In brief: Herbert Smith draws up MoD home leases

Herbert Smith lawyers are drawing up 700 leases on Ministry of Defence married quarters to complete the UK's largest conveyancing transaction after exchanging contracts this week. The MoD appointed Herbert Smith legal adviser to the controversial £1.6bn sale of 57,000 homes after a beauty parade of six top City firms 18 months ago. About 30 lawyers, including seven partners, were involved even before the purchasers were invited to bid in February. They devised leaseback arrangements so that most of the homes will still be occupied by MoD staff with the MoD retaining the right to maintain the estates while paying rent to the buyer.