Residential property in London

Boodle Hatfield LLP

Boodle Hatfield LLP's team - a 'market-leader in the field of residential property' - advises on the sale and purchase of prime central London property as well as country houses across the UK, while also handling related matters such as enfranchisement, rebuilds and residential development. The group's vast expertise also spans de-enveloping, tax structuring and advising clients on agricultural holdings. Shaima Jillood, whose expertise lies in acquisitions, disposals and financing, heads the firm's Middle East practice, which has acted on hundreds of transactions in the last year relating to investment in UK properties by ultra high-net-worth Middle Eastern clients. Practice head Saskia Arthur advises on deals involving landed estates and commercial farming operations, as well as landlord and tenant issues.

Practice head(s):

Saskia Arthur

Other key lawyers:

Shaima Jillood

Testimonials

‘Boodle Hatfield have unrivalled depth in experience particularly when dealing with large urban estates.’

‘The personal touch and knowledge of this firm’s solicitors is exceptional.’

‘Market leaders in the field of residential property, particularly with property in prime central London, as well as high value rural and urban estates. A team that works well together to ensure every angle is covered.’

‘The team is extremely good at communicating – they solve problems rather than create them.’

Key clients

Grosvenor

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's international team of residential property lawyers stands out for its work on time pressured, high value transactions, covering elements such as construction, planning, Shariah financing and secured borrowing and lending. Sakhjit Randhawa provides a 'top-level service', distinguishing herself through her strong network of clients in Asia who turn to her for advice on their investments in UK property, and her expertise advising luxury property developers on the central London sales. Practice head Thomas Moran - 'undoubtedly one of the finest lawyers in the business' - is noted for his problem-solving abilities on on high value property deals, while senior associate Tristram van Lawick is particularly active on estate and farm sales, as well as acquisitions and refinancing deals across the country.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Moran

Other key lawyers:

Sakhjit Randhawa

Testimonials

‘The team is very thorough and responsive. They are very professional yet with a human touch.’

‘A great team that work extremely well together and that communicate with clients in a very efficient and useful manner.’

‘Consistently good service and advice – whether its conveyancing work or planning advice. The property team are first rate and have done nothing but impress me. I value working with the firm enormously.’

‘Thomas Moran is undoubtedly one of the finest lawyers in the business. His relaxed approach belies an ability to problem solve like few of his peers – a true pragmatist and wonderfully easy to deal with because his communication is so good.’

‘Sakhjit Randhawa delivers excellent advice – there is a strength to her ability to ‘read’ the deal or piece of work – and in handling the client. She gets it. Top end clients require top end service from their advisers – and Sakhjit delivers on that count. It is  always an absolute pleasure to work with her.’

Key clients

British Land Plc

Regent’s Crescent Property Holding

Work highlights

  • Advising on a bulk sale of apartments in a super-prime central London development.
  • Sale of a super-prime central London apartment completed in a tight timescale.
  • Acquisition, redevelopment and onward sale of central London townhouse.

Farrer & Co

The highly regarded practice at Farrer & Co stands out for its expertise advising a prestigious client list on the purchase and sale of prime central London properties, as well as financing transactions and deals involving special purpose vehicles. Practice head Laurie Horwood advises on deals which often involve complex financing arrangements for high net worth individuals, leveraging his commercial property background to navigate the challenges of particularly difficult transactions. Annabel Dean acts for private banks and high-net-worth clients, many of whom are based in the Middle East, in a range of areas, including in relation to rural property transactions.

Associate Hugh Wigzell has experience advising on new build developments in the UK and Asia, where his extensive knowledge covers areas such as acquisitions and tax structuring.

Practice head(s):

Simon Pring; Laurie Horwood

Other key lawyers:

Laura Conduit; Edmund Fetherston-Dilke; Annabel Dean; Hugh Wigzell

Testimonials

‘Farrer & Co are an outstanding law firm in the field of residential property – their attention to detail and diligent approach to property transactions is their key strength.’

‘Laurie Horwood, Annabel Dean, Laura Conduit and Edmund Fetherston-Dilke are all very personable and pleasant individuals who I enjoy working with.’

‘The residential property team at Farrer & Co are always a pleasure to work with – everyone on the team is very pleasant, approachable and extremely knowledgeable.’

‘Laurie Horwood is easy to talk to, very experienced and always listens to the situation or the problem before offering his opinion or advice.’

‘The team’s standards of client care are excellent and everything is done with grace and charm.’

