Typical Work | What You Might Do | Notable Deals | Awards
We are involved in a multitude of UK and international property transactions relating to the sale and acquisition of property portfolios or significant stand-alone properties, real estate investments (including private equity investments and joint ventures), development projects and leasing transactions. The group also acts on the promotion of and investment in real estate investment funds and unit trusts as well as representing hotel operators on property and hotel management matters.
Acknowledged as one of the market-leading practices for real estate and real estate finance in the UK, we also have a number of specialist groups:
- Environment & Planning
- Real Estate Finance
- PFI / PPP
Sophisticated alternative funding methods have widened the scope of real estate work, which now encompasses equity investment, joint venture structuring, debt origination and securitisation, among others. We work with clients representing every aspect of the market, from investors, developers and occupiers to commercial and investment banks, private equity groups, and asset and fund managers.
The department deals with a wide range of issues including:
- Large and complex transactions featuring property-related structured finance; debt finance and securitisation; private finance initiative (PFI) financing
- Acquisition and disposal of properties
- Development agreements
- Leases and licences
- Planning and environmental matters
In addition, our Construction group advises on construction and engineering projects in the UK and overseas.
What You Might Do
The type of work and level of responsibility given to trainees in the Real Estate practice is varied.
At one end of the scale, you might manage your own files for small matters, dealing with clients and taking on real responsibility, but on large one-off deals you are likely to be involved in research, due diligence, drafting, organising and managing completions, conducting local authority searches, completing stamp duty tax forms and so on. You could be asked to draft contracts, briefing notes, agreements or other documents or to take on proofreading or associated document management duties. You will also have good contact with clients and lawyers throughout the group.
In the property finance-related group, you might be expected to draft debt agreements and certificates, legal charges, deeds of release, fee letters and legal opinions. You could also become involved in drafting amendment agreements, security packages and other transaction documents.
Whatever tasks you're given, you will find the nature and scope of the work to be extremely broad.
- Swiss-based client Quantum Global Real Estate on its US$1 billion global joint venture with LaSalle Investment Management to invest in quality real estate assets valued at over US$100 million. The joint venture's initial focus will be on the markets in Australia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States
- Bank of England on the acquisition of a new leasehold interest in 20 Moorgate until July 2027. The property will house the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA)
- Long-standing client Canary Wharf Group on its acquired ownership of the Wood Wharf Limited Partnership and associated companies and an overriding 250 year lease for the 16.8 acre Wood Wharf site adjacent to the Canary Wharf estate. The site will be developed as a new mixed-use scheme
- MSREF on the high-profile sale of the St Petersburg shopping centre. The mall includes about 290 shops, 10 movie theatres, and a 27-lane bowling alley over five floors with a total area of 192,000 sq metres
- Norges Bank Investment Management on a joint venture with AXA Real Estate Investment Managers (AXA Real Estate), acting on behalf of AXA France Insurance Companies, through which both parties will co-invest in Paris offices
- City of London Corporation on its development agreement with joint venture partners CarVal Investors and Orion European Real Estate Fund III for 100 Cheapside. The agreement includes the granting of a long lease for the site to the development partners whilst allowing the City of London Corporation to retain a 25% stake in the development
- Oxford Properties (the real estate subsidiary of the Canadian pension fund OMERS) on the structuring of the joint venture with British Land for the development of the £340m Cheesegrater building in the City of London
- Altaréa Cogedim on the setting up of a “green” real estate investment fund dedicated to the purchase of buildings to be refurbished and upgraded with respect to Green regulations
- Standard Life Investments, the global Fund Manager and one of the largest real estate investors in Europe, on the purchase of a logistics park in Pliening, Bavaria
- Santander Real Estate, S.A. S.G.I.I.C. in relation to the sale by the real estate fund Banif Inmobiliario F.I.I. to Orion Capital Managers of the shopping and leisure centre so-called Plenilunio, and an office building located in Las Rozas (Madrid) for an approximate amount of €270 million
- Dutch fund and investment manager PGGM on the set-up and sourcing of PGGM Private Real Estate Fund, a €3.5 billion private real estate pool
- London & Regional Development on a series of sale & lease back transactions concerning the acquisition, refinancing and sale & lease back of the biggest BMW showroom in Poland.
- European and North American Law Firm of the Year (Fund Formation), PERE (Private Equity Real Estate) Awards 2011
- European Law Firm of the Year (Fund Formation) - fourth year running, Private Equity Real Estate Awards 2010
- European Law Firm of the Year (Transactions) - awarded the third time in four years, Private Equity Real Estate Awards 2010
- Asia Law Firm of the Year (Fund Formation), Private Equity Real Estate Awards 2010