Land Securities returns to Nabarros

Nabarro Nathanson has gained a major property swap instruction from client Land Securities, re-establishing the firm as a key legal adviser to the company.

Nabarros property partners James George and Graham Lust are leading the team acting for Land Securities on its exclusive negotiations with Slough Estates for a swap of the majority of their respective industrial and retail property portfolios. Manchester corporate firm Kuit Steinart Levy is also involved.

The mandate is a boost for Nabarros as it appeared it had lost its vice-like grip on the property giant last year, when Land Securities instructed firms not on its panel – such as Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Herbert Smith – on major property deals.

However, Nabarros and Kuits, which both hold places on Land Securities’ formal panel along with Cripps Harries Hall, Dundas & Wilson, Lovells and Simmons & Simmons, have reaffirmed their long-standing relationships with the company through the recent instructions.

As well as the negotiations for the property swap with Slough Estates, Nabarros recently advised Land Securities on its £113m purchase of Greater London House from joint owners Blackstone, JER Partners and Resolution.

However, the future of Kuits’ relationship with Land Securities is not as clear, as the firm has historically advised the property company on matters relating to its industrial portfolio, which could soon be transferred to Slough Estates’ ownership.

Earlier in the year Land Securities announced its intention to leave the industrial sector, which represents less than 5 per cent of the company’s portfolio, to concentrate on the retail market.

Commercial property partner Nick Nyunt is leading the Kuits team in the negotiations, while Lovells property partners Andrew Sanders and Bob Kidby are advising Slough Estates.