Irwin Mitchell guides Mayfair site purchase

Irwin Mitchell advised Phones 4U founder John Caudwell’s property division on its £143m purchase of the Audley Square House site in London’s Mayfair – one of the most prized ­properties held by Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency (Nama).

Allen & Overy, led by associate Rhiannon Blackmore, advised Nama, the bank set up in Ireland to take on toxic loans, while Clifford Chance, led by real estate partner Tony Briam, advised the seller Hedleigh (Mayfair), a syndicate of investors that bought the 0.6 acre residential site, which is located just behind the Dorchester Hotel, in 2005.

Irwin Mitchell advised the purchasers – a division of John Caudwell’s property investment and development business – on the acquisition. Irwin Mitchell’s team was led by partners Rob Thompson and Rupert Dowdell. It was the first time that the firm’s London team had acted for the client.

There may be more work to come from Caudwell on this deal as the property, which is a car park at present and has been in Nama’s portfolio since 2010, has planning consent and is likely to be turned into a large private residence, in excess of 157,000sq ft, by Caudwell, who has begun inviting proposals from prospective development partners.