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Who Represents Who

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Noted for its strength in depth and cross-border capabilities, Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘commercial, user-friendly’ team advises lenders and sponsors on the full range of property finance matters. Paul Flanagan, Arthur Dyson, Simon Roberts and Mark Manson-Bahr jointly head the department; the ‘direct, to-the-point’ Manson-Bahr has strong experience in UK and German real estate finance, loan portfolio financings as well as complex real estate financings and refinancings, while Roberts is noted for his expertise in large-scale loan portfolio transactions. Flanagan is an expert in structured finance, debt and equity funds and investment banks. Other key London partners include David Oppenheimer, Ian Powell, Lucy Oddy and Islamic finance expert Atif Hanif. Senior associate Peter Mailer is also recommended.

The team at Ashurst handles the full range of property finance matters, including development finance, acquisition finance, high-value European loan-portfolio acquisitions, debt fundraising and complex refinancing. Sarah Watkinson, an expert in pan-European investment and development finance, heads the practice jointly with Ruth Harris; Watkinson advised an SPV on financing its €320m acquisition of a portfolio of non-performing loans from the National Asset Management Agency, with financing provided by Morgan Stanley Bank. Harris assisted an asset management firm with a £280m notes issuance, comprising senior and mezzanine notes, to refinance an earlier bridge facility. She also advised CECIF LUX Bidco 1 on financing its €120m purchase of a seed portfolio comprising three Dutch property companies. Major banks also frequently instruct the practice: Harris advised RBS and Deutsche Pfandbriefbank on the £127m financing of the Manhattan Loft Gardens development in Stratford, London. Banking expert Tim Rennie, who is noted for his experience in leveraged finance, acted for a property developer on on a £150m credit facility. Jessica Jenner assisted Oxford Properties with a refinancing of King Edward Court – location of the London Stock Exchange’s headquarters – that involved a £158m facility from DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale and a £76m facility from PGIM Real Estate Finance. Kildare, Nomura, Blackstone, Crédit Agricole and Santander are other representative clients. Senior associates Victoria Tarr, Mitch Ingham and Sarah Winter are also recommended.

FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Maples Teesdale

The only property law firm you’ll ever need. Maples Teesdale acts for lenders and borrowers on property investment and development finance transactions. Our clients include leading banks and financial institutions, alternative debt providers, as well as privately owned commercial and residential developments to large commercial forward fundings on complex property developments. Developments range from mixed use residential and commercial developments to large commercial forward fundings on complex property developments. We have a dedicated team of property finance lawyers that has wide ranging experience in this field. We currently advise a variety of banks and other financial institutions as well as property investors, funds and commercial property companies.

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With an excellent lender-borrower split and experience across an exceptionally wide range of property finance matters, Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP’s 11-partner team is ‘very efficient, commercially pragmatic, and shows real understanding of market norms’. The ‘trustworthy, pragmatic and extremely experiencedClaire Watson has a ‘can-do attitude’; she advised Capital & Regional on the £373m refinancing of its existing loan facilities, which were secured against The Mall Fund. She also acted for Project Blue on obtaining a £664m development facility from HSBC and Qatari National Bank for the first three phases of the £3bn Chelsea Barracks redevelopment, and assisted Chine Life Investment Holding with the £208m financing of its purchase of the corporate structure owning Aldgate Tower. Senior associate Payam Yoseflavi advised King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership on obtaining a £191m facility from Helaba to finance the development of the S2 and T2 buildings, part of the King’s Cross development. Practice head Naveen Vijh and ‘very responsive, detail-oriented’ senior associate Lydia Boos are ‘diligent, experienced and decisive’; Vijh’s clients include HSBC, Barclays and Wells Fargo. Other lender-side clients of the practice include AIG, RBS, Santander and Cheyne Capital Management; Blackrock, Quintain, Tristan Capital Partners and Qatari Diar are borrower and sponsor clients. Steve Clark, Daniyal Ansari and senior associate Gordon McMillan are also recommended.

Clifford Chance, whose practice is well stocked with ‘market leaders’, is a ‘go-to firm for complex property finance transactions’, especially in development finance and pan-European finance. Lender-side work is a particular strength: the ‘extremely knowledgeable, practical’ Barry O’Shea, who provides ‘sound, well-thought-out advice’ and is ‘great at driving deals forward’, acted for Wells Fargo and AIG as joint lead arrangers on their £560m financing of both Quintain’s redevelopment of the Wembley Estate and the refinancing of an extant acquisition finance facility. He also advised both institutions on the associated inter-creditor arrangements for the £240m mezzanine facility provided by Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board. Damian Perry assisted HSBC and Qatar National Bank with their £664m residential development financing of the first three phases of the £3bn Chelsea Barracks redevelopment. Jane Cheong Tung Sing and practice head Andrew Carnegie acted or HSBC on the CZK13.5bn refinancing of a portfolio of residential properties in the Czech Republic. Other lender-side clients include J.P. Morgan, Starwood European Finance Partners, Deutsche Bank and Barclays. The team also handles borrower-side work: Cheong Tung Sing advised an affiliate of TKG StorageMart partners on an £83m facility from an affiliate of Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies to finance the former’s purchase of Big Box. Alistair McGillivray is ‘very, very good’; Emma Matebalavu is also recommended. ‘Incredibly thorough’ senior associate Zak Ikponmwosa is an ‘excellent negotiator and a safe pair of hands on any deal’; he has ‘excellent technical and industry knowledge’. Senior associate Claire Fawcett is also recommended.

Noted for its lender-side strengths, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s department advises clearing banks, investment banks, German banks, insurers and funds on a variety of complex, high-value property finance transactions. The ‘highly experienced, technically excellent, calm and collected’ Simon Chadney, who heads the practice jointly with Gary Hommel, ‘knows how to get things done, focuses on what’s important, and is respected by borrowers and lenders alike’. Robert Carr acted for Deutsche Bank on the €226m financing of the acquisition of a mixed-use portfolio in the Netherlands, and on the €35m financing of the acquisition of an office block in Paris. Chadney assisted Deutsche Pfandbriefbank with its £75m refinancing of Tishman Speyer’s purchase of the Economist Plaza in London, and acted for Helaba on its £175m refinancing of the Ocubis London office portfolio. On the borrower and sponsor side, Hommel advised Brookfield Office Properties on the £515m development financing of 100 Bishopsgate, while Carr acted for Brookfield Strategic Real Estate Partners on the £436m acquisition financing of CityPoint Tower. Chadney advised Almacantar on the £400m financing of the Marble Arch Tower development. The team also assists publicly listed real estate companies with debt financing: Chadney acted for Capital & Counties on the £100m financing of its Olympia exhibitions business (secured against the Olympia Exhibition Halls), and on the £150m infrastructure financing of its Earls Court joint venture with Transport for London – the facility was provided by the Homes and Communities Agency. Chadney also advised Hammerson on a £420m revolving credit facility to refinance an existing loan.

Linklaters LLP’s ‘amazing’, ‘high-calibre’ team is commended for its bench strength and responsiveness, as well as its ‘deep industry knowledge and huge amount of experience’. It handles the full range of property finance matters, and is particularly noted for its strength in structured finance and cross-border transactions. Practice head Steve Smith advised Tyndaris on its €15m B-note position in the €80m refinancing of the Borgo Egnazia resort in Puglia, Italy, and acted for M&G Investments on its €93m financing of the acquisition, by a joint venture between RedTree Capital Invest and Carrefour Nederland, of 14 distribution and logistics warehouses in France. Smith also assisted a sovereign wealth fund with financing its £370m purchase and £800m development of 10 Broadway, New Scotland Yard. Scott Simpson advised Blackstone on the financing of Storage Mart’s acquisition of Big Box Storage. The ‘practical, commercial’ Mark O’Neill ‘balances technical expertise with in-depth sector understanding’, and is an ‘exceptionally strong choice for complex deals’; a former real estate finance head at Allen & Overy LLP, he joined in May 2016 and counts Wells Fargo and Deutsche Pfandbriefbank among his clients. Other clients of the department include Cerberus, Citibank, Lloyds Banking Group, Prologis and Royal Bank of Canada. Managing associate Philip Gore is also recommended.

