. She is extremely well connected. She is always looking beyond the current task ahead to the next ones. In general, all the associates are great, with Hanan Taousi-Chahboun standing out.’
‘Responsive and practical’.
‘The team are receptive, commercial, knowledgeable and dependable.’
‘Andrew Martin has distinguished himself as an expert in his field, a professional services adviser at the very top of his game.’
Aareal Bank AG
Aberdeen Standard Investments (Standard Life Assurance Limited)
Be At One Limited
Ennismore (owner of Hoxton Hotels and Gleneagles)
KTB Asset Management
National Westminster Bank PLC & AIB Group (UK) plc
Precis Investments (owners of the Montcalm Hotels Group and Shaftsbury Hotels Group)
SACO Real Estate Group
Seafood Pub Company
Shearings Hotels Ltd
The Hotel Collection
Travelodge Hotels Ltd
TH UK & Ireland Limited (trading as Tim Hortons)
The City Pub Group plc
UK Hotels (Sharp Street, Manchester) Limited
Village Urban Resorts
- Acting for new client Ennismore on its acquisition of Eynsham Hall, a 135-room Grade II listed hotel near North Leigh and subsequent proposed expansion and refurbishment.
- Advised Village Urban Resorts / Village Hotels on the development of new resort style hotels in Portsmouth and Bristol and on the refurbishment of its existing stock.
Clients recommend Burges Salmon LLP for its ‘City quality advice at regional rates’, with the breadth of its offering in the development space covering joint ventures, regenerations, forward funding, sales and lettings along with niche expertise in sustainable and public sector projects. Investment clients include major landowners, investment managers, developers and constructors along with local authorities and other public sector bodies. On the hotels and leisure and retail fronts, the team draws upon the firm’s wider expertise on matters such as disputes, IT and IP, advertising, finance and M&A to assist on instructions that extend beyond real estate. In addition, corporate occupiers rely on the team, which is headed by Richard Clark, for matters including HQ moves, lease work, rent reviews, exit strategies and dilapidations.
Rick Read; Rupert Weston
Other key lawyers:
‘Good liaison between the individuals directly involved in the project and, after discussion/agreement on a way forward, the willingness and ability to bring in other people and specialists as and when required.’
‘Commitment to delivering a solution.’
‘Enjoyable to work with, professional and friendly, dedicated.’
‘As you’d expect of Burges Salmon, they provide City quality advice at regional rates. They also bring the corporate transactional mind-set to the real estate sector where it is often absent – speedy and commercially astute advice. Good dynamic between partners and associates – partner closely involved for key negotiations but delegating for cost-efficiency as appropriate.’
‘Rick Read combines dynamic advice, ready availability and affability very well.’
‘Overall Burges Salmon always provide clear, professional and honest advice.’
‘Partner led advice in this instance is a genuine strapline. Matthew Sims provides exceptional advice.’
‘Flexible, committed, proactive, responsive’.
Virgin Active / Virgin Clubs
The Wave Group
Darwin Leisure Property Fund
- Advised AlixPartners concerning all aspects of its appointment as administrator of the Zinc Hotels group.
- Advising YTL Hotels in respect of the redevelopment of Monkey Island Hotel.
Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is a market leader in the corporate occupier space and recently acted for Facebook on a multi-building pre-let of 620,000 sq ft at Argent’s King’s Cross development. The highly recommended Bruce Dear led on the matter, with other recent highlights including office relocations, headquarter expansions and a range of complex leasing issues. The retail sector is another area in which the practice excels as it handles data privacy, insolvency and smart warehousing matters, among many others. The firm is also recommended for its work in the hotels and leisure industry as well as development and investment matters.
Forsters LLP ‘provides a high level of expertise and delivers a very professional service’. It is well-regarded for complex long-term redevelopment schemes, with core strengths including site assembly, funding, joint venture agreements, development finance, pre-letting, site disposal and overage matters with the group routinely representing overseas investors and leading UK property funds. Also forming the client base are high-end London retail boutiques and luxury hotel operators who engage the practice for hotel financing deals. On the corporate occupier side, the workload includes HQ relocations, portfolio management, leasehold transfers as well as landlord and tenant matters. Practice head Matthew Swainston holds notable expertise concerning the redevelopment of landmark properties while Victoria Towers is a development specialist with particular knowledge of the logistics sector.
Other key lawyers:
‘Recommended for their ability to understand the key issues and report them in a relevant and concise way.’
‘The team is responsive, pragmatic and adept at dealing with fast-paced transactions.’
‘Victoria Towers is responsive, approachable and extremely engaged on all matters, and provides excellent client service.’
‘Forsters have a no nonsense, proactive approach. They just get on with it and don’t feel the need to show off about what they are doing.’
‘Guy Jordan is accessible and pragmatic.’
