Property Matters Issue 8
04 February 2011

Property Matters Issue 8 | February 2011

The theme of this edition of Property Matters is promoting investment in the UK. In both commercial or prime residential real estate, the UK offers boundless opportunities and we need to maintain momentum if the economic recovery is to continue.

Editor's Note

Welcome to our 2011 edition of Property Matters.

The theme of this edition of Property Matters is promoting investment in the UK. In both commercial or prime residential real estate, the UK offers boundless opportunities and we need to maintain momentum if the economic recovery is to continue. And it is no coincidence that the UK is the Country of Honour at MIPIM 2011, giving us a prime slot to showcase these opportunities to the international community.

Whether through our Bricks v Clicks debate where retail industry high fliers discussed the future of the UK's retail sector or the LandAid Debate on the Future of London, Mishcon de Reya has continued to facilitate discussion on important issues affecting the future of the UK and London as its financial centre, and will continue to do so throughout 2011. I hope you enjoy this edition - many thanks again to our editor, Susan Freeman.

Nick Doffman

Nick Doffman

Head of Real Estate

+44 (0)20 7440 7015

Real Deals

A selection of deals our Real Estate team has advised on over the last year.

Acting for two limited partnerships, which were ultimately owned by the Pears family and clients of LaSalle Investment Management, on the £131 million acquisition of the Notting Hill Estate from Land Securities and Delancey. The 4.5 acre estate, along Notting Hill Gate and Kensington Church Street in West London, comprises prime retail shops, restaurants, offices and a cinema.

Matterhorn Capital Advising long-standing clients Anthony Lyons and Simon Conway of Matterhorn Capital on a joint investment alongside the current owner (Roger Myers) in St Lucia's five-star Jalousie Plantation Resort Hotel. Funds will be used to conclude a four year redevelopment project costing around $100 million.

Also acting for Matterhorn Capital on its first acquisitions within the UK data centre market, including a 6.6 acre site in Chesham, Buckinghamshire from UBS, with planning permission for a 240,000 sq ft data centre, and an 11.7 acre site at Bury Green in Essex with planning permission for two data centres.

Delancy Advising clients of Delancey and Invista Real Estate Investment Management on the final letting of office space in the Rolls Building, their prime 265,000 sq ft development at 110 Fetter Lane. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP took 75,000 sq ft over five floors with the remainder having previously been let to the Government to house various High Court divisions.

Also acting for clients of Delancey on the letting of 12,000 sq ft of ground floor office space at 40 Holborn Viaduct to existing tenant Irwin Mitchell LLP, which already occupies 34,000 sq ft within the building.

Cornwall Villas Appointed as preferred purchasers' solicitors for an exciting new high end residential development, Cornwall Terrace in Regent's Park, London. The Grade I listed Regency terrace features seven unique properties occupied as private homes for nearly 150 years.

HelicalbarAdvising long-standing client Helical Bar on the creation of a joint venture with Thameling Group to develop pre-let warehouse and distribution properties in Central Europe. The joint venture will focus on strategic sites in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

NetaporterActing for Richemont-owned online fashion retailer Net-a-Porter on its take up of 22,000 sq ft of additional office space in Westfield London, above the shopping centre's luxury village. The letting follows its 15 year lease of 42,000 sq ft of office space within the development in 2009.

Advising an overseas purchaser on the acquisition of London's five-star St James's Hotel and Club for a price in the region of £60 million. The team advised on all real estate, corporate and employment aspects of the deal.

Improving your relationships

The past two years have not been great for lender/borrower relationships. The period has been characterised by limited liquidity, fears of general refinancing needs, tactical default callings, enforcements (formal and otherwise), mistrust, inertia and gratuitous references in the press to Tom Wolfe novels.

Before embarking on any attempt to repair or strengthen the relationship, each side must understand the strength of its own position. Given that it is fundamentally a capital arrangement, this analysis will boil down on both sides to a balance sheet study.

From the borrower's perspective, it needs to know exactly how much equity it is trying to protect. This is easier said than done given the uncertainty regarding current valuations; however, a lender will have more respect for a borrower who still has a significant stake in the transaction.

