This joint venture with British Land marks a new departure for WestLB in the UK property market. The German bank is used to making loans into property companies, but this is its first experience of taking on equity as well as debt risk. The joint venture was funded by a £265m loan from West LB and equity contributions from joint venturers Westdeutsche ImmobilienBank and Provinzial-Feuerversicherungsanstalt Der Rheinprovinz-Versicherung Der Sparkassen (PFR). British Land retains a 50 per cent stake in the joint venture.

The deal fits into a familiar pattern for Allen & Overy, which now acts for most of the top German mortgage banks. But the increase in pure property work promised by new department head Adam Cleal is starting to come on stream in the form of deals such as Saville Gordon’s purchase of an industrial property portfolio from Resolution Property in August.