Trio of firms advise on sale of US Embassy in London

The US will vacate the iconic building at 20-34 Grosvenor Square in Mayfair as part of a scheme to relocate to a new high-security site bordering the River Thames at Nine Elms in Battersea.

Property boutique Maples Teesdale, which advised on the arrangements concerning acquisition of the new site (13 October 2008), is advising the US government, with commercial property partner Neil Sagoo leading.

The Grosvenor Square building is to be bought by Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company, which was advised by Herbert Smith partner Don Rowlands and Lovells partner Francis Giacon.

This marks a number of investments by Middle East entities in the London prime real estate market including the acquisition by DLA Piper client Oman Investment Fund of Allen & Overy’s building at One Bishop’s Square.

Separately, Norton Rose partner Lucy Wolley Dod led a team advising Qatar Islamic Bank on a $1.1bn loan facility to Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company forgeneral corporate purposes.

Clifford Chance Dubai partner Robin Abraham advised Qatari Diar on that deal.