Ashurst’s White City win underlines property surge

Ashurst has continued a stellar year for its real estate department, securing the latest in a string of high-profile pre-lets for the £2bn Westfield London development at White City – London’s largest shopping centre.

Ashurst advised long-standing client Westfield Shoppingtowns Limited on its pre-let agreements with House of Fraser, which was advised by Field Fisher Waterhouse.

The agreement with House of Fraser follows similar pre-lets Ashurst has secured in recent months for Waitrose, Debenhams and National Amusements, which is to develop a luxury cinema above the retail component. The centre will also include Marks & Spencer and Next.

Ashurst real estate partner Hugh Lumby is the firm’s relationship partner with Westfield. Field Fisher Waterhouse real estate partner Edward Bannister led the advice to House of Fraser.

Ashurst has enjoyed a strong year as Westfield’s advisers of choice. In addition to the White City development, it won the pitch for the mandate to advise Westfield-owned Stratford City Developments on development of the Olympic village and accompanying retail development.

Lumby said: “It’s been a fantastic year for us. White City is one of the biggest retail regeneration schemes in Europe. And to also win on Stratford, which is a massive regeneration project, we are absolutely delighted and its keeping people very busy.”

The firm is also advising Beacon Capital Partners on its joint venture with Land Securities to redevelop Allen & Overy’s former headquarters at One New Change.

Ashurst has been involved in White City for more than 11 years, including advising Chelsfield before Westfield took control of the development.