The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
Former Garretts property head Keith Barnett has brought a deal for key client London & Regional Properties to his new firm Taylor Joynson Garrett (TJG). London & Regional has secured a $300m (£197m) sale and leaseback with struggling Swiss engineering group ABB. Barnett used former Swedish Andersen Legal firm Archibald for the Swedish aspects of the deal, while ABB was mainly represented in-house with support from Swedish firm Mannheimer. Although the deal took place in Sweden, it comprises more than 11.8 million sq ft of office and industrial space in 35 locations across Europe. ABB has agreed to lease back 75 per cent of the properties which it sold to London & Regional. The funds ABB raises from the sale and leaseback will go towards reducing the struggling group's debt burden. The group, which is the largest manufacturer in Europe, has had 22 per cent shaved off of its share price in the last year. The property company is one of the key clients Barnett took with him to TJG. He also brought Warner Estates to the new firm. Barnett said that although he started the deal at Garretts it did not get going until he had joined TJG. This deal was London & Regional's first foray into the European market, so it was the first time the former Archibald lawyers had worked for the UK property giant. Barnett said that Archibald will deal with ongoing issues. "This Swedish property now has to be managed, something the Archibald lawyers will take care of," he said. Barnett added that, while he could not confirm that he would refer any more London & Regional Swedish work to the Archibald lawyers, they would definitely have "a good shot" at future projects. Barnett said that for the future he is looking to refer pan-European property deals to firms in the TJG network rather than punting it back to his former Andersen Legal colleagues. TJG recently announced a merger with German intellectual property firm Wessing. The firm is also a member of the global referral network Interlex, which has 29 member firms worldwide. An interesting aspect of this deal, according to Barnett, was the fact it was done in Sweden but managed from London. "We were running a deal in Sweden from London. We ran the transaction using UK documents in a format that fitted Swedish law requirements," he said. Barnett said this was a novel way of doing things in real estate law. "Importing English legal ideas into other countries is new in the property world. You see this a lot in corporate and banking transactions but not in real estate," he said.