The lender also needs to keep a firm eye on values and every relationship manager will be aware of their employer's auditing concerns, which will only sharpen with the enhanced capital adequacy requirements of Basel III, the international regulatory framework for banks. The value of the asset secured affects the internal "risk weighted assessment" for that particular loan and, accordingly, determines the amount of capital needed to be reserved for that particular debt. Unduly low valuations will mean the loan becomes more costly for the lender (and indirectly the borrower) and defaults called by the lender predicated upon such valuations could be open to attack by the borrower.

Further, the lender will need to do a full audit of its existing contractual and security arrangements with the borrower. In general, uncertainties, deficiencies and inconsistencies in the documents will be to the borrower's advantage. As such, it is prudent for the lender to have a solicitor review the loan and security documents before it opens negotiations with the borrower on a difficult matter.

Once each party understands its own position, they must ascertain the key drivers and pressure points for the other side. For the borrower, this is not always easy. Each financial institution operating in the UK market has its own shifting dynamics of politics and policies (internal and state-directed). A borrower that understands and acknowledges these pressures will get a better outcome.

The lender's job is relatively simple. The borrower will want to protect its asset, pay as little in fees and interest as possible, and have as long a term as possible. The lender should be sensitive to the fact that the borrower may feel strongly about its asset and, further, may feel aggrieved about its treatment by the lender during the recession.

Once through this stage, the dynamic between both parties can become more productive. If it does not, each side needs to be clear of their exit strategy and to use it wisely. A lender's exit does not have to be through formal receivership. A carefully managed sale will often be more productive in securing greater value and return.

Nick Strutt

Nick Strutt

Head of Real Estate Finance

+44 (0) 207 440 7165

From the borrower side, given the lack of liquidity, it is often difficult to get out of the mindset that life is binary: either make things work with this lender or the deal fails. There may be options. First, speak to financial brokers and your professional advisers (including us!) to find out what refinancing options are available. Second, if there genuinely is a great deal to protect, it may make sense to bring in more expensive investment. Mezzanine debt is now available and making appearances on transactions, and there may be opportunities to attract equity through JV arrangements.

The formula for a better future is to understand your own position, understand the other party's dialogue and, if that doesn't work, know where the exits are.

Sorting out tiffs

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg MP revealed at the 2010 Liberal Democrat Party Conference that the UK would finally get legislation to allow tax increment financing (TIFs). TIFs are strongly supported by many including the British Property Federation as a means of forward funding infrastructure, with the initial capital investment paid off through the increased taxation which arises from released growth and economic development.

While TIFs have been around in the US for decades, they are still relatively unfamiliar on this side of the Atlantic - although they have been proposed as a solution to infrastructure funding shortfalls around large projects such as Treasury Holdings' Battersea Power Station redevelopment. Despite the unfamiliar terminology and a wholly different system of local government and taxation, the US experience can teach us a lot about the opportunities and obstacles presented by TIFs.

In the US, TIFs are created under state legislation so precise details vary across the country. A common theme is the designation of a specific TIFs area, usually one which meets certain regeneration criteria. Within the designated area, base property tax revenues (and often sales tax, the US equivalent of VAT) are assessed taking into account expected changes over the coming years. Additional revenue received by the public purse above that baseline level is known as the "tax increment”, and constitutes a new revenue stream against which the public sector can borrow. The length of payback varies from state to state but can last up to 30 years.

The UK's white paper on local growth talks about TIFs being based on increases in business rates. This will require further changes to the distribution of rates which currently go to central government and probably more frequent reassessment. In the US, however, TIFs are frequently financed through a proportion of sales tax and property taxes including both commercial and residential property. That wider tax base allows US cities to borrow larger sums against similar sized mixed-use development than in the UK. It also means that residential schemes which are prevented by infrastructure constraints are unlikely to be released through UK TIFs.

As with any financial mechanism there are numerous ways to secure the upfront costs: through pure borrowing, bond issues or even with the private sector carrying the initial cost and being repaid from the public purse. Concern about the Government's proposals to allow only the first of these has been well publicised. The question of how the debt is serviced until the development is finished and tax revenues begin has not been tackled here yet.

