Firms To Watch: Commercial property: investment

Blake Morgan LLP’s investment practice is led by Tony Coyne who provides distinguished expertise in secured lending; the team is able to provide a full-service and often involved in transactions with both a development and investment element.
Katten’s investment practice is particularly busy in the hospitality and financial services fields and has handled a number of high-value investments over the past year, including a handful of sale-leasebacks.
King & Spalding LLP caters to a broad client roster, which includes private equity funds and REITs, and is often engaged on investments with cross-border and real estate finance elements.

Commercial property: investment in London

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP leverages its extensive international profile to act on a range of domestic and cross-border big-ticket investment transactions. Chris de Pury, the global head of real estate, is a go-to name for structured sales, purchases and restructurings involving UK and European assets and portfolios and is supported by Claire Milton who in addition to sales and purchases, is also particularly well-versed in lettings and corporate real estate deals. Elsewhere, Samant Narula has transacted over £4bn worth of deals over recent years, including numerous corporate real estate mandates, while Celia Berg is a figure of prominence owing to her first-rate track record in student accomodation investments. On the development front, Liana Hewson is routinely involved in London’s largest regeneration schemes, Chris Rowe demonstrates an aptitude for significant urban regeneration schemes and Andrew Yates leverages his position as one of the market’s foremost experts for build-to-rent projects. Emma Le Wita and Juliet Thomas are among the key contacts for corporate occupier matters for which the team is engaged on everything from day-to-day asset and portfolio management through to high-value pre-letting transactions, the latter of which are a particular forte of Robert MacGregor and Alan Wight respectively. The department is able to call upon its real estate colleagues in the Manchester and Southampton offices as a means of cost efficiency and provides first-class expertise in a wealth of asset classes including mixed-use, industrial, office, senior living, hotels, life sciences and healthcare – a particular focus for Matthew Peel, who co-chairs the London practice.

Practice head(s):

Chris de Pury

Other key lawyers:

Samant Narula; Robert MacGregor; Claire Milton; Robert MacGregor; Celia Berg; Simon Kenley; Andrew Yates

Testimonials

‘One-stop shop for multi-disciplinary transactions. Lawyers are robust and know their stuff, always responsive, innovative where they can be and see through legalese and other lawyers’ overcomplications. They never add any unnecessary complexity, always keeping it simple. They are always commercial, with an honest and realistic approach to overcoming issues.’

‘Liana Hewson is clever and creative with a huge amount of technical knowledge and know-how on complex large scale developments.’

‘Bright, commercial, responsive with excellent drafting skills. Deep knowledge of evolving market practice. Superior to almost all other City firms which I have worked with.’

‘I have known a number of the lawyers at BCLP for many years, following them from other firms, so I rate them highly in a number of different categories. For our real estate practice, particularly on acquisitions, they are fast and efficient, highly dependable in their due diligence, and commercial in negotiations with other firms.’ 

‘Andrew Yates’s input has been invaluable and highly creative.’

‘Good partner involvement with a strong and positive team. They are also a diverse team.’

‘I particularly recommend Claire Milton who focuses on relationship building through a transaction .’

‘High quality, personalised service. Very credible in the UK build-to-rent residential sector.’

Key clients

DOOR

Capital Industrial

Land Securities plc

Hines

Morgan Stanley advised fund/Thor Equities

Hana Financial and Kiwoom

KKR

Cale Street Investments

Federated Hermes

Fidelidade

Ares European Property fund and Generation

Tristan Capital Partners

Harwell Oxford Partners

The Carlyle Group

Derwent

Clearbell Capital LLP

TfL Grainger Connected Living

Work highlights

  • Advised DOOR (a joint venture between Oxford Properties and DV4, a fund advised by Delancey) on raising £660m of external funds from Alecta, Allianz and the Local Pensions Partnership for investment into Get Living, a UK build to rent platform backed by DOOR, APG and Qatari Diar, bringing DOOR’s total commitments to the platform to £1.21bn.
  • On the eve of Brexit, a multi-disciplinary team successfully closed a series of simultaneous cross-border mergers for client Capital Industrial – a market leader for industrial and commercial rental spaces – moving their £900m Dutch real estate investment platform onshore to the UK to create a new UK REIT structure.
  • Advised Landsec on the sale of 1 & 2 New Ludgate for £552m to Singaporean property developer and asset manager Sun Venture.

CMS

The London office of CMS, part of the firm's vast international network, is home to ‘one of the top real estate teams in the country with exposure to the biggest and most complex deals'. In the development space, the group is tailor-made to provide full lifecycle support on regeneration, office, leisure, data centre projects and owing to the vast experience of Mark Heighton, is also a powerhouse in the field of mixed-use and regeneration schemes, including senior living and build-to-rent ventures. John Cumpson and Chris Oakley both enjoy respective track record in major retail projects, Leilah Rawle is the key contact for energy-related developments while ‘the cerebralBarry Morris has significant exposure to City of London office schemes. On the investment side, real estate head Ciaran Carvalho has transacted over £1bn worth of disposals and acquisitions over recent months; his team is proficient in supporting all-manner of investors including institutional, private equity and overseas entities, co-living and co-working providers, the world’s biggest technology companies and major property companies. Carvalho is supported by Amanda Howard, who fronts a dedicated funds and indirect real assets group, Caroline Maude, who demonstrates a tenacity for mixed-use and office investments, as well as Alan Crawford, a specialist in opportunity fund representation. Marie Scott and Jules Needleman are among the standout practitioners in the corporate occupier field, a front on which the team is engaged for headquarter transactions, freehold and leasehold portfolio management, related acquisitions and developments, as well as exit strategies. Andrew Banton is another go-to name on the leasing front, often acting for US corporates at retail, office and leisure sites.

Practice head(s):

Ciaran Carvalho

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Maude; Amanda Howard; Alan Crawford; Marc Franks

Testimonials

‘I have worked with CMS for many years and they are my go-to lawyers for any real estate or construction relates matters in the UK. In recent years we have also used CMS in jurisdictions like Switzerland, France, Portugal Spain, Ukraine and Hungary. The UK team are especially good at knowing the things that are important to our real estate business and they understand and advocate for our position on key issues.’

‘The team is knowledgeable, collaborative, responsive and always ready to think about solutions for the client.’

‘Ciaran Carvalho thinks for the client and strive to find workable solutions for both the seller and the buyer.’

‘The team can run the entire acquisition process in a very professional way and guide the client smoothly through the process. They were also able to give us clear and comprehensible advice on all aspects of UK real estate law.’

‘Personable, commercial, understand our needs and extremely well-informed, exceptional technical understanding.’

‘The CMS real estate team, combined with all the related practice areas (corporate, tax, planning, disputes, construction) is one of the top firms in the country. It has great sector awareness, exposure to the most complex and biggest deals and an ability to get ahead on new developments.’

‘John Cumpson understands our business extremely well and ensures that we have the best balanced team for our needs.’

‘Barry Morris is very cerebral; the person to turn to when you have a knotty problem to unpick.’

‘Good for more complex/high value matters. Consistent delivery of transactions to required timeframes and good at all round communications. They well as a team and stick to fee arrangements and provide competitive fee quotes.’

‘Jules Needleman is a commercially astute lawyer, willing to be flexible on fees and excellent at communication and availability.’

Key clients

Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust (Suntec REIT)

APG

Long Harbour Multi-Income Fund

Urban & Civic plc

Sun Venture

CLS Holdings Plc

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Lendlease

New River REIT

M&G

Land Securities

Work highlights

  • Advised Singapore-based Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust on the acquisition of a 50% interest in Phase One of Nova Victoria from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for c£430m.
  • Advised longstanding client APG, one of the world’s largest pension investors, on the completion of an approximate €300m purchase of substantially all of Hammerson plc’s stake in VIA Outlets (VIA), a portfolio of pan-European premium retail outlets (eleven outlets across nine countries) valued at approximately €1.6bn.
  • Acted for Sun Venture, a Singapore-based real estate investor and developer, on its £552m acquisition of One and Two New Ludgate from Landsec.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is widely considered a go-to name for big ticket property transactions, catering to a client roster consisting of property companies, investors, developers, SWFs, corporate occupiers, borrowers and lenders. Jeremy Walden fronts both the national and EMEA practices from London and handles a wealth of matters from leasing and asset management through to joint ventures and structured acquisitions and disposals; he is supported by Richard Forsdyke and Donald Rowlands, both of whom are specialists in high-magnitude development projects, as well as Nick Turner  who enjoys a commanding presence within the corporate occupier field owing to his involvement in many of the market’s most high-value pre-lets. The team also includes well-regarded partners Shona Grey and Paul Chases who are forging prominent reputations for corporate real estate matters.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Walden

Other key lawyers:

Donald Rowlands; Ian Cox; Julian Pollock; Shona Grey; Paul Chases

Testimonials

‘Responsive and user friendly.  No weak links in the team.’

‘High quality advice, experienced, thorough, and readily available.’

‘A knowledgeable team with great bench strength.’

‘A very mature practice with real depth in all areas. They are very well connected internally and provide a seamless service across all areas.’

‘David Rosen is always available. Very personable with great depth of knowledge and a can-do attitude. Always delivers.’

‘Nick Turner takes a pragmatic and commercial approach.’

‘Don Rowlands is first class. He has a very calm measured style. He is good at assessing risk and coming up with commercial solutions based on his assessment of risk.’

‘Nick Turner is an excellent technical lawyer and tough negotiator.’

Key clients

British Land

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Blackstone

Brookfield

Hammerson

Argent Related

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield

London & Continental Railways

Local Pensions Partnership

Straits Real Estate

ARA Dunedin

Work highlights

  • Advised Blackstone on its acquisition of a UK logistics portfolio from Prologis for a confidential amount, the largest logistics transaction in the UK.
  • Advised long-standing client CPPIB on its restructuring and part-disposal of The Nova Estate in London, formerly known as Victoria Circle, in a 50:50 joint venture with Land Securities.
  • Advised major client Brookfield Properties on the sale of One London Wall Place to middle eastern investor, AGC Equity Partners.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLPMagic circle firm Allen & Overy LLP is home to real estate lawyers with notable expertise in corporate structuring and are equipped to advise on holding company transactions in addition to asset-only deals. The team is headed by Christopher Woolf, who has succeeded the recently retired Imogen Moss, and leverages a track record consisting of over £12bn worth of investment deals throughout the UK and Europe. In addition to cross-border transactions, the group is also home to a dedicated headquarters department which represents financial institutions and corporates alike, as well as a development projects practice which has supported a number of private equity firms on major London-based redevelopment and refurbishment projects. Nick Saner delivers niche expertise in transactions relating to offshore property holding structures and is one of the key junior partners within the group; so too is the recently promoted Emma Willoughby who supports landlords and tenants in the leasing and management of their real estate investments and is well-versed in student, senior living and hospitality sectors, among others.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Woolf

Other key lawyers:

Jane Fox-Edwards; Daniel McKimm; Emma Willoughby; Nick Saner

Key clients

Blackstone

C C Land

China Vanke

Evans Randall

Kennedy Wilson

Mapletree

Nuveen

Orion Capital Managers

Oxford Properties

Westbrook

Ashurst

Ashurst serves as a one-stop shop for development projects, supporting its clients at every stage of major regeneration, logistics, hospitality, life sciences and residential schemes, among others, including the financing, joint venture and construction aspects. The practice also provides a full-service offering on the investment front where it is active on acquisitions, disposal and asset management matters throughout the UK and Europe, including those with international joint venture, capital market and M&A components. Global projects and real estate co-head Sarah Sivyour is extensively experienced in relation to inbound investment into Europe and caters to a client roster which includes Asian institutional investors in addition to North American pension and alternative investment funds. Other prominent names include Tim Regis, a mixed-use residential project specialist, Richard Vernon who holds distinguished expertise in transport-related projects, and David Jones who is a market leader for inbound inward investment from South Korea, having overseen €12bn worth of such transactions over recent years. Henry Moss leads the firm's build-to-rent and private rented sector practice. The final key pillar of the extensive offering is the team’s corporate occupier work which encompasses headquarter leasing, portfolio management and lay-out construction affairs, among other landlord and tenant matters.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Sivyour; David Jones; Richard Vernon; Melanie Jordan

Other key lawyers:

Tim Regis

Testimonials

‘Ashurst’s key strength is its commercial approach to transactions which ensures a smooth diligence process. This is critical for complex SPV transactions where we are often looking at value add or development product. The team has great experience and there is always good access to the lead partner.  Ashurst also provides well thought out quotes which they are subsequently able to honour.’

‘David Jones is always available to add his experience and commercial approach to a deal. This is not always the case with competitors where the lead partner is on the periphery of a deal.’

‘John Arey is extremely diligent and has proved critical pushing deals over the line.’

‘Ashurst bring great depth, knowledge and experience of the sector and of comparable transactions to the table which has proved invaluable in completing our deal.’

‘Tim Regis brings a commercial understanding to very complex negotiations and has a great intuition for unlocking problems.’

‘Ashurst is very good at mapping out potential scenarios in complex situations. They also have a way of deciphering the legal jargon, distilling it down to the key details making it far easier as a client to understand. As a client this is invaluable when weighing risk and helps you make well informed decisions.’

‘David Jones leads an excellent team in London, he is reactive and co-ordinates actively with ease at all levels in the organisation. It feels like bespoke tailoring.’

‘Tim Regis provides a can-do novel approach to property transactions in what has been a buyers’ market.’

‘Sarah Sivyour is really outstanding at her job, her advice is clear and commercial and we have developed a very strong and trusting relationship with her.’

‘Ashurst successfully match the task to the legal resource with partner oversight ensuring appropriate skills and experience for the work without excessive cost. Across the team working on our account we have a range of legal resources that provide for that.’

Key clients

Oxford Properties

Panattoni

Capitaland

Invesco Real Estate

Tritax and Delancey

Hines

La Francaise

Vestas Investment Management

Savills Investment Management

The Valesco Group

Arax Properties

Knight Frank Investment Management

Goldman Sachs

McLaren

ADNOC

bp

Samsung SRA

Samsung Securities

Mirae

Meritz

AIP Asset Management

JR AMC

LB Asset Management

Korean Investment Management

Korea Investment & Securities

KB Securities

Hana Financial

Kildare Partners

Norges Bank Real Estate Management

Almacantar

Oaktree

Blackstone

Varde

Apollo

Davidson Kempner

Work highlights

  • Advised Hines on all of its three acquisitions in London’s West End in 2020 – the £78m acquisition of 7 Soho Square from Landsec, the purchase of a flagship mixed-use retail and office scheme that is uniquely positioned with dual frontage on to both New Bond Street and Oxford Street, and also Grain House on Drury Lane from corporate pension fund clients of Savills Investment Management.
  • Advised the Tritax Delancey JV on the set-up of a joint venture fund with Delancey Real Estate Management (now known as Tritax Metrobox) and also appointed as the JV’s sole lawyers.
  • Advised the Valesco Group, the London headquartered European real estate investment and asset manager, backed by Meritz Securities, one of the largest South Korean institutional investors, on the acquisition of the Finance Tower, a skyscraper located in Brussels’ CBD for c.€1.2bn, from Breevast and ZBG.

Clifford Chance LLP

Magic Circle firm Clifford Chance LLP which has a ‘a wealth of experience and best in class delivery’, is particularly active in the healthcare, logistics, industrial, office, data centre and telecoms sectors, also acting on an array of residential, multi-family and student housing projects. Adrian Levy serves as global head of real estate and focuses on cross-border corporate finance transactions while Mark Payne is adept in all facets of real estate, with a distinguished track record in representing sovereign wealth funds. Alis Pay is recognised as a ‘force within European real estate’, owing to her capacity for portfolio transactions which span the continent. Angela Kearns and Matt Taylor are key contacts on the corporate occupier front, where the team places emphasis on Central London headquarter transactions, including those linked to ongoing development projects and secondary market lettings. The development practice includes London practice head Nigel Howorth, an urban regeneration, infrastructure and energy project specialist, as well as the ‘best in classIan Painter; it provides a full-lifecycle service from initial acquisition, planning and rights of light through to financing, construction, disputes and leasing and thrives on a range of ventures including mixed-use, overstation and ground-up projects.

Practice head(s):

Nigel Howorth

Other key lawyers:

Adrian Levy; Mark Payne; Franc Peña; Angela Kearns; Ian Painter

Testimonials

‘Ian Painter is outstanding at getting to the commercial point without grandstanding on technical legal issues. He is a dealmaker and draws together the whole team to achieve a shared objective.’

There is no doubt that the Clifford Chance team excel at involving the client’s wider professional team, seeking and giving advice to achieve the best overall result for the client.’

‘A very cohesive property team with strength in depth and willing to do what is necessary to ensure client satisfaction through ensuring an efficient transaction and effective advice.’

‘Clifford Chance is one of the largest law firms in the world. However, their partners and colleagues act in a focused, professional manner, responding quickly to every situation and researching what is needed, almost like a niche firm. We have recommended them several times.’

