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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Real estate > Commercial property: retail > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Other

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: retail
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Excelling in the retail sector, clients hail Browne Jacobson LLP as an ‘excellent firm that provides the full breadth of property services’. Caroline Green and Sarah Parkinson jointly head the practice, which counts luxury brands, household name retailers, leisure operators, distributors and franchisees among its client list. The team is active in the logistics front and handles strategic transactions, leasing, office relocations and property financing in addition to work extending beyond real estate such as IP and employment.

Practice head(s):Caroline Green; Sarah Parkinson

Other key lawyers:Alex Watt; Declan Cushley; Suki Tonks

Testimonials

'An excellent firm - they are able to provide a full breadth of property services covering acquisition, development and agricultural acquisitions.'

'Suki Tonks is extremely responsive and efficient and a real asset to have as a lead property lawyer. She is diligent, an excellent communicator and always available'.

Key Clients

LVMH – Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton

Walgreens Boots Alliance

Vision Express

Shropshire City Council – retail investor arm

Kiko UK Limited

Paperchase

Pure Gym

Hillarys Blinds

The National Trust

PSR Trading Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for Shropshire Council on the acquisition of three linked shopping centres in Shrewsbury by acquiring the Jersey Property Unit Trusts which held the assets.
  • Acted for AHWL in the acquisition of 118-120 Colmore Row – a substantial retail and residential investment block in the centre of Birmingham.

Hailed as ‘the best team in the market for real estate’, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP advises international investor clients on matters such as portfolio purchases, development site acquisitions as well as purchase and leasebacks. The team ‘drives the process from start to finish’, handling redevelopments, regenerations, joint ventures and residential schemes. On the corporate occupiers front, the team represents leasers and leasees alike, and calls upon its strength in development, investment and landlord and tenant matters to assist on the full range of relevant issues. High-profile retail entities instruct the team for licensing, real estate and retail development work with the firm also hosting a full service hospitality and leisure team. Practice chief Chris de Pury handles big-ticket sales, purchases and restructurings, leading a team which includes the ‘superb’ Claire Milton. James Knox and Alan Wight are go-to names in the retail and corporate occupier spaces respectively, while EMEA senior partner Robert MacGregor is a specialist in joint ventures and pre-letting transactions. Key client Silvertown Homes Limited recently instructed the group to advise on a £3bn joint venture to develop a 50-acre Thameside West site at the Royal Docks in London.

Practice head(s):James Knox

Other key lawyers:Justine Oldale; Juliet Thomas; Simon Barnett

Testimonials

'The best team in the market for real estate, full stop. It understands development and is good at driving the process from start to finish.'

'Claire Milton is superb. She rolls up her sleeves and gets into the trenches. Nothing is too much trouble and she is always available. The associates supporting her are good as well. Rebecca Moore is very good'.

'The BCLP team stand out in their ability to distil complex issues and transactions into easy to understand concepts and user friendly concise reports'.

Key Clients

Tesco plc

Westfield Europe Limited

BCA Trading Limited (British Car Auctions)

Royal Mail plc

Casual Dining Services Limited (Bella Italia, Café Rouge, Las Iguanas, Oriel and Belgo)

The Foschini Group (Phase 8)

Kelly Deli

Space NK Limited; Space Brands and US subsidiaries

ThreeSixty Group (portfolio of over 20 owned and licensed brands)

Ostens Limited

Work highlights

  • Continues to advise Tesco on its disposals programme and its strategic 'asset optimisation' programme.
  • Advising Unibail-Radamco and Westfield Europe Limited (through their SPV Stratford City Developments Limited) on the development of a major retail extension to the Stratford Shopping Centre.  

The team at Clyde & Co LLP demonstrates a proven track record on development matters and investment work, both domestically and abroad,  ‘taking the initiative and going beyond what is required’. Public sector-driven schemes and projects are a particular strength; so too is the retail sector, where the practice is able to call upon the firm’s planning, construction, litigation and IP departments, among others, to provide clients with a full service. David Wyatt heads the retail practice, while Martin Quicke and Graeme Taylor lead on development and investment matters. The firm is also recommended for corporate occupier instructions.

Practice head(s):David Wyatt

Testimonials

'Excellent technically and very responsive.'

'John Pearce has great attention to detail, is an excellent lawyer, and is very responsive.'

'Martin Quicke is a very experienced lawyer'.

'The team at Clyde & Co always go the extra mile. They are committed, engaging, accessible and responsive.'

'Will Deeprose has made the trick of herding kittens (his client) look simple and straightforward and with no small amount of humour and enjoyment along the way.'

'Very thorough team that provide detailed analysis on the various aspects of a transaction'.

'A practice with skilled individuals that is always able to provide the right information'.

'Annabelle Redman is a great professional who always provides relevant advice and thinks about unforeseen matters.'

Samuel Clarke is a great professional - very technical'.

Key Clients

Dixons Carphone plc

Kingfisher plc

Five Guys

Work highlights

  • Advising Dixons Carphone on all property re-gears, renewals, new leases and property litigation across a portfolio of up to 1,300 stores in England, Scotland and Wales.
  • Advising Kingfisher plc on all new acquisitions and lettings to renewals, re-gears and disposals.

The top-of-the-market real estate practice at CMS is recommended for the ‘breadth of its service and expertise’, 'working seamlessly' on multi-layered development and regeneration projects and providing clients with full life-cycle support on tax, finance and construction issues. Clients in the hotels and leisure space include high-profile hotel operators, restaurants and entertainment venues, which routinely instruct the team for real estate, M&A, management, franchising, financing and litigation matters. Work for the group in the retail sector includes significant development and redevelopment projects, disputes and transactions. UK real estate head Ciaran Carvalho is ‘very collaborative' and 'commercial and astute’, while Mark Heighton acts on development and letting transactions. Notable recent work has included advising AXA IM Real Assets on the £650m sale of Ropemaker Place.

Practice head(s):Mark Heighton; Helen Johnson

Other key lawyers:Adrian Wright; Danielle Drummond-Brassington

Testimonials

'The breadth and depth of their practice is a key attribute to CMS. Its real estate and supporting teams are strong in both numbers and experience. They have a strong leadership team in the partner group - the partners are proactive and responsive.'

'Ciaran Carvalho is very collaborative in his approach and draws upon his wealth of experience in the sector, providing invaluable support, advice and solutions'.

'Marie Scott is technically excellent in her advice and is also very solutions-focused.'

Key Clients

Sainsbury’s

Build-A-Bear

Dreams

Uniqlo

Comptoir Des Cottonniers

Costco

Direct Wines

New Balance

TH Real Estate

The Crown Estate

Work highlights

  • Acting for Sainsbury's on the redevelopment at New Cross Gate.
  • Sole adviser on all real estate matters in England and Wales to international toy retailer Build-a-Bear Workshop.

Cripps Pemberton Greenish has an ‘impressive client base and a diverse depth of work that reflects its quality service’. Its development team is frequently instructed for commercial and residential projects, advising on all relevant issues including site purchases, planning permission, overage and subsequent lettings. In particular, mixed-use developments are a keystone of the practice with the group lending its expertise to prime central London projects, regenerations and joint ventures. The investment practice has a track record of acting for the principal London Estates, and also assists institutional property investors, government departments, housebuilders, banks and high-net-worth individuals. Retail is a sector specialism, with the group acting for nationwide shopping centre owners on asset management and development schemes in addition to providing luxury brands and other stores on disputes, transactions, construction, employment and planning affairs.

Practice head(s):Ed Fowler; Stephen Hedley

Other key lawyers:John McGeough

Testimonials

‘Stephen Hedley and his team worked on a complex transaction for us; ensuring the documentation tied together to minimise risk whilst also finding solutions to a number of different requests from occupiers, owners and contractors was a credit to their performance and reflective of all the work they undertake on our behalf.’

'Jason Tann is pragmatic and very sensible to deal with.'

'The team has a commercial proactive approach to legal advice.'

'Jason Tann remains an excellent operator. Good client focus and creative thinker and solution finder.'

'Joined up thinking from top to bottom so emails are drafted in the same way and advice is consistent from partner to paralegal. Proactive and commercial in their advice.'

'They have an excellent understanding of what is important to the client. Attention to detail in documentation is impressive.'

'Easy to contact. Easy to understand. Always have a definitive view that is helpful on how to progress.'

Key Clients

Sézane

Cojean

Liu Jo

Mariage Frères

Jimmy Fairly

Bridor

SMCP (Sandro, Maje, Claudie Pierlot)

Tristan Capital

Hermes Real Estate

Kennedy Wilson

AEW

M&G Real Estate

Runnymede Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Acted for Sandro (SMCP UK Limited) on its acquisition of a store on Regent Street to create its new flagship store.
  • Acted for Mariage Frères on the lease of their UK flagship store in Covent Garden.

At Dentons, Simon Masri and senior associate Laura Gowing are standout names in the firm's acclaimed hotels and leisure team, which handles high-value transactions and projects across the EMEA region. The firm's caseload includes mixed-use hotel projects, day-to-day operational work and franchising matters with a standout instruction recently coming from Topland on the sale of a portfolio of 26 hotels for £220m. The firm also hosts a full-service development offering which has recently been boosted by the arrival of former Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP partner Deepa Deb, a specialist in residential-led mixed used schemes and the alternative assets sector. Investment clients include family offices and sovereign wealth funds based in China, the Middle East and South East Asia while corporate occupier clients rely on the team for leasing, construction, planning, dispute, joint venture, fund management and finance matters. Richard Budge is a standout in the retail space where the team's construction, structuring, planning, funding advice, competition, franchising and GDPR issues complement its core real estate offering. Real estate head Rob Thompson ‘goes the extra mile’ for clients and is a specialist in complex corporate real estate and real estate finance transactions on both a domestic and international scale.

Practice head(s):Richard Budge; Alex Coulter; Miriam Best; Roland Gray

Testimonials

'Clients receive a high quality and a very professional service from Dentons. They have high skilled staff coupled with great industry exposure. The value Dentons render is immense and they have a unique approach to professional attend each and every query with high importance.'

'The real estate team at Dentons have a complete commercial awareness that means even the most complex deals can be negotiated with confidence.'

'Rob Thompson, Lewis Myers and Carla Revelo bring a wealth of experience and valuable mix of skills from due diligence to complex structuring. They are always willing to explore options and go the extra mile.'