Addleshaw Goddard’s ‘pragmatic’, ‘very professional and very friendly’ department has ‘excellent technical and industry knowledge’, is praised for its strength in depth at associate and senior associate level, and provides ‘exemplary service, with partner input at all stages of a transaction’. The team is noted for its lender-side expertise, especially in the hotels space: ‘experienced hotel finance expertJames Salford acted for Aareal Bank on its financing of 15 central London hotels. Group head Paul Salsbury advised HSBC Bank and HSBC Corporate Trustee Company (UK) on a £75m loan to Panther Securities, secured against nearly 30 UK properties. In an illustration of its growing profile among borrowers, Salsbury advised Dandara Group Holdings on a £183m senior loan provided by HSBC and a £45m mezzanine loan from the Homes and Communities Agency for private rental sector developments in Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham. Steve Mackie acted for UPP on the £105m financing of a student housing development for the University of London. The ‘very responsive, very diligentZoe Maurer is an expert in investment and development finance, especially in the office space sector. The ‘extremely goodSarah Egbu has ‘a strong understanding of lenders’ and borrowers’ requirements’. Dave Wilson is also recommended.

Thanks to its merger with Nabarro and Olswang, CMS’s ‘extensively experienced’ department has expanded significantly. ‘Technically strong’ former practice head Andrew Besser and the ‘personable, commercial’ and ‘client-focusedRuth Marken joined from Olswang along with Charles Kerrigan and of counsel Kerry Langton, while Andrew McLean, Mike Delaney and the ‘commercially strongClive Swillman arrived from Nabarro. Swillman advised Urbanest UK on the £350m refinancing of its student accommodation portfolio with M&G Investments and Aviva Investors, while Marken acted for BMO Real Estate Partners on financing its acquisition of a £191m retail real estate portfolio from British Land. Besser advised the trustees of Heron Tower Property Unit Trust on their £400m refinancing of 110 Bishopsgate. The merged practice continues to be particularly strong in the hotels space, thanks to CMS’s credentials in this area; Simon Johnston acted for Cranefield on the £200m financing of its £300m acquisition from Blackstone of the company that owned the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel. Together with Jonathan Dames, Johnston advised Pension Insurance Corporation and Assured Guaranty on their £105m financing of a student housing development for the University of London. Keith Ham and Ian McGarr, who are experts in hotel and healthcare financing, are also recommended. Other clients include Bank of Ireland, Deutsche Pfandbriefbank, Capital & Regional, Cromwell Property Group and Galliard Homes.

DLA Piper’s practice acts for lenders and borrowers on a wide range of property finance matters, and is noted for its strong multi-jurisdictional capabilities. Refinancing is a particular strength: group head Toby Barker acted for Aereal Bank on a €1bn pan-European real estate financing for Invesco, comprising a €580m facility to refinance a portfolio of properties located across France, Spain, Germany, Poland, the UK and the Netherlands; a €30m facility to refinance one of Invesco’s existing Italian portfolios; and a further €390m to enable Invesco to expand its portfolio throughout all seven jurisdictions. Barker also advised Aviva on its £469m refinancing of a £1.2bn London portfolio owned by one of its borrowers, Lazari Properties. Paul Gray, an expert in highly leveraged international real estate and structured finance transactions, advised Market Tech Holdings on a £900m facility arranged by AIG Asset Management (Europe) for future acquisitions and developments. An expert in CMBS, he also advised Solutus Advisors on replacing its special servicer, and the ensuing £250m restructuring of its Mapley Gamma office portfolio. On the development finance side, Gray assisted Stadio TDV with obtaining €30m of credit to finance some of the pre-development costs of its Stadio della Roma project. In acquisition finance, Laurence Rogers acted for M&G Investment Management on a £60m loan to Secure Income REIT for the purchase of units in several Jersey unit trusts in possession of a portfolio of Travelodges.

The ‘trusted, experienced’ team at Dentons, which is especially active on the lender side and is noted for its cross-border capabilities, provides ‘very good service’ and ‘strong advice at competitive prices’. The ‘knowledgeable, approachable’ partners, who ‘balance commercial points with legal considerations’, include two recent recruits from Irwin Mitchell: Simon Tweedle and Rob Thompson. They join a team headed by James Irvine and featuring Lorraine Davis, Simon Masri and Catherine Astruc, who acted for CIMB Bank Berhad on a £120m development finance loan to an IJM Berhad-led consortium for a luxury residential and leisure development at Royal Mint Gardens. Davis also advised European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and a leading global bank on a PLN121m loan to Oaktree Capital Group-owned entities for the acquisition, renovation and development of a portfolio of 15 student accommodation complexes across Poland. Other clients include Société Générale, United Overseas Bank, International Hotel Group and Bank of London and the Middle East. Brendan Slack and Jason Sheard are also recommended.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s department is headed by the ‘decisive, diligent and experiencedSimon Mead, and has particular experience in complex structured property finance work, development finance and the private rental sector (PRS). Alongside Robert Ludwig, Mead acted for HSBC Bank on a credit facility to Dandara Group for a multi-site £400m PRS project. He also advised PRS Operations on the financing of PRS assets owned by London and Quadrant, and of PRS assets operated under Quintain’s Tipi brand in Wembley, through two separate bonds under the £3.5bn PRS Housing Guarantee Scheme. Mead also acted for Venn Partners, on behalf of the UK government, on the aforementioned scheme – a debt capital-raising initiative to increase liquidity for institutional investors in the PRS, and advised the same client as arranger, and VeCREF as lender, on a €65m facility to finance an Irish collective asset management vehicle’s acquisition of central Dublin real estate. He also acted for RBS on the £42m financing of Star City Leisure Park in Birmingham. In another development highlight, Ludwig advised Starwood Capital Group and Hibernia REIT on the development finance aspects of Hibernia’s purchase of Starwood’s 50% stake in the Windmill Lane site in Dublin. Other clients include Santander, Crédit Agricole, ICBC, Aviva Investors and Svenska Handelsbanken. Nick Swiss and legal director Jane Allan are also recommended.

