Deal of the Week – Cabot Square

Cabot Square was among the clients introduced to Herbert Smith by securitisation partner Jane Borrows, who joined from Sidley & Austin in November 2000. This is Herbert Smith’s first deal for the US client, which was a principal shareholder in UniLodge Holding. The deal was real estate driven, with 4,114 student rooms owned by UniLodge being transferred to the Unite Group. With so many properties and such a wide spread across the UK, Herbert Smith and Nabarro Nathanson agreed early on to turn convention on its head in order to avoid an endless paperchase and to achieve a speedy transaction. It was decided that the vendor should provide certificates of title to the buyer and the buyer’s funders. Regional firms with historic knowledge of the UniLodge portfolio were brought in to act for the vendor in this respect, coordinated by a Herbert Smith team led by Gerald Bland. The firms working on the deal were Cobbetts and Haliwell Landau in Manchester, Nabarro Nathanson in Sheffield, Pinsent Curtis Biddle in Leeds and Semple Fraser in Edinburgh.