'Andrew Henderson has a very detailed knowledge of the market and provides very commercial advice in order to help get deals done.'

'A client-focused practice with experts in their field.'

'Emma Frost displays unrivalled dedication to her clients and goes the extra step to find creative solutions. She has a strong ability to anticipate and deal with the arguments of the opposite side at the negotiating table.'

'Rob Thompson leads the team with quiet authority. He is responsive, available and goes the extra mile for the benefit of the client.'

'Harleen Kandola shows great diligence and takes a commercial approach to negotiating leases and other documents appreciating which points can be conceded to achieve gains elsewhere.'

'Dentons have demonstrated on numerous occasions their commercial awareness and ability to think out of the box to present solutions to clients and lead on complicated property transactions.'

'Commercially minded, good problem solving.'

'Richard Budge is a high quality lawyer. Creative and focused on getting things done.'

'There is an excellent balance to the team in terms of individual qualities and characteristics, not to mention diversity, which helps to maintain the high quality of advice received'.

'They never drop the ball. Their attention to detail and quality of advice is superb. Their extensive market coverage across skill-lines is very important'.

'Sarah Rowlands and Emma Frost are always available for advice and work tirelessly to execute deals'.

'Pragmatic approach to problem solving. Good communication between the lawyers and litigators. Partner level involvement.'

Key Clients

Abercrombie & Fitch

Argos (panel)

Avis

Bunnings (Part of Wesfarmers Group)

Charlotte Tilbury

Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group

F Hinds

Godiva

Hertz Europe

Home Retail Group

JB Global Limited (t/a Oak Furniture Land)

John Lewis Partnership

Pret A Manger

Sainsbury's

Sports Direct

The Dune Group

The Entertainer

Upfield

Victoria's Secret

Virgin Active

Whittard

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Argos on all aspects of estate management, including lease renewals and re-gears.
  • Acted for longstanding client Sports Direct in relation to its very high profile acquisition of House of Fraser.

DLA Piper’s practice is lauded for its ‘comprehensive set of real estate skills' which enable it to execute complex transactions, including all aspects of property investment work. In the development sector, the firm possesses particular experience on housing and mixed-use schemes along with build-to-rent projects. In addition, the firm’s hotel and leisure practice excels in a broad range of industries, representing global, regional and national hotels in addition to sports operators, health and fitness facilities, cinemas, gambling establishments and leisure complexes, among others. The team is notably advising the European Medicines Agency in a high-profile case which raises the question of whether Brexit has frustrated its lease at Canary Wharf. Paul Jayson heads the retail and corporate occupier practices, handling a caseload which includes asset management, acquisitions and disposals, disputes and financing. 'Strong leader' William Naunton is highly recommended and represents a variety of fund managers and institutional investors.

Practice head(s):Paul Jayson

Other key lawyers:Richard Wilkinson

Testimonials

'A high quality team and expertise in all facets.'

'Recommended for quality of the advice as well as quick turnaround of the work.'

'The team is responsive and gets real world issues, rather than being stuck in an ivory tower in the City divorced from what goes on in the real world. They do all that is needed plus more to get the deal done on time. They operate in a practical, constructive and collaborative way.'

'Really hard working and dedicated. Keen to impress.'

'Paul Dineen is incredibly keen to please.'

'Very responsive, decisive and reliable team. Depth of knowledge and transaction experience.'

'The team's strength in depth makes it stand out. All aspects of property investment are covered including contract, structuring, tax and construction. In each case the individual advising is best in class.'

'The team has a comprehensive set of real estate skills which enables to it provide clear advice and execute complex transactions.'

'William Naunton is a strong leader with a thorough understanding of his client's needs'.

'Mark Keeling captures all the detail of complex matters and translates them into simplified concise points.'

'They consider all aspects of bringing a hotel project to delivery and are able to bring together experienced partners in a coordinated way.'

'Excellent client information, easily reachable, well informed and excellent network.'

'William Naunton combines a very open, client focused approach with high quality of advice.'

Key Clients

Debenhams Properties Limited

Levi Strauss

Valentino

Shaftesbury Plc

St James Place

DSG Retail

Arcadia Group

Heineken UK Limited

JD Sports

Work highlights

  • Acting for The Pollen Estate on the redevelopment of its Mayfair Portfolio.
  • Continuing to act for Debenhams Properties Limited with regards to all of its property requirements in England and Wales (primarily retail and warehousing).

Gowling WLG is hailed for its ‘exceptional credentials and impressive client list in the retail sector’ where it undertakes a wide spectrum of matters including joint ventures, refinancing and restructurings, expansions and store acquisitions. Also recommended for its investment and development work, the team is engaged by institutional investors on buying, selling, asset managing and letting work and also acts on mixed-use development and regeneration matters. In the hotels and leisure space, IP, operating agreements, regulatory issues and M&A are among the group’s offering, as is insolvency, finance and construction work. Corporate occupier matters are also a focus for the department, which includes the highly rated Jon Lloyd, who is recommended for retail and mixed-use investment and development projects and is also handling an increasing number of residential-focused schemes.

Practice head(s):Richard Bate

Other key lawyers:Matt Walker; Chris Hunt; Joe Morris

Testimonials

'Exceptional credentials and impressive client list in the retail sector. Competitive fee quotes.'

'Chris Hunt inspires confidence. Kay Desai is exceptionally hardworking, thorough and very responsive.'

'The team works well across a range of different disciplines and offices, providing a seamless service which targets the key issues at hand. The ability to bring in skills at different price points depending on the complexity of the work keeps costs down to the minimum. Above all, the firm is commercial in their view which means that a good solution is usually reached quickly and without fuss.'

'Khalil Ahmad is an efficient and effective lawyer. Turnaround times on documents are often scarcely believable in their speed, yet the quality of the work is consistent. He is also a good judge of when to revert with questions and when to work autonomously without instruction. He displays an excellent understanding of our business.'

Key Clients

Lidl

A.F. Blakemore & Son Limited (Cash & Carry, Spar)

Halfords

Jaeger

Fat Face

MADE.com

The Works

Mic-Counties Co-Operative

Specsavers Optical Superstores Limited

London and Strategic Land

Mosley Street Ventures

HC-One Limited

Portland Capital Real Estate Limited

TIAA Henderson

U and I (formerly known as Development Securities)

LaSalle Investment Management

NFU Mutual

AXA

Intu Properties

USS

Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Transport for London and London Underground

Work highlights

  • Advised The Hut Group on its strategic acquisition of Eyeko – the Alexa Chung-backed, award-winning eye cosmetics brand, via the purchase of the entire issued share capital of M Beauty Ltd and Make Money Limited as part of the group's growing international beauty & cosmetics offering.
  • Acted for MADE.COM in relation to their acquisition of new warehouse space at London Gateway.

Excelling in the retail, hotels and leisure sectors, Howard Kennedy LLP handles M&A, tax and finance, employment, immigration, litigation and IP matters alongside property and construction instructions for an international client base. Hotels, including luxury brands, boutique operators, mid-sized chains and international operators, frequently engage the practice, as do restaurants, golf groups, luxury gym brands and casino operators. Leasehold negotiations are an area of specific expertise while entry into the UK market is a specialism for recommended legal director Vanessa Laundon. The luxury goods market is a sector of particular knowledge while team also represents investors, developers, house builders, funders, banks and asset managers in relation to site acquisition, planning, sales and acquisitions, commercial letting, sales and developments. Ed John is a new partner-level arrival from Shoosmiths LLP and brings experience of development disputes and property-related insolvency.

Practice head(s):Adam Walford; Eric Gummers; Julian Hindmarsh; Nicky Stewart

Other key lawyers:Vanessa Laundon

Key Clients

Antler

Aspinal of London

bareMinerals

Blue Inc

Cartier

Cifonelli

David Clulow‎

Donoratico

GUESS UK

HMV

Honey Birdette

La Perla

Lovisa

Morphe Cosmetics

Mothercare

NARS Cosmetics

Oliver Peoples

Orla Kiely

Pandora

Rapha

Reiss

Ryman

Sunglass Hut

Sushi Shop

The Kooples

The Row

Vacheron Constantin

WE Fashion

Work highlights

  • Advising Pure on its real estate and commercial needs for their growth strategy in London.
  • Providing full service UK real estate-led advice for the Netherlands headquartered fashion retailer Scotch & Soda.

Mishcon de Reya LLP's ‘excellent’ team is hailed for its ‘exceptional knowledge of the real estate industry’. The practice handles high-value portfolio acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures, structuring and finance issues, as well as development funding matters. Inward investment, particularly from the Far East, is an area where the group demonstrates prowess and likewise alternative asset classes are among its core strengths. Recent highlights have included advising Delancey, APG, Qatari Diar and Oxford Properties on the development of the former Olympic Village in Stratford, East London. Led by the ‘exceptional knowledge’ of Nick Doffman, the practice is also active in the retail space and represents several household high-street names in addition to emerging and luxury brands. Another standout name is Stephen Hughes, who possesses expertise across the full array of commercial property matters including joint ventures.

Practice head(s):Sally Britton; Lewis Cohen

Testimonials

'Overall an excellent team'.

'Just very high quality at all levels - a pleasure to deal with.'

'The team has exceptional knowledge of the real estate industry. Their advice have allowed us to eliminate or mitigate different kinds of risks in transactions. In addition, they treat clients as good friends and it is always enjoyable to work with them.'

'Nick Doffman and Kirpal Kaur, in additional to their exceptional knowledge and vast experience, always provide advice that is specific to the client's organisation and transactions.'

'They get under the skin of the business so their advice tends to be right first time.'

Key Clients

Sainsbury's

Tesco

Kering Group (including Gucci and Alexander McQueen)

Covent Garden London

Christian Louboutin

eBay

Iceland Foods

Prada and Miu Miu

Ralph Lauren

Fiorucci Holdings

Work highlights

  • Advised Al Mana Group, a new client for the firm, on its purchase of the HMV brand and domain names for Qatar and Oman.

Osborne Clarke LLP is renowned as one of the go-to firms for commercial property matters within the retail market. Among its key strengths within the sector are leasing and management work, store transactions and developments as well as financing and refinancing matters. The practice is also busy in the development space where it handles projects in the mixed-use, residential, commercial office, leisure and logistics spaces. Peter Day heads the department which also assists investment clients within both land and property acquisitions for the purposes of development, value accretion and commercial leasing. Legal director Tim Hart is highly recommended, particularly for his knowledge of development transactions and mixed-use regeneration schemes.