‘Laurie Horwood, Laura Conduit and Annabel Dean all go well above and beyond and are clearly a very tight team who all support each other closely. It is an absolute pleasure to work with them.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for an UHNW individual on a property acquisition and associated multimillion-pound financing.
  • Acted for a bank on the financing of a property in a prime area of London.
  • Acted for our wealthy client on the purchase of a listed building in one of the most desirable areas of London.

Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP

Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP's 'dynamic and proactive' residential property team handles high value residential sales and purchases in London and around the UK, as well as deals involving special purpose vehicles holding residential property. The group stands out for its ability to handle challenging transactions, predominantly on the purchaser side, in very short timeframes. Practice head Sarah Conway has an notably international client base which she advises on complex and high value sales and purchases, as well as enfranchisement. Highly regarded senior associate Edward Burton's work with buyers and sellers covers super-prime new builds and country houses, while the team has recently expanded its ranks with a number of junior additions, demonstrating its ambitions for growth.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Conway

Other key lawyers:

Edward Burton

Testimonials

‘Maurice Turnor Gardner has an outstanding team, with vast experience and knowledge.’

‘Sarah Conway and Edward Burton are communicative and dedicated to getting every deal over the line.’

‘Edward Burton is incredibly bright – without doubt one of the best property lawyers in London.’

‘MTG are incredibly proactive and look after their clients incredibly well. They have great experience to draw on when dealing with complex matters.’

‘The residential team at MTG are the most proactive and practical team in the market, dealing with the most exacting of clients and highest calibre of property. Between them they have transacted some of the biggest sales and, as well as being incredibly professional, their success stems from a can-do, communicative attitude to ensure all parties in any deal work together to achieve the right outcome as quickly as possible.’

‘Sarah Conway leads the team by example, ensuring that Edward Burton and everyone provides the best possible service. The extended service means that they seamlessly pull in tax and other strategic advice to complement their services.’

Work highlights

  • Advised on purchase under extreme time pressure, with competitive bids and complex title.
  • Achieved a vital exchange under extreme time pressure involving double grant of probate.
  • Acted on highly complex matter involving a number of titles and acquisition of share capital, drawing on full range of corporate, tax and residential advice.
  • Advised on residential sale of significant landed estate with marked associated challenges.

Mishcon de Reya LLP

With a range of clients that includes high-net-worth individuals across the UK, Asia and the Middle East, as well as developers, investors, banks and onshore and offshore investment funds, Mishcon de Reya LLP's residential property group handles sales and acquisitions of prime central properties, units and portfolios, offering expertise across all areas including planning, construction, tax structuring, financing and tenancy agreements. Practice head Sonal Thakrar has a particular focus on transactions regarding super-prime and prime residential property in central London, often involving offshore structures and challenging lending requirements, with further expertise advising banks on secured lending. Partner Julie Bond's expertise spans enfranchisement and the acquisition, structuring and sale of developments. James Liffen, who made partner in the firm's 2019 promotions round, acts on complex deals involving aspects such as shared ownership, auction sales, portfolio purchases, tenancy and planning issues.

Practice head(s):

Sonal Thakrar

Other key lawyers:

Julie Bond; James Liffen

Testimonials

‘The firm has a very broad and extensive range of expertise and specialises in a large number of areas which differentiates it from other smaller firms that the bank may choose to deal with.’

‘The team are very knowledgeable, efficient, personable and are always available to discuss issues relating to specific transactions or general legal issues.’

‘Sonal Thakrar is the best solicitor I have ever worked with. She is very professional, hardworking, accurate, reliable and a perfect communicator.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for a UHNW British property developer on the sale of 3 Carlton Gardens and the company owning it.
  • Advised on the structuring of the sale of 11 high-value Georgian-style mansions forming Hamilton Drive in St John’s Wood, a deal which was complicated due to the shared underground garage.
  • Acting on the sale of a substantial renovation of a 11,500 sq ft former Anglican church located behind Harrods.
  • Acted for Student Cribs on their purchase of a £50m property portfolio, which comprised more than 150 tenanted student HMO properties in several locations nationwide.
  • Acting for the seller of multiple units at Floral Court in Covent Garden.

BDB Pitmans

Following its merger in December 2018, BDB Pitmans has increased its historic strength in all types of leasehold matters, including acquisitions and enfranchisements, which are handled alongside a consistent stream of high value residential property transactions, acting for buyers and sellers in prime central London locations such as Chelsea, Belgravia and Knightsbridge. Further expertise is displayed by the practice in property development and estate acquisitions. Practice head Hema Anand frequently acts for high net worth individuals buying and selling residential property in London, providing particular expertise in relation to tax structuring and the complex areas of Right to Manage and Right of First Refusal. Former senior partner John Stephenson leads on leasehold enfranchisement work.