‘All members of the team are strong. Eugene McMahon as lead partner is an exceptional team leader and will take the lead on larger and more complex instructions.’
‘Katherine Ekers is extremely impressive.’
‘Forsters provide a high level of expertise, they are knowledgeable and deliver a very professional service.’
The Park Tower Hotel Limited
Reignwood UK Limited
Wentworth Club Limited
- Acted on the £150m-plus refinancing of Rocco Forte Hotel’s facilities with Bank of Scotland.
- Acted on the development financing of 25 Hanover Square, where Clivedale London is developing the second Mandarin Oriental Hotel in London.
The team at Glovers Solicitors LLP consists of ‘specialists in restaurant and retail property’ and counts pubs, bars, cinemas and theatres among its client base, in addition to high-end fashion brands and grab-and-go food offerings. Corporate occupier matters are also a strength. Philip Mundy heads the retail offering and advises clients from across Europe on their UK commercial property requirements while John Barber represents several high-profile names in the restaurant sector. Paul Jagger, a licensing expert, was recently promoted to the partnership.
Other key lawyers:
Philip Shotter; Paul Jagger;
‘Glovers is a first class firm for restaurant operators – they are extremely knowledgeable and highly skilled. The whole team deal with all matters in an exceptionally professional, efficient and friendly matter.’
‘John Barber is extremely knowledgeable – he deals with matters promptly, diligently and is able to explain complex legal points in a straightforward manner.’
‘Paul Jagger is not only highly competent but responds immediately to requests.’
‘Philip Shotter and Paul Jagger provide a standout licensing team at this boutique firm. Their strength is a thorough knowledge of licensing law combined withe ability to deal with the whole range of legal problems that often accompany a licensing application.’
‘Philip Shotter and his team offer more than traditional conveyancing solicitors. His is an entirely joined up approach that includes liaising with designers, planners, and commercial agents. They manage the whole process with amazing expertise and insight.’
‘Philip Shotter is always available, provides excellent advice, and works tirelessly to improve his clients position. This is aligned with a commercial intelligence that ensures deals conclude expediently.’
‘Excellent communication skills and attention to detail. Specialists in their chosen sectors.’
‘Approachable people with great interpersonal skills, tactical awareness and the required technical knowledge. Edward Vaughan is a first class litigator.’
‘They stand out because their knowledge of the sector and operational understanding’.
‘The team are absolutely incredible, they have deal with queries with the utmost respect, appreciation and total dedication.’
‘Excellent knowledge and expertise in a unique sector of work – a solid group of top quality solicitors, who are prepared to stand their ground and negotiate firmly. The team is commercially minded and always go the extra mile to help and are keen to build a long term a relationship.’
‘Philip Shotter and Paul Jagger are an outstanding team’.
Azzurri Restaurants Limited (Zizzi, Ask, Coca di Mama)
BDL Restaurants Limited (Bocca di Lupo, Plaquemine Lock)
Bricks and Fuel Limited
Cabana Restaurants Limited (Cabana)
Chinese Food Company Limited
Deep Blue Restaurants Limited
Everyman Media Limited
Fatto A Mano Central Limited
Flat Iron Steak Limited
Gourmet Burger Kitchen Limited (GBK)
Hop Vietnamese Limited
Hush Brasseries Limited (Hush Mayfair)
Made of Dough Limited
McMullen and Sons Limited
Nando’s Chickenland Limited (Nando’s)
Ned’s Noodle Box (Holdings) Limited
Perilla Dining Limited
PizzaExpress (Restaurants) Limited
Richoux Group Limited
Tarts Kitchen Limited
Thinktank (Streatham Space Project)
The Good Egg Restaurants Limited
The Vurger Co Ltd
Wahaca Restaurants Limited
Vision Team Limited
ZLC London Limited (The Palomar and The Barbary)
Zandi Enterprises Limited (Zuaya)
- Represented Azzurri on the assignment of the lease of 313, Westfield Stratford City.
- Represented Nando’s on the letting of 71 New Street, Birmingham.
Gowling WLG is hailed for its ‘exceptional credentials and impressive client list in the retail sector’ where it undertakes a wide spectrum of matters including joint ventures, refinancing and restructurings, expansions and store acquisitions. Also recommended for its investment and development work, the team is engaged by institutional investors on buying, selling, asset managing and letting work and also acts on mixed-use development and regeneration matters. In the hotels and leisure space, IP, operating agreements, regulatory issues and M&A are among the group’s offering, as is insolvency, finance and construction work. Corporate occupier matters are also a focus for the department, which includes the highly rated Jon Lloyd, who is recommended for retail and mixed-use investment and development projects and is also handling an increasing number of residential-focused schemes.