Practice head(s):Peter Day

Other key lawyers:Dolf Darnton; Jo Footitt

Testimonials

'Knowledge, ability, speed of response and very nice people to do business with.'

'Very responsive, commercial and pragmatic: against tight deadlines, they ensured they were on top of all legal aspects and guided the process to the required conclusion. No dramas, no over complicating matters.'

'Peter Day understands requirements quickly and conveys them to his team who are then able to act appropriately.'

Key Clients

Ellandi LLP

Gazeley

M&G Real Estate

Redevco

Topland

U and I Group Plc

LabTech

Homebase

Halfords

Ralph Lauren

French Connection

Waterfront Limited Partnership

Work highlights

  • Acted for U+I Group on the £12m acquisition of a shopping centre in central Bournemouth.
  • Advising Gazeley on the planning, development site acquisition and development of the UK’s first three-storey logistics facility (to be called G Park London Docklands).

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is a market leader in the corporate occupier space and recently acted for Facebook on a multi-building pre-let of 620,000 sq ft at Argent’s King’s Cross development. The highly recommended Bruce Dear led on the matter, with other recent highlights including office relocations, headquarter expansions and a range of complex leasing issues. The retail sector is another area in which the practice excels as it handles data privacy, insolvency and smart warehousing matters, among many others. The firm is also recommended for its work in the hotels and leisure industry as well as development and investment matters.

Practice head(s):James Batham

Testimonials

'The team who worked with us were all highly competent and highly intelligent. It was wonderful to see how skilfully and diplomatically they negotiated with the other side, maintaining their composure throughout the process, during what was probably a time-consuming and irritating process at times.'

'Nick Bartlett is a highly capable, innovative and personable lawyer, with extremely strong commercial acumen equalled by public sector knowledge.'

'Mark Shepherd is a pleasure to work with. He provides solutions when issues arise, and is always accessible.'

Key Clients

House of Fraser

John Lewis Partnership

Kering

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Nestle

Next

Sodexo

Specsavers

Superdry

Wm Morrison Supermarkets

Work highlights

  • Advised KFC in relation to the £300m sale to numerous franchisees of a portfolio of over 160 restaurants located throughout the UK.

The commercial property team at Fieldfisher possesses particular experience of representing occupiers in the leisure and hospitality, healthcare and industrial sectors, while the investment practice is increasingly acting for overseas entities, particularly from the US, along with clients from the real estate private equity sector. Elsewhere, the retail offering includes franchising, advertising and IP knowledge in addition to acquisitions, lettings, asset management, leasing and portfolio management expertise. Hotel and leisure clients turn to the 'hard working and commercially savvy' Paul Houston 's team for high-value transactions, financing, competition, brand protection, employment and advertising matters. The firm’s development department prides itself on its full service offering, from planning and environmental matters through to land acquisition, constructions and disposal. Ramatu Banga - 'the epitome of a professional'- works with both private and public sector clients.

Practice head(s):Ramatu Banga

Other key lawyers:Rhodri Pazzi-Axworthy

Testimonials

'Fieldfisher seem to be a firm that puts client service right at the top of their agenda.'

'They have genuine experts in all the areas required areas and absolutely offer a one-stop shop for legal services.'

'Great technical strength and very commercial, the team really understand the hotel market, and get the deal done quickly and effectively.'

'Client service is fantastic, the team go the extra mile including delivering bespoke training on real estate, finance and other technical matters.'

'The Hotel and Leisure team at Fieldfisher is led by Paul Houston who is a fantastic real estate and development lawyer.'

'In addition to Ramatu Banga's expertise and experience, she possesses a further quality of understanding the client's business and culture.'

'Paul Houston is really hard working and commercially savvy. Outstanding dedication to the acquisition, with commercialism and attention to detail.'

'Ramatu Banga is outstanding and dedicated with a strong work ethic to get the job done to the required expertise required.'

'The practice is unique in its commercial perspective and focusing on the outcome requried by the client and not on winning legal points.

'Ramatu Banga is the epitome of a professional. Precise, likeable, good humoured, but most importantly possessing the ability to solve complicated property issues.'

Key Clients

Shell Pension Funds

DWS (formerly Deutsche Asset Management)

Belstaff International

H & M Hennes & Mauritz UK Limited

Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate plc

Nike

Liberty Property Trust (UK) Limited

Co-operative Group Limited

Leathams

Blackrock Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Acting for retail investor K/S Habro in relation to dispute with a significant retailer tenant.
  • Represented Co-operative Group Food Limited when taking a 600,000 sq ft strategic logistics hub at Biggleswade.

Fladgate LLP’s practice ‘provides depth across real estate’, delivering ‘excellent attention to detail and customer care’. On the corporate occupier front, it represents major office occupiers, co-working providers, professional businesses, barristers chambers and restaurateurs on the full range of landlord and tenant work. Elsewhere in the development space, urban regeneration along with office, industrial, mixed-use and residential projects are among the areas of expertise. The group is also active in the investment arena, priding itself on its knowledge of tax considerations and routinely acting on sales and acquisitions, lettings, joint ventures, finance and receiverships. Sector expertise encompasses the retail, hotel and leisure sectors, where the team caters to a client base of casinos, cinemas, gyms, hotels, museums, resorts, restaurants and theatres on a range of matters. Stephen Lewis heads the practice, which was recently bolstered by the arrivals of Simon Kanter, Alan Karsberg and James Norton from CMS. Kanter advises on reconstructions including debt acquisition and work-out schemes, while Norton directs particular focus towards acquisitions, disposals and investment management.

Practice head(s):Stephen Lewis; Gavin Whitney; Tim Foley

Other key lawyers:Eddie Powell

Testimonials

'Personable, knowledgeable, accessible and helpful.'

'They are true principals as lawyers, and time is never an issue for them. They make the time.'

'Very comprehensive service, clear explanation of issues and tenacity.'

'Stephen Lewis is extremely helpful and consistent with the high level of service'.

'Excellent attention to detail and customer care. Top quality advice.'

'The team provides depth across real estate in conveyancing, finance, litigation and planning to a standard expected of larger practices. The firm is gaining recognition and weight for the transactional work.'

Stephen Lewis makes the time and puts in the effort to help the client achieve its goals. He has both sound legal understanding and enough commercial experience to seek solutions to the hurdles every transaction has these days.'

Key Clients

Signet Jewellers

Paul Smith Limited

Pod Food Limited

Yo! Sushi

Toys R Us Properties

Five Guys

Platform 9 ¾ Retail Limited

Beaverbrooks the Jewellers

Whittles Jewellers

Richard Mille

Glorious Brands Limited

Odeon Cinemas

Conjure Group Limited (trading as Snog Pure Frozen Yogurt and as Beltane & Pop)

Cutler & Gross

Murdock London

Rotary Watches Limited

Prolitec

Work highlights

  • Advising Five Guys on the leasing of a new restaurant.
  • Legal advice relating to the installation of a new Harry Potter themed concession at Gatwick Airport.

Forsters LLP ‘provides a high level of expertise and delivers a very professional service’. It is well-regarded for complex long-term redevelopment schemes, with core strengths including site assembly, funding, joint venture agreements, development finance, pre-letting, site disposal and overage matters with the group routinely representing overseas investors and leading UK property funds. Also forming the client base are high-end London retail boutiques and luxury hotel operators who engage the practice for hotel financing deals. On the corporate occupier side, the workload includes HQ relocations, portfolio management, leasehold transfers as well as landlord and tenant matters. Practice head Matthew Swainston holds notable expertise concerning the redevelopment of landmark properties while Victoria Towers is a development specialist with particular knowledge of the logistics sector.

Practice head(s):Matthew Swainston

Other key lawyers:Glenn Dunn; Victoria Towers

Testimonials

'Recommended for their ability to understand the key issues and report them in a relevant and concise way.'

'The team is responsive, pragmatic and adept at dealing with fast-paced transactions.'

'Victoria Towers is responsive, approachable and extremely engaged on all matters, and provides excellent client service.'

Key Clients

BMO Real Estate Partners

Hunter UK Retail Unit

LaSalle Investment Management

LXB Retail Properties

McDonalds Restaurants Limited

PLP (Peel Logistics Property)

Soho Estates

The Worshipful Company of Mercers

Work highlights

  • Advised The Worshipful Company of Mercers on the letting of 28,000 sq ft of prime retail and office space to Boots.
  • Advised developer PLP, together with funding partner Patrizia, on the first pre-let at their urban logistics development known as South Central in Nursling, Southampton.

Hogan Lovells International LLP's practice represents high-profile landlords and tenants in the corporate occupier arena, and demonstrates particular expertise in surplus property disposals. The firm is also home to a well-regarded hotels and leisure practice which assists clients with relevant transactions, joint venture agreements, hotel developments, financing, disputes and operational agreements. Investment clients include institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, private equity houses and overseas family offices who rely on the team for the full cycle of asset management transactions. The 'absolutely fantastic' Dion Panambalana and Gill McGreevy are key contacts for development and regeneration work with the team undertaking the full range of related matters including planning allocation, procurement, delivery, letting and disposals. In a recent caseload highlight, Panambalana represented Calthorpe Estates in an agreement with U+I concerning a substantial urban regeneration project in Birmingham. The highly recommended Daniel Norris and Jackie Newstead head the practice which includes recently promoted partners Katie Gill and Paul Tonkin. Counsel Christopher Somorjay is a standout junior member of the team, representing numerous institutional investor and pension fund clients.

Practice head(s):Jackie Newstead; Daniel Norris;

Testimonials

'They genuinely provide competitive advantage through their advice. They can only do that by really understanding the business at a strategic and operational level and the markets within which the business operates.'

'They think about their impact on the business and its customers, both in terms of what they say, but also how they say it. They continually challenge themselves to bring genuine value as commercial lawyers. Nick Roberts and Graham Cutts exemplify this.'

'Dion Panambalana is very focused, pragmatic and user friendly.'

'The ability for them to quickly obtain the necessary information be it legal, tax or another area of financial law is highly impressive and key to a successful project.'

'Dion Panambalana is absolutely fantastic, both in his professionalism but also in his commitment and interest in the project he is working on. The way in which he interacts and uses schematic diagrams and flow charts to simplify complicated processes is extremely useful.'

