Ex-Dechert star takes House of Fraser to FFW

FFW completes first significant deal for House of Fraser since partner hire

Dechert star takes House of Fraser to FFW” />House of Fraser (Stores) has followed former Dechert partner Edward Bannister to Field Fisher Waterhouse, becoming a new client for the firm.

Bannister has just ex-changed on the department store’s deal to become anchor tenant at Stannifer’s proposed £200m redevelopment of the centre of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

He has built up a close relationship with House of Fraser since the mid-1990s and brought the client across from Dechert when he moved in September 2002. Dechert continues to work with House of Fraser.

Files that transferred with Bannister include House of Fraser’s deal to open a store in the Lend Lease Chapelfield scheme in Norwich. However, High Wycombe is his first significant new deal for House of Fraser since his move.

House of Fraser’s other advisers include Herbert Smith, which recently advised it on the new 68 King William Street store in the City, and Slaughter and May for plc work.

The High Wycombe deal also marks a coup for Taylor Wessing partner Keith Barnett, who advised retail development specialist Stannifer. SJ Berwin is advising Stannifer on the scheme, but it is understood that Barnett was brought in for the anchor letting because of his previous experience of department store lettings, including working opposite House of Fraser.

Earlier this year, Barnett advised London & Regional Properties on the letting and development of House of Fraser’s new King William Street store. Stannifer’s small panel also includes Walker Morris, which is advising on a Bradford scheme.

Stannifer secured the High Wycombe pre-let in less than six weeks. Barnett said: “Edward Bannister and I have both been around the block and can both avoid making mountains out of mole hills.”

House of Fraser has signed up for 141,500sq ft at the scheme known locally as Project Phoenix. In addition to a three-floor store, it has an option to take a further 20,000sq ft to include a ‘world of food’ concept. The new store will anchor the redevelopment, which brings to an end Wycombe District Council’s 10-year search for a viable retail scheme for the town centre. Wragge & Co partner Andrew Galla advised the council.