The team at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP handles a wide range of property finance work, including loan portfolio transactions, portfolio restructuring, development finance and acquisition finance; it also has noteworthy multi-jurisdictional capabilities. David Trott, who heads the practice jointly with Simon Johnson, acted for TPG Real Estate and its joint venture partner Ivanhoé Cambridge on the €1.4bn refinancing of their European logistics portfolio business P3, and on the ensuing €2.4bn sale of P3 to GIC. In another cross-border matter, Trott assisted Cerberus Capital Management with a €65m facility, arranged by Deutsche Bank, to refinance Cerberus’s acquisition of an Italian commercial real estate portfolio. Johnson advised Bank of America Merrill Lynch as arranger and lender on a £375m loan to refinance Vero Group’s acquisition of a student accommodation portfolio. He also assisted Morgan Stanley Bank and RBC Europe with the £305m refinancing of Vero Group’s Westbourne student housing portfolio. The team is also adept at advising clients on setting up financial platforms: Trott acted for Belmont Green on the establishment of its business and on obtaining £200m-worth of warehouse facilities to fund its residential mortgage lending platform. Flora McLean, securitisation expert Christopher Barratt, senior associate Louise Asbridge, and Maximilian Lang, who splits his time between London and Frankfurt, are also recommended. Jeffrey Rubinoff joined White & Case LLP in July 2016, and Jonathan Birks left for Kirkland & Ellis International LLP in December 2016.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s practice benefits from the firm’s excellent real estate practice and is noted for its strength in development finance, its cross-border capabilities and its lender-borrower balance. Andrew Flemming acted for U and I Group on its joint venture with an affiliate of Colony NorthStar, a platform intended to invest €300m in the London, Manchester and Dublin office markets. Tauhid Ijaz, who is an expert in loan portfolio acquisitions and securitisation, advised a major UK financial institution, as arranger, on the securitisation of a portfolio of mortgage loans secured on agricultural land and property across the UK. He also acted for Deutsche Bank as arranger on the financing of a portfolio of Irish REO residential properties bought by a sub-fund of an Irish collective asset management vehicle. Other clients of the practice include investment management firms such as Davidson Kempner, ICG-Longbow and Kennedy Wilson Europe, as well as banks such as Barclays. Andrew Welbourn, who has particular experience in Italian real estate finance, leads the group; Jo Solomon, an expert in joint ventures and cross-border property finance transactions, is also recommended, as is senior associate Andrew Whittaker.

Jones Day’s ‘incredibly hardworking, diligent’ and ‘efficient’ practice handles ‘large, complex transactions’ and combines ‘very good technical analysis’ with ‘commercial awareness and sensitivity’. ‘Very sensible’, ‘incredibly knowledgeable’ department head Andrew Barker is ‘technically and commercially strong’, and ‘a pleasure to work with’; he acted for Wells Fargo on the £184m financing of Fortress Investment Group’s acquisition of a portfolio comprising 76 Marks & Spencer stores and other retail properties. He also advised Goldman Sachs on the €767m financing of Blackstone’s acquisition of the Blanchardstown shopping centre in Dublin – one of the largest single-asset property transactions in Irish history. Additionally, Goldman Sachs instructed Barker on the £297m financing of Lone Star’s acquisition of the Manor hotel portfolio. Emily Stew (who ‘combines the brain power of a genius with the work ethic of an ox’) acted for Greystar Real Estate Partners and Oman Investment Fund as sponsors on the £175m development financing of a PRS scheme in Canary Wharf. She also advised Goldman Sachs as sponsor on the £305m refinancing of Vero Group’s Westbourne student housing portfolio, with Morgan Stanley as arranger. Other clients of the department include Macquarie, OCBC Bank, and developers such as British Land and Delancey. Associates Matt Trafford and James Dibble are ‘very good’. David Fricker went in-house at Wells Fargo in June 2016.

Noted for its ‘outstanding industry knowledge’, the ‘hardworking’, ‘solution-oriented’ team at Mayer Brown International LLPalways provides sound advice’ and is ‘very good value for money’. It is adept at handling ‘complicated financial structures that require creative thinking and in-depth risk analysis’. Nigel White, who heads the team alongside hotels expert Andrew Hepner, has been especially busy with loan-on-loan portfolio work and with advising US private equity funds on financing real estate portfolio acquisitions. He acted for MetLife Investment Management on a loan to Lone Star secured over a £2.3bn portfolio of real estate-backed loans originated by Aviva. Hepner, who has been particularly active on the sponsor-side, assisted Canary Wharf Group with refinancing £700m-worth of existing loan facilities, and with the £350m development financing of the Newfoundland Tower in Canary Wharf. The ‘quick, technically superb’ David O’Connor ‘always looks to protect clients’ interests, pre-empts risky situations, and provides excellent advice’; he advised Cheyne Capital on its £450m mezzanine co-financing of Brookfield’s purchase of the CityPoint Tower. ‘Problem-solver’ Andrew Crotty handles a wide range of property finance transactions, including complex structured financings. Additional clients include Citi, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, Värde Partners and Ping An Bank.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s ‘strong, broad, partner-led practice’ is well stocked with ‘incredibly hardworking, high-calibre lawyers’. The ‘calm, pragmaticRichard Hughes is ‘very bright, very commercial and very good fun to work with’, and ‘meets incredibly tight deadlines’; he advised Santander UK and United Overseas Bank on a £130m loan to the Meridian Group Hotel to refinance the original construction loan for the InterContinental Hotel at the O2 in Greenwich. Sarah Cullen has been active on the development finance side, assisting HSBC Bank and Bank of China with a £150m loan to Greenland Development Group for the Ram Brewery in Wandsworth. Also on the lender side, Daniel Metcalfe advised Standard Bank and Rand Merchant Bank on the restructuring of a $100m loan to Oando Wings Development for an office development in Lagos, Nigeria. Group head Duncan Hubbard acted for Invesco Real Estate on its €1bn refinancing of a portfolio of European properties, including a €390m facility for the client to expand its portfolio in France, Spain, Germany, Poland, the UK and the Netherlands. He also advised Scottish Widows on £9bn-worth of loan portfolio sales and secondary-market loan acquisitions. Additionally on the refinancing side, Dan Kennedy assisted PPHE Hotel Group with refinancing £585m-worth of loans in 2016. Senior associate William Lo is also recommended.

The ‘very responsive, knowledgeable and pragmatic’ team at Paul Hastings LLP was joined by ‘absolute legend’ James Taylor from Allen & Overy LLP and structured finance and securitisation expert Paul Severs from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP. Debt origination, CMBS and structured joint ventures and funds are particular strengths of the practice. The ‘diligent, pragmatic and very thorough’ Jennie Dorsaint, who is especially strong in cross-border refinancing and restructuring, made partner in July 2016; she acted alongside Conor Downey for AIG Asset Management (Europe) on loan trades that culminated in AIG’s acquisition of £500m-worth of bank-originated loans. Taylor (an ‘incredibly hard worker who grabs a deal by the scruff of the neck and delivers it’) acted for DRC Capital as arranger on the financing by two of its real estate funds of Picture Holdco’s £323m purchase of Pinewood Group. ‘Very good’ securitisation specialist Miles Flynn assisted Oaktree Capital with setting up a European real estate lending platform, trading as Fairfield Real Estate Finance, which specialises in a new form of real estate lending: discounted pay-off financing for investors who purchased their loans as part of NPL portfolios sold by UK and Irish banks. David Ryland and Justin Jowitt are ‘client-oriented and commercial’; Charles Roberts is also recommended.

Noted for its strong investment and development finance capabilities, its ‘technical knowledge’ and its ‘can-do attitude’, Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘speedy, accessible and insightful’ department also frequently handles non-performing loan transactions, and has excellent relationships with numerous clearing banks. The ‘extremely commercialWilliam Oliver, who heads the practice jointly with Gerry Mulholland, provides a ‘high level of service’; ‘he outlines risks, highlights mitigants, and gains the respect of all parties’. On the borrower side, Oliver advised Redefine International on the refinancing of a £168m facility provided by Aviva Commercial Finance, and acted for Mount Anvil (Kidderpore) on a £75m development facility from RBS for the redevelopment of Kidderpore College in Hampstead. The ‘very strong’ Frances Mallender, who made partner in May 2016, ‘completes deals to very tight deadlines’, and ‘combines legal knowledge with an understanding of lender and borrower behaviour’. She acted for RBS on the exercise of a £45m accordion option available to Safestore Holdings, constituting an overhaul of the original facility agreement between the two parties. Richard Hughes acted for Junson Assets Management (Europe) on a £40m loan to finance the purchase of the Hilton Dockland Riverside Hotel by a Chinese investor. Other clients of the department include HSBC, Barclays, National Bank of Kuwait and the Homes and Communities Agency.