‘When the work is challenging and complicated but of great commercial value, we choose the Clifford Chance team to deliver. The team are defined by their constant effort and diligence, combined with pragmatism and commercial advice.’

‘Ian Painter is tenacious, driven by value creation and tireless, the man you want in the trenches when the bullets are flying and the bombs are dropping. Best in class.’

‘The team is a safe pair of hands for heavy and complex transactions that require top to bottom engagement (from structuring to direct real estate) in a very coordinated way (they all speak to each other behind the scenes so the client interaction is seamless and thoughtful).’

‘Alis Pay is a force that really knows her European real estate and represents us in a way that both makes us look attractive but keeps us competitive. She is a great champion to us on a deal and keeps her diverse team fully aligned and always slick.’

‘The Clifford Chance investment practice has provided us a rare balance of incisive legal analysis and flawless transaction execution, grounded by a keen sense of commercial realities.’

‘Alis Pays has been excellent. Tells you what to worry about and what not to.  Quickly generates confidence in her advice.  You know you have an expert on your side.’

Key clients

AIG Global Real Estate

Angelo Gordon

AshbyCapital

BentallGreenOak

Canary Wharf Group plc

CK Asset Holdings

Corinthia Hotels

Helical plc

Heimstaden Bostad AB

Hillwood Investment Properties

The HongKong & Shanghai Hotels

JTRE

Legal & General

LM Tech

Mitsubishi Estate London

Mitsui Fudosan

Native Land

Network Rail

NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT

NTT Global Data Centers

Nuveen Real Estate

Partners Group

Patrizia

Reevo Capital

Thomson Reuters

Work highlights

  • Advised Legal & General on its c.£300m acquisition of the Sanctuary Buildings in Victoria, London and the regearing of the occupational interests with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
  • Advised Partners Group, the global private markets investment manager, acting on behalf of its clients, on the acquisition of a portfolio of 27 light industrial properties in the UK from real estate investor Paloma Capital for £253m.
  • Advised the UK Government on its £100m investment to ensure that any successful COVID-19 vaccine can be produced at scale in the UK. The deal funded the acquisition and upgrade of an existing facility located in Braintree, Essex, UK to create a state-of-the-art Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Manufacturing Innovation Centre in order to accelerate the mass production of a successful COVID-19 vaccine in the UK.

DLA Piper

DLA PiperDLA Piper can draw on resources from its significant network of offices, both nationally and internationally, fielding an ‘exceptional’ commercial property practice which serves as a one-stop shop for substantial development schemes. Jonathan Northey and associate Hayley Russell-White thrive at each stage of the project pipeline, including site acquisition, forward funding and land assembly; Northey is principally adept in housing and mixed-use schemes though the overall team also enjoys an excellent reputation for complex living, office, pharmaceutical and logistics ventures. The investment offering was recently bolstered by the arrival of Bonnie Calnan, former practice co-head of Dentons, and is fronted by William Naunton caters to a range of fund managers and institutional investors with extensive portfolios, providing particular expertise in joint ventures and structured transactions. The firm is also home to a dedicated corporate occupier practice which is led by Paul Jayson, an expert in sustainability strategies who also fronts the firm’s green real estate team. Senior associate Nicholas Haringman is also active in the leasing space and has recently acted on headquarter relocations, office openings and lease portfolio restructurings.

Practice head(s):

William Naunton

Other key lawyers:

Joanne Owen; Omer Maroof; Lorraine Reader; Bonnie Calnan

Testimonials

‘A multidisciplinary, commercially minded law firm – they provide accurate advice on important issues whilst not trying to point-score with the counterparty. The team includes a huge range of down-to-earth people, who are likeable and clearly enjoy working with the company. They introduced us to property tech which has hugely helped us track and manage our asset management initiatives.’

‘Lorraine Reader is the spearhead of our legal team; unflappable honest advice from a superb team leader. Andrew Walker focuses on the material issues; he is a future partner in the making in my opinion.’

‘The practice has a broad church of services available that are required for a large corporate business, from landlord & tenant, litigation, planning and construction.  In addition, it can when needed, pull on colleagues to cover such issues as environmental legislation, domestic residential, etc.’

‘DLA provides exceptional, relevant and highly practical and reliable advice. They are incredibly responsive. They have shown great flexibility in interfacing with our internal case management system. The team at DLA feels like an extension of our internal teams and all advisers are highly respected and trusted. They have a great commercial understanding and awareness and this is reflected in their approach, which is tailored and proportionate to the commercial reality and risks of each situation. We rely on DLA for transactional, advisory and litigation support.’

‘I have worked with various members of the team and they are first-class. They all seem very knowledgeable, commercial and efficient. It is always a pleasure to work with them.’

‘George Burrha – a talented and personable lawyer who keeps a cool head in all situations to seek out solutions.’

‘The support provided is always calm, methodical and practical – they seek to find commercially appropriate solutions rather than scoring points.’

Key clients

AXA

La Salle Investment Management

Harrison Street Real Estate

Mace Developments

Barings Real Estate

ProLogis

Shaftesbury plc

PGIM

Hines

Oval Real Estate

Work highlights

  • Advising AXA IM – Real Assets on the acquisition and refinancing of the largest PRS scheme in the UK – Dolphin Square in London.
  • Advising Harrison Street on the creation of a joint venture to acquire science parks across the UK, and subsequent acquisition of several science parks.
  • Advising ProLogis on the sale of the largest logistics portfolio in UK history, valued at £473m.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

US firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher – a leading real estate outfit in its domestic market – serves a varied client roster from its London office; prominent examples include US opportunity funds, hotel groups, institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds and an increasing number of market participants focused on distressed assets and loan portfolio acquisitions. Practice head Alan Samson is extensively experienced in corporate and investment property acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures and acquisition financing; he is supported by counsel Claibourne Harrison whose focus lies in real estate private equity matters. A distinguishing trait for the practice is that it is primarily engaged on the sponsor/borrower side of transactions.

Practice head(s):

Alan Samson

Other key lawyers:

Claibourne Harrison; Jeremy Kenley; Sandy Bhogal; Ben Fryer

Testimonials

‘The team is very productive and business-oriented. They have been very flexible and quickly up to speed regarding our distinctive approach. Also they are very loyal to their client and very high degree of professionalism and dedication.’

‘Alan Samson is definitely one of the best lawyers I have come across. Very enjoyable also to work with.’

Key clients

Accuride Corporation

Apollo Global Management

Ares Management

Brookfield

Cale Street Partners

Centerbridge

Davidson Kempner Capital Management

Deutsche Bank AG

Fremont Realty Capital, LP

Groupe Sofidy

Investcorp Bank B.S.C.

Meadow Partners

M&G

Nuveen Real Estate

Oaktree Capital Management

Realty Income Corporation

Related Companies

Tishman Speyer

Welltower

Ark Capital Advisors

Work highlights

  • Advised Cale Street Investments LP, a real estate private equity investment firm on its joint venture with Hines to invest €500m to develop approx. 250,000 gross sq. m. of Unione Zero as part of a masterplan located in Milan.
  • Advised Brookfield on the acquisition of a substantial portfolio of Spanish and Portuguese purpose-built student housing accommodation from affiliates of a US-based publicly traded REIT, and the creation of a joint venture with a local operator for the portfolio.
  • Advised South Downs Investment LP, a subsidiary of private equity investor Apollo, in the take private of Atlantic Leaf, a dual-listed REIT and owner of a significant portfolio of logistics and industrial properties.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Home to ‘expertise which covers all real estate areas’, Hogan Lovells International LLP leverages its extensive international footprint to act for institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, private equity houses and family offices from all over the globe; the practice provides a full lifecycle service on asset management transactions and is also geared to support at all stages of significant projects, from site assembly issues and compulsory purchase powers through to the environmental and construction components. Jackie Newstead runs a notably broad practice with a distinguished level of expertise in the hotel and leisure space while Daniel Norris, the firm’s global head of real estate, specialises in direct and indirect investments, joint ventures and student housing assets. The ‘very responsiveOliver Chamberlain leads the national practice and along with Gill McGreevy, noted as ‘unyielding in pursuing her clients’ interests’, is among the key contacts for large-scale regeneration projects. Dion Panambalana provides the group with mixed-use urban and non-urban development expertise and is also an active player in the corporate occupier field where the caseload spans structured sale and leasebacks, headquarter relocations, pre-lets and the up-scaling of trophy buildings.

Practice head(s):

Jackie Newstead; Daniel Norris; Oliver Chamberlain

Other key lawyers:

Sian Owles

Testimonials

‘They provide sensible commercial advice across the board. Strong on document automation and assisting with client billing processes.’

‘Gill McGreevy has great attention to detail and is unyielding in pursuing her client’s interests.’

‘Daniel Norris – I have no words to explain how satisfied we are with his work as partner. Just perfect. He find solutions, works quickly and efficiently, and manages his teams perfectly.’

‘I worked closely with Victoria Sutcliffe on a landmark deal for our mutual client. Victoria’s knowledge, experience, strategic thinking, recollection on matters that had been going on for many years was outstanding. Nothing was ever too much, she would put the time in, work the hours, update the client, provide comprehensive overviews when required, there were never any corners cut – her work was exceptional.’

‘Nicholas Roberts is very responsive and provides sensible advice.’

‘The team clearly communicate internally and ensure the right resource is placed on it and the client is aware.’

‘I have found when the commercial pressure has increased the support given by the individuals gets stronger and gives more reassurance.’

‘Dion Panambalana – pragmatic, very responsive and approachable. Oliver Chamberlain; again, very responsive and gives good practical advice.’

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard

British Land

CapitaLand

CCLA Investment Management

Columbia Threadneedle

Landsec

LaSalle Investment Management (as Fund Manager for Coal Pension Properties)

M&G Real Estate (Prudential)

Pontegadea

Shaftesbury

Electra

The Crown Estate

U+I Group Plc

Work highlights

  • Advising CapitaLand on the £129.3m purchase of Arlington Business Park in Theale, Berkshire.             
  • Advised Shaftesbury on its equity capital raising which raised gross proceeds of approximately £297m by way of a fully underwritten firm placing and placing and open offer.
  • Advised Prologis on all aspects of their purchase of the recently redeveloped Cubic Estate, an industrial warehouse scheme in Hemel Hempstead.

Jones Day

Clients of Jones Day benefit from its capacity to ‘make unimaginably complex portfolio transactions feel simple’. The US firm's London team is active on disposals and acquisitions across the entirety of Europe and is co-led by Anna Cartwright who is proficient in a range of transaction types including joint ventures, public and private M&A, fund formation and private equity funds. David Smith is a figure of prominence owing to his student accommodation and build-to-rent expertise and is integral to the firm’s development and regeneration offering, often working in close tangent with counsel Kirsty Rogerson who has carved out a reputation for her work on City of London developments. The firm commands a longstanding reputation in the retail and logistics sectors and has made strides within the senior living and care home sectors of late.

Practice head(s):

Anna Cartwright; David Smith

Other key lawyers:

Alistair Grant; Simon Kiff; Mark Emerson

Testimonials

‘The team works well together and interacts with other disciplines both internally and externally very easily. The individual members are thoughtful and listen to the client’s concerns and are very good at coming up with alternative strategies.’

‘Great overall coverage, deep bench of solid lawyers.’

‘Alistair Grant, Simon Kiff and Ryan Hill are recommended.’

‘Jones Day is fast, authoritative and user-friendly – they make often unimaginably complex portfolio transactions feel simple for the client. They have enormous strength in depth, with experienced partners and talented hardworking associates across every field for real estate including litigation, environmental and banking. They have actually taken the time to understand their clients’ decision-making processes and resourcing issues and engineer a tailormade process in a way to make our lives as easy as possible. It is only when using other solicitors that one realises quite what exceptionally high standards of service we have become accustomed to.’

‘Simon Kiff has the ability to understand every single commercial component of a deal, and think strategically in a clients interest across the whole of a large transaction. This is a rare skill indeed!’

Key clients

Greystar Real Estate Partners LLC

Delancey

DataBank

CBRE

Goldman Sachs

LondonMetric Property Plc

The British Land Company PLC

Aermont Capital

Pictet Alternative Advisors SA

Get Living plc

Oxenwood Real Estate LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division and the Wellcome Trust in connection with the sale of iQ Student Accommodation to Blackstone for £4.66bn.
  • Represented an affiliate of The British Land Company PLC on its £102m sale of a 25.5% stake in a UK supermarket portfolio to a 50:50 joint venture between Supermarket Income REIT PLC and British Airways pension fund.
  • Advised DataBank in connection with the acquisition and financing of zColo, including certain U.S. and European data center assets, from Zayo Group Holdings, Inc. for $1.4bn.

Linklaters LLP

Renowned for its ‘focus on getting the deal done’, the team at Linklaters LLP has a strong emphasis on big-ticket investment, regeneration and development projects, often acting on £1bn-plus mandates which include M&A and distressed real estate components. Andy Bruce fronts the firm’s global practice from London and is supported by Patrick Plant; both are thoroughly experienced in all facets of property, from acquisitions and disposals through to lets, financings and developments. Tom Watkins is also a ‘go-to’ lawyer with a track record in corporate transactions which encompass real estate assets, namely public and private M&A deals, joint ventures and restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Andy Bruce

Other key lawyers:

Tom Watkins; Patrick Plant

Testimonials

‘We use this team almost exclusively for our real estate needs. They are cost effective, constructive and technically very good.’

‘Andy Bruce has a diplomatic style and solves problem, but is also invaluable for real estate asset management. He is made for complicated situations and knows where to strike the fair balance between client needs and market practices.’

‘Andy Bruce is a pleasant lawyer who captures real estate core aspects but also the investment context. He is able to devise solutions to suit the investment objectives in real estate. Always open to exploring options, he always lands the optimal result.’

‘Tom Watkins is our go-to lawyer. He is very easy to deal with, very knowledgeable about the market and has a good team of senior associates.’

‘The team fully understands the clients objectives and is focused on getting the deal done rather than winning individual legal points.’

‘Martin Elliott is excellent. He is fully involved in all aspects of the agreement and is on hand to provide very strong advice at every point.’

‘Made to measure, with a dedication that is unrivalled. They are fast, creative and accurate.’

Key clients

CBRE Global Investors’ Pan-European Core Fund

RCL Partners LLP

Permodalan Nasional Berhad

PSP Investments

Shuaa Group (formerly known as Abu Dhabi Financial Group)

Work highlights

  • Advising CBRE Global Investors’ Pan-European Core Fund on the £265m purchase of Atlantic House.
  • Advised Astrea (a subsidiary of the UAE-based Shuaa group) in taking over the management of the £5bn Berkeley Square Estate, one of the great estates in Central London.

Macfarlanes LLP

Macfarlanes LLPThe commercial property team at elite London firm Macfarlanes LLP is well-regarded for offering ‘concise, prompt and practical advice across all commercial real estate disciplines’. In the development space, its key differentiators include the high degree of emphasis it places on helping clients obtain value from surplus land, as well as the vast experience that Nick Barnes and Anthony Burnett-Scott possess in respect of mixed-use and urban regeneration projects. Clare Breeze was recently appointed as Burnett-Scott’s co-head and centres her practice around cross-border commercial and residential property transactions, including those relating to build-to-rent, private rented sector and student accommodation assets. The team caters to both institutional and private investors, also frequently supporting on the real estate aspects of major corporate transactions, and has seen significant growth in the private equity real estate market of late. Standout recent work has included advising on the acquisition of The Ritz Hotel in London by a private Qatari investor, a deal on which Tom Pedder played a key role. The firm's corporate occupier practice is centred around the representation of clients in the retail, professional services, media and creative industries and is geared to act on relocation projects, premises acquisitions and excess space disposals, among other matters.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Burnett-Scott; Clare Breeze

Other key lawyers:

Dan Marriott; Dominic Cunliffe; Nick Barnes

Testimonials

‘A market-leading team with intimate knowledge of sector. They work exceptionally hard but are also good fun. They understand how my business works and structure their work around it.’

‘Macfarlanes offer concise, prompt and practical advice across all commercial real estate and construction disciplines. The lawyers get straight to the point and they can always be relied upon to offer optimised solutions to fit the circumstances. At the end of each billing period, I rarely worry about fees because they are very good at sticking to agreed multiple workstream budgets. I really enjoy working with the lawyers at Macfarlanes.’

‘Special mention to Anthony Burnett-Scott: Anthony is very experienced across the real estate spectrum and can always be relied upon to respond promptly and deliver succinct advice to address complex circumstances; he is also a tremendous ambassador for his firm and is able to help me navigate effortlessly to other disciplines when needs arise.’

‘Extremely strong and responsive team who communicate between one and another and our team very efficiently. The lead partner was available when necessary and always responsive to email or phonecalls. The process was particularly document heavy but the Macfarlanes team worked through it steadily and with a good nature and responded to any queries promptly and with a thorough answer. They were extremely focused and moved through the work quickly and efficiently.’

