Herbert Smith and SJ Berwin have taken the plum roles on a deal to create a joint venture (JV) that will see the construction of a new City landmark.
SJ Berwin and Herbert Smith are advising British Land and Canadian pension fund subsidiary Oxford Properties respectively on the £340m development of Leadenhall Building, already commonly known as the ’Cheesegrater’.
Corporate partner Michael Goldberg led the SJ Berwin team acting for longstanding client British Land. He worked alongside real estate partner Pat Jones, tax partner Heather Corben and corporate partner Delphine Currie.
Goldberg, who specialises in corporate real estate transactions, has advised British Land on a number of similar investments stretching back several years.
In 2008 he led for British Land on a £1.2bn JV with J Sainsbury, while last year saw him win the mandate on the property developer’s £1bn sale of the Broadgate estate to private equity house Blackstone.
Herbert Smith real estate partner Richard Forsdyke led on the transaction for Oxford, the property division of Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (Omers), alongside tax partner Neil Warriner. The transaction marked the first mandate from either Oxford or Omers for Herbert Smith.
Clifford Chance real estate tax partner David Saleh also advised Oxford on taxation matters. For British Land Ashurst construction partner Ann Minogue acted on the construction agreement, with Linklaters construction partner Martin Elliott advising on property title matters.
The JV will see British Land and Oxford both invest an initial £90m in the development, with the remaining cost split over the course of the agreement. The deal marks Oxford’s first major investment in a high-profile UK real estate project.
“I think we’ll see more of this kind of investment here,” commented Goldberg. “High-end UK real estate is particularly attractive to foreign investors.”
Forsdyke said: “Most of the interest in major real estate assets in London has been coming from overseas, and part of that interest is from Canada.”