Firm Profile > Forsters LLP > London , London

Forsters LLP
31 HILL STREET
LONDON
W1J 5LS
London

Agriculture and estates Tier 1

Forsters LLP has a sophisticated client base which includes a blend of traditional landowners across multiple generations of a family, ultra-high-net-worth individuals and, increasingly, overseas investors and purchasers with Andrew Lane at the helm. Lane acts for private and commercial investors purchasing farms and estates and Penny Elliott acts for a wide range of private and institutional owners of rural property. The team, which also includes Rupert Mead, is skilled at advising the owners of landed estates on tax planning and succession issues and on the preservation of heritage property. It is also recommended for its work on substantial development transactions. The team was pleased to add Henry Cecil and Christopher Findley to its ranks from BDB Pitmans.

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 1

Forsters LLP was pleased to recently add Roberta Harvey to its ranks from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP. The team handles complex and sensitive matters for high-net-worth individuals and sometimes high-profile clients. Emily Exton heads the team and focuses on handling disputes in the private wealth sector where she regularly acts for trustees and wealthy individuals and families. Catharine Bell frequently advises on complex, high-end international trust and estate disputes, with multiple cross-border and conflict of law issues. Bell advises high-net-worth individuals and their trustees on the creation and fortification of trust vehicles and other succession planning structures for asset protection and wealth preservation.

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 1

Forsters LLP 's practice spans the full range of high-net-worth sectors, including international wealth, family offices and family business succession as well as advising other clients such as landed estates, titled individuals and public personalities (sports people, celebrities and well-known public figures). Patrick Harney heads the team that was pleased to add Christopher Findley and Henry Cecil to its ranks from BDB Pitmans - both Findley and Cecil are experienced at acting for high-net-worth families with rural landed estates. Harney specialises in UK tax planning for non-domiciliaries with a focus on US-UK tax planning and UK-Irish tax planning. Other highlights included Catharine Bell 's recent admission as a member of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Lawyers.

Commercial property: corporate occupiers Tier 2

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

Commercial property: development Tier 2

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

Commercial property: retail Tier 2

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

Property litigation Tier 2

Forsters LLP's 'knowledgeable and friendly' team led by residential property and leasehold enfranchisement specialist Natasha Rees is well placed to handle the full spectrum of commercial, residential and enfranchisement work including disputes at the interface of property rights and the right to privacy, as recently demonstrated by representing the residents of the NEO Bankside development in their nuisance and human rights claim against Tate Modern. Other instructions from institutional investors, real estate investment funds, corporates and developers routinely involve rights to light matters, CVAs and telecom sector issues. Commercial property litigator Jonathan Ross is another key figure of the team as is senior associate and 'future heavyweight in the making' Anna Mullins; she has been particularly active in landlord and tenant issues.

Residential property Tier 2

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.

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 3

Under the direction of Fiona Smith at Forsters LLP the team advises individual philanthropists, charities and other not-for-profit organisations, both in the UK and worldwide, on diverse matters from setting up a tailor-made charitable vehicle, to partnering with organisations that offer donor advised funds. The group is increasingly advising clients on involving the next generation in their philanthropic endeavours and on the tax implications of giving to charity. It is also advising on issues surrounding the fiscal efficiency of cross-border donations. The team has considerable expertise in the establishment of dual UK/US charities and also acts for trustees of charities. Other strengths lie in advising on the giving of charitable donations through Zakat.

Commercial property: hotels and leisure Tier 3

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

Commercial property: investment Tier 3

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

Family Tier 3

Joanne Edwards heads the team at Forsters LLP. Edwards’ practice has a strong focus on relationship breakdown for high and ultra-high-net-worth individuals and on the financial consequences of divorce and separation. She is increasingly advising on large nuptial agreements and is also skilled at resolving arrangements for children. Rosie Schumm is another key member of the team and is experienced at drafting and negotiating bespoke nuptial agreements for wealthy clients. The team also boasts considerable expertise in other niche areas such as surrogacy, adoption, cohabitation and international child abduction cases. It was pleased to add Simon Blain to its ranks from Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP. This team is one to watch.

