SJ Berwin's relationship with quoted property company Chelsfield has steadily deepened since the firm acted on the acquisition of 1 Golden Lane as part of a portfolio in 1998. The sale of the building to a Middle Eastern investment company for £41m hinged on the completion of two agreements negotiated earlier last year. One was with previous tenant Amec for a phased vacation of the building, followed by an agreement for lease of the whole building to Swiss Bank Corporation Investment Banking (SBCI) with a provision for phased occupation. Any delay on one of these transactions had the potential to ripple out and delay the others.
Senior property partner John Eldridge led the team acting on the sale and on the pre-letting of the landmark Riverside House office development to the Financial Times Group. The transaction further consolidates Eldridge's relationship with the company, since it is the first time he has worked with Chelsfield's Nick Roberts, who is closely involved in the company's development work. CMS Cameron McKenna's construction team also has a longstanding relationship with Chelsfield and advised on specific aspects for Riverside House. Although Chelsfield appears to be spreading its instructions more widely of late, Ashurst Morris Crisp remains its other main property adviser. It is currently advising Chelsfield on major redevelopments at White City and Paddington.