Norton Rose moves in on CGI Paternoster purchase

Norton Rose has acted for Commerz Grundbesitz Investmentgesellschaft (CGI) in the acquisition of the last development site at Paternoster Square, and of an additional property on the Strand. The deal is valued at between £70m and £80m.
Paternoster Square was bought from One Paternoster Row, which is a subsidiary of CCF Charterhouse.
CGI is forward funding the office buildings and retail units on the site, which is being developed by City Office Developments.
Jonathan Ody, senior property partner at Norton Rose, led the team advising CGI on the purchase of the Paternoster Square development; Robin Mitchell, head of property, led the team advising on the purchase of 265 Strand.
Two years ago, CGI appointed Mitchell as its main adviser. Since then, he has done about six deals for the investor, each worth between £80m and £200m. Norton Rose is currently advising CGI on two further purchases, one inside London and one outside.
However, Norton Rose tends to advise the developer and it is unusual for the firm to act for the buyer. Mitchell explained: “CGI is interesting to us from the point of view of keeping a wide client base.”
One Paternoster Row was advised by Gabrielle Abbott at Clifford Chance. Nigel Mason of Hamlins advised City Office Developments.
265 Strand, which has been let to US law firm Covington & Burling for 20 years, was purchased from Three St Clements Sarl, part of HRO International, for around £60m.
Slaughter and May advised HRO UK, with partner Dermot Rice leading the team.
Covington was advised by Freshfields partner Peter Macklin.