TIFs have delivered many diverse projects in the US ranging from the redevelopment of Denver's redundant Stapleton Airport to the renewal of roads, water, drainage and lighting infrastructure within a neglected Houston suburb. Given the link to business rates the second of these would not currently be allowed in the UK; nor can we use TIFs to offer incentives, effectively tax breaks, back to a company in exchange for basing an HQ or distribution depot in a particular local authority area.

Daniel Farrand

Daniel Farrand

Head of Planning and Environment

+44 (0) 207 440 4764

TIFs can be a useful tool to release development where the private sector cannot afford to fund the infrastructure needed through traditional planning agreements and community infrastructure levy. The idea that the decimated budgets of local authorities might, in part, be remedied through a scheme which essentially requires public sector borrowing may seem counter- intuitive, but the time may be right to seize the opportunity to unlock growth. Authorities which have suffered with problem sites for years may see TIFs as a means to prepare for the next phase in the economic cycle.

Whiter than Whight

Susan Freeman talks to property veterans Paul White and Paul Whight.

It was inevitable that this interview would cause confusion. When my PA took a call from Paul White/Whight to say he was delayed in traffic and tentatively asked which Paul it was, she was told it was 'the real one'.

Paul White

Paul White (left) started as a commercial agent 40 years ago. He has led property investor and developer Frogmore as managing director since 1995, taking it from a public to private company in 2001. Paul Whight (right) began as a draftsman 40 years ago at the Co-operative, ultimately setting up retail warehouse specialist Grantchester in 1989. This floated in 1996 with net assets of £63 million, boosting Whight's reputation as a leading developer of retail parks. He set up Pradera in 1999 to invest in out-of-town retail in Europe.

Paul Whight

They first met on a deal at the height of the recession in 1990. White was the selling agent for a retail warehouse site. They liked each other immediately - White thought Whight was 'a good bloke' and the deal was done. As the first for his new company Grantchester this is one of Whight's stand-out deals. Their paths have crossed in the ensuing 20 years, often through their passion for shooting, and they have become firm friends although they readily admit their property interests and focus are very different.

Whight considers they are lucky to work in a sector which they both clearly love, and when pressed his only minor gripe is the industry's 'superiority complex' on the basis that property in reality has such a small listed sector. They clearly rate each other. White describes Whight as 'hugely competent and knowledgeable'. Whight sees White as an ebullient raconteur and 'the most focused, structured property person who always knows exactly what he wants'. In cinematic terms, White sees his namesake as 'rather like Tom Cruise' whilst Whight likens White to George Clooney 'for his style rather than his looks!'

Both appreciate the vital importance of reputation. White says that in his time at Frogmore there have only been a couple of occasions when his team have not performed on an offer, and in each case he has told the seller to sell elsewhere and offered to make up the difference. Whight says he has never knowingly pulled out of a deal and always 'gets there in the end'.

White is known for being gregarious and is often sighted at property industry events or raising funds for the charities he supports, whereas Whight is quieter and freely admits he 'doesn't do corporate events'. He particularly avoids the celebratory German bank events where invariably the speeches are in German which he doesn't understand.

Even their negotiating styles are very different. Whight enjoys the cut and thrust of a hard negotiation whilst White says he will do anything to avoid a confrontation and prefers not to fall out with people. His counterpart did take issue on this and suggested he phone a friend for a second opinion!

Both agree that they will be sticking to what they have done consistently and plan no change of approach. White is cautious about predicting market trends but expects increased activity (although he is concerned that 'all the buses are going to come along at the same time'). He sees the most significant trend as the growing polarisation between London and the South East and the rest of the country. 'It will be a year of opportunistic one-offs - when you spot an opportunity go for it!' This attitude is illustrated by Frogmore's recent deals ranging from retirement parks, the redevelopment of a US Air Force base, a data centre and a residential development in the Strand. White can sift through £400 million worth of deals weekly in search of opportunities.

Whight professes to know 'a great deal about little'. His focus is out-of-town retail in the UK and Europe as it is value for money but he also favours limited supply sectors such as data centres. He has raised funds and still has £100-150 million to invest. Pradera is extending its geographic focus, moving further into Turkey, and with two new shopping centres agreed in Egypt is launching into North Africa. In the next year, a move from funds to single mandates will be a key focus.

