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Niche firm Maxwell Batley has won Land Securities as a new client and is advising the property giant on one of the City's largest office developments.
The 15-partner Chancery Lane firm is advising Land Securities on its groundscraper development at 30 Gresham Street. Maxwell Batley partner Michael Cassidy, who is managing the new relationship, has just advised on the final piece in the site-assembly jigsaw for the scheme with the purchase of a site occupied by the State Bank of India. Land Securities bought the bulk of the site in 1999 from Maxwell Batley client Gresham Street Develop-ments. Land Securities opted to retain Maxwell Batley as well as bringing in longstanding adviser Nabarro Nathanson to advise on some aspects, such as the involvement of the Mercers' Company. Maxwell Batley's role has focussed on site assembly and planning. Litigation partner Philip Knights has also been involved in delicate negotiations involving right of light claims by occupiers of adjoining properties. One such claim, made by Paragon, went to litigation in July, when Judge Rich QC ruled in favour of the claimant. An appeal is listed for hearing in early December. Cassidy said his experience as a former chairman of the Corporation of London's planning committee had proven particularly useful. He has also known Land Securities chief executive Ian Henderson for some time, but had not advised the company before. Cassidy said: "When Ian Henderson realised I'd already worked on the scheme, he was happy for me to continue. "To have Land Securities on our client list is very, very good. I would very much hope and expect that we could be involved in another big project, particularly in the City."