‘Dan Marriott is always available and willing to offer guidance or insight. He is very creative and flexible and he has a very collaborative and inclusive approach which helps to build positive momentum on projects.’

‘Clare Breeze proactively looks for solutions and is good humoured under pressure.’

‘Tom Pedder is a dedicated hard working professional who has dealt on my behalf in a number of very complex transactions – a credit to his profession and to his partnership.’

‘Down to earth, detailed advice and sufficient power to get deals over the line.’

Key clients

M7 Real Estate

Hillwood

Brookfield

Canary Wharf Group

Ecoworld

Kennedy Wilson

Legal & General

Realstar

Stanhope

Work highlights

  • Advised longstanding client Realstar on a landmark c.£580m disposal in the BTR sector.
  • Advised Legal & General on the funding and delivery of the £200m Life and Mind Building at Oxford University which will house the departments of Zoology, Plant Sciences and Experimental Psychology.
  • Advised on the acquisition of The Ritz, London, by a private investor.

Mayer Brown International LLP

Mayer Brown International LLPMayer Brown International LLP is a global firm with an aptitude for real estate development and investment work 'which requires caution and tough negotiation’. The group is knowledgeable of a wealth of asset classes from office, residential and retail through to student accommodation, co-living and data centres and is particularly active on the inbound investment front with Chris Harvey having overseen over £6bn worth of transactions for Asian investment into London. Caroline Humble fronts the development service, often acting for US and European clients, while Martin Wright commands a prominent position within the market owing to his proficiency in large-scale urban regeneration projects. Iain Roberts provides mixed-use development and corporate occupier prowess and the practice also includes Simon Price, a recent arrival from Linklaters LLP, who has bolstered the team’s hospitality sector expertise and joins with a track record in corporate real estate transactions, high-profile lettings and joint ventures. Joe Conder, former practice head of Goodwin, also joined in April 2021 and hones his focus on the purchases and disposal of high-value and structured investment properties, catering to a client list which includes a wealth of European, American, Asian and Middle Eastern entities. A key distinguisher for the group is its excellent reputation for development and asset management matters at large mixed-use schemes. Managing partner Jeremy Clay has long been a key member of the London real estate team, which was also boosted by the arrival of experienced counsel David Gervais from Dechert LLP  in May 2021.

Practice head(s):

Chris Harvey; Andrew Hepner; Caroline Humble

Other key lawyers:

Simon Price; Joe Conder; Jeremy Clay

Testimonials

‘They are proactive and rational in their approach. They work with us to reach the best conclusion. A driven team who never let us down. This allows you to trust their opinion and provides a much needed level of comfort in our business decisions.’

‘They are polite, attentive and have an exceptional level of industry knowledge.’

‘Iain Roberts provides an excellent and personal all-round service regardless of the time pressures involved.’

‘This firm delivers high-quality services to its clients. This team focuses on property development as well as investments that require carefulness and tough negotiation. This feature seems to be outstanding compared to other law firms as far as I know.’

‘Anita Jones is very able – always calm and measured with great market knowledge and attention to detail.’

‘Jeremy Clay is a class act; he understands complex issues quickly and is a very able negotiator.’

‘Martin Wright is strongly dedicated to his clients and has shrewd views and negotiation skills. He always tries to find the best solution in his clients’ favour, even in difficult circumstances. Also, he keeps in touch with clients at regular intervals to provide them with useful information regarding the real estate sector.’

Key clients

Link REIT

Lifestyle International Holdings

The British Land Company plc

Chuang’s China Investments

Kennedy Wilson Europe

K&K Property Holdings

Tide Construction

Cheyne Capital

Wing Tai

Work highlights

  • Advised Link REIT, Asia’s largest real estate investment trust, on its acquisition of the office building at 25 Cabot Square (The Cabot) in Canary Wharf, London from Hines Global REIT for £380m.
  • Advised The British Land Company plc in the sale of a 75% interest in a portfolio of three buildings in the West End to Allianz Real Estate for £401m.
  • Advised on the £250m acquisition of 1-2 St James Square in London, the headquarters of multinational oil and gas company BP, for Hong Kong-based investor, Lifestyle International Holdings.

Mishcon de Reya LLP

Mishcon de Reya LLPMishcon de Reya LLP regularly advises on big ticket, multi-jurisdictional transactions and projects, working closely with the firm’s property disputes, planning, construction, tax and finance teams to serve as a one-stop shop destination. Key distinguishers for the practice include its dedicated alternative residential group which renders it an ideal option for build to rent, student accommodation and senior living assets, as well as Nick Doffman’s proficiency in inwards investments, principally those made from Hong Kong and also Singapore where the firm opened its second office in May 2020. Nick Minkoff is among the key contacts for major development projects; so too is Stephen Hughes who steers the overall real estate department, calling upon over 20 years’ of experience in portfolio deals, joint ventures and transaction structuring.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Hughes

Other key lawyers:

Nick Minkoff; Ian Paul; Daniel Lipman; Simon Hart; Nick Doffman

Testimonials

‘Very strong problem solvers, good balanced advice. Very experienced in our key real estate sectors. Advice is commercially led.’

‘Anju Suneja creates a very constructive relationship with clients – she goes far beyond the call of duty to ensure all client needs are attended to. A great negotiator.’

‘We consider themselves key partners in our business. They want to understand our wider drivers for our business and are eager to help our business grow.’

‘Very responsive, commercial and user friendly. They have a quick grasp on the main issues and are innovative in finding solutions.’

Key clients

Brookfield

Brookfield’s ‘Student Roost’

Delancey

Delancey, APG, Qatari Diar (QDD) and Oxford Properties joint venture

Capital & Counties Properties plc (Capco)

Mansford LLP

Olayan Group (Knightsbridge Estate)

Berkeley Group

AEW

Minerva

Almacantar

Chelsfield

Helical plc

Fizzy Living

The Office Group

PGIM Real Estate Finance

Derwent London Plc

Fusion Students

Trophaeum Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Advised Chelsfield and The Knightsbridge Estate on the major development adjacent to Knightsbridge tube station known as the Knightsbridge Estate, K-1.
  • Advised Trophaeum Asset Management on the acquisition of 143 New Bond Street from Brazilian billionaire Joseph J Safra for around £130m.
  • Continued to advise longstanding client, Capital & Counties CG Limited, in relation to its Covent Garden portfolio, worth £1.8bn, including general landlord and tenant work, sales and acquisitions, planning and real estate litigation.

Pinsent Masons LLP

A nationwide firm with a large international footprint, Pinsent Masons LLP runs a broad caseload with distinguished expertise in local authority-led housing and regeneration projects, as well as investments in the office, logistics and alternatives sectors. The group counts a number of European and Middle Eastern investors among its client roster and is led by Claire Hughes, a lawyer who is increasingly well-versed of private rented sector, care home and student accommodation assets though also enjoys a long-standing reputation as an ‘outstanding hospitality lawyer’; she is supported by the ‘experienced and highly capableRichard Lloyd who is an active participant in the firm’s climate change and sustainability initiative and routinely supports real estate clients on achieving their environmental-related targets.

Practice head(s):

Claire Hughes

Other key lawyers:

Richard Lloyd; Adam Carney; Janet Matthews

Testimonials

‘Claire Hughes is an outstanding hospitality lawyer.’

‘Mike Reid is an exceptional lawyer – great eye for detail and excellent client service.’

‘Richard Lloyd is responsive, experienced and highly capable. He also has good commercial acumen.’

‘Knowledgeable, responsive, experienced, easy to deal with. They explain complicated matters in an easy to follow manner.’

‘The team is professional and experienced. They also have a great manner and good client care.’

Key clients

Aviva Investors

Royal London Asset Management

Legal & General

AXA Real Assets

Landsec

Heathrow

Capital & Counties Properties plc

Invesco

Grainger

The Portman Estate

RDI REIT

Lend Lease

Abstract Securities Group

Grosvenor Europe

Ministry of Defence

Hines

Oxford Properties

Kier Property Developments

Berkeley Group

Junson Capital

William Pears Group

Telereal Trillium (Land Improvement Holdings)

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts

Adagio/Accor

AEW

Anglo American Plc

Urban & Civic

Ballymore

Guildford Borough Council

LaSalle Investment Management

iQ Student Accommodation

90 North

Melia Hotels International

Romulus Construction

EcoWorld International

Work highlights

  • Advising RDI REIT on the property and banking aspects of its disposal of a portfolio of retail parks.
  • Advising Abstract Securities Group on the sale and funding of Buildings 2 & 3 at 100 Bristol Business Park, to the tenant Babcock International, funded by Aviva.
  • Acting for Melia Hotels, Spain’s largest operator and the market leader in both resort and urban hotels.

Taylor Wessing LLP

Acclaimed as a ‘highly experienced team able to deal with complex issues quickly and efficiently’, the UK real estate team at international firm Taylor Wessing LLP has been especially busy in the logistics sector of late, having transacted over £1bn worth of deals in the first quarter of 2021. Matthew Swainston is reputed for his vast knowledge of prime London office space and alongside structured transaction and joint venture expert, Mark Rajbenbach, is among the key contacts on the investment front. The group focuses on acquisition, disposal and development matters in the purpose build living, hotels and hospitality sectors and is geared to provide a full lifecycle offering on all projects and transactions. Practice head Keith Barnett and Emma Oakley are the standouts for corporate occupier matters, often acting for leisure, online retail, tech, life sciences entities, in addition to prominent landlords.

Practice head(s):

Keith Barnett

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Swainston; Mark Rajbenbach; Chris Turley

Testimonials

‘A highly experienced team able to deal with complex issues that arise very quickly and efficiently.’

‘A first class team who seamlessly work together. Whether its corporate, real estate, construction or employment, everyone is top of their game and have a handle on the salient matters.’

‘The individuals are very personable and professional and are able to deal with any queries immediately speeding up the legal process.’

‘Emma Oakley understands my business and needs and understands the market in which I operate to enable her to give practical and commercial advise to ensure deals are completed.’

‘Mark Rajbenbach is always available for sage, incisive advice. While he is a specialist in real estate and corporate transactions, his pragmatic advice cuts across all disciplines.’

‘Matthew Swainston and Louise Tobbutt share our drive to get deals done rather than expend time and energy on intellectual debates on terms, all the time with good humour and common sense.’

‘The commercial real estate team are consistently commercial and sensible in finding solutions that enable transactions to be concluded at pace.’

‘Excellent industry knowledge and expertise; partners available whenever required; first rate service.’

Key clients

BentallGreenOak

Tritax Big Box REIT

InfraRed Capital Partners

McLaren

Invesco

Canada Life

EPIC

Vivion Capital Partners

W.RE

Work highlights

  • Advised Invesco Real Estate, the global real estate investment manager, on its new strategic long-term partnership with Westmont, one of the largest private hotel property owners and operators with approximately 400 hotels in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia.
  • Advised EPIC, an international commercial real estate investment company, on the successful sale of its portfolio of eight UK Logistics investment properties. The sale of the portfolio to real estate funds managed by Blackstone totalled £335m and offers over 2.74 million sq ft of distribution facilities
  • Advised global investor EQT on a £1bn residential real estate joint venture, set to bring 3000 new rental homes to Greater London. The investment portfolio of high-quality build-to-rent residential homes is being launched with residential property developer Sigma Capital.

Addleshaw Goddard

At Addleshaw Goddard, London office head Leona Ahmed is the key contact for inbound investment matters - she 'exemplifies exceptional client service' and works in tangent with her colleagues in Europe, Asia and the Middle East to support a significant number of overseas investors. The commercial property practice is headed by Adrian Collins who, in addition to finance and infrastructure projects, is also particularly well-versed in the development space where the team is currently active on a number of London’s most prominent regeneration schemes. In terms of asset expertise, the group is a major player in the fields of affordable housing, retail and education and has been increasingly active in the life sciences and build-to-rent sectors of late; at the more junior end of the partnership spectrum, Rachel Orton also provides the team with distinguished expertise in the senior living and healthcare sectors.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Collins

Other key lawyers:

Leona Ahmed; Peter Hardy; William Boss; Michael Scott

Testimonials

‘Very strong problem solvers. Very experienced in our key real estate sectors. Advice is commercially led. They consider themselves key partners in our business, understand our wider drivers for our business and want to help our business grow.’

‘William Boss and Andrew Martin are recommended.’

‘Rachel Orton gives excellent advice that is both pragmatic and strategic.  She is responsive and keeps the process moving, identifying and unclogging potential delays in a proactive manner.’

‘Leona Ahmed is very responsive and committed and always looks out for her clients’ best interest. She exemplifies exceptional client service. She is very professional in her dealings with different investors from different backgrounds. She’s approachable and very knowledgeable.’

‘A pragmatic and client-focused team.’

‘The team is always there to address any issues, and have been proactive in suggesting different ideas on how to tackle any problem.’

‘The team is very knowledgeable and helpful in this area. We, as clients, felt very comfortable with the transaction based on the advice we have received.’

Key clients

British Land

Dandara

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Battersea Power Station

WeWork

Canary Wharf Group

Aviva Investors

Federated Hermes

Guys and St Thomas’ Trust

KAMCO

Argent

Workspace PLC

Marks and Spencer Group PLC

Bank Leumi (UK) PLC

Balfour Beatty Investments

Civitas Social Housing PLC

Work highlights

  • Advised new client KAMCO, which is based in Kuwait, on the acquisition of three office buildings in three separate transactions across primary regional UK cities (Greater London, out-of-town Glasgow and Bristol.
  • Advised New York-listed investment manager Federated Hermes on three new build-to-rent developments in Leeds, Lewisham and Brighton.
  • Advised Columbia Threadneedle Investments on two acquisitions for their new “Select III” fund, which involves the purchase of a number of retail parks across the UK.

Baker McKenzie

An international firm with offices across the globe, Baker McKenzie’s London commercial property department is led by property investment and operation specialist, Justin Salkeld, who supports clients on a broad variety of activities including sales and purchases, hotel transactions, developments and financings in addition to joint ventures. The team also includes two prominent junior partners; Ben Farnell who acts for multinational corporates, overseas governments, port operators and offshore investors, and the recently promoted Stefanie Price who focuses on the real estate aspects of corporate transactions. Price is also an expert in the landlord and tenant field and forms part of the firm’s corporate occupier practice which is geared to support blue-chip clients on lease restructurings and portfolio rationalisations at retail, logistics and manufacturing sites.

Practice head(s):

Justin Salkeld

Other key lawyers:

Stefanie Price; Ben Farnell

Testimonials

‘The Baker McKenzie team has been very helpful with our development project. They are consistent in responding queries within a good timeframes which is great. We have managed to complete quite a few legal documents in time which helped us meeting development programme targets as a result, such as programme and loan facility drawdown.’

‘Ben Farnell is exceptional. His advices and follow-ups have helped resolving our complicated real estate matters but without causing any further complication which is extremely important.’

‘They provide sound commercial advice on a range of deal types. The quality of the team and its consistent high performance has made them our advisor of choice.’

‘The firm has handled all of our UK property work for many years. Always available, responsive. They know our business inside out – almost our in-house legal property team. Excellent and dedicated service, including through the pandemic.’

‘Stefanie Price is accomplished, personable, professional and understands what client care and high quality legal services are about. An extremely effective partner.’

‘They immediately knew the things that were important to our real estate business and understand our position on key issues. They were incredibly aware of our billing practices which can sometimes cause teething issues when we engage a new firm and they provided regular and very clear concise updates on WIP incurred versus agreed budget milestones which was very helpful.’

‘Stefanie Price was our primary point of contact on matters and she was absolutely excellent to work with. She was up to speed on our core concerns on day one and integrated into our work style seamlessly.’ 

Key clients

ICG Sale and Leaseback

Google UK Ltd

Mapletree Property Investments

Edwardian Hotels Group

Cobelfret

Kantar

Work highlights

  • Acted for ICGL Sale and Leaseback I S.a r.l in relation to the purchase and subsequent forward funding of the new 2.94m sq ft global parts logistics centre for Jaguar Land Rover at Mercia Park (Leicestershire) from IM Properties Development Limited.
  • Acted for various syndicates of banks since 2013 on the real estate financing (as well as banking, real estate and construction aspects) of Phases 1, 2, and 3 (and 4-7) of the Battersea Power Station mixed residential and office development.
  • Acted for Mapletree in respect of another student accommodation acquisition in Reading to add to their student accommodation portfolio. The acquisition covered three student buildings.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Acclaimed for their ‘technical, practical and commercial’ service, the team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP cater to a client roster of developers, investors, property companies and urban estates in addition to corporate occupiers. Practice head Lee Medlock also represents private equity-backed businesses, namely in respect of leisure and hospitality transactions; his team includes Robin Grove, a mixed-use and regeneration development specialist who leverages the firm’s joint venture and partnership proficiency, as well as Sarah Morley who fronts the office occupier group, undertaking office acquisition, headquarter relocation and rationalisation of space matters. The firm’s international presence across EMEA and Hong Kong makes it a go-to option for international investors and owing to its dedicated sector expertise, it is also a popular choice among sporting, retail, food and beverage, charity, private wealth, logistics and life sciences clients.