In terms of leaving a legacy for the property industry, Whight says that for him it's not about the money. In the long term property players are 'here today and gone tomorrow', and what he finds most rewarding is seeing young graduates developing through his business. White agrees that it's dangerous to talk about legacy - he sees himself as the current custodian of Frogmore. He has overseen its evolution into a different company from that set up in 1961 but there is 'still a massive connection and family environment but you pass on the baton so it's continuity rather than legacy'.

Susan Freeman

Susan Freeman

Real Estate Partner

+44 (0) 20 7440 7017

Both men are full of energy and clearly neither plans to retire any time soon. However, I couldn't resist asking what hobby each would choose for the other in retirement. After a moment's thought Whight suggested White would benefit from architectural travel to the world's historic cities to broaden his horizons. White suggested an artistic pursuit such as sculpture as Whight 'could happily spend months chipping away at a piece of stone'. He correctly concludes that Whight could easily talk to no-one for days whereas White would find this impossible. Regardless, one gets the impression that neither will be content with the quiet life.

Flying the Flag

Focus on UK investment at MIPIM 2011

Flying the flag

Showcasing the UK property industry

For the first time in the 21 year history of MIPIM, the international real estate summit, the UK has been named Country of Honour in recognition of its contribution to the international property market. This focus on the UK makes it an ideal year for our Real Estate Group to exhibit on the London Stand at MIPIM 2011, which takes place in Cannes from 8 to 11 March. More than 25% of our Firm's business is real estate related and in addition to acting for many household names in the UK real estate sector we increasingly act for new overseas investors into the UK. Our in-depth understanding of the sector and the personalities that drive it means we are well placed to advise those venturing into UK real estate. We are keen to support the Country of Honour initiative which dove- tails with London's 2012 Olympics and comes at a crucial time in the UK's programme for recovery.

Peter Rhodes Managing Director Reed Midem UK
"Being named Country of Honour provides a great opportunity to bring UK real estate under the spot- light and is the perfect springboard for UK companies seeking international partners and investment."

Mishcon de Reya at MIPIM 2011
As part of the Earls Court develop- ment team, Mishcon de Reya will exhibit on the London Stand with client Capital & Counties Properties plc (Capco), who will be promoting their major regeneration of Earls Court in West London. Also exhibiting on the stand are architects and urban designers Farrells and planning con- sultants DP9, who are key advisers with us on the scheme. An exciting programme of events has been plan- ned for our exhibit which will make it well worth visiting. The London Stand, a focus for international visitors to find out the latest news from the capital, will feature development galleries and will host a series of delegations of leading UK and international investors and government officials.

Susan Freeman Mishcon de Reya
"Taking a stand at MIPIM this year - for the first time in the 15 years that our Real Estate Group has attended - reflects the focused invest- ment within our real estate practice and is a great op- portunity for us to catch up with many of our clients and contacts in Cannes."

Nick Doffman Mishcon de Reya
"Our Real Estate Group is expecting to have an active 2011. We are already seeing an increased flow of opportunities particularly in London, which continues to be a magnet for overseas real estate investment. A number of high profile new development projects are now progressing, including Capco's Earls Court scheme on which we are advising. We are also seeing a signif- icant boost in commercial and residential deal activity across the board. With new senior hires in commercial real estate, residential, disputes, planning, finance and tax, our increased breadth and depth of service will create opportunities for our clients, both UK and international, and we look forward to working with them throughout the year."

Redeveloping Earls Court
Capco will submit a planning application for the redevelopment of Earls Court in the second quarter of 2011. The scheme will be one of the largest ever in London and is set to transform West London. A statement of common ground has been agreed be- tween Capco, the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea affirming support in principle to a comprehensive mixed-use development of substantial scale across the Earls Court opportunity area. Consultation on the concept masterplan created by architects Farrells took place in November 2010, with the detailed masterplan to be publicly unveiled in the first quarter of 2011. EC&O Venues, which is owned by Capco, was also granted plan- ning consent for redevelopment proposals for Olympia Exhibit- ion and Conference Centre in October 2010, including the redevelopment of the West Hall into a two-storey, 90,000sq ft exhibition facility.

Gary Yardley Investment Director Capital & Counties
"The Earls Court development is the most exciting real estate opportunity in Britain today. We are delighted to be taking our plans to MIPIM and showing the industry our world class masterplan."

