Taylor Wessing takes over at L&R

Taylor Wessing is understood to have usurped Lawrence Graham in the affections of London & Regional Properties (L&R), the entrepreneurial property company run by brothers Ian and Richard Livingstone.

Taylor Wessing real estate partner Keith Barnett is advising L&R on a £500m regeneration scheme on the western side of the Greenwich peninsular, known as Granite Wharf. This is the first new development for L&R that Barnett has been instructed on since introducing the client to his new firm when he moved from Andersen Legal following its collapse in 2002.

Since then, Barnett’s other deals for L&R include the letting and refinancing of St George’s Court, Oxford Street, and the letting and development of 68 King William Street, home to the City’s new House of Fraser department store.

He brought both of those deals across from Andersen Legal. Barnett also advised L&R on a $300m (£188.4m) sale-and-leaseback deal with struggling Swiss engineering group ABB last year and is also making inroads into L&R’s hotel interests.

Barnett has worked for L&R for the past four years after being brought in to advise on a shopping centre scheme. The company’s property portfolio is now worth in excess of £1bn.

Meanwhile, L&R’s relationship with longstanding adviser Lawrence Graham seems to have declined. One possible explanation is the furore over disgraced former Lawrence Graham partner Michael Fielding.

Fielding is alleged to have embezzled around £2m from L&R, which was his biggest client. He resigned and left the country amid allegations of financial wrongdoing in 2001. Fielding had been L&R’s main adviser.

L&R’s other property advisers include Denton Wilde Sapte, Howard Kennedy and SJ Berwin.

L&R’s Greenwich scheme involves a 12-acre site to be acquired from the trustees of Morden College, subject to planning permission being secured.

The trustees are advised by Herbert Smith partner Chris Taverner. The Livingstones intend to capitalise on the intense development activity planned for the Greenwich Peninsula, including the minicity proposed for the Millennium Dome site.

Under the terms of L&R’s development agreement, the Livingstones will apply for planning permission for a 1.5 million square foot mixed-use scheme, which will include housing, shops, offices and a hotel.

“This is a very significant regeneration opportunity for L&R and it will be very exciting to see the scheme take shape over the months and years ahead,” said Barnett.