Matthew East; Jon Lent
Other key lawyers:
Mike Lacey; Matthew East; Joe Morris
‘Exceptional credentials and impressive client list in the retail sector. Competitive fee quotes.’
‘Chris Hunt inspires confidence. Kay Desai is exceptionally hardworking, thorough and very responsive.’
‘The team works well across a range of different disciplines and offices, providing a seamless service which targets the key issues at hand. The ability to bring in skills at different price points depending on the complexity of the work keeps costs down to the minimum. Above all, the firm is commercial in their view which means that a good solution is usually reached quickly and without fuss.’
‘Khalil Ahmad is an efficient and effective lawyer. Turnaround times on documents are often scarcely believable in their speed, yet the quality of the work is consistent. He is also a good judge of when to revert with questions and when to work autonomously without instruction. He displays an excellent understanding of our business.’
HSBC Bank Plc/HSBC Private Bank
Dolphin Capital Partners
Premier Inn / Whitbread
Urban & Civic
ICG – Longbow
Young & Co’s Brewery
- Advising ICG Longbow on a £200m term loan facility to a UK group of companies for the acquisition, development of and investment in caravan sites for both leisure and residential uses.
- Advising Prime Developments on the development and construction elements of the conversion of the Grade 1 Listed Admiralty Arch on the Mall in London into a five star Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
London boutique GSC Solicitors LLP undertakes the full range of commercial real estate work, including transactions, leasing on behalf of bluechip corporates, developments, financing and investment for both private and overseas entities. The firm advises major hotel owners on acquisitions, development, expansions and financing matters, while in the leisure space, it works with a number of notable fast food outfits. The firm’s wider tax, planning and contentious knowledge complements the commercial property offering.
Other key lawyers:
Peter Belcher; Matthew Phillips; Carole Joseph
Hamlins LLP’s commercial property team ‘goes above and beyond what is expected of a law firm’. The retail, hotels and leisure sector are core pillars of the practice, which advises on commercial contracts, litigation, employment, IP and brand protection matters. Examples include hotel acquisitions, restaurant rollouts and brand development as well as operating agreements and lease granting. 'Exceptional leader' Mark Hurst heads the real estate team, which represents professional property companies, sovereign wealth funds, private equity investors, banks and high-net-worth individuals on transactions, developments, management, structuring and lending affairs.
Other key lawyers:
‘Mark Hurst is an exceptional leader of this particular team. He often has to deal with difficult, complex deals and lettings and always has good commercial solutions to achieve the best results.’
‘The Hamlins team are very client focused. They take the time to understand the needs of the client and in many instances go above and beyond what is expected of a law firm.’
‘Joseph Holder organizes the team in a very effective and efficient manner – ensuring there is constant coverage and transactions are always moving forward.’
‘Professional and highly experienced.’
‘Highly qualified and available for the client’.
‘The majority of work is carried out at partner level meaning the instruction is undertaken by professionals with significant experience.’
‘Joseph Holder is a real estate partner with years of experience’.
PPHE (formerly Park Plaza Hotels)
Ego Restaurants Holdings Limited
Roko Health Centres Limited
The Mint Group (Koko and Infernos)
Ping Pong Restaurants
Adventure Leisure Limited
- Acting for Park Plaza Hotels on the acquisition, sale/leaseback, construction and re-mortgaging of a 400 bed hotel on the Great West Road, London.
- Acting for Leon on the acquisition of over twenty five individual new leases largely in London.
K&L Gates LLP
K&L Gates LLP's practice is home to ‘wide expertise' within the commercial property arena. The hotels and leisure team represents clients on large-scale, urban and resort hotel projects across the globe while the corporate occupiers department has recently been busy handling headquarter establishments, office acquisitions and lease work. The team’s cross-disciplinary structure provides it with an edge in the investment and development space with expertise on finance, construction, tax and planning all readily available. Highlights in the retail space include development work, supermarket acquisitions, refinancing and lettings. Wayne Smith heads the team which includes recommended special counsel Paul Alger, who is well-versed in acquisitions and disposals for institutional investors, landlord and tenant matters, property finance and institutional portfolio management.
Other key lawyers:
‘The K&L Gates team are a class apart. Clear, concise advice is offered’.
‘Paul Alger is a key member. Paul always gives you comfort that everything is on track and under control, and provides solutions when discussing problems that we encounter in each transaction.’
‘K&L Gates have expertise in a wide area within commercial property. They strike a good balance between reach across the industry while offering a personal service.’
‘Piers Coleman is a partner with vast experience – he has contacts across the property industry which prove beneficial.’
St James Edinburgh Unit Trust (TH Real Estate)
Classic Lodges Limited
Z Hotels Limited
Sweat Union Limited
Arena Racing Corporation Limited
- Representing Z Hotels in its real estate requirements.
