SJ Berwin oversees Coca-Cola’s HQ switch

SJ Berwin has acted for Coca-Cola Enterprises on its move into new European headquarters at the edge of London.

Coca-Cola has exchanged contracts with Invista Real Estate Investment Management, on behalf of Clerical Medical Investment Group, to move its 550 staff into a 108,884sq ft redevelopment in central Uxbridge.

SJ Berwin partner Bryan Pickup, who led his firm’s advice, said: “This was a ­sensitive transaction because it involved all Emea [Europe, Middle East and Africa] and UK employees. Managing internal information was very important and making sure that it was reported in the right way.”

He was assisted by real estate associates Helen Murcott and Anthony Claudius and construction associate David Parton. SJ Berwin’s EU office in Brussels has a longstanding relationship with Coca-Cola, having acted on competition matters for the company, but this is the first big real estate transaction for Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola signed a 15-year lease on the building commencing in April 2012 after having been based elsewhere in Uxbridge for 20 years. The building has undergone a major refit in preparation for the move.

Clerical Medical was advised by Forsters, with real estate partner Sophie ­Hamilton leading the team, assisted by real estate ­partner Glenn Dunn and construction partner Sarah Cook.