Practice head(s):

Lee Medlock

Other key lawyers:

Robin Grove; Eddie Richards; Louise Ward; Sarah Morley; Robin Grove

Testimonials

‘They provide a technical, practical and commercial application of their property knowledge in a form easily understood by their housebuilder clients.’

‘They are professional within their particular residential field – informative, receptive and communicative.’

‘Robin Grove has great all-round knowledge.’

‘They have an outstanding grasp of the London and Cambridge real estate markets, and have provided expert legal and practical advice, helping us adapt to the UK legal and business climate. They are our most trusted outside law firm globally, and we greatly benefit from their expertise and practicality. They are responsive, personable and well respected by their peers. They are an integral part of our team, and I have recommended them numerous times to other potential clients.

‘Louise Ward’s expertise in real estate has proven invaluable. While other firms’ lawyers are prone to trying to win negotiations, Louise recognises that completing a transaction is the desired result and do not let others’ egos or bluster distract her.’

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Berkeley Homes

BioMed Realty L.P

Caring Homes Group

Stonegate Pub Company

Crest Nicholson

David Lloyd Leisure Limited

Derwent London

Eton College

Howard de Walden Estate Limited

Landsec

National Museum for the Royal Navy

City of London Corporation

The Church Commissioners

Exeter Property Group

Lloyds Bank

Opera

The Rumi Foundation

Work highlights

  • Advised Exeter Property Group, one of the world’s largest real estate investment managers, on its £150.75m nine strong UK industrial portfolio acquisition from BA Pension Fund.
  • Advising TDR Capital LLP and the Issa brothers on the real estate aspects of the ASDA acquisition.
  • Advised Derwent London on the £170m sale of its 192,700 sq ft multi-let freehold interest in the Johnson Building, 77 Hatton Garden and 5-7 Cross Street EC1 to Eurazeo Patrimoine.

Dentons

Acclaimed for its ‘excellent knowledge and commercial approach’, Dentons  employs its expansive international network to serve as a go-to option for international investors from the US, South Korea, India and Luxembourg, among other jurisdictions. Deepa Deb fronts the national real estate practice and her core strengths lie in mixed-use investment and development projects, especially those encompassing alternative asset classes such as student accommodation and multifamily; the team includes Rob Thompson, who is likewise active on both the development and investment fronts, bringing an intimate knowledge of hotel, logistics and high-end residential assets to the table. Elsewhere, Rupert Dowdell and Alex Coulter are among the key contacts for office, retail and industrial lease negotiations and asset management mandates while at the more junior end, associate Carla Revelo is developing a reputation for her transactional work, particularly in respect of vast investment portfolios.

Practice head(s):

Rob Thompson

Other key lawyers:

Deepa Deb; Alex Coulter; Simon Masri

Testimonials

‘Excellent knowledge – they always respond with a commercial approach.’

‘Dentons offer good client service and are responsive, approachable, likeable and commercial.’

‘Alex Coulter has been the primary contact at Dentons and has personally handled all the transactions that we have undertaken. Alex is very hands on, thorough, approachable, commercial but also fun to work with.’

‘Rob Thompson is very experienced, thorough and commercial.’

‘Highly responsive; lots of partner contact; added value outside of billable work.’

‘Rob Thompson and Carla Revelo are always there when needed and are able to go the extra mile to get a deal agreed. Working so closely with them is like having an extension to your team.’

‘Simon Masri is a hands-on partner with confidence in his team so you don’t only deal with him.’

Key clients

RTP Global

Brydell Capital

Harrison Street

Realstar

Heitman

Frasers Group Plc (Sports Direct)

Redevco

Castleforge

Aprirose

KSL

PRS REIT

Cerberus

Work highlights

  • Acted for private equity real estate fund manager Harrison Street on a joint venture with CA Ventures to establish a platform for student accommodation development projects initially at four UK properties which will deliver a total of 1,000 beds, including a first acquisition of a property at Hackney Wick, London, together with related Investec financing.
  • Advised Tishman Speyer on its sale of West End, landmark property Smithson Plaza to the real estate arm of Portuguese insurance company Fidelidade for c. £160m.
  • Advised global real estate investment management firm, Heitman, on its acquisition of UK self-storage business Space Station, on behalf of Sunsuper, one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLPEversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's team is able to draw on support from offices all over the globe, and adopts a sector-specific approach to real estate, principally focusing on student housing, build-to-rent, logistics and city office assets. Practice head Bruce Dear is frequently involved in occupier-related matters at some of London’s most prominent locations; the wider team is made up of lawyers with dedicated expertise in regeneration projects, inbound investment into the European market, build-to-suit logistics schemes, innovative transaction structuring and investment vehicles, related estate-related M&A and portfolio management.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Dear

Other key lawyers:

Lee Jackson; Theresa-Marie Stodell; Tom Goldsmith; Nicholas Bartlett

Testimonials

‘Tom Goldsmith understands what actually matters to us as a client and what doesn’t, which means we don’t waste time arguing over points that have no commercial or operational impact. We value clear, plain English in written and verbal communications and Tom is very good at this. He is also excellent at dissecting an issue and coming up with a creative fix that is likely to be agreed by everyone. We have now started to use Eversheds Sutherland in France and Portugal, with Tom ensuring a consistently high level of service.’

‘The lawyers coordinate well internally so we as clients get a considered consolidated response. They offer flexibility in terms of fees and billing arrangements.’

‘Our relationship partner, Lee Jackson, watches out for us.’

‘Tom Goldsmith is incredibly commercial and responsive and a trusted advisor to us. He is always accessible, well staffed with associates and takes complicated deals and breaks them down into elements that commercial stakeholders understand and appreciate.’

‘Tom Goldsmith goes above and beyond and his level of service exceeds the average outside counsel. He is always down to earth, proactive and focused on driving a deal to completion.’

‘They take a very comprehensive, hands-on approach to commercial real estate transactions. Very strong in looking at deals from all angles, and in coordinating other advisors (technical, tax, etc.) to provide complete and coherent results. Very proactive in solving problems as soon as they appear (or even anticipating them).’

‘Proactiveness and availability. Good grasp of all issues that have an impact on real estate acquisitions.’

‘Tom Goldsmith and his team have extensive experience acting for corporate occupiers. They have done an outstanding job for us on a number of complex agreements for lease and leases, drawing on this experience. They are highly responsive and honour their fee proposals.’

Key clients

Legal & General

Aprirose Real Estate

Convene

Greenridge

SEGRO PLC

State of Qatar

Elite Partners Capital PTE

Network Rail

Secretary for State for Transport

Grainger

Work highlights

  • Advised New York headquartered meetings and event specialist, Convene, on its acquisition of c.100,000 sq ft at AXA’s 22 Bishopsgate development, Europe’s newest and tallest skyscraper.
  • Advising SEGRO on its acquisition of a 450 acre logistics site, known as Gateway South, Coventry, which is adjacent to the city’s airport.
  • Acting for Grainger on the forward funding acquisition of two build to rent blocks in Canning Town totaling 278 apartments.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP is a powerhouse in the US real estate market and also has a strong offering in Europe under the leadership of former SJ Berwin and Ashurst partner Darren Rogers; he and his team are well-positioned to serve bluechip clients active on both sides of the Atlantic and excel in providing a full lifecycle service from asset creation and enhancement through to realisation. The group possesses expert knowledge of a wide range of asset classes including offices, retail, logistics, light industrial and the living sectors. Patrick Williams, who joined the firm with Rogers in 2017, is praised for his 'inimitable style and rare charisma'.

Practice head(s):

Darren Rogers

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Williams

Testimonials

‘The team provides an unmatched service – we recognise the value they add and believe them to best in class in the sector.’

‘Darren Rogers – smart, commercial, quickly understands issues and acts on them.’

‘Patrick Williams stands out, because a call from Patrick begins with an unerringly direct approach to finding a way through whatever problem is before us – he delivers with inimitable style and rare charisma whilst being a clever man of insight.’

‘A well resourced team who are capable of handling more complex real estate transactions.’

‘Patrick Williams is a go-to adviser who provides clear, pithy advice with a real ability to convey complex issues in an easy to understand way. He is incredibly responsive and accommodating of the tight transaction timeframes we work under as a business and has a genuine ability to think outside of the box and provide innovative solutions to funding and development issues.’

‘The Fried Frank team uniquely have made a real effort to get to know me personally and I have a rapport with them that is absent in other professional relationships. This is to their absolute credit. They are commercially astute and take the lead, but harvest all available intelligence to best inform their advice, including by listening to my perspective and the advice of other co-professionals.’

‘Full service firm with strong, commercially minded partners and expertise across a wide range of practice areas. Good work ethic, available at all times, work delivered is reliably high quality.’

Key clients

Invesco Real Estate

Madison International Realty

Alteri Partners

Jack Wills Limited (in administration)

Brookfield Asset Management

Goldman Sachs

Roundhill Capital

Cove Communities

China Investment Corporation

VGO Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Advising Invesco Real Estate’s European Fund (IREEF) in the redevelopment of circa 85,000 of new office led space at 20 Manchester Square, together with the regear of IREEF’s existing long leasehold interest with the Portman Estate.
  • Advised Madison International Realty on its structured disposal of its interests in Five Acre Square, 133 Houndsditch, London to Northwood Investors for c£160m.
  • Advised Jack Wills (in administration) and the administrators from KPMG on the real estate aspects of the £13m-plus restructuring and pre-packaged administration sale of the Jack Wills business to Sports Direct.

Goodwin

Since its London launch in 2008, US firm Goodwin has forged a reputation as a ‘go-to team for the most complex transactions’. David Evans chairs the wider European practice from the London base and his team works alongside the wider firm’s finance, regulatory, tax and funds departments to provide a one-stop shop for transactions. James Spence is the key contact for real estate-related M&A deals and the department saw two new partner-level arrivals over the past year with investment fund expert, Justin Cornelius, joining from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP and finance specialist Richard Semple making the switch from Kirkland & Ellis International LLP.

Practice head(s):

David Evans

Other key lawyers:

James Spence; Martin Smith

Testimonials

‘We go to this team for the most complex transactions. The quality of their partners is exceptional and they are experts in handling such high profile, complicated and often lengthy transactions.’

Key clients

BentallGreenOak

Clarion Partners Europe

DWS

Kennedy Wilson

Medical Properties Trust

Partners Group

Work highlights

  • Advised longstanding client BentallGreenOak on the sale of a portfolio of 42 premium logistics assets across four Western European jurisdictions (France, Spain, Italy and Netherlands) for a consideration of around €1.2bn, via a sale of a structure involving regulated and unregulated, listed and private vehicles.
  • Advised Kennedy Wilson on the formation of a programmatic joint venture with Singapore sovereign wealth fund, GIC, to acquire and manage last-mile urban logistics properties in the UK, with the potential to expand into Ireland and Spain, targeting a total portfolio of $1bn.
  • Advised Medical Properties Trust in respect of its £800m agreement to acquire a portfolio of select behavioural health facilities, and their concurrent leaseback, from the leading UK behavioural health provider The Priory Group.

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLGGowling WLG is an international firm with the ‘depth of resource to handle every size of transaction’; its investment work sees it engaged by institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, family offices and private equity funds, including those based in the US, Europe, Canada, Asia and the Middle East, on disposals, lettings, purchases and asset management matters across an impressively broad array of asset classes. The team is also active in the development space where practice head Richard Bate and Nick Mumby excel in respect of residential schemes and ‘excellent operatorJon Lloyd specialises in retail and mixed-use projects, tapping in to the firm’s wider construction, planning and finance expertise to offer a full lifecycle service. Helen Emmerson spearheads the corporate occupier offering which handles portfolio optimisation, pre-let, new lease, saleback and subletting mandates at a range of sites such as data centre, office, warehouse and manufacturing facilities.

Practice head(s):

Richard Bate

Other key lawyers:

Dan Gwilliam; Michael Twining; Jon Lloyd

Testimonials

‘Helen Emmerson continues to provide excellent service, she maintains an awareness of all her team’s projects and is always approachable, and takes a very practical, pragmatic approach.’

‘Strong technical capability and refreshingly commercial approach to cut through the legal noise and focus on the important elements of a deal to get the transaction over the line. They have the depth of resource to handle every size of transaction with strong support from tax, construction, planning and environmental experts. A cohesive team lead by very strong and reassuringly available partners.’

‘Down to earth, user friendly, commercial, capable, no-nonsense, experienced, tactical, problem solvers, big thinkers. Mike Twining is a stand out, top class legal operator.”   

‘Jon Lloyd has provided an excellent level service to us for many years now. Highly professional, pragmatic, very commercial, and swift in response. An excellent operator in his field.’

‘Friendly and knowledgeable team who are always prepared to go the extra mile to achieve our goals.’

‘The team is brilliantly led by Richard Bate, whose knowledge and commercial acumen still astound me everyday.’

‘The individuals we work worth have an unrivalled passion for what they do and the care they show for us as a client. Nothing is too much trouble, and they happily make our problems their problems. At partner level, Emma Pioli always knows what’s going on. Below partner level, Kay Desai stands out.’

‘Emma Pioli gives timely advice very clearly, with clear recommendations.’

Key clients

Aldgate Developments Limited

AXA

BAE Systems Pension Funds

Bracknell Regenration Limited Partnership

BMW UK Trustees Ltd

Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Empiric Student Property plc

HC One Limited

Intu Properties

Janus Henderson UK Property PAIF

LaSalle Investment Management

Legal & General

London and Strategic land

Mosley Street Ventures

NFU Mutual

Nuveen

Portland Capital Real Estate Limited

Rockwell Property

Royal London

Rushmoor Borough Council

SEGRO

Stamford Land Corporation Limited

Stenprop

The Hut Group

TIAA Henderson

USS

Knight Frank Investment management

U and I

Work highlights

  • Acted for NFU Mutual in conjunction with Burness Paull in relation to the tripartite funding, acquisition and development, leasing, all construction, planning and rights of light aspects of the new 70,000 sq ft mixed use development at The Oaks Shopping Centre in Acton, London.
  • Acting for Bracknell Regeneration Limited Partnership – a joint venture between Legal & General and Schroders UK Property Fund – on the regeneration of Bracknell town centre.
  • Advised Universities Superannuation Scheme on the acquisition of a 50% interest via a corporate vehicle in BP’s entire UK petrol forecourt portfolio.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Greenberg Traurig, LLPUS firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP's London team is active on a wealth of investment mandates including cross-border portfolio transactions, asset and share deals, joint ventures and partnerships. Also busy on the development front, the group has been engaged on a range of schemes of late including redevelopment, mixed-use, co-living, logistics and residential projects. Danielle Martin provides the practice with distinguished expertise in the private equity real estate sector and leads the offering together with Matthew James Priday whose broad asset expertise encompasses office, business park, industrial and life sciences properties.

Practice head(s):

Danielle Martin; Matthew Priday

Other key lawyers:

Steven Cowins; Sarah Atkinson; Carol Hopper

Testimonials

‘Carol Hopper is a real pleasure to work with. She is thorough, detailed, wicked-smart and has a great sense of humour. She is a force to be reckoned with at the negotiating table, I am glad she is on our team! She is diligent, accessible at all hours of day or night and always in good humour. Her breadth and depth of knowledge with UK real estate law is impressive. She is by far the best real estate counsel I have worked with in the UK.’

‘Matthew Priday is an extremely diligent and focused adviser.’

‘Steven Cowins is great to deal with and totally understands our business and goals. Dani Martin is highly responsive and very hard working.’

‘Matthew Priday is outstanding – he is backed up by a good team of associates who are all high calibre individuals.’

‘The Greenberg Traurig UK team goes well above and beyond just legal duties to help support real estate acquisitions, insures that other legal disciplines which are needed to support aspects of transactional work are identified and recommends best-in-class experts, even outside of the firm.’

‘The negotiating skills of this team are paramount, with expert advice, calm and professional demeanor and the ability to navigate complex, difficult and large transactions.’

Key clients

British Airways Pension Fund

Berkeley (SQP) Limited

Valor Real Estate Partners

Edmond de Rothschild Real Estate Investment Management

The Collective

Oaktree Capital and MGT Limited

Weerts Group N.V.

Hines Europe

Revcap Capital Advisors

Kernel Court Limited

Westway JV Limited

Trinova Real Estate

Crosstree Real Estate Partners

Work highlights

  • Acted for British Airways in the establishment of a joint venture with Supermarket Income REIT and the subsequent acquisition from British Land of a c.25% interest in an investment property portfolio, alongside Sainsbury’s and Aviva, subject to a securitisation structure and comprising 26 supermarket stores leased to Sainsbury’s based in England (deal value in excess of £1bn).
  • Advising Berkeley (SQP) Limited in relation to real estate aspects of its development of South Quay Plaza with a £600m build cost.
  • Advised Weerts Group N.V on the acquisition of 42 acres at Suffolk Park in Bury St Edmunds for the purpose of developing a 870,000 sq ft logistics unit in 2021, with acquisition and development finance from Blackstone and multiple pre-lettings of the logistics space at the property.