Back Handers

The impact of the bribery act on the property sector

The Bribery Act 2010, which is due to come into force in April, is the most comprehensive legislation of its kind ever introduced in the UK, requiring all businesses to comply with wide ranging anti-corruption obligations. The Act is causing particular concern in property circles, with the new requirements impacting especially heavily on companies' real estate and construction projects, over- seas operations, procurement departments, business development and hospitality arrangements.

What situations does the Bribery Act regulate?
The Act states that giving or receiving a bribe is unlawful. No great surprise there. However, of particular concern to property companies is the new corporate offence whereby a commercial organisation will itself automatically become liable if any of its employees or agents pays a bribe to win or retain business. The risks to a company's reputation as a result of being prosecuted are incalculable.

The scope of the Act is wide. It doesn't merely cover situations where brown envelopes are handed over: it also covers gifts, hospitality and client entertainment. Going forward, companies will be implementing procedures that dictate upper spending limits and require prior written approval to be recorded in a register before an employee or agent accepts or gives hospitality. Overgenerous hospitality will be rejected. And it isn't just about the cost but also the timing. If you are negotiating a purchase or a tender it may be inappropriate to accept hospitality related to the transaction.

In relation to overseas business, it is irrelevant that in some locations it might be customary to offer a small sweetener to win a tender or to enable a contract to go through. A UK company that benefits from a bribe even if it is paid on the other side of the world will fall within the ambit of the Act.

Mishcon ASSURE

Mishcon de Reya's Bribery Act compliance product, Mishcon ASSURE™, provides a tailored service which is designed to protect your organisation. We can also work with you if suspicious situations are identified and our reputation management team can act swiftly to mitigate any potential reputation damage.

How can businesses avoid becoming liable?

The good news is that the Bribery Act also sets out a statutory defence which businesses can take advantage of - but only if they put in place 'adequate' procedures designed to prevent their employees, agents and subsidiary companies committing bribery. Accordingly, directors, risk managers and compliance officers will be advised to put the following steps into action:

Step 1: Exposure Assessment - An assessment of your organisation's anti-bribery procedures, controls and training programmes. This will include scrutinising the terms of supplier and employee contracts. Property company finders' fees, agents' commissions, construction contracts and section 106 agreements will all need to be reviewed and risk assessed.

Step 2: Action Planning - Identify specific tasks, and the scope of any investigations required in order to minimise exposure to Bribery Act related criminal sanctions, civil liability and reputational damage.

Step 3: Implementation - Undertake the tasks identified above and provide training to ensure your employees fully understand and carry out your organisation's Bribery Act related policies and procedures. Top-level commitment from the board and senior management must be clearly demonstrated; and the company's anti-corruption philosophy will need to be embedded into the fabric and culture of daily operations.

Gary Miller

Gary Miller

Partner, Dispute Resolution

+44 (0) 20 7440 7028

Step 4: Monitoring - Undertake regular reviews to ensure your processes and policies remain compliant, and that your practices are transparent and accord with company policies. The reviews should take place at least annually and sometimes more frequently, for example when major changes occur in the business or in the law.

Botch Ups

Off-setting the costs of professional negligence claims.

When deals fall apart people look for a scapegoat, and professional advisers are the obvious target since they have the benefit of insurance. It is therefore strange that there has been a dearth of claims against professionals over the past two years. The pronounced wisdom on this is that the financial institutions which are the potential claimants have been reluctant to crystallise their losses because of the impact on their balance sheets. However, research tells us that this is not the only reason: invariably it is concerns about the costs involved in commencing claims as well as the risk of liability for successful defendants' costs that prove a major deterrent.

Benefits of after the event insurance
There has been much recent press about the use of after the event insurance (ATE) for those who are unable to afford or do not want to risk the costs of litigation. What is less commonly known is that ATE is available and can be especially useful in claims against professionals. Such insurance provides many benefits in professional negligence claims. For instance, legal spend can be limited as it will no longer be necessary to reserve funds to pay the opponent's costs in the event the claim does not succeed.

There is also a cash flow benefit, particularly if ATE is coupled with a conditional fee agreement. This combination allows the client to bring cases at no cost risk to themselves (beyond the cost of the premium in some circumstances), meaning there is no cost impact if the action is unsuccessful.

