SJ Berwin’s real estate funds team has secured a major instruction to advise star fund manager Nicola Horlick on her bid for London’s Trocadero centre.

The firm, led by partner John Eldridge, advised on the establishment of Horlick’s Bramdean Asset Management group. If successful, the Trocadero will be the first investment for Bramdean’s real estate arm. It is understood SJ Berwin’s connection with Horlick came through Mark Shipman, a partner at real estate advisory firm Michael Elliot.

Property developer Stanhope has also placed a bid for the site, in conjunction with Robert Tchenguiz. It hopes to turn the Trocadero into a budget hotel. Shearman & Sterling’s London real estate head and former Ashurst partner Ian Nisse is Stanhope’s longstanding adviser.

The Trocadero comprises 500,000 sq ft of retail space in Leicester Square. It is being auctioned by Burford, the property group controlled by Lehman Brothers. Clifford Chance is advising Burford.

SJ Berwin, Shearman & Sterling and Clifford Chance all declined to comment.