Lewis Silkin in shopping centre buy

Lewis Silkin has scooped its first piece of work for Chester Properties on a £16m acquisition of the Packhorse Shopping Centre in Huddersfield.
Chester Properties formed a joint venture partnership with Cargill Financial Markets to acquire the centre from a subsidiary of Peel Holdings, the listed developer. Debt funding was provided by German bank HVB. The deal also included a successful stamp duty savings scheme.
Property partner Jonathan Barnes brought Chester Properties to Lewis Silkin when he joined from DJ Freeman in June last year. Barnes, who had been at DJ Freeman for 14 years, has acted for the company for a number of years. However, it is understood that DJ Freeman will also continue to act for the client.
This is the fifth in a nationwide series of shopping centre buys by the company. Barnes was instructed on two of the previous acquisitions while at DJ Freeman. SJ Berwin acted on the others.
The Lewis Silkin team, led by Barnes and fellow property partner Lynne Murray, advised on property, tax, corporate banking and employment issues.
Barnes said: “This is another important acquisition for Chester Properties. Our client plans to take advantage of a number of active management opportunities to upgrade the centre. Strong rental growth is anticipated on the back of a growing annual footfall figure, which already stands at 11 million.”
This may also mean ongoing work for Lewis Silkin on the deal, as Chester looks to upgrade the centre.
Beverley Phillpotts of Peel's in-house legal team led the Peel team in relation to the property aspects. Travers Smith Braithwaite property partner Anthony Judge and tax partner Richard Stratton advised Peel on the tax and stamp duty aspects of the deal.
Although Travers has acted for Peel for around five years on corporate and tax matters, the firm has only just started advising on property issues. Previously, it acted for the firm on the securitisation of the Trafford Centre in Manchester.
Nicholson Graham & Jones advised long-term client HVB in relation to the debt. Partner Andrew Besser led the team, which included associates Kathryn Norris, Kate Cartmell and Peter Young.
Cargill was advised by Linklaters.