Firm profile: Pemberton Greenish

Pemberton Greenish” />Although only a young firm, Pemberton Greenish is as steeped in tradition as its extensive client list of landed estates.

Since it was established in November 2000, the Knightsbridge firm has managed to secure such significant clients as the Cadogan Estate and the Sloane Stanley Estate in Chelsea, the John Lyons Charity Estate in St John’s Wood and the Day Estate in South Kensington. The firm was also instructed by the Crown Estate (which previously used Speechly Bircham) in January in respect to its residential holdings at Regent’s Park.

Managing partner Giles Pemberton claims that the reason for the firm’s success in attracting so many landed estates is its almost singular focus on residential landlord and tenant work, including the highly specialist area of lease enfranchisement, for which Pemberton receives referrals from City firms.

“We’re different from other property and private client practices in that very few firms are focused on the landed estates and have expertise in the market,” comments Pemberton.

Developing a focus on residential real estate management was the reason for Pemberton Greenish’s formation four years ago, when nine partners demerged from private client law firm Lee & Pembertons.

In a mutual decision, Pemberton Greenish took the majority of Lee & Pembertons’ historic real estate-based clients (the firm was established in 1775). The move enabled Lee & Pembertons to concentrate on being a one-stop shop for private clients, while Pemberton Greenish focused on residential landlord and tenant work.

As such, the firm offers a niche landlord-based real estate practice, with smaller complementary private client and commercial real estate practices. This combination has led to the firm’s strength with landed estates; however, the team also advises a range of other clients, including Scottish Widows Fund & Life Assurance Society and Dorrington Investment.

As Pemberton explains: “The split allowed us to concentrate on what the firm was always good at – looking after landed estates. We’re going to continue to concentrate on that area for the next few years. Although we understand that the market may contract in the future, we’re currently very busy.”

However, in a proactive strategy to avoid the impact of any potential contraction in the landed estate market, the firm is implementing plans to develop stronger expertise in the commercial real estate and private client markets. As such, the firm has made its most significant lateral hire yet by recruiting the former head of commercial real estate at Charles Russell, Chris Edwards, who joins in November.

It is hoped that Edwards’ appointment will significantly increase the firm’s exposure within the commercial real estate field by increasing its development expertise. However, Pemberton claims that other lateral hires are unlikely in the short term. Having made its split, the firm prefers to follow a strategy of organic growth.