K&L Gates LLP

K&L Gates LLPThe London team at K&L Gates LLP is acclaimed for its ‘outside-the-box thinking, very commercial service and great global platform’. Practice head Christian Major is principally reputed for his corporate occupier expertise which sees him direct a distinct focus towards the representation of overseas clients in respect of their space requirements in London and the wider UK. Steven Cox is particularly active in the leisure space while special counsel Chiara Del Frate supports numerous Italian clients with their corporate real estate requirements, including several high-profile names in the fashion sector; the group also acts for clients in the health, finance and technology sectors and, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, has made a conscientious effort to ramp up its development, investment and regeneration activities within the residential, logistics and light industrial fields. Tim Webb and Emma Maher, who both joined the team from Greenberg Traurig, LLP in mid-2019, are very well regarded by clients, handling work including major property projects across Europe, Brazil and China, among other jurisdictions.

Practice head(s):

Christian Major

Other key lawyers:

Neil Logan Green; Tim Webb; Wayne Smith

Testimonials

‘We have been working with K&L Gates for a long time and we are extremely satisfied with the outstanding level of legal service they provide. They are commercial and fast and provide a full service that really meets our needs. They are very collaborative and upfront.’

‘Chiara Del Frate is enthusiastic, kind and always ready to help. She is qualified both in the UK and in Italy and that really helps us to have advice quickly in both jurisdictions and facilitate cross-border deals. She also speaks three languages and is able to deal with complex transactions.’

‘Tim Webb is why I use K&L Gates. He’s that good.’

‘Emma Maher is fantastic. She is the perfect foil to Tim Webb – a great listener, very clever, gets things done.’

‘Tim Webb has been my lawyer for 10 years. Emma Maher has worked with Tim for a long time and complements him well.’

‘Friendly and approachable, combined with great expertise. Able to quickly provide pragmatic and succinct advice tailored to the issue in hand, without overcomplicating matters.’

‘Tim Webb is an exceptional lawyer and brilliant relationship manager.’

‘The team are very user-friendly and are well co-ordinated across the real estate and finance disciplines. Pragmatic solutions are forthcoming and the team is always switched on and helpful.’

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments (ReAssure)

Akelius

Beehive Affordable Homes

Buckingham Asset Management

Caisson Investment Management LLP

Cromwell Property Group

European Estates Plc

Hines Global Income Trust/Hines Global REIT

Madison International Realty

Nuveen Real Estate

Patrizia AG

Rediresi

Workspace Group

Work highlights

  • Advised ReAssure, one of Aberdeen Standard’s largest segregated fund clients, on its £500m property portfolio.
  • Advised Patrizia on its £45m forward purchase during the development phase of 102 BTR apartments.
  • Advised Nuveen Real Estate on the c. £180m sale of One New Oxford Street.

Maples Teesdale LLP

Specialist commercial real estate firm Maples Teesdale LLP provides a ‘much valued dedicated focus on property’ and is headed by investment specialist Roger Thornton, valued for ‘advising on the finer points of complex transactions’. Declan Power is the standout name on the projects front and handles a range of matters, including forward funding and purchases, joint ventures and development agreements, chiefly in respect of retail, mixed-use, office and industrial schemes. On the corporate occupier side, Katherine Watts caters to both occupiers and landowners alike while Neil Sagoo has forged a reputation for business-critical relocations.

Practice head(s):

Roger Thornton

Other key lawyers:

Declan Power; Martin Smith; Katherine Smith

Testimonials

‘Maples Teesdale’s staff are very knowlegable and approachable. In the nature of our dealings we require instant responses and they are always available to discuss any matters either via email or telephone. Where necessary, new technology requirements have been implemented seamlessly. We have enjoyed many years of excellent service.’

‘We have dealt with Chris Wilkinson for many years – what makes him unique is his ability to fully explain situations and set out all steps required in order to progress and completed matters. He is always aware of the audience he is dealing with and makes everyone involved feel fully at ease.’

‘Maples have always provided a responsive and considered service, taking into account the needs of our business and customers.  The team have good legal knowledge blended with commercial understanding, and generally approach things with a problem-solving mindset. The team works well together and cover all aspects of property for us. We value their dedicated focus on property and I would have no hesitation in recommending them.’

‘Roger Thornton is our main account holder and has led the team for many years now.  New team members are well-inducted and I meet with Roger regularly to ensure that the service we get is optimised and we straighten out any issues (on both sides) to avoid misunderstandings or any problems developing. There is a strong degree of trust involved in our business relationship which has resulted in some significant property acquisitions and disposals over the years.’

‘They are a dedicated property practice with good client relationship skills, are commercial and efficient.’

‘Roger Thornton is responsive, helpful and commercial.’

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments

City of London Corporation

BMO Real Estate Partners

Legal & General Investment Management

Henry Boot plc

Patrizia AG

CLS plc

Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc

CBRE Global Investors

City, University of London

Work highlights

  • Acting for Aberdeen Standard on several funds, including carrying out all legal work on its c.£1.4bn UKCM fund. Transactions during 2020 included the sale of Great Lodge Retail Park for £46.25m and the sale of Eldon House in the City for £40m.
  • Acted on c.£150m of purchases for Patrizia AG’s new Trans 7 Fund.  These purchases included three retail parks in Exeter, Newcastle and London.
  • Advised JR Capital and Chancerygate’s £100m multi-let industrial fund on the acquisition of a portfolio of five industrial assets in Northamptonshire for a total of £10.4m and a further two assets in Birkenhead, Merseyside, and Cardiff for a total of £6.9m.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose FulbrightNorton Rose FulbrightNorton Rose Fulbright leverages its considerable international network to support on an array of inward investment transactions and cross-border real estate projects. The practice counts its expertise in energy, infrastructure and large-scale social housing schemes as its keystones and is able to tap into the firm’s wider finance, tax and corporate structuring capabilities to provide a full lifecycle service. Dan Wagerfield fronts the global real estate practice from London, providing distinguished experience in mixed-use developments and outbound capital from Asia; he is supported by UK practice head Wasim Khan, a prominent Islamic finance specialist, as well as David Hawkins who has been supporting London Olympia on its ongoing £2bn redevelopment . David Sinclair enjoys a first-rate reputation for both investment and development matters, particularly those at offices and hotels, while well-regarded counsel Louisa Roe is particularly integral to the corporate occupier offering which supports landlords and tenants from initial lease negotiation through to terminations and subsequent disputes.

Practice head(s):

Wasim Khan

Other key lawyers:

David Sinclair; David Hawkins; Dan Wagerfield; Charlie Pinkerton

Testimonials

‘The team works well together and collaborates across the departments to ensure issues are assessed and taken care of.’

‘Everyone we deal with at Norton Rose Fulbright is highly capable, hardworking, pleasant to work with and, importantly, have a sense of humour (the latter has been important given the challenges the last year has thrown at us!)’

‘We deal with many solicitors – Louisa Roe and her team are the most commercial and proactive team I have dealt with in recent years. They are incredibly responsive to both the client’s requirements and to input made by ourselves. Their turnaround time is exceptional. They are very collaborative as a team and bring the wider team together with is critical in making deals happen and so often is not the case with other solicitors.’

‘A team of solicitors I have always enjoyed working with.  The partners are very approachable, and all the associates are extremely knowledgeable about the real estate sector and have got me out of trouble a few times.’

‘Louisa Roe is head and shoulders above other solicitors we deal with day in day out. Very commercial, brilliant at problem solving, great attention to deal, incredibly responsive.’

‘David Hawkins has excellent engagement with and understanding of the complexities of deals. Very committed and never let us down on timing. David is very well supported by Louisa Roe and both work extremely hard.’

Key clients

MUFG Bank

Patrizia AG

Bank of London and the Middle East Plc

Dagenham Dock

GLL Real Estate Partners

United Overseas Bank Limited

ICBC (London) plc

RWE AG

Resolution Property IM LLP (UK)

Europa Capital (UK)

Civitas plc (UK)

Commerz Real (Germany)

Prudential plc (UK)

Olympia London

57 Whitehall S.à.r.l. (Old War Office) (India and Spain)

Bank ABC (Middle East)

Schroder Real Estate Investment Management (UK)

Tristan Capital Partners (UK)

HSBC Alternative Investments (UK)

Bank of Montréal (Canada)

Employees Provident Fund (Malaysia)

Argo Group (USA)

WELPUT (Jersey)

Ashby Capital (UK)

State General Reserve Fund (Oman)

SOFAZ (Azerbaijan)

Hobart Partners (UK)

Sidra Capital (Dubai)

Ivanhoé Cambridge (Canada)

Funding Affordable Homes Plc (UK)

Work highlights

  • Advised Civitas on a number of portfolio acquisitions in the vibrant social housing investment sector.
  • Advised GLL/Macquarie on the acquisition of Yalding House in the West End from British Land plc.
  • Advised Olympia on the £2bn investment and redevelopment of this iconic Central London venue.

Paul Hastings LLP

US firm Paul Hastings LLP's London team is a strong choice for big-ticket real estate investments, particularly those with underlying corporate elements. Practice head Michael Jamesgoes the extra mile for his clients’ and is proficient in a broad variety of transactions such as joint ventures, structured acquisitions and disposals, fund investments and hotel purchases; he is notably active on the cross-border front having transacted major deals in Italy, Spain, France and Germany, among other European jurisdictions. Associates Edward Meadowcroft and Stephen Nicolas demonstrate a tenacity to 'complete transactions quickly and efficiently' while Matthew Peters is an up-and-coming name in the field of corporate real estate.

Practice head(s):

Michael James

Other key lawyers:

Edward Meadowcroft; Stephen Nicolas; Matthew Peters

Testimonials

‘Responsive, commercial and trusted.’

Michael James is very hard working, pragmatic and will go the extra mile for his clients.’

‘Stephen Nicolas and Ed Meadowcroft are very hardworking, responsive and provide practical advice which enhances the ability to complete transactions quickly and efficiently.’

Key clients

Starwood Capital

Evans Randall Investors

Benson Elliot

Walton Street

Goldman Sachs

LRC

TPG

Highgate Hotels

Omnam Group

RB Capital

Activum

Work highlights

  • Represented Omnam Group in relation to the €500m development of its site into a mixed property at the Les Mercuriales towers in Paris, to include office and retail spaces, together with a dual-branded Sheraton Moxy Hotel in Bagnolet, Paris, against Marriott as proposed operator.
  • Advised Starwood on the disposal of ten UK-based light industrial sites across the UK. The disposal involved various jurisdictions given the holding structure and was to be completed in a five week period.
  • Advised Starwood on the acquisition of the Renaissance Manchester site in joint venture with Property Alliance Group. Also advised on the joint venture, development management arrangements, lease re-gear with the council and various related documents.

Ropes & Gray LLP

US firm Ropes & Gray LLP's London team is ‘expertly able to advise on the full range of real estate transactions’, predominantly focusing on big-ticket private equity deals, catering to a client roster of real estate, pension, hedge and sovereign wealth funds in addition to family offices and operating partners. Practice head David Seymour and counsel Will Bryant demonstrate an ‘ability to cut straight to the heart of transactional issues’ and are especially knowledgeable with regards to data centre, digital infrastructure, life sciences, logistics and light industrial assets.

Practice head(s):

David Seymour

Other key lawyers:

Will Bryant

Testimonials

‘This is a corporate real estate team in that all of the team members are able to advise expertly on a full range of real estate transactions, from landlord and tenant to joint ventures.’

David Seymour and Will Bryant are the standouts. They are all extremely responsive and thorough. What makes them stand out from other firms is their ability to cut straight to the heart of issues on transactions.’

Key clients

APG

Arax Properties

Arrow Capital

Bain Capital Credit

Cambridge University Endowment Fund

Cathexis/Yondr

King Street

Partners Group

QuadReal

Caribbean Biodiversity Fund

The Nature Conservancy

Siguler Guff

Work highlights

  • Advised King Street and Arax Properties on their joint venture acquisition of Alban Gate in the City of London for £295m from Blackstone and the related acquisition financing with Apollo.
  • Advised APG on joint ventures for four Irish private rented sector investments with US investment firm Hines, with a combined, total projected investment for the platforms of over €1.1bn.
  • Advised Arrow Capital Partners on its programmatic Strategic Industrial Real Estate (SIRE) venture with Cerberus to acquire and manage a €3bn portfolio of industrial and urban logistics properties across Europe.

Simmons & Simmons

A global firm with ‘a high degree of technical ability, professionalism and dedication to transactions’, Simmons & Simmons supports its clients on a broad variety of investment and development matters; the team is adept in all mainstream assets with distinguished expertise of hospitality, student accommodation, build-to-rent, skyscraper and retail centre and logistics sites and excels in transacting joint venture and corporate wrapper deals. John Kelsey spearheads the practice which counts its asset management work, conducted on behalf of several prominent real estate fund managers, as a core pillar of its overall offering.

Practice head(s):

John Kelsey

Other key lawyers:

Ali Crosthwaite; Simon Gardiner; Richard Hopkinson-Woolley; Matthew Hooton; Deian Rhys

Testimonials

‘The team is extremely flexible and personable, with a strong grasp of our business fundamentals. Dealing with Simmons & Simmons feels like working with an extension of our own organisation. They go to great lengths to ensure they have understood the specific transaction requirements and that everything is explained clearly and thoroughly.’

‘Simmons & Simmons have been especially good at adapting to remote working and using all the tools that we do. They are easily contactable whenever we need them and host very effective collaborative video calls with third parties. Everyone is down to earth and genuine. They really care about doing the best job for us and providing honest advice on the best way forward at all stages of a case. It seems unfair to single anyone out, but Caroline Turner-Inskip does an especially good job of leading the account for us.’

‘The team have shown a high degree of technical ability, professionalism and dedication to transactions we have engaged them with. This capability coupled with an agile, commercial and creative approach to negotiations and delivery methods are stand out features for me in what can be quite a traditional part of the legal market. I rate them very highly as leaders in their field.’

‘Matthew Hooton is simply exceptional. Incredibly smart, fantastic technical knowledge and experience coupled with a rare ability to think commercially in the best interests of his client. A lawyer you definitely want on your side for any challenging real estate transaction. First class!’

‘Highly professional and agile. Their advice and suggestions are both practical and insightful – especially Deian Rhys.’

Key clients

Deka Immobilien Investment GmbH

Legal & General Assurance Society Limited

Patrizia AG

Covington & Burling LLP

Valor Real Estate Partners LLP

Langbourn Properties Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Deka Immobilien Investment GmbH on the acquisition of British Land’s Clarges Development in Mayfair.
  • Advised Valor Real Estate Partners LLP on the vast majority of its UK acquisition, financing and ongoing management work, including over 25 industrial and logistics assets and development sites in and around Greater London and Manchester.
  • Advised Deka Immobilien Investment GmbH on all matters relating to the asset sale of the Hogan Lovells HQ at Atlantic House in Holborn, London.

Slaughter and May

Praised for providing ‘a competitive edge in real estate deals’, magic circle firm Slaughter and May is instructed on all types of direct and indirect investment, frequently acting on large portfolio transactions in addition to those with cross-border elements. The 'first-class' team, which has 'a reputation for excellence', is also a strong player in the development field, working closely with its construction, planning, finance and environmental colleagues to serve as one-stop destination for major projects. It is also active in the corporate occupier space where it leverages a long-standing reputation as a go-to name for headquarter moves and developments and has also recently handled an array of CVA, rent payment agreement, regearing leases and restructuring matters owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. Jane Edwarde serves as practice head; she has first-rate expertise in relation to sports stadiums, advising both Arsenal and Everton FC on projects at their respective stadiums in recent years. Further key names include John Nevin, who has 'excellent business sense and a keen understanding of the law’, as well as senior counsel Simon Bartle, who is ‘adept in navigating through complex transactions’.

Practice head(s):

Jane Edwarde

Other key lawyers:

John Nevin; Richard Todd

Testimonials

‘Jane Edwarde is an extremely responsive partner who is always on hand to provide commercially minded legal support. Great to work with.’

‘A wonderful firm – you can tell they only hire the best.’

‘John Nevin is unique in that he has excellent business sense as well as a keen understanding of the law.’

‘Richard Todd is an extremely capable partner. Engaging and fully understands the client brief with strong commercial acumen.’

‘A depth of team resource and talent which allows significant transactions across jurisdictions to be handled efficiently.’

‘Top to bottom talent and highly skilled professionals delivering innovative solutions to emerging real estate problems.’

‘John Nevin has expertise and experiencing various types of real estate deals.’

‘Simon Bartle deserves a mention. He is adept at navigating his clients through complex transactions such as development agreements for lease and is excellent at suggesting solutions whenever problems are encountered that are acceptable on a commercial and legal footing.’