Practice head(s):

Hema Anand; John Stephenson

Testimonials

‘The ability to offer clear steer advice, strategic as well as legal, across the whole range of residential property issues, especially leaseholds’.

‘John Stephenson, the partner in charge of our affairs, provides practical solutions to problems and has the ability to handle and analyse complex contracts swiftly. He is not afraid to voice his opinions where he feels strongly about a particular issue, a sign of confidence in his own knowledge and expertise’.

Work highlights

  • Advised on £18.8m acquisition of development site for 40 dwellings in London W6.
  • Advised on £24m sale of property converted from office to residential in London W1.
  • Advised on the purchase of a £15.65m new-build leasehold property on the Clarges Development in London.
  • Acting on behalf of a second group of 30 leaseholders in a well-known residential development in Chelsea for lease extension claims.
  • Advised on complex £2.5m purchase of a leasehold flat and share of freehold in prime central London.

Forsters LLP

As well as acting for high net worth individuals selling and acquiring prime and super-prime properties, Forsters LLP 's 'highly professional' group also handles substantial amounts of work for property funds, investors, developers and banks, advising on lease agreements, bulk sales, freehold transfers, title issues, secured borrowing and lending. The 'knowledgeable and engaging' Lucy Barber has broad expertise, ranging from advising clients on freehold and leasehold property deals to advising trustees and estates on asset management and investment options. Junior partner Helen Marsh stands out for her work for developers on high value schemes and the structuring and execution of secured lending transactions.

Practice head(s):

Lucy Barber

Other key lawyers:

Helen Marsh

Testimonials

“Forsters are very proactive and always manage to balance the commercial and legal requirements of a deal.”

“Forsters’ residential property team have an excellent manner of communication and a strong, collaborative team ethic.”

“The individuals within the various parts of Forsters’ team communicate very well.”

“Forsters have proven to be particularly capable with complex transactions.”

Key clients

The Crown Estate

The Trinity Estate

The Phillimore Estate

Northacre

Land Securities

Clivedale Limited

JP Morgan

Bank Havilland

Nationwide Pension Fund

Caudwell

Howard Kennedy LLP

Howard Kennedy LLP's residential property team has particular strength advising high-profile high-net-worth clients on property transactions in and around central London, covering their full range of legal needs. Outside of this core area the group also advises developers on extremely high value matters, specifically in relation to facility arrangements and joint ventures. Practice head Pervaze Ahmed is notable for his relationships with investors in the Middle East and South East Asia and his wealth of expertise acting for buyers or sellers of prime and super-prime properties in London, work which often necessitates working with offshore lending structures.

Practice head(s):

Pervaze Ahmed

Work highlights

  • Acting for a well-known TV celebrity on the sale of their London home.
  • Acting for an expat businessman on the purchase of a high-end London property, adding to his significant property portfolio.
  • Acting for a HNW Russian on the sale of a house in Kensington.

Payne Hicks Beach

With a roster of clients including ultra high-net-worth individuals, landowners, estates, trusts and private companies, Payne Hicks Beach 's 'knowledgeable and practical' team handle high volumes work, including funding, disposals, and buyback agreements, in addition to sales and acquisitions which require advice on tax structuring. Practice head Andrew Berry acts for investors, landowners and developers across the UK, Middle East and Scandinavia, and recently advised a Danish developer on the acquisition of an 18th century manor house in an off-market transaction which was complicated by the need to manage the demands of third parties claiming an interest in the land.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Berry

Testimonials

“Andrew Berry stands out because he always gets to grips with the practical context of knotty legal issues.”

Work highlights

  • Acted as lead solicitor to 18 landowners on the disposal to a consortium of three leading house builders (Miller Homes, Barratts and Taylor Wimpey) and funding of a major development of 1,000 residential units, schools, commercial areas and urban park in Derby.
  • Advised on promotion agreement with overage, buy back and joint venture of numerous sites totalling 100 acres of potential development land in Buckinghamshire for mixed use of housing, commercial and retirement care homes.
  • Advising a Jersey Trust Corporate on heads of terms for a residential development in Yorkshire and settling the contract for sale conditional on planning and funding documentation.
  • On behalf of an heiress, identified an apartment in prime Central London, and negotiated the terms of acquisition and referred tax issues to our tax department for resolution.
  • Advising on the acquisition of an 18th century manor house and land, off-market.

