Scottish Amicable turns to Simmons

Simmons & Simmons has scored a one-off instruction from CMS Cameron McKenna client Scottish Amicable after it advised both the Prudential-owned fund and Dutch fund PGGM on the sale of 22 Hanover Square.

PGGM, a longstanding client of Simmons, and Scottish Amicable jointly owned the 84,000sq ft property, home to the headquarters of Jones Lang LaSalle, which has now been sold to Scottish Widows for £54.2m.

Simmons head of property Alan Butler, who led the team advising on the deal, said: “Because PGGM are the majority owner [with a 75 per cent holding] of the building, they asked for us.”

Scottish Amicable is a key client for Camerons’ property team, and the firm managed to retain it after the fund was bought by Prudential six years ago.

Simmons advised PGGM on the original 1993 purchase of the building from Prudential, although at that stage Scottish Amicable retained its own lawyers. The firm has acted as principal adviser for the Dutch fund since it first began investing in the UK around 10 years ago.

However, the nature of the relationship between lawyers and clients is about to change, in line with a change in the fund’s investment practices.

“PGGM is one of the many international funds that have gone indirect. That was their last direct holding, so it becomes a rather different client. It will now principally be commercial-type work,” said Butler. However, he added that the strategy might change at a later date.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer real estate partner David Lewis led the team advising longstanding client Scottish Widows, which won a bidding process to buy the premises.

Other parties understood to be interested in the building were German open-ended funds Asticus and Deka, which backed invest-ment company Helical Bar.