- Acting for high-net-worth individuals on the sale of a mixed use scheme incorporating high end restaurant (Mayfair) and residential.
Property boutique RLS Law is well-regarded in the retail space, handling matters including lease extensions, new leases, store acquisitions and HQ refurbishments. Corporate occupier clients engage the group particularly for its office, warehouse and industrial unit expertise while in the leisure space, high-profile restaurateurs, pub owners and gym operators form the roster. The team also regularly acts on investment, property-related corporate transactions, property litigation and development matters. Tom Foley is highly recommended and recently made partner.
Craig Themis; Jason Goldsmith; Julien Rutler
Other key lawyers:
Liam McArdle; Tom Foley
‘What sets RLS Law apart from other legal practices is simple, it listens to the requirements and doesn’t just hear you. Flexibility has been proven throughout as the requirements can change, understanding the deadlines to meet means that the entire team has to work together.’
‘Julien Rutler understands that legal support is key to the success of completing the deal. Small details that often get forgotten are picked up by the entire team’.
‘What makes RLS unique is the high level of personal service and attention to detail. RLS senior partners are more than just your legal advisers, they act as if they are your business partners.’
‘Julien Rutler is more than a lawyer. In addition to providing balanced legal advice, he has been fully involved and often leads in all commercial negotiations. He is incredibly thorough in reviewing legal documents.’
‘Craig Themis is concise and provides timely advice, relevant to matters in hand. Richard Webber delivers clear explanation of issues and possible avenues.’
‘Julien Rutler and Liam McArdle continue to outperform themselves.’
‘An approachable, pragmatic and professional privately owned firm with a track record of performance with integrity.’
Elephant Taverns Limited
Black Murphy Limited (trading as Move Your Frame)
Food For Friends
Wok to Walk
- Represented Elephant Taverns on the property aspects of the corporate acquisition of 3 gastropubs in Islington and Shoreditch for £3.5m.
- Acting for Adam Handling on the acquisition of a large bar and restaurant site on Hoxton Square.
Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP ‘provides real expertise' and 'looks at matters from a commercial perspective’. Its corporate occupier practice is tailored towards portfolio management such as high-value lease work, refinancing, sale and leaseback transactions and the spectrum of landlord and tenant advice. Instructions in the hotels and leisure sectors encompass leasing issues, hotel developments, work for restaurateurs and disputes, among others matters. Commercial redevelopment is another keystone of the practice, as is property finance and high-value developments in prime London locations. Domestic and international financial institutions, high-net-worth individuals, freehold corporate investors form the investment client base. Senior associate Simon Lawrence is highly regarded for commercial lettings and acquisitions.
Sarah Hung; John O’Callaghan
Other key lawyers:
‘A great blend of exceptional talent at partner level covering both litigation and transactional expertise.’
‘Rudi Ramdarshan is outstanding in his approach to mixed use commercial and residential sites. He is an expert on obtaining vacant possession and in unlocking development potential.’
‘David Burns is an expert in preemption rights, in particular for those in mixed use sites. He has obtained outstanding results in commercial forfeiture actions in the past.’
‘The team and has an excellent breadth of experience with both transactional and litigation expertise.’
‘Rudi Ramdarshan and David Burns can really add value to the realisation of mixed use development. Simon Lawrence has decades of experience in the industry and brings gravitas to matters’.
‘A great reputation in the hotel industry acting for some of the biggest names. The unique feature is the strength at partner and associate level.’
‘John O’Callaghan is a calm presence who knows how to mobilize large teams on complex high value hotel transactions Sarah Hung is known for her expertise in restaurants.’
‘The firm’s reputation in this area is continuing to grow and as a result the firm is attracting large corporate clients and high net worth individuals.’
‘Simon Lawrence has decades of experience and ensures deals run smoothly John O’Callaghan is a calming influence and can coordinate large teams on the more complex matters’.
‘They provide real expertise and are skilled at adding value and looking at matters from a commercial perspective; a good team to have in your back pocket. They are great at dealing with out of the ordinary transactions and solving problems.’
‘Sarah Hung is incredibly efficient and great on complex deals. John O’Callaghan is very approachable with an in depth understanding of the market. Paul Cain is a go to for high value transactions.’
‘Sarah Hung knows retail and leisure intimately and is incredibly efficient. Senior associate Simon Lawrence has a sizeable hotels practice. Mustafa Abbas is very quick. Special mention should go to managing partner Rakeebah Rahim, who is really a class apart in her management and leadership style.’
‘Associate Simon Lawrence is a good man to have on your side; experienced and reliable. John O’Callaghan is very approachable, with an in depth understanding of the market. Paul Cain is a go to for large volume transactions.’