Art and cultural property Tier 4

Forsters LLP has a wealth of experience in acting for influential individuals and institutions in the UK and international art markets. Clients range from international collectors, auction houses, dealers, museums and charities, to living contemporary artists seeking to establish structures to safeguard their artistic legacies and provide for their family members. Its client base also includes families and their trustees owning old masters and chattels of national importance. Catherine Hill heads the team that also includes Rupert Mead who has a particular interest in the taxation of heritage property (chattels, historic land and buildings).

Planning Tier 4

Forsters LLP's planning practice head, Victoria Du Croz, specialises in the full range of planning issues, from section 106 agreements, CIL advice and site acquisitions, to niche areas such as Special Protection Area issues and public rights of way compliance. Current high-profile work includes the provision of mixed-use developments and redevelopments in central London, obtaining planning consent for build-to-rent schemes, and complex site acquisition due diligence. The practice regularly receives planning strategy instructions from the firm’s significant high-net-worth individual client base. Recent contentious work involves planning refusal appeals and advising on planning objections. Senior associate Matthew Evans, who led on a number of residential-led regeneration schemes, is the other key contact in the practice.

Construction: contentious Tier 5

Forsters LLP's contentious team acts for developers, funds, contractors and consultants, under the leadership of the 'commercially astute' Andrew Parker, who also handles construction disputes arising out of hotel projects. Parker recently advised real estate investment company LXB on the insolvency of its design and build contractor midway through the development of a retail terrace, as well as handling a number of matters for LaSalle Investment Management. Sarah Cook advises clients in the pre-action stage of disputes and with respect to the negotiation of settlement agreements.

Contruction: non-contentious Tier 5

Forsters LLP's non-contentious practice advises on real estate development for a range of clients across sectors including logistics, mixed use, retail and hotels. The practice is led by Sarah Cook who brings 'something different to the table', and was the lead partner advising Warner Bros in respect of the refurbishment of its European headquarters in Central London. Fellow partner Andrew Parker acted as lead partner advising Reignwood on the redevelopment of 10 Trinity Square.

Commercial litigation Tier 6

Forsters LLP's 'very down-to-earth group' has some 'genuine talent within the ranks. It enjoys great personal relationships with its clients, who are not just other customers for them'. The full-service disputes team has broad expertise across  the commercial, corporate and private wealth sectors, which compliment the firm's contentious teams in property, construction and family. The team also regularly handles matters with multi-jurisdictional elements. Emily Exton heads the dispute resolution group, which also includes Benedict WaltonAndrew Head and senior solicitors Christopher Bacon and Bryan ShackladyRoberta Harvey joined from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP to strengthen the team's contentious trust and estates practice.

Property finance Tier 6

Victoria Edwards leads the team at Forsters LLP, which acts for a range of lenders and borrowers, from institutional lenders, funds and developers to high-net-worth individuals and family offices. The team handles investment and development finance in relation to commercial and high-value residential developments, hotels, student accommodation, and retail and office parks.

The firm: Forsters is a leading London law firm based in Mayfair which delivers exceptional legal advice to clients principally drawn from the real estate and private wealth sectors. Taking a joined-up approach we seek out solutions that embrace the unique needs of each individual or company. We believe our engaged, approachable manner combined with the delivery of concise, clear and commercially-led advice is what helps us develop long-term client relationships. Forsters has 55 partners, 180 fee-earners and over 165 support staff. The firm has an incredibly strong reputation in its chosen markets; Real Estate and Private Wealth.

Areas of work undertaken:

Forsters is widely recognised by commentators, clients and the wider market as one of the leading real estate and private client law firms in London. Our service is crafted to meet the needs of each client whatever their matter or transaction. We frequently advise real estate funds, property companies, high net worth individuals, investors, property companies, developers, family offices and entrepreneurs. We explain complex legal issues clearly and look for the best solution for each client by providing advice which is practical, commercial, and always discrete.

The firm is structured around four core areas:

Real Estate

Real estate, in all of its various forms, sits at the heart of the Forsters business – it is the sector on which the firm was founded and is our largest practice area. With over 100 lawyers specialising solely in real estate, we are well positioned to guide our clients through every situation whether it be an acquisition, disposal, development or property dispute. We work with our clients, ranging from real estate funds to overseas investors across all sectors including commercial property, residential, hotels, retail, industrial and landed estates.

Private Wealth

Our expert Private Client and Wealth Management lawyers provide advice on all aspects of wealth planning to a range of clients including; individuals, trustees, family offices and private banks. Our clients are both domestic and international. We have a strong reputation in the US, Asia and other global wealth centres. Our partner-led approach combined with our ability to find practical solutions is what matters to clients. Our advice is tailored to meet our clients’ objectives – that might be tax efficiency, asset protection or succession planning.