'Excellent and wide ranging offer in terms of services such that there is full and highly competent range of professionals to deal with the most complicated of real estate transactions.'

'Dion Panambalana is extremely personable and attentive to detail. His response to our requests have been both timely and considered, often going the extra mile.' 

'The team at Hogan Lovells have shown themselves to not only be clear and concise in their advice but are also able to adapt that advice to emerging and unprecedented situations.' 

'Practical application of the law with a commercial understanding. High quality across the various disciplines: commercial, litigation, construction and planning.'

'John Condliffe is a high quality individual, a pleasure to work with'.

'Daniel Norris has very strong business skills, good interpersonal skills - he is an excellent negotiator and good communicator.'

'John Condliffe and Laura Oliver in particular offer excellent levels of service and advice.'

'Victoria Sutcliffe and senior associate Chris Somorjay must be mentioned for their application and abilities.'

Key Clients

Argent/King's Cross Central LP

British Land

B&Q

Intu

Landsec

LaSalle Investment Management  (Coal Pension Properties)

Mars Pension Fund

M&G Real Estate

Russell and Bromley

Shaftesbury

Uniqlo

Work highlights

  • Continuing to act on all English properties in the Russell & Bromley portfolio.
  • Advised on strategic lease and sale programme for B&Q.

At Macfarlanes LLP, the ‘commercial property team provides an excellent level of service’. In the development and investment space it is engaged for joint ventures, real estate fund structuring and inward investment along with the full range of financing and construction matters. On the corporate occupier front, the group handles relocation programmes, premises management and acquisitions, construction and planning issues. The firm is also home to a hotels practice which advises on tax, financing, management and franchising affairs. Standout individuals include Ian Nisse, a specialist on the structuring and financing of real estate projects, and Nick Barnes, whose strengths include debt financing, commercial letting and joint ventures. Dan Marriott is another standout name and is active on the full array of commercial property affairs.

Practice head(s):Anthony Burnett-Scott

Other key lawyers:Nick Barnes; Dan Marriott

Testimonials

'The team work collaboratively with each other, take a commercial view and delegate work to the right level.'

'Clare Breeze is proactive, very open to feedback and responsive. Tania Barnes is very capable, calm and doesn't let anything slip on a large transaction. Dan Marriott is very responsive and has a good knowledge of our previous deals with him.'

'The Macfarlanes commercial property provide an excellent level of service. The team fully understand commercial objectives and risk appetite, and approach their commissions in such a way as to ensure these are met and managed accordingly.'

'Dominic Cunliffe, Margaret Rhodes and Chris Smith deliver a consistently high level of service and are very proactive. They are very knowledgeable and highly experienced, which, along with their good communication skills, provide a great deal of comfort in often complex and difficult situations.'

'The partners always make themselves available. Dominic Cunliffe is an excellent person to have on your team.'

Key Clients

Intu

Stanhope

Derwent

Supermarket Investment REIT

Canary Wharf Group

Berkeley Homes

Legal & General

Victoria’s Secret

Work highlights

  • Advised co-owners Stanhope Plc and Benson Elliot Capital Management on the sale of the Station Hill development site in Reading to Lincoln MGT, a joint venture between Lincoln Property Company and MGT Investment Management.
  • Advising Muse Developments on the negotiation of a development agreement with Dartford Borough Council and Homes England for its proposed mixed-use regeneration of Dartford’s Westgate area.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP’s development expertise encompasses mixed use sites, energy projects and mixed tenure private and affordable residential schemes. The practice is particularly active in the shopping centre space, handling not only developments but corporate occupier work such as leasing, construction and strategic asset management for industry clients. Other areas of expertise include the technology, industrial and logistics and hotels and healthcare sectors, as well as retail where the team delivers transaction, acquisition and finance, commercial leasing, strategic management and regulatory advice. UK real estate head Anne O’Neill is regarded as a 'go-to solicitor' who 'leads her team with the utmost professionalism.'

Practice head(s):Anne O’Neill; Andrew Denye; Fiona Stone

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Preece; Sara Branch

Testimonials

'Reliable and experienced team offering first class expert knowledge in all areas of retail property'.

'Anne O'Neill leads her team with the utmost professionalism, providing excellent advice.'

'Very responsive, quick, good commercial advice. Resourcing is managed carefully across our portfolio. Everybody is accessible.'

'Fiona Stone is hugely knowledgeable and offers good commercial advice.'

'Andrew Denye is very commercial, approachable. A good leader.'

'The members of the practice go beyond providing legal advice; they become members of the project team working towards creative solutions and achieving the most beneficial outcome. The legal advice is excellent, accurate, reliable and robust - it is the authority with which it is delivered in commercial negotiations which makes the practice unique.'

'Anne O'Neill is a go-to solicitor. Sara Branch is excellent and a first choice to negotiate complex contracts and development agreements.'

Key Clients

intu Properties Group

Rubicon West PLC

WRP Management Limited

Intu Potteries Limited

Intu Watford Limited

Intu Eldon Square Limited

Chapelfield GP Limited

Intu Lakeside Limited

Metropolitan Uxbridge Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised intu Properties Group (intu) on its £148m joint venture with LaSalle Investment Management to co-own the intu Chapelfield Shopping Centre in Norwich.
  • Advising WRP Management Limited on deals with key tenants ahead of the opening of a £178m shopping centre development in Watford.

At Ashurst, the firm's bench of real estate lawyers are ‘extremely adept at tackling complex issues’ and display an ‘unrivalled attitude to supporting their clients’. On the development side, the team is active in the logistics, build-to-rent and private rented sectors and demonstrates prowess on urban regeneration and major development schemes. Investor clients span Europe, the Middle East, Australia, North America and Asia, particularly South Korea, Japan, China and Singapore, and entrust the group to handle the full range of asset management and cross-border investments. The team represents both corporate and government occupiers on the leasing of industrial, retail and headquarter buildings and also supports a number of household retailers on the full range of real estate matters, including planning and construction. The group notably continues to advise Westfield on phase 2 of the Westfield London development project in White City, which is extending the shopping centre by over 500,000 sq ft. David Jones is a ‘stand out’ in the investment field and tailors his practice towards international real estate M&A and joint ventures, while Hugh Lumby is another recommended name. Recently promoted partner Tim Regis is recommended for regeneration schemes and joint ventures while 'tenacious and attentive' senior associate Julie Connolly is also well-regarded.

Practice head(s):Hugh Lumby; Richard Vernon; Melanie Jordan; David Jones

Testimonials

'The team has deep and incredibly insightful experience of highly complicated deals.'

'The working relationships between infrastructure, planning and commercial real estate partners is personal and collaborative in a way that delivers frictionless and excellent advice.'

'Highly knowledgeable and specialised in their field. Very accessible and consistently provide a high service and results regarding of the situation and problems encountered'.

'Very versatile and pragmatic in their approach. Always willing and able to overcome issues that with other firms can derail a deal'.

'Jamie Chapman and Henry Moss have between them a depth of legal and commercial expertise in real estate generally'

'Ashurst are extremely adept at tackling complex issues and identifying solutions in a clear, concise and professional manner. They have a broad range of expertise which makes them first choice for the most complex deals'.

'Donna Fleming stands out. She is an excellent negotiator, and understands the value of building excellent working relationships with the other side's counsel during deals. Her tenacity and commitment to get the deal done, in the right manner, on the right terms for her clients, and in the demanding timeframes, is exceptional'.

'What sets this practice apart from others we deal with is their attentiveness and unbridled commitment and persistence to seeing a transaction through to completion'.

'Jamie Chapman and Julie Connolly are most highly regarded given their tenacity and attentiveness and unbridled and persistence and commitment to seeing a transaction through to completion'.

'Henry Moss navigates complex legal and commercial points and discussions well. Good understanding of the real estate industry and where potential pitfalls can lie.'

'The Ashurst team is unquestionably different to other real estate legal teams in other firms. They have an unrivalled attitude to supporting their clients and have the expertise across the real estate practice to deliver. The property law, tax and structuring and real estate debt advisory teams all work seamlessly together and the result is excellence'.

'All members of the Ashurst team excel in putting their finger on the issues in a real estate transaction and they guide their clients to a solution that will work for them and the other party on the opposite side of the deal'.

Key Clients

Westfield

Stanhope

H&M

Oxford West End Developments Ltd (OXWED)

Oxford Properties

Lendlease

The Berkeley Group

Hines

Invesco Real Estate

Balfour Beatty

Transport for London

Kennedy Wilson

Kildare

British Land

Work highlights

  • Acting for Westfield on the opening of the phase 2 extension at Westfield London to create the largest shopping centre in Europe.
  • Advising H&M for over 25 years on its retail portfolio.

Clients recommend Burges Salmon LLP for its ‘City quality advice at regional rates’, with the breadth of its offering in the development space covering joint ventures, regenerations, forward funding, sales and lettings along with niche expertise in sustainable and public sector projects. Investment clients include major landowners, investment managers, developers and constructors along with local authorities and other public sector bodies. On the hotels and leisure and retail fronts, the team draws upon the firm’s wider expertise on matters such as disputes, IT and IP, advertising, finance and M&A to assist on instructions that extend beyond real estate. In addition, corporate occupiers rely on the team, which is headed by Richard Clark, for matters including HQ moves, lease work, rent reviews, exit strategies and dilapidations.

Practice head(s):Colin Ligman; Matt Sims; Richard Clark; Rick Read; Ross Polkinghorne

Testimonials

'Good liaison between the individuals directly involved in the project and, after discussion/agreement on a way forward, the willingness and ability to bring in other people and specialists as and when required.'

'Commitment to delivering a solution.'

'Enjoyable to work with, professional and friendly, dedicated.'

'As you'd expect of Burges Salmon, they provide City quality advice at regional rates. They also bring the corporate transactional mind-set to the real estate sector where it is often absent - speedy and commercially astute advice. Good dynamic between partners and associates - partner closely involved for key negotiations but delegating for cost-efficiency as appropriate.'

'Rick Read combines dynamic advice, ready availability and affability very well.'

'Overall Burges Salmon always provide clear, professional and honest advice.'  

'Partner led advice in this instance is a genuine strapline. Matthew Sims provides exceptional advice.'

'Flexible, committed, proactive, responsive'.

