Former Norton Rose partner Jonathan Solomon has given Clifford Chance a foothold in property company Helical Bar. He is acting on the granting of Slaughter and May's lease for its new Bunhill Row offices after negotiating a relaxation of his restrictive covenant to take the work with him from Norton Rose last October.
Solomon was instructed by longstanding Norton Rose client Helical Bar two years ago to advise on the site acquisition, letting and funding. He was assisted by Julien Allen, who moved with him to Clifford Chance. Solomon says he hopes to win more instructions from the property company in the future.
He says: "I was really pleased to bring the work from Norton Rose. I worked so hard on it that it would have been a shame to duck out. Helical Bar still instructs Norton Rose, but I think it is probably fair to say that we will get a fair share of the work as well now. Helical Bar is a new client for Clifford Chance. We've come here and opened files here."
The £150m project was funded by German investment bank Despa. Slaughters property partner David Beales acted for Slaughters, while property partners Bill Noad and Alan Butler of Simmons & Simmons acted for Despa. Helical Bar is also planning to construct a 100,000sq ft office on the adjoining land.
Helical Bar is among a number of new clients introduced to Clifford Chance by Solomon. He has also brought with him work on lease arrangements for the multi-million pound commercial development in Spitalfields Market, acting for the City of London Corporation and the Spitalfields Development Group. Norton Rose continues to act on planning aspects, despite major setbacks (The Lawyer, 8 January).