Addleshaws, Bakers lead on King Sturge-Jones Lang tie-up

Addleshaw Goddard and Baker & McKenzie took the prime advisory roles on the merger of Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) with fellow real estate giant King Sturge.

William Wastie
William Wastie

The merger will create the UK’s – and Europe’s – largest commercial property ­consultancy.

Although the deal was valued at just £197m, its complexity was due to the fact that the amalgamation was between a New York-listed property behemoth and a London-based LLP.

Under the terms of the deal JLL will pay £197m to King Sturge’s equity partners, who number around 90 across 43 European offices. They will receive an upfront payment of £98m in cash with the remainder being paid over the next five years.

The parties had to iron out issues that are not often present in larger corporate deals, such as agreeing on a business style for the new entity that takes into account the difference in culture between a corporate and a partnership.

King Sturge instructed longstanding adviser Addleshaws, with partnerships expert and professional practices group head William Wastie leading.

He was assisted by Aster ­Crawshaw, also a partner in the professional practices group. Associates Nick Pearey and Adina Fargher advised on corporate law aspects of the deal.

Addleshaws also ­instructed partner Jonathan Haley and consultant James Thorne at Farrer & Co to act as advisers to individual King Sturge partners.

Addleshaws’ relationship with King Sturge spans several years. The firm advised on its conversion to an LLP in 2005 and also on its establishment of an umbrella LLP with a partnership in the UK and a corporate structure in Continental Europe.

Bakers was hired to advise real estate services company JLL. Corporate partner Helen Bradley was the lead partner on the ­corporate side, assisted by employment partner ­Monica ­Kurnatowska, real estate partner Justin Salkeld and associates Robert Hewitt and Michael ­Rabinowicz.

Bradley said: “This is a strategically important merger for our longstanding client JLL. The merged company leads in terms of the scale and depth of its real estate expertise.”

Bakers’ technology team has previously advised JLL with regard to an IT ­outsourcing agreement for its European operations.