The ‘responsive’ team at Taylor Wessing LLP provides ‘well-thought-through advice’, and ‘really adds value’; clients say it is ‘one of the most engaging, knowledgeable and personable practices around’, and commend it for its ‘highly competent senior associates’. Finance partner Gareth Lawson ‘analyses complex transactions and concisely communicates potential resolutions in plain English’; he advised Helaba on the £191m financing of the King’s Cross Central development, and acted for MetLife on its £274m co-financing of the purchase of 123 and 151 Buckingham Palace Road by a Gaw Capital-arranged consortium. Jonathan Marks advised Cain Hoy on its £78m loan to Lodha Developers 48CS for the refinancing of 48 Carey Street. On the borrower side, Martin Yells assisted City Pride with obtaining a £320m facility to finance the development of the Landmark Pinnacle on the Isle of Dogs. Ross Caldwell acted for Secure Income REIT on a £60m senior loan from M&G Investments to finance the former’s £196m acquisition of a portfolio of 55 Travelodge hotels. The ‘very experienced’ Raman Sharma ‘delivers results seamlessly’. Paul Harrison, Amar Ali, Mark Bennett, Heather Buttle, Emma Oakley and group head Rodney Dukes are also recommended.

Often acting on high-profile, high-value matters, Baker McKenzie’s practice has cross-border capabilities and excellent lender-side experience. Justin Salkeld and department head Stephen Turner continued to act for CIMB Bank Berhad on the financing of the £2bn Battersea Power Station redevelopment, the third of phase of which required a combination of Islamic and conventional financing. Paul Hibbert advised ING and Landesbank Baden-Württemberg on a £400m senior loan to refinance Salesforce Tower, also known as 110 Bishopsgate. Together with the Barcelona-based Marcel Enrich, Lynn Rosell Rowley assisted Spanish elderly care operator SARquavitae with refinancing a number of its existing loans. Other clients of the practice include Edwardian Group. Acquisition finance expert Sebastien Marcelin-Rice, funds specialist James Burdett, real estate tax expert James Smith and Ian Jack, who has a particular focus on CEE transactions, are also recommended.

Fieldfisher’s ‘extremely user-friendly and pragmatic’ practice provides ‘Magic Circle-level knowledge’, and ‘decodes complex legal concepts into easily understandable language’. The partners are backed by ‘a team that always exceeds expectations, providing invaluable support in meeting extremely challenging deadlines’. Structured finance expert Alex Campbell advised Dominvs Group on a £43m loan from Clydesdale Bank for the redevelopment of the Tower Bridge Magistrates’ Court into a Marriott Hotel. Group head Philip Abbott acted for Corner House Investments on a £4m loan from the National Bank of Kuwait for the acquisition of a student accommodation block in Cardiff. Lender-side mandates make up the majority of the practice’s workload; Abbott assisted Lloyds Bank on the £3m refinancing of an existing portfolio for an existing customer. Other clients include Deutsche Pfandbriefbank, Bank of Ireland, Europe Arab Bank, ICG Longbow and new client DRC Capital. Oliver Abel Smith and John Nelmes are ‘commercial’ and ‘trustworthy’ and have ‘in-depth knowledge’. Jayne Backett arrived from Mayer Brown International LLP in September 2016; she is noted for her experience in complex development financing, especially for UK- and Africa-based projects.

Gowling WLG’s ‘speedy, commercial’ department is noted for its ‘partner-led’ service and lender-side strength; clients include UK clearing banks, German banks, debt funds and alternative lenders. It also acts for borrowers on hotel investment and development financings. The ‘commercial, clairvoyantJon Lent and practice head Nick Turner advised a high-profile UK clearing bank on the amendment of an existing £102m facility and on a new £22m facility for Commercial Estates Group to develop a seven-storey office building – the first phase of a £400m, 57-acre development at Kirkstall Forge, Leeds. Turner also acted for ICG-Longbow Debt Investments as arranger on a £118m facility to finance the acquisition of Welbeck Street car park, to be developed into a 145-bedroom hotel; and advised HSBC Bank and Bank of East Asia on a £166m loan to Knight Dragon for the construction of a residential tower on Greenwich Peninsula. On the borrower side, Lent acted for Empiric Student Property on a £120m loan secured against a portfolio of income-generating property assets. Legal director Oliver Bretherton is also recommended.

The ‘very knowledgeable’ team at K&L Gates LLP is ‘very good value for money’. Structured finance, securitisation, legacy restructuring and originated senior and mezzanine loan transactions are its core strengths; the practice also regularly handles cross-border matters. Department head Andrew Petersen and asset finance expert James Spencer acted for Marathon Asset Management on the €550m restructuring of a senior and mezzanine financing of a pan-European real estate portfolio. Spencer also advised the London branch of Industrial & Commercial Bank of China on its acquisition of £500m-worth of senior and mezzanine property finance loans from various originating banks. Other clients include Capita Asset Services (UK), Mount Street Mortgage Servicing and Investec Bank. ‘Absolutely fantastic’ special counsel Diego Shin ‘fights clients’ corners and distils complicated points into their constituent parts’.

Macfarlanes LLP’s ‘very good’ team handles complex work for lenders and borrowers alike; the private rental sector and hotels are sector specialisms. Acting for alternative lenders, especially insurance companies such as AIG, is a strength of the practice: Jat Bains and Clare Breeze advised Legal & General on the £23m financing of the development of two plots of land in Salford. Bains also assisted Arora T5 Holdings on the £175m refinancing of its existing facilities with Legal & General. Colin Morgan, who heads the department jointly with Breeze, acted for Meridian Hotel Holdings on the £130m refinancing, with Santander and Overseas United Bank as lenders, of the InterContinental Hotel at the O2 in Greenwich. Additionally on the borrower side, Richard Fletcher advised Canary Wharf Group on obtaining a £90 senior loan from MetLife and a £20m mezzanine loan from Qatar Investment Authority to refinance 15 Westferry Circus. On the lender side, Bains assisted ING Bank with its £109m loan to the New Bond Street JV II Unit Trust for the purchase of 48-50 New Bond Street. Other clients include McArthurGlen and OCBC Bank.

With various high-profile, international borrowers and lenders among its client roster, Mishcon de Reya LLP’s department handles a wide range of property finance, including refinancing, development finance and acquisition finance, and has plenty of experience with senior, mezzanine and syndicated loans. Raji Bartlett advised Chelsfield Partners on the financing of its disposal, to the National Pension Service of Korea, of two corporate entities owning two Club Quarters hotels. He also assisted O&H Properties with its £94m refinancing, with Prudential Insurance Company of America as lender, of a portfolio of properties; and advised Laurence Kirschel and Consolidated St Giles on their £35m refinancing, with Lloyds Bank as arranger, of a property on Great Newport Street. Additionally, Bartlett acted for Brookfield on a £17m loan from HSBC for the acquisition and development of a student accommodation site in Glasgow. Other clients include Investec Bank, Delancey, Consolidated Group, OakNorth Bank and PGIM. Nick Strutt heads the group.

Though it has particular experience in advising high-profile borrowers and sponsors, Reed Smith LLP’s practice is increasingly active on the lender side. Leon Stephenson acted for OakNorth Bank on its £20m senior financing to Whittlebury Hall & Spa for its purchase of a luxury hotel and country club complex. Angelina Soon advised Situs Asset Management as special servicer on Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s securitisation of a €244m loan to Dream Global REIT. Other clients include Barclays Bank, Starwood European Real Estate Finance, London & Regional Properties and M7 Real Estate. In August 2016, leveraged finance expert Benjamin Davis left to join Proskauer Rose LLP. Structured finance and securitisation specialist Simon Hugo made partner in January 2017. Matthew Heaton and Francisca Sepúlveda head the department. Tamara Box, Georgia Quenby and Iain Balkwill are also recommended.