Glasshouse Asset Management
Al Sraiya Group Limited (Qatar)
The Dominvs Group
Habib Bank AG Zurich
Cranfield Investments Limited
Comptoir Libanais (Levant Group)
Dodd’s Gin Distillery
Keystone Holdings Limited (Isle of Man)
Battersea Ducks Limited
Allegro Health and Fitness Limited trading as F45 Franchise
Law Business Research Limited
Delphinus Developments Limited
Urban Spectrum Property Management Limited
- Instructed in relation to the development of a hotel valued at £15m.
- Acted for a client on a complex purchase of a luxury hotel in prime central London for £42m.
The practice at Simmons & Simmons, which is led by John Kelsey, advises on a broad array of development and investment projects including skyscrapers, offices, industrial and logistic premises, mixed-use, residential and retail centres. Specific expertise encompasses forward funding, taxation and financing as well as renewable and clean tech development matters, namely wind, hydro, solar and energy from waste projects. Its hospitality practice operates on an international scale, routinely assisting on cross-border investment, construction finance and the full gamut of real estate matters.
Other key lawyers:
Simon Kildahl; Mark Waghorn; Richard Hopkinson-Woolley
‘Good sense, hard work, responsiveness and a sense of humour’.
‘The team’s quality is good from top to bottom. They have high standards and work hard to maintain them. At the same time they are very approachable’.
Wallace LLP’s team, which is ‘very responsive, efficient and helpful’, is home to experience in the office, retail, industrial, hospitality and leisure sectors and is frequently instructed by investment companies on portfolio management, acquisitions and disposals as well as development transactions, landlord and tenant, joint venture and financing work. Practice head Martin Otvos counts several high-profile restaurateurs, hotel operators and retailers among his client list and is adept on commercial property transactions, developments, funding and letting.
Other key lawyers:
Matthew Morgan; Bibi Fakhrai; Charlotte Wheeldon
‘The team is technically very sound and reliable. They are able to react very quickly and can be relied upon.’
‘They are extremely responsive, clear, approachable and always have the clients best interests in mind which is not always the case when dealing with other law firms. On top of this, their fee quotes are extremely competitive.’
‘Jackie Boot is efficient, diligent and a great communicator.’
‘The merits of the practice are wholly reliant on the merits of the team, all of whom are very helpful’.
‘The team is always very responsive, efficient and helpful with the ability to guide someone new through the process with ease.’
‘Bibi Fakhrai is very astute at cutting to the chase.’
Laurel Canyon Ventures
Grand Union Company
The London Golf Club
Paradise Valley Farm
- Represented a client in relation to the sale of a portfolio of eight restaurants and pubs.
- Acting for Soho Estates on new leases for the new Soho House operation at Romilly Street.
Watson Farley & Williams LLP
Watson Farley & Williams LLP’s highly rated hotels and leisure practice has a strong track record in transactional work, as well as asset management, outsourcing, procurement and technology matters. Felicity Jones heads the department, which was recently bolstered by the lateral hire of Barry Hembling from Fladgate LLP. Clients include brand and property owners, consultants, funders and franchisees with an interest in the sector, as well as hotels, resorts, restaurants, airlines and cruise ships. Gary Ritter leads the overall real estate practice, which is regularly referred development and investment instructions pertaining to the residential and energy sectors, and specialises in acting for Asian and institutional investors as well as funds clients.
Other key lawyers:
Norlake Hospitality Ltd/Ennismore International Management Ltd
BP Pension Fund
Frasers Hospitality UK
Chandris Hotels Group
- Advised leading real estate investment company Aprirose on the creation of a hotel operating platform, which will initially be operated in conjunction with hotel operator Kew Green Hotels.
- Advising Corinthia Hotels on its strategic investment in the Global Hotel Alliance, the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands and operator of the multi-brand loyalty programme, DISCOVERY.
Blake Morgan LLP’s ‘commercially aware and proactive’ practice is engaged for a broad array of commercial property projects including development, investment, asset management and corporate occupier affairs. Practice head Tony Coyne is well-versed in acting for UK and overseas lenders and borrowers on high-end projects and counts a number of Far Eastern entities among his client base. Other particular strengths within the team include investment acquisitions and sales, leasing matters for both landlords and tenants as well as portfolio transactions. The restaurant and leisure sectors are also a specific focus.
Other key lawyers:
Jeremy Taylor; Neil Stafford
‘Mark Hiley deals with matters quickly and has has a good commercial awareness.’
‘Michelle Davenport deals with matters promptly and gives good advice.’
‘Commercial approach, exactly understood the requirements and worked as a team to meet them. Focused and well resourced.’
‘Commercially aware, proactive, understanding of our business.’
