Herbies, Taylor Wessing win Sheffield block sale

Herbert Smith and Taylor Wessing won mandates on the sale of the Sheffield building that ­houses DLA Piper’s offices in the city.

Taylor Wessing advised longstanding client Canada Life on the £24m purchase of No 1 St Paul’s Place from fund manager Standard Life Investments, which was advised by Herbert Smith.

Real estate partner and former group head John Whitfield led the transaction for Taylor Wessing, along with construction partner Neil White and planning partner Alistair Watson. For Herbert Smith real estate partner Shelagh McKibbin led the way.

Whitfield said the sale, which was one of the largest in the region in the past 12 months, was a sign that there is renewed life in the real estate sector.

“Deals have been difficult to do for a while,” he admitted, but added: “It looks like there’s a lot more activity now.”

The iconic 88,000sq ft property in the centre of Sheffield was originally constructed in 2005 as part of Sheffield City Council’s Heart of the City development. DLA Piper, which leases the six floors above the commercial ground floor space, acted for the council on the original development.

Parts of the first two floors are sublet by the firm to Barclays and RBS.

Whitfield added that the building was evidence that “Sheffield has successfully regenerated the town ­centre” in recent years.