Key clients

Clothworkers’ Company

Delancey

Derwent London

Fishmongers’ Company

Global Infrastructure Partners

Legal & General

Masterworks

Midlothian Capital Partners

NTT Urban Development Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Bourne Leisure on the sale of a majority stake to Blackstone. The transaction involved 55 holiday sites and values the business at £3bn.
  • Advised NTT Urban Development Corporation on the acquisition of 130 Wood Street, London EC2 through its local subsidiary, UD Europe Limited.
  • Advised Derwent London on the sale of 2&4 Soho Place, part of a 285,000 sq ft development above the Tottenham Court Road Elizabeth Line station.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

The team at Trowers & Hamlins LLP is known for ‘pulling out all stops to get the results needed’. The full-service real estate practice thrives at all stages of investments and developments, setting itself apart from the rest of the market through its focus on representing public sector, hotel and leisure and inward investing clients, particularly those from the Far and Middle East. A further defining trait of the practice is its intimate knowledge of residential asset classes; key lawyers, such as Rebecca Wardle, are well-versed in student accomodation, build-to-rent, sheltered housing, senior living and mixed-use properties and the group frequently works in close tangent with its private wealth department to support on occupational and ownership matters at high-value flats and houses. Julien Allen, an ‘outstanding lawyer’, succeeded Sara Bailey as practice head in April 2021.

Practice head(s):

Julien Allen

Other key lawyers:

Sara Bailey; Yvette Bryan; Patrick Morris; Dwynwen Lewis; Sam Folley

Testimonials

‘The team at Trowers pull out all the stops to get the results we need. No matter the deadlines or the complexity, they have the skill and commercial nous to adapt to the situation. We feel like they are close business collaborators on our deals: they understand the key drivers and they prioritise a quick, successful outcome above any legal points-scoring. Fast, tech-savvy and responsive, they are willing to go the extra mile.’

‘Julien Allen is an outstanding lawyer. He wastes no time, acts quickly and decisively and owns and commands each transaction. He is also very responsive and adaptable. He differs from other lawyers in his judgement in negotiations about when to dig his heels in and when to choose the path of least resistance to get the result. I particularly value how he becomes a key part of our team and how he makes sure he is always at our disposal.’

‘Samir Nathwani is a fantastic associate. He works harder than anyone I have met, is always proactive and is excellent at developing great relationships and building trust with us. One to watch in the future, fast developing into partner material in my opinion.’ 

Key clients

Urban Logistics REIT

Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB)

American Realty Capital Global (ARC)

Wates Group

BT plc

Europa Capital

Hermes

AXA

Work highlights

  • Acting for Urban Logistics REIT on the £151m real estate refinance of various properties in the REIT portfolio.
  • Advised American Realty Capital Global on the multi-jurisdictional sale and leaseback portfolio acquisition of four properties from Johnson Controls International.
  • Advising Wates on its bid to become the preferred development partner of Harrow Council in the Harrow Strategic Development Partnership.

Wedlake Bell LLP

Wedlake Bell LLP, which recently merged with fellow City firm Moon Beever, has a strong commercial property department which covers a range of specialisms including high-value investments, a front on which David Roberts is exceedingly active, leveraging his expertise in logistics and retail assets. The department is also reputed for its full-service development service, which has a focus on mixed-use, business park and heritage building schemes with Kim Lalli particularly busy in the residential project space. Justin Lewis-Vivas helms the practice, which also includes Sarah Blunn, a lawyer integral to the firm's corporate occupier practice which caters to companies from the luxury brand, hospitality and leisure, co-working, sciences and professional services sectors.

Practice head(s):

Justin Lewis-Vivas

Other key lawyers:

David Roberts; Claire Nelson; David Johnston

Testimonials

‘Wedlake Bell combine professionalism, knowledge, pragmatism and a personal relationship that makes interactions quick and easy. With reasonable charging rates and quality of personnel, they are my default practice of choice.’

‘David Johnston has been our lead point of contact at Wedlake Bell, working on property transactions and development agreements. These throw up many diverse challenges but he has been my rock in every storm. I have 100% confidence in him. His legal knowledge and grasp of context, fused with his ability to communicate precisely, succinctly and clearly, have been invaluable.’

Suzanne Gill is simply brilliant. Suzanne is both a trusted advisor and a great lawyer. A titan in real estate world, both deeply analytical with a razor sharp wit. Her velvet glove negotiating style is backed with extreme gravitas, making her the only lawyer you want on your team.’

‘The partners we deal with always have their clients’ best interest at the heart of what they do, but balanced with a commercial approach. The partners and surrounding team are all very knowledgeable and available whenever needed to get things done.’

‘Leah Freeman is like our in-house lawyer, she completely understands retail and our business.’

‘The individuals I have worked with have been terrifically down-to-earth, looked to understand exactly what we wanted and how we wanted to work with them, they explained things in  a simple and friendly manner and  delivered on what they have said.’

‘Claire Nelson embodies everything that makes challenging situations easier to work in. A detailed knowledge of complex legalities combined with an ability to disseminate information, communicate clearly and directly a collaborative way forward.’

Key clients

Urban Logistics

LondonMetric Property PLC

Oxenwood Real Estate LLP

Jersey Co

London City Mission

Work highlights

  • Acting for UK-based AIM-listed property investment company Urban Logistics REIT, which acquired the Crown Portfolio for £47.2m via the corporate acquisition of the units in the EOS Property Unit Trust, a JPUT owned by funds managed by Legal & General Investment Management.
  • Acting for Oxenwood Real Estate, which specialises in the acquisition and development of high-quality income producing assets with scope for medium term value add asset management initiatives primarily in the logistics sector.
  • Won a competitive tender to advise London City Mission (LCM) on its property portfolio.

White & Case LLP

With a vast international network across Europe, the US and Asia-Pac, White & Case LLP has an ‘extremely accomplished, highly technical’ London team, which is principally acclaimed for its investment expertise, an offering bolstered by the firm’s broader proficiency in real estate M&A and related finance. One key distinguisher is the firm's ‘market leading knowledge in relation to data centres’, provided by practice head James Dodsworth. James Pullen, whose core strengths include joint ventures and restructurings, recently made partner and continues to front the firm’s private equity real estate offering.

Practice head(s):

James Dodsworth

Other key lawyers:

James Pullen; Victoria Landsbert; James Johnson; Jane McQuillan

Testimonials

‘The team has exceptional skills and experience. They are very good at drawing upon resources from multiple offices. Communication is very efficient, and they have a good commercial mind.’

‘Extremely accomplished, highly technical and diligent.’

‘They have market leading sector knowledge in relation to data centres working within a multi-disciplinary but fully integrated team.’

‘James Johnson is very astute, patient and personable. Excellent negotiator and technically very strong. Jane McQuillan is also a very strong and highly capable transactional lawyer.’

‘Extremely knowledgeable on data centre assets. Very thorough on all aspects.’

‘James Dodsworth is highly professional and a complete advisor.’

Key clients

Digital Realty

Global Compute Infrastructure LP

LabTech Investments Limited

Oaktree Capital Management L.P.

Westmont Hospitality

Archer Hotel Capital

SPIE

Inflexion Private Equity Partners and its portfolio company Ocorian

Work highlights

  • Advised Digital Realty on the sale of a European data centre portfolio for $680m.
  • Advised Global Compute Infrastructure LP (Global Compute) on its acquisition of ATM, the Polish data center and communications infrastructure business, from a consortium of funds managed by MCI Capital, one of Poland’s leading venture capital and private equity companies, and Mezzanine Management, an independent investment advisory firm.
  • Advised Archer Hotel Capital on its  €380m cross-collateralised financing package by Aareal Bank AG of a pan-European portfolio of seven hotels in five different European countries, including the UK.

Boodle Hatfield LLP

Boodle Hatfield LLPBoodle Hatfield LLP which operates from two London offices in Mayfair and Bankside, is adept in a range of development, letting, disposal and acquisition matters. Led by Simon Williams, a specialist in retail, leisure and hotel assets, the team directs particular emphasis toward mixed-use developments and investments and is especially well-versed in serving private capital clients, namely family offices, private funds, high-net-worth individuals and overseas investors. The group has noted an uptick in activity in the co-working and serviced office space over the past 12 months and also includes Caroline King whose core strengths lie in regeneration schemes, office and retail developments, joint ventures and funding matters.

Practice head(s):

Simon Williams

Other key lawyers:

Caroline King; Andrew Wilmot-Smith; Rajeev Joshi

Key clients

Grosvenor

Bedford

Wates

Work highlights

  • Acting on the redevelopment of Harcourt House in Marylebone from mixed-use to high-end residential and medical use, including acting on the acquisition and development funding.

Burges Salmon LLP

Several of the key commercial property lawyers at Burges Salmon LLP split their time between the firm’s London and Bristol offices, predominantly operating from the latter. Richard Clark acts for both public and private sector clients; he fronts the investment and asset management offering and is supported by Richard Read who specialises in student accommodation, hotel and leisure-related transactions, in addition to those involving mainstream classes. The group is also geared to handle a range of development projects; Ross Polkinghorne directs particular attention to large-scale sustainable regeneration schemes and the wider team is also adept in all facets of landlord and tenant work such as rent reviews, dilapidations, sale-leasebacks, headquarter moves and lease terminations.

Practice head(s):

Richard Clark

Other key lawyers:

Richard Read; Matthew Sims; Chris Preston

Testimonials

‘High quality legal advice and deep knowledge of the industry, at competitive rates.’

‘Richard Read is supported by a team of associates and provides top quality advice in a very cost-effective manner.’

‘Strong commercial acumen. They offered our business support during pandemic which was appreciated and recognised.’

Ross Polkinghorne, Richard Clark and Ashley Davies are an excellent team. Diligent, commercial. They understand development process and can see beyond individual issues to wider context.

‘The team is large and diverse and brings in partners from around the business as required to inform the deal.’

‘The team are available, knowledgeable and offer pragmatic advice.’

Key clients

Darwin Leisure Fund

Andrew Brownsword / The Royal Clarence Hotel Limited

The Crown Estate

The Church Commissioners

Aerium Group

Savile Row Investments Unit Trust

FTI Consulting (acting as administrators of Côte Restaurants Group Holdings Limited)

West Ranga Property Group

Knight Frank Investment Management

Work highlights

  • Advising the £1.2bn LPPI RE fund on various matters including a substantial office development scheme.
  • Acted as counsel to Darwin Leisure Development Fund on the acquisition of the Stratford Armouries Museum.
  • Acting for Consulco Real Estate, a Cyprus-based real estate investment fund specialising in working with high net-worth individuals and family offices, to acquire, develop and actively manage London properties.

Clyde & Co LLP

International firm Clyde & Co LLP fields a team of commercial real estate lawyers with 'excellent commercial instincts, providing concise and relevant advice’. The practice is principally acclaimed for its full lifecycle development practice with Will Deeprose directing his attention to mixed-use residential schemes and the ‘highly experiencedGraeme Taylor handling warehousing and distribution regeneration developments; the pair jointly lead the practice, which is also extensively well-versed in public sector-driven projects and is engaged for office and retail lettings, investment-related property management and development, as well as a range of disposals and acquisitions. Laura Oliver is a new partner-level arrival from Hogan Lovells International LLP and ‘has already proved to be a great asset for the firm, instilling confidence on any transaction.’

Practice head(s):

Graeme Taylor; Will Deeprose

Other key lawyers:

Annabelle Redman; John Pearce; Laura Oliver

Testimonials

‘We have found the real estate team at Clyde & Co to be extremely competent technically, commercial, responsive and easy to deal with. Their fees are comparatively reasonable and they are prepared to agree fees not only according to hours spent, but also having regard to the value of the service to the client.’

‘John Pearce is our relationship partner. He is an excellent lawyer technically and combines this with commerciality, common sense and responsiveness. He is always prepared to discuss matters with you and give you his opinion rather than just simply handing down advice.’

‘The practice does not just focus on getting through the transactional / fee paid work but also the wider lawyer/client relationship – for example the training menu that has been implemented. They are keen to understand our business and how they can assist within a broader context keeping us updated with latest thinking and innovation.’

‘Laura Oliver recently joined Clyde & Co and has proved a great asset to the firm. As a client it is important that you have absolute faith in your lawyer’s knowledge, not just technically but also commercially, and Laura has both in abundance. She is also extremely diligent, turning drafting around quickly and always contactable to discuss matters. When embarking on any transaction, having Laura as part of the home team instils confidence in the project.’

‘The team is highly collaborative and supportive of each other so there is always someone able to assist. All the lawyers have excellent commercial instincts and are able to provide concise and relevant advice as to what is practicable and achievable as quickly as possible and at fair and reasonable cost.’

‘The team is led by Graeme Taylor who is highly experienced, personable and extremely approachable. Annabelle Redman mirrors these qualities and is always able to provide speedy and practicable solutions and advice. For both, the commercial imperative is all-important and I value this most highly.’

Key clients

Spelthorne Borough Council

Grainger plc

Osborne Limited

OakNorth Bank

Regal London Limited

Native Land Limited

Hutchison Property Group Limited

Marcol Limited

U + I Group Plc

Lai Sun Developments Limited

Urban & Civic plc

Montreaux Ltd

C.G.I.S Group

One 55 Fenchurch Limited

Connected Living Ltd (TfL/Grainger JV)

B&Q

Brentwood Development Partnership LLP (a Morgan Sindall/Brentwood Borough Council JV)

Ares UK

Wincanton Plc

Work highlights

  • Advising Regal London on the restructure of land ownership and the simultaneous refinance of a site with two separate senior debt facilities for a total of £76m.
  • Acting for B&Q Properties Limited on the sale of their store in Sutton to a residential developer for £38m and a short term leaseback of the store for operational purposes.
  • Advising Urban & Civic plc on the surrender of a hotel lease to Marriott and the disposal of two long leasehold interests in the site to a joint venture between Starwood Capital Group and Property Alliance Group.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLPDAC Beachcroft LLP represents both domestic and overseas investors in respect of portfolio sales, purchases and management matters, leveraging specialist high-end luxury retail, shopping centre, health and hotel expertise, as well as a strong capacity for Shari'ah compliant financing. Practice head Robert Lee brings over 25 years’ worth of development expertise to the table, predominantly focusing on projects within the mixed-use, regeneration, house building and private rented sector spheres; he is closely supported by newly promoted partner Charlotte Wilson who counts residential developments and strategic land matters as her foremost fields of expertise. A further keystone of the practice is its corporate occupier activity which sees it engaged by household names at a range of sites, including offices, distribution centres, retail and hospitals.

Practice head(s):

Robert Lee

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Boulton; Helen Murcott; Glenn Ruddy

Testimonials

‘A friendly, reliable team covering various areas of law and providing a value for money and high quality service. Particular strengths are availability of the team, communication within the team, expert knowledge in all areas of law the transactions require and any timescales are adhered to.’

‘The real estate team are very responsive, technically strong and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Our work has been led by the excellent Madeline Ball, who is very hardworking, reactive and has significant experience. She and her team are also very commercial and approachable.’

‘DAC’s understanding of the our business objectives/commercial challenges has really grown over recent years. They have updated our precedent documents, queried our commercial needs whilst always communicating efficiently workloads, fees and timescales on specific projects. We have reached a stage where I trust them implicitly to lead on any land deal, providing support to the wider land team and educating junior members.’

‘An exceptional team. Charismatic, professional and diligent.’

Key clients

The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited

Portland Place (Properties) Jersey Limited

Royal London UK Real Estate Fund

Taylor Wimpey

Bellway

Vistry Group

Crest Nicholson Operations Limited

Derwent London

Arab Investments Limited

Savills IM

Panasonic

Go Ahead Group

L’Oreal

Guy’s and Thomas’s Hospital

Royal Brompton Hospital Trust

Qatari Investment Bank

Intu

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield

Canterbury City Council

Blackpool Borough Council

Allied Irish Bank

Waverley Borough Council

Wates Developments

Barratt

Countryside Properties

Persimmon

Berkeley Homes

Redrow

CALA

Hill Group

Places for People

Stonebond Properties

Ilke Homes

Fairview

Work highlights

  • Advised The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited on a complex deal to take back a flagship investment store from a US tenant that had gone into Chapter 11 insolvency and grant a new lease to Next.
  • Advised Ableprop West London Limited on the purchase of a large business centre in Greater London via a corporate acquisition.

Davitt Jones Bould

With its London office operating alongside bases in Manchester and Birmingham, Davitt Jones Bould is a specialist real estate firm with a track record in corporate occupier matters at prominent landmarks and major national events such as Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. The firm is uniquely adept in matters at a number of niche property types including zoos, nuclear power stations and lakes and is headed nationally by founding member Madeleine Davitt; she enjoys an excellent reputation for high-magnitude commercial property projects in the public sector, having notably supported The Royal Parks on the hosting on 2012 Olympics, and routinely supports local authorities with investment, development and city regeneration projects.

