BLP secures acquisition for hotel chain

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has closed its first deal for boutique hotel chain Malmaison, advising on its recent purchase of The McCausland Hotel in Belfast.

The work came to BLP through partner David Battiscombe, who joined the firm at the beginning of the year from Finers Stephens Innocent,
where he headed up real estate.

Malmaison bought The McCausland Hotel for an undisclosed sum from owners PG Daly and Barry Wyse of Landmark Hotels, who developed the 1860s warehouses into a 60-room hotel in the mid-1990s.

“I did a small amount of work for [Malmaison] at Finers,” said Battiscombe. “But when I came here, it opened up the relationship because of all the others things that BLP brought to the table.”

Battiscombe hopes to get further work from the hotel chain. Under new managing director Robert Cook, who was appointed in January, the company has announced plans to double the size of the chain over the next four years.

Malmaison also uses SJ Berwin, but does not typically have a large number of legal advisers.

Rosemary Carson, a partner at Carson McDowell, advised Malmaison on the Northern Irish aspects of the deal.

Garrett O’Reilly of O’Reilly Stewart, one of Northern Ireland’s largest licensing firms, advised the seller Landmark Hotels. O’Reilly has advised Wyse since he first made the acquisition in Northern Ireland in the 1990s.