Sidley Austin LLP’s practice, which is noted for its strength in complex inter-creditor arrangements, syndication techniques and structured finance, is led by Graham Penn. He acted alongside Aparna Sehgal for Wells Fargo on the acquisition and associated financing of its new European headquarters at 33 Central Street in London. The team is increasingly active in advising alternative lenders and handling loan-on-loan transactions, and has a strong line in matters involving loans secured against foreign properties. Penn acted for Lantis Holdings on the restructuring of a €200m portfolio of loans backed by real estate in Cyprus and Greece, while on the securitisation side Jason Richardson advised Globalworth Real Estate Investments on a €180m loan secured against commercial property in Bucharest, Romania. Richardson also acted for Cairn Capital on €21m-worth of investments, including one loan backed by commercial real estate in Greece. Other clients include Mace, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and BAWAG.

The ‘pragmatic, results-driven’ department at Simmons & Simmons is led by Mark Waghorn and provides ‘great service, very precise industry knowledge and good value for money’. Particularly strong on the lender side, and benefiting from healthy relationships with clearing banks, debt funds and alternative lenders, the team counts Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Santander and Cheyne Capital among its clients. Simon Kildahl assisted ING Real Estate Finance (UK) as arranger and lender on the £18m refinancing of a central London office property. William Greig advised APG Rechtenbeheer on the finance aspects of its merger of the Elephant & Castle and East Village residential projects to create a £1.4bn joint venture with Delancey and Qatari Diar. Greig also acted for HSBC as arranger and lender on the refinancing of a portfolio of properties owned by the Youth Hostels Association. British Land is another representative client. Richard Hopkinson-Woolley and Jen Yee Chan arrived from DLA Piper and King & Wood Mallesons, respectively. Securitisation and structured finance experts John Davies and Helen Hancock are also recommended.

The ‘very personable’, ‘knowledgeable and always available’ team at Stephenson Harwood does ‘very high-quality work’; its property finance offering is complemented by its ‘high level of property law knowledge’. James Linforth and Jayesh Patel head the practice; Linforth acted for a consortium including Temasek and HPL on obtaining a £433m loan from OCBC Bank and Development Bank of Singapore for the acquisition and development of a mixed-use scheme near Blackfriars Bridge in London, while Patel, together with Jonathan Proctor, advised an HSBC-led syndicate of lenders on a £635m loan to Mount Eden Land. Proctor also assisted Wells Fargo with £96m-worth of loans to Ares European Real Estate Fund to finance its acquisition of commercial and retail real estate in the UK. Other clients include Bayern, ING Real Estate Finance, Alaska Permanent Fund, RBS and easyHotel. Linforth, Proctor and recently promoted partnerGeorge Vaughton are singled out by clients for their ‘practical, commercial advice’; Paul Hayward-Surry, hotels and leisure expert Robert Newman, senior associate Oliver Jefferies and associate Sean Crowley are also recommended.

The ‘absolutely first-class and universally respected’ Jeffrey Rubinoff heads White & Case LLP’s ‘highly responsive’ practice alongside the ‘quick, clear, commercial and commanding’ David Cox. Rubinoff arrived from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in July 2016, bringing clients including J.P. Morgan, Host Hotels & Resorts and GIC; he advised the latter on financing Davidson Kempner’s acquisition of a portfolio of 88 UK car parks. Cox advised Cerberus Capital Management on its acquisition of a £1bn non-performing loan portfolio from Nationwide. The ‘thorough, experienced, thoughtful and commercial’ Victoria Landsbert is ‘very pleasant and easy to deal with’; real estate expert James Dodsworth is also recommended.

Bird & Bird LLP’s ‘impressively dedicated’, ‘commercially minded’, ‘well-resourced’ and ‘knowledgeable’ team is very strong in development finance and in advising lenders, though it also has excellent borrower-side capabilities and handles acquisition finance, Islamic finance and cross-border mandates. Joss Hargrave advised longstanding client Santander UK on a £12m loan to easyHotel Group for refinancing existing debt and for financing potential future expansion. Jonathan Baker, who heads the department jointly with Russell Dellar, acted for Titlestone Property Lending on financing Kingmead’s £15m purchase of 27 office units near Ealing Green, London. Other clients include Svenska Handelsbanken, Byblos Bank Europe and Munoz Group. Dellar and senior associate Stephanie Robinson have ‘in-depth knowledge’, are ‘very responsive and fun to deal with, and ‘get deals completed in record time’. Isabel Evans is also recommended.

The team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP assists lenders and borrowers with financings across a wide range of asset classes, with an emphasis on financing involving private wealth and business owners. The ‘dogged, no-nonsenseDaniel Sullivan is ‘exceptionally good at getting deals done’; he advised Downing as lender on a £22m loan for the development of the £200m KAO Data Campus. In another data centre highlight, group head Paul Kay assisted Lloyds Bank with its £24m financing of the London data centre that is the principal asset of MFC Industrial REIT, the first global REIT to be listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. Jon Bond advised Henley Property Finance 404 on a £19m loan to finance its redevelopment of a Croydon office block. Other clients include OakNorth Bank, CareTech and Regal Homes.

As well as being on the panel of all the major UK clearing banks, DWF counts alternative lenders such as Aeriance Investments, Canada Life Investments and Fortwell Capital among its client roster; on the borrower side, it acts for clients such as ARES. John Fox advised RBS on the £33m development financing of Balfron Tower in east London, and along with Nicola Giddens acted for a syndicate of clearing banks on a £150m credit facility to Hill Homes for various construction projects in southeast England. Iain Thomas heads the ‘fast, knowledgeable and well-resourced’ practice, which welcomed Amrish Sharma as director from Gowling WLG in February 2016. Christian Francis and Simon Elphick are also recommended.

Charles Malpass heads the practice at Dechert LLP, which is particularly strong in structured finance and loan-on-loan work. He acted for Apollo Management International on its €700m purchase of a portfolio of loan assets from the National Asset Management Agency, which included a financing by BAWAG, and assisted the same client with a €600m loan-on-loan transaction involving a loan portfolio secured against numerous mortgage and real estate portfolios in Ireland. Capita Asset Services instructed Malpass on the disposal of £100m-worth of mortgage loans secured against UK real estate. The department saw numerous changes at partner level: Philip Butler and David Miles joined from DLA Piper in August 2016, and John Markland arrived from Kirkland & Ellis International LLP three months later. Eleni Skordaki departed to establish her own property finance consultancy, ES Real Estate Finance, while Jeremy Trinder left to join Latham & Watkins.

Farrer & Co fields a ‘prompt, knowledgeable’ eight-partner team that ‘goes the extra mile’, has a ‘can-do attitude’ and provides ‘seamless service’. It acts for a growing range of lenders and borrowers, and is particularly active in financings involving London-based property. Practice head Simon Graham advised Royal Bank of Canada on a £100m facility, secured against three central London apartment blocks, loaned to a Jersey trust for refinancing its existing debt and engaging in further investments. Graham and Laurie Horwood acted for the same client on the £75m refinancing of two high-value properties in London. Martin Blake and Annabel Younger acted for Deutsche Bank Luxembourg on a £37m loan to a Guernsey-incorporated entity to finance the acquisition and development of prime residential real estate in Knightsbridge. Associate Caroline Pearce is ‘completely unflappable when handling stressful, complex banking completions’; senior associates Kate Corke and Marc Glancy are also recommended.