Practice head(s):

Madeleine Davitt

Other key lawyers:

Teresa Kamppari Baker; Sean Bulman; Louisa Swanton; Melanie Greer-Walker

Testimonials

‘A niche property practise. All of their lawyers have many years’ experience but given how they operate, clients get the benefit of very experienced lawyers but at great value for money. They seem to have established their firm with client satisfaction at front and centre. They know their own strengths and have created a structure which plays to them absolutely. Their whole structure is innovative which leaves lawyers free to provide legal advice supported by a talented and able team which further strengthens their value offering. They really care about their clients.’

‘They live and breathe their own business and that of their clients. Their knowledge in particular of the public sector, is exemplary. Their overall approach is refreshingly straightforward and open. They are a pleasure to work with.’

‘The firm only recruits experienced lawyers from leading law firms. This translates to very high quality work and service. They have excellent commercial nous ensuring the legal advice is tailored to the unique needs of each client. In terms of innovation, the firm’s business model is unique for the legal industry. I am also impressed by their diversity. They have a higher percentage of female partners than the industry average for firms of their calibre.’

‘Melanie Greer-Walker is very proactive and commercially minded in her advice. She really understands the fine detail with legal work associated with property development and is very collaborative to work with. She understands the client needs very well and is an invaluable team member on any commercial/development deal.’

‘They have strong knowledge and awareness of real estate work, in particular in the public sector, where they understand some of the challenges of a public body in a commercial environment. I would recommend them to any public body undertaking commercial property projects of any size.’

‘Attention to detail, good humour and willingness to go the extra mile to achieve the desired outcome.’

‘Melanie Greer-Walker is an exceptional lawyer. She combines an excellent technical knowledge with commercial acumen which results in advice that is spot on for our needs.’

‘DJB are the best external lawyers I have dealt with. Their knowledge and client care are second to none.’

Key clients

Surrey County Council

Merchant Land Investments

Plato Estates

Rossmore Properties

Woking Borough Council

The Royal Parks

Hierons LLP

Rick Stein (TV Celebrity Chef) restaurant group

Squarestone Investments

Attorney Generals Office

Runnymede Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Merchant Land Investments on its London investment portfolio.
  • Advised numerous local authorities on high value investment acquisitions covering cinemas, shopping centres, offices and more.
  • Advised Lifestyle Residences on a high value property acquisition on the River Thames in Richmond.

Farrer & Co

Combining ‘strong traditional experience with an astute commercial approach', the practice at elite London firm Farrer & Co predominantly focuses on mid-market projects and transactions in the capital. Its client list consists of major institutional investors, privately owned investment funds and overseas private offices who rely on the group for transactions encompassing a wealth of assets, including high-end residential and landed estates. Mark Gauguier fronts the department, leveraging a distinguished track record in large-scale urban development projects, and is supported by Charles Anderson who focuses on major community development schemes. Senior associate Barbara Webb is an institutional investment specialist, focused on forward funding, forward purchase and portfolio management, and the team is also home to Henry Stevens, a recently promoted partner well-versed in landlord and tenant and redevelopment mandates.

Practice head(s):

Mark Gauguier

Other key lawyers:

Charles Anderson; Kate Corke; Sarah Aggarwal; Henry Stevens; Barbara Webb

Testimonials

‘They have an enthusiastic, can-do approach and are of a size that means partners and senior associates are actively involved. They generally seem to care and have been particularly good during the recent lockdowns.’

‘We principally work with Barbara Webb and Rebecca Price who are members of Mark Gauguier’s team. Barbara is an intelligent lawyer who does not just issue the standard PLC draft document and who understands the issues that arise and is happy to discuss any concerns I have.’

‘Strong traditional experience combined with astute commercial approach. Capable of adjusting to specific client requirements and involving specialist departments quickly and effectively.’

‘Mark Gauguier and Henry Stevens possess the breadth of experience and dogmatic determination to both hold to principles and identify compromise positions as necessary.’

Key clients

Charities Property Fund

Duchy of Cornwall

The Ironmongers Company

Property Trust Group

Victoria and Albert Museum

Arbuthnot Latham & Co Ltd

Commonwealth Real Estate LP

Blackhall Global Partners LLC

Gascoyne Cecil Estates

Mayfield Property Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Charities Property Fund on numerous transactions totalling over £100m in deal size, with highlights including the sale of Sainsburys Superstore, New Barnet, London to an overseas investor within the Dyson group for £51.1m.
  • Advised Blackhall Global Partners LLC and Commonwealth Real Estate LP on major investments into UK real estate, with a combined projected deployment of capital of around £1bn.
  • Acted for an international property fund on well in excess of £170m of acquisitions, including major transactions in Midtown, the West End and Liverpool.

Fieldfisher

Hailed as ‘experts in the field', the lawyers in Fieldfisher’s London office operate as part of the firm’s national team, frequently collaborating on major instructions with colleagues in Birmingham and Manchester. The practice is best known for its development, finance and investment work, directing particular emphasis to alternative assets such as hotel, healthcare, industrial and student residential properties. Paul Houston, a specialist in the hospitality sector, is a ‘standout’ name for mixed-use developments and pre-lets while Jayne Elkins is a reputed ‘expert’ in significant investment transactions and non-contentious landlord and tenant affairs. Ramatu Banga is also a prominent name within the team owing to her notable proficiency in high-value office lettings, sale and leaseback and portfolio transactions.

Practice head(s):

Antony Philips; Paul Houston

Other key lawyers:

Rhodri Pazzi-Axworthy; Jayne Elkins; Iain Thomas; Mark Lee

Testimonials

‘Each and every person at Fieldfisher that I have come into contact with has impressed me with their efforts to fully understand our situation and become part of the team by solving issues and take responsibility. Communication is excellent and working across departments is seamless.’

‘Gary Pickard is an extremely diligent, hard-working and focused lawyer. He is equally happy to take the lead or be guided by our own commercial needs.’

‘The team are very friendly, we enjoy doing business with them, but they combine this with high quality advice that is commercial and focused on getting deals done rather than creating issues.’

‘Paul Houston is the standout individual. He leads our client relationship and has been responsible for successfully concluding a number of important transactions for us during the past year. We like dealing with him a lot.’

‘Their depth of knowledge is a huge asset. Billing is transparent. All staff that join the team are well briefed and hit the ground running.’

‘Jayne Elkins is an expert, always contactable and able to explain in a manner I understand. I would not go to another firm – Fieldfisher are my go-to experts.’

‘For me it is simple – they are experts in their field. They cover a vast range of services with all staff from juniors to partners that are a pleasure to work with.  Sound advice and excellent communication.’

Key clients

Birmingham International Airport

Cambridge Medipark

CA Ventures

Dominvs Group

DWS

Exeter Properties

Co-operative Group Limited

Imperial College London

Infrastrata plc / Harland & Wolff

Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate – Industrials UK Property Unit Trust

Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate

Liberty Property Trust (UK) Limited

Shell Pension Funds

Work highlights

  • Acting as the lead real estate legal advisers to Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate in connection with the creation of a $1bn industrials and logistics’ fund joint venture, associated reorganisation, and financing with Wells Fargo.
  • Advised London & Oxford Capital Markets on the £128m acquisition of 75 King William Street, London EC2 in the City of London.
  • Advised Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate – Industrials UK Property Unit Trust on the successful purchase of Brighton City Airport, the UK’s oldest airport, and its large related industrial estate and development land from administrators of Albemarle Shoreham Airport.

Fladgate LLP

Hosting ‘an exceptional amount of industry knowledge’, Fladgate LLP is a single office London firm which is traditionally strong in terms of entrepreneurial and inbound investor representation and has also noted a notable recent upturn in the number of big-ticket deals handled for institutional quality clients and private equity lenders. The practice is also frequently instructed on development projects for family office, hotel, retail and leisure clients and is headed by Stephen Lewis, a specialist in the latter two sectors. Gideon Dabby-Joory and Alan Karsberg are among the key points of contact for corporate occupier matters, a front on which the group is geared to act on everything from day-to-day landlord and tenant matters to major headquarter relocations and caters to a client roster of major professional businesses, co-working providers and barristers' chambers, among others.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Lewis

Other key lawyers:

Gideon Dabby-Joory; Gavin Whitney; Richard Reuben; Alan Karsberg

Testimonials

‘From my experience of dealing with a number of lawyers at the firm, I am able to attest to the excellent and very responsive service from all of them.’

‘Richard Reuben has been my main contact through this last year.  His speed of response, sensible and very nuanced advice has been invaluable.’

‘In my point of view, it it a one-stop shop law firm of medium size – meaning that I still have easy access to partners and associates but at the same time without compromising any quality.’

‘We have fantastic experience with Gideon Dabby-Joory, one of the partners who acts as our main point of contact for all our real estate needs. On a few occasions, when we required expertise from other colleagues such as litigation, finance, corporate, he has directed us to the right colleagues but at the same time, continued to be involved in order to take care of our interests.’

‘A team of experts that can quickly provide advice on a wide range of property issues. A one-stop shop.’

‘The team at Fladgate has an exceptional amount of industry knowledge to leverage from and their approach to handling transactions (from client care to billing) is tailored to suit the client’s needs, which is always helpful.’

‘Alan Karsberg and Fiona Smith, in particular, are a trusted pair of hands, especially when it comes to guidance towards making commercial decisions. Our organisation has benefited from their services for many years and we would not hesitate in recommending their services.’

‘A superb service. The team are practical, commercial, extremely professional and know their subject inside and out. They are not shy to give clear advice and are extremely efficient in finalising transactions. They are also client user friendly.’

Key clients

Patron, APAM

Goldacre Noé Group

Capreon UK limited

Best Star Real Estate

BYM Group

Strawberry Star

FTH Investments Limited

Otium Real Estate

London & Regional Properties

YOO Capital Fund II

CapitaLand REIT

Work highlights

  • Advised Patron Capital, the pan-European institutional investor focused on real-estate backed investments and their JV partner APAM, on the sale of Arlington Business Park to Singapore’s CapitaLand for a total consideration of £129.25m.
  • Advised YOO Capital Fund II on its acquisition of a majority ownership interest in Shepherds Bush Market from U+I Group.
  • Advised Otium Real Estate on the purchase of the Robin Leisure Park in Wigan.

Forsters LLP

A single office West End firm with a strong focus on real estate, Forsters LLP represents a number of household names in the corporate occupier space. Glenn Dunn acts for major players in the media, finance and banking sectors with clients citing the ‘remarkable leadership’ with which he oversees the practice. Another key name is Helen Streeton, who provides the group with distinguished expertise in acting for entities from the oil and gas and chemicals industries. Examples of recent work include major headquarter relocations, lease assignments and several landlord and tenant matters including terminations and disputes. The practice is also highly regarded for its investment and development expertise, the latter being a particular forte of Victoria Towers.

Practice head(s):

Glenn Dunn

Testimonials

‘A firm focused on property law matters. The firm has good diversity (an important topic for us). Practical advice with clear guidance to clients.’

‘Expertise and availability. Proactive and thoughtful advice.’

‘I had the good fortune to work with Forsters on a very difficult deal with tight timeframes and complex terms. We faced many unexpected hurdles and many changes of our internal stakeholders. I was extremely impressed by their pragmatism, ability to adapt to changing circumstances, ability to explain complex legal issues clearly to foreign counsel and internal stakeholders, flexibility, determination and hard work.’

‘Glenn Dunn showed remarkable leadership and good cheer in diving into a matter over a holiday break when more junior lawyers were unavailable. He managed to cut through all manner of complexity in deals, explain UK law and COVID signing requirements to opposing US counsel, counsel our clients on the best ways to resolve difference and get our deal done by its impossible deadline.’

‘Anna Penn was a delight to work with; she explained things clearly, escalated matters when appropriate and turned redlines rapidly and well.’

‘Very good team – they are responsive and understand our business.’

‘Glenn Dunn puts the right people on the specific project, but is also there to support when needed.’

Mills & Reeve LLP

National firm Mills & Reeve LLP fields an ‘exceptionally strong development team’ equipped for the full lifecycle of both large-scale regeneration and asset-specific development projects. Orla O’Sullivan is well-versed in everything from site assembly and forward funding through to management agreements while Michael Giess is a specialist in a range of schemes including industrial, retail, Central London office and town centres. Charles Staveley  splits his time between Cambridge and London and spearheads the investment practice which in addition to acquisitions and disposals, also provides portfolio management services aimed at improving income streams; his team has noted a significant uptick in alternative asset investment of late including student housing, health, higher education and life sciences.

Practice head(s):

Charles Staveley

Other key lawyers:

Orla O’Sullivan; Michael Giess; David Roberts; Laura Holdaway

Testimonials

‘Reliable, trustworthy and pragmatic advisers, who we really enjoy working with. Michael Giess epitomises this, providing a very personal and efficient service, whilst remaining commercial at all times. The positive feedback from lawyers acting on the other side, reinforces these qualities.’

‘The team’s response times are second to none. Client contact and solicitor availability is always exceptional. The entire team has a commercial approach to transactions which is refreshing – they tailor documentation to meet client needs and expectations.’

‘Mills & Reeve have a exceptionally strong development team that is flexible in its ability to resource as required, has strength in depth and which really seeks to understand a project and the business motivation to help provide the optimal legal services.’

‘Mills & Reeve have advised one of our UK pension fund clients for many years. They have the experience and breadth of expertise in all areas of law to advise us on all aspects of development transactions in any asset class, in such a way that protects our clients’ best interests.’

‘A team that fully understands our needs and how best to protect our client’s interests. They cover all aspects of law related to commercial property and offer a highly personal and dedicated service.’

Key clients

RPMI Railpen (Railways Pension Fund)

South Kensington Estates

Bruntwood Science Limited

Homes England

Urban&Civic plc

AgFe

Trinity College, Cambridge

LaSalle Investment Management

Legendre Group Limited

London & Regional Properties

Langtree Property Partners Limited

Fidelity UK Real Estate Fund

Bericote Properties Limited

Pandox AB

Hines UK

Royal Mail Pension Plan (managed by LaSalle Investment Management)

Hermes Fund Managers Ltd

Bruntwood

Henderson UK Property PAIF (managed by Nuveen Real Estate)

Rhône Group LLP

Derwent London

Achilles Therapeutics UK Limited

Argent

Floreat Real Estate

Lendlease

Autolus Limited

Pigeon Group

O&H Properties

Hillview Group

Kadans Science Partner

Work highlights

  • Advising a client of LaSalle Investment Management on the acquisition of St Martins Lane Hotel and leaseback to seller of a long income-strip lease for a long term to the value of £160.35m.
  • Advising Homes England on a range of projects related to the allocation of the £1bn building safety fund, a Government initiative which will ensure unsafe cladding is removed from high rise buildings.
  • Acting for Urban&Civic plc on the negotiation of a joint venture development agreement with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council and with the Wellcome Trust (as co-funder) for the development of the urban extension to Basingstoke (known as Manydown Project) for c.3,500 new homes  and a full range of community facilities.

Osborne Clarke LLP

An international firm adept in ‘complex and high value mandates’, Osborne Clarke LLP is a go-to choice for a range of development and regeneration projects with a distinct emphasis on schemes pertaining to mixed-use, logistics and living assets, including alternative residential. Louise Cartwright, a lawyer with notable experience in portfolio deals and real estate finance, heads the team, succeeding Peter Day who was recently appointed as head of the firm’s London office. The practice directs a clear emphasis towards upper mid-market work and compliments its transactional and project knowhow through close collaboration with the firm’s wider property disputes, finance, planning and procurement practices.

Practice head(s):

Peter Day

Other key lawyers:

Louise Cartwright; Emma McPeake

Testimonials

‘Good for more complex/high value matters. Consistent delivery of transactions to required timeframes and good all-round communications. The lawyers work well as a team. They provide competitive fee quotes.’

‘Very commercial client-focused team. Happy to get the job done rather than score points against other lawyers (a widespread sin in many law firms).’

‘Will Gay is a pragmatic lawyer with excellent negotiation skills. Dave Kerr displays the same nous and can-do attitude.’

Key clients

AXA IM – Real Assets (Baytree Logistics Properties LLP)

Campus Overseas Corp

CLS Holdings plc

Ellandi LLP

Eskmuir Properties

Fiera Capital (formerly Palmer Capital Partners)

GSA – Global Student Accommodation

Patrizia / Kingston Space Properties

Long Harbour Real Estate

Marchmont Investment Management

Mirastar Real Estate Investment Management in joint venture with KKR

M&G Real Estate

Nuveen Real Estate

Oculus Real Estate Group

Orchard Street Investment Management

Redevco Investment Management

RO Real Estate

Topland

U + I Group Plc

Warburg HIH Invest Real Estate GmbH

Work highlights

  • Continuing to carry out all of the work for M&G’s residential/build to rent fund, including a forward funding investment deal for a 114-unit block in Brighton for circa £45m.
  • Advised Marchmont IM – Last Mile Logistics Fund on the sale of a portfolio of eight properties acquired for the fund over the last three to four years for c.£50m.
  • Acted for CLS Holdings plc on a number of development projects, including the acquisition of a £19m multi-let office building in Staines.