Dispute Resolution

With a team of bright and highly experienced lawyers, Forsters Dispute Resolution team consistently achieves commercial and practical results for its clients. Applying a tactical and discreet approach, we recognise how important it can be to protect the reputation of our clients. Working with corporate and individual clients, the team has the expertise to deal with every type of dispute.

Corporate

With a strong sector focus, the Corporate team regularly works with real estate companies, family offices and individuals. Additionally the group has a growing reputation as one of the leading hotel advisory firms. Our approach is pragmatic and commercial. We adapt to each transaction, with in depth experience on a wide-range of matters, from M&A, to finance and tax.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior partner Smita Edwards
Managing partner Paul Roberts
Commercial Real Estate Matthew Swainston
Private Client Patrick Harney
Landed Estates Penny Elliott
Residential Property Lucy Barber
Divorce and Family Joanne Edwards
Charities Fiona Smith
Dispute Resolution Emily Exton
Corporate Craig Thompson
Property Litigation Natasha Rees
Tax Elizabeth Small
Planning Victoria Du Croz
Construction Sarah Cook
Banking and finance Victoria Edwards
Hotel and leisure Andrew Parker
Photo Name Position Profile
 Guy Abrahams  photo Guy Abrahams
 Lucy Barber  photo Lucy Barber
 Ben Barrison  photo Ben Barrison
 Catharine Bell  photo Catharine Bell
 Simon Blain  photo Simon Blain
 Ben Brayford  photo Ben Brayford
 Matthew Brunsdon Tully  photo Matthew Brunsdon Tully
 Henry Cecil  photo Henry Cecil
 Simon Collins  photo Simon Collins
 Sarah Cook  photo Sarah Cook
 Carole Cook  photo Carole Cook
 Heather Corben  photo Heather Corben
 Andrew Crabbie  photo Andrew Crabbie
 Victoria Du Croz  photo Victoria Du Croz
 Christine Dubignon  photo Christine Dubignon
 Glenn Dunn  photo Glenn Dunn
 Victoria Edwards  photo Victoria Edwards
 Joanne Edwards  photo Joanne Edwards
 Smita Edwards  photo Smita Edwards
 Katherine Ekers  photo Katherine Ekers
 Penny Elliott  photo Penny Elliott
 Emily Exton  photo Emily Exton
 Christopher Findley  photo Christopher Findley
 Howard Gill  photo Howard Gill
 Patrick Harney  photo Patrick Harney
 Roberta Harvey  photo Roberta Harvey
 Magnus Hassett  photo Magnus Hassett
 Andrew Head  photo Andrew Head
 Catherine Hill  photo Catherine Hill
 Nick Jacob  photo Nick Jacob
 Guy Jordan  photo Guy Jordan
 Alastair Laing  photo Alastair Laing
 Andrew Lane  photo Andrew Lane
 Ronan Ledwidge  photo Ronan Ledwidge
 Helen Marsh  photo Helen Marsh
 Eugene McMahon  photo Eugene McMahon
 Rupert Mead  photo Rupert Mead
 Chris Myers  photo Chris Myers
 Xavier Nicholas  photo Xavier Nicholas
 Kelly Noel-Smith  photo Kelly Noel-Smith
 Andrew Parker  photo Andrew Parker
 Sarah Pass  photo Sarah Pass
 Natasha Rees  photo Natasha Rees
Mr Paul Roberts photo Mr Paul Roberts
 David Robinson  photo David Robinson
 Jonathan Ross  photo Jonathan Ross
 Rosie Schumm  photo Rosie Schumm
 Elizabeth Small  photo Elizabeth Small
 Fiona Smith  photo Fiona Smith
 Helen Streeton  photo Helen Streeton
 Matthew Swainston  photo Matthew Swainston
 Craig Thompson  photo Craig Thompson
 Anthony Thompson  photo Anthony Thompson
 Victoria Towers  photo Victoria Towers
 Naomi Trinh  photo Naomi Trinh
 Daniel Ugur  photo Daniel Ugur
 Benedict Walton  photo Benedict Walton
Number of UK partners : 55
Number of other UK fee-earners : 180