Wedlake Bell LLP

With a range of domestic and international clients, including HNWs, blue chip companies and investors, Wedlake Bell LLP's 'strong and efficient' residential property team handles conveyancing, development and leasehold enfranchisement matters throughout London. The group also acts for developers disposing of new build apartments in block sales. Recently promoted partner Jonathan Achampong advises HNW and UHNW individuals buying and selling freehold and leasehold property within the £1m-£8m bracket in central London and the Home Counties.

Practice head(s):

Tom Allfree; Jonathan Achampong; Angela Lucy

Testimonials

‘Jonathan Achampong is fantastic to work with and takes great pride in his work.’

“Jonathan Achampong, Tom Allfree and Parminder Sidhu are all very personable, excellent with clients and very competent.’

‘Jonathan Achampong and Gemma Mallett are a pleasure to work with. They are excellent communicators and highly informative.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for trustees in respect of their £3.25m sale of a residential property.
  • Acted for a high net worth individual in respect of his purchase of a listed house in Hammersmith at a price of £5.135m.
  • Acting on the purchase of a semi-rural property with several additional dwellings within the grounds.
  • Acted for the tenant of a high value flat on Grosvenor Road, London, in respect of her lease extension claim against the Crown.
  • Acting for a high net worth UK based individual in respect of the sale of his London family home.

Withers LLP

Withers LLP's 'highly proactive and experienced' team acts on the buyer side of high value transactions in prime central London and across the UK, as well as advising on landlord and tenant matters, enfranchisement, funding arrangements and the tax position of overseas buyers, many of who are based in the Middle East. The team's expertise covers pre-emption agreements, farming tenancies, planning permission, construction, financing and investigations to determine title. Henry Stuart handles transactions for UK and international clients purchasing properties across England and Wales, whereas Nicholas Vaughan has particular expertise advising investors from Europe, the Middle East, South America and Asia on their acquisition of prime central properties.

Practice head(s):

Henry Stuart

Other key lawyers:

Nicholas Vaughan

Testimonials

“Withers have a very broad knowledge on all aspects of property law coupled with a personal touch and an ability to get things done quickly and efficiently.”

“A highly proactive and experienced team, who are able to advise across a wide spectrum of matters and on a very personable level.”

“Emma Copestake is a fantastic lawyer with depth of experience and commercial insight.”

Cripps Pemberton Greenish

Building on the merger which formed the firm in late 2018, Cripps Pemberton Greenish's newly combined practice represents high-net-worth domestic and international sellers and buyers of prime London and UK properties, working with developers, banks and estates. The group, which is led by Fiona McIntosh, is adept at liaising with foreign investors, evaluating SDLT liability and negotiating leases. The team also has expertise across the spectrum of tax law, and acts for clients in the Middle East and the Far East looking to invest in the UK property market. Former Pemberton Greenish senior partner Robert Barham is also a key member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Fiona McIntosh

Other key lawyers:

Robert Barham

Key clients

Native Land Limited

The Crown Estate

Cadogan Estates Limited

Eyre Estate

Baylight Properties Limited

John Lyon’s Charity

The Ilchester Estate

Legal & General Assurance Society Limited

Banda Property

Work highlights

  • Advised on sale and purchase of various flats and houses on the Cadogan Estate in Chelsea.
  • Advised on acquisition of a Chelsea property by Middle Eastern investor.
  • Advised on sales pack for 10 luxury new build apartments in Central London.
  • Acting for a developer on the sale of Holland Park Villas, a high end residential development in Kensington.
  • Advised on sale of four penthouse suites.

Fladgate LLP

Acting for major developers, property investment funds, banks and high-net-worth individuals, Fladgate LLP's practice handles sales and acquisitions, financing matters, secured loans and a broad ambit of other property work. Helen Curtis-Goulding, who recently joined the firm as head of residential property after 10 years at Mishcon de Reya LLP, stands out for her work with developers and offshore investment companies, managing time-pressured residential property deals

Practice head(s):

Helen Curtis-Goulding

Kingsley Napley LLP

Kingsley Napley LLP's practice - which 'combines utter professionalism with a proper commercial nous' - has expertise managing the challenging aspects of transactions on the buyer and seller side, including investigations into title, land valuations, Licence to Alter agreements and tax structuring, particularly in relation to SDLT. The well-regarded Bethan Owen handles acquisitions, sales, development and financing work for high-net-worth individuals and developers in prime central London and across the UK.

Practice head(s):

Bethan Owen; Paul Harbour

Testimonials

‘The team are great because they combine utter professionalism with a proper commercial nous.’

