It’s early days, but so far 2014 looks to be a promising year for London’s planning and real estate lawyers. Just look at Queens Park Rangers’ latest move– trying to score a new 40,000-seat stadium to replace its current 18,000-capacity Loftus Road ground.
The football club has signed up Macfarlanes for the bulk of the advice on the deal, plus Lawrence Graham and boutique David Cooper & Co to work on the planning aspects. Lawyers leading on the transaction at the latter two firms are old hands, having worked on Arsenal’s similar project in Highbury almost a decade ago.
The move is part of a much bigger deal – the wider regeneration of the Old Oak area of West London, which is seeking to win planning permission by the end of the year or early 2015. London mayor Boris Johnson has put his weight behind the bold plan to create a new commercial and residential development bigger than Canary Wharf.
Meanwhile, work on the enormous Nine Elms redevelopment on the other side of the river continues rumbling away, and Croydon is undergoing its own facelift courtesy of the development of Westfield’s third shopping centre in the city.
As London’s makeover continues apace, big regeneration projects look set keep its lawyers ticking over for years to come.
PS. See our feature on Nine Elms to find out who’s doing what on the giant South Bank project.