Mishcon Protect

We have developed an insurance and funding package which helps clients to obtain funding for their own litigation fees and protects against the risk of having to pay their opponent's costs and their own disbursements if their action is unsuccessful.

From a tactical perspective, a claimant with the benefit of ATE has a form of leverage against its opponent. The fact that an insurer has already assessed and accepted the merits of the claim, combined with a premium that increases over time, can encourage an opponent to settle earlier than they may have otherwise.

Insurers in the ATE market favour claims against professionals for several reasons. The first is that the opponent will themselves be insured which means there will be funds available to pay the premium. In many circumstances, the premium is payable only in the event of success and at present the law provides for a reasonable premium to be recoverable from the unsuccessful defendant. It is also likely that the defendant's insurers will place the case with a case handler who will work towards a speedy and cost effective resolution - reducing the risk for the ATE insurer.

As a consequence of the substantial data relating to past claims patterns and costs, coupled with their own experience if they also underwrite liability insurance, ATE underwriters are particularly comfortable with the risks involved in professional negligence cases and are able to set premiums more accurately than in other dispute types.

Speeding up the ATE claims process
In order to obtain ATE insurance, insurers usually require a completed proposal form, often supported by counsel's advice as to the chance of success. An expert's report may be necessary prior to forming a positive opinion of the case; therefore a potential claimant is faced with a considerable outlay and time delay before it is known whether an offer of insurance will be forthcoming.

Richard Gerstein

Richard Gerstein

Partner, Real Estate Dispute Resolution

+44 (0) 20 7440 4729

Mishcon de Reya has negotiated a position with the leading insurers whereby we can issue an ATE policy in respect of any potential claim against a professional where we consider the case has at least a 60% prospect of success and fits agreed criteria. This arrangement enables the claimant to benefit from instant protection, cheaper premiums, more advantageous terms and, perhaps most importantly, certainty with regard to the risk of having to meet the other side's costs.

New Residents

Mishcon de Reya recently boosted its Residential Property Group with the appointment of two new partners. Sonal Gandhi joined the Firm from Charles Russell LLP in November 2010 along with assistant Sarah Cubacub, while Beverley Lewis joined from Forsters LLP in January 2011. Head of Residential Property Ned El-Imad discusses his team's expansion and the growing trend for overseas investment into the UK.

Sum up your team in three words?
Responsive, hard-working and determined.

How has the team fared this year, given the economic climate?
Very well. It's when the phone stops ringing that I get worried. Things slowed down after the Lehman Brothers collapse at the end of 2008 but recovered relatively quickly. Since then I've rarely been off my phone and am used to taking calls at all hours including at weekends.

Why are you growing your team?
We continue to see a huge demand for prime residential property. Bringing in two well known and highly regarded partners means we can take advantage of the appetite for residential property services from clients of Mishcon PrivateTM, and offer more comprehensive advice to our lender, developer and investor clients. We aim to be the premier residential property practice in London.

Which areas will your team focus on?
High value acquisitions for our clients based both in the UK and overseas, and more enfranchisement work and secured lending. As well as acting for developers, we aim to be appointed on high profile developments such as Cornwall Terrace in Regent's Park where we are the preferred purchasers' solicitors.

Is there any overlap between your practices?
Beverley has over 25 years' experience in dealing with urban and country properties with particular emphasis on the Central London estates, while Sonal has extensive expertise in inward property investment - particularly from the Middle East - and secured lending for banks. She is also qualified in the British Virgin Islands. I have connections across the UK and overseas, particularly in the Middle East, Russia and Singapore, so between us we have all bases covered!

Where is the residential market seeing growth?
Central London prime - areas like Belgravia, Mayfair, St James's and St John's Wood. We have clients coming to us from almost every country in the world, from the Americas and Europe to the Middle East and Asia. I've recently been in Singapore to meet a number of our private banking clients since it's a conduit for other regions including Indonesia and Malaysia and a growing proportion of our work is routed through there.

Why do overseas investors choose London?
This is not about market conditions; people who have money still want to invest and London is one of the world's most attractive cities. We have a favourable tax regime, the UK system is seen as fair and democratic, and we have a high standard of education for those with school age children. And from a communications perspective we are literally at the centre of the business world.