Cockpit Hotel (London) Ltd
Britannia Hospitality (The Stafford)
FS JV Co (owners of the ‘Planet’ portfolio)
At Clarkslegal LLP, corporate occupier clients instruct the group for new lease negotiations, rent reviews and a range of other landlord and tenant work. Major development projects, related transactions, investment and portfolio management form the hotels and leisure offering where the team is particularly well-regarded in the food and restaurant arena. Lettings to retail occupiers are a further area of expertise, as are investment portfolio management and development projects. Rachel Krol heads the practice which is also knowledgeable in the education, healthcare and automotive sectors.
Other key lawyers:
University of Reading
NTT Data UK Limited
Crown Packaging Manufacturing UK Limited
Newham Sixth Form College Further Education Corporation
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
St Clair Developments Limited
Lafarge UK Pension Trustees
Eden Motor Group
Offsite Archive Storage and Integrated Services (OASIS)
Liquidators of Carillion plc
- Acting for a nationally significant client on the sale of four hotels and other matters relating to the hotels and leisure sector.
- Acting for a leisure business in relation to new premises in Central London.
DWF’s hospitality team has notable expertise in the establishment and structuring of real estate funds and SPVs for the purpose of hotel acquisitions and related hospitality development projects. The practice, which is active on matters across the globe, undertakes all aspects of subsequent investment transactions through to sales and leasebacks. Licensing and regulatory work is integral to the group as it advises hotels, restaurants, public houses and events on the full breadth of relevant issues. Richard Birks heads the overall real estate department which also represents both private and public sector clients on forward funding projects, regeneration works and the management of property across all asset classes. Andrew Edwards, a new arrival from Greenberg Traurig, LLP, has added experience of acting for institutions, fund managers, private equity houses and corporate occupiers.
‘The team offers sound and considered advice, within agreed time frames and budgets.’
‘Mark Shepherd is not only a proactive, practical and good lawyer, he’s a thoroughly nice guy. He is exceptionally accessible and responsive, and offers helpful advice’.
‘The team are highly responsive, provide solutions and exceptionally accessible.’
‘Mark Shepherd is a pleasure to work with. He provides solutions when issues arise, and is always available and accessible.’
Whitbread plc (Premier Inn, Costa etc.)
Bridgestreet Global Hospitality
Berkeley Square Developments
Maven Capital Partners
Coutts & Co
- Acting for Keys REIM/Best Hospitality Inc on the acquisition, development, leasing and finance in respect of the acquisition of a historic cinema site in East London to be redeveloped for use as boutique hotel.
- Represented Premier Inn in respect of a new 137 bed hotel at Princes Street Edinburgh, to form a centre piece of the mixed use development to be converted out of the former BHS department store.
The team at Fox Williams LLP ‘always act commercially and in a responsive manner’. Phillip Hope delivers a ‘wealth of knowledge and experience’ with a proven track record of acting for international hotels owners and ‘a significant roster of Middle and Far Eastern investors’. His team also undertakes tenant occupation, asset management and development work including regenerations, infrastructure projects and residential projects. Several high-profile London restaurants also frequently instruct the group.
Other key lawyers:
‘In what are challenging times they always act commercially and in a responsive manner’.
‘The Fox Williams real estate team – which is very much partner-led – punches above its weight.’
‘The team are friendly, approachable and personable. Phillip Hope is a stand-out – he has a wealth of knowledge and experience, and an enviable client base – including a significant roster of Middle and Far Eastern investors. He is very commercial in his approach, calm under pressure, easy to deal with, and gets the job done.’
Park Tower Hotel
Halkin Hotel Limited
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher is active on a wide range of commercial property matters, including corporate and investment acquisitions and disposals, financing and developments and joint ventures. Foreign-based investors, particularly those from the US and the Middle East, frequently instruct the team, as do lenders in high-end transactional work across mainland Europe and around the globe. Other clients include hotel groups, institutional real estate investors and sovereign wealth funds. The highly recommended Alan Samson serves as practice head and possesses expertise in relation to the acquisition of real estate loan portfolios. Of counsel Claibourne Harrison is another name to note and is a specialist on real estate private equity and mergers and acquisitions.
Other key lawyers:
Jeremy Kenley; Claibourne Harrison
Apollo Global Management
Cale Street Partners
Davidson Kempner Capital Management
Deutsche Bank AG
Investcorp Bank B.S.C.
Nuveen Real Estate
Oaktree Capital Management
- Advised Meadow Partners LLC on the sale of a newly developed 212-room hotel on Aldgate Place, London to Irish listed Dalata Hotel Group PLC.
