Herbies, Lovells, Maples bag US Embassy sale

The US State Department will vacate the iconic building at 20-34 Grosvenor Square in Mayfair as part of a scheme to relocate to a new highsecurity site bordering the River Thames at Nine Elms in Battersea.

Property boutique Maples, which advised on the arrangements concerning the acquisition of the new site (The Lawyer, 13 October 2008), is advising the US government, with commercial property partner Neil Sagoo leading the advice.

The Grosvenor Square building will be bought by Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company, which was advised by Herbert Smith partner Don Rowlands and Lovells partner Francis Giacon. This marks a number of investments by Middle East entities in the London prime real estate market, including the acquisition by DLA Piper client Oman Investment Fund of Allen & Overy’s building at One Bishop’s Square. Separately, Norton Rose partner Lucy Wolley Dod advised Qatar Islamic Bank on a loan facility for Qatari Diar.

Clifford Chance partner Robin Abraham advised Qatari Diar.