Sponsor-side and borrower-side work is what Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s team is best known for, though it also counts US funds and high-profile sovereign wealth funds among its client roster. Practice head Alan Samson acted for Oaktree Capital on its joint venture with Valad for the acquisition and financing of Wiśniowy Business Park in Warsaw, Poland. He also advised Meadow Partners on its acquisition (and the associated financing) of a group of entities owning property in Glengall Bridge, in London’s Docklands. Other clients include Ares Management, Deutsche Bank, Investcorp, MUFG and Welltower. Tom Budd is recommended, as is Wayne McArdle for corporate real estate matters.

The practice at Goodwin has grown significantly and acts for high-profile clients such as Macquarie Capital, Deutsche Asset Management, PGIM Real Estate and Kennedy Wilson Europe. It frequently advises clients on development finance, acquisition finance and refinancing, and handles financings that involve portfolios of real estate located across Europe. Group head Paul Lyons advised Meadow Partners on the £16m refinancing of a residential site in London’s Docklands, and on obtaining a £33m facility to develop a commercial site in the same area. Lyons also acted for GreenOak Real Estate on its £10m refinancing of a commercial site in East London, and on its £32m senior loan to Halamar to develop a central London mixed-use site. Simon Fulbrook and counsel Colin Baker are also recommended.

With real estate funds experts Steven Cowins and Marc Snell, corporate finance specialists Michael Goldberg and David Fitzgerald and real estate partner Matthew Priday arriving from King & Wood Mallesons, Greenberg Traurig, LLP’s ‘absolutely fantastic’ practice has seen a significant expansion in its bench strength, support teams and client roster. The ‘helpfulEmma Menzies heads the group; she acted for new client DRC Capital on its €48m refinancing of a German property portfolio. The ‘technically excellentGary Bellingham advised Midlands homebuilder William Davis on a £20m development loan from Barclays Bank, and Tim Webb assisted Osprey Equity Partners with the terms of its development, investment and bridge financings of various hotel, supermarket and retail park developments – financings worth £250m in total. Other clients include The Collective Canary Wharf, Urban Exposure and Gravis Capital Partners.

Osborne Clarke LLP fields a ‘strong, very responsive team’ that provides ‘very good coverage’ of a range of property finance matters and has cross-border capabilities. It is well known for its borrower- and sponsor-side strength, but is handling more and more matters for lenders. ‘No-nonsense, commercial and client-oriented’ practice head Madeleine Clark ‘knows the market well’; she advised Campus Living Villages (Salford) UK on the £9m refinancing of student accommodation at the University of Salford. On the lender side, Nick Padget and Dominic Ross acted for Santander UK on the £60m refinancing of three of NewRiver Retail’s shopping centres. Other clients include Infrared Capital Partners, Meyer Homes, Delph Properties and Aeriance. Louise Cartwright and real estate expert Jo Footitt, who are noted for their experience with logistics and shopping centres, joined from Irwin Mitchell in November 2016. Jason Lawrance made partner in May 2017. Akmal Ghauri and Ben Truman are also recommended.

The team at Ropes & Gray LLP counts structured finance, investment financing and opco/propco matters as key strengths. It is headed by Iain Morpeth and Partha Pal, who have particular experience on the borrower side and the lender side respectively; they are supported by David Seymour and Carol Hopper. Pal assisted an equity sponsor with the restructuring of the £123m Mapeley Gamma loan. Morpeth acted for Gaw Capital on its £256m acquisition, and the associated financing, of the Elizabeth Bridge Unit Trust. Senior associate Richard Hanson advised Blackstone Mortgage Trust on its investment in a €400m private pan-European CMBS. Other clients include TH Real Estate.

With notable experience in financial covenants and fund finance, Travers Smith LLP’s department is increasingly busy on the lender side, though sponsor- and borrower-side work remains a core strength: Danny Peel and Andrew Gregson acted for Peel Holdings (Land and Property) on the £300m refinancing of its land bank, and Peel assisted an investee company of longstanding client Meyer Bergman with financing its acquisition and development of a retail and office building on New Oxford Street, London. Additionally on the acquisition finance side, Peel advised Clearbell Capital on the £9m financing of its acquisition of a mixed-use scheme in Coventry. Peel also acted for various investee companies of new client Cinnamon Care Capital on the £14m development and investment financing of a care home and assisted-living units in Hextable, Kent. HSBC is a key lender-side client, and instructed the team on the refinancing of £32m-worth of loans made to Sparring Partners Holdings. Fairview New Homes, Mansford Capital and RBS are additional clients. Paul Kenny, who made partner in July 2016, is also recommended.

Brecher LLP’s ‘very knowledgeable’ practice provides ‘speedy responses’ and a ‘high-quality, highly professional service’. ‘Calm, reassuring’ department head Richard Gilchrist is ‘fast, accurate and efficient’; he is supported by managing partner Nicky Richmond, development finance experts Redmond Byrne and Michelle Brown, and Meera Jansen, who is strong in leveraged finance, fund finance and asset finance. Byrne assisted CPB Residential Finance with obtaining a £28m for the refinancing and development of Beaumont Court and Richmond House in Southend-on-Sea, Essex. On the lender side, Gilchrist acted for Investec Bank on a £26m loan to a subsidiary of Balfour Beatty for the development of a site on Kennedy Street, Glasgow. Other lender-side clients include Fortwell Capital, LendInvest, RBS and Santander.

The ‘very responsive, very well-run’ team at Burges Salmon LLP provides ‘clear, unambiguous advice’, and is very strong in development finance and investment finance. It counts housing, hotels and leisure, student accommodation and healthcare as sectors of expertise, and is experienced in Islamic finance. Paul Browne and Richard Leeming, who are ‘very knowledgeable, experienced and professional’, head the practice; Leeming advised HSBC Bank on a £135m loan to an undisclosed borrower to invest in student accommodation in London. The ‘personable, knowledgeable’ Sally Jupp made partner in May 2016; Colin Ligman, Rachael Ruane and senior associate Katie Allen are also recommended.

Counting refinancing and loan restructuring as key strengths, Clyde & Co LLP’s ‘high-quality, well-established’ department frequently handles acquisition and development finance and structured finance. Practice head Chris Lenton advised Regal Homes on the £44m senior and mezzanine development financing of its purchase and redevelopment of the Manor School in Brondesbury, London, into housing scheme. Other borrower clients include Daejan Holdings, Metropolitan Properties and One 55 Fenchurch; Deutsche Bank is a lender client. Annabelle Redman is also recommended, especially for high-end residential property finance. Senior associate Sam Clarke handles complex, cross-border investment and development financings, and senior associate Robert Davy assists clients with mixed-source and Islamic financing products.

Fladgate LLP’s ‘very responsive, cost-effective’ practice provides ‘high-quality service’ and is noted for its ‘strong attention to detail’. The ‘highly experienced, commercialKim McMurray is an ‘efficient, professional co-ordinator’ with a ‘can-do attitude’; she heads the practice jointly with Richard Reuben. Jeremy Whiteson advised Halamar Developments on the £50m refinancing of a property development in Soho. Other sponsor clients include Weston Homes and Hodson Developments; CIMC Capital, Europe Arab Bank and GreenOak UK Secured Lending are lender clients. Darran Smith ‘goes the extra mile’, and Gary Smith has ‘very strong experience and industry knowledge’. Jenny Sargeant joined from Macfarlanes LLP in July 2016; Seetal Modi arrived from Sidley Austin LLP six months later. Luke Morris is also recommended.