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP provides ‘tailored commercial advice that is thoroughly considered from all perspectives’. The firm is particularly well-regarded for cross-border investment transactions, with it being able to tap into strengths in ancillary areas (such as finance and tax) to serve as a ‘one-stop shop’ for disposals and acquisitions. Elsewhere, the practice handles an array of other matters, including development projects and corporate occupier mandates. Amit Unadkat, who leads the department, has the 'perfect balance of a commercially aware and legally technical lawyer'.

Practice head(s):

Amit Unadkat

Testimonials

Being part of a multidisciplinary offering allows the team to provide a more rounded view of market practice, as well as tailored commercial advice that is properly considered from all perspectives. For us, the benefits are obvious: optimal solutions, reduced risk and improved efficiencies.’

Amit Unadkat – calm and considered, very commercial and honest. Never seems to be ruffled, whatever surprises are thrown at him.’

Providing an all round integrated legal and accounting solution for us is invaluable. Having the joined up thinking to our property transactions now makes us think why more firms don’t do the same.

Amit Unadkat was the stand out for us, as he was the perfect balance of a commercially aware and legally technical lawyer. Having one without the other, in our past experience, makes transactions painful and difficult to get over the line.

Amit Unadkat – besides his thorough legal competence, I found his excellent commercial understanding and approach to be very helpful.’

Amit Unadkat and his team can think outside the box, good ideas, fantastic communication. Problem solving at its best.’

Key clients

B&B Hotels

BP plc

CBRE

Centurion Corporation

China Construction Bank

CRP Hotels

Floreat Real Estate

Greystar Europe

Honda

Honeywell International

La Salle Investment Management

Lazari Investments

PwC LLP

Round Hill Capital Group LLC

Tesco Plc

Towerbrook Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Towerbrook Capital on its acquisition of Azzuri Group (Ask and Zizzis Restaurants) out of administration for £109m.
  • Advised a European hotels group on its bid for a pan-European hotel portfolio for €400m.
  • Advised a UK investor on its acquisition of a West End office building for £270m.

Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith LLPInternational firm Reed Smith LLP has a ‘diverse, friendly and approachable’ property practice in London which is geared for high-value portfolio acquisitions and disposals, as well as a wealth of mixed-use and commercial property developments. Jimmy Theodorou spearheads the global real estate practice from London and is extensively experienced in respect of financing and major corporate acquisition matters; he is supported by Andrew Jenkinson who provides distinguished expertise in sale and leaseback financings along with Brigid North who ‘cleverly thinks ahead to proactively deal with issues before they arise’.

Practice head(s):

Jimmy Theodorou

Other key lawyers:

Brigid North; Andrew Jenkinson; Nav Sahota

Testimonials

‘The team are very strong and have supported us for a number of years. Their technology is innovative and has greatly helped our land assembly programme.’

‘Brigid North is clever and thinks ahead to proactively deal with issues before they arise. Good at coordinating workstreams across the firm and bringing in expertise as required. Very supportive of our business.’

‘Diverse, friendly and approachable. Feels like working with friends rather than lawyers.’

‘Andrew Jenkinson – responsive and accessible, straightforward and commercial.’

‘Very varied experience base, incredibly hard working.’

‘Nav Sahota and Jimmy Theodorou are very prompt with dealing with queries and requests for information.’

‘A strong team from a technical legal perspective. They cover all aspects of property, and are focused on commercial outcomes which is critical. A hard-working, dedicated team who loyally support our business.’

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP combines corporate real estate, finance, M&A and private fund expertise to serve as a one-stop shop for investment transactions. Practice head Wheatly MacNamara is a name with significant traction in the market, owing to her work on significant acquisitions, disposals and joint venture deals, particularly those with a private equity element. The department’s workload spans real estate-related M&A, single asset and portfolio deals, developments, co-investments, leasing and structured finance mandates, among other matters.

Practice head(s):

Wheatly MacNamara

Testimonials

Partner Wheatly MacNamara stands out as an excellent lawyer. She cleverly oversees many larger transactions in different jurisdictions at the same time but always with an in-depth knowledge of what is going on and a good sense of next steps.’

Very strong international real estate practice acting for preeminent investors and sponsors with expertise in many jurisdictions across Europe.’

Key clients

The Blackstone Group

Blackstone Real Estate Partners

Blackstone Property Partners Europe

Blackstone Tactical Opportunities

Strategic Partners

BC Partners

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts

Northwood Investors

Round Hill Capital

Work highlights

  • Acted for Blackstone Real Estate Partners on its acquisition and financing of a portfolio of more than 200 Swedish logistics and industrial assets from Castellum Aktiebolag valued at $2.2bn.
  • Acted for funds advised by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities and Round Hill Capital on the sale of a portfolio of residential and commercial assets located in the Czech Republic to Heimstaden Bostad AB, for a purchase price of approximately €1.3bn.
  • Representation of Blackstone Capital Partners and Blackstone Real Estate in connection with their agreement to acquire Bourne Leisure, a premier U.K. holiday company.

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood's practice is led by Jonathon Wilkes, whose wide-ranging expertise includes single asset acquisitions and disposals, portfolio transactions, joint ventures, real estate finance  and asset management matters. Under his leadership, the team is also highly active in brownfield/greenfield development projects and regeneration schemes. The core team is supported by practitioners in related disciplines, notably funds, finance and commercial litigation.

Practice head(s):

Jonathon Wilkes

Other key lawyers:

Catriona Berman; Simon Brading

Testimonials

‘Focused team who look to understand our detailed needs and requirements.’

‘The solicitors involved in our work are very competent and progressive looking at the wider picture in order to move transactions along to a successful conclusion.’

‘The team treats me as a customer better than other practices I have used in the past. Dealing with them makes them feel part of our organisation rather than an external provider.’

‘Simon Brading is extremely efficient and knowledgeable about our particular development sector. He always meets his deadlines and on forecasted cost or as near as possible.’

‘Commercial, attentive, helpful and good value for money.’

‘Simon Brading is always available and responsive. He is commercial and sensible and gets the deal done without point-scoring.’

‘Catriona Berman is very reassuring to work with, despite the vendor’s solicitors and client generating plenty of challenges!’

‘Highly commercial outlook. Able to establish rapport with opposition legal team, making transactions smooth. Highly responsive.’

Key clients

Schroder UK Real Estate Fund

LaSalle Investment Management

Tristan Capital Partners

The Langham Estate

Duff & Phelps

London Metric Properties

Firethorn Trust

Frasers Property Holdings UK Ltd

The Royal College of Art

Schroders’ Real Estate Investment Trust (‘SREIT’)

Realty Income

Work highlights

  • Advised Schroder UK Real Estate Fund on the letting of the Department W building to Queen Mary University, a comprehensively and sensitively redeveloped office on Mile End Road in Tower Hamlets.
  • Advised London Metric on the purchase of a portfolio of five Waitrose stores in various locations in England.
  • Advised Echelon Data Centres on the acquisition of mixed data centre and office space site in Greenwich involving extensive due diligence on the suitability of the site for the intended proposals.

Cripps

Cripps, which operates from two bases in London and Tunbridge Wells, works with a client list which includes institutional investors such as REITs, private equity bodies and pension funds, who engage the group for transactions across a wealth of asset classes, particularly retail, hospitality and prime Central London assets. Jason Tann is the key contact in the development space, specialising in residential, mixed-use and landmark office schemes in addition to regeneration, housebuilder and joint venture-led ventures. Elsewhere, the ‘exceptionalOliver Morris is a specialist in head office relocations, new premises transactions and lease negotiations, catering to a broad array of occupiers including professional and financial service, media, technology and central government clients.

Practice head(s):

Jason Tann; Stephen Hedley

Other key lawyers:

John McGeough

Testimonials

‘They get straight to the crux of a matter and separate all the issues from the real issues, focusing on just the issues.’

‘Jason Tann is exemplary in his straight-talking, no-nonsense, “let’s focus on the issues and get-the-deal-done” approach.’

‘Very professional with patience in explaining the legal process and practice of English law and court to clients.’

‘Easy to reach out to answer your question and give you their legal opinion with clear direction and easy to understand.’

‘A great firm and highly reliable.’

‘Oliver Morris is exceptional. Always helpful, diligent and knowledgeable.’

Key clients

John Lyon’s Charity

Kennedy Wilson

Kato Kagaku Co. Limited

Hermes Real Estate

The Cadogan Estate

The Eyre Estate

The Baltic Exchange

The Sloane Stanley Estate

SRG Holdings

Niveda Group

Baylight Properties Ltd

Emirates National Bank of Dubai

The Academy of Medical Sciences

M&G Real Estate

Liberty Property Trust UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Principal legal advisors to the Eyre Estate and the Eyre Estate Investment Fund. The team has acted for the client for over 100 years and undertake all investment and asset management work in relation to St John’s Wood Estate and their UK wide property portfolio, which consists of both commercial and residential assets.
  • Advising landowner and developer Birchall Properties Limited on all aspects of a mixed leisure, health, sport and education scheme on the edge of the Peak District, with a GDV of c. £400m. This includes joint venture arrangements, funding arrangements, construction and transactions with future occupiers, including the development and letting of Summit@Peak.
  • Advising a high net worth family in connection with their office and industrial real estate investments, completing transactions totalling c.£15m.

DWF

DWF's varied roster of clients includes multibillion dollar funds, investment houses and fund managers. With it being prominent in large transactions, the team's expertise spans all manner of assets, such as offices, hotels, data centres, retail premises and care homes. Andrew Edwards co-heads the practice with James Froud. Mark Shepherd advises on matters such as direct and indirect real estate investments, as well as joint ventures.

Practice head(s):

James Froud; Andrew Edwards

Other key lawyers:

Mark Shepherd

Testimonials

‘Good national coverage which supports cost effectiveness across the practice compared to pure London based firms.’

‘Mark Shepherd has very strong understanding of property and development fundamentals and is able to bring clarity of thought and structure to the associated contractual complexity from planning through to funding and construction.’

‘The team are always on hand to help.’

‘DWF excel in all areas and rarely do not solve a problem, great attention to detail and speed of response. Nice people to deal with, very real and speak plainly and which results in clarity and ease of decision making. Best firm I have worked with in my 38 working in real estate.’

‘Excellent knowledge and wide skill set from all staff and partners, depth of resource and ability enviable.’

‘DWF provide sound commercial property advice with a commercial understanding of our business. They have huge experience in retail and hospitality so understand the specific property requirements. DWF has created a core team to support our internal team, which helps foster strong working relationships.’

‘Both legal and business approach. Clear explanation of the theorical and established risks. Capability to involve other legal field when required such as employment law or ligitigation lawyers.’

‘James Froud is a pleasure to work with, always available, pragmatic, an excellent communicator and commercially astute.’

Key clients

BT

M7 Real Estate

Mileway

Ares

Corum  XL

Fiera Real Estate

LXi REIT

Investec

Nuveen Real Estate

Freehold Corporation

Squarestone

Hargreaves

Home REIT PLC

Cordia Blackswan

Evans Randall

Panattoni

Hamlins LLP

At Hamlins LLP, practice head Mark Hurst has over 20 years of experience acting for offshore funds, high-net-worth individuals and property companies on the acquisition, sale and refinancing of single assets and portfolios. Elsewhere, the team's other work includes development projects, leasing and asset management. Nigel Mason is among the standout names for development matters.

Practice head(s):

Mark Hurst

Other key lawyers:

Nigel Mason; Joseph Holder; Victoria Camfield

Testimonials

‘The team have weathered lockdown superbly by holding fast to their strong collaborative culture, both as they work together and as they work alongside other firms.’

‘Professional and service-oriented.’

‘They seem to work together well and liaise without be asked to check.’

‘Mark Hurst is an excellent solicitor, no ego but very pragmatic, and not a clock watcher.’

Key clients

Bourne Capital

Casa Bella Developments Limited

Citrus Group

Criterion Capital

Firefly Capital

Lightstone Properties LLP

Marwees Ltd (Edgware Trust)

Orwell Real Estate

Palace Capital plc

Park Plaza Hotels

Structadene Group of Companies

William Pears Group of Companies

Work highlights

  • Advised Structadene Group on the £240m refinancing of part of the portfolio comprising over 100 properties.
  • Acting for Palace Capital Plc on various sales, as well as day to day advice on the £285m portfolio of this fully listed property company.
  • Advised William Pears Group on the sales of 3 industrial estates in the South East and the purchase of a central Leeds shopping arcade for £8m, a £35m industrial portfolio (the Hornet Portfolio purchased for Telereal Trillium and Pears) and a £13.5m retail parade.

Memery Crystal (part of RGB Legal Services)

At Memery Crystal LLPNicola Kravitz is a prominent name in the retail sector, with her often acting for international players on their entry into the UK market. Alastair Moss acts for a mix of clients, such as property funds, lending institutions and educational establishments. Kravitz and Moss jointly lead the practice with Daniel Abrahams, who is well-versed in developments, pre-lets, acquisitions and disposals.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Kravitz; Alastair Moss; Daniel Abrahams

Other key lawyers:

David O’Dwyer

Testimonials

‘Comprehensive cross-section knowledge of commercial property with cost-effective teamwork approach.’

‘Down to earth common sense approach from a larger firm with superior knowledge. Work is planned in a cost effective way to deliver top knowledge within a realistic budget. The team has been quick to recognise our needs.’

‘They are happy to listen and offer commercial practical advice while following the correct legal practice.’

‘I have dealt with the commercial team for a number of years. They give a first class service and value for money.’

‘Daniel Abrahams is always there when you need him and keeps you informed as to what is going on, so I do not need to call him.’

Key clients

Ashtrom Properties

ODC Management

Waste Knot Energy

Barnsbury Property Company

PPR Estates

DAO Estate

Luxgrove Capital Partners

British Garden Centres

Wooldridge Group

Blue Diamond

McDonald’s

Z C Ronogil

Fairview New Homes

Work highlights

  • Advising Ashtrom Properties on the c. £85m acquisition of No. 8 First Street in Manchester.      
  • Advising long-standing client DAO Estate on the acquisition of 57-64A High Street, Hampstead.
  • Advising long-standing client PPR Estates on the £11.875m sale of 44-46 High Road, Wood Green (N22).

Payne Hicks Beach LLP

Payne Hicks Beach LLPElite Lincoln's Inn firm Payne Hicks Beach caters to a far-reaching roster of investors from jurisdictions as diverse as the US, Scandinavia and the Middle and Far East. The practice is particularly well-placed to support on prime residential investments, working in close tangent with the firm’s private client department, and also provides a full-service development offering from promotion and forward funding agreements through to forward funding and land sales. Practice head Andrew Berry is particularly knowledgeable in the residential, leisure and hospitality sectors; his team, which includes commercial landlord and tenant specialist senior associate Andrea Yiakoumetti, has supported numerous occupier clients on lease break options, lease renewals and dilapidation matters of late.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Berry

Other key lawyers:

Emma Copestake; Justin Dunlop

Testimonials

‘I recommend them for the fact that I feel comfortable that nothing will be overlooked or missed to regret later, and that I will be informed in full what I am getting.’

‘Andrew Berry is outstanding – he cannot be criticised at all. His ability to make you feel confident and the knowledge he has is exceptional.’

‘I have found the firm to be honest and competitive in billing – I personally couldn’t fault them in any way.’

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP’s London property team places a high degree of emphasis on real estate investment work, supporting on a variety of ownership structures, funding arrangements and subsequent leasing negotiations, in addition to forward sales and purchases. Practice head James Nadin  demonstrates a tenacity for high-value portfolio transactions and is also active in the development space. The team's development work includes a number of significant large-scale projects and is supported by the firm’s wider proficiency in construction and planning affairs.

Practice head(s):

James Nadin

Other key lawyers:

James McNeilly Alex Prew

Testimonials

Professional practice. Always available to talk and discuss.’

Key clients

Martin Homes

Work highlights

  • Acted for Martin Homes on the purchase of the freehold of Bursswood, Kent from the administrators of the Dorothy Kerin Trust.  The site spans approximately 104 acres with buildings of 70,812 sq ft and is part Grade II listed with formal gardens and woodland.

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP has made significant strides in the London real estate market over recent years, under the joint leadership of Lyndsey Laverack and Jade Williams-Adedeji, who were promoted to partner in 2019 and 2021 respectively. Laverack has a strong track record acting for private equity funds on their investments into real estate assets. Williams-Adedeji, handles a mix of acquisitions and sales, portfolio management and landlord and tenant work. The practice covers a broad cross-section of properties, such as restaurants, student accommodation and senior living properties, in addition to more mainstream assets. Clients include funders, borrowers, investors and developers.

Practice head(s):

Lyndsey Laverack; Jade Williams-Adedeji

Key clients

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

TowerBrook Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Acted for KKR on the creation of a pan-European logistics development platform via a joint venture with Mirastar Real Estate Investment Management.   
  • Acted for TowerBrook Capital Partners on its acquisition of the Azzurri Group, the owner of the ASK Italian, Zizzi, and Coco di Mama brands, along with the Pod Food Limited fast food delivery service.