The team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP delivers a ‘consistently high quality service from consistently high quality personnel’, working with a wide variety of owner, development and tenant clients on high-profile matters. The practice handles the full lifecycle of investment projects and transactions as well as large development and regeneration projects. The globally integrated hotels and leisure practice advises on areas including acquisitions, disposals, disputes, IP and employment issues, while expertise in the retail sector includes development, acquisition, disposal and letting issues. Donald Rowlands, a ‘leader in his field’, is a key member of the team, as is Richard Forsdyke, who is knowledgeable across the full spectrum of financing, development and investment matters. The group is currently acting for Madison Square Garden Company in relation to the proposed development of MSG Sphere London, a 20,000 seat entertainment venue in Stratford. Clients include sovereign wealth funds, private equity funds, investment and fund managers, borrowers and lenders. Nick Turner is a key name and leads the corporate occupier offering, while Paul Chases is an expert in the structuring, negotiation and completion of complex development joint ventures. Also recommended is Shona Grey, a specialist in corporate acquisitions and disposals in the private equity real estate sector.
Specialist real estate firm Maples Teesdale LLP, which is praised for 'punching well above its weight', provides expert knowledge on matters including forward funding, construction, redevelopment, joint venture agreements, site acquisitions and assemblies, leaseback transactions and pre-lets. Development and investment work for the group encompasses several sectors including retail, office, hotels and leisure, mixed-use, industrial and residential. Roger Thornton is ‘strong at identifying risks’ and heads the practice which is geared towards acting for landlords.
Other key lawyers:
Dellah Gilbert; Chris Wilkinson
‘A great team, consistent in personnel, easily contactable and responsive to requests and requirements’.
‘Very approachable offering good advice highlighting options available. Provide regular progress updates and go the extra mile when closing out transactions.’
‘Advice is always decisive and firm, easy to get on with, prepared to discuss drafts on document face-to-face on over phone rather than relying on written representations only. Not overtly fee-driven.’
‘Service excellence, personal attention from partners, good no-nonsense advice’
‘Attention to detail and easy access to partners. Declan Power stands out in particular as someone I would appoint in the future to provide commercial property legal advice.’
‘The team comprises very commercial, hard-working, collegiate lawyers who focus on the UK real estate market and work on competitive terms. They punch well above their weight.’
‘Declan Power and Roger Thornton have vast experience and know how to solve issues and get deals done.’
‘Roger Thornton is very proactive and reactive to any work we require completing. Very approachable.’
‘Martin Smith is exceptional for his ability to negotiate a deal and make it work rather than bog it down in legal complexity. Provides actual advice rather than disclaimers.’
‘Maples Teesdale are large enough to be able to cover all real estate issues while being small enough to act coherently as a team on large projects. The firm is low on ego and seen as practical and friendly.’
Legal & General
The Cavendish Hotel
- Acted for The Cavendish Hotel (London) Limited in the Supreme Court case in October 2018 on the meaning of a landlord’s intention to redevelop under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
- Continuing to advise Cine UK on a number of their cinemas throughout England and Wales.
The highly regarded commercial property practice at Mayer Brown International LLP is 'well resourced, incredibly capable and commercial'. On the corporate occupier side, it represents both landlords and tenants on headquarter relocations and post-property acquisition leasing transactions, and is also reputed for its handling of large mixed use schemes. Development-related strengths include land acquisition, site assembly and structuring, planning and statutory issues, tendering and procurement, development constraints strategy and environmental issues. Firmwide managing partner Jeremy Clay is a key name on the investment side and primarily represents private equity funds, though the group also acts for property companies, family offices and overseas investors. Martin Wright recently acted for First Base Limited, Macquarie Capital and Chelsfield Properties on the sale of The Silvertown Partnership to a joint venture vehicle between Lendlease and Starwood Capital. Iain Roberts is recommended for high-value investment transactions and mixed use property developments while Caroline Humble is another standout name.
Other key lawyers:
‘Very high quality; exceptional availability and thoughtful approach.’
‘Exceptional quality of personnel around the whole team. Highly commercial and effective.’
‘Diligent, knowledgeable and highly commercial.’
‘A well resourced and incredibly capable team who are highly commercial.’
‘Excellent at giving strategic advice and structuring complex deals. Always commercially aware.’
‘Outstanding strategic advice on complex transactions – Jeremy Clay is particularly recommended.’
‘They have a number of talented junior lawyers who provide a strong service’.
‘Martin Wright is very adept at understanding our key commercial objectives. He is able to strike a sensible and pragmatic balance between covering the detail and ensuring our commercial property transactions progress expeditiously.’
‘Very strong commercially, ability to think round corners in extremely complicated scenarios.’
‘Chris Harvey has excellent skills and always provides great partner time.’
Gaw Capital Partners
Butterfly Hotels Group
TD Asset Management
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts
Langham Hotels International
Westmont Hospitality Group
- Advised TD Asset Management on the financing of the acquisition by Talisker of the entity which owns The Cube.
- Advised Gaw Capital in relation to a note purchase facility in respect of the acquisition of the entity which owns the InterContinental Hotel in Porto, Portugal.