Who is your most memorable client?
I can't disclose names but I've advised a number of heads of state, Middle Eastern royalty, the president of an African state and several high profile Eastern European oligarchs. You never quite know who is going to walk into the office next!

How will 2011 compare to last year?
I don't foresee a slowdown. There'll be continued investment while the pound remains weak, and we'll see the usual surge of activity in January and February as bankers receive their bonuses.

If you had an unlimited budget, what and where would your dream home be?
A multi-million-pound MTV Cribs-style mansion nestled in the West Hollywood Hills! Or, if it's in the UK, definitely Mayfair.


Ned El Imad: +44 (0)20 7440 7114

Beverly Lewis: +44 (0)20 7440 7484

Sonal Gandhi: +44 (0)20 7440 4739

Mishcon in the Press

Success in FT Innovative Lawyer Awards
Mishcon de Reya won the top Brand award at the Financial Times' Innovative Lawyers Awards 2010. The Firm also rose from 45th to 15th place in the overall Innovative Lawyers Top 50 ranking - the largest climb of any law firm that year.

Legal Week
Mishcons boost residential property arm with double partner hire

Deals & Dealmakers
Mishcon has also continued its partnership with the Financial Times focusing on and celebrating the entrepreneurial nature of 'Deals and Dealmakers'.

The Daily Telegraph
Thank you for a sleepless night, Mr Osborne.
You never know who you might meet on the train.
By Jonathan Russell, City Diary Editor

Take Mishcon de Reya lawyer Simon Chadowitz. On the Manchester-to-London train last weekend when he came across Chancellor George Osborne, together with his wife Frances and their two children Liberty and Luke (yep - all in reserved seats in economy). With an eye on the breakfast seminar Mishcon is holding tomorrow morning at its Red Lion Square offices, Chadowitz obviously decided he should introduce himself. After thanking the Chancellor for going easy on capital gains tax in the Budget our plucky lawyer did pull him up on one thing - the timing of the change in CGT. By introducing the tax at midnight he and his colleagues had to work through the night on Budget day. That done he invited George along to the Mishcon seminar. Without any joy, I'm afraid. What was the family doing as George and Simon chatted away? Playing a card game in which you collect members of the Royal family. No republican family this.

Property Week
Invest with the Best at RESI 2010
At the Invest with the Best session at RESI 2010, three specialists each had to persuade a panel, comprising Andrew Leslau, CEO of residential asset manager RAM, and Mishcon de Reya partner Susan Freeman, how best to spend £3 million in cash.

Estates Gazette
No true victor in Chelsea Barracks court battle
"... Daniel Levy, head of property litigation at Mishcon de Reya, said: 'It was a win for CPC, but not a knockout. The case shows the opportunities - and pitfalls - of litigating in the media spotlight. It also tells us a little more of what courts understand by duties of utmost good faith. It's the spirit and the purpose of the contract that matters.'"

Bricks v Clicks

Mishcon de Reya and Property Week co-hosted a high level 'Bricks v Clicks' roundtable debate at Summit House, Holborn. The debate examined the impact of online retail and its ultimate effect on retailers' requirements to have a high street presence.

Top retail landlords, high profile retailers and industry spokespeople attended the roundtable debate, chaired by Retail Week editor Tim Danaher.

Top retail landlords, high profile retailers and industry spokespeople attended the roundtable debate, chaired by Retail Week editor Tim Danaher.

The panel gave varying perspectives on the Bricks v Clicks debate before the chairman opened up the discussion to the table.

The panel gave varying perspectives on the Bricks v Clicks debate before the chairman opened up the discussion to the table.