‘Bethan Owen and Paul Harbour in particular are exceptionally able residential property lawyers who always strive to solve rather than create legal problems, while maintaining very high ethical standards, working incredibly hard and doing it all with good humour and composure.’

‘Bethan Owen is accessible and provides a very tailored service.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a celebrity on the sale of his rural property.
  • Acting for a well-known TV personality on the acquisition and development of land, adding value in recommending a valuation of the land, subsequently leading to the client making a better informed decision to not proceed due to the value.
  • Acting for a world famous artist on the negotiation of a licence to alter on a super prime property in London in order to allow the implementation of a planning consent.
  • Sale of a property for a daughter of super high net worth individual with the added complexity of the client failing to obtain a new homes warranty for their new build property.
  • Acting for a client on a complex purchase of a Grade II listed building in Notting Hill, adding value by identifying a significant saving in SDLT due to the Multiple Dwellings Relief.

RadcliffesLeBrasseur

With a range of clients that includes high-net-worth individuals, estates and offshore trusts, RadcliffesLeBrasseur stands out for its leasehold enfranchisement and refinancing work and deep knowledge of trust structures, alongside its work on sales and purchases on new build properties, estates and country houses. The group also boasts considerable knowledge of the property market in China and inbound investment from China into the UK. Practice leader Karen Mayne leads a team of partners including Ping Leung, who heads the firm's China desk and specialises in advising lenders on secured lending and financing.

Practice head(s):

Karen Mayne

Other key lawyers:

Ping Leung

Testimonials

‘RadcliffesLeBrasseur have great knowledge of leasehold enfranchisement  and licensing.’

‘The residential property team at RadcliffesLeBrasseur has specialist knowledge of estate management schemes.’

Key clients

The Church Commissioners for England

Work highlights

  • Advised on refinancing of five residential properties including facilities agreements, crossed collateral corporate guarantees, debentures and legal charges, personal guarantee and general property advice in respect of the financing through the lender, Deutsche Bank (Swiss) SA.
  • Advised on application for the freehold of a high value property.
  • Assignment of an off-plan contract for a high value central London apartment in Grosvenor Square.
  • Exchange of contracts conditional on planning permission for the erection of up to 38 houses and apartments with highway access associated infrastructure and landscaping.

Taylor Wessing LLP

Taylor Wessing LLP's 'personal and dedicated' residential property group acts for high-net-worth individuals, including foreign nationals, as well as investors, trustees and estates. The team, which predominantly advises buyers and owners has expertise in transactional matters spanning refinancing, SDLT and corporate tax structuring, lease agreements and planning applications. 'Leading lightElaine Dobson has niche enfranchisement expertise and advises investors on residential landlord and tenant matters within mixed used sites, with many of her clients based in the Middle East, the Far East, Africa and Europe.

Practice head(s):

Elaine Dobson

Testimonials

‘Taylor Wessing shows commitment and tenacity when up against challenging situations, not to mention excellent attention to detail.’

‘Elaine Dobson is a leading light in residential property. She is very knowledgeable and has a calm unflappable manner.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for this HNW entrepreneur on his acquisition of a substantial freehold house on the Illchester Estate.
  • Acted for a middle-eastern family in relation to its refinancing of a substantial commercial property and residential property portfolio in London.
  • Acted for a UK HNW in relation to the refinance of a residential property located on the Grosvenor Estate (with an estimated value of £50m) in connection with a £21.5m facility, part of which was to cover the fit-out costs arising from an extensive refurbishment project.
  • Acted for the buyer of an off-plan residential apartment in North London, advising on aspects such as the right of pre-emption, an agreement for lease and the eligibility criteria for leaseholders within the development as contained in the lease.
  • Acting for a non-UK national on their acquisition of a freehold house in Kensington.

Teacher Stern LLP

Acting primarily for high-net-worth individuals and investors, Teacher Stern LLP's practice has a focus on the seller side of medium to high value prime London UK property transactions, handling aspects such as construction documents, SDLT implications, Licence to Alter agreements, financing and planning permissions. The team also represents investment companies and developers, assisting them with freehold sales, leaseback agreements, acquisitions, planning permissions and key contractual arrangements. Practice head David Phillips also sits as the Senior Responsible Officer of the Law Society's Conveyancing Quality Scheme.

Practice head(s):

David Phillips

Work highlights

  • Represented clients on the acquisition of a property in Chelsea.
  • Advised on acquisition of new build apartment in Battersea.
  • Represented client in acquisition of leasehold property in Regents Park.