Key Clients

John Lewis plc and Waitrose & Partners

Waterstones Booksellers

Brandy Melville

Gardiner Haskins

North Somerset Council

AEG / AEG Crosstree Real Estate

Diane von Furstenberg

Bath and North East Somerset District Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Waterstones as corporate occupier on its UK store portfolio, providing strategic and transactional property support.
  • Advising John Lewis/Waitrose on property portfolio advice and management, including in relation to its rural Leckford estate.

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s ‘outstanding all-round team’ represents institutional, international and private investors and developers, and is particularly adept on mixed-use schemes while also handling asset management, litigation and strategic land projects. The build-to-rent sector is an emerging keystone of the practice while joint ventures are also an established fortitude. Retail and corporate occupier expertise are also part of the firm’s offering, with the team acting on acquisitions and disposals, landlord and tenant law, regulatory matters and environmental requirements. Andrew Boulton serves as practice head, while at the junior end, residential development specialist Charlotte Wilson 'provides innovative solutions'.

Practice head(s):Andrew Boulton

Other key lawyers:Paul Hicks

Testimonials

'The team is focused on delivering clear and concise advice. They are proactive and should any unforeseen events occur they advise promptly and offer workaround solutions.'

'Good quality people who are capable and work to get a deal over the line.'

'Gemma Leonard has a good grip on the overall picture and proactively works to resolve issues with significant success.'

'Charlotte Wilson is an expert at drafting and providing innovative solutions to tricky contractual points.'

'An outstanding team all round. They are always available and responsive and deliver on time. Whilst remaining organised and pragmatic, they are very personable and genuinely care about the client'.

'One to one attention. High quality of service. Specific client contacts that make the effort to understand the requirements of business.'

Key Clients

Royal London

Work highlights

  • Represented Royal London in the House of Fraser CVA and administration process.
  • Represented Royal London on its granting of a lease at 3 Grosvenor Street in Mayfair to US fashion brand Anine Bing.

Freeths LLP’s 'knowledgeable and skilled' retail property team, which is led by Sarah Griggs and Jenny Cooper, advises clients ranging from household high street names to small niche retailers and also includes European, Australian and US entities entering the UK market. Instructions include a broad array of property matters in addition to retail-related IP, disputes, employment and regulatory affairs, among others. Ian Rowson leads the overall real estate department which is engaged for property transactions, real estate finance work, regeneration, urban regeneration and infrastructure projects as well as the disposal of distressed assets.

Practice head(s):Sarah Griggs; Jenny Cooper

Testimonials

'Freeths are extremely reliable and have strength in depth covering every aspect of work - development, investment, landlord and tenant, insolvency, contracts, construction and planning.'

'Ian Rowson, Clive Pearce and Frances Astbury are a formidable property team and deal with all challenges'.

'Strength in depth and expertise in most areas combined with excellent customer service.'

'Ian Rowson, Clive Pearce and Frances Astbury make an exceptionally strong property team.'

'Freeths have a key understanding of the commercialities and practicalities of the development process. They are able to sound advice whilst also having a forward thinking approach as to how the clients interests are protected.'

'Ian Rowson has a forward thinking approach and commercial approach to development.'

'David Laurence is quickly able to grasp a client's requirement with legal application. He has a skill to be able to allow a client to simply understand complex legal matters.'

'The team on retail property are very knowledgeable and skilled. They know all the key issues to discuss.'

'Sarah Griggs is a top class retail property lawyer. She understands the points that are important to retailers. She is very professional, practical and reliable.'

Key Clients

PVH (Tommy Hilfiger & Calvin Klein)

House

Duck & Dry

Aldo

Wood Wood

Hema

Hotel Chocolat

Aldi Stores Limited

Papa John’s Pizza

Beyond Retro

City North Finsbury Park

Anytime Fitness

Matt Roberts Gyms

Psycle Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Hotel Chocolat on over 30 retail property deals in high streets, train stations and shopping centres, including the relocation in Westfield, London.
  • Acted for Aldi in the UK, dealing with the administration of their alcohol licensing since they first emerged in the UK in 1990.

The team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP delivers a ‘consistently high quality service from consistently high quality personnel’, working with a wide variety of owner, development and tenant clients on high-profile matters. The practice handles the full lifecycle of investment projects and transactions as well as large development and regeneration projects. The globally integrated hotels and leisure practice advises on areas including acquisitions, disposals, disputes, IP and employment issues, while expertise in the retail sector includes development, acquisition, disposal and letting issues. Donald Rowlands, a ‘leader in his field’, is a key member of the team, as is Richard Forsdyke, who is knowledgeable across the full spectrum of financing, development and investment matters. The group is currently acting for Madison Square Garden Company in relation to the proposed development of MSG Sphere London, a 20,000 seat entertainment venue in Stratford. Clients include sovereign wealth funds, private equity funds, investment and fund managers, borrowers and lenders. Nick Turner is a key name and leads the corporate occupier offering, while Paul Chases is an expert in the structuring, negotiation and completion of complex development joint ventures. Also recommended is Shona Grey, a specialist in corporate acquisitions and disposals in the private equity real estate sector.

Testimonials

'Excellent level of knowledge and technical competency. Exciting people to work with and highly diligent.'

'First rate firm of the highest quality.'

'Richard Forsdyke is commercially extremely savvy and focuses on getting things done rather than getting bogged down in legal arguments'.

'Strong team with gravitas. Very knowledgeable and capable.'

'Jeremy Walden is an outstanding, sensible lawyer.'

'Jeremy Walden is a stand out practitioner. Aside from market-leading technical expertise, he is adept at quickly and accurately pinpointing client priorities.' 

'Sebastian Taylor is particularly skilled at manoeuvering complex negotiations with a balanced focus. He is a dedicated team leader and his ability to identify, understand and act on the commercial imperatives involved is especially well developed.'

'The team seamlessly bring together all of the different disciplines required to make large complex transactions happen. They are equally skilled at negotiating with counter parties and managing clients and clients expectations.'

'Don Rowlands and Nick Turner are a particularly strong team. They do a very strong double act as good cop/bad cop. They are also very efficient and fun to work with.'

'Consistent high quality service from consistently high quality personnel.'

'Don Rowlands is a leader in his field who often does the the dirty work that partners of his experience regularly pass down to juniors. There are no half measures with his approach.'

'Emma Carter has a prodigious work rate which is always of the highest quality. A clear listener who delivers on what her clients specifically ask for and gets things done'.

Work highlights

  • Advising on British Land's plans for the redevelopment of a 46-acre site in Rotherhithe, southeast London, which will include flats, retail, leisure and offices. The project at Canada Water will feature five million sq ft of indoor space and take up to a decade to build.
  • Advised Hamerson on the sale and joint venture arrangements of a 50% stake in Highcross shopping centre in Leicester to an Asian investor for £236m.

Jones Day is highly recommended for the full breadth of development and investment projects, boasting expertise in the private rented, residential and student accommodation sectors. Practice head David Roberts is reputed for his knowledge of the logistics sector as well as the retail market in which the team recently handle premises sales. Of counsel Kirsty Rogerson supports clients through the full lifecycle of developments from site assembly to subsequent lettings, and the team also provides expertise on international joint ventures and structures.

Practice head(s):David Roberts

Key Clients

Blackstone Group, The

The British Land Company PLC

CIT Group Partners LLP

CBRE Global Investors/Investment Partners

Delancey/DV4

Greystar Real Estate Partners

Hansteen Holdings PLC

Henderson Park Real Estate Fund

Henley Investment Management Limited

LaSalle Investment Management

LondonMetric Property Plc

Meyer Bergman, Ltd.

Oaktree Capital Management, L.P.

Oxenwood Real Estate LLP

Peel Logistics

Perella Weinberg

Work highlights

  • Acting for British Land on the sale of Guisley Retail Park and Wheatley Shopping Centre.
  • Acting for LondonMetric on the sale of Launceston Retail Park, Cornwall.

K&L Gates LLP's practice is home to ‘wide expertise' within the commercial property arena. The hotels and leisure team represents clients on large-scale, urban and resort hotel projects across the globe while the corporate occupiers department has recently been busy handling headquarter establishments, office acquisitions and lease work. The team’s cross-disciplinary structure provides it with an edge in the investment and development space with expertise on finance, construction, tax and planning all readily available. Highlights in the retail space include development work, supermarket acquisitions, refinancing and lettings. Wayne Smith heads the team which includes recommended special counsel Paul Alger, who is well-versed in acquisitions and disposals for institutional investors, landlord and tenant matters, property finance and institutional portfolio management.

Practice head(s):Wayne Smith

Other key lawyers:Kevin Greene; Paul Alger

Testimonials

'The K&L Gates team are a class apart. Clear, concise advice is offered'.

'Paul Alger is a key member.  Paul always gives you comfort that everything is on track and under control, and provides solutions when discussing problems that we encounter in each transaction.'

'K&L Gates have expertise in a wide area within commercial property. They strike a good balance between reach across the industry while offering a personal service.'

Key Clients

Diesel

Mount Street DRC Capital LLP

UK Retail Warehouse Fund

Nuveen Real Estate (formerly TH Real Estate)

St James Property Investment Ltd

Standard Life Aberdeen (ReAssure)

One New Oxford Street Limited Partnership

Lloyds Bank

Work highlights

  • Ongoing advice on the construction aspects of the St James Quarter Development, a massive mixed-use regeneration project in Edinburgh with a value of £850m.
  • Acting for Standard Life Aberdeen (ReAssure) and Lloyds Bank Pension Fund in relation to the sale of newly developed Morrisons Supermarket at 399 Edgware Road, London.

Clients recommend Lewis Silkin LLP for its ‘highly commercial and pragmatic’ advice, with the practice priding itself on its sector-specific knowledge, specifically in the advertising and media, technology and professional services industries. Headed by Jonathan Reuben and recommended on all commercial property fronts, the practice is adept on HQ relocations, major development works and regeneration projects. Investment-related work includes the acquisition and disposal of high-value multi-tenanted Central London properties in addition to related refinancing and portfolio management for both high-net-worth individuals and foreign investors. High-profile retailers form the client base, as do a number of hotels which instruct the team for developments, redevelopments and asset acquisition, among other matters. Legal director Julia Poulter is a recommended junior member of the team.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Reuben

Other key lawyers:Brian Kilcoyne; Julia Poulter

Testimonials

'Highly commercial and pragmatic with spirit of the law guidance rather than letter of the law edict.'

