Carlyle Group picks Herbert Smith for fund’s UK purchase

Herbert Smith has picked up its first instruction from the Carlyle Group, advising on the first UK acquisition by the private equity firm’s European real estate fund.
Herbert Smith advised on the £67m acquisition of 107 Cheapside from AXA Sun Life – a building that currently houses UniBank and some of Allen & Overy.
Carlyle has previously used Clifford Chance and Latham & Watkins for transactions in the UK, with the magic circle firm advising on its QinetiQ acquisition – a deal on which Herbert Smith acted for the other side.
Clifford Chance has also previously acted for the real estate fund in other European jurisdictions. In January it advised on a E230m (£161m) Italian real estate portfolio acquisition.
Lead partner at Herbert Smith Chris de Pury won the instruction through a contact who joined the Carlyle Group’s European real estate fund in 2001 and has since left for the Blackstone Group. Initially, the fund planned to make an acquisition around a year ago, when de Pury’s contact was still with Carlyle. In the event, a
deal did not come to fruition until this year, but the private equity group still opted for Herbert Smith.