Though it is increasingly active on the lender side, Forsters LLP’s department is best known for its strong borrower-side experience. Victoria Edwards heads the practice, with support from Craig Thompson, Matthew Swainston, borrower-side specialist Ronan Ledwidge and Simon Collins, an expert in syndicated and bilateral credit facilities who made partner in April 2016. Clients include Santander UK, J.P. Morgan International Bank, Knight Dragon Investments, LaSalle Investment Management and, on the sponsor side, Ballymore Properties.

Development finance, distressed property finance, mezzanine loans and inter-creditor negotiation are key areas of expertise of Freeths LLP’s ‘cost-effective’ practice, which counts healthcare, student accommodation, residential and mixed-use real estate as sector strengths. ‘Stellar, incredibly knowledgeable’ department head Richard Williams advised a leading British non-bank lender on the amendment and restatement of an existing £59m loan facility extended to a Manchester-based investment and development group, while on the borrower side Chris Freeston acted for a specialist fund manager on an £11m facility from Lloyds Bank to be cross-collateralised with an existing £50m facility, to finance the acquisition of eight UK office sites. Other clients include Waterfield Group, City North Finsbury Park and Longbow Debt Investments No 4.

Particularly strong on the lender side, the ‘technically strong, cost-effective and client-oriented’ team at Howard Kennedy LLP is ‘always available’, and counts bridging and development financings as core areas of expertise. It also handles Islamic finance: Samantha Hook advised Al Mubarakia as borrower on obtaining a £21m loan to convert offices to a 124-apartment private rental scheme in east London. Other clients include Aldermore, Amicus Finance, Arbuthnot Latham & Co and Bank Julius Baer & Co. ‘User-friendly’ group head Daniel Firemanirons out potential issues early on’. Also recommended are the ‘pragmatic and very responsive’ Marcus Jamson, and Steve Clinning.

Irwin Mitchell’s practice frequently assists clients with investment and development financing, refinancing and loan restructuring. Group head Rohan Campbell acted for Clarus on obtaining a £91m loan to acquire Holborn Gate, and advised Castleforge on the £11m financing of its redevelopment of office space in Bristol. Lender clients include HSBC Bank, Santander and Deutsche Hypo. Ayesha Hasan is also recommended, as is Claire Illingworth, who made partner in November 2016. In the same month, Rob Thompson and Simon Tweedle departed for Dentons, and Louise Cartwright and real estate expert Jo Footitt left to join Osborne Clarke LLP.

Real estate boutique Maples Teesdale LLP fields a very capable property finance team, led jointly by Ajoy Bose-Mallick and Chen Ikeogu. Acquisition finance, development finance and refinancings are the practice’s core strengths. Bose-Mallick advised Castleforge Real Estate Partners on the refinancing of a £30m commercial property near Canary Wharf; he also assisted City, University of London with obtaining a £20m facility from HSBC Bank, and acted for Lloyds Bank International on a loan to Real Assets (RA) Global Opportunity Fund 1 to refinance the debt incurred when the latter bought a building on Grosvenor Street, London.

The team at Penningtons Manches LLP is headed by Mark Phillips and Peter McElligott, and has experience with financings in a wide range of real estate sectors, including student housing, residential housing, retail parks and hotels and leisure. Clients include Lloyds Bank, Santander UK, Allied Irish Bank and, on the sponsor side, Sellar Property Group. Reading-based senior associate John Chater is also recommended.

RPC’s department is headed by Sukh Ahark, with support from David Johnston and legal director Edward Colville, who are both noted for their development finance experience. Lender clients include Shinsei International Bank, Royal Bank of Canada and Development Bank of Japan; Dorsett Hospitality International and Maybrook Properties are sponsor clients.

Though split evenly between lenders and borrowers, Shepherd and Wedderburn’s ‘very responsive, knowledgeable’ and ‘commercial’ department won some high-profile lender clients in 2016. ‘Calm, collected, highly experienced’ practice head Jonathan Rickard acted for Deutsche Hypo on its £20m loan to Falcon Group to finance its purchase of 60-62 Lombard Street, London, and advised Bayerische Landesbank on its £16m financing of IDI Gazeley’s acquisition of a distribution warehouse in Lutterworth. Sponsor-side clients include TJAC London Cambridge and Scarborough Group. Philip Knowles, Stephen Hubner, Sally Morris-Smith, Patrick Bell and associate Lucy Hall are also recommended.

Tom Lloyd, who has cross-border experience and is particularly active on the sponsor side, heads the team at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP; he made partner in January 2017. High-profile private equity companies comprise much of the department’s client base: Lloyd advised Blackstone Real Estate Partners Europe IV on the financing of its acquisition of OfficeFirst Immobilien and of six logistics assets from IDI Gazeley. He also assisted Blackstone Group and Roundhill Capital with the €500m refinancing of their acquisition of a portfolio of residential assets in the Czech Republic. The practice acts for corporate clients too: Lloyd advised Biomed on the development financing of two pre-let biomedical facilities in Cambridge.

Simon Owen heads the team at Trowers & Hamlins LLP. Though especially noted for his experience in the healthcare and hotels sectors, Owen also advised Manhattan Loft on obtaining a £125m loan from a two-bank club to develop a 42-storey tower in Stratford, London, and assisted Anthology London with its £55m acquisition, and the associated financing from the Greater London Authority, of the Gateway Tower in Tottenham Hale, London. Though particularly active on the borrower side, the practice counts Santander, RBS and National Bank of Kuwait among its clients. Katharine Lewis and Imogen Fisher are also recommended. Richard Hathaway joined in October 2016 from Osborne Clarke LLP.

Wedlake Bell LLP’s practice is ‘highly knowledgeable, very professional and good value for money’. ‘Dedicated, efficient’ asset and acquisition finance expert Hilary Platt leads the department, and advised Fairacre Asset Management on the £16m refinancing of its acquisition of a shopping centre in Ashton-under-Lyne. Other clients of the team include Bank of Ireland, Devonshire Investment Holdings, HSBC Bank and Natixis; Arbuthnot Latham & Co and Blom Bank France are new clients. Also recommended are Chris Vause, who is an expert in financing, structuring and restructuring property development transactions, and senior associate Richard Roberts.

Blake Morgan LLP’s ‘very proactive’ team has ‘great knowledge and expertise’; it handles construction and development financing across a wide range of property asset classes, and has experience in Islamic finance. The practice is especially busy on the lender side: consultant Malcolm Pearson advised HSBC on a £30m loan to a provider of supported housing, for asset purchases, refinancing and renovation. He also acted for the same client a £10m loan to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster to refinance and renovate a church friary. Tony Coyne heads the practice, with support from Mark Hiley and Stephen Solomons. ‘Extremely organised, proactive’ senior associate Laura Wilkinson has ‘in-depth knowledge’.

Real estate and private client boutique Boodle Hatfield LLP fields a ‘very strong’ property finance practice, which is commended for its ‘first-class service’. It is led by James Dakin, with strong support from Rahul Thakrar and Andrew Wilmot-Smith. Residential developments, family offices and the private rental sector have been areas of particular activity for the team, whose clients comprise private banks, specialist lenders, and private capital-funded developers and investors; Lanner Capital, Rubicon Capital, Flemyn and Hadley Homes are representative clients. New clients include Weatherbys Bank, Rampart Capital and Arbuthnot Latham & Co.

The ‘ever-available’, ‘technically competent and commercial’ department at Collyer Bristow LLP provides ‘timely advice’, has a ‘can-do attitude’ and ‘pays attention to detail’. It is primarily borrower- and sponsor-focused, but has been increasingly active on the lender side, especially for Far Eastern banks. Group co-heads Alex O’Connor and Rory Macpherson are noted for their ‘expertise in financing a broad range of property asset classes’, and are ‘loyal, dedicated, skilful and knowledgeable’. Macpherson acted for Chase New Homes on the £30m forward-sale and financing of a development on Palace Wharf in Fulham, while O’Connor advised Key Developments Godalming on obtaining a £20m development loan.

