Linklaters handed £85m property deal

Linklaters has advised longstanding client Rope-maker Properties on the acquisition of 50 Stratton Street from Burford Holdings for around £85m.
The scheme was rushed through by Ropemaker, a subsidiary of BP Pension Fund, to avoid the Chancellor's clampdown on stamp duty savings schemes.
“It was a relatively complex deal,” said Link-laters real estate partner Christopher Coombe. It included a forward purchase agreement, corporate elements and advice on tax and stamp duty, but needed to be turned around within a short space of time.
Coombe was assisted by Adam Calvert and Alexandra Grant-Peterkin on real estate, Rachel Vallance on corporate, Elliot Weston on tax and Nicola Jones on construction.
“Due credit must go to the lawyers at Linklaters for getting it done in just over a week,” said Cliff McAuley, the Clifford Chance partner leading the team for Burford.
Clifford Chance has acted for Burford for a number of years during the time it was a publicly listed company and has continued as primary adviser after the company was taken over by Lehman Brothers last year. The team has advised Burford in relation to 50 Stratton Street, part of the larger Mayfair Place scheme, since the company acquired it in December 1997.
McAuley's team advised Burford on the real estate aspects, with Manches providing advice on construction and PricewaterhouseCoopers giving tax advice. The Manches team was led by partner Robert Oaks.
The 70,000 sq ft site will become Lazard's new European headquarters. Last month, Lazard agreed a 20-year lease for the scheme, which is due to be completed later this month.