'Good legal knowledge, available, responsive, commercial'.

'Anthony van Hoffen and Philip Foster provide good strategic advice and great technical knowledge'.

'They are friendly in their approach which makes you feel comfortable interacting with them, yet they maintain formality when appropriate. Nothing appears to ever be too much trouble.'

'Direct partner engagement on all matters. Very practical approach on various legal and business situations. Quite refreshing.'

'From day one, direct partner attention. Industry knowledge is plentiful and always available when needed.'

Key Clients

PizzaExpress

Harrods

Harvey Nichols

Marks & Spencer

Canada Goose

Gabriel Scott

Work highlights

  • Acting on the redevelopment of the former Royal Mail North London Post Sorting Office site (about half a million sq ft of space) into a mixed-use shopping, leisure and residential destination.
  • Acting for luxury lighting and furniture retailer Gabriel Scott Limited on its first acquisition in the UK in central London of leasehold premises within the Pollen Estate close to Bond Street.  

Specialist real estate firm Maples Teesdale LLP, which is praised for 'punching well above its weight', provides expert knowledge on matters including forward funding, construction, redevelopment, joint venture agreements, site acquisitions and assemblies, leaseback transactions and pre-lets. Development and investment work for the group encompasses several sectors including retail, office, hotels and leisure, mixed-use, industrial and residential. Roger Thornton is ‘strong at identifying risks’ and heads the practice which is geared towards acting for landlords.

Practice head(s):Anastasia Klein

Other key lawyers:Declan Power; Katherine Watts

Testimonials

'A great team, consistent in personnel, easily contactable and responsive to requests and requirements'.

'Very approachable offering good advice highlighting options available. Provide regular progress updates and go the extra mile when closing out transactions.'

'Advice is always decisive and firm, easy to get on with, prepared to discuss drafts on document face-to-face on over phone rather than relying on written representations only. Not overtly fee-driven.'

'Service excellence, personal attention from partners, good no-nonsense advice'

'Attention to detail and easy access to partners. Declan Power stands out in particular as someone I would appoint in the future to provide commercial property legal advice.'

'The team comprises very commercial, hard-working, collegiate lawyers who focus on the UK real estate market and work on competitive terms. They punch well above their weight.'

'Declan Power and Roger Thornton have vast experience and know how to solve issues and get deals done.'

'Roger Thornton is very proactive and reactive to any work we require completing. Very approachable.'

'Martin Smith is exceptional for his ability to negotiate a deal and make it work rather than bog it down in legal complexity. Provides actual advice rather than disclaimers.'

'Maples Teesdale are large enough to be able to cover all real estate issues while being small enough to act coherently as a team on large projects. The firm is low on ego and seen as practical and friendly.'

Key Clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Alteris Capital Partners

BMO Real Estate

CBRE Global Investors

Ellandi

Europa Capital

Legal & General

Patrizia

Royal & Sun Alliance

Scoop

Tristan Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Continuing to advise Legal and General on four shopping centres and three retail parks.
  • Advising CBRE GI on four shopping centres valued at over £300m.

At Memery Crystal LLP, the team possesses an ‘uncanny ability to overcome items that other lawyers see as problems’. Daniel Abrahams is acclaimed for his ‘excellent all-round real estate knowledge’ and heads the practice alongside Alastair Moss. High-value transactions and portfolio work are key strengths in the hospitality and leisure industries with the group representing pubs, hotels and restaurants, among others. Instructions in the retail space include lease renewals, property disputes and store developments, while on the investment front, the team represents banks, wealth managers and family offices on both cross-border and domestic matters. Also forming the commercial property workload are site acquisitions and disposals, developments, construction, planning and disputes along with landlord and tenant affairs. Sukina Dhilon recently joined from Collyer Bristow LLP.

Practice head(s):Alastair Moss; Daniel Abrahams

Testimonials

'Direct partner involvement in transactions, even when the day to day drafting is being dealt with by a junior lawyer. Their main strengths are in knowing their clients so being able to deal with issues expeditiously without needing client involvement for all the minutiae of the transaction; that and an uncanny ability of overcoming items that other lawyers see as problems. They are a firm who simply get the deal done in the best interests of their clients.'

'Daniel Abrahams has excellent all-round real estate knowledge with the ability to overcome issues that arise during transactions that other lawyers seem unable to resolve.'

Key Clients

Metro Bank

Travis Perkins

Steinhoff UK

Wyevale Garden Centres

Big Yellow Construction Company Limited

Asda

PPR Streatham

The Mall Corporation

A.S.K Partners

Janoir LLP/Ocubis

Charterhouse Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Metro Bank on the development of its store on London’s Piccadilly.
  • Advising Travis Perkins in securing a long-term future in a major retail site in Central London.

Russell-Cooke LLP's ‘technically skilled' team provide 'a personalised and responsive service’. Headed by Matt Garrod, the practice has a well-established reputation in the retail sector where it assists clients with the full range of commercial property issues including acquisitions, lease renewals and developments. Additional strengths for the team include inward investment by overseas clients, landlord and tenant work, residential sales and purchases, real estate finance, redevelopments, joint ventures, overage agreements and the regeneration of brown sites.

Practice head(s):Matt Garrod

Other key lawyers:Peter Nicholson

Testimonials

'They are very quick to understand the client's business culture, key drivers, problems and political relationships'.

'Peter Kitson has an incredibly sharp mind, vhe ery rarely needs to hear things more than once in order to form a robust understanding of what's being asked, is innovative in his thinking when we have a problem to solve, and is able to explain complex legal scenarios simply.'

'A technically skilled team providing a personalised and responsive service'.

'The development and transactional teams operate well together'.

'They all know there roles very well and interact well without overstepping their individual expertise.'  

'The team has a clear and extensive knowledge of property transactions, and are able to offer advice around all aspects of property development.'

Key Clients

Pret A Manger (Europe) Limited

Matalan Retail Limited

Food for Thought

L.K. Bennett

Arcadia Limited

Mid Sussex District Council

The Gym Group

Work highlights

  • Dealt with the real estate aspects of the acquisition of 13 gyms from easyGym in various locations across England and Wales.
  • Acting for Pret A Manger (Europe) Limited on a lease renewal with an initial rent of £1.5m and a minimum rental commitment for the term of £13.5m.

Slaughter and May is particularly well-regarded for its work on stadium developments, and has been advising Everton Football Club on the development of its new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock, with leasing, financing, construction, planning and real estate issues coordinated by the firm. On the investment side, major transactions, including property disposals, form the workload while on the corporate occupiers front, headquarter letting and relocations are a key strength. The department prides itself on high-value, non-commoditised work and has particular expertise in the energy and retail sectors. Jane Edwarde serves as practice head and handles the full range of commercial property matters.

Practice head(s):Jane Edwarde

Other key lawyers:John Nevin; Richard Todd

Testimonials

'The team has a wide-ranging knowledge of property issues and a sound commercial approach to practical problems.'

'John Nevin keeps a close eye on transactions even when they are allocated to more junior fee earners and offers excellent advice when necessary.'

'Really bright people who are committed and work very hard.'

Key Clients

Arsenal

Bourne Leisure

Bupa

Clothworkers’ Company

Delancey

Derwent London

Dobbies Garden Centres

Elysian Residences

Everton

Equinix

Fishmongers’ Company

Halsbury Homes

Legal & General

Masterworks

MCC

Midlothian Capital Partners

Ministry of Sound

MTR Corporation

Nimax Theatres

NTT Urban Development Corporation

Ocado

Sableknight

Tata Steel

Tottenham

Work highlights

  • Advised Ocado on its online retail JV with Marks and Spencer.
  • Advised The Restaurant Group on the acquisition of Wagamama.
  • Advised Dobbies Garden Centres on the acquisition of six garden centres.

Noted for its ‘efficiency, commerciality and approachability’, the team at Travers Smith LLP is active on the full spectrum of commercial property matters. It recently handled a number of investment transactions relating to care homes, infrastructure, hotels and retail centres and counts a number of real estate funds and private equity entities among its client roster. The alternative asset classes, particularly healthcare, student housing, build to rent and the private sector, are particular strengths, as are purchases, finance transactions, lettings, developments and CVAs. Additional industry expertise of extends to the logistics, leisure, retail, energy and infrastructure sectors. Simon Rutman heads the department which was recently bolstered by the lateral hire of Alex Millar from Jones Day. He tailors his practice towards development and regeneration projects.

Practice head(s):Simon Rutman

Other key lawyers:Emma Pereira

Testimonials

'Ease of use and efficiency, commerciality and approachability, easy to digest advice.'

'Speedy and efficient'.

Key Clients

intu

Bridgepoint

STA Travel

Lothbury

Carpetright

Carluccios

Clearbell

HUT Group

Atelier NA

Work highlights

  • Advising Bridgepoint on its £1.5bn sale of Pret a Manger to JAB Holdings.
  • Advising on the 492 property portfolio of Carpetright, in connection with its CVA, together with advice on its £60m equity raise (with US securities aspect) and a £15m shareholder loan and refinance of its property portfolio.

Development, land acquisitions, and regeneration, renewable energy and rail infrastructure projects are key planks of the development offering at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP. The practice, headed locally by Martin Stacey, is also active in the retail and corporate occupier arenas, where it undertakes portfolio management, letting work, general landlord and tenant matters and the full range of retail and trading law issues. Institutional investment is also a core pillar of the practice, which works with a broad range of clients including local businesses, councils, national and international corporates, national housebuilders, retail landlords and consumer brands.

Practice head(s):Alistair Walton; Martin Stacey;

Work highlights

  • Instructed to deal with the property aspects of New Look Retailers Limited's recent and well publicised CVA.
  • Advised Ashfield Retail Developments Limited on the acquisition of option agreements, the subsequent purchase of the property, pre-lets, refinancing and finally on a forward funding development agreement, selling a retail park development at Four Pools Industrial Estate in Evesham.

Addleshaw Goddard is home to a ‘wealth of expertise’, ‘producing high-quality and innovative legal solutions’. Significant development works in London, including those with a cross-border element, are an area where the team excels, and the same likewise applies to regeneration works and joint venture projects. Leona Ahmed is ‘outstanding in every way’ and is currently advising Battersea Power Station Development Company in relation to the development and asset management strategy of the commercial assets within Phase 2 of the power station development. Ahmed is an expert on inbound investment, particularly from Asia, and the team also counts several high-profile real estate investment funds and property companies among the client base. Luke Baines is key in the hotels and leisure sector where the team enjoys a particularly strong reputation for hotel finance and also handles development, construction, financing, IP, employment and commercial agreements in addition to leisure schemes for pub and restaurant clients. The practice also acts on HQ relocations and main office transactions, and in the retail space is particularly experienced within the shopping centre arena.

