Nabarros triumphs in first FHR deal for Savoy

Nabarro Nathanson has seen its first deal for hard-fought-for client Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (FHR) come to fruition as the Canadian company prepares to take over the management of the Savoy Hotel.

FHR is set to begin running the hotel in January, subject to the sale of the property to a company affiliated with Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and a $48m (£26.8m) refurbishment of the property.

The prince’s company, which is being represented by US firm Hogan & Hartson, is currently in negotiations, in conjunction with Bank of Scotland Corporate, to purchase the hotel from Irish property investment group Quinlan Private.

Quinlan acquired the Savoy Group just six months ago for £750m. Quinlan’s long-time legal adviser A&L Goodbody headed the deal, with Allen & Overy acting on UK law aspects.

Nabarros’ instruction followed a beauty parade conducted two years ago to find a law firm for real estate advice. Nabarros won in preference to several magic circle firms invited to pitch.

Nabarros has since advised FHR on several potential deals. However, the management of the Savoy is the first to go ahead. It will be the first hotel FHR has managed in Europe.

Kevin Stimpson, a senior partner in the firm’s commercial property department, is leading Nabarros’ team for FHR. Iain Morton, corporate finance and M&A partner at Canadian law firm McCarthy Tétrault, is also assisting on the corporate aspects of the deal.