Hotels expert Paul McCartney heads DAC Beachcroft LLP’s group; he advises lenders and borrowers, and has experience in acquisition, investment and development finance. He also handles Islamic finance. Clients have included Pinnacle No 1.

Druces LLP has strong expertise in syndicated property financing and Islamic finance; Bank of London and the Middle East and British Arab Commercial Bank are key clients. Suzanne Middleton-Lindsley and Islamic finance expert Christopher Axford acted for more than a hundred property investment syndicates on their real estate investments and associated financings. The practice is increasingly active in handling syndicated mezzanine loans. Other clients include Henderson Global Investors, Ratcliffes, Alpha Bridging Solutions and Bank Julius Baer & Co. Simon Pullen is also recommended.

The ‘responsive, commercial’ and ‘very highly regarded’ team at Edwin Coe LLP provides ‘robust, sensible advice’ and has ‘in-depth knowledge’. ‘Practical negotiatorStephen Brower, who has ‘outstanding knowledge’, leads the group, which counts investment, development and residential finance as its core strengths. William Thompson, Philip Boursnell, Ian Gilmour and Julian Gore are also recommended. Clients of the practice include Waterman Group, Riyad Bank and Handelsbanken. Joanne McIvor, who has particular experience on the lender side and has strong cross-border capabilities, made partner in April 2016. Mark Menhennet joined as of counsel from Chadbourne & Parke LLP in June 2017.

Especially strong on the borrower side, GSC Solicitors LLP’s ‘speedy, high-quality and reliable’ department is noted for its development finance capabilities, its ‘practical common-sense approach’ and its ‘very broad knowledge of property-related issues’; it is also increasingly active in refinancings. Harvey Posener heads the group, with strong support from Peter Belcher, who has particular experience in the healthcare, banking and hotels and leisure sectors; and Matthew Phillips, who provides ‘expert property advice’. Amee Popat is also recommended.

The ‘very knowledgeable, speedy and partner-led’ practice at real estate boutique Glovers Solicitors LLP is particularly experienced in residential development finance and investment loans. It has a strong lender-side practice: group head Andrew Parker advised Hampshire Trust Bank on a £13m loan for the acquisition of a building in Mill Hill, London, and assisted Heritable Development Finance with a £5m loan to help an undisclosed sponsor acquire land in Essex, construct an ambulance station there, and exchange the latter for the existing ambulance station. Liza Lam-Kee advised mezzanine lender Strata Residential Finance on a £2m loan to partially finance the construction of four houses in Golders Green. Other clients include Close Brothers, Investec Bank and United Trust Bank.

Development and investment financings are what Hamlins LLP’s ‘responsive, commercial and very proactive’ practice does best, though it is also experienced in financing equity acquisitions of property-owning companies. The ‘outstanding’ team is noted for its ‘strength in depth and lightning-fast deal-making’. Hotels, high-end residential developments and student accommodation are sectors of particular expertise. Department head Charles Bezzant advised Bank Leumi (UK) on loans of between £2m and £25m extended to various borrowers. On the sponsor side, Bezzant advised Felda Investment on £45m-worth of development financing for various London properties. The ‘pragmatic, technically knowledgeableAselle Djumabaeva-Wood is a ‘tenacious, brilliant negotiator’ who is ‘thorough, diligent, forward-thinking’ and ‘very assured even under extreme time pressure’.

Terry Green heads the practice at Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP; he advised BNP Atisreal, as Lloyds Bank-appointed receiver, on a restructuring facility relating to the £57m receivership sale of serviced apartments and shops in South Kensington. Other clients include Metro Bank, Morgan Stanley, Bank Leumi (UK), Shiva Hotels and General Electric Capital. Peter Englund made partner in July 2016; Peter Sugden, Gavin Vollans and of counsel Michael Speranza are also recommended.

Evenly balanced between lenders and borrowers, Memery Crystal LLP’s team is headed by Matthew Lindsay, who advised Z Hotels on increasing an existing facility with Santander from £7m to £25m, to finance further London property acquisitions by the client. On the lender side, corporate partner Andrew Titmas assisted Zorin Finance with bridge financings and development loans to various borrowers. Transactional real estate expert Daniel Abrahams joined from Philip Ross & Co in June 2016; associate William Heywood joined from Proskauer Rose LLP five months later. Nicola Kravitz and bridge finance expert Rumit Nanji are also active in the space.

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP’s ‘sizeable, responsive and very knowledgeable’ team counts portfolio refinancing and bridging finance as key strengths. Clients include C. Hoare & Co, Svenska Handelsbanken and Keystone Holdings. John O’Callaghan is ‘intelligent, experienced and reassuring’, and ‘exceptionally talented’ Far East expert Sarah Hung pays ‘great attention to detail’; they head the team jointly with Afsheen Nasr, who made partner in October 2016. Senior associate Simon Lawrence, who frequently leads on deals, is ‘calm, knowledgeable and impressively speedy’; senior associate Tamara Manojlovic is also recommended. Paul Cain, who is particularly active on the borrower side, made partner in July 2016.

Peter Dawson heads Russell-Cooke LLP’s ‘very commercial, practical and cost-effective’ practice, which handles refinancing, acquisition finance and development finance. He acted for Clipstone Industrial Trust Unit on a £25m loan from Santander UK to refinance 18 of Clipstone’s industrial estates. Senior associate James Harris is very active in the space: he advised Bank of Singapore and various offshore trust companies operated by Standard Bank Offshore Trust Company Jersey, as lender and borrowers respectively, on the refinancing of a mixed-use portfolio owned by three of the trust companies. He also acted for Calmez as mezzanine and bridge lender on a £1m loan to finance a development in Kent.

Sheridans’ property finance practice has experience across a wide range of sectors, including hotels and leisure, retail, hospitality, commercial property and residential property. Real estate specialist Jay Soneji and corporate expert Rex Nwakodo lead the team, with strong support from Zareen Ali and senior associate Jolita Kajtazi, who has experience in Islamic finance.

The team at Shoosmiths LLP welcomed Adam Chamberlain from RPC in May 2016; he brought various property developer and banking clients with him. Development finance, hotel finance, and property finance involving private wealth are key strengths of the practice. Chamberlain, who is particularly strong on the lender side, advised RBS on its £26m loan to a large property and media group, and acted alongside associate Lauren Conroy for Octopus Investments as lender and joint venture partner on the establishment of a new £30m healthcare asset acquisition structure. Santander UK is another client. Real estate experts Joseph Mazzucca and Andrew Farmery are also recommended.

Teacher Stern LLP’s ‘quick, holistic and knowledgeable’ department is headed by Phil Berry; it counts peer-to-peer, bridging and mezzanine financings as key strengths. Corporate and finance partner Kelly Whitfield has ‘the patience of a saint – she filters information from numerous parties, and sets out action points in clear English’. The ‘super-efficientClaire Gibson is ‘always on top of things’. Real estate associate Siobhan Parish is a ‘rising star’; finance associates Laura Brown and Chris Nelson are also recommended. Lender clients include LendInvest, Octopus Property and Credit Peers; Englander Group is a borrower client.

Noted for its experience advising Asian investors and non-traditional funding institutions, Watson Farley & Williams LLP frequently handles complex property financings, especially in the hotels and student accommodation sectors. Ranjeev Kumar heads the practice, with strong support from senior associate James Kilgour. Clients include Downing Capital, Height Developments, Salutem Healthcare and Ascalon Smart City Partners.

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