Practice head(s):Leona Ahmed; Lee Sheldon; Adrian Collins

Other key lawyers:William Boss; Andrew Martin

Testimonials

'The investment team is extremely thorough and diligent, yet commercial. They are always thinking ahead and anticipating needs. Partners and associates are very strong.'

'Leona Ahmed is outstanding in every way. Very commercial and has an understanding of the market beyond what one would expect a lawyer to have. She is extremely well connected. She is always looking beyond the current task ahead to the next ones. In general, all the associates are great, with Hanan Taousi-Chahboun standing out.'

'Responsive and practical'.

'The team are receptive, commercial, knowledgeable and dependable.' 

 'Andrew Martin has distinguished himself as an expert in his field, a professional services adviser at the very top of his game.'

Key Clients

British Land

Hammerson

Battersea Power Station

Hermes

Aviva

Marks and Spencer

Sainsbury's

Travelodge

Terra Firma

Telereal Trillium

Surrey Heath Borough Council

Britvic

Work highlights

  • Advising across all the real estate requirements of Marks and Spencer.
  • Won the mandate to represent Southgate Limited Partnership (an Aviva/British Land joint venture) on the ongoing asset management of Southgate Shopping Centre, Bath.

Allen & Overy LLP is routinely engaged for high-end, cross-border work for a prestigious roster of clients. The practice, which is led by global real estate head Imogen Moss, also advises landlords and tenants on the leasing and management of real estate investments, covering rent reviews, insurance and repair obligations. Moss plays an active role in the firm’s thriving headquarters practice and is also an expert on joint ventures and investments which use complex offshore structures. In a recent highlight, the team advised Westbrook Partners on its acquisition of the Sterling Industrial Platform, a portfolio of 28 UK logistic assets spanning over three million sq ft of lettable space. Well-regarded counsel Emma Willoughby represents a range of developers, landlords and tenants from the retail, office and industrial sectors.

Practice head(s):Imogen Moss

Key Clients

Oxford Properties

Evans Randall

THRE’s European

Cities Fund

China Vanke

Orion Capital Managers

Schroders

Westbrook

Clients recommend Baker McKenzie for its ‘global coverage’, ‘extremely responsive team’ and ‘commercial advice’. The team is particularly well-regarded for investment matters, handling finance, structuring, documenting, development and divestment matters in addition to the negotiation of joint ventures. Overseas inbound investment is also a strength with the highly recommended Stephen Turner recently advising Asian investor Far East Consortium on the acquisition of a £200m development site in Manchester. Specific expertise is also held in relation to the European rollout of US and other international retail groups, while the practice also supports corporate occupiers on leasing, transactions, developments, planning and dispute resolution matters, among others. Justin Salkeld is another standout name and heads the hotels and leisure offering. He is an expert on the acquisition, development, operation and disposal of hotel assets. His team is also engaged for employment, IP, tax, environment, franchise and construction-related instructions.

Practice head(s):Justin Salkeld

Testimonials

'The best for the level of services they provide, the competence, the assistance in each European country and the sense of urgency they put in each deal'.

'Stefanie Price is great and makes the client feel as though they are getting the best service'. 

'Global coverage, extremely responsive, ability to provide support and guidance across all business functions for completely different platforms and models. Excellent teamwork and resources within the organization to provide the best outcome in cross functional situations.'

'Very responsive - the team offers advice that is straightforward, pragmatic and commercial'.

'Stefanie Price is highly organised and ensures that momentum is maintained on all matters. She involves Stephen Turner whenever appropriate to get a second point of view or additional seniority.'

Key Clients

Tapestry, Inc.

Michael Kors

Motorola

De Grisogono

Work highlights

  • Continuing to act for Tapestry in respect of all new UK retail stores across its three brands - Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman.
  • Advising global luxury retailer Michael Kors on all of its UK property work, including co-ordinating its rollout of stores across Europe.

At Clarkslegal LLP, corporate occupier clients instruct the group for new lease negotiations, rent reviews and a range of other landlord and tenant work. Major development projects, related transactions, investment and portfolio management form the hotels and leisure offering where the team is particularly well-regarded in the food and restaurant arena. Lettings to retail occupiers are a further area of expertise, as are investment portfolio management and development projects. Rachel Krol heads the practice which is also knowledgeable in the education, healthcare and automotive sectors.

Practice head(s):Rachel Krol

Other key lawyers:Simon Ralphs

Key Clients

University of Reading

NTT Data UK Limited

Crown Packaging Manufacturing UK Limited

Newham Sixth Form College Further Education Corporation

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

St Clair Developments Limited

Lafarge UK Pension Trustees

Eden Motor Group

Offsite Archive Storage and Integrated Services (OASIS)

Liquidators of Carillion plc

Work highlights

  • Acting for a client on a range of property investments including in the retail arena.
  • Acting for a high street retailer on its expansion programme.

The team at Glovers Solicitors LLP consists of ‘specialists in restaurant and retail property’ and counts pubs, bars, cinemas and theatres among its client base, in addition to high-end fashion brands and grab-and-go food offerings. Corporate occupier matters are also a strength. Philip Mundy heads the retail offering and advises clients from across Europe on their UK commercial property requirements while John Barber represents several high-profile names in the restaurant sector. Paul Jagger, a licensing expert, was recently promoted to the partnership.

Practice head(s):Philip Mundy

Testimonials

‘Glovers is a first class firm for restaurant operators - they are extremely knowledgeable and highly skilled. The whole team deal with all matters in an exceptionally professional, efficient and friendly matter.’

‘John Barber is extremely knowledgeable - he deals with matters promptly, diligently and is able to explain complex legal points in a straightforward manner.’

‘Paul Jagger is not only highly competent but responds immediately to requests.’

‘Philip Shotter and Paul Jagger provide a standout licensing team at this boutique firm. Their strength is a thorough knowledge of licensing law combined withe ability to deal with the whole range of legal problems that often accompany a licensing application.’

‘Philip Shotter and his team offer more than traditional conveyancing solicitors. His is an entirely joined up approach that includes liaising with designers, planners, and commercial agents. They manage the whole process with amazing expertise and insight.’

‘Philip Shotter is always available, provides excellent advice, and works tirelessly to improve his clients position. This is aligned with a commercial intelligence that ensures deals conclude expediently.’

‘Excellent communication skills and attention to detail.  Specialists in their chosen sectors.’

‘Approachable people with great interpersonal skills, tactical awareness and the required technical knowledge.  Edward Vaughan is a first class litigator.’

‘They stand out because their knowledge of the sector and operational understanding’.

‘The team are absolutely incredible, they have deal with queries with the utmost respect, appreciation and total dedication.’

‘Excellent knowledge and expertise in a unique sector of work - a solid group of top quality solicitors, who are prepared to stand their ground and negotiate firmly. The team is commercially minded and always go the extra mile to help and are keen to build a long term a relationship.’

‘Philip Shotter and Paul Jagger are an outstanding team’.

Key Clients

Jack Wolfskin UK Ltd

Agnes B UK Limited

World Wide Shoes LLP (trading as Malone Souliers)

Giuseppe Zanotti UK Ltd

Donald Byford & Sons Limited

Goldcrest Catering Limited (t/a Bayley & Sage)

CDM Trading Limited (t/a Coco di Mama)

Olivia von Halle Ltd

Desmond & Dempsey Ltd

Arlettie Paris

Hop Vietnamese Limited

Uhouzz Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Desmond & Dempsey Ltd on the new letting of a retail unit in Central London.
  • Acting for new client Hop Vietnamese in relation to their flagship unit in the City of London.

Hamlins LLP’s commercial property team ‘goes above and beyond what is expected of a law firm’. The retail, hotels and leisure sector are core pillars of the practice, which advises on commercial contracts, litigation, employment, IP and brand protection matters. Examples include hotel acquisitions, restaurant rollouts and brand development as well as operating agreements and lease granting. 'Exceptional leaderMark Hurst heads the real estate team, which represents professional property companies, sovereign wealth funds, private equity investors, banks and high-net-worth individuals on transactions, developments, management, structuring and lending affairs.

Practice head(s):Nigel Mason

Testimonials

'Mark Hurst is an exceptional leader of this particular team. He often has to deal with difficult, complex deals and lettings and always has good commercial solutions to achieve the best results.'

'The Hamlins team are very client focused. They take the time to understand the needs of the client and in many instances go above and beyond what is expected of a law firm.'

'Joseph Holder organizes the team in a very effective and efficient manner - ensuring there is constant coverage and transactions are always moving forward.'

'Professional and highly experienced.'

'Highly qualified and available for the client'.

'The majority of work is carried out at partner level meaning the instruction is undertaken by professionals with significant experience.'

'Joseph Holder is a real estate partner with years of experience'.

Key Clients

Ego Restaurants

Pizza Union

Leon Restaurants

The Draft House Holding Limited

Pizza Pilgrims

London Union

Journeys- Friend Ltd

Ping Pong Restaurants

Ted Baker

Rosa’s Thai

Pizza Union

Work highlights

  • Acting for Leon on the acquisition of over twenty five individual new leases largely in London.
  • Acting for leading luxury British retailer Ted Baker on a variety of real estate matters in connection with its substantial UK retail portfolio.

Marriott Harrison LLP is hailed for its ‘positive, can-do attitude, backed up by robust and intelligent advice’. Though it handles the full spectrum of commercial property matters, it is particularly active in the corporate occupier area, representing both landlords and tenants on HQ relocations, office moves and leasing issues. The ‘very knowledgeable’, ‘thorough and diligent’ Mark Lavers serves as practice head. His team also frequently undertakes site acquisitions and subsequent developments, investment-related disposals and asset management work as well as a range of property matters in the retail sector.

Practice head(s):Mark Lavers;

Testimonials

'As a team Marriott Harrison are very approachable and focused on achieving practical solutions for their clients.'

'Mark Lavers is very knowledgeable with sound judgement on difficult points.'

'Guy Hitchin is very hands on and engaged with an excellent understanding of his client's business and their needs.'

