Finers wins uni loyalty

Finers Stephens Innocent has fought off competition from six other firms to become sole property adviser to the University of East London, and in the process has won two new substantial instructions.

The firm is advising on the university's disposal of its existing Barking campus as well as advising on the construction of academic buildings and student accommodation at its Docklands campus.

Six firms were asked to pitch for the business, and a short-listed two – Finers and another City firm – attended a formal panel interview.

The university's director of facilities Brian Cooper said: “We needed a firm that could demonstrate an understanding of the scope of our property needs and the sensitivities of the sector in which we operate.”

The work on these two projects alone looks set to take three years and Finers will be appointed on any other property matters that arise.

Lead partner on the deals, Finers' head of property development Michael Kutner, declined to comment on the value of the two transactions, saying only that they were “very substantial”.

The team advising on the two projects includes Kutner as well as head of construction James Harvey and head of tax Brian Slater.