Mark Sebba (Net-a-Porter), Richard Hyman (Deloitte), Tim Danaher (Retail Week), Richard Akers (Land Securities), Julia Reynolds (, Mike Shearwood (Aurora Fashions), Giles Barrie (Property Week), Susan Freeman (Mishcon de Reya)

Mark Sebba (Net-a-Porter), Richard Hyman (Deloitte), Tim Danaher (Retail Week), Richard Akers (Land Securities), Julia Reynolds (, Mike Shearwood (Aurora Fashions), Giles Barrie (Property Week), Susan Freeman (Mishcon de Reya)

Tim Danaher (Retail Week), Mark Sebba (Net-a-Porter)

Tim Danaher (Retail Week), Mark Sebba (Net-a-Porter)

Richard Hyman (Deloitte), Richard Akers (Land Securities), Mike Shearwood (Aurora Fashions), Tim Danaher (Retail Week)

Richard Hyman (Deloitte), Richard Akers (Land Securities), Mike Shearwood (Aurora Fashions), Tim Danaher (Retail Week)

Sam Fearn (Fearnhurst PR), David Harper (Harper Dennis Hobbs) and Susan Young (Collier Campbell)

Sam Fearn (Fearnhurst PR), David Harper (Harper Dennis Hobbs) and Susan Young (Collier Campbell)

David Harper (Harper Dennis Hobbs), Beverley Churchill (Capital & Counties), David Kenningham (CB Richard Ellis)

David Harper (Harper Dennis Hobbs), Beverley Churchill (Capital & Counties), David Kenningham (CB Richard Ellis)

John England (Mishcon de Reya), Laura Chesters (formerly Property Week), Martin Fleishman (Consultancy International)

John England (Mishcon de Reya), Laura Chesters (formerly Property Week), Martin Fleishman (Consultancy International)

Giles Barrie (Property Week), Anthony Brown (Lend Lease), Helen Gordon (Legal & General)

Giles Barrie (Property Week), Anthony Brown (Lend Lease), Helen Gordon (Legal & General)


Future of London

was organised by Helical Bar CEO and LandAid president Mike Slade, LLandAid's Future of London Debate Mishcon de Reya partner Susan Freeman and Central's Pat Brown, and supported by Property Week. It was attended by 300 senior industry figures, raising £40,000 for LandAid.

Cllr Daniel Moylan (Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea), Pat Brown (Central), Michael Spencer (ICAP), Boris Johnson (Mayor of London), Sir Terry Farrell (Terry Farrell & Partners), John Bird (The Big Issue), Sarah Montague (BBC Radio 4), Susan Freeman (Mishcon de Reya), Ian Hawksworth (Capital & Counties), Sir Simon Milton (Greater London Authority), Mike Slade (Helical Bar), Robin Broadhurst (Grainger)

Cllr Daniel Moylan (Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea), Pat Brown (Central), Michael Spencer (ICAP), Boris Johnson (Mayor of London), Sir Terry Farrell (Terry Farrell & Partners), John Bird (The Big Issue), Sarah Montague (BBC Radio 4), Susan Freeman (Mishcon de Reya), Ian Hawksworth (Capital & Counties), Sir Simon Milton (Greater London Authority), Mike Slade (Helical Bar), Robin Broadhurst (Grainger)

Sir Simon Milton, John Bird, Baroness Margaret Ford, Ian Hawksworth, Sarah Montague, Sir Terry Farrell, Cllr Daniel Moylan, Michael Spencer

Sir Simon Milton, John Bird, Baroness Margaret Ford, Ian Hawksworth, Sarah Montague, Sir Terry Farrell, Cllr Daniel Moylan, Michael Spencer

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London) introduced the debate

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London) introduced the debate

Anthony Bickmore (Transport for London), Baroness Jo Valentine (London First), David Twohig (Treasury Holdings), Ian Paul (Mishcon de Reya)

Anthony Bickmore (Transport for London), Baroness Jo Valentine (London First), David Twohig (Treasury Holdings), Ian Paul (Mishcon de Reya)

The event, hosted by Boris Johnson in the iconic City Hall, focused on the measures needed to ensure the capital’s future viability and success.

The event, hosted by Boris Johnson in the iconic City Hall, focused on the measures needed to ensure the capital’s future viability and success.

Jason Tann (Mishcon de Reya), Richard Powell (Capital & Counties), Richard McCarthy (Communities and Local Government)

Jason Tann (Mishcon de Reya), Richard Powell (Capital & Counties), Richard McCarthy (Communities and Local Government)

Ranald Phillips (Centenary Asset Management), Mike Slade (Helical Bar)

Ranald Phillips (Centenary Asset Management), Mike Slade (Helical Bar)

Liz Peace CBE (British Property Federation), Lucinda Bell (British Land)

Liz Peace CBE (British Property Federation), Lucinda Bell (British Land)