'Nick Smith is excellent at seeing the big picture and focuses on practical solutions.'

'High levels of emotional intelligence with pragmatic and sensible advice all with added pride in a job well done.'

'Guy Hitchin provides excellent advice and guidance.'

'They always get the job done and never give up if things get tricky.'

'Responsive, pragmatic, commercial, detailed legal knowledge, top of game, proportionate fees.'

'Mark Lavers is at the top of his game, knowledgeable and approachable.'

'Mark Lavers has a deep experience and knowledge of landlord and tenant/conveyancing law. Mark stands out from the vast majority of other solicitors in that he takes an obvious pleasure and pride in patiently explaining complex legal issues to non-lawyers in an understandable way.'

'A positive, can-do attitude backed up by robust and intelligent advice. In any given matter advice is forensically researched and delivered at lightning speed.'

Key Clients

Smith Bradbeer & Company Limited

5:15 Records Limited

Sister Ray (2007) Limited

H Huntsman & Son Limited

Bucherer

J & M Davidson Limited

Mackintosh Limited

23.5 Degrees Limited

Planet Organic Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for 23.5 Degrees Limited on the negotiation of pre-letting and lease for new Starbucks unit in Leeds.  

Property boutique RLS Law is well-regarded in the retail space, handling matters including lease extensions, new leases, store acquisitions and HQ refurbishments. Corporate occupier clients engage the group particularly for its office, warehouse and industrial unit expertise while in the leisure space, high-profile restaurateurs, pub owners and gym operators form the roster. The team also regularly acts on investment, property-related corporate transactions, property litigation and development matters. Tom Foley is highly recommended and recently made partner.

Practice head(s):Craig Themis; Julien Rutler

Testimonials

'What sets RLS Law apart from other legal practices is simple, it listens to the requirements and doesn't just hear you. Flexibility has been proven throughout as the requirements can change, understanding the deadlines to meet means that the entire team has to work together.'

'Julien Rutler understands that legal support is key to the success of completing the deal. Small details that often get forgotten are picked up by the entire team'.

'What makes RLS unique is the high level of personal service and attention to detail. RLS senior partners are more than just your legal advisers, they act as if they are your business partners.'

'Julien Rutler is more than a lawyer. In addition to providing balanced legal advice, he has been fully involved and often leads in all commercial negotiations. He is incredibly thorough in reviewing legal documents.'

'Craig Themis is concise and provides timely advice, relevant to matters in hand. Richard Webber delivers clear explanation of issues and possible avenues.'

'Julien Rutler and Liam McArdle continue to outperform themselves.'

'An approachable, pragmatic and professional privately owned firm with a track record of performance with integrity.'

Key Clients

Four Marketing (owners of brands such as Agent Provocateur, Stone Island, Woolrich, Paul & Shark)

Vilebrequin swimwear

Alex Monroe Limited

Boop Limited

Cox & Power

Emin & Paul Limited

Earl of East London

Caudalie UK

18 Montrose

Bangladesh Airlines

Work highlights

  • Advising Agent Provocateur in connection with a protected lease renewal of its first ever shop at Broadwick Street, Soho London.
  • Acting for Cox & Power in connection with renewal of its lease on its London store in Marylebone.

RPC’s practice provides clients with a ‘very commercial and obliging approach’ and is headed by the ‘outstandingElizabeth Alibhai. It is active on the investment, development and corporate occupier fronts, and is particularly recommended for its work in the retail space where it represents landlords and tenants alike, including several household brands. Recent work in the sector has included lease renewals, portfolio management and neighbour issues, among others.

Practice head(s):Elizabeth Alibhai

Other key lawyers:Karen Hendy

Testimonials

'They are very personable and because they understand the client's approach, they present us with practical advice'

'Elizabeth Alibhai is an outstanding real estate partner. Very personable, highly experienced and robust in the face of difficult negotiations.'

'Very commercial and obliging approach.'

'Elizabeth Alibhai's skills as a lawyer are outstanding. She ensures that she absolutely understands the client's business and has their interests as a priority. Her approach is always professional, positive and obliging.'

'Capable team, with good knowledge of the central London market'.

'Diligent, and good lateral thinking'.

'Swift, concise and professional manner in conducting themselves. Fluid in agreeing a fair fee and dynamic in terms of flexibility to execute deals.'

Key Clients

St Modwen

Kristina Records

LK Bennett

Essity

Kout Food Group

Isabel Marant

Kidiliz Group

Maybrook Properties

Work highlights

  • Acting for Kout Food Group on the assignment of real estate portfolio consisting of Maison Blanc business.
  • Acting for a leading department store on the development of a new approx. 375,000 sq ft distribution warehouse.

Taylor Wessing LLP’s commercial property practice has ‘consistently demonstrated exceptional service over a number of years’, and excels in the hotels and leisure space, particularly on the M&A front, recently advising Vivion Capital on the acquisition of almost 60 UK hotels via three separate portfolio deals totalling in excess of £1.25bn. Additional core strengths include investment sales and purchases, major portfolio sales, urban regeneration projects and property portfolio management. International and institutional investors, funds and REITs are among the key investment clients while corporate occupiers regularly engage the department for acquisitions and leasehold negotiations. In addition, the practice demonstrates experience in advising owners, developers and occupiers in the retail space on the full range of related real estate issues and is also well-regarded within the student accommodation, co-living, residential and logistics sectors.

Practice head(s):Keith Barnett

Other key lawyers:Alistair Watson; Alan Evans

Testimonials

'First class offer, good value for money in comparison to other similar sized firms. Prepared to stand by their advice and work in a dedicated manner to a successful outcome. Available and accessible at all times. Integrated corporate and property advice with one point of contact.'

'Mark Rajbenbach is astute, commercial and able to assist with transactions as if he is genuinely part of the client team. Keith Barnett has excellent technical and pragmatic lawyer with strong and wide ranging contacts.'

'Georgina Watts and Adam Marks are can do individuals who respond quickly and give great advice even if it's not always the client wants to hear.'

'The firm's commitment is with out question and they really care about the success of the project.'

'Adam Marks is a brilliant adviser who provides excellent advice throughout our time working with him. His colleague Al Watson really knows his stuff on planning and is an invaluable support'.

'Their breadth and depth of experience comes through when providing advice in complex and unusual circumstances,'

'The continuity of the team is their strongest attribute, making for a strong working relationship.'

'The Taylor Wessing team have consistently demonstrated exceptional service over a number of years. They have a wide ranging team covering all aspects of real estate but also have access to in house specialists in their wider team for specific area such as employment matters or capital project management.'

Key Clients

Try Market Hall Limited

Derwent London

Westminster Group

Mango

Southend United Football Club

Tritax Big Box REIT

Investec

Work highlights

  • Advising Try Market Halls, a group of UK-based property investors and restaurateurs, on their upmarket food halls scheme which launched in London and across the UK in 2018.
  • Advising Derwent London Plc on the sale of a long leasehold interest of a central London multi-let property providing c.4,800 sq ft of retail and office accommodation.

Wallace LLP’s team, which is ‘very responsive, efficient and helpful’, is home to experience in the office, retail, industrial, hospitality and leisure sectors and is frequently instructed by investment companies on portfolio management, acquisitions and disposals as well as development transactions, landlord and tenant, joint venture and financing work. Practice head Martin Otvos counts several high-profile restaurateurs, hotel operators and retailers among his client list and is adept on commercial property transactions, developments, funding and letting.

Practice head(s):Martin Otvos

Other key lawyers:Bibi Fakhrai

Testimonials

'The team is technically very sound and reliable.  They are able to react very quickly and can be relied upon.'

'They are extremely responsive, clear, approachable and always have the clients best interests in mind which is not always the case when dealing with other law firms. On top of this, their fee quotes are extremely competitive.'

'Jackie Boot is efficient, diligent and a great communicator.'

'The merits of the practice are wholly reliant on the merits of the team, all of whom are very helpful'.

'The team is always very responsive, efficient and helpful with the ability to guide someone new through the process with ease.'

'Bibi Fakhrai is very astute at cutting to the chase.'

Key Clients

Soho Estates

Freshwater

Martin’s Properties

Tottenham Hotspur

ENIC

Devialet

Natuzzi

Sourced Market

GLD Brands

Gentle Monster

Sofa.com

Work highlights

  • Represented II Combined UK Limited in relation to the grant of a new retail lease in Oxford Circus.
  • Represented Natuzzi Services Limited in relation to the grant of a new retail lease at Westfield London.

Wedlake Bell LLP’s real estate team is 'well led and resourced with well qualified individuals’ who cater to a client base of investors, developers, banks, owner-occupiers, tenants, retailers and charities. In the corporate occupier space, the team represent several health and care sector clients and has recently handled several high-profile HQ relocations in addition to cross-border leasing and acquisition matters. Investment-related work has seen an uptick on the inward investment front while the development team is particularly well-regarded for residential projects. David de Maupeou recently joined from Cripps Pemberton Greenish and brings with him particular expertise of central London office space and mixed use development schemes.

Practice head(s):Justin Lewis-Vivas; Leah Freeman

Testimonials

'Wedlake Bell provide high quality legal work, with strong communications and a sense of personal ownership of issues and work flow by the respective partners. In an increasingly complex and confusing world in the post brexit era Wedlake Bell provide clarity and strong counsel.'

'Suzanne Gill is an excellent legal adviser, transactional lawyer and highly personable individual. She brings a refreshing prospective to the law. Suzanne has immense gravitas and a razor sharp legal mind.'

'Sarah Blunn is an exceptional real estate lawyer, commercial and dedicated to her clients'.

'Leah Freeman has expert knowledge of our business, stores and internal ways of working'.

'Personable, professional, prompt, detailed and authentic people to deal with.'

'The team is well led and resourced with well qualified individuals who are intent on providing a responsive service and giving commercially sound legal advice. Their team has wide ranging expertise and are able to offer a comprehensive legal service, avoiding the need to approach alternative sources.'

Key Clients

Hugo Boss

Hugo

Jimmy Choo

Robert Dyas

Boux Avenue

Fuller, Smith & Turner PLC

Busaba Eathai

Warburg HIH Invest

Petersham Nurseries

Science in Sport

Work highlights

  • Advising Hugo Boss UK on its portfolio work.
  • Advising Fuller, Smith & Turner PLC on its large portfolio of pub, restaurant and hotel premises.

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