At Memery Crystal LLP, the team possesses an ‘uncanny ability to overcome items that other lawyers see as problems’. Daniel Abrahams is acclaimed for his ‘excellent all-round real estate knowledge’ and heads the practice alongside Alastair Moss. High-value transactions and portfolio work are key strengths in the hospitality and leisure industries with the group representing pubs, hotels and restaurants, among others. Instructions in the retail space include lease renewals, property disputes and store developments, while on the investment front, the team represents banks, wealth managers and family offices on both cross-border and domestic matters. Also forming the commercial property workload are site acquisitions and disposals, developments, construction, planning and disputes along with landlord and tenant affairs. Sukina Dhilon recently joined from Collyer Bristow LLP.
Daniel Abrahams; Alastair Moss
Other key lawyers:
‘Direct partner involvement in transactions, even when the day to day drafting is being dealt with by a junior lawyer. Their main strengths are in knowing their clients so being able to deal with issues expeditiously without needing client involvement for all the minutiae of the transaction; that and an uncanny ability of overcoming items that other lawyers see as problems. They are a firm who simply get the deal done in the best interests of their clients.’
‘Daniel Abrahams has excellent all-round real estate knowledge with the ability to overcome issues that arise during transactions that other lawyers seem unable to resolve.’
David Moore and Tony Bennett
Vastint Hospitality B.V. (part of the IKEA Group)
Kicking Horse, Freshwater Pub Co Limited, Golden Brick Pubs Limited
Wolfpack Craft Beer
Allied Irish Bank (GB)
- Advising on the leasehold acquisition of The Devereux, the historic former Greene King pub.
- Advising Vastint Hospitality in relation to the construction aspects of their Moxy brand of hotels.
At Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, the practice handles a wide range of development projects and transactions, including forward funding deals, and recently supplemented its offering with the hire of Simon Allan from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, a specialist in working with private capital on infrastructure-related assets. The acquisition and disposal of investment properties and portfolio is a further core strength, as is fund and asset management work. The client roster includes institutional investors, real estate companies and funds, family officers, banks and tenant occupiers. James Nadin heads the practice which is also instructed by hotels for acquisition, disposal, development and leasing work.
Other key lawyers:
‘They are a very commercial firm and focus on the key issues that really matter.’
Lester Hotel Group
Starwood Capital Group
- Acting for Lester Hotel Group on the acquisition/financing of site for development of prime hotel in central Glasgow.
- Acting for Chesterman Consultants Ltd as purchaser of the Mercure Farnham Bush Hotel from Laser (Mercure) Limited.
At Proskauer Rose LLP, the hospitality team routinely act on M&A, management agreements, mixed-use developments alongside the full range of real estate matters. Headed by Joanne Owen, the practice directs particular attention to hotel transactions across Europe, Asia, Latin America and the firm's domestic US market. On the investment side, the group represents private equity houses, sovereign wealth funds, asset managers and private investors on a broad array of cross-border mandates.
‘They are thorough and understand the client’s business’.
‘They always take time to explain the process’.
The Blackstone Group
Global Loan Agency Services Limited
Meteorite Manchester Limited
Motel One (UK) Limited
Park Holidays UK Limited
Sky Betting & Gaming senior executives
- Represented Meteorite Manchester Limited, on behalf of Singapore-based real estate investment trust Hiap Hoe in relation to the acquisition of a newly built hotel.
- Represented Park Holidays UK, the fourth-largest holiday park operator in the UK, as part of its strategic sale and leaseback of a portfolio of ground rent properties within the UK.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP's ‘high quality', ‘very commercial and proactive’ team handles both commercial and mixed-use developments as well as prime London and portfolio investment acquisitions, complementing its offering with the wider firm’s knowledge of finance, tax, planning, construction and environment. Data centres and industrial assets are sector specialisms, as is the hotels and leisure industry where the group advises on matters such as sales, acquisitions, leases and regenerations. Jimmy Theodorou heads the department which includes development and investment specialist Brigid North.
Other key lawyers:
‘High quality, responsive team that provides good value for money.’
‘The team are very commercial and pro-active trouble shooting in difficult situations.’
‘Nick Harris is particularly helpful and always responds in a very timely manner.’
‘They provide good commercial advice in an accessible and timely manner. What makes this practice stand out to me is the friendly people, their team spirit, and their genuine interest in their clients.’
‘Andrew Jenkinson, although holding a senior management role within the firm, is always readily accessible. knows what is going across the project team, and always gets involved when his skills and experience are required’.
Sarah Cunningham is super efficient in providing down to earth commercial advice, Jamie Garside is highly organised, focuses on detail, a really good project manager to have on a deal team’.
‘ Recommended for their business understanding, responsiveness and care for clients.’
‘Jimmy Theodorou is excellent’.